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And As Long As I've Got My Mask And Tie

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“Rafi!” Sonny yelled into the apartment as a form of greeting as he came inside. “You got mail!” he yelled out as he shut the door with his butt and locked it before walking towards the kitchen.

He placed the shoe box sized package on the counter along with the three letters he had picked up from the mailbox. He walked to the other side of the counter and grabbed the container of Lysol wipes quickly pulling one out. He then returned to the mail and quickly wiped down each letter carefully and then the package. After he deemed them safe and clean he walked back to the door and wiped down the lock and handle before returning to the kitchen and throwing the wipe away. He then walked over to the sink and washed his hands, humming the ABC song under his breath, as he always did, to make sure he cleaned his hands for at least 20 seconds.

“Rafi, take a break and come here! Something came in for you and it’s not just a bill!” Sonny yelled again as he turned off the water and wiped his hands on one of the fluffy blue kitchen towels.

Finally deeming everything clean he pulled off the black mask he had been wearing and took a deep breath of clean apartment air. He looked down the hallway and opened his mouth to yell again when his husband finally rounded the corner and stepped into the kitchen.

“Don’t yell again, I’m here” Rafael grumbled as he walked into the kitchen. He walked over to his husband and kissed his cheek sweetly “so, how was your run?”.

Sonny smiled to himself as he thought back to the 5 ish miles he had just run around the city “it was really nice. Got to clear my head, listen to the new Struts album, and best of all I ran into Amanda who was running with Franny. We ran a mile or so together, well social distance together anyway, and then we took a little break near the park and just talked so it was extra nice”.

Rafael nodded as he sat down on one of the counter’s stools “now that sounds like a nice time, I know how much you’ve missed hanging out with her. So how busy was the park?”.

“Busier than it has been but overall not to bad” the taller man said as he leaned again the counter “I saw a lot more people than I have the last couple of weeks, mostly families, but with the nice weather I kinda expected as much” he shrugged as he took a step towards the wall and placed his mask on one of the hooks his husband and put up just for mask storage.

“It’s only going to get busier now that more places are opening up” Rafael said shaking his head disappointedly “I mean I’m all for opening up and I wanna get back to normal as much as the next guy, but it's still too soon for my taste”.

Sonny nodded in agreement as he filled up a glass of water then took a big sip “yeah, you’re preaching to the choir here as you know. I just wished everyone else agreed”. He shrugged slightly sadly “with the streets starting to get busier I was thinking of maybe changing my normal run route or possibly bringing up the treadmill from storage because as more people start getting out I just know it will get more and more crowded... and it scares the hell out of me...”.

Rafael heard the slight worry begin to creep into his husband's voice and frowned in sad understanding “I know it does babe” he sighed “whatever you think will make you feel safest is the best way to go”.

The two men sat in silence for a moment as the weight of the world hung in the air around them.

The older man bit at his bottom lip and lightly shook his head to try and push the sad depressing thoughts from over taking him. He looked toward the edge of the counter at the small pile of mail and motioned towards it to try and get his husband’s mind from spiraling about the awfulness of the world as well, “so, what did we get?”.

Sonny smiled into his water as he realized what he husband was doing and placed his cup down as he walked over to the small mail pile. “I sanitized them but didn’t really look at them” he said as he picked up the couple letters first. “Let’s see what we have here: a bill for a Mr. Sonny Carisi-Barba from Visa and a bill for a Mr. Rafael Carisi-Barba from Sprint”. He placed his bill in front of himself and then placed Barba’s in front of himself respectively.

“What about the other letter?” Rafael asked, pointing to the thick envelope still in Sonny’s hand.

“This is to ‘Uncle Rafi’ and it says it’s from Bella and Tommy, but I’m assuming it’s from Stella” Sonny said as a small smile slowly began to grow at the corners of his face as he started to open the letter.

“Hey! That letter’s not from you!” Rafael exclaimed as he reached across the counter and snatched the envelope out of his husband’s hands “you almost committed a federal crime!”.

Sonny rolled his eyes “I’d love to see you try me for that”.

Rafael rolled his eyes playfully back “just like you’re gonna try me for jaywalking?”. He quickly ripped open the letter and carefully unfolded it. The letter was made of green construction paper and was covered with stickers from all different movies. Barba recognizes the Star Wars, Avengers, and My Little Pony ones but the others were a mystery that he would have to ask his niece about next time they all video chatted. In the center of the card, written in bright blue glitter paint, read “Hi Uncle Rafi! I miss you!!! Love Stella!”.

