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Barba sat behind his desk.  He stared at his closed door as his music played off of his phone.  He had locked the door when he returned to his office, telling Carmen that he would not take anymore calls for the rest of the night. His fingers traced the rim on his glass. He could still faintly smell her perfume as he stared at the floor, absentmindedly taking a sip of his drink.  He could still feel their argument in his bones. He was pissed and hurt that he hadn’t told him. He thought that she trusted him.

 

He took a deep breath and set his glass down heavily.  He looked down at his phone, seeing it light up with another text message from Olivia.  He knew that they had left things bad between her, but she was the last person that he wanted to talk to tonight.  

 

Barba, call me. Please.

 

He read the text message twice over before he cleared it from the screen.  He remembered the last time he felt this angry and betrayed It was the day that his father had left his Mami and him behind.  He turned the volume up as he felt his nose itching. That was how he knew that he wanted to cry.

 

He rubbed at his eyes before he stood, grabbing his jacket. He knew that Liv would be at Forlini’s with Tucker. He paused the music on his phone as he slid into his jacket.  He knew where he needed to go. He grabbed his briefcase before he left his office. He stopped at the corner coffee cart, getting his normal order, offering up a tight smile.

 

He started to drink his coffee, not minding the scalding liquid flooding his veins.  He was tired, but if he didn’t get his emotions out and soon, he was going to explode.  It was something that if he held in, he was going to explode on the wrong person. He walked towards subway, molding in with everyone else.

 

***

 

Barba held the flowers in his hands as he walked through the graveyard.  He knew that visiting hours were closed, but he figured that maybe, this would help since the nearest church just creeped him out. He set his briefcase in the gass, not caring if it got messed up. He could replace the bag.  

 

He gently brushed some of the dead leaves off of the top of the gravestone, before lowering his head slightly and crossing himself.  He said a quick prayer, before finally crouching down and smiling softly, “Hola Abuelita.”

 

He gingerly placed the flowers in front of her name, “You were right,” He said slowly, “I know you are either wagging your finger down on me or wanting to console me with some special coffee and a splash of whiskey.” He took a deep breath.

 

“Olivia is sleeping with Ed Tucker.  Of all the people on the face of the plant...Ed Tucker. That mierda de pollo has tried to take her down on more than occasion.  I am sorry for cursing Abuelita. I love you. I just...I should have told Olivia sooner how I felt. I thought she knew. I thought that her and I were on the same even ground,” Barba’s voice caught as he raised his hand to his mouth.  He took a couple deep breaths before he cleared his throat.

 

“Olivia Benson is the one person that has always been able to read my double meanings.  I think she caught onto my most painful one today. I almost cried in front of her. I almost screamed at her that I love her.” Barba looked up at the sky, taking a deep breath as he looked down at her headstone again.  

 

He wiped at his eyes, “She didn’t trust me enough to disclose that she is sleeping with Ed Tucker,” He took a deep shaky breath, “Because I figured it out, I had to disclose them since Tucker is being accused of something. Because I told, I know that something is going to happen to her.”

 

Rafael sighed heavily as he felt his pain leaving his body.  He was still frustrated and hurt for everything, “The last thing that I said to her before she left my office was that we are done talking and I know that she saw my hurt and pain.  I wasn’t cocky. I wasn’t confident. I was hurting.” He wiped the tears that were finally falling. He couldn’t stop them.

 

He covered his face with his hand, “There is so much that I wish I have done that I haven’t been doing Abuelita! I wish I told Liv.  Because now? Things are going to be different. I wish I had called you more often. I wished that I was there for you and Mami more. I love you Abuelita! I hope you know that!”

 

Rafael lost track of time before he finally calmed down, “I promise...I promise I won’t hold back Abuelita.  I love you so, so much. Thank you for everything that you have done for me. I don’t know what I would do without you.” He said softly. He kissed his finger tips before he touched the Gravestone.

 

***

Barba straightened his red tie thinking about last night and everything that had come up.  He was going to try and not hold back anymore, but he already felt himself closing himself up emotionally again.  It was something that he had learned how to do whenever he was hurt. He took a deep breath and pulled on his jacket before he took his normal root towards the courtroom.

 

He started to answer his numerous text messages that were already stockpiling. He glanced up every few steps to make sure that he wasn’t going to walk into anyone when all of a sudden, he heard her voice.  This time, he was more prepared as he felt his heart drop into his thumb.

 

“Barba we need to talk. You didn’t answer my calls or texts or nothing last night.  I’m worried about you.” Liv said as she grabbed him arm, causing him to stop finally.

 

“Now you are worried about me?” Barba sounded insane to himself, as he watched her surprised flint through his face.

 

“Barba I care about you.  I have been trying to get a hold of you because 1-P-P moved me.  I am no longer the lieutenant of SVU. Do you know how much this sucks?” She questioned as she started to walk with him.

 

“I can’t talk about this Olivia.”

 

“No? You are the one who went to 1-P-P!” She snapped angrily.

 

He took a wide step, landing in front of her, “I am not the one who chose not to disclose.  I am not the one who chose to sleep with a coworker. I am not the one who made the choice between you and Ed Tucker!” He snapped. He could feel the heat in his cheeks as well as see the surprise in her face.

 

He waited for a response, for anything from her.  He could feel his hand clenching his briefcase tighter, “What is the one thing I tell every client that you have ever brought me?”

 

He watched as Benson took a deep breath, “The one thing that you chose not to tell us is the one thing that will destroy a case.” She responded.

 

“Exactly,” He whispered hoarsely, “I can’t always protect everything that you chose to do,” He took a deep, but shaky breath, “I have to get to court.”

 

“Barba please!” She pleaded as she searched his face, “I didn’t mean for it to come out this way.  Ed and I planned to disclose but then all of this happened so fast and I didn’t know what to do,” She said honestly.

 

“So you almost jeopardize a case? This isn’t you Benson.  Get your head out of your ass,” He said sharply before he left her glued to her spot.  He felt guilt seep into his stomach. He knew that he let his emotions come out in that way.  He took a deep breath as he fought to look back. He needed coffee.