Sam walked down the hallway, determined to find the others, still not entirely sure that the thing he had seen really was the spirit of his father. He was worried; if they had cleared the halls, Callen and Kensi should have been back by now.
Deciding that unless he needed to, he would keep his encounters to himself, so he went in search of his teammates.
“Sam?” Kensi called as she caught up to him, slightly pale and shaking. “We need to find the others.”
“You ok?” Sam asked. He had never seen someone look as rattled as she did.
“I…” Kensi shook her head, “No…let’s find Deeks and get out of here, where’s Callen?”
Sam opened his mouth to answer and closed it again as a loud crash came from under them. “This way…hurry.”
The voice came out of nowhere, both Sam and Kensi looked at each other, neither recognizing the woman’s voice.
“You heard that…right?” Sam asked.
Kensi nodded and pointed as a door moved open.
“Hurry!” The voice called urgently; they saw a figure, a flash of dark hair. The apparition of a woman turned and threw up her hands as a black mass seemed to overpower her.
"SAVE HIM!" The woman screamed as the mass overtook her and the apparition screamed.
The air grew thick and swirled as if they were in the midst of a tornado. An inhuman howl as if two animals were fighting filled the air. Sam grabbed Kensi’s hand and pulled her through the tumult. Looking back, Sam stopped for a second, surprised at the sadness and the familiarity in the eyes of the woman whose face was clear for a second. It was the eyes that floored him, her eyes were the exact duplicate of the eyes that belonged to his partner.
“Come on!” Sam yelled over the noise and they ran down the hallway.
Kensi stopped as soon as they got away, “What the hell is going on Sam?” She asked.
“I saw my father Kensi.” Sam admitted, turning to her so she could see he was telling the truth. “I think we owe Eric an apology; this place…my father says this place is a vortex and with it being Halloween, the veil is thin. He also said that G and Deeks would need us.”
“I…I saw mine as well,” Kensi admitted. “This is freaky. He said Deeks would need us.”
“We need to find them…” Sam stopped mid-sentence as a scream came from the basement stairwell.
“Was that Callen?” Kensi asked.
Sam shot her a worried look and took off towards the noise.
Reaching the stairwell, they pulled at the door, it was sealed and Sam pulled on it with all his might.
“Kens, it won’t budge…help me!” Sam nearly begged as he pulled at the door.
Kensi moved and pulled with him.
There was a flash of bright light and the door opened.
Callen could not take anymore.
He was defending himself from the blows he could not see, hearing and feeling the scurrying of rats all over him. He could not remember how old he was, his mind reminding himself that this was a nightmare and not real, then another blow, a voice, a reminder that all he thought was true was actually a lie and he was still eight years old, in Malone’s basement and Sam was a dream he had made up.
He curled into a ball and let tears he had held in fall, hoping that Malone could not see him.
“Leave him alone.” Jason’s voice cut through his terror. “Enough Malone.”
A bright light burst through the darkness.
“Jay?” Callen was surprised how old his voice sounded.
Jason smiled, his glowing light seeming to emanate from him rather than behind him.
“It’s ok G-force, help’s coming, wait till I say then run for it.” Jason smiled at him and seemed to disappear, a blast of bright light dispelling the darkness.
“No…,” Callen did not want to run, he did not want to stop and look in the dead eyes of his foster brother again.
Callen looked around, trying to focus on the voice.
“Jason?” He called, a large hand reached through the light and grabbed his arm.
“NO!” Callen yelled his fist flying up in defense and meeting the open palm of Sam’s hand.
“G! It’s Sam…Sam and Kensi…stop!” Sam yelled as Callen kept hitting out at him.
Callen’s eyes were closed and his whole body shaking.
“JAY!” He yelled.
“Callen!” Kensi ran up to him and grabbed his other hand, then moved as Sam pulled him into a hug.
“It’s ok brother,” Sam said. “I don’t know what you saw, but it’s over now, you can stop.”
Callen’s scream echoed off the walls as he tried to move away from the shadowy figure of Malone.
He reached his arms out to defend himself, only to find them held by thick firm hands.
Callen moved back, favoring his now broken ribs. “No…please…let him go…”
Callen could see the body of Jason sprawled out at his feet. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get him killed.”
Sam looked around, he was unable to see what Callen could, but by the sweat and terror on his partner’s face he assumed that was not a good thing.
The other two stood, watching as Callen fought his demons.
A light came behind Sam and Kensi, and they turned to see a glowing being. Sam moved Kensi behind him protectively as the being turned to him.
“It’s alright Sam, I mean you both no harm.” The voice said. “I wish to show you what is happening so you may help your brother.” The glowing being touched the shoulders of the two and the room seemed to melt away.
There was a small, blond haired boy, cowering on the stairs as a teenager stood in front of him protecting him as a large menacing figure of a man stood over them. “Get away from them!” Sam yelled.
“They can’t hear you,” The being said. “Not yet, this will play out the way it did in the past.”
“Who are they?” Kensi asked, worried for the children.
The figure looked sadly over at them, however he said nothing.
The boy stepped back as if he knew what was going to happen next.
There was a sound as the elder Callen’s voice echoed around them.
“Please God, no… not again!” He begged.
"WHO LET HIM OUT!” Malone roared as he saw the young child clinging to Jason’s hand.
Jason pushed Callen behind him, “When it’s safe, run.” He hissed as he squared up to their foster father.
Malone grabbed the teenager by his throat and slammed him up against the wall, fear making Callen move back up the stairs. The menacing figure was moving over them as the larger boy stood in the way.
