"What the hell is wrong with me?" Matt's barging into Kelly's bedroom before the words make it to the latter's ears, throwing himself onto the empty side of the bed in a way that would have been funny if not for the serious undertone to the blonde's actions.
Luckily Kelly has his listening ears on and wasn't fully nude when Matt rushed in. He’s wearing his black briefs and a t-shirt, and he finds that the sudden barrage isn't entirely unwelcome.
"Hi." The dark haired man greets with a smile, closing his laptop and setting it aside.
"Hey." Matt grunts frustratedly, "I'm sorry."
"So I take it the date didn't go well?" Kelly asks gently, not missing the way Matt looks at him. Blue eyes boring into his own, telling him more than words possibly could.
Matt shrugs, a sigh escaping through soft, lax lips.
"Where did you take her?" Kelly begins with an agenda, fishing for the information that he knew was there.
"Well she wanted to go to that Chinese place on Main, and I said no—"
"Well you were violently sick last time you were there." Kelly points out.
"Which I explained to her, but she insisted we go."
"And since you're too good of a person, you gave in and you took her to the Chinese place." Kelly finishes for Matt who, by this time, has an incredibly exasperated expression on his face.
"I did." Matt grunts, rubbing a hand over his face.
"And what happened?" Kelly asks curiously. It wasn't hard to tell there was more to the story.
"She ate the most expensive things on the menu, didn't say a word to me, and then eventually she went to the bathroom and never came back, leaving me to pay the full bill, and on top of that my stomach is already acting up."
"I'm sorry, man." Kelly is frowning by the time Matt finishes his rant.
"Am I that bad to be around? Am I so hard to love? That was the 6th date this month and nobody—" Matt trails off when he realizes that, shit, "My dad was right."
Kelly sat up against the headboard a little straighter. "What?" He was losing the blonde, he only had to look over at his glassy eyes and his heartbreaking frown to know that.
"He always said I'd end up alone. I'd never find anyone who loves me... and so far it's been true... Maybe— maybe he was right."
Kelly was shaking his head before Matt even finished speaking, he knew what the truth was and he knew what Matt was doing to himself.
"Your dad was all kinds of wrong, Matt, I can promise you that."
Matt can't help but shrug listlessly.
"You just need to go on a date with someone who treats you right." Kelly suggests with the slightest of grins on his face, "And I think I know the perfect person. Are you free tomorrow night?"
It breaks Kelly's heart to watch Matt sigh so wearily, "I don't know, Sev... I think I'm done dating for a while. Thanks though."
"When you're ready, let me know." Kelly nods in understanding. He knows what it's like.
A week and a few days later, Matt approaches Kelly. It was the early morning hours at the firehouse and Matt could see Kelly's office light was still on, so he approached the door. He knocked once before letting himself in and with a feeling of welcome familiarity, sinks down onto the man's bunk. Kelly was at his desk, but didn't need to turn around to know it was Matt who was visiting. He'd long since memorized the sound of the blonde's footsteps.
After finishing his form, Kelly turns around and finds himself beginning to gauge Matt's soft expression.
"I want to go on that date."
"Okay. This person is going to treat you right, are you sure you're up for that?" Kelly inquires after a few moments.
"I don't care how they treat me as long as I don't have to spend another day alone." Matt's trying to hold back his plethora of emotions, he's trying to keep things light.
"You feel lonely?" Kelly's heart pounds with a wild disruption as he speaks to Matt.
Matt nods, staring at Kelly curiously.
"Well that might just change for you." Kelly responds quietly, "I'll arrange for you two to have the date for tomorrow night, okay?"
"Okay." Matt nods, he'll go any time as long as he doesn't have to sleep alone after the long night he knows he has in front of him.
It's well into the afternoon by the time Kelly gives him the details of the evening. Kelly told him that the date wanted Matt to choose the place.
Matt was sitting in the parking lot at his favourite restaurant two hours later, too nervous to get out of he car and go into he establishment. Kelly had told him nothing about who he'd be going on a date with and that scared him.
