A/N: Story of my life, writing stories when I should be doing homework. I'm just trying to distract myself from the sheer dullness that is my life.
This is a little one-shot I thought of randomly today. I feel this fandom needs a little more action (and plus also, I'm obsessed with Travis and Wes). By that I mean actual cops-doing-cop-stuff action, not...you know. Which brings me to my next point. This is NOT SLASH. If that floats your boat more power to you, but I personally don't write that.
Small amount of violence/threatening/weapons use, probably not for little children and thus rated T.
It's not beta'd, so any mistakes are my own.
Forgot this in my last fic: I don't own Common Law, or any of the characters. Just creatively borrowing them...
On with it!
Wes locked the car as he and Travis made their way up the walk to the front door of the house.
"Doesn't look like anyone's home." Despite being the one that lectured Wes on being a supportive partner, Travis was annoyed by this trip. He was skeptical that Wes's lead was really valid, and felt they were wasting their time on this house in the middle of nowhere. They'd been chasing a man who they believed was quickly developing into a serial killer, and Wes had connected some obscure dots that led them to this dump of a house on the outskirts of town.
Wes gave him a look and Travis knew he was about to throw his words back in his face.
"Yeah, yeah, I know. I didn't say we shouldn't check it out anyway," he countered before Wes could speak his mind. Travis was just exhausted from looking for this sicko. Night was settling in around them, and truthfully he'd be happy to go home and come back in the morning.
They made their way up the rickety front porch steps and Travis gave Wes a withering look before knocking on the door.
The door swung silently open under Travis's fist. He pushed it open the rest of the way before glancing at Wes. The partners exchanged concerned glances before silently removing their guns from their holsters. A long, dark hallway and a steep staircase could be seen from their position on the porch. Wes motioned with his free hand for Travis to check upstairs while he swept the first floor. Travis nodded, stepping quietly across the threshold and clearing the corners of the room before making his way up the stairs.
Wes stepped cautiously forward down the hall, cursing himself for not bringing a flashlight. Crossing into the foyer, he could now see a large open space at the end of the hall, which he assumed would be the dining area if the house had had any furniture. The room ended with a large sliding glass door that appeared to lead to a pool in the backyard. He could just barely catch moonlight reflecting off the surface of the water.
He snuck a quick glance up the stairs, but Travis had disappeared off the second story landing. He crept forward, holding his gun steadily in front of him with both hands. He'd never really been afraid of the dark, but clearing a house in the middle of nowhere that could possibly be home to a deranged killer was not exactly a calming experience.
Approaching the end of the hallway, he could see the wide living space opening up before him. The house was an old one, but it had an open floor plan that allowed Wes to see what was probably a living-dining-kitchen area. There was no familiar hum of a refrigerator, or glow of any light whatsoever. Wes figured the electricity had probably been shut off a long time ago.
Stepping out from the end of the hallway he swept his gun to his left, scanning the kitchen area as best he could in the dark. As he was turning back to his right, something hard and heavy connected with the side of his face. Wes stumbled in the dark, dazed by the blow and balance thrown off by the darkness. Before he could hit the ground, a hand shot out, caught him by the front of his shirt, and forced him against the wall. In a blur, Wes was disarmed and his attacker had him pinned against the wall just inside the living room area. Almost no sound had occurred from the attack. Wes had been too stunned by the blow to cry out, and his attacker had kept him from hitting the floor. A cold hand pressed tightly against Wes's mouth. With the other hand, his attacker held Wes's gun, digging it into Wes's ribs. Fighting for breath after the attack, Wes barely registered the gun and fought against his captor.
"Stop," a deep and gravelly voice quietly commanded him. Wes, acting purely on instinct, was currently not accepting demands and he continued to struggle. Swiftly, before Wes could process the action, the man had tucked Wes's gun into the back of his pants and replaced it with a large hunting knife. He crowded into Wes's personal space, and pressed the knife against his neck.
