You're Still The One I Want
An NCIS: Los Angeles Fanfiction
A sequel to I'm Not In Love
"I don't want to leave." Kensi looked round the apartment, which looked strangely empty and bare. The few remaining possessions were packed up in boxes and neatly labelled. The furniture was already gone and without the familiar accoutrements of daily like the place looked strangely unfamiliar. Still, she felt like she was giving up and abandoning the place that had meant so much.
"You've got to let go," Nell said soothingly. "It's only an apartment."
"It used to be home." She looked at the spaces on the walls where the pictures used to hang, large squares of darker paint that showed where the sunlight had faded the surrounding areas of paintwork. "It used to be our home," she added for emphasis.
"I know. I remember the day you and Deeks moved in here."
"Me too." Despite herself, she smiled at the memory. "We were so happy. It was our first home together. Oh Nell, this is so hard." Kensi's voice broke slightly, despite her best efforts to keep her emotions under control. There were too many memories here, too many reminders of the life they'd shared together, the life she was now leaving behind. It was impossible not feel sad at leaving, even if it was time. She just wasn't sure it was the right time. Maybe she could have stayed here a bit longer? Maybe it wasn't too late?
"I know." Looping her arm through the older woman's, Nell led her gently out of the apartment and shut the door behind them. "It's time to go, Kensi, you know that. It's time to move on."
"I guess so." She knew there was no turning back, that this really was the final goodbye, but it was affecting Kensi more than she had thought possible. Who would have thought a few rooms could mean so much? They walked down the stairs in silence and when they exited the building, Kensi turned to look back at the roof terrace. "Do you remember that first night? You all came over and we ended up sitting up there on the terrace and drinking wine?"
"I remember. And Sam had brought one of those sky lanterns and we lit it and watched it sail across the sky until it was just a tiny bright dot in the darkness." It seemed like only yesterday, and yet three years had passed. Where had all the time gone? It didn't seem possible, until you thought of everything that had happened. "Don't be sad, Kensi," Nell pleaded. "Just think about all the good times you had here. And all the good times you're going to have."
"I don't want this to end," Kensi confessed, and Nell saw that her eyes were bright with unshod tears. "I wanted it to last forever. And I thought it would." She stood on the sidewalk and looked completely desolate.
Nell saw a familiar car coming down the street and waved frantically. "Come on. It's time," she said and gave Kensi's hand a little squeeze, noticing how cold it was and how strangely empty it felt without the familiar rings. When she looked down, she could see the bands of pale skin on Kensi's ring finger, standing out stark against her tanned skin. "The guys just have to get those last few boxes down and then we'll get going. Okay?" She shook her head slightly as Sam and Callen drew up beside them and silent tears began to trickle down Kensi's face.
"No going back." Sam leapt out of the car and took hold of her elbows. "You hear me, Kensi?" He bent down slightly and stared into her eyes. "It's time to go. You know that."
Kensi just nodded, being incapable of words and Sam rushed off inside, figuring that the kindest thing to do was to make this final parting as swift and painless as he could.
"It'll be okay," Callen added. "Everything will be just fine. You can do this, Kensi."
Kensi wished she could believe them. Numbly, she let Nell usher her into the back seat of the car, aware that she was being treated as delicately as if she was made out of porcelain and then sat there, gazing at the street that held so many memories. How many times had she and Marty walked along there, strolling hand in hand, sipping coffee, looking in shop windows, arguing about whose turn it was to drive, or to do the laundry? They argued a lot, but then they always had. He would tease and she would dig her heels in and refuse to be swayed until it was almost too late. That was how it had always been, right from the start: he would wheedle and charm and she would resist with all her might and main, until resistance suddenly melted away. Marty had always had that effect on her, no matter how Kensi might try to deny it. Just one smile from him and the dark clouds would dissipate.
"That night – that first night in the apartment? We made love just before you guys arrived. And I'd wanted everything to be perfect for the party, only we lost track of time and were scrambling into our clothes when the bell rang, and the place was still in a mess. Complete and utter chaos. Do you remember that?"
