Chapter 1: Separated
Rafael climbs the stairs of the rickety apartment building two at a time to cut his journey. The desired destination, on the inside, is as pretty as a busy cop with a busier kid can make it. The building and its tenants are less to be desired.
"Rafi, I own and know how to use a few guns, okay? We're not completely insecure here."
Rafael had only accepted because he had to. He couldn't tell his ex where to live, even if the livelihood of their son was at stake. At least he does trust Sonny.
Rafael bangs on the door to the third floor apartment with music blaring through the wood. Rafael knows, because he is guilty of it as well, of boosting Sebastian's mood by dancing or playing while waiting for his dad to show up to take him. Rafael knows Sonny likes to blast music.
The music lowers and a little voice comes through the door.
"Who is it?" Sebastian yells responsibly.
Rafael smiles. "It's me, it's Dad."
The door's locks click loudly and the door flies open.
"Hi, Dad! You're on time for our dance party!"
Rafael picks Sebastian up, even though the boy squirms and begs to be let down, but Rafael isn't about to let him go without a kiss first. He hasn't seen Sebastian in four days, since it was Sonny's weekend with two extra day off, so they agreed Sonny would keep him longer. Rafael missed his son so badly that it hurt, but this had to be done.
"Oh, I missed you so much!" Rafael tells his giggling boy. "And you smell so good, did you already take a bath?"
"Yup! I had to 'cause I got all dirty makin' dessert."
Rafael kisses his cheek again, and laughs because when Sebastian is alone with Sonny, he usually picks up Sonny's dialect. The accent that used to frustrate him--before marriage, before their son--is so adorable coming from a smaller mouth.
"Hey, Rafi," Sonny finally says, coming out of the kitchen. His long sleeves are rolled just past his elbows, and he is drying his hands with a dish towel. Of course, Rafael notices how good he looks, although a bit tired and run down. That's what happens when you have a seven-year-old alone for four days, though.
"Hey, Sonny," Rafael says, lowering Sebastian from his arms.
Sonny smiles, then leans in and kisses Rafael's cheek in a friendly way. It is nice, familiar, as they were married for almost ten years. Their seven-year-old knows nothing different than them kissing every time they greeted each other.
"So yeah," Sonny says, "Seb was makin' cookies and ended up with flour everywhere, eggs in his hair, I don't even know how that happened. He needed a bath."
Rafael nods. "Perfect. Thank you, that takes time off our nightly routine."
Sebastian runs up to Rafael again. "I made my own cookies!"
Rafael smiles down at him. "Did you have fun?"
"Yes! Of course! Daddy and I always have fun. Yesterday we sat around in our underwear, but he told me not to tell you so you don't think we're lazy."
Rafael glances at Sonny, who is blushing slightly and diverting his eyes. Rafael chuckles. "I don't think you guys are lazy. Anyway, are you ready?"
"I haven't even had dinner yet!" Sebastian whines.
Rafael looks at Sonny. "Oh, I assumed you guys ate. I can come back--"
Sebastian turns around in Rafael's arms to face Sonny. "Daddy! Can Dad have dinner with us? Please?!"
Sonny shrugs. "I mean, if he wants to--"
Sebastian looks up at Rafael. "Please!"
Rafael looks at Sonny. Sonny subtly nods and looks happy while doing so.
"Sure," Rafael then agreed. "I'd love to."
"I'll set the table and wash my hands!" Sebastian yells before running out of the room, leaving his dads alone still in the entryway.
It's disappointing to Rafael that their silences have gotten more and more awkward as their separation has gone on. Rafael finds more often that he isn't sure what to say to this man that he's known for a significant chunk of his life, who he's shared so much with. Rafael misses their easy conversations.
Sonny rubs the back of his neck, something he does when he's nervous.
"Uhm..." he mumbles.
Sebastian runs back to them. "Daddy! Take his coat, geez!"
"Oh," Sonny practically jumps. "Yeah, sorry. Coat?"
Rafael removes his coat and shoes, because no matter how raggedy the building may be, Sonny's apartment is clean for their son.
They sit to eat. Sebastian serves both of them a scoop of homemade macaroni and cheese with the promise of dessert if they eat it all.
"How was work, Dad?" Sebastian asks Rafael, as Rafael had rushed out of work to pick him up.
"It was fine," Rafael says. "I didn't have court today, all I had to do was paperwork."
"Did you miss Daddy at work?"
Rafael nearly gulps when hearing the innocent question. Of course, they work together, and Sebastian knows that. His presence could have been missed on the force.
But hearing the question, Rafael almost wants to admit how much both of them were missed, how much Rafael wishes he had spent the day with both of them instead of at work.
"Sure," Rafael decides to say, "Although, I didn't see Liv today, so I have no idea if they had an emergency."
Sebastian accepts that answer. Rafael takes a sip from his glass of water instead of looking at Sonny.
They talk through dinner, as Sebastian retells his events from the past four days with Sonny. They went to the park, they went to a movie, they ate ice cream. Sometimes Rafael fears Sebastian has more fun with Sonny, and eventually that may cause Sebastian to choose Sonny's side for custody, even though they have their own system of splitting time as of now. He knows he and Sebastian have fun together, but Sonny is clearly more fun.
"But I can't wait to go to work with you tomorrow, Dad. 'Cause then I get to read and color in my sketchbook, huh?"
"That's right," Rafael agrees.
"And maybe Daddy will have to come see you so I can see him and he'll bring me a treat, huh, Daddy? As long as you don't start fighting."
Rafael glances at Sonny. He frowns, looking guilty. Rafael feels guilty, too. Even though it's for work, they do fight in front of Sebastian.
Work was ultimately their demise. Fights at work got too personal and fights at home got too professional. It just stopped working. Rafael was sorry it happened but relieved when Sonny moved out. Sure, it's harder now, because he's in bed alone once again and he goes days without seeing Sebastian, but they're not fighting anymore. He even misses Sonny's company sometimes and wishes they could make it work, learn from their mistakes.
Rafael notices Sebastian stop eating big bites and mumbling more. He watches Sebastian for a second, and Rafael can tell he's wiggling a loose tooth with his tongue.
Sure enough, a second later he spits out one of his front teeth.
"Look!" Sebastian yells.
"Wow!" Sonny says back, before Rafael can.
Rafael crinkles a napkin and presses it to Sebastian's bloody mouth.
"It doesn't even hurt like I was scared it would!" Sebastian says. "It feels weird, though!"
Rafael smiles proudly. "You're being so brave, baby. That tooth has been bothering you."
"I know, Daddy wanted to yank it out but I didn't let him touch it."
Sonny chuckles. "I probably wouldn't have really yanked it out, honey."
"You were serious!"
Rafael laughs. "Has Daddy ever told you of how he lost his front teeth?"
Sebastian looks curiously at Sonny.
Sonny tells the short story. "I was playin' ball with Auntie Gina, missed the ball, and it knocked out my two front teeth. I had to get fake teeth 'til the grown up teeth were ready to come in!"
Sebastian laughs. "What! Did it hurt?"
Sonny nods. "Oh yeah, but I got to eat milkshakes for, like, a week."
Sebastian's eyes grow wide. "Do I get to eat milk shakes now?!"
"No," Rafael is quick to supply.
Sebastian frowns. He pulls the napkin from his gap revealing no more blood, so Sonny instructs him to continue eating.
They're silent for a while longer, but Sebastian breaks the silence.
"I like this," he says, "When he pretend we're a family again."
Rafael and Sonny exchange a surprised look.
"Buddy," Sonny says, "We are a family."
"No, we don't live together. I never see both of you at once."
Rafael frowns, feeling bad. "Sebastian, we're still a family. We're always going to be a family. We're your family."
"Of course," Rafael says.
"Then why don't we live together? Why don't you guys love each other anymore?"
Rafael is about to give Sebastian some story like they'll always love him, and he's all that matters, but Sonny chimes in first.
"Of course I still love your dad," he says, to Rafael's shock. "I will always love your dad. Things are complicated, though."
