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“You ok, Brett?”

Sylvie opened one eye to peer Mouch as he came to stand beside her. As soon as she walked into the lounge that morning, she’d felt queasy, so she decided to sit down at rest her head on the long table for just a minute.

She nodded slowly, “I have a bit of a headache and my stomach has been in knots for the past few days.” She confessed. She thought she was ok this morning, but there was something about the smell of the firehouse that threw her off.

Mouch shot her a sympathetic smile, “can I get you some dry toast? A drink?”

“I’m ok, thank you. I think I’m just a little anxious about flying out to Oregon this weekend.” She said with a sad smile. Anxiety usually presented itself physically with her. She either felt nauseous or broke out in a sweat induced rash.

“I thought you were excited to see Casey? You’ve been talking about doing all the tourist stuff non-stop for the past few weeks, and I hear Portland have some great Christmas markets.” Mouch reminded her, trying to lift her spirits again.

“No, I am excited.” She assured him as she slowly sat up straight. There was nothing she wanted more than to get to Oregon and just hug Matt for as long as she could. She missed everything about him, but especially his strong hold. Being in his arms was undoubtedly her safe place.

She was also extremely excited to convince Matt and the boys to partake in the Christmas festivities and wear the matching Christmas pyjamas she’d bought them all. She knew when they felt how soft they were, they wouldn’t be able to resist.

But as excited as she was, she couldn’t shake the fear that something would go wrong – again.

“I’m just a little nervous that we’re going to have to rearrange again.” She admitted. Life seemed to be one unexpected hit after another lately, so she was fully anticipating something delaying her Christmas trip. “Maybe that’s silly—” she tried to downplay. She felt like all she’d been doing over the past few weeks was pine after Matt – it had to be driving everyone crazy.

“No, no.” Mouch insisted as he sat down beside her. “You guys are adjusting to something new and unexpected. It’s natural to feel anxious as you find your footing.” He assured her. “Nobody expects you to be eternally happy and optimistic about this Brett, and you’re allowed to share with us when you’re not feeling so good.” If there was one thing Sylvie Brett and Matt Casey had in common, it was that they never liked to be a burden to anybody else. Everyone who loved them knew it.

Sylvie smiled at her friend. She was instantly taken back to when she found out he spoke to Hawkins on her behalf. She was so loved by her firehouse family, and that would never change. They would always have her back.

“Thanks, Mouch. Maybe some dry toast would help.” She conceded as Mouch gave her a nod and sprang into action.

As Mouch scurried around behind her, Sylvie lifted out her phone and saw she had a message from Matt.

5 days, 8 hours to go. I can’t wait to see you. I love you.

Sylvie bit her lip and grinned. It looked like she wasn’t the only one who had gotten into the count down habit. She quickly typed her reply.

5 days, 7 hours and 58 minutes if we’re being exact. I can’t wait to see you either. I love you.

She slipped her phone back into her pocket, just as Violet came sulking into the room – pinching her side once more. They were barely 5 minutes into shift and already Gallo was getting at her.

Before Sylvie could comment, the bells went off, calling Ambo and Truck to a scene downtown. Mouch apologised on the way out the door that he couldn’t get her toast done on time, but she insisted there was no apology necessary. She was already feeling a little bit better.


The call had been routine with no major injuries and soon enough, 81 and 61 were pulling back into the station. Unfortunately for Sylvie, one of the fire victims vomited just outside of the ambo and completely set Sylvie’s nausea off again. That had never happened before. As a paramedic, she was a pro at dealing with all kinds of gory and gross things – but not this time. She managed not to throw up herself by taking long, deep breaths and sipping on some water.

It had started to settle down when they turned into the station, but with a quick glance over to Violet, it seemed that her stitch situation hadn’t eased at all. Sylvie followed her gaze out the window to Gallo checking all their tools were in place following the call.

In that moment, Sylvie understood why Stella and Severide were getting frustrated with her and Matt last year.

“Still got that stitch, huh?” Sylvie queried as Violet quickly dropped her hand and sighed.

“Don’t say it.”

“I wasn’t going to say anything.” Sylvie said as she held her hands up. “Other than to remind you that there’s a solution to your stitch problem.” She prodded. If Violet would just open her mouth and talk it could make all the difference in the world, no matter the outcome.

