Pairing: Kate/Gibbs (friendship, subtext romance)
Warnings: major canon character death
The first time he stole her coffee, she'd been too new, too green, and much too much in awe of him to do anything but blink in surprise and snap her mouth shut on whatever choice words she might've been tempted to spit at him. Not that he'd thought about it in too much detail, and only later had it really registered that was the reason for the glares she'd shot his way the rest of the morning. He'd grinned to himself, then. She might not quite have the balls to challenge his right to her caffeine - yet. But she would. Those glares... He knew for sure, then, that he'd made the right decision hiring her.
He also remembered the first time she hinted that maybe he owed her a cup. He'd ignored the implication - to start buying his subordinates coffee could set a dangerous precedent. And also he didn't want to ever have to walk into a coffee shop and order coffee that had a shot of hazelnut in it. Ever. No way.
After that, the times merged together a bit. Occasionally she'd actually buy two cups of coffee, and he caught the satisfaction on her face the first time she got his coffee order absolutely right. His murmur of pleasure had given him away, and she hadn't been able to hide her smile.
She wasn't stupid, obviously - she knew it had to be black. But it took her a while to figure out that there was no such thing as too strong, and that what he really liked was a dark roast that was so bitter and thick it was practically tar. Or at least, that was her opinion of it, judging by the way she wrinkled up her nose whenever she saw him gulping it down with enjoyment.
The first time he bought her coffee, she'd been... taken aback. After almost a year of working with him, she had become less easy to shock, surprise or startle, but turning up at her coffee house with two cups of his own preferred blend had succeeded in all three. The fact that he'd managed to do so pleased him more than he would've admitted even to himself. It was fun seeing Kate off balance - he never knew quite whichway she'd topple, and was quietly impressed that she never seemed to actually fall over.
Buying her coffee had never become a regular occurrence. Something about that morning at DC beans... It had been a bit too enjoyable poking her and prodding her, he'd felt a little too much interest in her personal reactions to their terrorist, as opposed to her profiler's opinion. When she'd gone missing a few hours later, he'd felt a little bit too desperate, too scared, for him to be comfortable repeating any of it, even a little. It was, all told, a nightmare that he had no wish to revisit. One he had no desire to analyse to figure out what had made it such a nightmare.
Just occasionally, out on a case together, they'd need coffee. He always paid. Force of habit. He could no more let her pay for her own coffee than he'd hit her. She'd learned quickly not to protest. But he never ordered for her, never gave any indication of whether he even cared how she took it. Let alone the fact that he was mildly amused by her changing tastes, her increased willingness to drink it without adulteration, her growing frustration with any brew that wasn't strong enough.
She was a good coffee drinking companion, he discovered. The slightly nervous chatter which had characterised their early working relationship had settled down, over the months, and with a cup of coffee in her hand she seemed able to enjoy a comfortable silence with him.
The last time they had coffee together she was on his protective detail, and he hadn't stolen hers. He'd poured a generous measure of his into the almost empty cup she'd been looking at with the kind of sad puppy eyes he usually found annoying rather than irresisistible. Maybe it was because she hadn't been looking at him, or anyone else. Not trying to get her own way, or make them feel sorry for her. In fact, he was pretty sure she'd had no idea she was pulling a face at all, or that anyone else might notice, and her surprised smile had been worth every last drop of caffeine.
She had died, later that day.
There were lots of things he regretted. But he never regretted letting her share his coffee.
Fandom: NCIS LA
A/N: Whenever I watch Neighbourhood Watch I can't help but notice Deeks reaching out for Kensi when he wakes up - I always wonder what happened on mornings when she didn't get up early for a run or he wasn't doing that cute twitchy thing with his nose...
This could be really dangerous.
It's a bit of a "duh" moment, considering that being undercover attempting to snare a Russian sleeper agent and his or her handler is already pretty dangerous, but sharing a bed with Kensi is dangerous in a whole different way.
The first few nights, he managed to sleep, albeit uneasily, without shifting all that much from his side of the bed. Kensi apparently turns into an octopus with no sense of personal space when she sleeps, so he quickly got used to waking up with an elbow in his stomach or a hand randomly in his face or an arm slung across his chest.
Sometime around the fourth or fifth day, it stopped being so weird. He's stopped worrying about staying on his side of the bed, since she never stays on hers, and he's started waking up with her snuggled into his back, or with her head nestled against his shoulder.
It's... really nice. Which is exactly what makes it seriously dangerous. For his mental health. Also, possibly, for his physical wellbeing. This is Kensi Blye, after all. If she gets the wrong idea (or, in fact, the right idea, if he's being entirely honest with himself), she has the ability to slit his jugular eleven different ways without losing her temper.
That's one of those strangely specific threats that's hard to forget. It's probably the certain knowledge that she has a whole bunch of other ways she could kill him, too - that almost a dozen different variations on cutting his throat from the back seat of a car doesn't even scratch the surface of her homicidal options. Deeks may play the fool, but he's an intelligent guy, and he is painfully aware of the risks.
Waking up with her wrapped in his arms, her breath tickling his throat and their legs tangled like spaghetti is nice (scrub that, is absolutely spectacular), but there's a strong possibility that if they're still this entwined when she wakes up, she'll get the wrong idea. Or the right idea, of course. But either way, it has a good chance of making their "thing" even more complicated. For the hundredth time, he tries to convince himself that he wishes Hetty had played safe and sent Kensi undercover with Callen instead. Then there would be no chance of something unintentional or inappropriate happening, of the delicate balance of their partnership being messed up.
Except that the idea of Kensi sharing this bed even with Callen makes Deeks want to pummel something... and right now he wouldn't swap this moment for the world.
She stirs a little, and he closes his eyes, forces his breath to come even and slow. He can't really bring himself to do the wise, sensible thing and rearrange them into a more neutral position, but pretending to be asleep is a compromise. Sorta. Lessens his chance of ritual disembowelment, anyway. He hopes.
He expects her to wake up, to be everso slightly horrified, to slip away and out of bed and pretend this never happened. He doesn't expect a contented sigh, incomprehensible mumbling, and for her to curl in closer, one arm sliding round his waist and over the exposed skin where his t-shirt rode up. He's not at all certain whether she's pretending to be asleep, enjoying the moment like he is, or if she's still half in dreamland and hasn't yet realised that the warm body she's clinging on to is her partner, not a boyfriend or a fiancé. Either way, it's kinda hard to worry.
Sometimes life can really surprise you. This morning, he finds, he's really OK with that. He brushes a strand of hair back from her face, and wraps his arms a little closer round her. Whatever this is, it's good. And maybe complicated isn't such a bad thing after all.