Rafael looks at Sonny. He looks so honest, open, sweet, and Rafael wants to admit he loves Sonny too, still, but he fears Sonny is just saying this to soothe their son.
"Will they ever not be complicated?" Sebastian asks.
Sonny shrugs. "I don't know, buddy."
Sebastian nods in acceptance. "Okay. Hey, after dinner can we watch Aladdin?"
"Uhm..." Sonny says.
"If Daddy doesn't mind that we stay for a while longer," Rafael cuts in.
Sonny looks at him surprised, with a hint of grin on his face.
"Of course I'd love for you guys to stay," he says.
After dinner, they move to Sonny's little couch to watch the movie. Sebastian sets everything up, because he's the expert, and instructs Sonny to serve their cookies for dessert. Once everything is ready, Sebastian tucks between them on the couch to sing along to every song in the movie.
Rafael should have anticipated him falling asleep halfway through; he never stays awake during movies at home. He drapes himself halfway across both of his fathers, snoozing soundly on their laps.
"At least he's already bathed," Sonny comments, rubbing his head.
"You know," Sonny says, "He may seem pumped about everything we did this weekend, but when he's here, all he talks about is being with you."
"Really?" Rafael asks, unconvinced.
"Yeah, he tells me everything you guys do. He's really excited to go to the office tomorrow. Maybe I will swing by to say hi. If you don't mind."
"Of course not," Rafael says, suddenly excited at the thought of seeing Sonny on a personal note tomorrow. "I'd love that."
Sonny cracks a smile.
"He," Rafael tries to correct. "He will love that."
"Mhm," Sonny mutters. "How was work?" he asks, changing the subject. "Get the Lyon case yet?"
"No, he's taking a plea."
"Wow, didn't see that coming. I'm sure Calhoun's happy." Rafael knows Sonny is being sarcastic; Rita is not happy.
Rafael shrugs. "Less time she'll have to torment me, that's for sure. She brought Sebastian a gift today. It's a little stuffed shark."
"She's getting soft in her old age. But then, you still wear the Fordham shirt she got you after my graduation."
Rafael laughs. "I do not."
"Liar," Sonny teases fondly.
Rafael glances at him. Sonny is looking his way with a happy gleam in his eye that hasn't been directed at Rafael for a while.
"What?" Rafael asks accusingly with a hint of glee in his voice.
"I feel like I haven't heard you laugh at me in a long time."
"You haven't been funny in a long time."
Sonny laughs at that. "I'm taking humor lessons from our son."
'Our' makes Rafael's stomach flip, just as it always has.
'Our apartment is wonderful', Sonny had said when he moved in years and years ago.
'Our wedding is beautiful,' he had said at the reception as they danced.
'Our son is perfect,' he had said, holding Sebastian for the first time.
Everything he's shared with Sonny has been the greatest of his lifetime.
"Did you do something different with your hair?" Sonny asks suddenly.
Sonny shrugs. "You look...good."
Rafael smiles. "Thanks, so do you."
Sonny smiles back.
Finally, the movie ends, even though Sebastian wasn't watching it, so Rafael puts his own coat on while Sonny carefully lifts Sebastian off the couch. Rafael grabs Sebastian's coat so he can just drape it over his back.
"Want me to carry him down to the car?" Sonny asks.
"No, I got him."
"You sure? He's like dead weight asleep."
"It's okay. I went to the gym yesterday."
Rafael is sure he can see a hint of blush on Sonny's cheeks as Sonny tries to discreetly check him out. Rafael smirks.
Sonny hands Sebastian off and Rafael heads for the door.
"Thank you for dinner," Rafael says.
"Anytime. Seriously, maybe we should have, like, family dinner a few times a week."
"That's a good idea," Rafael agrees.
Sonny slowly takes a deep breath. "Okay. I love you, buddy," he whispers, kissing Sebastian's head. "See you tomorrow, Rafi."
Sonny kisses Rafael's cheek. Rafael's lips pucker as if to kiss him back.
Sonny only pulls away enough to look into Rafael's eyes. Rafael's heart beats so roughly that he fears Sebastian will wake. Sonny is so close. He looks so beautiful, he smells so good, so familiar. His eyes are dark and so close. Sonny looks down at Rafael's lips and licks his own.
"You could...stay," Sonny whispers. "Put Sebastian in his bed."
"And where would I sleep?" Rafael asks, almost panting. He hasn't been this close to Sonny in too long. He misses Sonny. He loves Sonny, still, always.
"Stay with me," Sonny almost begs, pecking at Rafael's lips.
Rafael feels a spark of desire from the touch, a spark of familiarity that he wants, needs.
He gives a simple nod. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah," Sonny easily says, no thought involved.
"Let him sleep. In the morning, we'll think of something to tell him."
"Until then?" Rafael asks.
Sonny carefully takes Sebastian from Rafael. He quietly walks down the hall to Sebastian's bedroom where he disappears for a few minutes.
Rafael thinks. This could be bad, or it could be wonderful. As with any new relationship, they could get to know each other and learn what works best. But they already have a child. A child that they don't wish to screw up anymore. What if they don't work out again? What if they hurt Sebastian further?
Rafael just stares at him.
"Let me tell you what I want," Sonny says, and Rafael is glad he starts the conversation. He continues, "I want you right now in any way you'll let me have you. I have been thinking about this for a while. I meant what I told Sebastian at dinner, Rafi. I love you, and I always will. I know we both wanted out and we agreed, but Rafi, I..."
Rafael's heart hammers. He can't stop himself before he reaches for Sonny and pulls him into a long, slow kiss.
Sonny moans in delight. It's music to Rafael's ears.
They kiss in the entryway for long minutes, just feeling and getting reacquainted. Rafael feels the stress of the past months apart completely melting away. This feels right, it feels real.
Sonny finally pulls Rafael back towards his bedroom. They tiptoe passed Sebastian's room, then quietly shut Sonny's door.
Sonny backs him into the door once it's shut. Rafael lets himself be arranged against the door, Sonny's solid body holding him tight.
"I want you," Sonny pants against Rafael's lips.
"I want you too, Sonny."
Sonny dives back in for another kiss while removing Rafael's coat and suit jacket. Rafael makes use of his hands by pulling Sonny's shirt up and touching his hot skin.
Rafael's tie is removed, then Sonny's shirt, then Rafael's, then they fall into bed.
Rafael's nose digs into Sonny's neck as they make love, breathing him in and falling even further into love with him. As Sonny begs, as Sonny moans, as Rafael drives deeper and deeper into him, as he scratches Rafael's back in pleasure, everything falls down and apart and back together again.
Sonny lays against Rafael's chest when they're done and cleaned up.
"How do you feel?" he asks against Rafael's skin.
"Fucking fantastic," Rafael says.
Sonny laughs. "That's exactly how I feel. About this, us."
"Why didn't you ever say anything?" Rafael asks. "Why didn't you tell me...you know."
"That I miss you like crazy?" Sonny shrugs. "I didn't think you felt the same way. I thought you were done with me."
Rafael rubs Sonny's soft hair. "I'll never be done with you. We just need to figure this out slowly, okay? And not tell Sebastian anything yet, okay?"
Sonny nods. "I agree. I wanna change everything that drove us apart."
"We'll work on it."
Sonny kisses his chest. "As long as you agree that we can try. Because I want to."
"I do," Rafael says, kissing Sonny's head.
The next morning, they are purposefully up before Sebastian. Rafael showers and puts on some clothes of his that got mixed with Sonny's in the split, then they work together in the kitchen to make breakfast, sneaking a few kisses that they can get away with before Sebastian wakes.
When he does, he is thrilled.
"I slept in this bed last night?!" he cries as Sonny lifts him into the kitchen counter to "help" with breakfast. "Why? What's happening?!"
"We just wanted to have a family breakfast," Rafael quickly says.
Sebastian beams. "But will you still come to Dad's office today, Daddy?"
"Of course," Sonny says, smiling sweetly.
