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Baby, It's Cold Outside

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Barba grunts, he really did hate winter in New York, it’s just so damn cold. He looks out the window to see snow drizzling down at an alarming rate, a hint of panic ensuing as he remembers the talk about an oncoming storm which wasn’t supposed to happen until later this weekend. He checks his iWatch and checks the time, it’s nearing twelve a.m. they should have been at Attica hours ago.

Barba looked over at a frustrated Carisi, having pity for the man as he struggled to drive through the growing mountains of snow. The combination of ice and snow doing no good for their situation, they’ve been trying to make it up this hill for the past few minutes.

“We should have waited,” Barba says, running his fingers through his hair, he could hear the midnight wind bang against the car’s windows.

Carisi scoffed, “The storm came earlier than expected,” and like a ‘fuck you’ from Mother Nature, the frequent snow rained down harder. “Fuck,” Carisi cursed, the man looked around, the windows were dressing up in white and the front view was only barely visible thanks to the window wipers. “We’re going to have to pull over, the snow is only going to get worse and I can barely see anything.”

Barba looked over at Carisi, incredulous, “And you what? Propose we sleep in this car until the storm blows over?”

“It’s the only option we have, Counselor, the air is cold and the snow keeps comin’, sooner than later the streets are gonna get icy and I can’t see. It’s the safest solution right now until help comes,” Carisi tries to explain, he doesn’t like it any more than Barba does, but that doesn’t mean Barba can’t bitch about it.

“Carisi I’m not staying in this car all night, it’s cold,” Barba enforces, pulling out his phone, “I’ll just call the police.”

“Barba, I am the police.”

“A damn bad one.”

If Carisi has anything to say he doesn’t, Barba ignores him and goes to his contact list, but he instantly curses in Spanish, “Mierda, no signal.”

“Yeah, we are in the middle of nowhere in a fuckin’ storm,” Carisi says, he parks the car near a curb. “There’s fuckin’ nothing over here,” he says, he doesn’t remember seeing any warehouse, barn, or house. “Dammit,” the man curses, he tries the engine and rolls his eyes, “Piece of shit car.”

“Maybe there’s a motel or something around?”

“That’s suicidal, Counselor,” Carisi says, looking over at the man. “We try to get out now with the storm at its peak we won’t make it towards the top of the hill. It’s easy to get lost in these conditions, right now we need to stay in the car and try to stay warm. Hopefully, this storm passes by as quickly as it came. Someone has to salt the roads soon as it stops snowing.”

“So you hope? That doesn’t hold up in court, Detective.”

“Barba, let’s try to be positive for a second here.”

“We can die in this car, it’s just going to get colder from here,” Barba snaps, the roads are being caked in snow.

“We’re not going to freeze to death,” Carisi says, Barba now notices how little the man has on, in the rush Carisi has only his suit jacket, claiming that his coat was left in the crib after he took a few hours to nap. “But you’re right, we need to stay warm.”

“Can’t we try and push the car?”

Carisi laughed, finding the question genuinely funny, “I’m flattered by the strength assumption, Counselor, but you and I combined isn’t enough to push this car up a hill with ice. I remember when the snow first started comin’ there were cars that were swerving.”

“That you promptly got mad at,” Barba says, ignoring the sweet smile Carisi was giving him.

“No!” Carisi says, “I just have a problem with people who don't know how to drive properly but still has a license.”

Barba smiles, “Is that the cop in you?”

“It’s the Italian in me.”

Barba laughs, “Whatever,” he looks at Carisi, “so what do you suppose we do?”

“You think we can get lucky and find something in the trunk?”

“What?”

Carisi didn’t even bother trying to repeat himself, “We’re stuck here, Counselor,” he says instead, “I’m going to raid the trunk for an emergency kit,” he pushes the button to open the trunk and opens the door. Barba watches in confusion as the man steps out and fiddles in the back.

