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Button Up, Mr. Deeks (Part One)

She stood in front of him holding the neatly folded black leather jacket, her top hand patting it gently before she looked up at him. She had a slight enigmatic smile on her face and he thought he saw a glint of tears in her eyes, but dismissed it as wishful thinking on his part. He had always joked that he was her favorite, but she had never acknowledged that it was so, and after the last few months he had become convinced otherwise. He stared down at the leather jacket as she held it out to him, but he frowned and hesitated to accept it, raising his hand to briefly touch the hair at the back of his neck. “Take it, Mr. Deeks,” she encouraged. “It’s cold out there.” “Where have I heard that before,” he said rather unkindly. “You’ve earned it Mr. Deeks,” she replied, ignoring his comment. “I hope it will remind you that you still have a home here when and if you change your mind.” “That’s not going to happen, Hetty.” “No, I suppose not,” she said, pressing the jacket into his hands. “But, we’ll see.” “Thank you,” he finally said with a fleeting grin. “It’s the best thing for everyone, Hetty.” “Is it?” “You disagree,” he stated flatly. “I just didn’t think you would give up this easily,” she said softly. “That’s not fair, Hetty,” suddenly on the defensive. “Neither is life, unless you fight for those you hold dear,” saying it without malice as she reached out and squeezed his hand. She smiled sadly and then turned and walked away, leaving him slightly angry at her accusation. He looked down, realizing he had been stroking the soft black leather of the jacket and that pissed him off even more. He thought it an odd parting gift, one that hinted at his past and his future at the same time. It was expensive, making him smile at the thought that it would make Max Gentry look as if he was coming up in the world. “Oxymoron,” he whispered to himself. He sighed deeply, knowing what came next and finally turned to face the bullpen and the consequences of his actions. He saw Callen look at him, his eyes smoldering with the anger that had confronted him the day he’d told him he was going back to the LAPD. The senior agent’s mouth twisted into the tell that let him know this would not be an easy goodbye.“Callen,” he said as he approached. The man said nothing. Did not offer a hand to shake or a hint that he wanted a parting hug. He simply gave him a disappointed and angry look and walked right past him. The emptiness he felt hurt, but maybe he had been expecting too much. Maybe it was a sign the man didn’t want him to leave, but then again, maybe not. He had never really known where they stood in their stilted relationship. Not really friends, but he’d always thought Callen respected his abilities even though he always seemed annoyed by his attempts at humor. He wasn’t expecting a cheery send off, but he hadn’t expected the man to be rude either. “Hey Deeks,” Sam said, wrapping an arm around his neck and pulling him into a hug. “G’s not happy about this.” “Really? What gave it away?” he said bitterly. “He doesn’t like change,” Sam said. “Plus, you surprised him. He didn’t see this coming and to be honest, neither did I. You’re part of the team, man. You could have made it work.” He didn’t know what to say to that, so he shook his head and went over to his desk to get his box of things. Not much to show for his four years, but his head was filled with memories he wouldn’t easily forget and he was okay with that. He was surprised at the emotion he felt when he lifted the light box, causing him to glance up at the small one he had placed on the top of the cabinet all those months ago. It remained taped shut and would probably be thrown out at some point in time. No reason to open it now. It was all in the past and he was done with it. “Hey,” Kensi said as she stopped abruptly by the coffee pot, looking embarrassed. “Thought you were already gone.” “On my way,” he said softly, unwilling to look at her for too long. “Take care,” she said, her eyes bright as she walked quickly toward the firing range. “This is wrong, Deeks,” Sam said. “I tried,” he said, fighting down the lump in his throat. “We tried. It didn’t work. It’s too hard, Sam.” “Who the hell said it would be easy?” He said, trying one last time to change his mind. “You love her. She loves you.” “Right,” he said. “That’s why it’s so hard. That’s why I have to leave.”


“Okay, for now,” the big man said quietly with a gentle smile that caused tears to cloud his eyes.

