Actions

Work Header

Charlotte Hudson

Work Text:

(Charlotte Hudson, female, late 20s, beautiful, very New York, with dark brown hair and bright eyes, enters Voight’s office. She wears her hair down and wavy, a pair of dark denim skinny jeans, a black V neck, black boots, and a black zip-up hoodie under a black leather jacket. She tops the whole ensemble off with a charcoal colored beanie, covering her wavy dark hair. She shakes his hand warmly.)

Voight: Detective Hudson? NYPD?

Hudson: That’s correct. My Sergeant sends her regards.   

Voight: Sit, please. We’ve had a change of plans. We’ve decided to keep Halstead around.

Hudson: I wish you’d told me that before I put a security deposit down on an apartment and moved into it.

Voight: Where did you wind up moving?

Hudson: The Flats on Magnolia.  

Voight: Well, get comfortable, because you’re not leaving. We’ve decided to keep you on regardless of Halstead taking an absence or not. We could use someone with your experience and skills. Your Sergeant in New York told us you were the best of the best. Welcome to Chicago PD, Detective. Let me take you outside to meet the squad.

(They rise, and exit the room. Hudson slips her hands in her jacket pockets, putting up a casual yet aloof façade. Voight calls everyone’s attention.)

Voight: Listen up. We were going to put Halstead on leave until the bounty clears, but we’ve decided to keep him on. Until the bounty is no longer an issue, Halstead is on desk duty and under protective custody. To help carry the load, we’re taking a permanent transfer from NYPD. This is Detective Charlotte Hudson. She’s trying to avoid a bounty on her head, just like you, Halstead.

(Halstead looks interested.)

Halstead: Really? Who’s got a bounty on you?

Hudson: Big time pimp from the Bronx. I infiltrated his operation and turned four of his girls. Got his #2 to fall in love with me, extracted information from him, and then turned his #2 on him. They put an $800,000 bounty on me.

(Everyone looks incredibly impressed.)

Halstead: Let’s hope you do something like that here. Without the bounty, though.

(Antonio Dawson enters, stopping short when he sees Hudson. Though they have met before, he is rendered speechless just by looking at her. She stares back, and the energy between them is apparent.)

Dawson: What’s this?

Halstead: Transfer in from New York.

(Hudson holds out her hand eagerly.)

Hudson: Charlotte Hudson. Nice to see you again, Dawson.

(Antonio stares down at her hand, which she then retracts awkwardly. Lindsay stands, shaking her hand, trying to diffuse the awkward moment.)

Lindsay: Glad to have some more estrogen in here. You need a desk?

(She motions to the one directly in between herself and Dawson. Dawson turns, barely having acknowledged her at all. Hudson puts her stuff down on the empty desk.)

Hudson: I’ll take it.

Halstead: So what’s your specialty?

Hudson: Oh, I worked in almost every department in New York. Spent the longest in Major Case and Special Victims, though.

Halstead: Is it true that most people who work in sex crimes are just miserable, depressing people?

Hudson: Do I look depressed?

Halstead: No.

(Halstead and Hudson are silent for a moment, almost sizing each other up, and no one is quite sure if they will fight or jump each other. Lindsay breaks the silence.)

Lindsay: You wanna go out for a drink tonight after work? You know, a nice big welcome to the new girl?

Hudson: Sounds good to me. (turning her head) Hey, Dawson. You should come.

(Dawson doesn’t respond. Hudson seems a little hurt, but sits down at her desk, organizing herself. Lindsay hands her a case file.)

Lindsay: Let me get your input on this. What do you see?

(Hudson takes a few moments to read through the file.)

Hudson: Sounds like a volatile situation. You could be walking into something deadly. I say suit up and make sure you do everything by the book.

(Voight exits his office.)

Voight: All right, got a tip on a perp. Lindsay, Dawson. Take it. Take the new girl.

Dawson: I got things to do.

Voight: Yeah, like your job. Go.

(All three rise, and head out of the room, Dawson trailing.)

Voight: Dawson. Hold up.

(He approaches the waiting Dawson.)

Dawson: Yes?

Voight: Whatever issue you have, you don’t like new blood, you don’t like she’s a woman, you don’t like her, get over it. She’s not going anywhere. Get used to her, learn to live with her, get your act together.

(Voight walks away. Dawson turns and leaves.)

 

(In the car; Lindsay is driving, Hudson is up front, and Dawson is in the back.)

Hudson: So, Dawson. What’s your problem with me?

Dawson: Let’s just get this over with.

Hudson: You can’t even answer me?

Dawson: I don’t know how they do it in New York, but here, when someone says back off, we back off.

(Hudson’s face betrays her complete annoyance.)

Hudson: Yeah, well, back in New York, when someone has a problem with us and they won’t talk about it, we have a sit down and deal with it. Like adults. But whenever you decide to get out of day care, you let me know.

(Lindsay looks at her, wide eyed but very impressed. Clearly, Hudson doesn’t take anyone’s shit. Dawson, in the backseat, is torn between arousal, amazement, and rage. Lindsay pulls the car over, and he is the first one out.)

 

(Later, Hudson is filling out paperwork at her desk, alone. Dawson approaches her. She ignores him until he speaks to her.)

Dawson: I’m sorry. I should have been nicer. How about I buy you a beer tonight and we talk about it at your welcome party?

(Hudson looks up, shocked at the 180. She smiles at him.)

Hudson: I’d love that.

Dawson: I’m sorry; the way I was acting isn’t like me. Seriously. Let me buy you dinner.

Hudson(smirking): Not even here a full day and I’ve already got a good-looking coworker buying me dinner. I still got it.

Dawson: I just felt a little intimidated. After I saw the way you handled yourself in the field today… I can see you’re good police. Come on. Let’s go grab dinner.

(They grab their jackets and leave.)

 

(They grab burgers before heading to the bar. Dawson is sizing Hudson up, and vice versa.)

Dawson: So, New York, huh? I haven’t been there in a long time.

Hudson: Born and raised.

Dawson: You know, most girls don’t order a burger in front of a guy they like.

Hudson: Who said I liked you?

Dawson: I thought you said-

(They both break up laughing.)

Hudson: Tell me something about you.

Dawson: I am in the middle of a divorce involving a house and two kids. My ex-wife recently told me that I am married to my job, and that my next wife should be a cop, so I can marry someone who understands being married to a mistress.

(Hudson starts laughing, even though she understands he is serious.)

Hudson: I’m not laughing at your divorce, I’m laughing because your wife is right. A cop’s best shot at a meaningful relationship is with another cop. I tried to date a DA once. He thought he knew the meaning of unavailable until we started dating.

Dawson: So we’re sitting here on a date, talking about how we’re emotionally unavailable. Is something wrong with this picture?

Hudson: Only that we’re not going to bed together after it.

Dawson: Who says we aren’t?

Hudson: We work in the same unit. You don’t even like me.

Dawson: You don’t like me?

Hudson: Don’t avoid questions anymore. You don’t like me.

Dawson: If I didn’t like you, Hudson, I wouldn’t have offered to buy you dinner. You know why I reacted to you that way? Because if I didn’t, I would have jumped your bones in front of the whole squad. I didn’t think you would want to be greeted that way.

(There is silence as Hudson stares him down intently. He is holding his breath, a little nervous.)

Hudson: Our burgers are coming.

(A waiter sets the burgers down in front of them, and Hudson smiles at him.)

Hudson: Thanks.

Waiter: You’re welcome.

(Dawson averts his eyes and digs into his burger. They are silent for a few moments as they eat. Finally, Dawson breaks the silence.)

Dawson: I like you. A lot. I’m afraid of what that means.

Hudson: Means nothing. I’m not interested. Nothing is going to happen.

Dawson: Not at all interested?

Hudson: Pretty hard to be when you cold shouldered me so hard. I understand that this is supposed to be an apology, but I lost interest when you started talking to me like I wasn’t worth anything to you.

Dawson: Fair enough.

(They continue in silence. Halstead and Lindsay see them from across the room and invite themselves to sit down at their table.)

Halstead: Glad to see you two are getting along now.

(Halstead picks at Dawson’s fries. Lindsay looks at Hudson.)

Lindsay: Glad you guys decided to come hang out tonight. Halstead is boring all by himself.

Hudson: That I find hard to believe.

(The two of them share a look. Dawson notices and darkens.)

 

(Everyone is meeting them for drinks at the bar, and Hudson is very outgoing and friendly. Her conversation with Dawson seems forgotten as she hangs on him, a slight buzz on. She becomes flirtatious with him and with Halstead, but neither is competing. They are both fine with whomever she chooses to leave with, if she chooses to leave with someone at all. At this particular moment, she is allowing Dawson to put an arm low on her waist, holding onto one of her hips as he flirts with her.)

Dawson: I see you’re warming up to me. Is that just the alcohol talking?

Hudson: Maybe. Maybe I liked you all along but was being a jerk and an idiot.

Dawson: If I were you, I’d have acted like a jerk and an idiot, too.

Hudson: Well, you did. You were pretty dumb. Just like we’re dumb now for letting ourselves like each other.

Dawson: So you admit it?

Hudson: Yes. I like you, Antonio Dawson- very much so. I don’t know what that does for us, though.

Dawson: We can keep it quiet. We just can’t leave here together tonight.

Hudson: We can never leave anywhere together.

(She slips out of his hands, but Halstead catches her by her waist. She giggles, and Dawson relaxes.)

Halstead: Maybe you’ve had a little too much, Hudson.

(Hudson stands up on her own two feet, looking Halstead dead in the eyes. He is surprised that she is not as drunk as she seems.)

Hudson: I haven’t had nearly enough to trifle with you, Jay Halstead.

(She walks off to the bathroom, leaving both Dawson and Halstead hanging. Halstead checks his phone discreetly, seeing a text from Hudson: “10 minutes. I’m around the corner.” He smiles to himself, drinking his beer. He slowly finishes it, then smiles.)

Halstead: I’m heading home, guys. See ya tomorrow.

(He pulls on his jacket and leaves, going around the corner. He walks directly into Hudson, their lips meeting and kissing passionately. He pushes her back against the wall behind her, reaching into her jacket to put his arms around her.)

Hudson: No one was suspicious?

Halstead: Nope. Come on.

(They walk away from the bar, heading back to her place.)

 

(Hudson unlocks the door to her apartment, which is furnished, but not everything is unpacked. She turns back to Halstead, kissing him again and backing into her apartment.)

Halstead: Are you sure you’re okay with me being at your place? I’m probably being followed.

Hudson: Seriously, Jay? I’m a cop.

(She jumps into his arms, and they land on her couch comfortably. She is straddling him, and she pulls at his shirt.)

Halstead: You sure you want to do this?

Hudson: Take off your shirt.

(Halstead complies, watching as she removes hers as well. He puts his hands on her body, and they resume kissing.)

Halstead: You want to do this here or in the bedroom?

Hudson: I can’t have both?

(Halstead grins, a sign that she can, in fact, have both. They continue, becoming more passionate and removing more clothing. They start having sex, and then he picks her up, taking her into the bedroom. He lands on top of her, kissing her, and she pulls him into her, wrapping her legs around him tightly.)

 

(Hudson wakes up to her phone buzzing. She rolls over to check it, seeing a text for work. She sits up slowly, looking around her room, seeing a man’s clothes. She jerks to the other side, seeing Halstead asleep next to her. She smiles, remembering the night before.)

Hudson: Halstead. Halstead. Wake up. We have to be at work soon. Jay. Wake up, damnit.

(Halstead wakes up slowly. He looks around, sees her, then smiles.)

Halstead: So that WAS real. (pumps his fist) Yessssssssssssss. I haven’t slept like that in a LONG time.

Hudson: So, last night, it was fun.

Halstead: It was.

Hudson: Any time you wanna let off steam like that, you know how to reach me. Let’s grab some coffee on the way. We gotta go.

(Halstead is one step behind her as he follows her in getting up and getting dressed. He watches her as she hops into the shower, showering quickly and pulling her hair up. She dresses quickly, slipping her leather jacket on and her leather boots. Silently, he follows her out of her building and to the Starbucks on the corner.)

 

(Holding coffees, Halstead and Hudson enter the police station. Platt looks up at them, catching Hudson’s attention.)

Platt: Detective Hudson, you have a message here for you.

(Hudson walks over. Platt hands her a piece of notepad paper with a handwritten note: “Meet me at Normal and Canal at 10AM, or I pick off your new coworkers one by one, starting with the one who woke up in your bed.” Hudson’s eyes widen, and she looks up.)

Hudson: Thank you, Sergeant Platt.

(She walks up the stairs, and Halstead tries to pretend he didn’t see what was written in the note. He follows her, sipping his coffee. They walk in, one right behind the other, and no one seems to notice, except for Dawson, who is quietly watching. He picks up nothing from their body language, and he smiles at Hudson. She is tense, but she manages a smile as well.)

Lindsay: You disappeared on us last night.

Hudson: You ever hit that point in drinking where you know you’re going to embarrass yourself? I hit it and thought it was better to just go home than risk looking like a tool to my new coworkers.

Lindsay: Oh, I totally get that. But we would have made sure to get you home. You don’t need to worry about us judging you.

Hudson: I just didn’t want to make a bad impression, that’s all.

Lindsay: Totally understood.

(They all sit down, and Lindsay notices Halstead eyeing Hudson strangely. She is being secretive, checking her phone, not checking her email on her computer, but rather on her phone. Nadia looks up.)

Nadia: Detective Hudson? There’s call for you on Line 1.

(Before Nadia even finishes the sentence, Hudson has already picked it up.)

Hudson: Hudson. Yeah. I did. Uh huh. I’ll be right there.

(She hangs up abruptly. Grabbing her jacket, she abandons her coffee and walks out, no explanation. Halstead signals to everyone.)

Halstead: There was a note waiting for her downstairs. I tried to pretend I didn’t see it, but I think she’s in trouble.

Dawson: What did the note say?

Halstead: Said that if she didn’t meet whoever wrote it at 10AM, they were gonna take out each of her new coworkers one by one. Normal and Canal.

Dawson: Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go!

 

(Hudson is standing in the middle of block, her leather jacket on. Unbeknownst to her, the entire squad is set up in the area to apprehend whoever is harassing her. She adjusts her sunglasses as she is grabbed from behind.)

Mark: I’m here to collect $800K, sweetheart.

Hudson: Damn, Mark, you just don’t get that when it’s over, it’s over!

(She kicks him hard, but he puts a knife to her throat, pulling her into an alleyway, dragging her halfway down.)

Mark: You double crossed all of us. I should have raped you again! You needed to learn your place!

Hudson: As if you’d be able to. I’d have ripped your face off before you could even hold me down. You’ll never catch me passed out drunk again, Mark.

Mark: You were worthless then, and you are now. You stabbed us all in the back. Why couldn’t you have just stayed dropped off the face of the earth?!?!?!

Hudson: I’m a cop, Mark, what did you think would happen?! I was doing a job, and I did it damn well! I put 3 years into the assignment, AND I got your boss’ conviction to prove it!

Mark: And what about me, huh? Was that in your “assignment”?!

Hudson: You weren’t my target, Mark. You were just collateral damage.

(Mark begins to push the knife into her throat, drawing blood. A gun cocks, and Halstead is at Mark’s back. Hudson freezes, the knife digging into her throat.)

Halstead(in protective mode, nearly growling): Drop the knife. Drop it right now!

Hudson: Do it, Mark. These Chicago cops will kill you.

Mark: You don’t care.

Hudson: You’re right, I don’t care if they kill you. But you’re making me bleed on my shirt, and I just can’t have that. So drop the goddamn knife!

(Her brutal words make his grip on the knife falter, and she twists his wrist. Dawson jumps out of nowhere, grabbing the knife, and then grabs Hudson, pulling her away from Mark. He puts his hand on her neck, trying to stop the bleeding. Mark, getting out of Halstead’s grasp, picks up the knife, stabbing Hudson four times before Hudson herself grabs his wrist, breaking it. Blood pours out everywhere, and Dawson grabs her before she hits the ground. Halstead cuffs Mark, and Hudson struggles to speak.)

Dawson: Don’t try to talk, Hudson.

Hudson: Make sure he stays in Chicago.

(She passes out as the ambulance arrives. Lindsay helps Dawson put her on a stretcher, and the ambulance drives away with her. Dawson, covered in Hudson’s blood, stares at the ambulance leaving.)

 

(Hudson is sitting up in the hospital bed, energetic and ready to get back out to work. Voight, Halstead, and Dawson are all in the room with her. Dawson is trying to calm her down.)

Hudson: He’s not on his way back to New York, is he? I want a crack at him before sunset.

Dawson: You need to focus on getting better, Hudson. You lost a lot of blood today. They transfused two units in the ED alone.

Hudson: I feel fine. Don’t tell me what to do. They said I could go as long as I wasn’t doing backflips and running triathlons. I want a crack at Mark.

Voight: You want a crack at him? Be my guest. Let’s bust you out of here.

Halstead: Hank, do you really think we should let her out of here? She was stabbed five times less than 8 hours ago.

Voight: You’re not gonna keep her in that bed. Might as well let her be useful.

Halstead: Why didn’t you tell us, Hudson? Why did you go alone?

Hudson: It was my problem to handle.

Voight: You don’t go it alone here in Chicago. Maybe your C.O. let you handle business alone in New York, but here in Chicago, you bring at least one person with you. No more of this cowboy act. It’s bad enough I have to break Halstead out of the habit; now I have the two of you?

(Hudson looks at Halstead, he smiles a shit eating grin. She turns back to Voight.)

Hudson: Fair enough.

Voight: I wanna have a chat with this Mark. Anyone who threatens my squad, they answer to me.

(Halstead and Dawson exchange a look. They know this is going to be an eye opener for Hudson, who is not used to police violence.)

 

(Hudson is in the box with Mark and Voight.)

Hudson: So you thought you’d collect $800K on me? Get back in with your boss?

Mark: I don’t talk to him anymore.

Voight: You threatened the lives of my cops. And you stabbed my newest cop. You oughta have something to show for that.

(Voight takes Mark’s stabbing hand and pulls him toward the door. Hudson watches, shocked. Voight slams Mark’s hand in the door repeatedly.)

Hudson: Whoa, whoa, whoa… Can we do that here?

Voight: It’s not encouraged. I can’t help that the door keeps slipping into his hand.

(Hudson smiles. She stops Voight, pulling Mark back, sitting him down.)

Hudson: Don’t you have something else to do, Hank?

(Without asking questions, Hank leaves.)

Mark: You don’t have the strength to beat me.

Hudson: I’m not 17 anymore, Mark. I’m not drugged up and drunk, passed out on Amy Arocho’s parents’ couch at a party. I don’t need to beat you, Mark. I already did that, and I didn’t need to chain you up to do it. Shut up and sit down!

(Hudson slams him into the seat, and he realizes he is screwed. Hudson slams a foot in between his legs, startling him. He nearly pisses himself. She slams him backward, slamming his head against the wall.)

Mark: You can’t do this.

Hudson: You’re not in New York anymore, Mark. You’re playing by MY rules here. Now, I want to know, who set this up?

Mark: Set what up?

(Hudson jerks her foot closer to his crotch. On the other side of the two-way mirror, Voight, Dawson, and Halstead, and Olinsky are impressed.)

Halstead: She’s genuinely scary.

Voight: I wouldn’t want to come up against her in a dark alley. She may be the missing piece this place needs. I want criminals scared to walk the streets. A woman like her? There’s the fear we need.

Halstead: She has no chill. The way she’s got this dude crying, I would never believe his rap sheet. Prostitution, murder, rape… he looks like a little boy crying for his mother in there.

(Inside, Mark has now pissed himself and is crying.)

Mark: Nikki! Nikki set this up! She put the bounty on your head. She offered $800K to the first person who could snuff you, plus travel expenses.

Hudson: Well, you’ll be taking a very long vacation here, Mark. (She pulls out her phone.) Call Nikki. Tell her I’m waiting for her. Her and I are going to finish this.

(Mark dials the number, Nikki answers.)

Mark: Nikki. Charlotte Hudson has a message for you.

Nikki: What’s that?

 (Hudson takes the phone out of his hand.)

Hudson: Be seeing you real soon, Nikki. Good looking out now.

(Call disconnects. Hudson smiles, leaning down close to Mark’s ear.)

Hudson: Good to know that after all this time, I’ve still got you by the balls, Mark.

(She leaves. Voight and Dawson are waiting for her outside the room.)

Voight: You really handled in there. You should be proud of yourself.

Hudson: I never got to do that in New York. I’ve got a lot of it saved up.

Dawson: It’s overlooked within reason here. They see a criminal with a shiner, they don’t think so hard about it.

Hudson: I got Mark to piss himself. Impressive.

Dawson: You made him cry, too.

Hudson: Eh, I’ve done that before. Nothing to write home about. Neither was the sex.

Dawson: You had sex with this guy?

Hudson: To get him to turn on his boss? You bet your ass I did. He opened up like a dam. I had him turning tricks like a pony show before I brought down the whole organization.

Dawson: Is that what you’re doing to me?

Hudson: No. I’m not sure what I’m doing with you, Antonio. I’d like to explore it whenever you’re emotionally available.

(He laughs a little.)

Dawson: Don’t rush anything. It’ll happen.

(She smiles at him.)

 

(On her first day of volunteering at Ambulance 61, Hudson encounters Chris Herrmann. She walks by him, keeping her head down, trying not to make waves with any after inadvertently pissing off Gabby Dawson, Antonio’s sister. He eyes her quizzically, grabbing her arm just before she is out of reach. She looks up at him nervously.)

Hudson: Was I in your way?

Herrmann: Yeah, but I’m not complaining about the view, Miss…?

Hudson: Hudson. Charlotte Hudson.

Herrmann: Short for Charlotte?

Hudson(averting her eyes): Yes.

(Herrmann raises her chin so she is looking him in the eyes. Their eyes meet, and he raises his eyebrows. Instant connection sparks between the two of them. He looks at her uniform, the paramedic shield, and he raises an eyebrow.)

Herrmann: I didn’t know we hired anyone new.

Hudson: You didn’t. I’m a volunteer. My coworker told me this house takes volunteers, so I signed up with Boden yesterday.

Herrmann: Well, welcome to Ambo 61. I’m Lieutenant Chris Herrmann. I’m a firefighter.

Hudson(shaking his hand): Nice to meet you. I’m looking for Sylvie Brett or Peter Mills?

(Herrmann points them out.)

Herrmann: That’s Mills, and Brett is over there. They’ll be your fellow paramedics. Over there is Lieutenant Casey and Candidate Dawson.

Hudson: Dawson? She’s my coworker’s sister. We’ve… already met.

(Dawson is walking by.)

Dawson: I see you found someone new to bother.

Hudson: Get over it. I’m a volunteer and I’ve never been here before. I had no idea that there were assigned beds here.

Herrmann: She’s not mad about you taking a bed. She’s mad because she’s used to being the only girl around.

Dawson: Shut up, Chris!

Herrmann: Hey, at least there’s no lieutenants left for her to marry.

(Dawson gives him a dirty look, Hudson looks at Herrmann, smiling.)

Hudson: I think I’m gonna like it here.

(Dawson leans into Herrmann as she walks by him.)

Dawson: She might as well have a bull’s eye on her, Herrmann. Go for it.

Herrmann: You think so?

Dawson: Oh, yeah. She wants you.

(Herrmann walks away, smiling to himself. Hudson sits down, but the alarm goes off, so she suits up.)

