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Muffins, House Races, and an Ex-Wife

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Rebecca Rosario took a moment to make sure her lipstick was flawless before tossing her long hair over her shoulders and exiting her room at the Plaza. As she rode down to the lobby she admired her reflection the mirrored doors of the elevator, contemplating her plans for the day.

She was going to pay her ex a little visit, purely for entertainment purposes, and then she wanted to visit with her daughter. Becca knew that Theo didn’t understand why she’d left initially, but she was planning to spend some time explaining to her daughter how she had to leave. She couldn’t have had a young child or a husband like hers if she was to succeed with her run for the House. Rafael would have been too controversial a spouse, add that to the fact that any love he had ever had for her had vanished long ago. Becca was never sure if she had loved him or if he had just been convenient. She shook her head to clear it. She had a daughter to entice to D.C. after all. Her PA, Frank Carter met her in the lobby, face blank as usual — while he was efficient she did miss dealing with people who had the spark of life in their eyes — still Frank was trustworthy.

At least so Becca thought.

“ADA offices first, ma’am?” Carter asked as he fell into step beside her.

“Yes,” Becca nodded, sliding into the town car she had rented for her visit back to the city, “I’m in the mood for a little chaos.”

Carter did not reply. He just knocked on the partition between the backseat and the driver to relay their destination.

Becca smiled as the car pulled away from the hotel, thinking of the best way to rile up her ex-husband.

——
It was Saturday, and instead of being home with Theo and Sonny, Rafael found himself at the office. Some additional paperwork had come up on a case that they wanted processed before Monday so, with Theo’s approval he had headed into work with Sonny that morning. The squad was set to arrive at his office soon to verify some of their statements and such before they signed off on the reports and they could all go back to enjoying their weekends.

Rafael hadn’t called in Carmen that weekend so he really shouldn’t have been surprised when some people walked straight into his office without announcing themselves.

“You know, in polite society, one is expected to knock and wait for acknowledgment before entering,” commented Rafael without looking up from the page he was reading.

“Well, I’ve never exactly part of polite society, have I Raf?” came the reply, in a sarcastic and sharp tone.

Rafael’s snapped up to take in Rebecca standing in his doorway.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, just as sharply.

“Can’t I just pay a visit?” Rebecca responded, shutting the door behind her and drifting into the room, a sharp smirk on her face.

“No,” replied Rafael as he pushed away from the desk, “What do you want, Rebecca?”

“Your manners leave something to be desired, Raf,” she commented idly, avoiding his question entirely. But Raf wasn’t having it.

“Get out.”

“But I was invited…”

Carter leaned against the wall, near the ADA’s doorway internally rolling his eyes at Rebecca’s words. They were designed to wound of course, like everything else about her conduct. Some movement near the end of the hallway caught his attention as he saw the SVU squad head toward the ADA’s doorway. The Lieutenant slowed down as she caught sight of him, cocking her head in confusion, “Is he…”

“He’s in. I’d go in and save him from his ex if I were you,” he replied quietly, “She’s kind of a horrible person.”

He made eye contact with the tall, Staten Island detective he knew to be Sonny and Rafael’s current partner, “Seriously. But you didn’t hear it from me.”

Confused but spurred on, the squad opened the door to Barba’s office to find him squared off with a woman about his age. Everything about her screamed expensive from her shoes to her necklace. Where Raf was able to carry off expensive pieces as if they belonged to him this woman wanted to be seen and to be bought.

“Hope we’re not interrupting anything important,” remarked Amanda as she glared at the woman in front of her. She knew enough from Sonny that Rafael’s first marriage had not been a happy time for him or his daughter.

“Oh, are these your new friends?” her tone dripped with contempt. She had little use for law abiding people and law enforcement. Her gaze lit upon Liv, whose face was quietly thunderous and then, her eyes settled on Sonny and she saw how his eyes flicked to Raf then back at her. Her mouth twisted in a cruel smile.

“Oh, dear…” she swung back to pin Raf with her gaze, “Has someone fallen in puppy love?”

Amanda almost growled at the woman’s condescension. Sonny put a hand on shoulder, keeping her from launching straight at the women. “I don’t believe we’ve been introduced, although I doubt it would add any value to my life,” Sonny remarked to her, eyes like chips of ice.

“Rebecca, Rebecca Rosario. Theodosia’s mother…”

“She doesn’t want or need you here. So leave, Rebecca,” Raf replied to Rebecca’s words with a sharp retort, struggling to keep his temper at the slights to his relationship with Sonny and his squad.

