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for the night let's just pretend

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7:00 AM – Othmer Residence Hall, Brooklyn, NY

It was the crack of dawn, Amy knew that without having to get up. She knew that without having to open the blackout windows or look at the clock that rested on top of her desk. The digital alarm clock with the red numbers reading: way too damn early blared forcing her to get up and turn it off. Why had the editor-in-chief of the NYU Gazette called a meeting? God knows why. She stumbled into the kitchen, eyes half-lidded and grumbled a ‘good morning’ to her roommate Kylie, editor-in-chief.

“Why the fuck do we have to go in so early?”

This is an angry, non-morning person, Amy Santiago. A 22-year-old, junior at NYU studying Art History and Journalism. Standing about 15 feet away was Kylie Baker, 23-years-old, a senior studying Journalism and Communications, and a complete asshole in the mind of her roommate at the moment. She popped open the container of coffee, got a spoon and scooped the coffee grounds into two nearby cups.

“We have a big event tonight, it might be the biggest thing to be covered by the Gazette! I’m sorry it’s so early but this is important to me, okay?” Kylie had determined that Amy would not cause immediate harm in her sleepy state and had come close to take over coffee duty. “I know you think I’m an asshole, it’s written across your face, but I love you.”

“You’re still on thin ice.”

 

7:30 AM 

The two women got ready quickly neither being one to be very high maintenance. They walked two blocks to the student union where the NYU Gazette headquarters were held. Once there, Kylie opened the door making all eyes go on her. She tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and placed her very well organized binder on the podium. Amy sat down next to Fer, a photographer, and awaited Kylie’s announcement of the so-called ‘big event’.

“I know it’s early, I know you all have classes to attend at 8, but this is the most important thing that has ever happened to the Gazette.” Eyes are rolled and groans arise. “I don’t want to hear it.” She took an overdramatic breath and scanned the room. “We have the opportunity to cover the hottest event of the year. My esteemed members of the NYU Gazette, we have the one in a lifetime chance to go to Die Hard’s concert AND interview the band afterward!”

Cheers, screams, gasps, and one sole groan came from the members. It was a known fact that Amy Santiago hated Die Hard, the band. The movie was okay, but the band, she had heard some things about its members.

You may be thinking, who exactly is Die Hard? Well, let me butt in and introduce them to you. We have leading man Jake Peralta on vocals, Charles Boyle on bass guitar, Stevie Chillin’ Schillens on electric guitar and Terry Jeffords on drums. Who am I, well I’m your friendly neighborhood narrator, filling you in. You will hear from me often. I both apologize and say you’re welcome.

Well, our dear Amy first started as a fan of a few songs from Die Hard, believe it or not. Back when they were first starting out some years ago, their song The Call was the center of Amy’s world. The love for that song was how she actually first connected with Kylie. She was a freshman had been assigned to a dorm with Kylie after an error in room assignment occurred. The blond upperclassman had been playing the Die Hard song in her bedroom as she arrived. Kylie heard a soft knock at her open bedroom door and smiled brightly at the brunette who donned huge pink-rimmed glasses and a large vintage floral tote. She got up from her desk and welcomed her apologizing for the loudness of her music.

“No, no, I actually love this song.”

“Oh, my gosh, finally someone who agrees with me. C’mon, let me give you the grand tour of our luxurious dorm”, she said with a tinge of sarcasm. The two became the best of friends in the months following. Kylie always advising Amy and setting her up on dates with the guys she knew. She was the extrovert of the two roommates.

Amy had always been reserved but in no way shape or form, a pushover. The woman was brilliant reading more than 100 books a year, every year. She also swore like a sailor, something that was unexpected from her preppy, polished style. No one underestimated Amy Santiago, and if one did, well, honey, they had a storm coming.

Back to present time, Amy had locked her eyes on her desk, everyone still highly excited about the opportunity. See, it was not the music that had turned her off from the band, it was the reputation Jake Peralta had garnered in the last few years. Accusations of being violent towards paparazzi and other people whom he encountered on the streets had reached the ears of everyone. Whether they were true or not, Amy did not know. She frankly didn’t care anymore. Their overexposure had worn her down after a couple of months and she dropped the band altogether. Jake Peralta, she had decided, was very talented, but was no more than a problematic piece of shit.

“Alright we have limited seats open so I’m gonna take essential people, also known as upperclassmen who need this for credit. Amy, Fer, Michael and I will cover the concert. The rest of y’all get to go but not front row. Thank you for coming to this at these ungodly hours, everyone but the 3 people I’m taking can go.”

 

12:00 PM – Schur’s Café

While Kylie was at a lecture, Amy sat down with her laptop at the back of Schur’s, a café that had opened up a few blocks from the residence hall. At the request of her editor-in-chief, she brainstormed a few possible headlines for that night’s concert coverage. Her ideas were, well, see for yourselves.

DIE HARD MAKES ME WANT TO DIE, HARD.”

“DIE HARD FRONTMAN JAKE DOUCHEBAG PERALTA TAKES THE STAGE IN BROOKLYN”

You get the gist.

Amy stopped and erased the two headlines seeing as they would be approved over her best friend’s dead body. She also started thinking about the possibility of bailing and letting one of the underclassmen in the Gazette take over for her. It would be pretty easy to find a replacement seeing as everyone would want front row tickets and a chance to interview the band.

Oh shit, she had to interview the band.

“Okay”, she thought, “if I get someone else to cover I won’t have to face them at all, surely Kylie will forgive me. It’s her last semester, she needs this more than I do.” Yet another roadblock cut off her train of thought.

 “I can’t bail on her. She’s graduating, this is one of the last memories we’ll have from college together. While I have two more semesters, she’ll be in the UK working with the BBC.

