Author's Note: Long road trips over break allowed me to do a lot of writing, and this was one of the results. I am kind of nervous about it; I have never written a pairing story before. I also wanted to keep it in canon, which is hard with these two flirts. I hope it isn't too bad; I thought the idea was kind of cute. The only reason I rated it teen was because of some gunfire. Please review, if you like!
Disclaimer: I own nothing recognizable.
Dedication: This is for emmad96; as promised! Hope you like it, mate!
"Will you help me with this?" Deeks said in frustration, holding up his sleeve. "I can't get the buttons."
"Pre-wedding jitters?" Kensi smiled as she took his arm and started buttoning the pristine white shirt.
"Ha, ha. You know this isn't real, right?" Deeks said, laughing.
"I know that." Kensi shot him a little smile. "But this kind of operation is enough to make anyone nervous."
Deeks nodded. "Someone has been picking off Naval officers with high level security clearance…at their weddings. That's kind of sick."
"More than kind of. That just is. And I can't believe no one has any clues as to who it could be." Kensi said, shaking her head. "Here, gimme the other one."
Deeks surrendered his other sleeve and frowned. "I guess that is where we come in, right?"
"Right. This psycho wants to crash weddings, we give him one." Kensi nodded. "Eric backstopped you with a very impressive record and we put the wedding notice in every major newspaper on this side of the state. He'll show."
"And we'll catch him." Deeks said in satisfaction.
"Or her." Kensi said offhandedly.
"Or her." Deeks consented. Kensi stepped back. "There. You look halfway presentable."
Deeks shot her an offended look. "Halfway? I look very good in a tux, thank you very much."
Kensi didn't respond. "You have your vest on, right?"
"No, Kens, I'm going into an operation as bait to a sniper and I am not wearing a vest." He said in heavy sarcasm.
"Sorry. I guess I'm a little nervous too." Kensi admitted. "This guy-or girl-is five for five."
"Hey, it's okay." Deeks grinned. "We weren't involved before."
"True." Kensi smiled.
"Hey, why aren't you in your dress?" Deeks looked at his partner, who was still clad in jeans and tee shirt.
"Hetty is making a few more alterations so my vest won't show." Kensi said, looking out the window of the hotel room onto the garden below. "Our fake guests are arriving."
Deeks smiled as he joined his partner at the window. "I love weddings."
Kensi looked at him in surprise. "You do? I thought guys didn't like weddings."
"Well, I do. The flowers, the friends and family coming to celebrate, and the fact that two people are committing to spend the rest of their lives with someone they love. It's beautiful." Deeks said quietly.
Kensi was shocked. "Wow, Deeks; that was deep and heartfelt. That doesn't sound like you at all. I'm impressed-"
"And of course, the bridesmaids get seriously hammered, too." Deeks cut her off with a grin.
Kensi sighed. "Welcome back, partner."
"So, what would your dream wedding be like? You know. For real." Deeks asked suddenly, causing Kensi to pull back slightly.
"Ms. Blye, its bad luck for the groom to see his bride before the ceremony!" Hetty's reproving voice made the two agents turn before Kensi could answer.
"Hetty…this is just an operation." Kensi said patiently.
"I am well aware of that, Agent Blye; I was the one that had to approve the budget for this expenditure. But I can't help but feel we need all the luck we can get on this little adventure." Hetty said, waving her hands. "Come, come, we need to get you ready!"
Kensi nodded. "Yes, ma'am!" She shot a glance at Deeks then followed Hetty. Deeks shrugged his tux jacket on and looked at himself in the mirror.
"Yep. Looking good!" He said smugly as he placed the red carnation in his lapel.
"Watch it, Deeks. Don't want your nose growing before the ceremony. The bride might change her mind." Sam's voice made Deeks jump.
"Hey! Don't sneak up on me like that!" Deeks hissed as Sam plopped a box on the bed behind him.
"There's your gun and earpiece. Make sure they can't be seen." Sam still sounded amused. "We are go in one hour. You ready?"
"Born ready." Deeks grinned confidently. Sam just shook his head and left, chuckling.
"Just remember not to lock your knees. Wouldn't want you fainting at your own wedding."
"It's just an operation!" Deeks said sharply, but Sam had already left. "It's just an operation." He said quietly to himself as he put his earpiece in. "Just an operation."
