Heyo - not at all sure what this is. It's started off as a very light comedic writing exercise on dialogue, and then became a study in partnership, friendship and trust. There's something about Deeks and Kensi that just brings out the need to write about those things. Anyway, hope you enjoy. This takes place post 2x12.


They're most of the way to his apartment in Encino to drop him off for the night – and he's half asleep, dozing lightly against the passenger door - when she suddenly turns her car around, and heads back in the opposite direction.

The movement is so sudden and so abrupt (and a bit jarring in the way she does it) that he can't help but come fully awake.

Uh, Kensi?" he mumbles, blinking the sleep away. He runs his fingers through his mess of blonde hair, pushing it away from his eyes.

He turns in his seat to face her. It's fairly late at night – almost ten – so not much light is on face aside from that which is cast back at her from the driver's seat console. He can't see her dark mismatched eyes, but he figures they're probably wide and excited right about now.

Which really wouldn't be all that surprising considering she got nearly run over by a damn car just a few hours earlier. The adrenaline running through her has got to be absolutely insane right about now.

Vaguely, he wonders why he's that much calmer than her. After all, just a few hours earlier, he'd had a gun pointed at him.

Kill or be killed.

He'd killed.

"We need a drink," she informs him, her tone absolute.

"We do?"

"We do," Kensi Blye replies.

"Okay." A beat and then Marty Deeks asks, "Why do we need a drink again?"

"Because in the last two days, we almost got blown up, run over and shot."

"You did actually get run over. I didn't get shot. I shot him."

She turns her head slightly, and a gleam from the headlights of a car going in the opposite direction illuminates her face. She's smirking slightly.

"Tell me the truth; it's a good thing you were in the water, right?"

"Are you asking me if I peed my pants when he pointed the gun at me?"

She answers him with a full-on grin.

"I'll have you know," Deeks replies, "That I was always in control."

"Of course you were."

"I was."

"Uh huh."

"You know," he shoots back. "We can't all be like you."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You got hit by a car, shook it off and then ran after me. Who does that?"

"I…" she stops, and then shrugs. For a moment, though, he thinks he sees a flash of something go through her eyes. Fear? No, couldn't be that.

"Tell me you're at least bruised," he pleads.

She shrugs again, completely nonchalant. Like it's every day you go one on one with a car and come out not only the victor, but pretty much the conqueror.

"Come on, Kensi, at least a little bit bruised? Maybe a small one on your hip?"

"Deeks, you know this city well, right?"

He recognizes the diversion play for what it is, but lets it pass for now. "Sure."

"What's a good bar around here?"

"So we're still going drinking?"

"Unless you'd prefer to go home and cuddle up with a snuggies and a nice romance novel."

"I only read one and only that one time and only for background research."

She snorts.

"I'm going to stop telling you things if you're just going to hold them over my head," he mutters.

"You mean like my liking for Twinkies?"

"Liking? You're having a secret love affair with them. Hell, with the whole Hostess family. It's an orgy of –"

"I beg you to stop," she pleads.

He grins. "Cream."

She shakes her head. "You need help."

"Me?"

"You. Now come on, best bar nearby. Somewhere where there's dancing."

"So we're dancing and drinking?"

She gives him another sideways smirk. "Not likely. We'll drink, I'll dance, you'll probably sway awkwardly."

"You don't think I can dance?"

"Can you?"

"Partner, you're going to learn something about me."

"Am I?"

"Yes. Take a left up ahead. Go all the way down. You wanna dance, we'll dance."


The place Deeks choses is a little off the beating path club that caters to the college crowd. The live bands are mostly of the garage variety, some very good, some just all right and some so bad that you'd sell your soul for earplugs.

He's clearly been here a few times because the bouncer greets him with a hug and a "hey Tim, it's been too long."

"You're Tim here, too?" she asks as they step inside.

"I'm Tim everywhere I don't want to be Marty. I'm sure you have a go to cover as well," he replies as he leads them over to a table.

"Yeah," she admits.

"Not going to tell me the name?"

"What is this? Truth or Dare night?"

"Not a bad idea."

"Really? You sure you want to play this?" she asks, not completely sure that she wants to, but knowing that she can't be the one to blink first.

