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A Different Road

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“Izzy! Come on, we’re going to be late!” “Do I really have to go, Ma?” “Yes, you are coming to help unpack the car at your brother’s new dorm.” “Why don’t Bella & Michael have to go?” “You’re 15, they are 10 & 8. You’ll be of more help.” “He's just going back to Cambridge." "Yes, but this my last year. Next year I'll be in law school." "Ugh, fine."

“How many more stairs do we have to climb?” “Izzy, you’re a cheerleader and a basketball player. You have plenty of muscle in your legs.” “Shut it, Junior.” “11-C. This is it.” “Here take your shit,” Izzy said dropping a box of books on the floor, making a loud crash. “Uh, hey.” “You must be my new roommate. Tony Rossetti.” “Oh, yeah, hey man, Rafael Barba. Nice to meet you.” Izzy just kind of stared at the green-eyed guy in front of her. She finally had to nudge Tony. “Hey Rudeness Giuliani, want to introduce me?” “Not really.” “I’m Tony’s little sister, Izzy.” “Rafael. Nice to meet you.” “I’m here,” a tall bronzed skin, dark haired girl came in with a box and planted a kiss on Rafael. “Yelina, this is my roommate, Tony Rossetti and his little sister, Izzy. This is my girlfriend Yelina Ortiz.” “Aren’t you adorable. What are you, 13?” “I’ll be 16 in October,” Izzy said looking at Yelina like she had lost her mind. Tony immediately grabbed her knowing his sister’s temper. “Let’s go get the rest of my things, sis.” “Yeah, let’s do that.” “I saw that,” he said as they walked down the stairs. “Saw what?” “You were checking him out.” “No, I wasn’t.” “He was checking you out until Yelina walked in.” “Whatever.” “Don’t forget about Nick.” “Shut up.”

“It’s about time.” “I got here as fast as I could, Nick. You know it takes 40 minutes by subway to get from Brooklyn to Queens.” “I know. I’m sorry.” “What’s wrong?” “My father called today for the first time in three years.” “Wow. That’s…how did that go?” “Well, of course Sonya was all excited. Mami talked to him for a little bit. I hung up when I was given the phone.” “So, where is your mom & Sonya?” “They went out to get pedicures or something. They’ll be gone for a while,” he said as he started kissing her neck and laying her on his bed. “Nick…Nick. Stop.” “What’s wrong?” “I’m still not ready.” “Still? We’ve been dating for almost a year.” “And there’s a time limit on when I’m supposed to lose my virginity to you?” “I didn’t say that.” “That’s how you’re acting.” “I didn’t mean to.”

“Miss Rossetti, late again as per usual.” “Sorry, Mrs. Firoello,” Izzy said running into the gym. “The only thing that saves you from being suspended is your mother. Now, we have a new girl joining the squad. She just transferred from Long Island. This is Erin Harris. Erin, this Izzy Rossetti. Any cheers and routines you need to know, she will be the one to teach you.” “Me?” “Yep. Maybe you’ll learn to be on time.” “Fine.” “Okay, get to work, girls!”

“God how is she a cheerleading coach,” Erin asked as they walked to Izzy’s house, “I mean she’s got to be 50!” “Right?! I mean she tells us what flips we need to do and what not, but she couldn’t do one without a breaking a hip.” It was clear these two girls were going to get along just fine. “Hey, Pop.” “Hey, kiddo.” “You finally get off your 48?” “It seemed like it was 72. Who’s this?” “This is my new friend and new member of the FDR Cougar’s cheerleading squad, Erin Harris. She just transferred from Long Island. This is my dad Anthony Rossetti. Well, Pop, we’ll be in the backyard practicing.” “Okay, have fun. It’s nice to meet you, Erin.” “You, too, sir.” “Oh, Izzy?” “Yeah, Pop?” “Nick called for you.” “Ugh. I’ll call him later.” “Who’s Nick?” “My boyfriend, Nick Amaro. He’s a Senior at Forest Hills in Queens.”

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Erin & Izzy walked in after cheering at a late afternoon basketball game. Izzy was taking off her windpants from under her skirt, “Hey, we have company.” “Hey Tony. Hey Rafael, right?” “Yeah, Izzy?” “Yep. This is my friend Erin Harris. Erin this is my brother Tony and his roommate Rafael Barba.” “Again, we have company.” “I am still dressed. It was a cold walk home. What are you doing in? I didn’t think you’d be home until Christmas.” “Yelina has a girl she wants to set me up with. So how was the game?” “We kicked Forest Hills ass.” “Bet Nick was pissed.” “He didn’t play tonight. His knee is bothering him.” “Your boyfriend played for the opposing team?” “Yep.” “He didn’t bring you two home?” “We’re meeting him a few friends in a little while,” she said as she and Erin ran upstairs to get out of their uniforms. “Were you just checking my sister out, dude?” “No. I have a girlfriend.” “Dude, it’s cool. All of my friends think my sister’s hot.” “He was so checking you out.” “Oh my god, Erin.” “He was!” “He’s been with his girlfriend since he was like 18, known her almost all his life. Plus, he's 22. He is not interested in some 16-year-old cheerleader from Bensonhurst. Not to mention, it's illegal."

“Well, tonight couldn’t have gone any worse.” “Why’s that, Tony?” “Yelina’s friend was terrible. Rafael couldn’t even stand her. She constantly talked about herself. Oh, and marriage! Marriage and babies! I’m 22.” “Well, hopefully you dodged a bullet.” “Oh, I did. I did not ask for her phone number. What’s going on with you?” “Nothing.” “You went out with Nick last night and you came back in a bad mood.” “I can’t talk to you about it, you’re my brother.” “Are you afraid I’ll go after him?” “A little.” “Is he still pressuring you?” “Yes.” “Then get rid of him. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. End of story.” “Yeah, you’re right.” “Hell, you can have any guy you want. If Rafael wasn’t with Yelina, he’d be after you.” “Not even.” “Yes, even. Don’t get any ideas.” “I’m not like that.” “Although, as many times as I’ve been around her, you’d be a better match for him.” “Really?” “She comes from the same place he does and yet she acts like she’s better than him. You can just tell by the way she talks to him. I don’t see what he sees in her at all.”

“That son of a bitch.” “Tony, I took care of it.” “What did you do?” “I beat the hell out of the girl and him. Erin helped.” “You actually caught him in the backseat of his car?” “Yep. I’ve been catching him in lie after lie.” “Do I need to come home?” “No. Like I said, I handled it. He looks like hell.” “Good! He deserves it. You gave him almost two years. You didn’t deserve that but he damn sure deserved what he got.” “Well, I got homework that needs done.” “I just wish you would’ve caught him while I was still home for the summer. Barba and I would’ve taken care of him.” “Thanks, big bro. Well, I’ll see you in a few weekends. Later.” Rafael & Yelina had been making out on the couch of his & Tony's apartment but he was still halfway listening to Tony’s phone call. He pulled away from her and asked, “What would we have taken care of over the summer?” “That fucking Nick was cheating on my sister.” Rafael felt unusually mad; he loved Yelina but there was something about Izzy. Maybe it was the way they sparred back and forth, the way she challenged him. He didn’t see her like a little sister; in fact he was confused as to what he saw her as. “You’re fucking kidding?” “No.” “What did she do?” “She beat the shit out of him and the girl.” “Good for her,” Rafael laughed.

“Izzy!” “Yeah, Ma?!” “You have a phone call!” “Okay, I got it! Hello?” “Hey, Izzy?” “Yeah?” “It’s Rafael.” “Oh hey! What’s up?” “I’m home for the weekend and was wondering if maybe we could get together.” “Uh, sure. I mean what about…” “It’s a long story. I just want to be around someone that will keep my mind off of things, I don’t want to be stuck at my parents, but I don’t want to go back to school…” “No, it’s fine. Um, I have to cheer at a basketball game tonight.” “What time? “6:30.” “After that, then?” “Sounds good. Meet outside of my school around 8.” “Okay, I’ll see you then.” “Okay, so we can trust you with the house while we’re gone to Chicago?” “Ma, I’m 17. What time does your flight leave?” “8, so we’ll have to leave the game early.” “It’s fine, I promise.” Okay, Bella and Michael will be at your Uncle Vinnie’s.” “Tony will be home in the morning.” “Yes, don’t let your brother throw a party.” “I won’t.”

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“Hey, there you are,” Izzy said as she spotted Rafael waiting on her outside her high school gym. “Are you cold?” “Nah,” she said as she pulled her letterman jacket out of her bag and slipped it on. “So, why aren’t you hanging out with your girlfriend?” “Because she’s not my girlfriend anymore.” “What? What happened?” “This whole time I’ve been in college, she’s been going behind my back with my oldest friend Alex.” “Wow, I’m so sorry.” She didn’t know what came over her, but she stopped and hugged him. It surprised both of them, but he didn’t want to let her go. “Are you hungry?” “Not really.” “I understand. We can just go to my house and watch tv.” “Your parents won’t care?” “They are on their way to Chicago for my aunt’s birthday.” “Um okay.”

She had made him eat something and let him talk, while they sat on her bed with whatever it was playing the background. “Where’s your partner in crime?” “She’s grounded for missing curfew,” Izzy laughed. “I still can’t believe what Nick did to you.” “Well, he couldn’t be patient with me.” “Are you waiting until…” “No, nothing like that. I just want my first time to be with someone that I care about.” “You didn’t care about Nick?” “I did. I mean I was with him for almost two years. It’s just Nick and I, were didn’t have that extra layer to our relationship. We weren’t friends. I know that sounds stupid and high schoolish.” “Well, you are in high school,” he laughed, “but it doesn’t sound stupid. I mean, if I ever make it out of law school and get married, I don’t want someone that just is my lover. I want someone I can joke around with, laugh with, and just have fun. Life doesn’t have to be so serious all the time.” “Exactly. So, how did you explain taking a week off from school?” “I told my professor’s I had the flu,” he kind of laughed, “As high as my GPA is, the Dean isn’t going to say anything.” There was a hint of arrogance in his tone. Before she could stop herself, Izzy just went for it. He fell into it a long with her. “I’m sorry,” she said as she pulled away. “Don’t be,” he said pulling her face back to him and continuing what she had started. They made out for about 30 minutes. She didn’t know what came over her as she started unbuckling his belt. “Wait.” “What?” “I can’t do this.” “I’m sorry.” “No, it’s not you. It wouldn’t be fair to you seeing as how I just broke up with Yelina and you’re still a virgin. I can’t take that from you. It wouldn’t be right.” “I get it.” “I should probably go.” “Okay.” He straightened himself and she walked him downstairs. “I really am sorry, Izzy.” “It’s fine.” He kissed her lightly before he left.

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“You don’t think it was a size issue, do you,” Erin asked after Izzy told her about the night before. “It was most definitely not a size issue.” “Maybe a quick on the draw type thing?” “No, because that would’ve probably happened when we were making out.” “True. Wonder what his problem was?” “I don’t know.” “Hey, what are you two talking about?” “God, Tony, don’t you knock?” “You’re asking me this after 17 years? Really?” “What do you want?” “I’m going to get some beer and stuff…” “Ma said no parties.” “It’s just going to be a few guys from school. Blowing off steam from mid-terms.” “You guys can’t do that at school?” “Yes, but school is within a walking distance. Here, it’s not. Plus, Rafael broke up with Yelina, bad deal. He needs to relax.” “Ugh.” “I thought you liked him. You guys always seem to get a long when he comes over.” “He’s annoying.” “Um okay. Well, I don’t go back to school until Monday, Ma & Pop will be home Monday night, so we won’t leave a mess.” “You better not because it will be my ass.” “I’ll take care of it. You want big brother to buy you some beer?” “What do you think?” “12 pack of Bud Light in the bottles coming up.”

Tony had brought them their beer and a pizza when he got back. “You guys are more than welcome to join us downstairs.” “We’re fine up here. Thanks, bro.” “Okay, I offered.” “Maybe we should go down there.” “No, Erin. I’d just rather not face the humiliation from last night.” “Then let’s turn on the music and act like he’s not here,” she said putting in Izzy’s Missy Elliot CD and turning her stereo up. “Sounds like your sister & her friend are having their own party,” one of their classmates, Chris laughed. “Those two are crazy. Ask Rafael.” “They’re not that bad, Tony. His sister does have a mouth on her. She says things that would make a sailor blush. No shit.” “Hey!” “What the fuck do you want, Tony?” “Can you not turn that off?” “Oh, sure we’ll turn it off, bro. Wouldn’t want to interrupt whatever intellectual conversation you might be having.” Erin turned Missy Elliot off then turned on Foxy Brown. “I hate my sister somedays.” “Thought we were here to get our boy’s mind off his girl,” another classmate Andrew said, patting Rafael’s shoulder. There was a girl on his mind, but it wasn’t Yelina. They went out to the garage where Anthony had a pool table and stereo. Izzy had been looking for her Mase CD and she could hear it coming from the garage. “Oh hell no.” “No, you can’t go out there like that,” Erin said pointing at her pjs. “You’re right.”

She changed into a tank top, a short pair of shorts from cheerleading camp, her rainbow knee-high toe socks, threw on some make-up, curled her hair and put it in a ponytail, and walked into the garage. “Sorry to interrupt boys night but apparently my brother has been going through my CD collection without permission, again,” she said as she took the CD out and started flipping through the book of CDs. “This is my Nirvana, Metallica, Beastie Boys, and my NWA?” “Seriously, sis?” “I don’t know what kind of mood Erin & I might get in later.” She could feel Rafael’s eyes not leaving her, as well as the rest of the guys. Erin was trying not to laugh. “Eyes off my sister, everyone of you.” “See ya, guys.”

“You have no intention on listening to those CDs tonight, do you?” “Come on, Erin. After a year I think you’d know me better than that.” “He couldn’t stop staring at you. I thought he was going to bite a hole through his bottom lip.” “Reject me and see what happens. Asshole. Hell, he’s 23 years old. He should be proud a 17-year-old was wanting to sleep with him. I mean yeah, he’s soooo cute but still. That’s not the point.” “You don’t think he’s a virgin?” “I didn’t think of that. Surely not as long as he was with Yelina.” “Maybe she did something to shake his confidence.” “Well, hello! I’m a virgin, it’s not like I would know any better!” *KNOCK, KNOCK* “There’s Tony to come tell me to put some clothes on stop being an asshole. Tony look, Rafael?” “Uh, hey, Izzy. Can I talk to you for a minute?” “You know, I think I’m gonna go kick your brother’s ass in pool,” Erin said as she walked out. Izzy grabbed the remote and turned the stereo down, “So talk.”

“I think you misinterpreted what happened last night.” “I don’t think I did. I basically threw myself at you and you just rejected me. It was pretty clear what happened.” He sat down on her bed next to her. “It’s not that I didn’t want to. I did. God, I did. I just didn’t want it happening for the wrong reasons.” “Yeah, I get it. The rebound thing.” “Look, to be honest, I’m not that hurt over Yelina.” “How could you not be?” “I mean, yeah, what they did to me, I don’t know if I will ever forgive them. but I’ve had feelings for someone else.” “So, that’s why you wouldn’t…” “It’s you, dummy,” he laughed. “Did you just really call me a dummy?” “For someone that is poised to graduate high school a year early, you’re kind of dense. I guess it’s the blond hair.” “Hey!” “Over the summer, I spent more time with you than I did her. I mean you, me, Tony, & Erin did a lot together. I started seeing you differently.” “Why didn’t…” “You were with Nick and then you caught him cheating on you because you wouldn’t sleep with him, which is the shittiest excuse in the world. Last night, when things started going further, I didn’t want to stop but I didn’t want you doing something you would regret. I mean that is obviously a big deal to you since you wouldn’t lose it to the guy you dated for two years.” She took his face and pulled her to him.

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“The door is locked, right?” “Yes. I checked it twice,” he smiled as he pulled her sheet and comforter onto them, “You’re sure you want this?” “Yes, Rafael.” “If at any moment you change your mind, please tell me. Okay?” “I will.” She had done things with guys before, but she had never had her hand on one this big. She got a little scared at the fact her first time was going to be with someone so well endowed. She winced in pain as he slowly pushed into her. “Are you okay?” “I’m fine.” “I’m hurting you.” “It’s going to be fine. Just keep going.” “Okay.” He bent down and kissed her as he went further into her as slow as possible. It was a mixture of pain and pleasure really. After a little bit she finally adjusted and was able to enjoy herself. Now, granted her 17-year-old self didn’t know an orgasm from a muscle spasm really, but she knew it felt good. He rolled his hips into her slowly while kissing her and speaking things to her in Spanish that she couldn’t understand while she ran her hands through his perfectly spiked dark hair. Nick would speak Spanish to her when they would mess around, but it didn’t sound near as sweet or sexy as it did coming from Rafael. He lasted about 20 minutes before he filled his condom. He laid down on her as he caught his breath before leaning up and kissing her. “Are you okay?” “I’m wonderful, Rafael.” “Do you regret…” She interrupted him with a kiss. “I’ll take that as a ‘no’,” he laughed, rolling off of her. “You better get back to your boys.” “What if I don’t want to,” he said pulling her to him. “It will look suspicious.” “You have a point. You want to come down with me?” “Sure,” she smiled. “You better change clothes. Your brother was bitching about what you came down there in earlier.” “I did that on purpose.” “You little tease.” “It was only fair,” she smiled as she stuck her tongue out half-way.

“Where have you two been?” “Talking,” Izzy lied. “We just traded war stories about Yelina & Nick and I talked her into coming down here.” Tony introduced her to the guys, Chris, Andrew, Jackson, and Chance. “Don’t even think about it, any of you.” “You’re not gonna tell Barba the same thing?” “Please, he’s known her since she was 15. That’s like his little sister.” They both shared a grin. “Tell me everything,” Erin whispered. “I will later.” “You finally lost it, didn’t you?” “Shh.” “How was it?” “I said I will tell you later.” “So, what about sleeping arraignments,” Rafael whispered. “Well, I can make Erin sleep in Bella’s room. You’re already for another round?” “You have no idea.” “I think you need to give me a little time.” “Oh…sorry,” he said sheepishly. “It’s more than fine,” she smiled, “but you can always share my bed in another way.” “Try to stop me.”

She woke up locked in Rafael’s arms and she felt so safe. She stirred around a little bit, “Good morning, cariño,” he said as he kissed the back of her neck. “Good morning,” she smiled. “You’re not regretting…” “Stop asking me that. If I did, you’d be on our couch,” she laughed. “I just want to make sure.” “I don’t regret it at all. In fact, I don’t regret so much that I’m ready to go again.” “Are you sure?” “Yes. I’m not near as sore as I was last night.” “I’m sorry.” “You don’t have to apologize for having such a big penis. It’s just going to take some time getting used to.” “I need to ask you something.” “What’s that?” “You don’t think it’s weird that I’m 23 and you’re 17…” “Age ain’t nothing but a number. Plus, it’s legal.” “You’ve done your research.” “Well, you should know I’m thinking of going to law school myself.” “Your brother did say something about that. So, you don’t feel like you’re dating an old man?” “Dating? Who said anything about dating?” “You’re just going to lose your virginity to me and…” She pulled him down to her before he could finish his sentence. They kept going further and he grabbed another condom for their second round.

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“Hey, Rossetti, hows about you and I go out?” “What are you talking about Dawson?” “Come on. You’ve been single since you broke up with the Cubano from Queens last year. We’ve known each other long enough…” “Let me stop you right there, Antonio. I am not single. See this ring on my neck? It says Harvard. My boyfriend graduated from Harvard in ’97, now he’s at Harvard Law.” “Wow, I didn’t think you liked old men.” “Go fuck yourself, Dawson.” “Just ignore him, Izz.” “Ugh! He thinks because he’s on the soccer team we should date. So annoying.” “Are you ever going to tell your family about you & Rafael?” “One of these days, Erin. I just don’t think they’ll like it that he’s so much older than me.” “Come on. Tony even said you’d be a better match for him than Yelina was.” “Doesn’t matter. He’d still freak the fuck out.” “What about Prom? We are both graduating early so this is the only one we get.” “Rafael won’t come to it.” “Why wouldn’t he?” “Why would he? He’s 23 and it’s a stupid high school thing.” “So? He loves you.” “No, he doesn’t.” “Are you kidding me?!” “Fine, I’ll ask him.” “You brother is coming with me.” “WHAT?!” “I’m not dating anyone, so it made sense to ask him.” “I don’t even want to know anything else.”

Izzy dialed their number praying Rafael would answer. “Hello?” “Ciao, mio amore.” “Hola, mi amor! How was your day?” “Fine. I found out today I will be graduating with the class of 1998 instead of 1999.” “That’s wonderful, babe!! I’m so proud of you.” “I also got accepted to NYU.” “Your first school of choice. That is so awesome!” “Anyways, the reason I called is because my prom is coming up and I’m basically skipping my Junior year and I’m only getting one prom…” “And you want me to come?” “Well, yeah.” “I’ve been waiting on you to ask me.” “Really?” “Yeah. Erin asked Tony to escort her and they’re not even dating.” “I’m sorry.” “No need to be sorry, babe. I understand why you were hesitant to ask but yes, I’d love to escort you to your prom.” “You are so awesome. I love you.” “What?” “Nothing.” “No, you said…” “I said you’re so awesome and I just stopped talking!” “No, you didn’t.” “Yes, I did!” “Okay, okay. What color is your dress?” “It’s going to be green.” “To make those brown eyes stand out.” “Rafa.” “That’s new. I like that.” “Well, I’m the only one allowed to call you that, then.” “I will see you on your prom night, then.”

“Oh my god, I told him I loved him.” “So? You do,” Erin countered. “What if he doesn’t feel like that about me?” “Who are you kidding? Tony knows, he’s just waiting for the two of you to admit it.” “Are you screwing my brother?” “Here and there.” “Are you serious?” “Hey, it started out as a favor for you. When they’d come in from Harvard, I had to distract him from the two of you.” “Is that the only reason?” “Okay, no. Still, it’s helped you and Barba.” “Yeah it has. Thanks for taking one for the team.”
“When are you going to admit that you’re in love with my sister,” Tony asked as he & Rafael rode in the limo to pick up Izzy & Erin for their prom. “What are you talking about, Tony?” “Dude, I see the way you two look at each other. You didn’t look at Yelina like that.” “She just asked me…” “Please. I’m not stupid.” “Okay, we’ve been dating since last mid-terms.” “You know the big brother in me wants to beat the shit out of you, but I can’t say I’m too surprised.” “Really?” “I always thought you two would be perfect together. She’s an arrogant asshole just like you.” “Well, thanks roomie.” “Just don’t do her like Nick.” “Not a problem.” “You’ve already slept with her,” Tony said as he lunged at Rafael. “It wasn’t like that! We both wanted it. I told her at anytime she could stop!” “I will stop this car,” the driver yelled. “Okay. I’m fine.” “Look, I have respected your sister from the get. Honestly, Tony!” “Okay, okay. You love her?” “I do.” “Does she know that?” “Not yet. I’m going to tell her tonight.” “You’re serious?” “I am, Tony.”

"Girls, your dates are here!” Erin and Izzy ran downstairs. Izzy wanted to fall over seeing Rafael, black suit, green tie and green vest. “You look so handsome.” “You are gorgeous, mi amor.” He noticed his Harvard class of ’97 ring still around her neck, even in that green prom dress. “Is there something going on here…” “Yes, Mr.Rossetti, I have been dating your daughter since November.” “And you felt you had to keep it a secret?” “Sorry, Pop.” “If there has been anyone more perfect for you, it’s been Rafael,” Anthony laughed. “Thank you, Pop,” Izzy said as she threw her arms around her dad’s neck. After Stella took what it seemed like 900 pictures, they were finally able to leave. Izzy & Erin had become huge fans of *NSYNC, whose album had just dropped that March. They spent most of their night dancing to all the pop music popular of 1998; they got a few dances in with Rafael & Tony. Izzy had been a member of the Glee club since she started FDR, and everyone begged for her to sing a song. “Okay, fine. I’ll sing one.” She choose “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees. It brought Rafael to tears as he knew she signing to him. She had never felt this way about any guy in her life.

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They ended up at an after-prom party at their friend Chrissy’s house in Brighton Beach. “You look amazing.” “So, do you, Rafa.” They had been walking along the beach, barefoot, holding hands. “Thank you for coming tonight.” “Of course. Why wouldn’t I?” “Well, I’m still in high school…” “For another month.” “But I just don’t know what you see in me.” “Are you kidding? You are the most beautiful girl on this planet.” “What about Yelina?” “Bebita, you are the only one I think about. You are the only one I want. You mean so much more to me than she ever did.” “Come on. You had been in love with her since you were in the 7th grade.” “That was until I met you, mi Corazon.” “What?” “Elizabeth Michelle Rossetti, I’m in love with you.” “Oh my god, what?” He pulled out a small black box but didn’t get on a knee. “This is a promise ring. I promise I’m going to love you forever and I promise one day I will make a good husband and father if you let me.” “Oh, Rafa,” she said as she pulled him into a kiss. “You love me?” “Of course, cariño.” “I love you, too.” “I reserved a room for us. I hope that’s okay.” “Of course, it is,” she smiled. They took a cab back to the Four Seasons in Manhattan.

She got in the tub to relax and get the alcohol out of her system. “You are so beautiful, mi amor.” “You are pretty damn handsome yourself, Rafa.” He got into the garden tub with her. “So, do you like your ring?” “I love it. How could you afford this?” “Cariño, it’s not that big.” “But still. You just work in the library…” “And I have school loans plus scholarship money. I don’t just blow it.” She “swam” over to him and pushed her lips onto his. “I love you, Izzy.” “I love you, too, Rafa.” She started getting him hard. “Stop, mi amor.” “Why?” “We need a condom. I still have two years of law school left.” “You can’t pull out in time?” “Are you on any kind of birth control?” “That’s the great thing about New York. I don’t need my mother to approve it.” “But we’ve been drinking.” “Fine,” she smiled as she got out and handed him a Magnum. “Are you going to leave me alone in here?” “Of course not,” she said as she climbed on top of him. “Oh, fuck, princesa,” he moaned as she slowly slid onto him. He was the only guy she had been with but there was something about him that turned her into another person. She grabbed him by his hair, causing him to moan. “You like that, Papi?” “Oh, si, mi amor.” She rode him in that tub slow but hard. All of a sudden, she felt this sensation go through her, “OH MY GOD, RAFAEL!!” “ “KEEP SAYING MY NAME, MI AMOR!” “RAFAEL! RIGHT…THERE…OH…YES…KEEP…GOING!” Her whole body tingled from her toes to her head. “Oh…oh…my god. What just happened?” “That was from you rubbing your clit against me, mi amor,” he said as he kissed her neck. “Wow. That was amazing.” “Is that your first orgasm?” “I would have to say so.” “I’m glad I was here for it.” “So am I.”

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“I can’t believe NYU is letting you two share a dorm room,” Tony laughed as he & Rafael helped Izzy & Erin move in. “We might burn the building down,” Erin joked. “Could you two keep your illegal activities to a minimum until we pass the bar in two years,” Rafael laughed. “Hey, the party has finally arrived.” “Dawson? You’re in the same hall,” Izzy said as she rolled her eyes. “Yeah, what are you stalking us?” “You wish, Erin. This is my roommate, Jay Halstead. Jay, I went to high school with these girls. This is Izzy Rossetti and Erin Harris.” “Nice to meet you.” “Yeah, you too. This is my brother Tony and my boyfriend, Rafael Barba. They are both in their 2nd year at Harvard Law.” “Harvard? Impressive.” Rafael pulled Izzy close to him. “Well, I’m sure I’ll be seeing you girls.” They finally left. “What time does your train leave for Cambridge?” “In two hours.” “Okay, you two. You spent all summer screwing, do you really need…” “Get lost, Tony.” “Come on, Erin. I know a place. I can buy you a beer. You better not let him be late or I’ll leave him here.” Erin & Tony left. “Lock the door,” Rafael whispered.

“Okay, so tell me again why were and Erin suspended and are being kicked out of your dorm?” “They did an inspection and found that we have a kegerator.” “And where did you get one?” “I have a fake ID, Ma.” “Okay. We spoke to Erin’s parents and the dean. They’ll let you two stay in school as long as you move off campus.” “We can’t afford that.” “Your Dad & I have agreed to pay half of your rent and utilities while Erin’s parents pay the other half. We’d like you two to finish your education. There will be no more shenanigans of any kind. Is that understood?” “Yes.” “And I don’t want Rafael staying with you every weekend either.” “Ma!” “I know what it’s like to be young and in love but both of you have obligations. He can’t afford to lose his scholarship; neither of you will finish college if you get pregnant.” “I’m not going to get pregnant. We’re safe.” “How safe?” “Do we have to have this conversation?” “Elizabeth.” “I’m on the pill and he uses condoms, okay? Can I go now?” “Yeah but I mean what I said. I know you’re legally an adult now, so you need to act like it.” “Okay, Ma.” “If I were the two of you, I would start looking for apartments. You have to be out of the dorm by the end of your 10-day suspension.” “Okay.”

“Well, how much shit did you get from your parents?” “A ton from my mom. My dad’s on a 48-hour tour right now. He’ll be at the station for another day, but he already knows. Of course, my mom had to start in about Rafael staying on the weekends. Told me I wouldn’t finish college if I get pregnant.” “Oh jeez,” Erin said rolling her eyes, “you guys are careful.” “Most of the time.” “What do you mean?” “A few weeks ago, when you went out with Dawson and Halstead and we stayed at the dorm, we didn’t use a condom and I missed my pill the day before.” “What are you trying to say, Izzy?” “For the first time in seven years, I’m late.”

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They found an apartment not far from campus and it was rent-controlled which both of their parents really liked. Rafael and Tony came in and helped them move, along with Erin’s brother Steven. By this time, Izzy was 10 days late, but she couldn’t bring herself to take a test or even tell Rafael. After they set up her room half way, he finally confronted the distance he had felt. “Are you okay?” “Yeah, I’m fine.” “No, you’re not. How long have I known you and we’ve been together a year. I know when something’s bothering you.” “Remember that weekend in the dorm when we were less than careful?” “When I was out of condoms? Yeah.” “I had missed my pill the day before, I took it with the other the next day like I was supposed to.” “How could you be so irresponsible?” “Me?” “You take that every day and you miss it, we have sex without a condom, and you don’t bother telling me that we were basically playing Russian Roulette?” “I didn’t realize until after…” “I’ve got another year of law school left. How far…” “All I know is I’m 10 days late.” “You’ve been lifting heavy boxes knowing you could possibly be pregnant?” “None of them were that heavy.” “Do you plan on finding out or just going to wait until you gain a bunch of weight?” “Yes.” “When?” “When I can work up the courage to go to Planned Parenthood.” “You’re going to wait that long?” “I don’t want to know, honestly. I’m only 18.” “Well, we have to find out. We can’t have this hanging over our heads for the weekend.”

“Which one should I get?” “I don’t know. This one is more expensive but this one says results in less than 3 minutes.” “You’ve bought one of these before, Erin. Help me.” “Here, just get these two. One of each that way you can compare the results,” she said throwing two different tests into the handbasket. “Oh, and here’s hoping,” Erin laughed tossing a box of condoms in there, too.

“What am I going to do if she’s pregnant,” Rafael asked Tony as they sat at a bar having drinks. “I can’t tell you, dude. My dad will kill you.” “Thanks.” “We’ve all been through this.” “Not me.” “You never had a scare with Yelina?” “Nope or if she did, she never told me. I freaked on your sister. I feel terrible.” “It’s scary.” “Yeah but I practically blamed her. We were both equally responsible if she is pregnant.” “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just apologize and it’ll be fine.” “Come on, the girls are probably back by now. You need to be with your girl right now.” “You’re right.” “Just to be safe, you might want to stop and get her some flowers.” “That would be a good idea. Maybe she won’t kick my ass if she’s not pregnant.”

“Hey,” he said walking into her bedroom with a bouquet of flowers. “Thank you.” “I’m sorry I called you irresponsible. This was just as much me as it was you. Are you ready?” “I’ve taken them, but I can’t look.” “You want me to do it?” She just nodded. He went into her bathroom for what seemed like forever. “They’re negative.” “Thank God,” she said as she felt a weight come off of her. He took her in her arms and kissed her forehead. “We’ve got to be more careful,” he laughed. “Yeah no kidding.” “I mean I want to have kids with you some day, but I want to have a good job first.” “You really mean that?” “What did I tell you when I gave you this ring?” “I know.” “I know we’re young, but I imagine my life after law school, working in the DA’s office, a nice apartment, and I imagine you being in that apartment every night when I come home.” “I love you, Rafael.” “I love you, too, Izzy.”

“So, you almost ruined your future.” “Miguel!” “No, Lucia. I always knew he wouldn’t make it out of law school before he knocked that young girl up.” “I didn’t. It was a scare and that’s all. I wasn’t talking to you anyways.” “I’m going to tell you right now, you get her pregnant, I will not have any bastard half-Italian grandchildren in this house.” “Are you serious with this?” “Yes. Latinos marry latinos to keep the bloodline going.” “Miguel, she’s Italian. That’s close.” “Not close enough. He will marry a Cuban, a Mexican, a Puerto Rican, but you will not marry a white girl.” “You don’t have any say in who I marry or who I have children with. Furthermore, you are going to start showing her more respect when I bring her over.” “And tell me, mijo, how do I disrespect your little gringa?” “You speak nothing but Spanish around her. That in it’s self is rude. She doesn’t deserve to be disrespected like that and plus, she can understand a lot of what you say. That’s why she doesn’t come around much, Mami.” “Miguel Barba, you should be ashamed of yourself. This is the only girl our son has wanted us to get to know and you treat her horribly.” “How did I end up with such a Mama’s boy? Are you sure you’re not queer?” Rafael didn’t hold back before he hit his dad. After so many years of his insults and physical abuse had finally built up. “Rafael!” “Lo siento, Mami, but I’ve had it. Insulting the girl I love and our future children is where I draw the line. Call me what you want but I’m done with your terrible treatment of her.” “Finally stood up to your old man. You might be a man after all.”

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*KNOCK,KNOCK* “You don’t have to knock, Erin. You’re already inside.” “Ha ha. Are you expecting anyone?” “Nope.” “Are you going to see who it is?” “Fine,” she said throwing down her copy of US Weekly. “Lucia! Rafael’s not coming in this weekend…” “You think I don’t know that,” she laughed. “Of course, you do. Come in.” “Here,” she said putting a bag of groceries in Izzy’s arms. “What’s all this?” “I know you can cook Italian but if my son plans on spending the rest of his life with you, you need to learn how to make Cuban food, including his favorite,” she said as she started laying food out on the counter, “Plus, your big 2-year anniversary is coming up and I thought it would be a nice surprise for him.” “Uh, okay. You remember my roommate, Erin.” “Of course, Erin, how are you?” “Good, especially if there’s about to be food around.” “She’s the reason there are no leftovers in this house, ever.” “Says the girl that eats leftover Chinese for breakfast.” “Elizabeth Rossetti! Chinese leftovers is not breakfast!” “I make actual breakfast when Rafael’s home.” “Oh, when he’s home, huh?” “I mean home as in New York.” “Please. He’s practically lived here on weekends and breaks for the last year. I’m guessing he’ll be living here permanently once he graduates law school in May. Now, start working on that onion.” Izzy hadn’t thought about that. Sure, they just turned 19 & 25, their 2-year anniversary was coming up, but she wasn’t sure if she was ready to give up that much freedom yet.

“Hey, sorry. The train was late.” “It’s okay. I needed a little extra time,” Izzy said as she started sitting dinner on the candlelit table. “What’s all this?” “Did you forget what today is?” “Considering there’s a dozen pink roses on your bar, I think you know the answer.” “Well, you always do nice things for me and so I decided to do something special for you this year. You’ve been working so hard, you have finals next month, then one more semester and you’ll get to take the bar and become the kick-ass lawyer I know you’re going to be. So, sit, eat,” she said as she handed him a glass of scotch.

“That was absolutely amazing, mi amor. I mean it was perfect. How did you learn…” “Your mom showed up one day and gave me a lesson in Cuban cooking.” “Mami,” he laughed, shaking his head. “Now, if you ever tell her this, I will deny it till the day I die but that was actually better than Mami’s.” “I am so going to tell…” “You better not,” he said as he finished his drink. “Now, I believe it’s time for dessert.” “What did you have in mind?” “Well, why don’t you pour yourself another drink and meet me in my bedroom?” “Yes ma’am.” He came into find her on her bed, already naked. He came over, but she wouldn’t let him sit. She started unbuttoning his shirt as she kissed him. She ran her hands along his chest. “I think I want to try something new tonight.” “Are you sure?” They played it safe for the past two years. Their sex life wasn’t boring, but he never wanted to pressure her into doing something she wasn’t comfortable with. “Yes, I am,” she said as she undid his belt and dropped his pants & boxers. Thank god she didn’t have much of a gag reflex and was able to take him all in. “Oh wow,” he shuddered as she started going faster. She stopped as she could feel he was getting close. “Uh, so what else did you want to try?” “Remember that thing we talked about; that you overheard some guys talking about in the library?” “Yes,” he smiled. “Did you research it?” “As much as I could.” “So?” “Do you trust me?” “Of course.” “Bend over, mi amor.” After 20 minutes of him pushing into her harder and faster, she finally told him she was almost there. He took his huge hand, wrapped it around her neck, and squeezed. Her head got cloudy and he let go as she had the most intense orgasm of her life. She fell onto the bed after he pulled out of her. “Are you okay,” he asked tracing kisses around her neck. “I am fine.” “You’re not hurt?” “Not all,” she smiled. “Happy anniversary, hermosa.”

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“Why are you taking so many classes this summer?” “Because Erin, I want to finish school.” “Have you thought about what you want to be when you grow up?” “Well, I was talking to your brother and I’m kind of thinking of going to the police academy.” “Are you serious?” “Well, I mean all these psychology classes and law classes I’ve taken to prepare for law school would help with that.” “You could get yourself killed.” “I could get myself killed stepping off the fucking curb.” “Have you told Rafael?” “Um no. He’s got this plan of us both being prosecutors in the DA’s office.” “Well, if that’s not what you want to do, then you need to tell him.” “I know.” “What time will he be here?” “I think his train arrives at 2.” “I can’t believe he isn’t going with your brother and their friends to Florida for their last spring break.” “He just wanted to come home.” “Which home?” “New York!” “If he moves in here, it would split everything 3 ways; make it a lot easier.” “I just don’t think we’re ready for that.” “You’ve been together for 2 years, you know you’re going to be together forever.” “Still, I’m only 19. That’s a really big step. One I don’t think we should take until I’m out of college and the academy.” “Well, you need to talk about it. Graduation is 2 months away.”

They made love that night, but he could tell she was distracted, so he stopped. “What is wrong? Am I doing something you don’t like?” “Not at all. Why would you ask that?” “I’m not getting a peep out of you for starters, which is unusual. You’re kissing different.” “What are your plans after graduation?” “Moving back here…” “Here as in this apartment?” “Whoa, wait a second. I never said that. I’m going to be working in Brooklyn, so I thought I’d find an apartment in Brooklyn. Why would you think I would move in here?” “You haven’t thought about it?” At first, she was freaked out about the idea and now she was offended that he hadn’t even thought about it. She threw on his Harvard t-shirt that he had given her to sleep in when they first got together, pulled her panties and shorts on and went to the kitchen. “Fuck,” she heard him mutter.

“What’s the matter, now,” he asked as she heated up the left over Thai food from earlier. “Nothing.” “Something.” “When were you going to tell me that you were going to move to Brooklyn?” “What’s the problem with me getting a place in Brooklyn? We’ve lived 3 hours apart since we’ve been together without a problem, 20 minutes isn’t going to be that big of a deal. Wait, were you wanting me to move in here?” “No, I just…I’m sorry.” “About what?” “Well, your mother assumed you’d be moving in here and so did Erin. It honestly freaked me out at the thought of it then when you didn’t think about it, I got mad, like I didn’t matter.” He just laughed. “Why are you laughing?” “Ugh, las mujeres estan locas (women are crazy), I swear. I just don’t think we’re ready for that step. You’re not even 20 yet. I want you to live your life before we merge our things into one apartment. It’s not like we won’t be staying with each other anyways.” “That’s true.” “Besides, when the time comes, I want us to have a place that’s our own. I mean, I’m not going to be able to afford a big enough place for the two of us for awhile and with you going to law school yourself…” “Actually, I don’t think I’m going to law school.” “What are you going to do?” “I’m thinking of joining the police academy.” “What’s the point of graduating college early if you’re going into the police academy?” “Because I’m already on track to graduate early; there’s no point in turning back now.”

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“Well, look at you,” Erin said as Izzy came out in a new black dress and her favorite black Manolo Mary Jane’s. “How much did that dress costs your parents?” “Oh, we’ll let them be surprised when they get the Discover bill. Besides, my boyfriend is graduating #1 in his class at Harvard Law. I have to look good. Are you ready yet?” “Just about. Can I borrow some shoes?” “You know which ones you’re allowed.” “I paid you back for the Manolo’s I ruined.” “No, you’ve given me $100 and you ruined them two years ago.” “I’m paying for the gas to Cambridge.” “Just hurry up.”

It took forever for Rafael to make his way to Izzy after graduation. “I’m so proud of you,” she said as they kissed. “You look beautiful, mi amor but that dress is going to look so much better on the floor of my bedroom later,” he whispered. “Rafa!” “Okay, you two,” Lucia laughed as she, Miguel, and Rafael’s Abuelita Lina walked up to them. “Mi futura nieta (my future granddaughter),” Lina said as she pulled her into a hug, “you look so beautiful.” “Thank you, Lina. It’s so nice to see you.” “Izzy, it’s nice to see you.” “You as well, Mr. Barba,” she said curtly to Miguel. Ever since Rafael finally stood up to him, he had tried to make a better effort with Izzy. She was just as stubborn as her boyfriend, so she wasn’t going to all of a sudden be welcoming after how he treated her for almost 2 years. “So, do you two have plans?” “I think we’re going to head back to New York with her brother and roommate.” “Okay, well make sure to make time for us, sometime.” “I will, Mami.” He hugged Lucia and Lina. Miguel shook his hand and said, “I’m proud of you,” before pulling him into a hug. Rafael was more than shocked. “We’re going to back to New York?” “No. I knew Mami would want to go to dinner or something and I want you all to myself for the rest of the night.” “Well, then. Shall we go back to your place?”

“Eres el amor de mi vida. Nunca quiero estar sin ti,” he said, stroking her face after they made love. “I have no idea what you just said but I love the way it sounded.” He laughed, “I said you are the love of my life and I never want to be without you.” He leaned back down and kissed her. “I can hear you two in there!!!” “You’re a little late, Tony. We’ve been finished for 15 minutes.” “Man, can your brother ruin a romantic moment.” “At least we were finished,” she laughed. “So, are you really considering joining the police academy?” “Rafa…” “No, now just listen to me. If that’s what you want to do, if you feel that’s your calling or whatever, then I want you to know that I support you 100%.” “Really?” “Really. Maybe you can end up Brooklyn and we can work together. Imagine the team we would make. There’s the dream.” She laughed, “I catch the bad guys and you put them away?” “Yep. Maybe they could make a TV Show about us one day.” “Stop being an idiot and just kiss me again.” “Gladly.” They could hear Tony and Erin, even with the door shut. Rafael didn’t stop kissing Izzy, just grabbed the remote and turned up the tv to drowned them out.

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Rafael had passed the bar and began his career as an ADA in Brooklyn in the summer of 2000. Izzy was busy with her enormous course load she had taken on so she could skip her Junior year like she did in high school. Erin was taking a cue from her and doing the same thing. There wasn’t a lot of partying going for the two of them. Rafael would often show up after work to find Izzy asleep at her desk, or his desk if she was at his place, face down in a book, with a pen in her hand. She’d be half asleep, but he’d help her into her pajamas if she wasn’t already in them and put her to bed. She’d always find a way to thank him the next morning. “Good morning,” he smiled after he came from another morning blow job. “Good morning to you, handsome.” “Mi amor, you don’t have to do that every day.” “Are you complaining?” “No, I just don’t want you to think that you have to do things like that every morning.” “But you’ve been so good to me this summer semester and I know all my homework I have has taken its toll on us, sexually.” “Well what kind of boyfriend would I be if I didn’t understand that school has to come first right now? You set a goal for yourself and I know you’re determined to meet that goal. I’m going to help you however I can. Besides, the summer semester is almost over. Before you go back for the fall, maybe we can take a long weekend somewhere.” “Where? We don’t have any money.” “Okay, we can just lock ourselves in one of our apartments for a weekend and catch up on our…extra-curricular activities.” “That sounds like a good idea.”

