The Beauty of the World - Part Five
Sylvie woke up peacefully the following morning to little tickles working up her exposed back. She moved her head to the side to see Matt delicately kissing up her spine.
“I could get used to being woken up like this every morning.” She mumbled as he reached her cheek and placed a lingering kiss on it before grinning against her soft skin.
“I can confirm – falling asleep and waking up next to you feels as good as I thought it would.”
Sylvie couldn’t contain her smile as she rolled over onto her back to face him. She was about to reach up and kiss him when she realised that he was dressed. She pouted.
“Don’t tell me you’re a hit it and quit it guy?” she teased as she fiddled with the ends of the collar on his shirt.
“I wouldn’t have woken you up if I was a hit it and quit it guy” he challenged as he brushed his nose against hers before sweetly kissing her. “As much as I would like to be naked and in this bed with you right now – I have a construction job to get to.” He said with a sigh. If he could, he would spend all of his time with her, but life wouldn’t allow it. “Though, now I know the extent of your HGTV obsession, I’ll have to enlist your expertise at some point on a job.”
“That sounds like the perfect second date… though I think this one will be hard to top.” She told him as he beamed down at her. Neither of them had ever been on a date like it. They’d clicked from the moment they’d met and last night proved that it was meant to be a lasting connection. They felt like they knew so much about each other, yet they craved to know more. They knew something like this was so rare and they never wanted it to disappear.
“Definitely… but something tells me that a date with you could never be disappointing.” He responded. He just couldn’t get enough of her and her smile and her earnestly blue eyes.
Sylvie giggled, “We broke down a lot of barriers last night. The biggest barrier being that I opened up the door looking like I’d been dragged through a bush and you didn’t run a mile.”
“There was nothing to run a mile from. You just – you looked as perfect as you did the first night I met you.” He complimented as Sylvie blushed.
“You always know exactly what to say, huh?” she asked as he replied with a deep kiss.
As he pulled back, Sylvie’s eyes remained closed. His kisses were hypnotic. They ignited something inside her and in a strange way that she didn’t full understand – they felt like home. He felt like home.
“I only speak the truth.” He replied as he gave her another quick kiss before climbing off the bed. “There’s some breakfast being delivered in about 15 minutes since I couldn’t make you pancakes this morning.”
“My god, I hit the jackpot with you” she joked as she sat up in her bed as he pulled his shoes on at the end of it.
Matt chuckled, “Happy to provide. I’ll call you later” he said as he moved to her side of the bed to steal one more kiss before he had to go. “I had a great time last night.”
“It definitely made the past six months worthwhile” she replied as he kissed her slowly, wanting it to last as long as it could.
“Definitely. See you later Brett” he replied with a wink before he left the house.
Sylvie couldn’t stop herself from grinning widely, even long after he’d left. This was how being with someone was supposed to feel. She hated that it took till now to realise that, but at the same time, she wouldn’t change anything that she’d been through for the world. It all led her to him and the way her heart was beating for him – she knew that was one in a million and she couldn’t wait to see what the future brought them.
Gabby had spent the past few days in a confused daze. She liked Brett, she did, but there was just something that bothered her about the whole thing. To any rational outsider, they could see that Gabby was clearly struggling with jealousy, but to Gabby that wasn’t it. No way. She just didn’t understand. She didn’t understand how Casey could fall into such an easy rhythm with someone after spending one night with them in another country. She couldn’t understand why they could never form something like that when they’d known each other for far longer.
She wondered out loud to Stella the night after shift as they worked behind the bar at Molly’s. She’d asked where Casey was and Stella said she didn’t know. She guessed he was maybe with Brett, but couldn’t be sure. That was when something snapped in Gabby. She’d scoffed and questioned how Casey could be falling at her feet so quickly.
Stella wasn’t about to pander to Gabby. She was a straight shooter and Gabby’s jealousy and confusion was her problem. There was also the fact that she really liked Sylvie. She liked her for Matt, Severide liked her for Matt and that really meant something. As long as their friend continued to remain happy, that was all that mattered to them.
“Sometimes, when you know you know.” Was the only thing Stella said. Gabby had mumbled a ‘maybe’ in return.
A part of Stella couldn’t help but feel bad for Gabby. It was never a nice feeling when the guy you liked didn’t like you back. Unfortunately, the situation was made worse by the fact that Casey had very clearly hit it off with someone else. But Stella was also worried. She was worried that Gabby would stick her foot in it and say something she would most likely regret. She had a nasty habit of saying or doing something uncalled for, apologising and then doing it again. Stella just hoped she needed to huff for a little while and then things would get back to normal.
