Callen's bigger problem

Chapter 16

Callen opened his eyes to find himself outside his childhood home. Hetty had given Nate a key and told him he was to stay in one of the spare rooms. Callen got his crutches and hobbled into the house with Nate helping him get settled.

"Do we have to start now?" Callen asked

"Not today, I'll go over what we are going to do and you can let me know if it's acceptable with you and then we can formulate a plan of attack from there." Nate told him.

Callen nodded as Nate helped him elevate his ankle. Nate went and made himself and Callen a cup of Hetty's Chamomile tea and brought the pot into the living room. Pouring the tea out Nate handed Callen a cup full.

"So is it gonna be like the annual psych evals?" Callen asked.

"No, more like two friends talking, if needed would you want to do hypnotherapy?" Nate asked.

Callen sat and thought about it, "Would it help?" He asked

"It might, although I'd like to see how we do with conventional therapy first, there is a therapy called NLP or Neuro Linguistic Therapy, it's a newish technique but I've had some good results with it in PTSD patients."

Callen looked at Nate warily, "This doesn't involve electrodes does it?" He asked.

Nate smiled "Nope not an electrode in sight." He laughed clearing the air. "It's just talking and breathing and thinking."

Callen nodded, "Ok it can't hurt…you wanna start in the morning?"

"Sure, Hetty said something about a pot roast for dinner tonight….any good?" Nate asked.

Callen gave his first genuine smile in a few days, "Mom may be tiny, but she works wonders in the kitchen, you know Nate, she taught Michel Roux how to cook."

"Really?" Nate asked stunned.

Callen shrugged, "I don't know, but would you want to tell her you don't believe her? Besides it is awesome."

Nate had to agree the smells coming from the huge crock pot in the kitchen were delightful. "She's probably making enough for Deeks again." Callen said.

"Deeks?" Nate asked.

"Sam has Michelle, Kensi has her mom, you have Rose….Deeks doesn't have family, Mom makes him a meal once a week and has it delivered, I'm not sure if he knows it's from her, but I figure he's guessed." Callen told Nate.

Nate was surprised to find out that the operations manager did things like that for her Agents.

"So Hetty is like Deeks' mother as well?" Nate asked.

"More like a concerned Aunt Mr. Getz." Hetty said entering the room.

"How long have you been doing this?" Nate asked.

"For years, I have always kept an eye on my charges."

Nate looked at her knowingly, "Callen I know you've been his mother since he was 15, but Deeks?"

"Since he was shot…I knew of his father and the incident when he was eleven, however, he had managed to keep the rest of his family situation even from me. Until he was shot and we discovered he had no next of kin."

Callen having heard this story before took advantage of the momentary lull in his welfare to doze on the couch.

"So you became his next of kin, what about his mother?" Nate asked.

Hetty looked over at her son sadly, pleased he was resting. "Mrs. Brandel threw her son onto the streets at eleven, blamed him for his father going to prison, Mr. Deeks was taken in by a child lawyer when he was arrested for stealing food from a homeless shelter. At eleven he didn't realize the food and clothing he stole were free. The shelter's administrator thought young Marty, was trying to steal her purse. Robert Deeks took him in and him and his wife Brenda fostered him. At 18 he took their surname, the Deeks' couldn't have children and put Marty through college and law school."

"So how come they aren't his next of kin?" Nate asked pleased Deeks' had found a nice family.

"They were killed in a car accident in 1994….Gordon John Brandel hit their car head on, Deeks was the only survivor although until he was shot he never knew his biological father was the one driving the car that killed his foster parents." Callen said his eyes still shut.

Hetty hadn't realized that Callen knew, she raised an eyebrow in surprise and still with his eyes shut Callen smirked. "I do read your files mom, especially if they involve my team."

"And confidentiality?" she asked slightly scolding him.

"I never told you did I…So it's still confidential, I only told Nate and he's my therapist." Callen smirked.

She sighed walking out of the room she said, "One day you'll be the death of me Callen!"

"Never…! Death's too scared to cross you." Callen said back as he slowly eased himself upright. The clock chimed seven and he raised himself up. "Dinner Nate." He said and headed to the dining room.

They made it just as Hetty put the plates on the table.


That evening as Nate unpacked for his week at Hetty's home he thought back on the interaction between the two of them.

Callen was more unguarded here and more relaxed than Nate had ever seen him. Breaking down in OPS had been a cathartic experience for Callen and the fact that he had talked to Nate in regards to his therapy was encouraging.

He had been right in insisting that Callen undergo the therapy here. There was nothing here that made Callen feel wary and given the way the family had reacted through dinner Callen was still comfortable with Hetty even though there had been a few times when Callen had tensed up.

For all he could see it wasn't just Callen that needed this healing, Hetty needed to somehow be included in this, that was easy enough when he used the fact that Callen needed her, but how she would react when he needed to talk to her alone…now that was the $64,000 question.

Writing his notes from today's informal session, Nate felt like there would be some progress.

'At least.' He wrote, 'Callen is finally allowing me to give him the psych eval, I have been trying to give him since I joined the LA team.'

Nate leant back on his bed and listened as the house wound down for the night and mentally prepared himself for tomorrow.

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