Author's Notes: Still not slash. I've been beating up on my favorite characters lately - Neal Caffrey gets pepper sprayed because I did, and now I'm drawing on my last experience at medical to beat up on Travis and Wes simultaneously. I'm such a bad girl...
Just for the record, Wes didn't get sick. No, he stayed healthy for just this reason – and yes, it was arguably through sheer force of will. Plague filled doctors' offices with small, absurdly loud patients for being supposedly ill, and cranky nurses that made Nurse Ratchet sound like Florence Nightingale.
Travis, on the other hand, got sick. A lot. And he never just got the sniffles or a cough. Nope, not Travis. Travis got pneumonia. Or bronchitis. And personally, Wes wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he wound up with some sort of STD. Or a heart attack, given his diet.
"Travis, stop moaning like that, you're not dying," Wes said patiently, flipping through the investment magazine that was older than the invention of the iPhone. "I" anything, actually.
"Yes, I am," Travis whined, remaining slouched in the chair as if he were a corpse simply dropped there by some passerby.
"You have a cold. Which, if you ate properly or at the very least popped a vitamin every once in a while, you wouldn't have such problems with. You know that Flintstone vitamins are now in new gummy flavors?" Wes replied.
"I hate you and your immune system," Travis said, cracking one eye open to send a withering death glare in Wes's direction.
"If you ate something green once in a blue moon, you might get less deadly versions of the common cold. Or took Airborne like I told you to when you first started your sniffling."
Travis huffed. "Those things taste terrible. I don't know how you manage to scarf them down like they're candy."
Wes put the magazine down and held up his hands as if they were a set of scales. "Hmm…vile tasting medication that I'm over and done with in ten seconds, or debilitating disease that makes me wish I was dead for two weeks? Tough decision…" The hand representing 'vile medication' won the debate.
"I wish a plague upon you and your house," Travis said, before shifting his hand to his stomach.
Wes didn't even flinch as he held the trash can in front of his partner as he suddenly launched forwards, throwing up everything he'd eaten in the last day and a half.
"I don't think you should use the word 'plague' in conversation any time soon. Or puke, vomit, upchuck…" Wes prattled off, and watched as Travis turned even greener.
"I hate you…so…much…right now…" Travis gasped in between stomach spasms.
"Not as much as you hate that teeny, weenie, microscopic organism called the 'influenza virus', I bet," Wes said. When Travis finally stopped throwing up and collapsed back into the seat, Wes set the trash can down, far enough away that Travis wouldn't be able to smell it with his stuffed up nose, but close enough to grab it for the next round. And yes, there would be a next round.
"You know, if you didn't burn every bridge with every female you ever met in your life, I wouldn't always have to take you to the doctor's office. Or if you actually owned a car, instead of a motorcycle that required a sense of balance to get you some place. Next time, call a cab."
"Cabs have puke fines," Travis protested.
"So do I."
"They don't stay with me and fill out my paperwork while I'm busy dying."
"Neither do I."
"Yeah, you do."
"Not by choice. The captain makes me. And if I left you here, all sick and dying and looking like you're about to melt, I would never hear the end of it from our therapy group. 'Oh my God, you left him alone like a sad, sick, dying puppy? You monster'!"
"You like me, and you know it."
"I don't like sick people. Therefore, I don't like you."
Travis held his hand and held his thumb and index finger a scant breath away from one another. "You like me at least this much."
Wes pretended to study the gap seriously for a moment, before reaching over and pinching the two digits together so there was no space at all. "That's how much I like you right now."
"You at least feel bad for me," Travis said, smirking slightly, but keeping his eyes closed to ward off the nausea.
"No, I don't. This is your own fault. Eat something leafy once in your life that doesn't have a surgeon general's warning against heart attacks on it. This won't happen anymore. Or at least, not as frequently."
"The only reason you never get sick is because not even germs like you," Travis said.
Wes snorted, and no, he was not laughing.