“Gallo is not the solution.” Violet defied. Sylvie had learnt quickly that Violet was stubborn, and she wasn’t going to let up on this Gallo situation easily.

“All I’m saying is that I know what it’s like to hold back from a situation that could make you incredibly happy.” Sylvie empathised. While she knew that the time she and Matt spent apart had shaped them into two people who were ready to be together, she sometimes feared that they’d wasted too much time – especially with him being in Oregon now. She didn’t want anybody else she loved to live with that same fear. “And there’s a thin line between love and hate—”

“And I should listen to my body, right?” Violet cut off, repeating Sylvie’s words to her from a few weeks ago.

“Yes, you should listen to your—”

Oh.

Sylvie’s eyes involuntarily widened as she was hit by her own advice like a ton of bricks.

She should listen to her own body.

And her own body was nauseous, bloated, crampy – period-less.

Maybe anxiety wasn’t the source of her nausea after all. While the possibility of it being something else entirely had registered with her – she really had no immediate desire to know if her suspicions were true.

It felt so wrong to find out if she was pregnant without him here.

“… you ok there, partner?” Violet asked, clearly concerned over Sylvie just spacing out on her.

Sylvie blinked a few times as she came back to.

“Yeah. Yeah. Just remembered that I hadn’t eaten all day so no wonder my stomach has been growling at me.” She explained with a forced laugh. It was only a partial lie. She hadn’t eaten that day and she suspected Mouch would have some of that dry toast waiting for her.

“Well then let’s get you something to eat. Eating is an excellent distraction.” Violet reasoned as she glanced over at Gallo before quickly exiting the ambo.

Sylvie held back for a few moments, her head falling back against her headrest with a gulp. She wondered if subconsciously she’d known for a few days now that she might be pregnant but had just been in denial about it. This wasn’t exactly part of the plan – not that they’d really planned any of this. They were working it out as they went, and this was certainly a curveball she didn’t see coming.

She was taken out of her thoughts again when there was a light tap on the window of the ambo. She jumped slightly before turning to see Severide peering curiously down at her. She rolled down the window and sent him a tight-lipped smile.

“Hey” she greeted.

“Hey. Bad call?” he asked, evidently having picked up that something was off.

“Not exactly no.” she replied as she ran a hand through her hair. She looked up at Severide and saw that he looked a little more stoic than usual. She hadn’t been so wrapped up in her own stuff that she hadn’t noticed what Severide was dealing with.

He threw himself into the church arson case and seemed to be avoiding the fact that his fiancée’s Girls on Fire trip was prolonged and that his best friend had moved to Oregon. She knew him well enough to know that he didn’t like change – something which she wholeheartedly understood – and now that he didn’t have a case to distract himself with, it appeared that reality was crashing down on him.

“Missing Stella?” she asked cautiously.

Severide shrugged, “Something like that. Did you know Herrmann has been trying to take over Casey’s quarters?”

Oh.

So, this was about the best friend thing today.

Sylvie nodded, “I saw him walking in this morning with a box of stuff and had a hunch. It does seem a waste that it’s just sitting empty.” she suggested. She really had no problems with Herrmann taking it and she knew Matt would want him to have it too, but it hurt her heart a little walking past the space and not seeing the photo he kept of them on his desk anymore. He’d shown her the photograph that was now in his bedroom among a few others. It was a small consolation.

“I guess. It’s just – it’s weird not seeing him in there. Hunched over his paperwork. Grumbling about how boring it is.” Severide commented with a scoff.

Sylvie chuckled, “Yeah he is not a bureaucrat.”

“No, he’s not. I think it’s just going to take some getting used to. I don’t like change.”

“I know.” Sylvie replied. As much as she hated it too, she still felt Matt in every space of this firehouse. “But his locker is still there Severide, and Gallo is cooking his corned beef and I—” Sylvie stopped herself before she blurted out something she really shouldn’t.

She was… what? Having his baby?

Maybe. She should really get a test.

Severide eyed her curiously, “Are you sure you’re alright?”

Sylvie sighed and slumped back further into her chair, “Have you ever been faced with a potentially life-altering situation that could actually be a really amazing thing even if it’s entirely unexpected and you actually have no clue what to do about it?”

