For the record, Amy does not "keep watch on what's happening in Holt's office like she's afraid someone's going to commit Grand Theft Captain's Pet Status," no matter what Peralta likes to tell anyone who will listen. She's not the captain's pet (if only), and it just so happens that her desk is situated with a natural line of sight in that direction. If she swivels around and leans to one side and cranes her neck at a thirty-eight degree angle, it's just to stretch. Obviously. That's important during a long workday spent hunched over a computer.
Besides, the captain hardly makes it a secret when he wants to talk to someone. Today he booms out, "Diaz," for the entire squad room to hear.
The conversation lasts precisely five minutes and forty-two seconds. Amy likes to practice her observational skills. That's a crucial tool for any detective. Rosa comes out scowling, but that's how she looked going in, so no clue there about what the captain might have wanted. Not that Amy cares, of course. She has her report to finish on the purse snatcher they caught this morning. Busy. Very busy.
Across the desk from her, Peralta starts counting down, "Five, four, three—" She glares, but as usual his smirk just becomes that much more insufferable.
Anyway, the joke's on him. Amy waits at least ten seconds after he hits one before getting up and strolling over toward Rosa's desk. She's just getting a little exercise. Blood clots can form from sitting too long. It's never smart to neglect your cardiovascular health.
She walks up and down past Rosa's desk three times, and then hovers by the file cabinet for a while. Finally Rosa says, "I'm not going to tell you what Holt wanted."
"What?" Amy squawks indignantly. "I wasn't going to—no. I just came over to—" She waves her hand. "Tell you that I like your jacket. It's very—black." She fixes on a bright smile.
Rosa stares. Amy can't tell if this is the stony face that means Rosa is calling bullshit or the expression she gets when she's three seconds away from pistol-whipping someone. Either way it seems like a good time for Amy to go back to her desk. No doubt she's successfully staved off deep vein thrombosis by now.
Peralta greets her with his smile of ultimate smugness. "Shut up," she tells him before he starts.
She picks up her report where she left off. At least her paperwork will always be the most typo-free. No one can take that away from her.
Rosa slips out sometime in the afternoon when Amy isn't looking and stays gone the entire rest of the shift. If Amy goes home that evening and works up a list of "Reasons The Captain Might Have Wanted To Talk To Rosa," it's simply to sharpen her deductive reasoning abilities. Even Sherlock Holmes had to practice, right?
In the morning, she gets to the station half an hour ahead of time, because giving yourself a head start on the day is just a smart way to work. The fact that the captain is already at his desk—and looks as if he's been there for a while—totally proves the point. Amy makes a few trips to the photocopier, hoping the captain will glance up, so she'll have an opening to say good morning without looking like she's trying too hard, but no such luck.
Boyle shows up not long afterward, coffee in hand, carrying a bag of pastry, which he waves in Amy's direction. "Chaussons aux pommes? The pastry chef studied at Le Cordon Bleu."
Amy shakes her head. She's pretty sure the fact that the pastry is French adds at least 10,000 extra calories. Anyway she'd have to fight Scully for it. He makes a beeline for Boyle's desk the moment he arrives, nostrils flaring. Scully hasn't solved a case in recent memory, but he's a bloodhound where free food is concerned.
Peralta strolls in five minutes late, bed-headed and with his tie askew. Of course he does. He's Peralta. "Who had totally meaningless, marginally kinky sex last night? This guy," he announces as he flops onto his chair.
"No one wants to hear about it," Amy tells him before there are details floating out there that she can never unhear.
"Says the bitter person who did not have sex last night," Peralta fires back glibly.
Amy bristles and takes in a deep breath and—lets it out again without offering a word in her own defense. She wouldn't say she's bitter exactly, but it has been a long dry patch, and the last ten—make that twelve, no, thirteen—dates she's had ended in various sorts of disaster or just kind of sputtered out before they ever really got going. Apparently she sucks at dating, and she's definitely never been good at going out to a club and picking up a guy. The prospect of having any kind of sex any time soon seems really rather—
Fortunately Rosa picks that moment to make her appearance, cutting short what would surely have been a long and anxious internal cataloging of everything that's wrong with Amy's personal life. Things don't seem to be going much better for Rosa. She strides over to Holt's office, shoulders set, mouth turned down at the corners.
