A/N: So this is my version of what could have happened after episode 3.10 The Debt. I felt that Kensi just accepted what happened a little too easily in the end and by the next episode they were all good again. This hopefully fills that gap and is a little different to the other post 3.10 fics out there.
It's late and he's driving around town listening to the radio. He's arguing with himself. Should he go over and see her or should he just face the fact that she doesn't want to see or hear from him right now. He could go home to try and sleep but he knows that would be almost impossible. Today has been an awful day, a real roller coaster and he can't imagine what she's been through. She hides her emotions well, but the look in her eyes when she had slid into the car and scared the hell out of him earlier was still something he couldn't shake. Despite their laughing and joking at the end of the day he knew things were far from right between them.
He'd driven home at the end of the day, fed and walked Monty and contemplated food. He wasn't hungry though, his mind was elsewhere. He was so worried about what he had done to them and their thing that he felt like he was going to explode. Deciding there was only one way to sort this out he had jumped into his car and started to drive to her house. But half way there he'd had second thoughts. He didn't want to make things worse. After sitting in his car, staring nervously ahead and playing with his fingers he had decided to test the waters with a text.
Do you really have plans?
He waited a short while to give her a chance to reply.
So he sent another text.
I know you're angry, but we need to talk.
This time he had started to drive while he waited for the reply. He continued to drive to her place but then as he got closer he detoured and headed toward the ocean. When he reached the coast road he had followed it until he found somewhere to park and then checked his messages. Still nothing. He decided this would be the last message he would try.
Please Kensi, I can't do this via text.
He got out and sat on the hood of his car. The cool night breeze coming in from the ocean was refreshing and made him realise how tired he felt. He placed his phone on his chest and leaned back to look at the night sky. He played through the day's crazy events. Just one lousy op that he had wanted nothing to do with, and in less than twenty four hours he had wrecked what they had spent the best part of two years building. He looked at his phone once more willing her to reply with anything, even if she just told him to leave her alone.
Frustrated he hit the pre-programmed speed dial for her. If he had to beg then he would. He owed her so much more than an apology and he needed to do it face to face, even if she hated the idea. The phone rang but she didn't answer so he tried again. Yet again it went straight to her answering service. He decided on one last text.
Fine, we'll do this at work tomorrow then.
He hoped this final message would make her see sense. This was not the kind of conversation he wanted to have at work while their colleagues were around. He climbed off the hood and got back in the car then resumed his drive toward her place. When he arrived there was still no message for him. He sat outside for ten minutes and watched her place. There was the dull glow of lights on inside but little sign of movement and no tell-tale flicker of the television. He wondered if she was sleeping but in the past she had always complained about him waking her up with his texts and calls. He drummed on the steering wheel debating on whether or not to go up to her door and just knock, but he had the feeling that wasn't a good idea. She would probably still ignore him and then give him hell in the morning for it.
So he had driven off. Now he was driving round town with no destination in mind and the day almost over. He listened to the radio hoping to take his mind off his partner, but every song somehow managed to make him think of her and he was beginning to appreciate why she liked Techno. With its lack of words it's easy, mindless listening especially when you're trying to block out feelings. It was way less distracting. Besides at the volume she listens to it there is very little room to think at all. As it approached midnight he decided that it was make it or break it time. Go home or go to Kensi's.
Finally he decided that he really didn't want to deal with this tomorrow and he headed back to her place. Standing at her door he hesitated before knocking. He tapped out the same tune he usually uses whenever he knocks on her door but when he was still staring at a closed door several minutes later he realised that it possibly wasn't the best plan. He knocked again, a lot louder this time and was all business. When he still had no answer after five minutes he knew she was most definitely ignoring him. He slumped his head against the door and knocked firmly but slowly and called her name.
"Kensi? Kens?" Still nothing. He placed his ear against the door finding it oddly quiet and if it weren't for the lights he might think she was in bed. "Kens, please. I'll sit here all night if I have to." He slid down to the cold concrete of her doorstep and began his wait.
