Title: Deadly happenstance
Fandom: Chicago Fire, Teen Wolf
Pairing: Stiles Stilinski/Jackson Whittemore, Stiles Stilinski/Kelly Severide
Warnings: character bashing, murder, discussion of murder
Summary: Stiles unique skills have him called to a new location to start a new life…was there any doubt that things would get interesting? And of course, some familiar faces pop up.
Note: Takes place at the start of season 3 of CF, and after season 4 of TW. (CM and CPD also involved, but CF is the main xover)
He had been a paramedic in New York for three years before moving to Chicago, his studies were done simultaneously during the last two years of his undergrad at NYU. It’s not where people thought he would end up, but it’s what felt right for him.
Stiles had been in Chicago for two months, now, and at the firehouse for three weeks. He had taken the time to get himself settled into his apartment and get the lay of the land, so-to-speak, before reporting to his House. There was no point in being a paramedic in a new city if he didn’t know where the hell he was going. That would be of no use to anyone and could cost someone their life. Good thing Stiles had an excellent memory and sense of direction, as well as experience in getting places quickly. Also, this wasn’t his first rodeo. After learning his way around New York City, Chicago wasn’t so hard. Way fewer bridges, that was for sure.
Time had seen his body fill out a little bit, but he was still thin. He had taken the time to develop a workout routine and running into his daily schedule, but he would always come off as just another random guy in the long run. Nothing special.
Until he took everything off. Then there were the tattoos to prevent possession—he wasn’t going through that again—and the muscles, and the scars. Oh, the many scars from the many battles over the years. While Stiles might have left the supernatural world of Beacon Hills, he couldn’t escape the supernatural altogether.
In the middle of his studies, he realized that he needed to do something to help those around him, and so he found his calling. Much like Deaton became a veterinarian, Stiles chose to become a paramedic. Werewolves and fae and mythological creatures that he was studying in his classes by day would come to visit him at night for help. It seemed his reputation from home had followed him across the country. At first, Stiles thought they all would hate him or be afraid of him, but that was not the case.
In truth, the residents of Beacon Hills did, in fact, have their eyes open and knew the truth of what was going on there. Those that lived in town, those that lived in the Preserve, and those that lived on the outskirts of town—everyone knew who was doing what, who wasn’t doing it, and more importantly, who was responsible—who was at fault.
By the time the first few visitors had come and gone, Stiles understood that BH saw a lot more clearly than he had ever thought and that he had never been alone. Still, getting out was for the best. Best for his health, for his mind, and for his heart. One of the fae that had come had informed him of his magical abilities and took him to find a teacher, as an untrained mage was dangerous for everyone. A trained emissary in magic and medicine, though, was great for all.
About four months ago some of the contacts he had made in New York had approached him about moving to Chicago. Apparently, they were in need of someone with his skills, and there were portents of problems heading that way. New York had enough people to cover it should there be issues there, and he would be missed, his friends told him. But Chicago was in dire need of whatever he could do for them.
When he arrived in town he was immediately met with a liaison from the supernatural community, a werefox named Richard. Victor, his old teacher, had called ahead to make sure someone would introduce him to the leaders of all the clans and factions. They helped him get settled in with a great apartment in an affordable section of town near his Firehouse.
Richard had filled him in on the tragedy that had befallen his new house so he wasn’t walking in blind, but he still felt like he was walking around on eggshells. Who knew how long it was going to take until they thought of him as one of their own…or at least someone to not actively hate? It wasn’t like Stiles was looking to hang out at their houses after work or anything. He wasn’t asking to sit down and braid each other’s hair while spilling their deepest darkest secrets.
Arriving at Firehouse 51 on Tuesday morning, Stiles put his stuff away in his locker, nodding to those he passed on his way out of the locker room. What he heard as he stepped out into the main kitchen area was Gabriela Dawson whisper fighting with her brother, Antonio.
“Gabby, for once, will you just listen to me?” Antonio half asked, half demanded.
“Antonio, I can take care of myself. I don’t need you to—”
“Yes, yes. I know. Strong, independent woman. I get it. But Gabby, this actually has nothing to do with you. I know that might be hard for you to grasp.”
Gabriela’s face changed from mildly annoyed to furious in a heartbeat.
