Sonny was sitting home alone on a Saturday night, it wasn’t ideal but he needed time to think. Time to think about Isabella, or Miss 34B as Amanda and Fin kept calling her. Amanda kept pestering him to introduce them, she wanted to make sure her partners partner was a good fit. He hadn’t introduced them as he just wasn’t sure about the relationship.
Isabella was a lovely person, funny, intelligent, everything Sonny could ask for. She was tall, long dark hair and had beautiful brown eyes. His parents had introduced them, she was the daughter of someone they knew at church. She was an office manager, a role that meant, as his parents said, she spent her days in a nice cosy office surrounded by decent hard-working people, not chasing down dangerous criminals. He chose not to tell them how many times he’d arrested one of those ‘decent hard-working people’ for heinous crimes.
Isabella was everything Sonny’s parents wanted for him, if they’d have met a few years ago Sonny suspected they’d already be married by now. But Sonny was a different person back then, that would have been before he happened.
Rafael Barba. Fruit from the forbidden tree. His crush on the ADA hit him like a tonne of bricks the first time he saw Barba in court and only grew from there. He’d always known he was bisexual but he kept that side of himself secret. Most of his family, especially his parents wouldn’t understand. So he admired Barba from afar, quite happily. Then one evening last year, after a few drinks with the squad to celebrate the successful end of a tricky case, Sonny and Rafael were left alone. Following every cliché in the book one thing led to another and they ended up in bed together. He assumed it was a onetime thing but then Barba invited him over the following week, then a few days after that as well. After the third time Rafael laid down the ground rules. It was just sex, he didn’t have the time or need for a relationship. No dates, no romance, no sappy messages, no home cooked meals, they wouldn’t be watching a movie together or going for walks along the beach. Also, it was to be kept secret, but that was a no brainer considering their work situation. It wasn’t Sonny’s style at all but he couldn’t resist.
And for a while it worked. They had amazing sex then went on their way. Sonny realised his feelings had grown but knew better than to say anything. Before long he also realised Rafael had developed feelings but he wouldn’t admit it. Sonny could tell from the little looks, the way he didn’t berate Sonny as much anymore, and even by the way they had sex. But still he didn’t dare say anything, why ruin a good thing?
Then the death threats started happening. At first Sonny was just mad that Rafael had kept this to himself when he was surrounded by people that could and would help. Mike’s death distracted from the threats for a while, but it was still going on. They caught and arrested Heredio but the threats kept coming. Sonny was agitated as the security detail assigned to Rafael meant they couldn’t be alone together.
It wasn’t long before Rafael insisted on dropping his security detail despite the threats. The lack of privacy was suffocating him. Whatever Sonny and Rafael had had started up again but it was different this time. Rafael wouldn’t rush to get Sonny out of his apartment when they were done any more. He looked at Sonny differently, he even started talking and opening up more.
One afternoon Sonny got a call from a local precinct. Rafael had been attacked by someone, he was at the hospital, the injuries weren’t major but they thought Manhattan SVU had to be informed as it was related to their case. Liv was away in Paris, Amanda was home with Jessie and it was just him and Fin holding down the fort. Sonny told Fin not to worry, he’d go talk to Barba, and Fin believed it was all professional courtesy, but Sonny needed to make sure Rafael was ok.
He was. Like the officer had said the injuries were minor. He had some bruising and a sprained ankle but nothing to write home about. Sonny took the details of the attack, description of the attacker, then insisted on driving Rafael home. He’s expected a fight over that but Rafael agreed.
They got back to his apartment and then Rafael tried to dismiss him, get him out of there as soon as possible. Sonny explained he just wanted to look after him, make sure he really was ok underneath the bravado. This lead to an argument which brought up things Sonny hadn’t wanted to discuss. Before he knew it he was telling Rafael to just admit he had feelings for him. Rafael refused, reiterated he didn’t want a relationship, said Sonny was nothing more than a pleasing distraction. The argument ended abruptly after that, and as quickly as the “relationship” had begun it was over.
