Olivia wasn’t sure what to make of the new ADA. He was unlike any of the other ADA’s she had worked with. He was arrogant and cold, far more interested in winning than in the best outcome for the victim’s. Even with all his flaws, Olivia found the man growing on her, and soon they fell into an easy rapport.
She soon discovered how much he enjoyed bending the law, finding ways to make it work in his favor. He wasn’t afraid of a challenge and could even be persuaded to help more than he normally would. Olivia began to look forward to their impromptu conversations and she found herself seeking the man out more often than she had ever planned to.
Which is why she made her way to Forlini’s that evening, to not only discuss their current case, but to have a drink with a friend. When she walked into the restaurant she immediately spotted Rafael sitting in his usual seat at the bar. What she wasn’t expecting was to see another man seated next to him, one she hasn’t seen in almost a year.
She stood for a moment and watched how the couple interacted. Both mean leaned into one another before laughing. Trevor had a soft fond look in his eyes, one that she had seen directed at herself a long time ago, and it made her heart ache for a possibility that never was. Barba, however, surprised her. He had that same soft look in his eye which matched the surprisingly gentle smile on his face.
It was in that moment that Olivia realised that she was about to intrude on a private moment. Instead she took a step back, turned around and left the restaurant. She would let Barba and Langan have their moment. The case, after all, could wait till tomorrow.
Fin didn’t have an opinion about the new ADA, he was just happy that this one seemed to be sticking around. They had spent the past couple of years in constant flux with no permanent ADA assigned to them, and during that time their closure rate declined. Then Barba swanned in, allowed himself to be choked out by a suspect and the rest was history. Fin knew the man would be an asset to the squad rather than a hindrance. At least that was until the man appeared at his son’s wedding and greeted Fin like an old friend.
“Fin,” he grinned while brandishing a glass of Champagne. “How wonderful to see you outside of work.”
Fin just nodded in response. “Barba.”
“What brings you here?” Bara asked, clearly not affected by Fin’s attitude.
Fin sighed before roughly answering. “My son is one of the grooms.”
“Ken?” Barba chuckled. “It’s a small world.”
“Don’t I know it,” Fin muttered under his breath.
Barba’s interest was clearly piqued. “Can I expect to see the rest of the squad here?”
“John is floating around somewhere.” Fin gestured to the small crowd. “Otherwise they kept it to mostly family.” As a waiter passed them Fin grabbed a beer from the tray. “How are you here anyway?”
“Trevor is good friends with Alejandro,” a gentle smirk crawled across Barba’s face.
Fin cocked his head to the side. “Trevor?”
“My husband.” Barba lifted a brow in response before raising his glass of champagne to his lips and taking another sip. There it was, as clear as day. How had he not noticed it before? The wedding ring was a simple gold band that looked to fit nicely around the prosecutor’s finger. “I take it off at work.”
Barba was clearly enjoying himself.
“You embarrassed or something?” Fin couldn’t help but tease.
A small frown flitted across Barba’s face. “Hardly.” Then the man’s face softened and his frown turned to a gentle smile. “Excuse me.”
Fin couldn’t help but watch the prosecutor walk away and straight up to the man who the detective could only assume was his husband, Trevor Langan. It was a revelation that shocked him, but not enough to show it. Instead he smiled and nodded at the two men, filing the information away.
“Barba and Langan?” John Munch seemed to materialize at his side. “There has to be a story there.”
“Sure there is,” Fin shrugged. “But Ken is getting married and I’ve only had one beer.”
John responded with a smile. “Drink up my friend, and lead on.”
It had been three hours since he had confronted Barba in the elevator and Nick could still feel the anger radiating from him. The man had some nerve, trying to smooth things over for his friend, and for what? For New York to elect another corrupt government official? Nick couldn’t stand the idea.
Liv had dismissed him early, told him to go home and cool off before he saw Barba again. Nick had done exactly what he had been told. But home was too quiet, and when he turned on the television there was Alex Muñoz. Nick saw red.
He found himself back on the train, on his way to one Hogan Place, trying to calm himself down. He knew the only way he would be able to reason with Barba would be if he presented a sound and logical argument. He could only do that if he was calm.
By the time he walked into the Manhattan DA’s office he was ready. Nick had worked out what he needed to say and had made notes on his phone so he could stay on point. All he had to do was convince Barba to actually have a civil discussion with him.