 

(At the scene, she grabs a patient from Herrmann as he brings them out of a building. He smiles at her.)

Herrmann: So much for a quiet first day, huh?

(Feeling shy, Hudson smiles, holding up the patient and helping her to a stretcher. Herrmann smiles after her, then runs back into the building. Hudson looks after him as he walks away.)

 

(Hudson is sitting at a table in the station, filling out a bunch of paperwork. Dawson sits down next to her. Hudson looks up, quizzical.)

Dawson: All right, look. Herrmann was right. I’m used to being one of the only girls. Brett is so introverted that she kind of fades into the background, but I used to be the center of attention. I liked it. I met you, and I felt threatened.

Hudson: I’m not here to steal your thunder, Dawson. I’m here because I love volunteering and I love being a paramedic. I’m not here 60 hours a week like you guys. I have a full time job of my own.

Dawson: I know, and I’m sorry. I talked to my brother Antonio about you. He told me that you’re a great cop and a great person. I trust his judgment. Maybe we could try being friends?

Hudson: Sure.

Dawson: So what’s your story?

Hudson: Just moved here from New York. I’m a cop. I like being a paramedic. I don’t really know anyone here, so I decided to make friends by volunteering. Looks like it kinda worked.

Dawson: Did you do EMS in New York, too?

Hudson: Yeah, but I got paid for some of it. I picked it up as a second job, but here I don’t need two jobs, so I’m just volunteering.

(Herrmann sits down after discreetly listening.)

Herrmann: You’re from New York?

Hudson: Yeah, born and raised.

Herrmann: Why did you come to Chicago?

Hudson: It’s a long story. It’s work related, anyway.

Dawson: Tell us.

Hudson: It’s a work thing.

Herrmann: Right, but why?

Hudson: I brought down a big time pimp in New York. He had a HUGE operation. I put months of work into it and got a huge indictment on the pimp, his #2, and his bottom girl, Nikki. Nikki had some serious juice. She put out a bounty on me for $800K. So the #2, whom I had gotten to open up on the whole operation by getting him to fall in love with me, thought he could be a killer. That’s where I got these.

(She shows them her wounds, almost healed up. Dawson eyes them.)

Dawson: Stab wounds?

Hudson: Yup.

Herrmann: What happened to him?

Hudson: He’s in jail here. After the bounty was put out, my Sergeant sent me out here to replace Jay Halstead. You guys know him?

Dawson: Yeah, he helped us out with some problems after we bought our bar. Great cop. Great guy. That’s where I know you from, isn’t it? You were the girl who made the bust with Jay.

Hudson: Yeah. So, basically, the #2 came out here, thinking he could get me alone and just get it done, quick and dirty. Thanks to our boy, Halstead, he’s in jail and I’m still alive.

Dawson: How did you get him to fall in love with you?

Hudson: Learned his weaknesses. It wasn’t difficult.

Dawson: Was it hard to separate the feelings from the work?

Hudson: No. I didn’t love him at all. I could pretend I did, and he was inexperienced enough to not realize I didn’t love him, but for me… All I had to do was remember how, in my first week undercover, I watched him beat a 17 year old girl nearly to death for simply talking back to him.

Dawson: Sounds like a real winner.

Hudson: He wasn’t. He was muscle.

Herrmann(feeling protective): Did he ever hit you?

Hudson: Once. Then I arrested him.

Dawson: So you came to Chicago for a change of scenery.

Hudson: Initially, I was only supposed to be here for a few months. Then my transfer here became permanent and I realized that I needed to be out of New York for a while.

Herrmann: You think about going back?

Hudson: I miss it. But I don’t want to go back for a while. I’d be okay with staying here, actually. I like it here.

(Herrmann is smiling at her, and she catches his eye. She smiles back and he moves closer. Dawson slips out of the conversation silently to let them talk.)

Hudson: Wow, shift is almost over. It went really quick today.

Herrmann: You know, I own a bar a couple blocks away. Why don’t you come by tonight for a drink? Blow off some steam, meet some new friends? The tab’s on the house.

Hudson: Thanks. I’ll definitely come by. You’ll be there, right?

Herrmann: Yep. I’ll be behind the bar.

(The alarm starts going off, but since Hudson is off, she doesn’t move. Herrmann stands, smiling at her.)

Hudson: See you tonight, Herrmann.

(Herrmann leans in close to her ear, whispering.)

Herrmann: I’m looking forward to it.

(Hudson watches him leave, smiling.)

 

 

(Hudson, dressed to kill in her leather jacket, a charcoal grey top, liquid black leggings, and black leather boots enters the bar. She knows she is in the presence of men, because almost all of them stop to look at her. Her makeup is flawless and her hair is just the right amount of wavy. She sits down at the bar in front of Herrmann, who is pouring a drink for Severide. Severide looks over, his eyes popping open in surprise and approval. He continues eyeing her, then looks at Herrmann, smiling. Herrmann looks up, completely stunned.)

Herrmann: Wow. Just wow. You look incredible. Sit down. What can I get you?

Hudson: I’ll start with bourbon on the rocks, I guess. I’m not working tomorrow.

Herrmann: Maker’s or Jack D?

Hudson: Maker’s.

(Herrmann pours her the drink, and pours himself one. They toast and drink. She smiles at him. He leans into her.)

Herrmann: Any trouble finding the place?

Hudson: I’m a cop, Chris. I never have trouble finding anything.

Herrmann: Fair enough. So what do you think of 51?

Hudson: A lot of things to get used to, a lot of new things. The work is the same, though. I like that part.

Herrmann: Different class of criminals here?

Hudson: Yeah. They’re dumber. In New York, a criminal could be operating for years and fly under the radar. Here, cases tend to be short lived. That pimp I busted would take six months here instead of three years.

Herrmann: Is it more dangerous there?

Hudson: Sometimes it is. Chicago is easier to predict, so it makes it safer for me.

Herrmann: Then I’m glad you’re here and not there. Also, because you’re here with me right now.

(They clink glasses and drink again. He watches her as she drinks. She smiles at him, clearly flirting.)

 

(The bar is empty, save for Herrmann and Hudson. He is sitting on the bar stool next to her now, and refills their glasses from a lone bottle. She is tipsy enough to flirt with him, and he has his hand on her thigh. They keep unconsciously moving closer together, and she curls a leg into his stool, locking them together.)

Herrmann: Let me ask you something.

Hudson: What?

Herrmann: What’s your interest in an old guy like me?

Hudson: You consider yourself old?

Herrmann: I run into burning buildings for a living. I consider myself a lot of things. But stupid isn’t one of them. What are we doing here?

(They are close to enough to be kissing, but neither is making the move. She giggles.)

Hudson: We’re having a good time. Does there have to be an ultimate purpose for everything?

(He leans in, kissing her. She reaches up, touching his thigh. He reaches up for her cheek, and it becomes apparent he is anything but old. He has the energy of a 17 year old, the libido of a 21 year old, but the style of a man in his 30s. She is completely seduced by him. Her fingernails scratch down his legs, and he pushes her up against the bar hard. Her hands slide around him, grabbing his ass. Smash cut to them in bed, her hands holding the headboard above her, him on top of her, kissing her passionately. They are covered in sweat.)

Hudson: Don’t you think 3 times is a little excessive?

Herrmann: No.

(He slows down, catching his breath. He props himself up, looking at her.)

Herrmann: You’re actually tired!

Hudson: Not tired. I’ve just never done it three times in a row before.

Herrmann: Charlotte, I could do it three more right now and not even be tired. I just don’t want to stop.

Hudson: Don’t. Don’t, Chris.

(He begins kissing her again, and they continue having sex. She runs her hands through his hair, gently scratching his back.)

 

(Charlotte wakes up, completely undressed, in Chris’ bed. She looks around, seeing Chris asleep next to her, naked as well. She gets up and heads to the bathroom, completely naked. She stands there, fixing her makeup as best as possible. Chris wakes up and sits up, looking at her and smiling.)

Hudson: My makeup got runny.

Herrmann: It doesn’t matter. You’re still a knockout. Come here.

(She heads over to the bed, and he pulls her down into it. He kisses her good morning, his lips strong enough to make her weak in the knees.)

Hudson: A guy like you is dangerous for a girl like me.

Herrmann: How so?

Hudson: Handsome, strong, charming, and hard working. Everything I want and need in a man.

Herrmann: Are you worried about whether this is going to work out between us? Why are you nervous?

Hudson: I just moved here and everything is happening so fast.

Herrmann: So slow down and enjoy things a little! We don’t have to jump into anything. We had a great time, didn’t we, sweetheart?

Hudson: We did.

Herrmann: So, why get all serious right away?

Hudson: I’m sorry. Ever since I got here, I haven’t been myself. I guess I’m just trying to get my bearings.

(Herrmann kisses her, holding her tight and close. He smiles at her.)

Herrmann: Relax, honey, let’s just have some fun. We don’t have to get into all that other stuff yet, okay?

Hudson: Okay. You need me to drop you off at work?

Herrmann: Sure.

 

(Hudson is dropping Herrmann off at 51 in her Jeep. She has her sunglasses on, but everyone in the station knows it is her. Herrmann turns to her, kissing her goodbye. She looks nervous, and he squeezes her knee.)

Herrmann: Relax.

Hudson: I’m sorry. I’m just nervous about this whole thing.

Herrmann: Did you have fun last night?

Hudson: Of course. I just-

Herrmann: Don’t worry about the rest. Just enjoy it, okay?

(He leans in and kisses her again, letting it linger. She kisses him back, and they begin making out in the front seat. He slides a hand up her thigh, and she squeezes his thigh. A loud hooting and hollering comes from the station, and they break the moment, looking over at most of 51 cheering them on. Hudson blushes as Herrmann gets out of Jeep. He comes around the driver’s side, holding her hand.)

Herrmann: Screw ‘em, okay? Don’t pay attention to them.

Hudson(joking): I knew you’d be trouble, Chris Herrmann.

(He leans in and kisses her again.)

Herrmann: When can I see you again?

Hudson: How is tomorrow night?

Herrmann: Sounds good. Come by the bar at 7:30. Dress like you’re going on a date.

Hudson: Why?

Herrmann: Because you are.

(He leans in, kissing her mouth goodbye.)

Herrmann: I’ll see you tomorrow night, sweetheart.

(As Herrmann walks into the station, Mouch and few others catcall him, and a few high five him.)

Cruz: Herrmann, we saw you with the volunteer medic! Details, my brother, details!

Herrmann: A gentleman never tells.

Mouch: You ain’t no gentleman, Herrmann!

Otis: Come on, man! Give us a bone!

Herrmann: She’s a real doll, you guys; I don’t wanna talk about her like that. She’s not some skank at the bar.

Dawson: Oh, my God, Herrmann… You LIKE her!

Herrmann: Well, geez, I hope so, otherwise taking her out to dinner tomorrow night is gonna be really awkward.

Dawson: Herrmann, NO WAY!!! Where are you taking her?

Herrmann: I don’t know…

Dawson: Herrmann!! This is huge! We HAVE to figure out where you’re taking her.

Herrmann: I know where I’m taking her. The Adler Planetarium. She’s dying to go and she loves outer space. I just need to figure out where to take her to eat after.

Mouch: I didn’t know the Adler was open at night.

Herrmann: They’re having a fundraiser for a new exhibit they want to do. I got tickets on my phone last night while she was sleeping.

Dawson: She spent the night with you?! Herrmann!

Herrmann: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and you live with Casey. She’s not a slut, Dawson, we really like each other.

Dawson: I never said you were. I’m just shocked; it’s not like you to spend the night with a girl.

Herrmann: When it’s this girl, it is definitely like me to spend the night. I’m agonizing over where I should take her for dinner.

(Dawson starts thinking. After a second, she gets excited.)

Dawson: I know where to take her! Take her to Chicago Firehouse on 14th and Michigan! It’s funny, ‘cause you guys met in a firehouse.

Herrmann: I like it a lot. That place has decent food, and it’s not just dragging her into Molly’s.

Dawson: So you really like this girl, huh, Herrmann?

Herrmann: What’s it like dating someone who’s young and vibrant and full of life?

Dawson: Don’t worry about it, Chris. She likes you. Girls our age are very direct. If we don’t like you, we don’t even want to acknowledge you. It’s safe to say that she very much wants to know you. I knew you would like her. She’s feisty, isn’t she?

Herrmann: She’s the exact kind of woman I like. I wanna impress her, Gabby. Do you think this’ll work?

Dawson: You already impressed her.

Herrmann: Let me call and see if Chicago Firehouse needs a reservation.

(He picks up the phone and Dawson walks away, feeling good about it.)

 

(Herrmann is dressed in a dark blue button down with dark blue jeans, a black jacket, and black leather shoes. He is waiting in the back room of the bar for Hudson, who is on time as she steps into the door, avoiding the rowdy happy hour patrons. Otis sees her and steps through the door to alert Herrmann.)

Otis: Hey, man, she’s here.

(Herrmann peers through the door, combing the crowd for Hudson. He spots her, wearing a cranberry red cocktail dress and black boots, an ivory-gold colored shawl draped over her shoulders. Her hair is pin straight, and her makeup is once again flawless. He smiles.)

Herrmann: She’s gorgeous, Otis. That beautiful girl is going out on a date with me tonight. I’m the luckiest man alive.

Otis: Don’t keep her waiting, Herrmann, go do your thang.

(Herrmann goes out to meet her, touching her elbow. She turns to him, and she beams.)

Hudson(off his look): Well, you said come dressed for a date!

Herrmann: You look beautiful, sweetheart. Come on. I can’t wait to take you out.

(He takes her hand, and she smiles. Clearly, she’s no longer nervous or afraid. He helps her into his car, which has been washed and polished so it shines. In the car, he reaches for her hand, holding it on the console.)

Hudson: How was your day?

Herrmann: Let’s not talk about it. When I wasn’t pulling people out of burning buildings, I was getting excited for this date, so let’s just keep it to the here and now, okay, honey?

Hudson: I heard about that fire on Wabash and Adams. That was 51 that responded?

Herrmann: Yeah.

Hudson: I’m sorry. Let’s not talk about work. I am actually ecstatic to be here, Chris.

Herrmann: Yeah, I noticed you don’t seem as nervous tonight.

Hudson: I just decided, screw it, you know? Life is too short to be anything but happy, and you make me happy. You give me the giggles. I feel like a schoolgirl around you. Being around you makes me feel peaceful, you know? Like I can do anything.

(Herrmann is quiet as he lets this sink in for him. He smiles and kisses her hand.)

Herrmann: That almost sounded like a wedding proposal.

(Hudson laughs, and he pulls into a parking lot down by the waterfront. She looks around, but he helps her out of the car before saying anything.)

Hudson: Where are we going, Chris?

Herrmann: Now, I remember you saying how much you love outer space. There’s a fundraiser tonight at the Adler Planetarium, and all the exhibits are open, so I bought tickets for us.

(He holds up the tickets. She jumps up and down, and puts her hands on his shoulders, leaning in to kiss him hard on the lips. He slides an arm around her waist, and they head towards the planetarium.)

 

(Hudson and Herrmann are walking through the exhibit, hand in hand. She is like a kid on Christmas morning, and he absolutely loves every second of it. Though he is a little quiet, she does enough talking for both of them.)

Hudson: Ugh, isn’t the night sky just beautiful, Chris? When I was a kid, I had like, 3 telescopes and all I did all night was look up at the sky through them. I was such a nerd that I didn’t have any friends, so I used the spare time to just read about the solar system and about stars and the universe. You know we’re really all just stardust, right? We’re all just gases and minerals. It’s amazing. And the universe is infinite. It’s expanding as we speak. Oh, my God, I am so sorry. I’m totally nerdgasming all over you, aren’t I? I’ll shut up.

Herrmann(smiling, laughing): I don’t want you to shut up. I want you to be excited. This is why I brought you, because I wanted to see you around something you love.

Hudson: This is amazing, Chris, it really is. I’m having so much fun with you.

(She kisses him unabashedly in front of a group of people. He smiles.)

Herrmann: Dawson was right. She said you wouldn’t want to acknowledge me if you didn’t want me around. Clearly, you want to be seen with me.

Hudson: Of course I do.

Herrmann: So why did you read about astronomy so much?

Hudson: It was comforting to me. Like, my entire life was awful, but reading about it reminded me that there’s more to the universe than my crappy life. Like, our world is so much bigger than this, you know? It always helped me put things in perspective.

(Herrmann is studying her.)

Herrmann: So, you had a bad childhood?

Hudson: Yeah. A long laundry list of bad things.

Herrmann: What was the worst?

Hudson: I’m having such a good time, Chris. I don’t want to dampen the mood.

(Chris takes her arms gently. He kisses her, looking deep into her eyes.)

Herrmann: I just want to know everything about you, Charlotte. I don’t care if it dampens the mood. I just want to know about you.

Hudson: You want to know the worst, huh?

Herrmann: The worst.

(Hudson sits down on a bench, holding both his hands.)

Hudson: I was gang raped in high school. I was getting abused at home, and I started trying to self-medicate by partying with friends from school. I was drunk, passed out, high on painkillers, and I woke up to something in my mouth that I didn’t put there. Then I realized there were things in other holes as well.

Herrmann: Oh, my God. Sweetheart.

Hudson: I went harder into drugs after that. Started homeschooling.

Herrmann: Oh, honey. I’m so sorry.

Hudson: You wanted to know, Chris.

(She stands and walks outside to the patio, where there is a gorgeous view of the lake in front of her. She is taking a few deep breaths, trying to control her emotions. Chris follows her outside, putting his arms around her.)

Herrmann: It isn’t who you are, Charlotte. It wasn’t your fault. You did nothing wrong. The people who raped you are the ones who did wrong.

Hudson: I didn’t finish. When I was undercover with that pimp, I discovered the ringleader of my rape was in his organization. He was the pimp’s #2.

Herrmann: You mean you had to…?

Hudson: I had to convince my own rapist to fall in love with me so I could put him in jail for raping and pimping other women. You know how he got a taste for it? From when he raped me. I was his first rape. I didn’t pursue it. I didn’t press charges. I just disappeared. He thought I had killed myself when he figured out who I was.

Herrmann: When did he figure it out?

Hudson: When I arrested him. I told him. And then I told him he was under arrest. He was shocked, to say the least.

(Herrmann touches her cheek, caressing it gently. He kisses her again, and she looks at him, embarrassed.)

Hudson: Did I ruin the night yet?

Herrmann: Not even close, sweetheart.

(Hudson squeezes his hand.)

Hudson: You are awesome, you know that? Most people would go running for the hills.

Herrmann: I don’t want to. I’m having a lot of fun sitting right here with you.

(She smiles, kissing him. He pulls her in closer, kissing her harder. She giggles. He pulls back and checks the time.)

Hudson: You have to be somewhere?

Herrmann: No. WE do. Come on.

(He stands up, pulling her by the hand with him. He puts an arm around her, and they head to the parking lot. They jump in the car and head to the restaurant.)

 

(Hudson is looking up at the sign, and laughing.)

Hudson: Chicago Firehouse? Really?

Herrmann: The joke is that we met at a firehouse in Chicago, right?

Hudson: Trust me, it’s not lost on me. I love it.

(She slides her arms around his waist. She kisses him, smiling.)

Herrmann: Come on, let’s go inside. I’m hungry.

(He opens the door for her.)

 

(Hudson is drinking wine. Herrmann is drinking a beer, smiling at her.)

Herrmann: So all this must be pretty overwhelming for you, huh?

Hudson: A little. I learned from an early age to process things quickly, but sometimes, since I got here, I’ve felt like the floor’s come out from under me.

Herrmann: Is this too much for you?

Hudson: No. This feels like a port in the storm, actually. This is the most calm I’ve felt since I moved here. I feel content with you. Relaxed, even. Like I don’t want any of this to end.

Herrmann: I can confidently say that the feeling is entirely mutual, Charlotte. I don’t want to be anywhere else besides here, with you.

(He reaches across the table and holds her hand; she squeezes his.)

 

(She lets him into her apartment, flipping the light on. She closes the drapes, and removes her shawl, tossing it on the chair. He puts his jacket on the back of a stool at the breakfast bar, and he looks around.)

Herrmann: I remember when they were building these. They did a great job. These apartments are really safe fire-wise. Well built and built to last.

Hudson: That’s why I picked them, obviously.

Herrmann: Is it?

Hudson: No, they were the only place with an apartment for immediate occupancy.

(Herrmann puts his arms around her, kissing her.)

Herrmann: We’re pretty good at kissing.

Hudson: We are.

(They kiss again. She pulls him down on the couch, leaning onto his shoulder. He puts his arms around her and kisses her head.)

Herrmann: What do you want to do now?

Hudson: This. This is fine. This is perfect.

(They sit peacefully, staring through the window at the nighttime view of the city. He becomes aware after a few moments that she is sleeping peacefully on his shoulder. He kisses the top of her head and then holds her tight to him.)

 

(Hudson is finishing up some PD paperwork while waiting for a call. Herrmann sits down next to her, leaning in and giving her a kiss on the cheek.)

Hudson: I didn’t hear you leave this morning.

Herrmann: You were sleeping so peacefully, sweetheart. I couldn’t wake you up.

Hudson: And you thoughtfully set an alarm for the time I needed to get up. You are some kind of amazing, Chris.

Herrmann: I didn’t want you to be late, so I figured the alarm would get you up.

Hudson: I had such an amazing time the other night, Chris. I really did. I haven’t been on such a great date since I don’t remember when.

Herrmann: I’m so glad, sweetheart. I was thinking we could have dinner tomorrow night. What do you say?

Hudson: I would love to!

Herrmann: But?

Hudson: But I have an event for work tomorrow night… Maybe you could come with me? I’ve heard you clean up very well.

Herrmann: Oh, you have, have you? Well, I’d love to see how well you clean up, sweetheart. I’ll take you up on that offer.

Hudson: That’s excellent! I’m so glad I don’t have to ask Otis to come with me. He’d totally think it was a date.

Herrmann: No, he wouldn’t. Otis knows better. He knows I care about ya.

Hudson: I was thinking tonight… we wouldn’t fall asleep.

Herrmann: You fell asleep on me, honey.

Hudson: Oh, yeah. I’m so sorry, I just felt so peaceful and relaxed sitting there with you.

Herrmann: You don’t have to apologize, Charlotte. You were so peaceful. It felt really right sitting there with you. I loved every second of it. Please, don’t apologize. I’m so excited to go with you tomorrow. How formal is it?

Hudson: Suit and tie, as nice as you can get without going black tie. I’ll be in a cocktail dress. I’m so happy you can come! It’s going to be a really great night. I should warn you, I may be gone a lot of the time, but you won’t be alone. The Intelligence squad will be with us all night.

Herrmann: Where will you be?

Hudson: Well, it’s a fundraiser, so I’m putting on a show. You know, they found out the newbie can sing, so they’re hazing me a little bit. Kim Burgess from patrol and I have been working on something. I’m a little nervous to perform. That’s kind of why I wanted you to come. You keep me calm and I’ll probably be freaking out.

Herrmann: Whatever it is, honey, you’re going to be great. I’m so excited for tomorrow.

Hudson: We’re going to have a great time, Chris.

(Her phone rings, it is work. She excuses herself, answering.)

 

 

 

(Hudson and Herrmann have ordered takeout and are lounging on Hudson’s couch.)

Herrmann: So where were you tonight when I called you?

