A/N: Here's my post-ep for the phenomenal Blye's, K. I'm a more than a little rusty on these, but I think it serves as a decent enough coda. Thanks as always to my writing mate Jess. And thanks in advance for reading, and any kind words. They are deeply appreciated.

"There's so much life here

And so much pain, we forget

There's so much life

As morning comes

And it's real, the silence."


It's the pain that brings her to her senses, a sharp fiery bolt of surging through her. She inhales, wincing sharply as the breath catches in her chest, momentarily halted by the agony of her cracked rib. As she lies on the bed, eyes closed, trying to suck in air, she thinks about what her partner had said in the garage – had the bone broken, it'd have pierced her lung.

Everything would have turned out differently had that happened.

After a few seconds, when the pain changes from agonizing to just searing, she sits up in the bed she's in, momentarily confused and disorientated, unsure of where she is or how she got here. She looks around, takes in the flowery décor. And the almost compulsive neatness of it all. That's when she notice the other thing in the room – or perhaps more correctly, the other person. Off to the side, sitting in a wicker chair, sound asleep, is a woman that until yesterday, she hadn't seen in fifteen years.

Julia Feldman. AKA her previously estranged mother.

"Mom?" Kensi says softly, rising from the bed, noticing as she does so that she's still in the clothes she'd been wearing on the previous day. As she moves to her feet, she bites back on a soft groan that forces its way up through her. She's been hurt and wounded enough during her time as an NCIS agent enough to know that it's not the day of the injury that's the worst – it's the morning after.

After all the adrenaline is gone. After the pain has time to settle in.

Julia's eyes open slowly, but it takes not more than a second for the older woman to recognize the figure in front of her. She smiles, such affection and love in her eyes that it's almost blinding. "Kensi. Morning, baby."

"Morning, mom. Did you sleep there all night?"

Julia simply shrugs her shoulders. "I lost you for fifteen years. Can't blame me for not wanting to let you out of my sight last night."

"I'm sorry," Kensi says thickly. They probably should have had this conversation the previous evening, but she'd been too tired, too exhausted for any more deep emotion, and her mother had seemed to understand that. Instead, she'd pulled Kensi over to the couch, and simply wrapped her arms around her daughter and held her against her chest, talking to her about her father.

Kensi had felt so young in those moments, and for the first time in a long time, she hadn't minded a bit. When her mother had suggested – or rather, insisted in a gentle tone that permitted absolutely no actual discussion – that she stay over and sleep in the guest room, Kensi hadn't even bothered to put up a fight. She'd simply been too drained, too wiped out. And damned if sleep hadn't sounded good. That, and knowing what had been done to her apartment, knowing that there had been strange men in there going through her things, touching her belongings, well she'd been in no real hurry to get back there. Not yet anyway.

Sleep hadn't come quickly. For at least the first couple of hours, she'd tossed and turned, turning everything over in her mind. Everything the question she'd never have an answer for – could she have killed Clairmont? Would she have?

Unable to come to an answer on that, she'd finally allowed exhaustion to claim her. With almost violent force, it had pitching her forward into a dreamless and ultimately restless sleep. Apparently, some time during the night, her mother had come into the room, settled herself into the chair opposite the bed and simply watched over her. It's a terrifying visual for Kensi simply because it causes such a dramatic surge of emotion within her.

Now, hours later, with the sun just starting to rise up into the Los Angeles sky, here she is, gazing down at her mother, trying to figure out how she's supposed to even begin to make up for the time they've lost because of her.

Turns out Julia isn't nearly as worried about that as she is. "I'm the one who's sorry, baby. We should have – I should have – told you the truth. I should hav realized that you were always stronger than either of us ever knew." Pride shines in her eyes when she says this, and maybe even some moisture. With one of her hands, she reaches out and touches Kensi's arm, her touch gentle and astonishingly light. "You're about to tell me you need to leave, right?"

"I really don't want to."

"Then don't. Stay here and have breakfast with me."