“Finally,” Izzy said throwing her near empty backpack and purse onto the kitchen table after finishing her last summer final. “I am so glad that’s over. The police academy better be worth this.” “So, you’re going, too, Erin?” “Yeah, you talked me into it.” “Look out, NYPD,” Izzy laughed. “Dude, it’s 5:00 and I could go to sleep.” “You and me both.” “Dawson & Halstead are wanting us to go tonight.” “No way, dude. I am too tired.” “How come you didn’t go to Brooklyn?” “He’s got court and it’s a shitty case so there’s no telling how long he might be.” “But you have a key.” “Yeah but I want my bed tonight and my pillow. Plus, as long it’s allowed, and he doesn’t have to work this weekend, I will be there all weekend.” “Making up for the time you lost because of your school work?” “Yep and I cannot wait. I just his weight on me more than anything.” “I need the weight of a man, period.” “What about Halstead?” “You think?” “He’s cute. He’s tall, as if that’s a skill set, but he’s nice.” “Hmm maybe.” “I think I am going to go get in the tub and relax. If I’m not out in like 45 minutes, make sure I didn’t drown.”

Izzy got out of the tub and put her robe on. She didn’t even want to put pajamas on. Rafael was laying on her bed, tie loosened, sleeves rolled up, holding a single red rose. “Hey you.” “How was your last final?” “Long but I think I passed.” “I’m sure you did.” He moved over to the edge of the bed and handed her the rose. “Thank you.” “Thought you could use something to brighten your day. You have worked so hard this summer and I have never been prouder to be your man.” She bent down and kissed him as he untied her robe, positioning her on his lap so she could feel his growing erection the more they kissed. He rolled her over and started working his way from her neck all the way down. She ran her hands through his hair as his tongue pushed her to an orgasm she desperately needed. He got up to undress as she came down from her high. “Are you ready, princesa?” “Yes, Papi.” He slammed into her with one quick thrust, making her scream. It was almost like the first time all over again since it had been so long. He bit down and sucked on her neck hard enough she knew he was leaving marks. The hard and faster he went at her, the closer to orgasm #3 she got. At the last minute, he pulled out, and allowed himself to spill all over her body, some made it all the way to her breasts, some on her belly, and some right above her clit, which he took and rubbed it in to give her one last orgasm. No words were spoken as he collapsed beside her after using her robe to clean up his “work of art”.

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In May of 2001, Izzy & Erin graduated from NYU. Rafael was front and center to watch his girlfriend get her degree that she had worked so hard for, along with Lina & Lucia. “Mami, not so loud.” “Are you kidding, that’s the mother of my future grandchildren up there. She busted her butt for that degree. Next we’ll be watching her graduate from the police academy.” “And if you’re going to be half as loud there, I won’t take you.” “I am more than capable of taking myself and Mama.”

“Do you see him?” “I’m looking,” Erin said. “I know they’re here. I could hear Lucia cheering when they called my name. I’m sure Rafael loved that,” she laughed. “Hey, you,” she heard from behind her. She turned to find Rafael with a dozen pink roses just for her. “They’re beautiful. Thank you.” “I am so proud of you.” “You couldn’t be more original? Is that not what I said to you when you graduated from law school?” “Always the smartass,” he said kissing her. They found Lucia & Lina talking to Stella and Anthony. “So, what are your big plans for this evening?” “I actually have reservations at Orso for the two of us, if that’s okay, Anthony.” “Of course. She’s gotten enough of our money at this point. I could stand with not taking her to a big dinner.” “Pop!” “I’m kidding. You two have fun. We gotta find your brothers and sister. Lina, Lucia, it was nice to see you again. Give our best to Miguel.” “I will. Stella, we must get together for lunch again soon.” “Wait, what?” “We have lunch every few weeks.” “Why?” “To discuss the two of you. What else,” Lucia said with that snark that rivaled her sons. “We are both Principals of schools. We have plenty to talk about besides the two of you,” Stella laughed.

“You know, they’re planning our wedding when they go out before we’re even engaged,” Rafael laughed as he took her hand for them to leave. “Oh, you don’t have to tell me.” “Do you ever think about that kind of stuff?” “A little.” “And?” “Somewhere quiet. Maybe a beach, Shelter Island maybe. Me in a simple, strapless Vera Wang gown, no train. My hair down, curled, no vail. Of course, my favorite pink roses. Erin and Bella standing with me, Tony and Eddie with you…” “I think you’ve thought about this more than ‘a little’,” he laughed, “I bet you’ve already named our kids, haven’t you?” “No,” she said with a sheepish grin. “Yes, you have!” “I’m not telling.” “I don’t get a say?” “Your job is easy, get the sperm to my egg and you’re done. I have to do the hard stuff, so I get to name the kids. I might let you have input on their middle names.” “How many kids are we going to have?” “2 or 3.” “Where are we going to live?” “Manhattan. We’ll buy a condo big enough that all the kids have their own rooms, you’ll have a home office filled with law books; of course, we’ll have a room for Erin to grow old in.” “Could I love you any more than I do right now?” “Hmm, it's possible.” He stopped and kissed her “properly”. “Shall we skip dinner?” “No. This is my night, remember?” “What was I thinking, princesa?” “Well you weren’t thinking with the proper head, I can tell you that.” “You have had that affect on me for almost 4 years.”

They got back to Rafael’s apartment and he poured them a drink. “You know, here I am, an Assistant District Attorney, yet as I hand you this drink, I am contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” “I would never turn you in plus, it’s only for 5 more months. I’ll be 21 and you turn 27 just three days before.” “Ugh, I’ll be 30 before I know it.” “And you will still look damn good at 30 and at 40, 50…” she said as she started kissing his neck. He picked her up and carried her to his bed. “I think Papi wants to have some fun.” “Well, by all means.” “I didn’t say you could speak.” He took off her dress and then his tie, wrapping it around her wrists and started kissing down her neck, biting down a few times, before burying his face between her legs. Anytime she tried to touch him, he’d throw her arms back up. Right before she was about to come, he stopped and worked his way back up. “You’re not going to let me come?” “Eventually.” He walked out of the room, leaving her naked in the bed with her wrists tied up. He came back in with a glass of scotch. He finished his drink and took out the ice cube. He put it in his mouth and ran it down her body until it melted. His mouth was cold as he started back in on her. That sensation drove her insane. He stopped again before she could have an orgasm. “This is so unfair.” “Oh, I’m so sorry,” he mocked, “Turn over.” She did as he commanded. He smacked her ass, hard. “Too much?” “No, Papi.” “You want more?” “Yes, Papi.” He did it again. She started to lower her body, but he grabbed her. “You’re not going anywhere until I say you can.” He got up and started undressing. He positioned himself behind her and started rubbing her. “Is that all for me?” “Yes, Papi.” “No one else?” “No, Papi.” “Good,” he said before he slammed into her causing her knees to buckle as she screamed his name. He wasn’t giving her time to adjust now. He was taking what was his. He grabbed a fistful of her hair as he pushed harder and faster into her. They were both getting louder the closer they got. He pulled her up so her back was against his chest as he came inside her, biting down on her neck as he did. He held her as they came down from the high of their orgasms. He took his tie off of her wrist and she wrapped her arms around his neck as he turned her head and kissed her. They fell onto the bed, drenched in sweat, and completely worn out.

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“Are you sure you have to go to work today?” “Yes, mi amor. I have arraignment court this morning,” he said as she tied the blue silk tie while he fixed his hair. “If I could I would stay in bed with you all day, but these suits don’t pay for themselves.” “Oh, but they do.” “Shit, it’s 8:40. If I don’t leave now, I’ll get stuck on the bridge and be late.” “Okay, I love you.” “I love you. You’ll be at my place, tonight right?” “Yes, I will. If you’re nice, I might make you dinner.” “I’m always nice.” “Who are you kidding?” “And will you take my suits to the dry cleaners?” “Consider it done.” “Let’s fly to Vegas this weekend and just get it over with,” he said as he kissed her. “Why because I cook for you and take care of your dry cleaning?” “Among other things.” “What’s the fun in going to Vegas when I’m not 21?” “I see your point.” “Okay, get to work.” Just then they heard a loud crash. “What the fuck was that,” Erin said as she looked out their balcony window. “Where is all that smoke coming from?” “Hey, Jay. I think Erin has some longer robes, dude.” “Sorry.” “That’s coming from the World Trade Center.” Rafael came out of Izzy’s room on his cellphone. “Right. Yeah. Okay. No. Yeah. Just keep updated.” “What’s going on?” “A plane hit the North Tower. They don’t know if it was pilot error or what.” Erin turned on the TV, so they could see what was going on. Rafael didn’t even finish getting dressed after his phone call. They had cancelled court throughout the Five Boroughs since no one knew what was going on, until 15 minutes later when another plane crashed into the South Tower. It was widespread throughout the world what had just taken place.

In July 2002, Erin & Izzy had graduated from Police Academy. The night of her graduation, Rafael was up to his ass in a case and there was no way the DA wasn’t letting him leave. He made sure to send flowers apologizing for his absence. Lucia and Lina were there at least. Instead of going out afterward, she just wanted to go home. She understood Rafael had a job to do but she was still disappointed he wasn’t there. He was there for her high school and college graduations but this one he missed. This was going to be her career and he wasn’t there. She hung up her uniform and got into her pajamas, turning on Letterman, and falling asleep. “Mi amor?” She looked at the clock and it was midnight. “Hmm?” “I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there tonight.” “It’s okay.” “No, I tried. I really did.” “I know.” “I know you worked so hard for this and I wasn’t there to share the moment with you.” “I said it’s fine. Really. Thank you for the flowers.” “You’re welcome. It was the least I could do since I couldn’t be there.” “They’re beautiful.” “Let me get out of this suit and I’ll come to bed. Okay?” “Okay.” She had fell back asleep by the time he came to bed put she felt his arms wrap around her. At least he was there now, she thought. “Te amo, princesa,” he whispered.

The next morning, he let her sleep in while he made breakfast. She could hear Erin in the kitchen. “Get your hands off the fucking bacon. It’s for your roommate,” she heard him tell her. “Okay, okay. Fine. You need to kiss her ass as much as possible anyways.” “I had to work, Erin.” “I know, I know.” “Where’s your boyfriend anyways?” “Still passed out. He had a little too much bourbon last night.” “Rookie,” he laughed. Izzy got up and went to wash her face and brush her hair when she noticed something on her ring finger. It was much bigger than the promise ring he had given her almost 5 years ago. She just stared at it, not knowing what to think. “Izzy, breakfast is ready.” “Rafa, what’s this?” “Well,” he smiled, “I was going to give it to you last night, but I couldn’t get out of work. I’ve been trying to think of something to say to you that I haven’t already said in the last almost 5 years. All I can come up with is, Marry me.” “Really?” “Really. I know we’re young and maybe we’re stupid, but I want you to be my wife. We don’t have to rush anything. We don’t have to…” She interrupted him with a kiss. “Is that a ‘yes’?” “Yes.”

“Officer Rossetti, this is Captain William Dodds,” Steven said introducing the dark headed man as he walked into his office. “Captain.” “Officer Rossetti, I’ve heard good things.” “Really?” “Your test scores were some of the highest the academy has ever seen.” “Yeah, I’m pretty smart,” she laughed. “Now, most officers are sent to patrol after graduation, but I think you would be a better asset to Homicide.” “Really?” “There’s usually about 5 out of each graduating class that don’t have to start completely at the bottom. This class there was only three. You, Officer Dumas, and Officer Harris.” “Are they going Homicide, too?” “No, there’s other departments that could use them.” “So that means no uniform.” “Correct but the band t-shirts are a no-go.” “Damn it.” “You will dress business casual. You will be partnered with a Junior detective. You have been placed on the fast track by 1PP. Work Homicide, and you’ll be a detective before you know it.” “Thanks, Captain.” “Here’s the address of the precinct you will report to Monday morning at 0800.” “Thank you, sir.” “Welcome to the NYPD.” “Homicide? Where’s Erin going?” “Computer Crimes.” “And Doom?” “Narcotics.” “Damn, well okay.” “I am not allowing you and my sister in the same precinct. It would implode.” “You act like we get into trouble.” He just looked at her. “Yeah okay. Animal Mother looking…” “What was that?” “Nothing, Lieutenant.”

Chapter Text

They had been engaged two years and were finally making enough money for them to look for a place of their own. They looked at what seemed like 100 apartments before they finally found a four-bedroom, 1.5 bath they could afford in Bushwick. The kitchen was actually upstairs, which Izzy loved. They took a few days after getting their stuff moved to unpack and arrange things. She was using the kitchen for the first time, making spaghetti with the homemade sauce that had been passed down in her family for generations. “So,” Rafael started as he wrapped his arms around her from behind, placing a kiss on her cheek, “how long before we fill that extra bedroom?” “Well, I think we have this little thing we need to plan called a wedding first.” “All you have to do is tell me when and where.” “Hmm. Well, we’ve been engaged for about two years, been together almost 7. There’s no sense in making some big production out of it.” “I’ve told you we could grab Erin & Tony and go to Vegas.” “That’s tacky.” “Well, let’s start looking at some places.” “We need to set a date first.” “Well…” “And what are you doing with that apple? You’re going to spoil your dinner.” “Oh, you’re going to be that mom,” he laughed. “Shut up.” “Okay, let’s look at the calendar. It’s August. We got together the first week of November in 97, right after our birthdays (his was October 24 and hers was October 27), so how about Saturday November 13th? That gives us three months.” “My colors won’t work for fall.” “Honey, you can have whatever colors you want. I don’t care if you want every color of the rainbow in the middle of fall. As long as I get to marry you.”

“You’re seriously going to plan a wedding in three months?” “Yes, Erin.” “When’s the baby due?” “Go to hell, Doom.” “I’m just kidding. You’ve been engaged long enough.” The three of them were working Narcotics together now. Erin’s brother had been moved up to Captain and was acting commander of Narcotics for the time being. “Doom, Rossetti, Harris, we have a new detective joining us. Any of you know Nick Amaro?” “Nick?” “Izzy?” “Oh, my fucking god. Barba is gonna lose his shit,” Erin said. “What’d I miss?” “I’ll tell you later, Doom.” “Oh, you two know each other?” “Something like that.” “Well, I’ll leave you with Detective Rossetti.” “Uh, Captain Harris, can I see you for a moment?” “What’s up, Izzy?” “Can you just leave me with Doom?” “Do you have a problem with Amaro?” “A little bit. I dated him for two years and he cheated on me cause I wouldn’t sleep with him.” “And you’re marrying Barba in 3 months.” “You know what, you’re right. I can do this. I’m a professional. One toe out of line and I’ll kick his ass, though.” “That’s why I’m putting him with you. He’s going to be mostly UC anyways.” “Good.” “Here, get him up to speed on Hernandez case.” “Sure thing, Captain.” “So, how’ve you been, Izzy?” “I’m great.” “Heard you were getting married to some lawyer?” “Yes. Rafael Barba.” “Your brother’s friend?” “Yep.” “Wow. How long have you two been together?” “7 years.” “So, you’ve been with him since we broke up?” “Pretty much and before you ask, yes I gave him my virginity. The second night we kissed actually. Anymore questions?” “Nope. I’m good.”

“Do I need come up there and pee on your desk to mark my territory like a cat,” Rafael joked as they laid on their couch eating sushi. “No! I just wish I could’ve stayed with Doom as my partner.” “Harris said he’s going be mainly UC, right?” “Yeah.” “So there. He’ll probably get put under and you won’t have to deal with him much.” “True.” “So, I called and The Green Building is available for the date we picked and so I went ahead and put a deposit on it.” “Aww, thank you.” “I know that was the venue you liked the best. Eddie is fine with being a groomsman and of course your brother jumped at the offer to be best man.” “Well, he is the reason we met. Bella is upset that she’s just a bridesmaid but oh well.” “We will have just turned 24 and 30 when we get married,” he laughed. “Speaking of. I think for the month before the wedding, we should go celibate.” “What?” “Well, we haven’t been in 7 years. I would at least like to play the part of the virginal bride the day I get married.” “Can we do other stuff?” “Like what kind of stuff?” “Hand stuff, oral stuff…anal stuff?” “Yes, maybe, and no.” He acted like he was pouting. “Come on, we still have time before have to cut ourselves off. I’ll let you do all three of those things tonight if you stop pouting.” “I’m fine. Let’s go,” he said smiling and grabbing her hand, practically running to their bedroom.

Chapter Text

“Ma. Ma! I’ve got it.” “Your eyeliner just looks a little too dark and if you start crying…” “It’s fine and it’s waterproof. Stop worrying.” “I just want this day to be perfect for you.” “Ma, I’m marrying Rafael. What’s more perfect than that?” “I remember when you two were dating but thought it was still a secret. Your dad could tell by the way he looked at you that he was in love with you. He still looks at you the same way after all these years.” “I can’t believe you guys weren’t upset that he was so much older than me.” “Well, you’ve always been more mature for your age and plus, all we ever wanted someone that treated you with respect and loved you. Lucia and I expected you two to get married as soon as you graduated college.” “That we did,” Lucia said as she and Lina walked in. “Izzy, my son is going to fall apart when he sees you,” Lucia said with tears in her eyes. “He fell apart when he saw the credit card bill that paid for this,” Izzy laughed. “Ma, did you remember my something old…” “I have that taken care of all at once,” Lina said handing her a long box. Inside was a white gold chain with a sapphire. “My husband bought this for me with his first job here in America. So, it’s something old, something borrowed, and something blue.” “Thank you, Lina. It’s beautiful. I still need something new.” “That’s been taken care of, too,” Erin said handing her another box, with a diamond bracelet. “Oh, it’s not from me,” Erin laughed, “but someone in trusted me with it.”

“Detective, a word?” “Uh, sure Captain.” “Have a seat.” “Am I in trouble? I mean 2005 has barely started so I couldn’t already have been reported to IAB for something.” “No. You’re being transferred.” “Okay?” “Brooklyn SVU.” “Oh!” “You’ve been trying to get into SVU for awhile so here’s your shot. Start in one of out the outer boroughs and that’ll make it easier for you to get to Manhattan.” “Thanks, Captain.” “And as another favor, you’re taking my sister with you.” “Why?” “Well, 1PP doesn’t like the fact that she’s under my command so I’m swapping her for Detective Campesi.” “When do I start?” “Take the rest of the day, so you can clean out your desk and locker and then take the weekend to spend with your husband. You know, you’re going to be working a lot closer with him because he handles most of Brooklyn’s sexual assault cases, which will come to SVU.” “I know this.” “Okay, just making sure.”

“Knock, knock, handsome.” He looked up from the file he was going through, “Hola, mi amor. I heard the good news.” “Are you as excited as I am,” she halfway laughed. “I think we’ll be fine. I’m glad you’re here though.” “What’s going on?” “You’ve been kind of avoiding a certain subject since we got married.” “I don’t feel right making a ‘death folder’. It’s creepy.” “Not that one.” “Ugh. I’m being transferred to a new department. Do you really think it’s the right time for me to get pregnant? We’ve only been married for 3 months.” “And we’ve been planning this since we were basically kids.” “I’ll make you a deal. Give me 6 months to get used to SVU and then I’ll toss the pills and we can start trying.” “Really,” he smiled. “Really.” “Okay,” he said flipping to August in his date book. “Are you seriously writing this down?” “Yep. This is a binding contract in the state of New York.” “Oh my god, Rafael. I think I’m in love with an idiot.” “Is he bigger than me?” He stood up and started kissing her. “You better lock your door if you’re getting any ideas.” “I’ll do one better,” he said shutting the blinds and calling his secretary, telling her there were to be absolutely no interruptions for at least 30 minutes.

He pushed her against the wall and kissed her. “Rafa…” “Shh,” he said placing his finger to her lips. The normally reserved attorney had this wild streak about him that she had always loved. He kept kissing her. She had worn a skirt that day due to court and when she would, it drove him crazy. He put her legs around his waist and held her there as he pulled down his suspenders and undid his pants. “What…” “Did Papi say you could speak?” “No.” “Then don’t.” He pulled her panties down and slid into her. She held him tight around his shoulders and neck as he fucked her. They were both fighting to stay quiet. “What came over you?” “You know,” he said with that smirk as he fixed his clothes. “Your dick is going to get us in trouble one day,” she said popping his suspenders. “Well, I’m due back in court in 30 minutes. I’ll see you at home,” he said kissing her before she left.

Chapter Text

“So, how long before you move to Chicago with Jay,” Izzy asked Erin as they ate dinner since Rafael was still at work. “I don’t think Chicago is the place for me.” “Chicago isn’t the place for or Jay isn’t the one for you?” “I stayed with him while he was overseas.” “So?” “I love him, but I just don’t know if I see the house and kids thing.” “With him or period?” “Period.” “Shit,” Izzy said looking at her phone. “Hey, Chester, what’s up? You’re kidding. Okay, thanks for letting me know.” “What’s going on?” “Marianna Abreu died of a heroin overdose an hour ago.” “She just testified…” “I know. She showed up so strung out and I can’t believe the judge wouldn’t give Rafael a recess. She must have found a way to score.” “Well, at least she was able to put Keith Murray in jail before she died.” “Yeah that’s true.” They both sat in silence for a moment. “So, when are you going to tell Barba the news?” “His birthday is Monday so...” “Happy Birthday to him, huh? I can’t believe it happened that fast.” “I’m only 5 weeks.” “How do most people not realize you guys are married? I mean I know you don’t wear your rings and you still go by your maiden name at work.” “We’re doing everything we can to keep our professional and personal lives separate as long as possible.”

“Happy 31st Birthday, love,” Izzy said waking Rafael up by kissing his neck. “Don’t remind me,” he laughed. “Oh, come on, 31 is nothing.” “Says the one that’s only turning 25 on Thursday.” “So, what do you want to do today?” “Well, I took a much-needed day off to spend with my wife and that’s all I want to do.” “Well, I have a present for you.” “I have told you that I don’t need anything for my birthdays and Christmas when I have all I ever wanted with you?” “Well, there’s one more thing you’ve been wanting,” she said as she pulled the long white box out of her nightstand. “What is this?” “Just open it, moron.” “Oh, gee, how loving,” he said pulling the purple ribbon off the box and opening it. He just stared at it before picking it up, “We’re having a baby?” “Yep.” “I’m going to be a Dad?” “Yes.” He couldn’t speak he was so choked up. “Thank you,” he whispered as he kissed her. “I didn’t do it alone,” she laughed. “I know but our child is growing inside of you. You have to go through all the hard part just to give me my dream.” “It’s worth it.” He started kissing her harder and rolled over on top of her. “Wait is this safe?” “It’s fine, Rafa.” “But with my size what if I hit it?” “Where do you think dimples come from?” “Oh, that’s too cute.”

“Heard you were knocked up. Who’s the father?” “Mind your fucking business, Campesi.” “Well, you’re only 4 months and starting to put weight on already. Hope you don’t get so big you can’t lose it.” “Oh, that won’t be a problem I can assure you.” “Why are you here,” Erin asked, “thought your ass got shipped to outer Mongolia after your last IAB investigation.” “I’m in Staten Island, thank you. I thought you guys might can be of more help with this case.” “So, in other words, you’re passing the buck.” “Whatever, Izzy. Just take it.” “Sorry, I’m on desk duty.” “Fine, Lake will you take a look at it?” “I suppose.” “Thank you.” “What is up with you and Campesi?” “They haven’t gotten along since the academy.” “She got pissed because I had better test scores, better times in the physical training, and I was a better shot than her.” “So, uh, who is the father?” “Chester…” “I know, mind my business. I’m gonna take this to Barba and see what he says.” “Let me see it,” Izzy said taking the file from Chester. “I’m going to tell you exactly what Barba is going to say. First, he’s going to expect you to have spoken to the victim to see if they’re credible but considering there was no outcry and they had a history of a sexual relationship and the guy has no priors, he more than likely won’t pursue.” “Are you a gambler, Izzy.” “Only with birth control,” she said placing her hand on her belly.

Chapter Text

“So, three more months and we still haven’t picked out a name for our daughter,” Rafael said as they laid in bed one Saturday. “Well, we’ve picked out a few. Maybe we’ll know when we finally see her.” “What was that look? Everything okay?” “Yeah,” she said taking his hand and placing it on her belly. “Did she just…” “Yeah, she did. Keep talking.” He scooted down and started talking to the baby girl Izzy was carrying and she kicked every time he spoke. “She knows you.” “Princesita de papa (Daddy’s little princess).” “Don’t even start that.” “Come on, we need to get ready to go to Mami’s.”

“Izzy, you look so beautiful.” “I feel terrible, Mami.” “Well, once she gets here, it’s not going to get any better,” she laughed, “Are you hungry? Wait, who am I kidding? You’re 6 months pregnant.” She fixed Izzy a plate of food. “What about me?” “You’re a grown man, Rafi. Fix your own.” “Fine. Next time, I’ll get pregnant.” “You’re not a seahorse, dear.” “So, how has my son been treating you?” “Wonderfully, of course. Driving me a little crazy some days though.” “He’s just being protective of the both of you.” “I know but he’s already started baby proofing.” “Are you serious,” Lucia laughed. “Yes. I had to make him stop because I couldn’t get into the refrigerator.” “Have you settled on a name?” “No, we still have a few in the air.”

Izzy was a week overdue and miserable. “Baby, maybe you’d be more comfortable in the chair.” “As if you haven’t done enough? God, I have never been so uncomfortable in my life!” “Do you want to change clothes before we go to the doctor?” Izzy was wearing a tank top with a skirt and her bump was showing a tiny bit. “No, I’m fine.” “Really? You don’t find that a little inappropriate?” “This is the first time I’ve been comfortable in weeks.” “Good God, man, don’t anger it,” Erin said as she took a bottle of water to Izzy. “You know what, fine. It’s fine.”

They sat waiting for Dr. Rosenthal. “Rafael can I ask you something?” “Sure.” “Have you always been this irritating?” “Wow.” “Excuse me?” “Nothing. You’ve just been a little short with me lately. I’m not trying to irritate you.” “Well, I guess you just have a natural talent for it.” “You know, let’s just not talk until the doctor comes in. Okay?” “Okay,” she said mockingly. “Seriously, breathe louder Barba. That’s great.” “You know, we should probably ask the doctor if he even knows how to deliver a baby that’s half Cuban and half pure evil.” “Hi, Dr. Rosenthal, how are you?” “Oh, you’re nice to him?” “He has the drugs.” “So eight days late? You must be a little uncomfortable.” “Oh, just a tad.” “Well, let’s do a quick check. Okay, you’re about 80% effaced so you’re on your way. It could be a little while longer. There’s a few things you can do at home that could help move things along. There’s an herbal tea you can drink, eating spicy foods, going for a long walk.” “Great, done.” “And the one that’s proved most effective, sex.” “You’ve got to be kidding me. Can a human have sex with the devil herself?” “Dad’s having a hard time, too, I see.” “You have no idea.”

Chapter Text

“You’re home early,” she said as Rafael walked in at 3:00. “The DA is letting me take a few weeks off.” “You didn’t tell me…” “I wanted it to be a surprise. I don’t want you at home alone with the baby your entire maternity leave feeling like a single parent.” “Aww, you’re sweet,” she said hugging him. “I’m sorry for the way I’ve been the past few days.” “It’s okay. I know you’re miserable. Are you sure you don’t want to be induced?” “No. I want her to come on her own.” He started kissing her. “Rafa?” “Hmm?” “Make love to me.” “I thought you’d never ask.” Two hours later, Izzy was in the kitchen getting something to drink. “Rafael!” He came in the kitchen to find her standing in a puddle of a water. “Did you spill something?” “Uh no.” “Huh? OH! Okay, go get changed and I’ll call the doctor.” He grabbed the diaper bag, the car seat, everything they needed. “Let’s go have a baby,” he said, kissing her as they walked out the door.

“Dr. Rosenthal, I’ve been at this for 17 hours. You gotta give me some good news. Am I at least ready for my epidural?” “I’m afraid not. You’re only dilated to a 3. We are moving along, just slowly. Don’t worry, you’re doing great. I’ll be back soon.” After 19 hours, Izzy finally got her epidural but was still uncomfortable. “Why won’t she come out?” “I think you’ve made such a good home for her over the last nine months that she just doesn’t want to leave,” Rafael said, kissing her hand. “Aww, look at you making up crap for me.” “21 hours. You’re a hero.” “Dr. Rosenthal, you gotta do something. Give me some more drugs or light a fire up there and just smoke her out.” “Actually, I think it’s time to sit you up.” “What?” “10 centimeters, you’re about to become a mom.” 15 minutes later, Harper Grace Barba was born. “She’s perfect.” “She’s so tiny. Where’d she go?” “They’re just cleaning her up, mi amor.” “Here she is,” Dr. Rosenthal said as he handed the tiny blond baby to Izzy. Rafael kissed her as he admired his daughter in his wife’s arms. “We’re so glad you’re finally here.”

Lucia & Lina showed up a few hours later. “Oh my god, she’s so beautiful,” Lina said, adoring the blond-haired baby in her arms. “Soy tu bisabuela (great grandmother). Eres tan hermosa como tu Mami (you are just as beautiful as your Mommy). Yes, you are.” Lina was in love that was for sure. “Sorry we didn’t call until after she was born.” “It’s fine. You’re adults and Izzy didn’t need us bothering her while she was trying to give birth to my granddaughter.” “I see Papi didn’t come.” “He’s having trouble controlling his sugar today.” “Yeah.” “Rafi…” “No, Mami he made it abundantly clear years ago he expected full blood Latino grandchildren. It’s fine. She doesn’t need him in her life. I sure didn’t.” “Rafa, come on. This is supposed to be one of the best days of our lives. Don’t let your dad not coming ruin it.” “Listen to your wife and you can bring this beautiful bebita to my house any time.”

“You’ve been off work for two weeks. I can handle her,” Izzy said helping Rafael with his tie. “I just wish I could be home a little longer with you two.” “I know but we need your money,” she laughed. “If you need anything at all, I will be home in 15 minutes.” “Your office is almost 30 minutes away.” “Like I said.” “Here,” she said as she handed him his usual cup of coffee. “Someone’s up.” “Let me feed her before I go to work. I have time.” “Okay, Papi, go get your girl. I’ll fix a bottle.” After Rafael fed her, he picked up his briefcase, kissed them both, and headed to work. As far as most people knew, he was out of the country. Their relationship was strictly need to know. He probably called every 30 minutes for his first three hours at the office. Izzy had just gotten Harper down for her afternoon nap when there was a knock on the door. “Miguel?” “Hey, Izzy.”

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“I’m not interrupting anything, I hope.” “Uh no. Come in. Would you like a diet coke or some water maybe?” “A diet coke would be fine, mija.” “Have a seat in the living room and I’ll be back.” “Thank you. So, where’s my neita?” “I just put her down for a nap.” Harper usually slept really well but after 20 minutes she was up again. “I hope I didn’t wake her.” “Not at all. I’ll be right back again.” Izzy was trying to comfort her, trying to get her to stop crying but nothing was working. “Can I try something?” “Sure,” she said as she handed Harper to Miguel and he started gently rocking her back and forth and kind of bouncing her which actually worked. “This used to always work with your Papi,” he said to her as she made little noises the more he talked. “She really is beautiful, Izzy. You and my son did a good job.” “Thank you.” “I know I haven’t always been the most welcoming toward you and I apologize. The truth is, I was a little jealous of my son and your relationship.” “How you mean?” “I wish I would’ve treated his mother half as good as he has always treated you. He learned that respect from my wife, not me. I didn’t teach him what it meant to be a man. He learned that on his own really. I look at him and I’m proud to say, I don’t see an ounce of me in him. You and Harper are lucky to have him.” “I know that.” “And he’s lucky to have the two of you. Here,” he said handing her an envelope. “What’s this?” “When I quit drinking, I started putting away the money that I would’ve spent on alcohol. I was saving it for my first grandchild.” “Thank you.” “Look, there she’s asleep.” “Now let’s hope she’s stays that way,” Izzy laughed.

“How was your first day back?” “You do not want to know,” he said pouring him a glass of scotch. “Mine was quite interesting.” “How so?” She told him about his dad coming by. “How much money was it?” “$5000.” “He’s been sitting on $5000 for 10 years? Do you know I’ve helped with his medical bills, put us in financial jeopardy from his last hospital stay, and he’s been sitting on this money this whole time?!” “He was saving it for his first grandchild.” “Where is it?” “Rafael you are not going to make a scene at your mother’s house about this money.” “We can support our child and any others that come a long. You know what that is? It’s guilt money. Thinking it’s going to make me forgive him after the years of the emotional and physical shit he put me & Mami through.” “Okay, okay. Stop. You need to breathe.” He had such a strong grip on the glass she was afraid he would shatter it in his hand. “Harper’s awake. Why don’t you go get her and spend some time with her while I finish dinner?” “Okay. You're right." "Come here," she said pulling him in for a kiss. "How many more weeks..." "Two." "I'm counting the days," he said biting his bottom lip. "Go!"

Lake & Izzy had been working a case with a string of assaults where the victims had been raped, choked, beaten and murdered in January of 2007. Their case crossed with a similar case being investigated by Manhattan SVU. “Can I help you?” Detective Chester Lake, my partner Detective Izzy Rossetti, Brooklyn SVU.” “Captain Don Cragen. This is Fin Tutuola. What brings you over the bridge at this time of night?” “Your art gallery rape. Heard it on my scanner.” “Who listens to comm from another borough on his own time?” “I don't sleep much,” Lake replied. “What makes you think our rapes connect to murders in Brooklyn?” “Three homicides in the last three months. Victims were raped and choked in public places just like yours,” Izzy said. “Mine aren't dead,” Fin smarted off. “I've got a gut feeling it's the same perv.” “Gut feelings don't crack SVU cases.” “Yeah, they crack mine,” Izzy smirked at Fin. They were lead to a successful family who had disowned their son because he was underachiever and all he wanted was to be famous.

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“So, Harper is almost a year old. When do you think we should we start on the next one,” Rafael asked as he played in the floor with his daughter. “Rafa!” “Well, we said we didn’t want to be old parents. We’ll be 27 & 33 this year.” “And we’re still young. I still have plenty of eggs to go around,” she laughed. “It was just a question.” “Let’s get her out of diapers, okay?” “Fair enough.” “Hello? Now? You’re kidding. No, it’s fine. Yeah, we can clean out our desks and go over tomorrow.” “Who was that?” “Lake. Apparently, we’re being transferred to Manhattan SVU.” “Right now? With the Darius Parker case going on?” “Cragen personally requested us. Every detective in the unit is having to testify, I guess, so he needs extra help.” “I don’t know how much you know about that case but it’s a fucking disaster. I almost feel bad for Casey Novak.” “Almost?” “People say I have a big ego. She’s put that whole squad in jeopardy in Manhattan, more than once, to satisfy hers.”

“Do we even know what we’re walking into,” Chester asked as he & Izzy walked up the stairs to the 16th precinct. “I’m afraid to find out.” “Let me show you to your desks,” Cragen said as he led them in. “What are you doing here,” Fin asked. “Detectives Lake & Rossetti are transferring in from Brooklyn SVU. They’re gonna pick up our slack during the trial. They’re also gonna stay here after. So, make them feel welcome.” “Should anyone be concerned?” “There's more than enough work for everybody, John. Why don't you do some?” “Is this your daughter,” Olivia asked pointing to the picture of Harper she sat on her desk. “Yes, it is.” “She’s adorable. How old is she?” “She will be one in June.” Olivia noticed there was no ring on her finger, so she didn’t press any further into Izzy’s personal life.

“Welcome back,” Izzy said she met Liv walking in. “Hey, thanks.” “Nice haircut.” “Think so? Guess I had too much time on my hands.” “Yeah, it looks good.” “Is the captain in?” “You better catch him while you can.” “Hey. I wanted to thank you.” “Don't mention it,” Cragen replied. “I know that you had to pull some strings to keep me here after my suspension.” “Yep.” “Just hope it didn't cost you too much. What's going on,” Liv asked as the Captain was packing boxes. “I've been, uh, temporarily reassigned. Chief of D's office.” “Why?” “You aided your fugitive brother. Elliot covered up his kid's DUl. Fin's stepson butchered two people and walked. Somebody's gotta take the heat.” “But we're the ones who screwed up.” “On my command. 1PP calls that ‘Failure to Supervise’. I only have 3 ‘clean detectives’ according to the Chief of D’s.” “That's insane.” “You want insane? Guess who they put in charge,” Izzy said motioning toward Munch. “I had nothing to do with that. If drafted, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.” “You are lying like a politician.” “Seems like Izzy has fit in nicely around here,” Liv laughed. “You took the sergeant's exam right behind our back. What's up with that,” Fin asked. “I took it last year on a bar bet.” “Enjoy your new office, sergeant Munch. Don't let the power go to your head.” “We’ll keep him in line, Captain.” “Why do I dread those words coming from Rossetti?”

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Izzy didn’t talk much about her personal life. They all knew she had a daughter and that was as far as it went. They had their nanny Molly who took care of Harper while they worked. She was about to turn two, walking everywhere so Rafael’s preemptive baby-proofing did come in handy. They weren’t actively trying for another baby at the time but if it happened, it happened. “You dumped mine & Fin’s phone, Stabler,” Izzy yelled in the squad room. “You were his partner in Brooklyn, Fin’s his partner here. We’re just trying to find out where Lake ran to.” “And that gives you the right to ask Novak for a subpoena for our phones? Like we tipped him off?” “Okay, that’s enough, both of you.” “Nah, we ain’t done. Dumping our phones was a bitch move.” “Yeah you are, Fin. That’s an order. Rossetti, where are you going?” “To lunch,” she said as she picked up her jacket. Lake had went rogue on a 10-year-old cold case that haunted him for years. Fin & Izzy both tried to talk him out of fleeing after he shot another detective; the one that had raped and murdered the victim of the cold case.

Cragen met Izzy walking out of the Brooklyn DA’s office. “Stabler GPS me, Captain?” “No, I just knew where you were heading when you said to lunch.” She looked at him kind of confused. “You think I haven’t read your file all the way through?” “I should’ve known.” “I understand it’s on a need to know basis.” “We’ve kept it that way since we got married almost 4 years ago.” “And it will stay that way with me but this thing with Lake, you have to back off.” “I am. I mean there’s nothing I can say to him anyways.” Lake ended up murdering the other officer that had been involved after Novak violated due process and Arthur Branch declined to refile charges against the guy. Judge Donnelly also informed Casey that she would be facing censure or indefinite suspension from the bar association. Fin & Izzy both still felt betrayed by Stabler though.

“I think I hear Mami,” she could hear Rafael tell Harper as she unlocked the door. “Mami!” “Hey, baby girl,” she said as Harper ran to her. “How was your day, mi amor,” Rafael said placing his lips to her. “Oh, you mean between the vigilantes that beat up homeless people, to the guy that was lit on fire, to the 5 girls with their pregnancy pact at Blessed Heart High School, and the fact that I’m still not pregnant? Take your pick.” “It’s going to happen. It only took us a month to get pregnant with Harper.” “It’s probably because of all the stress. And these girls, they are so clueless. They think it’s just so easy to have and raise a baby. One of them had the nerve to call me and Liv old! Said old chicks were jealous of her.” “You’re about to be 28 in two weeks, dear.” “Oh, I told her, and I almost let it slip about my gorgeous husband, but I stopped myself.” “You know, it’s going to come out eventually. How we’ve kept it secret for this long amazes me.” “Well, only my superior officers have access to my file. Hang on. What’s up, Liv? You’re kidding. Okay. Yeah, I’ll meet you in Bensonhurst.” “What happened?” “The girl I was just talking about, Fidelia Vidal, was just found hanging in her room.” “Christ. Go. We’ll be here when you get back.”

“Hey,” Izzy said peaking her head into Rafael’s office. “Hey, what are you doing here,” he said closing his laptop. “You weren’t looking at porn, were you?” “No, no. I do that after you go to sleep.” “Okay, see now I’m worried cause I don’t think you’re joking.” “You know better,” he said kissing her. “So, what are you doing all the way in Brooklyn.” “I have something for you.” “Always taking care of me.” “Of course. I knew you’d never get away for lunch.” He started grabbing the food out of the bag but came out with an envelope. “What’s this?” “Well, open it duh.” He was reading the paper to himself. Then pulled out an ultrasound picture. “We’re having another baby?” “Yep. Your birthday and Christmas has already passed, and I couldn’t hold this in until Valentine’s Day.” “So, you’re due August 24th.” “Yeah, I guess you knocked me up on your birthday.” “Well, that’s a way to celebrate turning 34,” he laughed. “You didn’t want us being old parents remember? Plus Harper is almost completely potty trained, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

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“Your parents don’t have a problem with you being single and pregnant for the second time?” “Why would they, Elliot?” “Well, I know you’re Catholic…” “So? I am pushing 30 and I make my own decisions about my life. It’s pretty presumptuous for you to assume that I’m single anyways.” “It’s just in all the time you’ve been here, we’ve never seen you with a guy.” “We don’t see Liv parading men around here, but we know she dates. We don’t all have to air our family drama like some people.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” Izzy just kind of stared at Stabler. “Alright, I got it.” Izzy got up from her desk to go get something to drink. “Don’t mind cranky balls,” Fin said coming up behind her. “Well who the hell does he think he is? Asking me all that shit? My life is just that, my life. I let people know what I want them to know.” “Hey, you don’t have to convince me about the importance of privacy, and you damn sure don’t have to convince Munch.” “Judging me. If he knew the truth…no, you know what? I’m not saying anything else.” “You should know you can trust me.” “Fine, I’ll tell you. I am actually married but he’s a lawyer. We’ve kept it on a need to know basis for the last four years.” “I get it. Your secret’s safe with me.”

You really want to try a home birth,” Rafael asked with a pained look on his face. “It might not be so bad.” “If you want to look into it, we can but you know you had to have stitches with Harper.” “I remember. It was just something to think about.” “Mi amor, I’d feel much better with you giving birth in a hospital with doctors around in case something happens to you or the baby.” “Okay.” “If you really want to though, we can research it.” “Thank you.” Harper ran and jumped into Rafael’s lap, hitting a very sensitive area. “Are you okay?” “Just take her,” he winced as he got up. “Did I hurt Papi?” “He’ll be okay,” Izzy laughed. He came back about 5 minutes later. “Are you okay?” “Yeah.” “Sorry, Papi.” “It’s fine. Now come back, slowly,” he laughed. “Mami, when is my sister coming?” “4 more months.” “Are you & Papi still going to love me?” “Of course, we are. Why would you ask that?” “I don’t know.” “Princesa, Mami & I are going to love you, your sister, and any other babies we might have; and we are going to love you all equally.” “What does that mean?” “That means the same.” “How many more babies are you going to have?” “Well, we haven’t decided just yet,” Rafael laughed, “we got to get your little sister here first.”

“A home birth? Have you lost your mind?” “Why not, Erin?” “You won’t have access to the good drugs! The pain, the blood, you’ll give birth to my 2nd goddaughter in a kiddie pool! Not to mention, you’ll traumatize Rafael. Say good-bye to having another baby if you put him through that.” “Erin, if that’s what she wants to do, then I’m going to support her decision.” “You can’t be serious, Barba.” “I don’t know now.” “Thanks, Erin.” “What did I do?” “You’ve obviously scared her into having 2nd thoughts. We have three months. We have to have a birthing plan with the mid-wife, a back-up plan in case something goes wrong. Everything was falling into place.” “Sorry but I’m just being honest with her.” “Have you ever had a child?” “Come on.” “Okay. When you have a kid, don’t you think Izzy would stand by whatever decision you made?” “Okay, can we stop talking about me like I’m not here?”