Severide’s mouth fell open slightly as he tried to re-run her words through his head. Life altering, really amazing, unexpected, no clue what to do… what the heck was she talking about?

“I uh – I don’t really know what do say to that one.” He admitted with a little laugh that Sylvie couldn’t help but return.

“Yeah. I don’t even know what I’m thinking so how could you? I just—I really wish they were here. Matt and Stella.” Sylvie said quietly. They were both missing their best friend and their love, and they both felt a little lost and unable to navigate things without them.

“Yeah. It’s weird around here without them.” Severide grumbled in agreement. The Firehouse felt empty, the loft felt empty. The spark in his life just felt like it had gone out. “You’re flying out to see Casey this weekend, right?” he asked, having heard from Casey that they had to cancel their first scheduled trip.

Sylvie’s demeanour brightened up a little. “Yeah, 5 days and 6 hours 30 minutes.”

“But who’s counting?” Severide teased as Sylvie reached out the window and playfully slapped his arm. “5 days is nothing. Take it all a day at a time and then you’ll be able to recharge soon.”

“Recharge is exactly right. And if you ever need a drinking buddy at Molly’s you know where to find me.” Sylvie offered.

Not that she’d actually be able to drink anything.

She really needed to get a test.

Or twelve.

“You must have a lot going through your mind. You keep spacing out on me.” Severide observed as Sylvie snapped too it again.

“Yeah. Just a lot to think about.”


Sylvie debated waiting until off shift to get a test, but she knew her mind wouldn’t settle until she found out. She hated that Matt wasn’t here to hold her and be her rock and tell her that everything was going to be ok. Hated it.

But she knew she wasn’t really alone. She’d be alone for peeing on a stick but other than that – he was there. They were still them. That would never change. She would see him in a few days.

While she and Violet stepped out to get some lunch, Sylvie made a quick trip to the pharmacy and picked up 5 pregnancy tests from different brands – just to be sure. Violet didn’t even question the trip. She just angrily ate her hotdog and grumbled something about Gallo being so caught up in Cora and Pelham to even register that she was spinning out over him.

As soon as they got back to 51, Sylvie rushed to the bathroom, locked herself in one of the cubicles and stared down at the boxes.

“Now or never Sylvie.” She mumbled to herself as she took a deep breath and started to take the tests.

When she was finished, she shoved the tests into her pocket and set a timer on her phone. As she left the stall to wash her hands, she bumped straight into someone.

“Oh, sorry.” The figure apologised as she looked up to see Severide in front of her.

She took a step back, “It’s fine” she insisted, pulling a hand out of her pocket to wave it in front of her – not realising that one of the sticks had fallen out until she heard the plastic clatter at her feet.

“Oh, you dropped… this…” Severide said as he bent down and picked it up.

Sylvie breath caught in her throat as she waited for Severide to put two and two together. He stared down at the stick in his hand for a minute before he glanced up at her.

“... I guess that drinking buddy offer is off the cards then, huh?”

Sylvie let out a laugh at his unexpected, yet entirely Severide, reaction. “Looks like it might be, yeah.”

“And you have also peed on this…” he said with a grimace as he quickly set the test down on the counter.

“And the 4 other tests in my pocket right now.” She confirmed. Of all the people she’d expected to maybe find out about this, Severide was not one of them.

Severide raised a brow, “5 tests?”

Sylvie shrugged and stuffed her hands back in her pockets, “Just wanted to be sure.”

“Does Casey know?” he asked curiously.

Sylvie shook her head. “I thought about calling him and having him stay with me on the phone while I did them but he’s also on shift and I didn’t want to freak him out until I knew for sure and there is zero privacy in this place so I thought someone would hear us and I just…” Sylvie sighed and ran a hand over her forehead. “I’m sorry, I’ve been rambling a lot today, my brain feels like mush.”

Mush?”

“Shut up, it’s a thing.” She said as she turned and leaned against the counter.

Sylvie could feel Severide’s eyes on her. He probably had no idea what to say right now. She had no idea what to say. Everything just felt… complicated.

But what was new there?

Severide didn’t let the silence linger for much longer as he moved to stand beside her and lean against the counter himself.

