The Hopes and Fears of All the Years

A/N. This is a one shot written for #KensiAppreciationWeek on the NCIS:LA Magazine's website. The main story takes place prior to and during Season 5, Episode 24, "Deep Trouble" and some of the dialogue from that episode and previous episodes are used here. I want to thank Callen37 for working with me and giving me permission to use one of her characters to help present my story.

A/N2: Parts of this story are condensed from other stories that I have already posted.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Donald P. Bellisario, and Shane Brennan, for teaching me to play with the fantastic characters and sets that they have created. Since I don't own them, they made me promise that I return them by their curfew. Although they might be slightly (?) battered and bruised, I did send them home. The original character Fern Louise Brandel is based on stories written by Callen37, is owned entirely by her, and is used with her permission and approval. All the other original characters that you do not recognize, are slaving away for me, trying to come up with an original idea for the next story that I might write.

The Hopes and Fears of All the Years

Donald Blye, a marine sergeant with the US Marine Rapid Response team in Rota, Spain met Julia as she was touring the Spanish wine country, learning to be a professional certified sommelier, a master wine taster. She wanted a job with one of the finer restaurants in New York or Washington or LA. She had her certification from the Italian Sommelier Association, and was now working on her certificate from the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) in Paris.

They got married, and had one child, Kensi Marie Blye, born on August 20, 1982 making her a Leo, but just barely. Julia didn't have much time to spend with her child, she was always off learning more about tending the vineyards and bringing the wine to the most exquisite taste possible.

Instead, she hired a series of wet nurses and nannies to care for the child in her absence. Rather than pay the going rate for women from the area to do this, she went to the poorer villages of Portugal and France and hired women to work for less than half what they should have been paid. These were the women who had a positive influence on Kensi's life, teaching her to speak Portuguese and French in addition to her native English. Her mother's influence was negligible, simply because of the fact she was never around.

That changed for the worse when Kensi turned 4 and started school. Her mother placed her in International Boarding School. Now Kensi was not only distanced from her mother, but she was also effectively cut off from her dad as well.

Kensi's very first date was Bentley Atherton, when she was just seven years old and they both were at the International Boarding School. Bentley was an older man, he was two grades ahead of her in school, but the two of them were the same height, that's why the teachers paired them up. He was the son of a maid and butler at the British embassy, and his parents were extremely particular with whom they allowed their children to associate. The children spent time together as they practiced for the cotillion, getting ready for the proper dances at the embassies to which they would never be invited. Kensi learned how to dance and curtsey, although she didn't think she really needed to do that. At the cotillion they both had fun, danced a few times without stepping on the other one's toes, ate the refreshments and didn't spill anything. But when it came time for the spring hop, Bentley said that he didn't want to go with Kensi ever again, He said her eyes were "weird".

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Donald had tried to compensate for Julia's absence in his daughter's life, but he could only do so much. He had to work, but he would rather spend all his time with Kensi.

He was a good shot with his rifle, easily earning his marksman medal each time he requalified. But the Corps seemed to expect that of him. He surprised them all by entering the International Sniper Contest. His squad had picked up a Dragunov sniper rifle and he somehow became its caretaker. He loaded his own ammunition, and practiced in his off hours, getting a couple of his fellow marines to serve as spotters. He surprised everyone, including himself, by ending up tied for fifth.

The Marines immediately took notice of this and ordered him to report to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for scout sniper training, and promotion to gunny sergeant. He was later ordered to help set up the scout sniper training course at MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay's Regimental Schools. This was a cover story, because really he was part of a black ops, special operations unit named "Oscar-Sierra", under the command of Owen Granger.

Julia refused to go back to the States with Donald and instead accused him of infidelity with Kensi's nannys, a charge that was completely false. Telling him he could keep the kid if she were given an uncontested divorce, he agreed. As Kensi's sole parent, he taught her how to track, shoot, fix an engine, send Morse code, play poker, wire a house, pick a lock; basically anything you teach a son. Her father was her best friend. He taught her everything he knew, but he knew so precious little about females.

Kensi Marie Blye always tried to be the son she knew that her father wanted. Rather than wear dresses, Kensi wanted to wear military type clothing. Since the PX didn't carry sizes that were that small, she had to find it elsewhere. Slacks were little problem, she just had to find the ones that were the closest to khaki as possible. Tee shirts she could dye to get the marine green color. The denim shirts were the toughest to find, and if she found some that were close, she just made do.

But it was not just the clothing that concerned Donald, it was the other, truly girly, things. One day the two of them had been out all afternoon. When they came home, Donald had to pee badly. He rushed into the house and into the bathroom, but he forgot to close the door. Walking to her room, Kensi saw her father from the back, peeing into the toilet. He was STANDING UP. She always sat down to do that, but if her father could do it that way she could learn to be just like him. Unfortunately, her attempts were not successful. She had to use a lot of toilet tissue to clean up her mess.

