Tabula Rasa

Chapter 9

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Nine

Travis walked slowly up to his partner's room, as he still struggled to work out in his mind what he was going to say, but the more he thought about it, the more difficult he realized this was going to be. This wasn't like the times before when he's been affected by a case. They both have had to kill a murderer or a suspect several times in defense, but this time, a kid died after he had surrendered and surely Wes wasn't going to be the only one to blame himself for his death. The kid's loved ones would most likely blame him, or them, as well, which Travis knew without a doubt that Wes knew too.

Travis walked by one of the hotel's housekeepers as he finally arrived at Wes' room, but as he was about to knock, Travis realized that if Wes didn't answer his door for Alex, then he wasn't going to answer it for him. So, Travis rushed over to the housekeeper and quickly pulled off the key card, which hung down at her side from her apron, as she started to protest.

Travis put his finger to his mouth as he shushed her, then quickly pulled out his badge to show her, and replied, "It's all right, it's all right. I'm a cop. See, here's my badge. The guy that lives in here is my partner. I walk in all the time, but tonight, I accidently left my key at home. Go back to what you were doing. What time do you… never mind. I got to go."

As Travis swiped the key and started to open the door to enter into Wes' room, the woman spoke up saying, "I'm going to need the key back."

Travis only smiled at her as she glared at him while he quickly handed it back, then turned and slowly walked into the room. The room was dark expect for the lights coming in through the large window overlooking the balcony that gave Wes a great view of the city, so he struggled to see as he continued to walk further in. When his eyes finally adjusted, he saw Wes was sitting down on the floor on the other side of his bed that faced the window.

As he walked around the bed and could finally see most of his partner, Travis found that Wes was just staring ahead out the window and that he was holding a glass, which Travis figured that it was some kind of alcohol. No doubt it was a pretty strong one that he had ordered to help him drown out whatever was going through his mind then.

"I don't recall hearing you knock or saying you can come in," Wes said softly without turning away from whatever it was he was staring at.

"Yeah, I… uh… I grabbed a key from off of one of the housekeepers in the hallway and let myself in," Travis responded as he walked around Wes and took a seat on the floor beside him, then hoped for a response from his partner, but only got more silence. "I ran into Alex down in the lobby and since you didn't let her in, I knew you wouldn't open the door for me, so… You have a great view. I had no idea, since you never let me come in here. Listen, I know that you know that I can talk for hours, but I won't if you just talk to me. Believe me, I have an idea what you're feeling right now. Help me to understand so that I can help you."

Wes answered firmly. "There's nothing to talk about. I messed up, again, and now a nineteen year old college student is dead because of me. I can't do this anymore."

Travis looked over at him in shock as he quickly replied, "Whoa, wait a minute. What do you mean you're finished? Finished with what; you mean being a detective? That's crazy! Wes, you're one of the best detectives in the LAPD. Maybe not better than me, but…"

"Why is that so crazy?" Wes asked as he suddenly raised his voice in anger. "I screwed up and I can't fix it. Another innocent person is dead because of me. I don't deserve to wear a badge, just as I didn't deserve to be a lawyer. I'm not good enough."

"Listen, you cannot blame yourself for part of the roof of that old building giving way, causing Jeremy to fall," Travis responded. "It was unfortunate, but you did everything you could to save his life. You say I'm the better negotiator and I joke around when I agree with you, but the truth is, it isn't true. There is no way I could have convinced him to let Connie go and then to finally agree to give himself up. You did that and you nearly died when you went over the ledge yourself trying to catch him and pull him back up. You actually believe he was innocent and he saw that. Now, I need you to prove it to me. You need to prove it to everyone so that we can clear Jeremy's name and find the real scumbag that's responsible for killing both Ryan and probably Jacqueline too."

Wes finally looked over at his partner as he asked sadly, "And what if I can't. What if I'm just fooling myself into wanting to believe he's innocent?"

Travis shook his head and answered, "Don't do that. Don't go second guessing yourself now because your head's not in the right place. You were one hundred percent positive that Jeremy was innocent before all this crap happened, which means that deep down, something is still telling you he's innocent. You need to get back to being Wes and don't try to over-think everything. Let's focus on the evidence we've got and then work on trying to dispute it a bit at a time."

Wes looked away and then slowly stood up as he replied, "All I do is over-think everything, Travis. You remind of it every day. Please, just leave. I'm not in the mood to argue with you. Clearly, we're not going to agree that this couldn't have been prevented. I couldn't have helped that the stone came loose, but I should have been able to talk him down before he made it over the railing."

"Wes, I…" Travis began to say softly before he was cut off as Wes suddenly shouted once again for him to leave.

Travis nodded and then walked out, closing the door quietly behind him. After he once again reached the lobby, he scanned the room for Dr. Ryan and found her sitting down at one of the tables in the dining room, then slowly walked over to her. Dr. Ryan could see from his face that the talk did not go as well as he had hoped.

"How is he doing?" she asked as he took a seat beside her at the table.

Travis responded, "Not good. He's in his head and it's a pretty dark place right now."

Emma nodded and then answered, "The two of you are both very sensitive, but in different ways. You see, you are extremely confident with yourself, which allows you to have all of the relationships that you do, but you're afraid of getting hurt by a woman and so you won't allow anyone, but your foster families to be close. Wes, on the other hand, is not at all confident with himself, which is why he over-thinks everything and why he has trouble talking about his deeply rooted issues, such as why he pulled his gun on you. It's also why he is having a hard time moving on from Alex. She let him in once and he blames himself for ruining their marriage."

"Why shouldn't I blame myself?" Wes asked as he suddenly appeared from behind them. "It was after all my fault. But that isn't what I came down here to talk about. I was hoping you, Travis, were still here. I wanted to apologize for treating you the way I did. I had no right to when you were only trying to help me. I'm sorry."

"Apology accepted," Travis replied as he indicated for Wes to come and have a seat.

Wes slowly complied as he responded, "I didn't realize you would be here, Dr. Ryan. It's a little late, don't you think?"

Emma nodded as she answered, "Yes, but when my clients need my help, I do what I can for them, no matter the hour, and after seeing what happened earlier tonight, it is clear to me that you would need my help whenever you were ready to talk."

"I want to go back to doing my job so that I can finish helping Jeremy like I promised, but I don't know how," Wes said despondently. "My mind isn't focusing right now. What if I can't?"

"That is why I am here," Emma replied. "To help you to go back to being the brilliant detective that you are. As for everything else, that can wait for another time."

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