“I’m not surprised your brain feels like mush. This is – a lot to process.” Severide sympathised. It appeared that even though he may not have been great with emotions, he could still recognise the weight that Sylvie was carrying right now.

“Yeah. I might be having a baby in Chicago with my boyfriend who is raising two teenagers in Oregon. Not to mention I’ve started a new programme with the CFD that is just getting off it’s feet.” Sylvie rhymed off.

“Yeah, it’s – complicated.”

“Crazy complicated.” Sylvie agreed.

“And that means there are no right answers for how you should be reacting right now.” He encouraged.

Sylvie looked up at him and gulped. “Yeah?” she said in a small voice.

Severide nodded, “Yeah. That means rambling and asking questions about major life choices and taking 5 tests is entirely reasonable.”

“And it’s reasonable for you to not want Herrmann to take over Matt’s quarters.” Sylvie replied. She really couldn’t resist taking a moment to encourage someone else when she saw an opening – no matter what she herself was going through. “He was right beside you for over 10 years, Severide. That’s not something that’s easy to say goodbye to. I know it maybe seems easier to throw yourself into work to avoid that reality but – it’s ok to feel that loss. It’s probably better to let yourself feel it actually. Matt may be in Oregon but he’s still your best friend and you will probably always be one of the most renowned and respected unofficial CFD duos.” She joked as she nudged his arm, getting a laugh out of him.

“Yeah… you’re right.” He agreed. Sylvie watched as he lifted his head and sucked in a deep breath. “Knowing how much I miss him, I’m sure you’re feeling it ten times worse. Especially now.” He added. “Yet you’re still standing here, being so encouraging… you really are remarkable Brett.” He said with a little laugh. “Casey was constantly saying how you never failed to see the good. It’s nice seeing you prove him right.”

Before anything else could be said, the timer on Sylvie’s phone went and she was sucked back into reality. Sylvie lifted the sticks out of her pocket and held them in her fist, trying to will herself to look at them.

Severide lifted the one he set down in the counter and held it out in front of her.

“I know it’s complicated – but look for the good Brett. You’ll be an amazing mom and I think it’s already clear that Casey is an amazing dad. You’ll work it out.”

Severide handed her the extra stick before he left the bathroom, giving her some privacy. The first person who should hear about the results after Brett was Casey, and it was clear he recognised that.

Sylvie took a breath before she unclenched her fist and let the sticks fall flat on her palm. Her free hand came up to her mouth as she let out a watery laugh.

They were going to have a baby.


Sylvie felt bad that she’d kept her phone calls with Matt short and sweet in the lead up to her trip, but she knew if she stayed talking to him for any length of time, she’d end up telling him about the baby and she wanted to tell him in person. She wanted to see his face, so feel his arms around her, all of it. If he couldn’t be there for the test, then he deserved this.

A surprisingly sweet consequence to her minimal phone calls was that when she spotted him waiting for her in the airport, she was even more elated to see him than she had been before.

And she’d truly never seen a more handsome sight in all her life.

When he spotted her, his grin was wider than she’d ever seen before and he jogged towards her, lifting her up and spinning her round as their giggles radiated in each other’s ears. She knew in an instant that she’d made the right choice in telling him in person. After their hug, she tried a few times to get him to leave, but he just couldn’t stop kissing down her cheeks and examining her face and just taking her in. It was almost as if he missed her even more than she missed him – but in her mind there was just no way that was possible.

Eventually, she managed to drag him out the door when he remembered he’d left Griffin and Ben in the car. He was going to drop them off at their friends’ houses after they said hello to Sylvie, and he told them they could stay over with them. He was determined to have an interrupted evening with his love.

When they arrived at the house, Sylvie was momentarily distracted by the work Matt had been doing on it over the past few weeks and all that she would do to make it into a home for them. It wasn’t until Matt started nibbling at her ear and his hand ran across her stomach that she remembered she came with news.

“I wrote you a letter.” She told him as he pulled his head back.

“Yeah?” he asked, a smirk toying on his lips.

Sylvie nodded her head as she turned around in his arms and pulled an envelope out of her coat pocket and handing it to him.