Chapter 2: The Next Morning
Rafael has been flagging calls all day about a horrible case that’s come up in Brooklyn. He’s not involved apart from offering expert advice to the lead prosecutor, but everyone seems to want a quote from him anyway. “Is the Brooklyn DA handling this case correctly?” “What would you do?” “What have you done?” “What do you think...” On and on, and Rafael is finding it increasingly difficult to avoid details with his seven year old feet away.
Today is his day to have Sebastian at the office. It’s winter break, and because there are so many people in their life willing to keep the boy for a day, he doesn’t have a full-time nanny anymore. Today, he wanted a day with Dad, and that was fine before these calls kept coming in.
The only thing keeping Rafael sane is his thoughts on last night. Last night, sleeping in Sonny’s bed, sleeping with Sonny, and it’s surprising how much conflict Rafael is not going through.
He thought it would be complicated, he thought they’d regret it; he thought, he thought, he thought...
Rafael did not think he’d been staring at the seconds tick by on the clock across the room, hardly hearing the mayor on the phone, hardly hearing Sebastian asking if he can go to the bathroom, just waiting for the clock to tick noon when Sonny is sure to arrive.
Eventually, the clock strikes twelve, and Rafael is stuck on the phone when Carmen buzzes his office informing him Detective Carisi has arrived. He’s a bit glad he doesn’t hear Carmen’s tone about Sonny’s presence, though, because Carmen is someone who could actually afford to take sides, and sides she has taken, even though the separation wasn’t really anybody’s fault.
Rafael mutes his call, then mutters to Sebastian to open the door. The boy quickly runs to the door, throws it open, and thankfully Rafael still has his phone on mute so the mayor doesn’t have to hear the high-pitched squeal of delight when Sebastian sees his father.
If Rafael’s heart hadn’t been full already, the excitement on his baby’s face when he sees Sonny seals it.
“Sshh,” Sebastian tells Sonny, making way for Sonny to set the drink carrier down so he can lift Sebastian into his arms. “Daddy’s on the phone.”
“Oh, okay, I’ll be quiet.”
Sonny sets the drinks on Rafael’s desk, and because his back is to Sebastian, he grins sweetly at Rafael and winks. Rafael melts.
Sonny and Sebastian play at the couch while Rafael finishes his call. Finally, too long, the call ends and Rafael is able to enjoy his son and husband.
They’re not divorced, they’re just separated. And what does that really mean? They live apart, for now. They’re not seeing other people.
Well, Rafael isn’t seeing anyone, and a jealous pang punches him in the stomach at the thought of Sonny dating anyone else. He wants to find out, but it can wait until they’re in private.
Sonny smiles up at him from his spot on the floor when Rafael finally makes his way to them. Sonny jokes, “Hey, nice of you to join us, Mr. Important.”
“He’s been on the phone all morning,” Sebastian mumbles, focusing on his Legos instead of making eye contact with either of his fathers. It’s a mechanism he uses when he’s upset, and they’ve become quite acquainted with the behavior since Sonny moved out.
Rafael glances at Sonny, who is looking at him with sad eyes, something Sonny has adopted since he left.
“Hey,” Sonny says after they share a look for a second. “Dad’s job is really important, you know that. But listen, Liv gave me an extra thirty minutes for lunch today so I’ll be here for a whole hour. So, what’d’ya want? I’ll order.”
Sebastian lights up. “Anything?”
Sonny nods. Rafael knows ‘anything’ is not good for his digestive tract, but whatever will make Sebastian happy.
Sebastian quickly stands. Sonny, a little older every passing day, is a bit slower on the uptake. Or maybe it’s some left over soreness from the evening’s activities. Rafael secretly hopes it’s the latter.
“Can I go get the menus from Carmen?” Sebastian eagerly asks.
Rafael nods, so Sebastian darts for the door and thankfully closes it on his way out.
Sonny is on him in a flash. His hands are instantly everywhere, Rafael’s shoulders, hips, belly. Sonny’s lips are on him too, and Rafael feels relaxed for the first time since leaving his apartment that morning.
“I can’t stop thinking about you,” Sonny says between sucking kisses. “I feel silly, Rafi, but really...this feels like...I feel like I did ten years ago, when—“
“I know,” Rafael agrees, because he feels it, too. The idea of seeing Sonny today on a social call has been keeping Rafael’s stomach in knots. Butterflies flutter around when Rafael thinks about Sonny for even a second.
Rafael wraps his arms around Sonny’s waist to hold him close.
“I feel so good,” Sonny says, his arms around Rafael’s neck.
Rafael smirks. “Really? Because I saw the trouble you had getting off the floor.”
Sonny blushes. “Yeah, well—“
Before Sonny can say more, Carmen buzzes into Rafael’s office.
“Boss? Seb’s picked for take out. I’ll take a cheeseburger when you call.”
Rafael laughs and lets Sonny go. He turns back to the phone to buzz back. “Thanks, Carmen. Send him back in.”
When their food arrives, they sit around the small coffee table by the couch. Sebastian looks smug and leans back against the couch.
“I can get used to this,” he says.
“Yeah?” Sonny asks. “To what?”
“To you guys bein’ nice to each other.”
“We are nice to each other,” Rafael argues.
Sebastian sits up again and looks at Rafael. “Hey, Dad, where did you sleep last night? Did you go home?”
“Did you sleep with Daddy?”
Sonny almost chokes on his water. Thankfully, before Rafael can stutter out a lying answer, Carmen bursts into the room.
“Boss, this just came for you.”
Rafael quickly stands to greet her halfway. He takes the file from her and finds it’s nothing that couldn’t have waited until after lunch. “Were you listening in just waiting for a moment to divert this conversation?”
“Yeah, actually. Your ‘I-Just-Got-Laid’ tell is so obvious.”
Now is Rafael’s turn to redden as much as he can. Carmen laughs and leaves the room again.
When lunch is over and they know Liv is two seconds away from calling Sonny back, he grabs Sebastian and spins him around until Sebastian bursts into a fit of joyous giggles.
“He just ate,” Rafael reminds Sonny.
Sonny concedes and slowly lowers Sebastian, but when Sebastian sways from being dizzy, Sonny holds his shoulders so he doesn’t fall over. Sebastian hugs Sonny from the ground, burying his face in Sonny’s belly.
This gives Sonny the chance to quickly and quietly kiss Rafael on the lips. Rafael follows Sonny’s lips when he backs away, but Sonny grins instead of kissing back.
“Don’t look so smug,” Rafael says out loud.
“What’s smug?” Sebastian asks, looking up at them.
“Nothin’,” Sonny says. “Just the way my face looks.”
Rafael rolls his eyes.
“Can I call you later, Daddy?”
“Of course. Anytime.”
“Okay,” Sebastian says, hugging Sonny again. “I’ll miss you.”
Rafael feels bad that they’ll all be separated once again. Sonny will go back to his apartment, Rafael and Sebastian to theirs. Rafael knows this is best for now, because he and Sonny still haven’t had a chance to talk about anything. They don’t know what’s going on, what’s happening, what’s going to happen. For now, it’s best they go to their own apartments each night, and Rafael can count the seconds until they’re back together.
“I’ll call you,” Sonny says softly to Rafael.
“Aren’t you gonna kiss?” Sebastian asks from between them.
Rafael looks at Sonny. What he wants to do is grab Sonny and plant a long, solid kiss on his lips. But he can’t do that yet. Instead, he leans in, like usual, and kisses his cheek in a friendly goodbye. Sonny kisses back.
“Love you, Daddy!” Sebastian cries.
Sonny kneels to look Sebastian in the eye. He pushes hair off Sebastian’s forehead and kisses it. “I love you too, baby.”
Sonny glances up and cracks a smile. “Yeah, Dad too.”
He kisses Sebastian one more time while Rafael tries to calm and not just grab Sonny like he wants to, then Sonny stands to really leave. He gives Rafael one last wink before ducking out of the door.
“I’m gonna miss Daddy,” Sebastian says, “Will you?”
