A/N.This story is linked to BH72's 'Altered Fraction of the truth'. The story which inspired this one and this story is dedicated to the wonderful writer herself.
The Characters Baxter and Gloria Worthington belong to her and are used with her kind permission.
(Yeah this is a fan-fic of a fan fic.)
*****WARNING FOR CHILD ABUSE AND TRIGGER WARNINGS...Nothing Graphic, but disturbing nonetheless.*****
Callen lay under the bed hugging his sore ribs, he had been here four hours and the house he knew was not for him.
He had just left a nice home; so far, the people taking him in had been either nice, or indifferent. He had liked the last home a lot; he had made friends with a boy called Paul who had not laughed at the fact that his first name was only G. They had been together for three weeks and had been inseparable, Paul had been the family's son, they had included him as a member of their family, and just as Callen was letting his guard down and letting them in, the social worker had to move him.
The mother, Rachel had fought to keep G with them, but the worker was adamant, G needed to be moved as they had another child enter the system who needed to be placed with Rachel and her husband more. Rachel had spent the last weekend, taking G shopping for new clothes, buying him a stack of his favorite yellow t-shirts, which he loved, they reminded him of the beach and Rachel told him they had made his eyes pop. He did not know why at 9 years old his eyes needed to pop but every time he put a t-shirt on, he listened carefully to see if he could hear his eyes popping, he never could but Rachel swore she could hear it and that made him giggle.
He sat on the bed swinging his legs as Rachel packed his bag, "So you have three new yellow T-shirts, two blue ones and two pairs of jeans, socks underwear and sneakers. You wait, I'm sure your new family will care about you as much as we do, and maybe you'll be able to hear your eyes pop all by themselves." She grinned as he laughed.
"Can I come and play with Paul sometime?" he asked hopefully.
"Sure, you tell your social worker and we'll arrange a playdate, just as soon as you are settled in." She really hoped as she answered him that it would be true, although she presumed that they would insist on no contact, maybe he like some of the other children she had had through her doors would go onto be adopted or he would be placed back with his family, she never knew of the child's home situation. She never asked, all she knew was that a child needed a place for a while and she was happy to help.
Callen nodded and bent down to tie his laces he stood up and grabbed his bag.
"Let's get a look at you," Rachel said brushing his hair quickly and pulling him into a hug, "You be good for your next foster parents and show them what I see in you."
"What's that Miss Rachel?" Callen asked.
"A good little boy who one day will be a credit to all who know him, you are a good boy Callen, don't forget it, you will make someone a good son one day."
Callen looked around him with a huge smile, he loved Rachel and her husband, it was sad that Ross had been deployed and was not around to say goodbye, but he loved the yellow t-shirts she had gotten him and he promised her he would do as she had asked.
He ran downstairs to play with Paul while he waited for his social worker to pick him up.
Rachel answered the door as Paul and G played in the backyard.
"Do you have to take him, he's so happy here?" Rachel asked as Mrs. Holcombe the social worker put her bag down.
"I am sorry, it's policy, and while your husband is deployed you can't have a foster child." She said her face tight; she had had a trying day and just wanted to get Callen settled before she could go on her holiday. "We have to go his new family is expecting him."
"He's asked if he can come back and play with Paul sometime, they have become firm friends, I would like them to continue being friends." Rachel asked.
Sally Holcombe shook her head, "His new foster parents do not want him revisiting where he's been, and it was hard to find anyone who would take him this close to the summer. We have to abide by their wishes you know the rule."
Unfortunately Rachel did know the rule and she glanced out of the window watching Callen and Paul play, with a heavy heart she called them both in, "G…Paul…You need to come in now, G, your social worker is here."
Callen's shoulders slumped and he walked dragging his feet towards the house.
"Hi Mrs. Holcombe, I'll get my bag." He sighed, he shot Paul a sorry look as he really did not want to leave, but he knew there was no fighting it. "Bye Miss Rachel, bye Paul." He said softly as he turned to the door.