He is sitting on the doorstep listening to the general noises of her neighbourhood when hears a familiar sound. Someone is hitting a heavy bag repeatedly. He stands and wonders around the side of her house following the small path to a back gate. The noise gets louder and he knows she is in her yard taking it out on the heavy bag that hangs from the back porch. He pauses for a moment before trying the gate. The latch lifts but the door won't move. He rattles it and calls her name but there is no response. Even if she is completely focused she should still be able to hear him. "Damn it Kensi open up." The thwack of vinyl on vinyl doesn't let up. "OK we do this your way," he huffs and stalks back around to the front.
This time, instead of sitting down to wait for her he reaches inside his jacket and removes a small pouch containing a set of lock picks. He crouches down at the lock on Kensi's door. It takes a few seconds but he eventually gets it open. He stands, opens the door and calls her name again. Still nothing, so he tucks the picks back in his jacket. He walks through her living area and kitchen and steps out of the open side door onto her porch.
Well, at least he knows now why she didn't answer him. Earphones are securely in her ear, the wires leading down to her IPod tucked into the back of her waist band. She still hasn't seen or heard him so he guesses her music must be loud. She has her back to him. She's wearing a sports bra and yoga pants that sit on her hips and her feet are bare. He can't help but be distracted by her body and he watches as she goes at the heavy bag. The muscles in her shoulders and back bunch and retract as she strikes repeatedly. He guesses she's been at it for some time since there's a layer of moisture covering her skin that gives her a glow. He knows sneaking up on her isn't in his best interest, but neither is standing watching her when she catches him.
He edges closer to her ready to duck out of her way when she realises he is there. He's watching for a hitch in her movement as she senses his presence and he has to give her her due because he's still caught off guard when she turns suddenly and slams her palm into his chest knocking him on his backside.
"Jesus, Deeks!" she pulls the wires to her headphones and the buds fall out of her ears.
He sits up resting his elbows on his knees. "I totally deserved that," he says breathlessly and not a hint of humour evident. He rubs at his chest where she smacked him. It hurts anddamn it's going to leave a mark.
"What are you doing here?"
"Told you, we need to talk."
"Didn't you get the hint? I'm not in the mood"
Deeks watches her. "Oh yeah, you made that clear when you ignored my calls and texts. But you know what? We are not just gonna pretend like today didn't happen."
"You may not, but that's just fine by me."
"Oh no. Uh huh. You say that and I know you'll act like nothing's the matter, but we both know that's not what's going on up here." He taps his right temple with two fingers.
"Since when did you become all knowing?" She looks down at him. "Will you please get up?"
"So you can knock me on my arse again?"
"Fine, stay there then." She shrugs and walks past him then heads indoors.
He stays where he is. Minutes pass and he wonders if she wants him to follow her. He thinks probably not but since the gate is locked, unless he jumps her fence there's no other way out. He stands up and brushes the dust from his trousers. He walks over to the door and peers round it. She's propped against the counter picking at the label around the top of her beer bottle. She looks up at him and points to an unopened bottle of beer on the counter.
He twists it open and takes a sip, watching her for a moment before he starts to talk. "I know you won't believe me but what happened today..."
His voice is low and she doesn't think she's ever heard him so serious. But she's mad at him and the irrational part of her argues that he's just playing her. He's a damn good liar and he's just going to say what he thinks she needs to hear.
He toys with what to say next. "I didn't have a choice."
She nods. Two can play this game. She'll agree, let him say his piece and then he can go. "I know."
"No you don't."
'Damn him!' "I do, you had to do it. It was an op. We do what needs doing. It's over now."
The last three words hit him hard. He thinks there's maybe a little more that's over than just that god damned mission. "You know what Kensi? I hear you say it, but I don't believe it."
"Well I'm sorry!" It's laced with sarcasm.
