Well, this is the last chapter. We can't thank you all enough for the reviews, favorites and follows.
bookdiva - you, my friend, are one of a kind and never will I be able to say how thankful I am for all you do - not just for reading over the chapters but everything.
justareader07 - thank you for having faith that I could take your idea and turn it into this. Writing this story with you was so much fun! Without your ideas and help, this definitely wouldn't have been the same. It's pretty amazing when something as simple as a story ends up with you making a new friend.
Please read the AN at the bottom.
It had been over a year since Hetty had come clean about Afghanistan. The team dynamics hadn't changed much, they all still laughed and joked around. But all of them had noticed how Kensi and Deeks had pulled back personally. The two shared more private jokes, not really bothering to expand on it, and while everyone still went out after cases for beers, you could tell that the two partners main interest and focus was each other.
Sitting in the bullpen working on paperwork while Deeks was at a meeting with Bates , Kensi couldn't help but look around. Sam and Callen were taking a break from the endless paperwork by shooting some hoops, Hetty was in her normal spot looking over files while drinking tea, and Kensi could only assume Nell and Eric were in Ops, doing what they did best.
With a sigh Kensi leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes bringing back a rush of memories of the past year.
Flashback: 8 months ago
Callen was looking for a pen on Kensi's desk when he came across a check stub. While it was normal to see random things hidden beneath papers on her side of the desk, what caught his attention was the address.
"Hey Sam. Did you know about this?" Callen held up the envelope, letting his partner take a look at the address. Sam took it out of his hand, scanned it and put it back on her desk.
"Nope. But does it really surprise you? They have been almost inseparable since they came back." Sam walked back around to his desk and sat down as Callen did the same.
"Yeah, I know that. Just wondering why they never said anything." Callen still had a confused look on his face as he stared at the envelope when Kensi and Deeks walked in, arguing about which coffee shop was better. Kensi put a box of doughnuts on the table and narrowed her eyes at Callen playfully.
"You lookin' at my check stub there Callen? Worried I make more money than you?" She smiled at him but was now curious why it was out. No one else may understand the clutter on her desk, but she did, and have mercy on those who disturbed her clutter.
Deeks let his bag fall to the ground before sitting down, his hands linking together behind his head as he watched the two. Kensi had officially moved in last month and they had finally gotten all the paperwork switched around. They both knew it was only a matter of time before the rest of the team found out, but they had wanted to keep it quiet for as long as possible.
"Ha. No, I'm not worried about how much money you make. I was looking for a pen and came across this. Just wondering when the change of address occurred." He watched her as she sat down and opened up her computer. Once she had logged in, she turned her head to him.
"Officially? About a month ago. But I haven't stayed at my apartment since I got home." She didn't offer anything else.
"You know, we would have helped with the move if we had known." Sam spoke up that time and Kensi looked over at him, shrugging her shoulders.
"Eh, it didn't really take as long as we had thought. But thanks." She looked over at Deeks and smiled at him.
"What about your hoarding tendencies? I would have thought it would take at least a week to go through your stuff." Sam was trying to play it off, but he couldn't help but feel a little hurt that neither one of them had said something. He wondered briefly if Callen hadn't found the check stub by accident, would they have ever told them?
"Oh, don't worry. I gave her five boxes and told her she could take whatever would fit in them. Everything else would be thrown away." The two had kept eye contact, and Deeks smirked at her. She responded by throwing a paper clip at him.
"Well, congratulations guys. Moving in together is a big step." Sam leaned over and clasped his hand to Deeks's shoulder before standing up and walking over to Kensi, pulling her up and into a hug. While the two may have pulled back from the rest of the team personally, Sam - and he knew Callen as well - still thought of them as family.
Callen did the same as Sam, bringing Kensi into a quick hug before turning to Deeks and shaking his hand.
Hetty had walked up just then, a sad smile on her face.
"I was a little surprised when I received the notification from personnel, but I'm glad to see that things are working out for the two of you." Kensi and Deeks both gave her a small smile and watched as she walked away, the weight of her actions still weighing her down.
