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Loving You

Chapter Text

After what seemed like the longest morning things had managed to settle down, he wasn’t sure how long he’d able to revel in it, but he knew that he needed to see her. To check in of course, it had been constant for Ambo, he’d only been able to catch her once and that one time was enough for him to find himself thinking more about her.

Lately he’d found himself thinking more and more about her, he thought about her when the bells went off and he looked for when he would enter any room, she was at the front and centre of his mind all the time, he couldn’t shake the feelings any longer. The feelings begged to be released, begged to resurface, he wanted to fight it but as the days went on he knew he couldn’t hold them to himself any longer, he had to tell someone, anyone that would listen, maybe they could give him some sound advice.

Approaching the squad table, he nods to Severide, a signal that’s recognised between the two friends.

“Severide, do you have a minute?”

Nodding Severide get’s up and gestures to the roof. “Yeah, man. Let’s have a chat on the roof.”

This was a regular occurrence for the two of them, they often sat up there, sometimes talking through their lives, other times saying nothing at all, it was easy.

“So you want to talk about your feelings for Brett? Or...” Breaking the silence, Severide ask a question he didn’t think was coming.

Whipping his head around he stares in shock.

How on earth did he know? “What? You didn’t think I wouldn’t notice when my friend’s behaviour has been off for a while? or when she walks in a room you stare at her, or whenever she gets back on a call your there waiting for to get out of the rig?”

Wow he thinks to himself and here he thought he’d done a good job keeping all this to himself.

“Guess subtly isn’t my best trait.”

“No, it’s not.” Severide laughs, patting him on the shoulder. “So you going to tell her? Or keep pining and brooding from a distance?”

Matt rolls his eyes, he’s one to talk he thinks, but in Severide’s defence he eventually opened up to Stella, and he was a better man for it.

“Shut up, I’m not pining or brooding.”

Matt’s situation was different he thought, there was more to consider, more to think about and definitely more to lose.

Was it worth it?

“Your mouth may not say anything, it’s your face that gives you away, it says it all, when you can’t say anything.” His brows frown, when had his friend gotten so sentimental?

“Who are you and what have you done to Kelly Severide?”

Severide throws his head back laughing, a laugh that erupts so loud out of him. It had been awhile since they were able to have a heart to heart, or whatever the male version of one was but it always brought out some good laughs between the two, he’d missed his friend, brother.

“All I’m saying is that you don’t want to spend too much time weighing the variables, deciding if it’s a good idea or not, the pros and cons, because then something can change and you wonder, ‘what if?’ Just like you did when the chaplain proposed.”

When Chief had approached him to find a date to join him and Donna to dinner, he knew in his heart who he wanted to invite, but he also knew in his head that it would be difficult for him to do so. He’d managed to talk himself up to approaching her, he’d wished that she’d been alone or that it wasn’t all happening on the apparatus floor.

And then he planned to try and catch her later to ask but that all went out the window. He couldn’t believe it, when Kyle proposed, it felt like a kick to the gut, his heart clenched and everything he saw going for himself vanished.

What if? He thought, what if? It had become two words that he loathed, every-time he would ask himself ‘What if she’s doesn’t feel the same?’ Or ‘What if I had said something sooner?’ He’d played it over and over in his head like broken record.

“There’s just a lot to consider though, and she’s going through a lot right now.”

He didn’t want to be the guy that put any more on her plate then she needed.

“Don’t go backwards man, think about right now, think about your future happiness, does she make you happy? It’s simple, don’t try and complicate your feelings, yeah she’s going through a lot, but that girl adores you, what better way to help her through it then with you at her side, all of you, not just your friendship.” 

Stunned, he’s utterly gobsmacked at the sound advice he’s receiving.

Leaning forward he places his palm over the top of Severide’s forehead, checking his temperature, laughing Severide pushes his hand away. “Just making sure you don’t have a fever.”

Matt sigh's exhaling, he can't fathom ever admitting to Sylvie his feelings, the fears of rejection and the fears of breaking the friendship that he took time to build over the last couple months. Because loosing her friendship would be the most heartbreaking to him, in the wake of Gabby leaving her friendship had become a stable rock in his life and he was beyond grateful for her, she had helped him pick himself up again without even knowing it. 

Breaking the silence Severide turns to him, "So what are you going to do?"

He thinks again what was he going to do? Would he tell her? Before he's given time to answer the bells ring through the house alerting them to an emergency. 

"TRUCK 81, SQUAD 3, ENGINE 51, AMBO 61 HOUSE FIRE"  

Looking at each other we make our way down from the roof not before Severide says, "Saved by the bell I guess, don't think we won't come back to this."

But he doesn't really hear him because he's distracted by her and he knows then that he has to tell her and that's all he knows for now and that's okay. 

 

Chapter Text

You’d think that coming to terms with how you felt about someone would be the hardest part, and admittedly that might be the case for most people but unfortunately for Matt, it was the easiest part. He knew how felt about her, it was obvious, there’s was no denying it he’d be lying to himself if he did and he didn’t want to lie. 

The next part though, he was having a difficult time figuring out what to do, should he tell her? And possibly risk loosing a friendship and person that meant a lot to him?

He was at complete loss, at a stand still, unable to foresee the next move. There were lots of ways this could go but he knows for sure that he needs to talk to her, he’ll start there he thinks, take it easy and just have a normal conversation with her, that’s nothing out of the ordinary for them.

The chatter and laughter draws him back in to the room, he smiles to himself, glad that everyone’s able to relax in a familiar place after a long day.

“You alright Cap?” Turning to his left he faces Gallo, “Yeah, all good. Thanks.” The usual, typical response he gives his firefighters or anyone for that matter, it’s not that he’s macho and doesn’t like feelings he just hates to make a big deal of himself, he hates the attention.

Gallo presses, gesturing to his beer bottle, he’s managed to peel the label off without realising it, it’s halfway torn in the middle from top to bottom. Not seamlessly either, it’s peeled off in the most unsatisfying way, it’s happened again he thinks.

Lately he’d find himself drifting off into his thoughts and with a few minutes passing by he’d managed to peel away at the labels on his beer. “Ha, didn’t realise I was doing that must be tired.” He attempts to pass it off as tiredness, hopefully Gallo leaves it.

“It has been a long day, see you later Cap.” Getting up Gallo waves goodnight to everyone him and violet both leaving together, he was happy for the kid, he’d managed to fix the situation with violet after asking her to marry him mid argument, he laughed at the memory. 

But he’s glad Gallo didn’t press him any longer.

Casey wasn’t looking to get into it tonight, he’d already spilt most of his guts to Severide, he wasn’t ready for more people to be in on it.

He does however take a moment to look around the room again, for the fourth time tonight. He’s look for her but she’s nowhere to be seen, thinking she’d be here he’s a little disappointed.

He wishes she was here, she’d make some cute comment about his peeling label abilities, last night was property brothers night and he’d use his knowledge of the episode to talk with her about it. He’d watch her face light up and smile so wide as she explained what she loved and how she’d would have planned the interior.

He shakes his head, trying to force out the image, he doesn’t want to conger false scenarios in his head, it’s dangerous it could lead him to false hope.

He wants to leave, it’s okay for him go he thinks, he’s had at half of his drink and a handful of peanuts, and spoken to a reasonable amount of people, it’s perfectly fine for him to go home.

Glancing down at his watch, he cringes it’s 8:30pm, he’s embarrassed, he’s wearing the ‘old man’ mantra everyone has been giving him a little too much now. It’s well deserved at this point, who was he kidding? it wasn’t even past 9pm yet and he was already dreaming about bed. Exhaling he stops the debate going on in his mind, just leave Matt, you’re fine.

Just as he’s about to raise his hand to signal Kidd for his tab, for one drink might he add, he hears her before he see her, and it’s like soft instrumental music to his hears, her laugh is light and angelic, you can hear her joy.

He’d never come across anyone with a laugh like hers, he could feel her presence, it sent goosebumps up his arm and a shiver down his spine. Quickly retreating his arm back from the start of the raise he grabs his drink in an effort to look ‘normal’ normal he thinks? What hell does normal look like?

Taking a sip he lets himself turn slightly towards the tv, thankful she sitting under it with Foster by her side, her smile is big and she looks happy, so he’s happy.

Taking another glance he takes his time to notice her, just for a moment. She’s looks radiant, her turquoise sweater making her eyes pop just that little bit more. He can’t take his eyes off her, he doesn’t want to but he has to.

Quickly he glance back at the tv and sipping his drink again, it’s the last sip and the last glance, he can’t afford for anyone to notice.

A pat on the back breaks his trance from tv back to Kelly, he’s holding his hands up in defence “I’m not saying anything.”

“Keep it that way.” He grunts, annoyed but not annoyed at Severide, okay he’s a tiny bit annoyed at him but more so annoyed at himself at how obvious he seemed just then.

He really needed to learn how to reign it it.

Another tap on the shoulder and he turns to give Severide an ear full, “Leave me alone!” He hisses with his eyes closed, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Opening his eyes he’s ready for Severide to make more fun of him, to his surprise though, he’s staring right at him mastering a full on grin and he wants to smack it right off.

What the hell?

She next to him now, when did she move? When did she get here? He hadn’t even noticed, too caught up in his thoughts and annoyance to even recognise that the tap on his shoulder was from her.

It’s a stark contrast to a few moments ago when he heard her laugh and recognised her before he saw her. He’s gutted, she’s looks taken back by his sudden outburst, to her it’s sudden, to him it was aimed at Kelly. He wants to reach out to her, but before he even has a chance to clear up the mess she steps back and coughs, breaking the silence. “Oh, Sorry to bother you, I-, um, never mind.” Turning her heels, she couldn’t have walked away fast enough.

Shit.

Great he thinks, now he’s done it. “Damn it.” He mumbles, running his hand down his face leaning his elbows on the bar.

He turns looking at his friend, raising a brow, silently asking what to do? Although a part of him knows what to do, he should go over there and clear it all up but he’s embarrassed, again for the second time tonight, this time he’s got witness’ to this embarrassment.

Kelly shrugs, tilting his head in her direction. “Go over there, explain that I was annoying you, which is half true, and she’ll get it.”

He should have just felt earlier he thinks.

Ugh.

He turns around inspecting for Sylvie, hoping she hasn’t left yet. He spots her, thank goodness she’s still here, they make eyes contact and without even missing a beat they nodded to each other, signalling to go outside, he exhales getting up from the stool.

“Good luck.” Kelly mutters, tilting his beer in a salut to him.

Yeah good luck he thinks, how does he explain himself? He can’t exactly get right to the truth because that would mean admitting a few things out loud, to her.

He wasn’t ready for that yet, surely he had time, enough time to process, he hoped anyway.

...

Their outside now standing by the front door to Molly’s, he notices Sylvie huddle her arms across her chest, bring her coat closer. She’s cold out here, he feels ridiculous of course she’s cold!, it was freezing and he’d had bought them out here. He’s not sure where to start, he didn’t want it to be as dramatic as it seems, he just really wanted to apologise.

He looks up at her, giving her his full attention, making sure she knows he’s serious. “I’m sorry.” He mutters.

She gives him the same attention, full and all the eye contact, her eyes are piercing blue, he feels like he could swim in them.

“Oh, don’t be Matt. I could see that Severide was bothering you about something. Really don’t apologise, it was just bad timing.”

Taken back he looks at her, like really looks at her. At first he’s confused, she’s okay and then he’s just in awe of her, it’s hardly a surprise he has to remind himself, she’s always like this.

Ready to see the good first, it’s what makes her impossible not to like.

Sylvie Brett, you are so darn beautiful and very much too good for me.

He wants to reach forward and bring her in for a hug but he doesn’t let himself go there, he can’t, not yet anyway.

“Matt, you okay? You haven’t said anything.” He hasn’t said anything in a probably what feels like minutes, he’s in his head again, thinking things over, or over thinking things.

Or both, she’s probably so confused now. “Right, yeah I’m fine.”

“Ah, a typical Matt Casey response.” She nods, seemingly satisfied with his answer.

“I’m not that typical.” He scoffs, no, he isn’t right?

She bites her lip, attempting to stop her laugh.

“Am I?”

“Only a little bit, but that’s okay. So do you want to talk about what’s bothering you? I’m here if you need.”

Okay so he really, really wasn’t good at being subtle, she could clearly tell something was going on with him, and she wasn’t wrong. 

He had a lot on his might. “No, I’m good.”

“Are you sure?” She quizzes him further and he wants to have all the answers for her but right now he wasn’t ready.

“I’m not ready to talk about it yet but when I am I’ll come find you and tell you. I promise.”

“Okay, I get it. Whenever your ready, just remember I’m always here to listen, whenever.”

“Even at 3am?” He remembers a conversation from before, she had made a point to let him know that she would always be around to talk to him, if he wanted.

“Especially then.” She brings her hand forward, onto his left cheek, caressing him. It’s a new gesture between the two and he welcomes it.

Bringing his own hand, he lays it on top of hers, giving her hand a squeeze. Silently letting her know he so grateful for her, this is how it was between them, they didn’t have to say anything they understood each other.

He was grateful and she was grateful for him too.

All to soon both their hands drop, and Matt feels even colder with her touch now gone.

“Can I buy you a drink?” He ask

“Lead the way.” She answers

They find themselves back inside, the warmth and the chatter brining them back to reality.

Chapter Text

Adjusting his tie, Matt stares at his reflection in the mirror, he’s dressed in a full suit. It was that time of year again, gathering a room full of rich people, government officials and the CFD higher ups.

It was the higher up’s way of making us firefighters tell crazy stories about all the calls just to get them to make donation to help causes within the CFD.

It was always the same, every year and Matt cringed, the idea of sucking up to people all night, it wasn’t him.

A knock on the door reminds him they are on a time crunch. “Yo, Casey, you ready?”

“Yeah coming.” He shouts back, he huffs making his way out of his room, he’s met by Severide and Kidd, they matched. “You guys look great.”

They really did.

“Why thank you Captain, see I told you we’d rock this colour.” Stella proudly turning to Severide sticking her tongue out to him.

“It’s all you babe.” He kissed her nose as we made our way outside to our cars.

A couple of steps behind them he takes this as an opportunity to notice them, how they smiled at each other, Stella’s eyes light up when she looks at him, Kelly lingers his stare just that little bit longer when she turns away. It was wonderful, he’s beyond happy for his friend, he’d come a long way and happy looked good on him.

It takes him a second to explain to both of them that he’s happy driving on his own to the gala, he loves them but he tends to sometimes feel a little bit like a third wheel when he’s alone in the car with them, it’s bad enough that he lives with them and had to hear them.

So, he was more than happy to drive alone.

The drive wasn’t long, and he was glad for it, he was looking forward to seeing her, he hadn’t seen much of her yesterday, ambo was pretty constant, so she was busy with calls and then with writing up the reports.

She was the only thing that was going to get him through tonight, and he looked forward to seeing her.

He half wanted to ask her to go with him tonight, but he thought against it at last minute.

Too much pressure, everyone would be there tonight, and he wasn’t ready for that sitting next to her was enough for now.

He waits by the front door waiting for Stella and Severide to meet with him, he wasn’t sure if they had planned to go in together, but he thought he’d wait anyway.

“Ready to go in.” He huffs with his hands in his pocket.

“I guess so.” Severide points to the entrance and they all make their way inside.

“Come on you two, it’ll be fun.” He doesn’t hear her and just like Severide said the other day he immediately surveys around the room, but he can’t see her just yet which makes him disappointed so he takes this time to mentally prepare himself for the night he was about to have.

“Champagne sir.”

A waiter makes his way over to Matt, ‘sir’, god he feels incredibly odd, his suit is uncomfortable and even worse he was in an uncomfortable environment, but he’ll admit that the free drinks helped.

“Thanks.” He says, making his way over to the table with his friends, not everyone had arrived yet, the night was just starting.

Herrman mutters looking around in his seat. “Ready for the longest night of our lives.”

“It’s not that bad you guys.” Cruz laughs looking around the table.

“Anyone hear from Brett and Foster?”

“Yeah, they just made it, checking their coats.” Stella announces looking up from her phone and immediately his head turns on a swivel staring at the entrance of the gala doors.

Conversations are happening around him, he laughs, smiles and pretends to be engaged, but he’s main focus is by the door, he’s paying attention to it, waiting for her to step inside.

When she does eventually come through, everything around him blurs but she’s in focus, he’s floored, she’s stunning, incredibly beautiful.

Her emerald green dress hugging her perfectly, he can that its silk because it shines as the light hits her when she moves around, the straps are thin and its backless and her short curls are framing her face and she’s wearing the most gorgeous smile.

He feels like he’s hyperventilating, he’s almost annoyed as he’s knocked out of his thoughts and from staring at her.

Kelly nudges him, whispering so no-one less can hear but he can’t hide the smirk on his lips.

“Man, you’re practically drooling.”

“You’re enjoying this aren’t you?” Matt rolls his eyes, taking a sip of drink.

“Look, I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty funny.”

“What’s funny?” Sylvie ask now standing next to him, now that she’s even closer he’s finding it even harder to focus he almost can’t look at her. 

“Ah nothing. Kelly’s just joking around.” He stands up pulling the seat up next to him, gesturing for her to sit.

Smiling back to him as she sits down. “Thank you.” She says as he hands her a drink. “So, what did I miss?”

Laughing he looks over at her. “Believe me nothing, I’m glad you’re finally here.” He admits, although he hadn’t meant to, but it was the truth, he was happy she was here.

“You really hate this thing don’t you.”

“You have no idea, too many snooty government officials and rich people.” Her head falls back in utter laughter, he’s confused, it really wasn’t that funny he thinks.

“Mathew Casey, if I recall, weren’t you in fact once a snooty government official?” He stares back at her dead pan, what a call out he thinks and to his surprise he loves it when she calls him Matthew, ever since that time she had yelled at him to change his bandaged after a call where he got some firecracker flashback on his neck. It had surprised him how much he actually liked it.

“Wow, you got me.” He’s impressed.

“I’ll admit it’s odd seeing you in a suit, but you do look great.” She flashes him another award-winning smile, he’s taken back

“The feelings mutual, I-mean, no. You’re not in a suit, I mean your dress, you look nice.”

Smooth, real smooth he thinks, god he just said she looks nice, nice really? She definitely looked more than nice; he just knew that nice would be the safe option because if he said how really felt about how she looked it would be very inappropriate.

“Thank you.” She lightly chuckles. “I’m going to get another drink with Foster, I’ll be back.”

Getting up both her and Foster leave to head to the bar, Matt turns away from her letting a breath he was holding out.

“Nice, really?” Severide shakes his head,

“She looks incredible.” Stella pipes looking up from her drink, he looks up at her, eyes squinting and then turns back to look at Severide, about ready to yell at him. “Oh please, I’ve known for a while, Kelly didn’t have to say anything.”

“Oh man, incoming.” Cruz says out loud getting everyone’s attention.

“You’ve got trouble, Captain Casey.” Trouble? He glances to Foster. “Huh? What do you mean?”

“Dawson just asked if I could give her and Brett a minute.”

He froze, oh god she was back. Why was she back? He did not need this right now.

When did she get back? he hadn’t seen or heard from her since after the event she invited him too, she had left him a message saying to join her on his next furlough, but who was she kidding? There was no way Matt Casey was leaving Chicago.

He was done with this. It wasn’t fair, she left him.

He was allowed to move on, wasn’t he? It was clear that night was closure, and it was time to move on, that’s what he was doing.

The night had taken a turn and all he could think about was Gabby, and with Sylvie right next to him he wasn’t sure how to feel anymore he hadn’t said a word to her in what felt like hours.

She’d made the effort to try and make small with him, but he was frozen, like a deer staring into headlights, grunts and nods where all he could muster to her.

He was avoiding her now and it hurt like hell, all he wanted to do was focus on her tonight and take steps into developing his feelings, but he’d somehow managed to struggle being around her, and it wasn’t ‘I’m-nervous-to-be-around-her-because-I-think-im-in-love-with-her’ nerves, it was ‘my-ex-wife-is-here-and-what-the-hell-was-he-going-to-do’ kind of nerves.

He couldn’t act like how he normally was with her anymore he felt tense and uneasy, and he could tell that he knew something was up, but she was nothing but sweet and didn’t act any different, if anything she was kinder maybe she could tell he was having a hard time.

He felt like a shell of himself as he walked around meeting people, he was on high alert, he had been following Gabby around the room with his eyes, they hadn’t spoken yet and very minute was making him uneasy.

“Where is she?” He inquired as he walked back the table, his mind was racing with thoughts, he had to end this, he thought that the divorce was enough, but he had to make sure it was done in a way that she knew they were done.

“I think I saw her leave already, sorry man.” Great he thinks, he wasn’t going to get another chance.

So, the night wonders on and he continues to go around the room, hoping maybe he can get out of here as soon as possible.

...

He’s making his way to his car while also looking down at his phone, he wants to call Sylvie and talk with her. Before he’s even given the chance, he stops in his tracks, Gabby’s leaning on his side of the car smiling at him.

“Do you have a minute? My hotel is down the road, I was thinking we could have a drink.”

“We can’t.”

“Why not? It could be just like last time.” She moves to stand in front of him, wrapping her hands around his neck.

He feels incredibly uncomfortable, slowly he removes her arms from him, stepping away.

