Tim was pacing his office, he remembered when Sam Hanna and Hetty Lange had brought thirteen year old Callen Hanna to Washington.
Vance had been director then and he remembered himself and Tony helping to find information on Yoska Comescu, even then the man had given Tim the 'heebie jeebies'. He had never met a man like him before and was glad to say he hadn't since.
Getting the news this morning that Hetty Lange had been found dead in her Encino home had been a shock.
Hetty was a legend in NCIS circles; he had called Vance, who was in Seattle with his daughter. Kayla had just given birth to her first child and Leon had made sure he had been there for the birth. He had called Tim a few days before happy and wanting to share the news that Kayla and her husband Daniel had just had an 8lb baby girl called Jackie after her late mother. Having to call him back two days later to tell him of the death of Hetty Lange had been a blow.
Vance had offered to fly back; However Tim had turned him down promising to let him know when the funeral was.
He had had to call the SECNAV and the SECDEF both of whom were on the contact list for deaths of high profile operatives or in Hetty's case a former operative.
Something wasn't sitting right with him. He called Ron Sacks at the FBI for more information on how Yoska had managed to escape without NCIS being informed.
Ron was livid when he was finally given the file on Yoska Comescu, no one had told him of the background to the case. Tobias had taken early retirement five years ago and had moved to Italy where Emily his daughter had gone to study for a year. He had filled Tim in on as much information as he had and it wasn't much, but he had promised to get to the bottom of it.
Tim was so deep in thought he jumped as his phone rang.
"Director McGee." He said. He looked up in surprise as he heard the voice on the other end.
"Sam…" He braced himself, their last talk an hour ago had left him in no doubt that his operations manager in Los Angeles was as mad as hell with him.
"I need your help Tim." Sam said down the phone.
"Sorry?" Tim was surprised, that happened to him very rarely.
"Cal's gone lone wolf on me, He took off out the door, I have Nell with Renko and Vaile looking for him, he doesn't know about Comescu, I only got as far as telling him about his grandmothers death."
"What do you need?" Tim asked.
"Can you get hold of Gibbs?" Sam asked.
"Gibbs?!" Tim asked in surprise. "Yeah, he's at my home right now, he's spending the day with Delilah and the twins."
"Can you give him my cell number and get him to call me, Cal respected him. I don't know if Gibbs told you…but he's been out here at least once a year and spends a week with Callen; Jethro was teaching him how to sail."
Tim was surprised at that, "He used to take a week off, and he never told anyone he was spending time in Los Angeles. Up until Jackson died we always thought he was going to his fathers, and then we figured he took the week off to go to Stillwater or something."
"No, he and Cal are close, does he know about Hetty yet?" Sam asked.
"No, I figured I'd tell him tonight." Tim admitted.
"I need to tell him, please." Sam added on the end.
Tim told him his home phone number and asked for ten minutes to let his wife know that Sam would be calling. "Is there anything else you need?" Tim asked.
"I need to find my son." Sam said simply, "If you can find out who's on the case trying to find Yoska Comescu, and your best people to investigate Hetty's death, I think my new team is too close to this, especially as they will be on protection duty as soon as they find my son."
Tim smiled, "I have the MCRT on the way, and DiNozzo will be touching down in 2 hours. He has been given the address of the safe house and is heading straight there. So I suggest you head there yourself."
"Yes sir…and…thanks Tim." Sam replied.
Tim smiled sadly, "NCIS has lost too much this week, we will not lose anyone else." He vowed.
Callen pulled up outside Hetty's home. It had only been three days since he was last there and now it felt like years away.
He jumped out of Sam's car and even knowing she wouldn't answer he ran into the house calling her name.
"HETTY!" He yelled running into the house, tears he couldn't hold back anymore were burning behind his eyes.
He ran around the house, until he got to the LAPD crime scene tape. Her body was gone but there was an outline on the floor, and a dark red stain where the blood had flowed out of her.
He dropped to his knees and reached out gently to touch her outline. "You could have fought him, you could have stopped him…why didn't you…why…why did he have to go after you…I'm sorry" he cried.
"It is all your fault." A voice came from behind him.
"I didn't want her to die; you didn't have to kill her!" Callen snapped turning to face Yoska for the first time.
"You took away my life; I spent ten years in a rat infested jail because of you. You have a new name now I hear…Callen Hanna," he spat.
