Summary: Kensi is forced to de-clutter and she de-clutters in an unusual way.
Characters: Kensi, Deeks (Densi), Talia Del Campo, Callen (Talon), and Sam Hanna
Disclaimer: I’m just playing in CBS’s sandbox. They own the characters and stuff.
Based on Prompts: I was talking to ishiptoomanypeopleontv and somehow this was mentioned. So all her fault. Timeline, I'm not sure where I put this. But I do know some events in Exchange Rate happened but not all of them.
Beta: The ever awesome ishiptoomanypeopleontv. I figured she gave me the prompt she gets first dibs at reading. Plus also first time really writing a Densi heavy bit, so I most definitely needed another set of eyes, plus I'm an overuser of commas and other random grammar things that probably make most people twitch. She reigned them in.
"Hey, Kens." Deeks was trying to make some conversation while they were on their latest stakeout. He fidgeted a little bit because he knew what he was going to say could get him smacked.
"Yeah?" Kensi gave him a look and noticed the fidgeting. She realized there was something on his mind and mentally prepared herself for a conversation that might not have much to do with the job.
"So…" He took a deep breath and decided to continue. "We've been living together a couple months now right?"
"Yes, we are..." Deeks obviously didn’t know how to continue since he fell silent for a few seconds. So Kensi continued "What's your point, Deeks?"
"Umm… Uh…" Deeks stuttered, trying to put the words in his mind to his mouth. Instead he flashed his 1000 watt smile and gave a small chuckle.
"Just spit it out already."
"Ok. Don't hate me, but you need to de-clutter."
Kensi’s lips formed a small line; she closed her eyes for a second, and then shot him a look that said if he didn't tread carefully, he was going to be sleeping on the couch that night. "For the millionth time; I.am.not.a.hoarder." She didn’t raise her voice but her tone was repressed, he could hear the tension in it.
"I didn't say you were a hoarder, I said you need to de-clutter. There is a difference."
"Oh, really? Is there?"
"Yes there is. Kensi, your stuff is everywhere, every random place possible. It's a bit much. And you know what, to make it fun, I'll go through and get rid of stuff as well."
"Yeah… right." Her voice made it clear she didn’t really believe him.
"We are in this together Kensi. We are making it a home, with a mutual mix of both of our things."
Kensi took a deep breath. He was right. She knew he was right. It was his home as well as hers. And she loved living with him. Maybe if he was getting rid of some stuff as well, it could be cathartic.
"Alright… but can we discuss this later, okay? Just get back to the stakeout."
For a stakeout, this case actually ended up pretty cut and dry and for a Friday they actually got to leave work early.
"Guess where we are going." Deeks asked as they were leaving the mission, hoping they weren't going to be called in for a case over the weekend.
"Surprise me." Kensi said in the hopes he had already forgotten about their conversation in the car.
"We're going to Home Depot and getting storage containers, and those big trash bags. You know the ones that construction sites use." Deeks let out a little smile and a laugh while Kensi snorted. "Ok, ok, we'll get some more normal trash bags. Kensi, we are in the digital age, take a picture of something that means a lot then get rid of it. That way you can still hold onto the memories of that item."
"No, you can’t. That’s not how things go."
"Maybe not for you yet, but it is a start, Kens."
With a bunch of storage bins and trash bags, they made their way out of Home Depot. "Oh you know what could make this even more awesome?" said Deeks.
Kensi was expecting the worst. "I have no idea."
"I'm going to invite Talia over. And she can help."
"Talia, seriously? You think girl power is going to help me?"
"Yes, I do. Share your stories; we'll make it a party."
"Party and de-clutter do NOT go together." Sighing, Kensi realized her words were in vain. And she loved seeing Deeks being enthusiastic over something even if it was over cleaning. Over the course of the whole IA drama Deeks had become more withdrawn and even now, as everything was over… She loved the light in his eyes and the contagious smile that made him look 10 years younger. She shook her head but couldn’t hide a little smile when she heard Deeks was already talking and laughing to Talia mentioning what a great time it'll be and that she'd pick up the pizza and beer.
Talia arrived with the beer and pizza and was actually excited to help with the de-cluttering. Kensi went into the kitchen to sort the food, while Talia started to organize the bins and bags bought.
"Why are there three piles?" Kensi asked returning to the living room with beers for all. "There's no way I'll be able to fill these piles up." She added taking a swig of her beer.
"The three piles are for keeping, tossing, and donating. I find that helps me figure out what I want to keep." said Talia.
I would also impart the 30 second rule, look at something for no more than 30 seconds and a decision has to be made, but I think you'd kill me for that, so we'll make that optional. But if you go looking at something for a few minutes a decision has to be made." said Deeks.
"That actually sounds like a plan." Kensi said, almost surprised. "Deeks, can you go and grab some of the boxes from upstairs? Oh, and don’t forget about your stuff as well" They exchanged a look and grinned at each other as Deeks was making his way upstairs.
Deeks brought down a few boxes and grinned. "These were still sitting in our bedroom. And there are a few more up there too."
