Actions

Work Header

A New Lease on Life

Chapter Text

His latest case had been almost eating Rafael alive. He was spending more and more late nights in his Brooklyn office.

His girlfriend of a year, Detective Izzy Rossetti didn’t mind, though. She knew he spent many nights alone due to her job as well. She had transferred from Brooklyn Homicide to Manhattan’s SVU right after they started dating and a lot of cases kept her out later than any homicides ever did.

“Yeah, baby. I’m still at the office,” he told her over the phone.

“I’m sorry. Any idea how much longer…”

“No clue really. I know you had dinner planned…”

“It’s okay. I’ll wrap your dinner and put it in the fridge. You can eat when you get here.”

“Sounds good. I’ll try not to wake you when I get to your place.”

“I won’t mind.”
.
“I’ll wake you in my special way.”

“That sounds even better.”

“Okay, well, I love you, cariño.”

“Love you, Rafa,” she smiled as she hung up her phone.
**********************************************************
He was tired of the looking over case files that he had already looked at 1,000 times it had seemed. He packed up his briefcase, put on his jacket, turned off his light, and walked out of his office.

Instead of heading to his girlfriend’s apartment, he decided to head to a local bar for a drink or two first before going across the bridge.

He tried to drowned out the sounds around him as he concentrated on the scotch in his glass.

“Rafael?”

“Vince?”

“Wow. Long time no see,” the tall, slender man with olive skin said as they hugged.

“Yeah, it’s been a few years.”

“What are you drinking?”

“Same as usual.”

“Mind if I sit?”

“Not at all,” Rafael said as he gestured to the seat next to him.

Truth was, there was a complicated history between the two men, one that Rafael had tried to forget over the years.

The two of them sat in an awkward silence for a little bit.

“So, how’s the Brooklyn DA’s office treating you?”

“Same as usual. You still working for Susan Janet?”

“Unfortunately, but the pay is good,” Vince laughed as he took a drink of his scotch.

They shared another drink, discussed their latest cases. “You got time for one more?”

“I should really get going, Vince.”

“I didn’t mean here,” he said as he took Rafael’s hand, sending a chill through his body.

“Uh, uh…”

“No pressure. You just look like…I don’t know…like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

Rafael decided that it wouldn’t hurt to have another drink or two before heading to his girlfriend’s place.
************************************************
Soon, Vince and Rafael were on the couch, Vince’s hand intertwined in Rafael’s hair as they kissed. Part of Rafael was telling himself he needed to stop, the part didn’t want to. He liked to feel the weight of a man on him and it had been years since he had.

Rafael finally began to sit back up, causing Vince to move away from him.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Rafael told him. “I just…it’s been a long time.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle,” Vince whispered as he started in on Rafael’s neck. Soon, the two of them headed to Vince’s bedroom, which hadn’t changed much since the last time Rafael had been in it. He undid Rafael’s belt, unbuttoned and unzipped his pants, causing them to pool around his ankles.

He had always been impressed that 5’8 lawyer’s size in that area. He dropped to his knees, freeing Rafael’s erection from his boxers before taking it into his mouth.

“God,” Rafael moaned as Vince slowly started bobbing up and down, stopping only to the flick the head of his cock, driving Rafael crazy.

He stood back up, backing Rafael to the bed slowly. They began undressing each other, both of them twisting their hands on each other’s dicks.

Once they were at the front of the bed, Vince reached over to his nightstand, grabbing a bottle of lube and a condom.

There was pain mixed with pleasure as Vince slowly entered Rafael after getting them both ready. He would wait for Rafael to tell him when to go further. Once he was inside, Rafael couldn’t help but moan as Vince hit him inside just right.

It had been forever since he had felt something like this. “God…just like that,” he whispered as Vince started picking up his pace. His legs rested on Vince’s shoulders as Vince stroked and twisted his cock while pumping in and out of him.

It wasn’t long before Rafael came, releasing it all over his stomach. The sight alone turned Vince on so much, he filled his condom quickly. Rafael’s legs were weak as they fell to the side. Vince bent down to kiss him, not caring if he got anything on him or not. It wouldn’t be the first time it would’ve happened.

 

“Why don’t you stay with me tonight? We can take a sick day and just stay in bed all day tomorrow?” Vince asked.

“I…I really need to go,” Rafael managed to tell him as he got dressed after cleaning himself up.

“You still have my number?”

“Yeah.”

“Give me a call sometime.”

Rafael just sort of nodded as he picked up his tie, grabbed the rest of his things and left.

He hailed a cab but instead of going to his girlfriend’s, he sent her a text telling her he was just going home and would be there the next night. She was sleeping hard for once and never heard her phone.

Once he got in his apartment, he turned on the light in his doorway so he could set his keys down in the glass bowl on the table. Staring back at him was a picture of him and the girlfriend who he had just cheated on; with a man no less.

He picked up the picture and just slid down against the wall as he started crying. He kept muttering how sorry he was and he didn’t know what was wrong with him to the picture as if he was actually talking to her.

If she knew, it would crush her. He did love her, that much was true. They had been talking about getting married, having kids in recent weeks. He just didn’t understand what was wrong with him. Why did he have this attraction toward men?

Izzy was the only person he had ever fully opened up to. He had even told her he had experimented in college a couple of times but he had always considered himself straight.

After about an hour, his legs had went numb and took forever for him to peel himself off the floor and go to his room. Upon turn on the lights, he was greeted by more pictures of him and his girlfriend. He was so sick over what he had done, he couldn’t help but run to the bathroom and vomit.

He wasn’t disgusted by the fact he had been with a man as much as he was disgusted that he cheated on someone that trusted him. He knew that feeling all too well, after his longtime girlfriend, Yelina had left him for his oldest friend Alex Munoz when he was away at college at Harvard.

He had sworn he would never cheat on anyone after experiencing that.

Chapter Text

Izzy knew there was something going on with her boyfriend of over a year as they cooked dinner quietly. Sure, he had been busy with his latest case. She had been busy teaching the ropes of Manhattan’s SVU to her newest partner, Amanda Rollins, but this was something else. It had been going on for a few weeks.

“Raf?”

“Hmm?”

“Are you okay?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve seemed…distant lately.”

“Just this case…”

“Rafael come on. You’ve been distracted when we’ve had sex. You’ve been blowing off dates. What’s going on?”

He hung his head as he stopped stirring the vegetables and turned off the burners off the stove.

He took a deep breath and finally spoke. “Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was supposed to come to your place but I said it got too late so I just came home?”

“Yeah?”

“I went out for a couple of drinks after I had finished up. I ended up…I ended up meeting this guy.”

“Okay?”

“You know, when we became friends, how I told you I had experimented in college?”

“As did I, yeah.”

“The reason I didn’t come to your place that night is because…I went to his,” he told her as his voice cracked.

Her head started spinning at what he had just told her. He grabbed a chair as he noticed the color leave her face.

“Did you…uh…did you…”

“Yeah,” he told her hesitantly as a lone tear fell down his cheek.

“Okay,” she nodded as her brown eyes filled with tears.

“I am so sorry,” he told her as he took her hands in his, both of them sobbing uncontrollably. “I…never wanted to hurt you. I hate myself for it. I love you.”

Sure, she could’ve exploded and asked, “how could you do this to me” and the ilk. Instead she lifted his head and wiped his tears.

“You know what would’ve hurt me worse?”

“What?” He sniffled.

“If you had kept living a lie to make me happy.”

“Izz…”

“Stop,” she whispered as she gripped his hands tighter. “When I signed up for this relationship, I signed up for us both to be happy, not just me.”

“You’ve always made me happy, though. It’s nothing to do with you. I’m the one there’s something wrong with.”

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with you,” she told him sternly.

“You don’t hate me?”

“Well, I’m a little mad that you cheated, sure. I am woman after all,” she chuckled through her tears. “But I could never hate you.”

“I don’t want you to leave tonight.”

“Rafa…”

“Please? Can I just hold you one more night?”

“Sure. Hey, why don’t we order pizza, climb in your bed, and watch terrible TV? Then tomorrow, we’ll start figuring out a new way to figure things out for you.”

“You’d do that?”

“I will always love you, Rafael. I’m going to be here in any way that I can for you; as long as you’re okay with that.”

He just nodded as he sort of laughed while he wiped his eyes again. He took her in his arms as they stood up. This time, she was sure the floor wasn’t gonna go out from underneath her while he held her tight against his chest. She wasn’t sure why but he took her face in his hands and kissed her. “I love you. Always will,” he whispered as he rested his forehead on hers.
******************************************************
The next morning, after they spent most of the night crying as they held each other one last time, Izzy started packing her things that she kept there since they had been together.

Rafael couldn’t watch as she basically packed up her life that she had shared with him.

She found him in the small “study” that led out to the balcony of his Riverside Drive apartment.

“I…uh…I think I got everything,” she told him as she went to give him his key.

“You’ve had this since before we got together,” he told her quietly has he closed her hand without taking the key.

“It doesn’t feel right for me to have it now.”

“Why not?”

She really didn’t have an answer. She had promised to help him begin his “new life” and like he said, she had the key before they ever made the move from friends to lovers.

“Look, I can forget all about this and we can…”

“No, we can’t, Rafa. You can’t just forget that you are attracted to men.”

“I thought we were going to get married and you were going to be the mother of my children,” he told her as he cried.

“So, did I,” she sniffled. “We just aren’t meant to be in each other’s lives like that anymore though.”

“I’m just so confused right now.”

“Listen, I thought about it last night and while I was packing. Maybe we need a time-out.”

“But…”

“Not forever. Not even for months. Just until you can figure things out. I said I’d help you and I promise I will but there’s somethings you are gonna have to figure out on your own. If I’m around, it could just confuse you more.”

He just nodded as she held his face, tears falling like rain from his green eyes.

“Who were you talking to earlier?”

“Cragen. I’m…uh…I’m gonna take a break from work. I have plenty of personal & vacation time saved up.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m gonna go visit Erin in Chicago for a week or two. I think we both need some time to put things in perspective so to speak.”

“Maybe you’re right,” he shrugged. “What are we going to tell people?”

“The truth. We wanted different things.”

“Okay. I meant what I said last night. I love you…so much.”

“And I love you. It’s gonna be okay. Trust me. You always have, right?”

“With my life,” he told her. They stood there, holding hands as they rested their heads against each other’s.

“I’ll call you when I get back. Okay?”

