Tabula Rasa

Chapter Sixteen

Three days passed by and so far, Wes and Travis had come up with nothing on Todd Reynard, even after trying to talk to the students, who were suspended from the college, except that Reynard was only co-owner of the club and running it until his partner, who was arrested on an assault charge, got out of prison in two years.

Most of Wes' strength had finally come back, but his patience and hope for solving this case had dwindled drastically, the longer this case remained opened. Travis was worried about him, as Wes was no longer arguing with him at all. In fact, he was once again hardly speaking, hardly eating, and Travis and Mike knew that he wasn't getting much sleep either. Both of them were supposed to have another therapy session, but Wes refused to go and for once, Mike didn't force him to go.

Later in the day, as Wes was sitting at his desk scanning his computer for information about both owners of the club, Travis came over, took a seat at his own desk after having a talk with Kendall, who was also worried about him, and then placed a sandwich down on his partner's desk in front of him. Wes didn't seem to notice as he kept staring at the computer screen.

"You know, you're not going to find something that isn't there," Travis said as he saw that Wes was looking over owners' rap sheets, as they both had minor records. "I bought you your favorite sandwich from the café down the street. Are you listening to me?"

"I hear you," Wes answered sullenly. "Thanks, but I'm not really hungry."

Travis scoffed and then responded, "Please, you couldn't even last three days on that disgusting cleanse you went on once, so I know that you're just fooling yourself. Look, I get it. I know that you're upset that we've hit a dead end, but you have got to snap out of this funk you're in."

Kendall suddenly charged in with a file in her hand as she replied, "Maybe this will help!"

"This is the guy that Reynard was arguing with at the club," Travis said as he and Wes looked over the first photo Kendall handed them inside the file. "He's on his phone while he's standing outside the station as he's watching Wes. What is this?"

"I've been working on trying to get a clean shot of the scumbag that hit Wes with his car and unfortunately, I wasn't able to, as he or she was wearing a baseball cap, but thanks to the surveillance cameras all around here, I caught a shot of this guy, as you just said, watching Wes just before the accident," Kendall answered. "I didn't really think anything of it until I moved in on another camera and caught this same guy, a few minutes later, walking over and leaning in to talk to whoever it was inside the car that hit Wes. I ran him through the databank and nothing came up, but I ran him through a few other systems and it turns out, this guy's a lawyer named Jim Richards, who has one son, Tony Richards."

Wes stood up as he turned to her and quickly asked, "Do you think you could find out, who he made the call to just before the accident by getting a copy of his records?"

Kendall smiled as she responded, "Did you honestly think I would leave you hanging, Boys? I've got it right here. The number belongs to a Todd Reynard; the very guy you've been wanting to nail since you met him the other night at that freaky club."

"Kendall, you are a genius!" Wes said eagerly just before he suddenly kissed her on her cheek and then ran toward the exit. "Thank you!"

"Hey, wait for me!" Travis shouted out at his partner while he quickly grabbed his and Wes' coats as he winked at the photo technician and then took off.

As soon as Travis got back into the passenger's seat of Wes' car, Wes began to drive off in a rush toward Tony's and Ana's apartment while Travis spoke up saying, "It's good to see that you're kind of back to your old self all of a sudden, but let's not get ourselves killed on our way to go bring the bastards down all right? Why are we heading to Tony's apartment first? Shouldn't we be going to the club?"

Wes angrily replied, "It's early in the morning. Most likely, Tony will be at his apartment right now and we don't even know if anyone's at the club. We don't have enough to arrest Reynard on, but I have a feeling that Tony was the one driving the car that hit me and if we can get him to talk by making a deal with him, then we can get what we need. This might be why Reynard and his lawyer were arguing that night at the club."

"Good thinking," Travis answered. "It's about time we end this case. Any longer and you would have wasted away to nothing and I would have ended up without a partner."

Wes ignored him as he continued to stare ahead as he drove. When they finally arrived at Tony and Ana's apartment complex, they saw Tony's father leave the building and head toward his car. Wes and Travis quickly got out and ran toward the lawyer, but he didn't try to run away as they expected him to, nor did he try to attack them as they approached.

