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A Magician and a Bat

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Sonny hated running late. He prided himself on being the first one to every shift, every crime scene, and every class he ever took. Which is why when his train suddenly stopped on his way to his Ethics class, the anxiety started to creep in.

He couldn’t be late.

Perez had the face of a sweet, patient person, but she was absolutely terrifying and Sonny did not want to be on the receiving end on one of her lectures on the necessities of punctuality.

So that was how he found himself sprinting down the halls of Fordham, knowing full well he was two minutes late and she would use it against him.

He hoped to sneak into the back of the lecture hall quietly, without provoking her.

“Mr… Carisi, is it?”

No.

That voice.

That wasn’t Perez.

The entirely hall was staring at him, but his eyes could only perceive one person.

Barba.

At the front of the hall, waiting for his response with the biggest scowl on his face.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry I’m late.” He tried to brush it off, but he knew it wouldn’t work. He knew Barba.

“As you should be. Take a seat. Hopefully you’ll be able to keep up with the rest of the class.”

Sonny did as he was told, biting back a retort he knew would get him in trouble later.

As quietly as he could, he pulled out his notebook and pen, knowing fully well he wouldn’t be able to take notes tonight. Not with Barba standing up there.

The thing was, this would have bothered him at the best of the times. The best of times being Barba just being a co-worker who teased him mercilessly.

They weren’t just co-workers though.

They had been sleeping together for three weeks.

Three weeks of spending every single night together, no matter what was happening.

So the sight of Barba, lecturing his fellow law students on the importance of ethics?

God.

He couldn’t even hear the words he was saying. Not with the pure sensuality he exuded as he strode across the front of the hall.

Then he spotted it.

No.

It couldn’t be.

It was.

That tie.

That fucking tie.

Deep crimson, with little white dots all over.

He recognised it, purely because two nights ago it had been safely wrapped around his wrists, looped around the headboard of Barba’s bed, keeping him in place as Barba fucked into him.

Surely it was an accident that Barba was wearing it now.

It wasn’t.

Sonny watched as Barba smoothed the tie down softly, then locked eyes with Sonny and licked his lips. A movement no one else would have thought anything of, but for Sonny it was practically foreplay.

He then spotted something else.

Christ.

It couldn’t be.

It fucking was.

The navy belt, holding Barba’s slacks in place, Sonny also recognised. It was the belt that had left deep, perfect welts on his ass. Marks that he was still feeling that day, reminding him of the ecstasy and pain of the game of punishment they had played the night before.

Another coincidence.

Except it wasn’t.

Barba was midway through a spiel on something Sonny didn’t give a shit about, when he ran his fingers along the belt, placing a hand on his hip to emphasise a point. That perfect, olive hand, stroking the belt.

The bastard knew he’d be taking this class, knew he’d be lecturing Sonny, and knew every way to drive him wild.

And so he did, for the entire duration of the two-hour class. By the time it ended, Sonny was ready to explode.

He held back, slowly placing his textbooks, and notebook, and pens into his messenger bag.

“Carisi. A word.”

He would always obey that voice.

He made his way down the stairs, glancing around to ensure they were alone.

“Yes, Mr Barba?”

His gorgeous, green eyes darkened.

“You were late,” he growled, his hands stroking his belt. Sonny could feels his eyes widen. Here? Really? Barba nodded. “Anything to say?”

“I’m sorry,” he whispered.

Barba undid his belt, and placed a gentle hand on Sonny’s cheek. A promise. A reminder that the second Sonny wanted to stop, Barba would. So Sonny nodded slightly, to let him know this was okay. That he wanted this.

Barba smirked.

“You’re not. Not yet. But you will be.”

Sonny moaned. He had never wanted anything more in his life.

Chapter Text

“God, you’re beautiful.”

His voice was so raw.

Sonny’s hips bucked slightly. He couldn’t touch though. Not yet.

Strong hands gripped his hips, digging in. A beautiful pain that set his body on fire.

“I’ve wanted this for so long.”

So had he. He’d wanted those hands on his body. That breath on his ear, whispering. The scent of Barba absorbed into his body, so he could still smell him the next morning.

“I want to be in you.”

Sonny couldn’t hold back. He let his hands rub up and down Barba’s arms, as the lawyer flicked his tongue over his ear.

A dark chuckle sent a shiver down his spine.

“Who said you could touch?”

Sonny’s hands left Barba’s arms quickly. An apology. A promise to behave.

“Good boy.”

Just like that, his hips bucked again, searching for Barba’s own. The older man allowed it, probably because it provided him pleasure also.

“I can’t wait to be inside you.”

Sonny shuddered, picturing the thick man pounding against his prostate. The fantasy he conjured up when he was alone, in the shower, in bed, on the couch. The possibility was here and now, and he was unbelievably turned on.

