Fighting Fire with Fire

The Truth Comes Out

“When I was 13…” Casey starts.

“I was staying with my cousins Scottie and Sophie and their parents for part of the summer before I entered the 8th grade. At that point in time, I had no idea what so ever of what I wanted to do with my life after I finished school. It was what seemed like a normal day, just like any other, until that night came around. I don’t know what happened, but I all I can really remember was waking up to screaming, and then being told to get out of the house; I remember trying but not being able to get out, that was when I realized the house was on fire. The next thing I can remember; is being rescued by what I figured was a firefighter. I will admit; I was a little scared, of the intimidating looking figure standing before me. I still remember being found, and how my fear turned to relief pretty quick when I realized he was there to help me. I remember finally getting outside, the firefighter set me down on the pavement, and I looked up to see a warm smile beaming down on me as he pulled off his gear. I ran over to my very relieved aunt and uncle, but not before seeing little Sophie, a mere 10 years old being taken away in an ambulance, my aunt told me she would be fine, (I could see the fear in her eyes) but deep down I knew something was really wrong. I remember seeing Scottie outside too, crying; scared for his little sister. Seeing him like that, made me feel like a failure as the oldest kid, I wanted to be able to help Sophie, but I couldn’t do anything. Scottie and I made it out of the incident alive, no injuries, nothing; Sophie wasn’t so lucky; when I heard that she didn’t make it, I just broke down and cried; I couldn’t shake the feeling of failure from my head. I remember seeing her inside, trapped just as I was, but then in becoming trapped myself, I couldn’t do anything to help her.” Casey says, trying not to look upset.

“Wow…” Severide and Dawson say in unison.

“That feeling of failure is what made me decide what I wanted to do with my life, from that day on, I decided that I wanted to become a firefighter, so I could help people, save lives, and make a difference. So that’s what I did, as soon as I was old enough, I went straight to the fire academy, never looked back, never thought of doing anything else with my life. That call we went on last night, was so similar to what happened to me as a kid; that I couldn’t help but remember the day it all went down, I knew that I was making a difference the moment I found and rescued that first little girl last night. I haven’t had an experience as close to mine as a kid yet, and last night I had it. I haven’t thought about that night in a long time, I just couldn’t help not thinking about it last night, as the events unfolded.” Casey says, finishing his story.

“I really can’t believe you had something like this happen to you, and you’ve never made mention of it before.” Severide says.

“I hate thinking about it; I still miss my cousin…” Casey admits.

“I bet… That kind of reminds me of Andy.” Severide says, trying to hide a look of pain.

“How?” Casey inquires, raising an eyebrow at Severide.

“Ok fine; I lied, I didn’t tell you everything.” Severide spits out.

“How could you possibly hide anything more from me? Casey asks, slightly annoyed by Severide’s sudden confession.

“It’s not you, it’s just that the part to the story I didn’t tell you, is super personal for me, I swore to myself to never tell it to another living soul.” Severide admits quietly.

“Now you have to tell me, you can’t just leave me hanging like that!” Casey presses.

“Ok fine, I’ll tell, but not here, too many people walk through here.” Severide says, casting a glace around the vehicle bay and then walking towards the locker room, Casey following close behind. Howfdd

“Ok, everyone knows me as being really tough, so this can’t slip out!” Severide says.

“You are not getting out of telling me this now, spill it!” Casey says.

“I had another flash-back after I got hurt last time, after the one I had about nearly dying as a candidate.” Severide starts.

“…and I thought the last confession was deep; I had no idea you could possibly hold on to anything more.” Casey says.

“The flash-back was of me when I was a kid, when my dad was still with my mom.” Severide says.

“Oh, really?” Casey starts.

“My mind flashbacked to the first fire I ever saw, I was a little kid, it was maybe 1990; It was some huge fire I remember seeing on the news.

“How is that personal?” Casey questions.

“Calm down; I’m not to that part yet!” Severide yells playfully.

“Sorry.” Casey says apologetically.

Flashback:

“Hey Andy!” Kelly says as he comes bounding into the classroom, obviously excited to see his friend.

“Hey Kelly!” Andy replies, becoming just as excited as his friend.

“You are never going to believe what I saw on TV last night!” Kelly says, his excitement level beginning to rise.

“I’ve never seen you this excited about something, so it must have been awesome; whatever it was!” Andy says.

“Oh, it was!” Kelly says, still over-the-top with excitement.

“Just tell me already!” Andy begs.

“Ok fine, my dad had the TV on last night, and I saw this report on a huge fire that happened yesterday; and the pictures were so cool!” Kelly spits out.

“That sounds super cool!” Andy says, becoming more excited now.

“It was so cool, I wish I could have seen more!” Kelly says, brimming with excitement once more.

