There was something wrong with Wes. Travis didn't know what. He knew the couple's therapy was definitely helping. He knew that Wes had cleared things up with Alex so it wasn't awkward every time they met. Travis was worried. Wes never smiled or laughed anymore, and he barely said two words to anyone. Travis made it his goal to visit Wes at his home after work that day.
Work ended the same way it had for the past week. As soon as the clock hit 9:30, Wes was out of the building. Travis sighed and kept working on the case papers strewn about his desk. At 10:45, Travis bid goodbye to his co-workers and the captain. He raced outside to hop on his motorcycle and head to Wes's house (which in reality was a hotel room).
Travis entered the motel and went to Wes's room. He knocked on the door of Wes's suite.
"Who is it?" Wes asked on the inside of the room.
"It's your favorite partner ever. Can I come in?"
"Depends... Why are you here?"
"I just want to talk to you, Wes. Can I please come in?"
Travis heard clinking noises, and finally the sound that told him Wes had unlocked the door. Travis opened it and stepped inside. The room was neat, just like Wes. But Travis didn't see the resident of this suite. He walked around inside, looking for his partner.
"Wes?" he asked. Travis proceeded to the bedroom. He saw Wes sitting on the edge of the bed wearing blue and white striped pajamas. Travis noticed that the light blue matched the color of Wes's eyes. Speaking of Wes's eyes, Travis noticed that they were red and puffy.
"You okay, man?" Travis asked with concern. He walked over to Wes and sat next to him on the bed. Wes cleared his throat before answering.
"Yeah. I'm fine."
Wes didn't look fine, and Travis knew that. He looked at Wes, but there was something else that caught his eyes. Travis leaned forward and saw a waste basket filled to the brim with used tissues. Many were scattered across the floor. This could only mean two things: Either (1) Wes was sick with allergies or something OR (2) Wes had been crying before Travis came here.
"Are you sick or something?" Travis asked, and prayed it was that instead of the other option. Wes shook his head and stared at the wall in front of him. 'Oh God,' Travis thought.
"Wes, what happened?"
"No, something happened."
"I said nothing Travis! Okay? I'm fine-"
"You were crying."
"No, I wasn't."
"You weren't? Really? Okay... Then explain those tissues and your watery ass eyes if you weren't sick or crying? Hmm?"
Wes looked at Travis. His lip was quivering and he began blinking quickly. Then he looked at the floor and swallowed, hoping to get rid of the lump in his throat. Travis stood up, frustrated with Wes's lack to open up to him.
"Wes, you've been acting all quiet for the last week. I'm starting to get a little worried. Now, you're lying to me AND you're not talking to me. What gives? Are you mad at me? Did I do something to upset you this much?"
Wes shook his head, and squeezed his eyes shut. He felt the water building up in them.
"No? Then what is it? Talk to me, man. Give me something," Travis bent down in front of Wes, "I'm scared, Wes. I'm worried about you."
Wes let out a shaky sigh. Travis saw the tiny liquid orb that fell from Wes's face. Travis's eyes widened. He resumed sitting next to Wes on the bed. He wrapped his arm around Wes's shoulders. Wes was shaking violently. Travis rubbed his back soothingly.
"I-I'm sorry, Wes. I didn't mean to yell, but you know how I get... Sorry. Shh, shh. Calm down, buddy. What's the matter?"
"T-Travis..." Wes spoke but his voice cracked.
"What is it, Wes?"
"For being a dusche bag."
Travis chuckled, and squeezed Wes tighter. Wes rubbed his eyes and sat up straight, then he sniffled.
"Ahh... The reason I've been weird lately is because my dad has been sick. You know how he had cancer for the past two years?"
"Well, he was sent to the hospital last Sunday. He had a flare up, and the doctors said the cancer spread to his brain. I was just so scared. I was afraid to talk to anyone. And... and..."
Wes paused as he felt his eyes burn.
"Wes, I had no idea. I am so sorry."
