AN: I know, two stories posted in two days. What the hell, right? A big thanks to everyone who tweeted about my last story. Surprised the hell out of me, and made me giggle all at the same time. I've said it before and I'll probably have it engraved on my headstone, NCIS:LA fans are the best.
This is for the five or six of you who've asked for a Deeks/Callen fic. This is the best my mind would come up with. So, depending on what you think of it, either you're welcome, or I'm sorry. Take your pick.
It's been one of those days. One of those long 48-hour kind of days. The kind where you wake up on Tuesday, blink once or twice, and suddenly it's Thursday, and all you can do is look around dumbly and ask, "What the hell happened to Wednesday?"
Deeks loves those days, loves 'em about as much as he loves taking a big bite of peanut butter only to find that his milk is two days past its expiration date and two hours this side of gross.
Loves 'em about as much as he loves rogue Navy SEALs.
It's been two days of non-stop searching. Everyone and their momma out looking for Captain David Simpson, retired US Navy SEAL, avid Lakers' fan, and suspected terrorist.
They had searched all of LA County for the man. Somewhere around hour thirty, Deeks had begun to feel like a blind man playing Where's Waldo?
He closes his eyes, enjoying the feel of the wind on his face. The sun's just starting to come up, turning the sky a mixture of light gray and pale yellow. If someone were to ask him where he is, he couldn't tell them. His best guess would be somewhere between Venice Beach and B.F.E.
Apparently, along with being a Navy SEAL, Simpson's a survivalist, preferring to spend his time in isolation as opposed to the city. It had taken Nell and Eric a good minute to find it, but find it they did. A cabin, complete with wood stove and outhouse.
And just like everywhere else they've looked, David Simpson is nowhere in sight.
They had arrived ready for action, guns out, eyes strained in the dark. But it had been a bust, the cabin proving empty with only trace signs that anyone had been there at all.
Deeks had walked away, trying to hide a yawn as he made his way to the large pond on the edge of the property. He had quickly found an old wooden dock, walking out as far as he could go.
That's where he's at now, toes of his boots peeking over the edge, hands in his pockets. He's got his head leaned back, the muscles in his neck completely lax as he inhales the smell of fish and wet dirt that can only be found this far from civilization.
He feels the boards shift beneath his feet, telling him he's no longer alone. He slowly turns his head and opens one eye, fully expecting to see his partner. Instead, he's met with the somewhat frustrated glare of one G. Callen.
Apparently, the look of surprise shows on Deeks' face. "Kensi's inside," Callen explains, stopping next to Deeks so they're standing shoulder to shoulder. "She's helping Sam."
Deeks gives a small nod and resumes his prior pose, head back, eyes closed. "He still…" Deeks lets the question trail off, not really knowing how best to end it. But Callen seems to know what he's thinking, because he just sighs heavily before giving a soft snort completely void of humor.
"Yeah, he's still pissy."
Deeks feels the corner of his mouth twitch into a small smile at Callen's description. The word 'pissy' would be a bit of an understatement. Unbearably Bitchy is closer to the mark, in a scary, piss your pants kind of way. But Deeks had kept quiet, taking the barbs and angry looks with practiced ease.
They all know how Sam gets when a member of the military betrays his country. The fact that the bad guy of the week is a SEAL…well, that's just the icing on the cake.
"He'll be better once this is all over," Callen says quietly, rubbing his hands over his face, "Once he gets some sleep."
Deeks nods in agreement as he raises his arms over his head, torso twisting in a deep stretch. "Uh-huh," he tries to say around a yawn. He lets his arms drop heavily to his sides, head leaning in a tired tilt.
"What?" Deeks asks as he sees Callen's frustrated frown morph into an amused smirk.
"You tired, Deeks?"
Deeks restrains from rolling his eyes, choosing instead to look down at his feet and the water gently lapping a few inches below. "Don't even try and act like you're not exhausted," Deeks jokingly threatens, one hand rising to absently rub at the back of his neck. "None of us has had any sleep, we're all about to drop, including you, insomniac or not."
Callen just snorts again, a little humor finding its way into the sound this time around. "I'm fine."
It's Deeks' turn to snort. "Is that the company motto? Something they teach all of you at Special Agent Camp?" He bends his knees with a grunt, letting gravity pull him the rest of the way down as he sits on the dock.
