Rafael Barba was a man that prided himself in a few things. His abilities in the court room, his witty retorts, and his taste in clothing. He never name dropped, but those around him knew that the suits Rafael wore were more expensive than their entire wardrobe. So when his girlfriend, Olivia Benson, had come to his office in a frenzy, all but begging him to watch her two-year-old for just an hour or so while she investigated a crime scene because Lucy was sick and couldn't, Rafael had surprised even himself when he agreed without hesitation.
It wasn't that he disliked Noah. Barba adored the small child. He thought he was fairly smart for his age, and was rather calm, something the attorney appreciated when he spent nights at Olivia's. But the kid was like any other kid. He was messy. Olivia had dumped a bag of toys along with Noah's necessities and he had already broken into it within five minutes of being left. Toys of every variety littered the office floor. Normal toys weren't what worried Barba. No, he was fine with the trucks and planes and the mismatched Legos. It was the markers, the finger paint, and the crayons that Rafael knew he needed to watch. He figured he could keep a safe distance from them, or convince Noah to play with the other toys.
Neither one of those was an option.
Noah had found the markers within four seconds of breaking into the bag and was insisting that Rafael draw with him. All it took to convince one of the world's stubbornest people to draw on the floor was one very excited exclamation of, "Raf, draw!" and he knew he was done for.
Fifteen minutes of drawing, at least on Noah's part, and it was time for the finger paint.
"Raf, paint?" Noah had asked, his eyes lit up with excitement. Cursing his lack of will power, Rafael had agreed.
Not wanting any of the paint to stain the carpet, he went on a search for newspapers to lay down. The smug looks he got from his secretary when he came out of his office with Noah on his hip were not appreciated. "Do we have any newspapers laying around?" He'd asked. With a knowing smirk, she nodded and had retrieved a sizable stack for her boss. "Mr. Barba, I'd suggest you take off your blazer. Children can be messy." She had commented. At the time, Rafael had just rolled his eyes. But he did take her advice. After laying the newspaper out and setting up Noah's paints, he removed the blazer and got on his knees with the child.
Noah had played peacefully with his paint for longer than Rafael had anticipated. The boy would paint animals and would make sure that Rafael knew which one was which after he'd completed the painting. "Raf, kitty." Noah said once, pointing to his newest drawing. Unfortunately, he hadn't been paying attention and was trying to answer an email. When he wasn't paid attention to, Noah reached out and grabbed at Rafael's white shirt sleeve. "Raf!" He exclaimed, getting his attention. That's when he noticed the small hand with a fistful of his shirt.
The previously pristine shirt now had bright green finger prints on it.
Seeing the green on the shirt, a large grin crossed Noah's face. He'd just found his new canvas.
"Raf, paint?" Noah asked, his tone matching his face with excitement.
Rafael had wanted to say no. "Noah, I don't think that's a good idea."
"Raf! Paint?" Noah tried again, needier this time.
"You're supposed to paint on paper, not people, amigo." Barba had tried to explain.
"Raaaaf!" Noah whined. He was getting upset.
Not wanting to have a screaming child on his hands, Rafael had conceded. He had hundreds of white dress shirts, what could the loss of one do? "Okay, but this stays between you and I, understand?" He'd said. Noah just grinned, only hearing the "Okay" part of his sentence. Rafael had decided to surrender to a small child faster than he had any case he'd ever worked. That decision is what had led him to the present time.
Rafael Barba sat on the floor of his office, covered very nearly head to toe in paint. His once white shirt was now green, red, blue, you name it. There were tiny little handprints littering the material, some mixing together. His very expensive trousers were also ruined with the small handprints. Rafael found himself not caring, surprisingly. He had plenty of suits. What he didn't have plenty of were the giggles that Noah was making the entire time he painted the attorney. Rafael had even been tricked into letting Noah paint cat whiskers on his face. After the paint had been confirmed washable, that is.
Noah was in the process of giving his new favorite person other than his mommy whiskers when the office door opened.
"Rafi, I'm back." Olivia Benson said as she walked in.
"Mommy!" Noah cried in joy.
"Hey sweetie!" She cooed at the small boy now running towards her. "Whoa, someone broke into the finger paint. I didn't expect Rafi to let you play with that in his office." Olivia talked directly to her son as she lifted him up, not looking at Rafael just yet.
"Didn't exactly expect to agree to it either. He made a decent closing argument and it sealed his case." Rafael said as he stood.
Olivia turned to look at her boyfriend and her eyes widened in shock. "Rafael, what happened?" She asked. "Your suit is ruined."
Rafael walked over to her and poked Noah's tummy, much to the child's delight. "This one is very good at convincing. Start saving for law school."
"Raf, kitty!" Noah told his mother with a point to Rafael's face.
Olivia held back a laugh at his expense. "I see that. Did you make Rafi a kitty, sweet boy?"
"Aw, aren't you just a little artist." Her eyes shone with nothing but love and happiness as she looked at her child. Rafael had been with Olivia for three months before she started the adoption process with Noah, and he had to admit motherhood looked great on her. She was made to be a mother. He smiled at the two, and gave a chuckle. "He's a regular da Vinci. Maybe you can convince him to draw on the paper next time and not me."
"Thank you for watching him, Rafael." Olivia said, leaning forward to kiss him.
"Not a big deal. I think he had fun today. What about you, amigo? Did you have fun?" Rafael asked Noah.
The child nodded eagerly and instantly reached for him. Olivia handed over her son to the lawyer. Noah wrapped his arms around Rafael's neck and hugged him as tightly as a two-year-old could. Olivia couldn't help but melt when Rafael hugged him back. She knew he loved her son almost as much as she did, but it never stopped her from feeling the joy she did when she saw them interact. "Hey, Noah? Why don't you be a kitty with Rafi?" Olivia said, a smirk playing on her lips.
"Yeah, mommy!" Noah agreed.
Olivia reached down and dipped her index finger in the paint Noah had left unattended, then preceded to draw whiskers matching Rafael's on the boy's face. "There, just like Rafi!" The mother exclaimed. She watched as Rafael rolled his eyes, but the happiness was there. If it were any other man in her life, Olivia knew having a child would have been a deal breaker. Not with Rafael. He'd supported the idea of adoption from the beginning and had played a huge role in Noah's life ever since he'd been placed with her. She knew he wouldn't admit it just yet, but Rafael Barba was in love with Noah, and Noah with him. Olivia just smiled and shook her head at her boys, wondering how she got so lucky.
So, this is something entirely new for me. First time ever writing these characters. PLEASE let me know if I screwed anyone up. Can't get better without that, and I definitely want to write more of this, because Barson has become my OTP so fast. They need more stories. This was an idea I got and I just couldn't resist it. Had to write it. Let me know what you think!