“I think we should become firefighters when we’re older, just like we talked about!” Andy says, having a hard time containing his excitement.

“Let’s make a pact right now; we are both going to be firefighters when we grow up!” Kelly suggests.

“Agreed; we are going to be firefighters!” Andy replies with a smile, as the two boys hug.

“Now I can’t wait to grow up!” Andy adds, as the boys take their seats in preparation for the school day ahead.

“After that morning, it really started to sink in for me; just how cool it would be to become a firefighter. We made that pact when we were in 2nd grade, to become firefighters together. So when I said it was our dream to become firefighters from when we were kids, I meant it.” Severide says, coming back to the reality before him.

“So it was never all your idea, as Heather claimed?” Casey asks.

“No, we decided together, we knew we wanted to firefighters anyway, but my story is what made us decide to go for it!” Severide says.

“I don’t like to think Andy any more than I have to…” Severide says trying to remain tough.

“You’ve always said you were fine.” Casey says.

“It hurts me to think of him, I really do miss his mood-lightening presence in the house.” Severide admits, desperately trying to keep his emotions in check.

“You sure you’re okay?” Casey presses.

“Yeah, I just needed to let this out to someone; I’m just glad that no one else from our teams is around, they can’t see me like this.” Severide says unaware Chief Boden’s careful watch from the shadows.

“Why are you so afraid of people seeing you as your true self?” Casey asks.

“I kind of have a reputation to maintain, as the tough person who doesn’t show his emotions very easily.” Severide says.

“Is that why I’ve never seen you react to tough days on the job?” Casey asks.

“Well, I never said that I don’t react, I just don’t do it front of people…” Severide says.

“Everyone has their ways of coping I suppose.” Casey replies.

“I can’t believe I actually caved and told you all of this, I never imagined myself telling this kind of stuff to another person.” Severide says, slightly embarrassed.

“Well, for the record, I would never tell anyone; you know I would come to you if I was being bothered by something; your secret is safe with me.” Casey reassures his now emotionally compromised friend.

“I am actually sort of surprised by how long you were able to hold all of this in without showing it.” Casey adds.

“Thanks; I guess…” Severide says.

“For what?” Casey asks.

“For listening to me, it’s helping me move past the pain of remembering it; I just don’t understand why telling you the personal side of my candidate story was so hard, I guess I will have to contemplate that.” Severide says, as the relief of telling his story begins to show across his face.

“Maybe you’ll never know why talking to people is so hard for you, it may just be one of the mysteries of your life.” Casey says, as Severide tries to understand his friend’s wise words.

“Any time, you can come to me about anything.” Casey adds, just as the alarm sounds, sending the lieutenants scrambling for their trucks and teams.

“Now, back to Truck for you Lt. Casey, you can have more ‘fun’ with Squad later.” Severide says, trying not to smile as he jumps into his truck.

“Very funny, Severide, I’ll try!” Casey yells back as he heads for his truck.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“A 5 hour call… that’s always fun!” Severide says with a slightly sarcastic tone in his voice to Casey as the teams return to ‘home-base’.

“At least no one died, that’s good; I’ve always like rescuing kids though, that seems to make the job all the more rewarding!” Casey replies.

“It’s my favorite part of the job!” He adds, unable to hold back a smile.

“I will admit, I like that too; always have, makes me feel good!” Severide says.

“I love to see the kid’s faces when they realize they are being rescued, it’s the best feeling in the world!” Casey says, trying not to smile.

“Ok fine, it’s my favorite part too!” Severide admits.

“Aren’t you supposed to be the super tough guy who isn’t fazed by anything?” Casey teases.

“So now I can’t be tough and have my favorite part of my job rescuing kids?” Severide counters.

“I never said that, I was just a little surprised to hear that from you of all people.” Casey says turning to Severide.

“I do have a heart wrapped up in all my toughness; it just seems to melt a little when I come across a kid.” Severide admits.

“You must be in a really good mood or something, because I never thought I would hear something like that from the Kelly Severide I know.” Casey teases once more.

“Ha-ha very funny, I guess just pulling 3 kids out of that blaze today put me in a good mood, is that so bad?” Severide tosses back.

“It’s just nice to see you in such a good mood, I mean we’ve pulled tons of kids out of fires and I’ve never seen you in such a good mood after those calls.” Casey says.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into me today, then; I guess maybe I was paying more attention to the kid’s faces as we rescue them, that’s what seems to get me.” Severide replies, not trying to hide his smile.

“You know what, I’m not going to interrogate you about your happiness anymore, I’m just going to enjoy it, but I’m not promising you’ll ever hear the end of this.” Casey says, a smile forming across his face.

“Hey, what do you say we find Shay and Dawson and get this contest underway?” Casey adds.

