Inspired by the Beach Boys song
If everybody had an ocean
Across the USA
Then everybody’d be surfin’
You’d see them wearing their baggies
Huarache sandals too
A bushy bushy blond hairdo
We’ll all be planning that route
We’re gonna take real soon
We’re waxing down our surfboards
We can’t wait for June
We’ll all be gone for the summer
We’re on surfari to stay
Tell the teacher we’re surfin’
Kensi’s Journal – April 27-28, 2010
It’s been more than a week and I still can’t shake this damned earworm (maybe if I write it down, it’ll go away?): “If everybody had an ocean across the USA, then everybody’d be surfin’ like Californi-a. You’d see them wearing their baggies, huarache sandals too. A bushy bushy blond hairdo… Surfin’ USA.” It should be no surprise that the Beach Boys are running through my head nonstop when I’m now running around the streets of L.A. on a daily basis with an actual surfer/beach boy. Callen called it fluffy that first day (and it kind of was in his license pic), but up-close Deeks’ blond hair was more stringy than bushy or fluffy when we met him. He obviously washed it before going undercover at that club, but those side bangs don’t do him any favors. Horrible haircut (and scruff) aside, at least he’s not bad to look at. And apparently, I’ll be looking at him a lot from now on because Marty Deeks is our LAPD liaison and seemingly my partner. How did that happen? And how can I undo it?
The fact is, Deeks is pretty useless as a liaison, and even he knows it. I had to get us access to the car wreck scene yesterday because other LAPD cops don’t seem to like him or be willing to liaise with him, so what’s the point of him being here? Aside from his connections to LAPD, which are questionable at best, what does Deeks bring to this team? He could have blown my cover by picking apart my story during our initial meeting in the gym, though I admit I can’t really fault him for that since neither of us knew the other was undercover. His UC skills are pretty good, actually; does LAPD teach that or is he just a really good liar? For a cop, he’s not excessively quick to fire his gun, which is a relief. If either one of us had an itchy trigger finger, who knows what would have happened when he showed up at Zuna’s place and found me there. I also have to give him credit for getting into the ring with Sam; he definitely went all-in on his case with that fight. At the end of that first case together he seemed alright for a cop, especially the way he saved Sam’s ass at the gym. Deeks also seems to have an okay brain when he’s actually focusing on the work, but it was frequently overridden by his mouth, which kept going and going (I guess he’d call that vamping). He’s got a good memory, which can come in handy, unless it’s full of all that silly tabloid stuff.
As far as working with NCIS full time though, Deeks is way too laid back and doesn’t take much seriously. He takes any opportunity he can to make a joke (“What, no hug?” was his response as Callen and I were blowing him off in the middle of the street). My biggest concern is that he is unpredictable and goes off-script, which can get you killed in our line of work. Sure, changing my cover name didn’t do any harm this time, but he needs to be able to stick with the plan and not intentionally annoy his teammates (where the hell did he get Fern from anyway?). That said, he’s probably quick to improvise when the case calls for it, which is a necessary skill for anyone on this team. Also, for someone who is used to working solo, he was able to take direction (and quick action) from Callen surprisingly well. But he still needs to earn the right to question those commands, and I seriously doubt he’ll be around long enough for that because he just doesn’t fit in with us. Not to mention the man works one case as our “liaison” and then expects to be gone, possibly for months, without being replaced?
If there’s still a spot for him here when his latest undercover is over, he’ll need some serious training and an attitude adjustment to work with OSP. We’re an elite, well-oiled group of federal agents, highly skilled and hand-picked for what we, as individuals, bring to the team to make it better. Deeks is an LAPD-trained detective who is always looking for a laugh and is used to working alone—I’m still left wondering what he can possibly have to offer us? Yet he managed to get Hetty’s attention (not to mention a high-limit credit card from her)… what does she see or know that I don’t? Whatever it is, I doubt I’ll figure it out before either Deeks quits or Hetty realizes her mistake and sends him on his merry way.
July 29, 2022
Even though it’s late, it’s not quite midnight, so I am officially writing this on the day I turn the “Big 4-0” as Deeks keeps calling it (was I really that annoying when he turned 40?). Deeks woke me up before dawn to tell me he’d gotten us the day off for what he kept calling my “Fabulous Fortieth Festivities.” Deeks, Rosa, and I arrived at the Griffith Observatory just in time to watch the sunrise and then spent the early morning on the Mt. Hollywood hiking trail. Deeks shared his vast knowledge of all things trivia and regaled Rosa with tons of stories about the sights. When the morning coolness gave way to afternoon heat, we headed to the beach for a food-truck lunch and some surfing. Watching Deeks and Rosa connect while he continued to teach her to surf, which she told us she’s always wanted to learn, was the best birthday gift I think I’ve ever gotten. Then we went home, where Deeks and Rosa did an amazing job of preparing hilachas for dinner. One of Rosa’s favorite meals from home.
Dessert was smores over our backyard firepit, where Rosa asked us more about our relationship. I think we completely shocked her when Deeks and I laughed out loud at Rosa’s assumption that it was love at first sight between us. Deeks accused me of sugarcoating my initial feelings and attitudes toward him when I described him simply as annoying back then; he thinks my distaste for him was much stronger than that. So of course, I’ll have to find some journal entries from that time to get to the truth of the matter. Maybe I’ll do that now, before I forget…
Ugh. I don’t know if I need to wake up Deeks right now to apologize to him or offer it in the morning with a cup of coffee and a contrite, “You were right.” I honestly believed he wasn’t good enough to be at OSP because of his lack of FLETC training and because he had nothing special to offer the team. Do I at least get some credit for (albeit begrudgingly) acknowledging his positives while I was pointing out the negatives? Wow, what a snob I was. Speaking of, I can’t believe how much I focused on his hair! Deeks will totally get a laugh out of that now, and no doubt make some comment about how obsessed I was with his styled by pillow golden locks, even then. I stand by the song comparison, though, especially now that he actually does own a pair of huarache sandals, which thankfully he now uses as everyday foot ware and not running shoes.
It’s ironic that one of the things that bothered me most about Deeks, his humor, turned out to be one of my favorite things about him. One of his superpowers is his ability to make me smile or laugh. Even more ironic is that I love to watch him surf (more so with Rosa now). As for what he could offer to the team, I’d be writing all night if I tried to list Deeks’ skills and qualities. There may not be one definable “thing” he brought to us, but there is no doubt that we are a better team, and better people, because of him. Like most criminals he meets while undercover, I made the mistake of underestimating Deeks. Unlike the bad guys, however, I was fortunate to have the time to get to know the man behind the persona. And more than a dozen years later, I am still convinced it was the best thing that ever happened to me.