"Travis," Wes looked at his partner as a tear ran down his cheek, "My dad... passed away today."
"Oh my God, Wes. I-I honestly don't know what to say. I'm so sorry. I met the guy once or twice. He was so kind to me. I can't really imagine how you feel."
Travis hugged Wes. Wes started weeping into his arms.
"When did you find out?" Travis asked him.
"I got home, a-and I checked my messages. I heard the call from the hospital. They said he died, and that's when I broke down. The last time I saw him was five days ago... and he was put under. I-I never got to actually tell him goodbye."
Wes let two hot tears escape his eyes. Travis felt so sorry for him. He has never seen Wes act like this before, even when he split up with Alex.
Wes coughed. He was a mess. His eyes were red and puffy, his cheeks glistened with tears, and he kept sniffling.
"Was he your last family connection?" Travis asked Wes.
"N-No. My sister is still alive, but she lives in Connecticut. I haven't seen her in years."
"Well, you'll probably see her at the funeral. By the way, when is it? I would love to accompany you."
"Thanks, Travis. But I don't know anything about it yet. I'm probably going to have to make the plans."
Wes grabbed a tissue from the almost empty tissue box and blew his nose. Then he took another one to wipe his eyes and face.
"You feeling any better?"
"Yeah. A little. Because I know that dad's in a better place now where he doesn't have to suffer."
Travis's brother-side kicked in right about now.
"See, you never believed me. I always told you that talking to other people about stuff that's bothering you can make you feel better."
Travis playfully poked Wes's side after he said 'feel better'. Wes jumped and grinned.
"Come on, tell me I'm right. Say it!" Travis ordered Wes.
"I said no."
"Wes, you have to. You never believed me in the past. But it worked, didn't it?"
"Okay, Travis. I'm not one of your foster siblings that you can just tease and boss around."
"I know, you're right. But I think I know a way that cheered my brothers and sisters up that can work on you, too. Wanna know what it is?"
"Fine. How can you cheer me up? I know it's not jokes 'cuz you suck at jokes."
"Run? What, why?"
"Just go along with it. It's part of the game."
"Run, Wesley. Someone's coming after you," Travis said in a sing-song, teasing voice. He raised his arms in the air, as if to mimick a monster. Wes looked at him with a gaping mouth, in which the corners of it twitched upward.
"Alright, fine. Don't run. But then the tickle monster is gonna get ya!" Travis wiggled his fingers and attacked Wes's ribs. Wes screamed and swatted Travis's hands away.
"Stop! Travis, this isn't funny."
"You sure? 'Cuz you're gonna be laughing very soon."
Travis lunged at Wes, but Wes was too quick for him. He jumped off the bed and ran to another room. Travis smiled. This is just how it was with his foster siblings. He would threaten, they would deny, he would tickle, and they would run. Travis chased after Wes.
"Come out, come out wherever you are," Travis said. He walked slowly around the living room, examining every inch of it.
'This is so stupid,' Wes thought. He was hiding in the closet in his bathroom. He knew that he was insanely ticklish. Wes was surprised that Travis hadn't tried to find that out after all the years of being partners with him. Then he heard banging, his breath hitched when he realized Travis was in the bathroom he was hiding in.
"Are you in here, Wesley?"
Travis checked the cabinets under the sink, and then in the tub. He sighed, then he saw the closet Wes was hiding in. Travis grinned and walked over to the closet stealthily. He grabbed the knob and turned it. It wouldn't open.
"Jackpot," Travis whispered to himself, "You in there, Wes?"
Travis spoke a bit louder. Wes knew the door didn't have a lock. He was holding the knob so Travis couldn't open it. He just hoped that Travis wouldn't suspect anything anymore.
Travis tried the door again. Wes grunted and turned the knob the opposite way.
"Come on, Wes. I know you're in there."
Wes and Travis both turned the knob, but in different directions. Travis banged on the door.
"Alright. You leave me no choice," Travis said. He stood away from the door and took out his gun. He quietly removed the bullets. Wes was getting nervous. He didn't know what his partner was up to.
