All For You Body and Soul
She stroked her hand through his soft hair before the nurse wheeled him from the room and she suddenly felt the loss of his presence. His headache had worsened overnight so they were taking him for another cat scan. He’d made jokes about them not finding anything inside, or possibly jello, but the pain behind his eyes had reminded her of how bad it had been.
Out in the desert, his silence had unnerved her, as had her short bouts of crying as she pleaded with him to wake up. She didn’t regret her tears. She’d been shaken by a deep fear that he would never wake up, leaving her alone against his own will. She’d been angry with him at times, as if he’d remained unconscious just to scare her. She knew that thought was crazy, but being angry with him was easier than facing the fear that he’d been damaged beyond repair. In the church, holding him so close, and willing him to wake had been frightening. Feelings of guilt and remorse had filled her as she clung to him. He’d followed her to Mexico because he loved her. He’d warned her that the longer they stayed in, the closer one of them came to never making it out. As she’d stroked his face and pleaded with him to wake up and tell her every thing would be all right, the fear that his warning might become reality hovered in the darkness around them.
His silence had been deafening, a void in her heart. His inert body, so unresponsive to her touch, had revealed just how much a part of her he was. She wasn’t whole without him. The mere thought of losing him had been unbearable, a torturous possibility she’d refused to accept. When his eyes had opened, it was if the breath of life had been rekindled within her. The feeling had been electric, her love for him almost overwhelming in intensity. Even as he’d teased her, just the sound of his voice had been a comfort.
Had he felt the same when she woke from her coma? Had his thoughts and fears been the same as what she’d experienced in the desert? Last night he’d said he couldn’t do this without her, and she now knew she couldn’t either. For the first time she could see beyond her job, the identity she had lived with and protected for so long. He’d promised there could be so much more. Now she just had to trust that that was true.
“How is he?” Mosley asked as she stepped into the doorway.
Kensi just stared at her, any reply stifled by a sudden, irrational flood of anger.
“Has there been a setback?” Her boss asked softly when she didn’t reply.
“I can’t talk to you right now,” Kensi managed to choke out as she brushed past the woman and walked out into the hall.
“Upset?” Kensi turned quickly to face her. “I’m a lot of things right now, but upset is putting it mildly, don’t you think?”
“I’m sorry it turned out this way, Kensi,” Mosley replied.
“Really? Are you really?” Kensi fought to control herself. “I’m not sure I believe that.”
“I didn’t force any of you to go to Mexico,” she said coldly. “Deeks wasn’t even supposed to be there. I fired him. Remember?”
“I haven’t forgotten a thing,” she snapped back. “He almost died trying to get your son back, and all you can say is that he wasn’t supposed to be there? Seriously?”
“Going was his choice,” she replied.
Tears started in her eyes as she stared back at the woman. “You’re right. It was. He went down there because of me. And you may not believe this, but he also went down there because he’s a good man, and because he wanted to save your son. You might want to thank him for that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see Callen and Sam.”
“I am grateful, Kensi,” she said.
“As you should be,” Hetty said quietly, appearing unexpectedly as always. “They put themselves in danger for you and for your son, and it almost cost them their lives. You owe them, my dear. I can only hope you will have the opportunity to repay them some day.”
“You make it sound as if you don’t believe I’ll be around to do that,” Mosley replied with a taut smile.
“Come now, Shay. You always knew an off the book raid such as this would be highly scrutinized. You just didn’t care,” Hetty said. “We both will be on the hook for what happened. Hell. The future of the Office of Special Projects will be at risk over your personal operation.”
“You’ve been talking to Admiral Kilbride,” Mosley replied, looking defensive as she crossed her arms.
“The order to look into this fucktangle came directly from SecNav,” Hetty said forcefully. “Especially the death of Agent Hidoko.”
“What?” Mosley whispered.
Mosley took a step back, bracing herself against the wall, a look of anguish on her face as her eyes misted with tears. Kensi felt a sudden rush of sorrow, realizing how stunned Mosley was by the final, devastating news.
“Are they sure, Hetty?” Mosley asked sadly.
“I’m afraid they are, Shay,” she replied softly. “I’m sorry. It wasn’t a death one wishes for anyone. She deserved better. They all did.”
“I didn’t send her down there,” Mosley said softly.
“Still defending your actions in spite of how close this came to being an utterly deadly disaster?” Hetty asked slowly in amazement. “A loyal young woman, a woman you cared about, died on your watch because you were so caught up in your own needs that you weren’t paying attention to your agents. You do realize they all could have died, don’t you?”
“I thought you understood why I had to do this, Hetty,” Mosley said.
“We all have people we love, Shay,” she replied. “But your willingness to sacrifice everyone for yours had consequences. Dire ones. You’ll have to live with that. Hopefully you’ll learn from it.”
“Do Sam and Callen know about Harley?” Kensi asked.
“Not officially, no,” Hetty replied. “I was just on my way to tell them. Join me, will you?”
The two women walked away, leaving Mosley to deal with the emotional aftermath alone.
“Arlo told me about Mr. Deeks and about what you did to save his life,” Hetty said as they walked.
“Did he tell you he saved all of ours?”