He feels a bit bad, he’s been harsh on the man, he knows, but Barba’s been stressed this week. This new case, he’s been hands-on since the beginning and when Liv told him that their victim was taken and unjustly placed in Attica. Barba had to go over there and tell the officers and whoever else they were stupid and had no jurisdiction, but he didn’t want to make the drive alone since he hates driving and the drive was long. That’s when Carisi eagerly offered to tag along, the first hour was a subtle conversation about the case, what they were going to do and say when they get there- or, more specifically what Carisi was not going to do when they get there. The second hour was filled with Carisi’s law questions and Barba’s teasing. It was the third hour where they got held up in traffic, slowed down, and too much of Carisi’s dismay, cut off. Barba was surprised to hear the Detective so angry when some dumbass didn’t use his signals and almost game crashing into them.

Who knew good boy Catholic had such a road rage in him.

But now, they’re stuck in what seems like an abandoned street, the outside growing more dangerous with its weather and the car growing colder. Barba is thankful that he doubled up this morning. He isn’t a fan of the cold.

Carisi came back inside the car, he’s holding a few items, “Alright, luckily I found a few things, we got a flashlight, and look a flare gun,” he places the gun on the dashboard, “there was also a yellow shopping bag? Don’t know why. But I tied it around the car’s antenna as an S.O.S for anyone who comes. There was a blanket as well, big enough for the two of us,” Carisi holds up a magazine and lets out a laugh. “Somebody’s playboy thought you’d enjoy Counselor.”

Without missing a beat, Barba says, “Too bad it isn’t a playgirl.”

Carisi blushes, Barba likes it, seeing the Detective gets stumped up on his own joke.

“Y-Yeah,” he whispers, his eyes darting away and Barba could have sworn Carisi’s eyes landed on his lips and downwards. “But uh, sorry to cut fun times over, I need to insulate the windows,” Carisi started to tear at the magazine and ball it up, “But, I’ll let you keep this one,” it was a page with a man, he’s shirtless but the woman next to him is practically nude.

Barba scoffed, “Fuck off,” they shared a laugh and Barba watched as that photo too got crumpled. “What were you? A boy scout?”

Carisi smirks, holding up a hand, “Scout’s honor, I racked up an impressive amount of badges in my time.”

“Oh, I’m sure the Girl Scouts were just fawning.”

“And the boys.”

Carisi winked and now it was Barba’s time to blush. Carisi starts pushing the crumpled paper onto the shelf of the back window’s car.

“We need to get into the backseat,” Carisi said, Barba gave him a questioning look, “body heat.”

Barba rolled his eyes so hard he could have seen his spine, “Seriously?”

“It’s only going to get worse, Counselor, we need to bundle up,” Carisi is stern and Barba fails to find a good argument against him. So they make their way into the back seat. Carisi sighs as he uses the last paper ball, “If we had more we could board the front window too,” he thinks out loud. “But that’s the best I can do right now until the snow dies down and someone comes.”

Barba is feeling the cold lick of the air already, he shivers, “Thank you, Detective, I wouldn’t have half a mind to do any of this.”

Carisi smiles, “The cold takes no mercy, even if you’re Cuban,” he places the blanket over them both and Barba holds his breath as Carisi’s shoulder pressed against him.

“Yeah, yeah,” Barba tries to relax and melts against Carisi’s body heat. “How long do you think the storm will blow?”

Carisi sighed, his head lolling back, “Judging how six inches of snow piled up in less than two hours. Too long.”

Barba hummed, “Can’t we at least have the heat on?”

“Sure, every hour or so, we burned through a considerable amount of gas, I think we’re at like half a tank left,” Carisi squinted, “we can also keep tabs on the weather through the radio,” he pulled out his phone and Barba saw as he punched in his passcode.

“0118? Isn’t that your badge number?”

“I plead the fifth.”

Barba grins, watching as Carisi goes towards his messages, “I would think twice if you’re trying to text Rollins.”