“Baby, come on.” Closing his eyes, he huffs. God she was making this impossible.

“Damn it! Gabby you left.” He shouts, the vain in his forehead about to burst, his head hurts and he feels so angry.

He stares at her in awe, he feels like he’s at his wits end.

The feeling in the pit of his stomach that fought so hard to not surface finally breaking free.

He hates being angry. “You left me.” Yes, there was so much love in their relationship, but she also bought out this side of him, anger and when they fought, he felt like he was going grey. She was the only one that could make him feel like this, he hated this side of himself and for some reason she was just able to pull it right out of him.

“I’m sorry Matt, but you have to understand how hard it is for me to see you sitting next to her, its uncomfortable, I saw the way you looked at her when she walked in and I don’t like it.”

“No, no, just stop it, you don’t get to come here and say you don’t like how I am with another girl, you don’t get to come here and feel uncomfortable, you can’t just pop up whenever you like and then leave again, stop playing with my mind.”

Rolling her eyes at him, she’s visibly fuming, her nostrils flaring, her anger now matching his.

“Why not Matt? She was my best friend and you’re my ex-husband.”

Was? Was your best friend? God Gabby, I can’t believe you, you left me and it almost destroyed me.” He practically hisses at her; he’d never spoken to her like this before, he hated the way she was making him feel right now.

“What’s happening right now?” She threw her arms in the air gesturing between the two of them.

“What happening is that I’m telling you we are done. You left me, and I fell in love.”

“You’re in love with her.” Her head tilted to the side, trying to get a full look at him, it was difficult, it was dark outside the only light was coming from a streetlight a few steps away from them.

“Yeah, I am, and I don’t regret it. I don’t have to explain myself to you, and frankly neither does she. You left the both of us, we found each other, we didn’t make this happen, it just did. It’s not her fault, or mine, or yours. You needed to leave and I’m not ever leaving Chicago, if you knew me, you’d know I couldn’t, this is my home.”

She crosses her arms, shaking her head at him.

Running his hands down his face, he can’t believe this is happening right now. He thought they could have a cleanish break but this made sense, there was lots of pent up emotions that he hadn’t been able to express. 

He continues, needing to get this all out. “So please let me move on, when you come back into town don’t seek me out, you’re always welcome at the firehouse, always. But that’s it for us, I want you to be happy and being in Puerto Ricco makes you happy so please go. If you love me like you said you do, you’d let me move on.”

“Matt.” She stepped forward, reaching for his hand.

Shaking his head, no, he moved away, putting his hands up to stop her. “Please don’t make this harder than it has to be.”   

“I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt you.”

“I know you are.” He looks up avoiding her eyes, he doesn’t want to be here right now.

There’s only one place he wants to be and its’ like the universe sends him a message, he looks back in the direction of the gala and it’s like a slow-motion scene in a movie. He catches a glimpse of Sylvie stepping out, standing on the steps of the theatre, looking around and then back at her phone.

“I’m sorry too but I have to go, goodbye Gabby.” He doesn’t turn back to wait for her to respond, he takes off straight over to her not a single care in the world.

For a firefighter you’d think he wouldn’t be so out of breath but he is, his heart is racing and he’s unsure of what the heck to say but when he finally peers up at her from the bottom of the stairs, he doesn’t care and all he can think about is how radiant she looks, with her hair blowing slightly in the wind she looks so mesmerizing.

She’s looking down at him, he doesn’t want to move, he’s happy to be looking up at her, he wants all her attention, he needs her to be looking right at him when he says what he has to say.

“Are you okay?” Placing her hand on his shoulder giving him a tight squeeze.

“More than okay, and I need to clear something up.” He states as matter of fact.

“Oh yeah?” She looks back at him, eyebrow raising and then gesture for him to go on.

“Yeah. I lied you don’t look nice; you look utterly breath-taking.”

It felt like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

Chapter Text

Her eyes light up and she’s slightly taken back, he’d never spoken this way to her before, or commented on her appearance at all. “Breath-taking, really?” Rosy tint forms on her face, she’s flushed and a tad nervous now.

Nodding he doesn’t care if it’s weird he just wanted her to know. “Yeah, really.”

“You got a lot on your mind?” Yeah gorgeous, a lot mostly about you and how much I like you and how beautiful you are, he doesn’t stay that loud of course.

He knows he’ staking things slow, maybe too slow and to anyone else that would be the case, but for him he didn’t want to screw anything up, he wasn’t getting any younger and he wanted to be sure this time around and do right by her, it was the fair thing to do.

Once again, he’s wondered off around in his mind for far too long, he’d been doing this a lot but as he looked up,
she stood with a smile on her face waiting for him with all the patience in the world, and he’s beyond thankful.

“So, did you happen to eat any snooty rich people food? Because I’m hungry.” She questions, placing her hand on her stomach patting it, and now that he’s thinking about it, he’s hungry too, he hadn’t eaten anything at the gala, his mind was so occupied. An idea pops up, he’s not really ready to say goodnight to her yet, he hardly had anytime to be with her tonight, if any at all.

“I know a diner that’s opened late, they have great burgers it’s not far from here, I’ll drive, what do you think?”

“Say no more! Late night burgers! Yes please.” Stepping off to the side he offers his arm to her, guiding the her down the stairs and to his car.

The drive to the diner is comfortable and although its quiet he doesn’t care,
him and Sylvie had always been able to sit in comfortable silence.

He loves that about their friendship, although to him things definitely felt a little more than friendship right now.

The car stops in front of a diner, it’s small and quirky, and there’s a few people inside, he doesn’t mind though, he remembers the owners, and elderly couple and their kids, it was a family business.

That’s what he loved most about Chicago, there was plenty of places like this, family owned he was always happy to contribute to family owned businesses.

“I don’t know about you but I’m ready to go in.” Sylvie’s voice breaks him out of another almost deep thought, he chuckles to himself, god he must look like an idiot zoning out half the time.

Turning to her he gestures for the two of them to get out. “Let’s go in.”

The menu in her hand she eyes it up and down, “So, what do you recommended?”

“Oh, the classic chicken and bacon burger is my favourite, but anything should be good too.”

Closing the menu and placing back down “I’ll have the same then.”

“Are you sure?”

“I trust your judgement.” And although they are talking about burgers, he still really appreciated it.

A milkshake, two burgers and a lot of chips later, they are still sat in a booth in the corner of the diner, laughing hysterically, they’re sharing funny stories, different things from work. He enjoyed hearing more about ambo obviously he heard about the calls they would get but hearing it from her in this way was different.

His jaw hurts from all the laughing and his cheeks hurts from all the smiling, if he had to be honest with himself it had been a while since he’d laughed like this.

“I like your smile Matt Casey, you should smile more, people are missing out on it.”

“My smile?” He’s so intrigued, he’ll admit people didn’t really mention his smile,
it’s always his frown that people bring up.

“Of course, I like to think that your smile is the first thing I noticed about you, it’s warm and inviting, your frown was definitely second.”

Sitting forward she leans her elbow on the table, placing her hand under her chin, glancing right at him.

“Okay well if we are going to talk about smiles, it’s only fair I bring up yours because well, your smile is-.”

“I’m sorry young ones, we are closing now.” The elderly couple appears at their table, cutting him off,
a sympathetic look on their faces for disturbing them.

“Oh, no please we are sorry. Guess time went away from us.” Matt gets up quickly wanting to take her coat, opening it up for her,
he helps her arms into it, placing his hand on her shoulder.

“Thank you.” She catches glimpse of him over her shoulder, eyelashes batting at him and he can’t not look, feeling the heat on his face, his cheeks now rosy.
“Wait by the door, I’ll go pay.” Lowering his head to her back he gently guides her forward.

“Matt, are you sure?” Is he sure? Of course he’s sure, no matter what Matt always paid, he might not have had the best influence around to teach him chivalry
but he knows it’s on him, in-fact it was his idea to come here.

“Yes Sylvie, I'm sure.” That had come out a little too pushy he thinks, he makes a mental note to apologise later.

“Come back anytime soon, you two are just a delight, you remind us of ourselves years ago.” The elderly couple tells him as he finishes up paying. He’s unsure of how to respond, he doesn’t make the effort to correct them, he and Sylvie weren’t a couple he should have said.

So instead he offers a smile before walking over to Sylvie, she’s waiting by the door like he asked and for some reason again he finds his hand resting on her back as they make their way outside.

Getting in the car, he immediately turns the heater on, it had gotten significantly colder while they were inside.

“We have shift tomorrow, I’m so sorry Sylvie I didn’t realise the time.”

“Oh, Matt I had a lovely time, please don’t be sorry.”

“I’m glad you did, and so did I but let me get you home so you can get some rest, it’s been a long night.”

“Probably a longer night for you.” She’s right, for him he had a feeling before even getting to the gala, that it was going to be long night,
but he knows she means it for different reasons.

“You’re right, and this part has been my favourite and I wish that we could have stayed longer, much, much longer.
He’ll make an effort to bring them both back again.

She gets comfortable mumbling her response to him. “Definitely my favourite part too.” Resting her head against the window and from the corner of his eye he catches her trying to stifle a yawn, its adorable.

She’s asleep within seconds and although her face looks peaceful and at ease, he’s sure she’s going to have a sore neck. He had every intention of waking her up the closer they get to the apartment, but he can’t bring himself to do it. She must have been tired, more than she let on and he wishes she had said something he feels guilty for keeping her up.

Arriving at her apartment it’s late, and she’s fast asleep.

He’s really not sure how to handle this now, in hindsight he should have woken her up or tried to keep her awake but he didn’t have the heart to.

Clicking his seatbelt off he he moves closes, bring his hand to her face brushing her curls away from her eyes. 

Quietly so he doesn’t spook her he whispers. “We made it Sylvie, open those beautiful eyes of yours for me.” 

Incoherent mumbling is all he gets back, she shuffles around moving closer to him, he sighs  this was going to take a minute but he doesn’t care. 

“Come on, I’m sure you’ll find your own bed much more comfortable than my car.” For him though right now he’s comfortable, being here with her. 

He places his hand on her cheek rubbing it lightly, ushering her to wake up. 

“Matt.” Her eyes open and all he can see is pools of blue staring right back at him, he takes a moment to get lost in them, he can’t look away and he finds that he doesn’t want too.

Their gaze intensifies and all he wants to do is lean down and kiss her, all he’d have to do is move a few inches.

Everything in him is screaming to do it. 

Something lights up in the space between them, drawing themselves away from each other. It’s his phone, looking down Severide’s name appears on the screen, and for the first time he hates his friend. 

He doesn’t really, he’ll tell him later though. 

...

Matt smiles to himself sitting at the head of the table in the common room, it was the start of shift and everyone was starting to pile in. He looked up from the paper he was reading, observing everyone laughing and chatting with each other, he loved being able to just witness the family dynamic.

Lately he decided to make an effort to sit out here with everyone and not always be copped up in his quarters. He’s about to get up and join Chief in the briefing room, when he spots her, and once again he find himself stopping in his tracks as Sylvie enters the room, she’s skipping into the room, literally skipping.

His heart flutters at seeing her like this, happy and content, not many people are this cheerful this early in the morning but somehow she always was and he’ll be damned if anyone ever took away her joy.

Just like her walk, her good morning is also just as cheerful. “Good morning my fellow paramedic and firefighters.” It’s followed by a few ‘hi’, ‘hellos’, ‘good mornings’ and mostly grunts.

Stella groans taking a sip of her coffee.

“How are you like this? It’s too early for this much cheer.”

“Oh my dear Stella, it’s never too early.” Rolling her eyes Stella lowers her head onto Severide’s shoulder, who’s lightly laughing and shaking his head at Brett, and then quickly he meets Matt’s eyes, Kelly’s suspicious of something, Matt can tell, here’s hoping he’s not too obvious, he’s knows that’s a long shot.

“Hey girl, I didn’t hear you come in last night, what time did you get home?” Well if he wasn’t suspicious before he definitely was now, not only Severide’s eyes, now Stellas. Her head shoots up in his direction a smirk growing on her face.

He’s not sure how he wants her to respond, there’s no time for him to say anything.
They didn’t talk about it last night, and come to think about it he didn’t think he minded if she did say something.

They are friends and friends are allowed to hangout and get food together, right?

“Oh, yeah it was late pretty late.-“ He doesn’t get to find out how she answers but he knows that the girls will probably talk about it in the ambo.

He’s not as nervous he doesn’t mind that she’ll talk to Foster about it, he was glad that she had someone.

TRUCK 81, SQUAD 3, ENGINE 51, AMBO 61, MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT

...

Unbelievable he thinks, she couldn’t have been more reckless, he’s annoyed, so very annoyed, it’s him that’s supposed to be the ‘reckless’ one, the one that puts himself in ‘harms’ way. Not her, never her.

He’s not stupid, he knows that whenever she gets in the ambo,
she’s off into unknown territory as well, and even more so when it’s just ambo that gets called out.

He’s still fuming, hot and bothered and not in the good way.

Jumping out of the rig he rips off his turn out gear putting it back not so delicately, it’s unlike him but right now he couldn’t care less.

“You good Captain?” Herrman ask almost scared for the answer.

Kelly approaches him knowing very well he’s not okay but ask anyway. “Hey man, you sure you all good?”

“Yep.” He mutters a little too aggressive and sarcastically, he can’t think straight right now, all he knows is that he’s so unbelievably annoyed and needs to retreat to his quarters before she comes back from Med and says something he regrets.

Sitting down on his chair, he puts his head down and slowly breathes in and out trying desperately to calm himself.

As he closes his eyes it comes flooding back to him like he’s watching it happen all over again right in front of him. Why did she have to be so reckless? 

FLASHBACK

Jumping out of the rigs they make their way to the scene spotting a car and falling objects coming down from the front of a nearby building, this felt awfully familiar Matt thought.

“Get back everyone now! Kidd, Ritter seal off the area and watch for anything coming down.” Moving forward he runs to the driver’s side, shaking the door open.

It’s no use though, its completely stuck.

He turns eyeing Severide. “Cruz, driver’s side, jaws.” Severide yells. “On it.”

Matt signals the rest of truck more orders “Mouch, Gallo passenger side and back seat.”

“Car seat back here Captain.”  Gallo’s head pops up from the side of the car, seriousness in his eyes.

“Help! Please I can’t move, my baby is in the back, in her car seat! Please you have to help.”

“Okay ma’am, my name is Captain Casey, we are going to get you out just keep still, Foster check the mother, Brett you’ve got the baby.”

“Yep on it.” Foster assess the young mother’s vitals. 

Gallo moves out of the way making room for Brett to come through.
“Seat belt is cut, she’s all yours.”

“61 to main, we’ve got two passengers, going to need an additional ambulance.”

Just like clockwork everyone starts to navigate the rescue and in a
n instant the mother is free and the door to the back seat is open.

Brett orders Foster to look after the mother until the other ambulance comes by
while she makes her way inside the car all her attention on the baby,
immediately removing the shards of glass and checking for the babies’ vitals.

“This engine does not look good Captain and there’s fuel all up in here.”

“Kidd, Gallo grab the extinguishers.” Brett hears the orders Casey is shouting and she’s knows the seriousness of it
but right now her priority was the baby, she wasn’t about to leave her back here.

“Alright, everyone get back now.” He can see that the car is minutes away from ingniting and he does not like the looks of it.

“Captain, wait! Brett’s still back there tending to the baby.” Gallo and Foster shout moving forward.  

What.” He yells looking at them frustrated, he hadn't realised she was still back there, why hadn't he realised? Flying objects from the building and fuel all over the car and she’s still inside.

He’s petrified.

Making his way over to the side of the car, he’s about ready to yell at her and yank her out of the car so fast. 
“Wait! Captain get back!” Get back? Who were they kidding he wasn’t going to step back, he needed to get her out of there now.

Before he can even get close to the car, he’s yanked all the way back by Cruz,
a force so strong it sends the both of them all the way back and onto the ground.

A giant piece of glass plummets to the ground right next to the car.

“Sylvie.” He shouts. His head is pounding, his heart is racing and now he can’t think straight.
He knows rationally that she’s just doing her job and there was no way she was going to leave a baby in there,
he wouldn’t expect her to do any less.

His heart is telling him otherwise and it’s refusing to be rational.

“I’m fine, we’re good, is it safe to come out?” She calls back out to him, calmer than ever.
It would be Sylvie Brett to remain calm and not see the immediate danger she was in,
and that fact annoys him just that little bit more.

“Get out of there now! That’s an order, the car is about to burst.” He couldn’t be more annoyed with her and he’s trying desperately to not show it,
but the shouting and yelling isn’t helping his case.

Matt watches as Severide makes his way over to car watching out for broken glass and the sparks,
giving Sylvie a helping hand.

She emerges from the car, racing straight to the ambulance, giving Fosert orders to get to Med, not even taking a second to glance at him or acknowledge what could have just happened.

The car burst into flames. 

He clears the scene and he knows she’s just doing her job, getting the baby to the hospital is top priority.

END FLASHBACK

A knock on the door startles him and he’s taken out of his trance from the scene earlier. It’s Cruz and he looks a little unsteady.

“Everything alright Cruz.”

“Ah, yeah Captain. Everything’s good, just wanted to make sure we were good, I’m sorry if I hurt you when I pulled you back.”

“Cruz, we are fine and I’m good. Thank you, really.” Understanding, Matt nods. “Thanks Cap, just wanted to check in. Brett and Foster are back, I’ll leave you to it.” Just as Cruz leaves, Brett is in full view now, standing by the door of his quarters.

She’s smiling and seemingly unfazed.

“Thought you’d like to know that the baby will be okay, and the mothers too, one night of observations.” 

Inhale. Exhale, he starts with that, he’s glad to know that mother and baby are both okay.
He’s unsure how to behave right now, his head and his heart are telling him two different things.

"Are you okay Matt?" Moving inside now, she shut the door and sits at the end of his bed.

He groans, oh god. Half of himself knew he wasn't ready to have this conversation but he also knew Sylvie Brett,
he clearly looked off and she wasn't leaving anytime soon, so he knew that this was happening. 

"That call, you were reckless." 

"Reckless?" She quizzes him, unsure of how she was, she thought she was just doing her job. 

"Sylvie, you sat in the back seat of the car when you knew that the car was very unstable." 

"What did you want me to do Matt? How else could I asses the baby without actually getting in?" Well that's true he thinks and she's much calmer than he had expected, he has no right feeling his was and telling her all this and she should be offended by it all but she's not and its a bit of a shock to his system, she listening intently and responding with sincerity, like she understood where he was coming from. 

"I know, I know. It just freaked me out that's all." It's only fair that he's honest with her, he hadn't seen it doing this way he had prepared himself for a kind of uproar but everything is calm and reasonable. 

Reaching forward she places her hand on his knee. "Matt, I get it. You're the Captain, It's your job to make sure everyone is accounted for and safe and I should have made it loud and clear that I was still back there, I'll be more careful next time."

Relief washes over him, he almost can't believe it but then again he should believe it, it's Sylvie, she's seeing where he was coming from and she tells him she'll be more careful.

He stares at her, in awe, this woman continued to surprise him. 

He feels a slight jolt up his spine when she places her hand on his knee, and surprising himself he relaxes at her touch, all pent up emotion gone and he's much more calmer now.

Following her he places his hand over hers, giving it a tight squeeze. 

"Thank you, I'll rest easy knowing you are safe." And he means it, because while she's here in front of him, he knows she safe and he can see that she's okay, he's able to relax and feel at ease. 

It's a feeling that he hasn't felt in a long with a woman that he has feelings for, he'll always worry its in his nature to worry, he can't help it but somewhere in the back of his mind he knows her, she is one of the most smartest woman he knows, and he never really needs to worry about her, she’s tough like that. 

She send him another reassuring glance his way before she gets up to leave, shutting the door lightly.

He watches her go, he’s so in love with her, he thinks to himself.

What now? 

 

Chapter Text

Sunday:  

“I can’t count the times,
I almost said what’s on my mind,
But I didn’t.”

What now? it was a question that had pegged his mind lately, after he realised that his emotions couldn’t exactly be kept in check, he knew that he needed to tell her.

Sooner rather than later.

He’d been trying to do it all day, he really tried, he would approach her and then nothing would come out.

He felt like a complete idiot and to be honest probably looked like one to. Matt Casey was a man of few words, his actions spoke so much louder but he knew that this time around he had to make sure it wasn't just his actions that where obvious, he had to really be sure of his words and make sure that he was clear. 

This time around he didn't want to mess about and leave anything to question, his feelings were real and true. 

This would be the week. 

Monday: 

“Just the other day,
I wrote down all things I’d say
But I couldn’t
Just couldn’t.”

Monday rolled around and he was still determined to tell her the truth, he still felt good about it. Last night he wrote down in points what he wanted to say, and he wrote, and wrote, and then scrapped everything and threw it all away.

It was dumb, completely dumb, he’d never done anything like it before, he figured that maybe he could write out what he was feeling and then that would give him some more clarity on how to tell her, in the end he just felt stupid.

Shaking his head, he runs his hands down his face, he’s tired, so tired.

Sleep was something that was hard for him these last couple of days, his mind wouldn’t shut off, so he found himself struggling.

Shift was coming to an end, walking through the apparatus floor, he spots her, she’s laughing and talking with Foster and Kidd, and the urge to approach her is strong, but he didn’t want to interrupt the girls.

