Comes A Time

An NCIS: Los Angeles Fanfiction

This is the fifth in a series of stories that starts with Personal Questions which develops the events shown on-screen in the episode "Personal". The stories that follow are slightly AU: A Little Less Conversation; Former Glory and It's Just My Heart Talking. While each can be read as a stand-alone, I do recommend that you read them in order, as there are cross-references and developing themes.

There are many obvious advantages to living in a large house, set in its own grounds. One of which is the ability to play your music very loudly indeed without the neighbours complaining. The benefit of this is somewhat negated if you have housemates who do not share your taste in music.

"Neil Young? Seriously? You had to be all of about four when that was released." Callen picked up the remote and turned the sound way down.

"Remind me again why you're still here, G?" Deeks snatched the remote back from him. "If you don't like the music, you're free to leave anytime you want. Nobody's keeping you here."

Callen bit his lip to keep himself from saying something they would both regret. Last night he'd practically had to haul Deeks out of the ocean after he'd insisted on going surfing after one too many beers. Back at the house, he'd sat morosely and knocked back another few brews until they'd practically had to kick his butt upstairs. This morning Deeks was in a foul mood and making sure everybody knew about it.

"I'm here because Nico's here. Your best friend, Nico – and she's persuaded me to stick around, even though you're being obnoxious." Callen had never realised that when he signed up for this gig as team leader that it would involve playing the father-figure. It was very wearing and his patience was running out. Not that he didn't feel for the younger man, but there were limits. Usually for Callen, his relationship limit was six weeks, after which he felt a compulsion to move on. These emotional complications were the sort of thing he normally chose to walk away from. Only this time he had no choice. Nico had made that very clear this morning. And she was extraordinarily persuasive when she wanted to be. Which was pretty much most of the time.

"Whatever." Deeks stalked off into the kitchen, feeling like an idiot. Sam was sitting at the table, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee. It had only taken him four days to work out how to use the complex machine sitting on the counter. "Are you going to criticise my taste in music too?"

"No. It's a good album. Even if it was played at concert level sound. But I was going to ask if you wanted a ride over to the hospital." Sam lowered the newspaper and regarded him solemnly. "Well? Do you? Or are you just going to keep on acting like a complete idiot? Take it from me – you're not going to win this battle. So you might as well just accept it and give in gracefully. Go over and speak to Kensi. Apologise. Just suck up your pride and grovel, if that's what it takes. Because in the end, it'll be worth it." He took a sip of coffee. "It took me too long to do that with Denise. I don't want to see you make the same mistakes I did. Okay?"

"Don't you think I did all that yesterday?"

Sam regarded him calmly. "So do it again. What the big problem?"

Deeks sat down opposite him. "She doesn't want to see me. Told me she needed some space. Wouldn't even take the damn ring." God, that had hurt. He'd stood there like an idiot, holding it out like some kid with an apple for the teacher and she'd just looked at him.

"So you're giving up just like that?"

"I'm not giving up. Not exactly," Deeks said ashamedly.

"Really? What would you call it then? Mature, sensible behaviour?" Sam leant forward. "You're not going to win here, so just accept it like a man. Kensi's dug herself into a hole she can't get out of. So you've got to give her an opportunity to take you back, without making her feel she's gone back on what she said."

"You've been talking to Nate, haven't you?"

"I wish. No, Denise insisted we go to this couples counselling thing. Talk about what had come between us, how we were going to go forward – all that kind of stuff. Much worse than talking to Nate. But it actually made a lot of sense. And if you ever tell anybody else about this, I swear I will come in one night when you're asleep and shave your head. Got it?"

"Loud and clear."

"Still want that ride?"

"Why not?" Deeks got up from the table and went over to the espresso maker. His caffeine levels were seriously depleted. "Thanks, Sam."

"Anytime. Don't want to have to go to all the bother of breaking in another trainee." He raised the paper again to hide the grin on his face. "And go have a shower after you've drunk that. Maybe comb your hair afterwards and have a shave while you're at it? Make a bit of an effort?"

"Because she's worth it?"

Sam glared at him. "You really suck at impersonations, Marty. Did nobody ever tell you that?"