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“I can’t believe you’re giving birth at home. I will never understand white people,” Fin laughed. “It’s going to be fine. The doctor that delivered Harper is even going to be around to make sure everything goes okay.” “Well, Uncle Fin wants pictures as soon as it’s over and by that, I mean, the baby is cleaned up and you’re covered up.” “Aunt Liv does too.” “Okay, guys. Well, I will see you guys in a few weeks,” Izzy said as she left to begin her maternity leave. Rafael was already home when she got there. Everything had been set up; she had the maternity ball, the birthing pool but it wasn’t filled yet. “Are you absolutely sure you want to do this?” Rafael said as he walked in to the den where everything was set up. “There’s no turning back now.” “Okay.” “Are you scared?” “I’m terrified to be honest. You’re going to be in so much pain. I promised to always protect you and I won’t be able…” She kissed him, “but you’re going to be right there with me, aren’t you?” “Of course, I am. You can scream at me, you can break my hands if you need to, well not my right one,” he laughed as he held his very pregnant wife. “It’s going to be fine. Dr. Rosenthal will be around along with the mid-wife.” “You know, I think you’re extremely brave for doing this.”

Erin actually ended up being more help than they had expected when Izzy went into labor. Erin, the mid-wife, and the doula started filling the pool when Izzy was at 5cm. Rafael was doing his best to keep her comfortable, helping her balance on the birthing ball to take pressure off her back, rubbing her back as she leaned over it. It didn’t take but maybe 30 minutes to get the pool filled. Stella had taken Harper, so she wouldn’t witness the birth and be traumatized. “Okay, Izzy, you can get in now,” the mid-wife told her. She took off her yoga pants but kept her bathing suit top on as she got in. The pain was terrible. Dr. Rosenthal gave her a shot of Demerol but it only did so much to relieve the pain. “What was I thinking,” she said looking at Rafael with tears in her eyes. “You wanted to be in control. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re doing great, mi amor.” “You know I love you so much but right now I just want to punch you in the face.” “Go ahead,” he laughed. “I don’t have the strength right now. Erin you were right. I have lost my mind.” “No, you haven’t. You’re doing fine.” Rafael sat behind her, massaging her shoulders, getting cool rags for her head when she got too hot.

“Izzy are you ready?” “No, I changed my mind,” she said crying. “It’s too late, she’s coming now.” She pushed through the pain while Rafael held her. The pool wasn’t enough for her to hold onto, so she grabbed the arm Rafael had around her shoulders and dug in as hard as she could, he tried hard to scream out in pain cause it was like nails being driven into his skin. “You’re doing great.” “What do you know?!” “Come on, Izzy, just one more. Here she is.” Rafael was sobbing like a child when their second daughter was born. A lot of it was because he was so amazed at how strong his wife was. He kissed her over and over again. She was cleaned up and checked out before being handed back to Izzy. “She’s beautiful.” Rafael started filling out the paperwork as Erin helped Izzy out of the pool and into her robe. “Mi amor, we haven’t decided on a name.” “I loved both of them we picked so you decide.” “Khloe Luciana okay with you?” “It’s perfect,” she smiled.

After a shower and back into a pair of Yoga pants and throwing on a tank top, Izzy was starving. “All that screaming, pushing, and clawing must’ve made you hungry,” Rafael laughed. “I’m sorry.” “It’s fine. We’ve been exchanging fluids for 12 years now, I think I’m safe.” “Oh, look at her.” “Well, at least she has brown hair like me. Maybe she’ll have green eyes unlike her mother and sister.” “Don’t get ahead of yourself. The Rossetti genes must be more dominant. Did you call Mami & Abuelita?” “Yes. They said they would be by tomorrow and for us to get our rest. Mami said Papi was calling his brothers in Miami to brag about how his daughter in law gave birth at home without drugs.” “Well, I did have some Demerol.” “Like that helped. Of everything you have accomplished since we’ve been together, I don’t think you have ever made me prouder than you did today. You are the toughest woman I know.”

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Izzy took Khloe to the precinct for the squad to see. “Oh, look how precious she is,” Olivia said as she picked her up. “I’m guessing the brown hair comes from her father,” Elliot asked. “You would be correct.” “I’m seeing some sort of Hispanic, am I not?” “Yes, Munch, you are.” “I’m going to say Puerto Rican, possibly Cuban.” “You’re right on one of those.” “Oh, look a baby,” a very abrasive woman walked in and said as she lit a cigarette. Liv & Izzy looked at each other like “what the fuck”. “Could you put that out?” “Or what Stabler, you’ll bust me?” “That and there’s a two-week-old baby in here.” “Is she a new case?” “Um no! This is Detective Izzy Rossetti. She works here,” Olivia said, very pissed off. “Oh, the detective that gave birth at home. Gotta prove how tough you are?” “Are you drunk?” “Excuse me?” “You reek of cheap scotch,” Izzy shot back. “Wow. You really have a mouth on you.” “Who the hell are you?” “EADA Sonya Paxton.” She had heard Rafael talk about her and how disliked and disrespected she was. “You know. I think Khloe & I are going to meet her Papi for lunch.” “Well, hurry back. I hate being the only woman around here.” “4 more weeks, Liv.” “Well, she sure needs an attitude adjustment.” “You’re one to talk. You know this is a smoke-free building and you see a newborn in here and you light up anyways,” Elliot said rolling his eyes, “If I would’ve been her, I would’ve…” “Watch yourself, detective. You’re bordering on threatening.” “You’re not needed so I don’t know why you’re here.” “Someone has to make sure this squad is doing their jobs.” “You know what, Counselor, you do your job and don’t worry about us,” Fin countered. She grabbed her briefcase and left. “I’m surprised Izzy didn’t knock the shit out of her,” Elliot said. “Give it time,” Liv laughed, “after she nearly put Stuckey’s head through a wall when she was 7 months pregnant, I wouldn’t test her.”

“Well, did you hear what happened with Sonya Paxton today,” Rafael asked as he walked in, setting his briefcase down. “Uh no.” “She showed up to court, drunk.” “What?” “Yep. She was 45 minutes late and Judge Mordock could tell she was drunk. He had Benson bring over a breathalyzer; .082 at nearly 10 in the morning. He had her ass thrown out of the courtroom.” “Damn. Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. After everything you’ve told me and Liv & Elliot, that woman is walking clusterfuck.” “Bad word, Mami.” “I’m sorry, Harper.” “Well at least she knows she’s not supposed to say those words,” Rafael laughed. “So, I’ve been doing some thinking.” “Your mother must be proud.” “Funny, Elizabeth. Maybe in the next year or so, I might transfer to Manhattan.” “Really?” “Yeah, I mean McCoy has been wanting me to and we can move into the city since we’d both be working there.” “Well, that’d be okay with me.” “Here, let me take Khloe from you for a little bit.” “Thank you, babe.” “Of course, mi amor. I’m sure you’ve been busy today.” “Not too bad. Molly took Harper to school and came back and helped with Khloe, so I could sleep and pump. There is so much milk in the freezer, we’re going to have buy another one just for milk.”

“You’ve done everything different with Khloe than Harper," Rafael said as he fed Khloe. “What do you mean?” “Well, the home birth and the breastfeeding this go around. Harper was born in the hospital and formula fed.” “Well, I hated lugging around all the milk around until I finally dried up. My boobs are big enough without anything extra weighing them down and I just wanted to do something different. No real reason behind it.” “Yeah but they’re still as nice as they were when you were 17.” “Don’t touch!” “Okay. You know I’m an ass man anyways.” “Yes, I do. That was the first place your hand went that first night we made out.” “Right up that cheerleading skirt. I was so close to pulling…” “Stop.” “You’re right. Sorry,” he laughed, “So, is it a myth that you can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding?” “You, a Harvard educated man is really going to ask me that?” “I’m educated in law, not reproductive health!” She threw a burping towel at him and went to check on dinner.

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After a shooting in the squad room, involving a recently murdered rape victims daughter, Elliot finally put his papers in. Liv took it harder than everyone, considering they had been partners for 12 years. A detective from Atlanta, Amanda Rollins joined the squad. “We're hiring another detective,” Liv asked as she & Izzy stood in Cragen’s office. “Well, we're short-staffed. He's a good guy, out of warrants. He starts tomorrow. You have a problem with that?” “Well, it's hard enough showing one rookie the ropes. And now you want me & Izzy to do two? I mean what is this, a day care center?” “Elliot's not coming back, Liv.” “It takes us twice as long to explain the job to somebody else as it does to do it ourselves.” “It's not your call. Now you want to be here, you're gonna have to start working with other detectives. All right? Let him go. And you can start by packing up his desk. We can't keep it as a shrine.” “Well, that was productive,” Izzy said as they walked out. “I guess you’re getting the new guy.” “What fun for me. A guy from Warrants, really?”

“Folks, this is detective second grade Nick Amaro. He just transferred in.” “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Izzy whispered to herself. “Second grader already, huh? You must have caught some big fish,” Rollins said. “Nah, just kissed a lot of ass.” “Detective Amaro is being modest. Two years under in Narcotics. Warrants--he took down the MS-13 case.” “Well, this is a whole different world, Serpico. Not everybody has the stomach for it.” “Nice to see you, too, Izzy.” “Since you two know each other, Rossetti take him with you, get his feet wet.” “Let’s go, Amaro.” “Oh, Amaro clean yourself up. You're not on the street anymore.” “Come on, I got a guy that can shape you up real quick,” Fin said walking out with them. “Don't let him take you clothes shopping,” Cragen called after the three of them.

“So, heard you and Rafael have a couple of kids.” “We have two daughters. Harper and Khloe.” “How old are they?” “Harper is 5 and Khloe is 2.” “I have a little girl myself. Zara,” he said showing her Zara’s picture. “She’s cute.” “Yeah, my wife Maria is overseas right now. My mom takes care of Zara while I’m at work.” “How is your mom?” “She’s good. How’s your family?” “Everyone is good.” “And Barba?” “Kicking ass for the Brooklyn DA. Speaking of, as far as the squad is concerned, I am not married.” “Are you ashamed…” “No! We just try to keep our personal and professional lives as separate as possible. I’d appreciate it if you stayed quiet.” “You got my word.” “I know how good your word is.” “Are you still going to hold that against me? We were kids.” “Fine.” “Clean slate?” “Clean slate.”

One day, while they were sitting in the squad room, Maria, Nick’s wife came storming in. “What the hell is wrong with you?” “Maria, what are you doing?” “No! No, I want to know why you drive to Philly, you attack a friend of mine.” “A friend?” “Nick. Nick, not here. Come on.” “This isn’t your business, Izzy!” “Well, we all don’t want front row seats to your little theater production, Maria!” “That right there is why I stopped marrying Italian women,” Munch joked, earning a very dirty look from Izzy. “Sorry, detective.” “You come to the station? Hmm? You embarrass me in front of my squad?” “After you assault Jason! Have you lost your mind?” “You've been sneaking around with that guy!” “Amanda get away from the door,” Izzy whispered. “What are you talking about?” “You told me you stayed home the other day. You had lunch with him.” “You followed me. You lied to me!” “Because I knew that you would react like this. There is nothing going on between us, okay? We just talk.” “Well, I'm your husband, right? You talk to me.” “Like this? We talk like this. I am not having an affair.” “Yeah, I don't believe you, Maria. Look, I saw you. That brownstone on 27th Street. No name on the door. You think I'm stupid?” “How long have you been following me?” “Is that where you meet him? Hmm? Is that where you've been screwin' him?” “No. No, that's my psychiatrist's office. I've been seeing a shrink. I didn't tell you because I know you can't handle it because you want everything to be perfect. Well, it's not like that. I'm not like that.” “Look, I didn't, I didn't know.” “No, you didn't think. Because you don't trust me. I'm your wife. You can't treat me like one of your suspects.” “Maria…” “No, stay away from me.” “Maria, listen to me.” “Stay away.” Maria came busting out of the bunkroom and they all went back to acting like they were working.

After witnessing, or hearing Nick & Maria’s fight, Izzy had never been so thankful for Rafael. 14 years and things never got that bad between them. He was already home and let Molly go home for the night. He had the girls busy while he cooked dinner. He was in their kitchen, still in his suspenders, tie halfway undone, top button of his shirt unbuttoned, his sleeves rolled up. She just stood and stared at him for a minute. He finally felt her eyes on him. “Hey.” “Hey,” she said as she walked over to him and pulled him into a hug before kissing him passionately. “Thank you.” “For what, mi amor?” “Just being you.” He smiled, “Well, you’re very welcome. Can I get you a drink?” “After they day I had, of course you can. Any news on your dad?” “No. I’d really not like to talk about it if that’s okay.” “I’m sorry. Of course, we don’t have to talk about it.” “Thank you.” “So, any news on your lateral?” “It may take a few months, but I did find some places in Manhattan that are well in our price range; give us more room if/when we decide to expand our family.” “When. I promised we could try for a boy in another year or so, but what if we get another girl?” “Then we get another girl. I think I can manage.”

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It had been a few months since Miguel had passed away after being in a diabetic coma for 6 weeks. Izzy & Rafael had bought a place in Manhattan since his transfer had been approved. Erin had moved to Chicago and joined their Intelligence Unit. SVU had been rocked by another scandal, with Cragen waking up finding a dead hooker in his bed, Captain Harris had come to take control why the squad unofficially worked to clear their captain. “Are the girls asleep?” “Yep. I got half way through the book and they were out. What are you reading?” “That book you were talking about a couple of months ago.” “You’re seriously reading ‘Twenty-Five Acts’?” “Well, I wanted to know what the big fuss is about it.” “Anything in there we’ve never tried?” “The chapter I’m reading the reader gets a belt put around her neck, instead of the hand that you like to you use, her lover screws her anally and she has like 18 orgasms.” “Hmm, what's the most I've given you in one night?” “Uh, 7?” “Surely, I could beat that plus I have a belt, several in fact, ties…” he said as he started kissing her neck. “We’ve never had sex in an elevator either.” “There’s one in the building.” He took the book out of her hand and climbed on top of her. He moved from her neck, taking off her chiffon pajama top and working his way down. She through her head back as he slowly traced his tongue down her stomach as he pulled off her panties and the matching shorts. His touch alone could drive her to an orgasm if she’d let it. She ran her hands through his hair, pulling slightly when his tongue made contact with her clit. He wouldn’t come back up until she was satisfied, and he always knew when she was. He took off his pajamas and slid into her. He wouldn’t stop kissing her as he made love to her that night.

The author of the book that Izzy had been so enthralled with had been raped by political talk show host, Adam Cain. He had taken a cue from her book and put a belt around her neck, pulled it so hard, it left bruises. Amanda, Liv, and Izzy had tried to talk her into pressing charges. At first, she refused until Cain stalked her at a party and raped her in an elevator. “So, Jocelyn ready to press charge,” Harris asked. “Yeah we're ready to go to the DA,” Liv answered. “Well, which one? They've all lawyered up since Delia Wilson named names,” Izzy asked. “I got somebody. Rafael Barba.” “He's the guy that put away the two johns for raping a prostitute,” Liv remembered. “Yeah, that was a tough case. I thought he was in Brooklyn,” Amanda wondered aloud. “He was. Just requested a lateral to Manhattan. Guy's got big brass…” Izzy shot him a look, “ego. Adam Cain's high-profile. So's Jocelyn. He's perfect.”

“Mr. Cain what excites you about having sex with Jocelyn,” Rafael asked during the trial. “What excites anyone about sex?” “Was it the belt? The belt that was her idea, even though she was pretending. “She wanted to try role play.” “How do you start something like that?” “With the belt?” “Yeah, I mean, do you take your belt off or…” “That's right.” “And you give her a few hits with it? She seemed to enjoy it. Then you put the belt around her neck.” “Yes.” “And then you get behind her tighten it.” “Yes, to increase her pleasure. I'm not sure what this has to…” “Just bear with me. Where was the buckle?” “I don't know if I can be more specific. Would you like me to show you?” “Well, actually…” “Objection! Your Honor…” Rita Calhoun started. “As a regular Joe, I am curious about how this belt-around- the-neck thing is exciting. I am sure, Your Honor, that the jury is curious as well.” “I'll allow it. For now.” “So, let's go back. You took off your belt…” As soon as Izzy saw her husband put his belt around his neck, she knew he was up to something. He got what he wanted too. Cain fell for it and pulled it. “Not a mark,” he said showing his neck was fine. “People's exhibit 20,” he said holding up a picture, “Jocelyn Paley's neck after their consensual sex game. Is this what excites you about sex, Mr. Cain? Hurting your victims?” “She liked it like that.” “You mean Jocelyn? No, you liked it like that. She didn't.”

“Mr. Barba? You have visitors.” “Mi princesa’s. What are you doing here?” “Mr. Barba I am so sorry, but I have a train to…” “You have that wedding.” “I guess Izzy got busy and forgot.” “I’m sorry.” “I went by the precinct and she wasn’t there.” “She’s interviewing a witness. They’ll be fine here until she gets finished.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, yes. Hurry so you don’t miss your train.” “Thank you so much.” “Not a problem. You girls will be fine in Papi’s office until I can get ahold of Mami or Abuelita, si?” “Si, Papi,” Harper answered. She grabbed her iPad and got a coloring book & crayons for her sister. “Papi, I’m sleepy,” Khloe said after about 30 minutes. He took her in his arms and patted her back while he read over a file and made notes. He had text Izzy and said she would be there as soon as she finished but he told her no rush. Khloe was asleep in on his shoulder and Harper was busy playing games. “Hey, Counselor,” Amanda said as she, Liv, Fin, and Nick walked in. They all just stopped. “Hi, Aunt Liv.” “Hey Harper. Barba, I didn’t see you as the babysitting type,” Liv laughed. “Yeah, you’re babysitting Izzy’s daughters? Where is their dad?”

He thought for a minute before he spoke, “I’m their dad, Rollins.” “Wait, you two have kids together?” “We not only have kids together, Rollins. We also share a house, several other assets, and a last name.” “Izzy is married?” “You’re the husband she told me about?” “You knew, Fin?” “When Elliot was busting her balls about being single, pregnant, and Catholic when she was pregnant with Khloe she told me. She just said he was a lawyer, never gave me a name, Liv.” “So, she goes by Rossetti…” “Professionally. Our marriage has been on a need to know basis since the beginning.” “When was that,” Liv asked. “Almost 8 years ago.” “You’re kidding?!” “Nope, in November we will be married 8 years and together 15.” “Hey, sorry, I got here…” Everyone turned and looked at Izzy. “Guessing you all know.” Amanda and Izzy couldn’t wipe the grins off of their faces. “All this time and you couldn’t at least tell me you were married? You told Fin.” “Sorry, Liv. He got it out of me one day 3 years ago. Anyways, Cragen told me you guys have this covered so I’m going to take my girls and go home.” “Wait, does Cragen know?” “Yes, Liv. So does 1PP, you know the people that actually have access to my personnel file?”

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“Okay, yeah. I’ll get some detectives down there as soon as possible,” Izzy overheard Munch saying. “Where to, Sarge,” Izzy asked. “You and Rollins head to Mercy. Our gay bashing perp struck again.” “So, you’ve been talking about Barba this whole time?” “Yes, I was Rollins.” “I mean you talked about him right in front of him.” “That shit turns him on.” “I can’t say I’m surprised about the things you have said. It’s always the ones that are straight laced that turn out to be the biggest freaks.” “I wouldn’t call him a freak, per se, but he knows that the fuck he’s doing and he can do me well.” The perp actually singled out closeted gay men; ones that were married to women and even had children. The case was hard on them all, including Barba. Another man had been attacked which ended up giving him a fatal heart attack. Izzy and Barba were on opposite schedules while she & Rollins worked the gay bars trying to find their perp.

Finally, they caught him, but it still wasn’t easy. He was married and his husband was protected under spousal privilege so that put up another road block. It had been over a week since they had really seen each other when she found him sitting at a bar, trying to have a quick dinner. “Hello.” He chuckled as he swallowed, “How did you find me?” “I’m a trained detective, I could smell the scotch, plus I’ve been with you for 15 years. I kinda know you,” she laughed, “No luck on the female victims.” “Mm-hm.” “We tracked down a woman who basically invited Jones to steal from her, and he declined.” “You say that like it’s bad news.” “Uh, you were looking for other charges to bump the sentence, remember?” “Mm-hm. I think you just brought me one,” he tapped on the stool next to him, “Sit. Drink. Smile. She’ll have what I’m having.” “Okay, explain this to me.” “Jones walked away from a woman he could have robbed.” “Yeah?” “That means he only goes after gay men.” “We kind of figured that, didn’t we?” “Yeah but now we know it,” he said lightly banging his fist on the bar, “Now we can prove it. That makes everything he’s done a hate crime.” “What?” “I use the hate crime statute; all the penalties get bumped up. I can put Jones away for extra years.” “You’re gonna argue that a gay man married to another gay man hates gays?” “Watch me,” he said with that ever-present smirk. She looked at her husband as the wheels turned in his head. “That’s just one of the things I love about you.” “What’s that?” “Your ego.” “I’ve got to get back. I’ll try to be home as soon as possible.” “Okay. I’ll be there.” She kissed him and left.

11:30 she heard keys in the lock and the familiar thud of his briefcase hitting the floor. He came in and changed into his pajamas. It was the first time they had slept in their bed at the same time in over a week. “Mi amor?” “Hmm?” “You awake?” “Nope.” He knew she was just being a smartass, so he tickled her, which she hated. “Okay! Stop!” He turned on the lamp. “Here,” he said handing her a long blue box from Tiffany’s. “What’s this?” “Open it.” It was a platinum Tiffany Bow necklace. “Rafael.” “I’ve missed you so much lately. We’ve both been working so much on this case, haven’t seen each other, slept in the same bed, I haven’t hardly seen the girls. I just wanted to get something for you to let you know how much I love you.” “Rafa, you know you never have to buy me things to show me…” He interrupted her with a kiss. They fell back on the bed in each other’s arms. “Rafa?” “Si?” “Make love to me.” He smiled. “With pleasure, mi amor.”

The case wasn’t the slam dunk they had hoped for. The judge threw out the hate crime charges, or rather gave Barba the choice to do it himself or she would do it for him. However, his husband turned over evidence proving he was with the last victim and caused his death. “Bail is set at $5,000. Mr. Barba?” “Fine with me, your honor.” “Really? Okay, $5000 cash or bond.” “No hard feelings detectives. I’ll see you on 8th Avenue.” “Well, we’re gonna have to postpone that for a while,” Izzy said bringing out her cuffs, “You’re under arrest for murder, Mr. Jones.” “Sore losers, are we?” “The bracelet Dunleavy bought the day he died; his blood, your fingerprints,” Barba interjected as Fin held up the evidence bag holding the bracelet. Jones then proceeded to call his husband a faggot and then verbally attack his lawyer to the point he spat in her face. “Are you okay, Counselor,” Fin asked Ms. Efron. “Yeah, yeah I’ve had worse. You were wrong about him, Barba. He doesn’t just hate gays, he hates everyone.” “No, he hates himself.”

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“So, Harper just turned 7 and Khloe is about to be 4. When are we going to try for my boy?” “With everything that happened with William Lewis & Benson, do you think now is the best time?” “Is there ever a ‘right’ time?” “Well, I was going to wait until I could sit you down and really talk about this.” A look of disappointment fell on Rafael’s face. “Okay, so what’s up?” “Well, I’m pregnant.” “Are you serious,” he said as he smiled. “Yeah. I found out right after we found Olivia.” “How far are along are you?” “7 weeks.” He pulled her onto his lap and started kissing her, “You’re supposed to be doing the dishes.” “They can wait, cariño.” “Mami, Papi why are you always kissing when I come in the room,” Harper asked with a hint of that Barba snark. “What have we told you…” “Yeah, yeah. That’s what people in love do,” she said rolling her eyes. “Watch the attitude or I’ll lock your iPad in my office again, ¿entiendes?” “Si, Papi.” “Now what can we help you with?” “Well, school’s out so do I still have to go to sleep at 8?” “We already this discussion. You stay in routine throughout the summer. You still have things to do.” “But none of my friends have to go to sleep so early…” “Harper, this isn’t a negotiation.” “Fine,” she said stomping off just like Izzy had watched her husband do leaving the squad room when something pissed him off. “She is definitely your daughter.” “So, when are you due?” “January 27th.” “Well, at least you don’t have carry the extra weight in the warmer months like you did with the girls.”

“Is that all you two do is have sex,” Amanda laughed. “Every chance we get. Wait till you have kids. You have to do it whenever the opportunity arises.” “You guys have sex in his office, don’t you?” “Yes, we do. In fact, I believe this baby was conceived on his desk,” Izzy said rubbing her belly, laughing. “You two are sick,” Amanda laughed. “He had me bent over…” “Okay, I don’t want to know!” “Then don’t be so nosy. We’ve worked together for two years. You oughta know by now.” “What, that you’re moving out?” “Ha ha, Captain.” “You know…” “I’m stuck at my desk, just like with Khloe. I know.” “It’s only to protect you and the baby; and myself. I do not want to deal with the counselor if something was to happen.” “You’re not scared of my tiny husband, are you, Cap?” “Tiny my ass. They way I’ve watched him tear apart perps on the stand, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of his vitriol.” “That tongue works magic in more ways than one.” “You kiss your mother with that mouth, detective?” “As a matter of fact, I do not.” “Well thank God. That poor woman would never be clean,” Cragen said as he walked into his office.

“Does it seem like I’m putting on more weight this time,” she asked Rafael as they got ready for work one morning. He stopped and looked. “Whoa! You’re actually going to look?” “You asked!” “You’re supposed to just say no, not actually look!” “God, let this one is a boy. I’m going to need some back-up. We already have 7-year-old who is a cross between Mercedes Jones and Rachel Berry. And it is so sad, I can honestly say that as much as you’ve made me watch that fucking show.” “Don’t start. You know Cory Monteith…” “I know. I’m sorry. No more ‘Glee’ jokes. Wait, why am I apologizing?” She looked at him. “Okay, I know Finn was your favorite,” he said rolling his eyes. “I’m pregnant and hormonal. I’d watch my words, Counselor.”

Olivia passed the Sergeant’s exam after Munch decided to retire after celebrity chef Jolene Castille shot and killed 16-year-old Mechad Carter; claiming self-defense. All the evidence pointed otherwise. Since he became a parent, cases involving kids, no matter their age would get to Rafael. “Mehcad Carter was a 16-year-old honor student enjoying his summer. Singing in the church choir, watching cooking shows on tv, playing basketball with his friends. And then he forgot his metrocard and was embarrassed to tell his parents. So, he chose to walk home. That's what Mehcad was doing on the night he was killed. He was heading home to his parents. But he never made it. Because Jolene Castille didn't like the way he walked, she didn't like the way he dressed, she didn't like the way he looked. The defendant claims that Mehcad was stalking her, that he was going to rape her. But how can we believe her when she has lied about every other detail on this case? About his having a gun, about what he said to her. She even claimed that Mehcad lunged at her, but you heard the M.E. Testify that Mehcad had to have been at least five feet away from her when she murdered him. In a system where it is all of our rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Jolene presumed Mehcad guilty and became his judge, his jury, and his executioner. She got to go home to her brownstone that night. Mehcad will never go home again.” As he finished his closing argument, Izzy heard her husband’s voice crack. She was found not guilty and Munch had enough.

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“So, are we going to do another home birth with this one?” “I think that’s something I only needed to experience once,” she told Dr. Rosenthal at their four-month checkup. “Well, let’s see if you’re going to have another girl or if Rafael is finally getting his boy.” They looked on the screen. “Huh. That’s interesting.” “What? Is there something wrong,” Rafael asked, squeezing Izzy’s hand. “No,” Dr. Rosenthal kind of laughed, “this actually happens more often than not.” “What? What happens more often that not?” “See this right here? That one is definitely a boy.” “Okay?” “And this one…” “Wait…’this one’?” Rafael’s green eyes here huge at the doctor’s words. “Yes, this one is a girl.” “Tw-twins? How did…what…” “You’ll have to excuse my husband. He’s usually never at lose for words.” “It’s understandable. Go ahead and get dressed. I’ll be back in a few.” “Can you hand me my clothes?” Rafael wasn’t moving. “Hello? Earth to Barba?” “Huh?” “Are you okay?” “Me? Oh, I’m great!” “Okay, calm down.” “Oh, I’m calm. I feel like I’m about to have an anxiety attack but I’m fine.” “Where’s your Valium?” “At home. I don’t carry it around although maybe I should’ve today.” “You have to stop. This amount of stress isn’t good for me or the babies, either.” “Babies. Babies! Two at one time?” “I don’t know why you’re freaking out. They’re gonna coming shooting out of me like I’m a log ride at a theme park.”

“Well, when the counselor sets out to do a job, he does it,” Fin laughed. “You don’t half ass two-things, you whole ass one thing,” Izzy joked. “So, you seem to have a pretty good hold on this,” Cragen said. “Well, I mean everything happens for a reason, right?” “Right. The counselor still having a hard time processing the news?” “He’s getting better. Speaking of,” she said as her cell phone rang, “Hey, I was just talking about you.” “I need a favor.” “What’s going on?” “It’s Eddie.” “Garcia?” “Yeah. Alex came by my office. Eddie got into a fight with some girl who said Eddie tried to rape her.” “Are you serious?” “Yeah. It’s getting passed to SVU. Can you let me know when he gets there but keep it quiet?” “Uh, sure.” “Thank you. I love you.” “Love you, too.” “Everything okay?” “Yeah, fine, Captain.”

“How long have you known Eddie,” Nick asked as he and Izzy went to question the victim Lindsay again. “He came into my shoe store about six weeks ago. I'm a foot model and a shoe designer. I only do retail between gigs.” “You know, these brands seem a little high-end for Eddie, no?” “Well, he came in with his wife. And then he came back the next day on his own.” “His wife? You sure it was his wife,” Izzy asked knowing she was lying because Eddie’s wife had taken of 3 years prior. “Of course, I'm sure. What do you think the fight was about? I didn't want to be the girl on the side anymore.” “Well, the thing is, Lindsay, Eddie told us the fight was about you being pregnant, that you attacked him.” “That's crazy. I'm not pregnant.” “Oh. Okay. Any idea why he would think that?” “You know, if my cigarette bothers you, maybe I could just talk to him, especially since you’re pregnant. Your feet must be so swollen.” Nick grabbed Izzy knowing she was about to pop off something. “Absolutely,” she said as she walked out of the messy apartment. “Is there something you want to tell me?” “I thought it over. I'm not sure I want to press charges now.” “Lindsay, it's a little late for that.” “Eddie's a good guy. We both just got hot under the collar.” “All right, so last night, he was trying to rape you, but today it's a misunderstanding? Has someone asked you not to talk?” “Why would you say that?”

“Lindsay told you Eddie came into the store with his wife? No chance. He hasn't seen her in three years. She's partying in Miami, you know that,” Rafael said as he, Nick, and Izzy got into the elevator at his office. “Are you sure? 'Cause he still wears his ring.” “Yes, Nick. I'm sure. Eddie's eh, he's just catolico.” “So, Lindsay saw the ring, tried to make up a story,” Nick added. “Yeah, then she says that she'd be more comfortable just talking to Amaro.” “Because she thinks she has a better chance of working the male partner? So, she's lied to you, tried to manipulate you.” “Well, babe, so did Eddie.” “I know Eddie's story. What's hers?”

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“Eddie won’t talk to you?” “I’ve tried to call him, but he doesn’t answer. I’ve left messages,” Izzy told Rafael as they sat in his office one night going over everything they had been finding out, and everything was leading to Mayoral front-runner, Alex Munoz. “I’ll see what I can do.” There was a knock on his door. There she was. Yelina. It had been years since Izzy had seen her. “I hope I'm not interrupting.” “You? Nunca. Oh, it's been too long. You look so great,” he said as he hugged her. “You always tell me that. I'm on my way to another rubber chicken dinner.” “Well, then, they're very lucky. You remember my wife, Izzy?” “Yes, how are you? I see Rafael is keeping you busy.” “Something like that,” she faked laughed, “I’m going to head home. I’m sure Molly is ready to go.” “Okay, I’ll see you in a little bit.” As if to mark her territory, Izzy walked over and kissed Rafael hard, causing him to let out a soft moan. “See you at home. Nice to see you again Yelina.” “Likewise,” she said with a look that wasn’t a smile but wasn’t a glare. “All right. Sientate, por favor. What's up?” “You tell me. Detectives came by an event today to talk to Alex.” “Did Alex send you to find out more?” “No, he gave me some excuse. He doesn't even know I'm here.” “Right, then let's not have this conversation.” “Rafael, you're Alex's oldest friend. Is this something that we need to worry about?” “Yelina, I really can't talk to you about this”. “My husband didn't marry a fool. I mean, Alex is on the verge of doing something really great for all of us. Papi, don't ruin his chances.” “Look, if he's got nothing to hide, he's got nothing to worry about.” “So, it's like that? Hmm. Just tell me one thing. Is this in any way About us?” “I think you made your decision 16 years ago. You made the right one, too.” “Really? Seems like she felt a little threatened when I walked in here.” “You don’t know my wife very well,” he smirked.

“You had to shove your tongue down my throat in front of Yelina like that?” “Is there a problem?” “No, you just caught me off guard,” he laughed. “I didn’t like you hugging her, I won’t lie.” “Understood. I don’t think she’ll be back around,” he said as he sat on the bed and took off his shoes. “Why’s that?” “She asked if this case was about me & her. I told her she made the right decision 16 years ago when she left for him because that led me to you.” “Good.” “I’m not even involved in this case, other than optics. They have a guilty conscience about what they did all those years ago, so it’s easier for them to point fingers and say this is personal.” “You need to talk to Eddie. If Alex goes down, he’s gonna throw Eddie under the bus. Jail won’t be pleasant for an ex CO.” “I know. I’ll go to the Bronx tomorrow,” he said as he laid his head on her belly. “We’re done after this,” he laughed. “I would say so. We only wanted one more.” “So, which one of us…” “You.” “Me?” “It’s a lot easier for you than it would be for me. I might have to have a c-section as it.” “Well, they could do it while you’re already cut open.” “Rafael!” “Okay, okay. I’ll get a vasectomy.” “Thank you.”

“Eddie, come on. Rafael stuck his neck out for you,” Izzy told him after he had rolled on Alex. “You were in our wedding. He doesn’t want to see you in prison and we gave you Queen for a day. If you are holding anything back, deal’s off.” His lawyer said something to him and he said he would only talk to Izzy for the rest of the time. His lawyer, Rafael, Liv, & Nick watched from the other side. “There was another lady. I didn't...I didn't handle her.” “Why not? I don't know. Maybe because she was from Yonkers. I…I overheard Alex talking to his brother-in-law, Bobby, about making a run.” “Do you know the woman's name? Jodie. Jodie something. Um, French name. I think she was a schoolteacher.” Turned out she wasn’t a school teacher but a 15-year-old high school student. Alex had exchanged naked photos with her, leading him to be in possession of child pornography.

“I have to turn these over to a special prosecutor immediately. If you suspend the campaign, it might go easier for you,” Rafael told Alex after he confronted him with the pictures of Jodie. “They got my oldest friend to be the hatchet man. How much are they paying you to take me down?” “There's no vendetta here.” “Six days before the election? The people will know better.” “I risked everything that I had to give you fair warning, Alex, and you know that.” “Here's what I know, Rafael. Ever since you got that Ivy league scholarship, you've been hooked on their teat. You think you're one of them because you go on their ski vacations and their yachts? The man snaps his finger, and you jump up and bite for him. You even married a white woman, have half white children, turning your back on where you come from.” “It's not about me, and you damn well know it. You leave my wife and my children out of this.” "You had to settle for your college roommates sister after Yelina left you for a real man." "A real man? Exchanging nude photos with a 15-year-old, and countless other women is what makes you a real man? My wife is the one that has the real man. She & my children come first. Maybe if you had received an Ivy League education, you might've learned how to do that yourself," he said as he walked away.

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“Have you seen what they are giving second graders for homework,” Rafael as he & Harper came out of her room for dinner. “Trust me, I know. That’s why I make you help her. I have pregnancy brain, I would be of even less help.” “I need to talk you about something.” “What’s that?” “With your due date just a few weeks away, are you going to be able to testify at Lewis’ trial?” “I don’t see why not.” “I just know how he got to you after what he did to one of your best friends.” “I will be fine.” “Fine,” he said handing her a file. “What’s this?” “Your grand jury testimony from May. I want you & Liv to lock this down. We can’t afford any openings for reasonable doubt.” “Okay.” “I will probably call you first. I want you out of there as soon as possible.”

To make matters worse with the case, Lewis was representing himself. “How are you today, Izzy? I'm sorry, Detective Barba. It is Detective Barba, correct? You are married to the prosecutor, isn’t that right? That’s whose babies you’re carrying.” “Objection. My relationship to the detective has no bearing on this case. It has been on record for many years…” “Sustained. Mr. Lewis, keep the questions pertaining to this case.” “Sorry, your honor. We do have history though, don't we? You & Detective Rollins were running in the park when she sicced her dog on me last May when I was also jogging in the park.” “When you were running away after an elderly woman caught you exposing yourself to two female tourists. Detective Rollins and I arrested you on the spot.” “Could you tell the jury what happened to those charges?” “They were dismissed by the judge.” “But you still think I was guilty, don't you?” “I know you were.” “Then you must have been angry, Detective Barba, when my last trial ended in a mistrial and I walked away?” “Yes, actually, I was.” “Angry enough that you could have concocted a plot, along with your fellow detectives, to frame me for Detective Benson's kidnapping? Fake the crime scenes? Lie on the stand?” “That's ridiculous. Your honor, this whole line of questioning is objectionable,” Barba said, wanting to protect his wife from Lewis’ mind games. “I'm entitled to my cross-examination.” “He's right, Mr. Barba. Answer the question, Detective Barba.” “What question? Did I concoct a plot to frame you? No, I did not.” “Um, my question was could you have?”

There was a recess after Izzy testified. “Are you okay?” “I’m fine,” she said rubbing her forehead and moving a little off balance. “No, you’re not. Sit down. Nick go get Barba out of that courtroom,” Fin instructed. He came rushing out. “What’s wrong?” “I’m just a little dizzy.” “Let me go talk to Judge Kovack so I can get you to the hospital.” “No, you stay here. You have Nick coming up next.” “I don’t care.” “This trial is too important.” “I’ve already testified. I can take her,” Fin offered. “Yeah, I’m sure it’s nothing. Let Fin take me and get checked out.” “Okay. Fin keep me updated.” “You have my word, Counselor.” “Come on, let’s get you up.” Fin got her to the hospital and she was checked out.

Nick showed up after he testified. “It's nothing to worry about,” she said as a nurse wheeled her out, “My doctor said that my blood pressure spiked, that's all. Asked if I had been under any extra stress lately.” “What do you say we drive you home?” “Thanks, Fin. I’m on bedrest until my due date.” “Why are they releasing you?” “Because I demanded it.” “Izzy, you need to be in the hospital.” “The doctor said I can handle bed rest at home, Nick.” I can shower and things like that. No lifting, no sex, no cooking. The longest I can be up is to shower basically.” “Hey, court’s over for the day. What’s going on,” Rafael said as he met Nick & Fin pushing Izzy. The three of them didn’t say anything at first. “Did you three lose the ability to speak,” he snapped, “what is going on with my wife & children?” “I’m on bed rest until my due date.” “That’s 24 days away.” “I know.” “Okay, we’ll make it work.” “We were just about to take her home, Counselor.” “Okay, thank you. Why don’t you let Amaro and Fin take you home and I’ll go get dinner?” “That would be great, love.” “Chinese?” She nodded as she smiled. “Okay, I’ll be home in about 30 minutes,” he said bending down to kiss her. “Te amo, mi reina.” “I love you, too.” “What did he just say,” Fin asked as he pushed Izzy to Nick’s car. “He said, ‘I love you, my queen’,” Nick replied. “He’s got like 15 different personalities, doesn’t he,” Fin laughed. “No, just 4,” Izzy laughed.

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“What are you doing out of bed?” “I was hungry.” “Mi amor. Why didn’t you just text or call me? I would’ve come down from my office and fixed you something.” “I know you’re working on that answer tree for Lewis. I didn’t want to bother you.” “Bother me? What would bother me is something happening to you or the babies. Now, get back in bed and I’ll bring you your food. I’m guessing you’re heating up the leftover Chinese from the other day?” “That and the rest of my sandwich Mami brought me for lunch.” “Are you serious? We just ate the lasagna your mom brought earlier.” “And I’m almost 9 months pregnant, with twins.” “Okay, okay. I’ll bring it all. Anything else?” “A diet coke?” “Ugh, fine. You’re close enough I don’t guess a little aspartame is going hurt anything at this point,” he said as he rolled his eyes.

“Can you change the DVD for me?” “I am not falling asleep to ‘Glee’ tonight. I had that ‘Thriller/Heads Will Roll’ mash-up stuck in my head all day during court.” “You will if that’s what’s playing. Besides, I was going to ask you to put in ‘How I Met Your Mother’, season 1, disc 2.” “Okay.” “Psych. ‘Glee’ season 2, disc 4.” “You do realize you’re almost 34, right?” “Not until October. It’s only January. Besides, I’m as old as the actors playing the teenagers,” she laughed. He helped her reposition, so she could sit up and eat the leftovers he had heated up for her. “Do you need anything else before I go back upstairs to my office?” “I think I’m good. Oh wait, I do need one more thing.” “What’s that?” She pulled him to her for a kiss. It ended up being a lot more passionate than she had planned as his tongue massaged hers and their hands roamed through each other’s hair. “Okay, we have to stop.” “Don’t remind me,” she pouted. “You know, the doctor said you couldn’t have intercourse, he didn’t say anything about oral.” “Go away, I have food to eat.” “Rude!” “I can’t have an orgasm period.” “Well, I can.” “We have a shower. Knock yourself out.” “It’s no fun if you have permission. Besides, marriage is about give and take.” “Based on last night, we're pretty even Steven in the give-and-take department and of the two of us, I'm the one with tennis elbow.” His green eyes narrowed as he tried not to laugh at his wife’s comment. “Now go! This isn’t going to be a pretty sight when I start in on this plate.” “I love you.” “I love you, too,” she said with her mouth already full of Kung Poa Chicken. “God, you’re disgusting.” “What does that say about you?” “That I need professional help.”

Lucia had relieved Molly and was helping Harper with her homework when the door slammed followed by Rafael’s briefcase. He walked into the bedroom and started taking of his suit. He would usually hang up his jacket and vest, but he just threw them in the floor, along with his tie. He slammed his cufflinks onto the dresser as he rolled up his sleeves. “How did today go?” “You don’t want to fucking know. That son of a bitch said I had failed to make my case and he refused to take the stand.” “What?” “Yep, had to deliver closing arguments. He has worked that jury forewoman this entire time. She is in love with him, you can see it in her fucking face.” “Come here.” He stood for a minute. “You don’t have to bring me anything,” she laughed. He sat onto the bed next to her. She put her arms around him. “They’ve got to find him guilty this time.” “This has been my toughest case to date.” “How do you mean?” “He has made himself to be the victim in all of this.” “I told you I should’ve shot him when I had at the chance.” A half smile cracked on his face. “Things probably would’ve went a lot better. You would’ve been cleared,” he laughed. “I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” “No, Mami. Just a bad day in court.” “Harper’s homework is finished, checked, and ready to turn in tomorrow. How about I cook dinner for you guys?” “You don’t have to do that, Mami.” “Izzy, you haven’t been able to cook since you’ve been on bedrest. I know you could use a homecooked meal and so could all 4 of my grandchildren. Come on, I’ll make your favorite, Rafi.” “You know we’re not going to win this argument,” he told Izzy. “I know. Okay, Mami. Everything you need should be in the kitchen.”

