A/N - Last of the episode based chapters. Essentially last of Moving On. But given how long and how limited the viewership is, I'm just going to add the final part of the series (Living) as another chapter in this. Still have some work to do on it though.

I had to do this episode. It was appalling the interaction between Kensi and Callen when partnered up. There was just no way it was right and I had to find a way to correct it. Hope you enjoy.


Chapter 52 - Backstopped

Callen pulled out his phone, his other phone, from his pocket and composed a text.

Don't trust this switch - what if she's listening in … to everything not just at the office? Make it awkward. And remember nothing about Kensi and I.

Callen sent it to the only five numbers programmed into the phone. Sam, Kensi, Deeks, Eric and Nell. He'd purchased them all new phones after they'd returned with Hetty. He hadn't put it past her to be monitoring their work phones. Even working with Hunter for the last few months there was something about her that kept him from trusting her. This switch did nothing to help build trust.

It hadn't been an easy working with Hunter in charge. The conversations in the office between the team had a sense of being scripted to make sure that they didn't give anything away to Hunter that they didn't want her to know. Their truly easy banter felt like a thing of the past and they all hated being careful what came out of their mouths in what should be a safe place, one of the few they all had. Even the teasing earlier with Deeks had been with the intent to make Hunter think she might have someone within the team on her side.


After the explosion at the night club.

Callen waited where the waves came to an end and the sand was still dry. He felt Kensi's presense first before she'd even touched him. She stopped next to him, her shoulder just brushing his. Then he heard Sam and Deeks' voices, getting progressively louder.

Callen and Kensi turned around.

"You sure you are all good?" Callen's gaze rested on Kensi for a touch longer than Sam and Deeks. It was safe to talk. All their phones were back in their respective cars. A moment of freedom, well and truly needed after the day they'd had.

"Just a few scrapes," Kensi assured him. Sam and Deeks nodded.

"Well, that was an interesting day," Deeks said. "I wonder what she thought of us?"

"Let's hope it was enough to prove how bad this idea was," Callen said.

"Hey," Kensi protested slightly. "Was it really that bad being partnered with me?"

Callen smiled and pulled her close. "Look away boys," he said before he caught her mouth with his. He ignored Deeks' comments and the sound of Sam slapping Deeks on the back at the gagging sound Callen was sure came from Deeks. When they broke off the kiss, Callen continued to hold her close. "I've been wanting to do that all day."

"Me too," Kensi said quietly.

"So," Callen turned to Sam and Deeks. "What did you two do to make Hunter's day more interesting?"

"Let Deeks think he's the Alpha male. But only think."

"I'm sure she enjoyed our witty repartee," Deeks added. Sam shook his head but Callen noticed the smile his partner, the real one, was hiding.

"You?" Deeks asked.

"Apparently my driving gives Callen motion sickness," Kensi told them. Deeks tried to hide a laugh under a cough. Kensi rolled her eyes. "Along with a nice getting to know you conversation that failed miserably or perhaps," Kensi grinned at Callen, "it was successful." Because there was no way that after all the time they'd been working together, and she didn't include the personal relationship in that time, that they didn't know each other well enough to carry on a conversation about things other than work.

"And apparently you don't know what my favourite food is." Callen raised an eyebrow. "You do right?"

"Of course I do. But I don't think you want me telling you what it is company do you?"

Deeks made a sound and Kensi smiled. With a wink at Callen she added, "But just so you know, I'll pick some on the way home and you can enjoy it later."

Callen turned back to Deeks and Sam, pulled his mind from later and sighed.

"Today did not go well," Callen said. "We should've been with our own partners. It's the way we work best. Damn if I can figure out why she did this. I won't let her do it again."

"Agreed," Sam said. "How do we convince her though?"

"I don't know yet," Callen replied. "But we'd better get back." Sam and Deeks turned to leave but Callen tugged Kensi back into his arms.

"One more for the road?"

Kensi smiled. "Enough to last until dinner?"

Callen grinned. "Dessert comes first tonight." His lips covered hers and this time there were no comments breaking through their enjoyment of their kiss.


Later that night:

Callen walked through his front door his mind, and emotions, still a mess after his conversation with Hetty.

"Where have you been?" There was concern in Kensi's voice. "I thought we were having des-" Kensi's words were cut off when Callen turned his head and looked at her.

"What's wrong?" Suddenly Kensi was there in front of him. "Callen?"

Callen felt a tear fall from one of his eyes. He was surprised it wasn't more. "Her name was Clara."

Kensi put her arms around him. She didn't seem to care that he was sweaty from the pounding he'd delivered to the punching bag. By the time his muscles were shaking in protest of his actions he'd just wanted to find Kensi. He didn't want to be alone anymore, so he'd skipped a shower and headed straight to his car.

"My mother's name was Clara," Callen whispered.

Callen felt his body start to shake, exhaustion and the emotional toll showing through. Kensi's arms tightened around him and he felt that little bit stronger because of it - because of her.


A/N I do hope you've enjoyed this final chapter from the show and hope you enjoy the conclusion when it arrives short. The conclusion would definitely be considered AU and doesn't follow any more of the show.

Thanks for sticking with it.