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Take the Leap

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Emily lived for smoothie runs, it made the long shifts go by faster, but Brett wasn’t being her usual funny self and that worried her a bit. It wasn’t just today, she noticed it had been going on for a bit, she thought that Sylvie would come clean by now but she really was holding it in.

“What’s up, you’ve been really quiet today,” Foster remarked.

Sylvie sighed, keeping her feelings to herself was really weighing her down, “Remember that day when went on that naked guy call and we met that realtor.” She paused waiting for Foster’s affirmation, “Well, when Julie and I went to visit him, he asked me out, which you know. I never told anyone what Julie told me after that and It’s just been weighing on my mind.”

Emily nodded and patiently waited for Sylvie to continue but she seemed to be losing herself in the memory. “Brett.” She said while tapping her shoulder gently.

“She said that I was still hung up on Matt when Nick asked me out.” She confessed hoping Foster would get her meaning.

Emily frowned that wasn’t something new, she and Stella teased her about it all the time. “Okay, I mean why did that bother you, it’s not like I haven’t teased you about it.”

“It’s not that, it’s just it got me thinking and I made a decision.” Sylvie had spent weeks deliberating and Julie’s death had put everything into perspective for her. It wasn’t a conclusion she was happy with but it was the truth and that’s what mattered. “I’m in love with Matt and I spent so much time denying my feelings and pretending they weren’t there that I rejected men interested me because I did know what I wanted. I want to say that I like him but that would be a lie because what I feel for him is something that I’ve never felt for anyone. When we’re together I feel safe, respected, challenged and vulnerable in the right way” She sighed feeling relieved.

Foster frowned and scrunched up her lips there was something Sylvie wasn’t telling her, “But”

Sylvie hung her head, she hoped Emily wasn’t going to notice, “But, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because he will never feel the same way.” She felt so resigned, she couldn’t catch a break in the romance department. Why was she always falling for the wrong guy?

“Hey, wait, you won’t know until you tell him.” Forster quickly interjected.

“That’s the thing, I don’t want to make the first move. It’s always me gathering up my courage making the first move. You know for once I want to be chased, I want someone to make the effort for me. I know my worth don’t get me wrong, I just want someone to value my worth.” Sylvie confessed the words that she had longed to let go of for years.

Emily was flabbergasted Sylvie never ever seemed to be bothered about making the first move, but this seemed to be something she was holding on to for the longest time. “I’m sorry I didn’t know you felt that way.” She felt sympathetic towards her, it must’ve been eating at her.

“It’s frustrating, I just want something real.” She said while giving Foster a small smile.

“How do know you can’t have something real with the captain?” She inquired.

“Maybe at one point I thought we could but I realized that no one can compare to Dawson. Before she came back, I was about to ask him for coffee, not exactly a date but for a chat to feel the waters. Obviously, I chickened out, there’s so much history there that I hesitated. Then, she came back and I saw that look on his face. She’s always going to be the one for him you know, obviously, they were always meant to be even when they going through hard times. I’m pretty sure he’ll never fall in love again.”

Sylvie bit her lip in hesitation, she needed to be careful with what she said next. It wasn’t something she thought of often but she knew in her heart that this was the truth. “All of my relationships have been lacking. It feels like in the heat of the moment they were perfect, when looking back on them I realize they were all settlements. They had no foundations; they were based on nothing real. Harrison wanted me to be a doormat. With Antonio, it was like I was a dirty secret that he liked but when it came to anything real, he half-assed it. He was always saying it was complicated, he never tried to make it uncomplicated, he was never proud of being with me outside of the two of us or Gabby and Matt. Kyle was sweet and when he ended things the first time around, it took me a bit of time but I got over it. I never considered going back until Casey said we were meant to be together and then Kyle proposed. I don’t think I would have ever said yes without Casey telling me that. I feel like I settled for Kyle because of Casey and I couldn’t even admit that until everything was said and done and I came back to Chicago.”

Emily didn’t know what to say; it was easy to forget that Sylvie had feelings other than happy, “Wow, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. You and Casey have foundation though, that’s something to consider also, you know.”

She smiled wryly, “Casey will actually destroy me if I ever even try to pursue this. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I want someone to look at me the way my parents look at each other, or literally like every couple in the firehouse look at each other. I don’t want to not see that look in his eyes.” Sylvie wasn’t ever going to be a consolation prize. “I refuse to be the rebound. I can’t.”

