A.N. Post-ep, 10X01, To Live and Die in Mexico. I thought the premiere served Deeks and Kensi very well. But there's never enough. And he doesn't really know what he's been through, does he? I've taken a few liberties around the conversation in the hospital, at the end.


Perspectives

What, she wondered, had really changed?

Just a few days ago, they'd broken each other's hearts. She'd squelched his long-held dream, and he'd pushed himself away from her. Just a few days ago, they'd had to come to terms with themselves, and with each other. Why was that any different now?

It's not like we've been through the same thing. After all, he slept through most of it. Why would I think he'd feel differently, now?

And yet, he'd said he did.

A ping of memory sounded in her brain. Something he'd shouted at her as she'd stalked away from him in the garage.

'That's not what I said! Baby, that's not what I said!'

His words resounded inside her mind, much as they had the day she'd heard them calling after her. She'd been angry, challenged, defensive. Her fiancé had just told her he thought they shouldn't be getting married, and she'd fallen back to her old Kensi ways, while doing her best to resurrect the old Kensi's hardened heart.

Maybe he never really meant it, like he said. Maybe what happened in the desert had nothing to do with it.

But it had everything to do with how she felt. Everything to do with the shattering of her defenses, the piercingly immediate vision of what a life without Marty Deeks might look like. What a life without love might look like. Every excruciating moment of unresponsiveness had driven the vision home.

She'd loved before. Her father had been her bulwark, her confidant, her hero. She'd been in love before. Jack had even convinced her that they could spend the rest of their lives together. She'd felt loved, and valued, and appreciated. She'd loved him in return, in the best way she'd known how. Ever so slowly, and ever so carefully, she'd lowered the shield she'd put in place when she'd been fifteen. When he'd left her, when his PTSD had proven stronger than his love, she'd been devastated, just as she had been by the loss of her father. And the shield had fallen back into place, where it had stayed strong until it had become porous, under a relentless barrage of love and affection from a certain shaggy-haired LAPD detective.

She couldn't do it again. She wouldn't do it again. Not just because she feared the pain of losing him. But because she knew that, in losing him, she would also lose herself. She'd blossomed in the sunshine that was Martin Deeks, come truly alive in the warmth of his love. She'd begun to find herself, so long hidden behind a façade of reserve and caution. He'd taught her, in every way that she could be taught, that he loved her, warts and all. In fact, he'd probably pointed out one or two of her warts, along the way. Remembering made her smile.

Who else can expound on your flaws and make you feel like he cherishes every one of them at the same time?

He'd loved her so deeply, and openly, and joyfully, so infectiously, that she hadn't been able to resist it. She'd found a way to love her unlovable self. She'd found wholeness in that, an integrity to her person that had been missing for a very long time. She'd found her own abundant well of love. Even if she was still learning how to share it, she relished the feeling, and the process. She'd found herself, and discovered that she could give herself away and still remain whole.

She wasn't about to give any of it up. Not herself. Not him. Not anything.

She would give him anything he wanted. Anything that would make him happy. She would give him a baby, if she had to. If she could. Maybe he would even be able to make her believe she could raise it.

He dreamt about it. He got his brain knocked around inside his skull, and where did it take him? To me, pregnant. To us, having a baby.

His own childhood had been traumatic, his father a vicious, abusive figure. Considering, she'd often wondered where Deeks' intense desire to have a family of his own had come from. Why he hadn't become cynical about fatherhood, why he hadn't become as lost as she had, when she'd been left without her own father. She'd even come up with a theory.

Maybe he wants to compensate. Maybe he wants to prove something.

She'd wondered those things often enough. But the events of the past day had taught her otherwise. She knew the moment it had become clear to her. She'd been talking to him….and to herself…..in the abandoned chapel that had hosted the miracle of Deeks opening his eyes. It had been the first answered prayer she could remember.

It was true, what I told him. I could carry him across that desert. I could carry him for the rest of his life. Because that's what love does. And I finally know that. And it's what he wants to do, with a little Deeks. Or Deeksette.

She smiled to herself, as she lay beside him in the bed, her head resting blissfully on his chest, where it belonged. Hours ago, his nurse's first inclination had been to chase Kensi out of her patient's bed. But then she'd heard the story of how he'd been injured, and of how this warrior woman had dragged him across the hot desert to save his life. Then, the nurse had returned with an extra blanket, and laid it over Kensi, tucking the ends around both of them.

"You rest now," she'd said. "Your work is done."


His head hurt. It hurt so much that he could barely think about anything other than the fact that his head hurt. So much that he couldn't open his eyes. Not yet.

