Chapter 14 - A real family?
Slowly he came awake, but there was no way he was going to open his eyes yet.
He could hear people slowly talking in the background.
"I don't care what you want Hetty, he's my partner and he's had a bad day, he's staying here." Sam said.
Hetty voice cut through the gloom, "I would rather Mr. Callen be in my care whilst he's going through withdrawal, I can monitor his condition better." She said.
Callen couldn't suppress a small chuckle and he coughed.
"Something funny Mr. Callen?" Hetty asked.
Carefully Callen eased himself up into a sitting position and looked at the two people in the room.
"Yeah," He said his voice raspy, "Never thought I'd ever hear anyone fighting over who would keep me!" he let out a sarcastic laugh, "It's usually the other way round." He said.
"Yeah, well you fainted at the beach and you're staying here till your better."
Callen looked at Sam, "OK…." He said suspiciously, "Why?"
"Why what?" Sam asked confused.
"Why do you want me…I take it you and your boyfriend talked about this?" Callen said suspiciously.
"Boyfriend?" Sam said "I am married, my wife and I talked about you staying, and our daughter is fine with it. Why did you think I was gay?"
"You said he was your partner so I assumed…..Sorry," Callen said looking ashamed.
"I'm a Cop, er…Deeks is my partner, and he was worried about you as you ran off from him." Sam said.
Callen crossed his arms and stared at Sam mad, "He lied to me…I know you are only keeping me here for tonight and then you're sending me back to Oliver. I won't go back there, you can't make me!" Callen snarled.
Sam was slightly taken aback, Callen…the Callen he knew hardly ever let his emotions get the best of him, this Callen was full of emotions some he kept hidden like the adult version, some he couldn't help but blurt out."
"I promise you. You'll never go back there again." Sam said.
Callen scrutinized him, "Ok, you're telling me the truth, so why did Deeks lie to me?"
Sam sighed, it was like yelling at a tree to move, Callen was so stubborn, "Deeks didn't lie to you, he just wasn't sure of his answer; he didn't want to leave you totally without an answer so he gave you his best guess."
Callen wanted to apologize, he wanted them to forgive him and go back to earlier when everything had been close to ok. But he knew the punishment part was coming it always did, He reckoned that was why he was with the big guy. He wasn't going to prolong his punishment but he wanted to know what to prepare for. Some foster parents took away privileges but he didn't have any so that was out. Some still thought he was a kid and made him do time out that was boring but bearable. Some made him do chores. That he could handle and he hoped that was the one he got. The one he really hoped that this guy wasn't but he thought he could be was the sort that resorted to using his fists to get his point across. The 'you will listen to me even if I have to beat it into you' kinda foster parent. He hadn't met the wife yet, if she was nice and normal maybe he was one of the first ones or if she was either tough or scared maybe he was one of the latter ones.
As if she had heard his silent plea, Michelle came into the house.
"Sam!" she was mad, she'd just had a near miss on the way home with Kamran in the car.
"Michelle, hey you ok…I've got…." Sam started.
"No I'm not some jerk cut us up and we were nearly in a pile up." She snapped.
'Crap!' Callen thought and tried to make himself as inconspicuous as possible. To make matters worse another bout of cramps where starting to invade his system. He started shaking and held himself tightly.
"Michelle….Callen's here." Sam said, he had told his wife about Callen's accident a few days ago and she has listened although she hadn't totally believed him. Looking behind him, she was amazed to see a scared teenage boy hugging himself and trying not to shake.
Michelle put on her best smile to try to reassure him.
Callen saw this and looked totally stricken. 'Oh God….that's a fake smile, I'm either dead or outta here.' He decided.
Michelle walked up to him "Callen, I'm sorry about that, I had a bad afternoon." She said honestly. She put a hand on his shoulder and he jumped back flinching.
"I didn't mean to I….I'm sorry," He stammered.
"It's ok G; I didn't mean to scare you." She said.
Callen was still shaking and Michelle looked at Sam worried.
"He's just a bit sick right now." Sam said, "Come on G I'll show you to your room." Sam started walking away and Callen with a look of fear followed him.
'Oh God! I just upset his wife…stupid G you can't do anything right, it's definitely going to be the last punishment, he's gonna beat you to within an inch of your worthless life and you deserve it, what were you thinking stealing his car!' his mind whirled round and round with possibilities of what was going to happen to him and by the time he'd reached Sam's guest room he had imagined all but torture….nope scratch that, he'd imagined that twice!
