Never Tell!

Chapter 10

Sam came in late, he was annoyed.

Callen had blown him off when he offered to pick him up this morning saying he was going to visit Kensi to see how she was doing as Dom was still missing.

He worried when things like this happened. Dom had been, no was, the newest member on the team, they should have protected him better. He walked into the bullpen and dropped his bag. No one was there. He looked around worried as Hetty walked in.

"Morning Hetty." Sam said brightly, "Where is everybody?" he asked the smile still on his face but a knot forming in his gut.

"They are upstairs waiting to be briefed on a case."

Sam nodded, "Waiting for who?" he asked

"Waiting for you." Hetty replied.

"Oh okay." Sam said, thinking if Callen hadn't left him hanging this morning he'd have been on time. But no, when he had arrived at Callen's house this morning it was as empty as it always was, it still looked like no one lived there.

"But first, you owe me some paperwork…" Hetty said

Sam and Hetty talked as Sam slowly made his way up the stairs, no matter how much Hetty asked Sam wasn't ready to admit that they needed a replacement for Dominic yet, and they sure as heck didn't need a temp.

Callen grinned as Sam entered looked frazzled or at least as frazzled as the big guy could.

"She found you then?" Callen smirked.

Sam shot him a look, "Doesn't she always," He remarked as Eric briefed them on the case.

Kensi grinned as she recognized the reality show on the screen as one of her and Callen's favorites.

Callen watched as Sam argued that this should have been a LAPD case. "They should be handling it." Sam snapped.

"They are." Eric replied "But the Director wants to know why they had authentic-looking military IDs and he wants to make sure the security of our bases have not been compromised." He said stepping back a bit from Sam as the two men left.

Callen walked up to the door and opened it, "Eric said it was registered to a 'La Grange Enterprises' he said looking at the desks and the sides in the office.

"Well they weren't making Meth."

They checked the building out looking for anything that the men could have been doing and Callen stopped as his phone rang.

"Hey Callen, it's Kensi…Eric and I have been sifting through the electronic records of the dead men," Callen listened as Kensi filled him in with an address.

"Alright, great have a HazMat team come out here and sweep this place." He heard Kensi's voice drop and knew she had moved away from Eric,

"Are you ok?" she asked quietly, she had moved onto the balcony away from everyone. "What did you guys find?"

He nodded to Sam and moved out to the hallway ostensibly to await the arrival of the HazMat team.

"I don't know." He told her leaning against the wall as his heart hurt at the thought of being exposed to something and never seeing his family again.

"Well if you and Sam have been exposed to something, the Medical officer will need to check you over, your health could be at risk." She said the worry in her voice evident.

"You know what?" Callen said a smirk starting to creep across his face, "So could yours if you keep eating the breakfast burritos."

He heard her start and choke. "How?" she started as he laughed.

"The cheese makes your voice phlegmy honey." He waited until he was sure she was alone again, "I'm fine Hun. Honestly I don't know what was here yet, but you should call Evie and make sure she can stay longer with Lena, before we find out what it is, I don't want her exposed to anything like this."

"You're right, I'll get on it, stay safe G,"

"I will," the, I love you hung in the air between them, both wanting to say it and neither daring to incase they were overheard.

"You too." Kensi said knowing just how he felt before she hung up on him.

Sam was still checking the cupboards as Callen walked back in, "Anything?" he asked,

Sam nodded, "13 birds and 2 squirrels." He said.

"What are the chances that they were cooking up a biochemical weapon?" Callen asked worried that Kensi could have been right.

Sam sighed, "I sure as hell hope not, because if they were we've been exposed to it."

Callen looked worriedly out of the window thinking of Kensi and Lena, who would look after them if anything happened to him. Sam didn't disturb him as he was thinking the same thoughts about Michelle and his kids.

Callen looked concerned as they pulled into the street where Esther Balmore was living, his own house; the one he shared with Kensi was just two blocks away.

"It's a nice neighborhood." Sam remarked as they got out of the car, "I hate to see small times cons running this operation."

Callen had to agree with him, "Yeah, small time cons aren't running this operation, whatever it is."

