What If


Set after 4x10 "Free Ride" as an alternative ending to that episode and a What If story about Deeks and Kensi taking off with Julia to Lake Tahoe to spend the christmas holidays together. Enjoy :)

Romance / Humor
Age Rating:

The way to Reno

AN: So, here is my first chapter of my first Fanfic about Kensi and Deeks and I´m really thrilled to hear from you what you think of it. I was thinking about putting each day in a chapter apart from the first two, cause there is some build up required and a lot happening as well. Please enjoy and keep in mind, that english is not my first language - so any mistakes made are all mine.

Also, a big THANK YOU to Iamhistorian and bookdiva for betareading and giving me encouragement and helpfull advice as well.

I´ve got the next two chapters already finished so depending on reviews and messages I will update in the next few days and hope that I will be able to finish the story before Christmas. :)

Disclaimer: I don´t own anything of NCIS Los Angeles and just had a nice time with Deeks, Kensi and Julia in the snow :)

The Way to Reno

It was Christmas Eve and the whole team had made it home safely, back to a very festive looking OPS in Los Angeles. As they entered the building they were greeted by Nell and Eric, who had to stay back and wait for updates on how the mission went on the USS Van Buren.

Now both tech specialists were already in their costumes and Eric shifted slightly nervous from one foot to the other, cause he could already see the faces and hear the comments from the guys and he was sure, that even Kensi wouldn´t be able to keep it quiet. So when the team approached the two and he got just a smile from everyone and Nell a friendly hug, he was mildly surprised.

"I guess Christmas has its toll on everyone and I should feel very lucky right now," Eric whispered to Nell, while the rest of the team sat down at their desks for a moment. It´s been quite a long night and beginning of a new day, after they solved the crime on the USS Van Buren and made it back from the middle of the Pacific just in time to spend Christmas Eve with their family or friends and to catch flights, for those heading off to a place covered in fresh snow. Nell just smiled at Eric, took his hand in hers and waved at the rest of the team.

"Merry Christmas to everyone and have a nice time. We would stay, but Eric and I have a …. a place where we have to be right now," and with that she shoved Eric out of OPS, breaking his numbness as he was obviously still processing the reaction of the team to his costume. Everyone just waved and smiled at the two and wished them nice holidays as well.

"Are they really going out in those elf costumes?" asked Sam out of curiosity and looked at Callen, who just shrugged one shoulder and finished packing his bag, got up and looked at Sam.

"You coming? I think your family is waiting, right?" looking at Sam and smiling slightly, not able to hide his sense of delight about not having to spend the holidays on his own, even though he was usually absolutely fine with being on his own. But Christmas was special and it has become quite a nice tradition for him to spend this evening with Sam and his family and maybe Hetty later.

So when Sam finally got out of his chair and joined Callen, patting his back and smiling, he glanced at Deeks and Kensi, getting their things gathered slowly and exchanging glances here and there.

"What are you two up to during the holidays? I mean, you are welcome at my place, I´m sure Michelle and the kids would love to have you there as well," he raised an eyebrow and waited for an answer, but was greeted with a really unusual silence. He looked at Callen and waited for an explanation, but Callen just looked at Deeks and Kensi as well.

"Come on, spill it …. What are you doing?" Callen put a bit of strength in his words, using his being the Senior Agent to find out, what those two were up to. Both agents shared another glance and then Deeks couldn´t hold it any longer.

"We are catching a flight to Reno and we will spend the holidays at Lake Tahoe …" Deeks couldn´t finish the sentence, cause Kensi cut in and stated "My mom is joining us and we have to go now and get her." With that, she rushed to get out of her chair, grab Deeks shirt at his arm and drag him with her to the doors and to his car, cause they once again carpooled the morning before. Deeks could just hear Sam and Callen wish them a nice time, before he was kind of pushed in the driver's seat of his own car.

"Don´t ask," was all he got from Kensi, who looked a little uncertain and gestured for him to get the car started. "Are you going to drive any time soon or do I have to explain to you how a car works?" she managed with a furious look on her face.

Deeks just smiled and shrugged, starting the car and setting off to Kensi´s apartment to get her things for the trip to Lake Tahoe. Kensi was shifting in her seat, as if something was wrong and because Deeks knew her so well, he was sure she wasn´t really happy with herself agreeing to this trip.

A few days earlier

"So, what are you up to for the Christmas holidays?" asked Deeks while pretending to admire the decorated Palm tree, which was their kind of Christmas tree for the mission.