Callen's hand twitched towards his gun, but Yoska already had his out. "Drop your weapon…and that badge, you are not a federal agent…not anymore, you will come with me and reclaim your rightful position as my slave."
Callen heard a car pulling up.
"I have men outside, as soon as your friends step out of the car they die…this will be up to you…do they live or die?"
Callen dropped his gun and badge on the floor.
"Let them live, no one else should die for me."
Yoska talked to his cuff, Callen could only assume he had a microphone there and others listening in via earwigs.
"You tell your friends you are leaving of you own free will, if they stop us, if you fail to convince them, they will die and your father will be burying more than your grandmother this week."
Callen suppressed a sob, "Very well…"
"Very well what!" Yoska snapped.
Callen's shoulders slumped, "Very well…Master."
"Defend me…remember if I die, they die."
Callen picked up his gun, his hand shaking.
"NCIS!" Dom called as they entered the house.
"Please…Master I can't shoot them…" Callen said.
"Then they die." Yoska said dispassionately, "I will shoot the woman first."
Callen's head snapped up at that, "Woman?"
"Clear." Nell voice rang out.
Callen's eyes widened as they entered the room, "NCIS…Freeze…Yoska Comescu, put down your weapon." Nell ordered.
Callen lifted a shaky hand and pointed his gun at her.
"Nell…let us go." He begged.
Callen shot Nell a pleading look, "Please Nell…let us go…"
"You can't go Cal, you need to come home."
"You're right I do need to go home, tell Sam I said thank you, but I need to go where I belong, enough people have been hurt because of me, and I need to go with my master…"
Mike and Dom looked at each other in surprise; Callen couldn't look at either of them.
"If you don't let us walk out of here I'll have to shoot you and you'll be forced to kill us, I will die for him." Callen said hoping that Nell would understand.
Nell nodded, "I understand Callen, you miss your master, may I hug you goodbye?" she asked.
Yoska smiled, "Say your goodbye's boy and then we will leave."
Nell hugged him and whispered in his ear. "I will pass on your message to Sam, and I will look after buddy." She said as they parted. She kissed him on the cheek and stroked the back of his neck. "Be safe Cal."
Callen smiled slightly, "I am doing the right thing Nell." He told her, "Tell them…tell them I'm sorry."
He turned and picked up his badge and handed it to her.
"Bye Callen." She said flatly as Yoska and Callen turned to go. "Drop your weapons guys, Callen has made his decision."
"What about Hetty?" Dom asked not dropping his weapon.
"We should look for her killer, we have no proof that Mr. Comescu is responsible for her death so we have to let him go." Nell said again.
Mike and Dom watched in stunned silence as Callen still covering them with his gun, left with Yoska Comescu.
As soon as they got outside Yoska moved the gun to Callen's back, "Drop your gun boy." He snarled.
Cal nodded, "Yes Master." He said subserviently.
Yoska pushed him into the car as Callen sent a silent hopeful look to the camera that was pointing outside Hetty's house, hoping that what Nell had whispered to him was true…he knew he wouldn't be able to cope if it wasn't.
Nell stood still as they left Mike and Dom looking at her as if she was crazy.
She waited a good three minutes then picked up her phone and called the secure line to OPS.
"It's Nell, run program Callen1. And start sending the co-ordinates to my phone."
Mike and Dom looked at her in surprise as she turned and looked at her phone. She held her hand out to Mike, "Phone now." She said.
Dutifully Mike handed her his phone and she called Deeks.
"Ok Callen's on route is the yacht at the dock?" she asked.
"It's been there since this morning according to the harbormaster. I have let Kensi in on the plan; she's taken the kids to the safe house to wait with Sam. He called; Director McGee said DiNozzo is on his way, you guys should pick him up at the airport."
"We'll head there now," Nell, replied, "DiNozzo is ready to hit the ground running yeah?"
"As far as I know, I don't know why we couldn't read Sam into this plan of yours." Deeks said. "But Kensi will fill him in when she gets there."
"Because we know they are watching them, both, Callen and Sam's reactions needed to be genuine, I managed to give Callen a heads up before he left, I just hope this works." She said and hung up the phone.
Mike and Dom stood stunned.
"You've had a plan in place for this?" Dom asked.
