Here is another longer chapter with a bit of Neric and Kensi's waking nightmare further explained, I was on the fence of how, out of character Kensi was in the waking nightmare, but I came to the conclusion that it adds dimension to her character.

On a side note, I know that I don't say this enough but I really love reading yours guys' lovely reviews, they just make my day.

Enjoy my peeps.

Alternate Ending

Chapter 24

Nell's P.O.V

I walk into Eric's apartment and hear the faint sounds of the TV playing in his living room. Walking out of the front hallway I see him bashing the buttons of his Xbox controller, his face set in fierce determination. He is so oblivious to my presence that I just stand there and take him in. he doesn't have his glasses on, his hair is messy and he is only in basketball shorts and a white shirt…he looks comfortable…happy to live in the present…

That last thought shakes me to my core; here I was in the middle of the night at my best friend's apartment, he has furniture for crying out loud! He is content in the life he is living not going around chasing ghosts that don't want to be found….Eric sees me…Callen doesn't….

"Hey," he pauses his game and stands up and walks over to me. "Are you okay?" he lightly grabs my arm sending tiny sparks of electricity through my body.

I nod, the effect he was having on me was new so my voice cracked. "Y-yeah. Um Kensi and I went to Julia's and when we got back to her place something…happened…" I feel a shiver run over my body spurring Eric to steer me towards the couch and drape a blanket over my shoulders.

"Hold that thought," he says softly before disappearing into his kitchen. While I listened to him clank around in the kitchen I settled into the corner of his couch. Looking at the TV screen I see he was playing Skyrim and it was paused mid-game.

Soon the clanking of glass fades to the background as I recall Deeks' calm voice when he told me to remain still as though any movement from me would shatter any ground he gained in waking Kensi up. And still she pointed her gun at him…thinking that Deeks was Sam. I know Deeks and Sam were tense that day but what would cause Kensi to want to do such a thing, even in a waking nightmare…whatever she was seeing was bad, real bad.

Eric's hand grasping mine woke me from my trance. Turning to look at him he holds out a cup with a bit of a shy smile. "Hot chocolate, it always helps me relax after a stressful day." His voice was soft as I took a sip savoring the warm liquid. He positioned himself on the couch so that he was facing me, one foot flat on the floor and his arm draped over the back of the couch as though he was reaching for me. "What happened Nell?"

Sighing I set the cup on his coffee table and burrow further into the corner of the couch. "I don't know, I swear when she went to take a shower she was fine but when she came out…her eyes were so empty yet so, so angry. She kept muttering things that I didn't understand then she turned to me and growled at me demanding to know how I could have let him be captured and that's when I knew what she was reliving…."

"Sidorov," Eric said quietly and I only nod. "That doesn't seem much worse than her nightmares why did you leave?"

"She had her gun." At that Eric's hand that was resting on the back of the couch rose up to twirl a strand of my hair the movement soothing and relaxing. "Most of the time it was in the waistband of her jeans but she was so lost within this waking nightmare that I was so scared to do anything so I called Deeks and told him."

"What did he do?" he asks softly.

"He rushed over, I asked him too I mean I know how to handle normal nightmare about Sidorov and Afghanistan but this was different, and I mean she had a loaded gun for god sakes. But when he walked through the door she pointed her gun at him yelling that Deeks was dead because of you and I thought that she was talking to Sidorov but she wasn't…." I stop, the lump in my throat so large that it was painful.

"Hey, it's okay take your time Nell," he cups my face and I can't help but lean into his touch, it was so soft…and initiated by him….not because I ran into him accidently at the stairs….

"She thought Deeks was Sam and was threatening to shoot him because he killed Deeks…." I shrug. "I don't know why she would say that, I mean I know Sam and Deeks had their differences but this, even in a dream?" I ask him hoping he has an answer.

"Maybe it was because they were partnered up for that case and she blamed him for his death in the nightmare, we only know case details and what we heard over the comms, not what was said and done while they were off or we were blind." He looks at me as though he is begging me to be okay. "Now, we will talk about Deeks being there later but did he wake her up is that why you are here…you know not that I-I m-mind yo-you here…"

I chuckle and lightly cover his mouth, he was cute when he babbled. "Yes he woke her up and that was when I decided that I should leave, I figured that there was a high chance they would start to rip each other's clothes off. I will talk to Kensi tomorrow." Eric laughs and nods.

"Yea they never did separation well." After his laughter dies down he asks, "Did you tell her about what happened with Callen?"

"No, she knows something is wrong but she was so happy today that I didn't want to burst her bubble and think it was because of her that Callen was acting like an ass." Without thinking I grab Eric's hand and feel another bolt of electricity shoot up my arm…such a strange sensation….

He is quiet for a few minutes and I can tell he is debating whether he should ask a question or not… "If I may ask; what are you going to do about Callen? I mean I know what you told him but you were angry…"

"I meant what I said, I can't take being second to the ghosts of his past. Honestly…I want what Kensi and Deeks have, their love is so strong that you can't look away…I always thought that maybe one day Callen would see me," I laugh bitterly. "But he only saw me when it was convenient for him, on days his ghosts seemed quiet, then the next day he wouldn't speak to me at all…"

"An emotional rollercoaster." Eric stated. "Look Nell, Callen's a great guy, he cares about us like we are family, and if you love him you should give him the benefit of doubt." His voice was quiet and measured and looked as though the words physically pained him. It was with those words that I realized that I hurt him every time I spoke about Callen with Eric.

