Title: Truth Be Told
Rating: T for now, I'll note when it goes higher.
SPOILERS: This assumes "Plan B" has happened and takes place in a future from there forward.
Disclaimer: Definitely not mine. Also, full disclosure, no beta and my high school English teacher called me the Comma Splice Queen. Also, I'll be slightly ripping off a very recognizable movie plot for this story. Just keep in mind it's all in good fun and this is fiction.
Note: Possibly against my better judgment I'm going to start posting this story. I've been writing it since April and it promises to be fairly long. Since I'm far enough ahead I feel pretty confident I won't leave the story (and anyone reading) hanging. My goal is to post weekly, probably on Sundays. This chapter is almost a prologue to the actual plot, which kicks off in the next chapter.
You and I now
We can be alright
Just hold on to what we know is true
You and I now
Though it's cold inside
Feel the tide is turning
Feel The Tide – Mumford & Sons
There were some days that Kensi would really prefer a nice boring day of paperwork. Especially when the tradeoff was chasing a criminal stupid enough to think he could outrun three Federal agents and one LAPD police detective.
When the criminal in question, a misguided Marine clumsily trying to sell low level sensitive intel to a small time domestic terrorist group, had taken of like a rabbit, Deeks and Kensi had quickly given chase with Sam and Callen moving to cut him off around the other side of the block.
Even though she had a head start on him, Deeks still followed Kensi close behind. In a sprint she was the faster runner, but for a longer marathon Deeks could easily outrun her. Not a fact she liked to admit.
So after a few minutes they were neck and neck when their suspect turned a corner away from the direction they knew Sam and Callen would appear, forcing them to divide up again. With a quick glance at her partner and with his answering nod Kensi veered to the left while Deeks went right.
A quick rounding of the next corner and Kensi realized she wasn't going to catch up to the suspect in time, which worked out well when Sam and Callen screeched to a halt in Sam's car in front of the man and made the arrest. Kensi came to an abrupt stop by the two senior agents, breathing hard and resting her hands on her knees.
"Where's Deeks?" Callen asked as Sam handcuffed their suspect and pushed him into the backseat of the car. Kensi reached into her back pocket, fishing out her phone and intending to call her partner when they all heard the loud squeal of tires, the sound of a messy vehicle collision and a woman screaming a few blocks away.
Kensi froze; somehow innately knowing something had happened to Deeks. Sam's eyes caught with hers and she saw the sudden concern mirrored on his face. Still holding out hope, she spun and took off from a dead stop, dialing his phone even as she ran in the direction of the sounds. When he didn't answer she felt her heart plummet down to her feet, which pounded on the pavement in time with her rapid breathing. There was no way he wouldn't answer when she called during a chase. Not unless he couldn't.
By the time she arrived at the scene of the accident chaos surrounded everything. It was worse than she'd thought with a semi turned on its side and three cars crumpled and piled together at almost comically destroyed angles. Kensi surveyed the scene, looking for any sign of Deeks. She could always pick him out in a crowd, his height, disheveled hair and the way he walked as familiar to her as the back of her hand.
Swallowing nervously when she didn't see him, Kensi's gaze locked onto a woman standing to the side who looked shaken up. Possibly an eyewitness.
Flashing her badge she approached the woman.
"Federal agent. Did you see what happened here?"
The woman nodded quickly, her eyes worried as they glanced from the wreckage to Kensi.
"There was a man running down the street. The truck ran the red light and the man managed to dodge being hit. But then that car turned in front of him to avoid the truck, the car behind rear ended the truck and trying to stop the semi turned over."
"What happened to the man?"
"I think he's in the wreckage somewhere."
Kensi nodded numbly, somehow managing to thank the woman and turn back towards the car wreck. She could hear the sounds of paramedics and rescue personnel a few blocks away and Kensi knew the second they were on sight she'd never get anywhere near the wreckage. Bystanders were helping the drivers and passengers from the vehicles and she saw no help was needed there. Besides, her partner needed her more right then. Striding purposefully towards the tangled metal she climbed onto the hood of a car, carefully stepping over the broken windshield and onto the dented roof. She was making her way towards the center of the wreck when she heard Callen's voice.
"Kensi, what the hell are you doing?"
"Deeks is in there, Callen!"
It was the only answer she spared him as she dropped down into a space between the cars, crouching low and looking around. She heard Callen and Sam calling her but ignored them as she looked around, her breath catching as she caught sight of a hand, a left hand that wore Deeks' watch, laying flat on the ground, palm up.
