By Tess DiCorsi
“Football is the ballet of the masses.” ― Dmitri Shostakovich
“So you’re not telling me where we’re going,” Kensi complained as they walked out of the Civic Center parking lot.
“In due time,” Deeks said. “In due time.”
“But you have tickets,” Kensi said. “Whatever we’re doing, you need tickets.”
Deeks nodded yes.
“And whatever is in that blue gift bag is for me.”
“That would be correct,” Deeks said, holding up the blue gift bag with gold handles. “This is mine,” he said, holding up a white and blue plastic Gap shopping bag.
“You know, the last time you surprised me with tickets, I didn’t have fun.”
“You had lots of fun,” Deeks disagreed. “You said it was fun while we were doing it and you said it was fun later when we were…”
“Don’t say ‘doing it’ Deeks.”
“I won’t,” Deeks said with a smile. “But you did. You had fun at ‘The Sound of Music’ sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl. In fact, it is impossible not to have fun at ‘The Sound of Music’ sing-along at the Hollywood Bowl.”
“Boring movie,” Kensi said dismissively. “And silly.”
“It was a war movie. You like war movies.”
“There was singing. And that was not a war movie.”
“There was singing. Great singing. And it most certainly is a war movie – it was World War II. And it was great.”
“Will there be singing today?” Kensi asked.
“Yep,” he said as he pointed to the Santa Monica Metro station.
“Why did we park here if we’re taking the train?”
“Because I’m smart. Trust me,” he said with a smile.
“Always. But if this is a musical sing-along again….”
“I promise you it’s not.” Deeks held up his hand in the Boy Scout oath. “Scout’s honor.”
“You were never a Boy Scout,” she said as they walked to the turnstile. Looking around, she noted, “Lots of people here today.”
“You’re not telling me where we’re going, are you?” Kensi asked again as she sat next to Deeks on a surprisingly crowded train.
“I’ll tell you when we get to our stop.” Leaning in and whispering he said, “Though, I have faith in you as a highly-trained federal agent to figure this out before we get there. And when you do…” Deeks raised the blue gift bag.
As they traveled, more and more riders boarded the train, some wearing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant football jerseys as well as an assortment of fans in newly minted L.A. Rams gear. Kensi broke out in a big smile. “Are we going to the game?”
Deeks handed Kensi the blue gift bag. Inside, she found an envelope with two tickets for the first professional football game in Los Angeles in over two decades as well as a Todd Gurley II #30 home jersey.
“Yes!” Kensi said as she handed Deeks the tickets and pulled her new jersey over her tank top. “Oh Deeks, this is great!”
When Kensi was fannishly dressed, Deeks opened his bag and pulled out a throwback jersey – #89, Dryer.
“Was he your favorite player growing up?” Kensi asked once Deeks was wearing his jersey.
“No. Never saw Fred Dryer play. Way before my time,” Deeks said with a smile. “But this is more in honor of his post-football career.”
Kensi gave him a confused look as they pulled into Expo Park/USC station.
Walking out with most of the fans in the car, Deeks explained. “After his long successful football career, Dryer played one of LAPD’s finest, Detective Rick Hunter on TV. My Mom and I use to watch that on Saturday nights while Dad was … out.”
“What was the name of the show?” Kensi asked.
“Wow, you really did grow up in the biodome. Hunter. The name of the show was Hunter, NBC, Saturdays at ten o’clock.”
“Sorry if my Saturday nights were spent doing other things.”
Deeks coughed, “Walker,Texas Ranger.” Changing the subject, Deeks said, “About the tickets, uhm, we may be going to more….”
“Kay-Kay!” was heard far and wide.
Kensi turned around and Kat, wearing a brand new Jared Goff jersey was running to her. “Kat! What are you doing here?”
“You didn’t tell her Marty?” Kat said, giving Kensi a big hug.
“I was just getting to that,” Deeks said as he was on the end of Kat’s signature air kiss greeting.
“Oh, let me tell her,” Kat said to Deeks. Turning to Kensi, Kat asked, “Do you know Greg from Brad’s office?”
“The guy who dated Mandy last year?” Kensi remembered Greg – nice but dull.
“Yep. They were so bad together even though he’s a good guy. Anyway, Brad and Greg got four season tickets for the Rams the minute they announced they were moving back, but Greg got transferred back to Goldman’s offices in New York so Brad bought his tickets. He talked to Marty about buying them after we got back from our honeymoon.”
“We have season tickets?” Kensi asked, a little skeptical.
“Just for this season so far. We can decide afterwards if we want to continue,” he said, hoping she was going to be happy with this arrangement.
“Now I know your job at the movie studio means you’ll be doing junkets and promotions some weekends but at least for a few Sundays we can have fun together watching the games. Brad is even taking me to the London game!”
