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Blow a kiss, fire a gun (we all need someone to lean on)

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Like most catastrophes that affect the nine-nine’s detective squad, this one actually started as just a normal class two routine mishap and then snowballed, as per the season, into something memorable. It started on the Tuesday before Halloween, and reports had come in that there was a new gang in Brooklyn. Charles called what they were doing “making trouble”, because he is a secret time traveller, and this time, like most times, the trouble was drugs, lots of drugs, with bonus fun activities like holding guns at right-angles at senior citizens and handing out some free samples of kneecap bustings with all-American baseball bats to people who got in their way.

One of Amy’s CI’s had shared that the gang were dealing out of a house and were using halloween as cover. He had got an extra nice thank you note for that.

 

“Meet your new neighbours” Terry says at morning briefing, tacking up several blurry pictures of various thugs glowering at people just off the long-lens of the camera, and a completely ordinary looking house decked out for Halloween with the kind of normal Target decorations normal people buy.

He starts the briefing but barely gets five seconds into it before Jake interrupts. “The one on the right looks like Rosa before she’s had coffee”.

“No it doesn’t” Rosa snaps, not even looking.

But it did. The suspect maybe had five years on Rosa, but there was that same big hair, big eyes, resting homicidal-maniac face, sexy biker chick outfit - the whole look.

The briefing continued as normal, with interruptions, yawns and at least one coffee being spilled, but word must have got out, as just after lunch some actual, honest to god men in black arrive to speak to the Captain, which sends Jake into paroxysms of joy.

“They’re Feds” Amy says, rolling her eyes. “You worked with them. For months. With the mob. Surely the romance should be gone by now. They probably leave their hair in the shower like normal gross people.”

Jake was as close to a human representation of the heart-eyes emoji without using those really disturbing contact lenses Gina wore for her valentines day dance performance as he ducked around to try and get a look through the blinds. “The romance will never die, Amy,” he sighed wistfully. “They just look so dashing.”

Sure enough, the Feds had also noticed that Rosa looked a lot like Miranda Catalina Cortez, Colombian drug gang leader, which made Amy wonder whether they have books full of pictures of normal cops in case of useful cases of infiltration and fraud. Or maybe a database, since they moved so fast. Or just a mole.

Not that it mattered, no one evil ever looked like Amy. She tried not to feel bad about it. Maybe if she wore more eyeliner.

The nine-three managed to not fuck up their part of the plan, and they took Miranda Catalina Cortez into custody cleanly and quietly during a routine traffic stop. They then had twenty four hours to get Rosa into character and then into position.

The Feds, annoyingly, had nixed the idea of them going in and retrieving her at halloween, arguing that having someone who is such a doppleganger for Cortez was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to the heart of the cartel.

Rosa’s Colombian accent was fine, and her slang was okay. She already had most of the wardrobe. The specialist who had profiled and studied Cortez while she was in custody was very impressed.

“Wow, its actually scary how little we’ve had to do to make you into a drug lord.” Jake said to her when she emerged. “Or drug lady? That doesn’t sound as prestigious. Drug kingpin? Drug queenpin?”

“Shut up” Rosa said. She looks around and sighs deeply. “I need to get drunk.”

They try and subtly throw Rosa a going ‘undercover as a criminal party!’ without it being too explicitly a sad kind of party. Or really a party at all, but thankfully it's a cop bar, and cops are terrible alcoholics who drink at the slightest provocation, so no one even mentions it. Despite this, Jake tells the bar staff that its Rosa’s 40th birthday and that’s why she’s sad until she punches him and makes him buy her an entire bottle of the good gold tequila, and then makes the bar staff find an orange and some cinnamon and they do the shots the super-cool sorority girls they busted for escorting and extortion told them about. The mixture makes Amy feel all warm and alive and it is so much easier than the silver tequila version to just throw them back and let it slide down, warming you all the way up.

They had made the decision as a team to only speak Spanish at the party, in solidarity and also because everyone agreed it would be hilarious. It doesn’t take long before Rosa bursts out laughing when she hears Terry try and order a round of drinks in mangled high school Spanish to their Australian bartender, who just looks confused and pours seventeen beers instead of seven.

