Chapter 1: Dominick
Amanda Rollins is talking to her Sergeant, Olivia Benson, when it just slips out.
“Yeah, Dominick and I can handle that.”
“Dominick?” Olivia says with surprise. “You mean Carisi?”
Amanda turns a bit pink and looks down, stammering.
“Uh … well …” After a bit of uncomfortable shuffling, she meets Olivia’s eyes again.
She is giving her that look.
“It’s not like that . . .”
“Uh huh,” Olivia says and gives her a wry smile. “Do me a favor? Keep it out of the office.”
He’s been looking at this exchange from across the room and cannot contain his smile. This is too funny. Olivia sees him and snaps, “You too, Carisi.”
“Yes, Sergeant,” he says and gives her a little salute.
Olivia groans, shakes her head, and heads back to her office.
After she leaves he turns to Amanda and says, “Good thing she doesn’t know I call you Sonny.”
Chapter 2: Detective Carisi
“Detective Carisi?” Dodds bellows from across the squadroom.
“Yeah?” Amanda says and stands up from her desk.
“We need to get those two vics over to your husband in the DA’s office so he can prep their statements.”
“I’m on it,” she says, grabs her keys, and heads back to interrogation.
Nick Amaro turns to Fin and says, “I still can’t get used to that.”
“You missed out.”
As Nick watches Amanda’s retreating back, he lets out a soft, “Yeah, I guess I did.”
Chapter 3: Hair
Carisi puts on his watch, slides it down his wrist a little, tugs on the bottom of his vest, and reaches up to straighten his tie.
"Here, let me get that for you." Amanda comes up from behind him and turns him around. When she's done fixing it she says, "There."
She pats his tie a little bit and then reaches up to stroke the grey streaks just beginning to show at his temple. His hair is crispy.
"Hey, don't muss my hair," he says, ducking a little.
"Not even to do this?" she asks and sinks both of her hands into his gelled hair, crunching it, and pulling his face down towards hers.
As their lips meet his hand reaches for the top of her head. He gently removes the band that is holding her hair up and then he runs his own hands through her gold silky hair. He cradles her head where it meets the nape of her neck, pulling her even closer to deepen their kiss.
Eventually they are both breathless and have to pull apart.
They stare at each other softly – his hand still cradling her head as she lightly brushes the hair on the side of his temple with her fingertips.
"You know you put too much gel in your hair," she says with a little smile and a chuckle.
"Really?" he asks and then pulls away from her to look in the mirror. "Hey, you mussed my hair!"
"Let me help you fix that," she says and picks up his comb from the bathroom counter and turns him to face her again.
She pulls it through his hair, making sure to remove as much of the excess gel as she can before styling it back into his usual look. She brushes her other hand over it to make sure it's not so crispy anymore. "That's good."
"Here, let me do you." He turns her around and pulls her hair up into a ponytail, running his hands through it a few more times than is necessary to achieve this task. He puts the band back around it making sure to pull the very last loop only part of the way through so that she has a bit of a rolled bun thing going on – her usual up-do.
"There," he says and they both look into the mirror and touch their own heads, inspecting each other's work.
"All set. Ready to go to work?"
"Yup. Let's go."
Chapter 4: You Two
The day Fin finds out about Rollins & Carisi:
“You two?” Fin asks them, his eyebrows lifting a little too high.
They both nod and smile, suddenly shy. They almost reach out to hold each other’s hands like a couple of teenagers, but don’t.
“Like that isn’t weird.” Fin says dismissively and goes back to his paperwork.
Chapter 5: Trust
“Why aren’t you mad?”
“About what?” Carisi asks casually.
“You just heard. About what I did last night.”
She just sputters.
He waves his hand and says, “Come on, Benson wants us in her office.”
They all review the footage of Amanda setting up some rich and famous asshole and his friend attempting to rape her in the bathroom. She had been undercover and desperate to take these guys down, so she made herself the bait in this unauthorized honey trap.
She keeps looking over at Carisi. He looks … normal . . . just doing his job. Watching this footage as if it’s par for the course. Why isn’t he at least acting worried? Or protective? Nick would have been flying off the handle over this.
They leave Benson’s office and she pulls him aside. “You’re okay with this?”
“That unfortunately we can’t use this footage?”
“No, it’s not that,” she says and looks around a little uncomfortably.
“Oh, you mean that,” he says, suddenly understanding what she had been expecting.
“I trust that you can take care of yourself.” He leans forward and like a plucky uncle he smiles, pinches her cheek, and says warmly, “You know you always do.”
Then he winks and walks away.
Chapter 6: Shaking
Her hands are shaking violently as she attempts to put the ring on his long, slender finger. Her nails are painted pink bubblegum. She would play the Southern Belle, if only for one day.
He smiles down at her, but he is shaking himself, only making it harder for her. "Scary, huh?"
"Yes," she says, giving up her efforts for a second and looking back up at him.
He reaches out to her and now there are two sets of entwined shaking hands.
"Hey Rollins, we're going to make it. You gotta trust me on this."
"Today is the last day I can call you that." His smile is broad as he beams down at her.
"Let me try again," she says and with a concerted effort, finally succeeds at getting the ring on his finger. But they are both still shaking afterwards so he takes her hands in his again, holding them as steady as he can.
It is over and they remove their rings and hand them back to the priest. The shaking has subsided but they are both still nervous.