Amy keeps her eyes on the file that's open on her desk, but she pricks up her ears, ready to listen in. Often at crime scenes witnesses will say things among themselves that they hesitate to tell the police. Eavesdropping turns out to be a surprisingly handy investigative tool—which means that Amy would be remiss if she didn't practice it now that she has the opportunity.
It's a good plan until Rosa closes the door, and then Amy has Peralta's knowing smirk to deal with. He leans in conspiratorially and stage whispers, "What do you think's going on in there?"
Amy lifts her chin. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Come on, Santiago," Peralta coaxes. "If we work together, we have a better chance of cracking The Case of the Mysterious Conversations in the Captain's Office."
She gets up from her desk with as much dignity as she can muster and heads for the break room.
"Fine, be that way," Peralta yells after her. "I can be an obnoxious busybody all by myself!"
The break room coffee could strip old paint off furniture, but Amy came in here to get away from Peralta. She needs a reason to linger. The mug she pulls out of the cabinet looks like Hitchcock washed it, which is to say the bottom is disgustingly crusted with grime. She spends a good five minutes scrubbing it clean. The coffee roils into the cup like sludge, and the fake creamer sends up a dusty cloud of chemical stink. Her usual two packets of sugar aren't going to cut it, so she dumps in two more and stirs vigorously, trying to make her coffee a little less repulsively chunky.
Why Rosa? Amy would prefer not to obsess over that question, but she wouldn't be herself if she didn't.
She sighs and lifts the mug to take a sip, and a voice says, "Hey," very loudly right next to her ear. Coffee goes flying everywhere, soaking her blouse and scalding her hand.
Gina blinks at her innocently. "Oh, sorry. I thought you heard me coming. You must have been really distracted, huh?"
Amy shakes her head emphatically. She knows better than to show any weakness in front of Gina. "No, no, not at all."
"Well, that's good," Gina says, with exaggerated concern. "I really thought it'd be driving you crazy by now. You know, the whole Holt sending Rosa on a secret mission thing."
"Why would that bother—wait. Secret mission?"
Gina smiles gleefully. "Oops, did I say that?
"What secret mission?" Amy's voice pitches up higher, the way it always does when she wants something too badly.
"Sorry, shouldn't have said anything. You know, what with it being a secret and all." Gina makes a gesture like she's ticking a lock and throwing away the key as she saunters off.
"Wait! What secret mission?" Amy wants to chase after her, but her blouse is clammy, sticking to her skin, and stinking of break room coffee.
By the time she returns from the locker room freshly changed, Gina is back at her desk, bending her head over a towering stack of file folders, pretending she's actually working. Peralta looks on, waiting to see Amy's next move, smiling as if this is the best entertainment he's ever had. Rosa punches away at her keyboard, scowling at the computer screen like it's personally offended her. For a moment, Amy considers making another go at pumping Rosa for information, but in the three years they've worked together, she's managed to gain Rosa's confidence exactly zero times. Also the fact that Rosa's expression looks extra murderous at the moment doesn't exactly bode well.
She trudges back to her desk and takes up the case file for the recent series of muggings in the park. The suspect they arrested is on his way to Riker's. She just needs to put the finishing touches on the paperwork. The next time she looks up, Rosa has once again managed to disappear without her noticing. She spends a good thirty seconds fuming over that before it occurs to her that maybe this is exactly the opening she needs. Clearly, whatever the captain has Rosa doing isn't going well. If Amy hurries up and completes the case file on the muggings, she'll have the perfect excuse to make a trip to his office.
Even she's never finished paperwork faster.
"Captain?" She knocks and offers a smile that she hopes makes her look trustworthy.
The captain glances up. "Santiago."
"I just wanted to drop this off." She hands over the folder. "The report is in the system, and I'm ready for my next assignment."
He flips through the folder and closes it with a nod. "Good work on this. There are no unassigned cases right now, but you'll get the next one that comes in."
Amy takes a step closer to his desk, dropping her voice down to a more confidential level. "Are you sure there isn't anything I can help you with, Captain?"
A little wrinkle appears between his eyebrows, the one he gets when he's starting to lose his patience. "As I said, there are no unassigned cases."
"Maybe there's something else? Say more of a—secret mission?" She smiles conspiratorially.
The captain stares flatly.
