Hetty called the team up to ops and sealed the room.
"We are going undercover in the NBSCA."
Sam looked at her. "Is this sanctioned by SECNAV?" he asked.
Hetty looked at him, "Yes, this is sanctioned Mr. Hanna, it is also top secret, only those in this room will know about the operation, there will be no discussion of it outside of here."
"How are we going to get anyone in there, I hear they test for genetic markers, none of us will pass the test." Kensi said looking over at their boss.
"I will." Callen said.
He wasn't going to come out to his team as straight, he wasn't ready for that, but the news that he was a Natural Born, and he didn't know about it… He hoped the team would be understanding.
"What do you mean you will?" Sam asked.
Callen took a step back in concern at the tone Sam was using.
"You?" Deeks looked surprised.
Callen nodded, but kept his eyes down waiting for his teammates to turn on him.
"I had been told there was someone here who didn't have the markers, but I didn't know who…" Deeks started, "How long have you known?" he asked.
Callen shrugged, he'd lost track of time since his talk with Hetty, and he looked at his watch, "About 45 minutes." He admitted.
"How did you make it into a government agency, the markers are designed to keep people like you out!" Sam snapped.
"People like…. Me…?" Callen looked up and saw the anger in Sam's eyes. "Forget it, Hetty, I'll quit, go on the streets where I belong, let Sam take the lead." Callen felt utterly betrayed as he walked across Ops, made it as far as the door and kicked it in frustration, as it wouldn't open.
"Mr. Hanna, are you telling me that now that you know the circumstances of Mr. Callen's birth you are not as much his partner now as you were 45 minutes ago." Hetty said, the others watching, wide-eyed, as the two senior agents stood on opposite sides of the room.
Callen stood with his back to the door; arms wrapped protectively around himself, took a deep breath and looked at the others.
Eric had moved closer to Deeks, both looking at him with pity, Kensi and Nell, were, it seemed more accepting and Sam was angry.
"How did you not know?" Sam asked, trying to not feel the hatred that normally came with an announcement like that.
"I don't even know my first name Sam. I don't know how I managed to pass all the tests, all I know is I did; Maybe someone is looking out for me I don't know. Look, I know how you feel. I was shocked too, but I'm still me, nothing has changed." Callen said, imploring his partner to look at him with something other than hatred.
Sam shook his head, "I… I… I can't…"
Callen looked at Hetty, who nodded sadly.
"This mission is still top priority people, Agent Hanna, you may work with Kensi for the time being, Mr. Deeks will be on point with Mr. Callen and Ms Blye you and Agent Hanna can work the Marine angle, see if you can find out who killed her."
The door opened and Callen all but ran from the room.
"Mr. Deeks my office." Hetty said and walked out with Deeks on her tail.
Sam felt bad. Callen was his partner. But as soon as he heard this he had flashed back to the day his son died and the weeks afterwards, Michael going through the pouch removal and the flood of hormones that hit his system afterwards, the crying and the feeling of loss that couldn't be replaced and Callen was just like them.
He walked down the hall to hear someone in the gym.
Opening the door he looked in Callen had his back to Sam and he was hitting the bag with all the force he could muster.
He turned an inch and Sam looked on worried as he noticed Callen hadn't padded up and was hitting the bag bare knuckled.
He looked at him, he was still his partner, still the same man he'd been joking with this morning on his ride into work, but something was different, the way Callen now held himself. He looked… broken.
He wanted to apologize, wanted to let Callen know that he was still a friend and a brother and that Michael, loved him as well, Rachel would be devastated if she couldn't see her uncle Callen again.
Sam sighed, he needed to get his head out of his ass if he wanted to help his friend.
He took a step towards Callen and he stopped hitting the bag.
"Don't!" Callen said not looking at him.
Sam stopped and watched him, he wanted to say something, anything, but Callen didn't acknowledge him until he turned around anger and pain radiating from him.
"Why?" he asked.
Sam looked at him. "I didn't mean to…"
"You didn't mean to be the last person that I would ever trust; you didn't mean to treat me like I'd just killed your child!" Sam flinched at that. "You didn't mean to treat me like a pariah for something I had no control over, you think you're the only one who has lost people… well you're wrong Sam. I had a sister, a big sister, like Rachel would have been to your son, only my sister wasn't killed by terrorists, no. She was killed by the government thrown out on the street like trash because she didn't have the right markers, she died in a ditch, drowned because no one would help her, and do you see me blaming YOU?"
He threw another punch at the heavy bag and turned away from Sam.
"G… I… I'm sorry. Let me help you with this case, we can get you in with your people." Sam pushed.
"MY? … Don't!" Callen said again. He grabbed his towel and walked towards the showers ignoring the look of sadness on Sam's face and slammed the door between them.
"You expected anything less?" Deeks asked, leaning on the door-frame.
Sam shook his head, "No."
"He's just had his life turned upside down and the one person who should have had his back without question, you. You let him down, he had let you in, and even I could see that, he trusted you. I'm glad you're not my partner." He said and turned his back and walked away.
Sam sat at his desk. Kensi and Deeks shooting glances at each other then Kensi got up and walked over towards Sam. "So we are looking into the dead Marine?" she asked.
Sam nodded and handed her what they had so far, "We need to find out as much as we can about her, who she saw, where did she hang out, anything that will help us get an in for Callen."