“Yeah,” Rafael mutters, staring at the door and wishing Sonny could come back through it to them. “I will.”
Chapter 3: Weekend
This chapter seems so long. I hope it’s okay. This isn’t the last chapter!
Rafael has not felt a need for Sonny in so long. Even before the separation and before Sonny moved out, sex was at best a very mediocre necessity to either pass the time or try to convince themselves they still wanted this. Then, they were apart for long enough to think and have space, and Rafael is back to his old ways of wanting Sonny pretty much constantly.
The problem is that Sebastian still doesn’t know they’re...whatever they are. This makes it difficult to get any alone time without being suspicious. Rafael hasn’t spent the night since that first night, and all they’ve had are a few dirty make outs since.
Sonny is on his way to Rafael’s office right now. He did call Olivia needing Sonny for the case, and he’s sure Olivia picked up on his overly joyous tone when she said she could spare Carisi for a few hours.
Rafael, feeling nervous and excited about spending a little while alone with Carisi, scurries around his office tidying up messes that aren’t there. He feels the need to impress Sonny, like this is a date. This isn’t a date, and he’s already impressed Sonny enough to spend a lifetime with him.
Finally, Sonny arrives, and Rafael’s nervous stomach is ready to fall out. He is so excited to see Sonny, so excited for it to be privately.
Sonny waltzes into the office unaffected. “Hey, Rafi,” he says, purrs, with a grin on his face as if he knows the nervous hell Rafael’s been going through all day.
“Hey,” Rafael says as Sonny walks right up to him and plants a long kiss on his lips.
Rafael feels instant relief. He sighs, breath mingling with Sonny’s as Sonny pulls away to readjust their position.
It doesn’t take long for their kisses to turn heated and for Rafael to be more turned on than he would be during a normal work visit. He thinks about reminding Sonny they need to work, but Sonny doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon.
Rafael realizes Sonny really isn’t going to let up when he gently pushes Rafael to lean back against his desk. Sonny grinds his hips against Rafael’s and moans.
Rafael pulls at the hair on the back of Sonny’s head. “I didn’t actually call you over here for sex.”
“You didn’t?” Sonny asks.
“I’m pretty sure calling your boss to arrange a sexual encounter is prostitution.”
Sonny laughs as he reaches for Rafael’s belt.
“Sonny, seriously, the door’s unlocked...” Rafael makes no real attempt to stop Sonny, he just watches as his belt comes loose and the zipper on his slacks fall.
“I’ll be quick if you can be quiet.”
“Me be quiet?” Rafael asks.
Sonny grins, then reaches into Rafael’s briefs. He sighs in relief at the skin against skin contact. Sonny leans in and kisses Rafael’s neck.
“We shouldn’t be doing this here,” Rafael whispers once he’s so close, Sonny’s lips still attached to his neck.
“I need you so bad,” Sonny replies. “I wanna make you feel good, Rafi...”
“You are,” Rafael mumbles, head leaning back and squeezing Sonny’s arms. “You do...”
It’s over fast, too fast for Rafael’s liking even though he enjoys it immensely. Sonny doesn’t come or want to be touched, and even though Rafael is dying to get hands on him, he respects Sonny’s wishes.
“I wanna do this for real, Raf, just like a few weeks ago. You ‘n’ me, in a bed...”
“Mmm, our son confusedly asking why Daddies are in bed together?”
Sonny puts on his best thinking face. Rafael chuckles and straightens his clothes.
“Hey, ask your mom to keep him. Tell her you gotta work. My apartment’s being fumigated so I can’t keep him—“
“What? Your apartment’s being fumigated??”
“Yeah, it’s no big deal, the whole building—“
“Sonny, Seb lives there!”
“Relax, Rafi, it’s fine. He won’t have to breathe any of the chemicals.”
Rafael eyes him, not liking how lax Sonny is about it, but it’s not his concern. Not much, anyway. They haven’t discussed whether or not it’s Rafael’s concern yet.
Sonny sidles up close to Rafael, wrapping his arms around Rafael’s waist.
“Come on,” he says, “Gimme a Saturday and Sunday and I’ll rock your world.”
Rafael snorts. “Rock my world?”
Sonny bites his earlobe. “Like you’ve never seen before.”
Rafael still grins. “Okay, hot stuff. I’ll give you a night.”
Sonny just smiles.
Rafael is able to make plans with Lucia. He tells her the truth about Sonny, that his apartment is being fumigated, and adds that Sonny is staying in a hotel in Manhattan for the time being so he can still go to work. He tells Lucia that he is working, which is a lie. Lucia doesn’t ask too many questions, though; for she is just excited to have Sebastian for a weekend.
Rafael takes Sebastian to Lucia on Saturday morning. The entire ride, Sebastian talks nonstop about how excited he is to play with his toys at Lucia’s house, and Rafael feels less and less guilty about sending Sebastian to her just so he can get laid.
He and Sonny also need to talk, and Rafael thinks about that while Sebastian rambles. He makes a short speech in his head about how he is loving the time they’ve spent just talking. It’s been so long since they’ve just talked, and almost every night they end the evening on the phone. Sebastian calls Sonny every night, and every night asks, “Wanna talk to Dad?” He was thrilled when Sonny finally said yes, and thought nothing of his fathers talking for much longer than they had been.
Rafael loves hearing Sonny’s voice. He loves seeing Sonny smile. He loves kissing Sonny.
Rafael has only spent one lonely night since their affair began wondering if he only wants Sonny back for the sex. But, he came to terms with, he could have sex with anyone willing, and he is more than willing for Sonny.
On his way back to his apartment from Lucia’s, Rafael calls Sonny.
“Coast clear?” Sonny asks in greeting.
Rafael chuckles. “I did just drop Sebastian off.”
“Great. I’m already home.”
Rafael lets himself smile at that in the privacy of his own car. “Home”, where Sonny hasn’t lived for months but is still his. Just like Rafael’s heart.
“I have breakfast, so don’t stop for anything,” Sonny adds.
“Okay. See you soon.”
Rafael rides the rest of the drive in anxious peace.
Sonny is nowhere to be seen immediately in the apartment when Rafael walks in. He calls out, but there is no answer. The only evidence that Sonny is in the house is his shoes by the door and a paper to-go cup of coffee on the counter with a heart drawn on it. Smiling giddily, Rafael brings the beverage to his lips and lets the heat fill his body.
Then, he begins a short search for Sonny. He’s not in the living room, Sebastian’s room, the guest bathroom, and when he walks in, Rafael doesn’t see him in their bedroom. But a second later he hears the faint drip of water in the bathtub, so Rafael wanders into the bathroom.
“I missed this tub,” Sonny says aloud as soon as Rafael peaks his head through the doorway. Sonny is reclined in the water, bubbles up to his chest, and his ridiculously dexterous toes are shutting off the water on the opposite side.
Sonny continues, “This tub is probably more than half the reason I wanted to move here.”
Rafael pushes himself off the doorway and approaches the tub. “The other half?”
Sonny shrugs. “My roommate was pretty cute.” He grins up at Rafael.
Rafael kneels next to the tub.
“How was my baby?” Sonny asks.
“Ecstatic to spend a weekend without us,” Rafael answers.
“He’s growing too fast. Make it stop.”
“He asked me about retirement yesterday.”
Sonny snorts a loud laugh. “I don’t even know a thing about retirement.”
Rafael laughs, too. He dips his hand into the water and pours it over the dry parts of Sonny’s chest.
“I really missed you, Rafi.”
Rafael looks into Sonny’s calm eyes. “I missed you, too. I...I didn’t for a while, honestly. But then I just...I realized I don’t want to let go.”
“Me too. One morning, Seb and I were eating Pop-Tarts for breakfast and I realized it was less fun eatin’ them without you yelling at me that they’re not a suitable breakfast.”
“Because they’re not.”
Sonny laughs. “See? I need you to fight with me on it.”
Rafael still covers Sonny with water. “I’m just...I’m nervous, Sonny. For now, it’s fine, it works, but what if we realize we were wrong?”