"Or maybe not," she says with a sigh and slinks back to her desk.
Why Rosa? turns into Why not me?, and her brain keeps whirring away at that question all through a caffeine-fueled stakeout at a local coffee shop where someone—a high school sophomore with a color printer it turns out—has been passing counterfeit twenties. That nagging inner voice doesn't stop when she goes home, serving up neurotic background music as she pops a Hot Pocket into the microwave and settles onto the couch to eat.
She spends a fretful night tossing and turning, and when she does finally manage to fall asleep, she dreams that the captain is renewing his marriage vows with his husband, and everyone at the precinct is in the wedding. Everyone but her.
Brooklyn, at least the part covered by the 99, falls into a frustrating spell of law-abiding calm. Amy dots all the i's and crosses every last t on her remaining paperwork, tidies her already perfectly orderly desktop, and cleans out her file drawer, which consists of dumping three leftover hot mustard packets into the trash.
Being at loose ends leaves her with nothing to do but obsess over Rosa—who still doesn't seem to be making any headway on whatever it is that the captain assigned her—and finally Amy decides she's had enough watching and waiting. Time to do something about the situation.
It turns out to be surprisingly easy to follow Rosa, which makes Amy alternately congratulate herself on her powers of stealth and wonder if this whole thing has been the most elaborate punking in the history of law enforcement. Rosa heads in the direction of Fifth Avenue, and Amy is just starting to worry that she's accidentally on the trail of a late afternoon coffee run when a throng of teenagers spills out of a bagel store, separating her from Rosa. By the time Amy manages to navigate around the kids, Rosa is gone, nowhere to be seen.
Amy loiters there in the middle of the sidewalk, garnering put-upon glares from old women dragging carts of groceries, until she finally accepts defeat, turns around and trudges back toward the office. She's gone all of three steps when suddenly Rosa is right there, materialized out of nowhere, her expression even darker than it had been before.
Amy practically jumps out of her skin. "God, are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
"Are you trying to follow me?" Rosa shoots back.
"Of course not," Amy says defensively. "Why would I—" She lets out a sigh. "Okay, fine. I'm following you. Would you please, please, please just let me help with whatever you're doing for the captain?" She can't keep a slight whine from stealing into her voice.
"Captain said not to tell anyone. If you helped me, it'd have to be a secret," Rosa says, clipped and monotone. "You're bad at that. Especially where Holt's concerned."
"That's so not true!" Amy insists, disbelieving and a little offended. "I'm an expert secret-keeper."
"What about the time Jake photocopied his butt?"
"That was Peralta goofing off. You can't compare that to—"
"Or when Hitchcock ate part of the evidence in that cupcake theft case."
"Okay, fine. So maybe I do have a problem when it comes to keeping things from the captain. But this time will be different! I swear." She holds up her hand like she's being sworn in for court, although she isn't quite sure why.
Rosa eyes her skeptically, but says, "Fine. But if you spill it to Holt, I know where you live. Also you're buying me coffee."
She heads into the nearby patisserie, expecting Amy to follow, and orders an enormous, ridiculously overpriced latte. She sends the group of teenagers hogging the table by the window scattering with a single pointed glance.
"Here. Read this." She pushes a folder at Amy.
Inside is a stack of witness statements from various precincts around the city along with newspaper clippings from several countries describing the same thief—early thirties, Caucasian, messy dark hair, a small scar on his right cheek—who supposedly talks people out of their valuables. Journalists have even made up a too-cute name for him.
Amy snorts in disbelief. "The Hypnotist Bandit? I'm totally being punked, aren't I?"
"Holt's husband got taken for everything in his checking account and a watch the captain gave him for their anniversary. Cops in charge of the case aren't taking it seriously. That's why he asked me to look into it."
"Oh." Amy sits up straighter. "That's terrible. This is obviously a very serious crime, and we need to do everything we can to solve it."
Rosa rolls her eyes. "Yeah, I thought you'd say that. Holt doesn't want it getting back to the other precinct that we're investigating. That's why he asked me to work it, because he knows I can keep my mouth shut." She fixes a look on Amy.
"I can keep my mouth shut!" Amy insists indignantly.
"Yeah, well, you'd better," Rosa says flatly.
"So what's the problem? No leads on the guy?"
