Pairing: Kensi Blye/Marty Deeks
[Sam and Callen hug each other]
Deeks: You ever think we're gonna be that happy?
Kensi: Just not together.
2x15 "Tin Soldiers"
Kensi Blye and Marty Deeks did not chose to be partners. In fact, they were pretty strongly opposed to the idea. They spend the beginning of their partnership bickering, butting heads and generally getting on each other's nerves.
The reason they don't get along? They're fundamentally different in the way they were trained, the way they work, and the way they were raised. Their styles clash, their personalities clash, and they can't seem to find a common ground (or maybe are just unwilling to try).
Kensi's a Very Serious Agent with all the training and knowledge to back it up. She took all the required courses and then some. Kensi excels in forensics, lip-reading and is fluent in at least four languages. Need someone to pretend to be a hacker? No problem. She has "proficiencies in IPSEC architecture, kerberos, and plutoplus with the FBI." Basically, throw her into any situation and she's taken the class that preps her for it. And if her occupational training wasn't enough, she's been training to be Jason Bourne since she was a pre-teen. Her Marine father taught her to "track, shoot, fix an engine, wire a house, and basically anything you'd teach a son."
Deeks, on the other hand, is an LAPD detective. The few months he spent at the Academy aren't comparable to Kensi's years of studies. But in the end, that doesn't make him any less skilled as an operative.
Hetty: At a routine Agent Readiness audit, you were found to be woefully behind the rest of the team in Professional Development.
Deeks: "Professional Development."
Kensi: Coursework to further one's skill set in a given profession.
Hetty: While we may believe that you're up to the task...
Hetty: ...statistically speaking, an agent's training level has a high correlation to survival. Who am I to argue with statistics?
Deeks: Right. No, no, of course. But, uh, my training comes from the streets.
Kensi: Oh, really? the tough streets of the San Fernando Valley? Not exactly Fallujah, Kandahar or Medellin.
Deeks: Okay, you don't get to pull the Special Forces Tough Guy Card, 'cause it's not in your wallet. Maybe Sam's,maybe Callen's...
Kensi: Maybe Hetty's.
Deeks: Maybe Hetty's...
Hetty: You will choose from that list of courses, Mr. Deeks. And you, Miss Blye, will be in charge of overseeing its completion. Ops Center. We have a case.
Deeks: "CQB, Close Quarter Battle"? "Urban Warfare"?
Kensi: I took CQB and Urban. It's excellent.
Deeks: This is a terrible idea.
2x19 - "Enemy Within"
Kensi heckles him about it, but he's right. He may not have learned from teachers and books, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have knowledge. He learned from his experiences. The case, the job, life - those are his classrooms and his textbooks. Like Hetty says, he may not have the credits, but he has skills, instincts and competence. He's the best undercover agent in the entirety of the Los Angeles Police Department and as far as experience and actual real-life application goes? He's got Kensi beat. She knows it because she's trained for it. He knows it because he's done it and done it well. Sure, he doesn't speak Portuguese, but she's never spent months living convincingly in the center of a crime operation.
She's a tomboy; he's a pretty boy. She camps under the stars; he camps at four-star hotels. Her friends are military; his friends are criminals. She adored her father; he shot his father. They don't get each other. They don't trust each other.
Deeks: I honestly just don't understand what the big deal is.
Kensi: You don't trust me. I'd say that's a pretty big deal, wouldn't you?
Deeks: I just have a thing about my gun.
Kensi: At this point in our relationship, after all the stuff that we've done... What?
Deeks: I'm sorry. Did you just say "relationship"?
Kensi: No, I said "partnership," okay? You're very annoying.
Deeks: Maybe I just need a little bit of space.
Kensi: You're on my desk!
2x08 - "Bounty"
Deeks is a charmer, a clown. His defense mechanism is to turn everything into a joke. He's good at it. He uses it to his advantage on the job and off - uses it to keep people happy and keep them at arm's length. Kensi couldn't find a punch-line with two hands and a flashlight. She resents that he takes nothing seriously and he resents that she takes everything seriously. It makes it hard for them to work alongside each other.
[An alarm sounds}
Deeks: Is that an actual red alert? I mean, are there battle stations now that need to be manned?
Kensi: It's a text message.
Deeks: It's a text message.
Kensi: What was that look for?
Deeks: You're... you're just, you're very, um...