Hudson: Work stuff. You know how it is with cops.

Herrmann: Are you careful out there?

Hudson: Of course.

Herrmann: I just don’t want to respond to a call because something horrible happened to you again.

Hudson: I can’t promise that will never happen. But I can promise I will try my hardest to make sure it doesn’t. Do you understand?

Herrmann: Of course.

(He kisses her, and they snuggle up together on the couch.)

 

(Mills is being threatened by Lullo. As Charlotte draws closer, she hears the exchange.)

Lullo: You’re dead.

(Hudson steps in between Mills and Lullo. Her eyes are cold, and she is threatening in her demeanor.)

Hudson: Did you just threaten a City of Chicago paramedic?!

(She pulls back her jacket, showing her shield, and then her gun. Lullo glares.)

Lullo: He killed my son.

Hudson: He did everything he could. Clear out. Next time I see you or anyone associated with you anywhere near him, I’m putting cuffs on you.

Mills: You’re really going to threaten a grieving father-

Hudson: Shut your mouth!

(She is so aggressive and volatile that all of the guys are taken aback. Previously, she has been seen as sweet, kind, gentle, and even shy, but this was almost mean and aggressive. She stands her ground, placing herself in between Lullo and the station, until Lullo and his men leave. Then she turns, glaring at Mills, and walks away.)

 

(Mills is sitting on a couch in the station trying to argue his point with Hudson.)

Mills: Just let me talk to him. He’s a grieving father. He’s upset.

Hudson: No. With guys like him, you take their threats seriously.

Mills: But I-

Hudson: Mills! In this station, you may have a one up on me, but out there, I own every single damn one of you. I’m a cop, Mills, and I’m telling you, I know what I’m talking about. I’m calling Halstead and getting the paperwork started for a restraining order. He threatened you. I witnessed it. I have to do it, whether you cooperate or not.

Mills: Can’t we just talk to him?

Hudson: You know what it’s like to have a target on your forehead, Mills? You never stop looking over your shoulder. You never stop feeling paranoid and wondering what’s on the other side of your windows and doors. It’s no way to live, Mills. This is what I can do for you: I can get you a restraining order for Lullo and all of his men, and we can put a protective detail on you until this is over.

Mills: I don’t want to put a grieving father in jail.

Hudson: Better than putting you in a box, Mills. You wanna roll the dice with your life?

(She walks away, calling Halstead. He answers for her on the first ring.)

Halstead: Hey.

Hudson: Hey, Jay. I need you to come over to Firehouse 51 and bring paperwork for a restraining order.

Halstead: I’m guessing this isn’t a social call.

Hudson: Sorry, no.

Halstead: Restraining order, huh?

Hudson: Yeah. That organized crime guy Lullo threatened one of the paramedics.

Halstead: Got the paperwork, be there in 5.

Hudson: Thank you so much, Jay.

Halstead: You’re gonna owe me dinner.

Hudson: You’ll get it.

(She hangs up, looking over at Chris. She smiles at him, and within seconds, Halstead enters. She picks up Mills by the jacket and heads into Boden’s office.)

 

(Halstead opens his door to Hudson waiting. He pulls her into the apartment, kissing her and pulling off her jacket. She pulls his off. She bites his lip, gripping his face. She throws him down on his bed, landing on top of him.)

Hudson: Can this substitute for dinner?

(Halstead chortles a laugh, pulling her closer into him.)

 

(After, as they are basking in the afterglow. He pulls her close and kisses her, playing with her hair. Her phone rings and she checks it. Herrmann is calling her. She ignores it, turning back to Halstead.)

Halstead: You really like him, huh?

Hudson: He makes me giggly.

Halstead: That’s good. So we should stop this?

Hudson: Yeah. Sorry. I was really gung ho about it until I met him.

Halstead: No, it’s good. It means we’re both doing something positive. I know we would never be good for each other. You’re a good girl, but you’re also very, very bad…

(He kisses her, and she slides on top of him. She leans down, throwing her hair over her shoulder. She kisses him, and he smiles.)

Halstead: Bad girl.

Hudson: Bad boy.

Halstead: Fair enough.

 

(Dawson approaches Hudson shyly at Molly’s. Hudson smiles at her, patting a seat next to her for Dawson to sit on. Dawson sits.)

Hudson: I didn’t know you were working tonight.

Dawson: Yeah, I’ve been spending a lot of time here. Listen, I, uh, need a place to live. Possibly permanently. I know you have an empty bedroom at your place…

Hudson: Whoa. You and Casey…?

Dawson: Taking a break. So, about the empty room?

Hudson: You’re more than welcome to it, as long as you don’t mind waking up to Herrmann and I having coffee out on my balcony.

Dawson: Think I can live with it. Is moving in tonight too soon?

(Hudson pulls her spare set of keys out of her bag after some digging. She smiles.)

Hudson: See you at home, roomie.

(Dawson hugs her, giving her a refresher on her beer. Herrmann comes to sit next to her, on the other side.)

Herrmann: I see you conned Dawson into giving you free drinks.

Hudson: She’s my new roommate.

Herrmann: Her and Casey…?

Hudson: She says they’re on a break. I don’t know. If she needs to get out for a while, I’ll help her. She’s been warned that you’re over often enough to be considered another roommate.

Herrmann: Did you warn her about my killer pancakes?

Hudson: I figured she could find that out all on her own.

 

(Hudson is dressed in a gorgeous cocktail dress, her hair in curly waves and her makeup perfect. Herrmann is in a gorgeous suit and tie, everything matching. She picks him up at the station, and he climbs into the passenger seat, kissing her.)

Herrmann: You look so beautiful, Charlotte.

Hudson: You don’t look so bad yourself! You look so gorgeous. You really do clean up well.

(Chris pulls a box out of his jacket pocket.)

Herrmann: I found this the other day, and I thought tonight, it would be perfect to wear with that dress.

(Hudson opens it. It is a circular silver pendant with crystals on a triple chain. Before she can say anything, he slips it around her neck, and she looks at it in the mirror, stunned.)

Hudson: Chris… This is beautiful. I’m completely floored. But why?

Herrmann: Why not? You’re beautiful. This is beautiful. We’re beautiful.

Hudson: I feel so much less nervous now, Chris. You’re amazing.

(She leans in and kisses him hard on the mouth. She drives to the venue. She takes a deep breath and then giggles at him. They get out of the car and walk inside, his arm around her casually. As they walk in, she is greeted by Burgess, who has quickly become her friend and confidant. Kim hugs her, and they look at each other.)

Kim: My God, we clean up good! Are you ready for tonight?

Hudson: I hope we’re good.

(Hudson leads Herrmann to the Intelligence Unit’s table. Olinsky, Antonio, Halstead, Hank, Ruzek, everyone from the unit is already seated. Severide is there as Lindsay’s date. Mouch is with Trudy Platt at the head of the table. Dawson and Casey are there with Antonio. It is a Chicago FD/PD smorgasbord. Burgess pulls at Hudson’s arm, signaling that they need to go get ready. Hudson bends down and kisses Herrmann.)

Hudson: I gotta head backstage and get ready. I’ll see you in a few.

Herrmann: You’re going to be great, beautiful.

Hudson: I’ll be back.

(She walks away with Kim, who slips an arm in hers.)

Kim: So is that the guy you told me about?

Hudson: Yes. What do you think?

Kim: He’s cute! I approve! He’s got a good reputation.

(They head into the backstage room and shut the door.)

 

(Kim and Hudson are standing together on stage. Hudson has changed into a much fancier cocktail dress, as has Kim. Noticing Hudson’s anxiety, Kim takes the lead.)

Kim: We only had a few days to put this together, but Hudson here came up with some original songs for tonight. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed putting this together. Go, Chicago PD!

(Applause. Ruzek leans toward Halstead. Chris overhears the ensuing conversation, and becomes suspicious from it.)

Ruzek: Original songs?

Halstead: Yeah, Hudson wrote them herself. She told me she was part of the music scene in New York, did a lot of open mics. She’s pretty good. She tried out a few songs on me the other day.

Ruzek: You guys spend a lot of time together?

Halstead: I guess. She moved here and didn’t know anyone at all. She needed a friend.

Ruzek: I know you, Halstead. A girl that hot and you’re just her “friend”? Yeah, right.

Halstead: That’s not what happened, Ruzek. Shut up.

(The lights dim, and now Hudson takes the lead.)

Hudson: Falling for the velvet scene. Paper chasing the trail I'm blazing is fading. I hate it ...

Both: Fighting through the same routine, pounding the pavement. It's all overrated, so... so they're telling me. But the truth is, my light's just dimmed. I'm drawn to the moments; I beg them to keep me alive. I wanna be electrified, find something to flip the switch and turn me on tonight. I need to know I'm still alive, tell myself that I'm the only one that's gonna get me right. Lemme be electrified...

Kim: I've been loving the wrong things, thinking they're right. Falling and fighting, hope is declining. We faded ... I hate it ...

Both: But the truth is, my heart's just dimmed. I'm drawn to the love and I beg it to keep me alive. ‘Cause I wanna be electrified, find something to flip the switch and turn me on tonight. I need to know I'm still alive, tell myself that I'm the only one that's gonna get me right. Lemme be electrified... On and on and on and on I go; won't stop. Don't try to pull this plug, the pulse is driving me tonight ...

Hudson: I wanna be electrified, tell myself that I’m the only that’s gonna get me right.

(Hudson looks directly at Chris, who is excited. They make eye contact, and she grins.)

Both: I need to know I'm still alive, now I know that I'm the only one that's gonna get me right... Lemme be electrified.

(Epic applause. They smile at each other, confidence boosting them. Hudson takes front and center, sitting down at a piano, Burgess sitting down at a stool with a mic set up.)

Hudson: I wrote this song about someone I just met. It was crazy, how everything could change in a matter of seconds. I guess, as cops, we’re no stranger to it, but when it hits you like a freight train, it really makes you stop and think. This song’s called “Hey, You”.

(Hudson looks at Herrmann again, and it’s clear to everyone that the song is about him as well. Hudson begins the song, a haunting piano melody, and Herrmann is enchanted by her all over again.)

Hudson: Hey, you. Standing across the room and I can’t move. Paths just came so close, I never knew. That life could be turned upside down so soon. Hey, you. Please come over here, I need your groove, to feel your body close under this moon. No one else is present but us. Hey, you. And we can build the world between us. In a moment, consequences won’t defeat us. Find a way to break the sequence. Hey, you. Hey, you. I don’t know who you are or what you do. But the crowd may come between us oh so soon. In a moment’s time I’ll lose you. Hey, you.

Kim: Hey, you.

Hudson: Hey, you.

Kim: Hey, you.

Hudson: Hey, you.

Kim: Hey, you.

Hudson: Hey, you.

Kim: Hey, you.

Both: And the time’s not right for our lives to collide. I’ll still touch your mouth and body in my mind. And maybe next time. We will be together always and you can shelter under my wings. And I will be your one and only. And we will be together always and I will shelter under your wings. And you will be my one and only. My one and only.

(The room is mind blown. Kim looks at Hudson, and they both smile. The crowd begins to chant “One more! One more!” repeatedly, and they look at each other. They nod and smile, and the audience cheers.)

Hudson: Okay, we’ve got one more for you. I called it “Wake Me Up”.

(Ruzek leans toward Halstead again.)

Ruzek: She run this one by you, too?

(Halstead doesn’t even acknowledge Ruzek’s comment.)

Hudson: Feeling my way through the darkness, guided by a beating heart. I can't tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start. They tell me I'm too young to understand, they say I'm caught up in a dream. Well, life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes, well, that's fine by me. So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older. All this time I was finding myself, and I didn't know I was lost. So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older. All this time I was finding myself, and I didn't know I was lost.

Burgess: I tried carrying the weight of the world, but I only have two hands. Hope I get the chance to travel the world, but I don't have any plans. Wish that I could stay forever this young, not afraid to close my eyes. Life's a game made for everyone, and love is the prize. So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older. All this time I was finding myself, and I didn't know I was lost. So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older. All this time I was finding myself, and I didn't know I was lost.

Both: Didn't know I was lost, I didn't know I was lost, I didn't know I was lost, I didn't know (didn't know, didn't know)…

(They stand together, grabbing each other’s hand and bowing. Then they rush off stage and hug tightly.)

Kim: Holy crap, we did it. I did NOT think it would come off that well. They loved it!

Hudson: I thought my stomach was going to fall out of my ass. I have to get this dress off and into my other one.

(Burgess changes quickly out of her dress, slipping her other dress back on. She smiles as Hudson sits down, taking deep breaths and smiling.)

Burgess: Did it feel good, performing for the first time here?

Hudson: You have no idea. There’s such a rush. Some people do drugs, some people get tattoos. Me? I get up and perform in front of people, baring my soul.

Burgess: We should do this more often.

Hudson: Yes! We can rehearse at my apartment, it’s soundproofed! I have so many more songs rolling around my brain now. It’s like we’re this magic duo, Kim. We should name ourselves.

 

(Hudson is in her bra and underwear when Halstead comes in, smiling. Though their fling has ended, she is still flirtatious.)

Hudson: There’s my bad boy.

Halstead: That was amazing.

(Hudson slips her dress back on. She runs a brush through her hair, checking her makeup.)

Hudson: You really think so?

Halstead: Yeah. Kind of made me wish we were still messing around.

Hudson: I’m sorry. But I really care about him, Jay. Chris is a really amazing guy. My first two songs were about him.

Halstead: Did he buy you that necklace?

Hudson: Yeah.

Halstead: He’s already a better guy than me.

Hudson: You’ll be great once you find the right girl, Jay. Trust me. It just clicks in for you. It did for me.

Halstead: I just wanted to say congratulations. The chiefs were really impressed with you and Burgess. I think you two being pretty easy on the eyes was also a huge upside for them.

Hudson: Ha. Thank you, Jay.

(Halstead opens the door. Herrmann is on the other side, about to knock, but it is obvious he has heard the whole conversation. Jay walks away awkwardly. Herrmann comes in, closing the door.)

Herrmann: You were fantastic.

Hudson: Thank you so much, Chris. That means so much to me.

(She walks up to him and kisses him, but he doesn’t kiss back. She stops.)

Herrmann: I think I should go.

Hudson: Because of what you heard?

Herrmann: I just don’t know if I trust you with Halstead now.

Hudson: So you’re jealous, because I was in a bad place and I leaned on Jay? Because I took comfort in him, and he enjoyed it? Because I did, too? I ended things with him because of you, Chris. I want to be with you. Does that tell you nothing?!

Herrmann: There’s too many what ifs for me to think about right now. I need some time, Charlotte.

(He begins to walk away, but she grabs him.)

Hudson: Then take this back. If you’re really that upset about it… Then I don’t want this.

(She takes the necklace off, handing it back to him, box and all. She closes his hand around it, her hands lingering with his. He looks up at her.)

Herrmann: It was a gift, Charlotte. It’s yours. You keep it.

Hudson: And have a reminder of this moment? No, thank you. Bye, Chris. Nice talking to you.

(She shuts the door in his face, breaking out into tears. She leans against the door, choking on her tears as Herrmann continues knocking on the door and trying to coax her out. Finally, she hears his footsteps departing, and she pulls herself together. She opens the door and heads out to sit down. Halstead looks at her, gesturing to ask where Herrmann is. She shrugs. Antonio is watching silently, and he touches her back. She looks at him, smiling. He motions with his eyes to step away, and she does. They walk out into a hallway, secluded so they have complete privacy.)

Antonio: Where’s your squeeze?

Hudson: My squeeze is apparently no longer a squeeze. He can’t handle that I had a sex life before him.

Antonio: You mean that roll in the hay you took with Halstead a few times? How’d he find out?

Hudson: He overheard us talking backstage just now. How did you know?

Antonio: I’m a cop, Charlotte; I know everything. You made the right call, messing with Halstead. He’s a down low kind of guy.

Hudson: And what about you, Antonio Dawson?

Antonio: I don’t know. I’d like to air out my soon to be ex-wife’s dirty laundry, but it won’t help things. You really care about the guy?

Hudson: Yeah. I want things to happen, I want things to work, but I don’t want someone who’s a 14 year old in an adult’s body. If he can’t handle that I have a sexual history, I don’t think it’s going to work.

Antonio: Maybe just focus on yourself for a while, getting settled in here and carving out your little corner of Chicago.

Hudson: Good point.

(She reaches up and kisses him. She begins to walk away, but he yanks her back and kisses her again. They become passionate, but stop. He pulls away.)

Antonio: That’s something that we should probably refrain from doing. At least until the ink on my divorce papers is dry.

Hudson: Relax. It won’t happen again.

(Without another word, Hudson returns to her seat in the room, and Antonio heads to the bathroom.)

 

(A few weeks have passed. Hudson and Herrmann have not spoken, but Hudson has become very close with Peter Mills, whom she can vent to about her feelings for Herrmann. They are sitting on the couch together, goofing off and acting like school children when Nadia from Intelligence comes into the room. She touches Hudson’s arm, and Hudson stands up.)

Hudson: Nadia. Is everything all right? Did something happen?

Nadia: I’m so sorry to come here and bother you, Charlotte. Someone came to the station to see you. We told them you were off, but they insisted on seeing you immediately.

(A man, dressed in jeans, a nice shirt, and black leather shoes comes in, looking for Charlotte. She rises at once, for it is her uncle. She hugs him tightly, and he looks her dead in the eyes.)

Rob: I’m so sorry to just drop in on you like this. But I have some news. Perhaps you should sit down.

(She sits down. Everyone is watching and obviously listening, but she is oblivious.)

Hudson: What is it, Uncle Rob?

Rob: We found your mother. She’s dying.

Hudson: What?

(Hudson’s expression goes slack. Her eyes and mouth go blank. Her hands start to shake.)

Rob: She’s been in the hospital for two months. The hospital managed to find one of my cousins, and she kept asking for her daughter. Everyone knows you and I are in contact. They got me immediately. She’s been there for two months. She doesn’t have long, Charlotte.

Hudson: Huh?

Rob: I’m sorry, but we don’t have the luxury of time. You’re the next of kin. It’s your call. I can confer with you on it, but I think you can handle this better than me.

Hudson: I guess we’ll be on the next flight out to New York.

(She looks at Boden, who simply nods, already knowing the deal. Rob starts to walk out of the room, and she turns to Mills. He hugs her tightly.)

Hudson: Keep Ambo 61 together for me. I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Peter: Don’t worry about anything. Call me when you land, okay? Keep me updated.

Hudson: I will.

(She starts to follow Rob, and Herrmann grabs her arm. She looks him dead in the eyes, for the first time in weeks.)

Herrmann: I need to talk to you.

Hudson: I’m a little busy, Chris.

(Her response is so cold he actually shivers. She continues walking, and he stares after her, depressed.)

 

(Herrmann walks up to Mills, trying to be nonchalant about the fact that he is about to pump him for info on Hudson.)

Herrmann: Mills, what’s up? Have you heard from Charlotte?

Mills: I was wondering how long it would take you to ask me. Yes, I have, Herrmann, and she’s asked me not to talk about anything with anyone, and definitely not you.

Herrmann: Come on, I’m her boyfriend, Peter. Just tell me how she’s doing.

Mills: If you were her boyfriend, you wouldn’t be asking me about her, Chris. She doesn’t want you involved in her life until you prove you can grow up. Yes, she slept with Halstead a bunch of times. Guess what? People do that. Women who date you are going to do that. Did she question your history when you two met? No. Grow up, Herrmann.

(Mills walks away from Herrmann, who is left hanging. Dawson meanders up to him, leaning in casually.)

Dawson: Her mother is doing better. If you text her, she might answer.

Herrmann: Why did Mills stonewall me?

Dawson: All he’s seen is how sad she was when you rejected her. He doesn’t want her getting hurt again, so he’s trying to cut the cord between you. He’s looking out for her.

Herrmann: Does he like her?

Dawson: No. Not like that. They bonded at a time where she was feeling very lost and disconnected. He’s just looking out for her. He’s protective, like a brother. You know, if you texted her, she’d probably answer. She needs support right now.

Herrmann: You think so?

Dawson: Only one way to find out.

 

(A week or so later. Hudson is back in Chicago, but no one has seen her, and she hasn’t returned to volunteer. Herrmann is lounging constantly, not his usual self. Dawson sits down at the table with him.)

Dawson: You hear from her at all?

Herrmann: Texted her, no response. But she did read it. It said “read”.

Dawson: That’s good; that means she thought of you. Give her time.

Herrmann: She’s been home 3 days and she hasn’t even been seen. Mills hasn’t even heard from her.

Dawson: She probably just needs time, Herrmann. She never met her mother before, and then she had to go in and make decisions for a woman she had never met. Think about the questions she probably had. Think about what she’s probably going through. I bet she could use a friend right now.

Herrmann: What makes you think she wants it to be me?

Dawson: You see her pulling anyone else close to her since she’s gotten back? Not even Mills, or me, even. She’s waiting for you. She shouldn’t have to ask you. She’s the one who needs support. Go over there with pizza and flowers, and be there for her, Herrmann.

(She walks away. Herrmann thinks about it.)

 

(Hudson opens her door to Herrmann, holding flowers and a pizza. She looks at him, and then suddenly smiles. She moves aside, letting him in.)

Herrmann: I got a smile out of ya, so I think I’ve already succeeded in my plan to get your spirits up. Listen. I’m sorry I was such a jerk about your past with Halstead. I shouldn’t have been so judgmental. I screwed up. I’m sorry. I don’t wanna lose you over something that doesn’t matter.

Hudson: For the record, I wrote two of those songs about you, and I broke it off with Jay because I knew I wanted this to be something important. I took this seriously from the very beginning.

Herrmann: I did, too, okay? Do you forgive me?

Hudson: I might.

Herrmann: Oh, you might, huh?

Hudson: Pizza and flowers were a great start.

Herrmann: I forgot the last components of my cheer up care package.

(He opens the door to the apartment, picking up a six pack of beer. She smiles.)

Hudson: And the final component?

(Herrmann comes up to her, kissing her.)

Herrmann: That part comes later, sweetheart. Come on. Let’s eat some pizza and drink some beer.

Hudson: Now you’re speaking my language.

(He picks her up, wrapping her legs around him, carrying her into the living room.)

 

(The pizza is basically finished, and the six pack is now a 2 pack. Hudson is laying with her head in Herrmann’s lap, her hair splayed out behind her as he strokes her head, listening.)

Hudson: It was terrible. I mean, I’ve seen people in bad condition before. But this was my mother, you know? My heart just broke the second I saw her. She was so obviously my mother, and so obviously dying, and there was nothing I could really do. I couldn’t reconcile the two in my head, nor could I marry the two in my heart. None of it makes sense.

Herrmann: I’m so sorry, honey. So you were raised by your grandmother? Your father?

Hudson: None of the above. My father checked out on me pretty much my whole life, and I was raised by a family in the same parish as my grandparents. He just dumped me off on them and spent the child support money on beer and cigarettes.

Herrmann: Sounds like a stand up guy.

Hudson: When I was 9, he told me that I had half siblings, and then told me that my mother had sold them for $10K each. I traced that. My mother never saw that money, the adoption agency she went through did. My mother gave up those two kids because she knew she was ill equipped to raise children. It makes sense to me. I never wanted kids, either. But I was the different child. She married my dad. They were supposed to raise me together. I don’t know where things got screwed up, but my dad kicked her out of my life.

