Deeks and Kensi join Nell and Eric on a trip to Las Vegas. They go for fun and gaming, but all does not turn out as planned and unexpected danger lurks under the bright lights of the Luxor. A wikiDees Exclusive: A Fan Fic Relay in 12 Chapters by seven of your favorite fanfic writers: Sweet Lu, Jericho Steele, peanutbutterer, Kadiedid, imahistorian, Tess DiCorsi, and phillydi.
“I love Fridays. If I could pick Friday up and hug it and kiss it like an adorable panda bear I would. I would absolutely do that, Kensi.”
Amused, Kensi shook her head back and forth, putting the SUV in park and exiting the car to follow Deeks back into OSP. He fell into step easily beside her, matching his long stride with hers.
“Have you seen the teeth on a panda bear, Deeks? They’re crazy sharp. They need to be so they can eat 20 to 40 pounds of bamboo a day.”
Grinning, Deeks draped an arm over Kensi’s shoulders, leaning closer to murmur in her ear.
“And how do you know that, Wikipedia?”
Kensi narrowed her eyes at the nickname, which only made Deeks’ grin widen. He dropped his arm and spread his hands wide. “Fine, not a panda bear. Say a corgi puppy. Because who can resist those big ears?”
“Definitely not the Queen.”
Kensi and Deeks both jumped at the voice, sharply quipped, coming from behind Deeks and seemingly out of thin air. Kensi stepped to the side, her eyes falling on Nell, who was almost entirely hidden behind Deeks.
“Definitely not,” Kensi confirmed, smiling at her friend. “What’s going on, Nell? New case?”
“Practicing your Hetty ninja moves?” Deeks put in, the question getting him a raised eyebrow from Nell.
“No new case. Sam, Callen, and Hetty went downtown to debrief the NSA on the Keefer case. You guys went to lunch, Eric’s busy with updating our firewall software, and I—“
“Did you get bored?” Deeks asked, a teasing note in his voice. Nell straightened her shoulders, looking as though she wanted to argue, but finally slouching a little and inclining her head with a nod.
“I was thinking about trying to convince Eric to go out of town. It’s been a long time since we had a vacation. Since any of us had a vacation. He probably won’t want to go since he has the new firewall install started but I was thinking if he knew you guys were going, that might convince him,” Nell said, wide and hopeful eyes pleading with Kensi and Deeks.
Kensi shared a long look with Deeks, seeing Deeks’ eyes shift side to side in his silent wish for her to decline. And she knew why. All through lunch Deeks had been going on and on about late mornings, Saturday surfing, movie night, and brunch on Sunday. Or as he’d put it: “Sleep, waves, guns, violence, and enough food I’ll need a wheelbarrow to get home. And my girl.”
Although she never would have admitted it, had even given his shoulder a pointed and gentle shove, her stomach fluttered a little at his “my girl.” She still wasn’t completely used to that. And she hoped it never stopped making her stomach flip and her heart race.
Not to mention, it had been a weekend she was looking forward too as well. They didn’t have any active cases that would keep them working all weekend, and after a few close brushes with death over the last few months, a weekend doing a whole lot of nothing sounded pretty appealing. Even still, Kensi recognized a friend in need. And Deeks could learn how to deal.
Kensi gentled her eyes, raising an eyebrow at Deeks, signaling her plan to agree to Nell’s idea. Deeks sighed, almost completely silently, but enough so that Kensi heard him. She reached out, running a hand down his arm and circling his wrist with her fingers, capturing his attention again enough for him to look back at her. She smiled again, curling just one corner of her mouth up so he could see her implied response. She would make it up to him. This seemed to perk Deeks up considerably, and he turned back to Nell, who was still watching them hopefully.
“Alright, we’re in. What did you have in mind?” Deeks asked.
Nell smiled with gratitude, quickly lifting her tablet up so she could flip through several webpages. “Okay, so for really nearby there’s Santa Barbara, or maybe Palm Springs. But then I saw the Luxor in Las Vegas is running some specials. Hotel and spa packages, tickets to some shows—“
“Shows? What shows?” Deeks asked, immediately perking up at the suggestion.
