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Peace Offering

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Some twenty minutes into Amy’s reign as Queen of the Nine-Nine, Jake and Captain Holt show up with peace offerings.

‘This is a Golden Doublet,’ the captain says, sitting next to her in her booth and placing a cocktail glass in front of her. ‘Orange juice, lime juice and Grand Marnier. Joe Gilmore, long-standing head barman of the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, created this to mark the marriage of Anne, Princess Royal, of the British Royal Family, to Captain Mark Phillips. Doublet was the name of the horse with which Anne won the individual gold at the European Eventing Championship in 1971, so the drink seemed fitting on several levels.’

‘I got you a Kir Royal,’ Jake puts in from where he’s settled in opposite her. He pushes a narrow champagne flute across the table to stand next to Holt’s. ‘It has the word “royal” in it.’

Amy picks up the glass, examining the contents before taking a sip. ‘Thank you. That’s nice of you both.’

Holt clears his throat. ‘We owe you an apology.’

‘Yeah,’ Jake says. ‘I’m sorry for not including you. And for not taking you seriously the first time you called me on it.’

‘I apologize for not choosing you for my team, too,’ Holt tells her, ‘and not just because it turned out to be a grave strategical error.’

Jake nods vigorously. ‘Same. Next year, you and me, the dream team—’

‘Excuse me,’ Amy cuts in, tone cool, peering at him over the rim of her glass. ‘Why are you assuming I’d want you on my team?’

He sighs, slouching in his seat. ‘Okay. I totally deserve that.’

‘I’m kidding,’ she says, allowing him a small smile. ‘Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I’m Queen of the Nine-Nine now, and I say this is the last Halloween heist.’

‘Well, oftentimes monarchs have minimal, if any, power to establish laws—’ Holt begins. She’s more than a little pleased when the look she gives him stops him dead in his tracks. ‘But you, of course, have all the power.’

‘Yes, I do.’ Amy adjusts her crown. ‘Anything else you want to apologize for?’

‘I’m sorry we became somewhat—ah—carried away, shall we say, in our attempts to obtain the janitor’s address,’ Holt says. ‘To try to take advantage of your respect for me as your commanding officer was both unprofessional and callous.’

Jake catches Amy’s eye briefly and then looks down at the table. ‘Yeah, and I’m sorry for… that whole thing. And I’m sorry I tried to muscle in on your win.’

‘And I’m sorry that it took us this long to apologize,’ Holt adds.

‘We were a pair of jerks,’ Jake finishes.

‘A real pair of jerks,’ Holt echoes.

Amy takes a long sip of her Kir Royal. ‘Well,’ she says, ‘I suppose your apologies are accepted.’

Captain Holt gives her what is maybe the fifth proper smile she’s ever seen on him. ‘That’s very good of you.’

‘Yeah,’ Jake says. ‘Really way, way more than we deserve.’

‘I’m a very benevolent ruler.’ She swirls the remainder of her drink around her glass. ‘Even more so since I crushed you both like a couple of bugs.’

‘You certainly did,’ Holt says. ‘And now, if you’ll excuse me, I believe my wallet and I are needed at the bar.’

Jake watches him leave and then turns back to Amy. ‘Do you like the drink? I can get you another one.’

She finishes Jake’s drink and reaches for the one Holt gave her, raising her eyebrows at him. ‘You mean you can get Captain Holt to get me another one?’ she asks.

‘No. I bought it myself. Least I could do.’ He goes quiet but for a rhythmic tapping of his fingers against the tabletop; she thinks it might be the beat to a Taylor Swift song. ‘Seriously, Amy,’ he says. ‘I’m so sorry. I acted like such a jackass.’

‘Yes. You did.’ She worries at her lip, considering, and then goes for it. ‘Look, Jake, I get that you get carried away sometimes, but that stuff you said when you were trying to get the address made me feel really weird.’

Jake closes his eyes. ‘I know. I’m sorry.’

‘Do you know, though?’ she asks. ‘Because saying what you said, saying… that for the first time… it’s a big deal to me. It’s not something you just throw out all casually, you know? You wait until you really feel it. I know you’re sorry, but it just feels…’ She breaks off, taking another sip of her drink. ‘I don’t know.’

Jake opens his mouth and then closes it again. ‘I understand,’ he says after a moment. ‘It should be special and I screwed it up.’

She sighs. ‘Kind of, yeah.’

‘So, um.’ The tapping starts up again. ‘So I guess saying it when we’re both a little drunk in a bar also isn’t ideal, huh?’

Her heart skips a beat and she has to give herself a second before replying. ‘No. No, it’s not ideal.’ She adjusts the orange garnish on her glass and adds, ‘But I’m thinking very seriously about forgiving you.’

‘I’m glad about that,’ he says, leaning forward a little. ‘’Cause, uh… I don’t think you should say it until you really feel it, either.’

At last the cold, tight feeling she’s had in her chest since that morning lets up. ‘Glad we’re in agreement,’ she says.

‘Listen,’ Jake continues, tentatively sliding his fingers over hers on the table. ‘I totally get it if you don’t want to stay together tonight. But if you do, I think I could be even more remorseful in private.’

She gives him an appraising look. ‘I take it you’re planning on cleaning your teeth first?’

He grimaces. ‘Urgh, yeah.’

‘Well, then. My place or yours?’

‘Up to you.’ He lifts his chin, putting on what she’s sure he thinks is a British accent and proclaiming, ‘For you are the Queen of the Nine-Nine, and I your adoring subject.’

‘Mine,’ she says, draining the last of her drink. ‘Let’s go.’

‘Awesome.’ He grabs her hand properly and calls, ‘Make way, royalty coming through! By the way,’ he adds to Amy, ‘you look way better in that crown than either of us would have done. I’m glad it was you whom won it.’ He grins. ‘See what I just did?’

‘It’s “who”,’ she says mildly.

Jake’s face falls. ‘I feel like you’re just screwing with me now.’

‘Nope. Also, I’m keeping the crown on all night.’

‘Oh,’ he says, ‘I absolutely insist that you do.’