“Sonny, you still haven’t signed the forms. We’ve talked about this. If McCoy finds out before we disclose, both of our asses will be on the line. Not to mention they’ll look into the cases we worked together. Just sign the damn forms already, would you?” Peter waved the stack of disclosure papers in front of Sonny’s face. Sonny was sitting at the breakfast table drinking his coffee, but as soon as he saw the documents the look on his face turned mulish.
“I’ll sign them eventually,” Sonny said, and he sounded like a stubborn three year old.
“No, you’ll sign them by the end of the week. That gives you three more days to wrap your head around the concept of the squad knowing about us. But that’s as far as I’m willing to go. We need to put an end to this charade, Sonny. Sooner rather than later. And you know it.” Peter was getting really tired of needing to have the same conversation over and over again. Sonny needed to see reason.
“It’s gonna screw up the whole dynamic in the squad,” Sonny all but whined, glaring at the papers as if they had personally offended him.
“But the longer we wait the worse it will be. Right now, we’ve only lied to them for a couple of weeks and they don’t even need to know that. We don’t have to tell them that we’ve been back together pretty much since the moment I took over prosecution. They don’t need to know. We can make it appear as if it’s just a recent thing.” Peter stared at Sonny, willing him to listen, willing him to understand that they really needed to do this, now.
Sonny huffed. “Yeah, I wouldn’t know how to explain the truth to them, anyway.” He looked and sounded miserable.
Peter grinned. “Oh, so you don’t want to tell them how you showed up here that first night after you learned I was going to prosecute Barba, yelling at me, cursing at me, so angry you could barely think straight? Or that you tried to get rid of all that pent-up anger by fucking me against a wall?” Peter raised his eyebrows at Sonny. It had been some pretty spectacular hate-sex. Only, what had had started out as a means to vent had turned into a very sweet reconciliation.
“Yeah, no, I think I don’t need anyone to know that,” Sonny said, a sharp edge to his tone.
Peter leaned over to kiss Sonny and said, “I know it makes you uncomfortable, to disclose and all the changes that come with it, but it’s for the best. Besides, we changed our medical information already to be each other’s proxy again. You’re a detective working with detectives. It’s only a matter of time befor the squad starts to wonder why two people who supposedly only met for the first time a couple of months ago are this close. Think about it, please?”
“I only agreed to the medical proxy thing because you’re paranoid and think something will happen to me and you won’t be able to get to me,” Sonny said, still sounding petulant. Then he sighed. “I know you’re right, okay? I know that. I just don’t want things to change at work. And it’s gonna. It’s gonna change a lot. I just … sorry, but I’ve been working with them a lot longer than you have. It’s gonna make things weird.”
“Maybe they’ll surprise you,” Peter said. He walked over to one of the cupboards that lined the walls and pulled open a drawer. His hand shook only slightly as he took out the envelope and ripped it open. The contents slid into his hand and he silently offered it to Sonny. “In case you wanted it back.”
Sometimes Peter hated being right.
Sonny had taken until Friday night to hand in the forms to Olivia, knowing full well that she would likely not read them right away but would want to go home to spend time with Noah.
On Monday morning, barely three hours into their work day, Peter was at the precinct to discuss their latest case with Olivia when her phone rang, and from the look on her face it wasn’t good news. When Peter gathered that it was Amanda, who was out with Sonny to talk to a suspect, a bad feeling settled into Peter’s stomach.
As soon as she hung up, Olivia turned to him, worry in her tone. “Uh, listen, Peter, I’ve got to go. Carisi has been injured and is on his way to the hospital. Amanda’s with him but I need to get there as soon as possible. I’ll keep you posted.” She turned to walk away but Peter gripped her wrist and prevented her from leaving.
“Wait,” he said, heart beating wildly in his chest. Sonny was injured. Had Sonny been attacked by their suspect? “What hospital? How is he? What happened? Tell me what’s going on!” Peter hated how scared he sounded, how frantic.
