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i should have protected you

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Rafael, 5:23pm: Dinner @ my place tonight?

Sonny, 5:26pm: Sure. I get off @ 7 and I can pick something up on my way over.

The week had been surprisingly… easy. They wrapped up their cases within a few hours of being handed them because their perps left DNA and were already in the system.

“Another positive ID,” Amanda said when she returned from escorting a victim out of the precinct, “these cases have been so… easy.”

Rafael, 5:32pm: Pick up some spaghetti and we can Lady and the Tramp it.

Rafael, 5:35pm: I’m the “Lady” by the way.

Sonny shook his head, a small smile on his face. “Yeah,” he agreed with a sigh, “either the perps are getting dumber or we’re getting smarter.”

“Kind of makes you wonder if something worse is to come,” she continued with a shrug, barely acknowledging what Sonny had said.


 

Sonny, 6:21pm: Hey, could you pick up a bottle of wine?

Rafael, 5:21pm: You hate wine.

Rafael, 5:25pm: But… yes, I’ll pick up a bottle of wine.

“Carisi?”

“Huh?”

“You’re blushing like a schoolgirl, who are you texting?”

“Uh…” he shifted uncomfortably in his seat because what was he supposed to say? Not only was he closeted about being bisexual (and, for that matter, transgender) but he and Rafael had agreed to keep their relationship quiet for the time being.

“Carisi, c’mon… who is she?”

“Uh…” he frowned as he tried to think of something to say - anything. “I… well… I met her at the courthouse a few months ago,” he shrugged his shoulders, “it’s not serious which is why I haven’t brought her around yet.”

“Not serious but you’ve been seeing her for a few months? What’s her name?”

“Rollins, Carisi, shouldn’t you be heading home?”


Sonny, 7:05pm: I’m headed home. Did you actually want me to get spaghetti? Or do you want lasagna, or something?

Rafael, 7:08pm: Why not something Cuban? I’ll be eating Italian later anyway ;)

Sonny, 7:15pm: I’ll get Cuban.


Sonny, 7:46pm: I stopped by Victor’s Cafe and got your favorite: Arroz Con Pollo.

No response.


 

His heart seemed to skip a beat in his chest as he came upon the crowd outside of Rafael’s apartment building.

“NYPD, let me through,” he ordered as he flashed his badge and squeezed through the crowd. There were a hundred people that lived in the building so it was completely irrational for him to think this had anything to do with Rafael and yet.

When he reached the front of the crowd, where they were being held back with police tape, he saw the scene crawling with unis and EMTs… and Liv. Even though she was blocking the person’s face from view, he knew. It was Rafael.

“Liv,” he set the to-go boxes on the ground as he ducked underneath the tape, he flashed his badge to the unis (even though half of them probably knew him) as he rushed to Rafael. “What happened?” It didn’t take a genius to realize Rafael was unconscious from the beating he took.

“Carisi, what are you doing here? I thought you were going home.”

“I…” his eyes went from Liv’s face to Rafael’s, “we were supposed to have dinner,” he whispered as he reached for Rafael’s bruised and bloody hand.

“Oh,” she sounded shocked at this information and it made him realize Rafael hadn’t told anyone about their relationship. “This is an SVU case and I would bench you but it would raise too many questions and I assume you guys were trying to keep this… secret.”

Special Victims?

“Fin and Dodds should be here soon to help process the crime scene. Call Rollins and get her to meet you at the hospital to take Barba’s statement.”

“What happened? How is this Special Victims?” He asked as she started to walk away, “I just… he wasn’t raped… was he?”

“I don’t know, Carisi… but the witness who called 911 heard the assailants calling him… homophobic slurs.”

Had someone seen them together? He should have been more careful… he knew Rafael was getting a lot of attention from some of the cases he was prosecuting. “God,” he ran a hand through Rafael’s sticky hair, “I should have protected you. I should have-” he shook his head as silent tears started rolling down his cheeks. “It’s my… it’s my job to protect people… I should have protected you.”