While others chose vices like drinking to forget a hard case, Sonny drew.
He was by no means professionally taught, everything being self-learned; but the few privileged enough to see his art deemed them beautiful. Carrying such a likeness to their subjects, many swore they were photographs.
After arriving at SVU, he finds a muse in the form of ADA Rafael Barba. A man of such small stature yet reverberating with passionate strength, Sonny’s attention is wholly captured. What keeps him riveted are Barba’s hands.
It seemed such a shallow fixation, many would argue.
“What about his intellect?”
“His snake tongue that charms jurors to give favorable convictions?”
But Sonny is also an artists and stands on the principle that aesthetics are important because beautiful things need to be immortalized.
And Barba’s hands, Sonny finds, are very beautiful.
So to forget the caged child who prematurely dies; to forget the girl that gets raped by her own kin, he draws pages and pages of hands. Hands in different state of motion.Hands that are both elegant and tensed with promised power. Hands with fingers, so sinfully long. Hands that could—
He draws and draws until one day, hands turn into a pair of eyes. Eyes that he knows gleam like emeralds. Eyes with a fierceness that tear into his soul.Eyes that see truth.
A truth that has been lingering, pushed back into the recesses of his mind, whispering, “You lie!”
For he knows the fixation is shallow. But it is also safe. Because men like Barba are dangerous to men like Sonny. Because falling for a man so unattainable promises a world of hurt.
But he is weak.
And with time, the walls get chipped and cracks form.
Cracks, one can’t help but fall through.
Time does pass and drawn eyes are soon joined by an aquiline nose and a proud mouth that perpetually smirks and knows prose like a lover. And when everything culminates into a face that distinctly resembles the ADA, Sonny finally accepts his fate.
He comes home with narratives painted in his head.
They manifest on paper from charcoal pencils that bleed his ache, his desperation, his love for the older man. Charcoal pencils because color could never convey the exact shade of green.
He fills pages with re-imaginings of each encounter. A sneer was really a smile. A roll of the eyes is softened and now exudes warmth. Exudes affection…for him.
But then his imagination starts to fail. Merely remembering the Barba’s face falls short in producing a true rendering of the older man.
So he finds himself one day, trying to inconspicuously stand outside the courtroom while Barba preps a witness inside. And with great care, discreetly snaps a few pics of the ADA on his phone.
A clearing of someone’s throat freezes him mid-snap. He turns to face his lieutenant, whose brow is raised with suspicion, mild amusement on her lips.
“Do I even want to know, Carisi?”
He answers with a sheepish grin, a guilty shrug, but stays silent. Eyes almost pleading. Pleading for something he doesn’t know, but fears.
Liv has the heart to let the subject drop, tho she leaves with a knowing look.
His stealth grows with practice.
The amount of candid pics of the ADA, he accumulates, becomes staggering if not a little disturbing.
Some would call it obsession.
To which Sonny will be the first to agree. After all, his Ma often told him he had a penchant for riding on the cusp of obsessing over things he liked.
But this had grown to be more than a mere “like”.
Because he was now a man possessed. Possessed by love for the one who fought for justice so bravely. The one with beautiful hands and green eyes.
And Sonny refused to be exorcised.
Most stolen moments are from squad conference meetings. But his favorites are during court days.
This is when Barba is in his element. Where he struts with a confidence that exceeds his small build. Where he performs his seductive dance of elocution.
Then a smirk.
The jurors are beguiled.
The opponent is annihilated.
Sonny sees this, enraptured, as he sits in the back, when he can help it. Away from prying eyes of Liv or on occasion, Rollins and Fin. He sits in the back where he can safely and secretly capture it all.
And then he comes home, where the ADA becomes Rafael.
It’s Rafael’s smile. Rafael’s nose. Rafael’s shoulders that touch a strong neck. A neck he’d like to—
Rafael! Rafael! Rafael!
He soon makes a binder; a makeshift memory book, which he fills with his favorite pictures and drawings. And on the first page is his most cherished.
It’s a profile sketch of Rafael looking out his office window.
It had been an especially trying case of a burned and buried child and the monster that received an innocent verdict. Everyone was in the worst of spirits, with Rafael feeling the most. After all, he was the prosecutor; the one responsible to get a guilty conviction.
It was brief. Almost a flash in his eyes. But Sonny saw, because Sonny always saw.
It was pain and fear.
And this vulnerability that Sonny seldom associated with the ADA, captured him so.
He managed to snap the moment before Barba shifted and turned his head.
Eyes briefly locked, Sonny likes to remember that Barba may have given him a small smile.
These pictures and drawings seem to appease him.
But its short-lived.
Because one day he finds himself tracing drawn lips. Wondering how the real ones would feel against his fingers. Against his tongue. How sweet they would taste?
And dreams are soon filled with grasping limps. Lips on skin. And hands.
Beautiful hands with fingers so sinfully long.
And he knows it’s not enough.
