Chapter 5 - Choices

Kensi and Deeks were running the entire house. The blood was all over the place. Both of them were crying, hoping for their son to be alright. They followed the blood and got to Don's bedroom where Monty was, with a bullet in the loin. The dog only barks at strangers and he may have followed Jack all the way there and he shot him.

"Is he alive?" Kensi asked, sniffed the tears, somehow relieved.

"I think so." Deeks ducked near the dog and put his hand in front of his muzzle, to check if Monty was breathing. When he did it, Monty recognized Deeks by his smell and yelped a little, clearly suffering. "Hang on, buddy. We're getting help." He said while petting the dog.

"I called the LAPD to report the break in and they'll bring someone from the DACC." (Department of Animal Care and Control)

"Any news from Ops? Did Nell and Eric get anything?"

"They're running the plate of my mom's car, trying to figure it out where Jack is now. But, they did find where Jack hopped on the bus. It's near a residential area, they want us in Ops to see if we know someone and Hetty wants us to fill in the team with details."

"They'll help us with this?" Deeks asked, to which Kensi answered with a nod. He walked around the bedroom, seeing his son's clothes scattered all over the floor. "What was he looking for?"

"Don't know, but he'll take good care of Don." Deeks fired her a look, ready to fight back but Kensi explained. "He took some of Don's clothes. At least we know he won't try to hurt him."

"For now. If I get that son of a bitch, I swear God I shoot him dead!"

"And ruin your life because of him?" Deeks didn't even listen to her, so she held his hand tightly and made him look her in the eyes. "Look at me, Marty. More than anyone, I want to erase Jack out of my mind, out of my life. I wish that chapter of my life had never happened, but we can't change my past. At least, let us control our future. Don't do anything stupid. Don't risk yourself to be locked up for years and leave me, Don and the baby alone. Please, I'm begging you that. Just that."

Deeks put a kiss on her forehead and held her against his chest, promising. "I'll never leave you alone."

Everyone of the team was looking at them differently, with sad looks and feeling pity for them, which only made them feel worse. Kensi and Deeks knew they were worried about them and Don and that they couldn't help but to look at them like that, but they wished they could just be cold hearted and remain professional. They moved up to the Ops, meeting Eric and Nell. The female showed a bunch of photos on the screen of the people who live in the residential area near the bus stop were Jack got on the bus and Kensi immediately pointed a guy, saying.

"He's Manny. That's Manny, without a doubt."

"Who's Manny, Kens?" Callen asked as Eric and Nell were already digging everything about the man.

"He's a friend of Jack. They were in the same unit, and they both developed PTSD symptoms. Worst is that Manny's alcohol problems aggravated. His fiancée also left him."

"Do you know that fiancée's name?" Deeks asked, peering at what Nell was doing. "This can be a chain event. If that woman has kids, Manny may copycat Jack's action."

"His name is Corporal Manuel Ureña, 31. He and Jack served one tour in Iraq back in 2004. Along with another Marine from the same unit, the three weren't sent on the second tour due to doubts about their mental health, which was later revealed by their PTSD disorders. There are no mentions of fiancée on the file."

"But," Nell continued, getting up. "I do have. The fiancée's name is Karissa Wallis… and she's engaged to Corporal Ureña… again."

"Which means Deeks' copycat explanation is ruled out." Sam concluded. "This was an act of Jack, only."

"Maybe, or maybe not." Callen stated. "Just to play safe find the other Marine from their unit and get as much as you can on them. Sam and I then will talk with him."

"Deeks and I will talk to Manny. Call us when you get something."

Unlike Jack, Manny was different, but a good different. He was really recovered from the PTSD disorder, not healed, but this kind of disorder doesn't have a cure, but its symptoms are eased, for some people without even needing medication, and they can live a normal life. Was Karissa who opened the door but was Manny who immediately let them in, identifying Kensi.

"What can I do for you, Kensi?"

"We're here to talk about Jack." Karissa rolled her eyes and walked away as soon as Kensi said that.

"Please, Ms. Wallis, stay with us." Deeks asked. "We're gonna need your help too."

"Did Jack get into some sort of trouble?" Manny guided them to the living room, and Karissa followed them as well.

"He kidnapped our son. And we need your help, Manny. To find him and our baby."

