Callen looked over the transformation that had come over his home while he'd been away.
"Eric, do I have you and Nell to thank for this?" he asked over the phone as he looked around the room holding a sleeping Jake in his arms.
"Yep." Eric said with a laugh popping the p in the word, "Nell figured you'd need some stuff for the baby when you got back."
Callen smiled and lay Jake in his crib. "Thanks guys, we'll be in tomorrow, tell Hetty I just need to get some sleep and some formula and things for Jake and I'll be in."
"Formula and everything else is in your kitchen, Hetty organized everything." Eric said.
"Ok Eric, I'm gonna get some rest I'll see you tomorrow." Callen said.
He put the phone down and grabbed the box that said baby monitor, looked through the instructions and set it up. Taking the part that roamed with him into the living room he opened the fridge, reached in for a beer and changed his mind as he grabbed a bottle of water and went and sat in the chair.
There was no way he was going to drink now he had Jake to consider, he wouldn't be like his foster parents growing up, he would be better than them, Jake deserved so much better. The poor kid had already lost both his parents and Callen was determined not to let the boy…no his son, he had to think of him as his son now, not have the same childhood he did.
He sat in the chair and took a deep breath; he had to rethink his whole life now. Now he was home it seemed more real. Jake needed a daycare placement, or someone who could be a live-in nanny, someone he could trust. Hopefully Hetty would help him with that. He looked around at his home. Jake's room had furniture in it, but the rest of the house was still bare, he needed to get things, Jake couldn't grow up like this, he needed toys and rugs for the floor in case he fell, ok maybe not right now but in the future.
He imagined a small blond haired boy learning to walk in the lounge and Callen helping him take his first steps, his first day at school, his first girlfriend. "Wow!" Callen said aloud.
"Overwhelming isn't it." Hetty said stepping out from the kitchen alcove.
Callen smiled, "That's the second time you've managed to get into my home without me hearing you."
"I have a key Mr. Callen, you never picked it up from the realtor." She told him, he nodded remembering he had only ever used the hide-a-key that Mama Rostoff had left in the plant pot by the front door.
"Good you should keep that." Callen decided.
"Where is young…?"
"Jake…Jake Callen." Callen supplied for her.
"So you did adopt him." She said.
Callen nodded, "It was filed…Just before Deeks died." He told her, "I won't let Jake forget his dad, but I won't let him be raised in the system either."
Hetty nodded, Callen stood up so she could sit down and she graciously took the chair. "You are determined to do this aren't you?" she asked.
Callen nodded, "I know he's not my biological son, but Hetty, I…I love him, I just want to do the right thing,"
"Even if that means giving him up?" she asked.
Callen looked stricken, "No…No I can't I promised Deeks, Hetty you can't ask me that I know what it's like growing up out there in the cold, I'd rather quit my job and look after him full time, than do that."
Hetty smiled, "I hoped you would say something like that."
Callen looked at her, "You won't take him?" he said.
She smiled, "Your protection instincts with your son are right on the money, Social services had a worry when they heard you were adopting, they wondered with your lack of family if you would have the right instincts to raise a child, but I will tell them that you do."
"Help me." Callen said baring his soul to Hetty, "Help me so I can do this for Jake." He begged.
Hetty smiled, "I think we need to make a list." She said getting out a pad and pen.
Max walked up to the door of the large house that he and Marc had stopped at.
"Where are we?" he asked.
"This is as safe house, Sara's inside, she's been waiting for you." He said.
Max opened the door as Sara ran down the stairs and jumped into his arms, "Max….Oh my God, Max! I missed you so much…" she sobbed, "They took our baby, I couldn't stop them, I'm so sorry."
Max wrapped his arms around her, "Don't worry, I have an idea where they are and we won't stop till Martino is back with us." He said kissing her head.
"Where are they?" Sara asked.
Marc walked up behind Max, "They are in Los Angeles, we are going to pack up our business here and move the whole operation to Los Angeles. It will take a while, but we will get your son back." Marc promised.
"How long?" Sara asked.
"About a year, it is a time consuming task little sister, but Martino, Max and you are family, and when we get him back we will have to have a place where he will be safe." Marc told her.
Sara's face dropped at the thought of waiting a year before she saw her son again, but Max seemed to be in agreement, "It will take a while Sara, but when we get him back he'll have a whole empire to inherit, and we will make the Feds rue the day they tried to split our family. Family is everything and we will fight as a family to restore it." Max said his face stoic.
Sara held on tight sobbing as Max steered her into the other room, "We know our son will be safe, but he won't remember any of this when we get him back, he'll grow up and become the man he is meant to be." He promised as he held his wife.