Sylvie had been through so much lately and seeing her smile and laugh like this again, it was enough for him for now, so instead he walked ahead of them, giving a smile and nod as he passed her.

His heart was happy, despite not being to tell her.

He was a patient man. 

Tuesday:  

"You had my heart a long, long time ago 
In case you didn't know."

There was no way, absolutely no way he was going to tell her today, shift was a complete mess and his mind was elsewhere, well not completely elsewhere, he was still thinking about her. The last couple of calls had been madness, they had both been up to their necks in paperwork.

There was no way this happening today so to say he was still disappointed, yeah, he definitely was but there wasn’t anything he could do at this moment.

He wasn't worried about today he knew that nothing would change with how he felt, tomorrow would be another day and he was okay with that. 

Nothing was going to change. 

Wednesday:    

“The way you look tonight,
That second glass of wine
That did it, me in
There was something ‘bout that kiss."

Wednesday came around and he was at the point of frustration and he was unwillingly and unintentionally ignoring her now, it wasn’t that he wanted to be avoiding her. He knew that if she asked him what was wrong he wasn’t sure he’d be strong enough to lie about what he had been feeling, which was the other issue, he didn’t want to lie to her, he did want to tell her he just wanted it to be at the right time.

After shift just like usual everyone headed to the Molly’s and apart of Matt didn’t want to go at all, he didn’t want to be around anyone, he’d never admit this out loud but right now he was going through an eternal battle of frustration and pain. Deep down he was an emotional man, he’d been through a lot when it came to relationships, he couldn’t get this wrong especially this time around.

He was definitely set for a somewhat comfortable night in but his bestfriend was Kelly Severide, he should have known better of course, there was no way Kelly was letting him stay home and sit in his self-pity. So, this where he found himself sitting on a stool by the bar at Molly’s slightly feeling sorry for himself, well more than slightly.

“Matthew Casey, what’s on your mind?”

Knocking him from his thoughts she’s next to him, and he does everything he can not to stare, once again she looks gorgeous, the light pink dress hugs her curves perfectly, the fabric looks stretchy and soft and the v neckline especially doesn’t help.

He thinks back to the night of the gala when he first really took time to notice her, and admittedly notice her appearance, she was beyond beautiful, yes she was beautiful in her work uniform, there was no doubt about it but seeing her in this new light outside of her uniform it took him by surprise, how much it affected him and boy was he in big trouble.

Breathing in he closes his eyes and then opens them as he slowly turns to face her. “What’s on my mind? A lot, how was the bachelorette party?” He remembered that her friend Olivia from spin class had just gotten engaged, when she told him about it, they had a long good laugh about how she had tried to set him up with her.

“It was wonderful, Olivia had a great night.”

“That’s good, I’m glad she had a good night, what about you?” He questions slowly sipping his beer, he hoped she had.

“Yes, I did.”

“I’m glad, you deserve it.” She did deserve it.

“Now, now Matthew. Don’t try and change the subject, how are you?” He chuckled; she saw right through him. “Really, I’m good Sylvie, I promise.”

“Okay, well I’ll leave it then even though I don’t believe you, you know where I am if you need me.” He gives her a warm smile, nodding. She knows that he knows he can always come to her whenever.

Before hopping off the stool she leans forward leaving a kiss on his cheek, and it might just be in his head but he swears she lingers slightly and a part of him wishes he could turn just that bit and connect their lips, but he knows that it would be wrong and he if we’re going to kiss her, he wanted it to be done right and definitely not at Molly’s in front of their friends.

Wrapping his right hand around her, he squeezes rubbing her back. “I know, thank you.” Smiling back at him she turns walking away her and Foster both leaving.

Severide smirk is all too telling. “So, judging from your face you still haven’t come clean.”

“I will soon.” He will, definitely will.

“Yeah, okay buddy.” Rolling his eyes, he laughs turning his attention back to the door that Sylvie just walked through, a part of him wanted to go after her but not too tonight, one day he imagines them both leaving together.

He smiles picturing the image in his mind.

Thursday:

“Girl it did me in
Got me thinking
I’m thinking.”

His thoughts are constantly making it hard for him to concentrate today, there last call had been a close one for him. It was close enough that Sylvie forces him to sit on the back of the ambo while the others overhaul, he wants to help them.

She was determined to make him sit it out and while she’s checked his vitals her eyes wondered over him she was completely distracted, so he’s able to look at her the whole time, he can’t take his eyes off her and he doesn’t want too.

Ever since the time he was shot at on a call, he wants to act differently this time, last time he had avoided her and practically threw her into the arms of the chaplain even though they had broken up they did end up getting engaged and he felt completely broken and devastated he just hadn’t realised it yet.

A knock on his quarters doors startles him out of his thoughts, something that was happening a lot lately this time it’s Foster.

“Hey Matt, Sylvie asked me to check on you, just making sure you are all good now?”

Not that he didn’t like Foster but where was Sylvie? She was PIC she would be the one normally to check on him.

It’s probably obvious the frown on his face.

“She stayed at Med, she ran into Detective Halstead and he asked her to stay for something, don’t worry she’s got her radio on her.”

Detective Halstead? What was that about? “Ah yeah, I’m good. Thanks Foster.”

“No worries Captain.” He doesn’t hear her anymore, his mind immediately going back to Sylvie and Jay.

He didn’t want too but his mind went to the worst, well the worst-case scenario for him and he didn’t like it one bit.

...

Standing by Truck he’s checking the inventory well he hopes that’s what it looks like, he definitely was waiting for Sylvie to turn up, he had sent her a message asking if she needed to be picked up from Med, his heart sank when she replied with.

“Oh, that’s okay Jay is going to drop me back.”

She had used his first name something seemingly innocent but to him and in the line of work as first responders called each other by their last names most of the time because they already had to for work so her calling him Jay felt personal.

Was there something going on between them?

His heart raced, the hairs on the back of his neck tingling.

A black sleek car parks in front of the firehouse, he expects for her to just get out, but Jay does too, not only that, but he opens the door for her.

What a gentleman, Matt scoffs.

She smiles up at him, and not just a thank you for driving me back regular smile, it’s a smile so heartbreakingly beautiful and wide and he’s looking back at her with a sparkle in his eyes as he helps her out of the car. He feels sick.

Maybe he’s reading way too much into their interaction, he hopes he’s just seeing things. Matt can’t fault the way he’s looking at her, hello this was Sylvie Brett, she was intelligent, strong, compassionate, optimistic and beautiful.

Who was he to feel anyway about the way Jay looked at her?

He walks her halfway up the driveway to the firehouse stopping just a few feet away, they both look at each other still wearing the same smiles, and then he whispers in her ear, they nod to each other and then finally part.

Sylvie fully turns back walking up to the apparatus floor, Jay is fully watching her, absolutely no shame in it. He's suddenly jealous that he can't look at her with that amount of no care for what everyone else thinks.

Jay doesn’t follow her into the firehouse and he’s silently happy about that.

Friday:  

Matt's now unsure of himself, he's 100% on how he feels there's no question about that. He's done denying how he feels but he'd be lying if he wasn't thrown off when he saw the interaction between Jay and Sylvie, he can't it get it out of his head. 

This morning after shift she's picked up by Jay and he's even more confused when did this happen? 

He stops in his tracks watching their interaction again, Severide and Kidd stops beside. "You okay man?" 

"Do you know what that's about?" 

"Honestly Capp, I don't but I can find out for you?" Kidd tries to reassure him by finding out but he knows that if he wanted to know he could ask her so he leaves it.

"No, no it's okay." 

"Mollys tonight?" He wants to say no but for once he agrees that maybe he should be with his friends tonight. 

"Yeah see you there?" 

Molly is in full swing and he's been there for awhile now with everyone just like most nights really, but this time it's a little different. Sylvie hasn't approached him, she hasn't even looked his way or acknowledged him.

He won't lie, it hurts a little and just like this morning he's unsure of himself even more so. He thinks back to earlier in the week were he wasn't worried, were he thinks nothing is going to change, he feels incredibly ridiculous for thinking that.

He should know better that things can change instantly, he was a firefighter for crying out loud! things changed constantly. 

What was he thinking?

Taking the last sip of his beer he swings it down trying to muster the 10% of courage he has left. 

"Uh-oh..what's about to happen?" Severide takes notice of him but he doesn't say anything because he somewhat afraid that he might back down and instead he looks to her and knows exactly what he wants to do. 

Walking over to her he squares his shoulders feeling the liquid courage seep through.

She spot him sitting up higher and waves him over, his heart clenches she looks happy to see him and he's at least happy about that. 

"Hey Matt." Jay mutters turning his body to face him, he's not sure if it's a genuine 'hey' but he offers one back.

"Detective, how you been?" 

"Yeah good." He sips his beer looking anywhere but at him. 

"That's good." Oh god this is terrible and if it wasn't for the loud hustle and bustle of Molly's you could probably hear a pin drop.

This is much more awkward than he had anticipated. "So I ran into Jay at the club the other night at Olivia's bachelorette party, I almost blew his cover. Oops." 

Oh so that's what happened. 

"Don't sell yourself short, she was great." His eyes on her and she looks up at him smiling the same and his heart clenches again but not int he same way it did earlier, he worried now. 

They continue to laugh and remember the their night and he wishes he never approached because now he can see from his eyes that Jay is charming, makes her laugh, she gives him her full attention and you can tell he admires her. 

Of course he admired her, he did too. 

Saturday:

“One of the things that I’ve been feeling
Mmm it’s time you hear em’."

"So Capp I know you said not to find out about Sylvie and Jay but I did."

He's definitely interested he'd be lying if he wasn't especially after last night.

"How worried do I need to be?" Sitting dow he turns his attention to her playing with his coffee cup to distract himself slightly.

"I'm going to give it to you honestly."

"Please." 

"She helped that night at the club, she saw him and went to say hi, it took her a second to catch on. Anyway after all that he made sure she was safe that night and he drove her home after we saw her here at Mollys." 

The feeling he had to go after her that night was strong and he should have listened to his gut. 

Curse him for thinking that everything would be okay. 

Getting up he grabs his keys. "I'll be back." 

...

He’s tired, so very tired and he knows that it definitely show but he doesn't care anymore. After hearing from Stella he didn't care anymore he wanted to see her and finally come clean.

I'm going to say a few things and it might feel overwhelming but I'd need you to let me finish before you say anything." 

Nodding she sits down gesturing for him to go on. He gulps, his palms clammy. "Sylvie my life this past year and even a bit before that has been messy, mixed with joyful moments and with a lot of confusing times. There is one thing though that has stayed the same, you." Finally looking up he makes eye contact with her, his gaze piercingly strong. 

"You have bought back the joy in my life and happiness along with it, you have helped me in so many ways, you helped me realise that my feelings are valid and that I should never been ashamed of them, you taught me how to be more optimistic.It's one of my favourite things about you, you see so much good and it's what I've needed lately, I forgot how to see the good." 

"Somewhere along the way it became obvious to me that I love you, wholeheartedly love you. I never thought I could feel this way about someone again, and feel it even stronger. I love you and I'm tired, so unbelievably tired of pretending I don't, it's not worth my strength pretending anymore when I could put that into you, into loving you even more, into being with you, into reminding you everyday how much I appreciate you.

You're so kind, so incredibly kind, compassionate, you go out of your way to always help, you're intelligent, you know your way around tools."

She lightly chuckles at the last part, he remembered when she was helped cruz out with the slammigan prototypes.   

He stares at her completely undone, he’d just openly confessed his feelings and was now vulnerable to her, she holds all the power now. "I love you Sylvie and if you take me, I'll be all yours and remind you how much I love you everyday, I know that we can be good to each-other."

But if you choose otherwise, I will still love you and treat you the same, I always will because your friendship is so important to me."

“Wow.” She peers at him turning around fully facing him now and he’s positive he can see himself with her forever she’s it.

“Yeah.”

He takes a timid step forward drawing himself close to her.

He’s not sure where the confidence he suddenly gained had come from, he felt good about himself, she gave him confidence.

“Please tell me what’s going on in your mind.” Brushing her hair out of her eye he pulls it behind her ear caressing her cheek, he lifts her chin up so that she is looking at him.

“You’re Matt Casey, Captain Casey, perfect, the perfect gentlemen, your friendship has been so important to me and I’m so lucky.” Friendship? Oh god, no please no, he feels like his heart is going to burst, this feels terrible he wants the ground to swallow him whole.

"Sylvie I'm hardly perfect. Trust me, I have a lot of flaws but I know that when I'm with you I feel better and it makes me want to do better." 

Despite Matt guiding her eyes to him she can't bring herself to look back at him, he's definitely overwhelmed her, he can accept that but he's an incredibly patient man and he's happy to go at her pace no matter what happens.

Chapter Text

Did that really just happen? Did Matt Casey just confess that he loved her? Surely not. She wants to believe that it did just happened but a part of her doesn’t want to have false hope, of course she knows that Matt would never say something that big if he wasn’t 100%.

Laying down in her bed she can’t get to sleep her mind not allowing her to so she thinks back to her last couple of days it had been interesting and confusing all at once.

All things considered everything had been normal well as normal as things could be, Wednesday night she ran into Detective Halstead at a club and without even thinking twice about it she approached him simply just wanting to say hi.

She never thought anything of it, of course she should have known he might be working, she felt silly for not realising sooner but thank goodness for her quick thinking, she was able to play along and quickly leave.

He’d managed to catch up with her afterwards at Molly’s making sure she was okay, she appreciated it, it was lovely of him to check on her.

Wednesday Night:

*Flashback *

Exiting Molly’s Sylvie and Foster have two things on their mind, food and home. They hadn’t managed to eat much at the bachelorette party so all they could think about was getting food and then heading home to eat and stuff their faces. 

But to their surprise Jay is waiting outside leaning against his car. “Ah, never mind I’ll eat the pretzels from inside, have fun.” Foster whispers in her ear laughing her way back into Molly’s.

Looking back at Jay she smiles quickly thinking on her feet, she walks towards him pulling out her phone.

“Hi Chicago PD, there’s this guy out front of Molly’s pub and I saw him earlier at a club but now he’s here and I think he’s been following me.”

Catching on, he smirks pulling out his work phone too. “5021 George, I’m right in front of the pub I’ll check out that call.” 

Putting both their phones down they look back at each other laughing. She found herself enjoying laughing with him, she felt relaxed and it was easy.

“Hi, Detective.”

Getting off his car, he moves to stand in front of her. “Hi Sylvie, hope you are okay, I just wanted to check in on you after tonight.”

“I’m good thank you, that’s sweet of you to check in but I should really apologies to you, I didn’t even think you’d be working.” He was checking in on her, she wondered why? Was just a friend sly gesture? Or was there something more too it? 

She was good at this, all the over thinking. It was like her mind wanted to over analysis every detail no matter how much she tried to act cool and laid back, she couldn’t turn off her inner thoughts. 

“It’s all good, you were great my cover is totally intact.” She felt good that everything had gone well, she would hate if she’d ruined anything for him .

”I’m glad.” Its quiet for a few minutes after that, well actually it’s a few second but feels like minutes, and to her surprise it’s not awkward or uncomfortable they are just happily smiling at each other.

“So what’s the next part of the bachelorette or are you done now?” 

“Done actually, Emily and I were about to get food, the club lacked food, if you didn’t know.” 

Laughing he shakes his head, looking away from her he breathes in and out. “I’m going to be honest with you for a second, okay so just go with me.” She can tell he’s nervous but she’s not sure why, he was Jay Halstead, very smart and decorated Detective, completely kind and well obviously gorgeous. 

What on earth did he have to be nervous about?

”It’s been awhile since I’ve had the guts to even talk properly or let alone flirt with a beautiful woman and I’ll admit I’m terrible at it, but I think you’re pretty great and would love to go get food with you right now, we can eat anywhere? Even in my car? and we can chat for a bit and then I’ll drive you home safety afterwards, what do you say?” 

Flirt? What? “You’ve been flirting with me?”

”Ah, wow I must really suck if you didn’t realise, why is that a shock too you? You’re pretty great Sylvie Brett.” God her face must be in complete shock, she hadn’t even caught on to the fact that he might be flirting with her, had she been subconsciously flirting back? In her honest opinion she was being herself, she never thought that someone like Jay Halstead would ever flirt with her or be interested with her what so ever. 

”I would love to get something to eat with you Jay.” Looking back up at him she smiles letting him open the door for her and he gives her a smile back that’s just as wonderful.  

*End Flashback*

What carried on for the rest of the week was pretty much a blur work was the same, crazy busy days. 

Things with Casey had been different, although at that point she didn’t know of anything else, her feelings for him obvious to herself, she managed to contain them and was working on slowly letting them go. 

She had decided that it was the best thing for her to do, there was no way he would feel the same and she would never betray Gabby like that. She let herself feel that way anymore, she hated herself for anything, it was tearing her apart thinking of what this could to hurt her best friend. 

God she thought herself a terrible friend, so when Jay came along asking to take her out for food that night it was an obvious step forward in letting Matt go and then the breakfast the following morning. Jay had picked her up before both of their shifts started, it was early but it was beyond lovely. 

Running into him at Med was funny she thinks, they had laughed and made a joke about how they just kept running into each other and maybe the universe was playing tricks on them.

He’d taken it as an opportunity to offer her quick coffee at the cart outside Med, this morning they had missed out on finishing their coffees so he promised her another one soon, little did they both know it would be sooner rather than later

She couldn’t lie, she had been enjoying herself and getting to know him, she had fun and she laughed and she even felt tiny butterflies in her stomach whenever he would smile at her, or laugh at any jokes she would make. 

How could she not? He was wonderful and incredibly charming and definitely didn’t hurt too look at, that was sure. 

And then there was Matt Casey, beautiful, stunning, compassionate and lovely as ever Matt Casey. The way she felt whenever she was around him, he made her nervous, clumsy and many, many other things but her head was a mess. 

When Matt had told her how he felt, she thought at first maybe she was hearing things but when he couldn’t stop talking about her and how he was tired of pretending, she wanted nothing more than to say it all back to him.

To tell him that she felt the same, that she too had fallen for him without realising it, she wanted him to know that she would never regret loving him, because he was Matt Casey and anyone would be crazy not to love him. 

But for her as well, it was much more complicated than that. She had spent so long pushing and suppressing her feelings, and convincing herself that he would never feel the same.

This situation was different, she knew his ex, she knew her well, every well, she told herself over and over again how much of a bad person she was for feeling this way because she thought it was wrong too. 

Of course she’d have to eventually talk to him, jumping into his arms at first word would have been completely wrong considering where her head was at. She hated feeling like this, it was a constant internal battle in her mind and heart, it was exhausting. 

The insecurity was there and it wasn’t going away for awhile with herself and she would be for awhile, how would she be able tell him all this? Obviously she had too, it was the right thing to do, she just didn’t know how.

She sighed, tossing around in her bed, she needed sleep.

 

 

Chapter Text

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? 

"Huh?" 

Emily looks at him like he's an idiot, her eye brows knitted together. "Who wants to go get her?" 

"Oh."

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. 

Chapter Text

It's dark in the firehouse the only light comes through the open curtains in his quarters. It's peaceful, like time stands still even for just a few moments. 

He's grateful for it.

He could never really fall asleep on shift, it was nearly impossible for him and any sleep at the firehouse was brief and never a full one, for obvious reasons. He was at least glad that the rest of his firefighters were able to get some rest, no matter how long it was for. 

Matt lays on his bed thinking about the last couple of day that has just passed, things between him and Sylvie had gotten back to normal, well as 'normal' as it could be. The night after he took her home, she had taken a few days off work for that week, she needed personal time and he was proud of her.

She had started seeing Dr Charles while she was on her time off, anyone could tell how much of a difference this was making for her. Little by little, they were starting to see the happiness and sunshine that is Sylvie Brett, her smile was back, and she was finally able to say, ‘I’m doing good’ and mean it.

He was so beyond proud of her step forward in working on herself, he could see the benefit it had on her, she wasn’t carrying her pain on her own anymore and it made him love her even more, if that was possible.

He still stood by all that he said, he was glad she knew about how he felt but he was also glad that their friendship was still intact, they were back to being able to talk and not just small work talk. First and foremost, her friendship would always be important to him, always.

When she told him that she missed him he made it his mission to talk to her and check on her more often. It had been a roller-coast of emotions when he picked her up, but he was glad he did, had he not been the one to get her he might not have known all the things she had been dealing with.

TRUCK 81, SQUAD 3, ENGINE 51, AMBO 61, BATTALION CHIEF, HOUSE FIRE"  

Just as expected the bells ring and sound throughout the house calling for everyone, they move in lightning speed but somehow still feel like they are half asleep, it’s an odd combination.

It takes them less than 5 minutes to arrive and the two story house is up in flames, the screams from the residents are heard from outside, it’s gruelling and it’s a sound that they will never get used too.

“Smokes coming up pretty fast chief, we don’t have long on this one.” Matt turns his head looking at Chief whose right beside him, his face is stern and serious he agrees.

“Engine 51 cover the search team, squad 3 primary search.”

Sylvie and Foster stand by the ambulance getting ready for victims.

“Mask up, let’s go.” Ordering his people, they enter the home, the next few seconds are a daze of smoke, flames,  darkness and shouts.

“Fire department call out.” Matt shouts, his voice echoing down the hall.