Putting aside her feelings for her friend was what she would have to do. A man she highly disliked would not be the cause of a possible rift in their friendship. She took a long sip from her coffee and continued brainstorming headlines.

After a while, she closed her laptop, packed up, and left. The cool air hit her face making her adjust her coat. She really loved Brooklyn, but she was itching to go explore the world beyond it. She’d grown up in Queens and after graduating from high school, NYU was close enough to home and too good of a school to pass up.

She daydreamed about traveling to other countries and documenting their art and culture, but for now, she had a degree to work towards. And an upcoming living readjustment.

 

3:45 PM – Barclays Center, Green Room

“Alright, we are 15 minutes from a soundcheck. I want all of you dressed and on stage by then. I’m looking at you, Stevie.”

The booming sound of Raymond Holt’s voice bounced off the walls and created an echo. Not too far away were Charles and Jake, up to their usual antics of playing mini basketball in the hall.

To say Die Hard’s manager, Holt, was tired of the four adult toddlers under his care was a total understatement. From the smell of Stevie’s blunts, that still stunk up the tour bus despite him smoking in the restroom with the extractor on, to Jake’s- how do you even describe his problematic behind?

Speaking of the king of Rome, Jake’s lip was still bleeding from an encounter he had with some “asshole at the bar”, as he put it.

Raymond was tired, but he knew no one else was cut out for this job. And he loved them like his own children. Especially Terry, the only mature one of the bunch. Marriage, twins, and another child on the way does that to a person.

“Okay, everyone in here”, he shouted, rolling his eyes as Jake and Charles came in bumping into each other. “I already mentioned the soundcheck, so next is a series of interviews at 5, you’re on stage at 7, and at 9, we have one last interview. It’s a favor for one of my husband’s students. I expect you all to be on your best behavior.” He looked around to see them all attentive to the schedule.

When he was done speaking he looked at Jake, “Jacob, I don’t mean to do this in front of everyone but, you need to get your house in order. It’s been too much of your antics and it’s hurting the band.”

“I’m not sorry for the actions I’ve taken to defend myself and you. I am sorry that it’s hurting you all.” Jake looks defeated and walks out of the room towards the stage. The room is tense until Charles breaks the silence.

“There have been homophobic and racial slurs being yelled at Jake and me whenever we’re out. It started a couple years ago when someone called Terry and Stevie- well, I won’t repeat those words. Then, you were the target following your public coming out. You all were not there to defend yourselves- so Jake acted.”

Terry looked down and speaks up, “He never said anything.”

“He never wanted you all to ever hear that type of discrimination. Because you all get it enough.”

 

6:55 PM – Barclays Center, Front Row Barricade

“This is the best day of my life!”

“Kylie, you’re engaged.” Amy tilts her head in confusion and amusement but lets the comment go. The only thing that saved this situation from being absolutely horrible was that her best friend was not obsessive over the band. Not that it would be a bad thing if she were, but she would have been dragged back to their hotel if that was the case.

Trust when she says she does not want to be near them longer than she has to.

The band comes on stage and everyone goes absolutely wild. Kylie is jumping up and down, Fer is on the other side of her screaming, and Michael is busy in front of them taking pictures. Amy feels a hand grasping her’s and it’s Kylie giving her a look that could only read as “please-lighten-up-and-cheer-for-the-band-this-is-important-to-me”.

She just smiled at her and turned her attention to the band who was now starting to play No Control, a song that she really liked back in the day.

From the stage, Jake Peralta waited for the musical cues to start singing. He scanned the audience, or what he could see of it, the lights blinding his view.

That’s when he spotted a brunette who was nonchalantly standing in the front row. He began the song and watched as she leaned on the barricade, followed along with the song and occasionally watched the stage. He watched her throughout the concert, making sure to give the rest of the crowd attention too, and came to the conclusion that she was dragged to the concert by the blonde girl beside her.

Amy felt the eyes on her, Jake wasn’t exactly sneaky, he was the opposite. The rest of the team caught on and were smirking at the end of the concert. They waited in their spots after Die Hard closed out with Heartbreak Girl.

Fer was the first to address the blatant heart-eyes Jake Peralta was giving Amy Santiago. “Dude, he’s into you. This is something out of a book- a fan fiction.”

“Totally, he’s in love with me and wants to marry me.” She said her words dripping with sarcasm. “Come on, he was probably looking at the girl behind me, not that I care. He’s pretty much human garbage.”

“Well, here comes security to escort us to the interview. You guys ready?” They all nodded. “Alright, let’s make history.”

9:00 PM – Green Room

“Welcome NYU Gazette team, I’m sure you’ve all had or will have my husband Kevin Cozner as your professor,” Holt said in his monotone voice greeting us with a firm handshake. The members of Die Hard were sat in a black leather couch and talking amongst each other.

Kylie introduced herself shaking their hands followed by Michael and Fer. Amy went last greeting Charles, Stevie, Terry and finally Jake who was not hiding his attraction at all. She placed her phone to record the conversation for the podcast and the rest of the team worked on the video and stills for the online paper.

The questions were light and breezy, nothing was spoken about any recent or past problems coming from Jake Peralta. Kylie and Amy covered some of their own questions such as their favorite places to visit and what they miss more when they are on the road. Then they asked questions from Twitter. They were surprised to get any at all but they guessed the fanbase the band had was bigger than they thought.

“User, jakepineapples asks, ‘What do each of you all look for in a partner?’” Amy said very focused on trying not to sound unenthusiastic. “Terry?”

“Well, I have my wife at home, and what attracted me to her was her ability to put me in my place and her strength.” He said thinking about Sharon, who he was itching to see after this leg of the tour ended in a week.