"What are you doing?" Callen looks down, that frown making a comeback, this time looking a little less frustrated and a little more confused.
"Taking a break," Deeks answers, letting his arms rest on his bent knees, his hands hanging from loose wrists. "What are you doing?"
Callen has his phone out, fingers already working over the screen. "I'm gonna get us some help," he explains, phone rising to his ear as he begins to walk back towards the tree line hiding the cabin. "We'll get someone out here to go over this place with a fine-toothed comb while we go back and get some sleep."
Deeks arches one eyebrow in surprise. Callen shrugs, and continues to walk, calling back over his shoulder, "We'll rest and then regroup. Yeah, Eric…"
Deeks listens as Callen's voice slowly disappears into the distance, the sounds of crickets and birds taking its place. Deeks is surprised, yet grateful for Callen's decision. Deeks knows the man has a tendency to keep going until the job is done, it's what makes him a good agent.
But at the same time, Callen knows when enough's enough, and that's another reason he's good at what he does. Callen might not need as much sleep as the rest of the world, but he knows his team isn't going to be any good if they're dead on their feet, no matter how much Sam wants to nab Simpson.
And that's exactly what they are, dead on their feet, one more false lead away from having their brains zombified. Were it someone other than Simpson, someone more of an immediate threat, Deeks knows Callen wouldn't be making that call.
But it is only Simpson, and Deeks is beyond tired, so he smiles as he leans back, letting the aged wood press into his spine. He frowns once as he feels his gun dig into his lower back, quickly raising his hips as he reaches back to remove it. He sets it next to his side, within easy reaching distance before settling back into his relaxed pose. His knees are still bent, one hand lying lazily across his stomach as the other reaches over the edge of the dock, fingers dipping into the cool water.
Despite his preference for the city, Deeks can't deny how peaceful he's finding the little nook in the woods to be. It may be because he's too tired to know otherwise, or maybe just because he's glad he isn't the one saddled with the task of telling Sam 'The Hulk' Hanna that they're about to take an intermission, go home and recharge their batteries. Callen might be a determined SOB, but he's still got nothing on a pissed off Sam.
Deeks lets his arm flop to the side, knuckles knocking against wood, and stretches one leg out straight. He's quickly realizing that he's about to fall asleep right there on the dock, and he couldn't care less. He's gone days without sleep before, having started the pattern in college, kept it going through law school, and damn near perfected it once he became a cop, but…for some reason, this Tue-Wed-Thursday has really kicked his ass.
He takes a deep breath and lets it out on a heavy sigh, opening his eyes when he decides that falling asleep would be a bad idea, no matter how much he wants to. He focuses on the few clouds in the sky, the way they look like white wisps, reminding him of cotton candy stretched too far.
He tries to relax, to convince his mind that it's okay to take a break. All he needs is a few hours, a quick power nap on the boatshed's couch and he'll be good to go. Hell, he'll even settle for lying in the back of Kensi's car if it'll get him some sleep.
Simpson might not be the biggest threat they've ever come up against, but Deeks still feels that deep-rooted need to catch the guy. Now, here he is, being given an opportunity to relax, an 'out' as they say, to listen to his body's need for sleep, and his freaking mind won't let him enjoy it.
He tilts his head back and opens his eyes, earning an upside down view of Callen's back in the distance, the phone still to the Agent's ear.
"Probably gonna send Dennison," Deeks muses aloud, thinking of the crew Hetty usually sends to clean up their messes. He closes his eyes and decides to focus on the sounds of Nature, searching for whatever it is that attracts so many people to the middle of nowhere.
The beach is pretty much as close to Nature as he wants to get, preferably one within walking distance of food, coffee, and a shower. Lying on the dock, he hears the birds, the sound of what he assumes to be squirrels running through the line of trees separating the dock from the cabin, and an odd assortment of bugs. Nothing he's too overly fond of.
He begins to move his arm back and forth, enjoying the feel of the water rippling around his fingers. He's finally beginning to truly relax when his fingers brush against something in the water.
On reflex, Deeks jerks his arm back, pulling his hand out of the water. He feels a small jolt of adrenaline kick start his heart into high gear.