“Sounds good to me.” Severide replies as the two lieutenants head off in search of the paramedics.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“So you’re absolutely sure this whole ‘training’ thing is safe.” Dawson asks Shay as they sit at the table near the kitchen.

“Yes, I’m sure, Severide spent 10 minutes convincing me that it would be perfectly safe.” Shay replies.

“He also promised he’s explain and show us how everything works, I guess he has to teach us about some extra gear or something.” Shay adds.

“Well if the safety promise is coming from Severide, I’ll do it.” Dawson says, sounding a little less nervous this time.

“Severide said that the exercise is a Truck vs. Squad thing, and that you can be Truck’s ‘victim’” Shay says, her eyes still on Dawson.

“Of course it’s a contest, seems like those two are always competing with each other on something!” Dawson says with a smile.

“Wait…” Dawson suddenly adds.

“They’re simply marking their territory, I guess that’s a guy thing…” Shay says with a smile.

“What?” Shay asks.

“Did you say that I have to play Truck’s victim?” Dawson asks.

“That’s what I heard from Severide, is that going to pose a problem?” Shay asks, raising an eyebrow.

“Are you scared that Squad isn’t rescuing you?” Shay adds, trying not to laugh.

“No, it’s not that at all…” Dawson says, trying to avoid eye contact with Shay.

“Does it have anything to do with the current Truck lieutenant?” Shay asks.

“Maybe… I hope Casey…” Dawson says, her voice trailing off.

“You hope Casey what?” Shay presses.

“I just… I don’t know why I’m fretting over this.” Dawson says.

“If you think it that it’s going to get weird with Casey leading a rescue exercise and you playing a victim, I think you are fretting over nothing. Shay says, trying to sound confident.

“I think he’ll be too busy keeping his team busy, that he won’t take the fact that he is rescuing you to heart.” Shay adds, before turning to see Severide and Casey walk into the common room.

“Kelly!” Shay says as she spots the two lieutenants walking into the common room.

“Hey…” Severide responds, his voice slightly faltering.

“Dawson and I were just looking for you!” Shay says, getting up from the table, Dawson following suit.

“We were just going to come find you and ask about this training thing we are helping out with.” Shay adds.

“Oh, yeah, that…” Severide says, his voice trailing off again.

“Seems as though you have some work to do!” Casey says, as he turns to leave the room.

“You hear that? Casey wants to help too!” Severide says, tossing a grin at his fellow lieutenant.

“Really Severide?” Casey asks in an annoyed tone.

“Yeah, besides, I think Shay and Dawson would feel better with two teachers, instead of one, well and, I don’t want to do it by myself.” Severide admits.

“You don’t want to screw up, because you know if you forget something, it could spell trouble.” Casey says.

“It might involve a little of that…” Severide admits quietly under his breath.

“Casey here was so generous to want to help me teach you guys about the training exercise we are doing later.” Severide says, shooting a look at Casey.

“Yeah, I guess I am going to be helping Severide teach you guys stuff.” Casey says, still slightly annoyed with Severide.

“So Dawson, you in?” Severide asks.

“Well you and Shay have me convinced it’s safe, so yes, I’m in!” Dawson responds.

“Well good thing I have some stuff set up by the trucks to show you guys.” Severide says, as he motions for the ladies to join him in going out to the trucks.

“Casey may like this part, the part where I admit I have never really taught anything like this to someone, I’ve only ever been taught.

“Wow, you are actually admitting that you’ve never done this before, I like this.” Casey says, grinning.

“Well, we trust that you guys know what you’re doing, after all, you are the ones who storm burning buildings almost everyday.”

“Care to bring me up to speed on exactly what we are teaching them?” Casey inquires.

“I figured we would just explain how the exercise typically works and about the gear they are using.” Severide replies.

“Can you go grab some extra stuff from the truck?” Severide asks.

“Making him work? Nice touch.” Shay says.

“Go get geared up, hurry up too!” Severide says.

“You are going to make us put on our gear, really?” Shay asks.

“Yes, if you want to learn, you have to learn with the real stuff, me and Casey will get suited up in a few minutes, now go!” Severide says.

“I may have to time you if you don’t hurry.” Severide warns.

“We should go.” Dawson says casting a look at Shay as they head for the gear room.

“Where’d Shay and Dawson go?” Casey asks as he returns with some extra gear.

“I sent them to suit up so we can practice.” Severide says.

“Was that 100% necessary?” Casey asks.

“Maybe not 100%, but like 90.” Severide says with a grin.

“Now where are they?” Severide wonders to himself.

“Shay! Dawson! Hurry up!” Severide yells two minutes later.

“What’s he yelling about?” Shay asks Dawson from the gear room.

“We’re probably moving too slow for him.” Dawson says with a grin.

“Oh yeah, that’s right Casey and Severide have to rush and get ready in like 30 seconds, sucks to be them!” Shay says with a laugh.