Jake answered next to the surprise of everyone, “I’m really just looking for some loyalty. I haven’t had too many steady relationships, especially since I got dumped at my Bar Mitzvah”. He chuckled at the last bit. Amy hid a smile, the guy wasn’t supposed to be funny or attractive. Oh boy. She shook all thoughts of how his answers made him seem like not so bad of a guy and helped Kylie wrap up the interview after a few minutes.

 

9:30 PM – Outside of the Barclays Center

“My suspicions were confirmed in there”, said Kylie with a smirk. She got closer to Amy and grasped her hands in hers. “I can’t believe you’re gonna marry a Die Hard member.”

“Shut the fuck up, let me call Phil to tell him you called this the best night of your life and not when he proposed in fucking Disney World.”

“I will burn your Harry Potter books”

“Try me, bitch.”

They both just ended up in each other’s faces to laugh at the ridiculousness of their argument and the night’s events. They were waiting for their Uber back to the residence hall, Fer and Michael deciding to get some food a few blocks away. They separated and sat on a nearby bench, Amy resting her head on Kylie’s shoulder.

“Excuse me,” they heard a male voice speak breaking their comfortable silence. They jumped at the sudden interruption and saw it was Jake Peralta. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. It’s Amy and Kylie right?”

Kylie smiled, she somehow knew this was coming. “Yes, that’s us. I’m surprised to see you again.” She was not.

“It was nice seeing you both come out tonight. I really came out here to ask Amy something.” Amy heard a record scratch sound in her mind. Oh god, what did he want?

“I’ll give you all some space so you all can talk. I have to call my fiancé and catch him up on what happened at the concert. Great show, by the way!” She walked away before Jake could say a ‘thank you’. Amy sat there glaring at Kylie who was now on the phone in the near distance.

Jake felt his heart beating out of his chest and he began speaking from the heart.

“Amy, I was watching you from the stage the whole night, and I would hate for me to leave without saying that you’re gorgeous. This may be creepy coming from a dude you barely know, but trust me, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable at all.”

“Listen, Jake, that’s very flattering.” She looked up at him and continued. “But I kinda do know that you’re a douchebag and that whatever you’re trying to pull isn’t going to work.”

“I’m very aware of how I look in the eyes of the public, but that’s-“, he paused not wanting to share the true intentions behind his many violent stints. “Well, that’s not me. Not everything you see is true.”

“Say that to your fat busted lip”, Amy scoffed.

“Is there anything I can say for you to change your mind about me?”

She thought about it and came up empty, “No Peralta, I don’t think so.” She got up from the bench walking towards Kylie. She was still on the phone with Phil.

“Want to bet on that?” She turned and faced him.

“I’m listening.”

No woman had made Jake Peralta this nervous before, but there was a first time for everything. “We spend the whole night walking around Brooklyn, if I can change your mind about me, you have to go on a date with me.”

She took a beat and then countered him, “If you can’t change my mind, you have to buy me old expensive books.” He smiled at her counteroffer warmly and extended his hand for her to shake.

With a handshake and a quick text to Kylie, they were off to some of their favorite places in the city. Each hoping to get something out of this bet.

Chapter Text

9:45 PM – Outside of the Barclays Center

Well hello, we meet again. This is the pesky narrator. I told you we would be seeing each other again. To catch everyone up to this particular moment, Amy is dreading the following hours. Jake is VERY excited to get to know Amy. He also wishes there was a lack of negative headlines on the news about him.

Scratch that thought, he wishes there was nothing, a clean slate. Racists and homophobes, ever the garbage of God’s green one.

Alright, let’s get back to Santiago and Peralta.

Kylie had already seen the Uber pull up to the venue when she saw the text from Amy.

Ames: Soooo, he bet me that he could change my mind about him and I said okay. Be prepared to pick me up at 1 AM when this goes south.

She laughed knowingly. Miss Santiago could never turn down a bet. She knew that when after the interview she told Jake how to get a chance to know her.

Waiting for everyone to leave the room she spoke with newfound confidence. “Peralta, I see you’re into my best friend Amy, and she sadly hates you.” His bandmates snickered and his eyes widened as if he had been caught with his hand in a cookie jar. “You don’t even have to say anything, here’s what you do.”

Oh, the things she did in the name of love. Kylie got in the Uber giving a glance to the, hopefully, soon-to-be lovers. The woman really was a hopeless romantic, the extreme opposite of Amy Santiago who once broke up with a man by saying he was boring. Ouch.

Kylie: Alright but let me just tell you people can surprise you.

Amy looked at her phone and rolled her eyes at the notification, not opening it at all. Jake was on the phone with the place they were supposed to be headed. She thought about her life and how the hell she got to this point in her life. This was supposed to be one night where she would put aside her differences in music taste with Kylie, not the night where she would spend time with a man she extremely disliked.

“Okay we’re walking to Shaw’s, it’s nearby and the owner said it’s not too packed tonight”, Jake said his breath visible in the cold winter night. She took a deep breath and nodded secretly wanting to fight him for however the fuck he knew her weakness for bets.

10:17 PM – Shaw’s Bar

After a brisk walk in the cold with Jake desperately trying to get to know Amy, they arrived at Shaw’s and sat across from each other at a booth in the back.

“Okay”, Jake said as if he had reached a eureka moment, “Why did you agree to go to the concert and interview us if you hate us so much?” He put emphasis on the word hate remembering her dancing and singing at the beginning and end of the concert.

He had her, he had finally broken ground into getting something out of Amy. “I tried getting out of it, trust me.” He looked at her as if saying ‘no doy’. “I just couldn’t bail on Kylie, she’s graduating this spring and moving to another country. She’s done so much for me and the least I could do was support her and go to her favorite band’s concert”, she said with a shrug.

“That’s sweet of you”, Jake said genuinely. “Another thing, I saw you singing out there in the crowd. How’d you know the lyrics?”

“I used to like your music.”

