Opening his eyes later, Deeks could smell the antiseptic and hear the hustle and bustle of a hospital.
For a moment he tensed up, thinking he was back in Linda Vista hospital.
“No…” He breathed his hands fisting the sheets.
Sheets? He was in a bed? Slowly he opened his eyes and looked over at the other person sharing the room with him.
Callen was out cold on his bed, his torso bare with a large gauze patch covering his chest and his ribs taped up. Deeks sat up, noting his own ribs taped and a plaster cast on his left arm.
“Marty?” The door opened and Roberta Deeks stuck her head inside.
“Mama?” Deeks kept his voice low, not wanting to wake his roommate.
“What happened? Hetty called me, she said you’d been hurt by your father? I don’t understand, he’s dead!” Roberta tried to keep her voice down, but the panic started to overwhelm her.
“Mom, calm down.” Deeks reached over with his right hand and patted her arm, “He’s dead, it was a ghost.”
“There are no such things as ghosts Martin.” Roberta said.
Deeks sighed, “Ok, so not a ghost, but whatever it was, it sure felt like Gordon, sounded like Gordon and hurt like him.”
Roberta looked stricken and moved to hug her son.
“I’m ok momma, whatever it was in there it was nasty. I know that the leader said a bruja was going to do something.”
“A witch?” Roberta asked, after moving away from the home she had shared with Gordon, they had lived in enough places to know that brujas for some people were real.
Deeks nodded, “I didn’t believe in it until the weird stuff started. It was awful momma, all the stuff we never talked about. All the stuff he did to us, it was so real.” He whispered as Callen stirred.
“Hetty suggested you talk to a counselor.” Roberta told him. “Maybe not just about this, but about the stuff we don’t talk about. I think it’s time you did, it’s not healthy Martin to keep all that inside.”
“I’m not… Mom… geez” Deeks sighed. “I love you, but honestly, I don’t think I can talk about what happened. I can’t explain it either. But I know I will be ok. You don’t need to worry about me ok?”
“Everyone needs someone to worry about them Martin, that’s why you have a mother.” Roberta brushed a stray wisp of hair from her son’s forehead.
“Where’s Kensi?” He asked, noticing she wasn’t there.
“That tiny little boss of yours sent her and that hulk with her home, they looked as wrecked as you do son.”
Martin smiled at his mother. He liked her description of Hetty and Sam, but he’d never admit to it.
In the other bed, Callen smiled, unnoticed by the pair of them.
It was good that Deeks had someone to care about him, after all the younger man had been through hell.
He winced slightly as he moved, he hoped he would be able to slip out soon. After all Roberta had been with her son for a while, she could not stay much longer could she? After all, how long did parents visit their kids in the hospital for?
Finally, Roberta left the room supposedly on the hunt for a coffee, although Deeks assumed she was really going out for a cigarette.
Deeks waited until he was sure she would not be coming back in.
“So you gonna say something, or just lie there?” Deeks asked to the quiet room.
Callen waited for a few minutes and finally turned in the direction of the detective.
“What do you want me to say?” Callen asked, noncommittally wincing as he raised himself up to a sitting position.
“How much of the conversation with my mother did you hear?” Deeks asked.
Too much, Callen thought, but did not reply. He thought for a moment and said, “A bruja? Really?”
Deeks nodded, “I saw her a few times while I was working with the group. They all seemed to be slightly afraid of her, she was Lobo’s grandmother. Lobo was the group’s leader, a crazy son of a bitch who didn’t care who he hurt to get what he wanted. I thought I had them fooled, but I was wrong. They took me to the meet at the old Linda Vista hospital, I got jumped, then the whole world turned crazy. Doc said there was some kinda drug in my system, but that doesn’t explain everything that happened in there.”
Callen shrugged, “Not sure what happened in there, maybe the drug was airborne. I don’t believe in ghosts.” He failed to add that for him, it was safer not to believe in them. Especially as since Deeks had been asleep earlier Callen had talked to Sam about what he and Kensi had seen and had felt hurt that he hadn’t seen his mother or Amy. Although Sam had thought he had seen Clara earlier. After that revelation Callen had clammed up, not saying anything else until Hetty had insisted that Sam and Kensi had gone home to rest.
“You have had something happen too? I mean I know something happened; you’re sharing a hospital room with me. But you know I mean… Spooky?” Deeks asked.
