ibuprofen daily

Lifetime of Tension

I’d like to read some Barba related angst! Make me cry please!

Note: A huge thanks to @skittle479 for her help.


Barba had been mentally kicking himself ever since he gave Felipe Heredio his home address. Each night after he made it home he would double, no, triple checked his locks to make sure he didn’t forget to lock himself in.

The uncertainty is what kept him anxious. In the courtroom, he was used to being prepared. A lawyer never asks a question he doesn’t already know the answer to. On the rare occasion a witness did surprise him, he chewed out the detectives of SVU for the ambush.

When he was a child, he was always on edge; he never knew when his father would come home in one of his moods and take his frustrations out on Rafael. Or would it be his mother? Rafael didn’t know which one it would be every night. That restlessness made his body unwillingly tense up as he made his way home every evening, in anticipation of what his father would do that night.

The tension between his shoulder blades felt like it had been there his whole life, almost like he had been born with it. A lifetime of having to defend himself at a moment’s notice had taken its toll on Rafael, engraining itself in both his mind and his body, settling deep in Rafael so that it became his permanent, normal state of being.

No, Rafael Barba did not like surprises, and always did his best to keep that unpleasantness out of his life.

Just like Rafael was used to the dread of uncertainty, he was also used to dealing with it alone. He never voiced it to his mother, but they both knew he resented her for not being strong enough to get his father out of their lives. As a child, Rafael was left on his own to bear the brunt of his father’s anger. Could his mother have done anything? Would it have caused them both even more harm if she tried? Either way, it’s not like anything can be changed now.

So, it was only natural that when he started receiving death threats, he kept them to himself, just as he was used to keeping his problems to himself for close to forty years, never having formed close enough relations to be able to share his worries with another person. He kept the letters and phone calls a secret, as the strain in his back got worse, and the throbbing in his temples seemed to intensify with each passing day. Popping Ibuprofen became a daily norm for Rafael, something he took every morning with his first cup of coffee.

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