It's a weird crazy game of partner chicken they're playing here.

And at its root, it's all about trust.

But then, in the short time that she's been working with Marty Deeks, she's come to realize that just about everything boils down to that with him.

Trust.

It's the damned word of the day. Of every day.

"I'm in," he says. "Unless you're not."

"No, I'm in," she shoots back quickly.

"Okay, but I propose a change. Instead of Truth or Dare, we make it Truth or Drink. You tell the truth or you take a shot."

"We could get awfully smashed doing that."

"We could. I'll call a taxi," he assures her.

"What if I don't like a question and don't want to answer it?" she asks.

"I'll call you a chickenshit."

"Charming."

He grins. "But seriously, okay, you don't want to answer, you can change to the drink instead. The game is won by whoever gives up first."

"Gives up?"

"Surrenders. Gives in. Fair enough?"

"Fair enough, but I should warn you, I could probably go shot for shot with Sam."

"I don't doubt it." He laughs. "I stopped doubting just about everything about you a long time ago."

"Smart boy. Now come on," she says, grabbing his hand and pulling him out onto the dance floor.

The guys on the stage are clean cut except for the drummer. They're playing some kind of country rock. It's not terrible, and it certainly has a kicking beat.

He watches for a moment, as Kensi starts moving on the dance floor, her body all grace and almost exquisite rhythm. It's only when she starts to sway her hips from side to side that he sees a hitch in her movement – and a grimace cross her face. He steps in quickly, catching her before she can lose her balance.

"You okay?" he asks.

"Are we playing yet?" she replies.

He chuckles. "Yes."

"Oh, I'm so going to get smashed tonight."

"If you insist on not telling the truth about the little things, then yes, yes you are going to get smashed," he scolds.

She turns her head slightly and looks up at him. "Did you pee your pants?"

"Touché."

"Thank you," she laughs. And then winces.

"Come on, no dancing for you right now. Not until you're at least drunk enough not to feel it," he says, guiding her back over to the table. To the waitress who comes by he says, "Can we get a bottle of Jack and two shot glasses?"

"Jack?"

"Unless you would like something fruitier."

"I was thinking more like Jager."

"Of course you were," he laughs. "You do have female parts on you, right?"

Without warning, she reaches out and punches him hard in the shoulder.

"Ow, I'll take it that was truth?"

"Yes," she smiles sweetly.

"Awesome."

The waitress appears at that moment with the bottle and shot glasses. "Probably want to keep a tab open," Deeks tells her. She nods and moves away.

"Okay," she says, reaching forward and picking up the bottle. She fills up the two shot glasses, and then puts one down in front of each of them. "My turn. Did you pee your pants in the water?"

"I'm not answering that," he says, reaching for the shot and downing it. He feels the liquid slide down his throat, burning as it goes. "Okay, me now. What's your go to cover name?"

"Jessica Atwater."

"Seriously?"

"Yep."

"Interesting."

"Why?"

"It's just so…plain."

She bristles a bit and then retorts, "Kinda the point. Tim."

"Touché again. Okay, you're up."

"And up one to zero as well."

"Early lead. Lots of time left on the clock."

"Whatever you say. Okay, first kiss."

"Really? We're going back that far."

"Yep."

"Fine. Uh, seventh grade."

"Late bloomer."

"No," he replies defensively. "I was just waiting for the right girl. Tiffany Summers. She had the most beautiful blonde hair, and she smiled like Pert."

"The shampoo?"

"Yes. It's a really good smelling shampoo, I'll have you know."

"I'll take your word for it. So how did it happen? At a dance? Behind the cafeteria? Under the bleachers?"

"That where it happened for you? Under the bleachers?"

"Oh, no, this is your tell not mine."

"Just wait."

"Fine." You first.

"Fine." He laughs. "No, it was, uh, walking her home from school. There were rumors that there was some skeevy guy in the neighborhood so I offered to walk her home. When we got there, she leaned up and kissed me right on the lips."

"Aw."

"And then I tried to slip her tongue."

"And she slapped you."

"Yeah."

"Men."

"Uh huh. Your turn. Same question."

"Fourth grade."

"Early bloomer," he smirks.

"It was perfectly chaste. And he was my boyfriend."

"You were what? Ten?"