Scrolling through the list on the screen, Nell’s eyebrows knit together. “The first one listed is something called East Empire Odyssey, a story about rival ruling families in ancient Greece—“
“Seriously? They have tickets to that show? That’s supposed to be the next big musical going to Broadway. It’s like West Side Story meets Gladiator,” Deeks replied, getting excited in a way that had Kensi a little worried.
“Its billed as ‘A timeless tale of family, forbidden love, and violent war. Set in the ancient world of Greece, East Empire Odyssey is West Side Story meets Romeo and Juliet set in a fantastical setting,’” Nell supplied.
“Should it worry us that they don’t seem to know West Side Story is already a modern musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet?” Kensi asked. Deeks looked at her disapprovingly and she shrugged. “I’m not disparaging musicals, I know the lecture that will get me. I’m just saying it seems suspicious they don’t even know their source material.”
She knew she was going to lose her argument with the look on Deeks’ face. It had been her idea to go along with Nell’s plan and now that there was a musical involved, Deeks was sold. Internally she sighed, wishing not for the first time that her significant other didn’t have an odd penchant for Broadway musicals.
“Fine, I’ll go. As long as there is a spa and room service at some point,” Kensi said, pointing a finger at Nell.
Nodding eagerly, Nell smiled and turned to head back upstairs. “I’ll go make the reservations and tell Eric.”
As Nell quickly moved away, probably so neither of them could change their mind and stop her, Kensi turned back towards Deeks, suddenly wishing she’d found a way to turn Nell down. On the flip side, Deeks was now excited about the idea, his smile wide as he reached for Kensi’s waist.
“Should I be worried with how much you’re into this now?” Kensi asked.
“Hey, not my idea,” Deeks replied. At her sudden hesitation, Deeks lowered his voice and leaned closer. “Come on, Kensi. You know that what happens in Vegas—“
“—Does not end up on Instagram. Or Twitter. Or Tumblr or Snapchat or whatever social media site you’ve found in the last month.”
“Hey, I’m not the one who changed my relationship status on Facebook to ‘It’s complicated.’” Deeks protested. “I know how to compartmentalize.”
His thumbs slid through her belt loops and he tugged her towards him. Alarmed, Kensi placed her hands on his biceps to stop him.
“What are you doing? We agreed, not here at work where people can see us,” Kensi hissed. With a quick look around, Deeks took stock of their co-workers milling around. The office was still bustling, even for late in the day on a Friday.
Taking her hand, Deeks tugged her over to Hetty’s wardrobe area, giving her a little push until they’d fallen between several racks of clothes, the scratchy wool of an old Russian general’s coat itching Kensi’s neck. She quickly forgot the irritation when Deeks pushed the garment aside and lowered his lips to her neck. She fell back against a nearby column, the stone pillar and Deeks’ arms around her holding her up.
In the back of her mind Kensi knew she should object. They didn’t exactly lie about the status of their relationship at work, but they didn’t advertise it either. It was hard to hear that cautious voice when Deeks’ mouth kissed a warm path up her neck, nipping at her jaw. Kensi’s lips parted and she lightly inhaled, a sigh working its way up her throat. Deeks was kissing his way towards her mouth when a loud and uncomfortable throat was cleared behind him.
Kensi’s eyes flew open and she scrambled to stand up on her own, still shrouded in the curtain of uniforms and clothing around them. At least that had given them some cover. Coming out from behind the racks of clothing, Kensi saw Eric, shifting side to side, looking nervous and worried. So nervous and worried that he had clearly been distracted and hadn’t seen Kensi and Deeks in any kind of compromising situation. Not that Nell and Eric didn’t know about them, but Kensi didn’t want to put anyone in the situation at work of questioning her and Deeks’ abilities to be professional partners, be more than partners outside work, and still do their jobs.
“What’s going on Eric, are you okay?” Kensi asked. Deeks followed her out from behind the clothing, nearly tripping over several pairs of Marine Corps combat boots.