"See you tomorrow, eh?" he asks as they head towards the doors.
"I'll be there with bells on." She smiles.
He stops, leans down, and kisses the top of her head. "Goodbye Rollins."
They smile as they part ways. It is the last time he ever calls her that.
Chapter 7: Something Different
Carisi sees her walk in. This time without Dodds.
When Dodds does show up, Carisi notices the uncomfortable stiffness between them and the way they avoid each other yet pretend not to.
He walks over to Amanda's desk and sits down on the corner. "Well that didn't last long, eh?"
She looks up at him, rolls her eyes, and gives him that Go Away Carisi look he loves.
"What was that, two weeks? That's gotta be some kind of record." He jokes.
"Carisi, just . . . just . . . " she seems a little exasperated.
He doesn't want to turn this into a big thing – and his mouth often gets him into trouble. So he leans in a little closer to her and says apologetically, "Look, hey I didn't mean anything by it."
"But Rollins, you know I'm here for you, right? Should you ever want to try something different."
"Yeah, okay Carisi." She tries to wave him away, but he gives her one last smile and a wink, just to tease her a bit before standing up and heading over to the vending machines.
She watches him walk over by the soda machine and amicably start up a conversation with Fin and Benson. With some wild hand gesturing and striking a bit of a pose, he has them laughing in seconds. She watches the scene wistfully.
Yeah, maybe I would like to try something different.
And she isn't thinking about soda.
Chapter 8: Miss You
Rollins: Carisi passed the bar.
Benson: Carisi, congratulations. Does that mean you're leaving too?
Carisi: What? No.
Carisi walks in on Rollins in the break room where she's stirring her coffee. She looks at him and says, "You know you're leaving."
"You told Benson that you're not leaving – but you are." She looks down into her drink.
"Well, not right now . . ."
"No, I know," she says. "But soon you'll be gone."
"Well yeah, I won't be working here. But I'll still be around."
She doesn't say anything.
"What? Are you going to miss me?"
She nods a little bit.
"Aww, come here," he says and opens his arms.
She falls into his big, warm hug and whispers against his chest, "I am going to miss you."
He holds her a little tighter and strokes her back at the same time. "Hey, it will be okay. We may not see each other every day at work anymore, but I'm not going anywhere."
When she pulls away to look at him she sees only sincerity in his eyes.
"When I go I'm not leaving this, us - whatever we've got going here - behind." He smiles. "I'd miss you too much."
She smiles with a touch of hope illuminating her face and they hug once again.
Chapter 9: Last Wishes
Sonny comes into her hospital room like a beam of sunshine carrying her little girl in tow. Jesse gurgles as Amanda reaches out for her, pain momentarily forgotten. At least to her conscious self. She still lets out a groan of pain without knowing it as she tries to take Jesse into her arms.
"Rollins, hey there. You should take it easy. Let me hold onto her, alright?" he doesn't let go of Jesse.
"No, Carisi. I want to hold her. It doesn't matter now. It just doesn't matter anymore," she says sadly.
He lays Jesse down gently into Amanda's arms despite her wincing. A crease lines his forehead but before he can speak what's on his mind an aide bustles in with a clipboard. She efficiently props it on her hip, takes out a pen, and asks Amanda, "So who should we list as next of kin?"
"My baby girl right here – Jesse Rollins."
"Alright. Anyone else?"
"No," she says quietly looking away from the aide.
Carisi catches her eye with a questioning look. She presses her lips together and gives a slight shake of her head, letting him know not to say anything.
The aide bustles back out of the room.
"Next of kin? What was that all about? And what about your fam – "
She abruptly cuts him off, "I was shot Carisi. What do you think this is about?"
It registers. "No . . ."
"Yes," she says firmly. Wearily she asks him, "Can you do something for me?"
His eyes are wet as he answers gruffly, "Sure, anything. Whatever."
"I need you to take her."
"She can't be with my family. With them . . . "
"Hey," he says and takes her hand. "They're her family."
"They're my family, Carisi – I know them. And they didn't do too good with me."
"Yeah, that's for sure," he says sardonically, and hangs his head. He's still holding her hand thinking about how sad this all is. For baby Jesse in particular.
"Carisi?" she asks, but he won't look up. "I need you to take her. I'm serious."
She groans involuntarily and starts panting as another sharp pain rips through her ribcage and down her sternum.
"Hey, hey, okay," he says as he reaches for Jesse and takes her from her mother. She is just six months old. "I've got her now."
"No, no, that's not what I mean and you know it," she says through her panting.
"Rollins – Amanda, I can't."
"Yes you can," she is writhing back into the bed now, trying to breathe air into what is left of her tattered lungs through the pain. She presses the call button for the nurse. She's going to need more pain medication. The IV drip of morphine is not delivering what she needs. But she knows that too much of it will kill her faster. She needs to hold out. To get this done for Jesse.
She reaches out and grabs his hand, pulling it away from his hold on Jesse. She grasps it as hard as she can and it feels like she might break the bones of his slender fingers. "You're the only one that I trust."
He sees the truth of this in the intensity of her eyes. He knows what he needs to do. For her. It will not be easy. But he has his family for support.
"I'll do this for you, Amanda," he says quietly.
"Thank you," she says and finally lets herself cry a little, and not from the pain. "Can I have her back?"
"Can you handle it?" he asks doubtfully.