Later, Sam and Callen had talked about the changes during a basketball game. They concluded that the other partners pull back started the day they had talked to Hetty - the day they both found out that the entire team had known about Hetty's real reasons for sending Kensi to Afghanistan, yet no one had said anything to them. And looking back, they didn't have anyone to blame but themselves. It was just something they had to live with.
Deeks walked up behind Kensi, seeing her sitting in her chair with her eyes closed. He couldn't help but stop and stare for a minute. He leaned against the post as he watched her. A smile slowly grew on her lips, mirrored by his own.
"I know you're standing there Deeks." He pushed off the wall and walked to her, leaning down and placing a quick kiss on her lips. When he pulled back, her eyes finally opened.
"I thought I was pretty quiet. How'd you know I was there?" He tilted his head to the side a little as she sat up, her eyes staying on him.
"I knew the minute you walked in the room. I just... know. A combination of an ocean smell, your cologne and the uncanny ability to just know." He nodded at her, accepting her explanation because even though it would sound strange to anyone else, he also just knew when she was anywhere near him.
"So, you ready to go? I told your mom I'd drop you off kinda early tonight. She had some pre-wedding, woman stuff she wanted to do with you." Kensi nodded her head and took his hand, walking side by side out of the mission for the last time as Kensi Blye and Marty Deeks. Tomorrow, she would officially be Kensi Marie Deeks, the wife and partner of Martin A. Deeks.
She climbed into the passenger side, letting Deeks take the wheel. He grabbed her hand, and the simple gesture was now their "thing." It was what kept them both grounded, the feel of the other's skin a reminder of things past and the promise of the future. No matter what else happened in the world, the linking of their fingers signified that they were together. Come hell or high water, as long as they were together, they would make it through.
"Whatcha thinkin' about over there Princess?" He could see the wheels turning, her mind drifting off somewhere.
"Remember when the team found out about the engagement?"
Flashback: 2 months ago
They had all arrived back at the mission after a case. If had been rough for everyone, and they were all glad it was over. Kensi had leaned down to pick up something when Callen's eyes grew wide. He cleared his throat, bringing her attention to him. She saw where his eyes were and she put her hand up to her chest.
"Uh… wow, Kens, is that what I think it is?" Sam and Deeks had followed them in and were now standing there, watching the two. Sam followed his partners eye line, and by the way Kensi was clutching something in her hand, he had a good idea what it was.
Kensi immediately looked over to Deeks, who just smiled and shrugged his shoulders at her.
"Yeah, I think it is." Deeks walked up behind her and moved her hair back so he could unclasp the necklace. Kensi pulled the ring off, looking at it for a minute before sliding it on her finger.
All of a sudden, a loud squeal sounded over the mission as Nell locked eyes with Kensi and raced down the stairs. Kensi barely had time to open her arms before Nell was hugging her friend tightly, arms wrapped around her waist.
"Kensi! Oh my God!" Nell pulled back before grabbing Kensi's left hand, bring it up to inspect the ring.
"It's beautiful! Deeks, you have good taste." Deeks just smirked at Kensi as Sam came over, standing next to her. He held her gaze for a moment, his eyes telling Kensi he was sorry for everything that had happened, and if he could go back and fix it he would. She pulled him to her, hugging him tightly before pulling away.
"So, let's see the rock that Deeks picked out." He took her hand and examined the beautiful diamond on her finger. It was an antique, the lines and scrolls going around the band a little worn in most places, but still just as beautiful as the day it had been purchased.
Callen had walked up next to Sam, examining the ring and they both looked up at Deeks at the same time, questions in their eyes.
"It was Kensi's grandmother's ring." He remembered when he had asked Julia for Kensi's hand, she hadn't said anything just stood up and walked to her room. When she came back, she had tears in her eyes as she told him that Donald's parents had been married for 62 years. After they had passed away, he held onto his mother's ring, which had been passed down for several generations. When she handed it to him, she had told him that Donald had asked her to hold onto it, in case he wasn't there to present it to the worthy man himself.
