He had the number of the blinds across the room memorized, just as the tiny dimples in the wall, the shape and color of the little stain marking by his shoes and the one that was halfway tucked under her bed frame.
Studying of the room another tactic to pass through every sleepless hour, memories of her almost too painful now, yet impossible to ignore; her bare shoulders peeking out from beneath the comforter the last morning they’d spent together in their new home, her hand reaching out to snatch his wrist, sleepy voice rumbling out a question as to why he was leaving so early, a quick lie about training making her hand disappear back beneath the blankets, a soft murmur of “see you at work, love you” confirming his resolve for the ring, for the gift of being able to call her his fiancée.
And now each flicker of her eyelids was another memory stored away, another tiny burst of hope crushed when they just didn’t open, when her hand didn’t return his squeeze and the ever pressing horror inside him wasn’t tamped by her safety.
“DVR is almost out of space, Princess. You better wake up and watch something before it deletes that entire season of Cupcake Wars.” Shaking his head at his own ridiculous, desperate words, Deeks ran a thumb over the back of her palm, thankfully still resting in his, eyes heavy and phone silent, earlier texts from Callen confirming his wellbeing ceasing a half hour before, God that man must wake early.
“You didn’t tell me she said yes,” the sentence was accompanied by a short rap of knuckles on the door frame and Sam Hanna’s head poking into the room, saddened smile on his lips, words for the Detective and eyes trained on Kensi.
“I didn’t tell you I got a ring.”
“Office bet,” Sam shrugged, leaning fully against the doorway. “I had an October proposal, planned May wedding, and December elopement.”
A scoff filled with dry amusement pushing through his mouth, he tightened his hold on her hand, conflicting hopes and realities crashing together in chaos; they’d had their own plans, ideas for near and distant futures, hell he’d even begun searching for the right beach for their wedding, dreamed up ideas for a honeymoon, every one of which was indefinitely placed on hold.
“I’d settle for a ‘yes,’” his voice uncharacteristically rough, dragged down by emotion and exhaustion, the two things that would probably kill him one day, the toll they’d already taken upon him, in the past days alone, pushing far past extreme.
“Deeks, she’s already said yes to that question a thousand times.” Pulling away from the door frame completely, boots shuffling on the flooring, Sam laughed lightly, shaking his head in nostalgia. “Next time I visit you two will be fighting over who gets the Jell-O.”
Managing a nod rather than a worded response, Deeks ignored the simultaneous buzz of their phones, surely from Eric, absolutely not something more important than his current placement.
“Keep us updated,” Sam murmured, softly squeezing his shoulder before exiting the small room, leaving behind the stale silence and another pleading prayer, a hope that the ring could be a beginning, not a garnish to an ending.