“Leave him alone, what you’ve done to him is wrong,” The teenager said bravely. “He’s still a kid, the system hasn’t broken him completely he still trusts people.”
The small boy looked up, his eyes terrified and his body shaking.
“Well, I’ll be fixing that,” Malone sneered. “Ain’t that right boy?”
As the younger boy stepped back behind the teenager, his eyes looked up and saw Sam and Kensi looking at him. For a second there was a small flash of recognition, then fear.
“He sees us!” Kensi exclaimed as she looked at him.
The boy shook harder as he pointed in their direction, still not saying a word.
“What’s he pointing at?” Malone snarled. “Ain’t nobody coming to help you boy, no one cares, haven’t you got that yet?”
The boy stared hard at Sam and Kensi, his eyes pleading for help.
“It’s G!” Sam breathed.
“What?” Kensi looked confused, the child was Callen?
Callen tried fighting back his small fists pummeling the larger man in the back, he was backhanded and he flew into the wall, his eyes closing as he slumped to the ground.
Malone turned to hurt the child again as Jason fought back, his own light going out as Malone killed him.
The being stood, full of light as he watched over the form of the unconscious child, another light joining him.
Malone tried to start on the boy, but something, perhaps it was the beings he couldn’t see, stopped him.
Malone sat in the corner as flashing lights came through the window and he knew he was done for.
Callen let out a small mewl of fear as his eyes opened and landed on the body of Jason.
His hands fisted into the teenager’s shirt as he tried to shake him awake.
“G…” Sam’s voice cut through the fear and Callen looked up, he noticed police officers walking around taking photos and assumed Sam was a policeman.
“G, this isn’t real, you need to wake up man. We need you. Deeks needs you.” Sam begged.
Callen looked at him confused, he was just a kid. This was real, he knew that. He looked over at Malone, who was being cuffed and led away.
“I’ll find you kid, I’ll find you and kill you…you’ll never escape, you ain’t got nobody to protect you, no one cares!” Malone snarled as he wriggled free of the arresting officer and barreled towards the frightened youngster.
“He’s lying G.” Sam whispered as he knelt down next to the youngster. “A lot of people care about you, you are loved.”
The boy looked up at Sam, his eyes full of distrust and shook his head. “No, they don’t…”
He looked over at the body on the floor, “Jay did…but not anymore…”
Sam noticed that the other figures in Callen’s memory or whatever this was had faded away. “G this is over, you moved on, you found your father and your name. You have a team that cares about you.”
The small boy’s head whipped up, “I have a name?” He asked, his eyes full of hope.
Sam smiled, “You do…and it’s a mouthful, you have friends. You are like a brother to me.”
“Really?” The boy’s eyes lit up and Kensi moved over to them.
“You’re like a big brother to me Callen, you need to stop being afraid and trust us.”
“Who are you?” Callen asked them as he felt a familiarity about them.
“I’m Kensi and this is Sam. You’re our friend.”
The child smiled, “I always wanted a friend.”
Slowly the room in the background faded away, leaving Callen alone on the floor in the stairwell.
He opened his eyes and blinked, “Sam?” He coughed his throat sore.
“You good?” Sam asked.
“What the hell happened?” Callen asked, “I saw…” He shook his head, unwilling to verbalize the memories of what had happened to him.
“We know, we saw,” Sam said quietly. “It’s this place, it’s…haunted.”
“There are no such things as ghosts.” Callen snapped, hoping they would never talk about it, he looked and still slightly shaking and unnerved he asked. “Where’s Deeks, have you got him?”
Kensi shook her head, “Haven’t found him yet, we…” She stopped as another earsplitting scream echoed down the hallway.
“Deeks?” Sam wondered.
Deeks had had enough. He was curled in a fetal position while the image of his father, who, to him, seemed so real right down to the nauseating smell of stale booze that hung around him, was screaming insults at him. By his count, he had broken three ribs and possibly his left arm, however, he was uncertain about that, as his arm was still twisted behind him, he had lost the feeling in that arm about an hour ago.
He was crying, unable to help himself. At least he was alone and no one would see it; his father had said he was an ugly crier, he was probably right. However, right now he did not care. He hurt, not only his arms and his ribs, but his heart and his mind.
The insults and barbs that had colored his childhood came back to him full force.
Somewhere inside him was the voice of reason telling him it was not real.
“Deeks!” Kensi’s voice cut through everything that was swirling around him, his one ray of light.
To him it actually looked like a light, piercing the darkness. His eyes strayed to it like a child scared of the dark.
He wanted to call out to her, but he felt fingers tightening on his throat.
“Not a word Martin.” Brandel’s breath wafted up his nostrils and for a second Deeks wondered at the irony of feeling sick on smelling the breath of a dead man.
Deeks gulped as he felt something sharp touch his throat. He looked down all he could see was a black mist and a sliver of something metal and shiny. He gulped and heard a quiet laugh behind him.
“You will never escape from here Martin; you will never escape me. I am always going to be with you. The others may have had angels to protect them, but you don’t. No one… Not even God cares about you boy.”
Deeks whimpered, but his mind searched for someone who cared. Kensi cared, she loved him, he knew this.
He doubted a lot of things in his life. His place on the team, his ability to be as good as the others; his standing in other people’s eyes. The one thing he did not doubt though, was his love for her and her love for him. This thing was immovable and perfect, this was theirs.
He clung to this one piece of hope. She would find him.