"I want to, but…I should get back to my place."


"Because there's something back there that I don't want to deal with, and I have spent too much of the last fifteen years not dealing with things I should." She steels herself when she says this, drawing herself to her full height even though it hurts to do this. It's what her father would have expected of her. Face things head on, even the ones you don't want to.

She supposes that includes dealing with the loss of fifteen years of memories between a mother and a daughter, but somehow that feels different. Somehow, that feels like something even he would understand her wanting to take slow. Do it right. Fix the past and make everything good again.

For the sake of their lost family.

"You're too hard on yourself," Julie scolds gently.

"So I'm told."

"By Detective Deeks perhaps?"

Kensi's eyebrow lifts at that. "Deeks?"

"That's the name of your partner, right?"

"Yeah," she answers warily.

"He cares about you. A lot."

"I know."

"But you don't want to talk to me about him, right?" Julia tries to hide the sadness in her eyes at this, but isn't terribly successful at it. Distantly, she remembers being teased by Donnie about how he could read her like a book. He'd always said that she was terrible at hiding away her feelings and emotions. He'd told her that he'd loved that about her. It's a memory she holds deep within her, with all of the other memories of a man that she'd never wanted to walk away from.

Kensi reacts immediately, stepping towards her mother, hand stretched out. "No. No…God, I'm still screwing this up. Mom, no, I don't…it's not…it's just…" She shakes her head, frustrated. "It's just…Deeks…Deeks is complicated."



"I have a pretty good idea what complicated means."

"Well I'm glad one of us does."

"As cheesy as this sound, you'll figure it out when you're meant to."

"I hope so." After that, a few seconds of silence stretch out between them, both women deeply aware of how much still needs to be said between them.

Finally, Julia says softly, "Can we do dinner this week?"

"I'd like that."

Julia smiles at that, clearly relieved. There's a part of her that still doesn't quite believe that she's finally got Kensi back in her life. The other part of her, though, the more determined part of her, the Blye part of her that still exists, it damn well intends to make sure that she never loses her daughter again.

"Good." Then, with an impish smile. "You can bring the detective along if you'd like. He's kind of a cutie."

"Tell me he didn't flirt with you."

"No. I don't think I'm the Blye woman he's interested in."

Kensi coughs at that, pretends (badly) as if she didn't get the implication therein. "Well good, but do me a favor, okay? Please, don't ever call Deeks a cutie. Especially not to his face. He'll be insufferable for like…weeks afterwards."

"The good ones always are, my dear. Remind me to tell you about the first time I was stupid enough to tell your father how good looking he was."

"I will," Kensi answers. "I want to hear all of your stories."

"As many as you want, Kensi." She rises from the chair, leans forward and pulls her daughter into another hug. This one is exceedingly gentle as she's quite aware of how gingerly Kensi is holding herself. For the moment, though, it's enough just to hold Kensi.

It's a new beginning for them, and after all these years, that's enough for both of them.

The drive back to her place takes just over a half hour thanks to traffic. Not a big deal normally, but the agony of her cracked rib being crunched into the sitting position is enormous. That and her arm seems to whistle with pain anytime she moves it, the cut there (stitched up thanks to the paramedic who'd been called to the scene) feeling as though it's about to burst open at any moment.

The first thing she notices as she pulls into her driveway is the little Malibu parked there. It's covered in dirt, unwashed as always, a surfboard tied to the roof. "Deeks," she mutters to herself. She glances down at her watch, sees that it's just after eight in the morning. He should be out on the waves, not hanging around here waiting for her to get back. And yet, here he clearly is.

She gets out of her car and makes her way over to the Malibu, looking into the window, and expecting to see him dozing there. She's somewhat surprised to find the vehicle empty. Which means that he's…lurking around? She looks left and right, doesn't see him anywhere immediately about.

She frowns at that, then turns and heads towards the bungalow. She gets to the door, and on a hunch, turns the knob. The door swings open, confirming for her that her partner isn't outside wandering around, he's actually inside.