“Let it go, man. Just let me go,” Deeks said.

Sam nodded, squeezed his shoulder and left him standing in the bullpen alone, his throat constricted with unwanted emotions. He clutched his box of mementos and took one last look around, and walked down the long hallway, the sound of gunfire from the shooting range following him out the door.

She felt her annoyance growing as she watched her partner of six months patiently trying to explain to Hetty and Callen what he had tried to do that morning. She had refused to be in the meeting, knowing she might just punch the guy again if she got too close to him. He had come so close to blowing their cover she had actually steeled herself to being shot. If Callen hadn’t walked into the meet and told her partner to shut up and then taken over, the whole operation might have been blown. Sam had calmly talked her down over the comms as the meet went sideways, and it was his steady confidence that kept her from pulling her weapon. If she had, she might not be standing next to her desk devouring a disgusting energy bar her partner had brought her that morning. Who the hell eats this garbage unless they have to, she wondered.

“Jensen still trying to cover his ass?” Sam asked as he came in, the pissed off look on his face not having changed since they’d all managed to walk away unscathed.

“How can a guy who looks so squared away become a blithering idiot in the space of two minutes?” She sputtered, the words rushing out as she swallowed the last bite of the energy bar. “I don’t think he had any idea what he was saying. He was a nervous wreck in there, Sam. Why would Hetty put me with someone like that?”

“Because you refused to talk to the last partner she gave you,” he laughed. “This guy was a Marine. A decorated Marine. She knows you like Marines.”

“Well, I don’t like this one,” she said. “Deeks would have picked up on what was happening today and spun out a story to ease the guy’s mind in two seconds.”

“Yeah, well, Jensen ain’t Deeks,” Sam said.

“No he isn’t,” she answered softly as her latest partner walked toward her.

When she’d first been introduced to Joshua Jensen, she had been taken by his good looks and impressive physique. He was a big, strong man, an excellent shot and had good language skills, but with a hint of condescension toward those he didn’t think measured up to his own abilities. Josh was somewhat arrogant and the minute she met him, she knew Deeks would have found all sorts of ways to make fun of him, but she had stopped herself from thinking that almost immediately, knowing it would only bring her pain.

“Hetty wants to talk to you,” Jensen said with a touch of resentment. “You got my back, right partner?”

“What do you mean?” She asked.

“Back me up with the little boss lady,” he answered. “Tell her I had everything under control, or would have if Callen hadn’t barged in.”

“Are you serious?” Sam roared. “Callen saved your ass today and Kensi’s ass too. We don’t lie about what happens during an op. We heard you over comms. You were digging such a deep hole with Salazar I didn’t think G would be able to get you two out of it. I even had Eric call in a tactical squad.”

“Enough gentlemen and Ms. Blye,” Hetty said as she entered the bullpen. “We still have missing weapons to recover and you still need to find out who killed the previous undercover agent. Miss Blye. My office.”

“It had to be Salazar,” Jensen said quickly. “He’s the logical one.”

Hetty stared at him with utter contempt, freezing him with one icy stare before turning without a word and motioning for Kensi to follow.

“I would replace that man immediately if we weren’t in the middle of a case,” Hetty said when they reached her desk. “I apologize, Miss Blye. He’s one of those people who looks good on paper, but falters when faced with the stark reality of this job. He came highly recommended, but that’s no excuse. Mr. Callen and Sam will go in for the next round with Salazar. We know he’s probably second in command, but hopefully after another, less tense meeting, we will discover the head of this dangerous little group and the name of their inside man.”

“Are we off the case?” Kensi asked.

“No, but I can’t in good conscience send you undercover with a man who has no talent for it,” she answered. “You and Mr. Jensen will be on overwatch. After this operation, I will begin a search for his replacement.”

“I’m sorry Hetty,” she said. “I should have taken over. I might have been able to salvage it.”

“Today was not your doing, Kensi,” Hetty said. “You were used to working with Mr. Deeks, who could fly by the seat of his pants in these kinds of situations. Mr. Jensen’s pants just seem to catch on fire whenever he tries to improvise.”

