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I Love You So Much

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     After waking Charles following his fainting spell, Amy and Jake crouch with him on the floor to coax his recovery. When he sees the ring he nearly begins to hyperventilate again.

     Jake calls Rosa to inform her that Amy had the belt at midnight and that the three of them would meet the rest of the squad at Shaw’s.

 


 

     Amy considers duct-taping Charles’ mouth when they walk in so he doesn’t spill the beans for them. She holds Jake’s hand tightly, and every time he gives it a light squeeze she smiles. Holt grills Amy about how she found the belt.

     “I only found it because Jake wanted me to,” she explains vaguely. “I thought I was way ahead of him but he surprised me.”

     Rosa squints at the two of them. “Why would you want her to find it?”

     He takes a deep breath. “Because I altered the belt. It said something else when she found it,” he tells them.

     Amy grins at Jake and extends her left hand. “He proposed in the middle of the heist,” - Charles squeals - “and he wanted to catch me off guard. It worked.” A chorus of awh s erupts from the squad.

     “So, no one won the heist,” Holt concludes quietly.

 


     

     When they get home, Jake and Amy are a little drunk on beer and high on life, a seemingly dangerous combination. They can hardly keep their hands off of each other, and only do so when Amy excuses herself to go pee. When she comes out his hands are around her waist again and he kisses her, an urgency he’s never known of himself, because he’s never loved her more than he has today. He proposed to her a few short hours ago and he’s still on cloud nine from her answer.

     Her arms wrap around his shoulder and neck and as she loses her balance, they fall back onto the bed in a fit of giggles, her hair a mess and falling every which way. He crawls on top of her and plants kisses gently on the nape of her neck, her chin, her cheek, her forehead. His hand untucks her shirt and she removes his leather jacket, discarding it on the floor. He holds her for a moment just to look at her. Her eyes are welled in happy tears, her lips are puffy and are grinning ear to ear. He’s literally never loved someone so much in his life.

 


 

     The next day at work, Jake and Amy can’t stop smiling, even when they’re not together or looking at each other. Rosa is beyond grossed out but still happy for them. Charles is so happy he nearly threw up when they walked in together. Terry is silent but affirming and Holt is disgruntled about the heist but still proud of them. Hitchcock and Scully don’t really know what’s going on… but do they ever?

 


 

     The lunch break was just them making out in the supply closet like a bunch o’ hooligans. They were giggling like they were teenagers. No one asked questions when they exited together because no one wanted to know.

 


 

     The first time Amy got sick since the proposal, Jake brought her homemade chicken soup at work (it was his day off, and even though he didn’t cook often, it was something he did fairly well). He used bow tie pasta - her favourite - and brought it to her in a thermos while it was still piping hot, as well as a hot chocolate from that Polish place she loves.

      After he kisses her on the forehead and says he loves her and leaves, Amy spends the rest of the afternoon twirling the ring on her finger, her cheeks permanently flushed from blushing. God, she loves him.

 


 

     They visit Karen a short month after the night and they reveal the engagement by Amy extending her left arm and showing his mother the ring he bought her - a two carat diamond - and her shrill voice crying and holding them both for a solid six minutes.

 


 

     Telling her family wasn’t as fun, because it meant telling her father - who Jake has so narrowly avoided since the phone call - and her mother, as well as her seven brothers. Her dad was irritated but withheld his judgments out of fear of his daughter. Her mother - a kind and wonderful woman, embraced Jake like he was a long lost son and also she smelled nice. The brothers were mostly indifferent, safe for the casual “hurt her and die” comments, and then the playful too-hard-to-be-funny shoulder punches.

     Although, Jake almost died right there when Amy introduced him to her brother Mateo, only eleven months older than her. He was sitting in the basement on his computer, and when she asked him what he was doing, he answered, “watching Die Hard.”

     Jake nearly wept and Amy just rolled her eyes and laughed at her husband-to-be. A friendship was born.

 


 

     Gina visited the precinct about two weeks later, her daughter Enigma in tow. Charles always called dibs on holding her first because after all, he’s the godfather, but he made sure there was enough of her to go around so that Amy and Jake could hold her.

     “She’s so cute,” Amy whispered.

     Jake always felt vulnerable when holding babies or toddlers, but his eyes were full of tears almost immediately. He wanted to be a dad, but it wasn’t something he and Amy had ever discussed at length. Maybe they should.

     That night they did. Jake wasn’t sure how to start the conversation and wanted to be anywhere but there because he didn’t want to freak Amy out. So he just rolled with it and hoped for the best. “I was wondering how you feel about having kids,” he started softly, averting her gaze. “We’re getting married and I love you regardless of your answer, but I want to know if having a family is in the cards for you. Because I wouldn’t want to expect something like that and find out you don’t want kids and put you in that awkward position,” he rambles nervously.

     She grabs his hand to calm him. “Jake. I absolutely do want to have kids one day. Not yet, not this soon. But I would love to have a baby with you. You’d be a fantastic dad.”

     And he spends the next few hours imaging a house-full of mini Jake and Amy’s running around, his face cramping from grinning so much.

 


 

     It’s touch and go one weekend when Amy gets hit with the worst bout of PMS she’s ever had. Jake finds her alone on the couch at 2am crying in the dark, and when he tries to comfort her she screams at him and slams the bedroom door because she wants to be alone.

     So he lets her.

     He doesn’t want to take away her privacy just because they’re together. So he takes the blanket from the chaise - admittedly too small for him - and uses it on the couch for the night. He doesn’t try to get back in there with her because he knows she wouldn’t want that.