But he could hear. Buzzes, and whirs, and some beeping here and there, the unmistakable sounds of a hospital. And he could feel. The weight against his chest, the warmth of a body lying next to his. And he could smell. The shampoo was foreign, institutional, the soap the same. But it was still there, his favorite scent of all.

Eau de Kensi.

Instinctively turning his head away from the light, Deeks managed to blink his eyes open. His vision confirmed what his other senses had told him. He was lying in a hospital bed, attached to assorted wires and tubes, which were, in turn, attached to various pieces of equipment providing the buzzing, and whirring and beeping sounds he'd heard. As he turned his gaze to the left, he saw that he'd been right about Kensi, too.

"Hey."

She'd responded to the movement of his body more than to the soft call of his voice.

"Hey." Smiling. "Do you need anything?"

He took in the sight of her, the lacerations on her temple and cheek, the deep sunburn on her cheeks and arms, the creases of concern in her forehead. He had only a vague memory of being in a chapel with her, and then a car, and then a gun…..and he couldn't remember anything else. But they'd obviously survived, and the mission was….

"Is it over? Did we save him?"

"Who?"

"The boy…..what's his…..Mose…Mosely's kid. Did we save him?"

Kensi pushed off from his chest, so she could have his eyes.

"We saved him. It's over."

"What about Callen? And Sam?"

"They're injured too, but they'll be okay. They're here, at Balboa."

He was confused. "Balboa, Mexico?"

Kensi smiled. "No. We're home. Well, in San Diego, anyway. The doctors say you need to rest, but you'll be fine."

"What about you? You're hurt." Reaching up to brush her hair away from the stitches at her temple.

"I'm fine. Just a few cuts and bruises, and a little sunburn."

And some ridiculously sore muscles. Seriously, Deeks, you know muscle weighs more than fat, don't you? I'm cutting your workout time, effective immediately.

He felt her caressing his cheek as she tried to tell him to rest, and heal. But there was something he had to say to her first. He'd hurt her, he knew. Deeply, back in the garage. He'd been hurt himself, surprisingly so. He'd wondered how they'd gotten to be so far apart. How they'd managed to create such very different visions for the future they would have together. But he'd still never seen that future without her in it. And he had to make sure she knew that.

"I was wrong. I want to marry you. And, I swear to God, if you'll marry me, I will give you everything I have in this life."

She brought her lips to his, and kissed him, still caressing his face.

"I love you. And I will give you everything I have in this life."

"I love you."

She rested her head against his, and their hands found one another, and clasped over his chest. They stayed like that, not moving, not speaking, until his nurse interrupted them, with an apology.

"I need to take your vitals, Mr. Deeks. I won't be too long."

Kensi stepped back, giving the woman room to work.

"I think I'll just go and check on Callen and Sam. I'll be back. I love you."

He smiled. "I love you, too."

As Kensi left, the nurse continued about her duties, offering encouraging comments as she did.

"Your blood pressure is back to normal, pulse is strong. And I think we can remove these, now." Easing the oxygen tube from his nostrils. "Your girlfriend….."

"Fiancee."

"Your fiancée is a pretty amazing woman. I can't believe what she did for you. What a way to begin a life together!"

Kensi hadn't told him, and he hadn't heard. Nor did he have a single memory of it.

"What did she do?"

The nurse looked at him, puzzled.

"You really don't know?"

"I wasn't conscious. All I know for sure is that I went to Mexico, and woke up here."

Finished with her tasks now, the nurse stood at his bedside.

"Mr. Deeks….your fiancée singlehandedly carried you through the desert to get you to a hospital in Mexico. She pulled you on a stretcher….it had to have been at least twelve miles."

He was stunned. Even knowing Kensi, even knowing how tough she was, how strong she was, he was stunned.

"She…she did? Alone?"

"That's what I understand. She must really love you."

Deeks' response was directed toward himself, more than anything.

"I think I'm beginning to understand how much."

"She's a real warrior woman!"

He shook his head….and then winced at the pain it caused.

"No," his eyes squeezing closed in pain. "Not a warrior woman. She's my Wonder Woman."

The nurse smiled. "I hope you don't mind, but I was just outside the room when you two said your vows. They were beautiful."

He would have shaken the confusion from his head if he hadn't been afraid it would hurt too much.

"Vows?"

"Yes. You know, when you said you would give her everything you had, and she said it back to you. Sure sounded like vows to me. Sounded like you two were actually getting married."

Deeks took her words in for a minute, and then smiled to himself.

"Maybe we were."