keep my head from going down (just for a little)

The roof of an apartment building falls in on Casey and Severide misses his flight to Spain.

Everyone from the firehouse is there and they're overflowing the chairs in the waiting room to leans against walls and wander aimlessly down the hall between the nurses' station and the waiting room.

Severide finds Shay in a chair in the corner looking tired but safe.

"What happened?"

"There was a man. He couldn't walk. Casey had to carry him. The roof collapsed."

"Fuck. How's it looking?"

"He'll probably be alright but you know how things can be more serious than you thought."

Severide knows exactly what she means but doesn't respond. She's forgiven him but she still reserves the right to remind him of his idiocy ever now and then. Sometimes he doesn't even mind.

"Shouldn't you be on a flight?" She looks up at him like she's suddenly remembered that he's supposed to be on the other side of the world. "Where's Royce?"

Severide straightens from where he'd bent down in front of Shay. He shrugs and tries to project it doesn't matter as strongly as he can.

Severide paces the hallway and tries as hard as he can not to think about how this is worse than when Shay was in the hospital. Sure, it happened just after she'd decided to move out but still. He can't remember the last time he and Casey did have bad blood between them.

When he told Casey he was leaving, he'd been polite and encouraging and Severide had hated every second of it. He'd hoped Casey would tell him to stay, would tell him how insane moving to Spain was.

Casey had visited right after his surgery with everyone else and they'd shared nods and Casey had left him with a squeeze of his good shoulder and an uncomfortable feeling in his throat.

Severide's never been a particularly emotional person but there used to be a time when they'd been close. Back with Andy…

Now it's a good day if they can look each other in the eye.

Chief is the first person the doctor lets into Casey's room and Severide gets that. He wouldn't expect anything else.

What he doesn't expect though is the way Chief turns to him with a "You're up, Kelly" after he gets back a few minutes later.

Between the use of his first name and the fact that he gets to go next, Severide pauses for a moment in the middle of the hall.

When Severide opens and closes the door behind him to Casey's room, Casey is sitting up in a bed looking not at all surprised to see him.


"Hey, so what's the verdict?"

Casey shrugs, "A concussion and a couple bumps and bruises. I'm surprised you're here."

Somehow, Severide ends ups in the chair that right next to the bed. Any closer and Severide will be in Casey's lap.

Severide doesn't answer. He doesn't need to think about the plane that Royce is on right now—the plane he's supposed to be one. Casey's in the hospital and Severide is not on a plane.

Fuck, why isn't life easier.


Severide ends up fisting his hands in Casey's hospital gown and dragging him practically over the rail on the side of the bed. Apparently, in addition to not being good with emotions, Kelly is also not good with words.

Their foreheads get pressed together as Severide clenches and unclenches his hands in the gown. A habit he picked up right after injuring his neck that he hasn't been able to get rid of even after the surgery.

Casey's breath is warm on his face and his hands are absentmindedly kneading Severide's shoulders.

"You should really stop letting buildings fall on you. Or at least you should learn how to not get hurt when they do."

Casey laughs, sharp and loud in what had been an almost silent room and Severide couldn't be happier.

"Fuck you, I'll have you know that I had that apartment under control."

"Yeah, right up until it fell on your head huh?" Kelly can't remember the last time they has a conversation like this that didn't end up with curses and both of them ready to throw punches.

They're heads are still close and Casey leans in and knocks their foreheads back together intentionally. He drops a hand to Severide's knee and squeezes.

"Thanks Kel," Severide doesn't ask what for. It doesn't really matter.


Their heads bump together with a painful thump as they both turn to find half of the firehouse waiting at the door. Some nurse obviously knew better than to let everyone in together.

"Oww, fuck you Severide. Just because you're out of the hospital doesn't mean you can assault everyone that's still in it." But Casey's laughing and his hand is still on Severide's knee and Severide doesn't have to look to know that everyone's staring.

Severide stands and squeezes Casey's shoulder. "Matt."

Casey meets his eyes, "Kelly."

"See you later."

Severide doesn't stop to talk to anyone from the house on the way out. Most of them have known him and Casey long enough to know how close they used to be. Chief nods at him on his way out and no one asks about Spain.

Severide moves back in with Shay and finds a physical therapist seven miles from the firehouse.

They release Casey from the hospital that night and when he mentions it to Shay, she stares like he just asked her for painkillers.

"Why haven't you picked him up yet?" She looks like she's about to argue with him and Severide doesn't remember ever saying he was picking up Casey from the hospital.

"Have you forgotten that I can't drive yet?" He's a little smug because correcting Shay is practically impossible most days.

It doesn't matter though because then she's dragging him by his good arm out the door and what the hell? Maybe Casey needs some company while he's out on sick leave from that concussion. Severide sure as fuck could use company.

Casey's surprised when they pick him up and when Shay makes the turn that indicates that they definitely are going to Casey's apartment, he kicks the back of Severide's seat.

"Are you two kidnapping me?"

Shay laughs.

"For a contractor, you should be embarrassed. Your place is a disaster."

Casey ignores him and turns to Shay. "Shay, lemme know as soon as his neck is a little better so I can kick his ass."

Severide laughs and wonders why an apartment building needed to collapse and he almost needed to leave the country in order to get his friend back.

They end up next to each other on the couch with beers watching reruns of… Actually, Severide has no idea what they're watching.

They're both a little bleary-eyed but neither has anywhere to be tomorrow.

When Casey puts a hand on Severide's knee, Severide turns.

"How's your neck doing?"

Severide shrugs. His shoulder is hurting but no more than it has the last few days.

"How's your head?"

Casey shrugs back, "I've had worse."

Casey spends the few days that he's on medical leave living in Severide and Shay's guest bedroom. Then he spends the next few weeks in the guest room. Somehow, they all manage to keep living together without killing each other and no one brings up the idea of Matt leaving.

Casey has been living with Shay and Severide for a month and a half when he crowds Severide against the fridge, slides a hand down the back of Severide's sweats and kisses him.

Severide bites Casey's shoulder and groans into his ear.


"Fuck you, Kelly."