The black and white filter over Dominick “Sonny” Carisi Jr’s vision is the only thing he has ever known. He’s 37 years old and blind to colors because he hasn’t met his soulmate yet. The guys at all the previous precincts he worked at constantly had a snarky comment about his lack of a soulmate, part of the reason that he was shuffled around so much. He never even wanted anyone in Manhattan SVU to find out, but he slipped up and Lieutenant Olivia Benson figured it out quick.
He was handing her color-coded files, Sonny had gotten the hang of figuring out colors by going off of the different shades of grey that he saw and he got it right around 85% of the time, but he got a little too confident in his ‘skill’ when Liv asked for the orange folder. Sonny grabbed what he thought was orange and handed it to his commanding officer who just stopped at stared at him for a few long moments.
“Everything okay Lieu?” He asked and shuffled around some loose papers, glancing up to meet her analytic gaze.
“You are still color blind, aren’t you Carisi?” She asked slowly and the detective felt sweat begin to form on is hairline and the base on his neck.
“Of course not, what makes you say that?” He tried to play it off as a joke but the nervous undertone in his voice was apparent. Sonny opened his mouth to come clean but closed it when Olivia began to speak.
“I asked for orange, this is green.” Olivia held the file he had just handed her up, “Why didn’t you say anything?” She asked in a concerned tone, motioning for him to sit down in a chair across from her desk. Sonny sighed and did as she wanted, he began to mentally plan how he was going to fill out the transfer request form as he watched his Lieutenant sit in her chair.
“Because it’s why I’ve been pushed from precinct to precinct and unit to unit, nobody wants a color-blind detective. I figured that since I like it here then the only chance I have at staying is to work hard, keep my head down, and keep my mouth shut.” Sonny explained quietly, Olivia listened and never interrupted the detective.
“Carisi…Sonny… I have worked with a lot of cops who haven’t met their soulmate yet and they are amazing at what they do and I refuse to think that you are an exception to that. I just wish you would have told me so I wouldn’t have forced you to help me color code files and hand them to me.” They both chuckled and Sonny felt hope bloom in his chest, “We’re going to make this work until you find your other half, okay?” Olivia asked and the detective nodded.
“Okay, thanks Lieu. The captains at the other precincts told me no one would want to work with me because I’ll be the first to fuck up a case.” Sonny sounded hurt and Olivia felt nothing but sympathy for the younger man when she saw his sullen expression.
“Well we want you here, okay?” Olivia assured him and he nodded with a smile inching its way onto his face.
_ _ _
“But she said that he grabbed her and covered her face, there’s no way she could ID the guy.” Sonny told his partner, Amanda, as they sat at their desks discussing their current case. Its been a week since Sonny’s talk with Olivia and he was already 10 time more confident than he was his first two weeks in SVU.
“I know but maybe he said something or did something unique, there’s no way we have nothing on this guy.” Amanda huffed, pushing her laptop away a little and slumping back in her chair.
“We’ll find something, Fin and Amaro are getting video from the bodega around the corner from where she was assaulted and I am pulling up traffic cam footage now.” Sonny took his right hand off the keyboard and grabbed his cup of coffee, bringing it to his lips to take a sip.
Sonny winced as a sharp pain throbbed within his skull. It was like a migraine, but the pain was the farthest thing from a gradual build up of pain, it hit him out of nowhere bringing a wave of stomach lurching nausea with it.
“You okay, Carisi?” Amanda asked as he dropped his head in his hands and cradled it, ever so slightly leaning closer to the trashcan sitting next to his desk. He squeezed his eyes shut and refused to open them.
“Yeah. I-I just need a minute.” He mumbled out, weaving his fingers through his gelled locks, not caring that he is messing up the style that took him 20 minutes to perfect.
“You don’t look so good.” Amanda told Sonny and he just shook his head, “Hey Liv.” Sonny made a sound of protest as his partner grabbed the attention, he just started here and he doesn’t want to get sent home for something like this.
