The shortest way home

Chapter 8

As everyone started to pack up for the day, they were surprised as Callen and G headed towards the gym rather than the door.

Deeks followed along, "Callen, You not heading home?"

"Can't Deeks, G's going back tomorrow," Callen said noting the sad look on his younger self's face; He turned and moved so he could look himself in the eye. "G, it's going to be ok, we need to get you back or we won't end up here."

G moved away a bit, trying hard to stifle the urge to shake.

He sat down on the gym mat and pulled his knees up under his chin, "I…I don't wanna go." He admitted. "I could just disappear here…I mean no one would honestly care if I was gone." He argued.

"I would care." Callen said.

"Me too." Deeks said.

"Me three." Sam said coming up behind them, with Kensi nodding her assent as well.

"I also would be upset if you were not a part of my life." Hetty said

G looked at them all. They were all telling the truth, this he could tell. "Ok…So I have to go back and face Mackenzie, But I…I don't want him to…" he looked pointedly at Callen's torso and he knew what he was talking about, "When…when do I have to go."

Callen sat next to him. "3am. you will be found not long after that….I…I don't remember the rest." He admitted.

"I'm scared." G admitted in a small voice.

Callen smiled at him, "Yeah but when are we not scared, but look you know we're going to be ok."

G nodded, "Suppose…" he said.

"So the big question is, do you want this life, Mr. Callen?" Hetty asked.

"I do…you guys are his…my family, I want that…"G said standing up and pulling the oversized sweatshirt, he had borrowed from Callen down. He turned his young steely eyed gaze on the people who would one day be his family, "So, Lets do this!" he said grabbing the pads he'd left there the other day and putting them on.

Bobbing, weaving, blocking and parrying the team worked through the night to make sure that the younger Callen was as ready as he could ever be by 1am Callen and G were leaning together on the mat sharing the bottle of water.

"Do you have everything you came with here?" Callen asked as they watched Sam and Kensi spar with each other.

"Just came with my clothes don't own anything else." G said.

Callen smiled. "Got some things for you." He got up and walked to the bullpen.

He came back with his green canvas bag and his bedroll. "You'll need these." He said handing them over to G who looked at them in awe.

"I can keep these?" He asked, "Like for my own, I don't have to give it back?"

Callen laughed, "They already belong to you, so no you don't have to give them back."

G grabbed them and gave a huge smile; Kensi stopped sparring and nudged Sam, "Look." She whispered.

G hugged Callen and something, although Callen did not know what but something inside him felt fixed.

Sam walked up to Callen, "G are you sure you want to give it to him, it was yours?" he asked.

Callen smiled, "And it will be again, that's the beauty of it." he grinned and walked over to join G.

"We need to be going." Callen said quietly to G, he knew how much they hated goodbyes and both planned to sneak out.

The others looked away and Callen and G snuck out.

Kensi stopped and grabbed her phone, "So we tracing and following?" she asked.

"Eric's already on it, he's going to send all the co-ordinates to our phones." Deeks said walking back into the room. "Sam, Keys." Deeks tossed him the keys and Sam, Deeks, Kensi and Hetty followed to the Challenger.

Pulling up outside a rundown house, Callen stood outside as G held on tight to his 'new' belongings.

"You ready for this?" Callen asked. Even now, the house itself scared him he knew how much G was using all this reserves to hold himself together.

"Are you s…sure this will work?" G asked the quiver in his voice all too evident.

Callen nodded, it had to work he had to make it back, stop Mackenzie and get out of there, hopefully this time it would not hurt as much as it did the first time.

G looked at him for the last time, "I'm gonna miss you man," he said.

Callen laughed, "See you 15 years, just keep looking in the mirror, I'm there."

Callen watched as G walked into the house….

G opened the door slowly, a week ago, this had still been a rundown house but nowhere near as derelict as it was now, it was unsettling; he grabbed his bag tight and walked carefully up the creaking stairs to the attic.

There was dried blood on the walls and a spider in the corner seemed to be mocking him, daring him to walk into the room, he took a careful step in and stopped as another footstep echoed his own.

"Wh…Who's there?" he whimpered, trying to sound a lot braver than he felt.

"I am your destiny….I am your worst nightmare….and I've been waiting for you."

G gulped…"M…Mackenzie…?"