“Hey,” Sonny sits up and leans close to Rafael’s face. “I promised to have you forever, and I will. Will you?”
Rafael nods. “Yes.”
Sonny lightly kisses his lips. “Then we’ll be fine, baby.”
Rafael sighs against Sonny’s lips. He knows they need to talk more extensively, talk about when to tell Sebastian, what to tell Sebastian, what to tell their family and friends...but Sonny begins tugging on the collar of Rafael’s shirt.
“Now, you gonna get in here or what?”
“Why don’t you get out?” Rafael retorts, even though he doesn’t stand a chance arguing with a soapy, wet Sonny. “I was told there was breakfast.”
“It can wait.” Sonny holds the back of Rafael’s head and sits back against the tub, essentially dragging Rafael with him.
Rafael thinks it’s best to undress and climb in on his own terms, so he stands to get situated then gets in the tub.
After a long time in the bath, so long that the water turns cold and their fingers prune, they get out and eat their breakfast.
And then the real fun begins, because somehow breakfast turns to kissing and kissing turns to stumbling down the hall to their bedroom.
Sonny flops onto the bed as soon as they enter the room.
“Oh god, yes,” he sighs, digging into the sheets.
Rafael strips off his clothes before joining Sonny, who is sniffing Rafael’s pillow.
“Mmm, smells like home.”
Rafael laughs. “No, it just smells like me.”
Sonny grabs him to pull him close. “Don’t you know, Rafi? You’re my home.”
Rafael kisses him gently, trying to find his own romantic words. When they come to him, he pulls away. “Home is us together.”
Sonny smiles. He rolls away from Rafael, onto Rafael’s side, and breathes in the scent of his pillow again.
Rafael just smiles while watching. “Do you want to make love to me or our bed?”
Sonny laughs and turns into his back. “You, definitely.”
Rafael rolls on top of him and settles between Sonny’s widespread thighs.
“What do you want?” Rafael asks, kissing Sonny’s neck and chest and feeling him everywhere.
“What do I want? What do you want?”
Rafael bites Sonny’s collarbone. “You tell me.”
Sonny flips them so he’s on top of Rafael. Rafael lets himself be practically thrown and repositioned; he strokes hands over Sonny’s strong thighs and Sonny straddles his waist.
“Damn, you look good,” Sonny mutters, gripping Rafael’s hands in his own and bringing them above Rafael’s head.
Sitting atop Rafael’s hips, pupils blown, lips swollen, dripping on Rafael’s stomach, Sonny looks like a freakin’ wet dream. Rafael can’t help canting his hips up against Sonny.
“Mmm, yeah,” Sonny sighs, biting his lip. “I need you in me.”
He leans over to Rafael’s bedside table to retrieve a full bottle of lube—that Rafael just purchased for this occasion—but no condom. That causes Rafael to pause.
“Hey, before we do,” Rafael starts, leaning up on his elbows as Sonny sits up and pours lube onto his own hand. “Can I ask you something?”
“Sure,” Sonny says, tongue sticking out in concentration as he reaches behind himself.
Rafael watches, wants to stop talking to just watch Sonny open himself up, but he remembers he needs to ask an important question.
“Have you seen anyone since we broke up?”
“What, like dated?”
“Or, you know, slept with anyone?”
Sonny pauses. “No,” he says honestly, looking right into Rafael’s eyes. “Have you?”
“No. I was just making sure. Because I haven’t, but if you have—“
Sonny grips Rafael’s face with his clean hand. “Rafi, baby, I said I haven’t.”
Rafael nods. “Okay. Okay, yeah, I was just making sure. You know, for this. I’m sorry.”
“For what? This is what I mean, Raf. We gotta talk and be honest.”
“I just don’t want you to think I was accusing you—“
“Hey,” Sonny stops him with a quick kiss. “I don’t think that, okay? We should’ve talked about it before.”
“Anything else you wanna talk about while I’m about to finger myself?”
Rafael lays back against his pillow. “No, please continue.”
Sonny smiles, which makes Rafael smile, then Sonny continues.
In minutes, Sonny is ready and already a panting mess on top of Rafael. He sinks down onto Rafael slowly while Rafael grips his hips and tries not to move. He lets Sonny control the pace and the depth, but soon Sonny is lifting himself and slamming home hard again.
Sonny howls above him. Rafael replies in groans as Sonny mumbles words of love and praise.
Sonny takes Rafael’s hands off his hips and once again pushes them above his head, that way Rafael is spread underneath him. Sonny doesn’t stop moving, controlling Rafael, using him, as Rafael helplessly tries to thrust up to meet Sonny’s hips.
It’s too good, all too good. With one hand, Sonny grips Rafael’s wrists, but with the other Sonny traces Rafael’s chest and ribs. He punches Rafael’s nipples, making Rafael arch into his touch. Sonny touches his belly that Rafael knows he loves, and finally Sonny’s hand reaches low enough to grip himself in a tight fist.
“Oh fuck,” Rafael moans as Sonny’s body clenches around him. “God, yes, Sonny!”
Rafael is helpless while Sonny uses him, his hips grinding down on Rafael as Rafael works to meet each thrust.
“Kiss me,” Rafael begs. “Please, Sonny, kiss me...”
Sonny licks into Rafael’s mouth, pushing deep, and Rafael instantly comes hard inside Sonny.
When Rafael comes to a minute later, Sonny is laying half on top of him and is stroking his hair. Sonny presses light kisses to his cheeks and jaw.
“How you doing, babe?” Sonny asks.
Rafael rubs the parts of skin where he can reach. “Perfect,” he mumbles, looking into Sonny’s eyes. “You?”
Sonny just grins.
Sonny fell asleep soon after cleaning up, because he was too excited to be in their big, comfortable bed again, but Rafael stays awake and watches Sonny.
He thinks, thinks about everything in his life that has led to this point and can change after this.
All the fights, all the words said, all the negativity, and everything Rafael wants to do to change that. He wants to talk, really talk all the time to never have a disagreement. But he does want to disagree, because everything can’t be perfect, but it’ll work. It’ll work.
Rafael doesn’t even add, “this time,” to the end of it. This time is that time and next time and all time, all the time, a lifetime with Sonny. As promised.
Rafael closes his eyes and snuggles close to Sonny, hoping to fall asleep, but suddenly he hears something coming from the living room. He recognizes the click of the lock on the front door, and he instantly freezes. Rafael doesn’t even breathe.
Then, Rafael hears, “I’ll just go grab it, ‘Buela!”
“Hurry, Papito!” Lucia calls back. “It’s almost lunchtime!”
Rafael could ignore it, could hide in his bed, but then he hears, “Maybe it’s in Daddy’s room!”
Rafael spots what they must be searching for—Sebastian’s green blanket—draped over the chair in the corner of Rafael’s room.
Rafael jumps out of bed, careful not to wake Sonny, pulls on some boxers and a t-shirt, grabs the blanket, then quickly exits his bedroom.
“Daddy!” Sebastian yells as soon as he sees Rafael. “I thought you were at the office! Your hair’s all messy, were you sleepin’?”
“Si, Papi,” Lucia mutters, eyeing Rafael suspiciously.
“I...yeah, came back to nap for a while. I’ll be heading back soon.”
Sebastian squirms out of Rafael’s arms. “Well, thanks for the blankie! ‘Buela, I’m gonna grab some toys, then we can go.”
Sebastian runs into his room, and Rafael thinks he’s free, but he notices Lucia still staring at him.
“What are you doing?” Lucia asks.
“Who’s in your bedroom?”
Rafael snorts. He is such a bad liar when it comes to Lucia.
“Why do you think there’s somebody in my room?”
Lucia looks at the shoes by the front door. “So, those are your Nikes?”
“Look me in the eye and tell me nobody is in your bedroom.”
Rafael looks at his mother’s face and is able to hold her gaze for half a second before he’s diverting.
“Ah-ha!” Lucia cries, brushing passed Rafael towards his bedroom.
“Mom, Mom!” Rafael whisper shouts.