Here he was, listening and nodding when I needed to vent and he was willing to put his own feelings aside to encourage me into the arms of a man who makes me happy…who he thinks makes me happy.

"Oh my god," I whisper standing up and I begin pacing in front of his TV, confusing Eric.

Why haven't I seen it! I yell at myself. Ever since starting at OPS I have always wanted what Kensi and Deeks had to the point that I was sometimes envious of what Kensi had; a man willing to just sit on a couch with me after a long and stressful day. A man to be there when I needed him, be a shoulder to cry on, a man to know that I am not as touch as I pretend to be…Eric…he was what I wanted!

I freeze and turn to look at him. And looking into his eyes I see the pain his words really caused him, but he only wanted me happy…Eric was my Deeks…is that a weird thought? Oh he gives a fuck, it's Eric! He is what I wanted! I didn't love Callen…

"I don't want to give Callen the benefit of doubt, oh my god I was such an idiot…I fell in love with lust…the lust I felt for Callen…but you…" I stop and he looks frightened for a second.

"N-Nell what are you talking about?"

"You, you are what I want, I want to be happy and you make me happy,"

"Nell," he whispers.

"I'm so sorry Eric, why didn't you stop me from talking about Callen with you all these years?"

He shrugs. "I wanted you to be happy, and I thought he made you happy. I was fine with being your friend…"

"But you weren't happy?" I asks kneeling before him grasping both of his hands in mine. Looking up at him I see all the pain I caused, the same pain that I saw in Kensi's eyes as she talked about Deeks confusing signals after Afghanistan and I wanted to kick myself black and blue. He shakes his head avoiding my eyes. I sigh cupping his chin and lifting his face. "Will I make you happy?" I whisper moving closer to him.

"Very happy," he says his eyes never leaving mine.

"I'm sorry I never saw it," my voice cracks

"It's okay," he says as he cups my face, his thumbs gently rubbing my cheeks bones.

"Have dinner with me," I blurt softly. "Go on a date with me Eric, let me make it up to you."

My answer was an incredibly large and happy smile and his arms firmly wrapping around me squeezing me to him…

Minutes pass and I yawn against his neck making him laugh, "Lay down, I will put a movie in," he says before getting up and taking the empty cup to his kitchen as I situate myself on the couch leaving space behind me on the couch. He takes a few minutes before I feel him slide in behind me and his arms wrap around my waist and he kisses my hair.

Laying there almost feeling him fall asleep I can't help but think that this is the best night of my life, because I was happy.

Kensi's P.O.V

The sun was beginning to peak through my curtains and the birds were chirping but I saw and heard none of it, I only saw his nose twitching and heard his steady breathing. The fact that he was next to me, regardless of the fact that he has to leave soon, and conveniently unclothed meant that I couldn't not touch him. I lightly trailed my fingertips up and down his bare back and leaning over and placing my lips on his bicep and letting them linger there.

I continued tracing shapes on his back and placing kisses anywhere that I could without jostling him too much. Eventually I felt his breath shift and I knew he was awake. "Hm, that tickles," he mutters into his pillow and I laugh softly.

When I don't reply he rolls onto his side halting my fingers and I place my hand on his bicep just feeling the warmth radiating off of him…he was alive…last night was just a bad nightmare. "Kens?" I look into his blue eyes and see his silent question but still I keep my mouth shut, I don't want to ruin this moment, this blissful moment with the horrors that I saw last night while awake. "Talk to me Fern, please." He pleaded, his voice so soft that I close my eyes and shuffle closer to him. "What did you see?" sighing I resign myself to reliving it and begin talking….

I barged into the bullpen after being told that Deeks and Sam were missing and begin barking at Nell, "How could you let this happen Nell!"

"Kens there were no…"

"I don't give a fuck! Fix this, both of you," I yell pointing at Nell and Eric. "Find him, now!" without a second word the wonder twins spin around and begin typing frantically. I walked out of the armory and down to the bullpen where Callen, Michelle and Owen are pooled around the TV by Deeks' desk…. I stop dead in my tracks at the sight of his desk, empty. The sudden noise lets the team know that I was there.

"Kensi?" I hear and look up and see Michelle looking at me concerned and it pisses me off to no end. What the fuck is she concerned about? Deeks was doing over watch for HER husband, her husband showed absolutely no respect for Marty….

