Deeks sat on the sand of the tiny beach looking over at the calm bay that was now dotted with four or five small boats. This was not the way it usually looked and he knew the boats would be gone in a few short hours, finishing their tasks on the island, leaving them to celebrate amongst themselves. The sun was shining brightly with small white puffy clouds skimming slowly overhead, a slight breeze keeping the late summer's day temperature perfect. Today was always going to be perfect.

It was twelve months exactly to the day that Deeks had so suddenly proposed to Kensi on that very body of water and today was the day they would be married. He sighed at that thought, feeling the unconditional love he felt for Kensi ripple through him freely. Kensi was going to be his wife and nothing in this world made him happier than that thought. Twelve months of being her fiancé had been what dreams were made of for him, and now that dream would become exponentially better.

He didn't feel nervous at the thought of getting married. He knew that Kensi was the one he wanted to spend his life with and the thought brought with it a feeling of complete and utter contentment. It was what he desperately wanted. He knew Kensi felt the same way because they had talked about it, something they never used to be able to do very well, but now they had no secrets, no hesitation in discussing anything. Kensi had told him she wasn't nervous, but he was sure a little bit was creeping in. All brides felt some amount of nervousness didn't they?

Bride! Kensi was going to be his bride. He smiled to himself at the thought of Kensi walking towards him down the makeshift aisle, a long white carpet laid down on the grass just beyond the beach. She would be beautiful, even more than she always was and his smile widened at the thought, his heart beating just that little bit faster at the anticipation.

Kensi was in the big house on the middle of the island, getting ready for their big moment. Nell would be fussing over her as a chief bridesmaid would, and Anna, her childhood friend, would be trying to keep them both on track. Though knowing Nell, she would have every moment plotted out to the finest detail. The thought of her walking down the aisle in front of Kensi with a clipboard in hand and an ear piece in place made him chuckle.

A shadow crossed over him and Deeks instinctively knew who it was. Sam, his best man for their special day, a person that only a few years ago, Deeks would have never thought would be considered one of his best friends. They had been through a lot together in the last couple of years and through it all had become firm friends. Deeks now considered Sam one of the best. Callen was naturally his other groomsman, the two men being the closest to family that he had ever had in his life.

"You better come in and get ready soon," Sam said to him quietly.

"Yeah, there's still a little bit of time."

Deeks looked up and Sam stood there already dressed in his black suit, ready for the wedding. There was no way he would sit down on the sand with him and it occurred to Deeks there used to be a time when Sam hovering over him like that would have intimidated him. Now he only felt comfort.

"How's she doing?" His every thought was about Kensi.

"She's doing good."

He wanted to see her. He really wanted to see her. Who thought of this tradition of not seeing the bride on the wedding day? It sucked. They didn't spend much time apart these days and now he hadn't seen her since she left home early the day before and he missed her. Their longest separation had been when he went for his agent training, shortened due to the time he had already been with NCIS as their liaison with LAPD. That time had been difficult for them so soon after working everything out and becoming engaged.

Engaged. Wow, he still marvelled at the fact that he was engaged and now about to be married, especially after the spur of the moment proposal he had made. It still surprised him that that hadn't backfired on him and that Kensi had actually said yes. He smiled again remembering the day they returned to work after that weekend on the island. Neither of them could decide the best way to announce they were engaged, and both felt a little nervous as they walked in. Just like Deeks proposal, his announcement came straight from the heart. As they stepped over the threshold of the Mission, Deeks raised both hands in the air, taking one of Kensi's with him as he held her hand tightly, and shouted out "We're getting married." Everyone had heard, and the room went quiet. For only a few moments before pandemonium broke out and everyone was congratulating them.

He had looked down at Kensi who seemed a little flustered. It probably wasn't the way he had planned this, then again neither had his proposal followed any plan. "What princess? I want everyone to know how much I love you. I'm so proud that you said yes." His chest seemed to puff out and the smile on his face could not be removed. He was so in love with this woman that stood by his side.

Kensi had smiled softly up at him, a smile everyone had seen. Callen noticed Kensi and knew he had never seen this soft side of her. No one had before that day, except for their newest agent, and he had an equally emotional look on his face. They could have been the only two in the room.

The tiny figure of Hetty standing among the well-wishers, holding an expensive bottle of champagne and smiling, was the icing on the cake for them. She told them she felt like her children were growing up, and in usual Deeks fashion, he joked, saying he hoped they were not brother and sister. A punch on the shoulder from Kensi that time was warranted, everyone had agreed.

