Hi, Mulderette here. I know I've been away for a long time and for those who were following my stories, I'm so so sorry. Life has definitely gotten in the way and I have a knee replacement coming up in three weeks which has occupied my mind. In any case, I wasn't really sure if I could ever get myself back into writing, but Jess and I kept talking about it - and she may have twisted my arm a little lol. I'm excited about this little project and working with such a talented co-writer. As for my other stories, I'm going to do the best I can to get back to them, number one priority being completing The Game. Thanks so much to those who were reading in the past and who may continue to do so. I appreciate you all and will do the best I can.
Hi all, this is Jess, or rather bluenet13. I have joined forces with my good friend and awesome writer Mulderette to bring you all this new story. We have been talking about it for a while but we both took an unexpected hiatus for the last few months. Now we're back and the time is right to start this little adventure, so I hope you all decide to join us for this fun ride. And when I say fun, I mean for us and you all, probably not so much for our favorite team. Thanks for checking it out and hope you enjoy it!
Sam Hanna sighed tiredly as he heard his younger teammate keep going on and on about the latest episode of Survivor. Conversation which had come after a one-sided argument about this week's American Next Top Model and the elimination of what Deeks thought was this season's strongest contestant. It was like hearing Kensi speak and to his surprise the ex-Seal found himself missing Deeks' talks about surfing and the newest food truck in town.
Eric and Nell sat on the other side of the table, nodding absentmindedly, and mentally going over the best ways to make a quick retreat. This had been going on for the last few months, ever since Kensi and Deeks had finally tied the knot. It had started with the detective getting a new habit of donuts for breakfast, then evolved into his constant talks about reality shows – shows usually associated with the female agent that had just recently become his wife, and which Deeks had used to despise as much as the rest of the team.
A quick sip of his beer stopped the blonde man momentarily, but he quickly set the bottle back down, and to the dismay of his teammates, continued on his tirade.
Sam groaned loudly, hands running up and down his face as he pondered the consequences of shooting his teammate on site. Nell and Eric stared at Sam, and then at each other, chuckling as they noticed the big man slowly losing control.
Callen's arrival a few minutes later provided a quick distraction to the torture currently going on at their table. "Here." He said, setting a recently filled glass of beer in front of each of his teammates. "Still going on?" He asked knowingly, a twinkle in his eye at his partner's displeasure.
"We have moved on to Dancing with the Stars. Apparently, this week they eliminated the best contestants in all of the shows." Sam answered. "And where were you, partner? I doubt grabbing a few beers really took you half an hour?" He challenged.
Callen just laughed and sat down at the solitary table the team currently occupied at the far-right corner of The Squid and the Dagger. Kensi the only one missing as she was currently in the back, helping Roberta arrange the latest shipment.
As the one-sided conversation continued to his left, Callen chuckled as a sudden thought entered his mind. "And here we thought we were gaining another Deeks, but apparently now we have two Blyes."
"Who would have thought we would miss his ramblings about slow tv." Sam added, taking a swig of his beer, and wishing it was instead the hard liquor that had just been delivered.
Remembering the previous week, when Kensi had gone undercover as an aspiring model, while the three men spent all night together on overwatch, Sam silently wondered how much more of this he could take. That time Deeks had taken advantage of the hours stuck in the car to talk their ears off, giving the poor boys a rundown on the current season of World of Dance.
"We need an intervention." Sam finally said, deciding that it was either that or really shooting his teammate to shut him up.
"Any ideas, partner?" Callen said. The spark in his eye still present, his enjoyment of Sam's annoyance apparently stronger than his own frustrations towards Deeks.
Thinking back to when he had gotten married, an idea began to form on his mind and Sam smiled honestly for the first time that night. A smile that to strangers might look more like an evil grin, but nonetheless, the uncharacteristic smirk spreading across his face.
"Sam?" Callen inquired, after noticing the change in his partner's demeanor.
"Before I got married, some of my Seal buddies took me on a camping trip up to the mountains. It was our own version of a bachelor's party. But we were so busy with cases this year, that we only took Deeks out for beers. Time to remedy that." Sam explained.
"What? You want to rekindle Deeks with his manhood?" Callen asked with a laugh. "You know the man hates the desert, woods, or any place, other than the beach, that could be considered outdoors. No way he would agree to this."