Her dad had told her that she could come to him with any problem. He would listen to her and help her work things out. She came to him and asked him about the bathroom differences. This resulted in Donald having to give his daughter the "birds and bees" talk several years before he expected.

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Donald had promised Kensi that, on their way to Hawaii, they would spend a full week at Disneyland. Two days before they were to head off for their epic vacation, Donald was ordered to report to his new post immediately by his new commander, Owen Granger. A live-in housekeeper had already been hired for Kensi, but he would be gone for at least two weeks. Donald explained it to Kensi, and promised that the two of them would go as soon as possible.

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Three years later, they finally got the time to fly back to California and visit the park in Anaheim. As they were checking into the Disneyland Hotel, there was a woman with a young boy just ahead of them, Miriam Raabe and her son, Gary. Donald introduced himself and Kensi and found that Miriam was a widower, raising her son alone while living in Laredo, Texas. She lost her husband early in 1982, when Kevin was assigned to the U.S. troops that formed part of a multinational peacekeeping force to help the fragile Lebanese government maintain power. That had been shortly after Gary was born, so he never knew his father. He was the same age as Kensi, and Donald thought that the four of them could hit it off.

He was half right. He and Miriam had a fantastic time. They went on all the silly rides and laughed together. Donald even paid for all of them to spend one day at the Disney California Adventure Park, since none of them knew much about the state.

Kensi, however, hated every minute of it. This was supposed to be a vacation for her and her father, not some other woman with her dorky kid. Kensi could not even force herself to use the woman's name. To her she was never Miriam or Mrs. Raabe, it was always "that other woman". The other woman was fawning all over her dad. Couldn't he see what a phoney she was? She just wanted a man in her life. Well, she couldn't have her dad. He belonged to Kensi, and she would fight to keep him.

Gary Raabe was not a kid that Kensi could stand. Not only was he a nerd, afraid to take any type of risk on any of the rides, but he was a goodie-goodie type kid, who would squeal on anyone else that was doing what he considered wrong. He insisted on using profuse amounts of sunscreen, wanting everyone to wait as he reapplied it every two hours, and then setting his alarm on his phone, so that he wouldn't miss the next application. This kid would never know what it was like to have fun, and Kensi wanted no part of him either.

Nothing in the park mattered to her. She found no pleasure in the rides or any of the attractions that were offered. She had to plan to keep this other woman away from her dad, but she couldn't make it completely obvious, because that might have the opposite effect.

She told her dad that she was getting her period and it was making her feel more tired than usual, and that's why she was walking slower and wanting more breaks. She said she was having migraines, so she no longer wanted to go on the rides. Her dad was a man, what did he know about the workings of a female body? When Miriam asked if she could help, Kensi made it abundantly clear that she was one of those people who needed no help from anyone, least of all someone she despised.

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Kensi managed to survive the week at the theme park, and thought that she had seen the last of Miriam and her son. But as she brought in the mail one day, there was a thick letter addressed to her dad, with a return address of Laredo, Texas. Kensi thought about just destroying it, so her father would never know it came, but she just couldn't do it. Besides, she was wondering if that woman still wanted to get her hooks into her dad,

Donald read the letter, and for the next few days he seemed happier than usual. Pretty soon, there was one of that other woman's letters arriving every couple of days. As long as they were just writing each other, Kensi could live with it. But then her dad sat her down and told her that in three weeks they were going to fly to Texas, and spend a week with Miriam and Gary. They were going to have all kinds of fun visiting the sites and spending time with them.

This was a blow, not just to Kensi's mind, but also her heart. How could she stop her dad from this? She was losing him to this other woman, who didn't love him like she did. The teenager started planning all sorts of things to try to prevent the trip from happening.

But she didn't have to do anything. Two days after he had talked to her, Donald Blye was found murdered.

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When she found out about it, Kensi didn't know who she hated more, her dad for leaving her, or herself for trying to keep him from going to Texas. In her mind, she thought she might have been the reason he was killed. If she hadn't wanted him to stay here so much, maybe he would still be alive. Maybe he had his mind on the upcoming trip too much, and didn't take enough care not to get killed. But the biggest blame was that they had gone to Disneyland two years ago. If they wouldn't have gone, he wouldn't have met that other woman, and he would have been more careful, and he would still be alive, and he would be with her, and she wouldn't be feeling so alone and lost and helpless. No, Disneyland was not a fun place, not for her. It would never be. It was the start of her dad being taken away from her, and she hated it.