Gabby also hoped that she just needed some time to get over it all, but when she walked into the firehouse for their next shift, the first sight she saw was Brett and Casey giggling over something by the coffee pot. Their backs were to her, but they were standing annoyingly close to one another, their profiles visible as Casey spoke to Brett and she nodded along, listening intently to whatever he was telling her.
When Brett’s hand moved to Casey’s back, Gabby’s hurt shot through her like a knife. She loudly dropped her bag down on the table, causing Matt and Sylvie to turn around and look at her.
Sylvie smiled at her, “Morning Dawson. How was off shift?” she asked kindly. She and Gabby had ended last shift on a better note than they started and Sylvie was hopeful that it could continue that way.
“Fine.” She replied coldly as Sylvie’s smile fell and she awkwardly nodded. “You?”
“Yeah, it was good. Just fixed up my house a little. I’ll have to get you and Stella over some time for dinner.” Sylvie offered.
Gabby nodded, “Yeah, that would be cool.”
“Alright… I’m going to get started on inventory.” Sylvie told her as she set her mug down and smiled at both Gabby and Matt who was leaning against the kitchen counter. “I'll see you guys at briefing.”
As Sylvie left the room, Matt took his opportunity to go and get started on some paperwork. Before he could get a few feet, Gabby walked towards him.
“Hey Casey, you got a minute?” she asked quickly.
“Yeah, what’s up?”
Matt frowned, “Uh… sure.” As usual, his mind went to a worst case scenario and he worried that something was wrong with Gabby. In his defensive, any time she wanted to speak to him privately, she had done something that needed fixing.
They made their way round to his quarters and went in, Gabby closing the door behind them.
“We’ve known each other for a long time now and I know you’ll always have my back.” Gabby began.
Matt nodded slowly, “Of course. Are you ok?” he asked, growing more nervous by the second.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. I just – want to be there for you too, I want to have your back.” Gabby made clear as she awkwardly cleared her throat. She normally wasn’t a very tactile person, so maybe it would be best for her to just come out with it. “Are you and Brett together?” she blurted out as Matt’s eyes widened in surprise. Though, he really shouldn’t have been that surprised. Gabby was never known to hold back.
“We’re uh… we’re hanging out I guess.” He replied vaguely. Just like the details of their night together in Australia, their first date was also something that would stay between the two of them. He had always been a private person and that wasn’t going to change, no matter how hard Gabby tried to pry.
“She told me what happened with you guys in Australia. About her husband and you guys spending the night together.” Gabby told him.
“Ok…?” Matt said, though it was more of a question. Where the hell was she going with this?
“I just want to make sure you’re ok and you’re being careful. The last thing you need is to be getting into a situation in which you could get hurt again.” Gabby reasoned. Matt could tell that she really believed that that was why she chose to speak to him. Maybe that was part of it, but Matt wasn’t stupid. He knew how she felt and he knew how hot headed Gabby could be. She often acted before thinking and he had a feeling that this was one of those moments. He took a minute and drew a deep breath to keep himself calm. He really hated it when people told him what they thought he needed or how they thought he should feel.
“Dawson” he began with a sigh, “I think I know a little more about my personal situations than you do. I’m perfectly capable of handling myself.” He reasoned. “What do you have against Brett anyway? She has been nothing but kind to you and you’ve been so up and down with her.” He queried.
“Did she tell you that?” Gabby asked as she clenched her jaw and crossed her arms over her chest, moving into defensive mode.
“No, she didn’t. I have eyes Dawson and people talk. You’re rude to her and then you apologise only to do it again.” Matt told her. He’d heard about their first encounter from Otis and he figured it would happen again. He’d also heard that Sylvie held herself perfectly well and he couldn’t help but smirk. Of course she did. The woman threw her wedding rings in the damn ocean – she was ready for anything.
“This isn’t about me right now Casey, this is about you. This is about me looking out for you.” Gabby made clear, trying to turn the heat off her.
Matt raised his brows, “Really? That’s what this is?” he questioned. He really seemed like Gabby was trying to get him to second guess himself.
“I’m just saying how much do you really know about her? You spent one night with her in Australia after her husband cheated on her and all of a sudden you think she’s the one for you?” she snapped.
“She has an intense fear of clowns. She thinks their makeup is creepy because it distorts their true emotions.” He explained as Gabby opened her mouth to say something but nothing came out. What could she say to that? Matt took her silence as an opportunity to continue. “There isn’t a trashy romance novel that she hasn’t read, she has binged watched all 195 seasons of House Hunters and she gets intensely excited about Flip or Flop. She takes mom jokes to a whole new level of terrible and she thinks skunks are horribly misunderstood animals. Her belief about skunks comes from the fact that she grew up on a farm and I’ve seen videos of her driving a tractor and they made me wonder whether she should be driving our truck.” He said with a little laugh.