Eventually, with a few deep breaths and a mind full of doubts, he shut off his car and made his way to the front door of the place.
"Hi, I'm meeting someone here..?" Matt's voice was unsteady as he spoke to the woman manning the front.
"What name is the reservation under?" The hostess wasn't phased by Matt's nervousness.
"Uh– Casey." Matt replies with a polite smile, as he always does when he speaks to others. "Matt Casey."
"Your date's already here." The hostess cracks a smile as she watches the blonde give a quick glance around, "Just over there." She points to the far corner of the restaurant, where Matt doesn't see any beautiful women. But Matt just shrugs to himself and thanks the hostess before he slowly meanders over to the booths that lined the other side of the large establishment.
He finds a booth with a young redheaded woman in a booth who looks like she's waiting. "Hi."
"Hi." She replies with a light smile.
"Are you my date?" He asks curiously. He wouldn't mind if she was.
But she shook her head and nearly laughed out loud, "Not unless you're a two-hundred pound Spanish bodybuilder named Guillermo."
Matt grins at that, "I'm not. Sorry for bothering you."
"No problem." She crinkled her nose in amusement, "I hope you find your date!"
Matt nodded with appreciation and moved forward. Trying to zero in on who his next possible target could be.
"Matthew." He hears a soft voice call behind him.
Matt whips around and raises his eyes when he lays his eyes on the one person he never expected to see.
"Kel?" Matt asks, his voice alight in confusion. "What are you doing here?"
"Same thing you are."
"Oh, you didn't tell me you were going out on a date tonight too. Who are you waiting for?" Matt asks curiously.
"You, you idiot." Kelly's grinning, a rose coloured tinge creeping up his neck.
"You..?" If Matt wasn't confused before, he certainly was now. His heart is palpating at a concerning rate, he can feel the blood rushing from his face, and he wonders if Kelly can see the effect he's having on him. "You're kidding. If this is your idea of a joke—"
"This is seriously a date. Not a joke, I promise. It can be a friend date if you want, but you needed to have a good experience at some point." Kelly's standing up by now, pulling out Matt's chair and waiting expectantly for the man to have a seat.
Matt's too busy picking his jaw up off the floor to move from his spot. "I uh–"
Kelly watched tentatively, wondering if he's gone too far by tricking Matt into going on a date with him.
"You can also go... If you'd rather not be here..." Kelly's voice is soft and guarded as he adds.
"I'm sorry," Matt shakes his head apologetically, bringing himself back to reality. He's grinning nervously. "I'm just surprised."
Kelly chuckles lightheartedly. "Well why don't you continue being surprised by this table."
Matt blushes as he takes the seat Kelly had pulled out for him. After he helps Matt, Kelly sits down across from the man and all Matt can do is stare at his counterpart.
"Why didn't you tell me it was going to be you?" Matt asks curiously after the butterflies in his stomach finally stop flapping about.
"I knew you'd overthink it."
The waitress takes their drink order before Matt can reply, which is probably a good thing because he'd just deny deny deny.
"I hope you don't mind," Kelly is the first to speak up after the woman leaves, "But I planned a few things."
Matt smirks at the way Kelly avoids his gaze, he knew the man was beginning to second guess himself. "Planned a few things?"
"Yeah." Kelly nods, briefly glancing up to gauge Matt's expression, "First we're going to eat. The rest I'd like to keep a surprise."
Matt's still trying to wrap his head around the whole thing when their main course arrives, and he expresses as much to Kelly.
"We've has supper together before." Kelly responds with a teasing tone, he's also having trouble believing that they're really on a date, even if it probably is just a friend date.
"But this is different, isn't it?" Matt glances around at the large, crystal chandeliers and red velvet curtains that hugged every window. "This is fancy. This isn't just your average quick weekday supper on a low budget kind of place."
Kelly thinks for a moment as he chews on a bite of tender chicken cordon bleu. "I did promise to show you what you deserve when it comes to dating, and in my opinion, you should get treated to more than a 99 cent burger."