“Fire department anyone here?” Ghallo calls from the back of the line.

Knocking on the doors and more shouts later the team finally hear calls for help. “Help in here.” Scrambling to make it to the door they wiggle the handle until they can finally get through.

Huddled in the corner is a family, the father is limp but managing to still tower his body over his family, shielding them from the smoke and flames. “Ghallo and Mouch take the kids, get them out of here. Kidd help me with the mother and father.”

“Yes Captain.” Everyone quickly scrambles to do what they need; the flames are picking up faster now.

“Chief we got two kids, and Mom and Dad. The Dad is in bad shape.”

“Brett, Foster get ready.” Chief shouts for the girls to get ready, Sylvie makes the call for more help, they will definitely need it. “Ambo 61 to main requesting for additional ambulances to current location.”

Severide calls over the radio. “Second floor is clear.”

 “Evacuate now.” Everything that happens next is a rush after that. Everyone scrambles out as quick as possible, the girls work to access the Dads injuries as the additional ambulances roll in for the mother and kids.

Getting back to the firehouse it’s usually a rush of adrenaline mixed with sleep deprivation, sometimes depending on the call or the time Matt would wait for the girls to get back to know their safe and to get an update on the victims.

It's 20 minutes later when they get back. “Hey how’s the family?” Everyone else gathers around to listen in.

Foster shakes her head and breathes in with her arms resting on her hips. “That Dad is a hero, mom and kids only suffered smoke inhalation but unfortunately he has 3rd degree burns and he’s in a coma at the moment.”

Matt thinks back to the moment he saw the Dad hunched over his family, protecting them with his body, he doesn’t even want to imagine what was going through his mind and the pain he must have been in while holding himself over them.

“How’s their home?” Sylvie wonders.

Overhauling their home was much more upsetting and picking up the pieces of what was left over was hard. They had lost everything, nothing was salvable.

“Nothing’s left.” Severide answers back and then there’s a sudden silence over all of them until Ritter perks up. “We should set the boot up at Molly’s tomorrow night.” Everyone nods and mumbles back agreeing.

“AMBO 61, PERSON DOWN, UNKNOWN REASONS.”

Sylvie turns around looking right at him, her lip pouts, she’s adorable.

“Swap lives with me?” Laughing he puts his hands on her shoulders turning her around and pushes her gently to the rig and opening the driver side door.

“Can’t, you’re the best. They need the best.” Of course, he wishes that he could help her because he definitely would.

“Yeah I’m alright too guys.” Emily shouts back with her head out the window as Sylvie drives away.

Amusement is all over his face as he watches the space that they were once in and for the rest of the shift he's somehow able to finds rest. 

...

Matt tried his best to not hate much but there was one thing he couldn't help not liking, hospitals. 

He hated walking down the hospital hallways, the blinding white bright lights, the beeping sounds of the machines, the families gathering and waiting for their loved ones, the lonely husband and wives that lost their other halves. Kids wondering what was happening to their parents or sometimes themselves, parents feeling helpless. 

It was a place he didn't like being in and tried to avoid, but he knew that right now it was important, he wanted to check in on the family they had rescued two nights ago.

Dr Choi leads him to their room and gets permission from the wife for Matt to come in before he enters. "I'll leave you to it."

"Thanks Doc." He nods watching him leave turning his attention back to the family he looks around the room and notices the two small kids cuddling each other under a knitted blanket, it's precious. 

"Captain Matthew Casey, firefighter from last night. Our firehouse wanted to check in with you and see if you and your family needed anything?" 

"Sienna Moore, so lovely to officially meet you." With her hand on her heart, her eyes swell tearing up. "Oh, Captain you guys have done enough already, you saved us last night." 

As much as Matt had appreciated it, he knew he couldn't take credit for any of it. "Your husband saved you last night, we were just helping him out."

Looking back at her husband all laid up she takes his hand into hers. "Yeah he did that didn't he? I want him to wake up so I can yell at him for it but at the same time I can't because he saved our babies and he saved me. He's always been doing things to show off, since we were 15 he's been like this."

Since they were 15? That was incredible. "15, wow that's amazing." Her smile is hard to miss as she blinks the tears in her eyes away. "He's my best-friend and I've been in love with him since." 

"You're lucky to have each other." So lucky he thinks to himself, he can't fathom what that must be like. 

"I'm very lucky, so what about you Captain?" She takes a seat while still holding her husbands hand. 

"Oh, no it's just me, and please call me Matt." And even though he is telling the truth, still a familiar face appears in his mind when she ask him. 

"Well Matt your face says otherwise, who did you see just then?" His eyes widen. "Wow, you're good." 

"Yeah try being married to her." The husband groans slightly trying to sit up, he's awake now. 

"Oh my goodness, honey you're awake." The intense joy that over comes her is more than evident. She brings her forehead to his and they take a few seconds to take in each other’s presence. She calls for Dr Choi and it doesn't take long for him and some nurses to fly into the room, and suddenly he feels like he's overcrowding, but before he's about to leave he's stopped by Sienna. 

"We can't thank you enough Captain." The sincerity in her voice touches Matts heart. "Just doing our job, glad that you guys will be okay, don't hesitate to come around to firehouse 51 if you and your family need anything." Too many times the job of a firefighter had a lot of difficult moments, lots of hurt but every now and then they are reminded of the good that they get to take part in.

Like this moment now, he's reminded of why they did what they did and for who. 

"Matt whoever popped in your mind earlier, I don't know anything about you but from those literally few second I saw your face I could tell that you thought of someone, someone special, don't wait too long."  Gently she takes his hand giving it a squeeze. "The heart-ache of 'what if' or 'what could have been' is not worth it."

She lets go of him and starts to walk but quickly stops turning back around to face him again. 

"Oh before I forget, can you say thank you to Brett, I think that was her name. The paramedic that bought my husband in, she dropped off a box of blankets, some clothes, food, teddies for the kids and some information on where we can get some help afterwards. I was asleep when she came unfortunately, so please give her my thanks, it was beautiful and thoughtful." She walks back to her family, not giving him a chance to respond, he's left standing there stunned, trust Sylvie Brett to do something like that.

She's nothing short of amazing. 

It's unbelievable how easy it is for him to find new reasons to admire her even more everyday.
Walking out of the hospital he feels happy, there's no other way to describe it. 

He's happy it's as simple as that.

...

For all all intents and purposes Matt was having a good night, sitting at Molly’s his laughing at how Herrmann is going on about how he and Lee Henry had a 20 minute argument on the new iPhone and why they constantly insisted on making new ones. 

He could always count on Herrmann to have a quarrel about new technology there was something about his frustration with it that made him and the rest of firefighters laugh. 

Without even trying or looking for her he see her out of the corner of his eye, she’s laughing with such force that she almost falls backward,  his legs twitches and it’s like a reflex he immediately wants to catch her. Thankfully she doesn’t fall but he wouldn’t have been mad if he was able to catch her, if he’s being truthful. 

“You’re staring.” Joe whispers in his ear, and at first he had expected it to be Kelly. This time round though it’s Joe and Chloe looking at him with the biggest and goofiest smiles on their faces. 

“I don’t know what you are talking about, I’m just sitting here with my friends enjoying my beer.” 

“Yes Captain, of course you are that’s all you’re doing.” Joe nods unconvinced but playing along.

“That’s exactly what’s happening.” Chloe agrees but she turns putting her head on Joes shoulder snickering under breath. 

He rolls his eyes turning his attention to the game playing on the tv. ”You two are perfect for each other.” 

A tap on his shoulder draws his attention away from the tv, he faces a brunette woman. She’s tall and mysterious looking, he didn’t recognise her the way he recognised most of the people in Molly’s at the given time. 

”Hi I’m Mia and I think you’re cute. Can I buy you a drink?” The confidence is knew to him, he’s not used woman approaching so forwardly. 

”Matt, and no need I’m still on my first beer.”

“Do you mind if I sit?” She gestures to the stool beside him and he thinks nothing of it, it’s just a chair.

“Go ahead.” 

He’s not sure how to describe the feeling he has right now.

Reaching over she takes the bowl of pretzels, slowly eating a few and then asking. ”So Matt, how’s your night going?” 

He still up a little bit straighter. “It’s been good.” He doesn’t want to be rude but he also can’t bring himself to give her his full attention.

Any other given time he wouldn’t care about harmless flirting if that’s what this was.

But he really wasn’t up for it with her, maybe it was because of the uncomfortable feeling he was getting or the fact that just a few tables behind her was Sylvie. 

She may not feel any type of way for Matt but he did for her and he really wasn’t in the mood for a one night kind of thing or whatever this was. He thinks of a polite way to let Mia down gently, if she pushed on that was. He didn’t want to just assume so continued the conversation. 

”I’m glad. Anyway tell me a little about yourself Matt.” 

“I’m a firefighter.” He’s not really sure what to tell her, so he goes with his job, it’s always the easiest to go with. 

“Oh wow. That’s amazing you’re so brave.” 

He wasn’t sure what he had expected her to say after he said he was a firefighter and he definitely doesn’t expect her to twirl her hair and lean herself closer to him.

“Can I buy you another drink?” He wishes he had sipped the beer slower.

“I’m good thanks. This is enough for me.”

“But you’ve only had one?” She pouts looking up at him. Her eyes widening and her hand dropping going onto his knee.

His entire body stills, this was not at all what he wanted, the uncomfortable feeling returning. Had it really done away though?

“Yeah sometimes ones enough.” He emphasises on the word enough, maybe she’ll  understand that.

He doesn’t want to cause a scene or maker her embarrassed but he definitely does not like this.

All he was looking for tonight was too spend it with his with his friends, laughing and talking. Had he accidentally made eye contact with this woman without realising it? Had he lead her on without noticing? He wasn’t even trying to be noticeable by anyone.

It’s as if he’s prayers are being answered when she comes up beside him. Mia’s face changes immediately, she looks very unimpressed. 

“Hey Matt Stella and Kelly were wondering if we wanted to go to their apartment for some games and cheese. Can I drive this time? I feel like you never let me drive your truck.” Her pearly white teeth on full display as she flashes me a beautiful smile, my heart hammers against my chest and even though it all for show he pretend for just a few seconds that she’s his. 

“Darling I don’t let you drive the truck because you hate my truck.” 

Fake gasping she dramatically place her hand over her chest.“Matthew! How dare you say such a thing I would never hate something that you loved.” 

Their interaction may only have just started and it’s short but it’s enough for him to not realise that the other woman that was beside is now gone. She’s long gone out of his mind, although was she really there to begin with? 
“She’s gone. You’re safe now.”

He wants to say thank you and of course he will, but he wants to say it another way as well. He wants kiss her and tell her that she’s amazing and let her know that she was on his mind the whole time.

But he doesn’t because that wouldn’t be right and he loved the progress they were making everyday, it was slow but it was worth because she was worth it.

So instead he give her a smile. “Thank you for the rescue.” 

“I figured it was finally time someone rescue you, no come on I was serious about the games and cheese, the others already left.” 

Getting off the stool he walks ahead of her opening the door to Molly’s. “Lead the way.” 

“Don’t worry I wasn’t actually asking to drive your truck.” She winks walking past, he’d almost already forgotten about that.

Although surprisingly he wasn’t too worried about that fact, she could drive it if she wanted. 

“I went to the hospital to check on the family by the way. The wife wanted my to tell you she appreciated the box and to say thank you.” He had just remembered his time visiting the family they rescued.

“I’m so glad. It was just a bunch of stuff I though they would need. I had way to much fun putting it together.” He was happy he was the one to tell her this, because the way she was looking at him, pure joy. It was beyond wholesome, she was happy too. 

“She really loved it, you did good.” The drive back to the apartment is quiet and it almost feels like deja vu. It's quiet until she breaks the silence. "Hey Matt, I just want to make sure that I didn't make you feel uncomfortable earlier at Mollys when I interrupted you and that woman." 

Did she really think she made him feel that way? God it was the complete opposite, if anything he loved it a little too much.
"No Sylvie, you didn't. I'm thankful for it, I wasn't enjoying that at all." 

"Okay good because I'd hate to do anything that made you feel uncomfortable especially considering you know." She gestures with her hands at the end of her sentence, like he should what she's saying without her actually saying it.

"I know what?" He had a feeling he knew what she meant but he didn't want to assume things again.

"Well um-you know because you have these feelings about you know." She squirming around her seat, clearly unsure of herself.

"By 'you know' you mean you?" He's thankful he's driving because it gives him something to concentrate on, meaning his answers to her are clear and concise.

"Yeah." Her voice is much quieter now. 

"Sylvie, with or without my feelings you can always be yourself around me. You would help anyone we both know this, regardless of my feelings you saw your that your friend was uncomfortable with someone and you came by to help. I'm grateful trust me." 

"Of course, you're right I'd help anyone of my friends. I just don't want to make anything hard for you." 

"I appreciate that, but we talked about this. Please don't start second guessing yourself around me." He would hate that a lot, he wouldn't be able to deal with any real awkwardness between the two of them.

He already gotten a glimpse of what the might be like a few weeks ago and he did not enjoy it.

"Thank you Matt for being patient with me about all this, I just have a way with having one thing in my head and when that changes it's hard for me to tell myself that the change is good or okay, it's something I'm working on with Dr Charles actually." 

He stops his truck just outside the loft, but doesn't make a move to get out and neither does she. 

"Is there anything I can do to help ease your mind?" He would do anything to help her. 

She shakes her head tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear as she looks out the window. "You've been wonderful really,
I can't think of anything else you can do." 

"When you think of something you'll tell me right?" He prays and hopes she will. 

A few minutes goes by and they finally make their way up to the loft, they find their friends by the couches shouting amongst themselves arguing about the rules to UNO.

It's a sight to see and it warms his heart as he and Sylvie join them. 

 

Chapter Text

Matt considers himself as someone that wouldn't ever snoop or deliberately ears drop, but could you blame the man when he hears his name? He stops in his tracks after just finishing his inventory of truck 81.  

Is it odd how much he enjoys hearing his name leave her lips?

"What do you mean? Matt and I just had a conversation there’s nothing left to say." She shrugs nonchalantly.

"Captain Matt Casey said he loved you, he confessed his undying love to you and you are telling me 'there's nothing left to say'." Emily throws her arms in the, clearly shocked by this revelation. 

"All I said was that I need time to think." 

"Girl what's there to think about you clearly feel the same." His brows knit together, well that was new he thinks to himself.

"Emily it's much more complicated than that." He disagrees, it seems pretty simple to him.

He considers staying in the spot for a bit longer, to keep listening but he knows its not right. This was Sylvie's private thoughts that she was sharing with her best-friend in confidence he could't listen anymore. 

If this was something he was supposed to know he would hear it from her, so he turns walking away from them. 

...

It’s a surprisingly warm afternoon for Chicago and he’s not sure how it happened but he finds himself sitting on a picnic rug surrounded by his friends and good food. You’d think that because they all worked together and saw so much of each-other, that they would take any chance for some time apart, but actually it’s the opposite.

This group couldn’t not spend time together, apart of him thinks it has something to do with losing Otis, after that loss they had all unconsciously found themselves putting more effort into quality time, especially after Sylvie returned. 

Even though he can think of so many other thing that he needed to get done he’s not too bothered by it. His options were to catch up on paperwork inside or spend time with good people and good food enjoining the sun on a Sunday afternoon.

He chose the latter. 

He’s here and he’s enjoying himself.

The girls had wanted to take full advantage of the warmth even if it was just for an afternoon, they decided on a picnic in a park and he’s even more so surprised how quickly they were able to throw it all together. 

The power of when women get together and when they want to get something done, it was definitely something to behold. 

Looking around the park he takes notice of the small different groups that had formed, everyone was doing something different. 

Kelly, Ghallo and Capp had taken it upon themselves to start a game of frisbee with Herrmann’s kids.

In another corner of the park, Herrman, Mouch, Tony and Ritter where playing a serious game of cards, he can’t tell what it is but there faces are purely hysterical as Herrmann tries to size up Tony’s cards. 

Chloe, Foster and Stella are happily occupying little Terrance. 

Donna and Boden are standing around watching everyone with smiles on their faces just like Matt.

He sits up a little higher lowering his sunglasses looking around for her, he’d just noticed after focusing in on what everyone is doing he’d just realised he couldn’t see Sylvie. 

As a first responder his mind immediately freezes over and he instant had a horrible thought. It was something that came with the job, and it couldn’t be helped. Well at least it was the case for him. 

Where was she? Was she hurt? How had he only just noticed now that she was gone.

His heart rate increases by the seconds, he still can’t see her, and he doesn’t like it one bit.

Getting up from the ground he turns his whole body around looking for her again on his own before he thinks he has to tell the group.

He could just be overreacting couldn’t he? He hoped to god he was. 

Relief floods over his body when he spots her about 5 yards away from him. Her purple and white polka dot sundress is burned into his memory. When he’d first seen her after they all arrived he couldn’t stop staring, the same way the he stared the night of the gala.

He knew nothing about fashion or style but somehow he manages to remember the dresses she wares when she’s remotely anywhere near him, no matter what the occasion calls for. 

The closer she gets he notices she’s okay and he wants nothing more than to walk up to her and join her but he doesn’t, he doesn’t want to stop her from enjoying herself. He doesn’t mind just watching, oh god he sounded like such a creep, thankfully no-one can hear him. He’s about to look away before anyone can catch him but he notices that she’s got ice cream.

She’d walked all the way to the other side of the park to the ice cream truck, chucking to himself of course she had.

It’s a few hours later and everyone has packed  up and left they all had work in the morning and Herrman and Stella had to open up Molly’s soon. Kelly had spent a good chunk of the afternoon trying to talk him into coming out but if he was being honest with himself he was people’d out.

It had been a lovely afternoon with everyone but also a long one he’d see them all tomorrow anyway.

It’s much more quiet when he gets to the loft, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Usually he’s either trying to give Severide and Stella space or he’s not here, so it feels very odd to have the place to himself.

His phone breaks the silence, it’s ringing and it’s Sylvie. “Hi.”

“Is everything okay? Are you alright?.” He goes straight to questioning her.

“Do you always answer your phone like that Matt Casey?”

He laughs as he flops down onto the sofa. “Only when I care about who’s on the other line.”

“Mmh whatever you say Captain.” She puts more emphasis on ‘Captain’ and it makes him squirm a little. It was an odd feeling, everyone called him Captain all the time, and so did she.

So why was it giving him a different feeling right now? In a way he knew why. He just really did not need to be thinking or feeling like that at all, especially now.

He enjoyed that a little too much and now was not the time. 

“Ah Matt you still there?.” Coughing he clears his throat and his mind of any previous thoughts. “Yep still here sorry, anyway you never answered my question. Are you okay?”

“Everything is fine, I just wanted to check in. We didn’t get to hangout much at the park. Also I'm surprised you aren't at Molly’s with everyone?”

“I decided to head home, too many people and I’m tired.” He looks down at his watch, god it was only 7:30 what the heck?

“Alright old-man. Guess I’ll leave you too it.”

He didn’t want her to go. “No wait, I’m not even that tired I just-um. I’m-, ugh look for you Sylvie, I’m not too tired for you.”

Her laugh is loud and beautiful as it rings in his ear, he’s mess and she’s laughing at him. “Yeah yeah, I’m all over the place but you know what I mean.” 

“Can I come over? I wanna talk to you about something and it’s important.” 

“Of course, it’s just me here. Come over whenever.” 

He would be 100% lying if he said he wasn’t sweating, she was coming here and she wanted to talk. When was the words ‘I want to talk’ every a good thing? 

Pacing around he had just finished scrambling around making sure the place was tidy, thankfully there wasn’t much of anything to tidy up but it also leaves him with no distraction.

All he can think about his her coming here and what it all means, had she finished thinking things through?

Was she ready to talk about it? 

...

“Hi” She looks at him and even though it hadn’t even been that long since she had gotten off the phone he still missed her voice. 

“Hi” He replies back to her he's so glad she's here. 

“Can we talk?” Matt nods making room for her to enter, leading the both of them into the living room.

They sat down and he smiles immediately once he sensed her relaxing into the couch. She was comfortable, which made him comfortable. 

“How are yo-.”

“How have you bee-.” 

Laughing he catches her gaze, its warm and inviting but he still cannot manage to make out what’s going on in her mind. Of course he’s not a mind reader so he encourages her.

“I’m sorry you go first.” 

“Matt I’ve always strived to be sure of myself, I think being adopted made me that way.
I wanted to know exactly who I was and that was it. No one could make me not be sure of myself, and then I met Harrison I don’t regret being with him because he made me realise that I shouldn’t ever settle for less than I deserve, emotionally he tore me down.” 

Her breathing starts out strong but as she keeps talking her lips start to tremble. “What I had with Antonio was rushed, passionate but also extremely exhausting he had a whole other life I wasn’t a part of and I felt on edge a lot. Kyle was the complete opposite, he was wonderful and treated me with such gentleness that I’d never experienced before but he offered for me to become some I couldn’t.”

He can tell she’s determined to continue and to get out what she needed to say, he knew this was important. “You though, you are such a surprise and the more I think about it. It’s the surprise I’ve been waiting for, this is really hard for me Matt, and I'm sure for you too. I’m insecure when it comes to you. It’s not anything you’ve done it’s just that I always saw you as one thing and one thing only. These feelings that stirred up, I hated them at first, I despised myself for feeling any type of way with you.”