Carisi blushes, “We would never hear the end of it,” he says, rolling his eyes, “despite, no service, couldn’t text her if I wanted to.”

“Do you think the squad noticed?”

“I wouldn’t put it past them, but they at least think we’re holed up in some motel, not the back of a car.”

“Let’s keep it that way, I don’t need Liv’s knowing smile,” he mutters, but it was towards himself more than directed at Carisi. But it piqued the man’s interest.

“Knowing smile? Something you’re keeping from me, Counselor?” Carisi looked over at him and despite the teasing smile, Barba was more interested in the icy blues staring at him. Flared with curiosity.

Barba cleared his throat, “Nothing of your concern, Detective,” that was a lie, a big lie.

“Aren’t we friends Barba?” Barba knows he’s teasing, he knows, but he also knows that he wants something more than friends. So sitting here, shoulder to shoulder, already insinuating that he was into men, made something heavy sat on his shoulders.

“Only asks questions you know the answer to,” Barba quips and Carisi laughs.

“Oh right, sorry Counselor,” Carisi is still on his phone, the man pulls up the weather app and the predictions brings no hope for them. “Looks like we’re fucked until four a.m., supposedly it’s supposed to die down to a good 70% chance instead of the 100% we have now.”

“Oh goodie,” Barba snarks, he lets his eyes fall closed and hears the click of the phone being turned off. They sit in silence for a few minutes.

“Barba?”

“Hmm?”

“Do you think I can make it as a lawyer?”

The question catches Barba off-guard, he opens his eyes to see Carisi staring off into the street beside them, watching as the snowfalls.

“You passed the bar, didn’t you? Don’t know how but you did,” it was a soft jab, they both knew it but Barba instantly felt guilty when it came out. “Yes, yes I do,” Barba says he’s now looking at the window too. “You’re more capable than you think, Carisi, it’s highly impressive how you pulled off being a full-time cop in a high demanding unit and went to law night school,” Barba smiles and looks over at Carisi. “You did pass the bar first try, I know lawyers who had to retake the bar twice and are successful.”

Carisi is smiling, his ears are red but that’s probably from the cold, “Thank you, Counselor, means a lot comin’ from you.”

“Why the sudden doubt?”

“I was just thinking back to a conversation I had with my ma,” Carisi admits, a frown on his lips, “she wants me to pursue my law degree, she hates me being a cop thinks it’s too dangerous-”

“It is.”

Carisi smirks, “You scared for me too, Counselor?”

“Don’t push your luck, Detective.”

Carisi laughs, the tension dropping into an easy conversation, “Anyways, she told me I outta use the law degree since I worked so hard to get it.”

“Do you want to leave SVU?”

“No, no, that’s why I’m conflicted, I don’t want to leave, I’ve done so much good since I’ve been here, there’s so much more to do, so many more victims who need help.”

“Become a prosecutor then, bring them justice through the court,” Barba shrugs, “but beware, it comes with its own dangers.”

Carisi grins, “Like death threats? Or, I don’t know, letting the perp choke you with your own belt?”

Barba laughed, “Well I just have a flair for the dramatics.”

“I’ve noticed,” Carisi says.

“You’re still young, Carisi, you still have time to be a detective and a lawyer,” Barba says, “do what you think is right for you.”

“Can I ask you a personal question, Counselor?”

“Since we’re pouring our hearts out, sure.”

“Why haven’t you married?”

Barba blinks, that wasn’t a question he was expecting, stuttering he looks over at Carisi, “I can ask the same for you, Detective.”

“You’re deflecting.”

“Stop being a cop.”

“Not today, c’mon Barba, humor me, you’re a good-looking man and great in more ways than one, you’re telling me that nobody has ever swooned over you?”

Barba shakes his head, he can’t believe Carisi, “First off, I had my handful of relationships before.”

“Relationships or swings?”

