The Empty glass of truth

Chapter 14

Hetty walked out of the motel room and got into her car, tears trickling down her cheeks. This was not the way she had wanted him to find out, not the way she wanted to leave. This was why all the large UPS envelope in her case with his name on contained a letter of explanation and a thumb drive with his file on. He was supposed to see it after her death where she wouldn't have to deal with the recriminations of what she had done.

As she peeled out of the parking lot she saw her agents looking after her from the doorway, maybe one day she could go back, but after they found out what she knew, what she was, they would never trust her again and she knew that.

She headed for home, only Callen knew where she lived, all of her homes, but he was in no fit state to go looking for her, so she knew she had time.

"Bali?" she said aloud as she drove down the PCH, "Bali would be a good place to retire to." She decided as she took the turning for one of her large homes.


Deeks held Kensi as they watched Hetty drive away.

"Why would she just leave us?" Nell asked dumbstruck.

Deek shook his head, "We need to see what's on that Thumb drive and what secrets she is keeping."

They nodded and walked into the main motel room, Nell shot a look at Callen who was fast asleep and followed the others to the table where Clara was already plugging in the thumb drive.

One file was on it,

G. Callen 3.11.70 - …

She clicked on it as the others grabbed chairs and jostled for position behind her.

"Martin, I do not want you to see this." Clara said, "No matter what I learn from this Grisha is your brother, I do not want anything on here to take that away from you." She said.

"Mom…I need to know too, I want to help him." Deeks argued.

"Sit with your brother, my son, keep watch over him until we are able to do so." She asked him.

Reluctantly Deeks nodded and moved to watch over his brother.

Nell, Kensi and Clara opened the file and silently started reading. Kensi got up first, tears in her eyes and went to sit with Deeks for a while.

Nell let out the odd sob as she read all that had happened to Callen during his childhood realizing that his nightmare had to have been an amalgamation of that and what had happened in the warehouse with Vasilie.

She clasped Clara's hand as the two of them continued to read.

Deeks knew that look on his mother's face, she wasn't just angry, she was livid, especially when at one point she gasped and pointed to the screen.

Nell looked and read the same line… "No? No…not Hetty…how could she…she knew and she left him there?"

Deeks and Kensi came over and looked at what Clara was pointing at her hand shaking.

"No!" Deeks exclaimed, "She knew? She's a...But…she didn't tell him…?"

"Apparently not." Clara's tone was clipped and Deeks put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"So she knew and could have helped him, but according to this Callen was with a family called the Cottrell's Mike and Sheila Cottrell, he was with them for 3 weeks before he ran away and they were arrested. It says here that he was found a week later…in…in a…"

"Dumpster." Callen's voice came from behind them. "Where I belonged."

He limped over to them still slightly sleepy. "What's this…?" he asked and read over her shoulder, his forehead crease in anger. "SHE KNEW!" he yelled. "WHERE IS SHE!" he turned looking for her.

"She left G," Nell said.

Callen turned adrenaline fueled now, "I'm going," he grabbed his bloodstained shirt off the end of the bed and grabbed Kensi's keys off of the counter.

"Not alone." Deeks said and grabbed the keys off him; he walked out and got to the driver's seat.

"My car!" Kensi said grabbing the keys and sitting in the driver's seat.


Callen climbed in shotgun and Clara, Deeks and Nell sat in the back.

"You are not in this alone." Kensi said looking over at Callen, he was sweating still but determined.

He looked over and gave Kensi an address, "1237 Hillcrest drive, Encino." He said and looked out the window.

"Hetty's address?" Kensi asked and G nodded.

They pulled up outside her house and Callen drew his gun.

"Whoa there!" Deeks said, "G, you can't shoot her?"

"Watch me!" Callen snarled as the others looked on in shock.

He walked to the door and kicked at it twice before the frame gave and he walked in, ignoring the pain the action had caused in his side.

"HETTY!" he yelled.

She appeared at the top of the stairs a suitcase in her hand.

"Mr. Callen, I was just leaving." She said.

"How…How could you…I…" he was flagging now as the adrenaline in his body subsided.

She walked down the stairs and waited as he sank into a chair in the hallway.

"You owe me a new door, Mr. Callen." She said softly trying to keep him calm.

"I owe you?" he asked confused. "You knew…about the foster homes, the…the Comescu's, the bribes…you knew and you didn't help…because, you were one of them!"

Hetty sat in a chair opposite him. "Yes Mr. Callen, the last Comescu, you were hunting down, Callista…is my niece. Alexa Comescu was my cousin."