Reaching over he squeezes her knee gently. “Sylvie..” He hates that she’s felt this way, but he understands, if anything he gets it.

He knows. 

She places her delicate warm hands on top of his as she continues looking right at him never breaking eye contact. “You make me feel brave Matt, I don’t have to be timid and weak or have anxiety about the two of us and I don’t have to stop being who I am with you.” 

“Sylvie Brett first of all, you have never needed me to make you brave, you are so damn bloody brave on your own and you show me and everyone else everyday. Thank you for telling me this, really.” He understands that this must have all been hard for her to say out loud.

He makes a point to scoot his body closer to her on the couch, and he would love nothing more than to take her into his arms but instead he settles for tucking her hair behind her ear and lifting her chin up to meet his eyes again.

“Will you go on a date with me this Tuesday night?” He’s not sure how that comes out but he’s happy it did.

”Sure I’d love to hang out.” Hangout? No, no he didn’t not want to just hangout with her like how friends hangout. 

“No Sylvie, I said date. Not hangout.” For some reason her face is full of shock.

“You want to go on a date with me?” She ask as if she doesn’t that he’s in love with her and would want to go on a date with her.

“Is it really a surprise? Of course I do, I wouldn’t ask if that’s not what I wanted.” His heart was in a half panic he thought it might not happen that maybe she still needed more time or that she might not believe he wanted to after he tells her again.

“Well I guess it’s a good thing we both have Tuesday off.” 

...

He couldn't believe that he and Sylvie were actually going on a date.

It was finally happening.

Between the two of them they had decided to keep it to themselves, it would be their first date and they didn't want any outside opinions. He was proud of himself for being able to organise a date for the two of them outside of town, he really didn't want anyone around that might see them not because he was ashamed but because he wanted it to just be about the two of them.

It wouldn't be perfect because he was hardly perfect but he would do everything he could to make it as good as possible. 

All day he and Sylvie steal quick and loving gazes, he finds himself turning a light shade of pink when he turns to look at her but she has already beaten him to it and she's without shame looking at him.

It's been a long time since he's felt admired by someone else the way he does about them, maybe even just as much.

Although that seems impossible considering how he feels about her but to know that she too has been looking at him the same way. 

And even though they spoke mostly about work and didn't have lengthy conversations he still feels his heart growing the more the day goes on, the closer it gets to the date. 

His quarters doors open and for the minute when he's in his own thoughts it's quiet and the sound of the door opening and closing he jumps out of his skin.

Of course he thinks it's Severide, he was used to it always being Severide and wanting it to be Sylvie so he's about ready to scold him and stops when he looks up and see Sylvie standing in front of the door looking at him in an odd questionable way.

"You okay?" She whispers getting close to him. 

"Yeah sorry you scared me, thought you were Severide." 

"I can go get him if you'd prefer?" She laughed teasing me.

"I'd prefer you actually.” He states as a matter of fact? “What’s up?” 

She stands up tall placing her hands into her pockets. "You never told me about our date, what is the dress code?" 

"It's a surprise, I want to tell you to wear whatever makes you feel good and it doesn't matter because you are beautiful. But I know that although that is all true, it's also unhelpful to your question. So wear something that you would wear to eat out to dinner at a medium fancy restaurant that's all I'm saying." 

"Matt Casey, I admire you so much." 

"Feelings very mutual." And I love you a lot but he can’t say that out loud, even though he’s already said it he doesn’t want to overwhelm her too much with saying it constantly or push her away.

“SQUAD 3, AMBULANCE  61, CHILD INJURED.”

“Oh, that’s me, duty calls.”

“Go and do some saving gorgeous” He watches her quickly run out of his quarters not having time to hear his response. 

...

Admittedly it take him that little bit longer to figure out what to wear. He’s changed his shirt least 5 times now and he’s shoes just as much.

This was new and definitely unlike him. They had stuck to their plans with not telling anyone, so him asking for help on what wear was not happening. He wasn’t sure if he was even the type of guy to ask for someone else’s opinion on clothes. 

Unfortunately just because he made the plans and knew what the night included, finding something to wear would be a piece of cake.

He now has a new and different found respect for women and what they must feel like getting ready for dates. 

This wouldn’t normally be a problem for him, he would always just throw together something that seemed to work but this was different. This was Sylvie Brett, he already knew she was going to look breath-taking so he wanted to look good for her, he wanted to be able to stand next two her and for the two of look like they belong together. 

In the end he decides on what he had on at the start of this mess. Black trousers, white linen button down top, a navy sweater and a thick grey coat. He didn’t have time to be stewing this so without hesitation he grabs the first pair of shoes he can reach and thankfully it works, his nice black boots. 

Rationally he knows the drive to her apartment isn’t at all that long of a drive. This time is different though, the nerves are staring to kick in, he’d obviously gone on so many dates before. First dates always bought the feelings of nerves, but this time round it was his first date with Sylvie.

He stops the car right out front, taking his time to get out of the car and walk up the front steps to her door and knocking.

She doesn’t make him wait long, she’s at the door and opening it in no time at all. He takes this as an opportunity to focus on her, to take it all in so that it becomes something else that’s burnt into his memory. 

Suspecting nothing else she looks mesmerising and radiant. Her black skirt frames her and shows off her perfectly long toned legs, her white satin long sleeve top has a deep v that he knows he’ll have trouble keeping his eyes from, he definitely doesn’t help that her necklace stops in between..,oh god.

No, he thinks to himself stop it. 

Get it together Matthew. Looking down he notices her shoes, black boots. They matched.

Gulping he finally meets her face, her hair is out and tucked behind her ear and her smile is hard to miss, it’s a smile he knows his real because it reaches her eyes. Somehow because she’s Sylvie Brett her eyes sparkle. 

“Matt, you okay?.” Is he okay? He wasn’t sure how to answer, because honestly he didn’t know if he was. Okay was definitely not the right word to describe how he was feeling right now. He can’t even think straight, forming a sentence on whether or not if he’s okay seems difficult right now. 

”You-um, you look. Wow.” He scratches the back of his head, instantly feeling red, suddenly he feels suffocated under his coat. 

“You look handsome, don’t stand too close to me people will think I’m a goblin compared to you.” Was she kidding? 

“Sylvie, you are beautiful and you look incredible. I basic just started at you for a good few minutes. I’m sorry. Also goblin?” 

“Don’t judge me it was the first thing that came to my mind.”

Laughing he raises his hands up in surrender. “You ready?” 

“Yep.” Turning she grabs her coat from behind the door, locking it behind her. 

A silence falls onto the both of them as Matt drove, it wasn’t awkward. It was filled with anticipation, they were both clearly a little nervous but the night was starting for them and he couldn’t be more excited. 

He’s not sure what he was thinking when he reaches across and takes her hand, placing it above his knee. 

He’s not even sure where all this new found confidence has come from but one things for sure and all he knew was that he wanted to hold her hand and not let go. 

Chapter Text

Getting to the restaurant, Matt is happy to be out of the confines of the car and into the fresh cool air. The silence hadn’t been awkward, but you could definitely the tension with a knife, it was heating up fast in there, well for him anyways.

They take a seat that’s the furthers away from other people, it’s in the corner, the lights are low but not too low that they can’t see what’s in front of them and he’s glad for it because then he can see her, he can see how she glows and how her smile spreads when he can’t look away from her.

To their right is a wall of windows showing them the lights form the city they reflect onto the glass. Turning back, he watches as she takes her phone out unsure of what she’s doing.

“Everything okay?”

“Yeah just doing something. Can you smile for a second?”

Even more confused now he does as she asks and her smiles at her and although she tells him too his smile is still genuine as he looks up at her. “Yeah that’s perfect. Hold.”

It’s not until he hears the click of her phone that he realises what she’s doing immediately he reaches over taking cover the lens with his hand.

“Sneaky, don’t even think about posting that.”

“I would never do such a thing. It’s you’re fault anyway.” She states as if he knows why. 

“My fault how’s it my fault?”

“Well you just look so lovely sitting here with the city in the back and the fairy lights above us. Here look.”

Turning her phone around to face him he takes a second to look at the picture and sure enough she’s right. The city behind him is blurry but the lights illuminate him, and his smile is purely genuine.

Matt never thought of himself as someone who liked getting his picture taken but he did like Sylvie and if he had to admit he wouldn’t hate having her take his picture.

Maybe next time she would be in it?

“But if you want me to delete it, I will.” She shows him the delete button, her finger hovering just above it.

“No don’t, it’s okay I don’t mind, keep it.”

...

Time passes around the two of them as they sit, eat and chat and he couldn’t have been happier because it was just the two of them and nothing else mattered right now.

He already felt like he knew lots about her but tonight he could have stayed listening to her talk forever.

Getting to know her more, learning about her childhood, stories of her ruining around the farm. Funny stories from her and Emily on the rig and then some of her time living with both Cruz and Otis or ‘crotis’ as they put it. It had been awhile since he seen her laugh and smile at the memory of Otis, it felt good that they could share in his memory together.

What he was about to ask was something he knew that anyone didn't typically ask on a first date but he had to ask. "Can I ask you something? and you definitely don't have to answer if you really don't want too.”

Her eyes squint and her head titles to the side she takes a sip of her wine before responding.

"Matt of course, you can ask me anything." 

All the nerves come back and he suddenly feels his palms are clammy. Sitting up straighter he clears his throat. "I noticed that you and Jay have been spending some time together lately, I definitely have no right to feel any type of way with whatever you say but was there something going on with the two of you?" 

Taking a sip of beer he braces himself he's also unsure where the sudden confidence comes from but he knew he had to ask, it was something that had pegged his mind since he first saw the two of them together. 

"Jay and I did go on a date, yes.” 

So he was right they had gone out, all his energy was going into trying to keep his composure. His body was failing him, the pit that grew in his stomach getting stronger. 

Swallowing hard he brings the beer to his lips, managing a tight answer. “I see.” 

”Matt you have to understand I saw you differently, I never expected this.” She gestures between the two of them as she takes in their surroundings. 

She definitely had a point and on some level he had been feeling the same too, his feelings for Sylvie came out of nowhere and hit him like a ton of bricks. Coming to terms and accepting it was harder than expected. “Of course, you’re right. I could have been more forthcoming in my feelings and actions.”

“I wasn’t lying when I said that I hated how I felt but that doesn’t mean I feel that way now. Yes I went on a date with Jay but I’m here right now with you and I’m having a great time. I want to be here Matt.”

He opens his mouth to speak, but he doesn’t know what to say, nothing comes out. She had an effect on him like no other and she someone could make him feel so sure of himself without her realising.

Meeting halfway on the table she places her palm open, an invitation for him, he doesn’t take longer than a second to respond. He takes her hand brining it to his lips leaving small kisses along her knuckles unable to break the grin off his face.

“I’m sorry if that wasn’t right for me to ask.”

“Matt it’s okay, I get it. I will always be honest with you, no matter what.” She squeezes his hand reassuring him, it’s a reminder that she’s here and she’s being honest he can’t fathom into words how much it all means to him. He’d never been with someone like this before, someone who vowed to be honest like the way she was being no matter what. He believed she would.

He knew she would so in return he wanted to do the same. “Then I promise the same, I, Matthew Casey will always be honest with you Sylvie Brett. No matter how uncomfortable, angry, upset or how much I don’t want too.”

“You’re pretty great you know that right?”

“Hardly but I do my best to try.”

“There’s no need. Trust me, can we share dessert now? My mouth is salivating thinking about the molten chocolate lava cake.”

The laugh came out. She had a way with words. “Of course gorgeous.”

If he thought she was excited to order dessert than she was much more excited when the waiter comes back with their plate. She says a thank you in away that makes the waiter laugh, him too.

He watches as she takes her fork with no care that he’s watching her, she cuts the cake in half and beams as the lava oozes out of the cake. Her joy is so contagious that he can’t help feeling the same.

By the time she notices him her cheeks are full. She’s too damn adorable. 

She covers her mouth as she swallows a hint of a smile forming, looking back at him her eyes unknowingly beautiful and big. “What is it? Sorry I’m such a pig.”

“Quiet the opposite actually, that was beautiful.”

Her head tilts back and she’s laughing, a sound that he also thinks is beautiful. She laughs so much she’s ends up snorting. “Oh wow. That’s-You don’t need to butter me up.”

“I’m just telling it how it is.” She had no idea.

...

It seemed that it was a regular occurrence for the two of them to loose track of time. She made a joke saying it was there thing now and while he wanted to disagree and say he was a pretty punctual guy but he also liked the idea of the two of them having a thing now.

“Guess the rain must have picked up.” She’s right. The beginning of the date there was no signs of any rain but halfway through dinner it had started. It was pouring unbelievably hard now, he doesn’t want to but he wills himself to break their hold on each others hands.

He wants to fully concentrate on the road ahead, he didn’t want to worry her but he had to tell her what the situation was from his end.

“Yeah. I’m having a hard time seeing.”

“It’s okay Matt, I trust you. If you say it’s rough then pull over I don’t care what time we get home just as long we do in one piece. But if you think you’re okay then I believe in you. I trust your judgment always.”

Hearing her say that she believed in him helped him more than she knew. Her trust was important and its as if she knew he needed to hear it.

“I can still see so I’ll give it a few minutes. If it doesn’t let up by the time we get to the bridge then I’ll pull over, how that sound?”

“Sounds like a plan.”

It doesn’t let up.

In fact it gets so much worse.

Only driving 10 more minutes further down the road it had managed to pick up, even quicker. So he does as he says, he pulls over.

He tried his best to stop in a safe place, but it’s the side of the main road and he hasn’t got much of a choice.

“I don’t like this Sylvie. The rain is getting worse and we aren’t in a good spot.”

“I’m with CFD Captain Matthew Casey, I’m in perfectly safe hands.”

Captain. Oh god this was definitely not the time to be feeling those feelings.

He coughs clearing his throat and his mind. “While I appreciate your vote of confidence, this is serious.”

“I know Matt, I know. I am worried but I do feel safe with you. Maybe you should text Severide, just incase to let him know where we are.”

His eyes lock with hers, telling Severide meant that he would know they went out. “But..Are you sure?”

She turns fully facing him giving him a nod. “I’m sure, besides it’s Severide he won’t care about all that, just let him know you’re out with me and we are stuck just so someone knows where we are and if he we get into any kind of trouble Stella is with him and they can help. I don’t mind if they know.”

“Okay, I’ll let him know.”

“Since it seems like we’ll be hear for awhile. I want you too know that I had a wonderful time tonight, you are the perfect gentleman and even though we are stuck in the car in the pouring rain I still feel like the luckiest girl.”

He fishes texting just as she finishes what she has to say. His heart jumps, he doesn’t feel as if he deserves her compliments but it makes him feel good, good about himself. It had been awhile since a woman complimented him in this way. Sure he got different compliments every now and again but this was different.

Sylvie Brett had way of being able to take care of herself but also show him that she appreciated him.

She didn’t have to but she made him feel good about himself.

Everything in him wanted to say, to tell her he loved her. Obviously he had already told her this but he had made an executive decision to keep it to himself from now on until she was ready to hear it again. But my goodness did he want to so badly reach over and kiss her, kiss her till it hurt, kiss her until he saw stars.

To tell her he loved her so much and that she was everything he had been waiting for, but he couldn’t overwhelm her like that.

“Matt?”

She pulls him out of his fantasy. “Sorry just lost in thoughts. You’re incredible I can’t help it.

“I think you might be loosing it.” She blushes as looks away from him hiding her face.

Ushering his hand forward he uses it to turn her head back to him. “No I’m not.” Making sure their eyes are locked he sighs, fighting all his instincts to kiss her. “Just know I’m doing everything I can to not kiss you right now, trust me Sylvie Brett, you are incredible.” 

Gulping she keeps her eyes on him, it’s as if he can feel all the anticipation. “Matt..”

Inhale, exhale he thinks to himself, trying his hardest to hold onto the self control he’s got left. “But I won’t, not because I don’t want to, we’ve already established I want to but because I want you to be 100% on how you feel. I am. You aren’t, it would be wrong. This is enough for me.” Moving his hand he cups the side of her cheek, slowly caressing her with his thumb. 

The white flash comes out of nowhere, it’s bright and pierces straight through his  eyes.

He can’t move and he can’t seem to speak, he must be in shock his thinks. To him it feels like a slow motion movie, one minute he and Sylvie are looking longingly at each other with such love in his eyes.

The next Sylvie’s eyes are wind and unblinking, her hands gripping onto his like vice. He has no time to react, no awareness of their surroundings, just rain, thunder and the car visible around them. It’s happening and they both know there’s nothing they can do but wait for the impact.

He breathes in and out once last time, gripping onto her hands just as much as the car collides with the front of them.

Their bodies rattle and shake as they are thrown around, their heads rolling side to side, hit the side windows over and over again, thankful their seatbelts secure them.

The car roles upside down, an unnatural position, an uncomfortable way for their bodies to hang, It’s unclear how but by some weird twist their hands are still held together.

It’s takes a few seconds for the two of them to finally come too. All the fear and adrenaline catching up now.

“Sylvie.., Sylvie talk to me. Tell me you can hear me, squeeze my hand please. Anything.” He hears a cough first before words come out.

“I’m okay...I think.”

Letting out the breathe he was holding in hurts a lot more than he would have liked. “Good, listen to me. I’m getting you out of thi-.”

“No Matthew. We get out together. End of story.”

Any other time he might have fought with her on this, he might have argued it. Told her she was crazy if she thought he wouldn’t get her out first.

This time was different.

“Okay, okay. We get out together. I don’t see or hear anything outside, can you reach your phone.”

“Yes it’s in my pocket.”

“Okay good. Try and get it out for me and call 911.” She goes her best to do so and he makes every effort to not move his head too much or too fast.

“Sylvie sweetheart, you have to let go of my hand, I know this is scary. I’m right here you got this.” If he had it his way he would never let go, he would do all this for her. Also if that were true and he could have it his way then this wouldn’t have happened.

She let’s go nodding in understanding, slowly taking her phone out of her front pocket. Using Siri to make the call. “Hi...this is Sylvie...Sylvie Brett, I’m in an accident..car accident. It’s upside down, I don’t know how many cars I know one hit us, yes two of us in this car. Please hurry.”

Despite the fact that their lives are at stake she’s calm and collected, relaying everything she can to the operator. While she does so, he does his best to inspect the car, moving the best he can.

He smells for any gas leaks, looks for any sparks or smoke and does his best to smash the window.

It’s no use though.

He feels incredibly weak, he’s struggling, his  vision is slowly blurring.  The adrenaline is no longer masking his pain, he feels it everywhere, the pain. The unshakable pain running it’s course though his body. 

The panic settles in once he notices Sylvie is no longer talking. He doesn’t care now, he turns his head and the last thing he see is her limp body, her phoned dropped with 911 still on the line. 

He musters the last bit of strength to take her hand, hold it as tight as he can as his eyes close, the darkness engulfing him. 

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text


 “Well for me it’s waking up beside you, to watch the sunrise on your face, to know that I can say I love you. In any given time or place.”

...


Matt wasn’t sure how it happened, how time could pass by for them so easily? The simplicity of their time together meant some much too him.

It was easy and he never had to worry about not being himself.

She made it all so easy.

So easy that they had fallen asleep on her couch. They had slept through the night comfortably in each other's arms with the tv still going, you would think for a couch that it would be uncomfortable. Not for him, not at the very moment, yes his back might not think so in a couple of hours but it was all worth it. 

With the living room curtains slightly ajar the sun peeked through hitting him right in the face, the warmth and the light waking him up. 

Matt does his best to stir around without making sudden movements that wake her up, he's still  in shock from how they both ended up in the position they are currently in. He wants nothing more than to stay, and keep her in his arms but they have places to be and things to do. 

He slowly peels his arms off her waist, sitting up he looks down her face her hair covers half of it. Leaning forward he presses his lips to her forehead, lingering, before slowly he pulls away with sigh with his eyes closed. What was a man to do?

Once he woke her up the fantasy would end and they would go back to him loving her quietly and to himself while she would still be unsure of how she felt for him. The pain was much more than he could admit out loud, a mixture of hurt and happiness. 

He wonders how much longer he can love from afar, it didn't matter that she knew he loved her, he already admitted it, but maybe she wasn't aware of how much he did love her. Hopefully one day he could freely tell her without fear of her rejection. 

Looking up a the ceiling he exhales and takes a short moment before he lightly nudges her waking her up "Sylvie it's time to wake up.". She tosses around scratching the surface of where his hand once was, her shoulders rise and her head turns to the left as her eyes slowly squint opening. 

"Good morning beautiful." He can't help the smile the crosses his face. It's undeniable how he feels when her eyes look back at him. 

Her morning voice fills his ears "What time is it?"

He laughs because she's yet to realise that they slept through the night. "It's morning. 7am." 

Jolting up and she frantically looks around and then down at her watch "Matt, oh my goodness I'm so sorry. I'm must have talked your ear off. You should have gone home."  Her confusion is evident from her wide eye gaze his steady hands cover the tops of her shoulders. "Sylvie look at me." His stern but not harsh, he doesn't want her to panic, panic is the last thing he wants her to do.

"None of this was your fault. We both fell asleep, I'm okay, you're okay. We are good." 

He drops his hands to his side and stands up. "I should go I have to get some stuff for work but I'll see you there okay?" He puts his hand out helping her up.