As he approached Barba’s office he noticed that Carmen was not at her desk, nor were her belongings. She must have been sent home for the day. He also noticed that the door to Barba’s office was slightly ajar and he could hear voices coming from inside. He stepped up to the door and looked through the opening, straining to hear what was being said.
“You need to think clearly about this, Rafael.”
“Stay out of this, Trevor,” Barba snapped. “You have no right--”
Nick quietly opened the door a little wider. Now he could see who Rafael was arguing with. It was Trevor Langan. He was a little surprised at that, having not been aware the two men actually knew each other.
“Yes I do,” Langan responded calmly. “When it affects your career, affects our life together--”
“You need to trust me,” Barba shouted before he stalked over to his desk and opened a draw. He pulled out a bottle of what appeared to be scotch and poured himself a large glass. “I won't let it get that far.”
“You’re toeing a fine line here, Rafael,” Langan walked over and grabbed the bottle from his hand before pouring his own glass. “Yelina has already threatened you--”
“She wasn’t threatening me,” Barba rolled his eyes before he took a swig of his scotch.
Langan sighed loudly. “You have to stop looking at these people through rose tinted glasses.” He downed his scotch in one gulp. “They’re not who they were, Rafael. They’ve changed, you’ve changed, it’s not a bad thing.”
“I know,” Barba sipped at his scotch again. “Alex is a good man, Trevor.”
“Still, if these rumours I’ve been hearing are true--”
“You know I can’t discuss an ongoing investigation with you,” Barba interjected before he finished his scotch.
“If they are true,” Langan continued, ignoring the interruption. “I don’t want you getting hurt.” Nick’s eyes widened in surprise as Langan wrapped his arms around Barba and pressed a kiss to his forehead. “They only come to you if they need something, you know I don’t like it.”
“Please, Rafael,” Langan murmured softly. “Just take a step back, talk to McCoy, see if he’ll let you pass the case on.”
“I tried,” Barba admitted. “He wants me to stay on it.”
Langan pressed another kiss to Barba’s forehead before he dropped his arms. “You told him you were old friends with Alex?”
“I did,” Barba confirmed. “It apparently didn’t matter.”
“Please be careful, Rafael.” A small smile appeared on Langan’s mouth. “Either way this isn’t going to go well for you.”
“I know.” Barba nodded gently. It was Barba who initiated the contact this time. He pulled Langan down into a gentle kiss before he wrapped his arms around him.
Nick took a deep breath before he turned on his heel and walked away. Tomorrow he would talk to Barba, tomorrow he would talk strategy. But for now, he would head home, call Zara, maybe invite Amanda over to watch the game. He flushed warm at the thought of the blonde. An evening spent in Amanda’s company sounded like the perfect way to de-stress. He couldn’t wait.
Amanda hated spending her free time running work errands, she’d rather be paid to do menial work. Usually she was able to convince Carisi to do it for her, usually he would eagerly volunteer to trott off to One Hogan place to visit their ADA. Today though he was busy, he apparently had a date. Amanda had tuned him out the moment he had started making excuses.
Still, she couldn’t blame Carisi for the fact that Barba had decided to go home early, or that his assistant was nowhere to be seen. So instead of what should have been a quick task, Amanda now found herself making the trek to Rafael Barba’s private residence. It wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. When Olivia had rattled off his address, Amanda had been grateful to discover he lived in Hudson Square. In her mind Rafael Barba had lived in a penthouse suite overlook central park. It was a pleasant surprise.
The walk from the subway to Barba’s apartment building was thankfully short. She swanned in past the concierge and caught the lift straight to his floor. It didn’t take her long to find his apartment door which was decorated with an overtly large, brass, 8B. She raised her fist, knocked loudly and waited for a response.
There was some muffled conversation from the other side of the door followed by the click of the lock turning. Barba opened the door, a puzzled expression on his face. “Detective Rollins, what are you doing here?”
“The Lieutenant asked me to drop some files over to you,” Amanda answered. “For the Ellie Porter case.” She removed the files in mention from her bag and held them out to the ADA.
“Ahh,” was Barba’s only response. He grabbed the files and thumbed through them carefully, his face slowly forming into a frown. “Trevor,” he called out.
“Yes,” a male voice responded.