“Carisi?” Liv placed a tentative hand on Sonny’s back. The detective was shaking at his desk, Olivia and Amanda looked at each other worriedly.
“Liv, I need an update but first, do you have any Tylenol?” Olivia felt Sonny’s body cease shaking as soon as Rafael began speaking.
“Carisi, open your eyes.” She rubbed the detective backs comfortingly, receiving a grunt in protest. “Sonny, open your eyes.” She urged with a little more emphasis.
“Anyone got any pain killers? If this headache doesn’t go away I’m gonna puke, seri—” He picked up his head and slowly cracked open his eyes and the pain started to fade, “What the hell?” he mumbled in confusion. Olivia beckoned Rafael over, he seemed to be suffering from a milder version of Sonny’s flash ‘migraine’.
“I am aware you are very concerned for your detective but I really need witness statements to see if we have anyone good to put on the stand.” Rafael was as grouchy as ever, his headache and stress load brought on a new level of foulness to his mood.
Olivia grabbed Rafael’s hand and placed it on Sonny’s back, both men jumped away from the point of contact, Sonny lurched out of his chair and whipped around to face Rafael.
The detective nearly started crying as his vision changed, the drab and ugly muted greys, blacks, and white melted away and beautiful, vibrant colors began to fizzle in. He stared down the man standing in front of him, the spot on his back where they had touched tingled like an electric current ran ramped on his skin. Sonny drunk in the sight of everything now splashed with such lovely colors, he couldn’t name them but he knew he’d never get tired of looking at them.
Rafael took in the sight of the frazzled detective standing before him, silently hoping that he himself didn’t look that shake. He has always hated when those around him talked about their favorite colors, he never understood how something as simple as a color that not everyone was able to see, could have an emotional impact on someone. Now he gets it. The delightful sky blue of the detective’s eyes (he remembers Liv briefly talking about how pretty of a blue the new detectives eyes are) was the only color that matters, he ignored the other colors that invaded his field of vision. When Rafael thought about it, in the room full of people, the nameless detective in front of him was the only thing mattered. Rafael’s head no longer hurt, he no longer saw the world in depressions shades of black and white, he felt utterly connected to and frankly, he needed this man.
“Rafael Barba.” The ADA was suddenly nervous as he stuck his hand out in invitation for the other man to shake. Being nervous was far from Rafael’s favorite feeling, he never gets nervous.
“Carisi, it’s your turn to introduce yourself.” Olivia nudged the blonde man who snapped out of his little trance and gripped Rafael’s outstretched hand with a little too much enthusiasm making the older man laugh lightly. Sonny felt a blush spread from his neck to his cheeks and all the way up to his ears.
“I uh I am uh…” The detective took a moments and deep breath the collect himself, still nervously shaking Rafael’s hand, “Dominick Carisi jr, but I’d prefer it if you called me Sonny.”
Rafael couldn’t help but smile more at the shyness in Sonny’s voice and the fact that the detective was still shaking his hand.
“It’s been a pleasure meeting you…Sonny.” It was as if Rafael was testing how the absurd nickname sounded coming out of his mouth. He like it to say the least. He liked it a lot more than he probably should, “But I do have some stuff to go over with Liv.” Sonny’s face had fallen into an expression that Rafael could only describe as a dejected puppy.
“It’s okay Rafa, I’ll send the file over to Carmen. Carisi, you can take off early today.” The commanding officer winked at the wide-eyed detective. “But Lieu, it’s only 2 in the afternoon.” Sonny objected causing everyone around him to chuckle. “I know, I’ll say you’re on call if it makes you feel better.” Liv joked and Sonny cracked his infectious smile. “You’re always on call if you’re a cop.” He joked back and Liv playfully rolled her eyes. “Get out of here Carisi. Oh and Raf,” she stopped the lawyer as he seemed to get ready to leave, “don’t hurt my new detective.” She warned and the older man let a genuine smile slip onto his face. “That’s the last thing I want.” He told her, watching his soulmate put all his stuff away before shrugging his suit jacket on then a thick wool coat over top.
