That's Just the Way It Is
An NCIS: Los Angeles Story
A companion-piece to my story: The Secret Journal of Kensi Blye.
Because it only seems fair that we learn how Deeks feels about things. And right now, he's not feeling too good.
Any day that starts with the sun shining and a wicked swell on the ocean is a good day in my book. And when you get both of these, plus you wake up with a gorgeous woman in your bed, one who makes your toes curl up just by looking at her, well that's possibly the recipe for the best day ever. Sun, sea, surfing and sex – not necessarily in that order – who could ask for anything more? It was just a pity that at least two of the above were currently on the forbidden-list, as laid down by none other Henrietta Lang, who is more commonly known to her minions as Hetty. I am the most recent and therefore least significant of said minions and even though Kensi swears blind that Hetty has a soft spot for me, I'm not about to chance anything. Kensi is my partner, and she's also the beautiful woman sleeping in my spare bed. So this was not only not the best day of my life, it was so far removed from it as to be untrue.
Okay, I've started in the middle and this is probably confusing. That's kind of the story of my life. My name is Marty Deeks, Detective Marty Deeks actually, of none-other than the LAPD, although I'm currently on semi-permanent secondment, working as the liaison to the NCIS Office of Special Projects here in LA. OSP, as it is snappily known (have you ever met a federal agency that did not rejoice in acronyms?) is run by Hetty, who is like a cross between some miniature ninja and one of those eastern deities that is all-seeing, all-powerful and just a little bit warped. I think of her as 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'. And I try not to think about Kensi too much, because that's the quick way to go mad, by thinking of all the things that Kensi is and then all the things she isn't. The first of these being that she isn't here in my bed with me. But we won't go there. I do wish she'd come here, come to me, though. Only I know that's not going to happen. That will never happen because Kensi is my partner. That's all she is and she makes it very clear that's all she ever will be.
Anyway, since the 'incident', Kensi and Hetty have launched into ultra-protective mode and are basically keeping me under 24-hour house arrest. That might be a slight exaggeration – I'm not actually under armed guard, or even protective custody: it just feels like I am. They've even managed to turn my dog over to their side. If I so much as look at the front door, Monty gives this low growl in his throat. My own dog has turned traitor on me.
Women. Why can't they believe you when you say you're fine? It's not as if I was really hurt after all. And even if I was a bit bashed up, I'm fine now. Or I will be, once this wound in my leg heals up a bit more. There is absolutely no need for Hetty and Kensi to make such a fuss, even if I was unconscious for about a day. Clearly I was tired and needed my sleep. They keep telling me how worried they were and what a fright I gave them. Newsflash: I didn't do it on purpose, okay? I didn't ask to get shot or to hit my head hard enough to get a pretty decent concussion. These things just happen, especially in our line of work. And anyway, if they were so all-fired worried, why were they both leaning over me when I woke up? That's enough to give anybody a heart-attack. And if Kensi was so worried, why did she immediately start eating my Jell-O? Most people lose their appetite when they're worried. But Kensi isn't most people. Kensi is… well, Kensi is amazing. If I had to choose just one word to describe Kensi, then I guess it would be 'amazing'. I don't think she knows just how incredible she is, or how incredible I think she is. It's probably safest that it stays that way.
So, here I am, staring out of the window of my apartment, knowing that Kensi is sleeping in my spare room and I'm going half-mad with boredom and frustration. Plus, we're nearly out of coffee, which is bringing this morning down to the category of 'really sucks big time'. Correction: I am nearly out of coffee. There is no 'we' – except when we're working a case together. There is no 'Kensi and Deeks' outside of work, even if I have heard people talk about us as 'Densi' when they think I can't hear. God help them if Kensi ever learns about that, because she will tear them limb from limb. She will do that slowly and with great relish. Kensi is quite scary when she goes into full-on attack mode. She is even more scary when she is acting as part-nurse, part watchdog. I'm scared of her. No – I'm scared for her, and that's the truth. I'm scared that one of these days she's going to get herself killed because she is so headstrong, so fearless, so utterly convinced she is bullet-proof. Kensi is one hell of a woman and she's an incredible partner. I've never worked with anyone quite like her, but that is probably because there is no-one quite like Kensi.
