A/N: Apologies for the delay in updating this story. No excuse, but my head just wasn't in it. Anyway the tale continues. Will they find enough evidence to put Ramirez away for good? Hopefully some of you are still following this. Please read and review. Your support and thoughts mean the world to me. Also thanks to all those new fanfictioners who have favoured and are following me and my stories. Hope you're all well and keeping safe.

Chapter 19

Kensi handed the evidence bag containing Ramirez's gun to Deeks and exchanged a few words with him before leaving for the hospital. He watched her go and then turned to find the remaining agents, who would search the roadhouse with him.

After her check-up, Kensi went to Callen's room where she found Sam sitting by the bed watching his friend sleep. Seeing her approach, Sam rose and met her outside the room so they could talk without disturbing Callen. "What did the doctor's say?" asked Sam, his eyes searching her for signs of significant injury. He was relieved he couldn't see anything but wanted her to confirm his assumption.

"Got concussion as suspected but the doctor's says it's mild. Other than temporarily losing consciousness for a few minutes, I had no other symptoms," she advised. "As I'll be here anyway they reluctantly agreed not to admit me for observation."

"That's good to hear," replied Sam, "but should you notice any changes, however small, let someone know." He looked at her intently, showing how serious he was.

"I will" confirmed Kensi. Looking at Callen she asked, "How's Callen?"

"He's getting there," replied Sam and Kensi could hear the relief in his voice. The two senior agents had a close bond and she knew how much Sam worried not only about Callen, but the rest of the team too. "He's as frustrated as hell at being stuck in here, though."

Kensi smiled and put her hand on Sam's arm. "You'd better be going. I know you'd rather stay with him, but Hetty wants you to question Ramirez with Granger." Sam hesitated and Kensi continued, "Don't worry; I'll take good care of him."

"I know you will," replied Sam. Callen had taken Kensi under his wing when she first joined the team and was like a sister to the lead agent and Sam knew the feeling was mutual. "It's just….." his voice faltered.

"I won't let anything happen to Callen, I promise" assured Kensi. "I just hope Deeks can find something to incriminate Ramirez and categorically link him to Gonzalez 'cause I doubt he'll give up his boss easily."

"Yeah, it's unlikely but we might be lucky" he agreed. He turned to go but then stopped and made the signal 'phone me' to Kensi. She nodded her understanding and watched him go. She put her hand on the door to open it but hesitated, watching Callen before turning and headed to the nurses' desk.

Kensi stood so she could still had line of sight to Callen's door and addressed the nurse on duty. "Excuse me." The nurse turned and Kensi introduced herself, flashing her id. "Has anyone enquired about the patient other than NCIS?"

"Not while I've been on duty" she replied, "but I'll check the log." After a moment of flicking through the pages, the nurse lifted her head and said "Doesn't look like it but I'll ask the other nurses, they might not have had time to write it down."

"Thanks" said Kensi and then added "when is his next scheduled visit?"

"The doctor's not due to attend until his rounds in the morning, unless there's an emergency, but he should be checked every two hours. I did it about an hour ago so not for another hour."

"I appreciate you're busy but can I have a list of nurses and orderlies on duty please? We need to ensure only the authorised personnel are on this floor," explained Kensi.

"I'll ask my supervisor to provide the names for you."

"I appreciate it. From now on, please let me know if anyone enquires about his condition either by phone or in person" requested Kensi.

"I'll make sure my supervisor lets the others know too."

After thanking the nurse, Kensi went and sat by Callen ensuring she was facing the door so she could see what was going on.

"Did you get what you wanted?" a voice asked.

Kensi turned her head and looked into the blue eyes of her team leader and friend. She smiled. "How long have you been awake?"

"Since you arrived and Sam got up to talk to you outside." Callen smirked. "No doubt he didn't want to disturb me, but he should know by now that I'm a light sleeper."

"So it seems…. even though you're still recovering from a car crash and supposed to be resting," said Kensi accusingly. Callen shrugged. "To answer your question, I wanted to know if anyone besides NCIS had asked about your condition as well as asking when I could expect a nurse to check on you."

