She used the hand on his stomach to push up off of the couch and stand, feeling the hard muscle tighten reflexively as he grunted in surprise at the sudden weight. She padded over to the fridge, feeling the hot burn of his narrowed gaze on her as she sauntered away, hiding her smirk.
Casey was torn between shock, being ridiculously smug and proud, and wanting to paddle that cute little butt until it turned pink under his hand before taking her to his bed and not letting her up for the next 48 hours. Who knew that Sylvie Brett was such a sexy little tease? Hopefully no one who was still in the country; of all of her exes, he guessed that Antonio was likely the most responsible for her sexual confidence and experience. Maybe the chaplain had had hidden depths to him, but the couple of encounters with the man had given Casey the sense that he was somewhat…flat. Personally, professionally, he just seemed very vanilla. Then again, he was currently engaged to Hope, so…
He shook his head, not needing to finish that thought, refocusing on the smug little blonde currently bent over in front of his fridge, her body outlined through her thin t-shirt by the light.
“You want a water or something while I’m up?” She called, deliberately casual as she raised her brows in query and silent amusement. She could practically see and hear the wheels turning in Casey’s head, reassessing and adjusting his plan of attack according to the new variables that had just been unexpectedly presented.
“Water is fine.”
She had worked with him, watched him lead his men into burning buildings and come out unharmed after completing another near impossible rescue hundreds of times. Analyzing, adjusting, planning new tactics…she had no doubt that he applied those same techniques to his personal and sexual relationships too. In fact, she could hardly wait.
It wasn’t going to happen that night though. Which, despite her teasing, she was still fine with. The main reason she had issued the challenge in the first place was actually more in keeping with his slightly wistful request to be a ‘normal’ couple than he probably realized. Flirting, teasing, the sexual back and forth banter- they all came with being part of a couple, especially one just starting out together. The same went for his calling a halt to their make out session, despite her curiosity as to why, especially when he hadn’t had any sexual relief last night either.
Setting boundaries, compromising and above all listening when one partner or the other hit a limit – that was also natural and normal, which was why she hadn’t pushed or argued. From his reaction though, she guessed that they had crashed through a couple of new milestones in his dating experience.
It was kind of strange, realizing that she actually had more familiarity with what constituted a ‘normal’ relationship than he did, especially when she considered her own spotty history. Still, it was something to keep in mind for the future as they started on this journey.
Everyone at 51 rolled their eyes at Severride and Kidd when they indulged in a moment of sappiness and affection, but they were surprisingly normal and really quite boring now that they had gotten past the various dramas. She really wanted that sense of normalcy and easy intimacy for her and Casey, but they had a long way to go before they reached that point.
She eyed him out of the corner of her eye contemplatively. Speaking of normal couple-y activities…
Casey watched her grab a couple of bottles and snag a leftover pancake that Severride had missed, before returning to the couch to gaze at him expectantly when he didn’t move. He frowned.
Huffing in amused exasperation – amusement at his distraction, exasperation tinged with anger at Dawson -surely there had been time at some point in their relationship to be a normal couple amid all the drama? – she gestured for his right hand as she set the waters on the coffee table.
He warily complied, and she lifted his arm up out of the way as she reclaimed her spot, curled up at his side. She leaned forward to grab the water bottles and the remote, before relaxing back into the couch and his warm body. After a moment, his arm came slowly down to rest around her shoulders, a reassuring weight that she relaxed further into as she idly flipped through the channels. Taking another bite of her pancake, she chewed contemplatively before glancing up at him.
“You weren’t kidding about not having done normal couple-y stuff in a while, were you?” Her tone was wry and gently teasing, tinged with understanding.
Casey grimaced. “Not since well before Gabby left,” he admitted ruefully, opening his water.
She nodded thoughtfully, still nibbling on her pancake as she watched Paul Walker and Vin Diesel gleefully out drive The Rock, leaving mayhem and chaos and plenty of explosions in their wake.
“Severride isn’t exactly the snuggle on the couch and watch a movie type.”