“Not going to London,” Deeks told Kensi, knowing with their jobs getting the three hours in on Sundays was going to be hard enough. “Brad bought our tickets for those games.”
“We’re bringing our fathers to that game!” Kat was so pleased. “They’re so excited.”
Deeks was sure Kat was equally excited. “Where is Brad?” Deeks asked.
“He forgot the tickets in the car. He had to go back. Let me call him and find out where he is.” Kat took about three steps away from them and pulled out her cellphone.
“Tell me you’re not mad,” Deeks said as Kat tracked down her husband. “You spent the weekend after the wedding so unhappy that you don’t see your friends as much as you like. Then you were worried that now Kat was married and living in Newport Beach you’d see even less of her. Brad said he’d buy our tickets any weekend we didn’t want to go and he’d bring a client or two so…”
Kensi put her arms around Deeks. “Thank you! Having the tickets…it’s great.”
“It is. It’s normal. This is what regular couples do. I love football. Now we have weekend plans and weekend plans with my friends.”
“Because most of my childhood friends are in jail or witness protection.”
Kat started waving her hand and jumping up and down. Brad Harris, Mr. Kat, was waving to his wife while speaking on his own phone as he cut through the crowd. Brad was wearing a Vince Ferragamo jersey.
“How great are these throwback colors? Fred Dryer, look at you Marty – kicking it old school,” Brad said with his hand extended.
Shaking it, Deeks smiled. “It works for me.”
“Hunter! I loved that show!” Brad exclaimed. “Watched it Saturday nights with my folks and my older brother Jason. Jase dated a girl in college who worked part-time at Macy’s at the Roosevelt Field Mall to help pay for school. She wasn’t available to go out until late on Saturday nights. So much fun watching a goofy cop show as a family.”
“Didn’t have an older brother but did the same with my folks,” Deeks smiled and semi-lied.
“I just knew you two boys would be buds,” Kat said as they started walking to the Coliseum. “Lawyer, stockbroker, you could have hung out together if Brad went to school out here in LA.”
“Or I went to Wharton,” Deeks joked.
“Not nearly as much surfing there as at Pepperdine,” Brad replied with a hardy pat on the back. “How much did you pay to park?”
“Took the Metro.”
“Smart man. Paid $100 to park on a woman’s front lawn about ten blocks from here. Kat, we’re taking the train next time.” After another strong pat on the back, Brad added, “Love a guy who is smart with his money. Shame you’re not the stockbroker – you could have written that Metro idea off as investment advice.”
The game was fun. The four of them were all football fans with Kat being especially vocal about her dislike for the Dallas Cowboys. A bad start for the Rams turned into a come from behind win. Brad was excited to see the Monday Night Football pre-game crew on the field. Kensi was thrilled to have a fun afternoon out with her friends and her boyfriend.
Brad and Kat were going to be out of town for a wedding for the following week’s preseason home game. The four planned a “breakfast tailgate” at Huckleberry’s before a Metro ride to the home opener on September 18th. Kensi and Kat also planned a spa Friday just before Labor Day.
The Metro was mobbed going back to their car but neither Kensi or Deeks cared. It was a fun Saturday. As they made their way to the Santa Monica final stop, the two finally got seats.
“You OK with this? I know I kind of sprung it on you, but I wanted it to be a fun surprise. I thought about giving the tickets to you for your birthday, but….”
Leaning over, Kensi kissed Deeks on the cheek. “I’m going to spend a few hours every Sunday with my boyfriend, one of my best friends, her husband and a bunch of manly men playing football.”
“So we’re good?” Deeks relief was palpable.
“We’re great,” she said, looking down at her brand new jersey. “And thank you. You were listening when I wasn’t happy about not being as close to my friends as I want to be.”
“I always listen, Kens.”
“Yeah, you do,” Kensi said before giving him another kiss on the cheek. “And sometimes I think we complain too much about not being a normal couple. Michelle and Sam can handle this. They go to concerts – he got her Beyoncé tickets for their anniversary – they do everyday things. I want to do everyday things with you.”
“Did you want to go to Beyoncé?” Deeks asked. “I could probably find some tickets.”
“You may be getting an early gift around Labor Day,” Kensi said, smiling ear to ear.
“We’re not going with Sam?”
Shaking her head, Kensi said, “No, we’re going on our own.”
“Like a normal couple.”
“Nothing normal about you, Deeks,” Kensi said as they pulled into the Santa Monica station.
“And you like that.”
“Love that. Love you. Love the tickets too. Now feed me, I’m hungry.”
“Because a hot dog, nachos, two boxes of popcorn…”
“One, Kat spilled the first box when Mannion threw the touchdown pass,” Kensi corrected him. “I’m hungry.”
“With you, always.”
Deeks smiled. “And we’re totally finding Hunter on Netflix or Hulu when we get home. You need to appreciate the Dryer impact on my career choices.”