Detective Marty Deeks scanned the area before he made his way under the Santa Monica Pier. He couldn’t risk being followed. Reassured he was safe, he swiftly moved underneath the wooden structure, the waves crashed against the pylons, battling an ongoing war between water and tree. It didn’t take him long to find the lone figure sitting against one of the pylons, watching his every move. “You know, everyone is worried about you. Sam is testy, Hetty has hedged herself in with invisible walls. What’s going on?”
The cerulean orbs of G. Callen stared back at him. His hair had grown to the lengths when he had been undercover as Stephen Walinski, his beard slightly longer. He was almost unrecognisable except for those eyes.
Marty Deeks scratched his head as he sat down beside his former team leader. “We all miss you. We’re lost without you.”
Callen fisted his hands on his bunched up knees to his chest. “You’ll all get over it.”
Deeks studied him, he’d lost a great deal of weight, hollows deepened in his cheeks, shadows hung under his eyes. “That’s where you’re wrong. We won’t. Not until you return home.”
Callen gave a muffled chuckle, even for him, it sounded foreign. “Home. I’ve never had a home. Only temporary locations of residence.”
“That’s crap, and you know it.” Deeks heaved out a sigh. “If you’re going to continue to be such a jerk and push everyone that matters away, then I’m out of here.”
Callen grabbed his arm causing a rush of pain to his upper arm. Deeks’ eyes widened, caution heightened for the Detective. “I need your help.” It had been a huge ask for Callen to rely on the Detective, but it was his last chance. He quickly released the hold on his arm, “I’m sorry.”
Marty rubbed his arm, the throbbing continued but he’d live. “What do you want?”
“I need you to get access into LAPD’s system, find out how the Comescus got access to my alias and about my personal life.”
“You think the leak came from there?”
“I don’t think, Deeks, I know. Someone is on their payroll. That someone has to pay.”
“You’re not going out for revenge on your own? Sam will kill me if he finds out I’ve helped you, and I’ve not told him.”
“Then make sure he never finds out,” Callen growled.
“Nell and Eric are trying their best, they’ve been searching for all known contacts to the Comescus inside the U.S. for the past five weeks. All other cases have been passed onto other teams. We’re here for you.”
“You’re all in danger, Deeks. They’ll pick you all off one by one. If I stay, you’ll all die. I can’t risk it. I just need the name of the person who leaked my details and then I’m out of here.”
“You know we can take care of ourselves and that we’re already in this with you, whether you like it or not.”
Callen’s blue eyes became cold as ice. “Did you lose your pregnant wife?”
Deeks shuddered, “no. I never knew she was pregnant, I’m so sorry…”
“No one knew except for…” a spark of recognition entered Callen’s eyes. “The doctor.” How did he not think of this before now? He stood up to leave.
“Where are you going?”
“To kill someone.” He narrowed his eyes, every muscle in his body tensed.
“Oh no you’re not.” Deeks’ synapses worked in record time, he grabbed his cuffs and wrestled Callen to the ground.
“Get off me, you bastard.”
“I’d rather be a bastard and alive, than a dead partner and friend who didn’t have your best interest at heart.” He secured Callen’s hands behind his back and lifted him up to standing. “We’re going to the boat shed, it will give you time to cool off and realise that you need us. All of us. Then and only then will I look into LAPD’s systems, although I’m certain that Eric and Nell can do that faster their way, than through my channels. Then I will inquire with Joelle’s doctor, to find out if they leaked anything to the Comescus.”
Fire flared in Callen’s orbs, his jaw clenched as he fought Deeks with all that he had. He twisted himself and head charged at him, but Deeks had studied Callen’s moves while sparring with Sam over the years and he was one step ahead.
“Don’t you think I know that move by now?”
Callen snarled at him, “let me go.”
Deeks shook his head, “no.” He told him plainly like he would to Monty, when he did the wrong thing.
“When I get out of these, I swear I’m going to kill you with my bare hands.”
