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Title: Blissfully Oblivious
Fandom: Common Law
Pairing: Travis Marks/Wes Mitchell
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 3,489
Summary: It’s obvious to everyone but them that they’re totally hot for each other. But why can’t they figure it out themselves?
Author’s Note: Written for Round 21 at smallfandomfest. Prompt: When were these two ever going to figure it out? That the reason Wes and Alex’s marriage failed was because Wes was harboring feelings for Travis, and that the reason Travis continued his string of one-night-stands and half-ass relationships was because he really just wanted Wes.

Kendall peered around her clipboard as her favorite couple walked past. They were arguing – of course – but about what, she couldn’t hear. If history was any indication, whatever it was that Mitchell and Marks were quarreling over, it was probably inconsequential. She thumped her leg against a desk, earning herself a reprimand from the tall, blonde detective sitting at it. Really, girl, pay attention.

“Sorry, Detective Caffrey,” Kendall said, smiling and trying to get away from the woman. Intimidating didn’t even begin to cover Kate’s demeanor.

“Be careful, Kendall,” she said. “It’s bad enough Amy’s constantly running into things. We don’t need to break the computer geeks, too.”

Kendall forced the smile to remain in place as she skirted the rest of the desks in the robbery-homicide division. She hated being called a computer geek, although she put up with it when Marks called her things like that. It was one of the reasons why she liked Wes so much. He called her by her name and knew what her actual title was. Travis didn’t have a clue but then, Travis wouldn’t either. The boy was lucky to have a partner like Wes to keep him on track.

There’d been a moment when she’d been hot for Detective Wes Mitchell. His sweet smile, those amazing blue eyes, and even his crazy blond hair was enough to make a girl drool. And then she discovered he’d been married and divorced, bringing more baggage than she was willing to handle at that point in time. Not that it had distracted her over active libido in the least, because her heart still pounded anytime he came near. Then she’d discovered the reason why Wes’ marriage had gone down the drain and even her unrelenting hormones began to flag.

She could hear them arguing more clearly now, they must’ve stopped outside the RHD for some reason. Kendall slipped out and walked towards the bank of elevators in the direction opposite of her two detectives. It was so obvious to her, she didn’t understand why they couldn’t see it themselves. Maybe they were keeping it quiet or maybe they were in denial. Whatever the reason, it only made them disagree more and more.

**

“You’re insane,” Travis said, slapping a manila file folder onto Kendall’s desk. “Tell him he’s crazy, Kendall.”

She made a face, moving her gaze from Travis’ angry face to Wes’ stoic expression. It took a lot to get under Wes’ skin, but Travis was an expert at it. Mostly because he knew all of Wes’ secrets, his wants, desires, everything that made the blond tick. “He’s not crazy, Travis, he’s just tired of your baloney.”

“Thank you, Kendall,” Wes said, treating her to one of his infrequent smiles. He saved them all for those rare times when Travis did something right or smart or practical.

“I still think you’re nuts,” Travis pouted, dropping his ass onto the corner of her desk.

“And I think you’re a ruthless womanizer,” Wes said, shoving his hands into his pockets and rocking back on his heels. “But I don’t bring it up every time we have a conversation, Travis.”

“You just did,” Marks protested, pointing at Wes.

As much as she enjoyed listening to them banter, whatever had spurred this disagreement had roots in something harsher. She liked their playful banter, but their angry tirades made her heart hurt. “Is there a reason why you two are here, other than because I’m irresistibly cute?”

Travis’ face softened into a smile. He’d been trying to woo her since the day they’d met. To date, he’d been unsuccessful. Not for lack of trying, because he was persistent. Also not for lack of good looks because hello, the boy was fine. “Yeah, you are that, baby,” Travis grinned.

Wes elbowed him in the side. “We had a question for you.”

“I had a question for you,” Travis clarified, giving Wes a look.

Kendall watched Wes roll his eyes. Trying not to laugh, she gave Travis her serious face. “And what was the question?”

Travis’ eyes moved towards where Wes stood before snapping back, front and center. “I suggested that our perp had hacked our victim’s email but Wes doesn’t think that could happen without the vic actually knowing something was up. Blondie here thinks that there’s no way she wouldn’t have known someone was in her mail deleting messages.”

She looked at the two detectives standing before her and gave an inward sigh. Wes knew quite a bit about computers, but Travis wasn’t exactly computer illiterate either. Compared to her, however, they were both dunces, but she wouldn’t admit to that out loud. “And this is what has you two at each other’s throats?” She wasn’t buying it, but Kendall wasn’t certain they’d admit the truth.