"Like I said it doesn't matter." He puts Jesse gently onto the bed beside her. "It just doesn't matter anymore . . . "
Somehow Sonny had figured out how to do this for her. It hadn't been easy, but Olivia's contacts in family court had been invaluable. He holds Jesse as he watches Amanda drift off yet again. The strong pain medication she is on barely allows her any consciousness anymore. But they had completed everything that needed to be done in time to fulfill her last wishes.
The last thing she sees before the EKG flatlines is Sonny soothing her baby girl and she knows that everything is going to be alright. She can leave in peace.
Chapter 10: It's Comlicated
“It’s not complicated. Love is a very simple thing. You either love someone or you don’t.” Carisi shrugs.
“It’s not that easy,” she says.
“Yes, actually it is.” Carisi tosses his cup in the garbage can and leaves Rollins alone in the break room to think about that. Her gaze shifts to the shiny blue and white panel of the soft drink vending machine, the one where she had retrieved that ginger ale so long ago, the one they stood in front of when he told her he knew.
Is that when this all started? When he fell in love with her?
. . . When did she fall in love with him?
“Carisi!” she shouts, chasing after him.
Chapter 11: Overnight Plans
In front of the prison where Yates and Rudnick are being kept Carisi ends the video call with Benson, Dodds, and their guests from the Chicago PD. Benson had signed off by saying, “I want you BOTH back here tonight.”
“Well there goes our plans,” Carisi says and sighs, not even bothering to hide his disappointment. He never does anyway.
“Too bad,” Rollins says and takes out her phone to make a call.
“Yeah, hello. I need to cancel our reservation for the honeymoon suite.”
Carisi crosses his arms as she nods, listening to the person on the other line.
“Sure. It’s under Carisi. Dominick and Amanda Carisi.”
Chapter 12: The Missing Ring
Amanda notices Carisi fiddling with his finger again. He looks like he’s nervously twisting a ring at the base of the fourth finger on his left hand. But there is no ring.
“Hey, what’s with that?”
“Huh?” His thoughts had been interrupted by Amanda’s voice, but he hadn’t been listening.
“You know, that tic you have,” she says pointing at his hands.
“Tic? I have a tic?”
“Yeah. This.” She demonstrates. “It’s like you’re married or something.”
“Yeah, something . . . “ he says quietly and saunters off to the break room, just leaving her hanging.
After a beat she gets up and follows him. He’s standing in front of the vending machine, looking forlornly down towards the floor, hands on his hips. He is shuffling his left toe a bit into the ground in front of him.
She reaches out and touches him on the arm. “Hey, what was that all about?”
To her amazement he pulls a simple golden band out of his waistcoat and places it in the palm of her hand. “I still carry this with me.”
“You were married?” she says in total shock.
“Yeah,” he says quietly, watching her twirl the ring in her elegant fingers.
“You aren’t divorced are - ?”
“No,” he says and takes the ring from her hand, his warm fingers lingering a bit. He solemnly puts it back into the pocket of his waistcoat before looking up at her again with sorrowful eyes. She sees a pain there that he’s never shared with her. Until now.
“Oh, hon,” she says and reaches up to envelop him in a hug.
He wraps his arms around her fiercely and clings to her tightly.
Chapter 13: Until He Kissed Her
Everything was fine, everything was going great. They worked together by day and often saw each other at night when he would help her out with Jesse. Their endless banter was friendly and warm, endearing no matter how much they teased each other. Somehow he made her feel like she was in a safe place - for the first time she could remember.
Until he kissed her.
It took her by surprise. One minute they were doing the dishes side by side, and the next . . .
They had been splashing each other with the sudsy water in the sink. It was starting to get a little bit out of control - bits of foam were flying up and over the sink.
"Hey! If you get any of that on my floor you're going to have to clean it up."
"Like this?" he says, touching her cheek and drawing away a bit of foam that had somehow gotten there without her knowledge.
Wordlessly he steps forward. And then it happens.
The second his lips touch hers she knows this is all wrong. Suddenly she doesn't feel safe - at all.
She breaks the kiss. "Carisi . . . I can't."
"Oh. Okay," he says in a soft, dejected voice. "I'm sorry."
An awkward silence passes before he says, "I guess I should go then, huh?"
He wipes his hands on the dish towel, kisses Jesse on the head, and then grabs his stuff and leaves.
Suddenly she feels disappointed. And even though he's gone she still doesn't feel safe. All she has now is regret - wondering what she might have missed out on with him. She didn't expect that.
She turns and picks up Jesse who reaches her little hand towards the door with a questioning look in her eyes.
"Guess it's just you and me baby girl, eh?" She can't help but think it will always be just the two of them and sighs as she looks at the closed door Carisi had walked just out of.
"Yeah, baby, come on baby!" Sonny says as soon as Amanda starts climaxing. He sounds like a porn star.
"Shut . . . Up," she says with a frustrated groan. He's going to ruin this. And his strong accent isn't so cute right now.
"Come baby come." He still sounds like a porn star . . .
"Grrrr. . ." She lets out her frustration in her release.
"That's it, baby!"
When she's done he can't stop kissing her. She finally breaks away from him. "What the hell was that all about? 'Come on baby'?"
"I don't know."
"You almost ruined the mood. Damn, where did you pick that up? Staten Island?"
"Not exactly." He looks down, sheepishly.
"Seriously. Where did you get that cockamamie dialogue?"
