therapeutic thump

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"Doilies All the Way Down" (Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Amy/Jake, ensemble; R)
the right stuff, spirit animals, audience participation
innie_darling
And because faviconblithers had been such an amazing beta and sounding board for my Yuletide assignment, I wanted to write her something too. I took a look at her letter and found this request, which called to me: I'd love a story pairing Jake up with either Amy or Rosa, and trope-y detective stuff would be AMAZING here: A management assigned team building retreat. Pretending to be dating/married for a case, and making out to avoid getting caught. Trapped together in close quarters. Alternately, I'd also love a story exploring the dynamic between Jake and Holt, which I think has been one of the best parts of the show so far. I'm less interested in pairing the two of them in a relationship (I love that Captain Holt appears to be happily married!) but very much interested in how the two of them bounce off each other - undercover on a case and driving each other crazy, going drinking together, you name it. Again, trope-y is amazing for this one.

I got a huge assist from faviconhtbthomas on this one, and it was great to work with her (my sitcom-fandom buddy!) again. (Also, she pointed out that Jake must be a Community fan, given one of his lines in this fic.) So here's my B99 fic: rated R for Amy/Jake sexytimes but including the whole ensemble. The summary is: Amy wins the bet. Jake pays up. (Apologies for the slur - Jake uses the word "lame" as a synonym for "terrible" at one point, as he does on the show.) (Also, yes, Jake's car is named for the gorgeous woman in the Dolly Parton song, which is entirely amazing in its own right, but I was picturing the car Officer Tom Hanson drove in the original 21 Jump Street. And, finally, the blue car cover was taken directly from season one of Veronica Mars.)


"Doilies All the Way Down"


Amy went on a run after the whole death-threats-against-Captain-Holt thing and ended up winning the bet with six arrests to spare. She hadn't expected to crush Jake, not after they'd been neck-and-neck for all of those months, or maybe she would've let herself take a personal day every now and then.

She also wasn't expecting him to pay up.

*

"What are you doing here?" she asked, still rubbing sleepily at her eyes when he turned up on her doorstep early on a Saturday morning. He wasn't even breathing hard, like a fifth-floor walk-up was no big deal, and she felt her face go into that pinchy frown only he seemed to inspire in her. She resisted the urge to smooth down her tumbled hair and instead stuck her hand in the pocket of her exuberantly flowered silk robe, belted over her warmest pajamas.

"There you are!" Jake said, annoyingly chipper; she'd have sworn he was the type to lie around in his underwear on his days off, eating sugary cereal from a plastic bowl whenever hunger hit. Instead here he was, looking alert and refreshed and ready to pick up just where he'd left off after yesterday's shift. "I was just wondering if you had a nice twin who had a thing for sexy robes, but then you made your little Santiago-face at me, so now I know it's you."

"Wait, wouldn't my 'nice twin' also have a 'Santiago-face'?" she asked, grinning when he stopped eyeing the spot where the top button of her pajama top had come undone to work that one through.

"Anyhoo," he said, barreling past her to come into the apartment without any invitation, "I'm here to prove to you that I'm not a welsher – is it 'welsher' or 'welcher'?"

She shrugged. "One sounds kind of racist and the other one sounds stupid, so maybe try not to use either."

"Awk," he said, smiling at her. "For awkward. Anyway. I was just saying I'm here to pay up on our bet. Congratulations, Santiago." He held his hand flat, palm down, the hoop of the keyring around his index finger, and let the Mustang's key dangle.

"Oh!" she said, startled. "I wasn't really – you don't have to – you –" If only he'd given her a chance to pull herself together before sparring with him.

"Bup-bup-bup," he shushed. "A bet's a bet. If I'd won, I would've taken you out for the wildest night of your life. So Jolene's yours. The only thing I ask is that you keep her where she is. The garage is paid up through the summer."

"Jake," she started, her heart softening at the sight of the brave smile he was plastering across his face. Her compassion disappeared when he continued to dangle the key obnoxiously at her like she was a fricking hamster. She snatched the key. "Oh my god, your hand is like ice. Why did you walk out of your house without any gloves on? It's January, you idiot!"