“Oh, whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!” Amy tried not to smile at his goofy ass face and succeeded. Not today Peralta, you aren’t getting zilch. Nada. Nothing. “Oh, my god, you loved me.”

“Hold the fuck up, no. I liked your song The Call . That’s the extent.” He looked at her expectantly, his chin now resting on his hand. She huffed and revealed the story of how she and Kylie met. He listened to her attentively, thinking about how his actions led to her disliking him. He didn’t regret the intention behind his actions but wished he had a different, less violent and public, execution.

He asked more about her relationship with Kylie when the owner came around and asked if they needed anything. Amy ordered a rum and coke while Jake stuck to 2 kamikaze shots, for now. When the drinks arrived, Amy felt like she loosened up, which was not her intention. All she wanted was to make the situation less painful.

She wasn’t repulsed by the man she was sitting across. That was the painful part. Perhaps she was wrong about him. With alcohol in her system, she got brave.

“Peralta, can I ask you something?”

He gulped, why did she make him so nervous. Fuck. “Yeah, what do you want to know?”

“Well.” she took a sip of her drink, that Cuban rum was strong, the coke did very little to subdue the taste of the alcohol, “What makes you so angry all the time? It seems like all across social media and publications you’re always in some altercation.”

Was he going to tell her now? Oh man. No. He would spare her the details, this wasn’t the time nor the place. Yet, he couldn’t keep it all in. “I don’t mean to be like that, really. What they say infuriates me to the point where I can’t control myself.”

Amy furrowed her brows, “Is it what they say about you?”

“That’s part of it.”

“Well, what are they saying?”

Just then, as a saving grace, a fan appeared in front of their booth. The man let out a shaky introduction and placed his hand on his heart. As if to keep it from beating out of his chest. His name was Brian and he loved Die Hard. He worked in the kitchen and had asked permission to say hi. “I’m so sorry to interrupt you guys’ date but could you sing a little something while you’re here? I missed the concert tonight and it would make my whole year.”

Jake chuckled and started to stand up, “Is there a guitar or anything I could use?”

As the bar owner and Brian set up a makeshift stage, Amy ordered another drink. She watched as Jake talked to other people who had recognized him. He shook everyone’s hand or gave hugs if they were requested. He maintained eye contact during the brief conversations he had. “Honey, it’s all an act” , she thought. She kept observing him as he finally took the “stage”.

“Good evening, Shaw’s, I’m Jake Peralta from the band Die Hard and here’s Jet Black Heart . This song features Terry and Charles heavily so I’ll try to make their solos justice.” He started strumming the intro and began an acoustic version of the song. Without thinking, Amy moved closer to him ending up in the center of the significant crowd that had built up.

It had been a long time since he had played the song live, but it was his favorite. He had written it in the midst of his father leaving and finding out his first love Jenny Gildenhorn was leaving him. The situation was hard on him being sixteen-years-old but he channeled the energy into songwriting.

When Die Hard was signed many years later Jake finalized the song and it made it on their debut album. It was rarely performed and tonight, the song made Amy Santiago feel something.

His eyes were closed as he strummed the guitar, really pouring his heart out. When he reached the pre-chorus, he opened his eyes making contact with Amy. She felt her cheeks burn as his gaze became nothing less than obvious.

“But now that I’m broken

Now that you know it

Caught up in a moment

Can you see inside?

‘Cause I’ve got a jet black heart

And there’s a hurricane underneath it

Trying to keep us apart

I write with a poison pen

But these chemicals moving between us

Are the reason to start again”

The whole room was fixated on Jake but he was fixated on the woman stood in front of him. He had glanced at her throughout the concert the same night but the feeling was not the same. He was not in love with her, they’d only just met and this was not some romantic comedy. But he was more attracted to her with every passing moment.

On her side, she was being proven wrong little by little. Hell, she even felt a little guilty for following the narrative that he was a full blown asshole. Jake Peralta had been nothing but respectful and polite in the hour they had spent together. He had worked his way around the walls she had put up and was not too far from being let inside. Yet, a little voice in her head told her to remain wary despite the progress made in the past hour and a half.

The audience clapped and cheered when he finished performing. Brian immediately came to Jake’s side to ask him to play one last song. He played a cover of Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus which Amy couldn’t help to feel was dedicated to her. Because it was. It was not only the lyrics that gave it away but the fact that he kept playfully looking at her while playing it. She mouthed fuck off as he wrapped up the song and thanked the entire bar for listening.

11:15 PM

After settling down from the performance, they sat down and ordered more drinks and water. No fucking way she was about to get remotely drunk with her drunkenness scale. They even talked about it when she out of the blue ordered water halfway through her first drink that had been neglected due to the performance he gave.

“Oh, but I would love to see Amy dance pants, that’s not fair!”

“I can’t dance at all! Also, you would have to witness me spacing out and then yell at you for being a douche”, she said taking a sip of her rum.

“I can be a bit of a douche but I feel like it would have been worth it”, he flirted. She rolled her eyes as they kept on debating on the pros and cons of three-drink-Amy.

Feeling like had spent enough time at Shaw’s they walked out and decided to spontaneously hit up Target before they closed.

It had begun to snow, the flurries peppering their hair and eyelashes more and more every passing second. Jake noticed Amy’s shaking hands and offered his gloves which she gratefully took. Target was not much farther than the walk to the bar so they arrived pretty quickly.

They small talked on the way there but Jake had gotten an idea in his head that he could not get out. So, when they arrived he led her to the home décor section and sat her down on the couch. Very confused she had asked what they were doing.

“You got the chance to interview me, I’m gonna interview you”, he said sitting down on the other end of the couch.

“Alright, I’m game, ask away.” She tilted her body to face him curious about what would come out of this.

“How did you get into journalism?”