Herrmann: He sounds like a real scumbag.

Hudson: My mother couldn’t speak much, but she did express regret at marrying my father, and she did apologize for everything, though I don’t believe it’s all her fault.

Herrmann: So what did you do while you were there?

Hudson: I told her everything was going to be all right, and that that wasn’t what I was going to remember about my time with her. She seemed very glad that my father was rotting in Kentucky.

Herrmann: Did you feel connected to her at all?

Hudson: I went from the plane to the hospital, and I froze as I was walking into the ICU. I’m not afraid of somebody with a gun, but I’m terrified of a dying, bedridden woman who is my mother. She was sleeping when I got there.

Herrmann: What happened?

Hudson: She opened her eyes, and the wave of recognition in her eyes was startling to say the least. She knew exactly who I was. That first day was awful. She was in so much pain, and so out of it. The second day, she was perky and lucid.  

Herrmann: She was getting better?

Hudson: She was feeling better, but not getting better. My uncle called and told me that the doctors think she can still have some kind of quality of life. My uncle said that whenever I would come into the room, she would light up like a Christmas tree. I fly back in two weeks to check on her progress.

Herrmann: You’re leaving me again? You’re not running back to New York on me, are you?

Hudson: Nope. Suffice to say, I actually love it here in Chicago.

Herrmann: I’m just trying to make you giggle, sweetheart.

(He leans down, kissing her. She sits up, kissing him. Within seconds, they are nearly naked and passionate. He picks her up, carrying her like a doll into the bedroom. He lays her down in bed, being gentle with her.)

 

(Hudson has been feeling happy, splitting her time between 61 and PD, making new friends. She is sitting around the fire station, hanging out with Mills, Brett, Cruz, Dawson, Casey, etc. Though her relationship with Herrmann isn’t out in the open, they steal glances at each other once in a while and smile at each other. As she is helping Brett and Cruz cook for everyone, her phone rings. She picks it up.)

Hudson: Hello?

(Everyone watches as her smile melts off of her face. She sits on the floor, curling up in a ball, and Herrmann runs over to her.)

Herrmann: Honey?

Hudson: Okay. I’ll be there.

(Hudson hangs up the phone, looking up at Herrmann. Her eyes have welled up with tears. He grabs her hands.)

Hudson: My mother’s dead.

(She looks up at Herrmann, then at Brett. Herrmann helps her up, guiding her somewhere else as she completely breaks down. He puts his arms around her, shielding her from everyone’s staring eyes.)

Herrmann: It’s going to be okay, honey… You knew this day was coming.

Hudson: I thought I had more time- we should have had more time-

Herrmann: Honey, honey, let me book you a flight to New York. You need to be there right now.

Hudson: Come with me. Please. I don’t want to do this alone anymore, Chris. Please come with me.

Herrmann: Let me talk to Boden. I’ll see what I can do. I can’t make any promises, Charlotte.

(He guides her into the lounge, and Mills comes in. Herrmann looks up at him.)

Herrmann: Can you stay with her? I need to go talk to Boden about taking time off to go to New York with her.

Mills: You got it.

(They switch places, and as he leaves, he sees Mills pull Hudson into a bear hug.)

 

(Herrmann lets himself into Boden’s office. Boden looks up at him, standing.)

Boden: Herrmann, is everything all right out there?

Herrmann: Uhhh, look, Chief. I gotta level with you. For the past two months, I’ve been in a relationship with Charlotte Hudson, the volunteer EMT.

Boden: I know, Herrmann.

(Herrmann looks surprised.)

Herrmann: How did you find out?

Boden: Word gets around. I should warn you. The higher ups are uncomfortable with a volunteer in the squad. She may have to become a paid employee. You’ll have to be careful.

Herrmann: I understand. Listen, uh, her mother just died.

(Boden is immediately concerned.)

Boden: The mother she just met?!

Herrmann: Yes.

Boden: Whatever time she needs. It’s hers.

Herrmann: She’ll be relieved. But I also need to ask for some time off. She’s asked me to go to New York with her. She doesn’t want to do this alone. I can’t let her carry this all alone, Chief. Please.

Boden: You’ve got it, Herrmann. Take the time you need, starting now. You go and be there for that girl. She is in for a whole world of hurt and pain that no one will understand. You go be there for her the best you can.

(Herrmann nods, grateful. He leaves the office, returning to Charlotte. Mills looks up. Hudson is staring at the floor, her head on Peter’s shoulder. He gets on his knees, taking her arms gently.)

Herrmann: Boden gave me the time, Charlotte. I’m going with you to New York.

(Hudson reaches up to touch his face. He pulls her into his arms, hugging her tightly. Mills slips out quietly. Herrmann kisses her entire face, holding her close.)

 

(Their bags are packed, their flight is booked, and they are trying to get some sleep before Mills takes them to the airport. Herrmann is spooning up behind Hudson, and they are both wide awake.)

Herrmann: Honey? How are you feeling?

Hudson: Nothing. I-I… I feel nothing. My heart doesn’t feel like it’s even beating. I can’t stop my brain. My head is racing. I’m never going to sleep.

Herrmann: Let me get you something, honey. It won’t take it all away, but it’ll make you feel a little better.  

(Herrmann pulls out a Valium from his bag, and hands it to her. She takes it and leans back in the bed, trying to calm down. Within minutes, she begins to feel the effects, and Herrmann strokes her hair until she does fall asleep. He sits up, rubbing his eyes with his hands.)

 

(Hudson has been back for a week, and she has not returned to work, nor to volunteering. She is lounging around her apartment, eating a lot of takeout and binging on Netflix. Herrmann has been in to see her, and is back at work. Mills has stopped by every day, often bringing her said takeout, but also to make sure she is alive. So, when there is a knock on her door, Hudson answers it, thinking either one has arrived. Instead, she finds Antonio Dawson.)

Hudson: Hi.

Antonio: No one from Intelligence has heard from you. We were all pretty nervous. Are you coming back to us?

Hudson: Yes. But not today. I have to talk to Hank. I was going to come in tomorrow.

(She steps aside so Antonio can enter. He does, eyeing her apartment.)

Antonio: I always wondered what these places looked like on the inside. We never get calls for anything in these buildings.

Hudson: I guess that’s a comfort.

(She heads back to her couch, unpausing the Netflix she is watching. Antonio sits down next to her.)

Antonio: So, how are you holding up?

(Hudson looks around her apartment, then at him.)

Hudson: Great. Obviously.

Antonio: We’re just really worried about you down at Intelligence.

Hudson: Like I said, I’m coming in to talk to Hank tomorrow. It’s time for me to resume my life. I can’t live my life in misery for all the time I didn’t have. It is what it is, and I need to start dealing with it.

Antonio: I’ve been worried about you.

Hudson: So worried you couldn’t even text me to see how I’m doing? Thanks.

Antonio: I’m sorry. Things are messy and complicated. Emotionally unavailable, remember? Anyway, last I heard, you went to New York with Chris Herrmann.

Hudson: I did.

(Antonio looks at her intensely. He comes closer and closer to her until he has her backed up against the corner of the couch. He kisses her, lifting her up and holding her close to him. Every time he kisses her, his feelings for her are obvious, but neither of them is acting on it.)

Antonio: Seriously, what’s going on? I haven’t heard from you at all, Charlotte. We’ve always been close. You didn’t even tell me what was happening.

Hudson: I keep trying to put it all into words, but there’s no way to explain how I feel or what exactly happened, Antonio. At least, not in a way that people would understand.

Antonio: Try. You gotta talk to somebody, right? Might as well be me.

Hudson: Well, my mom was never a part of my life. I had never met her. She was just someone my father told me I was better off without, when he was in and out of jail himself. When my uncle came to get me, I didn’t have time to process anything. Remember when that banger and his guys had us at gunpoint, and I shot us out of it? Remember how I shut down for a few weeks after?

Antonio: Of course. You couldn’t even walk and chew gum for almost a month.

Hudson: That’s me right now, Antonio. I forgot how to tie my shoes the other day. They were flip flops.

Antonio: You sure you’re ready to resume your life, Charlotte?

Hudson: I gotta come back sometime. Might as well be sooner rather than later.

 

(Hudson is returning for her first day back at 51. She comes in quietly, without drawing attention to herself, dreading everyone’s condolences and pity. As she enters the lounge, everyone stops and looks at her, even Herrmann and Mills. She looks at everyone, ready to address them.)

Hudson: I guess I’ll get this out in the open since I have everyone’s attention. I met my mother for the very first time 2 months ago. Decades went by without her in my life, and I feel incredibly robbed of precious time that I would have had with her. I have a fractured sense of family, and I may never recover from what I’ve been through. She died two weeks ago. Her suffering is over, but mine has just begun. I spent the last two weeks in a spiral of regret and angst, but I don’t want to stay that way. I may be suffering for the actions of others who were supposed to have my best interests at heart, but I still have a life to live, and a damn good one at that. If you guys were going to offer condolences, please understand how grateful I am, and how full my heart is at the thought of it. You guys have become my family here in Chicago, and I always appreciate my family. But I don’t want to wallow in the past now. I have to come to terms with decades of something being missing and decades of I can’t even tell you how many other things, but all that’s in front of me is here and now. No condolence anyone can give is going to lighten that burden for me. So, let’s just move forward, guys. Life is for the living, and that’s what we’re doing.

(Everyone impulsively stands up and applauds. Mills comes up, hugging her. Herrmann takes her hand and leads her to the kitchen. She shies away, breaking away from his hand.)

Herrmann: Would you do the honors of being head chef today?

Hudson(quietly): Sure.

(It’s obvious something about her isn’t quite right, as she shies away from Herrmann, and instead focuses on Mills and Brett. Herrmann notices a coldness in her demeanor towards him, and when cooking is over, he pulls her into another room where they can be alone.)

Herrmann: Hey, everything all right? You’ve been cold to me all day.

Hudson: I’m fine.

(He puts his hands on her waist, pulling her close and kissing her mouth.)

Herrmann: I know you’re not fine, but I’m not going to push you. When you’re ready, we’ll talk.

Hudson: I just… I need some space.

Herrmann: Is it because of everything that’s happened? You know you can talk to me, Charlotte.

Hudson: I just need some space.

Herrmann: I’ve been there since the beginning for you, Charlotte. You’re gonna start shutting me out now?

Hudson: Did it ever occur to you that none of this is about you? I said I need space.

(Without waiting for a response, she pushes him away from her and walks out of the room. Herrmann is confused and perplexed.)

Herrmann: Like I said… Not gonna push you, sweetheart.

 

(Dawson and Hudson are at the apartment, acting like single girls and having a slumber party.)

Dawson: So, like, it was really hard to be the candidate and him the lieutenant, right? Half the time, I didn’t know what was going on, like if he was mad at me or if everyone was being nice to me just because of him being my boyfriend. I felt like an idiot all the time.

Hudson: Dude, you’re only human, and being in that position? It’s hard.

Dawson: Speaking from experience?

Hudson: Sort of. Part of why I’ve been taking time away from PD. Promise not to tell your brother?

Dawson: Pinkie swear.

(They pinkie swear, locking fingers.)

Hudson: After I got here, I had a hard time adjusting to something totally new and unfamiliar. I was feeling really out of control. The only thing I could do to feel in control was to blow off steam. I only know 2 ways of blowing off steam: drinking and getting laid. So I got drunk, and I slept with a few of my brand new coworkers.

Dawson: Anyone good? Please say Erin Lindsay.

Hudson: Ha! I slept with Jay Halstead and Alvin Olinsky.

Dawson: Could you have picked two guys at more opposite ends of the spectrum?!

Hudson: I never said it made sense.

Dawson: Regardless, good choices.

Hudson: Right. But now, I have to work with them. With Halstead, it’s not a problem, but Olinsky and I… there is lasting tension, and he has seniority over me.

Dawson: You really dig older guys, huh?

Hudson: I guess. I never did before I came here. I will say, from the ones I’ve been with, they are more experienced.

Dawson: So what’s going on with you and Herrmann? He asked me to look after you now that we’re roommates. He said you suddenly broke things off with him.

Hudson: I guess. I just panicked when we were in New York. Like, he was so comfortable already, and we had just started dating.

Dawson: Did you not see it going that far?

Hudson: I did. I do. I just was really blindsided by how quick it went. I should have slowed it down, gone to New York alone, but I was so scared. I asked him to come with me. I didn’t know if I could be strong the whole time I was there. The funeral was awful. Everyone stared at me like I was a lab rat. My own family.

(Dawson throws an arm around Hudson.)

Dawson: You shouldn’t have had to do that all alone, Charlotte. You did the right thing, bringing him with you. He was so scared for you the first time you went. He was so miserable without you.

Hudson: Do you think they’re both miserable without us right now?

Dawson: Well, I know Chris is definitely miserable without you. You are a light in his life. His divorce was very, very ugly. You bring him a lot of joy.

Hudson: Really?

Dawson: Yeah. He doesn’t talk about his divorce because his ex-wife was so brutal. She never lets him see his kids. Basically, he lost his whole family.

Hudson: Jesus, what happened?! He never talks about this. I didn’t even know he was married until someone told him in front of me that his ex-wife was on the phone.

Dawson: Please understand, Chris Herrmann is one of the most amazing guys you’ll ever meet. He loves deeply and powerfully. That being said, he has always been looking for a get-rich-quick scheme to help give his family more. In the process, he lost a lot of their money. That’s how the bar happened; he went in with Otis and I to share the cost of starting it up. If anything, he could sell his share for twice what he invested, and have the money for his family. But his ex-wife never saw that. She was fed up with his schemes long ago, so she left.

Hudson: That’s really cold.

Dawson: You’ve been a source of so much joy for him, Charlotte. You have to do what you have to do, and he needs to learn to respect that. If it went too fast for you, tell him. He’ll understand. He might be hurt, but he’ll understand.

(They pause as they both think. Suddenly, Dawson jumps up, pulling her up.)

Hudson: What are you doing?

Dawson: Come on, I know what we need. We’re going out. We’re not gonna sit here wallowing. Go get some makeup on.

 

(Dawson and Hudson are the center of attention, with guys flocking to them. They are both a little buzzed and very giggly. They are always arm in arm. A guy approaches Hudson, tapping her arm.)

Hudson: Hi!

Guy: Hi, there. What are ya drinkin’?

Hudson: I guess a Red Bull vodka will do.

(The guy, who is incredibly hot, orders her one, and one for himself. Though her arm is still linked into Dawson’s, she turns more toward her admirer.)

Guy: What’s your name, sweetheart?

Hudson(joking): Well, it’s not sweetheart! (They laugh) Charlotte. You?

Guy: Dan.

Hudson: How are you feeling tonight, Dan?

Dan: Pretty good, actually. How about you?’

Hudson: Can’t complain.

(Dawson pulls at her arm.)

Dawson: Come on, let’s go somewhere else.

(Hudson looks apologetic.)

Hudson: Sorry, have to get up early. Catch you around sometime!

(They leave the bar, and Hudson hugs Dawson.)

Hudson: Thank God, that guy was sketching me out big time.

Dawson: You covered it up really well. Come on, let’s end the night at Molly’s. We’ll grab a beer and some water and go home.

(They walk around the corner into Molly’s and it is the first time all night that they have physically separated. Dawson heads around the bar to pour them beers, and Herrmann is at the other end of the bar, trying to give Hudson space. Dawson and Hudson toast, giggling.)

Hudson: I’m really glad we could go out and blow off steam, Dawson. I had a really good time.

Dawson: Yeah, it definitely got us out of our heads for a while. You know, Chris is at the other end of the bar.

(Hudson looks in his direction. He tries to make it look less obvious that he was staring. Picking up her beer, she heads down to the other end of the bar, as Matt takes her place. Dawson looks apprehensive. Hudson puts her beer down, climbing onto a stool right in front of him.)

Herrmann: I thought you wanted space, Charlotte.

Hudson: I do, but you should know why. I was a jerk earlier. Everything is just happening so fast. One day, I’m moving to Chicago, the next, I’m getting into a serious relationship with a guy who won’t even tell me about his ex-wife, or that he has five kids with her. Yeah, I asked around about you. Chris, you have a whole family you never talk about. Finding all that out from someone who wasn’t you, when you know so much about me… it hurts. It makes me feel like you don’t trust me with the truth, even though you know more about me than I bet you ever bargained for.

Herrmann: That’s not what it is.

Hudson: Well, now I’m not so certain I can trust YOU. And what else am I supposed to think? This is why I wanted space. I wanted time to sort out for myself what I can believe and what I can’t.

(She stands up, picking up her beer, looking at him. She finishes it as he looks at her helplessly.)

Herrmann: I’m sorry, honey. You’re right. I just didn’t want you to think any less of me.

Hudson: You should have just been honest with me, because now, I DO think less of you. (Pause) You know, I expect negotiating undercover work to be complicated and difficult. I never thought getting involved with a fireman would be even remotely half as complicated.

(She walks away, out of the bar, heading home, leaving Dawson with Casey at the bar.)

 

(Hours later, there is a knock at Hudson’s door. She opens it, and Herrmann is standing there. She yanks him into the apartment by his shirt, reaching for his belt buckle as she pulls him into a metal melting kiss. They head for the bedroom, not thinking about what they are doing. She growls in his ear as she jumps into his arms. He is kissing her neck, her shoulders, anything he can get his lips on. They land in her bed, and as she moans out loud, he grabs her.)

Herrmann: Is Dawson here?

Hudson: No idea.

(They have sex with wild abandon, and fall asleep almost immediately after. Hudson wakes early, lying in bed, watching him sleep. She is deep in thought for a moment, and then gets up, dressing quickly. She leaves the apartment and heads to PD, where she encounters Halstead, pulling him into an isolated corridor. She hugs him tightly. He responds, a little tentatively.)

Halstead: Are you okay?

Hudson: No. I feel so out of control, Jay. I don’t even know why I came to you.

(Jay looks at her, dumbfounded. Then, he pulls her close to him, hugging her tight.)

Halstead: Come here, Charlotte. Come here.

(He hugs her, kissing her forehead gently.)

Hudson: I’m sorry, Jay. I’m a hot mess.

Halstead: Relax. Everyone gets jammed up sometimes. It’s okay.

(Jay looks up and sees Herrmann standing there, watching them, stunned. Hudson pulls back, startled.)

Herrmann: Wow.

Hudson: Don’t. Don’t even go there, Chris. You don’t know what you’re looking at.

Herrmann: I think I do. You never stopped sleeping with Halstead, did you? You were with him behind my back the whole time!

(Surprisingly, Halstead takes the lead.)

Halstead: She broke it off with me to be with you, Herrmann, okay? I didn’t want to let her go, but I did, because you made her happy. Now whatever she’s dealing with, she needed a shoulder to cry on, and she needed someone who wasn’t going to be a jerk. Maybe this right here is why she came to me this time and not you!

(Shocked, Herrmann stares as both of them walk away. Hudson sits down at her desk, trying to get a handle on her emotions. Herrmann, outside the area, gets a phone call. It is his ex-wife.)

Herrmann: Yeah, Cindy.

Cindy: Your two year ban on the hockey league is up. I was thinking you’d want to resume coaching your kids.

Herrmann: I’d love that, Cindy, I really would. I’ll be there.

(Hudson approaches him, waiting for him to get off the phone.)

Cindy: Maybe you could do the draft at the bar?

Herrmann: Sounds great, Cindy. Would it be all right if I spent the weekend with the kids?

Cindy: I’ll drop them off on Friday.

Herrmann: Thanks, Cindy.

(He hangs up, waiting for her to speak.)

Hudson: Let me buy you coffee.

Herrmann: Sounds good.

 

(They are sitting in a coffee shop, slowly sipping on their beverages.)

Herrmann: Last night was a lot of fun. But I’m starting to wonder if you’re getting cold feet about us getting serious.

Hudson: I am. It all just happened so fast.

Herrmann: I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have pushed you.

Hudson: No, I’m the one who should be sorry, Chris. I should have said something. I was just having so much fun… I should never have let you come to New York with me.

Herrmann: You didn’t do anything wrong. You were in a bad place, Charlotte, just like you are now. I really think you oughta see someone. Take some time, live your life without me weighing you down. If we’re meant to be, we’ll come back together when it’s right.

(He takes his last sip and stands, pulling his jacket on. Hudson watches, and he leans down, kissing her on the forehead before taking his leave. Hudson sits in silence, slowly drinking her drink in peace. She wipes a single tear from her cheek, realizing she does really care about him, and that she does really need to see someone. She pulls out her phone, calling Boden.)

Boden: Hello?

Hudson: Chief Boden? It’s Charlotte Hudson. Do you have any names of anyone I could talk to? You know, off the record? I need it to be discreet.

Boden: Come in today. I have a few names for you.

Hudson: I will. Thanks, Chief.

(She hangs up.)

 

(Hudson is at home, Dawson is out. Mills knocks on the door, and she lets him in. He hugs her tightly, as they have recently been through a lot, and haven’t gotten to see each other much. He hands her a couple of six packs, and she motions towards the two pizzas on the table, still hot. He smiles.)

Mills: How have you been, Charlotte?

Hudson: Finally convinced myself that I need counseling. Set up an appointment for tomorrow.

Mills: That’s really good. You should talk to someone.

Hudson: You should, too, Mills. There’s only so many DVs you can punch out.

Mills: Brett told you?

Hudson: Yeah. Please. See someone, Peter, okay?

(She grips his hand. He softens.)

Mills: Okay. I will. Give me the name of your guy.

(Hudson passes a piece of paper to him.)

Hudson: That’s the info Boden gave me. I’m gonna check with him and see if you made an appointment, so you’d better make an appointment.

Mills: If it gets you off my back, I’ll make the appointment.

Hudson: Damn right.

(They pick up the beer and the pizza and head to the couch. They eat from the same pizza box, sitting almost on top of each other. They already act like two peas in a pod, sometimes finishing each other’s sentences and reaching across each other to grab things. Hudson pulls a pillow under the pizza box to keep the heat off of their thighs. He watches her, and he is unreadable. They each crack open a beer and Hudson flips the TV on.)

 

(A while later, they’ve had a few, and are a little buzzed. She has the giggles. The pizza boxes are on the coffee table, and they are nearly on top of each other still, but it is more affectionate. She has her legs draped over him. She is leaning on his shoulder, and he has his arm around her. He looks uneasy.)

Mills: When I was being held at gunpoint by those lowlifes, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I thought about all the things I hadn’t done yet, and all the things I wished I’d done.

Hudson: Understandable.

Mills: When you went to New York the first time, I refused to tell Herrmann anything about you or how you were doing. At the time, I thought I was doing it because I saw how much he hurt you and I wanted to protect you, but… now, I don’t think so.

Hudson: What do you think now?

Mills: I did it to keep him away from you.

Hudson: Why? Say it, Peter. Say it out loud.

Mills: Because I wanted you to myself.

(Hudson is silent, staring at him. He is not sure if she is angry or not. Suddenly, he realizes her hand is on his thigh, and she is squeezing it. He looks back up at her.)

Mills: You made me say it. Now I need you to do the same.

(She smiles.)

Hudson: I don’t know what I want from you. But I do know that I want you, right now.

(Mills pulls her on top of him, kissing her. She grips his face close to hers, as they move into the bedroom. She slams the door shut.)