     He wakes up an hour later, at 3:16am, to Amy trying to crawl into the makeshift bed with him, her eyes red and puffy. He doesn’t say anything, he doesn’t ask questions. He just straightens up a little bit so she can lean on him, and he lays the blanket out on her so she’s warm. She sleeps in the crevice of his arm and torso and he rests his hand on her back gently and kisses her forehead as they fall asleep until morning.

     He wakes up before her and watches her sleep for a while. Eventually his arm begins to numb and he adjusts himself enough to let her lean on the couch without disturbing her awake. He grabs her feather pillow from the bed and the heavy duvet and tries to make her as comfortable as he can.

     She wakes a little while later to the sounds of sizzling eggs and the smell of coffee. She lays on the couch and watches him fondly.

     And she can’t believe she’s marrying this man.

 


 

     There’s a moment where Jake’s heart completely stops. And it’s when he’s working a money laundering stakeout with Amy and Terry and the suspect fires back at them while they pursue him, and the bullet grazes Amy’s stomach.

     And there’s a lot of blood. Jake stays with her to call for backup and an ambulance, and Terry runs a block and a half to bust the bastard. She’s seizing painfully and he can only put pressure on the wound to help it, not much more. His eyes are full of tears and he’s scared. She’s shaking. Both of them know that she’ll probably be okay, because it didn’t go through her stomach, just seared the outside, but they’re terrified. The sirens can be heard in the distance, and he’s holding her tightly.

     When the first responders get there, they immediately move her to a gurney and start to work on the wound. Jake kisses her forehead and tells her he’ll see her soon, but he had to go after Terry. She whispers that she loves him too. He knows she knows that he had to go, and that he had to go find Sarge to make sure he wasn’t hurt like Amy, but it still pains him to watch the ambulance peel out of the alley and shoot down the road and know he’s not in there holding her hand.

     An hour and a half later everyone piles into the hospital and Jake demands to see her. They tell him she’s awake and okay and needed some stitches. She’s in room 308, and he tears off down the hall to find her.

     He barrels in and sighs in relief when he sees her and she’s wincing as they take blood. He leans down to kiss her and she smiles. “I’m okay,” she promises. “Thank you for coming.”

     He nods. “I love you.”

 


 

     They’ve set the date and found a venue, picked a caterer and hired a DJ. They’ve sent the invitations and even solidified the wedding party. Holt would officiate, Charles would be the best man. Amy’s mom would be the matron of honour but Gina and Rosa are the ones planning the bachelorette party. Terry and Mateo would be groomsmen. Nikolaj would be the ring bearer and Terry’s little girls Cagney and Lacey would be the flower girls.

     All that was left was to pick the dress. Amy invited her mother and Karen with her to find one. Karen, being so excited to watch her son get married, gave them an early wedding present of $2500 towards the dress, and Amy at first worried her mother would be upset about her trying to impose, but to her surprise, her mother cried and held Karen like a friend she’s known forever. They have a lunch date next week.

     Amy’s dress comes to a whopping $5670 dollars and she almost can’t believe she spent so much money on an article of clothing she’ll only wear once, but when she tried it on it fit her like a glove and her breath stopped. It was beautiful and sexy, yet modest at the same time. It was white lace and long sleeved, with a bateau neck and a drop waist. She felt ethereal in it.

 


 

     The cake testing was Jake’s favourite part for obvious reasons. They decided on a white confetti cake, because they felt it was really indicative of the kind of relationship they had - a fun and surprising one. Also, and he can’t stress this enough, he loves confetti cake.

     They choose a three-tiered cake for every year they’ve been together.

     He surprises her by putting a dollop of icing on her nose and laughing and she just pouts dramatically but laughs too.

 


 

    There are hard days.

     “Jake, just do what I told you to do,” Amy scolds, irritated. “I’m the primary on this case and that is your job.”

     He scoffs. “Is this how it’s gonna be when we’re married?” he challenges.

     She rolls her eyes. “Grow up, Jake. I told you to look over the security cam footage from the restaurant. Why can’t you do that?”

     “Because there’s a hundred better ways to do this, Amy,” he reasons unsuccessfully, growing annoyed.

     “There are ,” she corrects bitterly. “But it doesn’t matter because I specifically called for it to be done my way. If you can’t follow my orders now should I anticipate this insubordination if I become a sergeant?”

     He just huffs and walks away to the bullpen and slumps in his chair as the footage loads on his computer. She storms past him with Charles in tow, who avoids even glancing in Jake’s direction out of fear of caving.

     The footage ends up being extremely helpful, much to Jake’s dismay.

     When he gets home that evening, twenty minutes after her, he hesitantly approaches her in the bedroom. She’s stripping from her work shirt and stands before him in her dress pants and her bra. Even while furious she’s beautiful, which is crazy to him. He raises his hands defensively. “I’m sorry,” he says sadly. “I should have listened to you. I let my own personal ideas get in the way of the case and I shouldn’t have, but I’m even more sorry that I didn’t respect you for your authority. You have always been better than me in that regard and I am so lucky to be marrying you. I don’t want you to ever feel that I won’t respect you or the job. I love you, and want to see you succeed in everything you do. I truly am sorry.”

     Her face softens. She comes over to him and cups his face in her hands. “Thank you for apologizing. I love you too. So much. And I can’t wait to marry you.”

     He kisses her gently and they stand there, hugging and giggling for a few moments.

