So this was going to be an actual fic, but, alas, any sort of narrative wouldn’t come, so instead allow me to offer a series of (not at all canon-timeline compliant) headcanons about Amy Santiago’s tiny daughter taking Jake in as part of the family:
When Amy starts at the Nine-Nine, she is Very Adamant that Jake will never meet Maya, largely because a) He’s the worst, and b) Maya doesn’t need to see her mother curse out a fellow employee, but mostly c) He’s The Worst.
Except she only lasts twelve days, at which point Captain McGinley calls her in on her day off because he’s finally realized that his new detective has started and he wants to meet her, even though they have met four (4) times and he’s assigned two cases to her and Jake
It’s supposed to be a short meeting and she promises a very teary-eyed Maya that she’ll be real quick, but she needs to go in without Maya because McGinley looks like he might yell for some reason, Amy can just tell, and Sarge isn’t here and Amy barely knows anyone else and Jake offers, basically
Maya is just v. v. teary when Amy blows her a quick kiss before entering McGinley’s office
The meeting lasts exactly forty-seven minutes
Amy expects A Disaster when she gets out, or at the very least a very stressed-out Jake trying to pass her daughter off on someone else
But instead Maya is sitting in Jake’s lap with two of his superhero figurines gripped between her sweaty little hands, patiently telling a story while Jake writes on a piece of paper next to her
“And then there’s a dragon,” Maya says breathlessly, and Jake nods along patiently
“Fire-breathing or bearded?” he offers, and Maya really considers it for a moment before deciding on bearded. “Got it, I’ve jotted that down.”
“I thought no one was allowed to touch your dolls?” Amy asks when she gets to them, and she’s a little stressed out about this whole situation because Jake is suddenly, like, a kind person? Who’s been watching her daughter for forty-seven minutes and counting?
“Uh, obviously this is Red Metal Man and Mr. Star, okay.”
It’s not. It’s Iron Man and Captain America, and Amy can tell because she’s not totally out of the loop of the cultural zeitgeit, okay, and she sometimes pays attention to movie posters and has very definitely seen at least two of the superhero movies
“Plus I believe I said no Santiagos, and that was back before I knew there was a cool Santiago in the clan.”
Maya, meanwhile, has grabbed a pen off of Jake’s desk and is now leaning precariously over said desk and drawing on some of the large blank spaces Jake had left on the paper
And Amy realizes that Jake was writing down Maya’s story but made sure there was room so she could draw
Jake grins at her sheepishly, braces Maya with one hand on her back to make sure she doesn’t slip, and says, “It’s her vision, and she’s, like, a really good storyteller.”
Amy swoons, but in a low-key, subtle way. Probably.
Anyway, but Jake is also The Worst, so it doesn’t matter
I was raised by a single mother. There were three of us. I don’t like seeing how common that family unit is in our community. I don’t like seeing women pride themselves and each other on having families on their own because it hurts the kids in some ways and it is avoidable a lot of the times. When we hype single moms for being single moms, they become role models for the wrong reasons. There are other ways to prove your strength than raising kids.
As the son of a single mother, it enrages me to hear this kind of talk but I can’t say I’m surprised to see men hate women like this. I’ve heard this kind of talk all my life, and not just by some random nobodies like this dude, but by high profile people as well, like politicians (remember Mitt Romney’s comment in the 2012 election?). Men have the audacity to disrespect a woman for being brave and having a child while being alone, but those same men stay quiet as hell about the man who abandoned her.
Just me, casually but indefinitely stunting on anyone and everyone who ever called dark skinned women ugly. On my way to a very Caucasian brunch date with myself. Y'all have a blessed Fahva’s day y'hear?
I am a child of divorce,
my parents haven’t been together since I was 8,
and when I tell people that, their response is usually the words “I’m sorry” and
I see the pity in their eyes and I want to say, “I’m not”
because my life would be so different if they were still together, because I would be a different person, because I don’t want to think about who I’d be if he was still a part of my family.
see, I don’t talk about why my parents got divorced and it’s not exactly a secret, it’s just not something I talk about unless it’s brought up.
see, I don’t hide it, I just don’t talk about it because I don’t know how to make the words “my dad was abusive” or “my dad was a manipulative bastard” or “my dad hurt my family more than he helped it” sound less horrible because I don’t know how to handle the false sympathy or the pity
or the way my friends just don’t know what to say
I remember the day they told me that they were splitting up, or rather,
I remember crying at our kitchen table and I remember that I was confused because I was too young to really know what was going on in my own home
see, I didn’t experience the abuse first hand until I was 8.
but now I’m 17 and I am still flinching from the resounding sound of a heavy hand on a fragile face, and I am still flinching from the feeling of being hit
I am still trying to breathe past the pillow he shoved over my face
I am still reeling from a nightmare I had nearly 7 years ago where all that happened was he showed his face in my dreams
I am still looking over my shoulder and bracing myself before I round every corner because I am always on edge and I am always wondering if he will be waiting in the shadows
you see, it took me years to be comfortable making eye contact with people again and even now, it gets hard sometimes
you see, I went to therapy every week with my brothers and I still remember the anxiety before every one
you see, I was forced to see him every week because the court officials didn’t listen when we said, “no, I don’t want to see him” and I still remember the unease and the anger and the frustration that they didn’t listen just because we were kids
well, listen up, because kids can recognize when they are in a bad situation too
and you can say that I’m from a broken home and you might be right but I can tell you that my home is more whole without him in it,
I can tell you that I am better off without a father because my mother is better and stronger than he could ever be
I am a child of a single mother because even when my dad was here, he never lifted a finger to help
I hope I can paint a picture of a fierce warrior because that’s what my mother is.
she is putting on her battle armor everyday and she is fighting to stay alive, to live, to survive
and so am I