Maybe this Christmas
An NCIS: Los Angeles FanFiction
"Wow. Flannel pyjamas." Deeks quirked one eyebrow. "Pink flannel pyjamas. With Oreos on them?" He gave Kensi a curious look.
"They're pandas," Kensi said shortly.
"Of course they are." There was a certain familiar and rather smug smile on his face as he breezed past Kensi and went straight to her kitchen, which was in its normal state of chaos, with empty take-out boxes cluttering most of the counter space. The rest was covered with a fine assortment of dirty dishes.
She shut the door and dashed after him. "What are you doing here?" There was a decidedly tetchy tone to her voice, which was that of a woman who has been rudely awakened and is conscious that not only is she not exactly looking at her best, but also that her house looks as if a bomb has hit it. Or that it is inhabited by a teenager who is still going through the semi-feral stage and has not yet re-entered the human race.
"Making you breakfast. At least I was going to. Only you don't have any eggs." Deeks was peering into the refrigerator. "How come you don't have any eggs?" Kensi didn't seem to have much in the way of food, period. Other than half-full boxes of Chinese food. He tried not to look too closely at a cartoon of noodles that was so old it looked like it would soon be celebrating its birthday. Was it his imagination or was something in there moving? If there was any justice in the world, then Kensi's kitchen would be labelled a biological hazard zone and only people wearing barrier masks and protective breathing equipment would be allowed in.
"Maybe because I didn't buy any." Kensi pushed him to one side and shut the fridge door firmly before he could notice that the milk had gone off a couple of days ago and was well on the way to becoming yogurt. "What are you doing here, Deeks? It's Christmas morning."
"I know that," he said patiently. "I thought I'd cook you breakfast before we go in. As a treat." He smiled winningly at her.
"What do you mean 'go in'? Go in where?" Her patience was hanging by a thread; a very fine thread. One which might snap at any moment. Deeks was trying at the best of times, but first thing in the morning was definitely pushing it.
"Go in to work. I told Hetty I'd swing by and pick you up." Deeks shoved a pile of pizza boxes to one side and seated himself comfortably on the counter top, swinging his legs idly back and forth. "What are you doing here, anyway?"
"I live here." If there were prizes for being annoying, Deeks would be at the head of the queue.
"You said you were going away," Deeks reminded her. "And you were being very cagey about the location. So how come you're still here – and wearing these cute pj's? I always had you down as the sort of girl who'd wear a little satin number. You know the type – real short, with spaghetti straps?"
"I know your type," Kensi said darkly. "And I'm not that sort of girl."
"You could be."
"No, I couldn't be. I definitely couldn't be. Because I' not your sort of girl – I've got taste, just for a start. And don't tell me about how you could see me in something like that."
"Okay – I won't tell you."
"And don't bother thinking it either. You're not allowed to think things like that."
"It's a free country." Deeks let a slow smile creep across his face and watched with interest as Kensi clenched her hands into fists. "You said you were going away," he reminded her.
"I didn't go."
"I can see that. So come on – 'fess up. It's good for the soul, they say. Tell me all about it."
"So I like flannel pjs? It's not a crime, is it?"
Actually, Deeks thought, it probably was. Especially those ones. Where had she got them from? And why would any adult in their right mind buy them? Those pandas were halfway towards mutating into Oreo cookies – and not in a good way. And who the hell wore flannel pyjamas in LA? Didn't all normal people sleep in the nude?
"That's not what I mean, and you know that." He waggled his finger in front of her nose and Kensi had this sudden urge to bite it, very hard. Possibly hard enough to draw blood, only then she'd have to go by the hospital and get rabies shots.
"All I know is that I was asleep and then you woke me up. End of story."
"Come on – that's not the end. And it's certainly not the beginning. You said you were going away. And yet you're here. So what happened?"
"Nothing happened, alright? I just didn't go. I decided to stay home, that's all. I changed my mind. Like you said, it's a free country." Kensi glared at him. "You might be my partner, Deeks, but that doesn't give you any right to poke and pry into my private life. Understand?"
"Message received, loud and clear. Over and out." He jumped back down off the counter. "See you later."
Kensi looked at him in astonishment. "Where do you think you're going?"
"Into work." Deeks gave her a long and uncompromising look. "Like I said, Hetty called us in. So I'm going."
"Give me ten minutes and I'll be ready." Kensi pushed past him and dashed towards her bedroom.
"Merry Christmas, by the way," Deeks called.