Rosa clenches her jaw so hard it makes Amy's teeth hurt. "No, not the problem." She checks her watch. "He's going to be at Target in twenty minutes. Come on. You can stake out the cash registers. I'll keep watch on the money room."
"Wait. What? How do you know that?" Rosa is already halfway out the door, and Amy has to run to catch up. "Do you have a source you're not telling me about?"
The look Rosa gives her—like she might actually whip out a stiletto from her pocket just so she can stab something with it—cuts the questioning short. At Target, they split up. Rosa heads off to the offices in the back. Amy takes up a position near the front, pretending to peruse a stack of discounted Twilight series books while she keeps watch on the checkout lines. A squabble over coupons breaks out at register 4. An old woman in the hosiery department appears to be shoplifting support hose. There's a lot of grumbling about the long lines. That's it. No sign of the Hypnotist Bandit anywhere.
Amy does things by the book, and ordinarily that would mean sticking by the registers like she told her partner she would, even if there is nothing going on, but she just—has a feeling. All cops have instincts. Amy decides to follow hers and heads back to Rosa. Halfway there, a commotion breaks out, the air suddenly filled with the electric charge it gets when something is going down, and she hears what sounds weirdly enough like a chicken. She draws her weapon and runs toward the disturbance.
Amy was born in New York. She's been on the force for almost ten years, and she's worked in Brooklyn most of that time. She's seen things. Bizarre things. Scarring things. Things that defy description. But she's never seen anything like what she finds in the back of the store.
Rosa is—well, prancing is the only word for it, making a circuit between the bath towels and the shower curtains, lifting her knees, flapping her arms, bobbing her head. Oh God. The chicken noises are coming from her. Amy skids to a stop and stares for a long, horrified moment before she notices a familiar face in the crowd of onlookers. Dark messy hair. Scar on one cheek. A smirk so obnoxious it puts Peralta's to shame.
"Freeze," Amy orders, pointing her gun at him.
It's a tricky situation with so many innocent bystanders in the way and it only gets more chaotic when the perp whispers something to the people surrounding him. Suddenly Amy has a whole flock of human chickens descending on her, strutting and crowing and blocking her line of sight. By the time she manages to get clear, the guy is long gone.
And Rosa…still thinks she's a chicken. Shouldn't that have worn off when the guy fled? Amy really wishes she'd read up on the rules of hypnotism.
"Hey, come on." She snaps her fingers in Rosa's face, and when that doesn't work, she tries shaking her. Gently. Because eventually Rosa is going to remember she's a badass and not a chicken. Right now, though, she's trying to peck at a sparkly pink bath mat. Amy lets out a long sigh. "Fine. Let's go."
She wrangles Rosa out of the store and into a cab that's thankfully easy to hail. The driver takes one glance in the rearview mirror, shrugs, and asks Amy where they're going. This what Amy loves about New York: your partner can act like a chicken, and no one cares.
Once they're safely shut up inside her apartment, Amy lets Rosa wander at will, slowly flapping her elbows as she explores the living room, turning her head with jerky motions, staring at Amy's crystal unicorn collection with bright-eyed fascination.
"I need a drink," Amy announces to no one in particular.
She's rarely home and even more rarely has people over. The only alcohol she has in the place is a bottle of peach schnapps her grandma brought the last time she visited. Amy pulls two glasses out of the cupboard. Rosa is definitely going to need a drink when she's finished being a chicken.
It takes longer than Amy would have predicted. She's already on her third glass of schnapps when Rosa stops bobbing her head, snaps up to her full height and demands, "What am I doing here?"
Amy lets out a sigh. "Things didn't exactly go as planned at Target."
"Explain," Rosa orders.
Amy takes a big gulp of her schnapps. "Okay, so you know how they have shows with hypnotists where they make the audience think they're chickens?"
Rosa stares, and the moment stretches on forever, and then the threats begin. "If you say one word about this—"
Amy snorts. "Please. I'm not Peralta, and that so wasn't funny." In fact, it may be the most disturbing thing she's ever witnessed. Watching Rosa lose control reminds her of seeing her parents cry when she was a kid. It shakes up her whole world. "That hypnotist guy is totally taunting us. I kind of hate him." She's also kind of drunk, but that doesn't stop her from pouring herself more schnapps.
