Seriously? Of all the songs to play, this was what Jake chose?
Amy put up with a lot of Jake’s somewhat questionable music choices (she had certainly heard the Taylor Swift Holiday Collection a few too many times), but this was too much.
‘Jake you know that song drives me up the wall. It is literally impossible to find anything cheesier!’
‘That’s the whole point of Christmas music. C’mon Ames!’
Making puppy dog eyes at her, and grabbing her hands to pull her off the couch, Jake began singing,
‘Can we take it back, take it back in time,’
He spun her around, and they began what was almost certainly the dorkiest dance in the history of married couples. As embarrassing as it was, Amy thought her husband’s dancing was adorable. Still, she couldn’t let him be completely in control here. She was far too competitive to allow that: the only solution was an interruption…
She cut him off with a kiss, distracting him from the next few lines- which were somewhat appropriately about kissing under the mistletoe. The moment was broken only a few seconds later, when Amy managed to step on both of husband’s feet at once. (Though she really thought Jake should be used to this by now, as it most definitely wasn’t an uncommon occurrence in the Santiago-Peralta household, what with the combination of her own lack of dance ability and Jake’s “mad skillz”.)
‘Owie!’ Jake complained, mock pouting. Amy only smirked in response. As much as she loved these impromptu dance sessions, she really wanted to curl up with her book again, maybe bribing Jake to bring her a mug of hot chocolate.
‘Do you remember our first Christmas? Our “Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas”?’
The sudden change of conversation was no less startling than they ever were, but so wonderfully Jake she couldn’t help but smile up at him. Unfortunately, this distracted her enough that she managed to trip over Jake’s feet properly, and they both collapsed back onto the couch together, laughing. Jake pulled her to him, and she wrapped her arms around him tightly.
‘Of course I remember! Christmas Eve that year was the most stressful one I have ever had- including that time when I was younger and realised one of my brother’s had stolen my favourite gel pens which I had been planning on using for my Christmas scrapbook… But yeah, nothing could ever beat the Polar Bear Swim followed by Die-Hard Hostage situation for that place!’
She shivered at the memories.
‘Wrong Christmas babe: not our first as a couple, but our first one knowing each other!’
‘But we were barely even friends then,’
‘I think you mean we were enemies,’
‘Well, second-to-arch-enemies, obvs the Vulture comes first. But anyway, surely you remember that I was OBSESSED with this song that year! It was on my Christmas mixtape and everything!’
‘I’m so glad I persuaded you to stop making those things,’
‘Says the one who has a Christmas binder?’
‘That doesn’t make it better babe,’ Jake leant over her to press replay on the song, ‘Anyway, I was so obsessed with this sick beat that I literally could not stop dancing to it… much to the irritation of my desk partner…’
Amy remembered all too well. Jake hadn’t been, let’s say, the best person to be stuck opposite in an office for long hours during the holiday season.
One time in particular, she had been dangerously close to smashing his cassette tape player, before going to register a formal complaint against him in attempt to be given a new partner. After playing this song on repeat for what seemed like eternity (though in reality it was probably only a few hours), he had decided to start dancing to it.
‘Jake,’ she’d complained, ‘How can anybody possibly solve cases while shimmying across the bullpen?’
‘You forget that I am the World’s Greatest Detective and I can solve cases while doing ANYTHING! Even shimmying, which BT dubs I am a pro at!’
His gloating words had made her seethe, but he would not turn the music down. She was convinced she would have solved twice as many cases during the holiday season without his distraction.
Now, years later, Amy still couldn’t hear that song without gritting her teeth in frustration at her partner’s infuriating office behaviour. Even if her partner was now also her husband…
Jake coughed, disrupting Amy’s memories.
‘Oh my god, you didn’t get it did you?’
Amy wrinkled her nose in confusion.
‘And there I was thinking I was super lame and obvious,’
‘Literally how did you not realise I was only being such a jerk with all the singing and dancing to try to get your attention…’ Jake trailed off, blushing. Suddenly the room seemed very quiet, though Amy did not remember hearing the song finish again.
She suddenly couldn’t hold back her giggles, ending the silence abruptly.
‘Aww babe, you were that desperate?’
‘C’mon Ames, you know my only method of flirting was to annoy you into dating me,’
‘And somehow, it actually worked,’
‘Yeah it’s a mystery to me too… wait, actually that case is solved! Clearly, it only worked because I’m not only the most awesome detective in New York, but also the best singer!’
Pressing play once more on his phone, Jake leapt to his feet. Then, jumping onto their coffee table, he began swinging his hips to the beat and belting out lyrics. She felt ridiculous, but even after all their time together, Amy still could not believe how cute he was. Like, stupid cute.
‘Sing with me Amy!’ Jake yelled.
‘Shake it, shake it, shake it for me
You know I love it, when you’re taking the lead,’
She rolled her eyes. Naturally, this only prompted him to dance more enthusiastically. Amy Santiago never would have imagined that she would be sat here watching Jake, a grown adult man, dancing on top of their coffee table, with the energy of a kid on Christmas morning, but she wouldn’t change it for the world.
Well, maybe next time she’d have words with him about taking his shoes off first.
And of course, there was the whole matter of health-and-safety… before Amy had even finished that thought, Jake performed a particularly energetic high kick and lost his balance. For a sickening moment, she just watched him wobble on the edge of the table. And then, with a crash, he was falling head over heels off the edge and flat onto the floor.
No, no, no.
He groaned. Thank god he hadn’t knocked himself out. Still panicking, Amy began desperately trying to remember her first-aid training. Before her anxiety ridden brain had time to act however, Jake sat bolt upright, grinning broadly and continuing to sing, completely unfazed,
‘I want a Good Ol’ Fashioned Christmas time with you!’