The shortest way home

Chapter 5

Callen glared at the team who were all looking at him like he had grown a new head.

"Kid." He called to G, "Over here." He ordered.

G ran over and sat cross legged behind the desk, Callen handed him a soda, "Weapons training in an hour, rest now." He said.

G leaned back against the lattice work of the bullpen. "Not there, never leave your back exposed, lean against the post." He said gesturing to the large stone pillar to the side of his desk.

G nodded, "Got it." He said surly, he had trusted Sam, and Sam had yelled at his older self, he now knew Callen was right, he couldn't afford to trust anyone but himself. His bigger self was stronger and tougher than he'd ever imagined he needed to be like that, trying to care, trusting Sam had been a mistake, then nearly listening to Deeks, thank goodness that Callen had pulled the other man away from him.

"Remember rule number 2," Callen said as G closed his eyes.

"Trusting brings pain." G rolled out with a yawn.

Callen gave a small smile at his younger self, "Yeah, I'll watch our backs kid."

G nodded and fell asleep.

Callen looked at his younger self and quickly scanned the room searching for threats, reaching into his pocket he unlocked his desk drawer and took out a SIG P232, smaller than his own weapon but the right size for G, gently he measured it in the child's palm, nodded and dropped it back in the box and locked the box up on his desk.

"That'll do." He said to himself as he finished locking the box up, then he lifted a pile of paperwork and dropped it on his desk ignoring the concerned looks in the bullpen he got on with his paperwork.

Sam walked back in, "G, there's something going on with you."

Callen stood up and walked over to Sam.

"Not here Hanna." He snarled and motioned for Sam to follow him.

He did and the others followed.

Out of site of the bullpen and within seconds, Callen had Sam up against a wall and pinned with a knife to his throat.

"What is your problem Hanna?" He snarled.

"This for a start G," Sam gasped surprised at how agile he was.

"We are not and never have been friends Hanna." Callen growled.

"The…That's not true…" Sam gasped, surprised that he was still pinned by his partner. He raised his hands up and Callen jumped backwards.

"Don't touch me. Don't ever touch me." Callen snapped. "You know that."

"No I don't," Sam said, "Something has happened to you. 'This' is not you."

Deeks and Kensi standing close nodded, "He's telling the truth Callen." Kensi said.

Callen looked at them, "Prove it." He snapped.

Sam walked over to his desk and took a photo out of his drawer and showed it to Callen. It was of him, last Christmas standing at the tree with a drink in his hand and his arm around Sam's shoulders. "Friends see?" he said.

Callen looked at the card with distain, "Photoshop and it's not even very good, and it doesn't even look like me, no scar see?"

"Good grief Callen," Kensi said, "Come with me." She went to touch him and he flinched out of the way.

She looked over at Hetty pleading for help.

"Mr. Callen, please come and see what Ms. Blye needs to show you." Hetty said.

Callen nodded begrudgingly "Fine, but no one touches him." Callen pointed to his younger self in the corner.

"I will watch our young Mr. Callen." Hetty said and sat in a seat near him but not touching him.

Callen followed the team to ops and stood near the door as they entered.

"Eric, can you bring up last years Christmas party?" Kensi asked.

"Really, has Hetty….?"

"It is authorized Mr. Beale." Hetty's voice came over the speaker system making them all, with the exception of Callen jump.

Callen watched as Eric cued up the Christmas party, Sam's daughter running around the bullpen holding her arms up calling for uncle G and Callen, smiling, lifting her up and piggybacking her over to her mother.

Kensi and Nell both kissing him on the cheek at the same time under the mistletoe and Callen smiling walking them both back to the Christmas tree arm in arm.

Callen shook his head and stepped away from them.

"No…you're lying; I don't know what this is, but 'that'…that never happened. I wouldn't…" he said shaking his head.

"Why wouldn't you?" Nell asked

"Let people in, let them get that close to me? Look I don't know what you guys are trying to pull, but it isn't going to work." He snapped.

"Callen?" Nell said walking over to him and putting her hand on his arm.

"Don't!" Callen jumped and moved back.

"G, we're your friends…we care about you, and we are worried." Kensi said.