"I remember you had a whole wad of balled up packing tape stuck to the seat of your jeans," Nell said with a giggle. "And Deeks' fly was down. But apart from that, and the fact you both had stars in your eyes and that none of the boxes were unpacked, nobody would have guessed you'd been otherwise occupied. Not for a second."
"We were kind of obvious, weren't we?" Kensi found she was able to smile through the tears. "And it was a really good night, despite everything." They had sat out for hours, drinking too much and at one point Hetty had stood up and recited all the verses of The Little Yellow God entirely from memory and complete with all the actions. And then Sam had started singing. Part of her had not wanted the evening to end, and the other part was desperate to see them leave so that she and Marty could make love all over again. When they were finally alone, they'd dragged quilts out onto the terrace and stayed out under the stars all evening and then watched the sun rise, burnishing their naked bodies with its early rays. Life had seemed so perfect then.
"It was a great night. One of the all-time all-timers. And we're going to have more great nights. Just you wait and see." Nell watched as Callen and Sam finally exited the building, laden down with the last remnants of the life Kensi and Marty had once spent together in the building and loaded them into the trunk of the car.
"Are you ready?" Callen looked keenly at her and Kensi managed to nod.
"I've said my goodbyes." Still, despite the brave words, she turned her head as the car moved off along the street and watched until the building had disappeared from sight. That part of her life was over and a new chapter was beginning. Kensi couldn't remember when she'd ever been so scared in her whole life.
"It'll be fine," Nell said again.
"Who are you kidding?" Sam turned around and grinned at them. "It's going to be amazing."
"That's easy for you to say. I'm scared. What if I can't do this?" Kensi rung her hands desperately.
"Of course you can. You're Kensi – you can do anything."
"Maybe the old Kensi could. I can't." She stared out of the window, watching as the streets rolled past.
"Sure you can. And you know we'll all help out." Callen saw the street sign ahead. "Okay, we're nearly here now. Third house on the left?"
"Fourth," Kensi said automatically. She could see the moving van was already there, parked in the street and the men were standing idly by, just waiting to be let in. "Can you manage to get into the driveway, Callen? They've not left you much room."
"How about you leave the driving up to me?" he suggested kindly.
"So I'm a worrier. I'm entitled to be worried." Despite herself, Kensi could feel a bubble of excitement starting to form in her stomach as the car made it around the van with barely an inch to spare and drew to a halt."
"At last! I thought you'd never get here!" A set of keys was dangled triumphantly beside her window and Kensi reached down to open the door, but she was beaten to it. "How about you let me take care of that?" Marty opened the door with a flourish and then held out his hand invitingly. "Welcome to our new home."
Laughing, Kensi let him help her out of the car and then stood admiring the house. "I can't believe it's really ours."
"It's really ours and we've got the mortgage to prove it. Here, you hold onto these for me." He thrust the keyring into her hand and then swung her up into his arms.
"Marty! Put me down. I'm far too heavy."
"You've never been more beautiful, Kensi." He bent down so that she could open the door and then strode into the hall. "Welcome home, Mrs Deeks - mother of my unborn child and the most beautiful woman I know."
"Will you ever stop talking nonsense?" Kensi turned her face up and kissed him.
"Probably not. He eased her down onto the ground as gracefully as possible, given that his back was killing him. Kensi at eight months pregnant was significantly heavier that the Kensi who used to trot around in size two jeans. Not that he would ever tell her that, of course. Not if he wanted to stay married, that was.
"Good. Because pregnant ladies need to be told they are gorgeous, at least ten times a day. Especially when they feel the same size as a refrigerator."
"You really are gorgeous," Marty said, with total sincerity. "You get more gorgeous every day." His hand caressed her belly lovingly and with that sense of wonder that made her feel like she had all the secrets of the world contained within her.