Callen shook his head. He had told someone once, when he had thought he had seen a ghost, just after Jason died. They had paraded an assortment of therapists in to see him, he had been poked and prodded with needles as they had run tests on him. There was no way he was revisiting that scenario again voluntarily.
“So what did happen to you?” Deeks asked, noting the bruising and the gauze pad on Callen’s chest.
“I took a wrong turn.” Callen replied and turned away.
“Is that what they call it now Mr. Callen.” Hetty said as she entered the room.
Deeks smiled as the smaller woman walked over to her team leader.
“The coms recorded everything,” Hetty said.
Both Deeks and Callen looked at her in surprise, “Everything?” Callen gulped, fear suddenly coursing through his body.
“It’s been interesting listening. I’m not sure how Eric managed to get nothing off the coms for the entire time you were out of communication, but when we reviewed the logs… well, there was some interesting listening.” She moved into a chair facing the two men.
Both Deeks and Callen looked uncomfortable at that.
“Who heard it?” Callen asked.
Hetty noted the anger underlying his question, but smiled. “Only myself and Miss Jones and an outside expert.”
“Great!” Callen sighed.
“Mr. Callen, Mr. Deeks. What we heard was heartbreaking and very unusual. I assume neither of you will want a copy of what we have.”
“What do you have?” Deeks asked. “Did you hear him… I know It was my father… or something that was pretending to be my father anyway.”
“I had someone look at it, a person who is very used to listening to EVP’s.” Hetty told him.
At this, Callen turned his head, “EVP’s?” He asked.
“Electronic Voice Phenomena.” Hetty explained. “He managed to get voices from the spaces in between where you were both talking. Some are more clear than other parts, but yes, Mr. Deeks I can hear, what I assume to be Gordon Brandel talking.”
Hetty moved closer to Callen, “I heard Mr. Malone, I know that you would not want others to hear it, but for the record it needed to be heard.” she said quietly.
“It wasn’t him. It wasn’t real so I don’t care who hears it.” Callen lied.
“You forget Mr. Callen, I know about Malone and Jason. You were not at fault and despite what you heard, you have a great many people who care about you. Do not bury this, I have asked someone to come and talk to you.”
For a moment Callen shot Hetty a dark look. “I’m not talking to Nate.” He said shaking his head. Of course last time Nate and Callen had met, Nate had been undercover and had used his relationship with Callen against him. Although Callen had said he had understood, there was no way he was ever talking to Nate as a psychologist again. He understood the necessity of selling a cover, but using his own personal information while Nate had waterboarded him had destroyed the trust that Nate had built with him.
“I know, Jethro Gibbs has suggested someone named Rachel Cranston as an alternative. He informed me that you will talk to her.”
Callen smiled slightly, “Yeah, I’ll talk to Rach. Did you tell Gibbs… did you tell him..?”
Hetty shook her head, “No, just that you had been captured and hurt and needed someone to trust, to talk to.”
Callen sighed in relief, “Thank you.”
There was a knock on the door as Roberta walked back in, “Martin? Is it ok for me to come in?” She asked.
Marty smiled as she entered.
“Sure mom, Did you find some coffee?” He asked.
She smiled and handed him a cup and then turned to Callen, “Hetty told me you prefer tea.” She said putting a cup in front of him.
He looked at it in surprise, “Thank you.”
He moved to sit up and she grabbed a cushion from behind him.
“What?” He moved away, not sure what she was up to.
“Your pillow is flat; it can’t be comfortable.” She plumped it up and placed it back, “Do you need anything, another blanket?”
He shot a slightly panicked look towards Hetty, who sat back and smiled.
“I’m fine.” Callen replied as he moved, the pillow did feel better, but he was unsure as to Roberta’s motives.
“You and your team saved my boy.” Roberta said. I’m not sure from what exactly, but I wanted to thank you.”
He looked uncomfortable. “You’re welcome.”
“Well, I will go and file this report for you.” Hetty said. “I am told you both will be fit for desk duty in a week. Ms Blye and Mr. Hanna have been told that you need to rest and will be available to pick you both up upon your discharge the day after tomorrow….” Hetty stared pointedly at Callen, “And not a moment before Mr. Callen.”
“As if I would.” Callen smirked.
Hetty smiled and picked up the folder she had placed on Callen’s table, “Cheeky bugger.” She commented and headed toward the door.
