A/N Last part. Thank you all for reading, reviewing and adding the story to your favourites.
Ever Fixed Mark
Sonny glanced down the crowded corridor once more and, after failing to spot Amanda yet again, turned his attention to his watch. There was still plenty of time but that fact didn't do anything to calm the nerves that were claiming his body, from the slow circling in his stomach to the twitches in his leg. Around him, the throngs of people and their accompanying hum of excitement, only exacerbated those feelings. Eyes flickering upward, his height an advantage amongst the sea of mostly unknown people, he scanned the area again, his gaze finally, reluctantly, settling on Sergeant Tutuola. Some kind of cop sixth sense had Fin turn his attention away from the female guest of another wedding party and toward Sonny at that exact moment, causing him to quickly avert his own gaze; the Sergeant still hadn't forgiven him for suggesting that it was himself who was the injured party and not Amanda. But that was okay; he still hadn't forgiven himself. He was fairly sure that Amanda hadn't forgiven him either but as they'd barely spoken to each other since she'd called off the engagement he was holding on to the slim chance that he was wrong.
After the split with Amanda he'd, as impetuously as she'd ended their relationship, requested a transfer from the one-six because working side by side with the woman who'd broken his heart had not been an option. He'd expected the team to side with Amanda and for the most part they had with one, quite unexpected, exception. The ADA had turned up at his apartment with a box of belongings that Amanda had carelessly thrown together and a scorching admonishment. He'd quickly surmised that Amanda had confided in Liv, who had in turn told Barba, but he was still unsure why the other man had got involved. It wasn't because he was supposed to be Best Man at the now ill-fated wedding, as Barba had claimed. And it certainly hadn't been at Liv's urging; the Lieutenant made it clear how disappointed and angry she was with him when she'd signed off on the transfer. He liked to think it was because Barba cared but the ADA wasn't exactly of the 'warm and fuzzy' persuasion.
The man in question walked by yet again, phone clenched in one hand as his thumb scrolled through its contents, and Sonny smiled at the sight. He never thought he'd see Barba get married and even though it wasn't a church wedding, there was something about tying the knot at City Hall that seemed entirely appropriate for both bride and groom. He left the grin in place as he asked, jauntily and loud enough to stop its intended recipient from pacing back across the floor one more time, "Nervous, Counsellor?"
"What? No, of course not," Barba denied, a little too strongly, before quickly tucking the phone into a pocket. "Liv's not going to suddenly call it off," he continued, annoyance tingeing his words and his features until he realised what he'd said. "I didn't mean-"
"It's okay, Barba," Sonny interrupted, and he meant it, but he found that he could no longer hold on to his smile.
Barba shifted his feet, casting a glance toward the entrance, before speaking again, his voice uncharacteristically soft, almost making Sonny believe that he really did care, "You should talk to her. Tell her you've been an idiot and then beg for her forgiveness."
Sonny nodded, his smile slowly resurfacing. For most of the time that he'd known Barba, the ADA had treated him with barely concealed disdain. It had never really bothered him; he'd been eager to learn as much as he could and from the best so a few harsh words were easily dismissed. But since the break up his assertion that Barba was neither warm or fuzzy had been under revision. It'd been the ADA, after chewing him out for accusing Amanda of cheating, who had actually listened to his version of events; admittedly, Barba had then seemed to enjoy making him realise just how big of an idiot he had been that day in the park. And it was the ADA who had persuaded him that he wouldn't be unwelcome if he attended today. In fact, Barba had insisted upon his presence, even if it was as photographer rather than Best Man. "Are you trying to play Cupid, Counsellor?"
"I leave that sort of thing to you and Rollins."
Panic swept through him at those words and he stared mutely at the other man, unable to form a coherent sentence. Or defence. He'd known from the beginning that meddling in the affairs of the Lieutenant and the ADA was crossing a line that should probably be obeyed but Fin had seemed so confident and he'd been carried along by his own enthusiasm. Amanda had just agreed to marry him and he'd never been so happy in all his life. It hadn't felt wrong to want that same kind of happiness for everyone else, especially two people that he greatly respected. One of those two people was now glaring at him, and not in a warm and fuzzy way, and he swallowed slowly, thankful that the other person in the equation was no longer his boss, "We didn't-"
"Relax, Carisi," Barba interrupted, a small grin appearing as he spoke. "By the time Liv and I worked out what you two had done neither of us really cared that much."
Digesting that information, Sonny managed not to sigh in relief too loudly, which only made the other man grin even wider. But then Barba was gone, drawn away toward the entrance and Sonny followed his movements, tracing the source to a small group that was picking its way through the crowds. The Lieutenant was holding on to her son's hand but beside the Bensons, looking more beautiful than he remembered, was Amanda. He watched from a distance as both Liv and Noah smiled happily when they spotted Barba; he figured he'd be lucky if Amanda didn't slap him, quite deservedly, across the face when she spotted him. He'd been assured that she knew he'd be here but he wasn't sure if the advance notice had just given her more time to plot her revenge. When her eyes finally met his and she didn't look away in disgust, hope began to blossom in his chest, chasing away some of the apprehension that had been slowly building since he'd woken, alone and miserable.
He smiled at her, managing to keep it contained rather than the all out goofy that was threatening to escape but he didn't move an inch. He wanted to run to her, get down on his knees and, as Barba had advised, beg for her forgiveness but his feet wouldn't move, cemented to the floor by the fear of rejection. So he watched in a warring state of hope and fear as, after exchanging a few words with Liv, Amanda broke away from the soon to be family of three and walked toward him, Jesse obediently walking beside her. As soon as the little girl set eyes on Sonny she let out a shrieking rendition of his name and then shook off her mother's hand so that she could hurtle, as fast as her little legs could move, toward him. He caught the little girl easily, lifting her up in his arms to rest against his hip. "Hi, Jesse," he smiled, the delight of having the toddler in his arms once again managing to swing his feelings in favour of hope.