Kensi just went on putting some more colourful feathers on the palm tree and didn´t really look up at Deeks when she finally said "Uhm, don´t really know. Probably watch some telly, get something nice to eat and see my mom at some point. What have you planned?"

Deeks turned to Kensi and got her attention so he could address her directly. "I booked a nice cabin up at Lake Tahoe and …. Yeah, well, there are two more rooms for you and your mom if you´d like to come. I know you´ve been thinking about what to do with Julia at the holidays and I think she would love to come and spent some time with you. You could have joining rooms and we all could go snowboarding together …. , " he trailed off as soon as he realized that he´s been babbling again.

Kensi raised an eyebrow at him, trying to figure out if his offer was genuine or just a joke, but from the look on his face he was serious about this one. Before she could say anything Deeks went on.

"Hey, if you´re afraid of snowboarding we can start with the small slopes and go from there. I would even catch you …. ," which was the point where Kensi had to cut in, cause that was something she couldn´t leave.

"Hey, this here is a black diamond-shaped body," she said while gesturing around in front of her own body, knowing instantly that she had said something wrong.

"Oh, I´ve never questioned that, but how about your snowboarding skills?" he shot back with a wide grin, already preparing for the punch from Kensi, but he was greeted with the sight of a slightly blushed Kensi and silence. Right at the moment when he´s been about to turn around and cancel the whole thing Kensi reached out and touched his arm slightly, making him stop in motion and look up at her face.

"Deeks …. I think my mom would love to get away for the holidays …. So I guess … I mean thank you for asking and organising." And before she could take back her decision she grabbed her phone and dialled her mom´s number.

Deeks stood next to Kensi still a bit amazed and listened while Kensi was talking to Julia.

"Hi Mom, it´s me ….. yeah, I will …. I was just wondering if you´ve got anything planned for Christmas? ….. No? …. Great, cause we would like …. I mean Deeks booked a cabin at Lake Tahoe and asked …. Yes, he did …. Mom, can I just finish please? … Thank you. …. So, there is a cabin booked for the three of us for a few days and we would fly from LAX to Reno …. Perfect, pack some warm stuff I think it´s freezing up there …. And Mom? I´m looking forward to it … Alright see you then, take care." And with that she finished the call and when she turned around she saw Deeks face with a really pleased expression and she was sure she would regret this at some point. But Deeks just nodded once and before he could say anything else there was the whistle from Eric calling them up to the tech room.

Still, Deeks wasn´t entirely sure, what had made Kensi say yes to this, but he knew, that she had been happy to tell her mom they weren´t staying home and instead would be spending Christmas in the mountains with lots of snow and if she was honest to herself, she was really excited about spending time with her mom and have some snow under her feet for what felt like a first time in ages. Deeks looked at Kensi for a moment, returning his gaze to the road and then cleared his throat.

"So, what was that all about back at OSP?" he asked lightly, trying to get a reaction from her and he wasn´t disappointed.

"We were already running late and I don´t want my mom having to wait for us," she shot back at him a bit harsher than intended.

"Okay, you and I both know that´s not true. We still got more than two hours before the flight takes off and we will meet your mom absolutely in time."

Deeks could practically hear Kensi rolling her eyes at him and she turned her face to the window on her side and took a deep breath. She was aware that Deeks gave her more time than usual to find the right words and she wasn´t sure what to think of it.

"Yeah, you´re right. But I wanted to give you some time to pack all your stuff, cause I happen to know, that you haven´t done that so far," she offered, already knowing that Deeks wouldn´t buy that either, but she had to try. And to her surprise, Deeks just laughed in his adorable way and let it go.

"You´re right. I have to think twice with your mom around, want to make a good impression on her," and with those words he smiled brightly at Kensi and enjoyed her face contorting into a funny grimace. Kensi just huffed a little frustrated at her so good-tempered partner and remained silent for the rest of the ride to her apartment.

As soon as they arrived, she jumped out of the car and shot up to her front door, nearly shutting it in Deeks face.

"Whoa, that was close!" Deeks exclaimed and held the door open with one hand, just inches away from his face. Kensi gave him an excusing look and went to her bedroom.

"I´m sorry. I didn´t hear you getting out of the car and following me to the door," her words softened out as she entered her bedroom and grabbed her stuff for the next few days in the cold up at Lake Tahoe.

