Work Header


Work Text:

“Sure, you can keep up?” She loudly teased back at Carisi, turning her head slightly to take him in.

This was not something she’d ever experienced, but it was exhilarating. Normally, whenever she made time for a run, it consisted of her strapping her small girls into a jogging stroller and latching her dog right alongside it. It was strange to share this part of her life with someone else. Not that she was against it, but she could hardly picture Declan or Al keeping pace next to her early on a Sunday morning. She knew he picked up running again after transferring to the DA’s office since he didn’t have the daily physical challenges he did as a cop. They’d been going nearly two miles, finally reaching the park with Jesse’s favorite playground in it.

He wasn’t far behind, his form was solid, and she almost tripped over her own two feet admiring the way he looked with a tight blue long-sleeved running shirt and long black running pants, with Frannie’s highlighter yellow leash bound tightly around his wrist as the fourth Rollins’ girl sprinted happily alongside him.

“Come on, Fran!” He urged, picking up his pace to match him. The wind ruffled the stray pieces of graying hair that fell into his face. The dog perked up, increasing speed as the Counselor increased his, easily catching up to Amanda and his goddaughters in their stroller.

“Sorry, coming through.” He said as he passed her, his breath tickling his ear as they continued forward toward the playground.

“Mama! Catch Unca’ Sonny! And Frannie!” Billie giggled up at her mother, enjoying the wind on her face.

“I know baby, he’s just showing off.” She laughed, increasing her pace.

By the time she caught up with him and Frannie, they were stopped and waiting near a bench across from the playground. He shook his head at her as she approached.

“Thought you could keep up.” He teased.

“Well, sorry, counselor, which one of the two of us has a bad knee?” She said, lifting her left leg to shake it out for dramatic effect. Since she’d gotten another procedure done on her knee, running had been easier, but he didn’t need to know that.

Suddenly his face contorted into an expression of concern, eyes immediately trailing to her knee. He couldn’t see much of it since it was covered by her long leggings.

“Is it bad? Do you need to sit down? I—”

“Carisi, it’s fine. I’m just joking.”

He frowned and stepped toward her, as if needing to confirm it for himself.

“You know, technically we said to the water fountain.” She quipped. He looked at her, confused, as she quickly sprinted forward, the sudden motion of the stroller moving causing the girls to squeal in excitement. When she reached the fountain, she turned and flashed him a triumphant smile.

He rolled his eyes.

Frannie barked in protest.

“I know, Frannie. We got jipped.” Carisi teased, approaching the stroller to fish his water bottle out of the bag on the back. He offered the first one to Rollins before going back in for another one. They moved to sit on the bench, turning the stroller so it faced them as they caught their breath and let the endorphins radiate through their system.

“We gotta ask the real judges.” Carisi said, capping his bottle as he smiled down at Jesse and Billie tucked into the double stroller, “So girls, who won? Me and Frannie or both of you and Mama?”

“Mama!” They both yelled, eager to get out of the stroller. Amanda laughed again, looking over toward her old partner. He shook his head but chuckled along with them.

“Mama said you were just showing off.” Jesse said matter-of-factly. This only made him laugh harder and shoot Rollins a side-eye as she shifted on the bench to undo Jesse’s stroller straps. Carisi took it upon himself to reach and undo Billie’s harness and pull the small girl into his arms. She laughed and stood in Sonny’s lap, wrapping her small arms around his neck.

“Ew, sweaty.” She cried, letting go of him and stumbling back. His arms were already around her, holding her tightly in place.

“Jesse, baby, why don’t you take your sister over to the slide. We’ll be over in just a few minutes.”

“It’s ok?” Billie asked, looking up at Sonny as if she needed his permission too.

“Sure is, kiddo. We’ll come to play with you. If you’re good and stay with Jesse, I’ll even push you on the swing.”

Billie’s eyes brightened.

“Sissy, come!” Billy yelled to her older sister, her small, chunky legs taking off for the large silver slide.

“No, Billie, wait. Hold my hand!” Jesse called, chasing her little sister. Her strides nearly doubled Billies. The toddler stopped, her light-up shoes nearly kicking up a patch of grass as she held her hand out, waiting for Jesse.

Amanda smiled, watching her girls take each other's hands and race toward the playground. It was a beautiful morning. For once, work was on the low list of their priorities for the day.

Today, it was just about them. From the corner of her eye, she saw Sonny take another drink of his water, his eyes not moving from where the girls played.

“Thanks for this.” She said, bending slightly on the bench to adjust the brace on her knee.

“For what?” He said, turning his attention half to her. His brow furrowed when he noticed her rubbing her knee. “Is it your knee? I thought you said-”

“No, not that. This.” She said, finishing up, snapping the velcro back into place and gesturing to the open air.

“For the park? Uh...your welcome, but you should probably know…” He said seriously, “I didn’t build this park.”

She smacked him, a chuckle escaping from her lips.

“Come on, you know what I mean. This. A Sunday morning, nobody in the office; all of us just together...outside, not crammed in the house for once. It's...something I could get used to.”

“Nailing me down for routines already, Rollins?”

“No...of course not, I just-”

“I think it's something I could get used to too.” He whispered, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “With one modification.”

“What’s that?” She asked, turning to him.

“Pancakes when we get back. I bought blueberries on the way over yesterday.”

Amanda laughed as he extended an arm around her shoulder.

It was something so ordinary, so inside the box, so cookie-cutter. Something she hadn't had much of.

She curled into his side, the morning breeze tickling their cheeks as they watched her girls play.

A perfect, ordinary mold.

Frannie, looked up from her water dish, droplets dripping from her mouth as she barked in agreement.

“Fran says not just blueberries. We gotta get strawberries too.”