Chapter 8 - Breakthrough
Callen was still fast asleep on the sofa when everyone's attention was taken by a crash and a mouthful of expletives from the ops center.
Eric came out and was about to whistle when Sam waved at him and pointed to the sleeping boy.
Eric nodded and gestured that Hetty should come as well. Sam nodded back and headed into her office. "Eric wants us." He said to Hetty and Granger.
A sleepy looking Nell was propped up against the table with a pile of paperwork.
"Nell, you ok?" Deeks asked never having seen the analyst so frazzled.
"Sleepy…" She said and took a swig of coffee from the sealed mug Hetty handed her. "Thank you."
She rubbed her eyes and stood looking at the group waiting for a briefing.
"Ok, as you know since Callen….shrunk? De-aged? Miniaturized?" She said sleepily.
"Miss Jones?" Hetty pulled her back.
Nell nodded gratefully, "Whatever, I've been trying to find out what caused this and how to fix it."
"Have you slept at all?" Sam asked.
Nell shot him a 'Duh!' Look and carried on.
"I've been talking to every scientist I've had access to there is only one scientist that can fix this apart from Grant Mason. But I can't get access to him. His name is Constantin Nicolai Lupescu, he's a scientist from Romania but that's all I can find out about him, all records on him cease after 1974."
"There's got to be something?" Sam said "Something...someone else?"
"Don't you think I've been looking! " Nell snapped. "I've done nothing but look unless you guys can find this scientist there's nothing I can do…I don't know how long this will last, no one I've talked to does and they all think it's hypothetical, although a few scientists said if it happened they wouldn't mind testing a subject….." She turned and put her hands on her hips and glared at Sam. "Do you want Callen to be poked and prodded as a test subject?" she snapped.
"Miss. Jones I suggest that Mr. Beale take you to get something to eat and some rest, we can start back on this tomorrow. I don't think you should be driving home." Hetty said Eric agreed with her and picked up his bag.
"Come on Nell, let's get you home." He said knowing that with a good meal and a good night's sleep his best friend would be running on all cylinders again.
Granger stormed out of the office and looked for somewhere to make a call.
Finding a quiet corridor he picked up the phone.
"It's me….If you had access to the equipment needed could you fix Callen?" he asked.
He waited as the voice on the other end admitted he could.
"Cons, I know it's dangerous for both of you but he can't stay like this…I will find you a safe space to work and you can do this?"
Granger nodded as the man on the other end talked.
"Ironic that you are the only person who can fix him…" Granger chuckled. "I'm taking him somewhere safe for tonight. Do you need blood or anything from him?" Granger waited, "Ok, but wouldn't your DNA do, its close enough?"
"Fine, I'll get his blood drawn…he's not going to like that he's worse than you are about needles…ok I'll drop it over." He said and hung up the phone.
By the time he had made it back to the bullpen Callen was sitting holding on to the small toy car he had not put away.
Hetty walked in and held out her hand, "Mr. Callen, you are to stay with me tonight."
Callen stood up and waited; He looked sadly at the toy car and put it with the others in the pile. He picked up the bag Kensi had given him and stared at his feet.
"Yes Ma'am." He mumbled.
"Er…Hetty, maybe he could come with me tonight?" Granger suggested.
Callen looked at Hetty hopefully, He liked her but he trusted Granger.
"Mr. Callen would you like to go with Mr. Granger?" she asked.
Callen nodded and brightened up considerably.
Hetty smiled to herself at the irony, 24 hours ago little Callen was willing to kill Granger and 48 hours before that, Bigger Callen had been arguing with the man over whether or not he could be trusted.
Callen grabbed his bag and walked out of the mission following Granger.
The next morning a very sullen Callen and Granger walked into the mission.
"Sit there." Granger said handing Callen a comic book.,
Callen stared at Granger angrily curling himself into the corner of the couch as Granger went into see Hetty.
"How was your night Owen, is Mr. Callen well rested?"
"He didn't sleep too well he had nightmares." Granger admitted looking over at Callen, knowing full well the nightmare Callen was in a mood about was quite real.
Hetty walked over to the couch, "Mr. Callen I trust you slept well."
Callen eyes darted to Granger and he looked scared but nodded. "Yes, thank you."
Hetty held down a feeling of worry that started to gnaw inside her.
Hetty reached over and went to pat him on the arm and Callen flinched. Hetty sat herself on the couch next to the youngster. "Mr. Callen…did anything happen last night."
Callen looked at the floor ashamed. "Am avut un vis urat." He said quietly.
Hetty looked at him kindly, "Do you want to tell me about your bad dream?"
Callen scooted away from her, "He had Needles!" he breathed in fear.
"Who?" Hetty asked.
"The man with my eyes….He looked a long time at me and took my blood…" Callen couldn't help the tears that ran freely down "El a vorbit cu Granger, nu am place de el."
Hetty looked up, "Mr. Hanna would you stay with Mr. Callen please?" she asked getting off the couch and moving to her office.
Sam nodded and walked into the break area.
"Owen….A word." Hetty said menacingly.
Granger followed Hetty into her office. "Where did you take Mr. Callen last night?" Hetty asked.
"Home; He watched some TV and went to sleep." Granger said non-committally.
"Maybe you'd like to explain to me why Mr. Callen dreamt of a man with his eyes taking his blood?" She asked suspiciously.
Owen shrugged. "I have no idea why children get nightmares." He said.
There was a crash sound and Sam consoling Callen as he spilt a glass of milk Sam had given him.
"Never mind big guy, let's get you changed." Sam said as Hetty wondered over to see what the noise was.
Sam helped Callen get his sweatshirt over his head and over his casted arm.
Hetty breathed in at the bruising on Callen's torso that was getting lighter and focused on the large bruise in the crook of his arm, where it was obvious blood had been taken.
"Owen…?" Hetty said pointing at the bruise.
Owen took Hetty by the arm and led her into an alcove away from the others. "I took him to someone who can help…it's my job to help him whether he likes it or not."
"He's a child, you can't do that to him….wait! You know where Constantin Lupescu is?"
"Its need to know Hetty; and for a good reason." Granger said.
"Can he help…? Will he help?" she asked.
"For Callen…he'll do anything." Granger said.
Hetty grabbed Granger's arm. "What are you not telling me?" She asked.
Granger looked at her sadly, "A lot Henrietta, but for Constantin's sake and for Callen's it needs to be like this."
Hetty turned to Granger as he started to leave.
"Callen said he had his eyes…."