Timeline: Missing scene for 2x07: Anonymous.
Summary: He had it coming. Truly, he did.
His eyes were on fire.
He could almost literally feel the unseen flames as they charred his corneas, leaving his vision blurry and his eyes watering ceaselessly, desperate for any sign of relief. Perhaps he should have expected it; he was a man who'd wandered into the midst of many women covered only by towels, women who apparently did not care that he was doing his job as a detective, as opposed to, as they'd called him, a pervert with no respect for closed doors. And once inside, neither the badge he carried nor the charm he possessed – and he knew he possessed plenty – were enough to save him this time.
Marty Deeks had taken his fair share of beatings in his undercover work; he'd been grazed by a bullet once or twice as well. But damn the sorry human being who had invented pepper spray – his eyes were never going to stop burning. At this point, the pain was so intense that he was all but certain he'd lose his eyesight – either from the pepper spray itself, or from his own frustration-induced clawing at his eyes in an effort to stop the agony however he could, whichever happened first.
For now, though, he knelt over a small sink in the bathroom he'd been led to, desperately splashing the icy water from the tap into his burning eyes in an effort to quell the fire within. If anything, though, it only seemed to add to the irritation, the two extremes working against each other and summoning more tears to his eyes, further compromising his vision. No matter how much he rinsed, no matter how much he rubbed at his eyes, there didn't seem to be any relief for the pain.
Between the rush of the tap and his own frustration, Deeks never heard the door open, nor did he hear the quiet steps that approached him. His first indication that he was no longer alone came in the form of a gentle hand on his shoulder; startled, Deeks tensed and instinctively opened his eyes, only to be greeted by a fire with a renewed vigor. He cursed under his breath, automatically lowering his head again and resuming his attempts to splash and rub the pepper out of his eyes.
"You're really not doing any good at all, you know…"
There was amusement in Kensi's voice as it reached his ears; typical. She would find something amusing about this. "Sure. Laugh all you want," he quipped, holding his hands beneath the spray before pressing them over his eyelids. The pressure and the coolness combined over his closed eyes offered a bit of relief, though it was only momentary. "Damn it," he hissed, frustratedly clenching his fists before returning them to the water to repeat the action.
"Calm down, okay?" Kensi instructed, not really even realizing that her hand remained on his shoulder; absently, she offered a reassuring squeeze.
"You try to calm down when you're the one dying."
Now that was ridiculous. Kensi couldn't help but roll her eyes; she hadn't known him for very long, but she had quickly learned that Deeks had a bit of a flair for the dramatic – that had become apparent during the time they'd spent out in the desert. Southern California, not all that far from civilization at all, but to hear Deeks tell it, one would have thought they'd been lost for days in the Sahara. And now this was looking rather similar – Kensi knew that pepper spray to the eyes was painful, but dying from it? Not quite. "Please, Deeks, you are not dying," she scoffed. "Do you really think you're the first person to ever be hit with pepper spray?"
She felt for him, though. He was, after all, a teammate, and Kensi didn't want to see any of her teammates hurt. Softening her voice, she reached for his wrists, gently grasping them and directing his hands away from his eyes. "Stop rubbing – that's just making it worse," she pointed out, quickly scanning the bathroom for anything that might help at all – unfortunately, there wasn't much. It looked like Deeks was going to have to ride this out. "If you leave it alone, it shouldn't take too long to wear off. But rubbing and just blindly throwing water – that's not helping." For the moment, she left out the little tidbit about water alone not being enough to fully rinse away the chemical.
Eventually her words began to hold some amount of truth for him – more than the water, it seemed time helped the burning more than anything. Drawing in a deep breath, Deeks winced, realizing that it wasn't just his eyes that had been affected – his nose, his skin, his entire face seemed to have been set aflame. Grasping the edges of the counter, Deeks braced himself, experimentally blinking his eyes a few times.
Watching him carefully and paying little attention to her own actions, Kensi absently lay a hand upon his back. "Yeah, do that," she instructed, watching him blink slowly. "Keep blinking – the tears will help flush it out."
Again Deeks cursed quietly, feeling a renewed burn each time he opened his eyes. Each time, though, it seemed to lessen just slightly, just enough to notice. His eyes watered so much that his vision utterly swam in and out of focus. "I don't even care if it makes it worse at this point, but it's killing me not to just reach up and…" He trailed off, though Kensi could've finished his train of thought even if he hadn't clenched his fists – it was taking all the willpower he had not to instinctively rub at his eyes any further. "That stuff should be illegal," he groaned.
Kensi smirked. "Why? Because it served its purpose?" she quipped. "Unidentified man barges into my shower, you'd better believe I'd have the pepper spray out." Pausing, she gave his shoulder a playfully patronizing pat. "In fact, you'd be lucky to get out of there with just the pepper spray."
"Yeah, well, luckily you're the exception rather than the rule," Deeks retorted.
"You know this from personal experience?" Kensi replied, not missing a beat. "Oh, wait, you probably have been attacked by plenty of angry women here in LA – probably didn't even have to burst into their showers to be attacked either."