After the initial investigation into his murder, the ME released the body. Donald's records requested that his burial should be at Camp Pendleton, California in the Marine Corps cemetery. Since her mother, Julia, was still listed as Donald's next of kin, Kensi had no say in what was happening. Lieutenant Jeffries, the chaplain at the base, informed the teenager that her father's body would be flown back to California for interment, and she would fly on the same plane to be reunited with her mother. She needed to pack the clothes and personal things she would need to take along with her. The possessions that filled her father's small apartment would be shipped to Los Angeles later.

The next two weeks were a complete blur for the young girl. She just remembered small bits and pieces of what had happened, the long plane ride, shopping for a black dress, having the folded American flag handed to her, and the rifle volley that completely shocked her ears and her heart. Beyond that, nothing stood out.

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Kensi was now living with her mother again, but after only one month, she knew it wasn't going to work out. Julia had remarried and there was no room in the home for a teenage girl. Kensi got the message, and ran away from her mother, and was on the streets for over a year.

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On April 19, 1992, John McGarrett's wife died in a car bomb made by the Yakuza. The bomb had been intended for him, a deputy of HPD (Honolulu Police Department), leaving him to raise his children, Steve and Mary alone. He told the children that their mother had been killed by a drunk driver in a car accident. Fearing for their safety, John transported his children to the mainland. He never saw Mary again, who had become a permanent resident of Los Angeles, but stayed in contact with her by mail and phone calls. Steve lived on the east coast, eventually attended and graduated from the Naval Academy, and saw his father occasionally whenever he was back in Hawaii.

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16 year old Kensi Blye was out of money again, and found herself checking out people at the malls, looking for someone with credit cards that she could steal. She saw Mary Ann McGarrett, looking at clothes that were obviously for a much younger woman's life style. Kensi knew that she could make herself look like her, even though Mary was at least 4 years older, by dying her hair and a judicious application of makeup. Kensi walked up to her and began to give her some fashion advice for what she thought was a night of clubbing. Both of them were surprised to find the other had been living in Hawaii. Mary invited Kensi to join her in the food court and continue talking over a meal. Kensi accepted the invitation, wondering if she could get more of Mary's life story that would help her if she stole the older woman's credit cards and got picked up by the police.

The more Kensi talked to Mary, the more she felt a connection forming with her. Her mother was gone and her father sent her here. It just didn't make sense, unless he didn't love her. But Mary said she was still on good terms with her dad. The younger girl wanted to find out more about this relationship. She got Mary's number and then rushed off to the library to have free use of their computers to do some investigation work. Checking the Honolulu papers, she backtracked looking in the obituaries for Doris McGarrett's death. She found it on the front page. It wasn't a drunk driver who killed her in a traffic accident. It was a bomb planted in the car. No wonder Mary was here on the mainland and not in Hawaii. John must be hiding her from those who want to kill her.

Kensi had the bright idea that this could be turned into a way to get back to Hawaii and find out her father's killer. She called Mary later that week and asked her if she could get her father's e-mail address or phone number in Hawaii, because she wanted to find out if there was any new information on her father's murder. Mary didn't see any problem with it and gave her all the information she wanted.

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The phone call was placed on Friday night, because she felt that John wouldn't be able to find out any information about her through the HPD until Monday morning, and this would give him plenty of time to think about her offer.

"Detective McGarrett? You don't know me yet, but you will. My name is Kensi Marie Blye."

"That name sounds familiar. Why would I know it?"

"My father Donald was murdered outside of Honolulu a little over a year ago."

"I remember that. What can I do for you, Miss Blye?"

"I met with your daughter here in LA this past week. She still doesn't know that her mother died from a car bomb and not a drunk driver, does she?"

"Look, if you hurt her...'

"I have no intention of hurting her. In fact, I want to propose a deal for you where she might be protected even a little bit more. I mean, right now if I can find her, the Yakuza can find her just as easily."

"What kind of proposal do you want me to consider?"

"I want you to fly me back to Hawaii and let me fill in for your daughter. If they think that I am Mary, they won't look for her here. It will add another layer of protection to your daughter."

"And just why do you want to come back to Honolulu?"

"I want to look into my father's death to find out who killed him, and what was the reason for his death."

"You can't do that. It's still a cold case."

"Just tell me this, is anyone still investigating his death."

"No, it's a cold case."

"I'll stay away from anything official, and anytime you want me to pull my nose out of it, I will."

"Let me think about it, okay?"

"That's fine by me. You can reach me at the number on your caller ID. And...thank you for at least listening to me."

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John McGarrett's call came Sunday night. Kensi looked at the caller ID and had such mixed feelings as to whether or not she should answer. She would be so happy if he agreed to her plan, but would be so devastated if he told her he was not interested. Before she overthought it, she answered his call.

"Kensi Blye."

"Kensi, this is John McGarrett. Ground rules – You will not tell my daughter what you know. You will fly here on the ticket I am providing for you. You will live in my house and abide by my rules. Do you have your college degree?"