Laying flat on her stomach she managed to crawl through the tight space, scrapping up her hands and ruining her shirt and jacket along the way. But in the end she was able to pull herself towards Deeks, finding him wedged between the truck and another car. A quick glance over his unconscious body told her that miraculously he wasn't pinned down by the wreckage, just trapped underneath it. She carefully positioned herself around his head and that was where she found his injury, the entire left side of his head bloody and scrapped up.
Kensi struggled out of her jacket and she pressed it against his head, watching with worry as his blood seeped into the canvas fabric. She applied more pressure and was rewarded with a low groan of pain from her partner. It was a welcome and worrisome sound.
"Kensi . . ."
He hadn't opened his eyes but her name on his lips reassured her. Breathing a sigh of relief, she laid a hand flat on Deeks' chest, keeping him against the ground.
"I'm here, Deeks. Lay still. We're going to have to sit tight until the firemen can get us out."
Despite her words Deeks shook his head as if to clear his mind and his eyes opened slowly, confusion clouding his deep blue eyes until they rested on Kensi, then swiveled around to take in the twisted metal all around them.
"How did you get in here with me? You were down the street when—"
"Deeks, can you feel your legs, your toes? And your arms and hands, fingers? Try wiggling them if you can."
Kensi tried to distract Deeks, knowing he wouldn't be pleased that she'd crawled into a four-car pileup just to come to his rescue. Her strategy worked and Deeks went through the motions of testing out his limbs and feeling for pain. After several minutes she concluded the only place where he seemed to be injured was his head.
The sounds of the rescue personnel working to move the wreckage away from them almost drowned out the ringing of her phone but somehow Kensi managed to twist and pull the phone from her pocket, knowing without looking as she answered it that Callen was on the other end of the line.
"I've got Deeks, Callen. Other than a head injury he seems fine."
"What the hell were you thinking, Kensi? You could have gotten hurt climbing in there. And it isn't exactly the safest place to be right now."
"I was thinking my partner might be hurt and I needed to get to him. And good thing I did, he's got a head wound that's already bled through my jacket."
The silence on the phone told her that Callen was still upset with her, but now also worried about Deeks.
"We'll discuss this later. In the meantime, sit tight. The firemen are starting to lift away the wreck so they should get to you soon."
Kensi hung up the phone, turning back to Deeks and finding him watching her thoughtfully. Feeling a little uncomfortable under his scrutiny, she shrugged.
"So you climbed into multiple car wreck just to make sure I was okay?"
"Don't make a big deal out of this, Deeks."
Her tone held a note of warning in it but as usual Deeks ignored that. And she couldn't help being relieved at the smile that tugged at his mouth as he looked at her.
"You just couldn't live without me."
Kensi had to tamp down her laughter at his tone, so confident with himself. It was a game they played, him being as funny and charming as he naturally was, and her pretending not to be amused or charmed by him. So she rolled her eyes and fixed him with a put upon, long suffering look.
"I've invested a lot of time and energy in breaking you in, Deeks. I don't want to put all that effort into a new partner."
When he just laughed softly and didn't offer a quick retort, especially at the opening she'd given him about breaking him in, she glanced down at his face, noticing with worry that he seemed very pale and he'd closed his eyes. She shook his shoulder roughly.
"Hey, Deeks, you need to stay awake. They'll get us out of here soon, but you need to stay awake with me for now."
Deeks opened his eyes, his gaze latching on to hers, though she saw the cloud of disorientation settling in the clear blue depths. She almost shouted in relief when she felt the car behind them being pulled away and then suddenly there were hands picking up and lifting her away from Deeks. His expression turned even more confused and worried and Kensi tried to pull away from the arms that held her, keeping her eyes locked on Deeks.
"No, I'm fine! Take care of him, let me go!"
Finally, either because she was struggling too much or because they realized she was uninjured, the firemen who'd lifted her out let her free. She tried to push forward back to Deeks but he was surrounded as paramedics assessed him and took his vitals before they decided if they could move him. Kensi felt like screaming in frustration and she whirled around when a heavy hand fell on her shoulder.
And when she met Sam's calm and steady gaze Kensi felt the inexplicable urge to cry from relief. Recognizing her unsteady state, so unlike her, Sam slung a comforting arm around her shoulders as they both turned back to the activity around the wreck and Deeks. Kensi looked gratefully at Sam once before turning back to look at the wreck, unable to stop herself from chewing on her thumbnail with worry. Sam squeezed her shoulders with his arm, the heavy weight of him comforting her. The fact that it also held her back and away from interfering with the paramedics didn't escape her notice.
"It looks like he's going to be fine, Kensi. You know Deeks, his head's too hard to actually be injured."
