Callen stopped as the others all looked at him.
“You’re going to what?” Kensi asked.
Arkady held up his hands. “We are not planning an assassination here. The president will be safe. However, we have heard of a threat to him, it is a credible threat. We sent it... We hope the person carrying out the assassination attempt will be a government born child. So who better to save him than a natural born child who happens to have slipped through the cracks and became a federal agent. A natural born federal agent who is straight.”
“Damn.” Sam said in shock, “That’s…. That’s brilliant. But, you’re not going to be in danger are you?” He looked at the President, but his words were meant for Callen.
“I will be in no danger Agent Hanna.” The President said. “I trust Agent Callen with my life.”
Hetty smiled, “Besides, if this works not only will preconceptions be turned on their heads about natural borns and Hetero’s, but Mr. Callen should be able to keep his job, after all, who is going to fire someone who saved The President’s life?”
“What if Callen doesn’t stop the threat, I mean you have no idea what the person behind the assassination is thinking.”
“Actually, we might… and we do,” Hetty said, “That is if Ms Blye would be willing to help.”
Kensi sat heavily on the couch in shock, “You want me to... To shoot at The President of the United States!”
“Blanks, my dear.” Hetty assured her, “Blanks.”
“But… If it goes wrong… I could get shot, for a cause that, to be honest, I’m not sure I’m interested in. I mean either way it will never affect me.”
“What if you have a child, you and Nell and one day that child comes up to you and tells you he or she is straight? Then it becomes your cause. I mean, wouldn’t you want your child to have the same options in life as you had? Could you see your daughter being taken from her home and family because she was straight and put into a breeding center?” Callen argued.
Kensi shook her head sadly.
“Ok, I’m in.”
The President walked over to her and bent down a bit so he was at eye level with her. “If it helps Ms Blye I give you permission to shoot me. I know with your accuracy I will come out of this alive. I promise your name will never come to light and there will be no repercussions from your actions.”
Kensi looked up hopefully, “I don’t suppose I can get that in writing?” She asked.
Barack smiled, “Of course.” He replied. “You are doing a good thing. This will help end the bigotry and hatred that our country has lived with for far too long. Not less than forty years ago a man of color like myself could never have been President, it was wrong then, it is wrong now. The same can be said for sexual orientation, as long as you are not forcing people to be straight, it shouldn’t be anyone’s business but your own. ” He stood up and looked at his watch, “I have a few hours before I am due to swap places with Ralph, so how about we have a look around and see how the compound is coming on?”
David stood up, “I know the children in the school were hoping that you would visit them next time you were here.” He said to his brother as they walked to the door.
“So I will leave everything in your hands Ms Lange, Mr. Callen. Thank you all, this is a good thing you are doing for your country.”
After the door shut they sat there for a few seconds.
“Did that just happen?” Deeks asked.
“Yep,” Sam replied.
“Wow…” Kensi sat still in shock.
Callen stood up, “Are you guys ok with this? I mean I have to do it, but you don’t have to be a part of this.”
“What about the other threat?” Sam asked worried.
“That’s what I mean, this will be going down in the next few days, like I said I’m hoping that the bullet that shoots me is Kensi’s, if not it will be a real one. Either way the outcome is the same, the president is safe and our message will be heard with no casualties.”
“If you die, that’s a casualty.” Sam reminded him.
“Yeah, but if I die, I’m natural born. Right now I don’t count as a person. So, still no casualties.” Callen snapped back.
“You gonna tell Michelle? She cares about you you know.” Sam asked.
Callen shook his head, “Better she doesn’t know. If she got worried, it might worry Jacob. Or worse, if this goes south the secret service might track back and find her. I am keeping her out of it. They need to be kept safe Sam, you promise me, if anything goes wrong, you will take care of Michelle and your son.”
“I promise G.” Sam said as Callen started pacing nervously.
Nikita stood up, he had been watching his son silently ever since he had first broached the plan with Hetty and the president earlier that morning.
“Moy Syn… Gregori… stop.” He said. Callen halted in his tracks and looked at his father. “You need to trust your team. Henrietta told me that they are good people and that you have worked well in the past.”
