The Grimm Family Home on base was stuffed full to the seams.
Daryl and Carol lived in New York now, content to leave the tainted memories of Georgia behind them. Little Sophia Peletier was adorable and had practically squealed when the couple had announced their intention to marry, and for Daryl to adopt the 12 year old. When everything was over, the three had relocated back to Will and Marina's home to lend support to the fractured members of their unlikely family.
As an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. – and a Grimm by adoption – Sam had been recalled as soon as Clint had gone missing. Jules had refused to come out to New York after the Chitauri Crisis was over, and Marina could feel her heart hardening slightly at the hurt on her son's face as a result. Thank God for Rene; the younger brother was a godsend in distracting his hero from any troubling thoughts.
After the crisis was over, Clint had run. It had taken Marina a week to locate him and drag him back into the fold. Even though he was now home, it was painfully clear to all her cheerful child was irrevocably shattered. He jumped at shadows, and all but avoided his lovers. Both Darcy and Bucky were trying to be as supportive as possible, but it was clear there were cracks between them and they were widening with every passing day.
Jason and Casey had moved back into the house to take some of the load off of Marina as her partner recuperated. Not that it made much of a difference; Jason had been running suicide shifts, trying to get the helicarrier back up in the air. Loyal and protective, Casey was a constant fixture at his side, pushing food when he forgot to eat, water when he needed it and prodding him home to rest when he started dropping off over the consoles.
Brian and Natasha had flown to Russia almost as soon as the dust had settled. A infant was living in an orphanage in Moscow, waiting to become a Grimm. Marina couldn't wait to meet her new niece. Even still, the two would be out of communication for awhile until the paperwork was done and the adoption finalized.
Their family's resident “Doctors Three” were all elbows deep in a project with Bruce Banner. With their combined disciplines, in combination with Banner's knowledge of Gamma radiation and the Hulk himself, they were all hopeful there was something they could do to give the scientist a little more control over “The Other Guy.” As a result, Aaron and Doyle spent a lot of time at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s labs, while Catherine checked in around shifts at her precinct.
As for her lover . . . Will was still recovering. It had been a long three weeks since he'd been shot, and though he was moving around much easier, he was not at a hundred percent yet. There was deep tissue damage as a result of the through and through, and sometimes when he moved in just the wrong way, pain would flare up his side like lightning. Marina had managed to keep him restricted either to their bed or the couch as much as possible, with the more than able help of their irresistible twin daughters.
Jim and Nika had locked themselves in their tiny quarters on base, and no one had seen them in almost three weeks. They had either been engaged in marathon sex or they were dead; as their grocery service was still running, most people were betting on the former. Vika Coulson was a constant fixture at her husband's bedside as he healed. While Loki's scepter had done considerable damage, Phil would thankfully heal. Their son, Yasha, had been installed in the twins' room for the time being and no one was entirely sure when that would change.
If there was one thing to be thankful for, it was the teenagers. Rene had his brother well in hand, with the able-bodied help of Inari Todd; the Fuchsbau teenager adored Marina's Sammy and the feeling was more than mutual. Inari's boyfriend, Sam Winchester, was off with his elder brother to meet up with their father, John, while the two were off school for the summer and there was a lull in John's current caseload. As for Vincent and Catherine's adopted daughter, Dacia Liekos; she had taken over the responsibility of nanny for the younger children while Coulson was in recovery . . . Vika had enough to worry about.
Either way, it was apparent they all needed a break.
By the time she climbed into bed with her lover that night, everything had been arranged. She settled into Will's side, her nose pressing into the skin of his ribcage as she reveled in the pounding of his heart against her forehead. Warm, calloused fingers smoothed through the strands of her hair as her Colonel breathed, “I missed you.”
“I was just downstairs,” she laughed, head tilting back to look up at him with a soft smile.
The smile he gifted her with was genuine as he winked, “I can think of better things to be doing, while I'm stuck in bed, Marishka.”
“Vincent said no strenuous activity, Mishka . . . means no sex. The last thing I want is for those stitches to tear,” she scolded in protest, giving him an adorable pout.
He grinned at his longtime partner, using his grip on her hair to tilt her head back for a long, passionate kiss. When at last he released her, Marina was breathing hard and more than willing to forget everything she had just said. “I'm fine. I want you.”
“Misha . . .” she groaned, melting into him as he smoothed rough fingertips over the juncture of her jaw. “Play fair.”
“No such thing as fair in love, samaya malen'kaya.”
Girding herself against him, she forced herself to roll off the bed and onto her feet. “I'm serious, Will. I refuse to do anything to set back your recovery. As soon as you're at 100% again, we'll have as much sex as we can manage. For right now, I just want you to get better. Okay?”
There was a small smile lurking in one corner of his mouth as he sighed in reluctant agreement. “I'm going to hold you to that.”
Snorting, she laughed, “I know.”
Climbing back into the bed, she settled against him once more. For a long time the two were silent, before at last Will asked, “So what did you do today?”
“Made a few arrangements. We are taking a vacation,” she announced with a grin. “I think it's time this family met Zash.”
“Zash?” Will asked, before the nickname clicked. “Nevermind, I remember. Your newest acquisition.”
“Seriously? You make my boys sound like some kind of priceless artifact or something.”
“Aren't they?” he teased, with a smile and a cocked eyebrow.
Blushing, she pinched the inside of his thigh sharply. “That is entirely not the point.”
