Leslie Elizabeth Shay was a protagonist in the first and second season. Shay is portrayed by Lauren German. Leslie Shay was a paramedic assigned to Ambulance 61 at Firehouse 51 working alongside Gabriela Dawson. Shay is killed in the line of duty in May 2014 in the episode Real Never Waits.
Leslie identifies as lesbian, something Peter Mills discovered when the other firefighters tricked him into making a pass at her. She was previously in a three-year relationship with a woman named Clarice Carthage, who eventually left her to marry and have a child with a wealthy man. This seems to have instigated the commitment issues her coworker Gabriela observed in her.
Kelly Severide Edit
Shay and Kelly Severide are best friends and roommates. In the first season, Shay goes far out to help Severide with his arm injury by supplying him with painkiller drugs, potentially risking her career. As he gets addicted, however, she tells him to seek help and it puts a strain on their friendship to the point where Shay threatens to move out. This serves as a wake up call to Severide and he seeks treatment causing Shay to move back in. Later on, after having experienced being a mother for a short time with her ex, Clarice, Shay wants a child of her own. Not liking the impersonal aspect of seeking out a sperm donor through the facility, she asks Severide if he is willing to be the father. Severide, although taken aback at first, happily agrees to the request. Their attempt at in-vitro fertilization fails, and Shay gives up on the idea since it did not work the first time and she cannot afford a second attempt.
In season 2, when an ex-lover comes back to Shay after stealing a bunch of things from their home, Severide tells Shay that she should not get involved again.
After Shay's death, Severide is shaken up and is deeply effected by her death. He takes a month absence from work and still does not return to work when he is called to. After being talked back in, Severide still cannot let Shay go. He sees a resemblance between the new paramedic Sylvie Brett and is reminded of his best friend. After hours, he drinks to drown out the emotions and even gets himself in serious situations. He does not seek help, however, even when his friends and colleagues offer it.
Gabriela Dawson Edit
Gabriela Dawson is Shay's partner on Ambulance 61. They are often seen together and have experienced pivotal plot moments together, such as the collision involving their ambulance. They comfort and help each other in many situations which is a testament to their strong friendship. They confide in each other about their lives.
In season 2, Shay and Dawson hit a rough patch in their friendship after a patient committed suicide during their call. At the time, Dawson blamed Shay for what happened and it started the break in their friendship. During their break, Shay struggles with rationalizing why her patient ended his own life, and she starts to spiral down in a hole. She often is found spacey and shaken; to drown out the emotions, she makes rash decisions and tries to make light of serious situations with inappropriate comments and even transfers out of Firehouse 51. Severide tells Dawson to reach out to Shay after she doesn't come back home for a night, and Dawson does so. They make up and Shay comes back to the house working alongside Dawson.
After their fight, Shay and Dawson are strong as ever. Shay even helps Casey with his proposal and she is ecstatic for them both, although not having been alive for when the actual proposal occurs.
After Shay's death, Dawson is hit hard with Shay's death. Along with Severide, she takes a month break, but she does return to work on time. She clearly misses Shay, but she deals with her loss more rationally than Severide. When Casey asks Dawson out for lunch, Dawson would make an excuse by saying she is eating lunch with her brother. During this time, however, she is seen seeking help from Chaplain Orlovsky. She mostly just sits there in silence with tears in her eyes. In her last session, it is revealed that she is suffering from survivor's guilt. She blames herself that Shay died because she told Shay to switch places with her resulting in her death in the explosion. She cries in her hands throughout the rest of the session with Orlovsky comforting her. After Casey proposes to Dawson, Dawson reveals to Casey that the first thing that she thought of that morning was that she couldn't wait to tell Shay about her engagement causing her to tear up.
Dawson does not forget about Shay during her work, and continues to think about Shay during her time at Firehouse 51.
Death of Leslie Shay Edit
In reference to the episode: "Real Never Waits".
Chief Boden's wedding ceremony is interrupted when Fire House 51 is called to a building fire. Shay and Dawson follow Squad 3 into the building, where they find an injured male and begin administering care. Dawson tells Shay to take the lead during this case since she would have to be in charge after Dawson leaves. This causes Dawson to tell Shay to switch places with her. Right after they switch places, Dawson tells Shay about the possible proposal Casey has for Dawson. Shay admits it knowing about it, and during this conversation is when the explosion in the building occurs. A collapsing pipe falls and fatally hits Shay in the head while Dawson gets blown back. When Severide arrives on scene, he sees Dawson doing chest compressions on Shay and Severide leaps in to help. Her body is taken by the rest of the firefighters in order to get her on an ambulance, but she ultimately dies.
- (To Mills): "Peter Mills, are you gay? Because I am."
- (To Dawson): "It's not too late to switch teams."
- (To Kelly about Clarice): "Turns out, I may have overestimated her lesbianism."
- (To Dawson about Mills): "Ugh. Marry him."
|Season 1 Appearances|
|"Pilot"||"Mon Amour"||"Professional Courtesy"||"One Minute"||"Hanging On"|
|"Rear View Mirror"||"Two Families"||"Leaving the Station"||"It Ain't Easy"||"Merry Christmas, Etc."|
|"God Has Spoken"||"Under the Knife"||"Warm and Dead"||"A Little Taste"||"Nazdarovya!"|
|"Viral"||"Better to Lie"||"Fireworks"||"A Coffin That Small"||"Ambition"|
|"Retaliation Hit"||"Leaders Lead"||"Let Her Go"||"A Hell of a Ride"|