It was freezing and Anya Petrovitch stood in Constanta's main railway terminal, shaking and holding her small bag, the only thing her father had allowed her to take with her as he threw her out of his house, life and family.
She had taken her savings and called Alexa, who had sent her a ticket to come as soon as possible.
She couldn't stop the tears that escaped, the same tears she cried everyday for the man whose name she didn't know.
Three months after Dmitri Lenkov had quickly disappeared from her life and left her with a distraught uncle and an irate father, she had discovered what Dmitri told her was not true. You could get pregnant the first time you had sex.
She had hid it for two months, but by the third month she couldn't hide her rapidly expanding waistline and he father had called her out over it. She had sobbed and pleaded when he had demanded she go to an abortionist as he dragged her in the center to the horror of everyone watching and demand she terminate the CIA Agent's spawn she screamed no and slapped her own father in the face. Within five minutes of her returning home he had stood at the door with an empty bag in his hand.
"Fill it, you have five minutes. Take only what is yours and leave my home." He said his face furious.
"Papa please, this is your grandchild." She begged.
He turned and looked away. "That is not my grandchild, you are not my daughter. My daughter would not put her own selfish needs over the family. Take what you own and get out." He thrust the bag into her hand as she ran sobbing up the stairs.
She stood twenty minutes later at a payphone in the center of town and rang the one person she hoped could help her.
"Alexa…it's Anya…I…I need help. I need somewhere to stay."
Alexa brought a ticket and had it wired to the station, two hours later she was sitting in a warm carriage, her hand over her belly as the train pasts through fields and countries until it pulled to a halt in the Constanta station.
She stepped off the train and flinched as her name was screamed.
For a second she looked around in fright until she saw her best friend and Uncle Gregori on the platform.
As she turned he stopped and a strange look crossed his face. Then he enveloped her in a hug.
"Come, let us get in the car and head home, then we can talk."
Anya nodded, and silently got in the car gripping Alexa's hand.
Ten minutes later they were sitting in the back kitchen, Helena Garasovic was sitting at the counter in the corner, finishing off the last of the year's pickling and listened, without listening, to the conversation between the young girl and her 'uncle'.
"Uncle Gregori, thank you for helping me." She cried as Helena turned and put a glass of Kvass in her hand. "My father said I had to leave, that my child was CIA spawn and I had slept with the enemy. Dmitri was not like that, he loved me I know he loved me." She sobbed and Gregori moved his chair to sit beside her and handed her a tissue from the box Helena handed him.
"I know Gregori's heart my child, he truly did love you." Gregori said.
"His name was Dmitri Lenkov, uncle Gregori." She informed him feeling confused.
"No my child, the CIA stole him and his twin sister when they were five and brainwashed them, His real name is Gregori Comescu II, they stole his memories, his life and his family. They even took his name and gave him the name of his would be abductor; he's called G. Callen now." He said sadly.
"So…?" Anya said looking up, "Is this your grandchild?" she asked.
"This is my son's child and your child and I am your child's grandfather and I promise you I will do everything in my power to keep you both safe. As safe as I know my son would if he knew. I will find him and I promise you that one day you will be reunited." He vowed.
Anya looked up at him with hope filled eyes, "I hope so I really do, Uncle Gregori, I love him with all my heart." She sighed.
In Los Angeles, Callen opened the door of his motel room, sighed in annoyance and stepped back to let Gibbs enter.
"Why are you still here, shouldn't you be back on deployment Gunny?" he snarked.
Gibbs ignored the comment and walked in setting his own bag down. "You need me." He stated.
"The hell I do." Callen snapped and pulled a beer out of the fridge in the kitchenette.
"You're not 21 yet." Gibbs said taking the beer and pouring it down the sink.
"Hey!" Callen snapped.
"Drink this." He said placing a coffee in front of him.
Callen snatched the coffee and walked to the window taking in the twinkling lights from the Santa Monica pier in the distance.
