The shortest way home

Chapter 2

The elder Callen leaned against the wall and watched as a pair of legs emerged out of the window followed by a body which twisted to cling onto the drain pipe that was next to the window.

"You weren't kidding," Sam said standing beside Callen.

"Nope." Callen said straight faced.

G turned around as his feet hit the floor.

"Shit!" he exclaimed jumping with fright as he came face to face with his older self again. "How did you know?" he asked.

"Told ya kid, I'm you, I remember doing this." Callen said, "In the car, we need to go."

G looked at the two men, "Don't care what you do to me, I ain't going back to that foster home, the guy was a sicko." He said backing away slowly.

Callen shot a look at Sam, this was one thing he didn't want to share, but right now that wasn't his concern. "G…I know, I remember." He said softly, "You won't go back there."

Callen rubbed a small spot on his lower back as he remembered. "Come on we need to get you some first aid for the…."

G flinched, "Ok ok you win, I'm coming, just, if you're me, you know."

Callen nodded, "it stays between us." He said.

G looked up, "But it can prove you are who you say." He said thoughtfully.

Callen nodded, "Come here." He walked around the car out of Sam's eye line and reached down, pulling his pants down slightly on one side to show G his upper hip and the pentagram brand on there.

G took a step back and showed him the fresh brand on the same spot.

"Let me get you back to the office, I have a pain-killing salve we can put on it." Callen said.

G nodded and walked towards the car, "So can this thing fly?" he asked.

Sam sniggered. "No?"

"Oh," G's face fell, "Future kinda sucks."

"You're not is foster care anymore, and you have a great job with a gun and you own your own house." Callen said with a grin.

"Really!" G's face lit up…. "Do…?" he started to ask a question but decided against it shaking his head as he lay back and fell asleep in the car on the drive.

They pulled up outside the mission and G looked at his older self incredulously "You work here? This building is condemned!" he said looking at the red sticker on the door.

Callen smiled. "Come on, I have someone for you to meet," he said.

Sam opened the door and placed a hand on G's back; he jumped and moved out of the way. But went in the direction the older man wanted him to go.

"I'm going already," G snapped.

Callen shrugged, "sorry." He said to his partner.

Hetty stood waiting for them, Eric and Nell watching from the balcony having heard who was coming in but not really believing it.

Callen walked in looking at Hetty and Nell and Eric, with a determined look on his face. G took a few steps in an stopped he turned in a circle looking at the totally non-condemned, interior of the building.

"WOW!" G said.

"Mr. Callen." Hetty said.

"Yes?" Both Callen's answered at once.

Hetty looked concerned and turned to the elder Mr. Callen, "So you still don't remember how this happened?" she asked having heard the story from him a few years ago, granted back then she had thought it was just the bottle of 20 year scotch that they were sharing talking.

Now however she could see he had been telling the truth.

G looked at the older Callen who gave a small, almost imperceptible shake of his head.

"No." The elder Callen said in a straight face lie to his boss.

"My office; Mr. Callen." Hetty replied.

"Busted…." G smirked.

Callen looked at him, "Sit there. It's my desk and don't move."

G nodded and watched as Callen walked into the scary ladies office. Sam sat at the desk across from his. "So little G, you alright?"

G looked over at him and nodded, "Fine." He replied, he felt like he could trust this man but didn't know why.

"Soooooooo." G started, leaning back in the chair and putting his feet on 'his' desk, "What am I like now?" he asked.

Sam looked over at Callen still talking to Hetty, "You're a good agent, and team leader. You work hard and are fiercely loyal to your friends."

G nodded again "And family?" he asked nonchalantly although he was waiting desperately to hear what the other man had to say.

"You're not married." Sam said.

"No…I mean, did I…Did I get adopted? Do I know who I am? What's my name?" G asked dropping his feet to the floor and looking intently at Sam.

Sam smiled, "Is this not a question you should be asking yourself?"

"Don't you think I have….I mean…Oh? Yeah!" G said the light bulb of understanding lit up in his mind.

Callen walked into Hetty's office and she motioned for him to sit on the chair next to her desk.

"You just lied to me Mr. Callen." Hetty said.

Callen nodded, "Neither of me want this said in the middle of the building." He took the drink she offered and sat down.

"I know how he, me…I mean I got here." He said, "I remembered as soon as I saw myself in the boatshed."

Hetty sat back and waited.

"When I was fifteen, Halloween '84 I was placed with a single guy, Mike Mackenzie, his wife had left him a few days before and he hadn't told the authorities, she'd left because he had gotten heavily into paganism, and not the nice kind, where you respect nature, he had twisted the whole meaning of it.

He was a self-styled black warlock. He needed a…child, for a spell to move through time, his goal was to go back in time and get his wife back. But something went wrong; I ended up in the future…here to be exact."

"How did you get back?" Hetty asked. "I don't know much about physics, but this can't be good having the two of you here."

Callen looked at Hetty a flash of raw emotion crossing his face, "I…I can't send him back to that, you don't know what he did, what he will do."

Callen stood up and moved to the back of Hetty's office and pulled the edge of his pants down to show Hetty the scar he kept hidden. "You see this…." He asked. She nodded and he continued, "I got this before I disappeared Mackenzie did this to me," he pulled his pants back and turned lifting his shirt, exposing a whole series of thin white scars on his back, "And these I'll get when he gets back, and this one…" He showed a jagged scar on his abdomen, "I get this as I tried to get away."

Hetty looked at her agent with tears in her eyes. She knew he didn't like to go shirtless when training but had no idea of the scars he bore.

"That's what I am sending myself back to." Callen said he walked back to the desk and drank the drink she had left on her desk for him in one gulp. He looked over at his younger self interrogating his partner with a small smile.

"I can't do it." He sighed and sank into the armchair she kept in the corner of her office.

"When did you end up going back?" Hetty asked.

"I was gone a week," Callen said.

"Then you have a week to sort this out, to teach yourself what you need to learn to survive."

"How, if I make a mistake, if I do something wrong now, if I don't go back….then I won't be here today?" Callen groaned holding his head. "This is so messed up."

"This Halloween Mr. Callen, Fate has given you a wonderful opportunity; instead of worrying about it I suggest you embrace it." Hetty smiled, "This brings a whole new meaning to self-help."

Callen rolled his eyes, "Really Hetty!"

Hetty smiled, "Go, take yourself home, you've both had a long day." She said.

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