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Jake woke up Sunday morning to find that Rosa had left.

That… wasn’t entirely unexpected, so he didn’t think too much of it, instead checking his phone. There weren’t any new messages, and Jake pretended that he didn’t feel as relieved by that as he was.

Hangover eggs and coffee did their work, and he was up and about easily enough, shoving his laundry into his washer and forcing the knob to turn - it was kinda broken when he moved in, and more broken now. Chores didn’t stop just because life was on fire, and Jake actually found the things he normally hated - laundry, dishes, cleaning, all the stuff that had to be done all the time but never ended - oddly soothing.

He was up to his elbow inside the oven - cleaning it, for the first time, well, ever - when his phone buzzed.

Well. The good times had to end eventually.

Jake checked it warily, a pit in his stomach, but that dissipated into a strange jolt as he read it as having been from Amy.

Hey Jake, do you want to get coffee before work Tuesday?

Jake typed back an affirmation, and then placed his phone down, looking back at the oven, which suddenly no longer looked interesting to clean.

He had nothing else to do, though, so he might as well finish.

Monday morning, Jake felt jittery. It had nothing to do with caffeine - he hadn’t even had a cup yet - and definitely nothing to do with how Terry was finishing up one last piece of paperwork before they headed out.

Jake wished he could get out of this, somehow. He wanted to make an excuse and back out and then never have to so much as look in the direction of Sophia ever again. As the time creeped closer and closer to the defense attorney function, he found himself becoming more and more antsy. All he wanted to do was run, run and never look back. He didn’t want to go. It felt like… like he was coming back to his and Ethan’s shared apartment after staying out late.

He hated that feeling.

Jake opened the door as quietly as he could manage, slipping inside and putting his keys on their hook on the wall and slipping his shoes off. He removed his jacket, hanging it over the back of a chair. In the darkened room - the sun having set so long ago - he squinted as he made his way towards the bathroom, clicking on the light in order to remove his contacts.

Grimacing, he tried to rush through his nightly routine - he was already so late, there was no point. Ethan was probably asleep at that point, and Jake hoped that he wasn’t upset. He knew he’d be disappointed in him for staying out so late, and he hated to upset him.

Jake turned off the light, slinking across the floor in his socks as he went to the bedroom. As he opened the door, he saw a glint of pale yellow light emanating from it. Heart sinking into his chest, he opened it all the way, coming inside of it.

Ethan looked up from the book he was evidently reading, expression turning into relief.

“Jake!” He stood up, setting it aside, and came up to him, giving him a warm embrace. “I was so worried when you didn’t come home! Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Jake replied, “I got stuck with some paperwork, is all. My phone died.”

“Oh,” Ethan pulled back to look him over, concern pulling across his face. “I do wish you’d remember to bring a phone charger with you. I was beside myself with worry.”

“I’m sorry,” Jake said, guilt filling him at the thought of Ethan in the apartment, waiting around for him. Not knowing if he was okay or not. “I usually do, but I totally spaced.”

“It’s okay. I know you didn’t mean to upset me.” Ethan said, pulling him back into another embrace.

Jake hugged him back, feeling a nauseous tightness in his chest at the thought of the worry he’d caused. “I’m sorry,” He said quietly.

Ethan pulled back and kissed him, soft and gentle, before smiling at him - all the concern on his face having completely vanished, replaced with something much more sultry. “Well, you’re here now. We can… alleviate some of the energy I’ve gotten from being worried for you.” He leaned forward, kissing Jake once more, a bit deeper.

Jake felt warmth pulse through him immediately, and returned the kiss eagerly - the press of guilt not quite going away, but certainly lending itself to the desire to please Ethan. To make up for his error. Besides, Jake’d been wanting this all day…

Terry and Jake were standing in the courthouse, and Terry was frowning at Jake.

“Why are you so nervous, man? Sophia’s going to be there, it’ll be easier.”

Jake made a face, fiddling with the hem of his dress shirt, making a noncommittal, “Mm,” sound.

Terry’s eyebrows furrowed. “What the hell? I thought you and Sophia were doing good.”

“I mean, we are, I think. She’s just been… distant lately.” Jake lied. The actual answer - that she wasn’t distant enough - wasn’t really something he wanted to discuss with the Sarge.

“What’d you do wrong?” Terry asked.

Jake internally winced at that. “Nothing!” He defended hotly. Her hands on his chest, her thighs against his sides, riding down on him and whispering-

“Well, it better be fine, because I brought you here because you’re her boyfriend. I need to talk with her boss, Hoytsman, and convince him to support the prosecutor on a case I’m working.” Terry reminded.

“Yes, yes, we reviewed this a million times. He likes skiing, his dog, Atlantic City, and slave movies - sketch.”

“Very sketchy, yes. But we need to focus on getting in good with him, got it?”


