Jumping on the Spoils of War bandwagon here. This is for justareader07, who asked for Kensi finding out that Deeks saved them all, and how.
Bookdiva was amazing as always and looked it over for me, then told me I had to continue it.
Deeks watched as Kensi slept. Back at the base, there hadn't been a lot of time to talk, just to get their stuff packed up and meet at the plane to head home. As soon as the plane was airborne, Kensi's head leaned on his shoulder and she was out. Deeks had eased the safety belt off so he could lay her head in his lap, knowing that would be more comfortable for both of them. He threaded his fingers through her hair, letting the relief he felt finally wash over him. As soon as his fingers had made the first run through, she had let out a contented sounding sigh, and he smiled for the first time in days. He laid his head back, looking out the window as he continued the calming technique and tried to block his mind of the last forty-eight hours. And it worked for about an hour, until Sam and Callen brought him out of his thoughts of sunny beaches, surfboards and smiling mismatched eyes.
"How's she doing?" Callen had a few things he wanted to say to Deeks, and he figured this was a good place to start.
"She fell asleep shortly after takeoff. Figured this was more comfortable than getting a crick in her neck from having it on my shoulder." Deeks shrugged his shoulders a little, not wanting to make any sudden movements that would wake her up.
"Deeks, I just wanted to say, before we land and things get hectic, thank you for today. Your timing, as close as it was, saved us. All of us." At the last sentence, Callen flicked his eyes to the sleeping woman in his lap. He knew that if Deeks hadn't shown up when he did, the way he did, no one would have walked away alive.
Deeks just nodded his head at them, and Sam saw the same haunted look cross his face that was there after Sidirov.
"What happened Deeks?" Sam kept his eyes on him, watching the different emotions in his eyes.
Deeks maintained eye contact before looking down at Kensi, his hands never stopping their movements. He couldn't forgive himself for what he had done – what he had wanted to do – but he also knew he would do it all over again if it meant saving her.
"I left a piece of my soul there, Sam."
Kensi slowly came out of her slumber to hushed voices. Instead of the rush of panic she thought she would have, she felt her partner's fingers running through her hair and she knew she was okay. She kept her breathing even as she listened to the hushed voices, not wanting to answer any questions right now, knowing she wasn't ready for that.
When she heard Callen thank Deeks from rescuing them, she realized she had no idea what had happened. She was aware of them being there for the exchange, but she had never asked what exactly had happened.
And another part of her died when she heard Deeks say he left a part of his soul there.
What have I done? was all she could think at that moment. Because she knew, whatever had happened had been for her, for finding and saving her.
She lay still, waiting for to hear the next part.
"What happened?" She heard Sam ask him again and felt him sigh in response.
"I talked to Hetty. She uh – Jesus Sam I thought she was dead. I made them send me the picture, to verify it. And it was so real. I tried to tell myself that I had morals, that I wouldn't do to someone what had been done to me. But after I heard that, after the picture, I stopped caring. The translator, he told me that what I was about to do wouldn't work, he wouldn't talk, but I didn't care. I wanted to bring pain and suffering to someone who had brought her pain and suffering, no matter how indirectly."
She felt his hands stop their movements and involuntarily moved her head a little, seeking out his touch again. She could feel his eyes on her, checking for any sign that she was awake and listening, but she had enough experience to not move another muscle, to keep her breathing even. He must have been satisfied because she felt his hands start going through her hair again, and she couldn't stop the sigh that came out.
"Water-boarding Sam. That's what I did." Kensi could feel the tears in her closed eyes, doing everything she could to hold them back, but that had been damn near impossible since her rescue. But she had to hear the rest of it. She rolled over, acting like she was trying to find a more comfortable position but in reality she was trying to hide her face more from him, because she knew she wouldn't be able to stop the tears. Deeks waited a few more minutes, no doubt wanting to make sure she was still asleep. Finally, she heard Sam again.
"No, I need to tell you. I filled up a bucket full of water, walked over to a blind man and put a rag over his face before pouring the water over it. All I could yell was 'give me a name.' But he wouldn't. And before I could even finish out the bucket, I realized what I was doing. What I had become. I dropped the bucket, yanked the rag off and lost it."
"Deeks, you are a good man. War… it does things to you. What you did, you did for her. To find her, even though you thought she was dead. Do not let your actions over there rule who you really are."
Deeks's eyes filled with unshed tears for a minute. He took a deep breath.
"Who am I, Sam? Because I tortured a man. Tortured. How am I supposed to live with that?"
"You talk to someone, Deeks. Because I am pretty sure that you never really talked to anyone after Sidirov. And between that, and now this, you need to get it out. It will eat you alive otherwise."
Kensi buried her head deeper into his leg, trying to stop the tears now but it was futile. She was thankful when Deeks didn't stop this time because she knew soon she wouldn't be able to fake it anymore.