Probably a fish, he tells himself as he flips onto his side, using his elbow to prop himself up as he peers over the edge of the dock. He's met with his reflection, little waves left over from his hand's quick retreat distorting the image, making it look as though he's bobbing up and down.
Willing to risk the arm on a whim of bravery, but mostly just to satisfy his curiosity, Deeks reaches his hand back into the water, waving it in a large arched pattern. When no amphibious creature jumps out and attacks him, Deeks removes his hand and gives a small, embarrassed laugh. Probably was just a fish.
He's about to push himself into a standing position, both hands gripping the edge of the dock for leverage when his words are suddenly cut off.
The water that had already begun to still suddenly breaks apart, a large, pale hand shooting out from beneath the dock, cold fingers gripping the collar of Deeks' shirt, water softened fingernails scraping the skin at his neck.
Deeks' sleep deprived mind barely has time to register just how wrong the situation is before the waterlogged hand is pulling, roughly dragging him off of the dock and into the dark water.
For the second time in less than a minute, reflex takes over. It's human nature to be startled by something unexpected, and Deeks is no exception. As soon as the hand begins to pull, Deeks gasps, immediately inhaling a mouthful of water as his face meets the surface of the pond.
He hits the water hard, both hands rising to grasp at the fingers wrapped around his collar as he's pulled from the surface, the water's temperature dropping the closer he gets to the bottom.
It's said that when in danger, instincts will kick in, choosing Fight or Flight. For some reason, Deeks' instincts can't make up their mind, choosing to do both at the same time. He kicks out, punching and clawing at whatever's trying to hold him down, his eyes darting around, trying to see through the silt and sand being kicked up by his struggles. The water and darkness slow him, messing up his aim, and he begins to panic.
It doesn't help that the hand has moved from his collar, an arm now wrapping around his chest, pulling him back. He tries to fight, his elbow making contact with something decidedly soft.
Deeks feels his feet hit something, and he kicks off, hoping like crazy that he's going the right way. He's a little surprised when his head breaks the surface, his nose pressing up against the bottom of the dock as he coughs and gasps for air.
But then the water breaks again, a head rising up, and Deeks just acts. He pulls one arm back, the other reaching forward, fingers clawing at the unknown face.
"Damn it, Deeks!" the face sputters, a hand of its own pushing up against Deeks' chin. "What the hell are you doing?!"
"Callen?" Deeks lets his hand be pushed away, his brain going ninety-to-nothing as he tries to process what is going on. "What the hell?"
"That's what I'm saying." Callen spits a mouthful of pond water out of his mouth, his head tilting so he can have room to breathe in the small space beneath the dock.
Deeks studies Callen, the scratches around his eyes, the way a bruise is already forming at the corner of his mouth. "What happened?" he asks dumbly, his mind not able to come up with a suitable scenario.
Callen stares for a long moment, before giving a disbelieving laugh. "I just tried to save your ass from drowning, that's what happened. One minute, I'm on the phone, I turn around and you're taking a nose dive into the pond. I jump in and you start pummeling my face."
"Something pulled me in," Deeks explains, his eyes darting about, searching the water around them.
"Something pulled you in?" Callen echoes, his tone not having lost that disbelieving edge.
"Someone," Deeks corrects exasperatedly, his eyes rolling at the fact Callen has yet to catch on to the big picture. "Someone pulled me in here. I thought you were him."
Judging by the look on Callen's face and the way he studies the water's surface with an untrusting eye, the big picture has finally sunken in.
If it were happening to anyone else, Deeks would laugh. He'd sit on his couch, dog at his feet as he choked on popcorn and watched the drama unfold. But it's not happening to someone else. So, when the water behind Callen suddenly breaks, a head with close-cropped hair rising up slowly, Deeks can do nothing but feel his eyes widen, his mouth open in shock, letting more water in.
Callen obviously senses something's wrong, probably feels the presence of someone behind him, because Deeks doesn't even have time to call out a warning before Callen's spinning round, trying his best to get closer to Deeks and farther from whatever's behind him.
"Mother Fu—" Callen tries to cry as the man pounces, pulling the Agent back beneath the water. Deeks blinks, screams for Sam as loud as he can, before taking a deep breath and diving back beneath the water.
It's not an elegant fight, not by any means. It's a tangle of arms, legs, the occasional clump of grass. Two against one should be good odds, especially since the 'two' are trained to defend themselves.
