Amy wakes up with a crick in her neck, groaning as she opens her eyes. She feels strangely toasty and comfortable (apart from her shoulders up) and realizes it’s because her grandmother’s quilt, which usually lies unused at the foot of her bed, is now draped over her. She fingers it in bewilderment and then looks around herself, realizing she’s in the living room, on her couch. Her eyes widen as she notices that her television is still on – oh god, did she fall asleep on the couch, waiting for Jake? And more importantly, did she really waste that much electricity? It’s 7.15 am, and she must’ve fallen asleep at around midnight so that’s seven hours!
She groans again, closing her eyes briefly. Damn it, Peralta, she thinks. It’s all your fault. Reaching over for the remote to turn the TV off she notices that her phone is on the floor and that the text indicator is blinking lazily. She picks it up quickly, wondering if it’s Holt. Maybe he has some special case that requires her special skills set!
It’s from Rosa.
Wait, what? Rosa never texts her. She opens it, intrigued.
I don’t normally meddle in other people’s business but you and Peralta are – well, anyway, he’s been begging me for extra cases and offering to work my night shifts. Everything ok between you two?
Amy reads the text, her heart sinking. Before she even has time to process it properly, her phone pings with another text from Rosa.
Wait, I don’t want to know. Just work it out between yourselves.
Amy switches her phone off and drops her head into her hands. She knew it. Dating Peralta was the biggest mistake she could’ve made. They were such great friends and kissing and dating had ruined that friendship. Whatever Jake might have felt for her had probably fizzled out and now he didn’t know how to tell her that he didn’t feel like that anymore, which is why he was taking on extra cases and avoiding her.
Oh god, oh no. She was such an idiot to think that they were gonna work out. An idiot who couldn’t control the butterflies in her stomach every time he looked at her with one of his goofy, adorable smiles. An idiot whose skin felt all tingly whenever he found a reason to call her into the evidence locker for a secret kiss and sweet nothings murmured into her ear. An idiot who had – oh, god, she’d fallen in love with Jake Peralta, hadn’t she?
She feels like crying but its 7.25 am and she needs to start getting ready for work. If she cries now, her face will become all blotchy and she won’t be able to put her makeup on properly. She squeezes her eyes closed, swallows and mutters to herself, “You can do this, Santiago. You can do this and then maybe after work you can get Gina to take you to Shaw’s and get you drunk.”
She nods to herself determinedly and opens her eyes, throwing the quilt off herself and getting up.
Wait a minute, why was she wearing that quilt?
“Jake?” she calls, looking towards the bedroom, quilt clutched in her hands. Did Jake come over anyway last night and find her sleeping on the couch, decide to cover her up and then what – leave? Or was he still in her apartment?
“Jake?” she calls out again, louder this time, stalking towards the bedroom. If he’d come over, why hadn’t he woken her up and told her to come to bed and sleep properly? She frowns as she walks into her room and stops short.
Jake’s sprawled on her bed haphazardly, legs hanging off and mouth wide open. Her breath catches when he shifts in his sleep and the sheet slips a little revealing that he’s shirtless. Focus, she tells herself, setting the quilt down on the chair.
She pokes Jake’s foot with her finger and he snorts. She shakes his foot harder, causing him to sit up in alarm. “What’s going on? Where’s the fire?” he shouts, hands flailing.
“It’s just me,” she says flatly, dragging the sheets out from under him, causing him to fall on his butt on her bedroom floor. Thank god he’s wearing boxers, Amy thinks.
“Hey, hey, hey, what’re you doing?” Jake says, groaning as he twists a hand behind himself to check if he’s okay. “You’re acting almost savage, Santiago!”
“When did you come in last night?” she asks, folding her arms and jutting out her hip, looking down at him, now sprawled all over the floor. Damn, her power poses classes were worth Rosa and Gina’s teasing.
“Um, kinda late?” Jake makes a puppy face. Upside down, it’s kind of ineffective, for which Amy is glad because when it comes to Jake’s puppy faces, she can never resist.
“A time, Peralta,” she pushes, still frowning.
