This chapter takes place immediately after Community Policing (17x5)


***August 2015***

By the time Olivia leaves the hospital, it's late- almost midnight. She really should just go home and relieve the nanny, but after the way the grand jury went that morning she feels the need to touch base with Barba.

She is infuriated with his actions today; with the way he used her career against her and her fellow officers. This case is getting worse by the hour it seems, and there's still a violent rapist on the loose.

Knowing Barba like she does, even at this late hour she knows he will be in his office.

She's hoping they can hash things out and move past it quickly: she's angry but it doesn't change how she feels about him.

They admitted their feelings for each other just before Noah's adoption was finalized. It's only been a few months, but it feels so natural and they had settled into a relationship easier than she thought possible.

Getting through security at Hogan Place is easy, the guards all know her well after all these years. On the third floor his office is the only one occupied; the light filtering out into the hallway. She doesn't bother knocking.

Despite the fact that she had texted him before leaving the hospital he looks surprised to see her.

"Lieutenant," he greets formally, causing her to stop mid stride and look at him closer. He never calls her that in private anymore. It's always 'Liv' or a Spanish endearment like cariƱo or mi amor.

The scotch glass in his hand is half full, and she can't hold in the question forming on her lips. "How many have you had tonight?"

He grimaces at her question. "Not enough," he replies.

Silence falls as Barba continues to sip at his drink, watching the muted television that is tuned to a news channel. Scenes of protest around the city are on the screen. Olivia watches him watch tv- a sinking feeling in her stomach.

"Are you going to look at me?" she asks.

Barba takes another drink then sets his glass down on his desk. He takes a deep breath then locks eyes with his girlfriend. The pain and guilt she sees in his face set off warning bells in her head.

"Rafael? What is it?" As soon as she asks the question she wants to take it back, certain she doesn't want to hear what he has to say right now.

He takes another deep breath, steadying himself, and replies, "I think we need to talk."