A/N: This little one-shot is based off a few stories from my childhood during Christmas time I'm fond of. I'm finally done with the semester and finding plenty of time to write, so look forward to updates on my other fics! Enjoy this little holiday one-shot! I don't own SVU or its characters.
"Nintendo continues to amaze me."
Rafael looked at the box sitting on his girlfriend's coffee table, looking at the animated characters staring back at him on the printed cover. The damn video game console was almost sold out everywhere, but he managed to get his hands on one out of pure luck just an hour ago.
He hadn't even planned on stopping anywhere on his way to her apartment after work, but he recalled their conversation in her office during lunch that day. She'd spent a good two hours in between paperwork calling various stores around the city to see if they had it in stock, but gave up after the twelfth store told her no. If it weren't so close to Christmas, with the holiday literally five days away, she would have ordered online, but there was no way it was going to get there in time.
Unfortunately, it was about the only thing Noah really, truly wanted from his Christmas list. It was even underlined three times with a circle around the scraggly, childish, misspelled word on the paper.
Liv had luck with everything else on his list, but of course, his top choice would be the hardest to find. Liv nearly tackled him and kissed him to death when she saw the box in his hands, but instead, ushered him into her room before Noah ran to greet him. She spent the rest of dinner and their movie night giving him that lusty, appreciative look she always did when he went out and did something for her son.
"I still can't believe you found one. Hell, I can't believe you even went in the store. I'm proud of you," she teased, tapping his nose with her finger as she plopped down next to him. She casually threw her legs over his lap and leaned back against the arm of the sofa. She looked exhausted, but luckily, all she had to worry about tomorrow morning was finding her sleep shirt he was going to toss underneath the bed as soon as they were alone in the solitude of her bedroom.
She earned a nice, three-day weekend off.
"You should be. I had to wait in line for twenty minutes behind some guy who was sneezing all over the counter. Which reminds me, I need to make a doctor's appointment before the New Year."
Liv hummed and sipped on her glass of wine, tapping her socked foot against his forearm, "We can officially start wrapping presents now that we have everything. I can't wait to see Noah's face when he opens that thing."
"God, I remember when the first Nintendo console came out…I had one in my college dorm and I'd play it to de-stress."
"You were a gamer?" She looked at him disbelievingly. He was the last person anyone would have expected to enjoy video games and rightfully so. He preferred to read over frivolous, mind-numbing activities any day of the week, but he wasn't averse to the activity.
"Hardly. But, it did take my mind off my constant fear of failure," he smiled and squeezed her foot, massaging it like an expert. He was a genius in the foot massage department, or so Liv had told him one night after a long work day. The way she always moaned when his hands went to work lent credence to that statement.
"I don't understand video games much," she started and glanced at the box, taking in the animated characters in their little race cars, "But it does look fun."
He nodded in agreement, feeling his curiosity spike as a commercial came on the television playing silently in the background. It was for the exact game console in front of them and he found himself growing more intrigued by the second.
"I can't believe I'm saying this," Liv broke through the silence, taking another healthy sip of her wine, "But I kind of want to break it open and play with it…"
Rafael furrowed his brow and looked at her, trying his best not to seem interested, but he already knew she could tell what he was thinking. He gave up a few seconds later and stood up, grabbing for the box.
"Let's do it. An hour couldn't hurt, right?"
Except, an hour had turned into three as they were sucked in and competing against one another on the racing game already loaded into the system. They'd been having more fun than they originally thought they would once they got through the grueling system set-up and figured out how to even work the controllers.
From the time they started the game, it had turned into an all-out competition. They were both competitive people, to say the least.
"Stay in your lane, Barba!"
"Stop throwing shells at me," Rafael growled, "Back to Barba, eh? Is it wrong I find that a little hot?" He succeeded in making Liv giggle enough that her concentration slipped and her pink princess character fell back into second place. He was hot on her heels with his little mushroom guy with a banana peel locked and loaded.