What he's doing inside of her place without her? That she has no idea about.

That is until she sees him curled up on the couch, sound asleep. The way he's laying, it seems as though he'd likely sat down for a moment, and then ended up dozing off. He doesn't look terribly comfortable. In fact, quite the opposite.

She's about to wake him up when her ears catch the sound of her dryer puffing away in the service porch. A quick glance around the bungalow, and she starts to see just how out of order things are. She'd come home expecting to find it absolutely thrashed thanks to Clairmont's goons.

What she finds is quite the opposite. The rooms have been cleaned and neatened, debris swept away and destruction cleared out.

There's only person she knows who would do something like this.


She turns then, makes her way over the couch. She allows herself a brief moment of observation, enough time to muse about how adorable a sleeper he is (there's something boyish about him when he's dozing), then quickly wipes that away, affixes an annoyed look on her face, and gives him a hard shake.

"Deeks, wake up."


"Wake up."

"Sally Mae?"


"Billy Jean?"


"Oh, it's you. Hey, good morning, Sunshine."

"Who are Sally Mae and Billy Jean?"

"Wouldn't you like to know?" he replies with a grin wide enough to let her know that he'd been awake and playing with her. For some reason or another, that just irritates her all the more.

"Not really. What the hell, Deeks?"

He blinks at that, surprised by the burst of emotion coming from her. For the life of him, he can't figure out why she could be angry at him. After all, he hadn't really done anything besides come over to…oh. Right. That.

"The Sunshine really never works with you does it?"

"No. Talk."

"Usually you want me to shut up." She fixes him with a hard glare for that response. "All right, all right. Look, I didn't want you to come home to see what they did to your place," he tells her, his tone now absent its usual levity. He meets her dark eyes with his own blue ones. "I wanted you to feel safe."

His words just about steal her breath away. For the second time in less than an hour, someone has done something just to be near her or make her feel safe. For her mother with sleeping in the chair and now her partner with this. "Deeks."

"You like my name." He grins when he says this, the seriousness sweeping away from like dust from a floor. "I had a feeling you did."

"Whatever. Tell me you didn't clean my bedroom. Please?"

"Only the glass. I left your…unmentionables where they were."

"Where were they?" she asks with a hint of dread, choosing to ignore the teasing slightly lecherous tone he'd adopted when he'd said the word "unmentionables".

"You don't want to know."

"Won't I know when I walk into my bedroom?" she challenges.

He opens his mouth, then quickly closes it. "Okay, you got me there. I lied…I uh…I put the clothes…I washed…"


He takes a breath. "This is all coming out a whole lot creepier than I wanted it to. I washed the clothes I found on the ground. I thought…I thought maybe you'd feel better if you didn't know so I'd planned to wash them and put them away and…you know what? Nevermind. I'm sorry. I'm…sorry."

"No, I am. " She reaches out and touches his arm. "Thank you."

He smiles at that. "For what? Getting to see that you have a thing for –"

"Dammit, Deeks," she snorts, groaning as the laughter sends another flare of pain up through her. She knows he sees it, but for the moment, pretends that he doesn't. Just so they can stay in this easy place for a moment longer.

"I'm just saying, I figured you for a leather kind of girl so that didn't surprise me, but what did was…well I never expected that."

"I would stop if I were you." She winces again as she's unable to stop the laughter from bubbling up inside of her.

He puts up a hand. "All right, all right. I'm stopping. Doesn't change that I know."

"You know nothing."

"I know everything about you now, partner. Including your kinky ways."

"That's really disturbing, Deeks."

"Tell me about it. I may have nightmares."

"Nightmares? Weren't you the one who was muttering something inane about fantasies yesterday?"

"I was emotional. And in the moment."


"What's that supposed to mean?"

"I'm just saying, you were emotional? I got shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten and tackled yesterday, and you were emotional?"

"Tackled? Really?"

"Through glass."

