Okay - this will be a place where I post one-shots. So if you have something, let me know!
First story is for bookdiva, who asked for my take on the punch (and was also awesome and read over it for me). You know which one I'm talking about. So here it is.
She had been home for two weeks. What she was hoping would be a warm welcoming from her partner ended up being a hug with awkward 'hey's' thrown in for good measure. She could see the excitement in his eyes that she was home, but she could tell something was off. She had thought initially it was just nerves; they hadn't seen each other and rarely talked since she had been shipped off to Afghanistan.
Remembering everything that had happened the day of her departure, though, she realized what was wrong. She had knocked the shit out of him, scolded him for not taking the shot, thrown out some words about a frozen lake, pretended to be Fern, gone off the reservation and disobeyed orders, scolded him for taking the shot, decided that some talking needed to happen, asked for patience, and then finally she had been reassigned. But that first thing - throwing and landing a punch - that was the most inexcusable part of the day.
She knew what she had done was wrong. The moment her fist connected with his jaw she had felt shame. But instead of apologizing immediately, she had walked off. She had turned her back on the one person who would never turn his back on her.
And in pure Kensi fashion, she had ignored it, tried to pretend it didn't happen. And while it worked for the most part, she could tell that the cracks in the ice were getting bigger and she was powerless to stop it. Well, not powerless, but she was too much of a coward to bring it up.
Her dad had quoted Confucius to her one night, and she had never forgotten it:"To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice." Never in her life had she understood this phrase so much as right now.
The team had gone out for drinks and while at the bar, Deeks had made a wise ass comment about personal space – or lack thereof – and she had done the first thing that came to mind: punch him. Seeing the look on his face, watching him step away from her, she felt the shame wash over her again.
She made it out to her car somehow and had just started driving. She knew at this point there was no way they could ever make it past this without talking about it. She turned her car around and headed back to his apartment, ready to sit in the parking lot and wait him out.
She didn't have to wait long. Ten minutes later he pulled up. He glanced at her car and instead of walking over to her, he ignored her and walked to his door. While he was unlocking it, she had managed to get out of her SRX and make it up to the door with him.
"Deeks, I need to say something to you. That morning, when I hit you…" Deeks cut her off.
"Look Kensi. Punches to the shoulder when I say something inappropriate? I can take that. Jabs to stomach when I get too handsy? Fine. Punching me in the face? That's a line I never thought you would cross. But you did. I can't give you what you want to hear and tell you everything will be okay, because right now? Right now it's not. So please understand that I need some time." And with that, Deeks closed the door.
He walked over the fridge and grabbed a beer. Popping the top, he took a long pull from it and then felt disgust. Even something as simple to him as a beer now brought back images of his father, something that hadn't happened since he was in college. He thought he had successfully put that behind him. And he had, really. Until his partner decided to take her frustration out on him. Usually it didn't bother him, but then again, she had never taken that route before.
He had managed to push it to the back of his mind while she was gone. He wasn't going to bring it up while she was in another country doing God knows what. And while he had been ecstatic to see her when she finally came home, the initial happiness had slowly faded.
Tonight was the first night she had raised her fist to punch his shoulder for something he said and he had immediately stepped back, away from her. She looked from her hand to his eyes and had seen the hurt there. And for the second time in their partnership, she had turned and walked away.
He was used to her antics by now. He had years of knowing what buttons to push and her reaction to it. He knew he wasn't completely blameless in the whole situation. He had frozen when he needed to take action. He will absolutely take responsibility for that. Hell yes he had tried to play it off as not having a shot, but the punch to the face? He hadn't really been expecting that.
And he probably would have handled everything a lot better if she hadn't turned around and walked away from him. He could have dealt with the words, the accusations, been able to defend his actions. But she had turned her back on him. That's what pissed him off the most.
He threw the beer bottle at the wall, hearing it shatter on impact.
"God damn it Kensi!"
Kensi was still standing outside his door, wanting to knock and explain herself. What exactly she would say she had no idea, but she knew she needed to fix this. Just as she raised her hand, she heard something hit the wall and break and his resounding shout afterwards, aimed at her. She couldn't stop the tears that flowed down her cheeks, the sobs that followed. She backed away, unable to comprehend what was going on.