One hour later, Deeks was standing by the alter, watching the crowd. Even though the only 'guests' were undercover agents from NCIS or LAPD, there was a definite tinge of excitement common at weddings. Callen stood right beside him as one of the groomsmen, and Nell had already taken her spot as Maid of Honor. Both were scanning the crowd and surrounding rooftops casually. Eric was in the corner of the garden disguised as a DJ, but his equipment, in fact, was a portable version of the Op center. Hetty was standing behind the alter, playing her part of presiding minister. All they were waiting on was the 'bride.'
Suddenly, Deeks realized the Wedding March was playing and everyone was on their feet. He looked at the aisle and felt the air rush from his lungs as he saw Kensi.
She was walking…no…floating down the grassy aisle in the most beautiful white dress Deeks had ever seen. She had opted not to have a veil, and her cascading dark hair was twisted in a style Deeks had never seen before. He blinked. "She is so beautiful." He whispered.
Hetty and Callen heard him despite his low tone and hid their smiles. Despite the tense air the operation had, it was still a beautiful scene.
Kensi blinked as she saw the image in front of her. Everything was perfect; Nell had worked hard to make the wedding seem as real as possible. She had even made sure everything was exactly what Kensi would have picked if the wedding was real, down to the red flowers everyone was wearing and the fact it was a garden wedding. And Deeks…he looked almost as proud and nervous as if this was real. He was a better actor then she gave him credit for. Although the nervousness wasn't hard to fake; there was a crazy gunman hanging around somewhere aiming right for him. If their quarry was here and kept with his MO, he would shoot at Deeks right before he could say 'I do.' Her hand tightened on Sam's arm without her meaning to.
"You good?" Sam asked in a low voice that only she could hear, not missing a beat but slowing down imperceptibly.
"I'm good. Just hoping everything goes okay." Kensi whispered back.
"We got your back. Don't worry." He said as they reached the end of the aisle.
"Who gives this woman to be wed to this man?" Hetty asked, as in character as an award winning actress.
"Her friends and family." Sam answered. Kensi felt a pang in her chest, knowing her father would never be the one to say 'Her mother and I.' But as far as stand-ins go, Sam was doing a good job. She took her place by the alter and tried not to look at the crowd. That's what Nell, Callen, Sam and Eric were for. Her job was to be a bride and convince their prey this was real.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of this man, and this woman, in Holy Matrimony-" Kensi tuned Hetty out at that point, allowing her eyes to scan the rooftops behind Deeks's head. She could tell from his eyes Deeks was doing the same behind her head. Their eyes kept meeting, and Kensi kept seeing different emotions in his eyes.
'Do you, Lieutenant Pike, take this woman as your lawfully wedded wife, to love, honor, and cherish, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, forsaking all others as long as you both shall live?" There was a note of urgency in Hetty's voice. If the Wedding Crasher was going to make a move, it would be…
"I-" Deeks was cut off as a sharp report of gunfire split the air.
Because it was expected, no screams rang out, just agents grabbing their guns and waiting for Eric to tell them where to go.
"He's on the patio! He's behind the wall over there!" Eric waved excitedly at the low stone wall that ran around the garden. "I got him on camera!"
Immediately everyone ran where Eric indicated. Sam and Callen took off in the other direction then everyone else, cutting off all possible routes of escape. What no one expected was for the Wedding Crasher to hop the stone wall. The dark clothed man ran toward the alter, raising his gun and aiming it right at Kensi's unprotected head.
"No! Kensi!" Deeks yelled suddenly. Something crashed into her, knocking her backwards to the ground. She heard another gunshot ring out, and then shouts and two more gunshots.
"Deeks? Deeks!" She struggled to sit up and saw her partner lying motionless beside her. "Deeks!" She screamed, turning him over. He was wearing a vest, he couldn't have been shot. "Marty, answer me! Deeks!"
As she touched his head, her hand came away bloody. Something broke inside her and she became aware she was screaming.
"Kensi, calm down." Sam came from nowhere, kneeling beside her. "I saw Deeks hit his head on the wall behind you when he tackled you. I need you to breathe for me, okay?" He grabbed her shoulders and looked into her eyes calmly. "I need you to calm down. For Deeks."
Kensi struggled to take a breath and finally got her lungs to cooperate. "He…he wasn't shot?"
"No, Kensi. He hit his head. Eric already has an ambulance on their way, but Deeks should come around in a few minutes. He just knocked himself out." Sam was the voice of rationality.
