Title: The Navy Ball
Note: This is set a few months after the NCIS: LA season 4 finale. (this story portrays my version of the aftermath of Deeks' torture, the big kiss, and the mending of Sam and Deeks' relationship).
The Navy Ball: Washington D.C.
It took him a few minutes to notice what was happening. Callen had been discussing an old undercover mission with Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs when he caught them in his peripheral vision. Years of training had taught Callen to always keep a watchful eye on his teammates, even off-duty. It was this over-developed sixth-sense that sent a quiet alert to his brain. He stopped talking and turned so that he could better see his two junior agents, assessing the situation quickly.
Kensi and Deeks had left for the dance floor a few minutes ago and were now surrounded by fifty other couples in the well-lit ballroom. They were closer than they had been a few minutes ago, Callen noted. Kensi's right arm was draped lazily over her partner's shoulder, fingers softly stroking the back of his neck. Deeks held her left hand with his right and as they turned, Callen was relieved to note that Deeks' other hand was in a satisfactory position on Kensi's lower back. He reminded himself that they were just dancing, which was completely acceptable to do at a Navy Ball. So why did he feel like he was intruding on an intimate moment? He watched them for another minute, trying to pinpoint what was bothering him about the situation. Deeks, for his part, was trailing light circles on Kensi's wrist with his thumb and talking softly into her ear. Callen was too far away to read his lips, but Kensi's body language suggested it wasn't a normal conversation that ended with a Deeks-esque joke. When he stopped talking, Callen saw her pull back slightly and the two made eye contact, freezing on the dance floor.
Callen felt the energy between them shift. Shit, he thought. He knew this had been coming, hadn't he? He had watched them over the past few years-bantering and joking, the endless flirting leading nowhere. Even the last few intense months had brought only minute changes, hardly noticeable to an untrained eye. But he had noticed. The pair would suddenly stop talking when he entered the room and Deeks' recent undercover assignment with Monica had seemed to dig at Kensi. Then there was the last case… the one that had landed Deeks in the hospital. He shuddered.
Turning in his chair, he lightly tapped his partner's back.
Sam Hanna, who had been in deep conversation with his wife, Michelle, looked at Callen over his shoulder, eyes raised.
"We have a problem," Callen said simply. He nodded in Kensi and Deeks direction.
Sam followed his gaze. "Shit," he said, echoing his partner's earlier thought. "Where's Hetty?"
The two agents surveyed the room, searching for their operations director.
Callen found her first. She and Director Vance were at the far end of the ballroom, having an animated discussion. "There," he said, pointing.
"Don't point, G!" Sam pulled his arm down. From across the room, Hetty stopped talking, and turned to look at the two agents, a questioning look etched upon her features.
They both waved, smiling innocently.
"How does she do that?" Callen asked after she turned away.
"I don't know, but you can bet it'll take her another few seconds to realize that Kensi and Deeks are about to do the horizontal tango in front of two hundred servicemen," Sam replied.
"And women," Michelle added, leaning across Sam.
"You know you can't stop them," Gibbs said, speaking for the first time in a few minutes. "You, of all people, should know that." He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms, an amused expression on his face.
Next to him, Gibbs' senior field agent looked stunned. "Can't stop them?" Tony asked, an incredulous look plastered on his face.
Callen turned and smirked at Gibbs, knowing full well what he was referring to. "But I can stop them from doing it in front of Hetty," he said.
"What does he mean, you should know?" Sam asked. "I apparently need to spend more times with Gibbs. It appears that he knows some things that I don't."
Callen rolled his eyes. "We need to instigate operation Arctic Storm, Sam."
Sam nodded solemnly. "You take Hetty, I'll separate the lovebirds." He rose from his chair.
Callen shook his head, "Why do I have to take Hetty?"
Sam was halfway around the table already, headed in the direction of the dance floor. Without looking back, he laughed, "Cuz this was your dumb idea, G."
Callen swallowed the last of his beer and took a deep breath before steeling himself. He felt like he was marching to his death as he crossed the room.
"Something wrong, Mr. Callen?" Hetty asked, a stony expression on her face.