All the way home

Chapter 18

Max pulled up outside another motel, "Stay in the car." he snapped at Jake.

Jake nodded and looked fearfully out of the window.

He saw a beat up brown pick up truck and his heart beat wildly. "Daddy!" he screamed banging on the window.

A woman walking past looked at the tear stained boy banging his small fists on the window. She walked over and knocked on the glass.

"Hey are you ok?" she asked.

Jake looked up at her, "I want my daddy!" he cried.

Max walked out of the office and saw a woman standing by his car.

"Can I help you?" He asked flashing a smile her way his hand sliding behind his back to the knife he had stashed at his belt.

"Is this your son?" she asked.

"Yes." Max replied honestly.

Jake shook his head, "He isn't my daddy." he cried.

"I'm sorry, his mother died recently, Please, join us for a coffee and I'll explain," he opened the door to the car, "Grab your bags Marty, lets get in the room."

Jake grabbed the woman's hand, "Take me to my daddy please." he asked.

Max shot her an apologetic smile, "Come on kid, let's get you settled," He waited as the woman looked from the child to the man, they did...she had to admit, look alike. "Please, let me make you a coffee." Max smile and she melted at his smile and bright blue eyes. She nodded and followed.

Callen woke up, smells of antiseptic and a low beeping fading in and out through his head.

"Mr. Callen," Hetty said.

"No...No...I can't be here, I have to find Jake...please Hetty...let me go?" he said as he pulled his wrists at the restraints that were attached to the side of the bed.

"Mr. Hanna and Mr Stills are checking a lead, Ms Blye and Mr. Redding are liaising with the police on the trail of Mr Deeks and Mr Giamatti."

"I need to be out there looking for Jake, he's too small to be on his own." Callen pulled again at the restraints, "Please…" he begged.

"Mr Callen, you were shot, you refused to get the proper medical attention and you nearly bled out and died, I ordered the restraints to make sure you stayed and healed." Hetty told him.

"YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" Callen shouted pulling harder at the restraints, "Punish me all you like, but Jake's just a little boy he's out there and scared…"

"I understand that Mr. Callen, trust your teammates, they are doing all they can to find him."

"They are not my teammates, I don't have a team." Callen argued trying to reach for the call button.

"Be that as it may, you will be no good to your son if you do not heal."

"I'm no good to my son tied up in this bed either, let me out!" Callen pleaded, his eyes going wide with disbelief as Hetty walked out of the room ignoring his pleas.

Jake climbed on the bed in the small room as Max walked in with the woman.

He put the water on for coffee, "What's your name?" he asked with a smile.

"Amanda." she replied, "Your son is really cute, how old is he?" she asked.

"Five, nearly six...his mother died recently and then we lost his uncle."

Amanda's eyes went wide, "Oh the poor boy."

Max nodded looking concerned at his son, "I took him out of the hospital a few days ago, he has hysterical amnesia, He thinks his name is Jake, it's actually Marty."

"Marty...oh that's a cute name."

Jake scowled and looked away from the woman.

"I'm in the room down the hall from you, would you both like to join me for dinner?" she asked.

"Marty's a little tired, I'm putting him to bed, but I'll join you." Max said.

Amanda's eyes sparkled as she nodded.

Jake climbed into bed knowing that there was no way the woman would believe him now.

Three weeks….Three weeks Callen had screamed and yelled and pulled at the restraints until he was hoarse, eventually they had put him into an induced coma on the orders of his next of kin, until he had healed.

Hetty knew Callen would hate her for doing it, but she knew he needed to heal.

She had pulled every string she knew to look for Jake, but nothing...The closest they had gotten was a motel, Kensi and Sam had gone to the room that had Max's card registered to it to find the room empty, save for the body of a blonde woman, a knife stuck in her chest and a small set of bloody fingerprints on her shirt.

"You think Deeks did this?" Kensi asked worried.

Sam didn't know but he looked worried as well, "I dunno, Maybe Giamatti did it, but by those handprints it look like Jake tried to stop it.

Sam suppressed a shudder, he wondered how he would have reacted if it had been either of his children trying to stop the woman from bleeding out.

Neither had wanted to report it to Hetty.

However, they had returned to the mission and told her that the trail seemed to have run cold.

Eric and Nell looked everywhere and Hetty had upset both Sam and Kensi when she'd had Callen moved to a secure facility for healing.

Sam felt bad as Wanda and Bert were calling every other day to find out how things were going, he hated stalling them but in the end he promised to call if he heard anything.

Not wanting to tell Callen that Jake was missing, Hetty had kept him in seclusion. At least once a week he tried escaping, but hadn't made it very far and was then drugged and dragged back to his room.

Hetty walked in as Callen sat on the floor in the padded safe room.

"Why are you doing this?" he looked up his eyes haunted at her, "Please just let me go…" he pleaded.

"Where would you go Mr. Callen?" She asked.

"To find Jake." He answered without a thought.

"Where?" She asked again.

Callen looked, in truth he didn't know where he would start.

"I need to know you will trust your team to have your back, they are looking for him. I need to know that you will not disappear on me again." She said, she hated what she was putting him through but she had seen the trailer for herself and the report from the doctor had said that he was borderline malnourished. She needed to know that he would not leave again.

'Tough love' they called it, She owed it to Clara to keep an eye on her son. She knew he would probably hate her forever for this, but if it kept him safe until they located the boy, it was worth it.

All day she had remembered the look of utter betrayal on her face as she left. She hadn't seen that look on his face since he was a child and she hoped she'd have good news soon so she never had to see that look again.

