Epilogue – Hetty
One Year Later
'You're late.' I listened as Sam bluntly informed the new-comer that he was indeed, five whole minutes late. 'Deeks, I thought being with Kensi would be a good influence.'
Kensi chuckled as she placed a coffee on her partner's desk. 'Deeks wouldn't be Deeks if he wasn't late, you know that, Sam. Plus, he claims that it's part of his unpredictability. Says that if he's late all the time, no-one will be able to predict when he's early. Not even me. But, uh, even I can't predict what my partner will do next. Deeks, didn't you leave home, like, two hours ago? What were you doing for two hours?'
'I had stuff to do,' Deeks said, shrugging.
Mr Callen sniffed at the LAPD liaison as he walked past him to get to the coffee pot. 'He doesn't smell like fish, so he hasn't been surfing.'
'Great use of your special agent skills, there, Callen,' Deeks said dryly. 'No, I just… went shopping.'
'You went shopping?' Kensi said disbelievingly. 'You hate going shopping. Even just for groceries.'
'And it's only nine thirty,' Sam said, checking his watch. 'Where is open at seven thirty in the morning?'
'I'm an undercover agent, I have my contacts,' Deeks insisted. However, I could see from my desk that his hand was in the pocket of his jeans, and in the pocket was his purchase – a simple, solitaire diamond engagement ring.
'Hey, Hetty, do you have a minute?' Deeks looked imperceptibly nervous, and if I wasn't mistaken, he'd actually taken the time to comb his hair that morning.
'For you, of course, Mr Deeks. Come in, sit down. Would you like a cup of tea? Very calming for the nerves,' I said smoothly, arranging another cup and saucer on my desk.
'How do you know that I'm…? Oh, right. It's you we're talking about here,' he said dryly, nodding when I held the teapot up. 'Sure. Why not?'
'Why not indeed?' I replied, pouring a cup of tea and pushing it across the table.
'Thanks,' he said softly, sipping carefully.
'What's on your mind, Marty?' I asked, taking a sip of my own beverage.
'I… I want to ask your permission,' he said quickly, getting over his first stumbles.
'Rule eighteen,' I said reminiscently. 'It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.'
'Huh?' Deeks asked, confused, and I remembered that he had yet to meet the man known as Gibbs.
'An old friend of mine. He has these rules. Rule number eighteen: it's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission.'
Deeks seemed to think about this for a moment. 'Huh. Interesting. Has he got a lot of rules?'
'Only seventy, as far as I know,' I said.
'Only?' he asked, before catching himself. 'Sorry. I'm procrastinating.'
'What do you intend to do that requires my permission, Mr Deeks?' I asked before sipping from my teacup.
'I want to ask your permission to marry Kensi.' He said this very quickly, as if he wanted to say it so that it would be over and done with.
I almost choked on my tea. To say that this was unexpected would be, of course, a lie, but I hadn't expected to be asked permission of. After I had regained composure, I took another sip from my teacup to calm my suddenly shaking hands. 'Why me, Mr Deeks?'
'Because you're Kensi's family. I already asked her mom, and I went to her dad's grave and laid flowers… got as close to asking permission as I could without using a Ouija board, I guess. And since I covered her blood family, I knew I needed to cover her other family. You're basically, like, her second mom, so…' He trailed off into silence, scratching absently at his head.
'Mr Deeks, I am truly honoured.'
'You mean you'll let me marry her? If she says yes, that is.'
'Of course,' I said, smiling at him.
'Really?' His eyes lit up. 'Really truly?'
'Really truly,' I said, indulging him his childish saying.
He grinned at me. 'Hetty, I really want to hug you right now.'
'But you will refrain from doing so, as it will raise suspicions within your co-workers.'
He nodded. 'Good point.' He gulped down the last of his tea, and got up, but paused before going out of the office. He turned and asked, 'Hetty, what's Kensi's ring size?'
Of course, being asked for permission to get married was a whole lot less surprising than the actual relationship existing in the first place. You see, we'd been waiting for them to acknowledge their feelings for so long that we started to believe that they never would. So, when we finally did figure out that they were together, and it took almost six months, it was a big surprise.
Six Months and One Week Ago
Callen sniffed the air suspiciously. 'Is Deeks in already?'
