Henrietta Lange turned as she saw a familiar figure walk up to her. “Sam.” The relief that he was okay flashed across her face, although the burden for the other two of her people quickly replaced it.
“Hetty. Kensi’s come out of surgery, she’s in recovery and will be taken to a room in the next half hour.”
“What about Mr Deeks?”
“They did an MRI on Deeks and now have him in surgery. He’s sustained what looks like a gunshot wound to his temple, a graze, but deep enough to cause him to bleed a great deal and to be unconscious. They’re repairing the damage and hope that he’ll wake up in a day or two.” Sam carried the burden of his team members on his shoulder, just like she did and she noted that she wasn’t alone in this battle of protecting her people.
“You did well out there, Sam. After a tough day, you went in and pulled them out of that wreckage. You’ve most probably saved both of their lives by getting to them when you did.”
“You’re not surprised by the gunshot wound?”
Hetty shook her head and sat down. “No. Mr Beale and Miss Jones have been working hard to find out what happened out there. A yellow car was seen pulling up beside Mr Deeks and Miss Blye along PCH, before it sped on and suddenly stopped. A man was seen running from the vehicle and turned and fired at the SUV.”
“Deeks and Kensi were targeted?” Sam asked in shock, after all the other things that were going on, this was the last thing they needed. “By who?”
“By whom, Mr Hanna.” Hetty sighed. “Mr Beale has identified the man as one of the six armed men seen entering Mr Callen’s home on Saturday.”
“The Russians did this?” Anger surged through Sam’s body. Memory of the injured and dead he’d seen earlier on the PCH flashed before him. “Innocent people have died and have been seriously injured by what he’s done. This is war, you realise this, Hetty. No Russian can come into our country and do this to our people.”
“You are sounding very much like your partner, Mr Hanna.” Hetty gently laid her hand over his. “I am with you on this matter, Sam.”
Both looked up as a doctor came over to them. “Detective Deeks has come through surgery better than we had anticipated. He’s in recovery and will remain there for the next hour and will be moved into ICU after that. He was lucky, the bullet missed any of the important areas of the brain, we’ve had to repair his skull and place a tube in to drain the fluid from his brain. He’s not out of the woods yet, but he has a good chance of a full recovery.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
“Are you Miss Lange, Detective Deeks’ next of kin?” The doctor looked over at the petite woman and saw the worry in her eyes.
“Yes, I am. Thank you, Doctor for looking after our man. He’s very important to our team.”
“Anything for you, Miss Lange. I’ve heard many great things about you and your people. Have you any news on how this pile up on the PCH occurred? The fact that your Detective was shot…”
“Yes, we have. Unfortunately, my people were targeted and many innocent people got caught in the way. Our agency is working on it as we speak.”
The doctor nodded and took in the danger these NCIS agents put themselves in for national security. He dealt with silent heroes all the time from working on base.
“It’s why we need to place security on Agent Blye and Detective Deeks’ rooms. Agent Hanna and Assistant Director Granger are here for now, but we will be arranging their replacement so they can get some rest.”
“I’ll let my staff and replacement know.” The doctor excused himself and left them.
“Sam, may I suggest that you call Michelle and have her and Kamran head out of town for a while. Somewhere safe, where they can’t be found.”
Sam looked at how serious Hetty was with her suggestion, knowing it wasn’t negotiable. But after what he’d seen these Russians were capable of doing, he wasn’t going to argue. “On it, Hetty.”
Sam stood and walked along the corridor to place his call. “Babe. I won’t be home tonight. Somethings come up. Tell Mom I’m sorry I can’t spend anytime with her, while she’s visiting.
Michelle stood in the kitchen in their Los Angeles home watching her daughter draw a family tree for her school project. Neither her mom or Sam’s mom were visiting, but she knew the code and what it meant. Get out of town.
“Don’t worry, Baby, you know that you’re both my California girls.” Her eyes widened at the mention of two Beach Boy songs. A clue of where to go. But why there?
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have some Fun, Fun, Fun, when you get home.” Her response was noted and a small smile graced Sam’s lips. That was the advantage of marrying someone in the same business. They talked the same language and no one else around them had a clue what was going on.
“Take care, stay safe.” Michelle added.
“I will. You too.” He disconnected the call and walked back over to Hetty. “She got the message.”
“Good.” Hetty nodded her head. “Let’s focus on Mr Deeks and Miss Blye then.”
Michelle smiled over to her daughter. “We’re going on a road trip, honey. Let’s pack a bag each.”