“We should probably get moving, who knows they could be planning extra work for us the longer we take, I think they could beat us in getting ready any day.” Dawson says as they turn and head back to the waiting lieutenants.

“Man, where are they?” Severide wonders as he paces in front of the Squad truck with Casey in full gear.”

“Oh, cut them some slack, they don’t have to rush to get in gear for all their calls.” Casey says, taking the paramedics side.

“Finally!” Severide exclaims as the medics return in full gear.

“What are you complaining about? This isn’t too bad.” Shay says.

“You know you aren’t in full gear yet…” Severide says.

“We’ve got more for you.” Casey adds as he and Severide hold up spare air packs.

“You have got to be kidding me, do we really have to wear our gear plus some?” Dawson asks.

“If you don’t want to be burn to a crisp or suffocate, then yes, you have to wear it.” Severide says with a grin.

“It’s not that bad right.” Shay wonders out loud.

“It isn’t for me, I’m used to it; Casey here, I don’t know what he thinks about it.” Severide says still grinning.

“It’s really not that bad.” Casey confirms.

“It may seem a little annoying and cumbersome to you guys, but it keeps you safe, and at the end of the day; that is really all that matters. Severide says.

“I guess he has a point.” Shay says, turning to Dawson.

“Oh I know he has point, I just hope this stuff’s not too annoying.” Dawson says, trying not to smile.

“Alight then, what do you two have in store for us?” Shay asks.

“Should we make them do a ‘Down Firefighter Assessment’?” Casey asks turning to Severide.

“A ‘Down’ what?” Dawson inquires.

“We were just thinking of a more ‘fun’ way to teach you guys how to use the gear.” Severide says, turning to Casey with a grin.

“I’m almost afraid to ask what your guys’ definition of ‘fun’ is.” Shay says.

“I think we should make them do the drill, I kind of want to see how fast they can move in all the gear.” Severide says, smiling.

“I thought we were just here to learn a few things.” Shay protests.

“Well we thought this would be more fun, and better practice; well, practice for you and more fun for us at least.” Severide says, still grinning.

“Now I suppose we have to show you how to put on and use all this stuff before we can make you use it.” Casey says.

“Yeah, how does all this stuff work?” Dawson asks.

“Hang on a sec, we have to grab our sets of gear too.” Severide says.

“Casey where do you keep yours?” Severide adds.

“By the Truck.” Casey responds.

“Ok, hang on I’ll go grab our stuff.” Severide says, as he goes to look for the gear.

“He actually volunteered to do something, impressive.” Shay says.

“It caught me a little by surprise too!” Casey admits.

“I’m back.” Severide says, rounding the corner with he and Casey’s gear.

“For the sake of ‘fun’ shall we play along too?” Severide asks.

“Maybe we could turn this into a contest! Casey suggests.

“You guys could run the drill first, after we explain things, then sit back and watch us run it.” Severide says.

“Sounds good!” Casey says.

“Oh great, at least they aren’t competing against each other for once.” Shay says.

“Let’s go, I just hope the teams don’t come out here.” Severide says, turning around to glace in the direction of where his team usually sits.

“Shay, Dawson come over here so we can show you this gear.” Casey says.

“Since Severide is always messing with me, he gets to demonstrate today, it’s my way of getting him back for adding me into this ‘game’ against my will.” Casey adds.

“Thanks Casey…” Severide responds as he puts on his gear to demonstrate.

“Just like this.” Casey says pointing to the Rescue Squad Lieutenant.

“It’s not that hard, really.” Severide says with a muffled voice as he reaches to take of his mask.

“Now you try, and then Dawson go play dead at the north gate.” Severide orders.

“Shay has to drag you back over here to Casey who will be timing you.”

“This is what we are going to be doing for real later, I just want you guys to get used to the gear and get a feel for it.” Severide says.

“I guess that’s fair.” Dawson replies.

“Oh and don’t worry, Dawson gets to try our very fun game later!” Casey pipes up.

“I love how you guys consider this a game, once again, it’s mildly amusing.” Shay says.

“It is a game when we’re not out doing it for real, it’s also a good way for us to keep our skills up to par, and then there’s the part of seeing Casey’s team work!” Severide says grinning, as he sends Shay off to practice.

“I know this is going to be hard, this gear is super heavy and I’ve only been lugging it around for 20 minutes.” Shay says.

“It’s about to get much heavier!” Severide says trying to sound tough.

“That’s a great thing to tell someone who’s never done this before.” Shay says slightly annoyed.

“Trust us, it’s fun.” Casey says.

“Now go rescue your partner so we can see that you know how to react in this type of situation.” Severide says.

10 MINUTES LATER….

“Now that wasn’t so bad now was it?” Severide lightly taunts as Casey tries to hold back a grin.