What have I done?
She ended up making it to her car and drove aimlessly. When she found herself at the beach, she parked the car and sat there, watching the ocean. Hours passed as she sat there, lost in her thoughts.
An hour before the sun came up, Deeks tapped on the window. When Kensi didn't move, he opened the passenger door and climbed in, handing her a coffee and doughnuts. She couldn't get her voice to work to ask him what he was doing.
"I went by your place this morning and you weren't there. I had Eric track your phone. Seeing as you have the same clothes on from yesterday you didn't go home last night."
She opened her mouth to speak and he stopped her.
"Drink your coffee and eat something. I'm going to go surf for a while and try and clear my head. If you are still here when I get done, we can talk." She nodded her head.
"Thanks Deeks. For the coffee and doughnuts." He gave her a tight smile and nodded at her, getting out of the car and grabbing his board.
Kensi took her coffee and sugary treats and got out, walking to sand to watch her partner.
Even thoroughly pissed off at me – at what I did - he still looks out for me.
Sitting down, she watched as he rode wave after wave. He was incredible to watch, the way he was able to anticipate the wave coming and know exactly when to pop up. She had tried it a couple of times under his instruction, and while she wasn't horrible, she knew she would never be on that level.
An hour later, he rode the last wave in and decided it was now or never. Grabbing his board he walked to where Kensi was sitting.
"Kens did you sleep at all last night?"
"Uh, no. Look Deeks…"
"No, Kensi. I'm going to say my piece first. When I'm done, you can have the floor. But I'm telling you this right now. After today, after this moment right here, we don't bring it up ever again. We lay it all out right now – the good, the bad and the ugly – and when we leave this shore, it stays here with it and we try and move on from it. Got it?" At her nod, he began.
"You are not fully to blame for all this. I know it takes two to tango. My reaction, my hesitation, it could have cost you your life. What if he hadn't tossed you aside? What if he had decided that taking you with him was a better option? Or if he had shot you? That would have been on me. I take full responsibility for that. I don't know how many times I have replayed that in my head and seen a different ending. It would have been completely justified for Hetty to have let me go after that. We can't work as a team if there's going to be questions of if one of us will be able to put our personal feelings aside. I didn't. I let them rule my actions and the consequences of that…"
He picked up sand, letting it run through his fingers. Kensi sat there watching him, knowing he wasn't done yet and allowing him time to gather his thoughts.
"My dad… he was a sucker for the face. It was his favorite place to hit me and my mom. But I learned a long time ago to put that behind me as much as I could and move forward. You can't be an undercover cop and have issues with getting punched. It's a given that it will happen. But getting socked in the jaw is not something I should have to worry about when it comes to you. I'm not saying I didn't have an ass whoopin' coming my way, because I definitely did, but punching me and then walking off flipped a switch somewhere."
Silence followed for a couple of minutes. He took a deep breath, staring at the ocean and watching the wave's crash. He was hoping that getting all of this out on the open would allow it to be washed away with the tide.
"You walked away Kensi. Away from me, away from us. Trust me, I get why you did it, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with it." She could hear the anger in his voice now and she put her head down, staring at her hands while he continued. He put his finger to her chin and made her look up, locking eyes with her.
"You get mad at something I do – or don't do – fine. Yell at me, throw things, or knock the shit out of a punching bag. Hell you want to hit me again? Then we can spar and you can beat my ass on the mat. But don't ever punch me in anger. Ever. I told you last night I can take the punches to the arm and the jabs you dish out just fine, I don't want you to think that's a problem. You wouldn't be Kensi, we wouldn't be us if that stopped. But this will never work if I have to wonder what's going to happen if I piss you off again, because I know I will. It's inevitable."
"We have horrible communication skills. That's what led us here. Neither one of us ever says what we really mean. But I'm working on it, and up until that afternoon after I took the shot, I was the only one who was really trying. You talk a lot about saying what you really mean, but you don't. You want me to give something without getting anything in return. I'm trying here Kensi. But I'm not going to keep putting myself out there if I'm not going to get anything in return. That's bullshit. You want words, not actions. Well, I'm throwing that back at you."
