Writing Deeks: Will They or Won’t They?
TV Deeks and Kensi may be closer than ever (yay!), but many of the fan fiction writers we spoke with enjoy focusing on the early stages of the duo’s romantic relationship, before they’ve succeeded at saying what they really mean.
He watches her leave, walking to her car and starting the engine, and he stays there for a couple minutes, just thinking about how this woman he barely knows, his new partner, seems to be a complete mystery. She’s kickass, but he senses some scars lying underneath, some hidden evidences that she’s not invincible. It both makes his heart ache, just as much as it makes him want to solve the sheer riddle that she is.
When it comes to writing Densi, more than one writer spoke of enjoying the figurative journey more than the destination. bookdiva tries “to stay as close to the show’s story line as I can—while obviously changing what I think went wrong—so I tend to write them getting together.” peanutbutterer often writes Deeks and Kensi as “’apart but longing’ – kind of where the show has [had] them. Not actually pulling the trigger but knowing they both want it pulled.” ZBBZL is one who thinks “that the journey is more interesting than the destination, so I like to write about how they get together.” imahistorian enjoys “the process of bringing them together, or with shorter stories, just hinting at it and leaving it dangling whether or not they might be together.”
For thepixiesmademedoit, Season 5 offered a positive example of Deeks and Kensi moving their relationship along. It was “a tough season for them,” she says, “but also a great season for them. They are making steps forward, but they’re cautious and calculated. They’ve had their moment of spontaneity and it took them to a place they weren’t necessarily ready for, and the ‘frozen lake’ metaphor worked so well for them there – it still does. I like that they are clearly on the same page with their ‘Thing,’ that they can be more open about it – ‘Three Hearts’ was so wonderful for that… I know it’s a cliché but the journey is often greater than the destination and this is the case here – or at least I think so.” She does note that, “As writers though, we often see the opportunity for a shortcut, and that’s sometimes where we can change the circumstances and get to the destination that much quicker!”
Today’s antagonism was a far cry from their friendship last night…
She didn’t know what had caused the sudden one-eighty they’d taken today.
That wasn’t true, she thought. She did know why.
They were getting too close. Too comfortable. Too dependent on each other.
She was realizing — perhaps for the first time, really — just how close to each other they usually stood. So close, in fact, that their shoulders often touched several times.
The slightest movement from him, and her attention was diverted for a second or two. Every deep breath he inhaled, she felt it too. His body heat — sometimes it almost burned her.
And the way they could hold an entire conversation without saying a word — that was the worst of all.
The attraction had always been there; she couldn’t deny that. It was the attachment that worried her.
They weren’t supposed to be this attached. And they definitely weren’t supposed to be sharing a bed.
This “will they-won’t they” dynamic inspires story after story. “I do I love the dance of Densi, the give and take, yin and yang, the push and pull… it makes for great drama and angst, on the show and on FanFic,” says Jericho Steele. Belle Walker prefers to write them “in the ‘apart’ (but flirting) or ‘getting together’ stage for the most part. That’s actually what sets this fandom apart from others for me. I used to always want my favorite couples to be together and happy and nothing pulling them apart… but having that for Densi really isn’t nearly as appealing to me as having them constantly flirting and fighting with each other and keeping that awkward attraction and “spark” between them.”
Jessica237 writes a Densi who’s apart, but for a different reason. “My wheelhouse with Densi, so to speak, is writing them apart,” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever written them already together in a relationship… I think a lot of that is that I personally feel like I’ve never been very good at writing established relationships – it’s just not my thing. I definitely prefer them apart but clearly wanting each other, or moving in the direction of coming together.”
The thing about Deeks is that, unlike Jack, he didn’t just find a way in for himself. He found a way to dismantle the whole operation. For every brick you secured, he took off two and you never even noticed the disruption.
So there you were, here you are, vulnerable and exposed and open to anyone. You can’t figure out how to defend yourself again, and for the first time in your life you’re not sure if it’s because you don’t know how or if it’s because you just don’t want to. There aren’t enough bricks left to block out all these people.
Or maybe you just can’t find it in yourself to really try.
Because instead of surrounding your heart with hardened clay and sand, you’ve unwittingly surrounded it with people. Sam and Callen, Nell, Eric – you’ve even let your mom back in. And Deeks. God, Deeks.
He’s there, in the center of it all with that ridiculous grin on his face, so proud of himself. So happy. He’s covered with debris and utterly convinced he’s done something worthy of praise.
And suddenly you’re eight-years-old again, peanut butter smeared on the corners of your mouth and thinking about sunshine and rainbows and forever.
Every now and then, though, our fan fiction writers like to bring the journey to a screeching halt, and actually drive Densi apart. Jericho Steele has done this in several stories. “With the Densi in my stories,” he says, “I’ve put them together and also torn them apart… Since I don’t know what the writers have in store for them over the next seasons, it’s just fun to imagine all the different things that can happen to them. I also like a lot of angst and suspense in a romance, and since I’m the writer… I can do whatever I want.” Some of his stories have “dug into the darker side of what can happen in relationships when fear is allowed to cause hesitation or selfish decisions. I don’t enjoy hurting them, but sometimes I have to remind them of just how precious a ‘thing’ they have and that if they wait too long… it might just slip through their fingers and will be gone.”
Nate chuckled softly. “Sorry… okay. You are a fiercely loyal person… you trusted Kensi… you feel like she betrayed you… and it’s shaken you to your core.”
“Wow… now I kinda wish you would have kept up the psycho-babble.” Deeks smile faltered slightly as he turned back to the ocean. “But I guess this is not really all her fault… I mean, we weren’t ‘together’, we weren’t dating or anything like that.”
“But you wanted to, you wanted more… didn’t you?”
After a few short moments, Deeks answered. “Yes… I did.”
“But what about now?”
It was a simple question but the answer was far too complicated for just a few short words or thoughts. Deeks took a few moments to watch the waves as they crashed into white foam against the sand, his mind wrestling with what his heart needed to say.
“No… right now Nate, I don’t even want to hear her name much less think about what could have been.” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly before he continued. “I know what I feel for her and what I wanted us to be… but what she says and what she does are two very different things, and with the world we live in, I need something more stable and concrete… I don’t need metaphors … or boxes… or forgotten birthdays … mixed signals that even a cryptologist couldn’t decipher. I always felt that dealing with Kensi was like standing in the water with my feet in the sand and as the waves came in, the sand shifts, and it feels as if the world is moving beneath me. At first, it’s new and fun, exciting even… but after a time, it starts to feel disconcerting and frustrating, you have to keep lifting your feet and starting over and over again.”
One of the main obstacles that has kept Deeks and Kensi apart is their lack of communication skills. But the beauty of fan fiction writing is that the stories don’t have to stick with what we see on TV. We’re taking a break for the holidays, but we’ll be back on January 8th with a look at how writers enjoy writing a Densi who’s a bit more adept at saying what they really mean. In the meantime, happy holidays and a happy, healthy new year to all!
Want to Read More?
To find the stories quoted above, follow these links:
Belle Walker, “The Right Side”
peanutbutterer, “House of Bricks”
Jericho Steele, “The Broken Road”
We also asked each writer to recommend a short story they thought best represents their Densi. Belle Walker’s story “Fern’s Fern” (humor/angst) has a definite “Will they or won’t they?” component. She describes it this way: “Because even though Deeks and Kensi can irritate each other to no end sometimes, when they’re separated for longer periods they seem to feel just a little bit lost without the other person at their side, and their world is lopsided. And when they’re finally reunited, their world is back in balance once again.”
Or, go back to the previous Writing Deeks, Loyal Densi.
A special thanks to @thewingsofnight for creating the wonderful artwork.
Great interviews, Karen! I look forward to each and every update to “Writing Deeks”.
I am always in awe of the fan fic talent and their willingness to share their stories. And it is such a treat to read their thoughts and perceptions of Deeks and Kensi.
Love this column. Off to read and re-read these stories.
Thanks Reader! I am often grateful for such wonderful writing about my favorite character, especially from those writers who are talented enough to be writing their own novels. Enjoy your fic reading!