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An Extraordinary Family

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Dominick and Tessa Carisi loved all four of their children equally.  They were all gifted in their own ways, all with their own faults, and still they always knew their children were going to be special.

Of course, they weren't aware of just how special the four of them would be.

--

Teresa was twelve when she first realized that she could talk her way into and out of any situation. Her father said she had a silver tongue and could charm the pants off anyone and she frequently did. She negotiated her C's into B's and maintained a slightly above average GPA with minimal effort.  All with her words and maybe a little bit of concentration.

Then, in Teresa's sixteenth year, the world changed.

The year was 1990, Sinéad O'Connor filled the airways and the world discovered that some people had powers. Like all teenagers, she hoped that she was one of the special ones.  She was thrilled when Dominick Carisi dragged all his children down to the local community center to be tested but she would have been more excited if she didn't have to wrangle her eight-year-old sister. All four siblings sat huddled on plastic chairs, all nervous that they may be labeled as different.

Bella was tested first, then Sonny and then Gina. When Teresa's name was finally called and her blood drawn, the butterflies flittered in her stomach. She watched as the nurse added her blood to a bright blue solution, her excitement grew as the solution changed to green and then yellow. The nurse let her return to her family before pulling their father aside and speaking to him in hushed tones.

That evening at dinner their father announced that they had all flagged positive, that they would undergo further testing. As the months went on all the Carisi siblings had been identified as having minor manipulative powers. They were classified as non-threatening and things were allowed to go back to normal.

Teresa, however, revelled in her classification. She decided not to go to college and found a position in sales where she was able to persuade people to purchase items outside their means. As she grew older she became more skilled in the art of manipulation, eventually selling overpriced handbags to rich women and their husbands.

She allowed herself to be caught up in sweeping romances and tragic heartbreaks.  As persuasive as her power was, it did have limits.  She would never be able to steal a heart that belonged to another, no matter how much she wanted to.

-

Gina had always been told she was the prettiest of the Carisi sisters. Her mother would sit and hum to Gina as she brushed her daughter's golden locks. As she grew from girl to woman her beauty grew with her.  She would turn heads as she walked down the street, the envy of all other women.

Unlike her siblings, Gina didn't enjoy her power.  She could push her emotions onto others, overwhelming them with sadness, anger, or fear. She had learned control very early on when even the slightest flare would cause her younger brother to faint from exhaustion. She isolated herself from her siblings and forced herself, and others, to make friends.

And then came Tony Bianchi.

He had dark hair, darker eyes, and a wicked smile. Gina was seventeen when she lost her virginity to him, fumbling in the back of his dad's old pickup. As they kissed, forehead to forehead, she released everything that she felt towards him. When Tony was done he turned to her and smiled, giving her his class ring and asking a simple question.

When she announced her engagement her parents looked disappointed, her older sister laughed and her younger siblings looked amused. Three weeks later, when the high had eased, Tony broke the engagement and started dating Helena Hadjitofi. Gina had spent that evening buried in her sister's chest, sobbing hysterically.  She swore never to fall in love again.

She threw herself head first into her passion, acting. She took voice lessons, dragged her siblings along to auditions when she was supposed to be watching them, and spent hours practicing basic tap steps in the basement. She was twenty when she finally made her way into the ensemble of a Broadway musical, and when she took her first curtain call her family was there stamping their feet and cheering wildly.

Soon she was recognized, her golden curls and beautiful face was plucked out of the chorus and placed into the spotlight. At twenty-five she was headlining, her ability to project her emotions made her one of the most sought-after performers. As the years went by Gina learned that lovers may come and go, and that engagements did too, but that as long as she was doing what she loved she was the luckiest girl in her family.

-

Sonny was fourteen when he clapped his friend James on the shoulder, a single finger grazed the back of the brunette’s neck. Sonny felt dizzy, with excitement for movie they were about to see, with annoyance at seeing his little brother, and with lust when he saw Jessica Addison walk out of the bathroom. In a few seconds Sonny knew exactly what the other boy was feeling, it felt good. He knew that he had flagged as a super at ten, but this was the first time he encountered his powers.

As his power grew he knew he would be able to use them to help people so he became a police officer and swore to protect and serve. He put in his time, became a detective but working in Homicide drained him. When a position opened at Staten Island SVU he jumped on the opportunity, but when he was transferred to Brooklyn he began to lose faith in himself.

But then he met Katarina.

She was stunning, with light brown hair that cascaded past her shoulders, almond-shaped eyes and a smile that set Sonny's heart on fire. Every morning he would run into her at the coffee shop, chat to her for a few minutes and then regret not asking for her number. Being transferred to Queens SVU and then Manhattan was the kick in the ass he needed to track her down and ask her on a date.