“I want to hold you down. I want to make you scream.”

A hand found the front of his pants, rubbing him tenderly. A tongue found his ear once again, teasing him. He could almost come like this.

“You’re so fucking hot. I want to taste you. Feel you run down the back of my throat.”

Sonny was grinding now, chasing his own pleasure, letting small moans out. It was everything. He wouldn’t even be ashamed if he came.

“I want to fuck you so hard.”

He could barely breathe. He was so close. So ready. All he had to do was wait for it.

“You’re so hard for me. So ready.”

He could only nod as Barba bit softly at his neck, palming him off. He just needed to wait a little bit longer. Just a little…

“Do it,” Barba ordered into his ear.

Sonny came on command, his hips stuttering against Barba’s hand.

Another dark chuckle.

Sonny’s heart was racing.

They were finally face to face. Sonny wanted nothing more than to kiss that perfect fucking face. He didn’t. He wasn’t allowed.

“You know what’s so fucking hot about you coming in your pants like a teenager?” Barba breathed over his lips. Sonny didn’t respond. He knew he wasn’t allowed. Barba leaned in close to his ear again. “I can still fuck your brains out.”

He knew he wasn’t allowed to. He knew he’d be punished for it. He didn’t care.

In one swift movement, he grabbed Barba’s face and pushed his lips against him.

“I didn’t- say you could-” Barba mumbled between kisses. He knew he would pay, and he could not wait.

Chapter Text

Mornings were Rafael’s favourite time of day. He loved setting his alarm 30 minutes earlier than he needed to wake up, if anything just to relax in bed and take his time. He loved the warm shower he needed to wake up, relaxing and coaxing him into the day. He especially loved that first sip of coffee that pushed him over the edge, ready to kick-start his work day.

Now there were other things he loved about his mornings.

He loved those 30 extra minutes, as it was extra time he got to spend held in Sonny’s arms, cuddled up in their bed.

He loved the morning shower, as they had taken to washing each other’s hair and bodies, constantly connected.

He loved that Sonny always made his coffee just right, now served with a side of toast and a kiss on the cheek.

It wasn’t possible every morning, but they tried for it as often as possible.

Which is why when Sonny came home to tell Rafael he had a physical test coming up, Rafael was dismayed.

“So let me get this straight. You barely get enough sleep as it is, but you’re now going to wake up at 5am every morning for the next two weeks, just to exceed in a physical test that isn’t even mandatory?” Rafael groaned over dinner.

“Oh come on Raf, it’s important. I want to show the brass how committed I am.”

On anyone else the statement would have Rafael rolling his eyes, but Sonny was so earnest in his desire to please others that he couldn’t fight the smile creeping through.

“I just…”

“I know. Morning’s are our thing. But it’s not for long?” He was aiming for reassuring, but Rafael just groaned again, already imagining the cold bed, the lonely shower, the coffee without toast and a kiss.

In an instant he made a decision.

This was how he found himself in the park at 5:30 in the morning, rugged up in the only exercise clothes he owned, coffee in a travel mug in one hand and stop watch in the other, watching Sonny attempt hill sprints from the safety of the bottom of the hill.

Sonny wasn’t unfit, but he was certainly struggling with this.

“Come on Sonny, you’ve got ten more sprints!” Rafael found himself shouting.

Sonny paused and looked down at Rafael. Then his own posture changed. He took a deep breath and started sprinting again, filled with fire.

It hit Rafael then.

Sonny needed him there. He needed him to egg him on, to be tough on him.

“Hurry up Sonny, you’re not gonna pass the test at this rate. Come on, use those long legs for something. Seriously? You call that sprinting? My mother could run faster than that, and she has gout in both knees.”

Every word pushed Sonny faster, and faster, until finally after the last sprint, he jogged over to Rafael with a massive smile on his face.

His cheeks were no longer tinged pink, but a full flushed red. A sheen of sweat coated his face, and his breathing was ragged.

“Was that too much, because-” Rafael started, but was interrupted by lips on his own, and arms around his waist, and a body being pushed against his own.

They pulled away earlier than Rafael would have liked.

“What was that for?”

“Thank you. For everything, for all of this.” Sonny pressed his sweaty forehead against Rafael’s own. Rafael just smiled.

“I’m just glad that me being a dick still pushes you to do better.”

Sonny chuckled, planting a quick kiss on Rafael’s cheek.

Maybe they wouldn’t have their regular routine, but some things didn’t change.

Chapter Text

Rafael Barba knew how to relax. It never showed at work, where he was known for being a hardass workaholic. No one would know that he took every possible chance he could to relax. To unwind. To surround himself with decadence.

Sometimes it was a nice bubble bath, with champagne and strawberries.

Sometimes it was a hot chocolate, a roaring fireplace, and a good vinyl.