Barba eyed the man, “Fine, swings, I was always focused on my work, sure I caught feelings, hard ones for Yelina, but I never fell in love. I was usually having a stressful time in college and fuck around to relax.”

“Rafael Barba? Enjoying the finer things in life? Must be an imposter.”

“Ha ha ha, you’re very funny,” Barba rolls his eyes, “I’ve had my fair share of bedmates, Carisi.”

“You still didn’t answer my question, Barba.”

Barba eyes Carisi, “I never found anyone who can deal with me for more than a month, I am insufferable to everyone I meet.”

“Oh, so that wasn’t just special treatment?”

They laugh at that, “In your dreams, Detective.”

“You’re right.”

Barba blushes, he realizes how close they are again, Carisi’s knee pressed against his, his hand against their thighs.

Barba clears his throat again, “What about you, Carisi? No sweet Staten Island girl?”

“Hmm, no, the last relationship I had was a year ago.”

“Oh really? What happened?”

“He cheated.” Carisi grits, “We were going good though, for the first few months, but I found out he was having sex with some other guy, cut it off there.”

“Are you…-”

“I’m bisexual,” Carisi answered, he looks over at Barba. “You?”

“Pansexual, I had feelings for Yelina but found myself sharing the bed with more men than women.”

Carisi hums and Barba doesn’t look over at Carisi, trying to control his breathing.

“Uh, how are you doing?” Barba asked, changing the conversation, “You should have brought your coat.”

“Yeah, I’m fine Barba, it is cold as balls though,” Barba doesn’t believe him, he’s bundled up and still feels the cold. “I would be lying if I said I don’t miss the heat.”

“Remind me to never do this again.”

“You don’t like our sleepover?”

Barba chuckles, “This is your idea of a sleepover?”

“Well, I’m with you, so sure.”

“I thought I was insufferable.”

“Well, so am I, so it’s your lucky day.”

“Wouldn’t call it lucky.”

“Oh fuck you,” Carisi smiled at him, no real bite.

“Maybe.”

Carisi raised his eyebrow and Barba looked away, he feels Carisi shift closer to him despite that being possible.

“God it’s late,” Barba says afterward, checking his watch. “It’s about to be one a.m.,” Barba is trying to distract himself, he feels Carisi hands move underneath the cover, Carisi is trying to warm himself up, his thighs probably going numb. But Barba couldn’t help his mind going into the gutter.

“Are you tired?” Carisi asks Barba can feel the man’s eyes on him.

“Yeah, a little bit,” he admits.

“Take a nap,” Carisi suggests, “I’ll take the first shift, wake you up soon.”

Barba now looked at him, “You sure?”

“Yeah, of course, you need your beauty sleep anyways, Counselor.”

Barba smiles, rolling his eyes, “You sure you can manage a few minutes of quiet?”

Carisi laughs, “I think I can manage, besides, I got games that require no service!”

Barba squinted at him.

“Jesse takes my phone.”

“She takes it?”

“She’s a very persuasive girl.”

Barba smiles, “Whatever you say, Detective,” his eyes closed and his head lolls back, he hears Carisi tap on his phone and some game starts up, perhaps candy crush.

Five minutes pass and Barba still hasn’t fallen asleep yet, a few times he feels Carisi look at him and he’s pretty sure the detective thinks he’s asleep, so he takes his chances and lets his head fall onto Carisi’s shoulder.

The detective freezes, the praise of getting a combo stopping. Barba hears as Carisi takes a breath and then relaxes, Carisi’s free hand rubs circles on his hand, Barba forces himself not to smile.

“Sleep well, Counselor,” and he does.

/-/

“Barba,” he hears followed by a light shake, “Barba,” he hears again, this time he hears the clattering of teeth. That wakes him.

The first thing he feels is cold, he lets out a full shiver as he looks around, “Carisi?”