"So you allowed all the abuse…everything to go on?" he looked totally betrayed.

"I had no choice, but I never wanted you dead," she admitted, "Clara was my friend, I was shocked when I found out she was a Callen and part of the blood feud, I did what I could to keep you all from getting hurt, I moved to America and joined the CIA, I used the contacts I had to get you and your sister out of the country, and I left word everywhere in the family that you were dead." She said.

"I couldn't take you in as a child, especially after they found out you were alive, my only goal then was to keep you that way."

"Why so you could watch me suffer slowly…You knew about the Cottrell's?" He asked.

"It was a lesser of two evils." She said.

Callen stood up, "The lesser? The lesser of two evils…WHAT COULD BE WORSE THAN THAT!" he screamed.

"Alexa…Alexa had taken a home in Burbank, she wanted you with her husband…he was a psychopath, they had planned to torture you."

"Maybe it would have been better." Callen said softly.

"NO!" Hetty snapped causing the others who were watching to gasp. "No…" she allowed tears to fall. "Never would I allow you to go through that…you are brave Grisha, like my Nikita was brave, you needed to live." She sobbed and Callen calmed down and looked at her sadly.

"Your Nikita?" Clara said.

"I am so sorry…" Hetty gasped, "This is the reason that I kept you safe, Nikita is my son, I am your grandmother, you are as much my family as the Comescu's are. I cannot help that Comescu blood flows through my veins."

She pulled up her sleeve showing him the 16 spoke Romani wheel tattoo, "I may have been marked by them, but my heart is a Reznikov. Alexsandr Reznikov, your grandfather was a good man and I loved him dearly. When he died my heart broke and I moved back to Romania to live with my family. Then our son, Nikita fell in love with your mother on assignment, I made friends with Clara through my work in the CIA and kept an eye on her, to find that Nikita had been sent to Siberia broke me, but I was determined to see you all safe, she insisted on waiting on the beach in Constanta, where she and your father both met, she didn't know Alexa's home was so close. I didn't mean for you to suffer as you did Grisha, I wanted to keep you safe, from my family, your family." She said.

G turned a strange shade and leaned over a trash can and puked. Hetty walked across to him and rubbed his back.

"I know this is a shock to you, I was leaving so you didn't have to face this…I am sorry." She said she let go of his back and moved away.

Callen's hand shot out and grabbed her wrist.

"Stay." He said he wiped his mouth and Kensi gave him a glass of water she had gotten from the kitchen.

He took a sip and turned to her, "So…Grandma…are you going to bail on me too?" he asked.

"Do you want me to stay?" she asked surprised, "I thought once you realized I was Comescu…"

"You were born Comescu, but your heart is a Reznikov, my grandmother…I just wish…you could have saved me." He said.

Hetty walked forward and wrapped her arms around him. "I tried, I tried so hard, I had you moved when I could, I didn't know about the Cottrell's, I was on assignment and it took me three weeks to get to you, by then the damage had been done, I saw you in the hospital."

"I remember…" Callen said nodding.

"You do?" Hetty and the others said at the same time.

Callen smiled, "I think that's why when you offered me the job at NCIS I took it, and somehow I knew I had seen you before and I could trust you, there was something about you, you must instinctively remind me of my father." He said.

Hetty smiled.


"So where were you running too?" he asked. "France? Germany? Or somewhere hot…Australia?"

She smiled and shook her head, "Bali…" she admitted.

"So, Grandma, Bali…or me?" he asked.

She pulled him into a hug again, "You Grisha…Always you." She cried as she hugged him, pleased he had not shot her after all.

Clara walked over to Hetty, "I didn't know you were Nikita's mother, he said you had gone away to America, I looked for his family after I came to America but I couldn't find them." She said.

Hetty pulled her into a hug too, "He loved you and Amy so very much." She told her.

Deeks looked confused, "So…wait hang on, you are a Comescu and Callen's grandmother?" he asked.

Hetty smiled, "Yes Mr. Deeks." She told him, she felt freer than she had in years being finally able to get that out into the open.

"So can I call you grandma too?" he asked with a grin as Kensi punched him in the arm.

Hetty and Callen laughed, "Not at work Mr. Deeks." Hetty smiled.

"So now what?" Kensi asked.

"Now we finish this." Callen said, "I still need to get Callista, but Hetty, you are and always will be a Reznikov and not a Comescu."

Hetty smiled at her grandson, "Thank you." She said with a small sigh.

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