It had been three months since Callen had had his epiphany regarding Nell. They still had not told the team about Nell's pregnancy, as she had wanted to wait until she was past the three-month stage.
Nell woke up with Callen's arms wrapped around her, his hands on the bump that was beginning to show.
He kissed her cheek, "Good morning sleepyhead." He smiled as she stretched looked at him and a look of horror crossed her face as she ran to the bathroom. He chuckled. "That's every morning this week, they are going to notice you know."
Nell walked in glaring at him, with a toothbrush in her mouth. She leaned over, pulled on her underwear, and then sat frustrated on the bed.
"Nell?" he asked.
"I'm huge! How can they not tell?" She wailed.
He placed his arms around her. "Nell, you are beautiful, you are not fat you are carrying our child."
She wiped her eyes and sniffed.
He handed her a dress, "Come on honey, we need to go in and today we are going together, I've told Hetty I need to see her. We'll tell her first and then we will tell the team ok?"
Nell put the dress on, the weather was nice and she did feel more comfortable in it. She looked at Callen and smiled.
He left her getting dressed while he went to the kitchen to make her a bowl of peanut butter with two chocolate bars, which he broke up and placed in the bowl with whipped creme "Yuk!" he shuddered but he left it on the counter for her breakfast; it seemed to be the thing she wanted most of all this week.
"Honey!" she smiled as she saw it. She sat and ate it as he silently cringed.
He grabbed his coffee and they walked to the car.
Kensi and Deeks were at their desks going over that weeks' reports, as Sam finished another report Callen had forgotten to file.
Deeks looked up and then at his watch, "Anyone heard from Callen, he's late."
Kensi looked up as both the man in question and their technical analyst came into work.
"Morning G," Sam said as Callen sank into his chair.
"Sam…" Callen turned and looked at his team, "What?"
"Is something wrong…you never come in last and you've been leaving early for the past month, are you running an undercover op we don't know about."
"No!" Callen smiled.
"Mr. Callen, I hear you wanted to see me?" Hetty said, "As it happens I need to see you…My Office." She herded him in that direction as the others looked on.
"We've had a situation come up, an old case of yours when you were with the DEA. The Michelli Cartel have managed to track down one of your aliases we need you to go to ground until Marco Michelli is found, he was the one who threatened to kill you and your family. Marshal Johnson is here to put you into protective custody." She said.
"Hetty!" Callen said, He stood up and backed out into the hallway. "No way, I'm not going I can't!" he said shaking his head and glancing upstairs, he couldn't go...not without her.
Sam stood up and walked over to the group.
"G?" He asked concerned.
"I can't go with him…I can't protect them if you've got me locked up Hetty!" Callen said still backing away.
"Agent Callen, I can understand your reticence to going into the W.P.P but we can't protect you on the outside." Johnson said.
"No you don't understand…" Callen looked frantically up at Ops again. However, Nell was nowhere to be seen.
"Agent Callen, Marco Michelli is a credible threat; once he found out who you were he's murdered three of your last sets of foster parents trying to find information on you. This man has no conscience and if you do have any family he will kill them."
"He doesn't…" Sam said.
"I do…and they need protecting but I don't." Callen snapped.
Sam, Hetty and the rest of the team stopped and looked at him stunned.
"You have family?" Hetty said, hoping this meant Callen had found his missing father or another family member.
"My girlfriend and our unborn child." He said, "I need you to promise that you will protect her and hide her so well even I won't find her." Callen said to Johnson.
"NO!" Nell yelled from the stairs, having heard the end of the conversation. She ran down the stairs tears streaming from her face. "You can't do this!"
The others looked on shocked as Callen gathered Nell into his arms gently shushing her and kissed the top of her head. "Nell, please, I need to keep you both safe." Callen pleaded with her.
Eric, from his vantage point in the gallery watched as his heart broke. He had still hoped that there could have been something between them even though she had been pulling away since they kissed at Christmas.
The others were just staring.
"Nell, Hun, you need to go back to our place and pack a bag and go with him, when it's safe I'll find you both."
"Both?" Hetty asked really hoping Callen was not going to say his next words.
"She's pregnant." He said.
Callen had never seen Hetty really, mad before and after today, he hoped he never would again.
She pulled herself up and became four feet of pure fury. "Mr. Callen….A word." She hissed and pointed to a side room.
Reluctantly Callen let go of Nell's hand and followed his furious boss inside.
"SIT!" she said.
Callen, not one to poke a furious bear, sat.
"Just what has been going on here?" She asked. She was beyond mad. Nell was her protege and her youngest. She had been grooming Nell for her job. Fraternization between colleagues although not forbidden was definitely frowned upon.
"I fell for Nell, she loves me and we are having a baby!" Callen said stubbornly. "And until this morning things were perfect."
"Did it not occur to you that in your job, this is a risky business…Also the fact that Nell is your subordinate?"
"She works in the Technical dept. she is not my subordinate, she's Eric's….No one complained when they thought she was dating him!" Callen growled.
"She's more his age." Hetty argued.
Callen stood up and kicked his chair. "She loves me!"
"This Mr. Callen is the reason that you two should not be together with your past and the Comescu's plus all the other people wanting you dead do you think it is fair on her, does she know what she's getting?" Hetty asked.
She hated doing it but he needed to see how dangerous this could be for them both.
Callen looked at her with more hurt in his eyes than she had ever seen, "I…I'm not good enough for her?"
He backed up to the door.
All the insecurities he had quashed when he had allowed himself to fall in love came bubbling up to the fore.
"You are right as usual…Keep her safe." He said.
He opened the door and walked past the whole group. He threw his badge and gun onto his desk, grabbed his car keys and ran out of the building.
"G!" Nell cried as she saw her lover run from her. She stood up and whirled on Hetty.
"What. Did. You. Say?" She asked venom dripping from every word.
"I explained to Mr. Callen that he wasn't good enough for you and that his relationship with you put both you and your unborn child at risk." Hetty said calmly.
Nell turned and went to hit Hetty only to be stopped by Sam, Kensi and Deeks holding her back.
"My dear, for your own safety I needed to get Mr. Callen as far away from you both as possible. Marco Michelli is an evil man and will without a doubt kill you to get to him." She said trying to explain her position.
"So you did that by playing on every insecurity he ever had?" Nell said stunned.
"Miss. Jones, it is what motivates him." Hetty said unapologetically. "Now, Ms. Blye, if you would go with Miss Jones and help her retrieve some of her belongings she will be going with Marshal Johnson into the Witness Protection Program." She ordered.
Eric watched from his vantage point on the balcony, not only had he lost the woman he was secretly in love with, but also he had lost his partner and best friend all in one day.
Worse to come was the later realization that he would not see her or Callen in the building again for another year.