"He isn't here," Jim said sadly. "I think my son is with Todd at the club discussing another plan to kill both of you. He was the one in the car. I never wanted this; not for me or for my son. I'm so sorry, Detectives."

"You were outside the station that morning when I came out," Wes responded as Travis turned him around, cuffed his hands behind his back, and then shoved him into the back of Wes' car, as he took a seat beside him. "You've been following me around, haven't you?"

As Wes began to drive toward the club, Jim replied, "Yes, I've been following you around for awhile. I was watching you inside your hotel the night Jeremy Walker died and I heard you tell your partner and your lady friend that you were going to find the men that were responsible for Jeremy's death. I knew you'd be hell bent on bringing us all in, so when I told Todd, he sent my son to kill you so you couldn't. I tried to stop him, but my son idolizes Todd and his brother, who is in prison."

Travis spoke up again saying, "Tell us about why he had both Ryan and Jacqueline killed and then why he set up Jeremy Walker."

"Both Todd and his brother, before he was arrested, were hooking men and women up for a lot of money," Jim continued. "The Harem is kind of like a dominatrix type sex club. However, business was dwindling and so they started distributing drugs to help draw people in, addicting drugs, just as you suspected. Eventually, word got out to a group of students from the college, including Jeremy, who soon ended up dragging Ryan with him. Jeremy was all right with taking the drugs right away, but Ryan was more afraid, until Tony and Ana brought Jacqueline over to convince him the drugs were only to help loosen him up and that they were harmless. He tried it and got addicted, like many others, but then Jacqueline no longer wanted to be with Ryan and they got into a fight. Ryan then fought with my son, as he told Tony that he was going to tell the police about what was going on in the club. Todd had my son kill Ryan and then kill Jacqueline, who was also threatening to go to the police when she overheard them make the plans for the hit on Ryan. Finally, we set up Ryan's roommate because he was the one responsible for bringing Ryan in the first place. We thought you would think that there was some kind of love triangle going on between the three of them, so Tony planted Jeremy's things at the crime scenes and was very careful with not leaving evidence behind, unless it pointed to Jeremy. Ana slipped Jeremy a drug to knock him out for the night. I was only trying to protect my son. I never wanted to be involved."

"Then, why didn't you go to the police yourself?" Travis asked.

Wes answered for him angrily, "Lawyer, client privilege. You were more afraid then to lose your license than you were of helping your son and clients commit these horrendous crimes. The question is, why now? Why are you so willing to give it all up now?"

Jim responded, "I want to save my son and I realize now that talking to you is the only way."

"I doubt we'll be able to do anything for him," Travis replied. "He's murdered two people, helped to frame another for those crimes, and then tried to kill my partner as well. There's not much that can be done for a monster like that."

"We're here," Wes said as they pulled up in front of the nightclub, then got out and headed to the trunk, where he had stored two bullet proof vests in for him and Travis, while Travis quickly cuffed their detainee to handle above him so that he wouldn't try to escape, then went around to the back of the car to join in putting on his vest like his partner did. "Amy and Kate are on their way to help us out if we need it, but we can't wait. We may not get another shot at this. You ready?"

Travis nodded and answered, "Yeah, I'm ready."

Wes and Travis slowly approached the club's entrance with their hands over their guns to be prepared for a fight should one arise and quietly entered through the side door, rather than through the front in hope of avoiding being seen right away. At first, their plan worked, but after a few minutes, one of the bouncers caught sight of the two detectives and suddenly shouted out to Reynard, who was speaking with Tony up at the same table where they were all talking a few nights ago, telling him to run, as the man quickly pulled out his gun and attempted to shoot Wes and Travis, until they took him down first, followed by a few others, who tried to kill them as well.

While Wes and Travis were distracted with dealing with his thugs, both Reynard and Tony Richards ran from the club out the back door and down the fire escape, as they were up on the second level of the building. It didn't take long for the rest of the detectives in the LAPD and the cops to arrive on the scene, including Kate and Amy, who took over for Wes and Travis, while they went after their main targets.