"Yes."

"A boyfriend at ten. Now that is sweet. And kind of icky."

"It's not icky."

"Yes, it is. What was his name?"

She hesitates.

"Oh no, don't try to pretend you don't remember." He holds up a shot glass. "Unless you want to drink."

Tommy Rose."

"Tommy Rose try to slip you tongue?"

"We were ten."

He holds up the shot glass again.

She laughs, and takes it from him. She downs it.

"That was just to be stubborn, right?"

"First time," she answers.

"Didn't we just do that?"

"You know what I'm talking about?"

"Oh. That. Are we going to end up talking about our deepest dirtiest secrets tonight? Like the first time I watched porn?"

"Maybe. Though, I actually don't want to know about your weird porn fixation."

"I do not have a porn fixation. I looked at it once."

"Sure you did. And you've only read just that one romance novel."

He groans. Then, "Are you going to answer the same question? I mean about your first time?"

"I guess you'll find out, huh?"

He sighs. "I should drink here. But here goes. Same girl, tenth grade."

"Really? The same girl?"

"We had a love/hate relationship."

"As opposed to the hate/hate relationship we have?" Kensi asks, grinning.

"Exactly. We were together on and off for about six years. Very romantic. Very tragic. I hear she's married with four kids now."

"Nice."

"Yeah. Okay, let's have it."

"Not yet there, Big D. I have more questions for you."

"Big D, huh? You think I'm big."

"I'm so not going there."

"Then drink, Kensi, my dear, drink."

She groans. "You cheated."

"No, I tricked you. Which isn't again the rules of the game." He pours another shot, and hands it to her.

She shoots it, puts the glass back down. "Fine. How were you?"

"What?"

"Your first time. Were you awful?"

"Aren't we all?"

She grins.

"Let me guess, your first time happened while you were shooting a gun and hanging upside down from an airplane."

She lifts an eyebrow. "Fantasy there, Deeks?"

Immediately, she knows she's got him. He opens his mouth to protest, and then instead reaches for the shot glass, fills it and shoots it.

"So," he says after swallowing. "Where?"

"In a bed, of course. Geez, Deeks, what kind of girl do you think I am?"

He reaches for the bottle again.

"Seriously?" she asks.

"The way I figure it, my options here aren't great; I can answer the question and get hit or I can take a drink and get closer to blitzed."

"Chickenshit," she teases, throwing back at him his earlier offered up insult.

"Uh huh." He knocks another shot back. This time, as the liquor flows down his throat, it feels a bit like it also surges to his head. There's a strange lightness to his head. He suddenly feels like if he jumped, he'd go at least ten feet high.

Ah the fun of intoxication.

"Okay, so truth now, how much pain are you in?"

She blinks; she hadn't been expecting that. Which really, she realizes, was silly of her. She should have seen it coming.

"I'm fine," she replies, her voice intentionally light, like she's trying to play it off and make the moment go away..

"Drink," he tells her.

"Why? I'm fine," she says again. "I'm not lying."

"You are," he replies and suddenly his tone is dead serious. He holds up a shot glass full of dark amber liquid. "So either tell the truth or drink."

"I am telling the truth," and now her tone is just as intense, maybe a bit irritated.

"Really? Because I saw what happened on the traffic cams. You didn't just get by that car like you told me and Callen and Sam; you got absolutely nailed by it. How you walked away…how you're walking now…"

"I'm walking now because I'm fine. You'd realize that if you'd shut up and listen to me for five seconds."

"Okay," he says. He stands up suddenly and offers her hand. "I pulled you off the dance floor before. If I recall, when we were in the car, I promised you a dance."

"No, you said and I quote 'you wanna dance, we'll dance'. That wasn't exactly promising me a dance."

"Semantics, partner," he replies. It occurs to him that this is entirely different version of partner chicken. A much more intense one.

"Fine," she says, taking his hand. As she does, a flash of pain cracks against her side and only her stubbornness keeps her from crying out.

"I saw that," he says.

"Saw what?"

"You winced."

"I did not."

"You owe me two drinks now," he shoots back.

"I thought you wanted to dance."

"I do." He pulls her back towards the dance floor. The band is playing a much slower song, almost a country style love ballad.