Most of the time, it was a gorgeous man.

God, Rafael loved sex.

He loved kissing, and sucking, and fucking his way to completion. He loved teasing, flirting, losing himself in the pleasures of another man’s company.

Sometimes it was enough to watch gorgeous men. To sit back with a glass of scotch, and watch scantily clad, dancing bodies.

There was one bar that combined nearly all of these things.

Underground, a place for voyeurism and hedonism.

He found himself there one Saturday night, relaxed in an antique, crimson armchair. A waiter in glorious shorts that left little to the imagination, served him his drink, with a bowl of chocolate-coated almonds. The small stage curtains were shut, though the sensual blues music hinted at the spectacle to come.

“Alright gentleman, we have an excellent show for you tonight,” an announcer crooned, setting the tone. “A trio of beautiful men, ready to start your night off just right. Let’s bring on our Burlesque Boys!”

Rafael rolled his eyes at the ridiculous name. This was the first performance of the night, so he knew it wasn’t going to be the best of the best. Even still, in this place the mediocre surpassed the average man a thousand times over.

He took a sip of his drink as the curtains opened, and nearly forgot to swallow.

The men were beautiful. Stunning. That Rafael had expected. There was one though…

He had never had a type before. He considered himself a lover of all men, never wanting to limit himself with the specifications of a ‘type’.

He now realised he had never had one because he’d never seen it. Never seen his idea of perfection.

Here it was, laid out before him in a black jock strap, thigh high fishnets, and black leather boots.

He was stunning.

His eyes hyper-focused onto the man, who was gyrating and grinding his hips to the music, locking eyes with members of the crowd.

Everything else became a blur.

Blue eyes held his gaze. Slicked back ash-coloured hair captivated him. Long, lean limbs sent chills down his spine.

He had to meet this man properly. He had to hold him, fuck him, be one with the man.

He had never been so turned on in his life.

And then the men stepped off the stage, circling crowd members. The audience cheered, trying to grab their attention. Rafael remained silent. He knew he wouldn’t have to chase the young man. He would come to him.

And so he did.

They locked eyes. Rafael gave a tiny nod, raising his glass to the man sauntering over to him. He spread his legs slightly, ready for the man to approach. The smirk should have told him he wouldn’t get what he wanted. That he was about to be teased.

The younger man straddled some old Senator two seats over, his eyes never leaving Rafael’s own.

He should have been jealous. He should have been pissed. Instead he was so hard, and so ready, and so determined to have this man in his life.

The dancer still had his eyes on Rafael, grinding on the handsy old man, waiting.

Rafael gave another slight nod, gesturing the man over. He complied eagerly, taking slow, sensual steps towards him. Rafael’s heart rate kicked up a notch, feeling a sense of nervousness he never usually got around men.

He had never even spoken to this man, but he could already tell he would change his life.

The man stepped between his legs, towering over Rafael. But he knew. He knew he had the control. He opened his mouth to say something.

The music ended.

The crowd cheered.

The gorgeous man stepped away, but Rafael reached out and grabbed his arm on instinct. He turned and stood over Rafael again, eyebrows raised questioningly.

“What are you doing after this?”

The young man gave a shy smile, a total change from the confidence from earlier, and somehow made him even more attractive.

“Nothin’. Probably just goin’ home.”

Oh lord, the accent. On anyone else it would be grating. On this man? Perfection.

“What about coming to my home?”

Rafael was nothing if not forward, especially with his desires.

His crystal blue eyes blackened with lust.

“Give me five minutes to change?”

Rafael smirked.

“I’ll be waiting.”

He smiled, blushing slightly. He then made as if to leave, but as he left Rafael’s grip, he turned back.

“Sonny.”

His name.

God.

Perfect.

“Rafael.”

The man - Sonny - gave him the most perfect smile as he left the room.

Rafael loved good food, good drinks, good sex… but Rafael had never loved love.

Maybe Sonny would be the one to change that.

Chapter Text

Rafael had regrets.

He knew that.

He had so many regrets that sometimes they washed over him in a cacophony of anxious ramblings. No one could tell from the outside. The haze of longing and pain that his head was swimming in, barely registered on the surface. Rather he appeared cool, calm, a picture of indifference. Just the way he liked it.

He had built such a powerful facade that the second anyone even tried to peek behind it, he would decimate them. Shut them out, break them down, until they would never try to know him like that again.

He had never met anyone who would keep trying, so he kept up the routine. Some would say they knew the real Rafael Barba, and he allowed them to believe so, knowing it was better than if they really tried.

One day, someone tried. Carisi tried.

He clammed up, shut down, and forced Carisi away.

And then he tried again.

And Rafael built his walls strong, he blocked out the bitter thoughts, and he knocked Carisi down piece by piece, sure the younger man would have learned his lesson.