 


 

     February 8th, Amy’s birthday, she wakes to the beautiful aroma of vanilla bean and citrus. Her bed is empty and she hears sizzling from the kitchen.

     She leaves her bed, curious, but stops to put on a shirt. She opts for one of Jake’s signature plaids and exits the room with nothing else on except that and her underwear. She watches him from the doorway for a moment.

     He’s cracking eggs and brewing coffee. There’s a stack of pancakes beside the stove and she can smell strawberries. He’s spinning around so much she’s surprised he’s not dizzy. He’s headbangin’ to the radio, which she recognizes as Vanessa Carlton, and she just chuckles. She strides toward the kitchen island and takes a seat one of the stools. She didn’t mean to be overly quiet but she was and when he turns around he almost jumps out of his skin.

     “If I could waaaaaa aaaaH AMY! ” he yelps, nearly dropping the milk jug, “you scared me half to death.” She laughs and he smiles from ear to ear, then runs around the counter to wrap his arms around her and give her a peck on the lips. “Happy birthday, Ames.”

     She blushes. “What’s all this?” she wonders, gesturing to the spread he had on the counter.

     “Breakfast!” he replies cheerily. “I even ran you a hot bubble bath with that creamsicle scented bubble bath you love but can never find! You go get in the tub and l will bring you breakfast and we’ll start the best birthday ever!”

     She looks at him and gazes lovingly. “I love you,” she says softly.

     “I love you more,” he promises.

     She heads to the bathroom but not before sparing a quick glance back at her fiancé, the best man she’s ever met.

 


 

     Two weeks before the wedding. Easily the longest two weeks of their lives. Amy has checklist after checklist to make sure things run smoothly, even a checklist of all her checklists so she wasn’t forgetting them, and she had physical and electronic copies of them forwarded to the wedding party.

     The plane tickets to France were already purchased and the hotel room was booked.

     The rehearsal dinner was in thirteen days.

     Amy spends an hour each day checking and double checking her lists.

Guest List

Amy’s List

Victor S. (Dad)

Teresa S. (Mom, Matron of Honour)

Mateo S. (Brother, Groomsman)

  • Olivia Y. (Sister-in-law)

Victor Jr. S. (Brother)

José S. (Brother)

Eduard S-L. (Brother)

  • Rico L. (Brother-in-law)
  • Christina S-L. (Niece)

Henry S. (Brother)

Paulo S. (Brother)

Diego S. (Brother)

  • Dana S. (Sister-in-law)

Selena H. (Aunt)

  • Julian H. (Uncle)
  • Nora H. (Cousin)
  • Kyle H. (Cousin)

Kylie A. (Friend)

Jake’s List

Karen P. (Mom)

Shared Guests

Raymond H. (Friend, Officiator)

  • Kevin C. (Friend / Acquaintance)

Rosa D. (Friend, Bridesmaid)

Gina L. (Friend, Bridesmaid)

  • Milton B. (Friend / Acquaintance)

Charles B. (Friend, Best Man)

  • Genevieve M-C. (Friend / Acquaintance)
  • Nikolaj (Friend, Ring bearer)

Terry J. (Friend, Groomsman)

  • Sharon J. (Friend)
  • Cagney and Lacey J. (Friends, Co-Flower Girls)

Scully, N. (Friend)

Hitchcock, M. (Friend)

Adrian P. (Friend)

 

     The guest list was her prized piece of work. It made her sad that Jake’s List had exactly one person on it, but when she had asked him about it, he just shrugged.

     “The most important people in my life, aside from my mom and you, are on the shared guest list. Anyone else is whatever. I’ve been a cop for the last twelve years and haven’t really had much of a chance to meet or get close to people outside of work. And honestly I’m fine with that. You and the squad are the best people I know. I wouldn’t want people I’ve hardly ever spoken to at our wedding anyway, because we’re sharing this day with people we love. Well I love you, my mom, and the squad, and your family. And that’s enough for me,” he answers cheerily. He embraces her gently.

     “Then it’s enough for me,” she replies lovingly.

 


 

     The rehearsal dinner. The wedding party piled into the venue with ease and found their assigned seats. Everything went smoothly and the laughs that were shared almost instantly rang through the hall like a chorus. It made the couple extremely happy to know their families could get along this well, not that Jake had any doubts. When Karen and Teresa met they were practically best friends. Victor, Kevin, and Captain Holt get along well, and since Holt is the only father figure Jake has, it’s wonderful. Charles is put off by Mateo but that’s only because of his own issues. He admits he’s really cool. Sharon bonded instantly with Teresa and Karen, and Cagney and Lacey loved Nikolaj instantly. Rosa makes heart eyes at Henry all evening while trying to remain discreet - she isn’t, though.

     Jake holds Amy’s hand the whole dinner. He tries to not stare at her for too long, too often, so he doesn’t miss out on the celebration around him but it’s hard because he’s so hopelessly in love with her and every time she smiles or laughs his heart explodes.

     After the dinner, everyone leaves with full stomachs and are excited for tomorrow, but Jake and Amy are mostly thinking about the present in the form of their parties. After the guests trickle out of the venue slowly, the couple prepares for a night they’d surely regret in the morning when the headaches ensue.

     All that’s left is the squad. Jake and Amy decided that they wanted to spend their bachelor and bachelorette parties with their closest friends, which in turn ends up being the people they work with every day. Charles, Terry, Scully, Hitchcock and Holt were going to Jake’s party while Gina and Rosa were going to Amy’s. He felt bad that her party was significantly smaller than his but she didn’t mind because Gina herself basically made up the difference.