Deeks gave a fake laugh. "For your information, ladies love me. It's the charm. And the hair. And my handsome face."
Kensi's laugh was not so fake. "Not looking so hot right now though, are you?" Without even thinking, she reached out, placing her fingers on the far side of his chin and slowly coaxed him to face her. All joking aside, the pepper spray had done quite a number on him – his eyes, normally a deep, crystal blue, were swollen and red, still watering from the burn. The skin around his eyes hadn't fared too well either; it was clearly irritated, though whether more from the chemical or from Deeks' furious rubbing, Kensi couldn't say. The redness and swelling would go down in time, and the pain would wear off fairly quickly, but until then, it was going to be obvious to everyone what had happened to him.
Stepping away from him, Kensi pulled a couple of paper towels from the dispenser and ran them under cold water – it wouldn't do much for anything that remained in his eyes, but perhaps the coolness would soothe the burning in his skin. "Here, just press this over your eyes," she instructed. "Don't rub, though – just hold it there, like a cold compress. Maybe it'll help a little bit."
To his credit, he did as she directed with little more than a pained groan. The initial press of the wet cloth to his abused skin sparked the sensation of rekindled flames in his face, but blessedly they faded rather quickly. With time, the burning was dulling, though by no means was it gone – even Kensi could tell that from the tension in her partner's body. "I almost hate to say it," she began after a moment, only barely attempting to hold back her grin, "but you did have it coming, you know."
"I what?" Incredulous, he drew the cloth away from his face, forcing himself to blink in the light.
"You heard me." Kensi shrugged, her teasing grin widening. "Ever heard of karma? This is what you get for that little stunt you pulled with the wiring outside the house earlier."
"Oh come on," Deeks protested. "That was your karma for shocking me this morning."
"Okay then." Kensi nodded. "Then this was your karma for hijacking my investigation and undermining my background story." Deeks opened his mouth to protest further, but Kensi cut him off. "The Panther Girls? Kiki? What the hell was that, Deeks?"
"A more believable story than yours, that's what it was." Despite the pain, he grinned that maddening grin of his. "Besides. Kiki fits you. And I plan to start using it for you a lot more often."
Biting her lip to tamp down her own grin, Kensi shoved her fist against Deeks' shoulder – only partially playfully. "You do, and I'll be doing that a lot more often too," she retorted. "As it is, once we got out of here I fully planned to kill you for that little stunt anyway."
Deeks smirked. "Better watch it – anybody other than me hears that, they might think it's a genuine threat."
"As long as they know you…they'd understand completely," Kensi replied sweetly.
Rather dramatically, Deeks lay a hand over his heart. "That hurts almost as much as the pepper spray."
"Oh, get over it," Kensi said. Shifting back into seriousness, she watched as Deeks turned to the mirror, getting his first good look at his face. He squinted, leaning forward to get a closer look. Gingerly he touched his fingers to the angry red splotches beneath his eyes, wincing as his fingertips made contact. "Are you okay to keep working?" Kensi asked quietly, resting her elbows on the counter.
Deeks snickered. "If I left, I'd never hear the end of it from Sam and Callen." Furtively he cast a glance Kensi's way. "Or you."
Though a retort was on the tip of her tongue, Kensi bit it back. "But you can see okay?"
Copying her pose, Deeks leaned forward, elbows on the counter. "I can see, yeah." And really, he could – or rather, he could if his eyes would just stop watering. Each blink he took to clear his vision only seemed to blur it more. Turning his head toward Kensi, he attempted a smile, though with his squinting, watery eyes, it was really more of a grimace. "How bad is it, really?"
Kensi gave a sympathetic hum. "Well…it could be worse…" she said, tilting her head thoughtfully. "On the bright side, though, it draws attention away from your hair."
"Incredibly helpful, that," Deeks remarked dryly, turning back to the mirror.
She would never really know what made her do what she did next. Before Kensi could even really process the motion, she was reaching out to him, her fingertips alighting upon his cheek. She wasn't sure if she coaxed his face back toward hers or if he turned himself, but suddenly the lack of distance between them was making itself oppressively known and Kensi felt her breath catch. His eyes locked with hers, first filled with surprise, then confusion, then something else that Kensi couldn't quite name…or wouldn't quite name for fear of the feelings that naming it would arouse.
She would deny it until the day she died, but Kensi would be lying if she told herself there was no attraction there. She didn't like it very much, but she was attracted to him – very attracted to him. He just did something to her, something she'd felt ever since the first time they'd ever locked eyes all those months ago in that martial arts club, both of them undercover. And Kensi didn't know what it was – maybe it was the charm, maybe it was his sense of humor, maybe it was the easy give-and-take between them, that easy, flirty banter that seemed to come so naturally to them. When he smiled at her, she couldn't help but smile too. And those eyes…when he looked at her with those blue eyes, she felt almost as if he were seeing every secret she'd ever attempted to keep because an increasingly large part of her wanted to share with him.