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

“How could you not be more upset?” Erin Lindsay, Izzy’s NYU roommate, asked as they sat in her Chicago apartment, a bottle of vodka sitting on the coffee table.

“I’m heartbroken, sure. I mean, we were talking about getting married and having kids but our lives would’ve been a lie.”

“What are you going to do now?”

“Be single? I mean, it’s not like I had anyone in mind for back-up,” Izzy sort of laughed as she wiped her eyes. “I guess it could’ve been worse.”

“How?”

“It could’ve been another woman.”

“You know, honestly, that would probably upset me more, too.”

“Right? I mean, this isn’t about me. It’s something he has to come to terms with.”

“I’m still sorry, Izz.”

“Yeah, thanks,” she sniffled.

“I know you still love him.”

“It’s not like that I can just turn off how I feel.”

“At least you two don’t work together anymore.”

“Haven’t in years.”

“So, how are the two new detectives working out?”

“Amaro’s caught on pretty well so has Rollins. I think they might stick around.”

“You know what we’re gonna do?”

“What?”

“I am going to call Jay. He is going to call Antonio and the four of us are gonna go to Molly’s and get drunk.”

“Dawson? Really?” Izzy asked when Erin mentioned her college boyfriend.

“He and his wife are having problems. I’m not saying you have to do him. Just blow off some steam. We can have some drinks, play pool, eat junk food. Just hang out, like we used to in college.”

“I guess it couldn’t hurt.”

Just then, Izzy’s iPhone buzzed with a text message. It was from Amanda, just asking if she was okay. She told Amanda she was in Chicago and she was fine. Amanda just knew Izzy had asked to use some of her personal time for a little bit.

In the short time Amanda had been in New York from Georgia, she and Izzy had become pretty close friends.
**********************************
Two weeks in Chicago was plenty for Izzy as her plane landed at JFK. She had called Tony to pick her up put instead was met by Rafael.

“Rafa? What are you doing here?”

“Your brother is in court and asked if I could come get you.”

“Oh.”

“Is that okay?”

“Uh, sure.”

He took her suitcase and loaded it in the trunk of his Mercedes that he hardly ever drove.

The ride back to her Midtown apartment was quiet to say the least.

“So, how was Chicago?”

“Not bad. Just hung out at Erin’s. She was on furlough while this new unit is being started that she’s joining.”

“Oh. I’m guessing she’s the same as ever.”

“Of course. She’s never gonna change.”

She was shocked when he pulled into the garage of her building.

“You don’t have to come up…”

“Let me help you with your stuff,” he said softly.

“Okay.”

He sat her stuff in her room while she turned on her Scentsy pots, in which the scent of “Wildberry Cheesecake” filled her apartment.

“Well, thanks for coming to get me and helping me.”

“Sure.”

Slowly, he reached out and took her hand. He intertwined his fingers with hers, pulling her to him. Taking her by surprise, his lips met hers as he backed her against the hallway closet door. “I miss you,” he whispered.

“Raf…Raf…stop,” she told him with much hesitation.

“What? I…I…I can do this. I can be with you and just you.”

“You miss me because it was comfortable.”

“Fuck,” he whispered as he ran his hands over his face. “I’m just trying to figure who or, or what I’m supposed to be. I had a date and I didn’t feel anything like I thought I should…”

“Like I said, I’m comfortable but there’s always going to be something there that I can’t give you. Did I miss you while I was gone? Of course. I will not allow you to live a lie.”

“I’m allowed to be bisexual, aren’t I?”

“So, what are you proposing? We go ahead and get married, have kids but you have affairs with men? What if you were to develop feelings for one? Then what?”

He just stood there, not knowing how to answer.

“You and I both know what would happen. Come on, let me fix you a drink.”

“I think I should go.”

“Raf…just come on,” she smiled as she led him to her couch before going to grab a bottle of scotch out of her cabinet, along with two glasses.

“Thanks,” he told her as she poured them each a drink.

“Listen, you’re not going to feel something on a date just because you think you’re supposed to. It’s just like dating women.”

“The one guy I ‘dated’ in college, it didn’t seem so hard. Dating you didn’t seem so hard.”

“Right now, you’re going through so many different emotions. You’re trying to come to terms with something you’ve been fighting for years. This isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight.”

“I’m almost 40 years old.”

“Rafa what scares you the most?”

“Honestly? Being honest with myself. I was always taught it was wrong.”

“And what year is this?”

“2012, I know but it’s still not easy.”

“Will you tell me something and be honest?”

“Of course.”

“Have you been with a guy since college and I don’t mean…you know.”

“Honestly? Yeah. About 5 years ago, I was sort of seeing this guy. The truth is, it was the guy I was with before we broke up. Then you and I started working together. I only knew you through your brother for so long but the closer we got, the more attracted I became. That’s why I think I’m not gay.”

“Maybe you’re not. You can’t just force anything. What was the guy like that you went out with while I was gone?”

“You seriously want to know?”

“I asked.”

“A lawyer. Boring. Am I boring?”

“Far from it,” she laughed. “You’ll find someone one day that you don’t find boring. Someone that stimulates you intellectually, not just sexually.”

“I guess you’re right,” he smiled.
**************************************************
A few months had went by, Izzy buried herself in work instead of worrying about guys. Rafael was slowly becoming more comfortable with himself as he started a guy named Robert who was an investment banker on Wall Street.

“You need to go out,” Amanda told her as they sat at their desks late one night.

“Hey, I have a friend I could set you up with.”

“I’m good, Nick, thanks. I go out, Amanda.”

“I meant you need to go out on a date with one of those tons of guys that hit on you when we go out.”

“I don’t know if I’m ready.”

“Your ex has moved on you said. It’s time you did the same.”

She sat and looked at the two newest members of SVU as they looked at her. She didn’t tell them why she and her ADA boyfriend had actually broken up, other than they wanted different things. They didn’t even know his name. Their relationship had been on a need to know basis but they didn’t work directly together so it really wasn’t an issue.

“Yeah, okay. I guess you’re right, Rollins.”

“You don’t trust me to hook you up?” Nick laughed.

“Maybe some other time.”

“Okay, so tomorrow night, you and I are going out, you’re going to wear a skirt that shows off your legs and reel a man in.”

“Whatever you say,” Izzy laughed.
*******************************************
“The dark headed guy by the bar is checking you out,” Amanda discreetly nodded toward Izzy.

“Where?”

“Don’t look!! He’s coming over here. Okay, I’m going to pretend you said something funny,” she told her as she started laughing with Izzy thinking she looked like an idiot.

“Uh, hi.”

“Hi.”

“Detective Mike Dodds, Homicide.”

“Detective Elizabeth Rossetti, SVU,” she told him as they shook hands.

“I thought you looked familiar. You used to work out of Brooklyn a few years back.”

“I did. Are you Captain Dodds son?”

“Unfortunately,” he groaned as he rolled his eyes. “Don’t hold that against me?”

“That’s not my style. Oh, this is my partner Detective Amanda Rollins.”

“Nice to meet you,” he told her. “Uh, it’s Izzy, right?”

“Yeah, actually. Very good.”

“You want to get out of here and go somewhere a little quieter?”

Amanda stood behind Mike and nodded her head.

“Sure,” Izzy told him. “I just need to pay my…”

“I used to bartend here after I got out of the army. It’s taken care of,” he smiled.

“Thanks. Amanda you gonna be okay?”

“I think I’m gonna go take my dog out actually.”

Izzy just sort of glared at Amanda who sat there with a smart ass smile.
*************************************************
After a few more drinks at a place not far from her apartment, Izzy invited Mike back with her.

“I usually don’t do this,” she told him as they made their way to her room.

“Me either,” he said as he kissed her neck.

“Don’t tell me that,” she laughed.

“It’s very rare I go home with a girl the first night I meet her. Honestly.”

There was something “honest” about his smile.

It had been months since she had felt the weight of a man on her. The alcohol wasn’t a factor at all as she enjoyed everything Mike did to her that night.

The next morning, she expected to find him gone. Instead he was still asleep next to her.

“Dodds?”

“Hmm?”

“You’re still here?”

“Why wouldn’t I be,” he smiled as he pulled her closer to him.

“Sorry. Like I said…and plus it’s been a long time since I’ve been with anyone at all.”

“I get it. I would like to see you again.”

“Um okay. I have plans this afternoon.”

“How about tomorrow then? Maybe brunch?”

“Uh, sure.”

He got dressed as she threw on her pink robe.

“So, tomorrow? 10?”

“Sounds good.”

“I’ll be here,” he smiled before kissing her good-bye.
******************************************
“It’s just, I thought it would be different. I mean, all Robert talks about is body fat content,” Rafael complained as they stood in her kitchen, making sandwiches for lunch. It was weird how in sync they still were. He’d lay a piece of lunch meat on her bread, she’d put cheese on his and so on. “If I wanted to talk about those kinds of things, I’d still date women.”

“Excuse me?” Izzy laughed.

“You know what I mean. Remember that girl I dated right before we got together?”

“Refresh my memory.”

“Brown hair, blue eyes, worked at…”

“Oh, the coat check girl?!”

“Yeah! She had the breast implants and was working at like two different places to save up money for lip injections.”

“I should’ve wondered something when it came to your taste in women.”

“How long did we date?”

“Touché.”

“You weren’t like any of the other girls I dated. We could stay up all night talking about books, the events of the day, just…everything. Spicy mustard?”

“Duh. Tomato?”

“Do you know me at all? It’s just you’d think that someone that went to Wharton would talk more about how much he lifted and what he ate during the day to make sure…”

“Take your sandwich,” she smiled as she handed him the plate.

“Take yours. So, what did you and Rollins end up doing last night?”

“Well, we went out to this bar called Lucky’s,” she started as she picked at the stray pastrami that hung off her sandwich.

“What’s with the smile?”

“What do you mean?”

“I haven’t seen that smile since you and I first…you know.”

“I met someone last night.”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah. He’s a cop actually.”

“Really? Do you like him?”

“I slept with him if that’s what you’re asking.”

“You don’t have to like someone to sleep with them, Izz.”

“I know that but I mean, we’re going to brunch tomorrow.”

“Sounds promising.”

“Shut up,” she laughed as she threw a piece of pickle at him. “Enough about me. So, what are you gonna do about Robert?”

“Break-up with him? I try to steer the conversation, but it’s always the same thing. I mean, the only way I can tolerate him is during sex and barely at that.”

“Oh, Rafa. You’ll find someone.”

“I know. So, Jack McCoy has been begging me to transfer to his office.”