“What?” Wes looked shocked. “No.”

“Of course not,” Travis laughed, like he always did when he was hiding something. “Nah, he’s pissed because I’ve got a date tomorrow.”

Ah, the heart of the situation. “Why are you mad about that, Wes?”

“He dates too much,” Wes said, glaring at Travis. “He’s about to run out of eligible women in the building.”

“Don’t listen to him,” Travis said, blasting her with his megawatt smile. “He’s just bitter because I go on dates while he sits at home and mourns the end of his marriage. You know, the one that fell apart a year ago?”

“Travis,” Wes growled, “shut up. And I am not envious of your dating habits.”

“Yes, you are,” Travis said. Winking at Kendall, he added, “He really is.”

“What I am is embarrassed by the way you hound the women we work with and then ignore them once you’ve had your fill.”

Yeah, Wes was jealous all right, but not for the reasons Travis thought. It was abundantly clear to anyone who paid the slightest bit of attention that Wes was crazy in love with his partner. But, Wes being Wes, was virtually incapable of saying as much. Not that Travis would believe him even if Wes managed to find the words. Nope, Travis was too busy burying his own feelings under a pile of one night stands. She had to wonder if these two would ever figure it out or if they’d continue to be miserable because they were truly this stupid.

Kendall had noticed it the first time she met Alex. Although this was after the explosion of her marriage to Wes, the signs were still there. The hooded looks she’d give Travis, the way Wes had to remind himself to stand closer to his ex-wife than to his partner. Then there were all the stories. And her sources were reputable. Detectives Kate and Amy who worked closely with Wes and Travis. The medical examiner, Jonelle. There were even things she’d heard Sutton say when he thought no one else could hear. Why no one pointed it out to these two was beyond her. But Kendall was new here, maybe she was missing something.

There were times when she ached to go corner Dr. Ryan, the boys’ therapist, and ask her if there was any way to get it through their thick skulls that they were meant for each other. She also sometimes wondered if things might have been different if Wes hadn’t married Alex, leaving him open to explore the possibilities of a relationship with Travis.

But wishes and wants weren’t going to get her – or them – anywhere.

Pulling herself out of her thoughts, Kendall realized they were still arguing about Travis’ dating habits. “You know, Wes” she said, refusing to bite her tongue and get it the hell out for once. “You could solve all this fighting by taking Travis to dinner.”

“What,” Wes spluttered. His deep blue eyes were wide and Travis was smirking.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t step up and beat him to the punch, Marks,” she threw out.

“Hell no,” Travis laughed. “Blondie’s got a stick up his ass like you wouldn’t believe. Talk about a lousy date. Can’t even imagine how lousy he is in bed.”

“Can’t vouch for his sexual prowess,” the medical examiner said, coming into Kendall’s small workspace area. “But he can be a pretty fun date.”

Travis gave Wes a look that spoke volumes. “You two dated?”

“We did not date,” Wes said, holding up a hand to stall anything Travis might say next. “We went on a – singular – date. Jonelle won an award, but you wouldn’t know that because you never talk to your dates, and she needed someone she could trust to behave to act as her date.”

“I asked Wes, of course,” Jonelle said, grinning. “We had a great time, too.”

“Did you need something from me,” Kendall asked, trying not to smile at the way Jonelle put Travis in his place.

“No, actually I was looking for these two. I have some information on that body of yours. If you’re done with Kendall, we can go back to the morgue so I can explain.”

“We’re done,” Wes said. “We didn’t get the answer to our question, but we can come back. Your information won’t wait.”

“It never does,” Jonelle agreed.

**

She’d only seen her once or twice, considering her marriage to Wes had disintegrated long before Kendall had come to work for the LAPD, but she was positive that was Wes’ ex-wife, Alex, standing there looking uncomfortable.

“Hello,” she said. “I’m Kendall. If you’re looking for Wes, he and Travis aren’t back yet. They went for lunch.”

The brunette narrowed her eyes at Kendall, giving her the kind of assessment only lawyers and law enforcement could pull off. “Thank you,” she said eventually. “I think I’m going to wait outside.”

“Alex,” Captain Sutton boomed. Kendall hadn’t even seen him emerge from his office. “Mitchell isn’t back from lunch yet, but he and Marks ought to be soon. Want to come sit in my office while you wait?”

She shook her head. “Mind if I sit at Wes’ desk?”