"So when can we see him?" Sam asked Hetty as she was leaving for the day.

"Mr. Callen has requested no visitors." She said not looking him in the eye and walking out towards the door.

"But he will want to know what we have found out about Jake?" Sam pushed hoping that his partner would soon forgive him.

"What have you found?" Hetty asked.

"Well...nothing as to where he is, but we know he was in that motel room." Sam capitulated.

"And how will that help him heal?" Hetty asked.

"Dammit, Hetty...he needs hope, if it were me and Aiden was missing….I'd be frantic and I'd wanna know the people I trusted were doing everything to find him." Sam snapped.

"There...that is the difference between you and Mr. Callen, you trust people to look. He doesn't...until he gets it into his head that we will find young Mr. Callen and he can trust us we cannot have him running off and putting himself in danger."

"He's a grown man Hetty, he can make those kinds of decisions himself!" Sam argued.

"Mr. Hanna, I have for many years been looking out for Mr. Callen's welfare, allow me to continue to do so.

Sam looked shocked but turned to go upstairs to continue looking for Jake.

Jake sat in the corner of another darkened motel room, his clothes were torn and dirty, as was he. He hadn't spoken since that day the lady, Amanda, had tried to save him and the man had stabbed her.

There had been a lot of screaming and Jake had tried to stop all the red stuff from coming out from inside her, but her eyes had turned glassy and she hadn't moved.

"SEE!" Max screamed at him, "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!"

Jake had cried and moved further away, "You talked to her, you brought her here and I had to kill her."

Max had dragged him out and thrown him into the car and they had driven away from the motel.

Moving every day, they had covered about half the country.

Jake had stopped talking altogether, but he did nod or shake his head as needed and remembered now to look up when Max called him Marty.

Every night he prayed in his head that his daddy would come and find him, but the ball of fear in his stomach that told him that daddy was dead, like the lady, got bigger with each passing day. He vaguely remembered the red stuff on his daddy's shirt as he had been pulled away from the place he had called home. If the lady was dead when the red stuff came out, then maybe daddy was too...maybe it was his fault as well.

He flinched as the door to this latest motel room slammed open and a burger bag was thrown at his feet.

"Food!" Max snarled, "Got you something too." he dropped a small pressed tin car he had found at the last house he'd robbed. He figured that maybe the kid would talk if he had something of his own, besides something about the car appealed to him.

Jake looked at the LAPD toy car and reached out with one finger to touch it. Then as Max moved to pull the whiskey out of the brown paper bag he was carrying Jake moved swiftly to eat his food before Max took it and threw it away.

He scrubbed at his face with his filthy shirt sleeve and ate his food as he watched Max start on the drink, hoping he would pass out quickly.

Sometimes when Max was drunk it was like there was another person there, this person was nice, he would talk to Jake for hours, and call him Jake too. He would tell him stories about his daddy and something called NCIS. He liked it when Max went away and D. came back.

Jake watched as Max steadily drank, he fingered his car, pushing it half heartedly from side to side turning it over in his hand and remembering what D had told him about the man who had worked with his daddy who had been an LAPD detective. He'd been called Marty too, the same name as Max called him, but this Marty had been a good man with good friends. When D told him about Marty he'd look sad, like he wanted to do something, or say something but he didn't, he would pat Jake on the head and tell him nicely to go to bed and have sweet dreams.

Jake looked out of the window at the full moon that he could see through the curtain and prayed for his daddy to be ok and for him to find him soon.

He leaned back against the wall and slowly fell asleep.

In the secure room that Callen was in he was leaning against the bars on the room reaching as much as he could trying to get the bars loose and the putty off the windows to escape, looking up towards the moon he prayed that wherever his son was he was safe and well and sent up a silent promise that daddy was coming soon.

Sam sat dozing at his desk, after his encounter with Hetty he hadn't gone home, knowing that Michelle nor the kids would want to have him moping about the house. He jumped as his head his the desk and he looked about to see if anyone had seen his lapse.

Seeing the light on he grabbed the coffee off his desk and walked up to ops.

"Eric?" he called.

"No...it's me." Nell replied as she looked up from behind the monitor she was at.

"It's late Nell, why are you still here?" he asked.

"I'm looking for Callen." she said quietly, "I know Hetty is supposed to be looking out for his best interests, but I'm worried. I checked the hospital he was supposed to be in...Sam, I hacked into his medical records, they had him sedated for longer than needed...according to the files I've found his next of kin had him committed for psychiatric evaluation...He's had four break out attempts and they keep drugging him, he's been asking for us Sam. According to his records he's been despondent, Hetty told his doctors that we don't want to see him."

"What the hell?" Sam asked.

Nell stood up tears in her eyes, "I don't know what to do….I mean this is Hetty! She's gotta be doing it in his best interests right?"

Sam pulled her into a hug, "I don't know Nell." he said honestly.

"But I do know that G needs us, and I'm never gonna let him down again." Sam vowed. "Where is he?"

Nell gave him the name of the facility where he was and handed him a box, "I.D and passes, we should go soon, the codes will be changed tomorrow night, I only had an hour to rig these up."

"How did you know I would go?" Sam asked surprised by her actions.

"It's G...Sam. You'd lay down your life for him in a heartbeat, of course you'd go."

Sam nodded, the red-head was right, "Ok so why are you going?" he asked.

"Because it's Callen and he would do it for any of us." She replied as she switched off the monitor and grabbed the fake credentials.

"So what are we waiting for, let's go."

Neither noticed as Hetty watched them leave the mission, he mouth upturned in a small smile, they had taken longer than she planned, but maybe...just maybe it would work.

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