“I’ve been telling you for years you should. You live over here anyways.”

“Yeah I know. Mami and Abuelita asked about you the other day.”

“Yeah?”

“Well, both of them actually were going on and on and on about how they can’t understand why we don’t try again.”

“You still haven’t told them?”

“I’m not ready. With the exception of anyone I’ve dated, you’re the only one I’ve told.”

“Rafa that’s not healthy.”

“You know my mother. How do you honestly think she’d react?”

“Not as bad as you think.”

“I didn’t have the understanding parents you have. My dad all but accused me of being gay when I was a kid.”

“What about Abuelita?”

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “Do you think…never mind.”

“What?”

“Would you go with me to tell one of them?”

“You really think you had to ask? Now, that sandwich you made me has me very tired.”

“Give me your feet,” he told her as he patted his lap. It wasn’t long and she fell asleep. He covered her with her favorite blanket and made himself comfortable in her recliner, falling asleep himself.

Chapter Text

“Don’t be so nervous, Rafa,” his best friend told him as they went to his mother’s apartment in the Bronx a few weeks later.

“I don’t know if I can do this.”

“Don’t you think on some level, she already knows?”

“I doubt it,” he scoffed.

“Just come on. You’ve made it this far. It’s only a few more feet.”

He was practically glued to the floor at the end of the hallway.

“I…I can’t.”

“Okay then. Let’s just go have a nice lunch with your mom and grandmother,” she offered. “Will that work?”

He just sort of nodded as he reached out and took the hand she had offered him.

“Mami?”

“Raf? It’s about time,” the taller woman with short brown hair laughed as she came out of her kitchen. “And Izzy. I’m so glad to see this face.”

“It’s nice to see you, again, Lucia.”

“Mama!!”

“Don’t need to shout, Lucia Barba! I’m not deaf,” the short gray haired lady with glasses said as she joined the three of them. “My baby,” she smiled as she wrapped her arms around her only grandchild.

“Abuelita…” he sort of whined as Catalina Diaz always made a big fuss when it came to her grandson.

“Izzy. What have you been up to,” she said as she turned her attention toward the detective that she had hoped would give her great-grandchildren one day.

“Just working and taking care of this guy,” she teased.

“Somebody needs to. Well come on, we’ve spent all morning making your favorite.”

The four of them sat and talked about Rafael and Izzy’s jobs, Lucia’s work at the charter school she had been at for years.

“Are you two ever going to get back together or you just happy being friends?” Lucia asked after a while.

“Well, uh, Mami, actually…uh…um…”

Izzy reached under the table and grabbed his shaking hand.

“Rafi are you okay?”

He swallowed hard, just knowing he was going to break his mother and grandmother’s hearts.

“We’re not getting back together because…I’m…I’m…”

“You’re gay?”

He couldn’t even look up as the words escaped from his Abuelita’s mouth. His green eyes started filling with tears as he nodded his head.

“It’s okay,” Lucia said as she got out of her chair and wrapped her arms around her son, who let out a sob at the embrace. He cried into her shoulder like a child.

“I’m so sorry, Mami.”

“What for?” She asked with a small laugh. “We suspected it over the years. I was always worried that you weren’t being truthful to yourself. I was scared that it was going to swallow you alive one day. I’ve read all these stories of successful men and women that don’t come out, live lies, and it doesn’t always end well. It’s not just teenagers that kill themselves over this kind of thing. You doing something to yourself like that is so much worse than you being gay, Rafael.”

“My daughter’s right,” Lina smiled as she made her way over to him. “The thought of you not being here scared us more than anything.”

“So, you both…knew?”

“Like your mother said, we suspected it.”

“You know, I think I’m gonna head out,” Izzy sort of whispered, thinking the three of them should be alone.

“You’ll do no such thing,” Lucia told her as she grabbed her arm to make her sit back down. “He needs you.”

Izzy just sort of nodded as she sat back in her chair. Rafael took his napkin and wiped his eyes. “Well, there you have it,” he kind of laughed. “We’re not getting back together because she’s my hag now.”

The four of them just laughed, which helped to continue to calm his nerves.

“Well, I’m glad you’re being honest with yourself.”

“Thanks, Mami.”

“Now, who wants dessert?”
*****************************************************
“That wasn’t so bad.”

“It really wasn’t,” Rafael laughed as they walked into Izzy’s building. “Thanks for being there.”

“Of course. I’m always going to be there for you.”

“I couldn’t have picked a better hag.”

“Hush,” she laughed as she unlocked her door.

“You haven’t told anyone you work with…”

“Of course not. I just told Amanda that we wanted different things.”

“Well, to be fair, we sort of want similar things.”

Izzy just shook her head with a smile. “Erin knows but…”

“She lives in Chicago so I’m not too worried about your college roommate. What about your brother?”

“I’ll leave that to you, Rafa. I know you guys have been friends since your Harvard days but…”

“How do you think Tony will react?”

“Come on. You guys lived together for what, 5 years? And we weren’t raised like that, either. Our cousin Gino is gay, remember?”

“Oh, yeah,” he said as he sort of stared off into space before shaking his head. “Not my type. Well, I guess I’m gonna get home.”

“Alrighty. See you Wednesday?”

“I’ll be here after court,” he smiled. “Tell Dodds I said hi.”

“We gotta find you another man.”

“I’m good,” he laughed. “I’ll see you Wednesday.”
*****************************************************
It had been 6 months since Izzy and Mike had started dating and things seemed to be going pretty well for the two of them.

Rafael seemed to be sort of settled with another lawyer that Izzy’s brother, Tony, set him up with, Wesley.

Tony didn’t have a problem that his college roommate and best friend was gay, either. As he put it, “At least now, I don’t have to worry about the dirty things you could be doing to my sister anymore.”

Tony and Izzy came from a working class Italian family in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Tony was 5 years older than his sister but they had always been close. Their father, Anthony Rossetti Sr was a Battalion Chief with FDNY while their mother Stella was Assistant Principal of FDR High School in Bensonhurst. Sadly, they had divorced during Izzy’s Sophomore year of high school. She always believed they were happy but reality struck like lightening that fall of 1994 when they broke the news that after 21 years of marriage, it was ending.

Tony had come home from college to comfort his sister. She hated spending her time between her parents houses, even at 32, it still sucked having two Thanksgivings and Christmases, that was if her dad wasn’t working.

“Did you ever have a feeling or a suspicion?” Tony asked after he showed up uninvited one evening to his sister’s apartment.

“I mean, I knew he experimented in college but I never worried about it I guess.”

“You know, he always seemed like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders and now…it’s gone. I always thought it was more or less something with his dad. Guess he’s glad he’s dead so he didn’t have to face telling that asshole.”

“Well, that’s one way of putting it.”

“How did you handle it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, little sister, I know that had to have been hard.”

“It was, yeah, but, like I told Erin, it wasn’t about me.”

“I guess not. You sure you’re okay, though? I mean, you guys are still pretty close.”

“I’m fine. I promise. Don’t worry so much.”

“Okay. How are things going with Mike?”

“Uh, really good,” she smiled.

“Really good or REALLY good?”

“We’re not talking about getting married or anything but it’s a nice fit.”

“Please. I give it two years and there will be Mini-Dodds’ running around.”

“What about you?”

“What about me? I’m content in my life.”

“Sleeping with a different girl every night content does not make.”

“I don’t sleep with a different girl every night.”

“Fine, every week, whatever,” she laughed.

“Eh, maybe one day.”

“Well, you’re not getting any younger.”

“Thanks for the reminder. Hey, you aren’t either.”

“I just turned 32 in October.”

“And it’s 2012. You’ll be 33 this year.”

“Remind me how old you’re gonna be.”

“Shut up, asshole,” Tony said as he threw a piece of shrimp at his sister.

Chapter Text

“You’re seriously moving in with him?”

“Why not, Rafa? We love each other and we’ve been together almost a year.”

“Pssh…I just…I don’t…”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“Something. What is it, Rafael?”

“Can I be honest with you?”

“Yeah.”

“I just don’t see the two of you…getting married and all that.”

She was sort of shocked at the assessment her best friend had made.

“Excuse me?”

“I’m sorry, Izz. I just don’t think he’s the one for you.”

“Why? Cause it was supposed to be you?”

“NO! I mean, yeah, I thought I was but I am who I am and…”

“And I understand that.”

“Look, he’s the first guy you dated after we broke up and I’m actually surprised you guys made it this long.”

“I can’t believe you. I have stood by your side for the last year, even after you broke my heart into a million pieces. I moved on finally and all I want is for you to be as supportive of me as I have been of you.”

“I do support you. I just don’t want you…I don’t want to see you get hurt again.”

They both stood in his kitchen, neither of them looking anywhere but the floor.

“You worry too much,” she finally spoke, breaking the silence.

“I’m always gonna worry about you. I know I broke your heart and I still haven’t forgiven myself.”

“I’m fine. I love Mike and yeah, maybe it’s not forever but it’s right now. I just need to know that best friend is gonna stand behind me.”

“If this is what you really want.”

“It is.”

“Okay.”

“So, are you excited about your lateral move to Manhattan?”

“Changing the subject,” he laughed. “I am, actually.”

“Where’s Wesley?”

“He’s up to his ass in motions thanks to Rita. Hopefully he won’t be too much longer, though. I told him you were making your famous eggplant parm and you now he can’t resist that.”

“I wouldn’t call it ‘famous’ but it’s better than most restaurants in the city,” she joked. It was an old recipe passed down from her great-great-great grandmother.

“Well, it’s definitely one of my top 5 things to eat.”

“You’re sweet,” she smiled.

“Listen, I don’t want you to ever think that I’m not behind you in anything you decide. I just want you to be happy.”

“I appreciate that, Rafa,” she told him as she hugged his neck. His hands rested on her upper arms as he looked into her eyes. Before she knew what was happening, his lips were on hers. She pulled him closer to her body as his hand became tangled in her hair. She finally came to her senses and lightly pushed him away.

“I’m so sorry.”

“Uh, it’s fine,” she told him, her thoughts racing through her mind rapidly.

“Honey, I’m home!” Wesley announced as he came through Rafael’s door.

Rafael greeted the dark haired, sort of stocky lawyer when he came in. Wes was very cute to say the least.

“Hey, Izz,” he smiled as he came in the kitchen, placing a kiss on her cheek. “Smells wonderful.”

“Thanks,” she told him without making eye contact.