“Damn straight, you are too good of a woman to be waiting around for a man chasing a ghost.” Foster felt the anger bubble in her chest, Sylvie was too good of a woman to feel this way.

Sylvie knocked Foster’s arm in gratitude, “I promised myself that I would move on, it’s just going to be hard. The minute Cruz confirmed that she RSVP’d to the wedding, I feel this weight on my chest that won’t go away. I’ve seen how they are together and that kind of chemistry doesn’t go away. I’m just going to do my best to step out of their way. At the same time, I want to go up to her and tell her off for leaving him the way she did. He’d probably have my head if I did that.”

“Then consider me your wing-woman for the night.” She promised as a show of solidarity.

Sylvie felt lighter than she had in weeks, having good friends made tough moments easier. “I owe you a lifetime of smoothies”

Foster smiled conspiratorially while driving into the lot of the firehouse, “Alright girl put your game face on, I am going to be your shadow and keep you away from captain Casey. Before you say anything, let’s be honest here, you are drawn to Casey like a moth to a flame.”

Sylvie nodded in agreement unable to disagree with that statement while watching Foster park, “Well, I will be honoured to follow your lead on this.”

“Good. I appreciate the trust. Come on, let’s go get some lunch.” Before exiting the rig, Foster grabbed her arm, “I won’t do it if it makes you uncomfortable.”

Sylvie smiled good-naturedly, “I need this, I’m just going to get hurt.”

Sylvie grinned at Foster and started humming fight song by Rachel Platten while getting out. Foster levelled her with a look but made no further move to stop her, Sylvie not seeing any really opposition began to belt out the lyrics. “This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song-”

“Brett, I don’t think anyone doubts you can hold your own.” Casey interrupted, halting Sylvie in her tracks making her smile tentatively at him. Foster looked on and saw a huge smirk on the captain’s face, maybe Sylvie got it all wrong?

She didn’t want to find out and risk breaking Sylvie’s heart in the process, “Captain, we have a date with lunch and we cannot risk you interrupting that, Captain.” She wanted to help Sylvie, but she didn’t want to disrespect the Captain in the process.

Casey furrowed his brow in classic fashion, Sylvie quickly interjected before either of them could continue, “Ah, um, well you heard Foster. Can’t get between her and food.” She winced at Casey while Foster grabbed her arm and dragged her to the common room. He looked on at the women in confusion, it was out of character for Foster to step into a conversation between him and Sylvie.

Sylvie felt a bit guilty for rushing out the way that she did, but she was going to put her heart first no matter what. As they walked into the common room, she whispered a soft thanks to Foster.

They both grabbed a plate and sat down. Sylvie didn’t feel like making conversation with anyone after confessing to Foster, it took a lot of energy out of her. Telling someone how you were feeling inside always made them feel real; a part of her always knew that Casey would never feel that way about her, but now that it was out there it felt final. How was she supposed to tell her heart that? She scrunched her face up a bit trying to hold back her tears, lost in thought; she just felt like she lost another part of herself. She quickly finished her plate, informing Foster she was going to rest in the bunkroom for some quiet.

Falling back onto her bed, she stared resolutely at the ceiling. Gabby was coming back and she only had two weeks to mentally prepare herself for the inevitable lovefest. Had she known that being close to Casey was going to lead down this road, she would have turned left. Since Cruz let it slip that Dawson was coming, Matt seemed to have an extra pep in his step. She was starting to spiral down this rabbit hole, every nerve ending in her body was tensing making her feel extremely uncomfortable in her own skin.

Matt walked towards his quarters needing to get further into his paperwork; it was a slow day for truck 81, only ambulance 61 seemed to be the only one called out consistently today. Although Chief was understanding of how busy they were, Severide and he felt weird not completing their paperwork ahead of time. He intended to go straight to his office but he saw Sylvie boring her eyes into the ceiling. She was acting distant ever since Julie died, he didn’t want to feel offended but he missed talking to her. He sat at the end of her bunk and gently touched her leg.

Sylvie almost jumped out of her skin when she felt someone touch her leg, she thought she was alone. Sitting up, Matt was sitting at the end of her bed holding on to her leg.

“Hey” He whispered softly.