Olivia looked at him, surprised. She freed herself from his grip and there was something in her eyes, something curious and almost speculative. “They’re taking him to Mt. Sinai. Amanda said that one of the suspects was hiding in the ceiling and literally jumped down on Carisi. Looks like he might have a concussion, but we’ll know more once I get to the hospital. What’s going on, Peter? I didn’t know you and Carisi were … close.”
Peter took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down. His hands were shaking, and he was feeling jittery from fear. Peter forced himself to slow his breathing and think positive. Sonny would be fine. He had to be fine. “Sonny dropped off some paperwork on Friday, right?” Peter asked. “Have you looked at it yet?”
“Uh, no, he said it would keep. I didn’t have the time yet, why?” She frowned, clearly impatient to get to the hospital.
“They’re disclosure forms, Liv,” Peter said. “I handed mine in with Jack last week as well.”
“Oh.” Olivia looked even more surprised now. “So, you and Carisi? I didn’t see that one coming. That was kind of fast.”
“Not really. It’s a long story but we should really go now. I need to be with Sonny,” Peter sai,d and started for the door. He was so scared for Sonny, the fear of not knowing how bad it was weighing like lead in his stomach. His hands still shook, and his heart raced, but he fought the panic down. This was not the time and place to fall apart.
“Of course!” Olivia caught up with him again. She touched his arm lightly in support. “I’ll drive. You look like you shouldn’t be behind the wheel.”
“Thanks,” Peter said. He really felt grateful for her support. But he also knew that there would be questions later. It couldn’t be helped now, all that was important was that he got to Sonny as soon as possible.
They arrived at Mt. Sinai in record time and rushed towards the waiting area where they found Rollins.
“How is he? What did the doctors say?” Peter asked even before Amanda could greet them.
“Stone? What are you going here?” Amanda asked. She looked between Olivia and Peter.
“Long story, Amanda. How’s Carisi?” Olivia asked before Peter had a chance to answer. Peter was grateful for that. He didn’t want to get into it with Rollins right now, all he wanted to do was get to Sonny.
“The doctor is still with him, so I don’t know anything for sure yet,” Amanda said, and she looked a lot more worried than Peter liked. Did she know something she wasn’t saying?
“I’ll go talk to the nurse, maybe she knows more,” Peter said. His hands were still shaking so he shoved them into his pockets. Now that he was at the hospital, that much closer to Sonny, he felt just a bit more in control, but he still didn’t want Rollins to see just how affected he really was.
“Peter, you’re not his medical proxy so they can’t tell you anything. Let me try, I’m his boss-” Olivia started but Peter interrupted her. He was running out of patience. He needed to see Sonny, now.
“I am his medical proxy, Olivia. And I really need to talk to that nurse so just, please, let me do this, all right?” Peter knew he sounded a lot more hostile and upset than usual, and Olivia didn’t deserve his ire, but he honestly couldn’t help it. Every moment he wasn’t with Sonny, every minute he didn’t know how badly he was injured, the fear turned Peter’s chest more and more to ice.
Olivia’s eyebrows shot up and she looked startled and slightly hurt. “Wow, you’re his medical proxy already. You’re really not wasting any time, are you?” She waved her hand towards the nurse’s station. “Go! Go and find out how my detective is doing.”
Peter did just that.
Sonny looked like death warmed over. It had taken another fifteen minutes until Peter could see Sonny because there were still tests being done and the gash on his forehead had needed stitches. Sonny was pale, with dark shadows under his eyes and dried blood still visible in places on his face and in his hair. Peter knew head wounds always bled a lot, but the sight still made his stomach drop.
“Hey there,” he said quietly as he stepped up to the bed and reached for Sonny’s hand.
Sonny’s face lit up. “Hey. I’m glad you’re here,” Sonny said and squeezed Peter’s hand. “Are Amanda and the Lieu here too? Amanda was kind of freaked out a little.” He looked sheepish and embarrassed, and Peter’s heart clenched painfully. Sonny was more worried about his co-worker than he was about Peter and what hearing that Sonny had been injured might have done to him.
