Hey you guys :) I have no idea where I came up with this, but I honestly do believe Katie and Travis are one of the cutest couples, and there aren't enough good Tratie stories to go around, so I thought I'd contribute to that.
Katie couldn't remember a time when she was so depressed.
Even during times like the second Titan war, she'd stayed optimistic. "Percy'll win," she'd say. "Kronos doesn't stand a chance." Or when she was struggling through midterms and putting her stupid siblings under control, she kept her head.
Damn, she'd never felt so alone. She'd deny it later, but right now she sits on the bottom mattress of her bunk bed, her hair in a messy, greasy ponytail, her eyes stinging, her nose red, and tissues strewn around her. She silently thanks the gods Natalie Henson, her roommate, is out for the day, studying at the university.
Her eyes drift to the mug sitting next to her, once filled with coffee, but drained out the window hours before. #1 GIRL, it reads. The words seem to pulse at her. More like #2 girl…
Before she realizes what she's doing, she grabs it and hurls it at the door. The crashing sound it makes doesn't help; if anything, it makes her even more down. She'd have to clean up the ceramic.
She suddenly hates the mug, now in pieces on the hardwood floor. He gave it to her. "'Cause you're my number one," he laughed. She growls at it now, blowing her nose for good measure, trying to ignore the dull sting it made on her skin.
The worst part? She doesn't even care that he cheated on her, or who it was with. When she'd found them only half an hour before, in his apartment, she hadn't said a word. She'd simply looked at them, emotionless, then picked up her keys where she dropped them, and walked back out the door she came through.
She hadn't even realized she'd driven home until she was unlocking her own front door. She'd tried to make tea, cocoa, brownies, anything that would make her feel better, but after the stupid chocolate refused to open, she'd given up, throwing herself on her bed to sit sullenly in silence.
She hates that she's crying. But she's not crying for him, she reminds herself once more. No, she will never cry for him. She refuses to be even upset at the fact he'd chosen someone else over her. She doesn't give a crap that he did what he did. She doesn't give a damn that he doesn't love her.
She's angry and sad and disappointed that he didn't care about her enough to say a simple, "Katie, I don't love you. I love Mona." Or whatever her name is. It would've been better than, "K-Katie! I thought you were gonna be home at seven! It's not what it looks like!" No, she would've preferred it. It would've ached, to hear the words, but it pains her even more to know he didn't trust her enough to accept his non-love with an, "Okay."
And she knows that's exactly what she would've said. "Okay." She would've taken his key off her keychain, set it on the nearest surface, and walked away. No tears, no heartbreaks, no grudges. Simple as that.
But now it did break her heart. That he didn't care. He didn't like her enough to even bother telling her he wanted it to be over. That she—Mona-something—didn't take the trouble to tell Katie herself. If she wanted Nate, Katie's now-ex, she could've had him, without stabbing Katie in the back with a rusty knife.
No one cares, she knows that much. Natalie Henson, the freshman girl, only rooms with her because no one else had a space. NYU only accepted her because they needed more students to take the botany course. That nursery on 57th only hired her because they were going out of business anyway. Nate Louis only dated her because he needed a fling, something to pretend to like. None of them truly cared for her.
She stifles a sob as she hears a door bang downstairs. She quickly shoves her discarded tissues under her sheets, determined not to show Natalie any weakness, then she hears—
"OW! Godsdammit, Trav, you don't need to hit me."
She swore to herself. Damn, what the hell in the name of Demeter was she thinking when she agreed to rent with Travis and Connor Stoll? Was it the look in Travis's eye? Was it Connor's plead not to leave him alone with only Travis? Or was it Natalie's look that said, They're hot, please say yes? She hadn't known then, and she doesn't now, all she does know is she regrets it.
"You flirted with her!"
"No, Cleo—wait, you flirted with Mia?"
"Agh! You know Tyler's coming after you now." Footsteps thump on the stairs.
"My dear Travis, Sir Tyler Wummingsworth has no chance against me."
"That's not his last name."
"You're ruining the British theme, my good sir."
