Rita Calhoun was worried. Not the kind of worry that you felt before taking a test. The kind that was overwhelming. It started in her toes and made it’s way all the way up to her heart. Falling for an SVU Sergeant was not something she had ever imagined happening, and boy had she gotten grief for it from Rafael Barba. But that was before she found out about him and Olivia. Now there’s no more teasing. Neither Fin or Olivia knew about the other’s relationship, and thats how Barba and Rita wanted to keep it until their partners were ready to disclose. Now they just had mutual respect about both of them finding love. Again, she never expected to fall for Fin, it had just happened, but she was probably the happiest she’s ever been in a while.
That was until last week. Rita had been following the news, as well as helping Fin read over case files with Sir Tobias Moore, the lawyer Paul Davies, and the release of Leon Fuller. She knew it was stressing the whole squad out. Multiple cases over the same week were never easy. Everything took a turn for the worse when Fin shot Leon right in front of his son Andre. She knew he was spiraling and it genuinely broke her heart. He was short with her, drinking more, barely sleeping, and god help her if she told him he should talk to somebody. It was when he had called to say he was leaving work but hadn’t come home for hours, and when he did come home he was drunk off his ass, that Rita decided to call in the big guns.
Olivia Benson had just put her son, Noah, down for bed when her phone rang. Rushing to answer so the noise didn’t wake her son, she picked up rather quickly, forgetting to look at the caller ID. “Benson.” She looked over at her boyfriend on the couch when she heard who was calling. “Rita Calhoun, what can I do for you?”
Rafael Barba looked at his girlfriend with his eyebrows raised. “What does she want at this hour?” He whispered to her as he stood up.
Olivia shrugged as she listened to Rita.
“Liv look, I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye in the past, but I need your help.”
That got Liv’s attention real quick. “Is everything okay Rita?” She was getting nervous now.
“Actually no. Before I continue, I should disclose something to you, and Rafael already knows so…” Rita trailed off.
The Captain looked at her boyfriend suspiciously. “What are you talking about?”
“I know you two are together, but only because he found out about Fin and I.”
“Rita what the hell are you talking about?”
“Olivia, Fin and I have been seeing each other for about four months now. Barba was the only one who knew, and in turn I was the only one who knew about you two.”
Liv sat back down on the couch and leaned into Rafael. “You and I are having a talk later.” She mouthed to him making him bite his lower lip in nervousness. “Okay, Rita what does that have to do with anything?”
“Well, I don’t know if you’ve been able to tell, but this last case really hit Fin hard. And I mean hard. He won’t listen to me when I try to help him, and he’s starting to come home later and later, and at first i just thought it was because he was working overtime but then I realized it was because he’s been going out. To bars, and coming home drunk. I’m worried Liv, and if anyone will be able to get through to him, its you.”
Olivia sighed. She knew Fin had been struggling but she left him alone because he’s always dealt with things on his own. “Where is he now?” Liv stood up and kissed Barba, heading over to the coat rack to grab her jacket.
“He left about ten minutes ago, he told me he got called in on a case, but I think he went to a bar again.”
Olivia wasn’t going to let one of her best friends spiral like this. She wouldn’t let him destroy himself and his career, or walk out like Elliot had. She’d be damned if she lost someone else like that. “Well, we don’t have a case, that’s for sure.” Olivia told Rita.
“I figured as much.”
“I’ll track his phone and find him, keep your ringer on Rita.” Olivia said goodbye and hung up. “Rafa, it’s bad, I have to go find Fin, can you just keep an eye on Noah? I don’t know how long I’ll be, I’m sorry.” She kissed Rafael again and headed towards the door.
“Of course Liv, just get Fin and yourself home safely please.”
Fin had just downed another shot when the images in his head finally calmed down. It was like he was reliving his childhood. He had watched as his mother had been murdered right in front of him, and he had just done the same to a little boy he had grown to like. Fin had shot Andre’s father right in front of him last week and it still haunted him. “Hey can I get another over here?”
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” Olivia suggested as she sat down at the bar next to him.
Shit, Fin thought as he downed another shot and ordered a beer. “Look I don’t need a lecture from you, I’m fine alright?”
“You know, that’s not what Rita said on the phone twenty minutes ago.” Liv replied. She stiffled a chuckle as Fin looked at her, obviously wondering if she knew about his relationship. “I’m happy you found someone. If it makes you feel any better, she knew about Barba and I.”