“It sure wasn’t easy by any means.” Shay says, eager to ditch the heavy bunker gear.

“You said that if we did it, you’d do it too, I want to see you guys go all hard-core.” Shay adds.

“I bet you we could do this in five minutes.” Severide says with a somewhat cocky tone in his voice.”

“I guess 10 minutes is pretty good for someone who has never done this before, you know we could have made it way harder.” Casey says, holding up the blacked out face mask he uses for his drills.

“I think since you guys are super good at this, you should have to run the drill using the blacked out face masks.” Dawson says, happy to shed her gear as well.

“I would still put money on it that we can do the exercise in 5 minutes even with the blacked out masks.” Severide says, still sounding rather cocky.

“Fine, we’ll do it as you say.” Casey reluctantly agrees, tossing a blacked out mask to Severide.

4 minutes and 43 seconds later…

“Under five minutes; you’ve got to be kidding me.” Dawson whispers as she shows Shay the stopwatch.

“Let’s just say is was over five minutes…” Shay says.

“Severide was being really cocky so they deserve it.” She adds.

“Agreed.” Dawson whispers, trying not to laugh.

“So how’d we do?” Casey asks, pulling off his mask.

“Five minutes and 19 seconds.” Shay happily reports.

“Uh, huh sure…” Casey replies.

“What did we get?” Severide asks coming up behind Casey and pulling off his gear.

“They claim, five minutes and 19 seconds, but I don’t believe them.” Casey says with a smug smile.

“Now who’s the cocky one?” Shay ventures.

“You guys feel good about tonight?” Severide asks.

“I guess as good as I ever will.” Shay replies.

“I think this might be fun.” Dawson says.

“Trust me, you and Dawson are going to be fine, you are in the hands of two expert teams.” Severide says to Shay before leaning in for a big bear hug.

“You know what would be fun, seeing if Casey and Severide could survive a shift as paramedics.” Shay says smiling.

“C’mon, we’re firefighters I think we can survive anything at this point.” Severide says, his cocky tone returning.

TRUCK 81, SQUAD 3, AMBULANCE 61… BUILDING COLLASPE.

“Looks like we have actual work to do tonight!” Shay says, heading for the ambulance.

“Seems like it! Severide responds.

“Let’s go!” Yells Dawson from the ambulance.

“Maybe you can help us tonight!” Severide says, as he grabs his gear and jumps in the Squad truck.

“Ha-ha very funny, I don’t think you want us tromping around inside with you, we don’t know a thing about firefighting!” Shay says jumping into the ambulance.

“I guess I’m glad that we don’t have to suit up for and storm buildings for real on our calls.” Dawson says.

“I’m with you on that one!” Shay admits with a smile.

“Although getting a taste for what Casey and Severide’s teams do most everyday was kind of fun.” Shay adds, still smiling.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Severide!” Casey calls over his radio.

“Yeah?” Comes Severide’s reply almost instantly over the radio.

“I think we’re going to need Squad’s help over here, we’ve got quite a few victims.” Casey says over his radio.

“Seems like you always need our help!” Severide replies.

“We you guys are a valued resource that helps get stuff done!” Casey says.

“Valued resource… I like that one, we’ll be there in a minute.” Severide responds, his signature cocky tone making a return.

“…and there’s that cockiness I love so much!” Casey says with sarcasm in his voice.

“Squad just found someone, I’ll send you Mills right now, Capp and I will be there in a minute.” Severide says.

“Thanks, I want to try really hard to get everyone!” Casey replies.

“Mills! Casey needs your help, can you head over and help him?” Severide half orders, half asks.

“On it Lieutenant!” Mills replies almost instantly after hearing the order.

“Hey Dawson, Capp and I have a victim, and from what Casey says, there’s quite a few more where Truck is, you might want to call for a few more rigs! Severide says, trying not to sound worried.

“We’re on it, thanks for the update!” Dawson replies over her radio.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Do we have any idea how this happened? Severide asks as he and Capp approach Casey and his team.

“Not at this point, but I’m sure we’ll find out later.” Casey says.

“Thanks for coming to help!” He adds.

“That’s what Squad is here for!” Severide says, trying this time to hide his cockiness.

“I thought you were just here to do the stuff Truck can’t!” Casey says.

“Well that too, I just didn’t want to say it!” Severide says with a grin.

“Didn’t want to hurt little brother’s feelings!” He adds, his grin widening.

“Knew that was coming…” Casey replies.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Alright, it’s official I hate late-night calls more than the ones that come in right at the end of shift!” Severide says as the teams make their return to 51.

“Does that have anything to do with the fact that call usually interrupt the card games you are always playing at the Squad table?” Casey teases.

“Maybe… I was kind of hoping for a relaxing night.” Severide admits.

“Well that’s what you get for ‘hoping’ out loud.” Casey says, grinning.