"Well, it's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, Deeks." Nell had tears in her eyes as she hugged him.
"I'm just lucky she said yes." He locked eyes with Kensi, winking at her as Eric came up and gave Kensi a quick hug.
"Speaking of, how long have you two been engaged now?" Callen looked between the two as he waited for the answer, which didn't take more than a second.
"Three months, 2 weeks and 5 days." Kensi's voice rang out, the length of time astonishing them all. They all knew the two were more private now, but they hadn't expected them to keep something so big a secret for so long.
"What the hell? Why didn't you say anything?" Sam was shocked and hurt and for once he wasn't able to keep it out of his voice.
"Well, we just…" Kensi looked over at Deeks, needing help. He caught the look and picked up where she had left off.
"We haven't set a date or anything. I knew I wanted to ask her, and we were just kind of enjoying the feeling of being engaged for a while before we said anything." Kensi smiled at him, thanking him for taking over. He gave her a small nod, letting her know he would always have her back, no matter what.
Eric was the first to recover and wanted to ease the weird tension in the room.
"Well, I think we should go out for drinks tonight and celebrate." He looked around the room, seeing the nods of the heads.
"Yeah, I think that would be a great idea. It's time someone else bought the booze instead of me." Deeks laughed as he said it and the others joined in too as they grabbed their stuff and headed out.
"It was kind of a shocker to them, wasn't it?" Deeks glanced over at her, seeing something resembling hesitance on her face. "Talk to me sweetheart."
Kensi looked over at him and tried to give him a smile.
"It's just… you know I love you, right? More than anything. You've saved me more times than I can count, literally and figuratively. I trust you, more than I trust anyone else. You are my entire world, Deeks, and sometimes that scares me." She looked back out the window as Deeks pulled up to his future mother-in-laws house. He put the car in park and turned his body towards her, squeezing her hand.
"Kensi, look at me." She turned her head slowly, and he leaned forward, pressing his lips to hers.
"You are my everything, Kens. I know that everything that happened… it was really shitty. I don't really have another way to say it. But we managed to take something that would destroy anyone else and we came out of it together - stronger. Because saving you, Kens… there was never any other option. And just as I saved you, you save me, every day. You are the only one for me, and I thank God or whatever higher power there is every day for you." He stared into her mismatched eyes and saw the tears brimming there. This was a side of Bad Ass Blye that only he had the privilege of seeing, and he would protect this woman and her soft side and secrets forever.
"You are the only constant thing in my life Deeks. The only person I trust not to lie to me, no matter how much the truth may hurt. I know that the team is our family, we put our lives in each other's hands every day, but it's… different with you."
"Well, I should hope so." He smiled at her, and she shoved his arm but couldn't keep the smile away.
"Shut up. You know what I mean. I uh, well I guess I just wanted to say thank you. Before we make this "thing" official tomorrow, thank you for everything Deeks. You are the only person who has never let me down, and I will do everything in my power every day to make sure I don't let you down, either." She brought her free hand up to his face and he leaned into it.
"You could never let me down Princess. Unless you don't show up tomorrow, and then I swear to God I will hunt you down and drag you back caveman style, and we both know how much that would hurt your reputation." He kissed her before she could hit him again, both of them laughing against their lips.
When they pulled back and went to get out of the car, they both looked up to see Julia standing against the open doorway smiling.
"Wow, well, that just happened. I suddenly feel 16 again and got caught making out with my girlfriend after curfew." Kensi laughed at him, linking their hands together as he walked her to the door.
"I can only imagine how many parents you pissed off." He nudged her and smiled.
"Only one parent I am worried about now. The most important one." He looked at Julia who had a small smile on her face as she watched the two.
"Good evening Mrs. Feldman." Deeks blushed a little. He may be a grown man on the eve of his wedding, but that didn't stop the embarrassment of being caught kissing like teenagers.
"Marty, I am not telling you again. My name is Julia." She smiled at him, her voice soft but firm. He flashed his signature grin at her, nodding his head.