“Yeah, I’m here, sorry to cut nap time short but I think we should put the heat on right now,” Carisi says and Barba nods, Barba watches as Carisi stands and turns the car on, the engine humming to life and heat pushing through. Carisi sits back down and shivers, “The storm only got worse while you slept,” he murmurs, his hands rubbing at his forearms.

“I feel,” Barba says before he can think he brushes his hand against Carisi’s cheek, “Jesus Dominick.”

Carisi waves it off, “Don’t worry about it Rafael, I’m alright.”

Barba shakes his head, “No,” he looks over at the outside, but the windows are caked with snow, only causing more cold to seek through. Barba gives Carisi the whole blanket and he hears the protest coming, “Shush,” he says and gets out of the car.

Barba luckily has his gloves on him which he pulls out, he places them on and luckily finds a stick despite it being almost covered fully in snow. He picks up the stick and starts pushing off the snow from the car, he clears the windows and the top of the car to the best of his ability but the cold air is vicious and he’s left shivering. Barba dusts his coat and hair off, the snow already trying its best to cover him.

When he gets back inside he sees Carisi wrapped in the blanket, the man is outwardly shivering. “Christ, Dominick,” Barba mutters, sitting down and closing the door.

“I’m never leaving without a coat ever again,” he grits, but he opens the cover for Barba to join.

“No, I’m fine, you try to warm up though,” Barba insist, Carisi gives him a wary eye but before the man can say anything Barba continues, “How long was I out?”

“Perhaps an hour?” Carisi then smirks, “Didn’t know you were a sleep talker, Counselor.”

Barba blushes, instantly fearing if he said something incriminating, “Inadmissible in court,” he quickly says.

“Damn, you said some interesting things about me though.”

“I will sue you for slander, Detective,” Carisi laughs, it's full and warm, Barba couldn’t help but smile.

“Don’t worry Barba, your sleep fueled confessions is safe with me.”

“I think then I should be worried.”

There’s a quiet that settles between them and Barba curses at himself for saying something wrong again. He’s racking his brain to figure out what his subconscious may have said to Carisi.

“Rafael,” Carisi said, Barba looks up, “I just wanted to say, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Ya know? Your friendship is perhaps the best I’ve ever had. Without you I wouldn’t have passed the bar, all those nights you stay up with me and allowed me to help you with case files even when I got something wrong. And even now as we’re stuck here, I rather it be nobody else than you. God, imagine this predicament with Fin?” they share a laugh but Barba feels the blood flowing to his face, he knew Carisi is grateful, genuinely, and it made all those nights worth it. “Well, you’re great, Counselor, that’s all.”

Barba smiles sheepishly, he knows he should respond and perhaps without the snark, “Carisi you passed the bar by yourself, you did that. I’m proud of you and yeah, I couldn’t imagine being stuck here with anyone else right now.”

“Not even Lieu?”

Barba laughs at that, shaking his head, “Heavens no,” he looks over at Carisi, “she would just chastise me and then talk about Rollins.”

“Rollins?” Carisi questioned.

Barba bit his lip, “Uh, not my place to speak about then,” he answers quickly and Carisi gives him a smile.

“I think I already put two and two together, Counselor.”

“Speculation, Detective.”

Carisi hums, “Sure,” he pulls the blanket closer to him. “I could kill for a hot coffee,” he groans.

“Don’t get trigger happy around me, Carisi,” Carisi laughed, rolling his eyes. “But so can I, the first thing I’m getting if we survive this.”

“If?”

“Might die of hypothermia first,” Barba says nonchalantly.

“You’re so dramatic, we are not going to die of hypothermia.”

“Speak for yourself,” Barba says, “I’m a foot away from death.”

Carisi opens the blanket and beckons Barba towards him, “Come over here then you big baby.”

Carisi has a shit-eating grin and Barba rolls his eyes but accepts the offer, they snuggle together, neither of them commenting on the intimacy. This time, Barba places his head on Carisi’s shoulder without a ruse needed. The detective says nothing.

