Twenty-Five Acts (15x03)

Barba: "You may not like me when we're done."

Jocelyn: "I don't like you now."

Barba: "Honesty. Good. Let's start with your dating life."

"We find the defendant guilty."

He smiled and I found myself smiling back. This was not something I had expected. ADA Barba had been charming when we had first met, he had brought a smile to my face, but in court I hadn't been impressed, until the last two minutes.

Amanda and I both patted Jocelyns shoulder. She had made it. It was over.

Barba turned around and began shuffling his papers. His Objection! and Move to strike! had been uttered quietly, as if he had been bored. I'd expected to lose this case.

What excites you about having sex, with Jocelyn?

I had not been the only one, who had shifted uncomfortably in her seat. What on earth had he been playing at? How could he have been so flamboyant, when we were so close to losing the case?

As a regular Joe, I am curious about how this belt-around-the-neck-thing is exciting. I am sure, Your Honor that the Jury is curious as well.

And that's when I had known what he was doing, had understood the game he was playing and how he had been leading Adam Cain right into the trap. It had been genius. Outside the fresh air felt like an old, welcomed friend. The courtroom had been so stifling

"You told me I wouldn't like you when this was over. You were right." Jocelyn hugged herself, looking at us helplessly, "What do I do now? My reputation's..." She did not dare to end her sentence, but Barba stepped in, touching her arm lightly,

"Thing about America...this country loves a comeback." With one last encouraging smile he walked towards the waiting Reporters, "All right, guys. Just a few moments."

We watched him leave and when Jocelyn started to say goodbye, Amanda offered to take her home. She still had her hand on her shoulder,

"Let's get out of here."

I watched the two of them go with a small smile. Amanda had really changed and grown in this past year. She was no longer a rookie, maybe she never had been.

At her car the blonde detective turned around and raised her eyebrows at me questioningly. I nodded towards the new ADA and Amanda nodded with a sly grin, before escorting the victim away.

He had left the mob of reporters to Cains lawyer and I approached him slowly, as he stood at the end of the stairs.

"How's your throat?"

Barba turned around and I could see his green eyes were blazing with excitement,

"It's...sore." He rolled his eyes and chuckled and I found myself grinning too.

"But it was worth it."

It hadn't been a question, but he nodded anyway,

"Yes. Absolutely." He paused just for a moment, before he asked, "So. what do you think?"

"About what?"

"You've been working at SVU for fourteen years, Detective." I didn't ask how he knew this, "You've worked with a lot of ADAs, what do you think of me?"

I was taken aback by how direct he was and I realised that was one of tactics that made him so good. No one could be prepared for his questions.
I honestly didn't know what to say and found myself smiling,

"I...I never met an ADA, who would be willing to get himself choked to win a case."

Barba smiled back. Maybe he could see right through me. Maybe he could tell that I felt like I could trust him. Maybe it was written over my face the last time I had immediately trusted and liked a man like this was a long time ago. In fact it had been fourteen years ago, when I'd first been introduced to Elliot Stabler. The longest relationship I'd ever had with a man. The one who always had my back.

"You haven't seen anything yet." Barba promised with a small wink and I shook my head, impressed by his confidence.

I had trusted Elliot and had been severely disappointed, when he had left. I knew to be cautious. But it had been a year and Barba...there was something about him. Something that made me feel like I could trust him. He was sure of himself, witty and funny. I had liked him instantly

His phone rang and he pulled it out of his jacket pocket. After looking at it just for a short moment he put it away again,

"I'll see you around, Detective. It was a pleasure meeting you."

"You too, Counselor ."

When he left I watched him go with a smile. He had been right about Jocelyn not liking him anymore, once this was all over. And maybe Amanda too, but I did still like him. It was nice to trust somebody from the first moment onwards.

Reviews are very much appreciated. Chapter 2 is 'Friending Emily', the next episode where Barba appears.

I never thought I'd get over Stabler leaving, but then I completely fell for Barson *.* So happy with this ship! :)