"Yes ma'am, Julia. I have come to deliver the bride-to-be safe and sound." He turned to Kensi, locking eyes with her. They stood like that for a minute before Julia cleared her throat.
"Thank you, Marty. I'll just give you two some privacy. Kensi dear, dinner will be ready in about ten minutes." Kensi smiled and nodded at her mom as she watched her walk inside.
Kensi turned back to Deeks, his smile lighting up his face and his blue eyes sparkling.
"We're really doing this." She whispered the words, and Deeks pulled her into his arms.
"Yeah, we're really doing this." Her arms went around him and his hands rubbed up and down her back, his cheek laying on her head. They both stood there like that for a few minutes, enjoying simply being in each other's arms.
"Do you think you can sneak over tonight, climb in my bedroom window?" Kensi had her head on his chest and he chuckled.
"Kens, this isn't the first night we've spent away from each other. Granted, the amount of times we've been apart is a handful, but still. At least this time it's for a good cause, right?"
"I hate it when you're right." He laughed again and she pulled back, smiling.
"I know you do. Don't worry, it won't happen often." They were slowly backing away from each other, hating that they had to be apart but knowing it would be worth it.
"I love you." Kensi looked at him, letting him see into her soul.
"I love you, too." Deeks watched as she made her way to door and opened it before walking inside and looking at him.
"So, tomorrow." She couldn't make herself close the damn door.
"Yup. 10:00am sharp. Don't forget to gussy yourself up." He saw the spark in her eyes and laughed.
"Don't ever say that again, Deeks. Seriously, sometimes you make me question your sanity.
Okay, okay, I'm closing the door now. I love you. I'll see you in the morning." She smiled at him and went to close the door before his hand stopped her.
"Forever." He put his lips to hers, letting all the emotion he felt pour into it. He pulled back and she smiled, closing the door.
They both stood there, looking at the door separating them. And as one, they both leaned forward, placing their foreheads on the door. And even though the other couldn't hear it, they both let out an 'I love you' one more time before stepping back, each one counting the hours until they were together again.
Nell showed up to Julia's house a little while later, and the three women sat in the living room laughing, talking, and enjoying each other's company. It was low key and - other than being with Deeks - exactly how she wanted to spend her last night as a single woman.
By 11:00pm, the women all decided to call it a night. Kensi closed the door to her room and laid down, her mind only on one person. As she drifted off the to sleep, all she could think of was 'I Do.'
The next morning, Kensi yawned and stretched out. She expected to feel her partner next to her and her eyes shot open before she remembered what today was. She felt her heart rate slow down again as the initial feeling of panic faded, and she smiled.
The ceremony wasn't going to be much, as the two of them had decided small and simple. They would stand in front of a Justice of the Peace, with Nell and Eric beside them. Julia, Callen, Sam, Hetty and even Nate and Rose would be in attendance. Even though Kensi and Deeks had kept more of their personal life to themselves, the team was still family, and they wouldn't want anybody else there to witness this.
Julia and Nell had woken up early, and Kensi found them both on the terrace enjoying fruit and coffee. She poured herself a cup, grabbed a banana, and headed outside.
"Good morning sweetheart. How'd you sleep?" Julia smiled at her daughter and watched as she lifted her coffee up to her in salute.
"Better than I expected. Thank you mom. For everything." Kensi turned towards Nell. "You too, Nell." Both women gave her a smile and nodded at her.
They chatted for a while before Nell looked at her watch and stood up.
"Okay almost-Mrs. Deeks. Let's get you dressed. We need to leave here in about an hour." As they all went inside, Nell looked at Julia.
"I'll clean up in here. You go help Kensi." Julia started to protest but Nell just put her hand up. The surprised look on Julia's face at the action made Kensi laugh and she hooked her arm through her mom's, leading her out of the kitchen.
"Don't take too long, Nell. I'm gonna need your help, too." Kensi gave Nell a pointed look as they walked out, and Nell smiled at her. "I'll be up in a minute."
Once in her room, Kensi opened the closet and took out the simple white sun dress, hanging it on the the back of the door. Her mom sat on the bed and watched as Kensi expertly applied her makeup. Kensi had just put on the dress when Nell knocked on the door and walked in.