His year as an NCIS agent had been everything he had hoped it would be. He never had to worry about leaving Kensi again, except for the 3 weeks of training he attended, and aced as well. But since his return, they had been together as partners, always working well together, giving no one a reason to think they could not function as a team along with being in a relationship. The times Kensi had to seduce a suspect were difficult for them both, as was the times Deeks needed to do the same. But through it all, they remained completely professional, proving to anyone who needed to see, that they could keep their private lives away from work, and work away from their inner sanctuary. Not that there wasn't a tonne of flirting going on, but then that was no different to before.

"You'll see her soon Deeks," Sam said to him breaking into his musings. Deeks laughed ironically, shaking his head. It amazed him how Sam could now pick up on his thoughts almost as much as Kensi, so strong had that friendship become.

Deeks stood so he could look at Sam. "Thank you Sam. For everything you have done for me, for us. I know we didn't start on the best if terms but everything worthwhile takes time, right?"

Sam nodded and shook Deeks' hand. "No need for thanks Deeks. It's been an honour to get to know you properly. You're one of a kind Deeks and a profoundly good man. I am honoured to call you my friend." They hugged tightly. Deeks thought Sam was going to crush him. They didn't need any more words. Nodding at Sam he turned and walked a little further down the beach. "Don't lose track of time," he heard Sam say as he walked away, and raised his arm waving in acknowledgement.

He looked back over the bay and saw Hettys boat. That was when he noticed for the first time the name of the boat "Sunshine". "And Gunpowder," Deeks murmured. Was it any wonder he had felt so strongly that evening when he had proposed to Kensi on the spur of the moment. That night had been one of the best nights of his life. Kensi had agreed to marry him and what followed had been a night of pure love and passion. Waking up in the arms of his amazing, then-new fiancé, had given him such a rush of joy. His arm around her waist tightened and he kept their legs entangled, wishing they could remain there forever, raining gentle loving kisses over her bare shoulder. It had turned into another day of fun, love and happiness, not even ending when the boat had returned to take them back to the mainland.

They had sat on the back deck enveloped in each other's arms, talking quietly but not moving until they were docked and then they slowly walked off, hand in hand. It had been like neither of them wanted to break contact and even while Kensi drove, Deeks reached over and laid his hand on her thigh. They spent the night together at his place which began a trend of spending nights at each other's place. Rarely were they not together and there was never the threat of LAPD taking him away anymore.

He sat down on the warm sand again, hugging his legs, and thought about their future. He could see only a good life together. Yes, their careers were fraught with danger and worry, it would always be that way. At home though, they did everything to have a peaceful loving refuge from all the darkness they encountered. They had recently bought a new home, a modest house by the sea, not too far from work but far enough to leave those troubles behind. They had worked hard at separating their lives and had done so quite well. They had their moments, as anyone would expect, but for the most part, their lives were balanced.

They'd spoken about having children. Even after both of them had expressed a fear of bringing children into the dark world they found themselves in so often, they both agreed, they did want some of their own. Deeks realised it would be difficult for Kensi, knowing she would be on desk duty once her pregnancy was confirmed. He hoped she didn't hide it from everyone, including him, just so she could stay in the field longer than she should. He pictured her thinking that, but he also knew he would sense something was different and he promised her he would be with her every step of the way. And she wouldn't keep it from him, he knew that. They had no secrets. The thought of making a little ninja assassin with her stirred something so deeply inside him. He could be a dad. A real dad. A dad who idolised his child and would do everything to keep him or her safe in this world. Just imagining cradling their little creation in his arms had him craving to become a dad, and soon.

He shook his head and looked around. They had to get through today before any thought of babies and family could happen. He thought of all they had been through to get to this point and he knew they both had Nate to thank for much of the reason they reached this far. He looked around. Nate was somewhere on the island, one of their guests for their wedding. He had been instrumental in both of them getting over their trauma. They were both, for want of a better word, cured now, Nate having worked with them until he was satisfied that they weren't in need of his help anymore. He would always be on call for them though, if they should ever need his expertise again.

Deeks thought back to some of the sessions they had been through together. Some had been harrowing, yet each and every one of them had been important in bringing them to where they were today, and today was something he had never thought he would get to experience. After his traumatic childhood, his fear of turning into his father, the darkness of every day that they experienced at work and its repercussions, had him convincing himself he didn't deserve the happiness he now felt. Nate had been instrumental in showing him he deserved happiness as much as the next person. And Kensi was his happiness. She had been from the first time they saw each other, even if he hadn't recognised it back then. She was his shining light.