“Are you tired, Dominick?” Barba asks a few minutes later, they were able to find a comfortable silence, cuddled up together.

“Yeah, I could use a bit of shut-eye,” to accentuate his point, Carisi lets out a yawn, “we have to shut off the heater before I do.” His accent thick.

Barba hums, “I’ll turn it off,” he promises, right now splurging on the extra heat.

“Hmm, maybe Dodds.”

Barba squints, looking up at Carisi to meet his amused smile. “What?”

“It wouldn’t be bad to be in this situation with Dodds,” he repeats himself and Barba scoffs.

“What do you two gossip girls talk about?”

“Our dicks,” was the immediate response and they laughed.

“What?” Barba asked, giving Carisi a questioning look.

“Nothing like that,” Carisi quickly brushed off.

“Then like what?”

“He talks about Alice and I talk about crushes and hookups,” Carisi admits and Barba rolls his eyes.

“Why do I have a strong feeling that you two compared dicks?”

“Guilty.”

“Oh god,” but Barba couldn’t help himself as the laughs escape. “You two remind me of Rita and I.”

Carisi beams, “You two compared dicks?”

They laughed again, “No, idiot. We used to hit up bars, see how many men we can get to buy us drinks,” he smiles at the memory. “I have an impressive track record I have you know.”

“Oh of course, who could resist Rafael Barba and those green eyes?”

“Oh, it’s my eyes for you, Detective? Everyone else says it’s my ass.”

“Hmm, well I have to look at something when you strut around in the courtroom,” Carisi tells and Barba feels his heart pound and some blood going downwards.

“Flattery can’t get you everywhere, Detective.”

“Well, I can sure try.”

Carisi bit his lower lip and Barba’s eyes watch it, he wants to push up, he wants to kiss those lips.

“Rafael…,” Carisi starts, his eyes keep shifting from Barba’s eyes to his lips.

“Dominick,” he prompts, the moment feels suffocating, Carisi places his hand on Barba’s face, he’s leaning in.

Barba feels the breath against his lips, their eyes finally landing on each other, Carisi’s thumb stroking against his cheek. They’ve been doing this dance for far too long but it feels so surreal to finally come to the moment.

“May I ki-“ Carisi is cut short by a startling ringing, they both jumped away from each other and looked wide-eyed. Carisi curses in Italian, “Fanculo,” he gives Barba a shy smile. Carisi shows his phone, a timer ringing its completion. “I-uh- put an alarm on to remind me to cut off the engine so we wouldn’t run out of gas.”

Barba could laugh at the cliche but he was more pissed, all he could manage was a weak nod. He blinks once more before he moves to action, he shuts off the car and the engine dies along with the heat. He sits back down and watches as Carisi’s eyes snap back up to his eyes. Barba’s grin returns.

“Jesus, it’s alright cold again,” Barba complains, he feels his phone vibrate and his eyes scrunch up as he fetches the iPhone. “I guess I got a signal,” he explains, he feels as Carisi use this to scoot over towards him. Barba is grateful for the man’s initiation and makes his own effort to move against Carisi.

“What’s the notification?” Carisi asks as he gently nudges Barba towards him.

Barba smiles he leans his head against Carisi’s broad shoulders and his phone lights up. He punches in his code and Carisi gives a questioning hum. Barba smiles, “My abuelita’s birthday,” he explains which he gets a comforting squeeze in response. He’s surprised to see it’s a text message. “Huh, Liv,” he says and he reads the message.

Olivia Benson: Where are you and Carisi? Are you two okay?

“Probably not smart to let the Lieutenant of SVU NYPD’s worry,” Carisi says as he reads the text.

“If anything she’s probably glad she got rid of us for more than a minute,” he jokes and Carisi laughs.

“She hates our legalities,” Carisi rested his chin on top of Barba’s hair.