 

(Dawson is drinking her coffee quietly the following morning, when she hears rustling and soft voices coming from Hudson’s side of the apartment. She hears two voices, and then sneaks back into her room, thinking it is Herrmann and not wanting to disturb them. She peeks around the door as Hudson’s door opens, and Mills exits, pulling his pants on, his shirt only halfway on.)

Hudson: Peter! Put your shirt on!

Mills: Shh! Is Dawson here?

Hudson: I don’t know. I never heard her come in last night. Do I need to tell you not to say anything at work?

Mills: It went without saying. But it was a lot of fun. My place tonight?

Hudson: Sounds good. I’d like to keep Gabby out of it. I don’t want her to have to lie. If she doesn’t know, she doesn’t have to lie.

Mills: You know she and I used to go out, right?

Hudson: What?

Mills: She won’t be mad.

Hudson: You guys used to go out?!

Mills: Yeah… Is that a problem?

Hudson: Um, YES! I already slept with Halstead, Peter! She’s gonna think I’m only after her sloppy seconds!

Mills: I highly doubt that, Charlotte. She’s got enough to deal with involving her and Matt. I don’t think she’s concerned with us being involved.

Hudson: She is my new roommate, Peter! You didn’t think to tell me, ‘Oh, and by the way, I used to date your brand new roommate, who is also pretty much the first friend you made when you were more or less exiled to Chicago’?!

Mills: I didn’t think it mattered. I broke up with her, and there was no lasting harm or foul. We’re friends, now, Charlotte, so what does it matter?!

Hudson: It matters to me.

(Mills, frustrated, leaves, slamming the door.)

 

(Hudson is in the locker room, lost in thought, nervous for her appointment. Dawson comes in, sitting down.)

Dawson: It doesn’t bother me.

Hudson: Huh?

Dawson: You and Mills. Secret’s safe, no bad feelings, nothing.

Hudson: You were home?!

Dawson: Yeah. I didn’t want to interrupt you guys. I just want everyone to be happy. You don’t have to sneak around on my account. Have him over tonight.

Hudson: Ughhhh. I didn’t want you to know so you wouldn’t have to lie to Chris if he asks. I didn’t even know you and Mills dated.

Dawson: I’m done getting in the middle of you guys. If he asks me anything, I’m just telling him I don’t know and to keep me out of it.

Hudson: I don’t blame you. I know it’s been a lot of drama and back and forth with him. I don’t think he’ll ask you, but I wanted to cover my bases.

Dawson: Just tell me one thing: how long has it been going on with you and Mills?

Hudson: Just since last night. Apparently he had feelings the whole time, though.

Dawson: Yeah, I could tell. I didn’t say anything then because I knew I’d be out of place. Look, you didn’t even know he and I dated. I don’t see it the way you think I do.

Hudson: I’m sorry.

Dawson: Don’t. Do what makes you happy. If you like Peter, don’t worry about anyone else. And don’t think about what everyone else will think. Don’t even think about Chris. I heard about him following you to work and thinking he caught you with Halstead.

Hudson: Ugh. I don’t want to think about Chris.

Dawson: That bad, huh?

Hudson: No, I really care about him. I just feel like we both messed up. I want to explore now. Peter is fun. I feel safe, but a little crazy, too. I don’t feel tied down.

Dawson: Is it because Herrmann’s older?

Hudson: No. I’m about to start counseling, and I don’t want anything weighing me down. I feel like having an intense emotional relationship with someone right now is a bad idea. On the other hand, I’m willing to explore things with Mills. I don’t know, maybe he’s the one positive thing to come out of this whole mess.

Dawson: I guess you’ll find out. When do you start counseling?

Hudson: I’m about to go to my first session.

Dawson: Tell me how it goes.

Hudson: I will.

(Hudson leaves the locker room and heads toward the galley. Her phone rings. She answers.)

Hudson: Hello?

Clarke: Hey, Charlotte.

Hudson: Jeff! How are you?!

Clarke: I heard about your mom. I am so sorry, honey.

Hudson: Yeah, thanks. It all happened really fast.

Clarke: Well, hey, listen. Let me take you out to dinner this week. Anywhere you want. It’ll be good to catch up. I haven’t seen you in a while.

Hudson: I’d love that. How’s Thursday night?

Clarke: Sounds good. Anywhere you want to go.

Hudson: Yeah, that sounds great. Just to see you would be great. I’m on shift right now, but let me text you, okay?

Clarke: You got it, honey.

(Hudson hangs up, smiling. She walks into the galley, seeing a huge bouquet of flowers. She looks at it quizzically.)

Hudson: Who are those for?

Dawson: You, actually. Who are they from?

(Hudson opens the card. It reads, “Sorry about your mom- see you for dinner? -Jeff”. She noticeably blushes and smiles. Dawson grabs the card.)

Dawson: Jeff?! Clarke is still feeling you, girl!

Hudson: No, he’s not. He’s just being nice. He called me, too.

Dawson: Stop downplaying it! Maybe you guys can finally get back together!

(Mills and Herrmann are both watching. Severide is trying to remain cool, but he feels his chance with Hudson slipping away.)

 

(Hudson is sitting on a couch, a counselor in front of her. She is nervous, and the counselor is trying to calm her down and get her to talk.)

Counselor: So what brought you here?

Hudson: I don’t want to spiral down the way I did before. I’ve been through a lot.

Counselor: Start at the beginning. What happened to you in New York, Charlotte?

Hudson: I was part of a huge undercover operation. I infiltrated a pimp’s operation. My only objective was to get in and get info for indictments. I did more than that- I destroyed the operation from the inside out. I turned 4 of the pimp’s girls, and seduced his #2.

(Suddenly she stops, hitting a road block emotionally. She jumps in her conversation.)

Counselor: Go on, Charlotte. We’re safe here.

Hudson: I never met my mother. She was a part of my life until I was only about 3 or 4 months old. My father used the court system to keep her away from me. I don’t know the specifics of what happened; I would have to have the court records pulled and I just don’t think I’m emotionally prepared for it. I never grew up feeling a strong family vibe. I guess you could say my dad ruined that by destroying our family.

Counselor: Did your father raise you?

Hudson: No. I was raised by my aunt here in Chicago and a much older cousin in New York. My dad was having a breakdown and went to his pastor- the pastor told him to leave me with someone he absolutely trusted. It was only supposed to be two weeks. I didn’t move out on my own until I was 17 years old.

Counselor: Did you ever try to find your biological mother?

Hudson: Not on my own. After the age of seven, I lost contact with most of my biological family, and my mother had kind of fallen off the face of the earth. I didn’t know until I was 25 that my father was poison. He was my dad; I was blind to it.

Counselor: You can’t blame yourself for it. Family should never lead you astray.

Hudson: Even after that, I didn’t try. I didn’t know where to begin. My maternal grandmother, whom I hadn’t seen or heard from since I was 7, was less than helpful. One night, my uncle called me out of the blue. I hadn’t seen him since before I really had a memory. To this day, he’s my godfather. I think he did it out of a sense of duty. Talking to my grandmother after all those years was hard. I’m glad it was him.

Counselor: Were you trying to fill a void?

Hudson: I was trying to fill gaps in my memory that I didn’t know were gaps. My father lied to me about almost everything involving my mom. He made her out to be the villain to me, and while I know she wasn’t all there, she wasn’t what he said she was.

Counselor: How do you know, Charlotte?

Hudson: I met her two months ago for the first time.

(Tears begin to spring up in Hudson’s eyes. The counselor hands her a box of tissues.)

Counselor: And how was that?

Hudson: She was dying. So, pretty bad. My uncle showed up at the firehouse I volunteer at. He told me that he had found my mother. He was up front, that it didn’t look good. I don’t think anyone expected me to handle it the way I did. I was calm. I maintained the same overall resolve throughout. I just didn’t want her to suffer. Whatever happened 27 years ago, it happened 27 years ago.

Counselor: What was it like?

Hudson: Terrible. She had a hole in her esophagus, so she could barely speak. She was being fed directly into her intestines. She had sores that had turned into open wounds on her legs up into almost her lower back. She had MRSA and everything else that came with it. Her body had become a cesspool. She looked seconds away from death as it was.

Counselor: That sounds like a painful first meeting, Charlotte. Anyone would be scarred. It’s okay to feel like this.

Hudson: I would have killed her.

Counselor: She was already dying, Charlotte.

Hudson: We were trying to keep cool heads. The doctors and nurses all told us she was circling the drain. Their best suggestion was to take her off everything and start a morphine drip. I’m a paramedic; I know that means to let her die painlessly. That was what we chose on that first day. We felt it was the most humane thing we could do for her. She was in such bad shape. The next day, the doctors called us in. She was wide awake and alert, lucid. She lit up when she saw us. The doctors were baffled.

Counselor: Did you two get to talk about what happened when you were a baby?

Hudson: She said she never should have married my father. She was still angry with her mother for not sticking up for her in whatever had happened. She was appalled that I had been raised by her sister and other family, not my father. She was very happy to hear that my father was rotting away, alone in Kentucky. She seemed… not like the monster my father had painted her to be. Maybe she was mentally ill and lacked discipline, but she wasn’t a bad person. He once tried to describe her to me by saying, “You ever look somebody in the eyes, and they got no heart? That’s Shelly.” What I saw behind those eyes was more heart than the three of us combined. She was sick, she needed help, and no one helped her, so she limped on, barely able to help herself for 27 years.

Counselor: What do you think you gained out of your time with her?

Hudson: Peace. I didn’t even know I needed it, or that I would get it, but I did. I think she did, too. She improved while I was there. According to my uncle, it was a lot of up and down after I came back here. I shouldn’t have come back. I should have stayed until the end. She must have thought I abandoned her. It’s what I would have thought.

(Hudson is openly sobbing, barely able to control herself. Her counselor grabs her hand.)

Counselor: You didn’t abandon her. You had a life to get back to. You did what you thought was right. You can’t hold onto that, Charlotte. Let it go. She didn’t blame you.

Hudson: I never got to say goodbye. She died three weeks ago. I was going to come back. I didn’t even get to tell her I cared about her.

Counselor: You’re forgetting something, Charlotte. You showed up. She knew you cared. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have flown home from Chicago to be there for her. She knew you cared.

(Hudson looks up in a moment of clarity.)

Hudson: I never thought of it that way.

 

(Hudson heads over to Mills’ apartment after her counseling session and after work. Mills opens the door promptly, kissing her hello right on the mouth. He takes off her coat and her zip up hoodie, trying to make her comfortable.)

Mills: How did your session go? And before you ask, I set one up for Tuesday for myself. Chill.

Hudson: Good. I cried through most of it. He said we had a great first day.

Mills: Do you think you did?

Hudson: I admitted things to him that I didn’t even want to admit to myself. And then he told me that everything was okay.

(Mills takes her hand, leading her over to the couch. He hands her a cold beer.)

Mills: What didn’t you want to admit to yourself?

(Hudson is silent. She stares at the floor, trying to get up the balls to admit it again out loud.)

Hudson: I was about to let my mother die. Just put her on a morphine drip and let her fade away. I would have killed her.

(Mills takes her by the arms. He holds her face close to his, kissing her. He kisses her again, holding her tight.)

Mills: Charlotte, she was dying no matter what you did. You did the best that you could with what you were given. She wasn’t going to survive. You’re a paramedic; you KNOW this. You were trying to be merciful. That’s best gift you could have given her.

Hudson: But then we kept her alive. It felt wrong to let her die when she seemed to be improving.

Mills: You made the best decisions you could with what you had, Charlotte. I know you don’t believe it, but you see what we’re up against every day.

Hudson: I know. I know. But I still feel guilty. Every day. It eats me alive and keeps me up at night. It’s part of why I’ve been spinning out of control.

Mills: I understand how you feel, but you and your uncle? You guys did the best you could with the situation. How do you think I feel about the Lullo kid?

Hudson: It’s not the same.

Mills: I know. I know. But think about it. If you start thinking about “What if I had done this differently” or “What if it was a day later”, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. STOP. Trust me on this, Charlotte. Okay?

Hudson: I’m trying, Peter. I really am.

Mills: It’s okay. What did it feel like meeting her for the first time?

Hudson: It felt like a moment I never expected to happen. I felt like I was in an alternate reality.

Mills: Were there any good moments about it?

Hudson: Yes. She was so sick and in so much pain. I brought a smile to her face just by walking in the room. It was all I’ve ever needed to know about whether or not the things my father said were true. They were all lies.

Mills: Are you angry?

Hudson: Yes. But that’s not what I feel the most. What I feel most is… just an overwhelming sadness. I feel cheated. Robbed. If I had known she was sick, or that she DID want me in her life, I would have been there. I would have fought harder to stay in New York instead of taking the transfer and getting out. Things were rough, but I didn’t need to bail.

Mills: You can’t do this to yourself. You’re going to drive yourself crazy, Charlotte. You had a price on your head. You did what you had to do.

Hudson: I know. We don’t have to keep talking about this, Peter. Do you feel like takeout tonight?

Mills: How do you feel about Greek tonight? I’m pizza’d out.

Hudson: Sounds good.

Mills: We’re going out.

Hudson: What?

Mills: You and I. We’re going out to eat. Come on.

Hudson: Are you sure we should-

Mills: No one is going to see us. Don’t be like that. Let’s go. I don’t feel like sitting at home tonight. We’re going out. I know the perfect place.

 

(Hudson and Mills are sitting at a table at a Greek restaurant. They have glasses of wine and are smiling at each other.)

Mills: So, Boden called me into his office and told me that my father’s death may not have been an accident. It may have been arson.

Hudson: Stay away from it, Mills. Let them work. Don’t interfere.

Mills: I want them to get to the bottom of it. I want to know if my father was murdered or not.

Hudson: As a cop, I can’t stress enough that you need to stay away from it. When there is something to know, they will tell you.

Mills: I know. I’m letting them work. Boden told me that Dawson and Severide are on it. If it’s arson, whoever it is, is targeting us. Fire and EMS. We need to be careful, Charlotte.

(She grabs his hand, gripping it.)

Hudson: We have to be careful no matter what.

 

(Hudson is sitting at a table, dressed for a nice dinner, when Jeff Clarke walks up to her, hugging her and kissing her hello on the mouth. Though he acts as if they are emotionally involved, we all know they are not. Understandably, his mixed signals perplex and upset her.)

Hudson: I’m really glad you agreed to see me.

Clarke: Of course. I’ve been worried about you since your mom died.

Hudson: I just, I need clarification on a few things right now. About us.

Clarke: Okay. Whatever you need, Charlotte, okay?

Hudson: I don’t understand how you treat me the way you do, and then say that we can’t be together. It’s what I want, Jeff.

Clarke: Listen. Last I checked, you were shackin’ up with Chris Herrmann.

Hudson: You don’t get it. We didn’t work out. I keep holding out hope that you and I will get back together. I’m waiting for you to see it, Jeff. Chris is important, but not what you are to me.

(Waiter drops off two glasses of whiskey for them. Jeff sips his and Hudson is aggressive in her drinking.)

Clarke: I don’t know what to say.

Hudson: How about, “You’re my dream woman and I can’t imagine my life without you in it”? That’s what your actions have said since the day I met you.

Clarke: You are. You are exactly my dream woman.

Hudson: So what are we doing here?

Clarke: I can’t, Charlotte. I’m so sorry.

Hudson: Is it because of me? My job? Because that’s done. I left CPD. I’m full time EMS now.

Clarke: Did you do that because of me?

Hudson: No. I… I needed to make some changes. I was falling apart. I needed you, Jeff.

Clarke: What do you mean?

Hudson: I spiraled all the way down. I needed you to peel me off the floor. Where were you? You weren’t there!

(Her tears are spilling out, and he reaches over to wipe them away. She slaps his hand away, pulling herself together.)

Clarke: Charlie, I am so sorry. I really am. Let me make it up to you.

Hudson: Not unless that means you and I are together.

Clarke: I can’t give you that, Charlie.

Hudson: Don’t call me that.

Clarke: Charlotte, please. I do love you.

Hudson: Then why would you spend another minute of your life away from me, Jeff?! I’m right here!

Clarke: I can’t risk almost losing you again. I’m sorry, Charlotte; I love you so much. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you. If I lost you again like last time, I don’t know what I would do with myself. I can’t go through that again. I’m sorry, Charlotte.

Hudson: So you’re choosing to kick me out of your life because you can’t handle losing me?

Clarke: I want to be there for you, Charlotte, I do.

Hudson: Well, I can’t give you that, Jeff.

Clarke: You just said you needed me.

Hudson: I can’t let you be a part of my life on a part time basis. My heart can’t take it. I waited for you, Jeff. I tried to replace you. I wanted it to work with Chris so bad so I could prove to myself that I didn’t need you, to prove to myself that you didn’t need to be in my life. I can’t keep you in my life on your terms. It needs to be on my terms, or none at all.

Clarke: Why your terms?

Hudson: Because I have twisted myself into knots over you, Jeff. I can’t handle this middle ground thing you’re trying to do. You don’t want to be with me, fine. I can accept that. Eventually. Realistically.

Clarke: We can’t be friends?

Hudson: Are you not hearing a word I say, Jeff? I can’t deal. So no. I need to know, once and for all, if you want to be with me, and if it’s going to happen.

Clarke: I can’t. I’m sorry, Charlotte. I’m so sorry.

(Hudson is devastated. Her heart is broken. Without another word and choking back her tears, she leaves Clarke.)

 

(Clarke walks into a bar, finding Hudson with her band, getting loud and angsty. She sees him from across the room, giving him a cold stare. He stands in the back, watching and listening, but by the end of the song, he is gone.)

Hudson: So here we are now at the end of our road. So many questions going unanswered. These streets are dark and led me far from you. And you never noticed that I was gone. And now I'm standing here alone. Still I hold my head up high. The time has come for me to leave. It's the only way to survive.  There's no need now for you to say word. Your sacrifices for me took a turn. I hope you're sailing free and on your way. And I hope that you think of me each day. And now I'm standing here alone. Still I hold my head up high. The time has come for me to leave. It's the only way to survive. And now I'm standing here alone. Holding my head high. The time has come for me to leave. It's the only way to survive. Now I'm standing here alone. It's the only way to survive.

(Clarke walks away from the bar, tears in his eyes. He knows he is turning his back on the love of his life, and it kills him inside. Hudson wipes the tears from her face, sitting down at the bar to drink.)

 

(Dawson and Hudson are sitting on the couch, watching TV and sharing a bag of pretzels. Severide is laboring not to eavesdrop, but he can’t help himself.)

Dawson: Sooooooo, what happened at dinner with Jeff?

Hudson: Nothing.

Dawson: Hudson. Come on. You went out to dinner with your ex-boyfriend who is clearly still VERY hung up on you. Don’t tell me nothing happened.

Hudson: I’m serious, Gabby. Nothing happened. Not that I didn’t try to suggest it.

Dawson: He rejected you?!

Hudson: If you want to call it that. I asked if this was the first step to us getting back together. He told me not to hold my breath on it. I asked if he had met someone else.

Dawson: Did he?

Hudson: No. He told me he still loved me.

Dawson: Okay, what are we missing? He still loves you, but rejects you?!

Hudson: He still has a guilt trip over my accident. He still thinks he’s at fault. I’ve told him repeatedly that it was a risk I took willingly and it’s not his fault.

Dawson: Antonio doesn’t even feel bad about that anymore. He always felt he should have warned you.

Hudson: By the time Antonio knew what was happening, there’s no way he could have warned me.

Dawson: Yeah, he gets that now. The point is, Clarke needs to accept that it’s not his fault. You knew the risks involved. The accident wasn’t even your fault and it wasn’t an accident.

Hudson: Try explaining that to a guilt-ridden ex-boyfriend who is convinced that it’s all his fault. Apparently, we can be friends, but being in a relationship is too much pressure. I think that’s just a sign that I need to finally let go and move on.

Dawson: Do we need a wine and ice cream night?

Hudson: Only if it includes every chick flick ever made.

Dawson: You got it.

Hudson: We have to start with Mean Girls.

 

(Hudson slips out the back of Molly’s for a breath of fresh air. She stops short when she sees Herrmann, but neither is dreading the other’s presence.)

Hudson: I’m sorry, I slipped out here to be alone for a minute. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

Herrmann: You’re not interrupting. Stay, relax.

(Hudson watches him in silence, trying to find words.)

Hudson: Where did we screw up, Chris?

Herrmann: We didn’t, honey. I think we just wanted too much too soon. Especially me. I was hurting bad when I met you.

Hudson: I heard you’ve been spending time with your ex-wife.

Herrmann: Things there are complicated. I still care about her, she’s the mother of my children.

Hudson: If you can work things out with her, you should, Chris. I won’t stop you.

Herrmann: Really?

(Hudson is quiet, considering her feelings and thoughts. She considers her as of yet undefined relationship with Mills, and she looks at Herrmann.)

Hudson: Maybe I don’t know what happens to us. Maybe that’s all we were supposed to be, is what we were. Maybe there’s more for us down the road. But if you have the chance to mend fences with Cindy, you should take it. Your family should always come first, Chris. You should work for it.

(Chris comes close to her, putting his arms around her waist. She starts to breathe a bit harder, and he is laboring to control himself.)

Herrmann: And what of your fate, Charlotte Hudson?

Hudson: It’s in my hands, love. I’ll work that out myself.

(Herrmann closes the space between them, his lips meeting hers. The kiss seems to go on for eternity, and Hudson is swept up in it. She kisses him back powerfully, a hand to his cheek. When she finally breaks it, he looks deep into her eyes.)

Herrmann: You need anything, I will help you. Just come to me. I know you’re a cop, but I’ll always protect you. You’ll always be special to me.

Hudson: The same could be said for you, Chris.

(With that, she goes inside, resuming her place next to Mills. She takes a sip of her beer, and Mills looks at her.)

Hudson: Herrmann is working things out with his ex-wife.

Mills: So where does that leave us?

Hudson: Free.

(Mills smiles at her, she smiles back. Boden walks over to them.)

Boden: Mills, can I borrow Hudson for a moment?

(Mills nods, and Hudson follows Boden off to the side.)

Boden: The higher-ups have ruled that, as of your next shift, you are to be paid as a part time EMT. This covers any and all liability on their part. On the upside, you’ll be getting paid more than the regular EMTs. If you decide to come on as full time, we’d be overjoyed to have you.

Hudson: That’s amazing, but… I have to give it some thought. I haven’t decided whether to stay at PD or not. I’ll have a final decision in a few days, though.

Boden: And your relationship with Herrmann? You may want to keep it quiet. A firefighter and a paramedic involved is a precarious slope. I don’t want to see you get transferred to another house; you have become family at 51.

Hudson: It won’t happen.

Boden: Please. You have filled a little of the gap that Leslie Shay left behind in our house. Please, Hudson, I don’t want to know what it would be like to lose you, too.

Hudson: I’m not going anywhere, Chief.

Boden: Welcome to 51.

(He leaves her, and she rejoins Mills. He looks at her.)

Mills: Everything okay?

Hudson: I am now a paid 51 paramedic.

Mills: Does that change things?

Hudson: No. At least not for me.

(Mills toasts her, and they drink.)

 

(Hudson is seated in Voight’s office, waiting for him. He sits down and smiles at her.)

Voight: What’s going on here, Hudson? Six weeks, you’ve been a ghost in this place.

Hudson: I’m here to resign.

Voight: Resign?! I just got you here. What happened?

Hudson: I made a lot of mistakes my first few months here in Chicago. A lot of them are hurting me now.

Voight: So you’re heading back to New York? I can get your transfer paperwork in order.