     Both halves of America’s Dream Couple agreed to be surprised for their parties, which makes them nervous as hell, but also eager to see what happens.

     When a limo showed up for Amy, her stomach twisted and she started to freak out. She turns to Jake and squeezes his hand. “Okay, that’s me,” she tells him with a chuckle. “Have fun tonight, don’t get in too much trouble.”

     He laughs. “You too, babe.” He leans down to kiss her one last time tonight and pulls her in.

     “I’ll see you tomorrow, I’ll be the one walking down the aisle,” she promises.

     “I’ll be waiting for you impatiently. I can’t wait to marry you, Ames.” The limo honks as Gina and Rosa climb in and Jake can hear them giggling. “Okay, go. Have fun. I love you.”

     “I love you too.”

     Jake watches as the vehicle drives away and then is practically wrestled to the ground by his party guests. “So, what’s the plan for tonight?” He rubs his hands together.

     “I got the idea from Rosa’s bachelorette party but I changed it up a little bit,” Charles informs the group. “We rented out Shaw’s for tonight and we’re gonna Die Hard it up!” Jake’s eyes light up. “It’s going to be a drinking game of sorts.”

     Terry interjects with a whoop. “You’re gonna ask us questions about the movies, and every time we get an answer right, you take 1 shot, and every time we get a question wrong, we all take two shots.”

     “But I’ve never seen Die Hard,” Holt replies, concerned for how quickly he’ll get drunk by these rules.

     Jake can hardly contain himself. “Let’s go then!"

 


 

     The limo pulls into the parking lot of a library. Amy’s expression morphs into one of confusion as Rosa gives her this look which freaks her out. “What are we doing at a library?” she wonders aloud.

     “Well this is your party, not ours, so we wanted to do something you’d want to do,” Gina explains.

     Rosa continues. “So we got permission to come in here after hours, and they even got a temporary liquor license for us. Gina and I came in here yesterday and moved a ton of books around and hid some things and made a sort of scavenger hunt for the ultimate surprise, which you’ll get if you find it. Every time you mark something off your list, we chug a beer. By midnight, if you still have items left on your list, we all take a tequila shot for each item and try to put everything back properly while hella drunk.”

     Amy laughs but is extremely determined to do it all. Everyone’s about to get real wasted.

 


 

     Two hours and 19 shots between the six of them later, plus 5 additional shots for Charles and like, 12 shots all for Jake - thanks Hitchcock, Scully, and Holt who know even less about Die Hard than they do about women, Jake is clutching the bar with dear life as he struggles to stay upright. Hitchcock and Scully forfeited after they saw the buffet delivered to the squad at Shaw’s, and Holt backed out of the competition when he could no longer control his sentences and started ending sentences with prepositions. Terry, Adrian, and Charles were left, and even they were spacey, but Jake was having so much fun it didn’t matter to him how it ended. He was having a good time with his friends and his party and tomorrow would surely measure up to the best day of his life.

     “You’re…. wrong,” Jake mumble-yells. “John McClane would be almost 63 if he were alive today!” He starts to howl with laughter at Charles’ answer of 91, and Terry’s answer of 75. Pimento throws his whiteboard in resignation and chugs his drink.

     “Drink!” The guys yell around the bar. Jake is handed four kamikaze shots and downs them in less than a minute. When Charles has to run to the bathroom to throw up, they all decide the game is over. Jake crawls over to the booth with the others in it and starts grabbing Doritos by the handful. Terry turns on Die Hard on the bar TVs and the night continues gleefully.

 


 

     Amy’s party goes off without a hitch, but of the twenty items on her list, she’s only found 15 and it’s nearing midnight. She found the book with a letter from Gina in it (Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon ), and she searches through the entire library for the lone copy of Pride and Prejudice that Rosa hid in the middle of Pokémon training guides, and then they spend a solid fifteen minutes debating who would win in a fight - Pikachu or Terry.

     As the clock strikes midnight, there are four items left unsolved, and Rosa starts to pour twelve shots of tequila - four for each of them - and they suck them back lazily, Amy almost spilling each of them.

     The next hour they spend stumbling around the library cleaning up their mess and it’s after 1:30am when they catch a cab back to Amy’s. Jake is staying at Charles’ tonight so they can get ready in the morning, and the three girls nearly collapse as soon as they get in the door.

 


 

     Jake wakes with a groan while Charles wildly opens all the curtains and lets the sunlight pour in. He opens the windows slightly to let in the cool air, and he hits the shower while everyone comes to. Terry sits up, disoriented by the light and Jake rolls over to try to cover his face. Pimento is still essentially dead in the corner. Only moments later it hits him.

     He’s getting married today.

     “Oh my god,” he shoots up off the floor. He doesn’t quite remember getting back to Boyle’s but he knows that at the very least Hitchcock and Scully went home early last night. So he didn’t have to worry about them.

     He looks around and finds a clock. 11:18AM.

     He had to be at the venue in less than three hours, so he brushes his hair with a random comb on the table and raids Charles’ pantry for coffee and starts a pot. While he waits for his friend to finish in the shower, he downs two cups of black coffee in hopes of curing his hangover, and Terry joins him in the kitchen, brooding silently, also hungover.

     They all take turns getting cleaned up and when they’ve each had almost a full pot of coffee each, they get ready to go to the venue.

     He starts checking things off while they drive to Scully’s place to get the ol’ dudes. “Charles, I’m freaking out, man,” he admits. “Do you have the suits?”