Kensi nodded vigorously in an attempt not to cry and she nearly succeeded, though she did have to swipe at her eyes quickly, praying Sam hadn't noticed. If he did he didn't let on. That he gave her that small bit of pretend ignorance was something Kensi was grateful for.
Deeks had had some close calls in the last several months. And Kensi had often been concerned or worried for him. Though even she had noticed that her concern and worry had increased as she'd gotten to know him better. Where months ago, when they'd first become partners, she wouldn't have worried as much about Deeks being hurt, now his close calls caused an uncomfortable knotting of her stomach and a tight vise on her heart.
It was an unfamiliar feeling to her to be so uneasy about someone else's safety. She worried about Sam and Callen when they were injured. But it didn't make her react as irrationally as she wanted to and nearly did when Deeks was hurt. And truth be told, she really didn't know what that meant. And that thought was nearly as scary.
She was saved from having to think too much about the irrationality of her reaction when the paramedics moved Deeks to a stretcher and prepared him for transport in an ambulance. Moving quickly out from under Sam's arm she pushed through the paramedics, determined to ride with him to the hospital. Before she could even see him she heard him saying her name, his voice a little slurred but insistent.
And later, when Kensi had some time to herself she would think about what it did to her to hear him intently focused on her even when he was painfully disoriented. In the meantime she could try and ignore how her stomach flipped with worry and something close to awe. It had been a long time since anyone really needed her. And even if he would probably never admit it when he was sober and not suffering a head injury, Kensi knew he needed her then.
And so she shoved her way to his side, sliding her palm over to rest on his chest, trying to calm the slight struggling of his body. His eyes snapped open and instantly turned relieved as they settled on her. And his desperate movements quieted under her hand.
"I'm riding with him."
Her voice barred any argument and Kensi followed the gurney to the ambulance, only taking her hand away from touching him briefly as they loaded him in and she climbed inside to sit next to the gurney.
It wasn't the first time she'd ridden in the back of an ambulance. And it never failed to amaze her how even when ambulances turned on their sirens that inside it was a little like being in a sound proof room. The squawk of the dispatch radio was a distant murmur and Kensi easily blocked out the muffled sounds of traffic outside. The paramedic in the back with her and Deeks was efficiently taking vitals and inserting an I.V., as well as applying bandages where needed.
But Kensi kept her gaze on Deeks, finding herself unable to look away from his tired eyes. And when she saw him fighting the pain and fighting how exhausted he clearly was she felt the tears welling again and somehow managed to push them down and away. The last thing she wanted was for him to see her cry.
When they finally arrived at the hospital and Deeks was taken into an examination room Kensi quickly followed. It only took a few minutes for the paramedics to get him settled and transfer him over to the hospital's care and then they were gone. Almost immediately an ER doctor entered the curtained off area, glancing quickly at the paperwork the paramedics had left behind and then her eyes swept the room, taking in Kensi and then Deeks on the gurney.
"Looks like you sustained a pretty nasty head injury, Detective Deeks. How about we try to get you sitting up so I can get a closer look?"
Kensi hovered with worry at the side as a nurse came in to help the doctor with lowering the gurney rails and raising the back so Deeks could sit upright and turn towards the doctor. The doctor ran through a series of tests of his reflexes, checking his pupils and then carefully examining his neck and skull with her hands for obvious signs of fracture.
"What day is it, Detective Deeks?"
"Monday. November 14, 2011."
"Excellent. And your full name and birth date?"
"Martin Aaron Deeks. January 8, 1979."
"Good. And your friend here, what's her name?"
Kensi watched as Deeks eyes rested on her, again that warm smile that made her stomach flip gracing his face.
"Kensi Marie Blye."
Kensi smiled back at Deeks but then cast her worried eyes to the doctor who continued examining Deeks through her questions and then she began making notes on his chart, finally looking up at them. Kensi moved next to Deeks, resting her hip against the gurney.
"Truthfully you look okay. I'm going to have someone come in here and clean up that head injury and put in some stitches. You've got a concussion but I'm not too worried. And I think we'll do a quick CT scan and as long as that's clean you can head home, provided you have someone to stay with you at least for the afternoon and evening?"
Deeks frowned and opened his mouth but Kensi was quick to interject.
"Yes, I'll be with him."
The doctor nodded and then made a final note before leaving. Kensi watched her go, and then turned back to Deeks, giving him a pointed smile. She tried to ignore the examining look he was giving her. And a huge part of her was relieved when his expression relaxed to a teasing and confident look she knew all too well.
"You just can't bear to be parted from me, can you?"
Kensi sighed dramatically and crossed her arms over her chest.