Hudson: No, I’m staying here. I’m saying that police work isn’t the place for me anymore, Hank. I spoke to my bosses over at FD, and they’re holding an open full time spot on the EMS squad for me. I feel as if I can do more good there than I have here. Ever since I got here, I’ve been off my game in this squad. I kick ass at FD.

Voight: Maybe Intelligence isn’t the best place for you anymore. You sure you don’t want to try another division in another district?

Hudson: No matter what, I’ll be off my game. I don’t have the same touch I had in New York as a cop here.

Voight: Well, I can’t stop ya. I will say that if you ever want to come back, the door is open. You’re a great cop. Don’t be a stranger. I gotta know up front: Can we call on your expertise from time to time?

Hudson: Thanks for understanding, Hank. I’ve made some great friends in this squad. If you guys need any help… You can call on me. I’ll be glad to come in and help you guys with anything. But my heart is in EMS now.

Voight: You’re gonna be great, Charlotte. I’m happy for you. Station 51 is real lucky to have you. Go talk to everyone, let ‘em know what’s going on. Better for them to hear it from you, right?

(Charlotte stands, handing him her badge. He shakes his head, pushing it back toward her. She looks at him, confused.)

Hudson: Huh?

Voight: You’re supposed to keep it.

Hudson: Oh!

(Hudson walks out into the main room, and everyone looks up at her. She looks apprehensive. Voight motions her on.)

Voight: Go ahead.

Hudson: I came in today to hand in my resignation. My reasons are incredibly personal, but I did want to say goodbye to you guys. You guys have been great to me and made me feel really welcome. I wanted to thank you for that.

Ruzek: What? Why?

Hudson: This just isn’t the place for me anymore. I took a full time job with CFD, so I’ll be over at Firehouse 51 from now on. You ever get Hudson withdrawals, you can find me there.

Ruzek: Well, we have to have drinks to give you a send off. Molly’s tonight, guys.

(Antonio is stunned; since he is the one who brought her in, he is hurt at her resignation. Halstead is surprised, as is Alvin. She nods, walking through the room, and down the stairs. Antonio catches up to her in the lobby.)

Antonio: So you’re just leaving? Just like that? You’re done?

Hudson: I don’t make a difference here.

Antonio: I’m alive because of you. How many times have you kept all of us in line? I’d be dead if you hadn’t handled like a boss in this unit.

Hudson: I was a better cop in New York, Antonio. I’m better at being a paramedic here. It’s time for me to come in from the cold… forever.

Antonio: Now that I can understand. You were always all or nothing, Charlotte.

Hudson: I don’t regret it. We put a lot of criminals behind bars together.

Antonio: We should have always been partners.

Hudson: We should have.

Antonio: Maybe one day we can be something more. I know I couldn’t take that step while I was married, but maybe now…

Hudson: Maybe one day, Antonio. Maybe one day.

Antonio: Hopefully one day soon, huh? Before I’m old and in a walker.

Hudson: We’ll see. You and I are real mutts together, you know that?

Antonio: I trust you with my life, Charlotte. It’s gonna be weird without you upstairs.

Hudson: It’s going to be weird for a while, not being in the field. Voight told me to keep my shield and gun.

Antonio: You’re not totally off the job yet, then. He’s keeping you on, on a contingency basis. Expect to hear from him a few times a month.

Hudson: So you’re not totally getting rid of me yet.

Antonio: Looks like not. (Pause as he looks at her with utter love and admiration.) Hey. I love you.

(Hudson smiles, about to walk away. He pulls her aside in the vestibule, kissing her on the mouth. He holds her tight to himself, and their kiss intensifies. When they pull away, he lingers gently on her mouth, one hand on her cheek as he smiles at her. He walks inside and goes back upstairs.)

 

(Antonio sits down at the bar stool next Hudson, signaling for a drink. They pound drink after drink, until they are heavily intoxicated. They laugh together as old friends, but their body language is clear. After a while, Antonio makes his move, and she doesn’t resist. She takes him home after making sure Gabby won’t be home. She takes him to bed, climbing on top of him. Though they are drunk, they are not clumsy, but rather intense and sensual. Antonio growls in her ear before throwing her down on her back, pulling her to him by the legs and unbuttoning her jeans.)

Hudson: Are you sure you want this?

Antonio: The only question is, can you handle all of this?

Hudson: Hit me with your best shot.

(Antonio lands on top of her, and they have sex. They wake up together the following morning, and Antonio cuddles her. She checks the time, and gets up.)

Hudson: You better go before Gabby gets home.

Antonio: I was thinking we’d just tell her.

(Suddenly, Hudson gets VERY uncomfortable. She pulls her jeans on, facing away from him.)

Hudson: You should probably go, Antonio.

(Antonio stands up, in nothing but his boxers. He puts his arms around her shoulders, kissing the side of her neck and her cheek.)

Antonio: Charlotte, why are you so afraid of my little sister knowing about us?

Hudson: I’m not afraid. When Laura left you, Gabby asked me to promise to never get involved with her brother. I promised her I wouldn’t. I already broke the promise, I’d rather not make it worse. Gabby isn’t just my roommate, Antonio; she’s my closest friend.

Antonio: And what am I? Chopped liver? Why is my sister trying to control who I sleep with?!

Hudson: You know what I mean, okay?

Antonio: Why are we letting my sister interfere?

Hudson: Antonio, this isn’t up for debate. Gabby has seen the trail of tears I’ve left in my wake. Chris Herrmann is hanging on by a thread. I’m not going to do that to you, too.

Antonio: You and I are different. We’ve always been different.

Hudson: Are we? I thought they were all different, too, and then I saw another hot piece of ass and I chased after that, too. I can’t do this, Antonio. Not right now, not ever. I need to figure out who I am again before I go getting into something serious. And you and I, for the record, could never be casual.

Antonio: So what was last night?

Hudson: It wasn’t casual. Please, you gotta go before Gabby gets home. Please, Antonio.

Antonio: I need some answers here, Charlotte. What even just happened?!

Hudson: Antonio! You have to go! Now! Please! Just go!

(Antonio hesitantly pulls the rest of his clothes on, and leaves. Hudson sits down on the bed, hyperventilating.)

 

(Hudson lets herself into Boden’s office. She sits down and smiles at him.)

Hudson: You asked if I was willing to make FD a full time commitment. I took some time to consider everything about my life here. I’ve been doing really well in counseling, and I’ve realized a few things. Bottom line is, I feel as if I make more of a difference here than I do at PD. I am not the same cop I was in New York.

Boden: Do you think you’ll be a better paramedic here?

Hudson: Yes. I feel like the work I do here is better than what I did in New York, and I feel as if I have a better handle on myself here at 51 than I do down at Intelligence.

Boden: Then the full time slot is yours. Welcome home.

(They stand and shake hands. Herrmann sees through the window, and heads into the kitchen. Boden leads her into the kitchen, where everyone is gathered.)

Boden: Listen up, everybody. Hudson has left Chicago PD. We have been holding a full time slot open for her on EMS, and she has chosen to take it. Let’s all welcome her to her full time spot with us.

Severide: All right! A full timer at last! Drinks at Molly’s tonight to celebrate!!

Gabby: Half price for 51!!

Herrmann: Whoa, Dawson!

(Everyone applauds, and Mills looks anxious. Dawson hugs her, and Herrmann offers her a hug. She hugs him, and generally everyone celebrates.)

 

(Hudson is sitting on a bed, smiling to herself. Herrmann comes in, sitting on the bed next to her.)

Herrmann: So, a full timer now, eh? How did that happen?

Hudson: I looked at my life as a whole since I came here. I realized that I was off my game as a cop, but as a paramedic, I am amazing. I feel more connected to this house than I do PD. My strongest connection there is a guy I had a one night stand with.

Herrmann: Are you regretting coming to Chicago yet?

Hudson: Not at all. I regret some of the things I did, but not coming here, and definitely not joining this house. Every moment I’ve spent here has been amazing. I feel like I make a difference, and I feel like I have always belonged here.

Herrmann: Did I help at all?

Hudson: You helped in ways I can’t even begin to describe. I would never have made it through my mother’s death if it weren’t for you.

Herrmann: I don’t think you know how happy that makes me, Charlotte.

Hudson: I know we didn’t end well, but you should know: you are one of the best things to happen to me. You’ll always be special to me, Chris. A part of my heart will always belong to you.

(Before he realizes what he is doing, Herrmann closes the space between them, kissing Hudson passionately. She doesn’t fight it, for she is completely enrapt in Herrmann’s spell. In this moment, their relationship becomes more like an addiction; and the tone for an unhealthy attachment is set. When they finally break the kiss, Hudson is smiling.)

Herrmann: We shouldn’t do this.

Hudson: I just feel so safe with you.

Herrmann: Charlotte-

(She kisses him again. The kiss is strong and passionate. Herrmann is swept into it. She pulls back, tears standing in her eyes. Mills is watching from far away.)

Hudson: Promise me that a part of you will always belong to me. Promise me, Christopher.

Herrmann: You know I’ve always loved you, Charlotte.

Hudson: Chris, I love you.

Herrmann: Not here, Charlotte, okay?

Hudson: Promise you’ll see me after work.

Herrmann: I’ll be at Molly’s.

Hudson: Can you stop by my band’s practice? We have a new song.

Herrmann: Maybe I can stop by for a little bit.

Hudson: That’s my Herrmann.

(She runs a hand through his hair and rests a hand on his cheek, and he leans in, kissing her again. She giggles, and he buries his face in her neck, breathing her in. She tightens her arms around him, taking a deep breath. They lay down together, spooning on the bed. He holds her tight until she falls asleep, and then the alarm sounds for a call.)

 

(Hudson’s band is rehearsing with a new male singer. He is very good looking, and Herrmann enters, apprehensive. He stops when he sees the male singer, Josh, feeling a little threatened. Hudson is very responsive to him, and it makes Herrmann a bit nervous.)

Hudson: It's haunting, this hold that you have over me. I grow so weak.

Josh: I see you, and everything around you fades, and I can't speak. But you can never know what it is you do to me. (What it is you do to me)

Hudson: I can't take what you're doing to me. I can't take it. I can't take what you're doing to me. I can't take it.

Hudson and Josh: No matter what I say or what I do, I know how this will end. So I'm turning away now before we begin. And no matter what you say or what you do, I know how this will end. So I'm turning away now. I'm dangerous for you. I'm dangerous for you.

Josh: You touch me, and I can barely make a move, and I can't breathe.

Hudson: You can never know what it is you do to me. (What it is you do to me)

Josh: I can't take what you're doing to me. I can't take it. I can't take what you're doing to me. I can't take it.

Hudson and Josh: No matter what I say or what I do, I know how this will end. So I'm turning away now before we begin. And no matter what you say or what you do, I know how this will end. So I'm turning away now. I'm dangerous…

Hudson: The only promise I could make you

Josh: Is that my promise is a lie

Hudson: The only promise I could make you

Josh: Is that my promise is a lie

Hudson: No matter what I say or what I do, I know how this will end. So I'm turning away now before we begin. And no matter what you say or what you do, I know how this will end. So I'm turning away now.

Hudson: I'm dangerous for you.

Josh: I'm dangerous for you.

Hudson: I'm dangerous for you.

Hudson: I'm dangerous for you.

Josh: I'm dangerous for you.

Hudson: I'm dangerous for you.

Josh: I'm dangerous for you.

Hudson: I'm dangerous, I'm dangerous for you.

Josh: My promise is I will hurt you.

Hudson: My promise is I will hurt you.

Josh: My promise is I will hurt you.

Josh and Hudson: My promise is I will hurt you.

(Song ends. Herrmann is intimidated. Hudson signals for a break when she sees Herrmann. She walks over to him, kissing him on the mouth.)

Hudson: You came! I thought you were going to stand me up.

Herrmann: I wasn’t going to come, but I wanted to see how your band has been doing. New guy?

Hudson: Yeah, we’re working on writing songs with him and his band. He’s good, right?

Herrmann: You look at him like you’re in love with him or something.

Hudson: Nope. Just the power of the music. It’s a heavy song.

Herrmann: Yeah, I heard it. You wrote it about us, didn’t you?

Hudson: Yeah.

Herrmann: Look, this is really hard for me, Charlotte. I’m crazy about you-

Hudson: I think it’s best that we just go our separate ways, Chris. We can’t keep doing this. Don’t talk to me outside work. Don’t see me outside work alone. We’re done. Maybe one day, we can hang out in a group, reminisce about the good times we have working together, but until then… I gotta 86 you. For myself.

(Without another word, she walks away, heading back to band practice. He stands there, shocked. She has now turned herself into the forbidden fruit, and he MUST have her.)

 

(Hudson opens her door to Herrmann. It’s late.)

Hudson: You can’t be here, Chris.

Herrmann: Rules were made to be broken, Charlotte.

(He kisses her, picking her up and shutting the door behind him. They head for the bedroom and the rest is history.)

 

(Hudson slips out of her room, showered and dressed. Dawson is sitting at the table, sipping a cup of coffee. She smiles.)

Gabby: Who’d you have over last night?

(Hudson looks guilty. Dawson raises an eyebrow. Hudson drops her bag on the floor, sitting at the table.)

Hudson: Okay, Herrmann showed up at the door mere hours after I told him not to contact me outside of work anymore. I was weak. I still love him, Gabby… The only way this is going to work is if we’re both on board with staying away from each other.

Gabby: You both need to be strong here, okay? I can see how tired you are of the back and forth with him… Stop doing it to yourself. You have so much more power in you than this.

Hudson: I do… I do. I just can’t help caring about him.

Gabby: I know. I’m so sorry, Charlotte. I pushed you guys together.

Hudson: It’s fine. We’re bad for each other. Separately, we’re amazing. We need to stay separate. I can’t do this anymore with him.

 

(Herrmann wakes up to Hudson gone, and looks around. He hears nothing in the apartment, not even Dawson. He gets up, getting dressed. He walks out into the living room, and Dawson is sitting at the table, calmly reading something on her Kindle. Herrmann is startled.)

Herrmann: Jeez, Dawson, I didn’t know you were here. I’m sorry.

Dawson: You just missed Hudson. She mentioned you were here.

Herrmann: Did she say anything?

Dawson: Just that you came over when you weren’t supposed to.

Herrmann: I can’t help it, Dawson; I love her madly. I can’t stay away from her.

Dawson: You’re only feeling that way because she made herself the forbidden fruit. Now, you’re addicted to her.

Herrmann: What should I do?

Dawson: Do you want to go through the agony of this back and forth, “will we or won’t we” kind of relationship we all see you both embarking on?

Herrmann: No. I don’t want that for her. I want her to have some kind of secure relationship.

Dawson: Even if it’s not with you?

Herrmann: I’m not up to that idea yet.

Dawson: Let her go, Herrmann. You’re going to crawl back to Cindy. She has your kids, and you love her. Hudson can delude herself all she wants, but at the end of the day, she knows the only future you have together is colleagues and nothing more.

Herrmann: Harsh, Dawson!

Dawson: I’m sorry. I’m tired of the back and forth with you guys. She won’t ever admit it, but she’s tired, too. It hurts her, and she’s already fragile.

Herrmann: I guess you’re right.

 

(Hudson is cleaning up the rig, organizing everything. Ever since she and Clarke had their falling out, she hasn’t been in the friendliest mood, and Severide reminds her of Clarke immensely. Severide notices her, and walks over to her. Dawson watches from afar as he attempts to talk to her.)

Severide: What happened in here? You throw a rave in the rig or something?

Hudson: Yeah, they really liked the catheters. They used them as straws.

(Severide actually laughs. He thinks her sarcasm is funny, but he knows she is feeling miserable. He jumps up and sits in the back of the ambulance with her.)

Severide: Why wasn’t I invited?

Hudson: You strike me as the sit-at-a-bar-and-get-drunk type.

Severide: I could rave.

(He gyrates a little bit, and she laughs in spite of herself- a good sign. Severide smiles at her.)

Hudson: You’ve got some moves.

Severide: See?

Hudson: Just don’t quit your day job.

(Hudson jumps down from the rig, and he follows, but she walks away before he can say anything. He watches her go, a little defeated. Dawson watches, curious.)

 

(Severide comes into Molly’s, where Hudson is drinking with Sylvie and Joe. They are very couple-like, and Hudson looks uncomfortable, occasionally stealing glances at Herrmann. Severide gets himself a drink, and then sits down with them. Hudson is confused.)

Severide: Next round’s on me, guys. How’s it going?

(Hudson stands.)

Hudson: I actually have to go.

(She walks away, towards the back of the bar, exiting the side door, where she steps right into the arms of Herrmann. She kisses him passionately, and he backs her against the wall. She holds him tight to her, and they rub up against each other. The door opens, and Severide walks out, looking for her. They pull back, and he stops, upset. He stares at them in disbelief, and Hudson walks away, down the street. Herrmann walks back inside, and back behind the bar. Severide stares after her, then walks the other way, going home.)

 

(Severide, who is not used to having to work this hard to get a woman’s attention, is looking all over the house for Hudson. He finds her arguing with Herrmann outside the house, her arms crossed and one hip jutting out. Severide cannot help himself; he eavesdrops on their conversation.)

Hudson: Don’t you think we’re drawing this out enough? You’re just going to crawl back to Cindy, Chris.

Herrmann: She’s the mother of my children, Charlotte!

Hudson: Do I look mad? Do you have any idea how much this hurts without you disregarding the boundaries I set for us? I need you to respect them, Chris. I’m serious. Don’t talk to me outside of work. Don’t come to my house. Don’t call me unless it’s work related.

Herrmann: I’m sorry. I’m weak, Charlotte. I am. You deserve better than me.

Hudson: Stop it, Chris. You’re not weak. You’re a good man. We just need to make a clean break as much as we can. I’ve been discovering that I have enough issues I need to deal with.

Herrmann: What do you mean?

Hudson: I have no idea who I am. Leaving PD, coming out of UC life… Meeting my mother. All of it showed me that I have no idea who the hell I am. I need to figure that out before I even think about getting involved with someone again.

Herrmann: Is this something I did to you?

Hudson: This was happening long before you. In fact, this may have screwed us up. I’m sorry, Chris. We just need to go our separate ways. What happened last night outside Molly’s, that’s never going to happen to us again.

Herrmann: Severide looked like he was about to cry.

Hudson: I doubt it. Pretty sure everyone is in the dark about you and I at this point.

Herrmann: Look, just… take care of yourself, honey. I don’t know what I’d do if anything ever happened to you.

Hudson: We can’t really talk like that anymore, can we?

Herrmann: I guess not.

Hudson: I should go.

(Hudson walks off toward the house. Severide slips back in, heading toward the kitchen. He watches Hudson walk past and towards a bed, laying down, frustrated. He follows her in, sitting on the bed. She stares at the ceiling in silence.)

Hudson: Didn’t you hear me say I needed to figure myself out, Severide?

Severide: What-?

Hudson: You weren’t the stealthiest eavesdropper. But I’m serious. I can’t even begin to think about anything right now. I spent years as a UC.

Severide: Damn, Hudson, I’m just trying to be your friend. You know, a friend??? Do you remember what those are like, or did all those years as a UC destroy that, too?

(Severide gets up, walking away. She props herself up on her elbows, stung, though he is right. Frustrated, she kicks the air, turning over on her side.)

 

(Hudson walks up to Severide, awkwardly tapping his arm. He turns toward her and waits for her to speak.)

Hudson: You wanna… get a beer after work? You know, hang out? Whatever it is people who are friends do.

Severide: I don’t know. Can you handle that, or are you going to flip out?

Hudson(offering a pinkie swear): I promise to hold it together long enough to knock a few back with you.

Severide(smiling, pinkie swearing): Yeah, meet me at Molly’s after shift.

Hudson: Sweet.

(Hudson walks away, feeling pretty confident about herself in the moment. Severide watches her walk away, smiling.)

 

(Hudson plops a beer and a shot down in front Severide, with one of each for herself. She sits down, and they raise their shots to toast. They drink, and then chase with a sip of beer.)

Severide: So what was it like, spending years undercover, becoming someone else every couple of months?

Hudson: At first, it was kind of exciting. I liked that I felt like I was being so hands on in bringing down major crimes. But then, after a while, it just started to feel like a weight I didn’t know how to shake. Like, even after an assignment was over, and I came in from the cold and was put on ice for a few months, I still felt like I was carrying a piece of it with me. It’s scary, you form relationships with people when you go undercover, and sometimes you walk a really thin line between UC and crossing over.

Severide: You ever cross over, even a little?

Hudson: Came damn close a few times. I once thought about just shooting my mark, just to get the assignment over with.

Severide: So, what was it like?

Hudson: I was used to bust a lot of prostitution rings and drug rings. A lot of the time, a woman undercover gets kind of pigeonholed, but they found so many ways to put me undercover. They discovered that I could handle a lot of different things.

Severide: What were you undercover as when you went undercover last year? Remember that car wreck you were in?

Hudson: That was a gang detail. Antonio Dawson and I got handpicked to infiltrate a Latin gang.

Severide: How did you wind up in the car wreck? When we got there, we knew it wasn’t an accident.

Hudson: I was stupid. I got made in the worst way. I was with Clarke at the time. I was passionately in love with him. I didn’t like spending time away from him, so I would skip out on my assignment and spend the night at his place a few times a week, even though I was supposed to be in a relationship with Antonio, according to my marks.

Severide: How did that work?

Hudson: Antonio and I presented as a Bonnie and Clyde type couple who was going all over town with a join or die rap. We were a package deal when we went in. I had to disappear from my real life for about a week before we could go fully undercover. They give you a week to let the dust settle, to put distance between your life and your UC persona. Sometimes, you don’t have the time, but when you do, you use it. Antonio and I spent the time cooking up our cover story and figuring out how to act like criminals with a serious rough sex addiction.

Severide: Was it a good one?

Hudson: Always are. We had met while we were boosting cars in New York, came to Chicago, and decided we wanted to stay, so we were looking for something long term. The gang took the bait instantly, but one guy was wary. He never trusted me. He saw me sneaking out to see Jeff one night and followed me. He figured out by the look of Jeff that he was a firefighter and that we were in love. He figured out that I was a cop and told everyone else. They cut the brakes on my car and waited, thinking Antonio would be in the car with me when something happened.

Severide: But he wasn’t.

Hudson: Nope. He showed up at their safe house as the accident was happening, and they told him what they had done. The top guy put a gun in Antonio’s mouth and almost killed him. The rest of Intelligence got to him before anything happened, but they were too late with me. You saw my crash.

Severide: Then they sent you back to New York.

Hudson: They did. They put me on ice while I had another surgery and I recuperated, then they sent me undercover in New York with a prostitution ring. I took it down in two months.

Severide: You were good.

Hudson: I was. I was loaned out to almost every major city in the US- Chicago, Miami, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Houston, D.C., New Orleans… It was a hell of a ride.

Severide: Would you go back to it?

Hudson: Not on your life. I’m starting to feel like my own person again now that I’ve been out of UC life.

Severide: Did you ever consider going to a desk job?

Hudson: It was discussed, but I rejected that idea. If I were still a cop, I’d never get off the street. I left the job because it was all I had. As a paramedic, there’s room for something else in my life. Things with Clarke would have ended differently if I had just been a paramedic. I feel like I lost over a decade of my life undercover. I don’t regret it, but I missed out on some amazing things because of UC life.

Severide: Well, maybe we can figure out a way to make up for the lost time.