"You hate him?" Rosa flops down onto the sofa beside her. "You weren't a chicken."
"Yeah." Amy pours Rosa an extra large glassful of schnapps.
She gets a raised eyebrow when she hands it over. Whatever. So it's her grandma's booze. Is Rosa really going to say no to alcohol of any kind right now? Apparently not. Rosa downs the glass and reaches for the bottle.
"So how many times has that happened?" Amy ventures to ask.
It takes Rosa a moment to admit, "Three. I think I was an aardvark once."
Amy shakes her head. "What a jerk. And how are we supposed to catch him now? We have no idea where he'll turn up next."
"Actually—" Rosa sits up, searches her pockets, and comes up with a folded piece of paper. She reads out loud, "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'll be at Club Fabrisse tomorrow night, what about you?" Her mouth pulls down at the corners. "He always leaves a note. They always rhyme. I hate things that rhyme."
Amy nods her head emphatically. "And I hate him. Like a lot. Like really, really a lot." It's possible that the words are coming out a bit schnapps-slurred.
Rosa doesn't seem to notice. She's too intent on spinning revenge scenarios. "When I catch him, I'm going to—"
"Arrest him and read him his rights," Amy quickly prompts.
Rosa gives her the side eye. "Sure. Whatever."
They don't say much after that, just sit and drink, but it doesn't feel awkward the way silences usually do. Maybe that's the benefit of hanging out with someone who is so closemouthed. No pressure to make conversation.
Rosa stays until they finish the bottle, and Amy is kind of sorry to see her go when she heads for the door.
"Tomorrow we take that asshole down," Rosa says in parting. She reaches for the doorknob and then turns back, hesitates before grudgingly adding, "Thanks."
If Amy smiles really hard at that, it's only because Rosa has never thanked her for anything before. And also because she's totally drunk.
Amy can count on one hand—actually two fingers—the number of times she's shown up to work with a hangover. Both of those occasions were Peralta's fault for insisting that tequila shots were the only acceptable way to celebrate closing a big case. Today she has no one to blame but herself, which makes her pounding head and the road kill taste in her mouth all the more embittering. If this is the kind of after-effect schnapps has, it explains a lot about her grandma's personality.
On top of the hangover, Amy also has to play it cool and try not to look like she's hiding anything. It's a skill that doesn't come naturally to her. The one time she played poker she lost every hand.
Needless to say, the day passes slowly. When Peralta isn't amusing himself by speaking really loudly right in her ear just to watch her wince, he's interrogating her. "I know you're up to something. I'm going to figure it out. Prepare for the Peralta inquisition."
Terry stops by her desk at least five times to offer her vitamins. "You just really look like you could use them."
The captain keeps studying her with narrowed eyes, and she's not sure if it's because he knows she's hung over or because he suspects she's stowing away on Rosa's secret mission. Neither possibility is good.
Of course Rosa ignores her completely. That's no doubt for the best. Peralta doesn't need any more reasons to be suspicious, and the captain is watching. But it nags at Amy anyway, how easily Rosa can just flip a switch and suddenly it's as if last night never happened, as if they hadn't bonded over old lady booze and a shared mission. It's silly, Amy knows, to want that to mean something. And yet, when Rosa does finally say, under her breath, as she walks past Amy's desk, without even a glance in her direction, "Ten o'clock tonight," it feels like she's won something.
Thursday is ladies night at Club Fabrisse—the buzz is that Paris Hilton may make an appearance, which explains why the hypnotist targeted the place—and a line is already forming outside when Amy arrives. She's prepared to flash her badge, but the bouncer gives her an approving nod and lets her pass, which makes the six times she changed her outfit seem almost worth it. Inside she makes a beeline for the bar where she's supposed to meet Rosa, and ends up nearly walking right past her.
"Hey." Rosa grabs her arm, and Amy's mouth actually falls open. She's seen the outfit before, black dress and Rosa's formal leather jacket, but in the three years they've worked together, Rosa has never once worn her hair up. It makes her look—Amy tamps down the word sexy.
"What?" Rosa demands when Amy doesn't stop staring.
She shakes her head. "Nothing. It's just—nice jacket." She tacks on a nervous smile.
Rosa eyes Amy like she has no idea what's wrong with her. "I'll search down here. See if you can spot him from upstairs." She turns on her heel and starts pushing her way through the crowd, leaving Amy on her own.