As Sonny slowly fell in love with Katarina there was a persistent dark cloud in the back of his mind. A busy morning caused him to collide with the Manhattan ADA, skin on skin contact caused a flood of warmth, happiness and an underlying sense of lust. Sonny had always found the older man to be attractive but it was Katarina he wanted, not the snarky ADA.

Sonny hadn't counted on how hard it would be. The ADA, Barba, was also a Super. He was able to tell a person's future by touching them and somehow he and Sonny would always end up touching. The emotional outpour that came from even a second of skin contact with Barba nearly floored Sonny, the love the other man felt for him was extraordinary.

Sonny didn't think he would break Barba's heart when he proposed to Katarina. He couldn't bear to look at the prosecutor when he finally married her. And when Katarina broke Sonny's heart, the ADA was the first one to find him and comfort him.

Sonny reached over and gently ran his fingers over the top of Barba's glove before snaking his fingers against bare skin. He felt the familiar rush of warmth, of happiness, of lust, and of hope. Hope for a future between the two of them. Even though Sonny's heart had to mend, Barba was willing to wait for him.

-

Bella was six when she realized that she could alter a person's memory. She had begged her parents for a pony and they’d said no. She turned her gaze towards her father and told him that he had promised her a pony and it was unfair of them to not buy her one, the next day she found herself with a toy pony.

She would have chalked it up as a miracle except for the fact that she repeated the experiment several times. She told her mother that she’d agreed to buy her a princess dress, that afternoon they bought one. She told her sisters Gina and Teresa that they had told her that she was the best sister, they ended up agreeing with her. She told her brother Sonny that he had promised her his signed Star Wars poster, he had given it to her.

Unfortunately that was when their parents caught on and realized all four of their children were special. When they explained to her that she could only use her power responsibly otherwise she may get into trouble, she promised not to use it unless it was really needed. Because Bella was a good girl, she kept her word.

Then Thomas Sullivan came into her life. Blonde haired, blue eyed, a goofy smile, he looked the picture of a Carisi. For that reason alone he set all of Bella's siblings on edge.  Tommy's behavior of course didn't help. He would make silly mistakes, all of which would somehow work out in his favour. He assumed he was the luckiest man ever, the Carisi's knew Bella was using her powers.

And then one night she couldn't and Tommy wound up in jail, justifying what the Carisi's thought of him. Only her older brother sat with her, held her, and told her everything was going to be fine. But when Tommy ended up in jail a second time even her loving older brother rolled his eyes and told her to find someone else.

But she loved Tommy, and he loved her. So when he was released she moved in with him, started a life with him, and it was good. Even when the pregnancy test came up positive, Tommy was raped, and her world felt as though it was collapsing around her comfort came from a surprising source.

The attorney who was working on Tommy's case ungloved his hands and asked for permission to touch her wrist. She nodded and held out her hand, his bare hand surprisingly cool against her skin. A few moments later, he removed his hand and placed his glove back on. With a quick upturn of his lips he congratulated Bella in her impending nuptials and beautiful baby girl. Sonny later told her that the man could see the future and that if he says that everything was going to be fine, it probably would be. Sonny and his attorney were right, of course.

When Vanessa Sullivan was finally born screaming, Bella was able to breathe again.  Her own family was starting to take shape. Tommy was an excellent father and soon her parents and siblings warmed up to the man. Nessa was the light of Bella's life and nothing would ever change that, even when her little brothers came two years later.

--

Dominick and Tessa loved all four of their children and every year at Thanksgiving they would count their blessings.

Teresa their eldest - witty, charming, persuasive, had finally found herself a partner with a six-figure salary and three grown children. Not having a single maternal bone in her body, she would enjoy playing step-mother to them without providing any of their actual upbringing.

Gina their beautiful rising star, who had just announced her move to Los Angeles to star in a movie.  Her emotional capabilities were to be tested on camera rather than in front of an audience. Gina was nervous, on stage she could use her power to reach out and touch the back of people's minds, on screen she wouldn't have that capability. She needn't have worried - there was a raw talent there that would see her through.

Sonny, who had the ability to know exactly what one was feeling through a single touch, now sported a new gold band on his left finger, finally happy with another who loved him more than anything else. As shocking as his divorce and remarriage was, the joy he radiated when with his husband was something truly special to behold.

Bella, their youngest, who had helped out her family in ways that the rest of them would never be aware of. A tweak of a memory here and there soothed any family drama that came their way. From when Sonny came out as bisexual, to Teresa announcing her marriage to a man thirty years her senior, Bella was happy to help soothe her parents minds.

Their children were successful, happy, everything that they could ever want. But even they were surprised when Sonny rose to his feet and proposed a toast, to Bella. Then they noticed the small swell of her belly, the happy tears in Sonny’s eyes and the small smile on his husband's face.

Yes, Dominick and Tessa knew how special all their children and grandchildren were. But it wasn't until Catalina Elizabeth Barba-Carisi was born that they discovered how truly special their family was.