Hudson: Why are you being so friendly to me?

(Severide is caught. He wants to tell her how he feels, but feels that she has made her stance on a relationship clear. He smiles.)

Severide: You looked like you needed a friend. You have Shay’s old job. Shay and I both needed a friend when we met each other. Not just a drinking buddy, but a real friend. Shay would want me to reach out to someone like you. Plus, you seemed like you were a lot of fun. Clarke had some stories.

Hudson: Oh, yeah? All flattering, I hope.

Severide: Oh, yeah. He never had a bad thing to say about you. Even after the end. You know, he blames himself for the wreck.

Hudson: The wreck wasn’t his fault. He didn’t cut my brakes.

Severide: He feels morally responsible.

Hudson: I know. I’ve tried to talk him out of it. He can’t even look me in the eye anymore.

Severide: You still see him?

Hudson: Not anymore. We used to hang out a lot. As friends.

Severide: No chance?

Hudson: He’d have to stop blaming himself for the wreck he had nothing to do with. He thinks that if he hadn’t been encouraging me to spend time with him, I wouldn’t have been followed and my brakes would never have been cut.

Severide: That sounds like bull.

Hudson: I know.

 

(Hudson lets herself into her apartment, Severide behind her. He flops down on her couch, and she pours them both glasses of water. She sits on the couch, handing him his and drinking hers.)

Hudson: Severide, you are the most fun to drink with.

Severide: It’s inevitable for us to have a good time together when we go out drinking. You are the best friend I’ve been missing for months.

(He plays with her hair, and they look deep in each other’s eyes. Suddenly, it dawns on Hudson that they are completely in love with each other, in spite of her insistence at not being romantically involved. She suddenly becomes extremely uncomfortable. She stands up, putting her glass down.)

Hudson: We should get to sleep. Let me grab you a blanket and some pillows.

(She heads to the linen closet, pulling them out and handing them to him. Trying to hide her discomfort, she smiles, heading to her room.)

Severide: Good night, Charlotte.

Hudson: ‘Night, Kelly.

 

(Hudson and Severide are in the equipment room, goofing off. Severide helps her try his oxygen mask on, and he looks her in the eyes through the mask, smiling at her.)

Severide: I have to ask you a question.

(Hudson pulls off the mask.)

Hudson: What’s up?

Severide: Do you think you and I-

Clarke: Charlotte?

(Jeff Clarke is standing behind them, and Hudson lights up at his presence. Severide looks at her helplessly, feeling his moment slip away from him. Clarke sees his face, but Hudson has already crossed the equipment room to hug him.)

Hudson: Jeff! What are you doing here?!

Clarke: Can I talk to you about something?

Hudson: Sure. (Turns to Severide) Can we pick this up later?

(Severide is clearly crestfallen, but he plays it off to her.)

Severide: Sure, no problem. It’s no big deal.

(Clarke leads Hudson outside to the sidewalk. She smiles at him.)

Clarke: I need your help. As a cop.

Hudson: Okay.

Clarke: You can do background checks on people, right? You can find them? I need to know something about one of the guys in my house.

Hudson: Give me his name. I’ll get it done.

Clarke(opening his phone): Here it is. (She copies the name and number into her phone. He eyes her.) So how long have you and Severide been dating? I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist you.

Hudson: Kelly and I aren’t dating. We’re just best friends.

Clarke(laughing): Right. Like Casey and Dawson were “friends” before they wound up together. Let me give you a heads up. Severide is in love with you. Has been for a long time. If he hasn’t made his move yet, he will.

Hudson: Oh, please. Guys like Kelly don’t fall in love, Jeff, and certainly not with girls like me. They have girls lined up around the block for them.

Clarke: When’s the last time he showed up with a girl somewhere, Charlotte? He’s had it bad for you for a long time.

Hudson: How long?

Clarke: Like since you and I started dating. I caught him staring at you a few times back then.

Hudson: I don’t think Kelly is capable of a serious relationship.

Clarke: Don’t be an idiot. He was ready to settle down with a girl he thought he got pregnant. He was engaged once. He saved her from wanting to commit suicide. He married a girl he met in Vegas and fully intended to spend the rest of his life with her. Don’t tell me Kelly Severide isn’t capable of a serious relationship. You’re just afraid. Admit it.

Hudson: Damn it, Clarke, there you go, being my conscience.

Clarke: Go for it with him. He really cares about you. I’ve known for a long time. Or just think about it. I would hate to see you miss out on something that could be really good for the both of you.

(He gives her a kiss on the cheek and leaves. She turns around to walk back to the house. She looks for Kelly, but he is avoiding her. She finds him in the kitchen, but other people are around.)

Severide: Everything okay with Clarke?

Hudson: Yeah. He just had a question.

Severide: You didn’t tell me you guys got back together.

Hudson: We didn’t, Kelly.

(Severide, suddenly moody, walks away from her without another word.)

 

(Hudson stops Severide in the hallway.)

Hudson: The other day, in the equipment room, what were you trying to ask me?

Severide: Oh, nothing. It wasn’t important.

Hudson: Yes, it was. You looked nervous. You said you had to ask me something. If it wasn’t important, you would have just blurted it out. What did you want to ask me?

Severide(lowering his voice): I just-just wanted to know if, um… I wanted to know if you thought you and I had a chance. You know, as a couple. Like, together.

(Hudson smiles.)

Hudson: I do.

(Severide smiles.)

Severide: You wanna go out tomorrow night?

Hudson: Yes.

Severide(breathing a sigh of relief): Jesus Christ. Finally. My God. I’ve been waiting like, two years to ask you that.

Hudson: Even while you were married?

Severide: No. Brittany was a whole different story. But before that, and after… I was wracking my brain to try and think of ways to talk to you.

Hudson: You could have just talked to me.

Severide: I wasn’t about to try and come between the amazing love you and Herrmann had.

(They both laugh. He puts a hand on her shoulder, pulling her into him. They hug. When they pull back, she looks uncomfortable.)

Severide: We don’t have to be open about it in house. We can keep it on the down low at first if you want.

Hudson(nodding): I just want to make sure there’s something to be open about before we broadcast. Look, I’ll be upfront. I fought myself on this for a long time. I knew how we both felt, but I didn’t want to pursue it.

Severide: Why?

Hudson: I just… I just didn’t want to be another notch on your belt, Kelly. I don’t like meaningless relationships. It was why I wouldn’t give up on Chris and Jeff.

Severide: And what makes you think you’re just like all those other girls? I pursued you, Charlotte. I’ve been waiting for TWO YEARS to even get a date with you. You’re not a notch on my belt. Give me a shot to let you see how I feel about you. I promise I will not disappoint you.

Hudson: Okay. What time tomorrow night?

Severide: I’ll pick you up at 7:30.

Hudson: What should I wear?

Severide: Dress ready to paint the town red.

(He winks at her, then walks away.)

 

(There is a knock at Hudson’s door. She opens it, and Severide is there with flowers. He is wearing black jeans, black boots, and a button down dark green shirt. Hudson is wearing a dark green dress, the exact same shade as Severide’s shirt. They laugh when they see their outfits. He hands her the flowers, and she lets him in so she can put them in a vase.)

Severide: I hope you like orchids and lilacs. I heard you mention to someone once that you loved the smell of them.

Hudson: I do! They are so beautiful, Kelly. Thank you.

(They are in a vase. He takes her hand and they leave.)

 

(Halfway through dinner. Severide is overjoyed, and keeps repeating himself.)

Severide: I’m so glad we’re here, Charlotte.

Hudson: I know. That’s like the 12th time you’ve said that since we sat down.

Severide: I’m sorry. I just really never thought you would ever agree to go out with me. I’m still so floored. I like, stared at the wall for almost an hour because I couldn’t believe that we’re finally going out.

Hudson: That’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.

Severide: Well, I waited two years to go out with you! Seeing your pain from being with Herrmann really spoke to me. We were both hurting, you know?

Hudson: I have to ask. What made you so unable to settle down?

Severide: My ex-fiancée, really. I guess she got cold feet and looked up her ex-boyfriend. I was a mess for a long time. It takes me a long time to get over things.

Hudson: You’re still mourning Shay.

Severide: Yeah. Sometimes, at night, I watch all these goofy home videos we used to make.

Hudson: I get you, Kelly. It’s awful. I keep replaying scenes in my head of meeting my mother…

Severide: I never asked you about that. What was the whole story?

Hudson: My mom wasn’t a part of my life growing up. All the adults in my life decided that it would be really damaging to me to have her around. I found out a few years ago that my father drove her out of my life, threatening her with jail time if she didn’t pay him child support. My dad wound up in jail himself. I actually grew up in Chicago as a little girl. I lived with my cousin who’s a patrolman out of the 2-1 now. I see him all the time when I work as a cop.

Severide: Really? Who?

Hudson: Sean Roman. Sometimes I would slip up and call his mother my own mother and I call him my brother. I knew Chicago long before I was ever loaned out here.

Severide: Really? What area did you grow up in?

Hudson: Area around Ogden and Roosevelt. I went to Irving Elementary.

Severide: Get out. I grew up like, 20 blocks away. How did we not meet before this?!

Hudson: I was a shy kid. Sean was the social butterfly. He always looked out for me, though, which was a huge thing for me. All my siblings lived with their other parents and when we all did live together, it wasn’t the most positive experience.

Severide: I’m sorry.

Hudson: What about you?

Severide: It was just me and my mom mostly. It wasn’t bad, except when my dad would try to come around.

Hudson: I remember your sister, Katie. How is she?

Severide: She’s good; getting on with her life. Thank you for all your help with finding her.

Hudson: It was my job.

Severide: Do you miss PD?

Hudson: Sometimes. It was cool feeling like I owned everything. But I like what I do now. They still call me in from time to time.

Severide: I’m so glad we’re here, Charlotte, I don’t think you understand.

Hudson: I may not understand, but I definitely can’t forget it, since you tell me every two minutes!

Severide: Charlotte, I’m crazy about you. I really am. I want to see where this goes.

Hudson: So do I.

 

(Severide pulls up in front of her apartment, killing the engine. He looks over at her, smiling. She takes his hand, leaning over.)

Severide: Want me to walk you to your door?

Hudson: Sounds good.

(Severide walks her to her door, hand in hand. They stop at the door to her building. She fumbles with her keys, and he touches her face.)

Severide: I had such a good time, Charlotte. Thank you so much.

Hudson: Why are you thanking me?

Severide: Because you finally gave me a chance. Can I take you out tomorrow night?

Hudson: Yes.

(There is a pause where a kiss could be, but Severide chickens out. He squeezes her hand and walks back to his car, leaving her hanging.)

 

(The next date, Severide picks her up and they make it to the restaurant.)

Severide: I’m sorry I didn’t kiss you the other night. I regretted it as soon as I drove away. I just didn’t want to move too fast for you.

Hudson: Hey- it’s cool.

Severide: I think I was also still so mind blown that we actually had a date that I forgot about it until I got to your door.

Hudson: I get the feeling like you’ll have plenty of opportunities. It’s totally cool.

Severide: You know, ever since you agreed to go out with me, I haven’t stayed up late watching videos of Shay and I. I think I’m starting to come out of the mourning stage.

Hudson: You know you can talk about it with me, right? Whatever it is, you can talk to me. That’s what I’m here for.

Severide: You can talk to me about anything, too.

Hudson: Can I tell you something right now?

Severide: Of course.

Hudson: I’m writing a song about you.

Severide: Are you really?!

Hudson: I started it last night. When it’s finished, I’m going to sing it at an open mic.

Severide: Are you still in that metal band?

Hudson: Yes, but it’s not a metal song. It’s a dance pop song. Well, it will be.

Severide: I don’t even get a metal song?

Hudson: You might.

Severide: Do Clarke and Herrmann have metal songs written about them?

Hudson: Don’t compare yourself to them. If I write a metal song about you, it means we’re doomed.

Severide: Why do you say that?

Hudson: I wrote a metal song about Herrmann and I. It’s called “The Promise”. The song’s about how all we do is hurt each other. Not long after I wrote that song, Herrmann and I broke up for good. If I’m writing dance pop about you, it means you’re making me feel good. I write in genres that correspond to my emotions. Metal is coming from a dark place. Pop is from a great place.

Severide: Well, now I feel loads better! I can’t want to hear this song. You ready to go?

Hudson: I am.

(They leave, and Severide takes her home. He walks her up to her door, pulling her close to him and looking deep into her eyes, searching for anything. She smiles at him, and he slowly leans in and kisses her. The kiss seems to go on forever, and is passionate, metal-melting, and epic. When they pull back, the electricity between them is on fire.)

Severide: That was worth the wait.

Hudson: It was.

 

(Hudson is having an open mic might at Molly’s, organized by Herrmann and Dawson. Severide is trying to be subtle, but he knows she is premiering the song she wrote about him, so he is excited.)

Herrmann: Up next, we’ve got our own paramedic, the gorgeous and ridiculously talented Charlotte Hudson. She’s doing a brand new song that she swears isn’t metal, so let’s give her a hand!

(Hudson hugs Herrmann, and though Severide feels a slight twinge of jealousy, he brushes it off to enjoy the song. She hits a button, and the track comes on over the speakers.)

Hudson: There ain't no reason you and me should be alone tonight, yeah, baby, and I got a reason that you're who should take me home tonight. I need a man that thinks it's right when it's so wrong, tonight, yeah, baby! Right on the limit’s where we know we both belong tonight. It's hard to feel the rush, to brush the dangerous. I'm gonna run right to, to the edge with you, where we can both fall far in love. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment of truth, out on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge with you. Another shot before we kiss the other side, tonight, yeah, baby! I'm on the edge of something final we call life tonight.
Put on your shades, 'cause I'll be dancing in the flames, tonight, yeah, baby! It isn't hell if everybody knows my name tonight. All right! All right! It's hard to feel the rush, to brush the dangerous. I'm gonna run right to, to the edge with you, where we can both fall far in love. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment of truth, out on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge with you. I'm on the edge with you. I'm on the edge with you. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment of truth. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge with you.

(Everyone erupts into cheers and applause, and she smiles, specifically at Severide. He applauds directly at her, and she winks at him.)

 

(Hudson leaves Molly’s, heading out into the snow. Severide is waiting for her outside and around the corner, where he opens his car door for her. She gets in the car, and he kisses her.)

Severide: I loved the song, Charlotte. Absolutely loved it. Thank you.

Hudson: That was how I felt after our first date. How I still feel every time I see you.

(Severide stops outside his place. He smiles at her.)

Severide: Casey is out of town till next shift. You’re free to spend the night.

Hudson: Sounds good to me.

(They go inside. She smiles, opening her guitar case.)

Severide: Play me another song, Charlotte. Any song. I just want to hear your voice.

Hudson: Okay.

(Hudson sits down on the bed, slipping her guitar on.)

Hudson: When I was with you, we packed our only bags in gypsy time. Spin the globe; hope that we could drive. We made love in Georgia rain, closed down the bars, made love again. Laughed like fools beneath a southern sky. We both know the love we had was brighter. We both know fire glows till the spark has died. I know you will find someone new, too. Now I'm sure of all the things I wasn't sure of when I was with you... When I was with you, we played house, our world was make believe. Chasing time till everything felt new. I loved you and you loved me, counting on sweet symmetry. But you fell harder than I intended to ... We both know the love we had was brighter. We both know fire glows till the spark has died. I know you will find someone new, too. Now I'm sure of all the things I wasn't sure of when I was with you … If you take a house and tear it down, from the attic to the floors. Floor can't support a foundation when it's forced. I wasn't sure ... When I was with you. We both know the love we had was brighter. We both know fire glows till the spark has died. I know you will find someone new who will be sure of all the things I wasn't sure of when I was with you... When I was with you...

(Severide is silent. Hudson stares at him, trying to read his expression. Suddenly, he takes her guitar out of her hands, and pushes her down on the bed, kissing her. She pulls him into her, wrapping a leg around his waist. She pulls at his shirt, he pulls at hers.)

 

(The next morning, Severide wakes up to Hudson sitting in the window, in her underwear and t shirt. She is staring out the window, deep in thought. He comes over to her, pulling her into his arms and kissing her. She stands, smiling at him.)

Severide: You okay?

Hudson: Yeah. I’m great, actually. I’m really glad we’re here.

Severide: Really?

Hudson: Yeah.

 

(When the baby from the fire in Canaryville dies in surgery, Herrmann begins openly sobbing. He walks away, and in a moment of weakness, Hudson runs after him. Severide watches as she rushes after Herrmann, pulling him into her arms down the hall.)

Joe Cruz: Will those two ever cut the cord on each other?!

(Severide is further bothered by it, and walks away in frustration.)

 

(A few shifts later, Severide has been cold shouldering Hudson, who has been trying to keep Herrmann close to watch over him and make sure he is okay. She catches Severide in a hallway, and he is less than receptive.)

Hudson: Hey.

Severide: Hey.

Hudson: I’m sorry I’ve been kinda MIA. Herrmann was going through some things, and I thought he could use someone to lean on.

Severide: You know, he has a wife and kids to lean on. I don’t really think he needs you to hover over him.

Hudson: Are you actually jealous, Kelly? Seriously?

Severide: Tell me you don’t still have feelings for him. Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t. (She is shaking her head at him in disbelief) Why’d you go and start something up with me if you’re still stuck on him, huh?

Hudson: It’s not like that, Kelly. He was going through something horrible. How many other times have I been there for someone in this house who was going through something awful?

Severide: You didn’t have a relationship with them, Hudson. Tell me something. (She raises an eyebrow, listening) Do you have both feet in with me? Are you really in this relationship? Because I am.

Hudson: Oh, and I’m supposed to just believe that the sudden reappearance of a friend from high school that you’ve NEVER mentioned before is just coincidence?! Come on, Kelly, be reasonable.

Severide: I wasn’t aware I had to explain every single friendship I’ve ever had to my girlfriend. I don’t ask you about your friendships. Is there something I should know, since we’re just casually chatting about it?

Hudson: Screw you, Kelly. I don’t have relationships I’m ashamed of. I don’t hide anything. You got a question? You know I’ll always give you a straight answer. I don’t hide anything.

Severide: I’m not hiding April, Charlotte. That’s not what this is.

Hudson: Then what’s the big deal with her, Kelly? Who is she to you?

Severide: I lived with her the summer before my senior year of high school. My family situation was unstable. My dad was cheating on my mom. My mom thought I was covering for my dad. I needed out of the house real bad. April and her parents took me in.

Hudson: Why couldn’t you just tell me this? I told you, Kelly, you can tell me anything. Anything, even if you think I’m going to judge you. I won’t. You don’t even realize how much I look up to you and admire you. You’re not perfect, Kelly; no one is. It’s what makes you human.

Severide: Charlotte. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have freaked out about you comforting Herrmann. We’ve all had calls that have hit us like that. I just get nervous because of yours and Herrmann’s history. I’m so sorry. I was acting like a jerk.

Hudson: I’m sorry, too. I was out of line, bringing up April.

Severide: Do you want to meet her? We could all have dinner soon.

Hudson: If she’s going to be back in your life, I want to meet her! From what you and Rice say, she’s a sweetheart.

Severide: She’s tough as nails, too. You’ll like her.

 

(Antonio and Hudson are having dinner. Though they are having dinner as friends, there is a romantic undertone to their interaction. It’s clear that Antonio is very emotionally attached to Hudson, but she is more restrained. Though she feels for him, Severide is her #1.)

Antonio: You want some more wine?

Hudson: No, thanks. Kelly hates it when I come home boozed up.

Antonio: What, you living with this guy now? Is it his business how much you drink?

Hudson: No, it’s a respect, Antonio. I wouldn’t want him to come home wasted and expect me to take care of him. I don’t want him to have to take care of me if I come home sloshed.

Antonio: Does he come home drunk a lot? He treating you well? He better not hit you, Charlotte. I’ll take his face off if he lays a hand on you.

Hudson: He wouldn’t, Antonio. He’s not that kind of guy.

Antonio: I know he’s a womanizer. What makes you think he’s not doing the same thing to you?

Hudson: He carried a torch for me for two years before I even noticed he existed.

Antonio: Really?

Hudson: Yeah. He wasn’t just spitting game, Antonio. It’s the real deal. I’m one of his best friends.

Antonio: That’s good. You look happy. I guess I’m just sore that it’s not with me.

Hudson: You know how I feel about us together, Antonio.  You and I would kill each other.

Antonio: We’ve survived this long, Charlotte.

Hudson: We worked together. Plus, I made a promise to your sister that I wouldn’t get involved with you.

Antonio: My sister doesn’t have the right to control who I’m with and who I’m not with.

Hudson: She’s seen what I do to men, Antonio. She doesn’t want that for her brother. I don’t want that for you. I don’t want you to wind up as the subject as another one of my metal songs, okay?

Antonio: I’ve seen it, too, Charlotte. I know what I’m getting into. I’m a big boy. Isn’t that my decision?

Hudson: It’s mine, too, and it’s a road I’m not willing to take with your heart. End of discussion.

(The waiter drops off the check, and Hudson reaches for it, but Antonio jerks it out of her hand roughly. They tussle over it, but Antonio yanks it out of her hand and slips his credit card into the book. The waiter takes it, and they finish their wine.)

 

(Hudson leaves Severide’s place, kissing him goodbye as he walks in the opposite direction. Her phone rings, and she answers it.)

Hudson: Hello? Hey, Dr. Halstead… Yeah, sure, I can give you a crash course. Just come by the station next shift and I’ll give you the grand-

(She gets to the corner when a hand grips her throat. D, freshly out of prison, tosses her against an iron fence, choking her.)

D: Remember me, bitch?

Hudson: Get off me.

D: Not on your life.

(Hudson fights against him, but he pins her down on the street, and begins brutally assaulting and raping her. She fights, kicking him off and nearly getting away, but he hits her with full force, snapping her jaw.)

D: How’s it feel, bitch?

(He leaves her in the street for dead. Hours later, a car narrowly avoids running her over. The car stops, and a guy jumps out.)

Driver: Miss? Miss?! Are you all right?!

(Driver feels for a pulse, and pulls out his phone, calling an ambulance.)

 

(Halstead comes into 51, looking for everyone. He heads to the kitchen, and finds everyone present.)

Halstead: Hey, can I get everyone’s attention for a minute, please?

(Everyone looks at him.)

Halstead: Thanks. Listen, um, there’s no easy way to say this, but Charlotte Hudson is in the hospital.

(Severide leans backward, shocked. Gabby is instantly on her feet.)

Gabby: What happened, Jay?

Halstead: She was raped, assaulted, and left for dead in the middle of the street.

(Severide freezes. His eyes bulge out of his head, and he checks his knee jerk reaction to move. His hands start to shake.)

Gabby: Who did this, Jay?!

Halstead: We have a few people we’re looking at, but I need to talk to the people who were close to her so I can get a fuller picture of Charlotte’s life now. Gabby, can I start with you?

(Gabby follows Halstead out of the room and somewhere private.)

Gabby: Who did this, Jay? I mean it. Who did it?

Halstead: We think it was payback from a gang member Charlotte and Antonio took down a few years ago. He was just paroled. Listen. Maybe you can shed some light on this. The rape kit had two samples of DNA in it. One we matched to the banger who did this. We need to figure out who the other guy is so we can eliminate him as an accomplice. Is Hudson seeing anyone?