“Then I better make sure that you don’t get loose.” Deeks narrowed his eyes, Callen was behaving like a wild bear, ready to kill whoever got in his way of his revenge. He took a deep breath, this was not going to be pretty.
“You know I will, there’s no way you’re keeping me locked up.”
“Are you really going to fight me all the way on this, Callen?” Deeks pushed his head down into the vehicle and closed the door. He climbed into the driver seat and buckled in, revving the engine. He’d not gone with the intention of forcing Callen’s hand, he understood the grief he was in, but something needed to be done before there was no turning back for the former NCIS Federal Agent.
The drive was short and he’d dialled into Ops. “Eric, I need Sam and Hetty to meet me at the Boat Shed. And tell Hetty, I have secured the package.”
Eric’s eyes widened, Nell picked up immediately something was going on, she spun her chair to face him. “I’ll let them know.” Eric disconnected the call and called down stairs.
“Sam, Deeks called. He’s got Callen. He’ll meet you at the Boat Shed. Can you make sure Hetty goes, Callen’s going to need her.”
“Sure.” Sam looked over towards their Operations Manager. She had her head in a rather large book, getting her attention wasn’t going to be easy. “Thanks, Eric.” Sam hung up and looked over to Kensi. “Deeks has found G. He’s taking him to the Boat Shed.”
No one had seen Callen since Joelle’s funeral, four weeks ago. It had been heart breaking, finally he’d had the chance to have a piece of normality. A wife and children. Then before they’d settled into life as newlyweds, Joelle had been gunned down outside their home. No one knew that she was ten weeks pregnant. It had been the final blow for Callen.
Sam strolled over to Hetty’s office and knocked on the pillar. “Hetty?”
The woman continued to ignore all of those around her, trying with all her might to forget Callen’s absence and the tragedy that had struck him once again. Another Callen dead in the blood feud with the Comescus. Callen hadn’t asked for any of it. Life had been cruel to him for too long.
Sam looked at his watch, they needed to get going. He stepped forward and snatched the book from her hands. “Hetty we’ve got to go.”
She looked up over the top of her glasses, annoyed. “Give me that back, Mr Hanna.”
“No. You’re coming with me.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Deeks is meeting us in the Boat Shed. He’s found G.”
Her expression softened, her lips slightly parted, “he has?”
“Yes. Let’s go. I’m driving.”
Hetty was not in the mood to argue, she merely nodded and followed him out the door.Boat Shed
Callen could hear the waves lapping underneath him, his need to escape out of there grew stronger each breath he took. He didn’t like being tied up, no one locked him up and got away with it. He writhed his body on the metal chair, despising Deeks as time continued. “Let me out of here, Deeks, or I’m going to kill you with my bare hands.”
The door opened, “I sincerely hope there was no malice behind that comment, Mr Callen.”
Callen shifted his chair sideways to look at her better. She’d aged since he’d last seen her, he narrowed his eyes pondering on the reasons why.
“You’ve looked better, Mr Callen. I see Mr Deeks had to force to you return to your family.”
“I have no family,” he spat out. “They took them all from me. Why don’t they come and kill me too?” The pain was too great, he leaned over the table and choked on a sob. He flinched at her gentle touch.
“I’m so sorry, my dearest boy. You’ve really had it harsh. I wish with all my might that there was something I could do to take your pain away.” She meant every word, she felt his pain inside her own heart, it shattered into tiny pieces as he crumbled beneath her touch.
“Let me go.” He looked up at her, his eyes were red and swollen. “PLEASE!”
It tore at her heartstrings to see him beg with her like this. “Mr Getz will arrive in a few hours. Until I am certain that you won’t run off on your own again, you are to remain here.”
His breathing became fast and heavy, “no.”
“Remember I know your history better than you do. You are a flight risk. I cannot afford to have you go off on your own again and fight the Comescus on your own. You have your family by your side to help you get through this.”