“Enjoy your rest gentlemen, you seem to be in excellent hands.”
“I like her.” Roberta commented as she took some fruit out of a bag and placed it in a bowl in front of her son.
“Mom?” Deeks looked at the fruit, “Really?”
“It’s good for you and if you want to get back to helping your team and saving the world, which I still think you would have been safer to do if you had stayed a lawyer, you had better eat some young man.” She scolded him.
Callen let out a small chuckle, but hid it.
“Mom… you can go home, I’ll be fine.” Deeks insisted.
“Nonsense.” Roberta fussed around him, “You need me, I’m sure when your friend’s family arrive, he’ll have the same thing to deal with.”
Callen moved to stand up, “I need to…” He pointed to the bathroom and shuffled off, mindful of his injuries.
"Mom!” Deeks hissed.
Roberta moved to pull the blankets down on his bed.
“What? I would have thought his family would be here by now?”
“Mama, Callen doesn’t have any family, only his team and Hetty. I think he’s an orphan.” Deeks told her quietly hoping Callen would not hear her.
Roberta looked shocked.
Callen looked at his reflection in the mirror. He looked haggard and he knew it. He hurt emotionally watching Roberta fuss around her son. He wished that he had been able to see his mother, that she could have saved him from Malone. But she hadn’t shown, he hadn’t seen her and right now, especially after Roberta asking about his family, he missed her.
Looking at his reflection again, he mentally told himself to suck it up. He hadn’t needed his mother, any mother for as much of his life as he could remember, he didn’t need one now. He was alone, so he would look after himself. He winced as his ribs twinged. OK, he would look after himself after he had found some painkillers and maybe got some sleep.
Callen opened the door and shuffled towards the bed looking hopefully for his painkillers.
“Come on, let’s get you into bed.” Roberta said, taking his arm and gently leading him to his bed.
Callen looked worriedly at Deeks who shrugged and mouthed sorry at his mother’s behavior.
“I’m fine Mrs. Deeks.” He argued.
“You saved my boy’s life.” Roberta reiterated.
He winced as he sat on the bed.
“Are you in pain?” she asked.
“I’m fine.” Callen repeated.
Roberta huffed and pulled the sheet over him, adjusting the light blanket to cover him, then she walked to the door.
“Nurse, my boy’s need painkillers.” she called, “Today would be good…” She added with a hint of a threat.
Deeks looked about as shocked as Callen did.
She walked back in with two white pots containing medication.
“They’ve added sleeping meds, you will both take them.” She ordered.
Deeks, knowing better, took his straight away, Callen glared at the pot, reaching to take just the pain killers.
“I don’t think so,” Roberta tapped his hand away, “Take them all, doctors orders.”
“Don’t fight it Callen; Mama Deeks can be very insistent, so much so she makes Hetty look like a pushover.” Deeks warned.
With a sigh, Callen took the medication and lay back.
Roberta moved to her son, tucked him in and kissed his forehead.
Callen smiled at the gesture and closed his eyes, thinking it would be nice if he had someone to do something like that for him.
He jumped as he felt a hand on his forehead.
She leaned over and kissed his head, “Sleep well Callen, I will be back to see you both in the morning.”
She walked to the door and smiled at both of them as the nurse walked in. “You take good care of both my boys. I will be back first thing tomorrow to see them.”
“They are both your sons?” The nurse asked.
Roberta smiled at them both, “They are now.” she gave a small wave, “Night boys.” she called and left.
“Night Mama.” Deeks’ voice followed her down the corridor.
Callen lay there for a moment a stunned look on his face, it had been a hell of a day, but it had turned out great, despite all the horrors they had both seen.
He sighed, laying his head back on the plumped up pillow that still slightly smelled of Mrs. Deeks.
“I like your mom.” Callen sighed as he drifted off.
Deeks smiled back, “I think she likes you too.” He replied and finally entered a dreamless and safe sleep allowing the horrors to drift away.
Roberta walked to the elevator where she was surprised to see Hetty waiting.
“He needs a mother.” Roberta said as she pushed the button.
“Many people have tried.” Hetty sighed as the doors opened and they walked inside.
“Well, I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere.” Roberta stated as the doors shut on Hetty’s smile.
Even after all the horrors they had seen, her team was becoming more and more a family to be proud of.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Gina Mae CallenWrite a Review