Title: Business as Usual
Fandom: Common Law
Rating: PG-13, some language and that’s about it.
Word Count: 1,799
Warnings: Language, fangirling by the therapy group
Cheer Squad: skyesurfer12. I honestly don’t know what else to say.
Spoilers: None that I can think of offhand, but you now officially know that I’m a dork of epic proportions. (This still fits, so I’m leaving it)
Hate mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author’s Note: All because of this prompt here. And believe it or not, no audio inspiration either.
Here you have it, the final installment of this crazy ride. It all comes out in the wash eventually, right?
Dr. Ryan stood back and watched the couples enter. Two by two, they made their way around the circle of chairs and found their usual spots, settling in and waiting. As per procedure, neither Travis nor Wes had arrived, but that didn’t much surprise the doctor. At this point in her relationship with the detectives, she expected nothing less.
The moment the detectives finally strolled into the therapy room – at exactly two and a half minutes till – Dr. Ryan knew that something had changed between them. Despite being trained to notice such things, she’s relatively certain that it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to perceive the difference in her favorite couple today. Interesting. I wonder what’s transpired while they’ve been away?
Wes slowed as they approached the circle, allowing Travis to pass by and take his seat. Once his partner was securely ensconced in his familiar spot, Wes eased past and lowered himself down into his. He angled his chair away from Travis, creating the illusion of space between them, but the nearness of his right knee to Travis’ left hints at the truth.
Something’s definitely brought them closer, even if Wes is silently trying to deny it.
“Oh my god, you two,” a voice chirped, startling Dr. Ryan out of her reverie. “Did you hear about that crazy guy with the love potions? Doctor Love Something? How weird was he?” Dakota earned a grim look from Wes for bringing up the subject so soon.
Dr. Ryan was almost certain that there was a slight tinge of pink highlighting Travis’ round cheeks after Dakota’s enthusiastic request, but she couldn’t be positive at this distance. Curiouser and curiouser, she thought. Both boys pointedly ignored the questioning looks from the rest of the group and busied themselves with settling into the hard, plastic chairs that came standard with the room. It was time to call their bluff.
“Wes,” she began, drawing his attention back to her. “Travis, I thought I remembered hearing Captain Sutton telling me that you two were the ones responsible for bringing this man into custody. Am I wrong?” She knew she wasn’t, she’d only just gotten off the phone with the Captain minutes before the session had started to fill. He’d been concerned that there might have been lingering after effects of the aphrodisiac potion, even though both detectives denied having been exposed in any way. “They’ve been all over the board lately, Doctor, and frankly, I’m concerned. One minute they’re at each other’s throats, the next, they’re like a newly married couple, laughing and hanging onto each other. It’s a bit disconcerting.” Indeed.
The two detectives looked at one another, searching for an answer written on the other’s face. Not finding what they were looking for with their partner, they turned to face Dr. Ryan. Wes’ mouth opened, but Travis’ voice emerged.
“Yeah, right, that’s right, Doctor Ryan. We did bag the crazy man.”
“He was a fraud,” Wes supplied, looking away.
“A fraud,” she parroted.
“Right,” Wes agreed, still avoiding meeting the doctor’s penetrating gaze.
“What Wes means is, it didn’t work. Right ba—buddy?”
This time she was certain Travis’ cheeks held a tinge of pink. And so did Wes’, now that she looked more closely. I wonder what all the embarrassment’s about? The suddenly guilty expression plastered across Travis’ face, however, intrigued her more than anything. What had he been about to say before he changed his mind at the end? “Is there something you’d like to share with the group, gentlemen?”
“No,” Wes shouted, almost too emphatically.
“Yes,” Travis chimed in at the same moment.
“So, which is it?”
Wes frowned at Dakota and her penchant for always being the first one to open her mouth demanding details. Damn woman. He’d suddenly gained a new level of sympathy for her husband. He decided to ignore her and concentrate on the real issue – Travis. “What the hell do you mean ‘yes’?”
“What the hell do you mean by ‘no’, Wes? I mean really. What am I supp—“
“I don’t know, maybe keep it to yourself for a change?”
“Boys?” Dr. Ryan wouldn’t normally interrupt, but she had a feeling this ‘discussion’ just might erupt into violence if not kept in check.
They ignored her. Travis locked his gaze onto Wes’, staring into his fiery blue eyes and not looking away. “Damn you, Wes, we have got to talk about this because it’s not gonna go away!”
“Well,” he growled, “if you hadn’t decided to take a fucking bath in the stuff –“
“And I was supposed to know that it was going to work?”
“Hah,” Rozelle cheered. “I knew he was lying.” She elbowed her husband knowingly.
“You could have used less than the entire bottle, Travis.”
“I don’t remember hearing you complain much, Wes.”
“I’m suddenly remembering why I don’t like you,” he snarled.
Wes rubbed that sweet spot between his neck and collarbone with the tips of his fingers, attempting to work out the sudden ache in his muscles. Dr. Ryan’s gaze fixed on the movement, watching Wes’ reaction to the situation intently. She was about to redirect their argument when a flash of purplish skin caught her attention and held it fast. “Wes, are you okay?”
