He ran; his paws relishing in the feel of the soft earth underneath them. ‘Lone Wolf’ they called him, If only they knew just how right they were.
Only four others knew of his other life, his existence as a werewolf, three of those were different like him, an Imp, a pixie and a giant, the other was human.
He’d had no idea that he was different from the other children growing up, it wasn’t until he hit puberty, his mid teens that he realized he was different. That was when she had entered his life, told him about another world, a hidden world called the Ne’er. A world where people like him existed, a world which was to be kept hidden from humans at all costs.
She had told him about people like him, fairies, vampires, imps (Like she was, although tall for her kind.) Pixies, giants, everything he had read about in storybooks as a child was real and he was a part of it.
However, even in this world he was alone, a cross breed. Not a full Were’; one parent was a full Werewolf, the other from what he had discovered was a crossbreed part Russian Mountain Bear dog. All the people from the Ne’er insisted they didn’t know about where he had come from or who his people were but he had found somewhere where he fitted in, albeit uncomfortably as he was bigger than the average member of his kind and they tended to avoid him.
He had looked for a pack, but the other Were had tried to allow him in, but it hadn’t worked. So even in the Ne’er he was alone, searching for a pack, a family to call his own. In his human life and in his subworld life he hadn’t found a family to call his own, with the exception of the Imp who had taken him in at fifteen and the team he now worked with who had become as close as family to him.
The human who had found out about him first had become his closest friend. The first Human he had trusted.
It was 1995, he was 25 and on assignment in Russia with a Marine gunnery sergeant who was assigned to his CIA unit. They had been on assignment together for a month, Gibbs learning about Callen’s past and Callen starting to trust the older man. They had gone with his partner Petrov to a meet with an arms dealer when all hell had broken loose, a man had emerged from the shadows shooting at Callen, but had shot his partner instead, his partner had been killed and both Callen and Gibbs had gone on the run. After a few hours they were locked in an old Dacha which had been left boarded up for the winter.
Callen had been shot himself, just a flesh wound, but it had left him with a fever. Gibbs had managed to break into the small cottage and got a roaring fire going in the wood burning stove in the corner of the room and had helped Callen sit on a lumpy old couch.
He got some snow and melted it on the stove and handed Callen an MRE pack looking to see if there were any antibiotics in the small med kit he had been issued.
“Callen? Agent Callen, wake up.” Gibbs said, rousing the younger man from his dazed state.
Callen opened his eyes tiredly as Gibbs handed him some water and a pain pill. “What happened?” Callen asked.
“I don’t know, it was a simple meet, some guy appeared from nowhere and started shooting at us, well more precisely at you.”
Callen nodded tiredly, “Hunter.” He sighed, he could feel the burn from the silver bullet that had grazed his arm.
“Hunter, was that his name?” Gibbs asked, breaking off and handed him an MRE ration.
Callen shook his head, “Not part of the mission, not compromised. He was a hunter, after me.” He closed his eyes and sighed, then he pulled his shirt down where the bullet had grazed his arm. “Any vodka in here?” He asked looking around.
Gibbs got up and looked around to find half a bottle in a cupboard in the kitchen area. He handed the younger man the bottle and watched as he poured it on his arm.
“Damn, Silver burns.” Callen cussed as the Vodka washed the last traces of silver from his arm.
Gibbs watched amazed as the scar seemed to heal itself.
“What the hell Callen?” Gibbs exclaimed.
Callen looked over at him worriedly. “I’m different Gibbs. Different from everyone. I’m trusting you with my life. I have too, I’m too weak… I need to change.”
“I’m a werewolf. I won’t hurt you, but I need to rest and heal. If you want to kill me, go ahead. You won’t be the first to betray me, but I won’t hurt you.” Callen promised.
Gibbs nodded, thinking that Callen was just spouting nonsense from the fever he was suffering. “I’m gonna use the head.” He said and went in search of the bathroom.
When he walked back out Callen was nowhere to be seen, However curled up on the thick bear rug by the stove was a large Wolf.
“Callen?” Gibbs called.
Lazily the wolf lifted his head and looked at him.
Instantly Gibbs was struck by the cerulean blue eyes of the wolf in front of him.
“Callen?” He asked again, the wolf looked for all the world as if it nodded, it gave a small yip and lowered its head and closed his eyes.
Gibbs reached for the vodka and took a large gulp. “Damn!” he said, watching his friend sleep on the rug.