He caught her by surprise; she allowed Foster to keep them separated but it seemed like she always came full circle to him. “Casey”

“I just wanted to make sure you’re okay, we haven’t really had a chance to talk lately.” He said while keeping his hand on her leg.

She smiled softly at him, of course, he was worried. That just made this that much harder, how was she supposed to calm her heart when he did things like this?

Before she could reply the bells had sounded for the ambulance again, “I’m sorry, that’s me.”

He nodded in understanding and let her go.

She rushed towards the ambulance and jumped in at the same time as Foster, who noticed the PICs reddening cheeks. “I think I need to stick to you like glue from now on.”

Foster was confused she thought Sylvie was napping, “Why, what happened?”

“Casey”

“Ah” Foster nodded, focusing on the road ahead. She hoped it was a quick simple call, she needed to talk to Stella about this. Foster understood that Sylvie had made up her mind, but maybe Kidd had some insight from Severide that could help them out.

Thankfully, their call ended up being relatively quick, though Sylvie insisted they restock before heading back to the firehouse. Foster didn’t mind it gave her a chance to text Stella and tell her she needed to run something by her privately.

Once restocked, they headed back to the firehouse where she informed Sylvie she needed to talk to Stella and would meet up with her in a bit. Foster and Stella agreed to meet in the turnout room, it was the only place they could talk where they were less likely to be interrupted or overheard.

“Alright Foster, what’s this about, you been pretty jumpy since this morning,” Stella asked while raising her hands in question.

Foster crossed her arms and smiled softly at her, “It’s about Brett, I’m sure she’s going to tell you what she told me later but I was hoping to kind of quickly loop you in and get your advice.”

Stella tensed up in concern, “Is she okay?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, you know all things considering.” Foster quickly responded putting Stella at ease, “I’m talking more about her emotional state. She finally confessed how she felt about you know who.”

“Finally,” She exclaimed in exasperation.

“Well don’t get too excited, she also said that it’s never going to amount to anything.”

“How would she know that; I mean they would have to try?” Stella wasn’t sure where this was coming from, in their line of work love wasn’t something they took lightly.

“Gabby is coming back and she said that Casey will always love her no matter what and she refused to be a consolation a prize,” Foster explained.

Stella frowned, “They’ve been divorced for years now, I’m pretty sure he’s ready to move on. Gabby might have been a great love but she’s not his last love.”

“When she came back last time, they fell back into it.”

“I-” They were both interrupted by the bells calling the firehouse out for a fire that had started in an apartment complex.

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text

Severide sat in shock, head in his hands he had no idea what to do. He knew Matt and her were on the precipice of something before she left Indiana but he thought that had ended. He remembers the look on his friends face the day the Chaplin had proposed to Sylvie. Severide thought that Matt would have been happy for her but then he saw the look on his face, the I made a decision I regret which rarely ever happened. If anyone knew anything about Matt is was that he weighed the variables and made the right decision, he never made a bad one. Matt wasn’t happy for her like everyone else, he was regretful and guilty. He never understood why until Stella told him that the reason Brett accepted the proposal was because of Matt, his friend was an idiot.

The accident changed everything for everyone, losing Otis was hard on everyone but losing Sylvie changed something in Matt. He carried this tension around with him, it was like he could never fully relax. When Sylvie came back, whether he wanted to admit it or not he was back to being himself. Severide really thought they would find their way back together but then Gabby happened. He understood that she had been his wife and someone he thought he would spend forever with; when everything was said and done with them, Kelly realized that they were not mean to be forever. A part of him envied their relationship before him and Stella had ended up together, looking back on it they were a terrible match, Gabby craved her independence too much to ever be a good partner to Matt. She often left him in the dark waiting for her to come back to him and honestly it wasn’t fair to him, Kelly felt guilty that he never saw it but he couldn’t go back in time and fix it. Gabby coming back had given him the closure he never got, after what he witnessed, he realized that Sylvie didn’t see it that way. Was there something left for the both of them? He frowned, there was no way, he knew Matt wouldn’t go back down that road. As much he had once loved Gabby, they were nothing more than two individuals who once knew each other.

Matt and Brett truly deserved each other, they were both self-sacrificing idiots and genuinely good people. As similar as they were, they were also very different but when it came down to it Kelly believed that they were it for each other.

“Sylvie” He heard Matt call out.

“I may be a blond but I’m not that blond.” He smirked good-naturedly.