Stiles looked around to see if anyone was going to interfere, but it seemed like everyone was either amused or pretending to not hear a thing.
“There is another body in the area, no idea who it is or why they died. This is not some random hobo or junkie, okay? All I am saying is be careful and don’t go around on your own! What is so hard about that? Get over yourself.” Antonio shook his head in frustration and walked away.
Stiles’ interest was piqued, but not knowing the territory well enough, he wasn’t about to stick his nose in it.
“Ambulance 61, Engine 81…” Stiles stood back up and headed to the ambulance to head out towards the address rattled off, Dawson following after him. He had thought she was transferring to a different position, but it looked like she was staying where she was to him.
“You drive,” she said, throwing him the keys.
“All right, no problem.” Stiles got in and they headed out. When they arrived on the scene, the blaze was roaring, people spilling out from three areas onto the street. “I think we’re going to need another ambulance for all these people and to help with triage.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Dawson got on the radio to request backup if they hadn’t already been called.
Chief Boden started barking out orders to the firefighters, some helping direct the victims and others getting the hoses out towards the office building. What looked like a manager approached him explaining the situation, “We were all in a meeting on the third floor when the alarms went off. It smelled of something disgusting on the way out, like burning rubber and something was eating its way through the ceiling.”
“Engine 61, this might be a chemical fire, I repeat this might be a chemical fire. Herrmann, hook it up.”
Herrmann went about moving the hose to the right pump as the other got the ladder out.
“Amber is still in there!” a woman was shrieking on the sidewalk.
Stiles turned to ask his partner about supplies, but she was nowhere to be found. A quick look at Boden and he was informed that Dawson had gone in with Casey looking for the missing Amber, a secretary supposedly on the first floor, without so much as a word to Stiles. It had already been three minutes, and both Stiles and Boden were worried. Stiles looked to Boden for permission to go in after them with one of the others, Kelly Severide. Rescue Squad 3 had arrived to help out as the fire was spreading to the neighboring buildings.
“Severide, take Stilinski and go. Make sure there really is no one else in there and that our people aren’t injured as well since they aren’t answering.”
“You got it, Chief.” Kelly motioned for Stiles to follow as he headed in.
“You do exactly as I say, Stilinski,” Kelly started. “No wandering off.”
“Sure, whatever you say.” Stiles was not impressed. “Just—you do understand that I’m not new, right? That I’m not green? I’ve actually been doing this for a few years. In an actual city, even.” At the scoff he received in return, Stiles just mumbled, “But hey, you do you. I just want to find my partner. I owe her at least five minutes of lecturing for pulling this bullshit stunt.”
Kelly gave Stiles a sidelong look before seeing that they had finally reached the entryway for the offices on the East side. They entered quickly and low to the ground. “Call out, Fire Department.”
“Dawson? Casey?” Stiles called. The fire had been mostly put out in this building, although there were still some hot spots. It was the buildings on either side that were now a problem.
They were about to go around the corner when Stiles saw Gabriela and Matt with their backs to the wall, both staring at the same thing, out of view. The looks on their faces spelled trouble, and their hands empty and in full view spelled hostage.
Stiles grabbed Kelly and pulled him back before he could do something stupid, like get himself caught, too. “Did you not understand what you were seeing there?” Stiles asked, shaking his head in bewilderment. “Don’t you have spacial awareness or sense of your environment? What kind of firefighter are you?” Stiles pulled Kelly all the way back out of the door before he could do anything. “Go tell the Chief what is happening.”
“What? And who put you in charge, newbie? Not to mention, what do you plan to be doing while I’m briefing the Chief?”
“Me? I’m going to do what I’m best at.”
“Oh, yeah? What’s that?” There was no mistaking the disbelief in his voice.
“Annoying the fuck out of people, distraction, and playing bait.” And with that, Stiles disappeared back inside.
Kelly stared after him for a moment before heading back to Boden to let him know what was happening.
“The radios are out, Chief, since he’d be able to hear us,” Severide commented. “Stilinski seems to think he’ll be able to do something in there, though.”
“Right, let’s hope so. You get back in there and back him up. Stay out of sight! I am not losing more people, do you hear me?”
“I’m calling it in—yes, using my phone—and hopefully we’ll all go home today.”
“Amen to that, sir.” Kelly gave him a sloppy salute before running back to see what was happening inside.