“Well, now we have to settle this bet…” Severide says, getting up from his usual spot.

“You’re actually up for that now?” Casey questions.

“Hell yeah I’m up for it; I’m always up for a chance to try and beat you at something!” Severide says!

“Should have seen that comin’” Casey says trying to hide a smile.

“Now we have to find Shay and Dawson, and get the guys.” Severide says.

“Finding our teams shouldn’t be that hard, at least not yours…” Casey says pointing to the Squad table, which holds Severide’s team.

“Go gear up guys, we’re going for a ride.” Severide orders as he turns to face his team.

“Now for yours…” Severide adds, as he enters the kitchen to find Casey’s team sitting.

“Should have expected that one too!” Casey admits.

“You guys too, go gear up we are doing a drill.” Casey orders his team.

“Now?” Cruz asks.

“Yes now, but don’t worry this drill will be fun.” Casey says as his team goes to gear up and head for their truck.

“See that wasn’t so hard, our teams are almost too predictable.” Severide says, his smile returning.

“Now for Shay and Dawson, for all we know they could be purposely avoiding us!” Casey jokes.

“I don’t think they are, I convinced Shay that everything is perfectly safe and will turn out fine, you even helped me teach them, you should remember!” Severide replies.

“I have to ask, was making them run the drill necessary? Casey asks.

“Yes and no I guess, I thought it would be easier to teach them if we showed them and then they did it, well and I kind of wanted to see if they could do it.” Severide admits.

“I knew it was partly for your amusement, I will admit, it was fun to see them try and do our job.” Casey says.

“They did a pretty good job, I should tell Shay that later.” Severide says.

“Let’s go look for them, and tell the teams to hurry and get suited up.” Casey says.

“I’ll go get Shay and Dawson and you get the teams together.” Severide suggests.

“Sounds good! Let’s go!” Casey says as the two lieutenants split to fulfill their respective tasks.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Shay, Dawson! There you are, our teams are suited up and ready to go, we’re going to settle this bet finally.” Severide says, as he enters the bunkroom to find Shay and Dawson.

“Kelly, it’s like 3 in the morning…” Shay says half-asleep.

“Exactly why it’s the time to do this, get up and grab your gear!” Severide says, playfully throwing a pillow at Shay.

“Alright, I’m coming!” Shay says as she hits Dawson with a pillow to arouse her.

“Dawson, get up, the guys are going out for their drill!” Shay says.

“Now?” Dawson asks.

“That’s what I asked too, just get up, Severide’s already ready.” Shay says.

“Let’s go then!” Dawson says, suddenly springing up from bed.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“About time ladies!” Mills teases as the two medics finally emerge.

“I have to ask, how do you guys tromp around in this stuff for hours on end, I’m already sick of it and it’s been 5 minutes.” Shay asks.

“That’s a Mills question, I’m sure they get you used to it pretty damn well in the academy, right Mills?” Severide pipes up.

“That they do, it took me a few weeks to get it down!” Mills admits.

“Now they have to pick, ride with Truck or Squad?” Severide says.

“Sorry Casey, but we’re going with Squad.” Shay says, as Severide puts a protective arm around her and shoots a “ha-ha” look at Casey.

“Fair enough, see you in a few!” Casey says, as he jumps into his signature shotgun spot next to Cruz.

“Hey Gabby!” Mills asks, as he quickly pulls Dawson aside.

“I have been so busy lately and forgot to ask you to tell me what really happened when I got hurt a while back.” Mills spits out.

“What made you think of that again?” Dawson abruptly questions.

“When Casey rescued that little girl a while back, when I heard how hard you worked to try and save her; that’s what made me think of it.” Mills says.

“You really want to know don’t you?” Dawson says.

“I really do.” Mills replies.

“Well, fine, here you go.” Dawson says as she starts the story.

“It was your last shift on Truck, and Casey had sent you along with Severide’s team to help out, you guys were searching around inside when the floor caved, and took you with it. The fall left you unconscious and Severide frantically trying to figure out what to do since he only had Capp to help him. He called for Casey, he and his team rushed over and Severide repelled down to get you. By that time, you’d been down for around 30 minutes and Severide was actually worried, since he noticed your air was super low. (I think that was the first time I have ever seen Severide truly worried about something) For a little while, he thought that you might not make it. Capp helped the Truck team pull you up and rush you outside, and that’s when I first figured out what was happening. You were still out cold at that point, and I think you being low on air for so long finally caught up to you. You completely crashed on us, and thankfully Shay had Otis drive, because if I didn’t have her back there that day, I don’t know if I could have saved you. You scared me so much, I was almost convinced you were going to die; I was not about to let that happen. Shay and I managed to get you stable enough to survive the trip to the hospital. By the time we were allowed to see you, you were conscious again, and I think that was the most relieved I have ever been to see someone in my life. I don’t know how much you remember, but the thing I remember most about that day, was when you thanked me just before the nurse kicked us out for the night. I was more scared that night that I have ever been before, and I’m just happy you lived to make Squad.” Dawson says, finishing the story.