After Lucia cooked Lechon Asado for all of them, Rafael helped Izzy to the table. “Such a doting husband,” Lucia said, beaming at her son. “Abuelita, this is Papi’s favorite?” “Yes, it is Khloe. Whenever tu Papi had a bad day or a bad weekend in college, me or your bisabulea would cook this for him and he would be all better. Then tu Mami came along, and he never had a bad weekend again.” “Really, Mami?” “I suppose,” Izzy laughed. “Tu Mami y tu Papi were hechos para estar juntos (meant to be together). It was love at first sight.” “Mami,” Rafael said shaking his head. “What? You know you were in love from the moment you met her. Yelina was just a distraction until Izzy was old enough for you to be with.” “Mami!” “That’s what you told me.” “What,” Izzy asked at hearing this for the first time ever in 16 years. “Dios mio, Mami. Yes, okay. The day you walked into mine & Tony’s dorm room, threw that box on the floor, said ‘here take your shit’, I was enamored with you.” “That’s been almost 18 years ago.” “So? It wasn’t legal for us to be together at that time.” She threw her fork down and kissed her husband. “You’ve been in love with me for almost 18 years?” “I have, cariño.” “Aww,” Khloe said at seeing her parents so in love. “Blech,” Harper made a retching noise instead. “Harper Grace Barba, do you want to go to your room without finishing dinner?” “No, Papi.” “Then zip it."

Chapter Text

“On the charge of attempted murder, we find the defendant, William Lewis, not guilty. On the charge of attempted rape, we find the defendant not guilty”. “I gotta go,” Liv said as she tried to leave but Brian {Cassidy} wouldn’t let her. “On the charge of assault on a police officer, we find the defendant guilty. On the charge of kidnapping, we find the defendant guilty.” “Members of the jury, the state of New York thanks you for your service. You are dismissed. William Lewis, you are remanded to Rikers where you will await sentencing.” “I’m going to request the maximum, 25 to life,” Rafael told Liv. Izzy had ignored doctor’s orders and wanted to be there when the jury read the verdict. Liv had told Brian she just wanted some time, but Izzy went and found her in a stairwell, crying. “I’ve got you Liv,” she said as she held her Sergeant while she cried. “It’s over, Liv,” she said as she rocked her back and forth while cradling her. “Thank you, Izzy. Thank your husband for me.” “I will…oh!” “What’s wrong?” “Nothing. They’re just going at each other again.” Liv knew by the expression on Izzy’s face something wasn’t right. “Come on.” “I’m fine, Liv.” “No, you’re not.” “Yes, I am…ow!” “Come on. We have to find Barba.”

“She still has two weeks.” “Rafael, we’re lucky she has made it this far,” Dr. Rosenthal told him, “The babies are in perfect position to be born vaginally but she’s getting an epidural now just in case something happens.” “What could happen?” “They could switch positions before she’s dilatated all the way.” “Rafa, he knows what he’s talking about. Just let him do his job.” “These are my babies!” “Just go outside, love, so they can do this.” “Fine. I want back in here as soon as this is over.” “Of course, Rafael,” Dr Rosenthal said as he led Rafael into the hall, so the anesthesiologist could give Izzy her epidural.

Izzy, the babies are in proper position now. You’re at 10 centimeters. You can start pushing or we can go for a c-section.” “What do you think, Rafa?” “This is your body. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.” “I “I love you,” Izzy said as she leaned over and kissed Rafael, “How did I get so lucky so have such an understanding husband?” “Izzy, I need a decision. These babies are ready, now,” Dr. Rosenthal said interrupting them. “Let’s start pushing,” Izzy said. Catalina Quinn was born first and then Connor Rafael came 3 minutes later. Rafael was holding Connor and Izzy had Quinn as the squad walked in. “Oh my god. Look how beautiful they are,” Amanda gushed. Quinn had a lot of blond hair just like her mom and Connor was as dark headed as Rafael. “Are you guys done having kids,” Nick asked as he held Connor. “Maybe,” Rafael laughed. “We better Be,” Izzy shot back. “We’ll see, mi amor,” Rafael said as he placed a kiss on Izzy’s forehead. “You’re getting cut. End of story.” “Si, Mami,” he said as he placed a kiss onto Izzy’s lips. “Oh come on now,” Cassidy exclaimed.

“Here we are,” Lucia announced as she brought Harper and Khloe to meet their new brother and sister. “Mami, you had two babies?” “Yes, Harper, I did. You have a new brother and sister.” “Oh wow. Quinn looks just like me when I was a baby.” “Yes, she does. That’s what being a big sister is all about. Aunt Bella looks like me, but with brown hair. Quinn just looks like you with blond hair, just like you have.” “But I thought Cubans were supposed to be dark headed.” “Who told you that, bebita,” Rafael asked. “This boy in my class. He said I was white and wasn’t supposed to speak Spanish.” “You are not white. You are half Cuban and half Italian. Mami & I speak more Spanish around you kids because it makes more sense. Tu Mami is fluent in Italian, German, and Espanol.” “You speak German, Mami?” “I can when need to. I can also speak Russian.” “Wow. Can you teach me German, Mami?” “One of these days, Harper,” she smiled

Chapter Text

“I’m glad you’re back,” Fin said as Izzy laid her stuff on her desk, including a new picture of the twins. “I wish I could say that I’m glad to be back.” “Oh, come on you know you missed us.” “How could I? Amanda and Liv were at my house almost every day. So were you.” “Hey, babies bring out the love in everybody.” “I can’t believe the Captain is finally gone.” “If anyone deserves it. After everything we all put him through over the years.” “That’s true.” “Especially you & Stabler.” “Me?” “Come on. You accosted a CSU tech in the middle of the squad room, you threw Miles Sennett against the wall so hard, you broke his nose, let’s not forget how you choked that guy that was knowingly spreading HIV.” “In all those instances, I was cleared. Besides, you know you wanted a piece of Stuckey.” “Who didn’t?”

“Are they at it again,” Liv asked as they could all hear Amanda & Nick arguing. “It’s Izzy’s turn,” Fin said.” “Ugh fine.” She walked into the bunk room. “Hey!! Knock it the fuck off! You sound like my kids and everyone can hear you out there.” “Sorry.” “Yeah, sorry.” “Damn, why don’t the two of you get a fucking room already?” “Oh, real funny, Izzy.” “Like I don’t know sexual tension when I see it.” “Just mind your business, Izzy.” “What the fuck did you just say to me, Amanda Jo?” “Nothing. Sorry.” “That’ right,” she said closing the door behind her and walking back to her desk. “Was Amanda dumb enough to tell you to mind your business?” “Bitches be crazy.”

“Let me talk to my partner, and I'll get back to you. Copy that, Sergeant Voight,” Izzy said as she hung up her phone. “Hey, Fin, you know the perp that raped and killed and cut the victim's ear off? He just struck again two hours ago in Chicago's Riverwalk.” “Well, I sent them all the files from our case when their first one happened. I don't know what more we can do on our end.” “Not much. That's why we're heading to Chicago.”

“Chicago?” “I’m sorry, Rafa, but this is my case. I have to go. I’ve talked to Mami and Molly, you’ll have plenty of help with the kids.” “Okay. Who’s going?” “Just me & Fin. I’m gonna stay with Erin.” “Please, remember you’re a mother. Stay out of trouble.” “We will be working. There will be no shenanigans I can promise.”

“Hey, appreciate you coming,” Sergeant Voight said as he greeted Fin & Izzy. “Of course,” Izzy said shaking his hand. “Hank Voight.” “We’ve spoken on the phone. Detective Izzy Barba.” “Rossetti, I mean, Barba,” Halstead said as he hugged her. “Jay. It’s been a while.” “You guys are nice,” Fin laughed, “What's up with that battle-ax downstairs?” “There isn't enough time in the day,” Dawson laughed. “So who is this guy? I mean, what are we looking for?” “This perp has been elevated to serial-killer status. I mean, in terms of the rape and murder, there are five different profile psyches. I think we're looking at an anger retaliatory rapist,” Izzy explained. “Why the ear? I mean, I get that he's a sadistic son of a bitch and everything, but is he trying to establish some sort of cred or…” “Usually as a souvenir or a trophy. Sometimes they even make shrines. We’ve seen this is in New York, a lot.” “Yuck. How long we have you guys for,” Ruzek asked. “As long as you need,” Fin answered.

“Yo, our monitor works better if you don't slobber on it,” Jay said to Ruzek. “Hey, how about that Detective Barba? She's got, like, ten things going on, all of them good, am I right?” “Yeah. I give your marriage six months,” Dawson laughed. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Wendy and I we're cool like that. I could go home tonight and could tell her exactly what I just told you.” “Oh really?” “Yeah, Jay.” “You'd tell your fiancée that you worked with a hot detective from New York that kind of blew your mind?” “No.” “Yeah, I didn’t think so. That hot detective from New York is also very married.” “How married,” Detective Sheldon Jim asked. “She’s been with the same guy since she was 17. He’s an ADA in New York.” “Got it.” “Yeah, I tried to get with her in high school. She almost kicked my ass,” Dawson laughed.

“Hey.” “Hey, babe.” “How’s Chicago?” “Eh, it’s okay. Are the kids asleep?” “Yes, they are. Mami came and cooked dinner, helped get the girls ready for bed, and helped me get the twins down. Are you okay? You sound a little down.” “I just miss you guys. I’m hoping we won’t be here much longer.” “We miss you, too. You know, I can think of a way to maybe not make you miss me so much.” “What’s that?” “What did we used to do when I was in law school and we’d have go weeks without seeing each other, touching each other, kissing each other?” “Counselor, whatever are you referring to?” “What all do you miss about me, cariño?” “Hmm, I miss your eyes. I miss your mouth.” “Where would my mouth be if you were home right now?” “Hmm, placing kisses and bites down my body until you reached my clit.” “Uh-huh and then what…” “Izzy!!! We got a lead!” “Ugh! Erin couldn’t have waited 20 minutes?!” “I’m sorry, Rafa. I’ll call you later and maybe we can finish?” “If I’m awake.” “Oh, you’ll be awake or face punishment when I get home.” “Really? Well I might not answer on purpose.” “Izzy!” “I’m coming!” “You would’ve been,” Rafael scoffed.

Chapter Text

“Oh, yeah, that confirms it. Chicago cops cannot make a good cup of coffee either,” Izzy said pouring out the extremely bitter coffee. “Here,” Erin said handing her the can of coffee. “Thanks for helping us work this case.” “Of course, Erin.” “I know you hated being drug away from Rafael and the kids.” “I’m managing.” “Did I interrupt something last night?” “Don’t ask when you already know the answer.” “My bad.” “Asshole.” “I don’t see how you stay in SVU, being a mom and everything. I mean cases like this…” “They're tough especially when the victims are kids, but, you know, at least Vanessa's alive.” “It just doesn't make any sense.” “So, you want the good guys to win.” “I want the bad guys to get what's coming to them.” “You’ve been a cop long enough to know that sometimes they do.” “And sometimes they don’t.” “So, are you & Jay still just friends with benefits now?” “Yeah. Voight doesn’t dig on interoffice relationships.”

“How's the flu,” Izzy asked taking a seat next to Amanda at a bar. “I just took a couple mental health days.” “Yeah, right. How much do you need?” “I'm fine. I'm moonlighting to pay it off.” “Where?” “Working security at a club.” “This club have cards? How much do you owe? Are they asking you for anything? Addresses, licenses. Can you just walk away?” “Soon.” “It's not soon enough. I mean, if I'm noticing, other people are noticing. Amanda, this is gonna come down on your thick head.” “You know what, Izzy? I mean, come on, okay? I got it under control.” “Okay. You know where to find me. And take this,” Izzy said as she handed Amanda $3000 cash, “Whatever you're doing, I want you to stop now.” “Does Barba know?” “No. He’ll ask where it went when he goes through our bank statement. I’ll think of something.” “I don’t want you to lie to your husband to save me…” “Just stop what you’re doing and get back in your program. You can pay me some other time.” “I see a lot of babysitting in my future.” “You bet your ass you do.”

“Why is there $3,000 missing from our checking account?” Just like she had predicted, that was the first thing Rafael noticed in their monthly statement from Bank of America and the truth was, Izzy was a horrible liar, especially when it came to her husband. “I had to…pay for Harper’s piano…” “Don’t lie to me. Was it for a credit card bill?” “Yes, it was for a credit card bill.” “You’re lying again. All the credit card bills are automatically drafted, and I know when they get paid because I get an email. Are you betting on games again?” “I am absolutely not betting on games. I haven’t done since the Yankees won the world series in 2009.” “Then where did $3000 disappear to?” “I gave it to Amanda.” “You just gave Rollins $3000?” “It was to cover her debt at that illegal gambling club. We could afford it.” “I think it’s nice that you helped your friend out but you need to tell me these things, so I’m not surprised when I’m going through our finances every month.” “I don’t ask you about the $500 that you spend every month.” “I’m still paying my dad’s hospital bills.” “But $500 each month? Shouldn’t they be almost paid by now?” “All the bills totaled up to 6 figures, you know that, and I can’t leave it all on Mami.” “Okay, I don’t want to fight about money. Hang on. What’s up, Fin? What? When? No, I’ll be there as soon as I can.” “What’s going on?” “William Lewis escaped prison.” “Fuck.”

Chapter Text

Lieutenant Declan Murphy took over the squad after Lewis escaped. Liv had been given a security detail put slipped it, commandeered a car, and met Lewis, who took her hostage. It was a race against time for the squad. The squad located Lewis and Benson. He used her radio to let them hear everything. Of course, as soon as she got to the hospital, IAB Lieutenant Tucker arrived. “Grave dancing motherfu-…” “Nice to see you too, Detective Barba.” She flipped him off when he turned his back. “He can’t even wait till the blood is off of her,” Fin asked. “Stand down, you two,” Murphy instructed, “I’ve got this.”

“You want us to get you anything to eat? Glass of wine,” Izzy asked as she & Nick took Liv home, “We can order in.” “No, guys, I'm not hungry.” “Well, you should drink something.” “You want us to, uh, call Cassidy,” Nick asked. “No, I spoke with him already.” “He coming over?” “I'm fine, Nick.” “Well, one of us can stay. You shouldn't be alone right now.” “I appreciate it but Izzy, you need to get home to your kids & Barba. Plus, I think I just need some quiet. I just need to sleep. I'm due at IAB first thing in the morning.”

Izzy walked in to find all the kids asleep, except Connor, who Rafael was rocking, doing everything he knew to try and calm his son. “What’s wrong?” “He’s not hungry, he doesn’t need changed, he doesn’t have a fever.” “Here, let me take him,” Izzy said taking him out of Rafael’s arms. She remembered what Miguel had done with Harper that one day, so she tried that, and Connor started quieting down. “That’s new.” “Your dad used to do this to you when you were a baby. He said it always worked for you.” “Really? When did he tell you that?” “That day he stopped by and gave me that money for Harper.” “Oh.” Before long, he was asleep. “I think he just missed his Mami.” “It’s been a long few days.” “Liv okay?” “As best as could be expected.” “Heard you had a run-in with Tucker at the hospital.” “Yeah and I’ve got to be at IAB at 1pm tomorrow.”

“IAB wants to do the right thing. Let them,” Amanda said as she, Nick, Fin, and Izzy sat in the bunkroom. “With all due respect, I don't trust IAB. And I'm not sure that I trust you either,” Nick told her. “If IAB wants to call it justifiable homicide, we should back that up,” she replied. “IAB might be setting a trap for Liv. I don't trust them,” Izzy countered. “I don't either, but I do trust Murphy.” “Why, Amanda? Because he saved your ass? Because he's charming? What's up with you two? Murphy comes waltzing in here, suddenly Nick and I are the only ones not throwing Liv under the bus?” “Nobody's throwing her under the bus,” Fin said. “Are we taking a break,” Murphy said opening the door, “Detective Barba aren’t you supposed to be at IAB in 15 minutes?” “I’m on my way.” “Do not stop at 1 Hogan Place on your way back, either. I think you spend enough time in your husband’s office.” “Copy that, Lieutenant,” she said as she slammed the door. “Nice to see she hasn’t changed since her days in Homicide.”

Chapter Text

After Liv & Brian broke up again, Amanda & Izzy decided to take her out. They were having a pretty good time, too. “You know who I think is hot,” Liv said after her 3rd bourbon. “Who?” “Ed.” “Ed? Tucker? Ew! Ew! Ew,” Izzy exclaimed. “Come on, he is a silver fox is there ever was one.” “I think it’s the power thing,” Izzy said as she nudged Amanda, “Liv likes to be dominated once in a while.” “You’re one to talk.” “What?” “We don’t see those marks on your neck? How do you have only 4 kids?” “My husband is hot though.” “Yeah, he is,” Amanda laughed, “and those pants he wears doesn’t leave much to the imagination.” “Amanda Jo!” “What? I’ve noticed that bulge and that tight ass he’s got.” “And it all belongs to me. It has since he was 23.” “You guys have never broken up?” “Nope. Been together for almost 17 years, not one break-up.” “Is he the only guy you’ve ever been with?” “Yes, he is, Liv.” “You know that’s kind of sweet. Were you his first?” “No, his third but I’m his last so it’s okay.” “Aww.” “You can’t work things out with Brian?” “Amanda!” “It’s okay, Izzy. Not right now. Who knows what might happen in the future.”

"So, are you and Barba done having kids?” “You know that fool wants to have a fifth one?!” “Are you serious,” Liv asked. “Yes! He thinks he needs to keep me knocked up all the time.” “Well, you don’t look like you’ve had 4 kids.” “Well, thank you, Amanda. What about you?” “What about me?” “You and Nick not…you know.” “What? No. What?” “Busted!” “What do you mean?” “We know when you’re lying, Amanda,” Liv laughed. “How?” “What? No. What? That’s how.” “It’s nothing like that. I wouldn’t do that to Izzy.” “You think I give a shit. We haven’t dated in 17 years and he cheated on me, repeatedly because I wouldn’t have sex with him.” “You never told me that.” “Yeah, Liv. We started dating when I was a freshman and he was junior. We dated for two years but I just wasn’t ever ready. The second night I kissed Rafael, however…” “WHAT?!” “Yeah. I kissed him one night and we were about to, but he stopped. He knew I was a virgin, so he didn’t want to do anything I’d regret. The next night, he came back, and well…” “WOOOOO!!!!” “Guessing you didn’t regret it,” Amanda laughed. “No, I did not. Even though it hurt so bad.” “My first time didn’t hurt that bad but then again, the guy’s dick was the size of a gherkin.” Liv & Izzy almost fell out of their barstools from laughing so hard. “What about you, Liv.” “Three pumps and an apology.” The three of them were in tears.

“Did you girls have fun?” “Yes, we did,” Izzy slurred as she walked into their home. “How were the…you know…those things we made?” “The kids?” “That’s it.” “They were fine. I ordered pizza, we watched ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ and “Aladdin’ and they went to sleep.” “Good, cause I’m about to take you in the bedroom and ride you like the stallion you are.” “You’ve had a little too much scotch, mi amor,” he laughed. “So?” “As much as I love ‘drunk Izzy’, drunk Izzy loses her balance a lot. Remember the almost concussion of ‘99?” “If you’d hadn’t have grabbed me by the hair I would’ve hit that headboard for sure.” “All it took was that to find out you liked your hair pulled too.” “That was a fun night.” “Come on, mi amor. Let’s get you to bed.” It didn’t take long and she was passed out.

Chapter Text

“Detective Barba can I see you for a minute?” “Oh, what the fuck did I do now,” Izzy said as she got up and walked into Murphy’s office. “Have a seat.” “I’ll stand.” “Look, I know you and I haven’t always seen eye to eye.” “No shit.” “You know I was the one that recommended you for detective when I was Sergeant over Homicide when you were there, along with your Rabbi Captain Harris.” “Yeah so?” “I know this squad has been through a lot this year. You’re a damn good detective. One of the best actually. You have the potential to move up.” “Are you calling me in here to suggest I take the upcoming Sergeants Exam and transfer?” “No. The reason I called you in here was to apologize.” “For?” “For what I said a few weeks ago in front of the squad.” “Which part?” “About you spending too much time in your husband’s office. I’m your commanding officer and that was out of line. I should’ve pulled you aside, away from the squad before I said anything. We were all under a lot of stress at the time. That’s no excuse, however. I shouldn’t have crossed that line.” “Is that all?” “Actually no, I need you to accompany me to your husband’s office.” “Okay.”

“We're still going through Gordon's home computer, but he did give up this mini-tablet found hidden in the book. It's like a travel diary for the dark net,” Izzy said handing the tablet hidden in a hallowed book to her husband. “And he volunteered this?” “We had a heart-to-heart,” Murphy said referring to him being thrown in the cell with the suspect under the same guise as he was arrested for, “He's hoping for a little help. Well, he thinks of himself as a voyeur, but he knows guys who may go further.” "Kids without shame?” “It's a chat room for pedophiles,” Izzy informed Rafael, “So here's the guy that Gordon tipped us off to. He calls himself Erastes." "I see him from my window playing in the P.S. 27 school yard. Sweet faced, chubby. I imagine stringing him up, hearing him squeal. How long do you think it would take for the blood to run out if I… hung him upside down,” Rafael could barely choke out what he read aloud. “That's horrifying, but…but it is on a site that explicitly says it's fantasy.” “He's talking about a real boy that he's seen.” “And you know this how?” “We're giving you a heads-up, counselor, not asking for your blessing. I'm talking about one undercover meet. If it's just fantasy, we walk away.” “And if it's not, do you want to be responsible for missing this? We have four children of our own.” Rafael looked at his wife knowing she would not waiver. She was right. They had four children of their own and if anyone hurt them in some way, Rafael would have no problem going to prison.

After finding his “torture chamber”, Rafael had Erastes, AKA Simon Wilkes indicted for attempted kidnapping, attempted sexual abuse of a child; which he was found not guilty of. “Jury deliberated less than three hours,” he said as the all went for dinner and drinks after the trial. “I wouldn't take it personally. You put up a good fight,” Izzy reassured him. “Did I?” “Yes, you did, Barba,” Murphy echoed, “there was only so much we could do. Even with Huang’s testimony that Wilkes is just a ticking time bomb, the jury didn’t want to see it because they bought into Efron’s speech about being arrested for your thoughts. She played into the ‘1984’ concept of everything. The government having too much power.”

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After everything the squad went through, Olivia found her salvation in becoming foster mom to a baby boy the squad had rescued months earlier. His name was Noah. The squad had arrested his mother, Ellie Porter, but ultimately tried to help her; until she was murdered. Nick, then dealing with Maria taking Zara to California beat the hell out of Simon Wilkes as he was taking pictures of children outside PS 27. After Munch posted his bail and he was cleared, thanks to Amanda & Izzy basically blackmailing Simon's wife. He was however busted down to patrol at the 116 in Queens.

“So, have you given anymore thought to another baby,” Rafael said as he kissed Izzy’s neck as they laid in bed one night. “Mio amore, the twins are only 5 months old. Harper is about to be in the third grade and Khloe will be going into kindergarten.” “And?” “You really want another baby?” “Why not? You’re almost 34, I’m almost 40. We’re still young.” “Rafa…giving birth to two at once was hard enough. I don’t know how much more my vagina can stand.” “It feels fine to me,” he laughed against her neck. “You horny, horny man.” “What? I love being inside of you.” “Do we always have to make babies when you’re inside of me though?” “We have done it several times without making babies.” “I still don’t understand how.” “Do you know how many times we’ve had sex in the last 17 years? 4,378 times.” “Oh my god, you are such a nerd!” “A nerd you’ve done it with 4,378 times.” “You have got to be making that number up.” “I am not.” “Well, let’s make it 4,379 times and I will consider a 5th Barba baby.” “You got a deal,” he said slipping two fingers into her. He used his thumb to rub her clit as he moved his fingers in and out of her slowly. “Te gusta que, mi amor?” “Si, Papi.” “Dime lo que quieres que haga Papi (tell me what you want Papi to do).” “A la mierda con esa enorme polla cubano (fuck me with that huge Cuban cock).” “Con placer, mi amor (with pleasure).” He pushed inside of her hard. “Oh my god, Papi.” “En espanol, mi amor.” “Dios mio, Papi.” “Te gusta cuando Papi folla tu coño apretado duro?” “Si, Papi.” “¿Qué tan difícil lo quieres?” “¡Más! ¡Rápido, Papi!” “Ven conmigo, mi amor.” She did just as he commanded and came all over his cock as he filled her up.

"Good morning." "Izzy seems to be in a good mood," Fin laughed." "And why wouldn't I be? It's a beautiful summer day." "You got laid hard last night," Amanda laughed. "Shut your pie hole." "They shot at cops right outside the station? So they want us to know they're crazy," Izzy heard a guy with a thick Staten Island accent talking to Liv. "You must be my new detective." "Dominick Carisi, Jr. Call me Sonny. I brought zeppoli." "I asked for an experienced, empathic detective and they sent you?" "I'm way experienced. Sensitive and moody, too. And I can do that whole empathy thing." "Where are you from? Staten Island SVU for two months, and Brooklyn for almost a month, and then Queens last week." "So they love you wherever you go, Carisi?" "Call me Sonny. I was supposed to start tomorrow, but I heard about the shooting over my scanner, so I came in. What's our read?" Amanda, Izzy, and Fin all exchanged what the fuck looks.

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Izzy was in the kitchen cooking dinner with her iPhone playing music as the kids played. “Anytime” by Brian McKnight started playing when Rafael came in. He just put his briefcase down, grabbed his wife and started dancing with her. “Rafa…” “We danced to this at your prom, remember?” “I do,” she smiled as she kissed him. “I knew that night I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.” “Rafa…” “I know we were young, but I wasn’t wrong. You are my forever.” “Do you remember another song we danced to?” “Which one?” She changed the song to Monifah’s “Touch It”.” “Fuck yeah, I remember this song,” he smiled. They were halfway dirty dancing in their kitchen. They were both wanting each other so much right there and then. His erection was being held by the $500 dress pants he was wearing. She danced on him just like she did at her prom, grinding her ass against his cock. They were so thankful the kids never came in the kitchen.

Their little dance session before dinner had them both turned on. They couldn’t wait until the kids were asleep. Izzy went and got into their walk-in shower. She was relaxing under the hot water, not hearing him come in. He came in the bathroom and admired the sight of his wife naked and wet. He slipped his clothes off, entered the shower and grabbed her by her hips. She was a little startled, but she relaxed into his touch when he started kissing down her neck. She let out a soft moan as he worked his way down. He started flicking his tongue against her and reveling in the cries she let out. After he had fucked her with his fingers, he removed them, and stood up, pressing her body against the shower wall as he entered her. She wrapped one leg around his waist and pressed her hand against the shower door for leverage as he fucked her slow and deep with the water falling around them. “You feel so good around my cock, mi amor. I want to feel you come for me. Can you do that for Papi?” “Yes, Papi,” she said between moans; just a few moments later she came all over his cock and he filled her up with his own release. He held on to her as they caught their breaths. “Eres mi amor eterno. no quiero a nadie más que a ti por el resto de mi vida. (You are my forever, my love. I want no one else but you for the rest of my life).” “And I love you, Rafael.” “En español o Italiano, mi amor.” “Ti amo Rafael. Non voglio altro che te (I love you Rafael. I want no one else but you).”

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“He sits on the rape kits for six years, we catch the guy, and he takes the victory lap,” Izzy scoffed after the conference they attended led by Amanda’s former chief from Atlanta. “Accept the things you cannot change,” Amanda replied. “Just don't ask me to go out to dinner with him,” Fin retorted. “Sergeant, beautiful city you have here. Even when it isn't.” “Yeah, that's true,” Liv agreed. “Speaking of beautiful, Amanda, it's nice to see you. Broke my heart to let this one go. Y'all have a winner with her,” Deputy Chief Patton said, clearly making Amanda uncomfortable. “We know that,” Izzy shot back. “Oh, forgive me, darling. Folks, this is Detective Reese Taymor. This is her first conference,” he said introducing them to another blond. “Oh, well, welcome to New York.” “Oh, just like the song. I loved your presentation on aggregating and hot-plating social media to really zero in on a crime scene or pattern. We should look into some of the programs Izzy mentioned Snaptrends, gramfeed.” “Yeah, well, anything you want, darling. Gosh, you know, so many friends here. We'll catch you later,” Patton said as he led her away. “It was nice to meet y'all.” “You too. Yeah, Atlanta, they're so polite,” Nick said. “Sam Reynolds, Rollins' old captain, wants us to join APD at Moran's.” “I'm out of here,” Fin said as he walked away. “Yeah, I need to back to my husband and kids.” “I got to go home to Noah, guys. Goodnight,” Liv said as they left Amanda & Nick at the table.

Detective Taymor was raped and she was accusing Chief Patton. Amanda came clean that he had assaulted her when she was in Atlanta. Of course, he hired Buchanan to represent him. Dodds and Barba tried to get him to plea it out but he wouldn’t. “What this feels like, more than anything, is disorderly conduct. Disciplinary action will be handled by APD administratively.” “Rape is a felony charge. We'll accept sex abuse III,” Rafael replied as the four of them had coffee. “Y'all might want to think about what'll happen the next time a New York detective gets in trouble in Atlanta.” “What you ought to think about is how quickly the shine goes off your shield once you go on the registry,” Dodds said, growing very frustrated. “Registry? I don't know about you or your little Spanish Dandy here, but I'm straight as an axe. That girl got what she wanted, just like Rollins did.” “Well, this was fruitful.” “Assault III for the bloody lip. No time, no registry.” “That won't work for me, Counselor.” “Me neither. Nos veremos en Los tribunales, mi amigo. Pregúntale a mi esposa qué tan Dandy soy. no se balancea una pija tan grande como yo. (ask my wife how much of a dandy I am. You don’t swing a dick as big as I do.)”

“You said what?” “It’s not like he could understand me.” Izzy laughed at what her husband had told Chief Patton in Spanish. “And we both know it’s true. I saw the way he looked at you anyways. I didn’t like that at all. Amanda can’t testify.” “Well, you have the statement Reece gave me & Olivia, the rape kit. I mean hopefully the jury will see through him.” They had finished cleaning the kitchen after a dinner of take-out since Izzy sure didn’t feel like cooking. “Here, go over your grand jury testimony.” “Ugh, haven’t I don’t this enough in my life? I think I can handle it.” “You know how Buchanan is.” “Fine," she said taking the folder from his hand. "Don't get snappy with me." "I wasn't." "Could've fooled me by the way you snatched that out of my hand." "Just let me do my job."

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“I’ve to go.” “Everything okay, Nick?” “That was Zara. There’s a fight at my dad’s engagement party.” “I’m coming with you,” Izzy said as she grabbed her jacket and they ran out of the squad room. The pulled up in time to find his mom and Zara with Detective Dunbar. “Izzy!” “Cesaria, everything okay?” “One minute everything was fine then all hell broke loose. I don’t even know what happened.” “Are you okay, Zara?” “I’m fine, Aunt Izzy. Where’s my daddy?” “He’s trying to find out what happened. Cesaria, why don’t I get an officer to take you guys get home. I’ll have Nick get ahold of you as soon as possible.”

“What's going on,” Izzy asked Dunbar & Campesi when she met them at the hospital. “Okay, so this isn't on us…” “It never is, Campesi.” “But the EMT at the scene, a real stickler, overheard the vic telling your partner that his father hit her.” “Okay, nobody's looking for special favors here, believe me.” “Can you let me finish?” “I would if you would get to the point and stop trying to skirt the blame.” “So, we do our interview, and the girl, who has a fractured skull, tells us a completely different story.” “Changing stories, cover stories We all know what happens in DV cases.” “The problem is the EMT thinks it happens after Detective Amaro says something to her in Spanish.” “He thinks Amaro told her to change her story? That's not possible.” “How do you know?” “I know my partner, Campesi.” “How well, Barba?” “Enough to know he wouldn’t have told anyone to change their story.” “Your squad isn’t the most reputable when it comes to honesty. You’ve all been known to bend the rules.” “You know what, fuck you, Campesi.” “Everyone knows how you made it to detective so fast out of the academy.” “Really? You want to go there?” “Ladies, ladies!” “Get her away from me,” Izzy told Dunbar.

Izzy slammed her purse down on the table when she got home around 1am. “Shh. I just got Quinn to sleep.” “Sorry. Is she still feeling bad?” “I got her fever down after some Motrin and a bath.” “You’re a good dad.” “I try. So how bad is this going to be?” “First, Gabriella told Nick that his father hit her but then once she found out who Nick was, she changed her story. Then that fucking Campesi started running her mouth at the hospital.” “What about this time?” “Same shit. Still insinuating that I made detective all those years ago because of you.” “You know that’s not true.” “I know. I just want one clear shot on that bitch. Just one.” “Okay, calm down, mi amor.” “That bitch will get what’s coming to her eventually. She even said that our squad have all been known to bend the rules." "I hate to say it..." "Then don't." "You and Nick have been investigated for excessive force, Amanda and getting caught in the illegal gambling club, not to mention all the shit with her sister, Liv and..." "Stop." "I'm just saying, SVU doesn't have the greatest reputation sometimes and anything that happens involving a family member of one of you, you all get scrutinized that much harder by 1PP."

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Izzy & Liv met Tucker at Forlini’s. “Sergeant, Detective, we gotta stop meeting like this.” “Amaro has no interest in protecting his father. He is not trying to fix this,” Liv told him. “All right, so much for the small talk. But since you're asking, I would hate to be him right now. He either testifies against his father, which is barbaric, or he looks like he's conspiring to cover up a crime. Almost feel sorry for him.” “Wow. Getting soft in your old age,” Izzy scoffed. “Maybe. So, you gonna just stand here talking about Amaro or can I buy you a drink?” It was more than obvious that Izzy wasn’t there to Tucker. “How's the wine here,” Liv asked. “I think you should try the Bourbon. Detective?” “Uh, you know what? I’m gonna home for the night. I’ll see you tomorrow, Sergeant. Tucker, sometimes it’s a pleasure.” “Likewise, Detective,” Tucker said all the while not taking his eyes off of Liv. Amanda had taken some time off to clear her head after the Patton case or Izzy would’ve been on the phone with her so fast.

“Why did you tell your husband about my history with my father? Those were private conversations when we were teenagers.” “Nick, I had to.” “I bet you’re loving this,” he said to Rafael. “No, I’m not. “You want me to testify? But last I heard, you wanted me to stay away.” “I did, pero, tu padre, who's even more stubborn than you are, wouldn't take a plea. He says his honor's too important. But if your fathers sees your name on a list, maybe he'll plea it out.” “And what if he doesn't? I mean, how do explain that to the rest of my family?” He walked out of Benson’s office where they had been. Izzy decided to go after him. “Nick!” “You probably told him all this after I cheated on you.” “No, I just told him this yesterday. He needed to know. It’s pertinent to the case. He knows, okay?” “What do you mean?” “Rafael knows exactly what it was like to grow up like you did.”

“Okay, Nick, so just tell the facts. Don't say more than you have to. Don't burn the house down.” “Yeah, your husband said the same thing,” Nick said as they walked into the court house. “That's a beautiful color on you,” Nick Sr said to Izzy. “Will you stop it?” “There he goes. Saint Nick. Could you imagine if he was just a fun cop,” he said as he touched her arm. “Don't touch her.” “Still so protective over you. He shouldn’t have let that man in suspenders have you. He should’ve fought, like a man. That’s my fault for taking off like I did.” “Okay, Mr. Amaro, that’s enough.” “Could you tell him what going up against his father publicly is gonna do to his family? Is this worth it?” ”Excuse us. Let's go, Nick,” Izzy said grabbing her partner by the arm.

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Rafael had asked Jack to use the DA’s box at the Met to take Izzy out one night. “You want to have some fun up here,” he said kissing her shoulders that were left bare by the strapless black evening gown she was wearing. “Counselor, whatever could you be up to?” “Hmm, making baby #5 would have an interesting story.” “As if the twins being conceived on your desk isn’t enough to show how deviant we are?” “God dammit,” he said pulling his phone from his tux pocket. “What?” “I’ll be right back, mi amor.” He came back about 7 minutes later. “We have to go.” “What?” “I’m needed at the precinct.” “I can stay here.” “No, I’m not leaving you alone. Maybe we can still salvage our night once we see what’s going on.”

“We get one date night a month, guys. What is so important,” Izzy said as she & Barba walked in. “Jerome Jones, he still here,” Rafael snapped. “We're still waiting on the vic's statement,” Nick replied. “What's taking so long?” “The girl was intoxicated; her memory's off. They did find what might be semen on her sweater. We could put a rush on it.” “On her sweater,” Izzy asked. “If it is his, that's probable cause. If it's not, then he's extraordinarily lucky at DNA tests. He has got ammunition for another false arrest and harassment lawsuit.” “One more lawsuit from this guy, and we're all working at Staten Island,” Carisi popped off. “Look, the Prospect Park three were guilty. The lab just screwed it up. He's guilty of this too,” Nick said. “Make the case airtight, and I'll charge. Until then, let him go.” “Wait let him go,” Carisi asked. “He's waiting on a $36 million judgment he'll likely win. He's not a flight risk,” Izzy scoffed. “Get him out of here, politely.” “Who wants to call the sergeant,” Carisi was dumb enough to ask. Nick, Fin, and Izzy all at the same time said, “The new guy.” “Still?”

“Sorry about the Opera, mi amor.” “Oh, it’s fine,” she said as they held hands walking down Madison Avenue. “Our reservation at Per Se is in an hour. You want to go grab a drink or two before dinner?” “Sure.” “Can you believe we’ve been together almost 18 years?” “We still have 10 months.” “I know but this is still our 18th year. I’ve been in love with you for almost 20.” “I still can’t believe…” “It’s true. I felt bad cause you were so young but there was something about you.” “There was something about you, too.” He stopped their walk and kissed her. “So, I’ve been thinking.” “About?” “I know I’m Italian and you’re Cuban and we’re both Catholic and we are supposed to reproduce as much as possible but is a 5th child that important?” He hung his head before he finally spoke. “If you don’t want to have another one, we don’t have to.” “Are you sure?” “Yes. It’s your body, mi amor. I know it’s been through a lot over the last 9 years.” “Oh my god, can you believe we’re about to have a 9-year-old in May?” “Don’t remind me. She’s going to be 16 before we know it.”

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“So, the counselor is really going through with the snip-snip?” “Carisi, it is too early in the morning for me to pretend to like you but yes he is.” “Well, more power to him. That’s gotta be scary.” “Why? You were circumcised, weren’t you,” Amanda asked. “I was like a day old though.” “I think it’s a good thing he’s doing that for you.” “Thanks, Nick.” “Yeah, I mean, his recovery time is going to be a lot less than yours would be.” “Exactly. A few days off of work, an ice pack on his balls, he’ll be fine,” Izzy laughed. “Izzy.” “Mami? To what do I owe the pleasure,” Izzy said as she hugged Lucia. “It’s Mama. She fell again.” “Oh no.” “The break isn’t that bad but she’s going to be in the hospital for a little bit.” “I’ll get ahold of Raf.” “Hey, where’s the party at?” “Munch!” “Ah, Izzy, my favorite time bomb,” he said hugging her. “And who is this lovely woman?” “This is mi suegra (my mother in law), Lucia Barba.” “No. You’re much too young to have given birth to Rafael.” “He is wise beyond his years,” she laughed.

“Abuelita, you need to listen to the doctors.” “Elizabeth, I am fine.” “Abuelita…” “Izzy.” “Fine. I’m not arguing with you. Tu nieto can do that.” “And he will, you know that.” “Si, Abuelita. Solo nos preocupamos ti (we just worry about you).” “Sé bebé y te agradezco (I know, baby and I thank you). Ahora vete a casa y cuídate de mis bisnietos (now go home and take care of my great grandchildren).” “Te amo, Abuelita. I’ll be back tomorrow.”

“You're kidding me. His daughters are complaining, but he isn't,” Rafael asked as Izzy, Amanda, & Carisi were explaining the case of Walter Briggs. “Yeah, he says he's doing his manly duty by keeping his woman satisfied,” Amanda interjected. “So, he's consenting to the sexual activity?” “Him and his varnished eel,” Izzy laughed. “Okay, but is he capable of consent? I mean, what's he like?” “I don't know. Barba,” Izzy said she took a phone call. “He winked at Rollins a whole bunch. He quoted from an essay about manly men that he wrote in "Playboy" in 1972, and then just like that, he goes off into ga-ga land. It was sad. The guy was a titan,” Carisi said. “Listen, that was the housekeeper,” Izzy said stepping back into her husband’s office, “Mr. Briggs just went to the hospital. Apparent heart attack.” “The daughter said that he had a heart condition. If the wife knew and was secretly feeding him those pills…” Izzy started before interrupted by Carisi. “Yeah, that's assault three. Recklessly causing physical injury to another person, maybe even attempted murder. Am I right, counselor?” “Seldom. Unless the daughters can give you proof that the wife knew about the heart condition and was exacerbating it, you've got nothing.”

“Look, I know what you're thinking. I should take her in to live with me. Other people put their families in places like this. We do not put our family in places like this,” Lucia said as they toured a more high end retirement facility. “You are singlehandedly keeping a charter school alive. You only go home to sleep. How are you supposed to take care of her?” “I could retire.” “No, you couldn't. Mira, it's not so bad. Maybe she'll like it.” “It smells.” “They're cooking lunch, Abuelita.” “What are they cooking, skunk? “Mama. Raffi and Izzy have gone through a lot of trouble to arrange this for you.” “I didn't ask them to. Why should I move after 40 years?” “Because here, nobody has to carry groceries up six flights of stairs, Abuelita. They have activities. Mira, movies. If you fall down again. Anything, you just push a button.” “If I fall down at home, I bang on the floor Mrs. Rivera hears.” “Mami?” “We'll think about it.” “I'm just trying to help both you. Bye. I have to go. I'm needed in court.” “Good, go help somebody else.”

“How'sAbuelita?” “Still giving me grief about moving her out of that walk-up deathtrap she somehow confused with Shangri-La.” “She didn't like the facility?” “No, she didn't. But it can't be her choice anymore. So, we'll start to pack up her things, under protest.” “You are a good grandson,” Izzy said throwing her arms around her husband’s neck and pulling him in for a kiss. “No, I'm not. I'm over-compensating. What are you gonna be doing when you're 85?” “Squabbling with you?” “Wouldn't that be nice?” “But when I’m 85, you’ll be 91. I’m going to want a medical explanation if you’re still alive.”

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“Mami!” “Raf, Izzy! Thank god,” she said as she threw her arms around them as they ran into Lina’s building. “I came over to help her go through her things, you know, just to help her go through her stuff. And I buzzed the buzzer and and there was no answer. So, you know, I've got a key, so I came in, went up the stairs, got into the apartment, walked down the hallway, and she was lying on her bed,” Lucia said as she broke down in tears. “I love you, Mami. I'm so sorry.” “I never should have agreed to this. She told us she didn't want to move. I should've moved in with her, I should've I should've quit the job.” “Mami. Mami, no. It was me, okay?” “She said she wanted to die in her own home.” “And she did,” Rafael said as he tried comfort his mother. "We'll pay for her funeral." "No Izzy." "Mami, we can afford it. You know she didn't have a burial plan." "Rafi..." "No, Mami. I was pushing her out of her home. Let me do this." "Izzy, don't let my son blame himself." "It's my fault." "No, it isn't," Lucia said taking Rafael's face in her hands, "You only wanted what you thought was best for her. You cannot blame yourself for that. I mean it." "Okay, Mami," he said as tears streamed from his green eyes. "You gave her four beautiful great grandchildren. You never got to know your great parents. At least your children, especially Harper & Khloe got to know one of theirs. Okay?" "Okay."

“We’re heading to Chicago, Nick.” “What, Izzy?” “Yep. This guy, Greg Yates. They think he started out here and then went to Chicago. You, me, and Fin are on the next flight out.”
Thanks, Sarge. We got it from here,” Fin told desk Sergeant Platt and he, Nick, and Izzy made themselves at home. “Uh, Sergeant Voight likes everything just the way it is, so I wouldn't be moving anything around.” “Well, I'm glad you told me. I was planning on stealing the copier.” Platt just kind glared at Izzy. “Oh, she doesn’t know I’m kidding.”
After a late night, Nick, Jay, Erin, and Izzy went out for drinks and a round or two of pool. “I can’t believe you’ve been with Barba for almost 18 years.” “Tell me about it, Jay,” she said as she broke the balls on the table. “And you have four kids?” “Yep.” “Any chance for a 5th…” “No, he had a vasectomy 3 months ago. We are so done in that department.” “You know I always thought you were the most beautiful girl…” “Halstead, stop.” “What? You were and are the most beautiful woman I have ever met.” “Jay…what about Erin?” “She broke it off months ago. The job is too important.” “I know how she…” Before she could finish her sentence, Jay kissed her. She fell into it for a second, but her heart belonged to Rafael Barba and no one else. She pushed him away and left the bar.