“When Rafi told me you were coming over to cook, I did as much work as I possibly could get done so I wouldn’t miss it. Your brother was a little jealous when I told him, too.”

She sort of laughed as she kept cooking.

“Do I got time to take a quick shower before dinner?”

“Uh, yeah, sure, Wes.”

“Great. I’ll be back, hun,” he said as he placed a quick kiss to Rafael’s lips before quickly exiting the kitchen.

“Huh.”

“What?”

“He…he’s been coming in and taking showers a lot recently.”

“So? He likes to be clean.”

“Maybe. Look, I don’t know what came over me…”

“It’s fine, Raf. Just a moment of weakness.”

“Right,” he nodded as he took a sip of the scotch in his hand.
*************************************************
“Is that everything finally?” Tony remarked as he brought up one of the last boxes into Mike’s apartment.

“Yes, thank you,” his sister told him.

“Mike are you sure you want to live with my sister? She’s really messy.”

“I think I can live with it, Tony,” Mike laughed. “At least, I’m willing, too.”

“I thought Barba was coming?”

“Guess not, Tony. I tried to call him but he didn’t answer.”

It had been about a month since Izzy had been to his apartment, cooked dinner, and they shared a very inappropriate kiss. A distance had come between them in the past few weeks. They were even working a case together at SVU, thanks to Izzy’s Rabbi Captain Steven Harris but they only talked about work.

“Okay, last one, Rossetti,” Chief William Dodds laughed as he came in with her dad, both of them carrying her vanity.

“Thanks, Chief. Thanks, Pop.”

“No problem. Where do you want this?”

“You can just put in my…our bedroom right through there,” Mike told them as he pointed them in the right direction.

“Do you guys have enough groceries?”

“We’re fine, Ma,” Izzy laughed. “I’ll go shopping tomorrow.”

“Well, in any case, there’s a lasagna in the fridge for you guys tonight so you don’t have to worry about cooking or ordering out.”

“Stella you didn’t have to do that,” Mike chuckled as he hugged her.

“I don’t mind at all, Michael.”

“Chief, what do you I say I take you and Stella for a drink?” Dodds Sr asked Anthony and Stella.

“That sounds good to me. Stella?”

“Why not? I think we’ve all earned it.”

Tony had a “date” so he left shortly after Mike’s dad and the Rossetti’s. At least Stella and Anthony were still able to get along and would even hang out on occasion; this being one of those.

“You okay, baby?” Mike asked when he found his girlfriend unpacking her clothes.

“Yeah. Why?”

“You seem kind of…distant. You’re not having regrets already, are you?”

“Of course not,” she smiled.

“It’s Barba, huh?”

“I’m just worried about him.”

“Then talk to him.”

“He won’t return my calls or my texts unless they’re about the case.”

“That was a big move he just made so it’s probably a little bit of an adjustment.”

“I’m sure you’re right,” she told him. “So, what shall we do for our first night living together?”

“I have a few ideas,” he said with a grin she knew all too well. He put his hands on her waist, pulling her into him. Their lips soon were locked as his tongue massaged hers, only for them to be interrupted by her phone.

Rafael: I’m sorry I haven’t been returning your calls. I hope I’m not interrupting, I just need someone to talk to. Mainly…you.

“Everything okay?” Mike asked.

“Uh, I’m not sure.”

Izzy: Everything okay?
Rafael: No. I know you were moving today. Is there anyway you could come over?
Izzy: I’ll be there in 20 minutes.

“Mike…”

“Go. I’ll be here when you get back,” he smiled.

“Thank you.”
*************************************************
She ran out the door and headed straight for Riverside Drive. She still had her keys so she could let herself in without a problem.

She got to his door to find it cracked open. The detective in her took over as she pulled her gun and started walking in slowly. She saw the table by his door turned over, sitting straight up. There was broken glass the further she walked in.

“Rafael?”

“In here,” she heard him call out from the bedroom.

She still had her gun drawn when she found him with an ice pack on his lip.

“It’s just me,” he told her, startled by her gun.

“Oh my god. What happened?”

“Wes…he left his laptop open and he had been cheating on me…”

“Rafa, I’m so sorry. I’m guessing you confronted him?”

“Yeah and as you can see, it did not go well.”

“Let me look at you. Jesus. He really worked you over. Please tell me you got some good swings of your own.”

“I did. Going to the gym with you over the years has definitely helped,” he tried to joke as she helped him up.

“Was this the first time he…”

“No,” he told her while she helped wipe the blood off of him.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“How could I?”

“Raf…when did it start?”

“After two months. We’d get into little arguments and they would escalate. The first time…the first time, it was just a push. It just got worse over time.”

“Let me guess, brought back memories of your father.”

“I see your Psychology degree wasn’t a complete waste,” he tried to laugh. “Ow. I’m just glad the Paley case is over.”

“Yeah, you and your lovely little stunt you pulled.”

“I got the conviction, didn’t I?”

“Why don’t we get you to the hospital…”

“No! I mean, no. I’m fine. Nothing scotch, Advil, ice, and rest won’t heal.”

“Rafa, as a police officer…”

“Izz…”

“As your friend, you need to press charges.”

“No. It’s over. He won’t be back.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I don’t want the paperwork or the embarrassment, Elizabeth.”

“Okay. Why don’t you get in the tub and I’ll start cleaning that mess out there.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“Just go,” she told him as she helped him off of the bed.

“I’m sorry I interrupted…”

“Shhh. Go now. I’ll take care of the mess.”

“Thank you,” he smiled as best he could.

Once she heard the water start, she grabbed her phone out of her pocket and called a CI of sorts that she had gotten to know over the years. He was more or less an unofficial CI of hers. She didn’t care that he dealt weed and she never had any actual evidence that he ever killed anyone but he would help her out when she needed it.

“Yeah?”

“Ramirez?”

“Detective,” he chuckled. “Long time. I thought you were in Sex Crimes.”

“I am but I need a favor.”

“How many does this make now? And how could I possibly help you with a sex crime? I'm an independent contractor. Just a local businessman.”

“Cut the shit, Trujlio. You want me to send Narcotics to Washington Heights?”

“What do you need, Mami?” He laughed again.

“I need someone to be taught a lesson.”

“What kind?”

“Payback. An eye for an eye.”

“Give me the fucker’s address.”

“I need to tell you, he’s an Assistant DA.”

“So? You think that will stop me?”

“Look, I don’t want him killed. He hurt someone close to me and I want him to feel that kind of pain.”

“Anything for the most beautiful detective in the NYPD.”

“Knock it off, Ramirez, you’ve never gonna have me.”

“I can dream, can’t I, hermosa?”

“That’s all you’ll be doing.”

“Just give me an address or two where I might can find this pendejo.”

She gave drug lord Nevada Ramirez Wesley’s home address, plus the address of which gym he frequented, and he promised her it would be taken care of. After she hung up her phone, she got to work on Rafael’s apartment.

One of the picture frames that had been shattered was one that held a picture of the two of them; the same one he had cried to the night he cheated on her.

Mike: Everything okay?
Izzy: I’ll tell you about it when I get home. I might be a little late.
Mike: Okay. Just let me know so I can heat up the lasagna.
Izzy: You can go ahead and eat if you want.
Mike: I’ll wait for you 😊
Izzy: You’re too sweet. I promise I’ll be home as soon as I can. I love you.
Mike: Love you, too. See you when you get here.

After all the glass was cleaned up and any furniture that had been moved placed back to where it originally was, Izzy poured Rafael a glass of scotch and got a new ice pack out of his freezer for him.

“Thank you.”

“You’d have done the same for me,” she smiled.

“I hate to ask this but…never mind.”

“What’s up?”

“Can you stay for a little while?”

“Mike is…”

“I get it.”

“You know what? I can stay a little longer,” she told him with a tilt of her head.

“I don’t want you putting me before Mike. I’ll be fine.”

“Why don’t you come home with me?”

“Your first night living with Mike? I’ve already ruined it as it. Just go back home. I’ll be okay.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah,” he smiled. “You’ve done…more than you had to.”

“Only if you’re sure.”

“Elizabeth, I’m a big boy. I can take care of myself.”

“If you say so. I’m just a phone call away.”

“I know. I love you.”

“Love you, too,” she told him before placing a kiss on his forehead.

Chapter Text

“Hey, did you guys hear about that ADA that got the shit beat out of him in the Bronx?” Nick asked a week or so after Wesley had beat the crap out of Rafael.

“Any idea who did it?” Izzy asked, knowing good and hell well who did it.

“They think it was a random mugging. Broke his nose though. Your brother hasn’t said anything to you about?”

“Not a word, Amaro,” she shrugged.

“So, how is the co-habitation going?”

“It’s only been a week. Still getting used to each other really.”

“It can’t be that hard. I mean the two of you had sleep overs I’m sure.”

“Yeah but now this isn’t just a few days at a time.”

“Think you guys will…”

“Ah, ah! Stop right there, Nick.”

“Why are you so adverse to marriage?”

“Uh, my parents? They were the happiest people I knew and then one day, they weren’t.”

“You really think they just woke up one day and fell out of love?”

“I know they didn’t, Amaro, but maybe if I had seen them arguing, I would’ve had some indication that they weren’t happy and wouldn’t have been blindsided when I was 15, thus, I’d be more open to marriage. I only ever saw that with one guy and it didn’t happen, so there ya go.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask you. Was it…was it Barba you were with?”

“What? What gave you that idea?”

“There’s just always a lot of tension when you two are in the same room.”

Since it was just the two of them, she decided to come clean. “Yes, it was Barba.”

“Wow. I thought he was…gay.”

“He is,” she let slip. “Nick don’t say anything. There’s not a lot of people…”

“I’m not going to say a word. I promise. So…was he…when you two…”

“It’s hard to explain. We had an amazing relationship, including our sex life. There was just something else he wanted that I couldn’t give him.”

“That’s why you took those two weeks off and went to Chicago, huh?”

“Yeah. It was…rough.”

“So, do you guys…”

“He’s actually my best friend. We just hit a rough patch for a little bit.”

“I get it. Well, at least he still has you in his life.”

“I couldn’t walk away from him.”

“Rossetti, Amaro,” Cragen called from his office as he gave them their latest assignment.
************************************************************
“It’s just, we’ve been together a little over a year. We’ve never discussed marriage.”

“Yes, we have, Michael,” Izzy retorted as they stood in the kitchen.

“We’ve discussed why you don’t want to get married.”

“So, we’ve discussed it.”

