A wish from Barsonaddict at Tumblr – a Barson Halloween fic. I hope you like it!
Thanks a lot to Rose and Emily, who helped me with this by making suggestions and betaing! :)
A Hauntingly Good Team
"Trick or Treat!" Noah exclaimed happily, waving his toy pistol through the air with his right hand while holding his pumpkin bucket towards Mrs Meyers, the old lady living one floor below them.
His eyes were gleaming as Mrs Meyers laughed and took a handful of caramel bonbons from a bowl next to the door, putting them into Noah's bucket while saying: "I better obey, I don't want you to arrest me, Officer!"
"I'm like Mommy," Noah added, his small fingers playing with the costume uniform hat and sticking his toy pistol into the belt of his blue police uniform. Olivia chuckled softly as she took Noah's hand again, while Lucy, who was dressed as a fairy, took the bucket from Noah.
"Yes, you are." Mrs Meyers winked before saying goodbye, wishing them a pleasant evening.
It took some time for them to go to nearly every apartment in the building, and everyone adored Noah's costume while stuffing his bucket with sweets – Olivia was sure that those would last for at least a year and two serious sugar rushes.
Since she'd adopted Noah, Halloween had gotten a different meaning, and she enjoyed it a lot to dress him up. This year, he'd insisted on going as a police officer, and Olivia had decided to go for a partner costume. She was wearing her badge and her NYPD jacket together with a pair of heavily ripped jeans, half-untied boots and a white button-up shirt that looked just as destroyed as the jeans. Lucy had outdone herself with her makeup – Olivia now looked like a zombie that had just climbed from the grave, and it was an awesome costume that hadn't needed much effort.
Noah was always immensely excited about Halloween, and even more this year, as Lucy and he would attend a Halloween sleepover after attending the SVU Halloween party to show off his awesome costume.
An hour later, they crashed the SVU party at Fin's place – as her deputy, he'd been ordered by Olivia to take charge of the party planning. Everyone adored the mini police man and called him colleague, which caused him to squeal in happiness. Amanda – who was wearing a Minnie Mouse costume, matching Carisi, who was dressed as Mickey Mouse – looked as if she wanted to eat little Noah because he was so sweet.
"I can't wait to dress Jesse up like that!" She laughed before calling Noah's bucket, which was filled to the brim by now, impressive.
About half an hour later, Noah and Lucy left for the sleepover, and Olivia made her way to the bar, having been too busy with greeting friends and colleagues to get a drink earlier. Fitting her costume, she ordered a Zombie, and just as she took the first sip, a familiar voice next to her said: "Drinking while on duty, Lieutenant? I hope that's not standard at your precinct."
"Barba," she greeted him curtly, a smirk on her lips as she turned towards him, her cool cocktail in hand. Her eyes wandered up and down his body, taking in his appearance – he was wearing a long, black coat that touched the floor, shiny leather shoes, black suit pants, a white shirt and a black waistcoat decorated with silver ornaments. An ancient looking pocket watch, a broad, scarlet tie and a cane completed the look.
He looked handsome in those clothes, maybe even aristocratic, but she didn't intend to admit that – or that her heart had made a little jump when her gaze had fallen onto him. When she'd asked if he would come to the party, he'd been vague, claiming that he wasn't sure if he would find the time. Obviously he had, and he looked fantastic.
"Isn't this supposed to be a costume party?" Olivia teased him, and Rafael cocked an eyebrow before grinning, showing off his pointy vampire teeth.
"I could ask you the same, Olivia." He laughed, gesturing at her, and Olivia noticed how his gaze lingered a little bit longer than necessary at the generous cleavage her shirt was showing off. "You look like you've been hit by a car."
"Charming, Dracula," she replied, sipping her cocktail. "You missed Noah. He's so proud of his costume."
Rafael nodded, smiling. "I actually saw Lucy and him downstairs, when I was arriving. He looks very cute. Comes after his mother, obviously."
She chuckled, shaking her head and drinking some more of her cocktail – with Noah at his sleepover party and Lucy staying there to assist the mothers as supervision, she was completely free and could do whatever she wanted. Rafael meanwhile ordered a drink for himself, going with a Bloody Mary.
Just as she wanted to say something to Rafael, the volume of the music was turned down and Fin stepped into the middle of the room, showing off his bloody chainsaw under the cheers of his colleagues before he gestured the crowd to calm down.
"Thank you all for coming to this awesome party! Now, our esteemed Lieutenant Benson put me in charge of the organisation, and I made sure that everyone will have fun this evening! There will be a couple of games over the course of the evening. You guys will be teamed up, and the team that wins most of the games will get a bottle of whiskey as reward."
Some people didn't look too excited, but Olivia guessed that with the right amount of alcohol, their motivation to make fools out of themselves would grow. She definitely would take part; in their job, there was way too few space for amusement, and this opportunity was perfect.
"I'll announce the teams when it's time for the first game – Mummy Wrap! Until then, crash the bar!"
Olivia turned back to Rafael, who was cocking an eyebrow, not looking too excited either. A smirk on her lips, she said: "Now I know where the budget for the precinct vanished. He bought that expensive whiskey with it."
"I hope he didn't put me on a team, I really don't want to make a fool of myself in a game where I have to wrap someone in toilet paper," Rafael mumbled, earning a look from Olivia.
"Killjoy. Drink a bit more and then grab the roll," Olivia replied, giving him a challenging grin and emptying her glass, immediately ordering a new drink. "I bet you're just reluctant to play because you're bad at the game."