“Seriously, though, Jake, is everything alright?”

Jake nodded, swallowing around the lump in his throat.

Terry’s eyebrows furrowed, and he opened his mouth as if to speak, when one of the sets of doors nearby opened, and all the well-dressed people around them began trickling in.

“Looks like it’s time.” He said instead.

Jake nodded. “Put on your phonies smile, Sarge. We’re going into the belly of the beast.”

Terry cracked him a wide, fake grin, and the pair entered the Association of the Brooklyn Public Defenders. As they pushed open the doors - heavy wooden ones with hinges so well oiled they didn’t even think about squeaking - and entered, Terry and him wore those broad, fake smiles so well loved by the attorneys of the world.

They’d barely made it a few steps in before the attorneys took notice of them, a few side eyes being thrown their way. Jake’s eyes flitted around, looking for Sophia - he saw her standing beside an older man, who looked put together aside from a slightly askew tie.

Jake immediately recognized him as her boss, Jeffrey Hoytsman. The reason they were there in the first place. He just needed to get Sophia to introduce him and Terry, then Terry could do all the talking and then bingpot, Terry’d get the evidence appeal waived for his robbery case.

Sophia turned, making eye contact with him. Rather than seeming pleased, though, she looked… frazzled. She turned to her boss - Hoytsman, Jake was pretty sure his name was - and said something, before making her way over to them.

“Jake!” She said, voice hushed. “What are you doing here?”

“Heyyy, girlfriend!” Jake said, before shaking his head. “Sorry, that came out way saucier than I meant. How’s it going?”

“Good, but, what are you doing here?” Sophia glanced at Terry, then back at him. “I thought we agreed Thursday wasn’t a big deal?” She asked.

Jake blinked, momentarily stunned - he didn’t intend to bring that up, and Terry was staring at him - and then said the first thing that popped into his head. “Yep! Well, I’m not here to talk to you, actually, I’m here to talk to your boss, Jeffrey Hoytsman.”

“Oh, god.” Sophia sighed.

“Oh good indeed!”

“You misheard me on purpose.”

“Maybe. But either way, I’m going to talk to Hoytsman, we’re gonna bond, and then he’s going to help Sarge here with a case he’s working on.”

“What case would that be?” Sophia asked, turning to Terry.

Terry, thankfully, didn’t so much as pause before launching into a brief explanation of the issue. Sophia nodded along politely, waiting for him to finish, before shaking her head.

“Not gonna happen. Jeffrey doesn’t like cops, he’s not going to help you out. Not if it’ll risk his own counsel.”

“That can be for him to decide-”

“Hello, Sophia.” Hoytsman appeared at Sophia’s side, “Sergeant Jeffords,” He acknowledged, before turning to Jake, “Detective Peralta.”

“Please, my friends call me Jakey Snowpants, from how much skiing I do.Carving moguls on a black diamond.”

“I prefer cross-country skiing.” Hoytsman replied, “No point in calling it a sport if gravity does all the work.”

“Hm, yeah, gravity.” Jake nodded - shit, he hadn’t known there was more than one kind of skiing. “Anyway, I’ve been spending most of my weekends at Atlantic City these days.”

“Oh, that place is a dump,” Hoytsman said disdainfully. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to steal Sophia away.”

As the two went off, Jake turned to Terry, who had replaced his phony smile with a frown. “I don’t get it. Why would he spend so much time in a place he hates? There must be something there he loves.” He paused, then grinned. “I bet he loves to gamble.”

Jake waited a few minutes, until Sophia and Hoytsman split off from each other, and then he approached - Terry waiting in the wings, clearly not on board with whatever thing Jake was about to do.

As he approached, Hoytsman’s smile tightened ever so slightly. “I’m going to grab something to eat,” He said, turning.

“Hey,” Jake said, “Bet you five bucks you can’t guess three of the hor deourves they’re serving.”

Hoytsman paused. “I’ll take that action.”

Terry obligingly appeared about five bets later, and laid on the ground so Jake could line up eggrolls beside him. He was giving Jake a sort of resigned look, seemingly indifferent to the entire situation - so long as he got on Hoytsman’s good side to get his case thing done, he didn’t seem to mind the shenanigans.

Jake’s phone kept buzzing throughout the night, and, at one point pulling it out to check as Hoytsman was distracted lining up a tomato shot, saw that all of them were from Sophia. He didn’t check theml, but the most recent one read,

You don’t need to be here. You’re going to embarrass me in front of my colleagues. Go now, or else I… The rest of it required him to unlock his phone. Jake didn’t bother to.

Hoytsman certainly seemed to be enjoying himself, at any rate, eyes bright and practically skipping as they placed bet after bet, seemingly oblivious to the wayward glances of his colleagues.

As Hoytsman left to go to the restroom, Sophia came back up, looking even more irritated than before.