"You start singing to me, I'm gonna put my knee into your –"

"No need to threaten violence. Again," he chuckles. "You mind if I lead?"

"You are the man."

"Thanks for noticing." He pulls her against him, and wraps his arms around her waist. She slips her arms around his neck. "Cozy," he says, knowing damn well that he's pushing his luck.

"Keep your hands above deck," she jokes.

He's about to reply, but before he can, she settles herself against him, body to body. He tightens his hold on her, and that's when he feels the way her body is slightly shaking, vibrating really. He's not sure if it's adrenaline or pain, but it's clear to him that she's a lot more hurt than she's letting on.

"Let me take you to the hospital," he pleads, speaking softly into her ear. "I'll stay with you the whole time."

"I'm not afraid of being alone," she replies, her voice just as quiet.

"That's three drinks you owe me now," he cracks, unable to stop himself.

"Shut up, Deeks," she sighs. Even with the alcohol running through her, she can still feel the bolts of pain that keep shooting upwards from her hip.

"Right. Shutting up."

He feels her drop her head to her chest, her hair tickling his nose.

It's an incredibly romantic and sensual and wonderful moment.

As long as he pays no attention to way her body is still trembling.

"Okay, if you won't let me take you to a hospital, then I'm taking you home."

"We haven't finished the game yet," she says, looking up at him. "Unless you're surrendering, that is."

He thinks about it for a moment and then replies, "I'm surrendering."

Her reaction is the exact opposite of what he'd expected. Instead of gloating and teasing him, she suddenly shoves him away from her. The push is so violent and so unexpected that he's unable to stop himself from stumbling backwards. Only the bodies of another couple keep him from falling to the ground.

"Kensi?" he asks, straightening himself up and waving a quick apology to the couple that he almost took out.

"You're an ass, Deeks."

He blinks. "Excuse me?"

"I don't need anyone giving me anything, do you understand me?"

"Yes?"

"That sounds like a question."

"It kind of is one. Like, why are you so pissed at me?"

She looks around and notices that they're starting to get a few eyes on them. Cursing under her breath, she reaches for him, grabs him by the arm, and drags him outside, into the chilly winter air (well as chilly as Los Angeles gets anyway). She pulls him into the alley next to the club, then turns to face him.

"I told you that I'm okay. I told you that," she yells at him.

"Okay," he replies, putting up his hands. "Whatever you say."

"No," she snaps, stepping towards him aggressively. "I need you to agree with me. I need you to understand."

"Why?"

"Because I need you to know that I don't need anyone taking care of me. Do you understand? I don't need anyone to protect me."

She suddenly looks just a little bit insane and to his eyes, a whole lot scared. It's like she's on the edge of something and she's teetering and she knows it.

"Why?" he asks again. "Why is it so bad to rely on me? We're partners, right? Isn't that what this whole trust thing is about? I trust you with my life, you trust me with yours? You do trust me, right?"

" Yes, but this is more than that," she says. "This is about me."

"Then explain it to me." He steps close to her. "Make me understand why after getting nailed by a car, you would pretend like nothing happened."

"I…"

"Kensi, if not for those traffic cams seeing the accident, none of us would have even known it happened. We had to make you tell us!"

"It wasn't important."

"The hell it wasn't! You got hit by a fucking car," he snaps, his patience evaporating. As a general rule, Marty Deeks is the kind of guy who likes to keep everything – including the bad moments in life – as light as possible. He's found very few things that he couldn't find a way to joke his way through.

Right about now, he's done joking around.

This woman, this crazy insane woman whose skillsets borders on the absurd, well for whatever reason, she means something to him.

And he can count the number of people in his life that do on one hand.

Unfortunately for him, if he thought that she was going to be pushed into admitting her injuries with a little outburst, he's sadly mistaken. Her dark eyes flare (and he thinks to himself that she's never looked more beautiful). "I'm fine."

"You know what? Fine. You're fine."

"Glad you're finally hearing me," she shoots back.

For a moment, neither one has the words to continue. Instead, they just glare at each other. She's the one who turns away first. "I'm going home."

"You shouldn't drive –"

"Shut up," she replies, turning her back on him. She walks about ten feet, then turns back around. "You coming?"

"I'll take a taxi."

