Author's Note: Okay, so, thanks again for joining me for more of this little love story that I'm spinning like a spider's web, and I just want to clear the air for those of you who have expressed some concern…I assure you guys, this is not a 'death story' at all. It is a love story through and through.


Chapter 3

It's been a long, hard two days at NCIS, not just for Deeks, but also for the whole team. Two ex-marines had engaged in a three-day bank-robbing spree that seemed to take them all over L.A. As a result NCIS had been forced to work very closely with the LAPD—something Deeks would not wish on anybody.

The whole case was just one ordeal after another—from start to finish. Both sides constantly competed for the lead on the case, and most of the time with disastrous results. In the end though NCIS and LAPD had to join forces in order to successfully bring down the terrible duo once and for all.

Still, everyone seems to be doing quite well, despite the last two days feeling like complete hell. Callen and Sam sit behind their desks in the bullpen finishing some paper work on the case they just closed, and at the same time somehow able to joke around with each other, as is their custom. Kensi had been the first to finish her paperwork, as always, and had gone out to the gym for a quick workout session.

Deeks, however, stands alone in the men's restroom. His mind races over the events of the day and the one before it in silence, as he braces himself against the sink staring helplessly into the single mirror mounted over it. Sure the three months before had been miserable for the seasoned detective, but this last case with NCIS was a real eye-opener. He finally sees just how bad off he really is in his current condition—something he has tried desperately to avoid to this point.

Deeks groans aloud as the familiar sensation of unnaturally intense pressure begins to slowly build somewhere in his head. He squeezes his eyes shut, and tries to will the pain away at first. As always though he ends up snatching the bottle off the edge of the sink, and after unscrewing the lid measures out three of the tiny pills into the palm of his hand. He downs the meds in a quick gulp, tilting his head back slightly, and then replaces the bottle in its former position.

I have to tell her. She deserves the truth after all. Even if it means hurting her.

Deeks lets his mind quietly wander back to that day approximately a month and a half ago. This was the day he finally broke from his cover, for only a couple of hours, in order to meet with a doctor at a local hospital about the frequently recurring migraines he was having.

Deeks sits alone in a small, drab looking room. The colors on the wall make the seasoned Detective think of snot and puke. These are definitely not colors that he would have chosen for such a venue.

He is hoping that when the doctor finally reappears in his room it will be with good news. Like, maybe there's a reason for his intense headaches that can be easily cured. It's hard to do the job he does, after all, when constantly worrying about when or where another episode might creep up on him.

The sound of the door opening at last attracts the attention of the shaggy-haired man, and he immediately raises his eyes to the man entering the room. Doctor Marshall Pratt is a thin, middle-aged man with thinning white hair, and a light patch of same-colored scruff on his chin.

The doctor closes the door effectively affording the two men the privacy required for such business as theirs. He shifts his wire-framed glasses back up on his nose, and appears slightly uneasy as he looks over the haggard-looking Detective.

"So, Doc…any good news?" Deeks asks, unable to completely suppress the growing anxiety he feels inside.

The doctor inhales and then exhales a tell-tale breath, and then finally walks towards Deeks. "I'm sorry, I wish I had better news for you, but I'm afraid what I have is quite the opposite."

Deeks feels his heart sink in his chest at the doctor's words. "What do you mean, exactly?" the detective asks.

The liaison officer barely has control of his body now, as it seems to shake entirely of its own volition. A single tear rolls down from the corner of his eye, and then disappears within the forest of light-colored scuff. After a few minutes though, he manages to pull himself together just enough to decide that it might be best to tell Hetty first.

Hetty looks up from her afternoon tea, and finds the shaggy-haired liaison officer standing at the edge of her office. She sets her cup down on the desktop quietly, and motions for Deeks to take a seat. She can see the worry and fear in his normally bright, Pacific Ocean blue eyes.

"Mr. Deeks."

"Hey Hetty, sorry to bother you like this." Deeks apologizes as he settles himself into the seat in front of the operations managers' desk.

"No bother at all, Mr. Deeks." She assures him. "What can I do for you?"

"This isn't easy to say." He tells her. "There's just so much uncertainty attached that I…" he swallows a hard lump as fresh tears spring to the corners of his eyes. "…I mean, I haven't even told Kensi yet." He sniffles.

Hetty looks deeply into the younger man's eyes, and there she sees an overwhelming amount of fear and sadness. Whatever it is that's weighing on him at present is certainly a big deal—that much is perfectly clear to the tiny woman.

Deeks inhales a deep breath, and then lets it out trying to steady himself before continuing once again. "I've been having these 'migraines'…real bad 'migraines' for the last few months." He begins. "About a month and a half ago, I finally went to see a doctor…"

Kensi exits the gymnasium, and strolls into the main lobby area of the mission. She finished her workout several minutes before, and then took the time to clean up in the showers. She looks around the room, and sees Sam and Callen still in the bullpen. She does not, however, see Deeks anywhere.

"You guys seen Deeks?" She asks her teammates, sticking her head into the bullpen.

Callen looks up at Kensi. "Yeah, a few minutes ago. I think he was going to see Hetty." He says, nodding in the direction of the tiny woman's office.

