The Navy Ball
The Navy Ball: Washington D.C.
"Dance with me."
It was more a statement than a question.
Kensi met his eyes momentarily before turning back around and leaning her elbows on the bar. "No."
"That really wasn't the answer I was looking for," Deeks replied. He took the wine glass out of Kensi's hand before she could take another sip, setting it carefully down on the mahogany bar.
"Deeks," she said, shaking her head, "it's not a good idea."
"The Lady doth protest too much, methinks." He took her hand and started moving backward.
She rolled her eyes, letting herself be led forward toward the dance floor. "Shakespeare, really?"
He grinned, "I'm full of surprises."
They reached the dance floor and Deeks turned to face her. He placed his hand on her lower back and pulled her slowly toward him. Kensi wrapped her arm, somewhat reluctantly, around his neck.
The band was playing softly, and although the song sounded familiar, Deeks couldn't place it. It felt good to have Kensi in his arms, despite her rigid posture and inability to allow him to lead.
"I'm sorry, you know," he said after a few seconds.
Kensi pulled back and looked at him, her eyebrows knitted together in confusion.
"Come on, don't make me say it."
Recognition dawned on her face. She smirked. "For licking the two-bit hussy at the bar?"
He tried to look offended. "Two-bit hussy has a name, Kens."
She raised her eyebrows. "And what was her name, Detective Deeks?"
He cleared his throat. "Reba."
Kensi snorted, "You totally just made that up."
"I did not!" he argued. "Her name was Reba Gustafsun from Lincoln, Nebraska and she likes ancient archeology and long walks on the beach."
"Her name is Bambi McBimbo from you're-a-big-liar," she retorted quickly.
Deeks was momentarily quiet. "Okay, so I have no idea what her name was," he admitted, shaking his head in defeat.
"Thought so," she said smugly.
They danced for another minute in silence. Deeks noticed that Kensi's body relaxed slightly as they swayed to the music. He took the opportunity to interlace his fingers with hers, stroking the side of her wrist with his thumb. She responded by resting her chin on his shoulder and he felt a gentle sigh escape her lips. They stayed like that for a little while. It was the first time that she seemed comfortable in his arms. They weren't chasing or being chased, they weren't being shot at or shooting anyone. He let go, allowing everyone else in the room to disappear. It was just the two of them, swaying to the music, enjoying the fleeting moment.
"I'm sorry too, Deeks," she whispered suddenly.
He shook his head. "For what?"
"Not calling… not texting… not asking how you were doing…."
"Not kissing me back." The statement slipped out without any forethought. As the words hovered between them, the veil of avoidance they'd been living under evaporated.
She drew back slightly and stopped moving. Her eyes searched his. "You—you almost died."
He lifted a hand to her face and brushed a wisp of hair out of her eyes. "I know," he said softly. He was afraid to blink, afraid that if he broke eye contact, he'd lose his nerve.
Kensi took a shaky breath. "And then you were in the ICU and I was…"
"Scared," he finished for her.
She nodded slowly. Her fingers clasped his tighter. "I can't lose you, Deeks."
He closed his eyes momentarily and exhaled. He hadn't noticed they had stopped dancing. The song had changed. "I need you to say something you really mean, Kensi," he said finally.
She looked at him again, her eyes unreadable, her face soft. "I…"
"Can I cut in?" a voice asked.
Deeks hadn't noticed Sam's approach. He and Kensi separated, severing the connection between their bodies. She looked at the floor, as if she had been caught doing something wrong. He cleared his throat. "Your timing is impeccable, Sam," he said, a sarcastic edge creeping into his voice.
Kensi recovered quickly and took Sam's outstretched hand in her own. "Of course you can," she said, answering Sam's question. "Unless, of course, you meant you wanted to dance with Deeks."
Sam chuckled and pulled her closer, "You're just not my type, Deeks."
Deeks forced a smile, "too good-looking, I would assume." He shoved his hands into his pockets and left the dance floor, not waiting for Sam's rebuttal. Making a beeline for the table, he picked his beer up and took a swig. It was warm.
Deeks looked up to find Eric watching him. He rolled his eyes and finished his warm beverage. "I don't want to talk about it," he announced to the table. Eric, Nell, Michelle, and two agents from the D.C. office that Deeks had briefly been introduced to were all staring at him silently.
Nell shook her head and smacked Eric on the arm before he had a chance to open his mouth again. "Not going to say anything," she said.
Deeks reached toward the center of the table and pulled the wine bottle out of the ice bucket. He poured a glass and then jammed the cork back into the opening before setting it beside the wine glass. Grabbing his jacket off the chair, he turned to Eric once again. "If anyone asks, I went to bed."
Eric nodded solemnly. "Copy that."
Deeks glanced at his glass of wine before lifting the wine bottle off the table and walking out of the ballroom.
From her place on the dance floor, Kensi watched him go.