“Nell told me we’re going to Vegas,” Eric blurted out. Kensi nodded, still not understanding. “I can’t go there, I’m banned from Vegas!”
“It’s okay, we can go somewhere else,” Kensi replied, trying to soothe Eric’s somewhat frazzled nerves. Eric shook his head.
“But she really wants to go. And she said you guys did too—“
“Well, not both of us,” Kensi replied wryly, hooking her thumb back to point at Deeks. “This one wants to see some sandals and gladiators musical—“
“East Empire Odyssey,” Deeks supplied helpfully.
Kensi sighed. “Yes, that. But I’m sure we could find somewhere else to go if it makes you uncomfortable.”
Eric shook his head slowly. “I just have to stay under the radar. And maybe wear a disguise. That’s why I came down here looking for you guys. I thought maybe you could help me.”
Deeks held his hands up and edged away from Kensi. “This is all you guys. I’m going to go check with Nell on the arrangements and see if I can help her.”
Kensi narrowed her eyes as Deeks quickly departed, his nonchalant whistling not fooling her. How she’d gotten roped into this trip she still wasn’t sure. Sighing, she remembered Nell’s wistful look, and looking at Eric now, his desperation. What she wouldn’t do for her friends and teammates.
Putting her hands on Eric’s shoulders, Kensi steered Eric around to sit on a stool in front of a small wood vanity. She stood behind Eric, studying his face in the mirror in front of her. Eric shifted on the stool but stayed silent as she squinted at him.
“How good are the security systems in Vegas?” Kensi asked. “Are we talking about needing prosthetics?”
Eric shook his head. “I don’t think so. I was thinking a wig, maybe I could wear my contacts.”
Kensi ran a hand through Eric’s hair thoughtfully, which quickly silenced him. Pursing her lips, Kensi turned away, opening several drawers in a nearby cabinet until she found what she was looking for. Eric’s eyes widened and he began to shake his head when he saw what was in her hands.
“Oh, no. I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Eric protested. Kensi tossed him the box of hair dye and grabbed a towel, motioning for him to stand.
“It’s going to be in the 90s in Vegas. It’s going to be hot, and you’re going to be nervous. The last thing you need is a wig making it worse. It’s temporary hair dye, Eric, you’ll be fine.”
Pushing Eric in front of her, Kensi steered him towards the bathrooms, grabbing a chair as she went and shoving Eric into the men’s room. She placed the chair next to the sink and pushed Eric into it as his eyes widened and he desperately looked around the bathroom, his face turning red.
“Kensi, you shouldn’t be in here—“
“Nothing I haven’t seen, Eric. No stalling,” Kensi said briskly. She draped the towel over Eric’s shoulders and leaned him back towards the sink. Picking up the box of hair dye, she squinted at the instructions, before ripping the box open and beginning to pull on the plastic gloves. She smiled at Eric, knowing the grin would look confident and a little terrifying to him.
“Let’s see how you’ll look as a brunette.”
An hour later, Kensi and Eric were back in the wardrobe and Kensi was searching through another cabinet. Eric was toweling off his hair and studying himself in the mirror. He kept turning his head to the right and left, as if disbelieving of how he looked with dark brown hair. It was a different look for him. It made his blue eyes stand out more, but Kensi had a feeling a new hair color wouldn’t be enough.
Kensi pulled out several trays and placed them on the vanity in front of Eric. He eyed them apprehensively before looking at Kensi in the mirror.
“Do I really have to wear facial hair? How is that going to be any better than the wig would have been?”
“The hair helps, but this should just make it harder to recognize you. It’s been a couple years, right? Maybe you won’t even be in their system. But this way you can be even more certain they won’t recognize you,” Kensi said. At Eric’s still uncertain look, Kensi played her last card. “It’s for Nell, right? Come on, you’ve already got the hair done. This will be the last step.”
