The shortest way home

Chapter 7

G sat at the table in the small kitchen area holding his doughnut in one hand, his soda in another and guarding his sandwich on a plate in between his elbows, Deeks and Kensi were talking to him but he did not take his eyes off the sandwich at all.

"Callen not give you breakfast this morning?" Kensi asked.

"What?" G asked for a second taking his eyes off the sandwich and then quickly looking at it again.

"It's not going anywhere." Deeks laughed.

"Rule 6," G said taking another sip of his soda not lifting his eyes up.

"Rule 6?" Deeks asked.

"If ya wanna keep it, wear it or hold it." G said.

Kensi and Deeks looked at each other worried, was this G making a decision again that would change Callen?

"How many Rules do you have?" Kensi asked.

"Dunno….about 15…maybe more." G said his mouthful of doughnut.

"Well do we look like the kind of people who would take food from you, you can trust us." Kensi said.

G rolled his eyes, "yeah sure. Rule 7…I don't think so."

Deeks looked at him, "7?"

"Just because they look nice doesn't mean they are." G kept eating, "Besides what is there to stop you changing your mind and taking this away from me!"

Deeks looked at Kensi and she nodded and got up.

"Be right back." She said casually and walked away.

Callen leant over the balcony Sam leaning with him as he looked out over the whole office.

"I can't believe that happened Sam," Callen said shocked, "How could something so small as a conversation and my stopping it change my whole life?" he asked.

"Because you had set beliefs at that point, seeing someone that older you trusted arguing with well you… was unsettling to you….GOD G! I hate having these conversations you give me a headache."

Callen grinned, "When do I not." He joked.

Sam nodded agreeing with him. "So, you stayed with Hetty then?"

Callen nodded, "I don't know how she found me, but she got me just before I transferred out of the system at eighteen and for a month when I was…." Callen stopped as something occurred to him.

He pushed back and walked down the stairs. Kensi stopped him at the bottom. "Callen, you had rules as a kid right?"

Callen nodded, "Yeah?"

"How many?" she asked.

"Now?" he asked back.

"No, at 15?"

Callen stood for a second, "About 15 to 20 why?"

Kensi shook her head, "No reason. It's just we were talking out there and he…you …wouldn't take your eyes off the sandwich to look at us."

Callen smiled remembering the conversation with Kensi and Deeks… "Its weird…" he said with a smirk, "I'm remembering a conversation I had years ago with you two and yet you had the conversation minutes ago."

"I will go see Hetty in a moment Sam; I just need to go see me first." Callen said and headed with Sam and Kensi on his tail to the small kitchen area.

Callen grabbed a chair and a sandwich and sat next to himself.

"Rule 6 doesn't apply here." Callen said.

G looked at him, "You sure?" he asked looking skeptically at the others.

Callen nodded. "Rule 12."

G relaxed and put the doughnut down on the plate with the sandwich, "ya sure now?" he asked.

Callen nodded again, "We trust them." He said simply, he got up and left his half-eaten sandwich on a plate. "I'll be back for that." He said and left a wide-eyed younger version of him surprised by the trust he was showing in these strangers. Kensi Picked up a napkin, tucked it over the plate, and moved it to the middle of the table. The symbol of Callen's trust sitting in the middle of the three of them.

Callen walked past Sam who had watched the exchange, "What was that."

"Proof," Callen replied.

"Of what?" Sam asked confused.

"Proof that I trust Kensi and Deeks and that G can too." Callen said.

"SO what's rule 12?"

Callen smiled, "Occasionally, very occasionally it's ok to trust."

Sam nodded and went back to his desk.

Callen knocked on the post outside Hetty's office.

"We need to talk." Callen said.

"Indeed Mr. Callen." Hetty replied.

"About what I said when I wasn't me." Callen started, "I would never refer to you as old bat…" he said uncharacteristically nervous.

She smiled, "Yes you would, you have done several times if I remember, and each time you were misbehaving."

She gestured to a chair and he sank into it, "Is your younger self learning to trust again?"

"Slowly, However I have a feeling after I get back you'll have something to do with helping on that score." Callen smiled. "How did you find out about me anyway? I mean when I was a child you didn't know where I was, we now know that Reinhardt wrote the notebook keeping track of me and Amy…Hannah…I mean…so how did you find out about me?"

"You found me." Hetty said simply.

Callen looked at her, "You turned up in an emergency room, my name and number the only thing in your pocket, and I had no idea who you were until I saw you."

"Why when you saw me?" Callen asked.

Hetty smiled, "You have your mothers eyes, also you knew my name, told me about going to a place in the future where I lived in a house inside a building…How there was a big you who was awesome and that you knew I'd keep you safe." She wiped a tear, "I'd never had that level of trust in a child before…and then you told me your name and I realized you were indeed Clara's son and I had a second chance." She said.

Callen walked over to her and even though there were people around, he wrapped his arms around her, "Thanks Ma." He said.

Hetty nodded and batted him away jovially. "Go on, you, you have to see to your younger self you only have one more day left and you still have to get yourself home."

Callen sighed, "I wish he could stay here with us now…" he said wistfully.

"Ah but Mr. Callen, you still have a lot you need to learn, you cannot do that here." Hetty said wisely, as Callen left, "And I would hate to be deprived of the chance to be your mother," she said to herself as Callen walked over to the bullpen.

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