     Charles nods pointedly. “Yep, they’re already there!”

     “Cool cool cool,” Jake replies thankfully. “Oh, no, the rings?”

     “In the dressing room with the suits.”

     “Am I missing anything right now? I can’t remember anything, oh god,” Jake fumbles, panicking.

     “Everything’s good, Jake, I promise.”

     “Thanks, Charles,” he breathes in relief. He shoots Amy a quick text. On our way there, he writes. Can’t wait to see you.

 


 

     The girls were up at 8am sharp. Amy’s not sure how all three of them were able to be up and at ‘em at the same time, especially after having had barely six hours of sleep. But they do, and they make breakfast together and sit around the kitchen island while they eat.

     “So, Ames, you excited?” Gina asks around a mouthful of scrambled eggs. She sips a mimosa gingerly.

     The bride-to-be shakes her head. “I’m so excited and so nervous I can hardly stand it. I can’t wait to be married to Jake. I love him so much.”

     Rosa grins and pours herself another drink. “You guys are good together,” she begins softly. “I knew like, six or seven years ago that you guys would be together in the end. Which reminds me,” - she pulls a twenty from her back pocket and slides it across the island to Gina - “you win.”

     “Win what ,” Amy wonders aloud, instantly defensive.

     “Me and Charles each bet Gina twenty bucks that you and Jake would get married in ten years,” Rosa continues, eating her toast. “Gina said it would take less than that and we weren’t convinced, especially while that bet was going on, and then you were dating Teddy off and on and Jake was dating whoever he could and I so thought it would be at least ten years. Like I said, I knew it would happen, but I didn’t think you’d give in to him that fast,” she snickers while Amy nearly shoves her off her stool.

     “Yeah, and I kept telling the two of them that Jake hasn’t looked at anyone the way he looked at you since Jenny Gildenhorn,” Gina continues, swirling her champagne cocktail. “That bitch broke his heart and I didn’t think he’d love again and then I started working at the Nine-Nine and I was like, ‘oh dang, maybe she’s it,’ and you were . Like I graced your lives with my presence less than a year after you started working there and I asked Jake, I was like, ‘damn, son, who’s this girl you keep flirtin’ with?’ And he was like, ‘I’m not flirting with her’.”

     Rosa and Amy are in stitches over Gina’s impression of the husband-to-be in question. She continues. “I was like, ‘ha, yeah you are .’ And he was like ‘okay, fine, but there’s nothing going on between us, we’re just friends .’ When he said that I was like oh okay, nope. This kid is in denial, which means he’s got it bad . So when Rosa and Charles wanted to wager a little bet about how long it would take for him to put a ring on it, I was like, I got ‘dis.”

     Amy shakes her head. “I truly believe that Jake would have proposed to Sophia if she hadn’t broken up with him,” she says.

     “Nope.”

     “Uh, no ,” they both reply.

     Rosa explains. “Jake liked Sophia. He did. But he was only with her because you were with Teddy. If she was as serious as he was he would have had to think long and hard about it and as long as you were around he would have never committed to it. He’s been in love with you longer than he even realizes.” She finishes her omelet and puts the dish in the dishwasher.

     “I don’t know,” Amy disagrees contemplatively.

     “Well we do,” Rosa replies, “and it doesn’t matter anyway because you’re marrying him in literally like, eight hours. So get your game face on, Ames.”

     Amy gets goosebumps when she realizes how soon she’ll be saying “I do.” But the three of them start to flurry around the apartment as they get ready for her big day.

     Rosa showers first, then Gina, and they change in to loose fitting clothes. They help Amy pack for her honeymoon and Rosa grabs Jake’s things, that way they can go right away and don’t have to come home first. The trip to France is set to be two weeks long, and Amy wanted to make sure the girls knew exactly what had to be done in her apartment while she was away. She made three extra spare keys and gave them each one. She gave Captain Holt one as well in case they were irresponsible and lost one - but she didn’t tell them. She also gave Sharon one in case Holt’s spare was lost, but she didn’t tell him or Terry. Amy had a very thorough plan in place to make sure her mail was delivered and her plants were watered. She leaves a laminated checklist on her fridge and emails them both a copy (and Holt and Sharon). She checks her checklist of lists to make sure she’s packed everything.

     By 10:10AM, they’re en route to the venue.

     When they get there, Gina takes point on the to-do list and confers with Teresa. She checks the flowers and the cake, as well as the DJ, and Teresa checks on the dress, the reception hall and the caterer.

     Rosa immediately whisks Amy away to the bridal dressing room and prepares the vanity for when she’s finished showering. When she’s finished, she sees a text from Jake on her phone, On our way there. Can’t wait to see you , and she smiles. She quickly responds. I’m here now. I can’t wait to see you too.

     The hair stylist is on top of her ‘do’ almost instantly, blow-drying it and tousling it before putting it up in a beautiful bun, complete with light pink flowers embedded throughout. Rosa isn’t shocked, per se, but pleasantly surprised at how beautiful Amy looks and can’t wait to see Jake’s face when he sees her. She takes over the makeup front and gently applies eyeshadow and lipstick complementary to the flowers in the bouquet and her hair.

     By the time all of this is done, it’s 2:45PM, much to their surprise. Teresa slips in the room and basically tags Rosa out so she can go get herself ready.

     "Oh, mia, ” she gushes. “You look beautiful. I’m so happy you’ve found someone for you. Jacob is a good man and he seems to treat you right.” Her voice is soft, and Amy suspects she’s fighting the urge to cry.

