Post Season 6 Episode 10 "Brotherhood" (in which Jay stumbles upon Upsek)
Things never happened in the 21st District without Sergeant Trudy Platt knowing about them. On the rare occasion that something did get past her, it wasn't long before she found out.
And her attention had been pulled to the stairwell that led to the Intelligence Unit all night, but she wasn't sure why.
Which was why, when a call came in requesting more information on a case from Intelligence, she figured it was a perfect excuse to head up there and see what was going on.
Trudy scanned her fingerprint into the Intelligence gate and let herself up the stairs.
Dawson was half asleep at his desk but she knew that Burgess and Halstead were still there. Maybe it wasn't part of her job to know where the members of Intelligence were all the time, but she worked better when she knew who was safe upstairs and who was in the field. And Kim and Jay hadn't left for the night yet.
But they weren't in the bullpen and there was no more evidence to book.
She got her answer when she called out a hello just to shake the room awake.
She had to stop herself raising her eyebrows at the sight of the detective and officer walking out of the corridor together. Never mind the fact that Kim was trying to straighten her hair and, she scoffed to herself, was Jay Halstead blushing?
"Hi Sarge." Kim greeted in her usual bright way as if the scene hadn't unfolded the way it had and Trudy decided to play along.
She passed along the information that was required and told them all that she was heading home for the night soon.
She didn't miss the smile that Halstead sent Burgess as she was leaving.
This was certainly a turn up for the books.
Had Trudy anticipated something happening between the pair? No
But was she all that surprised as she let herself back down the stairs? Not particularly, the more she thought about it.
But really, she frowned in disapproval, making the new patrol recruit veer out of her way as she walked back to her desk, it was just distasteful to be sneaking around at work.
It must be new, she decided, and she didn't want to pounce on them too quickly. In her years of observing police officers she knew things happened and then fizzled out just as quick.
But Burgess and Halstead were not just run of the mill police to her.
Trudy shut down her computer and made a note to follow those two like a hawk.
She would deny it until blue in the face, but Trudy Platt cared about them and she didn't want to see either one get hurt. She'd keep an eye on them and see how it all played out.
Afterall, it was her station, nothing could happen without her say so.
Jay can see Kim Burgess from where he sits at his desk in the bullpen.
With the new seating arrangement, it had become habitual. They'd catch each other's eye by accident or share a smile at the antics of their team or sometimes in the bad cases, check to see how someone else was feeling without having to talk about it.
But tonight, after what he had stumbled upon earlier, he just can't focus on anything but her.
The new-found information was weighing on him. Knowing that it would be hard for her when it finally came to light.
He sighed and tried, in vain, to refocus on the computer screen in front of him.
At least when Erin had left, he could have a clean break. Sure, they kept in sporadic contact, but he didn't have to know about her love life. Not that his behaviour after she left had been exactly clean cut but still.
Kim had to work with Adam every day. And now he was at the very least sleeping with their colleague, their friend. There was no getting away from that. Not when they all worked in such close quarters.
He wished that she didn't have to know.
But it was nagging at him, pulling at his gut. He couldn't just let her stumble upon the situation.
And therein lay the problem, he didn't know how to tell her, or completely convince himself to tell her.
Yeah, Kim and Adam and both moved on but news like that was bound to hurt old wounds.
He stretched his arms, trying to release some of the tension in his shoulders from his current dilemma.
"Long night, right?" Antonio piped up, mid-yawn, from where he sat across from Jay
The older detective was the only other occupant of the room. Everyone else had long gone home, but they were still here, catching up on paperwork and research for cases.
Jay normally didn't mind, it beat being at home alone, but tonight he had too many thoughts wrangling around his head.
"You can say that again man." Jay gave him a half smile.
Kim joined in their lament with a long sigh. "I need more coffee." She declared before standing up and making her way to the break room beside Voight's empty office.
Antonio went back to the paperwork in front of him and Jay tried to do the same.
But Kim had smiled at him as she had walked by.
And he didn't want to ruin her happiness.
He stared hopelessly at the files lying in front of him, there was no chance of him getting any work done tonight.
He could hear Kim humming a tune as she stirred her coffee.
