A/N: Yeah, I don't know. The inspiration struck and I wrote it in an hour. So, here it is. Enjoy!
Waking up to an incredibly loud ring tone wasn't what something she normally did.
She woke up naturally; her body was adjusted to Noah's sleep schedule which correlated nicely with her own work schedule. The only downside was her night shifts she found herself pulling from time to time. Unfortunately, sleeping in wasn't part of her routine at all.
Liv grit her teeth and shoved her hand out from underneath the soft down comforter she was buried under, reaching for the alarm clock that was blaring somewhere to her left. It was a little dumb that she was blindly searching for whatever was blasting music, but there was no way she was ruining the warm little cocoon she woke up to.
It was too cold outside and Tucker's apartment (and they were in his bed because she didn't own an alarm clock) was most likely freezing. Plus, she was naked and just no.
She finally slapped a few buttons and the music cut off, leaving her to slip her arm back into the blankets and cuddle down against the pillow underneath her head. Even though she had kind of a dull ache in her head and her breath still smelled like alcohol from the New Year's Eve party the night before, all she wanted to do was catch a few more hours of sleep before she had to leave.
Noah had spent the night with Lucy, who was too busy studying early for her next semester courses to go out and party with her friends, and she would need to go relieve the babysitter in a bit. Preferably after she had some breakfast and a nice hot shower.
Luckily, she didn't have to work that day and planned it so her and her little man could spend some quality time together on the first day of the new year. It was always extremely hectic the last couple weeks of the year and she hadn't been able to tuck him in or wake him up half the time. So she was definitely looking forward to the day ahead.
Liv was just about to fall asleep again when a strong arm wrapped around her waist, followed by a warm and equally naked body snuggling up behind her. She smiled and sighed at the feeling of warm breath hitting the skin of her neck, lulling her back into a peaceful slumber.
Liv's eyes sprung open as a stray thought entered her mind.
Tucker wasn't at the party last night…
The smile fell from her face and her eyes widened in some semblance of horror. She was fully awake now and the dull ache in her head increased at an alarming rate.
They had ended it a week ago after Tucker transferred to Brooklyn…
The body behind her moved a little and a small mumble made her tense. She knew that voice. She could recognize that voice anywhere, even if it was only an unintelligible mumble. Liv opened her mouth like she was going to say something but did, only a small squeak when she felt something poking her thigh.
Liv turned her head and looked straight into Barba's eyes. They stared at each other for a total of 2 seconds before they scrambled away from each other and pulled back the covers. Liv jumped out of the bed and stood up, but dove for the floor when she realized she wasn't wearing any clothing.
"What the hell happened last night?"
Liv peeked over the bed to see Barba, holding his head and looking around for his t-shirt like a wild man. She did the same, searching for the dress she wore last night and found it next to what looked like an undershirt.
Grabbing for it, she tossed his shirt at him and quickly maneuvered her dress over her head the best she could in the position she was in.
Shit. Shit, you have to be kidding me. Where the FUCK ARE MY SHOES.
"Oh my God," Barba said again and she looked up, dress successfully on, to see him holding an empty bottle of Cuervo and a can of whip cream. Her eyes widened and she shot up, a blush creeping along her face and chest. Barba gulped and dropped the items back on his bed, refusing to look at the woman standing there.
He quickly slipped on his undershirt and reached for his boxers that, thankfully, hadn't made it off the bed.
"I-I don't know what to say," she blurted out, spotting her lacy underwear and bra sticking out between the mattress and the bed frame. She calmly reached for them and crumpled them up into a ball, nervously looking at her colleagues face.
"Liv…I don't even remember what happened last night. Maybe we didn't do anything," Barba suggested as he stood up. Liv's gaze unintentionally dragged down to his crotch before she could stop herself.
And he noticed.
"We were both naked Rafael. I'm pretty sure after an empty bottle of tequila and all of the shots we had at the bar, it lead to something."
Barba just nodded, unsure of what to say himself. He bent over and picked up her heels, which had landed over on his side. She took them gratefully and slipped them on, feeling the overwhelming urge just to run away, leave the city and never look back. Say goodbye to their professional relationship.
"Well, we can be adult about this."
Liv took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing mind, "I agree. This doesn't have to change anything at all."
"Exactly," he agreed.
Except, it kind of already had. She was finding it extremely hard to look at him now and that wasn't good. That wasn't good at all. All she could look at was the rumpled sheets and down comforter she'd been cuddled under just moments before.
I'm far too old to be acting like this. Shape up, Liv! Be an adult!
"Let's just agree to never bring this up. It's water under the bridge," she said calmly. Barba readily agreed with a small smile that somehow made her feel just a tad bit better about the whole situation.
They stood looking at each other awkwardly for another few seconds before Liv decided to make her exit. Barba walked her out to the front door, handing her the pea coat and scarf she wore last night as well as her purse. She shoved her undergarments into the bag discreetly when the ADA turned the other way to unlock his front door.
