More Than Meets the Eye

Chapter 10

Sam was nothing if not honorable and he needed to fix this.

He took one look at the disbelief and devastation on Deek's face as he whirled around at his words, and turned on his heels and walked out.

For a second Callen stood, debating on whether or not to go after his partner, then Deeks crumpled.

"DEEKS!" Callen shouted as he ran over and knelt beside Deeks' body.

He glanced towards the door hoping that Sam would come back in but the door didn't open.

"Dammit Deeks...wake up!" Callen cursed as he checked for a pulse and exhaled a deep breath as he realised that Deeks was breathing.

He lay the younger man down gently on the floor and checked his vitals and put him in the recovery position, then he took his phone out and called Hetty, knowing that Pete was a trained medic and was with the other woman.

"Hetty, Deeks has collapsed, can you get Pete in here?" he asked as he talked into the phone.

Within moments the sound of heavy boots sounded down the corridor and the door burst open as Pete, medic kit in hand, barged into the locker room.

"What happened?" Pete asked as he knelt to check on his boy.

"We were talking, Sam came in, said thank you to Deeks and left. Next thing I know Deeks has collapsed. He's breathing but…" Callen trailed off not knowing what was wrong.

"He's exhausted, he hasn't eaten or slept in a few days, I'll bet." Pete said, "I have some saline in this bag, help me get an IV into him."

Callen baulked at the idea of going near a needle, but he helped get Deeks onto the bench and opened up a locker door to hang a saline bag from.

"He must have just hit his limit what with the fight and then Sam saying thank you." Callen said, not looking at what Pete was doing with the needle.

Pete's question was sidetracked by Jess and the others entering the room.

"Is he alright?" Jess asked dropping to her knees by his side and moving a stray wisp of hair from his face.

Deeks groaned as he started to come too.

"Ma?" he swatted away her hand.

Jess smiled, "Still styled by pillow," she ruffled her fingers through his hair. "You're ok Marty, you fainted." she told him.

Deeks shakily pushed himself up onto his elbows, "Did not." He argued grumpily.

Jess smiled indulgently. "Pete says ya did."

Pete stood and brushed off his trousers, "I said; he passed out due to manly exhaustion, none of this girly fainting nonsense." he argued.

"See...didn't faint." Deeks smirked and then groaned.

"Ya do have to rest boy," Pete admonished him as he tried to move.

"I think Mr. Deeks will be better rested if we moved him to the couch out near the bullpen. I know that the others are worried and will be pleased to see you up and walking." Hetty said.

Deeks nodded, he needed to see where Sam had gone, they needed to talk.

Michelle jumped as Sam stormed into the house in the middle of the day. Her eyes shot to the bedroom where her gun was kept.

"Sam?" she asked worried.

"Did you talk to Deeks?" Sam asked.

Michelle looked mad, "Sorry? Are you accusing me of cheating on you with Deeks?" she asked, squaring up to face him.

Sam shook his head, "Deeks...he saved me, us, from Sidorov on the roof of that building. Did you go and talk to him afterwards, did you tell him how grateful we were?"

Michelle shook her head. "I thought you had planned on talking to him. After all you were the one who told him you thought he wasn't taking the job seriously enough?!"

She placed both hands on her hips and turned to face her husband.

"Why, have you suddenly changed your mind?"

Sam looked chastened, "I never said thank you, I never told him he had earned my trust, and instead of showing him how grateful I was for his help with Sidorov, I hurt him again, we hurt him."

"Samuel Hanna…." Michelle growled. "Don't you dare go putting this on me. I will get my bag and we are going to talk to him right now." She went and got her bag and before her words had registered she was sitting in the Challenger waiting for her husband.

"Damn." Sam cursed and hurried to join her.

Deeks lay back on the couch as Jess came over with a mug of soup.

"Where did you get that?" He asked as he moved himself up to take it from her.

"Hetty." Jess smiled, then her face dropped. "When is the last time you ate a proper meal?"

