More Than Meets the Eye

Chapter 3

Without thinking he moved.


Pressing down and back he caused his assailant to drop the gun and with fists flying he turned and knocked the large man on the temple, causing him to stagger to the side and hit the wall.

He kicked out and started pummeling the man screaming, "GET OFF HER!" as he did so.

Before the second pair of hands could pull him off, he had beaten the first guy senseless.

"DEEKS!" Callen yelled as he grabbed Marty's shoulders.

"Get off of me!" Marty snarled as he jabbed Callen in the gut with his elbow and whirled hitting him in the nose with a sickening crunch.

Bending down and holding his now throbbing nose Callen stepped back as Deeks dropped into a defensive crouch his fists raised ready to strike.

"Deeks, it's us!" Callen yelled.

Marty stopped and shook his head to clear it.

"What the hell?" he snapped realizing that the two assailants that had been behind him were his supposed team mates.

"Deeks…" Callen started.

Deeks shook his head and headed down the alleyway, "I thought we were teammates, but you think it's fun to attack me?"

"It wasn't like that Deeks, it's training." Callen replied moving to help Sam up.

"Fuck your training." He swore and he stepped back as Callen reached for his arm to placate him, "Go home Callen."

Deeks walked to the shelter, not acknowledging, nor caring, that Callen and Sam were following.

He bypassed the line at the shelter most moving to avoid him, not out of fear, more out of respect and he walked in picking up a sign in sheet off the wall and grabbed the first aid kit off the wall. He turned around and pointed to a table in the corner of the room, there were a group of men sitting there who moved when they saw Deeks enter.

"That's my spot. Sit there and patch him up." Marty snapped putting the first aid kit in Callen's hand.

"Marty….sweetie...what did you do this time?" A woman's voice came from a back room.

An older blonde haired woman walked out and took Deeks' hands carefully inspecting his bloody knuckles.

Deeks set his shoulders and sighed. "Nothing Ma."

"Martin Andrew Deeks...Don't you dare insult my intelligence young man. I heard from the boys you were here and I know what the date is. Who got the brunt of your temper this time?"

"It's not my fault Ma…" Deeks sank onto the table as Jess walked back into the large kitchen where men were serving up the last of the evening meal and came back out with a hot drink in her hand and placed it beside him.

She draped the blanket she had in her arm over his shoulders.

"Been a bad one this time hun? Roger said you couldn't get the time off."

Deeks shook his head, "Had to work."

"Sit down Marty." Jess ordered and produced her own medkit.

"I'm fine." Deeks snapped, he stopped and looked at her apologetically as she raised his head to look him in the eye.

"You need me to call the police?" Jess asked, "I know no one local did this," she shot a worried look at the two men who had come in with her boy. "Where you protecting them?" she asked suspiciously.

Deeks shook his head.

"Did you do this to them?" Jess asked.

Marty nodded.

Sam looked at her indignantly, "I was a Navy Seal, I can defend myself,."

Jess laughed, "Yeah, but my boy kicked your ass didn't he?"

Turning to dab some iodine on Marty's knuckles she nodded in Sam and Callen's direction.

"You remember doing it?" she asked him quietly.

Deeks shook his head, "Not till the end...I was...ya know…"

Jess nodded. "Do you know them then? You've not brought the others back before."

"Work with them. NCIS." Deeks mumbled.

"That's them son; Hanna and Callen?" she asked scrutinizing them as she dealt with him.

Deeks nodded, but said nothing.

Sam and Callen looked up surprised that Deeks would have talked to whoever this woman was about them.

"I thought NCIS was better, that they were better people." Jess looked at them accusingly.

Callen shifted uncomfortably he knew that look, it was the same look he'd received as a child from annoyed foster parents when he had misbehaved.

Jess stood up, turning to Callen and Sam her hands on her hips. "So what is your excuse?" she walked towards them and both men sat defiantly.

Sam stared her down for a moment and then looked away.

"You have been working with him for over two years, you know what this week is to him and yet you felt the need to follow him and then try and beat him up? I thought you would be different." she looked disappointed, "I thought he had finally found somewhere where he fitted in."

Marty laughed sourly, "Here is the only place I fit in." he stood up and left a twenty on the counter, "Is my room empty?" he asked.

"Got a family in there son, but my room is free if you need to rest."

Marty wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head.

"Thanks ma...painkillers in the safe?" He asked.

She nodded, "I'll check on you before the nightmares come."

"I'll be fine."

Marty didn't even look back he just walked out to the back rooms leaving Callen and Sam to face the wrath that was Jessica Bates.

"Ma'am...Mrs. Deeks...I…" Sam started.

"I'm not Mrs Deeks, there is no Mrs. Deeks...not that I know of…" Jessica snapped.

"You…" she pointed a finger into Sam's chest. "He was tortured to save you and your wife, he went through hell afterwards."

"I thanked him." Sam retorted.

"He never asked for your thanks, all he ever wanted was your respect. He knew he would have to earn it and you repay it by doing this to him!"

"We were teaching him self defense, he was in an alleyway. He had left himself exposed to attack."