“Okay, okay, don’t be mad,” he says, holding up his hands and getting up awkwardly. “I got in at around two in the morning and I didn’t want to wake you up because you’d get mad, so I just took this weird quilt and put it over you so you’d be warm,” he explains. Amy glares at him.
“First of all, didn’t you notice the TV was on? You could’ve turned that off too!”
“It was on? Really? Wow, I didn’t notice. I was kinda really tired. Been working a lot,” he fakes a yawn that makes Amy want to punch him.
“Well, obviously you’d be tired if you were working other people’s cases too!” she scowls. Jake’s mouth falls open and he looks at her shiftily.
“Who told you I was doing that?” he asks.
“Rosa.” Amy replies, her voice breaking as the fight goes out of her. “Jake,” she starts, sighing. He opens his mouth to say something but she holds up her hand.
“No, let me finish,” she tells him, taking a deep breath and starting again. “I don’t think – I don’t think we’re gonna work out, Jake. You’ve been taking all these extra cases and shifts and I think your feelings for me, if they ever even were any, have fizzled out, and you don’t know how to tell me that so you’ve been avoiding me,” she says in a rush, “And so, I just – I just want to make it easier for you, so I’ll do the actual breaking up, it’s okay. You don’t have to pretend anymore. We can still be friends. I mean, look at Gina and Charles. They’re still – um, okay, that doesn’t apply to us, but still, we’re okay. It’s okay.”
Jake, stares at her, mouth hanging open. “Is that really what you think, Ames?” he asks incredulously.
“What else am I supposed to think, Jake?” she cried out, tears threatening to spill over at the use of the nickname.
“Amy Santiago, you are a brilliant detective but you’ve got it all wrong,” Jake gives her a dazzling smile and leans to catch both her hands in his. “I would be extremely happy to correct you,” he goes on, rubbing a thumb gently over the back of her hand, an action he knows soothes her completely. “As soon as I find my pants, though,” he adds, looking around for them and letting go of her hands. Amy stares at him, feeling a little lost.
“Um, okay,” she mumbles, rubbing her forearms with her palms briskly and hugging herself.
“Why don’t you go sit at the dining table and I’ll be right there?” Jake suggests, peering underneath the bed. “AHA! Found them!” he shouts as he crawls under.
“Careful,” Amy winces but it’s too late. He’s already hit his head.
“I can see two of you,” Jake whispers in awe as he emerges, rubbing his head.
“Get your pants on, Peralta,” Amy tells him, walking off. She reaches for the cabinet with all the plates and takes two out for breakfast.
“Uh, uh, uh,” Jake admonishes, taking the plates from her as he comes in. He’s wearing a shirt too now. “I’m cooking today, Santiago. You just sit there,” he points at the kitchen chairs and waggles his eyebrows at her. She huffs and takes a seat.
“Okay, start explaining,” she tells him as soon as she settles down. He’s reaching for her butter and her sugar pot. God knows what unhealthy concoction he’s going to feed her for breakfast.
“You’re right about me taking extra cases,” he confesses with a sigh. “I have been asking Rosa and Charles to give me some of their cases, but,” he quickly says when he notices her face fall, “I, um, did it for a reason.”
“Oh, and what might that be?” she asks, trying to keep her voice level.
“I love you.”
“What?” she asks incredulously.
“What?” he repeats quickly. “Pfft, I didn’t saying anything.”
“You said you love me,” Amy says slowly, staring at the maple syrup in his hands.
“I, um, okay, I might have said that,” Jake agrees, reaching for one of her plastic bowls and a whisk. “Damn, I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to say that for the first time ever and I ruined it!”
“Jake, I don’t get it,” Amy frowns. Her heart is fluttering in her chest because Jake Peralta had just told her he loved her but that same Jake Peralta had also been taking on extra work to avoid her.
“Okay, so here’s the thing,” Jake says in a serious voice. “Wait, just a minute,” he moves around the kitchen quickly, bowls and whisks and plates flying everywhere, coming to a stop before Amy a few seconds later, pushing a plate of golden pancakes towards her.
“Um, thanks,” she says, surprised at how fast he had managed that. He bows, hands her a fork and then takes a seat opposite her at the table.