Isaak Sidorov was an asshole.
It was because of him Martin Alexander Deeks had been having a shitty couple of weeks. First there was a slew of surgeries to replace the teeth the asshole had drilled out. Debilitating depression had kept him chained to his couch, staring into space and avoiding phone calls from even those he loved the best. Of course, last but not least, were the nightmares. They kept him awake at all hours of the night, bringing back memories he had hoped were dead and buried. For awhile after he hadn't been able to remember the last time he'd slept, and – considering everything – he hadn't been sure when, if ever, he would feel comfortable sleeping again.
He wasn't going to lie. Marina Petrovka had been a godsend immediately following his torture. When the badass assassin and her equally murderous sisters had rushed in to rescue him, there had been a part of him utterly in awe of her while the rest of him had just been relieved. He would never understand her interest in him – he hadn't been kidding when he'd told her he could count the number of people who liked him on one hand – but he could not deny how much safer he had felt knowing she was asleep on the couch in his living room. Knowing no matter who he woke as, Marina was more than capable of taking care of herself and putting him on his back.
Then Kensi had happened. His Kensalina . . . his Fern . . . his best friend and partner and Thing. She had shown up one night, while Marina was out checking in with her own team, with Yummy Yummy Heart Attack and a very VERY old cronut. He had listened to the sound of her happy, familiar voice, and had fallen to sleep easily for the first time since Sidorov. When Marina had had to leave the following day due to a family emergency, Marty hadn't really been worried to see her go. He knew with Kensi by his side . . . everything was going to be okay.
So here he was, five weeks since Sidorov. He was back to work, back to being Kensi's partner, and back to kicking ass . . . if Kensi wasn't kicking asses first. His nightmares were much rarer now, and he had actually slept the whole night through for the fifth time in a row the night before. It was gonna be a good day.
Of course, it was about then the phone rang. Rounding on it, he glared at it suspiciously for a moment, before picking it up off the table. The smiling picture of Marina flashing on his screen earned a small smile, as he swiped his thumb and lifted the phone to his ear. “Hiya, Hot Mama! What's shaking?”
There was fondness in her tone as she laughed. “Oh Zash . . . it's good to hear you're feeling better. Kensi taking good care of you?”
“Yes ma'am. The best care . . . well, except for the not naked part. Naked care would be the best,” he rambled, hoping to fluster her a little bit.
Instead she only laughed, insisting, “I bet she'd probably be all for it, if you asked her.”
“Ha! Shows what you know. If I asked her, she'd manhandle me . . . and not in a fun way.” Heading into the kitchen, he poured himself a glass of water from the tap as he inquired, “So not that I don't love to hear from you, Marina, but what's the sitch?”
“My boys, my lover and I could use a break. So a bunch of us are thinking of coming to Los Angeles for a few days, maybe a week.”
“How many is a bunch? Because my apartment . . . not a crash pad for the few or the many.”
“No, that has been covered. We're staying at the Hilton in downtown. I was hoping you could take a day or two off? My boy, Clint . . . he could use a fun and uncomplicated friend. I was hoping you'd teach him how to surf . . . just be yourself.”
“What's wrong with him?”
“It's classified. What I can tell you is he's hurting, and I am at wit's end.”
Biting down on his lower lip, Deeks considered his upcoming schedule. He and Kensi had been on back to back cases, and as soon as the sting set up for later that day went down, they were due a long “weekend” . . . never mind the fact it was the middle of the week. “When are you going to be here?”
“Fury is graciously allowing us the use of a 'Jet, which will be touching down at LAX sometime this evening.”
“Assuming the op today goes the way we want it to, Kensi and I should be off for at least a few days. I can't promise anymore time off, but yeah . . . I can teach the kid.”
Marina chuckled, the sound of her eyes rolling audible through the phone. “Clint is older than you, Zash.”
“Whatever,” was the negligent reply, Deeks flapping his hand through the air as though to brush the statement away. “A fun and uncomplicated friend, at your service.”
“If you can make him smile again, Zashchitnik, you will be my hero,” she insisted, her tone dripping with hesitant hope and reluctant relief. “I'll see you tonight.”
“See ya tonight, Hot Mama.” There was a moment, before Deeks blurting, “Wait!”
Marina sounded startled as she asked, “What? What's wrong?”
A sheepish blush crept across his face as the detective inquired, “Is Sam coming?”
“Yes . . . there's a lot going on there, but it's not my story to tell.”
Seriousness crept over the blond's face at the saddened answer, a frown pulling at his mouth as he asked, “Is he okay?”
“Physically, yes. Emotionally . . . he could probably use a fun and uncomplicated friend too, Zash.”
“I can do that,” he promised, before glancing at his watch. “We'll see you tonight then.”
“Sounds good. Good luck on your op today. Do me a favor? Don't break a leg.”
“You got it!” he laughed in agreement, before the woman said a quick, “Bye,” and the line went dead. Looking down at the phone, he smirked. “Well . . . this could be an interesting few days.”
Later that night, Deeks was waiting at the airport with a big sign in his hands. It was huge, neon and, in bright pink block letters, it read, “HOT Mama!!” Emphasis required.
At the sight of the sign, Marina buried her sudden fit of laughter into Valentina's dark hair. Surprised by the reaction, Will looked around for a moment before catching sight of the sign. Yekaterina giggled at the face he pulled, before the Colonel tugged his lover a little closer, pressing a kiss to her temple over their daughters' heads. “Let me guess, that is Zash.”