"Uh, that presupposes I know where my gloves actually are, which I don't, so the burn's on you, Santiago."

"What, your grandma didn't knit you any this year, Pineapples?" she taunted, stowing the key in the pocket of her robe. She turned toward the kitchen. "I'm making coffee and then you're going to show me where the car is."

"Fine," he said, "twist my arm." And then he got comfortable on her couch and turned on Saturday-morning cartoons, muttering something about losing the jammies but keeping the robe that she studiously ignored.

*

"You have to take her out once a week just to make sure she's still purring!" Jake insisted.

"Uh, relax, Peralta, it's only been three days since you showed me where she is," Amy said, pulling the pencil from her hair to make a note about the voicemail she'd left regarding the victim's bank account.

"A-ha!" he crowed triumphantly. "You just admitted she's a she! Jolene conquers all!" He made that and the crowd goes wild sound. "Ahhhhhhhh!"

"Look," she said, trying to shut him up before he could say anything about girl-on-girl action and placate him at the same time, "if you're quiet for the next ten minutes, I can finish this up and we can go take her" – she was going to own it – "for a spin."

"Why, Santiago, are you trying to escape this darkest of timelines and get to a right-thinking world in which I won our little wager? Because it sounds like you're asking me out."

"Then you need to get your hearing checked," she said, typing up her notes on the case she'd closed that morning, running spellcheck, and printing it out to put on Holt's desk.




"Pick that head up," Diaz said, "'cause if you drown in your breakfast, I'm gonna be pissed about the extra paperwork."

"Ugh, how are you not like keeling over?" Amy asked, her heavy head cradled on her arm. Come on, it wasn't like she trusted an all-night diner's table to be clean enough to put her face directly on it.

"Dignity," Rosa said, like that explained it all, and maybe it did. She caught the eye of a waitress armed with a coffeepot in each hand. "Decaf."

"Really? After an all-night stakeout on top of a double shift?" Clearly, Rosa was the actual bionic woman. No wonder she was in demand, even if it was by crappy little places straight out of Pleasantville.

"Look, I'm gonna go home, sleep for four hours, bone down with Jax, and be back at eight. What part of that does caffeine help with?"

She wasn't Rosa's mother, and it certainly wasn't her place to ask when Diaz was planning on getting any nutrients into her system. Hell, maybe athletic sex with a green-eyed parole officer was all Diaz needed for fuel. If only that were true for her, too. Not that she wanted Jax, but someone whose face lit up when he saw her would be more than okay. "Fine. But I'm still having oatmeal."

"Yuck."




"Seriously," Jake said, leaning on her doorjamb and looking past her to survey her living room – again at some ungodly hour on a Saturday morning, again when she was wearing the yellow-and-grey plaid flannel pajamas that had been too small for her least favorite sister-in-law – "have you ever actually brought a man to this apartment? And for the purposes of this question, I'm including your Neanderthal brothers in my definition of 'man.'"

"What are you even doing here?" she moaned. She'd planned out a totally relaxing day of giving herself a pedicure, then polishing her decorative spoons while watching a Columbo marathon. She had no open cases, nothing niggling at her other than stupid family stuff, and she wanted to unwind.

"Uh, if you don't want to stuff yourself with horchata and bagels and then go for a drive, I guess that's your prerogative," Jake said, like that made perfect sense. Like she'd invited him over.

"Wait, why were you asking about men?" she asked. Did he know that she and Luke had decided to go their separate ways, and that she'd since found out that Kylie had snapped him up for herself?

"This place is basically the old-ladiest apartment in the history of time. It's like doilies all the way down. Then factor in all the glassware and spoons and shit on the walls, and your apartment looks like you signed a lease on an ongoing estate sale." He was unpacking as he spoke, setting out a spread that looked delicious, but goddammit, there were lines, and he'd crossed like half of them with that speech alone.

He looked up with a smile and a flourish when the food had been laid out on her crocheted doilies, and the smile dropped off his face. "Hey, Amy, I'm sorry. That was a dick thing to say."

"Yeah, it was."

"You want to call me a butthead again?"