“I read a lot growing up, it was mostly memoirs and biographical texts. The people I read about were very interesting but It made me realize that not everyone has their story told. There are people in Ghana, New Zealand, Brazil, you name it, that live extraordinary lives and they go unnoticed. Journalism would give me the chance to travel and share those stories.”

“I don’t even know how to respond to that. That’s amazing and I have full confidence you’re going to get to do all that and more.”

“Thank you”, she said sincerely. “I’m also studying Art History to get to know a little more about the art and culture of every place I go to.”

“Once again, I’m very impressed and feeling very uncultured sitting next to you.” She bit her lip trying not to get too caught up in how nice and interested in her he was being.

There was a glint in her eyes as she spoke about her goals and interests that he could not help but notice. He could listen to her for hours honestly but was reminded of the little interview scenario he had set up and was brought down to earth.

“My next question is naturally, what’s your favorite Die Hard song?”

She laughed incredulously at the serious tone, and seeing as she had a bit of alcohol in her system, she said fuck it and answered.

“Oooh, it’s one of the cheesy ones, maybe As Long as You Love Me .” He gaped his mouth feigning offense and shook his head.

“We are done with this interview, and seeing as you’re still pretty cute do you want some junk food and things to keep you warm?”

She blushed at the compliment cursing her body for the unwarranted reaction, “Sure, I don’t do well with the cold at all.”

“You don’t say?” He said poking fun at her dramatic shivers earlier. She ended up tripping him the second she got the chance to for the comment.

He was about to pay for some chocolates, reasonably priced wine, and gloves when Amy swiped her card with the speed of a cheetah. She waved him off as they walked through Brooklyn taking turns drinking out of the bottle of wine and eating mini Kit Kats.

I would love to step in and let you know how Amy’s feeling about Jake at this point in time.

Well, our girl has warmed up to him a bit more and is currently engaging in banter with Peralta. It might be the wine or the fact that he has shown more interest in her goals of anyone other than Kylie that has made her shift her views a bit. Is she completely warmed up to him? Not yet.

So far they have traveled not too far from Barclays but have spent a total of almost 2 hours together seeing that it was almost midnight. They have gone from rocky conversations to taking turns hiding a small bottle of wine inside their coats to avoid being arrested by the NYPD. As much as Amy started leaned towards the opinion that he might not be so bad, his broken lip brought her down to earth as she wondered what angered him to the point of violence.

She was determined to find out too but for now, she would focus on how his lips wrapped around the wine as he took a swig.

Oh, she was in trouble now.

Chapter Text

11:45 PM

She was not about to do this, no. She didn’t find him attractive, this was the alcohol. It had to be.

Oh, what a lie that was. In fact, I’d like to announce how very attractive Jake Peralta is. Well, to me. Have you seen the dude? Brown curly hair, warm inviting eyes that crinkle when he smiles. Nice full lips, fair complexion, and large hands. Ahem. What were we talking about? Oh right.

Miss Santiago, I see right through you, and the jury rules you guilty of lying.

In all honesty, if she doesn’t make a move, I won’t because I’m an omniscient presence that loves breaking the fourth wall. I’ve said too much.

Anywho, we find the pair walking down Brooklyn, where exactly? Neither of them knew. The unexpectedly strong wine had done wonders to both their attitudes. Amy felt more relaxed while Jake felt like a loose cannon.

“No, I’m not doing it, Peralta.”

“Oh come on, I already got the song cued up.”

“It’s midnight! We’re bound to wake people up, motherfucker.”

He gave her a look that could only mean “And?”. She stopped in her tracks making him turn with both expectation and excitement. She immediately began screaming the lyrics to Die Hard’s cover of Killer Queen by the one and only Queen. (She had begged for the original, but alas, his goal at the moment was to annoy her.)

When she saw him laughing, Amy playfully pushed him and kept walking. He kept the music as they walked keeping a light conversation about how bad Amy was at singing. U Got It Bad by Usher started playing which prompted a tipsy Jake to pretend croon the song to her.

He extended his hand out to grasp her’s and she took it. Now, you may be wondering, wasn’t Jake Peralta on the top of Amy Santiago’s “Trash List”. Why yes, yes he was.

Alcohol gave her that push to get closer and allow herself to be spun in the middle of a sidewalk. The music blaring the smooth vocals of the RnB singer. It was a short little moment but how he wished she would have pressed her forehead against his, wrapped her arms around his neck, and danced with him.

What she did do is not let go of his hand. Sure their hands were gloved, but for about two minutes, she held on and when she let go, he missed that extra warmth.

12:00 AM – Delmar’s Bodega

They found a bodega that was about to close and Amy pleaded with the graying owner to be allowed to get a few things.

“Mire, el es famoso. Nos va negar entrada?”

“Look, he’s famous, you’re not gonna let us in?”

 

“Le doy unos minutos. Tiene suerte que es mi clienta favorita, si no la dejaria afuera.”

“I’ll give you a few minutes. You’re lucky you’re my favorite customer, or I would not have let you inside.”

 

“Gracias Señor Delmar!”

“Thank you, Mr. Delmar!”

 

“Ni lo menciones, hija.”

“Don’t mention it, kid.”

 

She picked up some snacks for them while Jake picked up some of those frappuccino drinks to energize them. He greeted the bodega cat and smiled when it started purring until Amy called out his name. They paid and he listened to Amy say goodbye to him in Spanish.

 

“You’re his favorite customer huh?”

She turned to look at him. Her mouth was slightly open, and she wore a confused expression. “Yeah, how much Spanish do you know?”

“A little bit, un poquito.”

Let’s take a peek at Amy’s thoughts because, this, this should be interesting. Cue the Jeopardy theme song.

“God, it’s kinda hot when he speaks Spanish”

“Amy, focus, you’re gonna lose this bet.”