"No, I have not even graduated from high school yet."

"You will get your GED. You will attend school and keep up your grades. You will always treat me with respect as if I were your actual father. If we need any more rules worked out, you can provide input, but I will have the final say. Are all these rules acceptable to you?"

"I have no problem with any of them. Do you want me to sign something to seal the deal?"

"No. Just know that if you break any of the rules, You will be thrown in jail and I will personally escort you back to California. Understand?"


"Then pack your things. Where do you want me to send the ticket?"

"Just have them hold it at the PanAm desk at LAX. I can pick it up there."

"Fine. I will call you and let you know when it will be ready."

"Hey, ... Dad, thanks."

"We'll just see how it works out."

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Things more than just worked out, for both Kensi and John. When she arrived, John immediately placed her into a program where she could get her GED. To hide the fact that she was not his daughter, she spent much of her time in the tanning booths and on the beach until she was as dark as any native Hawaiian. They both agreed that she should use a cover name, and "Kensi Lo" came into existence, to set herself up as a possible target for the Yakuza. There were some hints of her being targeted, but they never developed into anything tangible.

Kensi took a job as a computer programmer for one of the major insurance companies in town. She used the money she saved up, along with the student loans she took out, and applied to Charminade University. Her hard work resulted in her receiving a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice, with Minors in Forensics and Asian Studies. Her professors were so impressed with her work ethic and intelligence that they recommended her for an intern program with the Honolulu Police Department during both her junior and senior years. She officially was working with the man everyone thought was her father, investigating her true father's murder. But Kensi got no further in solving the crime than the police department did when they first investigated it.

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Upon graduation, Kensi was hired by the US Consular services and put on a team to travel throughout South East Asia to check on security protocols at all the US embassies throughout the area. There had been rumors that an attack on an embassy was imminent. No one knew who would do the attack, what country's embassy was the target, nor in what country the attack would occur. The team went first to the Philippines, and completed their assessment of the facilities that were there. They then flew on to Jakarta, and that was where all hell broke loose.

The terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah [meaning - the "Islamic Congregation"] was a Southeast Asian Islamist organization dedicated to setting up a regional Islamic state in Southeast Asia. Most of the western nations had dismissed this group as a splinter organization of little importance, not even using its name, but just abbreviating it as JI. This group had been suspected of being in on the October, 2002 bombings of two nightclubs and the US Consular office in the Bali capitol. 202 people were killed, seven of them American, and 240 were injured. Of the three bombs, the one at the Counsel was the smallest and did little damage. The following year, this same terrorist group detonated a car bomb outside the lobby of the JW Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, killing twelve people and injuring 150. Those killed were mostly Indonesian. The hotel was seen as a Western symbol, and had been used by the United States embassy for various events. This splinter organization that everyone seemed to dismiss was flexing its muscles.

On September 9, 2004, the day after Kensi's team arrived, a small delivery van packed with a one ton car bomb, exploded in embassy district of South Jakarta. It had been parked outside the Australian embassy, and killed up to 11 people, including the suicide bomber, and wounded more than 160. It gutted the Greek Embassy on the 12th floor of a nearby building, where three diplomats there were slightly wounded. Damage to the nearby Chinese embassy was also reported. Numerous office buildings surrounding the embassy were also damaged by the blast, which shattered windows in buildings 500 yards away, injuring many workers inside, mostly by broken glass.

Most of the embassies closed for the day. Kensi and her team were ordered back to their hotel. They had been staying at the JW Marriott, because the thinking was that this hotel would not be targeted again after the bombing there the year before. That thinking was only partially right. The JI did not target this building for bombing. They sent in a hit team of a dozen or so people and took the building over. They sent out their demands, that those involved in the bombing last year be set free, or in 24 hours, they would start to kill the hotel guests.

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A US C-21 A military Learjet was scrambled to land as soon as possible at the Darwin airport. There they waited for the Navy SEAL team, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Joe White, operating from the USS Dallas, that was helping to train Australian forces off of Darwin. A helicopter lifted them from the submarine and delivered them to the airport, where they took off immediately for Jakarta. A little more than eight hours later, they were on the ground,

Two of the SEALs commandeered a news helicopter and landed on the roof. Two others went through the underground garage. The others went through the front doors. The fire fight was short, and had the typical SEAL outcome, all terrorists neutralized, all hostages rescued. The rest of the tour by Kensi's team was cancelled, and they were ordered to fly back to Honolulu.

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When he heard what had happened in Jakarta, John McGarrett placed a call to Jack Simon, a marine that Kensi had met during a military Meet-N-Greet four years before. The two young kids had seen each other numerous times those first two years, but Kensi had insisted to everyone that they were not dates. John knew that they were getting serious when Jack was deployed to the Middle East for his second tour there in 2002, and all Kensi lived for was the letters he sent and the few times they actually got to talk to each other over the phone.

