Rafael Barba was tipsy. There was no denying it. As he stood leaning on the bar, waiting for his next scotch and chatting with Olivia about nothing of substance, he could feel the pleasant buzz of inebriation running through his veins. He was tipsy, but not drunk.
Sonny Carisi, on the other hand, was Drunk. Capital D, Drunk. He was sat in the booth, leaning over the table towards Rollins on the other side, who was also, very clearly, drunk, but not with a capital D. Not yet, anyway.
The thing about drunk Sonny was that he was chatty, and his favorite topic was currently standing by the bar chatting to his Lieutenant.
“It’s just, he’s just so.. y’know?” Sonny was slurring his words slightly, while staring imploringly at Rollins, wanting her to understand. She was nodding along, her eyes squinty from the alcohol.
“I mean, it’s not just that he’s beautiful, y’know? Cos he is, I mean, look at that ass in those slacks,” he gestured sloppily towards the bar, nearly knocking over the empty glasses on the table.
Rollins just nodded along without looking at Barba; she was pretty used to listening to Carisi wax poetic about Barba’s finer qualities. It didn’t seem as if Carisi was used to looking at Barba, though, as he lost his train of thought for a few short moments while looking at the way Barba’s slacks stretched over his ass, as he stood with his hip cocked jauntily to the side at the bar.
He eventually shook himself out of his own daze, and continued, “It’s just that he’s also beautiful inside, y’know? Like, he is so great, Amanda, I’m tellin’ ya.” Rollins just kept nodding along, also used to how the Staten Island accent, and the repetitions were just classic Drunk Carisi traits.
“D’you think he knows how great he is? Y’know, how great I think he is? Like really knows, knows?” Sonny’s head was nearly all the way down on the table now, and his tone was getting wistful.
“’Course he knows, dumbass,” Rollins slurred, although her voice got muffled halfway through as she started leaning her head on her hand.
Sonny sighed heavily as he folded his arms on the table, and put his head down on them, “I just want him to know.”
Before Sonny could wallow further, or Rollins could reply, Barba and Benson returned from the bar with more drinks. After setting the drinks on the table, Barba rubbed his hand on Sonny’s back, which got him to raise his head.
“Heeey, you’re back!” Sonny said with enthusiasm as if Barba had been gone for hours, instead of the less than ten minutes he had spent at the bar. “Y’know, I gotta tell ya somethin’,” Sonny said earnestly as he turned uncoordinatedly towards Barba while plonking a hand on his thigh.
Barba huffed amusedly, while keeping his arm around Sonny, “Sure Sonny, what do you need to tell me?”
“D’you know I think you’re great? Like great great? Cos you are. Like the best person, ever. Like ever, ever.” Sonny was gripping Barba’s thigh, balancing most of his upper bodyweight on it, leaning so close to Barba that their faces were just inches apart, which only highlighted how flushed Sonny’s face was by the alcohol.
Barba couldn’t help the smile on his face as he responded, “Yes, Sonny, I’m aware.”
“Good,” Sonny nodded as if it was vital for Barba to know exactly how much he liked him. “D’you also know that when you smile like that I wanna kiss ya?”
Barba ignored the sniggering from the females on the other side of the table, as he just smiled wider and moved his hand from Sonny’s back to his cheek, as he said, “Yes, mi amor, I know.”
“That’s good,” Sonny said as he leaned into Barba’s touch, “but I always wanna kiss ya. D’you know that?”
There was a snort from the other side of the table, followed by Rollins saying, “I think all of New York know you wanna kiss him all the time, Sonny, it’s like you got a sign over your head saying, ‘Property of Rafael Barba’” Which caused Olivia to break into a full on laughing fit, as she chimed in, “In neon!”
The women’s teasing and laughing made Sonny groan and lean his head forward and bury his face in Barba’s neck while he said, in his most pathetic and whiny voice, “Make them go away, please.”
“I think I’m going to take you home instead, amorcito,” Barba grinned.
“Home,” Sonny nodded into Barba’s neck, “Home is good. I like home. Home with you, yes.”
“Right, come on, you have to get up for us to go home.”
“You’re mean, but soft. So soft,” Sonny burrowed further into Barba’s neck, “Can I sleep here?”
“No, Sonny, we’re going home to bed.”
The entire interaction just seemed to entertain the drunk women on the other side of the table, who were watching with uncontained glee. You could almost see them storing away this entire moment to use against Sonny and Barba at a later date.
Sonny just groaned as Barba got up, and grabbed Sonny’s hand to help him stand as well. Then he helped the drunk Detective put his coat on, taking his chances with letting Sonny being able to stand on his own two feet for the duration it took Barba to put his own coat on.
“Right,” Barba said, as he finished putting on his coat, and immediately putting an arm around Sonny’s waist to keep the other man from toppling over, as he was just about to do, “Bye.”
There was no time for lengthy goodbyes as Sonny leaned more and more on Barba with an arm around his shoulders, and the longer they stayed, the more material they were handing the women on a platter. Barba was sure they had gotten enough to last them for the next six months at least.
Barba manoeuvred the lanky man out of the bar and into the street, and started heading for their apartment. Thankfully they weren’t far from home, but it would still feel like a long walk with the way Sonny was leaning on him.
They hadn’t been outside for long before the fresh air seemed to perk Sonny up a bit, and he stopped leaning so fully on Barba, but still kept his arm around his shoulders for balance.
“Hey Raf?” Sonny said suddenly.
“Yes, Sonny?” Barba replied indulgently.
“D’you know I love you? Like love, love you?”
The only sign of Sonny’s drunkenness was in the slight swaying of his body, and in the flush on his cheeks. His eyes were completely clear, and his words rang sincerer than anything. It didn’t matter that Barba had hear him say those words numerous times before; each time stole the breath from his lungs, the knowledge that he was somehow worthy of this man’s love overwhelming him, time and time again.
“Yes, Sonny, I know. I love you too. Now let’s go home.”