Tabula Rasa

Chapter 7

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Seven

After Travis and Wes eventually walked back down the building's stairs to the street below, they both passed by all of the officers, who only stared at them as they had witnessed the tragedy minutes earlier, in silence. Neither one of them had spoken since Travis had pulled Wes back over the edge and Travis didn't expect that his partner would anytime soon.

As they walked past the area where Jeremy's body was lying on the ground, Travis turned to look as a few officers were currently covering him with a blanket in order to keep the gruesome sight from the onlookers around them, mainly the students from the campus across the street. Wes just kept walking by without turning as he left the scene and sat down in the passenger's side of his car for a change.

Travis noticed this, but before heading to the car, he turned to the officers and said firmly, "Each of you saw what happened here tonight. My partner did everything he could to save our victim, both up on the roof, as well as after they both fell over the edge. His death came because a stone gave way as he tried to pull himself back over the railing before he fell. There was no wrongdoing on our end and I suggest that no one here tries to make it appear otherwise; not to your teammates or superiors and especially not to the press. Make sure that his body gets to where it needs to be and the scene is properly sealed off from the public."

As he finished, Travis walked over to Wes' car and sat down behind the wheel as he quickly looked over at Wes, who only continued staring ahead, then turned back to face forward as he started the ignition and began to drive back to their headquarters. When they arrived and walked in, they ignored the stares of the other officers and detectives as they made their way to Captain Sutton's office.

They found that both Brady and Nora were standing in front of Sutton's desk as they were arguing with the captain about Wes' and Travis' actions when they tried to arrest their suspect. Scott and Goodin have had it out for Wes and Travis since they had started working with them and they hoped that this incident would be the time the two argumentative detectives would finally pay the price for their crazy antics.

As soon as Wes and Travis walked in the office, Nora spoke up saying, "These two made it impossible for us to do our job and now because of their recklessness and disregard for the rules, the kid is now dead."

"It's their fault he's dead," Brady added. "Not ours."

"If it weren't for you and Brady charging in without speaking with us first, then Jeremy wouldn't have taken a hostage and he never would have run up onto that roof," Travis retorted angrily. "Wes and I were on our way to talk with him again when we got the call that the two of you moved in to arrest him. What were you thinking jumping in on our case anyway and what the hell is this about Jeremy murdering a waitress?"

Captain Sutton suddenly shouted, "Shut up, all of you! Wes, Travis, have a seat. When we got word of the waitress being killed, I assigned the case to Scott and Goodin. Their evidence led them to your suspect as well. It looks like your cases have crossed. Now that the suspect is dead, do you believe the cases to be closed?"

Travis looked over at Wes and then back at the captain as he answered, "Captain, the solid evidence in our murder victim's case pointed to Jeremy Walker and his alibi was shaky at best, but we haven't been given the chance to see if it's possible the kid was set up as he claimed to be before he died. Wes and I would like the chance to see if he was telling the truth."

"You can't do that, Captain!" Brady shouted out. "Three of the waitress' friends said that they have seen Jeremy with her a number of times at the club she worked at. According to them, Jeremy Walker had an obsession with her and tried many times to get her to go back to his dorm, but she kept refusing him and it made him dangerously angry. They all saw him hit her on more than one occasion in anger."

"Was this waitress' name, Jacqueline?" Travis asked quickly. "And this club, the Harem of the Forty Thieves?"

As Brady looked down at Wes, he smugly replied, "That's right. Face it, Wes. Jeremy Walker is our murderer. You nearly got yourself killed trying to protect a monster."

Wes suddenly jumped up from his chair, then grabbed Brady by the collar of his suit and shoved him angrily up against the wall as he responded, "You smug, arrogant bastard!"

"Wes!" Captain Sutton called out from behind his desk as he stood up abruptly. "Stand down!"

"Calm down, Wes," Travis said as he rushed over and struggled to pull his partner off of Brady before he got suspended for attacking another detective. "Believe me, I would like nothing more than to strangle this worm myself, but you know that the captain here looks down on that kind of thing. He isn't worth it, Man."

Once Travis pulled him away, Wes struggled out of his partner's grasp and stormed out of the room, as Brady straightened his collar and rubbed his neck, then shouted out, "You're a freak, Mitchell! You know that? Your partner's an idiot, but you're a joke and the worst of us all! You don't deserve to be one of us!"

Travis moved to stand directly in front of Brady and pointed his finger right in his face as he replied, "If anyone around here is a joke or a freak, it's you and your partner, Brady; not us. As I recall, you got yourself suspended without pay for leaking information to the press. Wes fights for what he believes in no matter what the cost and despite his obsessive compulsions, he's one of the best cops I've ever known. If I ever here you talking about him like that again, I'll make you wish that you got busted back down to writing traffic tickets."

"Since when did you start sticking up for your partner?" Nora asked. "The two of you spend more time trying to kill each other than anything else."

"We may have our issues, but we know where we stand with each other," Travis answered. "Captain, I wasn't sure about Jeremy Walker being innocent before. In fact, I'm still not, but Wes is and that's good enough for me to follow his lead, especially in light of what happened tonight."

Captain Sutton nodded and then responded, "Right now, Wes is blaming himself for not being able to save him, just as he blamed himself for the other guy's death when he was a lawyer. Go find your partner and do whatever you can for him. Take the rest of tonight and tomorrow if you need to. Both cases will remain open and seeing as Jeremy Walker is suspected of killing both his roommate and the waitress, Wes and Travis are now in charge of both. Brady and Nora, you're off. Do I make myself clear, you two?"

Nora protested as she said, "But Captain, you can't be serious. How can you constantly favor these two screw ups?"

"As far as I'm concerned, the two of you are the ones that screwed up here," Sutton replied. "And Wes and Travis are the best detectives I've ever known. Now get out of here, all of you."

"Thank you, Captain," Travis answered solemnly after the others left.

Their captain nodded and then spoke up again saying, "Perhaps you should give Dr. Ryan a call and ask her to help you with your partner. I have a feeling that by the end, he's going to need her."

Travis responded, "I doubt he'll talk to me, Cap, let alone Dr. Ryan. See ya."

"Good luck, Kid," Sutton said quietly to himself as Travis finally left. "You're going to need it."

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