by Sweet Lu
They smelled him before they saw him. He limped into the bullpen and Sam was the first one to cover his nose and mouth and retreat, followed quickly by Kensi and Callen. Deeks pulled the watch cap from his head and reached out to grab the edge of Sam’s desk. Callen quickly noticed that his signature “Homeless Guy” outfit was not only filthy, but torn and bloody and he moved to help him, steering him over to the couch.
“Don’t you sit down until you take off those disgusting clothes,” Sam instructed. “I like that couch and if you sit on it the way you smell, it’ll have to be fumigated.”
Deeks laughed, wincing as he shrugged off his oversized coat, a shredded scarf and a stained sweater vest, finally left standing in a worn t-shirt and ragged jeans.
“If you want my pants off, I’m gonna need help,” he said, but no one made a move, even Kensi, who still had her nose pinched shut.
Sam rolled Deeks’ desk chair over and pointed at it and Deeks sat down and groaned.
“What happened?” Callen asked.
“This is embarrassing,” Deeks said as he examined three nasty looking scratches on his left arm. His bloody right knee was showing through his ripped jeans and he sucked in his breath as he touched the darkening bruise on his forehead.
“I’ve been feeding this feral cat while doing surveillance and today he got stuck up on top of some wooden pallets. So, I climbed up to rescue him.”
“Are you crazy?” Sam asked.
“I grabbed him, but he started fighting and scratching,” Deeks said sheepishly. “I slipped and the stack of pallets collapsed and I crashed into the side of a dumpster.”
Sam edged over and lifted his chin, checking his eyes.
“You landed on your head, didn’t you?” he asked. “You’ve got a concussion. Because of a cat.”
“Why didn’t you call?” Kensi demanded.
“Other than being too embarrassed?” he asked. “A few of my homeless buddies took advantage of the situation and mugged me. They got my phone and your Twinkies. Besides, you probably wouldn’t have let me in your car.”
“The cost of a new phone will come out of your paycheck, Mr. Deeks,” Hetty said sharply. “Now we have a problem. Someone will have to take your place. We still need that intel.”
She looked from Callen to Sam and then at Deeks, whose face suddenly broke into a broad smile.
“No, no, Hetty. Not one of us,” Sam said quickly. “We’re Special Agents.”
“Mr. Deeks, I’ll need your expertise,” Hetty said. “Which one of my ‘special agents’ would make the better bum?”
“You’re serious,” Callen said, backing away.
“Who’s it to be, Mr. Deeks?” she asked.
Both agents turned to look at Kensi, who immediately left, leaving the two men staring down at a smiling Marty Deeks.
“Not sure about either one,” he said seriously, cocking an eyebrow. “Sam’s built and doesn’t look like he’s ever missed a meal while Callen looks too clean cut. We’d have to muddy up their teeth and both would need to rub some dirt into their skin and under their fingernails, maybe douse their clothes in cheap whiskey to hide their fresh, dainty smell.”
“I’ll send someone to the local thrift store for a couple of outfits,” Hetty said. “They can both dress up and strut their stuff. Then you can decide.”
“America’s Next Top Model meets Bum Dynasty,” Deeks laughed.
“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” Callen asked.
“Oh yeah,” Deeks said, grinning. “It’s not as easy as I make it look.”