“Yeah, but that was before.” Callen sighed.
“Before what?” Deeks asked.
“Before you all knew what I was... Or wasn’t… Before I was expendable. I mean you kill me none of you will be punished for it, I’m a non person. You can’t get charged for killing a natural born person. But if you miss me and hit the president…”
“Blanks Callen, I’m going to be using blanks, even if I hit you…”
“You can’t use blanks.” Callen said abruptly.
“What?” Kensi looked worried.
“You can’t use blanks, if they take a blank out of me they will know that it was a setup, you’re going to have to use the real thing.”
“But you said…..?”
“That was for The President’s benefit; Do you think he would allow this if there was a real chance I could be killed or that you could be charged?”
“Even Hetty doesn’t know you will be using real bullets. This has to be between us.”
“But this means I…. I have to shoot you!” Kensi shook her head, “I don’t care what you are Callen, you are my friend and I won’t.”
“Kensi… I will be wearing a vest just aim for my shoulder or side, I know your aim is deadly, you’ll hit me with minimal risk.”
Kensi sighed, “Ok… When?”
“Tomorrow. The president will be in Los Angeles giving a speech at a conference at the department of family and children’s services in Vermont Avenue. To promote services for all government born children who end up destitute. Where better for a natural born child who managed to grow up in the system to save him?”
Kensi could see the logic in it, but it didn’t sit well in her gut. However Callen was her team leader and she trusted him and needed for him to see it.
It was early when the team left the compound in the two blacked out SUV’s that Arkady had provided for them, Kensi and Deeks in one and Sam and Callen in the other.
Hetty had gotten Callen and Sam invites to the Presidential speech at Children’s services, Sam as Security and Callen as a guest; a child who had risen up through the trauma of his time in the system to become a federal agent. He had been asked by the Department of Children and family services to be seated on the platform and maybe meet a few of the kids beforehand. His old social worker had been surprised when she had gotten the call asking if he could attend from The President’s Office. But they had assured her that he was indeed a federal agent and that he would be an inspiration for the young people who were attending that day. She readily agreed with The President’s advisor who thought that a bad boy with a rough start who had turned himself around to become a member of law enforcement could be a role model for the kids there might actually be a good thing.
Callen was silent the whole journey there and Sam kept sending him sidelong glances of worry.
“G? You good?”
“I’m fine, Sam.” He replied.
He was thinking about that morning, he had woken up, made love to Michelle and then they had eaten and he had gotten Jacob ready for the morning, all the while thinking that if he had misjudged Kensi it would be his last morning on earth.
He knew Kensi would never be caught, her escape route was perfect and if she was caught there was enough evidence planted to show that she had been aiming at him and not the president, he had given her original documents to show that he was natural born and had some pictures from when he had been seeing Gerry and Charlie that he had given her. He hadn’t had some done with Michelle as it was important to keep her safe.
Before he knew it the car was stopped and he and Sam got out and headed to the venue.
“You wearing a vest G?” Sam asked, looking at his partner.
“Sure.” Callen lied, he wasn’t and couldn’t wear a vest for this. But any thought of Sam challenging him was gone as they reached the entrance, Callen unarmed as a guest handed his id and his invitation over and went in, smiling as he walked over to greet his old social worker and meet some of the kids. Sam headed to the security booth to talk to the secret service, he was here in his capacity as Callen’s partner, sent by NCIS to protect their agent.
The visit was a good way for Callen to reminisce about his childhood, he smiled as he saw his name carved into the old desk outside his social worker’s office, where he had spent many an hour catching up on his homework while his social worker had been trying to track down a new placement for him. He showed one of the kids who had taken an interest in him.
“That was you?” The kid asked.
“Yep. Kept up with my schoolwork, the only thing I could control. Kept my grades, tight and I knew I would need them one day.”
“Wow.” the kid said surprised. “I just thought I wouldn’t amount to much, don’t really see the point in bothering.” He admitted.
“You’re not doing it for them, you do it for you. Doesn’t matter what other people think you are or who you will be. You need to believe in you.” Callen said.
He turned as the Social worker called for him, it was show time. The President was coming.