“Yeah, uh,” Peter cleared his suddenly burning throat. “They’re both here. I suspect Olivia will be coming in any moment now. I had to tell her that I’m your medical proxy. She hadn’t looked at the disclosure papers yet, so she was a bit surprised that I almost freaked out on her when I heard you were on your way to the hospital.”
Something on Sonny’s face shifted. “Come here,” he said, and reached out with his free hand.
Peter leaned in with a little sigh and kissed Sonny gently. He had to restrain himself from slipping his fingers into Sonny’s hair, for fear of aggravating his concussion and worsening Sonny’s surely awful headache. He couldn’t suppress the fine shiver that ran through him, however, adrenaline still coursing through his veins. When Peter finally pulled back, Sonny looked contrite.
“I’m sorry for scaring you,” Sonny said, and avoided Peter’s eyes. “I know you predicted something like this would happen and you were right. If you hadn’t been on record and I hadn’t been conscious, they most likely wouldn’t even have let you see me. I’m so sorry, Peter.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it,” Peter replied. He didn’t want Sonny to feel guilty for having been reluctant to disclose. It was a big step after all, even if it had been a necessary one.
“Thank you,” Sonny said, and squeezed Peter’s hand again. Then he looked around the room, obviously searching for something. “Could you hand me my jacket please?” he asked, pointing to where a nurse had placed his personal belongings on a chair.
“Sure,” Peter replied, and fetched the jacket for him. It was bloodied at the collar and down the front, and was probably ruined for good, but Peter didn’t care. He’d just buy Sonny a new suit or two. Sonny was going to be all right and that was all that mattered to Peter.
As Peter watched, Sonny searched the inside pocket of his jacket, and took out a small pouch that had the logo of a jeweler. He opened it and took out the contents, holding it out to Peter just the way Peter had done the week before.
“It didn’t fit anymore so I had it resized. I just picked it up this morning before work. At first I thought I should just, you know, wear it, but then I figured maybe you’d like to put it back on me?” There was insecurity in Sonny’s voice and he looked unusually shy and uncertain. “I don’t want to hide any more, Peter. You’re right, it’s better to be honest about our relationship. If I hadn’t been this reluctant, you would have been called right away and would probably have worried less. So, what do you think?” He held out his left hand for Peter to take.
“I think that at least this time I’ll remember putting it on you,” Peter teased, and slipped the plain gold wedding band onto Sonny’s finger. It looked good sitting there. It looked absolutely perfect.
Sonny groaned and covered his face with his hands, but then hissed in pain.
“I think that’s the problem with drunken Vegas weddings, Peter. The only evidence you have afterwards are embarrassing pictures or videos, a marriage certificate, and a raging hangover.”
“Oh, don’t forget that we almost got arrested for indecent behavior.” Peter laughed. He hadn’t thought he would ever be able to laugh about the night Sonny had deemed their biggest mistake all those years ago.
“Oh god, don’t remind me. That was so embarrassing. I can’t believe that we almost didn’t make it to my hotel room to ‘consummate our marriage’. Man, that night was crazy.” Sonny sounded amused and only a little rueful, which made Peter ridiculously happy.
“Yeah, it was. But I’m glad we’re still married. It maybe wasn’t the right time for us, then. But it is now.” Peter smiled at Sonny. It was obvious how much Peter’s words meant to Sonny. “That ring looks good on you. Would you like to return the favor?”
Sonny’s eyes widened in surprise. “You have your ring with you?”
“Yes. I’ve been carrying it around with me for a while,” Peter admitted. The truth was, he had been carrying it around practically since the night Sonny had showed up at his apartment and they had ended up having sex. For some reason, Peter had thought that maybe not all hope was lost after all.
“Then yes, I’d love for you to wear your ring again,” Sonny said, and grinned at Peter.
Warmth spread through Peter at the sight. It just made him ridiculously happy that Sonny actually wanted to wear his ring again and wanted Peter to wear his, too. They’d been hiding their relationship for months now and disclosing was one thing – especially since it was a necessity rather than a real choice – but announcing to the world that they belonged together for good was something completely different. Sonny could have opted for not going beyond disclosing, for keeping their relationship as low key and secretive as possible, but he’d gone out of his way to be able to wear his wedding ring again.