"I said, stop," he hissed fiercely. Feeling the knife against his exposed throat, Wes immediately stopped fighting. Struggling to catch his breath, he locked eyes with the man. Moonlight was shining through the glass doors, but Wes couldn't see all of the man's face as his back was to the light. Even still, he knew this was the man they were looking for. Enough hours of staring at a cell phone picture taken of him by his last victim had given Wes a perfect memory of the man's face. Wes could feel his eyes, cold and calculating, looking him up and down.
"You're awfully scrawny for a cop," the man whispered menacingly, eyeing the badge clipped to Wes's belt. Wes could do nothing but stare at the man, the knife pressing hard into his throat. He could feel blood running down his face from where he'd been hit across his right cheekbone. Without warning, the man grabbed Wes's arm, flipped him, and forced him face-first against the wall. He removed Wes's handcuffs from the back of his belt and cuffed Wes's hands behind his back before tying a handkerchief around Wes's mouth to keep him quiet.
The man turned Wes back around to face him, pressing the knife against his throat again.
"Damn cops ought to learn to mind your own business," he hissed. He was so close Wes could feel his breath, hot against his face. Wes's face contracted into a sneer. The man smiled ominously at him, before running the knife lightly down the side of Wes's face. "I'm not normally of the male persuasion," he taunted. "But you're just a little too pretty to ignore." He chuckled softly and Wes's stomach turned at the sound and the implied threat. This man had raped and tortured three innocent girls before brutally slicing their throats. Wes fought the urge to vomit as he realized the man had probably killed them with the very knife that was being held against his throat right now.
"Drop the knife." Wes turned his head involuntarily toward the sound of Travis's voice. He regretted it instantly as the knife dug into in skin.
The man reacted quickly, yanking Wes off the wall and using him as a shield: one arm around Wes's chest, knife held securely to his neck. Travis kept his gun trained on the man as he backed toward the glass doors.
"You want to kill your partner tonight, cop?" Travis didn't respond, keeping his gun steady. "Take one more step and that's what you'll get," the man growled as he continued backward toward the door. "I'll cut his throat, and he'll bleed out before he hits the ground. Trust me," he snarled. Travis was three steps out of the hallway and stopped where he was, not lowering his gun. He glanced at Wes, who he could now see was bleeding both from a wound on his cheek, and a small cut on his neck near the knife. To his credit, Wes didn't look frightened at all.
He looked pissed.
The man had a few inches on Wes and with his hands cuffed behind his back, he was forced to lean against the man at an odd angle. The man's head was completely exposed, but Wes's head was pressed too close for Travis's comfort. He couldn't take the shot and risk killing his partner. This man was smart. He had gagged Wes and cut off any chance of communicating a plan. It was too dark to see Wes's eyes clearly. Travis had no choice but to stay where he was.
"Drop the gun," the man ordered. He was at the sliding door now, but still had a firm hold on Wes. Travis weighed his options, but without any communication or clear line, he again had no choice. He slowly laid his weapon on the floor.
"Let him go," he said carefully as he straightened back up, hands raised. "We don't know you, we don't have any problem with you." He, unlike Wes, had not been studying the cell phone photo. But it was pretty clear to him they'd found their guy. Travis had been at the autopsy of the man's last victim, and he wasn't about to let this guy kill his partner right in front of him. "I put the gun down, now just let him go."
He could hear Wes's ragged breathing in the quiet space. There were at least twenty feet between him and Wes. He thought about charging the man, but he'd seen this guy's work first hand. He knew what he was doing with a knife. Travis didn't doubt he could kill Wes before Travis made it two steps.
The man reached behind him, sliding the door open.
"Not just yet, we're having too much fun, aren't we?" he shook Wes slightly and pressed the knife a little harder into his throat, eliciting a muffled choking sound from Wes. Travis's heart pounded in his chest. This guy was a psycho, and there was absolutely no way Travis was going to let him leave with his partner as a hostage. He stepped forward as the man took a half step toward the now open door.
"Let him go," Travis repeated, trying his best to cover up the desperate, pleading tone and mostly failing.
