The silence is thick, the air feels heavy and his heart feels it was breaking, she hasn’t looked back at him, she hasn’t even made eye contact with him and it makes him terrified he has no idea of what she’s thinking.
“Can I have some time to think about all of this?” Finally she says something to him and it’s no surprise what she says. He understands.
How could he deny her any of that? “Of course, you can, take your time because nothing for me is going to change. I’ll be here whenever you are ready.”
Matt leaves her apartment that night he’s so sure of himself, he’s so proud that she finally knows the truth. Like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and even though it didn’t have an outcome that would have put them together he’s more than happy for them to take it at a slow pace.
He has to get this time around right, and he doesn’t see anything wrong with taking it slow, it’s probably what they both need.
He doesn’t make it a thing to compare often but he remembers that with Gabby they moved things in a fast pace and constantly moved back and forth. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with what was going on with the two of them
He couldn’t do that again, he physically and emotionally couldn’t. He wasn’t getting any younger and Sylvie deserved the effort.
2 Weeks later.
For Matt the last two weeks were difficult but he never let it show, he couldn’t, he didn’t want to put any unnecessary pressure or discomfort for Sylvie he could not for the life of him discern what she was feeling and for him it was utter discomfort.
They hadn’t spoken since that night, of course they shared brief work talk but nothing substantial, it scared him in a way that showed him what it would be like for the two of them to not have some kind of friendship let alone a relationship.
If a relationship was out of the question, he would do anything he could to maintain their friendship, in saying all that he definitely didn’t regret telling her anything he would never regret telling her he that he loved her, that was for damn sure.
His quarters door opens, and he silently wishes it was her but it’s not, its Severide. “Roof?” He wants to say no and use the excuse of paperwork, but he realises that speaking to his friend or more likely venting might be good for him.
“So how you been?” Smacking him on the shoulder, Matt staggers forward a bit, he’s never ready for Kelly’s shoulder taps.
“Yeah good, I guess.” He mumbles to himself looking down he’s not really sure what to say or were to start.
“What happened that night anyway?” Severide ask.
Matt never said what happened when he got home that night, he just remembers silently taking himself to bed and acting like nothing happened the next day.
“Nothing really just told her how I feel, and she asked for time to think about it.” Severide turns looking at him, genuine sorrow on his face.
“I’m sorry man, that’s rough.”
Because Matt Casey is who he is he refuses to see where it’s hard for him. He only thinks of Sylvie and how hard this must all be for her. “I’ll get through it, I always do. I just want her to be happy.”
“Have you guys spoken yet?” He wishes he could say otherwise but that wasn’t the truth, and no matter how much he wanted to just go to her and be with her he had to wait. “We haven’t spoken since that night.”
“Why not?” Severide question him again, and it reminds Matt how different they are he snickers looking back at his friend.
“I want to wait for whenever she is ready and I’m okay with that, whatever she chooses.”
“Just want to hear you officially clarify you and Gabby are done?” It was a fair question to ask, no-one had known about the heated discussion they had at the Gala.
“Absolutely, she’s my past, of course I would never change anything especially knowing how I feel even now, she knows this. Sylvie is who I want my future with.”
“Fair enough, that’s good. I’m glad you know what you want.” And he did know what he wanted, he wanted a future with her he was sure of that, no matter what that future looked like.
The rest of shift goes by with a blur, his focus on just trying to get through the day. If he felt like his heart was breaking before than he definitely wasn’t ready for the feeling it gave him right now, he felt like it might stop.
He can’t remember much after their call; all he knew was that she was hurting, and it was horrible not being able to be there for her.
He’d remembered from a while ago that she had cried in her car alone after a bad call, and it was happening all over again. He knew that she had been having a hard time and it was killing him inside not to comfort her, he wanted nothing more than to take her into his arms and hold her.
Everyone had heard over the system earlier that day, it was bad and even worse for her, both Foster and Sylvie had lost a pregnant woman while on their way to the hospital, the woman had bled out and not made it and they weren’t sure on the baby’s status either.
Matt lingered back when they arrived back to the firehouse and she walked away like she was on a mission, the smile, nod and ‘I’m okay’ was forced, he knew her real smile and that wasn’t it.
Chief had decided to take them out of service for a certain amount of time, the rig was a wreck and so were the girls. It was a mess and so for the rest of shift he hardly saw her, and it worried him a lot.
