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Dominick “Call me Sonny” Carisi was tired. He had just pulled a twelve hour shift as a protective detail - newbie work for new cops - and now had to crawl his tired ass all the way to Fordham for a very important quest lecture. He had been looking forward to this lecture for weeks, it was being given by Rafael Barba, one of New York City’s most talented assistant district attorney, but now all he wanted to do was crawl into his shitty bed in his shitty apartment and pretend he didn’t have another shift in another few scant hours.

Despite the protests of his body and half of his brain, he somehow got himself to the lecture hall at Fordham Law, still in uniform. Hands trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes, he climbed the stairs to the fourth floor before entering the large hall and plopping down in the second row. Luckily he had gotten there a few minutes early and so had time to lean his head back and try and decompress before he had to use his brain.

Too soon the classroom was filling up and the professor was calling the room to order, before introducing the ADA. Sonny, who was about to fall asleep due to exhaustion, significantly perked up when he saw the man himself.

Sonny felt his mouth go dry and he suddenly wished he had grabbed a water from the machine outside. Rafael Barba was not was he was expecting. He was expecting some over-fifty guy with graying hair and pudgy around the edges, not this… this walking sex dream.

The man, looked maybe five to ten years older than Sonny, was dressed to the nines. He wore a dark navy three piece suit with a light blue dress shirt and shiny black shoes. His dark hair was perfectly coiffed and a sly smirk was on his lips as he looked over the faces of tired but eager law students.

“Hello, everyone, it’s great to be here. I normally don’t have the time to do lectures at universities however, Professor Landon here used to teach at my alma mater and talked me into coming tonight. I know many of you have had long days,” here, as Barba’s eyes scanned the seats, his eyes landed on Sonny, uniform ruffled and bags under his eyes. The lawyer’s eyes widened fractionally before smirking and continuing. “My goal is to teach you as much, and answer as many questions as possible, within an hour or two so we can all go ahead and sleep. Sound good? Good.”

Despite the exhaustion in his bones, Sonny perked up as the man talked. He was captivating, witty, and bloody brilliant. He talked fast, voice sharp but helpful, telling them things that their professor, a man who had been out of the game for decades, forgot about. Barba talked with such passion, such joy for his job and what he did that Sonny felt himself being filled with a type of energy that he hadn’t for months.

For months as he scrapped by as a new cop, he questioned his decision to go to law school. He barely slept, barely had food to eat, wasn’t sure if it was all worth it. But this man, this man relit the spark that had gone out. The way he talked - oh that sharp tongue -, the way he walked - such a sexy swagger -, Sonny thought he was gonna swoon.

He had known for awhile that he liked guys as well as girls, though in the past six months he hadn’t had time to even think about dating anyone. But this man, God, this man was the whole goddamn package. He had brains, swagger, confidence, style, and that wasn’t even considering his body. The man was fit and the suit he wore must have been tailored to show him off, because those pants hugged his ass so well that Sonny had to shift awkwardly to hide his growing problem.

Before he even knew it, two hours had passed and the class was packing up. He went to stand and twisted to crack his back, suddenly feeling like he was fifty instead of twenty seven.

“It’s rare to see a cop with a desire to actually go to law school,” A familiar voice with a hint of a Cuban accent said from behind him and Sonny spun around to see the ADA standing in front of him, shrugging on his heavy black coat.

“I can see why no cop would want to, being a cop and going to law school sucks.” Sonny said plainly.

Barba laughed. “And yet you’re doing it.”

“I seem to enjoy making myself suffer.” He muttered before offering his hand to to the slightly shorter man. “Officer Dominick Carisi, Counselor, but you can call me Sonny.”

Raising an eyebrow at his name, Barba shook his hand. “Rafael Barba.”

Barba gestured for them to walk out together and so they walked side by side. “I hope you found the lecture informative, this is the first time I’ve done one.”

“Really? I never would have guessed.” Sonny responded. “Despite my exhaustion, I have never enjoyed a lecture so much in life.”

“How long was your shift today?” Barba asked.

“Twelve hours, spent six of which on protective duty outside a house.”

