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Don't Ask Me That

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Olivia stood in silence, shocked. Tucker had been accused of burying a case, and Barba needed to investigate. Now Olivia needed to down her feelings about Tucker and cooperate. Right?

“You’re wrong about him,” Olivia said quietly. Barba snapped,

“They’re serious allegations, Liv.” Olivia shook her head.

“Even so, you’re wrong, Barba. Tucker is a good man, and he would never…” Olivia broke off when she saw Barba’s eyes widen. His voice cracking, Barba said,

“Wait a minute.” Olivia shook her head, and Barba asked, “Are you involved with him?” Olivia gulped.

“Don’t ask me that, Barba.” Barba bit his lip, trying to ignore the sound of his heart breaking.

“When were you going to tell me?”

“What happens in my off time is none of your business!” Olivia shouted.

“When it involves your boyfriend being accused of tampering with evidence, then yes, it is my business!” Barba stopped, realizing what he had just said, and Olivia yelled,

“Don’t say it like that! That’s not what…” Olivia didn’t get to finish. Barba walked over, grabbed Olivia by her jacket, then kissed his friend on the lips.

The kiss lasted three seconds, and when Barba pulled away, Olivia looked stunned. Swallowing, Barba opened his mouth to speak, and Olivia snarled,

“Don’t, Barba. Just don’t.” Turning on her heel, Olivia stormed out of the room, leaving Barba in tears.

When Barba heard Olivia had been kicked off the case, he felt mixed emotions. On the one hand, Barba felt guilty for telling IAB, but on the other, he was glad Olivia was off the case. That gave Barba a few weeks to nurse his broken heart.

Amanda was the first to notice. She walked into Barba’s office one day and saw Barba sitting at his desk, eyes closed. A few tissues were scattered on the table, and Amanda frowned.

“Barba, is everything okay?” Barba’s eyes opened, and he jumped. Quickly throwing the tissues into the trash, Barba said,

“I’m fine, Amanda.”

“No, you’re not.” There was a hint of laughter in Amanda’s voice. “Something is bothering you, and if affects this case, I need to know what.”

“Close the door.” Amanda obeyed, confused, and Barba montioned for her to sit. “What I’m about to tell you, you can’t tell anyone else. Okay?”

“Depends. Is anyone’s life in danger?” It was an honest question, and Barba respected that about Amanda.

“No. It’s just something...personal.” Amanda nodded, and Barba whispered, the words catching in his throat. “I...have feelings for Olivia.”

“Oh.” Amanda didn’t speak, and Barba groaned,

“You probably think I’m a terrible person.”

“No, I don’t. At least your behavior around her makes sense.” Barba looked at Amanda, eyes wide, causing her to laugh.

“I’m that bad?!”

“I know you pretty well, Barba,” Amanda replied. “I can tell.”

“What do I do?” Barba asked. Amanda bit her lip, then said quietly,

“I don’t think this helps, but Olivia broke up with Tucker after she got kicked off the case. Tucker was apparently pretty understanding.” Barba began to sob, and Amanda left him in peace.

Weeks passed, and SVU won the case. Olivia wasn’t present at the trial, but Barba wasn’t surprised. Since he had kissed her, Barba and Olivia hadn’t spoken.

“Nice job,” Olivia said two days after the case was over, strolling into Barba’s office. Barba looked up from his desk, eyes wide, causing Olivia to laugh, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you.”

“I’m sorry,” Barba whispered, not looking Olivia in the eye. “I shouldn’t have kissed you, and…”

“Hey, it’s okay.” Olivia walked over and pulled Barba to his feet. “Now I don’t have to be the one to initiate it.”

“What do you mean?” Rubbing her thumb over Barba’s cheek, Olivia whispered,

“I like you, silly.” Olivia leaned forward, and Barba met her in the middle, their lips touching. Barba wrapped one arm around Olivia, and the pair smiled. When they pulled apart, Barba whispered,

“I like you too, Liv.” Olivia began to laugh, and Barba laughed with her. It felt good to get that off his chest and know the feeling was mutual.