Kamran looked up slightly confused at her mother. “But I have to hand my project in this week. Can’t it wait until after I take this in?”
Michelle gave her daughter a warm hug. “We’ll drop it in at Stacey’s house on our way, she can take it to school for you tomorrow. Something’s come up, we’ve got to go, okay?”
Kamran smiled that familiar Hanna smile over to her mother. “Okay.” The girl hopped down from the bar stool and walked up to her bedroom. She pulled out her Monster High back pack and packed her favourite toys, pens, notepad and books inside. Then she packed a small bag with her clothes, shoes, and brush and toothbrush.
Michelle popped her head out and looked at the two bags in her daughter’s hands. So much like her father, ready at a moment’s notice.
“Great, Baby. Mom will be there in a moment.” Michelle pressed in the code to her safe and pulled out a couple bundles of cash, new identities for the both of them, her gun and bullets. She threw them into a bag along side her jewellery, cosmetics and toiletries. With her clothes packed, she headed up the hallway towards the front door, where Kamran waited for her.
“I’ve got my project too.”
“Great. Let’s go.” Michelle did a quick check of the doors and windows of their house and walked out with Kamran to the car and loaded their bags and and drove out of the driveway. She scanned the neighbourhood and sighed with relief when she couldn’t see anyone watching them. She took the short drive over to her friend’s, Stacey’s, and quickly explained a story as to why they would be out of town. After leaving there, Michelle put a DVD on for Kamran and kept her focus on all around her. So far, so good.
Michelle drove around in circles, and headed north and turned off, before looping back and continued north up to Morro Bay. The home of the Beach Boys, for the life of her, she had no clue as to why Sam wanted them to hide there. It was dark and the drive was long, but Michelle was used to it. After a few hours’ drive, she pulled into a motel and booked a room for a few nights and waited until she heard from Sam again.
Camp Pendleton Medical Centre
She wasn’t sure what brought her senses back to the present, but Kensi Blye didn’t expect to find Assistant Owen Granger at her bedside.
“Welcome back to the world of the living.” Owen looked over to her with concern for his old friend’s daughter.
“Deeks.” She looked around, why wasn’t Deeks there beside her bed waiting for her to wake up?
“Do you remember what happened?”
“No.” She lifted her right arm and pain shot through her. Why was her arm in a sling? What happened to her?
“Do you remember going down to San Diego, or the Jackson case?” Owen watched her try to think back to the case they’d worked on that day.
“I think…his friend reported him missing. Deeks and I went to the NCIS office to speak with him. He gave us a thumb drive.”
“That’s good, Kensi. Real good. What about at the end of the day. The drive back.”
Memories flashed in front of her mind from that day. How sick she felt, and how tired. The annoying smile on Deeks’ face as he almost said what she’d been hiding from all week. Her eyes widened as memories from the crash returned.
“Car spinning, Deeks…” She looked up at Granger with panic in her eyes. “Deeks, where is he, is he…” She couldn’t ask, it was too painful. “Sam, he came…”
“Sam got you and Deeks out. You’re at Camp Pendleton Medical Centre. You’re both in good hands here.”
“What happened, do you know…”
“Yes we do. Beale and Jones have found the camera footage. You were targeted.”
“From our case?”
Owen shook his head. “No. Russians.”
“He’s not been told.”
“He needs to know. You have to tell him.”
“He needs to be where he is for now, somewhere safe with his family.” Owen sat on the edge of the bed. “Deeks has come through surgery okay. He was shot.”
Kensi furrowed her brow trying to figure it all out. She hadn’t heard a gunshot. “The head wound.”
“It was a deep graze, Deeks must have turned his head at the right time and it grazed him. The bullet by passed you thanks to the moving vehicle, but hit a driver of the car next to you and then between them and your vehicle, the pile up happened.”
“I need to see him. I need to be there when he wakes up.” She tried to pull herself out of bed, but her body refused to obey her from the pain that shot through her upper body and the refusal of her legs to do as she wanted them to. “My legs, I still can’t feel my legs.”
“The doctor said it might take a few days for the feeling to return to your legs. You were pinned down by the dashboard, from what Sam has told me. There’s no damage to your spine. I can call the doctor in to talk to you, if you prefer to hear it from them than from me.”
Kensi nodded. “Please.”
Owen stood up and patted her hand. “I’ll see who I can find.” He exited the room and spotted Hetty coming his way. Her timing couldn’t have been better.
“Henrietta. She’s awake. I’m looking for her doctor, so he can tell her about her injuries.”
