Atonement

By Gina Mae Callen

Mystery / Drama

Chapter 8

Callen stared at the coffee colored mark on the carpet, faded with the years, but in his mind's eye the stain was a blood red as the day it slipped unwillingly from the body of Emily Brandel. He realized he was disorientated and he did not think it was all because of where he was, the room was spinning and he felt strange.

The door opened and Kendall walked into the room, "Hey Gee, it's medicine time again." He said in a sweet voice.

Callen tried to pull away.

"Noooo!" he cried as Kendall produced a needle from behind his back. I cannot hide this in your food anymore you are too old. He said as he injected the substance into Callen's neck.

"What…?" Callen's voice sounded thick to his ears.

"Ketamine boy, like to keep my pets tame." Kendall smiled and Callen shivered.

He tried staying alert but the drug coursed through his system making it harder and harder to think. Kendall grinned at the pain he could see on the unguarded agent's face. "I'm sure you need to rest, don't worry, I'm off to get your boy soon."

Callen fought off sleep thinking Kendall was after Jay. "No let him aloooone!" He said his word slurring as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Kendall watched as Callen passed out and walked out of the room laughing.


Callen looked down at himself. Something was wrong….he was shorter than he remembered and the room looked cleaner.

He stood and tried to move to the door and found he could not. He looked out of the window, it was bright and sunny and the air smelled clean.

He glanced to his side and caught sight of himself in the mirror. He was fifteen again.

"What the Hell?"

"That's not a nice thing to say." Emily said suddenly appearing behind him in the mirror, standing there looking exactly like, she had the day before he had been sent back to Kendall's. The only difference was the small boy whose hand she held.

"Emma?" Callen said.

Emily laughed, "No silly, Emily." She smiled sitting on the bed pulling the small boy into her lap.

Callen looked scared, "But you're dead?" He said

Emily smiled… "Not here. Here I didn't die, here Caleb was born."

"Hi daddy," The little boy said shyly.

Callen found he could move and he walked over to the bed and held his arms open as Caleb climbed off his mothers lap and hugged his father.

"Hi Caleb." Callen said his voice catching. He turned to Emily, "Where is here?"

Emily smiled again, "This is your safe space, you created it, and you're not dead." She said as if answering an unspoken thought, "But you have been given too much Ketamine, We came to keep you safe. Here we are strongest."

Caleb laughed as he played on the floor by his parent's feet.

The one thing Callen had wanted to ask Emily came to mind, "Did you know…when you died…about Caleb."

Emily smiled, "A woman always knows. I know about Emma and Jay too."

"I'm not replacing you." Callen said defensively. The apparition of Emily and Caleb shimmered, "Wait!" Callen called.

"I know G, I never stopped loving you either, I met your son, Jay, and he's going to be a wonderful person." She said. Callen wanted to ask what she meant by that but was stopped by her next words. "I'm glad you found Emma, you both belong together. We will always love you G, Tell Jay about his big brother." Emily said Caleb came to hold her hand again. "Love you daddy!" Caleb said as Emily started fading and Callen's unconscious body relaxed into a deeper sleep.


In Ops Saskia Brantov walked up to Owen Granger, "My people found him." She said, "Maybe Owen they should work for you." She snapped handing Nell a slip of paper.

"Oh my God! He's back at the house!" She exclaimed sending the address to the others.

In the bullpen, Sam, Kensi and Deeks looked up as their phones vibrated no one wanting to yell as Emma and the baby slept on the couch.

"It's an address let's go." Sam said.

Through their earwig, Eric briefed the team while Hetty and Saskia listened in OPS.

"Kendall has been seen going in and out of this house in the last 24 hours, we hacked a traffic camera across the street, we have footage of him dragging Callen out of the car into the house, but haven't seen him at any of the windows." He said.

"How far?" Sam asked.

"Just around the corner." Eric said and Sam pulled up.

As they got out Deeks started to pull up and looked afraid at the house.

"You ok?" Kensi asked looking at his partner.

Deeks nodded, "I'm sure it was bigger." He said looking at the house he had not seen since he was four.

He shook his head and took a step towards the house, 'Careful!' he heard a woman's voice in his ear.

"I'll be fine Nell." Deeks said, both Sam and Kensi stopped and looked at him.

"Nell didn't say anything."

"I…I just heard her say careful, maybe my comm. Is playing up?" Deeks said he shook his head again and all three of them drew their gun and entered the building.

"Spread out, he could be anywhere." Sam ordered.

"Nope he'll either be in the basement or in Cal's room." Deeks moved past Sam and led the way he stopped at the bottom of the stairs and listened.

Deeks went to go upstairs "No!" the same voice whispered in his ear and he stopped causing Kensi to walk into him.

"OOF!" he said as the air rushed out of him.

"Why'd you stop?" She asked quietly.

"Wrong way, we need to go to the basement." He turned and headed to the kitchen and the basement door.


Callen was awake, but in the midst of a flashback, his head was still fuzzy, he was not sure what was going on. Kendall was in the basement and had been kicking him for the last twenty minutes, he had felt at least four ribs crack also he knew his wrist was fractured. His kidneys were aching where he was being kicked by Kendall who was taping Callen screaming.

"Look at the camera brat, I'm gonna show that girly of yours what you're made of….Scream for me." Kendall snarled and kicked his kidney again and Callen choked out a sob, He looked up and saw Emily and Caleb standing nearby, Caleb sat by Callen's head and he felt a cold hand on his head, "It's ok daddy, it'll be over soon."

"No, Em, Cay….run he'll hurt you." Callen breathed spitting blood.

"We are safe G, help is coming, hold on…hold on for Emma and Jay, they need you." She begged.

"Em…Jay…" Callen coughed again.

Kendall looked at Callen, "They can't help you know. They are going to see this and all they'll find is your broken bloody body." He laughed and picked up a piece of lead piping he had he held it in his hand and studied it for a few moments… "Na, not enough…" He put it down and picked up the same sledgehammer that Callen had hit him with all those years ago during one of the rare moments when Callen had fought back. "This'll do lets work our way up shall we!"

Kendall raised the hammer and brought it down with a sickening crunch on Callen's ankle.

As Callen screamed, the door at the top of the stairs was kicked down.

"NCIS FREEZE!" Deeks yelled pointing his gun at Kendall.

Kendall looked over at Deeks and smiled… "Martin!" he grinned.

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