THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE
It was dark and so quiet that night that Deeks could actually hear the water beating on the underside of the boatshed. Probably smacking against the stairs of the hidden trap doors, he thought. Not that he’d ever actually gotten a chance to use one of them, going in or out. When his day in interrogation comes, and he knew it would, there would be no escaping. Those thoughts weren’t worth dwelling on at the moment, though. He had enough on his mind already.
He’d turned the sound off but still watched David and his wife’s reunion on the big screen in front of him. They had a long road to recovery ahead of them. Even just one day inside The Church of the Unlocked Mind had messed with his mind and disturbed him enough that he knew the memories would linger a lot longer than he wanted them to. Most undercover assignments for them these days were in and out, forgotten within an hour. Not this one.
It could have been worse. The men in the Discipline Arena could have been armed. Kensi could have been given a higher dose of whatever the hell it was they gave her. Granger and the team could have been five minutes later. These were the things he had to remind himself of as he pretended to watch the reunited couple. They were talking and crying and rebuilding right before him, and even without sound he felt like he was invading their privacy. And while the silence was good for his own contemplation, what he really wanted was to see and touch and talk to his girlfriend.
The front door of the shed opened and closed, but he could tell by the footsteps that it wasn’t who he wanted it to be. He was anxiously awaiting Kensi’s return from the hospital so they could try to begin their own recovery. There could have been worse options than the friend that showed up, though. “Aye, Spartacus,” Deeks greeted him.
“How do you even know about that?” Sam grunted, joining him in front of the plasma screen. He slipped a thumb in his pocket and twisted his lips.
“I have a woman on the inside.” Deeks turned to face the large figure beside him. “Don’t worry, Nell scares the hell out of me, too.”
“Thank you,” Deeks interrupted, shoving his hands in his back pockets. “You put your ass on the line for us today, and… I don’t know what would have happened if Granger and Callen hadn’t shown up when they did.”
Sam nodded with a knowing smile. “Sometimes we have to do the wrong thing for the right reasons.”
That statement was practically the story of Deeks’ life. He opened his mouth to agree, but thought better of it. One thing was certain- the longer they knew each other, the more he realized how similar he and Sam actually were. Not outward appearances or even the second or third layers of their personalities, but deep down in their cores they were the same. He felt comfortable enough with him to speak his troubles and fears. If anyone would understand him, it was Sam. “Today was really bad. I’ve been in deep before. Gun runners, drug dealers, human traffickers. But it’s been a long time since I’ve been in a situation that fucked up.”
“And you got out,” Sam reminded him. “I heard you took on a room of seven guys? Impressive.”
“They were brainwashed zombies. And some of them were pretty old, too,” Deeks rationalized. It was easier than trying to understand his own superhuman strength when he was backed in a corner and pissed as hell. “I’m still trying to process what did and could have… just, all of this.”
His friend raised an eyebrow. “But this isn’t so much about you, is it?”
“Not so much,” Deeks confirmed quietly, glancing at the couple on the screen. “No offense, but when everything was going down with Sidorov, I thought you were a little out of control. Not like yourself. But over time I’ve begun to understand and relate. Today was traumatizing for me but all I can think about is how I need for my partner to walk through those doors on her own so I can see for myself that she’s fine.”
“She will, and she is. I just talked to Granger. They’re releasing her, she should be here soon.” Sam licked his lips, looking lost in thought. No doubt remembering the circumstances that led him and Deeks to grow as close as they are now. “I just wanted to check in before I got started trying to explain why I lied to the AUSA.”
Deeks narrowed his eyes. “Why did you lie, just to keep Granger and Callen from stuffing that guy in the trunk? I wouldn’t put it past them. They would have come for us eventually.”
“Nah.” Sam shook his head. “The minute Kensi got on comms and said she’d been drugged, I made an executive decision. I’m not gonna sit back and let that happen to her, or any of you.”
This was the difference between now and his old undercover assignments. He wasn’t alone- quite the opposite, really. It was the reason he could sleep at night knowing that the most important person in the world to him was going to be put in life-threatening situations every day. She had people that loved her to have her back when she needed it. And just like he was willing to endure unspeakable things for someone Sam loved, Sam was willing to obstruct a federal investigation to do the same for him. “The things we do for love,” he murmured, more to himself than to Sam.
“Nobody said it would be easy, Deeks.” Sam clapped him on the back, squeezing his shoulder before he let go. “And when it gets hard, just remember- love conquers all.”
Deeks snorted. Sappy Sam always brought a goofy smile to his face. “You getting all sentimental on me? Did you get that off of a Hallmark card?”
“Why do I bother talking to you?”
“Because you loooooooove me,” Deeks teased.
Sam rolled his eyes and headed towards the exit. “Shut up, Deeks.”
“I can hear the love in your voice when you say that, Sam!” Deeks grinned as the door slammed shut. The brief conversation put him a little bit more at ease. His skin still itched with the discomfort of his forced baptism and his stomach turned every time he thought about the manipulation and cruelty that church was selling as salvation. But the good guys prevailed, like they usually had a way of doing. They had to take great risks to achieve great rewards.
And like magic, his greatest reward walked gingerly into the boatshed from the side entrance. Kensi looked tired and stressed, but healthy. It was the most beautiful sight he could imagine. “Hey,” he said softly.
She smiled at him, and that was all he needed to see to know everything would be fine. “Hey.”
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