"Yeah, me too." He stares at his feet. An awkward silence fill the air and it feels like minutes are passing but in reality it's probably only a few seconds that pass before he speaks again. "This week, these past few days were..." he struggles for the right words. "I nearly packed it all in." He lifts his head to look at her, to see if she understands.
"Packed what in?"
"NCIS, LAPD," he shrugs and continues to watch her. He thinks she doesn't believe him. "You know I told Hetty this would happen."
She looks at him eyebrows raised in question.
"That it would end like this. Undo everything we've achieved in the past two years."
"Deeks we're fine, just let it go."
"Oh yeah, just fine!" He wanders away and sits on her couch. She follows but stays standing. He places his beer on her coffee table and fishes his phone from his back pocket. He stares at it for a minute debating something. Eventually he hits a speed dial number and then the speaker and places the phone on the coffee table next to his beer. There's the sound of ringing and Deeks leans forward with his elbows on his knees, playing with his fingers nervously. Kensi watches him wondering who on earth he can be calling at this time.
"Hullo!" answers the sleepy voice.
"Nell, its Deeks. Sorry it's so late."
"Oh hey, what can I do for you?"
"Remember the email?"
"Yeah. I'm here now, can you send it."
"Sure give me a minute." There's the sound of her moving around. "Sorry, just gotta wait for the laptop to boot up. So not going well?"
"You could say that."
Kensi watches Deeks as he talks to the phone. She thinks about speaking, asking what's going on.
"You want me to talk to her?"
"No just the email."
"OK, two ticks." There's the sound of tapping on a keyboard. "All sent. Anything else?"
"No, that's it. Thanks Nell."
"No problem, good luck."
He chuckles, "Think I'm gonna need more than that. Night Nell."
The phone line goes dead.
"What was that about, what email? What's going on?"
He nods toward her computer. "Check your in box, I'll wait outside. If you still want me to go afterward then I will. If not I'd like to talk." With that he turns and heads back out to her porch with his beer and phone.
She watches him walk out of her back door and then turns to look at her computer. She's confused but she walks over and switches on the screen. It's already running and when the screen boots up she can see her in box has one new message. She looks back at the back door wondering what he's up to then she takes a seat at her desk and opens her emails then clicks on the new message from Nell.
The email has been forwarded. The original message is from Deeks and the date and time stamp tell her it was sent yesterday in the early hours of the morning. The subject line just says; 'In case of Emergency'. It makes her smile. Typical Deeks. The body of the email itself only consists of a couple of lines.
Keep these safe for me but please don't open them. Hopefully I won't need this and I'll be asking you to delete it in a couple of days. But if not then... well let's not think about that.
There are a couple of attachments. One is labelled 'Kensi' and the other 'Hetty'. She clicks on the one for Hetty and gasps when she sees what it says. It's his letter of resignation. It's short and to the point and there is no reasoning or explanation with it. She looks back over at the door to where she knows he is. Her heart beats a little faster. Is he… would he seriously consider packing it all in?
She closes the attachment and hovers the mouse over the one that is labelled with her name. She really isn't sure she wants to know what's in it, but he wants her to read it and that's the whole point. She wants to get this over and done with so finally she double clicks fast, like ripping off a band aid.
I really hope you never have to read this. I'm hoping that there's still a chance that something will come up at the last minute and what's planned for today will never happen. I've tried to get out of it, even told Hetty it's a bad plan. She told me there's no alternative. I even asked how I can get out of it and what will happen if I just plain refuse to go along with it. If you are reading this then you'll know by now what 'it' is, and I'm sorry. Sorry for everything that I know that this will do to you.
I asked what would happen if I refuse. I'll let you use your imagination but it would mean I'm no longer your partner. Still I seriously toyed with it, even discussed it with Callen and Sam because I really don't like this plan. They said I was being stupid and that you'll be fine once you know what's going on and why. They even suggested that you'd be mad at me if I quit just to get out of this. It's the bit in between that I don't like. It's the fact that I'm going to be lying to you and using what we have against you. I really am sorry, and right now that seems like the lamest word, but I am.