“You’re not the only one who can be a hopeless romantic Captain.” She teased with a wink. “Though my handwriting is definitely not as cute as yours.” She added, giving him a quick peck.

“I’m glad to hear that that was your main take away from that letter.” He jokingly grumbled with a pout.

“Well, there’s a really big take away for you in this letter.” Sylvie said as she pulled him towards the couch and pushed him down onto it. “You sit and read, and I am going to get something from my bag.” She said with a little smile before she backed away from him.

She sucked in a deep breath and shook her hands out in front of her when she got into the hall. She’d toyed all week with how she wanted to do this and she landed on one thing – what better way to tell him than through returning a gesture that made her own heart swell with love?

“Sylvie!”

Matt called as she jumped slightly. “Uh – one second!” she frantically called as she took her coat off and quickly opened the front pocket of her bag to lift out what she went to get.

She took a breath and walked back into the living room to find Matt now back on his feet and staring at the letter in his hand. When he saw she was standing there, a little smile started to toy on his lips and his eyes filled with tears.

“Matt,” He said as he began to read her letter out loud.

I love you, I love you, I love you.

There was a time when I thought I’d never get to say those words to you, but now that I can, I never want to stop. I’ve missed you so much. I’ve missed your centredness, your hold, your smile – all of it. Especially over this last week.

It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions but as I write this letter, I only feel one thing – joy.

Joy for you.

Joy for our life together.

Joy for our baby.”

He paused and looked up at her. “You’re pregnant?” Matt asked in a wonderous whisper.

Sylvie nodded her head, the tears swelling in her eyes as she reached into her back pocket and showed him the pregnancy test. She started to walk slowly towards him, “I wasn’t feeling great last week, and I had an inkling. Five pregnancy tests and one doctor’s appointment later… we’re going to have baby Matt.”

Matt remained in a stunned silence as he blinked a few times. He looked like he was trying to process all that Sylvie was telling him.

“I know the timing isn’t great and it’s complicated but – I don’t care. We’re having a baby and that’s an amazing thing and I just love you so much and I can’t wait to see how you’re going to love our baby because I know it will be immense and will somehow make me love you even more, though I’m not sure how that’s possible, and I have been rambling nonstop this week so I—”

Sylvie was cut off by a searing kiss, and all her rambling thoughts disappeared.

I love you, I love you, I love you” he said as he peppered her cheek with his smiley kisses, repeating the words of her letter back to her. “We’re going to be parents.” He said as he let out a breath before he started to laugh, the joy that Sylvie was talking about in her letter overtaking him entirely.

“Yeah, we are – but I think you can already claim that title.” She said as she let out a laugh of her own. “Did you finish the letter?”

“Oh, no” he said quickly as he lifted it up to read it, one arm firmly remaining around her.

We’re going to have a baby Matt. A little person that is half me, half you. I hope they inherit your furrowed brow, your laugh lines, and your dimples. More than that, I hope they inherit your loyalty, your decency, your compassion. You are the best man I’ve ever known Matt Casey and our baby is so lucky to have you as a father.

All my love,

Your love.”

Matt looked up at her as he sucked in a breath. His face was clouded with emotion and his expression just screamed love.

“You’re amazing.” He managed to get out as he rested his forehead against hers, his hands coming up to rest against her cheeks. “I can’t believe I get to do this with you.” He confessed, like he was the luckiest guy in the world. That he couldn’t quite believe someone as good as Sylvie Brett would have a baby with him. Would be so proud to have a baby with him. “You’re going to be an incredible mom. You said you went to the doctor, right? Is everything ok? Did they do a sonogram?” he asked quickly.

“Everything is fine but no, they didn’t do a sonogram. I wanted to do that part with you.”

“Then we’ll book one right now.” He said as he desperately looked around him for his phone. There was no way she was leaving here without visuals.

Sylvie laughed as she pulled him back to look at her, “Matt it’s late, we can call in the morning.”

“… right. We’ll do that.” He said with a nod as he let out a breath he didn’t realise he was holding in. As the excitement of the moment settled, Sylvie’s mind immediately went to the logistics of this situation and her expression fell.

It was as if Matt could read her mind, however, and he stopped her mind from drifting too far. “I’m sure your mind is racing a mile a minute but - we’ll figure it out. We always do. For now – let’s just enjoy this moment. Everything else can wait.”