“Misha, my love . . . meet Martin A. Deeks, detective with the LAPD and liaison for the NCIS team here in LA,” she laughed, still chuckling at the bright grin gracing Deeks' face. “Deeks, this is my family. My partner, Will Grimm; his brothers, Jason and Clint; Jason's wife Casey; their daughter Nadya; and . . .” here she faltered, glancing between the family's Trio. Clint was standing on almost the other side of the two, practically hiding behind his older brother, while the other two members of the Trio were all but clinging to each other for support. Finally giving it up as a bad job, she sighed, “. . . this is Bucky and Darcy.” Reaching out to grab her younger son's shoulders, she hauled him forward, “This is our son Rene and our little princesses, Valya and Katenka. Of course you already know my son, Sam.”
Deeks's eyes went a little flat at his friend's exhausted features and the dark black bags under his eyes, though to his credit the wide grin never faltered. “Sam! Dude!” Here there was a pause as the two men exchanged a quick hug, before the detective pushed the younger blond back a step. “Dude, you look like shit.”
Sam's lips tilted into a small smile as he snarked dryly, “Thanks Deeks. Really, man . . . you're a pal.”
Throwing his arm over Sam's shoulders, Deeks turned back to take in the family. No one missed the moment he noticed the undeniable fact the three brothers were identical. Leaning towards Sam with his eyes fixed on their faces, he asked in a stage whisper, “Am I seeing mirrors?”
Sam chuckled, punching the detective lightly in the ribs and causing an exaggerated huff of air. “You'll get used to it.”
“Are you sure? Because there is a lot of hotness is going on in this family.”
“I'm telling Kensi on you.”
“You wouldn't dare!” Deeks protested in mock horror, before snorting. “Besides, she wouldn't care anyway.”
Marina's response was sotto voce in her lover's ear. “That's what he thinks. If the woman isn't in love with him, I will never meddle in another match for the rest of my life.”
The Colonel lifted the hand he held to his lips and pressed a kiss to the back. “I'll believe it when I see it.”
“You hush,” she scolded softly, going up on tiptoe to kiss the bottom of his jaw.
Deeks shook Sam lightly as he announced, “Sam and I are gonna go get loaded. As for the rest of you, I was thinking we could have a beach day tomorrow.”
His Russian was not the only one who noticed how the Colonel stiffened beside her. Deeks cocked an eyebrow, blue eyes sweeping the older man from head to toe. “Dude, you're hot. Embrace it.”
Will said nothing in reply, however it wasn't hard to see the amused smile on his lips did not match the stony look in his eyes. Nodding once to acknowledge the words, and the compliment, the man insisted, “I'll just wear a shirt.”
Looking up at him with concern, Marina traced her fingers along one of the most prominent scars on his back. She had touched and kissed and loved each of them so many times, there was practically a roadmap of them in her mind. “Misha . . . we don't have to go to the beach.”
“The girls love the beach. I'll be fine . . . I just have to wear a shirt.”
The couple stared at each other for a long second, before at last the S.H.I.E.L.D. handler nodded in agreement. Turning back to Deeks, she could see the calculating look in his eyes. His team was pretty hard on him, but Deeks had keen observation skills which rivaled those of her boys. She gifted him with a bright grin as she all but chirped, “Which beach?”
“I'll check out the weather reports in the morning, find out where the best waves are. Then I'll let you know.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Moving to hug Sam, she kissed his cheek warmly. “You should take your bag with you. That way you don't have to try to come back to the hotel if you're knackered.”
There was amusement in those eerie blue eyes as her son teased, “Is this your backhanded way of giving me permission to get drunk?”
Her only answer was a quick wink, before she turned away once more. Accepting Will's offered hand, the two moved easily through the crowd, before vanishing without warning. Deeks blinked at the last place he'd seen them, going up on tiptoes to scan the area. It was quickly apparent they were nowhere to be found. Dropping onto his heels, he turned to Sam and breathed, “Your parents are hella scary.”
“Welcome to my world.”
The next morning, the present Grimms shoved up to Venice Beach early. Sam and Deeks were both seated on the beach, cups of coffee standing in the sand between their feet and sunglasses hiding their eyes from the sun. Marina grinned, each hand holding on to one of the twins', as she called in a louder voice than was strictly necessary. “Had fun last night, huh?”
“Ma! Volume,” Sam groaned, ducking his head into his knees for a moment.
There was a wicked tinge to Will's grin as he crouched next to his two year old daughters. “Get 'im, girls.”
Instantly there were squeals as both Valya and Katenka launched themselves at their eldest brother, laughing in their high, girlish voices. Sam grunted as they hit him in the left side, knocking all of them head over heals into the sand. Their tiny hands moved like fire over his skin, finding the ticklish places on his sides and chest, causing him to curl up and giggle under them. “I give up!” he called, laughing, “I surrender!”
Sitting back on their heels, the two girls laughed along as he lay on his back in the sand trying to catch his breath. After a moment, Sam roared and lunged at them, rolling them under him and then going limp to pin them into the sand. “Mmm . . . pillows,” he purred, causing his sisters to immediately protest.
Valya pushed at him insisting, “Not pillow, Sammy!”
“Pillows don't talk, Valya,” was Sam's only response, burying his nose into her neck and making her squeal with laughter.