Kensi: Very what?
Deeks: You're very tightly wound.
Kensi: That's not true.
Deeks: It's true, all right? Your personal electronics are filled with intensity.
Kensi: Is there something on your mind, Deeks?
Kensi: Is there?
Kensi: Didn't think so.
Deeks: You always need to drive. You set your clocks 15 minutes fast. You set my clocks 15 minutes fast. Everything is a competition. You have to have separate checks at Starbucks. You make fun of guys that order nonfat lattes. Do you have any idea how exhausting it is being your partner?
Kensi: Okay, Hetty, I'm glad you showed up. It's very difficult to take anything that guy says seriously.
Deeks: Says the most serious person I've ever met in my entire life.
Kensi: Okay, Deeks is a nice guy.
Deeks: And Kensi is a nice girl, all right? It's not her.
Kensi: It's not him.
Deeks: It's... it's us.
2x16 - "Empty Quiver"
But then there's this:
Deeks: In the future I will,, uh... I will try to take things more seriously.
Kensi: Well, I... I will try and lighten up.
Deeks: I'd like that.
Kensi: I would like that, too.
2x16 - "Empty Quiver"
And they do. That's the thing that they eventually come to realize about their differences. When they mix their styles together, when they start to rub off on each other, they wind up improving each other. They influence each other and they balance each other and the result is an incredibly well-rounded partnership.
It's slow and it's cumbersome. They take two steps forward and two steps back. But each case brings them new situations and new ways in which they prove to each other that they're up to the task, and that they won't let each other down. They came from different places, they use different methods, they approach things from different angles, but in the end they're both damn good at what they do. They just do it differently. As they get more and more cases under their belts as a team, and they find a way to trust each other, they come to depend on each other. Eventually they realize how much better they are together than apart. And at that point they can't even work effectively with anyone else.
They go from this:
Kensi: Deeks? Really?
Eric: Deeks. Really. LAPD Liaison.
Kensi: That's the best they could do? Ugh.
(Deeks walks in.)
Kensi: Oh, hello, Deeks.
Deeks: Hello Kensi. Oh, and - it's the best they could do.
1x20 - "Fame"
Kensi: No, no, no, Deeks. I - I know they want you to bring me in.
Deeks: I'm not talking about what they want, all right? Forget what they want. I'm talking about us, all right? I'm your partner. What makes you think that I'm gonna let you do this by yourself?
Kensi: Because you're my partner. And this is my mother. And you're the only person I trust.
Deeks: Okay. I'll keep her safe.
3x17 - "Blye, K. (Part 2)"
And now they're a flawless pair. They're still opposites, but they enjoy it. Their barbs are still there, but they're playful instead of biting. They've grown close. They're best friends. They care deeply about each other.
But are they canon? That's a grey area.
One one hand: Deeks flirts with everything in a skirt. Kensi refuses to pretend to be a couple for covers. He uses her to help him pick up women. She constantly mocks him. They talk about his overnight guests. They talk about her dates. They both deny that they have "a thing."
On the other: His jaw drops to the floor every time she dresses up. She gets visibly jealous when he's with other women. He brings her beers after a long day and watches her crappy reality tv on her couch. She lets him go surfing in the middle of ops even though it's against the rules. They're constantly touching. They're constantly flirting. They confess how much they mean to each other more and more frequently.
Some people think theirs is more of a bromance, but personally I don't see it like that. I think you could cut the sexual tension with a knife - and there's a plethora of great fic to sink your teeth into.
If you want to see a brief look at them in action, I highly recommend this video. (Spoilers, obviously.)
If you want to see every scene they've ever been in together, this user has compiled almost all of them by episode. (Her second account.)
On to the fic!
Fic Rec #1: As Good as it Gets
Rating/Warning(s): T, Set post 2x01 but spoilers for 2x11
Note: Jessica has written a number of great fics. Check out her profile and read the rest.
Why This Must Be Read: I think this is a great place to start for K/D fanfic. This is set after Deeks' third episode, so they don't know each other very well, but they're on the verge of starting to. It was a whump episode for Deeks, and this fic explores what might happen if Kensi showed up to comfort him. Kensi, who is by her very nature not a comforting person, steps out of her zone and steps up because, like it or not, this guy is her partner and he's hurting. Some great things are explored here - especially their differences. Only very slight hints of ship, but important steps in their relationship nonetheless.
