“In My Feelings”
Sonny’s Office - Tuesday Evening
Sonny watched as Amanda then hurried out of his office. He sank deeper down into his seat and glanced over at his phone. He then sighed as he closed his eyes and sat, deep in thought.
After some back and forth in his head, Sonny eventually decided to meet up with Meghan for dinner and drinks. He didn’t go into it thinking of it as a date per say, instead viewing it more as a night out with a new friend; a much needed distraction.
Restaurant - Tuesday Night
“I’m glad you were able to join me tonight.” Meghan said as she took a sip of her wine. “I’ve been living in the city for a while now, but still don’t know many people here and don’t really get out too much. It can feel pretty isolating sometimes.”
Sonny gave her a small smile and nodded. “New York is one of the biggest and bustlin’ cities in the world, but can feel like one of the loneliest if you don’t have anyone to share all the chaos with.”
“That it can.” She said agreeing.
Just then, their waiter came by and asked what they would like for their entrees.
“I’ll take the steak.” Sonny said as he handed him his menu. “Medium well.”
“And I’ll try the spaghetti squash.” Meghan told the waiter as she gave him her menu.
Unbeknownst to Meghan, her dinner choice instantly caused Sonny’s mind to drift back to a night a few months earlier.
Four Months Ago
Sonny and Amanda’s Apartment - Thursday Evening
“Girls!” Sonny called out from the kitchen. “Dinner’s ready!”
A few moments later Jesse and Billie entered into the kitchen and sat down at their regular seats at the table.
Jesse sniffed the air. “Are we having spaghetti?” She asked hopefully.
“Sort of.” Sonny said as he set their plates down in front of them. “It’s spaghetti squash.”
“Can I have peanut butter and jelly?” asked Billie, who wasn’t a fan of any sort of vegetable, even when covered in her favorite Alfredo sauce.
Sonny handed each girl a fork. “Maybe for lunch tomorrow. But this is what I made for tonight’s dinner.”
Billie intently watched her older sister shove some of the spaghetti squash into her mouth.
“It’s good!” Jesse said to Sonny.
Sonny smiled and turned his attention toward the younger Rollins girl, who was quietly playing around with her fork.
He pulled a chair up next to the four-year-old. “I know you’re a little iffy about the squash. So that’s why I also made garlic bread and meatballs, which I know you love, to go with it. How about you try three forkfuls of the spaghetti squash and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat the rest. You can eat just the bread and meatballs.”
Billie sighed, but nodded. “Ok.”
Just then his cell rang. Sonny saw it was a call from the deputy chief of the Homicide Bureau and figured it was important.
“Girls, I’ll be right back. I need to take this.” He picked his phone up from off the counter and then headed off to the bedroom to take the call.
Sonny emerged from the bedroom around twenty minutes later after wrapping up his conversation. When he came back into the kitchen he was pleasantly surprised to see Amanda had quietly entered into the apartment. However, he was dismayed when he saw that while Jesse had finished her dinner and went to do the rest of her homework in the girls’ bedroom, Billie’s plate remained completely untouched and she was instead chowing down on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“Amanda, can we talk in the bedroom?” He asked as he furrowed his eyebrows.
She nodded as she put away the jelly in the refrigerator. The two then headed off to the bedroom together.
Sonny closed the door. “I wish you had talked to me before you fixed Billie that peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
Amanda ran a hand through her hair. “Sonny, you and I both know how difficult it is to get Billie to try vegetables. Yes, I wish she ate better, and I’m hoping in time she’ll grow out of the pickiness, but she wasn’t gonna sit there and finish all of that spaghetti squash and I won’t force her to. Especially if she’s adamantly expressing to me she doesn’t like it, which she did.”