Jay had always admired Kim Burgess. She was good police. Trustworthy. Hardworking.
Were they particularly close?
No, if he was being honest.
But he knew if push came to shove, he could rely on her to have his back one hundred percent.
They were solid.
They were part of the team and that meant they were family.
And she was a good person. He liked her.
They just didn't hang out much outside unit life. Not that either of them had much free time anyway.
So he had never noticed before tonight that they weren't close, until he felt that he had to break the news to her.
"How do you survive so long without coffee?" She teased him with a grin as she passed by on the short walk back to her desk.
He couldn't help but smile back.
From their seats, they had started noticing certain things about the other. They had worked out that she drank two cups of coffee for every one cup he drank and they laughed about it.
It was nice to make small talk and joke about the simple things when they dealt with such tough cases and situations on a daily basis.
But before then he had never really noticed Kim. Sure, she was his colleague and someone he trusted but he didn't really know her.
But now there were things he noticed about her.
She never liked to sit at her desk for too long.
She wore blue regularly and they were the coloured pens she used the most.
She kept her desk tidy, all her files were kept in a neat bundle at the side.
She tapped her pen when she was thinking.
And just like tonight, she often caught his eye and gave him a secret smile.
He couldn't keep his attention away from her since they had closed the case. Ever since he heard the conversation between Hailey and Adam, really.
Was he blindsided by what he had overheard? Hell yeah.
He was turning it over and over in his head like information for a case that could cause more harm than good. He still didn't know if he wanted Kim to know, but he felt like she deserved to.
And she didn't know. Of that he was certain.
And it wasn't something concrete he could put his finger on, but he could just feel it. He had known her long enough to read her. Heck, it was part of their jobs to read each other's body language. But she was too…care-free?
And then he had wondered if the rest of the unit was protecting her from the information. But he wasn't a detective for nothing, he put out feelers with Kevin and Antonio, hell he even bought Platt coffee and asked vague questions about Adam and Kim. (Platt had given him weirder looks than he was used to) but the rest of unit didn't know either.
She didn't know and he didn't know if he should tell her.
He'd want to be told.
His screen had gone dark from lack of use and he was staring at his own reflection. Sighing, he dragged himself to his feet. He had to tell her, but he didn't know how to say that her ex-fiancé was, at the very least, sleeping with his partner.
And they had both been left in the dark about it all.
"Hey Kim." He said, grabbing a random file from his desk and walking over. The room was dark and Antonio was now half-asleep writing out what looked like a statement on a case.
She looked up at him when he stopped at his desk.
Ok, so maybe he hadn't always not noticed Kim Burgess.
It was her big doe eyes that always got him. She was, objectively, a beautiful woman.
Her eyes were full of light in the dark room.
"Yeah?" She looked up from her own paperwork, pen instantly poised for any new information or help he needed.
He just felt awkward, scratched the back of his neck, shuffled his feet and suddenly he could feel her reading him.
What could he say, the Intelligence Unit was nothing if not a good team and good at reading each other.
So how the Hailey and Adam situation got away from them, he didn't know.
"I…eh…can I have a minute?" He nodded to the hallway behind her desk leading to the interrogation rooms.
"Sure." She said instantly decisive, standing up and following him down the hallway.
"What's up?" She asked when he stops halfway and looks at her. He sneaks a look in both directions to make sure they weren't being overheard.
"Look Kim, I got something I have to tell you…"
Her whole demeanour shifted, as if sensing his apprehension.
"Is it about the case earlier?"
"No." He shook his head. "It's…well I overheard something today and I think you should know. I'm not even sure what that something is really but…"
He took a breath. "Adam and Hailey, I think they're…together."
The silence and stunned look on her face last long enough for Jay to start feeling sick to his stomach.
"What?" She eventually asked, trying to inject some light laughter into her voice as if she was waiting for the punchline to a joke.
"I don't know what's going on between the two of them exactly, but they're together I'm sure."
"No." She almost spat.
"I'm sorry Kim."
She ran a hand through her hair, "No, it's not your fault. Thank you. For telling me." She said in short breaths, looking him in the eye before turning away and then back again as if she was suddenly a cage animal.
"I can't believe this." She almost whispered to him in the empty corridor.