"If you'd rather I'm sure I could convince Sam or Callen to take care of you. Then you'll really find out what tough love is all about."
The arrival of a nurse to clean and stitch his head injury saved Deeks from having to respond and Kensi sat down in a nearby chair resting her chin on her hand as she watched Deeks flirt good-naturedly with the nurse. She smiled softly to herself, thinking it was like he had a flirting switch he was incapable of turning off. Before she realized it, she felt the adrenaline beginning to fade from her system and her eyes began to droop.
Next thing Kensi knew, a gentle hand on her shoulder shook her awake and she stared into the eyes of a kind looking nurse.
Rubbing her eyes quickly Kensi scanned the area, immediately noticing that Deeks was gone. She stood quickly, glanced at her watch and was worried to see she'd fallen asleep for nearly an hour.
"They took your friend in for his CT scan. He should be back soon. But he mentioned you had some cuts on your hands that might need cleaning and bandaging?"
Kensi sighed in relief and then stared down at her hands, finally remembering the sting of the cuts. They were covered in dirt and grime from when she'd crawled under the cars. She hadn't realized Deeks even noticed.
Nodding slowly she allowed the nurse to clean the cuts, which looked much better once all the dirt was gone, and apply some ointment and bandages. The nurse was just finishing when another nurse wheeled Deeks back in, followed closely by the ER doctor, who was examining his chart.
Kensi was relieved to see that the color seemed to have returned to his face and his eyes looked clearer. The stitches on the side of his face were barely visible at his hairline though a few scratches covered his cheek and jaw. The doctor looked up and smiled at them both as she snapped the chart closed.
"Everything looks good, Detective Deeks. Let's get you discharged and on your way home. Some pain is going to be normal for a few days. But keep an eye on headaches, any loss of motor function or sensation, disorientation or severe pain."
Kensi saw Deeks nod lazily, as if this wasn't the first head injury he'd sustained. And before she realized what was happening, they were leaving the hospital, a nurse wheeling a very disgruntled Deeks out towards the curb as he insisted he could walk on his own. Just as she was about to hail a cab, Callen drove up in her Cadillac with Sam right behind him in his Challenger.
The two senior agents got out, Callen shooting Kensi another warning glance, which she managed not to grimace too strongly at. And out of the corner of her eye she noticed Deeks watching her so she tried to act as nonchalantly as possible. She knew Callen wasn't thrilled with her for hightailing it after Deeks. And Kensi didn't really have a good excuse so she decided to just ignore it for now. Callen was either feeling generous or didn't want to get into it with her right then because he merely tossed her the keys, then pointed at Deeks.
"On Hetty's orders you take him home and make sure he rests. Barring any further injuries we'll see you both in the morning. You can thank me and Sam for filling out the paperwork on this one."
Kensi smiled brightly and thanked them both, earning a put upon look from Sam for the paperwork load. And then Sam patted Callen on the shoulder and promised to buy the first round of drinks. Kensi watched the two senior agents get in Sam's car and drive away and then she turned to see that Deeks had already vacated the wheelchair and climbed into the passenger seat of the SUV. She exhaled in frustration, climbing in after him and shooting him a look of annoyance.
"What? You were taking too long."
She shook her head and started the car, turning them towards his side of town and away from an already tiring day.
And hours later, after getting Deeks settled at home, monitoring him for any signs of further or more serious injury, one pizza, two mundane action movies, and some ice cream later Kensi found herself still lingering at Deeks' apartment.
He was fine and she knew it. She could tell he was tired but he seemed loathe to end the evening, fighting to keep his eyes open as he sat next to her, Monty between them, on the couch. And she was reluctant, for reasons she couldn't or wouldn't name, to leave. But finally, when the night reached the point of edging on too late she stood, stretching her back and yawning.
And she didn't miss the slightly disappointed look that passed through Deeks' eyes, though she refused to think about it too much. Both his look and her immediate reaction of wanting to stay for a while longer. To stay for the night. Instead she gathered up her things and Deeks followed her to the door. There was a moment as they stood there that Kensi was sure he wanted to reach for her and a part of her wanted him to. He'd had a close call that day and she had the urge to hold him close, feel the warmth of his skin and the strong muscles of his back under her hands, just to reassure herself that he was okay. But there was another part of her, scared at what the might mean, that quickly backed away, calling off a hasty good night and retreating to her car.
Later when she was lying in bed unable to sleep she thought about what her reactions that day meant. And the only conclusion she was able to draw was that it still wasn't something she could think about, or wanted to think about. Besides, she reasoned, neither she nor Deeks was going anywhere. And some things were better left not discussed.