“I don’t intend on getting through this, Hetty. What for? I have lost everything that matters to me. My wife, our baby…” He sobbed, he couldn’t continue, “let me out of here. NOW.” he was desperate, he didn’t want his life to come to this.
Sam couldn’t take it any longer, he’d watched from the main room, Hetty sat there in shock. Joelle had been pregnant when she was shot. History repeated itself. She’d never had the courage to tell him that his own mother had been pregnant with her third child when she had been killed in Constanta. But she had known, and once again, the Comescus hit his family hard.
Sam barged in, “Hetty, we need to release him. This is too cruel.” The protective side of Sam shone through, he needed to help his old partner, but not like this.
Hetty pursed her lips, she knew she had to do something to keep him there, but she was torn on what to do. It broke her heart to see her boy like this. “Very well, but, Mr Hanna. He’s your responsibility. If he runs, you better run faster.”
Sam nodded and unlocked the cuffs, Deeks had ensured he’d removed Callen’s watch and hair pin to prevent him from escaping.
Callen’s wrists burned from the abrasion of the cuffs. He rubbed them gently to soothe the pain. “Thanks.” He looked down at the table, if he looked up at Sam he knew his resolve to run and fight his own revenge on those responsible for his wife and child’s death, would crumble.
Hetty observed him, she looked up at Sam and nodded. She’d tried, perhaps Sam might get further with him. She stood and moved to the chair in the far corner.
“G,” Sam spoke to him softly. “Please, look at me.” He moved his hand to cover Callen’s, his old partner pulled back, he looked up and the pain that he saw in his eyes, rocked him. “Crap, G. You’ve got to take better care of yourself. You need to eat and when was the last time you slept?”
Callen shrugged, he’d been hiding on the streets and abandoned buildings for the past four weeks, hiding, searching for information to find out who had spilled to the Comescus. The attack had come as a shock. They’d all thought he was safe from the Romanian Crime family. After their slaughter at the Beach House when they went in to rescue Hetty, Dracul’s death in Hawaii and then Vasile’s attack three years earlier. Had it really been three years ago? He remembered it well, like it had only happened a few months ago. The writing in blood on the wall, the kidnapped man, “Callen, we have your father.” The stranger telling him at gunpoint that he was his father, Nikita Alexander Reznikov. Only to be shot by Vasile’s men. His team had come to back him up the last time he’d gone lone wolf. He needed to be sure if this man really was his father. Now he knew the truth, Nikita lived, he escaped the Gulag and changed his name to Konstantine Chernoff and lived until 2008. He knew from that moment on, that he was alone in the world. An orphan with no siblings. His sister had died at age eleven, drowned in a river. But now he wondered if the Comescus had gotten to her and were responsible for her death too. Perhaps he just needed to blame them, they’d killed everyone else. But Joelle and their baby hadn’t deserved to die. They weren’t part of this war. They were suppose to kill him.
Anger surged through his veins, he stood and threw the metal chair over to the other side of the room. “I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead.” His rage escaped, he looked over to Hetty, who gave him that look she’d given him when he was fifteen and out of control. Yes, she was right. Hetty knew his history better than anyone. She knew the rage that threatened to burst at a moment’s notice. But it wasn’t something he could control, after all the years of abuse and neglect, there was nothing left of him but the rage. Then Hetty stepped in, saved him and helped him get a grip of the rage and tame it. It had been a challenge for the teenage version of himself and at times as an adult, he struggled to fight it off. But now he had nothing to live for. Everything that mattered to him, gone or would be if he stayed.
“So you’re just going to give up? Let the Comescus win?”
“They have won, Sam. Don’t you see it? I’m all that’s left, and there’s nothing but a shell.”
Sam walked around the table and sat on the edge, hoping to calm him down. “G.” You’re not all that’s left. We’re here too. Your battle is our battle. All for one and one for all.”
“I was never a musketeer, Sam. Nor a SEAL. I’ve never been a team player like you, I’ve only ever had me.”
“You’re wrong.” All eyes looked to see Deeks enter the room.