“Hey, you okay?” “I’m fine, Nick.” “I’ve known you for 20 years. I know when something is bothering you.” “I’m pregnant, Nick.” “What?” “Wipe that smile off your face.” “How far along are you?” “One month.” “Wow, a fifth Barba baby?” “Yep.” “But I thought he just got cut…” “He did but there was still a risk.” Nick just hugged her. “Uncle Nick can stand another niece or nephew.” “Well, what if Rafael can’t…” “Lo hará, hermana (He will sister). He wanted another baby, didn’t he?” “Yeah but…” “But nothing. Barba is going to be so excited.”

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“You’ve been acting weird since you got back from Chicago,” Rafael said one night after dinner. “I need to tell you something.” “What’s wrong?” “It was Halstead.” “Jay? What about him?” “He kissed me…” “WHAT?!” “Papi, no yelling,” Harper scolded. “Harper go to your room. Ahora.” “Si, Papi.” “I didn’t kiss him back. I think it was the alcohol that made him do it.” “That is no excuse. He knows you’re married.” “That’s why I pushed him away and went back to my room. I love you and I want no one to kiss me but you. Where are you going?” “I just need some air.”

“Barba come on. If she didn’t feel bad about it, she wouldn’t have told you,” Liv told him as they shared drinks at Forlini’s. “But my wife kissed someone that wasn’t me.” “He kissed her. There’s a big difference. She has only wanted you since she was 17.” “How do you know?” “Cause she told me.” “When?” “It’s been a year or so ago, but I know you’re the only man she’s ever been with and the only man she wants to be with.” “So, what should I do?” “Go home to your wife and forgive her. She didn’t kiss him, he kissed her. Remember that.” “You’re right, Liv.”

Izzy was laying in bed when she heard the door open. He came into the bedroom and practically attacked Izzy. “Rafa….” “Shh. Let Papi take over,” he said as he bit down on her neck. “Si, Papi.” He bit all the way from her neck, to her breasts, to her stomach; leaving marks his whole way down to her clit. “Oh my god, Papi,” she let out as he went at her with his tongue. “Oh yes, Papi. Please. Make me come.” He did exactly what she said, and she came all over his tongue and face. He didn’t care at all. He kissed her, letting her taste herself on his tongue and lips before he pushed into her. “Oh my god, Rafael!” “You like that, baby?” “Oh yes! Fuck me, Rafael.” He pushed harder into her. He pulled her hair and she pulled his as they fucked that night. “Give it to me, Rafa.” “Whatever you want, mi amor,” he said as he pushed harder and faster into her. After they came together, she revealed the news as they were kissing. “Rafa?” ‘Yes, mi reina?” “Estoy embarazada (I’m pregnant).”

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“What?” “I’m pregnant with Barba baby #5.” “You’re kidding me.” “I wish I was. We can get…” “Don’t even say that. We’re having another baby?” “That’s what you wanted, wasn’t it?” “Yeah but I just got cut…” “We were told it could be three to six months.” “My last test was clear though.” “Is this a problem?” “Not at all, mi amor,” he said as bent down and kissed his wife. “We have to get a bigger place,” he laughed. “And you’re okay with this?” “As long as you are, mi reina.” “I am. I want another home birth with this one.” “Are you sure?” “I’m sure.” “Whatever you want, mi amor,” Rafael said as he kissed her again.

Ethan Eduardo Barba was born 3 weeks early on August 31st, 2015. He came two days after Izzy had testified in the trial of Johnny D, who ended up being the birth father of Liv’s foster son Noah. Nick actually ended up taking him out in a shoot out in the court house. Liv had made it a year as a foster mother and was in the process of adopting Noah. The squad and Barba all got together to celebrate when it was finalized. “There’s the Barba children,” Fin said as he bent down getting hugs from Harper, Khloe, Quinn, & Connor. “And there’s baby Ethan,” he said as he admired the boy Rafael carried in. “Here ya go, Uncle Fin,” Rafael said handing Ethan to him. “Yeah, there’s my boy. No matter what your Papi says, you don’t have to go to Harvard. Uncle Fin said so.”

It had been a slow summer for once. Ed & Liv were seeing each other but it was a huge secret. Nick & Amanda had a thing going but it was more than obvious she had feelings for Carisi. The three couples decided to take a vacation, plus Carisi and Fin. One night, things came to a head. “Somebody has some secrets at this table,” Amanda said half drunk. “Amanda stop.” “No, Izzy. We all know Nick has some secrets.” She had went through his phone and found several texts to Gil’s mom that didn’t pertain to their son. “Okay fine. You want to know the truth, Amanda? I’ve been with (Gil’s mother) Cynthia off and on. You happy?” “Okay, Nick, that’s enough.” “Oh, Mr. and Mrs. Rafael Barba. Mr. and Mrs. Perfect. Did your perfect husband tell you he had a DNA test done on Ethan?” “What,” Izzy whispered. “Yeah. He was convinced that he belonged to Jay Halstead.” Izzy couldn’t even look at Rafael. “I think it we should cut this trip short,” Fin said during an awkward silence.

The trip from Shelter Island was a long one for Izzy & Rafael. He tried to take her hand, but she jerked it away. She put in her ear buds and ignored him the whole way back to Manhattan. Stella and Anthony had the twins while Lucia kept Harper and Khloe. It was supposed to a longer weekend, but it didn’t turn out that way; which was probably a good thing. Rafael unloaded their luggage as they walked into their Harlem townhome. “Izzy, I…” Before she could stop herself, she slapped Rafael across the face as hard as she could. A red hand print was already present. “What the fuck?” “What?! You think I’m supposed to be okay with the fact that you put our son through that?!” “Well….” “Well what?! That is your son or did the DNA test tell you something different?” “NO!” “Then why did you have that done? You think after almost 18 years I would cheat on you?” “You told me that Halstead kissed you.” “And that was it! I was already pregnant when he kissed me!”

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“I am so sorry.” “You’re sorry?! You’re sorry,” Izzy said, still in disbelief of what she had been told, “You took our son, who is only a few months old, to have blood drawn to prove he belonged to you?” “You came back from Chicago pregnant. Halstead kissed you…” “And that’s all he did!!! I was already pregnant! Ask Nick!” “Oh, so your ex-boyfriend knew but I didn’t?!” “Don’t put this on Nick.” “Why didn’t you tell me before you left?” “I didn’t know! I found out while I was there, I did the math and voila!”

She couldn’t even look at Rafael for days after she had found out that he had a DNA test on their newest son, Ethan. “I’m sorry for what happened.” “It’s okay, Nick. I needed to know,” she said over the phone. He had moved to California to be closer to Zara, Gil, & Cynthia. “I just can’t believe he would think I would’ve cheated, let alone with Halstead.” “He’s insecure, mija. I don’t understand why after 18 years but he is.” “Me neither.” “You guys will work through this. You’ve got to.” “What if we don’t, Nick?” “Then true love doesn’t exist.”

“It’s been a week. Are you two still not talking?” “Nope, Fin.” “Come on. You know you are both miserable…” “Fin, don’t defend him.” “Did I say I was? You two have been together for 18 years.” “And? He took our almost 3-month-old son for a DNA test.” “It’s almost Christmas.” “So the fuck what?”

Izzy walked into their townhouse on Christmas Eve, finding a white Christmas tree, decorated with pink lights and pink decorations and *NSYNC’s Christmas album playing. “Merry Christmas, Mami!” “Merry Christmas, Harper.” Khloe, Quinn, & Connor came around the corner along with Rafael holding Ethan. “Merry Christmas, mi amor.” “Mami, come see,” Khloe said pulling her to the tree. “Papi wanted decorated the way you would want it. He did good, huh?” “Yes, he did, Khloe.” “Are you ever going to forgive me, mi amor?” “I’m trying. Why would you think I would ever do something like that?” “Come on. Look at you and look at me.” “And what about you? Do you know how hot you are?” “You think so?” “I know so, mio amore.” “Am I forgiven?” “You’re working on it.” "I love you, mi reina. Forever and always."

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“You doing okay,” Liv asked as Izzy just stared blankly at her laptop. “I’m fine.” “Why don’t we go in my office?” Izzy sat in one of the chairs across from Liv’s desk. “I take it things still haven’t gotten any better since the trip to Shelter Island.” “I’m trying, Liv.” “I know you are.” “It’s just how can I get over the fact he did that? How could he think I would cheat on him? I mean yeah Halstead kissing me wasn’t the greatest scenario, but we’ve been together 18 years.” “You need to talk to him.” “What do I say?” “Well, here he comes now. I’ll let you take my office.” “Hey, ladies.” Liv got up from her desk. “I’m gonna go get some coffee. You guys want anything?” “I’m fine,” they both said. He bent down and kissed Izzy on the cheek. She hadn’t really let him kiss her, they hadn’t been intimate in a couple of months. “How’s your day been so far?” “Fine.” They both sat in an awkward silence.

“Are we ever going to get back to normal?” “What’s normal?” “Before I fucked up our marriage, your trust?” “I just still don’t understand why you are so insecure.” “Jay always had a crush on you. It was obvious when you were in college.” “And how long ago has that been?” “Why are you with me?” “What do you mean?” “Why did you choose me? You had Nick, Jay, Antonio…I was just some scholarship kid from the Bronx.” “After all this time, you’re really going to ask me that? I didn’t have 5 kids with you just for the hell of it.” “Then why did you?” “Because I love you.” “And why do you love me?” “I don’t want to do this here.” “I just asked a question.” “There isn’t just one reason. There’s several. You make me laugh, you’re smart, you’re a good father, you’re usually a good husband. You’ve been my best friend all these years.” “I am so sorry for what I did.” “How could you do that to your son?” “I hated myself as I watched them take blood from him. I was just shocked that the one in a million chance of you getting pregnant after my vasectomy actually happened.” “Who knew besides Nick?” “He was the only one. I asked him because I wanted to know who he used for the test of Gil.”

“Where are the kids?” “Mami has Harper & Khloe, your parents have the twins, and your sister has Ethan. I just wanted some time alone.” “Yeah cause the last time it went so well.” “Humor me,” he said handing her a glass of wine. He grabbed her and started kissing, not letting her pull away. She finally stopped resisting. “Tell me you still love me.” “Of course, I do.” “Let me make love to you,” he whispered. No words were needed as he carried her to their couch. It was what they both needed. Afterwards, they laid on the couch wrapped in a blanket. “I swear to you that I will never do something like that again. I’m just scared you might trade me in for someone closer to your age one day.” “Are you kidding? You’re the only man I’ve wanted for 18 years.”

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“So, how are far along are you,” Izzy asked Amanda handing her a ginger ale. “How did you know?” “I’ve got 5 of my own, remember?” “It’s not Nick’s.” “I figured that.” “Or Sonny’s.” “Is it Fin’s?” “No,” she laughed. “I bet I know.” “I bet you don’t.” “It’s Declan Murphy’s.” “What? No. What?” “Ah-ha, there’s your tell!” “Don’t say anything.” “My lips are sealed.”

“All right, attention. We got a lot to cover.” “Captain Reece.” “You've heard about our pattern rapist, so I won't waste any time. SVU is here to walk you through the relevant details. Lieutenant Benson?” “So last night, a push-in rape occurred about three blocks from the one a week ago. Perp had a gun and he assaulted each member. And yes, the victims are related to a brother officer. This is family.” “Remember, he's armed, extremely dangerous, looking at serious time. I know it's hot. Keep your vests on. Time, distance, cover are your friends. I don't care if this scumbag makes it through the night. I care if you do. Understood?” “Yes, sir.” “All right, let's hit it.”

“Gentlemen, want to slide over here right quick?” “Nah, nah, man. Stop-and-frisk is over.” “Stop and-shut-up isn't,” Izzy replied as she and Fin were frisking guys that met the description of the perp they were after. Doom, Donlon, and Campesi chased a guy and shot him 35 times outside his building. Izzy & Carisi searched everywhere but never found the gun Campesi claimed he had.

“I have to convene a grand jury,” Barba informed Liv and Izzy, “The DA says it's my last chance to work my way back into the good graces of City Hall.” “So, they're hanging you out to dry,” Izzy scoffed. “Politicians want an indictment. The DA wants an indictment. If I fail to get it, it's on me.” “So, you'll push for one, even though those officers were just doing their jobs?” “Their jobs? They fired at an unarmed college student 35 times.” “Izzy, we were in hot pursuit of a dangerous rapist. Terrence matched the BOLO down to his jersey, he ran.” “A black man in a basketball jersey runs when he gets stopped by the police? You're right, he deserves the death penalty,” Izzy replied, showing more solidarity with her husband than the NYPD at that moment. “Are you serious with this, Izzy? It was a good shoot.” “I’m sorry, Liv but they shot him 35 times. That was excessive. We never recovered a gun and we know Campesi has been accused of racial profiling in the past.” “You’re going to go against your brothers and sisters in blue…” “No, I’m going against Campesi. Doom is solid, he was my partner in Narcotics but I’ve never trusted Campesi.”

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“You didn’t have to do that.” “Oh, I wasn’t doing you a favor,” Izzy laughed. “35 times was excessive. If Liv don’t like my opinion, tough shit.” “You know you’ll have to testify. I have to pull your jacket and I will have to bring up your charges of excessive force.” “I know.” “I don’t want this to come between us at home.” “It won’t.” “Elizabeth.” “Rafael,” she mocked, “Just do me a favor.” “What’s that?” “Read the reports thoroughly.” “Why wouldn’t I?” “I’m just saying, Doom and Donlon, they are good cops. Always have been.” “I know you and Doom were close…” “He’s solid.” “You have my word that I will go through every single detail.”

"What are you doing here,” Campesi asked as Izzy walked into a bar. “She came to meet me,” Doom told her. “Well, I was just leaving.” “Yeah, and I got my wife and kids crying at home. How are your kids, Detective?” “They’re good, Donlon. Thanks for asking.” “That’s all she knows how to do is lay on her back for the ADA and stay knocked up. She’s probably behind this herself.” “You know Campesi, if I were you, I’d keep my mouth shut. Your ass is on the line as it is. I’d hate to see you picking it up off the floor.” “Okay, that’s enough. Just go, Campesi. Sorry about her.” “It's all right. You know how far back this goes. What about you, Doom? You doing okay?” “Yeah. About that, you know your husband better than anyone. Any idea where he's going with this?” “Honestly, I don't. I mean he can’t talk about it with me.” “You, your Lieutenant, Fin, and Carisi were all on the scene. SVU's got our back, right?” “I know you & Donlon are good cops.”

She found Rafael in his office with a glass of scotch. “You plan on coming home tonight?” “I’m working on it.” “Well, here. I brought you some dinner.” “Thank you,” he smiled as he took off his glasses and rubbed his temples. “You should wear your glasses more often.” “You know I only have to wear them to read.” “Yeah I know but they make you look even sexier, as if that’s possible.” “Well then,” he said putting them back on and pulling her onto his lap, kissing her. “Mr. Barba, oh I’m sorry.” “It’s fine, Carmen.” “The ballistics report is in.” “Thank you.” “Well, I’ll let you get back to work,” Izzy said standing up. “I’ll be home as soon as I can. I promise.” “Okay.” “I love you.” “Love you.”

She felt Rafael sit on the bed around 1:30. “Hey.” “Go back to sleep, mi amor.” “What did you find in the ballistics report?” “You know I’m really not supposed to talk about it.” “I know.” “I’m going to tell you something, but it does not leave this bedroom.” “Of course.” “Out of the 35 shots that went into Terrance Reynolds, only 3 of them came from Doom’s gun.” “What?” “Most of them were from Campesi’s.”

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“Detective Barba, you came up on the scene after Terrance Reynolds had been shot. Correct?” “That’s correct.” “Then what happened?” “I used my radio to call for an ambulance as Detective Dominick Carisi and I began a search of the premises for the gun that Officers Donlon, Doom, and Campesi thought they had seen.” “Did you recover the weapon?” “No, we did not.” “Did CSU recover a weapon?” “No.” “Detective, you’ve read the reports that Mr. Reynolds was shot 35 times. Do you believe that to be excessive?” “Yes, I do.” “Have you yourself in your 14 years as an NYPD officer, ever been investigated for excessive force by IAB?” “Yes, I have.” “And what were the cause of those investigations?” “I broke the nose of a suspect who had set his wife on fire and I choked a suspect that had been knowingly spreading HIV to women.” “And you received suspensions in both cases.” “That’s correct.” “Detective, you’ve worked Homicide, Narcotics, and SVU. How many dangerous suspects have you chased in your career?” “I don't know. Uh, a hundred?” “And how many times have you believed your life could be in danger? Would dozens be a fair estimate?” “Yes.” “According to your file, you've shot two such suspects. Is that correct?” “Yes, that is correct.” “But in neither instance, were you accused of reckless endangerment, negligence, or excessive force.” “No, I was not. Both suspects actually had a gun pointed at me, prepared to shoot.”

The grand jury returned indictments of reckless endangerment on Doom, and man one on Campesi and Donlon. “It's just an indictment. It's not going anywhere,” the PBA rep said as they sat in a bar. “Son of a bitch, Barba. Good luck next time he needs a cop. It’ll have to depend on that fucking wife of his,” Campesi said. “Eh, this might not all be on Barba. Upping the charges? Sounds to me like he had a runaway grand jury,” Carisi countered. “Runaway my ass. Barba led and they followed. That bitch he’s married to I’m sure didn’t help matters.” “What did you call me, Campesi?” “You heard me, Mrs. Barba.” “You shot an unarmed college kid 20 times and it’s my fault, no my husband’s fault that the grand jury wants your ass locked up? You are disgrace to the shield.” “Well, at least I didn’t lay on my back to make detective. Who all have you fucked besides the DA? All of your excessive force charges dropped.” “You want to see excessive force,” Izzy said as she knocked the fuck out of Campesi, causing her to fall to the ground. Carisi and Doom grabbed Izzy before she could do anything else.” “Let me go!” “Yeah, let her go.” Captain Reece stepped in. “That’s enough or I’ll have you both arrested.” Just then, they all got a text that a 24-year-old rookie patrol cop with two kids was shot in a traffic stop gone bad.

“How’s your hand?” “Better than that bitch’s face.” “You could’ve been arrested! Do you not use your brain?” “Who was going to arrest me? Reece?” “You punched her in front of IAB and the PBA rep. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re called in front of Tucker.” “Let him. We were in a bar full of cops. If someone wanted to do something, they would’ve.” “Do I have to remind you that you are a mother, a cop, and the wife of a DA?” “Oh, now you’re worried how my actions looks on you?” “When it comes to shit like that, yeah! You’re not 21, fighting in bars with Erin anymore.” "I'm aware!" "Are you?" "Just drop it! Molly will be home with the kids any minute." "Well, you at least got your shot in on her like you've been wanting for the last 15 years."

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“I don’t care how old you are, you are not going to a party with boys,” Izzy walked in to hear Rafael yelling up the stairs at Harper as she slammed her door. “Oh, what now?” “Will you go explain to your 10-year-old daughter that she is not going to a party where there’s going to be boys?” “Rafa, it’s a 10-year-olds birthday party. Morgan’s parents will be there. What’s the worst that can happen?” “Are you really going to ask that question?” “Okay, you are being a little too over protective,” Izzy said as she walked upstairs. “Harper? It’s Mami. Can I come in?” “Yeah.” “What’s going on?” “Why does Papi have to be like that?” “He’s just overprotective of you girls. That’s his job,” Izzy laughed. “It’s just a birthday party and only the girls are staying the night.” “I know, and you can go.” “Really?” “Yes, I’ll handle Papi.” “Thank you, Mami.”

“So, you’re just letting her go?” “Will you stop? They’re going to eat pizza, play games…” “Like spin the bottle?” “Oh…my…god. They are 10! I didn’t do that until I was like 12 or 13.” “Things are different than when we were kids.” “You are worrying way too much.” “Am I?” “Yes. Are you going to act this same way when the boys go to their first boy/girl party?” “Yes.” “You are such a liar.” “You know with the boys, we just have two dicks to worry about; the girls however, we have to worry about every other little dick out there. Why are you laughing?” “Because you sound so ridiculous over a birthday party.” “Oh, I’m not making good points?” “I didn’t say that. All I’m saying is you need to relax.” “Ugh, I’m not going to be equipped for this in 3-5 years.” “Yes, you will. When the girls become teenagers, you can be as protective as necessary.”

“That must be our new Sergeant,” Carisi said pointing at the dark-haired guy talking to Liv & Dodds. “Dodds' oldest son, huh? Wonder how he got this job,” Izzy scoffed. “The lieutenant asked you and Fin to take the Sergeants exam. You both turned it down,” Amanda pointed out. “You sure there's nothing on that video? No, nothing. I told you.” “You okay?” “I'm just a little hungry. Walk me to the break room?” “Sure.”

She showed Izzy the video from her phone. “Your sister? Did you know she was in New York?” “Of course not. Son of a bitch, that's why my mom kept talking about her, wanting us all to be together.” “You gotta stay away. You know last time she set you up. If you try to help her now, she's gonna take you down for good, and you got to tell Liv.” “I can't. Especially not with mini-Dodds hovering around. He'd go straight to his daddy or IAB.” “They're gonna wanna see the footage. You know I don't get in trouble.” “Seriously?” “Anymore.” “Stall them. My mother must know where she is. Those two have always been thick as thieves, and I will bring Kim in myself.” “Okay but you better do it and do it quick.”

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“You recognized your sister in the surveillance video from the pawn shop, and you decided to keep it to yourself,” Liv said admonishing Amanda for her actions. “Because I thought the best thing would be to set up a meeting, so that I could walk her in without a struggle.” “But she never showed, right?” “Yeah, Izzy, she did. She did show up, but she just wouldn't listen to me.” “So, you just let her go?” “Well, I couldn't run after her, and it's not like I'm gonna pull a gun in the park and shoot my sister while my mom's on her way back from getting mimosas.” “You do realize that you could be charged as an accomplice, Amanda. You could be fired. And where is your sister now?” Mike walked in. “Sorry to interrupt, Lieutenant. I need to have a word with you, privately.” “Can it wait?” “No, not really. I ran the hotel surveillance photo of that girl through facial recognition, and I got a hit.” “Close the door, please. I just found out myself. But Rollins and Izzy are gonna figure out a way to solve this.”

Izzy stormed out of Liv’s office pissed at Amanda for getting her involved. “Izzy, I’m sorry.” “You’re sorry? Amanda if you go down, I’m going down too, now.” “No, you won’t.” “You better figure out how to get our asses out of this. Get your mother down here or something.” “Where are you going?” “To call my husband to see how much trouble I might be in.”

“Mi amor, this is on Amanda.” “She told me her sister was in New York and I didn’t report it to Liv. I had knowledge of a crime.” “You’ll beat the hell out of a man twice your size and not give a shit about your badge but this you care about?” “Given my life long search of irony, I’m sure you can appreciate how I feel right now.” “It’s going to be fine. You’ll get a lecture from Liv but that’s about it and you know it. So, will Amanda. As long as you find Kim and fast.” “She disappeared once already.”

“Amanda’s mom, man, that woman is a piece of work. Blaming Amanda for Kim being arrested,” Izzy said as she got undressed and ready for bed, after sitting at the hospital with Amanda after her sister was arraigned. “You know everyone has family stuff.” “Yeah but you should’ve seen her.” “Is Amanda okay?” “Yeah, her blood pressure just got too high, but she doesn’t have to go on bedrest like I did with the twins.” “That’s good at least.” “The kids give you any problems?” “Just Ethan,” he said as he pointed to the brown-haired boy asleep in the middle of their bed. “You want me to take him to his room?” “You can leave him in here tonight,” Izzy said cuddling up to their youngest son. “5 kids and I only have two with green-eyes,” Rafael laughed. “You at least have three with dark hair.” Quinn and Ethan were the only two with green-eyes and Quinn & Harper were the only blonds they had.

Chapter Text

“Have you noticed anything different about Mami when she comes over or we go over there,” Rafael asked as they cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. “She seems…happier in a way.” “I know things aren’t going that well at that school so that can’t be it.” “Maybe she’s dating someone.” “No. You think?” “Well, your dad has been gone for four years.” “When would she meet someone? She only goes home to sleep.” “She does have weekends free.” “She’s usually here or we’re there or she’s got some of the kids.” “Well if you’re so worried about her, talk to her.” “It’s none of my business.” “Maybe I should invite mi suegra to lunch.” “Don’t be nosy, mi amor.” “I’m a trained detective. I can get things out of people without having to actually ask. You know this.”

“How are your parents doing?” “They’re good. My dad is finally retiring from the fire department after 45 years.” “Really? The last time I had lunch with your mom, she said she was thinking of retiring herself.” “She is but she hasn’t decided exactly when. What about you, Lucia? You think about retiring?” “I’ve been thinking about it, especially the last few months.” “Has it just gotten worse or…” “No, not that. I, uh, I met someone.” “Really? When?” “I actually met him a few years ago but I ended up running into him, we went for a drink, drinks turned into dinner, and things just kind of a went from there.” “Wow. Well good for you. So, when are you going to bring him around your son?” “Well, you and my son already know him.” “Really?” “Yeah, in fact you used to work with him.”

“Shouldn’t Dodds, Liv, and Barba be back from talking to Yates in Green Haven by now?” “Carisi, I’ve called his cell and his office. Carmen hasn’t seen or heard from husband in four hours. Ah, speaking of. Where the hell are you guys?” “They took our phones. Are you ready for this? Yates & Rudnick escaped.” “What?” “Get you, Fin, Rollins, and Carisi to Green Haven now. Stop at JFK and pick up Dawson & Erin.” “Copy that.” “What’s going on, Izzy?” “That was Barba. Yates & Rudnick escaped Green Haven. Carisi, Rollins head up. Fin & I will go to JFK to pick up Erin & Antonio. Voight is making them stay here apparently.” “Okay. We’ll see you there.”

“Lieutenant, I'm glad you're here. I can't get a hold of Harris,” a New York State Trooper said meeting Liv at the hospital where Dr. Rudnick was. “I thought she was with you or Barba & Dodds.” “No. We split up. I followed one dead end. They followed another.” “Did Erin know Yates was headed north?” “I guess we put an APB out on a pickup truck he hot-wired.” “She's going after him. Look, Izzy wouldn't let her go up there alone and she won’t let her do something stupid,” Fin said. “Call Dodds and get them back,” Liv ordered.
“What the hell is that,” Izzy asked as they pulled up on an empty trooper’s car. “There's been no radio traffic. Pull over. This is Sergeant Dodds, NYPD. Requesting backup. County Road 3. Six miles west of Plessis.” “It’s clear.” “I got a trooper down.” “He's gone, Dodds.” “So's his gun,” Erin noticed as soon as a shot rang out, hitting Izzy in the arm. “Son of a bitch.” Mike called for help over the radio and took his jacket to apply tourniquet to her wound. “Stay with me Detective.” “I’m fine. Go cover, Erin.” Erin had already taken off on foot after Yates.

“Where is she? Is she okay?” “It’s just a shoulder wound, straight through and through,” Liv told Barba as soon as he ran up to her at Mercy. “Who shot her?” “Yates. He had the troopers gun.” “Uh-huh, where’s Erin?” “Around the corner with Dawson.” “What the fuck were you thinking,” he asked walking up to Erin. “What?” “You decide to go rogue and get my wife shot in the process!” “Barba, I didn’t mean for her to get hurt.” “You better hope she forgives you because it will be a cold day in hell before I do. You could’ve gotten her killed.” "Barba come on. The doctor said you can go in," Liv said pulling him away. "He didn't mean it, Erin." "Yes, he did and he wasn't wrong. My best friend got shot because of me."

Chapter Text

“Hey.” “Hey,” Izzy smiled when Barba came in her room. “How are you feeling?” “No pain,” she laughed. “Doctor said you’re gonna be okay. They’ll probably keep you overnight.” “As long as I’ve got this,” she said holding up her button, “I’ll be okay,” she laughed. “You made it almost 15 years without getting shot.” “Well, it was just in and out. Where’s Erin?” “She’s outside. What possessed her…” “Don’t blame her. She offered to let Mike & I out, but we weren’t letting her go alone.” “Dodds knew better.” “It’s fine.” “No, it’s not.” “Just tell her to come here.” “Okay.” Erin came in with tears in her eyes. “I am so sorry,” she said hugging Izzy, trying not to hurt her. “I’m fine.” “I should’ve listened to Liv.” “Just promise me one thing.” “What’s that?” “Get your ass on a plane to Chicago and hunt this motherfucker down.” “I’m on it.” “I don’t care who gets him; you, Ruzek, Dawson, Voight, Halstead. Just nail the bastard.”

“Here, let me get you another pillow.” “Rafael, I’m fine.” “Do you need a pain pill or anything?” “I’m fine. Stop treating me like one of the kids.” “Sorry, I just want you comfortable.” “And I am. You don’t have to take off of work.” “Are you kidding? You have one arm completely immobilized. You’re going to need some help. I know you gave birth to Khloe and Ethan at home, but you need to stop being so fucking stubborn, get your ass in bed, and let me help you.” “Fine. Get me a pain pill and some water please.” "Now was that so hard?" "Don't go there. Remember how bad you were after your vasectomy?" "That's comparing apples to oranges, mi amor."

Liv & Fin went to Chicago to help finish up the Yates case. Erin ended up shooting him in his childhood home. “He shot my best friend. That bullet was meant for me. She could’ve been killed,” Erin told Liv over drinks after she had been cleared, “Her husband hates me now.” “No, he doesn’t. You’ve known them as a couple longer than anyone, so you should know how protective he is over her.” “That’s true. You know he punched his dad once over her.” “Really? I never knew that.” “Miguel had always been real disrespectful toward her and Barba had enough one day and knocked the shit out of him.” “He’s even more protective than I thought,” Liv kind of chuckled. “Make no mistake. Rafael Barba would give his life for her.” “Oh, you didn’t have to tell me. You ever think about coming back to New York? I’m sure your brother could you back into which ever department you wanted.” “I’ve thought about it. Maybe one day.” “You could always come to SVU.” “Think before you speak, Lieutenant ha ha.”

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“Izzy,” Rafael called from down the hall. “What’s wrong,” she asked as she got out of bed and walked out of their room. “We have a problem,” he said pointing to Harper. “What’s the matter? Are you okay, baby?” Rafael’s eyes widened, and his lips tightened, “She’s fine but this is something only a mother can handle.” “Oh! Okay. Come with me, baby,” she said taking Harper into the bathroom. She was only 10 but she was at the right age.

“Why does this happen?” “I asked myself that same question when I was 11. It’s just part of life.” “Do you still have yours?” “Every month and I hate it. There was only one time I ever prayed for mine to come.” “When?” “I was 18 and your dad and I weren’t so careful with our birth control one time,” she laughed. “Gross, Mami!” “Honey, one of these days, when you’re 30, you won’t find it so gross. When you’re with someone that you love like your dad & I love each other, it’s one of the most beautiful and natural things. Because of that, we had you and your brothers and sisters.” “I don’t know if I’ll ever love a guy that much.” “I thought that, too. Then I met your dad.” “But you were with Uncle Nick first, I thought.” “Well, I was but your dad is the only man I’ve ever been with…in that way I just explained to you. He is only man I’ve ever loved for almost 19 years. I don’t regret for one second that he is the only man I’ve been with in that way.”

“You handled that better than I could’ve.” “Oh no shit.” “When did she grow up so much?” “Are you okay?” She noticed tears in his eyes. “I’m fine.” “It’s okay,” Izzy laughed. “She’s not my little girl anymore.” “Honey, I hate to remind you, but we still have two more that’s going to go through this.” “I know but Harper is our first born. We just brought her home 10 years ago. I wouldn’t put her down that first night, remember?” “Yes, I do. You sat up rocking her and just staring at her.” “I was amazed at that tiny blond baby girl we had made.” “Why don’t you help me get dressed and I’m going to take her out to eat. Just the two of us. That’s what my mom did with me & Bella.” “I think that’d be a good idea.”

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“How much longer do you have in that sling?” “3 weeks, Mike, and I am ready for it to be gone.” “How’s PT going?” “Eh, it’s going. The pain is only bad at night for the most part.” “I’m surprised my dad allowed you to come back.” “I’m on modified duty but at least I’m not stuck at home. I love my kids, don’t get me wrong but I love my job, too.” “Right. Everyone needs a break.” “Exactly.” “Well, I’m heading home,” Carisi said as he closed his laptop. “Catching the A Train to Satan’s asshole?” “Funny, Izzy.” “I thought so.” “I found it funny myself.” “What do you know? Mini-Dodds has a sense of humor.” “You two are hysterical. I could always give you a pat on the shoulder.” “Do it, Carisi, and I’ll have Barba on your ass.” “Okay, okay.”

“Is there a detective we can talk to,” a young blond and a very off-putting guy said as they walked in. “I’m Sergeant Mike Dodds, this is Detective Izzy Barba. How can we help you?” “My girlfriend was raped by Alvin Gilbert.” “Photographer Alvin Gilbert?” “Does that give him special treatment?” “I never said that,” Izzy shot back at the guy. “What’s your name,” she asked the girl. “Her name is Sally.” “Sally okay. Well why don’t I accompany you to the hospital…” “Why does she need to go to the hospital?” “I’m sorry what was your name and who are you,” Mike asked. “Matt Kroger, boyfriend and manager. I warned Sally about this Gilbert creep.” “Okay, well, Mr. Kroger, let’s get your girlfriend to the hospital for a rape kit and some blood work. Is that okay?” Sally nodded.

Alvin was arrested, along with his “muse” Nora Wattan. They watched as the Gilbert’s left Nora alone during her arraignment. “How about we go back to Nora? I mean, the Gilberts aren't even pretending to be worried about her,” Izzy suggested. “You’re right. Counselor, have you found separate counsel yet for Miss Wattan,” Rafael asked Mr. Varma the Gilbert’s defense attorney. “I have my hands full.” “Uh huh, empty them. I need a word with her.” Rafael and Izzy sat in a meeting room waiting on Nora and her new attorney. “Sorry we're late.” “And you are?” “Jason Grubber.” “And you've passed the bar exam,” Rafael popped off while smirking at his wife. “Mr. Varma and I have worked closely on several cases, and he led me to believe you wanted to discuss a deal?”

Before Nora could testify against Alvin, he was gunned down outside of one of their fashion shows. “Well, it turns out that Alvin's phone and wallet were in a drawer in his office,” Liv said as she sat in her office with Izzy & Rafael. “So not a robbery,” Izzy mused. “He was shot once in the chest, once in the groin?” “Well, the M.E thought that the shot in the groin was first.” “Of course, it was. Somebody wanted Alvin to have a couple seconds to think about who shot him and what his life would be like without his pecker.” Liv looked at Izzy after hearing her husband’s comment. “You don’t live it,” Izzy said shaking her head. “Neither of you have never read ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ by Vonnegut?” They both just rolled their eyes at him.

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“Okay, why is my computer going so slow?” “Calm down, Carisi,” Amanda said standing behind him. “There it is. There’s my ID number. I passed.” “What’s going on?” “Carisi passed the bar!” “Wow! Congratulations,” Izzy said hugging him. “I owe a lot of it to your husband. I really admire his…” “Suicidal streak?” “He really did help me a lot.” “So are you leaving us, too,” Olivia asked. “What do you mean too.” “Dodds is joining Joint Terrorism.” “Has he lost his mind,” Izzy said unaware Mike was walking up behind them. “I see you told them.” “Do you have a death wish? Here we go after bad guys and lock them up. JTTF you get yourself killed.” “Guys, we got a problem.” “What is it, Fin?” “That was my son, one of his clients is claiming she was raped by her CO from Rikers.” “Okay, Fin take Izzy and go interview the vicitim.”

“Riker’s is like ‘Lord of the Flies’. It’s where investigations go to die, and you know that,” Rafael said as they ate dinner, I mean unless you guys can find a way to investigate without letting them know Munson is the target, this won’t go anywhere.” “We could say the victims are possibly involved in a trafficking ring.” “There you go.”

“And that’s why you’re taking the Sergeants exam,” Liv told Izzy after she told her the idea she had for their investigation. “What?” “Fin said no, again. You’re taking it this time.” “Liv…” “I need a #2 I can trust. Even with Dodds here, you and Fin were still my #2’s. Start studying. Your test is next Friday.” “Ugh, fine. Shit.” “What is it?” “Khloe’s teacher.” She walked into the interrogation room to take the call. “Liv, I gotta go.” “Everything okay?” “My 6-year-old decided to beat up a boy on the playground. Can’t wait to call my husband with this.” “She’s her mother’s daughter.”

“Mr. & Mrs. Barba, thank you for coming,” Ms. Gathright, Khloe’s 1st grade teacher said as they sat in the principal’s office. “Tell us why we’re here.” “There was an incident involving one of her male classmates.” “Okay, we are going to need a little more,” Rafael said, his voice raising slightly. “Apparently, the boy went up to Khloe and pulled up her skirt and she turned, punched up, and was on top of him by the time the teachers got to her. He’s scratched up, more than likely will have a black eye.” “Okay and what’s being done to the boy.” “I’m sorry?” “Ms. Gathright, you know my wife and I work heavily with sex crimes and by today’s laws, that constitutes to sexual harassment. So, I ask again, what’s being done to the boy?” “Well, nothing, I mean it was a harmless prank.” “Do you read the news at all? Do you know anything about the perpetrators of sex crimes? How they start and then escalate as they get older? Do you know how many rapists I’ve put away that started young, little things like this happening?” “Well, no, sir.” “Uh-huh.” “Look, the school year is almost out, and we don’t want to make a big deal of this, but we do feel Khloe needs punished.” “For defending herself? I tell you what. You punish the boy then you can punish our daughter. Punish our daughter without punishing him and I will pull both of our daughters and our money out of this school. We have three more children that will be of school age in the next few years, so you might want to think about that.”

“Nicely played, Counselor,” Izzy said as they got far enough away from the school where she could kiss him. “Did you like that?” “It turned me on.” “Come on, we have time to go home for 15 minutes.” “Molly is there with Ethan.” “We have time to go to that spot in the park.” “Nobody is at the squad room right now.” “Hurry.”
She pulled him into a closet that housed mainly old files that hadn’t been put into the computers yet. “Shhh. You have to be quiet.” “You make it so hard,” she said as he thrusted into her against the wall. “Your hair is a mess.” “It’ll be fine,” he said kissing her after they finished. “What turned you on back there?” “Watching you play the part of Daddy/Lawyer at the same time. That was hot.” “Not to change the subject, we do need to punish our daughter.” “I know. We’ll talk to her when we get home.” She fixed his tie for him and led them out, just as Rollins & Carisi walked in. “Well, hello you two.” “Shut up, Amanda.” “We were just talking.” “Right,” Sonny laughed.

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After Rafael received several indictments against Gary Munson, things got a little scary. Izzy, Mike, & Liv went to escort him out of the courthouse. They were confronted by several CO’s from Rikers. “Okay, you’ve said your piece, now get the fuck out of our way,” Izzy said pushing through the men. “Barba, you don't know me or who I am, but we know a lot about you, things people would want to know.” “Is that a threat?” “Threat? No, a threat would be right here, right now, I shove you down these steps and get your skull cracked open, bleeding to death. You kids grow up without their Papi.” “Right here, in front of all these people? Maybe they wouldn't be able to save me, but they sure as hell would catch you. So, amiguito, I'll tell you what. You want to kill a DA, right here, surrounded by all these cops and cameras? Spend the rest of your life in prison? Here, here's my home address. You come by any time you want. You see that blond over there? That’s mi esposa. Her gun is always loaded and in reach.” The guy had run off, but Liv saw the worried look on Barba’s face. “Hey. Everything all right?” “Not really. Someone just threatened to kill me.” “What?” “Who was it?” “Just a face in the crowd. Tell the squad to watch their backs. This is just the beginning.”

Izzy could tell Rafael was still shaken up by the threat he received at the courthouse. “My gun safe is (in the wall) right by the door. It won’t take me 2 seconds to grab one of them.” “I still shouldn’t have given him our address.” “You’re almost 43 and yet you are still every bit that mouthy kid from the Bronx.” “I can’t believe you’re not more upset with me.” “Well, I mean I’m not happy but getting pissed off and screaming at you isn’t going to solve anything.” “I want the kids out of the city. If anyone is going to come after me, I don’t want them here.” “I’ll make some calls.” She called Lucia, her parents, and Molly said she would take Ethan to her & her girlfriend’s apartment in New Jersey.

There was a knock on their door that made Rafael jump. Izzy pulled her 9mm Beretta from her hip. “Erin! Why the fuck did you cover the peephole?!” “I’m sorry. I was coming to surprise you.” “That’s a good way to fuck around and get shot.” “Whoa, okay, put Murtaugh up.” “Your gun is Murtaugh, mine is Riggs. Accept the things you cannot change, bitch,” she said as they hugged. “So, what’s with the gun in the hand when you open the door?” “Someone’s mouth wrote a check that I might have to cash apparently.” She told Erin what had been going on. “That’s why Liv offered me a job.” “What?” “Yeah, with Dodds leaving, she called me and offered me a job as detective since you’re going to be Sergeant.” “I have to pass the test first.” “Please. Hey, Barba.” “Hey, Erin.” “You still mad at me…” “No. I’m sorry for what I said at the hospital that night.” “I can’t say I didn’t blame you for what you said. I was stupid. So where are my nieces and nephews?” “Split up in the outer boroughs for the time being. So where are you staying?" "I'm crashing with my brother & sister in law right now. All my stuff is in storage. I'm waiting on my pension from Chicago so I can find an apartment." "We have a couch," Rafael offered, "two in fact." "Are you sure?" "Absolutely." "Yeah, I need an extra pair of eyes to protect someone's big mouth." "I'm glad you find humor in this," Rafael said rolling his eyes. "Go have a drink and relax."

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Liv & Mike went to help Gary Munson’s wife try to leave her husband, but he took her & Mike hostage after he let Liv get their kids out of their house. Barba had been threatened again by the same guy in an elevator at the courthouse. Izzy, Erin, Amanda, & Carisi went to his office to look at the footage from the security camera. Izzy recognized him as soon as she saw him. “Amanda, you don’t remember him?” “He looks familiar.” “BX9.” “We put his brother away for gang-raping that girl a few years ago. I’m calling Intel to get you a security detail.” “Is there someone there you trust? I’ve been getting threats since I indicted the three cops that shot Terrance Reynolds.” “You what,” Izzy yelled. “It’s mainly been on my cell, a few texts from burners.” “And you kept this from me why?” “I didn’t want you to worry.” “So now I’m supposed to what? Just be okay with all of this?” “You thought it was big joke the other day.” “And we all know I use humor as a defense mechanism. I could kill you right now myself.” “Hey, guys,” Carisi said as he hung up his phone, “we got a situation.”

Mike took a gut shot trying to disarm Munson. They met Liv at Lincoln Hospital. The Chief told them Mike was losing a lot of blood and Carisi was the only one that could donate. They told Liv they had figured out who was threatening Barba. “All 5 of you start busting down doors until you find him,” she told Carisi, Fin, Erin, Izzy, and Amanda, “and please wear your vests and keep each other covered.” While trying to find Felipe, Liv had text Izzy that Mike had a major stroke. The 5 of them went back to the hospital. Liv was walking down the hall, alone. She just shook her head with tears in her eyes. Amanda turned and hugged Izzy as they cried over their Sergeant.