A set of stairs leads up to a metal catwalk that lines the room, offering a perfect view of everything happening down on the floor. Amy maneuvers her way over to the railing and scans the crowd. No sign of the asshole hypnotist, but she does pick out Rosa. She's glaring down a guy with a soul patch and an apparent death wish who keeps trying to grab her hand and pull her out onto the dance floor. Obviously it's nothing Rosa can't handle, but it does mean she's distracted, and that's when Amy notices familiar shaggy dark hair and a telltale cocky slouch. The hypnotist jerk is headed straight for Rosa.
Amy draws her weapon, causing the cluster of club-goers standing around her to take a giant step back and a few guys with a taste for danger to give her appreciative looks. She rushes down the stairs and shoves her way through the crowd.
"Get down on the ground!" she shouts at the hypnotist, who has already reached Rosa and is whispering in her ear. "Now!"
He turns his infuriatingly smug smile on her. "You're too busy making out to arrest me, officer." His voice is low, each word slow and drugging, and Amy thinks it sounds the way heroin must feel, like something you could fall into and stay forever. "Isn't she hot? Don't you want her?"
It doesn't occur to her that he's talking about Rosa—that he's using the voice on both of them—until Rosa reaches for her, wraps a hand around her wrist and reels her in. When Rosa presses their mouths together, Amy is too startled to do anything but stall there and let herself be kissed. Rosa smells like soap and gun oil and warm skin, and the soft way she kisses is not what Amy would have expected if she'd ever given the subject any consideration.
Distantly she hears the hypnotist jerk say, "I love being me."
Asshole, Amy thinks, and she would do something about it, but Rosa picks that moment to do this fluttery thing with her tongue that sends shivers all down Amy's back. A little sigh spills out of her, and she melts against Rosa, kissing back.
It's good—God, the best kiss she's ever had—says the cataloging part of her brain. A blur of half-remembered images flashes back at her, a parade of lackluster dates, every spit-filled goodnight kiss, every time she secretly wondered if maybe there was something wrong with her, if she was incapable of connecting with people, if maybe she just really didn't like kissing very much. The answer is perfectly clear now. She totally likes being kissed when it's done right, when it feels like this.
She makes a noise of protest when Rosa pulls away, which turns into a cut-off gasp as Rosa starts kissing her neck. It takes a moment before she remembers why they're actually there. Oh right, they have a criminal to catch. And then it catches up to her that Rosa isn't exactly doing this of her own free will. She disentangles herself with a flash of guilt and sweeps the room, searching for the hypnotist. Rosa rubs a hand, very slowly, very deliberately up and down her back, and that is quite possibly the most distracting thing ever.
The hypnotist hasn't gone far, just to the other side of the dance floor, because that's the kind of arrogant asshole he is. A group of people clusters around him, and he's talking and smiling, and everyone begins handing over their phones and jewelry and the cash right out of their wallets.
"I really hate that jerk," Amy says out loud.
Rosa kisses her again.
Amy sighs. "I never thought I'd say this, but it was easier when you thought you were a chicken."
It's perhaps not strictly necessary to knock the hypnotist to the floor or wrench his arm behind his back with quite as much force as she does, but she's professionally affronted and sexually frustrated, and he totally has it coming.
"You'd much rather be kissing your partner," the asshole says in his firm, freaky hypnotist voice.
"You have the right to remain silent," she tells him, kneeing him in the side as she snaps on the cuffs.
"Ow!" he complains. "Why aren't you kissing your partner? You should totally be making out in the bathroom by now. Damn it, you're one of those uptight neurotic types who can't relax for two seconds, aren't you? I hate that in a person."
Amy yanks him to his feet, not gently. "Seriously. Just shut up."
She hauls him over to Rosa, who is glaring, and Amy assumes that means she's back to her old self. The kiss that greets her says otherwise.
Amy turns a stony look on the hypnotist. "Fix her."
"I thought you wanted me to shut up," he says, like the douche he is.
Amy takes a play out of Rosa's book and grabs him by the ear lobe. "Fix her."
"Okay, okay, jeez," he huffs out. "You don't have to go all police brutality on me. Even if it is kind of hot."
Amy twists harder.