At the mention of Nell’s name Eric gave in with a nod. Kensi went through the different beards, mustaches, and goatees in Hetty’s supply. They quickly discarded the beards as too much work, and many of the mustaches bordered on ridiculous looking. But Kensi was heartened at Eric’s growing ease. When she put a mustache on his face that was a little too close to a handle bar style, Eric was the first to shake his head and laugh.
“We’re going to Vegas, I’m not starring as the bartender in some old western movie. And I’m not a hipster.”
Agreeing with a laugh, Kensi nodded and put the mustache aside, lifting a goatee to Eric’s face and holding it in place. It was dark, like Eric’s newly dyed hair, and it actually transformed his entire face. Without being able to see his mouth as clearly, and because it softened his jaw, it made him look like someone else. Kensi blinked, realizing she wouldn’t have recognized Eric if they’d passed on the street.
“You think that’ll do it?” Eric asked hopefully. Kensi nodded, handing him the adhesive to make the facial hair stick.
“Be careful with that though. It’s the strong stuff Hetty gets for longer term undercovers. That’ll keep the facial hair in place for at least 72 hours,” Kensi warned.
Eric put the finishing touches on the facial hair and stood up, hands open wide. “How do I look?”
Kensi looked him up and down and smiled. “Like a new man. Come on, let’s show Deeks and Nell.”
Exiting the wardrobe with Eric behind her, Kensi almost ran smack into Deeks. He reached out with his hands on her hips to steady her. Looking behind her at Eric, he grinned his approval.
“Nice, man. That’s a good look for you. Come on, let’s get going,” Deeks said, pulling Kensi along beside him towards the parking area outside OSP.
Kensi tried to slow Deeks with a hand on his chest. “What’s the hurry? We have a couple more hours until the end of work.”
“Nope, not anymore. I arranged it all with Hetty. A couple hours off early, Nell made the reservations. Vegas here we come,” Deeks said.
“But what about clothes, Monty—“
“Taken care of, Kens. I got your clothes, Monty’s with my neighbor for the weekend. Nell got stuff for Eric,” Deeks replied smoothly. Kensi raised an eyebrow.
“I’m not sure I should trust you picking up my clothes. There’s more than just lingerie in there, right?” Kensi asked.
Deeks chuckled, leading her out to the parking area, where Kensi was momentarily distracted by the red Mustang convertible. Nell sat in the backseat, waving to Kensi, and then her mouth dropped open in surprise at Eric’s new look. Eric climbed into the backseat with Nell, a sheepish smile on his face, while Kensi followed Deeks towards the trunk. He lifted the trunk, gesturing to the duffle bags in the back.
“If you don’t trust me, feel free to check,” Deeks said, his smile confident and sure. “I promise I packed you all the essentials. And a few things I personally think are very essential.”
Kensi slowly shook her head, his excitement finally catching on a little. Not trusting Deeks was never the question. And although this trip had come together quickly and caught her a bit unaware, Kensi saw that Deeks was excited at the unknown prospect of fun that weekend.
“No, I trust you,” Kensi replied softly. She stepped closer to Deeks and reached up on her tiptoes, kissing him lightly on the lips. Kensi stepped back, but stayed close to him, close enough she felt his breath exhale on her face. Anyone looking at them could read between the lines, and that was different for Kensi. She often tried to keep the lines strictly defined when they were at work. Usually Deeks was the one trying to erase the line. She arched an eyebrow, taking in his slightly stunned expression.
“Vegas or bust?”
Recovering quickly, Deeks nodded and closed the trunk, grabbing Kensi’s hand to lead her over to the passenger’s side door. After settling into the car, Deeks reached for his sunglasses, sliding the reflective lenses on and starting the car. As the engine roared to life and then settled into a rumbling purr, Deeks looked in the rearview mirror first at Eric and Nell, then turned his head to look at Kensi.
Kensi’s laugh was lost in the wind as Deeks accelerated from the parking lot, turning the Mustang loose on the roads of Los Angeles and heading east, towards a weekend of friends, fun, relaxation, and absolutely no work or danger.
At least that was the plan.
To be Chapter 2….
Mel M. is a contributor at wikiDeeks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @imahistorian
Edit by Sweet Lu