The moment Severide realised they had been robbed his first thought was Shay. The fact that she was struggling was obvious to everyone around her and he was worried that this could send her over the edge. He rushed through the apartment, calling her name. He heard sobbing from Shay's room and sped up, worried for his friend. He was not prepared for the sight that met him.
Shay's room was tossed like the rest of the apartment was, that was expected. But Shay was curled on her bed clutching her abdomen which was covered in blood.
"Kelly, Kelly, I'm so sorry, It's my fault, I gave Devon a key." Shay murmured.
"Shay, why the hell didn't you call an ambulance.” Severide said before yelling for Otis. He grabbed a towel folding it up and pressing it against her wound.
"The wound's shallow, and I couldn't reach my phone?” Shay responded, she looked despondent. Completely apathetic to the fact she could be dying, and that was almost more frightening than her wound.
"What the hell." Came from the doorway. Otis had arrived. Kelly suddenly felt extremely angry at the other man.
"Don't just stand there. Get in here and put pressure on her wound." Otis shook off his shock at
the scene and came in, replacing Severide’s hands on the bloody towel.
"On three I'm gonna lift her. Wait, are you okay to drive." Otis replied in the affirmative. "Good, so I'm gonna carry her and you're going to keep pressure on her wound. We go to your car. I'll sit in the back with her and you drive us to Lakeshore as fast as possible. This time on a Saturday night it's probably quicker to drive than wait for an ambulance.”
"Okay let's do this” Otis replied, trying to put his mind in work mode as though it were a stranger and not one of his friends lying there in pain and covered in blood. The trip to the car was awkward. Shay hoisted up in Severide's arms one arm around his neck the other over Otis' hands on the wound intermittently adding pressure.
Otis was quiet for the entire car ride. Focused on driving as quickly as possible, speeding and breaking traffic laws but staying safe, Shay couldn't afford a car accident right now. Severide was sitting in the back with Shay practically on his lap, putting pressure on the wound and talking to her quietly, keeping her as alert as possible.
It didn't work. Two minutes out from the hospital Shay lost consciousness. They pulled in and
Severide practically elbowed the car door open, running for the door with Shay in his arms, yelling for help.
Once inside the hospital help took seconds to arrive, Shay placed on a gamey and rushed away. Without her in his arms Severide felt empty, shaken. It had only been about twenty minutes since he had walked in through his front door to find his home robbed and Shay lying on her bed, willing to let herself bleed out. Her phone had been around four feet away. She had made no attempt whatsoever to reach it.
Two months ago Shay would have called an ambulance and saved herself long before he walked in the door. Severide knew as well as my first responder that how much a victim wanted to live and was willing to fight for it made a huge difference to their chances. Shay had said the wound wasn't serious but most people were rubbish at working out how serious their own wounds were. He didn't know what he would do if he lost her.
Otis entered the hospital after parting the car to find Severide stood in the middle of the Emergency Room looking utterly lost. He wasn't close to Severide, but he guided the Lieutenant to a waiting seat anyway before stepping away. He was way out of his depth here, and probably not the person Severide needed right now. But he needed someone. That much was certain.
Otis walked out of earshot and made a phone call, hoping he wasn't about to get his head bitten
"Otis, it's one in the morning, you had better have a damn good reason for calling me?” Came the voice on the other end. Otis was just thankful Casey answered.
"I do Lieutenant, I do. Our place got robbed by Shay's girlfriend and she stabbed Shay. We're
at Lakeshore now, and I thought Severide probably needed someone he’s closer with than me to support him. If I did the wrong thing Lieutenant I'm sorry."
"You did the night thing, Otis. I'm on my way now.”
Relief flooded through Otis that he wouldn’t have to deal with this alone. About ten minutes
later Casey walked through the door. He wasted no time on pleasantries.
"Have you called the police yet?" Casey asked.
"No. How could I forget that?” Casey cut Otis’ self recrimination short.
"Getting Shay here was your priority. As it should have been. Call the police now, on their
non emergency number. I'll sit with Severide.”
Casey approached his friend who looked a thousand miles away. No words were needed as he sat down next to him in silent support. The wait felt interminable. Casey wondered whether he should call Dawson but he knew the women weren't getting along right now. He would call her in the morning, or when they knew more. Whichever came first. Logically he knew that she would want to be here but her nervous energy would not help Selenide and he was relatively confident he would be forgiven for the short delay.
About half an hour later a doctor came out to speak to Severide. Casey hovered at his friends
shoulder offering silent support.