"Okay!" He turns to Rosa and counts to three in a firm voice, and her expression clicks back to awareness.
Her eyebrows pinch together. "What just happened?"
Amy breathes out tiredly. "It's a long story."
"But a good one," the hypnotist interjects gleefully.
"Shut up," Amy hisses at him.
"Seriously, aren't you going to tell her about the hot cop-on-cop action you two had going on? 'Cause that was way sexy."
Rosa fixes a laser look on Amy, as if she's trying to peer right into her brain to find the truth. Amy opens her purse, takes out the monogrammed handkerchief that her Aunt Consuela gave her last Christmas, and stuffs it into the hypnotist's mouth. Finally she's found a useful purpose for it.
"You should call this in." She pushes the hypnotist toward Rosa and starts for the door.
"Where are you going?" Rosa is frowning when Amy turns back around.
"It's a secret mission, remember? I was never here." She can feel Rosa watching her the whole way to the door.
She has no idea what that means.
Amy drags herself into the station ten minutes late the next morning. Ordinarily this would cause everyone to stop, stare and ask if she was coming down with something. Peralta actually does the raised eyebrow thing in her direction, but everyone else is too busy spreading the news of the Hypnotist Bandit and Rosa's arrest of him to even notice Amy's tardiness.
At the morning briefing, Captain Holt makes the official announcement. "I'm sure you've all heard by now, but it bears repeating that Detective Diaz made an important arrest last night. A criminal who uses hypnosis to incapacitate his victims has been on a year-long crime spree spanning at least six countries. That came to an end last night. Good work, Detective. You have the city's thanks as well as my own."
Rosa stoically endures congratulations from the entire squad, and Amy thinks it wouldn't look right if she didn't add hers. "The captain's right. You did good work."
Rosa regards her with an expression so completely shuttered that Amy has no idea what she might be thinking. There really doesn't seem much else to do but head back to her desk and get on with her day—and her life.
Peralta, of course, starts up immediately. "Bet you wish that was you, huh?"
Amy takes a moment to think it over. She can't deny that there is a little voice in her head that keeps demanding, "But what about me?" The one thing she's wanted since Captain Holt took over was to prove herself to him. Strangely enough, though, that doesn't feel like the missed opportunity here.
"I really don't," she tells Jake at last, perfectly truthfully.
The most confusing part is figuring out how to act around Rosa. Every time Amy comes face to face with her, she gets this really embarrassing rush of sense memory: the scent of gun oil and the brush of warm lips on her neck, the way Rosa sent actual shivers down her back. And then she remembers that the kissing wasn't exactly voluntary, not on Rosa's part anyway. Avoidance seems like the easiest solution, and she rabbits it out of there whenever she and Rosa are in any danger of being left alone together. She can only hope that it won't stay this awkward forever.
No such luck there. The awkwardness ratchets up a million times when Rosa follows her into the bathroom and locks the door. "I don't like this any more than you do. Getting congratulations that don't belong to me makes me want to shoot something. If you hadn't run out of there last night, maybe we could have come up with a story and shared the bust, but it's too for that late now. So just deal with it and stop avoiding me."
Amy shakes her head. "I don't care about getting credit. I'm just glad that jerk's in jail."
"So what then?" Rosa's frown deepens. "Wait. This isn't about the kissing, is it?"
"No, no, of course not! Why would you even think that?" Amy denies, flustered and no doubt turning pink in the cheeks.
"It was just a kiss," Rosa points out.
"I know," Amy says defensively. The best kiss I've ever had, a really unhelpful voice in her head chimes in.
Rosa narrows her eyes. "Wait. Are you acting all weird because you liked it?"
"No, not at all. What?" Amy's voice hitches up at least an octave on that last word.
Rosa's expression slowly transforms into a smile. "You did like it. You want it to happen again."
"I don't know what you're talking about—"
Rosa cuts her off with a hand against her cheek and their mouths pressed together. If Amy had secretly wondered whether her reaction to Rosa's kiss was just a fluke, more surprise than anything else—the answer is very clearly no. This kiss has the same knee-weakening softness, and Amy makes the same helpless little noises. The fact that Rosa is doing it only because she wants to makes it that much hotter.
It's definitely the best Amy has ever had.
Rosa pulls back to study her. "Good," she concludes at last, which seems really promising until she unlocks the door and leaves.
