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Matt stretched his arms behind his head and let out a deep sigh as he walked into his bedroom late that night. It had been a long few days away from Chicago and an uncomfortable late-night flight back. He’d never been so glad to see his drafty bedroom at the loft.

It was safe to say that while he was away, sleep hadn’t come easy to him. He missed home, he missed Sylvie and he was worried. He never thought there would be a day he would worry about Griffin and Ben like they were his own again – but here he was, fiercely debating what his next move should be.

Though in all honesty, it wasn’t much of a debate – he knew exactly what his next move should be, and it involved getting the boys back into a stable home where they felt safe and protected by people who cared deeply for them. He wasn't entirely sure what that would look like for the boys. The way that Severide, Stella and Sylvie had rallied around Griffin when he visited Chicago gave him a sense of assurance that Chicago was the right place for the boys to be. He just wasn't sure if it was doable. He knew first-hand fostering wasn't an easy process. But no matter what way this went, he knew he wouldn't stop until they felt like they were on stable ground again.

As he walked over to his bed to flop down on it and leave his worries till the morning, he froze halfway there, seeing a small but familiar figure lying in the middle with her head on his pillow and her arms wrapped underneath it. He smiled softly at her. God, he missed her. He missed having his best friend and his guiding light to remind him that no matter what challenges would come their way, they would figure it out together.

He watched her for another few moments before she stirred awake and snuggled further into his pillow before flashing her own little smile at him.

“Hey” she said quietly.

“Hey” he instantly replied. “I was going to come to you, but I didn’t want to wake you.” He told her. He didn’t want to spend any nights away from her when he didn’t have to, but he also didn’t want to be disruptive. Turns out, she had the correct notion to come to him instead.

“My pillows no longer smell like you.” She revealed. “Figured I should do something about that.” She joked with a little lopsided grin. He’d spent more nights in her bed than his over the past two months that he was surprised his bed even smelled like him anymore.

Matt sighed as he lay down on his side and propped his head up on his hand to look at her as she rolled over onto her back. “I can’t say I slept all that well without you either.” He revealed, moving a stray piece of hair off her face before gently trailing his thumb across her cheek bone.

“It’s funny how quickly you can get used to someone.” She replied fondly.

Matt grinned, “A pretty awesome kind of funny.”

Sylvie giggled, “Definitely” she agreed before he leaned forward and kissed her softly. “Wow.” Sylvie said as he slowly pulled away. “Bristly.”

Sylvie lifted her hand and ran it across Matt’s beard adorned cheek.

Matt let out a scoff. “Yeah, I kinda of let myself go while I was gone.”

Sylvie liked her lips and bit her lip invitingly. “No. You definitely haven’t. This beard thing is something I can very much get on board with.” She said as she left a teasing and lingering kiss on the corner of his mouth.

Matt raised his eyebrows and studied her face that now rested centimetres from his. He’d quickly learned to read all the many faces of Sylvie Brett, and right now, he could see her arousal spreading from her face and down through her body as she shifted closer towards him, her bare leg hooking around his thigh.

He gulped and shot her a lopsided grin, his hand trailing up her leg before looping under her knee and pulling her closer towards him. “Good to know.” He replied gruffly before he rolled over on top of her and trailed his lips down her neck, expertly rubbing his cheek against her skin causing a delicious amount of friction.

He could feel Sylvie’s arms tighten around him, and while it wasn’t an unusual feeling, something just didn’t feel right about the way she was holding him. He could feel that she was on edge. Unsettled. Like she’d been waiting all week to hold him like this for some sense of security and warmth.

He lifted his head and looked at her, immediately seeing the sadness in her eyes.

“Are you ok?” he asked quietly.

“What makes you think I’m not?” she asked with a frown.

Matt blinked a few times; “After all this time – you really think I can’t read you like a map, even from the way you hold onto me?”

Sylvie scrunched her nose, “I should have known better.” Neither of them had known many people who could see them as clearly as they could see each other. “It’s not a big deal, I just had a bit of a rough week on shift.”

Matt immediately frowned, “Are you hurt?” he asked a little desperately.

“No, no, I’m fine.” She assured him quickly, running her hands over his cheeks. “It was just… Chief Hawkins was there, and he hates me enough as it is, and we had an altercation with a civilian that didn’t help. I’m just worried that it’s going to set my Paramedicine idea back even further.” From his conversation with Mouch, it seemed he was coming round to the idea. A ride along seemed like the perfect way to show him exactly how difficult ambulances were finding it right now, but she just couldn't get a read on what Hawkins thought.

Matt placed a few delicate and comforting kisses on her cheek, “Hawkins would be a fool not to want to propel your idea forward – and I think he’ll see that soon enough. I know your spirit and I know your heart and I know you’ll keep fighting to make sure this gets off the ground – and I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way. You’re going to do great.”

Sylvie’s eyes prickled with tears at his encouragement. She wasn’t sure she’d ever get used to having this kind of support and love in her life. She felt so privileged to have it. So much so that it was all she wanted to give him in return.

“I missed you.” She whispered, their foreheads fusing together, wanting to eliminate any remaining, unwelcomed distance between them.

“God, I missed you too. So much.” He replied with a sigh, the reality of his own issues coming crashing back down again.

“I know Oregon was hard for you.” Sylvie said, switching the conversation round. They’d spoken regularly on the phone, and she could tell that he was on edge, but seeing him now, she could see just how nervous he was, and it was unsettling. “Anything you want to talk about?”

Matt lifted his head and studied every inch of his love’s face; “Yeah. I do.” Truthfully, he wanted to talk to her forever about anything and nothing. His time away from her had made that much clear. “But in the morning.” He finished. It could and should wait till the morning. They’d had a stressful week and a hard week without each other. Right now, they just needed to be Matt and Sylvie before the fires started again.

“Ok” she said with a nod. “But whatever it is – I'm right here, and we’ll figure it out.” She made clear.

Matt smiled at her, “I know.”

“I guess all you can do right now is seduce me with some bristly kisses.” She said as she beamed temptingly up at him.

“I wish I’d known sooner that beards were such a turn on for you.” He was more than ok of leaving traces of his rugged look across her body.

Sylvie chuckled, “I think there’s just something about a beard on you that really works for me. It should definitely become a regular furlough project.” She said as she grinded her hips upwards, causing him to groan before swooping down and kissing her thoroughly. He wasn’t convinced he would ever get enough of Sylvie Brett and her kisses – and he had every intention of taking her breath away with his kisses for the rest of their lives.