Last installment - hope you have enjoyed the ride!
So many thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed - I can't believe the viewing stats I'm getting for this.
So - if you want to read the next installment of my "Kensi and Marty" universe, please let me know! Yet another plot bunny is nibbling my toes and he just won't go away...
"Getting used to living the good life, Kensi?" Sam asked as she floated in, coffee in hand, big smile on her face. And a diamond pendant swinging around her neck, catching the light and sending multi-coloured reflections shining around her face. But it wasn't just that – she seemed lit from within. There had been a noticeable change in Kensi over the past few weeks: everyone had noticed it. She seemed softer, in some strange way.
"You're sounding envious. I thought life was going well for you?" Over the weekend, Sam had moved back in with Denise. They had finally realised there was to bring them together than to keep them apart.
Sam allowed himself a smile. "It is. But it's also hard work. There were a lot of things we said and even more thing we didn't say. So we're taking it slowly, rebuilding our lives bit by bit." It was never easy to admit you had been wrong, but he had swallowed down his pride, and Denise had allowed him back into her heart. Sure, there was work to be done, but it would be worthwhile. Only – when he looked at Kensi, and saw how her love enveloped her, it made him just a little envious for those early, halcyon days when there was no history to colour everything you said or did.
"Don't have secrets," Kensi said, logging on to the secure network. "I've learned that one the hard way. Maybe if I'd spoken to you and Callen about Jack, let you know what was really going on, maybe things would have been different."
"They would have been very different. I'd have given that guy such a beating he wouldn't have dared to come within a hundred miles of you. And then I'd have let Callen do the same."
"You'd have let me? Yeah, I can see that happening." Things were changing, Callen realised. Sam had his life back on track, Kensi and Deeks were building their new life together, but he was still exactly where he had always been – stuck in the past and unable to move on. Callen had no illusions about who he was - the man with no real name, a nebulous identity and an empty house. What did he have to offer anyone, except a quick one-night stand? How could he ever let a woman get close when even he didn't know who he really was?
Anyway, things were what they were. What was the sense in mourning, when there was still life to be lived? And a job to do. There was always a job to do.
"So when's our boy dragging his lazy butt back in here?" Callen asked.
"Are you talking about me?" The impersonation was terrible, but it didn't matter. Marty Deeks strode in, late as usual and sat down at his desk as if he'd only been out for coffee. "God, it's good to be back!" He grinned happily, leaned back in his chair and propped his boots up on the desk. It was business as usual.
"Security is slipping," Callen mused. "They let anyone in here, these days. Any old riff-raff."
"Exactly who are you again?" Sam enquired, tossing over an apple Danish. Denise had gone on a baking spree last night and later, when they lay together in bed the aroma of sugar and cinnamon had encircled them both.
Deeks caught the pastry deftly and ignored the comments. "Been struggling to manage without me, guys?" He bit into it, savouring the rich flavours.
"You could have made a bit more of an effort. Maybe had a shave, combed your hair?"
"I have great hair. Don't I Kensi?"
"Fabulous." She stared at Sam and Callen, daring them to argue with her. "First thing I look for in a guy is his hair Which pretty much ruled you too out from the start."
"You know, Sam, I was hoping Kensi would have a positive effect on Deeks. Maybe get him to start wearing those Armani suits, look a little less scruffy."
"I bought him that shirt!" she protested. "And those jeans." A size smaller than before, they clung to his butt and made him look almost obscenely gorgeous, she thought.
"I'm being dressed by a woman again. Feels like I'm a kid again," Deeks rued, but he didn't look too bothered.
"It's good to have my team back up to strength again, Mr Deeks. Welcome back." Hetty surveyed the scene with pleasure: they had all come through, and if Marty was a little battle-scarred, he had survived. The team was growing stronger, they would only be more effective. Everything was as it should be. Well, almost everything…
"Boots off the desk, if you please Mr Deeks!"
Marty Deeks heaved a martyred sigh. "Bossy women – why am I always surrounded by bossy women, telling me what to do?" His voice was low and his comments directed at one person and one person only.
"You know you love it!" Kensi replied and raised her eyebrows significantly as she gazed at his boots.
Remembering last night, those boots, a cowboy hat, a whip and not a whole lot else, Marty didn't even bother to deny it. Besides, he'd do anything for her. Anything at all. It was that simple.
To be continued in "Just My Heart Talking"