Sylvie’s heart settled at his words. He was right. This moment, this entire trip, was a time for celebration – nothing else. They had 7 or so months to figure it out – and they would do exactly that.

Sylvie leaned up and kissed him soundly. God, she’d missed his lips. Whether they were talking to her or kissing her like she’d never been kissed before, they always calmed her soul. Right now, they reminded her that this was perfect timing after all. That this was exactly how things should be.


“Thanks Herrmann.” Severide said as a beer was placed in front of him. He was in better spirits tonight that he had been for the past few weeks. Sylvie’s pep talk had encouraged him and on top of that, Stella called him before he came to Molly’s to tell him she’d be home in a few days.

Everything started to feel like it was falling into place again.

“Stella said she’s looking forward to getting back behind that bar.” Severide told his friend who nodded gratefully.

“We’ll be glad to have her back. I’m not much good with all those fancy drinks she insisted we put on the menu.” Herrmann grumbled as he moved to serve the next customer.

Severide chuckled and took a sip of his beer, just as someone slipped into the stool beside him. He turned his head and saw the smiling face of Sylvie Brett.

“Hey” He greeted. “How was your trip?” he asked. He knew she got back this afternoon, and he was glad to see her here with a smile on her face.

“It was great.” She replied, a serene look on her face. “It was definitely the recharge we needed.”

“Glad to hear it.”

“Want to see something cool?” she asked as she reached into her coat pocket and lifted out an envelope. He nodded his head as she lifted the contents out and slipped something onto the bar in front of him.

Severide looked down, his smile extending across his face.

A sonogram.

“Those five little sticks turned out to be positive after all. Casey and I booked a sonogram appointment when I was in Oregon. The baby is healthy and the size of an apricot.” She said with a proud smile.

Severide chuckled, “well it’s the cutest black and white apricot I’ve ever seen.”

“Right?!” Sylvie said with a little dorky giggle.

“Congratulations, Brett. Stella’s going to freak when you tell her.” Severide commented, knowing that the moment his fiancée found out, she’d be out buying all kinds of presents for the baby.

“Yeah, she sent me a photograph of a bridesmaids dress that she loves, and it is beautiful – but there is absolutely no give in it.” Sylvie said with a grimace. The dress was a stunning burgundy, fitted dress that Sylvie wished she could wear – but with the date set for when she would be heavily pregnant, there was just no way it would work. “Not sure a belly that’s been housing a baby for 7 months is going to work with it.”

“Hopefully she won’t be such a Bridezilla that she isn’t willing to accommodate the bump.” Severide joked back. “So, uh – what’s next for you and Casey then?” he asked cautiously. He hoped this wasn’t a sore point, but she seemed so happy and relaxed right now that he couldn’t help but assume that she wasn’t as stressed about what would happen next as she was in the bathroom.

“We don’t really know. We have a lot to figure out. But what we do know is – we’re going to be parents.” She said as she let out a breathy laugh and looked back down at the sonogram in Severide’s hands.That little apricot is going to call us mom and dad and they will be so ridiculously loved by us.” Sylvie added, her eyes swelling with tears. “And they will always know how much we love each other too.”

“They’re going to be ridiculously loved by a lot of people.” Severide assured her. Their baby was coming into a huge - often dysfunctional - entirely loyal and devoted family. “There won’t be a place they can turn to without being smothered in it.” He joked as Sylvie beamed from ear to ear. “And if anybody can work out their next steps, it’s you and Casey. I don’t doubt that for a second.”

“Thanks, Severide.” She said quietly, and he knew she was saying thank you for more than just right now. She was thanking him for all the support – now and in the future. “And I know I said I could be your drinking buddy, but I can still go for a club soda. Or if you want to smoke a cigar, I’ll sit in the distance and have a lollipop or something.” She suggested as Severide laughed.

“That sounds good, Brett. Thanks.”

Despite the circumstances that felt entirely overwhelming, Severide could see that Sylvie was at peace with it all. That she was immensely happy – and he had no doubt that Casey felt the same way too. They were going to be amazing parents, and he really couldn’t wait to meet this kid.