Funny. Loyal. Brave. And so much more. Marty Deeks, one of the most complex and likable characters on television, makes an irresistible subject for fan fiction writers. We talked to fifteen of the most popular Deeks and Densi writers about their interpretations of Marty Deeks, and why he inspires them to tell his story. “I have definitely had much more fun writing Deeks than any other character I’ve written before, that’s for sure,” says Jessica237.
As she moved, his arms tightened around her, pulling her completely flush against him. She fit there perfectly, and so she closed her eyes and let her mind drift.
His thoughtfulness… his selflessness… his kindness… his honesty— even in the midst of what they did for a living— were all qualities that she wanted their son to have. She smiled as she felt a flutter in her stomach.
Lovable and Layered
The writers of NCIS: Los Angeles have given us a wonderfully complicated character with Marty Deeks. Just as every viewer likely has a list of favorite Deeks characteristics, so do the authors of fan fiction. When asked to name a single favorite trait, their responses tend to hit along several distinct themes…
Goodness. peanutbutterer says of her favorite feature, “His humor is probably the obvious choice, but I think I’d have to say his goodness.” She points to “the way he strives to make everyone happy- strangers and teammates alike- because he genuinely cares about everyone and truly wants what’s best.” ZBBZL loves his “kindness and empathy,” phillydi his compassion: “He cares so much and loves so hard,” she says. “It’s quite endearing.”
Sweet Lu and Jericho Steele appreciate Deeks’ willingness to help others, a commitment which “resonates” with Sweet Lu. “I believe he wanted to become a lawyer to help those who couldn’t help themselves and I think he became a police officer for the same reasons,” she notes. Jericho Steele points to the way Deeks befriends children, and “goes out of his way to help those that others have written off. When he protected the young woman’s job by saying she had been helping the police with counterfeit merchandise [in “War Cries”]… that was pure Deeks.”
Humor. How could humor not be on the list of favorite qualities, when it’s got to be one of Deeks’ strongest characteristics? Bamie02 and ZeGabz both name it as their favorite feature, as does Kadiedid, who also loves his smirk. thepixiesmademedoit appreciates “the light-heartedness he brings to things.”
Adaptability. This underrated trait was named by three authors as their favorite. Tess DiCorsi describes Deeks as being “good with unplanned situations. He’s spontaneous, goes with the flow- can turn on a dime to get the job done.” Jessica237 appreciates his “ability to just roll with whatever comes at him.” Similarly, aslycsi1315 admires how “He can adapt incredibly well in his job and in his personal life.”
Loyalty. Belle Walker loves “his loyalty to his friends and colleagues, and most especially to his partner. He would go to the ends of the earth and back again to protect or rescue someone he cared about, without giving much thought to his own personal safety in doing so.”
Determination. imahistorian loves Deeks’ determination: “Through everything he’s been through, he’s still determined in every aspect of his life. Whether it’s to be a good police officer, work for NCIS, partners with Kensi, a part of the NCIS team, it doesn’t matter. His determination speaks to how driven he is, even when he doesn’t seem it.”
Mystery. For bookdiva, Deeks’ most appealing trait is the unknown, “his ability to say so much while still managing to say so little. I mean, really, what do we know about him?… He’s the most talkative of them all, and yet he manages to keep most everything under wraps.”
She has to know what makes him tick. Underneath the playful, cocky exterior, beneath those crystal eyes that Kensi could easily lose herself in were she to let down her guard even just a bit… what exactly is it that drives him? What are the secrets he carries behind that carefree smirk?
An intriguing collection of characteristics for sure. But what’s wonderful about Deeks is that this barely scratches the surface.
A Character to Inspire a Thousand Fan Fics (Actually, 2700 and Counting)
Fan fiction writers may be able to pinpoint a single Deeks characteristic as their favorite, but there’s much more to him that inspires their writing. So much more, in fact, that each writer’s version has his own unique flavor. Many of these fan fic Deeks varieties are as deeply developed and multi-dimensional as TV Deeks. They all include those fundamental aspects we’ve just covered, but each one is colored by how his writer relates to him and reacts to the show.
imahistorian’s Deeks definitely mirrors what she loves most about TV Deeks. She describes her Deeks as “Confident in who he is, and hopefully moving forward towards his goals whether those are professional or personal… my Deeks probably best represents the loyalty and determination that I think are some of his best traits.” phillydi, who loves Deeks’ compassion, writes him as “the peacekeeper, the King Solomon of the group. He just wants everyone to be happy.” And Tess DiCorsi’s Deeks uses her favorite trait of his, adaptability, to show us a Deeks who is extraordinarily good at his job. As she says, “Competent! Deeks is my favorite flavor.”
Other writers described their Deeks without even mentioning their favorite characteristic. ZeGabz and Kadiedid may love his humor, but their own Deeks is more notable for his smarts. ZeGabz’s Deeks is “very clever.” As she says, “I as a reader enjoy him the most when he lets his brains shine through.” Kadiedid’s is “extremely loyal… He is also very smart and uses his brain to get out of jams.”
