Groaning he slowly shifts opening his eyes, he's met with stark walls and bright white lights. His head is in a daze, his throat burns and his muscles ache all over.
"Matt...Oh thank god." A voice whispers besides him, he can't tell who it is. "I'll get the doctor." He can't move his head to see who it is.
He feels completely uncomfortable, he doesn't like that he's unaware of what's happening, he hates every part of this.
"Matt, it's Dr Halstead. Can you follow the light for me?"
He does his best.
"Can you tell me what you remember?" Surprisingly he doesn't remember much.
"Ah, it was raining, I pulled over and a car went into my car, it tipped and that's it." As he's rephrasing out loud what he knows and as he does he remembers he wasn't alone. He was with her, with Sylvie.
Sylvie, oh god. Sitting up straighter he pulls the cord that across his face off and begins frantically looking around. Where was she?!
"Matt baby don't move too much be careful." Finally recognising the voice of the person beside him he turns his head in complete shock. "Gabby."
She smiles and reaches across to touch his cheek, cupping it. "Hi. I'm so glad you're safe, I can't tell you how worried-."
"Gabby what are you doing here?" He shifts slightly away from her.
"Matt, I'm your emergency contact, luckily I was in town. I got here a few hours ago." He's completely perplexed, the confusion written all over his face, he couldn't believe this was happening.
"Where's Sylvie?" He tries his best to keep the ominous thoughts out of his mind. He looks around some more, where the hell was she?
"Sylvie, really Matt?...Look you need to focus on yourself right now." She makes an effort to try and sit on his bed and get closer to him.
Wincing he recalls away from her touch, he focuses his attention back to Dr Halstead, "What the damage doc? How long am I here for? and where is Sylvie Brett? she was with me."
"You sustained some bruising and a concussion, that's about it. We'll keep you here overnight for precautions you'll be back at work in no time."
He swallow "And Sylvie..?" Slowly he braces himself for the news.
"She's in ICU, just got out of surgery, she had some internal bleeding once she's awake we'll move her and keep her for some more observation." He lets go of the breath he hadn't realised he was holding.
The feelings of guilt washes over him he feels defeated, he gets away with some bruising whiles she has to have surgery.
"I'll come by to check on you later okay." Dr Halstead leaves and suddenly he feels even more uncomfortable alone with Gabby.
"Thank goodness I'm here Matt, I'm only here for a few days but I'll push it back to look after you once you are discharged."
He turns his head towards her his eyes squinting. "Gabby you don't need to be here, thank you for coming to check on me but you aren't obligated to be here."
"Matt, I don't care if I'm obligated to or not of course I'm going to be here for you." She tells him like she's offended that he could ever say that to her.
"And I appreciate that but I don't need you to look after me."
Her voice quivers and she sighs."Matt, please don't be like this."
"Like what Gabby? How many times do I have to remind you, you left me and I‘ve moved on.” His voice much more stern now. How many more time did she need to be told?
A knock at the door startles the both of them before she's get a chance to answer and he's kind of grateful for that, he really did not want to be dealing with this right now.
It's Severide. "Hey man, hope I'm not interrupting."
"No you weren't, come in." He looks over at Gabby telling her with his eyes to give them a minute and maybe she'll take it as a hint to leave.
"How you feeling? You guys gave us all a scare for a minute there." He could imagine it must have been all a surprise for them and to be fair they hadn't told anyone they were out together.
"Honestly? I feel fine, my body aches a little but yeah that's about it. Can you tell me what happened? I blacked out before help came." He really needed someone to fill in the blanks he didn't like not knowing.
"Yeah, so after I got your text I made sure to be on alert just incase you needed me to come get you guys and then literally 20 minutes later I get a call from Gabby saying you'd been in an accident. Which by the way surprised me.” He give Matt a funny look raising his eyes-brows, as if he’s silently questioning him.
“Anyway we all headed over to Med and saw you guys get rushed in, they were really worried about Sylvie and took her into emergency surgery and you kept going in and out of consciousness. It's been a whole day."
The guilt he's feeling rushes over him again he can't believe that this was how their first date ended, there was no way she would want a do-over right? This was a disaster.
"Dude, I can practically see the wheels spinning in your head. This wasn't your fault."
He didn't know that. "I should have just kept driving."
"Yeah maybe you would have made it back fine but it also could have been worse, don't worry about thinking 'what if', I did that when Stella was in surgery and it nearly ate at me. Stop beating yourself up, you did the right thing. You couldn't see so you stopped, even the person that ran into you guys isn't at fault he lost control, the roads were bad man. It was an accident."
He closes his eyes, inhaling and exhaling. "You're right it was an accident, its just-ah, It's hard to not feel guilty right. I would do anything to trade places with her right now."