"You attacked him in the alley?!" Jess sat down suddenly her hands over her mouth in shock. "No!" She let a tear fall and turned to the two men in horror. "Have you ever talked to him? Do you have any idea what you've done?"

Callen walked over to the hatch and grabbed a cup of tea for Jessica and handed it to her.

"Tell us about Deeks, what is so important about this week?." he asked calmly as he handed her the drink.

She took it and took a sip, "Marty isn't my biological son, I found him." she said.

She told them all she knew about their first meeting and his first few days at the shelter.

"I know it will be hard for you both to understand, but Marty never had a perfect childhood, he was placed into foster care at eleven but ran away because he made a promise to his mother."

"A promise? I mean I know that foster care isn't perfect...but…?" Callen stopped as Jess looked him up and down scrutinizing him.

"You've been in the system too?" She surmised, "How long?"

"All my life." Callen replied.

"And your parents?" She asked.

Callen shook his head, "It's a long story but until recently I knew nothing about them."

Jess nodded, "I understand and believe me when I tell you Marty wished he didn't know who his parents were."

"So, you're not his mother?" Sam asked confused, he was sure Deeks had called her mom.

"I would be proud to be his mother, but no. That alley you found him in, that was where his mother died. She made him promise that he wouldn't leave her. Child services put him into foster care in Santa Clara for him that was too far away and he had promised to protect her and stay close."

Sam felt his gut drop to his boots. After all Deeks had done for him, and he had let him down again.

"But he never said, he clowns around all the time." Sam argued.

Jess looked sadly at him, "Have you ever hurt so deep that the only way you can cope is to bury your feelings and move on?" she asked.

Sam thought about it, he had hurt that badly once. It was not something he ever thought about it.

Jess saw both men thinking about her words. "Marty is not the clown you think he is, it's a mask. Something he invented to hide the boy he was and the man he could have been."

The large hall had emptied and she stopped as a noise from the kitchen area distracted her.

She got up and left them for a moment, walking to the kitchen where two men were left cleaning up. "Jack...Pete, you can leave the rest of it and go and rest up. I'll finish it off."

The two old men looked at the two younger men sitting on the benches in the now empty hall.

"You gonna be ok Jess?" Jack asked eyeing the two newcomers distrustfully.

She nodded, "They work with Marty, I'll be fine." she smiled and ushered them out.

Pete stopped as they were leaving, "Did Marty stay? You gonna need back up tonight?"

Jess smiled and nodded, "It will be good to have you on hand if he lets go. You're a good friend to him." she said warmly patting the man on the shoulder.

"He gets me. He knows what I go through when my PTSD kicks off and he doesn't blame me. He's a strong kid that. I will always be around to help when he needs me." Pete said staring pointedly at the two men. "You'd best mind ya manners with Jessie, you don't wanna be upsetting Marty or he'll whoop yo ass."

Sam smiled, "I think if he wasn't gonna jump me, I'd still win."

Pete laughed, "I'd pay money to see that fight...and I'd bet on the kid."

A tired voice came from behind them, "I'm not a kid Pete!" Deeks sighed.

Pete grinned, "When you get to my age everyone is a kid who's younger than me."

"I checked ya space Pete, you and Jack got the cot's in room 5, you're all squared away Sarge."

Pete nodded and he and Jack headed to the door. "Oh and Pete…?" Deeks started.

Pete stopped as Deeks smirked at him.

"I'll let you know when I kick Sam's ass, you can patch him up after."

Pete laughed, "I still have my medic kit kid, you just say where and when."

"Night Pete." Deeks smiled and threw a friendly wave at Jack as the two older men headed upstairs.

He walked into the kitchen and grabbed himself a coffee and winced as Jess took it off him.

"You sleep under my roof young man, you are not having any stimulants."

"I was going to go home," Deeks sighed.

Jessica raised an eyebrow at her boy. "And this is what?"

He slumped his shoulders, "This is home, a safe place and it always will be…" He said repeating the mantra he had been taught by her as a child. "But Ma...I need to sleep in my own bed, and you need to sleep in yours."

Jessica wrapped her arm around Deeks' shoulder. "You never spend this night alone, and I doubt those two are planning to keep an eye on you."

"Why does he need watching?" Sam snapped, "Deeks isn't a child."

Marty shook his embarrassed. "It's not a problem. You guys should head home."

Callen knew they were missing something.

"Deeks...what's going on?" He asked.

Deeks shook his head, "Nothing for you to worry about, I'll be fine and I'll see you at work in the morning." he waited ready to argue but Callen nodded.

"I will but you call if you need anything ok?" He handed Jessica a card, "Make sure he calls or you do if he needs anything."

Callen maneuvered Sam out of the building.

"G?" Sam snapped as the door shut behind them. "Why are we leaving?"

"Deeks has a problem and he isn't going to share it with us today, but I do want to find out what's going on. Talk to him tomorrow Sam, we'll explain where we were coming from and that the idea had been to give him more situational awareness training."

"Ok, but we will talk to him tomorrow."

Callen nodded as he thought about the call he would be having with Hetty later.

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