Leaning forward he tucks a piece of hair behind her ear and gives her a kiss on her cheek and whispers in her ear. "Last night was the best sleep I've had in a long time, thank you." Pulling back he give her a half smile he can't deny the heat on his face as he uses his hand to run it across his mouth, having a hard time looking away from her. 

"See you at work." He calls over his shoulder as he walks to her door the feeling of butterflies hits the pit of his stomach, he's not sure what the day entails but he knows that no matter what his day started in away that he'll always remember. 

...

He's thankful that when he made it to the apartment that Kelly and Stella had already left he would have to explain himself to them straight away, he could possibly avoid Stella but he definitely wasn't avoiding Kelly even if he wanted too.

He would have questions. 

Shift starts with easy, to his knowledge no one had mentioned anything about why he hadn't come home last. Any other person might feel relief but he knows his best friend well enough that this is just the beginning. Kelly was luring him into a false sense of security by letting him think he was off the hook, he wasn't sure exactly what to tell him, he himself still wasn't even 100% on where he stood with Sylvie. 

What exactly was going on with them?

He was without a doubt ready to be with her, he was done with one night stands, done with dating, he was ready to settle down and start something with her.

He was patient but that was easier said than done of course. 

Matt never considered himself to ever be a jealous guy, but there was something about Sylvie Brett that made him feel a type of way.

It's unfortunate that the man they are rescuing is trapped, but he can't help but feel bitter towards him. He was trapped in his car and still managed to flirt with her shamelessly. 

This was insufferable and he didn't like it. 

But of course it wouldn't stop him from doing his job, it just didn't make it easier that while Sylvie was attending to his injuries, the guy wouldn't stop staring at her and Matt had no choice but to watch. 

"Honestly If I die and your face is the last thing I see I'm totally good with that." Smirking up at her he lets his eyes land on her lips and she laughs back at him shaking her head. 

"Aw I think you've just hit your head a little too hard."

"Yeah that's probably true but I still think you have a nice face." 

"Thanks I guess." She laughs again at him but this time with caution in her tone. 

Sensing that she might be uncomfortable he cuts in.

"How you going Brett?" 

She places the c collar on and moves back letting him take over. "Yep done." and he happily takes over.

After that morning rescue things had been non stop for ambo so he wasn't able to take a minute to see her and check in. It made him nervous for when he would see her but no matter what he knew that he had no regrets for staying the night and just wished to reassure her about that. 

He wonders towards his quarters getting ready to start the paperwork but not before he walks past the squad table and gets Severide's attention.

"Roof?" 

"So what happened last night?" His eyes brows raised wearing a cheeky grin. 

Shaking his head "I'm sorry to disappoint you man, it was all tame, we fell asleep on her couch after a good talk." 

Severide turns surveying his face for any sign of him lying. "Seriously?" 

"Yes! Trust me nothing happened." He sighs aloud, as he slouches forward and runs his hands down his face. He wishes more happened but he’s not upset that they fell asleep together. 

"You okay man?” Kelly ask with nothing but concern. 

”I’m really not.” It’s the truth. 

”Okay this has to stop. You guys need to actually get together, if not move on, because this is exhausting you.” 

Severide makes a clear observation, he probably does look incredibly tired but if he was honest with himself he was tired a long time ago. He tired himself out towards the end with Gabby, constantly unsure of her moves, with no clue with the stability of their relationship.

That had made him exhausted.

“Yeah you’re right in away it is exhausting not knowing where we are at. But I know my patience will be worth it because she’s worth it.” 

...

Just like this morning he finds himself outside her door but this time instead of waking out he's walking in. They had managed to quickly make plans for dinner again in between the craziness of shift. 

"Matt, you made it and you're early." She opens the door wearing a silk low cut top and matching shorts, and he visibly swallow. Dear god, he hoped she didn't answer the door like that often or ever. 

He gestures to her outfit as they walk through into the living room. "Yeah, sorry. I must be too early." 

"Just a little bit, I like to put on comfy clothes after my shower for while I'm getting ready." She shrugs like it's no big deal, but it is a big deal.

"Cool." He's not sure what else to say, this is probably the most skin he's ever seen of hers, he already knows that she'd beautiful but this, this was different she's divine and her skin looks so soft. 

Oh what he would give too run his hands down her body.

Lately he had found it difficult to keep his mind and imagination clear of any thoughts as to what she looked like naked. It wasn't like him to think like that often but after finally noticing her outside of work and admitting that he loved her and spending more alone time together it was becoming more and more difficult to keep the thoughts at bay. 

So he does everything in his power to not look anywhere near or around her or even remember that she's wearing a matching navy blue silk top and shorts with her lace bra straps visible under her top. 

God help him get through this night. 

She moves to stand in front of him completely oblivious to what she was doing to him making it much worse as she places her hand on his cheek turning his head to face her.

"Are you okay?"

"Yep. All good." He barely managed to get out the words as he focuses on the strategically laid out magnets on her fridge, some where the classic tacky ones you'd find in ever town gift shop, some she had customised of photos of friends and family. 

They were lovely. She had great style.

This time she makes stands on her tip toes trying to get right into his eye line."Matt." Her head clocks to the side and her eyes brows raise, she still had no idea of the effect she had on him. Standing on her toes to catch his eyes seemed like a good idea, she struggled to hold herself up for every long it didn't help that the height difference between them. 

So in perfect slowly motion her toes give in and she starts to stumble and this time he has no choice but to look at her and catch her before she goes down and it doesn't make Matts situation any better. 

If anything now its worse, with his arm wrapped around her waist he pulls her forward a lot more rough than he anticipates because now he can feel the outline of her body against his, he's close enough that she can see the pink on her cheeks and the goosebumps that run up and down her arms. 

Her chest is rising and falling quicker and quicker as he looks into her eyes and quickly at her lips. 

"Sylvie." His voice is corse as he calls her name. 

"Yes?" She mumbles. 

Before he's able to respond and do anything the door bell rings which helps him snaps back to reality and quickly adjust their bodies so they are standing up straighter and puts distance between the two of them dropping his hands back to his sides.

"I'll get it." He swallow as he walks to answer the door completely taken back with what just happened. 

Chapter Text

Looking down Sylvie judges herself and her outfit of choice, she knew Matt was coming around. So why did she think it was a good idea to go prancing around the house in her pjs? Especially these ones? 

Popping her head into the hall way she takes notice of Matt paying the delivery guy, good she a second to quickly cover up, making a move for it she runs into her bedroom throwing a knit over her top and sweats on, this was much more appropriate. 

"Sylvie? It was dinner. Where'd you go?" He calls out from the dining table confused as to where she had disappeared too. "Great, I'm hungry." She shouts back walking out of her room. 

She finds him pouring the two glasses of water while he's sitting down, it takes him a moment to notice her. That she's leaning over her door frame watching him so comfortable in her apartment.

It's nice. 

"Everything okay?" He questions looking up from his task at hand. "Everything is perfect." this was the perfect night in, how could everything not be okay? 

"Well are you going to stand there all night or join me for some pizza?" Raising his brows he gestures for her to sit beside him. It was his fault, he was just too good not to admire from afar. 

She sits down and smiles at him as he passes her a the glass. "Thank you." 

"Very welcome." He mutters to her with a mouth full of pizza. 

They stay like that for sometime, enjoying each-others company, it had been awhile since she enjoyed some company at her apartment, eating dinner, pizza so casually. She would never say it out loud but these were the types of moments she had with Matt that made her feel like they where a couple, like they'd gotten into a routine, a weekly habit of ordering pizza for dinner and staying in. 

That was her dreams anyway.

But this was reality and that reality was that Gabby still had feelings for Matt. She had informed her of this at the hospital when she'd come to visit her after her operation. For one thing it was incredibly uncomfortable for Sylvie, she had just had surgery and not seen Gabby in moments or spoken to her and this was how she was trying to make amends. By telling her that she was still in love with Matt and would do everything she could to get Matt to join her in Puerto Rico. 

She had no choice but to lay there and listen as she did her best to convince Sylvie that her and Matt were meant to be, not once did she ask how Sylvie was doing, not once did she think to ask how the last couple of months had been. 

It was heartbreaking for Sylvie, more heartbreaking than Matt not coming to visit her. She was loosing a friend, a friend that meant so much to her, so much that she would call herself a horrible friend for having feelings for Matt, feelings she had suppressed for her friends own feelings. 

"Something on your mind?" Matt interrupts her thoughts just as she's about to ask herself how she was going to tell him all this. 

Shaking her head she offers him a weak smile. Maybe it wasn't a good idea that she tell him at all. "No, nothing." 

"Sylvie, please talk to me. We don't lie to each-other, let's not start now." He makes a good and valid point. 

Taking a sip of water, that now she wished was wine, she swallows. "It's about Gabby, I don't want to make assumptions about us, or how you feel about me, or if you still feel any type of way about me but she came to visit me after my surgery. I wasn't sure how to tell you this so I'll just come right out and say it, she still has feelings for you." 

"Oh." 

"As your friend Matt, I think you should see her, I think you owe it to yourself to see if you and Gabby are actually really over? Because it would be awful if you weren't 100% done and didn't explore it with her. I know you are a true blooded Chicago guy and you couldn't see yourself leaving but I think you would do amazing things in Puerto Rico you just have to give yourself the opportunity." She lets the last of her thoughts out, feeling breathless after all of it, she's pretty sure she didn't take in any air while she spilled all that out. 

Looking back at him she waits for him to gather his thoughts before responding, she can practically see the wheels spinning in his head, she did just drop some heavy Gabby stuff in his lap.

She would give him all the time he needed. 

"That's all?" Matt ask and she simply nods, she knows he's just making sure she's gotten out everything she needed, she could sense him getting ready to spill his own thoughts. 

"Firstly, you are more than my friend you know this, of course my feelings for you haven't changed. Right now all I want to do is kiss you but I know we have some stuff to sort out before we even come close to us. You're right I am a Chicago guy, you know this, I know this and Gabby knows this, I appreciate the sentiment, the idea that I could do good over there but I'm not going anywhere, my home is Chicago. Gabby is my past, my history that I can't and wouldn't change because it led me to here, with you." Getting up from his seat, Matt stands in-front of Sylvie brining her to her feet. 

"She knows all this, knows how I feel about you. It was incredibly intrusive, inappropriate and unfair that she would tell you that just after your surgery and it makes me hate myself more for not being their for you because if I had been she would have seen all my affection for you and wouldn't even bother saying what she did. She's knows how l felt about you since the night of the gala, I told her everything." Cupping her cheek with his palm she looks at him, puzzle and astonishment in her eyes, she can't believe he'd told her all this that long ago.

"What."

"Yeah, and I've got no regrets because I still feel that way. Just like the night I came here to tell you I was in love with you, I am still in love with you. I've been holding off saying it again because I didn't want overwhelm you, but it turns out I should have actually kept reminding you because then you wouldn't have questioned how I feel. I love you Sylvie Julianna Brett"

It had been awhile since she’d been called by her full name, the last person that had called her that was Julie. Sylvie obviously never where her middle name came from or if it meant anything, it was the one thing that her adoptive parents had kept once they adopted her. She was grateful to have that connection with Julie, hearing it meant a lot more to her than it ever did before.

“You love me?” She’s heard this before but something about this time was different.

“You’re easy to love Sylvie, I didn’t want to feel this way just like you did. I thought about it a lot, thought if it was worth risking our friendship but not only are you someone I love but you are also a very important friend of mine.”

Her cheeks give away her feelings, she’s pink and she can feel the butterflies forming in the pit of her stomach. For the first time she’s letting them form, she’s letting her feelings be known, she doesn’t want to hide anymore. Somehow she finds the courage to make the first move, in the physical senses.

She can feel his eyes on her, watching her ever move, his gaze is strong. Reaching up she wraps her arms around his neck bringing their heads together.

Matt Casey was many things, leader, brave, a hero, honest, kind, a wonderful friend, and much more than Sylvie can think right now because he was doing a good job of distracting her. 

Matt Casey could kiss, and kiss well. He kissed her like his world depended on it, his kiss was all finesse.  

Oddly enough it also makes her forget why she ever thought this was a bad idea, well for obvious reason she knows why but this right now in this moment, nothing could make her forget how he made her feel. 

Both still standing in the middle of her apartment, they get lost in each other’s touch and for a moment everything feels right, like it’s complete, almost like the universe was telling them they should’ve  be doing this all along.

It’s a moment she’s caught up in, but happily.

He lifts her chin in between his forefinger and thumb taking a break from their kiss, and she finally lets out a breath. His slight movement allows her to look directly into his eyes, she's always found them difficult to look away from.

This was the first time ever, properly were she allowed herself to get lost in them. "Kissing you is exactly how I imagine and more, I am so lucky." She all but blushes, her cheeks deepening in colour. 

She was the lucky one, she thinks to herself. 

“I might not be where you are yet but I think you’re pretty amazing Matt Casey, there could worse things than hearing someone say they love you, so thank you.”  She wasn’t ready to say it back but she knew that deep down she felt that and one day she’d be able to.

“There’s no rush, I’ll take what I can get because you are worth the wait.”

She smiles to herself thinking more about he was worth the wait too.

Chapter Text

“...Take my hand

Take my whole life too

For I can't help falling in love with you..”

...

It had been a month since he and Sylvie had spoken about what was going on between them, what followed in the next couple of weeks was pure bliss. For the first time in a long time Matt felt free and truly happy, everyday he would make sure to speak to Sylvie no matter what happened in both their days, he made the effort to always check on her, and she did the same.

They hadn’t said out-loud the status of their relationship but he knew that this was what he wanted, no more causal dating or sex. He was finally happy with where he was at and she’s was a big help in that.

It had also been a month since he kissed her, and  how could he forget it? Sure to anyone else it was tame, vanilla even but for him it was one of the things constantly on his mind. That kiss made him so much more happier than he thought it would, granted physical touch from women in Matt’s life had been lacking ever since he discovered his feelings. It felt wrong to even look at other women when he was completely in-love with Sylvie.

Naomi was the last women he was with physically and that was awhile ago now, he can’t even remember what that was like, getting his apartment burnt down probably tainted those feelings anyway. Still he thought, it didn’t matter because he knew that with Sylvie it was different, he knew this because the smallest of kisses that he shared was enough for him to know that waiting for that was beyond worth it.

“Matt Casey, how is it that I always find you staring off into space?”

“Just thinking’s about someone.” He smiles looking up at her, Chicago’s last few days had been warm, the sun had decided to make an appearance and everyone was loving it. She’s looked radiant standing over him, her hair glowing with the sun behind her, and the yellow-picnic blanket like dress flowed beautifully down her body.

“What a lucky someone.”

“Yeah she’s pretty great.” He taps the space beside him, wanting her to sit and enjoy it the sun with him. Lately their after work hangouts had increased, last week she kept him company while shopping for some clients he had gained for construction he was redoing a families kitchen. Two days ago they went to see a movie, and today she invited him to a picnic in her apartments backyard.

She turns to face him as she sits down her smile so captivating that he does everything he can to freeze this moment into his brain so he never forgets it. “Thanks for coming over.” Her voice is just above a whisper and he almost misses it.

He bumps her with his shoulder playfully, pulling back to look at her like she’s making a joke. “You don’t need to thank me for coming over, spending time with you is a pleasure. One that I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.”

“Stop it.”

“Stop what?” He’s confused because he’s pretty sure what he had just said wasn’t anything bad.

“You can’t say stuff like that.” Turning away from him she focuses her attention on the leftover cheese and crackers in front of them.

“Why not?” He was so confused. What was happening?

Just like before he only manages to just catch what she’s saying. It’s like she almost doesn’t want him to hear her. “Because it makes me feel like I’m special or something and I know I’m not, so just please.”

“Sylvie that makes no sense.....,you are special.”

“I know it doesn’t, I can’t explain to you properly what it does to me when you talk like that, that’s just how I feel, even if it doesn’t make sense.”

“Sylvie..” The pity in his voice is obvious, he didn’t mean for it to be obvious but it was. He wasn’t sure where all this was coming from? Was this something she had been thinking already? Did she think she wasn’t special?

“I know.” She doesn’t have to say more, like she knows herself how silly it might all seem.

Turing his body to fully face her, he takes her head in his hands, using his thumb to lightly touch her cheek bones. He does everything he can to not laugh at her because although he understands where she is coming from.

To him it sounds ridiculous because he’s so in-love with her that of course he’d say things like that. “I’m in-love with you, I will keep saying whatever I want and can to make sure you know how special you are. I won’t stop until the day you tell me to.”

Finally meeting his gaze she’s stares right back at him, in awe. “You’re too good for me.”

...

Tonight Matt had decided to stay in, for him he recently actually started to actually get some rest, he finally admitted to himself that with an unpredictable job and his side job also being physically demanding he needed some rest. Maybe to others this would seem very old man behaviour and maybe it was but the fact of him getting old didn't change, he was and if he wanted to remain healthy all the aspects for longer he needed to learn to listen to his body. So while he did enjoy going out and staying up with his friends he did also enjoy occasionally staying in and getting a full sleep. 

Kelly and Stella had already bid farewell to him for the night, at first they had enjoyed teasing him about staying but when they noticed that he had been getting more sleep and rest they were actually happy for him, god knows he really did need it. 

He's about to make his way to the couch to start his movie when there's a knock at the door. Did they forget their keys again? This was beginning to become a habit. "You guys how about you start checking your pockets before you actually leave.-" Opening the door he's frozen in place when he notices the person on the other-side.

"What are you doing here?" He really did not want to be dealing with her right now. Why was she here? 

"Wow Matt, you've changed. You never used to talk to me like that." Crossing her arms across her chest she does her best to look behind him and into the apartment. 

"Yes Gabby I have and I'm not talking to you in any way I just asked you what you are doing here, so?" Raising his arm up he blocks her view, she was not coming this was the last thing he needed. 

"I just wanted to see you that's all. I haven't seen you since you were in hospital and Severide told me to leave, did you know that? I can't believe him." She looks up at him pouting like she wants him to feel sorry for her. He didn't know that Severide had done that, but he was glad to know now, he would thank him later. 

"What are you up to Gabby? How many times do we have to go through this? Why can't you just let me go like you did so easily the first time?" He was so fed up with her behaviour, even more so after he had found out all the things she had said to Sylvie after her surgery. 

"Okay clearly you don't want me here, I'll go but can you at least walk me back to my car? It's a little dark out there." He wants to say no, desperately. She had walked up here on her own just fine but he knows he can't, no matter how upset he is with her it was the right thing to do. Sighing he turns to grab his keys and jacket. 

"Thank you Matt, this means a lot." Reaching up she lingers her arms on his bicep for a little longer than he would like.

"Let's go then." He shrugs her arm off him heading off in front of her. 

The walk feels much longer than it seems, its only a short distance from the apartment, to the front door and to her car but to him it feels like forever, the silence doesn't help either. 

"So how have you been?" He wishes for the silence to come back. Stopping dead in his tracks, they're outside the apartment building now facing each other. "What's your game Gabby? What are you trying to do? How many more times do I have to remind you that we are over and that you left me, you asked for the divorce remember?" 

"You don't think I know that? Matt there is no game okay, I still love you, I will never forget it, I will never forget leaving you okay?" She shouts over him, all her emotion obvious on her face. For a second Matt feels bad, he didn't want her to be upset of course but this was the most she had been real with him in a long time. 

"Gabby you don't just get to come here and into my life whenever you are lonely. I'm sorry that you are just realising now how much of a mistake you made when you left, I'm sorry that you are hurting because of it now. But I've already gone through this and worked through it, I don't want to be dragged down with you." 

"Matt why can't we make it work now? You're right I realise the mistake I made now, isn't that good thing? Can't we start over?" 

"It's good that you are realising, you need to work through it on your own because I've moved on, we can't start over." 

"It's because of her isn't? It's S-."

"Don't even say her name, this has nothing to do with her. This is about you and me, don't bring her into this because you do not want me to get started on how angry I am at you for ambushing her after her surgery going on about how you still love me, don't even try it okay." His gaze is intense and his voice is firm, she did not want him to get started, he wouldn't stand here and let her bad name Sylvie, not in a million years. 

Rolling her eyes she huffs like a child at a lolly shop not getting her way. This was getting ridiculous and Matt was cold, his evening was completely ruined. "She obviously had some feelings for you when we were still together, god she's a snake, stole you away the minute I turned around." 

"Gabby I'm warning you. Let it go." He stares for a good moment at the women in front of him, he almost can't believe she's the same women he made vows too because this women right now was different. He never wanted to speak badly over her, he never regretted what they had but right now she was making it very difficult for him to still see the good in her. 

“You’re right I’m sorry.” She definitely did not sound at all sorry.

Why was she making this all so difficult? He doesn’t even know who she is anymore, he can’t understand her actions and she’s doing what she’s doing. It reminds him of the beginning stages of when their marriage was on the rocks.

Everyday was almost like this, he didn’t like how it made him feel then and even more so now especially when he had moved on.

But maybe he should have trusted his gut when he through she’s was up to something. He’s completely frozen when it happens, his mind and body is numb. It had been a long time since he felt her lips and although she moved around his he couldn’t, he just stood there stunned.

Until she reached up pulling his body closer to her, he’s pulled back into reality, his reminded of where he is and who he’s with.