'His car wasn't his parking space, so unless he got a ride, no,' Sam said, before drinking a peculiar green concoction from a glass. 'Why?'
'It smells like Deeks in here.'
'Deeks has a particular smell?' Sam asked his partner.
'Yeah. He smells like… the sea. And coffee, of course.'
'G, it always smells like coffee in here,' Sam pointed out. 'Because we basically half live off of it.'
'But the sea is like, a whole mile away.'
'Maybe he's gone and left another sand bunker beneath his chair again,' Sam quipped.
'Not likely,' Kensi said, piping into the conversation. 'Hetty made him sweep it up last night after you two left to go to the game.'
'It is suspiciously clean under his desk,' Sam acknowledged, looking beneath his and Deeks' desks.
'But it doesn't just smell like sea and coffee. There's this… it smells like a cocktail.' Callen frowned at his own assessment of the smell.
'A cocktail? Are you suggesting my partner is a drunk?' Kensi asked, a mite tetchily for her, I must admit.
'No. He just always smells like rum and coconut.'
'It's called cologne, gentlemen,' I said, breaking into the conversation.
'You can get cologne that smells like a mojito?' Sam asked.
Callen snapped his fingers and pointed at his partner. 'That's what he smells like. Sea, coffee and mojito.'
'He didn't leave his sweater here,' Sam said, checking his neighbour's desk. 'So it's not that.'
'It smells like Deeks in here, don't you think, Hetty?' Callen asked me.
'It does carry a touch of Mr Deeks' scent, yes,' I agreed with him, catching Deeks' familiar odour in the bullpen.
'But there isn't anything that it could be coming from,' Sam said thoughtfully.
I watched as Kensi got up from her desk and poured coffee into her mug. That white button-down shirt was awfully familiar, but I'd never seen her wear it before… and then I realised.
Kensi froze, and she knew what I was about to say, judging by the red blush creeping up the side of her neck. 'Yes, Hetty?'
Both men turned and looked at her, distracted by the sudden nervous tone in her voice.
It was Callen that spoke first. 'Isn't that Deeks' shirt that you're wearing?'
'Um… maybe.' Her face was almost bright red by this point.
'Because it's a good two sizes too big,' Sam added.
'Uh huh,' she said edgily.
'Kensi, why are you wearing-?'
Callen was interrupted by a familiar drawl.
'Hey, guys! Are we interrogating Kensi today, or something?'
Slowly, Sam and Callen turned to look at Deeks, who was in the process of dropping his messenger bag behind his desk.
'What?' he asked.
'Oh, screw it!'
Callen and Sam jumped at Kensi's unexpected outburst, and allowed themselves to be easily brushed aside by her.
'Screw what?' Deeks asked.
'This. I'm done hiding it, Deeks.'
'You mean…' He pointed from her to himself and she nodded. 'Oh.'
'You got a problem with that?'
'No. Not at all. I personally thought they had us figured out months ago.'
'Yeah, well, maybe not.'
'You wanna clue in the people who only have half an idea as to what the hell is going on here?' Callen asked, interrupting what seemed to be a private conversation.
'Sure.' And Kensi grabbed Deeks by the collar of his shirt and kissed him.
Of course, I had no problem with the relationship… now that it was a relationship, instead of a partnership, or a "thing". There were no rules against it, at least no rules against there being a relationship between Deeks and Kensi, as one was an agent and one only a LAPD liaison. As they say today, I heart loopholes.
Their relationship hasn't affecting their working relationship… or any other relationship they had. They still bicker like they always have, Deeks constantly makes jokes and flirts with her, and Kensi still snipes back and punches him when he goes too far. Only, as Mr Deeks likes to say, he knows it will be kissed better sooner or later.
What attracted me first to partnering Kensi and Deeks was Deeks' apparent inability to take anything seriously. Of course, this was only a façade. I'd known right from the start that he had a large capacity for taking things very seriously. When I'd first met him, in fact, before I'd even had a thought about hiring him, he was getting blind drunk over a case. I'm very sure he was blind drunk: how else do you explain forgetting me?
Four Years Ago
His gravelly, low voice caught my attention first, and I lifted my eyes from my JD on the rocks, which I'd ordered to take my mind off of the hellish day that I'd had, losing Dom and having no clue as to where he was.