“You wanted to know, so there you go.” Dawson adds.

“Wow, that story was way more intense that I imagined, thank you for telling me!” Mills says as he leans in for a hug.

“Mills! Hurry your ass up!” Severide yells from the Squad truck, ruining Dawson and Mills’ moment.

“Let’s go then!” Mills says as he and Dawson head for the truck.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Someone did tell the Chief that we were taking a ride, right?” Shay asks from the Squad truck.

“Oh yeah, he knows.” Severide calls from up front, as the teams arrive at the training center.

“Is this place supposed to seem creepy?” Shay questions.

“Only at night!” Severide replies with a snicker.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been here.” Severide admits.

“Mills when were you last here?” Severide asks the still candidate Mills.

“I don’t know exactly, maybe 6 or 7 months.” Mills replies.

“Alright Casey, who gets to go first?” Severide asks as Casey’s team arrives.

“I guess we can go first.” Casey says as he volunteers his team.

“You hear that Dawson, you’re up first!” Severide says.

“Casey can show you where to go and we’ll get started, Squad will time you guys.” Severide adds.

“Let’s go.” Casey says as he and Dawson make their way inside.

“This place is bigger than I thought it would be.” Dawson remarks as she and Casey make their way up a set of stairs.

“They try to make it real for us, I think this place has four stories.” Casey says.

“We’ll go up to three, there’s an open part up there that you can wait for us.” He adds, as they turn to head up another flight of stairs.

“So what are you guys doing exactly?” Dawson asks.

“We’re practicing to see which team can put out a small fire and rescue a victim the fastest, a rather simple exercise.” Casey replies with a smile.

“Easy for you guys.” Dawson says.

“Ok, here we go.” Casey says as he leads Dawson into a small but open room.

“So I just get to wait up here.” Dawson asks.

“Well kind of, you have to play an unconscious victim, so just lie still when you here the guys coming up, someone will deactivate the alarm on the tank (its super loud and annoying so we won’t actually use it) and carry you out, that makes the exercise more realistic.” Casey says.

“Ok then…” Dawson replies.

“Can you make sure I’ve got all this gear on right, I don’t want to be wearing it wrong.” Dawson asks.

“Yeah, looks good to me, just make sure the mask’s tight on your face, since Severide will probably make it super smoky to try and throw off my team.” Casey says.

“Just breathe normally and you’ll be fine.” Casey adds.

“Okay thanks.” Dawson says, adjusting her gear, pulling on the mask and putting her helmet back on.

“It shouldn’t take us too long to get up here, maybe five to six minutes, possibly a little less.” Casey says, taking his exit.

“Don’t freak out, you’ll be fine, remember Squad’s just outside and can help should trouble arise.” Casey adds before disappearing.

“Took you long enough.” Severide teases as Casey gets outside.

“Sorry, she wanted me to check the gear and tell her everything would be fine.” Casey admits, trying not to seem embarrassed.

“I sent Capp and Mills to get the fire going, give them two minutes.” Severide says.

“Sounds good, let’s see, Otis, Cruz with me and Mouch and Herrmann on the roof.” Casey orders.

“Dawson’s up on three, so that’s where all the action will be.” Capp says to Mills from the control room.

“Okay, let’s go team, find the fire, put it out and rescue the victim.” Casey orders as he sees the first flames on the inside.

“Time starts now!” Severide says as Casey’s team gains entrance to the now flaming building.

“Just pretend this is all real, and that the victim you’re searching for isn’t Dawson pretending…” Casey tells himself as he and his team put out the first of a few small fires Severide has set for them inside.

“Just have Cruz or someone other than you rescue her…” Casey continues to tell to himself.

“First fire is out lieutenant!” Cruz calls.

“We’re headed up to two!” Cruz adds as he and Otis start up the stairs.

“Crap! Severide isn’t taking it easy on us tonight!” Otis says as he and Cruz come face to face with a larger fire.

“Casey, c’mon!” Otis calls.

“Woah!” Cruz exclaims as he jumps back to avoid a cloud of sparks.

“Oh, c’mon Cruz, it’s not that bad!” Casey teases.

“Man now’s the time I wish we still had Mills!” Otis says.

“You only want him here so you can abuse him!” Cruz says.

“Well there’s that, and then there’s the face that he is an extra person that knows how to help this kind of situation.” Otis says.

“Guys, chat time later, take care of that fire before Severide can make it worse!” Casey says.

“Sorry, lieutenant!” Cruz replies.

“There; the fire’s out!” Otis says.

