Kensi cuts the engine and sighs, breaking the silence they've been in since they left the cemetery. She was fine while they were there - full on agent mode, all hard-edges and laser focus - but the moment they got into her car she softened, and now she's back to being Kensi. Albeit a quieter, more solemn version of herself.

"You okay?" he asks after she makes no move to get out.

She turns to face him, probably gauging how deep she wants the conversation to go - how much she wants to reveal right now. He tries to look understanding-but-not-pushy without actually saying anything. He'll ask Eric later how he'd mime that.

"I'm not really a fan of funerals," she admits after a moment.

"As opposed to the vast numbers of the population who love 'em."

"Fair point."

"Some funerals aren't so bad, though."

"The ones with booze?"

He nods. "Those too."

A smile creeps over her face. "There is one funeral I'm going to really enjoy."

He shakes his head and sighs. "So cruel."

"What? You don't even know what I was going to say!"

"Yeah, right." He slips his tie from his neck and unfastens his top button. "'Cause you're such a mystery."

She scoffs and reaches for the door, stepping out of the car and starting toward the Mission.

He shoves his tie into his pocket and follows.

"I wasn't going to say yours," she tells him when he falls into step beside her. "I was going to say -"

"Yes?" he prompts when she trails off.

"Okay, I was going to say yours."

He laughs.

"Because it's true!"


She smiles brightly. "I'll be dancing -"

He shakes his head. "You'll be sobbing -"

"Singing -"

"Nasty, slobbery sobs; make-up smeared all over." He waves his hands in front of his face. "Ugh, you'll look terrible. Puffy," he cringes, "snotty. I'm glad I won't be around to see it."

"I'm just glad you won't be around."

He holds the door open for her and follows her into the Mission. "You're lucky I know how much you like me, Princess, otherwise I might start to feel bad."

"'Like' isn't the word I'd use."

"Okay, you can use 'love' if you'd rather," he says, pulling his tie from his pocket and tossing it onto his desk. "I just didn't want to be the one to cross that line."

She turns her head and she stops, eyes bulging mid-roll. "Did someone get you a present?"

"A present? For me?" he says with as much innocence as he can muster. "No."

She points to the plant that's sitting on his desk, a bright yellow ribbon stuck to the pot. "What's that?"

He shrugs. "It's a plant."

"Why does it have a bow on it?"

"Because it's a present."

"So you did get a present."

He jams his hands into his pockets and rocks back on his heels. "Newp."

"Deeks," she warns.

"You got a present," he says. "Now that you can't buy your own plants anymore, I've decided to be your middleman."

"That's really sweet." She comes over to his desk and scoops up the plant, examining it with a mix of awe and trepidation.

"Yeah, well," he says as he watches her, "Ray used to buy me beer when I was underage, so I figured I'd pay it forward."

She spares him a glance. "Less sweet."

"But still a little sweet."

"A little," she concedes, turning back to the plant. "It's so green."

"That would be because it's alive. Also, I think I'm obligated to ensure its survival, because I'm the one who placed it in its home."

She raises an eyebrow. "Oh, yeah?"

"Well, what kind of a person would I be if I just left it to you?"

"An accomplice?" she guesses.

"An accomplice," he confirms.

"Well, we wouldn't want another felony conviction on your rap sheet." Her eyes light up. "Is it oregano?"

"No, Fern, it's a houseplant. Killing flora, I can allow - but I'm not going to facilitate any poisoning of humans."

"I would be an excellent cook."

"Yeah. No. No, you wouldn't."

She scoffs. "Just for that, I'm going to make you dinner."

"After waxing poetic about my funeral? I don't think so."

"Oh, come on. If I were going to kill you I wouldn't go through the hassle of cooking first. I'd just snap your neck."

"You're so charming. I'd love to have dinner with you, thanks for asking."

Callen steps into the bullpen, fastening the final buttons on his shirt. "Taking your life in your hands there, Deeks. A bold move."

"Why does everyone think I'd poison him?" Kensi asks, obviously offended. "Am I that plebeian?"

"Fair point," Callen says before turning to Deeks. "You're screwed."