“Fuck the old books, I want to go on that date.”

“AMY”

 

She brushed off those feelings and replied with a simple “That’s cool”. They walked until they found a small park with a playground and some benches. It was a pretty cute place to settle down and eat the snacks they got at the bodega.

 

12:30 AM – South Oxford Park

It pained her to say it, it really did but he was not the person she thought he was. They were now fully sober drinking their cold coffee drinks in the middle of winter and cracking jokes. They were so close in proximity that their shoulders brushed. He made her laugh and the way he looked at her. Sigh, this narrator wants that.

There was still that busted lip she wondered about and she could not hold back any longer.

“I don’t want to make this uncomfortable or make you uncomfortable but what happened to your lip?”

He cleared his throat and decided to let the truth be known. He told her about the history of discrimination towards his bandmates, the homophobia against his manager. The day he finally snapped and broke a paparazzi’s nose. How it felt great to finally do something about at least one asshole.

He also told her how it changed him to see his name be torn apart everywhere. How he wished that the vicious homophobic and racist comments would finally end.

She took all of the information in and when he hid his tears, wiped them for him. Amy Santiago no longer had Jake Peralta in her so-called “Trash List”, and she felt guilty.

“God, I feel like a dick.”

“Ames, you didn’t know.” He reached for the hand that wiped his tears and held it. He kissed it and looked her in the eyes. “I’m just glad you gave me a chance, it has been a while since anyone has.”

“I really am sorry, and we can just call off this whole bet. You win”, she said still holding his hand. “Not to be forward but I would love to go on that date to make up for my shitty attitude.”

“Not to be forward either, but I really want to kiss you.”

“Go for it.”

Their lips met, her hand going up to the side of his face. It was a sweet little kiss, that turned into full-on making out.

What had gotten Amy to brush her tongue against his lips for entrance? Pure unadulterated lust.

Chapter Text

2:00 AM – Jake’s Hotel Room, Manhattan, NY.

The night had taken a turn.

The saying goes that there’s a thin line between love and hatred, and it could not be more applicable in the case of Mr. Peralta and Ms. Santiago. Not to fast forward through the carnal, passionate, events of the night, but we find the pair in their underwear, just panties for Amy, watching a sitcom on Netflix entitled One Day at a Time.

Amy’s head rested on his chest feeling the vibrations whenever he laughed at what the characters were saying. Her eyes were slightly red from the joint they were sharing. Before I reveal anything else from the night, let me just tell you that she rolled the best joints for her floor back at the residence hall. The talent far surpassed Jake’s so she took over the task after they’d done the deed.

She took a good drag and inhaled before letting some smoke release into the room. The window was cracked open allowing “fresh” Manhattan air to enter, and the smoke to not fill the room.

Passing the joint to Jake, she snuggled up to him, the events catching up to her.

The night had taken a turn.

His plump lips wrapped around the shrinking blunt sending her into a memory of some hours before. Those same lips had sucked on her clit making her hand tighten into his curls. That same mouth that exhaled smoke had nursed her arousal. She moved her hand from his stomach to his chest.

Putting out the blunt in the ashtray on his nightstand he met eyes with her. They were the same brown orbs, only glassy and more tender than before. She straddled him once more and kissed him slowly, her hands cupping his face as his arms wrapped around her waist.

She allowed his tongue to slip in and they continued making out. The television’s audio became a mere muted background noise as Jake moaned into her mouth. She moved her hips, his erection hardening with each movement. It wouldn’t be the last initiation of sex that night, but it would be the last one for a while.

3:00 AM

After the third round of sex, Jake lay in bed alone, still wet from the shower he’d taken. Amy had gone to take a quick shower too, and even though they’d just been together, he’d been thinking of what they had done. And the repercussions.

On one hand, he wanted to get to know her intimately, he wanted to be both her friend and lover. On the other hand, he was going on tour again today. They’d be leaving in 5 hours, there was no way to go around that hurdle. The tickets were sold and his label would not allow him a few extra moments to be with her.

She knew that too.

The warm water hit her body reminding her of his body on top of her’s and she wondered if that would be the last time she’d be under him. She knew he had a career and would need to move on to the next city. The concert she attended was one of the last venues they would play in the United States before going south to Mexico for a couple of shows and back home to LA.

What if we never speak to each other again? What if this all ends tonight? Her thoughts became louder each passing second. She shut the water off and shook all those thoughts out.

Sporting only a hotel robe, she came back to see Jake staring wistfully out the window, the Brooklyn Bridge on display. The park they’d been at prior had been close to the bridge. They’d held hands and talked out of their asses, Amy sometimes tripping due to her clumsy nature. He turned back to her and snapped out of it.

“C’mere let’s cuddle. Be my big spoon”, he said eyes half-lidded and arms outstretched.

She rolled her eyes and kneeled at the end of the bed. “You were little spoon a couple of hours ago, that’s just being greedy.” He shrugged and grinned impishly.

“I just want to be held you know, you can’t just use my body for pleasure.”

“I could say the same to you”, she opened her robe slightly to show the faint red marks on her hips, “you did a number on me, Peralta. By the way, can I borrow a t-shirt?”

“So we’re both horny sickos, match made in heaven”, he joked making her blush, “Shirts are in one of those drawers, and they’re clean.” She rolled her eyes and raised an eyebrow. Real cute, Peralta.

She chose a Die Hard band tee and slipped it on quickly, Jake gulping as she disrobed. Once she was dressed, only slightly because homegirl was not wearing anything else but that oversized tee to bed, she climbed into bed with him.

The pair entangled into a cuddle and didn’t say anything more.

She feared to talk about what the next hours would bring, but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything.

Jake couldn’t bring himself to say anything either and after a while, they fell asleep.