He raised his eyebrows and he waved his hand in front of them, gesturing for her to begin when she was ready.
"First and foremost, I'm sorry. For not saying what I mean, for making you do all the work, for punching you, for walking away from you. I'm sorry."
She kept the eye contact with him, and he nodded.
"I know you are, but that's not what this is about. I need you to say what you actually mean Kensi."
She took a deep breath, ready to get this off her chest.
"I was standing there, gun pressed to me. You showed up, like I knew you would, but it wasn't the same. You didn't take the shot I know you had. You hesitated and I knew then that what had happened the night before was a mistake. We couldn't have a partnership and a relationship. And I was angry. Angry at the guy for getting the drop on me, angry at me for having to rely on you again to save me, and angry at you for not taking the shot. God damn it Deeks! I was angry at the god damn world for showing me what could be and then ripping it away. It's a cruel twist of fate, huh?"
She let out a sad laugh, making herself stop for a minute to keep the tears at bay. Crying wasn't going to do any good now. And after last night, she was surprised to find she still had tears to cry.
"I did the first thing I thought of. I hit you. In the face. And the exact moment my fist made contact, I knew it was wrong. So I did what I do best, I ran away from it. I closed up and walked away."
She shook her head in disgust, anger filling her. She picked up a shell and threw it as hard as she could.
"I have to know that when that situation arises, you will do what needs to be done. I can't have us second guessing our decisions. It'll get one of us killed, and that's not an option I am really up to exploring."
She picked up another shell, throwing it but not having quite the force behind it this time.
"When you were in the meat locker with Thappa, and we didn't have contact with you, I had a glimpse of what you went through that morning. Because I couldn't function not knowing what was going on. So instead of obeying Callen's orders, I took action. I let my feelings take over and I barged in, guns blazing. I had already made my mind up that we could do this, as long as talked about it. But then you took the shot. You made an incredibly stupid risk and saved my life. Again. And that cemented it. We could definitely do this. I had so much I wanted to say to you that night, but never got the chance. You and me, we are a great team. We still have a long way to go with the personal side of it, but I know we can figure it out."
"We always do." He smiled at her, and she was grateful for it.
"You were right when you said our communication sucks. Well, mine sucks. You've gotten much better. I asked you to open up, to talk to me, and you did. And I never reciprocated that. But I will. It takes two to tango, right?" She tried smiling at him, but she still had something to say to him.
"I don't want you to forgive me; I'm not asking for that because it's not something I deserve. You are my partner, my best friend, and you… you are so much more. Next time I get that mad - and I'm not stupid, there will be a next time - I will yell and throw things and kick your ass in a sparring match, but I will NEVER strike you out of anger again. When I throw a punch, you will see it coming and it won't be in the heat of anger. Well, not completely. And I'm sure I will wear out a few punching bags, too. But what happened that morning, I promise you it won't be repeated. I promise, Deeks." She said the last part with conviction in her voice.
"Last night, after you closed the door, I couldn't move. I stood there, wanting to knock and make you listen to me. But I heard something hit the wall and break. And I heard you curse my name. That I deserve. And so much more."
Deeks grabbed her hand, needing the connection.
"You deserve a lot of things Kens, but breaking a beer bottle and cursing your name with it isn't one of them."
"No, don't let me off that easy Deeks. I deserved it and more. From here on out, we tell each other what's going on. No matter what it is. Keeping things locked away has never worked out well for us. We can do this Deeks. We just have to talk about it."
He nodded at her, looking into her eyes.
"You know what Princess? I think we're going to be okay." He smiled at her and stood up, knowing they had said everything that needed to be said right now.
"Now, I need some food. And sleep. You weren't the only one who stayed awake all night. Although, I can think of some other… interesting things to do in bed besides sleeping."
This time, when she raised her fist to punch him in the shoulder, Deeks was waiting for it and laughed. Yeah, they were going be okay.
AN - You know me...I love to hear what you thought. And if you bave something you'd like to see, let me know!