Travis 'loaded' the gun so it made the clicking noise. Wes's eyes widened. He slid down to the floor and covered his head.
"You ready to come out, Wes?"
"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," Wes whispered aloud to himself. Travis expected Wes to come out on his hands and knees at this point; or at least say something. Travis put his gun back in its holster and went over to the closet. He rubbed his hands together and turned the doorknob. He was surprised when it opened. He giggled when he saw Wes on the floor, nearly in the feedle position.
"You okay?" Travis asked him, failing to hide his growing smile. Wes looked at him.
"Okay?! You were about to shoot the door... With me inside!"
Travis began cracking up.
"Hahahahahaa! T-There were no bullets in the gun!"
Wes had a blank and confused face.
"The gun was empty."
"Oh, you're a dead man," Wes said. He stood up. Travis ran out of the room, with Wes hot on his trail. They knocked over some furniture and papers, and Wes ended up tackling Travis to the floor. They struggled for a while, but Wes remained on top of Travis, pinning him.
"Ouch! Okay, I'm sorry for pulling a gun on you. But it was empty!"
"Yeah, but you were stalking me around my room. That's not cool."
"I was trying to cheer you up."
It was then that Wes remembered what happened before Travis tried to attack him.
"Uh, yeah. Thanks for that."
"You're welcome, I saw that you were said, and when a partner needs someo-"
"Alright, don't ruin it for yourself."
"Can you let me up?"
"'Cuz you still scared me, even if the gun wasn't loaded."
Travis wriggled one of his arms free and tickled Wes's side. Wes let out a girlish squeal and collapsed to the floor next to Travis.
"The tickle monster's coming, Wes. And he wants you as his victim," Travis loomed over Wes, smiling evilly.
"Travis, knock it off!" Wes couldn't help but smile.
"Why? You aren't ticklish, are you?"
"No... I mean... yeah, no."
"He's about to attack," Travis wiggled his fingers, and raised his arms above his head, "You want to tell me the truth?"
"Leave me alone!" Wes tried crawling away, but was caught around the waist by Travis a.k.a. The Tickle Monster. Travis roared and began tickling Wes's sides and belly. Wes was howling with laughter within seconds.
"No, stop! Ehehehehehahahaha! Travis! Stop, stop, stop," Wes begged between laughing like a lunatic. Travis couldn't believe how ticklish Wes was. He was more ticklish than any of his foster siblings he did this to. Travis was cursing himself in his mind for not trying this years before.
"Sorry, the Tickle Monster can't hear you over your laughter," Travis kept up with the act. He noticed Wes's shirt ride up and expose some of his stomach. Travis squeezed and tickled that skin. Wes squealed and tried to curl into a ball.
"I think I found a sweet spot," Travis joked. He pulled up Wes's shirt more and tickled all around his navel. Wes started giggling like a girl and kicking. Travis laughed at his reaction to that.
"Ohoho my Gohohod! Travis, stop! Nohohohohahahaha!"
"You're so cute when you laugh like this, Wes."
"Shut up! Eeee!" Wes squealed when Travis tickled one of Wes's underarms.
"What was that?"
"Noth-eep!" Wes squeaked again when Travis found the same spot.
"Don't do thahahat!" Wes whined and chuckled. Travis was completely pinning Wes to the floor. He stopped tickling him to let him catch his breath.
"You sound like a kid, Wes. I never knew you were so ticklish."
"Yeah, I know. It's embarrassing."
"Well, for you it's not. But for me it is. Can you get off? You're crushing my lungs."
"I will. But I can't believe how bipolar you are. Within the last minute, you went from giggling like a child to being your normal, serious, and boring self."
"I don't stay happy for long."
"Hmph, no kidding!" Travis rolled off of Wes. Wes stretched, glad that he was able to move again. Travis laid on the floor about a foot away from Wes. He knew the floor was clean enough for him to do this. Travis yelped when Wes jumped on him, straddling him in the process.