Matt had to laugh, "I'll take that as a compliment."
"You should. And speaking of compliments, I've been meaning to show you how a date should talk to you." Kelly tilts his head and Matt noticed a little twinkle in his eye. "Matt you look— you look absolutely amazing tonight. Your hair looks drop dead perfect – have I ever told you how much I like your hair?"
Matt's face was getting redder by every passing second.
Kelly, far from done and spurred on by Matt's obvious embarrassment, continues with his spontaneous rant about Matt, "You know, I just seen you walk in and I had to pick my jaw up off the ground. You're wearing a bowtie, you look so so good in a bow tie, you should wear one more often. And I just like that this is your favourite restaurant, it's so nice, you have very good taste. Also I'm a big fan of those jeans, they fit really good. Like really good."
"Oh shut up," Matt was grinning through the embarrassment, trying to hide his nervousness by taking a long sip of wine.
"I'm just trying to show you what your date should be saying about you." Kelly was shrugging his shoulders and trying to play it off as just that.
They both knew that Kelly'd meant every word he'd said, but neither of the boys made any attempt to point that out. The meal was devoured in no time and the bill came not long after.
"I got it, Kel." Matt insists with his soft voice, hand reaching across the table for the sales slip.
"You'll do no such thing," Kelly's amused expression confused Matt, but the determination in his eyes did not. "I'm paying, you deserve it."
"I..?" Matt is bewildered, "What did I do to deserve that?"
"You were just being you." Kelly replies as he stands up and offers a hand toward Matt. Matt takes his hand and lets the man haul him to his feet.
At the front, Kelly's getting their coats from the coat check and Matt's still feeling baffled by what was going on. He wasn't used to this; someone paying for his meal, getting his jacket, taking him on a date.
Kelly's back in no time, his own jacket already on as he stands before Matt, ready to help him into his.
"Take this," Kelly speaks with a hint of excitement behind his voice.
"A helmet?" Matt's eyes widen noticeably as he gives Kelly a worried look.
"Yeah." Kelly nods jovially, "Trust me."
Matt's willing to try it, he's already been going with the flow, why stop now? "Alright."
He hops on the back of Kelly's bike, wrapping his arms around the body in front of him, holding him tightly.
"Tap my chest a couple times if something's wrong, okay?" Kelly's twisted around to look at the man behind him.
Once Matt nods, Kelly's suddenly facing forward again and they're pulling out of the parking lot.
The whole time, as the wind whizzes beside them and the sound of the world is deafened by the engine roar, Matt's sitting there, holding on for dear life, wondering where they're going and why he ever agreed to ride on this death trap.
He's beginning to relax when Kelly begins to gear down and they pull into a small parking lot. When he gets off the motorcycle he's just about to start kissing the ground, but he doesn't let Kelly see his relief.
"Where are we?" Matt hadn't noticed before, but the combination of Kelly's blazer and his helmet looks funny. Like it shouldn't belong, but it works.
"Come on," Kelly speaks after he's locked their helmets to the bike. "I'll show you."
He leads Matt into what Matt gathers is a park of sorts. He notices a slide and swing set, and a little further, a picnic bench laden with a great number of candles.
As Kelly leads Matt closer, he can't help but notice the blonde becoming quite entranced in the dancing flames.
When they stop at the table, he motions for Matt to have a seat.
"Wait you did this?" Matt's confused, impressed, probably a number of other things, and trying to figure out how his Kelly had managed to pull this off.
"Yeah." Kelly nodded with a smile, pulling out a basket from beneath the table. "Dessert?"
"Dessert?" Matt's eyes lit up. "You didn't have to—"
"Shush." Kelly was laughing as he shook his head. "Of course I did, I'm trying to top every other date you've ever had in your life."
"Considering my dating history, I'd say that won't be hard to accomplish," Matt was raising an eyebrow, smirking at the darker haired man.
"Maybe not, but I still want to make this a good night for you." Out of the blue, Kelly's pulling out a pie from the basket (Matt's favourite kind from his favourite bakery, of course.) He pulls out two forks next, so they could eat straight from tin.