With one more look at the ocean in front of him, the sunlight sparkling on the water's surface like tiny glistening diamonds, he turned to walk back to the small house he was to get ready in. He wondered if those two dolphins were anywhere in the vicinity. He smiled at the memory of Kensi being so excited at seeing them and being able to swim with them towards the boat. Deeks continued to smile as he walked, sure that nothing would wipe it off his face today. As he entered the small room he saw his family. Or, he saw the male members of his family. Sam, Callen, Eric and Nate stood in the room and all turned to face him as he walked in.

"Here he is. Are you ready for this?" Nate asked him, walking over to shake his hand. He felt the warmth from the question and once again that contentment washed over him. He really liked this feeling and wished he could bottle it up. Then he realised from this day onward, he would have it every day.

"I'm ready. I'm more than ready. Thanks a lot, to you."

"You did the hard work. I'm proud to have helped you get to where you both are today."

"Kensi and I will be eternally grateful. We wouldn't be where we are today if it hadn't been for your help. I honestly believe that."

"Well then let's get you into that suit and down the aisle. Seeing you both happy is all the thanks I need."

Deeks looked at the four men. He wanted to say something profound but couldn't find the words that would show how he felt justice. Callen picked up on the fact. "It's okay Deeks. We know. Just keep making her happy." He reached out and shook Deeks' hand and pulled him in for a hug.

"You bet I will Callen. And thank you. All of you."

Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement and frowned. Someone began walking towards them and Deeks gasped.

"I told you, you two had a thing."

"RAY!" Deeks screamed out and was in front of his friend in two strides, pulling him in for a crushing hug. "What are you doing here?"

"Couldn't miss my best friend's wedding now could I?" He lightly punched Deeks on the shoulder. "Where's the phone call I told you to give me once you worked your thing out." Deeks had the decency to blush softly.

"Ray, I can't believe you are here," Deeks said ignoring the accusation. "I'm so glad you made it."

"I wouldn't have missed it."

If Deeks wasn't already the happiest he ever was, he would have been even happier. Having his childhood friend attend his wedding just made everything all the more perfect and he was ready to get this all underway. From the moment he woke up that morning, the ride out on the boat, his musings as he walked alone on the beach, there had been one nagging thing that he couldn't push away but he tried desperately not to think of, and all of a sudden it was gone. He'd wanted Ray to be present. This day was always going to be perfection. Now it would be even moreso. He couldn't think of a thing that was missing, apart from wishing Kensi's dad could be there.

His suit was ready. Even in this relaxed atmosphere on this island paradise he had wanted to wear a suit. It made it feel real and he wanted that, he wanted that image of formality. This day, was something he never thought he would have so making everything as traditional as they could was what he wanted, and he knew Kensi did too. In reality though, he could have married Kensi in shorts and a t shirt, so long as they said their vows and promised themselves to each other. He reached for his clothes and slid into them effortlessly. His crisp white shirt contrasted to the black of the suit jacket and once it was on, he did feel a little of that nervousness he had been holding back. He didn't understand why. Perhaps it was just anticipation.

"Well, look at you all done up in a penguin suit," Ray said laughing with Deeks.

It wasn't long before he was standing at the beautifully designed altar at the end of the white carpeted aisle. The aisle, that in only minutes, his Kensi, his bride, would be walking down towards him. Now his nerves were picking up and he ran his sweaty palms down the side of his tailored black pants. Sam's hand came up to his shoulder, gripping it for reassurance. "Not long now Deeks, and she'll be all yours." She already was, Deeks thought, and he was undeniably hers.

The grassed area they had chosen for the wedding to take place had been transformed into something of dreams. Despite Kensi's daily show of toughness while at work, this scene in front of them was feminine and princess like. She had designed it all with the help of her mother and Nell. White carpet indicated the aisle. White lace covered chairs had been transported in for the guests, arranged on either side of the carpet, flowers decorated every known position a flower could be placed. And the altar itself was covered in pure white linen with flowers draped over the sides. It was stunning and it gave Deeks a feeling of peace, even if his nerves were building.

And then, there she was. The music began to play and he swallowed hard. This is what he had craved for so long.

He saw Nell and Anna ahead of her and he ducked and weaved to try and get a glimpse of Kensi, making Sam reach out to still him. "Patience," he heard him whisper, but he had none. He chuckled softly as he realised Nell didn't have a clipboard in her arms and realised he had fully expected her to be carrying one, just like he saw so often up in OPS.