"It doesn't appear to have been much of a deterrent so far," she said, running her hand over the scrollwork on top of one of her walnut chairs; those could use a polish too, she thought.

"Maybe you'll get through to me this time," he said quietly.




So far, Michael was being a perfect gentleman, letting her stop at every restaurant that caught her eye to read the menu – all without once looking bored or irritated or whatever.

He even held her hand as she scrunched her nose and moved on to the next place. "Oh!" she said, stopping suddenly enough that he bumped into her, his hip colliding with her rear end in a way that should have made her breathless, but he just wasn't the right guy to get her going.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Nothing. That's – that's my sergeant," she said, tilting her head to indicate Terry, up ahead, one baby girl in each arm while his wife – tall, slender, and maybe the only person she'd back in an arm-wrestling match against Diaz – folded up their double stroller with brisk efficiency. "Oh my god, I knew it, his biceps are actually larger than Cagney and Lacey's heads!"

"Cagney and Lacey?" Michael repeated, smiling politely. "I'm guessing there's a story there?"

"Not really," she said, her last flicker of hope in a future with this guy, this totally nice and really cute guy, sputtering out. She turned to head down a side street and stopped in front of a place she knew; it was too early for it to be as crowded as it could be on a warm spring evening. "How do you feel about pork meatballs?"




She was a detective. Of course she figured out Jake kept coming over because he was lonely.

Why on earth she kept letting him in was another story.




"Charles, you didn't have to do this," she said, touched to walk into work to find a Cookie Puss ice-cream cake in the freezer with her name on it. Gina wasn't in yet, which was probably the only reason it hadn't already been plundered for the chocolate gravel stuff that was everyone's favorite part.

"Cookie Puss is lame," Jake said, tilting his chair backwards like he was a Cirque du Soleil understudy. "Fudgie the Whale all the way."

"Amy enjoys coconut, which Fudgie the Whale lacks," Charles explained; he was great with details like that, which had the added benefit of shutting Jake up. He and Charles got called out on a case then, and Charles looked over and said, "Enjoy the cake, birthday girl!"

That was enough to make her wait until they got back to cut the cake, which had gone hard as a rock in the malfunctioning freezer. While they waited for it to thaw a little, Jake sidled up and asked, "Birthday ride?"

"Nice pick-up line," Rosa said, walking by at exactly the wrong moment.

"No, he meant – never mind. No, I can't," she said, flustered, watching his smile fade.

"Yeah, that's cool. Got big plans already, I get it. Maybe make a new sex tape – Candles Aren't the Only Thing I Don't Blow."

"What? Ew, I'm having dinner with my mom."

"Oh. Well, you could still pick up the waiter, I guess," he tried.

"Not happening," she said, heading toward the cake and brandishing the knife.

*

"Amy," Jake said the next morning, when she had a wine hangover compounded by way too much sugar, leaning up against her doorjamb like the place was likely to collapse without his structural support, "I know you won't believe me, but I need you to come to the garage with me."

His eyes dragged over her then, and she remembered her skin had felt too deliciously warm the night before to put on anything to sleep in; all she had on were a pair of panties and the robe he liked. It was the delayed reaction that convinced her he was serious.

"What's going on?" she asked, waving him inside hurriedly.

"You know that warehouse next to Jolene's garage? I've been seeing some suspicious activity there, and I want to do a little surveillance."

"So you don't need me; you just need the keys," she said, tightening the sash of her robe.

"No, I need you, Amy," he swore. "Wear something cute that you're okay with getting wet."

*

Undercover work wasn't exactly new to her, but she wasn't as experienced as she wanted to be; she'd said as much to Holt in their mentoring meetings. She liked going in on her own, knowing she needed to rely only on herself, but when she had a partner she could trust, nothing beat the feeling of working in tandem, two energies focused laser-bright.

Jake made it easy, doing a pitch-perfect impression of a Jersey Shore type, and she followed his lead and played the adoring girlfriend. He got one of his hands in the back pocket of her cutoffs and pulled her close, ducking his head under her high ponytail to get his lips near her ear; anyone watching would think he was kissing her neck, but he was whispering. She forced herself not to react to any of the casual touches and just focus on the words. "Nice job on the clothes. I had no idea you had anything this trashy in your closet, Santiago."

