DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of Shane Brennan Productions, CBS Television Studios and Belisarius Productions. No copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Post-ep for 2x22 'Plan B'. Any resemblance to annaliesegrace's 'The Call' is purely coincidental. This was finished before 'The Call' was posted.
THANKS: To Rinkle for the beta and Jess for soundboarding and lines.
Deeks pauses after typing the text message. It's been nearly four years and there's no sign of their identities being compromised. And while he hadn't promised Ray, he's sure there isn't going to be a more perfect moment than right now to make this call.
He stops thinking, presses send. If Ray doesn't want to talk, he doesn't have to reply.
The next five minutes are spent second-guessing himself and worrying that the number that he'd had to jump through so many hoops to get (he'd been waiting for Hetty to demand his first-born) is wrong.
The cell vibrates in his hand. He opens the returned text and grins. Ray had followed his lead, replying in their old code. Deeks places the call and they take up where they left off.
"You're kidding me," Deeks says, shaking his head. "I was expecting the three year old, but a one year old as well?"
"And Jenna's four months pregnant."
Deeks lets out a low whistle. "You do realize they know what causes it?"
Ray laughs. "It keeps me off the streets. I was scared shitless before Ally was born, but when I held her for the first time… You've got to do this some day, Marty."
"I am," Deeks says, as he brushes his fingertips over a soft cheek.
"What? When?" Ray demands.
Deeks glances at his watch. "About seven hours ago."
"She's a tiny brunette with a loud voice." Deeks breathes deeply, his voice catching as he watches his baby girl sleep. "And I don't think I'm going to be able to say no to her."
"That's their mother's job. Speaking of mothers-"
"What? You don't think I could have done this all by myself?" He hears a snort and looks over to the bed.
"Right," Kensi says, rolling her eyes as she slowly pushes herself up to a sitting position. "You barely made it through the twenty-eight hours and I was the one in labor." She holds out her hand for the phone.
"I think Wikipedia wants to say hi."
"Told you," Ray says, smugness obvious in his tone.
"Just give the phone to your better half."
While Kensi and Ray chat, he returns to the crib to find fluttering eyelashes and little hands trying to escape from the blanket wrapped tightly around her. "You're going to be trouble." He picks her up and whispers in her ear, "Just like your mother."
"Wow," he hears Kensi exclaim. "She's brave. I'm not doing this again anytime soon."
He smiles at her wording as he sits down on the bed, cradling their daughter against his chest. Kensi reaches over to stroke her hair.
"Oh, he's already gone." Kensi's voice is soft and his chest tightens with the way she's looking at him. "Totally bewitched, smitten, and besotted."
He ducks his head to kiss the baby on the forehead. "Your mother's jealous," he stage-whispers, trying to defuse the level of emotion in the room before he tears up. "She's been superseded."
Kensi pouts at him and then laughs, replying to Ray, "Yes, you did." He knows they're talking about him and he mouths "what?" but she just smiles.
He's distracted by nuzzling at his chest, grinning when he realises what their daughter wants. "Sorry, kid, this is one thing I'm not equipped for."
"Have to go, Ray." Kensi raises her eyebrows and smirks. "He's just found something else he can't do."
Deeks shakes his head. "Motherhood's short-circuited your brain, Kens. I'm not the ultra-competitive one."
She holds up her finger to silence him as she listens to his old friend. "Always," she replies in that soft voice again, and this time Deeks knows what was said. "Tell Jenna she's amazing."
He gently hands the baby over to Kensi and takes the phone in return. "What have you been telling her?" he asks Ray.
"Nothing she doesn't already know," Ray laughs. "I want a photo of you and your family."
Deeks nods. "And I'll expect one of yours when the new one arrives. Really hope the kids take after Jenna in the looks department."
"Thankfully they do." Ray sighs, before continuing seriously, "We did it, Marty. We really did it."
Kensi hears the hitch in his breathing and reaches for his hand. He entwines his fingers with hers and she squeezes as he says, "Yeah, we did."
He sits quietly for a few moments after finally ending the call, the only noise that of the baby suckling. Kensi tugs his hand and he shifts closer for a tender kiss. He pulls back and gazes down at their feeding daughter, cupping the back of her tiny head with his hand.
A wave of apprehension ripples through him as the monumental weight of responsibility hits.
Kensi picks up on the stiffening of his body and reaches up to press the palm of her hand against his cheek. "You're going to be a wonderful father," she says quietly. "Don't ever doubt that."
He can't reply, instead placing his hand over hers and turning his head to kiss her palm.
Their daughter decides she's had enough and while Kensi's attention is focused back on her, he takes the opportunity to regain his composure.
"So," he says once the baby's settled against Kensi's shoulder, "we're going to do this again?"
Kensi laughs and knees him in the back. "I'm exhausted and hormonal and obviously delirious."
"You don't want to see if we can strike perfection for a second time?" He almost rolls his eyes at himself, sleep deprivation is turning him into mush.
"Wait till we're walking the floor with her all night because she's screaming and we have no idea what she wants."
"That's when we call her Uncle Sam for advice," Deeks says. "Besides she may be placid, good-natured, and able to sleep anywhere anytime."
Kensi replies in a serious tone, "You do realize she's our kid, not Monty's?"
"I was referring to myself."
"I know there's a joke there, but I'm too tired to think of it." She yawns and lets her head slump back against the pillow as exhaustion wins out.
He reaches over to take the baby. "Are you sure you want visitors?"
"I'll be okay." She smiles but she can't hide that it's an effort. "They want to see her."
"How are we going to keep the marauding hordes in line?" He looks down at the tiny bundle nestled tight against him.
"Hetty gets first cuddle. Sam and Callen can fight it out for second."
"You're going to be popular, Baby Girl." He's not surprised to hear a muffled sob from Kensi at his use of the endearment. He rubs her leg. "I hope you don't mind, thought I'd carry on the tradition."
She's tearing up as she replies quietly, "I'd like that. So would he."
Deeks slides his arm around Kensi. She leans her head on his shoulder, wrapping one arm around his back and the other around their daughter. Holding them, he's overcome by the most amazing sense of contentment and, after so many years spent searching for it, peace.
Kensi grows heavier against him. He kisses her on the forehead and says, "They won't be here for an hour, try and get some sleep."
He retreats to the armchair, still cradling the baby as Kensi settles down in the bed. Setting the alarm on his cell just in case, he focuses on the movement of their daughter's chest as she breathes and watches her face relax into slumber. "Aren't you lucky your mom and dad's thing worked out."
"Thought you said there was no thing," Kensi mumbles.
"Sshh. The baby's sleeping." He grins as Kensi sticks her tongue out at him.
He feels himself starting to drift and after one last check on the two loves of his life, he closes his eyes.