It’s debatable just how helpful their attempt is. Charles’ Spanish was learned while on a semester abroad in “Bartheloana” and therefore fairly useless for anything other than translating paella recipes and getting on people’s nerves. The captain speaks well enough, but his idiosyncratic patter is anything but fluent, Gina keeps just saying ‘caliente!!’ to everything, and Jake keeps trying to translate jokes into (admittedly fairly good) Spanish with limited success. Amy’s Cuban-American though, and while some of her slang is a little outdated (her parents left in the 70s, and so sometimes she says the equivalent of ‘groovy’), she’s also a Brooklyn cop, so she’s up with the American melting pot, and so she’s got this.

Amy finds it liberating to for once drink and chat to Rosa off duty without feeling like she’s got spinach between her teeth. She apologises at the start for being boring, but Rosa tells her to continue, and slams down some shots as they talk about anything that comes to mind, a wide range of stupid conversations about work and Brooklyn life, also taking care to include insults, swear words and threats as well as niceties. Rosa’s full attention is intoxicating, or maybe that’s just the second bottle of tequila that the Captain puts in front of them just before he leaves. Again, it’s good stuff, and they can’t take it home, so it would be criminal to abandon it and rude not to drink it all, and so as a result of all of this, Rosa gets wasted.

Amy takes her role as cab-organiser very seriously when it is her turn (there is a rota in the unofficial squad gdocs). Charles proposed taking over, but he’d been talking about the all night Basque seafood place again and she didn’t want Rosa to have to deal with the gastric consequences of that the night before she goes undercover. She isn’t as good as Terry at flagging down passing cabs, or has as many skeevy private car numbers memorised as Gina, but she is good at getting sloppy drunk people into cars without them hurting themselves or her. It was almost her best score at the academy.

Rosa is a octopus with noodly arms when she is this drunk, her normal surliness softened into buttery, cuddly charm, and okay maybe Amy is a little hungry, hence the metaphors, and drunk, which is why she is holding Rosa tightly so she doesn’t slide away into the gutter herself. But this is because Amy is responsible, not because she is drunk. Rosa probably understands.

“Yeah I do” Rosa says, somewhere above her. Her forearm pats Amy’s head in a reassuring motion.

 

Jake hails Rosa a cab, and makes Amy cover her ears when he gives the driver Rosa’s super secret address that he only knows on pain of castration if it gets out. Doing so takes both hands and therefore means that she has to let go of Rosa.

Rosa’s okay, at first, she’s standing nice and straight, and she’s looking at Amy, and  and then she’s got those noodly arms around Amy, pulling her hands away from her head and with her lips by Amy’s ear, Rosa says, clear as day and without any of that drunken slurring that had hallmarked the last half an hour ‘No jodas a nadie más hasta que vuelva’. The translation echoes in Amy’s head as she tries to parse it, all language coming through the veil and she mouths it to herself as she processes it.

Rosa’s looking at her like she’s expecting an answer, a smirk on her face that says hopeful, not joking, her mouth quirked up to say ‘so?’ and so Amy says “Okay” quickly in English, forgetting the pact momentarily. “Esta bien”, she says, quiet and purposeful, tasting the statement in her mouth. Rosa nods with the sage knowledge of the universe, of the covenant between them, and gracefully ducks into the cab.

As it pulls away, Jake asks her. “What did she say?”

Amy finds herself saying “I couldn’t really hear her”, but inside, her mind is spinning.

---

When she gets home, she takes her makeup off carefully, gets into her flowery PJs, slides into her bed and takes a single deep breath, letting her lungs fully inhale until it almost hurts, lets it go, and freaks out.

She google translates the sentence just in case she had magically forgotten Spanish in the five minutes between leaving the bar and Rosa saying “don’t sleep with anyone until I get back”, but when she types it in it comes back with what she thought, and she turns off her phone and stares at the ceiling for a bit. When she closes her eyes the world spins, and she feels sick from too much tequila, but Charles had kept buying them bar snacks and calling it tapas, so she knows that she isn’t empty-stomach drunk.

Rosa is beautiful, Amy would have to be blind to not realise that. Plus, Amy was bicurious in college, and came out of the experience with her curiosity well sated, and she’s open to women, if the right woman were to come along. Amy isn’t one to rely on stereotypes, but Rosa’s hardcore-biker-femme aesthetic isn’t a fashion thing, like the half-shaved heads on every coed she sees on the subway, so maybe the signs were there that Rosa might swing that way. But her swinging at Amy that way, that was just completely unexpected. It’s not like they were dating, or that Rosa had ever indicated that she expected to sleep with Amy at all.

