All the way to Sam's Deeks kept his head down.
He had tried really hard to get out of attending, but Michelle had taken no notice and had invited everyone present then gone to talk with Hetty and Jess in Hetty's office while Pete had gone to the locker room to help Deeks wash and change.
Deeks had had to smile at that. He knew he didn't need the help but he recognised the older man's need to make sure he was alright.
He would never have admitted it but to be honest, if he had been able to pick someone as his father, Pete would have been the man he would have picked. Pete was in Marty's mind the sort of man he would like to have been like if he was ever a father. However in his heart he knew that his father's genes made it impossible for him to be a father. He wondered as he showered, had Pete been his father what would his life have been like?
He was roused from his musing by Pete's voice calling over the door to the showers. "You got everything you need, I have a razor if you need it?" There was the hint of laughter in the old man's voice and Deeks caught it.
"What and ruin this perfect look?" he called back as he shut off the water, walked out of the shower and shook his head spraying water everywhere.
"You're too much like your dog kid." Pete laughed.
"Who do you think taught Monty to dry his hair like that?" Deeks grinned in reply as he walked to the clothes in a pile on the bench. "You picked out my clothes?" he asked in surprise.
Pete shook his head, "That little lady of yours said you should dress up nice. She gave me the clothes and said not to get them dirty."
Deeks sighed and looked, "She has taste, I have to give her that."
Pete nodded in agreement, "My turn now, she's got me an outfit too, gonna be gussied up like a goddamn thanksgiving turkey." he groused goodnaturedly.
"You'll need that razor then." Deeks smirked and ducked as Pete threw a towel at him and stormed off to the shower.
Chuckling to himself Deeks looked through the clothes he was given. Soft linen pants, briefs, a light blue polo shirt and canvas shoes. Beside them was a small toiletry bag and a note.
He listen to Pete, singing badly in the shower and smiling opened the note.
' Mr. Deeks, please do not worry about this meal, we will all be there and we all want you there. I hope the shower finds you refreshed and the change of clothes will lighten your spirits. Remember that we all care about you and as a member of our family we want you to feel loved. Hetty.'
He smiled as he folded the note up and placed it in his pocket.
Of course she knew, she was Hetty. So she must know his innermost wants and hope. He never would admit it, but Callen wasn't the only one who longed for a family where he would belong.
Pete walked out and looked at the pile of clothes that Hetty had provided for him.
"Ooh fancy duds." he said drying his hair.
Pete got his bag that Hetty had left for him and grinned, "That woman thinks of everything."
Deeks nodded in agreement as he pulled the shirt over his head.
Now he was sitting in a car with Jess, Pete and Kensi. He was trying to not focus on where he was going or why.
All too soon in his mind they pulled up in front of the beige colored house that was the Hanna home.
Callen and Hetty were stood out front.
Kensi got out and Jess and Pete followed walking around and opening Deeks' door.
"Come on kid."
Deeks shot a worried look in Pete's direction but he quickly covered it and got out of the car.
"Hey!" Callen said smiling as they walked up the path, "Sam and Michelle are in the back."
"Welcome." Hetty said as Jess and Pete got to the door.
"Thank you for the threads Miss Hetty." Pete said with a small bow and producing a small bunch of flowers from behind his back."
Deeks looked confused, he was sure they hadn't stopped on their way there but sure enough Pete was handing Hetty the flowers and smiling as she admired them and Jess had a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine in her hands.
Deeks followed them into the house.
He wasn't sure what he had expected, but it was a nice neat home.
There was a happy squeal from the back yard and Deeks froze.
Sam's kids were here.
"Hey Deeks, you want a drink?" Sam asked smiling as he walked in a beer in his hand.
Deeks shook his head and backed up a bit.
Jess had gone through with Kensi and Hetty to talk to Michelle and Callen and Pete had ventured into the yard as well, Callen was showing Aiden and Pete his basketball skills.
"Ya know Deeks had a friend who he taught Basketball too, you should ask him for some pointers, can't remember the name of his friend but he's some big shot player now." Pete said.
Aiden looked over to where Pete was looking. He had seen the blond haired man at Christmas when they had been at the ice rink with his parents and uncle Callen, but he hadn't realized that he worked with his father. He just thought he was dating his aunt Kensi.
"He works with you too?" Aiden asked Callen.
Callen nodded, "Sure does, he's just not been able to make it here before, he's been busy."