"She's missed you," Amanda offered as Jesse laid her head down on Sonny's shoulder, confirming her mother's words.
"I've missed her, too. And you," he blurted out, cursing himself inwardly when her gaze quickly fell away from his. "I'm sorry, Amanda," he rushed out, unsure about what he was apologising for. The list seemed exhaustive.
"I know," Amanda sighed, dragging her eyes back to his and folding her arms. "I got all your messages."
There was little malice in her words but he wouldn't have blamed her if there had been; he'd overstepped a line in that respect. The moment he'd realised that it had been his own jealousy and insecurity that had destroyed his relationship with the woman he loved he'd tried phoning Amanda; to apologise or to explain or maybe even to try and justify his actions but she hadn't answered his call. She'd never answered any of his subsequent calls or replied to any of his text messages. He'd almost gone mad with guilt and regret and self recrimination, and only the thought of upsetting Jesse had stopped him from going to Amanda's apartment and pounding on the door until she answered. It'd been Barba, again, who had intervened, advising him to wait until Amanda was ready to listen. He hoped this was that moment. "That day in the park, I shouldn't have said those things," he began, keeping his voice calm so not to disturb Jesse too much. "It's just… I love you so much and I thought I was losing you. Losing Jesse."
"That worked out well for you."
Despite the snide remark, he smiled; at her and to himself. One of the first things he'd discovered about Detective Rollins was that cutting tongue of hers; the day she'd made that remark about missing his moustache was possibly the day his crush on her had begun. Alas, one of the other things he'd discovered was that there was something going on between her and Amaro. It hadn't dampened his attraction toward her, nor had the news, much later, that she was pregnant. He loved kids and by then he most definitely loved Amanda Rollins. And he'd been okay with Jesse's paternity; Nick would have found some way to criss cross the country to see his child but Declan Murphy was deep under cover in another country. If only it had stayed that way.
Having finally won Amanda's heart, and her hand in marriage, that first text message from Declan had immediately set him on edge. He hadn't been dishonest when he'd raised concerns about Jesse getting hurt by her father but he hadn't been entirely truthful with Amanda either. The idea that Declan might swoop back into his fiancée's life and take her, and her daughter, away from him had been just as big a concern; he should've spoken to Amanda about it because then, when Declan had told him that he was going to make it all come true, he might not have believed the other man. "I was too jealous and too stupid to realise that everything was working out just fine. I let Declan get into my head," he admitted quietly.
Amanda nodded, her arms loosening just a little, "Liv told me about Declan and the things he'd been saying to you. He didn't deny any of it when I confronted him. I'm not sure if he really wanted to try being a family with me and Jesse or if he just didn't want someone else taking his place."
"It doesn't matter," Sonny said, though the exact same thought had crossed his mind a few times. He was surprised to learn that Barba had told Liv all about his dealings with Declan but he stored that information away for future reference and stuck to the matter at hand: his ongoing apology. "Because you were right. I should have trusted you."
"Yeah, you should have," she agreed quickly but then frowned, a sigh escaping her lips as her hands finally uncrossed, coming to hang by her sides. "And I suppose I should have told you that I was finding all the wedding talk a little overwhelming."
He forgave her instantly with a smile because his family could be a little too much, especially en masse. Amanda smiled, too and hope finally won out. "Maybe we could try again," he began, perhaps a little too optimistically.
"Sonny," Amanda sighed, as if she was about to crush his newly embraced confidence, but she said no more than that.
"I'm not asking to pick things up where we left them or do anything right now," he added on, truthfully. They'd had a breakthrough just now but he wasn't so naive to think that it solved everything. He'd have to prove to her that he was no longer that jealous asshole who'd called her out in the middle of a public place. He needed to prove to her that he did trust her, that she could still trust him, and that he could get along with Declan because the man was going to be a part of Jesse's life whether he liked it or not. "But maybe, sometime in the future, if you were willing to give me another chance, we could start over?"
"I'd like that," she smiled.
This time when he smiled it was definitely on the goofy side but he didn't care. He felt like he'd just won the lottery; Amanda was smiling at him and Jesse seemed equally content, laying quietly in his arms. A chance of putting things right was the best he could have hoped for and he'd have to thank Barba for insisting that he attend. Of course, it seemed now that Barba, no doubt along with Liv, had done some meddling of his own. He was reluctant to tear his eyes away from Amanda but he slowly turned toward the ADA and the Lieutenant, part of him expecting to see the pair of them watching on expectantly. But they were too busy recreating that scene from the park to pay any attention to him or Amanda.
He was pleased that things had worked out between Liv and Barba but he really didn't need to see them kissing. It was almost like watching his parents make out; a little uncomfortable but kind of reassuring in a way. He'd feel sorry for Noah but the kid seemed like he had already acclimatised to the new situation. A smirk slowly replaced his discomfort; Barba had told him that getting married to Liv was just to make things easier with the DA and OnePP and whilst he was certain that the higher ups would be happier after today, he knew that it was not for their benefit. Barba was warm and fuzzy; he just reserved it for the Bensons. He turned to Amanda, finding her gaze fixed on the other couple. "Can you believe those two are getting married?"
She smirked, too and her eyes met his, "It's crazy, right? They've been together for what? Two seconds?"
He nodded, sharing a knowing look with her, "This is all our fault."
"That's why we've got front row seats to all of this," Amanda griped but her eyes had strayed back to the older couple and she was smiling fondly at them. That smile faltered as she uttered quietly, "God, I hope they haven't written their own vows."
Sonny frowned, sharing sudden her lack of enthusiasm. "That would be nauseating."