Amy rolls over, letting the swirling vortex of alcohol drag her down into sleep. It was certainly something to make a pro and con list over tomorrow.

The next day her hangover is so awful she wishes she was a better person because obviously God is punishing her for something. It helps that the whole squad is groaning and useless, Jake has thrown up into his waste basket twice, Gina hasn’t looked at her phone in an hour and Terry keeps talking about going to the gym to ‘sweat it out’, but has instead eaten every yoghurt cup in the breakroom and most of them from the bodega. Only Hitchcock and Scully are objectively okay, but it doesn’t really make any difference.

It takes a couple of days of not thinking about it before Amy gets round to her pro and con list.

Pros

  • Rosa’s hair is amazing.
  • Both being cops means she understands the stresses
  • Would make Jake’s head explode
  • Rosa is really sexy
  • Could possibly find out where Rosa lives
  • Would be interesting to see where it goes.

Cons

  • They weren’t fucking anyway
  • Rosa has no right to ask this of her
  • They were both drunk, and therefore it doesn’t mean anything
  • Rosa has probably already forgotten it.

Amy purses her lips and screws the scrap of paper up into a ball and, remembering that her workplace is full of detectives, flushes it down the ladies toilets on the ground floor, just to be sure.



There’s a gap in the department where Rosa is. Terry calls it a wound, and he’s right about these things, if a bit melodramatic. The wound heals though. Amy won’t pretend that the wound heals well, but the scar tissue does form after a couple of months, and she stops letting her eyes drag over to Rosa’s desk every time there’s a crash or a frustrated yell (two things that are still all too common in a police precinct even without her there).

Weird things continue to happen around the nine-nine. Amy seems to have developed a reputation among certain groups of criminals, and at multiple crime scenes she’s announced her name and suspects have surrendered and immediately confessed to her their myriad crimes. It's weird, but no one is going to look that kind of gift horse in the mouth in the era of quarterly stats, and so Amy goes with it. After the twelfth dealer hands himself into her, Jake starts making jokes about woodland creatures and Disney princesses, but it's likely he’s just jealous.

A month into Rosa’s absence Amy realises that in order to not accidentally do what Rosa asked she actually has to have the opportunity to have sex with someone else, so she lets her cousin Randy talk her into dating another of his weird friends, on the promise that this one doesn’t have a cop fetish.

 

Carlos has nice hair, good teeth, a car that is moderately clean and he doesn’t ask her to bring her handcuffs or taser with her to the restaurant. He has a job, a masters degree in ecology, he coaches little league without being creepy about it, and spends an entirely appropriate amount of time looking into her eyes and smiling (under 3 seconds in a 20 minute period. Amy has been on a lot of bad dates with men who believe they have supernatural powers of hypnotism).

They eat Peruvian food and drink Pisco sours in one of the parts of Brooklyn that Amy occasionally forgets exists, clean and soulless and identikit for the transplants and gentrifiers to feel safe in. Carlos lives nearby in a third floor walk up that still retains much of the old Brooklyn charm. He laughs when Amy volunteers she’s never arrested any drug dealers in this building, and he asks her up. He kisses her with exactly the right amount of tongue, and cups her ass reverently without pushing her skirt up or getting too handsy.

He is perfect, and any other time her brain would be picking out the names of their children, but instead she realises, deep in her bones that she she doesn’t want this.

She pushes him away, suddenly unable to stand his touch.

“I’m sorry”, she babbles, grabbing her handbag from her feet. It had spilled its contents, and she hurriedly shoved all the tampons, lipsticks and spare change that were threatening to roll away on his charmingly uneven floors back inside so she could just get out of there before she has a full blown panic attack.

He squats down onto his haunches and helps. “It's fine Amy, it’s okay if you want to take this slow.”

“It's not that...It’s just...I promised someone. I promised someone I wouldn’t do this.” she says. “Not Randy” she appends quickly, horrified.

“Promised? Like...no sex before marriage promised? Because I respect that, sincerely. I can wait.”

He’s so sincere, he’s so perfect, this is agonising, this is Amy’s brain ripping her heart out through her mouth. “No, I promised someone I wouldn’t get with anyone until she came back. I think it was maybe serious”.