     “He’s my best friend, mama. I can’t imagine ever being without him,” she admits, feeling vulnerable. “He makes me so happy, I can’t even explain it.”

     Teresa rubs her shoulders soothingly. “You can’t explain true love, Amy. You have no choice but to feel it every way you can. And it’s beautiful.” She squeezes her daughter. “Now, let’s get you dressed. You can’t very well get married in your bathrobe,” she jokes.

 


 

     Jake’s stomach is somersaulting like a professional gymnast. While he gets dressed, Charles comes over to help him with his tie. “Are you okay, Jakey?” he wonders, already completely dressed in his Best Man attire (he insists on making the clarification every time they mention it, even though it doesn’t differ from the groomsmen’s tuxes.

     Jake takes a deep breath. “I’m… I’m just nervous, I guess,” he admits, staring at himself in the mirror over his friend’s shoulder.

     Charles pauses. “Are you having second thoughts?” he offers, immediately worried. He finishes the tie and takes a step back.

     “About Amy? Never ,” Jake answers firmly. “I’ve known for a very long time that she is the best thing to ever happen to me. I’ll never have second thoughts about her.” He sits on the arm of one of the couches. “I’m nervous about me . I’m not exactly the best candidate for a husband, Charles. I drink water once a week and I can and have eaten an entire box of PopTarts just because they were there. I didn’t even toast them either I just shoved them in my mouth until I never wanted to hear the word ‘fudge’ again. I can never finish a game of sudoku when I start one and I still can’t figure out the damn difference between who and whom ,” he sighs.

     Charles recognizes this behaviour as a Spiral. “Jake, if Amy cared about any of that, she wouldn’t be putting on a six-thousand dollar dress right now to marry you in. If she cared about any of that, she wouldn’t have said yes when you proposed to her last Halloween. She likes finishing the puzzles that you abandon in the newspapers on your desk. She likes that you only eat the fudge PopTarts because that means you won’t mess with her strawberry cheesecake ones. The fact that you drink water at all is big because she’s the reason you do. And for the love of God, Jake, no one else cares what the difference is between who and whom. Holt and Amy do. That’s their thing. It’s not a fault she would ever in a million years use as an excuse to not marry you.” He takes a deep breath. “You love her. And she loves you. And that’s what matters. Not the trivial stuff like that. Don’t doubt yourself. Not now. You’re a great boyfriend to her and you’ll be an even better husband.”

     Jake smiles. “How do you know that, Charles?”

     He smirks. “Because I’m the best man, and also the best friend . I know these things. Now c’mon. You have to go greet the guests. They’ll be arriving at any minute.”

     “Thanks, Boyle. For everything.”

 


 

     Amy sits by herself at the vanity. Her mother left to get ready and grab Karen. She was in her dress and ready to go. Her shoes were on and her earrings were in. She was really about to do this.

     She didn’t figure herself for the marrying type. Not as a kid, not as a teenager, and not when she graduated from the Academy. She didn’t think of marriage really at all until Jake proposed that Halloween night. And now it’s all she thinks about. Marrying him, becoming a sergeant, marrying him, becoming a lieutenant, marrying him, having a baby, marrying him, becoming a captain, marrying -

     It’s all very new.

     She’s very excited for the rest of her life with Jake. She still can’t believe that they’ll officially be Mr. and Mrs in less than an hour.

     Teresa walks in with Karen then, who nearly weeps at the sight of her soon to be daughter-in-law. “Oh, honey, you look beautiful. I… wow.” She’s quiet for a moment while Amy blushes. “Oh, I got you a little something.” Karen hands her a small gift box.

     “You shouldn’t have, Karen,” Amy insists.

     “Oh, stop. I wanted to. I’ve been saving it for if there ever came a day my son fell in love. He’s all I have. And now I have you. And your wonderful family,” - she nudges Teresa, who just beams at her new friend. “Your mom told me you have something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” Amy opens the box slowly. “Well now you have something old.” The inside of the box reveals a beautiful silver necklace, intricately designed and well-preserved. Amy is in awe of what she’s holding. She doesn’t wear jewelry often but she’s in love with this. It’s a defined princess necklace with shimmering jewels about it, and it pairs with her dress perfectly, like they were specifically made for each other.

     “This is incredible, Karen. I can’t believe it. Thank you. It’s stunning,” Amy coos.

     “It was handcrafted by my grandfather for my grandmother, and those are all the original diamonds. It was passed down to me by my mother.”

     Amy nearly drops it in shock. “ Diamonds ? Karen this is too much, I can’t…”

     “Please, Amy. I want you to have this. Maybe one day, you can pass this down if you and Jake have children. I’ve waited for this day for longer than I can remember.”

     She’s still taken aback by the gift but asks Karen to help her put it on. When she takes a look at herself in the mirror with the full ensemble, she can’t help but cry a little, all happy tears. She hugs her mom and new mom as her bridesmaids walk in.

     “Dang, Amy, you clean up good, girl,” Gina calls. She gets closer and sees the necklace she’s wearing and says nothing. She recognizes it and makes a mental note to mention it to Jake later.

     “You’re a babe,” Rosa agrees.

     Amy checks out the dresses they’re wearing and beams. They’re light pink and soft linen and fall to their knees. They’re both wearing silver heels and a silver pin in their hair. “You both look amazing,” she beams.

     “Duh,” Gina laughs. They hug tightly for a moment and Amy takes a deep breath.

     “You ready to do this?” Rosa asks gently.

     Amy nods. “More than you know.”

