As stated in the last author's note, there will be a break in uploads of this story, as I will be leaving for a Summer Camp in the wonderful United States. I'll be leaving in approximately two weeks, but since they are going to be exceedingly busy, I won't be able to promise another upload before that. I will, however, promise to return to this story once I return in August. -Cape


Chapter 40: Is it over?

Kensi, or rather Agent Blye, had taken off running towards the hated sound of her ex-fiancé's laughter, each cackle further fueling her inner rage. Not sparing a single thought to proper procedure or her fellow agents, she sprinted away, leaving both Sam and Callen to attempt catch up with her.

She did not even stop to allow herself to catch her breath, nor did she wait to allow the other members of her team to catch up to her. Instead, she poured all her pent up fear and anger into a well-placed kick, smashing open the well-worn door.

The disturbing cackling coming from the room immediately turned silent, when the rushing female agent kicked in the door with power few men would only ever be able to hope to achieve.

The sight in front of her made her blood boil, causing her to almost shake with rage. She saw the light of her life tied down to a chair. She allowed herself a second to perform a glance-over assessment of him. She saw blood smeared into his messy mop and the reddening with the hint of the approaching bruises his face was clear signs of him haven taken some punches.

Redirecting her eyes to the bastard she had been so stupid to date many years ago, she saw the Marine standing behind her boyfriend. Her ex-fiancé was wielding a knife and held it tightly to Marty's throat, using enough pressure to the point where the blade had broken the skin. He looked certifiably crazed.

The sight made her anger explode in a spectacular raging crescendo.

"One more step and I'll-"

CRACK

He did not get a chance to finish the sentence before the loud pop sounded. The reason behind the loud noise behind him immediately collapsing backwards. It was at that moment the two senior agents caught up to her and entered the room.

Altogether, Callen and Sam had been less than ten seconds behind the female agent.

Quickly clearing the surroundings, the two agents saw a shaken Kensi standing just in front of the doorway, an equally shaken captive, and a form lying in an increasing pool of crimson liquid.

Walking past the female agent, Callen secured the area by kicking away the knife from the downed, before quickly checking the deranged Marine for other weapons. Finding a handgun, he secured it before securing it at his small. Immediately after, he pulled out his phone and contacted the team in OPS for ambulances.

Whilst the team leader saw to securing the room, Sam cautiously walked next to his frozen friend. Slowly laying his hand on top of the shaking gun as to not rouse her, he gently lowered it until it was pointed to the ground and she released it. After securing her weapon, he gently nudged her and quietly asked, "You alright, Kensi?"

That seemed to rouse her from whatever state of shock and disbelief she was struck by. Instead of answering him, she took one giant stride forward before sinking to her knees and with tear-filled eyes asked, "Oh my god, Marty. Are you okay?"

He, too, was in a far-away state and had been ever since the weapon went off. Her voice was able to get a reaction from the otherwise shaking man, who, albeit with a shell-shocked expression and no eye contact, slowly nodded in response. The nod turned more assured, but his voice was still shaking with lingering fear and not a little shock, "I-I uhm…I think…" He finally turned to look at her, "I think I just uhm…I just n-need to get outta here, please."

Desperately in need of some fresh air herself, she quickly nodded in acceptance at the request, before breathing out a quiet "okay".

Grabbing her father's knife, Kensi made quick work of the zip-ties restraining Marty to the chair. She tenderly helped her boyfriend to his feet, and, once she was satisfied that his legs would not buckle under him, guided him out of the room without another word to Sam or Callen, leaving the clean up to her two fellow agents.

Marty and she walked silently through the dim-lighted building, neither quite ready to voice their jumbled thoughts at that moment. Despite their lack of verbal communication, Kensi still had her arm tightly wrapped around her boyfriend's shoulders, desperately needing the physical reassurance that he was there with him. He might not have been okay mentally, but at least he was walking out of there on his own two feet, she thought.

Having finally maneuvered through the old shopping mall to an exit, the pair only managed to get down the first step on the otherwise impressive staircase leading to the huge building before the shaken lawyer's knees finally gave out.

She had expected him to break down eventually, which was one of the reasons Kensi had kept a firm grip around his shoulders. Because of that, when he was no longer able to support his own weight, she was able to steadily guide him to the ground. Although she, herself, was having a hard time compartmentalizing what had just happened, she knew that she had to be strong for Marty at that moment. She, having worked in the business for as long as she had, had a much better grasp at the immediate rush of feelings, even though her ex-fiancé had been heavily involved, she was still able to keep it internalized for the most part. It would be a thing Hetty would complement her majorly for in the coming days.