The deep-throated laugh shook the room, "He is nothing, I am Marbas, and I have been waiting for you little one. I govern thirty-six legions of demons, I am the Demon of hidden or secret things, and you Callen are truly a hidden and secret thing."

G shuddered and moved back, the floor underneath him breaking as he did so, he fell back and the demon reached out his hand for him.

"NO!" G screamed as he fell, fighting the demon's grip all the way through the three floors of the building.

"Join me I can make you rich, I can tell you all the secrets you need to know." The demon begged as G fell.

"No…Never…" G fought as he fell.

Within seconds, he hit the ground and shut his eyes at the blinding light that surrounded him.

At the house, the team and Hetty pulled up as Callen stood there his face white as he saw the shadow in the attic, "It's him." His voice shook.

"Who Mr. Callen?" Hetty asked.

"Marbas." Callen breathed.

As the sound of G, screaming came from the house; a blinding light illuminated the building from within.

Outside Callen fainted.

He was back in the attic of the house, 15 years in the past.

G felt a hand on his arm, "Move it boy, you are going to help me get what I want from my master." Mackenzie's voice growled.

G swiped his leg in a move he had learned and knocked Mikes footing out from under him.

"You got fast brat but I'm faster," Mike snarled.

G pulled the bag Callen had given him and a knife fell out.

G flicked it open and swiped it towards Mike, "Let me go." G threatened as he moved back again towards the window, "I'm not going to be hurt by you ever again." He said his voice steady as a rock.

"Ok kid…." Mike put his hands up but smiled as a shadow hand reached to grab him.

G took a step back, out of the open window of the attic and fell three floors to the ground.

The next thing he knew he was in a hospital bed.

"G. Callen, found by police after falling three stories from his foster house, he has a broken arm and leg, a fractured rib, multiple older bruises lead us to believe he has been abused by his foster parent, a Mike Mackenzie he has been arrested."

Callen stayed still his eyes closed listening to the man and woman talk, one had to be a social worker and he wasn't in the mood to be moved just yet.

"So you say he had this on him when he was found?" The woman asked.

"Yes, it was the only piece of identification apart from his name on the bag and bed roll."

"How did he get my name though?" the woman asked confused.

Callen groaned as a wave of pain he couldn't ignore moved through his body.

"Mr. Callen. Welcome back." The woman said.

Callen opened his eyes and looked through a crack in his eyes, which flew wide as he saw the woman. "He…." He tried saying her name but his voice failed him.

It was her, she was younger but it was her.

Hetty turned to the social worker who was coming up the hall juggling files and trying not to drop the two in her hand.

"I'm here to see…G. Callen…" she said to the nurse on duty.

"In there." The nurse said.

Callen tried to move away as the social worker moved in.

"What did you do this time Callen?" she asked.

"I….." He did not know, he could not remember, bits and pieces maybe but not much more and none of it made sense.

"Well I suppose we need to get you placed again." The social worker said looking through her bag, "You're 15…after this, with these injuries you're going to be difficult to place, you're so much trouble." She sighed.

Callen leaned back and closed his eyes, a stray tear running down his face as the faces of smiling people all saying they cared filled his memory.

"I will take him." The smaller woman who had watched the exchange with growing fury spoke.

"You…I'm not in the habit of handing children off to women who just ask."

"No but you are in the habit of handing him off to people who will hurt him." Hetty snapped.

"And you think he will just want to go with you? Who do you think you are?" The social worker asked.

"Henrietta Lange and I already have custody of him." she said handing the harassed woman the court papers.

Callen looked over at her in shock, "How?" he croaked.

"I had a message Mr. Callen." Hetty said walking over to him, pulling out a note with a picture and showing him, "I think we will keep this to ourselves for now, don't you?" she smiled and they looked at the picture of an older Hetty and Callen, Deeks, Kensi and Sam all standing around G smiling.

"Maybe one day Mr. Callen you will be able to tell me the story of that picture." She smiled and pulled him close, "Until then when you're ready Mr. Callen, we'll go home." She said to him.

He grinned and grabbed his bag "Let's go home."

Callen woke up, Kensi and Deeks were standing over him as Sam talked on the phone as Hetty stood looking worriedly over him.

He blinked and looked up, "What happened?" he asked.

"You….I think the other you….went home." Kensi said.

Callen smiled and looked at Hetty, "He did, yeah he did."

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