“Mama!” Katenka squealed, grabbing for her chuckling mother where she stood laughing a little ways off. “Help!”
“Sammy-honey . . . get off your sisters.”
Blowing raspberries against each of their necks, Sam rolled to his feet and offered each of them a hand. Turning to look at Marina, he reached out to hug her warmly, earning laughter as he swung her up and around. He dropped her on her feet with a warm kiss to the cheek, insisting, “Thanks Ma.”
“I'm glad you're feeling better, Sammichka. All that matters to me.”
“So are the midgets ready? Sunscreen?”
“We knew they wouldn't be able to sit still once we got here, so all of that was done back at the hotel. They are all set to play.”
“Awesome,” he growled.
With a playful roar, Sam rounded on his sisters and lunged. Both girls squealed dashing away in opposite directions. Katenka shrieked as the blond constable managed to get an arm around her waist before she could get out of reach, giggling as he tossed her over his shoulder. “Sack of flour! Sack of flour!” Sam singsonged as he bounced on his toes, eyes watching Valya as she looked for an opportunity to rush in and rescue her twin.
It was all of five seconds later before Sam had both of his sisters over his shoulders and was striding purposefully towards the ocean. Seeming to know what was going to happen, the twins started protesting through their girlish giggles. Marina shook her head in amusement, even as she shouted, “You hold on to them, Sam!”
“Yes Ma!” was all he said, before he flung the three of them into the ocean and submerged them all for a second.
As soon as the girls emerged, still braced on top of his shoulders with his arms wrapped around their waists, they both shrieked indignantly, “Sammy! No fair!”
Marina placed one hand on Deek's arm as the detective pushed himself out of the sand. “Thank you, Zash.”
“He just needed someone to listen to him rant. I've never met Jules; I have no expectations or thoughts on the matter.” Leaning over, he hugged her quickly, before turning to look at the youngest Grimm. “You ever surfed before?”
Gray eyes began to glitter with interest for the first time in weeks, causing a sharp surge of hope in Marina's heart. “No . . . but I'd love to learn.”
Deeks twisted to look at the other brothers, inquiring, “Any other takers?”
Will shook his head with a small smile, while Jason chimed in, “Not a chance in hell. I am a tech; I trip while standing still.”
Casey chuckled as she lifted her twelve month old Nadya out of her stroller. “I wish there was an argument to that, but he is not wrong.”
“Haha . . . you're hilarious,” the technical specialist drawled, snatching his wife around the waist and hauling her into him for a raspberry to her neck. Clapping her hands happily, Nadya laughed at the look on her mother's face. “Again! Again!”
Casey looked down at her daughter, features set in an expression of mock horror. “Little traitor,” she teased, rubbing noses with the toddler. Then, straightening sharply, she shook her finger at her husband. “Don't you dare.”
“I wasn't gonna do anything! I was just gonna kiss you . . . and if I happened to nibble on that delectable neck of yours? Who could blame me?”
“I could. Keep your hands to yourself.”
Will chuckled, shucking off his overshirt as he teased his brother. “Busted.”
Jason cocked an eyebrow at the dark gray muscle tank his older brother wore over his black board shorts. The scars were common knowledge in the family; Will didn't usually wear a shirt while they were out at the beach back at home. “I hear monochrome is in this year, you know.”
Bending, the Colonel scooped up a handful of sand and chucked it at his brother. “Shut up.”
Jason laughed, dodging the sand as he teased, “Make me.”
Marina sighed, “Oh dear,” before the two brothers were off, dashing towards where Sam and the twins were still playing in the water. If she burst into laughter when Will dunked Jason under the water, grinding his face into the sand, at least she wasn't the only one.
Chuckling, Marina turned to look at her youngest charge. “Have fun, dorogoy.”
There was a twitch at the corner of his mouth, though it never fully became a smile. “I will.”
Her fingers twitched, aching to reach out to him even as she forced herself to stay still. Clint and Deeks turned away, heading toward the surfboards laying out on the sand. Almost as soon as they had turned away, Darcy was at her side, the two women linking fingers as they watched Clint walk away. Twisting to look at the younger woman, Marina felt her heart break at the devastated look on her face. “Oh malyutka,” she breathed, wrapping her arms around the girl and letting her break down. “He's gonna be okay . . . this is gonna work. I know it is.”
“He's back but he's not home . . . not really,” the intern whimpered, burying her face in the other woman's chest. “I just want him to come home to us.”
“He will . . . I know he will,” she promised, stroking her fingers through her hair gently.
Several hours later, the twins were sprawled out next to their father on a blanket in the sand, all three completely conked out. Will had his head in Marina's lap, and she kept glancing down to make sure he was still sleeping. The girls, Sam and Jason had kept her Colonel on the run all day. Considering the fact he was still healing, when Marina had proposed nap time for the girls, Will had been more than willing to offer himself up as their pillow. To be fair, he had managed to keep himself awake for a little while but eventually he was out.
Everyone else was eating lunch, chatting happily as they watched Deeks teach Clint to surf. Although to be fair, at this point, everyone was pretty well convinced there was actually no more teaching being done. Bucky was leaning back on his elbows next to Darcy, a small smile on his face as he watch Clint giggle as he once again fell off the board and into the waves. “I can't tell. Is Deeks flirting with Clint or not?”
There were relieved tears in Darcy's eyes as she snorted. “I don't even care if they end up fucking each other. Clint is smiling! He hasn't smiled like that since Loki.”