"I don't have friends, I don't need friends. I don't need anyone, YOU taught me that!" Callen said jabbing a finger at Sam and storming out of Ops.

Sam's face was shocked for a second and then he chased Callen out of Ops, "Callen!" he shouted.

Callen spun on the spot, "What?"

"What did I do? What do you mean I taught you not to need anyone?" he asked.

Callen looked down at his younger self still asleep.

"I trusted you, when I was him, I trusted you and you got mean, you made me feel like I was safe and I could trust you and then you attacked me."

"I attacked you?" Sam was confused.

"Older me, he got annoyed over something while that Deeks was talking to me and you attacked him, I knew then you were just like all the others that raised me, you say one thing and do another…you taught me trusting brings pain. Thank you, it was a good lesson to learn since then I've never been hurt again, and I won't let you guys try, I am good at what I do, Damn good. I am expendable, which makes me perfect for my job, if I had been weak and trusted people I would never have gotten as good as I am at my job. For that Hanna I thank you, but it doesn't mean you need to pretend to be my friend, and this joke, you should have saved for April fool's it would have worked better." Callen turned on his heel leaving a stunned group behind him as he walked downstairs and went back to his paperwork.

"Crap!" Sam snapped. He turned back to the other, "How can I fix this, this cannot be his life."

Nell watched with a frown as Callen looked over at his sleeping self and looked through more paperwork.

"Deeks, you need to finish your conversation." She said quietly


"With G, the one you were having when Callen first stopped you, what were you going to tell him?"

Deeks looked at his feet, "I was going to tell him about…" He sighed, "I was going to tell him about my father, and my time in foster care and how I found a great family that helped me out, I was going to tell him to keep faith that he would find a family that cared, Callen told me once how after a traumatic event once he was fostered by scary but nice woman, who helped him find his feet and got him into school and gave him confidence in himself. Callen was never adopted, but he was fostered once, by Hetty," He told the others, sad that he had betrayed something that Callen had told him after he had been shot, granted Callen had been the one to find out about his father and Hetty becoming his next of kin and yes Callen had thought he was asleep when he had told Deeks that story, but Deeks had remembered and kept the confidence, but he had felt that little G needed to know that.

And apparently he had needed to know that.

"I never fostered Mr. Callen." Hetty said.

Deeks nodded, "Things are slowly changing around here, the longer Callen stays like this the more everyone's memories change."

Nell stood up and walked down the stairs to where G was sleeping; she crouched down beside him and gently touched his shoulder.

"G…" She jumped as he leapt and moved away, "Hey G. My name is Nell, can I talk to you?" she asked.

"Nell, what are you doing?" Callen growled.

"I'm going to tell G a story."

G looked at Nell, she was cute and she wanted to talk to him! He blushed and sat up, "Er…ok?"

"He doesn't need stories, he isn't a baby."

"This he needs to hear, it's your story, when you were nearly sixteen you were fostered."

"So what's new?" Callen snarled, "Everyday occurrence back then." He sniped.

Nell rolled her eyes and continued.

"This was different, you stayed with her almost a month, it happened just after this happens and you get back to your own time, this woman was small like me and scary, you were afraid of her at first," Nell had heard this story from Callen too, many a late night they had talked after everyone had gone home and she knew she could do it justice. "You wouldn't speak to her when you found her; you stared at her for five days, not saying a word. I know now it's because you were confused, as you had already met her here."

"Here? You?" G asked; as Callen glared at him.

"Not me Hetty." Nell said, she stood up and put her hand out as Callen started to argue, "This would have happened had you and Sam not argued, Deeks needed to tell you this, G …" she said turning back at him, "You need to know, it is alright to trust people and there are people who care about you. You don't get adopted, but you will find out about your family and you will come to realize that we are your family and we love you."

G looked up at Nell and saw that she was telling the truth.

"You're lying…you are lying to us!" Callen shouted and moved back. "G, come with me…we can't listen to this." He said trying to protect his younger self.

"Callen!" Sam called trying to make him stop.

"Please, wait!" Kensi begged as the pair of them headed for the door.

Callen turned and grabbed G by the collar. "Come on, you need to go back…now." He said; G shot the others a scared look as Callen dragged him out the door.

"Help Me!" G called as the door slammed shut.

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