“I’ve told you my parents’ marriage was horrible but yet I’m willing to give it a shot.”

“Give it a shot? I don’t believe in ‘for now or until the road gets rocky’, Mike. If I do get married, I have to know that it’s forever.”

“No one can ever know that.”

“You’re right and that’s why I don’t…I can’t see myself making that kind of commitment. At least not right now. We’ve talked about having kids. I mean, you don’t have to be married to have a family.”

“If you don’t want to marry me now, then you probably won’t ever want to marry me.”

She just stood there and didn’t really know what to say to him. They both just stood there when she finally spoke. “You’re right.” It was as simple as that.

“What do you mean?”

“If this is that important to you, then maybe…maybe I’m not the one for you.”

“You’re serious?”

“I can’t be given an ultimatum, Mike.”

“I’m not trying to be controlling…”

“I know that, Mike, it’s just when it comes down to it, we want different things at different times.”

“I can’t believe this is happening,” he told her as he moved to hug her.

“She’s out there, Mike. You’ll find her some day. It’s just not me, obviously.”

After about an hour of crying, she packed a bag and made her way in the rain to Riverside Drive.
***********************************************
“Hey,” Rafael said when he opened his door to find his friend looking like a drowned rat, with mascara running down her cheeks. “Hey, hey, what’s wrong?”

“Mike and I…it’s over.”

“Get in here,” he told her as he welcomed her inside.

“Uh, hey.”

“Izz, you remember Jeff.”

“Uh, yeah. Hi,” she said to the teacher Rafael had been dating for a short time.

“It’s nice to see you again, Izzy,” he smiled as he gave her a small a hug. She and Jeff had gotten along really well since he began dating Rafael. He had told her he was more nervous about meeting her than Lucia cause as the supposed saying went, “If the hag hates you, the fag won’t date you”. “Rafi we need to get her out of these wet clothes.”

“Jeff’s right. Take your stuff and go to the guestroom. Take a hot shower if you want.”

She just nodded at Rafael as she walked down the hall. “Thanks, guys.”

“Jeff, I’m sorry…”

“Don’t be,” he said. “I like that you’re a good friend and she obviously needs you. Call me tomorrow. Maybe we can both take her to do something.”

“You bet,” he said as stood up on his toes to kiss his boyfriend good-bye for the night. Once Jeff had left, Rafael opened a new bottle of scotch, pouring him and Izzy each a drink, and sat them on his coffee table as he waited for her.

They sat in silence for a while before he finally asked the question he’d wanted to since she walked through the door.

“I guess you were right. I was never going to marry him.”

“You know I never meant it…”

“It’s fine”, she told him with a small smile. “You know what sucks the most?”

“What?”

“I have no where to go other than my mom or dads. How awful am I? I’m more worried about being homeless than my relationship imploding.”

“That’s not true.”

“Yeah, I can go live with Tony, I suppose, or Amanda. She’s got an extra room.”

“Or…you can move in here.”

“What?”

“You practically called this place home for a over a year. Extra bedroom, extra bathroom, we’ve seen each other naked.”

“Rafa.”

“Come on. Why not?”

“Raf, I really appreciate it…”

“We can be like Will and Grace, only better looking.”

She just sort of laughed at his comment.

“Okay.”

“You can stay as long as you want.”

“Thank you.”

“Of course,” he told her as he brought her in for a hug.

“What about Jeff? I’m sorry for ruining…”

“It’s fine. He understood. The three of us might go do something tomorrow.”

“You’re pretty great, you know that?”

“I do what I can.”

Chapter Text

A lot of changes had come through SVU with Munch retiring, Olivia taking the Sergeant’s exam, then Cragen retiring leaving her in charge.

Then in May of 2014, William Lewis had escaped prison, leading Liv on a manhunt by herself as she slipped her security detail.

It also didn’t help that Nick had beat the shit out of a pervy artist, landing him in patrol at the 116 even after charges were dropped against him.

A new detective joined the squad who had been in SVU in almost every one of the 5 boroughs. He was a little younger than Izzy and Amanda but not much. He had the thickest Staten Island accent and the most hideous mustache. He was also sure to let everyone know he was studying for his law degree at Fordham, a detail that Rafael couldn’t help but scoff at.

“Uh-oh,” Izzy laughed one night as the two of them cooked dinner together.

“What?” Rafael snapped.

“You like him.”

“I do not. Carisi is nothing but a pain in my ass. I get so tired of his constant ‘law knowledge’ he likes to throw around. I’ve had my Juris Doctor for how long and from where?”

“Excuse me, Mr. Harvard Law. Admit it. You have a crush on our young new detective.”

“Hardly. The only I can say is thank god he got rid of that mustache.”

“Rafa, you know you can’t lie to me.”

“Whatever, Elizabeth,” he groaned as he rolled his eyes. “So, you gonna tell me about your visitor the other night?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Like I didn’t hear the alarm beeping at 6 am when you let somebody leave. As long as we’ve lived together, you’ve never kept anyone a secret from me.”

“Mind…your…business.”

“It was that firefighter you met in Chicago, wasn’t it?”

“I…I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“What was his name? Kelly.”

“Fine. Yes, it was Kelly Severide. Happy?”

“Seems like you were. Why did you sneak him out so early?”

“He had to make his flight back to Chicago.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Seriously. He was just out here with his Chief and the Truck Lieutenant (Matt Casey) for some retirement party. He had to sneak away from them and sneak back. Do I interrogate you about the guys you bring home?”

“Like I bring so many.”

“We need to change that. Ever since you and Jeff broke up, you’ve only been out with a few guys.”

“I know but I want someone I can hold a decent conversation with. I want love, I want passion.”

“Don’t we all,” Izzy mused.

“From what I heard the other night, it seemed like…”

“Shut it,” she laughed.

“I made you moan louder than that.”

“Will you stop and take your food?”

“I’m only saying, you know, I mean, a gay man made you…”

“Rafael!”

They were both in tears from laughing so hard.

“No more talking about Carisi or Severide,” he told her once he caught his breath.

“Just admit that you like him.”

“I’m pleading the fifth.”
****************************************************
“Yeah, the M.E. thinks Jerome died of a heart attack triggered by his asthma. Luke Davis called 911. So he did not intend to kill Jerome,” Izzy said as they sat in a conference room of the 16th precinct with Rafael.

“Legally it doesn't make any difference.”

“Well, that confession might complicate things. The nail gun makes that confession completely coerced,” Carisi added.

“Either way, Luke Davis is looking at felony murder.”

“You think? You do know the defendant gets a free pass on that if he can show he acted under extreme emotional duress.”

“Booyah Fordham Law,” Rafael snarked to Carisi, causing Izzy to laugh to herself. She knew her roommate too well and he was definitely trying to flirt with the young detective, without making it obvious. “The facts are clear. Luke Davis kidnaps Jerome Jones, tortures him, - within an hour, Jerome's dead.”

“He may be dead. Our job is to figure out whether or not he is guilty,” Izzy countered.

“So keep pushing for the DNA and get that security footage from TARU,” Liv told her squad as she stood up from her chair.

“Yes. And if Jerome is good for the rape…” Fin started before being interrupted by Nick.

“But no way a jury convicts Luke.”

“Thank you for your support. If you come to the arraignment, keep your mouth shut,” Barba interjected.

“Why do you always look at me when you say that?” Izzy asked with a shrug.

He just sort smirked with his eyebrow raised as he picked up briefcase and walked out of the room.

“And you live with him?” Amanda laughed.

“Some days it's not easy, Rollins. I can tell you that,” Izzy replied as she got out of her seat.

“Okay, you guys heard him. Izz, Carisi…”

“I’ll call Warner,” Izzy told her Sergeant before they all walked out.
*********************************************
“This case just gets worse and worse,” Rafael lamented as he poured himself a glass of scotch after finding out that their victim had been raped by her uncle.

“You know, Carisi...”

“Don’t start with the stuff about me liking Carisi again, I’m begging you, Izz.”

"Okay, somebody has a guilty conscience. All I was gonna say was Carisi made a point about the fact that if Dr. Alexander did rape his niece…so many cases are gonna be reopened.”

“Oh," he said, slightly embarrassed about having jumped to conclusions so fast. "I don’t want to think about that right now."

"But for the record, you have been flirting with him," she smiled a smartass smile that rivaled his any day.

"Whatever. Who are you texting?” He asked, noticing the look on Izzy’s face.

“Erin.”

“Liar. It’s Severide, isn’t it?”

“May…be.”

“When’s he coming back out?”

“Uh, I think I might take a trip to Chicago once we wrap this case.”

“You’re serious?”

“So?”

“Nothing. I just…you really like him.”

“He’s sweet.”

“Not to mention good looking.”

“Hands off my man, Barba,” she teased.

“Please. Firefighter’s aren’t my type.”

“No, you’re type is a tall, lanky detective with a very heavy Staten Island accent.”

“Shut your face, grandma!!!!” He said as he slapped his hand on the coffee table, causing them both to bowl over in laughter. “See? Look what you have done to me? Ever since you moved in here a couple of years ago, you have got me addicted to what could only be described as the most mindless television show ever.”

“Impractical Jokers is great! Besides, even the most highly educated minds are capable of having a low brow sense of humor at times. Especially when you deal with the dark shit we do on a daily basis."

“I suppose,” he muttered. “Besides, Carisi uses too much product in his hair. I don’t even know what color it is because of the way he always has it slicked back and down.”

“So, you’ve looked.”

“I notice everyone around me. Nick doesn’t do that.”

“Just admit that you…”

“He’s not gay, cariño.”

“He’s not straight.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I just am,” she shrugged as he answered his phone.

“Fuck.”

“What’s wrong, Rafa?”

“Jenna is recanting.”

“You’re kidding. The video proved Jerome couldn’t have raped her…”

“I know. I gotta go meet Liv.”

“Sorry.”

“It’s my job,” he shrugged as he straightened his yellow tie back.

“Looks like I’m coming, too,” Izzy said after receiving a text from Liv.

“Better let Kelly know you’ll be unavailable for a while.”

“Hush,” she told him as she grabbed her jacket before they headed out.

Chapter Text

“Carisi how long have we been partners?” Izzy asked as they sat in the squad room one evening, just the two of them, after their case concerning the now deceased author Walter Briggs was closed.

“8 months?”

“You seeing anyone?”

“I…uh…I don’t know. I mean, I like someone but I don’t think they’d be interested.”

“Why not?”

“They’re very smart, well read, cultured, older.”