“No,” he seethed, waving his hands at the group. “I am not okay. My partner’s an id—“
“Wes, that’s not what I meant. Your neck,” she pointed at his barely exposed flesh with a fingertip, “looks like its bruised.” She tapped her own neck in the same area.
The entire group watched as Wes’ eyes widened almost imperceptibly. His fingers flew back to the spot and his heart stopped. He’d forgotten about his partner’s fascination with that spot on his neck. And his fondness for biting him right there. Silently, he cursed Travis and his luscious lips.
“That’s not a bruise,” Rozelle sang happily.
“Nope,” her husband, Clyde, interjected helpfully, leaning over to get a better view. “Looks like a hickey to me.”
“Now wait a minute,” Wes protested, struggling to stand and face his accusers. “It’s not –“
“But it is,” Travis muttered from his seat.
Wes stared down at his partner, speechless. Well, he’d done it this time. Now, there’d be no end to this session.
“I’m sorry, Travis,” Dr. Ryan spoke up. “What was that you just said?”
Travis looked at Wes in advanced apology. Wes stubbornly refused to meet his gaze. Shoulders slumping, Travis looked back in the direction of the doctor and sighed. “I said that it is a hickey. I gave it to him, I should know.” He felt more than saw Wes’ shoulders stiffen at the confession, he knew better than to go there, but he didn’t have a choice. He couldn’t hide it any longer. Damn Wes anyway.
“Wes, is this true?” His lips formed a thin, tight line and he faced the wall, staring past the rest of the group members like they didn’t exist. Dr. Ryan smiled. Despite his efforts to appear uninterested, Wes was belying his real emotional state to anyone with two eyes. Wes is afraid of admitting the truth. “Wes?”
He swallowed, fighting the enormous lump that had found its way into his throat. Despite himself, he felt the urge to open up, to be told it was okay to feel this way again, to gain appreciation for having finally moved the fuck on. “Yes,” he whispered. “Yes, okay? Yes.”
The sound of thunderous approval echoing around him almost knocked him from his seat. Wes looked each of the grinning, leering faces in shock, at first, and then slowly, their enthusiasm took over. Travis beamed at him from the chair to his right and all the tension eased from his body. Leaning into his partner’s side, Wes breathed, “I’m sorry, Trav, I…”
“…am a prick? Yeah, I know, but it’s all good.” He slanted in closer to Wes and mock-snapped at his ear. “That prickiness of yours has its uses.”
He tried to be pissed, but it just wasn’t possible, not with all the commotion going on just feet from his face. Not to mention Travis’ warm, sweet breath on his neck. “Just for the record,” Wes shouted above the cacophony of voices, “I’m still not completely okay with this!”
“That’s okay,” Dakota assured him, “because we are.”
“Right,” agreed Mrs. Dumont. “Maybe you two will start being nicer to each other now?”
“Not a chance,” Wes growled, only half-teasingly.
“Yeah, Mrs. D, trust me – you don’t want Mitchell to be too nice, it ruins the fun."
Dr. Ryan sat back and watched the celebration. It was obvious Wes was telling the truth, he really wasn’t completely okay with this, but he was more okay with it than he would have been a week ago. Progress can be a beautiful thing to behold. “Okay folks, let’s get back on task. Our topic for today is…”
Dr. Ryan watched as the boys filed out of her office, the last two to leave, for once. Wes hip checked Travis, almost knocking him into the door frame. “What are you thinking about for dinner? My treat this time.”
“Reallly,” Travis drawled. “In that case…”
“But none of those food trucks, okay? I mean, gross. Who knows when they last washed their hands. I don’t even want to think about the last time they washed their utensils.”
“You are so high strung, man. You need to let loose once in awhile.”
Wes looks down the length of his partner’s body, appraisingly, and then back up, until meeting his dreamy gaze. A smile twitched at the corner of the blonde’s mouth, a tinge of color blemishing his pale skin. “Haven’t I let go enough for one week? Can we maybe try this, say, next Thursday?”
Travis’ face broke into a smile of epic proportions. “Yeah, I guess you have let go a bit more than usual lately, huh baby?”
“Can you please not call me that in public. Please?”
“If you insist, baby. Whoops, I meant, honey.”
“Travis,” Wes begged, his voice filtering down the hallway.
“Okay then, no baby, no honey, what about sweetie? Pumpkin? Cutie Pot Pie? No? But Wes…”
Dr. Ryan covered her mouth with one hand, listening to the echo of their banter as it faded out. Obviously, her couple’s therapy sessions were going to be a bit more interesting from now on. What on earth am I going to tell their captain? That one of his best detectives bathed in a love potion and then seduced his partner? Who’d ever believe that?
But then, this was Travis Marks she was talking about.
Maybe she’d just tell him that they were still working out the kinks of their newfound respect for one another? Yes, that just might work.
Author’s end note: If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! And as a bonus, I found this very fitting cartoon this morning: