Callen's bigger problem

Chapter 12

Despite all his protestations, Callen did not emerge from his room for 24 hours, not because, as Sam had first thought, he was sulking. It was just that he was healing, he had slept solidly and he looked like it as he emerged into the kitchen bleary eyed in sleep shorts and a rumpled T-shirt.

He was still out of it the painkillers still in his system as he rubbed his eyes and stumbled half asleep into the kitchen and started rummaging through Hetty's cupboards.

In the other room, Deeks, Kensi and Sam had been sitting with Hetty as they heard the cupboard doors opening and closing.

"Mom!" Callen called, "We got anything to eat I'm starving?"

Deeks and Kensi, not having seen the domestic side of their team leader before grinned at each other.

"In your cupboard, your junk food is where it always is," Hetty said walking in behind him. "You may want to get changed, you have visitors."

"'Mm Kay," Callen said his slight smile disappearing and he grabbed an apple off the counter and a soda from the fridge and went to his room.

An hour later, he emerged and walked guardedly into the living room.

He leant against the door jam, refusing to go any further, "Hey." He said uncomfortably.

"Hey Callen." Kensi and Deeks said.

"G." Sam said by way of greeting.

"So what'dya want?" Callen said not in the mood to dance around the question.

"We wanted to see how you were." Deeks said.

"I'm fine." Callen said and turned to go.

"I have your medication." Hetty said and motioned for him to come in and sit.

Begrudgingly he came in, he hated appearing weak in front of his team and he couldn't shake the nagging idea that something had happened with them, for one... How did everyone at OSP find out about Hetty being his foster mom, this had been their biggest secret and what did that mean now? For his standing with the team; for his job in general and more importantly what had happened on those, day's he could not remember…?

He hated the nagging feeling of doubt he had when he looked at Hetty, he had never had it before. He had always been comfortable in her presence, she had been his angel, saved him on what he felt was the worst day of his life and he loved her like….well she was the only person he had ever loved unconditionally, like a parent.

Now, every time he looked at her there was a nagging doubt in his mind, 'she doesn't want you' 'it's her fault' 'you don't belong here' 'they don't want you'. These thoughts kept running around in his head and he didn't like it.

He grabbed his medication swallowed the painkillers dry and walked out.

The others watched him concerned, even on his darkest days, they had never seen him treat Hetty with anything less than total respect, this was totally out of character.

The doorbell rang and Deeks got up to answer it, a few moments later coming back with Nate.

Kensi stood up and hugged him as did Sam, both pleased to see their former team-mate.

"Hi Hetty, I've been briefed on what happened by Assistant Director Granger, I think, I need to see Callen."

"Yes Mr. Getz you do, however there are some other matter's you need to be aware of." Hetty said guiding the ex-operational Psychologist into her kitchen.

Nate obligingly walked into the kitchen and sat as Hetty poured him a cup of tea.

"I take it this is the part where you tell me about your relationship to Callen," Nate said taking a sip.

"Granger told you?" Hetty said

"Yes. However I already knew, remember I am your Psychologist, I have been observing the team for years, After Callen got shot and you practically slam-dunked Macy out of her position, the way you have always been that little more protective of Callen than you have been of the others." Nate stopped as Hetty opened her mouth to object and then realized he was right.

"You are always there when he has a problem, supplying him with advice and concern, and you hate to see anything personal upset him, to the point where if you can you will guide him to the thing he can't see." Nate added, "Moreover, the way that Callen instantly quit a job he loved to fly halfway around the world to protect you. These things showed me there was a deeper relationship between you too. I had my hands on Callen's childhood files and saw he was last fostered by a Sylvia Cole; I know that is one of your Aliases, I was surprised no one else picked it up." He said with a smile.

Hetty realized all the clues had been there, Nate had just been the only one to notice them. This was good; maybe this meant he could figure out how to get her son, back to his old self.

Nate finished his tea and walked back to Callen's room.

He knocked once and walked inside.

He was taken aback by the amount of stuff in the room; it looked like a typical teenage boy's room, with small collections of this and that everywhere. a photo of teenage Callen, Hetty and a chocolate Labrador, both humans smiling relaxed was on the nightstand. A pile of Marvel comics were on a shelf and a Batman nightlight was still plugged in by the door; there was an extensive CD collection and a huge stereo. Things that Nate would have expected in Callen's house, not here. This showed him one thing, Callen may stay at his house, but this was his home.

Callen lay on his bed facing the ceiling; he didn't turn to acknowledge whoever had walked in.

"Callen." Nate said by way of announcing his presence.

He cleared some books off the large armchair near the bed and sat waiting for Callen to say anything.

Fifteen minutes later Callen finally spoke, "I think I'm broken…there's something wrong with me."

He said quietly. If Nate hadn't been sitting in silence, he would have missed it.

Nate closed the book he'd been skimming and looked up. "What do you think is wrong?"

"I'm missing pieces of me….three weeks to a month, I think. The team and now you know about mo…Hetty…" Callen faltered.

"It's ok to call her mom." Nate said.

Callen sat up and finally looked Nate in the eye, "NO IT'S NOT!" he snapped tears started to form in his eyes, "and I don't know why….We've always been close, but I'm scared Nate." His voice had gone back to a whisper "I…I'm scared of her…She was my anchor and now I'm scared of her, I keep feeling like she doesn't want me, like she allowed this to happen, IT'S NOT FAIR!" he exclaimed exasperated, "It's not her fault I know that, so it must be me."

"What if it's neither of you?" Nate asked pushing Callen to accept a third possibility.

Callen looked at him, "How can it be anyone else's fault….I….I did….Something….Dammit! I don't know, I know I did something wrong….I know…I remember Hetty telling me I was important….then he said…." Callen knew his words were jumbled and not making sense, but neither did his memories. "He said….I was important, she let him have me."

"He?" Nate pushed again.

"My mast….Dammit! I can't stop thinking of him as my master….I mean Yoska. Nate why? Why can't I make any sense of this? I need my life back, the one with all the holes that were supposed to be there!" he looked at Nate begging him to fix whatever was wrong.

Callen sat on his bed with his knees drawn to his chest slowly rocking and hugging himself.

"Can you fix me?" He asked softly.

Nate's heart broke for his friend, "I hope so Callen," He pulled a sedative out of his pocket, "First take this, you need some rest and I'll see you tomorrow, if you're willing to work with me."

Callen nodded and gratefully took the pill, "Thank you." He said and lay-back down on the bed as Nate covered him with a throw.

Nate walked out of Callen's room, wiped his eyes and prepared to go and talk to the others.

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