Part two, part two, part two! Yay! Also, I never congratulated SilverSentinal21 for guessing Keelan's age correctly! You win a candy and unicorn shower! And a virtual cookie! *confetti* And because I love you all so much, I'm giving you virtual cookies! And cyberhugs! Yay, cyberhugs! (It's 11:30pm and I had regular coffee not too long age so forgive the hyperactivity, please, :D)
It'd been a few weeks since Kensi had called Deeks, as per Nell's suggestion, and she was noticeably happier. Spunky, fiesty, stubborn, not-depressed Kensi had returned to OSP with a whole lot less doom and gloom in her step. There was still that one little black cloud looming over her head named Alexander Lancaster but nobody really liked him.
Despite his weekly verbal ass-whuppings from the team and anyone else he managed to piss off, Xander (that was the only nickname he deemed "acceptable") still had that air of superiority and he treated OSP as his own personal playground where he could bully all the other agents. Like all bullies, Lancaster bullied in what he thought was secret. Little did he know, the "Mummified Gremlin" had her ever watchful eyes on him and his performance. She scrutinized every piece of paper that came from him and made him correct his shoddy workmanship multiple times to his extreme dislike. Whenever he opened his mouth to protest, Hetty simply said, "You are an NCIS field agent and I expect high caliber work in all that you do, including your case reports. One small miscount of events can lead to a criminal walking free. It'd be a shame for the country as well as your family if that one error came from you, Mister Lancaster." That made him clamp his mouth shut on the spot until he got back to his desk and muttered angrily as he revised again and again.
One day, Lancaster was in a even more sour mood about his revisions that he started flicking little balls of paper at anyone who walked past the bullpen. He sniggered under his breath like a school boy while Kensi rolled her eyes and gave Callen her ever famous can-I-shoot-him-now face. Callen replied with a long sigh and mimed that his hands were tied. Kensi clasped her hands together and mouthed a very desperate "please". This odd game if charades continued and got to the point where Sam decided to put an end to the childishness and misery once and for all. While everyone headed out to lunch, Sam popped up to Ops.
"Yo, Eric?" Sam called as he stepped into the cool darkness if Ops.
"Yeah," Eric said, waving from behind one of the servers. "What's up?"
"You still in touch with Abby Sciuto?"
"We consult each other on occasion. Why?" He continued fussing with the server while Sam spoke.
"Can you give her a call and ask her if there are any field agent openings in the DC office?"
"Oh, my God. You're not leaving, are you?" Eric asked in a panicked voice.
"It's not for me," Sam assured him. "It's for that little prick downstairs."
Eric let out a sigh of relief. "If we don't want him, what makes you think DC is going to take him? They're not going to put up with - "
"Exactly. They're not going to put up with his crap. What if we can paint a pretty picture of DC for him?" Sam asked as he followed Eric down the row of servers. "There's more political ties so his uncle is bound to have more pull. Hypothetically speaking, if we make DC sound like the right track for him, he transfers, gets chewed up and spat out and everyone's happier."
Eric thought through Sam's plan for a moment and nodded in agreement. "I'll call Abby right now. You know, this is very much on the vindictive side for you, Sam. It's a little surprising."
"I'd rather deal with Kensi and Deeks bickering than Kensi and everyone else yelling at Lancaster," Sam said with shrug. "Besides, I miss watching what your wife calls the 'skinny love saga' unfold."
"You, too, huh?" Eric chuckled.
"I'm a romantic." Sam lightly punched Eric's arm. "Sue me."
Early the next morning, before the rest of the team even arrived, Sam presented his proposal to Hetty. She sat back in her chair, mulling it over and sipping her tea, while Sam sat and waited for her answer. "If this works, we will have to get an agent to replace Mister Lancaster until Mister Deeks is allowed to return to us and I can't even guarantee he'll be given that permission."
"The new Secretary of the Navy is very prejudiced towards outsiders. How he got elected to the position in the first place, I'll never know. He made it very difficult for the Air Force to collaborate with us two months ago and from what the other NCIS field offices are saying, there has been some serious and questionable overhauling occuring. No one is happy."
"Doesn't Director Vance have some say in that, though? He's the director of the entire agency."
"He does but, it's minimal," she said as she poured Sam and herself more tea.
Sam sat back in the antique chair and let out a long sigh. "I guess anyone is better than Lancaster and his pompous a-" Hetty raised an eyebrow. "Attitude," Sam recovered.