"I get that man. I really do."
"Is she alone? Someones up there with her right?" He wishes he was with her but he knows he literally couldn't do anything right now.
"Of course she's not alone, this is 51 we're talking about. Foster, Cruz, Chloe are up there and her parents where here too but they just left." Her parents where here? Oh god. They must hate him.
"That's good." He nods slowly looking down.
"Now that's all aside can we talk about Gabby..What the heck man? She looked pretty cozy here beside you."
There was no way he was going to be responsible for how she acted while he was unconscious. "There's nothing going on. She knows that and I made sure of it."
"Well silver lining for Sylvie being under, she didn't see whatever I saw." He turns to glance back at Kelly as if to say with his face really?
"What, it's true. She looked very comfortable with you and if I was Sylvie I would think something was going with the two of you again."
"Trust me, I can't go back there we are done."
"Good." Severide nods looking satisfied.
It had been a week since Matt was discharged and back to work and he hadn't seen her yet.
He couldn't, he couldn't bring himself to himself to see her, laid up in a hospital bed because of him, the guilt was eating him up. It was made worse by the fact that she asked for him, she wanted to see him and he was deliberately not going to see her.
God he felt even more worse.
Everyday when the girls would get back from seeing her they would relay to him that every day she would get sadder and ask about him less and less. He obviously knew that he had to see her eventually, she was going to get back to work soon and he couldn't avoid her forever and he wasn't like he wanted to avoid her, he really didn't.
If anything he wanted to take her into his arms and never let go, make sure she was never hurt again, to look after her forever.
But that was unrealistic.
He wasn't sure what to tell her when he saw her, his emotions right now were all over the place and he definitely didn't want overwhelm her.
"Captain, I just have to say a few things right now and you are going to listen." Looking up from his seat he tilts his head to the side.
Stella stands in front of him, arms on her hips. "Ah okay." He raises his eye-brows looking behind her at Kelly, who raises his arms up shoulders shrugging.
"Sylvie is getting discharged in 20 minutes Foster and I aid we'd pick her up but we both agreed that you have too. Yes I know you're scared about seeing her, especially driving with her again. She misses you and she's really sad, sad that you haven't come to see her and its honestly horrible seeing her like this, its like someone hurt Bambi and I refuse to let it continue any longer."
She drags him up onto his feet and shoves his new car keys his hands forcing him out the door. "She'll be waiting out front of Med, she's hard to miss, you know this."
His knuckles turned white as he gripped as the steering wheel as hard as he could, gripping it like his life depended on it. He was about to see her for the firs time in a week and he had no idea what he was going to say first. Would he say sorry? or just take her home and act like nothing happened? No, shaking his head there was no way he could do that. He was better than that, well at least he thought he was.
Pulling up the waiting bay of Med, he jumps out looking around for her.
"Matt, what are you doing here?" An all to familiar tap on the shoulder makes him turn around.
She’s even more beautiful after a week of laying in a hospital bed.
"Something came up with the girls, they asked me to come get you."
"Of course something came up." He see her eyes roll and he visibly wants be sick this was not good. He makes the effort to open the door for her and let her in while he packs her bag into the back.
Even though its a 2 second walk from the back to the drivers side he's thankful for it because it give him a few seconds to gather himself before getting in the car.
Uncomfortable isn't enough to describe the drive to her apartment. He can't think of the right word to describe the feeling he has right now, she completely avoided his gaze.
She pushes herself so far away from him, she may as well be hanging out of the car, she didn't want to be anywhere near him and if anything he couldn't blame her.
He had been acting like a coward.
Nothing but utter silence, they made no more exchanges since they stood outside the hospital and still nothing as he dropped her off and took her bag out of the car and watched as she walked past him and the stairs inside.
All he could hear was the sound of his heartbeat it was deafeningly loud. He sits in his car contemplating his next move. He recalls the look on her face when he got out of the car, she wasn't happy to see him. He shivers at their interaction.
They had been awkward, and he had no one to blame but himself.
"Screw it." He mutters as he gets out practically sprinting to her door knocking multiple times.
She opens the door surprised and confused to see him. "Oh."
In the 5 minutes they had separated how she felt about him hadn't changed, she was clearly still upset.
She startles to close the door but he's quick enough and stops her with one hand. "Let me explain." he doesn't have to elaborate on he has what to explain, they both know exactly what.
"5 minutes please." He begs he would beg some more if he had to and knew he might have too.
She sighs looking defeated. "Okay come in." She steps aside letting him through.
He does his best to keep his emotions in check he knows that he needs to be clear so she knows exactly what he's been feeling. It's all out the window when they both making it to his living room and she turns to face him. Her eyes are shiny she bites her bottom lip keeping it from trembling.
