Chapter 24 - Time to face the music
Callen had had his week, he had slept, he had taken all his meds and his knee felt a lot better.
Finally Monday was here and his appointment at the hospital.
He clambered carefully out of the Taxi placed his crutches in one hand and grabbed his bag and threw it over his shoulder, and hobbled into the orthopedics department. Looking around he was please to see that there wasn't a welcoming committee for him. Waking up this morning he had been worried that the taxi would pull up and he would be surrounded by his father, uncle and the team all wanting a piece of him.
He knew if they had been there, he probably would have told the driver to keep driving.
He booked in and took his seat in the waiting room.
"Mr. Callen?" A nurse called and Callen followed him into the consulting room.
He sat down and the doctor walked in, "Good Morning….Mr. Callen." He said not even looking up, "Oh…we don't have a…" He started Callen knowing exactly what was coming said "Gregori."
He smiled as for once well for the first time in his memory someone filled in a form with his first name.
"I'm sorry Mr. Callen I have no idea how this could have been missed out of your records."
"It's fine. It's not your fault," Callen assured the man.
"Very well, looking at your preliminary x-rays it seems you have got off lucky, your knee is sprained, you don't need the crutches anymore or the brace however, and a support bandage will do fine. I can see you followed doctor's advice and rested it that is good." The doctor said reading through the file. "I also see you turned down psychiatric counseling?" The doctor said with a scowl.
"Doc…I don't need it, I did not try to jump off that cliff, I did get angry, I did throw my phone over the cliff and I did slip, but the slipping was an accident."
"Can you tell me what you were angry at?" the doctor prodded.
Callen laughed, "I found my father."
"And this made you angry?"
"Long story doc, but yeah, I have issues, but these I intend to deal with." Callen promised the man.
"Will you at least take some pamphlets," Callen looked at them and smiled. "Doc, I have a clinical psychologist at work who I can talk to if I need to." He promised.
"Very well, regarding your knee, I would stay on the painkillers for another week, so no driving for a while. Is your work an active job?" the doctor asked.
"You could say that Doc, I'm in law enforcement." Callen grinned.
"Oh, Ok then keep the brace on for an extra week and two weeks desk duty." The doctor wrote down a prescription for painkillers and Callen took it gladly.
"Now rest, Mr. Callen, I hope I don't see you again for a while." He smiled, Callen handed him the crutches and picked up his bag and left.
Still feeling safe he walked to the outside of the hospital and went over to a coffee cart to get a drink and sit on the low wall nearby to decide what his next move would be.
Taking only two sips of his coffee his move was made for him.
"So I see it went well with the doctor this morning." Hetty said sitting down on the opposite side of the wall.
"Desk duty for two weeks then back to full time." Callen said.
"Are you ready to come home Mr. Callen?" Hetty asked.
Callen turned to look at her, ignoring the small twinge that shot up beside his kneecap. "Home?" he asked.
"NCIS, the house to see your father, your partner and teammates back to us…Home…" She reiterated.
"I…." Callen realized he didn't know, but Hetty had hit it right on the head, that was home…well maybe not the safe house so much, but his teammates and NCIS that was home…he had a home! The urge to bolt was strong and Hetty put her hand on Callen's shoulder.
"I can't keep running can I?" he asked
"Aren't you tired of it?" Hetty said sadly hating to watch her favorite agent in so much mental anguish.
"I am." Callen said and Hetty relaxed a bit. "But, I'm scared mom…" he whispered without realizing what he had said.
Hetty smiled, "Its ok to be scared son, your father and uncle are scared too."
"They are?" he looked at her surprised
Hetty nodded, "They are scared you won't forgive them, that you won't come back, that they have lost their chance to get to know you."
"Why do they care?" Callen snapped as the pain nipped him.
"Because they are your family, you really have them and they will stay, they are not going anywhere," Hetty told him.
Callen turned away, "They did before…."
"Gregori?" Hetty said using his name for the first time Callen looked up. "You will NOT be alone, I will be with you, they want to see you will you come home with me?" Hetty asked.
Callen couldn't talk but he took the hand that Hetty held out and followed her to her car.
Pulling up to the house, Callen found he was shaking but managed, he hoped, to hide it from Hetty as he climbed out of her Jag.
He grabbed his bag and followed his boss into the house.
Granger and Constantin were sitting in the house as were the rest of the team and Eric and Nell.
Callen grinned at Nell as she ran and hugged him.
"Ty v poryadke?" [Are you ok?]she whispered in his ear.
He looked at her and shook his head, "Net, ya boyus." [No I'm scared.]
"Dostoin Ty i u vas yest' sem'ya i druz'yachto zabota, pust' oni vam pokazat'." [You are worthy, you have family and friends that care let them show you.] She said.
She grabbed his hand and pulled him into the living room where everyone was sitting.
"Listen to her Mr. Callen, she is right." Hetty said coming up behind them.
"We aren't all staying G; we just wanted to see if you were ok and say welcome home." Sam said smiling at Nell and Callen.
"I saw the doctor this morning when Hetty allows me back to work I am on desk duty for two weeks and then back to normal."
"I think, Mr. Callen, it is time you took a week off here to do what you need to, if you need to come back earlier that is fine, but next week Mr. Callen….Paperwork!" She said with a small smile.
The team either hugged him, 'Sam, Kensi and Nell.' Or fist bumped, 'Eric and Deeks' on the way out.
"Pozvoni mne, no tol'ko yesli vam nado pogovorit!" [Give me a call, but only if you need to talk.] Nell said on her way out of the door.
Callen nodded and walked into the kitchen picked up a mug and filled it with coffee as he heard someone enter the room; he knew it wasn't Hetty or Granger having become accustomed to the sounds they made.
"Constantin," Callen said without turning around. "I suppose it's time we faced the music." He continued with a sad smile on his face. He turned and as he suspected his father was sitting behind him on a chair by the kitchen table.
"Music?" Constantin asked the term lost in translation.
Callen smiled and sat across the table from his father.
"I mean, father…it's time we talked, It's time I talked…I need to show you something." Callen said.
Constantin looked confused, as Callen took his shirt off, not only were there the five bullet holes from the drive by shooting a few years ago but on his arms and back were very light faded scars from many years ago.
"Not all of the scars I have from growing up are mental father. Some are physical, knowing that you could have gotten me away from that hurt me badly." He said.
Constantin looked at the scars on his son, "Can you, will you tell me about them son?" he asked carefully weighing his reaction. He wanted to get up, throw his arms around his son, and tell him he was sorry he was wrong and it would be alright now that Tata was here. However he knew if he did that Callen would most likely run.
Callen slipped his t-shirt back on, sipped coffee and slowly told his father about all the homes he grew up in the good and the bad and the awful ones, how he had cried himself to sleep hoping his real mother and father would realize they had lost their son and come and get him. How he had felt when social workers had told him his parents didn't want him.
Constantin nearly lost his composure at that point.
Then he told him about the abuse, the physical, the verbal and once or twice the sexual that he had had to live with and then the abuse he had inflicted on himself. The cutting, which thankfully hadn't lasted long, the drug abuse, the suicide attempts the drinking and the neglect of his own well being.
Six hours later as Hetty looked in on them Callen was sat on the floor by the kitchen counter sobbing being held by his father who was comforting him.
"I'll never leave again." Constantin promised, "I love you son. I've got you, it'll be ok now." He said repeatedly as he stroked his son's back.
Constantin nodded to Hetty who smiled and left the two of them to start to heal.