Marina stayed quiet as the two talked about their third. She knew better than anyone; Deeks was utterly besotted with Agent Kensi Blye nor would Clint ever do anything to hurt either of his lovers. But to know Bucky and Darcy were willing to do anything to make Clint smile again was wonderful to hear. So when the two climbed from the water and Deeks started demonstrating a dramatic hip thrust to the accompaniment of Clint's laughter, she only sipped from her water and said nothing about what was truly going on.
Twisting at a call of her name, Marina grinned at the woman approaching then. Speak of the devil, and she shall appear. “Agent Blye! I was hoping you would be able to join us.”
“Yeah, sorry I'm late. I was in desperate need of clean clothes,” she laughed, coming over and taking a seat near the edge of the blanket between Sam and Marina.
There was a wide grin on her face as she accepted a wrapped sandwich from the Russian, before looking out towards Deeks. There was a fierce frown on her face at the sight of Deeks flirting, prompting her first bite to be a little more vicious than usual. Marina chuckled at the jealousy on her face, looking down at her sleeping lover to hide the amused grin on her face.
Soon enough, Deeks had noticed the arrival of his partner and the two moved to rejoin the group. As soon as the twsome was in earshot, she turned to Sam and tossed her hair seductively, all but purring, “So? Are you single?”
Seeming to understand what she was doing, Sam gave her a slow grin. “I might be. Are you?”
Her look was very serious as she glared at Deeks, before announcing, “Very.”
Deeks grabbed for his chest as he plopped down next to Kensi. Running his hands through his hair in a frazzled way, he pleaded dramatically, “Fern! My Fern! Don't be this way!
Cocking an eyebrow, Kensi snarked, “Now who's presenting their armpits?”
“Oh I am,” he agreed amicably. Turning his head, he took a deep breath and sighed as though it was the scent of roses. “Deeks and seawater. You know you love it.”
“Like a hole in the head. You seem to be getting pretty cozy out there.”
“You know my heart can only belong to you,” he smarmed, batting his eyelashes at her and giving her a cheesy grin.
Unfortunately for Deeks, Kensi was not in the mood for his typical flirtations. “Uh-huh. I can see that,” she mocked cocking an eyebrow at him.
The Russian snorted at the stumped look on Deeks' face. Turning to her at the sound, he asked, “What am I missing?”
“There's speculation you and Clint are probably going to be fucking here soon.”
Clint's eyes went wide at the statement. Looking over at his lovers, he bit down on his lip for a moment before some light bulb seemed to go off behind his eyes. Coming to stand in front of Darcy, he dropped to his knees at her feet, reached out with tender hands for her face and drew her in to a kiss. The intern fumbled for a moment, surprised at the gesture. Once it registered, she moaned and dove into the kiss, her fingers lacing through his hair and locking him to her. When at last he broke away for breath, he nuzzled against her as he breathed, “I love you, peresmeshnika.”
Will's voice was dry and amused from Marina's lap as he insisted, “About damned time.”
Meanwhile, Deeks' mouth was moving in shock. “Okay, guys, I'm straight. One hundred percent, Grade A+, I like women, straight. I am too straight to be gay. I could be sucking a knob and still be straight. I could be sucking a knob, and have two in each hand and still win a straight award.”
Sam's grin was wicked as he teased, “You sure about that? You and Uncle Clint were looking kinda romantic out there.”
“I was talking about my pits!” he cried in horror, “How can sweaty pits be romantic!?”
“It's all a matter of perception, Zash. People see what they want to see. Why do you think so many people watch soap operas? And ship celebrities?”
Scowling slightly, Deeks huffed for a moment, before shaking it off. Even if his Fern was irritated with him right now, it rarely lasted very long. “Whatever. So Marina . . . what does the family do for fun anyway?”
Casey groaned then as though she was dying, prompting an actual giggle from her husband. “Oh God . . . you had to ask.”
Deek's eyes were huge as he trailed behind the family into the bar. “Okay, this is the last thing I would have expected.”
The female NCIS agent laughed as she agreed, “What do badass international spies do on their days off? Why they go karaoke, of course.”
Green eyes were sparkling as Jason shrugged lazily, his coat slipping down his arms. “Karaoke is fun . . . it's lazy . . .”
“And best of all, no international crises to manage,” Marina singsonged with a grin, sinking into a chair with a sigh. “Karaoke is bliss.”
Will chuckled, pressing a kiss to her hair. “Well, it's as close to bliss as Grimms will ever get anyway.”
Deeks watched as the Colonel took the chair to Marina's left. The only indication either made they were together, was the arm Will slung over the back of his lover's chair. Sam sat on the other side of Marina, slouched backwards and bobbing his head along to the music playing through the speakers. Jason dug what looked like an MP3 player out of a pocket and went to go talk to the DJ. Darcy claimed her spot on Clint's knee as soon as he took his own chair, Bucky taking the chair to Clint's left. Clint linked fingers with his boyfriend, lifting the back to his lips for a sweet kiss. Kensi wandered off to the bar and Casey slumped in her chair, forehead resting on her arms as though she was dying.
Finally, Deeks rounded on Marina. “So Hot Mama. Wanna sing Sonny and Cher with me?”
The entire table burst into laughter. Deeks blinked in surprise, turning to Sam in confusion. “What did I say?”