"I can sift through the applications for a suitable replacement. If you could please inform Miss Blye that Mister Deeks will not be able to meet her for breakfast later this week, it would be greatly appreciated. I do not need to have her sulking because she thinks he neglected to inform her of his undercover status."
"He's undercover?" Sam asked with a little surprise.
"I like to keep an eye on him and make sure he remains intact. I'd prefer to have him back here as such. After all," Hetty said, peering over the top of her glasses, "what is a love story with just one person?"
Sam's expression was a mix of surprise and puzzlement. He opened his mouth to say, "You, too?" but Hetty answered before his brain could tell his jaw muscles to contract.
"I am just as fond of romances as I am of tragedies, Mister Hanna." She waived Sam out of her office and immediately dialed her phone. "Hetty Lange for Director Vance, dear... Thank you... Leon, it's good to hear you. I've a proposal for you regarding the Lancaster situation if you're willing to hear it."
Much to everyone's joy, Lancaster was out with a bad case of "food poisoning" for the day. There was a rumor floating around that one of the probies may or may not have slipped an entire bottle of eye drops into his coffee. Nobody really cared about the "who" or the "how"; everyone was just glad he was out. The normal, jovial atmosphere quickly returned as news of Lancaster's compromised gastrointestinal integrity spread through OSP at near-sonic speed.
Some people were a little too happy with Lancaster's absence, specifically Kensi. As soon as Sean Reyes, one of Eric's analysts, stumbled into the bullpen to deliver the news, Kensi shot out of her chair and sat herself down at Lancaster's desk. She pulled out the center drawer and rummaged through the contents paying no mind to Callen's confused expression or Sam's disapproving look. Both men shook there heads and went back to reading their case files as Kensi rifled through every drawer.
"I knew it!" Kensi scowled. "That bastard."
"You're going to have to be more specific," Callen said without looking up from his file. "We know quite a few."
"Who do you think?" Kensi huffed. "Look at this." She slammed a mug onto Callen's desk. "This is your mug, right?"
Callen flipped the file closed and inspected the mug in question. "Lancaster took it?" he asked as he peered inside. "Sam, he's got your keychain." Callen pulled out a clay heart with the word "Daddy" carved across.
"And he took my make-up brush," Kensi said, holding it up.
"How do you know that's yours? It could belong to any of the female agents that he hits on," Sam said pointedly as he reattached his keychain to his key ring.
"Because," Kensi said as she turned the brush handle up, "this isn't an ordinary brush." She held it out for both men to see and with the push of an invisible button, a small blade shot out of the handle.
"Wow," Sam said. "Where'd you get that?"
"It was a gift from Hetty," Kensi said, retracting the blade. "It's proven useful on occasion."
"This is enough to file a grievance," Callen said. "I mean, he may not lose his job because of his uncle's clout but it's nice to have a paper trail."
"I say we ship his ass off to DC like Sam suggested," Kensi grumbled. She put the make-up brush in its case, put it in her backpack, and locked the whole thing in her desk's bottom drawer.
"Then we have to get used to a whole new person," Callen half-whined.
"I don't care," Kensi snapped as she began stapling her reports together. "Anyone is better than Lancaster." She made a gagging noise as she said his name to further express her distaste for the man (As if he could ever be considered a man, she thought. He's more like a spoiled princess than anything else.). "I'd love to have Deeks back here as much as you guys-"
"Maybe more," Sam whispered inaudibly to Callen who tried to hide his smirk behind the folder.
"But until this asinine, bureaucratic shit-storm blows over..." Kensi let her voice trail off and let out a sigh. "Hetty said it's going to take time to get him back." At that moment, Kensi's phone vibrated and she brought up the text message.
Not gonna make it to breakfast for a while. Going UC. I promise I'll make it up to you ;-)
Kensi half-frowned, half-smiled at this text message. On the one hand she was disappointed they wouldn't be able to have their weekly breakfasts but, she was glad he thought to tell her before he locked his personal phone away and replaced it with a burner.
You better. Be safe. We want you back in one piece.
"Was that Deeks?" Sam asked with a grin.
"How did you know?" Kensi asked, trying her best to wear a neutral expression.
"You get this look when he texts you," Sam said. "It's a good look. Happy, almost."
"I do not," Kensi protested.
"It's like a smile but, you look kind of constipated at the same time," Callen elaborated.
"Nah, not constipated. It's kind of like when you get hit by a cloud of someone's cologne or perfume when they wear too much."
"Are you two finished?"
Sam and Callen glanced at each other. "Never," they sniggered in unison.