Kensi laughed at that and made her way back to the bullpen, her mind recalling some of the funnier improvs her former partner had pulled during their years together. She felt her eyes water as she remembered him, totally ignoring her new partner as she headed for the firing range, once again needing to rid herself of unwanted thoughts that only brought back her longing and regret.

Salazar paced back and forth in front of the metal desk in the claustrophobic room near the loading dock of the trucking company that was his base of operations. He occasionally made a comment to whomever he was talking to on the phone, and Callen caught Sam’s silent communication, both knowing instinctively that they were in trouble. The tension in the room grew as two more armed men entered and took up positions along the wall, joining the four men already crowding the room. Callen could hear Kensi and Jensen arguing over the comms about the situation, but it just irritated him, doing nothing to calm his heart or relieve the itch between his shoulder blades that told him he was in danger. Salazar had questioned him extensively when they’d arrived, wanting details about former deals and about who they had dealt with before, his questions and tone of voice setting off warning bells in his head. He glanced over at their confiscated weapons now lying on the desk, trying to calculate just how fast he could reach them if things deteriorated even further.

“My boss thinks you’re lying,” Salazar said as he held the phone to his chest. “He doesn’t trust you and he can’t reach the people who recommended you.”

“Let me speak to him,” Callen said in the thick Ukrainian accent he had adopted for this op. “My money is good, and my people need these weapons.”

“He doesn’t give a fuck about your people or your country,” Salazar said harshly. “He thinks you might be playing him.”

“Yuri Kulish does not lie,” Callen said belligerently. “Tell him Terrell. We worked many deals together.”

“My boss never heard of him either,” Salazar said as he pulled a weapon and pointed it at Callen.

The sound of weapons being cocked sounded around the room, and Callen knew even if he got the safety word out, no one would be able to get to them fast enough to save them. He swallowed hard, preparing himself as Kensi shouted in his ear that they were on their way. He wanted to tell her not to bother, that she would be putting herself and her partner in danger, but he couldn’t risk it, hoping he could talk his way out of the volatile situation.

“Who you gonna kill, Ricky?”

The familiar voice was deeper than he remembered and sounded completely uncaring as if asking about the weather, but there was no mistaking the black leather jacket and dirty blond hair of Max Gentry as he sauntered into the room. His beard was rough and he looked tired, his fingernails grimy with dirt and his hands nervously twitching as he came to a stop next to Ricky Salazar.

“What the fuck are you doing here, Max?” Salazar asked, but he began to smile as soon as he said it.

“Got bored,” he said with barely a flicker of a smile, but it briefly softened the hardness of his face. “You working that deal you told me about?”

“Yeah, man,” he answered. “But my boss thinks these guys might be cops.”

Yuri? A cop?” Max laughed coldly. “Terrell maybe, but definitely not Yuri Kulish.”

Deeks walked up to Callen and hit him solidly in the mouth, knocking him back against the wall. Before Callen could react, he pressed his forearm against his throat and pressed his head back, watching him struggle for breath until Terrell took a step toward him.

“Back off, Terrell. You know he owes me an explanation,” Max growled, his face just inches from Callen.

“I owe you nothing, Max Gentry,” Callen choked out. “You left. Your choice.”

“Never got what she saw in you,” Max said as he shoved himself away, and turned to look at Sam.

“She’s a one man woman, Max. You know that, brother,” Terrell said. “And that man ain’t Yuri.”

“You know these guys?” Salazar looked stunned.

“Yeah, I know ‘em,” Max said as he sauntered over and took a drink from the bottle of whiskey on the desk. “Worked a couple of deals with these two down south. Yuri’s a sleaze, but Terrell is solid and they both pay their debts. Just don’t let Yuri near your girlfriend. Hard to believe, but he’s a real charmer with the ladies.”