"Porn," he says so quietly she's not sure she understood him. It sounded like 'porn.' Is he actually admitting that to her right now?
"Yeah," he gives her a little half smile. "Hey, don't judge. Seventies porn in particular had some of the best dialogue, the highest production values . . . and the scores? Classic."
"Classic? Are you some kind of seventies porn connoisseur?"
He grins shyly.
"I was when I was younger," he admits. "But it's a little different now. I started working SVU and it's not the same."
"Yeah, you see a lot of things differently once you start working this job," she says forlornly. "Lots of innocence lost."
"That's for sure."
"You do know you sound ridiculous reciting seventies porn dialogue during sex though, right?" Amanda asks him.
"Yeah well, it works for me."
"It works for you?" She cocks her head at him in disbelief. "Now, I'm curious Mr. Sonny Funny – how did the first girl you pulled this seventies porn dialogue on react?"
"Hmmm . . . let's see." He mockingly strokes his chin. "If recall she told me I could have ruined the mood and that I sounded ridiculous."
"Oh my god – are you serious?"
"I was the first one?"
"And what the hell made you think it would work for me?"
"Come on, you know it worked for you." He starts tickling her.
She shrieks with unintentional laughter and says, "No it did not!"
He stops tickling her and rolls on top of her instead, feigning seriousness.
"Well, not really but . . . "
"But you still . . . " He cocks his head and raises one eyebrow.
"Yeah, I did," she admits with a groan. "But I don't know how . . . "
"I do," he says mischievously.
"Well if that's the way you want to play it . . . " She takes him by surprise and swiftly rolls him onto his back.
He looks startled, but only for a second. Then he grins up at her, eagerly awaiting her next move.
"Well Tiger, what else works for you?" she purrs as she walks her fingers up his chest.
"Yeah." She stops. "Isn't that porn dialogue?"
"I think you'd fail as a porn star."
"Yeah, 'Tiger' is so passé."
"But don't they don't use it in that in seventies porn you like?" Her brow furrows.
"I might be wrong, but I think 'Tiger' wasn't popular until the eighties."
She props herself up on an elbow and looks down at him. "Oh, so you're admitting to not just watching seventies porn then?"
"Well, you know . . . I had to expand my horizons." He grins. "For comparative purposes."
"Comparative purposes!" She laughs and whacks him in the head with a pillow. "Well then, for comparative purposes, I suggest we explore some of the other weird stuff you're into, 'cause I know there's got to be more."
He rolls her over and is on top of her again. "Really?"
Carisi reaches over her to pull open a drawer by the side of the bed and takes something out of it. It is hairy.
"Ick! What is that?"
"Hold your horses. You'll see."
He takes a small tube of adhesive out of the drawer and applies some to the small hairy thing he is holding in his other hand. Then Amanda watches in horror as he carefully applies this monstrosity to his upper lip.
"No! Are you serious?"
"There's a reason they call it a pornstache, baby."
"Oh my god."
They both dissolve into giggles and hilarity ensues.
Many thanks to sarahincolour for not only beta’ing this puppy but encouraging me to pull it out of another fic I’m still working on where it really didn’t fit.
And thanks to my sweetie who read Carisi’s lines with me as I read the rest. He had asked me to read it to him and I just couldn’t get through Carisi’s dialogue with anything remotely resembling a straight face so he obligingly jumped in. It was fun playing the two parts. :-)
I’m so lucky to be married to a fanboy who understands this madness.
Chapter 15: Good Morning
He lifts the white sheets of their bed and crawls back into the warm space beside his wife. The smell of vanilla, cinnamon, and something else just as good follows him back from the kitchen and into the bedroom. He had just put the French Toast into the oven and wanted a few more minutes of quiet time alone with Amanda before the bustle of their busy weekend would begin in full force.
She is fast asleep but still turned toward the space he had vacated earlier. Her arm is stretched out over his side of the bed as if it had been searching for him in his absence. He had needed to lift it out of his way to lie beside her, but this motion does not rouse her.
As he looks down at the soft skin of her face and her mouth barely parted in sleep, he lightly traces the back of his finger down her cheek in order to wake her gently. She sighs. He smiles, but her eyes are not open so she cannot see it.
She stretches a little, but barely. He knows she's awake.
He gently runs his fingertips along the golden hair framing her face. Amazingly, it never tangles, not even in sleep. It's as soft in the morning as it is at night. He waits.
"Good morning, Sonny," she says sleepily, eyes still shut.
"Good morning, Sunshine," he responds.
She stretches more, her chest arching into his as she pulls her arms back. Once her eyelids open to reveal the aquamarine beauty of her eyes he wastes no time, diving in for a kiss.
But the kiss is not hurried, not rushed. This is the morning after all. He wants to take his time rousing her. The hand that had been trailing along her hairline now cups the side of her face, drawing her gently into his soft lips. They aren't insistent, they do not pry, they only gently press and caress.
She reaches a hand up to his unkempt locks. He had not gotten ready for the day in any way. He had only left the bed to start breakfast. He is a little fuzzy too, but he knows that she likes him this way in the morning. As her hand snakes into his hair he sighs a little, breaking contact with her lips, and momentarily rests his forehead on hers.
But then he proceeds to rub her cheek with his own. Just softly at first. He loves the feel of her skin against his.
"Eeeww!" she teases, pulling away. "Are you trying to buff me with that sandpaper you've got growing on your face there?"
