Thanks so much for the lovely reviews. The bunnies loved them (so did I) and they started to hop a little. I think they might even be excited to write again!
Anyway, I also wanted to say that this story is, in part, is a thank you to some very loyal Callen/Kensi fans who have willing given some of my other stories a chance and stuck by them (and me), even though they are Callen/OC stories. I really appreciated the support and wanted to give a little something back to them. Especially considering the mammoth amount of Kensi/Deeks stories out there.
So, I do hope you enjoy this chapter and hopefully the bunnies will start hopping some more soon.
Chapter 2 – Identity
Kensi was walking past Nate's door when a hand shot out and dragged her in. For a split second she considered attacking, but the familiarity of the hand touching her stopped that reaction.
Callen closed the door and pulled Kensi into his arms. He buried his head in her hair and took a deep, slow breath. The scent from her shampoo calmed him. It wasn't an overly strong smell, just a delicate fruity scent, with more than a hint of Kensi to it.
"Kenz, I …"
Kensi started to worry. This was very unlike Callen. His voice was … nervous maybe? Not strong and confident, teasing or flirty. "What is it Callen?" she asked quietly.
Callen lifted his head out of her hair. "I haven't felt that scared in a long time."
Kensi gave him a gentle smile. It had been a pretty rough day for all of them. More so Callen and Sam. "Of course you were scared. We didn't know what they would do to that little girl." Kensi's tone softened. "Did she remind you of Lily?"
"Not exactly," Callen said. "But it did make me wonder what kind of father I would've made. What kind of danger she would have been in if she'd lived." He frowned and his voice took on a hard tone. "What kind of father uses his child like that? What makes him willing to risk something so precious, put her in so much danger, for money?"
Kensi lifted her hand and cupped his cheek. Her thumb stroked gently over it, calming him. "Not the kind you would be," she assured him. "Lily would've had you and Alex. You would have protected her with your life, as Alex would have."
"I didn't protect Alex very well." His enemies had found him, taken her and Lily from him before he even knew he was going to be a dad.
"You are not like him," Kensi continued firmly. "Callen, Alex knew the dangers of your job. She accepted them. You were both capable of handling that kind of life. And I know how much Alex and Lily mean to you. I know how important family is to you. It's the one thing you've never had. I know you would've done anything to keep Lily safe. And, if it came down to it, you would even give up this job and lifestyle to live a quiet, boring existence as some generic Mr and Mrs Smith or Jones."
"Yeah." Callen marvelled at how intuitive Kensi was. He would have given up this life. Even though he loved his job and had finally found a place that accepted him, faults and all. He'd never told anyone that, not even Alex. They'd never really talked about having kids. It was one of those future things they both figured would happen one day. They just hadn't been planning anything yet. "But I wasn't meaning then."
Kensi frowned, confused. "When then?"
"At that house where Sam and I were ambushed. So many bullets flying and …"
"It's okay. You made it. You didn't get hit. Sam was there with you."
"It's not that Kenz." Callen struggled to find the words to explain how he had felt, how he still felt. "For so long I haven't really cared whether I got hit or not. It's not fun and, of course it could kill me, but it was no big deal. Just a hazard of the job. A likely hazard. Today … Today was the first day in a long time where I did care."
Callen reached up and stroked her cheek. "I care because I have you now. I haven't felt this way since Alex."
Kensi placed her hand over his. "I'm glad," she said softly.
Callen let out a slow breath. "This is going to take some getting used to."
"What? Wanting to live again?"
"I promise Callen, I'll help."
They heard voices outside the door and Kensi stepped back. "I'd better go."
"I'll follow soon."
Kensi checked carefully before slipping out the door. She sent Callen a quick reassuring smile before she left.
Callen stood where he was, leaning against the wall beside the closed door.
Oh yes, life was going to be a little more interesting now that he was trying to avoid bullets for more than skipping the recovery period.