The shortest way home

Chapter 3

Pulling up outside his house Callen walked around and undid the back door to allow a sullen G to exit, they had stopped for burgers on the way home and as he knew he would, G tried to escape from the back of the car, which forced Callen to pull over, flick on the child locks and effectively trap his younger self in the back of the car.

Callen knew his own temper and he knew he would be simmering all the way home.

"We're home." Callen said.

"Fine." G answered.

G looked at the house and a smile appeared across his face, "I know this house."

Callen watched as G walked in the door and stopped dead. "Is she dead…Mrs. Rostoff?"

"Yes a while ago, Alina owned the house and she died a year ago. I brought the house from her estate." He told himself.

G walked into his room, what had been his room and looked at his name engraved in the closet door.

"You just moved in?" G asked looking at the lack of anything in the house.

Callen shook his head, "I've been here a while. I got you a sleeping bag and airbed in there." He pointed to Alina's old room.

"It's not still pink in there is it?" G asked

"No, go on."

Callen followed as G walked to the room.

"I…" G started as he walked in and threw the bag of clothes and toiletries Hetty had given him on the bedroll.

"What?" Callen asked.

"Did we ever get adopted, did anyone ever want us?" G asked desperate to know.

Callen looked at him and felt a familiar tightening in his chest, "Go to sleep, we have a lot to do tomorrow."

G lowered his head, he knew that tone, the 'don't mess with me or I'll rearrange your face tone.'

"yessir." G mumbled and sank onto the bed.

Feeling like a heel he closed the door, walked to the fridge and grabbed a beer.

He wanted to tell him everything, to show him the picture of his mother, tell him her name, and show him the small reel to reel recording of himself. His father and his sister in the backyard of their home.

But he knew he couldn't. If he learned those things at 15 he could change the whole course of his life.

However if he went running of after the Comescu's now, he'd definitely die. So telling himself that would effectively be suicide…not his style.

He knew that right now he was in the other room berating himself for asking the question and he knew that in the morning he'd make it up to himself, wow this kind of thinking was giving him a headache!

Early the next morning Callen awoke and waited until G finished in the shower. He sat on the chair in his living room as G walked out bag in hand.

"You won't need that." Callen said.

"You're not sending me away?" G asked confused.

"No, I'm not, now in a week you are going to have to go back through the portal you came through to get here. I intend to teach you enough to defend yourself."

"I don't wanna go back to Mackenzie." G said walking into the kitchen and looking for a glass for a drink of water.

"Top left, same as when you lived here." Callen said as G stood and looked.

"That is so creepy, it's like you're in my head."

Callen laughed, "It's my head too, so I kinda was at one point."

G took a mouthful of water and sat on the floor cross legged looking at his older self.

"Agent Callen?" G said.

"Callen's fine."

"Why did this happen, I mean I know Mackenzie was crazy, but magic isn't real?"

"Not like Harry Potter." Callen said.

"Who?" G asked.

Callen smiled, "You'll find out…but I don't know, I've had years to think about it, I think maybe it was something…not magic, maybe some kind of science…everything was just in the right place, and I'm sorry, but to get you back, we have to go back there."

Sam walked up the path to pick up the two Callen's and was stopped hand on the door as he heard a yell from inside the house.


"I'm sorry; G. it's the only way."

G backed up from Callen his eyes sparking with tears, "No…..please." he begged.

"I'll teach you to protect yourself he wouldn't be able to do it…" Callen placated him as G backed up into a corner and slid down the wall into a ball.

"He already branded me once….The next one….it was a poker, he…he threatened my eyes…." G said in a scared voice.

Sam entered quietly.

"Look at me." Callen said.

G didn't move but was shaking in the spot.

"Look. At. Me." Callen pushed.

G lifted his head; his terrified tears were falling freely.

"I have both my eyes and he didn't …." Callen stopped and lifted his shirt unaware Sam was in the room. "I only have the first brand, there are no more."

Both G and Sam looked at the scars that adorned his body.

"Do they hurt?" G asked softly looking at them…"Did…Did he do them?"

"I'm not going to lie to you, when I was you I didn't get taught to defend myself; I didn't know what I was going back to…I wasn't prepared."

"What…what did he do?"

"It doesn't matter." Callen snapped, "He won't get to do it to you." He promised.

"We won't let him." Sam said.

"Really?!" G looked at Sam with so much trust Sam wanted to hug the kid.

Callen smiled and nodded to Sam to follow him. "Go get yourself sorted kid." Callen said.