Fic Rec #2: One of Those Days
Author: Humble Brag
Rating/Warning(s): T, brief allusions to 2x17, 2x19 and mentions of 2x10
Why This Must Be Read: Another one that isn't very shippy - but there's definite friendship and just a hint of UST. I think that fics set earlier in the second season would be out of character if they were truly heavy in ship, but it is important to explore their friendship and how it develops in the beginning, as it really shapes what they become by the end of season three. This fic in particular addresses Deeks' insecurity about fitting into a team that is already established, and with agents that are technically far out of his league. Really well written. Could easily be a scene in an episode.
Fic Rec #3 Observing
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13, Post 3x10
Note: I was hoping to be able to rec her most recent fic, Scattered, but it's not yet near completion. If you're up for a WIP, I would definitely recommend it. If you're not, well, check back on occasion and see when it's finished and read it then :P
Why This Must Be Read: Again, not heavy ship, though there are numerous tags for this episode that are. It is heavy on the friendship and slight on the UST, but more importantly it addresses Deeks' competence. Lots of authors, due to his detective status, leave Deeks looking unskilled or ineffective. That's not at all true to canon. It's great to find a fic that not only shows Deeks as he is in the show, but allows Kensi to see it and be impressed by it as well. A great, confident, competent Deeks fic will always be recommended by me. Chronologically, this comes later than the next rec, but I feel like this issue is important to address early, and the spoilers for the episode are very, very minor.
Fic Rec #4: Heal
Rating/Warning(s): K, Post 2x20
Why This Must Be Read: A great post-ep to a great K/D episode. I talk a lot about their differences, but this fic addresses their similarities. Kensi's whumped and Deeks is worried. Musing, bantering, and comforting ensue.
Fic Rec #5: A Give and Take Situation
Rating/Warning(s): T, Violence
Note: PokeDotes wrote a pair of great Deeks fics that, while Kensi isn't in them, are still K/D. Be sure and check them out, too. That's Not How You Play Bumper Cars (Deeks, Nell) and Allow Me to Introduce Myself (Deeks, Eric).
Why This Must Be Read: A mission goes horribly wrong, and Deeks struggles in the aftermath. Kensi is there to help him through it.
Fic Rec #6: Lucky
Rating/Warning(s): M, Post 3x21
Why This Must Be Read: From 3x21 on, I really feel like it wouldn't have been out of place for them to go home and resolve their UST after any/all of the remaining episodes. Fanfic authors agree. This is my favorite of the "Touch of Death" post-eps.
Fic Rec #7: Priority of Life
Author: Celia Stanton
Rating/Warning(s): K+, Post 3x22
Why This Must Be Read: Understandably, 3x22 instigated a flood of fanfics. There are a number of noteworthy ones, but I think this is likely the most well-written and well-done of the group. A nice, enjoyable style and a fic that is seamlessly woven into the episode.
Fic Rec #8: For the Apples and the Pears
Rating/Warning(s): T, Spoilers through 3x24
Why This Must Be Read: The author of this fic has a very unique writing style that can take a bit to get used to. I started reading it and struggled, kind of felt like I wasn't actually getting it, until it just... clicked. And it was awesome. Once you catch on to the rhythm, everything makes perfect sense and you get go back to the beginning and devour the whole thing. Then you go and read if He felt He had to direct you, the other fic this author has written, while you're still in tune with her style and you love it just as much as the first. I almost x'd out of these, but now they're right up there with my favorite K/D fics ever. Give them a chance!
Fic Rec #9: Shaken
Why This Must Be Read: Plotty, emotional, angsty, whumpy, well-written teamy and K/D goodness. This fic is the whole package. The way it unfolds, the issues it addresses, the great characterization - there are just too many reasons to list. If you like K/D, if you like the show, you will love this story.
Fic Rec #10: Natural Equilibrium
Why This Must Be Read: This pairing certainly does not want for long, plotty romance fics. This is one of the best. I could rec a few others (and will, if you like), but they would each include the line, "I really enjoy this story, but there's this one issue I have that I have to ignore in order to enjoy it..." This fic doesn't come with a caveat. It's well-written, it's believable, enjoyable and entertaining. It has all the elements of an episode, but goes deeper (and more romancy) in a way only fanfic can.