For a moment, it seems like she might argue, but then she waves her hand impatiently. "Fine."

"Seems to be the word of the day," he fires back.

She rolls her eyes, then turns and walks away. The moment she's out of sight, he reaches up and smacks himself in the forehead.

"Idiot," he mutters.

Ten minutes earlier, she'd been wrapped in his arms on the dance floor. Yes, she'd been shaking a little bit and yes, she probably needed to see a doctor. But he'd forgotten. God, he'd forgotten.

This woman, she's not like any other woman that he's ever worked with. Hell, ever known. She's a crazy hot mess and yet she's the single most put together woman he's ever met.

And she's prideful. And stubborn. And strong.

For a moment, he'd forgotten all of that.

"Idiot," he says again. Then he sighs. He reaches into his pocket, and pulls out his phone. For a moment, he considers calling Sam or Callen for a ride, but then quickly dismisses the idea. He'd have to explain, and no matter what – even if they completely agreed with him - they'd take her side.

No, taxi is it.


It's well after two in the morning when she gets back to her apartment. The adrenaline in her body finally dissipating, and exhaustion setting in, she can feel the shockwaves radiating through her like small quakes.

She steps into her bathroom and peels her shirt off.

"Damn," she says, looking into the mirror and seeing the dark colors around her hip. Earlier that evening, back at the Mission, she'd checked herself over, and seen several nasty looking lacerations on her side. The bruises had been just forming then, mostly shades of gray and black. She'd cleaned out the wound, put a bit of Neosporin on them and then pulled her shirt down.

Now, the cuts are vivid against a backdrop of purples, blues and greens.

She drops a hand down, and lightly touches one of the raised edges. Briefly, she wonders if maybe she should have taken Deeks up on the offer to go with her to the hospital.

"No," she mutters. "No hospitals."

She can't recall the last time she'd allowed herself to be checked in as a patient.

She doesn't intend to change that now.

Exiting her bathroom, she makes her way to her kitchen. She's just about to open her freezer to pull out an icepack when she hears a tentative knock at the door.

She startles, and then looks at the clock above the microwave. Who the hell drops by to say hello at two in the morning?

"Kensi," she hears. "It's me. Please open up."

"Deeks?" She makes her way over to the door, for a moment oblivious of the fact that she's shirtless, wearing just her bra. She unlocks the door and pulls it open. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"I wanted to talk to –" he stops in mid-sentence, somewhat surprised by her half-dressed state. "Do you always answer the door like this?"

She looks down at herself, and he's pretty sure the briefest flash of red colors her face, but she covers it up quickly. "You see me work out in my sports bra all the time. Is this something new or weird for you?"

"Uh, no, sorry."

"Deeks, why are you here?"

"To apologize. Can I come in?"

She sighs and steps away, offering him entry. He walks in, and she closes the door behind him.

He turns to face her. For a moment, his eyes widen as he catches the full degree of her injury, but he's smart enough to realize that if he addresses that first, this will be a very short conversation. So instead, "I'm sorry about what happened earlier. That wasn't…we were having a good time, and I got…I worry, all right?"

"Why?"

He reaches up and scratches at his beard for a moment.

"Deeks, I'm tired."

"I know, I know. And I won't keep you up long. I just…look you know about my family life. At least a little bit. You know I don't have a lot of friends on the force, and I'm sure you've realized by now that Tim has more friends than Marty does."

As he speaks, her anger and irritation with him slides away. It's almost adorable, or sad or pathetic or something the way he's babbling.

She's not sure if she wants to hug him or…

"You're different. I mean, you know that. Of course you know that. But you're really different. There aren't women like you. There aren't…"

"Deeks…"

"I forget sometimes that you don't need anybody."

"That's not true," she says quietly.

He looks up, surprised out of his ramble.

"In the past five weeks, you've saved my life three times. You saved me from the bounty hunter, you saved me from the Russians, and you saved me from Talbot. All three times, without you, I'd probably be dead."

"You would have found a way."

"No, I wouldn't have, and I need you to understand…" she stops and takes a deep breath. "I need you to understand how much that kills me. I don't…I don't get saved, Deeks. I don't need to be saved. I've built my entire life around that principle. I can be better, faster, stronger – whatever I need to be to survive."

