A Little Less Conversation

A sequel to Personal Questions

An NCIS:Los Angeles Fanfiction

Nell walked through the Ops Centre and tried not to let her eyes drift over to the empty desk. It was over three weeks since Deeks had been shot and she missed him more with each passing day. There just seemed to be such a big gap without him around the place. The rest of the team were just so intense all the time, and Nell always ended up feeling slightly inferior to them, like a little sister who was tolerated, but laughed about behind her back. Not that they did that, at least she hoped they didn't. But Deeks was different. He was genuinely nice to her and the atmosphere seemed lighter when he was around. Out of all the people in NCIS, Deeks was the one she understood best, the one she could relate to. Maybe it was because they were both new, both still on the edges of things and not fully accepted as a part of the team. And then there was the small matter of her crush. The guy was hot. Tall, slim, blond guys were Nell's particular weakness and Deeks hit all the right buttons, as far as she was concerned.

So, each time she passed his desk, Nell wished that Deeks was sitting there, that he would turn and give her one of his mischevious smiles and make her day a little bit better just by being there. But of course, he wasn't there. Deeks was in his mansion in Malibu, recovering from two bullets to the chest and then a broken rib that had punctured his lung and ruptured an artery, damage sustained while saving his partner.

Of course, Kensi was at her desk, talking on her cell-phone in a loud voice. Yet again she was saying how some guy had hit on her at the gym. Nell had noticed that she seemed to have a lot of stories on the same theme and wondered if Callen and Sam ever picked her up on that? Or maybe they were like Nell and just switched off when Kensi started another of her tales about how no man could resist her. Nell didn't really like Kensi. The woman was so confident she automatically felt inferior whenever she was around. Just seeing Kensi made Nell miss Deeks even more. Nothing was the same without him.

"What have you got there, Nell?" Kensi called out. She'd finished her phone call now and was looking straight at her. There was no escape. Damn.

Nell stiffened. "Flowers " she said shortly and tried to continue walking but it was no use. Kensi had got up and was following her. Clearly it was a slow day and she had nothing better to do.

"Oh, they're lovely. Who are they from?"

"They're not from anyone. I mean, they are, or rather they will be." Nell cursed her stumbling words and felt like a fool. "I mean, they're from me. To Deeks. I was going to drop them off after work."

"Have you spoken to him then? How's he doing? Is he okay?" Kensi sounded anxious and was speaking must faster than normal.

"Don't you know?" Nell asked. "He's your partner – I thought you would know how he was doing. Haven't you been over to see him since the hospital?" She peered over the top of the large bunch of mixed spring blooms in her arms and regarded Kensi carefully. The older woman looked drawn and tired and she avoided returning Nell's gaze.

"I've tried. I've phoned every day and left messages, but I've not heard a word from him. And I don't feel I can just go on over without being invited." She couldn't forget what Deeks had said that last night in the hospital, far less the look on his face as he said it.

"Not now, Kensi. I'm too tired for this. Really. You can tell me later how I messed up again. I'm not going anywhere."

"That's not what I'm talking about! I wanted to thank you for saving my life. You didn't have to do what you did."

"No, I didn't. But do you know what, Kensi? I did it. I did it without thinking because you were my partner. And these past few days, I've been lying here wondering if any one of you guys would have done the same for me. Well? Would you?"

Kensi bit her bottom lip as the memory hit home. She was still struggling to come to terms with the way she'd acted. How could she have been so callous as to make him feel like that? Why did Deeks have to get shot in order for her to realise how she felt about him? But at least she'd been able to build some bridges after that, to say something that about as close as she could get to making a commitment to her partner.

"Whether you like it or not, we are tied together, forever. You are responsible for me and I am responsible for you. So you'd better get used to that."

She'd left the hospital that night full of hope. The next morning crushed all her hopes. Deeks was gone, discharged into the care of his personal physician. When you were a multi-millionaire, you were able to do these things, it seemed. And since then, Kensi had felt hollow. She tried to pretend she was alright, that things were just fine, but they weren't. Everything was wrong. And she missed him so much. She missed him so much that she physically hurt. She wasn't sleeping, she was gorging on junk food and she'd not been to the gym for two weeks. Those awful hours spent waiting to hear if he would live or die had made her look at things in a completely different light. Kensi had realised that she had been fighting her feelings for Deeks all along. And just when she was ready to tell him how she really felt, he was gone.

"Can I come with you, Nell? Please?"

Against her better judgement, Nell found herself agreeing. Kensi seemed different somehow: less cocksure, more approachable and more, well human. She was still wary of the agent, but what could go wrong? She was Deeks' partner, she'd sat at his bedside for days when he was so ill after the second operation, of course she wanted to see him. But there was a small thought nagged persistently away at the back of Nell's mind, like a toothache just waiting to burst into agony: what if Deeks doesn't want to see Kensi? Only that was silly. Of course he would want to see her. Wouldn't he?