Inside, Stiles had gotten a better look at what was happening in the office area his two colleagues were being held. Matt Casey and Gabriela Dawson were standing against the far wall, their gear by their feet. To the right of Casey lay a woman, brunette, half curled up and facing away from the door. Stiles could not tell if she was breathing. From a window glass next to Casey, Stiles could see the hostage-taker in the reflection.
He was approximately 5’10”, blonde, and very fidgety. He was waving his gun around while he paced back and forth, his mouth also moving constantly. Stiles moved across the doorway, hoping to catch somebody’s eye. Thankfully, Matt looked in his direction at the right time.
“Crazy?” Stiles mimed, making the loopy sign by his head.
Casey gave a minute shake of the head.
This time a nod.
Stiles pointed at the woman and received a shake in return. So he didn’t manage to take out his target.
Casey waited until the man was facing away from him before mouthing “Alex” to Stiles.
Stiles nodded once, took out his cell phone and texted everything to Boden. Then he pasted on his most annoying smile, waited for Alex to get closer to his position, and bounded into the room.
“Alex, my man, how’s it hanging? I have heard so much about you, dude. You’re like some kind of superstar! The talk of the town, if you know what I mean.” Stiles put his arm around Alex, using it to help propel him right into the wall. “And by that, I mean everyone out there is talking about you. And not in a fun way.”
“No, no, no! You can’t do this!” Alex tried to fight back, but by now, Stiles had knocked the gun away and had put Alex on the ground. Casey rushed to help him and Dawson ran to the downed woman. “I need to see him! I need to show him that he can’t do—he isn’t allowed—I deserve better!”
“I’m sure you do, Alex, I’m sure you do.” Stiles agreed, allowing Casey to secure him with a rope. Stiles then used a nearby cloth to pick up the gun and put the safety back on. “Where’s an evidence bag when you need one? And can I mention, I thought that would be a lot harder and take a lot longer.”
“What, you want me to let him go so we can try again?” Casey asked, smirk firmly in place.
“Stilinski, we need to get this one to the hospital right now,” Dawson announced, ignoring the byplay, her own coughing relaying that she needed a checkup as well.
“I think everyone needs out of here, yeah?” Severide said from the doorway.
“Yeah, please. Here, help me with this.” Casey shoved Alex at him as Stiles went to help Dawson with Amber.
By the time they got out of the building, the police had arrived. Each of them gave their statements and handed over the gun.
That evening Stiles had actually been invited out for a drink with the squads at Molly’s. It was the first time they’d asked him to go, so he actually showed up. Aware of how easily he could be like his dad, Stiles kept to one beer, nursing it as he mingled. Severide slid up next to him at the bar to get a refill on his pint and saw who was by his side.
“Nice going today, newbie,” he offers with a little smirk.
“Newbie, huh? I guess it’s either that or my last name.”
“Well, the Chief only put down M. Stilinski, and I’m not gonna go around calling you by an initial—nobody is.”
“Ah, wow. Yeah, okay, that makes a lot more sense now. Ha! I’m betting he couldn’t pronounce, didn’t want to embarrass himself, and so just put the one letter.” Stiles let out a few chuckles, one mystery solved. “Okay, I’ll take it.”
“Seriously?” Kelly asked, giving him a confused look.
“Yeah, seriously. Completely understandable. Don’t worry about it. Look, glad everyone is okay, happy to help. Have a good night.”
“Aw, come on, you don’t have to leave. The night is young and none of us have to be up at the asscrack of dawn. Do you have a curfew or something?”
“Maybe he has someone waiting to tuck him in at home, ever think of that?” Herrmann teased from behind the bar, getting the guys around them to laugh.
“Yeah, I don’t think so,” a voice interjected from behind them. A voice Stiles didn’t think he would hear again for quite some time. He honestly thought—well, he didn’t know what he had thought at this point.
Stiles turned around and stared silently for a moment before switching his attention back to Herrmann and asking, “Did you put something in this? Because I’ve only had about a quarter of this, but I swear I’m hallucinating. Or having waking nightmares. Something. This cannot be real.”
“Oh, it’s real, loser.”
“Shut up, Jackass,” came the automatic response.