"He doesn't need to like it, but he's doing it." Sam said, taking charge of the situation. Or rather, the intervention. "We can even take Beale with us. Then we can have some boys' days out."
"Oh, no, no, no." Eric said, entering the conversation for the first time. Eyes going wide with panic. "Don't get me involved in this."
"It could be good for you." Nell added her two cents, running a hand sweetly down his arm. "And I can get together with Kensi and have a girl's night. We can even invite Ms. Deeks so she can take a break from the bar."
Deeks' laugh stopped the conversation in place. The man having caught up with his teammates after returning from the restroom. None of them having even noticed that he was gone. "Crazy Bertie would take over your party." He said matter-of-factly, silently remembering a time when Kensi had invited his mother on a night out with the cupcake girls, and how said night had ended with Bertie almost getting herself arrested because she had tried to take over the bartender and start mixing her own drinks. The thought making the blonde realize that this gig at the bar couldn't have come at a better time.
Taking in the busted faces of his teammates and the silence that now surrounded their table, Deeks lifted one eyebrow in a silent question. "What are we talking about?" He added, when no one spoke.
"We're going camping." Callen said cheerfully, not so much out of excitement for the idea itself, just wanting to see the look of horror that, as expected, came to Deeks' face. After all, he had already gone camping with his partner before, and even though it wasn't typically his thing, he could admit it had been fun. Especially when a young Aiden had joined them in the past.
"Camping? No, thank you very much. I don't do outdoors." Deeks said, starting to back away. "Unless you guys want to travel down to Mexico and chase some waves," he added as an afterthought.
"No waves, no city. Just the outdoors, and your teammates. Think of it as my late wedding gift, or bachelor party, whatever." Sam explained. "And I'm not asking." He concluded pointedly, not giving any outs to Deeks or the rest of the male members of their team.
"Just me, G, and super ex-Navy Seal Sam Hanna alone in the woods. What could possibly go wrong?" Deeks started to ramble, secretly wondering if anybody would find his body.
"Eric's going too." Nell chipped in, as if that news would suddenly make the whole idea sound more appealing to Deeks.
Deeks and Eric turned panicky stares at each other, both trying to come up with any excuse that would get them out of this predicament. But the determined faces of the senior agents telling them that, like it or not, they were all going on this little adventure.
"So… you're sure this is a good idea?" Callen asked as he packed some admittedly meager belongings into his backpack. He always packed as lightly as possible and in this case, he had no idea what kind of supposedly easy hiking expedition Sam was going to be leading them on. Lighter was definitely better.
"Come on, G, not you too?" Sam asked, his eyes amused as he gazed at his partner. "Don't tell me you're afraid of a little walk in the woods."
"That's what you're calling it?" Callen asked with a smirk as he zipped up his pack. "A walk in the woods? And no, I'm not afraid."
"We're going to have a great time, buddy," Sam said from his seat on Callen's bed. "Are you sure that's all you're going to take?" He watched as Callen lifted up the backpack and tested it, seemingly pleased with the weight of it.
"Don't need anything else. I figure you're going to have whatever necessary supplies we need, right?" Callen cast a questioning look at Sam. He refused to be burdened with an overly heavy backpack, especially when Sam was the strongest of any of them. Not to mention, this whole thing was his partner's idea.
"Oh I'll be prepared, G. No doubt about that," Sam said with a confident grin.
"I'm sure you will be." Callen nodded as he sat down on the bed next to Sam, "but seriously, are you sure this is what we ought to be doing? Deeks is one thing, but Eric?" He shook his head doubtfully. "I don't know."
"You wound me partner." Sam put his hand on his chest, covering up the mock injury. "When have I ever been wrong about this kind of thing? Anyway, this isn't a punishment for anyone. We're seriously going to have a really good time."
Callen nodded. He still had his doubts, but he managed to keep them hidden behind a smirk. "Okay, but you're responsible for any mishaps that may happen along the way."
Sam laughed as he stood up and clapped Callen on his back. "It's going to be a great trip, G. Just you wait and see."
"Camping? Oh, I wish I got to go camping." Kensi said cheerfully, bouncing up and down as soon as Deeks had told her Sam's idea.