Will flagged down a waitress and ordered a bottle of whiskey and a glass, before answering. “There are rules to karaoke, Deeks.”
“Rules? To karaoke!? You get up and sing! Why do you want to complicate things?”
“Oh Deeks, this isn't karaoke,” Darcy giggled, leaning back into Clint as the sniper ordered the both of them drinks from the waitress.
Sam leaned forward on his folded arms, chiming in next, “This is War.”
Kensi was striding towards the table, freezing at the statement as she echoed faintly, “War?”
The family tech arrived back at the table, spinning his chair and straddling the back next to Casey. “Welcome to Karaoke Wars, Brothers Grimm style.”
“Rule 1: unless your name is Will Grimm, you sing. No exceptions,” Bucky announced, after ordering a vodka shooter.
Marina grinned, continuing, “Rule 2: it is mandatory to stay within the theme of the night. Since this is your first time, we'll just make it a free for all.”
“Rule 3: nothing unnecessarily X-rated. Iggy's back home is a family establishment, so nothing you wouldn't want your own children to see,” Jason insisted.
“Rule 4: majority rules, unless it's a birthday, at which point. The birthday boy . . .”
Marina piped up then, interrupting Clint with a smirk, “Or girl!”
Nodding to concede that alteration, the archer concluded, “Or girl decides the theme.”
“Rule 5: the audience chooses the winner, and audience participation is definitely encouraged.”
Will leaned forward, a grin on his face as he spoke up, “And last, but most definitely not least, Rule 6: Marina always goes last.”
The two partners glanced at each other in confusion, before Kensi asked curiously, “Why?”
The entire table chimed in at the same time, “You'll see.”
There was a pause, before Jason questioned, “Who's first?”
Casey bolted to her feet immediately, “Me.”
The communications officer smirked as he teased, “Another rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, my love?”
There was a very sweet, and frankly very terrifying, smile on her face as she purred, “You'll see.”
Heading over to the DJ, she made her request and then took her place at the microphone. “So this song is dedicated to my husband's utterly luscious and sinfully delectable ass.”
Jason choked on his beer, jaw dropping as he stared at his fiery redhead. She gave him a sugary sweet smile as she continued, “Maybe this will teach him not to make me sing at karaoke with his freakishly talented family. Ever. Again.”
The entire family was laughing as they shouted back to her, “See Rule One!”
“Shit!” she replied, just as Meghan Trainor's “All About That Bass” came through the speakers. It was quickly apparent, Casey was not a singer. But what she lacked in singing ability, she made up for in sheer bravado and comedic chops. Before long, Jason was laughing so hard he fell out of his chair and onto the floor. The entire place was cheering her on and she took a much deserved bow when it was over.
Handing off the mike, Casey practically flounced back to their table, crouching next to her wheezing hubby. “So? How'd I do?”
Jason was starry-eyed as he stared up at her in awe. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” she laughed, sprawling out on top of him to press a hot kiss to his mouth. “Now get up off the floor, you idiot. It's disgusting.”
“I guess I'm up,” Bucky insisted, pushing up from his chair and brushing off the seat of his jeans. Bending, he pressed a warm kiss to both Darcy and Clint's lips, lingering for an extra second with his boyfriend. Both were blushing when the intern catcalled them, her eyes sparkling and happy once again. “I expect full participation.”
“Always,” Darcy purred, grinning up at him.
Deeks waited until he was out of earshot before he questioned, “Participation?”
Will chuckled as he sipped on his Glenlivet. “Bucky loves to put on a show. And those two are his worst enablers.”
To their credit, neither of the two protested this accusation at all. Bucky got up behind the mike and announced, “So guys, I need some audience participation for this song.” At which point, the title to Chuck Berry's defining anthem, “My Ding-A-Ling”, appeared on the monitor. The entire crowd went wild. Clint and Darcy were probably the loudest in the audience, though there wasn't a single silent voice as Bucky joked his way through the double entendre set to music.
By the time Kensi got up to sing Nancy Sinatra's “These Boots Were Made for Walking”, Deeks could understand why the Grimms called this a war. They all cheered each other on, but there was definitely a rivalry happening. Of course, then Kensi jabbed a finger in his direction as she sang, “These boots were made for walking . . . and one of these days, these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
Marina smirked as she teased around her vodka, “What did you do?”
“I have no idea, but whatever it was . . . clearly I am in so much trouble.”
Clint smirked, joking, “May I suggest diamonds?” Dodging the handful of pretzels his older brother threw at his head, he teased, “It always seems to work for Will.”
Most of the night was a whirlwind. The bar had a piano for their open mike nights, allowing Jason to get up and shock the entire place with a self-accompanied rendition of “Walking In Memphis”. Sam got up and performed a stirring rendition of “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, with Clint offering his acoustic skills and back ground vocals. Clint performed “The Come Back Song” by Darius Rucker, sending Darcy into a fit of teary laughter. He hadn't even finished, before she leaped up onto the stage, grabbed him by the ears and hauled him down into an enthusiastic kiss. Truth be told, it was probably the kiss which tilted the scales firmly in Clint's favor; apparently, really drunk people got a huge kick out of begging, penitent boyfriends and ardent reunions doubling as scandalous displays of public affection.
Once Clint and Darcy stopped making out on stage, Deeks got up. “My turn . . .”
Will snorted, “This should be good.”