"You fell for her didn't you?" Gibbs asked as he grabbed his own coffee from the container and stood behind him, giving him distance.
G said nothing and continued to stare out the window.
"It happens," Gibbs said softly, "You did good though." He continued.
"What?" Callen asked spinning around to face the man.
"You got us vital information, I'm not sure what it was but the powers that be were pleased."
"So I've been here 3 months as ordered, am I going on assignment with you or am I being sent back to the factory." He said using his own nickname for the various 3 letter agency's he worked for.
"I dunno kid I got a six month furlough so I thought I'd look you up…so kid?" Gibbs asked sinking into the one armchair there was, "Did you sleep with her."
Callen looked him up and down….a debrief?
"Who's asking you or the CIA?"
"Me." Gibbs replied
"Yeah." Gibbs affirmed.
"Yeah." Callen said softly answering his question.
"You did use protection didn't you?" Gibbs asked concerned.
"It's not so bad; you can't get a girl pregnant on your first time." Callen said and ducked his head realizing he had just admitted it was his first time with a girl.
Gibbs raised an eyebrow, "Who told you that?" he asked.
"Common knowledge." Callen replied.
Gibbs sighed, "No one ever taught you the facts of life kid?" he asked.
Callen laughed "I know the facts of life. If you don't duck fast enough the hit hurts more, if you wanna keep, it you wear it, if it's really important you sleep with it. Never turn your back on an adult, those facts of life? Yeah Gibbs, those I know." He said.
"No kids the birds and the bees." Gibbs sighed.
"The what?!" Callen burst into laughter, "It wasn't a part of my training." He admitted.
"What about your foster parents?" Gibbs asked amazed the kid had made it to 18 and didn't know this.
G shrugged "Why would I need to learn about the birds and the bees, I'm an expendable asset, not a gardener."
"Expendable?" Gibbs asked shocked at the matter of fact way the kid had described himself.
"Sure," G shrugged non committally, "I got no one who cares whether I am alive or dead so I'm expendable."
"I care." Gibbs said looking him in the eye.
Callen shifted uncomfortably, "Why?"
"You remember what I told you about my wife and daughter?" Gibbs said.
Callen took a step back, "I won't tell Gibbs, honest…I promised, he tensed his shoulders up waiting for the blow."
"I felt like you do…" Callen looked at Gibbs in shock and relaxed a bit, "I felt I was expendable and it's and then I found someone who needed someone just as much as I did, it helps…maybe it'll help you." He said watching Callen's face.
Callen stood and looked away "You should go and be with them then," he said.
He blinked a few times but got ready for Gibbs to get up and walk out.
"I am with them."
"Sorry?" he was confused again.
"Coz you need it."
"I don't need people and no one needs me, unless it's for a mission." Callen snapped.
"You need people Callen…you know you do…Anya? Whoever it is that you reach for with your hand when you are asleep?" Gibbs pushed.
"I don't." Callen deigned it.
"You do." Gibbs told him.
Callen's shoulders slumped. "I know I do but I don't know who I am reaching for Grace maybe…" he said more to himself than Gibbs.
"Grace? Girlfriend?" Gibbs asked.
"Stevens and no, she was at the factory with me, we are just friends, we are…were… close kinda we just clicked.
"But….you don't love her?" Gibbs asked.
"I love Anya…I loved Anya…with her it was like destiny, but Grace is just awesome, she gets me she makes me feel….safe." he said the last word so quietly Gibbs nearly didn't catch it.
"OK." As usual Gibbs took him at face value, never pushed never poked. G liked that.
"So…Birds and Bees?" Callen asked innocently.
Two hours later a thoroughly embarrassed Gibbs and Callen walked out of the motel room.
"Coffee?" Callen asked his face still read.
"Yeah and a burger, dunno about you kid but I could eat." Gibbs admitted.