“You need to have a look at this,” Barba shouted again before he turned to Amanda and opened the door wide. “Come in, Detective.” Amanda raised her hands, trying to excuse herself, but Barba was having none of it. “Please, I insist.”
Amanda sighed loudly, relishing in the eyeroll she drew from Barba before she stepped inside. She quickly scanned the room, eager to see what his apartment was like. It didn’t appear to be that much larger than Olivia’s was. A small living space which held two couches and a large TV. Behind that was a large wooden dining table covered in paperwork. Finally there was a small, almost spotless kitchen. Amanda doubted that it got much use.
“It’s three bed, two bath.” Barba didn’t hide his amusement.
Amanda cocked her head to the side. “Excuse me?”
“You seemed interested--”
“Play nice, Rafael,” Amanda was stunned to see Trevor Langan standing next to the kitchen.
Unlike Barba, who was still dressed as though he was about to head into work, Langan was dressed in a worn looking pair of jeans and a grey knitted sweater. She watched as he strode over to Barba who shoved a file into his hands.
“Uh, Barba.” Amanda took a step forward. “I don’t think you should be sharing those with a defense attorney.”
Barba just looked amused. “Liv gave you the adoption forms as well as the case files. As Trevor is handling Noah’s adoption there isn’t an issue handing him the completed paperwork.”
“Though I am concerned about the fact that she listed Johnny D as Noah’s father,” Barba muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I advised her not to.”
“Rafael,” Langan admonished. “You should--”
“Trevor,” he shushed. “Can you please leave. Detective Rollins and I need to discuss this case.”
Amanda watched as Langan rolled his eyes before he leaned down to press a kiss to Barba’s temple. He then whispered something into Barba’s ear which caused him to smile and raise a hand to gently bat away the taller man. Before he made his way to leave, Langan lifted Barba’s chin and pressed another gentle kiss to Barba’s mouth.
“So, Barba,” Amanda quickly began. “What did you want to go through?”
“Hang on,” Barba muttered. “I’ll bring these over to the lounge.”
As she watched Barba gather some papers from the table she felt the phone in her pocket buzz. She removed the device from her pocket, her stomach swooping as she saw a text message light up the screen.
Declan Murphy - We still on for this weekend?
The question made her smile. It was forecast to snow on the weekend, and Amanda was looking forward to spending it with Declan.
“Rollins?” Barba interrupted her thoughts. “You need something?”
“Just a minute,” she murmured, looking back at her phone, a smile on her face. Tonight she would deal with Barba and the revelation of his relationship with Langan. But Declan gave her something else to focus on, something to look forward to. She quickly typed her response before she headed over to Barba’s couch to start working.
Rita Calhoun looked a vision draped in red satin sheets. The sight would never cease to amaze Sonny. They had been sleeping together for a few months now, but this was the second time they had wound up in her apartment, and the first that she had asked him to stay the night. So he watched her sleep, looking a vision wrapped in scarlet. Or so he thought.
“I can feel your eyes on me,” Rita sang.
Sonny ran a hand down her bare shoulder before he leaned over to press a kiss to it. “You like it.”
“That I do,” Rita chuckled before rolling over to pull Sonny down into a kiss.
“Want me to make you breakfast?” Sonny tucked a loose lock behind her ear. “I have been told I’m an excellent cook.”
“I’d say yes,” Rita sighed before forcing herself to sit up. “But I have to be at the office in an hour.”
Sonny pressed another kiss to her shoulder. “You sure?”
“I’m certain,” Rita chuckled before she stood up and padded over to her ensuite. “You should probably head home.”
“Yeah,” Sonny tried to keep the disappointment from his tone. “I should try and get some sleep--”
The sound of running water cut off his explanation.
Sonny let out a groan before he rolled off the bed and located his slacks. He stepped into them quickly and yanked them up over his hips. His shirt, on the other hand, was not in the bedroom as far as he could tell. He walked out to the open living space and looked around, finding it had somehow ended up draped over some shelves. He walked over and carefully removed it, revealing a collection of large framed photos.
The first photo was a picture of twin girls, almost identical, arms wrapped around each others waist in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland, large smiles plastered on their faces, clearly having the time of their lives. In the next one they were older, standing in matching graduation robes, the same large smiles lighting up their faces.
The next picture was just of Rita, sitting on a bench, a soft smile on her face and a solo cup in hand. In the background was a group of people dressed in crimson uniforms celebrating.