Reynard and Tony had a good head start, but Wes and Travis chased after them as fast as they could, finally ending up in an old, abandoned building several blocks down the street from the night club, filled with packing crates, drums filled with some kind of liquid, stripped down bodies of cars, as well as old car parts.

As Travis and Wes entered the same way they figured their killers had entered, the large room was quiet and it made them feel unsettled, even while they held up their guns, and as they expected, as soon as they stepped out into the opening, several shots were fired at them from a balcony above them, as Wes very quickly shoved Travis down behind a large stack of the containers to take cover. Luckily for Travis, Wes had caught sight of their attackers just before they took the first shots.

Unfortunately, Reynard and Tony had the high ground, but they each only had one single handgun, just as Travis and Wes had, so shots were being fired back and forth on both sides, each side hoping the other would run out of bullets first. Wes and Travis took turns firing, while the other one stopped to reload their gun.

It was when he noticed that they were almost out that Wes suddenly spoke up loudly in order to be heard over the firing, saying, "We've got to do something fast or we're both going to end up dead!"

Travis quickly shouted back, "I open to any ideas!"

"There's a door to your left," Wes answered as he knelt low to the ground while he loaded his last clip into his gun. "It looks like there's also a door behind them. Go out and sneak up behind them. I'll cover you."

"That's crazy!" Travis responded in frustration. "I can't leave you alone in here!"

Travis suddenly took cover as well, as the clip he was on just emptied, then they both looked at each other when Wes replied, "We don't have a choice. They've got the advantage over us and it doesn't appear that they're running out of bullets like we are. It's now, or never."

Travis nodded as he said fearfully, "Fine, but don't you dare get yourself killed. Be careful!"

"I will, now go!" Wes answered and as soon as their killers paused to reload, Wes suddenly began to fire several rounds toward them in distraction, while Travis bolted out the door and ran as fast as he could to follow through with the rest of their plan.

When he reached the door after reloading his final clip and quietly slipped back into the building up behind Reynard and Tony, who were both still distracted as they were firing upon his partner, Travis snuck up and roughly placed the barrel of his gun against the back of Reynard's head to get him to stop shooting. Tony was shocked to see that he and his idol were about to be beaten, but he quickly turned his gun around on Travis, who was too focused on Reynard to notice, and was about to shoot until the kid suddenly collapsed to the ground and cried out in pain, as a bullet suddenly entered his shoulder. Travis looked down to see his partner standing out in the opening and realized he had made that shot, which saved his life.

"Last bullet," Wes called up to Travis and then smiled, just as Amy, Kate, and a few cops came charging into the room, ready for the take down.

After a few more cops entered the door where Travis entered moments ago, Travis allowed them to arrest both Todd Reynard and Tony Richards and take them into custody, as he reached out over the balcony to grab a hold of a rope that hung from the ceiling and then swung back down a few feet away from Wes.

Amy shook her head and smirked as she smugly said, "Show off."

Travis was about to say something in reply until he looked over at Wes, who looked down at his hand that he was holding over his stomach, then slowly moved it away to reveal that it was covered in blood. Wes then looked back up directly at Travis in shock as he suddenly stumbled forward and collapsed until Travis rushed over and caught him before he could hit the floor. Fear came across Travis' face as he held onto his partner and tried to take a closer look at the wound that he couldn't see, as the bullet had entered straight through his vest, then placed his free hand over the hand Wes was using to place pressure on his wound himself.

As soon as she and her partner saw Wes collapse, Amy quickly made the call for an ambulance, while Kate rushed over and knelt down to help her colleagues. From above them, as Travis heard a chuckle coming from Jafar and the kid, he quickly shouted out to the cops to get the monsters out of the building. Then, Travis turned his attention back on Wes and saw that his eyes were closed tightly in pain.

While Kate began to take a look at the entrance wound herself as she gently moved the hands covering it away, Wes sluggishly reopened his eyes to look up at Travis and then struggled to say, "We didn't ha… have a choice. I was hit… hit when we first walked… into the building. I would not have been able to do… what you did."