"Only you, Kens." He says this with more respect and admiration than she can quite handle at the moment. That, and something far deeper that she intentionally chooses to ignore.

"Yeah, well, it's a day I'd rather not repeat anytime soon."

"You're not the only one. You scared the hell out of me, partner." As he says this, he pulls her towards the couch and into the sitting position. He motions towards her shirt, as if silently asking if he can lift it. She nods.

He lifts it slowly, exposing the bruising which has exploded outwards, dramatically increasing in both color and size since the last time he'd seen it.


"Yeah. Feels awesome."

"So does getting kicked in the balls, but it's not something I'd recommend going through every day, you know?"

"I'm guessing you have a lot of experience with that, though, huh? You always being the breaker-upper and all."

"There have been a few bad break-ups," he admits as he pushed the sleeve of her shirt up so he can expect the knife wound. He peels back the bandage and examines the wound. The stitches are holding well, but there's definite tenderness and coloring around the edges of the laceration.

"Satisfied?" she asks when he pulls her shirt back down.

"Not really. I'd prefer you hadn't gotten hurt at all. I'd prefer you'd let me help you the whole time."

"It was something I had to do on my own."

"No, you didn't."

"You handled your past on your own, Deeks. I didn't interfere."

"This is different. People were trying to kill you. You were trying to kill them."

"I know. And I'm sorry. I never meant to involve you guys. I never wanted anyone else to get hurt. Anyone but Clairmont. I know the team was in danger because of what I did, and I'm sorry for that."

"We didn't get hurt."

"But you could have. When you came to the house, what if one of you had gotten shot? That would have been all on me. That would have been my fault." She stands up and paces into her kitchen, moving towards the refrigerator. She opens up the door of it and pulls out an ice pack.

"But it didn't happen that way, Kens. The good guys won." He rises from the couch and steps close to her, just about into her space. This isn't an odd thing for him, for reasons she can't even begin to understand, she's always allowed him to come close enough to touch her whenever he'd like. And it's not lost on her that he does the same. Still, his closeness is somewhat unsettling right about now. "And aside from letting you go off half-cocked, I wouldn't have changed a thing about being there for you. That's what we do, right, Partner?"

"Yeah," she whispers, her voice suddenly oddly hoarse. She blinks once, twice, pushing back tears that much to her embarrassment, are starting to form. She's not going to let this happen. She'd made it through the previous day without tears, she's not about to break now, not in front of him.

Not in front of Deeks.

She's not completely sure why, but the need to stay strong for him, it means everything to her.


She turns away from him then, wiping at her face once her back is to him. She's not surprised to feel his hand rest on her shoulder a moment later.


She turns back to him, and offers him a smile that she hopes is suitably sincere. "I'm just…I'm tired, Deeks. I just want to take a long hot bath, and sleep for the next week. I've got it off thanks to medical leave because of my rib. Might as well take advantage of it, right?"

"So is that you way of saying you want me to leave then?"

"Please." Not really because she wants him to, but because right now, she needs him to. She feels as close as she ever has to completely letting everything go, and she doesn't want to do that in front of him. He needs to know she's still the tough strong woman he has so much faith in. They both need that, she figures.

He looks disappointed, but quickly pushes ahead, "On one condition."

"What's that?"

"You let me take you out to the beach tomorrow morning."

"I don't surf."

"I can teach you."

"I'm sure my ribs would feel great the first time I wiped out."

"You wipe out? You're Kensi Blye. You don't wipe out."

She smiles somewhat sadly at that. "If you only knew."

The sudden change from teasing to serious surprises him – even she usually doesn't change this abruptly. It tells him everything he needs to know about how drained she is that right now she's allowing him to see even a little bit of the the emotional exhaustion she's feeling. Just a little, though.

"I do know, Kens. And I also know you always get back up again. And kick a lot of ass while you're doing it. You're uh…you're the Energizer Bunny." He frowns, then adds, "I mean, if he knew how to snipe people."

"Maybe he does," she smirks, once again shifting moods.

