Chapter 25 - Family
Callen woke up, grabbed his bag and went downstairs, grabbing a coffee off the counter as he sat and ate the toast his father handed him.
"Are you ready for today?" Constantin asked.
Callen took a sip from his coffee as he nodded, "I am ready to go back, what are you going to do?" He asked.
Constantin smiled; "I am spending the day with your uncle." Callen rolled his eyes and smiled back.
Over the past two months Callen had found an easy truce with his father, they were slowly rebuilding his relationship. Callen had seen his teammates on and off case dependant on them coming over and Hetty and Vance had given him all of his accrued paid leave. This had amounted to about six months although after two Callen had called Vance and asked to be reinstated. After assuring Vance he was ready to come back and that his new family situation had been settled, the director had agreed with him returning.
Nell had been over as well and she and Sam had reached their truce and Callen had enjoyed spending time with his two best friends.
Callen had changed. Fundamentally, at his core, he was the same person but over the last few weeks something had changed, he had started smiling and laughing more. He relaxed more and slept. Ok so not many people knew about the last one, but He himself had noticed, he was going to bed at between 11 and one am and waking up between six and eight in the morning. The first night, the night he had cried himself to sleep in his father's arms, he had just assumed it was exhaustion, emotionally and physically. But then it happened night after night.
He woke up and came downstairs after the first week with what he would his normal sleep patterns disturbed, he had rung Nate. Talking to him for two hours they had come to the conclusion that the questions that had kept Callen awake, 'who am I ? What's my name? do I have a family?' were all answered so there was no need for any more sleepless nights. Nate had laughed when Callen sounded so upset, "But Nate…When am I going to find the time to do everything?" he asked.
"Callen you'll just have to survive like the rest of us mere mortals." Nate replied.
Callen sighed and agreed with the operational psychologist.
So today, he grabbed his bag and walked to the door of the safe house where he was still staying with his father. Blinking in the early morning L.A. sunshine he grinned as he saw Sam leaning against the charger waiting for him.
"Morning…Moving out again?" he said looking at Callen's bed roll, a slight frown of worry on his face.
"Nope laundry, I wanna drop it in on my way to work." Callen grinned.
"You going home anytime soon?" Sam asked.
Callen shrugged and threw his bag into the back of the car and slid into the passenger seat, he knew what he wanted to do, but he hadn't thought about how to bring it up.
Walking into the mission after his time away reminded Callen of when he had been shot and had to take six months off for his recovery.
"Hey Callen!" Deeks grinned as he rounded the corner and saw the team leader entering.
"Deeks." Callen smiled in reply.
"Gregori, welcome back, I trust you completed your paperwork?" Hetty asked.
Callen smiled, "Yes Hetty, you left me enough to do."
"How come you're calling Callen by his first name?" Sam asked Hetty, "You never do that."
Hetty smiled as she walked past Sam's desk towards her own office, "You have had years of being called Sam, Mr. Hanna, this is Mr. Callen's first chance of using his own name…I suggest you help him get used to it." She said.
Granger came past on his way out of the building, Callen got up and followed him to the edge of the bullpen just far enough away from prying eyes, "Granger…uncle, how are we going to play this, I never mentioned to Vance that you were my uncle, but if he finds out?"
"Leon has known for a while, I was looking in your file when he caught me, don't go off on one though, you know now why I did what I had to do." Granger said in his usual gruff manner.
Callen grinned, "I'm not likely to hold it against you now though am I."
Callen turned to go, "Aren't you spending today with Tata?" He asked.
Granger grinned, "Yep, wait here after work, won't you."
Callen looked shocked, he was still surprised at Granger's change in attitude towards him, and he was more like an uncle now and less like a boss. It was nice, but unsettling.
He turned and walked back to the bullpen, He was glad that no new cases had come in so far and he wasn't being thrown straight back into things.
Walking back in he caught the end of a 'Densi' argument. He grinned at the nickname he had given them. "So she says that if I don't watch it again, she's going to sulk all week!"
"Michelle makes me watch it every week," Sam grouched.
"I know it's awful!" Deeks groaned.
"What's that?" Callen asked.
"The Voice, US." Sam moaned… "At least you don't have a TV."
Callen laughed, "Nope but Nell does, you tried getting in between her and that show." He replied.
"That! Is because it is an awesome show and you men are all tone deaf!" Nell said placing her hands on Callen's shoulders and giving him a hug.
"Not true!" Deeks argued, "I was in a band, Sam can sing some!"
Callen laughed, "Some?"