He made a face. “That’s awful. How about you let me buy you a beer, Dominick?”

Sonny looked at Barba, noticing the quirk of his lips, his open body language and smiled.

“That sounds absolutely wonderful. You can call me Sonny though.”

“Yeah, think I’m going to stick with Dominick.”

He could sleep later, now he was going to see where the night brought him.

~~~~~ 4 years later ~~~~~

Sonny sat down at his new dest at the sixteenth at his first day at SVU. He had just gotten all of the introductions and was handed a large pile of paperwork to begin filling out.

He really liked his new Lieutenant, Olivia Benson, and thought he would get on really well with Amanda Rollins and Fin. He hoped he would be staying here for awhile, it would be nice to work alongside Rafael, the SVU’s resident ADA for the past year or so. After that drink four years ago, they had started dating and eventually had gotten married a year ago.

The Brass knew of their marriage and Chief Dodds assured him and Rafael that he would handle informing Lieutenant Benson so that there would be no issues, but he wasn’t sure if the Chief had had that conversation yet, but assumed he must have before he got there today.

The pile of paperwork in front of him was huge and he settled down to spend the day filling it out. On one of the forms, Sonny had to put down about his marriage so if nothing else, he hoped the Lieutenant would see it. Three hours later, he was mostly through the stack when he was interrupted.

“Carisi,” Fin said, startling him out of his daze. “Time to fill you in on our case, come on in here.”

The older man led him into a side room where they had boards set up with pictures, maps, and photos of the crimes scene and evidence. The trio in front of him spent the next half hour going through the case and explaining their standard procedures and Sonny did his best to remember it all.

“Ah, and here is our resident ADA, Rafael Barba.” Benson said, causing Carisi to spin to see his husband striding towards them, looking handsome as ever in his three piece suit. His face lit up and Barba gave him a small smirk. “Barba, Detective Dominick Carisi.”

Carisi smirked and winked at the other man. “Call me Sonny.”

Barba rolled his eyes fondly as he shook his husband’s hand. “No, Dominick. Stop asking.”

“You two know each other?” Fin asked, eyes darting between the two men.

“Yeah…” Barba looked quizzically at Benson, trailing off. “Has Chief Dodds not talked to you yet?”

Now Benson looked confused as she slowly shook her head. “No…?”

“Christ,” Barba swore under his breath. “He was supposed to at least tell you, Liv, before Dominick got here but I see he is being as annoying as ever.”

“Tell me what?” She asked.

He tugged under the color of his shirt and pulled out a chain and Carisi copied his action. They both had silver chains tucked under their suits, chains that held silver wedding bands on them. “We’re married.”

Rollins nearly dropped her coffee. Fin’s eyebrows shot higher on his forehead than anyone had ever seen. Benson was frozen in shock.

“You’re married?!” Rollins and Benson asked at the same time.

At that moment, Dodds happen to come strolling into the room.

“I see that I am a few minutes late to the party,” He quipped, stepping into the room. All the eyes shot to him.

“You were supposed to tell Benson, Chief, before Dominick got here.” Barba shot back.

Dodds shifted. “I got tied up at 1pp, but to be fair, it looks like you two were handling it pretty well.”

“You never told us you were married, Barba,” Rollins cut in.

He rolled his eyes. “You never asked, Detective.”

Carisi rolled his eyes at his dramatic husband while Rollins flushed causing the ADA to smirk. “You’re enjoying this.” He accused.

“Perhaps. Now, would anyone like to explain the case to me?”

Seeing as the trio in front of them were still pretty confused with all the new information just thrown at them, Carisi sighed before getting up and starting to go through it with the lawyer.

“We’re dreaming,” Rollins said faintly.

“You’re not,” Dodds shot back. “I saw them together at a Christmas party with a bunch of the bigwigs, when they aren’t on the job they are sickenly cute. However, while on the clock, they’re always pretty professional. I don’t expect any issues, I wouldn’t have placed him here otherwise. He’s got a strong legal mind on his head as well, what with going to Fordham Law and married to Barba so he should be a great asset.”

Before anymore discussion could be had, Benson got a call.

“We got another body.”