When he saw the single lit room out the windows of the New York DA office, Rafael Barba sucked in a sharp breath. He could tell who it was before he even bothered to think about it. Who else could it be but the one person who had to study after class, which started at 8 o'clock p.m. three days a week, and had to use the DA's law library to do said studying? There was only one person. Carisi. Barba could see him clearly through the window, which was open despite the chilly November wind. Carisi had shed his jacket and vest and was hunched over his laptop, stacks of books surrounding him in a fortress. As quietly as possible, Barba went up the elevator and stepped out into the office, shuffling down the hall. All of a sudden, his node twitched, and he sneezed. He winced as he heard Carisi's voice carrying out of his open office door. The office was an empty one that used to belong to a paralegal that was on maternity leave, so Barba was allowing Carisi to use it for the time being. Now, a month later, he had several regrets.
"Yo! Barba! Can I get some help in here?" Barba groaned and pushed the door open merely a foot, leaning against the doorframe.
"I'm studying for a test on patent law, and-"
"Do I look like a patent lawyer to you, Fordham?"
Carisi folded his arms and raised an eyebrow at Barba. "You passed the bar, didn't you?"
"Yeah, and I got a 143.2 on it. But that was twenty years ago, and I've only done criminal law since then." Barba hesitated for a moment before relenting. "But fine, let me have a look at it." Carisi stood, offering Barba his chair. As Barba sat and peered down at the laptop, Carisi stood behind the chair, leaning his arms on the back of the chair. His lips brushed over the back of Barba's neck, leaving a trail of feather-light kisses all the way down to the very edge of Barba's shirt collar. Barba swiveled in the chair, turning to face Carisi. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Is it not obvious?" A tiny grin quirked up the edges of his mouth, revealing his charmingly crooked front teeth. "I'm seducing you." He wiggled his eyebrows comically. Barba sucked through his teeth.
"Well, don't. I've had a rough few days, Carisi."
Carisi settled against the windowsill across from Barba. "Isn't that all the more reason to give in to your, uh, urges." Carisi waggled his eyebrows again.
"Come on, Carisi, I'm just here to pick up some paperwork, and after that I have a date with some whiskey and that new Stephen King novel."
"Do you mean that cheap crap you buy from the liquor store? God, Barba, that stuff is just disgusting." Carisi's face matched his tone.
"Alcohol is alcohol, Carisi. And speaking of, I'm not coming to the office drunk tomorrow, so I have to go." Barba picked up his briefcase and headed for the door, hesitating as he reached the entry. He stopped, weighing his options, then turned around. "You coming, Sonny?" Carisi looked shocked, then smiled excitedly.
"Hell yeah, I'm coming with ya." Carisi picked up his own briefcase and jacket. "Let's blow this place."
The 6:45 alarm next to Carisi beeped as he lay there, in the same position he often had for the last couple of months. Barba's arm was draped across his waist, weighing down on Carisi. He wasn't asleep, though. Like most insomniacs with nothing better to do, he was overthinking. Specifically, last night. When Barba had called him Sonny. Barba called him a lot of things: Carisi, Fordham, Night School; but never Sonny. He hadn't thought much about it at the time, but since he didn't sleep much, he'd had a lot more time to think about it. Several times, he'd gotten up, pacing around his tiny apartment. He watched the stars burn bright, then disappear as the sun began to came up. Finally, he slid back in, tucking Barba's arm carefully back into the same place it had been earlier, his fingers brushing the fine, muscled curves along Carisi's stomach. Sonny knew if Barba realized that he had spent the entire night spooning Carisi, much like he had once or twice a week for two months, he would have left in a flash and never come back, but thankfully, Carisi always managed to convince him nothing happened. At first, Barba had refused to sleep over after they screwed, but relented once he realized Carisi would give him coffee for free, instead of paying a dollar for a cup before work and at his lunch break. Plus, Carisi had the good coffee, and as much as Barba liked to act like coffee was coffee and alcohol was alcohol, Carisi always had the good stuff, from Cuba. The same kind his mother used. He was pretty sure Carisi knew that and got it on purpose, but he wasn't about to complain.
Barba rolled over, lifting his arm off of Carisi's ribs. Quickly, as he did most mornings, Carisi shut his eyes and pretended to sleep. Barba opened his own eyes and glanced over at Carisi, who was clearly still awake.
"Dios mío, Carisi, I can tell you're awake." Carisi opened his eyes to glare at Barba. "You're not a very good actor."
"Thanks, Barba. Coffee?" Carisi offered.
"Have I ever said no to that?" Despite the considerable height difference between the two, Carisi still felt like Barba was looking down at him. It was kind of sexy.
"Ahright, I'll see what I can do." Carisi climbed out of bed and pulled on a pair of thin sweatpants from his dresser. "Mocha, heavy on the chocolate?"
"That's the one." Barba clicked his tongue.
"Such a damn sweet tooth. Surprising from such a salty person."
"Hilarious, Fordham. Just get the caffeine." Barba waved Carisi out of the room and went to grab his clothes from the last night. As he slid on his vest and tie, Carisi's tricolor corgi, Kenny, bounded in and sprinted around Barba's feet. Barba, who was usually not a dog person, adored Kenny. "Hi, bud! Who's a good boy?" Barba scratched behind Kenny's ears. Smelling coffee and chocolate, he picked up Kenny and followed his nose out of the room. Wordlessly, he picked up the Redi-Whip topped mug from the counter and downed half of it in one go.
"Damn, slow down, Barba. That literally just came out of the pot. And if you burn your tongue, it'll be one helluva lot harder to do that, uh, thing you did last night." Carisi wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
"Careful, or you'll scar Kenny for life." Barba chugged the last of the coffee. "I have to go, I have to change. I'll see you later, Carisi."
"Oh, I'll walk you out. My new neighbor's cat likes to wander the halls, and you're allergic, so I'll just see if Mindy let her out."
"...Right." Kenny trailed behind Carisi, and Barba behind Kenny. These goodbyes were almost always awkward, because how do you say goodbye to someone you just had angry, stress-relieving, mind-blowing sex with? Barba decided on a concise nod, and as he turned to leave, he was stopped by a hand around his wrist. Carisi spun Barba around to face him, and leaned down to press his lips to Barba's softly, yet fiercely. Barba leaned into him, wrapping one hand around Carisi's bare back. Goosebumps appeared under Barba's chilly hands, and his knee bent, pushing him forward into Carisi. Eventually, he broke off, breathing heavily. "What the hell was that, Carisi?" Carisi shrugged, all of his usual boldness gone.
"I don't know."
"Wh-what don't you know? What do you think this is?" Barba's words were no longer measured or calculated, but stuttered and shocked.
"I...I don't know. I'll see you later, Barba." Puzzled, Barba stepped back, and Carisi shut the door with a brief wave.
"What the hell was that?" Barba muttered to himself as he strode down the hallway. Meanwhile, Carisi slumped down against his door, Kenny poking at his legs.
"Damnit, Kenny. What's going on with me, huh?"