Fight or Freeze: Drabble 02/24/23
“Hey, do you mind if we take the food to go?” Deeks asked as he and Kensi walked through the parking garage. The stress of the day had finally settled in, making each step feel like he was moving through particularly thick concrete. “I’m not really feeling up to socializing. Or sitting fully upright.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty beat too,” Kensi agreed, veering into his side. Her arm found its way around his waist again. Deeks eyed the bruise around her temple that had cropped up in the last couple hours.
They reached his refurbished truck in another minute, but he made no attempt to get in, instead coming to lean against the hood. Kensi gave him an odd look, but didn’t say anything, joining him.
“Are you OK?” she asked quietly, smoothing his hair back from his temple. She ran her thumb over the crease between his eyebrows.
“Not really. Today was, in no uncertain terms, kind of awful,” he admitted. Heaving a sigh from deep inside, Deeks curled his fingers around hers, focusing on their linked hands. “I heard everything. I heard when you and Fatima were attacked. I wanted to go with Callen and Sam to find you guys, but Kilbride ordered me to stay put.”
“And then I, uh,” he wiped under his nose, shaking his head minutely as he recalled his fear, and then all-consuming need to find and protect Kensi. “Sam and Callen found you in that car—”
“And you heard it explode,” Kensi whispered. He nodded, swallowing down the tears that tightened his throat and made his eyes burn.
“I thought you were dead. And I just froze. I couldn’t even speak.” Kensi’s hand tightened on his, and he heard her inhale sharply. Tilting his head back, he saw the devastation in Kensi’s eyes. “Not until Callen and Sam saw you guys made it out.”
“I’m so sorry, baby.”
“No, I’m sorry I wasn’t there to watch your back,” Deeks said, dismissing her apology with another shake of his head. “I should have been there to watch your back.”
“You had orders.” Kensi gave the barest hint of a smile. “I’m surprised you actually listened.”
“I almost didn’t.” Deeks’ smile was even weaker and without any humor. “I was ready to defy any orders to go to you. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so… helpless and out of control.”
“Hey, I am right here. It was a terrible day, but I’m OK.” Kensi grasped his cheeks, eyes shining as she pulled him closer. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Kensi’s words were supposed to be reassuring, but he felt a strange sense of grief instead. Tipping her chin up, he sealed his mouth to hers the way he’d wanted to—no, needed to—since she walked back into the mission alive and whole.
Kensi made a small hiccupping sound, clutching her arms around his neck, and buried her face in his neck. “I’m here,” she repeated hoarsely, and Deeks wasn’t sure if she was talking to herself or him.
A/N: The title is a reference to fight, flight, or freeze. I think when Kensi was in danger, his first reaction was to fight (as he tends to do where Kensi is concerned). Then up in Ops, when he heard the explosion, and thought Kensi had died, he froze. As always, Eric portrayed Deeks’ fear perfectly.
This would have been better if it was included on screen and not after the fact. Like most things this season, shoulda, woulda, coulda but never was like might have been? I am sorry for NCIS LA ending but after the last few seasons not suprised that it was cancelled. I for one am going to miss the Reviews, Drabble, Deek’s Surf Log and Kensi’s Journal. Kudos to all that contributed to these on WIKIDEEKS.
Thanks for your thoughts! I always want more Densi on-screen as well and think there were some lost opportunities.
In the history of Densi, yes, bad things have happened when they are together(Helo crash season 8), but the really, really bad things(that may or may not be preventable), always happens when they are not together.
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Yes, it’s usually best when Kensi and Deeks stick together. Thanks for reading and commenting!
A perfect story to follow that episode. Thank you. You captured such a sensitive response to that horrifying moment. I will miss the emotion that ECO brings to such scenes. I will miss him.
Thanks, Lindy! I will miss so many things about Eric’s performances as well.