And then Kensi came in full view. His breath caught in his throat and he thought his heart had stopped. All previous thought left him, replaced by only Kensi. More beautiful than he could ever remember, her wedding gown accentuated her every curve, heightened her glow and brought out her beauty just as he would have expected. He didn't know who had designed her dress, but whoever it was, was a genius.

His heart began to beat again, albeit erratically, as he watched her walk slowly towards him, and his breathing came in heavy gasps. Julia walked beside her, pride in her daughter shining from her face, her arm linked with Kensi's at her elbow. He was so madly in love with his Princess. How was it that he had been so lucky to have this woman fall in love with him? He would be forever grateful for the day their lives crossed paths.

As she got closer, she smiled at him and his heartbeat, and breathing, kicked up a notch. He just wanted to take her in his arms and kiss her. Couldn't they skip to that part because seeing her so close, he just wanted to run to her, hold her in his arms and kiss her passionately. He itched to do that but he stayed in the spot and waited for her to stand beside him. He recalled Sam's word, but patience was getting harder. When her mother announced she was giving her daughter to him, he reached forward and took her hands in his, squeezing them softly, mouthing the words "I love you" for her to see. She smiled at him and from that moment, his nerves were gone and he relaxed. He had eyes only for her.

The ceremony went by in a blur, his eyes never leaving Kensi's but the moment he was asked to say his vows, crystal clear clarity settled over him and he began to speak.

"Kensi, I love you more than anything on this planet. You are the reason I breathe," he repeated from the day he proposed. He noticed Kensi's eyes already filling with tears and he squeezed her hands to calm her. "You are in my thoughts every moment of every day and the way I feel about you, you will be in my every thought forever. I am madly in love with you, completely and unconditionally. We had so many complications in our lives, so many ups and downs. Yours, mine and ours. I'm happy we finally learnt to work them out together rather than alone because together, with you, is the way to overcome it all. I was so sure I had to be fixed before we could move on together when all I really needed to be fixed, was you. Together we worked out the rest. We are not going to waste any more precious time apart. My life is better with you in it." He took a long steadying breath and this time Kensi squeezed his hands for support. "Kensi, Princess, Fern, Sugar Bear," She smiled which is what he had wanted and he gave her a lop-sided grin in return. "I promise myself to you, to honour you, to cherish you, and to always have your back." That made Kensi give a watery giggle and he now smiled adoringly at her. "Kensi Marie Blye, I take you to be my wife, always and forever and ever, through everything that comes our way." He lifted her hands to his lips and kissed them softly, unaware of the ahhhh's coming from the crowd behind them and the sniffles behind tissues. Deeks vow had brought most of the crowd to happy tears.

And then it was Kensi's turn. She sniffed softly and looked up at him, emotion clearly visible on her face. "Marty," she began. Her calling him by his first name didn't sound foreign to him at all anymore. "I think I have loved you since the moment I met you. I just didn't know it. In a sweaty MMA gym when I had laid eyes on you, I knew there was something special about you," she said to him and he laughed aloud, belying the tears he had in his own eyes now. "As I got to know you those feelings became stronger. But my walls didn't allow you in. I had them so firmly in place and you had to knock them down. Little by little you did until without even knowing it, you were there with me. You'd torn down my carefully erected wall and let yourself in. And for that, I will be eternally grateful to you. You have made my life happier, warmer, fulfilled, loving, easier, contented, comfortable, and so many wonderful things that I did not have before I met you. Things I never thought I would ever have and I am going to make our life together the best it could ever be." Looking up at Deeks she let go of one hand and swiped away a tear that threatened to roll down her face. Deeks reached up and took her hand, letting his thumb wipe the tear she had tried to erase. Kensi looked up at him as more happy tears replaced them and his own eyes echoed hers. "I love you Martin Andrew Deeks, and I want the world to see how much in love with you I am. I want, no I need, you to be my husband. I need you in my life. This marriage was destined from the start and will be one of the most loving and happy marriages ever. I promise you love, I promise you commitment, I promise you loyalty and trust. Marty," She stopped for emphasis. "I promise you the world."

By now almost every single person witnessing the exchange had tears pooling in their eyes or sliding down their cheeks. Seeing these two people who had gone through so much turmoil finally find their peace and commit to one another was something the most hardened of souls would break down while watching. Their love was palpable, their desires easy to see.