7:00 AM

Amy had slept only a measly 4 hours before getting out of bed to texts from Kylie wondering where the hell she was.

Kylie: Okay it’s 1 AM, what’s the verdict?

Kylie: Are coming home or-?

Kylie: Amelia Sophia del Carmen Sandiego Carolina Nina Bonina Flora Santiago did you fuck that man?

Kylie: Oh you did, didn’t you, you insatiable little minx

Kylie: How was the sex?

Kylie: Good morning Mrs. Peralta

The last text was fresh, the notification showing up as she unlocked her phone. Shit. She’d never really called to update her.

Although, getting back to her could wait. What she needed to do was get out of his life. She’d decided before going to bed that it was in both of their best interests to forget this night happened. Collecting her underwear and clothes from the night before, she got dressed keeping an eye on Jake.

She even wrote a note.

Jake,

I was wrong about you, but I was also wrong to think that this would go anywhere. I’m sorry. This is for the best.

Prove everyone wrong like you proved me wrong tonight.

Amy.

She hated doing this, but it was the only way for her to cope with the fact that pursuing something would be complicated. She left the note on the nightstand and left the room quickly bumping into Charles, his bandmate.

“Oh, I’m so sorry-“

“Don’t be sorry, I was just heading out”, she said not wanting to make eye contact. Her eyes burned.

“Is Jake up?” Charles pressed knowing what she was doing.

This scene was a familiar one for Charles, Jake’s very best friend. Women paraded in and out his hotel room once in a while when things were rough, but they were never in Amy’s solemn state. Normally, they would be giggling, on the phone, and bragging about their sexual encounter with one of the lead singer of Die Hard.

He was seeing the complete opposite of that, and he could tell she was distraught.

“He’s still sleeping, I didn’t want to bother him. I really gotta go-“

“Amy, don’t do this to him. He needs someone like you around.” He meant it. The texts he got from Jake the night before sounded like the Jake he first got to know. He was himself again.

She looked up, tears daring to spill. “I gotta go.”

Amy ran to the elevator leaving a stunned Charles in the middle of the hallway. She texted Kylie finally, after pressing the lobby button. The same thoughts that made her decide to do this ran through her head again and she wished they would stop.

Ames: Kylie, I really screwed up. I need you.

Kylie: Oh god, did anything bad happen?

Ames: No.

Ames: He just doesn’t need me weighing him down, and neither do I.

Chapter Text

7:20 AM – Jake’s Hotel Room, Manhattan, NY

Jake woke up with a smile on his face that lasted a good moment before noticing the empty left side of the bed. Not you, not you, he thought. Please be around.

He texts her as he gets up and looks for anything that could be tied to her sudden disappearance. Then he sees the note, the same feelings he had last night in ink and paper. Seeing the thoughts physically makes him think of how idiotic it is to throw in the towel before trying to pursue any sort of relationship.

He doesn’t blame her though. They’d know each other for one night, a few hours. It was overwhelming, they’d gone from strangers to complete opposites to sleeping with each other. One thing was for sure, they liked each other, and the thought was scary to both of them. Jake was used to this lifestyle of being alone and having women walk in and out of his life. But he didn’t want that anymore, he craved a deeper connection.

Repeating knocks at the door distracted him from his thoughts, they’d been going on for a while.

“Jake, get up. Jake!” Charles called out for the umpteenth time.

It had not been too long since Amy had run out, she was currently a few miles from the Brooklyn Bridge. Jake opened the door to his frazzled bandmate. “She ran out about 10 minutes ago, she was heading towards Brooklyn on foot.”

Putting the clothes from the night before with great urgency, he thanked Charles and raced towards the elevator. On the way down he thought about what he would say to her. How could he assure her that they would be fine and work out when odds were against them. Jake was unsure about a lot of things, but Amy, he was sure about her.

 

7:50 AM – Brooklyn Bridge

On her side of things, Amy was at a crossroads walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. Tears were freefalling as she walked slowly, her hands tucked into her coat. She pictured the night before as she stared at the other extreme of the bridge letting out a shaky breath.

“Jake I’m not racing you across this long ass bridge”, Amy said incredulously. The glint in his eyes was childlike and she knew what was coming. He sprints a few feet before tripping but catches himself before his face hits the ground. “Oh my god, you doofus.”

He laid down face up and motioned for Amy to join him. The alcohol coursing through her gave her that push and she soon joined him. “You’re so beautiful.”

“Stop it”, she said blushing.

“I mean it. I’m glad circumstances brought us together.” He paused pensively. “There’s no one I would lay in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge with. Mostly because no one has been chaotic enough to do it.”

Laughing, she rolled on top of him and kissed him, her hand brushing from his cheek to his jaw. There were hardly any people on the bridge at the time, at least not enough to be a nuisance. She pulled away and rested her head on his chest for a brief moment. “I’m glad too”, she said enjoying the heat his body radiated before they got up.

She ordered her brain to stop replaying the memories to no use, she couldn’t shake the thought that she would be hurting him. No. No. He didn’t need her and he’d forget about all of this very soon. This was a one-night thing. Her crossing the line from hatred to love whatever this was was enough.

A cold breeze hit forcing her to quicken her pace to maintain heat. Tucking her hands out of her pockets she wipes her tears and as she blinks sees him. He’s spinning her in the sidewalk at the middle of the night, he’s interviewing her in the middle of a store. He’s asking her for a chance, he’s asking her for a chance, a date.

A date that could have happened but she ran out on him.

Oh, what could have been, but here she was moving faster. Her pace had been slow for a long while, she barely was over the midway point. Her mind had been making it extremely hard to go any faster until this moment. It was far too late to go back and fix the damage and truth be told, she hoped he hated her. It would make everything easier. However, that was not on the cards.