"Okay, thanks."

The female federal agent decides to take a seat at her own desk, and wait patiently for Deeks to finish his business with their boss. She has been hoping all day long that tonight will be the night that he finally opens up to her. Deeks hasn't quite been the same since his return from the undercover assignment, and Kensi can't help but feel curious and apprehensive about the reason.

Several minutes pass by in silence for the brunette beauty, and during that time she manages to pack up all of her things to head home. Just then a cell phone rings nearby. Kensi looks up, and sees that Deeks left his cell phone sitting on his desktop, and now apparently he's receiving a phone call.

"I'll get it." She tells the others as she reaches for the phone.

"Sure that's a good idea?" Sam asks.

"Relax." She tells the muscular ex-Navy Seal. "He trusts me."

She holds the phone close, and reads off the Caller ID. The name on the display reads Dr. Martin Trask. Not a name that Kensi is particularly familiar with, but she does think too much into it—at least not at first. She hits the answer button and holds it to her ear. "Hello?"

An automated message begins to play from the other end of the line.

"Hello. This is just a reminder about your appointment with us tomorrow at Primary Health Associates, L.A. Branch. Our records show that you are scheduled for a consultation with Dr. Martin Trask at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. If this information is incorrect, please contact us at the following number and let us know so that the problem may be resolved in an expedient manner. Thank you again for choosing Primary Health Associates—'Working towards a better You'."

Kensi doesn't wait for the callback number to play out. Instead, she closes the phone and holds it in her hands for a long moment. A sudden, uneasy feeling settles over her as she sits behind her desk. Her gut tells her that the phone call is somehow related to the thing that's been bothering Deeks.

An idea pops into her head, and following the light bulb moment she lays the phone down and pulls herself to her feet.

Kensi walks quickly into the Ops Centre just a minute or so later. She finds Eric and Nell chatting with one another at their terminals. Both seem to be relaxed, and enjoying the down time now that the latest case has been closed.

She clears her throat to get their attention.

Uh, yes. Kensi, can we help you?" Nell asks, turning to face the beautiful female federal agent.

"Can you guys look up something for me, real quick?" Kensi asks.

"Sure." Eric replies. "What is it?"

"Dr. Martin Trask." She repeats the name she'd read off of the phone's Caller ID.

Within mere seconds the two tech analysts find a plethora of information on the well-respected medical professional. "It says here that Dr. Trask specializes in Oncology, and is currently employed here in L.A. at-"

"Primary Health Associates." Kensi finishes for the tech analyst in a sad voice.

Nell picks up on the drastic change in Kensi's tone, and immediately turns back to face her friend. "Is everything okay, Kensi?" the tech analyst asks softly.

"I-I don't know." Kensi replies, shaking her head. She knows full well what that title means, and in her mind it's not a good thing—especially not considering when she knows her boyfriend has an appointment with this doctor. "I-I have to go. Just clear the search, and forget I ever said anything to you guys. Okay?"

She does not leave the pair any time to reply, as she turns and quickly exits the Ops Centre. She decides, as she makes her way down the staircase, that she still won't push the subject with Deeks tonight—she'll be patient, just as before. He'll talk when he's good and ready to.

She reaches the bottom of the stairs, and out of the corner of her eye she see Deeks standing near his desk in the bullpen. Her heart pounds intensely inside her chest as she rounds the corner with a million different scenarios playing out in her head. As she approaches the bullpen their eyes meet, and its all she can do to keep from demanding an explanation right there in front of everyone else.

"Hey," Deeks says, as Kensi walks into the bullpen. "You ready to head out?"

She only nods. It's all she can do at this point, and if she tries to speak now she knows she'll only be putting him on the spot. Instead, she quietly gathers her things from her desk as Deeks waits patiently.

The ride from OSP to his place takes forever, or at least it seems that way in Kensi's mind, and the awkward silence between the couple only intensifies this feeling. It seems like every time she chances a look in Deeks' direction she finds herself feeling even worse than before.

He parks in the lot just outside his apartment, and there he and Kensi sit in uncomfortable silence for what seems like the longest time. Neither one really willing to look at each other, and both knowing, somehow, that this will not be an ordinary night for them.

This is ridiculous. She knows me better than anyone else, and there is no way on Earth I can possibly hide this from her…she's not stupid after all. She will find out eventually, whether from me, or someone else all together.

He resolves himself at last to tell his girl the truth, but the parking lot outside his apartment is not the place he wants to do it. He replaces the key into the ignition slot, and restarts the car. This seems to startle the silent brunette beside him, and she immediately turns her face towards his.

"What?" she questions in a quiet voice. "Where are we-?"

He clears his throat before speaking. "Kens, we need to talk…but not here, okay." He says softly. "I just need you to humor me, please?"

Kensi nods. Her heart is breaking in her chest for him right now. She has an idea of what it is that he wants to talk about, and she can't help but feel as though it's going to be something she really doesn't want to hear.

"Whatever you need." She replies sweetly, bringing her hand to rest on top of his as it grips the steering wheel.