“So?”

“So, I like to spend my off time at Comic-Con, playing video games…”

“Opposites attract, ya know?”

“Maybe,” Sonny shrugged. “What about you? You got a boyfriend in Chicago.”

“He’s not my boyfriend.”

“Oh? Did you not get a dozen red roses the other day? I can see it now. You’re gonna up and leave us to join CPD. Doesn’t your best friend work there as it is?”

“And my college boyfriend. New York is my town. Hey, you want to go grab a beer?”

“Are you buying?”

“Me?”

“You make more than I do.”

“Whatever makes you think that?”

“Please,” he playfully scoffed. “That apartment you and Barba share?”

“I don’t pay rent.”

“What?”

“I pay the electric, satellite, and internet bills. His idea, by the way. I offered to pay half the rent.”

“Hey, I’m not judging,” Carisi laughed as he threw his hands up. “A beer sounds good.”

“C’mon, then.”

The two of them walked out and to a bar not far from the precinct.
************************************************
“So, what’s Barba like, you know…outside of work?” Sonny asked after his third beer.

“Uh, he’s…he’s a lot of fun, actually.”

“No way.”

“I know it’s hard to believe but yeah. He’s really funny and sweet.”

“Is he…he’s…you guys…”

“We have known each other for years. He was my brother’s roommate for 5 years, Harvard and Harvard Law. We became friends, then best friends, then we dated for a year…”

“I thought he’s gay.”

“What made you think that?” She asked, deciding to have a little fun with her partner.

“Well…the way he dresses for one. I didn’t know you two were…”

“We are just roommates, Carisi. Yes, he’s gay.”

“Is he…in the closet?”

“No. Pretty much everyone knows.”

“I didn’t.”

“Then your radar must be off.”

“Funny. Listen…most people don’t know this about me.”

“What’s that?”

“I…uh…I like…I guys, too.”

“Are you telling me that you’re gay, Carisi?”

“Not entirely. I date girls, too.”

“So, you’re bi?”

“Yeah. Only my little sister Bella knows.”

“Your secret’s safe with me,” she smiled as she took the tall Italian detective's hand in hers.

“Thanks. So…what kind of guys does Barba like?”

“I knew it!”

“Knew what?”

“You like him.”

“I’m just making conversation, Izz.”

“To be honest, he doesn’t really have a type. Ah, speaking of,” she said as she looked at her phone. “Hey, Rafa.”

“Where are you?”

“Having a couple of drinks with Carisi. What’s up?”

“It’s Abuelita.”

“Is everything okay?”

“She’s…she’s gone,” he told her tearfully.

“Uh, okay. I’ll be right there. Are you at her place? Are you nodding?” She asked when all she could hear was him crying.

“Yeah,” he finally told her softly.

“I’m on my way. Carisi, I gotta go.”

“Everything okay?”

“Rafael’s grandmother passed away.”

“You want me to come with?”

“Let me go. I’ll call you if…he needs anything.”

“Go, I got it,” he said as he shoved her money away.
*******************************************
It had been a few months since Lina had passed away on that snowy day in February and Rafael still blamed himself. He was making her move out of the apartment she had lived in for 40 years but she was insistent on dying in her own home; which ultimately she did.

He had shut himself off from dating, Izzy didn’t even tease about Carisi for fear of getting her head bit off.

Everyone seemed to be walking on eggshells around him for the most part.

"Rafa?"

"What?" He snapped one night as he sat on the couch reading through some files.

"I know since Abuelita died...you've been blaming yourself."

"Not this again, Elizabeth Rossetti."

"Just...listen to me."

"Fine," he told her as he practically threw the file in the floor.

"Let's go out."

"Not interested."

"Raf..."

"What did I just say? All you're wanting to do is get me and Carisi..."

"Who said anything about Carisi?"

"I'm fine."

"No, you're not."

"What about you?"

"What about me?"

"When was the last time you went to Chicago?"

"Kelly and I are..."

"I don't need sex, I don't need a night out. I just need to work."

"Okay. If you say so."

"Thank you!"

"Well," she started as she closed her well worn copy of "American Psycho" before getting off the couch. "I'm going to bed."

"Okay," he said as he swallowed the last drink of scotch in his glass.

"Don't stay up too late. I love you," she told him as she kissed the top of his head.

"Love you," he replied without looking up.

Chapter Text

“So, that’s it, huh?” Rafael asked Izzy when she came home from Chicago earlier than expected.

“I know he’s taken Shay’s death hard but I can’t be the girl that flies almost 800 miles and then sits in a restaurant for 2 hours waiting on Kelly to show up…drunk at that when he finally remembered.”

“I’m so sorry, Izz.”

“It’s okay, Rafa. I mean, what did I expect? We were gonna get married and live happily ever after?”

“I dunno,” he shrugged as they drank the scotch he had poured for them. “I mean you did seem kind of crazy about him.”

“Yeah, well, he needs to figure things out on his own. So, are you ready to admit to me that you want Carisi?”

“Shut it,” the ADA said as he got up to grab the bottle of MacAllen that sat on their bar.

“Come on, Rafael!”

“Okay! Okay. Yes, I find him attractive.”

“You want to kiss him, you want to love him,” she started singing.

“Thanks, Miss Congeniality,” he scoffed as he rolled his eyes. “As if he’d ever be interested in me.”

“Why wouldn’t he be? You, Rafael Barba, are a catch.”

“You have to say that cause you’re my hag,” he teased.

“And I’ve had sex with you,” Izzy laughed.

“I don’t know. He’s younger than you are.”

“So? He…I think if you would at least ask him out for a drink…”

“Not happening.”

“Rafael Eduardo Barba, come on.”

“What, Elizabeth Michelle Rossetti?”

“You like him. He isn’t Wes or any of these other guys you’ve dated.”

“I bet Liv would LOVE if I was romancing one of her detectives.”

“Liv wouldn’t care and you know it.”

“Yeah, sure,” he remarked sarcastically.

“Fine.”

“Besides, Mami has set me up on a blind date.”

“And you’re just now telling me this because?”

“I’m not that excited about it,” he shrugged.

“You know why…”

“Stop, Izz. After everything with Yates and Johnny D, I just want to take a break.”

“You should then.”

“I was going to talk to you about that.”

“What about it?”

“How about we take a trip?”

“Where to?”

“Cuba?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah, absolutely. Just you and me.”

“Uh, okay.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, why not.”

Just then there was a knock on their door.

“I’ll see who it is, you get us another drink,” Rafael instructed as he got off the couch.

He walked to the door to be surprised by the person he saw through the peephole. “Dawson.”

“Uh, hey, Barba. Izzy home?”

“Uh, yeah, come on in,” he said as he welcomed the CPD Intelligence Detective into their apartment.

“Antonio?”

“Hey, Izz,” he smiled.

“I’ll leave you two alone,” Rafael said with a wink and smile as he took his glass of scotch to his room.

“What are you doing here?”

“I just…I wanted to see you.”

“Wow, okay. Do you want a drink?”

“Sure,” he smiled. Izzy ran to the kitchen to pour another glass of scotch, shocked that her college sweetheart was in New York. She noticed a text from Rafael on her phone. “You okay?”

“I’m fine 😊” she text back before leaving the kitchen. “Antonio what brings you to New York?”

“After everything with Yates, my divorce, I just don’t know…I wanted to see you.”

“Okay.”

The two college sweethearts stayed up talking and drinking most of the night.

“I’m sorry to hear about you and Severide.”

“Erin told you?”

“Yeah. If it’s any consolation, I never saw you two as forever.”

“Gee, thanks, Dawson,” she laughed.

“I just mean that you deserve the best. Kelly’s a great guy but he can’t give that to you right now.”

“I know he can’t. So, how are you doing?”

“I’m adjusting,” he sort of chuckled. “I at least get to see my kids.”

“Good,” Izzy smiled as she tilted her head. “Eva and Diego love you so much.”

“And I love them just as much, if not more.”

The two of them continued to hang out until Antonio passed out on the couch. Izzy covered him up and went to her room.
***********************************************
“You two didn’t do anything?” Rafael asked the next morning.

“We just sat up and talked, Rafa.”

“I’m surprised.”

“What?” Izzy asked, half way feigning shock.

“Come on. He’s your college sweetheart. You going to sit there and tell me there’s no lingering feelings?”

“He just got divorced. He needed a friend.”

“Okay,” he remarked, of course dripping with sarcasm.

“Will you shut up and get ready for work?”

“What about you?”

“I text Liv and told her I had an emergency.”

“Lying to your boss, huh?”

“Raf.”

“I’m kidding. Okay, well, I’m going to take my shower.”

Antonio came in the kitchen a few minutes later, completely hungover. “Ughhhh, what time is it?”

“7:30.”

“How are you up so early?”

“You think this is my first rodeo?”

“I know it’s not,” he laughed as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

“Listen, Dawson, whatever you’re going through, you’re more than welcome to stay out here…”

“I have a ticket back home this evening.”

“Seriously?”

“I’m just…I’m lost.”

“You’ll be found soon,” Izzy told him as she took his hand.

“Thanks.”

“Antonio you know I have always loved you.”

“I know. I’ve always loved you.”

Izzy started cooking breakfast, making sure she made enough for Antonio as well.

“Thank you, cariño,” Rafael smiled as he took his plate from her.

“You are very welcome. Antonio?”

“No, I can’t,” he said as he waved his hand in front of him.

Rafael sort of laughed under his breath as he ate his breakfast. “Well, I gotta go. I’ll see you…later.”

“See ya, Rafa,” Izzy waved as he walked out of their apartment.

Chapter Text

“Hey, Barba.”

“Carisi. What are you doing here?” The ADA asked the detective as he took a seat next to him at the bar at Forlini’s.

“Supposed to be meeting my partner.”

“Good luck. She’s got company.”

“What?”

“She didn’t tell you?”

“Uh no. Who?”

“Her college boyfriend showed up a few nights ago and let’s just say, she’s been occupied when she hasn’t been at work.”

“Then why would she ask me to meet her here when we got done?”

Rafael sat for a minute and knew exactly what his roommate was up to. “What’s your poison, Carisi?”

“Uh, beer. Thanks, Counselor,” he sort of smiled. “Kind of glad it’s just us anyways.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah, I was hoping I could pick your brain a little.”

“Oh,” Rafael said, feeling dejected. “What about?”

