Deeks insisted on driving the next morning and picked Kensi up at 7 a.m.
“Why are you here so early? We don’t have to be there until 8:30.” She suppressed a yawn and pulled her hair into a ponytail.
He grinned. “If we’re going to kick some FBI butt this year, we need to have a substantial breakfast under our belts.”
“I’m happy with donuts and coffee,” shrugged Kensi.
“Oh no, my ninja princess. You’ll change your mind when you see the spread at this place,” said Deeks as he turned into the parking lot of a place simply called, Mama’s.
A dozen customers were already milling around outside. Suddenly, the neon “Open” sign flickered to life and they surged through the front door. Deeks and Kensi followed in their wake.
Once inside, Kensi’s stomach growled and her mouth watered as she took in the long buffet of pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, toast, sausage, biscuits, gravy, sliced fruit, bagels, muffins, pastries, and donuts.
She pointed down the line. “Is that . . . fried chicken? Who eats fried chicken for breakfast?”
“Sometimes I do. It’s awesome!” smiled Deeks. “And look, they even have your donuts. Grab a tray. I see my favorite booth is still vacant.”
“Maybe you’re onto something here,” agreed Kensi as she started loading her tray.
NCIS/FBI Joint Training Exercise – 8:30 a.m.
Kensi and Deeks walked into the large warehouse where the training exercise was being held. It was only about two miles from the boat shed. Teams from other NCIS field offices were in Los Angeles for four days of drills and training with their FBI counterparts, all in an attempt to foster inter-agency cooperation and communication.
Kensi immediately spotted a local FBI agent they’d worked with on a previous operation. The guy threw up a hand in greeting and started to approach. However, he stopped short and his smile faded when he noticed Deeks coming up behind her.
Deeks saw him, too. Quickly, he caught up to Kensi and slid an arm around her waist. She turned to glare at him, but Deeks ignored her. He was staring at the FBI agent and sending a telepathic message: That’s right. She’s my partner. Don’t even THINK about messing with her.
As usual in these situations, there were twice as many male agents as female agents. As Deeks looked around, he saw several women he would label as average or even cute. But there was no other woman as smoking hot as his Kensi. There were a couple of female NCIS agents even bigger than Deeks and built like lumberjacks.
“Scary,” he mumbled.
Kensi turned to look at him. “What?”
Yeah, I definitely have the best-looking partner.
“Worried about taking on these guys?” she laughed.
“No way. It’ll be a piece of cake.”
As long as I don’t have to work with Lumberjack Lucy.
Everything went smoothly until early afternoon. As far as Deeks could tell, NCIS was indeed whipping the FBI. Then suddenly he and Kensi were split up to work with different partners. He knew his face showed his displeasure.
“Hey, the point of this whole thing is to learn to work better with others,” said Kensi.
“I work best with my partner, which is you, Fern.”
Kensi rolled her eyes and gave him a shove. “Go on before that instructor puts you in timeout. I bet she could wipe the floor with you any day.”
Deeks looked up to see ‘Lumberjack Lucy’ as he’d mentally dubbed her holding a clipboard. “I am so dead here,” he sighed.
Kensi had the audacity to snicker. “Show them what you’ve got, beach boy! Make NCIS proud.”
Deeks found it hard to concentrate on what he was supposed to be doing in this drill. He kept glancing around the warehouse trying to keep tabs on Kensi.
Meanwhile, Kensi was put into a group which included a petite redheaded FBI agent from Phoenix named Carla.
“Wow! Who’s that blond guy?” asked Carla.
Kensi followed her line of sight to the other side of the warehouse and frowned.
Of course. Deeks.
He was wearing that hideous green-and-purple striped tee shirt. She had been about to mock it this morning, but then Deeks introduced her to the wonders of Mama’s buffet. After her stomach was full she forgot all about dissing his clothing choices.
Its only redeeming quality was the way it molded to Deeks’ toned chest. Where did that thing come from? she wondered. One thing’s for certain: it has to go. It would be perfect for cleaning my gun. Now to get it off him.
Deeks was talking to a group of FBI agents. No doubt he was recounting some of his LAPD exploits and embellishing them.
“Oh . . . him.”
“You know him?”
“I’ve, uh, worked with him,” said Kensi vaguely. A wave of irritation and jealousy suddenly hit her.
Should I mention I fell asleep on his couch Friday night wearing his tee shirt which smelled deliciously like him and his cologne? Or that Saturday morning I woke up in his bed, minus my jeans and boots?
Kensi considered this for a moment. Nah, some things are better left unsaid.
“Is he single?
“Uh, yeah . . . well, divorced. Divorced with three kids under the age of five. Lot of issues with his ex.”
Did that seriously just come out of my mouth?
“I heard he’s behind on his alimony and child support payments and she’s taking him back to court.” Kensi was on a roll now and her mouth seemed to be working independently of her brain.
Boy, that was the mother of all lies. But I have to protect our ‘thing,’ even if I can’t exactly explain what it is.
Carla’s face fell and she gave a disgusted snort. “Ugh. Sounds like my deadbeat ex-husband. Don’t need any more of that stuff,” she said even as she continued to ogle him. “Although I wouldn’t mind fooling around with him. He has a fantastic body.”
Kensi’s jaw dropped. She wanted to pistol-whip this little upstart. Fortunately, she reigned in that dangerous thought and said, “Come on, I think they’re ready for us over there.”
As they walked away, Kensi dropped her voice. “By the way, I heard he tested positive for hepatitis.”