Standing in front of him were Jackson Whittemore and Danny Mahealani, live and in person. Unable to help himself, Stiles pulled them both in for a hug at once. “You’re alive,” he whispered in their ears.
“Jesus, Stiles, what the fuck happened to you?” Jackson asked, looking him up and down. “Did someone actually show you how to work the stuff at the gym?”
“Oh, fuck off, Whittemore. It helps when the other people in the room aren’t trying to smother you with their egos, you know.”
By now, more than just Severide and Herrmann were watching the little show, intrigued by what they were seeing and hearing.
Turning to Danny, “How is it that years later and you’re still hanging with this—”
“With this what? Because we both know I’m loads better than—”
“Don’t.” And just like that, the mood shifted. “At this point, everybody is better than him. And it is readily apparent that someone hasn’t been keeping up with the times. What’s wrong, not getting newsletters from your favorite red—”
“And why don’t we take this outside? Say good night, fellas,” Danny said, pushing the two idiots in front of him.
“How is he still full of sunshine and dimples?” Stiles asked, letting himself get pushed around.
“Don’t ask me. He would let me run any blood tests, said it was a trade secret or whatever.”
Danny just smacked them both on the head.
Behind them, the firemen all had confused looks on their faces.
“The two of you live here? Work here?” Stiles asked. “Please tell me neither of you are in touch with the assholes from home.”
“Wait, what? Of all the things I thought would come out of your mouth, Stilinski—” Jackson began. “Is that what you meant in there?”
“I have to agree with Jackson on this one. I thought you would be in Beacon Hell until the end of days. How are you here and why are you not in touch with them?” Danny put in. They all did their best to keep their voices down.
“Right, well, this is going to be a very long story.” Stiles stared at the ground, unsure where to begin.
“Yeah, definitely. But to answer your question, yes, we both live and work in Chicago. Me, with the Chicago P.D. Intelligence Division. Jackson works in the ER at Chicago Med.”
“Wow, okay. I’m a paramedic with Firehouse 51. I’m surprised I haven’t run into you, Jackson. Um, I’ve already been introduced to the community here since they’re the ones who requested my presence. Apparently, an emissary of my skill level and skill set were desperately needed in the area. And no, by the way, I’m not in touch with anyone from home since about eight years ago.”
“Years? Eight years? Maybe we should go back to one of our places and get the whole story.” Danny took out his keys and herded the two others into his car. “I didn’t drink anything tonight, so I’ll drive.”
“Yeah, okay. I mean, I only had just under half a beer, but I walked.” Stiles went directly to the back seat, already knowing Jackson would call shotgun.
“Whatever, just start explaining, man. I’m not sure I can compute a world where you aren’t glued together with—”
“Don’t—don’t say his name near me. Please.” Stiles took a deep breath and put on his seat belt, keeping his mantra of calm going through his mind. He would need it to tell his story.
“Okay,” Jackson drew out, watching his old school mate in the backseat
“Do you know about the dead pool during junior year?” At their negative response, Stiles recounted the exciting times of figuring out the hit lists, running from The Mute, The Chemist, almost dying multiple times, Kate, The Benefactor. He didn’t even realize they were in Danny’s apartment until a glass of water had been shoved in his hands.
“Thanks,” he said, drinking it down. “So after all of that, Scott started handing out edicts about what we are and are not allowed to do. Now, I was already sick of his bullshit attitude. This whole True Alpha shtick he had going on was ridiculous, and I had a feeling that it wasn’t completely kosher.”
“Okay, first, what edicts, and what made you think it wasn’t kosher?” Danny sat across from him and Jackson was pacing around the room.
“He was trying to tell us who we could and could not be friends with—or date—and also study. Yeah, don’t give me that look, I’m not bullshitting you. You know that I have a spark? Well, I’m actually a mage, but in the beginning, a spark has to be trained. That Deaton left me untrained is extremely dangerous. When I went to him for training, he told me no. He said that Scott had decided I didn’t need it, so it won’t happen.”
Twin looks of disbelief came at him for that statement.
“Oh yeah, that’s how I felt. So I went to my father, spoke to him about it. Oh, wait, right—let’s back up a moment—after the whole Alpha Pack/Darach situation, my father found out about everything. Of course, Scott and Melissa decided to tell him a different version of events than I did. So when he came home from speaking to them, he called me a liar. Apparently, Scott’s word will always come above my own.”