"Don´t worry, I know that it wasn´t on purpose. Cause I know that you wouldn´t want my beautiful face to be mangled," Deeks assured her, venturing in the room and looking around while waiting for her to finish packing. Looking around he had to think of all the evenings and also nights, that he had spent here with Kensi on the couch watching her favourite movie "Titanic" or any kind of horror film, that she didn´t feel like watching on her own. Not that he would argue with her about it, cause to be honest he really enjoyed those evenings with Kensi snuggled up by his side by the end of the film and chewing her thumbnail.

A moment later Kensi entered the room a bag in hand and a questioning look on her face.

"What Deeks?"

"Nothing." And he just shrugged, starting to turn around and reach for the door, but Kensi got to him and stopped him.

"Don´t fool me, Deeks. You were just thinking about something and I now that smile on your face, so spill it," and with that she raised an eyebrow and fixed him with her mismatched eyes.

"Okay," he surrendered but keeping quiet for a moment longer, just to get punched in the shoulder with Kensi´s feared fist. "I was just wondering, what you need this big bag for. Lingerie and PJs can´t take that much spa …." And there was the fist against his shoulder once again and he let out an honest "Ouch" before laughing and taking the bag from a grumpy looking Kensi. "I was just kidding, Kens. So relax."

"Whatever Deeks, but don´t make me regret saying yes to THIS trip before we even made it to the AIRPORT," was all Kensi could manage to say, cause she actually had packed quite a few to many PJs for the planned 5 days, but back in her bedroom she couldn´t really decide what to wear while on holiday with her mom AND Deeks. As if deciding would have been so much easier with just Deeks around. She shook her head to stop her thoughts from going to that point and walked after Deeks, shutting her door and settling in the car again, now heading to the Airport to meet up with her mom like planned.

Half an hour later they finally had found a parking lot and Deeks had both their bags, one in each hand and a bright smile on his face, not bothering to hide how pleased and happy he was with 5 days of quality time with Kensi and Julia.

"Come on Kensalina, or do you wanna let your mom wait for us?" Deeks asked over his shoulder, cause Kensi was trailing behind and hadn´t even tried to fight him about the bag-carrying thing, which was totally not Kensi style. But maybe she was just showing her holiday face, being a bit more laid back about stuff that would normally get her furious during an investigation or any other usual day.

"Coming, Deeks. And I´m pretty sure my mom is not even here, cause we are half an hour early," she shot back, ignoring his nickname, which was sometimes better than question it.

When they finally made it to the luggage drop-off, Kensi heard a familiar voice behind her and as she turned around she saw her mom, wrapped up in a much to warm looking jacket for Los Angeles and heading their way. Julia hugged Kensi tightly and put a small kiss on her cheek, before turning to Deeks and flashing him a happy smile. Kensi just shook her head whilst her mom couldn´t see it, because she still couldn´t really understand what it was, that made her smile at Deeks so happily, even though she had to admit that Deeks had been really good with her mom, back when he found out that her mom lived just 5 minutes from her apartment and that she hadn´t actually seen her for years. So for some reason Julia had instantly liked Deeks when he had brought Kensi back into her life and what was there not to like about Deeks, except for his at some times annoying sense of humour, hisnicknames for her – badly - and always being there for her even in times when she thought all she wanted to be was alone.

Deeks and her mom exchanged friendly greetings and he helped her with her luggage as well, so in no time they were all checked in and had some time to stroll through the airport, grab some food, which was Kensi´s first request surprising no one, and then hit some of the shops. Julia left the two to that, mentioning something like forgotten presents and needing the restroom and with that Kensi and Deeks were standing in the middle of the duty-free area, looking surprised and unsure what to do now.

Next thing Kensi knew was Deeks bumping in her quite hard, but gaining his balance by wrapping his arms around her and stepping to the side, catching a glimpse of the person that had bumped into him. After a moment of hesitation he let go of Kensi, running his hand through his hair and clearing his throat.

"Sorry, but it seems that Christmas is more a time of stress than relaxation and kindness," was all Deeks offered her, before turning to one of the shops offering loads of sweet stuff, perfect to distract Kensi. And before she could say anything he had pulled her easily along and into her personal wonderland full of sugar in different states of workmanship.

