Well, let's see. This story has been a while in the making and now, since the bunnies have been gone a while and I'm desperate to write again, here we go on a SWBI, courtesy of ESalvatore.
My plan – Once I week, I force (encourage) the bunnies to help me write a chapter.
It's been a while since they co-operated on something new and I love that initial creative phase of writing so that's what I'm going to run with. It may not be as polished as usual, so please forgive me for any mistakes. Happy to have them pointed out (gently though please) and I'll try and fix them quickly. I just need to write and not worry too much about the tiny details of editing and polishing at the moment.
So, the bunnies have been dragged back from their extended vacation and whilst I'm not entirely sure if they co-operated with this chapter, it's here and it's done and, fingers crossed, it passes!
Now, about the story – It's set just a bit after Letting Go finishes. There will be a little snippet, tidbit, maybe even a longish chapter with more than one scene, to add to the episode the title of each chapter relates to. It all depends on what inspiration each episode gives me to delve into the developing Callen/Kensi relationship. Alex, Lily and James will be making special appearances. First chapter is a prologue, just before Identity which will be the next chapter.
I hope you enjoy. Love to hear what you think.
On with the show.
It was Saturday night.
They were sitting on the couch, Kensi's feet in Callen's lap and the TV was on in the background. Neither could tell you what was playing. They were both a tad pre-occupied with what was going to happen on Monday.
Callen was returning to work. A little early, but he was sick and tired of having nothing to do and being out of the office. He knew his body better than anyone and as far as he was concerned, he was fit enough to return.
Their relationship had progressed over the last month since that day at Alex's grave; at least in the fact that they had one and it was more than just friends and team mates.
They were taking things slow. They knew that moving on from a traumatic ending of a relationship was going to be difficult and this was new ground for both of them.
Whilst Callen didn't feel the guilt anymore, the memory of Alex and their relationship was still there. He knew that what he felt for Alex was strong but he also knew that what he was felt for Kensi was just as strong, only different. It was going to be a learning curve for him to fully realise he could still have both of those feelings and not short-change Kensi at all.
Kensi had had more time to deal with the dual emotions and, whilst she didn't have the same issues as Callen regarding how recent he had started the healing process to accept the possibility of loving someone else, her love for James was still strong. She'd had more time to deal with it. Neither wanted to mess up the relationship by rushing anything, so the physical side hadn't progressed past making out on the couch.
Kensi jumped at little at the knock on the door that brought her out of her musings.
Callen raised an eyebrow and smirked. She stuck her tongue out at him.
"You going to answer that?" she asked.
Callen shook his head. "Your house."
"Close enough to yours too."
"Not officially. I still 'live' in that little motel room."
"Tell that to my fridge," Kensi retorted as she pulled her feet out of his lap and stood up. There was another knock on the door. An insistent, determined one.
"I'm betting it's Hetty." Callen stood up as well. He flicked the button on the remote to turn the TV off. "It sounds like a knock that won't stop."
Kensi opened the door and there was Hetty.
"Of course it won't Mr Callen. Why would I when I knew that you were both here?" The question was rhetorical and both knew an answer wasn't expected.
"What can we do for you Hetty?" Kensi asked. She closed the door and turned to their boss.
"I'm here to speak to you about Mr Callen's return to work."
Kensi and Callen looked at each other. Typical Hetty. Was it possible that she knew they'd been thinking about that too?
They all sat and Hetty looked them over. She smiled knowingly.
"Firstly, I am pleased to see that things are working out with the two of you. I honestly didn't think I would see the day when you would allow yourself to love again Mr Callen. I know how much you loved Alex and to see you opening up again is wonderful. The same with you Miss Blye, after everything you have been through." She was most pleased to see that the mention of Alex's name didn't bring about any pain in his eyes. That was also something she had thought may never happen.
Callen and Kensi glanced nervously at each other. Both of them had a feeling the discussion wasn't quite going to be as rosy as the start.
"But?" Callen prompted Hetty when he returned his gaze to her.
"But," Hetty smiled slightly. "This relationship cannot affect your work. I should split you up. Team mates in a relationship together do not tend to work out for the best for either situation."
"Hetty," Kensi started but Hetty held up her hand to stop her.
"I am not going to do so. I am giving you a chance to prove that the two of you are professional enough to work together, giving you a chance to prove that you are not two typical, average agents. Now Sam, Eric, Nate and myself already know of this relationship and that is how it is to stay. Director Vance does not and I do not intend on telling him."
"So what do you want us to do Hetty?" Callen asked. "Pretend that we're just team mates?" Callen wasn't entirely sure he could do that. He was sure he'd be able to work with Kensi but he was also just starting to get the hang of being in a relationship and he certainly didn't want to go back to what he was before. It had been hard enough opening up in the first place – closing down again wasn't an option. Not if he wanted this to work with Kensi - and he definitely did.
Hetty shook her head. "No. I'm not asking that of you. I'm just asking that you keep this relationship known only to the team and you keep it out of the field. The rest of the office should see that things are normal between you. You don't tend to work with many of the other teams so it shouldn't be too difficult to tone things down when they are around."
"We can do that," Kensi agreed, relieved that Hetty wasn't going down the 'you can't be on the same team together' route.
"Good. However, do remember, should this relationship have a detrimental effect on your abilities to do your job, I will not hesitate to reassign one of you."
"Anything else you want us to do?" Callen asked.
"Yes. Mr Callen you have aliases that you need to keep up. As far as anyone is concerned, outside of your team, you are not living here with Miss Blye. You have recently moved back to your hotel room now your recovery is done. Where you actually spend your time is up to you, but you need to keep up appearances."
"Sure," Callen agreed easily. That had already been in the back of his mind anyway.
"Very well." Hetty stood up. "Enjoy your final weekend of freedom Mr Callen. I shall see you both at the office Monday morning. Separate arrivals please."
"Of course Hetty," Callen replied.
Hetty moved to the door. She turned back to look at them and that smile she had given them earlier reappeared on her face. She left quietly.
Callen turned to Kensi. "So separately? Guess I'd better organise for Sam to meet me."
"Yeah," Kensi said though Callen wasn't entirely sure she even knew what he had just said.
Kensi pulled herself back to the conversation. "Do you think we can do it? Work together and not let it affect us?"
"Us or our job?"
Kensi took a breath. "Both."
"We won't know unless we try. But I think we can. We've been through a lot to get where we are. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to give up without a hell of fight."
Kensi smiled and moved into his arms. "Good. Be such a waste of these months if you did."
Callen grinned. "Yes, sharing your home with me has been such an awful experience for you hasn't it."
Kensi punched him affectionately. "Not awful, just trying and difficult and insane and…" Callen cut her off with a kiss.
"And?" he asked when he pulled back.
"Very good," she admittedly softly before dragging him back to continue the kiss.