Callen’s rage resurfaced, “get the hell out of here, Deeks.”
“You going to kill me, is that it? Like that’s going to solve all your problems.”
Callen lunged forward to strike the Detective, but Deeks was quick and ducked. “Is that all you can do?” Deeks was toying with him, he understood the rage, he’d been there himself, but for a different reason. Callen lunged again, Deeks countered his move. “We should be in the gym for this, not in here. It’s kind of suffocating, don’t you think?”
“Shut up, Deeks.” Callen roared, he ran at him, but he fell as Deeks stepped to the side.
“You need to eat and sleep, then we’ll meet in the gym on the mat.” Deeks turned and exited the room, he set a challenge for Callen, to keep him going. A reason to fight to live.
“Why did you do that?” Kensi stood in front of the television screen watching the remnants of the man she admired and loved like a big brother.
“He’s lost all hope to live, Kens. I’ve got to give him a purpose.”
She studied him for a moment, “you know what that’s like, don’t you?” She looked to the screen, “to be so lost, no hope of anything,”
He stepped forward and placed his hand on her shoulder, turning her around. He pulled her in and held her by the small of her back. “Yes, just like I know you do.”
Her eyes locked on his, she tried to argue, but he was right.
“You never told me you lived on the streets after your father died, Kens. You talk a lot about your dad, all the things he taught you, but not how you survived after you lost him.”
“He was my life. The pain was too much. I couldn’t stay where I was, I had to vanish to heal the pain.”
“But it ate at you for years, you joined NCIS to find answers and his killer.”
She nodded, they all knew the truth after her father’s killer tried to frame her and then kill her when that hadn’t worked.
“That’s what Callen’s doing, hiding from the realities of what he’s lost, but it’s still eating at him. Look at how thin he is. I bet he’s not had one descent meal in four weeks. Nor has he slept and that says something, considering the Callen we know doesn’t sleep much anyway. He wants revenge, no matter what the cost. I will not stand back and watch him get himself killed, just because he won’t allow us to help him.”
Kensi moved her hands down his arms and snuggled into him. “You’re a good man, Marty. You care about us, all of us, no matter how badly we treat you back.”
“Callen doesn’t mean what he’s saying. He’s grieving. He’s lost his wife and baby. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain…”
She heard his heart thump hard in his chest, she knew he was referring to her and their child. Milly was safe at home with her mother, it had been the one consolation out of everything that had happened —- they had their precious baby girl to go home to at the end of the day. Ten months old, she was the light to the darkening world.
“Then we’ve got to make him realise that we’re here to help him. We will find whose responsible and make them pay.”
Deeks kissed her hard on the lips, he loved her more than words could say. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell him. Which is why I cuffed him and brought him here. I hoped that Hetty and Sam would get through to him, but he’s fighting it all the way.”
“Which is why you went in to make him fight you.”
She held him tight, how had she had her fortune turned around and found him? She looked over to the screen, the answer to that sat in the corner of the room watching Sam consoling Callen on the boat shed floor.
“That was a very brave move you made in there, Mr Deeks.” Deeks and Kensi looked over to their formidable Operations Manager as she entered the main room of the boat shed.
“He’s going lone wolf, Hetty. He’s given up on life, he’ll get his revenge even if it ends his life. Someone has to fight for him, make him see that he’s not alone and that we’ll fight beside him.”
Hetty nodded and smiled over to him. Her decision to add him to her team had been a wise move, he was a valuable addition. “And that I know you will all do that for Mr Callen.” She stepped forward and switched the television off, the scene inside the interrogation room should be left a private one. “I need to move him to my place, somewhere he feels safe. Mr Hanna and I will stay with him until Mr Getz arrives. You’re both welcome to join us, you appear to be the only one breaking through with Mr Callen at present.”
Kensi nodded, it sounded like a good plan. “I’m in.”