If there was one thing she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was that these feelings, that attraction she felt for him…it was dangerous. It was dangerous because it was all so easy. She didn't have to try to like him; she didn't have to force herself to enjoy working with him. It was dangerous because she had to force herself not to want him; it was dangerous because Kensi knew, beyond anything else, that she could very easily care for him.
It was dangerous because she did care for him, and Kensi had no control over that.
And that wasn't the only thing Kensi had no control over; any hope of regaining control flew out the window the very second that Deeks' lips began to curve in a slightly sheepish smile. At that point, she was gone. Devoid of thought and driven by instinct, by desire, Kensi quickly diminished the rest of the space between them; her lips were on his before either of them fully realized what was happening.
Deeks wouldn't have seen that coming even if his eyes weren't swollen and blurry. He gave a quiet grunt of surprise against her mouth; in this job though, he'd luckily learned to quickly disregard surprise. The burn of the pepper spray momentarily forgotten, he kissed her back, his lips melding with hers as he gave in to the dance she'd initiated.
She wasn't sure at what point her mind finally clicked back into commission. It seemed to hit her abruptly, the fact that her lips were meshing with her partner's lips; she was kissing her partner, and she was liking it a great deal more than she was allowed to. Suddenly, what was dangerous before was an entirely different realm of dangerous; Kensi wanted more. The attraction and the desire bubbled up within her, threatening to break every ounce of professionalism she possessed, or rather, every ounce that hadn't already been shattered by the simple act of locking lips with Marty Deeks. Marty Deeks, who knew five thousand and one ways to get under her skin, many of them with little more than a simple look. Marty Deeks, who infuriated her, who drove her up the wall, who pushed all of her buttons and enjoyed every last second of it just as much as she was enjoying every last second of this kiss.
When at last their lips parted, Kensi couldn't fight the shiver that encompassed her body at the absence of his lips against hers, contact that had left her completely off-kilter. Her heart pounded erratically against her chest, so forcefully that it nearly dizzied her. She could barely breathe, couldn't ascertain how she was still standing, so unsteady on her feet she'd suddenly become. Their lips had parted, but the space between them hadn't increased – she could still feel the warmth of his breath on her face and found herself somewhat annoyed that his breathing didn't seem to be nearly as labored as hers was.
Her eyes opened slowly, stormy, confused brown meeting infuriatingly calm blue. Infuriatingly calm blue…with enough of a devious glint to let Kensi know he knew he'd gained the upper hand. She'd given him the upper hand, quite willingly. The corners of his lips twitched, and damn it if Kensi didn't find herself wanting to kiss him again right then. "So, uh, I must've had that coming too, yeah?" he quipped, drawing from the discussion on karma that had taken place only moments before, even if it did feel like an eternity ago.
Kensi felt the heat quickly rise in her cheeks. "Shut up, Deeks," she murmured, forcing unsteady feet to place a bit of distance between them. Turning away, she hid her burning cheeks and her still-dazed eyes, knowing if Deeks caught sight of that, she'd never hear the end of it…not that she would anyway. "You're not – I mean, you can see, right? You're okay? Because we should go."
An unsettled Kensi was always amusing. But an unsettled Kensi who had just taken advantage of his clearly vulnerable state and kissed him? That was something else entirely. "Do you think we should talk about this?" he asked, grinning. "I mean, you pretty much attacked me…"
"We should never talk about this, Deeks," Kensi corrected, resolutely ignoring the latter half of his words. "There's not even anything to talk about – maybe that pepper spray went to your brain or something, caused you to hallucinate."
Deeks smirked, blinking his still-watery eyes. Though his vision remained blurry, he could clearly make out Kensi's form as she retreated toward the door. "Okay, just how much of this am I hallucinating?" he called after her, watching her pause with a hand on the doorknob. "All of it? Or just the part where you kissed me?"
She was glad her back was to him then. His verbalization of what had transpired between them made it that much more real and, if possible, something she wanted even more of. She was certain her cheeks burned just as much as his eyes did, and briefly she regretted poking so much fun at him before, because he was absolutely not going to let her forget this. "We need to go," she stated again, choosing not to dignify his question with a response.
"Oh, come on," he pressed playfully, watching as Kensi drew the door open. "You're just gonna leave me here...Kiki?"
Kensi bit at the inside of her cheek; of all the things about Deeks that she found strangely endearing, his new nickname for her was not something she would come to like any time soon. "What did I tell you about karma, Deeks? If you don't stop calling me that, you'll probably be finding out where I keep my own little can of pepper spray."
Unfortunately for Kensi, that threat didn't really mean much at all. Any way she looked at it, Deeks still had more in his arsenal than she did: that infuriating nickname which she was certain he would use whenever he felt he could get away with it, and the fact that they both knew she had kissed him…in what he would undoubtedly call a moment of vulnerability. Compared to that, Kensi really had…nothing. She would just have to wait it out and hope that karma would eventually deal her the upper hand again.
Until then, she'd just have to play nice, as difficult as that might be.