Due to the threats against Barba, IAB wanted Izzy just as protected. Tucker instructed her not to wear her uniform to Mike’s funeral that way she wouldn’t be on the front line and could be mixed in with the civilians and wouldn’t be easy to spot. There was a reception at a bar after the funeral. “We haven’t arrested Heredio, yet, Counselor but we have uni’s posted on his block,” Carisi told him. “I’m not worried. Not in here and not with this beautiful blond by my side,” he said squeezing Izzy’s hand. Felipe was arrested a day later. “He looks smaller in there,” Rafael said has be made an ID. “For what it’s worth, he told us he got paid $250 each time he talked to you.” “I should be insulted. What’s Liv want with Izzy?” “No idea.” “Well, I’ll wait on her.”

“Tucker and I are taking a vacation with Noah.” “Really?” “Yes. We are going to go to Paris for a couple of weeks and you will officially be in charge while I’m gone.” “Are you sure about this? We don’t even know if I passed the Sergeants Exam yet.” “I don’t have any doubt in my mind that you did but Dodds has already approved your command while I’m gone.”

“Liv does realize she’s liable to come back and find the squad room burnt to the ground, right?” “What’s that supposed to mean?” “Please. You and Erin? Moreover, you being in charge of Erin & Amanda. Yeah, this is going to be a great idea.” “You think I can’t do this?” “I never said that, mi amor.” “You’re insinuating I can’t lead the squad because my best friend has joined.” “After Dodd being shot, everything you guys do is being watched closely.” “Thanks for the concern and vote of confidence but I have a squad to run. I’ll see you later.”

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“Sergeant am I interrupting anything?” “Impossible, Chief. I work for the government. Wait, did you just…” “I got your results an hour ago. Almost perfect score which means you can pick any command in the city you want.” “I think I’d like to stay where I’m at.” “There’s squads that don’t have commanding officers at all. Benson will be back in charge when she gets back from vacation.” “Yeah, I know but I’ve been here for a while.” “Okay, if that’s what you want.” “It is. How are you doing?” “Me? Oh, I’m fine. Anyways, I just came to deliver the good news oh and this,” he said handing her her new badge. “Thank you, Chief.” “Take a long lunch with your squad.” “That’s a good idea. You are more than welcome to join us.” “I better get back. Congratulations, Sergeant.”

She took the squad for a working lunch to celebrate her promotion. They all fought over who was going to pay until the server came over and said the bill had been taken care of. “Okay, who slipped their credit card to him?” They all denied it. “You can thank me later.” “Holy shit, Elliot Stabler!” Izzy & Fin said as they stood up to hug their former colleague. “You remember Erin Harris?” “Of course, Erin, how are you?” “I’m great.” “This is Sonny Carisi and Amanda Rollins. Well, sit down. Guys, this is Liv’s old partner.”

“So, we are in the presence of SVU royalty,” Amanda laughed. “Something like that. So, congratulations Sergeant Barba.” “Thank you.” “Fin you still just want to be a detective?” “You know me, man. I have no interest in supervising.” “Where’s Liv?” “She is actually on vacation with her son & boyfriend.” “Boyfriend? I thought her & Cassidy broke up a few years ago.” “They did,” Izzy laughed, “She’s been dating Ed for over a year.” “Ed? Who’s…Tucker?! Are you fucking kidding me?” Fin and Izzy just died laughing. “That guy was a rat bastard.” “He’s actually mellowed out. He’s leaving IAB, possibly going to HNT.” “Wow.” “Is that Dickie and Maureen over there?” “Yeah. They were taking their old man out to lunch while they’re home from school.” “How’s Kathy?” “We divorced two years ago.” “I’m sorry to hear that.” “We tried, you know. Well, I better get back to my kids.” “Stop by the squad sometime.” “I might. Give Liv my best, will you?” “Of course, El.”

They got back to the squad room to find Liv’s office where Izzy was parked while Liv was gone covered in pink roses. “Somebody must’ve heard the news,” Carisi laughed. “Every time you set and meet a goal for yourself, you make me that much prouder to be your husband. Congratulations, Sergeant Elizabeth Barba. I love you.” “Aww,” Amanda & Erin both said. “Stop being such girls, will ya?”

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“Congratulations, Sergeant.” “Thank you, Carmen. Is my husband busy?” “Well, I was told no interruptions, but you know that rule goes out the window when it comes to you. Go on in.” “Busy Counselor?” “For my favorite NYPD Sergeant? Nunca, mi amor,” he said as he got up from his desk, took her in his arms tightly, and kissed her. “Congratulations.” “Thank you. You know I got a really embarrassing display of roses in my temporary office.” “Well, I knew before you did. I actually told Dodds to get you to take a long lunch.” “Sneaky.” “Well, I know I made you feel like you couldn’t lead Erin and Amanda, but I know you can. If they’ll listen to anyone, it’s you. So, the flowers weren’t just a congratulatory thing, they were an apology of sorts.” “Well, you are forgiven, Counselor.”

“I can always apologize to you properly.” “Right now?” “Uh-huh,” he nodded with his green eyes giving her his “I want to take you here and now” look she had been all too familiar with in last almost 20 years. He locked his door and closed all the blinds. “Carmen?” “Yes, Mr. Barba.” “I’ll be in a conference with the Sergeant for at least 30 minutes.” “Yes, sir,” Izzy could hear her sort of chuckle on the speakerphone. He laid her on the leather couch in his office and started in on her.

“Well, that was one hell of an apology and congratulations,” she said kissing her husband as they got redressed. “It’s been a while since we’ve done it during working hours,” he laughed. “You’d think with 5 kids, it would happen more often.” “Well, I’ll see what I can do,” he smirked. “Well, I guess I better get back. I left Fin in charge.” “So, are you going to stay at SVU?” “Yeah, is that a problem?” “No. I just thought you might a squad that you could actually command, not just on a temporary basis when Liv’s gone.” “I’m not ready for that just yet,” she laughed. “You’re readier than you realize. Let’s go out and celebrate tonight. I mean actually celebrate, not sex on my office couch celebrate,” he laughed. “With the squad?” “Yeah, of course.” “Can we wait until Liv gets back?” “Yes. So, we’ll go to dinner tonight. Just us.” “Love that idea.” “I will see you tonight. Wear that green dress. You know what it does to me on you.” "The one with like 20 buttons?" "Yeah. When you wear it, it's like I'm unwrapping a present when I take it off of you," he said biting his bottom lip. "I'll see you tonight, mio amore." "Te amo, Hermosa." "I love you, too, handsome."

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That night after dinner at Izzy’s favorite Italian place, il Buco, they came home to no kids. “So, shall I start undoing these buttons?” “Please,” she smiled. He had her completely undressed in a matter of seconds. “I’m all naked.” “Not for long,” he smirked. “What do you mean?” “Close your eyes.” She felt Rafael put something around her neck. It was the Tiffany Paper Flowers Diamond Cluster Drop Necklace she had her eye on. “Rafa?” “You deserve it, mi amor.” “But it cost…” “You don’t worry about that,” he said kissing her neck as he stared at her in the mirror before moving his hand down. The moment he touched her clit, she wanted to fall onto the floor. “You want to watch as make you come, mi amor?” “Si, Papi.” He started undressing and got them positioned in front of their floor length mirror in their room. “You already ready for, Papi?” “Si, por favor, Papi. Te necesito.” “Ask and you shall receive,” he bent down and whispered before slamming himself into her. “Watch yourself in the mirror, mi amor, while I fuck you and make you come.” She did as he commanded. He rubbed her clit the harder he went at her. “I’m right there, Raf!” He pushed a little harder to get her there and he followed behind. “You’re always so beautiful after I make you come.”

“How is everyone this morning?” “Uh-oh, the Sergeant had good sex last night.” “Amanda, I have good sex all the time, thank you.” “You know what I’m saying.” “Jealous?” “No, I’m good.” “I’m sure you are,” Izzy said motioning to Sonny. “It’s not like that.” “Oh, come on, he cooks you dinner. He’s more of a father to Jessie than Declan.” “So?” “Okay. You want to keep denying your feelings for Carisi, that’s your business.” “I’ll be glad when Liv gets back,” Amanda joked. “Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you bring Jessie and Sonny over and Erin can come over and we’ll have a cook-out in our so called backyard?” “Oh, I’m not invited?” “I wasn’t finished, Fin. You can bring Ken, Alejandro, and Jayden.” “That sounds like fun.” “Liv & Tucker will be back in two days. We can do it a couple of days once they get back on New York time.” “I am the grill master,” Fin spoke up. “Well, I’ll get some ribs, chicken, and sausage for you to grill.” “That sounds like a plan to me.”

“We have to find Erin a man,” Liv joked as she, Izzy, Erin, and Amanda were in the kitchen fixing sides to go with Fin’s ribs, chicken, and sausage. “I am good. I got rid of Halstead and I’ve been single ever since. That fool tried to get back with me after he kissed Izzy. Hell to the no. He almost ruined my best friends marriage.” “He didn’t, though.” “Still for Barba to get that DNA test on Ethan…” “Erin, that’s been two years ago. We got over it.” “Okay, okay.” “Well, I’m glad you decided to come back to the NYPD,” Liv said hugging her from the side. “I get the opportunity to work with my best friend again. How can I say no?” Ken and his husband Alejandro showed up with their son, Jayden. “Hey guys!” “Look, there’s your great-aunt Izzy.” “Watch it, Ken,” she laughed. “Thanks for inviting us,” he said kissing her on the cheek. “Of course. Alex how are you?” “Wonderful. Where is my father in law? I brought his favorite whiskey.” “Outside with the rest of the rest of the guys.” Ken and Alex went outside, leaving Jayden with the ladies. There was a knock at the door. “What must be my mother in law,” Izzy said handing Jayden to Amanda. “Mami! John?!” It was Munch coming as her date. She had told Izzy she was bringing the man she had been seeing a while but she had no idea who it was.

“Did you know Mami was dating Munch,” Rafael asked after he pulled Izzy into his home office. “I had no idea. She just said she was dating someone that we both knew. That could be tons of people.” “He is weird.” “He’s really not that bad.” “That’s easy for you to say. He’s not sleeping with your mother.” “Rafael Eduardo Barba, stop!” “No, no, no this is not happening.” “Look, he makes Mami happy. Do you ever remember seeing her this happy when she was married to your dad?” He sat for a minute, “No.” “Okay then.” “I hate when you’re right.” “I know you do,” she laughed, “Now you will go out there and welcome John into our family.” “Okay, mi amor.” She kissed her husband long and hard. “You’re waking the beast.” “You mean ‘Krull’?” That was an inside joke of theirs since she made him take her to see “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” in 2003.

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“Okay ladies, the food is ready,” Fin said popping his head in the sliding glass door. “Thank you for all being here. Let’s get started.” “Wow, what a great attitude, Izzy.” “She was talking to the ribs, Carisi,” Rafael laughed. “Huh?” “See?” “Izzy, did you want some salad?” “Liv, I am not a rabbit so no, I do not.” “My wife, ladies and gentlemen.” They ate the ribs, chicken, sausage, potato salad, green salad, bread, and whatever else was out on the table. Everyone’s nannies were around to take care of the kids as well, so the adults could have a good time.

“Anyway you want it that’s the way you need it, anyway you want it.” Izzy’s phone started playing. “Oh my god, I saw them in concert…” “Okay, Tucker, you want to show your age?” “In 1985.” “Wasn’t that year you were born, Carisi,” Rafael laughed.” “No. I was born in 1984.” “Oh, so sorry. I was a whole fucking year off.” “You change the song if you want.” “No, he can’t, Rafael.” “Oh, come on.” “This missus has spoken.” “If I know the Sergeant, and I think I do, she has some Sinatra & Dino on her phone,” Munch laughed. "You know me all too well, John,” Izzy laughed, “but who are my favorites?” “Queen, Billy Joel, and Elton John.” “Then how do you explain The Killer’s lyrics she has tattooed on her body,” Rafael laughed. “So, I missed one,” John laughed. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” started playing. Tucker and Liv started dancing. “Dance with me, mi amor?” “Of course, Rafa.” It wasn’t long before John & Lucia started dancing, followed by Amanda & Sonny, Ken & Alex. Fin and Erin, not wanting to feeling left out, joined in.

“We always roll like thunder under the covers, don’t we, mi amor?” “Rafael!” “You know it’s true. After all these years, do you know how much I wish you would’ve been my first like I was for you?” “What?” “I have regretted for almost 20 years you were my third and not my first.” “But I’m your last.” “That you are, my love.” Their wedding song, Elton’s “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” started playing. They couldn’t help but start kissing right after the chorus of the song started. “Okay you two,” Tucker hollered. Rafael all of a sudden got down on his knee, “Elizabeth Rossetti-Barba, will you marry me again?” “What?” “I know it’s been over 10 years but with everything we’ve had going on… I wanted to do this so much sooner.” He held out what had to been have been a 6-carat diamond round cut diamond set in platinum. “We’re coming up on our 20th anniversary. I want 20 years with you after that and 20 years after that and maybe 20 more years after that.” “Oh my god, yes, Rafael.” She bent down and kissed him as he took off her other engagement ring and replaced it with the bigger one.

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“Your wife is more of Bridezilla this time around than she was the first time around.” “Erin, just let her pick out whatever she wants,” he said rolling his eyes. “You’re not having to deal with everything…” “I’m not? I had to hold her while she cried for an hour because she doesn’t fit into her wedding dress anymore. Can’t get it through that thick Italian head that she’s had 5 kids since she last wore it. Now, instead of getting it altered, she’s working out like crazy, on a 1,000 calorie a day diet. You think I’m not having to deal with her craziness? I even told her she could buy a new one. She won’t do that either. All I ask is as her maid of honor, just agree with her, and help her spend my money,” he laughed.

“Amanda what the fuck are you eating,” Izzy asked looking at whatever it was Amanda brought for lunch. “Sweet potato black bean burger.” “Another vegan recipe,” Izzy said with a disgusted look on her face, “So, I’m guessing you and Captain Prius are still sailing along.” “Stop calling him that.” “Okay, how about King Kale?” “She already used that one and it wasn't funny the first time, Erin.” “All right, here's a new one: Jolly Green Average Height.” “What about Barba?” “What about him?” “He’s only 5’8.” “What he lacks in height, he certainly makes up for in other places,” Izzy laughed as she took a bite of her bacon cheeseburger. “Say what you want, I really like Brad.” “Ooh, ooh! Tofu Gigio,” Liv added. “Yeah, hilarious. In the meantime, last night he introduced me to Tantric sex.” “Ugh, is that the sex where you don't finish?” “Have you ever tried it, Izzy?” “Not on purpose.” The point of it is learning self-control. Brad says that if you're not thinking about where you're going, you get to be present for where you are.” “Sounds like where you are would be chafed and frustrated,” Erin laughed. “I wouldn't expect any of you to get it.” “Clearly you didn't get it either,” Izzy remarked. “Brad says the orgasm is greatly overrated.” Erin, Liv, and Izzy laughed so hard, tears were streaming down their cheeks. “Hey, what happened to your diet, Izzy?” “This is my 1,000 calories for the day.” “Please, that’s at least 2,000 right there.” “Lay off me, I’m starving!”

“I give up. This diet, the working out, I am fucking done. We are not having this renewal ceremony…” “Okay, I am putting my foot down now. You’re acting too crazy, even for you.” “What?!” He pulled out his wallet and gave her the black Amex. “Tomorrow, take Erin, Amanda, & Liv and go buy a new dress.” “But I want to wear this one.” “Then take it and have it altered. Choose one. I’m tired of you driving yourself crazy over this. This is supposed to be a special day for you. You planned our first wedding in just a few months because we had already been together so long that we didn’t want to wait any more and we didn’t have a lot of money back then. We make more than enough now, and I want this to be exactly how you wanted the first one to be. We are celebrating being together 20 years, married 12 of those, and having 5 beautiful children. When we got together in 97, did you ever imagine all of this happening?” “No,” she smiled. “See? Look at the life we made with each other. I wouldn’t be half the man I am without you.” “You’d still have the same mouth, snark, and…” “Okay, that’s undeniable but I never knew how to love. I didn’t know I was capable of loving anyone but Abuelita and Mami honestly. Now, we have three weeks. What are you going to do?” “I’m going to take this dress, and have it altered to fit me.” “Give me the Amex back.” “Oh no. You already messed up, sir.”

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“It looks great,” Erin said as Izzy tried on her dress. “It only went from a 2 to an 8. You got your dress, right?” “Yes. Amanda and Liv have theirs, I picked up the girls and the boys suits. They’re going to look like their dad in those suits.” “That was the plan.” “I hate that Liv & Tucker broke up.” “I know. He wanted her to retire but she said she’s not ready.” “So, Fin is taking his place?” “Actually no. I asked someone else to step in and take Tucker’s place up there.” “Who?” “It’s a surprise. Rafael and I met him for dinner, invited him over a few times, and so we asked and he happily obliged.” “Tell me!” “I can’t. You have too big of a mouth.” “No, I don’t.” “Erin.” “Alright, fine. Is it Cassidy? It’s Cassidy.” “I’m not telling, and neither is Rafael so don’t even try.” “Ugh, fine. Is Nick going to make it?” “As far as I know. Amanda said she was okay with him bringing Cynthia.” “What about Rafael?” “He’s fine with it. He got one slug on Nick after he told me about the DNA test and they were fine after that.” “Typical men.”

“So, what is the point of this 2nd wedding? You never got divorced.” “Harper, it’s just a way for your mom and I to recommit to our marriage, so to speak. We, well your mom wanted a big wedding the last time. We made about half as much as we make now so I couldn’t give her the wedding she deserved. Now, I can.” “And you guys have been together 20 years?” “Since 1997, Khloe,” Izzy smiled. “That’s a long time,” she laughed. “Yes, it is. We were practically kids; well your mom was. She was only 17.” “Your dad was just an old perv.” “I was only 23.” “Still. I was a 17-year-old cheerleader.” “And you looked damn good in that uniform, too. A lot better than the cheerleaders at my high school.” “Ew, Papi!” “Sorry, Harper, but your mom was and is the most beautiful woman I have ever met.” “I hope I meet a man like Papi one day.” “What do you mean, Quinny?” “Just the way he loves you, Mami.” “That’s the only kind of a guy that any of you girls are allowed to bring home,” Rafael said, “Your mother and I have a way of reading people because of our jobs, so keep that in mind.” “And what about us,” Connor asked. “I’ll tell you this, Connor. Any girl you or your brother bring home will be subjected to the same sort of treatment from that your Papi will subject any boys to; only I carry a gun." "I'm never getting married. Girls are gross." "Yeah, gross," Ethan echoed his brother's sentiment.

“Oh my god. You still look as beautiful as you did that day in 2005.” “Ma, don’t start crying just yet.” “And look at my granddaughters.” “Do we look like Princesses, Nonna?” “You sure do, Quinn.” “Oh, there’s my girls.” “Abuelita!” “All 3 of you are just adorable. Mira a tu Mama. Ella es tan bella.” “Si, Abuelita. Ella se ve como una reina (she looks like a queen),” Harper said. “So, is he nervous this time like he was in 2005?” “Not near as bad,” Lucia laughed, “I think he’s more excited. Who was the other guy in there?” “Well, Olivia and her boyfriend broke up, so he stepped down. We needed someone to fill his spot, so I made a phone call,” Izzy whispered so Liv wouldn’t hear. “He seemed really nice.” “He is.” “Knock, knock.” “Come in, Fin.” “Detective Tutuola, where is your phone?” “In my pocket, Mrs. Rossetti, I promise. I’m not here to spy. I’m just here to give the 10-minute warning.” “Okay, well, come on girls,” Erin said getting Harper, Khloe, and Quinn ready. “Uh, Izzy, you still haven’t told me who I’m walking down the aisle with.” “You’ll see, Liv. Now go.”

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“Are you ready, kid,” Anthony said coming to get Izzy. “Just as much as I was 12 years ago.” “I can’t believe you two have been together for 20 years. Why you had to hide it from your mom & I for 6 months, I still don’t understand.” “Come on, Pop. I was 17, he was 23.” “So? You weren’t 15 and he was 21. I would’ve had a bigger problem with that. I found the love of my life when I was 17. I’m glad one of my kids were able to do the same.” “I did good, didn’t I?” “Absolutely. You couldn’t have picked a better man to be your husband and the father of your kids. Speaking of, I believe he’s waiting.” “He’s always waiting on me,” she laughed. Liv walked down first, and she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw Brian standing next to Tony, who was standing by Sonny who was best man. Erin was right. Connor and Ethan stood in their suits, both of them looking strikingly like their father.

“22 years ago, my Senior year of college I moved into a new dorm, which meant I was getting a new roommate. I was unpacking when I heard this Brooklyn accent from behind me say, ‘here take your stuff’, although it was much more colorful than that. I turned and saw this blond with brown eyes staring back at me as her brother stood behind her. Her brother of course was my new roommate. She might’ve been 15 but to hear her talk and the way she carried herself, I swore she was 20 at the youngest. My roommate and I ended up becoming best friends and within two years, I found myself in love with his sister. Imagine my surprise that she felt the same way. From the moment we shared our first kiss, I knew I would do whatever I could to protect her, to love her, to make her happy. We have shared so much over the last 20 years, Izzy. 12 years ago, you walked down the aisle to me in this same dress and it still looks amazing on you. A little over a year later, we welcomed our first child. It wasn’t long before the second one came a long, then 3 & 4 came at the same time in 2014, and one last one in 2015. Some of our plans went a little off track but we’ve always came out stronger. I have loved you for 20 years and I will do so until the day I die. You make me a better man. You opened my heart and showed me what love really is. I thank you for that every day. I love you more than I ever thought possible. You’re my best friend, you’re the love of my life, you’re my forever.”

Izzy was practically bawling when he finished, he couldn’t help but wipe the tears from her face. “Most people don’t meet the love of their life until they’re in their 30s and sometimes not even then. I was fortunate enough that my big brother went to Harvard and I met mine when I was 15. Of course, nothing happened for two years,” she laughed causing everyone else to, “But when it did, I knew wouldn’t want anyone for the rest of my life. You spoil me in so many ways. When I have a bad day at work, you run a bath and cook dinner for our orchestra of kids (more laughter). When I’ve had to work long cases, including going out of town, you’ve taken care of all of them at once. You’ve taken care of them when they’re sick, you’ve taken care of me when I’ve been sick and when I got shot. You held me as I screamed and cried as I gave birth to Khloe and Ethan at home. You’ve supported me through so much. I hope that you’ve felt half as supported by me as I have by you. I don’t know myself without you and I wouldn’t change anything about that. I love you more every day and I can only imagine that my love for you will continue to grow over the years.”

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This time, their reception had the rustic Italian meal Izzy had wanted at their first wedding. “I have a surprise for you, mi amor.” “What’s that?” “Well, you know how when we first got married we didn’t get much of a honeymoon?” “What are you talking about? We went to Niagara Falls.” “I know but I know you wanted to go somewhere tropical.” “Yeah but we still had a good week.” “Well, we leave in the morning for a week in St. Lucia.” “Are you serious?” “Yes, I am.” “Aww, I love you,” she said taking his face in her hands and kissing him, “What about the kids?” “Mami & John are going to help Molly with them.” “You are the most amazing man…” “Okay, you two don’t have to keep making-out,” Brian laughed. “I think it’s time for a first dance, guys.” “We gave you one 12 years ago, Erin.” “No, no, Izzy. New wedding. New first dance.” “Don’t worry, I picked out a song that is perfect for us, mi amor.” “Really?” “Yes. Trust me, it sums us up perfectly,” he said leading her to the dance floor. Lenny Kravitz’s “Stand By My Woman” started and Izzy started crying. “What’s wrong?” “Nothing. Everything is just so perfect.” “You have put up with me for 20 years, given me 5 beautiful children. You deserved this night.” Everyone finally joined them on the dance floor.

Liv & Brian weren’t shy about being happy to see each other. Izzy & Rafael couldn’t help but notice Amanda & Carisi being awfully close. They were even picking food off of each other’s plates. “They’re next,” Rafael laughed. “If they’ll just admit it to each other,” Izzy said. “Well, it did take us two years.” “That’s because it was illegal,” she laughed. “True. Remember a few months ago, when I re-proposed?” “Yes.” “I meant what I said that night.” “Which part?” “I wish I would’ve saved myself for you.” “Well, like you also said, I’m your last, right?” “Of course, mi amor.” “Then that’s enough for me.” The girls seemed to be wearing John & Anthony out by making them dance with them so much; but they didn’t seem too bothered by them. “I have honestly never seen Mami look at a man the way she looks at John,” Rafael smiled. “Maybe they’ll be next.” “That wouldn’t be so bad. He makes her happy.” Erin shared a few dances with Tony and Fin, since they were all dateless.

“This is beautiful,” Izzy said admiring the villa Rafael had rented for the week. It had a private pool and a hot tub. “I thought you’d like the privacy.” He poured her a glass of Cristal that had been chilling for them. “Happy 20th anniversary, Mrs. Barba.” “Thank you, Mr. Barba. So, what are you going to do when we’ve been actually married for 20 years?” “I have 8 more years to figure that out,” he laughed. “I can’t help but notice I got a new engagement ring but not a new wedding ring.” “Are you serious? Spoiled ass.” “Whose fault is that?” “I didn’t get a new ring either. I’m still wearing the same platinum band from 12 years ago.” “I’m just kidding,” she laughed, pulling him into a passionate kiss. “What do you say we get in that pool,” he asked as he broke away from her. “Let me get changed.” “No one can see us, mi amor.” “Well, okay then.”

She took her tank top, bra, shorts, and panties off and dove into the pool. Rafael took off his t-shirt, shorts, and boxers and followed her. She wrapped her legs around his waist. She could feel his hard cock pressing against her center. They sat making out for a little bit. “You want my cock, Mamacita?” “Si, Papi.” “How much?” “I NEED it inside of me.” He swam them to the side of the pool and turned her around as he entered her from behind. She held onto the side of the pool as he thrusted into her. “Oh Papi,” she moaned as he went deeper and harder inside of her. “Say my name, Elizabeth.” “Oh, Rafael.” “That’s better, mi amor,” he said as he bit down on her neck and started sucking hard. “Rafa!” “Keep going, baby. Do I fuck you good?” “Yes, Rafael. You fuck me so good.” “Whose pussy is this?” “Yours, Rafael.” “Forever?” “Forever, baby.” “You only get wet for me, si?” “Si, Rafael.” “Come for me, baby. Come all over my cock.” “I’m try…I’m…oh my god!” “That’s right, Elizabeth. Come all over this Cuban cock.” Her walls clenched around him as she came hard. “Fill me up, Rafael.” A few more thrusts and he did what she said.

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“Thank god you had a vasectomy,” Izzy laughed after they finished making love for the third time since they had arrived. “You’re not kidding,” he laughed as he caught his breath. “Thank you, Rafa.” “For what, mi amor?” “Loving me.” “You don’t make it hard,” he said stroking her face. “Don’t lie.” “Baby, all marriages and relationships have their issues. I know I’ve said it a million times but I’m sorry I doubted Ethan’s paternity.” “It’s been 2 years…” “I know but I still feel bad about putting him through that. He was just a month old when I did that. That was one of the worst things I could do. I know you’d never cheat on me.” “Of course not,” she said leaning up and kissing him. “Just like I would never cheat on you.” “I know you wouldn’t, Rafa.” Get dressed in that white dress Erin packed for you. We’re going out tonight.” “Really?” “Yes, ma’am.” It was a white summer dress and since they were in tropical climate, it only made sense.

They went to dinner at some little dive with wonderful food then onto a bar. Izzy saw Rafael talking to the DJ but didn’t think much about it. He came back with beers for the two of them. “You are so beautiful, you know that?” “And you are so handsome.” One of Izzy’s favorite songs from the “Cocktail” soundtrack, “Oh, I love you So,” started playing. “Would you care to dance?” “Of course, Rafa.” One thing about that Cuban man, he could dance to whatever was playing. Izzy loved dancing with her husband to that song. “What did you do,” Izzy asked after the song was over. “I might’ve told the DJ how much my wife loved the ‘Cocktail’ soundtrack and slipped him some money.” “After 20 years, you still manage to amaze me.” After they finished their beers, UB40’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” started playing. “Did you…” “No, I honestly did not. Would you like to dance again, mi amor?” “Yes, I would.”

After a week of making love without worrying about interruptions, they had to go home. Sonny & Amanda had offered to pick them up. “Nice beard, Counselor.” “Don’t get used to it, Carisi. It will be gone by Monday.” “Unfortunately,” Izzy pouted. “I’m sorry, mi amor. You know Jack’s rules.” “I know but I still like when you don’t shave.” “So, how was the second honeymoon?” “It was wonderful, Amanda.” “That’s code for non-stop sex.” “Jealous?” “Nope. I’m good,” Rollins laughed. Izzy and Rafael exchanged knowing looks.
Lucia and John brought all 5 kids home around 4. “Mami? Where’s Molly?” “We told her to take a few days off. We can handle our grandchildren.” “Wait, ‘our grandchildren’?” “You know what I mean, Raffi.” “Well Mami, I was just about to start dinner. You guys are more than welcome to stay.” “Yes, Mami, Izzy is making Lechon Asado, like Abuelita used to.” “Well, if I know my daughter in law, I know she can handle it, but I will be happy to assist. John, is that okay with you?” “Anything you want, Lucia.” “Rafael, why don’t you help me get some drinks?” “Sure, babe. John, scotch?” “Of course.” “Mami?” “Any kind of wine is fine with me.” “I can’t believe these words are about to come out of my mouth, but John really makes Mami happy, doesn’t he?” “He does.” “She deserves it as horrible as my father was to her for 30 plus years.”

“How can I help?” “Lucia, I think I got everything under control. You want to taste it for me? I’ve never done this one before.” “Oh my god, it’s perfect. Better than Mama’s, may she rest in peace.” “Really?” “Absolutely. Izzy, I need to talk to you about something.” “Sure, Mami. What’s going on?” “I don’t know how Rafi is going to react to this so if you know first, maybe it’ll soften the blow a little.” “Are you sick?” “No, nothing like that. John has asked me to marry him and I said yes.” “You’re kidding?” “No. How do you think Rafi will react, honestly?” “You’re a grown woman. You’ve been widowed for years. He just commented earlier that John makes you happy.” “He did?” “Yes. I think it’ll be okay.”
“Dinner was perfect, Izzy.” “Thank you, John.” “So, there is something we need to talk to you two about,” Lucia said as Rafael cleared the table. John had offered to help but they never let their guests do the cleaning up, unless it was Sonny ha ha. “I can hear in the kitchen so go ahead, Mami.”

“Well, John and I have been dating for about a year or so and we recently decided to take the plunge ourselves.” The plates crashed into the sink, startling everyone. Rafael just came out of the kitchen, with a blank look on his face. “Okay, what?” “John and I are getting married.” “Uh…wow. I mean, I…I…I…I’m trying to process this.” “Rafi, John makes me happy. Happier than I have been in decades. I loved your father, even though he wasn’t the greatest husband or father, but I loved him in my own way. With John, it’s different.” “I’m happy for you, Ma.” “Really?” “Of course. John? Congratulations,” he said extending his hand. “Thank you. I promise I will treat your mother with nothing but respect.” “I know that.” “So, have you thought about a wedding of any kind,” Izzy asked. “Just something small. You two, the squad, of course, Cragen.” “A few of my friends from the school, naturally. I’m guessing no more than 20-30 people.” “Why don’t we have it here on the back porch?” “Are you sure?” “Absolutely. Rollins, Erin, Liv, and I can handle planning it.” “And how are they going to feel about you volunteering them without their knowledge?” “They’re my best friends, Rafa, I think they’ll be okay.” “And Izzy? I want you to be my maid of honor.” “Really?” “You have always been the daughter I never had. You make my son so incredibly happy and you’re the mother of the five most beautiful grandchildren I could have asked for.” “I’d be honored.” “And my new son, I’d like you to be my best man.” Rafael couldn’t help but laugh when Munch called him that, “Of course, I will, John.” “So, how soon are you wanting to do this?” “We were thinking in a month.” Rafael was shocked that his mother had said she wanted to get married so soon. “A month, Mami, really?” “Like we said, we want something small. Plus, I’m not getting any younger.” “Okay, okay. I’m sure your daughter in law and her ‘best friends’ can handle it.”

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Lucia & John’s wedding was small but beautiful. Izzy really spared no expense, which Rafael really “loved” but it was his Mother after all and he remembered how miserable his father made her for years. She put up with his drinking, womanizing, gambling, physical, emotional abuse; she deserved to be happy and she obviously was with John. Rafael surprised Lucia & John with a trip to Cuba for their honeymoon. They had been under the impression the wedding was their gift but that wasn’t enough according to Rafael. The small wedding and reception was fun. “If everyone would quiet down for just a minute, I’d like to say a few words,” John said standing up. “I walked into the 16th precinct one day, just for a visit, when I saw the most beautiful woman talking to a young Italian detective, who I remember choked a man for spreading HIV to women.” “Thanks for that, John.” “She did it after the confession of course.” Izzy just shook her head as everyone laughed. “Anyways, after speaking to her for a moment, she introduced me to her visitor as her mother in law. I couldn’t believe this woman had given birth to Rafael, but then again, I thought he was much older than he is. Due to his knowledge, before anyone gets the wrong idea. I ended up running into this beautiful woman later and asked her to dinner. The rest as they say, is history. With you, Lucia, I’m not only getting a wife and partner, but I’m getting a son, a daughter in law, and 5 of the most wonderful grandchildren. Those are things I never expected to have, and I thank you for coming into my life. I will spend the rest of my days doing everything I can to make sure you’re happy.” John’s speech even brought tears to Rafael’s eyes. “Papi, why you crying?” “Papi’s crying cause he’s happy, Quinn.” “You can cry when you’re happy?” “Yes, you can, and right now Papi is very happy.”

“Maybe her son’s better off with Social Services,” Fin said as they were going over their most recent case. After finding a 4 year old boy wandering around the park alone, with a gun in his backpack, which he pulled on Liv, the squad found an arsenal of weapon’s in the apartment of the parents. The mother, Ana, was a Bosnian national here on a student visa, her husband Luka Terzik was an American citizen. “Liv, we got something,” Erin said hanging up the phone, “Facial recognition got a hit on a traffic cam 20 minutes ago. A man identified is Luka Terzik and a woman in her 20s looks like Ana, right? They were entering Central Park on the west side of 72nd Street.” “1:00 in the afternoon. There are thousands of people in the park. Check to see if there are any concerts, plays, events. Go Now!”

An off duty police officer was killed, four people wounded, two critical. Izzy fired the shot that killed Luka, while Ana cried for help. While under interrogation, she claimed her husband and brother in law had abused and raped her, forcing her to go along with their plan. Everyone else, including Barba was more focused on the terrorism plan, than the rape. “You're playing into their defense. The more you investigate this, the more you legitimize her story.” “So, you’re telling me to ignore it?” “Just be careful. This case is too big, it's too important, given what's been happened in recent years; San Bernardino, Orlando…” “Dallas, Paris. I know. People are fed up.” I understand that, but Ana needs to go down hard. No matter how heartbreaking or tragic her story might be. Right or wrong, that's just how it is.” This was turning out to be the hardest case Izzy & Barba had ever worked on. They were constantly fighting over it, either at home or at the office. “The rape claim has nothing to do with the criminal charges. It could make her more sympathetic in the eyes of a jury. Raise the question, ‘Was she really a willing participant in the crime?’ Put the brakes on the rape investigation for now, till the trial is over. Let the defense claim rape all they want.” Things got even worse, when Rita Calhoun asked Izzy to testify at a hearing to include the rape accusations. “

"Sergeant, are you currently investigating Ana Kapic's rape allegations?” “Yes, I am.” “Do these allegations appear credible?” “Absolutely. I am convinced without a doubt that Ana Kapic is the victim of a brutal and forcible sexual assault.” She could feel her husband’s eyes on her and for the first time, it wasn’t a good feeling. She was able to testify and avoid Barba for the rest of the day.

When he walked into their apartment, his briefcase hit the table with a sound she had never heard. It wasn’t the normal thud but more like a crash. She came out of Ethan’s room, shutting the door. “Are you a cop or a defense attorney?! You are aware that our goal is to win a case?” “Yes. What did you want me to do, perjure myself?” “Well, I didn’t think my own wife would sandbag me in court! Do you know the lecture I got from McCoy, Dodds, and the Mayor because of your little stunt? They’re livid. Already looking for a head to serve up on a shiny, silver platter. They stuck their necks out with the Feds just to get this case. Losing is not an option. So, please, pretend you're on our side not theirs.” “But rape is rape. We don't get to invent our victims or our perps. We hear the evidence, and we investigate unless, of course, you're a Muslim woman who's accused of murder, and then we just throw you under the patriotic bus and live our merry lives.”

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Ana made a deal, put her brother in law, who was actually the father of her son, in prison. Her sister took the boy back to Bosnia. A month of constant fighting, Rafael sleeping on the couch took its toll, even on the squad. “You remember when you were a kid and your parents would argue and you’d feel like you were in the middle? That’s exactly what this feels like,” Carisi told Amanda. “They’ll work through this right?” “They’ve got to.” “Hey, Sergeant. Can I see you in my office?” “What’s up, Lieu?” “You did good on this.” “Meaning?” “You did exactly what I would’ve done. Rape is rape. So why don’t you go home to your kids make up with your husband, and relax for the next day?” “Are you sure? This isn’t some sort of leave where I come back and find out I’m being transferred, is it?” “No,” Liv laughed, “I can see that you need a day or two to decompress. I know the feeling. Cragen would look out for us the same way with particularly tough cases.” “Thanks, Liv.”

“Molly?” She expected their Nanny to come out of Ethan’s room but instead Rafael came out. “Hey.” “Where’s Molly?” “I sent her home for the day when I got home.” “I’m…” they both spoke at the same time. “You first.” “I’m sorry for letting this case come between us. You were doing what you thought was right, what you were trained to do, and I should’ve supported you better with Dodds, McCoy, and the Mayor.” “I put you in a tough spot.” “SVU isn’t black and white, like you always told me in Brooklyn.” He put his arms around her waist, “What’s with that look?” “You haven’t let me kiss you in a month.” “Why should I now?” “Because I apologized?” “Yeah, it does take a lot for you to admit when you’re wrong.” “Funny.” She put his arms around his neck and pulled him to her. That kiss, led to an even deeper kiss, which led them to their bedroom. He wanted to take his time with her since it had been so long. By the time they finished, they both had tears in their eyes from the level of intimacy they just shared. “I love you,” he whispered. “I love you, too.” Ethan had woken up so Izzy started to get out of bed. “No, you stay here. I’ll get him.” No matter what had happened that past month, in that instant she never forgot why she loved him.

“Sergeant can I have a word?” “Sure Liv,” Izzy said getting up from her desk and following Liv into her office. “What’s up?” “Have a seat.” “Okay?” “I am about to take some time off.” “Really?” “Yes. Brian has moved back in with me, as you know, and we are about to take in a foster child.” “Really?!” “Yes. Her name is Brittany, she’s a year old, and Dodds has approved me for 8 weeks maternity leave.” “So, I’m going to be in charge again?” “Yep, for at least two months.” “Hell yeah.” “I don’t expect you to take it easy on the squad.” “Of course not.” “That means Erin, too.” “I know. So, when do I take control?” “Tomorrow.” “That soon?” “Yes. We are picking her up today.” “Wow. Okay. Well, congratulations.” “Thank you.” “How’d Noah take the news?” “Are you kidding? He’s excited about having a baby sister around.”

“Are all the kids asleep?” “Yes, mi amor. Are you ready to take command tomorrow?” “Yes, I am.” “Well, how about we celebrate you’re taking command tomorrow?” “And how did you want to do that, Counselor?” He went to the closet and took another tie out while taking the blue one off he was already wearing. “Strip,” he commanded. She took off all of her clothes. “Get on your back.” Again, she did as she was told. He took the ties and tied both of her wrists to their metal headboard. “Rafa…” “I didn’t say you could speak,” he said sternly. He took his mouth and went to work on her. It drove her crazy not being able to touch him. As she was starting to come, she wrapped her legs around his neck, but he shoved them down and kept going. “Rafa…I’m going…to…come…again.” He let her get the second one out all over his face. “You made a mess on me, mi amor.” “I’m sorry.” “Get it off of me.” “Wha…” “No questions. Just do it.” She started licking herself off of his face. He stuck two fingers inside of her then shoved them in her mouth. “See how good you taste, mi amor?” “Si, Papi.” He started taking off his clothes as she watched. His dick was so hard and standing at attention. He stroked himself as he played with her clit, getting her close to a third orgasm, but he stopped before she could come. “Please, Papi?” “Please Papi what?” “Please but that huge Cuban cock in me.” “I thought you’d never ask,” he said as he slammed into her. He fucked her into their mattress, causing her to yell his name every time he pushed into her. She finally got a third orgasm out and he came inside of her at the same time. “Get me a towel.” “No. I want to watch my cum drip out of you,” he said as he held her legs apart.

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“Oh my god, Rafael.” Izzy thought she was dreaming that her husband was eating her out hard and fast. She woke up to find out that she was wrong. He was buried deep in between her legs. “Rafa…” “Shh, mi amor. I want you to have a good first day as commanding officer.” “Oh my god, keep going.” He kept moving his tongue all around her clit before sticking it completely inside of her, fucking her with his tongue while rubbing her clit with his thumb. “Oh…my…god…fuck…Rafa…el.” He didn’t waste any time once she came all over his face before thrusting inside of her, making her squeal. “Shh, cariño. The kids are still asleep.” He pumped into her hard and fast as she slapped his ass, which he loved. “Come for me, cariño.” “As…if…you had to ask,” she said as she came for a second time. She decided to flip him over and have her way with him. She slid off of his cock then slowly slid back onto just the head for a little bit, driving him crazy. “Put all of me inside of you, mi amor.” “Not yet,” she said as she continued to tease that huge Cuban cock of his. “Fuck, I can’t stand the teasing anymore, Elizabeth,” he whined. With that, she slammed his cock into her. “OH MY GOD,” he screamed. She rode him until he came but she wasn’t finished. “Tell me what I can do, mi amor.” She took herself up to his face and sat on it. He went at her again, hard and fast. She pulled his head into her making sure she got another orgasm. She came all over his face again. She moved off of him, looking at his glistening face.

“Are you ready for your big day?” “Yes, I am,” she smiled. She took a shower, he had taken one the night before. “Are you not going to wash your face?” “I want to taste you on me all day.” “Rafael Barba…” “Yes?” “You are such a dirty man.” “Why? Cause I love my wife and the way she tastes?” “At least brush your teeth.” “Well duh,” he laughed, “I’m not shaving so I’ll still be able to…” “Pervert.” “Really?” “Oh, I guess not. Don’t expect any kisses from me…” Before she could finish her sentence, he grabbed her and shoved his tongue practically down her throat. “Damn you.” “You love it and you know it.” “Unfortunately, I do,” she laughed.

“Good morning, detectives.” “Oh jeez,” Amanda laughed. “What, Rollins?” “Nothing, Sarge.” "No, what?" "I'm guess you got laid...good last night." "And this morning," Izzy smirked. “We got a case,” Erin said as she hung up her phone.

“Vic took a bad beating. Lost lots of blood. Obvious signs of sexual assault. Someone did her with a pipe,” Rollins explained to Izzy at their latest crime scene. “We recover it?” “Yeah, didn't have to look too far. It was in the bathroom, next to the vic.” “Who found her?” “Mom and daughter.” “Did they see anything?” “Male. Black. 30s.” “That ought to narrow it down. Okay.” Turns out the vic was transgender woman named Eva. Upon further investigation, Izzy and Erin found out she had been involved with a rapper named Hype. Hype had found out that his producer Vincent Love’s business partner Cash Lewis had been the one to attack Eva. She ended up dying because of her injuries. Hype then went and sought revenge, killing Cash. The case was putting Izzy & Rafael at odds. “Look, the guy finds out that the love of his life has just died after being beaten and raped with a pipe. I mean, it sounds like heat of the moment to me.” “No. He had three hours to cool down. He stole Vincent Love's gun. Then he drove 60 blocks looking for his victim, and he shot him in cold blood. To me, that sounds like murder.” “Well, if the victim wasn't such a hate-filled, pipe-wielding rapist, then I'd be more inclined to agree with you.” “From a legal perspective, that's irrelevant, and you know that as well as I do.” “I know, but from a human one, it's not. Cash killed Eva because she was transgender. Is the world really gonna be a worse place because Hype does 5 years instead of 20?” Internally, he agreed with his wife, but he still had a job to do.