"Yeah, no. That…that's actually disturbing. I need to…I need to keep a few things from my childhood right and good."

"Uh huh, because that what's disturbing about this conversation."

He shrugs. "Only thing disturbing me. I mean besides your leathers and your kinky unmentionables."

She laughs. "All right, all right, fine, Deeks. If it will get you to stop talking about my…unmentionables…"

"Kinky unmentionables."

"Shut up, Deeks."

"Only if you agree to join me in the morning. Otherwise, did I ever tell you that I'm really good at making up songs on the fly? Maybe I'll title the next one The Amazing Unmention-"

"Fine, fine. I'll go. But just to enjoy the sunrise. Got it?"

"Got it. Sunrise and my ass."

"I didn't say that."

"You implied it."

"No, you inferred it, though from what, I have no idea."

"I read between the lines well."

"What lines?"

"That sounds like a loaded question," he answers, smile widening. "And I know better than to tell a woman she has lines."

"Go away, Deeks."

"I'll be here at five in the morning."

"Really? Five?"

"With the sun, Partner. Best to see the new morning right as it begins.

She groans. "You'd damn well better bring coffee. And not from the convenience store. And doughnuts. At least three of them."

"Anything else, Princess? Maybe a caffeine pump? A box of sugar? Some ho-hos with sugar on them?"

"All of the above."

"You got it."

"And Deeks? If you're chipper, I'll punch you."

"There's my girl."

Oddly, she gives him the same look that Eric and Nell had given him on the previous day. The only difference is, she chooses not to go down that road, almost afraid of what he'll say one way or the other.

"My bath is calling."


"Deeks. I can easily change it from a punch to a kick."

"All right. I'm gone." He turns to leave, then stops, grins at her again, waits for a moment as if expecting her to say something, then finally leaves once it's clear to him that she isn't going to say anything else.

She shuts the door behind him, and locks it, watching through the curtains as he walks to his car, hands in his pockets, looking to anyone who might be watching like he hasn't a care in the world.

She knows better.

They both wear masks. Yesterday, hers had cracked wide open. She'd let everyone see just how dark things inside her could truly get.

And weirdly enough, he hadn't run from her.

The implications of that, well she's just not yet ready to consider.

No, right now, the only thing she wants to think about is a hot bubble bath and then getting as much sleep as she can manage.

She sleeps away the vast majority of the day, After finally, reluctantly, climbing out of the cold bathwater, she makes her way back to her bedroom, noting that it's still messy (though cleared of clothes, most of which are in the laundry room).

"Later," she mutters before gingerly dropping herself down onto her mattress. Her reward for that is a surge of pain through her ribs and arms. Enough so where she knows that if she's going to get any real rest, she's going to need to at least down a few aspirin. Two 800mg IBs later, she's back on her bed, on her back, staring up at the ceiling. When sleep hits her a few minutes later like a runaway train, she doesn't even bother to try to get out of the way of it.

True to his word, he's at her door at just after five in the morning. She's ready for him, though, having woken up an hour earlier. Showered and in jeans and a hoody, she greets him with a bit of a forced smile.

"Morning, Kensi," he chirps.

"Cheerful," she warns.

"Oh come on, I brought you the sugar and caffeine like I promised. That has to earn me at least a few seconds of getting to have some fun with you."

"Give me the caffeine and sugar and I'll think about it."

"They're in the car, Princess. That is assuming Monty hasn't scarfed them all."

"You left Monty with my sugar?"

"It should be fine. He's on a diet because of his legs so he knows he has to stay away from the bad stuff."

"He's a dog, Deeks."

"Don't tell him that. It really stresses him out."

"Uh huh."

She rolls her eyes, then steps outside, locking the door behind her.

"So how are you feeling?"


"So crappy still then?"

"I took some aspirin," she concedes. "The good stuff."

"So extremely crappy then."

She shrugs her shoulders, not denying his statement. The pain has only gotten slightly better, going from piercing to grinding. Which is a moderate improvement, she supposes, but certainly not one to brag about.