They exchanged rings with the celebrant doing the formal speeches to make everything official. He then pronounced them husband and wife, the moment Deeks had been waiting for. Kensi was his wife, he was her husband, and he couldn't have been happier than that moment. The crowd cheered as they smiled at each other, neither one of them paying any attention to the whoops and whistles of applause. At that very moment, all they could think about was each other. "I can kiss you now," Deeks whispered.

And finally they could kiss. Deeks leaned down and pressed his lips to hers, never wanting to move away. The passion, the love, the unspoken promise in the kiss, drowned out the cheers coming from their family and friends. "God I love you Kensi," he whispered in her ear and he felt her shiver, before he leaned down and kissed her again.

"I love you too Marty," Kensi whispered to him. Their eyes locked and their silent communication could be read by everyone. It was pure unadulterated love shared between two people.

The sun was setting slowly in the west and the colours of orange and yellow and purple exploding around them as they kissed again reminded\ Deeks of the moment he had asked her to marry him, the same coloured sunset had graced them that evening. He could hear his friends gasping at the vision before them as he and Kensi were haloed by the beautiful evening colours, the perfect backdrop for the significance of the moment. Even Mother Nature approved of their joining.

After the signing of their wedding certificates and documents, they were ushered down the aisle, congratulated by one and all. The photographer had been discreet up until now, but he insisted on snapping some formal photos of the new husband and wife and it was something Deeks was not complaining about. He wanted photos of this moment to remind him of this day, so much of it was moving by in a blur of love. At one point he remembered pointing out over the bay to Kensi. Two dolphins had made their way close to shore and were frolicking in the small waves. They smiled at each other. Whether they were or not, they both believed they were the same dolphins from that day twelve months ago.

A reception had been planned for the other side of the island in the shelter of a large white tent, also decorated with flowers and lace. Everything went to plan, from the meal, their first dance, cutting of the cake, right down to the tossing of the bouquet that Nell caught. After a long and love filled day, the guests were finally leaving on a chartered boat that was tied up on the pier, to party on once they reached the mainland, leaving Kensi and Deeks to spend the first night of their married life together on this island for two.

Deeks took Kensi's hand and together they walked to the beach. It was a warm summer's night, lit softly by the moon peeking through the clouds above. He led them to a grassy outcrop overlooking the beach and lay his jacket down for them to sit on. Sitting down next to her he pulled her into his arms and kissed the top of her head. Deeks imagined them coming back here for their anniversaries and even bringing their children to celebrate the date. Thinking of their children playing on the beach, splashing in the water, crushed his heart with love. They sat like that for ages, neither of them speaking, both of them reflecting on the day that had made them husband and wife.

With no words, Deeks stood and held his hand out to Kensi pulling her in for a passionate kiss before silently walking back to the house. As they stood in the bedroom, Deeks reaching out to hold her in his arms it hit him that this was his future. Kensi in his arms was his life. His wife, his lover, the mother of his unborn children, the one he would grow old with. He was so completely in love with her and he knew, whatever came their way, they would face it together and they would overcome it.

As he lay in the bed beside her in the early hours of the morning while she slept soundly, he couldn't help but admire his wife. He reached out and touched her shoulder, running his hand down her arm because he couldn't help but touch her. She made a noise in her sleep that he knew meant she was happy. She was tough as nails on the outside, never letting anyone get the better of her, fierce and determined. But on the inside, the side that she showed only to him, she was soft and loving, gentle and caring. When they made love she was full of passion, the kind she had never shown anyone but him.

He kissed her forehead and rolled on to his side, pulling her into his arms and she moved herself into his body in her sleep. He had embraced the hardships he had endured through his life and he welcomed their new life. He was happy, she was happy and he planned on making that happen every single day. Drifting off to sleep, a smile on his face, he knew every past demon in his life was gone.

Deeks had never known real love in his life. He had never loved anyone so completely. Until Kensi. Now he knew what real, unconditional, all-encompassing love was. And he was living it with her. Every day, for the rest of their lives.

Thank you to every reader, story follower and favourite. I've thoroughly enjoyed writing this story and liked how it ended up. Please, I would love to hear what you thought about it, as a whole, and this epilogue.

Thanks too, to Tinkerbella7 who was the one who encouraged me to start this story and kept me on track the whole way through it. Couldn't have done it without you. I imagined it would be 8 chapters long when I began. Ha! Thanks too to Monique who listened to my ramblings as I wrote.

And that's the end of the story. *sigh* I'll miss it.