The Games Partners Play

Kensi sat on a bench in the Mission courtyard. She was about to unwrap a ham-and-cheese sandwich for lunch when she got a text and picture from Deeks.

My lunch. Yummy! (Close-up of a fish taco)

To which Kensi responded:

Why would I care what u r eating?

Deeks: Because we r partners and partners care.

She laughed and snapped a picture of her sandwich and sent it.

Deeks: Taco trumps ham.

Kensi: Says who?

Deeks: U miss me, Fern?

Kensi: Maybe.

Both partners laughed about their silly little exchange. Kensi thought of their recent “important” conversation. Okay, Deeks. I’ll give you an upgrade. She smirked to herself and began making plans.

Back at her desk, Kensi looked at the stack of cold cases and shook her head. Then she glanced across to Deeks’ empty desk. Before she could get too melancholy, Eric walked up.

“Hey, Kens. Missing your partner?”

“Yeah. And being out of the action. You?”

“Big time. Although Nell and I hung out last night.” He got a far-away look as he remembered their food-frenzied evening.

“You did? Excellent. You guys should do that more often.”

“Yeah, I think we will.” He sighed and shifted mental gears. “Anyway, can you help me with some websites? My Portuguese is limited to Bom dia.”

“No problem. I need to do something first. Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll be up there.”

She opened her laptop, did a quick search, and found exactly the right thing.

Hmm, 2 days for home delivery or pick up tonight at the brick-and-mortar store in the mall. I need this sooner rather than later.

“Brick-and-mortar it is,” she said to herself. She logged off and clomped her way up the stairs to Ops.

6 P.M.

Kensi was alone in the bullpen, waiting for Deeks and Sam to return. She walked over to the fish tank and studied their doppelgangers. They had Deeks to thank for those.

Her angelfish glided gracefully on the right side of the tank while Deeks’goldfish and the rest of the “team” congregated on the left.

“Did your partner leave you, too?” She glanced around to be sure anybody walking by didn’t think she’d lost her mind.

As she watched, the goldfish left the group and swam over to the angelfish.

“Oh look, your partner came back,” she said. “I’m still waiting for mine.”

Unbeknownst to Kensi, Deeks had slipped in and was observing from the shadows. It was amusing and a little sad to see Kensi so forlorn. He’d have to cheer her up tonight.

He walked up behind her. “Not anymore,” he said with a big grin. “Ready to go?”

Kensi didn’t like being caught off-guard. Her eyes narrowed. “Have long have you been spying on me?”

Deeks laughed. “Come on, angelfish. Let’s go.”

Kensi slipped into her jacket and grabbed her purse. “I need to stop at the mall and pick up something.”

“Sure,” he shrugged. “We can get something to eat there, too.”

“How was working with Sam today?”

“Not as much fun as working with you, princess. The guy needs a serious upgrade in the sense-of-humor department. Let’s just leave it at that.”

Kensi snorted. “Yeah, he can be pretty intense.” There it was – upgrade. But Deeks was concentrating on the traffic and gave no indication that he remembered their recent discussion.

They arrived at the mall twenty minutes later. “Uh, why don’t you go to the food court. I’ll only be a minute,” said Kensi.

Deeks turned in his seat to face her. “You don’t want me to see what you’re buying, is that it?”

“I thought you could find a good table. It’s starting to get crowded.”

Deeks studied her for a minute. “That’s not it. Are you getting my birthday present?”

“It’s not time for your birthday,” she huffed.

“Come on, Kens. What’s the big secret? We’re partners.”

Kensi chewed her bottom lip for a minute. “Okay, I’ve been thinking about our conversation.”

“We have a lot of conversations. Could you be more specific?”

“About upgrading. I’m ready to upgrade . . .”

Deeks’ jaw dropped. “What? You want to . . .” He could hardly believe his ears.

“I want to upgrade my cooking skills.” Her cocky smile said Gotcha!

“Cooking skills? Really? I mean, don’t get me wrong, cooking is a useful skill, but . . .”

“I ordered a cookbook. I’m sorry if your warped little brain went somewhere south of your belt.”

He wagged a finger at her. “No, no, no. You’re messing with me. I’ll bet dinner that what you really ordered was a copy of the Kama Sutra. Because you want to please your man.”

Now Kensi’s jaw dropped and her eyes widened. “Wh. . . what?! You are such a pig and a pervert! You are not my . . .uh!” She clenched her fists. “But you know what? I’ll take that bet. Bring it, shaggy!”

Deeks grinned. “Hey, I’m a guy. It’s what we think about. Blame it on our DNA.”

He jumped out of the car and rushed around to open Kensi’s door, even though she kept insisting she could manage.

“Game on,” he said.

Kensi shot him a look and refused his hand. “You know, there’s research going on about how to alter DNA. Maybe we should sign you up.”

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