"You really thought this out." Matt nods because he's thoroughly impressed.
"Maybe." Kelly's been spending more time thinking about Matt than he likes to admit.
"I appreciate it." Matt has trouble finding words at first but they begin coming more easily, "I think... I think I'm actually enjoying myself."
"You sound surprised."
"Well I didn't know—" Matt pauses, rubbing his jaw thoughtfully. "I didn't know dates could actually be enjoyable."
"They should always be enjoyable," Kelly's quick to point that out. "When you're with the right person, they always will be."
Matt just gives Kelly a sheepish smile as he tries to figure out why his heart's pounding a mile a minute.
Kelly's watching the glow from the orange flames dance in Matt's irises, observing how relaxed he is, how happy he looks. Kelly's holding his mental shutter button, trying to lock this image in his brain.
From under the table, comes Kelly's next surprise. He's hesitant as he passes the bouquet of white roses to Matt, carefully watching his reaction.
Matt's dense as ever. "For me?"
"Yeah. Guys should get to have flowers too."
Kelly can see the blush rising up against Matt's cheeks, and he wonders if he took it too far for a first date. But he couldn't risk waiting because Matt probably wouldn't want a second date, so he had to pull out all the stops tonight.
"Thanks." Matt is absolutely beaming once he gets passed the initial shock. He has that lopsided grin on his face, meaning Kelly can let out that large breath he's been holding.
"There's one more part of the date." Kelly's speaking softly a while later. He stands up and starts blowing out the candles, leaving them where they stood. He's hired a kid to come here early in the morning to clean it up, so he's not worried about taking anything with him.
Matt finds himself becoming more and more surprised as he watches Kelly. "There's more?"
"Yeah." There's a smile on Kelly's face as he reaches out to grab Matt's hand, helping him off the picnic bench and away from the table. He doesn't let go of Matt's hand at any point during the slow meandering over to his motorcycle, but the blonde doesn't seem to mind.
He puts on his helmet and watches as Matt struggles to do up the strap on his own.
"Let me," Kelly's voice is soft as he playfully swats away the blonde's hands. It was gentle and slow, the way Kelly began buckling Matt up, letting his fingers rest against Matt's freshly shaven chin for a moment longer than necessary.
"Thanks." Matt murmurs once Kelly has pulled away, watching as the man swung his leg over the seat.
"You're welcome," Kelly's smiling at Matt as he waits for him to get on the bike behind him.
Their next destination isn't one that Matt expects. Kelly's brought them to the edge of the Chicago River.
"Thought we could sit here for a bit, enjoy the view." Kelly shrugs, getting off the bike and watching as Matt follows suit.
A few planes blink their lights above as Matt looks up and when he glances across the river, he observes the skyline, looking at all the buildings that make up their city. The water laps up against the banks of the river, high tide in full commence.
"I always like coming out here." Matt breathes after a few moments.
"I know." Kelly's smiling to himself, he'd created Matt's perfect date. It had taken weeks of planning, but he'd done it.
They talk for what seems like hours. The moon is high up in the air, most of Chicago is already asleep, and the heaviness in Matt's eyes seems to be telling him it's time to sleep. Of course, Kelly notices, he notices everything when it comes to Matthew Casey.
"Let's head home." Kelly's standing up, dusting off his jeans. He reaches down and hauls Matt to his feet, reaching a few feet over to grab the helmet that he pulls over Matt's head.
Matt just grins as Kelly buckles the helmet for the second time that night, "You know, I could probably do that by myself, right?"
"I know. Just wanna make sure you're safe." Kelly's full concentration is on the helmet, so his words sound a little distant, but Matt knows he means them well.
They have to pick up Matt's vehicle from the restaurant parking lot first, but that doesn't take them long. Next thing they know they're on their way home. Matt's escorting Kelly through the streets, which are surprisingly alive and bustling for the ungodly hour that it is.
