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Forever is a long time.

By Gina Mae Callen

Drama / Romance

Chapter 1

Callen rocked back on his knees and heels, relishing in the safe feeling he was in right now as he was enveloped in subspace. It had been an intense few weeks. Losing and then finding Arkady, dealing with the things Hetty had thrown at him and going to Russia where he found out that his father was dead. He had just about hit his limit.

Hetty was avoiding him everytime he tried to ask her a question. Kensi was livid when she had left today as he had hidden her twinkie stash because she had 'borrowed' his Tootsie Pop stash. Even Deeks had snapped at him.

Sam had looked up from his desk as Callen stormed out to the gym to work out some of his frustrations. He was withdrawing from everyone and everything.

Kensi snatched the bag off her desk and shot a look of anger at her partner.

"That's it! I'm done for the day. I'll see you all Monday barring any complications. You need to talk to him Sam. You always seem to be able to get through to him. Work your magic." She let out a heavy sigh. "Please, it's getting unbearable around here."

Sam sighed and rolled his eyes, "I don't know what you think I can do...but sure, I will talk to him." He smirked as the others nodded and headed for the door.

Sam made a phone call and smiled as his wife agreed that it was time for him to be there for his partner. She promised to have a nice time as she told him she would make arrangements for Kamran and her to visit her sister for a few days.

"Keep him safe and bring him back to us," Michelle said.

"I will, I always do," Sam agreed."Thanks baby."

"I love you Sam. Call me when you're done. We'll have a good time and see you both when we get back." Michelle hung up on him and Sam grinned. It was times like this he realized what a wonderful woman he had married.


Spending another hour on paperwork and watching everyone else leave, Sam stood up as Hetty grabbed her purse and headed for the door.

"Goodnight Mr. Hanna," she called.

"Goodnight Hetty," he replied, reaching for another folder.

Hetty stopped and turned to him. "Cameras are all off, and the building is empty. Go and give our boy what he needs," she said quietly.

Sam nearly choked, "W...What?"

"I have known for years it's what Mr. Callen needs. I have known that you've been helping him for the past few years," she told him, setting her purse on the desk and looking him in the eye. Hetty smiled, "I've been watching out for him for a very long time. I promise I won't do anything to compromise either of you. Mr. Callen's and your welfare is paramount to me. Now go...make him feel better and I will see you both back here Monday.

Sam nodded, "Thank you Hetty."

She turned and walked out with an all knowing smile on her face.

By the time Sam made it to the gym, Callen had worked up a huge sweat.

He was pounding the heavy bag blow by blow and hadn't even noticed the sun go down. Sam leaned against the wall, watching as Callen silently pounded out his frustrations. He stopped and grabbed the bag, wrapping his arm around it as he sobbed as quietly as he could, not wanting anyone to know he was breaking. But Sam always knew when his boy was hurting.

"G…" Sam's low voice rumbled through the gym.

Callen ignored him, keeping his back to his partner.

"G, you need to talk to me," Sam insisted.

Callen turned and grabbed his towel to head for the shower.

He took four steps when Sam stood hands behind his back and shouted,

"BRAT!"

Instinctively Callen dropped to his knees, his head bowed, breathing heavily.

Sam strode across the gym, checking out Callen's stance and movement.

"Good...Good boy…" he stroked his hand gently over the stubble on Callen's head.

Callen shot a confused look up at Sam.

Understanding, Sam continued to pet Callen, "It's ok, everyone has gone and the camera's are turned off," he informed the younger man.

Callen let out an audible sigh of relief and waited as his 'SEAL' walked around the front of him. Sam had never liked the terms Master and Slave. as they were triggering issues for the both of them.

Sam was Callen's SEAL and in turn, Callen was Sam's Brat.

It had been that way for years.

The first time it happened was when Callen was recovering from his shooting. Sam had sat for hours after Callen had been taken in for surgery. He was surprised when Macy and Nate turned up at the hospital and waited with him for the doctor inform them of Callen's prognosis. Macy stood up as a smaller woman arrived in the waiting room. Sam looked over at her - four foot nine he guessed and with the worried look on her face, maybe she was Callen's mother?

Macy walked over to her, "Agent Lange...I…"

"You have an excuse for this Ms. Macy?" she glared at the taller woman.

"No...No ma'am."

"Director Vance is expecting you in Washington as soon as possible - for reassignment."

"This isn't my fault," Macy hissed at her.

"You were the Operations Manager and everything that happens to your agents, is your fault. When Mr. Callen came to you last month and told you he thought he was being watched, did you have his claims checked out?" The smaller woman asked.

Macy stalked to the corner of the waiting room, keeping her voice low.

"I looked into it. I just thought Callen was being paranoid. I mean he never stays in the same place for more than a few nights. How was I supposed to know?"

"Because Mr. Callen knew. He is your Agent and you should trust his judgement." Macy moved back as if struck by the woman's words.

"You need to leave," Hetty Lange said bluntly.

Macy looked visibly shocked but with Nate moving to stand near the smaller woman, she nodded and left.