“Good idea, Owen. Mr Deeks has been transferred to ICU. Mr Hanna is with him.”
“That’s good that we have Sam around.”
“Indeed it is. I’ll go sit with her for a while.”
Hetty entered Kensi’s room, pleased to see her awake. “Miss Blye, it’s good to see you awake.”
“Hetty. Where’s Deeks? I need to see him.”
Hetty stood beside her bed, she wasn’t tall enough to sit on the edge like the others were prone to do. “You need to rest. He’s been taken into ICU, he’ll be asleep for a long while yet.”
“Granger said he was shot. I don’t remember hearing a gunshot.”
Hetty could see the panic in Kensi’s eyes. “Miss Blye, we need to have a talk, don’t you think? About you and Mr Deeks. Your concern for him is more than just your partner, am I correct?”
Kensi knew this talk would happen one day, she just didn’t expect it would be with her and Deeks injured from a car accident thanks to some Russians after Callen’s father. And Deeks being shot, again.
Hetty pursed her lips together and studied the woman. “The two of you have become very close, and I agree, neither of you have allowed your emotions to affect your work, which I will credit to the two of you. However, I think, once you and Mr Deeks have recovered from your injuries, that we make other arrangements with regards to who your partners will be.”
“Hetty!” Pain shot through her again, as she tried to sit up.
“Here, let me help you, Miss Blye.” Hetty pressed the remote and lifted the top end of her bed so she was more upright.
“Please don’t send him back.”
“To LAPD?” Hetty chuckled. “Now why would I do that, Miss Blye? He’s a very valuable member of our team, we need him back to his old healthy self so we can be a team once again.”
“He’s worried that you will send him back.”
Hetty raised her brow, surprised. “Well, then, this piece of knowledge will help me in my cause to persuade Mr Deeks to sign his agent application. He’s been delaying it for too long, don’t you think?”
Kensi tilted her head. “He has an application form?”
“Yes. I gave it to him with my signature a few years back.”
Kensi swallowed, her throat was dry. “He never said.” The look she gave her boss was of disappointment that her partner had never shared this with her.
“Here, have a sip.” Hetty passed a cup of water with a straw. She watched Kensi take a few sips and lie back on the bed.
“First things, first, Miss Blye. We need the two of you to recover. What happens between you and Mr Deeks outside of the office is your concern, however, we need to make adjustments out in the field. For the team.”
Hetty stepped back and turned as she heard footsteps enter the room. Her hand went immediately to her bag and her gun, just incase. She relaxed when she saw Kensi’s doctor enter.
“Agent Blye, my name is Dr Paul Cater. I am your doctor.” He turned to Hetty who acknowledge the need for the doctor to speak with his patient privately.
“I’ll be outside, if you need me.” Hetty exited and found Granger sitting outside.
“So it’s true then, about Kensi and Deeks?”
“Hmm!” Hetty placed her hands on her knees and looked sideways to her old colleague. “Bring back memories of your old love affairs, Owen?”
Owen shuffled uncomfortably in his chair. Hetty laughed slightly.
“Don’t tell me, Owen, that you never considered that I knew about you and Caroline, back in the mid eighties.”
“I thought we were discreet.”
“Just like Miss Blye and Mr Deeks. And they’ve not allowed it to affect their work or the team dynamics.”
“No, they haven’t.” Hetty patted him on his hand. “Go easy on them, Owen. You’re only young once.”
“What are you going to do about it?”
“For now, my focus is on their recovery and the protection of my people, and all those at risk from Nikita’s enemies. Then, I have no choice but to make changes in the partners in this team. My senior agents aren’t going to like it one bit.” She sighed. “That’s if we ever have Mr Callen return to the fold. With the way things are going, I doubt that very much.”
“Sam won’t like it. He misses his partner already. Today was hard on him, Hetty. Not having Callen with him made it harder.”
Hetty turned and caught his gaze. “He had you didn’t he?”
“I’m not Callen. Those two are like brothers and you want to split them up?”
“I know, I’ve spent years trying to find the right partner for Mr Callen, Mr Hanna has been the best. It won’t be an easy decision.”
“You know there is another way.”
Hetty raised her brow, curious. “Do tell, Owen, the suspense is killing me.”
“Nell has proven her worth and she has worked well with Deeks in the past when Kensi was away. Until Callen can return, we could have Sam partnered up with Kensi. Let’s see how things are after that.”
“That’s good advice, Owen. Let’s take it one day at a time.”