They walked into the interrogation room, “I’m going to indict you for murder first thing tomorrow.” “Randall acted in self-defense,” his lawyer spoke. “Mmm. We disagree,” Rafael countered back, “The evidence doesn't add up. But the good news is I'm here to offer you a deal, sir. Man One. I will, however, need you to allocute so that the judge and the public knows why I'm offering you such a good deal.” “What's that mean,” Hype asked. “That means you need to tell the judge what really happened: that you killed Cash in a heightened, emotional fit of rage because you loved Eva,” Izzy explained. “This ain't got nothing to do with nobody named Eva.” “Okay, Hype. Don't be stupid.” “I shot Cash over a business dispute! In self-defense! Like I said, I ain't no faggot.” “That kid thinks, because he's in love with a transgender woman, that he's gay. He's confused.” “Well, I tried. It was a good deal. Almost too good. Either the guy has got a lot of confidence in his lawyer…” “Or he's being handled. That lawyer is in Vincent Love's back pocket. Any time one of his rappers gets jammed up, good old Hampton gets a call.” “So?” "So? So, the real client is Vincent Love, not Hype.” “He's allowed to pay the legal fees as long as there's no conflict of interest.” “No conflict? He just talked Hype out of the best deal that he is ever going to see, because he's protecting Love's brand. They're transphobic, homophobic, and if they have to sell Hype out in the meantime you know, convince him to stay street so be it.” “Mi amor, I don't disagree, but it's not my problem. I've got a trial to win. “Look. I think Vincent Love orchestrated the attack on Eva.” “Oh, you're not gonna let me get out of here,” he said before turning back to his wife as she stood in Benson’s office. “He's the one who had Eva thrown out of that party. He told Cash to pay her off. When she refused, he told Cash to beat her.” “Go on.” “Vincent Love has too much to lose. Hype was supposed to be the next big thing. His golden goose. He has the looks, the talent, the attitude. The only thing that could possibly screw that up was Eva.” “Izz, it's a little late in the game for this, don't you think? Do you have any evidence anything at all, to back this up?” “No.” “Well, then, you got to let it go. Or find some, fast.” “So, you will get me a warrant for Love's office? His studio?” “Yes,” he said hanging his head as he walked out. His wife had clearly exhausted him, but he trusted her instincts.

They met with Hype and his lawyer a few days later. “I told you we are not ready to plead to any charge that is gonna force my client to lie about some fictitious relationship with a transgender art student.” “We all know that it's not fictitious. And so does Vincent Love, your boss. We've been searching his texts, his emails, his studio, but you already knew that,” Izzy revealed. “Is there a point to this meeting, or are you guys just really bored?” “Here's the point, smartass,” Rafael said slamming a recorder on the table playing a recording of Cash & Vincent planning an attack on Eva. Hype still wouldn’t take a deal and went to trial where he was found guilty. “Three lives destroyed all because some woman named Eva was born a boy.” “I just read Hype's single hit number one.” “That's all that really matters.” “Come on, mi amor. Let’s go home,” he said taking her hand.

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Izzy, Erin, and Amanda had been in Barba’s office discussing the upcoming trial of their latest case. The four of them walked out, still talking. As they made their way down the stairs, gunshots rang out. The three officers drew their guns and Amanda took off running. In all the panic, Izzy lost sight of Rafael, only to turn and see him on the ground. “Erin,” Izzy screamed. She called for an ambulance. Izzy was practically bawling as she tried to slow the bleeding from the wound in his shoulder and the one in his abdomen. She was covered in his blood. The EMTs got him stable and transported him. He tried to talk. “Shh. Save your strength, love. You’re going to be fine. I promise.” He nodded before the morphine kicked in. Liv, Fin, Sonny, Erin, Rollins, & Jack McCoy rushed in. “How is he?” “He’s in surgery. A bullet hit his liver so they had to do an emergency laparotomy. Now they’re working on his shoulder.” Liv held her. “Our Rafael is a fighter,” McCoy said rubbing her back, “he’s going to make it.” Lucia & John came in. “Izzy?” “Mami!” They both held each other as they cried. “I’m so sorry. I should’ve been in front of him.” “Hey, shh. Don’t blame yourself. He’s going to be okay. He will make it just for you. He lives for you and the kids.” “Sergeant Barba?” Her legs felt weak as she walked over to Dr. Goldenblatt.

“He’s going to be fine. He lost a lot of blood so we had to give him two transfusions. He’ll need therapy for his shoulder and barring anything else, you should be able to take him home in a few days.” “Thank you, Dr. Goldenblatt,” she smiled through her tears. She turned to everyone and by her expression, they all breathed a sigh of relief. She followed the doctor to his room. He looked so small and so pale from the blood loss. She held his hand as she cried. A pained look came across his face as he groaned, “What happened?” “Baby, you were shot.” “What?” “You don’t remember?” He shook his head. “Any idea who might’ve…” “Rollins tried to chase whoever did this down. I think she came up empty.” He just kind of nodded. Her phone rang. “Barba. Hey, Melinda. Yeah, he’s gonna be fine. Really? Already? Okay. Thanks.” “What did Warner have to say?” “The gun Amanda found was mostly wiped clean, other than a partial print on the barrel.” “Who’d it go to?” “Felipe Heredio.” “What?” “He was paroled three weeks ago.” “And he’s still after me? Wonder who’s paying him now? Munson went to prison, not just for the rapes but for killing Dodds.” “I’m gonna let your Mom come in and I’m going to tell Liv.” “Okay. I love you.” “I love you, too.” “Okay, so I’ll have Erin, Fin, Rollins, & Carisi start busting down doors…” “He’s smarter than that, Liv.” “You’re right. You stay here with Barba. I’ll handle this.”

After 4 days, Rafael was able to go home. “I know why you didn’t mind getting shot,” he said as Izzy helped him into their bed. “What? Having someone take care of you.” “Nope. The drugs,” he laughed. “Get in bed.” “Hey, this isn’t a bad time is it?” “No, come in, Liv.” “We still haven’t located Heredio.” “Great.” “I want a security detail on you two until we find him.” “Liv.” “Sergeant, don’t fight me on this, please. He might know Rafael is still alive and try to finish the job or come after you.” “I don’t think he’s that stupid.” “You’re as stubborn as your husband. This is how it’s going to be until he’s locked up again.” “Fine.”

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“I’m going to the office. Will you be okay while I’m gone for about an hour?” “I’m a big boy, mi amor.” “Okay, I won’t be gone long. Want me to pick up lunch?” “Sure.” “What sounds good?” “Whatever you feel like will be okay with me.” “Okay. I love you,” she said as she kissed him. “I love you, too.”

She had almost made it to the precinct when someone grabbed her arm. “Don’t make a sound, Sergeant.” It was Heredio. “What do you want, Heredio?” “My boss wants to see you.” He pushed her into a black SUV. He kept his gun on her as they sat in the backseat. They pulled up to a townhouse in Washington Heights. “Out.” It was empty. “Search her,” a voice all too familiar said. “I should’ve known you were behind this, Yelina.” Heredio slammed her onto a metal chair and zip tied her hands together. “If only I would’ve hired decent help. Someone that knew how to shoot,” she said as she shot Felipe. “See, those bullets were meant for you.” “What did you think, you were going to kill me and he’d coming running to you? Are you that fucking deluded?”

“Okay, her cell phone is off. The last ping came from Washington Heights 7 hours ago.” “He got her. Where were your detectives?” “Barba, you have to calm down.” “Are you seriously telling me to calm down? My wife is missing because the security detail you insisted on didn’t do their job!” “We are going to find her.” “You fucking better.” “Lieu, look. The last hit on the Sergeant’s phone was right outside this townhouse. It’s owned by Yelina Ortiz.” “Who?” “Yelina Munoz. Ortiz was her maiden name,” Barba interjected. “So, she hired Felipe to go after you and…” “No, I was collateral damage. She was going after my wife.” “Erin, Fin go watch the house and see if anyone comes in or out. I’ll get everyone else. Barba go home.” “No. I’m coming.” “No, you’re not. We don’t know how dangerous the situation is.” “Don’t care. That’s my wife.” “Fine but you are not to get out of the vehicle at all.”

“We got Felipe’s brother, Jose, in the ESU truck.” Barba walked in the truck. “Jose, look at me. My wife dies in there, you’re on the hook for felony murder, you got that? So, you help us or you’re gone.” “All I did was drive. My brother is in there.” “Okay, call him. I want him out here.” “Hello?” “Yelina, let me talk to Felipe.” “I’m afraid he’s unavailable at the moment.” “Yo, what you mean?” “Well, if he had done the job he was hired to do, I wouldn’t have to do it myself. I can’t stand incompetent people,” she said as she hung up. “She killed him,” Amanda realized. “And she’s gonna kill your wife next.” Before he could even think, Barba used his good arm, and punched him. He stood with pure anger in his eyes. Erin and Fin made their way around the back and found a way in. One of them made a loud noise that distracted Yelina enough for Izzy to kick her to the ground and the gun went flying out of her hand. Izzy raced to grab it. She pointed it at Yelina and cocked the hammer. “Don’t fucking move.” “You never deserved him.” “And you did? Wasn’t it you that ran into the arms of his best friend while he was away at college?”

Erin & Fin ran in and cuffed Yelina. “Sergeant, you okay?” “I’m a lot better knowing she’s going to prison for the rest of her life.” Fin took his pocket knife and cut the zip tie off of her. “You want to do the honors, Sarge?” “Sure, Erin. Yelina Munoz you are under arrest…” she read her her rights and walked her out the front door. “Of course, she would be held captive and then walk the perp out herself,” Cassidy laughed, “you got a hell of a woman, Barba.” “She’s got a lot more balls than most men,” Dodds chuckled. “Here ya go, Carisi. Take this trash to the precinct for me.” Rafael walked up. “What are you doing here?” “You never made it to your office. I got worried. I had to make sure you were okay.” “Why don’t you two go home and I’ll come by for your interview later.” “No. Let me talk to her, just for a minute,” Izzy half pleaded. “Fine, but behave.”

“We have you on murder, attempted murder of a DA, kidnapping, stalking, what else, Erin?” “Conspiracy.” “Oh yeah. I always forget that one,” Izzy said playing the idiot, “Let’s see, Alex will be out before you’re ever even offered parole. Anything you want to say?” “You think you’re the love of his life?” “Oh, here we go with this again,” Izzy said rolling her eyes, “Okay, I’m listening.” “He never stopped loving me.” “I’m glad you think so. See? You were ambitious, a little too much in my opinion. You didn’t want the Ivy League educated lawyer. No, no. You had to have the ‘man of the people’.” “He was a ‘man of the people alright,” Erin laughed. “As long as those people had vaginas. Damn, I have to stop saying whatever comes to my mind.” Yelina couldn’t stand being mocked by Erin & Izzy and tried to stand up but she was cuffed to the table. “Whoa, simmer down, now.” “Rafael took away the most important person in my life.” “Ah, jeez. Rafael didn’t send and exchange nude photos with a 15-year-old. Get over yourself already. Apparently, you weren’t doing something right, Yelina. You know what Rafael does to me every night? Hmm? You want to know how he fucks me and calls my name?” “Fuck you, bitch. He was mine first.” “Actually, you were second but I’m last. Get her out of here, Erin.” “Gladly.”

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Rafael was asleep when she got home. She bent down and kissed him on the forehead before she went to start dinner before the kids came in from their after-school activities. “Mami!” “Shh! Guys not so loud. Papi is sleeping.” “Is he still hurting?” “Yes, he is Quinn. He’s going to be for a little bit.” “I remember when you got shot in the arm.” “Yeah, cause your Aunt Erin took me on wild goose chase, Harper,” she laughed. “Is he going to be okay?” “Yes, baby. It’ll be a few weeks but he’s going to be fine. His arm with be in that sling like mine was and his liver will heal itself but he’s going to be back to his old self in no time, Khloe. Now, you guys go do your homework. Connor, Quinn, go get your iPads and work on your letters.” “And I will take Ethan and…” “You can go home, Molly. He can stay in here with me.” “Are you sure? I know with Rafael being hurt, you’ve got a lot more to deal with.” “I’m sure. Thank you.” “Okay. Well, I will see you tomorrow, handsome,” she said rubbing his head. “You can help Mami with dinner, Si?” “Si, Mami.” She sat him in his high chair while she kept cooking. “Hey,” Rafael said placing a kiss on her cheek. “How are you feeling?” “My incision in my stomach is itching like crazy.” “I’ll doctor it after your shower but that’s also a good sign. How’s your shoulder?” “Stiff.”

“What are you doing?” “I’m picking up my son.” “You are not supposed to be lifting more than 5 pounds. Ethan weighs 20.” “Stop treating me like I’m helpless,” he yelled at her, scaring Ethan in the process. “Shh, it’s okay. Papi didn’t mean it,” she said trying to comfort him. Rafael went to their bedroom and slammed the door. “What’s wrong with Papi? I heard him yell.” “He’s frustrated, Khloe. He’s never been hurt like this before. It’s hard for him not being able to work, needing help doing stuff he’s never needed help with before.” “I hope he gets better soon. I don’t like when he yells.” “Me either. Why don’t you take Ethan to your room for me?” “Okay.”

“You want to explain what that was about downstairs,” Izzy asked as she sat on the bed next to Rafael. “Why didn’t he just kill me?” “What?” “It would’ve been easier, and you wouldn’t have an extra person to take care of.” “You took care of me…” “That was different, and you didn’t snap on me in front of the kids for trying to help you.” “Well, you only snapped in front of Ethan..." "Which makes me feel worse. I know the rest of them heard me.” “It’s understandable that you’re frustrated, and I know how hard it is for you not to be able to do things that you normally do. It’s only been two weeks.” “I know. I’m sorry for yelling and for scaring Ethan.”

Rafael took his shower and stood wrapped with a towel wrapped around his waist. “Oh, Mr. Barba?” “Yes?” “I think the nurse will see you now,” Izzy smiled. “Oh?” “Yes, Nurse Izzy needs to check your stitches.” “By all means.” She ran her fingers through his chest hair lightly, placing kisses on his neck. “You know I can’t…” “Ah-ah. Let Nurse Izzy take care of you.” “Yes, ma’am.” He laid back on the bed as she doctored his incisions. She started stroking his cock slowly, so he wouldn’t risk busting any of his stitches. She took him in her mouth and he just leaned his head back onto this pillow. “Fuck,” he let out quietly as she kept going slowly. They’re sexual activity had been extremely limited, but she knew he needed a release. Since it had been a while, it didn’t take him long to shoot his release down her throat. “Sorry,” he said with a sort of embarrassed look on his face. “For what,” she laughed. “Not lasting longer.” “It’s fine. That usually happens when we abstain. Once these stitches come out, we’ll make up for it.” “You know I will,” he smiled.

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“How’s the Counselor doing?” “Going crazy, as per usual, Carisi. He’s out of the sling and almost finished with PT but McCoy won’t let him come back until he receives an actual medical release.” “Maybe I should see if he might want to go do something tomorrow night.” “I am begging you, please, get him out of my house before I lose my shit.” “Copy that, Sarge.” “Barba driving you crazy?” “For the past two decades, Erin but it’s so much worse right now. I mean I literally thought about throwing my hair dryer in the tub with him the other night.” “You’ve always said that if you haven’t contemplated murder then you’ve never been in love.” “Yeah but I’m too pretty for prison.” “Well, you should see if Molly will put in some overtime and while Carisi takes Barba out, you, me, & Amanda go do something.” “That is a good idea. Tomorrow is Friday and we haven’t been out since before he got shot.”

She was woken up to Rafael grabbing her. “What is it? What’s wrong?” He had a death grip on her arm and his breathing was erratic. “Okay, just calm down. I’m here.” He couldn’t even speak. She got out of bed and got his Valium and a glass of water. He sat up, took the medicine, and drank the water as she stroked his back. His breathing finally returned to normal. “Was it another nightmare?” He just nodded. “I think you need to see someone.” “No.” “It’s obvious you have PTSD after…” “I said no,” he said firmly. She reached over and tried to kiss him, but he pulled away, “just don’t.” “Okay,” she said removing her hand from his face. She had tried to be supportive, but he really was pushing her limit. It seemed he had become a shell of his former self. The last time they done anything sexual was the blow job she had given him a few weeks back. He wouldn’t see anyone, no matter how much she begged. He’d just numb himself with Valium and scotch. It had even seemed like he had lost interest in the kids.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with him. He won’t listen to me, no matter how much I beg,” Izzy told Erin & Amanda as they sat at Brady’s eating burgers and drinking beer. “Well, did you seek help after you got shot,” Erin asked. “No, I was shot in the shoulder. I didn’t take a bullet in my liver. He could’ve died or been paralyzed had it hit a few inches one way or the other. He knows that and he’s not dealing with it. He’s not himself anymore at all.” “You’re not falling out of love with him?” “No, Amanda. I just want my husband back.”

“So, when do you think you’ll be back in your office, Counselor?” “I’m not sure,” Barba said taking a drink of his scotch. “Well, we need you back, man. O’Dwyer doesn’t have near the balls you do.” “I’m working on it is all I can say.” “Are you?” “What do you mean?” “Still having the nightmares?” “Of course, Izzy told Amanda and Amanda told you. It’s nothing. I’m handling it.” “Well, after the ex-cop almost shot me, I had problems sleeping for a while. I’d dream of his blood being all over me. I just couldn’t erase that image.” “I’d rather we not talk about this, Carisi. I said I’m handling it and that’s what I’m doing.”

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Izzy had ordered Chinese one night and they sat for another quiet dinner. Everyone had gotten used to the silence that had filled the house since Rafael had been shot. Harper and Khloe helped clear the table as Rafael took Ethan for his bath. Quinn & Connor played in their rooms until it was time for their baths. Khloe went into Ethan’s room where Rafael was getting him ready for bed. “Papi?” “Yes, Khloe?” “Why are you sad?” He looked at his 8 year-old-daughter kind of confused. “What makes you think I’m sad, princesa?” “You’ve been different since you got hurt. You don’t play with us anymore. You don’t kiss or hug Mami when she comes home from work. You don’t talk. You just sit in the bedroom or your office.” “What Papi went through was very hard. I’m trying to get better.” “That’s all we want. Especially Mami.” “What makes you say that?” “I know it was wrong but I heard her on the phone with Aunt Erin the other day and she was crying saying that she missed you.” Hearing those words coming from his 2nd oldest brought tears to his eyes. He sat her on one knee and Ethan on the other. “I promise you, all of you that I will do whatever it takes to get better, Khloe.” “Don’t cry, Papi,” Ethan said placing his hand on Rafael’s cheek.

Izzy had gotten Quinn & Connor to bed and was getting ready for bed herself. Her nightly routine consisted of making sure not an inch of her legs, arms, and torso were left untouched by lotion. She wasn’t high maintenance, she liked whatever fruity stuff she could find from Bath and Body Works. Rafael stood in the door way as he watched his wife rub the lotion onto her legs. “You need some help?” “You can do my back,” she said smiling at him. Her favorite scent of the moment was Oahu Coconut Sunset. He took the bottle from her and started at her shoulders. He had her wrapped in his legs as he went down her back. “I’m sorry, mi amor,” he whispered as he placed soft kisses on her neck. “For what?” “Being selfish.” “What do you mean?” “I have shut down since I was shot. I’ve pushed you away and I’ve pushed the kids away. You’ve been right. I need help.” “Are you sure?” “Yes. The Valium only stops the anxiety, it doesn’t stop the nightmares.” “Okay.” He turned her face toward him and kissed her with so much passion, they fell back on the bed. “Can I make love to you?” “You never have to ask, Rafa.” He took his time with her. It was something they both needed. They were drenched in sweat once they finished. He bent down while still inside of her and kissed her again. “I love you.” “I love you, too, Rafael.”

“Why have you been so hard on yourself over this,” Dr. Lindstrom asked Rafael during his third session. “Yelina was after my wife. If I hadn’t have been walking in front of her, she would’ve been shot, not me.” “But your wife usually wears a bullet proof vest.” “Usually but she wasn’t that day. It was my ex-girlfriend from over 20 years ago that came after her.” “She confessed to ordering the hit on Izzy.” “Right. All because she still blames me for her husband going to prison for child pornography.” “So ultimately, you blame yourself for the hit being order on Izzy to begin with?” “Yes.” “And have you told her that?” “No. She’ll just tell me how I’m supposed to feel.” “And what’s wrong with that? Rafael, you’ve been together for almost 21 years, you have 5 kids. Sometimes our partners are the only ones that can get through to us because they know us better than we know ourselves.” "What if she had never met me? A threat wouldn't have been made on her life." "You don't know that. She's an officer for the NYPD. Not everyone is her friend in this city."

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“So, are you ready for your first day back,” Izzy asked as she tied Rafael’s purple tie. “I am,” he smiled. “Good.” “I’m sorry…” “Hey, what did we say? No more apologies. Right?” “Right but I still have to thank you. I don’t know how you dealt with me…” “It’s because I love your stubborn ass, against my better judgement,” she laughed. He slapped her on her ass. “Hey! You better watch it, Counselor.” “Or what?” “I might have to pull out ’25 Acts’ and find someway to punish you,” she said as she grabbed him by his tie and kissed him. “Uh, ew!” “What is it, Harper?” “I just came in to give Papi a hug and wish him good luck on his first day back, but I had to find you two making out instead.” “How do you know what making out is?” “Papi, I’m going into the 5th grade.” “So?” “Okay,” Izzy laughed. “Now, Mami & I expect you to help Molly with Quinn, Connor, & Ethan, entiendes?” “Si, Papi and I’ll get my allowance for helping.” “Exactly.” “Okay, come on. We’re going to be late. We already have a case.” “Of course, we do,” he laughed as he hugged Harper.

A young woman was found raped and murder matching a series of others that we had started investigating. Liv had a funny feeling about it and insisted on investigating it. Izzy & Barba were unsure if her gut feeling was good enough to continue looking, but Liv pushed on. Izzy & Carisi met the boyfriend and Izzy’s opinion soon matched Liv’s. "Attention,' what do they pay attention to?" Carisi frowned at Izzy. "According to their website, everything. You know, you do a search for a flight to Chicago, you start getting ads for warm gloves and Cubs hats." "Oh, these are those bastards?" He looked around slightly as she chuckled. "Yeah, they data mine your internet usage, and then they sell it to advertisers. 'Truth through Transparency' is their motto. They want the world to be able to see everything, no privacy." "I'd think the police would like that. If nothing can be hidden, there can be no crime. Am I right? Sergeant Elizabeth Rossetti, uh I mean Barba, from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, graduated from FDR High School a year early, married to ADA Rafael Barba and Detective Carisi, proud graduate of Tottenville High, Prince's Bay, Staten Island." A tall nice-looking guy came up, "How can I help you?" "That's great." Carisi looked irritated, "You always do background checks on your guests, Mr. Willard?"

“I’m telling you, Barba, this guy is like a stalker, controlling boyfriend.” “Which one of us are you talking to here, Carisi,” Rafael asked pointing between him & Izzy. “My bad.” Everything pointed to David Willard. He hacked the NYPD server and all hell broke loose. He blackmailed Fin’s rope guy to the point he ran and was going to commit suicide; Fin & Amanda were able to stop him. Izzy went to Barba about saving the case. “I’ll get you warrants for the computers in his office and whatever else I can.” “Thanks,” she said as she placed a quick kiss on his cheek and headed to get the squad. Liv was home with Noah so she called and let her know what was about to go down. “This is your show. You got it. Nail the bastard.” “No problem there, Lieu.”

"Hands off the keyboards,” Izzy started as she walked in, each of them stepping in behind her. "Tell your employees not to touch a thing,” Fin added. "This is private property, unless you have a warrant, which I don't see," Willard spat. "It's on its way," She brushed past him. "Nobody touch a thing until I say so," Izzy called out. "You can't just tell me to stop my business." Willard stood behind Izzy as her phone buzzed and she answered. "Rafael, we all set? What? Why?" "What's going on?" Amanda walked over to Izzy as they all turned towards her. "Barba just said he's off the case, and he has to recuse himself," Izzy looked shocked. "Why?" Carisi walked over. "I don't know." She shook her head as Willard got cocky. "Let me guess, somebody finally realized this whole investigation makes no sense and told you to back off." "That's not gonna happen," Izzy glared as they all left the building.

Izzy ran to 1 Hogan Place just in time to find Rafael leaving. She caught up to her husband, “What do you mean you’re off the case?” “I had to recuse myself.” “Why?” “I…I can’t tell you.” “You can’t tell me? I’m your wife.” “This is for the best. You have to trust me.” “Oh, so I should trust you, but you don't trust me? How does that work?” “You're making this personal and it’s not.” “It is personal now! Would you stop? Just talk to me. What happened? I have a viable suspect for a brutal murder. I need those warrants.” “You see that building over there? There's a whole floor full of ADAs. Ask one of them. Right now, it's the best that I can do. I’m sorry, mi amor,” he said as he placed a kiss on her forehead.

"My girlfriend was just murdered. This is outrageous!" Willard flared a little rage as Izzy, Fin, & Erin walked back into the office with a few techs. "You mean overdue,” Izzy replied. "No, I mean outrageous. You're not supposed to be here," He pushed back. "Why? Because you didn't see it on email or because it's an old-fashioned, handwritten warrant,” she quipped as she pushed past him. "Officers are searching your apartment and car right now," Fin finished as he started his task, "Hands off your computers." "You're wasting your time." "Okay, we will need access to all of your hardware and the servers that they're linked to. NYPD will be transporting them, and they'll be returned to you when our search of its contents is complete," Izzy addressed the workers. "That's quite the speech. Did you rehearse that on the way over here? Where'd you get this warrant anyway? Your husband? I thought he was smarter than that. You need to keep your eye on him.” “You need to step aside now.”

"Barba was getting us a warrant, then all of a sudden he didn't?" Fin said as everyone looked down, "I'm open for another explanation, but it makes sense to me. What do you think, Iz?" Fin looked at her. "I don't know. I think we need more information.” "Like this? A uni found a burner cell in the garbage outside of Willard's apartment. Here's the outgoing call list. Okay, you got one call to Bennett's office," Carisi paused. "We knew that," Amanda added. "And then one call to Barba's office," Carisi continued. "Told you it made sense.” "Who else did he call,” Izzy asked "There's a bunch of calls to a number in the Bronx. Ashtonja Abreu." Izzy knew the name but wondered why she was being involved. “Let’s go to the Bronx, Erin.”

“Detective Rossetti, Detective Harris?” “Ashtonja. You’ve certainly grown. I’m surprised you remember us.” “You and Detective Harris were the only ones that were nice to my mom. Is this about that DA?” “What about him?” “I’m not like my mom.” “I know that. Ashtonja, tell me what’s going on.” “The other detective said there was some corruption thing.” “What other detective?” “The one that came to me the other day asking all these questions.” “Was this the guy,” Erin said showing her Willard’s picture. “Yeah, that’s him.” “Honey, he wasn’t a real detective.” “Oh my god. I’m so sorry.” “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

"You need to speak. Now," Izzy said rushing toward Rafael at the bar in Forlini’s. "About?" "About what you did. How Willard got to you. Ashtonja Abreu." "You talked to her?" "Yeah, and Willard talked to her too. He seems to think that you're paying her for sex." "I know. He told me,” he said as he shut the books and stacked them neatly in his spot. "He told you? Right before you called off getting me those warrants?" "Yes, come here," he motioned her to a booth, "Of course, you know Willard got it wrong. We knew Ashtonja's mother, Marianna. She was a heroin addict. And she was a witness in a case against a guy who raped and killed two women. She was the only witness. Remember that case?" Izzy nodded watching her husband intently. "On the day of the trial, she showed up so strung out she could barely talk.” “And the judge wouldn't give you a recess.” “Right. Marianna asked for a loan." "And you gave it to her." "Yes." "Knowing that she would buy heroin." "Yes." She could see the shame in his eyes. "And?" "She bought what she bought and she did what she did, and she got on the stand. She buried the guy. Remember?” “Yes, I do.” “She sent a really bad man to prison for the rest of his life, and she died of an overdose, eight hours later, leaving behind her ten-year-old daughter.” “Who you've been giving money to ever since." "She lives with her grandmother. They're broke. I help out. Willard must have hacked my bank account, tracked down Ashtonja." "Is that where that extra $500 a month has been going everything month these past few years?” He nodded. “Why didn't you tell me this?" "I thought I was protecting you and the kids by not telling you. Plus, I didn't wanna compromise your case. You might've been accused of having a vendetta against Willard." "I can still be accused of that. You’re my husband.” "I also wanted to talk to Ashtonja first. If this goes public, she's right in the middle." "How bad is this gonna be for you?" "Uh, it depends on the district attorney. I told him everything.” Her phone buzzed. “Uh, I’m wanted at 1PP.” “Great,” he said rolling his eyes. “I’ll see you at home.” He kissed her long and good. “I love you.” “I love you, too.”

“Chief? You wanted to see me?” “You’re going to have to step away from the Willard case.” “Why?” “Sergeant, your personal computer was apparently hacked.” Her eyes narrowed. “There is a very revealing video…” “Oh my god. How far did it get?” “Not far enough. Don’t worry. McCoy has no idea about it. From what I can tell, it was sent to your squad. Rollins is the one that called me on it. TARU is getting it wiped from wherever Willard has it. That’s why you can’t be the one to arrest him. You’ve gotta let Fin take lead on this.” “Okay, Chief. I understand.” “I knew you would.”

She went back to the squad. “Just so you know, none of us watched it,” Fin said as she sat at her desk. “Thanks.” “Well, I didn’t mean to but now I know why Barba’s so cocky.” “Amanda!” She shrugged. Turns out, the TV in Willard’s girlfriend’s apartment recorded him murdering her. After Willard was arraigned, Barba had a meeting with McCoy. “I'm so sorry about all of this, Rafa.” “What I did was wrong, but the truth is I'd do it again. Not everything done in the dark is shameful.” “So now what?” “I have a meeting with the DA in five minutes. He'll tell me what happens next. You know, I love this job. Oh, I really do, but sometimes…” “Oh, I know. I’ll be right here when you get out.” “Okay,” he said as he kissed her. “Ti amo piu thab di qualsiasi cosa, Rafael (I love you more than anything),” she said as she pulled him in for a tight hug.

She was worried what the outcome would be for her husband, but she knew they would be fine. She smiled as he walked in to face the firing squad. Izzy waited on the steps for what seemed like forever; it was only 30 minutes. “Well?” “One-month suspension, no pay; just after I came off of 2 months medical leave. Is 1:30 too early for the bar?” “You want my opinion or society’s?” “I want your company.” She put her arm through his as they walked down the steps.

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Izzy brought Rafael chocolate covered espresso beans, his new favorite snack to his office on his first day back after his suspension. “You shouldn’t have, mi amor,” he smiled taking the box from her hand and undoing the purple ribbon, popping three in his mouth at once. “How could I not?” “Let me guess, you have a case.” “Yeah and it’s not good. You remember Heidi Sorenson?” “From HNT? Yeah.” “Well, you know Liv went on her show the other day and she admitted to Liv she had been raped.” “Jesus.” “Yeah, it’s not good.” “Which cases of ours have ever been good?” “I know, love.” “Okay, tell Liv to get me the specifics and I’ll see what I can do.” “Thank you, gorgeous,” she said as she leaned down and kissed him. “Hey?” “What?” “Why don’t we go away for a long weekend sometime soon?” “Hmm, like where?” “Maybe a cabin in the woods?” “Really? Rafael Barba in the woods?” “Why not?” “Okay. Let’s get a handle on this and then we can go.” “I love you, mi hermosa esposa.” “And I love you, mi marido guapo."

“So glad that’s over,” Rafael said after Harold Coyle, the head of HNT took a plea, “So about that weekend away?” “Book it and I’ll be ready,” Izzy said wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him in for a kiss. “Can you believe we have a child in 5th grade, one in 2nd, and we still have 3 in preschool?” “If I would’ve known this would happen in 1997, I would’ve never gotten with you.” “What?” “I’m kidding, Rafa,” she laughed. “So, what if I already booked the weekend away?” “I would say, you are the most amazing man. When do we leave?” “Tomorrow.” “What about the kids?” “All taken care of, mi amor.”

They had a 5-hour drive ahead of them to the cabin he had rented for them. “Remember when I was just starting out as an ADA, you were in the academy, and we were broke?” “Yes,” she laughed. “Remember the first time you kissed me?” “Yes, I do. You know you wanted it.” “I sure as hell did. You were so fucking hot in your cheerleader uniform.” “Rafael.” “You know you were,” he laughed. “I never imagined you would allow me to be your man.” “How could I not? The way your tongue massaged mine…” she didn’t finish her sentence as he took her hand and placed it on his dick. “Wow. We still have 45 minutes.” “There’s a rest stop about 5 miles up the road.” She put her hands down his pants and started massaging his cock. He couldn’t get to the rest stop fast enough. They were in the back seat of the Range Rover he had rented within a matter of seconds. She bent over as he took her from behind. “Oh my god, Rafael! Fuck me! Harder!” It was like the one scene from “Titanic”; the windows were so fogged up and she pressed her hand against one for leverage, it left a streak.

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They had finished the dinner they had cooked together when a thunderstorm hit. “Well, that’s just what you want,” he joked. “I seem to remember having sex on the balcony of your old apartment in the rain." "You're not suggesting..." "No, there's too many cabins around here. Let's just get comfortable and see where the night takes us.” “Mi amor?” “Yes?” “Why did you pack so many of my ties? We’re only going to be here for 3 days and I didn’t bring any suits.” “Hmm, I might’ve had an idea…or two.”

The rain hadn’t let up after two hours. They watched TV when the satellite wouldn’t cut out. The electricity finally gave it up and went out. They had already been prepared and found all the candles. “How’s that for romance,” Rafael laughed. “Follow me,” she said leading him in the bedroom. “What did you have…” she didn’t even let him finish before she practically threw him onto the bed. He was 4 inches taller than her, weighed at least 50 pounds more but she could toss him around like a bag of potatoes when the mood struck her. She kissed him hard and fast, causing him to moan when he could breathe. She got off of him and ordered him to take his clothes off. “What about you?” “Did I say you could speak?” “No ma’am,” he smiled. “Then don’t until I say you can. Now lay back.” She took two of his ties and tied both of his wrists to the bed rails. She then got another one. “You look like you have a question, Counselor.” He nodded. “Ask away.” “What are you going doing with that tie?” “Close your eyes,” she smiled. He felt the silk across his face. “It’s not too tight, is it?” “Not at all.” “Good,” she said as she bit down on his neck causing him to moan her name. “You’re still dressed.” “In time,” she said between sucking marks onto his neck. One of the candles was still burning on the night stand next to the bed, so she grabbed and started letting the hot wax drip onto his stomach. “Fuck!” “Does that hurt?” “Only in the best way, mi amor.” He couldn’t see the devilish grin on her face as she dripped some more onto him. He was hard as a rock by now.

She had left him tied up and blindfolded long enough to get undressed before setting herself on his face. “I shouldn’t have to tell you what to do.” And she didn’t. He knew his place at that moment and started in on her. She pulled his hair as his tongue drove her to her first orgasm. It drove him crazy not being able to touch her. “You’re not finished,” she scolded. “Then come back over here.” “Hmm, no. You’re going to use your cock or rather, I am.” Even though he couldn’t see, she knew he was in one of his favorite positions, riding him with her ass facing him. He had always loved her ass and he would grab it and spank her when she rode him like that. “You’re not getting close, are you?” “Yes,” he managed to get out. “Then I guess I better stop for a minute. Let you check up,” she said as she got off of him. “Are you going to let me touch you?” “I’ll let one hand free. You are not allowed to remove the other two ties. Got it?” “Got it.” She let one hand free and it was a wonder he didn’t erupt once he finally got to touch her. She climbed back on top of him and started again, this time facing him. She pushed her lips onto his, lightly biting his bottom lip. She finally freed his other hand and let him see her. His hands went straight for her ass, pulling her faster on his cock. They reached for each other’s necks at the same time, pushing each other into the best kind of orgasm. They were cloudy headed, but it felt amazing.

They laid in each other’s arms afterwards, he caressed her arms as he lightly kissed her neck. The lights finally came back on. “I needed the fan,” he laughed. “You and me both.” “What got into you tonight?” “We don’t get to experiment like we used to.” “It’s hard with 5 kids, mi amor.” “I know and I’m not complaining about our sex life at all. It’s just fun when we can try new things or go back to things we used to do when we were younger. I mean I’ll be 38, you’ll be 44 next year. I still like to feel young.” “You are young cariño. I’m the one turning gray.” “Pssh, barely. Carisi has more gray hair than you and he’s 10 years younger.” “That’s true. What do you say we take a bath?” “That would be a good idea. I am drenched in sweat,” she laughed. “Oh and I’m not?”

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“Okay, truth or dare,” Liv said as she, Erin, Amanda, and Izzy sat in Izzy’s back porch, having drinks. Liv & Brian were finally getting married, so this was their version of a bachelorette party, while the guys were in the house playing poker. “Uh, truth.” “Oh, come on Izzy. I went in and flashed Carisi.” “That’s because you’re a pervert, Amanda.” “Okay, okay. If that’s what she chooses…” “Thank you, Liv.” “Big nerd.” “Fine, I’m not playing anymore.” “Okay, I’m just kidding.” “Okay, what do you want to know?” “Where is the most unusual so to speak, you and Barba have every had sex?” “Uh, the alley on the side of Forlini’s.” “WHAT?!” “What? It’s not unusual for us to have sex in his office. The twins were conceived on his desk.” “You two had sex in the alley…” “Yep.” “When was this?” “You only get one question at a time, Liv.”

“Okay, Izzy you’re turn again.” “Fine, dare.” “What?” “I’ll give you one.” “You have to do something that will distract Barba…” “Oh come on.” “I got it.” “What, Erin?” “Go in the bathroom, take off your panties, and go put them in this lap.” “Fine. Gimme a minute.” She went inside and did what Erin asked. “How’s the game going,” Izzy said putting her arms around his shoulders. “Fin is kicking our asses.” “Oh, okay,” she said kissing the back of his neck before discreetly dropping her panties into his lap and ran back outside. They could see the guys from where they were sitting and they all saw the look of shock when Barba realized what he picked up out of his lap. “You are in so much trouble”, he text her. They all died laughing when she showed them the text. “You guys are so nasty.” “What are you talking about, Rollins?” “Oh, come on. We all saw his neck after your trip to the country. His collars didn’t hide those marks that well.” “Oh my god, you two don’t even know…” “SHUT IT, Erin!” “No, we want to hear this,” Liv laughed. “Back when we lived together, and he’d come in on the weekends and when he’d stay after he moved to Brooklyn, you could hear them all through the apartment. We got complaints from one of the neighbors because of how loud they would get.” “Who was louder?” “Amanda!” “I could only deduce that it depended on what position they were in, especially when I could hear something being smacked.” The four of them were laughing so hard.

“They’re out there talking about sex,” Cassidy laughed, pointing to the four women on the porch. “What else is new,” Barba said rolling his eyes, “Liv, Amanda, and Erin know more about me than I’d like them to I’m sure.” “Well maybe if you wouldn’t come to work looking like a leper.” “Jealous Carisi?” “I can only imagine what the rest of you might look like when I see your neck like that.” “I’ll tell you this, I’ve gotten in the shower more than once and my back was on fucking fire, if you know what I mean.” “Damn,” Fin laughed while making a sort of pained look. “Why do you think I don’t allow her to have those artificial nails anymore? The real ones do enough damage.” “I hope I’m still at it like that when I’m your age.” “My age?! What the fuck?” How old do you think I am, Junior?” “46-ish?” “Try 43, son.” “I’m as offended by that as you are, Barba,” Cassidy laughed, “You act like being in your 40s is old.” “Well, I’m just in my 30s.” “Sex is better when you’re in your 40s.” “My sex life has always been good.” “That’s because you’ve been with same woman for 20 years and everyone knows you two are freaks,” Fin laughed. “Hey, we know what we like,” Rafael shrugged.

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“So, what kind of trouble am I in, counselor,” Izzy asked as she laid on their bed after everyone left. “I’m still deciding,” Rafael said taking the tie he had worn earlier that day, wrapping it around his hand. “But you are needing punished.” “Who? Me?” He ran his hand up her shirt to find she wasn’t wearing any panties. “Not even going to make me work for it?” he said, grabbing her and pushing her against the wall, pinning her arms above her. “Tell Papi what you want,” he whispered as he kissed her neck, alternating tiny bites. “I want Papi to take his thick, Cuban cock, and fuck me with it.” “Where?” “You want to fuck me in the ass, Papi?” “Sounds like you want to be punished.” He took off her shirt and tied up her wrists.

“You don’t come until I say you can. Entiendes?” “Si, Papi.” He worked his way down her body. The faster his tongue moved, the harder it was for her to hold on. “I didn’t give you permission for that,” he said looking up at her. “Sorry, Papi.” He got off the bed and started undressing. “You’re gonna show me how sorry you are. Get over here.” He bent her over the bed, smacked her ass, and started fingering her. “You are so wet, mi amor. Who are you wet for?” “You, Papi.” “Whose cock do you love inside you?” “Yours, Papi.” “Don’t move.” He walked over to his nightstand and pulled out a bottle of astroglide. He made sure to be very generous with it, due to his size. He took his time sliding into her.

Once she had adjusted, he slammed into her hard and fast. He grabbed a fist full of her hair and pulled her so that her back was against his chest. “You like when I fuck you in the ass, Mi Reina?” “Yes, Papi.” “Say my name.” “Yes, Rafael.” He untied the tie and she threw her arms around his neck. “Are you ready to come?” “Yes…oh…god…yes.” He began rubbing her clit and then stuck two fingers inside her. It took maybe 45 seconds and she swore she had an orgasm in both places he filled. He came right behind her. He waited until he started to go limp before sliding out of her. He turned her around and kissed her.

“It’s been a while since we’ve done that,” he laughed as she laid on his chest while he played with her hair. “No kidding. We can’t really do that when the kids are home though. There’s no possible way for me to quiet.” “I could always tie one of my ties around your mouth.” “Now there’s a thought,” she laughed, “but I don’t know how much that would actually help.”

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The squad got another case that crossed over with Chicago PD, bringing Voight, Halstead, and Dawson to New York. “You gonna be okay working with Jay?” “I’ll be fine, Fin. It’s been almost 3 years.” “Well, you lemme know if he does anything. I got your back.” “I know, Fin. Thanks.”

“I don’t like the idea of you working with Halstead.” “Raf, look, I don’t have a choice. Liv isn’t going to let me off the case just because you don’t like Jay.” “He fucking kissed you, while you were pregnant with Ethan, knowing you were married.” “He didn’t know I was pregnant.” “No, only Nick did.” “Stop.” “Fine but he does one thing…” “Okay, Bronx boy, calm down. I can handle myself.” “I know. I just worry.” “I will be fine. If he tries something, I’ll just pistol whip him.” He halfway laughed at his wife’s joke.

After they closed the case, both squads went out for drinks. After a few beers, Izzy didn’t feel so well, which was unusual. She could hold her liquor, better than most men. “Here, I’ll help you get in a cab,” Jay said walking her out of Brady’s. “You need some help with her?” “Nah, Dawson, I got her.” “Okay, get to feeling better, Izz.” “Thanks, Dawson,” she slurred. “Izzy okay,” Erin asked as Dawson came back in. “Yeah, Jay was making sure she got in a cab.” “Okay.”

Izzy woke up in a bed she knew wasn’t hers. Her head was killing her. Her lip felt busted. All of a sudden flashes came through her head. She remembered feeling bad and leaving Brady’s with Jay. Then she remembered Jay kissing her. She didn’t know how she got to the room, but she remembered Jay taking her clothes off. She told him to stop but he wouldn’t. He kept telling her how much she wanted him, and he knew it. When she told him to stop, he had kissed her so hard he busted her lip. She pulled her knees to her chest and cried. “What are you crying for,” Jay asked as he came out of the bathroom. “Wh…why?” “You seemed to enjoy it.” “No, I didn’t.” “Maybe I need to refresh your memory,” he said holding her back down. She froze as he pushed himself inside of her. It hurt but not the way Rafael hurt. All she could do was lay there and cry while Jay raped her again. It was hard for her not to whimper but she was in so much pain. “Wipe yourself off,” he said after he finished on her. She wanted to throw up.