Callen loved the feeling of being outdoors and free, running during the early hours of the morning while the moon was still up running through the trees in the Los Angeles national forest. He knew he had the time he didn’t need to be back at his car until dawn to go to his house and shower for work, so right now he was free.
He stopped as he sniffed a scent in the air, something was wrong.
A hunter maybe?
He looked and sniffed waiting for a sign, he padded around in a circle, just deciding that he was safe to continue his run when he heard a gunshot and his world went black.
In Washington, D.C. Gibbs woke up as his phone rang.
“Leon, it’s three am.” Gibbs said as he answered the phone.
“We have a situation in Los Angeles,” Leon said.
Gibbs sat up, “You called Callen and his team?” He asked.
Leon was quiet for a moment. “Callen is missing.”
Gibbs ran a hand over his face for a moment, taking in the information.
“The Office of Special Project are a good team, I’m sure they can handle it.” Gibbs said, but his gut churned as he figured that if they could Leon wouldn’t be calling him at three am.
“It’s a delicate matter, I’m calling you, DiNozzo and Tim in on this one.”
“What about Bishop?” Gibbs asked.
“No.” Leon replied quickly.
“I’m on my way.” Gibbs replied and closed the phone.
Fifteen minutes later, Gibbs was climbing the stairs to the Director’s office where a sleepy Tim and a wide awake Tony were waiting for him.
“You got here quick?” Gibbs said, looking at his Senior Field Agent.
“Still at work.” Tony admitted, “Tim was at the Inn, came back through the portal in the car park.” He explained as Tim yawned and stretched.
“No Bishop?” Tim asked, looking around for their newest team member.
“Not for this.” Gibbs replied as he knocked on the door.
“Come in.” Vance’s voice came from behind the door.
The troop filed in the door and found seats.
“We have a situation in Los Angeles for which you three are uniquely qualified to assist.” Vance said as he handed them each a coffee.
“Thanks.” Gibbs sighed as he took a deep sip of his coffee.
“So why are we uniquely qualified?” Tim asked, looking at his uncle.
“It’s not terrorist related is it? It’s Ne’er related.” Gibbs stated, “It’s a Hunter after Callen.”
Everyone looked at Gibbs in surprise.
“You know?” Vance gasped.
Gibbs nodded, “Known since ’95, we were tracked by a Hunter in Russia, G got hit and well, let’s just say it was an interesting assignment and the start of a great friendship.”
“Well, there is a band of Hunters from Romania, Comescu’s who hunted the Callen family for years. Last time they surfaced in Los Angeles Hetty Lange went to deal with them.”
“Hetty knows about the Ne’er?” Tony said in surprise, she’d given him no indication that she was anything other than a no nonsense operation manager.
“Of course she does.” Vance said with a slight smile, “A part from Callen, three other members of the Office of Special projects are from the Ne’er.”
Tim knew, he had met Callen and another Ne’erworlder on his last trip to California, the other two members he had met from time to time at The Inn.
“So…” Tony drew out the word, “Who is who?” He asked, “I don’t want to talk to the wrong person about… Ya know…”
“You don’t have to worry DiNozzo, by the time you arrive we will be telling the main team because Agent Callen’s life may depend on them knowing. But to put your mind at rest, Hetty Lange is an Imp. Quite tall for her kind actually. Miss Jones is a Pixie and Nate Getz is a Giant. Granted for a giant Mr Getz is actually quite short and then there is Agent Callen who is a crossbreed Werewolf. The thing is, we don’t know for a fact that is it hunters after him. You remember how Tim was treated before the Creator intervened?” Vance asked.
Gibbs and Tony nodded and Tim stared sadly at the floor remembering his treatment as a crossbreed, the son of Springtime and Death.
“Some people in the Ne’er do not like interbreeding. Callen’s parents were, from what we can gather, a Werewolf and a Russian Mountain Bear Dog/Were hybrid. Now what you need to know is that Werewolves live in packs, they need to to survive. Callen is somewhat of a rarity because of his being lost to us, we didn’t know about him being a Werewolf. He wasn’t adopted into a pack as a baby and when he changed at fifteen, I sent Hetty to find him and take him in. We tried over the years to find a pack that would accept him, but when he would change, and they saw him most balked at him being a part of the pack. Agent Callen is literally a lone wolf. He has been attacked a few times in his youth by other packs because of it, so we need to find him and find out if it is a Hunter or one of ours that is after him and most importantly we need to find out if Agent Callen is still alive.”