He looked like hell. He'd run his hand over his head so many times that his hair resembled a close cousin of a birds' nest. He wore black slacks and a white button-down shirt that had a spot of blood on it, just below where his heart would be. His blue eyes were bloodshot and very tired, and I could tell that the assortment of empty shot glasses and bottles sitting in front of him were beginning to take their toll. In short, he looked as if his day had been even worse than mine own.
I tossed back the last of my drink, and raised my hand for another.
His eyes met mine. 'Let me get that,' he offered softly.
'Sure,' I said, watching as he nodded to the bartender and ordered the same for himself.
'You look like you've had a hellish sort of day,' he said conversationally, running the tip of his finger over the rim of one of the empty shot glasses.
'You've just got that look about you,' he continued, interrupting me as if I'd never started speaking. 'Kind of sad, but angry too. And depressed. You're definitely depressed. Look like you've lost something. Or someone.'
'A friend.' I was surprised to find myself opening up to him, but he had the sort of charisma, obvious even when drunk, that allowed one to relax and talk.
'I'm sorry.' He didn't pry, and for that I was infinitely grateful.
'What about you?' I asked.
He blinked. 'Sorry. 'm doing this all wrong. Marty Deeks.' He offered his hand.
I took it and tried to remember the name on my driver's license… oh. It was that time of the week, was it? 'Sylvia Cole. Why are you here, in the middle of the week, Marty?' I asked softly.
He shrugged. ''m a cop. Case… didn't turn out too good.'
'Didn't get what you wanted?'
'Got what I wanted… too high a price.' He muttered something under his breath, but I didn't catch it.
'Here you go.' The bartender placed two glasses in front of us.
'Cheers. To crappy days, huh?' Marty said bitterly.
'To a better future.'
Little did we know what the future had in store for us. A few months later, we met again on a case involving an MMA gym. I remembered him. He didn't remember me.
The past was a funny thing.
'What were you talking to Hetty about yesterday?'
Apparently my conversation with Deeks had not escaped Kensi's notice.
'Just stuff,' he said vaguely.
'Interesting stuff?' she asked.
'Very,' he replied, just as vaguely as before.
'Mr Deeks! Miss Blye!' I called to them, before she could try any other interrogation techniques on him that might make him crack.
Both their heads shot up, and they exchanged a glance before walking into my office, both looking quite nervous.
'Yeah, Hetty?' Kensi asked softly.
'This arrived for you this morning,' I said, handing over an envelope.
'What is it?' Deeks asked, taking it.
'I've no clue.'
I watched as they exchanged another glance before Deeks ripped it open, taking out something that looked like a photograph.
'It's Emily and David Paulson,' Kensi said, exchanging a smile with Deeks.
'And little baby Jessica,' Deeks said. 'Not so little anymore,' he amended.
'And a mystery baby…'
They looked at each other before flipping the photograph over.
'Dear Kensi and Marty,' Deeks read. 'He was born last September, seven pounds five ounces. His name is John Martin Paulson, in honour of you and the aliases you used to save us. Sincerely, and forever in your debt, David, Emily, Jessica and John Paulson.'
'They named their kid after us?' Kensi asked softly. 'Or, our aliases?'
'Kensi and Marty Johnson, I recall,' I said.
'So they named the kid John,' Deeks said, shaking his head.
'And then they called him Martin,' Kensi said, shaking her head. 'As if your head wasn't big enough already.'
'What? You won't let me call our first-born son Marty?' Deeks asked her, making puppy-eyes at her.
'Who says we'll ever get to the point of having kids?'
'I dunno… My devastating wit and irresistible good looks?'
'Good Lord… I hope that your children aren't saddled with your annoying personality or your lopsided eyes…'
Inside, both Marty and I were panicking a little bit. I was more than aware that Marty had booked reservations in a little restaurant off the beach that night so that he could propose to Kensi in a suitably romantic setting.
Kensi must have picked up on those vibes, as she turned to Deeks and said, 'What? You really wanna reproduce with me that badly?'
'Huh?' he asked, confused.
'You look really worried,' she said.
'Well, I…' He groaned and bent so that his head banged off of my desk. 'Hetty, I can't do this.'
'Of course you can, Deeks,' Callen said brightly, walking into the office, followed by Sam, Eric and Nell.
