Callen lay back in his seat the painkillers helping him sleep on the flight.
He jumped as Gibbs lay a gentle hand on his arm, "Dimitri, we are coming into land, you need to fasten your seatbelt son." He said softly in Russian.
For a split second, Callen looked confused but then his masks came up, "Ok Dad, Is that Moscow?" he asked looking out of the window as the airport loomed in the distance.
Gibbs smiled, "Yes, we will be getting a charter flight from there tomorrow, tonight we will stay in a hotel." He told his son, "Now pay attention to the instructions so you land safely."
Callen did up he seat belt and did as he was told exiting the plane and looked to all the world like a kid entering Russia for the first time with his parents, He stepped off of the plane and walked down the long walkway to the arrivals lounge following his parents, the size of the huge terminal at Moscow's main airport stunned him, he hadn't ever seen anything quite as big.
"Wow!" he breathed.
Gibbs put his hand on his shoulder and Callen stifled the automatic flinch, Dimitri didn't flinch from his parents.
"Dimi…Grab your bags." Anatoly ordered him.
"Yes papa." Dimitri replied and picked all three of his bags off of the carousel.
Arriving at the hotel, Callen kept up the persona until the doors were closed.
"Nadia, We'll take the large room and ….what's your name kid?" Gibbs asked.
"G." Callen said.
Gibbs looked at him but shrugged, "G you take the room down the hall."
"Ok." Callen went to carry all three of his bags.
"Let me help, you can't carry all of those." Gibbs went to take a bag, but Callen moved them out of his reach.
"I'm fine." He said and carried them into his room, dropping them as soon as the door was closed and collapsing onto the bed his eyes watering from the exertion.
The door knocked once and Gibbs walked in with Nadia, "Hey G….we were going to…" Gibbs stopped as he saw the pain on Callen's face.
"You alright? Have you taken your meds?" he asked concerned.
Callen ignored the pain and sat upright, "I'm fine…" his face masked "What was it you were going to do?" he asked biting the inside of his lip to keep from letting them know he hurt.
"Sure, kid you're not ready for this; you shouldn't be on this mission, what if you get hurt?"
Callen shrugged, "What if I get hurt?" he asked.
"You should be at university, living your life, getting a girl instead of running around strange countries, playing CIA." Gibbs started concerned for him.
"I ain't playing Agent Gibbs, I am damn good at my job and unlike you I am expendable, but I can't be at my best on those stupid pain killer drugs." Callen snapped.
"Ok!" Gibbs held up his hands to show the kid he was no threat, "At least take the antibiotics, we'll get you something to eat and then you can rest, they did put sleepwear in those bags for you didn't they?" he asked ushering Agent Johnson out.
Callen nodded, "Suppose so."
"You want a hand getting changed?" Gibbs asked.
"Why?" Callen was instantly on edge.
Gibbs looked startled, "It ain't like that kid, I just wanna help… Didn't your parents ever help you when you were sick?"
Callen shook his head, "Don't got any." He said.
"What about the people who care about you?" Gibbs asked,
"Like I said," Callen replied, "Ain't got any."
Gibbs looked at him shocked, "Wow, they trained you like that at the CIA?" he asked handing him a t-shirt to sleep in.
Callen carefully put it on discarding his other shirt and checking his own blood stained bandage.
"Na, foster care." He smirked.
Gibbs looked at him, he did seem really young, he thought back to his own daughter dead 3 years now, and he decided he would try during the mission to help the kid where possible. "We have a problem." Gibbs said.
Callen looked up interested, "We've been compromised?" he asked instantly focused on the mission.
"No, but to pull this off we are going to have to trust each other, so I'm going to tell you something about me that no one else knows. I am going to trust you to keep it to yourself; it will not compromise the mission or change anything, but if you want to tell me something - something no one else knows, I will keep it to myself. It's the start of real trust." Gibbs said.
Callen looked at him, trying to see if he was playing an angle, but he saw something he couldn't ever remember seeing in an adult's eye, truth.
Gibbs waited and Callen nodded, "Ok…you first." Callen said guardedly.
"I had a daughter, Kelly...She and my wife died when she was eight and I shot their killer, a Mexican drug dealer called Hernandez." Gibbs said.
Callen blinked in surprise, "Wow…!" he breathed, and he wasn't sure what he had expected but this? This was not only giving him trust but the information could break the man and land him in jail, it was a huge amount of trust he had been handed.
He sat for a moment, there were so many things he could tell him, but he didn't think them worthy of telling.
Gibbs sat as he watched the young man go through the thoughts in his head.
"I have dreams…I speak differently in them…in a language I don't understand…and there I feel there is something missing – a part of me." He looked apologetically at Gibbs, "It's not much…" he sighed.
"Have you ever told anyone?" Gibbs asked.
Callen shook his head, "No one to tell." He said.
"Then it's enough." Gibbs said.
Callen gave him a look, usually when people wanted information out of him they wanted names, dates, places. But this guy he wanted to work with him and he was not pushing.
"Here…" Gibbs handed him his antibiotic, "Take these and get into bed."
Without thinking Callen climbed in the bed.
He froze as Gibbs leant over and pulled the covers over him Callen grabbed his wrist. "What are you doing?" he asked suspiciously.
"Tucking you in?"
"You what?" he asked confused.
Gibbs sighed, "Making sure you are covered up so you don't get cold." He told the younger man.
Callen gave a short nod, "Hey Gibbs…?" he called as the older man turned to go, "Thank you."
He turned so Gibbs wouldn't see the smile on his face he didn't want to push it, but that had been nice.
He felt drowsy and started to slip off to sleep, for the first time in ages feeling sleepy.
Gibbs watched as Callen curled up in a ball his hand reaching for something in his sleep.
"Night G." He said quietly.
"Te iubesc tată." Callen said in his sleep.
Gibbs watched him, to see if the kid was playing him, but he really was asleep.
He recognized the language, Romani. He made a mental note to keep that fact to himself for a while.
He walked out to the lounge where Nadia Johnson sat drinking a coffee and looking out over the view of Moscow, he stood behind her admiring the same view, "It's beautiful here isn't it Nadia." He said.
She smiled, "I was born here Jethro." She said with a laugh in her voice, "I must admit, that this was not the way I had expected our honeymoon to go, being sent on a case with a kid."
Jethro wrapped his arms around his wife,
"Did you tell the kid we were married?" she asked, "For real?"
Gibbs shook his head, "Kid's bright he'll figure it out. He's sleeping now."
Nadia looked towards his room, "He's so young, and to be this young and so cynical what did the CIA do to him?"
Gibbs shrugged, "He says it was being brought up in foster care, Nad…I know we have the case to solve, but I think, while we are on this case we should show him what a family is like, it may be good for him."
Nadia Johnson looked at her husband, "You've only been married once before, are you sure you can show him what it is like to be a parent, you don't have kids." She knew he'd been married, it said so on the certificate, and she knew his first wife died, but they'd had no children, so how could they pull it off, "Besides he's old enough to look after himself."
"I think he's been doing that his whole life," Gibbs said, "Rest now, we have a plane to catch in the morning." He said and moved to sit with her on the couch as the twinkling lights of Moscow mixed with the falling snow.