“You haven’t seen her since last night,” Rafael asked everyone in the squad. “She got in a cab and was heading home. She started feeling bad after only 2 drinks,” Erin told him. “Her phone is off, and she would never not come home.” “I’ll call Jay.” “Jay? Why would you call Jay, Erin?” “He put her in a cab.” “Why wouldn’t you have done it?” “Okay, Barba calm down. Have you checked with her sister or her brothers?” “Yes, Liv, I’ve called everyone.” “Lieu, we got a problem.” “What is it, Fin?” “I need to talk to you in your office.” “Okay. What’s going on?” “That was a nurse at Mercy. Izzy was raped last night and this morning.” “By who?” “SANE nurse hasn’t been in yet. The maid at the Standard found her. Should I tell Barba?” “No. I’ll do it.”

Chapter Text

“Why can’t I see her?” “You know I have to take her statement. They’ve gotten DNA off her, finished the rape kit…” “I want it rushed. I want to know who did this to my wife.” “Barba let me talk to her, please.” “Fine, Liv. Do what you need to do.” “Hey,” Liv said going into the trauma room where Izzy was. She just kind of looked at her. Before Liv took her statement, she just hugged her. “Tell me what happened.” She told Liv what she could remember and what happened that morning. “Did you know who it was?” She nodded. “Who?” “Jay.” “Jay? Halstead?” “Yeah.” “I’m calling Voight before they get on the plane. He’s bringing him back here now.”

“I will fucking kill him.” “You have got to stand down when they get back here.” “No way in hell is that happening.” “I will put you in the holding cell if I have to.” “Fine but you better put Halstead in there with me.” “Just go sit with your wife.”

“You’re sure? Okay. Thanks, Melinda.” “What did Warner say?” “The DNA definitely belongs to Halstead.” “That son of a bitch,” Erin said. “When are they supposed to be back here?” “Any minute now.” “If Barba doesn’t get to him…” “Fin, come on.” “No, Liv. That’s our sister sitting in that interrogation room. He fucked with one of our own.” “Okay, what’s so important that I had to bring me & detectives back,” Voight said as they walked into the precinct. “Sergeant, why don’t you & I go in here. Halstead, will you go with Fin & Rollins?” “Uh sure?” Liv & Voight walked into the interrogation room where Rafael was sitting with Izzy. She felt numb and she wouldn’t even let Rafael hold her hand. “Sergeant Barba, what happened to you?” “You want to know what happened to my wife?!” “Barba, please,” Liv said trying to keep him calm. “Izzy, you want to tell Sergeant Voight what happened?”

“Please, she come onto me. It was completely consensual.” “Come on, Halstead. She was drugged,” Fin said throwing the lab report in front of him. “We have your DNA all over her, not to mention the damage you did.” “It was her idea to come back to my room.” “We pulled security camera’s. She couldn’t hardly walk, player.” “Just tell us why,” Amanda said getting in his face. “You want to know why? She wanted me all through college. She was just tied down. I gave her what she’s been wanting for years.”

“Are you calling my wife a liar?!” “No, now I didn’t say that but are you sure…” “I was raped! I know what happened!” “Okay, let’s all calm down.” “Look, Halstead is a stand-up guy. One of the best detectives I have.” “That may be, but I have seen some flip the switch quick.” “Yeah, he’s such a stand-up guy that he kissed my wife three years ago.” "Look, let me talk to him." "You know I can't do that," Liv told him.

Chapter Text

Erin went in after Fin threw Jay against the wall. “Detective. Lieu thinks you need a break.” “Yeah, you’re right. You and Rollins can deal with this sack of shit. I’m done.” “What the hell were you thinking?” “You know what I’m thinking? I think I want a lawyer.” “Fine. Let’s go Rollins.” “So, what’s up with pretty boy,” Fin asked as Rollins & Erin came out. “What do you think?” “He lawyered up. Claiming it was consensual. Fucking bullshit. Izzy would never cheat on Barba. No fucking way.” “We all know that Fin, but we know how this going to go. He’s going to claim she liked it rough, which we know how & she Barba get.” “That doesn’t matter. That’s her husband. I doubt he’s ever hurt her like that,” Rollins said.

Rafael took her home, so she could shower finally. Every time he touched her, she’d brush him off. The doctor had given her some pain meds and anxiety meds. He helped her get into bed. He turned on a season of “Glee” without even making a smartass remark and let her lay down. She didn’t fall right to sleep. She just laid there and cried. She should’ve fought. Why didn’t she? She’s been trained for this her entire career. She had helped several victims and now she was one. How would Rafael feel about her now? Would he look at her the same? Would he still feel the same about her now that he was no longer the only man she had ever been with?

Rafael couldn’t prosecute the case himself, so McCoy called in a special prosecutor from Chicago, Peter Stone, to handle the case. Halstead had hired Buchanan of all the lawyers in New York. Stone promised Izzy and Rafael that there was enough evidence to go forward. He was being held at the Manhattan Detention Center until his trial. Stone kept trying to get him to take a plea, but he wouldn’t. Izzy sank into a deep depression.

“Sergeant Barba, you went to college with Mr. Halstead, is that correct,” Buchanan asked. “Yes.” “And were the two of you close?” “He, Erin Harris, Antonio Dawson, & I lived in the same hall.” “Would you two party together?” “Occasionally we all would. We were in college.” “Did you ever have a physical relationship with Mr. Halstead?” “No, I did not.” “Oh, that’s right. You’ve been with ADA Rafael Barba since 1997, isn’t that right?” “Yes.” “No part of you ever wanted to be more than friends with Mr. Halstead?” “Objection!” “Sustained. Mr. Buchanan stick to the actual facts of the case.” “On the night in question, you knowingly went out with the squad from Chicago after closing a case with them?” “Yes.” “And then what happened?” “I drank two beers and started feeling more intoxicated than usual.” “More than usual? So you drink often?” “Objection.” “Sustained. I’m not going to warn you again.” “Then what happened?” “I wanted to go home so Jay offered to walk me to a cab.” “And then?” She choked up. “Sergeant?” “Then next morning, I woke up in a bed that wasn’t mine and I was sore and my lip was busted.” “So you automatically assumed you had been raped?” “I knew I had been.” “How so?” “He raped me again that morning.” “But how can you be sure? Maybe you just like it rough.” “No.” “Maybe you didn’t want to admit that you had an affair on your husband…” “NO!” “You were afraid of getting caught.” “No,” she was bawling as he kept going. “Objection!!” “That is it! Mr. Buchanan, I hereby find you in contempt,” Judge Barth said, ordering him out.

Chapter Text

Court was recessed for the day, with Jay, who had posted bail, going back to the hotel he was staying at with Voight and Dawson. “You need to stop all of this and take a plea,” Antonio said as they had drinks in the bar. “Dawson, I didn’t do anything she didn’t want.” “Yes, you did. I saw you put her in that cab that night. She was too out of it to do anything. What did you give her?” “Nothing you need to know about.” “How could you, man? As long as we’ve known her? Don’t tell me you’ve had a thing for her all this time still?” “Why do you think I dated Erin? To stay close to her. You really think her & Barba are going to be together forever?” “Yes, I do.” “Look, I got what I wanted.” “Yeah and you’ve ruined her life in the process.” “She’ll live.”

Dawson took the recording Jay had no idea he was making to Stone, who played it for Jay & Buchanan. “You can imagine what’s going to happen if I play this in court.” “We'll plead guilty to sexual abuse in the third degree.” “He'll go on the registry. Probation, community service, no jail time.” “Fine. He'll resign his position as detective first.” “Protecting his pension,” Stone scoffed, “And he will not seek any further employment in law enforcement. I will also need you to allocute to the sexual assault in open court.” “Fine.”

After listening to Jay allocute to what he did, Rafael thanked Stone, and walked his wife out of the courthouse. Dawson came up and hugged her. “I’m so sorry, Izzy.” “Thank you for your help, Dawson.” “I should’ve insisted on him letting me make sure you got home. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.” “You don’t know that.” “Izzy?” She heard Jay’s voice from behind her. Everyone had made it outside, but no one could’ve predicted what would happen when Jay tried to speak to her. The Bronx came out in her husband. It took Fin, Brian, Dawson, and Carisi to pull them apart. “How dare you try to speak to her after what you did?!” “I was trying to apologize,” he said holding his lip. “You’re flirting with assault, Counselor.” “Go ahead, Buchanan, I fucking dare you. I’ll have every one of your cases ripped apart by the bar association if you even try it. Wouldn’t want you to miss your next meal, would we?” After the melee cleared out, Sergeant Voight walked up to her. “I apologize if you thought I didn’t believe you. I just…” “I get it.” “Come on. Let’s get you home.”

Chapter Text

“How’s she doing?” “She lays in bed pretty much all day,” Rafael told Liv. “Has she been going to therapy?” “No. She won’t talk. She takes her Xanax and Zoloft and just stays knocked out all day.” “How are the kids doing with it?” “Not well. The girls need their mom and she’s just not there,” he said as he broke down in her office. “Hey.” “I’m fine. I just don’t know what to do for her. I have sat for a month, helpless, not knowing how to help my wife. I just watch as she exist. She doesn’t live.” “She needs to see someone.” “I’ve tried to talk her into it, but she just ignores me.” “You think maybe Erin could…” “She’s tried. Amanda’s tried. Hell, Nick even called her and tried to talk to her.”

“Mi amor?” “Yeah?” “You got company.” She sat up in bed as Liv walked in their bedroom. “Hey.” “How are you feeling?” “I’m here.” “Are you?” “What do you mean?” “I mean, where’s that tough chick from Brooklyn that broke a man who was a foot taller than her nose?” “I don’t know. I look in the mirror and I don’t know who’s looking back at me anymore.” “I know exactly what you’re going through. Remember when I went undercover at that prison? Then everything with Lewis? It took time, but I worked through it.” “That’s you, Liv.” “That can be you, too.” “I’m not so sure.” “Dr. Lindstrom is always available. He’s helped me, he helped Rafael, he can help you, too.” “I’m not comfortable…” “Then why don’t you try it with someone you know to start with?” “I can’t talk to Rafael.” “Why not? He loves you.” “Does he?” “Why would you think he doesn’t?” “He’s no longer the only guy I’ve been with.” “And what happened to you wasn’t you fault. He knows that.” “He might know that but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been with someone else.”

Liv finally talked her into seeing Dr. Lindstrom. “Everything you’ve told me the past few weeks, you need to tell your husband.” “Sometimes, I think getting a divorce would be so much easier.” “So, you don’t have to face him?” “He could easily get custody of the kids as big of a mess I’ve been.” “And you think he’d be okay with that?” “No.” “You’ve never struck me as someone who was willing to give up so easily. That’s all you’ve seem to do lately.” “I don’t know what else to do.” “You have got to stop blaming yourself for starters and you have to think of everything and everyone that is important to you.”

After her session, she decided to stay out of the house for a little bit and take Rafael lunch. “Hey,” she said popping her head in to find him & Stone seemingly going over a case. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.” “Not at all, mi amor. Come in,” he smiled. “I can come back another time. Nice to see you, Sergeant.” “You too, Stone.” “What brings you by here?” “I just finished my appointment with Dr. Lindstrom and thought I’d bring you lunch.” “Thank you. How did it go?” “We can talk about it later.” It didn’t take him long to devour the lunch Izzy brought him. “Hungry?” “A little,” he laughed. “I…uh…I…” “What is it?” “Counselor, oh, hey, Izzy.” “Hey, Carisi. You know what, I’ll just see you at home.” “Are you sure?” “Yeah, I can come back.” “It’s fine, Carisi. I’ll see you later.”

Chapter Text

For the first time since everything happened, Izzy put down the Xanax and started cooking dinner. Molly came in with the kids. They all jumped on her. Sure, they’d go lay in bed with her at times, but this was the first time they had seen her dressed and actually up. “Can we help you, Mami?” “Why don’t you guys go get your homework done before Papi gets home and maybe after dinner we can go for ice cream?” They all took off running to their rooms. “Do you need me to stay to help with Ethan or anything?” “No, Molly. Rafael should be home within the hour; but actually, I have something for you.” Molly took the envelope from Izzy and pulled out a check for $2500. “Izzy, I can’t take this.” “You helped out a lot when I was going through, everything I was going through. I know Rafael felt like a single parent most of the time, but you helped him a great deal. You probably helped him stay sane, well as sane as he can be. For that, you deserve a bonus.” “Thank you.” “Now, go buy yourself or Jennifer something nice.” “No problem, boss. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Rafael came in and was surprised to find his wife in the kitchen. “Something smells good.” “It’s spaghetti night.” “Of course, it is.” He slowly put his arms around her waist. “Is this okay?” “Yeah.” “How about this,” he said moving into kiss her. She let him kiss her but not for very long. She still wasn’t comfortable with physical stuff, but he would wait until the end of time for her to be. She needed to be told that, but she also needed to tell him how she felt. She handed him his normal glass of scotch.

“So, how was your appointment?” “Uh, it was fine.” “You started to tell me something in my office.” “What? Oh, it was nothing important.” He took her hands in his, “whatever it is you should know you can tell me.” “Uh, okay…” her hands started trembling, “you know I’ve been trying to deal with everything. Taking the meds, trying to get my mind back right.” “Yeah.” “Okay, here’s the thing. You know how I made such a big deal about not giving my virginity to Nick even though we had been together for almost two years, but I gave it to you the second night we kissed?” “I remember.” “You know it was always because I felt that you were the only man I was meant to be with and now…now…I’ve…” “Stop. I know exactly where you’re going with this.” “You do?” “I know you better than you know yourself. You think because of what happened, I don’t feel the same, I don’t look at you the same.” “Well yeah,” she said as tears filled her brown eyes. “What happened to you was not your fault. The way I see it, I am still the only man that has ever made love to you and it’s going to be that way until the day I die.” “Really?” “I still look at you the same way I did when I was 23; especially that first night. Don’t you remember how I never took my eyes off of you for a second.” “I thought you were looking for signs of pain,” she sort of laughed. “Well, I was but I also loved seeing you enjoy yourself and I loved that I was making you feel that way.” "You did once I got used to you," she laughed. "There's that smile I've missed," he said moving in for another kiss. This time she didn't pull away, in fact she pulled him harder into her, causing him to let out a soft moan. They finally broke away from each other. "So, do you need any help?" "Why don't you go get changed and make sure the girls are doing their homework. I told them we might go for ice cream after dinner." "That sounds like a good idea. I love you." "I love you, too."

Chapter Text

“Okay, so everything is set. We leave for Hawaii Saturday morning,” Liv said as she & Izzy sat in her “office looking at the house they had all split for the week. “So, it’s you, Brian, me, Raf, Amanda, & Sonny…” “Erin and Peter.” “Casual my ass,” Izzy laughed, “It’s about time Amanda & Sonny finally stopped trying to pretend there was nothing going on.” “You’re telling me. So, you sure you’ll be ready to come back to work when we come back?” “Yeah, I think so.” “And how’s everything…” “I’m still not ready. I hate it for Rafael.” “He seems to be being pretty patient.” “He is. He deserves a medal. Now he knows what Nick dealt with for two years.”

“Why can’t we go with you?” “Because, Harper, this is an adults only trip. Papi & are taking all you guys on vacation this summer. Okay?” “Okay,” she said rolling her eyes. “Hey, babe, I can’t find my contact case.” “Did you already pack it?” “I might’ve. Shit I don’t know,” he laughed. “Why are you taking your shaving stuff? You’re not going to shave while we’re gone, and you know it.” “I might.” “Yeah, okay.” “You have our tickets?” “In my purse.” “Okay, the car should be here in about 15 minutes. We’re flying with Amanda and Sonny, right?” “Yeah, Erin, Peter, Brian, and Liv left early this morning.”

Sonny was like a kid when they got to the house. “Have you seen the pool? The beach is right down there! Look at the grill!” “Oh, this is going to be the longest week of my life,” Rafael said rolling his eyes. “So, Peter and Brian rented some jet-skis and they’re down at the beach.” “Can I,” Rafael asked with a puppy dog look. “Go,” Izzy laughed.
“I don’t think Amanda is, you know bed.” Brian, Peter, and Rafael stopped drinking their beers when Sonny dropped that bomb. The three of them just kind of shared a look not knowing who should speak first. “So, what makes you think that,” Brian asked. “She doesn’t seem to have an orgasm. She sometimes makes weird faces.” “Well, are you trying anything different?” “No. I mean I’m not doing anything weird to her.” “Why do I think that was pointed at me?” “I didn’t mean it like that Barba, but I know you & Izzy…” “What?” “You guys were into some freaky stuff at one point.” “Were?” “Well, I know since…you haven’t…” “Look, everything is going according to her time line. When she’s ready, she’ll let me know. But you want some advice? Start experimenting.”

“Like how?” “You have ties, learn to use to them. Let her use them on you. Let her use her cuffs on you if she wants. Buy some lube and stick it in her ass once in a while, always with permission of course.” “Barba!” “What?! You don’t think your girlfriend’s satisfied then try things. How do you think Izzy & I have sustained our sex life for nearly 21 years? We try different things.” “What else?” “Wouldn’t you like to know, Cassidy?” “Come on, give us some tips, Barba.” “Horny bastards. Okay, do you know how to go down on her properly?” “Yeah, I think so.” “Then you don’t. I can make my wife have 3 orgasms just doing that. You don’t just use your tongue, use fingers too.” “Barba’s right. Don’t just think something is going to happen just because you’re down there. You gotta make stuff happen. And get out of the bed. I sneak into the shower with Liv whenever I get the chance.” “Yes, the element of surprise is always a good one, too.” “Flip her over on her knees, spank her, pull her hair.” “Damn, Stone,” Rafael laughed, “Ask her what she wants. That’s the best way to learn.” “Says the man that’s only been with 3 women his entire life.” “One of them for half of my life, so take that into consideration, son.”

The girls sat by the pool, having some kind drinks Erin had made. Except for Izzy. “You don’t drink rum,” Amanda laughed. “Clear alcohol is for rich women on diets. I like my dark alcohol and beer, thank you. So, Erin, just how casual are you & Stone?” “Well, things are moving along, slowly.” “So, slow you came to Hawaii for a week?” “I think everyone needed to get away after the last few months.” “That’s true,” Izzy kind of mused. “So, how are things with you & Carisi?” “They practically made out the entire flight,” Izzy laughed. “No, we didn’t.” “Yes, you did!” “He’s not very confident in bed sometimes.” “Oh, there’s a shock.” “What’s that mean, Izzy?” “Please. He’s Catholic. We’re taught that sex is dirty basically. You know what you should do? Take charge.” “What do you mean?” “Tell him to strip, get on the bed, and you tell him what to do.” “Is that what you did?” “All the time.” “Hey, you okay?” “I’m fine, Liv.” She didn’t know if it was the tropical air or what but after 3 months, she wanted Rafael right then and there. She text him and asked him to meet her in their room.

She was under the covers, already naked when he walked in. “Hey…what’s going on?” “I thought you might like to take a nap with me,” she smiled. “A nap, huh?” “Yeah, you know after you make love to me.” “What? Are you sure?” She nodded pulling the covers back. He quickly undressed. “You’re sure you’re ready,” he said kissing her. “Is the door locked?” “I checked it twice,” he smiled. Of course, it hurt at first. It was very reminiscent to their first time. He didn’t take his eyes off of her as he pushed into her slowly. “Am I hurting you?” “In the best way, Raf,” she said bringing his lips to hers. After 30 minutes he filled her up as she came all over him. “Wow,” she managed to get out between breaths. “Are okay, mi amor?” “Better than okay.” Once they came down and were able to be serious with each other, he took her in his arms and kissed her. “I’m sorry it took me so long…” “You were always worth the wait, cariño.”

Chapter Text

The next morning, the ladies were in the kitchen making breakfast while the guys were still asleep after finishing off two cases of beer between the 4 of them. “I swear every time you cook, I gain 10 pounds, Izzy.” “It’s an Italian thing, Liv. You’d think Rafael would weigh 300 pounds.” Amanda came in to join them with a weird look on her face. “You okay, Rollins?” “Yeah.” “No, something’s up. What’s going on,” Izzy asked. “Okay, you know how the guys went into town last night to get more beer?” “Yeah.” “Okay, well, Sonny came back with something. He wanted to try something in bed last night.” “So, what, did he come back with a vibrator of some kind because my husband didn’t and I’m a little disappointed if they went to a sex shop and Rafael left empty handed.” “No! Nothing like that. He came back with a bottle of lube.” “So,” Liv asked. “So, he tried to…you know…” “What?” “He tried to…go up…there?”

Erin, Liv, and Izzy just kind of looked at Amanda. “He tried to go up my ass! Okay?!” “And you said ‘no’ because?” “Come on, Izzy. I can’t be that girl.” “What girl?” “The ‘up the butt’ girl. Nobody marries that girl.” “That’s what you think,” Izzy laughed. “What?” “You let Rafael…” “Every once in a while, it’s a nice little change, Liv. And honestly, Amanda, you could use a little backdoor action. Loosen you up a bit.” “How can you stand it? I mean I saw that video and…” “When you’re with someone you love, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s about trust. It’s not like you see in porn. He doesn’t just shove it in.” “When was the first time…” “I was 18 I think.” “Are you serious?” “Yeah.” “You guys are such prudes,” Erin laughed. “You do it, too?” “Well, I haven’t gotten Peter quite talked into it but I’m getting there,” she winked. “Maybe that was the problem.” “What do you mean, Amanda?” “He just tried to shove it in.” “Oh yeah, big problem,” Izzy laughed.

“You did what?!” “You suggested it, Barba.” “You don’t just shove it in like a plug into a socket! You have to take your time.” “Well, a few pointers might’ve been nice.” “Excuse me, I didn’t realize I had to hold your hand through fucking your girlfriend in the ass. Jesus. You have go a little at a time and let her get used to you before you start going. Jeez, man. Google the shit.” “What’s the best position?” “For Izzy, she likes to be on her back, but sometimes…no you know what, you know too much. Like I said, Google. You can learn so much. How else did you get through law school?” “Erin’s been trying to get me to do it.” “You totally should, Stone.” “Really?” “Yes, but don’t be like Pusherman over here. Be easy about it.” “Of course, she’d be a freak like her best friend. Hey, let me ask you something, Barba. Did they ever hook-up in college or anything?” “Not to my knowledge but it never would’ve surprised me,” he laughed.

Chapter Text

“Did you get Carisi lined out,” Izzy laughed as she and Rafael sat in the hot tub while everyone else was doing their own things. Erin & Stone had went parasailing, Liv & Brian went into town, and Amanda & Carisi went to the beach. “I hope so. I mean god damn. How dense can a person be?” “Well it is Carisi after all.” “Boo-yah, Fordham Law. We were inexperienced the first time we did it, but I still knew better than that.” “It still hurt like a son of a bitch. I couldn’t sit for a day.” “Oh, whatever. You were ready for more the next day.” “Yes, I was,” she laughed.

He pulled her onto his lap. “So, I know something I’ve never asked you.” “What’s that?” “Did you & Erin ever hook-up in college?” “No,” she laughed, “what made you ask that?” “Stone actually asked me.” “Oh. No. I would’ve told you. You would’ve probably been invited.” “Really?” “Of course. You think I would’ve let you miss out on that experience?” “Hmm.” “Don’t get any ideas now.” “That’s the only thing we’ve never done.” “Yes, but I don’t share.” “Good, neither do I,” he said as he kissed her neck. Just as she had pulled his cock from his swim trunks, Carisi and Amanda showed back up. “Mind if we join you guys.” “Why no, not at all, Carisi,” Rafael said sarcastically, putting himself away.

After about 30 more minutes, Izzy decided to get out; of course, Rafael was close behind. “I think I could use a nap, Rafa.” “Really,” he smiled. She nodded, biting her bottom lip. “Well, then you should get some rest, mi amor,” he said leading her upstairs to their room. He untied her top and then her bottoms. “I don’t care what you say, you do not look like you have given birth to 5 children,” he said kissing her stomach as she stood in front of him. He went lower causing her knees to buckle but he held onto her as he got on his knees and went at her. After her second orgasm, he threw her on the bed. “I’m so glad to have you back,” he said stroking her face as he pushed into her. She let out a loud moan/scream that scared him at first. “I’m fine,” she assured him with a smile, “Still taking some time to get used to you again.” “How do you want it, mi amor?” “Fast and hard, Papi.” He hadn’t heard that from her in months and started pounding her into the mattress as she screamed his name. They could care less if anyone heard them. After what she had been through, their sex life had been non-existent. “Are you ready to come for Papi?” “Si, Papi. Make me come again,” she said as she pulled his hair. “Ven conmigo, Mami.”

Chapter Text

After about an hour and a half nap, Izzy & Rafael came downstairs. “Feel better,” Erin smirked. “As a matter of a fact, we do.” “Sounded like it.” “Shut it, Erin.” “Peter and I could hear you outside.” “At least the 3-month drought is over.” “Carisi!” “It’s fine, Rafa. Yes, I went through something traumatic; but I have good friends, wonderful children, a loving and incredibly patient husband, and I finally feel like myself again. So yes, the 3-month drought is over. It was over yesterday actually, Carisi.” “Yes, we just kept it quiet,” Rafael said with a hint of his famous snark. “How was that possible,” Liv laughed. “I stuffed her panties in her mouth.” “WHAT?!!!!” “Oh my god, I am just kidding, sickos!” “We’re the sickos,” Cassidy asked, “you two talk about anal sex like it’s an every day thing.” “It would be if it didn’t hinder my ability to sit down.” “You two are such pervs,” Carisi laughed. “Don’t go there, Carisi,” Rafael said as serious as possible.

“Okay, seriously. How do you make a woman come when you’re going down on her,” Carisi asked as the guys were grilling. “Are fucking serious? You’ve never made a woman come while eating her out?” “I don’t know. I mean I’ve had some say they were but who knows, Cassidy?” “Oh, you’d know. I can assure you,” Rafael said. “How?” “Okay, Fordham, when you’re going down on Amanda, what is your tongue doing?” “The alphabet.” “Are you fucking serious right now?” “Yes, Barba. Isn’t that the way…” “Hell no. You have watched too many teen movies in your lifetime. I will tell you something I do to Izzy but if you tell her, if any of you tell her I told this, I’ll kill every one of you.” “Agreed,” Stone, Cassidy, & Carisi all said. “First, okay you know where her clit is, correct?” “Well duh.” “Just making sure. Take it slow. Use small, light circles; not the entire fucking alphabet. The more aroused she gets, start flicking at it, kind of like you’re teasing it. Now, don’t stop with the circles, however. Just every so often flick her clit and see how she responds. If she likes it, keep doing it, otherwise stay with the circles. Also, let her move her body but try to keep the same rhythm. Now, move your tongue from side to side, lightly though. Don’t go too fast or it’ll feel like sandpaper rubbing against her. Stay in a steady rhythm, whatever you do. Then go up and down in one long motion. Keep doing that for a little bit and I can assure you, she’ll come all over you.” “How will I know?” “Oh Christ. If her legs aren’t shaking and your face isn’t soaked, then she didn’t come.” “Wow. How do you know this, Barba,” Cassidy laughed. “I read it in an article in ‘Maxum’ in college. Izzy is the only woman I’ve ever done it on like that and it’s always worked.”

Izzy and Rafael were laying in bed that night, making out when all of a sudden, they could hear Amanda. “What the hell.” “Guess he finally listened to me.” “What?” “Nothing, mi amor,” he laughed. “What did you tell him?” “Nothing.” “You liar.” “Just shut up and kiss me.” “I had a better idea.” “Oh yeah?” “Yeah,” she said as she went under the sheet, taking off his boxers, and taking him in her mouth. “Oh fuck, mi amor. Just like that,” he said as she moved up and down on his cock. She’d speed up and then slow down. “Don’t make me come.” “What if I want to?” “What…about…you?” “Shh, Papi.” She kept going until he couldn’t hold back any longer and came in her mouth. “You like the way I taste, mi amor?” “Haven’t I always?” They could still hear Amanda calling Sonny, or rather Dominick’s name. They both just started laughing; they could hear Stone & Erin laughing from their room, too.

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“Good morning, Dominick,” Erin said as he walked in the kitchen, causing Rafael & Peter to choke on their coffee. Amanda turned beet red. “And you guys talk about me & Barba being loud, really?” Liv and Brian came down as Rafael, Izzy, Erin, & Peter were finishing breakfast. “Rafael, I swear you wife and her cooking…” “Trust me, it’s a wonder I don’t look like Jabba the Hutt.” “You are sexy as hell,” Izzy said pulling her to him, planting a hard kiss to him. “So, what are the plans for the day?” “We still have the jet-skis. Why don’t we go to the beach and use them,” Stone suggested. “That sounds like a plan to me,” Rafael smiled. “I’m driving,” Izzy laughed. “I’ve seen the way you drive a car. Are you kidding me?” “Rafael.” “Fine.”

The guys all let the girls drive the jet-skis in the ocean. Rafael kept sticking his hand down Izzy’s bottoms causing her to hit the brakes, one time throwing him off. “You did that on purpose,” he laughed as he climbed back on. “No, that was your fault. Keep your hands yourself, Counselor.” “How can I when I’m straddling such a hot blond from behind?” “You want to do that tonight, then keep your hands yourself, like I said.” “Yes, ma’am.” They finally went back to the shore after an hour or so; Brian & Peter brought down the ice chest full of beer. Amanda and Carisi were literally all over each other. “Okay, that’s enough of that shit.” “Excuse us, Barba. I think we’ve walked in on you and Izzy in your office.” “That’s because you don’t know how to knock, Carisi.” “Or someone doesn’t know how to lock the door,” Izzy laughed. “That would be you, mi Corazon.” “Me?” “You’re the last one in the door.” “Were the twins really conceived on your desk?” “Yes, they were, Cassidy.” “Oh my god. How are you going to tell them that?” “I have the perfect plan for that actually. We’re not.” “None of our kids need to know about how they were conceived.”

“Exactly, mi amor, cause they were all conceived out of love.” “Aww blech!!” “Fuck off, Carisi.” “You guys should’ve been around during the scare of 1998.” “Oh my god, Erin, can you shut up?” “What?” “I want to hear this,” Amanda laughed. “We had a pregnancy scare when I was 18, end of story. Happy?” “Wow. Imagine if you guys had a 19-year-old right now.” “I’d be dead,” Rafael laughed, “it’s bad enough we have an almost 12-year-old daughter, who started puberty when she was 10.” “Aww, poor Papi,” Izzy said planting a kiss on his cheek. “It’s not funny,” he said crossing his arms and turning away from her. “Girls grow up, that’s what they do.” “Yeah, thanks for that, Carisi. I’ll remind you of that when you have a daughter.” “He acts like she’s going to be having sex within the next year.” “Well, hopefully all of our girls will be like their Mom and wait until they find the only man they’re meant to be with.” “If only they can be that lucky,” Izzy said as she kissed him. "They better be," he laughed.

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“What’s for dinner tonight,” Rafael said wrapping his arms around Izzy’s waist from behind. “My famous manicotti.” “You mean your grandmother’s famous…” “No, no. It’s mine now.” “Out of the kitchen, Barba.” “So sorry, Amanda,” he said grabbing a piece of cucumber out of the salad and walking out. “Okay. I don’t know what Barba told Sonny about oral but oh my god, did it work.” “Well my husband is a cunninglinguilist,” Izzy laughed, “That tongue does more than obliterate perps.”

“Okay, so seriously, how do you get into the tying up thing?” “Did Carisi bring any ties?” “Of course.” “Yeah, I’m interested in this, too,” Liv laughed. “Really?” “Well, I just want to know how you start something like that.” “Okay well first, make sure he’s undressed of course. I usually use two ties, one for each hand. You don’t want to tie them so tight they cut off the circulation but tight enough they can’t get loose.” “Then you have your way with them,” Erin interjected, “it drives them crazy that they can’t touch you, trust me.” “It really does. That intensifies their orgasm.”

“Why are you guys harping on this? We never messed around in college!” “I even find that hard to believe, Izzy.” “Oh, come on, Amanda.” “Well, you two are obviously close.” “It’s called being best friends since we were 15.” “You guys, my wife and Erin say nothing happened in college, then nothing happened.” “I’m not buying it.” “You don’t have to buy it. We did nothing.” “Not nothing.” “What are you talking about, Erin?” “Yeah what are you talking about and why wasn’t I there?” “It wasn’t anything like that, Barba. You don’t remember the Sigma Tau party sophomore year.”

“I remember getting really drunk and Dawson literally carrying me over his shoulders to our apartment.” “Truth or dare?” “Huh?” “I took dare and was dared to make out with you for a minute?” “I really do not remember this.” “Guess I’m not as good a kisser as I thought.” “You’re perfect, sweetheart.” “Whoa, whoa. My wife kissed a girl and I didn’t get to see it?” “Shut up, Rafael.” “No, I think it is my right as your husband to see a replay.” “And I think you’ve had too much to drink,” Izzy laughed. “That’s very possible but it doesn’t change the fact that you cheated on me in college with your best friend,” he laughed.

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“I can’t believe you don’t remember that,” Erin laughed. “I really don’t.” “I think you need a reminder.” “Rafael!” “Come on. Just one tiny kiss and I’ll leave it alone.” “I’ll make you a deal. Liv and Amanda have to do it, too.” “Ball’s in your court babe,” Brian laughed. “I got enough alcohol in me. Rollins?” “Why not,” she said downing the rest of her vodka cranberry. Liv and Amanda lived up to their end of the deal with Brian & Carisi watching in amazement. “Okay, that was our minute.” “Fine. Don’t pull any of that shit you pull on Stone,” Izzy laughed as she and Erin went for it. There was something different about it. Erin was no Rafael, but it wasn’t bad. “Minutes up.” “Shh, Carisi. Let them go,” Rafael said. “Okay happy?” “Extremely,” Rafael said biting his bottom lip. He finished his drink and took her hand. “We’re going to bed.” He practically ripped her clothes off. “Those are my favorite…” “I’ll buy you some more.” He kissed her so fervently it was a wonder he didn’t leave a bruise on her. As they were starting to get into it when they could hear the headboard from Erin & Peter’s room pounding against the wall in their room. “Looks like someone is wanting to make this a competition,” he laughed.

“Good morning, ladies,” Liv said smiling as she came down the stairs. “Seems like someone had a good night.” “What is it about straight men and girl-on-girl stuff,” she laughed as she poured herself a cup of coffee. “Your guess is as good as mine,” Izzy laughed, “and you know all four of them were picturing things going further as they were doing us last night.” “Oh, well duh,” Erin laughed. “We had four Joey Tribbiani’s going last night,” Amanda laughed, “oh shit.” “What?” “I left Sonny tied up. I’ll be back,” she said running up the stairs. “Why did you give her that idea, Izzy?” “She asked. Trust me, I have so many more pointers I could give.” “It’s too early in the morning,” Liv laughed. “Too early for what,” Brian asked as he came in the kitchen. “You don’t want to know.”

It had been about a month since their vacation to Hawaii and the more the kids fought, the more Izzy and Rafael wanted to go back. Harper and Khloe were constantly at each other. “Remind me again why we had 5 kids.” “Because we didn’t want 6,” Izzy laughed as they laid in bed one night. “Funny. Thank god for that vasectomy,” he said as he started kissing her neck when Harper came busting in the room. “Harper, what did we tell you about knocking?” “Always knock in case you’re having Mom & Dad private time.” “Uh-huh and you choose to ignore that why?” “Khloe changed the password on my iPad and she won’t tell me what it is.” Rafael turned his head so she couldn’t see him laugh. “It’s not funny, Papi!” “Ugh, okay. Khloe!!” “Yes,” she came in and said so innocently. “What did you change your sisters iPad password to?” “Papi…” “Don’t lie.” “It’s 1234, idiota.” “Watch your mouth! Now apologize to your sister.” “Sorry, Harper.” “Now, both of you go to bed. And shut the door.” They did as they were told. Rafael started back to what he was doing. “You know what, not tonight.” “Seriously?” “Sorry, that just kind of took it out of me.” “Ugh, damn kids.” She gave him a good long kiss before settling in his arms. “Are you sure?” “I’m sure!” “Okay, okay,” he laughed, “goodnight, mi amor.” “Night.”

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“Amanda, you don’t look so good.” “Just a little tired, Sarge.” “A little tired or a little pregnant?” Amanda just stared at her. “How do you always know that?” “How many kids do I have, Rollins?” “Don’t say anything. Carisi doesn’t even know yet.” “Blame it on Hawaii,” she laughed. “Bet you’re glad Barba got cut after Ethan.” “After I spent an hour pulling apart a 12 and a 9-year-old this morning, you’re damn right I do.” “The girls still fighting?” “All the time. Khloe all of a sudden has this attitude and I don’t know where it came from.” “You know what’s coming in a few months.” “Don’t remind me. Harper is bad enough. Did I tell you what Rafael did to her last week?” “No.” “Okay, so it was her time and she was just so moody. It was terrible. Where he got the idea, I don’t know but he comes home from the office and asks if she’s still being moody to which I told him duh. Her door was shut, and he went and slid a candy bar under door, then yells down the hall ‘Satan has been fed’ and just laughed.” “I’m sure she wasn’t laughing.” “No, she was not. She wouldn’t speak to him for the rest of the night.” “He can be such an ass sometimes.” “I know you’re not just figuring that out.”

“You are seriously letting her go…” “They are going bowling and out for pizza. His parents are going to be there.” “She’s 12.” “And? I went on my first chaperoned date when I was her age.” “He better not try anything.” “Rafael, what is he going to try with his parents there?!” “Holding her hand.” “Oh my god, I better put her on birth control right now because so many girls get pregnant from holding hands!” “You think this is a joke!” “No, I think this is a ridiculous father being way too overprotective of his 12-year-old daughter going bowling and eating pizza with her boyfriend and his parents!”

“Awww,” Amanda, Erin, and Izzy said as Harper came out of her room all dressed and ready for her date. “Ugh, Mami, Aunt Amanda, Aunt Erin, stop.” “But look at you. Rafa, doesn’t she look beautiful?” “Hmm-mm,” he said finishing his drink. “Papi.” “Yes, princesa, you look beautiful.” The doorbell rang. “I got it,” Rafael said as he and Sonny walked to the door. Poor kid, Ryan, was so nervous. “Uh…hi…uh Mr. Barba.” “Ryan. I believe you know Harper’s Uncle Sonny. He’s a cop, like her mother.” “Yes, sir.” “Papi, stop!” “Here,” he said handing her three pink roses, “these are for you…Harper.” “Thank you, Ryan. Mami?” “I’ll put them in some water.” Barba just kept staring the boy down. “Ryan don’t let Mr. Barba scare you. I’m the one you should be scared of,” Izzy joked. “Yes ma’am.” “Here, I’ll walk you kids down to your parents.” Izzy started shutting the door but not before Rafael was halfway able to say, “Don’t you lay a hand on my daughter!” Izzy just rolled her eyes. “Like I said, don’t worry about him,” she said as they got in the elevator.

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“Where are you three off to,” Izzy asked as Rafael, Peter, and Carisi headed toward the door about 30 minutes later. “Going to celebrate Carisi’s impending fatherhood of course, mi amor.” “Uh-huh.” “We are going to Forlini’s for drinks. That’s it.” “Nuh-uh. You have a full liquor cabinet. The three of you can celebrate here.” “Fine,” Rafael said taking the keys to the liquor cabinet out and grabbing a bottle of scotch. “Stone grab some glasses. We’ll go to the balcony outside my office.”

“Your wife has your number,” Stone laughed. “Please, she’s had my number since she was 15. I’ve never been able to get anything passed her. I was dumb to think I could tonight,” he scoffed. “Well, at least sitting here, we can see when he brings her home.” “Good point, Carisi. Remember these things.” “So, how do you feel about Amanda being pregnant?” “I’m excited, Stone. I really am. What about you & Erin?” “We’ve only been together a few months. I mean, we have a good time together. We get a long pretty well. Who knows, ya know?” “I will say this, since you came around, she’s settled down a lot.” “Really?” “I’ve known her almost as long as I’ve known my wife. Those two, it’s surprising I didn’t start getting gray hair sooner. So, you gonna make an honest woman out of Rollins or what, Carisi?” “Well, I wasn’t going to say anything but…” Carisi pulled out a diamond ring, “I’m gonna give it to her when we get home.” “Congratulations, man.” “She’s gotta say yes first, Barba.” “Please.”

“How did you propose to Izzy?” “I didn’t really,” he laughed. “What?” “Well, I was still starting out in Brooklyn and I got stuck in a case, so I couldn’t make it to her graduation from the Police Academy.” “I bet she was pissed,” Carisi laughed. “Surprisingly, she wasn’t. I mean I could tell when I got in bed with her that night, she wasn’t happy, but she didn’t yell at me or anything. I was going to propose to her that night because we had been together almost 5 years. She laid asleep and I stayed up, watched a little tv, then I just slipped the ring on her finger. She saw it the next morning and I just said, ‘marry me’ and that was it. We were married two years later, had Harper a year after that. Khloe three years after that, the twins came 5 years after her and Ethan a year after them,” he laughed, “It’s been a hell of a 13 years, or 21 years actually.” “Speaking of, I think your little girl is home.”

The 3 of them rushed down the stairs to the door. Barba was glued to the peephole. “What’s going on?” “Shh, Carisi, they haven’t made it to the door yet.” “What the hell are you three doing?” “Shh.” “You did not just ‘shh’ me, Rafael Barba.” “I just want to make sure he is a gentleman.” “Amanda, I hope you don’t have another girl,” Izzy said rolling her eyes. “That little punk.” “Get away from the door so she can come in.” “He just kissed her!” “Oh my god, where,” Izzy mocked. “On the lips!” “Oh, Jesus Christ. Kitchen all of you.” “But…” “Now, Peter,” Erin commanded. “You are not going to say a word and ruin this for her. Do you understand me?” “But…” “Barba, I am not kidding with you.” “Ooh, you got called by your last name. That’s rough.” “Thank you, Carisi.” “Mami?” “I’ll be right there! Not a word!” She walked out to see Harper with the biggest smile on her face. “I take it you had a good time?” “Yes, I really did. He thought you were funny, Mami. I think Papi scared him a little though.” “Eh, your Papi is only scary in the courtroom. Come on, go to your room, I’ll grab some ice cream, and you can tell me all about it.” “I’ll meet you there.”

Erin, Stone, Amanda, and Carisi left while Barba, unbeknownst to Izzy and Harper stood outside the bedroom listening to Harper describe her first date and her first kiss to her Mom. “Do you remember your first kiss?” “Craig Connors, 6th grade.” “Did you see fireworks?” “No. I never felt anything like that until I kissed your dad for the first time.” “Really?” “Yeah. I’m not saying you and Ryan are going to be together forever, but it takes someone special to make you see or feel something like that.” “Do you still feel that way about Papi?” “Some days more than others,” she laughed, “but yeah. I’ve been in love with him for 21 years, since I was 17. I had a crush on him for about two years before that, but he could have gotten in big trouble.” Harper’s phone went off. “Who is it?” “Ryan. He just told me he had a good time and can’t wait to see me at school Monday.” “Aww.” “Mami.” “Okay. Well, get some sleep. I have to go calm your father down.” He didn’t quite make it away from Harper’s door soon enough. “Rafael!” “What?” “You were spying!” “I was going to check on Quinn, I thought I heard her crying.” “Liar.” “So, you still feel fireworks when you kiss me after all this time?” “Hmm, let me see,” she said as she wrapped his arms around his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. “Nope, nothing.” “What?!” She laughed as she ran into their room and he practically tackled her onto the bed, bent down and kissed her. “How about now?” “Try again.” “You’re being an ass.” “So were you by spying on our conversation.” “Okay, I’m sorry. She’s going to be a teenager next year though.” “It’s going to be okay.” “I hope you’re right.”