Rafael chuckled happily as he read the letter then turned it to show Sonny.

His husband placed a hand over his heart and smiled “awww... but also why does she only miss you?”.

Rafael lightly stuck out his tongue in a teasing away “because she has taste, duh”.

Sonny rolled his eyes “rude”.

The other man chuckled “oh don’t pout mi amore I’m sure you’ll get a card just like this in a day or two”.

Sonny huffed out a laugh “yeah I better or Stella or more specifically Bella will be getting a strongly worded text”.

Rafael rolled his eyes at his ridiculous partner as he set down the letter “oh I’m sure she will”. He reached over and pulled the last bit of mail aka the package in-front of himself and smiled a wide smile as he saw the shipping label.

“Rafi, what did you buy this time?” Sonny asked playfully exasperated as he pulled out a knife and placed it in Rafael’s open and waiting hand.

Rafael sliced the tape and pulled open two of the flaps “trust me when I say it’s just easier if I show you”. He stood up and began to walk towards the bedroom “I need to grab something first, so no peeking”. He quickly turned and ran to the bedroom. As he returned he carried five different ties from their closet.

“Okay... now I’m confused” Sonny said looking at the ties in his husband’s hand and noticing he had grabbed his favorite orange with white dots one, his own favorite blue with white dots one, and three of the ones they shared most often.

Rafael sent him a look “good, now just turn around and close your eyes. I know you’re going to simultaneously love and hate this”.

Sonny let out a fake exhausted sigh as he slowly turned around.

“Okay, you may now turn back,” Rafael said after a moment, excitement covering every word.

Sonny turned around and immediately burst out laughing at what he saw.

Rafael had apparently bought face masks to match some of their favorite ties. Around his neck Rafael had haphazardly thrown on his orange tie and on his face, he wore a matching face mask.

On the counter in front of them sat the four other ties all paired with their matching mask.

“You didn’t?!” Sonny laughed out as he processed the adorably amazing sight before him.

Rafael smiled under the mask, only detectable by his eye crinkles, and nodded “I did!” he said excitedly. He motioned to each tie and mask combo “you know I like to keep my, now our, outfits all matchy matchy and when I saw Caprizio’s were starting to sell masks you know I just had to”.

“And you even got one for me” Sonny said happily as he picked up the navy blue with white dots mask feeling it’s thickness against his fingers and smiling as it was to his liking.

Rafael nodded as he pulled off the mask and tie he had thrown on to show Sonny “of course I did. I mean we share ties so often anyway I figured I’d get my favorite and yours and then a couple of our most shared ones”.

Sonny shook his head fondly “you’re ridiculous Rafi”.

Rafael smiled “I know, but if my husband doesn’t look like a damn knock out in court what even is the point of having court cases anymore?!”.

A ridiculous giggle flowed out of Sonny as he walked around the counter to stand next to his husband. “I mean to throw rapists in prison is the point, and you know that, but if this helps me get more convictions I’m okay with it”. He leaned down and kissed his husband’s forehead “I’m also okay with anything that keeps us safer so you know I’m happy about them”.

Rafael sighed happily “I’m so glad you’re happy about them because as much as I think your black masks make you look professional I like you in fun colors and I think you’ll find the jury will agree”.

Sonny shot his husband a look “... what?”.

The other man just shrugged “you think I won every case because of my amazing law knowledge? Pssh, I mean it was mostly that but a well put together look and a happy face will always win over juries more than facts”. He looked at his husband “and since the world is currently robbing people of seeing your beautiful smiling face the best we can do is let you be the most fashionable ADA that court house has ever seen” he paused “well... second most after myself, obviously”.

Sonny huffed out a laugh “I’ll say it again you are ridiculous,”. He leaned down and lightly kissed his husband’s lips “but I wouldn’t have you any other way Rafi”.

Rafael smiled widely and lightly stuck out his tongue again “damn right you wouldn’t! And because we now have new masks I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that ‘holiday mask’ tab that was open on your laptop the other day. I mean I’m all for coordinated looks but I draw the line at holiday masks!”.

Sonny just shook his head at his adorable yet ridiculous husband.