For this first time in what feels like her entire life, Amy’s pen is lead-weight heavy between her fingers, difficult to maneuver. The stamped documents are official and orderly and formatted correctly, paradoxical in their relaxing appearance when the only thing she can see is, list family members or next of kin to be informed of the nature of the operation.
It’s like the reality of “I’m going to be dead” is finally sinking in.
Her parents, she thinks immediately. Not her brothers - or, at least, not all of them, because there are so many and it would definitely be a risk, telling so many people such sensitive information. She can feel the plastic of the ballpoint pen pinched between her fingers turn warm as she imagines the twins’ looks of shock, sees Raphe’s drawn, worried face - the same one he’d made when she fell of the swing when she was six and broke her arm. She hears Luis in her head, saying, Mimi, you can’t always play the hero, like he’d say when they were kids and she’d get mad that she couldn’t always be the one saving the day, couldn’t always be the Superman, the Robin Hood, the Nancy Drew who solved the case and won the day.
List family members or next of kin to be informed of the nature of the operation.
Clearly, her brothers were out of the question, and something in Amy’s chest twists at the realization that all the reactions she’s been imagining in her head have been as though she gets to tell them, in person, exactly where she’s going. There really isn’t anyone other than her parents that she could tell, reasonably, and -
(Something bad might go down, and I’d hate myself if I didn’t tell you this.)
The pen drops from Amy’s fingers onto the table and she stares at the official print line on the official print documents, sitting so neatly in front of her.
Everyone’s gonna think you’re dead, Santiago! sounds Rosa’s voice in her head, harsh and sudden. She’d realized, then, Amy thinks, exactly what Rosa had meant - or rather, she’d told herself that she understood, that she knew the repercussions.
“Detective Santiago?” Agent Alvarez’s voice is gentler than Amy has ever heard it over the course of the whole op. She swallows, and looks up at the other woman’s questioning gaze over the table. Captain Holt has returned to his office, and Rosa had opted to stand outside the room, arms stiffly crossed over her chest, glaring at the wall opposite. Amy swallows again. “Is everything alright?”
She picks up the pen, still warm from where her fingers were wound around it, and looks down at the paper. She can see his laughing eyes from a week ago, when she dropped by the precinct with the coffee - a small apology for not being around that much and leaving him with one of their bigger, more complicated cases. Technically, she wasn’t supposed to have come to the precinct at all that day, but the most traitorous voice in her head - the one that she usually ignored - had said that it was worth the way his face lit up in a smile when she slipped into the seat across from his and pushed the fancy caramel macchiatto over the table.
“Sorry I ditched our case,” she’d said, grimacing, as Jake had lifted the coffee into the air with the pomp and circumstance of a man crowning the next queen of England.
“You brought me Greenberg’s finest! Ah, Santiago, your sins are forgiven.”
“Only one time,” she’d said, raising her eyebrows, because coffee was not usually allowed to be eight dollars and Jake already had a frothy mustache.
“Shhh,” he’d said. “I’m reveling in the expensiveness. Go back to being mysterious and stuff. Like, sneak out of the precinct doing spy moves. Can you do that? Do they teach you that stuff?” Jake had leaned forward, steamed-milk mustache and all. “Santiago, can you do a somersault entrance?”
“I’m co-working a prostitution ring,” Amy had said, snorting. “Relax.”
“Relax,” Jake said, swiveling back to face his computer. “Definitely not one of Santiago’s sex tapes.” She groaned, and made to get up from the desk. “Hey -” he paused, looking back at her, one hand still clutching the coffee. Something about the sudden softness of his brown eyes made swallowing difficult. “Um, anyway. Come back soon, or whatever. It’s boring around here with no one to throw eraser shavings at.”
“Try Scully,” she’d said. “Or Hitchcock. Or Charles.”
“Charles?” In his most betrayed, offended voice. “How could you even think that of me, Amy Santiago!”
Amy stares at the paper now, pen in hand, and tries not to think about how Jake is two floors above them. She could go see him, she thinks, after she signs the paper. She could.
In an alternate reality, where she wasn’t Amy Santiago, and there weren’t Rules about this kind of thing, and she wasn’t about to sign this paper, and she couldn’t see his soft brown eyes so clearly in her head, she could.
She thinks, something bad went down, and signs her name at the bottom of the document.