"For the last ten years, I just hope it works." Nell said honestly, as they turned and headed for the car to pick up DiNozzo's team from the airport.
Tony DiNozzo stretched as the plane taxied to a halt and looked around at his team.
"Bishop, grab the bags when we land, take probie with you, and meet me at the information Desk we should be meeting up with Nell Jones and her team."
"Ok Boss." Ellie said as she nudged the newest probie on the team who was still asleep, "Ray…we're landing wake up."
Ray Calebeck groaned as he woke up "Ok Bishop, I'm awake…"
"I should hope so Calebeck, the bad guys aren't gonna wait for you to wake up." DiNozzo snapped.
Ellie smiled at him as she walked a bit faster to catch up with him, "You channeling your inner Gibbs?" she asked.
Tony stopped and grinned. "I don't have to…" he walked up to the grey haired man standing with his back to them. "Boss? What you doing here?" he asked in surprise.
Gibbs turned and smiled, "Got a call from Sam, Tim pulled some strings and I came up by jet."
"Gibbs!" Ellie grinned "How retirement?" she asked him.
"Been good thanks, although I've been reinstated for this case, Tim isn't getting to you Tony, but Sam asked for me personally, because I get on well with Callen."
Tony nodded, he was comfortable enough to trust Tim's judgment and he knew Gibbs would help. "I'll take Comescu and you take Callen then?"
"Sure, where's Nell?" Gibbs asked.
Tony looked around and saw a petite red head coming towards them, "She's coming." He grinned.
Ray caught up to them and dropped the bags. "Are…Aren't you Agent…Gibbs? It's an honor to meet you Sir." He stammered as both Tony and Ellie winced.
Gibbs just glared and shook his hand, "New probie?" he asked Tony.
"Well…the last one became my SFA and the one before that Director…so I needed a new one."
"GIBBS!" Nell called over the din of the people as she caught up to the group.
"Nell!" Gibbs caught her up in a bear hug much to the surprise of the two agents beside her.
Nell laughed, "Come on we have an SUV and a car for you guys, let me fill you in on what we have so far."
"He's back then for definite?" Gibbs asked.
Nell nodded, "Callen panicked, he's gone with him, probably to protect the rest of us, I told him he's being tracked and we'll save him, but I'm not sure if he believes me."
"Tim is rolling Sacks over the coals for not letting us know he'd escaped, it cost Hetty her life and I don't think he's going to be able to weasel out of this one easily." Gibbs told them.
"I just hope it doesn't cost anyone else their lives." Nell said grimly as they reached the cars.
Callen was fervently hoping the same thing as he knelt on the floor in the back of the car; he remembered this part being easier.
Yoska kept shooting him glances, "I have missed you so much boy, and I look forward to re-educating you. I have someone else that you will need to teach the ropes to as well, she failed me and now will learn that failure is not tolerated."
Callen chanced a look up at his master, he knew that Nell was safe, as much as it hurt Hetty was safe, because she was dead…Kensi and the children were safe, so who could he be taking about.
They pulled up to a house overlooking the marina.
"Out." Comescu ordered and Callen got out and walked in front of Yoska's gun into the house.
He looked up as a he entered the house. "Your cell is down there, go down and prepare yourself boy."
Callen shook as he walked down the stairs, he saw a cell next to his and a naked woman with long dark hair, her back to him, curled in a ball on the bed.
"Take them off, put those on." He said handing him a pair of cotton thin shorts.
"I will have food sent down, you will be ready for me in an hour, and then you can come back and inform our new guest what she is going to expect later."
Yoska turned the light out and Callen sat on his cot in the dark.
The woman stirred and sniffed, it was obvious to Callen that she had been crying.
"Is…is someone there…can you help me?" she whispered.
He wanted to tell her it was going to be ok for her, that she would be fine, but he did not know, not for sure. Besides he wasn't really sure he could trust her, she could be a plant for the Master.
"Don't fight him." Callen eventually said after what seemed like an eternity of silence.
"What?" she sounded scared and outraged now.
"The Master…he likes pain, the more you fight him the more he likes it, don't fight him."
"Do you know where we are?" she asked. "We need to get out of here and call the FBI."
"The FBI can't help us," Callen sighed and shifted on his cot to look in her general direction.
"Who are you?" he asked. "Why did the Master take you?"