Kensi set a new record for getting dressed, beating her all-time record by over a minute. The prospect of Deeks walking in was a powerful incentive for speed. She muttered under her breath the whole time. Did Deeks actively plan new ways of getting under her skin, or was he just naturally talented that way? Grabbing her toothbrush, Kensi scrubbed away at her teeth and tried not to look at the shelf where Deeks' Christmas present sat, mutely accusing her. Okay, so maybe she should have said something to him – only she hadn't. Maybe she should have got Deeks a present too – only she hadn't.
Damn the man. This was all his fault. He'd caught her at her worst, and seen how she didn't even have any cards up in her apartment, far less a tree. And then to go poking around in her fridge like that – like he owned the place, or something. Who did Deeks think he was? Just because her was her partner, that didn't give him any rights to go prying in to her life – her private life.
Kensi had stoked her inner fire of righteous indignation up to white hot levels by the time she was ready and stormed out of the room, ready to give him hell. So this was the season of peace on earth and goodwill to all men? So what. Deeks had forfeited all rights the moment he'd invaded her privacy.
The living room was empty. Surely even Deeks would have more tact than to start clearing up the mess in her kitchen? She went to check, just to be sure, even though the silence was deafening.
"Deeks? Get your butt out here. Now." Kensi waited ten seconds, counting under her breath. "Deeks?"
Great. First he barged in here, and then he sauntered off. What was it with Deeks? Was he deliberately trying to get her riled up? He'd be sitting out there in the car, listening to some awful music, and wearing that patient, long-suffering expression - the one he knew really annoyed her. Only he wasn't. Deeks' car was nowhere to be seen.
The Mission was virtually deserted: Kensi could tell that just from the near-empty status of the parking lot. It made sense, given that it was Christmas Day and NCIS was running on a skeleton staff. They were waiting for her in Ops – Hetty, Eric and Nell. And Deeks, of course. That went without saying.
"How nice of you to join us, Ms Blye." Hetty could always manage to instill a note of reproach into even the most innocuous sounding statement.
"I thought Deeks was waiting for me." Kensi went over to stand beside him, but was careful to keep enough distance between them so that she wouldn't be tempted to thump him. That could wait until later – when there weren't any witnesses.
"I thought you wanted me to leave you well enough alone," Deeks countered blandly. He'd clearly been spending way too much time with Hetty for comfort.
"I was supposed to be on leave. And I said I was going away." Kensi looked at Hetty, wanting an explanation.
"And yet you're still here." It was said in an undertone and Kensi was pretty sure Deeks didn't move his lips.
"The GPS on your phone indicated you were at home. So I took the liberty of asking Mr Deeks to drop by to ascertain the situation."
"I might have left it behind," Kensi prevaricated.
"And yet you didn't." Deeks had that innocent expression on his face now: the wide-eyed one that never fooled Kensi for a second, because it always meant he was up to something.
"Where are Sam and Callen?" Kensi said, changing the subject and looking around, as if she expected to see them hiding under the table.
"Mr Hanna is at home with his family. And Mr Callen is with him."
"How come we're here and they get to stay at home?" Kensi was just about ready to fight with her own shadow.
"Because I decided that they were surplus to requirements. We all have places we would rather be today. And people we would rather be with."
"Ain't that the truth." Kensi couldn't help it: the words just came out without thinking. There were some people she'd rather not be with, and at the very top of that list was one Marty Deeks.
Deeks gave her a hurt look. "I had places to be too. And afterwards, Monty and I were looking forward to a walk on the beach," he said, managing to sound noble and self-sacrificing. At the mention of his name, there was an answering bark.
"Don't tell me you brought Monty in?"
"Okay, I won't."
Kensi tried very hard to ignore the clicking of claws on the floor. "You brought a dog into work?" Only Deeks would do something like that.
"I couldn't leave him at home. What kind of person wants to spend Christmas all alone?"
"The kind of person who wears flannel pyjamas with Oreos on them?" Eric suggested slyly.
"One: they are pandas. Two: some people should learn when to keep their mouths shut. And three: Monty is not a person – he's a dog." There was something nudging at her thigh and Kensi just hoped it was Monty.
"You had to go and ruin everything, didn't you, Kensi? You know how sensitive Monty is. Next thing you'll be telling him there's no such thing as Santa Claus." Deeks bent down so that his face was next to the dog's. "Don't you listen to her – you're Daddy's boy, aren't you?"
"And an honorary member of the team," Hetty said.
There were times when Kensi wished she was part of another team: one where she didn't have an annoying partner and a dog who only listened to talk radio. This looked like it was shaping up to be the worst Christmas ever.