Getting shot sucks. It also hurts one hell of a lot. Take my word for it, and don't bother to find out on your own account. You'll thank me for that. Getting shot is also kind of messy. When I was finally released from the hospital, we drove past the crime scene and you could still see the stains on the sidewalk where I'd bled all over the place. Of course, it doesn't rain a whole lot here in LA, but you would have thought someone could at least have thrown a bucket of water over the evidence of my near-demise. It kind of gave me the creeps to see that bloodstain, if you really want to know. It was so big and for the first time I realized that things had been pretty bad. Maybe Kensi and Hetty had a point and there was actually a reason for them being so worried about me? Not that I would ever admit that, of course. I guess I must have gone kind of pale, because Hetty reached out and took hold of my hand.
"You're still here. And you will be fine."
When Hetty speaks in that low voice, full of absolute certainty, you have no choice but to believe her. She has what you might call a 'forceful personality'. She also knows just about everyone who is worth knowing (and I mean the really powerful people – the ones who actually run countries behind the scenes) and she's done everything, been everywhere and what's more she is still alive to tell the tale in a dozen different languages, so I guess I should believe her. For once, Kensi didn't say anything; she just kind of clenched her jaw and concentrated on driving. That was unusual, because Kensi usually likes to tell me what to do. You might call her bossy, but I wouldn't dare. So I just call her Kensi instead. Or 'Fern', if I really want to annoy her. Today I couldn't even summon up the energy to do that. I just wanted to lean my head back, close my eyes and wish for this whole journey to be over before the throbbing in my leg increased to the point where I couldn't stand it any longer without some really good pain pills, the ones that pretty much knock you out.
The thing is, it's not really safe to lose concentration or take your eyes off the road when Kensi's driving. I swear that Kensi probably learned how to drive on a video-game and she still hasn't quite grasped the fact that you don't have to be quite so aggressive when you're on real roads. Mind you, if you've ever suffered through the LA rush hour, Kensi's driving techniques actually seem quite tame by comparison. Except that today she was driving really carefully, almost cautiously.
So there we were in the car, me and Hetty sitting in the back seat, on account of the fact I need to keep my leg straight because of that brace, and Kensi driving like a normal person, rather than Hitler invading Poland. And they were telling me how I had to rest and take things easy. Now, if you've ever spent any time in hospital, you'll know that all that lying around makes you kind of exhausted. It's hard work being sick, you know? Not to mention the fact I'd obviously spilt at least a couple of pints of blood onto the sidewalk back there. Being sick really takes it out of you. So I was just wishing they'd drop me off at my apartment and that I could crawl into bed and sleep for a couple of days and just forget about everything that had happened: forget about all the pain, and the sheer terror of feeling that bullet hit me, falling down and thinking I was going to die, right up to the moment when I heard another shot and then Kensi was kneeling beside me, telling me I was going to be fine. I might even have believed her, all other evidence to the contrary, if only she hadn't ruined everything by telling me not to dare die on her. Of course, that was kind of a smart move on her part, because I've learned that you don't argue with Kensi when she's mad. And you certainly don't even think about disobeying her when she is not only mad, but crying. Mind you, I was kind of out of it at that point, so maybe I imagined the tears. That's the most likely explanation, isn't it?
It didn't matter what I wanted of course, seeing as how Kensi and Hetty had other plans. Now, those plans that concerned me, but of course I wasn't allowed any say in the matter. They had made up their minds and that was all there was to it. Now, it didn't help that I was too tired to put up much of a protest or that by the time I'd finally staggered up the last flight of stairs I was just about ready to drop down onto the floor in a quivering heap and weep from exhaustion, pain and sheer misery. Living in a fourth floor apartment means you have great views, but it totally sucks getting up there when you have one leg out of commission. Next time I move, I'm either getting a ground floor apartment or moving to somewhere with an elevator.
Monty knew something was up: I could tell that from the way he came up to me real quietly, with his ears back and his tail tucked between his legs. Monty looks kind of dejected at the best of time, but that day he just looked plain miserable.