"Me, bad at a game? Olivia Benson, you have no idea what you're saying there. I'm very good at any game. I can win anything," Rafael responded with a confidence that could only have been induced by the cocktail he'd had. Crossing his arms in front of his chest, he looked Olivia directly into the eyes, his expression just as challenging as hers as she mirrored him.
"Prove it," she whispered sharply, and a playfully smug smirk curled his lips.
"With pleasure, Lieutenant," Rafael answered and grinned as if he was already holding the bottle of whiskey in his hands.
About half an hour later – Olivia and Rafael had had some tequila with Amanda and Sonny in the meantime – Fin announced that the time for his first game had arrived, and he smirked sadistically as he took out the cards on which he'd jotted down the teams. Amanda and Sonny bumped their fists together as Fin told them that they would work together, and Olivia hoped she would get a good partner – she wanted to show Barba who was the boss here.
"And last but not least, Benson and Barba!" Fin exclaimed, and Rafael cocked an eyebrow at her before following her into the circle that had formed in the middle of the room. Olivia was caught somewhere between regret and joy; regret because she wouldn't be able to beat him, joy because she was pretty sure that they would be able to win together.
Fin walked around, handing out rolls of toilet paper, and Rafael leaned over, his breath tickling her skin as he whispered into her ear: "They won't have a chance against us."
"I totally agree," Olivia responded, smiling before taking their rolls from Fin.
"I swear, Benson, if a single photo of me wrapped into toilet paper with pink flowers ends up in the social networks, I'm going to need your gun," Rafael grumbled as they got ready to start, and Olivia winked at him teasingly just as Fin gave the start signal.
Even though Olivia and Rafael had been so optimistic at the beginning, they really failed at their first game; Amanda and Sonny won because Amanda somehow was able to spin on the spot though she was already a bit tipsy. Rafael on the other hand was stumbling over his own feet when he tried to do that, and that broke the paper apart, making everything harder for Olivia.
While Amanda and Sonny hugged in glee, Olivia and Rafael frowned simultaneously, making their costumes look that bit more scary. They made their way back to the bar, intending to drown their defeat in more cocktails, and Rafael said: "We really need to do better in the next game."
"I agree. Otherwise Minnie and Mickey over there are going to brag about winning for weeks."
Clinking their glasses together, they gave each other a silent promise and grinned grimly; in the corner, Amanda and Sonny were whispering, looking triumphant.
"We're going to crush them."
The setback really seemed to have helped to motivate them; they crushed Amanda and Sonny during the next game – Head Waiter, where they had to relay a severed 'head' on a tablet over a certain distance – and with the tailwind of their first win, they rocked the concluding Halloween charade, which had everyone laughing on top of their lungs.
Olivia tried hard not to look too smug as they received their prize from Fin and posed for a photo that would be hung at the billboard in the precinct; it had been a lot of fun to do these games with Rafael, and she was sure it wasn't only the alcohol that caused her skin to prickle as he placed one hand on her hip for the photo.
It was as if his fingers were burning into her skin, and she didn't really want him to let go; as he did, she felt like something was missing.
Trying to ignore the feelings that were coming to the surface, she made her way to the bar to grab another drink. Amanda involved her in a conversation, and for a short time, Olivia forgot about how her skin was still tingling and her heart still beating fast over the excitement of having so much fun with Rafael.
However, Amanda then went to dance with Sonny, leaving Olivia alone at the bar; just as she decided to go and search for Fin, the most dressed-to-kill vampire of the evening softly grabbed her arm. With a smirk, Rafael handed her their bottle of whiskey and then grabbed two freshly cleaned glasses from the bar before he pulled her with him through the crowd of colleagues, towards the open window. The cool evening wind caressed her face as they climbed onto the fire ladder and then went upwards.
Nobody was on the roof, but a wooden bench equipped with a few cushions and a blanket showed that someone had thought of those who wanted to have a little bit of fresh air during the party. Olivia zipped her NYPD jacket to the chin, and Rafael placed the blanket over their legs.
"Time for our victory drink," he said and she nodded in agreement, uncorking the bottle and pouring a generous amount of the amber liquid into the glasses that he was holding.
"To us." She smiled as she took the glass from him and they clinked them together. The whiskey burned in her throat, and she felt like one didn't really taste that it was an expensive bottle.
Rafael seemed to share her opinion; he grimaced and then downed the rest of the glass, shaking his head. "I thought Fin had taste! Next time I'll pick something."
Olivia put her glass down onto the floor next to the bottle and rubbed her hands together with a light shiver, looking up into the starry sky.
"Are you cold?" Rafael asked softly, slinging his arm around her shoulder, and Olivia didn't completely realise that she was immediately scooting closer to him. His warmth engulfed her, and it was wonderfully comfortable, more than she would openly admit.
"I had a lot of fun tonight," she admitted, a tingle running down her spine as she looked up and his face was closer to her than she'd estimated. His warm breath tickled her skin – once again – and she gulped hard as her stomach started to feel light. It was a feeling that she hadn't felt for quite some time, and it was as if she was awakening after a long night of sleep.
"Me too," he mumbled, and Rafael's green eyes wandered over her face, lingering at her lips, and her heart was beating fast in her chest. She felt tense, asking herself if he was really going to kiss her, or if the alcohol was confusing her senses, making her imagine things that weren't real.
Moments later, the question was answered; Rafael's lips gently touched hers, and her eyelids fluttered shut as she responded, first hesitant, and then with growing confidence. It felt wonderful to kiss him; he tasted of tequila and something that was definitely him, and she slung her arms around his neck as they separated briefly out of lack of oxygen.
"That's definitely a unique Halloween," he whispered, and she smiled, murmuring her agreement back before he cupped her face and kissed her again.