Sam followed Callen as G went back to his room.

"That's what you didn't want him to know, did that guy Mackenzie do that to you?"

Callen nodded, "You remember once you asked me when I trusted you Sam and I said a long time ago?"

Sam nodded, picking up G's glass and putting it in the sink.

"That there…two minutes ago, that was when I trusted you…You were familiar when we met again and I knew I could trust you because I already had."

"Wow…G…?" Sam said stunned.

Callen gave a small smile and he walked to the door. "G…Come on!" he called as they went to leave.

"Yeah I'm coming, we going to work?"

Callen sighed, "I'm going to work you are coming along."

"Do I get a gun?" G asked.

"NO!" Sam and Callen replied in unison as Callen shut the door.

Sam grinned, "You are a handful." He smiled.

"Yeah, but I grew up great." Callen smirked.

On arrival at the mission, Callen and G headed to the gym, where Deeks and Kensi were sparring.

Callen watched as Sam came and joined them, G looking on appreciatively at Kensi in a tank top and shorts.

"Nice…" He smirked.

"G!" Callen said shocked.

"What! She's cute." G grinned.

"G, she's a federal agent, you can show her some respect." Callen berated himself.

G sighed and climbed onto a bench and slouched down watching them, Sam grinned at little G's behavior and Callen shot him a filthy look.

"OK, G…let's see what you got!" Deeks said

Callen smirked, remembering how scrappy he was at that age. "Go on G. Remember Mr. Johnson, fight him like you did him."

"Really!" G asked astonished.

Callen grinned, "Really."

G shrugged and walked onto the mat.

"Oh By the way G, Deeks is a cop."

G's face turned into a huge smirk.

"Really….?" He circled Deeks on the mat, "Bring it cop."

Deeks raised an eyebrow at Callen who merely sat on the bench that his younger self had just vacated and watched the fun.

Deeks reached out to grab him and G ducked under his hand, Deeks tried again grabbing G by the collar, G dropped to the ground and in an instant twisted and escaped him, swinging his own legs out and knocking Deeks off his feet. G back flipped out of the way and moved off the mat.

"Come on old guy." He taunted.

"Wow." Deeks breathed looking at Callen who said nothing.

G climbed up the wall in half the time it took Callen to do it. "Deeks you gonna get me…" G said.

"Not up there, come on down here."

G looked at Callen who gave a nod and he jumped from the ledge onto the crash mat tucking into a roll as he landed.

"You're an acrobat?" Sam asked.

G shook his head, "Na…just fast."

Deeks walked up to him and went to grab him again and G ducked out of the way.

Callen loved watching his younger self. "G, high school."

G nodded and twisted backwards getting Deeks on the floor, with his arm pinned behind his back.

Kensi nodded appreciatively, "Nice kid."

G got off Deeks wiping his hands on his shirt. "Thanks."

Deeks walked over to the closet in the corner, "Ok, so now the harder stuff" he said turning and holding two electro-daggers in his hand.

G looked over at Callen, "Toys?" he asked.

"Watch…" Callen said and nodded to Kensi who stepped in with Deeks and the circled with the knives, Kensi touching Deeks with one.

"Ouch!" Deeks yelps as she got him.

Again she hit him with the Knife and Deeks jumped back, "Ow!" he exclaimed.

G looked at the others watching as Deeks was getting hurt, this wasn't right.

"STOP!" G said running at Kensi and deliberately putting himself between her and the knife, getting shocked in curled up into a ball. "Don't hurt him…" he sobbed trying to save Deeks.

They stopped looking at the sobbing child and the annoyed man. "Enough." Callen ordered.

"Callen…I'm sorry, I didn't know." Kensi said shocked.

Callen walked up to G and touched him on the shoulder, "It's ok, Kensi wasn't hurting him." He said gently.

G looked up at Callen his face tracked with tears, "I…thought….I saw ….Jason….." Callen gathered himself up and hugged the younger version of himself. "It's ok, it'll be ok…I got us, remember rule number 1?" Callen asked.

G sniffed and wiped the back of his hand over his eyes. "Only trust yourself, no one else cares." G said.

Callen nodded, "And who am I?"

"Me…?" G sniffed again.

"Then trust me, Kensi wasn't hurting Deeks, no one here will hurt you, and we will teach you all you need to know to bring down Mackenzie."

Callen looked at the others and they left the room leaving Callen consoling a sobbing G on the floor.

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