He turns to face her. "You know what, we don't have to do this. You should probably still be lying down and taking it easy."

"Which I can do just fine on the beach watching the sun rise."

"And my ass."

"Let it go, Deeks."

"Just because you're hurt, I'll be nice and let it go."

"Thank you."

"Anything for you."

He's serious when he says this, and it's as jarring a change in mood as her alterations had been for him the previous morning. Her response, though, is simply to smile and nod.

"Take me to the caffeine and sugar, Deeks."

Two nights earlier, she'd sat on the beach and watched the sun set as she'd read the words of her father from his journal. All directed towards her, words that would have torn at her soul to see years earlier, she'd found to a balm in the aftermath of bringing down the man who had taken her father from her.

Now, watching the sun rise, her eyes are affixed to the other man in her life – her partner. He's on the water, sitting on his board, completely at ease. Here, he's not the dorky guy with the great one-liners. No one makes fun of him out here, he's not running from anyone or anyone. On the waves, he's calm and at peace.

It's a wildly beautiful thing to see.

Of course, when he comes in and sits down next to her and Monty (who has been sleeping at her feet, and only bothers with the most cursory of glances up at Deeks as he comes over), she tries to pretend that she hadn't been watching him, studying his often motion, marveling at his grace.

He sees right through her as always. "You were watching my ass."

She groans. The sound makes Monty look up. She pats his head, and quickly rubs his ears to let him know that she's fine.

"It's all right. I've often been told it's my best feature."

"It's not." The words escape her mouth before she has time to stop them.

"Oh? It's not? Pray tell, what do you like best? My rippling six pack?"

"More like two and a half pack."

"That's really mean."

"Coulda said two pack."

"Uh huh. I bring you out to watch the beauty of nature – and me – and this is what I get in return? Snarky mean Kensi? I'm hurt, Partner."

She just smiles back at him in answer. It's a full one that pretty much lights up her entire face, and it just about takes his breath away to see.

"What? What's that for?"

"I just realized, it really is over isn't it?"

"The search for who killed your dad? Yeah, it's over, Kens. You got justice for him."

"I did, didn't I?"

"Everything I know of him, everything you've told me, everything your mother told me, he'd be proud of you. You avenged him without becoming a murderer."

She frowns at that.

"Would you have?" he pushes then, correctly guessing what she's thinking about.

"I don't know. I don't think I would have executed him there. He was already bleeding out, but…but I'm not sure I would have stopped it. If you guys hadn't come in, if Granger hadn't shot him, I'm not sure that I wouldn't have just stood there and watched him die. What does that make me?"

"Human. Which is…kind of refreshing, honestly."

"I can still kick your ass."

"Yes, you can," he laughs. "Trust me, I never forget that."

"Smart boy."

"At times."

She chuckles at that, then turns away from him, and gazes back up at the sun, marveling in it's beauty as it rises up, signaling the beginning of another morning. Light splashes down on the waves, making them sparkle and glisten. All around here, she can the birds singing and chirping.

"So about those beers you promised me."

"Huh?" she asks, looking at him again.

"You said you were sorry. I said all forgiven if you buy me a beer every night for the rest of our lives. You didn't argue so I'm guessing that means you're no longer unavailable every night, which means that I'm no longer on your shit list for not telling you the truth about my fake firing."

"No, Deeks, you're no longer on my shit list."


"But if you ever lie to me again, you ever cut me out again and use my emotions against me, I'll make what your exes have done to you look like –"

"Okay! I don't really think we need to finish that sentence. Right?"

"Right," she smiles.

"Yeah. So, breakfast?" he asks, starting to rise.

She shrugs her shoulders. "I'd rather just stay here for a bit longer."

"Okay." He settles back down next to her.

For the next ten minutes, neither one of them says a thing. They both just watch the sun and the water. It's Monty standing up to stretch that finally brings them away from the calm silent companionship that they'd been sharing.

