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Take the Leap

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It wasn’t a pretty sight, the fire turned out to be gruesome reminiscent of the complex fire that took the life of Pat Hallstead. Sylvie had a bad feeling that she couldn’t shake; they almost lost Stella in that fire.

Firehouse four was first on the scene when they arrived so they had control of the fire; chief Boden and the other chief were discussing the game plan. Casey and Severide were also assessing the situation in front of her.

She knew she was staring at him and she knew she should’ve felt ashamed but she couldn’t. She could feel Foster's eyes on her, that didn’t stop her though, she just wanted to go up to him grab his arm and tell him to come back to her. Not that she had any right to do that. She needed to forget about him and focus on the job, she turned to Foster gave her an encouraging smile and they both started to prepare for the influx of patients they were about to receive. Triage was set up fairly quickly now all they had to do was wait for the firemen to do their job.

“I can’t shake this feeling,” Sylvie confessed to Foster.

Foster quirked her brow up, “I have to agree with you there.”

They both assisted the other ambulances in whatever way they could help with. Sylvie had just finished up with a firefighter who had minor smoke inhalation when she heard Mouch call out. “Mayday, Mayday, Firefighter down, firefighter down.”

Her heart dropped in her stomach; she just knew it was Casey. He was always taking an unnecessary risk so that the others didn’t have to, he was extremely protective of those under his watch. She was so mad, why couldn’t he also take care of himself. Sylvie was so restless that even Foster was starting to get antsy. A little part of her hoped it wasn’t him when they all came out carrying their fallen colleague her worries were confirmed. She could tell it was him because none of them walked like him and she would forever recognize his nose that was pointy with a rounded tip.

She knew she should have let Foster take the lead she was too emotionally invested, but the moment she saw him instinct just took over. She distantly heard someone say that a beam had fallen on him, she just couldn’t focus on what they were saying. They placed him on the stretcher and she efficiently but frantically ripped open his turnout coat, her hands were shaking, her breathing laboured. She loved this man and no matter what happened she wanted him to have the life he deserved; Matt didn’t get very many good things even though he deserved them all. Come hell or high water she was going to make sure he lived; she cut his shirt and dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s while Foster intubated him. Once their check complete, they loaded him up in the rig. Normally she would drive, but she couldn’t let him go. Foster didn’t question anything when Sylvie climbed in the back with the Captain. She knew she had no right but she needs to be close to him and hold his hand; she knew Foster wouldn’t judge her but she couldn’t help but be a little embarrassed when she leaned down and whispered something in his ear.

They reached med and Matt was taken by Dr. Halstead, leaving them to sit in the waiting room. She sat restlessly, biting her lips raw and shook her leg up and down with worry. The rest of the firehouse soon joined them; Kelly was a mess feeling guilty that he hadn’t been there to have Matt’s back. Chief was beside himself with all while trying to make everyone feel calm, everyone was dealing with their own feelings regarding the accident. She, on the other hand, was losing it, she was trying to keep it together, she was failing miserably. Foster kept her hand on her knee, the heat of her hand keeping Sylvie from screaming out in frustration.

It felt like an eternity but in reality, it really was only a couple hours before they got any updates on Matt. Doctor Halstead confirmed that Matt had some smoke inhalation and a few cracked ribs and miraculously only lost consciousness due to a mild concussion and shock. Other than that, he was perfectly fine, miraculously.

All the tension eased out of her body; he was going to be fine. Severide and Boden were first to ask to see him and rushed to his room while the rest of the starting lining up to see him. She wanted to be first to see him, but then again compared to everyone else here her relationship with him didn’t really rank that high. She laughed in a self-deprecating manner while staring resolutely at the wall. She was a grade-A dumbass; Foster noticed the sadness in Sylvie and felt helpless all she could do was place her head on her shoulder and give her a hug. Sylvie smiled at her sweet friend and leaned her head on hers. Sylvie noticed that just about everyone had seen him, she motioned Emily to get up so that they could both go together.

Before they could, Boden told them that Severide was staying with him and the rest of them were going to return to their shift. Her mouth dropped open in disbelief, she didn’t even get to see him. She was about to protest a bit when Stella and Emily grabbed her arms walking her out of the hospital. She pouted at them, even if she did go head to head with Boden, she didn’t have a strong reason to see Casey.

For the rest of the shift, she was in a solemn mood. To be fair most of them were, it had been a ridiculously long time since Casey hadn’t been on shift with them. She kept staring at his quarters trying to fool herself into thinking he would walk out a there and make them all do drills. She was like an addict that even a patch couldn’t curb the cravings, she was truly and utterly screwed. If she couldn’t handle being away from him, how was she supposed to handle him and Gabby together?

The shift had come to end pretty soon after that, and once in the apartment, she knew what she was going to do. She was going to take a nap, do her laundry, buy some flowers, go see Matt before she starts avoiding him, cry in her car and finally go join the girls at Molly’s. It went without question that she was never ever going to tell anyone about this, not even Foster or Kidd. But first, she needed a cup of tea and she also needed to cuddle with a pillow on the couch while watching some crappy show on TV.

Foster had already retired to her room, so that left her alone with her thoughts. The mindless TV show did nothing to numb her; she was itching to go see Casey. Ugh, she just wanted to know if he was doing fine if he was lonely, she literally wanted to know everything about him. She groaned and leaned her head back on the couch. The last time she did this was the night Casey and Dawson went out; goodness she was pathetic.