“What the hell Gabby?” Pulling away from her he steps back creating some distance between them. “Stay away from me.” Shaking his head he doesn’t turn back as he makes his way inside.

...

She’s avoiding him.

At first he doesn’t think much of it but it’s by lunch time when he notices some odd behaviour. She’ll look around the room when she enters and when she’s spots him she’ll turn right around and leave.

She makes every effort to avoid his eyes, she’ll look away from him when he’s making announcements and she’ll be first to leave the room once he’s done.

She’s avoiding him like the plague, he wanted to let it go, give her some space but it wasn’t like it was easy. It was only on calls when she would talk to him, but every other time he reached out to her she acted as if he didn’t exist.

It honestly hurt, he was confused, all he knew was that she was avoiding him and had no idea why.

 

Chapter Text

Needing a place to clear his head Matt sits on the roof racking his brain of what could possibly be the reason for Sylvie's radio silence. 

He was not doing well, he already experienced what it was like for the two of them to be not talking and that was a mistake he really didn't want to re-live. But here he was again, the only difference was that he knew why the first time, this was different.

Severide joins him on the roof as he passes him a cigar. "Hey man how was the rest of your night." Severide eyes him suggestively wagging his eye-brows. 

Unsure of what he's on about he shakes his head. "Not great if I'm being honest." 

"What? Really? That's weird." Double taking he looks over at Matt confusion on his face as well.

"Yeah, why?" 

"Oh I just thought that you and Sylvie would have had a great night since it was quiet when I came home." 

"Sylvie?" And now he's even more confused.

"Yeah dude, didn't she come by? I told her you'd be home all night." 

"What!?'

"Man, keep up. She came by the apartment last night. I saw her at Mollys and she asked where you were so I told her you'd be home." 

And suddenly everything was coming to him. Of course it all made sense, she must have seen him with Gabby. "Shit!" 

Running his hands down his face he leans forward resting his elbows on his legs, of course it's his luck that Sylvie would see something that looked like something it wasn't. 

How was he going to even get her alone to explain that it wasn't what it looked like. She wouldn't even look at him. 

One step forward and two steps back. 

"Gabby came by and ambushed me, she must have seen her kiss me and left." 

"What the fuck?" Exactly the reaction he had expected. 

"Yeah." Matts unsure of what to say anymore, this was for sure a mess.

"Dude I'm so sorry. If I had known I wouldn't have sent her there." 

"Nah it's fine, it's not your fault. I should have known better that she was up too something." Measuring him he knows that it's no-ones fault, he can even understand why Gabby was the way she was. It didn't help that she had finally realised the mistakes she had made and because maybe she was lonely? 

He just needed to figure out away to get Sylvie to understand. 

TRUCK 81, SQUAD 3, ENGINE 51, AMBO 61, STRUCTURE FIRE

When the bell goes off he silently hopes she'll still interact with him, he knows deep down that she will because she's professional when she has to be but he hates that is the extent of their conversation.

Jumping out of the rig they asses the fire and begin to work on putting it out.

In the business of putting the fire out and rescuing he has no idea of what is going on outside until they are done and able to walk out. A few feet away from him a man is yelling at Sylvie who is currently trying to intubate a woman, presumably his partner. 

In fairness it's a lot to take and he's probably still in shock, he hated when the girls, especially Sylvie got yelled at for just doing their jobs. He’s about to help her and pull the man away from her when Cruz steps in-between the two of them and although he's thankful for it because she okay it hurts him because he can't be the one to help her right now. 

The rest of the shift goes about as well as expected, on duty Matt is does his best to be professional and he does everything he can to keep his mind off Sylvie. It just doesn't help that he's not perfect and every now and again he finds himself yearning to be near her, it wasn't the appropriate time for explanations he knew this. 

So he leaves it for later, but again they are called out. The cycle repeats its self, as more calls continue to come to them, so the most he hears from her is at the scenes, when its directing Foster or talking around him. 

This was pure agony at best and he hated every minute of it. 

Unfortunately things don't get better after their shift is over, she manages to leave the fire house before he can even finish closing his locker. 

Maybe he would have better luck tomorrow? Maybe the space would help clear both their minds, he doubted it would for him. 

...

He definitely does not have better luck the next day, or the day after that and after that again.

It's been a mess.

Matt feels utterly useless and heartbroken as he sits at Molly's deep into his 5th beer, he may not be drunk but he's definitely tipsy and It's very un-like him.

For Matt drinking his problems 'away' is the last thing he would normally do, he's a man with a level head and it didn't help that in the past year or two a lot has happened and changed in his life and he's managed to take it all and bottle it up within himself.

Saying 'I'm fine' had become apart of his daily vocabulary.

Some people would probably say that him sitting down to have a drink would be well deserved considering the year he's had. But he's not drinking because of the year he's had, he's drinking because right now he can't think of anything to do, his ex-wife refuses to believe that they are done and the woman he's in-love with won't talk to him, let alone look in his direction. 

What was a any man to do at this point? He needed a drink and he definitely thought he’d be out of here after just one but its 5 drinks later and he’s now chatting to a very enthusiastic brunette. Nodding along to her talking about the difference in sandals and heels. He can’t really hear much or what she’s trying to say and to be fair he’s not really even trying to listen. 

Its just a good distraction. Well it is until Severide makes his way over to him, he knows why. 

“Hey man, you alright?”

”Peachy.” Matt grumbles rolling his eyes, he really didn’t not wanting to be talking to Severide right now. 

The perky brunette sits up higher as she address’ Kelly. “Oh hi, I’m Brandy.”

“Hi.” Clearly very uninterested he pays no attention to her after saying hi back. It’s very obvious that Brandy’s attention is now all on Kelly. 

“How did you go with talking to Sylvie?” 

“It didn’t go.” How wasn’t it obvious? Obviously if it went well then he wouldn’t be here right now. 

“What do you mean?” 

"Exactly how I just said, she won't talk to me man, I-I ah, I don't know what to do anymore. She won't even look at me. It's over." Matt huffs trying to finish the conversation with him and trying to get Brandy’s attention back. Sometimes this happened, the minute Kelly walked into the room the woman he would be talking to would have all eyes for Severide. 

He wasn’t salty or anything but tonight he just wanted someone to pay attention to him.

Severide takes a seat beside, already Matt knows this is about to be some kind of half lecture and advice. “No it's not, have you tried to even go to her house? Have you actually tried to make her listen?"

"I can't make her listen to me if she doesn't want to even be in the same room as me." He really didn’t want to be having this conversation right now.

"You're right you can't but if she's going to assume things about you then she at-least needs to hear you out."

"Look man, I'm good here." He’s annoyed now. 

Clearly annoyed himself Severide stands up and takes Matt’s drink out of his hands along with his keys that are on the table. "If you think I'm going to stand by and let you do something you'll regret you are sadly mistaken. Come on, you've had enough and if I'm saying it, then It's true." 

That’s rich Matt thinks. "Severide seriously you are the last person that can tell me I've had enough." 

"Actually I can, I can because I know for a fact that your girl is on her way here and I wold hate for her to see you like this, especially see you with this stranger. First she see’s you with Gabby and now with another woman, it'll look even worse man, I'm telling you." 

"I couldn't give two flying fucks what she thinks." Lie, a big lie his heart was telling him, he knew this. Her opinion and what she thought of him was the most important. 

“Wait ‘your girl?’ Do you have a girlfriend?” Reminding then that she’s still there, the woman his with speaks up. 

“Yeah his girl, now you can leave.” Turning back to him Severide’s eyes are serious. “Come on let’s go. Trust me.” 

"Severide just piss of-." Turning around ready to give him another ear full he comes face to face with the most beautiful face and its like a cold bucket of water covers him everywhere. 

Time stands still and everything blurs, she stares off behind him and it's another reminder of what he was doing. Looking behind him at the woman he can't seem to place or remember her name, he darts his head back to Sylvie. Her lip quivers and she shakes her head as she steps backwards away from him running out the door. 

“No, no, no, no.” The panic that arises in his chest is completely terrifying, his skin is clammy and he feels like he's sweating out. 

"Wait Please!" Put his beer down as he lunges for the exist, running after her. This was his chance and he was going to take it, tipsy or not. 

"Sylvie!" His voice is loud and booming, making her stop in her tracks. 

"Just please, wait. Look no matter how mad or upset you are with me, please don't ever run off into the night on your own. Please." He needed her to know how much he cared for her well-being, how much it would destroy him if anything happened to her while she was out alone, first and foremost her safety was key. 

“I’m waiting for someone.” She looks behind as cars drive past the two of them. Her attention clearly elsewhere.

"Great and while we wait could you please just hear me out." 

"Matt.." He knows she does not want to be here right now but hearing her finally acknowledge him or say his name is music to his ears.

"Sylvie please." He would be against grovelling at this point.

Folding her arms across her chest, she exhales. “Fine." 

He’s no my sure what to say first, that he missed her or explain the situation. "What you saw-, you have to belive me. Nothing happened between Gabby and I, now I know how it must have looked to you, how it must have seemed." 

He continues even though he has no idea how much it’s helping. "I would never do something like that, I would never betray you like that, especially after the night we just had before, not after our first kiss, not after I told you I loved you." The vulnerability in his voice is evident, every world is hard for him to let out. He remembers waking up beside her on the couch, he remembers kissing her ever so lightly. 

"Matt its okay. I get it, she's your wife, you'd always go to her and she'll always go to you. You're not betraying me, we are just friends."

He almost can't believe this is happening. 

My wife? Matt thinks to himself, why would she still call her that? "Ex-wife, I don't need to remind you of that. Just friends? Are you kidding? You aren't just my friend, I love you. I don't dream about the future, having a marriage, kids with my friends, just you. All you." 

Breathing in she finally looks up at him, and immediately he can see her pain and it completely knocks him over. All he wants to do is reach over but again he knows that it's no his place, if she reaches out to him then of course he will go to her he knew he had to wait for her. 

"It was just really confusing Matt, I was coming up to you because I wanted to tell you that I was ready." Her shoulders slouch as she pulls her jacket even more so tightly around herself. She was cold. 

"Ready?" Read for what? He wasn't sure where she was going with this.

"Ready for you, for us..I was going to ask if you wanted to go do something together but when I saw you both I thought maybe I was wrong and I guess you changed your mind." Every apart of him breaks as she continues to explain that she was there for him. As she keeps telling him her version of the night he can't stop thinking of how the night should have gone had he not answered the door to Gabby. 

"I,-um." Running his hands down his face he's not sure what to say, he was scared that maybe he would say the wrong thing, that things between them are sensitive and awkward again. 

“It’s okay Matt, like I said I get it. It’s Gabby, she’s not someone you just let go of. I could never compete with her and I don’t wanna be the second choice, the one that comes after Gabby Dawson. I deserve someone who’s isn’t hanging out for their ex-wife. Being the second to Gabby at work was fine because she’s an amazing paramedic, and I know I’m good too. But being the second to her in a relationship...,that’s different.” 

He makes a point to step towards her. “Sylvie, you are not second to her.” 

She takes a step back from him. “I know my worth Matt, so please stay away from me. We can be work friends and I promise I’ll be professional always at the firehouse and during scenes but I can’t get in-between you and Gabby. I can’t.” Using the sleeve of her jacket she wipes the tears that roll down her face. 

Breathing in she gathers her composure. “I’ll see you at work Captain.” 

He’s not given a chance to speak back because she get into her car and it’s not like he can muster up something perfect to say after all of that. He can’t even fathom the heartbreak he’s feeling right now, the hurt is agony, more so than he’s felt in a long time. 

She was not second choice, she didn’t even have to complete with Gabby, she was better in every way.

There was no competition.

Chapter Text

Just as she promised she’s nothing but professional, addressing him as ‘Captain’ and do exactly as he says while they are on scene. All her paperwork is handed in and filed even more promptly. All in all she’s the perfect employee, she gives him absolutely no trouble, so much that it almost frustrates him.

Their new dynamic was not what he imagined for the two of them.

What made it even more worse was that he was pretty sure everyone at the firehouse new something was up with them.

The good new was that he had heard from Stella that Gabby had decided to leave and go back to Portue Rico, he finally had peace in that department.

He was once for all done with her, now he just needed to get Sylvie to speak to him.

The woman that he wanted, the one that made his heartbreak when she told him she was second and to stay away from him. It had been 2 weeks since that night, and although in those two weeks he’s in pain he knows that his feelings haven’t changed.

He still wanted to be with her and now he needed her to know it, no more being secretive or hiding it. The whole damn world would know how he felt about her. 

Accepting that he might need some help with trying to organise a away for her to listen to him. Waiting patiently his mind goes out of control thinking of all the possible ways their encounter could go, it had been a stressful time leading up to where he was waiting. He paced up and down he steps with his hands deep into his pockets repeating to himself what he would say. His heart knew but getting his mind to translate it was a different story, he was a man of few words and so again he finds himself having to pour his heart out to her using only words. It was difficult for him but for her he would always do his best.

It isn't until he hears her voice that he's snapped out of his pacing, she was here and it didn't sound like she wanted to be but she was here anyway.

He turns to face her and again he's blown away by her presences, there's a morning chill in the air and she looked completely adorable bundled up in her pink sweater and grey coat. 

"Stella what am I doing here? I told-." The utter discomfort is impossible to miss, granted he's sort of glad. It's the most emotion she's shown towards him in what felt like months, he'd take what he could get at this point. 

Of course he knew deep down she was annoyed with him.

He had to watch and listen from afar as she smiled, laughed, joked and talked with everyone else. He had only himself to blame.

And Gabby, but that was besides the point. 

Stella places her hands on either side of Sylvie's shoulders, stopping her attempts at leaving. "I know, I know I'm sorry for deceiving you babe, but just hear him out, I promise that's all you have to do. Once that's done if you want you call me and ill pick you up, ASAP." He was thankful to be able to get Stella to do this. 

It took some convincing and explanations but she eventually came around with Severide's help of course. She had driven the two of them to the building of where the gala was held. The minute she spotted him, she couldn't have tried to walk back fast enough.

He knew she'd not be happy with it but he was desperate and it was time to bring in reinforcements, Stella Kidd. 

Maybe because it gives them something else to do, they both turn and watch as Stella leaves, giving a minute or so before either one of them says something. 

What he wants to say and what he needs to say are two entirely different things, the situation was delicate, so he had to be. It made it difficult for him to say anything or being to start.

So he starts in away that's simple. "I'm sorry." Saying 'sorry' can go a long way and he knows he needs to say it, just as much as she deserves it. He should never have put himself in a situation where something could be taken the wrong way, It was all about what things could like. 

He would start with honesty. He had promised that much anyway. 

"For what." She shrugs her shoulder looking anywhere but at him, and if he wasn't paying such close attention to her he might have missed it. 

"For hurting you, I haven't got any excuses, nothing. I just want to say sorry without having any because, well I don't and you deserve a proper 'I'm sorry' without any excuses. How I behaved at Molly's was not constructive, it was out of character. But it was still me and I shouldn't have been there and drinking. I should been with you, I should have come to talk to you the minute I knew something was wrong. I hope to earn your forgiveness, no matter how long it takes." Letting a breath out it finally feels like he can breathe, he had tried to plan the sorry speech but this was something he just needed to say from his heart. 

Silence. 

Complete silence. 

She says nothing as he stares right at her. He feels incredibly vulnerable under intense eyes. 

He's thankful for the sounds of cars, people chatting and the life of Chicago passing by it helps lessen the silence between them.

“Matt, what are we doing here?” She’s frustrated and he can’t blame her, everything up until now has been his own doing. She had every right too feel the way she did.

He stretches his arms, gesturing to the space around them. The steps of the charity gala all those months ago. “This is where it happened”

Eyes squinting, and head turned to the side she’s confused. “Where what happened?”

“Where I first accepted that I was in love with you and said it out loud.” Visibly swallowing he feels anxious unsure of how this was going, all he knew was that he just had to do it before he completely lost her.

“What?”

“Well not exactly on these steps but at the charity gala, inside that building when I saw you walking in with your emerald satin dress, the backless one. You were are a vision and I was blown away.” Matt recalls that night like it just happened, he’d never forgot the way he felt when she walked in. He’d remember the feeling of his heart clenching and his head spinning at the sight of her.

She opens her mouth to speak but he quickly keeps going not giving her a chance to chime in he continues, it’s important to him that she hears it all. “Later on in the night just over there, I was with Gabby and told her I was in-love and by some twist in fate you emerged from the building, standing on the steps and all I wanted to do was go to you, so I did.”

He could care less of the fact that he left Gabby standing back behind and probably watching as he walked by to Sylvie. She knew, she knew he loved her from then on and still refused to let him go.

“You remember what I was wearing?” Clocking her head to the side she questions him about her dress.

Of everything she heard that’s what she chooses to bring up. “I will never forget that, even if I wanted to. You, that dress is implanted in my brain, it was the first time I saw you like that out of uniform and paid attention. You’re beautiful Sylvie Brett, don’t forget it.”

“So you and Gabby, the other night?” She fiddles with the ruffles on her sweater, it’s a cute motion, had they not been in a serious conversation he might tell her.

”All her, there is no me and Gabby. She came by to talk to me and at first I said no, but it was dark and late so she asked me to walk her to her car and I did. It was clever because it got us talking, that was it, I was in the middle of telling her I was done when she kissed me. I was livid and I felt very uncomfortable.” Recalling the event of that night he remembers how awkward and uncomfortable he felt afterwards and mostly during the whole exchange. 

“Although what I saw upset me and hurt, I can be sorry for you, her kissing you like that and you being uncomfortable is justified." With a heavy sigh she meets his gaze, genuine concern on her face. 

"Thank you." He nods, It's a small token of something for the two of them. It's enough for him to feel somewhat relief that she at least believes he didn't want the kiss. “I’ve missed you,” he says, voice gruff. The hammering in his chest is like no other feeling. 

He's not sure how she'll take it, it might be a lot for her but if he knew one thing it was that he did miss her. 

She mumbles in response to him "I guess I missed you too." He watches as she kicks a piece of broken concrete with her boot trying hard to focus on anything but him, butterflies in stomach surface and although they had spent so much time together already in the past and he knew how she made him feel he still got the giddy feeling of being around a crush or more appropriate someone he loved. 

Looking up she notices him starting at her "Stop it." 

"Stop what?" He kicks the concrete back in her direction. 

"Looking at me like that." Waving her hand around she emphasises his face. 

Throwing his head back he lets out a laugh that he can't hold in. "I honestly can't help it." he shrugs his shoulders in honesty. "You are so gorgeous, it actually hurts sometimes." His cheeks turn pink even in the cool air he can feel the heat. 

"You're being ridiculous." Nudging him with her shoulder she shakes her head. 

Taking a step down he turns his head up, looking up at her. Just like he did the night of the gala. "Would you like to go grab some lunch with me? I know the perfect spot. Just lunch I promise." 

"Well it's a good thing I'm hungry." Putting her hand out he takes it as he leads her to his car. Taking them to the perfect lunch spot.

The perfect spot it was. They sat by the same table and had the same seats, she laughs at him for the fuss he makes over it. They eat the same things and almost spend the same amount of time there.

The elderly owners of the restaurant recognise them immediately and it brings joy to Matt’s heart even more so.

This was their spot.

...

The following days go by and for Matt he feels like he can finally relax and breathe again, he and Sylvie are back on good terms. Lately they had been able to make up for the lost time, spending more and more time together.

Without realising, it’s all been in secret and one their own. They hadn’t intended for it to go that way but that’s how it had happened. Admittedly he’s happy about it, it’s not that he wants to keep it a secret, it was still new and they hadn’t labeled it as anything.

The flirting has started to build up and every no and then they would catch each other staring while the other was doing something else or talking to someone. It was subtle and innocent but definitely there, it had been a long time since Matt has openly flirted this way but he couldn’t help it. 

He couldn’t stop the constant feeling of being drawn to her, the feeling of wanting to make her blush. He liked the way she would smile back at him or try to hide her smile and not notice his gaze, she was adorable. 

He stops in his tracks and notices her sitting on her bed in the bunk room, before he wanders over he takes a second to inspect the room, making sure no-one was around. He wanted to be with her even if she was just sitting on her bed doing nothing. 

”Do you have any plans this weekend?”  He whispers in her ear in shushed tones. He doesn’t miss the fact that she slightly shivers or that she jumpers a little in her spot.

Turning her head to the side he’s able to lean in further, giving him the opportunity to notice the way the hairs on the back of her neck sit up. 

“Go on a date with me?” 

“Hmm, I don’t know the las time I went on a date with you I spent the better part of a week in a hospital bed.” Although her tone is humorous he’s reminded of the horrific way their first date ended, not the way he had intended....god what a mess. 

“I don’t deserve it but, can I convince you to let me give you a do-over?” No amount of do-overs’ would ever fix that but he would do whatever he could to at least make their dates in he future not end that way. 

She turns in her spot fully facing him. “How about you come over to my apartment and cook me dinner?”

Her eyebrows wag jokingly but he thinks it’s a brilliant idea. “I like the sound of that.” 

ENGINE 51, TRUCK 81, SQUAD 3, AMBULANCE 61, BATTALION CHIEF. CAR COLLISION”

“No getting into the back seats without telling me got it? Firm but gentle he doesn’t want a repeat of what happened months ago.

“I’ll be more careful, I promise.” 