His mouth tightens into a line. A handsome, sincere line, but a ‘I don’t know what to do with this’ kind of line. “Okay. Well, that does sound like a pretty serious promise.”

She stands up and straightens the strap of her bag on her shoulder. “I feel an idiot, but I think I’ve taken it more seriously than it was meant but I’m really sorry, I can’t do this right now.”

He smiles ruefully. “Me too. Sorry, I mean. Best of luck with your mystery girl, Amy.”

Amy goes home, and drinks the peach schnapps she got in for Christmas while watching all the episodes of Ellen that had built up on her ancient TiVo.

“Was this as hard for you as me?” she asks screen Ellen, melodramatically. Screen Ellen dances awkwardly with a starlet Amy doesn’t recognise, and smiles her smile as if to say ‘you don’t know the half of it honey.’

 

Amy falls asleep on the couch and dreams that Ellen and Portia were holding a ‘Secrets of Lesbianism!!!’ seminar somewhere in One Police Plaza, but she couldn’t find where to register, and they wouldn’t let her through the door without a special rainbow police badge.

The detectives draw lots in early December to decide who works over the festive period, the results of which always end up being overridden by the Captain and his harsh but ultimately fair Christmas rota, but they still try. It’s good for them to get on the table early who would be willing to switch minor days to avoid extended family obligations (Terry if his brother in law is in town), who needs the sweet double-overtime money (Jake, every year, every minute of it) and who does it for future promise of favors. That was usually Rosa’s motivation, and she and Amy often worked Christmas day together, having done all the important christmas things Christmas eve with family, sharing leftovers and shouting at idiots.

This year, Amy works Christmas day catching up with everyone else’s paperwork while Jake rings round every Chinese place trying to find the one his family went to one year that did special Mazah wonton soup that he swears wasn’t some MSG induced hallucination. Together they field those special Christmas crimes that always show up - family fights that get ugly, speeders who think it’s a day of the year where all crime is legal, kleptomaniac Santas returning to rob the department store grottos they’d endured, plus escaped reindeer for some reason. There’s a few arrests, quite a few firm worded warnings, and that’s all just before sundown.

They eat chinese food with the uniforms downstairs as Jake ordered more than any one person could feasibly eat in a lifetime, and as they’re leaning back, popping open straining buttons and waiting for their digestion to catch up with their regret, someone calls in word of an illegal rave. The evening shift are only just starting to arrive, so Amy and Jake decide to respond to the initial callout, if only to help the digestion.

The rumour that Christmas is a magical day where cops are too lazy to work is one that is strangely pervasive despite all headline evidence to the contrary. When they pull up to the warehouse where the party is currently shaking the windows, no one gives them a second look as they park and walk straight in. Jake had swapped his normal tie for a piece of tinsel tied in a half windsor and is wearing his leather jacket, and Amy is wearing her tank top and has some tinsel in her belt loops and wrapped round her pony tail, but it is a flimsy disguise. The party kids around them are fully decked out like sparkling christmas trees against the dirty snow. By comparison, they look like supply teachers, or well, cops.

“Oh my god” Jake says under his breath when they walk in and almost collide with someone Charles had been looking for for months. “This place is crawling with drug dealers. It’s like comic con. For criminals. Crimicon!”

He turns to her like a kid who got a new bike, “No wait, It’s like cop Christmas! On actual Christmas! Its an actual Christmas miracle! Praise Jeebus!”

“Shh!” she mock teases. “We should call for backup. This place is too full of presents to blow by announcing our...presence.”

Jake grimaces at her joke and shakes his head, which she knows he only does when he wishes he’d said it first, and gets out his phone.

He shakes it, holds it up dramatically to the half-broken roof and sighs. “I haven’t got any signal in here. I’ll have to go outside. Scope the place out will you?” Then he’s gone, and the crowd swallows him immediately.

Amy finds a place near the crowd at the bar that seems like it won’t move for a while. There are almost as many people ‘known to the department’ there as there are bored teens escaping their families. It looks almost like a supervised dance, the older dealers and hangers on dressed like they didn’t try, and the younger people all off their faces on gigglepig or cake or tonik, whatever is cutting edge and sounds vaguely stupid. It’s probably why they were waved in so easily, they fit in with everyone selling.