And then he tried once again. And again. And a thousand more times, chipping away at Rafael’s concrete foundations.

He thought he could last.

What a fool he was.

One lonely night spent in his office, two fingers of scotch and three witness statements, and Rafael was ready to call it quits. Not just on the night. On his career. He felt numb to the atrocities he was facing. He felt lazy in his approach to the law. He wanted to feel something other than guilt, and regret, and pain.

A knock on his door dragged him from his inner thoughts.

“Come in.”

And there he was. The man with the emotional pick axe, coming back for another round.

“Sorry Counselor. Saw your lights were on. Just got some files for you.” He lifted them up as proof.

“Leave them on my desk.”

Carisi obliged, striding across the room. He dropped the files on the desk, but hesitated, staring at Rafael’s hand. The one holding the glass.

“Everything alright, Counselor?”

“Just fine, Carisi.”

Carisi gestured to the glass.

“Doesn’t look like your first drink of the night.”

He just didn’t know when to quit.

“I’m sorry, is this an interrogation? Are you trying to discover some underlying reason as to why I’m enjoying a glass of scotch at 10pm on a Friday night?” Carisi just scoffed and sat across from Rafael, his elbows planted on the armrests, his eyebrows raised expectantly. “What?”

“Just waiting for you to be done with your little temper tantrum.”

Rafael’s eyes widened.

“Excuse me?”

“Come on, Rafael.” He opened his mouth, ready to snap at Carisi for using his first name, but the detective beat him to the punch. “Every time I try to ask how you are - to help - you snap and insult and do everything to deflect from the situation. So I’m just going to wait for you to realise how dumb you’re being, so you can tell me what’s up.”

“'What’s up?’ Why on earth do you think I would tell you ‘what’s up?’”

Carisi smirked.

“So you admit something’s up.”

Rafael scoffed, turning his head away. Contemplating. He’d lost track of how many times Carisi had tried this.

“Even if something was ‘up’… Why would I talk to you about it?”

Carisi shrugged.

“I’m a good listener.” Simple. Straight to the point. Rafael hadn’t expected anything else from the detective.

He sighed, searching his glass for the answer on how to deal with this. It gave a fairly decent option. He threw back the contents of the glass, slamming it onto the table.

“Alright. You want to hear? To really know what’s going on? I’m probably going to quit soon. Being an ADA. And that terrifies me because I have wanted this ever since I was a teenager, and I have something most people would kill for, and I’m going to throw it all away because I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t. I don’t even know if I care anymore.” His heart was pounding. Saying it in his head was one thing. Out loud however, was fucking terrifying. Sonny seemed infuriatingly relaxed. “Well? Thoughts?”

Sonny shrugged slightly.

“You won’t.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You won’t quit,” he simply said.

Rafael laughed. He actually laughed.

“You seem horribly certain of that.”

“I am. You love this job. You may not see it right now, but you do. Seriously, what would you do other than this? Defense attorney. No way. Retire? Unlikely. Teach law? Maybe, although you hated even slightly helping me, so I imagine you would hate dealing with a thousand me’s a year. No Rafael, you’re stuck with us unfortunately.”

Silence. No thoughts. No regrets.

Sonny was right.

He truly was.

He wanted this.

How on earth had Sonny Carisi been the one to help him see this?

“I-”

“In saying that, do you need a break? Absolutely. I’m going to assume this isn’t the first night you’ve stayed back late this week. Or this month. Everyone needs a break, Counselor. Even assholes,” he finished with a cheeky grin and a wink.

Rafael felt himself smile. Not a smirk, or a tight-lipped grin. A fully-fledged smile.

“Dare I say it, but… thank you. Sonny.”

The younger man’s eyes shone with happiness.

“You’re welcome.”

They held their gaze for a moment. Rafael felt like he was seeing Sonny for the first time. Warm, comforting Sonny.

He was never supposed to see him like this. He was never supposed to let Sonny in. Yet here they were. Sonny was witnessing all of him, and he wasn’t running away. He was staying. He had crawled his way into Rafael, and he was not letting go.

“Stay for a drink?” He offered before he could stop himself.

Sonny smiled, and Rafael cursed himself for ever trying to turn him away.

“Sure.”

As he poured Sonny a drink, there was silence in Rafael’s mind, and for the first time in a long time, he felt nothing but happiness and hope for the future.

Chapter Text

When Rafael turned 31 years old, he had given up on love. He had always been told his soul was older than his years, and when it came to love, he was cynical and pragmatic. He had never experienced it before his 31st birthday, and therefore was certain it would never happen after his 31st birthday.

And so, when Rita fucking Calhoun dragged him from his office on a Friday night, to go clubbing of all things, Rafael was certain nothing about his life would change.

