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The Parent Trap

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Alicia’s awesome. She likes cool things, like Rosa's motorcycle and the original Gilmore Girls, and she hates crappy things, like hats and the new Gilmore Girls. She plays poker with a gang of significantly older-than-her lesbians, she sings sappy karaoke songs with earnest punk rock style, and she is really, really amazing in bed.

Rosa hasn't felt this way since Adrian, like she can't keep her hands off of another person, like she wants to be with them all the time. She calls Alicia on the telephone to talk to her. Just to hear her voice. It's disgusting, but Rosa kind of likes it. As the months go by, she finds she likes it more and more.

Right up until she meets Alicia's dad.

It turns out he's some big telenovella star—Rosa's mom would probably be thrilled, if she could put up with Rosa talking about Alicia in the first place—and he's like some impossible combination of Jake's enthusiasm, Amy's ambition, and Boyle's love of romance. And he asks questions. A lot of them, until Alicia begs him to stop it with the interrogation.

Rosa's grudgingly impressed; she's put perps through less intensive questioning.

"I don't mind," Rosa says. "Your dad's protective. I like that." Plus, Rosa knows how to avoid answering questions she doesn't want to answer.

"Only the best for my little girl," Rogelio agrees. "When she was fifteen and told me she was a lesbian, I dedicated my life to helping her find the woman of her dreams!" Rosa doesn't think she knows any Spanish speaker who can roll the L on "lesbian" quite like that.

"Dad, please, c'mon," Alicia says, punching him. "You're gonna scare her off." Alicia's smile is a little anxious, and it's a weird contrast to her usual more funloving version.

"Oh, come on, Rosa knows that it is all out of love for you," Rogelio says. "Rosa, I'm sure your parents are just as protective."

Rosa shrugs. "I only came out to my parents last year. They're trying."

Rogelio nods sympathetically. "If you want, I can speak to them for you. Parents of LGBTQAI-plus Latinx kids unite!"

"Uh, no, that's—probably okay," Rosa says. Alicia mouths an "I'm sorry" at her, shrugging helplessly. Rosa, God help her, finds that charming as well. She grabs Alicia's hand and squeezes it.

"Good, I'm glad you feel comfortable showing affection around me. Never hesitate!"

Rosa drops Alicia's hand again.

"Your dad's . . . a lot," Rosa says, when Rogelio has preceded them into the station.

"He means well," Alicia assures her. "He really is super supportive, it's not an act. Plus he's putting me through law school."

"Don't remind me. I have to divorce you once you become a lawyer."

"You'd have to marry me first," Alicia smiles, and kisses her softly.

"Oh yeah," Rosa breathes into the kiss.

There's a crash from inside the precinct; Rosa and Alicia both startle in alarm, then run towards the sound. It turns out it's just Amy's chair, having crashed to the ground when she stood up suddenly.

" . . . and The Passions of Santos," Amy is saying, "we LOVED that one! Especially the part where your twin brother . . . " she trails off, looking around the bullpen. "Well. Anyway. I would appreciate an autograph."

"Of course! So glad to meet a fan," Rogelio is saying.

"And one for my dad, too. He loves you."

Rogelio smiles as he autographs whatever paper Amy found to put in front of him. "Many men do! I am beloved in the gay community."

Amy's eyebrows go up. "Oh, ah, no, he's not - "

"I'm only kidding. But! It is important to remember that dads can be gay too!"

Alicia buries her face in her hands. Rosa starts laughing, and puts her arm around her shoulders.

"He loves you so much," Rosa says.

"I knowwwww," Alicia says, muffled from behind her hands. Rosa can't stop watching Rogelio, fiercely proud of his daughter, throwing himself into her life. It's not something Rosa would ever want for herself, she's sure, but it is . . . something. Compelling. And Alicia acts embarrassed, but she was excited for Rosa and Rogelio to meet. Like she knew it wouldn't be any kind of real disaster.

" . . . and I asked myself, what more tolerant workplace could there be for my daughter's girlfriend but under the auspices of a gay African-American captain? The progressive reforms you have made in terms of queer-friendly HR policy are truly magnificent, Ray. If I can call you Ray?"

"Who is this man?" Captain Holt asks the room at large, as his hand continues to be shaken by Rogelio.

"He's my girlfriend's dad, Sir," Rosa calls back from across the bullpen.

"Ah." Captain Holt apparently scours this statement for any relevance, and, finding none, concludes the handshake and returns to his office.

They manage to extricate themselves twenty minutes later, after Rogelio's made plans to go on a ride-along with Jake to research a role and told several embarrassing stories about Alicia's childhood to Terry. Rosa cackles at those and makes a note to ask for more later.

The three of them go to dinner together, where Rogelio orders all kinds of expensive stuff Rosa's never had before, for them all to share. Some of it's pretty good.

"Seriously, Rosa," Rogelio says, his voice at a tolerably indoor volume. "I know I come on strong. But it's only because I know Alicia cares for you. And if you're going to be a part of our family for any length of time, I want to get to know everything about you. You're part of my daughter's life, and I want to understand you, and hang out with you, and be able to listen to your stories."

Rosa blinks. A few years ago, anyone wanting to get to know everything about her would've sent her running screaming, but since everyone at the 99 got so close—since Adrian, and since Alicia—it doesn't seem quite so scary anymore.

She told her own mom and dad about Alicia, a couple months ago. Her dad had said "that's great, mija," and her mom had nodded, wide-eyed, and they hadn't mentioned it again. If she and Alicia ever did get engaged, it's possible Alicia would only ever meet Rosa's parents on the wedding day. If then.

But it's progress, Rosa tells herself. They're progressing.

"That's really nice," she says to Rogelio, finally. Maybe it wouldn't be so ridiculous for Rogelio to speak to her parents. Maybe it could be a good thing. "I appreciate how much you care for Alicia."

"It's been good spending the day with you, Rosa. I can tell what Alicia sees in you."

Rosa doesn't know how he can do that, given that Rosa's not sure herself what Alicia sees in her. But she smiles anyway, because there's something about Rogelio's smile that's annoyingly contagious. "Thanks," she says.

"Everyone at your work loves you. And I can tell that you're a good person. So: no more interrogations! Welcome to the de la Vega family, Rosa. May you stay as long as there's love."

"I'll drink to that," Alicia says, a little shyly. Rosa catches her eye and smiles at her, wondering how she ever got so lucky. They all clink glasses.

*

"I like your dad," Rosa says, later, a little tipsy from all the wine they had at dinner. Alicia smiles softly and wraps her arms around Rosa's neck.

"I thought you might," she says.