Once seated her hand drifted from his shoulder to his head, where it finally nestled in his dirty, unruly hair. His erratic breathing turned increasingly shaky. Realizing his need for release, Kensi tenderly pushed his head to her chest.

It was his undoing. His erratic breath turned even more so, as he finally let the tears emerge. His cautious sobbing turned into a full cry, when his mind finally managed to catch up to the fact that he was actually safe.

The fact that her boyfriend had only ever cried once during their entire relationship really put it into perspective how traumatic the event had been for Marty. Kensi still vividly remembered their first tough conversation as a beginning couple, when he bared his soul to her, as he told her about the event that caused him to lose both his parents. Putting that to the back of her mind, she continued her task of helping him through his trauma by whispering comforting nothings to him.

That was how they were sitting, when Sam emerged from the run-down building. The noise caused Kensi to turn her head to the approaching man. Her gaze moved from her teammate to a paramedic trailing a few steps behind the big agent, obviously there to check up on Marty, she realized.

She saw the paramedic talking into a walkie-talkie and thirty seconds later an ambulance pulled up. Kensi would later be told that they had had no idea, which exit she and Marty had used and as such, the ambulance had been holding idle in the parking cellar until they had been found.

Upon the request from the EMT, Kensi led her boyfriend to the emergency vehicle, where he sat down in the back. She was reluctant to move away from her Marty, but eventually conceded the medical professional's need for working space. Although she was forced to break physical contact with her boyfriend, she never moved more than ten feet away from the man and never looked away from the shaken form of the shaggy lawyer.

What finally did break her concerned gaze, was the retired SEAL whom once again stood by her side to offer the emotional support, he knew she needed.

"He'll be alright," he soothed.

"Yeah," she sighed, although it hardly sounded like she meant it.

"You did well in there," he tried a different tactic to soothe her.

The immediate response was a disbelieving huff, before answering in a self-loathing voice, "Right. Running away from teammates, rushing in blind, and killed my ex-fiancé…sure I did really well."

That caused Sam to furrow his brows, "You didn't kill him, Kensi."

She spun around to fully face the senior agent, staring at him in disbelief unable to find words, but her intense gaze demanded for him to elaborate on his statement.

Pulling up his hands to halt her incoming verbal demands, he took a few seconds to think through how he would phrase his explanation. "His status is still critical; the ambulance rushed him away to the hospital, and before you comment, Callen is with him as a guard, and Hetty is sending over two agents for, when he's out of surgery. You say you didn't do a good job, but you could have easily shot him in the head. Instead, you made the right call, shooting him in the shoulder to take care of the threat, it usually wouldn't even have been that serious, but I think the bullet ricocheted inside him.

"With the exception of rushing ahead of Callen and me you did everything right in there…I can't even begin to imagine what I'd have done if Michelle was in that situation." He finished his small speech with the relatable admission.

Kensi's mind was running a mile a minute, unsure how to make sense of anything of what had happened, much less of what her friend had just informed her of. A large part of her, the protective side, had been accepting of her killing her ex-fiancé, since he was a threat to the man, she cared about more than she ever had Jack. Another part of her had been abhorred by her ending the life of a man she had shared such a close connection with. Now that part of her was majorly confused, by her being told that perhaps she had not actually ended her ex-fiancé's life after all.

Her emotions was at war with one another. At first, she thought herself relieved that there was a possibility that she had not ended the life of a man she had loved. The battling emotion was the fear that the same man would somehow return and continue to be a threat to her life and, more importantly, to her boyfriend's life and well-being.

She was pulled from her confused contemplation by one of the two paramedics, whom asked her if she wanted to join Marty on the way back to the hospital.

Putting her turbulent thoughts on hold for the moment, she numbly walked to the back of the ambulance and took her seat next to the supine form of her boyfriend. About to space-out again, she felt a hand sneak into hers. Looking down at the man, whom had sought her physical comfort, she forced a watery smile forth.

"I love you so, so much, Marty," she told him, barely able to hold the tears back now.

"I love you, too, Kens." He told her, his declaration wobbly from emotion. "Always will."

She bent down, meeting his slightly chaffed lips with her soft ones. Through the tender kiss, she tried to convey all her love for him. She tried to wordlessly tell him that they would be all right, that it had merely been a dark storm that had loomed overhead and now they were out of the storm.

If she had looked at the paramedic, who was seated with them, she would have seen the woman smile at the two. Her experience meant that she had a lot of experience with trauma victims, and she was convinced that the couple with her would be able to push past the experience.

After a few minutes of being idle, the ambulance pulled away from the run-down shopping center. As opposed to Jack's ambulance, no emergency lights were on as they made their way to the hospital.