Nate sat in an office the hospital staff had loaned him as he went over the brain scans that had been taken of Deeks' brain with his neurologist.
"As you can see the damage, here...here...and here, is quite extensive. With these two lesions here, I would say that they were caused by the drugs he was fed by his captors while he was away, and this one…" He pointed to a dark spot on the back of the image, "This was a blow to the head, probably the one that fractured his psyche."
"So what do you think doctor?" Nate asked concerned at what he had just heard.
"I think that with the right amount of therapy and some medication we may be able to repress the persona known as Max and allow Mr. Deeks to reemerge, but I do not think he will ever be fit enough to go back into Law enforcement. He will need plenty of therapy to acclimatize to his new role, whatever that may be."
Nate nodded, it was not the news he had wanted to hear but it was what he was expecting.
"Thank you Doctor, If I may consult with you as needed, I will work on tailoring Marty's therapy to this and the new meds. Have they been started yet?" he asked.
The doctor nodded, "We started them a week ago, I have already seen an improvement, we see more of Marty and less episodes of Max. However, he is still in the secure wing. I do not foresee him being released in the near future."
Nate nodded solemnly as he looked towards the secure wing where his friend was being held. "I will start therapy with him in another week then. I need to fill in my superior on Deeks' condition."
Callen and Jake waved Gibbs off as he headed back to D.C.
It had been a great visit and Jake had enjoyed having his uncle Jethro around, showing him his favorite play park and taking him to school for show and tell and introducing his friends to his uncle the Federal Agent.
Gibbs for his part had teased Callen when they had met with Jake's teacher, Ms Taylor and explained his change of name and the problems that Jake might encounter. Joelle Taylor and Callen had been unconsciously flirting with each other and Gibbs had pointed it out.
"What? NO!" Callen argued, "She's Jake's teacher."
"I know who she is G, you need to ask her out I can guarantee she will say yes."
"I can't date...I have Jake."
"I'll take Jake camping for the weekend, invite her out on Friday." Gibbs pushed.
Callen shook his head, "I can't bring her back here." For the first time he actually felt ashamed of where he was living.
Gibbs nodded, "I get ya, but take her out to dinner, maybe she'll not have to see the trailer."
After more pushing Callen relented. He did like Joelle, mostly it was the way the sunlight bounced off her red hair, also her eyes and her laugh and the way she was kind and patient around Jake all appealed to him.
Jake for his part was ecstatic that he was going on his first camping trip with uncle Jethro. He was still a little afraid of leaving his dad but Gibbs surprised him with a walkie talkie.
"This is so cool, so if anyone comes...like...like…" Jake looked worried.
"He's far away and locked up, you are safe." Callen reassured his son, "but if you're out walking and see a deer or something cool you can talk to Jethro over the walkie talkie and he can see too."
"We'll see deer? Like Bambi?" Jake asked.
Jethro nodded, "Maybe...I got you this too."
"A camera!" Jake ran and hugged Gibbs. "Thank you uncle Jetrow."
"You'll need the truck and I think Bert and Wanda have some camping gear you can use." Callen said as Jake ran to his room to pack.
"They do, I asked them."
Callen sighed as he handed the keys over. "I'll call Joelle and cancel."
"Why on earth for?" Gibbs asked.
"You need the truck, I can't walk to my date now can I?"
Gibbs laughed, "No but I still have the rental, you're on the insurance. You can pick Joelle up in style...Also, Bert, Wanda and I made you guys reservations at the grand hotel. Dinner is on us."
The date, and the camping trip had been a great success.
Gibbs had enjoyed spending so much time with Jake that they had promised to go camping again, and Callen and Joelle had started seeing each other more.
Nate sat as he waited for Deeks to be ushered into his therapy session. According to the orderly he had had a quiet night, but it had been awhile since he had seen his friend.
Wearing rumpled sweats and accompanied by an orderly he walked warily into the room.
"Sit down." Nate said smiling as Deeks entered, trying and failing to conceal his shock at the amount of weight he had lost and how haggard he looked.
Deeks wouldn't look at him, he was picking at the hem of his sweatshirt.
"How are you feeling?" Nate asked.
Deeks shrugged. "I think...the doctors tell me the meds are working." he mumbled.
"Good...good...are you eating, Marty?" Nate asked.
Deeks shrugged again. He hadn't had an appetite since finally taking control of his own body. All that had happened before seemed to be a dream, but there were a few bits...a few terrible bits that couldn't be explained away. The guilt ate at him like a cancer he couldn't escape.
"Some." was the only reply he could bring himself to give.
"Ok…" Nate watched him and was concerned by his despondency. "I have talked to your doctors, I know they've talked to you. So how do you feel about what they have said?"
"It's no more than I deserve." Deeks sighed. "I have lost everything, I am being pensioned off by the LAPD. I have no idea why they haven't charged me. I've lost my job at NCIS, can't be liason if I'm not with the LAPD. And…" Deeks broke off as he picked harder at his sweatshirt.
"And?" Nate pushed.
Deeks stood and started to pace, the orderly shifting his stance reminding Deeks he was there.
Deeks slumped back in the chair.
"Nothing…" he said, "Why are you here Nate?"
The orderly looked confused but no one else was.
"She wanted to make sure I'm not going to go after Callen or Jake again?" Deeks asked looking ashamed as tears pricked his eyes.
"He was right...I'm just like him…"
"Who?" Nate asked.
"My father, my own son...Callen's son, he's not mine...not yours…" he told the growl he heard in his head. "Jake...Jake will always fear me…"
"Hetty wants to help you, she wants you to get better and she's offered to help you find work."
"You honestly think I'll ever get out of here?" Deeks made eye contact with Nate for the first time since he'd entered.
"You're ill Deeks, that's all. If you'll work with me you'll get better. Now both you and I know it will never be as it was, but you'll be able to live independently and you'll be able to hold down a job. Hetty has offered to help you with anything you need. If you don't want me as your therapist tell me now and we'll find someone more suited to you."
"I want to work with you Nate."
Nate smiled, "Good...good...then lets get started."