Aiden shot him a look of disbelief, "Sure Uncle Callen."
"Honestly, would I lie?" Callen smirked.
"So...he's….uncle Deeks?" Aiden asked quietly.
Callen shook his head, "Try uncle Marty." he grinned remembering Deeks' spiel one day.
Aiden nodded, he moved to go but Callen put a hand on his arm, "Be gentle with him Aiden, he's had a bad few weeks. PTSD." he informed the teenager softly.
Aiden nodded. He had learned about PTSD in Military School and was mindful of it's effects on people. "Yes sir...uncle G," he grinned.
Jogging lightly he entered the house behind his father, "Dad, can Uncle Marty come and show me his basketball moves, Pete said that he's a great player?"
Deeks stopped and looked surprised at the boy and held his breath waiting to see what Sam would say, cringing internally as he waited for the answer.
"Of course if he wants to." Sam looked at Deeks who was looking at him in shock.
"I...you…?" Deeks stammered in surprise.
"Will you uncle Marty?" Aiden asked.
Deeks nodded dumbly unable to speak. Sam was letting him near his children!
Sam smiled as Aiden pulled the dazed detective out into the yard with them.
"Well, that went well." Michelle smiled as she wrapped her arms around her husband's waist.
"I hope so, maybe when he relaxes he'll enjoy himself."
"Did you guys set that up?" she asked as Sam nodded.
She nuzzled into his neck, "You are a sneaky man Sam Hanna."
Smiling he disentangled himself from her and headed to the garden, and the grill.
He said nothing as he looked over and Deeks was telling Aiden about his friend Kyp and his basketball scores.
"He ok?" Sam asked Jess as he moved towards Jess and Hetty who were admiring Sam's grill.
Jess looked over and saw the tenseness in his body.
"No, he's not...but he's not going to let it show." Jess said quietly.
Sam was hurting, he wanted to show Deeks everything was ok but he didn't know what else he could do. "What can I do?" he asked.
Jess took a seat at the table behind him and motioned for him to take a chair.
"Don't make a big deal of this, Marty will eventually relax and he will calm down, right now he's just scared."
"Scared?" Hetty asked as Sam sat and took a drink from his beer.
"He's scared of making the wrong move," Jess smiled sadly and gave a small laugh. "It reminds me of when he first came to the shelter."
Sam looked interested as did Hetty, both of them looking over to Deeks watching as Aiden set up a shot and threw the ball. Deeks high fived him and showed him another way of taking the shot.
"When Marty first came to the shelter he was helpful and quiet. He would be the first one up, he would walk Monty and then clean up before the families got up for breakfast, he was eleven years old, but he would have made a start on the breakfasts before the staff arrived to start cooking in the kitchen. He would make sure every child had food and he would sneak snacks to the smaller ones before he left for school. He would come straight back to the shelter and would race through his homework and spend time teaching the younger kids to read and write, and some, like Kyp he would help with things like basketball as Kyp had no one to practice with. Then he would help clean up after the evening meal and make sure everyone was settled before he finally fell asleep. You have to understand, it took us nearly a year before he finally managed to trust us enough that he would relax. He was convinced that if he made a mistake or was seen as useless by us that we would kick him out." Jess waited as her words sank in.
"I told him I didn't think he was committed enough." Sam near whispered.
Jess nodded, "I know. It nearly broke him, but he continued and it was one of the reasons he was determined to save you and your wife, to prove he belonged. More than anything he liked feeling like a member of a family. He didn't mind too much that you were abusing him…" she held up her hand to stop Sam from yelling in protest. "Your treatment of Marty was abuse. Believe it or not Sam you were a father figure to Deeks."
"I'm not old enough to be a father figure to him." Sam argued.
Jess smiled, "That's not what I meant. Sam, you remind him of his father. Tough, authoritarian, and you scare the crap out of him." she added candidly.
"I do?" Sam looked surprised, "I never wanted to scare him. I mean I already know how brave he is I saw how he protected Kensi when he was shot. I just wanted to make sure that he protected himself, Kensi couldn't cope losing another partner and we wanted to protect him." He argued he raised his voice a bit and Deeks froze looking over at Sam who was staring at Jess in horror.
"Here…" Deeks said as he handed Aiden the ball, "You keep practicing I'm going to get a soda." he smiled at the teen who nodded and kept trying the move Deeks had just taught him.
Listening for a second to the boy and keeping a wary eye on Sam he moved back into the house.