Boys Keep Swinging
An NCIS: Los Angeles Fanfiction
Chapter One: When You're A Boy
"Okay, so it's a pretty straightforward undercover operation tonight at the club." Eric tried very hard to keep a straight face and it was greatly to his credit that he almost succeeded.
"Which club exactly?" Deeks asked suspiciously. For some reason, alarm bells were ringing wildly in his head.
"Pop of the Cherry." The reply was mumbled, in fact it was almost inaudible. Eric busied himself with his computer and avoided looking anywhere near Deeks.
"What? No way. No way at all. Count me out." He was emphatic. Actually, he was more than that, he was also acutely embarrassed. Deeks had this dreadful certainty about what was going to happen and he didn't like it one little bit.
"Come on – I've got you VIP passes." Eric wasn't above grovelling.
"Big deal. And I'm not even going to ask how you managed to score these, because I really don't want to know." He gave the technical operator a knowing smile and was gratified to see a flush creep right up Eric's neck and then across his face, until even his ears were scarlet.
Sam could bear it no longer. "You want to let us in on the big secret anytime soon? What's so wrong with the club that's got Deeks all fired up?"
"You really don't know? Sam, some day soon you're going to have to come out of that hermetically-sealed wombat hole you live in."
"It's a drag club," Kensi said. "That's why Deeks has got ants in his pants. He's worried about getting something else in there too. Or someone else." She smirked happily, enjoying his discomfort and being secure in the knowledge she would be exempt from any cross-dressing.
"Maybe he's worried he'll make too good a woman, what with that fluffy hair, and those big blue eyes and that baby-soft skin." Callen grinned joyfully. "Suck it up, Deeks. I always wondered why we had a pretty boy on the team, and now I know. You'll be a vision in powder-blue."
Deeks shot him a look filled with hate. "My sides are splitting. You ever considered a career in comedy – or does living below the poverty-line not hold much appeal for you?"
"Exactly what makes you think Mr Deeks will be the only person going undercover and in disguise tonight?" Hetty stood slightly apart from the rest of the team, arms crossed and watching them with considerable interest. It was like watching a herd of rutting buffaloes, each one trying to assert their masculinity. There were times when she seriously considered requisitioning some bromide and putting it into the water coolers.
"Because I'm a girl?" Kensi volunteered.
"Because Deeks will make the best woman. Or should that be ladyboy? It's practically type-casting" Sam felt safe in the knowledge that it was patently obvious he would make a terrible woman and would therefore be sitting on the bench for this operation He almost felt sorry for Deeks. Almost. But not quite.
"Because I'm team leader and I get to decide who does what?" God, that was a great trump card to have in your back pocket, Callen thought. The NCIS equivalent of the "get out of jail free" card in Monopoly, only better.
Deeks just lounged across the table, keeping his head down. Clearly it had already been decided that he was going to be the one going in drag and, given that it was three against one, he decided to save his energies and just accept he was going to be the object of ridicule. He'd get his revenge later, even if it killed him.
"You are all wrong on all counts. I'll need each and every one of you in place and undercover if we're to have a chance of catching those Thai sailors. All hands on deck, as it were." Hetty sometimes felt it was necessary to emphasise exactly who was in charge around OSP.
"I'll escort Deeks then. Be his date for the night. Just a one night stand though, Deeks. Don't expect me to send you flowers the next morning, because you're so not my type."
"Mr Callen – I thought I made myself clear, but obviously I was wrong. You, Mr Hannah and Mr Deeks will all be dressing in drag tonight. No exceptions." There it was, the iron hand in the Kevlar glove.
"Nobody is ever going to buy me as a woman." Sam looked more indignant than Hetty had ever seen him before.
"This isn't about whether or not you could realistically pass as a woman, Mr Hannah, it is about getting a job done. Some drag queens deliberately highlight the dichotomy between their maleness and the female persona they assume. They are not necessarily transvestites, you know. And in some cultures, it is acceptable for a heterosexual male to enjoy the company of a drag queen, or indeed to dress as a drag queen himself. Of course, a ladyboy is quite different, and more related to transgender issues. Many of them are remarkably beautiful." It was hard not to laugh out loud at the shocked expressions on the faces of her team, but somehow Hetty managed it. Did they really think she didn't know about the slightly less orthodox sexual mores? That she just went home in the evening and had a nice cup of cocoa? How the hell did they think she knew about the club in the first place – by osmosis? Heck, it was one of the best places she knew for a night out with fascinating company.
"I don't know anything about that." From the tone of Sam's voice it was clear that he didn't want to know anything more either. The mere idea of having to dress up in women's clothing was a personal affront to his masculinity. And the prospect of any of his buddies from the SEALs every finding out was not worth thinking about, because then his life would not be worth living.
"Not quite so funny when you guys are going to have to wear panty-hose and high heels, is it?" Deeks was beginning to perk up at the knowledge that he was not going to be the sole sacrificial ferret in this whole affair. There was safety in numbers, after all. They could agree some sort of mutual pact to expunge from the collective memory afterwards and certainly never to talk about it.
Callen just hoped it wasn't the male members of the team who were going to be ritually humiliated. "What about Kensi? Where does she fit into this?"
Hetty smiled seraphically. "Why, Ms Blye is also going to participate in the cross-gender dressing. Why on earth would you think otherwise? As you very well know, I've always believed in being an equal opportunities employer. And it is illegal to sexually discriminate."
"Gee, thanks Callen. I'll remember this next time you want a favour." If looks could kill, Callen would be lying on the floor just waiting to be measured for a body-bag.
"Ms Jones is organising some… "Hetty paused, not quite sure of the right word, for once in her life, "… outfits to be sent over for you to try on. It's rather a specialised field, I believe. But we still have to consider the matters of make-up and hair."
"Lack of hair, in Sam's case. And hardly any in Callen's. Who's going to fancy a butch drag queen?" Finally, Deeks felt he was able to get his own back after all the jibes of earlier on.
"I might be able to help there. I have a friend."
"Just the one, Callen?"
"Don't be picky, Sam. Okay, I have this friend, who's a hairdresser…"
"You mean you pay for that buzz-cut? Listen, save money and get yourself a pair of clippers. Or go to a barber." Deeks spoke with an air of authority that was remarkable coming from a man who looked as if he thought hair-clippers were only used when grooming dogs.
"Would you shut up and let me speak? I reckon JJ would probably be able to help us out, given it's short notice."
"In other words – this JJ clearly feels he owes Callen after ripping him off for all these years by charging him an arm and a leg for what is basically a number 4 cut all-over. Must take all of five minutes."
"Since when did you become such an expert of hair, Deeks?"
"Since always. Women love my hair. Haven't you noticed?"
"Really? Okay –let's ask them."
"Sorry, Callen – but Deeks is right. He's annoying, but he does have good hair." Kensi often had to fight the urge to run her fingers through it. Even when it was messed up, which she reckoned he probably did on purpose, Deeks had great hair.
"I've always been partial to a man with a full head of hair," Hetty mused, and Deeks felt himself blushing violently and wishing he'd kept his big mouth shut. That was just so wrong on so many levels. Although it was interesting that Kensi liked his hair. Very interesting indeed. He filed that one away for future reference.
"Nell?" She was Callen's last hope for some sanity in the midst of all this madness.
"He's got lovely hair," Nell said dreamily and then clapped her hand over her mouth in horror. The last thing she wanted the team to know was that she spent copious hours, both on and off duty dreaming about Deeks.
"Thanks for the solidarity, ladies. Anything else you want to be proved wrong about, Callen?"
"Other than the fact that I'll look ridiculous tonight? Not really."