"You son of a bitch," Travis responded angrily. "I won't allow you to die because you saved my life. You're going to be all right. Do you hear me? Just stay with me."

"I can't see the wound because of his vest, but it's helping to keep pressure on it so that his blood doesn't flow out as fast as it would without the vest," Kate whispered. "The only way a bullet could go through the vest is if…"

Wes replied, "Armor piercing… rounds."

Travis nodded as he said, "They were using 'cop killers.' They figured we would come for them eventually, so they prepared."

"The ambulance is here," Amy quickly cried out as she rushed back inside the building after leaving to go wait for the paramedics to arrive in order to flag them down and lead them inside. "They're coming. How is he doing?"

"He's going to be fine," Travis answered optimistically for his partner's benefit, even though deep down he didn't feel so sure. "You're going to be just fine, Wes. We may fight like we're children, but I don't want another partner. Don't you dare give up!"

Wes had fallen into coma after he had died on the operating table and had to be resuscitated twice. The only thing that was keeping him alive was life support and Travis had fallen into the same slump that Wes had fallen into back when he was blaming himself for Jeremy's death. After three weeks, Wes still had yet to come out of it, so Captain Sutton had tried to assign Travis a new partner temporarily, but it only ticked him off and he told Mike that he was taking some time off to think things through.

Travis didn't want to quit, just because there was a chance he could lose his partner for good, but at the same time, he had meant what he said when he told Wes that he didn't want to have to train another partner in his place. Wes was the only person, who understood him and what about what the captain and Dr. Ryan kept telling him and Wes? The two of them needed each other. Wes was the only person standing between his reckless actions and death. How could he train someone else to be that for him?

Five weeks passed by and Alex had yet to visit the hospital and by that point, Travis knew that she wasn't coming this time. He knew that she wanted to, but at the same time, he also knew why she couldn't. She was afraid to watch a man, whom she still loved, slip away. Travis didn't blame her and neither did anyone else.

Within that time, Dr. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. Dumont, Peter, Dakota, Clyde, and Rozelle all stopped by several times to visit, in order to show their support for their friends. Even Kate, Amy, and Jonelle came to visit a few times. Mike stopped by every night after work on his way home, as did Kendall and every night they found Travis keeping vigil over a man he considered a brother, no matter how many foster siblings he already had.

It was into the sixth week when Wes finally awoke from the coma. The doctors were surprised as they didn't expect him to recover at all, but Travis just let out a sigh of relief as he waited for his partner to acknowledge he was there. After a few minutes, Wes finally looked over at him and smiled.

Travis spoke up saying, "You gave us all quite a scare. I thought I told you not to do anything stupid?"

Wes groggily answered, "I didn't plan… to get myself… shot, but I wasn't going to let you die."

"So it's all right that you take the risks then?" Travis responded. "That isn't exactly fair now, is it?"

"It was a risk I was willing to make," Wes replied quietly. "You would have done the same for me."

Travis smiled as he nodded and then answered, "Yeah, I would have, but don't ever tell anyone I admitted that or people might start to get the impression that I like you."

Wes smiled too as he responded, "The same goes for me. I don't suppose this means we can be done with therapy now, does it?"

"I wish," Travis replied. "We still have plenty of issues to work through, especially after all this. For example, how do you feel about everything that happened with Jeremy? Are you still blaming yourself?"

"I think a part of me always will, but I know now that there was nothing more I could do," Wes answered. "We got the scum that were responsible for it all. You helped me to keep my promise, so thank you, Travis."

Travis only nodded and then responded, "You know, Kendall's been here every night to watch over you so that I could go home and get some sleep. She's got a major crush on you, Man."

Wes replied, "When I finally decide to retire, if she still has a crush on me then, then I'll go out with her. But until then…"

"Man, you are hopeless," Travis said half jokingly. "Who knows, maybe she'll find another job and then the two of you can date."

"Is she looking for another job?" Wes asked as Travis just smirked at him and then turned and walked out of the room. "Travis? Travis!"

The End