Sweaty bodies and pumping music were sources of torture for him, but Rita appeared to be thoroughly enjoying herself, getting in and amongst the dancing crowd.

Rafael found himself alone at the bar, cursing his inability to say no to Rita.

He glanced around to see who else was lonely enough to be loitering around the bar area, when his eyes locked onto the most perfect blue eyes he had ever seen. The man was baby-faced, or just really that young, and he was gorgeous.

For the first time in years, Rafael’s heart skipped a beat. He had to meet the man. The man who was currently blushing so deeply that Rafael could tell, even in the darkness of the club. So Rafael sauntered over to him, exuding false confidence that he prayed didn’t seem arrogant.

“Hi.” He nearly cringed at the bland opening, however the younger man seemed smitten.

“Hi. Sonny,” he introduced himself, offering his hand. Rafael gladly took it, giving a small shake, purposefully letting his fingers linger for a moment as they let go.

“Rafael. You sure you’re allowed in here?”

Sonny scoffed, however it was good natured and sweet and Rafael’s heart once again skipped a beat.

“I’m 21, not 12, Raf.”

Already onto nicknames. He never wanted to be called anything other than Raf again.

They spent the night talking. Just talking. Rafael had never laughed so hard in his life. Sonny was surprisingly quick witted and intelligent for his age, yet everything about him screamed youth. Not so much that Rafael felt old. Rather he made Rafael feel young again. Like a 16 year old, in line at the cinema with their first ever date. He would do anything to feel this young for the rest of his life.

When Rita was ready to leave, Rafael got Sonny’s number and left him with the promise he’d call.

A promise he had intended to keep… at the time.

The cold light of morning reminded Rafael of who he was. He was bitter. He was old at heart. He was a career-driven asshole. And most importantly, he was not going to ruin Sonny’s life by existing in it.

So he never called.

***

Seven years had passed. Seven years, and Rafael had barely changed. Sure, his career had. His suits certainly had. But who he was? No way.

When he stepped into the precinct, it was an ordinary day. A new case, a chance to show his skills. Nothing was meant to be different.

Everything would be.

The first thing he noticed was the moustache.

Disgusting

The ill-fitted suit.

Horrendous.

The macho stance.

Infuriating.

Detective Carisi was an eyesore from the get-go.

Then he spoke.

And that voice.

Rafael had convinced himself he’d never hear that voice again. Convinced himself he didn’t deserve it.

His eyes raked over Carisi again, until they finally met his. That perfect blue. Staring at him. Knowing him.

His heart was running, pumping. He almost couldn’t breath.

As Liv wrapped the meeting up, Rafael practically sprinted for the elevator.

“Raf.” That voice would always stop him in his tracks.

He turned around.

Sonny was standing all too close, yet it was all too familiar.

“Detective.”

His eyes flashed with pain.

“The least you could do is remember my name.”

Rafael sighed.

“Sonny. This about the case?”

“You know it’s not.”

“I don’t know what to tell you.”

Sonny smiled, a forgiving smile. Rafael didn’t deserve forgiveness, yet here he was, getting it.

“Let me take you for lunch. Give you the chance to try.”

Rafael was going to turn him down. He was going to tell him they shouldn’t. But his traitorous heart was screaming at him. Reminding him that Sonny was the largest light in the darkness of his adulthood.

“Shave that atrocity off and we’ll talk.”

***

Seven years passed beautifully. Perfectly. Rafael woke up blessed, and fell asleep loved, and he would do absolutely anything to keep the source close.

Slow jazz played on their record player.

Their carpet felt soft under his bare feet.

Their love kept their bodies close, swaying to the beat.

Their apartment was lit with many candles, casting a romantic warmth throughout.

Sonny had cooked the most lovely meal, and Rafael knew it was time.

He lifted his head from Sonny’s chest to gaze into those perfect baby blues.

He was nearing 50, yet still felt like that 16 year old on their first date. Every day of the last seven years had felt like that, and Rafael cursed himself for ever denying himself that. For ever denying Sonny the chance to choose his future. Their future.

It was their future.

“You look so perfect.” It was barely a whisper, but Sonny heard it all the same, leaning in and planting a sweet kiss on Rafael’s lips.

His pocket weighed heavily with the promise of the future.

As their lips remained locked, he reached one hand into his pocket.

It was their future, and it was going to be perfect.

Chapter Text

It had started with a touch. A reassuring pat on the shoulder, igniting a long-forgotten desire.

He had spent the better part of a year stamping down his feelings. Reminding himself that one-sided attraction was a fool’s game that only ended one way.

And then the touch happened.

In one fleeting moment, everything he’d been blocking came rushing back to him.

Even now, sitting at a cramped table at a bar with the squad. The slightest touch would drive him wild.

The knee bumping his own.

The elbow occasionally knocking his.