"Your daddy's back home," Kensi said, and then pushed the door open a bit wider so that I could maneuver through with my crutches and Monty gave this sort of subdued whimper and then stuck his cold nose into my hand. I started to pet him and as I did so, I realised how much I'd missed him.
"Hey, Monty." I just stood there, and wondered how on earth I was going to walk one single step further without collapsing. My leg felt like it was on fire, my head hurt and the crutches were digging into my arm pits, with the result that I just stood there like some idiot. Monty just looked at me, and then sat down by my side, his tail wagging in a tentative manner, like he was trying to work out what was going on.
"I've been looking after him," Kensi continued and there was something about the way she said that and the pregnant pause that followed that made my heart sink, because I knew exactly what was coming next.
"And Ms Blye has kindly offered to stay for a few days and look after you," Hetty said in a suspiciously bright tone of voice. The words 'isn't that lovely?' hung in the air.
No. It wasn't lovely. It wasn't lovely at all. What it was nothing more than cruelty to dumb animals. Or even dumb Deeks's. And boy, was I dumb thinking I could change their minds. You'd have more luck getting George W Bush into MENSA. "You don't need to. I'm fine." I managed to shuffle forward a couple of steps. It was a less than impressive effort – even I could tell that. Not my finest hour, and that's the truth.
"You are not fine, Deeks," Kensi said in the kind of voice that means there is no further discussion to be had and the subject is closed. Excuse me? This is my life and I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. But I'm fine – or I will be. Once I've slept for a week and thrown back some of those pain pills. All I need is for someone to take Monty out for his walks.
"If you prefer, you could stay with Mr Hannah?" Hetty said smoothly. "It's just a pity that his daughter has mumps, but perhaps you wouldn't mind that?"
I had kind of been wondering where the big guy had been hiding out, seeing as how he's been conspicuous by his absence when it came to visiting me. Mumps. Now there's something you don't want to get. I've heard that it can make your junk swell up and have lasting consequences, if you get my drift. Right now I've got enough on my plate without adding anything else, thank you very much.
"I'm fine. I don't need anybody to look after me." I figure I've got to put up at least a token protest, but it is two against one, and when those two are strong, confident (make that indomitable) women and the one is this guy who can barely stand up, defeat is inevitable.
"Yes, you do. And the fact that you can't see that just shows how sick you still are." Kensi put her hands on her hips and glared at me. "You are not fine. You look like shit, Deeks. Now get that ass of yours into bed."
She's got a way with words, has Kensi. Even if her timing leaves a lot to be desired. Do you know how long I've been waiting to hear her say that? You've got to love Kensi's timing. If I didn't feel quite so crap, I might just burst out laughing. As it is, I feel more like weeping with frustration. Of all the times, Kensi has to pick right now – when Hetty is standing there watching us and I feel like a hen that's been left out in the rain? Do you know how many times I've thought about us getting together? Too many, and in far too much detail. Only right now I don't think I could do anything, even if I wanted to. That's when I know I'm kind of sick still – the fact that I can look at Kensi, feel her arm around her waist and hear her talking about helping me through to the bedroom and I'm not even thinking about sex. I think maybe I was hurt pretty badly if it's come to this. Either that or the bullet did more damage than they've told me about.
So, here's a quick recap: I've been shot, lost a lot of blood, hit my head so hard I was out for the count and had what they call a 'bad reaction' to the anaesthetic (translation: I threw up a lot and I still don't feel much like eating). Currently I've got one leg out of commission, thanks to a bullet that missed shattering my thigh bone by about half an inch, but did manage to nick an artery. Now, just to complete the picture of this circle of hell I call my life, I've got Hetty and Kensi bossing me about in my own home. My sex drive has disappeared completely and even my dog is looking confused. And that's just the way it is.
My name is Marty Deeks and it might be a beautiful day, but my life sucks, and that's a fact. Things can only get better, right?
Just for a change, I thought i'd start with maimed-Deeks.
Now, regular readers might be scratching their heads at that statement, as I have a slight reputation for being rather fond of maiming Deeks. I would just like to point out that I normally do not maim Deeks right at the start, therefore this constitutes a complete change. Nobody could ever accuse me of being predictable, could they?