“Jake, what are you still doing here? I asked you to leave, and were you talking to Hoytsman just now?”

“Yep. We’re bonding.” Jake nodded, feeling his heartrate jump up at the sight of her. “Sarge’s getting in his good graces with some old-fashioned betting. Oh!” He cast about for an idea to leave, he didn’t want to see her irritation at him. Her anger. “I should bet him I can pee longer than he can. Be right back.”

He brushed by Sophia - pretending that the touch didn’t make him want to shudder - and headed to the bathroom.

He opened the door, and said, “Hello Jeffrey.”

Hoytsman turned around, revealing lines of a white substance, some of it on his nose. “Oh, hello!” He said cheerfully.

“...And that’s cocaine.” Jake said slowly, closing his eyes and reopening them to see the same scene before him.

“It’s no biggie. Hey, I bet I can snort all of this coke before you finish peeing.” Hoytsman offered.

“No? I’m going to have to arrest you, you know.”

“What? Why? I’m not doing anything illegal.”

“There’s literally cocaine on your jacket right now.”

“What?” Hoytsman looked down, then snorted it up. “No there isn’t.”

“Oh my… Okay, come with me nice and calm, or I’ll handcuff you in front of your coworkers.”

“I bet you won’t.”

Jake pulled out his handcuffs regretfully. “I bet I will.”

He emerged from the bathroom, making a beeline straight for Terry - who, fuck was talking with Sophia at that very moment.

Looking up, Terry’s face morphed into one of exasperation, and Sophia turned.

“Heyyy, so, no biggie, but I did just arrest your boss.” Jake said, uncomfortable grin on his face.

“Well, I read that wrong.” Terry said, glancing at Sophia, who rolled her eyes.

“He was doing cocaine.”

“Okay, so I accidentally got some cocaine-”

“No, you put it in your nose on purpose.”

“I don’t even think I have a nose, Peralta. I certainly cannot feel it. The defense rests!”

“What is going on?” Another attorney turned around to see what was happening.

“Sophia’s cop boyfriend is arresting me in front of my friends and colleagues!” Hoytsman’s voice raised, and the room fell silent, everyone turning to look at them.

“Hey, everyone, I’m Jake.” He raised his hand awkwardly. “So, who here’s seen 12 years a slave? Won best picture.”

Terry grimaced. “Come on, Jake, let’s go.”

Sophia looked completely blank, her attorney face firmly in place. She got out of the way, and Terry led Jake and Hoytsman out.

Hoytsman continued to protest the whole way, saying that this was racial profiling - Terry rolling his eyes so hard it looked like he was getting an exorcism - and they were in the squad car soon enough, bringing him back to the precinct.

“So… about that case.” Jake began to Terry.

“Just… not a word.” Terry replied, gripping the steering wheel so tightly Jake thought it might bend.

Once Hoytsman had gone through some processing - still no less chatty - he was sitting at the chair beside Jake’s desk, still handcuffed but seemingly much more down from his high. At least, enough that he could think straight enough to be a real dick about it.

“You screwed this up, buddy. You think she’s gonna still love you after this? She’ll see who you are now.”

“Hey,” Jake looked up, keeping his voice even. “You don’t know anything about me and Sophia.”

“What? I’m talking to myself. About my wife. She is not gonna like this. Who cares about you and your gross life?”

“Hey, Jake, heads up.” Terry said from across the bullpen.

Jake turned to see Sophia walking over. If she looked irritated before, she looked enraged now.

“Sophia!” He stood up. “I’m so glad you’re here, I wanted to talk-”

“I’m not here to talk with you.” She said shortly, “I’m here as Jeffrey’s attorney.”

“Okay look, I know that you’re mad.” Jake began, “But I talked to the DA and he agreed to drop the charges. Jeffrey just has to do a little bit of community service and it won’t even go on his record.”

“Not good enough. You have no evidence.”

“Sophia, he literally did cocaine in front of me. And the evidence tested positive as cocaine.”

Sophia scoffed.

“I had to arrest him! I had no choice.”

“Really? Cause I can think of 50 other ways you could’ve handled this scenario.”

“Oh my God, you’re such a lawyer.”

“You’re such a child!” Sophia snapped back. “I have one night with you where I tell you I want something, and you go and ignore me- and then show up to bother my boss without even letting me know?”

“How is it my fault your jerk of a boss stuck his jerk nose into a pile of jerk cocaine?”

“Okay, you know what? We’re done.”

“Alright, fine. I’ll talk to the DA, see if I can cut the community service in half, how’s that?”

“No, Jake, not with the case. You and I are done.”

Jake jerked back, feeling a surge of confusion and anxiety burst up inside of him. Underneath it was a not insubstantial amount of relief - he didn’t have to do it, now, she was going to - but mostly he just felt blindsided.

