It doesn't come to him with angels singing or a super groovy African Methodist Episcopal Church choir from Harlem or trumpets ringing or a baffled king composing hallelujah. It would make more sense if it had. It would be a better story to tell their grandchildren, one day, and there will be many grandchildren, yes indeed. They have a meet-cute, sort of... well, considering how Charles had been that day maybe calling it a “meet slightly creepy” would have been more appropriate. Still... a memorable meeting.
They had been in life or death situations more times than either one could could—the life of a police in the kind of city that likes to think it's safer than it really is—suffered partings, rejoiced at reunions... all the kinds of stuff that will make great stories to tell their theoretical two or three hundred grandchildren. But the moment he knew that he had to propose to the woman lying next to him, softly snoring, that he had to give her his name (or take hers... or share them, maybe, they weren't quite sure and it all seemed cool to him), that he had to tell the world that she was his life forever and forever more, was not dramatic. It was, indeed, geeky and a little pedantic (Word of the Day calendar for the win!). It was, in a word, Amy.
A typo in the Times Crossword in a word that was easily misspelled anyway. It is something no one outside of a crabbed and shriveled primary school grammar teacher would even notice. And yet it called to her from the page, galled her so fiercely that she couldn't help but write a letter of complaint to the editor. She took the kind of glee in it that only a woman who'd been a proud hall monitor her entire girlhood could have managed. Her perfectionism. A weird thing to seize on, maybe. It was part of what made her an outstanding detective, along with fierce intelligence and hatred of injustice, and could be, well... it could be a little annoying sometimes. That was part of being in love, right, being able to say that your soulmate annoyed you occasionally but was still, undeniably, your soulmate? Sure... that seemed right.
It was an imperfection that made her perfect. She's so many wonderful things. She's smart—close to brilliant, in fact—studious, quick-witted and super funny. She's got the warmest heart in the known universe, wears it proudly on her floral print sleeve and has been known to weep at lost puppies in commercials even when she knows good and well they'll get back home. She has huge, melting brown eyes that look shining up into his when he holds her and, let us be entirely honest here, an ass that simply refuses to quit.
She is also, however, nit-picky, grouchy in the morning and unable to sleep soundly if she has not first counted the pictures on their bedroom wall to make sure that one has not, somehow, wandered away during the evening. She is all these things and more, a sum of parts that makes up a woman he would burn in hell to stand beside because any heaven without her would not be worthy of the name.
He watches her sleep so intently that she must have felt his eyes on her, stirred and mumbled, “Something wrong, babe?”
“Nothing,” he says. “Nothing. Just listening to you snore.”
“I do not snore.”
“If you say so,” he says. “We must have just taken a small outboard motor to bed with us.”
“Title of our sex tape?”
“Little weird, little weird, but you're in the mix, you're having a little fun with it... I like it. Title of our sex tape. That's a wrap. We'll have it up on Thumbzilla in no time flat.”
“For yay,” she says. “But now I'mma go back to sleep. I was having the greatest dream about you.”
“You're cheating on me with Dream Jake?”
“Yep,” she says. “He's got wings and powerful haunches, like a stallion. I think he's a Pegasus centaur thing.”
He frowns. “Tell me more. I might end up a little in love with Dream Jake, too.”
“Nope, gonna keep him all for Amy. All for Amy.”
“That's very selfish of you, you know. I mean, I don't have exciting dreams about a weird, lizard mermaid Amy that I don't share with you,” he says. “I totally don't and have no idea why I chose that very, very specific image.”
“There are strange things done in dreamland,” she says. “And I usually do them with Pegasus Centaur Jake. Sometimes he's a unicorn, too. And he's mine.”
He hugs her tight. “You can have him.” He spends a reflective moment—not super common for Jake Peralta and so special in a way. “Ames...”
“When did you know you wanted to marry me?”
“You really wanna know?”
“Yeah. I mean, I told you mine.”
“Okay.” She falls silent for a long moment, possibly searching her memory.
He jostles her. “Amy? Ames?”
She begins to snore, again. Well, maybe he won't find out the exact moment, tonight. Maybe it's for the better, anyway. If it's not any more exciting than his there won't be any story to tell their grand-kids at all. They'll just sigh at how boring old grandma and Jake the Cool Guy (he won't be called grandpa) got married for no good reason at all and then run back off to their hover-boards and brain piercings, never knowing the real truth, that their grandparents got married in the name of a love so profound that it had reshaped two worlds.
He chuckles. That makes it sound very much like an awful fantasy novel that Terry might write one day. Still... the story of when they decided to get married isn't the important one, here. The important story, the one that will go down through the ages seared on Jake's soul, is the one that they'll write with the rest of their lives.