"Aw, come on! You know it keeps your skin soft." His blue eyes are sparkling with mirth.
"I don't need your cheek to be my personal exfoliant."
"Yeah, but I grow it just for you."
"You're ridiculous." She laughs as he smiles at her. The hand that had been in his hair comes down to stroke his cheek. It makes a rough noise as her fingers trail over it.
Just then a red-headed ball of energy bursts into the room and interrupts them.
"Mommy! Daddy!" she cries out, her mess of soft angel curls flying around her face as she jumps onto their bed. Bouncing on her knees she exclaims, "The baby's crying – the baby's crying – he's awake! Can I go get him?"
"Sure, honey," Amanda says and smiles at Jesse indulgently.
"Just be careful with him, okay?" Sonny points a finger at Jesse in playful warning. "We don't want to drop him on in his head now. He's soft and squishy, but not that squishy. Got it?"
"Daddy, your accent is weird in the morning," Jesse says and scampers off to the nursery room without promising anything.
"My accent is weird in the morning?" Sonny looks down at Amanda quizzically.
"You know y'all do start to sound kinda funny when you let your guard down," she answers him, amping up the Georgia peach in her voice. "Like when y'all are sleepy."
"Hey I don't revert that much," he protests.
"Right . . . " she answers him back with just a hint of the South in her voice now. "No one would ever be able to tell you're from Staten Island."
She just chuckles at him, shaking her head as Jesse brings their new baby boy into the room. She's carrying him very carefully in an over-exaggerated caricature of caution.
"Bring him over here," Sonny instructs. She puts the baby into his arms and crawls up onto the bed to join them. He rolls over and settles his son into his mother's arms and then looks back at her.
"You did good, Jesse. You were nice and careful with your baby brother."
Jesse beams at him. He turns to his wife and whispers, "And you did really good with him too, Amanda."
He kisses her forehead and the baby starts to fuss, his little arms grasping in the air, deep baby blue eyes opening and closing in time to his fingers.
Jesse says, "Looks like he's hungry, Mommy."
Just then the oven timer goes off.
"I am too, Daddy! Whatcha got cooking in there?" Jesse asks him excitedly.
"Breakfast!" he says and growls teasingly at her.
"Grrr . . . " she growls back and then screeches with laughter.
"Come on, we'll let your mommy feed your little bro there while we check out what's in the oven, kay?"
"Okay!" Jesse says delightedly and jumps off of the bed in eager anticipation.
He kisses the top of his son's head. He's still a bit fussy, but quiets down a little as his father gently strokes his bald baby head to soothe him.
Then Sonny leans forward to give Amanda one last soft kiss. It lasts too long for Jesse's taste though. He hears a loud "a-hem" and a little foot stomp. He breaks the kiss to see Jesse standing there looking at them with her arms crossed.
He and Amanda both laugh lightly.
"Better not keep the lady waiting," Amanda jokes.
Quirking just one side of his mouth upward he smiles and says wryly, "Guess not."
Chapter 16: Because I Love You
Amanda is restlessly looking about the squad room after hanging up the phone at her desk abruptly.
"Hey 'Manda, you need anything?" Carisi says when he notices her glancing about.
"Yeah Sonny, but I don't know what . . . " she just waves her hand a little in defeat.
"I'll never get used to that," Fin mutters under his breath, not realizing that Benson is right behind him.
"I'm with you there," she says, startling him a little bit. They chuckle softly.
"When did she start calling him that?" she asks quietly.
"Yesterday," Fin grumbles.
"Seriously 'Manda, what do you need?" Carisi is over near her desk now.
"I should refill my coffee. How 'bout I fill you in while I do that?" She stands up. And with a little jerk of her head she says, "Come on."
Fin goes back to the paperwork he's got on his desk and finds something he needs to run by Benson – might as well take care of it while she's standing right there. But it doesn't take long before Rollins and Carisi return from the breakroom. As they head back to her desk she says to him, "No Sonny, you really don't have to do that."
"No, I'll take care of it."
She stops walking as they get near her desk and she gives him an odd quizzical look, squinting her eyes and pulling her mouth to one side in an almost-smile. "Now why would you do that?"
"Because I love you," he says simply, shrugs, and walks back to his desk.
Amanda's jaw drops and Fin and Benson stare at Carisi as he takes his seat. Benson says quietly to Fin, "Did he just . . . ?"
The silence is palpable. Carisi looks up to see everyone staring at him.
"What?" he says, the strong sound of Staten Island in his voice, his hands spread wide, challenging everyone in the room.
Fin and Benson exchange brief glances before looking back at him. Amanda is just standing there in shock.
He gives her a teasingly apologetic grin. "Guess I should have told you that in private first, huh?"
He looks back down at the papers on his desk and grins wickedly, hoping no one will actually be able to see the expression on his face. He raises his hand to his brow to hide it and smiles even wider to himself, thinking I finally told her!
Chapter 17: Uncle Sonny
The first time Uncle Sonny held me I was just one month old. That's when mom said she had fallen for him. But to hear Uncle Sonny tell it, I suspect it was long before that.
The first time I scraped my knee badly enough to need stitches, it was Uncle Sonny who took me to Urgent Care, held my hand the whole time, and told me that everything was going to be okay. And he was right – it was.
The first time I was a flower girl, Uncle Sonny carefully handed me the basket of petals and we went over the game plan one more time. I was to spread the soft peach petals along the aisle of the church in a nice pattern for Mom to walk over as she made her way towards him.