"Maybe Gregori actually likes the show…" Nell said
"NELL!" Callen exclaimed, "Well ok, I do a bit, but only because my uncle watched it with Nell and Tata last week, the girls weren't bad looking." He had to admit.
The day continued in a similar vein and Callen grew tired, but held out until the end of the day, Hetty caught him trying to sneak off early and motioned him to come to her office.
"How was your first day back Gregori?" she asked.
"Well apart from everyone calling me Gregori every chance they got, it was pretty normal, it's nice to be back," He admitted.
"And with your family?" Hetty asked.
Callen did a double take at that, he had never been asked that question. "I…it's…I suppose I will have to go back to my house soon." He said a note of sadness rippled through his voice and as shrewd as she was Hetty caught it.
"You do not want to go back?" she asked.
Callen leant back and took the glass of single malt that Hetty handed him. "Is is wrong, I'm a 43 year old man who wants to…." He stopped.
"Wants to what?" Hetty asked
Callen took a sip of the drink and dropped his eyes ashamed, "I want to live with my father, I want us to be a family, I know I'm 43, I know I own my own house, but…..I want…I want to have a family life, I want to know what it's like to live with a father that loves me, not someone who is paid to just see to my needs…is that wrong, am I wrong?" he asked.
"I should hope not, most people get brought up by parents that love and support them, you didn't have that as a child, but you have the chance to as an adult. Maybe you should seize it with both hands Gregori."
"But what if….." Callen couldn't voice his biggest fear, what if his father thought him weak for wanting this.
"I hope you do want this Son," Constantin's voice came from behind them, "Your uncle and I have been house hunting all day, I found a nice one on the beach for us, I was hoping you would rent your property out and maybe come and live with me for a while."
Callen's face split into the biggest grin Hetty had ever seen.
"I think, Mr. Callen, you should take a few more days to get settled into your new home." She suggested.
Callen nodded as Sam laughed from behind them, "It'll take him ten minutes he has a box, a plant and a chair."
"Hey I own a lamp too!" Callen protested.
The others laughed as Sam held Callen's bag to him, "Come on partner, and let's move you."
Deeks looked up "You're moving?" he asked.
"Yep; in with my father." Callen confirmed.
"You are renting your place out?" Deeks asked.
Callen grinned, "Sure, are you interested?"
Deeks grinned, "I've been looking since I got shot," He admitted, "Just with Monty, no one is really interested to let."
Callen smiled and threw him a set of keys. "I'll be moved in twenty minutes, it's all yours."
"What about references and a deposit?" Deeks asked.
Callen laughed "I know your boss and I owe you for a really great game of cars…if I remember rightly. Besides if you and Kensi get together you'll need a bigger place," He walked out laughing at the shock on both his junior agent and the LAPD liaison's faces as he said that.
Standing with a box full of everything he owned he and Sam arrived at the address Granger had given him. The house was a large four bed three bathroom beachfront property. The house was impressive and Callen stood for a moment admiring it.
"You ready?" Sam asked.
In his life Callen had lost count of the times he had packed a bag and moved from home to home. This was the first time he had been nervous. Sure moving as a child he had been scared, nonchalant, or just didn't care, but never had he been nervous.
Constantin opened the door, "Come in, Welcome home son." He said.
Callen was surprised as he and Sam entered the house was already unpacked, "Tata?" Callen asked.
"I brought this house a month ago, I just lacked the few things I needed to ask you to move in" Constantine admitted. "Like the courage to ask you."
"You were worried to ask me?"
"Sure son, what if you hadn't wanted to live with me…but I took your uncle's advice and fixed your room up and then asked you."Constantin said as they walked up the stairs.
Constantine opened a door, "This is your room son." He said
Callen stopped and nearly dropped his box. It was everything he had ever wanted, a big bed, a computer desk and chair, space for his things and….and…Callen reached over and picked up a picture frame with lots of small pictures inside. "Mama!" he breathed looking at the pictures of his mother, Amy and himself as a baby. He turned to the window away from the others as he couldn't stop the flood of tears that fell freely from his eyes.
Constantin walked up to his son and placed him in a hug, "sunteți în sfârșit casa fiului meu, nu ai nevoie de a muta din nou. Nu vă voi lăsa și nu trebuie să mergi din mi noi suntem în cele din urmă familie." [You are finally home my son, you need never move again. I won't leave you and you don't have to go from me we are finally family.]
Callen placed the box on the bed and gently placed the picture next to it.
"Thank you Tata, I won't leave, not now I've finally got what I have been searching for…family."
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