"Anything Kensi, but I don't know how can I help you. Karissa and I don't see Jack in weeks."

"And last time you saw him? Did he say anything about what he was going to do? Do you know where he lives?"

"I don't know where he lives. He was living here with us and one day he came to us and said that he got a house and that was the last time we saw him."

Deeks looked at Karissa, and asked. "I have the feeling Karissa has something else to say."

"He came here yesterday and he wanted to speak with Manny, but he wasn't home, so he left."

"Are you sure that was the last time you saw him? Because just today he got on the bus at a bus stop really close to here." Deeks raised his voice. Karissa repeated the same thing, and Deeks spat out again. "Are you really sure? Because there are traffic cams that confirm-"

"Deeks!" Kensi raised her voice louder than his and he hushed, turning his eyes to her. "Why don't you wait outside?" He huffed and left out the door. "I'm sorry. We're both really nervous about Jack taking our baby."

"I understand." Karissa spoke.

"Did Jack say why he wanted to talk with Manny?"

"He said he was feeling good, that the PTSD symptoms were eased and that he was getting back his old life, like Manny did."

"What did he mean with old life?"

"After Manny came back from Iraq, I helped him in all I could, but, I guess just like Jack did to you, Manny refused everything, so I walked away. But, I only lasted a few months away from him, and I came back, and tried it again. I tried hard enough, and he didn't push me away that time. He recovered from the alcohol issues and the PTSD, and I found myself a couple of months ago with the ring on my finger again." Karissa couldn't help but to smile, holding her fiancé's hand.

"Thank, Manny and Karissa for your time."

The two of them walked Kensi to the door, and before she left Manny said. "I'm sorry for what's happening to you, Kensi. I hoped I had more to say, and more to help."

Kensi didn't say a word and walked to the car where Deeks was leaning. "I'm sorry for my behavior in there. I just need a lead to follow."

"I know. I'm as nervous as you." She said, feeling completely apart from the world.

"I just got a call from Callen and Sam. They talked with the other Marine. His name is Luke Harris. He's also recovered from PTSD, he's married and father of two. Nothing wrong with him. This is Jack's one and only act."

Back in the Ops center, there were no new leads. LAPD wanted to put Don's case disappearance all over the news, something Kensi immediately denied because of Jack's mental instability. Seeing the case on the news could trigger emotional reactions that could make Jack lose control of the situation. Kensi's mom's car was found by LAPD, abandoned, without the baby car seat, supporting Kensi's theory that Jack doesn't want to hurt Don. Other than that, there were no evidences that could be used as a lead to follow. So, basically they were left in the dark with nothing. With the early night hours, Julia returned home and she spoke with her daughter over the phone. Kensi knew her mother would be safe because she herself was with an LAPD agent, but she wasn't sure to be okay. Sam, Callen, Eric and Nell headed home but the promise to come back at any time to keep investigating if something appeared. Hetty ordered Kensi and Deeks to go home, but they refused.

Kensi walked to the bathroom and looked at her reflection in the mirror. By that hour, in a normal day, she'd be home, putting Don to sleep and then she'd have all the time in the world to be with her husband. But today was different. She leaned on the wall and slid down on it, crying. She sat on the ground and pulled her knees to her chest, burying her head on her arms, feeling the warm tears falling over her legs. Besides some guilt for having had that talk with Jack, Kensi's head was mostly thinking of Karissa's words. She had gone back for her ex-fiancé and he took her back. Together they built a different future. She said she tried harder then second time. What if Kensi had given it a try? What if she had gone back and tried harder? Could this life she now has been possible with Jack? No matter what, she knew Deeks and her paths would cross.

He'd still be her partner, and probably because of him, she'd be divorcing Jack. No matter what, she didn't love Jack enough. She loves Deeks much more, and its reciprocal. Because Deeks completes her. He isn't the same shape piece. He fits on her correctly. Jack and Kensi were very similar, and Yin needs Yang, not another Yin.

And he walked in, showing how much he cares about her. Deeks walked in the bathroom and found her there, crying. Therefore his eyes, she was helpless and defenseless. Kensi raised her head and cleaned the tears. He had sat by her side and put his arm around her so she rested her head on his shoulder and took off the jacket's pocket the picture that was in the frame Don had broke just that morning. She put it in the pocket, unaware that right now they'd be looking at it, completely ripped apart.