Sonny shook his head. “But I didn’t ask Billie to sit there and eat everythin’ on her plate. All I wanted was for her to try three forkfuls. If she didn’t like it I said she didn’t have to eat the rest and could stick with the meatballs and garlic bread. Two things I specifically made to go with it because I know she likes them. But I looked at her plate before comin’ in here and it was clear she didn’t eat ANYTHING on it. All she did was move everythin’ around. Then to top it off I told Billie I wouldn’t make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when she asked for that instead of tryin’ what I cooked and you went and made her one. Now she’s gonna think if she holds out long enough that someone will eventually make her somethin’ different when she doesn’t want what was made for dinner.”
He rubbed his temples and plopped down on the bed.
Amanda sighed. “When I came in Billie said she didn’t like it. I hadn’t realized she didn’t actually try it or eat even a little bit of the other stuff that was given to her. I made the sandwich because I didn’t want her to be hungry. But I’m sorry, I should’ve checked with you first before doing it.”
Sonny remained quiet for a long while before finally responding. “I appreciate the apology. I do, but…” He let his voice trail off.
“But what?” Amanda asked as she sat down next to him.
Sonny took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “I need more support from you when it comes to navigating this new role I have with the girls. It’s been difficult transitioning from Uncle Sonny, the fun godfather who let them do pretty much whatever they wanted to being a pseudo, though hopefully one day soon official, stepdad who has to be more of an authority figure. We both agreed that this shift in my relationship with Jesse and Billie is necessary if we want our romantic relationship to continue to progress. Especially since I spend so much time at home with them while you’re at work and because they’re still so young and need structure. But it’s tough because they are used to you and only you being a parental figure. And what makes it tougher is when you do things to undermine me with them.”
Amanda raised an eyebrow. “Come on, because of this spaghetti squash thing?”
He sighed. “It’s one of a handful of times lately where I made a parenting decision and it falls flat because you reverse it without even talkin’ to me about it first. Like the other day when I asked Jess if she could finish cleaning her side of the bedroom, which had been messy for days, before watching TV. When you got home from work, she went behind my back and asked you if she could watch TV and you let her without gathering all the facts first and finding out what deal her and I made.”
Sonny paused for a moment before continuing.
“It’s gettin’ to the point where I feel both girls don’t really think what I say holds weight and if I tell them somethin’ they don’t wanna hear, they’ll go to you in hopes of lessening or eliminating the punishment or being given permission to do whatever it is I said they couldn’t.”
Amanda stood up, pressed her lips together and crossed her arms. “What I’m gathering from this WHOLE conversation is that you think I’m not instilling enough discipline. That I’m too easy on them and the girls see me as a pushover.”
Sonny also stood up and began adamantly shaking his head. “I said no such thing.”
“You didn’t say it but it’s what you’re alluding to.” Amanda balked, raising her voice. “You’re basically, in a round about way, calling me me out for being a bad mom.”
“I am not!” Sonny said throwing his arms up. “All I said was that the girls go to you behind my back because they don’t see me as being on equal footing with you in the parenting department and in the HOPES of getting a different answer from you when I make a decision they don’t like. I never said you always reverse things in their favor. And I never said the choices I make with them are always right, either.” Sonny responded, matching her tone.
“They’re not!” Amanda spat back. “Which is why I sometimes reverse them. It’s not always because I’m “oblivious” as to what’s going on!”
“I know I’m a work in progress when it comes to all of this!” Sonny responded. “I understand if you think a decision I made needs to be modified. But talk to me about it privately! We need to be more of a united front with the girls! They don’t need to know when we aren’t on the same page about somethin.’ And when we aren’t, we need to sit down and get on the same page. So Jesse and Billie know that no matter who is handling a specific situation the outcome will be the same.”
Sonny paused for a moment to take a breath and then continued on. “All I’m askin’ for is that we communicate better and for you to give me more of a chance to step up into that father figure role with them in ALL aspects. Not just for the fun stuff like daddy-daughter dances and not just when it’s convenient for you. I know it’s going to take time for Jesse and Billie to see me and respect me in the same way they do with you as an authority figure, but we’ll never get there if you and I don’t work together as a team.”
