Deeks sat at the large kitchen table listening to the happy chatter of the children and families that were staying in the large shelter.
There were eight families in total, not including Deeks, his mother and Angie who lived there full time.
He ate slowly as the mother's got their children ready for the day, handing out the lunch bags to those children who needed them as they went to catch their school buses. Eventually the hubbub settled down and Caroline looked over at her son who was still stirring his spoon in his bowl of oatmeal.
"Marty?" She asked as she leant over and handed him a coffee, "Are you alright?"
Deeks shrugged, "I'm going to see Monty today and pick up my last paycheck from the LAPD."
"Are you ok to do this?" She asked, "I'm sure we can put it off till Nate gets back if you need too."
Deeks smiled at the care his mother showed him.
"I'm ok Ma, I've been thinking about what I can do now though. I mean I'm not a cop anymore and I'll never be an NCIS agent so where do I go from here?"
"What do you have in mind?" Caroline asked as she sat down.
"I've been watching what you guys do here." He said as he moved his bowl aside, "Is there anyway I can help at all?"
Caroline thought about it, "I suppose you can help out with yard work and some maintenence. But to be honest the one thing we really could use around here is a lawyer that'll work for free. I don't suppose in your time as a cop you came across anyone we could use?" She asked hopefully.
Marty grinned the first full on smile he could remember in a long time.
"Mom….I'm a lawyer, I mean I don't practice, but I still have my law degree and it's in family law." he admitted.
By the time Kensi turned up to pick him up, Marty was talking animatedly with his mother about clearing out a room down the hallway.
"It's got great light and will be perfect." Caroline said.
"But, shouldn't you use that for another family?" Deeks asked.
"Nope. It's been a storeroom for years, we can move, sell or dump the things in there we don't need and paint it up nice and bright. You write a list of everything you will need and we will do our best to get it for you."
"Morning." Kensi smiled as she walked in with Monty by her side.
"Morning...Monty!" Deeks grinned and dropped to his knees as Monty licked him, his tail wagging with joy. "Oh my God I missed you so much!" Deeks exclaimed rubbing his hands over Monty's head and back, "Have you been a good boy for Kensi?" he asked.
"He's been wonderful, Sam spoils him rotten when I take him to work." Kensi smiled.
Deeks looked up, "Hey Kens…"
"Do you have much planned for today, I took the day off. I was hoping that after you meet with Bates we could take Monty to the beach for the day together."
"I'd like that." Deeks smiled, he looked over at his mother, "Is that ok mom, we can start to clear that room tomorrow."
Caroline tousled his hair again, she couldn't seem to get enough of it.
"It's fine, Angie and I will sort through the stuff in that room and see what we can find for you, You have a nice day son,"
She smiled as Kensi and Marty left with Monty walked happily by his master's side.
Standing outside the LAPD Headquarters Deeks found himself rooted to the spot grasping Kensi's hand.
"I...I can't go in there." he said his heart feeling like it was about to burst out of his chest. He had flashes of going in there as Max and killing a police officer. The thought that he was going to be arrested the moment he set foot inside the station wouldn't leave him.
Kensi saw a bench off to one side, "Come here Marty." she said and sat him on the bench. "Do you need to talk about it?" she asked.
Deeks shook his head, "I can't...it's not my memory...it's...his...but…"
Kensi nodded, "They had talked over the past few months long and hard about what he remembered and what he didn't. They had talked about his feelings for Sara and how he had felt when she had died. Eventually in the last few weeks they had talked about his feelings for her.
"Wait here, I'll go and see if Bates will come out." She said and handed him Monty's leash.
Turning she walked inside not knowing if Deeks had heard her on not.
Lieutenant Bates looked up as he door knocked. "Come in Deeks." he said expectantly having seen him and that lovely partner of his walk across the street.
"Sorry it's just me." Kensi apologized as she opened the door. "Deeks is outside, he can't...you know."
Bates nodded, "I talked to Hetty and that therapist of his Nate. They said this might happen. Believe it or not Deeks was a great cop and even though we have to retire him, it doesn't mean I don't care anymore."
Bates looked through his paperwork, "I'll get what I need and then we'll head down to see him. I do need his signature on this paperwork."
Kensi sat and waited while he sorted himself out.
Deeks looked up as a shadow loomed over him expecting to see Kensi he looked up and stopped at the four men who stood in front of him. They were all cops that he knew but he couldn't remember their names.
"You got a lot of nerve Deeks showing your face around here." The oldest of the group said.
"Sorry?" He asked jerking his hand away as another man took Monty's lead and tied him to the bench.
"Stimson was a friend of mine and you killed him." Another growled.
"I didn't...I mean it wasn't me…" Deeks stood up trying to reach for Monty's leash,
Another pushed him into the alleyway by the side of the precinct.
"Look I don't wanna hurt anyone." Deeks said raising his hands in a gesture to placate them.
It was a bad move as the first blow landed, Deeks swore he could hear Max in his head laughing.
Ten minutes later Bates and Kensi exited the building. Kensi looked worried as she saw Monty tied to the bench she had left Deeks sitting on.
"Marty!" she called as Monty whined and strained at his leash.
"Let the dog go, he'll find him." Bates suggested.
Kensi unclipped the leash and they followed the dog as he bolted down the alleyway next to the building.
Monty sat and whined near a corrugated cardboard box and looked back at Kensi and Bates.
"Deeks?!" Bates called as they looked around.
Kensi grabbed and pulled a large blue trash can and gasped as Deeks' arm fell out from behind the can.
"Call the paramedics." she called back to Bates who was already on the phone as she moved to kneel beside him to check his pulse.
Bates stood at the entrance to the alley and made a couple of calls, within minutes Jeff Versey came running around the corner. "Where is he? Is he ok?" he asked running down to where Kensi was.
"I don't know, he didn't deserve this." Kensi said tears pricking her eyes as Deeks started to stir.
"Yeah...did...Max.." Deeks groaned.
"No…." Versey growled, "Whatever Max did was not your fault Deeks, like anything I did while I was drinking was not my fault….remember?"
Deeks tried to nod, but the pain was too much, he blindly reached out and grabbed Versey's hand. "Keep Kensi safe." he groaned and then he passed out as the paramedic arrived.
Hours later he awoke to a loud beeping and hushed voices.
"Kens?" he groaned, "What hit me?"
"That's what we'd like to know." Versey said as he moved into Deek's sightline.
Deeks turned away, "I don't know Jeff. Friends of Stimson's. I think I deserve all I got, I can remember bits...But I wasn't nice to him."
"Stimson was a dirty cop, a lot of us knew it. Internal Affairs cleared you Deeks, they know the situation. These cops shouldn't have attacked you. Tell me who it was and I'll get them charged."
"I don't know them."
"Marty, you need to tell the detective anything you can remember." Caroline said worried.
Deeks shook his head, "I don't know them...but...I think Max did, I...I heard him laughing."