Barba was in the next one, looking young and carefree. One arm wrapped around Rita’s waist the other around a person Sonny didn’t know., the three of them wearing matching Harvard sweaters, looking proud.
Each photo provided Sonny a snapshot into Rita’s life. He couldn’t help but look at each and everyone of them; her and Barba’s graduation from Harvard, her sister’s graduation from Med School, what appeared to be her sister's wedding. The final photo, though, completely stunned him.
Barba was standing in a dark grey suit and lavender tie, his forehead pressed against that of a taller man. Rita was by his side, looking beautiful in a Lavender dress, a smile on her face. The photo next to it was just of Barba and the tall man. Sonny leaned forward and studied the photo, trying to work out where he had seen him before.
“Rafael’s wedding.” The sound of Rita’s voice caused him to jump.
Sonny felt a blush creep up the back of his neck. “I figured.” Sonny turned around to face Rita, she looked stunning in an emerald green dress.
“It was one of the happiest days of my life,” Rita chuckled gently as she gracefully walked over and picked up the photo. “Rafael and Trevor’s too, I suppose.” She turned and placed the photo back on the shelf before she slowly raked her eyes over Sonny’s form. “As much as I appreciate the view I do have to go.”
Sonny coughed, only just realising that he still hadn’t put his shirt on. He scrambled to pull it over his head, ignoring Rita’s obvious amusement until he was finally dressed. “How long has Barba been married to…”
“Trevor Langan?” She cocked her brow. “Their fifth wedding anniversary was last May.”
“He never said anything,” Sonny frowned. “We would have done something for him.”
“It’s not you,” Rita murmured, she grabbed Sonny by the hand and drew him close. “He’s just a private person.” She reached up and pulled Sonny down into a gentle kiss. “I’ll see you tomorrow after your shift?”
“Don’t you have to work?” He teased.
“Only for a little while,” She kissed him again. “We should have brunch on Saturday.”
“Brunch?” Sonny hummed, unsure where Rita was going with this.
“Hmm,” Rita nodded, a small smirk on her face. “I’ve been wanting to find a way to tell Rafael about us, and I think brunch would be perfect.”
“You’re not actually going to tell him about us, are you?” Sonny chuckled, placing his hands on her waist, teasing at the belt.
Rita cocked her brow. “Of course not.”
“It’s going to be so dramatic,” Sonny murmured, pressing a kiss to her neck.
Rita moaned gently. “Rafael does have a taste for theatrics.”
“You’re going to have far too much fun with this aren’t y--”
Rita cut him off by drawing him into another kiss. Her hands went straight to his waist and began to unbutton his slacks. “I suppose we do have time for another round.”
Sonny’s heart skipped a beat as Rita grabbed his hand and dragged him back into the bedroom. He had more questions, but those could wait. After all, pleasuring Rita took up all of his mental capacity. And he loved it.
Weddings had never been Rafael Barba’s idea of fun, and this one was no different. As he sat and watched the bride and groom exchange their vows he felt nothing. It probably didn’t help that he didn’t actually know the groom or the bride that well. He was here as a favour to Rita, she hadn’t wanted to attend her sister's wedding alone. At least Rita looked a vision in bright blue.
After the ceremony, Rita had abandoned him to cocktail hour, encouraging him to take advantage of the generous drink package. Though scotch wasn’t on offer they had a decent Pinot Noir that Rafael was more than happy to consume. He sat at the bar and sipped at the velvety wine, perfectly content to revel in his boredom
“Drinking alone?” Rafael looked up to see a tall, handsome brunette with brown curls standing next to the bar. “May I join you?”
“Sure,” Rafael finished off his wine and placed the empty glass on the counter in front of him. “As long as you order me a drink.”
The tall man chuckled and flagged down the waiter. He ordered Rafael another glass of Pinot Noir and a beer for himself. He took the seat next to Rafael and raised his glass. “Cheers.”
“Cheers,” Rafael smirked, clinking his glass against the other mans.
“Trevor Langan,” he introduced himself as he extending his hand. “And you are?”
As Rafael accepted the handshake he felt a heat run up his arm. His eyes went wide and a smile replaced the smirk. Maybe the wedding wouldn’t be a total waste of time. He slowly raked his eyes up and down Trevor’s body before he finally answered. “Rafael Barba.”