"Feel free to take my place." Deeks mumbled, as he reluctantly began packing his duffel bag.
"Don't be a baby. It will be fun. And you know Sam will have it all under control." Kensi tried reassuring him, well knowing that he wasn't one to enjoy the outdoors.
Deeks didn't answer so Kensi just shrugged and continued to stare silently at her sulking husband. Every once in a while, chuckling as he seemed to ponder what items to bring. First it had been a flashlight, which he had the good measure to throw in the bag, then his flip flops which he promptly discarded to the side. Kensi however, decided to interfere as she saw him moving his gun towards the bag that sat open in their bed.
"You don't need that." She admonished, moving her hand to intercept his, getting hold of his LAPD issued weapon.
"Why not?" Deeks whined in a high-pitched voice. "What if there's bad guys and we need to defend ourselves?"
"There won't be bad guys in the woods, baby. Everything will be fine." Kensi tried to reason with him.
"What about a bear, then?" Deeks continued, sounding crazy.
"You wouldn't shoot a bear, Deeks." Kensi said, rolling her eyes.
"If it's the bear or me, I so would." Deeks said as he moved to the closet to grab a few more items.
Kensi sighed. Why Sam had thought this was a good idea was a mystery to her. But of course, she wouldn't say that to Deeks. She then moved to her side of the bed and towards a small cabinet that held some of her most treasured items.
"Here." Kensi said after a few minutes. She then handed Deeks a compass, a knife that had belonged to her father, and small radio. "These could come in handy."
"Thanks." Deeks replied as he exited the room and walked towards the door.
"Aren't you forgetting something, Einstein?" Kensi called behind him as she came from the room, sleeping bag in hand.
"Oops." Deeks laughed as he grabbed the offered item, tying it securely to his bag. Then moved to give Kensi a sweet parting kiss. "I will see you in a couple of days, Kens. Don't have too much fun without me."
"Love you, you have fun with the boys." Kensi said, even as she wondered if she should have put a tracker on him, or maybe allowed him to take his gun.
"Love you too, baby." Then Deeks was out of sight, door closing behind him as he walked to his truck.
"What's wrong?" Nell asked, seeing Eric walked out of their bedroom, backpack in hand, and frown on his face. She had spent the last hour trying to cheer up her boyfriend to the idea of camping with the boys, but he had still been reluctant as he began gathering his things.
"I just wish Sam would have given us a little more heads up." Eric sighed and plopped down on the couch.
Nell was the one to frown next. Surprised that his complaint was about the timing and not the idea itself. "And why's that?" She eventually inquired, not sure if she really wanted to know.
"I was just searching online and there's a lot of cool gadgets I could have gotten for the trip, but not even with Amazon Now would I get them on time." Eric explained dejectedly.
"Cool gadgets?" Nell asked. "You don't need gadgets for camping, Eric."
Eric then grabbed his tablet and proceeded to show her an article he had found detailing exactly that. "There's even glow in the dark toilet paper and powdered beer." He finished before going back to the couch.
Nell tried to stifle her laugh, not wanting to hurt his feelings. Part of her also certain that if Deeks were here, he would be all over that article. "And why would you need those things?" She asked, not seriously enough, and choosing not to ask why he would prefer powdered beer, whatever that was, instead of the TrailKeg or ManCan Portable Beer Keg also mentioned in the article.
"You just don't get it." Eric mumbled unhappily as he lifted himself from the couch and walked towards the room where they stored their tools, coming out a few minutes later with a hatchet in hand.
"Eric!" Nell said loudly. "Give me that."
"You're no fun." Eric said pouting.
"Why would you want a hatchet?" Nell asked more seriously this time. "You don't need that unless you're thinking of building your own cabin or fighting off some The Walking Dead zombies." But even as she said it, she thought that a hatchet could actually come in handy, but she preferred if Sam were the one to take it, she didn't trust Eric with long blades.
Eric opened his mouth to explain his reasoning, but then close it again, thinking that no amount of retort would help change his girlfriend's mind. His thoughts instead on the 82-functions Swiss Army pocket knife that he saw on the article and for which he wanted the hatchet as a quick replacement.