Rachel smiled sadly as he left, "Bye G, you be good now." She waved and put on a bright smile as he walked to the car, waited as Sally opened the door and he climbed in.
Sally dropped her bag in the footwell to the side, "Callen stop squirming and sit still, we need to be going." She said.
He knew that tone of voice and immediately sat facing the front, his eyes turning as far as they could to catch a last glimpse of Rachel and Paul. Although in his gut, he knew he would never see them again and he could not stop the tear that snuck out of the corner of his eye as the car started and they drove away.
The pulled to a stop in front of an older apartment block, "Get your bag Callen." Sally said as she climbed out of the car, he pulled his bag out after him and smoothed his blond hair down trying to look what Miss Rachel had called presentable and looked up at the large brown brick building.
"Don't look like that Callen, these are good people and have opened up their home to you, just because it isn't as fancy as your last home remember to be grateful."
"Yes Ma'am." Callen replied casting his hands down to the ground, he followed along pulling his bag along behind him.
After hefting the bag up three flights of stairs, he made it to the doorway at the end of a dingy hall.
He hurried to catch up with his social worker as she knocked on the door, "Mr. Baker?" she asked as the door opened and a large man stood there.
"Yeah, you CPS?" he asked.
Sally nodded with an exasperated smile, "Yes, thank you for taking him at such short notice, Callen come here." She turned to him and he shuffled behind her looking at the large man at the door.
He moved and opened the door wider to let him in, "Hello!" A large woman came out of the kitchen area smiling and wiping her hands on her apron eyeing Callen up hungrily.
His eyes grew wide and he wondered with a start if she was going to eat him, like the witch in the Hansel and Gretel story that Rachel had read him and Paul last night.
"Small isn't he?" The woman said, "Come here boy, my name is Carol, you can call me Mrs. Baker."
Sally gave Callen a small shove in her direction and he tripped forward.
The man looked annoyed, "He isn't gonna be any trouble, we had trouble with the last one's folks, they tracked us down and kept bothering us."
Sally shook her head, "No…G hasn't got any family, just him…Now I have other appointments, if you would just sign the paperwork and then you can get him settled."
Steve Baker picked up the file glanced at it and nodded curtly. "Ok, how long is he here?" he asked.
"I'm away for three weeks; I will contact you after that to see if you want to continue the placement."
Steve smiled and Callen shivered. "He'll be fine with us, won't you…." He looked down the form for a name, "G? There seems to be a problem, we don't have his name here."
Sally shook her head, "G is all we have, I think his parents were hippies or something, but that's it."
Steve sent a glare Callen's way but it was unnoticed by Sally in her hurry to get the paperwork in her bag, "Thank you, now you have the emergency number if there are any problems?" she said to the couple.
Carol nodded, "On the fridge, we keep it just in case either we or the children need it." She smiled and Sally nodded.
"That's ok…Right then Callen?" he looked up at her as she smiled, "You be good for the Bakers, I will see you in three weeks…oh hang on I have to see his room." She remembered.
Steve smiled, "Sure, it's this one here." He opened the door to a large blue room.
Callen blinked impassively, "Do you like it, I heard that blue was your favorite color." Carol said.
Callen shook his head, "Yellow…" he whispered.
Steve looked angry but hid it, "Well don't worry, we can repaint if you stay."
Sally smiled, "That's nice isn't it G, what do you say."
"Thank you Sir." He said quietly.
"He's just shy," Carol said, "It's ok G. you put your bag down and we will get you something to eat," he moved to do as he was told and Steve turned to let Sally out as he did, Carols hand tightened on his shoulder.
"You will behave and I won't have any backchat from you kid." She hissed in his ear.
He shook and nodded instantly, he turned to look for Sally but she was gone.
"Let me show you to your room," Steve said and he put his hand on Callen's shoulder and guided him down the hallway.
Steve walked up to the room and shoved G all the way in, pulling his belt from his trousers, "I have ways to make kids like you behave, you should have told us you liked the blue, we spent a lot of money on this, you ungrateful brat."
Callen started crying in fear as Carol laughed and closed the door on him and her husband.