Deeks shook his head, “I can’t. I promised Callen I’d look into a few things for him first. But I need a partner, and currently my partner has resigned, so…”
Hetty pursed her lips, she knew where he was going with it, “you know the rules, Mr Deeks. The moment the two of you were married, you had to change partners. I understand your frustrations over losing Mr Callen as your partner, after only a year, but you are doing the best a partner can do.”
“I should be doing more for him, Hetty. If someone in LAPD revealed his alias to the Comescus and that led to Joelle’s death, then I am at fault.”
Hetty and Kensi’s eyes widened, “Where did you hear that one from, Mr Deeks?”
“Callen called me to meet with him. He needed my help to get into LAPD database, to see if someone was on the Comescu payroll. If that is true, then I burned him and led them to Joelle.” His gut clenched tight, guilt washed over him. He needed to find who was at fault and seek revenge for Callen.
Hetty shook her head, Kensi furrowed her brow with worry. “No, Mr Deeks, that is where you are wrong. If by you being partnered with Mr Callen resulted in someone in LAPD burning his true identity to the Comescus, you cannot be blamed for this. You didn’t burn his alias, nor his relationship with Ms Taylor. BUT, when we do find out who is at fault here, they will regret the day they were born.”
Deeks heaved out a heavy sigh, “but, Hetty…if they knew me to be a cop and the liaison with NCIS, then it would have been easy for them to find Callen.”
“You still didn’t do anything wrong.” Her own frustrations slipped through her usual stoic facade.
“It still doesn’t change the fact that I need to chase some things up for Callen. He needs me to do this, I won’t let him down. Now Hetty, I need my old partner for some surveillance.”
She eyed him for a moment, “which old partner?”
Deeks looked over to his wife, gorgeous as the day he first met her, when she tried to pretend to be a dead marine’s girlfriend called Tracy.
“Surveillance only, Mr and Mrs Deeks. If I find you involved in anything further, consequences will be delivered your way.”
They nodded. Deeks grabbed the car keys and led the way out.
“Milly depends on you both coming home tonight,” she called out to them, to confirm her reason why she was strict on her rules. Their daughter could not risk losing either of her parents, let along both. She would not allow another of her people’s children to grow up without their family like her boy had. She really was getting too old for this.Cedar-Sinai Medical Centre
Marty and Kensi sat outside the Medical Centre where Callen and Joelle had visited for their first ultrasound. He sat with the digital camera on his lap, ready to take photos of anyone who looked suspicious.
Kensi dialled her cell, “Nell, can you look up the following staff at the Cedar-Sinai Medical Centre?”
Nell busied herself at her computer, bringing them up on her screen. “Got them. Sending their photos to your cells now.”
“Thanks.” Kensi looked at her screen, showing Marty their images. “Can you do a thorough background check on them, we need to find out if anyone there is responsible for burning Callen and Joelle.”
Nell furrowed her brow, “why these people? What do they…” her eyes widened at the details on who these medical staff were. She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat, it suddenly felt dry causing her to coughed.
“Joelle was pregnant, Nell.” The news hit the younger woman hard, her hand lifted to her mouth, stifling a cry of shock.”
Eric looked over to her with worry. “Nell?” He kitted his brows and laid a hand on her shoulder. She flinched at the contact, her senses were jittery from the news.
She turned and nodded to Eric, “Callen, did he know?”
“Yes. He told Marty when they met earlier. We’re outside the Medical Centre on surveillance. Anything you can give us to help find whoever is responsible, the better. We cannot afford for Callen to go lone wolf on this.”
“We’ll do our best.” She disconnected the call, Eric remained his gaze on her.
She took in a deep breath and slowly breathed out. “She was pregnant. Joelle was..”
Eric moved in and held her in his arms, he allowed the news to sink in and for her to cry.
“It’s not fair, Eric. It’s just not fair. Callen deserves to be happy, to have a family. To be a dad..”
“I know, Nell. I know.” He let her free, his own thoughts went into the dark shadows of how cruel life had been for Callen. Sadness entered his heart.