The DJ seemed surprised by Deeks' selection, and the two argued about it for a moment. Finally, the man seemed to give in and nodded. There was a wicked grin on the detective's face as he came to the microphone. Adjusting it for a moment, he leaned in and grinned. “Hello everyone. I would like to dedicate this next song to my Hot Mama.”
Will sighed at the term, cocking an eyebrow at his partner, “Remind me again why he calls you Hot Mama?”
“Because he heard Sammy calling me Ma and thought it was a joke. Being Deeks, he wanted in on the joke. Hence . . . Hot Mama. By the time we finally managed to convince him that, yes, Sam was my son . . . the name wasn't going anywhere.” Pausing for a moment, she finally shrugged indifferently. “It could have been worse.”
“Honestly, I don't know, but it's Deeks. I'll take my chances with Hot Mama.”
Of course, as soon as she'd spoken, “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys rang out through the speakers. Will grinned into his glass as Marina groaned. “You were saying?” he teased, earning a lazy punch to his bicep as she tried to sink out of sight in her chair.
Not that Deeks would let her. He crooned out the first verse, before pointing directly at Marina and belting out the first part of the chorus . . . with one noticeable edit in the lyrics.
“Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to
Bermuda, Bahama, come on my Hot Mama
Key Largo, Montego, Mama why don't we go,
oh I want to take you down to
Kokomo, we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow
That's where we want to go, way down in Kokomo.”
There was no mistaking the blush on her cheeks as she buried her face in her lover's shoulder. “I'm gonna kill him.”
Jason grinned as he hummed into his beer. “Or . . . you could just destroy him like you do the rest of us.”
“Challenge accepted,” she growled, an adorable pout on her face as she pulled the lapel of Will's coat over her head.
There was no mistaking the glee on Deek's face as he bounded back to the table, grinning at her. “So? How'd I do?”
“I'm gonna kill you.”
“But Hot Mama! You love me! I just sang to you!”
“Uh-huh. Hence, why I'm gonna kill you.”
Darcy grinned, as she pressed a brief peck to Clint's lips. “So I guess it's my turn.”
Bucky grinned, “Knock em dead, Doll.”
She shot him a sassy wink and a kiss, before skipping up the stairs. Marina chortled at the way the girl worked her lovers. No one could ever claim Darcy was oblivious to the way they watched her hips sway as she sashayed off. Smirking into her glass, she teased, “You're catching flies, Tovrets.”
Jaw clicking shut, Bucky glared at his former protege. “You're hilarious.”
“I try,” she laughed with a grin, saluting him with her glass.
Darcy was already laughing as she launched into “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor. Her rough and smoky voice was well suited to the song and both of her boys were whooping and hollering for her. There was a blazing blush on her cheeks, clearly visible though her hair as she sassed her way through the song. As she was starting to wind down, Bucky inquired, “So which one is the future husband?”
“Who cares? Pay attention,” Clint scolded, shooting to his feet and whistling when the song came to an end. Darcy grinned and curtsied, before leaping off the tiny stage and into Clint's arms, her legs coming up around his waist.
Bending, she pressed her mouth to his, before drawling, “Hawkass, you big stud!”
“Yes peresmeshnika?” he asked with a small grin on his face.
“Take me to bed or lose me forever.”
“Show me the way home honey,” Clint quoted, lacing his fingers into her hair and proceeding to kiss the hell out of her. The audience roared at the sight; clearly the couple was still a huge hit.
Deeks twisted to look at the only couple who hadn't yet sung, grinning at the Colonel. “So I guess that means you're up?”
Will smirked over the edge of his glass, as his son shook his head. “Dad doesn't sing.”
“What!? Rule 1!” Kensi protested hotly.
“Yeah, Rule 1: unless your name is Will Grimm, you sing.” Sam reminded them , leaning forward on his elbows. “Dad doesn't sing at karaoke.”
“Why the hell not?” Deeks demanded with wide eyes. “Doesn't seem fair that everyone else has to go and you don't.”
Jason rolled his eyes as he chimed in, “Clearly you've never heard my brother sing.”
Deeks was gearing up to argue when Marina spoke up, “Guys? It's my turn.”
Kensi and Deeks huffed together, before settling back in their chairs. Marina stood from her chair slowly, Will's eyes taking her in. Bending, she pressed a warm, luxurious kiss to his lips, her hands cupping his jaw gently. “Any requests?” she asked, fingertips tracing in a whisper soft caress over the scar along his eyebrow.
Reaching up, he smoothed his thumb along her jaw as he insisted, “Surprise me?”
Her smile was brilliant as she agreed, “I can do that.”
Marina moved to Jason and leaned forward, whispering into his ear. Jason's eyebrows furrowed as he thought, before suddenly he grinned. “Yeah I know that one.”
“Play for me?”
“Hell yes,” he agreed, leaning over to kiss Casey's cheek. “Love you, Case.”
“Love you too, Jay. Have fun.”
The two climbed up on stage, heads bent together as they talked. When at last they split up, Marina moved to the center of the stage. When the DJ came to offer her the microphone, she waved him off and instantly had the entire bar's attention. What kind of person wouldn't want a microphone for karaoke? Deeks was starting to think that he'd been suckered.
Marina's eyes were warm and playful as she turned back to the audience and spoke. “I would like to dedicate this song to the one I would die for. He knows who he is.”
Jason's hands all but flew over the keys as he began to play, Marina's eyes slipping closed as she let the music fill her. And then . . . she began to sing.