Lucia doesn’t stop, she just marches down the hall. “I can’t believe you would do this to Sebastian, to Sonny—“
Before Rafael can stop her, Lucia bursts into his bedroom and is ready to give whoever is in bed a piece of her mind. Rafael waits outside the door as she finally pauses and processes who is in the bed.
Lucia slowly exits the room and closes the door.
“Sonny is in your bed.”
“You left Sebastian with me so you could spend the weekend...with your husband.”
“What are you doing?” she asks accusingly or confusedly. Rafael can’t tell.
“Are toy back together? Are you trying again? Are you going to move in again? Are you going to—“
“Mom, Mom, listen, yes, all of it, we’re trying, but Sebastian doesn’t know.”
“Which is why I took him to you so we could have a weekend alone.”
Sebastian pokes his head out of his bedroom door, making Lucia stop talking.
Rafael answers. “Just give us another minute, honey.”
“Okay!” Sebastian says with a toothy smile.
“Just promise me one thing, Rafi,” Lucia says.
“Don’t break that boy’s heart again.”
Rafael nods. “I know.”
“You have no idea how hard it is for a child, how confusing it is. Just be sure.”
“We are. We’ll wait to tell him, but I know, Mom, I know in my heart that we’re sure.”
Lucia pats his cheek. “Okay, Papi. I’m happy for you. I love you both.”
They call Sebastian out of his room. He wanders out with an armful of toys.
“No,” is all Rafael says, so Sebastian disappointedly takes them back to his bedroom.
Lucia and Sebastian say goodbye after a dozen kisses, then Rafael returns to his bedroom as soon as they’re gone.
Sonny is awake and tapping away at his phone.
“Did we wake you?” Rafael asks, sliding into bed and laying next to Sonny again.
“Yeah, you and your mom aren’t the quietest talkers.”
“It’s a Latino thing.”
Sonny laughs. “Yeah. I know. Italian, too. No wonder our kid can’t whisper.”
Rafael laughs back. “What, you don’t like when he attempts to whisper to wake us up and it’s just screaming?”
“Yeah, ‘Daddy, I can see your eyes moving under your skin!’ is adorable first thing in the morning.”
“Or, ‘Daddy, your breath smells asqueroso.’ Yeah, love that.”
Sonny laughs hard. “Tact is his middle name.”
Rafael sighs. “I miss him.”
“You just saw him, I haven’t seen him in days.”
“I know, but I’m excited for us to have him together.”
Sonny turns into his side to face Rafael. “When do you want to move in together...you know, again?”
Rafael tries not to smile at the simple question, but Sonny’s eagerness is toxic. “I don’t know,” Rafael says, his lips cracking.
“My lease is up in two months. What’d’ya say? Two months?”
Now that Sonny’s given him such a wide timeline, Rafael wants to say, ‘Go get your stuff now!’ But two months can be good. Two months can give them time.
“I mean, I’m sure now,” Sonny says, “But two months—“
“Gives us time,” Rafael says out loud.
Sonny nods in agreement. “Exactly.”
Rafael leans over and kisses him. “Two months, then.”
Sonny smiles widely.
They talk for a few more minutes, and Rafael thinks maybe they can go back to sleep, but as he’s about to shut his eyes, Sonny is throwing himself out of bed.
“What are you doing?” Rafael asks.
Sonny wanders the room naked. He goes to the closet and returns empty handed.
“I don’t got any old clothes here?”
“No, you took everything.”
Sonny goes back to the closet and returns this time wearing a pair of Rafael’s underwear.
“I ask again: what are you doing?”
“I’m starving,” Sonny answers. “Do you have food in the fridge, or do I need to run down to the store?”
“Let’s just order,” Rafael offers.
“Mmm, yes. Chen’s on 7th.”
Rafael climbs out of bed and follows Sonny to the living room where he gets his phone out to call one of the many restaurants saved in his phone. Sonny pops in front of the television and turns on the X-Box.
“Oh, I missed you,” Sonny whispers to the machine.
“That’s why you want to come back,” Rafael teases.
“The bed, the X-Box—Hello? Hey, Chloe, it’s Rafael.”
Rafael calls enough during the week that he has a usual and the restaurant workers know him too well.
“Hello, Mr. Barba. What’ll it be? The usual?”
“Yes. Uh, actually, no. Today, I need a Number 4 and a Number 6.”
“Number 4 and a—“ Chloe pauses, then cries. “Ooooh my goodness! A Number 6?! Is Mr. Carisi back?!”
“How could you have possibly figured that out?”
“When you’re lonely you only get a 4.”
“My god. And only a 4 and 6. No Sebastian?”
“He’s at my mother’s.”
“Uh huh, for a little husband time. I got you, Mr. Barba.”
“Chloe? Can I just order my food, please?”
“Done and done, Mr. Barba. Now spill, what happened that got you guys back together?”
“I’m making the delivery so I can get some details!”
“You will not receive a tip!”
Chloe sighs. “Fine, but I deserve to know.”
“I make your food more than once a week, I’m practically family.”
“You deliver my food. Goodbye, Chloe.”
“Bye, Mr. Barba! And congratulations!”
Rafael can’t help but laugh. “Thanks.”
When the food is ordered, Rafael goes to the couch to sit with Sonny.
“What was that all about?” Sonny asks.
“Oh, you know Chloe.”
Sonny nods understandingly, but it’s really paying attention to Rafael. Rafael doesn’t mind, he just holds Sonny close and watches him play video games.
Their weekend ends on Sunday when Lucia drops Sebastian off right before lunch. Sonny is gone, not without a million kisses and pleading that he could stay, but Rafael tells him to stay close to their apartment.
Sure enough, Sebastian immediately asks to see Sonny as soon as Lucia is gone.
“Sure,” Rafael gladly says when Sebastian asks. “Want to call him to go to lunch?”
“With you too?!” Sebastian excitedly asks.
“Yeah, is that okay?”
“That’s great, Dad! Okay, I’ll call Daddy!”
Sebastian takes Rafael’s phone and calls Sonny.
Rafael can only hear one side of the conversation.
“Hi, Daddy!—How’s work?—Are you off?—Can we go to lunch?—Dad, too! He said!—Okay, here you go!” Sebastian hands the phone to Rafael.
“Hey, baby,” Sonny says, sounding cool.
“Of course,” Rafael says, because that’s what Sebastian is asking for. Like father, like son.
“I’ll meet you there. And, hey Rafi?”
“I love you.”
Rafael smiles. “Mhm,” is all he says because Sebastian is listening.
“Love you, Rafi.”
“I know you know.”
Rafael rolls his eyes. “Goodbye, Sonny.”
Sonny chuckles. “See you soon.”
Sebastian is cheerful all through lunch, then their walk in the park later. He throws half melted snowballs at his dads, and of course Sonny tackles him into the snow and only stops when Rafael reminds him they don’t want Sebastian getting sick.
Rafael realizes and is constantly reminded that together they make a great team.
Chapter 4: Sebastian’s Plan
Sebastian takes his time packing his small bag of goodies to take to his daddy’s apartment. Although Sebastian is used to it, used to this arrangement, that doesn’t make it any easier each day that one of his fathers retrieves him from the other’s house. He still packs a few toys wishing he didn’t have to. And also, if he has two houses, why can’t he have a Nintendo 3DS at each? It’s only fair.
It has changed though, and Sebastian has noticed. In the past few months, his fathers are much quicker to spend family time together, all three of them, just like they used to before Sonny got a new apartment. They have many meals together, they have movie night, but at the end of the night, one of them leaves and Sebastian usually wakes alone with one dad. That’s the disappointing part.
Still, they’re different. They’re not mad at each other anymore, which is good. Sebastian was getting tired of the fighting.
They used to fight about everything. Sebastian couldn’t remember ever hearing them talk about their work day until about a year ago, when they would yell at each other about work almost every night. It was terrible.
But they don’t fight anymore. They laugh again, they smile at each other. They look happy again. The only problem is they don’t kiss and they don’t live in the same house.