"Don't bother." Callen snapped as he walked past, "I can find my own way in…. These are 'my people' remember." He snapped sarcastically as Sam winced.
"G I didn't mean it like that!" Sam argued.
Callen walked over to Hetty, "I'm in… no argument, when do we go?"
Hetty looked over at the over quiet bullpen.
"We need to know where to meet these people. To be honest, I'm not sure where to go." She told him.
Callen gave a sad smirk, "I know where to go, I'm gonna need to cruise the straight bars and underground clubs." He told her in confidence where he had met Gerry and they agreed that was probably the place to start.
Two hours later, dressed in one of Hetty's hottest outfits, a pair of relaxed denim jeans and an aqua blue shirt that made his eyes pop he was ready to go.
"You sure you're going to be up for it?" Deeks asked as he checked him out. He was surprised Callen looked more relaxed than he thought he would be.
"Ok, partner, you're wearing a button cam and an earwig, so you head on inside and see if anyone checks you out, to be honest, I can't see why anyone wouldn't." Deeks grinned.
Callen rolled his eyes and walked out towards the bullpen where Hetty was waiting, "Mr. Callen, the containment team and LAPD know we are working this club tonight. So they will not be raiding it, in fact, they will be staying away for the duration of this mission, I have it on good authority that this club is frequented by a number of straight clientele and you should be able to meet someone there."
"You good to do this?" Kensi asked worried.
Callen nodded, "How could I not be they're 'my people'," he said, then he caught the sad look Kensi gave him, "Sorry Kensi, I'm good, we need to get into this terrorist group and stop them." He gave her a smile and headed for the door.
Walking into the club, Callen sat by the bar, not really checking anyone out.
"What can I get you?" the man behind the bar asked.
"Scotch, Rocks…" he said and put the card on the bar, "And run a tab?" he asked.
The barman nodded and poured his drink.
"Hope that wasn't too expensive, Hetty'll kill you." Deeks said in his ear.
Callen snorted and drank his drink.
He looked over to a brunette sat at the end of the bar who looked over at him a few times.
He smiled and took another drink.
Sam and Kensi were watching through the button cam in ops looking to see if anyone in particular was paying too much attention to Callen.
"Hey, buy a girl a drink?" she asked moving closer to him.
Callen shrugged, "No harm in that." He said "What can I get you?"
"Amaretto sour." She said, nodding to the barman. Callen nodded in agreement and handed her the drink. "My name's Charlie, what's yours?" she asked.
"Callen." He said.
In ops Sam looked over at Hetty, "He's using his name?" he asked worried.
"He insisted, it makes his backstopping easier, we can use his real parents' names." She told them.
"You know who they are?" Sam asked surprised.
"I know who they were, we believe they are both dead now." Hetty turned her attention back to the screen, where Callen and Charlie had moved to a booth.
"Have I seen you here before?" she asked.
Callen shrugged, "Once or twice." He said.
Charlie looked him up and down, "You look nice tonight," she said hoping he'd bite.
"You do too, I was looking for a friend though, Gerry?" he said, feeling his throat close up on her name.
"I saw her the other night, she left with a guy… maybe you? Looked like you," she giggled as Callen stroked her hand, "Although I haven't seen her since. Maybe she's moved on, I mean… you don't wanna hang around the same bars all night, might get raided."
Callen nodded, "But the running is fun if you don't get caught." He added.
She leaned in closed and in Ops Sam grimaced.
"He isn't gonna….. Urgh!" Sam turned away while on screen Callen kissed Charlie and sat back.
"Nice," She smiled.
"Let me buy you another drink." Callen said, gesturing to the barman.
She sat back, holding his hand and smiled.
"How long have you known that you were straight?" she asked quietly.
Callen smiled, putting her at ease, "Ever since I was a teenager, where my friends were looking at boys, I couldn't help but notice how pretty the girls were." He admitted.
"Mothers or Fathers?" she asked him.
"Neither." Callen said, "I'm an orphan."
Charlie placed her hand on his cheek, "I'm sorry, did your mothers' die?" she asked.
Callen gave a sad smile, "my mother was killed by a containment team."
"Oh your mother was a switch too?"
"Sorry?" Callen asked as if confused.
"She was born Lesbian and switched to straight?" Charlie reiterated.
Callen shook his head, "No… my mother was straight, she just pretended to be a lesbian, to keep her job, then she was put undercover and she met my father."
Charlie looked at him and did a sharp intake of breath, "You're a Natural Born?"
Callen let go of her hand, "I… no, I…"
"Shh, Callen it's ok… I won't rat you out… it's just I know people, people like you…"
Callen looked at her, this was what they were hoping for, "There are people like me?" he asked his voice conveyed awe and fear.
"Oh he's good!" Kensi said with a smile.
Charlie nodded, "There is a group, NBSCA, they are people like you who have two parents, they are trying to prove that what the government is doing is wrong, we have a meeting later tonight, will you come?" she asked.
Callen nodded, he ignored the knot in his stomach, and this was what they had been waiting for. "I'd love too." He said as he finished off his Scotch.
In ops Eric turned to his husband with a grin, "Did you hear that Marty, we're in!"
Deeks grinned back over the laptop in his car, "Yeah, we are…now all we have to do is find out where the meeting is going to be." He turned his attention from his husband and back to the mission at hand.