Marty…

We were to late… we got Sidorov alive and in handcuffs…Sam was alive and okay save for a few burns…but Marty…shot, once execution style in the back of the head. I don't remember screaming, I don't remember lunging for a handcuffed Sidorov and wrapping my hands around his neck as he laughed at my emotional reaction. But it was Sidorov's words while the three of us, Callen, Michelle and myself, surrounded him in the interrogation room that changed everything that all but killed me inside…well it would have if there was anything left to kill that is…

"I gave Mr. Hanna a choice, I either killed him, or the weak cop," he said while staring Michelle in the eye. "His words were I have a family, he has no one…" he looks at me when he hears my gasp of shock. "I take it you are the Kensi he kept screaming for. Oh he fought so hard, he cursed Mr. Hanna. But in the end Mr. Hanna made a valid point so I shot the cop." I swallowed thickly before standing up and walking over to him, Callen and Michelle to shocked to stop me as I landed punch after punch to his body, hoping that I would bust a rib and that it would puncture his lung, eventually I felt Michelle grab me and pull me out of the room with Callen's help.

When out I roughly pushed her off of me and spun towards Michelle the hatred in my eyes making her take a step back. "Your, husband…how could he…Deeks had me! Your fucking husband…killed the only man I love…."

"Kensi Sam didn't know Sidorov would…" she started but I threw a punch breaking her nose.

"You do NOT get to make excuses for your fucking husband, I lost everything today because of HIM!" I yelled pushing Callen out of my way as he tried to speak and I ran out of the boatshed. I drove as quickly as I could to the Mission knowing that they were following me.

Throwing my car in park I jump out leaving it running and the door wide open as I walk towards the Mission doors. I hear Callen's car's tires squeal to a stop. "Kensi wait!" he tries but I start running.

Pushing the doors open I yell, "SAM HANNA!" everyone in the Mission stops, they know what happened, and they know Deeks is dead…walking into the bullpen I see Sam leaning against his desk with Eric and Nell next to him. My yelling summoned their attention along with Hetty's and Owen's. Stopping before Sam I clench my fists. "Is it true?"

He does nothing but look down in shame, I take a huge gulp of air at his silent confirmation…I am barely aware that Callen and Michelle have arrived…the whole team…but Marty Deeks…because he is dead. "Why Sam?" I ask, tears falling and voice cracking. "Why did you say he had no one, what about me? He had me SAM, ME! He is dead because of you…you killed him…"

"Kens I am so sorry I didn't think Sidorov would follow through with it…"

"But you still said it, I hate you, I hate you…" he tries to speak but I cut him off. "Shut up Sam!"

"I'm sorry Kensi so sorry…"

I take a deep breath before pulling out my gun in a flash and aiming it at Sam's chest my tears clouding my vision…"You killed him, you killed me…I have nothing," I whisper as my team pulls their guns on me but I can't bring myself to care…

"I'm not Sam Kensi, I am alive," I shake my head at Sam's words…but it wasn't his voice "Whatever you are seeing, it's not real. Marty is standing right in front of you."


"Then that is when I woke up…I was, was so close to shooting Sam because of what he did…and I…" a sob tears its way out of my chest as I bury my face into Deeks' chest reveling in the feel of his arms wrap around me and his breath in my hair as he whisper's consoling words. "The scary part is that I don't know," I say siting up looking down at him. "I don't know if I would have been able to stop myself if that really had happened…I can't lose you," I whisper as I cup his cheek.

"You're not going to lose me Kens, I won't leave you…"

"Except you will, at least for the time being. You are still undercover…."

"Yea I am," he sighs sadly sitting up and dropping his forehead against mine, his breath ghosting over my lips making them tingle. "I'm sorry but the good thing is that this will be my last case with LAPD and then I am all yours."

I can't stop the delighted shiver that runs down my spine. I run my hand into his hair and lightly tug on his locks, "All mine…I like the sound of that." I drop a kiss onto his lips, pulling back before we get lost in it. "When do you have to go back?" I ask my voice barely audible.

"Tonight, Mark and Derek are living it in Vegas at the moment, the smaller players of their little group are so caught up in bars that me missing for a few days isn't going to hurt anything."

"So I have you all day?" I ask a smile creeping onto my face. "What ever shall I do with you for a full day?"

His fingers lightly traced the line of the sheet I was holding to my chest. "Hm, I can think of a few things, things to celebrate us?" he asks, his voice deep and husky his eyes darkening.

"Yes," I whisper leaning closer letting my lips brush his with every word. "To finally figuring out our thing?" he nods slightly. "But first," I say sitting up and reverting back to my normal tone. "Breakfast." I get up letting the sheet fall away as I grab a shirt to thrown on.

Hearing Deeks groan makes me laugh as I walk out of the room. "Come on Kens! That is just not nice, leaving your man hang like that!" I stop in the doorway and turn back to him and lean against the door frame a smirk on my face.

"Now now Shaggy just think, we won't need a break to eat if you feed me now, because I have missed your pancakes and I need the energy. You cook and I will text Nell." I turn and walk out hearing him quickly throw the blankets off and stumble into his boxers.

Picking up my phone I send off a text to Nell, knowing she would still be asleep. Hey Nell first off, I am so so sorry about last night. Please come over later so I can make it up to you…maybe just knock first ;) see ya later today and thank you for calling Marty, I owe you big time.

Putting my phone down I see Deeks walking towards me placing a kiss on my lips before he starts pulling the ingredients out for pancakes…

Today is going to be a good day and if I tried hard enough I could almost pretend that he was back for good, that he was home...guess I better enjoy him while I have him.

A. Grayson