Tabula Rasa

"Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters without any ideas. How comes it to be furnished? Whence comes it by that vast store, which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reason and knowledge? To this I answer, in one word; from experience. In that all our knowledge is founded, and from that it ultimately derives itself." –John Locke

Chapter One

Almost four months had gone by since Wes and Travis had begun therapy sessions with Dr. Ryan. Travis was still much more at ease with their sessions than Wes was with them, as he felt much less comfortable with sharing anything about his personal life to a room full of strangers and even more so with his partner, but he knew Dr. Ryan was helping them to improve his and Travis' partnership and friendship, so inwardly, Wes finally began to stop trying to fight it, though outwardly he still showed his disdain for it.

The session they were currently sitting in was almost over and they had finished their daily exercise, or assignment, early and so for the last fifteen minutes, the couples decided to share with the others about the basic things they should all know about their partner by now and as usual, Wes and Travis were last.

When neither one of them volunteered to go first, Dr. Ryan spoke up saying, "I know that we have already answered these questions early on in our sessions, boys, but this is actually a good idea to rehash what we know about each other so that we can see how the improved we all are. Wes, why don't you go first. What is Travis' favorite color?"

Wes acted annoyed as he answered, "His favorite color is red. It's the same color he loves to see all of his conquests' wearing after stripping down to their undergarments. He thinks it's sexy."

"You would too if you would actually allow yourself to be with a woman again," Travis responded mockingly. "And for your information, I like it when they wear multiple colors; not just red."

"But is Wes right about red being your favorite color?" Dakota asked.

Travis nodded slowly and then replied, "Yes, he's right."

Wes smiled smugly and then continued, "Travis also likes any kind of food that's really greasy, especially Chinese food, his favorite movie is Scarface, all though you would think that it would be one of the Lethal Weapon movies, seeing as he loves to imitate Mel Gibson's character to a T, and his favorite pastime is women; period."

"Very good, Wes," Dr. Ryan said. "It appears that you've learned quite a bit about your partner since we've started.

"No, I already knew all of that before we started these sessions," Wes retorted. "But I have learned a few things that are a bit more important than what his favorite movie is."

Dr. Ryan looked at him and asked, "Would you care to share something about him that we don't already know?"

Wes looked over at his partner and then looked down as he slowly answered, "I learned how important family really is to him. I mean, he has several foster parents and siblings and he takes the time to visit as often as he can with each and every one of them, including the ones, who have ended up in prison because of the rotten choices they've made in life. I know that Mother's Day, is the craziest day of the year for him because he tries to see each of his moms and he gets each of them a gift. Travis is a good son and brother."

Emma smiled as he said, "Well done, Wes. Now, how about you, Travis. What is Wes' favorite color?"

Travis thought for a moment and then responded, "His favorite color is green."

"Wrong, my favorite color is blue," Wes replied. "I told you that a long time ago."

"Well, it was a long time ago," Travis snapped. "Your favorite food is some kind of disgusting salad, your favorite movie is Star Wars, and your favorite pastime is eating alone every night at that hotel you call home because you love being miserable."

Wes shook his head and then spoke up saying, "No, I don't have a favorite movie, and no, I just happen to spend my nights alone because I haven't yet met anyone worth pursuing, least of all the women you've tried to throw at me. It's like you don't know me at all."

Travis just smirked and then answered, "Well, like you, I know a few of the more important things about you, such as that you are a tad bit jealous of my families because you don't have any of your own, you are anal about, well about everything, that your intelligent, observant, and methodical, or as I like to say it, obsessive."

"I think that last bit is obvious," Clyde said sarcastically. "Sorry, man."

"Well, it appears that the two of you do know quite a bit more about each other than when you first started," Dr. Ryan responded before Wes had a chance to say anything in retort that would lead to the detectives getting into one of their typical spats. "Nicely done. I hope that you keep up the good work."

About a half hour later, Wes and Travis arrived back at the LAPD office and took a seat at the table inside the break room in order to eat the lunches they had picked up at the burger joint down the road. Wes only laughed to himself as Travis bit into his burger, causing a large amount of the burger's grease to drip down his chin. Travis wiped the grease away using the sleeve of his jacket and then glared at his partner briefly, just before finally turning around to face another direction in order to ignore him.

A few minutes later, Captain Sutton walked into the break room to find the two of them sitting with their backs to each other and he spoke up saying, "Please don't tell me that the two of you aren't speaking to each other again."

Wes turned to look at Travis and replied, "No, Captain. We're just fine. It was just something that was said in therapy."

Travis grumbled, "Yeah, Wes is making fun of my eating habits."

"The two of you really need to grow up and stop acting like children," Sutton said. "I've got a new case for you. A college student at UCLA has been found on the floor of his dorm room by his roommate about forty minutes ago. As it happened on a college campus, I need the two of you to be professional and tread softly. You know how all big, prestigious schools get when something like this happens and you know how the press gets with something like this too."

"Don't worry, Captain," Wes answered solemnly. "Travis and I will avoid speaking to the press and tip toe around the school's students, teachers, and the board members in order to help preserve their precious image."

Captain Sutton sensed the sarcasm in Wes' answer and then asked, "I take it that you have a problem with this order?"

Travis quickly responded, "No, Sir. Wes just doesn't like that the people we'll have to speak to will try to hide things from us and expect us to ignore the sensitive issues just to preserve the school's so called perfect image. We'll be perfect gentlemen."

"Good, then get going," their boss replied. "I better not receive any complaints about the two of you pulling any of your childish antics. Do I make myself clear?"

"As clear as crystal, Captain," Wes answered in frustration. "We won't give the press anything to report about us today. You have our word."