Peter felt proud of Sonny for being this bold, for choosing to be open about their being married, and Peter couldn’t have loved him more. With a huge grin on his face, Peter reached for his wallet and took out the wedding ring that he had hidden in there. He handed it to Sonny and then held out his left hand.
Sonny slipped the wedding band on Peter, rubbing over it with his thumb lovingly when he was done. “I like the look of this,” Sonny admitted and looked up to Peter, a blinding smile on his face. “Do I get to kiss the groom now?” he asked.
Peter laughed. “I suppose you do,” he replied and leaned down to place a gentle kiss on Sonny’s lips. Sonny might have a concussion and surely his head was hurting like a bitch, but he still acted like this was the best day in his life.
“Just how many painkillers did they give you?” Peter asked gently when Sonny pulled back from him.
“Not much, actually. And certainly not enough to get rid of my epic headache. But I know what I’m doing, if that’s what you’re worried about.” Sonny’s voice was quiet and full of understanding. “No more hiding, Peter. No more pretending you’re not the most important person in my life. No more evading questions and acting like we didn’t spend the night in the same bed, wrapped up in each other. I’m your husband. I’m not ashamed of that. And I’m not ashamed of you. I shouldn’t have acted like I did and I’m sorry for that. But that’s over now. I want everyone to know that you’re mine.”
“Possessive, aren’t we, Detective Carisi?” Peter teased and pressed a small kiss against Sonny’s temple. He couldn’t put into words how happy Sonny made him.
“Oh, yes, very much so, Counselor,” Sonny replied, teasingly. “You better not try and make me jealous.”
“Never,” Peter said, and leaned down to kiss Sonny again.
“I see you have found my detective.” Olivia’s voice came from the doorway.
Peter turned around to look at her. “He was my husband before he was your detective, Liv,” Peter said, not caring that he’d probably give Olivia a heart attack with his revelation.
“Did you just say Carisi is your husband?” Olivia sounded as surprised as Peter had expected her to be. “Are you seriously telling me that you are Carisi’s estranged spouse? I’ve always wondered about the ‘separated’ part of his personnel file but thought that this might have been a case of having eloped with his high school sweetheart or something.”
“Sorry, Lieutenant, close, but no cigar. I’ll tell you about it some other time. Right now, I’m hoping Peter will spring me from here. I’d like to get some sleep in my own bed. My head is killing me.”
“I’ll hold you to that, Carisi,” Olivia said. “So, what’s the verdict?”
“Concussion, gash in the forehead, but otherwise he was lucky,” Peter reported dutifully. “He can go home in a few hours, provided someone is looking after him, which means I’ll have to call Jack and tell him that I’m going home early today.”
Olivia smiled at them. “It looks like you’ve got it all figured out. I’ll go back to the precinct and file those forms for you, then. Wouldn’t want to cause any problems for you guys,” she said, and left with a smirk on her face that told Peter they would never live this down.
“So, no going home right now?” Sonny frowned and then winced.
“No, but I’ll pick you up in a couple of hours,” Peter said. He knew Sonny needed to stay for a little longer, but Peter had to admit that he’d feel better taking him home and fussing over him there. “Why don’t you try and get some rest, and I’ll come back to get you as soon as possible? But no hitting on the cute nurses,” Peter teased gently, and pressed another kiss against Sonny’s temple.
“Never! I’m a married man,” Sonny said with a small smile, and wiggled the fingers of his left hand.
“Yes, you are. Don’t you forget it,” Peter replied. He squeezed Sonny’s hand and then kissed him goodbye. It was just a quick press of lips, but Peter felt a sort of giddy happiness bubbling up in his chest at the thought of being able to do this kind of thing – kissing his husband without the fear of being found out – from now on.
They’d had a bit of a rocky start, but Peter was sure the future ahead of them would be happy and bright.