John told Jack what time Kensi was expected home, and offered a HPD safe house for them to use. He hoped that Jack could help Kensi get over the traumatic experience that she had just gone through in Jakarta. Little did he know that it was Jack, not Kensi that needed the help.

Jack had changed. He had started to experience some bouts of amnesia and minor panic attacks. When he was with Kensi these problems seemed to lessen, but she continued to worry about him. After a week together in the safe house, both of them seemed to bring about a state of normality in the other. As they packed up to leave to go to their respective homes, Jack dropped the bombshell on Kensi. The following week he was going to leave for a third tour in Afghanistan. When Kensi heard this, she cried, she screamed at him, she cursed him out, she beat on his chest with her fists, she did everything that she could possibly think of to get him to stay, even though she knew it was impossible.

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Eight more months of waiting. Letters, phone calls, Skype were her only lifelines with Jack. Her heart was not in her work, it was half a world away. She went through the motions of living. It finally got so bad that John McGarrett finally stopped by and had a long talk with her. She told him that she had this great premonition that this time Jack was not going to come back to her. Kensi started counting the days until his hitch was up, getting more and more anxious as the time got shorter.

Finally the day arrived. The plane landed. Jack's body came walking off the plane, but she could see by the hollow stare of his eyes that his mind was somewhere else. She helped him to the car and took him home. Kensi tried talking with him, but all he wanted to do was sleep, so she tucked him into bed and started calling people at the base, trying to find out what had happened to Jack that he was now like this mindless zombi.

The answer she got scared her. Jack had full blown PTSD. The further he got from Afghanistan, the worse he seemed to get. He was supposed to report to the base hospital the following day for a full body of medical tests and his first session with his psychiatrist. Kensi said that she would make sure he would show up.

Jack was placed on risperidone along with benzodiazepine. Twice a week he had his meeting with Captain Clayton Tylor, his military psychiatrist. Kensi was allowed to sit in on one of these sessions each week, because she was considered as part of his care team. She made sure that he took all his meds when he was supposed to. But mostly she listened to whatever he had to say. It didn't make any difference to her what it was about. Jack was speaking, and it became important to her.

And it seemed like it was working. Jack had fewer panic attacks. His grasp of reality was getting better and better. They were walking together in a local park on a cool fall day near the end of October. Jack reached into his pocket and brought out a small blue box, dropped to one knee, opened the box and asked Kensi to be his wife. She was so surprised that at first she couldn't make a sound. Then she saw the love in his eyes, and she gushed her answer, "Of course I will. Yes... Yes... YES!"

He had made her the happiest woman in the world, and for a moment, he seemed so happy too. But as they made their way through November, Jack seemed to revert back to his old self. She finally asked him what was wrong? Was it something she did or said? Did he no longer love her?

He looked at her and told her, "Life back in Afghanistan was so vivid and real... Each and every day it was a constant rush of adrenaline going through you... It was like...falling through the sky."

Kensi feared what he was going to say next. She grabbed his hand and started to rub small circles on the back of it with her thumb. "And what did it feel like to you when you came home to me?" she asked, with a tear forming in the corner of her eye.

Jack bowed his head, refusing to look her in the eye, and said in a voice that was just above a whisper, "It felt like...hitting...the...ground."

Kensi pulled him into her embrace, tears pouring out over his shirt, as she whispered into his ear, "Jack, my love, you know I will always be here to catch you. I will never let you crash into the ground."

He pulled his head off of her shoulder, looked into her eyes and gave her a deep kiss.

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It was Christmas morning. Kensi rolled over in bed and found a cold empty space where Jack's warm body should have been. She just thought he had gotten up and was in the bathroom, so she waited a few minutes before she called out, "Jack, come back to bed. It's Christmas, come and get your gift."

Her request was met with silence. She got up and looked in the hallway. The bathroom door was open, the light was not on. Jack was not in the kitchen, nor the front room. He simply was not in her apartment. She went back to the bedroom, and then she saw the envelope with her name on it.

Kensi opened it up and read the note:

You know I will always love you.
You deserve so much more than I
could ever be or give to you. I
can't ask you to spend the rest of
your life with someone who is as
broken as I am. Find someone who
can make you happy. I know that
man can never be me.

Reading his note a second time, Kensi knew he was gone. The tears poured from her face as she mentally beat herself up. Maybe I didn't try hard enough to help him. I saw him slipping away and I should have talked to someone about it sooner. I listened to him. I thought I really did. Was there something that I missed?