"Wow Kensi. You look amazing. The most beautiful bride I've ever seen." The two smiled at each other, tears filling all the women's eyes as Julia agreed with the statement.
Kensi opted to leave her hair down, wavy, with just the top part pulled back a little. Nell helped her twirl the small parts that were being pulled back and Julia put two simple blue jeweled flower pins to hold her hair in place.
"I wore these when I married your father. It was my something blue, and now it's yours." Kensi locked eyes with her mom through the mirror and smiled.
"Thank you mom. They're beautiful." She reached up, touching the pins. Nell left the room for a minute, bringing a box back with her.
"Nell, what -"Kensi looked between the box and her friend.
"It's not much, but I knew you didn't really have jewelry for today. I thought this would be perfect, and it works as your 'something new.'" Tears filled Kensi's eyes as she opened the box, revealing a simple necklace held together at the end by a figure-eight infinity symbol.
"Oh Nell, this is perfect. But you didn't have to do this." Nell just shushed her and took the necklace, putting it around her neck, the infinity symbol resting at her collarbone.
"Now all you need is the something borrowed." Julia pulled out her diamond bracelet and attached it to Kensi's wrist.
Kensi stood up and looked in the full length mirror at the final effect, and what she saw took her breath away. Everything was minimal, from the dress to the accessories to her hair and makeup, but it couldn't have been more perfect.
"I think Deeks is going to be at a loss for words when he sees you." Nell's eyes glistened as she took in her friend.
"That would be a first." The ladies laughed, knowing all too well how true that was.
"Okay, are we ready to go?" Julia looked at the two younger women who nodded. They double checked they had everything and made their way out to Julia's car.
"Kensi, you sit in the backseat. I'll let the guys know we are headed that way." Kensi nodded as Nell shot off a text and they made the short trip to the courthouse. When Julia pulled up, Deeks was waiting there for her at the curb, standing there in a tailor made suit. Her breath hitched as he opened the door for her, holding his hand out to her.
She grabbed the offered hand and scooted out. His eyes were huge as he took her in and she could hear the muffled laughs behind her at Deeks's reaction.
His eyes finally met hers and they both smiled at each other.
"You are absolutely stunning, Kens. I am, without a doubt, the luckiest man alive." He laced their fingers together, wanting to be near her, but trying hard not to kiss her. They would have time enough after they were married for that.
Kensi looked around at the team - their family - and smiled.
"We can't thank you enough for being here today." Everyone smiled and Deeks looked at her before making eye contact with everyone, nodding his head.
"Nowhere else we'd rather be Kens." With those words from Callen, he walked up and hugged her, the rest of the team following behind. Once everyone had had a turn hugging the bride-to-be, Sam looked at them.
"So, ready to go get hitched?" Kensi and Deeks looked at each other, squeezing their hands simultaneously and smiled.
"Let's do this." They all started walking towards the courthouse, ready to make this union legal.
Thirty minutes later, with Nell and Eric standing on either side of the couple, the rest of the team and Julia sitting and watching, Kensi and Deeks were finally pronounced man and wife. The Judge started laughing as he tried to quiet the cheering audience when the now married couple kissed for the first time.
As they walked out of the room, their hands were intertwined, and they had smiles on their faces. Once outside, he turned and picked her up, twirling her around and making them both laugh. When he finally set her down, he kissed her again, both of them relishing in the fact that for better or for worse, they would face life together. The only thing staying the same in a constant world of change was each other and the knowledge that no matter what, they were together. And that's all they needed - each other.
Justareader07 - Well this story has been an amazing journey. Originally it was only supposed to be a one-shot idea and who better to take the idea swimming in my head and bring it to life then Bamie02? I can't thank her enough for taking part in this, she really is amazing not only to work with but also as a person. Also thank you to the wonderful BookDiva who looked over the chapters. I would like to thank everyone who has reviewed and read this story because it feels damn good to see people enjoy the story and want more every time.