“Very funny.” Matt croaked trying to get up.

“Hey, hey, relax. Stay lying down.” Kelly said while gently pushing Matt down, thankfully he didn’t fight him too much.

“Hey, was Sylvie here?” Matt asked.

Kelly hesitated he didn’t want to out Brett, he didn’t think it was his place to do so. On the other hand, he didn’t want to lie to Matt. “Everyone visited you at some point or another, the firehouse is weird without you.”

Matt wasn’t satisfied with his answer, “I remember riding in the ambulance, she was there holding my hand. I know it was her, I’m pretty sure she told that she would kill me herself if I didn’t come back to her.”

Kelly sat slack-jawed, he missed out on more than he thought. “Good thing you do, if not I would’ve gone to kill you with her.”

Matt rolled his eyes, “Severide, I’m serious was she here.”

“She was leaving as I came in; I don’t think she saw me,” Kelly answered stretching the truth, he witnessed the whole thing from the flowers to the confession. It wasn’t his place to meddle he decided.

Matt nodded and pointed to the flowers, “You know you didn’t have to get me flowers.”

“Those aren’t from me, I got you cigars.” He said quirking his brow. “Don’t look at me, they weren’t here the last time I visited you.”

“They smell nice,” Matt remarked, they were also beautiful and thoughtful.

“Talk to me and don’t talk to me about the flowers.” Kelly knew Matt had been through the wringer but there was something going on with him and he was talking a little too long getting to it.

“Gabby is coming to the wedding. I’m sick and tired of everyone pushing us together. She left me and didn’t bother thinking about me. The last time we saw each other was the last time I was ever planning on seeing her. I didn’t even want to go in the first place, I only went because Sylvie told me to go. And yeah we had fun but that’s all it was going to be.” Matt was up to his head in annoyance with his friends, there was once a Casey and Dawson but that no longer was the case and he was happier for it. Don’t get him wrong, he loved Gabby but he no longer loved her like that. She was never going to be his last love, maybe at one point he thought she would be but the fog was lifted and he just wanted to move on.

“Did you tell everyone that?” Kelly asked.

“I shouldn’t have to say it.” Matt refuted.

Kelly narrowed his eyes, “Come on, what’s this really about.”

Matt smiled, Kelly was too sharp for his own good, “I’ve been trying to figure out how to ask out Sylvie. The timing is never right; the first time I saw her with the Chaplin and put my foot in my mouth, then she came back but her break up was too soon, her mom died and now Cruz’s wedding is coming up.” He explained with frustration, “and now it feels like the distance between us is greater than before. We used to see each other so often and now it’s like I’m lucky if I even catch a minute of her time.”

“What are your intentions because Sylvie is not someone you can use to fill the Dawson void.” Kelly tossed out quickly.

Matt’s voiced deepened growling at Severide, “There is no Dawson void. I have met many different people but I have never met a Sylvie. She is not a consolation prize and will never be.”

Severide raised his hands in surrender, “Geez, okay, I’m sorry I brought it up but are you serious about her?”

He glared at Severide, “I love her, okay. Life without her was unbearable and we were just friends. Dawson and I never had that kind of connection. Sylvie knows me better than you or even Dawson ever did. You both lived with me and had access to privy information, despite that she managed to get to know me better than anyone. We became good friends, somewhere along the line she crawled under my skin. We have a foundation that I have never had with anyone. I love her so much that I kept pretending I didn’t because I was scared. I forgot that in this line of work you don’t have the luxury of being afraid. If anything, this accident reminded me of that.”

“So, what are you going to do about it?” Kelly scratched his cheek in wonder.

Matt shrugged, “First I need to get out of this hospital. Thankfully, I only have cracked ribs, uncomfortable but not deadly. I need to plan a date, a good one, that’s where you, Stella and Foster come in.”

“I’m happy for you.” Things were really looking up for his friend and all it took was an accident.

“Don’t celebrate yet, we still have to get out of here.”

Kelly stood up, “Alright, Alright, lemme see if I can bribe Will into letting us leave now.”

Kelly left the room leaving Matt alone with his thoughts. He didn’t tell his friend what gardenias meant, because some part of him knew only Sylvie would ever buy him flowers like these. Severide didn’t want to tell but he could see it all over his face, Sylvie was here and for some reason Kelly didn’t want him to know. His niece Violet had taught him a bit about the language of flowers a long time ago, gardenias meant secret love. It was likely that anyone could’ve left him these flowers but he couldn’t shake the feeling that it was her. He just wished he hadn’t been drugged up so that he could’ve seen her.