"You don't know everything about me, Peralta," she said, snapping her gum for emphasis, the sound explosive in the big empty space where Jake had conned someone into letting him park his car; it wasn't so much a garage as an absurdly oversized space for one. She sauntered over to the car and leaned back against the hood, keeping her voice low. "What's the plan?"

He had a little extra swagger in his step when he walked over to stand between her legs. "We're gonna take our time washing Jolene. All day if we have to. And we're gonna keep an eye on what's going down next door."

She settled her hands on his hips – he had nice, wide hips – and curled her calves around his ass. "Do you think they're watching us already?"

He nodded, drawing one hand down the length of her left leg, raising goosebumps on her skin. "Listening every once in a while, at least."

"What do you think they're doing over there?" she asked. "Drug deal? Cement burial? Should we call Captain Holt?"

"We're just gathering intel for now," he said, his warm breath tickling the sensitive underside of her jaw, so she giggled for the benefit of whatever audience they had and hopped off Jolene's hood.

*

It was reassuring to see extra weapons and clips in the trunk alongside a spare tire and the truly ridiculous amount of stuff Peralta had to keep the car shining like new.

"What is that?" she asked, pointing to a huge spray bottle that said LUBRICANT in huge yellow caps.

"To get Jolene in the mood," he said automatically, like he'd thought it so many times it wasn't even a joke anymore, and she was starting to worry about him when he said, "Okay, behind me, there's a crack in the wall that should give you a pretty good view of what's happening over there. Come on."

He drew her over by the hand, pressing his back against the wall. She stepped close enough to kiss him and rested her chin on his shoulder, peering out of the crack. "There are three guys over there, one little and two big – oh, damn it, they're all carrying. I think we need to call this in, Jake."

"Amy, do you trust me?" he breathed, right in her ear, and she nodded automatically. "Good, because you're bait. Fill up the buckets from the tap outside, and I guarantee all they'll see is a super-hot girl. You can get their guard down."

"This is stupid," she hissed from between her teeth, but held her hand out for the buckets. "Why can't I just move the car outside to the street?"

"'Cause I snaked the keys," he said with a smirk.

*

It was nice, having the sun on her bare back as she did something that required no thought whatsoever. Jake wasn't kidding around when it came to his car – her car, she corrected herself again – and she always did her best at everything anyway, so they'd washed and dried Jolene completely before he stole another look across the street. He got up close to her, to camouflage that his interest was in the warehouse rather than her skin, over which his hands were roaming unabashedly. She ran her hands over his biceps, which were nice and solid.

"What are they up to?" she whispered. He set his phone to record video and stuck it in the back pocket of her cutoffs so that the camera was facing the warehouse. It wasn't easy keeping her back to the bad guys, but there was no way she was going to turn down hard evidence of what was going on.

"Two of the guys are pacing and the little one just checked his watch again. They must be waiting for high noon."

"Jake," she said, winding her arms around his neck to fit herself snugly against him, feeling it when his spine stiffened. "What did you see?"

"Coard," he said into her hair as he tugged the end of her ponytail teasingly. The drug dealer's name had been on the board for months.

She kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear. "We have to call Captain Holt now."

"Yeah," he agreed immediately. "Make the call. Amy, I want you to know I didn't think it would escalate today."

She pulled her own phone from her front pocket and dialed, glad that Jake had opted to dump out the water buckets to give her a little bit of cover.

*

"Is there a new bet on?" Captain Holt asked, his eyes sweeping Jake and then her without a single blink, and Amy squirmed at appearing before her mentor in cutoffs and a halter top. "Should I split these four arrests evenly between the two of you, or does that not matter anymore?"

"It doesn't matter," Jake said. "I needed a way to make my surveillance credible, and Santiago was kind enough to help me."

"Mmm," Holt said, only the very corners of his mouth turning up. "Any excuse not to wear a tie – right, Peralta?"

She was about to explain their undercover characters when Holt cracked a proper smile and gave Jake a fistbump. "Excellent work, both of you. Santiago, we can discuss more detailed undercover techniques at our next session, if you like."