The man chuckled, a truly horrifying sound in Travis's opinion. "You two have that special partner bond, eh?" He smiled a disturbing smile at Travis. "Sorry partner, but I think I might keep him," the man turned his head slightly, burying his nose in Wes's short hair and inhaling deeply. "He's just too good to let go of," he said with another chuckle. Wes's breathing had become even more ragged and uneven. Travis was feeling equally panicked. They had no backup, there were no neighbors around for miles, and they were both disarmed and at the mercy of a sadistic killer.
The man continued out the door, shuffling backward across the patio. Travis followed him slowly outside, noting for the first time the pool that was ten yards behind Wes and the man.
"He's a cop man," Travis finally said. "Kidnapping a cop is a hassle you don't want to deal with. You'll have the entire LAPD on your tail in five minutes, tops."
In what Travis could only describe as a ninja-like move, the man whipped Wes's gun out and swiftly pointed it at Travis, stopping him in his tracks.
"Not if I kill you," the man said matter-of-factly. Travis blinked at the gun. Wes was struggling slightly against the knife now that he was free of one of the man's arms. "Hey!" the man shouted at Wes, pulling the knife up under his chin and forcing Wes's head back onto his shoulder, bending his back in an extremely uncomfortable way. "You want to die tonight? I can make that happen for you blondie," the man hissed in his ear. Wes's face contorted in a combination of pain and anger, but he stopped struggling.
Travis had taken the man's distraction as an opportunity to close more of the distance between himself and his partner. The man had continued backing up until his outburst at Wes, and was now only five yards from the pool.
"Look man, kidnapping a cop is bad, but killing a cop? They'll never stop looking for you. You'll be LAPD, FBI, everyone's most wanted until you're dead or in prison. And believe me, cops prefer cop killers dead," Travis said, again trying to make the man realize the inconvenience of tussling with the LAPD. "You wanna get out of town? Now's your chance. You let my partner and I go, we'll forget all about you."
The man laughed at Travis's words.
"No, you won't do that," he said shaking his head and continuing to point the gun at Travis. "But you will give me a head start." Travis barely had time to register the man's words when suddenly he slammed the gun into the side of Wes's head and flung him, unconscious, into the pool. He then took off running into the woods.
Travis immediately sprinted for the water. He launched himself from the patio, diving in headfirst. It was a deep pool, at least ten feet to the bottom. The moonlight was brighter now, allowing him slightly better visibility in the murky water. Kicking his way to the bottom, he could see Wes, lying eyes closed on the floor of the pool. Travis grabbed Wes under his arms, and pushed off as hard as he could from the bottom, reaching the surface in record time. He swam awkwardly to the opposite end of the pool where he could stand and haul Wes out of the water. He laid Wes on the patio, eyes still closed and blood mixed with water running steadily from the wound at his hairline.
"Come on Wes, be okay, don't do this to me," Travis muttered to himself as he leaned down to listen for Wes's breathing. He hastily removed the handkerchief from Wes's mouth and listened for breaths. "Come on, come on!" he yelled. He couldn't feel or hear or see any breathing. "Damn it Wes, come on!" He laced his fingers and started compressions. Wes hadn't been in the water that long, but coupling unconsciousness with a gag in his mouth, it was likely he'd taken a few watery breaths before Travis reached him.
"You are not allowed to die on me Wes!" he pounded the compressions into his partner's chest. "Come on!"
Wes suddenly sprang to life, coughing up water. Travis quickly turned him on his side, letting the water drain from his lungs. "All right, okay, you're alright buddy, you're okay," Travis couldn't stop the words pouring from his mouth. He suddenly realized Wes's hands were still cuffed behind him and he fumbled for the handcuff keys in his pocket, releasing his partner's hands and letting him lie more comfortably on his back.
Wes gasped in breaths, and stared, wide-eyed up at his partner. Travis was breathing like he'd just run a marathon. Travis lightly laid a hand on Wes's chest, and looked his partner in the eye.
"You're alright buddy, you're alright," he said softly, for both his and Wes's benefit.
Meeting Travis's gaze, Wes finally choked out, "Thank you," as he calmed his breathing a bit.
They were silent for a moment before Wes spoke again.
"More progress." He grinned at Travis and they both started laughing.