The worst was when they had both reached for a coaster, brushing against each other in the process.

As the squad members left one by one, Sonny prayed he’d be left alone so he could drink sullenly and numb his feelings.

Deep down, he also prayed that the source of his thumping heart would stay.

And so he did.

Somehow Sonny had found himself alone with Barba.

They could have changed seats. Been more spread out.

Instead, after buying the latest round, Barba dropped right back into the chair next to him, their knees bumping slightly.

It wasn’t enough for Sonny.

He wanted more of Barba. All of Barba. Anything Barba would give him.

They drank their last drink in an odd silence. There was something unspoken in the air. Something that Sonny was hoping wasn’t one-sided. He glanced to the side to see curious, probing eyes staring at him.

“Something wrong, Counselor?”

“I didn’t take you as a scotch man,” Barba commented, gesturing to Sonny’s drink.

“The occasion called for it.” The occasion being, sitting with Barba, alone at a bar. A beer seemed a lowly option in this situation.

“You know… I have a McKenna at home. Aged thirty years.”

Sonny was certainly impressed.

“Must have cost a fortune.”

Barba’s elbow brushed his own as he leaned in. Sonny was hyper aware of green eyes, pale blue fabric, and the elbow that now remained connected to his own.

“If you’d like, you could come try it?”

An offer.

An offer from Barba.

An offer from Barba to go to his place and drink.

“Seriously?”

He must have sounded disgusted rather than shocked, as Barba flinched away suddenly, and the room felt sickeningly cold.

“Nevermind. I- don’t worry. Another time perhaps.”

Sonny didn’t plan this. He didn’t plan what he did next. All he knew was, one second he was frozen, still in shock from the offer, and the next he lunged a hand forward, resting it on Barba’s exposed forearm.

The skin-to-skin contact sent jolts of electricity through his entire body.

“I’d love to. Tonight. If you’re still offering.”

Barba was staring at where the hand still gently gripped his arm. He then lifted his eyes to meet Sonny’s, desire blackening those perfect green beauties.

This was real.

This was everything Sonny had ever wanted.

He wanted Barba underneath him, moaning and panting as he pounded into him.

He wanted angel kisses peppered along his neck in the haze of the afterglow.

He wanted to bring Barba his coffee in the morning, with a side of a tender kiss and whispered devotions.

He wanted Barba.

All of him.

Even the bad.

Even the snapped insults because he needed caffeine and his head hurt.

Even the arguments about case law and whether it was applicable to the case at hand.

Even the battles over furniture arrangement, and wedding venues, and what to name their cat.

Sonny could feel he was getting ahead of himself.

It was all true though.

He wanted Barba close to him, in whatever capacity.

Barba lifted a hand to cup Sonny’s jaw.

Sonny swallowed.

Barba leaned in tentatively, as if he wasn’t sure this was something Sonny wanted. As if he had been grappling with his own inner demons over his emotions. As if he wanted Sonny just as much. Just as close.

Their lips connected. Every doubt, every hesitation, flew out the window.

They wanted each other.

“Follow me,” Barba whispered against his lips.

Sonny always would.

Chapter Text

A text message was all it took for Rafael to completely change his mind. He had always been strong in his convictions and decisions. He had always maintained that nothing would be able to alter his thoughts, which took precedence over his feelings.

One text message, and everything changed.

Coffee tomorrow? 8am?

It would have been so easy to turn him down. But the thought of spending a Sunday morning catching up over coffee was too good an opportunity to miss, even if it would probably hurt him in the long run.

Some days he wished he could decipher his actions. Sure, he stood by them, but the intent or reason behind them sometimes evaded him.

He knew why he had kissed Sonny.

He knew why he had gone on dates with him, and let him into his home and life.

He just never knew why he could never let him into his heart.

His fucking broken, black heart.

There was so many times he wanted to scream it from the rooftops. To whisper it into Sonny’s ear. To moan it while on the brink of a perfect orgasm.

He could never do it.

He couldn’t give Sonny what he deserved, and he once again found himself alone. Protected by his own walls, but horribly alone.

Even now, in the cool haze of an early Fall morning, he was alone. The two hot coffees in his hands promised that would change. Showed him that he could change.

“I wasn’t sure if you would show up.”

A smile and tears and heartache threatened to spill over.

He chose to turn and face Sonny with a smirk.

“I would have thought my text saying I’d meet you here would be an indicator.”

Sonny chuckled, gratefully accepting the coffee.

“Walk?”

How could Rafael deny such a sweet offer from such a perfect man?

He had forgotten how easy conversations with Sonny were. Good-natured jabs, intelligent remarks, and wholesome tales were the standard with the detective.

It felt good.

It felt right.

He could say it now.

He could say it and make everything okay again.