The first time I became a sister, it was Uncle Sonny who introduced me to my new baby brother. He was so tiny, but Uncle Sonny taught me how to hold him firmly but gently. We talked about how it was my job to set a good example for him as he grew up. So I was more than ready by the time next one came along and to become a good 'big sis' to the rest of the brood.
The first time I got my heart broken, it was Uncle Sonny who stayed up and listened to me talk about it. Mom wasn't as comfortable talking about the emotional stuff as he was. He held my hand when I cried the hardest and assured me that I was a beautiful girl and that some other more well deserving boy wouldn't break it someday.
The first time I met my Bio Dad I could tell it upset Uncle Sonny. He finally showed up in my life just one month before my wedding – he wanted to be there for my big day. Uncle Sonny didn't interfere in the process and tried to swallow his true feelings. But he was never very good at that.
The last time Uncle Sonny brought up the 'Dad' issue was the day of my wedding.
"Look Uncle Sonny, I will never call you 'Dad.'" I paused as he looked down and shuffled his feet, looking apologetic.
"Okay," he said softly.
"But you ARE," I assured him.
The sunshine broke over his face as he looked up from the floor and smiled down at me.
I slinked my arm through his. "Walk me down the aisle?"
Chapter 18: For a While Now
"That Amanda's boy?" Fin asks, looking out at a man standing in the hallway chatting up one of the nurses. "All these years and I never got a chance to meet him."
"Hey Nick!" Carisi shouts and gives a little wave to the man outside. "Come in and say hi to one of your mom's oldest friends."
"Yo!" He pops his head in and then nods to Fin.
"Damn, you are the spitting image of her."
"They all say that," he replies jovially with a warm smile. The nurse in the hallway touches Nick's arm to get his attention again and he turns back to her smiling even wider now, a huge sparkle in his eyes. The chemistry between them is magnetic.
"Go on man," Fin says to Nick. "It's cool. You look a little tied up."
"Thanks, man," Nick says and nods, before ducking back out into the hallway. Out of sight.
"That boy's got game," Fin muses.
"Yup." Carisi gives Fin a small wry smile. "Just like his father."
Just then another nurse bustles into the room and adjusts some of the tubes attached to Fin and makes him take some meds. The full grump comes out.
When she leaves Carisi says to him, "C'mon, man, don't be so harsh. She's only trying to do her job. You're going to be here for a while. It wouldn't hurt to be nice."
"You say that when you're locked up in a nursing home."
"Hey man, it may not be long for me. It hurts to get old – aches and pains where you never even thought you could hurt." Carisi stretches a bit and his back audibly pops. "Man, I'm so stiff every morning."
"That's just arthritis man, grow up."
"Grow up? That's funny."
They share a warm chuckle.
"Yeah, you kinda aged real fast there and then stopped altogether, suddenly going gray in your thirties like that. But now look at you . . . You got some picture locked away we should know about?"
"Yeah, well I was going through a hard time when that happened. Got real skinny, too."
"I remember." Fin said somberly. "Why'd you keep it a secret from us for so long like that?"
"Didn't want to burden you." Carisi answers but then tries to lighten the mood and smiles, pointing to his hair proudly. "It may be solid silver, but I still have all of it."
"Like I said Dorian Gray, you haven't aged a day." Fin grunts sarcastically but before he knows it he's chuckling. "Hey, how old is that kid out there? He looks pretty young to be zooming a nurse like that."
"Nah, they're around the same age. He's in law school."
"Damn," Fin whistles and shakes his head. It boggles the mind. Amanda's girl Jesse was already off and married, living in another state. His own grandson was out of college too. To say they grew up so fast was an understatement. "Weird she named her son after Amaro though, don't you think?"
"No, she named him after me."
Before Fin can even process that Nick pops his head back into the room. "Dad?"
"Yeah?" Carisi turns back to look at him.
"Gonna go grab some lunch with Lizette here. You okay without the car for a while?"
"Yeah, I'm good." He turns back to Fin who's staring at him, absolutely stunned.
"You might want to close that thing or you'll catch flies."
Fin shakes his head to clear it and then asks. "How long you and Amanda been together, man?"
Carisi grins smugly, raises an eyebrow at his old friend and states simply, "For a while now."
Chapter 19: I Want More
"Hey, c'mere," he says as he takes her into his arms in a big warm hug.
His comforting embrace helps to calm her nerves. And now as she pulls out of it she feels better equipped to face the situation at hand. To deal with Kim.
Still holding onto his arms she looks up into his soft blue eyes, smiles warmly, and says, "You're a good friend, Carisi."
"I know," he says as he looks down at her with a lopsided grin.
"It's my ma . . . It's . . . It's . . . " he stammers, completely stressed out, running his hands through his hair agitatedly.
"Hey, c'mere," she says with open arms and he gratefully falls into the hug she's offering.
Holding onto her soothes him and helps him to steel his nerves so that he can handle what comes next. He sighs a bit as he pulls away.
"You're a good friend, Rollins," he says, smiling down at her.
"I know," she says shrugging with a twinkle in her eye and a little twist to her mouth.
He places his hands on her shoulders and then in all seriousness says, "But I want more."
He reaches up with one of his hands to cup the side of her face, his fingers sliding into her hair as he tilts it up to meet his.
"Me too," she whispers just as his soft lips find hers.