I've spent the last few days trying to convince the others that we can still pull this off without keeping you in the dark. The only one who agrees with me is Nell. I told them you can fool Bates no problem, but they just don't see it. God I hope all this makes sense and it's not just my normal ramblings. I haven't slept the last couple of nights worrying about this, you, us. You're a great partner and deserve better and I'm sorry I'm not clever enough to come up with something else.
This could be the end for us. I get it if you can't work with me after this, but I really hope that's not the case. I don't expect your forgiveness but I want you to know that you mean so much more to me than just our partnership, and I hope we can work this out. Even if it means I have to listen to the guys say I told you so, because they seem to have a completely different opinion about how all of this is going to go down.
I'm sorry I'm going on a bit but I'm struggling to find a way to get the thoughts in my head down in words. I don't want to mess this up, but this is me. I really don't want to give up our partnership, so if you can still work with me I'd really, really love that. If not I get it, I do. I hope one day that maybe we can be friends again.
I don't know how else I can apologise, how I can make this right. Just let me know what you need, what you want and I'll do it. If that means resigning then so be it. I don't know what else to say. I regret every minute of lying to you. My position with NCIS, my partnership with you meant everything to me.
She can't help the tear that rolls down her cheek and she swipes it away with the back of her hand. Does she really want him to go? No. No she doesn't. She isn't even really angry with him. She's angry at Hetty and at the rest of her team and at the situation she was put in. But this today, she understands now none of it was his doing. He had no choice. He'd only gone along with it because the alternate took him away from her. Another tear escapes and again she wipes it away. The emotion in his letter is what's getting to her. The fact he had no idea what to do about the whole situation, that he'd sounded so lost, so desperate.
And then she remembers the man in question is sitting on her back porch waiting for her, not knowing if part of his life has just been ripped away from him, struggling with the day and its events just like she had. She closes the computer down and stands slowly trying to get a hold of her emotions. She walks toward her back door and stops in the door way to watch him. His head is in hands and his elbows are resting on his knees. He's staring at some point in the distance.
She slides the door open and walks toward him. He hears her and cants his head to one side and she knows he hears her approaching. "Hey," she states softly coming to stop behind him.
"You still mad? Sorry… angry at me?"
"No Deeks, not at you."
"But you're angry right?" He drops his hands and turns to look up at her.
"Aren't you? What they made us do today... it was so wrong. I get why but it still doesn't make it right."
He nods, "I know. And yeah, I was angry but it's done. We can't change it. Not that I wouldn't want to. But now, right now I'm more worried about us."
"Us," she repeats his last word. Savours it. It's a good word and she likes it.
"You and me. Us," he clarifies.
She holds out a hand to him and he looks at it and then to her face. He sees a softness to her he wasn't expecting and his heart jumps a little. Could they really be okay? Could they really get past this? He takes her hand as he stands and once he's up she's tugging him towards the door.
She leads him over to the couch and pushes him down which earns her a questioning look. "Stay there, we need to talk. But first I need to get cleaned up."
"We... you know it's getting late. We can leave this till tomorrow," he says suddenly, unsure what's going on between them.
"No, you were right. We need to do this, the sooner the better. I promise I'll just be a couple of minutes." She turns and heads for her room. True to her word she's back out in less than five minutes in leggings, a long tank top and a baggy cardigan. On her feet are some Ugg boot style slippers and her hair is damp and loosely tied back.
Deeks thinks she's perfect and what he wouldn't give to just hold her right now, for them to curl up together and sleep. It's been a long day, days even and he's beginning to feel it now. "Wow that was fast."
"Told you." She grins at him and sits on the sofa right next to him. She tucks her legs up under her and leans her head on his shoulders. "I'm sorry."