Sebastian has never given up hope that his dads will get back together. Even when his friends with divorced parents talk about the perks of having two of everything, getting two holidays, Sebastian doesn’t love the sound of any of it and insists his dads will find love again.
There’s love there. Even Sebastian sees it. He sees their laughs, the way they look at each other, the way they talk to each other. It’s like old times. It’s loving.
Sebastian finishes with his toys and goes to his door. Instead of bursting through, he peaks his head around the corner to catch a glimpse of his dads in private. He used to do this a lot, spy on them, watch them cook or talk or tease each other, and then they didn’t do anything in private for a long time. Sebastian just saw them avoid each other in private.
Sebastian looks around the doorway and is delighted by the sight. Sonny and Rafael are leaning close to each other, laughing. Rafael is looking up at Sonny with the softest eyes Sebastian has ever seen, a look reserved solely for him. And Sonny is grinning ear to ear, his smile as wide as it gets what Sebastian tells a clever joke, or says anything sweet, as Sonny says. Maybe Dad is being sweet to Daddy. Dad can be sweet. Dad is so good at saying sweet things to Daddy. Dad is the only one who can say sweet things to Daddy.
Sebastian has seen it; he’s seen other people try to be sweet to Daddy. Just a few weeks ago, they were in the grocery store and some lady was talking to Sonny. She was looking at him the way Rafael looks at him, like he is the greatest thing on earth. Which, he is. Sebastian knows this. He knows his Daddy is the greatest thing on earth. But that lady didn’t need to know.
“We have an audience,” Sonny says to Rafael.
“An eavesdropper?” Rafael replies.
Sebastian knows what that means, that you’re not supposed to eavesdrop, so with wide eyes, Sebastian ducks back into his bedroom.
Sebastian decides this isn’t over. He will help his dads get back together. He will.
Sebastian sits cross legged on the floor, his Abuela across from him looking curious.
“So?” she asks.
“I want my dads to get back together. And I have an idea.”
Lucia lifts an eyebrow, and Sebastian laughs at the face she’s making because it looks just like his Dad.
“What’s your brilliant plan, Papito?”
“I’ll ask them to take me to dinner, but then you’ll be there at the restaurant and I’ll leave them to sit with you so it’s like they’re on a date.”
Sebastian pulls a shoebox from under his bed and opens it, revealing rolls and rolls of coins.
“I have $57,” he says, “Do you think that’s enough for a date?”
“Papi, where did you get this?!”
Sebastian explains that every night when his dads get home, he checks their pockets for loose change. This is change gathered over the past year, and last week his babysitter helped him roll it and count it.
Lucia ticks. “You should not take money from your daddies, Papito.”
Sebastian ignores that. “It’s fine. What about my plan?”
Lucia agrees that it is a good plan, and giving his dads some alone time may help their relationship. They decide to carry out the plan next weekend, because Lucia is staying with him since his dads are extremely busy with a case right now.
Sebastian is more than thrilled. He wants his dads together so bad, and he has real hope that this plan will work.
Sebastian invites both of his fathers to dinner at their favorite pizza place. He is giddy with excitement that both say yes and that both of them sound happy about it. He and Lucia made the plan to meet at a certain time, so as soon as they walk into the restaurant, Sebastian seeks her out.
“Do you see Dad?” Rafael asks, and Sebastian begins to look for him instead.
They sit and wait for Sonny, ordering a whole pizza because it’s what Sonny would order anyway.
Sebastian is worried Sonny is not coming, that he’s stood them up. His sadness must be conveyed because Rafael asks what’s wrong.
“I’m just worried about Daddy,” Sebastian tells Rafael.
“I don’t think he’s stuck at the office. Would you feel better if I call him?”
Rafael takes his phone out of his pocket and dials quickly. He perks up when Sonny answers.
“Hey, Sonny. Sebastian and I are here, where—oh, you are?” Rafael listens to Sonny for a second, then smiles at Sebastian. “Oh, really? Really? He did? Okay, come on in.”
“What’d Daddy say?” Sebastian asks.
“He’ll be here in a second.”
Sebastian vibrates with excitement. He just hopes Lucia shows up soon.
Finally, Sonny arrives, and Sebastian is surprised to see Lucia right behind him.
“Look who I ran into!” Sonny announces.
“‘Buela...” Sebastian acts like he didn’t know she was coming. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, I was in the neighborhood,” Lucia acts.
Rafael and Sonny exchange a glance.
“Mami, would you join us?” Rafael asks.
“Oh, no, I wouldn’t want to impose—“
“I don’t either,” Sebastian says, standing. “Here Daddy, you sit, and I’ll go sit with ‘Buela.”
Sonny and Rafael laugh.
“Are you sure?” Sonny asks.
“I’m sure,” Sebastian says. “Come on, ‘Buela.”
Sebastian practically ignores Lucia and watches his dads all through the meal instead. He watches them talk, watches them laughs watches them get closer and closer through the night. They lean together, talk closer, and Rafael is giving Sonny that look, and Sonny is using that grin, and Sebastian is in love too.
“Think we did it, ‘Buela?”
“I think so, Papito.”
Since his and Rafael’s apartment is closer than Sonny’s, Sebastian invites Sonny over after their meal.
“We can watch Zootopia, you love Zootopia, Daddy!”
“I’d love to watch Zootopia,” Sonny says.
They walk down the street together, Sebastian holding their hands between them.
After the movie and dessert, and after Sebastian purposely stays awake so Sonny won’t leave, Rafael announces it’s time for bed.
“Yeah,” Sonny says. “I’d better take off—“
Sebastian is suddenly very upset. Sonny isn’t supposed to leave! He’s supposed to stay here! The plan didn’t work after all!
He begins to cry.
“Buddy, what’s wrong?” Rafael asks, trying to soothe him.
“My plan didn’t work! You were supposed to fall back in love!”
Sonny begins to laugh, and Rafael slowly joins.
“Don’t laugh at me!” Sebastian cries.
“Honey, listen,” Rafael says. “Abuela told us about your plan, and we just didn’t want to tell you yet—“
Sebastian slowly looks up. “Tell me what?”
Sonny and Rafael look adoringly at each other.
“We didn’t need your plan,” Sonny says.
“You’re never gonna get back together?”
“The opposite,” Rafael replies, smoothing the hair on Sebastian’s forehead back. “We are getting back together.”
“We just didn’t know how to tell you, or when to tell you.”
Sebastian is overcome with joy. They are getting back together! His dreams have come true!
He slowly begins to cry again.
Sonny pays his back. “Baby, why are you crying?”
“I’m so happy!” Sebastian says between sobs.
Sonny and Rafael just laugh.
Sonny spends the night, he is home again, and Sebastian sleeps happily tucked between them that night.
Sebastian is a smart boy who knows pretty much everything on earth there is to know. But there are a few facts he holds on to and knows above all:
There are 206 bones in the body.
The Mets have won 2 World Series.
Manhattan was purchased for only $1,000.
And his fathers are absolutely perfect.
Watching them from his spot on the couch, he knows he is not wrong. The way they move easily together in the kitchen, the way they talk and laugh and kiss when they think Sebastian isn’t looking, it’s like magic. Their company is constantly perfect choreographed.
Even when Sonny’s phone rings, Rafael easily picks it up and hands it over. Rafael doesn’t even check the screen to spy on who’s calling like couples on television and in movies do.
“Sonny Carisi,” Sonny answers, smiling at Rafael as he does so.
Rafael lifts a sliced strawberry to Sonny’s lips as he listens. Sebastian wants to yell at them not to waste the strawberries being cut for his pancakes, but he doesn’t want to stop the flirting glances between his dads and the offered food.
“Uh-huh,” Sonny says to the phone. “Good, that sounds perfect.—Oh, I don’t care, I’ll take it.—End of the week? Hell, now is good.—Okay, thanks!”
Sonny hangs up and grows an impossibly larger smile on his face.
“Got an offer,” he says.