“Those are little things Casey.” Gabby said quietly. “I could tell you things like that about half the people in this firehouse—”
“I’m not finished.” He interrupted. “She always sees the good in people, no matter what and she is the biggest badass I know. I watched her throw her wedding rings into the sea, I watched her walk away from her asshole of a husband with such conviction and I watched her climb into the back seat of a crushed vehicle to help a little girl. She will always fight for the underdog, the people she loves and for what is right. I don’t think I’ve ever met another person who is as earnest and sincere and good as her and if you think it makes me a fool for running towards that – then I guess I must be the biggest fool in the world.”
Gabby was stunned into silence. He hadn’t expected him to reply with something so… romantic. He really knew her. Gabby had never had anybody know her like that – she wasn’t even convinced it was possible. But Matt knew Sylvie.
“Gabby, I appreciate that you want to look out for me.” Matt began. As much as he thought Gabby was out of line right now, he didn’t want to upset her. He never wanted that. She was his friend and his heart wouldn’t allow it. “But I know what I’m doing – and I will gladly be a fool for her any day.” he replied boldly.
“I – I don’t really know what to say.” Gabby replied quietly. She knew she should probably apologise, but her pride wouldn’t let her. Not yet anyway. Not when she was digesting a heck of a lot.
“If you got to know her, I think you’d really like her too.” Matt assured her. If they were going to be partners, then getting along and finding their rhythm was kind of a requirement.
“Right” Gabby replied before she turned and left the room.
As she left, Sylvie came into the bunk and stopped in her steps when she saw the angry look that clouded Gabby’s face. She looked towards Matt’s quarters and saw that he looked concerned more than anything. Before Sylvie could say anything, they bells went off calling all units to a fire downtown.
51 didn’t return to the station until late that afternoon. They had been dealing with an apartment complex fire and it took a while to knock down. Everyone was thankfully ok, but it had been a tough one. Everyone was exhausted and ready to crash which they had every intention of doing once they got cleaned up and had some dinner.
Later that evening after debriefing with Boden and Severide, Matt made his way round to his quarters. He closed the door behind him and jumped slightly when he realised Sylvie was sitting on his bed.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you” she immediately apologised.
He smiled softly at her as he sat beside her, bumping his shoulder against hers, “You didn’t, I’m just a little tried after that call.”
“It was pretty intense.”
“Yeah you’ve really been thrown in the deep end since you got here.”
Sylvie shrugged lightly, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
They sat in silence for a few moments before Sylvie decided to speak up. She knew that if this was going to work between them then they needed to communicate. They needed to be open and honest no matter what the situation.
“I don’t want to cause problems for you.” Sylvie blurted out as Matt turned to look at her, the confusion written all over his face. “I don’t know what the deal is with you and Gabby, but I do know that she’s your friend and if our partnership on ambo is getting in the way—”
“Sylvie, stop.” Matt interrupted. “Gabby’s feelings are hers and hers alone. She can be hot headed and impulsive but her heart is normally in the right place. She just needs some time to get her head straight. You are not a problem, you could never be a problem.” He insisted. Sylvie wasn’t the root of Gabby’s concerns. She and Matt could never have worked and he knew she was just coming to terms with that.
“Actually…” Matt began as Sylvie’s face fell. “There is one thing that could be a problem.”
“What?” she asked in a whisper, almost unsure if she wanted to know the answer. She really didn’t want to lose something this good. After everything she wasn’t sure she could take it.
“The only problem I would have is if this ended.” Matt said as Sylvie felt her nerves settle. "Sylvie you are the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time. I really didn’t see this coming and it freaks me out but – sometimes the best things in life are the things that surprise you and knock you off your feet. I don’t want to screw that up.”
Sylvie stared at him, her eyes full of wonder. She remembered looking into his eyes just before their night in Australia ended. She remembered wishing that looking into his eyes could be her reality every day - and now here they were. Her whole being felt at peace by just looking at him and it was the greatest feeling in the world. “Is it normal to feel this strongly about someone after so little time?” she asked.
Matt gave her a lopsided smirk, “What are you talking about? We’ve been stewing in our feelings for 6 months now…” he teased.
Sylvie giggled as he wrapped his arm around her shoulder and rested his forehead against hers. “That’s true…” they sat comfortably in each other’s arms for a moment before Sylvie spoke again. “I really care about you Matt. I care about you in a really big way and I don’t want to let that go.”
“Then don’t. I promise to hold onto you in everything life throws at you – as long as you promise to hold onto me too.” He proposed.
“Deal” Sylvie said instantly as she tilted her head as he lowered his head and kissed her. There was nothing in this world that made then feel the same electricity than kissing each other did. In that moment, they knew that this kiss was only one of many to come. Their future was sitting at their feet and they knew they had finally found the beauty of the world in each other.