They went back to being work colleagues and nothing more. Sonny passed Rafael’s case to Fin, claiming he needed to focus on another recent case instead. Rafael’s attacker was caught and as far as he knew that was the end of it. If Rafael was still getting threats he wasn’t saying anything.
For a while there was nothing. It was like the whole fling had never happened.
They worked closely on a case a few months later, Sonny had put his hand on Rafael’s arm while they were talking, not quite intimately but more than his usual accidental touches, and Rafael brushed him off very pointedly. So that, Sonny decided, was the end of that. A few weeks later his parents brought up Isabella and Sonny decided what the hell.
She really was lovely. She deserved a good relationship with a good man. She thought Sonny was a good man but how could he be when kept thinking about someone else?
The relationship up until recently had been going very well. They talked about anything and everything, they made each other laugh, they understood each other’s jokes. They spent their free time just being with each other. They tried new restaurants together, they went out to anywhere that seemed interesting, sometimes just wondering around the city. Sonny forgot how much he missed being out with someone. He couldn’t imagine walking through central park with Rafael, let alone holding his hand in public.
Sonny had thought maybe this could be something special, that he could throw himself into it and Rafael would just become a memory but he’d noticed something the other day. It was subtle, probably no-one else would have noticed it. They were in Rafael’s office with Amanda and Liv discussing a case when Sonny had got a text from Isabella. He’s smiled reading it which Amanda picked up on immediately. She teased him about it, asked how Miss 34B was doing and when they were ever going to meet this mystery woman who had swept Sonny off his feet.
Rafael looked jealous. The look didn’t last long but it was unmistakable. It occurred to Sonny that Rafael had mellowed towards him again recently. Maybe he’d planned to make a move again, or maybe Sonny was reading into something that wasn’t there. But that look of jealousy was there and he couldn’t ignore it.
He decided he needed to know. He went to Rafael’s apartment later that evening and confronted him about it. Rafael denied it of course, heaven forbid he admit to having feelings of any sort. But Sonny persisted, he was like a dog with a bone as Rafael pointed out. Finally, Rafael cracked, he admitted he had feelings for Sonny and the thought of him with someone else was driving him crazy but he knew he’d missed his shot now. Even though that was what Sonny had gone over to find out it still shocked him into silence. He wanted to kiss Rafael, he had to hold himself back. At that moment the only thing he wanted in the world was to kiss Rafael and drag him to the bedroom. Then he remembered Isabella, the woman he was in a relationship with, and he left without saying a word.
That was yesterday. He hadn’t spoken to Rafael since. He’d only spoken to Isabella though text, she was out with friends today so unable to see him, which was for the best considering.
He needed to make a decision tonight as he would see her tomorrow. It was the kind of decision he didn’t want to have to make. Would he lie, never mention this again, avoid Barba and let the relationship with Isabella unfold naturally? No, Sonny didn’t believe in lying in a relationship, he’d seen enough relationships fall apart as lie after lie built up. So, he’d have to tell her, tell her he still had feelings for his ex. But what next? Would he fight for the relationship, assure her he would never cheat on her and hope she could see past it? Or use this to end it? End a relationship that could very easily end up in everything he’d ever wanted, someone who loved and supported him, marriage, kids, the whole shebang. Or end it and take a risk on someone emotionally closed off who might grow bored of him in a few months? Content for the rest of his life or excitement for a small part of it.
After thinking about all his options Sonny realised one simple thing. Isabella deserved better. Sonny’s thoughts on the future were irrelevant. Isabella deserved someone who was one hundred percent committed to her, who would never find themselves at someone else’s apartment seconds away from starting an affair.
So that was that. Tomorrow Sonny would tell Isabella the truth, break up the relationship as gently as he could and hope she wouldn’t hate him for it. As for Rafael, he’d have to wait, Sonny wasn’t going to break up with one person and jump straight into bed with another. He’d wait, perhaps until the guilt had passed, then see if Rafael was still interested. Hopefully it’d lead to more than a few months of excitement, but it was a chance Sonny was willing to take.