“Sure, sure,” Sutton said, waving her in the direction of the desk she undoubtedly knew all too well. When Alex had moved out of hearing, Sutton frowned. “Such a shame that they couldn’t make it work. But these things happen. If he’d only been more honest with her…”

Kendall’s ears perked up. “Honest? About what?”

Although she was pretty sure she knew. Everyone knew why Alex and Wes had broken up. She said it was because she’d married a lawyer and not a cop, but the truth was, her ex-lawyer husband had fallen hard for his very cop-like partner. It seemed like everyone knew it but Wes. And Travis. If they didn’t get their act together soon, Wes and Travis would break up, too, and that wouldn’t be good for either of them.

“What?” Sutton’s face was a picture of surprise. “Oh, nothing. Nothing, Kendall. Look, here they come.”

Travis must’ve seen Alex because his face was lit with joy. He had a bag of something in his hand and was walking double-time towards her. Wes, on the other hand, was a study in conflict. He was undeniably happy to see his ex-wife, so he could ask about his ex-lawn, but there was something else there, too. Longing as his eyes flicked to Travis, pain as he looked at Alex. They were torturing themselves and it broke her inside to watch it happen.

“Alex,” Wes said, surprise and restrained hope in his words. “What are you doing here? If you needed something, you could have called.”

She trained her eyes on Travis for a long moment before grabbing and holding Wes’ gaze. “That’s the problem. I think we need to talk.”

“You two want to use my office,” Sutton offered. “I need to get some grub myself.”

“No,” Alex said right before Wes accepted the captain’s offer. “We can do this here. As a matter of fact, I think I need to do this here.”

“I’ll go find an empty interview room and eat. Kendall –”

“Actually, Travis,” Alex said, drawing Marks’ attention back to her. “I’d like you to stay. What I need to tell Wes you probably ought to hear, too.”

“Okay,” Travis said, setting his bag of food onto his desk and collapsing into his chair.

“For once I’m as confused as Travis,” Wes said, grabbing a chair from a nearby vacant desk and sitting in it. “What could you possibly have to tell me that he needs to hear.”

Alex flicked her gaze in Kendall’s direction and, before Kendall could move, she gave the slightest shake of her head. Apparently, Alex wanted a witness. Interesting.

“Wes, I’ve think it’s time you faced the truth,” Alex said.

“He never faces the truth about anything,” Travis said with an eye roll. “It’s why we’re always arguing. Boy can’t see reason.”

“Travis,” Wes growled. “Shut up.”

“Although you’re right to a point, Travis,” Alex said, earning herself one of Travis’ outstanding smiles, “it’s not entirely true. You two fight nonstop for another reason. The same reason my marriage fell apart.”

“The two things aren’t even related,” Wes argued. “He and I fight because he’s –”

“Wes,” Alex said before he could get started. “Stop it. You two fight because you have feelings for each other and refuse to admit it.”

Holy guacamole, Kendall thought. Had she really just said that?

“You’re insane,” Travis spat. “I can’t stand his pasty self.”

“Agreed,” Wes said, giving Travis a nod. “We fight because we’re complete opposites. Responsible vs. Irresponsible. Neat vs. Messy. I can keep going.”

“Please don’t,” Alex said, sighing. “I hated you being a cop, Wes. You know this. But the longer you worked with Travis, the less you began to see me. Every night, you talked about your cases, of course you did, but all too often, those discussions strayed from the case to Travis. How he’d annoyed you by using the wrong word. How he’d aggravated you by taking nonstop about his date from the night before. Once even about how that shirt he’d been wearing had made his eyes look soooo blue.”

“I –”

“Wes, don’t argue it,” Alex said, giving him the most lawyerly look Kendall had ever seen. Anyone being cross-examined by this woman was in for a hell of a ride. “In the beginning, you liked Travis and his free spirit. And then it began to wear on you. Eventually, he became all you could talk about. I thought maybe it was because he was making you so crazy and then, well, I saw you two together.”

Wes looked down at his hands, folded neatly in his lap. Kendall was worried he was about to jump to his feet and start yelling like he always did with Travis, but he didn’t. He just sat there, silently contemplating the situation. Out of the corner of her eye, Kendall saw Travis’ hand move. He lifted it an inch into the air before dropping it. Kendall wanted to scream out at him, telling him it was okay to comfort his partner, but refrained. God only knows what else Alex had to say.

