The last time he saw her she was wrapping him in a warm hug, strong arms around his shoulders, and a whisper in his ear over how proud she was of them, how excited she was to call him her son, they could just forget the in law part.
The last time he heard Julia’s voice she was giving him an eager blessing to marry her daughter.
And maybe that’s why his fingers were trembling so terribly he could hardly hit the numbers to contact her, a necessary call that lurched his empty stomach, already throbbing head spinning with words he couldn’t bring himself to say (not when voicing them would mean accepting them). Empty openers and pointless reassurances that no one would ever believe over the shaking in his tone.
And when the call clicked into a connection, a bright “Marty?” filling his head, tugged more tears to his eyes despite his dehydration; maybe she thought he was calling for advice over the planned moments, maybe a congratulations was already forming behind her lips, ready to demand pictures of her daughter with a bright, contagious smile and a ring on her finger, and maybe the news he was about to deliver would destroy all of that perfect imagery.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, she’s alive, she’s still here.”
“I need you to- to get to the hospital, she isn’t alone, can’t let her be alone.” Single-mindedly the words poured out of him, fingers scratching desperately over his thigh, anxiety sending cold chills throughout him.
“What happened? Is Kensi- You?” Incoherent babble filled the line for just a moment before her voice properly returned, obviously covered with a gaze of tears, shattering under the weight of what she barely knew, effort shrinking her voice. “She’s alive?”
“They took her to surgery, wouldn’t let me go with her, but she can’t be alone, and she’ll be back in LA before us, I need-“ Cutting himself off abruptly, Deeks swiped a finger under his nose, feeling the very last coils of control dissolving in the acidity of panic, utter chaos of terror, wishing that just once they had followed procedure, because nothing could be worth this and every dreaded potential it held, and God, he wasn’t equipped to handle this, seeing her pinned beneath that wreckage, her broken apologies and his pleas for her to just hold on lingering in the sandy air, time standing still and speeding much too fast, much too fast for what could have been his last moments with her, what still could be, what could be the last time she squeezed his hand, fear and unwavering trust in her pain filled eyes.
“She’d want you there, in the hospital. Can you-“
“Of course, of course, I’ll make sure she’s safe, you make sure you’re safe, Marty,” Julia rushed, attempting to finish the sentence before her voice broke, not succeeding as her utterance of his name shattered, punctuated by a sniff, brokenness of a woman who was already imagining her daughter in a white dress and absolute happiness.
And truthfully, Kensi Blye wouldn’t recognize just how she had so many hearts until she saw the burn marks from where her fingers were clutched around them.
He could never regret her vice like grip around his, no matter how much it ached now.