If ever there were a time…

A clap of thunder sounded throughout the city. The droplets of rain landed on their heads first, and that should have been the end. At any other time or day or place, Rafael would say his goodbyes and headed on home. With any other man…

He didn’t want to though.

Just half an hour wandering the city with Sonny, and he felt strong. Stronger than he’d felt in a long time. The last time probably being a similar morning, at a similar time of year, lying in bed, holding each other close. It was all Rafael had ever needed, and he had thrown it all away.

Second chances were rare, and he wouldn’t let this one go away.

“Do you still live near here?”

A bold risk.

The rain was bucketing as they power-walked their way to Sonny’s apartment building. By the time they entered the apartment, it almost felt too familiar. The last time they had been here, Rafael had been dropping a bomb on their lives. Unspoken declarations were covered with spoken lies. Harsh words about one-sided attractions, and seeing things that weren’t there. Rafael had taken Sonny’s heart and utterly annihilated it.

Second chances were often not deserved. Did Rafael even deserve this?

“Sonny… why did you ask to see me?”

Once again, Rafael found himself being the source of pain and tears in Sonny’s eyes.

“I… I don’t know. Well, I do. But I think I was lying to myself when I asked you. I told myself it was just to patch up something wholly broken.”

“… But?”

“Raf,” he sighed, slumping onto his couch. “I’m so fucked up. You know, I didn’t even believe I liked guys before you? I couldn’t believe it. Hell, even after we broke- after we stopped hooking up, I wouldn’t believe it. I went right back to chicks like nothing happened.”

Rafael felt sick. If it had been any other man, he would be pissed that they felt the need to bring up last lovers. With Sonny though, the earnest begging for understanding was just heartbreaking.

“So, I’m here because…”

“You once told me that I felt too much. Cared too much. Maybe you’re right, but I’ve spent too long denying who I am based on the wants of others. I won’t do that anymore. I won’t-”

“I was wrong.” It was barely a whisper.

“I’m sorry?”

He cleared his throat.

“I was wrong.”

Rafael sat on the couch, close to Sonny. His eyes pleaded for Sonny to believe him.

“I heard you, I’m just in shock that you’d admit you were wrong.”

Rafael huffed a laugh.

“You wanted all of me. I’ve never… I was scared to give you that.”

“And now?”

The amount of hope in Sonny’s eyes was nearly overwhelming, and Rafael’s first instinct was to flee. He wouldn’t though. He wanted to give all of him to Sonny, the way Sonny had given all of himself to Rafael.

“It’s yours. All of it.”

He held a hand out to Sonny. An offer, if he would take it.

He did.

Their lips found each other’s, discovering each other once again.

“Raf, I-”

“I love you, Sonny.”

A year of pain and loneliness and alcohol, and he finally said it.

Sonny didn’t need to.

A year ago he had, and he had meant it, and he still did.

“I love you too, Rafael.”

He didn’t need to, but he did.

They were both fucked up, and in pain, and healing, and they had all of each other to hold. It was a mess, but it was theirs.

Chapter Text

He had never been to Rafael’s apartment.

He had never asked, or been offered the chance, to see that side of Rafael.

He had never crossed the threshold, soaked in the ambience, perused the intricacies of Rafael Barba.

At first, Sonny was okay with that.

He was okay with calling Rafael, with the taste of beer still on his lips, asking what he was doing. He was okay with craving the slight burn of the scotch still on Rafael’s tongue, pushing into his mouth desperately, his strong hands holding Sonny in place against the door frame. He was okay with those hands tearing his clothes off, as they blindly stumbled through Sonny’s apartment, searching for the warm light of his bedroom.

He was okay with that.

But the cravings, and the desperation, and the steady pulse of something unknown, coursing through his veins, was building. And he wanted to stop it. He was to crawl deep into himself, and remind himself that this was purely physical and primal. There was no future, no path for them. Pure stagnation.

So weekend after weekend, he drank his beers, he made his call, and he stamped down the unnamed something that perked up every time he captured Rafael’s lips with his own, and pushed gently inside him, and gazed into those perfect green eyes as waves of pleasure took hold of his body.

They had a routine, and Sonny was adamant to sticking to it.

Then it changed. It altered beautifully, cracking Sonny’s heart open to the possibilities of what could be.

Two drinks in, and it was doing nothing to quash the gut-wrenching pain of his day. He tried not to bring his work home, but some days it was unavoidable. Today was one of those days. He would close his eyes, and feel the weight of Emma in his arms, the stench of her corpse flooding his senses. All he wanted was familiar arms around him, familiar lips captivating him, and familiar eyes to lose himself in.

One more drink and he would call.

One more drink.

As he cracked open his third beer, there was a knock at the door. And when opened it, his heart opened with it; so wide and ready for the love Rafael might give him. Because that’s what it was. The unnamed, unknown feeling that he had been certain he couldn’t have. Love.

