A/N: Takes place right after "Personal" ended. It took me a while (and with the help of my sister) to come up with an ending to this little one-shot. I hope it doesn't seem to out of characters as you should know I try my hardest to keep their reactions true to their characters...I do hope that one day the show will tell us what really happened when Deeks was eleven. Please enjoy and PLEASE take the two minutes (max) to leave a review, I would love you people forever...(too much? LOL) Enjoy.
Marty Deeks watched as Hetty slowly disappeared from his line of sight. The soft remnants of a smile from the small woman's answer faltered on his lips. His eyes dropped down to the newspaper clipping in his hands.
"Woodland man is sentenced for drunken driving crash that killed 41-year-old man."
He stared at the picture of the destroyed car underneath the heading for a moment. He wasn't sure if he wanted to read the article, after all he spent the last 20 years not caring about the man. What would it do to read how the miserable bastard died? His eyes skimmed the paper. It was just a few paragraphs, more than the man deserved…what the hell.
"A 23-year-old Woodland man was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for a drunk-driving crash last year that killed a 41-year-old man. The collision occurred May 5 when a vehicle driven by Ivan Harris crossed the double yellow center lines and collided head-on with a car driven by Gordon John Brandel. Harris had a blood-alcohol content of .13 percent, almost twice the legal limit, at the time of the crash."
Marty shook his head and couldn't help but scoff at the irony, or was karma a better word? His father killed by a drunk. Marty tossed the newspaper clipping onto the folder Hetty left. There was no need to continue reading it, or to look at the other papers in the folder. His father was finally dead and took those thoughts of wonder if he would ever see that man again along with him.
Suddenly Deeks wanted out of the bed, out of the recovery room, and out of the hospital altogether. He felt confined, trapped, and for an undercover detective it was a feeling that always spiked the 'fight or flight' reaction in him. Yet, he was tied down with wires, IV tubes, blankets, bandages, stitches and threats from the hospital staff and co-workers that if he got out of the bed again they would knock him out for the rest of his stay.
Anger started to fill him as he cursed the two bullet holes in his chest for keeping him there. Even more, he cursed himself for falling into such an obvious routine, making him the easiest target known to man. For if he wasn't so damn predictable, he wouldn't be trapped in this hospital, never would have been asked for his next of kin which in turn forced Hetty to search for Brandel.
What really pissed Marty off even more was how much his father's death was actually affecting him. He should be happy that the poor excuse of a man was dead, no longer a threat of coming back into his life. But in some warped and frustrating way this was not the case. He had to fight the on slot of tears when Hetty told him he was dead. The growing feeling of grief was not what he should be feeling. The man did not deserve his son's tears and grief! Yet, Deeks was having a very hard time feeling anything but that.
With both hands, Deeks shoved the tray table away from him. More importantly he pushed the damn folder away. The plastic table wheeled shortly across the room until it was stopped short by the small couch. The plastic cups and dishes clanked together at the sudden stop while the folder fell to the ground spilling the papers everywhere. He then ripped off the blankets reviling the light blue hospital pants. Without the table in his way, or the blankets restricting his movements, Deeks brought his legs slightly close to him, bending them at the knees allowing his feet to be placed flat on the bed. Although these two actions lessened his confined feelings, Deeks felt his emotions run all over the place because he was still trapped in this bed. He felt as vulnerable as a child and still felt the pain of his wounds as well as the emotional pain that his father was still dead and he was still torn up about it.
"Why is this so hard?" he asked himself as he ran his hands through his damp hair.
He let his head fall back against the pillows and looked at the ceiling. What he wouldn't give for a nice strong drink to help relieve his pain even just for a moment. Pain. That was it. Deeks lifted his head high enough to find the pain relief button, though as he pushed it, nothing happened.
"Damn it," stupid morphine time lock.
"Did they run out of jello?"
Deeks shot his head up and found Kensi standing in the doorway with a smile on her face. The shadows of the room caused her eyes to look even darker, yet he could still see the events of the day had taken a toll on her as well.
"What are you doing here?" his voice held an edge that he couldn't hide. It was late, he was tired and at that moment he didn't care.
"I was on my way home and I got this sudden craving for hospital jello." Kensi was a bit taken aback over her partners tone but just shrugged it off for the moment.