The crowds part as the song changes from one that might give Amy a migraine to one that definitely will, and when she casts her eyes to the heavens in a silent prayer, there, standing on a balcony far above all the proceedings, is Rosa, and Amy’s throat goes dry.

At first, Amy doesn’t think that criminal mastermind Rosa has spotted her, and so she looks away, focuses on scoping out the exits. It’s the kind of place that has ‘tragic nightclub fire’ written all over it, and there are very few ways out of any kind of situation.

Amy may be trying not to look at Rosa, but she can’t help but notice the way the crowds part like the red sea, the sweaty bodies repelling from each other like magnets, and then the crowd next to her parts as Rosa walks towards her.

Of course Rosa had managed to become queen of the underworld the moment she went bad. She doesn’t look that much different from how she dresses at the precinct. Her hair is still like something from a shampoo ad and she’s wearing a leather jacket, but everything is tighter, more expensive, her heels higher, and the way she holds herself is different, that perfect posture more louche those eyes more darkly lined, her lips looking even fuller and stained dark like winter berries, everything relaxed the way she is after that perfect number of beers on a Friday. The only difference is she’s wearing a red silk dress underneath her leather jacket that clings to her curves in ways that Amy is pretty sure in her professional capacity as a cop is illegal. It looks like a rhumba dress, long on one side and dangerously short on the other, and red like fire, like sin, like all of Amy’s thoughts.

A tall man who looks like a sentient wall emerges from behind her, and when he reaches Amy he puts a hand on her shoulder so softly she jumps.

“The boss” he points at Rosa with his lips “wants to have a word. She says you and she have some unfinished business.”

He then leans close and whispers “It’s good she found you today, if you’ve let her down. Boss is in a good mood for Christmas.” He grins in what she supposes is a reassuring way. “You might escape with just a kneecapping”.

Amy casts around for Jake, but he’s either not come back in yet or lost to her in the crowd, so she has no choice but to follow, stuck between the wall and the hypnotic shake of Rosa’s ass under the layer of slippery silk satin.

Rosa dismisses her hangers on once they get up into a deserted foreman’s office that overlooks the whole warehouse. She grabs a baseball bat that is leaning casually threateningly against the wall. “I’ll deal with this” she says in Spanish to her underlings with casual menace. “You go enjoy the party”, and she pushes Amy through the door.

The thump of the bass rattles the ancient glass of the window. Rosa jamms the baseball bat beneath the door handle to lock it.

“Is backup coming”? Rosa asks, so quietly Amy can barely hear her over the horrible remixes of christmas classics. She’s staring at Amy openly, and Amy is drowning in all that intense, romantic eye contact she normally hates.

“Jake’s calling it in” she says, her mouth dry again. “They’ll probably be here soon.”

Rosa seizes her hand, and pulls her in close. “Then we don’t have much time.”

“Rosa -”

“Shh, no. I’m not Rosa here.”

And next thing Amy knows, she’s kissing not-Rosa full on the mouth, and they go from 0-60 in less than a second. It feels like firecrackers go off in her head, and maybe that’s the terrible techno induced migraine, but there’s a voice in the back of Amy’s mind that is surprised that she is going for it so much, but it’s like something has been unleashed, all the angst, all the doubt that it was all just a drunken mistake evaporates away because she didn’t imagine it, it is true, and it is happening, and she is not letting the teacher’s pet Amy ruin this for Drug Dealer Amy. It’s Christmas anyway, and she has been just so good this year after all.

The place is shaking around them, a deep, resonant beat with Mariah Carey warbling on top of it, and Amy’s legs are stronger than she could ever expect as she isn’t on the floor immediately with the intensity of it all. Not-Rosa playfully curls Amy’s hair around her fingers and smiles her lovely wide smile against her mouth as she touches her, taking her time she kisses her, deep, with drenching kisses that Amy catalogues for later - soft lips and a strong, confident tongue, perfect, desperate, but...perfect. It’s a great kiss, but then Amy is pushed against the thin plywood walls, and not-Rosa takes her red slinky dress off, and, oh god she isn’t wearing a bra, and really Rosa needs to be commended on the breasts that are in front of her right now. Best in Breasts award or something. Not-Rosa takes off Amy’s top, and her bra, and while she’s still gaping at Not-Rosa’s perfect pink nipples, Not-Rosa presses them to Amy’s chest and kisses her again, so slow and so deep she wants to drown in it. Then it all goes even faster, and Not-Rosa is dropping kisses down her chest and using her teeth to undo the tinsel at her waist because - oh god - Not-Rosa’s nails are short, and Amy just can’t deal right now thinking about how maybe Rosa managed to plan this, or maybe that’s something she’s only just started noticing.