Sophia turned and walked away, entering the elevator.

“Holy shit.” Terry said, “That’s… that’s rough, man.”

Jake didn’t respond, didn’t even look in his direction. He just bolted for the stairs, swinging the door open and heading down them.

“Hang on, Sophia!” He said, bursting through the door, barely managing to stop her outside.

“Little winded there?” She asked.

“Yeah, give me a sec. Can you just talk for like, 20 minutes while I try to catch my breath?”

“I don’t have anything to say.” She crossed her arms.

“This is just a stupid fight over nothing, I’m not going to let us break up over this.” Jake didn’t want them to end over this, he realized - not her dumping him over screwing over her boss. He wanted it to end with him telling her how she had hurt him, her apologizing and changing for the better and then holding him close and loving him-

“It’s not about this, Jake. Our jobs are incompatible. Our lives are incompatible. Alright, look, Jake, you’re fun, okay? And we’ve only been dating for three months. It’s just not that serious.”

“Well, it’s kinda serious to me.” Jake said, “Look, we can make it work-”

“Work how? Jake,” She looked sympathetic for a moment, but still in a controlled way - still in a lawyer kind of way. “You and I… it can be fun, sure, but… you can’t honestly expect me to want to be with you permanently. Not when you can’t meet any of my needs.”

“Which needs?” Jake felt like his head was stuffed with cotton, fit to bursting, scraping along the inside of his skull. He already knew the answer - he had always known the answer.

“You won’t- ugh, do I even need to say it?” She didn’t wait for him to answer, “I can’t say it nicely, there’s no sugarcoating. Look, I can tell that you’ve been through some stuff, it’s obvious, but that doesn’t change the fact that I need someone - a sub - who meets my needs. And, that’s not going to ever be you. I thought maybe, last time you spent the night, it would… it would happen, but you just can’t. And that’s not on you, it’s just… an incompatibility.”

“This isn’t fair.” Jake found himself saying. “You don’t get to break up with me. My friends told me to break up with you.”

“Well, they were right.” As she turned to leave, Jake couldn’t make himself follow.

He watched her go.

She didn’t look back.

Jake wasn’t sure how long he stood out there, as the cold from the snow sunk into his shoes, but when he finally did come to awareness of himself, he couldn’t feel his fingers. He hadn’t grabbed a jacket, in his haste to catch up to her.

He trudged back upstairs, ignoring Terry’s concerned look, and suggested they go to Shaw’s. Work had ended anyways.

They went off in the direction of Shaw’s - work had ended hours ago anyways - and stuck his numbed hands into his pockets.

It seemed that misery wanted company, because when he entered, he saw Holt - whose demeanour could only be described as sulking - and found himself wandering over to him.

“Hey, Captain. How’s it going?”

“Terribly. Wuntch has been plotting, and she played me like a fiddle.”

“Oh. That sucks.” Jake didn’t know who Wuntch was, but okay. “My girlfriend broke up with me.”

“Come on, Captain, you didn’t fail. You took the high road with Wuntch, that counts for something.”

“Not entirely. While in her office, I changed her computer so it would autocorrect “Wuntch” to “Butt”.” Holt replied.

Jake would have enjoyed that, he thought numbly, if he was in a better frame of mind.

“Ahh, I should not have gone to that party. I should not have gone into that bathroom, I should not have arrested her boss.” Jake grumbled, putting his face in his hands. Her words - I need someone - a sub - who can meet my needs swam through his head. He should’ve just gone into subspace. Should’ve just kept texting her, or something.

No, he recentered himself. He should have broken up with her first, so that he’d never had heard that. That would’ve been the right approach.

“I don’t see it that way.” Terry replied. “You did everything right. You were a good cop.”

“Good lonely cop.”

“Hey man, you put yourself out there. I haven’t seen you date anyone except for that friend of Boyle’s in all the time I’ve known you. You liked Sophia, you fought for her. You should be proud.”

“No, you should be changing her autocorrect. What’s her last name?”


“No, it’s Butt now. Sophia Butt.”

Jake couldn’t help but chuckle - Holt seemed completely genuine, and there was a slight lightness to his voice that Jake appreciated.

Holt seemed pleased by the laugh, and said, “That feels good, doesn’t it?”

The smile slipped from Jake’s face. “Not really.”

“Okay.” He paused, “Then let’s get soused.”

“Oh, okay, okay, okay!” Jake flagged down the bartender.

As he drank himself stupid with his Captain and his Sarge, he couldn’t help but reflect on, how even though he felt this crushing weight in his chest - Sophia breaking up with him, another failed relationship on his end, her reasoning for doing so - he, at the same time, felt lighter than he had ever since that night they shared.

The night where she took, and he gave - gave more than he meant, than he wanted.

But still, Jake thought dourly, even giving Sophia all of that wasn’t enough for her.