Title – Wake up call

Author: Ceindreadh
Permission to archive: Yes to WWOMB, anybody else, please ask first.
Genre: Gen, hurt/comfort, angst
Characters: Callen, Deeks, Sam
Rating: T
Summary: post ep to Personal, Deeks has some more visitors to his bedside

Warnings: none

Spoilers: Up to and including S2 ep 17, Personal
Disclaimer. I don't own the NCIS LA characters, I'm only borrowing them, no copyright infringement is intended.

It was the sounds that he noticed first. The rhythmic beeping that had been a constant presence in his life for the past few days. At first he had thought that it would disturb his rest, but later he found it a comfort. Every time he heard it, he knew that he was still alive, at least for another day. Not that he was getting all that much rest. It felt like there was a constant stream of people in and out of his room. Acquaintances and colleagues and nurses coming to check up on him. Felt like he'd hardly been alone for a minute since taking out Vakar. Not that he was complaining…not too much anyway. Having company kept his mind off things, things like his father…his late father, not to mention how a 22 caliber gun looked when you were staring down the barrel.

Deeks let the sounds wash over him as he wondered whether or not to open his eyes. There was a rumble of noise that gradually separated itself into two distinct voices, their friendly banter as familiar to Deeks as the sound of the monitors.

Deeks half smiled as he forced his eyes open. "Hey," he said as he looked over at the two figures sitting beside his bed. "You guys couldn't stay away?"

"Well I had planned to wash my hair tonight," said Callen. "But Sam insisted that we do our good deed for the day and stop in."

"You shouldn't have," said Deeks. His eyes narrowed as he focused on Sam who had just taken another spoon of jello. "No, I mean you *really* shouldn't have."

Deeks let his head fall back against the pillow. "What is it with you people and *my* jello?"

"Think of it as negative reinforcement," said Sam. He pointed the spoon at Deeks. "Guys who get shot, don't get their jello."

"It's true," said Callen. "I spent *months* in hospital, and didn't get to eat a single spoon."

"And have you gotten shot since? No, didn't think so."

Deeks laughed at that, and then groaned as he held his side.

"You need to top up your pain relief?" asked Callen, his voice suddenly serious.

Deeks shook his head. "No, I'm good. Just don't make me laugh too much." He pushed himself up in the bed, and noticed a small fruit basket and card on the table in front of him. "Ah, you guys shouldn't have."

"We didn't," said Sam, taking a final spoonful before replacing the empty container on the table. "It was handed in to L.A.P.D. for you. Don't worry, we had it tested. Nothing dangerous in there, unless you're allergic to vitamin C." He handed Deeks the card.

Deeks examined the envelope before opening it. "It's from Frank, Sandune's owner. He says…thank you…and he'll have my coffee the way I like it when I get back." He saw the glances exchanged by Sam and Callen. "I know, I know," he sighed heavily. "I'm not going to be able to go there again. My whole routine…my whole *life* needs to change." He let his head fall back against the pillow.

"We're not saying that you can *never* go back there," said Sam.

"Just not every day at the same time," said Callen. "You need to mix things up a bit. Go once a week."

"But not the same day or time each week," added Sam. "And don't buy the same stuff each time"

"Or tell the same joke." Callen caught Deeks's puzzled expression. "Nothing to do with security protocol, it's just irritating."

"Yeah, I get it." Deeks was turning the card over and over in his hands. "I guess this counts as a wake-up call. Suppose I should consider myself lucky that they only wanted to hurt me." He threw the card down on the bed. "I'm not sure what was worse. Thinking that I'd pissed off somebody badly enough that they'd gone to all this trouble to hurt me…or knowing that I was just collateral damage so they could get to Kensi."

"Is that humble bragging, Sam?" said Callen.

"Sounds more like self pity to me," said Sam. "Deeks, you got targeted because they knew it'd draw us out, draw Kensi out. That's what happens when you're part of a team. Somebody hurts one of us, they hurt us all."

"All for one and one for all," said Callen. He saw the look on Sam's face. "What? It's a good motto."

"It's a cheesy motto," said Sam. "Look Deeks, you're a pain in the ass, but you're *our* pain in the ass. Somebody wants to get to you; they're going to have to go through us. And if that means running you ragged until you can take care of yourself, so be it."

"Unless it's Hetty coming for you with her letter opener, then you're on your own," added Callen.

Pain in his side or no, Deeks couldn't help but laugh. "Thanks guys," he said, when he'd caught his breath. "Thank you."

The end