'Huh?' He looked up at them. 'What are you guys doing…?'
'Well, you looked like you needed moral support,' Nell said brightly.
'Well, actually, he looked like his dreams were falling down about his ears,' Sam said.
'You… you guys know?' Deeks asked hesitatingly, lifting his head up properly.
'What do you think, Deeks? A clandestine meeting with Hetty yesterday that left you looking happy? No-one leaves Hetty's office looking happy. They look satisfied, or scared, or worried, or relieved, but never happy. Which led us to conclude that you'd got permission,' Callen said.
'Compliment accepted,' I said to him, and he looked faintly surprised.
'Plus, the two grand taken out of your bank account this morning?' Eric added. 'We knew that you weren't being blackmailed, nor was it likely that you were paying someone off…'
'But we knew that it was very likely that you were purchasing something… pretty,' Nell said.
'But how did you guys know…?'
'We keep an eye on everyone's accounts, and if they make or receive a suspicious amount of money, we have to investigate,' Eric explained.
'They often keep receipts digitally, too… There are only so many things that are bought in a not busy store at nine-fifteen in the morning,' Nell said pointedly.
'Great,' Kensi said, looking at everyone in confusion. 'Now everyone knows. Everyone but me! What the hell is going on, Deeks?'
'Well,' he began slowly. 'This really isn't the setting in which I pictured this happening…'
'Too bad, because whatever's happening, it's happening now,' she said, glaring at him.
'I…' He groaned and hit his head against the desk again. 'Hetty, I'm serious, this is… extremely difficult.'
'Well, all you've got to do is ask,' I said, reaching over and patting him on the shoulder.
'It's a bloody question, Deeks,' Callen said, grabbing him by the back of his t-shirt and hauling him upright. 'You ask questions every day. Usually of an extremely annoying variety.'
'It's not that easy, G,' Sam said, and Deeks looked up with gratitude at the older, married man, who had been through his all before. 'I remember almost falling to one knee, I was trembling so much. It was only by the grace of God that I didn't drop the bloody… thing,' he finished lamely, remembering that Kensi still didn't know what he was talking about.
'C'mon, Kens, you know what's going on here. Make it easier on poor Deeks, here. You're an agent, put the clues together. Deeks was shopping this morning for something expensive. He had a meeting with Hetty yesterday, and left looking happy. Come on, deep down, you know…' Callen prompted slowly.
Very slowly, Kensi's jaw dropped as she realised what was happening. 'Oh,' she squeaked.
'Oh,' Deeks agreed with her before sliding from his chair and kneeling before her on one knee.
'Deeks,' she whispered, eyes widening when he pulled the ring out of his back pocket and flipped open the box.
It was a simple diamond solitaire set in white gold, nothing too fussy or big or overly delicate, just simple but beautiful, much like the woman it was being presented to.
'Kens.' He reached out and took her hand in his. 'Well. I had this whole speech planned, but uh, the paper that it's on is in the jacket that I planned to wear tonight… So this is me vamping.'
She laughed. 'What is it with you planning out every speech you make to me?'
'You're a tough crowd,' Deeks said dryly. 'Now shush, so that I can propose properly.'
She smiled, but remained silent.
'Kensi, Kensi, Kensi. We've been work-married for four years now… We've bickered, you've punched, I've flirted and somehow we've gotten here.' He laughed ruefully and shook his head. 'I can't pinpoint when I fell in love with you. I just know that you've got my heart, and I don't ever want it back. Same deal with this ring, really. If you'll take it, that is, and by extension, me.'
Kensi opened her mouth to reply, and we all leaned forward in anticipation of her answer. And she spoke a single word.
Wow. This story has taken a lot of time, but it was good fun to write, and your reviews were awesome encouragement. Now, I'm sad to announce that there won't be a sequel, due to my inability to write stuff about relationships – I've never been in that sort of relationship before, and it's kinda hard to write about what you've never experienced…
I hope you guys liked the ending, and I also hope that you guys will review this chapter and tell me exactly what you thought of it, and this story in general. Also, if you've got an idea for a Densi one-shot that you think I'd write really well, please let me know in either a review or a PM.
Barry (purple plot hippo) would also like to thank you for taking the time to read the story, and is sure that there will be another story coming up very soon.
You guys are awesome for all your support. Thank you all so very much!