Sam watched with interest as Nate walked over to her.

"He's going to be alright," he said to her, keeping his voice low.

Hetty turned to him, "I know Mr. Getz, I am, after all, his medical proxy."

At that Sam looked up with interest. So she was related to G?

"Of course, you are...are you staying?" Nate asked.

"I am taking over as Operations Manager at Special Projects."

Nate raised an eyebrow in surprise.

"Does he know?" he asked.

Hetty shook her head, "No...this incident necessitated my move from my last posting."

Nate grinned, "He's not going to like it. Can I be there when you tell him?"

Hetty smiled, "Of course Mr. Getz." She turned and walked towards Sam.

"Mr. Hanna, I would like your report into the incident before the end of the day please."

"I'm waiting for G's family to show up, I need to talk to them," Sam replied stubbornly.

Hetty blinked her eyes in surprise, "I thought you knew Mr. Hanna...Mr. Callen has no family."

"Then I'm staying, everyone needs someone."

Hetty stood looking her new Agent as if sizing him up, "I take it you are Mr. Callen's partner."

Sam nodded. "Six months now," he affirmed.

"Ummm….Good," She replied. "You may be just what he needs." She walked to the desk and signed the paperwork for Callen's surgery.

"Special Projects is on stand down until further notice. We will be relocating. I will have Mr. Beale send you our new location. You may be with your partner, but please, if you find he or you needs anything, call me."

She handed Sam her card, "Henrietta Lange, Operations Manager, NCIS. Thank you Ms. Lange."

Hetty smiled, "You may call me Hetty, Mr. Hanna."


Months later, Sam would recall that meeting to Callen, telling him how she seemed to know both him and Callen inside and out and all Callen did, was smile. He never told him how he had known her or for how long. The only thing Sam knew was that now both himself and Hetty were Callen's medical Proxies.

Callen had regained his strength, and once a week he would disappear off the grid, just for a night, well off of Sam's grid anyway and he would come back without a word. Sam asked him once, but all Callen would reply was he needed one night a week to himself he was repaying an old debt. He reassured Sam that he wasn't in any trouble and nothing seemed to come from it, so Sam never pushed. Whenever Callen was in trouble though he and Sam would talk about it over a beer and they became stronger partners for it.

This time however, something was wrong. Something Callen was keeping to himself. He would still disappear weekly, but since he had left the hospital he hadn't come to see the new location for Special Projects. He wouldn't go to meet the team after work and he didn't even return Kensi or Mike's calls.

Callen was withdrawing. Even Hetty was beginning to look worried as she shot glances across from her office to the new bullpen, her eyes straying to the missing Agents desk.

Sam pulled up at the motel Callen was staying in and resolved to fix it.

He was a SEAL, they never left a man behind. He had talked it over with Michelle. She understood and gave him the go ahead to do what he felt he needed to do to help his partner. She had arranged to take Kamran to her sister's for the Summer and Aiden was going to stay with friends from the academy. With the house being empty for a month, he booked off a week of vacation and set his plan in motion.

Walking up to the door to Callen's room he held down the urge to vomit at the state of the place his partner had decided to call home for a while.

The room next door was noisy. Bass from bad rap music filled the corridor and the smell of smoked marijuana was overwhelming. Sam knocked on the door and he waited as the door opened and a bleary eyed Callen looked surprised at seeing his partner there.

"Grab your stuff, you're moving," Sam told him.

Still half asleep and not thinking, Callen nodded and moved to comply which told Sam all he needed to know. Silently, they packed up Callen's few belongings and left.

Callen looked surprised as Sam pulled up outside a well kept house.

"Who lives here?" he asked.

Sam grinned, "Me," he replied.

"Ok, so you want me to wait in the car?" Callen asked, unsure of what he was doing there.

"No. Michelle and the kids are away for a month, you'll be staying with me," Sam said, his tone leaving no room for argument.

Callen was too tired to argue anyway so he grabbed his bag and followed Sam to the one floor home. Sam took Callen's bag and placed it in his room.

"I'm not taking your bed. I won't put you out of it," Callen argued.

Sam smirked, "You're right, you won't."

Callen looked around the home. "It's nice," he said keeping his voice and body language as neutral as he could.

"Thank you. I have a casserole in the oven. Michelle made it before she left. She said to make sure you eat it."

"Is she ok with me being here?" Callen asked, mentally looking for all the weak spots and exits.

"She is ... it's not my first time," Sam said his voice dropping an octave.

For a second Callen's eyes flicked up and Sam caught the look.

Was it worry or hope?

Sam smiled slightly.

"Not your first time doing what?" Callen asked as Sam stepped closer.

"Giving someone what they need," Sam replied.

Callen gulped and stepped back worried, "Sam...I'm not...I …"

"Shhh...It's ok G…." Sam sighed, "I know…"

Callen looked to find his bag. He wanted to run away from what he was feeling. He knew it was wrong and he had been told more times than he cared to remember that it was wrong. He knew the last time he'd let his guard down, it had hurt him. She had hurt him and he had to leave the CIA because of it. He was dizzy and tired and his defenses were down, so he couldn't stop the tears that fell. He turned to hide his face, his shame, and braced himself for the reaction from his partner. He jumped as Sam's hand landed gently on his shoulder and as he turned him to face the taller man, he was pulled him into his arms.