“Oh, but I was invited, as I told you before. She does want me here,” she fished in her Birkin bag for her phone and pulled out print outs of an email exchange between her and Theo… except Raf noted that it was from the email address Theo no longer used. The initial feeling of his heart jumping into his throat settled.

He knew instinctually that he couldn’t let Rebecca know that he was on to her though. She would just use his denial to further antagonize them. “Get out!” he repeated, voice louder than before.


The first thing Theo heard when she got off the elevator, baked goods tucked away in a bag hanging on her arm, was her father yelling. While that was unusual to an extent, it was the man leaning near the door that piqued her interest.

“Carter?”

“Barba,” he greeted her with a half-smile, “Best get in there and kick her out.”
“I can’t believe this,” muttered Theo under her breath as she pushed open the door with some force just as Liv made to intervene.

“Ms. Rosario, I am going to ask you once to leave these premises and not return unless invited,”

“Oh, darling, I can assure you I am wanted,” Rebecca.

“By whom exactly?” a new, sharp voice cut through the pending tumult. Theo stood, in the doorway, eyes narrowed as she zeroed in on the woman who called herself her mother.

“Theodosia,” Rebecca’s voice softened considerably and she turned on the charm, making her way over to her daughter, “You’ve grown so much.”
Theo took a step back away Rebecca and brought herself closer to her father, “That tends to happen over five years.”

“Of course,” Rebecca laughed, while no one else moved, “Aren’t you happy to see me, darling?”

“What would give you that impression?” Theo answered, taking another few steps so that she stood between her father and her mother.

“Sweetheart, I know things haven’t been easy these past few years, but I can…”

“Explain your actions? I’m sure you can, but I think that explanation will only make sense to you and no one else.”

“Theodosia… you asked me here. What kind of reception is this for your mother?”

“I asked you to come home five years ago, mother. That wasn’t an open ended invite to intrude on my life.”

“I’m concerned for you, dear, this type of environment can’t be good for you,” Rebecca switched tactics at the speed of light.

“This type of environment?” repeated Liv and Raf at the same time.

“Well, you’re not exactly providing her stability or good role models are you?” Rebecca replied looking at Rafael, her gaze going back to Sonny then returning to her ex, “I think she would be better served in D.C. where…”

“Shut up!” Theo was shaking now with anger, “Just shut up. These people,” she gestured to the squad with a flourish, “have been there for me unlike you. Detective Sonny Carisi has put more effort into raising me with Dad over the past six months than you ever did. So, shut up. Leave us alone. I’m staying here. I’m staying in New York. I’m staying with Dad. I will not be a pawn in your senatorial campaign now that you’ve realized you need me to soften your image. Get. Out.”

Rebecca drew herself up and stepped to her daughter. Theo met her gaze square on, unblinkingly.

“Stupid child,” she spat, as Raf moved to step between them and read her the riot act, Theo put out a hand to stop him.

“Don’t tempt me. I’ll ruin you,” Theo spoke, her voice quiet and calm, deadly.

“As if.”

“We both know I can. I’d watch your back in the race, the 47th might be seeing another contender soon.”

Angry at having her plans thwarted Rebecca rushed from the office in a whirl of expensive clothes and defeat. Carter smiled inwardly as he followed his employer.

In Raf’s office, Theo pulled out her cellphone in the silence that followed her mother’s departure and called someone.

“Andy? Did I wake you up?”

Theo nodded as the other person on the other end of the line spoke, “Remember when you said you owed me? Well, I want to cash it in now. Could you run? One last time?”

A few more words and then Theo murmured a quiet thank you before hanging up.

“Turn on the tv,” Theo said.

“What did you do?” Fin asked as he turned on the television, which was consistently tuned to CNN.

BREAKING NEWS

“The political climate is tenuous at best now, but we just received word that the residents of the California 47th might be able to breathe a bit easier as longtime Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt, who was expected to retire after her past terms, just declared herself in the race. Contenders are probably all shaking in their boots. We’ll be talking to Congresswoman Wyatt in just a few minutes…” Raf muted the television to look at his daughter.

“Andy’s a friend of mine,” she replied to his unanswered question, “And she needs to know that no one insults my family and gets away with it.”
The squad smiled at, while Raf pulled his daughter into a hug.

“I brought muffins!” remarked Theo suddenly and everyone broke into laughter.