Pouting into her cup she was reminded of the other stupid thing she almost did that night. Sylvie recalled every detail of that night and tortured herself relentlessly. When she saw Gabby her first reaction wasn’t even happiness and she felt super guilty for that, but she remembers the way her heart dropped in her chest. She remembers that sinking feeling she got when Casey laid eyes on Gabby, the crushing disappointment when whatever she thought they had going on disappeared from his eyes in seconds. How stupid she felt when she urged Casey to go see Gabby, some part of her wished he would’ve said no and that the Gabby chapter of his life closed. She was going to go to Molly’s that night but never ended up going, Sylvie knew she wouldn’t be able to stomach the fact that he might have gone home with her. In a moment of weakness, she almost called Severide and asked him if she should go after Matt, she was so desperate she was going to call Severide like that was going to do anything. The next shift when Casey confirmed her fears, she thanked every star in the universe that she didn’t call Kelly because loving Matt Casey was going to irrevocably tear her heart into itty bitty pieces that she would never in a million years be able to put back together.

She had begged and pleaded to every higher power for nights to spare her heart from falling for another man who wouldn’t be hers, but of course no such luck. She shook her head clearing the haze of her thoughts and went to go clean her cup. She noticed that she had spent quite a bit of time on the couch, making her reconsider doing her laundry today. Sylvie shrugged and made her way to her bed; she was mentally and physically exhausted.

She woke up a few hours later, sitting up in her bed she felt calmer than the morning. Looking over to the side, it was only three in the afternoon; she had planned to go visit Casey around ten so that he would be asleep when she saw him. She caved deciding to do some laundry to pass the time that way she could get dressed for the bar and pick up some flowers for him.

Once her laundry was done and folded, she had no more excuses left to put off going to see Casey. This was her last goodbye and then she was going to put this behind her and move on forward. Tonight, she wanted to feel good about herself and maybe set herself up on an online dating app or something. Sylvie couldn’t remember the last time she wore a sundress, or even wore a full face of makeup. She had a baby blue floral v-cut number hiding in the back of the closet that she hadn’t even worn yet there were even some nude short strappy heels she had been wanting to wear for the longest time, she pursed her lips contemplating whether or not she should do it. Before she could talk herself out of it, she grabbed her makeup kit and gave herself a cute peachy look.

She gave herself a check in the mirror, feeling satisfied with her look she took a deep breath and made her way to the flower shop close to Chicago Med. Matt deserved a beautiful heartfelt bouquet, nothing in the shop was catching her eye.

“Can I help you?” A young man asked her.

“Oh, um, I’m looking for a bouquet but I don’t really know what I want.” She confessed.

The worker motioned her to a section of the shop she didn’t really pay attention too, there were plenty of beautiful arrangements but they were too elaborate for her liking. “Do you have any simpler bouquets”

He led her to the register where they kept the smaller arrangements, she smiled softly to herself there was a beautiful pot of yellow and white gardenias that looked lovely. They were perfect, they were simple enough that they didn’t evoke any particular feeling but lovely enough to convey best wishes.

Satisfied with her purchase she made her way to med where she saw Doctor Halstead. “Hey, Will. How’s Matt doing.”

Halstead took one look at her and grin crookedly, “Matt is doing great actually, he’ll most likely be released tomorrow with one week at home and then he can be on light duty at work for a few weeks.” He paused and pointed to Matt’s room, “I’m pretty sure he will feel a lot better seeing you like this but he’s knocked out pretty good. I think April gave him the good drugs.”

“Excuse me?” She didn’t catch his meaning until she looked down at her dress. “Oh, no, I’m headed out to see the girls after.” She laughed awkwardly.

He raised his head in understanding and let her go see Matt. Sylvie hesitated at the door now feeling extremely self-conscious and out of place after Will’s comment. He wasn’t being mean or anything but these days it didn’t take much to make her feel uneasy about Matt. She carefully closed the door behind her and took slow steps so her heels wouldn’t click too loud. She wanted to see Matt not wake him up. She placed the flowers on the table next to him, she had foregone the note for some reason she didn’t want him to know it was from her. She passed her finger softly on the petals gathering the scent, they truly were beautiful, she was oddly fascinated with the flowers. Chuckling to her self at her weirdness she sat down on the chair beside him, Sylvie took a moment to observe him. Since Gabby left he didn’t smile as much he used to, the sight of the furrow on his brow seemed to be painted on. He looked younger like this, his face sweet and innocent betraying his life story. She tapped the spot on his brow that was usually creased when he was awake, it was unfair how much she wanted to see him like this. Dawson really did get the best of him.

“I hope you get better soon.” She whispered.

Getting up she noticed a little bit of soot on his neck. Looking around she made sure that no one could see her before she lovingly wiped it away. She lingered her finger a bit; this was the last time she would ever voluntarily get this close to him. “I don’t think I’ll ever say this to you ever and I know this is cowardly but I love you.” Tears started to pool in the corners of her eyes, this really was goodbye. “I love you. I know you don’t feel the same way and I don’t expect you to feel the same. I hope you and Gabby can make it work this time, you deserve to be happy.”

“Yeah, I, um.” This hurt more than she thought it would, “I lo-, I, um, bye Matt.”

She quickly but quietly made her way out of the room, not noticing Severide standing there looking at her in shock. Rushing to her car, she broke down once in the driver seat. She took her sweet time calming down, somehow, she made it to Molly’s in one piece. She fixed her appearance and swore that no one was ever going to know about this.