Salazar said a few words into his cell and then closed it and walked over to shake hands with Yuri Kulish. They set up the buy for later in the week, this time with an appearance by his boss, Alejandro Munoz. Salazar promised high-grade military weapons and Yuri got his attention with a generous price offering. Before they left, Yuri turned to stare at Max, his eyes stormy and his jaw tight and Max glared back as he sat on the edge of the desk, dangling the whiskey bottle between his knees.

“Fern said to say hello if I ever saw you again,” Yuri said. “I think she probably is missing you.

Max blinked hard at the words, his expression faltering and he quickly took a swig of whiskey to hide his emotions.

“This woman must be something,” Salazar said with interest.

“Yeah, brother. You can say that,” Max said, hopping off the desk and sauntering back out as nonchalantly as he’d come.

Come back tomorrow for Part Two of the conclusion of ‘Button Up, Mr. Deeks!’

About Lindy D. (42 Articles)
I write Fan Fiction under the name Sweet Lu. I am a former graphic designer and live in Northern California with my husband and two Cocker Spaniels. I love the character Marty Deeks, love writing about him and love watching ECO bring him to life.

15 Comments on Button Up, Mr. Deeks (Part One)

  1. Carrie Routhier (@Snowglory) // April 27, 2014 at 8:19 AM // Reply

    Love!!

    Like

  2. DeeksFreak // April 27, 2014 at 8:52 AM // Reply

    This is awesome! Great job, Lindy!! 😉

    Like

  3. Love that Max Gentry gets to give Callen a love tap! Lol!

    Like

  4. Awesome as always. Can’t wait to read the rest of this.

    Like

  5. jerichosteele // April 27, 2014 at 11:48 AM // Reply

    Wow … what in the world happened? Was Deeks implying that Callen was behind his and Kensi’s break-up or was that just part of Max’s cover? Great job bringing the team together again. Semper fi.

    Like

    • Max was flying by the seat of his pants with that comment…or maybe he just needed to hit somebody and Callen had pissed him off when he left…mainly he was selling the fact that the three men knew each other and had history, although not a very pleasant one. Maybe he was hoping he would get some information about Kensi and Callen provided it. Stay tuned, my friend…it’s not over yet.

      Like

  6. Way to throw us right into the middle of a story. Woohoo! All these questions running amok and much speculation on my part. The leather jacket scene was wonderful. Loved the symbolism of the leather jacket and the “tell” when Deeks was subconsciously stroking the jacket. And no matter what others say, I believe that Deeks is Hetty’s favorite 😉
    I love that Max came into the fray..he’s been secretly watching out for Kensi and the team, I say. All speculation..so I can’t wait until tomorrow 😊

    And what a treat this is! A fantastic update to Crossroads and a short story to boot. Love, Love, Love😊😊😊

    Like

  7. I always end up loving your stories! This one is no exception. And getting another story involving Deeks’ alter ego is just icing on the cake!

    Like

  8. TinkerBella // April 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM // Reply

    Fantastic part one. Can’t wait for the rest. I can just picture this as clearly as if I were watching it on my tv. Great job

    Like

  9. mountaingirl89 // April 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM // Reply

    this reminds me of when Deeks was “fired” in “the debt” and come to find out it was all an act. I hope that is what this is! Great story! Can’t wait to see more!

    Like

  10. WOW! Let out a scream while reading this! Great story, can’t wait for part two.

    Like

  11. Wow, this story really got to me. I was amazed at how well you captured every single character in the opening scene. How Deeks’ relationship with Hetty has sadly shifted. How Callen is even worse at communication than he and Kensi are. How Sam has turned into such a good and supportive friend. And how Kensi takes out her sorrow and frustration through violence. All just absolutely perfect. But mostly I was taken with the sadness of Deeks’ departure from NCIS. It felt real and left me with a sense of melancholy.

    Like

  12. Thanks to all for your kind comments. I really appreciate that you got into this short little story. I love to write about Deeks and to have so many of you comment is like a cherry on top.

    Like

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