"Ms Shay was lucky. The wound was relatively shallow and didn't hit anything vital. The main
problem was the blood loss. We're given her a transfusion and she's on an IV for now and we will probably be able to discharge her by lunchtime tomorrow. She'll be on bed rest for a week and will need to be on iron supplements to combat the anaemia. As she has a fairly active job she's looking at three to four weeks recovery in total before going back to work. With some physio exercises to rebuild the muscle which she can do at home. She should make a full recovery but while she’s getting there the main thing to watch for is dizziness
and fainting spells because of the anaemia but with a good diet and the iron supplements that should resolve itself by the time she returns to work.
All the tension Severide had been holding rushed out of him.
"Thank God. Can I see her?"
"She’s being settled into a ward now. I can have a nurse come and get you when she's ready for visitors but she will still be sedated so no more than about 5 minutes. Ms Shay is out of danger, so after you've seen her you need to go home and get some rest. Come back in the morning once visiting hours resume at 9 and you can stay with her then, but you're better off well rested and ready to take care of her. I understand this happened in a home invasion?"
"Yes.” Severide responded. "Kind of. I think it was intended to be a burglary but Shay get home before the thief left. She knew her attacker. It was her girlfriend Devon.” The clamped down anger that had until now been disguised by fear and anxiety surged to the forefront of his mind.
The doctor nodded sympathetically, her expression solemn behind her glasses.
"Well then you'll have some work to do. You need to take into account that there may be some trauma, especially as Ms Shay knew her attacker. I suggest that as soon as the police have assessed the crime scene you tidy it up and make it a livable space for her to return to.”
Severide felt overwhelmed, the fact that many of his things had been takensuddenly coming back to him. With the police report and the insurance to take care of on top of looking after Shay the task ahead felt mountainous. A hand landed on his shoulder and Casey was looking at him with concern in his eyes while the doctor moved away.
"Otis gave the police his statement and took them back to the apartment to assess the situation. With any luck they will already be looking for Devon. It's not just theft she'll be charged with it’s assault and that makes this case a much higher priority. When you've seen Shay we can go back there and I'll help you put the place back together. The Doctor's right. It's far more useful for us to go and make her home a safe space again than sit doing nothing in a waiting room.”
The next morning Shay opened her eyes to find Kelly sitting anxious in the chair behind her bed. She was exhausted and in pain but she clearly recalled what happened and guilt rushed through her.
“Kelly, I’m so sorry. I’ll contact Devon, I’ll get your stuff back I promise.” She burst out with.
“It’s okay Shay. It’s not your fault. The police picked Devon up early this morning. They’ll need a statement from you but when they found her most of our stuff was still in our car, and she still had blood under her fingernails and the nail file she stabbed you with still had your blood on it so it was a pretty cut and dry case. Don’t worry about the stuff right now. I’m just worried about you. How are you feeling?”
Shay looked at Kelly and saw the bags under his eyes. He looked exhausted and she realised that she couldn’t lie to him about how much she was struggling any more.
“I’m okay. I feel a bit groggy and sore but I’ll be okay. I just feel really guilty about what happened.”To her embarrassment she felt tears gathering behind her eyes and she furiously blinked them back. Then Kelly was hugging her and she leant the top of her head into his neck. Feeling safe with her best friend.
When Shay returned home there was a bit of a welcoming party there. Casey, Dawson, Otis, Cruz and Herman, who were just putting the finishing touches to putting the place back together. It was touching but also overwhelming. She felt weak and exhausted and incredibly guilty as her gaze fell on the empty spot where the TV should have been.
Nonetheless she pushed a brightness she didn’t feel as she thanked her friends. Luckily Severide was in full blown overprotective mode, which would have annoyed her if she wasn’t feeling so awful. She was only downstairs for a minute or two before Severide and Dawson hustled her to her room which had been fully put back together and helped her into bed. As she was lying back she realised something.
“Wait, I need to take a shower.” Shay objected, pushing herself back up into a sitting position with her arms to protect her tender stomach muscles, only to find Severide and Dawson gently encouraging her to lie back down.
“Take a shower when you’ve had a nap and you're less likely to fall asleep and hit your head.” Dawson admonished.
Shay didn’t really want to go to sleep yet but she was exhausted and let herself doze off. Still feeling upset and guilty over everything that happened but also incredibly grateful to have such amazing friends. She made a silent promise to herself to at least try to stop pushing them away.