“That is—” Jackson stopped. “Look, I know in school I was a dick to you—”
“—But I always paid attention to what was going on. And your relationship with your father was one of the things that I thought was actually good—working. It was something to be envious of. I thought you two were close. I always wanted it to be that way with my father. You know what he did when things got rough? My father sent me off to London.”
“Ah, Scott has been getting away with shit since the dawn of time. I admit, I’m not an angel, but a lot of the things that people have blamed on me—”
“Yeah, I’ve seen that in action, actually. I’m pretty sure Scott is the King of Gaslighting.” Danny put his hand up to stop Jackson from speaking. “No, really. It’s why I wasn’t so happy about him getting on first line, or joining us at the lunch table, or suddenly becoming a part of the group. And really, did you not see the way he treated Stiles the moment he got his upgrade? And the new girlfriend?”
“Unfortunately, both Scott and Melissa have been labeling me as the bad kid for years, so everyone believes it, and my father gradually stopped spending time with me. By the time this dead pool was done, I had had it. I decided to apply for early admission at NYU, and with my grades the way they were, I was able to graduate an entire year early. Don’t get me wrong, I really hope that at some point we repair things—go back to how it used to be before Deaton and the McCalls tainted it all, but I have no idea when that will be. I figured space was the best thing for us.”
Jackson sat next to Stiles on the couch, cautiously reaching out. “I don’t know what to say to all that.”
“It took him two months to realize I wasn’t there. And since I was already eighteen, he couldn’t stop me.” They all sat silently until Stiles picked back up.
“Right, so I let my magic guide me. Found myself an awesome teacher in New York, got my undergraduate degree and my master’s while also working at the local firehouse. Being on hand to help out the community, both supernatural and non was exactly what I needed to heal.”
“So you not only know how to guide and triage humans, but supers?” Jackson asked, his professional curiosity piqued now as well. “If I find someone in the ER that needs an emissary or some sort of intermediary, you are the person I call?”
“Haven’t you been in contact with the local community at all? Someone should have been disseminating this information since the moment I arrived.”
“Jackson keeps in touch with the local pack only tangentially. They let him live here, but they haven’t really accepted him. They come to him for help if they need it, but they consider him and I our own separate pack.” Danny shrugged at Stiles’s disbelieving look.
“I learned a lot in London, and every other place that I landed until I came to Chicago,” Jackson explained, “but I never found a pack that I wanted to actually join. No alpha that I wanted to bend my neck to.”
“Hmm.” Stiles rubbed the back of his neck while he thought. “There might be a reason for that.”
The three of them woke the next morning with Danny’s alarm. “Sorry guys, go back to sleep.”
“‘Sokay, Danny. I need to get up anyway. Have to go home and do stuff before work today. Also want to stop by and speak with the council and some of the deaths I’ve been hearing about.” Stiles got out of the bed as well. He couldn’t believe he had fallen asleep curled up with the two of them, but considering what Jackson had said…
“Stop talking.” Jackson was barely audible, his face almost fully in his pillow. “Go away if you’re going to keep yapping. Sleeping.”
“Leaving my number on your counter, douche schnozzle.” Stiles patted his butt and left the room with Danny who was quietly snickering.
“Here, let me put both of our numbers in your phone, too.” Danny played with Stiles’s phone for a minute and then gave it back. A second later Stiles heard Danny’s phone ding. “Sent myself a text so I have yours. Go put a note on the counter, anyway, along with your email address.”
Stiles did as he was told and then let Danny drive him home. He had a lot to think about before heading in that day. Taking out a second phone, he quickly sent a text.
Found some missing friends. Maybe you should come visit.-S
It only took a moment for a response to come through.
Actual friends or the kind of friends that need cleaning up after.-D
Actual. Your first born and his dimply sidekick of sunshine and rainbows.-S
Not even thirty second later.
One week. Maybe less. Depends on the primadonna.-D
He’s not as funny as he thinks he is.-P
When Stiles walked into the firehouse later on, he felt refreshed and settled. Something he hadn’t quite felt since his move to the windy city. Despite how things might turn out regarding his situation here at the firehouse, everything else was—how did the saying go?—it was all slotting into place. Things were how they should be. Or at least, it felt that way.
