The sound of Patrick Swayze’s voice wakes her up at two in the morning, rousing her from a dream about forgetting to wear clothes to school and being forced to teach her class with a cardboard cut-out of George Washington taped over her unmentionable places, so all in all, she’s kind of glad for the wake-up call. She lies still in the darkness, listening, trying to guess the movie from the few strains of dialogue drifting through her door. If one of the guys is watching a Swayze movie, chances are it’s Roadhouse, or maybe Ghost, Nick called it a chick flick, but Jess is 90% sure he has a thing for Demi Moore because he watches it every time it comes on TBS. But then again, she caught him watching Sister Act once too, so maybe it’s Whoopi he has the hots for.
Then she hears it: Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Jess hops out of bed and makes a beeline for her door. One of the guys is watching Dirty Dancing voluntarily and she has to know who it is. For future shaming purposes or possibly cooing reasons, she’s not sure which yet.
She tip-toes down the hall as quietly as she can and smiles to herself when the image of Baby and Johnny doing their final dance number on the still crooked TV comes into view. For a moment, she thinks she must have been indulging in some sleep-walking Dirty Dancing viewing because the living room appears empty, but one peek over the side of the couch reveals Schmidt curled under one of her knit blankets. The guys had deemed them too girly for the living room (this is where we watch football, Jess) until the heater conked out last month and they were forced to suck up their pride and watch Peyton Manning with fluffy, pink blankets tucked under their chins. It was very cute…at least Jess thought so.
“Schmidt!” she whisper-shouts, causing him to bolt upright.
He scrambles for the remote as if Jess hasn’t already caught him in the act. He looks so freaked, Jess can’t help but giggle. Schmidt shoots her a stern look. Well, he shoots her his idea of a stern look which is in fact, not very stern at all. Jess puts on her own version of a serious face to match him.
“One,” he says holding up one finger, “you shouldn’t sneak up on people. Two, this is not what it looks like, and three, it doesn’t look like anything because it never happened, Jess. Okay? Okay.”
He’s sitting there holding up three fingers while wearing a white t-shirt and Kermit the Frog boxer shorts, his stern face quickly falling away to reveal his usual earnest, Schmidt face and Jess feels a weird little flutter of appreciation in her stomach.
Appreciation of what exactly she’s not sure, maybe his general Schmidt-ness? Is that a thing she’s allowed to appreciate at two in the morning?
She smiles at him and attempts to slide gracefully over the back of the couch, but ends up landing in a heap beside Schmidt instead. He reaches out a hand to steady her. His hands are weirdly warm. Or maybe she’s just weirdly cold.
“It’s cool, Schmidt. You like Dirty Dancing. It’s a great movie; it’s on one of the AFI lists.”
“Which one?” he asks suspiciously.
“That’s not important.”
Schmidt shrugs and turns off the DVD mid-credits. An episode of Full House begins playing on TV and she can hear Schmidt humming the theme song under his breath. She joins in.
“You still can’t tell Nick and Winston, though,” he says after a moment. “About the movie…or this.”
He gestures at Michelle Tanner.
“You got it, dude,” Jess gives him a thumbs up to emphasize her point, but she’s shivering so it’s kind of wobbly.
Schmidt snaps the blanket up with a magician’s flourish and it comes to rest over the two of them perfectly. Jess wiggles closer to him to close the gap around her feet and Schmidt lifts his arm and wraps it around her shoulder. The only natural place for her head to go is on his chest. But it’s a normal, roommate kind of snuggling, not sexy snuggling. She’s pretty sure. Like, 54%.
“Marry, boff, kill: Uncle Jesse, Danny and Joey?” Schmidt says suddenly, breaking her reverie. His chest is rumbly when he talks. Which, of course, it is, but Jess isn’t used to thinking of Schmidt as having rumbly parts, okay?
She scrunches up her face thinking.
“Boff Jesse, kill Danny and marry Joey.”
“Really?” he sounds surprised. “I thought the ladies loved Stamos.”
“Oh, I’d totally boff him, but he talks about his hair way too much. And Elvis. People who like Elvis that much freak me out. Your turn.”
“Marry Danny because I wouldn’t have to do the dishes anymore. Kill Jesse, cause you’re right, dude, has some serious Elvis issues and if I’m going to do a guy, his hair is not going to be hotter than mine. And do Joey, as long as he swore to leave the woodchuck out of it.”
“I don’t know, the woodchuck might be fun…”
“Jess,” Schmidt says her name like he’s scandalized.
“What? I can have kinks. I’m very kinky.”
Schmidt’s cheeks are turning a little red. She’s embarrassed Schmidt. That’s…unexpected.
“Hey,” she says. “I thought you hated Dirty Dancing.”
He looks away from her face and Jess resists the urge to press her hand against his cheek and make him look back.
“I don’t know. It’s not so bad.”
“Schmidt,” she whines. That’s a total non-answer.
“I like it, okay? Are you happy now? It’s awesome. There’s dancing and Johnny is a total badass and I think the sister is hot. But I’m supposed to be the Alpha male. The Alpha male can’t cry over Dirty Dancing.”
“No. Shut up.”
Jess pokes him in the ribs and he pokes her back, adding a bit of a tickle for good measure. Their faces are super close.
“Hey, Jess,” he says and his voice is kind rumbly now too.
“Marry, boff, kill: Nick, Winston, or me?”
Jess kisses him. He’s right there and she’s right there and it’s like they’re playing truth or dare and she picked dare because she wasn’t sure what the answer to truth would be. It’s not a sexy kiss, just a normal, roommate kiss. Because that’s totally a thing.
When she pulls away, Schmidt is grinning. She’s so screwed.
“You have stubble,” she says to fill the air, more than anything. But it’s true too. His face is all scratchy. It usually looks so soft.
“Yeah,” he says and this time he’s the one that does the kissing.
“Schmidt,” she says when they break apart, her voice sounding thick. “This never happened either. Like, Dirty Dancing.”
They seal it with a kiss. Jess tells herself it’s like the roommates-making-out-on-the-couch-at-two-in-the-morning version of a handshake.