She tried to go on, but there were just too many reminders of her life here with Jack. She found herself crying all the time. Finally she went to John McGarrett and told him what her life was like now, and explained how she needed to get out of Hawaii in order for her to survive. John understood completely, having seen how quickly she deteriorated after Jack left.

"Do you know where you are going to live or what you are going to do?"

"I just know it can't be here. I'll be okay. I just need to get these daily reminders of Jack out of my mind."

"Well, Kensi, it's been wonderful having you as my 'daughter'. If there is anything I can do to help you with anything, do not be afraid to contact me. I just hope that someday you can come back here and not have these memories to plague you."

She wrapped her arms around him, and gave him a kiss on his cheek, then turned and walked away, wiping the tears from her eyes.

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Kensi was in Los Angeles for a week before she got a cryptic phone call from a lady who called herself Henrietta Lange. She asked the young woman to meet her down in the dock area at a boat house to discuss her future. Kensi was intrigued with this and agreed to meet her.

"Ms. Blye, I have had my eye on you for the last several years."

Kensi's defenses went up immediately. "And why were you watching me, Ms Lange?"

"First of all, please call me Hetty. And to answer your question, to find out if you are good enough to be offered a job on my team."

"And what is it exactly that you do, that I should want a job with you?"

"We are a section of Naval Criminal Investigative Services. This is the Office of Special Projects. We do the jobs that are 'different', the ones other groups don't want to or can't do." Hetty went on to describe the work that she would be doing as an NCIS agent.

When she was done, Kensi just asked her, "Where do I sign?"

Hetty looked up at the camera and said, "Mr. Callen, Mr Hanna, can you bring in those things I left with you right now?"

The door opened and in came a man about a dozen years older than her, with a bit of scruff on his face. He had a file folder in his left hand, and had extended his right hand to the young woman, "Hi, I'm Callen."

Right behind him was a huge black man of indiscriminate age. His left hand placed a badge and holstered gun on the table in front of her. "Sam Hanna, welcome aboard..."

Shaking both their hands, she just said, "It's Kensi, Kensi Blye."

Hetty got up to go, "I will leave you three to become acquainted. Ms. Blye, in three weeks you go for agent training at FLETC in Glynco, Georgia. In the meantime, you will train with Mr. Callen and Mr. Hanna. I suggest that you train hard with these two men and learn all you can from them. They are two of the best agents that NCIS has."

Callen looked at her and said, "Aww, Hetty. I didn't know you cared."

Hetty just said, "Hummpf." and walked out.

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Kensi got through her probationary period and proved herself to be a great agent. All of the skills her father taught her as a child were honed as she practiced her craft. She could track even on the streets of LA. She didn't find a weapon that she was not proficient using, and became the eye in the sky for the group, her mismatched eyes using the scope to take out opposing marksmen, or just laying down suppressing fire. She was so good at picking locks that they wanted to keep her at FLETC and make her an instructor so she could share her expertise and train others. Her undercover work impressed both Callen and Sam, something that was hard to do. Both men praised her as being a "natural operator".

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Nonetheless, Kensi really appreciated it when she was no longer the "new girl". Dominic Vail was added to the team as her partner. Sam took a special interest in the young man, trying to improve his field agent skills. When Dom complained to Kensi that he thought Sam didn't like him, she assured the young man that Sam just wanted to know that he could protect himself and his team and that was why he had been hard on him.

Perhaps that was the reason it was so hard on both the senior agents when Dom was killed. Callen felt that as team leader, he was the one accountable for the safety of all of the members of his team, and in losing Dom, he failed in those responsibilities. Sam felt responsible for not training him well enough. If he would have only worked harder with the young man, he would not have been captured and killed.

But neither of them had been teamed up with Dom as their partner. Kensi not only lost a member of her team, but her first partner. Partners were supposed to have each other's backs. They were to look out for each other, even going so far as to take a bullet for the other one. Kensi would have gladly done that. But she failed. She failed her team. She failed her partner. And another man with whom she had started to build a special relationship was taken from her.

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Kensi thought about her new partner and wondered what Hetty could have been thinking. She certainly did not want or need Detective Marty Deeks as her partner. None of the team liked him. He never shut up, but was always talking. He was supposed to be their liaison officer with the LAPD, but he didn't liaise, because nobody at the LAPD liked him either. And how could he claim to be her partner? The first thing he did after their first case together was to go on a long term undercover mission for the LAPD. What would have happened if she needed him to have her back? Where would he be? A part time partner? God, how could Hetty do that to her?

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Over time, Deeks grew on everyone, Sam jokingly said he grew like mold. The agent did not trust him and felt the detective had no honor. But his opinion of the wounger man changed completely after the two of them had been captured and tortured by Siderov. Deeks refused to give Quinn up as being Sam's wife, and a CIA agent. Sam realized just how much he owed the man he had looked down on and made fun of. When Deeks was recovering and wondering if he should quit being a cop, Sam told him, "That would be a big mistake, because you are a good one." Kensi was shocked when he told her that his memories of her were the only things that enabled him to endure and fight through the torture that Siderov had put him through.

