Sam explained as much as he could to the paramedics who quickly got him on a gurney and headed towards the hospital, Sam rode with them and Deeks followed behind calling Hetty on the way.
"Come on G," Sam said sitting next to him.
The paramedic asked Sam for all the information he had.
Sam willingly gave it as Callen drifted in and out of consciousness on the gurney. The paramedic put sensors on Callen to check his heart rate; he tried taking the box out of Callens' hand but Callens grip tightened on it.
"Come on G, I'll hold it." Sam said trying to take the box.
"Mine!" Callen groaned and gripped the box tighter.
The paramedic looked at Sam, "Its ok, we don't want to upset him anymore, let him keep it." He paused before asking again, "I have to ask, is this his first suicide attempt?"
Sam was shocked, "We don't know this was a suicide attempt! For God sake! He's my partner I'd know if he was thinking about that!"
He wasn't sure who he was trying to convince, the paramedic or himself.
They arrived at the hospital and the doctors started working on him.
A nurse walked over to Sam, Deeks and Hetty. "Hetty…...Again?" The nurse asked raising an eyebrow, "He's early this year."
Both Sam and Deeks looked shocked at the implications of what the nurse had just said.
"How many?" Sam needed to ask Hetty but he wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer.
"If he's not on a case, maybe twice a year," Hetty admitted.
"Never mind," The nurse said, "You know he'll be ok when he comes round, I'll look in on him,"
"Thanks Claire," Hetty smiled.
"Hey, G's family." Claire smiled back.
Hetty turned again to her Agent and her liaison.
"Claire grew up in foster care with Mr. Callen," She explained, "We tend not to let this get out too much."
Claire smiled at them, "Oh, Hetty, has he got it with him again?"
Hetty nodded, "The doctors can't get it off him, and maybe he'll let you have it."
"Come on." Claire smiled looking over at the doctor who had just left Callen's room, "Let's go see him."
The room was dark and Callen could hear that beeping again.
'Shit!' he thought to himself, he hated the feeling when he woke up and his stomach had been pumped. His throat was sore and tasted like puke and blood. He didn't even want to open his eyes because then he would know he had failed, and somewhere in the back of his mind he realized he was going to have to explain himself again.
Sam walked over to the bed and was shocked at how Callen looked.
"Hey G, we're all here for you." Sam said quietly, he realized Callen was awake when he saw a single tear slip from the corner of Callens eye and ran down the side of his face.
Claire went to take the box Callen was still holding.
Callens grip tightened; there was no way he was letting it go.
"Callen, its Claire, its ok I'll hold it," She said and he relaxed his grip.
"What is that?" Deeks asked. As he did so Callens hand re-tightened on the box.
"That, Mr. Deeks, Is Mr. Callen." Hetty said simply nodding to Claire to leave the box where it was.
Deeks looked confused, "It's all he has about himself, his family everything. It's the only important thing he has." Hetty stated.
"I have to go squirt," Claire said stroking Callens forehead, "I'll be around, when you need me."
She gave his head a light kiss and turned, "I assume, like last time you're staying." She said to Hetty.
Hetty nodded and Claire smiled, "I'll get the tea." She said and left.
Callen figured he should open his eyes; it was quiet so he hoped everyone had, had enough of him and had gone.
Hetty put her cup of tea down and looked up at him. "Mr. Callen." She said
He felt a wave of shame rush through him, somehow he knew she would be there, she always was.
"Go away," He snapped and turned to stare at the wall. He knew she wasn't going anywhere but he still hoped, "You don't need to waste your time on me." He whispered
Hetty shook her head, "One of my brightest Agents, , yet, sometimes so obtuse, I never waste my time."
"Sam...Deeks... do they know?" Callen asked fearful of the answer, if they knew how broken he was, maybe ... he didn't dare finish the thought.
"Yes." Hetty said simply.
At that Callens walls shot up and he turned away from her again.
The door opened and Deeks and Claire walked in.
"Has he quit yet?" Claire asked brightly
Deeks was surprised at her tone of voice but realized as the newcomer to this situation he didn't have the full facts.
"Just now," Hetty smiled "Hasn't got round to telling me yet though, and NO Mr. Callen you're not quitting."
"How is he?" Deeks asked.
"Slowly, coming back to us," Hetty replied.
"Don't you have somewhere better to be?" Callen snapped at him.
"Nope, it's Christmas day, I'm with family where else would I be?" Deeks said.
Callen felt a knot in his chest at the word family.
His eyes snapped angrily to the people in the room, "I don't..." He trailed off looking away ashamed that he was being so vulnerable.
Hetty put an arm on his shoulder, "Mr. Callen, we are your family."
Callen closed his eyes as he felt a wave of emotion hit him.
For a moment he felt hope and then remembered the conversation of the other day and pulled his emotional walls back up.
"Don't think so." He said coldly.
There was a knock on the door as Claire entered again, having had to pop out to see to another patient..
"It's here." She said and brought in a pink carnation in a vase and placed it on the table beside Callen.
"Pink Carnation, it means always on my mind" Hetty stated.
Callen looked at the flower longingly, "I wish I knew where they came from,"
Deeks looked worried, "Who knows you're in here?"
"Just you guys, but every time I've been in hospital... I've gotten one, just don't know who from?" Callen said. His heart hoped maybe it was from his father but he didn't dwell on it.
"Where's Sam?" Callen asked,
"He's with his kids, he said to tell you, he will be over to kick your ass, later," Deeks grinned.
"Now it's my turn, what were you thinking?" Deeks asked him,
"Nothing..." Callen clammed up again, he didn't want to talk about this now.
"You should have said you weren't going with Eric," Deeks pushed.
"Why? So I could be your Damn charity case, Hell! You guys were fighting over which one took me on this year." Callen spat, he wished Deeks would back off and just leave him be.
"What?" Deeks spluttered as he remembered the conversation Callen was alluding to. "How much of that did you actually hear?"
"Enough!" Callen looked him in the eye and Deeks saw the hurt and betrayal in Callens eyes for a second before Callen locked the emotions away. "Get out."
He turned to Hetty, "You too!"
Hetty took Deeks outside and turned to him, "Mr. Deeks I think you need to tell me what conversation Mr. Callen is talking about."
So Deeks explained to Hetty how Kensi had wanted Callen to come to her home for Christmas as she didn't want him to be alone and how she had heard one of her cousins was sick so she had, had to change her plans and then Deeks and Sam had argued as they both wanted him at their homes.
"So you think, Mr. Callen heard this conversation and maybe thought you were feeling obligated to spend time with him over Christmas?" Hetty asked.
"Why would we feel obligated, He's family?" Deeks was confused.
"Have you ever asked him what his Christmas' used to be like?" Hetty asked, she didn't wait for an answer, "Mr. Callen learnt as a child that Christmas and family were for other people. He's always watched from the outside, but never been inside that circle. He also learnt that someone was watching him grow up and he would get the pink carnation whenever he was in hospital. When he was about 14, he tried his first suicide attempt and he got the carnation, in his mind it's from his family. He had looked up the meaning of the flower and realized it meant a mothers undying love."
Hetty stopped to let the words sink in. "It's his way of spending Christmas with family." She finished quietly.
Unnoticed by either Hetty or Deeks, another man in the waiting room got up and left. Putting a note on the empty nurses' station and walked out.
Claire came out of another room and picked up the note, puzzled she looked at it then walked over to Hetty.
"Hetty I just found this on my desk," She said and showed it to her.
The envelope just said Callen, Hetty opened it and gasped. Deeks looked at her questioningly.
In the same handwriting that was on the card that had been left on Amy's grave was one sentence.
'You are loved!'