"Shut up, will you—hey, why is Katie's door closed?" Their voices are just outside now.
"It's never closed. Why is it closed?"
"That's what I just said!"
Pause. "Katie?" He knocks at her door tentatively, as if she's going to stab him through it. "Katie you there?"
"Are you armed?" Connor chimes in behind him. "Ow! Stop that!"
"Katie?" Travis repeats. "Hello?"
"Think she's dead?"
"No! Why would she be dead?" Katie can almost see Travis giving Connor a skeptical look, and she smirks. He got so much more serious when they went to college.
Connor starts, "Well, maybe she pissed off the squirrels and they came in the window with their cats that shoot lasers out of their eyes and—"
"Never mind, I'm sorry I asked."
"If I open the door, will you shut up?" Katie interrupts.
She opens it. The twins cower immediately, as if she was going to shoot them. Then they peek out from under their arms, straighten, and stare. She scowls. "Are you going to go away, or am I kicking you out?"
"Neither, please." Connor is the first one who dares to talk. "Katie, why do you look—"
"Sad?" Travis interrupts, shooting his brother a look saying, Land mines!
"Nothing. It's nothing," she says darkly. Leaving the door open, she goes back to her spot on her bed, picking up a random book to pretend to read until they go away. They don't.
"Your book's upside-down, Kate," Connor says dryly, turning it over for her.
Travis looks at the broken shards on the ground. "Did you break something?"
"Yeah," she mutters. "What's it to you?"
They exchange looks. "You're freaking me out, Gardner," Connor says. "Normally you're too perky to think about anything but gardens." Travis nods.
Reluctantly—and only because she knows they'll pester her constantly if she doesn't—she tells them everything. And, to her surprise, Connor doesn't laugh, Travis doesn't suppress a grin, neither of them comments. They just listen, with a silence Katie didn't even know was possible in them, until she stops and blows her nose once more.
"Let's rough him up," is the first thing Connor says.
Katie shakes her head. "Don't."
"Kate, you're like a little sister to me," he says sternly. "Big brothers don't let their little sisters get screwed over by asses like that."
She frowns. "Connor, he's a wrestler. I don't want you doing anything stupid. Besides, he's going to hell anyway."
"So?" Travis questions. "There's no real harm in us talking some sense into him. It's not like we want to hire assassins to beat the crap out of him with hammers."
"Yeah, we don't even have to do that," Connor agrees. "We can do it ourselves. I'm 6'5, 220, and there's two of me."
"I don't care!" she exclaims. "I don't give a rat's ass that he did what he did! I would've told him to do it myself if he wasn't a step ahead of me!"
They stare at her. "What?" Connor asks, as if he didn't hear her.
"I don't care," she repeats, "because I know he doesn't either." She hugs her knees. "All I wanted was for someone to care."
"I care," Travis says.
She looks up from her toes, her eyebrows scrunching in mild confusion. "What did you say?"
"I care." He says it simply. A fact. Not a tease, or a quip, or a confession. Just a statement. She stares at him, oblivious to Connor backing out of the room, sensing his cue to leave.
Her hands rush to cover her face, and she's crying again, but this time she's not sure why. She feels the arms around her, and lets him stay there, hoping he won't say anything. And he doesn't.
There's no kissing, no insane proclamations of love, no cheesy lines. He's just holding her, with the tissues under the sheets and the mug in pieces on the floor and the sky crying with her outside.
And she realizes, all the pranks he played on her then and now, the teasing when they were kids, the stealing, the stupid chocolate Easter Bunnies on her roof, it was all because he cares.
And she doesn't say it, but she hopes the light pressure on her head is his lips on her hair.
I know the whole cheating thing is overused, but I feel like it works with this. And did anyone else recognize that line Connor said? Huh? I love that movie, hint, hint. Thanks for reading, guys. Review if you want, don't if you don't.
~ Mia ~
PS, if you're one of my regulars, I'm sorry about being so late on my other fics like Hunters or New Era. I've got a bad case of writer's block, and not enough time to sit around thinking about ideas, thought that's what I'd love to do. Hope you'll forgive me.