Deeks' stomach growled and he looked abashed, "I don't remember." he admitted. He knew better than to lie to her.

Pete lifted up Deeks' shirt to check his respiration and there was a gasp from both Jess and Kensi as to how thin Deeks seemed, his ribs were more defined than usual and although he had hid it well, it was obvious that he had lost a lot of weight.

Pete listening in, took a monitor and checked his blood sugar.

He shook his head, "It's low kid. You need to eat properly."

"I've not been hungry Pete." Deeks argued.

Jess moved to stand between Pete and Deeks, and fixed Deeks with a stare he remembered from his childhood.

Kensi went to sit near him, "But Deeks, we've been inviting you out with us, you told us you had already eaten?"

Deeks looked away, "I eat." he argued.

"What was your last proper meal?"

"Roast beef, with you all at the shelter." he argued. Jess looked horrified.

"Marty we haven't had that for 3 weeks. What else have you eaten?"

Deeks shrugged, "Fish tacos...doughnuts with Kensi, coffee…"

"Snacking?" Jess looked over at him. "Are you sleeping?"

Deeks shrugged, "Not so much."

"Mr. Deeks, I need my agents in good health, you need to make sure that you eat healthily and rest when needed." Hetty stated.

Deeks knew this and he felt awful, "But Hetty, I just...there's so much going on, I just didn't feel hungry, we had back to back cases and…" He was cut off by Callen.

"This is the reason during cases like this we all go out to eat, ok I will admit, we don't all eat healthy and Sam always likes to rag on my choice of food, but we do make sure that we are all taking care of ourselves. Not everyone has a Michelle to cook for them. You told us you had things to do, so we trusted you when you said you would eat. Deeks we do things as a group to make sure no one is left out or forgotten."

Deeks stared at a suddenly interesting spot on the floor.

"Why didn't you come with us to Sam and Michelle's last weekend?" Kensi asked.

The spot on the floor looked more interesting by the second.

Deeks gave a derisive laugh, "Despite popular belief I am not a masochist, there is no way I was going somewhere I am not wanted."

"You were invited!" Callen argued.

"Only to save face for Sam. He's already said he doesn't want me near his children, that I am dangerous to them…" he put the mug of soup down his appetite gone again.

Michelle and Sam stood at the edge of the group their arrival had gone unnoticed.

They listened in horror as Deeks admitted he had been excluding himself from team bonding because of how Sam saw him.

"I'm not good enough to be near his kids, I'm too much like my father. I hide it...mostly I hide it well, but Sam saw, he knew...dunno why you all bother with me."

"Because I was wrong Deeks." Sam said moving past Kensi to get closer to Deeks who moved away. "I was wrong Marty, and they all knew I was wrong. You are smart, a loyal and honorable man and I would be proud for you to meet my children. I would be proud if Aiden grew to have half the loyalty and integrity you have." he said putting a hand on Deeks' shoulder, keeping it there as he tried to move away.

Michelle moved to being near him and crouched down as if she was talking to Kamran. "Marty, I need to thank you, you helped keep my husband and my children safe. You kept my cover and in turn ensured that they had both their parents. I will never be able to thank you enough." she grabbed his hands in hers. "You are a remarkable man Marty. My husband agrees with me and we are both proud to know you."

Deeks smiled at her, "It wasn't anything that anyone else wouldn't have done." he blushed as he look at their hands.

"Marty, you had been tortured and you didn't give him up, then you discharged yourself from hospital, even though you were still injured you climbed to the roof of the hotel and then you shot Sidorov to save me."

"Your kids need you." Deeks said by way of explanation.

Michelle nodded, "And this is why I tried to say thank you. We had a few meals where you were invited to attend so we could talk to you, but you never came. Apparently this has all come to a head, so I figured I should just come here and tell you in person."

Michelle moved and Kensi sat next to Deeks taking his hand supportively.

"We are a team Deeks, and we will be here for you as you work through this. Please trust us to be here for you." Kensi begged as she squeezed his hand.

Deeks nodded but said nothing.

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