Fin choked on his drink in shock. “You and Barba? Our ex-ADA?” He asked incrediously.
Olivia nodded. “Yup, going on a year already. I only told you because it was only fair for you to know about us since I know about you and Rita.” She was trying to level the playing field as best as she could before getting into it. “Fin whats going on? Talk to me.” She continued softly and placed her hand on his shoulder.
“Nothing’s going on Liv, you can go home.” Fin replied as he shrugged her hand off and ordered another beer.
“No. He’s done. Cut him off.” She said to the bartender and took her wallet out, pulling out two twenty dollar bills and sliding them aross the bartop.
“You’re about fifteen dollars short ma’am.”
Olivia looked at Fin with concern before taking out another fifteen dollars and giving it to the bartender. “Jesus Christ Fin, how much did you drink? You think drinking is going to solve all your problems? You think downing shot after shot is going to fix whatever you’re feeling inside right now? Newsflash Sergeant, that’s not how emotions work.” She whispered harshly at him.
“Well you would know. How much did you drink after Sealveiw and Lewis before you actually started talking to someone, huh? How much did you drink even after you went to therapy?” Fin knew it was a cheap shot the second the words left his mouth, but at the moment he was too drunk to care.
A look of hurt flashed across the Captain’s face before she covered it up. She knew he didn’t mean itand that he was hurting, and so she wasn’t going to hold it against him. “Okay, let’s go. I’m taking you home.” She grabbed Fin’s arm and tried to drag him off the stool but he wouldn’t budge. “Fin what are you five? Let’s go. Now. Before I have to bench your ass and put you on desk duty.” She finally got him to stand up before he swayed and fell into her. “Goddamn it, Fin. Stand up, we’re getting coffee to sober you up and then you and I are going to have a little chat.”
Olivia had bought herself and Fin a cup of coffe, and now they were sitting on a bench in Central Park. “Fin would you look at me, please?”
Fin took another sip of his coffee and turned towards his Captain. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Fine. I’ll talk, you listen.” Liv cleared her throat before continuing. “I’m sorry.”She held up her finger to stop him from interrupting. “You didn’t want to talk remember?” She smirked at him as he rolled his eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t see it sooner, and I’m sorry for not checking up on you. You were there for me after Harris when I thought I was fine but I wasn’t. I didn’t realize until years later how much i did actually need you, and I never thanked you for that. So thank you.” She took a minute to watch his reaction. “I know the situations aren’t nearly the same, but what you did, it was traumatic for you, it brought up terrible memories. I don’t want to get a call one day saying they found your body at the bottom of the stairs because you were drunk and tripped.”
Fin went to say something, but knew better than to stop her from finishing.
“You’re like a brother to me Fin, and I’d hate for this job to destroy you. Please, please talk to someone for me. If not to a therapist, then to me, or Rita, or Amanda, or even Carisi. There’s no shortage to the list of people who care about you.” Olivia teared up and put her hand on Fin’s knee. “And I know for a fact that Rita loves you so please, if not for you, than for me, talk to her. I care too much about you to let you go through this by yourself.”
Fin sighed and looked out into the park. It was peaceful at night, not as busy as during the day. It was calming to him. “I knew I regretted shooting Leon as soon as it happened. But it wasn’t until a couple days later how much Andre reminded me of myself. I was his age when I watched my mom get murdered right in front of me, and then to inflict that same damge onto another child…”
Olivia didn’t say anything. She knew how rare it was for Fin to talk about his childhood and his feelings. She didn’t want him clamping up on her again.
“It keeps me up every night, and when I do finally get a couple hours in, Andre’s face, and his cries are all I see and hear. I’ve only been able to make it go away by drinking.” Fin ran his hand over his head, debating whether or not he wanted to take the big step and talk to someone. “If I asked for the name of someone to tak to, it would just be between you and me, right? 1PP won’t have to know?”
“Fin, I promise you, I won’t say anything you don’t want me to, not even to Rafael.” She nudged him with her shoulder. “I’ve got your back. Always.”
Olivia was in her office finishing up some paperwork when there was a knock on the door. “Come in.” She yelled without looking up.
“Hey Cap, you got a minute?” Fin asked as he came in and sat on her couch.
“Of course, what’s up?” She asked, sliding her glasses on the top of her head.
“First off, I wanted to apologize to you for what I said in the bar the other night. Whether i was drunk or not, what I said about Sealview and Lewis was over the line, so I’m sorry.” He said earnestly.