He nearly choked on his water. “More like the Netflix and chill type,” he replied. “Unless by ‘snuggle’ you really meant ‘separate chairs’, and by movie you meant ‘something equally male bonding and chauvinistic like football or hockey.’”
“Of course,” she agreed. “So more genuine brothers than secret bromance. That’s what I always figured, but it was fun to see it in action this morning.” She finally broke at his disgusted expression, overcome with helpless giggles. “Hey, rumors about how close we all are at 51 have circulated for years. And you and Severride can be quite the lethal duo when you are working in tandem, rather than yelling at each other loud enough to bring down the rafters.”
“Hey, yelling at Severride is a great stress reliever,” Casey protested with a sideways grin. “Granted, this time we just didn’t want to incur the wrath of Hangry Stella the Kidd, but it usually works wonders. You should try it some time.”
She returned his grin with a teasing smirk. “Better than sex?”
“You’ll have to ask Kidd about that. Yelling at him is different than just yelling, after all.”
Her lips quirked in response as she took his hand, playing with the long fingers and intertwining them with her own paler ones. “I’m a pretty tactile person,” she admitted, changing the subject. “Touchy feely. It’s a thing. Expect lots of hand holding, hugging. Snuggling. Also a thing.” She sent him an impish grin. “Basically, prepare to have your personal bubble popped.”
“Are you going to wine and dine me first at least?”
They snickered at each other.
“Cruz claims that I am a sniper snuggler and a sweatshirt stealer, but I maintain that the man is literally an oversized human teddy bear, and therefore I am not responsible for my actions.” Like quicksilver, her hands slipped under his t-shirt to his flat stomach, fingers teasingly grazing his zipper before moving up to poke him in the bellybutton. “You’re not as squishy as Cruz, but you’ll do.”
“Thank you?” He replied, half quizzically, allowing the touch since she kept it soothing and not sexual.
“So how are we going to play this at work?” She asked after a minute, her hand still idly stroking up and down his side, trying not to grin at her victory.
“There’s really not much to change,” he mused. “We already spend time together anyway away from the others, so maybe if we don’t make a big deal about it then neither will they.”
“Makes sense.” She nodded. “Start as we mean to go on.” She flashed him a naughty smirk. “What about playing at work?”
His eyes darkened with interest. “I have no limits,” he murmured. “You?”
“Nothing that will distract or take away from the job,” she replied instantly. “Cruz and I kept the PDA to a minimum, but that was more for his tender sensibilities than mine.”
“Learning intriguing new things about you every minute, Sylvie Brett,” he mused, brushing her hair off of her face.
He was also growing more and more infatuated with her unique mix of wide eyed innocence and endearingly blunt honesty. There was no artifice about her, and she was constantly surprising him with her open willingness to broach topics that he had assumed would be explored-but not necessarily talked about- and boundaries defined over the course of their new relationship.
He shouldn’t have been surprised, though. Sylvie liked rules and knowing what she was getting herself into as much as possible. Sensible questions, especially from a grounded farm girl perspective, eliminated a lot of fuss and misunderstandings and the confrontations that inevitably came up from a lack of open communication, which she hated and tried to avoid as much as possible.
Casey considered himself to be much of the same mindset, although working alongside Severride and his time as alderman had taught him to be somewhat more diplomatic than blunt. But he loved it in Sylvie, and the fact that she was already comfortable enough and trusted him enough to have these conversations without hesitation or (much) blushing was a personal point of pride and a private stroke to his ego that he didn’t mind indulging in at all.
There weren’t many people-if any- in her life that he knew of whom she was so endearingly open with, and that included both Stella and Emily. He liked seeing this side to her, having a part of his girlfriend that no one else got to see.
“However, the showers are an absolute hard no.” She wrinkled her nose, giving an exaggerated shudder as he burst out laughing. “I’m serious! Nearly every couple that has dated at 51 has hooked up in those showers, and there has not been nearly enough Candidates through the firehouse to have scrubbed them as well as they should have been since then! Stella over shares way too much more than I ever needed to know about her and Severride. And speaking of which, you need to make Gallo scrub out the turnout room the next time he gets in trouble. Cuz yuck.”