Gabby coming back for the wedding didn’t change anything for him, he wanted Sylvie and he didn’t need anyone’s permission to pursue this but hers obviously. Gabby stopped contacting them, she left them behind, not the other way around. The way he saw it she didn’t need an explanation or her permission.

He just really wanted people to stop pushing him towards Dawson, she divorced him, they moved on. He was done with that chapter of his life.

Kelly came back before his frustration could rise any further, “Alright, we can leave. You have to take slow careful movements. He also wants you to rest at home for a week because he knows you won’t listen if he tells you not to work for longer. For the remaining five weeks you’re on light duty.”

Matt thanked his friend and took his time getting dressed before he met him in the waiting room with the flowers in hand.

Kelly drove carefully back towards the apartment making sure to avoid potholes. He didn’t want Matt to be any more uncomfortable than he already was. Matt appreciated it but he just wanted to get home fast so he could take a nap and wake up bright and early to call Sylvie.

It took longer than normal to get home with Kelly’s careful driving, they eventually made it but Matt was didn’t have any energy.

“Alright buddy, let’s help you get to your room.” Matt was relieved, he didn’t argue too much with Kelly.

Kelly brought him safely to his bed where he passed out.

He woke up the next morning with anxious energy, he felt like he hadn’t seen Sylvie in months rather than days. It was only six in the morning, a little too early to call her. It was shift day so they most likely would be at the firehouse around eight. He figured he would make coffee for Severide and Kidd.

He carefully got up making sure not to jostle his ribs and went to take a long-overdue shower. Feeling clean and fresh, he made breakfast for his two roommates. It felt good to be out of the hospital, he was lucky the accident wasn’t that bad and could have been much worse than it was. An angel was seriously looking out for him. With breakfast done, he sat down on the couch and started flipping through the paperwork he had yet to do.

“You’re up early,” Stella remarked as she walked towards the kitchen. “And you made breakfast, I think I like having you home.”

“Ha, don’t get used to it” Casey smirked.

“Hey, Kelly, Casey made us breakfast.” She yelled out.

“I’m coming.” They heard Kelly yell out. He walked in the room when he spotted Matt, he remembered their conversation from the other night. “Did you tell Stella about the thing.”

“What thing?” She asked absentmindedly while grabbing pancakes.

“We are going to plan the perfect first date for Sylvie.” He replied rifling through his papers. He muttered to himself unable to make sense of the order of his documents. What was he thinking when he placed them in his bag? He was completely ignorant of the face that Stella was making.

“Wait, wait, what. Wait, hold on.” Stella damn near dropped her coffee, she was like a gaping fish. She could not believe the words that had come out of his mouth.

“Haha, Matt I think you broke her brain.” Kelly was amused by the whole situation.

“Shut up Kelly. Captain, you better be serious because boss or not I’m coming for you if you hurt her.”

Casey quirked his brow in her direction, “On my honour, I would never hurt her.”

Stella was unconvinced, she wanted to believe Casey. She was about to congratulate him when Dawson hit her like a tone of bricks. “What about Dawson?”

“What about her.” Casey sighed.

“She’s coming back.” She countered.

“So.”

“Dawson is coming,” Stella emphasized.

Matt groaned, “So, what do you want me to do about it.”

Stella’s eyes widened looking at Kelly then Matt, she entered the twilight zone. “What am I missing?”

“I’m sick and tired of everyone pushing to her, the last time we saw each other was the last time. She left without telling me, she sent me divorce papers, I don’t owe her anything.” He explained exasperatedly.

Satisfied with his answer she jumped on the ship, “Okay, then I’m onboard captain.”

“This goes without saying, but Stella you can’t let it slip to anyone.” Kelly cautioned with Matt nodding his head in agreement.

“Kelly.” She cried in indignation.

Matt shook his head in fondness, he and Sylvie had good people in their corner.

“Severide, Gardenias mean secret love.” He called out to his friend, pointing to the flowers that Kelly had placed on the coffee table for him last night.

Severide stopped in his tracks but before he could respond to Casey, he interrupted, “I know, she’s the one who brought them.”