“Oh, god. Fin, it’s fine, really. You were going through your own thing. I’m not, and never did hold that against you.” Olivia stood up from behind her desk and sat next to him on the couch.
Fin nodded half-heartedly before continuing. “Secondly, I wanted to thank you for giving me Lauren’s card. She’s actually really been helping me a lot. I havent had a drink since that Friday at the bar”, the Sergeant stated proudly.
Shocking Olivia, he leaned in a hugged her. Something they’d done only a handful of times in the last twenty-one years. “Fin, you’ve done things in the past for me, that I never would’ve expected anyone to do. I’m with you until the end.”
Fin nodded, pulling away and stood up. “If you don’t mind I’m gonna head home. Gotta apologize to a certain someone.”
Olivia smiled got up, reaching for her coat. “I was just about to head out as well. I still can’t believe you were seeing Rita and I had no idea.” She laughed, grabbing her bag.
“You’re shocked? You and Barab have been dating for a year and no one knew except for Rita.”
“I didn’t even know she knew until the night she called and told me about you two.”
The two were laughing as they walked out of the precinct and were finally starting to get back to normal.
Olivia was bombarded with a delicious smell as soon as she stepped through the door. “Whatever you’re cooking smells amazing Rafael.” Liv took in a deep breath as she kissed him hello and went over to her son. “Hi my sweet boy, how was school?”
“It was good mom. We went outside and planted trees for Earth Day! I got all dirty so Lucy had to come and drop off extra clothes for me.” Noah started rambling and told her all about his day, making her smile. “Then Uncle Rafa came over after I finished homework and asked me if I wanted to help cook you dinner and he still let me do stuff even though I don’t know how to cook!” Noah stated excitedly.
Olivia laughed and took in the state of her son. He seemed to have flour on his chin, and some type of sauce dripping down the front of his shirt. “Wow! You seemed to have an eventful day!” She kissed him again on his head and grabbed a napkin to try and clean the sauce and flour off of him. Then she looked at Barba. “So, Uncle Rafa let you help? What did you guys make?” She smirked at her boyfriend, getting up to look in the oven.
“We made Lechon Asado.” Rafael wrapped his arms around Liv from behind.
“Which is?” She chuckled and rested her hands over his.
“In simplest terms? Its marinated pork. But Noah liked the sound of it in Cuban so thats what we’ve been calling it.” He laughed as he set the table and they all began eating.
They had finsihed dinner a couple hours ago, and finally, after two bedtime stories, they had gotten Noah to bed. Now Olivia and Rafael were laying in their bed and she had her head resting on his chest. He was rubbing his hand up down her arm when a question that had slipped her mind for days pop into her mind. “How long did you know about Fin and Rita?” She asked him with a grin.
“i was hoping you had forgotten about that.” Barab said quietly.
“Of course you did.”
“Well, I found out about them first, and kept teasing her about it, until she found out about you and me, and then we were even. We knew both you and Fin didn’t want to disclose anything so we agreed on keeping silent until you were both ready to let people know.”
Olivia looked up at him, pulling him down for a quick kiss. “That was very sweet of the two of you, but next time tell me.”
“Next time? When will there ever be a next time? What, are Rollins and Carisi getting together next?” Barba said jokingly.
Olivia raised her eyebrow at him and shrugged.
“Seriously? Those two?”
Fin had somehow gotten home before Rita, and to start his apology, he ordered takeout from her favorite Thai place. He had just finished paying for the food when he saw her walking down the hall from the elevator. “Hey babe.” He set the food down on the table and then pulled her into a hug, something he seemed to be doing a lot of lately.
Rita smiled, happy that he seemed to be getting back to his old self.
“I wanted to thank you for calling Liv when you did. She really talked some sense into me and made me see how many people care about me. I’m sorry for how I’ve been acting the past week, the case was taking more of a toll on me then I thought. You didn’t deserve that and so I ordered from your favorite Thai place as a start to making it up to you.”
Rita had never seen Fin look so nervous before. “Fin, I don’t want the food, I only wanted you to be happy. If calling Olivia was the push you needed, then I’m glad I called her, and I would do it again. But know that I love you, and I’m always gonna be here.” Rita wrapped the Sergeant in a tight hug, breathing in his calming scent which always had a way of soothing her after a stressful day.
“I love you too Rita.” Fin smiled as he kissed her, the Thai food seemingly forgotten.