"You do," he says softly, stepping towards her. "I don't know how you do, but you do." He reaches out as if to touch her, to touch the wound on her side, but then, his fingers mere inches from her, he pulls back.

"I'm not…" she takes a deep breath and then says, "It hurts, Deeks. It hurts a lot."

It's an admission of vulnerability, and it just about sears him down to the bone.

Not knowing what else to say here, but somehow understanding that this is as big a moment in their friendship/partnership/relationship that they've ever had, he replies with, "Then we should probably get some ice on it."

She exhales.

She wasn't sure what she was expecting, but she knows what she couldn't have dealt with; it's okay for him to know that she can be hurt but it's not okay for him to think that she is hurt. She's not terribly sure why that difference matters so much to her, but it does.

"Okay," she says. She guides him into the kitchen. He opens the freezer and laughs. "What?" she demands.

"You have the biggest sweet tooth ever." He points to the four different flavors of ice cream – all of them having some kind of chocolate in them.

"Focus, Deeks."

"I am. On your sweet tooth."

"And to think, sixty seconds ago I thought you had a sensitive side to you."

"I do, but this…well this requires comment. It demands that I mention it."

"No, it doesn't.

"Yes, it does."

"Icepack, Deeks."

"Right, icepack."

He reaches in and pulls out a blue icepack. After running his hands over it to assure himself that it's suitably cold, he brings it down to her side.

"Ready?" he asks.

"Don't make this a production."

"Everything is a production with us."

"Tell me about it."

"Maybe later." And with that, he presses the icepack against her wounded side.

Her reaction is immediate; a sharp intake of breath and a loud hiss of pain. And then, muttered in a very guttural voice, "Fuck."

"Potty mouth" he says, holding the icepack against her hip.

Her only response is a groan, and another wince. He feels her hand go over his, and he's not sure if she's trying to yank his hand away or keep it in place.

"Come on," he says. "Couch."

"No, bedroom."

He lifts an eyebrow.

"Gutter, Deeks."

"Huh?"

"Keep your mind out of the gutter."

"Oh," he replies, trying to play innocent, but failing badly. Taking hold of her arm, he guides her back towards her very messy bedroom. He considered making a very cracks about her inability to keep piles from forming all around her, but he figures that now is neither the time nor the place.

They enter her room. He helps over to the mattress, and then lies her gently back on it. He pulls his hand away from her side and the icepack, and replaces it with her own hand. "You got it?"

"Yeah."

"I'm going to sleep out in the Living Room, okay? On the couch."

"You don't have to."

"I want to." Before she can protest he says, "I'm your partner and like it or not, Kensi, it's my job to take care of you and protect you. You may hate the idea of anyone protecting you, but I get that right, okay? You protect me so I get that right in return, okay?"

She nods slowly, the fight gone.

"Good. Now get some sleep."

"Sure."

He gets up and heads for the door, then stops. "Kensi?"

"Yeah."

"You are an amazing woman, and I know you can survive just about anything, but for God's sake, please stop doing this to yourself. Please."

"Not doing it on purpose."

"I know, and I guess all I'm asking is maybe for you to be careful. Take less chances. I don't know…just…"

"You're a good man, Deeks."

He laughs. "That's what you got from that?"

"From that? No, I got from that that you're a rambling idiot. I know that you're a good man. Now go away and let me sleep."

He nods and steps towards the hallway.

"Deeks?"

"Yeah?"

"You totally peed your pants didn't you?"

He laughs.

"Come on."

"Yeah, I totally did."

"I win," she answers sleepily.

"Yes, you do." And with that, he steps into the hallway, leaving the door open behind him. He makes his way back to the couch and lies down.

He thinks of his life as a cop, of the partners he's had.

He thinks of Jess.

He thinks of his first love, little blonde Tiffany Summers.

He thinks of Kensi and bruises and guns and lasers and airplanes and bombs.

He thinks about holding her against him on the dance floor.

He thinks about the need to make the taxi driver drop him off here because he just had to make things right with her.

His partner, his friend.

He has so few of them. So few people he trusts.

He wonders if he let her win.

Then he laughs.

He's pretty sure she would have won anyway.

And to his surprise, he's okay with that.

-FIN