"Thank you, sir," she said, certain she was beaming like the sun. Terry, one hand locked around Coard's arm, followed Holt out. Behind him, Rosa marched the little perp along and dropped her a wink.

*

"So," Jake said, scratching the back of his head so his hair stood on end, not coincidentally not meeting her eye, "I still need to go over Jolene with lube and clay and lotion and wax, but I can call you a cab –"

"I'll stay," she said, watching the muscles in his back unknot. "What are you doing?" she asked, seeing him put all of the supplies back in the trunk and whip out a cover for the car, almost the same electric blue as Jolene's gleaming paint. He spread it over the roof and let it float down, then held the back door open for her. "What now?" she asked, obligingly climbing in.

Only to have him climb in after her and close the door. "Amy," he said.

And that made no sense – they weren't pretending to be together anymore, so why wasn't he calling her Santiago or one of the terrible nicknames he'd made up for her in their years of working together? "What?" she asked, her tone purposely aggressive, ignoring the feeling of his knee pressed against hers.

It didn't seem to deter him; he moved in closer, until all she could see were his eyes, intent on her, and she felt a shiver work its way up her spine and she had every right to do this, to take what was on offer and feel good about it after, so she kissed that wide mouth that had been teasing her all day.

Man, when he meant it, Jake could kiss like a champ, and she climbed into his lap and held his face while his hands dragged up her spine, slow and rough. The leather of the seat didn't feel nearly as good against her bare back when he shifted to lay her down, but Jake's weight on top of her felt fantastic, so she went with it. The untied ends of her halter top were inching away from her shoulders when she slipped one foot free of its sandal to hook her toes in his waistband and start to tug his board shorts down.

"Okay, I didn't want to say anything, but you have crazy long toes," he said, lifting his hips up to help her along. "Actually, I think you've got it." He abandoned the shorts to her ministrations and got one hand between his shoulder blades, tugging until his t-shirt snapped off. "Are you secretly a – no," he said, when he saw that her exertions had shrugged the halter top down to her waist, "hobbits don't have breasts like that."

"Oh my god, just stop talking, you weirdo." He looked amazing in the blue half-light, but he felt even better, hot skin and firm muscle pressed up against her just right. She got her mouth on his neck and her hand in his hair and kept him close. He tasted like car soap and sweat and he felt so deliciously warm.

His hands were at the button of her cutoffs when he stopped and did his best to sit up again. "Wait," he said, ignoring her annoyed huff. "I can't go for the Daisy Dukes unless you're for real."

"Oh, I'm the realest, detective," she said, urging him down, but he didn't budge. "Yes, Jake, the answer's yes."

He grinned while his hand fumbled toward the closest ashtray – an ashtray, god, the car was ancient – and pulled out a condom. "If Jolene's a-rockin', two cops are rockin'." He saw the face she made at that. "I was trying to do a Cop Rock shout-out, but –"

"Just stop trying to think."

"I thought you loved me for my mind."

"There is a time and a place –"

"Don't have to tell me twice. I know where I want to be," he said, scooping her up for another kiss that made her forget her name.

*

"Ugh, I should have known you'd stretch it out," she said the next morning as she shuffled into her kitchen in a little shortie nightie, catching sight of him in her silk robe.

"But I make it work," he said, totally unruffled. "Tropical flowers are my jam. And I made coffee." His cup, she saw, was properly set on a doily on top of a coaster.

"This isn't going to be weird, is it?" she asked, needing a little reassurance.

He grabbed her before she could sit in a chair, pulling her onto his lap. There on the table in front of her was the registration for his car. "We should go to the DMV and make it official at some point," he said, which wasn't an answer. The kisses he dropped on her bare shoulder were.


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As always, I'd love to hear what you think.

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/433695.html.

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I loved this story so much, and I was completely sideswiped when it turned out to have been written by you!!! Thank you again! <3

I guess every author thinks she's giving herself away when she writes Yuletide stuff, but I was SO SURE you knew it was me! I'm so pleased the secret held and even more pleased that you enjoyed my little offering! Yay!

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