A New Road: Drabble 01/28/23
A/N: In light of the new that season 14 will be the final season of NCIS: LA, I wrote this story exploring one possible way Deeks’ storyline could end.
Deeks raised his gun, aimed at the paper target hanging several yards away, and fired the entire clip in a matter of seconds. Lowering the weapon, he took a step back to admire his work. All of the bullets had hit center mass.
He had recertification coming up, so he’d been practicing a little more, though he wasn’t worried at all. It would have been more of a challenge, and definitely more fun, if Kensi was there for competition and to run more complicated scenarios, but she’d stayed for a meeting with one of Rosa’s teachers. Hopefully she’d get to work in time for a little practice.
“Very nice, Investigator Deeks,” Kilbride’s voice sounded behind him. Deeks tugged his headphones off, turning his head as Kilbride joined him in the little cubicle. “Of course, I would expect nothing less from one of this agency’s best.”
“Thank you, sir.” Deeks paused, waiting for Kilbride to continue. He didn’t make it a habit of stopping by to watch the more mundane aspects of the job without reason, so he must want something. Or have an issue with Deeks. So help him if it was over something trivial again.
Instead of explaining his presence immediately, Kilbride removed Deeks’ target sheet, studying it intently for several long minutes. He nodded to himself, then set it to the side, and when he lifted his head, he fixed Deeks with a look of what he could only describe as resignation.
“Yes, good work,” he murmured, and Deeks wasn’t sure the admiral was speaking to him anymore. “Deeks, our recent joint case with the offices of D.C. and Hawaii brought you to some higher ups’ attention. They were very impressed, to say the least.”
Rubbing his thumb below his bottom lip, Deeks shook his head. “Why? I’ve done the same thing a hundred times before. Aside from rogue CIA agents trying to gun us down, and my truck’s early demise, there’s nothing that stands out about my performance. At least no more than any other day.”
“While that is true, that operation raised a lot of eyebrows, and brought every agent involved, or investigator as the case may be, to the forefront,” Kilbride explained.
He tucked his hands behind his back, bowing slightly, and he paced a few steps away. Deeks followed his movements, curious despite the growing unease in his stomach. As a rookie cop, he’d learned that being on the administration’s radar was rarely a good thing.
“As such, they began reviewing your file and history as a whole. You have significant undercover experience, you’ve had a major role in numerous dangerous and high-profile incidents, and you have a law degree.” Kilbride paused again and turned to fix Deeks with a grim expression, which was in direct contrast to everything he said. “Perhaps most importantly, you are utterly loyal to your team and have a bad habit of defending the less fortunate to a fault. Someone liked what they saw.”
“It’s amazing how you manage to make my accolades sound completely reprehensible,” Deeks commented glibly. Then more seriously, “What do they want?”
Kilbride pursed his lips, twisting them into something caught between a smile and a grimace. “The executive assistant director at the management office wants to give you a promotion.”
Having expected a dressing down or worse, Deeks was stunned into silence.
“There are openings for team leaders in several attractive locations, and if that doesn’t suit you, there are more administrative and training positions available. I mentioned to the EAD that you are an excellent teacher and mentor.”
“I didn’t think investigators qualified for the same opportunities as agents,” Deeks said, a hundred questions running through his head. As was a healthy dose of suspicion once again.
“The EAD is willing to overlook that rule given your extremely… successful career while you’ve been a member of this team. Your prior foibles and less than complimentary reviews from LAPD won’t be taken into account either. They want you, Deeks.”
“Wow, that’s, uh, extremely complimentary.” Not to mention completely unexpected. The last few years, he’d come to appreciate that he had a job at all, and assumed that advancement within the agency just wasn’t a possibility.
“No less than you deserve,” Kilbride said, again to Deeks’ surprise. It almost seemed like too much for a simple change of position or even a promotion.
He folded his arms over his chest, regarding Kilbride carefully. Normally, he played up on his nervousness and let the admiral have the upper hand, but this was far too serious a conversation to be the joker. Kilbride lowered his chin slightly, adopting his patented look that was intended to elicit immediate cooperation, but Deeks maintained a steady gaze.
“What aren’t you telling me?” he asked evenly.
With an uncharacteristically heavy sigh, Kilbride gave in. “None of the available positions are in Los Angeles. Or California for that matter. It would mean moving you and your family to another state or territory.”
“And there it is.” For some people, picking up and moving to an entirely different state for a better job would seem an even trade. “We just got the new house finally and Rosa’s still settling in.” Deeks chuckled softly, humorously, and shook his head once. “My entire family is here. You know?”
“I understand your predicament. It is very difficult to leave one’s life behind,” Kilbride responded in a tone that suggested he’d done just that multiple times. “I held off for as long as I could, but this is a time sensitive offer.”
“Right.” Ruffling his bangs as the enormity of the situation began to really set in, Deeks nodded. “Uh, when does the EAD want an answer?”
“In three weeks.”
“Wow, that’s really giving me a lot of time to weigh my options,” Deeks said, eliciting a wry smirk from Kilbride.
“Indeed. I’ll let you think this over. I’m sure you’ll want to discuss it all with Agent Blye.” He squeezed Deeks’ shoulder as he turned to leave the small cubicle.
Deeks rested his forearms against the counter, mind whirling with possibilities, equally exciting as they were nerve-racking. Whatever he chose, he had a feeling that everything was about to change.
A/N: I left some information on the vague side since I don’t know for sure who would offer Deeks such a position or what kinds of positions he’d be eligible for.
Another great story Em. Thank you so much for all of them! I cant believe that the show will soon be over! I am still in denial I guess… I don’t have idea how it gonna be, but I know that I will miss you guys. I have been your fan for the last 10ish years, reading and following your texts diligently… i feel like crying right now
Thanks, Maria! I’m still in a bit of denial myself.
NCIS LA need renew……
Terrific story! It would be really cool if Deeks and Kensi were given some kind of opportunity to share their training and knowledge with others. They would be an incredible team no matter what the circumstance. I do love how Kilbride has learned to appreciate our hero.
Thanks, Joni! I agree that they would be good teachers and mentors. I think Deeks in particular might enjoy that role even more than being a Detective/Investigator.
Em, this one-shot is another example of why I read and re-read, and bookmark your ejzah work. This story premise might open an entire series of AU adventures for Marty, Kensi and Rosa.
If ECO is looking to develop a new production, he couldn’t go wrong with asking Shane Brennan et al executive producers to join him in using your story as a ‘taster’ to a Pilot. That way, our Marty will continue if only in a one-off movie. A post NCISLA what-happened-next.
Thanks, Terrence! I’d certainly love to see Kensi and Deeks in a spin-off, but I don’t know that we’ll be seeing any of the characters for a while after the finale.