“Is that all you wore, Counselor?” Sonny asked when he noticed Rafael wasn’t wearing a coat even though the November air is particularly nippy lately. The older man stopped the detective as he began shrugging off his coat to hand to Rafael, “It’s a quick walk to my office, I’ll survive.”
The two women stayed in their spots, watching the interaction with happiness in their eyes. Barba was such a hard-ass all the time, Sonny is exactly the kind of person that he needs to loosen up a bit. Barba was the perfect person to help rope in Sonny’s outlandish and strange ideas that pollute every conversation with the detective.
“We’ll see you guys later.” Sonny snagged Amanda and Liv’s attention and they both smiled at the men. “Have fun but not too much fun, I expect both my new detective and our ADA back in one piece tomorrow!” Liv called as the two men began to walk away towards the elevator.
“Are you sure you won’t be cold? You can have my coat for the walk.” Sonny rambled slightly and Rafael smiled. “I’ll be okay, I promise.” They stepped into the empty elevator as the doors slid open. Rafael looped his arm through the detectives without ever looking up to meet his gaze; Sonny didn’t pull away, rather he pulled Rafael closer, “Gotta keep you warm, Counselor.” As much as Rafael didn’t want to admit it, he’s already smitten with that stupid Staten Island Accent.
The pair walked in a comfortable silence through the bustling streets of Manhattan streets, Rafael taking a subtle lead as they made their way to 1 Hogan Place.
“Nice office Rafael, it suits you.” Sonny spoke with a cheeky grin as he Rafael perched himself on the edge of his desk. “I’m happy to hear you think so. Tell me about yourself, Sonny.” Rafael prompted as he watched Sonny look around the office.
“For starters, I come from a Catholic family so be prepared for that, but I’ve always hoped my soulmate would be a guy. Not only are the Catholic but my family is very large and very protective.” Sonny smiled fondly as he talked about his family. “Tell me about your life, please.” Rafael tossed the last word in there at the last second, Liv is always telling him that he’s terrible at being polite. “It’s no Ivy League,” Sonny gestured at Rafael’s Harvard Law degree on the wall, “but I am taking night classes at Fordham Law towards my degree.” Rafael is impressed to say the least; Sonny is smart, very easy on the eyes, strong, a friggin NYPD detective, and he’s working towards a law degree. The entire time Sonny was talking, Rafael was entranced by all the colors. Sonny’s plush pink lips, dazzling sky blue eyes, pale and perfect skin, the hairs greying at his temples.
“Raf? Did I lose you?” Sonny joked when he noticed the other man staring at him but didn’t seem to be hearing a word he was saying. “I apologize for zoning out Sonny but I must ask,” Sonny raised his brows to urge Rafael to finish, “can I kiss you?”. The younger man felt his face burn red in shyness and excitement. Sonny nodded, “Yeah. Yes please actually.” Rafael smiled and reached his hand out for the detective to take, which he gladly did only to be pulled close to the man on the desk.
Sonny peered into Rafael’s piercing eyes as their faces slowly drew closer before he no longer had the patients to wait, Sonny placed gentle hands on the side of his soulmates face and bringing their lips together. The feeling they shared was borderline electric, both men clambered to pull one another closer until their chests were flush.
“Raf.” Sonny asked as they pulled away for a breath, the other man hummed in response as he ran his long fingers through Sonny’s gelled locks, “What color are your eyes? I wish I knew which color is which.” He placed a light kiss to the corner of the ADA’s mouth. “I’ve been told they’re a nice shade of green.” Rafael muttered and looked at the younger man with a adoring smile.
“They’re stunning, just like the rest of you.” Sonny flashed a bold smile out of nowhere before placing his lips back on Raf’s whose hands curled deeply into the fabric of the wool coat Sonny is still wearing.