It’s a particularly easy day when Liv sends Sonny to pick up some files from Barba. He disguises the thrill that shoots thought his body at the chance of seeing the older man as eagerness to please his boss. He also has the mind to slow his pace when his body reflexively tries to run out of the bullpen towards the ADA’s office.
However, he’s met with disappointment. And it’s sharp.
“The counselor isn’t in right now.”
He can’t help but glance towards the closed doors and think he sees movement in the blinds. But it’s probably just his wishful mind.
They chat with friendly familiarity as he accepts the files. And as the small talk ends, Carmen hands him a nondescript folded piece of paper.
Before he can question, Carmen sends him off with a firm “Don’t open it until you get home.”
Although patience was never his strongest suit, Sonny feels inclined to follow Carmen’s orders. So he waits until he’s home. Waits until he’s eaten his last bite. Waits until he’s fresh from the shower and sprawled on his well-worn comfy couch.
And as he opens the paper and reads the words written, everything stops.
It’s in a script he has come to know from studying over the ADA’s case files.
At first he can’t comprehend.
He reads it through once. Twice. Three times. Four.
And soon the words blur as he allows himself to understand and accept them to be true.
It’s a poem, signed with a simple “Rafael”.
A poem that strums at his heart, turns his chest heavy, and makes his throat hurt.
A poem he hears in the older man’s deep tenor, telling him “I love you”.
And a mantra starts, that rings in his head. “HE LOVES ME! HE LOVES ME! HE LOVES ME!,” as a frenzied euphoria overwhelms him.
He wants bang on the walls….scream out the window…call Rafael—
He cuts short because he can’t. He won’t!
A call would trivialize the moment and he was not about to blaspheme his answer of “Yes I love you too” with a phone call. It had to be done in person. So he practices patience for the second time that night, hoping Rafael will not think his silence is rejection, and generates a plan that will perfectly relay his feelings to the ADA.
His sleep is fitful when he finally gets in bed, the poem tightly clutched in his hand fearing if he lets go, it would all have been nothing but a dream.
The next day moves excruciatingly slow.
It taunts him as his body thrums with unhinged energy. Knee bouncing and foot tapping on overdrive, he tries his best to keep from flying off his seat while he does paperwork in the bullpen.
Ironically his mind is fogged, swirling with heady thoughts of words on page born from someone he thought he could never have.
Thus he is blind to the flick of a wrist as a spitball is thrown at his head.
Jolting as the wet projectile bounces off his ear, he looks up at a smirking Rollins.
“You on crack, Carisi? Cuz I can hear your foot tapping and I have headphones on!”
He merely rolls his eyes and sticks out his tongue.
After all there’s apparently children working in SVU, so when in Rome…
Finally Liv gives him reprieve, telling the squad they could go home early for the weekend.
If he ran from the bullpen he can’t remember because he’s soon hitting the stairs two by three. His long legs make quick work until he’s standing outside Rafael’s office door, completely bypassing Carmen’s desk. The women in questions just smiles, as if she was expecting him.
Panting he nods back and proceeds to knock on the door.
Then the gravity of the situation suddenly hits him and he’s trembling, barely holding onto the memory book he’s brought. The memory book that holds his pictures and drawings of Rafael. The memory book that has the poem on its last page with an addition on the bottom in his script that answers Rafael’s declaration of love.
He quickly steels himself and tries to quiet the hammering of his heart as he hears a “Come in” from the other side.
Entering, he’s quick to unceremoniously drop the book in front of a sitting Rafael.before he can lose his nerve.
The older man paints an adorable picture, looking sweet with rumpled hair, sleeves rolled above elbows, as if he’s just awoken from an afternoon nap. Forehead creased in question as he peers at the book, Sonny motions him to open it.
And as Rafael flips through the pages, Sonny waits with bated breath. Praying that this is enough to show Rafael the depth of his love for him.
It’s a quiet few minutes, the sound of pages being turned the only thing heard in the room.
Then Rafael finally looks up, eyes glistening with tears and unsaid words that Sonny wants so desperately whispered in his ear.
“This is how you see me?” the question drips with pained incredulity.
He wants to shout back,
“How else would I see you!?! You perfect wonderful man who I love!!”
But words are for another time. He’s waited long enough.
So he nods and answers with a kiss.
And the real thing is really so much sweeter.
Again my heart is soooooo full from the love my first drabble/fic got from you guys! So as a gift here is the accompaniment to The Poem.
A shout out to miss Kendell @booyahkendell whose comments about how Peter would have reacted got my brain juices going and inspired. Thanks girl!!
Hope you enjoy another sapp-filled barisi fic, where Sonny may be slightly occ..I blame my addiction to angst and melodrama to the highest power which I’ve low-key gone buckwild with. Also, I may have not followed any sort of timeline and Sonny is not pursuing a law degree…so keep that in mind :D
PS: open to constructive criticism since this prob riddled with spelling, grammar and all kinds of errors :D