Callen drove for what to him seemed like hours.
Things had been so simple this morning.
This morning he had been G. Callen. No first name, no ties. A deceased mother and sister, a name for a father. A man whose closest thing to a mother was his boss, one of two people in his life he trusted implicitly.
Now his whole world had been turned on its head.
His...Friend...nemesis? ...no, not nemesis but not really a close friend either, was now his father.
His boss, the woman he had trusted since she 'saved' him from the welfare system at fifteen was actually his great aunt and blood family.
Last, but not least, was the fact that these two people who should have been there for him his whole life had spent it on the peripheral edges, manipulating him into going where they wanted him to, messing with the pieces in his life under the pretense of 'protection' and had taken away his chance to be a father, to watch his daughter grow up, to have spent the last few precious months with Lizzy before her death. They had taken that from him under the guise of love and left him now, more bereft than he had ever felt in his life.
He pulled the car over at a look out near Sur Point lighthouse and he rested his head on his hands, taking a shuddering breath as the pain and unfairness of it all coursed through his system.
Anna was the only shining light in this whole mess.
His beautiful daughter, it was a wonder she was so together about this. She had her mother's smile but his eyes. He wondered how much of her mother was in her and found himself missing her more and more.
Of course she had been glad to meet him, he was sure if he hadn't found out that Arkady was Nikita he would have wanted to meet him too. But after the hurtful things he had said to Hetty, how long would it be before she chose them over him and he would be alone again?
He figured that by now Hetty would be calling Sam to inform him of his partners resignation or maybe she would just tell them she had fired him.
Sam would get mad and head to his house to ream him out.
Anna would probably be disappointed in him for getting mad at her aunt.
He stopped as his train of thought derailed like a wreck. Joelle!
She had no idea that he had a child!
He had promised to go and see her, he looked at his watch, an hour ago.
He rubbed his hands tiredly down his face and started the ignition on the car, he really needed to see her.
Pulling up in her driveway he stared at the house watching Joelle inside, sitting at her desk looking at someone's schoolwork.
Slowly he took a deep breath, got out of the car and walked to the door.
Joelle looked up as she heard his key in the lock, he'd only gotten his key back a month ago after she had found out he had lied to her. Realizing that she really cared for him she wanted to give the relationship a go and had after a lot of convincing from him, promised to give him another chance as long as he didn't lie to her again.
He hadn't, she hadn't asked about work and he never mentioned it so that there was nothing for him to lie to her about there. She only asked occasionally if he'd had a good day at work, without giving her a run down on his day if he was unable to, he just said yes or no and they left it at that.
He wasn't sure how he was going to tell her all he had learned today.
He opened the door and stood staring at her.
"Callen?" Joelle said looking at the devastated look on his face, she dropped her pen and rushing over to him, pulled him into a hug.
She stepped back as he flinched. "Callen, What's wrong?"
Callen shook his head and moved to the kitchen to help himself to the coffee she had in the pot.
Joelle moved to the couch and patted the space next to him.
"Sam's ok isn't he?" She asked worried.
Callen nodded, "Joelle….I...We need to talk."
Joelle turned to him worried, "Callen you're scaring me." she said quietly.
"I found something out today, you need to know." he said.
"Are you sick? Were you shot?!" She rapidly looked him over to see if he looked ill or hurt.
"I...I met my daughter today." He said not looking her in the eye.
She dropped his hand, "Your daughter? You have a daughter? who, how...how old is she?" Joelle asked.
"Twenty three." Callen said.
"TWENTY THREE!" Joelle jumped up. "You've had a daughter for twenty three years and now you decide to tell me!" She walked over to the window wrapping her arms around herself protectively.
She turned tears rolling down her face, "You promised you wouldn't lie to me again."
"I...I didn't." Callen stood to face her.
Joelle whirled at him, "So...you just 'forgot' that you had a child!" She swiped his hand away from her arm, "No...I'm not going to listen anymore, go back to your child and your lies." she let her tears fall freely, "I can't do it anymore, I believed you even though I just assumed you didn't want to tell me your name, Sam and Michelle both assured me that you really didn't know what your name was and I left it at that. But this! This is too much Callen, I can't do it anymore."
