Olivia came home late that night. She had called and let Rafael know, and he had assured her that he would take care of Noah's nighttime needs. When she walked through the door, she had expected, and hoped, to see Rafael sleeping with Noah wrapped in his arms while they lay together on the couch. Instead, she found Rafael in his recliner with a glass of scotch in his hand and the bottle next to him on the table.
He picked his head up and looked at Olivia. His eyes were rimmed with red, as if he'd been crying. "Rafael, what's wrong?" Olivia dropped her coat and bag right there at the door, then made her way over to him. "I'm fine." Was his reply. His voice sounded ragged, like he was choking on his words. Olivia's brows drew together as she bent down in front of him. She laced her fingers with his and gave a squeeze. "Noah's in bed." Rafael said. The tone in his voice worried her. She knew something was wrong.
"Are you drunk?" Olivia asked, even though she already knew that he was. If she wasn't so worried, she would be tearing into him for getting drunk when he was the only one home with their son. She was sure that Rafael wouldn't put Noah in a dangerous position and this behavior was unlike him.
"Yeah. I didn't drink until Noah was sleeping." His words were slightly slurred.
"Why are you drunk, Rafael? What happened?" She tried.
"Nothing, I'm fine." He repeated his earlier words. He looked into her eyes and Olivia's heart ached for him. When Rafael felt particularly witty or happy, his green eyes shone and danced in the light. It was one of the things Olivia loved about him, his animated eyes. Because of his drinking and whatever was bothering him, those animated eyes were dull and flat.
"Rafael, I know better. Tell me what's wrong." She squeezed his hand again. "Don't hide from me, Rafi. Don't shut me out."
Sighing, his shoulders slumped forward and Olivia had to steady him before he fell over on top of her. "It's mami." He breathed.
"What's wrong with Lucia, Rafael?" Olivia knew that Lucia Barba meant the absolute world to her son. She had been Rafael's rock his entire life. When Rafael's grandmother had died, it had devastated the pair and only strengthened their bond. Olivia couldn't imagine what would happen to Rafael if he lost his mother so soon after losing his grandmother.
"She's sick. In the hospital. She's been there for a week." Rafael locked eyes with her again and Olivia could feel the pain radiating off of him. "She only just called."
"Why did she wait so long to tell you? Is she okay?"
Rafael let out a hollow laugh. "She said she didn't want to bother me. That I'm always so busy." His voice cracked near the end of his sentence. "My own mother thinks she takes a backseat to my career. She could be dying, Liv. And she didn't want to bother me."
"I'm sure she's going to be fine, Rafael. She might have admitted herself into the hospital."
Rafael shook his head vigorously. "No. They told her to they wanted to keep watch on her. She wouldn't stay away from her school for anything like this." He took a deep, shaky breath. "She has pneumonia. That's fatal to someone her age." Olivia's heart ached when she saw the tears form in his eyes. Rafael Barba was a strong man who was excellent at hiding his emotions, so for him to be on the verge of tears in front of her? She knew he was scared she wasn't going to make it. "I don't know what I'll do if I lose her, Olivia." When her full name came out of his mouth, her thoughts were cemented. He rarely, if ever, called her Olivia.
She cupped his face in her hands and gently wiped away the tears that had fallen from his eyes. "Rafael, your mother is a strong, strong woman. She raised you all by herself, didn't she?" Olivia made Rafael keep eye contact with her. She wished she knew the exact words that would make him feel better about the situation. "She's going to be fine, Rafi."
"What if she's not?" His doubt came out as barely a whisper.
Olivia ran her left hand through his messy locks and gave him a small smile. "She will be." She caressed his cheek again, trying to relax him. "We can go see her in the morning. If she's not contagious, we can even bring Noah in to see her. I'm sure that would lift her spirits. Noah loves his abuela." Boy, was that true. Each time Lucia Barba came into view, Noah would scream in pure joy until she held him in her arms. She was his favorite person in the entire world, even over Rafael and Olivia.
Rafael let a small laugh escape his lips. "Yeah, he does. I'm not too sure that the hospital staff will appreciate the screaming he does."
Olivia laughed with him. "We'll just have to make the hand off quick." She leaned forward and left a kiss on his forehead. "She's going to be okay, Rafi. I know she will. She's far too stubborn to not. She is your mother after all. Where do you think you get your stubbornness from?"
Rafael nodded. "You're probably right." He glanced at the half empty bottle of scotch on the table beside him. "I shouldn't have expected the worst. I'm sorry I did this with Noah here."
"You took care of him first, that's what matters. Am I thrilled you got drunk with our son in the house? Not really. But I get it, Rafi." Olivia stood from her place at his feet and smiled at him. "How about we go to bed?" She reached her hand out to him. Rafael gave her a small smile and took her outstretched hand, standing as well. "Thank you for not shutting me out." She said.
"I don't think I could if I tried, Liv."
So, I think I'm starting to get the hang of them. Man, do I love them! This came from a prompt on Tumblr I found while stalking barsonaddict's blog (oops, please don't think I'm creepy) and I really wanted to write it. As usual, let me know if you liked it! And if you want to send me prompts for Barson, by all means! I love it! Thanks for reading!