"Hetty already beat you to it." Deeks straighten out his legs as Kensi moved over to the tray. She heard the foreign edge in his voice again and noticed the fallen papers and went to pick them up. "Don't," he ordered.
"Just leave them."
But she didn't. Kensi collected the few papers and placed them back into the folder. As she stood up, she noticed the newspaper clipping and a familiar name. "Gordon John Brandel? Isn't he the man you said you…?"
"Yes." Drop it Kensi. Just leave it alone, he begged silently in his mind.
She placed the folder back on the table, before taking a seat on the edge of the bed. "Who was he? I mean, why would you shoot someone when you're only eleven?"
"I'm tired Kensi, can you just…"
"Alright," she said quickly. Today of all days he deserved not to be pushed around. She stood from the bed giving him space and to let him know she would back off. Sitting back down in that god awful chair she propped her boots back on the edge of his bed and waited.
Marty quickly started to put himself in a state of self preservation, refusing to look at her. Why she had to come over now of all times just made his heart squeeze even tighter in his chest?
His partner continued to watch a tight anguished look on his face and grew more worried with each passing tick of the clock. She hadn't wanted to go home. After spending so much of her day protecting him, having him still be in the room he was supposedly in danger made her restless. Now she was here hoping his never ending smiles would ease her fears, but she instead found another Deeks she didn't know and it unnerved her.
"Kensi," he gritted out while still not looking at her. "What are you doing here?" he asked again.
His tone was masking anger and she knew it. Now more than ever she wanted to know what Hetty had said and what was in the folder across the room. "I told you didn't I? I'm waiting for the inevitable serving of jello to arrive."
As much as he wanted to ignore her joke he couldn't. His face momentarily cracked a smile which gave Kensi the hope she needed. "Kensi, you do realize that it's past 9 o'clock or should I say it's past 2100. No food is coming until the morning." His eyes darted to her face for a moment and saw her stubborn smile.
His eye moved back to the seemingly interesting spot on the far wall as he moved his head slight in the opposite direction of his partner. "Protection detail is over Kensi, bad guys are dead. Go home."
"You're cooped up in a hospital bed all by yourself; I thought you'd like the company."
"I was sleeping."
"That's not the way I see it."
"I was until 5 minutes ago."
Kensi noticed that Deeks' hand went to the pain relief button and pressed it half a dozen times, and by the soft curse on his lips, she figured that the morphine was locked. "Do you want me to get a nurse?"
"Huh?" he turned his head back towards Kensi with slight confusion.
She pointed to his hand that still hovered over the button, "You in pain?"
Deeks quickly moved his hand and brought it to his neck that suddenly got an itch, "No, of course not."
"Really?" she scoffed, "You're going to pull the macho card now?"
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"Earlier you couldn't stop milking it. Finding any reason to call in your nurse; no problem showing that getting shot is painful. Now all of a sudden you're afraid to show human emotion?"
"I'm not hiding anything," he defensibly stated. If he had been his old self he would have answered with a disarming joke that his favorite nurse's shift had already ended at 4.
"Oh come on," Kensi placed her feet onto the floor, "The way you are acting is a night and day difference compared to earlier. What happened? Was it something Hetty said?"
Deeks held a blank stare. Of course Kensi wouldn't leave things alone. She just had to 'fix' him.
"It has something to do with that Brandel guy, right?" The two stared at each other for a moment, both frustrated with one another. For Marty he just wanted to be alone, and Kensi was getting fed up with his stubbornness. "Why aren't you talking to me?"
"Because there are a lot of things we haven't shared about each other."
Kensi did not like him using her own words against her. "You were asking if I've ever been shot…"
"It's was a simple question."
"So is mine."
"No, no its not." He couldn't hide the small break in his voice. "You could have honestly said yes or no. Shooting a man when you're eleven is something that will never have a simple answer."
"It gets easier when you talk about it," she softly offered.
"It sure didn't look like it's any easier for you to talk about Jack."
Kensi's voice dropped as her eyes got darker, "That's not fair."
"Well life's not fair."
"What has gotten into you?"
Deeks pressed the pain button feverishly. He was so caught up in his own anguish that he didn't notice that the morphine started moving through the IV. "Nothing! I mean… everything! I just want to get out of this hospital!"
Kensi noticed his heart rate began to speed up by the increasing beeping on his monitor. "It won't help; leave that is."