"See? You agree if you think it's funny."
"That was a snort of incredulity," Wes corrected. "I neither agree nor disagreed with your statement."
This time Travis snorted. "I see why you made such a good lawyer." There was a slight pause before Travis spoke again. "Kinda glad you are. I get in a lot less trouble with you around."
"Don't you mean you have less fun with me around?" Wes asked, pointedly picking up the out of date investment magazine again. Oh look…cell phones were still the size of army boots in this edition.
Travis shook his head, and the green tinge returned. "Even if you're not fun, you at least are fun to make fun of."
"So happy to be of use."
"You know, Alex told me something interesting the other day," Travis said, out of the blue.
Wes ignored him. He really didn't care what Alex had to tell Travis, and he was probably going to find out about it in couples counseling anyway.
"Why didn't you say she left you?"
"Don't you and Alex ever not bring up horrible memories from the past?" Wes growled. "And it was none of your business before, and it's none of your business now."
"But why did you let me think that? I gave you such shit over it," Travis protested.
Wes didn't answer for a minute, and Travis was pretty sure he was just going to keep ignoring him when his partner suddenly turned to make eye contact with him. Probably for the first time in a long, long time. "If I'd told you, how would you have reacted?"
Travis frowned. "You're my partner, I would've had your back."
"You're friends with Alex now, right?" Wes asked, and for once, he didn't sound like he was accusing him of choosing sides.
"Well, yeah, but…"
"If you knew she left me because I got shot at that bust, what would you have done to her?" Wes prodded.
"She left you because you were injured on the job?" Travis sat bolt upright, and promptly doubled over again into the trash can Wes had surreptitiously pushed back in front of him. In between bouts of puking, he managed to gasp out: "That…bitch."
Wes lightly slapped the back of his head with the out of date magazine. "And that, right there, is why I didn't tell you. You and Alex were friends. And I didn't want to ruin it for you."
Travis didn't even bother to sit up this time. "You're telling me…that you let me believe for a whole year that you left your wife, and you let me basically harass you that whole time so Alex and I would still be friends? What about us?"
Wes shrugged. "It didn't matter. It's done, it's over. You and I argue all the time, anyway."
"But maybe we'd argue less if you didn't keep everything to yourself," Travis said.
Wes smiled, and Travis thought it was the saddest thing he'd ever seen. "I've already been through one divorce. I know how it goes. It's never just one argument. It's never just one thing. If it wasn't that, it would be something else." The sad smile faded, and he went back to reading as if nothing was ever said.
It was a wonder Wes hadn't been pegged for undercover work.
Whatever Travis could have come up with in response was cut off when the nurse finally called his name.
"Mr. Travis Marks?"
"Right here," Wes called, pointing at Travis. "Have fun. I'll be out here waiting."
As the nurse escorted Travis back to a room, he risked a glance back at his partner. To anyone else, there would've been nothing out of the ordinary, but Travis knew Wes…better than the other man would ever admit. He saw the almost wistful look on his face when Wes saw the dads with their sick kids. He knew how badly Wes wanted a family, a little white pickett fence, and home. Instead, he was divorced, living out of a hotel, and taking care of a whining, sick partner on his day off.
"Hey, Wes?" he called, and waited for his partner to looked in his direction. "When you catch this, I'll return the favor!"
"I told you, I don't get sick!"
Travis turned back to the nurse. "We can go now."
It wasn't quite the mushy 'now that we've cleared the air, let's hold hands and skip through meadows of rainbows and bunnies' that everyone seemed to think was their process (Travis still wasn't sure how people got the idea they were dating), but it was something. Wes knew what he meant, and that was all that mattered.
And wouldn't you know it…next week Wes had the flu too. And Travis made good on his promise – despite the death threats for bringing upon the plague.
Author's note: I'm not entirely sure where this came from, except I was bored and typing along. Something about Wes just makes me want to make him suffer. Comments welcome!