But the fact that the 'one' is a Navy SEAL, having spent years training for situations such as this, water submersion included, kind of tips the odds in Bad Guy's favor.
Deeks isn't sure if it's Callen's foot that finds his mouth or Simpson's, but the hard edge of a boot connects with the soft part of Deeks' mouth, blood and mud making for an interesting taste.
Deeks grabs Callen's collar, jamming his thumb into Simpson's eye socket, before he's pulling back, trying his best to remember his years as a lifeguard as he drags Callen with him.
They break the surface, this time managing to come up clear of the dock, but only just. Deeks desperately reaches for the aged wood, his fingers digging into the surface, splinters be damned.
Callen does the same, quickly pulling himself up out of the water. Deeks stares for a moment, momentarily thinking that the guy's just gonna abandon him. But that thought only lasts for a second as Callen's hand wraps around the butt of Deeks' gun.
"Come on, Deeks," Callen orders, one hand aiming the gun at the water's surface as the other reaches to give Deeks a hand up.
"Where is he?" Deeks asks, happily taking the hand being offered. Callen simply shakes his head, his eyes never leaving the water.
Deeks has one knee up on the dock, one good push from being clear of the water when he hears Callen curse, the sound of the gun being readied not far behind.
"Freeze, Simpson," Callen orders at the same time Deeks is being pulled back into the water.
For once, the bad guy listens. Simpson stops, his arm wrapped around Deeks' shoulders. Deeks can feel the man breathing heavily, the water aerobics obviously getting to him as well, training or not.
"I'm not gonna lie, Simpson," Callen says, sounding very much like a disapproving parent, "You kinda pissed me off."
"And scared the piss out of me," Deeks chimes in, watching Callen for any clue as to what's going to happen next.
Callen smiles at Deeks' comment, but keeps his eyes on Simpson. "This is what we're gonna do," he begins, still sounding just as patronizing as ever. "You're going to let my friend go, we're all gonna walk away from this damn pond, and you're not gonna give us anymore trouble."
"Or what?" Simpson asks, speaking for the first time and not sounding intimidated in the least. If anything, Deeks thinks the man just sounds angry.
"Then I'll just shoot you between your pretty little eyes." It's said with conviction and disinterest all at once, a feat Deeks doubts anyone other than Callen could pull off.
Deeks feels Simpson's fingers squeeze his shoulder before he's pushed away, Simpson's arms rising in defeat.
Deeks pulls himself up onto the dock, this time with no hindrance. "You really think his eyes are pretty?" Deeks asks jokingly, fingers fumbling for the handcuffs on his belt.
"Yours are prettier," Callen says with false sincerity, gun still aimed at Simpson as the SEAL makes his way to the bank.
"Thanks, man," Deeks says with a knowing smile, all lopsided and genuine as he readies the cuffs, both men slowly easing towards Simpson.
Callen returns the smile, only lowering the gun once the cuffs are in place. "No problem."
"You two are real cute, you know that?" Simpson sneers, that anger radiating in waves now that he no longer has the upper hand.
"It's been mentioned once or twice." Callen lets Deeks push the man along, frowning as his shoes squish and squelp with each step.
Deeks can see the cabin come into view as they approach the last of the trees separating the pond from the house. "Hey, Callen?"
"When we explain this to Sam and Kensi," Deeks begins, looking to Callen, knowing the Agent isn't the only one covered in mud and grass, "Can we…"
"Leave out a few details?" Callen finishes, his mind obviously having already come to the same conclusion.
"Preferably the part where we may or may not have kicked each other's ass." Deeks lets his tongue rub over the split in his lip, his eyes going to the scratches on Callen's face.
Callen gives a bark of laughter, his fingers rising to massage his bruised mouth. "I think that's probably for the best. They'd never let us live it down."
Deeks can only nod in agreement as he gives Simpson another hard shove in the direction of the cabin.
He can't help smiling at the shared looks on Sam and Kensi's faces, the identical expressions of confusion and surprise.
"What the hell?" Kensi asks, her eyes looking at the puddle of mud and water forming at their feet.
Deeks grins proudly, sharing a quick look with Callen before pointing to the soggy, hulking figure standing between them. "We caught the bad guy."