Hope

Summary: It isn't in Matthew Casey's nature to sit around and wallow in his own sadness. See how he works through the demise of his relationship with Hallie. His choice of distraction might surprise you. A happy little bit of fluff (at least the first chapters) to put a smile in the softie's heart. Some spoilers for existing episodes, possible Dawson/Casey as the story develops.

A/N: My first fanfic... please be kind/gentle!

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I mean, I think I own this PC I'm currently using, but the apartment is rented, the vehicle I drive is still on payments… So NBC and the peeps there own all the rights to Chicago Fire. I just take 'em around the block for a joyride every once in a while.

I think I wanted it to be Hallie more than she wanted it to be her. Or maybe more than Hallie wanted it to be me. In looking back, I realize it was too easy for her to walk away, more than once. It was like she wouldn't fight for me, for us. I was discouraged and heartbroken, but my desire for something more kept me moving forward… kept the light of hope burning somewhere further down the tunnel I felt I was traveling in.

I was grateful that my connections through the department, and the variety of people I had met through work throughout the years, had given me the social connections I was now utilizing. There was no way I could walk into Hallie's hospital without someone telling her I was there. I just couldn't go there right now, not with where my heart was at.

So I made plans to go visit my new friend Elyse. The night we went out to celebrate my "first delivery", Bart - a fellow firefighter from a neighboring firehouse - introduced me to his wife, Elyse, who just happened to be a NICU and L/D nurse. She and I spent a lot of time talking that night, sharing heartwarming stories. She was probably old enough to be my mom. But the joy on her face as she talked about her job, and the families she got to work with, radiated the telltale glow of one who has been in the presence of many miracles. That's what she told me that night, as I shared my story of helping that precious little guy into the world… she told me I glowed like Moses coming down from the mountain… like someone who has been witness to a miracle. I certainly had, but until that moment, I hadn't thought of it like that.

I had been brooding for days since breaking up with Hallie. Working, but just going through the motions. Don't get me wrong, my head was in the game. It was so much easier to focus on a task at hand, than to think about how my hopes and dreams for a future with Hallie had just disappeared. Not even a smoke signal, just gone. I guess it's better to know now, than to make the commitment and find out later that she's going to singlehandedly sabotage my hope of having a family. I had been at a loss, and I'm sure it was necessary to grieve the loss of my dream for our future together. But I decided it was time to look forward. And time to take Elyse up on her offer.