Callen took another step towards her.
"Just leave...I...I can't do this Callen, I'm sorry." Joelle shook her head and watched sadly from the window as Callen quietly turned and left the house.
For a moment he sat in the car, he looked at her watching him and turned the ignition on, he didn't want anyone else to get hurt again because of him. He was hurt that she hadn't cared so much about him to even listen, but it was the story of life, he would get close to someone and then they would leave. After the events of the last few hours he didn't have it in him to go back and fight.
Sadly he shook his head and drove off towards his home, he hoped more than anything that Anna wouldn't be too mad at him for having left Hetty the way he did.
Anna laughed at Sam as they pulled up outside the boatshed.
"Dad did that? Really?!" she asked shocked.
"Your Aunt Hetty refused to replace his pants for a month," Sam laughed back.
She opened the car door holding Hetty's lunch in one hand and then reached in for her father's.
Arkady climbed out of the back, "I hope Henrietta and Callen have settled their differences," he said. His son had looked mad when they left and he knew that although not many people got to see it Callen did have a volatile temper.
Sam keyed the code in for the door and opened it as the others followed him in.
"Dad! Aunt Hetty! We're back!" Anna called brightly walking into the main room.
"AUNT HETTY!" She screamed in terror as she saw the smaller woman, unconscious on the couch.
"Call 911!" Sam yelled as he ran over to give her CPR, "G!" he yelled hoping his partner was just in another room.
Arkady called for help and turned back to the other man, "The paramedics are on their way."
Sam felt for her pulse, "It's thready but its there."
Arkady stood at the door to let the paramedics in, "What happened?" They asked.
"We think she had a heart attack." Sam told them.
"What's her name?" A paramedic asked him.
"Hetty Lange." Anna said, "Please...will she be alright?"
They laid her gently on the floor, "Hetty….Hetty, it's the paramedics. you're ok, we are just going to check you out."
She was still unresponsive but they checked her out and turned to the three people watching.
"We need to get her to the hospital, She's got a heartbeat and right now we don't know if it's a heart attack or a stroke, but we need to get moving fast." They moved her onto a gurney and wheeled her out to the ambulance.
"We are heading to Cedars-Sinai, if she has any family that will need to be there for her can you contact them?"
Sam nodded, "I will…"
Hetty groaned as she started to come round.
"Hetty!" Sam called looking worried.
"Callen…" She groaned and passed out again.
His face clouded over, had Callen hurt her? No it was unthinkable...but where was he now?
Anna watched with tears in her eyes as her aunt was loaded into the ambulance, "Grandfather we must go with her."
Arkady nodded, "Of course." he agreed. "Where is Callen?" he asked noticing his son wasn't there.
Sam shook his head, "I don't know?" He was worried, had Callen been taken by a Comescu. "I'll drop you guys off at the hospital and get Kensi and Deeks to watch over Hetty, then I'll find G."
Three hours later Sam pulled up at Callen's house.
His car was parked haphazardly outside his house and fearing for the worst Sam pulled his gun and knocked.
There was no reply at the door and Sam was about to go around the back when he heard a crash from inside.
Carefully removing his lockpick he knelt down and swiftly undid the lock on the door.
The living room was empty, so he headed through to the kitchen, the fridge door was ajar, but apart from that nothing else seemed to be out of place.
A sound caught his attention and he turned heading for the bedroom.
Holding his gun at the ready he slowly opened the door…. To find a thoroughly inebriated G. Callen leaning against the wall in his bedroom, his box between his legs with it's contents scattered around him.
"What the hell G?" Sam snapped.
Callen knocked over the second bottle of scotch he had been drinking sending it careening into it's empty twin.
"I messed up, I should never have come into her life." He slurred.
"Hell G...Not now!" Sam snapped.
"Whyya here Sam." Callen slurred.
"We were worried about you, you need to know…."
"Ha!" Callen snorted, "Worried, 's there fault… Hetty…"
"Hetty nearly died." Sam snapped.
Callen grabbed his bottle and turned away from Sam, "Don't care. not my problem...I don't need to care about anyone...not gonna care...not anymore ...hurts…"
Sam's face darkened and he made a fist and pulled his hand back aiming at Callen's head.