“Let’s head up to three!” Casey orders, taking the lead on the way up.

“Seems like Severide wants to make this difficult.” Cruz says as they enter the room on the third floor to find it engulfed.

“Crap, they’re coming!” Dawson says to herself as she proceeds to lie still and act unconscious.

“Just take deep breaths and ignore the fire around you…” Dawson tells herself.

“Looks like we have a victim!” Otis remarks.

“There’s too much debris to get to her!” Cruz says.

“We’ll clear a path, and Casey can get her!” Otis suggests.

“No, Cruz get her, I’ll help clear the path.” Casey says.

Casey and Otis get to work clearing a path to Dawson, and then proceed to put out the fire surrounding her.

“Cruz get her!” Casey orders.

“Let’s get out of here!” Otis says.

“Mouch, Herrmann, meet us on the stairs, the fire’s out!” Casey says over the radio.

“Will do lieutenant, on our way!” Mouch replies.

“Clear!” Casey says as he and his team exits the building with Dawson in tow.

“Thanks Cruz!” Dawson says, as Cruz sets her down outside and giving her a chance to pull off her gear.

“No problem Dawson!” Cruz says with a smile.

“What was our time?” Cruz asks.

“Nine minutes, 51 seconds.” Severide responds.

“That’s pretty good, nice job team!” Casey says turning to his team.

“Alight Truck’s had their fun, Severide get your Squad in there.” Casey says, walking up to his fellow lieutenant.

“Alright, let me get Shay all set up first.” Severide says.

“C’mon Shay!” Severide adds, as he grabs the spare air-pack and leads Shay inside.

“Am I really doing anything up here?” Shay asks.

“You have to play an unconscious victim, which really means you get to relax up here until you hear us coming.” Severide says, as the pair starts up the first flight of stairs.

“Alright then.” Shay responds.

“You’ll be on the third story, since it’s a bit more open than the other floors, it just makes it easier for my team.” Severide says, rounding the corner to the next flight of stairs.

“Here we go.” Severide says as the duo arrives on the third floor.

“You are going to have to help me get this gear on, I really don’t want to screw it up.” Shay says.

“If I screwed it up, I would be well, screwed!” She adds.

“You’ll be fine as long as you keep the mask on tight and breathe normally.” Severide says trying to reassure her.

“Remember there’s Casey’s team outside too!” Severide adds, before checking Shay’s gear one last time and taking his leave.

“What is he doing in there?” Otis asks as the teams wait outside for the return of the Rescue Squad Lieutenant.

“You know how fiercely protective of Shay he is, he’s probably double and triple checking everything.” Casey replies.

“That is true, seems like Severide to do that.” Otis remarks.

“Nice you decided to join us again.” Casey teases.

“I just want her to feel safe, I don’t know what I would do if something happened to her.” Severide says.

“Fair enough.” Casey replies. Cruz, Otis and I are going to set up the building for you guys, give us a few minutes.”

“Cruz, Otis, let’s go!” Casey orders, as the men head off towards the control room.

“Mills, Capp, come over here.” Severide says calling his team to join him.

“Lieutenant.” Mills says as he notices the flames starting to show.

“Looks like we’re up, c’mon guys!” Severide says as his team pulls on their gear and enters the building.

“I don’t know why I’m constantly thinking about Shay in here, it’s bugging me.” Severide says.

“You’re super protective over her, and you want to make sure everything goes smooth, normal reaction.” Mills says trying to help out his Lieutenant.

“Capp hit it!” Severide orders as they come face to face with first fire.

“Got it Lieutenant!” Capp says as the first fire is quickly put out.

“Let’s move up to two!” Mills suggests.

“I have a feeling Casey’s going to try and have something nasty waiting for us.” Severide says.

“Big flames, some smoke, nothing stellar.” Capp says.

“Casey can do better than that, I wonder why he’s taking it easy on us.” Severide wonders out loud.

CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

“Hey Lieutenant, did you hear that?” Mills asks.

“Hear what?” Severide asks.

“Weird, now I’m hearing something too, maybe like an alarm? Capp says.

“I thought we weren’t using the PASS alarms…” Mills says.

“We’re not…” Severide says, a look of worry coming across his face.

“That’s what I heard, a PASS alarm!” Capp says, worry registering across his face too.

“But if we’re not using them, how are you hearing one?” Mills asks.

“Shay!” Severide says, as he suddenly realizes where the alarm is coming from, and why it’s going off.

“Oh, crap!” Mill says, but Severide is already halfway up the stairs leading to the third story.

“What could have gone wrong, this is about as controlled as you can have.” Capp says, making sure the second floor fire is out, before joining Mills in going upstairs.

“Shay!” Severide starts but his voice trails off, as he sees the horror in front of him; a pinned Shay with her PASS alarm blaring like crazy.


Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.