Belle Walker, who most loves Deeks’ loyalty, also has a smart, yet humorous, Deeks: he’s “…playful. Lighthearted. Flirty. Smart but silly.” Bamie02 and thepixiesmademedoit were also fans of the Deeks brand of humor, but describe their Deeks differently. Bamie02’s Deeks embodies “His protectiveness – not just of Kensi but the team and his willingness to do what needs to be done.” thepixiesmademedoit says her Deeks is “a little more serious and grown up than some. I like to express the loyalty he has for those around him.”
Then there’s a group who each describe their Deeks with more darkness and angst. Jericho Steele says his Deeks is a self-reliant man “wanting so much, but afraid that if he reaches out for it, it will disappear like smoke.” aslycsi1315’s Deeks is emotionally scarred and self-doubting. Jessica237’s is “quietly unhappy.” And ZBBZL’s is “a caring man who deals with tons of self-loath and low self-esteem issues with a smile.” Similarly, peanutbutterer describes her Deeks as “Funny, caring, thoughtful and wounded.” Sweet Lu’s Deeks is “Vulnerable and emotional. Loyal to a fault, sacrificing himself for others. Proud, confident and strong, but somewhat reckless. Serious and introspective and haunted by his childhood.”
All these descriptions speak to the complexity that is Marty Deeks. thepixiesmademedoit talked about the challenges of capturing any character’s essence: “Every writer brings their own personality to the character they write one way or another and we’re all prone to making decisions for these characters that others might not choose. The best you can hope for is that the voice you hear in your head when you write is the one others hear when they read your story. The best compliment I think I’ve ever had is that I’ve ‘got the voice right’ for a character.”
Fan fiction begins with the voices we hear on television, but expands from there. imahistorian explains that there are holes to fill from what we see on TV. “It starts with trying to figure out how his life experiences made him the way he is now, and then figuring out how he would react to new situations and characters. I’d say that’s the same as writing any character in any fandom.” Deeks, in his complexity but also in his mystery, leaves the opportunities for characterization pretty wide open. It’s one reason there are more fan fiction stories about him than about all the other NCIS:LA male characters combined.
She had been his partner for almost three years. She had seen him in all kinds of dangerous situations, taking down bad guys and dropping into aliases whenever one was needed. He was brave and good at his job. He was a wiseass who loved to give people, mainly her, silly nicknames. She knew he would die for her and for any member of their team, and almost had on a number of occasions. He loved to tease her and banter with her and make love to her. It was the Marty Deeks she had come to love deeply, but who still exasperated her at times. He was a complicated man who still kept secrets she needed to discover, a man who could thrill her physically or drive her mad on any given day. He made her laugh and he could make her cry with a simple, gentle kiss. She had watched him surf, his body almost one with the board, moving effortlessly across a wave, his body fluid and beautiful. This was the Marty Deeks she knew, not completely yet, but a man she loved and sought to learn more about every single day.
Great Writing & Acting Provide Great Inspiration
We should take a moment to point out that without the combination of good writing and wonderful acting that brings Marty Deeks to life on TV, there would be no impetus for fan fiction. It’s nearly impossible to imagine him portrayed by anyone other than Eric Christian Olsen. As Kadiedid points out, ECO “does such a great job with Deeks that it’s hard not to like him.” His performance takes Deeks beyond the likable to a relatable, human character. peanutbutterer describes it this way: “Eric Christian Olsen’s acting really makes Deeks’ thoughts more accessible to the viewer and fan fic writer. We see so much in his eyes, in his movements, in the nuances of his delivery – it’s not hard to imagine what he’s thinking and how he reacts because ECO presents that to us every moment he’s on screen.”
Writing Deeks: Upcoming Feature Stories
The writers of Deeks and Densi fan fiction were so generous with their time that Writing Deeks will continue. Each week we’ll look at a different aspect of Deeks’ personality that inspires these writers. We’ll explore his intriguing dark side, and look at some special variations like Competent Deeks and Surfer Deeks. And of course, no series on writing about Deeks would be complete without an extensive look at Densi. We’ll hear what it’s like to write their banter, the different stages of their thing, and the sexytimes- Densi adult content. And, most shocking of all, why anyone would want to write Deeks with someone other than Kensi. We hope you’ll join us again next week, when we get things rolling with a look at writing Deeks’ humor.
In the meantime, do you agree with these writers about their favorite Deeks characteristic? Which of his qualities inspires you to watch him, and to read fan fiction about him?
Want to Read More?
To find the stories quoted above, follow these links:
bookdiva, “Hey Baby”
Jessica237, “A Matter of Trust”
Sweet Lu, “Vengeance”
A special thanks to @thewingsofnight for creating the wonderful artwork.