“Okay, so here’s the thing,” he starts again. “I love you, as we’ve already established. But I didn’t know I loved you till, like, last week. And when I did realize that, I also realized that I was kinda maybe moving too fast in this relationship. And so I panicked, and I tried to stay away from you so that I wouldn’t blurt out something stupid about how I maybe one day want to marry you or – wait,” his eyes widen almost comically. “Well, that failed,” he looks embarrassed.
Amy laughs but her heart simply won’t quit beating fast. It seems like it wants to jump out of her chest.
“And, um, well, I’d take your hand right now to make it seem more romantic but you’re eating – how are the pancakes by the way?”
“Oh, um, surprisingly delicious,” she replies, taken aback at the sudden question.
“Great! That’s my mom’s recipe. I’ve never made it for anyone before,” he looks down at the hand she’s offering – the one not holding her fork – and grins, intertwining their fingers.
“And that’s why I’ve been so – spaced out and distant. I just didn’t know how to tell you that I had fallen in crazy, goofy love with you, for realz.” He adds, laughing and squeezing her fingers gently.
Amy feels herself blushing and she drops her fork to take Jake’s other hand. “I, um, I kinda love you too,” she admits, looking down at her perfect pancakes shyly.
“Say it to the face, Amy,” Jake says in a funny, deep voice, making her laugh and look up. He looks so happy and hopeful that it takes her a moment to form the words again without her brain tripping over them.
“I love you too,” she says, enunciating each word carefully and earnestly. Jake laughs as he gets up and tugs at her hands, making her get up too.
“Amy Santiago,” he whispers, looking at her with eyes that make her go weak at the knees. She wraps an arm around his neck to steady herself as his hands slide up her back.
“Jacob Peralta,” she counters, biting her lip.
“Amy, I love you so much,” he whispers, bringing one hand up to cup her cheek. She leans into his warm touch, smiling as he leans in to press his lips gently against hers, simultaneously pressing her close with the hand still on her back.
She grins into the kiss and wraps her arms tighter around his neck, letting her fingers brush against the hair at the base of his neck. He deepens the kiss and she tilts her head to let him but cries out a second later.
“Ow!” The head tilting was not a good idea – not when she had woken up with a crick in her neck. She let go of Jake to bring her hand up to the back of her neck and squeeze.
“What’s wrong!?” Jake asks, looking alarmed. “Did I bite your tongue by mistake?”
“No, my tongue is fine,” Amy winces. “It’s my neck. I have a crick in it because you were stupid enough to let me sleep on that horribly narrow and uncomfortable couch all night long!”
“Whoops,” Jake says, sounding apologetic. “Here, let me look,” he says, turning her around by her shoulders. She removes her hand as he presses two thumbs into the base of her neck.
“Ahhh,” she moans as he swipes the thumbs over her nape, applying even pressure all the way to the middle of her shoulder blades and then back again.
“The sounds you’re making are practically pornographic, Santiago,” Jake whispers amusedly in her ear.
“But it feels so good,” she replies, leaning backwards and melting against his chest.
“But it feels so good: title of your sex tape,” she can hear the grin in his voice and gives him a half-hearted kick in the shins. He laughs as he continues to gently massage the back of her neck until she’s like putty in his hands.
“We’re getting late for work,” she murmurs, her eyes closed.
“Mmm,” Jake replies. “Holt won’t mind. You’re allowed one late day.”
“Yes, I am allowed one late day,” she says, reaching around for his hands. “You on the other hand,” she trails off, turning to give him a smirk.
“Aw man. I was having fun,” he waggles his thumbs and looks at them sadly. “Goodbye, massage thumbs, you will be missed.”
Amy rolls her eyes and hip-checks him. “Go get showered, Peralta,” she tells him, reaching for the plate of leftover pancakes.
“Okay, ma’am,” he mock-salutes her and pecks her on the cheek before walking off towards the door. She sighs happily as she jabs her fork into the pancakes.
“Hey, Amy?” Jake pops his head around the doorway after a few minutes.
“Yeah?” she turns, looking at him questioningly, fork mid-way to her mouth.
“Oh nothing. Just wanted to say I love you,” he grins at her. “And you’re blushing and I kinda spilled your shampoo all over your bathroom floor, okay bye.”
“You did what!?”