"We need to sleep." He mumbled, completely worn out and crestfallen. "We need to be wide awake tomorrow morning to keep looking for Don."

Kensi turned her whole body to him, held his face in his hands and said with a tear running down her cheek. "I love you, no matter what. Always remember that, ok?" She kissed his lips slowly, absorbing everything she could from him. She wanted to get lost in his kisses and in his arms, because whenever she's with him, she forgets everything else. And she wanted to forget everything, to believe it was all a nightmare. She pecked on his lips a couple of times, saying again. "I love you."

"I love you too… I love you too." He pulled his chest, holding her tight. When he's with her, he also loses track of time and space. It's only he and her. Nothing else. And right now knowing that everything was alright was all Deeks needed to know. He got up after a while and looked back at her. "You're coming?"

"I'll be right there. I just need to be alone a bit more."

"Ok. I'm sleeping at my desk. You take the couch, okay?"

"Don't worry."

Kensi watched Deeks go out the bathroom and cried even more. She then grabbed her phone and text to the last number that had called her. The text said: "I'll leave when he falls asleep.". Kensi walked out the bathroom after a while and found him, sitting at his desk, sleeping with his head resting on his arms. She put a kiss on his head, whispering against his ear that she loves him. Kensi hailed a cab that dropped her off near a pub in the downtown. She ripped the battery off her phone and disposed both in the trash can. She found a car stopped across the street and walked to it. She entered to the back seat without thinking about it again and the car set off.

An hour before…

The whole team, including Hetty had gone home. And she was all alone with Deeks. Kensi walked to the bathroom and looked at her reflection in the mirror. She then leaned on the wall and slid down on it, crying. She sat on the ground and pulled her knees to her chest, burying her head on her arms, feeling the warm tears falling over her legs. But a sudden phone call startled her. It was a blocked number and she answered, hoping it was Jack.

"Don't tip off anyone that it's me who's calling." Jack spoke. "Don't tell them to try to trace the call. Be alone."

"Where are you, Jack? Where's Don?"

"He's a cuteness sleeping." He said and it was the actual truth in his voice. "How old is he?"

"Too young to be dragged into this. Give him back to us and-"

"How old is he?" Jack calmly repeated.

"He's 8 months old."

"How long did you and Marty get married?"

"Almost a year and half ago. Why are you asking these things?" Kensi rose her voice that she had been trying to keep low to not tip off Deeks.

"A year and a half isn't specific enough! How long?"

"Uh… 16 months ago. Why, Jack? Why? What does that have to do with Don?"

"The kid is 8 months old, you got married 16 months ago, so when you got married, you were already pregnant. You're getting my point? You got married because of this kid. If he hadn't been born, you'd never get married!"

"No. You're getting it wrong. We first got married, then I found out I was pregnant. Don was not the reason why we married, but if he was, what would that matter? Just bring Don back and take me instead."

"I was actually thinking about that. But I'm not giving your husband the kid. No no! I'll be with you and the kid. I'm leaving him with nothing! Just like he left me!"

"You two never met each other. He's not responsible for me leaving you. Get it once and for all, Jack, I moved forward with my life."

"If you want to make sure the kid is will breathing you come and meet me downtown, near the mall. But, you have to come alone and if I suspect that you told someone, bye-bye to you and the kid."

"What about the team? And my mother? And Deeks?"

"I don't want anything from your mother, neither from your team."

"WHAT ABOUT MARTY?" She yelled.

"I can't promise you anything."

Jack hung up and Kensi had to make her choice: if going to meet jack and her son or stand with Deeks? And her mind was very quick. Don is 8 months old, defenseless and innocent. Deeks can defend himself… but knowing that she'd have to walk away on him, all alone and not telling him anything…? She knew he'd be much more hurt. He'd lose his child and his wife and his unborn child to a lunatic. The more she thought about it, the more she was divided. And the more she cried. But Don was her choice. If it was Deeks deciding that, he'd have made the same choice. They agreed if anything happened to their family, first thing would be protect the kids. And he walked in, showing how much he cares about her. Deeks walked in the bathroom and found her there, crying.

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