"The lawn could use a rake," Sam said as Callen grinned.

On hearing a scream from the back both men ran around the back to help the woman who had made it.

"Mrs Balmore?"

An old woman looked up of all the things they had expected this sweet old woman wasn't it.

After introducing themselves they decided to take her to the boatshed, they were sure she wasn't overtly a threat, but the fact that she had developed as she had admitted a sample of the botulinum virus, albeit unwittingly and she had been under the assumption that she was doing her patriotic duty. Although the fact that the woman had managed to create 50 grams of Botulism quite frankly scared the hell out of him. He did smile each time the old woman called Sam, Steve though.

After watching Nate talk to the poor woman, and Callen and Sam getting the once over from Hetty, they were getting ready to infiltrate the gang who were trying to sell the botulism on the black market.

They all looked at the big screen as Eric introduced them all to the Dutchman, the European terrorist who was selling the toxin.

Sam walked over to his desk, "I'll contact Interpol and see if they've picked up any chatter or tracked any movement overseas."

Callen gave Eric some work to do and as he turned around he nearly bumped into Hetty.

"Mr. Callen, a moment." She said, Callen blanched for a second, had she heard his and Kensi's conversation earlier? Did she know now that they were together, had he in his worry about the bio-weapon let something slip?

"If she puts her rubber gloves on, run!" Sam joked and Callen shot him a look.

"Hetty, I appreciate the concern but I draw the line at turning my head and coughing." He quipped hoping to throw her off balance.

He listened as she explained her concerns regarding Sam and his reluctance to complete his paperwork.

Before he even knew what was happening, he was standing outside with Kensi watching as Sam went in to try and get his hands on the botulism toxin.

Kensi nudged him standing at their ready position waiting for the signal to go in, "He's gonna be ok." She said she could see the worry for his partner rolling off her husband's features in waves.

Callen smiled, as he ordered the teams into position. "Be careful," he said quietly to Kensi and rubbed his arm up the small of her back as he walked past.

Getting ready to breach Callen stopped and held his breath as they were listening to Sam try and get more information out of Troyger, the man trying to sell the toxin.

He turned to the team behind him, "They're at the mall."

Kensi grabbed Callen as they walked away to send the teams out to the two main malls in Hollywood. "Evie and Lena are at the mall." She told him in a heated whisper.

Callen grabbed her hand and turned her to face him, "Which one?" He asked

"Hollywood town center," Kensi said.

Callen gave a curt nod and spoke into the comm… "Kensi and I will take Hollywood town center, send agents to Sunset."

Thank you, Kensi mouthed at him as they ran to the car.

All the drive there Kensi tried calling on the phone, but there was no answer, "Why are they at the Mall today?" Callen asked as they drove there.

"Lena needed new shoes now she's walking and she's going to be starting a preschool group soon, so I wanted to get some in, and she was going to the doctor there to give Lena a check up, I was worried about her teething."

Callen nodded remembering the conversation they'd had the other night.

They pulled up and walked into the Mall looking around.

Callen looked frantically, not seeing anyone who looked like they were going to kill thousands of people. He could hear Hetty talking to Ms Balmore.

"Callen, level six." Hetty said even he could hear the worry in her voice. "Tall Caucasian male, 30's bald, yellow backpack."

Callen looked around, "I can't see him!"

Nate's voice came over the earwig, "Guys, he's forcing himself to walk casually, but he's clearly trying to hide an adrenaline surge."

Callen looked around and then… "I got him; he's heading for the food court."

Kensi spotted him and grabbed a food tray off a teenager, "Hey!" the kid said.

'Accidentally' bumping into the man, Kensi made to grab him.

The man grabbed the vial as Kensi pulled her gun and warned for everyone to get down. People screamed and ran as the man threw the vials over the railing towards the floor.

Callen grabbed the vial and looked up at Kensi as he realized the vial had cracked and had pierced his skin. He stood up holding the vial in his hand and looked horrified as Evie and Lena came out of a shoe shop. "Dada!" Lena screamed in excitement he voice was lost as Callen was ruby tackled and landed in the water.