Stiles put his belongings away, went about his business checking out the ambulance supplies and checking things off, as he did at the beginning of every shift. Once again, Dawson was nowhere to be found. Instead of helping him do inventory on the truck, he could bet she was off drooling over Casey, trying to get his attention. Again.
Stiles finished up and went inside to the common area to see what was going on. He knew the moment he showed his face he would get questions about last night.
“There he is, the man with the answers,” Herrmann announced the moment he laid eyes on him. Everyone stopped speaking and turned to look at him.
“Well, that’s not creepy or anything. Not at all,” Stiles muttered, not bothering to keep his voice down as he wandered to the fridge for a drink. He could hear some of the guys snickering as they all settled in for what would, he guessed, become his interrogation. “Exactly what answers am I providing?” And why, pray tell, did any of them think he would actually provide them?
“Well, that was quite the show you put on last night—” Severide began, but he was interrupted by Dawson.
“Not to mention the show you put on at the fire.” She practically guffawed, but no one else joined her. In fact, most of the guys were giving her weird looks.
Stiles just raised an eyebrow. “Right. Let’s take that second one first, shall we? That wasn’t a show, Gabriela. That was a plan to save your ass being executed. Beginning and end.” Everyone in the room shuffled in their seats uncomfortably, but Stiles charged on. “Moving on, I’m not sure what other show you are all speaking of.”
“Uh, not sure what show? Kid, that conversation—that really cryptic conversation gave us more information about you than we’ve had in the week that you’ve been here.” Mouch held up his hands as if that should answer everything.
Stiles just stared at all of them. “And? So? But? Therefore?”
“What do you mean? What did it all mean?” Herrmann practically begged.
Stiles back in his chair and looked around the room. “I’ve been here for three weeks, not one of you has asked me one damn question or even answered any of my own questions. Last night I found out none of you even know my first name, nor, apparently, have you cared to try to find out.” Guilty looks were appearing on most of the faces around the room. “So what makes you think that I will sit here and explain anything about a two minute conversation in a bar?” Stiles stood up. “I realize that you’ve all been through something, and I’m sorry for it. But that doesn’t mean that I’m willing to accept putting up with your assholery for it.”
Casey went to defend his fellow firefighters, but was prevented from doing so by throat clearing. “Sorry to interrupt,” Jay Halstead drawled, his entire demeanor telling everyone he was anything but sorry.
“Yes, Detectives, how can we help?” Chief Boden asked, stepping into the room.
“Ah, we need to speak with Stilinski and Severide, please.”
“Certainly, why don’t you join us in my office.”
Boden walked back, assured the required parties would follow.
Alvin Olinsky nodded at Halstead to move first, matching his pace so that he would wind up walking with Stiles. “So, Stilinski—”
“Really?” Stiles asked, giving the detective an unamused look. Without waiting for an answer, he walked into Boden’s office.
“Everything okay, Mr. Stilinski?” Boden asked, seeing the frustration on his paramedic’s face.
“Peachy keen, Chief.”
“Right. Well, then. Detectives, what can my people do for you today?”
Halstead seemed to be amused by Stiles, as did Severide. Olinsky, still a bit put out by the brush off, just waved at Halstead to get started.
“Ah, okay. Yesterday, the two of you not only managed to speak with the most employees outside the fire, you also then took care of the mess inside.”
Stiles and Kelly looked at each other and then the detectives in confusion. Stiles gestured at Kelly to take the lead.
“Uh, wasn’t this all wrapped up yesterday? Pretty sure the bad guy was in custody when we finished putting out the flames.”
Jay cleared his throat again, but was beaten to the punch by Olinsky. “Yeah, apparently it’s more like bad guy one.”
“You’re fucking kidding me,” Stiles said, head dropping into his hands. “He had someone helping him put that shitfest together?”
“What a lovely mouth you have there, Stilinski,” Halstead commented.
“Why, thank you, sir. I try.”
“Stilinski, stow it.” Boden was curt with his order, but still couldn’t hide the amusement in his eyes.
Stiles just quirked a smile and stretched his arms up, readjusting his seat at the same time. This was going to be a long meeting unless they were interrupted by a call. He happened to look over as he was putting his arms down and saw Olinsky staring at him—or more accurately, his tattoos. The detective’s eyes widened, then shot up to meet Stiles’s eyes for a moment. They stayed that way for a beat before the older man bowed his head slightly in recognition.