 


 

     The guests arrive and take their seats accordingly. They leave gifts in the lobby and they all preemptively congratulate Jake while he waits at the altar. His team (so to speak) is in position and Captain Holt awaits in the middle. There is low chatter around the room but the all around enthusiasm is deafening.

     Jake grins as the music changes suddenly. He crosses his hands (if anything, to stop them from shaking). Teresa enters the room slowly and walks down the aisle, smiling and greeting the guests lovingly. She stands in her place as the matron of honour. Soon after, Karen walks in and Jake smiles. He’s so glad she was here with him today, and as she makes her way to front, she blows him a mom-kiss and he can tell she’s been crying a little. He takes a deep breath. With each passing moment, time inches closer to when he gets to see Amy. Next, Gina and an usher walk in, arms linked. She makes an event out of walking down the aisle and winking at her fiancé, Milton. The usher takes her to her place and moves away to the wall. Next, Gina strides in with an usher of her own and Jake wants to laugh. He appreciates the fact that she’s keeping her cool for the sake of the wedding, but he knows indubitably that she’d much rather kick the side-piece to the curb and walk the distance to her place beside Gina alone.

     Next, Cagney and Lacey, decked out in the cutest little dresses Jake has ever seen in his life. They’re holding a single basket together and tossing rose petals everywhere and they have the biggest smiles on their faces. Terry is in tears behind Jake. Next, Nikolaj enters the room and it’s Charles’ turn to get choked up, and Niko walks the distance to the altar and with the goofiest grin ever, offers the rings to Teresa and Charles. The music changes suddenly and Holt asks the guests to stand.

     Charles pats Jake on the back encouragingly as the matrimonial music starts to be played.

     There are so many things running through his head. Does his suit look okay? Is he good enough to marry Amy? Did he remember to eat this morning?

     All of his thoughts are stopped dead in their tracks as Amy enters the room slowly with Victor. She looks around at the guests and smiles. His hands start to tremble relentlessly. If he had to speak right now, he’s sure words would fail him. When she looks at him, a tear escapes his eye and he lets it fall, and she lets out a small laugh as she approaches him and she’s crying, too. She looks so inexplicably wonderful, it’s crazy to him that he’s even allowed to stand near her. As she reaches him, she turns to her father and kisses him on his cheek, and he shakes Jake’s hand. For a moment Jake prays they weren’t as sweaty as he thinks they were. Victor takes his seat.

     Amy turns to face Jake and they stare into each other’s eyes wordlessly. The music recesses and the guests sit in unison.

     Captain Holt clears his throat before beginning his speech. “Friends and family, we are gathered here today to witness and to celebrate the union of Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago. We celebrate their love and commitment to each other and their unwavering devotion to one another. Love is powerful and electrifying and also a little bit terrifying. But when you find that one person that you can love eternally, the scary parts are worth every second of it. Jake and Amy, your marriage today is recognized publically and legally. Amy, if you would, you may recite your vows.” He gestures to Amy, who’s holding Jake’s hands tightly and unapologetically.

     “Jake,” she breathes shakily. “The better part of my life has been spent working across from you at a desk. You make me laugh and challenge myself and sometimes you send me over the edge and make me want to just, I don’t know, scream, but I’m so lucky to know you, and it’s a privilege to love you and be loved by you. You are sweet, sensitive, and caring, just a little cocky and annoying, and you’re so friendly it might be your downfall one day. You’re a great cop, a great boyfriend, and a fantastic partner in life. I’m so blessed to be able to wake up next to you every morning, and fall asleep by your side every night. I promise to love you and cherish you in all your endeavours for as long as I live.” She sniffles.

     Jake takes a deep breath and for a moment, it’s just the two of them. “Amy… Ames… Our relationship has been filled with many defining moments, some as early as when we first met, to yesterday at the rehearsal dinner. These moments are memories we’ll carry for the rest of our lives. There is literally nothing I wouldn’t do for you, nor a length I wouldn’t go. You are easily and most assuredly the reason I breathe sometimes. When life knocks me down, you help me stand up and move forward. I think the moment that really opened my eyes to you and how perfect you are was the night I won the bet. It was just you and I on the roof. It was raw and untethered. It was magic, just sitting with you and talking with you and laughing. You make me feel in ways I haven’t been able to before. You make me a better person and you don’t even try. You ground me and you love me not in spite of my flaws, but because of them. I’m trying for you, and I’ll do my best in life as long as we’re together. I love you, and I promise to love you and cherish you in all your endeavours for as long as I live,” he swears, squeezing her hands gently.

     There are emotional responses throughout the room, including from Charles and Terry and from the mothers. Holt nods and smiles. “The rings, if you would.”

     Jake turns to Charles and nods with a big smile while he’s handed the wedding band. He turns to Amy and is shaking a little but pushes through. “With this ring, I am yours, all that you are and all that I am, forever,” he continues, sliding the ring on Amy’s finger with ease. His breath hitches as he does so.

     Amy, tearful and ecstatic, turns to her mom and takes the ring with a whispered, “ gracias, mama ,” and looks back at Jake. “With this ring, I am yours,” she repeats. “All that you are and all that I am, forever.” She slides the ring on his finger and they join hands again.

     Holt is smiling and he looks at Kevin lovingly. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he begins. “It is my most sincere honour to introduce to you the new Mr. and Mrs. Santiago-Peralta. You may now kiss the bride,” he adds.

