An Alternate View by Sweet Lu
A different ending for The Long Goodbye
The banter in the armory was light, but with an undertone that none of them acknowledged, especially Callen. Deeks thought he looked tired, and trying to hide his concern for his partner that he was pretty sure boiled just under the surface. There was sadness too, for all of the team, knowing what awaited Jada when she returned home, so his wiseassing became louder and to Callen probably more annoying, but it was what he always did to ease a tough situation, although he didn’t think the man appreciated it at the moment, unsure if he ever did.
He thought they had worked well together today, their relationship becoming a bit closer each time they were paired. Today the conversation had turned toward the consequences of their actions while undercover and it had hit both of them with suppressed memories neither wanted to dwell on. No humor had come to mind to ease the guilt. Now they both became distracted by the two beautiful women in front of them who had apparently bonded somewhere along the line, surprising the hell out of him.
They both turned to stared at each other as the two women commiserated about PSBs and their desire to discuss it over drinks… just the two of them. What was that all about? Then Talia made a move on Callen, freezing his brain, and causing just a hint of jealousy to flare briefly. The man seemed to actually consider it, and he wondered if he’d misread his concern about the day’s events, but then remembered how good Callen was at covering up what was really going on inside his head.
“You gonna take her up on it?” he asked after they left. “Or would you rather grab a couple of beers and hang out with me?”
“Those are my two choices?”
“We could catch the Clippers’ game at Murphy’s,” Deeks said lightly, wanting the company more than he expected.
Callen looked away, his eyes distant and his demeanor tentative, as if he wanted to say something, to reveal a part of himself he usually kept hidden.
“Or you could just smolder in private,” Deeks said with a soft laugh.
“Yeah, there’s that,” Callen smirked.
“Or go hang out with Sam,” letting the suggestion float in the air between them.
“Deeks…,” his tone thick with warning.
“You talk to him yet?” he asked boldly, ignoring the man’s piercing blue eyes.
“About what? Think we should share our feelings about the outcome of this case?” He threw the words out almost as a challenge, until retreating into a confession. “Neither one of us is very good at that.”
“So, just share a beer, G,” he replied.
“You telling me what to do with my free time now?” Callen shot back.
“We both know what it’s like,” Deeks said quietly. “Just hanging out doing normal things, can get your head back where it needs to be.”
The man let out a long sigh and stared toward the door, the tension apparent in his body language finally easing.
“You want to join us?” Callen breathed out apologetically, surprising him.
“What? Me? Hang out with a couple of old guys?” Deeks scoffed, getting a laugh out of the senior agent. “Naw… I’m just gonna go stare at the ocean and smolder by myself.”
“Don’t knock it till you tried it,” Callen said easily.
“I’ll let you know how it went in the morning,” Deeks replied with a cocky grin.
“You do that,” Callen said as he turned to go. “And Deeks?”