“He claims he was lucky,” Hetty replied softly. “He thinks you were all very lucky.”
“Yes we were,” she whispered. “It was very brave of him…to come for us like that. They could have easily killed him the minute he got out of that truck.”
“I warned him it would be dangerous,” she said. “But, of course he knew that.”
“Why was he down there, Hetty? He’s NCIS.”
“I’m afraid I can’t go into the details,” she replied. “But he did tell me he thought you were all crazy to go up against Vasquez and Williams and the cartel. I think he admires you all.”
“I like him.”
“Me too,” Hetty replied, then stopped and took Kensi’s arm. “Now, how is Mr. Deeks?”
“He had a rough night…really rough,” Kensi said quietly. “He couldn’t keep his dinner down…or breakfast…dizziness…blurry vision…a terrible headache…”
“A severe concussion is a bitch to deal with,” Hetty said.
“The doctor ordered another CT Scan…they’re worried about bleeding…”
“He’s a tough young man, Kensi,” Hetty assured her.
“I thought I lost him, Hetty,” she replied, blinking back tears.
“Arlo told me General Vasquez thought he was dead.”
“I did too, when I first saw him,” she said. “Then he wouldn’t wake up…”
“But you never gave up on him,” Hetty said.
“It’s my fault he was even there,” she replied.
“No. That would be me,” Hetty said softly. “I’m the one he came to to get him on that plane. He was desperate to back you up, and I didn’t have the heart to say no. He’s a very good and convincing lawyer.”
“Can I use that on my resumé?” Deeks asked as he was wheeled around the corner.
“Are you leaving us, Mr. Deeks?” Hetty asked.
“My memory’s still a little hazy, but I do remember Mosley fired me.”
“I think she might be willing to rescind that considering what you did.”
“She doesn’t really seem like the forgiving type,” Deeks replied.
“Deeks. You helped get her son back,” Kensi said.
“Was that before or after we got blown up?” He asked, looking worried.
“Just teasing, Kens.”
“I think you’ve scared all of us enough, Mr. Deeks,” Hetty said firmly. “Now…how did your latest CT scan turn out?”
“Ask my shadow here,” Deeks said, pointing at the young intern behind him. “Meet Dr. Suresh.”
“The swelling’s down, and there were no bleeds,” the young man said. “He was worried we might find jello in there. Happy to report he is jello free.”
“Now that I find hard to believe,” Hetty said with a smile. “Good to know your sense of humor wasn’t damaged, Mr. Deeks.”
“All the important parts are still there,” he replied with a grin. “Now, if I could just stop puking up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I’ll be good to go.”
“We were on our way to see Callen and Sam,” Kensi said. “Is he okay to come with us, Dr. Suresh?”
“If he stays in this wheelchair and you take it slow,” the doctor replied.
“So, no wheelies then?” Deeks quipped. “She’s not a good driver, doc. Maybe you should push me.”
“I dragged you through the desert on a stretcher, Deeks,” She said, taking control of his chair. “This has wheels. It’ll be a piece of cake.”
“She’s kidding, right?” Dr. Suresh asked.
“Wish she was,” Deeks said softly as he ran his hand down his face. “She’s Wonder Woman, brother.”
They left the speechless intern standing in the hall as they made their way toward Callen and Sam’s rooms. Deeks had gone quiet, and when they got into Callen’s room, Kensi moved her hand over his shoulder, and he reached up to entwine his fingers with hers. Sam was already there in his own wheelchair, and nodded at Deeks as he looked him over with a critical eye.
“You doing better?” He asked.
“Remember that saying…party till you puke? Doing that last part without any of the fun memories,” Deeks replied softly.
“Still in pain?”
“Head’s pounding like the morning after times ten…no…make that times a bazillion. You?”
“He’s hurting. Just won’t admit it,” Callen said groggily from his bed.
“I’ll be fine, G,” Sam said. “You, on the other hand, will be down for awhile.”
“I got blown up,” Callen replied, sounding defensive. “Then you cut me open and stuck a pen inside.”
“Be grateful, partner.”
“But you all survived,” Hetty said. “I don’t usually believe in miracles, but your survival is as close as it gets.”
They were all silent for a moment and Kensi tightened her grip on Deeks’ fingers.
“What aren’t you telling us, Hetty?” Callen finally asked, causing her to look down for a moment and smile.
“You read me too well, Mr. Callen.”
“It’s Hidoko, isn’t it?” Sam asked sadly.
“Forensics confirmed that the remains you found out there were hers,” Hetty replied.
“Sonofabitch,” Deeks whispered.
“Still don’t understand why she went down there by herself,” Callen said.
“To a fault,” he replied. “She should have told one of us she was going, or at least told Mosley.”
“Yes, she should have, but she was closer to Mosley than the rest of us. Hidoko understood how much she needed her son. She had lived with what it was doing to Mosley for a long time,” Hetty said. “I believe she thought she could ease some of her pain if she was able to gather intel that would help her get him back.”
“She went down there out of love,” Kensi said.
“They were partners,” Sam said. “And you do what you have to do to make sure your partner survives to thrive.”
“Just as all of you did for each other,” Hetty said.
“Like Arlo said,” Sam smiled. “Just a big ol’ love fest.”