Kensi kissed him again. When he said things like that, and looked at her like that, she could almost believe him. If it wasn't for the fact that her hands were so swollen she'd had to take of her wedding and engagement rings. "Welcome home, Mr Deeks. From me and our unborn child."
"Densi," Marty said hopefully.
"What if we have a girl?"
"Densi works just as well for a girl as well as a boy. It's a great name for a surfer of either sex." It was a familiar refrain and one they'd been having for more than six months without resolution. Marty kissed her again, just because she looked so beautiful and because he loved her so much, even if she had lousy taste when it came to names. "You weren't too upset at leaving the old apartment?"
"Not really. It was just that there were a whole lot of memories, you know?"
"I know." It was the place they returned to from Prague as newlyweds, the place where the baby had been conceived. So much of their history was tied up in the apartment and it would always be special. Only now it was time to move on and embrace the future. "But we're going to make a whole lot more memories now, okay?"
"Okay." Kensi walked into the living room – their living room - looked around and smiled. "So how about you go get the men started unloading the van, and I'll sit on the window seat and look attractive?"
"That sounds like a deal." Marty walked down the path to where the others were standing beside the car. "She cried, didn't she?" he asked with an air of resignation.
"She cries a lot. Either because she's happy or because she's sad. Or just because."
"Is she crying now?" Callen looked nervously at the house and waved tentatively at Kensi, who was looking a bit anxious as the men started to unload the furniture. He didn't do tears. He especially didn't do Kensi in tears. It was like a contradiction in terms.
"Not yet." Marty gave a strangled yelp as Nell poked him in the ribs.
"You should have been there when she said goodbye to the apartment. She was really upset." Nell glared at him and, not for the first time, Marty thought she was getting incredibly like Hetty. It was a truly terrifying thought that there might be two of them. One was bad enough. Tow was positively untenable.
"Said goodbye for the umpteenth time, you mean? Kensi's been saying goodbye every day for the last month. She even said good bye to the recycling bins when I put them out for the last time. Anyway, I had to go collect the keys." God, that was convenient. I'm all cried out. And if she cries much more she'll get dehydrated and have to go into hospital and be put on a drip.
"Excuses, excuses." Nell stalked off into the house.
"Don't even bother going there," Callen said kindly. "Because you're never going to win. Not with women."
They looked at him in astonishment. "Exactly when did you become such an expert, Mr "Six Week Maximum Relationship"?" Sam asked, when he finally recovered his breath.
"Through bitter experience. Lots of experience. You want to tell me I'm wrong?"
"The tragic thing is that he's right, Sam. Even if he doesn't know what he's talking about."
"Just you wait, G. Because I really pity the woman who gets landed with you."
He and Marty went over to the van and thus completely missed the look that came over Callen's face: part wistfulness and part hope, but mixed with a whole heap of expectation and excitement. What they don't know won't hurt them. And I don't want them to know. Not yet. Not until I'm certain.
Three Years Earlier.
"You're not taking that chair. No way. Not to our new apartment."
"Why not? It's almost brand new – I've only had it a few months." Marty looked at the leather recliner and wondered why Kensi hated it so much.
"Because it's black leather, it's got a built-in beer cooler and it vibrates – that's why. What other reasons do I need?"
"I've told you – it's a massage option."
"It's a vibrating porn chair, that's what it is. It's the sort of chair that men who watch porn sit in. And I'm not having it in my home.
"It's my home too and I like it. And it's coming."
"So you can sit in it and watch porn?" Kensi looked at him. "Marty – please tell me you don't like porn?"
"I'm a man – of course I like porn. It's part of the job description." He watched as Kensi's face fell and her hand started to rise up menacingly. "Joking. I was joking – okay?" With any luck she wouldn't see that he had his fingers crossed behind his back.
"You better have been," she said darkly. "It's still not coming though."
"How about if I wipe it down with disinfectant?" Marty asked hopefully.
Back by popular demand - and a nice long installment to get started with.
I hope this lives up to expectations...
As always - I'd love to hear your reactions to this story.