“Well, I can't reach her now anyways, the signal is gone,” he explains and Carisi hums. Barba hears as Carisi’s breathing slows and Barba smiles, knowing the Detective is falling asleep.

Despite the cold that seeps it’s way back into the car and on his face, Barba doesn’t think he wants to be anywhere else. It wasn’t until he hears Carisi’s soft snores that he knows the Detective fell asleep.

/-/

Barba blinks. His eyes opening and he feels cold, so cold. The kind of cold that freezes your toes and fingers and numbs your torso and thighs. Barba’s confused, he didn’t even realize he had fallen asleep, the car is plunged in darkness and the car’s windows are covered in snow again. Barba blinks again, his vision coming back to him as his eyes darted around, the interior of the car is in view. He feels a heavy warm weight against him and it takes Barba a moment to realize it’s Carisi. He mentally cursed at himself for falling asleep.

“Carisi?” He asks, getting nothing in response. Barba panics. He turns and Carisi’s head falls against the back of the seat. “Carisi?” He tries again but the man doesn’t stir. Barba places his hand on Carisi’s face and hisses at how cold the man is.

He looks at the front view window, seeing as the snow had stopped and it had to be early in the morning. Barba checks his watch, it’s five a.m. he was supposed to stay up as Carisi slept, but the warmth felt so good to not fall asleep. “Hey Carisi, wake up,” Barba says, but it’s futile, the man’s breaths are shallow. “Dammit, Dominick,” Barba sits up to start the car again, blasting the heat, he couldn’t give a damn about the engine dying now.

He sits back down, he needs to wake Carisi up now. Barba runs his hand over Carisi’s cheek, “Dominick,” he whispers, “C’mon Sonny, wake up,” Barba feels for his pulse and it worries him how weak it is. “Dominick wake up!” He taps Carisi cheek and the detective finally opens his eyes.

“‘M cold, Barba,” he murmurs, but Barba is just happy he’s awake. Barba shakes him again, making sure Carisi keeps his consciousness.

“I know, I know, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have fallen asleep, you have to wake up,” Barba says, holding Carisi’s face with his hands. Barba cursed as the detective’s eyes remained closed, he fumbles above them and pushes the overhead light on. He notices how pale the man really is. The unsettling thought of hypothermia creeps into Barba’s mind, Barba runs his hand down Carisi’s face and into his body, the man is cold to the touch, way too cold. “No, no, no,” Barba whispers to himself. He pulls the man close to him, wrapping the blanket around Carisi’s long body.

He cradles the detective’s face, “You have to wake up, Dominick,” he tells, his thumb brushes over Carisi’s cold lips, they’re so, so cold.

Barba feels himself leaning down, his breath first tickling against the man’s lips. His brain rationalizes it’s the only way to startle Carisi awake and warm him up as well. Two birds one stone?

Logic doesn’t catch up with him in time because he presses his lips against Carisi’s. He feels the cold first hand and a wave a pang of guilt washes over. He should have stood up. The kiss wasn’t anything he expected. Wasn’t what he expected for them to have a first kiss especially not under these dire circumstances. But it does the trick.

Carisi wakes up. His brain finally turning as Carisi whines, the man doesn’t make any attempt to pull away or resist, if anything, Carisi is leaning into the kiss, pressing his lips against Barba’s chasing that warmth and something else. Carisi tries to reach for him underneath the covers and is successful when he grabs a handful of Barba’s undervest.

Barba doesn’t want this kiss to end, but his lungs begin to burn and he has to pull away. He gets a whine in response.

“What a way to wake a man up, Counselor,” Carisi says, Barba sees how blown his pupils are, how the irises are covered with want and lust.

“I had to do something, you were practically dying on me,” Barba says, catching his breath.

“Well,” Carisi starts, his hand running over Barba’s chest to grasp at the man’s tie, “don’t stop on my accord,” and then Carisi fuckin winks.

“One minute you’re dying and the next you are down to fuck?” Barba asks, but he’s already leaning in and his lips are already back against Carisi’s.