Chapter 20: One Day . . .
Inspired by a post from @cannolisfromlastnight (Tumblr) - That is the picture he posted.
A HUGE thanks to Skittle479 who inspired a slight rewrite on this one which just pulled this whole thing together.
One day . . . I’ll stop looking and take action.
One day . . . I’ll finally break down and kiss Amanda.
One day . . . I’ll introduce her to my family.
One day . . . She’ll wear my ring.
BUT WHY NOT TODAY?
Chapter 21: Wing!
Jesse had been learning to talk. Her first word had been ‘Ma.’ Not ‘Mama,’ but ‘Ma.’ Amanda was decidedly ‘Ma.’ They were wondering what her second word would be.
Sonny was eagerly anticipating the day she would call him by his name. They had been trying to teach her ‘Uncle Sonny,’ but that was a mouthful. They both agreed that it would probably be a long time before she would be able to say the whole thing and they would speculate from time to time about how she would likely shorten it.
“I think it will be ‘Sonny,’” Amanda was musing that day as they were both lying on their backs on the floor of her place looking up at the ceiling.
Jesse was toddling around them, picking up the little plastic donut rings that had been scattered about the floor to be put back into a stack. Of course she had to chew on them first. So ‘num num num’s punctuated their conversation frequently.
“I think it will be ‘Cul Son.’”
“’Cul Son’? Really?”
“Yeah, you’d be surprised what kids actually hear and latch onto.”
“I think you’re wrong.”
“Do you now?” he said lightly and rolled on top of her. She laughed as he teasingly touched a finger to her nose. “No, I think you’re wrong.”
She rolled him over onto his back. “And how often am I wrong?”
“You have no idea what I’ve got planned. You’ve been guessing all day, yet you’ve got no clue. No clue at all. But Jesse does, dontcha girl?” He threw a bright smile her way.
“Num num num,” she muttered in response.
He rolled Amanda back over slowly and kissed her softly, stroking her hair gently with his long fingers.
“I let her in on the secret,” he whispered into her ear and then turned his head towards the toddler. “Get ready now, Jesse.”
She excitedly grabbed the small red ring that went on the top of the stack, put it in her mouth and crawled over to them.
Sonny looked back down at Amanda, capturing her in his brilliant blue gaze.
“What?” she asked and squirmed a little beneath him. He looked so intense.
“Okay,” He took a deep breath, a little more nervous than he planned to be. “Amanda Rollins, will you do me the pleasure of being my wife? I really enjoy the time I spend with you – you and Jesse – and I’d like to make us a little family.”
“Oh Sonny,” she said and reached up, stroking the strands of the hair at his temples and then finally resting her hand on his cheek. “You make me so happy.”
“Is that a yes?”
He smiled wide and then made a big show of looking for something. “Oh no, I can’t find it … I need it for your mommy now, Jesse. To make it official.”
Jesse broke into a giggle fit. He winked at her. “Jesse, c’mon where is it? I can’t find the …”
“Wing!” she shouted, holding up the red ring triumphantly.
“Yes! ” he exclaimed.
“’Ring’?” Amanda said drily, giving Sonny a wry smile. “That’s her second word? You’ve been keeping that under wraps?”
“Hey, it worked for my purposes.” He shrugged.
“It sure did.” She smiled at him softly and pulled him in for a gentle kiss. “It sure did.”
Jesse crawled on top of them and gleefully held the red ring up once again and shouted, “Wing!”
Chapter 22: We Can't
“We Can’t” he says lowly.
She doesn’t protest, doesn’t say a word in fact. She just nods and looks down. The hand that rests on the doorknob slowly pushes it closed. On him.
We’re not connecting right now – we’re just missing each other Benson had said to Amanda when she had inquired about Tucker.
“Yeah, we’re just missing each other,” Amanda muses quietly thinking about the man on the other side of the door as she looks back towards her kitchen, a loud commercial playing on the television.
The dishes he had left soaking for her had remnants of the spaghetti dinner he had cooked for them. All three of them. He had helped her put Jesse down for the night before retrieving his coat at her front door.
It had been a good night. And yes, the reality shows were as terrible as he promised they would be. But she loved them and he knew that. So he indulged her. He always indulged her.
She had needed his reassurance that night and he had eagerly provided it. He had absolute faith that she was a good mom to Jesse despite her strong doubts.
For a brief moment it had made her think there was something more between them . . .
But there wasn’t. She slumps against the door in defeat.
And he's right. They can’t. Doesn’t make it any easier though.
He leans back against her door, drops his head, and sighs deeply.
He doesn’t want to leave. So he lingers.
He almost knocks.
Chapter 23: Only in Death
This fic is dedicated to Kaye 21. I know you don't ship Rollisi, but thank you for analyzing my SVU dream and sparking my muse for this drabble.
Amanda is in the back of the ambulance grasping Carisi's hand tightly as he bleeds through his lips.
"Amanda… I need to –" he groans.
"Shh. Don't talk. You need your strength."
"I'm not gonna make it, Amanda. You know that."
She shakes her head in denial. She will not let the tears spring to her eyes. She fights them. "No. No, you'll be fine."
"No, I won't, Amanda." A huge amount of blood gurgles to the surface from his insides and even though the EMT tries to wipe it away as it rises, Carisi still chokes on it. "I need to tell you something."
"No, you don't."