They pull into their apartment's parking lot in just minutes. Kelly's already off his bike, waiting patiently for Matt to get out of his car.
"May I walk you up?" Kelly asks as soon as Matt makes his way over to him.
Matt's eyebrow is raised and he almost wants to laugh. "We both live here."
"So?" Kelly tried to give Matt a challenging grin but it's so far past that, that it's turned into more of a cheesy grin.
"Fair enough." Matt's shrugging, Kelly's staring, the world has stopped around them. They only have eyes for each other now, they could care less about everyone else.
Kelly reaches out his hand and Matt grabs it, feelings shuttering inside his stomach when their digits intertwine.
They begin the walk through the lobby and into the elevator.
"Thanks for such a nice time." Kelly says quietly, staring at their joined hands. "Everyone needs a good friend-date every now and then."
Matt turns to Kelly and doesn't hesitate before he speaks. "Was that really just a friend-date?"
Kelly doesn't know what to say. He shrugs, hopes he can deflect the question. "Do you want it to be?"
Matt's suddenly grabbing Kelly by the back of his neck and pulling him into a heart gnashing kiss. It's not gentle by any means, they'll have time for that later. This is the kiss that Matt wants to use to make his point. A second later, he's shoving Kelly up against the elevator wall because he feels that also gets his message across.
Kelly gasps when Matt sucks on his bottom lip, sending all the blood rushing to the pit of his stomach. At the same time, strong hands are tangling themselves into short blonde fluff, holding on like there was no other anchor in his world.
"Does that answer your question?" Matt whispers against Kelly's parted lips, bowing their foreheads together.
Kelly's eyes are closed, it's the only way he can comprehend everything that's just happened. He nods against Matt, wrapping a tender arm around the man's lower back and pulling him closer. "I think so. Yeah." He huffs out, an edge of amusement creeping into his voice.
The elevator dings, startling them both. They're at their floor but neither wants to leave, scared this might be the last time they get to hold each other like this.
Matt's the first to step through the doors. He patiently waits while Matt follows and he can't help but reach for the man's hand. He wants to feel it again, so he's reaching out and clasping something he never knew he needed so badly.
"Next time, I'm taking you out." Matt mentions as he unlocks their front door.
Kelly's grinning from ear to ear as he follows Matt inside. "There's a next time?"
"Of course." Matt's confident as he closes the door behind them, drawing the deadbolt and locking the chain. "As long as there'll be a third date after that."
Kelly smirks and his eyes light up, "And a fourth after that."
"Sounds good." Matt smiles, leaning into Kelly and pressing their lips together in a soft, tender kiss. It's gentle and it's nice, and it's everything they need it to be.
They spend an hour just laying in Kelly's bed staring at the ceiling as they talk and talk, a second wind falling over both of them. They speak of plans, about how they felt about the idea of a relationship. The fall asleep on their backs, hands held tightly between their bodies.
It's in the morning that Kelly knows he has to do it. As he fries bacon and eggs, and makes Matt's favourite pancakes, he knows he can't wait a moment longer. He wants to ask him today, who cares that they've only had one date so far? He's known Matt for years and he knows this is what he wants. He can only hope that Matt feels the same way. Even if he doesn't, he'll just be glad to have things out on the table.
Kelly brings the tray into his bedroom and sets it down onto the nightstand. He just has to watch Matt sleep for a minute, so relaxed, so at peace.
He's reaching out and softly rubbing Matt's shoulder; the blonde stirs and his eyes flutter open slowly, squinting against the light.
Kelly's struck by Matt's beauty, his heart throbs as he watches a smile spread across his face. He needs to know why he's so blessed, why Matt would be grinning at him within the first twenty seconds of waking up. It causes him to blurt out the thoughts that have been swirling around his mind all morning.
"I don't want you to date anyone else." It was sudden and Kelly is already second guessing his words.
When Kelly takes the chance to look up from the hands he's wringing together in his lap, Matt's just grinning even wider. He pushes himself up to a sitting position and leans forward to capture Kelly's lips, "Kelly Severide, I'm all yours."