"Take this instead." Nell said as she handed him a perfectly safe hunting knife. "And this." She ran back to the room and came back with a first-aid kit, flare gun, and waterproof matches. When she had sobered off from the alcohol after their conversation at the bar the other day, she had thought of all the things that could in fact go wrong in the woods, and she had run to their local outdoors store to get some supplies.
Eric's face blanched as soon as he noticed the items Nell was handing to him. His mind going back to thinking this was a terrible idea, and very far away from the excitement his google search had caused. "And why would I need these?" He asked in a shaky voice.
"Just in case, Eric. I'm sure everything will be perfectly fine, but just in case." Nell punctuated her statement with a quick kiss. "Now go on, Deeks just pulled into the driveway." She said, pushing her boyfriend towards the door.
"Be safe." She called as Eric closed the door behind him. The analyst trying to convince herself that there was no reason to worry and everything would be alright. The four men were perfectly capable of fighting bad guys on a daily basis, and the woods couldn't possibly pose a bigger threat.
Callen and Sam walked into Hetty's sitting room where she was sitting on her sofa, sipping from a cup of tea. "Good morning, gentlemen." She smiled up at them as she placed her cup on the coffee table. "I appreciate you coming here before leaving on your adventure. Would either of you like some tea?"
"No thanks, Hetty," Sam said quickly. "Deeks and Eric will be here shortly and the earlier we hit the road, the better."
"Why is it you wanted to speak to us?" Callen asked, knowing she hadn't asked them to come just for goodbye pleasantries.
"I was hoping you might reconsider this trip," Hetty said after a short pause.
"Why is that?" Sam asked. "Did Deeks call you?"
"Mr. Deeks did not call me," Hetty stated. "I just think if this is really a bachelor type celebration for him, shouldn't you be taking him somewhere he'd actually enjoy?"
"Trust me, Hetty, Deeks will enjoy this," Sam said assuredly. Secretly also thinking that this trip was as much for him as it was for them, but he had the good measure not to voice that thought out loud.
Hetty looked at Callen who was noticeably silent on the subject. "And what is your opinion of this, Mr. Callen? When you were a boy, you never asked to go on any kind of a camping trip."
Callen shrugged. "None of my friends were ever into that kind of thing. Besides, you know Sam and I have gone camping before. Nothing has ever gone wrong and we've had a good time." Although he wasn't one hundred percent sure that this was the best idea, he still felt compelled to defend his best friend.
Hetty shook her head, realizing they weren't going to be swayed but still not happy with their choice. Although she couldn't put a finger on it, she was very uneasy about this whole idea. She looked up as Eric and Deeks came into the room.
"Good morning, Hetty," Deeks said with forced cheeriness and Eric echoed him. It was very obvious to Hetty that neither of them was particularly thrilled with Sam's plan.
"Good morning," Hetty replied, then came right to the point. "You know, this is supposed to be your celebration, Mr. Deeks. If you are unsatisfied with the choice, you should speak up."
"What?" Deeks looked quickly at Callen and Sam then back at Hetty. "I… uh, it's fine, Hetty. Why would you even say that?" As much as he wasn't looking forward to this trip, he wasn't going to chicken out in front of Callen and Sam. He'd never hear the end of it.
"Are you quite sure?" Hetty persisted. "There's no shame in the four of you sharing a different activity, a beach vacation or perhaps you could take my new yacht? I could easily arrange to have someone take you wherever you wanted to go."
Deeks' and Eric's eyes brightened at the prospect and even Callen appeared interested, but Sam immediately shut the idea down. "We're going camping," he stated firmly. "We appreciate the offer of your yacht, Hetty. "But I have a boat as well and I'd be happy to take the team on a trip sometime soon. "You could come and I'm sure Kensi and Nell would like that, as well"
"Kensi likes camping," Deeks mumbled, already missing her.
Sam rolled his eyes. At this rate the trip would be over before it began. He was sure Deeks and Eric would have a good time. He'd make sure of it. "Let's get this show on the road, guys" he called in an uncharacteristically cheerful tone.
Goodbyes were then shared and the men headed out with Hetty looking on uneasily as the door closed behind them.
Thanks everyone for reading! We will do our best to update this story every Friday or Saturday, and hope you decide to join us in this ride.