Marty was losing it. He hated himself for letting his father's death get to him like this. Part of him blamed Kensi, if she didn't show up he could have quickly dealt with his emotions and gone back to sleep.
"If I was out of here, I wouldn't have to hear everyone ask me for my next of kin and I can forget about that damn Thanksgiving." He spoke more loosely as the morphine started to kick in.
Kensi, however, felt as she had been kicked in the stomach. Her mind flashed back when the both of them were out on dirt bikes looking for those two missing marines.
'I'm pretty sure that he hates me.'
'Why would you say that?'
'Because the last time I saw him he said "Marty I hate you"
'People who love us sometimes say things in anger they don't really mean.'
'Then he fired a shotgun at me. Man I hate Thanksgiving. But that was six years ago…'
Kensi quickly did the math. That would make him fourteen. Marty said he shot Brandel when he was eleven, which would be more than six years ago. But then why would Thanksgiving and next of kin bother him so much? And why would he have a folder with information on Brandel's death that he did not want her to look at? She was missing something here.
"Was Brandel your father?" she asked softly as the pieces finally came together. The sad features on Marty's face gave her the answer.
"I don't want to talk about it."
"Believe it or not, but it does help to talk about it."
"How would you know, did your father aim a gun at you, did you shoot him, did you ever think that he could be the reason you were shot twice?" The strong dose of morphine was moving in his veins, the medicine quickly tearing down the walls Deeks tried so hard to keep up.
Kensi lowered her head. She couldn't imagine having a childhood like that. Her father was her best friend, she was lucky. "No," she said quietly. "However, I do know how it feels to lose a father…"
"Kensi," Deeks interrupted. "You have no idea! You get to keep memories of all the fun time you had together, had a dad who was proud of you! My father, he…he never once told me he loved me." Saying that out loud brought down the walls and Marty's tears were now streaming down his face. "He's committed every possible domestic crime known to man and even tried to kill me! What could an eleven year old boy do that is so terrible that his own father aims a shotgun at his head?"
Silence then hung in the air for a moment before he spoke again. "There is not one good memory I have of that man. So then why," Deeks choked, "then why am I crying?"
His whole body shook with sobs and Kensi couldn't take it any longer and stood up. Seeing so much raw emotion coming from her carefree partner she sat on the bed, and gently pulled him close her. Kensi was never one for hugs very often and would rather punch someone to show affection, however there was a time and place for all things. Kensi may not know what to say to her partner's morphine induced confession because he was right, she had no idea what he was going through. However, she knew where she was needed.
Deeks quickly grabbed onto her like a lifeline, but never saw the tears threatening to fall from her own eyes.
"Why?" he whispered.
She knew he wasn't really looking for an answer but within a few minutes it was soon apparent she didn't need to give him one. Marty was asleep in her arms.
"Gees you're so high maintenance," she said more to herself although she didn't really mean it with negative intent as her eyes finally let a few tears fall.
Eight hours later, Deeks woke up groggily. Smacking his dry lips he rubbed his puffy eyes so he could figure out where his water was. Finally looking at his tray his eyes shot open at the sight of the manila folder he hated so much and all of the previous nights events came flooding back to him in a rush.
"Kensi," he called out to himself as he looked around, but no one was there.
He didn't realize how ridged his body had become and sank back into his pillow at the realization he was all alone.
"Like it always has been," he said to himself in a sad dead sort of statement.
"What has?" a cheerful feminine voice asked at his door.
Deeks eyes shot to his door to see his partner walk in with two cups of coffee.
"What?" she asked in response to his weird look. "Here, I got you your foo-foo coffee, although I wouldn't drink what they got around here either."
Deeks automatically took the cup and blankly stared at it. "You didn't leave last night did you," he numbly stated. His eyes finally took notice of the white hospital sheet draped on the sofa.
Kensi's strained smile faltered as she sunk back down to the horrid plastic chair. "Well the great thing about having a badge is you don't have to leave at the end of visiting hours," she smirked.
"Thanks," Deeks sincerely said with his soft eyes. "For everything"
"You going to make it?" Kensi cryptically asked.
Deeks looked back to the folder then down to his coffee cup. He still didn't have all the answers but the warmth spreading from the coffee cup into his hands made him smile and he somehow knew he would be alright.
"Yep," he said with his old smile back, "'cause I'm not alone."