"Hey no, you have nothing to be sorry for. Why are you apologising?"
"I should have realised how tough this was for you."
"But that wasn't your fault so please don't apologise."
"I know I was all over the place," he cuts her off. "I was desperate and I probably rambled, a lot. I can't even remember what I wrote." He laughs nervously. "But I guess it did the trick since we're talking."
"It did. We are... And I'm glad you did it." She finds herself fiddling with the cord on the bottom of his hoodie. She's quiet for a while and Deeks gives her that moment. "Today… today was... it was awful. And I was so upset for you. In the gym I just couldn't… you were so annoyed with yourself."
"I was but not for the reasons you thought, and not for the reasons I led you believe."
"You were really convincing, I mean I knew you were good. But today, today I really saw it... don't do it again OK?"
He holds a hand out to her, palm up. She doesn't hesitate and lays her hand in his. Their fingers fold together. "I won't. I couldn't." He squeezes her hand and she returns the gesture, which makes him smile. His head leans against hers and once more they sit in silence. Several more minutes pass and they sit just relishing each other's presence. "In the bull pen earlier, I was a complete jerk. I mean Callen and Sam they kinda blew me off because they knew what was happening. And you, I could see how upset you were and you wanted to talk and I just..."
This time it's Kensi who cuts him off, "I get it. It's all right, I shouldn't have said anything. It wasn't the kind of conversation we should have been having there any way. Even if it were for real."
"Yeah," he agrees with her words but it doesn't sound like he means it. Kensi lifts her head forcing him to do the same. They end up turning to look at one another.
She studies him a moment and realises that his thumb is rubbing gentle circles on the back of her hand. She hadn't even realised it, the action seeming so natural. "You want to know what I was going to say don't you?"
"We're not there now," he offers, using her own words against her.
"I... Deeks, don't please. I can't... before… before I thought that was it. The end of us, I just…" She stops unable to form the words to explain. She wants to tell him, desperately. She wants to stop feeling like this. To just get it out in the open. Over and done with. But earlier it was easier, when she thought that was it for them. It was almost like she couldn't hold back, but he'd gone and thrown a god damn wall up in front of her. When she'd figured out what was going on she'd initially been glad. Glad that she hadn't spilled her guts to him and let all her feelings out. After reading the letter she'd had a moment when she'd realised just why he done it and really it all made perfect sense, then anyway. Now, now she just wishes she'd told him. Because she can't bring herself to say it now, what she wanted to say then. Then there was no risk, now, it's a game changer. And really they've been through so much today already that this conversation, well it's only going to complicate matters.
She doesn't have the chance to analyse any more though because he starts to talk again. His tone is calm and so serious she's almost worried for a moment.
"I shouldn't have just left you hanging like that. I should have done something, said something. I didn't want you to say anything because I couldn't take another lie. I wanted so much to tell you, but the timing just sucked."
"Now, I don't think you want to hear it."
Her eyes shoot up to meet his and they lose themselves for just a moment.
"But you know what?" His voice drops to almost a whisper but he doesn't break eye contact. "I need to tell you... you have to know..." He tries to think how best to form what he wants to say. "I'm crazy about you."
She laughs and if he weren't already looking in her eyes he might take offence, but the little creases at the corners and the little twinkle he can see, tells him she is happy. She isn't laughing at him but the situation. Her hand comes up to cradle his face and she savours the feel of his stubble against her palm. "You're crazy."
"Is that good or bad crazy?" he leans slightly into her touch.
"Good, definitely good," she says rubbing a thumb against his jaw.
He leans forward and places a gentle kiss square in the middle of her forehead. "OK then." He settles back against the couch arm and she snuggles in against him, head on his chest. He releases her hand and slips his arm around her back pulling her in close. Her arm slips around his middle and that's how they stay until they fall asleep.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this one shot and it was a little different from all the other post 3.10 fics out there. I'd love, as always to your thoughts so please leave a review.