They should never have drunk together. Honestly, it wasn't as if they had planned it. A couple beers to watch the match had turned into three, then four with a couple glasses of Scotch. Wes had his jacket thrown over the arm of Travis' couch, top three buttons of his shirt undone and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. Travis pushed the sleeves of his shirt up and propped his feet on the table. They sipped slowly on their sixth beer.
"Hey, Travis, can I ask you a question?" Wes asked before he really thought about what he was saying. The alcohol was just starting to get to his head, flooding him with comfortable warmth.
The detective looked at his partner from the corner of his eye then went back to the game on TV. "Yeah." He replied, voice tinged with boredom.
"What was it like, living in all those homes? I mean, you didn't have to see the same people everyday for years, and you got to have brothers like Money." Wes looked over at Travis and saw those blue eyes darken for a fraction of a second before he smothered it.
"It's like one long sleepover." The older detective said before he downed the rest of his beer in one go.
"What was that?"
"What was what?"
"That. I saw that look." Wes shifted so he kneeled on one knee on the couch. "You got that look just before you said it then you did that thing you do with your mouth. That thing you do right before you lie."
Travis snorted. "You're drunk."
"Barely. But still right. What aren't you telling me?"
"Why are you so interested all of a sudden?" Travis rose to his feet to grab another beer from the fridge. His shoulders had tensed.
Wes followed to lean against the counter dividing the kitchen and living room. "I just want to know more. You seem to know everything about me, and Alex definitely knows more about you than I do."
Blue eyes flashed in annoyance for a second. "My life isn't a competition for you and your ex to see who can find out more first."
"That came out wrong. I want to know more about you. Isn't that what partners are supposed to do?"
Travis snorted. "You're mixing life partners and police partners." He opened a drawer and Wes saw him pull out a cigarette and lighter. "I'm going outside for a bit."
Wes watched from the corner of his eye as his partner headed for his balcony. The blonde furrowed his brow, arms crossed over his narrow chest as he took his lip between his teeth in thought. After a moment, he gave a slow exhale and followed.
The crisp night air raised goose bumps along his arms. Cigarette smoke was heavy in the air. Travis had seated himself with his feet propped up on the railing, slumped against the chair as he alternated between taking a pull from his cigarette and sipping his beer. He had his eyes closed and exhaled slowly at the sound of Wes' footsteps.
"Sorry…if what I said made you uncomfortable…" Wes apologized.
"It didn't." Travis replied easily without opening his eyes. He put the cigarette between his lips and let it hang there for a moment.
"Bullshit." Wes sighed. "Why don't you talk to me? You talk to everyone but me. Everyone gets to know you but me."
Travis looked at him and dropped his feet to sit up straighter. He took the cigarette from his lips and rubbed at his palm absentmindedly. "I don't…I don't want you to look at me differently."
"Why would—" Wes cut himself off with a short humorless laugh. He knew he was slightly drunk, knew he could regret what he was about to do. He couldn't even blame it on the alcohol later, but he didn't care. Wes straddled Travis, knees on either side of his hips. A hand grasped the back of the seat, and the other came up to cup Travis' cheek, thumb brushing over his cheekbone. "I can't look at you any different."
"Wes, you're drunk." Travis looked away.
The blonde leaned in until their lips were less than an inch apart. "Tell me to stop." Their eyes locked, and Wes closed the gap for a chaste kiss. He could taste the cigarette and beer on the other's lips.
After a second, Travis turned his head to break the kiss before he reached down to stub out the cigarette on the ashtray at his feet and set down his beer. He put his hands on either side of his partner's waist to gently push him off, but Wes held firm.
"If you don't want this then say it." Wes said. "Say it and I'll leave. We won't ever have to talk about this."
"It's not that. You don't know me, Wes." Travis' voice held a hint of heartbreak. The dim light that fell on his eyes exposed the hurt.
"Then let me in. Talk to me."
"I…" The older detective hesitated with a sigh before he locked eyes in the near darkness. "You want to know what it was like living in all those homes?"
Wes didn't reply. He didn't have a chance to. Travis rose to his feet with his partner's legs wrapped around his waist, moving until the blonde was sitting on the thin railing. At seven stories up, Wes' stomach could not help but do a little flip. But he felt Travis' strong arm on his back, felt the muscle shift to hold him close. One hand hooked on the back of Wes' knee to anchor him.
"It feels like this." Travis said quietly. "Sometimes I got a house where the other kids called me a bastard or hit me every time an adult wasn't around. Sometimes, I got the adults that beat me for so much as dropping a plate. Then I got the ones that really treated me like family, that I could almost pretend it was real. But it's always the same in the end. I feel like I'm on the edge, just waiting to fall but too scared to jump. It's a reminder that no one wants me."
Wes gave him another modest kiss. "I want you." He trailed kisses from Travis' lips, along his jaw and down his neck. "I want everything, the god and bad, the perfect and screwed up parts of you." He felt himself being lifted again, but this time into the warmth of Travis' apartment. Shifting, Travis met Wes' lips to kiss back with bruising intensity. Wes felt the air rush from his lungs as they fell heavy onto the couch. His head spun.
Travis' hands were running over the other's bare skin, trying to learn every inch of the younger detective. He pulled the collared shirt from his pants to run his hands over the planes of Wes' back, his sides. A moan began in the back of the blonde's throat as a thumb brushed against his nipple. Deftly, Travis unbuttoned his partner's shirt to expose his bare chest before he trailed kisses down to the nipple. The blonde had to bite back a cry to god.
"Promise me something." Wes' breath hitched, and one hand grabbed onto his partner's shirt to steady himself. He was heady with the taste of Travis on his tongue.
Travis flicked his tongue over the nipple one more time before he looked up. "If you promise me something."
"Don't one night stand me."
The detective hummed in thought for a moment then placed a light kiss on the other's chest, right above his heart. "As long as you promise not to just come and go."
Wes nodded. "Looks like you're stuck with me."
"Or you're stuck with me." Travis replied as he sat back. Wes' body was painful aware of the space between. "Think you can handle that?"
Wes reached up to pull his partner into a soft kiss that made them breathless.