Gabby: She told me a month ago that she was seeing someone, but didn’t tell me his name. She said she was playing it close to the chest because she wasn’t 100% secure in the relationship. At the time, I thought she was lying to me because it was Antonio.

Halstead: What do you mean?

Gabby: I sort of made her promise me that she wouldn’t get involved with Antonio now that he’s single. I’ve seen the way they look at each other. I know Antonio is in madly in love with her. I know it’s stupid of me to try and control my brother like that. But Charlotte is a major player. I love her, but in a relationship, she is a hurricane. I don’t want him ending up like Herrmann and Clarke. Clarke still hasn’t recovered from her, and it’s been years. I figured she was dating Antonio behind my back and was being secretive about it.

Halstead: You know Antonio is a big boy and can fend for himself, even to a shark like Hudson?

Gabby: I know. I just… Ugh…

Halstead: Well, if it eases your mind, the DNA wasn’t a match to Antonio. We already ran it through everyone in the system, including law enforcement. I can’t compel a DNA sample unless there’s evidence it was left in the commission of a crime, so if anyone can point me in the right direction… Hudson can’t speak. Her jaw is wired shut. And she can’t, or won’t to admit who belongs to that second DNA sample. I need to rule out a second assailant.

Gabby: I think I can point you toward a few people. Talk to Jeff Clarke. Talk to Chris Herrmann. I think, once in a while, they both fall back into their old habits with her. I know Herrmann does.

Halstead: I’ll talk to Herrmann now.

(Halstead seeks out Herrmann, who is outside, beside himself with the news.)

Herrmann: How ya doin’, Halstead?

Halstead: Can I ask you a few questions about Charlotte?

Herrmann: Anything I can do to help.

Halstead: Still care about her, huh?

Herrmann: Love is forever, Jay. I may have gone back to Cindy, but I still love her. I can’t believe someone would do this.

Halstead: I’m sorry if this is a really personal question, but I have to ask you. Did you have sex with her yesterday?

Herrmann: I wish. Mine and Charlotte’s sex life vanished when I got back together with my wife. We don’t spend any time together alone. Our relationship ended in flames and I crawled back to Cindy.

Halstead: Do you know anyone she might be dating? We need to account for a second semen sample in the rape kit, and whoever it is, isn’t in the system.

Herrmann: Talk to Severide. They’ve become nearly best friends since Shay died and Charlotte and I called it quits.

Halstead: You think he’ll know?

Herrmann: It might even be his DNA. Best you can do is ask the guy. I can’t tell you whether they’re involved, but I can tell you they’re close friends.

Halstead: Guess I’ll go ask him.

(Halstead heads to go find Severide. He finds him sitting alone outside the house, staring blankly ahead.)

Halstead: You upset about Hudson?

Severide: Beyond upset.

Halstead: There’s a way you can help me.

Severide: How?

Halstead: Tell me who Charlotte is sleeping with. I asked around; I know you guys are best friends. Everyone says you would know if she’s involved with someone.

Severide: We’re not best friends.

Halstead: Everyone tells me that you guys are inseparable. And tell me; is it a coincidence that she was found on your street, a couple hundred feet away from your front door? Are you the last person she saw before she was assaulted?

(Severide stands, obviously a mess over the situation. His eyes are red-rimmed from crying, and he looks at Halstead in complete earnest.)

Severide: I am, okay?! And I mean it. We’re not best friends. We’ve been dating for six months. We haven’t told anyone because of how insecure she was about dating me to begin with, and we didn’t want people in our business. I had sex with her yesterday before the assault. It’s my DNA. I didn’t hurt her, Halstead. I would NEVER hurt her. I love her. She was leaving my place. I was on my way to have dinner with my dad. She wasn’t coming because she doesn’t like him. Her car was around the corner. I never even saw the guy. She was on her phone when I drove past her.

Halstead: On the phone? Are you sure?

Severide: Yeah, she was talking to someone. I heard her voice as I drove by.

Halstead: Thank you. Secret’s safe.

(Halstead walks away, and Severide stands up, finally gaining the ability to go to the hospital.)

 

(Halstead walks into the ER, grabbing his brother by the jacket. Will is startled.)

Halstead: You’ve got three seconds to tell me what you were doing on the phone with Charlotte Hudson the night she was attacked.

Will: What?

Halstead: Don’t BS me, Will. I dumped her phone. The last call she received, the last person she talked to the night she was raped, was you. If the timeline is right, you were on the phone with her when the attack started.

Will: All right, look, it’s not what you think, okay? I was asking her if she could show me the ropes on being a paramedic.

Halstead: Seriously, Will?

Will: Ask her! That’s what we were talking about. She mentioned that she was running an ambo by herself and I told her I might be interested. I was supposed to come by 51 so she could give me a tour.

Halstead: What happened on the phone with her that night?

Will: She was agreeing to meet with me! She was telling me to come by the station the next shift and suddenly the call was dropped. I tried calling her back but all I got was her voicemail. I had nothing to do with this, Jay, come on. I wouldn’t hurt her; I barely know her.

Halstead: All right. I’m sorry, it’s just been really hard tracking down her movements leading up to her assault. As a former cop, she’s a pro at staying off the grid when she wants to. I need to go talk to her.

Will: Let me take you to her.

(Will leads him down the hall.)

 

(Will leads Halstead into her room, and she brightens at the sight of him. Will checks her stats.)

Will: We gave Charlotte this nifty whiteboard so she can communicate with everyone. It’s been really helpful.

(Jay smiles at Charlotte.)

Halstead: Hey, Hudson, how are you feeling?

(Will leaves the room, and she writes “Pretty bad” on the whiteboard. Halstead pats her hand.)

Halstead: I’m sorry about this, Hudson, but I need to ask you questions about the night you were assaulted.

(She writes, “I’m ready” on the board.)

Halstead: First of all, we got two DNA samples from your rape kit. At first, we thought D had an accomplice, but I talked to Kelly Severide. He says you two had sex before you were assaulted, and the second set of DNA is his?

(Hudson looks guilty. She writes “He’s my secret boyfriend, Jay- of course we had sex”. He nods.)

Halstead: And is it true that my brother called you right before you were assaulted?

(Hudson nods. She writes, “He wants to be my ambo partner- going to give him a tour”. Halstead smiles- Will’s story checks out.)

Halstead: And D was alone? It was just him?

(Hudson nods.)

Halstead: How long will your jaw be wired shut?

(Hudson writes, “Will says three weeks but I say 10 days”. Halstead laughs.)

Halstead: Hey, is it true that Gabby Dawson made you promise to never get romantically involved with Antonio?

(Hudson nods, blushing. She writes, “She doesn’t want him ending up like Herrmann and Clarke, and neither do I”.)

Halstead: You know, Antonio’s a big boy. He can decide for himself. And I think he’s decided he wants you.

(Hudson looks sad. She writes, “I love Kelly”. Severide himself walks in as she shows the board to Halstead. Severide sees it, and smiles. Hudson brightens at seeing him.)

Halstead: Hey, man. I’m just finishing. Charlotte, I’ll come back if I have any more questions.

(Hudson nods and Severide and Halstead shake hands. Halstead leaves, and Severide kisses her forehead gently. He sits down next to her, holding her hand and kissing it.)

Severide: I’m so sorry, honey. I should have walked you to your car. I am so sorry.

(Hudson writes, “Don’t pull a Jeff on me” and Severide laughs in spite of himself.)

Severide: I won’t. How are you feeling?

(Hudson’s eyes fill up with tears, but then she regains her strength. She writes, “Better now that you’re here” and he smiles, his eyes filling up with tears.)

Severide: Jay came to the house and told everyone. Expect them to come in eventually. They were in shock. He also promised to keep our relationship under wraps.

(She writes, “No one knows you’re who I was with before I was raped?” He shakes his head. She writes, “People will find out. Let’s just tell them.” He smiles.)

Severide: You’re ready to go public?

(She writes, “We passed the six month mark yesterday”, and Severide smiles, his tears spilling down his face.)

Severide: You remembered.

(She writes, “Of course I did- I love you, Kelly”. He kisses her face gently, then her temple.)

Severide: I love you, too. I want to take care of you, Charlotte. Move in with me. We’ll find a place together.

(She smiles and writes, “Okay!” He kisses her again and they hold hands. She writes, “Let’s find a nice two bedroom downtown”. He laughs.)

Severide: We’ll see what we find that’s decent, okay? Let’s keep our options open.

(Gabby comes in with flowers, smiling. Severide leans back. Gabby comes in, clutching Hudson’s hand.)

Gabby: I am so glad you’re alive. I can’t believe this happened to you. Are you going to be okay?

(Hudson writes, “Eventually”. Gabby looks worried.)

Gabby: Does Antonio know what happened? I thought he’d be here.

(She is trying to get Hudson to admit that Antonio is her secret boyfriend. Hudson doesn’t play into it, because Antonio isn’t her secret boyfriend. She writes, “Don’t know if Halstead told him or anyone else at Intelligence”. Gabby presses her again.)

Gabby: You should text him. He would want to know what happened to you.

(Hudson looks confused, then writes, “He will”. Gabby smiles, setting up the flowers next to the bed.)

Gabby: Matt wanted to come, but he had to finish a construction job. Everyone is in shock and really worried about you. They all said they’d make their way over here after shift. Looks like Severide beat me here.

(Severide smiles.)

Severide: I have to be here for my best girl.

(Hudson blushes, smiling at him. Gabby doesn’t pick up on the obvious yet subtle hint that they are together. Gabby fixes her hair.)

Gabby: Sorry, it was a little out of place. Do you want help sitting up?

(Severide and Gabby help her sit up, as a few members of 51, including Herrmann and Boden, come in. Herrmann’s wife, Cindy, and Boden’s wife, Donna, are both with them. Hudson’s eyes widen. She writes, “I’m really glad to see all of you”. To everyone’s surprise, Cindy speaks first.)

Cindy: The kids all made you Get Well cards, Charlotte. I am so sorry this happened to you. But we know you’re strong. You can come back from this even stronger if you let yourself.

(Hudson smiles, and Cindy has revealed that Hudson actually had a close relationship with Herrmann’s children while they were together, which no one else in the room had even known. Cindy puts all of the cards in Hudson’s hands, and she tears up at them, but at the same time, she is deeply touched. Her sobs are audible, and Cindy grasps her hand tightly. Donna holds her other hand, and she looks at both women. She writes, “This means the world”, and they both smile.)

Cindy: Do you know who did this to you?

(Hudson nods, and writes, “A banger I put in prison when I was a cop- he is paroled now”. She shows it to them, and they have a strong reaction, almost visceral, and then she adds “But not for long”, and they laugh a little.)

Boden: Is Voight’s entire team working the case?

(Hudson nods, writing again. She writes, “Halstead is running point, but Voight is calling the shots- they will find this guy. I trust them completely”. Everyone seems content with this, but they notice Hudson’s energy and strength are failing. Boden, Donna, and Cindy excuse themselves, as do Severide and Gabby, to grab a cup of coffee. She is left alone with Herrmann.)

Herrmann: Halstead was asking a lot of questions. Are you and Severide involved?

(Hudson nods. Herrmann is silent.)

Herrmann: Don’t let him wind up like me, Charlotte. Promise me. Let the misery and pain end with me. I’ve never seen him this happy.

(She writes, “We hit the six month mark the night of my rape”. He raises his eyebrows.)

Herrmann: You’ve been with him longer than we were ever together. I’m proud of you, Charlotte. That’s fantastic.

(She writes, “I never thought I’d love anyone as much as I loved you”, and Herrmann waves it away.)

Herrmann: You deserve to be with someone who can bring you up, honey. Severide’s the guy. He’s your guy.

(Outside, Donna turns to Cindy.)

Donna: That was really big of you to be so kind like that. I can’t imagine It was easy to visit the bedside of your husband’s ex-girlfriend.

Cindy: It wasn’t hard at all for me. When Charlotte and Chris were together, she was really helpful with the kids. She even looked after them when she didn’t need to, and they all love her. She saved one of my kid’s lives and never even thought twice about it. She would have been a great stepmother. I’m glad I have Chris back, but if she had married him, I wouldn’t have worried about the kids having a stepmom or Chris having another wife.

Donna: Really?

Cindy: She always told the kids that I was their mother, and they should always love and respect me first. She won them over by being good to their dad and by being a total sweetheart, but always reminded them that she would never replace me. Ex-wives everywhere can only dream of their exes having a woman like her.

Donna: She really is a great woman.

Cindy: I don’t blame Chris for still mooning over her from time to time. I look at her sometimes like she’s a movie star.

Boden: In our house, she is a rock star, Cindy.

Cindy: It’s terrible that someone did this to her, but I guess it’s indicative of her talents as a cop. Why did she leave the force?

(Severide and Gabby rejoin them.)

Severide: She lost her lust for the job. She didn’t feel like she made much of a difference at PD, even though she was one of the top cops in New York. She made Detective while she was taking med school classes at night.

(Will joins them.)

Will: Charlotte has med school training?

Severide: She almost got through all of it before they shipped her out here a few years ago. She hasn’t had the chance to finish yet.

(A man in a suit walks over to them, inquisitive.)

Man: Excuse me, I’m looking for Charlotte Hudson.

(Severide becomes protective.)

Severide: She’s not available right now. Can I help you?

Man: Are you a family member?

(Before Severide can answer, Boden pipes up.)

Boden: We are ALL her family.

Man: I’m Mike Lake, and I’m a lawyer assigned to executing Charlotte’s mother’s estate. It’s VERY important that I speak with Charlotte about her inheritance.

Severide: Inheritance? Let me go talk to her.

(Severide walks into the room, talking to Charlotte. After a moment, he comes back out.)

Severide: Okay. She’ll see you, but nothing too crazy, all right?

Mike Lake: I have good news for her.

(They enter. Herrmann exits, and Hudson looks confused.)

Severide: Charlotte, this is Mike Lake. He’s a lawyer.

(She writes, “Hi. Sorry I can’t speak” and Lake waves it off.)

Mike Lake: It’s quite all right. I’m so sorry we’re meeting under these circumstances. I’m sure you’re a little confused about all this.

(She writes, “Obviously”.)

Mike Lake: I am the lawyer assigned to track down and handle any and all assets your mother may have had. Did you know she had a house in Rogers Park, by the water?

(Hudson shakes her head.)

Mike Lake: The building at 1321 West Birchwood is in her name, Miss Hudson. Anyway, your mother owned the house all these years, and now that she’s gone, it’s automatically passed into your hands. We’ve already handled all the paperwork for you. Whenever you’re able, you’ll just need to sign some things.

(Hudson is completely still for a moment. Then, she writes, “Looks like Kelly and I don’t have to go apartment hunting now”, and Lake smiles.)

Mike Lake: The building is in excellent shape, and any of the apartments in it are in move in condition.

 

(After Lake leaves, Severide and Hudson are alone again. She writes, “Did you tell Gabby about us?”)

Severide: No. I figured, we’re moving in together, so you need to tell her.

(Hudson shrugs. She writes, “Good point”.)

 

(Gabby, Matt, Hudson, and Severide are all spending a quiet night at Hudson and Gabby’s apartment together. Hudson’s jaw is almost fully healed, and she is almost back to normal physically; however, a shaky psych evaluation has kept her off ambo another week. Hudson has decided to tell Gabby about the move.)

Hudson: Gabby, I need to talk to you.

Gabby: What is it? Is something wrong?

Hudson: No, I just, uh… Well, remember how I told you that I was seeing someone? Well, it’s getting really serious. We want to move in together.

Gabby: Oh, my God, Charlotte!! That’s amazing! When are you planning on moving out?

Hudson: The end of the month. I’m sorry if that’s short notice.

Gabby: No, that’s not! I’ll stay here and look for a new roommate, or I’ll just move in with Brett. It’s no big deal at all. I just want you to be happy. Are you ever going to tell me who this mystery guy is?

Hudson: Well…

(Gabby interrupts her before she can continue.)

Gabby: It’s Antonio, isn’t it? You PROMISED me, Charlotte! You promised me you wouldn’t get involved with him!

Hudson: It’s not Antonio! I kept my promise! Well, kind of. It’s not him! I swear, Gabby! I made a promise to you, even though I didn’t want to and I disagreed with you taking a role in your brother’s love life, and I’ve honored it. You think I don’t know how Antonio feels about me? I’ve known since before I even knew you existed! It’s not him!

Gabby: Well, if it’s not my brother, who is it?

Hudson: It’s…

(She trails off. Her insecurity takes over, and she shuts down. She looks at Severide, who is about to be crushed if she doesn’t finally admit their relationship to her best friend.)

Gabby: Well?

(Hudson stammers for a moment as she looks from Gabby to Matt to Severide. Finally, she locks eyes with Severide, and her confidence returns. She smiles at him.)

Hudson: Kelly is my boyfriend, Gabby. We’ve been sneaking around for the past 8 months. We didn’t tell anyone because I felt so insecure. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, and I’m sorry you thought it was Antonio.

(Gabby is silent, shocked. Matt is shocked as well. Severide is stunned that she actually admitted their relationship out loud to anyone. He jumps up and runs over to her, picking her up in his arms.)

Severide: Oh, my God. I can’t believe you did it!

Hudson: I told you I would.

Severide: I love you.

Hudson: I love you.

(Gabby suddenly puts her hands over her mouth.)

Gabby: I am so sorry. I had no idea about you and Kelly. All the signs were right in front of me. I don’t know why I thought you were seeing Antonio.

Hudson: Well, see… About that…

Gabby: What did you do?!

Hudson: We had a one nighter before Kelly and me. We were drunk, and I told him the next day that nothing would happen again between us. He didn’t want to leave it that way, but I made sure we did. I’m sorry, Gabby.

Gabby: No, I’m sorry. You guys have so much history. I just think you would both be better off as friends.

Hudson: I know what Antonio would say, but I don’t have anything to say. I’m sorry.

Gabby: Don’t worry about it.  

 

(Time has passed since Hudson and Severide broke up without any warning a week after moving in together. She has been avoiding Severide completely; however, tonight, at another Molly’s open mic, she cannot avoid him. She is sitting at her piano, smiling, seemingly strong.)

Hudson: Funny how it goes away, funny how he almost stayed. I guess I know now that all of the plans we made, were only in my head, were only in my head. So I, I, I, I, I draw circles round the line, draw circles round forever. I’m staring at his past, through the photographs. I thought we were forever, but forever never lasts. We used to be forever, forever, forever, and then, never again. Your memory’s like a shadow place, barely breathing underground. If I looked back, would you even turn around? For what I saw, what is love? So I, I, I, I, I draw circles round the line, draw circles round forever. I’m staring at his past, through the photographs. I thought we were forever, but forever never lasts. We used to be forever, forever, forever, and then, never again. No need for soiled clothes and worn out souls, I'll light a match through it all. Everything I thought was clear, what made you and me when I was standing tall? I see it all too clearly now. It was a lie, just a lie. So I, I, I, I, I draw circles round the line, draw circles round forever. I’m staring at his past, through the photographs. I thought we were forever, but forever never lasts. We used to be forever, forever, forever, and then, never again.

(Entire crowd has the feels. A few grunt and few yell “Preach!”. She smirks.)

Hudson: If you hollered at that, then I can’t wait to see what you do after this one.

(She begins a piano ballad, grinning at the audience.)

Hudson: What goes around comes back around. What goes around comes back around. I say what goes around comes back around. What goes around comes back around... There was a time I thought, that you did everything right. No lies, no wrong. Boy, I must've been out of my mind. So when I think of the time that I almost loved you, you showed your ass and I, I saw the real you. Thank God you blew it, I thank God I dodged the bullet. I'm so over you, so baby, good lookin' out… I wanted you bad. I'm so through with that, 'cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had. You turned out to be the best thing I never had, and I'm gonna' always be the best thing you never had. Oh yeah, I bet it sucks to be you right now… So sad, you're hurt. Boo hoo, oh, did you expect me to care? You don't deserve my tears- I guess that's why they ain't there. When I think that there was a time that I almost loved you, you showed your ass, and baby, yes, I saw the real you… Thank God you blew it, I thank God I dodged the bullet. I'm so over you. Baby, good lookin' out… I wanted you bad. I'm so through with that, ‘cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had. I said, you turned out to be the best thing I never had, and I'll never be the best thing you never had. Oh, baby, I bet it sucks to be you right now… I know you want me back. It's time to face the facts, that I'm the one that's got away. Lord knows that it would take another place, another time, another world, another life… Thank God I found the good in goodbye… I used to want you so bad. I'm so through with that, ‘cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had. Oh, you turned out to be the best thing I never had, and I will always be the best thing you never had. Oh, best thing you never had! I used to want you so bad. I'm so through with that, ‘cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had. Oh, you turned out to be the best thing I never had. Oh, I will never be the best thing you never had. Oh, baby, I bet it sucks to be you right now. What goes around, comes back around. What goes around, comes back around. I bet it sucks to be you right now. What goes around, comes back around. I bet it sucks to be you right now. What goes around, comes back around. I bet it sucks to be you right now…

(Severide stays to the back, quiet, while the rest of the audience hoots and hollers. Hudson eats it up, a grin on her face. She notices Antonio in the crowd and smiles at him.)

Hudson: I didn't hear you leave. I wonder how am I still here. And I don't want to move a thing, it might change my memory. Oh, I am what I am, I'll do what I want, but I can't hide. I won't go, I won't sleep. I can't breathe until you're resting here with me. I won't leave, I can't hide. I cannot be, until you're resting here with me. I don't want to call my friends. They might wake me from this dream. And I can't leave this bed, risk forgetting all that's been. Oh, I am what I am, I'll do what I want, but I can't hide. I won't go, I won't sleep. I can't breathe until you're resting here with me. I won't leave, I can't hide. I cannot be, until you're resting here with me.

(Crowd continues cheering as Antonio smiles at her, and they exchange looks. Severide fades away, back into a corner.)

Hudson: So as you all know, I was sexually assaulted by someone that I put in jail a while ago. This song is about that.

(Severide is watching from the other end of the bar, and everyone stops to pay attention. Hudson has never mentioned her rape to anyone or spoken about it publicly. As the intro begins, everyone can tell this song is going to be intense.)

Hudson: You tell me it gets better, it gets better in time. You say I'll pull myself together, pull it together, you'll be fine. Tell me, what the hell do you know? What do you know? Tell me how the hell could you know? How could you know? Till it happens to you, you don't know how it feels, how it feels. Till it happens to you, you won't know, it won't be real. No, it won't be real, won't know how it feels. You tell me hold your head up, hold your head up and be strong. ‘Cause when you fall you gotta get up, you gotta get up and move on. Tell me how the hell could you talk, how could you talk? ‘Cause until you walk where I walk, this is no joke. Till it happens to you, you don't know how it feels, how it feels. Till it happens to you, you won't know, it won't be real. (How could you know?) No, it won't be real. (How could you know?) Won't know how I feel. Till your world burns and crashes. Till you're at the end, the end of your rope. Till you're standing in my shoes, I don't wanna hear a thing from you, from you, from you. ‘Cause you don't know… Till it happens to you, you don't know how I feel, how I feel. How I feel. Till it happens to you, you won't know, it won't be real. (How could you know?) No, it won't be real. (How could you know?) Won't know how it feels. Till it happens to you, happens to you, happens to you. Happens to you, happens to you, happens to you. (How could you know?) Till it happens to you, you won't know how I feel…

(Antonio looks at Hudson longingly. Severide looks as if he aches for her.