"Amanda." He grips her hand tightly, forcing her to look into his eyes. His tortured blue eyes.
Now the tears do come, and she raises her free hand to her cheeks to wipe them away. He can't die. Not now, not when she's finally let herself –
"– love you, Amanda," he manages.
"You too . . ." she barely gets out before his eyes droop and close forever.
Did he even hear her? Did he even have the chance to?
"Tough break about Carisi, huh?" Fin asks Amanda the very next day that they are both at work following the accident. Carisi had been hit by a truck. Off duty.
"Yeah," she replies.
"Hey, I know you guys were close . . ."
"I'm fine, Fin." She brushes past him and goes about her day. But she's not fine. She's not sure she'll ever be fine again. She and Carisi were close – closer than the squad would ever know. Not more than a couple of months ago . . .
"Hey what are you doing!" She finds herself laughing at her goofball partner. And then not so much.
Because then Carisi is kissing her and suddenly everything becomes very serious. His lips sear into hers, his long, slender fingers slide along her waist, drawing her close. She feels his desire and suddenly finds she wants him too. Their urge is too great, their pent-up emotions too strong . . .
They find themselves coupling unexpectedly, accidentally, and without taking precautions.
No one on the squad could sense the difference between them, she hid her emotions so well. But he could never hide his from her. Their little tryst meant something to him, and whenever they were alone he always wanted to talk about it, talk about them. But even though she felt the same way he did, she always put him off, never letting him speak. Until the very end.
And now she waits.
Waits for molecules to travel down a nitrocellulose path. If certain ones are there they will bind, cling, and gather together in a thin blue band. A band that will indicate she is still carrying his child.
When the waiting is over, she looks, but the band is not there. The strip is barren.
She hangs her head and cries. He is gone. Every last piece of him.
Chapter 24: Until Marriage
“Hey, why aren’t we having sex, Rollins?” he says out of the blue on day while they’re sitting in a squad car on a brief stakeout.
“I knew you were blunt, Carisi, but –“
“Please. “ He puts up a hand. “Call me Sonny. We’re talking about our sex life here.”
“No,” she protests. “At least one of us is trying to keep it professional.”
He cocks his head to the side. “Later then, Amanda?”
“Sure, Carisi,” she says.
After some snuggling in front of the TV post-dinner, they find themselves once again rolling around on the floor, half of their clothes off, sharing searingly hot kisses. Carisi grinds his hips into hers, his body wanting more. His mind does too, but it’s barely in control.
“Okay, that’s enough,” she says and pushes him off of her abruptly.
“Oh, come on!” he protests. “You always do this.”
She just smiles coyly and starts to re-position her hair back into her looped bun.
“Here, let me get that,” he says and his gentle fingers move deftly through her hair, pulling just the right amount through the band. He places his hand softly near the bun he has just finished and drops his lips to the exposed skin of her neck, just below the hairline. She sighs a little as he pulls away and says, “There.”
They start putting their clothes back on.
“What gives, Amanda?” he asks. “We get so far and then . . . ?”
“I just don’t want to have sex with you right now, Sonny.”
“Why?” He splays his hands wide. “It’s been months now . . . You’ve told me this hold-up between us isn’t about any trauma –“
“And it isn’t,” she says firmly and with certainty.
“Good. I worry about that from time to time, because –“
“Why? Cause I won’t jump into bed with you right away?”
“Yeah,” he says adamantly.
“Aren’t you supposed to be Catholic?” she says teasingly, in an attempt to lighten the mood.
“Aren’t you supposed to wait until marriage?”
“Yeah, but I’m a little old for that.”
“I see. So I assume you’ve already given into temptation, then?”
He refuses to answer.
She grins wickedly. “I wonder what your mom would think of that?”
“Ey, leave my mom out of it,” he grumbles.
The next time they’re on a stakeout, Amanda starts to tell him things.
“. . . can’t use an IUD because of the placental abruption with Jesse . . .”
“. . . unsafe for me to take birth control pills given other medication I have to take. I’ve had some issues . . . my blood pressure’s too high . . .“
“. . . turns out latex isn’t the only material I’m severely allergic to . . .”
“So, you’re down to nothing?” Carisi asks. “No viable method of birth control, then?”
“Oh, there’s one. And it’s very effective.”
He cocks his head to the side. “Well Amanda, for a woman as old as you are –“
Her eyes grow wide. God, his mouth sometimes . . .
“ – you know, well, it doesn’t always happen. You may not even get pregnant. Some women have trouble even when they want to at your age. You know, when they're trying.”
“You sound like a horny teenager.”
“Trying to pressure me into having sex with you by using some lame-ass argument. God, what you just said sounds something a high school jock looking to score would say to his prom date, ‘well, you can’t get pregnant the first time.’ And your logic just as faulty.”
“But, Amanda,” he sounds almost like he’s whining. “I just want to have sex with you because I want to feel closer to you. I want to be more intimate . . .:
“I do too, Sonny, but I don’t want to be a single mom raising yet another child on my own,” she says in frustration.
“Oh,” he says suddenly understanding.
“Yeah, oh,” she says and suddenly looks away.
They sit in silence for a while as Carisi fiddles with the lid of his cup.
“So I guess you’re waiting until marriage then?” he asks.
She thinks, but not for long. She nods. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
The biggest smile breaks across his face.
“What?” she asks, a little self-consciously.
“My ma is going to love you!” he answers with delight.