"Deeks, if the cleric didn't talk, how did you know who he was?" Callen still had some missing puzzle pieces he was trying to find.
"The translator, actually. He and I were talking about what the cleric had already said, and how it could be interpreted another way. We realized that he was hiding his son. And if his son was powerful enough to send couriers, he was powerful enough to want to do a prisoner exchange. We just got lucky that those boys you sent back for reinforcements hadn't left yet, so we had a good idea where you were."
Kensi's whole body shook as the full impact of what Deeks had done to save her hit her. She couldn't stop the tears anymore and she felt Deeks start shaking her a little, trying to bring her back.
"Kensi… hey Kens, you need to wake up now, okay? It's okay, I'm right here." All she could do was squeeze her eyes shut and shake her head.
"Kensi please. Please wake up. I'm here, you're okay now. I'm not going to let anyone else hurt you." She heard him repeat it again before she finally opened her eyes, looking at him and he brought his hands to her face, wiping the tears away.
"Shhhh, Kens. It's going to be okay." She just nodded at him before rolling back, her face turned away from everyone. She felt his strong, capable hands start running through her hair again and instead of thinking of them torturing someone, she thought about the way the expertly held a gun, the way they looked grasping a steering wheel, and how they moved on their own accord when putting wax on his surfboard. She fell back asleep thinking about Deeks, carefree on a surfboard instead of losing part of his soul in a desert.
The rest of the plane ride was pretty uneventful. Kensi had woken a few more times, the last time realizing Deeks had stopped his movements. She glanced up at him, his eyes closed. She lifted her head off his lap and very gently brought his head down to hers. And just like he had done for her, she ran her fingers though his hair. She was a little surprised he hadn't woken up at the exchange, but then remembered he hadn't slept in days either. And she knew it was the right move because as soon as her hands made contact, he sighed and his face relaxed a little more.
Two hours later, the plane finally landed on US soil and both of them were jarred awake when the wheels made contact. Deeks sat up immediately, not understanding how the positions had been reversed. He looked over at Kensi, the question in his eyes.
"You were sleeping, I woke up. I figured my lap was a little more comfortable then the window." She gave him a small smile and he returned it.
"Thanks." As soon as the doors opened, he grabbed both of their stuff and followed her out. He had driven her car to the air field when they left and he guided her over to it. He was throwing their stuff inside when Sam and Callen walked up.
"Hey, don't worry about showing up for a few days. Hetty gave us the rest of the week off. See you on Monday." He looked at Deeks, silently asking if he was okay with Kensi right now. He knew they both had demons to fight, and he was worried about it being the blind leading the blind. But he also knew that if anyone could help the other, it was them.
Deeks gave him a nod, understanding the unasked question. Kensi had missed the exchange because Sam had drawn her into a hug.
"Good to have you home, Kens." She nodded against his chest, not trusting herself to speak right now.
He let her go and turned to Deeks, drawing him into a hug, too.
"Thank you Deeks. You saved our asses out there. Remember what I said, talk it out. Don't let it eat you alive, okay? You need her as much as she needs you right now." He whispered it to him, knowing Deeks wouldn't want Kensi to hear it.
"Got it. Thanks man." They pulled away and Callen shook his hand before hugging Kensi.
As soon as the other partners left, Deeks looked over at Kensi, who had her arms wrapped around herself.
"So uh, I guess I can take you home and then call a cab to take me to my place. I've been driving your car lately, but don't worry, no scratches or dents. That I know of." He put his hand up to the back of his neck, suddenly nervous. He had slept more soundly those few hours in her lap then he had since she had left.
"Deeks." Kensi said his name, bringing his attention back to her.
"I want to be at your place, right now, with you." Her eyes filled again as she said it. She knew if she went home alone, she would lose it. At least this way, if she did lose it, she had someone there she trusted to help her pick up the pieces. She watched his face, wondering if she had said the wrong thing.
"Never mind. Home is fine." She went to get in and he stopped her, pulling her to him.
"I just, I didn't want to be alone right now. I can't tell you everything will be fine, because right now it isn't, but I could really use a friend." The tears were coming down now and she couldn't hold them back.
"Me too, Kens. A friend sounds really good right now." His voice broke, and they held onto each other until they both calmed down a little and pulled back.
"Come on. Let's go home." He closed the car door after she got in and walked to the driver side. No matter what the future might have in store for them, he knew he would always be there for her as a friend, partner or something more. But he also knew that right now, the best place for both of them was 'friend.' And while they both had a long journey ahead of them, both with their own personal demons to fight, he knew he would never stop fighting for her.
He started the car and drove off. And for the first time in months, he didn't have to wonder where his best friend was. He may have some rage inside of him he needed to let loose, but he also knew that having her here next to him was worth everything that had happened. He was going home finally, with his best friend. His prayers had been answered.
AN - So I still haven't decided if I am going to continue it or not. Regardless, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. :)