"Really? In the bedroom? Come on Kens, it's been a few months." said Talia.
"We've been busy, you know?" Kensi felt a little attacked….
"I know the job is demanding, but you need to take some time for you, and finish unpacking. Like a few things a night." said Talia, sensing Kensi’s uneasiness.
"Right?" exclaimed Deeks.
"Fine. I get it." said Kensi, finally giving in. Kensi knew they were both right. Working on themselves or their house was something they simply had to make time for.
“Also... I know a cleaner place can yield more fun in the bedroom, if you know what I mean." Talia winked at them.
"Well then," said Deeks with shining eyes, "let's get started."
Kensi rolled her eyes, but had a little smirk on her face as she did so.
Kensi, Deeks, and Talia spent the rest of the night sorting items (including some of Deeks’ belongings) into the three piles and more boxes were emptied. There were stories and laughter and around 3am Kensi decided it was enough. (While it was already a lot, there was still a bit more on the keep pile than on the other two piles).
"Okay, I’m exhausted now." said Kensi.
"Wasn't it bad when you moved in?" asked Talia.
"No, because as you can see we didn't go through the boxes back then." said Deeks winking.
Giggling, Talia had to agree. "Hey Deeks, how about we put the donate pile into my car, I can take it to a donation place on my errands tomorrow. And you put the toss pile into your car."
"Great idea. It also means Kensi can't sneak down here and put everything into the keep pile."
Kensi poked out her tongue at him and added, "I'm a federal agent. I can pick locks."
"But you would have to go outside and be super quiet when you are tired." said Talia.
"True. This could work." said Kensi. "Make sure I commit to doing this."
"And my dear Kensalina," said Deeks, "You really wouldn't want all this work to be for nothing, if you put stuff back. You have made some great progress."
Kensi went and sorted the food and beer trash in the kitchen while Deeks and Talia loaded up their SUV’s. When they were outside Deeks insisted on loading his car up first. "Do you have anything else you want to put in the donation pile?" asked Talia.
"There's this chair, and a small table. For some unknown reason Kensi likes the chair. And by likes I mean loves the chair. It is so not my thing, or even our thing in the house. Please take it and find a good home for it."
"Was the chair her father’s?" asked Talia.
"No, it was just some random find from after a darker time in her life. I kind of get the sentiment but it needs to go."
"I can give it a good home." said Talia.
By the time Deeks and Talia came back to the house, Kensi was on the couch fast asleep. "I kind of wish we had done this sooner," whispered Deeks, "but I don't think we would have had you to help."
"Yeah, I was in Mexico for a bit. Damn cartels never give up, do they? But you were right this was pretty fun night." whispered Talia back.
"That it was. We should make moving awesome all the time." said Deeks. Thinking it's late of how late it is he adds, "By the way, are you crashing here for the rest of the night?"
"Nah, I'm going to head out. I've got somewhere to be in the late morning, and I'd rather not have to fight LA traffic from here."
"Of course. Tell Kensi we'll catch up soon for a girl's night."
Talia pulled out of the driveway, and started towards her place, when she decided that now would be a good time as any to put her little plan in motion. While going through Kensi's stuff for the donation pile, Talia was sorting the items into what would look good in Callen's house. And now there was the table, and the chair set that she gladly took for her “donation-to-Callen-pile” as well. It wouldn't be much, but at least the chairs would be something. Now all she had to figure out was how to get the stuff inside his house without him having a hissy fit.
Talia pulled up to his driveway and noticed the light on. Good, most likely awake she thought. Knocking lightly on the door, Callen answered immediately. "Hey."
"Hey," Talia replied.
"What are you doing here? It's 3:30 in the morning. Did you miss me or something?" Leaning over he pulled her in for a hug and a kiss.
"Miss you, heh?” she said with a mischievous smile. “Maybe, just a bit. But I was actually at Kensi and Deeks’ place."
"Really? Doing what?"
"I know hard to believe, but helping her de-clutter."
Callen laughed as the two entered his dining room. "So how bad was it?"
"Callen, you have no idea. It's bad. So so bad. So many boxes, so much stuff” she emphasized dramatically. “Please tell me you have beer? I could definitely use one more before crashing."
As Callen made his way to the kitchen to grab another beer he said, "I sit next to her remember?"
"Right! How do you deal with it?"
"Well... we're never there long enough for me to toss it out."
Talia laughed and took a swig of her beer. The evening’s events were starting to catch up to her.
"There were 3 of us, and we barely made a dent." She yawned.
"Sounds like you need some sleep." Callen ushered her back towards the bedroom, and handed her a t-shirt. He took her beer while she changed and took a swig.
"Hey," she pouted.
"What?" Callen gave that I'm innocent shoulder shrug and he took another swig before setting the beer down on the nightstand.
Pulling on the t-shirt, Talia was more than ready for bed. Grabbing the beer she took one final swig and crawled under the covers. Callen finished changing and he wasn't far behind. Turning off the light, he leaned over and kissed her forehead as she moved to cuddle. He leaned in to say good night, but there was already a soft snore coming from her. Callen took a deep breath and closed his eyes and soon sleep found him as well.