Callen nodded, "there's a nice place about a block away," he said and walked off in that direction his hands shoved in his pockets.
Gibbs followed along grinning at the kid's still obvious embarrassment.
They slipped into a booth at the back and waited as the waitress took their order.
"So…Why did you decide to work for the CIA." Gibbs asked as Callen dipped his fries into his ketchup and took the tomato out of his burger and replaced it with Ketchup.
"What do you mean?" Callen asked.
"What would you like to do for a job?" Gibbs asked
Callen shrugged, "Whatever I'm assigned to next I suppose," he sighed, "I don't get to choose."
"How did you come to be in the CIA?" Gibbs asked intrigued.
"Social worker sent me, they had a meeting set up, told me I was to leave school and start work with them to help take down one of my ex foster parents."
Gibbs watched a strange look, fear, satisfaction and regret cross the younger man's face.
"What did you wanna do when you were a kid?" Gibbs asked.
Callen took a drink of his milkshake and looked out the window to the beach beyond, "Never really thought about it much, I wanted to be a policeman or a firefighter." He admitted. "What about you?" he asked.
"I wanted to be a Marine." Gibbs admitted.
"Wow you got assigned the job you wanted? Lucky!" G exclaimed.
"No…I wasn't assigned I went to a recruitment office." Gibbs said.
"You got to choose?" G put his fries on the plate his full attention on Gibbs.
"You never went to careers day at school?" Gibbs asked.
"Sure I walked into the office was handed the slip with my job on and told to report on Monday." Callen said.
Gibbs looked shocked he didn't know why but it seemed that the CIA had had this kid pegged from childhood, but he had no idea why.
"Listen, I have to go, book a room, sort some things out…you ever need anything you call me ok?" Gibbs said handing G a card.
"Yeah…thanks Gibbs." He said not turning the card over, he didn't want to embarrass his friend in public as the card turned out to be bogus.
Gibbs reached out and turned the card over, "My number is on there kid…use it." He said, "Even if your angry, or you can't sleep…call me and spare a toaster." He laughed.
Callen smiled "Thanks Gibbs."
Anya looked at the room Alexa had prepared for her.
It was large, sunny and with a bay window overlooking the beach and the black sea. There were two small dark wood cribs, sitting side to side in a warm but shaded part of the room and a picture of two small children in a frame above their heads There was a large double bed, with a warm yellow comforter over the bed and a small faded blue bunny on the pillows.
"This was Gregori and Ilena's room; father said it was only right you had it my sister, for the birth of your babies.
She had found out after a scan that she was having twins and Gregori and Alexa had been ecstatic for her.
She sat down softly on the bed; Alexa had moved all her things from the other room and unpacked in here for her. She picked up the faded blue bunny and breathed in its scent, it was warm and comforting.
"Was this his?" she asked.
Alexa picked the rabbit from her hands and held it tightly, tears in her eyes.
"It was his favorite, he called it Kita…he couldn't say Nikita." She said "He would walk around trailing that thing behind him, holding it by one ear and sucking his thumb with the other hand. Ilena had a pink one called Della and they would put the bunnies between them and snuggle together holding hands and sleeping listening to their mother reading stories."
"I thought Aunt Amy died in childbirth?" Anya said.
Alexa nodded, she walked to an old reel to reel tape recorder and pressed play and Amy's English lilt filled the room.
"I had always hoped they had at least been kept together, but you say he doesn't even know his name?" Alexa asked.
"He told me his name was Dmitri Lenkov; your father said he is called G Callen in America. They gave him the surname of the woman who took him and fed him lies." She said sadly.
"I will find him and bring him home to you and your babies, this I vow." Alexa swore.
Anya held a protective hand over the place where her children were growing.
Alexa sensed her friends apprehension and pulled her into a hug, "You will not be in this alone Anya, these children will be loved as much their father and aunt were and still are loved by us." She told Alexa who held her close as Anya burst into tears.