“Well, I’ve been thinking of…”

Rafael zoned out as Carisi started talking about one of his classes at Fordham. He concentrated on the detective’s blue eyes and his mouth. He pictured Carisi’s eyes looking up at him while his lips were wrapped around his cock. He started to feel a stirring in his pants and quickly started to try and concentrate on what was actually coming out of his mouth.

The two of them continued drinking as they discussed cases in Rafael’s past.
*****************************************************
“I thought you were only staying for one day,” Izzy laughed after she and Antonio had sex for the second time since she got off work.

“That was the original plan. I needed to get away from Chicago for a little bit and what better place to do that than here?”

“New York is pretty amazing. I don’t know why you ever left after college.”

“I wasn’t talking about New York. I was talking about right here,” he told her as he patted her bed.

“Antonio.”

“I know you just ended things with Kelly and I’m coming off of my divorce, but I’ve never stopped thinking about you over the years. You were always the one that got away.”

She really didn’t know how to respond. Antonio was her first love. They met their freshman year of college when he lived across the hall from her and Erin and started dating not long after that.

They dated all through college until he decided he was moving home to Chicago. He asked her to come with him but she couldn’t leave New York. He met his now ex wife Laura while he was in the CPD academy and they got married soon after he graduated.

“Listen, the whole long distance thing…it just doesn’t work. I tried with Kelly…”

“But I’m not Kelly.”

“I’ll make you a deal. When you’re out here or I’m out there, we’ll see where we are.”

“Okay,” he agreed. “Now, it’s your turn.”

“Mine? I did most of the work the first time.”

“So?”

“Fine.”
*************************************************
“Well, this was fun, Counselor. I’m buying next time though,” Sonny told Rafael as they walked out of Forlini’s.

“Well, as many questions as I answered for you, yeah you are.”

“Hey, uh…” Carisi started as he swallowed hard. “Do you want to…”

Rafael stood, waiting for Carisi to stop stumbling over his words before he finally just took the detectives hand and kissed him.

Carisi was a little surprised, Rafael was surprised himself, but that didn’t stop either of them as the kiss got deeper.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that,” Rafael said as he backed away slowly.

“No, it’s fine,” Carisi told him as he cradled the ADA’s face, this time being the one to initiate the kiss. Rafael grabbed his hand and squeezed.

“Come home with me,” he whispered to Carisi.

“Are you sure?”

Rafael just nodded while he caught his breath.

Carisi hailed a cab for the two of them as they headed to Rafael’s apartment. Sonny kept slowly grazing Rafael’s thigh during the ride.

Once they were in the elevator, they continued what they had started outside for Forlini’s.

“Wait, wait.”

“What is it, Carisi?”

“Izzy.”

“She’s holed up with Antonio. We’re fine,” Rafael smiled.

“Okay.”

Once inside the apartment and in Rafael’s bedroom, Carisi started unbuttoning the silver tongued prosecutor’s shirt, pushing his suspenders down while Rafael unbuttoned the detectives vest, throwing it on the floor.

Sonny’s hand drifted down, feeling Rafael’s already hard cock and became a little intimidated due to his size but now his cockiness made sense.

Soon both men were down to nothing but their boxers.

“Are you sure you want to keep going?”

“Of course…Rafael.”

Sonny had only ever called him “Counselor” or “Barba”. Hearing him actually say his name caused Rafael’s cock to twitch a little bit. He walked over and laid on his bed, motioning for Carisi to join him, which he gladly did.

He straddled Rafael’s legs as he bent down, starting to lightly kiss Rafael’s neck. A small moan escaped from Rafael’s mouth as Sonny kept going lower, down his chest, his fingers running under the top of his boxers.

“Don’t tease me, detective,” Rafael told him as he grabbed his hand. Sonny just sort of smirked before removing Rafael’s boxers.
********************************************************
“Have fun last night?” Izzy asked when Rafael came in the kitchen for a cup of coffee that Saturday morning.

“Thanks to your totally transparent version of ‘The Parent Trap’…” he started as he looked at her with an almost glare that soon turned to a small smile, “yes I did.”

“I do what I can,” she sort of shrugged.

“Good morning,” Antonio smiled as he came in.

“Hey, Dawson.”

“Bout time you got up,” Izzy teased.

“What can I say? I was very tired.”

“I bet,” Rafael laughed.

“So, will your guest be joining us this morning?”

“Uh, he already left, Izz.”

“Why?”

“It was a one-time thing.”

“You’re kidding me. I went through all of that and…”

“All of what? Telling him to meet you for drinks after you had told me to meet you for drinks just so we’d end up alone together?”

“Don’t laugh. It took me a minute to think of something believable.”

“She is such a blond sometimes,” Rafael said to Antonio.

“You don’t have to tell me. I dated her a lot longer than you did. She had more than her share of blond moments back then.”

“Dawson would you like to catch the next flight to Chicago?”

Both of the guys just sort of laughed as Rafael took his coffee and went to sit on the couch with his paper.

Chapter Text

“Uh, hey, Izz?”

“What’s up, Carisi?” Izzy asked with a mouthful of food as they sat in the break room.

“Sexy by the way. What’s been up with Barba?”

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t play dumb. I know you know.”

“Know what?”

“That we…we…we hooked up a few weeks ago.”

“That’s what those sounds were coming from his room?”

Carisi just pursed his lips as he sort of glared at his partner.

“Yeah, okay, I knew. I mean, I orchestrated the whole thing.”

“Yes, we figured that out, puppet master,” he told her as he rolled his eyes.

“Bwahahahahahaha.”

“What the hell was that?”

“My evil laugh. Duh. So, what do you mean what’s up with Barba?”

“He’s been avoiding me. I mean, I had a really good time with him before…you know. I text him and told him. He said he had fun. Then I asked him if he wanted to get drinks later this week and he never responded. I don’t want to sound needy or anything but, I didn’t see that as a one-night stand.”

“Honestly, Carisi, I don’t know. I mean, as long as I’ve known him, one-night stands were never his thing.”

“I know you guys are going on vacation next week. Could you maybe…I don’t know.”

“You want me to talk to him?”

“Would you?”

“Sure.”

“When you’re off US soil preferably.”

“Carisi, I’ll handle it,” Izzy promised her partner.

“Thanks,” he replied with a small smile. “So, what’s going on with you and Dawson?”

“It’s…complicated. I mean I just ended one long distance relationship and his divorce was just finalized last month. We’re not really putting any expectations on anything. He’s free to date as am I.”

“Gotcha. Whatever works.”
**********************************
“Hot guy checking you out 9:00,” Izzy told Rafael as they had dinner their first night in Cuba.

“You serious?”

“Definitely. He’s not looking at me.”

Rafael slyly looked over and made eye contact with the very cute guy standing at the bar. He smiled shyly when the ADA looked at him.

“He’s a little young, Izz.”

“Speaking of, why did you blow off Carisi?”

“I didn’t. I told him I had fun but that’s all it was.”

“Since when do you have one-night stands?”

“I have.”

“When?”

“Uh, that one paralegal from your brother’s office.”

“Cindy? Okay, who didn't have a one-night stand with her?”

“There was also that guy, Chris.”

“You know what your problem is?”

“What?”

“Ever since Wes, you have been afraid to get close to anyone.”

“That’s…not true,” he replied as he shook his head.

“Yes, it is. Jeff was almost perfect for you, but you wouldn’t open up to him.”

“Do you blame me?”

“You think I haven’t had my heart broken before?”

“I know but…”

“Carisi seems to like you…”

“Can we just enjoy our vacation and talk about Carisi? I’m not haranguing you about Dawson. Am I?”

“Dawson and I are a completely different story.”

“I saw you the day you took him to the airport.”

“What do you mean?”

“You came back home and looked like your dog died.”

“I was sad that the week came to an end, yes.”

“It was more than that.”

“Whatever.”

“Look, I don’t want to spend the next week fighting. I just want us to relax and I want to see some of the things that Abuelita always told me about when I was growing up.”

“Okay,” she agreed. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“You got a guy checking you out by the way.”

“Where?”

“Sike.”

“Funny, Barba.”
****************************************
“Hey, you okay?” Izzy asked when she noticed tears in her best friends’ eyes as they stood in front of the house his grandmother was born in.

“She died…so mad at me.”

“No, she didn’t.”

“I was forcing her out of her home.”

“She knew you just wanted what was best for her.”

“Yeah,” he scoffed.

“She did. She told me.”

“When?”

“That one day I went over there and helped her pack up some things.”

“You never told me that.”

“I told you she wasn’t mad at you. I figured you believed me.”

“I guess I should’ve. Come on. We’ve got that dinner back at the resort to get ready for.”

“Why is it every time we go on vacation, you book things like that?” She laughed.

“Food, entertainment. Why else?”

“If you say so.”
*************************************
“How was your vacation,” Benson asked when Izzy walked into the precinct.

“It wasn’t too bad actually. You know something that’s weird.”

“What’s that?”

“Remember that case we had a few years ago. That guy that raped those three women but fled the country before we could arrest him?”

“Byron Marks. Yeah, I remember that.”

“I swear to God I saw him down there.”

“Seriously?”

“If it wasn’t, the guy looked an awfully lot like him, Liv.”

“Hey, she’s back,” Amanda smiled as she hugged her friend. “Looks like you got some sun.”

“Yes, I did and lots of sleep.”

“You didn’t hook up while you were down there?”

“Please. That was the last thing on my mind.”

“What about Barba?”

“Not that I’m aware of but we didn’t share rooms so who knows. I swear your belly has grown while I was gone.”

“Ha ha.”

Rollins had found out she was pregnant while they were working their case against Chief ME Carl Rudnick, who had tried to piggyback murders onto Greg Yates, using almost his same MO, including down to the green nail polish.

“Wow.”

“What’s wrong, Izz?”

She just sort of looked at Nick’s now empty desk. He had decided to retire and move to California to be with his kids after he had been shot by Johnny D.

“It’s just weird, ya know?”

“Yeah, I know,” Rollins agreed.

Carisi and Fin soon filed in, with Carisi motioning for Izzy to come over to the coffee machine.

“What’s up, Carisi?”

“Did you talk to him?”

“I tried but he shut me down.”

“I see.”

“I’m sorry. He was hurt really bad a few years ago and now…I can try and talk to him now that we’re home.”

“Nah. It’s okay.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.”

Izzy felt bad for Carisi because it was more than obvious he had feelings for Rafael and she knew Rafael liked Carisi more than he was letting on.
************************************************
“Are you sure you don’t want to go to Rollins’ shower with me?”