Callen had his usual couple hours of sleep and was wide awake by 7:30. Slipping from the covers he went and got ready for the day. Sitting in his bean bag chair he was reading the paper and sipping his coffee when Talia appeared. "I thought I smelled coffee." She walked over to him, grabbed his mug and took a sip.
"Never mess with a man and his coffee." He gave her a look.
"Payback for drinking my beer last night, and besides, I need a little sustenance to get to the kitchen." Talia winked and handed him back his mug. She made it into the kitchen and started to pour her own cup when she heard his front door open and the unmistakable laugh of Sam Hanna.
Oh shit, she thought. She wasn't sure what Callen had told Sam in terms of them being together. She really hoped that her wearing his t-shirt wasn't the way Sam was going to find out. Taking a few sips, she positioned herself in the kitchen to see if she could make a break to the bedroom.
Knowing that Talia couldn't do anything yet, Callen smirked into his coffee mug.
"G, you busy today? Kam wants you to see her soccer game."
"Umm.” Sam was mimicking him, “You'll have to do better than that. By the way, whose car is that outside?"
"Personal life is personal, Sam."
"Really, G? You're going to play that card again?" Sam moved so that his back was towards the kitchen, and Talia made a break for the bedroom.
"Yes, I'm pulling that one again."
"Well obviously the person is still here, so spill." Sam was relentless. Callen just sat there drinking his coffee. Talia knew this kind of stuff pissed Sam off and also knew that Callen was enjoying the game to no end. Keeping the T-shirt on, she put her jeans back on, and walked out of the bedroom towards Sam.
"Hey Sam, how's it going. Long time no see. How are you doing?"
Sam took a step back. "Talia?" Of all the people he obviously hadn’t expected her. He looked over at Callen and Callen just shrugged his shoulders with the "I'm innocent" look. Finding his voice again, Sam said “It's nice to see you Talia …" and with a smile "... and since you are here, would you like to join G in seeing Kam's soccer game?"
Talia grinned. "As much as I would enjoy hanging out with the Hanna's today, I must get to the Salvation Army to do a donation drop with Kensi's stuff.
"Wait, what?" Again Sam was speechless. She could see that G was enjoying his morning very much.
"I spent most of the night with Deeks and Kensi sorting through some of her things. I took the donation pile in my car and Deeks has the throw away pile in his. I got here at 3:30 this morning cause I didn't want to go all the way home."
"You seriously got Kensi working on her clutter?" asked Sam.
"Yeah, go check my car."
They all walked outside and looked in the back of Talia's car.
"That's a decent amount of stuff," said Callen.
"Sort of. It's a good amount, but it could be better. But a start is a start." said Talia.
"Of course," said Sam. "Progress is good."
"As long as she didn't go back and fetch some stuff out of Deeks’ car again. Which was another reason why I didn't crash at their place." Talia winked towards Callen, but knew Sam could also see.
The boys laughed, when Sam noticed something in the car. "Is that a chair?" When he walked to the other side of the car, he saw something else. "And a table?"
"Yes and yes. Sam, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Sam smiled "Yes, I am. Because bean bag chair my ass, if I'm watching anything at your place again, those two items are going to be a part of your living room."
"Oh no. No it's not. My living room is fine."
"No." said Talia and Sam in unison.
"You do not get a say in this," Talia said as she ran in to get her keys.
Callen followed her into the house. "Seriously, why you are going to do this? My morning was going so well."
Talia made her way closer to Callen and said, "Why is it so wrong to have something in the living room? This has been your house for 6.5 years now. Make it a home. You have a dining room table, so why can't you have a nice chair in the living room? We aren't asking you to get rid of the bean bag." She pulled him into a hug and gave him a kiss. "It'll be fine. Plus if you don't do this right now, I'll make Sam take you to the game and do it myself and that table and chairs won't be the only things of Kensi's you’ll find in your house."
Pulling from her embrace he muttered "Fine. Let's get it done."
She grabbed her keys and they walked back outside.
"Pep Talk?" questioned Sam.
"Something like that." said Callen.
They emptied the car and put the table and chair in the living room. Talia also hid a few other knick-knacks into a separate spot in the car to sneak them into the house later. She wondered how long it would take Callen to notice them. When they finished packing up the car for again they looked at the time and realized Sam had to get to the soccer game. He texted G the address and so they could meet there.
Callen and Talia went back into the house and he looked at the living room. "I hate that you are right."
"What? That it looks good?"
Talia grinned satisfied ,"You better get going. I need to get a quick shower and be on my way as well. Don't worry, I'll lock up."
He kissed her as he walked out the door. "See you tonight at the pub?"
"Of course, want to make it a team outing?"
Talia smirked "Alright then… See you later."
As soon as Callen's car pulled away, and she made sure he didn't circle back, she pulled those knick-knacks from the car and started to decorate random spots in his house. When she was done, she got her shower and left the place ready for Callen to return home.