Just like that they are off. 

It’s a complete mess when they get there, a four car pile up in the middle of the city. One of the busiest roads, cars behind not in the collision are honking and carrying on as if there isn’t a a major accident. 

It ticked them off like no other. 

Chief immediately assess the situation giving everyone orders. 

It’s like clock work how they able to get their job done. 

It takes them a few hours before they are able to clear the road and get the patients to Med. With Sylvie’s diligent work in triaging and sending off other ambulances it doesn’t take them as long as it normally would. 

He watches as everyone packs their rigs up, from the corner of his eyes he notices Sylvie close the back of her rig up. Ready to head off, of course she’s the first to be done. He smiles as he makes his way over to her wanting to quickly check up on her while the others continue with overhauling. He’ll join them eventually. 

The sound of an engine turning on and revving gathers his and the others attention. It was the kind of sound that was uncomfortable and he just knew something was about to happen, he could feel it in his bones. 

He hates to be right about this sort of thing but he’s lucky he notices it before it happens this time. In slow motion he watches as Sylvie rounds the corner about to open the rig doors and hop into the passenger seat.  

The ambo rig is parked right beside an island strip, it’s covered in grass and dirt. His feet move before he can even think of his actions, he doesn’t give himself a second to asses anything. He lunges forward, running right into the side of her body, throwing the both of them to the other side of the grassy island strip. 

He tucks her body under his as they roll, holding her even closer as he stops with him on top is her. In horror he looks up as the car that he had heard speeds right past them.

His heart is through the roof, even thought she’s securely tucked underneath him he’s silently shaken from the incident and the ‘what if’s’ start to clog his mind.

What if he hadn’t heard the car coming? What if he stopped to think before throwing himself at her? One second later and things might be different. 

In that instance everyone comes running to their aide, he knows they are there for the both of them. But he could care less about himself, looking down his wills his heart rate to come back down, reminding himself she was safe in his arms.

“Are you okay?” 

Giving her the space to look up at him, he looks for any sighs of pain. “I’m good, I’m good.” She nods vigorously and he sighs in relief as he peels himself away from her, unwillingly. 

“Crap are you guys okay?”

”Damn Casey! Nice.” 

”What the he’ll was that?”

”Nice reflex Captain.”

Everyone takes their turn checking in and compliment him. The compliments feel wrong because he would it for anyone, besides this was apart of his job wasn’t it?

”Casey, Brett! Are you good?” Chief comes up closer to them getting down to their level, doing an inspection himself. 

“We’re good chief, well I am.” He turns to look at Sylvie again, he knows he’s okay, she told him but he doesn’t want to answer for her, he knows she can. 

“All good chief, Captain Casey is my hero.” She beams at him and jumps straight back up from the ground and hold hers hand out to help him up. As if nothing happened, as if his insides aren’t flared up and his heart isn’t going into shock, she could have been seriously hurt. 

This woman. 

Everyone scatters and gets back to overhauling once they are satisfied that the two of them are okay. Although they are it doesn’t stop chief from making Foster check on them. 

Once they are back to the firehouse and everyone is elsewhere and doing their own thing. Matt looks for her, he doesn’t care anymore that he’s openly looking to be with her, no matter where she is. 

He’s about to go find Emily and ask her himself when he stops dead in his tracks again. He watches her for outside of the bunk room doors, for the second time today. Titling his head to the side he watches as she says something to herself and breathes in before opening the door to his quarters and walks in closing the door and blinds behind her. 

He couldn’t be more intrigued and excited all at once. This was new, she knew he wasn’t in there but went in anyway. 

Was it okay to assume she waiting for him? Without giving it a second thought he too talks himself up before he opens the door. 

Quickly he shuts and locks the door behind him. “Sylvie-.” He’s not given a chance to say anything else because the minute the door is shut, she throws herself at him.

It takes him a second to register what just happened and so he does his best to hold himself up. With his quarters not being the most spacious he drags his back against the door. Thankful he thought to lock it.

Neither of them say anything for a little awhile, he’s not even sure what to say right now. He knows that they are probably running on adrenaline right now but he also knows that in any other circumstance he’s always happy to hold her.

“What’s with us and car incidents?” She’s the first to break the silence, she laughs against his chest. While normally he would have thought this was wonderful feeling and it still was.

He’s definitely not in the mood to laugh. “It’s not funny gorgeous, that scared me.”

“I know Matt but I have to laugh because if I’m not laughing about it then I’ll do down a rabbit whole of ‘what ifs’ and that’s a slippery slope.”

Sighing he tucks her head under this chin as he strokes her hair, he understands what she’s saying. Of course they needed to laugh sometimes, their job was serious and if they didn’t laugh then then it’d be a slippery slope as she said.

She looks up to meet his eyes and all he wants to do is lean down and kiss her, it would be so easy, she was right there. He wouldn’t, not until she gave him an obvious sign. But he couldn’t stop thinking about what her lips would feel like against his and the way she started right back him so strong and intense how could he not think about it?

“Mind elsewhere?” She stops his train of thought before it does on.

If you only knew,  He think to myself.

...

If someone asked him if he was looking forward to the weekend and he said no, that would be a complete lie.

He was beyond excited.

Everyday leading up to Saturday night he had gotten something organised for their date.

Matt was an organiser, he never labeled himself as one but he definitely was. He liked to know the places he was going too and what he was doing, he always wanted to be prepared.

Standing in kitchen of her apartment he lets the tomato sauce cool off to the side before adding the spaghetti.

The table was set, the garlic bread was warm in the oven and her glass was half way filled with wine and his beer was open, the only sound was the sizzling bacon bits and the humming of the music that’s playing lightly in the background coming from Sylvie.

He stops for a second and watches as she potters around the open space, his eternally grateful for whoever designed this apartment. The living, dinning and kitchen was all one open space. It’s beautiful, well she’s beautiful.

“Dinners almost ready.”

This gathers her attention, just as he thought it would. She’d announced how hungry she was when he first arrived.

Making her way over to him she leans over to inspect his handy work. “That bacon smells amazing, I’ve never thought to add bacon to normal spaghetti before, except for carbonara.”

“I like to add the bacon because it had a bit more substance to the meal, since there’s no meat component. And it’s only in tiny pieces so it’s not that drastic.” If he had it his way he’d probably add bacon to anything.

“Oh yeah I totally get it. I mean I love bacon so add it to anything I’m all for it.” Smiling he can’t believe she just said that, did she read his mind?

Leaning over to her he leaves a small kiss on her forehead. “Go sit down, this is done.”

He watches as she takes a bite into the garlic bread, he’s about to laugh, her face is hilarious she really was hungry.

The laugh never comes out, it’s completely forgotten. The sound she makes after the bite sends shivers up and down his body, the way she moans again and again after each bit and again after taking a mouth full of the spaghetti.

“Something wrong?” She mumbles after swallowing. This was going to be a long meal if she didn’t stop.

This time he does laugh, how could she not ok now what she was doing to him? “Nothing, absolutely nothing. I’m just glad you seem to like it.”

He’s given the answer through the moan makes again and the thumbs up she gives him.

Dinner is a breeze as they spend their time chatting about anything and everything. For some reason it feels like a typical night, cooking her dinner and eating together. It feels like they should have been doing this all along, he wants to kick himself for all the time he wasted wandering what if and distancing himself. 

But he reminds himself that this was the way it happened for them, it had to be like this for him to realise he wanted to be with her. 

He insists on her not cleaning up but she fights him on it and wins, it didn’t take long anyway, she insisted on the dishwasher. 

It’s 9:30pm when he notices the time, he’d been here for awhile now and he wasn’t keen on having to leave anytime soon. They were in the middle of watching bad reality tv, mostly commenting on how ridiculous these shows where but how much of a guilty pleasure. 

Its 9:45pm when he feels her scoot closer to him, trying to adjust herself so her legs didn’t touch him. Pulling her legs up across his lap, he doesn’t care. 

At 9:55pm he drags her body closer to his. 

Paying no mind to the tv he watches as she laughed at whatever girl was having a melt down at the most ridiculous thing. He feels her squirming every now and then trying to get comfortable around him. 

Finally he can she’s had enough, she sit ups.

“Sorry Matt I’m obviously a little restless.”

“Don’t be, I get it.” God damn was he so restless, he practically had to shove one of his hands into his pant pockets to stop them from wandering.

Peering at him she catches that he is already staring right back at her, their gazes falling on each other’s lips. Patting the space beside him he gestures for her to sit closer, it’s bold but she doesn’t think twice about it. 

They settle back into watching the tv, but again he pays no mind to it and maybe she doesn’t either. Her fingers are tapping her knee and she’s definitely snuggled herself further into his side. 

He swallows as he slowly glances down at her, she raises her head at the same rime and it’s like he’s a mouth drawn to a flame, he lowers his head head meet her half-way. All she would need to do is meet him there and both their lips would connect.

This was his way of saying it without saying it. 

She doesn’t bother to meet him half-way she just kisses him. Her lips are soft and plump against his, her scent completely covering him. 

Her perfume reminds him of being in an open, airy field filled with wild-flowers.

Mouths closed as they continue to kiss, slowly and soft, they tread lightly but my goodness he couldn’t get enough of her. 

Using one hand he lets it rest behind her neck, pulling her even closer with the other he wanders down to her back guiding her backwards into the couch.  

Her legs tuck around him as he does his best to keep his full weight off of her. She whimpers as he drags his kiss along her jaw line and back up to her lips. 

“Is this okay?” Finally he spots all movement, looking her right in the eyes. He needed to hear that she was okay. 

“Yes, please don’t stop.” Pull his head back down he resumes the kissing. 

God this was going to be his undoing, he was flushed and very turned on. Granted it had been a long, long, long time since he’d been intimate with a woman. He’s so glad he hadn’t been while he was figuring out his his feelings for her. 

She was beyond worth it, in every aspect. 

Bunching then fabric of her sweater his hand strokes up and down the flesh of her soft skin. She surprises him by pull her legs right around him, pulling him down. He happily obliges her movements bring his hips down to meet hers. 

Grunting he keeps the movement going, her whimpers and moans encouraging him.  

Both their hearts raised as things continued, learning the feel of her touch and body was something he wanted to do forever, he would get familiar with it and never forget the way she responded to him. 

How could he ever forget? She was completely radiant and mesmerising. “Want to take this somewhere more comfortable?” 

Pulling back again to get another good look at her, he makes sure he heard correctly scanning her face for any indication that she changed her mind. It’s as if she can hear his thoughts because she nods up and down as she wraps her hands around his neck. 

In an instant he pulls them up and lifts her legs to sit around his waist as he makes his way down the hall.

“Oh, Matt put me down I’m too heavy for this.” 

He stops dead in his tracks, pushing her back against the wall and scooting her legs further up.

”Fuck.”

Matt doesn’t swear often, he save that for when he can’t think of any other words to describe his emotions. Right now he’s so pent up and wants to be mad that she would ever dare say something like that about herself. 

But this was new territory for them so he had to be careful. “I’m sorry, your joking right?”

She does her best to try and squirm her way out of his hold, but his grip is like vice. He couldn’t let go even if he wanted too. 

She’s clearly a little taken back and embarrassed. “Sylvie, goddam.” He sighs, he loved leaning new things about her, and as much as he hated that she thought of her self as ‘too heavy’ he’s glad he knows now, because no he can make an effort to tell her she’s beautiful more often. 

“Just put me down, I’m sorry.” Again she squirms in his arms. 

He hoist her up and tightens his grip, in the most gentle way he can. He kisses her neck and around her jaw line before responding. “Don’t be sorry, I respectfully disagree, you are perfect just like this.” 

Using one hand he lets go of her so he can bring her chin up, their eyes meeting. “You are much lighter than my turnout gear, oxygen supply, and everything else I carry on a regular basis before going into a burning building.” 

“Second door on the left.” 

He takes a pause to give her a genuine smile, almost not hearing exactly what she had just said. She was such a beautiful distraction. 

”Huh?” 

“My bedroom, it’s the second door on the left.” She clarifies for him before he can even ask if she wanted to stop.

With the encouragement and confidence she gives him, he takes his strides to her bedroom quickly and somehow opens her door even quicker. 

Kicking it with behind him with his foot, it shuts. 

He doesn’t assume or makes any presumptions about what happens next. She might just want cuddles? And to be honest he’d be just as happy with that. 

Who didn’t like cuddles? He definitely did. 

Chapter Text

As the door shuts behind them, he slowly lowers her down giving her a gentle squeeze.

To say Matt was nervous and excited at the same time was an understatement. This was so new for them, this amount of touch, he tried not to think too much about it, he needed to let his mind relax. 

Noticing the way his expression changed she stared up at him. "Are you okay?" 

"Am I okay? How long do you have? Because I can't even describe how I'm feeling right now." He laughs nervously, apart of him didn't want to admit that he was nervous. Anyone else in his position he would probably be over the moon and it wasn't that he wasn't because he definitely was. 

"I've got all night." A pink tint glows onto her cheeks as she slowly walks the both of them backwards to the middle of her room where her bed sits. 

She stops at the end of the bed brining her eyes up to him, giving him the opportunity to make the next move.

"So, here we are." 

"Yep here we are." She chuckles tucking a piece of hair behind her ear. 

He shakes his head slowly lowering the both of them on the mattress, he crawls on top of her again making sure not to put too much of his weight on to her. Matt buries his face into the crook of her neck covering it in light and delicate kisses, feeling the shivers run up and down her spine.

He smiles in between the kisses, he would never been able to explain the feeling she gave him, the confidence he gave her with the way she responded to his touch. 

The kisses growing more eager while his hands roam and grab at anything he can touch. 

"Matt." She mummers against him. He would never tire of hearing her call out to him, causing him to melt further into her, every part of him feeling incredible. This was sensational and he couldn't get enough. 

He slips his hands under her sweater feeling so much of her skin makes him even more breathless. The small noises she made, the way she moved against him he was a goner. 

Stopping his movements he sits up slightly, straddling her now he takes his hand rubbing her cheek. He needed to say what he needed to say before things continued. "Sylvie, this is amazing and stopping right now is proving difficult for me. But I have to know and I need to say this, if we do this." He breathed in and out, he just wanted to kiss her.

"I want you to tell me to get up and leave, and I'll walk out that door. It'll kill me but if we do this, officially. I'm not letting you go and not just tonight. I mean it, when we wake up tomorrow I am yours and you are mine. If you'll have me." He waited with anticipation, what would she say? Was this all too much for her? Was this too soon? He’d been pinning for her for months now, maybe even a year? He loved her so much that he knew what this would do too him. There was no way he’d be able to walk away now. 

Propping up on her elbows she’s takes a moment stop and think. Matt’s heart rate is through the roof. "I'm yours."  After what feels like an eternity she finally speaks the words that he had longed to hear for so long. 

He was hers and she was his. 

Matt threads his fingers through her hair, using the fact that she’s propped up to help him pull her closer. He kisses her deeply, he couldn’t think of a way to respond to her with worlds except to do his best to show with his actions. 

And just like their first kiss, Matt Casey is all about the finesse, his movements are precise and thread beautifully with hers. They fit together unlike any other. 

“You are so perfect.” He mumbles against her lips in-between kisses. Dragging his hands away from her face he bunches the fabric of her sweater and tee-shirt into his hands and pulling it over her head in one swift motion.

His breath hitches as he takes her in. “Beautiful, a world of art.” He could happily stare at her all day. 

“You’re being silly.” Turning her head to the side she pulls her arms around her torso, doing her best to cover herself up.

Shaking his head he would never understand how she couldn’t see how beautiful she was, how she made him feel. “Stop it, you know how I feel about you of course I think you’ve fucking beautiful and sexy. 

“You’re beautiful too Matt Casey.” Taken back he cant think of ever being called beautiful, for  him he’d only ever called women beautiful, he doesn’t think he’s ever been called it before.

Oddly enough he’s okay with it, especially coming from her. Quickly he kisses her nose before taking off his own tee-shirt, he leans forward lowering back down onto her. Their bare skin connects and she’s like silk against him.

The heat between the two of them intensified, they couldn’t get enough of each other. Every touch, every movement, every kiss none of it was enough. He could explore her body forever if he could, he wanted to know everything there was to know about Sylvie Brett. 

He wanted to learn about her cues and what made her feel good, as good as she’s was making him feel. Their lips never leave each others as they work their way onto taking the rest of their clothes off. 

Feeling her whole naked body against his shes beyond smooth and it feels amazing. To feel her against him with nothing between them, if  this was what it felt like to feel her against him, he can’t even imagine what it would feel like to be inside her. 

Lowering himself he kisses his way down to his destination, all the while his eyes never leave hers. 

“Matt, what are you doing?” She’s gulps, she looks nervous. He doesn’t want her to feel nervous but again this was a big step for them, he gets it. 

”Just making sure my girl is taken care of.” He winks doing his best to make it clear that he wants to do this and that he cared about her needs, if not much more than he did his own. 

“You don’t have too.” 

“I want too. Relax sweetheart, I’ve got you.” He continues with his kisses as he gently rubs her stomach. 

Further down now he hooks one of her legs onto his shoulders, this allows him much more access and gives him the view he wants. 

Her body jolted as he leant forward when his lips connected to her sensitive spot, he knew she liked it when he felt her body arch. He was glad but it still wasn’t the spot he was looking for. 

It’s very obvious when he finds it, her whole body goes into a frenzy. She squirms around as he laps his tongue around, backing in and out. Never loosing contact, he continues moving around even fast now from top to bottom. 

The way she squirmed and shifted was unbelievable, he was enjoying himself beyond belief. Despite that she’s quiet, he can tell from her body that she was also enjoying herself but her whimpers and moans had stopped. 

Peering over at her through his lashes he catches her as she bites her lip, holding in her moans. 

Not wanting to he takes a second away from her. “Stop." Matt huffs stopping his movements. Using his thumb he loosens the hold of her lips by her teeth.

His gaze is fixed and strong. “I want to hear you." Moving back down his tongue picks up where he left off. 

Sylvie's body vibrates and her moans returned as he sped up his movements. “Oh my gosh Matt.” Her voice is low and guttural like. 

He smiles against her in-between kisses, he couldn’t get enough.

Feeling that she might be close he pulls away from her lower half, angling himself up he presses himself against her thigh, so she can feel what she’s done to him. 

“Do you want this beautiful?” He needed to hear her say that she wanted this just as much as he did. Her reassurance and desire for him gave him confidence. 

“Yes. I want all of you.” She nods her head eyes staring at him. “I’m good, I’m clean and on the pill.” She reassures him before he can ask his next question. He thanks the heavens he had only just realised he was without a condom. 

“I’m good too, just to let you know.” She told him and it was only fair he did too. Going down he kisses her lips, slowly and tentatively as he pushes his tip inside of her.

Immediately he senses her body tense. “I love you Sylvie.” He wasn’t sure if this was something he should say at this moment but the truth was he couldn’t help it, he’d been trying to hold himself from saying this whole time. He was desperate for her too remember that he was still in-love wit her, especially during this moment. 

He slides in further and stops so she can continue to adjust to him. 

What she says next send him into a frenzy, his heart soars and he’s complete awe. “I love you too Matthew Casey.” That’s what does it for him, slamming in the rest of the way inside her he raises his body up. He holds onto her legs bringing her closer to him. 

He stood on his knees and drag himself out and then back in, continuing to thrust as they get their own rhythm going. 

Responding to each other’s bodies. They moan together, his low and guttural, she gasped every-time they connected. “You’re magnificent.”

He panted as he picked up the speed, gripping onto her waist. She was so tight he was afraid of this ending sooner than they both wanted. 

“Yes, Matt. Oh my gosh.” Her words driving him to absolute content but also not seeming like it was enough.

”You feel so damn good Sylvie, so good.” Matt cried out, unable to stop himself from it as he fit himself even further into her.

Their bodies continue to yearn for each other’s, they connect in ways he had only imagined, dreamt of. All traces of time passes them, he doesn’t know how long they’d been wrapped up in each others embrace. 

“Yes Matt, please don’t stop.” 

If he had it his way he’d stay with her like this forever, so close, so intimate in so many ways. 

“Fuck! I love you so much.” He slammed in and out, going fast than she look was prepared for, her hands wrapped around his back. He could feel the scratches coming down his back. They were both becoming breathless as things became faster and harder. Her head tipped back and her body vibrated underneath him.

The only sounds come from them, her moans and his groans, it fills the room. 

It doesn’t take them both long until they see stars around them, there covered in each others scents and sweat is coating them. 

It’s half an hour later when they are stumbling out of her shower and under the covers. “You’re staying?" She faces him as he tries to cuddle up next to her. 

He’s almost offended that she would even have to ask that, but he doesn’t say so because apart of him understands that she might still need some reassurance every ow and again. He would happily oblige. “I couldn't possibly bring myself to leave right now, after that. Unless you wanted me to of course." 

"Stay please." She almost begs him, and had she done so he would remind her that she didn’t have too.

If anything he would beg her to let him stay. “I don't want to be anywhere else gorgeous." 

Once again Matt sleeps wonderful, he's comfortable and relaxed and he looks forward to waking up with her beside him. 

"Goodnight Matthew." She leans forward giving him a slight peck on his hand that she can reach because it sits perfectly around her. 

His arms snake around her waist dragging her body up against his, further into the middle of the bed, cradling her close. "I will never get over this."