“I’m done talkin’ bout this.” Sonny said as he cut her off and stood up. “I need to get some air. Clear my head. I’ll be back.”
He then headed for the door and exited the bedroom. Amanda sighed as she sat back down on the bed and stared aimlessly straight ahead at the wall.
Restaurant - Tuesday Evening
Meghan raised an eyebrow. “You alright? Seemed like your head was somewhere else.”
Sonny nodded slowly. “Sorry. Yeah, I’m fine.”
She stared at him curiously for a while, but didn’t dig into anything further and changed the subject.
“Thanks for walking me home.” Meghan said to him when the duo finally reached her apartment door. “You didn’t have to.”
Sonny shook his head. “Well I wanted to make sure you got home safe. And you only live a few blocks from the restaurant. It was no trouble at all.”
Meghan tucked a loose strand of her blonde hair behind her ear. “You’re quite the gentleman Dominick Carisi.”
Sonny gave her a small smile and then fixed his mouth to respond when she leaned into him and connected her lips to his, but after a second he pulled away.
An embarrassed Meghan began to blush. “I clearly misread things.”
“No, you didn’t. I…do like you.” Sonny said sighing. “It’s…look it’s not you. It’s me.”
“I’ve heard that before.” Meghan said running a hand through her hair.
Sonny shook his head. “No I mean it. My life is…really complicated at the moment and it wouldn’t be fair to rope you or anyone else into in this way right now.”
Sonny took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Detective Rollins…who you met earlier. She’s umm…not just a colleague. Her and I…we were in a very serious relationship. We broke up…not that long ago. Anyways, I just found out earlier tonight that she’s pregnant and we’re having a baby. And even though her and I aren’t together, I plan on being an active part of this child’s life. He or she is my primary focus and will always come first.”
Meghan’s eyes widened in surprise and she remained quiet for a moment, likely needing some time to take in and process what was just told to her, but eventually responded.
“You’re right.” She finally said. “You do have a lot going on in your life. But it doesn’t scare me. Hearing how committed you are to the child you have coming and not running away from your responsibilities? It honestly makes me like you even more. That being said, I understand where your coming from and where your priorities need to lie. So how about we just take this date by date, day by day and see where it goes? Let’s go into this with no expectations.”
Sonny briefly pondered her suggestion, smiled softly and nodded. “Ok.”
“Night, Sonny.” Meghan said and as she turned around to go into her apartment, he stopped her gently with his hand.
Sonny then placed a brief kiss on her lips. “Night.”
She smiled and then headed inside her building.
Outside the Precinct - Friday Afternoon
“Thanks for picking me up.” Amanda said as her and Sonny began walking toward his car.
Sonny nodded. “And thank you for inviting me to come along.”
Amanda nodded. “I know you’ve never gotten to see what an ultrasound is like so I wanted to give you that chance to experience it. It’s really early so you won’t see much, but it’s still pretty cool.”
“It means a lot.” He told her sincerely.
Amanda gave him a small smile and then changed the subject. “Hopefully whatever’s wrong with my car can be fixed quickly and won’t cost a fortune.” She groaned slightly. “I hate not having car.”
“Give me the bill once you get it.”
Amanda vehemently shook her head no. “Sonny, you’re not paying that. It has nothing to do with the baby.”
“But it absolutely does.” Sonny said to her. “You need to have a car that’s runnin’ properly to get around with the baby, as well as the girls.”
She sighed. “No woman is going to put up with you doing this kind of stuff for me.”
Sonny bit his lip and furrowed his brows as if he were in deep thought, but remained quiet as he opened up the passenger side door of his car for her.
Amanda got in and he closed the door. Sonny then made his way to the driver’s side and climbed in. As he turned his car on and entered the address to the doctor’s office onto his phone’s GPS, a call from Meghan came in.