“You can touch him, Travis,” Alex said, having obviously seen his aborted attempt at reassurance. “I know you do it often enough. That day I’m talking about? I was coming into the station when I saw the two of you coming out. It was clear you were discussing something not work related by the animated way you were throwing your hands around, Travis. Every couple of these,” she waved her arms in the air over her head to demonstrate, “your hand would land on Wes, his arm, his shoulder. Every time you touched him, Wes would look at you. Even from where I stood, I could see his breath catch. It became embarrassingly apparent that the reason why he couldn’t stop talking about you was because he was in love with you.”

“That’s not true,” Wes shouted, bolting to his feet. “It’s –”

Travis reached up and tugged on Wes’ hand. “Sit, baby.”

“Please don’t call me that,” Wes begged, voice hitching. But he sat.

“It is true, Wes. I can see it. I bet – what’s your name again?”

Kendall realized Alex was addressing her. “Um, Kendall, ma’am.”

“Right,” Alex said, nodding. “I guarantee that Kendall has seen it as well.”

Three sets of eyes turned on her and Kendall felt the heat rush to her face. “Everyone knows,” she whispered.

Travis’ face crumpled into something unreadable. Wes returned his gaze to the floor. “If everyone around you can see it, why can’t you two admit to it?”

It was obvious to Kendall that Alex knew the answer to this question already. Honestly, she probably did as well: pride. They were too proud to admit that they’d fallen for each other and, if pressed, they might even be afraid to admit their attraction because of what it might do to their partnership.

The silence stretched between them, neither Wes nor Travis willing to pony up an explanation for their denial and subsequent bad behavior. A loud thump drew startled them all. Kendall looked up from the sad faces of her two favorite detectives to find Sutton standing by the desks, arms folded across his chest.

“It’s about goddamned time someone brought this up,” he said, glaring at his two best men. “If you’re gonna date, there’s paperwork for that. It’s in this folder,” he said, pointing at what he’d dropped on the desk a minute ago. “Fill it out and go get dinner or something. I don’t care what, just stop making us all crazy!”

Sutton stormed off to his office retreat. Kendall wasn’t sure if there was enough nature music and yoga in the world to calm the captain after this, but it was worth a shot.

Alex looked at Wes, then Travis. “I’m going to go now,” she said, reaching out and brushing her fingers through Wes’ hair. “If you want to talk about this – and not about us, or the lawn, or anything else – call me. I hate that you found someone else while we were still together but…” She shrugged. “Therapy isn’t just for you, you know.”

Kendall watched her walk away, feeling slightly more awkward than usual. “I should go, too,” she said, moving her hands nervously. “If um, when you’re ready to talk about that issue you asked me about earlier, I’ll be at my desk. I don’t want to hold up your case.”

“It had nothing to do with the case,” Travis muttered.

“What?”

Travis lifted his head and brought his sad, blue eyes up to meet hers. “It had nothing to do with the case. I hacked Wes’ emails to see if he would noticed. He didn’t.”

“That’s an invasion of privacy,” Wes said.

“I know it is,” Travis snarled. “I’m a police officer you know. But I couldn’t help it. You’re always going on and on about Alex in public and I was hoping that maybe you were going on and on about me in private.” Travis made a disgusted face. “He wasn’t.”

“Of course I wasn’t,” Wes said. “Who do I know that I could even talk to about this mess?” He ran his hands roughly through his short, blond hair, leaving it standing in crazy spikes. “I have no one to confide in but you.”

“Yeah, I really ought to go now,” Kendall repeated. As much as she’d love to stay and listen to them work it out, she was worried they’d hold back if she remained.

“Wait,” Wes said, holding out a hand. “Alex said you knew?”

“Everyone knows, Wes. It’s obvious by the way you two act. And not just the fighting. It’s the looks, the jokes, the touching, Travis.” Kendall shrugged and gave them her best smile. “Watching you two is like watching two fourteen year olds with their first crush. It’s both adorable and frustrating. Can I go now?”

Wes looked at Travis for confirmation before nodding. “Go back to work. Someone ought to get something done today.”

“Wait a minute, this isn’t –”

“I never said it was, Travis,” Wes said, voice weary. “I’m just saying that neither of us are going to be of any use until we talk about this.” He scratched the back of his neck and smiled at Travis. “I know we just bought lunch, but what if we went somewhere and talked about this over some food? The burgers are probably cold by now anyway.”

Travis blew out an amused breath. “I thought you’d never ask, baby.”

Standing, Wes held his hand out to Travis. Marks took it and allowed Wes to help him up. When they walked towards the exit, they stood close, shoulders nearly bumping. Each watched the other as he spoke, giving each other the attention they’d always wanted to give, but had been afraid to show. Maybe, just maybe, they’d gotten the hint.

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