     Jake pulls Amy in and it’s the most tender, passionate kiss they’ve ever shared. There’s a sense of urgency in it but they’ve never been more relaxed. Her lips are soft and his heart is pounding through his chest and all he can hear is clapping and laughter and general happiness echoing throughout the room. He holds her to him by the small of her back and she holds his shoulder and head as she pulls him closer. “I love you so much,” she says to him between kisses.

     “I love you so much, too.”

 


 

     The reception proves to be crazy fun. The couple, when planning the event, opted to not have assigned seats like traditional weddings do, because there aren’t so many people that it’d be hard to keep track of, and they didn’t want it to feel stilted. Amy and Jake sit together of course, but their seat partners vary by the minute.

     She rests her head on Jake’s shoulder while he holds her hand, and suddenly Charles is at the mic on the stage, and he’s urging everyone to be quiet. “Settle down everyone. It’s time for the best man to make a speech and I’ve been waiting for this for ever ,” he laughs. Everyone finds a seat and Gina sits beside Jake, and Rosa beside Amy. The rest of the Squad finds a seat at the same table. “I’m not starting this with a joke like you’re kind of supposed to,” he admits. “I’m not very good at comedy. I’m good at gross and sappy romantic stuff, right honey?” He nods at Genevieve, who whoops. Jake chuckles. “But I’d like to start by congratulating Jake and Amy on their marriage. Jake is my best friend and has been for a decade, and Amy and I have only gotten close the last few years, which I attribute to their budding relationship. I’ve been rooting for them longer than they’ve been together, admittedly weird, I know. But it’s just because I could see instantly how perfect they are for each other. Amy, you’re smart and funny and you have the patience of a saint. You’re a good friend of mine and I know you’ll take great care of Jake. And Jake? If you hurt her so help me God,” everyone laughs. “I know you won’t. You guys are too good together to dare hurting each other.” He pauses for a moment. “I love you both. Seeing you together reminds me of a quote from the most wonderful actress of all time, Dianne Wiest…” Jake gets ready to laugh. “‘Sweet things happen. They still do.’ Congratulations Jake and Amy.” The groom is surprised but happy and claps as Charles bounces off the stage and comes to sit at their table.

     “Thanks, buddy,” he says, grinning.

     “That was beautiful, Charles,” Amy adds.

     The best man beams as he gets comfortable and suddenly Holt is at the mic. “If I could say a few words, I’ll keep it short,” he promises. “I just wanted to say that I am so proud to be here today, supporting two very close friends of mine in their marriage. Jake has become like a son to me, which I think has helped us both personally and professionally. I met them only five years ago, and while they’ve come miles since where they once were, I think they were able to lean on each other a lot, to their benefit. I remember when Jake was at risk of suspension for not dropping a case I ordered him to drop, and Amy backed him up without knowing all the facts. She risked her own career to make sure I knew this wasn’t just a Jake thing. They’ve always made each other better. And I am so incredibly proud and emotional to stand before them in their union. To Jake and Amy,” he toasts.

     The couple is crying a little as dance music starts to play and Gina cuts. “Nuh-uh,” she interjects. “No crying. You’re dancing with me, mister, let’s go.” She starts to pull him up with her and he just chuckles and kisses Amy quickly before obliging. Gina pulls him somewhere far away and starts to dance some weird salsa thing. “Congrats, kid. Nana would be proud of you,” she says.

     Jake beams. “Thanks, Gina. I love Amy so much. I can’t believe it finally happened.”

     “I’m glad you found someone Jake. Especially someone that Nana approves of.”

     “Well, I don’t think I’d actually know one way or the other,” he jokes. “She hasn’t been around for a very long time.” The song changes to a rumba song so he takes Gina’s hands as they start to spin.

     “She approves, Jake. If she didn’t, Amy would not be wearing her necklace.” Jake paused to sneak a peek at his wife ( wow! Wife! ) and notices the jewels gracing her chest. “Don’t you remember? That’s nana’s necklace. She gave it to your mom and told her that she was only allowed to pass it down to you if you got married and it was to someone Karen thought she’d approve of. The fact that Amy has it now means that they approve. And, because it matters very dearly to you,” Jake laughs at this, “I approve, too. I mean, her fashion sense is awful but she’s great. I’m proud of you, dude.”

     Jake twirls Gina out and stops. “Thanks, Gina.” He hugs her and she audibly ugh s and then snickers as she walks away.

     Rosa cuts in suddenly but isn’t dancing. “Congrats, man. You’re my best friend and I’m happy for you. But if you hurt her I will slash your tires and your throat. Not necessarily in that order either. Love you.” She walks away then and Jake stands there taken aback but amused. Eventually, a long while later, he finds his way back to his new wife, and they dance together for the remainder of the reception.

     As the festivities come to a close, Amy and Jake bid farewell to their families and friends, the only few remaining being Charles, Terry, Gina, and Rosa. They offer to see them off as the limo comes to pick them up and take them to the airport for their honeymoon.

     Charles and Terry are assigned to helping take the gifts back to the couple’s apartment so that they’re already home when they get back, and Amy triple checks her list with the girls to make sure they don’t kill her plants. The limo pulls in and the chauffeur opens the door for them as they say their goodbyes. “Bye, everyone!” Amy calls happily, climbing inside.

     “Bye,” Jake shouts. “We’re off to eat a butt load of croissants! Au revoir!”

     When they’re settled in their seats, she peers up at her husband. “I love you, Jake. So much. Thank you for everything.”

     “I love you so much to, Ames. You make me the happiest I’ve ever been. So thank you .” He kisses her gently then, and off they go, to start their new life together.