Amy blinks at the empty air where Rosa was just standing. "Wait!" she calls after her. "Good like you're glad we got that settled? Or good like we should do that some more?"
But Rosa is already gone.
Amy needs a moment—a really long moment spent taking calming breaths—before heading back to her desk. She drops heavily onto her chair and throws herself into her report. At least paperwork makes sense.
The day plods along, the minute hand on the clock moving so sluggishly that Amy wonders if it might actually be broken. Finally, finally it's down to the last fifteen minutes of the shift. She's starting to pack up her bag when the captain's voice rings out, "Santiago."
Rosa looks up sharply, and for once it's easy to read her expression. Does Holt know? If he does, it's not going to help matters to keep him waiting. Amy heads straight into his office. "Yes, Captain?"
The captain gives her a long, assessing look. She fiddles anxiously with the hem of her jacket and tamps down the impulse to fill the silence with nervous babble. There's no way that's going to help her.
Captain Holt leans back in his chair, tenting his fingers. "That was quite an achievement by Detective Diaz, wouldn't you agree, Detective Santiago?"
Amy swallows hard. "Absolutely. Everyone's much safer with that jerk in custody." She catches herself. "Uh, I mean I'm assuming he's a jerk. From what I've heard. Not that I'd actually know." She makes herself stop talking.
The captain's expression remains unreadable. "The suspect is, not surprisingly, refusing to answer any questions. Witnesses at the scene, however, report seeing two dark-haired female police officers. What do you make of that?"
She forces a smile. "You know how witnesses are, Captain. Everything happens so fast. People get confused."
"Mm." The captain's gaze doesn't waver. "I do have something of a personal interest in this case. Anyone who helped to solve it, even if that person had not been assigned to do so, would have my thanks."
A little voice in Amy's head insists, Me, me, it was me! "It was all Rosa," is what she actually says, because she promised and she really can keep a secret. She's surprised to find that she doesn't even regret it.
The captain gives her one last, long look. "Fine. I have a new case for you. A group of con artists has been targeting out-of-towners in downtown Brooklyn. Since it affects tourism, the mayor is naturally very concerned. It's a high-profile crime that we need to solve quickly." He hands over the file folder. "It's not a secret mission, but I trust that it will have your full and undivided attention."
Amy breaks into a smile, clutching the folder to her chest. "Of course, Captain. Thank you. Thank you so much. I'll get started on it right away. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity."
The captain nods, and before Amy can continue rambling on about how grateful she is, he says, "Dismissed, Santiago."
She heads back to her desk, and Rosa directs a questioning look at her. Amy smiles to let her know that everything went fine. When Rosa smiles back, Amy lets out a breath she hadn't even realized she was holding. Even if this, them, isn't going to be a thing, at least she's pretty sure that it will be okay.
"So," Boyle stands up from his desk and claps his hand together. "We should celebrate Rosa solving such a big case. I say we take her out for a drink. Who's with me?"
"I'd really love to," Terry says, turning off his computer. "But my wife has her yoga class tonight, and I've got my baby girls."
"I will also need a rain check," Jake says, standing up from his desk and whipping off his tie. "I have plans tonight that hopefully include sex that is more than marginally kinky."
"Please don't tell us any more details," Amy begs him.
Jake grins, way too pleased with himself.
"Gina." Charles turns to her. "You're in, right?"
"No such luck, rubber duck." Gina hefts a tote bag onto her shoulder. "Floorgasm is having our annual craft fair fundraiser. I'm woman-ing the hand-knitted leg warmer booth."
Charles glances hopefully at Rosa. "So, looks like—"
Rosa cuts him off. "I have a date."
Amy's heart actually sinks—she honestly thought that only happened in novels—and she gets suddenly very interested in her new case, flipping through the folder, not making sense of anything she's reading, trying not to look as disappointed as she feels.
"I have to go buy schnapps," Rosa adds, with emphasis.
Amy jerks her head up and stares. There's just the slightest curve at the corner of Rosa's mouth as she picks up her bag and heads out.
"Well, we could still—" Boyle starts.
"Can't," Amy says quickly.
Apparently she has a date. She breaks into a smile that is probably just embarrassingly goofy. She's never looked forward to peach schnapps so much in her life.