Deeks raises his eyebrows, face morphing into a huge grin.

Kensi gasps. "He didn't mean like that!"

"Didn't mean what like what?" Sam asks, dropping his hat onto his desk.

"Trust me, buddy," Callen says, crossing to his locker. "You do not want to know."

"Can't be worse than -"

"It can. Whatever you were going to say, it can."

"Okay, then." Sam grabs his car keys from his desk. "Ready to go?"

Callen shakes his head. "I'd sooner eat Kensi's cooking than ride in your car after what you did to Hetty. That woman knows her way around explosives."

"Wait, what?" Deeks asks over Kensi's offended huff. "What did you do to Hetty?"

"I didn't do anything to Hetty. I called Mrs. Fitzpatrick 'Shorty' and told her to shut her mouth."

Deeks' mouth forms an 'o' but no sound comes out.

"Why didn't you warn us?" Kensi hisses to Callen.

He shrugs, unrepentant.

"Oh, Mr. Deeks," Hetty coos from behind him.

Deeks jumps up, startled, and jams his knee into the edge of his desk. He bites down on his lip to keep from cursing. "Yes, Hetty? What can I do for you? You're looking lovely, today, I might add. Are those new shoes?"

She smiles an enigmatic smile that could easily be patented as Genuine Hetty. "Are you taking a course in dry-cleaning, Mr. Deeks?"

"No," he answers warily, looking to Kensi for an explanation. She shrugs. Helpful, that partner of his. "Would you like me to?"

"I'm just wondering why you've seen fit to wad up your silk tie as if it were a chewing gum wrapper."

Before his brain even registers what she's said, he's got his tie spread across his desk and is smoothing it down with the palm of his hand.

"Out of those suits, you two," Hetty orders before disappearing down the hall; likely to see how many grown men she can make wet their pants.

"Nice save, Deeks," Sam says, grinning. "Smooth."

Deeks ignores him. "Do you think she's going to kill me?" he asks Kensi. "Am I a dead man?"

Callen scrunches up his nose as he throws his duffel over his shoulder. "It's not looking good."

Deeks tries stifling a whimper as Callen and Sam head out the door.

Kensi laughs and heads to wardrobe, quickly changing out of her suit and back into her own clothes. Deeks does the same, emerging from the dressing room as she's pulling her hair up into a ponytail.

"So," she says as she snaps the elastic band a final time. "You want to come over for dinner? I'll let you buy me takeout."

"You'll let me?"

"If you're lucky."

He hangs his suit on the rack. "You'll protect me from Hetty, right?"

Kensi nods. "Of course. I'm saving the pleasure of killing you for myself."

"Thanks, partner. I'm pretty sure she's going to make an attempt while I'm sleeping. I'll need around-the-clock protection."

"Is that why you make Monty sleep with you? Poor guy."

"Hey!" Deeks manages to feign hurt, but his eyes can't hide his smile. "I'll have you know that Monty routinely describes me as the best snuggler in L.A."

"I saw Monty pull a hot dog out of a garbage can the other day, so let's be realistic here - his standards aren't exactly top-shelf."

They stop by their desks so Kensi can grab her plant. As she wraps it in her arm, she gives him a big, happy grin. He's definitely going to have to make sure that thing lives.

"Want to get a movie about weddings or something?" he asks as he shoulders his bag.

She frowns and starts toward the exit. "Weddings?"

"I'm not sure what you consider the opposite of a funeral, but I'll admit I'm not excited about the prospect of watching a live birth."

"Come, on. I'm sure it can't be any worse than watching a live cremation."

"Oh, god." He shudders dramatically. "Why did you have to remind me?"

She laughs and hands him her plant as she digs in her bag for her keys.

He waits as she unlocks the car, a contented silence surrounding them. They get in their seats and buckle up, the quiet shattering only when she turns the key in the ignition.

She pauses before shifting into reverse. When she speaks, her voice is soft, almost hesitant. "Hey, Deeks?"

He turns his gaze to her, eyebrow raised. "Yeah?"

"Don't die, okay?"

He nods once, and holds the potted plant tighter. "I'll do my best."