The beer and scotch still merged perfectly, and their hands still searched for each other’s pleasure beautifully, and when they climaxed together, it was with connected eyes and full hearts.

He never asked why Rafael had shown up. He never asked why he had ever come when Sonny called. Instead, he kissed Rafael back as the older man put his clothes back on, and watched him wistfully as he left, and wished he had the guts to ask him to stay.

Chapter Text

Sonny paced through the living room, back and forth, clenching his fists. When Rafael had first given him a key, he had been excited, nervous. Now he was just grateful.

The last message he received from Rafael had set him on edge.

Going to the hospital.

There wasn’t anything that indicated what Rafael planned on doing, what his goal was from the visit, but instantly Sonny’s heart thumped faster, harder. Intuition told him that something was coming. Something life-changing.

He paced, begging his breathing to calm down. Then he heard it. The familiar click of the door unlocking, a sound that normally filled him with excitement and longing, now cementing pure dread in his bones.

Rafael was unusually pale as he stumbled in to the room, a sheen of sweat across his forehead. Sonny stepped forward instantly and held onto Rafael’s arms, supporting his weight slightly.

Incoherent mumbling slipped from Rafael’s lips as he sagged against Sonny, his eyes wide, almost manic. Sonny gently guided him to the couch, never letting go, and asked the only question on his mind.

“What happened?”

Rafael tucked his knees up to his chest, and pulled his long coat around his body. The action seemed like that of a child, desperate for warmth or comfort. His lips were moving, but Sonny still couldn’t understand him. He wanted to shake him, to get him to just confess whatever it was he had done.

“Come on, Raf,” he whispered, placing a soft, tentative hand onto Rafael’s cheek. Ice cold. “Please talk to me.”

“I can’t!” Rafael snapped, finally allowing Sonny to see his pain. The rage in his voice didn’t seem to meet his eyes. Green orbs shining, a kind of emptiness that broke Sonny’s heart. “I can’t, I just… you can’t know. You can’t know! You- you-”

“Calm down,” Sonny croaked out, his thumb stroking Rafael’s cheek, a timid attempt at encouraging something other than the panic attack Rafael was working himself into. “Please, you’re scaring me.”

“You just…” Rafael shuddered, his eyes frantically scanning the ground. “You’ll hate me.”

Sonny’s heart ached, a confusing wave of love and caution flooding through his veins.

“Impossible,” he whispered, pulling Rafael to his chest. “Nothing could make me hate you.”

It surprised him how much he wasn’t sure if he believed his words. He wasn’t sure what his limitations on love were. But as he held Rafael close, a man broken by his own actions, he knew he had to be there for Rafael.

Chapter Text

Spring was the season of change. Changes in temperature, changes in nature, changes in life. It should have been no surprise that Sonny's life would change on a cool, bright March morning.

 

It was Sunday, and he had been blessed with a rare day off, which meant he could visit his favourite farmers market in Brooklyn.

 

It was amongst the vegetable stalls that Sonny's world shifted and morphed, drifting down a path that perhaps he wasn't ever meant to go down.

 

With a tomato in his hand, and a canvas bag on his arm, Sonny felt the back of his neck tickle, as if he were being watched. Sure enough, when he lifted his head, a pair of eyes met his own.

 

The world before him became nothing but a static haze, except for those wonderful eyes.

 

The past two years had been surprisingly kind to Rafael. His hair might have been a little greyer, there might have been a few more wrinkles on his forehead, but those eyes told Sonny everything. They were relaxed, light, even as they looked upon Sonny.

 

Sonny's own eyes were watering, unblinking, out of a fear that if he closed them, Rafael might disappear.

 

He didn't though.

 

Instead he smiled a sweet smile, nothing like the flirty smirks or soft grins that he used to give Sonny. No, this was timid. This was honest.

 

Sonny wasn't sure when Rafael had stepped through the crowd towards him, but suddenly he was right in front of him, close enough to touch.

 

A part of him screamed at him to flee. The 'what ifs’ and the 'maybes’ of who Rafael and Sonny could have been, playing over and over again in his mind.

 

Before Rafael could speak, Sonny found himself shaking his head. “I don't…”

 

Still gentle, still smiling, Rafael nodded, way too understanding to be real. But then his hand reached out, barely grazing Sonny's own hand, and the whole world became crystal clear.

 

“I don't expect you to,” Rafael murmured, barely audible in the bustling crowd. "Can I at least buy you a coffee? For old times sake?"

 

Sonny sucked in a deep breath, soaking in the scent of citrus fruits and flowers in bloom. The seasons had changed, just as Rafael had.

 

“Okay,” he sighed, letting all his worries and concerns leave his body, just as the air left his lungs. “Okay.”