Wow do I owe everybody an apology for the long hiatus. Let's just put it this way: broken laptop again, my birthday, and now AP testing. I'll be posting the next chapter within a few days. Again, I'm so sorry! Hope this is ok.
Nell handed him a large file, one that was handed to her from Granger several weeks ago. "Get reading. They took out the entirety of the last task force that tried to disband VOAM. They're going to find Kensi and Deeks sooner or later, which means we're picking up the case before they do."
"Ladies and gentlemen we will be arriving in Denver, Colorado in about five minutes. This is a reminder that we will be restocking the food car so we will be in the station for half an hour, during which you are free to leave the train."
Kensi only half listened to the conductor over the intercom. She was more concerned with the fact that they had been quizzing each other on their new aliases for the past few hours, just to make the time go by. If they were in Denver at this point, they must have been on the train for roughly twenty-four hours.
"Alright your turn," Deeks said, closing her open file. "Name?"
"Previously Melissa James, now Melissa Warren."
"Where'd you grow up?"
"College and major?"
"UCLA, physical therapy major, although my most recent work has included being a personal trainer and bartending on the side."
"Well you can drop the bartending, I think," Deeks smirked, trying to choose his next question.
"I have my actual bartending license," Kensi corrected. "Not all of us got through college by being a stripper."
"Exotic dancer," he grumbled.
Kensi smirked at his discomfort. At that moment the train screeched to a stop in the station, the lack of movement causing a weird sensation to spread through her body. She didn't hesitate to start packing up their files and shoving them in the bag in their above compartment.
"Where are you going?" Deeks inquired, raising an eyebrow.
"To get some fresh air," she replied. "We're in Denver for half an hour, might as well take advantage of it."
"Is that safe?"
"Probably not completely," Kensi admitted. "But I'm getting restless just sitting here."
Deeks thought for a moment before standing up himself, stretching his cramped limbs. He pushed their bags to the very back of the hold and hit them using a box full of extra pillows. Making sure no one was looking, he handed Kensi her knife. "Shall we?"
Kensi held her arm tight against her stomach as they left the train. The cold, crisp air from the Mile High City washed over her body, rejuvenating her rather than feeling uncomfortable. One hip held her knife tucked in the waistband of her leggings, while the other held a burner cell phone. Both Kensi and Deeks had kept a close eye on it, waiting for any messages that may have been incoming from OSP.
Suddenly, something caught Kensi's eye that had her whole face light up.
"I was waiting for you to see it," Deeks chuckled, already walking towards where the Dunkin Donuts sign was leading them.
"Finally, something other than train food," Kensi smiled excitedly.
They walked down a stairwell and into the heart of the train station. It was relatively quiet, as it was too late in the morning for rush hour. Kensi was just reaching for Deeks's hand when he stopped abruptly in front of a first aid store.
"We should pick up some supplies," he said. "That shoulder needs to be taken care of."
"Alright. You grab some stuff from the store, I'll get us some coffee," Kensi suggested.
"Is it a good idea to split up?"
"We're a thousand miles from our last sightings of any VOAM members and it's just around the corner. I think we'll be okay. Meet back at the train car?"
Deeks bit his lip. "Just wait for me by Dunkin Donuts. I'll be quick."
Kensi nodded and turned away, the smell of coffee just tantalizingly close. Despite her previous comments to her boyfriend, her operational awareness didn't drop off for a second. Two people caught her eye immediately. A man in a baseball cap pacing back and forth by an archway leading off to another part of the station was one, the other a woman without luggage sitting on a bench. Both of them seemed keenly aware of their surroundings.
The brunette made one last sweep before getting on line for coffee. She put in the order and waited for it to arrive, watching the two people she pegged. A crowd had just started coming in from another platform. The woman on the bench rose quickly to meet a man. They left together promptly. Kensi shifted her gaze towards the one in the baseball cap.
Kensi whipped around to find an employee shoving the order towards her as if she had been waiting there for a while. She took the food, mumbling a thanks, and stepped off to the side. She could no longer see the man in the baseball cap. The brunette blew out a puff of air and found a section of the wall to lean up against.
She became lost in her own thoughts for a few minutes before realizing how much time had passed since last seeing Deeks. Kensi paced back and forth, checking her watch every few seconds. They had a little less than fifteen minutes to get back onto the train. The agent started to question if Deeks was right in worrying about VOAM members here.
Finally, she saw him round the corner, but the look on his face screamed that something was wrong. Deeks approached her briskly and immediately brought her in for a kiss, much like at the ice rink all those months ago.
"Somebody's following me," he whispered against her lips before pulling away.
Kensi faked a smile, playing along with the act while scanning the area over his shoulder.
"So what do you want to do?" Kensi asked, turning her back to the person she suspected was the tail Deeks was speaking of.
"Evasive maneuvering? Split up and meet on the platform?"
"We don't know if there's more of them."
"Good point, just stick close to me," Deeks agreed, taking her hand and pulling her in the opposite direction of the tail.
"Another train is due to arrive at the station in two minutes at platform three," Kensi muttered, recalling the train information she saw hanging in the atrium. "We can lose him in the crowd and circle back."
They walked through the corridor, watching for any side passage that would offer ample cover. People began filing through the vicinity. Suddenly Kensi was yanked quite violently to the right and into a storage closet. Deeks's body was pressed up against hers, his hot breath tickling her face.
Oh god this reminds me of the burn room…Kensi trailed off into thought…no, she berated herself. Now was not the time for remembering hot sexy times with Deeks. In the dark she could feel his arm wrap protectively around her side. Roughly ninety seconds had passed before he cracked open the door and peered outside.
"I don't see our tail anywhere. Come on, let's go."
They darted out from their hiding spot and allowed themselves to mingle in with the rest of the crowd that had begun to appear. Kensi resisted the urge to make a dash back to the platform, but that would arouse too much attention. Instead they had to remain cool and collected until they could board their train again.
It felt like forever, but eventually Kensi and Deeks separated themselves from the crowd to return to the train—a feat they accomplished without incident. They found their seats and bags undisturbed, but neither relaxed until the doors closed and they began rolling east again towards New York.
"Well at least we know all of this wasn't simply being overcautious," Deeks commented, "And we have how many more stops to make before Penn Station?"
"A lot," Kensi muttered, biting her lip while staring thoughtfully out the window.
"Wonderful. So they could catch up to us at any time before we even get to New York. And then even there we're going to have some difficulty lying low."
"I think I know somebody in Brooklyn who can help us," she said slowly. "It's just that I'm not sure how thrilled you're going to be about it."
"Well who-" Deeks stopped mid-sentence as both of their burn phones began ringing.