The atmosphere at Molly’s that night was uneasy and everyone had the same thought running through their minds, they hadn’t heard from either of the girls after shift. His instincts were to go to her but he couldn't sway her feelings in anyway so instead he deciding to message her he needed to let her know.
‘I know I’m giving you space and time to think but please call me if you need me, I’m here for you no matter what.’
To his surprise Foster had just come into Molly’s and she had only one goal, running straight to Matt she was frantic, his brows frown when he notices she’s alone and something is definitely wrong.
Her eyes are full of worry.
“I can’t find Sylvie.” He coughs, the beer going down his throat suddenly coming back up, he’s choking, his throat hurts and he can’t stop coughing. Leaning forward over the bar Stella rubs his back and Severide quickly takes his beer from him.
“Can we get some water Herrmann?” Foster quickly gestures for him to move faster.
“You okay Captain?” Ritter ask concern all over his face. Nodding he gathers himself standing up, he turns his attention back to Foster.
“What do you mean you can’t find her?” She finally continues talking and with everyone’s focus on her she looks uneasy.
“She never came home after shift, I promised her wine and cheese after dinner, so I went to her house and she wasn’t there. I have a spare key; I went in and there was no sign of her ever coming home. Her car wasn’t in the driveway, I’m worried you guys she won’t pick up her phone, straight to voicemail.”
The firefighters all look at each other knowingly and without even saying anything they all pull their phones out some messaging her others calling. It takes second for everyone to look back up and shake their heads, nothing.
She wasn’t picking up.
His mind is at a blank, he should have checked on her earlier and he should have made sure she had company after shift.
This was bad and there was one person he knew that could find her without question, he just needed to swallow his pride. Right now it wasn’t about his feelings it was about hers and he could help so her, so he had no choice.
“Give me a sec.” Moving away from everyone he makes his way to the other side of the bar to a table that has the Intelligence PD team on it.
Kevin notices him first smiling and waving him over. “Matt, what’s up man?”
“Hey guys, sorry about this no time for chats, I need some help.” Kim sits up higher and he’s gotten all their attention now.
“Of course, what is it?” He looks directly at Jay, saying what he has to say directly to him.
“Foster and Sylvie had a bad call last shift, according to Emily, Sylvie never came home and she’s not answering her phone. I know you and Sylvie have been spending time together lately, could you try call her maybe she’ll answer you?”
A stern but concerned look goes over Jay and he immediately dials her number, Matt stands watching and waiting for his reaction, nothing again.“Voicemail.”
“When was the last time you heard from her?” Adam calls Emily over.
“Um three hours ago, I called her checking in and asking her if she wanted company, she said yes and told me to come over after dinner. She sounded glad to have me come over, she would tell me if she changed her mind or if something was wrong, I know it.”
“What happened on the call?” Jay comes back after calling and leaving her multiple messages.
“We lost a pregnant woman.” Emily whispers her shoulders dropping.
She looks defeated and he can’t blame her.
Jay and Matt look at each other, like they are thinking the same thing and Matt feels his insides burning up he was now coming to terms with the fact that someone else knew all about Sylvie too.
They must have gotten to know each other a lot more he can tell that Jay is worried about her because it's the same look he has, they are mirroring each others faces and feelings.
He can't believe this is happening right now, earlier he talked about having no regrets but right now he knew one thing he regretted, he should have told her sooner.
A phone ringing breaks their expression, he's relieved to see that its coming from Emily's phone and everyone quickly listens in.
"Hey girl, you scared me half to death, and pretty much everyone. Are you okay?"
She definitely right, he's anxious to know how she is but he waits patiently watching Emily nodding and responding to Sylvie on the other end of the call. "Okay good to know you are alive. Where are you?"
"Do you want one of us to come out and get you?" Was something actually wrong? Where was she?
"Okay no worries." She hangs up breathing in and out. "She went to visit Scott and her baby sister, left her phone at his house, drove back to get it and then broke down halfway through her drive back, her phone was charging when her car battery died. She walked to a gas station that she passed and she's waiting for a tow truck.
Turned her phone off to conserve battery, just turned it on now and saw all the missed calls and messages. She's sorry for worrying everyone."
"Wait it's been dark for a few hours she walked in the dark?" His undoubtedly freaked, he can't believe she was doing this all on her own and in the dark.
"Yeah, so any volunteers?" Volunteers for what? What was she going on about?
