Fandom: Common Law
Word Count: 1120
Summary: There's a reason for their animosity
Notes: Unbeta'd. Because I promised ericaplease I would fic the hell out of this. I really honestly never thought I'd write angst though...
It goes back to that night—the night with Wes’s tie loose around his neck and his shirt unbuttoned underneath. The night where Travis couldn’t stop listing into him, legs tangling, gravitationally drawn in. Like all such nights, it began with unrestrained, incautious amounts of alcohol. It was novel for Travis, seeing Wes that uncontaminated level of happy. As if some of the pressures, the unendurable demons, that seemed to surround Wes had been burned away by good cheer and triumphant fervor. It was arresting, the smile his mouth shaped out, the laugh lines that appeared around his eyes. This sense of being the pivot by which people’s lives hinged upon often killed cops, wasting them away until they became drunken vengeful shadows of their former selves, but sometimes they read all the clues and found all the evidence in time. Sometimes, they won.
They hadn’t been partnered that long, but Travis was used to meeting people and seeing straight through to the center of them—an ability borne out of self-defense and many hard-earned lessons. Part of Travis, the same part of him that never stopped yearning those clichéd and yet fundamental familial ties, was a bit in love with what he found at the center of Wes. And so, after listing out of the bar and heading back to Travis’s for the promise of more beer, Travis found himself kissing Wes.
And Wes found himself kissing back.
It had a certain sort of inevitability about it—the way Wes inhaled and then brought his hands up to frame Travis’s face, the way the buttons of his fussy starched dress shirt parted so unexpectedly easily underneath his clumsy fingers. There was no moment of trepidation, no fire alarms resounding in his head, as it should have had. Wes was married. Wes was a man. Wes had a stick up his ass.
He kissed Wes against the side of his trailer, breathless and starved for more, and yet somehow unable to contemplate anything beyond the slide of Wes’s mouth against his, the soft skin at his throat revealed by his stiff collar. It was Wes who got them into the trailer, who drew Travis off with a smooth practiced hand that surely must have done this before while he leaned precariously half-sitting in his tiny sink. He’d come so quickly, even with his body fighting against alcoholic tumescence, it felt more shock than orgasm.
Then he’d dumped Wes back on his bed and straddled his hips, rutted against him until Wes could only grip at his shoulders and squeeze his eyes closed. He doesn’t remember passing out. His memory goes from staring down at Wes’s sloppy satisfied smirk, his muttered, ‘that all you got?’ to waking up to a suddenly empty bed, shaky with tremors and a headache that felt like his skull was collapsing in on the soft tissues of his brain.
It sped up of the inexorable demise of Wes’s marriage and instantly ended whatever camaraderie they had built up. Travis waited for Wes to demand a transfer, but he never did, and Travis found himself strangely unable to. He told himself it was out of spite, because it was Wes, with his responsibilities and rules, who stood to lose everything. It should’ve been his decision to pull the plug. But he couldn’t fool himself for long. He buried that night in the same place he stored all his other disappointments, but he couldn’t let Wes go.
People, colleagues mostly, always think they’re being the voice of reason when they point out how ‘good you guys used to be’ together, unaware of the instant wince and sting such a comment provokes. Not that either of them could ever explain, but it leaves them in this curious détente—unable to leave, unwilling to get along. Mostly, Travis’s motivation, honestly, internally, beyond all outward bluster, for fighting with Wes is rooted in his idiosyncrasies, his intractability. But if someone were to put a gun to his head and ask for a better reason than ‘he’s an ass,’ that night is the only explanation there is.
He wonders, sometimes, mostly at inopportune moments, when he’s getting his dick sucked or over a romantic dinner or during the morning shuffle when he’s extricating himself from a woman’s house, if Wes was just using him to exercise some of his anger. If he was merely the answer to a doomed marriage, a catalyst for an explosion.
Travis gets himself shot on a Wednesday morning. There is no fanfare, no glory. He is not charging recklessly into a situation, more courage than sense. He is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, walking down a perfectly normal LA street on the way to talk to an unrelated witness. Lying on the ground, struggling to breathe, chest on fire, he thinks absurdly of the gap in his memory—how time seemed to jump between Wes’s orgasmic smile to waking up in the cold light of dawn alone—and how he was just walking down the street and now Wes is kneeling over him, screaming at him ‘don’t you do this to me, Travis, don’t you die on me. I will fucking kill you myself’ and he’s got no idea how he got between one instance and the next.
He wakes up feeling like an elephant is sitting on his chest, heart monitor beeping relentlessly in his ear and Wes snoring on the other half of the room. He groans and Wes starts awake, rocketing up to his feet like he wasn’t just dead to the world.
“I think being shot merits a sexy nurse or two,” Travis says, voice rusty and lacking the conviction the sentence merits. He looks Wes up and down in a way that communicates how little Wes fits the bill.
Wes, for once, looks amused rather than annoyed. “Good to see your priorities are still in order.”
And suddenly it strikes Travis, staring up at Wes’s weary irritated face, there are all sorts of things he wants to say and he almost nearly lost the chance. ‘I want to fuck you. I want you to suck my cock. I want to come all over your face—and those are just on the days where you’re being an extra special bitch. Other times, I want to kiss you like we did that night, and I want to see you smile, and I want to wake up from the worst fucking hangover with you right there next to me. And I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me.’
He nearly lost the chance, but now that he has it back, who knows, even still, if he’ll ever take it.