"I just didn't want you finding out about this the wrong way, not that there's a good way…" He trails off, "I only found this morning. I was shocked too. I never seen it coming."
Her eyes danced around as if searching for answers to the questions that haven't even formed yet. There was so much they didn't know.
"Seriously though? Are they sleeping together? Are they in love?"
Jay shrugged his shoulders helplessly, "I honestly don't know. They were having an argument, but their words were clear enough, they care about each other and I walked in on them…I didn't ask anymore."
He watched as she desperately ran her hands through her hair again before sighing and leaning back against the metal cabinets along the wall.
"Are you okay?" He asked, almost desperately wanting her to be alright.
"Yeah. I mean I will be, I guess. It's just a shock." She said. "It's just…I mean me and Adam, we've been over a long time and it's not like we'll ever get back together I just…Hailey? We're a small team. It's…well not awkward…not ideal…it will just take some adjusting to it."
"Well if you ever need to talk about it, I'm here."
"Thank you, Jay." She spoke with such sincerity that it eases the tension about his decision to tell her. But he's left with a dull ache in his chest at lost look in her eyes.
He wouldn't call it pain as such, but something like loss, like desperately trying to solve a problem that was never a problem before.
"I'd prefer if they told me really." She admitted, her body slackening after the shock.
"Yeah." Jay nodded before leaning up against the cabinet beside her.
"I wonder how long this has been going on for…"
"I don't know."
"I mean…" She started, before wrapping her arms around herself, "I don't want to get back together with him. But this is just going to be…uncomfortable?"
He nodded in understanding. "Not that I was engaged to Erin, but if she came back and started sneaking around with Dawson or Atwater, yeah it would feel…weird."
"You were as good as engaged." She defended his relationship softly, which he appreciated. "And it wasn't like my engagement was that important…it didn't lead to anything."
Jay shook his head, "No. No don't say that, it was important to you. Like Erin was to me. Somethings just don't ever really go away."
"It's like old scars, I forget it ever happened half the time but there's always reminders."
"Exactly." He gave her a half smile. It was nice to have someone to finally relate to.
They stayed in silence for a while, not uncomfortable, but heavy enough to protect them from the outside world and failed past relationships.
He could feel her looking at him eventually. "Thanks Jay, for having my back."
He turns his head to meet her eyes and shrugs, "We're a team. It's what we do."
She shook her head, "You didn't have to tell me. I could have just walked in on them someday."
"I mean I just thought…I'd want to know." He sighed.
"When did love get so complicated?" She asked with a scoff.
"I have no idea. But it sucks." He gave her a lopsided smile.
"Adam and Hailey…" She said, letting the words, the concept, hang in the air.
"Your sister will probably have something to say about the sneaking around right?"
The comment, and possibly the memory of Kim's sister snarky remark to Adam about their engagement and ending thereof, drew a happy laugh from Burgess.
"Oh yeah, I'll have to catch her up." She smiled to herself.
"How is your sister doing these days?" He asked carefully, kicking himself for not asking more.
"Good days and bad. She's strong though. And it's starting to look like there are more good than bad recently so it's alright."
"Good." Jay said.
Silence formed between them, but Jay didn't find it uncomfortable. And he didn't want to leave her alone yet.
"Hello?" The sound of Sergeant Platt's voice rang through the upstairs and Jay could feel Kim jump in slight shock like he had. He had forgot they were still in work.
"Better see what that's about." He said, standing up straight.
"Yeah?" He asked as he turned around to face her.
He didn't know who was more surprised when she hugged him, leaning up to wrap her arms around his neck before quickly pulling away too. "Thank you, really."
"Anytime Kim." He finally found words as he followed her back to the desks, leaving him with the slightly startling realisation that among everything else, he noticed that Kim Burgess was stronger and smarter than he had given her credit for.
And that she gave great hugs.
Author Note: So this is my first story for Chicago PD and I never expected to be writing about Burgess and Halstead but here we are.
Disclaimer that Burzek is my OTP, but I was re-watching the second half of Season 6 when Upsek was a thing and it just got me thinking that Jay and Kim didn't have many scenes together…so I thought I'd fix that.
This couple is growing on me now…send help. 😊