Opening a door to what Callen had imagined was a basement; he was surprised to find a nice airy bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
"I…Oh!" he said in surprise.
"Hetty said you liked showers, there is one through there, there's a bolt on this door so you have privacy, I will tell you that I did check to make sure you hadn't scored anymore drugs, but I haven't touched anything else of yours." Sam told him.
Callen looked in surprise. "I…thank you…but…" He didn't want to bring it up but the suspense was killing him, "What about my punishment?" he asked.
"What punishment?" Sam asked.
"I thought Miss L. left me with you so you could punish me for taking the car and running away." He said softly.
"No, we found you on the Beach, you passed out in my arms and I figured you could use a safe place to sleep." Sam said.
Callen looked at him carefully; he was surprised to see there was no duplicity in him. Sam knew this room would be perfect for Callen as he had stayed there many times as an adult and the security in the room was outfitted to Callen's own paranoid standards.
"Thanks." Callen said.
Sam nodded and walked out as Callen locked the door behind him, had a shower and within the hour had passed out on the bed, this time however it was just from tiredness.
Sam knocked on Callen's door a few hours later, "G you hungry?" he called.
Callen stirred but didn't answer.
Sam banged on the door, "G, you ok? we got food if you're hungry. If not that's fine just let me know you're still alive?" he yelled.
Callen woke with a start and was out the door within seconds, "Sorry Sir!" he snapped off quickly.
Sam looked at him quizzically, "G….I put some sweats out for you…were you sleeping in your clothes?"
"Come on, Dinner." He said. Callen followed him to the table to find Michelle had cooked enough food for an army.
Michelle smiled as she and Kamran started helping themselves to food.
"Help yourself." She said to Callen.
Callen checked the food out taking small pieces of everything tasting carefully then eating small bites at a time. Never taking his eyes off the way the family interacted. Slowly he relaxed as he realized that they were as genuine as they seemed.
"So Callen, have you had enough to eat?" Michelle asked as they finished their meal.
Callen smiled warmly, "Yes Ma'am it's the best meal I've had in years," He told her honestly. "Do you want me to clear?" he asked
Michelle smiled at her husband, "See Sam, if only you were this helpful." She quipped.
A flash of fear crossed Callen's face maybe Sam would get mad and him, "I…Is it ok?" Callen asked.
Sam smiled "Sure it is…I'll clean the garage for her this weekend, that'll make it up to her."
Sam gave Callen a soda, "We'll take a break first then clean together yeah?" he said.
Callen took the soda and followed Sam out to the deck, "Why do you do it?" Callen asked.
"Take in foster kids….you don't seem like the type." Callen said. "I mean, you seem normal, you're not in it for the money, you have a nice house and a nice family…so why?"
Sam shrugged "I don't as a rule, but your special."
"I …what?" Callen said surprised.
"You're special, you're a good kid and I have faith in you." Sam said knowing that it was something Callen desperately needed to hear.
Callen looked up at him. "Really?"
Sam looked into the younger eyes of his partner, "Yes Callen I do."
Choked up with emotion Callen looked away. A Shadow covered him and he squinted up into the sun.
"What are you doing here?" Sam growled at Granger.
"Callen needs to come with me for a few hours, It's part of his recovery, Hetty sent you a message to tell you to let me take him." Granger said.
Callen shrugged, "I'll get my bag," He said resigned. "Thanks Mr. Hanna, it was great staying with you, will you thank Mrs. Hanna too please." He said with a small gulp.
He walked into the nice room and collected his bag, taking a moment he sat on the edge of the bed and wiped his eyes. He was going to miss it here, for a while it felt like family. It was annoying but not really surprising that the Social Worker guy had turned up, he figured they probably had someone better to stay at this house.
Taking a deep breath he hitched his bag up walked out the front door and leant at the car. Waiting for the social worker guy to finish talking to Sam.
"I was told he could stay tonight!" Sam raged at Granger, "This isn't fair on him."
"He's used to it, this is important; we do need Callen to come with me tonight, he needs this."
"How the Hell would you know what he needs, he needs to have one night where he feels safe with a family that cares." Sam snapped.
"He has a family that cares!" Granger snapped back.
Sam looked at Granger and past him to a sullen Callen leaning on the car.
"Who are you?" he asked.
"Your assistant Director." Granger snapped back.
He strode off to the car and opened the door as Callen threw himself and his bag into the back and put on his seatbelt.
Sam couldn't help but feel sorry for Callen as he saw the look of helpless resignation and sadness on his face as he stared at Sam and the house as he and Granger drove away.