Barba was huffing and puffing as he ran through the park. The snow from the last storm had melted and the somewhat warmer temperatures had dried up the wetness. It was Saturday and he blessedly didn’t need to go into the office, he could do some work at home. He jogged over to a bench and placed his water bottle on the ground. He was doing some light stretching when a woman, who looked like Rollins, was running toward him with a dog on a leash. He squinted into the sunlight with his hand above his eyes and realized it was her and Frannie. “Rollins!” He yelled. It appeared the woman was turning and now walking/running away from where he stood. “Rollins, wait” he yelled as he grabbed his water and ran swiftly toward her.
Amanda slowed her pace and got down on a knee to pet Frannie. Good Lord what does Barba want she thought to herself. Barba ran up alongside them and hunched over, hands on knees, trying to catch his breath. “How are you?” he asked. “I’m fine, Counselor,” she said, “but, your sweatin’ more than a sinner in church.” “Are you okay?” she asked. “Yeah, just trying to drop a few pounds” he said, touching his stomach. “You look fine to me” she said, looking him over, “ but I’m sure you don’t want to buy new $2000 suits.” “Your quite the detective, aren’t you Rollins?” He asked, smirking. “Well bless your heart for noticing Counselor,” she replied, rolling her eyes.
They walked a bit in silence. Then he asked “How was your vacation?” “You mean my forced time off” Amanda replied. “Rollins,” Barba started, “Liv means well, and after what you went through with Patton, I hope your getaway was relaxing.” Rollins sighed, “I do know she means well, but I know myself. She pushes therapy and I’m not sure that’s for me. But, my vacation was good, I’m in a good place mentally and I still have next week off.” Barba nodded, “oh I know how Liv can be, but her heart is in the right place.”
“Uh, do want to grab coffee?” Barba asked her. “Who? Me?” She asked looking at him. “Yes, Rollins, you.” He smirked. “Um, sure” Amanda replied, as she wondered silently what had gotten into the ADA.
They walked the short distance to a local coffee shop and stepped inside. “What would like?” He asked. “Medium coffee and a vanilla scone” she replied. She reached into her jacket pocket and grabbed some cash, trying to hand it to him. “I asked, I got it” he told her. “Grab us seats and I’ll be right back” he said.
Amanda found a table for two at the window and sat. Frannie lay down by her feet. Barba came back, placing their coffees down as well as her scone and a carrot muffin for him.
“So,” He said, “tell me about the trip.” For the next hour, while they sipped and ate, Rollins filled him in on her trip. He asked questions about her daily morning yoga on the mountain top overlooking the lake, what the food was like and how it was socially. She told him about the bus trips into town and how she enjoyed meeting the locals.
Barba went to get a refill and Amanda wondered to herself when the last time she’d actually had a conversation with him that wasn’t work related. She’d seen his softer side when dealing with victims and when he was prepping her for the possibility of testifying against Patton, he was patient and kind, more so than usual. She did find him attractive, but pushed the thought from her head.
She and Nick had decided to stop their booty calls, as he confided in her that he and Maria were talking about getting back together. She was thankful for that as she felt their relationship outside of work was purely physical and she had begun to think about something long term and serious-should she meet someone. She glanced at Barba as he added at least three sugars to his coffee and smiled to herself. She imagined if her and Barba were seeing each other and the squad found out. Liv and Carisi would be pissed, but she couldn’t decide who would be the most. She laughed to herself.
Barba returned to their table. “Ready?” He asked. “Yes, Counselor. Thanks for coffee and breakfast, I enjoyed it” she said. “Welcome Rollins, glad your back” he said. Barba reached down and patted Frannie’s head. “Have a good weekend” Amanda told him as they walked outside. “You too” Barba replied.
As they turned and walked their separate ways, Barba turned back around and watched as Rollins and Frannie walked away, sipping his coffee, until he couldn’t see them any longer.