"It's ok….let it out…" Sam said rubbing Callen's back comfortingly.

He moved them to the couch and that first night Callen fell asleep wrapped in Sam's arms as he cried himself to exhaustion.

Callen woke up the next morning feeling safe, a feeling he hadn't felt in forever. He stiffened as he realized that he was in someone's arms and that someone wasn't a woman.

"Shhh G," Sam said as he felt Callen stir.

"Sam?" Callen all but jumped out of Sam's arms.

Within seconds Sam was fully awake.

"Callen...stop…" he ordered.

Callen stopped moving and stood still.

"It's ok G, this...this is not is not you being vulnerable, or you being less in my eyes. It's about you being my partner and me giving you what you need."

"I'm not gay Sam," Callen growled, his shoulders shaking in anger, or was it frustration?

"Not saying you are," Sam snapped back. "Turn around."

Callen turned, his jaw set stubbornly.

"I can give you what you need G, no strings attached."

"No...no you can't. No one can…" Callen trailed off as he turned away again.

"Sit down," Sam said and waited as Callen sat on the couch. Sam moved himself to the coffee table and sat with Callen's legs between his. "What you need is someone who can look after you, take the pressure off and love you."

Callen looked away ashamed.

Sam reached out and lifted Callen's head, "You've been through a lot, physically and mentally. You need to learn to let go."

"Can't...can't let go...no one...I have no one to…"

"I'm your partner, I'll catch you," Sam replied praying that Callen would look him in the eye.

"I can't...never have had anyone…"

"You have me now, I care...let me care for you."

"You're not gay Sam, you can't know what I need...How can you know what I need when I don't know what I need?"

Sam smiled indulgently, "Like I told you G, not my first Rodeo."

Callen let out a sigh as Sam rubbed his hands on the tops of his legs gently above the knee, not going any higher, not pushing….just comforting...just there.

"You need to have someone you trust to have your back G. Someone who will do what they can to care for you. Do you trust me like that?"

Callen looked into Sam's face and gulped at how close they were. "Of..of course I trust you, you're my partner."

Sam smiled. "I won't hurt you. I won't betray you and I won't ever tell or not be available if you really need me," Sam promised.

Callen didn't believe him but he nodded.

"We need a contract," Sam stated.

Callen flinched.

There won't be anything on paper. Just us, here and now. As your Dom, I will take care of all your needs and respect you.

An unwanted memory entered Callen's mind. "I can't call you Master. I am not your slave. I won't do it."

"I don't really like the Master thing," Sam admitted. "I can be called something else but not Sam. We will save that for when we aren't alone. You are my partner and a bit of a brat, but not my slave." Sam smiled as Callen looked him in the eye and smiled.

"Yeah G...you are my Brat."

Callen laughed, "And you're going to be my SEAL?"

Sam nodded, "Damn right."

Callen's smiled faded "But...what if...what if I'm not into what you want to do to me?"

"Do you know about safewords?" Sam asked.

Callen shook his head.

A true Master/Slave relationship would have had safewords. He felt the pit of his stomach tighten as he realized that the man before him had been a victim and not a willing participant. "A safe word is used when either of us is uncomfortable with what is happening. Everything stops when we use our safewords. No exceptions. My safe word is clowns."

Callen looked up with a smirk, "Clowns?"

Sam laughed nervously, "Hate them!" He admitted.

Callen looked worried, "Does it have to be something I hate?" he asked.

Sam shook his head, "Na...something that is guaranteed to not be used between us in any other context when we are together like this."

Callen thought about it, "Hetty." He said with a grin.

"The new Operations Manager?" Sam asked.

Callen laughed, "Yeah, would you think about her in the bedroom?"

Sam smiled shaking his head, "No...no I wouldn't."

"That's good to know." Callen listened as Sam continued but he suddenly felt the genuine smile on his lips caused by Sam's heartfelt words spread the warmth to the rest of his face. And it didn't go unnoticed by Sam. "What?"

"You have a beautiful smile. You should do it more often. "And I intend to put many a more smiles on your face."

Before he knew it, Sam had leaned closer and gave him a chaste kiss. He pulled back waiting to see what Callen would do. Would he run? Hit him? Or accept what it was that Sam was so desperately trying to offer?

For a second Callen was tempted to run, but Sam was so close he closed his eyes and let go, praying that Sam would keep his word. And he did.


Now five years later Sam was still his SEAL and Callen was still Sam's Brat. Though never at work. Not until today.

Callen waited as Sam explained that they were alone in the building, that it was safe. Only then did he let go.

He allowed Sam to work his magic, and take him in the way only Sam could. Floating in subspace,he waited for his SEAL's touch to ground him and let him know it was ok to feel and ok to move on.



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