Hi everyone! Hope all are well and staying healthy. Since the quarantine started, I've found myself inspired to write to keep myself busy. This is a one shot I wrote today, it's set in the days after the midseason premiere when Jay got shot. It's named after the song Silhouette by Aquilo (great song, give it a listen). Let me know what you all think!
Recovering from a gunshot wound to this chest is a bitch.Jay Halstead thought this to himself multiple times a day. He was sure he was going absolutely crazy in his apartment at all hours of the day, moving from his bed to the couch to the kitchen and repeating the cycle dozens of times until the day ended. He was running out of beer in his fridge, and the takeout guys at his favorite restaurants were starting to know his order and his name.
The guys from the unit had been by a few times, just to check in and keep him company. Oddly enough, Hailey had been by the least. Jay didn't quite know what to make of that situation. He knew the complications of getting too close to a partner in the past, so he didn't want to read too much into that.
It was mid day, Jay had just taken a bath, cleaned his healing wound, and put on a fresh pair of sweats and a t-shirt. He started flipping through channels on the tv, trying to avoid the afternoon soap operas and talk shows. After a while, he stood from the couch and went toward the hallway closet. He started removing random items, trying to clean and organize the closet he really hadn't touched when he signed the lease. A knock at the door took him away from his cleaning spree.
He swung the door open, and felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Clad in her parka, blue jeans, and combat boots, stood Erin Lindsay. Her hair was darker and longer from the last time he had seen her three years ago. It went past her shoulders in loose curls. She wore a bit of mascara and concealer under her hazel eyes that always looked more gold in the light of his apartment with the mustard colored walls. In her hands, she held a six pack of Jay's favorite beer, and what looked to be a bag of groceries. He couldn't help but notice the diamond ring shining on her ringer finger on her left hand. She smiled at him softly before speaking. "Hi," she said to him, in her husky voice.
"Hi," Jay said back, still staring.
"You just gonna stand there and stare at me, Halstead, or are you going to let me in?" Erin sassed without missing a beat, to which Jay stepped aside and Erin walked in, and put the groceries on the counter. She started moving around the kitchen like she had never left, opening the fridge and putting the beer inside, and then putting the produce and some other snacks away in the fridge. Jay just watched her move around the kitchen, getting lost in the thoughts of what could have been fore a minute or two.
"What are you doing here?" Jay said, folding his arms across his chest.
"This place looks a mess, nothing has changed" Erin said completely dodging the question, and rolling her eyes, and looking at her old partner. "How you doin'? How do ya feel?"
"Like I got shot in the chest," Jay said, walking over to his couch to sit down. It was annoying to him how quickly they had fallen into their typical banter, even if he hadn't seen her in years. He wanted so badly to slam the door in her face, and pretend she didn't exist, but he couldn't.
Erin walked over to the couch, threw her parka on a nearby chair, and plopped down a cushion away from him. "Real smart thinking of you, by the way. Hank told me everything."
"Of course he did," Jay said, rubbing the back of his neck.
"If I was here, I wouldn't even have let you go within a five mile radius of that woman and her son. Can't believe Upton couldn't read between the lines."
"Yeah well, Erin, you weren't here. You haven't been here in years so… I don't even know why you're here now anyway." Jay said. This was so Jay. He wore his heart on his sleeve, and he was not about to fake his feelings towards Erin at this time. There was a lot of built up tension since she had left, things he couldn't just bury and move on. He wanted it all of it out there, and he wanted it out now.
Erin scoffed and rolled her eyes, standing from the couch, trying to dodge confrontation. "I'm uh…I'm gonna make us some lunch. I brought some stuff."
Erin heated up some soup that she had made, and made some Panini sandwiches to go with it on this cold Chicago day. She put everything on plates and put them on the small table for two Jay had in the kitchen. In the meantime, Jay had grown so bored of the TV show he was watching and ignoring Erin, that he had fallen asleep. Erin walked over to him to wake him up, and the two of them found themselves having a quiet lunch on the table. It was quiet for the entirety of the meal. Erin knew Jay was going to be upset with her for ghosting him, and she was fully expecting of the hostility towards her, but she needed to do things the way she did. She needed to because she knew if she didn't she would come running back to Chicago. And for the first few months in New York, she felt like a whole new person. A new start in a brand new city, where no one knew her name, or her mother's, or Hank Voight's. It was a different kind of independence, but also, a new kind of loneliness. It was one of the most difficult things she had to do as an adult. But with time, she grew close to the people she worked with in New York. And she met her fiancé at a bar one night, and things were so simple. They were wedding planning and house hunting, and nobody was around telling her to keep things professional. It wasn't the crazy love story that she and Jay had, but she was happy. And it felt like she was stable for the first time in her life.