"Have they?" he asked. "Had enquiries from anyone?" he added to clarify his question.

"Apparently not, but she's going to check with the others," added Kensi.

"Good to know" murmured Callen. "I guess it's only a matter of time."

"Do you really think someone will come to finish you off?" she asked.

"That's the idea" he answered. "I'm hoping we've taunted him enough so he's sufficiently angry to react in the way we want."

"What with the press report, his main man being taken into custody and a branch of his business down the pan, Gonzalez has got to be pretty mad" agreed Kensi.

"We've been a thorn in his side for a long time; he'll jump at the chance to finally put us down" said Callen. "His thirst for revenge should make him irrational and make mistakes."

"We've never been able to shut him down before as he's not made mistakes," said Kensi. "What makes this time different?"

"Agreed" concurred Callen "but we've Ramirez, information about his business as well as testimony from Hernandez and Barclay plus yours truly as bait." Callen laid back and closed his eyes.

Kensi reached out and touched his arm. "You okay, G?"

He opened his eyes and looked at her. A slight smile tugged at his lips. "Just tired."

"You gonna be up for this, if they come for you?" she asked, concerned.

"I've got to be" he answered honestly. "Besides I've got you to protect me" he added with a genuine smile. "I'm gonna rest. Let me know if Deeks or Sam come up with anything."

"Will do" replied Kensi as Callen closed his eyes. Under her breath she muttered, "I just hope I'll be enough to keep you safe."

Without opening his eyes, Callen said, "I've got every faith in you, Kens."

Kensi smiled and shook her head slightly, Callen's abilities never ceasing to amaze her.

Back at the roadhouse, Deeks and the team continued their search for evidence, which he hoped would help build a water-tight case against Ramirez and Gonzalez. As NCIS Special Agents, each one of the team had completed the Criminal Investigator's training program (CITP). Deeks, as lead agent on the task force, was aware that they had so far found, photographed, catalogued and bagged several pieces of paperwork as well as other items, which would incriminate the pair. However the knife, which had killed Jenkins, was still unaccounted for. Having completely searched all vehicles and the premises, Deeks was about to call off the search when something caught his eye. He photographed it from his current position before walking over to the corner of the room, where he photographed it again. Bending down, he examined a length of baseboard which wasn't flush against the wall or with the adjacent piece. Deeks took further photos and checked for wires. Confident there were no booby traps, he tapped it and was rewarded when it sprung open. Further photos were taken before Deeks looked inside to find a piece of cloth wrapped around an object. Putting it down, he photographed it and carefully unwrapped the cloth to reveal a knife, which Deeks hoped would prove to be the murder weapon they'd been looking for. It had been cleaned, but he was hopeful traces of blood would be detected once they got it back to the lab as well as trace elements on the handle and cloth which would link it to Ramirez. Rewrapping the knife in the cloth before bagging it, Deeks phoned OPS to advise them of the find. He then phoned Kensi.

She stepped outside the room to take the call. "Kensi, how are you? What did the doctors say?" Deeks asked.

"I'm good. Concussion as suspected but they're not keeping me in."

She heard him breathe a sigh of relief. "That's good news. I was worried about you" he said.

"I know," she said gently. She paused before asking "how did the search go? Find anything?"

"Some paperwork which should incriminate them… and …."

"And what?" asked Kensi, frustrated by Deeks' ability to refrain from simply telling her what he'd found.

"And …I found …something…..hidden…."

"Deeks!" Kensi warned.

"Okay, Kensalina, I found a knife."

"The murder weapon?" she asked.

"Yet to be confirmed but yeah, I think so" answered Deeks.

"I'll tell Callen but let me know when you've got the results" she said. "What you gonna do now?"

"Take the evidence back to OPS and then see what Hetty wants me to do" he said. "If there's nothing pressing, I'll come to the hospital."

"Okay, see you later" said Kensi. "Keep me posted. Love you."

A/N 2: as a condition of employment, Special Agents must successfully complete the Criminal Investigator's Training Program (CITP) (from .mil. website (careers/special-agents)

A/N 3: I'm English so I hope I've got the American terminology for skirting board correct.