“I could drag you from the ocean,
I could pull you from the fire
And when you're standing in the shadows
I could open up the sky
And I could give you my devotion
Until the end of time
And you will never be forgotten
With me by your side
“And I don't need this life
I just need . . .”
Deeks could feel his jaw drop. Her voice was powerful and strong and yearning, and she had the entire room enraptured. She lost herself in the music, her eyes half-lidded and features twisting with emotion. Her hands were open and reaching for something, though what was anyone's guess. And then she looked straight at Will and the song morphed into an anthem of her love for him.
“I've got nothing left to live for
Got no reason yet to die
But when I'm standing in the gallows
I'll be staring at the sky
Because no matter where they take me
Death I will survive
And I will never be forgotten
With you by my side
“Cause I don't need this life
I just need . . .”
Here she took a deep breath and closed her eyes, before throwing every part of her into the lyrics as she belted out the chorus.
“Somebody to die for
Somebody to cry for
When I'm lonely”
There was a musical intermission then, and Marina settled back on her heels, turning her head to watch Jason do his thing on the piano. There was a small smile on her face, her body swaying unconsciously as she listened. Deeks and Kensi looked to each other, both of them in shock at the woman's voice. Casey chuckled, as she took a sip of her beer. “And Marina wins again . . . do we even know what the score is at this point?”
Sam snorted as he knocked back his tequila shot, “I'm pretty sure we're not even counting anymore.”
“When I'm standing in the fire
I will look him in the eye
And I will let the devil know that
I was brave enough to die
And there's no hell that he can show me
That's deeper than my pride
Cause I will never be forgotten
Forever I'll fight
“And I don't need this life
I just need…
“Somebody to die for
Somebody to cry for
When I'm lonely
“And I don't need this life
I just need…
“Somebody to die for
Somebody to cry for
When I'm lonely”
Abruptly the piano stopped, the silence suddenly ringing in the bar. No one moved, every eye in the place riveted to the woman with fierce eyes on the stage. The two lovers had locked away and Deeks was fairly certain that neither had blinked in awhile. Kensi went to clap, but Deeks grabbed onto her hands with a shake of his head. He didn't know how he knew, but it wasn't over yet. Marina stood there for a long moment, just watching Will, before the last stanza came out completely acapella.
“Don't go gentle into that good night
Rage on against the dying light”
The detective gawked for a long moment, watching as the audience erupted into thunderous applause, half of the people in the place on their feet and cheering at the top of their lungs. Rotating in his chair, eyes wide, the man stared at the Colonel and insisted, “That is not FAIR!”
Will only grinned as he agreed, “Welcome to Karaoke Wars, Deeks, where no matter what strategy you employ, in the end the battle is already lost.”
The Family Russian arrived back at the table then, a brilliant smile on her lips. “So? Who won?”
“As if you didn't know!?” Kensi blurted out, staring at her in shock.
“I never assume I won, Agent Blye. Someday, I will probably lose . . . but that day is not today and doesn't look like it'll be tomorrow either.”
Narrowing his eyes at her, Deeks announced, “You better watch out, Hot Mama. One day I will triumph.”
“If Kokomo is the best you can do, Zash, that's not likely.”
“Oh wait . . . just wait. I can put on a show, and that's half the applause right there. You are going down.”
Sam offered his mother his glass of water, and Marina accepted it with a grin, before turning back to the blond. “Stripping has nothing to do with singing, Zashchitnik.”
Blue eyes flashed wide at the statement, hands coming up to ward it off. “Hey! Whoa! Kensi, cover your ears. She is talking nonsense.” Turning back to Marina, he hissed. “That wouldn't happen. More importantly, there is no evidence to support it ever did. Ergo, that statement is nothing more than horrendous slander. You should be ashamed of yourself, Marina! Tsk tsk.”
There was mischief dancing in those hot chocolate eyes as she sipped her water, before she spoke up. “There are pictures, Deeks. There is absolutely evidence. You were quite a hit.”
Jason chimed in then with a laugh, “It was definitely a lot more of you than I had ever wanted to see, Deeks. Trust me, it was scarring for more than just you.”
Kensi lunged forward, all but begging, “Do you have copies?” Deeks rounded on his partner, mouth agape. Pointedly ignoring him, she asked, “Please tell me you know his stage name.”
“Kensi!” Deeks squeaked in shock, shaking his head to force that sound away at the burst of laughter it caused. Waving away the sound, the blond insisted, “You don't need to know that!”
“I do too. And you will never tell me.”
Jason grinned as he watched the interplay between the two, before inquiring, “How much is it worth to you?”
“A lot. And you found his band right? Please say yes.”
“Yeah . . . that was also a lot more than I had ever wanted to see.”
Sam laughed as his friend dropped his head into his hands, chanting, “This is not happening,” under his breath. “This cannot be happening.”
“Welcome to the Brothers Grimm, Marty. Where nothing ever happens the way you think it will.”
Bolting to his feet, Deeks jabbed a finger at Marina. “You're going down, Hot Mama. It is ON.”
“First of all, bring it on. Second of all, how is this my fault? Blame Jason; he's the one conspiring with your partner!”
“I don't know how this is your fault yet, but doesn't change the fact it is.” Dropping back into his chair, he slouched backwards with his arms folded over his chest and petulant pout on his face. And if Kensi and Jason continued to talk about the more embarrassing stunts in his youth . . . he quite frankly chose not to listen.