Sebastian knows what that means. They’ve been waiting a few weeks to get an offer on the apartment Sonny lived in before returning to his rightful home. Sonny hasn’t had all of his belongings in that apartment for longer than that, all they were waiting for was the lease to end.
“So, you’re gonna sell it?!” Sebastian cries from the couch.
His dads look over at him as if they’d forgotten he was there. It had been happening a lot the past few weeks. They seem to get so engrossed in each other that Sebastian is like an eavesdropping little mouse on their private time. Not that Sebastian cares. As long as they’re not ignoring him because they’re fighting. He can be ignored for a few kisses.
“That’s right, buddy,” Sonny says, walking over to the couch. “That means I can officially be home again.”
Sebastian stands on the couch and lets Sonny pull him into his arms.
“Woo-hoo!” Sebastian cries as Sonny hugs him tight and spins him in a circle.
Sebastian realizes that Rafael isn’t joining their celebration. When they pause, he looks over to where Rafael is still standing over cut strawberries in the kitchen.
“Papi? Aren’t you happy that Daddy’s apartment is gonna get sold?”
“Yeah,” Rafael says, his smile small but his eyes so soft, softer and happier than Sebastian has ever seen them. “I’m so happy.”
Then, Rafael covers his eyes. Sebastian grows concerned, wondering if Rafael is upset about something. His belly turns as he wonders if it’s his or Sonny’s fault.
Sonny immediately walks back to Rafael, Sebastian still in his arms.
“Hey, baby?” Sonny asks.
“What’s wrong, Papi?” Sebastian asks.
Rafael looks up at them. His eyes are a little bit misty, but he’s smiling. “Nothing is wrong, Papito. I am so incredibly happy. I was just overwhelmed by how much I love you and your daddy.”
Sebastian leans out of Sonny’s grip to wrap his arms around Rafael.
“Then why are you crying?” Sebastian asks, still confused.
“Sometimes people cry when they’re very happy,” Sonny tells him. “Remember last year when the Jets beat the Patriots and Papa cried a little bit?”
Sebastian nods. “Yeah, I remember he drank a bunch’a beers after.”
Sonny and Rafael laugh.
“Yeah, he did,” Sonny says. Then, he clears his throat. “Hey, remember that thing we talked about the other day, Seb? That...the present?”
Sebastian is confused at first, but then he remembers. He and Sonny went to a jewelry shop a few days ago to pick out a brand new engagement ring for Rafael, because Sonny wanted to do it all over. He wanted to ask Rafael to marry him again.
“Oh, the secret thing?!” Sebastian asks.
“What secret thing?” Rafael asks.
Sonny rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling. “Yes, son, the secret thing. Will you go get it please?”
“The box, too?” Sebastian innocently asks.
Sonny laughs. “Oh my god, son, just go.”
“What secret thing?” Rafael asks again as Sebastian runs into his bedroom where Sonny hid the ring.
“You’ll see,” Sonny coyly says.
Sebastian finds the box in an instant, then rushes back into the kitchen to Sonny and Rafael. He hands the box to Sonny as Rafael watches completely stunned.
The actual ring box was gift wrapped in another box, so Sonny carefully pulls the white silk bow tie off, then opens the gift box.
“I wanted to wait ‘til later,” Sonny says. “‘Til we got more acquainted, you know? Got back to normal. But...why give you two emotional heart attacks when I can just give you one? So, Rafi...”
Sebastian is sure Rafael stopped breathing somewhere in there. He just watched as Sonny slowly dropped to one knee, right there in the kitchen, with Sebastian proudly standing right next to him.
“Will you marry me?” Sonny asks, opening the ring box. “Again.”
Rafael instantly begins to nod, words trapped in his throat with emotion.
“Yes!” Sebastian cries before he cheers.
Sonny slips the new ring on Rafael’s finger, the one he said they would get welded onto the original one, then Rafael yanks Sonny to his feet and meets him in a kiss.
Sebastian keeps cheering, even when Rafael reaches down and pats his head lovingly.
“Can I tell everyone?!” Sebastian asks, but it falls on deaf ears, because now Sonny and Rafael are making out, which has been happening a lot.
Sebastian takes it upon himself to spread the news, though. He runs back to the couch where his iPad lay discarded, pulls up FaceTime, and calls his Abuela.
She answers the video call on the third ring.
“Hola, Papito!” she says brightly.
“‘Buela, guess what! My daddies are getting married!”
“What?!” Lucia cries. “That’s wonderful news!”
“I know! We proposed! Okay! Gotta go! I’m tellin’ everyone!”
Lucia laughs. “Te quiero!”
“I love you, too!” Sebastian says, then blows three kisses at the screen before hanging up.
Next, he calls Amanda, but twelve-year-old Jessie answers her phone.
“Jessie!” Sebastian says, just as happy to talk to her. “Guess what! My daddies are getting married!”
“Aw, really?! That’s exciting!”
“Yeah, look!” Sebastian turns the camera to face his dads, who are now just holding each other in the kitchen.
“Ew,” Jessie says next. “Tell them to get a room.”
“Daddy!” Sebastian calls. “Jessie said to get a room!”
Amanda’s voice pops up next to Jessie. “Jess, don’t tell Sebastian stuff like that. Then it comes back to me, and...you know.”
Jessie rolls her eyes.
“Anyway,” Amanda says to the screen. “What’s exciting?”
Sebastian turns the camera back to himself. “My daddies are getting married!” he repeats.
“Oh, wow! Rafael finally asked.”
“What? Papi didn’t ask. Daddy did.”
“Really?” Amanda asks. “I thought your Papi was going to.”
“Papi!” Sebastian yells into the kitchen. “Were you gonna ask Daddy to marry you and you didn’t even tell me?!”
His dads laugh from the kitchen.
“I wanted both of you to be surprised,” Rafael says.
After talking to Amanda for a few more minutes and making plans to be babysat by Jessie for a few extra dollars—usually one of the adults will take the kids somewhere and Jessie will be ‘in charge’ even though there’s an adult present—Sebastian calls Liv. Their conversation is much the same: Liv surprised that Sonny asked first.
“Why didn’t you just ask me when you wanted to?” Sonny asks as he finally begins to make the pancakes Sebastian has been waiting all morning for.
“Because I wanted to when we first began our...getting back together.”
“Aww,” Sonny says, lifting an arm to wrap around Rafael’s shoulders as he waits to flip the first pancake. “You romantic.”
“‘Cause he loves you,” Sebastian says. “And you love him.”
“I do,” Rafael says.
Sebastian gasps. “If Daddy says ‘I do’ back, will you be married now?”
His dads laugh.
“No,” Rafael says, “You’re not a judge yet.”
“If I go put on my Aaron Judge Yankees jersey, can I be a judge?”
Rafael laughs, but Sonny glares at him.
“You let him keep the Yankees jersey?” he asks Rafael.
“What? It was a gift!”
Sonny rolls his eyes. “Go get it. It’s going down the garbage disposal!”
He’s clearly joking, so Sebastian laughs.
“But I like it!” he whines.
“Sonny, we agreed when he was born that we’d let him decide what he wants to be. If he wants to be a Yankees fan—“
Sonny cuts him off. “Aw, look at that. I ruined your pancake!”
Sebastian laughs. “Daddy!”
Sonny grins. “We’ll talk about the jersey later. Seb, get the milk out and I’ll make you some strawberry milk.”
“Yay!” Sebastian cheers.
Sebastian trots to the refrigerator, but he’s sure Rafael is glaring at Sonny.
“What?!” Sonny cries. “We’re celebrating!”
“Okay, but just one glass! And not too much syrup!”
But Sebastian knows Sonny will not listen. Sebastian knows Sonny and Rafael are both to happy to notice how much sugar Sebastian drinks with breakfast, or that the pancakes are slightly burning, or that the eggs Rafael is making are too runny.
Watching them smile at each other and kiss gently over the breakfast, Sebastian is too happy to care either.
I realized last night that I never finished this story, so I hope this is good enough! Thank you for reading and being interested in my little family!