Amanda watched as Sonny quickly declined it and went back to setting up his GPS. She started to wonder if he ever ended up going on that date and if so, how it went. But another part of her thought that ignorance is bliss and she might be better off not knowing. Not to mention, her and Sonny were actually getting along and she didn’t want to ruin the vibe. Not today.
“Ready?” He asked as turned the heat up.
Amanda buckled her seatbelt and then nodded. Sonny then pulled his car out into the road and they were off.
Doctor’s Office - Friday Afternoon
Amanda made a slight face as her doctor entered the wand like device inside of her and began the ultrasound.
Both her and Sonny immediately directed their attention to the monitor.
Amanda’s doctor pointed to the screen. “There’s the baby.”
The blonde grinned and then turned her head to look up at Sonny, who appeared to be in awe at what he was looking at.
“My nurse said you told her earlier this week you thought you were around six weeks?” The doctor asked Amanda.
“Yes.” Amanda said. “But probably seven now though that it’s heading towards the end of the week.”
Her doctor nodded. “Seven weeks is what it looks like to me. We should be able to see and hear the baby’s heartbeat today.”
Sonny raised his eyebrows. “Really? This early?”
The doctor nodded. She moved the wand, turned her attention back to the monitor and then pointed to the screen. “See that flicker? That’s the heartbeat.”
She then turned the volume on and once she did the baby’s heartbeat came blaring through loud and quickly.
Sonny’s mouth opened wide in astonishment. “It’s so fast.”
“About 105 beats per minute.” The doctor told him. “Fast, but normal.”
His eyes remained glued to the screen, but his hand drifted to Amanda’s and he began to absentmindedly rub the top of her knuckles with his thumb.
“This is incredible.” He said quietly.
Sonny locked eyes with Amanda, who gave him a small smile, and when she did he soon found his mind wandering back to that night. The night that they never talked about until the other day. The night that led to this very moment.
Seven Weeks Earlier
Sonny’s Office - Friday Evening
A frustrated Sonny rubbed his temples. “You can’t talk about that on the stand.”
“Why not?” Amanda asked raising an eyebrow.
“Because it’s hearsay. Calhoun’s gonna object and Catano will rule in her favor.”
Amanda rolled her eyes and the two immediately started bickering back and forth.
Velasco, over being stuck in trial prep with the two exes, checked his watch. “How much longer are we gonna be?” He asked the counselor.
Sonny ran a hand through his hair. “Until I think you’re both ready. And we obviously have a ways to go. So if you got a date or somethin’ else planned you should probably reschedule it for another time.”
Velasco sighed. “I don’t. I’m good.”
Sonny looked over at Amanda, who remained quiet, and then directed his attention to his paperwork. When he did, she attempted to subtly pull out her phone and send a text, but he saw her out of the corner of her eyes. The two then locked eyes and quietly stared at each other.
“This is so fucking awkward.” Velasco muttered under his breath. “Someone please save me.”
Just then there was a knock on the door. All three looked and saw Liv standing by the door.
“Sorry to interrupt.” The Captain said as she entered the office. “I know you three are busy trial prepping for the Meyer case. But I just got some news.”
“Everythin’ ok?” Sonny asked, looking concerned.
Liv sighed. “Khaldun called. Homicide was notified of a murder that took place in Chelsea about an hour ago.”
“Why’d he call you about it?” Amanda asked curiously.
The Captain took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Because the victim is Lindsay Nichols.”
Sonny and Velasco immediately turned their gazes toward the blonde, who instantly became visibly upset.
“Her husband did it, didn’t he?” She whispered, her voice quivering.
Liv nodded. “He stabbed her and then hung himself in their bedroom. Nanny found them and called the police. Homicide is still investigating, but they’re pretty sure that’s how it all went.”
Amanda tried to wipe away the tears that had started to fall down her cheeks, but they kept on coming. “I knew…t—this was going to…h—happen.”