"What happened Matt?"
Tears well up in his eyes and they spill over as he explains how he felt while seeing her hurt beside him. "Sylvie seeing you like that it was-it was horrible, and it felt like my body was on fire I couldn't do anything to help you. I was driving and you got hurt while I was responsible and then hearing that you had to have surgery. God, I felt sick." His chest tightens as he relives it all over again.
The past week was a mental hell, he knew he'd screwed up.
"I get it Matt, I really do, I never blamed you for what happened. It was an accident, I just thought that maybe after everything we might be moving forward."
He finally looks up, his breath catching as she meets his gaze.
“But you never came to see me.” She whispers looking down and away from him.
He nods. “You have every right to feel hurt and I’m so sorry, I can’t say sorry enough. Please tell me what I can do to make it up too you.” He would do anything.
The guilt continues to eat him up his voice is thick. “I’m so sorry.” He moves to stand in front of her, he reaches up grasping her face in both his hands. He can practically feel her anxiety.
“I saw Gabby.” She mutters looking back up at him. This was something he knew he had to talk about with her. It was a conversation he couldn’t avoid, it was happening.
He looks around spotting her couch, he takes her hand guiding the two of them to sit. “Ask me anything, I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.”
His eyes shift back and forth, searching hers and just like it had been in the past he can’t read her. Anticipation was eating at him, he was ready for this talk, ready for it all to be out in the open.
“Are you okay? I’m sure seeing her was hard for the both of you. Especially since she keeps popping back up every few months, as it would seem.” Completely taken back by her, he pulls his head back to get a good look at her face there’s no indication of sarcasm or retort.
She’s completely genuine, like she almost feels pain for him.
For him this causes a strange but exhilarating feeling to rush over his body. He sucks in a breath, he can’t even think of what to say back to her, it’s utter amazement in her is what’s pegged his mind.
Sylvie Brett ladies and gentlemen, always so quick to consider everyone else first before herself or if ever herself.
“Matt..your drifting again.” Her big blue eyes look back at him, nothing but pure admiration in them.
Shaking his head he tries to clear his thoughts. “Sorry. Right, it’s hard to think straight when you look at me and say things like that.”
“Don’t be silly.” A light shade of pink covers her cheeks as she nudges him.
“I’m serious Sylvie, you could have asked me anything about her and that what’s you come up with? Mine and Gabby’s well-being? You amaze me constantly.” He’s dumbfounded he’d never met a more pure hearted woman.
“I just wanna make sure you are okay that’s all.” She shrugs like it’s the most simplest thing.
“I don’t deserve it and I feel even more of an idiot, I shouldn’t have avoided you.” He hangs his head in shame, she was treating him with such kindness it felt so odd and foreign, forgiveness never came this quick before for him.
Was this what it was like to be in a unconditionally relationship? Or even friendship? Maybe it was all in his head?
“What?” She stares back him as if he’s got three heads.
Taking his hands into her lap she gives him a tight but gentle squeeze. “Matt would you quit bringing up old news, I get it and I forgive you.”
“I will let it go but you have to know this, I won’t ever stop apologise for any mistakes I make.” He level his eyes with her, scooting ever so closer on the couch. His movements are delicate, he has to be.
”Then I will never stop forgiving you after you’ve apologised.”
Exhaling, a soft sound escapes his lips.
“You’re a dream come true Sylvie Brett.” He murmured putting so much emphasis on each word, like he was insistent and she had to know.
She bites her bottom lip trying to contain the smile forming and turns to look away, he can see it clear as day. “Smile gorgeous. Don’t hide from me.” Gently he runs his thumb over her lip, breaking apart the hold.
He’s never touched her like this before, and he’s never been this nervous about the smallest touch.
To others it may seem like the nothing, but to them it was a big deal. “Matthew.” She breathes out, her voice much lower now.
Tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear he uses his hand to guid her up and off the couch. “We should get up, I-um.” He scratches the back of his head, he can’t even fathom a full sentence right now.
Whatever they were doing had to stop, he couldn’t take it further, it wasn’t as if he didn’t want too, he did. He wanted everything to be right between the two of them, he wanted to especially show her that he wanted her for more than just that.
He would never push and never assume. He wouldn’t ask until he knew she was sure about the two of them. He might be ready for her but he knew she might not be .
He would always want her, so there was no rush and he was incredibly patient.
Probably sensing his nerves she suggest something that make him realise he was definitely hungry. Maybe that would distract him? “Wanna stay for dinner? We can have a do-over but this time from the safety and containment of my warm apartment?”
“There’s no place I’d rather be.” One of the most truer statement he’d made tonight.