Tabula Rasa

Chapter 8

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Eight

After he left LAPD's office building, Travis got on his motorcycle and drove toward the hotel where Wes had been living since he moved out of his home after he and Alex were divorced. However, as he pulled up in front, Travis continued sitting on his bike as he contemplated how he was going to approach his partner, whom Travis knew was not in the mood for talking. However, after a few minutes, he was interrupted by a car as it pulled up in front of him and Dr. Ryan stepped out.

Travis shook his head in disbelief as she walked toward him and then spoke up first as he said without surprise in his voice, "Dr. Ryan, let me guess; our captain called you?"

She smiled slightly and then responded, "Yes, Captain Sutton did call me about twenty-five minutes ago. He explained to me what happened tonight. How is Wes?"

"How do you think you would be if you believed you were responsible for the death of not just one, but two innocent people?" Travis asked in reply.

"Not good I'd imagine," she answered sadly. "I don't know if he'd be willing to talk to me, but if I can, I am here to help."

Travis responded, "I doubt he'll even talk to me. You know how he clams up whenever the issues are serious like this. Getting him to open up will be the most difficult task of your career, but if you're game…"

Dr. Ryan looked directly at Travis as she interrupted, "If I wasn't up to trying to treat the most difficult client I've had yet, then I wouldn't be here right now. I knew what I was signing on for when I agreed to start seeing the two of you. And I don't give up."

"All right, but I think it'd be best if you waited here in the lobby," Travis said as they began to walk into the hotel. "He won't want you to come up to his room. Go ahead and get yourself a drink or something to eat if you would like, my treat, and I'll try to find a way to bring him…"

"Travis!" he suddenly heard a woman call out from across the room, then stopped walking forward when he saw Alex rushing toward him.

Once she reached him and Dr. Ryan, Travis quickly asked nervously, "Alex, what… what are you doing here?"

Alex replied angrily, "I came here to talk to Wes, but he isn't answering his door, even after I tried calling out to him. Why didn't you call me after what happened tonight?"

"I wanted to, but… wait a minute, how did you know what happened tonight?" Travis asked again. "Did Sutton call you too?"

"No, I found out about it when I was watching the evening news," Alex answered, still with anger in her voice. "It's been playing over and over since it was on live after six o'clock. I watched in horror as your suspect fell off the roof, pulling Wes down with him."

Truth is, I saw it on the news myself," Dr. Ryan cut in gently. "My step son got me to watch it and then tried to make a point to say that college isn't right for him because of the drugs and other problems that go on around there. I already knew about the incident when Mike called me."

Travis shook his head in frustration as he said crossly, "Damn, I hate the press! Wes was right. They're nothing but vultures. I'm sorry, Alex, this is Dr. Ryan; mine and Wes' therapist. Dr. Ryan, this is Alex."

"I see that you've been talking about me in your sessions," Alex responded as she shook Emma's hand. "It's good to finally meet you."

"Yes, I just wish it wasn't like this," Dr. Ryan replied.

Alex nodded and then looked again at Travis as she asked again, "Why didn't you call me after it happened, Travis? Wes nearly died tonight. Don't you think that I have the right to know about this?"

While Dr. Ryan stood back in order to listen in silence to their conversation, Travis answered softly, "Listen, Alex. Wes told me that he wasn't going to be inserting himself into your life as much anymore. I wanted to call you, but I had a feeling that Wes wouldn't want me to. Besides, you were the one that ended everything between you two because you couldn't cope with him going out and risking his life every day."

"That isn't fair," Alex said sadly as tears began to fall from her eyes. "There's more to it and you know it, just as Wes does. After Wes found out that the man he had sent to prison was innocent, the same night he found out that he had killed himself in his cell, Wes was devastated and he wouldn't talk to anyone; not even to me. He shut himself off from everyone for over a week, as he hardly slept, nor ate, no matter how hard I tried to convince him that what happened was not his fault. I was scared for him, until the night when he finally came out and told me he was quitting being a lawyer to become a cop, where he believed he could make more of a difference. We got into the biggest fight we ever had that night, but eventually, I gave in and I told him that I understood, but I really didn't. We tried to make it work, but his compulsion to try to make sure that everything was perfect and that he didn't ever make a single mistake again finally took its toll and I couldn't live with it anymore. Leaving him was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I still care for him. A part of me will even always love him because I know who he is buried underneath what annoys you so much every day. I hope you can get him to talk. Otherwise, there is nothing left for him if he quits being a detective. We'll lose him for good. Please, help him."

"I promise, I'll do everything I can," Travis responded solemnly. "We've got Dr. Ryan now too. If I can't help him, hopefully she can."

Alex nodded and began to walk away from them until she stopped and suddenly came back over and enveloped him into a hug as she whispered, "Thank you for saving his life up there on that ledge tonight, Travis."

Travis only stared after her as she once again turned away and walked out of the lobby, until Dr. Ryan suddenly spoke up again saying, "Wow, I see now why Wes is having such a hard time letting her go."

"You're telling me," Travis replied and then cleared his throat as he began to walk toward the elevator to go up to his partner's room. "I'll be back down as soon as I can, hopefully with Wes behind me. Wish me luck!"

"Good luck, Travis," Emma answered sincerely, then watched as Travis walked away.

After he left, Dr. Ryan walked into the dining area, which appeared to be pretty empty for the time being, and took a seat at a table near the back of the room. A waiter for the hotel walked over and asked her if she wanted something to eat or drink. Emma only asked for water, then sat back and waited for the detectives to walk in. As she did so, Emma thought back to a conversation she once had had with Wes on the day of her ride along with them.

She had said, "Yes, but what every group also needs is the guy, who says the things everyone else is too afraid or too polite to say. It stirs the pot."

Wes responded, "So you're saying you need me because I'm the asshole."

"Honestly, yes," Emma replied half jokingly. "And I'll confess, that I haven't had much luck historically in treating the asshole."

"You know your reverse psychology isn't going to work on me," Wes answered smugly.

Dr. Ryan responded, "I know."

Emma knew then that Wes was definitely going to be the harder of the two detectives to help, but the more that she got to know him, the more she also got a sense that deep down, he wants to change and that he wants his partnership with Travis to work. The two of them are brothers and he knew it. However, as she thought back to that conversation, she realized something; if she and Travis couldn't get through to him tonight, or within the next few days, then they wouldn't be able to get through to him at all. They would lose him, for good.

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