When Rafael looked in the mirror and saw cerulean eyes looking out at him it took a moment to realize that he wasn’t dreaming or hallucinating. Sonny Carisi, who was currently still lying in bed, was staring back at him. He couldn’t help the scream that tore through his throat. He heard footsteps behind him, he turned around and when saw himself walk through the door, he knew that today was going to be hell.
Fin knew something was up the moment Carisi walked through the door. Gone were the slouched shoulders and the bow legged walk they were used to. He seemed to hold himself taller, but walked more hesitantly as he crossed the squad room to his desk.
Amanda was also looking at him, an amused smile on her face. Fin caught her eye and shook his head. He didn't want her to push the young detective when there was something clearly wrong. Amanda rolled her eyes and turned back to Carisi, the question burning in her stare.
“You’re dying to say something,” Carisi’s voice sounded more strained than normal. “Shoot.”
Fin caught her eye once more, a smirk crept across her face. He shot Amanda a death glare, willing her to leave Carisi alone. Fin tried to focus on his paperwork, but Amanda clearly had other ideas.
“Wake up late?” Her tone was far too coy, too obvious.
“Very funny, Rollins,” Carisi snarked, the look on his face was all too reminiscent of Barba. “In fact I did wake up late.”
Fin held back a groan, Carisi knew better than to rise to Amanda’s bait, especially since he was over an hour late to work. A wicked smirk curled on to her face and her eyes narrowed, she was going straight for the kill. She managed to trick Carisi into buying her silence, swapping field work for casework. Normally he would protest, but today he looked pleased.
A satisfied smile curled at the corner of his mouth. “Fine.”
Fin decided to step in, to redirect the conversation to something work-related. “Liv’s been distracted all morning,” he ensured his tone was loud enough to draw the room’s attention. “You think it’s Dodds breathin’ down her neck?”
“Honestly?” Amanda sighed, her mouth turned into a small frown. “I think it’s that Barker case we finished up last week.”
The Barker case had been a nightmare. A whole month wasted on uncooperative witnesses, corrupt cops, and a slimy, straight out of law school defense attorney. He knew full well that Barba was furious at the meager evidence they had managed to scrape together. And by the look on Carisi’s face, he had bore the brunt of the prosecutor’s sarcasm.
Fin nodded silently before he turned back to his laptop, his fingers itching to start a game of minesweeper. A huffed sigh from Carisi drew Fin’s eyes to him once more. He didn’t appear to be working on those reports. Instead Carisi was staring at his laptop, his face scrunched into a confused expression.
Report writing was monotonous, but Fin found himself enjoying the task more nowadays. He found it fascinating, reading over Carisi and Amanda’s reports, getting a glimpse into how they thought. His mind turned to the Sergeant's exam application which was hidden in his desk drawer. As much as he complained about taking the test, he was finding the rank and what was involved far more appealing than he would let on.
“Carisi,” her shout made both Carisi and Fin jump. “Do you think you can head to Barba’s office?”
“Yeah it’s fine, Liv,” Carisi’s eyes widened as he realized what he had said. “Lieu! Lieu.”
Fin tuned out the rest of the conversation, not really wanting to listen to Carisi trip over himself. He finally gave in and opened a game of minesweeper. Clicking through numbers, avoiding mines and paperwork until he blew up. There was no better way to spend his morning.
“Where are you going?” Amanda’s sharp twang made Fin flinch. “If it’s out on the field--”
Carisi took a step back, a sheepish look formed on his face. “No, no. Barba’s office.” Amanda took a step forward and lay her hand over Carisi’s forearm, Fin couldn’t make out what she was saying.
“I’ll take you up on that,” Carisi threw his arms a little too wildly in the air. “Just have to wait for this to blow over.”
He shrugged Amanda off before walking away, running into Dodds on his way out. Fin shook his head before he rose to his feet and wandered over towards his friend. “Does Carisi seem out of it to you?”
Amanda mulled the question over before she finally answered. “I’m not surprised.”
“Barba? Their fight yesterday,” she teased, cocking her head, a large grin on her face. “Don’t tell me you forgot.”
He certainly had forgotten, he’d pushed it as far back in his mind as he possibly could. Carisi and Barba had a flair for the dramatics and as soon as the couple had started arguing, Fin had taken it as an excuse to leave. As usual, Liv and Amanda hung around to diffuse the situation.
“Unlike you, my life doesn’t revolve around theirs,” he kept his tone light and teasing.