Then her pants are down by her thighs, and her sensible underwear follows them and then there’s just a delicate tip of a tongue on her clit and she swears she can feel the slick of Not-Rosa’s lip gloss against her labia, before she puts one of her hands on not-Rosa’s head and begs until she can feel that smile against her folds, and then there’s strong suction right on her clit and two of those trimmed fingers pressing against her entrance, and the combination of the two things means Amy is coming against the fist she has shoved in her mouth with a shout within sixty seconds, trying not to make a sound because she is sure even the half-deaf teenagers downstairs would be able to hear her come if she let go.

It’s then that her knees buckle, and she uses the momentum pull Rosa down with her and crawl on top of her, tangling both hands in her incredible hair, kissing her and tasting herself - holy shit - and rubbing herself against Rosa’s slick underwear, feeling aftershocks sparking down her spine, chasing the dregs of her orgasm with Rosa’s hands spanning her hips and holding on for dear life.

There’s a bang and the kids downstairs start screaming as all the police in the borough swarm into the warehouse and this is ending, and so Amy’s sits back and get’s Rosa’s panties off, super tight and barely there, and Rosa’s legs are wide open and welcoming and it takes just a few short rubs of Rosa’s clit and she wails, her legs kicking out as she comes. It’s all over in a few minutes, like both of them were on short fuses and it is all just more than Amy can really process right now.

“Wow”, is all Amy can say, sitting back on her haunches and taking in how debauched Not-Rosa looks and how that she did that! She made Rosa look like that! This is amazing!

“You have to leave” Not-Rosa says, quickly and harshly, coming back into her persona like she’d never been undone at all. “You have to leave with the rest of the dealers or you’ll blow my cover. This was a stupid idea. Stupid! Why didn’t you stop me? Stupid!” She leaves, opening the door and slamming it behind her, baseball bat in hand.

Amy walks down the back stairs as Rosa presumably climbs out of a window with her bodyguards on her tail, and once Amy gets down to the ground level she walks up to Jake, who had managed to get a tak vest from somewhere, and says “Arrest me” with enough heartbreak in her voice that he doesn’t even make fun of her when he puts the cuffs on her for show.

It’s a good bust to round off a good year for the nine-nine, and the warehouse raid was the best christmas present they ever had, even better than the time the lorry full of ice cream crashed outside the precinct, but Rosa’s group gets away. Amy’s legs are still shaking when she gets the news during the debrief outside, wearing Jake’s jacket as hers is somewhere inside in one of the endless bags of evidence, along with her bra and most of her dignity.

--

January is dull and depressing, and Amy is in a snit for almost all of it, however much she tries to justify it to people who comment as a new year's resolution to be more professional, she can’t deny that her mood is foul. Her work is going well, she busts a depressing ring of wedding ring thieves, and when one of her CI’s gives her a tip about a new drug ring, she hands it over to Charles without a second thought.

Rosa has been gone for four months now, and Amy just feels stupid every time she thinks about Christmas, which is depressingly often. She also panics, because Rosa asked her to wait for her, and she doesn’t even know if fucking not-Rosa count as waiting? The reconciliation she had fantasised about, where Rosa explains everything calmly and without insults, and then lets Amy kiss her, feels hollow, out of reach, cheap and childish and really, really stupid.

A warm snap takes New York from winter wonderland to the kind of grey salty slush that ruins even the best planned shoe choice, and when Amy steps out her apartment and goes the twenty steps to her car her sensible winter pumps are ruined, and it is then when she notices the headline of the newspaper - MAJOR COLOMBIAN DRUG RING FOILED - with Rosa’s face scowling out behind the stoic looking ringleader.

Rosa’s already back at her desk when Amy gets into the office at 8:59, scowling at her keyboard like it insulted her mother.

Amy wants to think she’s not one to hide from her problems, but the best she can go with is that she had promised that this year she would be an adult about these kind of things. After taking off her coat, she straightens her shoulders and walks right up to Rosa’s desk. “Hi.” she says.

