An after episode FanFic: “The Patton Project”
“Want to talk about the wedding?” She asked lightly, her hand skimming gently up his back.
“No. No I don’t,” Deeks replied.
“What’s up, baby?” She asked, sensing his melancholy. “Wedding prep blues?”
The look he gave her stopped her cold, and she frowned uncertainly, wondering if he was having second thoughts again. She felt a small sense of dread, one followed by a flicker of anger, but decided it wouldn’t do her any good to let that show.
“You still want to get married…right?” A little upset that it came out sounding defensive.
“What?” Deeks said. “Yeah…of course I do, Kens.”
He turned to look at her, reaching out to pull her close as they walked along the beachfront, finally stopping behind a bench to stare out into the darkness. The sound of the waves hitting the beach filled the silence between them.
“Talk to me, Deeks. What’s wrong?”
“Are you really asking me that?” His voice strident and accusatory. “They expected us to assassinate some guy we knew nothing about. Isn’t that wrong enough? Didn’t that bother you in the least?”
“Of course it did, but…”
“But we didn’t, Deeks. We didn’t,” she replied softly, realizing just how deeply the last op had affected him. “We saved all the people on that plane, baby.”
“Only because we refused to follow orders,” he replied, walking around to slump down on the bench.
She sat down beside him, but didn’t touch him as he ran his hands up into his hair. He had begged off Callen’s invitation to join them for tequila shots and tacos, which had been the first indication that something wasn’t right. He obviously hadn’t shaken off what had happened on the op like he usually did. Tonight, his distress was palpable.
“They expect us to be assassins now, Kens,” he said quietly. “We go to Mexico to rescue Mosley’s kid, get into it with a corrupt general and a cartel, get blown up for our efforts and they take that as a sign we would make good killers-for-hire?”
“They saw we were willing to go off book,” she said. “Maybe they’re just pushing to see how far off book we’re willing to go.”
“We didn’t go down there to kill people.”
“No, we didn’t, but we did accomplish a difficult mission in spite of how it ended,” she said. “And we did it as a team. They noticed that…”
“And how does that translate into an assassination team?” He interrupted. “Ochoa was all in, Kens. And he’s our new boss. Is this what it’s going to be like from now on…some black op comes up and he sends us in because the powers that be don’t think we mind getting blood on our hands?”
“We kill people all the time, Deeks,” She said, feeling defensive again. “I’m a sniper, remember? My father was a sniper. He took out bad guys and so do we.”
“I may call you a ninja assassin, Kens, but you’re not a cold blooded killer,” he stared intensely at her as he spoke.
“No, I’m not…”
“When you’re on overwatch, you’re protecting us,” he insisted.
“But I do kill people, Deeks. And so do you.”
“So, what are you saying? That there’s no difference…that it doesn’t matter one way or the other?”
“What I do know is that the people in the Patton Project were willing to launch a nuclear attack, Deeks.”
“And you risked your life to stop them,” he said. “I hated that you had to do that, but I understand why you did what you did. But, Kens, you knew why it was necessary. They were already in that silo with their finger on the button.”
“And there are more people like that out there,” she argued. “And they need to be stopped by any means necessary.”
“Seriously? So you’re okay with this? That you’re willing to kill a person without knowing why? Without knowing what they’re guilty of? If anything?”
“We trust intel we’re given every day…”
“Not without investigating it,” he insisted. “Kens…that’s what we’re supposed to do. Find out who the guilty party is, but not so we can shoot them down without a trial. Doesn’t that make us the same as them?”
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t investigate. I’m saying that it’s our job to protect this country,” she argued. “And if I have to kill someone to do that then yes, I am willing to do that.”
“Isn’t that how you justify killing Boyle? Because you were protecting Tiffany?”
“Really? You’re going there?” Deeks said as he rose, tears blurring his eyes.
He started to walk toward the beach, but she grabbed his arm to stop him.
“Deeks…baby…listen to me,” Kensi said, walking in front of him so he would have to look at her. “What you did to protect Tiffany was justified. But so is taking out someone trying to do harm to this country and the people in it. These aren’t upstanding citizens we’re talking about, Deeks. These people are traitors and terrorists.”
“But, how do we know that…for sure?” He asked. “I mean, yeah, the guy we took into custody proved to be part of the Patton Project. But what about all those people whose faces we were supposed to memorize? How can we be sure they’re the bad guys someone says they are if we don’t investigate? Kens, they were asking us to help in the assassination of people without any knowledge of who they were and what they did to deserve it. I’m not okay with that.”
“Whether you’re okay with it or not, we might not have a choice,” Kensi replied.
“There’s always a choice.”
“So if Ochoa orders us to take someone out…what? You’d disobey that order?”
“I’d want evidence of a crime. Evidence that he deserves to die,” Deeks said. “Wouldn’t you want that, Kens? To know that your kill was righteous and not bad intel?”
“Of course I would Deeks,” she replied. “But…”
“We’re talking people’s lives, baby,” he said gently. “I signed on to be an officer of the law, not some clandestine operative with a license to kill indiscriminately. I’ll quit before I go there, Kens. It’s not who I am, in spite of what happened with Boyle.”
“You were defending someone you cared about,” she said as she put both hands on his chest. “And yourself.”
“You think he would have killed me too?”
“Don’t you?” She asked. “You were the only witness.”
“You’re probably right,” he replied, seeming shaken by the thought.
He stared silently out at the water for a few minutes until she place her hand on his cheek.
“Deeks, we don’t know what’s going to happen now that Ochoa’s in charge,” she said, and wrapped her arms around him. “Callen and Sam didn’t like this last assignment anymore than we did, so let’s just see what happens in the next few months.”
“Take it one assignment at a time?” He asked. “See where this goes?”
“Well, at least he didn’t threaten to fire me like Mosley did,” Deeks said, as he tugged her toward the incoming waves.
“Mosley did fire you.”
“Then why am I still here?”
“I have no idea,” she said lightly. “I’m just glad you are.”