But the detective still had doubts about his job and his future. In spite of all that he had done for the team, he still found himself to be the butt of their jokes. He felt completely unwanted by anyone. He started shutting down and shutting everyone, including Kensi, out of his life. His internal demons tormented him so much that he couldn't sleep. Finally Kensi went over to his place, two orders of Yummy, Yummy Heart Attack, a six pack of beer, and a movie in her hands. They ate a little, each drank a beer, and settled themselves on the couch, with him putting his head in her lap, and began to watch the movie. As he was falling asleep, he asked her what the movie was. She was watching the movie of her life play out... and it was what she told him ... a love story.

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Nell's phone rang again as the political analyst was walking with Kensi Blye to the little kitchen area to grab some more tea. They had been talking about the triple date they were on last night, where they tried to get the coroner, Rose Schwartz, their good friend, more into the social structure of Los Angeles.

"Is that Brad again,?" the older woman asked

"No, this time it's Matt," the smaller woman laughingly said.

"And what does he want, can't be my number, because I gave it to him when we were all out together last night."

"Actually, he was wondering if he could meet me for a drink some night this week."

"Nell... Both Brad and Matt called you to go out with them this week?"

"Actually..., Kens, so did Jim," she said sheepishly.

"All three of them, and how does poor Rose feel about that?"

"She sent me a text and said that both Jim and Brad have tried to set something up with her. Why? How many of the guys last night have sent a message to you?"

Kensi said nothing, but kept on walking.

"Kens... Kens, surely Matt must have called you."

"Maybe he can't find my number, because I didn't write it out big enough for him."

"I'm sorry, Kens. If it's any consolation, I'm not planning on going out with any of them. It was all for Rose, to help her loosen up a little bit among men."

"Well I guess that the saying that Char down in the San Diego office told me that's going around concerning me is true."

"And that is..."

"Kensi Blye...first date, fun...second date, run. Only now the whole city of Los Angeles knows about it."

"Oh, Kens, that isn't true, and you know it."

"Yeah? Then how come every relationship that I have with any man sucks. They all end up leaving me."

Nell started walking back to the bull pen area, and saw the shaggy haired, blond Detective Marty Deeks sitting there. "And what about Deeks?" she asked. "The two of you have been together almost four years."

"He's my partner. We don't have a relationship." Kensi said emphatically.

"Yeeup..." the pixie answered her.

"And what is that supposed to mean?"

"All I'm saying is that you may be giving off signals that you don't know about when you go out on date nights like last night."

"Signals, what kind of signals are you talking about?"

"The silent, unconscious signals that you might be sending out to the man you are with that says, "Sorry, I'm taken'."

"That's rediculous, and who is this person that is supposedly the one who has 'taken' me?"

Nell made an exagerated look with her eyes in the direction of Marty Deeks.

"NO WAY. Nell, I told you that we don't have a thing." Kensi was almost shouting.

Everyone looked at her, wondering what brought this on.

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Deeks finally invited Kensi out on an "official" date. They went to a fancy restraunt, and after some small talk, Kensi told him, "You never say what you mean."

The detective looked at her and said, "I don't want to be here with you right now..."

Kensi looked shocked at what he said.

Deeks continued. "...I want to be with you at my place."

Kensi was even more surprised at that statement. She got up and walked out of the restraunt. The detective followed her out. The next morning she had to do the "walk of shame", but neither of them would confirm or deny anything that had happened the previous evening.

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But then the hell of Afghanistan happened, and neither she nor Deeks were the same after it. Granger got some perverse pleasure in taking her away from her partner. At Camp Chapman he kept making all sorts of comments to put the detective down, and try to convince her that he would never be a good agent, much less a decent partner.

The way Granger continued to look at her while they waited for intel on the "white ghost" was beginning to creep her out. God, the man was old enough to be her father. Maybe that was why he didn't take the job of taking out the "white ghost" himself. Granger had the formal sniper training. The man had worked in the same unit as her dad. Why the hell was she the one selected, and why was it classified as a need to know mission so she had to leave without telling anyone.

The longer the mission went on, the stranger it got. She was completely floored when she found out that the "white ghost" was none other than her former fiance, Jack Simon. When she had Jack in her sights, Granger kept yelling at her through her com, "Blye, take the shot. Take the shot." She did, but she aimed it off to the side, more of a warning. She escaped back to Camp Chapman, where Granger demanded a full report.

How could she tell Granger what was going on, when she didn't even know herself? She had to find out the answers to her questions from Jack. She managed to get herself captured and finally talked to Jack. But it left her more confused than ever.