Amanda’s gaze went sly. “Uh huh.”
Fin never enjoyed Amanda’s eyes narrowing towards him, she was far too good at reading others. He sat down in Carisi’s chair, slouching into its curve. He flashed her a tight smile, to Amanda he would always be calm and collected, he’d never let her know that she’d made him uncomfortable.
“But seriously,” Fin swung the chair, a tight grin forming on his face. “He seemed odd, tense.”
“Wouldn’t you if Barba reamed you last night?” Amanda cackled to herself.
He visibly shuddered. “I do not need those images.”
“You’re welcome,” she practically sang before she returned to her work.
Fin rolled his eyes before he returned to his laptop and started a new game, happy to distract himself from any and all mental images that Amanda had placed in his head.
Carmen knew there was something off about Mr. Barba the moment he walked up to her desk and greeted her good morning. Normally he would mutter the greeting as he sailed past her, heading straight for the coffee that she always put on for him. Instead he had stood there, waiting for her to respond.
“Good morning,” she kept her tone professional. “In less than an hour you have Eastman’s arraignment, and after that, you have a meeting with Ms. Ephron.” She removed the sticky note from her monitor and passed it to him. “You also have an appointment with Mr. Buchanan at three o’clock.”
He silently nodded a thank you before he slowly stalked into his office and closed the door gently behind him. Carmen frowned but before she could think further about it, the phone rang and she found herself suddenly inundated. She didn’t think about Mr. Barba’s odd behavior again until Detective Carisi turned up, he nodded at her fleetingly as he brushed straight by.
It set off alarm bells.
Normally Detective Carisi would perch by her desk and chat to her before he finally asked her permission to enter Mr Barba’s domain, he never just walked in. She jokingly contemplated the idea that they had swapped bodies like in Freaky Friday, or if they had been abducted by aliens. She let out a gentle laugh before she returned to her work.
All too soon the detective was storming out of the office and headed straight towards her, Mr. Barba trailing behind him. Carmen watched from the corner of her eye as Detective Carisi side eyed her boss. A look that clearly said, ‘Well, what are you waiting for?’
Mr. Barba took a deep breath and exhaled before he finally began to talk. “Can you reschedule all of my appointments for today?” He practically begged her. “I’m…” The uncertainty in his tone made her eyes narrow. “Taking the day off?”
His nervousness made her falter, she knew something was clearly wrong. Ever the professional, she answered promptly. “Yes, I can.”
The smile that broke out across Mr. Barba’s face was breathtakingly beautiful, it made her heart stop for a moment, she had never seen him smile before. Then Detective Carisi shot him a nasty glare that wouldn’t look out of place on her boss’s face and the smile was quickly dropped.
“Thank you, Carmen,” Detective Carisi said with a nod before he grabbed Mr. Barba by the elbow and practically dragged him away.
Carmen watched the two men until they disappeared out of sight, their behavior perplexing her. She shook her head before returning her attention to Mr. Barba’s busy schedule and reaching for the phone. It must have been aliens after all.
When Carisi walked into the precinct the next day, Olivia’s heart started to pound. Their last conversation had ended on an interesting note, Rafael and Carisi had burst into her office both men uncharacteristically nervous. They spun a tale and had tried to convince her that they’d somehow swapped bodies. She had been caught off guard and had tentatively believed them, but now, after a good night's sleep and three cups of coffee, she wasn’t quite as certain.
She watched as Carisi strutted over to his desk and practically melted into the seat. He was soon laughing with Amanda, just as he usually did. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and sent a quick text to Rafael.
Your boyfriend seems to be faring better today .
She only had to wait a moment before she heard a ping, signaling his response.
We both are .
As Olivia looked over her squad, a small smile graced her features. Whatever had happened yesterday had clearly resolved itself and she didn’t need to worry. He phone pinged again, she looked down at the new message.
Look after him, he still doesn’t think you believe us.
I’m still not sure that I do. Liv huffed out a laugh before she sent the response and pocketed her phone. Within moments she saw Carisi had gotten a text, his eyes shifting in the direction of her office. Whatever Rafael had texted him had clearly unnerved the detective, his eyes darted between his phone and her office again. She had to smile at that, she was more than happy to let them fret about whether she believed them or not, she still hadn’t made up her mind.
She walked over to the doorway and stuck her head out. “Carisi,” her tone made him jump. “Back to work.”
As soon as the door was closed she let out a barking laugh. She was going to have a lot of fun with this.