Emily looks at him like he's an idiot, her eye brows knitted together. "Who wants to go get her?"
Looking away from her he looks at the door and wants nothing more than to go out that door without question and go after her.
He wanted to go after her the minute Emily told him something was wrong, he wanted to go when he heard her say 'do you want someone to come get you.' But it's not about just him, she had people in her life that would go after her anytime.
Anyone one of the firefighters here would go after her if she needed them and now another guy was in her life.
Maybe he wanted to go after her and bring her back.
He makes eye contact with Severide, no words are shared with the two of them but he knows that Severide is wondering why he hasn't left yet.
“Matt?” She double takes at him making sure it’s actually him. “You didn’t have too come.”
“I’ll always come right too you if you need me.” It feels good to hear her call out his name, it’s been too long. “I saw the tow truck on my way here, you ready to go?”
The drive back is quiet and he’s gripping onto the steering wheel, his knuckles almost turning white, he hates this he can’t deal with the silence anymore.
“I’m sorry Sylvie.”
“Sorry? For what Matt?” She confused and to her credit he had just blurted it out of nowhere.
“For everything, I know you been going through a lot and if it feels like I piled on. I’m so sorry.”
“Matt stop the car please.” He’s slowly turns off to the side, he’s scared now what was about to happen?
She takes her seatbelt off turning her body to face him. “Matthew you have nothing to be sorry about, don’t ever be sorry for being honest with how you feel. It’s one of my favourite things about you. I can always count on it, don’t ever be sorry for that.”
It’s like his hands have a mind of their own he wants to reach for her like nothing else, he wants to wrap his arms around her but he knows that wouldn’t do any good for either of them right now. So he stuff them deep into his jacket pockets, hopefully this occupies them enough.
“I appreciate that. You can always count on me and I know I can count on you.”
“You’ve been so understanding with me and I know it’s been two weeks and I was the one that asked for time, you’ve been so patient. I’ll admit that what happened today all I wanted was to go to you but I was too embarrassed.”
Shaking his head at her words, he’s listening intensely. Like he doesn’t want to miss a single word, a single breath. He couldn’t believe that she was embarrassed to come to him.
He never wanted her to feel like that, ever.
He takes a glimpse at her as she about to talk again, and this time he really pays attention. Her bottom lip quivers, her cheeks are stained and her eyes are puffy.
God this was killing him.
“I’m missed you so much Matt, I missed telling you about my day. I missed hearing about yours and I hated our polite work talk, what a joke that was. But I was ashamed to come to you after today because everything hurts and I was supposed to have gotten through that. It turns out that I have an Achilles heel and god it hurts so much.”
He didn’t care anymore taking his hands out of his pockets he reached over closing the space between them. Placing his hands on the side of her face, touching her for the first time in awhile his body felt like it was on fire.
“Stop right now, firstly as much as I hated it, I would do anything for you. That’s what you asked for how could I deny you? No amount of time away from each other will make me not love you. Sweetheart, don’t ever feel ashamed to come to me, no matter what I’ll always be your friend and if that’s what you need I’m here.”
He holds her gaze. “Look at me Sylvie.” His voice is stern and stronger, he doesn’t mean to scare her but he needs her to know all this. Her beautiful blue eyes are shiny and even though it’s dark he can see that the blues are much more evident, the moonlight shinning down on them.
“Matt, make it stop. Please it hurts too much.” Her tears run down his hands, and in that moment nothing will hurt worse. The feeling of her tears touching his skin, it’s like a sizzling pan and it hurts a lot.
“Having something that makes you vulnerable doesn’t make you weak, you acknowledging your hurt makes you strong. Sylvie love, this isn’t something you can just get over, unfortunately you’ll always carry this. But it’s how you cope that makes the difference, you had a bad time with a patient, it felt to familiar so you went to visit your baby sister who I’m sure bought a smile to your face and reminded you of your mother. You did good.”
She closes her eyes and breathes in. “She’s so beautiful, she looks just like her.”
She sniffed and he wipes her tears away bringing her forward he hugged her.
Sometimes a hug made all the difference he hoped so anyway. “Let me take you home so you can rest.”
“Please.” She nods, and this time he takes notice of her arms and how she must have been freezing. Taking of his jumper he wraps her in it, puts her seatbelt on, she sink into the seat and closes her eyes.
Falling asleep for a second time in his car.
He drives off into the night and the rest would work it self out on its own time but right now he had one goal, drive her home.