“AMY”, Jake yelled sprinting towards her. She froze on the spot, this wasn’t supposed to happen. This was supposed to have minimal pain involved, but she turned to the voice. “PLEASE, CAN WE TALK?”

“NO, WE CAN’T. PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR LIFE AND I GO BACK TO MINE. DON’T DO THIS!” She was frozen to the ground and those feelings she had for him crept back up. He ran faster, the distance between them lessening by the second. God, she wished he hated her.

“I can’t just do that Amy, I can’t just erase last night and you can’t either, you know that.”

“I wrote the note for a reason, Jake. We can’t do this to each other.” She licked her lips, the cold air having chapped them. “What are we gonna do? You’re going on tour, I have to finish school. We both have responsibilities that will come before anything else. You’re amazing but its best to keep it like this.”

Her body betraying her by tearing up and soon there was minimal space between them. He held the note, now crumbled in his large veiny hand.

“I believe everything on this except one thing, this isn’t for the best. I can’t tell you that this is going to work, or that it will be okay but no one has ever made me feel the way you have. I don’t want to lose this.” He wiped away her falling tears and she leaned into his hand. He looked on the verge of tears as well. His brown orbs melted her heart and put her guard down. She couldn’t keep lying to herself or him.

“I’m scared. We don’t know what this is, we’re in uncharted territory. I was supposed to keep hating you by now, but you’re right I can’t pretend that this is nothing.” She sniffled and took a step back, his arm falling to his side. “I like you but we can’t drop everything in our lives and make this work.”

He nodded and after a beat spoke. “What about our bet?” She wasn’t wrong at all about their situation but he wasn’t about to let the whole thing go without one final try.

“Wasn’t this whole thing a date?” Amy so badly wanted to drop everything and say yes but fear of the unknown held her back. “It may have been not the most ideal situation but that counts.”

“Last night doesn’t count.” She raised an eyebrow. “Everything before the park and the hotel room. Let me take you out for breakfast and if you don’t want to give us a shot I’ll understand.”

Amy took a deep breath and nodded. “I’ll pay up on that bet, but I have to call Kylie and tell her to not take her home.” The curly haired man smiled victoriously and excused himself to find a place that was close enough to her dorm and the hotel.

Kylie picked up after letting the phone ring for a few seconds. If you think she had followed through on her promise to collect Amy, my friend, you are sadly mistaken. Miss Kylie knew her best friend better than most people and from her texts, she was making a huge mistake. “Hey, Santiago!”

“Hey Ky, how far are you from where I’m at? I sent you my location.”

“I never left the crib”, she said munching on an apple. “I was letting Jake hopefully catch up with you before you made a rash decision.”

Amy’s face contorted into one of disbelief and shock that could only be described as this-fucking-bitch. “In any other circumstance I would fucking murder you but I’m grateful your ass stayed home. I’ll be home in a little bit. Love you.”

The blonde laughed at the other end of the line, “Love you too, baby, let me know if you need a morning after pill.” Amy hung up after a whispered yes and placed her phone back in her coat pocket rolling her eyes. Her friend really had her best interests in mind but boy could she be chaotic.

Jake was sitting on a bench and she went to sit next to him. “So Kylie was on your side and never left our place, did you find a place?”

“Remind me to get her a gift for that, and there’s a little diner nearby we could go to.” She nods and they walk the rest of the way and hitch a cab to the Salt and Pepper Diner.

9:15 AM – The Salt and Pepper Diner

At Breakfast, Jake and Amy sat at a booth in the far corner of the diner. The patrons were all either elderly couples or working class people rushing in an out after a quick meal. They had ordered a coffee and a stack of pancakes to share as they avoided any conversation about their future. That is until Amy brought it up.

“Where are you headed next?” She said before taking a sip of coffee. The heat coursed through her body reminding her of his body on top of hers.

“Well we have two dates in the States and then three dates in Mexico. After that, I’m back to LA, but I’ve been thinking New York might be a better fit.” He looks at her and if their lives weren’t so vastly different he would drop it all for her. He knows better than to do that though, he just hopes the distance won’t be so harsh and that they’ll stand the course of time.

“I’d definitely love to see you around here more.” There’s a shift in the room and Jake looks at her inquisitively. She takes another sip of coffee feeling his eyes on her.

“You tempting me to move here?” It’s not even a question, she would love that and he would do anything to be closer to her. Call it impulsivity or stupidity, it felt like the right thing to them.

She blushes. “Maybe. We could get more than last night and this morning.”

9:45 AM – En Route to Othmer Residence Hall

The narrator is here, did you all miss me, boy, that was a lot. I digressed from last night’s, ahem, events or this morning’s consequences. I know my decision would be a lot more careless if I were Amy, I would run away with that white boy anywhere he wanted to. Is it hot in here?

Anyways, we find the pair on a taxi both sitting in comfortable silence, Amy looking out the window. Their breakfast had been nice and what Amy had said to him towards the end was settling in.

“We should try this for a year, and at the end of that we’ll check in with each other.”

She’d said yes, and for the first time in a very long while he felt joy. Don’t get me wrong, he loved performing and all that his job entailed, but there was always something missing. He craved a deep connection to someone, someone like Amy.

Once they arrived at Kylie and Amy’s dorm, they sat down on the living room couch and talked for a long while. It was 10:30 AM and he would have to leave in a mere half hour to his next gig. Keeping an old T.V. show in the background they made out for a bit and enjoyed the last bit of time they had before-

*RING*

Before he had to go.

“I’ll facetime you as soon as I can.” His tone was deadly serious and his eyes pierced her soul. All she could do was nod her head and wrap her arms around his neck. Her lips met his and he all but dropped his phone as put his hands to her waist. It was languid, it was urgent, it was nowhere near a goodbye kiss.