"We should get going," Deeks says reluctantly. "Need to get you back home, and I should get to work."

"Yeah. Try not to have too much fun without me."

"No chance. Hetty is already going on about some massive paperwork stack that I can work until you get back."

"Eww. I know that stack. It's where we've been putting all the reports we don't want to do for weeks now. Every now and again, someone cleans it out and we start all over again. Guess you get to be that someone."

"Awesome. And no one ever thought to tell me about this stack?"

"Never came up."

"Uh huh. Well, for future reference, partners tell each other these things. They have each others' back."

"Yes, they do." And with that, she leans up and kisses him on the cheek. When she pulls back and away, she almost laughs at the stunned expression he's wearing. It's somewhat adorable how confused he looks.

"What was…what was that for?"

"It was a thank you. Earlier, I said I owed you an apology, but I did but I owe you a thank you more. You've always been there for me. You've always been my back. I don't know what I would do without you."

"Become the Terminator."

"I'm serious, Deeks."

"I know you are, and believe me, I appreciate what you're saying, but you don't owe me it. I'm there for you because that's where I want to be. I'm there because…because we're partners, and that's my place."

She smiles in response to that, not knowing what else to say. She knows that there's something between them – their thing. She also knows that right now, where they are at this very moment, she's not willing to risk them. Not for anything. Maybe, down the line, that'll change. But not today.

Not this morning.

"You ready?" he asks.

"Yeah." She lets him help her, groaning slightly as her rib protests the sudden movement. She waves off his concern, and instead says, "You got beers tonight."

"I thought beers were on you."

"I'll buy the pizza."

"Fine. But I get the movie."

"Just nothing mushy."

"So like Slaughterhouse Three?"

"If you think you can handle it," she shoots back. "If it's too scary, though…"

"Funny. Don't worry, I'll pick out something suitably badass."

"Like Water for Chocolate again?"

"You're hysterical. And that's a damn good movie."

"Mm. I want my bed, Deeks."

He motions to his car, which Monty is already hobbling towards. "Your chariot awaits."

She snorts at that. "Next time we take your car."

"You going to let me tie a board to your roof?"

"Your car it is," she drawls.

"That's what I thought."

Ten minutes later, they're back at her place and he's watching her gingerly rise herself out of her seat. Once she's out of the car, and about to shut the door (after first giving Monty a bit of love – she knows better than to deny him, it puts him in an awful funk if he's not appropriately loved, this according to Deeks, of course), Deeks calls her back, waiting until she turns to face him to speak.

"I meant it when I said there isn't anything I wouldn't do for you, Kensi. I hope you know that."

"I do. You're a good man, Deeks."

"Believe it or not, coming from you, that means more to me than the thank you." He allows a moment for his words to sweep over both of them, and then says quietly, "Get some sleep. I'll see you tonight."

"Choose a good movie," she reminds him, a bit of a tremble in her voice.

"As you wish, Princess." He winks at her again, then pulls the Malibu out of the driveway, and down the street.

She remains for a long moment on the front step, eyes upwards on the sun, high in the sky now. Now, with the mystery and loss of her father finally put behind her and her mother back in her life, she knows that nothing will be the same. It shouldn't be the same. That's not always a bad thing.

Sunsets and sunrises, they're a lot like life in general, she thinks (admitting to herself that the pain now surging through her absent any painkillers is making her a bit wacky in the head and a whole lot philosophical). Yeah, they're a lot alike, but also very different.

One brings closure to the day, the other brings the promise of a new one.

Night and morning. Beginning and end.

Her father had lived by a code of honor, and had died because another man had been absent such a moral compass. She'd spent the last fifteen years of her life waiting for an opportunity to make that man pay. Two days ago, she had.

Now, it's time to let it go. Let it go and begin anew.

She says a silent prayer, thanking whoever might be up above listening for finally allowing her father to rest in peace, justice having been served. And then, with one final glance up at the sun, it's bright rays beaming into her eyes and lighting up her tanned face, she turns and heads inside to rest.