Firehouse 51 was a family, one that bonded over long shifts, meals together, hospital visits, sometimes close calls and when they were not so lucky, grief. They had worked together fo so long that really, they just worked like clockwork. They knew each other's quirks, what foods they liked and which ones made then want to get ran over by a truck. They knew when a call had hit close to home and when someone was going through a difficult moment.
Some things were better left unsaid, but it didn't mean that they weren't common knowledge around the house, like how much of a gossip Otis is or how Capp kept a teddy bear in his bunk bed.
They just fitted. Until someone new came on board and, if they were unlucky enough, pissed the squad lieutenant and they ended up running academy-like drills all week. Truck and Engine included, considering Captain Casey would let a building collapse above him before telling the silver haired man no.
Because Kelly Severide didn't share.
He just didn't, and you either roll with it or spend the rest of you career in 51 sweating you ass off in the sun while he glared at you. It was easy enough to just go with it, but rookies have made the mistake in the past and the firefighters were not going to let the latest one do the same.
Herrmann, ever the spokesperson of the house, grabbed the arm of the new truck addition before he could sit in the chair next to the Captain during lunch and lead him to the hall, where some of the other firefighters stared in horror.
"Listen kid, do us all a favor a sit your ass as far as you can from the Captain, would you? Yes? Thanks." He said while letting the guy go, but before he could re-enter the kitchen area the new guy demanded some answers. "What? Why? And why are all of you making such a big deal out of nothing? I just want to grab a beer after shift." His tone was annoyed enough and everyone's eyes widened at the last part.
"Because we don't feel like dying today." Otis said from behind Herrmann, half joking and half serious. "That explains nothing." True thing is it didn't, but the members of 51 often forgot that knowing everything about the people you worked with took time.
"Severide doesn't share." Someone exclaimed. "The squad lieutenant? What has he to do with the captain?"
"Look, there are four things Kelly Severide doesn't share—" Stella started as everyone nodded. "His car, his chair by the squad table, his recliner and most importantly, Matthew Casey. The chair next to Casey on the table? Severide's. The stool next to Casey at Molly's? Severide's. Hell, the air surrounding Casey? Severide's. So unless you want the whole house running drills until one of us dies you better keep it in your pants and find someone else to have beers with after shift."
"I'm on truck." The little shit replied smugly, implying that the lieutenant couldn't send him directly to Chicago Med after this shift alone. "Besides, I'm pretty sure you are all exaggerating. If Casey wants me to move then he can tell me himself."
"Fuck" "Well shit" "Why newbies always go for Casey?" "I need a drink. Or two."
Just as the stubborn ass took a seat next to the blonde in question, they could hear the squad rig coming back from a call. As Tony, Capp, Cruz and the lieutenant started walking towards them on their way to the kitchen, probably starving and looking for anything edible, the group of firefighters in the hall started to get nervous. They needed a distraction. Now.
Long story short, none of them was able to come up with something fast enough and ended up entering the room behind Severide. Food forgotten, it didn't take long before his eyes settled on the almost empty table, only occupied by Casey and the smartass who wouldn't listen. They gave him some credit though, for not running away immediately after receiving such an icy glare. However, it just took Kelly taking a seat right in front of him for the candidate to twitch uncomfortably. "Told you it was a stupid idea kid. Hey Kel." They all heard Matt say almost amusingly. Not that they were all staring to see what happens, of course.
"Hey gorgeous. Candidate." He smirked cockily as he took Matt's hand over the table, obviously showing off, but kept glaring at the other man. The blonde tried to hide his smile in anticipation, he knew what was coming, and boy would it be fun. "You know, it's a nice day out and the rig's looking a little rough after our last call. That's usually candidate's job."
"Is it really that important?" Oh shit, here comes the good part. "It is when you are seating next to my boyfriend so why don't you start right now?" The shocked expression on the young man's face was one to be remembered, as his mouth opened slightly, his eyes winded and his brows almost disappeared in his hairline.
And the candidate did end up washing the squad rig with the sun burning his skin, and truck, and engine, and running drills for the next week along the rest of the house after Casey's "You heard the man." gave Severide permission to almost end their lives, all at once.
However, later that night, when it was only the two officers in the roof of the firehouse —each with a cigar— enjoying the quiet night and hoping it would stay like that for the rest of the shift, the Captain decided to comment. "He was just being friendly. Theres no replacing you Sev, you know that." And Casey knew he did, but he also knew that his partner's failed relationships have messed with his mind.
"I know Case, I do. But friendly my ass, I know what he was after. Same thing I was just a couple of years ago." He turned his head to stare at the younger, oblivious man next to him. "This isn't about me not trusting you Matt. I don't want you to think that." Casey didn't really mind, after growing up with a family who would pay more attention to the NHL stats than their own son, he almost enjoyed the jealously. It made him feel wanted, cared for. Besides, he was not interested in anyone else's attention.
''Then?" He found himself asking nonetheless, out of curiosity more than anything. Finding fascination in the mystery that was Kelly Severide, even after years of knowing each other.
"Are you serious? You put them through a week of hell for fun?"
And looking at each other, they couldn't hold the burst of laughter that followed as they threw their heads back and kept staring at the sky. Specially when someone shouted "Told him to keep it in his pants!" and "I'm too old for this shit." from inside the house. God bless stubborn candidates.
"Don't go so hard on them, last time they were all sore till the week after."
"Not my fault assholes keep coming after you. They should've warned him better." The slight crease on his forehead told Matt all he needed to know.
"Fine. Just no Med this time, ok?" He was half kidding, but last time Mouch's relief did ended up passing out from exhaustion and 61 had to administer some fluids.
"Fine, but you could also just stop being so pretty." And with one last laugh and a short kiss in the blonde's temple, the promise was sealed.