Carisi hums, “What can I say,” he starts, Barba decides this is a great time to start nipping at the man’s neck which is too cold for his liking. Barba makes an oath to warm Carisi up as soon as he can. “You purpose an amazing argument.”

“Hmm, I usually do,” Barba says, he’s giddy, they both are. Barba kisses back up to Carisi’s lips. “You’re too cold, we need to leave before you get hypothermia,” he whispers into the pink flesh and then kisses it slowly.

Just then, a knock, “Hello?!” a man’s voice calls out, “Anyone in there?”

The two immediately disentangle. Barba opens the door. “Yes!” He’s quick to say, “Please, you have to help us, we were trapped here during the blizzard,” he explains, “my friend and I are very cold.”

The officer nods, “Don’t worry, sit tight and I’ll radio someone to pick you two up.”

/-/

They’re escorted to a hospital, it’s practically empty due to how early it is. Some nurses checked him over and told him he was fine and just try to warm up before heading back out. So once he’s cleared he’s off to find Carisi, he has signal now too so he sends a quick text to Liv explaining their unfortunate predicament and how they’re going to stay another day.

He walks into Carisi’s room and smiles as the man is finishing talking with a nurse. “Give me the bad news,” he says sauntering into the room.

Carisi smiles, it’s the one where his eyes light up, crinkles dance on his face, and his teeth shows. “It’s horrible, I’m going to live.”

“Oh, the misery.”

They laugh and Carisi stands, “Turns out you were right, I was building a nasty case of hypothermia, mild but a few more hours I would’ve been toasted.”

“You mean frozen.”

Carisi squints and shakes his head, “Yeah whatever wise-ass.”

“Don’t act like you don’t like it, Detective.”

Carisi bits his lower lip, he stalks over towards Barba. “I do, every bit of it,” he admits.

There’s an elephant in the room, and it’s called sexual tension.

“Rafael.”

“Dominick.”

They manage to say at the same time, Barba rolls his eyes but his face only flushed a brighter shade of red.

“If we’re over being teenagers,” Barba says and Carisi scoffs. “I just wanted to let you know, what happened in the car, I-“ Barba stutters, he’s expecting a quip from Carisi but one never comes. “I wanted to kiss you, not just to wake you up and bring you back to the land of the living but because I want to take you out and wine and dine you.”

Carisi steps impossibly closer to him, his hand coming to lift up Barba’s chin. “What did you think I was going to say before that timer went off, Rafael? Because I can assure you, I wanted to kiss you as well. God, for the longest time,” Barba smiles and so does Carisi, the taller man places his lips on his and Barba sighs. He pulls the detective closer and their lips dance in sync for a bit.

Carisi pulls away first, “As much as I would like to continue with that,” he points around, “it's not exactly a mood setter.”

“Well,” Barba says, absentmindedly fixing Carisi’s tie, “we still have to go to Attica.”

“I hear a but coming.”

“Aren’t you the Detective,” it’s a small jab that they both appreciate. “But, we can tell Liv we don’t want to risk getting caught again in the snow and instead of a car to shack up in, we can do it in a hotel?” Barba’s fingers walk up Carisi’s chest, “I mean, we really don’t know how cold it will be outside once we’re finished there and after tonight we really should try to do our best to stay warm.”

Carisi is grinning, his hand returning to Barba’s face to caress it, “I think I’ll take the plea deal, Counselor, I mean, these are extenuating circumstances.”

Barba laughs, he leans up to press another soft kiss on those soft lips. “Then I think we should get going, Detective.”

Carisi hums, “You’re right, but where’s the car?”

“Oh, the officer actually brought it back for us, it’s sitting in the parking lot, what a badge can get you.” Barba teases.

Carisi rolls his eyes, “Shut up and admit people can be nice.”

“Objection, badgering.”

The two laugh as they walk out the door.