"Sam?" Callen thought looking up as he saw Kensi hand off the terrorist and run down the stairs towards him.

"Keep the vial in the water!" Sam snapped. "Keep it out of the air. We stay right here until HazMat scrubs us."

Callen jumped as he felt a prick in his arm "You know I hate needles!" he snapped, trying to look to see if Lena was ok.

"It's the antidote G, I just saved your life." Sam retorted.

"I didn't get a warning." Callen sighed; he relaxed as he saw Kensi reach Evie and Lena.

"Oh, now I gotta warn ya to save your life?" Sam asked.

"Dada!" the call came again and Callen moved.

"Just keep the vial in the water, what are you squirming at anyway?" Sam asked.

Callen sat up keeping his hand under water as a small child toddled over, "Dada!" she held her arms out, Callen looked over for Kensi who had been waylaid by another agent as Evie taking her eyes off the toddler was watching Kensi talk to the officer.

"Hey baby girl!" Callen said with a sigh as Sam looked down at the small girl.

"Where's that kids parents," Sam snapped looking around. He went to move as Callen took his uninjured arm out of the water and picked her up.

"Dada in bath?" Lena asked.

Callen laughed and Sam stopped in his tracks, "Yeah honey Dada's in the bath,"

"Dada…look….fishy!" Lena said pointing to a dead fish, "Fishy go by byes?" she asked.

Callen kissed her and put her on the ledge, "Yeah fishy is sleeping."

Sam stood watching in shock, "Kenz!" Callen called.

Kensi turned and slapped her hands over her mouth in shock and nudged Evie.

"Mama!" Lena clapped as Kensi walked over.

Lena wrapped her arms around her mother's neck, "Love you mama."

Kensi smiled "I love you too baby girl, Daddy's busy right now you go and stay with Evie. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon ok?"

"Ok." Lena smiled and kissed her mother and climbed into her stroller.

"I'll see you later," Kensi said to Evie.

Sam sat on the edge of the pond as HazMat took Callen out and took the toxin from him.

"Something you want to tell me?" Sam asked.

"Can you come over tonight?" Called asked,

"Your house or Kensi's?" Sam asked.

"Neither, our house I'll give you the address." Callen said.

Sam nodded, he did have questions, boy did he have questions! but it could wait until this case was put to bed.

Sam popped over to make sure that Esther Balmore had everything she needed before he got back into his car and headed to the address that Kensi had left on his desk.

The house was nice, the lawn nice and tidy, hedge trimmed and a whitewashed picket fence around the property.

Sam rang the doorbell, "Honey, Door!" Callen's voice could be heard from inside.

Kensi opened the door, sheepishly looking at Sam standing there with a confused look on his face.

"Hey Sam," she said and let him in.

Lena was just finishing up her dinner; mashed banana was in her hands and on the tray of her high chair.

"Mama, nana!" she announced happily.

Kensi kissed the top of her head, "Time for a bath baby." She said.

"She's cute," Sam said and he had to admit she was a perfect mix of Callen and Kensi. "What's her name?"

"Essalina." Kensi said, "We call her Lena."

"Dada bath!" Lena demanded.

Callen walked out pulling his sweatshirt over his head, "Not today peanut, Dada's gonna calm down uncle Sam." He grinned pulling two beers out of the fridge.

Kensi kissed him as he walked past "Play nice." She advised and picked Lena up and took her to the bathroom.

Sam took the beer and sat on the couch.

"You have furniture." He deadpanned as he sat down.

Callen sat in his armchair and looked at Sam, "You're pissed." He said.

"DAMN…" He shot a look to the bathroom, "Damn right I'm pissed," he said in a quieter voice "You're my partner, Kensi works with me and now I find out you have a kid together!" he stood up and walked the length of the room and stopped when he saw the photo of Callen and Kensi on their wedding day. "You're married!" he asked incredulously.

Callen nodded. "Yeah."

Sam sat back down on the couch, "Damn!...Hetty's gonna kill you." He said then took a swig of his beer and grinned.

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