Liv ran a hand through her hair. “Amanda, I know how close you got to her and that you think this is your fault—“
“But it is.” The blonde said, interrupting her Captain. She stood up from her chair and started pace around the room. “It is my fault.”
Though their breakup was still fairly fresh and raw, Sonny hated seeing Amanda so upset. Lindsay Nichols, a DV vic, had been a bit of a sore point between the two. Sonny thought Amanda had gotten too close to her, which resulted in threats on their family by the woman’s abusive husband. Still, while maybe expecting this outcome, they all hoped for the best and that the troubling situation would never elevate to this point. Unfortunately it did and though him, Liv and Velasco were all saddened by what they heard, he knew Amanda would be the most devastated.
Sonny motioned to Liv and Velasco for them to give the two a minute so the Captain and detective quietly made their way out of his office and shut the door.
He got up from his seat at his desk and walked over to her.
“Amanda,” Sonny said as he placed his hands on her shoulder and attempted to get her to stop moving. “None of the this is your fault. You hear me?”
“No buts.” He said cutting her off. “You did everythin’ you could to help Lindsay. Frequent welfare checks, bringing her into shelters, tryin’ to find work for her so she’d be able to stand alone on her own, got her in contact with pro-bono divorce lawyers. There wasn’t anythin’ more you could’ve done you didn’t already do.”
Sonny took his thumbs and wiped her tears away. “She didn’t want the help and you can’t make someone accept it if they aren’t ready or willing.”
“I know.” Amanda said as she sniffled and buried her head into his chest. “I just wish it all didn’t end this way.”
Sonny held her close, cradling Amanda in his arms for a while.
“You gonna be okay?” He finally asked as he gently pulled away from her and caressed her cheek.
Amanda nodded her head slowly and the two stared deeply into each other’s eyes for a long time when she eventually leaned in, tilted her head and planted a brief, chaste kiss onto his lips.
She pulled away to gauge his reaction and a few seconds later he leaned in and returned her kiss with a much more passionate one of his own.
After a short while they broke apart. Sonny then lifted Amanda up into his arms and very carefully set her down on his desk. They then resumed kissing as Sonny started to unbutton her blouse and Amanda removed his suit jacket and began undoing his tie.
They quietly got dressed and tried not to make eye contact with each other as they did. That’s because they were both unsure what that was and what it meant. So instead of talking about it, they ignored it.
After they were both fully clothed, Sonny reached for his cell and started typing. “I don’t know if Velasco was plannin’ on comin’ back, but umm…I’m gonna let him know we should probably just call it a night and pick this back up tomorrow.”
Amanda nodded, but remained quiet.
The two stared at one another for a long while before she finally spoke.
“I’m gonna…go. If I leave now I…might be able to make it home in time to read the girls a story and tuck them in.”
Sonny nodded his head slowly.
She lingered for a moment before finally telling him, “Goodnight.”
“Goodnight.” He whispered out.
Sonny then watched as Amanda left his office. He closed his eyes and ran a hand through his head of silver hair as he stood, thinking.
Doctor’s Office - Friday Afternoon
“Yeah?” Sonny asked as he snapped back to reality.
Amanda removed her hand from his and, once the doctor had removed the wand, sat up. “I asked if you wanted any of the ultrasound photos they’re giving me.”
He vehemently nodded his head up and down. “I would.”
She eyed him curiously. “You alright? You seemed light years away there for a minute.”
“Yeah, I’m…fine.” He said slowly, dragging out his words.
She nodded and watched as the doctor left the room. “Well I’m all set. I just need to get dressed. Then we can grab the photos and go.”
“Ok.” He told her, as he remained still.
She raised an eyebrow at him and then directed her gaze toward the door.
“Sorry.” Sonny said, realizing she wanted him to leave while she changed. “I’ll be…right outside.”
He quickly headed out of the room and closed the door behind him.
Sonny sighed heavily as he leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes.