The inspiration for this chapter came from a visit I took to Venice, California in November of 2012, where I observed a large number of homeless people living life on the beach with their dogs. It really pulls at your heartstrings and you can tell there is a real bond between these people and their companions. It occurred to me that Deeks, with his love of dogs, would also want to find a way to make their lives a bit easier by working with an organization like Pets of the Homeless, which tries to make a difference in many communities across the country. As a result, here is the first chapter of “Venus Rising”. To read the fanfic in its entirety, please use the link at the end of this page…
This story takes place three days after the closing scenes of Drive (4X11).
Deeks didn’t need eyes wide open to know he was being watched.
He took a deep breath in and exhaled, slowly giving his pupils time to adjust to the early morning light. Just as he turned his head, his companion gave him a quick, sloppy kiss and moaned impatiently into his ear.
“Aw, really?!” Deeks exclaimed as he grimaced and wiped his face with the back of his hand and flumped back down on his back.
“I can’t believe you let me sleep this late, Monty!” Deeks complained looking down at his watch. “I’m due back at the Mission in less than an hour. Thanks a lot!”
Deeks slowly pushed his aching torso off the hard concrete and swept the tattered sleeping bag off the rest of his body. He crawled out from under the lean-to and sat down to survey his surroundings. Venice Beach was just beginning to stir. It was Deeks’ favorite time of the day when everything was just starting to come to life. He starred out over the water, and watched the sun sparkling on top of the waves as the water softly touched the warm sandy beach leaving white, bubbly foam behind. The daily invasion of tourists was only a few hours away from flooding the trendy ocean community with congestion and 360 degrees of noise. For now the walkways were empty except for the joggers who ran along undisturbed. Deeks turned around to face the promenade side of the boardwalk and watched as the shopkeepers cranked open the aluminum security gates and dragged out their advertisement boards boasting ‘The best souvenirs in Venice – Two for One!‘ The sound of basketballs bouncing up and down on concrete was coming from the recreation center next to Muscle Beach. Deeks smiled as a gang of streetballers were getting in their first game of hoops for the day. He longed to join them for a few rounds but that wasn’t going to happen today.
Deeks yawned and rubbed his seven day stubble. When was the last time he washed his hair? He couldn’t remember. He brushed the dirt off his stained clothing which had the aroma of a dumpster that had been sitting in the Sahara Desert for weeks. Even he had to admit he couldn’t stand the smell emanating off his body. Monty sat beside him and leaned up against his friend.
“You’re not smelling much better, you know,” Deeks smiled as Monty tapped his paw against his partner’s sleeve. “Yeah, I know, boy. It’s time to go home.”
Deeks scratched behind the dog’s ear and Monty let out a soft bark and danced around his companion begging him to make good on his promise. The undercover canine and his handler had been camped out for the past three days at different points along the beach, blending into the homeless population who called the trendy resort their home. The city council had enacted an ordinance last year which prohibited sleeping on the beach, but the landscape was still indiscriminately dotted with blankets and small pup tents. Enforcing the ordinance was a political nightmare for the LAPD… so many cops just looked the other way. Most of the homeless slept alone with only a patch of grass to call home. Others preferred to share their meager existence with a four legged companion. It was a solitary life but for some their animals made them get up every morning. They gave them a reason to be.
Deeks never knew what it was like to be homeless but his family had come painfully close several times after his dad was incarcerated. Good friends and well-meaning neighbors gave them a hand-out to keep them from becoming destitute on many an occasion. Later in life, he felt compelled to volunteer his free time working in soup kitchens and half-way houses trying to pay it forward but he knew it would never be enough. The need was too great so he tried to make a difference one person at a time. It was the reason he spent these last three days getting close to some of the indigenous people who lived with their dogs on the streets of Venice. Many of their animals were in need of food and medical attention and Deeks went undercover with Monty to try and convince them to seek the free help available from organizations like Pets of the Homeless.
Workers at the soup kitchen had introduced him one day to a member from the organization and he was instantly attracted to their principals and mission. He had worked with them in the past to set up care stations where the homeless could bring in their animals for food and seek medical treatment. The challenge was getting them to trust the volunteers. Many living on the street were afraid they would have to pay for the service, or even worse… that the city would take their animals away from them. Deeks knew the next step was to use his vagrant persona for undercover work among the homeless. He seamlessly infiltrated their ranks as one of their own and got the word out that help was available and it was free with no questions asked. With Monty’s assistance he was able to get food to a few malnourished dogs and veterinary care for one with an eye infection. Hopefully everyone they helped would spread the word on the streets that there was assistance if they weren’t afraid to just reach out.
Deeks’ decision to take the three day sabbatical from NCIS was an impulsive last minute act of desperation. Deflecting and running away was his standard MO when he was hurting. If truth be told he didn’t need a break, he just needed a stretch away from Kensi. The last time he saw her she was trying to make excuses as to why she was celebrating his birthday with someone else. He tried hard to hide the gaping wound in his chest but the pain had shown on his face for one brief second if anyone had stopped to notice. He was always good at rebounding, throwing out a funny quip and moving on…. but not this time. He was tired of hiding his real feelings and weary of drawing the short end of the stick every time.
