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Sunshine and Coffee Cups

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Isabella sighed, as she poured herself another cup of coffee, before heading back into the bedroom. Saturday mornings were her favorite, as well as Sunday's, since it meant that her mornings could be spent in bed; being a teacher had it's perks, but early wake-up calls were not one of them. 

It also meant, that she had a few hours with her boyfriend, before he was summoned to work; even on his days off. Leaning against the doorway of her bedroom, Isabella slowly sipped her coffee, while keeping her eyes on the slumbering body in her bed. The feminine comforter had been pulled up to his ears, as he burrowed underneath it. Being that it was only January, the heat had been cranked up as high as possible, before Isabella was forced to lower it after waking up drenched with sweat. Having sleepover's at her house, while she enjoyed them greatly, were sometimes problematic. 

As she stood there, drinking and watching, Isabella was startled when the lump under the blankets started to speak. 

"I can feel your eyes boring holes into my body," the muffled Staten Island accent grumbled. "What are you doin' out of bed so early?"

"Some of us can't handle being burrowed under blankets, with the heat cranked up to eighty-five," Isabella said, as Sonny rolled over in bed. "How can you still be cold?" 

He lifted his head up from the pillow, squinting at her in the morning light. "Babe, it's early," he whined. "Can you please just come back to bed?" 

Making her way into the bedroom and around the bed, Isabella set her coffee cup down on the nightstand, before climbing back into her bed. "Maybe you should start putting your clothes on after we have sex," she teased, as his arm went around her waist. "Start dressing for bed, like you would for outside." 

"Don't remind me about the outside weather," Sonny mumbled, as she laid back down next to him. "It's bad enough I have to go in, on my day off, because someone had to get the flu." 

"I'm sure Amanda would love to trade places with you," Isabella teased, as he rested his chin on her shoulder. "At least we'll be together tonight." 

He yawned, "Yeah, tonight with my co-workers," he sighed. "You sure you don't want to cancel? I mean, I'm sure there's going to be plenty of other opportunities to have drinks together." 

Isabella rolled over to face him, "Babe, you do realize that I know them, right?" she asked, as he opened his eyes to look at her. "Olivia and Fin? I mean, they were on my case..." 

"I know," Sonny nodded, awake and alert now. "But it's been ten years, babe. Not saying that you're not memorable, because you are, but we have so many cases a day at SVU..." 

"They'll probably remember the name," Isabella shrugged. "But it's not going to be a big deal, right? You weren't on the case, so you're not breaking any... law or whatever, by dating a former victim." 

Sonny nodded, "Besides, they'll probably be pissed that you didn't tell anyone about me," Isabella continued, grinning at him. "Nine months and you're only introducing them to me now?" 

Chuckling, Sonny wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer to his side. "That's because you're always busy," he teased, as she pushed a strand of hair off his forehead. "No, tonight we'll go out and have fun. In fact, come down to the station at seven and we'll head to the bar from there." 

"As long as you promise to get tomorrow off," Isabella pouted, moving to straddle his lap. "A whole day of you and me, being completely indisposed and lazy." 

"I'll do my best," Sonny chuckled, placing his hands on her hips. "Now, I have two hours before I need to get out of here. Wanna take a shower?" 

Looking down at that mischievous grin, the one that made her fall in love with him all those months ago, Isabella nodded with a smile. 


Monday morning came all too quickly, as Sonny sat at his desk, going over case files. At that moment, Fin came over to him and leaned against the desk. 

"So," he started, as Sonny looked up at him. "You and Isabella Palladino?" 

"I know my girlfriend's name," Sonny said, as the older man chuckled. 

Fin nodded, "I can't believe you kept her quiet for nine months," he said, shaking his head. "Nine months of serious dating! " 

The younger detective sighed, sitting back in his chair, "Hey man, I'm not here to give you shit for it," Fin said. "I think it's great! For both you and Isabella. I remember her case like it was was a rough one." 

"She's told me the basics," Sonny admitted. "Told her that she didn't have to tell me all the details, if it was going to make her uncomfortable." 

"Well, either way, I'm glad to see her in a good place," Fin concluded. "And it's about time you found someone to keep you in line, Carisi. A guy your age, needs to settle down and relax for once." 

Just as he was about to retort, there was a loud laugh coming from the door, as Olivia walked through. Next to her, Isabella held a tray of coffee in one hand, while a bag dangled from the other. "Sonny's always cutting me off after three cups," she said. "He's actually asked my mom if I was born with coffee running through my veins." 

Fin looked at Sonny, "Mom?" he mouthed, smirking as the younger man blushed. 

Isabella turned her attention away from Olivia and smiled, when she spotted him at his desk. "Sonny!" she greeted him, which automatically brought a smile to his own face, as he stood up. 

"I see you've raided the nearest coffee shop," he teased, before giving her a kiss. "What are you doing here?" 

"Well, since I took a job in a run-down school," she started, setting the bag down on the desk. "The pipes burst last night, turning the first floor into a swimming pool. So, I'll be out of work until the end of the week." 