"Alright…uh…call me…maybe we can get some coffee later and talk things through a little bit more…make sure we're on the same page and all."
"Yeah, of course."
They said nothing more, just nodded at each other and Liv held her head high as she walked down the hall to the elevator, buttoning up her coat and wrapping the scarf around her neck before she straightened her hair out. She didn't want to make it obvious she had spent the night somewhere. Except, it was going to be hard when it was 7:23 a.m. on January 1st, and she was still wearing high heels and a dress and a pounding headache.
Yeah, she was way too old for this.
After a nice hot shower, a mini mental breakdown and a nice cuddle session with her little boy, she finally took the plunge and told Barba to meet her and Noah at a nearby park so they could talk and Noah could play in the snow.
Really, she didn't want to meet up with him, but knew she had to. A simple agreement wasn't going to cut it. Because what she had done with Barba, even if she can't remember it, was reopening all sorts of feelings she thought she buried when she started dating Tucker.
Feelings that were really troublesome to have when they worked in such close quarters. But it was inevitable when she really thought about it. They had such a good working relationship and it had transferred well into a personal one.
Barba wasn't afraid to call her on her shit, even if it did annoy her to no end when he did it. That was one of the many things that attracted her to him to begin with. He was also a hard worker and wanted justice for the victims they helped serve, sometimes going above and beyond what any normal lawyer would do. He was smart and talented and funny and good looking-
"Liv," Barba called from behind her. She turned to see him carrying two cups of coffee towards the clean park bench where she sat staring at her son play with a couple of other kids. He sat next to her, keeping a reasonable distance as he passed her a steaming cup which she took gratefully.
They were silent for a good long while, just watching Noah run around and giggle in the snow, having a ball throwing poorly formed snowballs and making snow angels. It was a good break for her to collect her thoughts, wanting to word things correctly so she didn't say something wrong about this whole situation.
"I'm still a little hungover," he spoke, squinting his eyes a bit in pain. She bit her lip, not knowing what to say. Usually, she would come up with some sarcastic retort and joke around a bit with him, but now she wasn't sure it was the time do that. What they had done was serious and joking probably wasn't the best way to handle things.
So she just told him she was too, letting the silence hang in the air between the two of them again. It lasted for another two minutes before she decided to just jump in and begin the conversation.
"So about what happened," she began, but he cut her off suddenly.
"I'm not sorry."
Liv blinked, wide eyed and cocked her head to the side. Well, she certainly wasn't expecting him to say something like that. And she had to admit her heart soared a little bit when he looked at her with a determined smile. It made the corner of her mouth raise.
Barba sighed and looked down at the coffee cup cradled in his hands, thumb playing with tab keeping his liquid cool. Liv waited patiently, occasionally glancing between her happy son and her incredibly nervous…whatever he was.
"I have…feelings for you. God, that makes me sound like a teenager," he groaned, shifting his cup to one hand so he could rub at his eyes with the other. Liv held back a chuckle and instead scooted just a fraction closer.
"What I want to say is that I like you…that doesn't sound any better."
Barba looked over at her and sighed, "you get what I'm trying to say?"
"Yeah…," she trailed and reached over to touch his arm, "I get it."
"And I totally understand that you don't feel the same way. I mean, I wasn't ever expecting to tell you about my feelings for you, but I felt like I should let you know. It's time I acknowledge them anyway."
Liv was a bit shocked and just a tad bit upset that he automatically assumed she didn't reciprocate his feelings, but then thought better of it. He couldn't know she had repressed those same emotions for him. She was exceptionally good at hiding what she was truly thinking about, even with Barba who could read her like a book most of the time.
"You know what they say about people who assume," she joked, giving his jacketed forearm a squeeze so he would look at her. His face was confused for a split second before he completely understood what she was saying. He hadn't been prepared for that response.
Liv just nodded, smiling sweetly at him. After a moment, he smiled back and suddenly, everything seemed so clear and honest. Their little spat over the whole Tucker debacle had derailed their relationship and the rebuilding process had been slow to the point she wasn't sure they would ever be the same again.
Funny how one night of drunk sex they couldn't even remember (if you don't include the flashbacks she had in the shower that morning) fixed it within a matter of seconds.
Her attention briefly drifted over a Noah, who was helping to make a rather sad looking snowman with the new friends he made, effectively breaking the moment her and Barba were sharing.
"Good job, baby!"
The little boy turned back and ran to the group of children, tripping once adorably over the snow boots she forced him to wear. The two adults shared a laugh as they watched him before their attention drifted back to one another.
"So, what does this mean?"
Liv thought for a second, because what did this really mean? They had already crossed a line they really couldn't (and didn't want to) come back from. However, they moved way too quickly for her liking and she didn't just want this to become all about sex.
She cared too deeply for him for it to ever evolve into that. Plus, she wanted to have the full experience with him. First date, second date, third and beyond.
"It means, if you want to do this, you need to take me out on a date."
Barba chuckled and reached for her hand, closing it in his bigger one, "I can definitely do that."