Deeks sighed and finished packing up his gear and slung the heavy bag over his shoulder. Working undercover with the homeless in Venice Beach was always rewarding and worthwhile. Better yet, it allowed him to take his mind off his indifferent partner and their will-they or won’t-they relationship. At least they needed him here unlike Kensi. It was obvious he felt a whole lot more for Kensi than she did for him. Hetty had warned them when they went undercover the first time as husband and wife that getting involved would be a complicated dance and she even tried to steer them away from considering any commitment other than what they would give to the mission. He should have listened to his Aunt Hetty because Kensi had obviously taken their manager’s little lecture to heart. But Deeks was a free spirit and his heart had a hard time telling his brain what to do. Kensi would laugh at him if he ever told her he fell instantly in love with her the moment he first laid eyes on her. As his love grew, he realized he would do anything for this woman… even give up his own life to protect her. There was never any doubt. When Deeks loved, he loved hard.
There was once another woman who grabbed his heart like that and it devastated him when he had to let her go. She was one of a kind, and he thought she would always be the greatest love of his life. He was relieved the day he found Kensi, because he found the path back to love again. Would she ever reciprocate the feelings he had for her? Kensi was a tough nut to crack but he was willing to be patient because of her past. He continued to keep his emotions in check because he knew she would run if she had an inkling he wanted more from her. But how many more mornings was he going to have to drag himself out of bed knowing he would have to hide his love for one more day. He wanted to share that love but Kensi was making it harder and harder for him to continue to hope.
Deeks left the beach with Monty walking close beside him. The dog could sense his misery and instinctively closed ranks. Deeks was lost in thought and didn’t see the white Escalade until it pulled up quietly next to him. He casually looked over at the car.
“Don’t look now, Monty but I think the feds are tailing us,” Deeks said loud enough for the occupant to hear.
“I’d offer you a ride but there is no way that smell is getting into my car.”
Deeks kept walking, staring straight ahead barely acknowledging her voice.
“What do you want, Kensi?” Deeks asked trying to keep the sadness out of his voice.
“Hetty sent me to find you, we need you back today,” Kensi said hoping that Deeks would tell her what he was doing undercover at Venice Beach.
“How did you find me?” Deeks tried to act nonchalant as he continued to walk at a steady pace.
“It took a little detective work, and I know all your favorite haunts and… look, where have you been?” she cried. “You up and left and didn’t even tell me you would be off the grid all this time. I was worried about you.”
Deeks was silent. Kensi stopped the car, put it in park and jumped out.
“So now you’re not talking to me?” she yelled to Deeks. “Ok, I get it, you’re punishing me for forgetting your birthday, is that it?
“If the shoe fits…” Deeks called over his shoulder.
“Look I promise next time, you can forget my birthday… and then we can call it even.”
Deeks stopped short and quickly spun around to face Kensi. He held his index finger in the air, whipping it back and forth as he tried to gather his thoughts. He couldn’t remember the last time he was this angry.
“THAT is never going happen… and do you know why?” Deeks demanded. “Because Marty Deeks would never forget Kensi Blye’s birthday! And the operative word here is NEV…ER!”
“Ah, come on Marty, I told you I’m sorry, what more do you want from me?”
“If you have to ask, this conversation is over,” Deeks turned his back on his partner and continued walking up the street with Monty. The dog turned his head one last time and gave Kensi a long, sad look.
Damn. I knew this day was coming. I mean how many more times was he going to forgive me and still come back like an adoring puppy dog? I swear I didn’t mean to upset him. Do I do these things accidentally-on-purpose or do I subconsciously sabotage the relationships that mean the most to me? Sometimes I don’t even know I’m doing it because it’s so ingrained deep down into my psyche. I feel his love pulling me towards him and like a moth to flame I dance around him but pull away right before getting singed. Ever since Jack walked out on me, I’ve balanced the blame squarely on my two shoulders. It had to be my fault, right? OK, I know he was going through a tough patch, but if I had just worked harder, tried hard, cried harder… maybe he wouldn’t have left me. I gave up on him. Yeah, I know what my shrinks all said… even Nate… “It wasn’t your fault, Kensi… blah, blah, blah.” But they weren’t there, were they? No. I will always blame myself and it will always be men like Deeks who will suffer for it. I know how he feels about me; I know he cares. But I just can’t love and lose again. No, it’s better this way. It’s good he’s angry; now maybe he will stop trying. Besides, I’m pretty sure all the hamburgers and Coronas in the world will never make this right again.
To read the rest of this story, go to Di’s fanfiction.net page.
Find out more about how you can help those in need by visiting our Pets of the Homeless page.
Marty Deeks and the other wonderful characters of NCIS:LA are the property of Shane Brennan and CBS. Neither CBS, NCIS:LA, nor Eric Christian Olsen are involved in wikiDeeks’ Pets of the Homeless campaign.