"Damn, c'mon!" He chuckled lowly as she cursed softly at her volume, remembering there was a sleeping five-year-old down the hall and they were playing his brand-new game console they were supposed to have wrapped and under the tree. If Noah even had an inkling that it was in the apartment somewhere, he would be adamant about trying to find it.
"Now, now, don't be a sore loser," he chuckled as his character victoriously danced along the screen, 1st place shining in the corner of the screen. Liv huffed and rolled her eyes, plopping the controller on the coffee table next to his.
"I'm not a sore loser. I just like winning." Rafael chuckled and slid closer to her, wrapping his arm around her waist. She couldn't control the smile on her face when he pressed his lips against her neck and his other hand slid up her thigh.
"But you can't win everything," he hummed and she scoffed, leaning back against the couch and gripping his bicep as he nipped at her skin.
"That's rich coming from you. I know how pissy you can get when you lose a case."
"Completely different. If I lose, a criminal walks free. You lost a race against a little mushroom headed video game character. Completely different, honey."
Liv bit her lip when she felt his warm fingers trailing against the skin of her back, "Whatever, Barba."
"Yeah…it is kind of hot…maybe I'll call you Counselor later…"
Rafael was about to respond with a fiery kiss when he heard a mumbled voice that caused them both to practically jump off the couch. They swung their heads around and saw Noah, shuffling towards the living room with Eddie cuddled up against his chest. They froze as he continued, mumbling unintelligible words with his eyes half-opened.
He didn't respond to Liv's gentle tone and, instead, walked his way around the couch and climbed up on the end of the sofa, curling up against the cushions and promptly falling back asleep. It didn't take them long to deduce that the little boy had slept walk his way out of his room and to the couch.
Besides her bed, the couch was the only other place Noah would end up when he was tired enough to even begin sleep walking. He'd had an eventful day, having gone to daycare and then Christmas shopping with abuelita in the afternoon, and then a full three hours of Christmas movies, where he fell asleep cuddled against Rafael's chest. He'd been tuckered out.
They both stared at him until they were positive that he was completely asleep before they raced around the living room quietly, Liv gathering up the bags full of his Christmas gifts they hadn't gotten to while Rafael fumbled to disconnect the game console and stuff it back into its packaging as if it never had been opened to begin with. The little tape seal would have to be redone, but in all likelihood, the kid wouldn't even notice it beyond his excitement.
They packed away all of the presents back in her closet and then did their best not to wake Noah as she carried him back to his room, lest he wake up and start sobbing uncontrollably. She knew from experience that waking him up from a dead sleep wasn't any fun for anyone involved.
He was back in his bed and under his covers in no time and both Liv and Rafael cursed themselves for the close call. They watched from the doorway as he turned in his sleep and sighed.
"That was close."
They both nodded and shut his door softly. They quickly made it to the safety of her lit bedroom and cracked the door, like they did every single night. Rafael immediately shed his clothes down to his underwear and crawled under the covers while Liv went through her nightly routine. When she came out lathering lotion into her skin, she chuckled and crawled up next to where he was reading something on his tablet.
"Now we only have three days to wrap. So, we better get all of our fooling around done tonight so we can wrap like crazy tomorrow night."
"Well I won't complain about that," he set his tablet on the bedside table and pulled her on top of him, caressing the exposed skin of her thighs that straddled him. She ran her fingers down his chest, enjoying the way he was reacting to her touch, "But…we absolutely can't play with anymore more of his presents. No matter how fun they look."
She agreed, but remembered the way his eyes lit up at the Lego Star Wars kit she had lugged out of the bag just a few hours ago, "But that Lego set does look interesting…"
Rafael growled and turned them over so she was on her back, "Don't tempt me, Lieutenant."
"I wouldn't dream of it, Counselor."
Fun Fact: The last time I sleep walked, I woke up in the bathroom holding the lid of the trash can. I took it back with me to my bedroom and fell asleep.
The more you know.