"Did you…did we get him?" Kensi asked, becoming aware of the mission again.
"Callen got him. Put two in his chest. He won't be able to tell us anything, I'm afraid. But we got him."
"Sam, the ambulance is here." Nell's voice said from somewhere over Kensi's head, and the agent got a handle on herself. She stood and faced her friend. Nell smiled slightly at her. "Deeks is going to be okay, Kensi."
Kensi nodded slowly. Of course he would be. He was Deeks.
She was still telling herself that when she was sitting next to his hospital bed. Deeks still had not woken up, and the doctors were concerned. They didn't even want Kensi sitting with him, but she told them Deeks needed to be under protection until they were sure they had caught the Wedding Crasher. It was a slight fib, but they accepted it.
She watched her partner anxiously, and finally started talking to break the stifling silence.
"You know, the doctors think you have a pretty bad concussion. They gave you a cat scan and they don't see any internal bleeding. That's a good thing. I told them not to worry; with your hard head you'll be fine. But they are still concerned."
She watched his face, but there was no change. The seconds dragged on.
"You still owe me five bucks for coffee. Don't think this gets you out of it."
No response, of course.
Kensi swallowed, hating the clock behind her and its loud ticking.
"You know, Deeks, you asked me what my dream wedding would be like. I never answered you." She leaned forward. "I kind of wish I had. I guess I will now. I've been…kind of imagining it ever since I was a little girl. Of course, things changed as I got older, like the people. But some things stayed the same. It would be a lot like the one today. The colors…the garden. Hetty would be my minister. She really is ordained, you know. She can perform legal weddings."
"Anyway. Nell would be my Maid of Honor, probably. Although I'd give her a much prettier dress then the one Hetty approved. She doesn't look her best in red…maybe silver. And I would have Eric as my DJ, of course. He has some seriously good equipment, remember last year's holiday party?"
No change, but Kensi didn't stop.
"Of course you do; you mixed up the alcoholic and nonalcoholic egg nog and wound up singing 'Jingle Bell Rock' with a fake German accent while marching around the bullpen. Eric was kind of offended and posted the video online, remember?"
She laughed at her own story, a little sadly.
"I think I would have Sam give me away. He did a good job today; and I think my dad would have liked him." Kensi continued quietly. Trying to cheer herself up, she forged ahead.
"Of course, some things would be different. I would not be wearing a bullet-proof vest and my guests wouldn't all be undercover agents…and my groom wouldn't be getting shot at before he can finish his vows." She laughed slightly.
"And as for Callen being Best Man…that would be up to the groom, of course…" Kensi trailed off. "But I think my groom probably would pick him anyway."
She reached over and laid her hand on Deeks's. "And who would my groom be, in my dream wedding?"
There was a long moment before Kensi whispered. "The groom has changed a lot over the years. When I was a teenager it was Leonardo DiCaprio. Like every other girl in my class."
She laughed at the memory.
"Then it was Jack."
She paused as a pang of pain shot through her. After a moment she continued. "But for a little while now…it's been you. Against my better judgment…against my mind. I keep trying to talk myself out of it, but I…love you. All you'd have to do is ask."
She felt strange admitting that out loud, but she couldn't help it. She sighed, tightening her hand on his.
"You know, they found the bullet from where that psycho shot at me. It was right where my head would have been, if you hadn't tackled me." She said quietly. "You saved my life."
"Glad I could be of service." Deeks said quietly, teeth slightly clenched.
"Deeks! You're awake!" Kensi gasped, gripping his hand.
"Yeah. Unfortunately." Deeks said, closing his eyes in pain. "Head hurts."
"Nurse!" Kensi yelled, before realizing something. "Wait…how long have you been awake?"
"Just now, Kens. Why?" Deeks frowned.
"No reason." Kensi said quickly as a nurse came in.
As the nurse prepped Deeks for more tests, he watched his partner. She seemed tense about something.
"Kens, you okay? Did we get him?" He frowned.
She seemed to relax. "Yeah, we got him."
"You know, you still have to tell me what your dream wedding would be like." Deeks commented.
Kensi looked stunned for a second, then grinned. "I'll do that someday."
He didn't hear me. Kensi thought. She wasn't sure if that made her relieved or disappointed.
As the nurse wheeled Deeks away, Kensi didn't see the smile that flittered across his face.
Good to know all I have to do is ask. He thought. Cause I might be crazy enough to do that someday.