Never A Bad Day: Drabble 01/19/23
Since we didn’t get to see Deeks and Tom Olsen together on-screen, I figured I’d remedy that here. This takes place post “Best Seller” and is very loosely related. As usual, this may be highly self-indulgent.
“Alright, will give everyone a few more minutes before we head out,” Deeks called out, leaning against his upright board in the sand. Around him, a group of ten or so people gathered in groups of two or three, chatting to each other.
Over the years, his veterans surfing group had grown and morphed from when he started with a couple guys and rented boards. Now it wasn’t unusual for twenty or so participants to join in. Today was a little lighter on attendance, but he was happy to see a woman he recognized from the veteran’s center. His was one of the many groups the center recommended for vets in need of support.
“You got room for one more?” an unfamiliar voice asked from behind him. He turned to face a tall, brown-haired guy with a board tucked under one arm and a wetsuit peeled down to his waist.
“Hey, I’m Deeks,” Deeks said, taking a step forward, and holding his hand out. “And there’s always room for more.”
“Tom Olsen.” Tom gave him a firm handshake. “I’m a friend of Sam’s. I was with the SEALs years ago.”
“Oh, I’m aware. You’ve cropped up in a few of our cases, and Sam’s always had good things to say. It’s good to finally meet you.”
Tom dipped his head with a self-deprecating laugh. “Your name’s been mentioned a few times too,” he said.
“Oh, I can only imagine the context,” Deeks joked. “So, uh, how did you find out about us?”
“From Agent Blye, your wife,” Tom explained.
“Yeah, Kensi talked about you a lot during the plane ride. She mentioned that your group meets a couple times a month. Thought it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.”
Deeks felt oddly touched that Kensi would even think to mention him while being in the presence of one of her favorite authors.
“Well, we’re happy to have you.” He started walking towards the rest of the group, Tom falling into step beside him. “There aren’t any many rules here. You can tell as little or as much as you want. Or you can just surf if that’s what you came for.”
“I might not be the best at that part,” Tom said, lifting his left arm briefly, which Deeks saw was marked with a fading, but still noticeable scar. “Hope that won’t be a problem.”
“I don’t see why. We’re pretty good at adapting,” Deeks told him.
“So what led you to start this group? I know from Sam that you’re not a vet yourself.”
Deeks paused, turning to face Tom again. “You’re right, I haven’t served. At least not in the way you’re talking about. However, I do know what it’s like to experience… the harsher parts of life, and feel completely lost. One of the things that brought me peace was being out here in the ocean. And having someone who understood and just listened.” He shrugged. “That’s what we do here.”
“I’ve been told by my wife I’m a good listener,” Tom said, a surprising amount of respect in his eyes as he offered Deeks a half-smirk.
“Sweet. Then let’s go help some people.”
I really loved this. There’s something about Kensi being proud of him that touches me, I think because I know how much that would mean to him. And his work with vets also is just another demonstration of what a profoundly good person he is.