Hello, friends. I should be studying for finals. Instead I'm writing fluffy oneshots. Please read/review!
Coming back is always the hardest part, returning from someplace foreign and dangerous and finding yourself surrounded by things that you have memorized-neon signs advertising bars you frequent, green-and-white freeway signs, the familiar skyline of the city you call home. And now it's a door, a green door with the numbers 23 nailed on lopsidedly, and a man with shaggy hair standing in it.
"Welcome home," says Deeks. There's a lot that Kensi wants to say, but she just grins, a big, happy, stupid grin.
"It's good to be back," she admits, when they're sitting in the coach, drinking whiskey and talking shop. "Man, I'll tell you, Russia's a whole other world."
"Bet it was freezing. Hetty didn't tell us much."
There's an unspoken question in there somewhere, but Kensi doesn't feel like talking about the KGB defector or the arms dealer or the blood that splashed scarlet across the Siberian snow. She doesn't want to talk about car chases in Moscow or a case of RPG's that ended up in the wrong hands or the innocent woman who was shot execution-style because she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"It was hard," she admits. "There were a couple times when I...I thought I might not make it back."
She notices that Deeks has new bruises, a cut under his eye. Run of the mill stuff for undercover agents, but it reminds her that the life she's returned to is no picnic either. His blue eyes are wide with concern.
"What kept you going?" He asks, and his voice is equal parts worried and hopeful. And the words slip out before she can stop them, before she can think of anything else:
He looks taken aback, almost shocked. But he looks pleased too, eyes brightening.
"You know, the team. All of you," Kensi stammers, but it's too late and Deeks is smiling at her and there's something in his eyes that she's never seen before but she thinks that she likes it.
"Why, Agent Blye," Deeks says, pressing a hand to his chest and batting his eyelashes. "I'm flattered."
"Don't be," Kensi tells him, and she reaches for the bottle of Jack Daniels and takes a swig, and relishes in the fact that three months in Russia has changed nothing about her relationship with Deeks. He's watching her, eyes gleaming.
"You know, I read somewhere that sharing a bottle with someone is pretty much the same thing as making out with them."
Kensi draws her lips away from the neck of the bottle and cringes.
And Deeks reaches for the bottle and takes a long drink, his eyes never leaving hers. And Kensi won't lie-her heart flutters a little. Just a little. He puts the bottle down and reaches for her hand, and the skin-on-skin contact is strange and a little wonderful. Kensi leans into him until she's curled against his shoulder, his arm around her. Her hand finds his chest and she can feel his ribs rising and falling with breath.
"I'm glad you're home, Kensi," he tells her softly, and there's none of the usual snarky jokes, just genuine gratitude. She closes her eyes, breathes in the smell of whiskey and that weird musky cologne that Deeks always wears, and she smiles.
And it's then that Kensi realizes that maybe home isn't always a place. Maybe sometimes home is a person too.