“Yeah, so we need you to tell us about some specific people, if you can remember. We have pictures in case the name don’t ring a bell.” Alvin placed a folder in front of each of them, including Chief Boden.
“Take your time, and be thorough. The guy we took in yesterday is still only going on about the wrongs done him and all, but also canny enough not to give up the partner.” Jay watched as Stiles took a pen out of his pocket and paused before marking the papers in front of him.
“Is it all right if I mark these up or should I use note paper?”
“Why don’t you use note paper instead. Here, use my pad.” Jay handed over his notepad and Stiles immediately started jotting down impressions that he remembered about everyone in the pictures.
“How is it you remember so much?” Severide asked. “I mean, I remember things about scenes, and some of the people, but the details I can see you writing down there—did you take profiling classes or something?” Severide knew he was no slouch, but the notes he was giving compared to what Stiles was putting down—it looked like he was failing some sort of test.
Stiles gave a short laugh, no amusement to be found in it whatsoever. “Or something. It’s called being a cop’s kid and involved in enough murder and death for a lifetime. Why do you think I turned towards a profession centered around healing and lifesaving?” He didn’t look up as he spoke, just kept going through the rest of the pictures.
“This guy and this guy—don’t know their names—they refused treatment. Their anger wasn’t out of place because, hello, building on fire. But that was before the whole idiot with a gun thing.” Stiles held out the photo to Alvin so he could see who he meant.
“Let me see the rest of your notes there, are they on it?”
“Yeah, it’s just, I don’t have their names. So I named them descriptively instead at the end.” Stiles pointed to them on the list.
By now, Boden and Severide had both finished and an hour had passed.
“All right, thank you gentlemen. If we need anything else, we’ll be in touch.” Both detectives showed themselves out. Stiles had a feeling he would be hearing from Olinsky.
Kelly and Stiles were about to leave as well when Boden held them back. “Hold up a second. I need to ask about yesterday as well, but on a different matter.
“I read the reports, and everything seems kosher there. Now how about you both explain to me, off the record, how it is that Dawson and Casey came to be trapped in there together.” He put up a hand, forestalling a response when both of the men in front of him opened their mouths. “Nowhere in those reports was there anything about you, Stiles, asking me if I’d seen Dawson. And nowhere in there was your surprise at Casey being in the building with her, Severide.”
Stiles let out a breath and sat back. Severide waved at him to go first. “Right, so I have no idea if this is breaking some kind of code, but honestly at this point I just don’t care. I have to ask, is Dawson looking to change positions or something? Is she having a problem with me that I don’t know about? Because this is not the first time that I’ve looked up from my clipboard or helping someone to find that she has run off to glue herself to Casey’s side. I can’t work with someone that I can’t trust on my six.”
Boden looked at Severide for his response. “That’s pretty much the whole of it. Casey is sort of oblivious to what’s happening. He was most likely on his way to get me and Dawson intercepted him and convinced him to go. She has had a habit, lately, of convincing him to do a lot of stuff—both on and off the scenes. What Stiles is describing—I actually watched it happen. She didn’t even make an attempt to notify him of what she wanted to do or where she was going. She caught wind of Matt heading from his truck over to me and just ran over to him. I turned to Cruz to respond to something, turn back, and they were gone.
“I, uh, I was going to talk to you about it today. I took the night because I had thought maybe I should speak to Matt first, but then I realized that he would just blow it off because he’s too close to it.”
Boden steepled his fingers, leaning his elbows on the desk, lips pursed. “Okay. Anything else?”
“Uh, maybe?” Stiles offered hesitantly. “I overheard her and her brother speaking. She’s been sticking her nose into some case of his, I think, as well. He was trying to warn her off it. I’m only bringing it up in case she tries—”
“—To rope Matt into it as well. I agree, Chief, it’s totally something I can see happening and might explain where they disappeared a few nights ago.” Severide ran a hand through his hair, upset clear on his face.
“That is plenty for me to sort through for now. Go back out there, keep all of that to yourselves. Just tell them it was a follow up to the fire yesterday.”
“Yes, Chief,” they both replied at the same time.