Jack had left her nine years ago and returned to Afghanistan. He went native, married a local girl, and started a family. How could he do that to her? That had been her Jack. They were planning their wedding. Those children should have been hers. He had moved on, why couldn't she?

But hadn't she moved on too? When she dreamed of her children, they all had 24 carat smiles and shaggy blond hair. She couldn't ever say that she had the dream of the wedding service, with Deeks waiting for her at the end of the aisle, but that wouldn't have been necessary. All she cared about was that he would be her partner, on the job and off, for the rest of her life. Her future was not with Jack, but with Deeks.

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She never knew what was going on when she and Jack were rescued. All she was told was that Deeks came in like an avenging angel and worked out the trade of the Iman for the two of them. Back at Camp Chapman, Jack hugged her, wished her well in her new life, then turned to flee to Pakistan ahead of the CIA, who still wanted to kill him.

Things should have been better in their relationship. But it was just the opposite. Deeks was drawing further and further away from her. She was caught up in why she wasn't good enough, first for Jack, and now for Deeks.

She finally asked him to come in one day, earlier than any of the other staff. He saw that she had put a small box at the juncture of their two desks. There was a little black cube in front of each of their chairs.

"These cubes are all the things that happened in Afghanistan, that we don't want to talk about right now. I suggest we put them in the box, and go on with our lives. When we feel comfortable about talking about it, we can pull our cube and give it to the other to entrust that incident forever." and with that, Kensi put hers in the box. Deeks spent a moment looking at his cube, as if channeling all the memories into it, then placed it in next to hers.

Kensi closed the box, hopeful that things would improve between them.

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And things did get better. But then this case came up, and Granger added Talia to the team to make up for the two missing senior agents. Granger had backed off in his torment of Deeks, possibly because it was his ass that was also saved on that mountaintop in Afghanistan by the shaggy detective. But Talia seemed to be under orders from the acting projects manager to drive a wedge between Kensi and her partner.

And Kensi fell for it, completely. Why everyone couldn't see how green she was with jealousy, she just didn't know. She took exception at everything that Talia said. She came within a breath of stripping off her top and daring Talia to do the same so Deeks could judge who had the best boobs. She was Bad-Ass Blye, not Malibu Barbie's sister. Talia got under her skin so far that she really wondered if Deeks had "hooked" up with her while she was in Afghanistan. She wouldn't have blamed him, the way she was acting and the way Talia looked.

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Kensi finally put her feelings behind her and became the professional agent again. Following Nell's directions, she let Talia run lead with the case and played it as a complete drug operation. The case finally ended, Callen and Sam were rescued, and the team was given the weekend off. Deeks declined Kensi's offer for pizza and beer, saying he had some people to see and things to do. Kensi followed him to the same motel in which Talia was staying, and was heartbroken. He WAS cheating on her. Returning the next morning, Kensi saw Deeks with a miniature female version of himself by the pool. God, he had a daughter too? Why couldn't she ever get a man who would love her enough to would stay true to her, just her?

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She refused to answer her phone calls from Deeks all weekend. He finally came over and broke into her apartment, and sat down and talked with her. He explained that he wasn't seeing Talia at that motel, he had set up a meeting with his old friend Ray, Jenna, and their daughter Kerri, all of whom were still in the witness protection program. He needed to talk to Ray about his memories for his dead sister, and his feelings for a girl, one who came so close to matching what he thought his sister would have grow up to be like. He had told them how much he loved his new "Fern".

"But that's the name you call me". Kensi said, not really understanding.

"Kens," he said with a tear in his eye, "I loved my sister dearly, and I couldn't save her from being killed. She has always watched out for me and still is with me. But my memories of her are starting to fade, because there is someone new that has taken over that job. I have a new Fern to watch over me. I love her, and believe that she loves me. It is you, Fern"

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The detective wrapped his arms around the agent, and the two of them collapsed into each other.

Kensi whispered to him. "Thank you for sharing that with me, Marty, and for calling me your 'Fern'. I am so honored you love me enough to call me that."

"Kens, I would like you to meet her."

"I would like that too."

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The following day found them at the cemetery, looking at a nondescript grave. Marty place some wild flowers he had purchased near the headstone, then stood up and said, "Fern Louise Brandel, I would like you to meet Kensi Marie Blye, my other Fern. Fern, this is my sister."

With a tear in her eye, Kensi said, "I am honored to meet you, Fern. I thank you for loving him and watching over him all these years. I promise you, I will always love him and keep him safe, for you and for me."

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All of the hopes Kensi ever had throughout the few years of her life were wrapped up in this man standing beside her. There were still a lot of problems to be worked out. One lay in a box between their desks. But the fears that they couldn't be worked out were gone. She was his, and he was hers, and together they would make their thing work.