Rosa doesn’t look up. “Hey.”

Amy doesn’t know what to do with that, but she counts it as not running away from her problems if she walks briskly to the ladies room and does some deep breathing exercises to calm down.

Rosa and her FBI handlers give them a breakdown of what happened, and it all sounds very exciting and dangerous, and Amy knows she should be listening more than she actually is. She’s barely even taking notes. People are going to know something is wrong.

 

Rosa describes how the christmas rave-bust was planned, and how she managed to divert attention away from herself when it all went to hell.

“How did you do that?” Jake asks, possibly still a little bitter about how his own Fed excursion ended.

“If people were acting suspicious around me, they’d end up on one of the busts that we knew were going to go wrong. I told them give themselves up to Detective Santiago at the nine-nine, that she was one of ours, and she’d look after them.”

“Wait, you sent all those people to me?”

Rosa looks confused. “Who else would send you drug dealers?”

Amy feels like there’s a giant thing in the room she’s missing.

“How about Christmas? Did you plan that?”

Everyone laughs, and Amy realises that they must have just covered that. Rosa shrugs. The FBI agent laughs “If you mean why did you plan it then, that was a stroke of brilliance on Detective Diaz’s part. They were going to hold the party on new year's eve, but she convinced them that the police departments would be understaffed on Christmas, and so they’d be less likely to be caught. No one was suspecting it.”

Rosa shrugs. “I knew they’d believe it. Everyone thinks cops are lazy donut eaters. They don’t know what it's like at Christmas”. She looks straight at Amy for a brief second, for the first time since she got back. Its brief, but a bolt of something goes through Amy.

“Well, congratulations”, she says, just a little bitterly.

Amy goes down to Babylon after the debriefing, and isn’t surprised that Rosa appears a few minutes later.

“You’re being weird”, she says, flatly. It’s not a question.

“What?” Amy says, suddenly angry.

“Stop being weird. Is this because of” Rosa waves her hand in a vaguely obscene manner. “the thing”.

“Yes it's about the wavey-hand-obscene-gesture thing. I don’t know what happened? I’ve been so confused ever since we drank all that tequila and you asked me to wait for you?! I had no idea you felt like that. I had no idea you meant it.”

“I thought you knew. I sent you things. To show you how I felt. Things you’d like.”

“You sent me drug dealers!”

“You love arresting drug dealers! Look, If there’s someone else, it’s fine. I don’t know why I said it.”

Amy feels like the whole conversation is getting away from her. “Why did you say it?”

“I just said I don’t know. It just seemed like the right thing to say. It wasn’t just tequila. After all the...talking...and you were holding me up and you felt nice...and even though you’re an annoying teachers pet we have to stick together and you’ve grown on me and then I missed you. And because I wanted to, you know, I wanted to get to know you better. And it was easier to say it and run away. I’m a coward. It was easier to be in character as...not Rosa, and say the thing I wanted to say, do the things I wanted to do, than actually say it as me. And then you seemed to like her, the fake me, and so I thought you were mad that I wasn’t her anymore when I came back and you just, stayed away.”

“Are you kidding? Like, seriously, did you take those drugs and burn your brain? wanted to wait for you, Rosa, the real Rosa, and just, what, yeah not Rosa was hot, but it was you I was losing my mind trying to work out while you were away. This is ridiculous! Why are we arguing like boys about this? This is like a soap opera. This is insane.”

“I know. This is stupid. This is the kind of argument dummies have”

“We should stop being stupid.” Amy says, smiling.

Rosa shrugs, and goes to walk out, and she has got the wrong end of the stick but Amy is okay. She’s got this. She touches her shoulder, and stops Rosa gently against the bathroom door. It clicks shut under the gentle pressure of their bodies.

 

Amy speaks quietly, letting the hush of the basement wash over her. “Hey, don’t be a dummy. Are you back?”

Rosa smiles. It’s got layers of the fake smile, the one she uses when she just wants things to be over, but Amy thinks that the real one is poking through, maybe. “Yeah,” she whispers. “I’m back.”

 

Amy takes a deep breath. “Then this is what I’ve been waiting for” and winds her fingers into the nape of Rosa’s neck, where the hair is downy and soft and secret, and kisses her.