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it's lonely here without you

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“I love you.”

It was the first time Mike had said those words and he was… stunned into silence, opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water. “I love you too, Mikey,” he finally said, bringing their entwined hands to his mouth to plant a kiss to Mike’s hand, “I really do.”

 

“No one would judge you if you took a few days off, Carisi.”

“I know, Lieu, I just don’t need to,” he shrugged his shoulders and offered her a smile he hoped was convincing.

“If you say so but if you change your mind, let me know.”

“Will do, Lieu,” he offered her a forced smile as he turned on his heel and started toward the door.

“Sorry… one more thing, Carisi… go see my therapist for a referral.”

 

“I hope this doesn’t scare you but… I can really see a future with you,” he said one night as he chowed down on Sonny’s homemade lasagna. (It was the only thing Sonny could cook).

“Don’t tell me you’re about to propose,” he looked up from where he was cutting up his lasagna.

“Not right now, no.”

 

“Carisi?”

Sonny jerked out of his ‘daydream’, “what is it?” His eyes refocused on Amanda, who was staring at him with this look. It wasn’t a mean look, it was more like… it was the way someone looked at a kicked puppy.

“We caught a new lead. Liv wants us to follow up,” she said before quickly adding, “but if you want to go home I can cover for you.”

“No, I’m fine,” he shook his head as he stood up, “I need the distraction anyway.”

 

“So… have you guys set a wedding date?”

“Ma!” He exclaimed, shooting his mother a look, “we’re not even engaged, yet,” he added.

“Well, I didn’t know!” She shot back, folding her arms over her chest with a huff - her pouting lasted a solid thirty seconds before she leaned over to Mike. “You should reel him in before someone else comes along, Michael.”

“Noted, Mrs. Carisi,” he offered her a warm smile, patting her hand gently before entwining his hand with Sonny’s.

 

“Hey, Carisi.” She waved her hand in front of his face to jolt him out of his thoughts, “come on - our shifts over and we’re going to order pizza and watch shitty romcoms.”

“Yes to the pizza,” he let her lift him to his feet, “but no to the romcoms.” Normally, he would watch whatever Amanda put on but… he couldn’t with romantic anything.

“Fine, but only if you pay for the pizza.”

 

“Dominick.”

It wasn’t often that Mike would call him by his first name - he usually only called him “Dominick” in bed or when he was mad so he was worried. “What is it, Mikey?”

“Don’t worry… it’s nothing,” he said quickly, raising his hands as if to fight the anxiety Sonny was already beginning to feel. “I’ve just been thinking about us and the conversations we’ve had and where we see ourselves in the future.”

Mike cleared his throat as he slowly sank to his knees, “Dominick Carisi… I want to wake up next to you for the rest of my life.”

“You’re proposing,” his heart lurched as Mike pulled out a velvety ring box.

“Will you marry me?”

 

You’ve reached the voicemail box of Sergeant Michael Dodds. Please leave a message after the beep.

What was he supposed to say? Why did he even call? Frowning, he ended the call and laid for a minute just staring at the contact photo.

What could he say to him that he hadn’t already said? Mike would never hear it - he’d only be saying it to make himself feel better.

Sighing, he pressed the call button again and placed the phone against his ear.

You’ve reached the voicemail box of Sergeant Michael Dodds . Please leave a message after the beep.”

“It’s… it’s lonely here without you,” he cleared his throat, willing away the tears. “I… kept Captain. Your dad offered to take him, find him a home but…” he glanced over at where the dog laid, “he was all I had left of you and… I…”

He lost it. The tears began spilling down his cheeks freely, “God… I’m sorry, Mikey. It should have been me in that house, not you. I shouldn’t have let you gone.”

“I… I don’t know, I don’t know why I called… I just… I love you and I wish you were here with me,” he breathed out slowly, glancing over at Captain before adding, “us. I wish you were here with us.”

 

“You’re gonna be alright, Mikey,” he whispered as he sat beside his hospital bed, running his hand through his hair.

It wasn’t until he began… talking strangely that Sonny was tipped off about something being wrong.

It wasn’t until the doctor wheeled him off for a CT scan and the nurses seemed… antsy, scared that Sonny truly began to worry.

It wasn’t until the doctor came back that he knew. He knew. The doctor could have been bringing them good news but he knew by his facial expression.

All he could think as he cried into Amanda’s shoulders is: It should have been him. It should have been him.