He shook his head for a moment as he felt Deeks pounding to get out but there was no way he would let that little wimp get the best of him, Deeks had had his moment and he'd signed his boy away. Max was furious at Deeks for doing that, after all Martino was Max's son not Deeks', he vowed there and then that he would get his boy back and kill anyone who was in his way.
Gibbs stood stunned for a moment at the news that Abby had revealed, "Get a BOLO out on them both," he said and grabbed his phone as Tony, Tim and Ellie moved to obey.
"Callen, it's Gibbs." He said as the call connected, "Are you ok?"
Gibbs listened as Callen told him he was fine and that Hetty was with him.
"Good I need to talk to her." Gibbs waited while Callen handed the phone over and went to check on Jake.
"Is G gone?" Gibbs asked as he moved to the hallway for more privacy. "Good, Hetty we have a problem, Deeks isn't dead, Abby saw him leaving the hospital with Marc Giamatti, we have a BOLO out for them, but right now they are at large."
He waited as Hetty talked on the other end.
"I agree, with all that Callen and the team are facing right now, we need to keep them in the dark, I take it they will have a memorial for Deeks?" he asked.
He nodded his head, "Good, if anyone is watching it should lull them into a false sense of security and hopefully it'll get Deeks out in the open. I'm not sure he is Deeks anymore Hetty, and if he's Max, then he's dangerous. You need to make sure Jake and G are protected, I don't want my boy hurt Hetty." Gibbs growled.
He waited as Hetty gave him assurances that she would protect them and then he hung up and walked back into the bullpen.
A month passed, Callen and the team hadn't been told about Deeks' escape and Jake had been given a nanny that Hetty had appointed, unknown to Callen the Nanny was a CIA operative who was hired to protect them both.
The team stood in the bullpen, Callen was holding Jake who was wearing a small suit. Tori, the nanny was standing close by. None of them were getting any work done today, today was Deeks' memorial service.
Even Regan, who had been vocal about Deeks' retrieval kept his distance from the team. Callen hoped that it would only be a matter of time before he was transferred somewhere like Siberia. Jake cried a bit and shifted in Callen's arms.
"I'll take him, he's probably hungry." Tori said as Callen passed her over.
"Thanks." G said with a small smile.
He turned to the team, "You good guys?" he asked.
Sam gave a curt nod, Kensi sniffed and teared up, but nodded as Nell came and stood next to her, Even Eric was wearing pants for the service, Sam couldn't resist but smile at that.
"Are we ready?" Hetty asked.
They nodded and went outside to a fleet of limousines, Callen took Jake and strapped him into his car seat and fitted it to the car himself sitting next to his son, and Tori sat nearby so she could grab Jake in an emergency. Kensi, Sam were in this car with them. Hetty, Nell and Eric were in the one behind, having a different conversation to the car in front.
"Are the surveillance camera's fitted Mr. Beale?" Hetty asked the only two of the group apart from her who knew that Deeks wasn't dead.
Eric nodded, "I have them in the church and placed around the grounds, we did it a week ago it's on the church records as a security upgrade." He told her.
"We have FBI and a few CIA agents as mourners and grounds people all keeping an eye out to see if Deeks makes an appearance at his funeral." Nell said. "Maybe we should have told the team."
Hetty shook her head, "If Mr. Deeks or any of the Giamatti family are watching we need it to be as real as possible." She said.
They stopped talking as the cars came to a halt outside the small church that was hosting the funeral.
Max paced up and down the room in the hotel Marc had booked for them, "It's our best chance, we know where Jake will be, we can't let them keep him any longer."
Marc looked at his brother in law and sister who were sitting on the couch in their suite.
"Not at the service, they are agents; the place will be crawling with Feds, and cops." He reasoned with them.
"I WANT MY SON!" Max shouted.
Marc stood up and handed Max one of his pills, "Take this, you'll feel better…We will get Martino back, soon, but if you want to keep him then we have to find out when he is most venerable, now we know where they will be, I will be putting a tail on them, we'll find out where Martino is living and find out when it will be easiest to snatch him back, you wouldn't want him killed by a stray bullet now would you?" he asked.
Max shook his head, "no…no…Thanks Marc."
"He's family; you do what you have to for family Max." Marc said, "Now, let's get this planned right." He said taking a tablet out of his bag and filling them in on what he'd planned."
Callen stood holding Jake at the graveside as the coffin was lowered into the ground.
Jake started crying as he sensed all the emotion around him and Callen patted his back and turned him away from the coffin, he didn't know what babies of his age remembered, but he didn't want him remembering watching his father's coffin being lowered into the ground.
Turning his son's head away he missed seeing the flash of a camera lens as a man outside the grounds took pictures of the graveside service and more importantly the boy for his boss.