"Jay," she said, "I know you have a lot to say to me. And I know you're upset, so just put it all out there. I can take it."
Jay set his spoon down aggressively. "You disappeared on me for three years. No phone calls, no texts, nothing. And now you show up at my apartment and move around, and make me lunch, and bust my balls like you never left?! What am I supposed to be feeling right now? Why are you even here? Did you come by to flash your ring from your doctor fiancé in my face?" Jay said.
"I needed to see you were okay," Erin said.
"You could've just asked Hank about me." Jay snapped back.
"I didn't want to hear about your from Hank. I wanted to see you. I… I was worried about you. And I uh…if anything did happen to you I would've felt so…guilty and hurt…and…Believe it or not, I still care about you." Erin said, tucking a loose curl behind her ear with her left hand, flashing the ring again inadvertently.
Jay nodded his head, not saying anything. Erin started speaking again. "Look, Jay, I'm sorry for leaving you the way I did. I just…I needed to do it that way to get away from everything and anyone. If I didn't cut you off, I would've came back running in a week. I missed you. I still do."
"You don't get to do that. You don't get to show up here after three years, and tell me you missed me. Especially while you're engaged to another man." Jay didn't know much about Erin's fiancé. He had just heard bits and pieces from the guys at work, mostly because Hank had let it slip that Erin had gotten engaged to a doctor in New York, about a year after she left.
"But I do. I miss you." Erin walked closer to him, putting her hand on his chest, feeling his heartbeat, very near to the spot where the bullet almost took his life was once lodged.
"You never even gave us a chance," Jay said, his voice breaking.
Erin felt the lump in her throat start to form. She looked into his blue green eyes that she missed so much, and forced a smile at him. "I did, Jay," Erin said, "There was no way we could've gotten everything we wanted. It felt like every time we were happy, something was thrown in our way to tear us apart."
Jay pulled away from her touch and went into his room, rummaging through his sock drawer. Erin waited in the doorway of his bedroom, resting her head on the doorframe. She smiled at the memories she had in this room. From the first to the last, they were all special.
Jay flipped a small box toward her to which Erin caught. Jay sat on the edge of the bed. Erin opened the box, eyeing the ring inside.
"I walked around with this in my pocket all day, the last day I saw you. I waited for you at Molly's till they closed. Waited for you to call. But you never did…" Jay said, his voice getting quieter. "I wanted you so badly to stay. I didn't care if you were a police officer or not. I wanted to make you mine, because I loved you. And I almost died a few weeks ago, and if I learned anything, it's that you need to tell people you love them while you still have a chance. The only face I could think of while I was bleeding on the floor was yours. You're the one person I wanted to see when I opened my eyes. No matter how badly you hurt me, I don't think I could ever stop loving you, Erin."
Erin walked over to the bed, and sat down next to Jay, trying to process everything Jay had just said to her. She thought that with all of this time and space, her being in a committed relationship, feelings would fade, but they hadn't. Seeing him brought her right back to where she was before she left. She fidgeted with the ring box in her hand for a few moments, not knowing what to say.
Jay stood from the bed in front of her. "You don't have to say anything, Erin. All I ever wanted for you was to see you happy. And if you're happy now that's all that matters to me."
Erin stood from the bed and crashed her lips to Jay's. It caught Jay by surprise, he stood there dumb founded for a few moments, before caressing her face and kissing her back. When they both ran out of air, they pulled away, resting on each other's foreheads.
Erin couldn't make eye contact with Jay. Her eyes were filling with tears that she tried so desperately not to let fall, to no avail. Jay wiped the tears away with his thumbs, and grabbed her face with his hands.
"I have to go," Erin said, her voice a mere whisper.
"I know," Jay said, pulling her close to his chest, and kissing her on the top of her head.
Erin could stay between his arms like this until the end of time, she was sure of it. It killed her to have to pull away. She slipped past him and went to the living room to grab her parka. With tear filled eyes, she hugged Jay one last time.
"I'm sorry," she said, before turning her back and leaving the apartment. Jay stared at the ring box on the bed for a few moments, before dropping it back in the sock drawer.
"Maybe one day," he thought to himself.
Should this turn into a full story? Feedback is always welcomed in the reviews! Take care.