“I’ve got work to do, Izz,” Rafael told her without looking up from his laptop.

“Nothing that can’t wait.”

“I’m sending a gift with you.”

“Come on, Rafa. After everything with Doom, Campisi, and Donlon…”

“You’re not gonna give up, are you?”

“Have you ever known me to?”

“Fine. I’ll get dressed,” he grumbled as he shut his computer and went to his room. He came out about 20 minutes later in black pants and a thin green sweater. “Will this work?”

“Looks good to me.”

“Let’s go then.”
***************************
“So glad you came,” Amanda said, sounding relieved when she saw Izzy. “Hey, Counselor.”

“Hey, Rollins.”

“Mama, this is Izzy Rossetti and our ADA Rafael Barba.”

“Beth Rollins, pleasure to meet you two. You sure make a beautiful couple.”

“We’re not…”

“Mama…”

“Oh! That’s right, Mandy told me about your…arrangement.”

“Think it’s time for that Diet Coke, Mama.”

“Don’t mind if I do. It was lovely to meet you two,” Mrs. Rollins smiled as she left the three of them standing there.

“I am so sorry you guys. She’s already had one too many glasses of champagne.”

“It’s fine, Rollins,” Izzy assured her.

“Well come on. Everybody is sitting at a table near the wall.”

The two of them followed Rollins to the table Liv and Noah, Fin, and Carisi were sitting at. Carisi just sort of looked away when Rafael looked at him. It had been a couple of months since the night they spent together, but things between them were awkward at best most days.

Amanda opened her gifts and everyone eventually left. Fin and Izzy decided to go grab a few drinks at a sports bar not far from where Amanda’s shower was held. Rafael said he was going home to finish working on closing the files he had been working on before they left.

“Rollins is having a baby, Liv has Noah. You ever think about having kids?”

“I don’t know, Fin. Maybe one day. How’s Ken and Alejandro doing?”

“They’re good. Both of them just stay with work.”

“You ever wonder if they’re gonna give you grandkids?”

“Hey, that’s up to them. I’m not one of those parents that’s going to push the issue. If it happens, I’ll be alright with that.”

“Grandpa Fin.”

“No, no. Just Fin. There won’t be any of that ‘grandpa’ stuff.”

After three beers and an order of buffalo wings, Fin and Izzy decided to call it a night. He was heading home to play one of his many FPS video games while she was going to get in her tub, maybe call Erin or even Antonio if Rafael was still busy.

She got home to find the apartment seemingly empty. “Raf?”

No answer.

“Hmm, he must’ve found something to do,” she told herself as she started walking past his closed bedroom door. She could hear fainting sounds coming from the other side. She leaned in a little closer and found out that Rafael had someone in his room. It wasn’t just anybody, though. It was Carisi. She was sure of it when she heard Rafael call him ‘Sonny’, catching her by surprise.

She just sort of chuckled as she shook her head and went to her own room.

Chapter Text

“So, you and Carisi…”

“It’s just sort of…casual,” Rafael told his roommate as they sat on the couch, watching “American Horror Story”.

“Friends with benefits? Really?”

“I don’t want to jump into anything and he’s fine with it.”

“Okay.”

“How are you doing?”

“What do you mean?”

“With Mike…being your Sergeant.”

“I’m fine with it.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. He’s got a girlfriend in Chicago and I told you we talked. Everything’s fine.”

“So, he can commit to someone in Chicago but you…”

“She’s moving out here at some point. Dawson would never move out here. I wouldn’t want to take him away from his kids.”

“I see. So, that’s an interesting subject.”

“What?”

“Kids.”

“What about them?”

“Well, a little over a year ago, we were discussing having one…together. What happened with that?”

“Raf I just don’t think it’s the right time.”

“I get it.”

“Didn’t we say by the time you were 45, if neither of us met anyone, we’d go that route?”

“Yeah, I know. I just…I don’t want you putting anything on the backburner for me. If you meet someone that sweeps you off your feet…”

“You’ll be the first to know,” she smiled.

“Okay. Whoa. The fuck just happened?”

“I was talking to you so how would I know,” Izzy laughed.

“Smart ass.”

“Better than being a dumb ass.”

“You’ve had your moments," Rafael snickered as he started rewinding the TV show.
************************************
“Hey, Princess.”

“Hey, Pop,” Izzy smiled as she walked into her dad’s Brooklyn apartment. “How are things going at the firehouse?”

“Uh, good,” Anthony replied kind of nervously. “Yeah, real good. Got a couple of new paramedics but they seem to be working out.”

“Everything okay, Dad?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, yeah. It’s fine.”

Just then, Izzy heard a strange sound come from her Dad’s bedroom and immediately pulled her gun.

“Elizabeth.”

“Shh. You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah.”

She made her way to the bedroom and slowly opened the door.

“Mom?!”

“Uh, hey, Izz,” her mother smiled as she was putting on a shoe. “I was just, uh, bringing your Dad some, uh, food.”

“I’m sure you were,” Izzy said as she closed the door and put away her gun. “Care to explain, Pop?”

Stella came out of Anthony’s bedroom, looking like a guilty teenager.

“Oh my god, you guys were doing it, weren’t you?!”

“We are the parents…”

“You guys have been divorced since I was 15. How long…when did this…what is going on?”

Anthony and Stella just sort of looked at each other, both blushing in front of their only daughter.

“Okay, your Mom and I have been…seeing each other for a little over a year.”

“And you couldn’t think to tell me or Tony?”

“We didn’t…well…” Stella was at a loss for words.

“Are you guys just…dating?”

“It’s a little more serious than that,” Anthony admitted.

“What do you mean?”

“We’ve decided…to get remarried,” Stella told her.

“Are you…you’re serious?”

“You know your Dad and I have always gotten along since the divorce. We’ve been able to be civil and even have drinks or dinner on occasion. We realized that…we should’ve never divorced. We could’ve fixed everything about us, but we didn’t know how. 21 years later, we figured it out.”

“Wow,” the detective said as she sat in her father’s recliner. “I mean…that’s great. Really.”

“We were going to tell you and your brother over dinner next week.”

“Sorry, Dad.”

“It’s okay. I have an idea. Why don’t you call Tony and Rafael and we all go to dinner and we can tell Tony then?”

“Uh, sure, Dad. Yeah.”

Tony was ecstatic that their parents were getting back together. Rafael was as well. He had looked up to Anthony over the years, he was basically his second dad after his own dad had passed away. Tony and Izzy had insisted on paying for dinner to celebrate their parent’s “re-engagement” and everyone said their good-byes as Stella and Anthony went back to his apartment while Tony went to meet some girl.

“You don’t mind if I…”

“You’re going to Carisi’s, huh?” Izzy asked her roommate.

“Possibly,” Rafael shrugged.

“Eh, go ahead. I’ll be okay.”

“You sure?”

“Rafa, come on,” she laughed. “Go see your boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend.”

“Fine. Go see your lover,” she teased.

“Don’t wait up,” he smiled.

“I don’t plan on seeing until the morning when you need a new suit.”

“Funny. Love you.”

“I love you,” she told him as they hugged. She walked a little ways before ordering an Uber for herself to take her back to their apartment.

Instead of going to their apartment, Izzy headed to a bar in Hell’s Kitchen called Lucky’s. She remembered Mike bartended there after he got out of the army and they would go every once in a while.

It wasn’t very crowded so she sat at the bar and ordered a drink. She sat there with her drink, her finger circling the top of the half empty glass.

“You are a hard woman to find,” a voice from behind her said.

“Antonio?”

“Hey,” he smiled that cute smile she loved.

“How did you…you had Erin track my phone.”

“Possibly. Do I get a hug?”

“Of course. What are you doing here?”

“Laura has the kids and I’m on forced furlough. Too much personal time banked. Me of all people,” he laughed as he took the stool next to her.

“I’m…I’m glad to see you, Dawson.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah. Get this. My parents are getting remarried.”

“You’re kidding. That’s great!”

“I know,” she said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

“Hey, hey. What’s wrong?”

“Have you ever…you ever feel like everyone else is moving forward and you’re just…stuck?”

“Who are you talking to? Jay and Erin are moving in together, which I know you know that. Laura is already dating someone new, Ruzek and Burgess are engaged…”

“Atwater still single?”

“Excuse me?”

Izzy sort of laughed at the expression on Antonio’s face.

“There’s that smile I’ve always loved,” he grinned as he took a drink of his beer.

“I miss you, Antonio.”

“I miss you, too.”
*******************************************
“So, Izzy isn’t going to say anything…”

“Sonny, we’ve been over this. Stop worrying about your partner and just kiss me,” Rafael told Carisi as they sat on his couch. Carisi happily obliged.

Soon the ADA and the future ADA were on Carisi’s bed, rolling around like two hormonal teenagers. They couldn’t get their clothes off fast enough.

“What do you want, Counselor?”

“I want you to take that long, Italian cock and fuck me,” Rafael panted.

“You want me to fuck you or you want me to make love to you?”

“What did I just say?” He asked as he slightly pulled Sonny’s hair.

Carisi reached over into his nighstand to pull out the lube and a condom. “On your back, Counselor.”

Rafael would never admit it but he loved to be bossed around at times. Sonny poured some lube on his fingers then on Rafael’s opening before placing one finger inside of the prosecutor. After a little teasing, he added a second finger.

“God,” Rafael moaned quietly while Sonny kept a slow pace with his fingers moving in and out of him. “I need you now, Sonny.”

Carisi loved when Rafael actually called him something other than “Carisi” or “Detective”. He opened the condom wrapper with his teeth and proceeded to roll it down his cock, all the while playing with Rafael’s balls to keep him hard.

He slowly began to enter Rafael, causing both of them to moan in pleasure. “You feel so fucking good, Rafael.”

“Further,” he told Sonny so he would slide into him some more. Soon, Carisi was filling him to completion and began thrusting slowly.

“Fuck, Sonny,” Rafael growled. Sonny started going harder and faster causing Rafael to almost scream his name.

Carisi continued until Rafael’s orgasm hit him that his release ended up on his chest. The sight of that made Carisi come so hard he didn’t think he’d be able to fuck for a few days. Once Rafael cleaned himself up, the two of them settled in Carisi’s bed, Carisi being the “big spoon” as he wrapped his arms around the “tiny” ADA and the two of them fell asleep.

Rafael didn’t want to admit it, even to himself, but he was falling for the blue eyed detective/law student, no matter how hard he tried to fight it.