"Ah, I know that look on your face, but please don´t do it …." Deeks watched Kensi carefully, knowing her look pretty well, just hoping that she would snap out of that dream world sooner than later, cause otherwise he would be carrying half a dozen of bags filled to the rim with sweets for the next few days. He was waving a hand in front of her face, trying to get her attention and because he had really thought her being far away, he didn´t pay that much attention to her reactions and so she caught his hand easily and turned his arm and his hand on his back, making him squirm under her grip.

"Please. Kensi. It´s Christmas, so would you please let your partner go? And I think I will need both of my hands, if you want me to carry all your bags," he managed between gritted teeth, but also nearly laughing, cause he had read her thoughts so well.

"Oh, it´s Christmas? That must have slipped my mind with all the decorations and Christmas music," Kensi replied with a tinge of sarcasm in her voice, letting him go and pat his back. And with that she turned around, grabbed a bag and started to throw largely amounts of sweets in it, handing it to Deeks and waiting for him to pay, which he happily did.

Both hands heavy with bags, they were standing at the agreed meeting point waiting for Kensi´s mom, so that they could finally made their way to the gate and get on the plane to Reno. So when Julia showed up, she just looked at Deeks´ carrying all those bags and flashed her daughter a warning look not to overact it – both with Deeks´ kindness and with the sweets. Kensi just huffed frustrated and marched on to their designated gate, happy to see that it was already open.

With Julia´s help Deeks could get his ticket out of his back pocket, grabbed the bags again and followed her and her daughter in the plane, humming happily under his breath and flashing smiles at all the female flight attendants, earning smiles and some giggles from them.

Reaching his seat, he found Kensi already in the window seat and Julia in the outer seat, which meant that he, the one with the longest legs, had to sit in the middle seat. Julia excused herself with mentioning her need to get to the restroom more often and Kensi just raised an eyebrow, asking without words, what he wanted. But he just put the bags away, got himself a tiny pillow from one of the flight attendant, flashing another bright smile and then snuggled up on Kensi´s shoulder, which she was about to complain about, but then she decided against it thinking how he had carried all her stuff and hadn´t complained about it at any point, besides Deeks was right, it was after all Christmas.

The flight would just take something like 1.5 hours, but still Deeks managed to fall asleep on Kensi´s shoulder immediately after the plane had taken off and now he was snoring ever so slightly in her ear, his breath tingling down her neck which made it absolutely impossible for her to calm down or relax. And so she was really relieved when the plane touched down and they were allowed to leave and head for their luggage.

And now it showed that Kensi`s mom had been the smartest of all of them, already wearing her warm jacket, cause it was definitely colder here than in Los Angeles just around 32 degrees fahrenheit and therefore both Deeks and Kensi couldn´t wait for their luggage to arrive and put on a jumper and a jacket. Julia just smiled at them and closed her jacket firmly before leaving the airport to find a rental car, so that they could make it up to Lake Tahoe and their cabin which Deeks had rented for them for the next 5 days.

Kensi was about to get in the passenger seat of the rented SUV, when Deeks shot her a sharp look.

"Seriously? Are you going to let your mom drive in the back? Kensi ….., " Deeks pushed her slightly aside and held the door open for Julia, who stepped in the car with a thankful smile and winked at her daughter, which Kensi responded to with another rolling of her eyes, while she climbed in the back seat, behind Deeks.

The drive up to the cabin would take them around an hour with the traffic and snow here and there, which none of them was really used to and even though Deeks was talking to Julia about all the things he had planned for them, Kensi realized that he was paying lots more attention to the road than he would usually do in Los Angeles, where both knew nearly every road, street or alley. During the ride Kensi got more and more relaxed, leaning forwards and resting her arms on the back of Deeks seat, looking over his shoulder and enjoying the view of snow-covered mountains in the distance and a bright and clear blue sky in front of them. Deeks could see her face from the corner of his eyes and he was well aware of her relaxed features and the tiny smile creeping up at the corners of her mouth. She was beautiful and he realized that he hadn´t seen her like this in months, maybe even years and he felt just a tiny bit proud for being the reason behind this relaxed Kensi.

Which none of them realized was Julia paying attention to these short glances and smiles, neither Kensi nor Deeks even sensed while exchanging them. Julia turned her face to her window and smiled to herself, feeling happy for Kensi and Deeks but also worried, because both obviously struggled to admit their feelings and she knew with Kensi it was partly her fault. So she made a mental note, willing to try her best to get Kensi and Deeks closer together and maybe even to admit some of their feelings during the upcoming days at the Lake Tahoe Resort.

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