Fin winced, "How's your classroom?" he asked, as Sonny peeked into the bag. 

She smiled at him, "It's on the second floor, so it's safe," she said. "It's good to see you again, Fin!" 

"I'm only allowing visitors who bring coffee," Olivia teased, as Fin hugged the young woman. "I know I said it last night, but I'm really glad to see you in a good place, Isabella. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some phone calls to make." 

As Olivia went off to her office, Sonny looked down at the tray in Isabella's hands. "Are you going to drink all those coffee's?" he asked. 

"I already had my three cups," Isabella said. "These, are for you guys!" 

"Carisi, please marry this girl," Fin said, as Isabella handed him a cup of coffee. "A girl that brings coffee and pastries for her boyfriend's co-workers, is a keeper." 

Giggling as he went back to his desk, Isabella set the coffees down and sighed. "I hope you're not, you know, annoyed that I stopped by," she said. 

He shook his head, "No way," he said, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. "I was getting grilled by Fin over there about us." 

"Well, I'm just happy that they're reaction was a good one," Isabella said, looking around the room. "God, this place looks just about the same after all these years..." 

"What are you going to do for the day?" Sonny asked, wanting to change the subject. "And please, don't tell me it consists of you drinking your body weight in coffee." 

Isabella snorted, "Like you would ever let me," she said. "I figured I'd do some grocery shopping for the week, before heading back home to do the laundry." 

Sonny nodded, "You wanna hang out tonight after I get off?" he asked. 

"Of course," Isabella smiled at him. "Just let me know when you're getting out, that way I can start dinner. I'm thinking... pasta." 

"We had pasta last night," he reminded her. "And the night before." 

She rolled her eyes, "But that's all you eat, Sonny," she said. "Fine, I'll make something that doesn't include pasta." 

As they walked out to the elevator, Nick and Fin watched as they kissed goodbye. "Carisi has a girlfriend," Nick snorted, shaking his head in disbelief. "When did that happen?" 

"Eight months ago," Fin told him, filling him in on the night before. "So, while you were being a moody pain in the ass, you missed the best kept secret, being revealed last night." 

As Sonny came back in, a small smile on his face, Fin and Nick quickly went back to their paperwork, as the young man sat back down at his desk. Glancing at one another, they both watched as Sonny went back to work, looking much more happier than he did before. 


"Rough day?" Isabella asked, as she and Sonny sat on the couch. "When I left you this morning, you were bright eyed and blushing like a school girl." 

"Every day is a rough day," he sighed, as she ran her fingers through his hair. "But don't let my rough day, get in the way of our time together." 

Isabella nodded, "I know," she said, moving to set her glass of wine on the coffee table. "You can't tell me anything about the cases, which is fine. But, I just worry about you."

He placed his hand on her thigh, "I'll be fine," he promised. "Did you get all your stuff done today?" 

"Six loads of laundry, which is impressive, since I live alone," she shrugged. "I'll be bored out of my mind by tomorrow." 

"You could always spend the day with your mother," Sonny offered, watched as she groaned. "Maybe she'll finally crack and give you the recipe for your Nonna's cannoli's."

Isabella snorted," Baby, that recipe will never be revealed," she said, much to his despair. "We could be married and I still won't get the recipe. Nonna was very clear, her recipe's don't get spilled while she's alive. Even then, it's gotta say in her will that one of us can have it." 

Sonny groaned, "Then I guess we'll have to make a trip to your parent's house sometime soon," he said. 

"I'm not going to make a date to have dinner with my family, just so you can have a cannoli!" Isabella scoffed. "There's plenty of bakeries in Little Italy, that you can get a cannoli! Hell, the bakery near the precinct makes decent cannoli's!"

"It's not the same," he whined pitifully, moving to lay his head down on her lap. "Nonna makes the shells from scratch!"

Looking down at him, Isabella ran both her hands through his hair. "You wanna crash here tonight?" she asked, as he closed his eyes. "I washed all the clothes you've left behind, so you'll have something to wear tomorrow."

He chuckled, "You know I'll always say "yes" to spending the night," he said, stretching his legs over the arm of the couch. "If me leaving my clothes here becomes too much, tell me. I don't want to impose in your personal space."

"It's fine," Isabella assured him. "Besides, it's the easiest way to steal your clothes for bed." 

"Tease," Sonny said, reaching up to tickle her. 

Swatting his hands away, Isabella pushed him up off her lap. "How about we clean this up and head to bed?" she suggested, moving to get off the couch. 

Sonny looked at the time on the cable box, "It's only eight-thirty," he pointed out, as she collected the wine glasses. "Way too soon for bed." 

"Who said anything about sleeping, Sunshine," she teased, looking at him. "When I said I did six loads of laundry, that also included all laundry." 

"You mean...." Sonny said slowly, as his eyes lit up. Isabella laughed, as he jumped up from the couch, unbuttoning his shirt as he followed her into the kitchen. "Now this is a great way to end a rough day."