"Wes! What are you-"
"Has the Tickle Monster ever gotten a taste of his own medicine?"
"N-No. Not really because that's not how it works."
"I think it's about time that happens," Wes grinned at Travis. He started lightly tickling Travis's ribs.
"Oh God," Travis gasped. He held his breath to try and prevent laughing his head off.
"Oh, come on. Laugh! Hehehe," Wes giggled at Travis's face as it changed from red to blue. Wes paused his tickling to renew his assault on Travis's belly. Travis snorted and booming laughter came out of his mouth.
"St-Stooohohohop! Hahahahaha! No, no, no! Ah!" Travis screamed when Wes reached his hands back and tickled his thighs.
"Ooh, you're ticklish there too, Travis?" Wes teased. He twisted his body so he could tickle him around there easier. This caused Travis to buck his body and squeal repeatedly. Wes giggled at his partner.
"How about here?" Wes reached down further and got to scratch his fingers on the underside of Travis's knees. Travis screamed and kicked his legs all
"Wes! N-No! Hahaha! Stop it, stop it, stohohop it!" Travis was desperate. He reached his arms out so they were close enough to Wes's sides. He grabbed them and started tickling him. Wes turned back around to face Travis, cracking up and squirming. Travis capitalized and shoved Wes off of him.
Travis dragged his body away from Wes to lean against the couch. Both he and Wes were panting.
"N-Never do that again," Wes said once he started breathing normally again. Travis chuckled.
"Not a chance."
Wes grinned, knowing Travis would torture him for the rest of his life with his newfound weakness.
"You're a, um... You're a great partner. Thanks."
Travis smiled at Wes and crawled back over to him.
"You're pretty awesome yourself. Again, I am there for you whenever you think about your dad or anything like that. And I will come to the funeral, whenever it may be."
Travis patted Wes's back as Wes smiled at him.
"Alright, I'm gonna head home. I'm sorry about your dad again, man. Just think happy things and you'll be fine," Travis said and stood up. Wes followed him to the door.
"See ya," Travis walked over to the stairs and descended them. Wes closed his door and went to his bedroom to clean up and throw out all of his tissues.
About three minutes later, there was a knock on Wes's door. He wondered who it could be.
"Hold on... Who is it?"
"It's, uh, Travis."
Wes opened the door, "Travis? What happened?"
"My bike won't start. And I would ask you to drive me home, but..."
"My car's in the shop. Yeah, I know. Well, do you have your cell?"
"Okay. Do you have a voice and a working hand?"
"Great. So, just get a cab or something."
"Uh-hu... Oh no."
"Can I stay with you?"
"I promise I won't be a pest. Please! Like, what if you have nightmares or something. I would be there to comfort you. And what if-"
"Get inside and help me pull out the couch bed."
"Really? Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you."
Wes closed the door when Travis entered. He then helped Travis take the cushions off the couch and pull out the bed.
"You have cute jamies, Wes."
They pulled out the bed completely. Wes, being a perfectionist, began fixing and straightening the mattress cover.
"I'll get sheets and pillows," Travis said. He went over to the closet Wes hid in before and smiled. He grabbed two pillows and a white sheet.
"Alright. I'm all set. Thanks again."
"Don't mention it."
"Um, one quick question. Will it bother you if I wear only my boxers when I sleep?"
Wes shuddered at the idea of Travis's almost naked body on his couch.
"Uhh... No. Not a problem."
"Great," Travis grinned. He began undressing.
"Okay. I'm gonna go to bed. Sleep tight, Travis," Wes said and quickly left the living room.
"G'night, Wes!" Travis exclaimed, then he heard Wes's bedroom door slam shut. He finished removing almost all of his clothes until he was left in boxer shorts. Travis sighed as he climbed into bed. He smiled.
Travis's bike was fine. He just wanted to make sure Wes was okay because he cares about his partner. Partners have each other's backs at all times. Travis fell asleep thinking about all of the ways he could annoy Wes with his new discovery.