Nell got in the challenger as Sam started the engine.
"We need to make a stop first." she said, "LAX we have a pickup to make."
"Who?" Sam asked confused.
"Someone Callen really needs and right now and I think one of the few people he will trust." Nell replied
Sam pulled up outside the terminal and smiled as he recognized the man waiting outside.
He got out of the car and walked up to the man shaking his hand warmly.
"Agent Gibbs, it's good to see you again," He smiled.
Gibbs nodded, "It would have been good under better circumstances, Jones tells me you found my boy."
"A few weeks ago, were you not told by Hetty?"
Gibbs handed him his bag and shook his head as he climbed into the passenger seat and nodded at Nell sitting in the back.
Sam climbed in and started driving, "So you weren't informed we had found him, or that Jake has been taken?" He asked again as the challenger peeled away from the terminal.
"No...I talked to Hetty two days ago, she said that you were still looking, I know how good G is at disappearing, but for him not even to contact me for five years I knew something was wrong."
"We found him in a small town called Phelan, he'd been living in a trailer behind a diner, working as a handyman. He hadn't touched any of his savings Gibbs, they've been living below the breadline." Sam said his worry evident in his voice.
"You trying to tell me Callen neglected the kid?!" Gibbs asked incredulously.
Sam shook his head as he took the off-ramp heading to the hospital, "No...more that he gave the kid all he could with what he was earning and neglected himself, he'd lost a lot of weight, but the trailer was geared up and comfy for Jake."
"So how did you find him?" Gibbs asked.
"Deeks found him, he shot him as he took Jake from the diner. The local LEO's took G's fingerprints and he came up on our watch list."
Gibbs said nothing for a moment and then turned to look at Sam, "So...This was when?"
"About a month ago." Sam said as they pulled up outside the hospital.
"Hetty should have told me, I'm his next of kin and emergency contact." Gibbs growled.
"No...you're not," Nell interjected, "Hetty had herself placed as Callen's next of kin after he was shot, something about convincing him that she was closer in case of emergency...and...well, she also told him that if he died, you might not be able to cope...something about a loss you had suffered?"
"Damn!" Gibbs hit the dash of the car and Sam shot him a look of annoyance.
Gibbs climbed out and slammed the door.
"I have backstopped I.D's for us all," Nell said handing the identifications out.
Gibbs ignored her and walked towards the main doors fishing out his real credentials.
"NCIS I want to see G. Callen and his doctor right now!" he growled.
Sam shot Nell a look and they walked in behind him.
The security man behind the desk took one look at Gibbs and Sam and blanched, "I'll get Dr. Morris now." he gulped. "He's on call tonight."
Gibbs gave a curt nod and walked to the doors looking into the facility as an alarm sounded and a number of well built men ran past them.
The trio waited as the hubbub died down and a frazzled looking doctor walked up to them.
"Agent Gibbs?" he asked.
All three stood and Gibbs nodded, "Dr. Morris, I'm sorry for the delay, we had another incident."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow but said nothing and waited.
"I hear you've come a long way to talk about my patient, please won't you all come into my office."
They sat down, Gibbs moving to allow Nell to sit first. The doctor got his file out and sat behind his desk.
"Agent Gibbs, Normally I wouldn't talk to you about a patient, but Mr. Callen has been...asking for you."
"Why is he here is he hurt?" Sam asked.
"No...I mean his physical injuries healed a while ago, but he is a danger to himself, he keeps trying to break out, we were told by his next of kin that he is delusional, he keeps thinking he has a son in danger. We have been told there is no child and there is nothing on Mr, Callen's records to suggest he's ever been a father."
"But he does have a son, one who is missing."
Dr. Morris's face dropped in shock.
"Miss Lange assured us there was no child in danger, that Mr. Callen was projecting his own traumatic childhood onto his current life." He stood up, "In light of this...I think we can release Mr. Callen to you, although I will have to report myself and Miss Lange to the authorities."
"We are the authorities, we will be conducting an investigation, but for now we must insist on seeing Mr. Callen." Nell said.
"Of course...You must understand, he's been combative and he's been on some potent medications...he's…"
"We'll see for ourselves, we want to see him now!" Sam snapped.
The doctor shifted uncomfortably, "Very well, however you must understand…"
"Just take us to him, now." Gibbs snapped, leaving no room for argument.
Dr. Morris gulped and lead them down the hall to a row of rooms with locks on the doors.
"Please, you have to understand we didn't know…" Morris said as he unlocked the door.
Gibbs all but barrelled past him. "Callen?" He called to the darkened room.
A dark figure moved in the corner and barrelled at him, "G...it's me...stop!" Gibbs called to the figure who was 'drunkenly' pummelling him with his fists trying to get past to the door.
"Lemme go...please...lemme go…" Callen slurred. "Please...Jake's real...he is real...he needs me…"
Callen slumped as the sedative Dr. Morris had injected him with about ten minutes earlier took effect.
As he went down Callen scrambled away to the corner of the room, mumbling to himself. "Jake is real, he is real...needs me…"
Gibbs walked over and touched him gently.
"Noooooo no more drugs...please…" Callen groaned.
Nell placed a hand over her mouth stifling a gasp as his shirt moved up and the mottled bruising on his torso became evident.
"What the hell!" Sam exclaimed.
"He needed to be restrained, we thought he was delusional." Dr Morris argued.
Gibbs wrapped his arms around Callen pulling him in close. "Shh….shh. it's ok I'm here now, you're safe son."
"Dad?" Callen blinked a few times and pulled Gibbs to him, "You shouldn't be here, they'll hurt you...she said...they would hurt you...save Jake please…" He lay his head against Gibbs' chest and finally passed out.
"Get me a wheelchair." Gibbs ordered, "He's leaving with me now!"
"He's sedated, I can't in all…" Morris stopped as all three of them glared at him. "I'll get you a chair." He said and hurriedly left the room.
"Grab his stuff." Sam said to Nell who found a bag with a few wash items in but no clothes.
Dr Morris came back with a wheelchair and a bag, "We had to take his clothes...I'm sorry again I really didn't know."
Sam and Gibbs moved Callen into the wheelchair and Nell grabbed his bag and the group walked out of the hospital.
Pulling up to a motel, Nell booked them in as Sam and Gibbs carried the unconscious Callen into the room and placed him on the bed.
"Right." Gibbs said as he pulled the cover over his boy, "I wanna know what the hell has been going on, what the hell is Hetty playing at?"
Jake woke up as Max dragged him off the bed.
"Get up!" he snapped, "We've got to move."
Jake looked up, it was still dark outside, he knew this meant that Max had run out of money again or had hurt someone. He nodded and grabbed his clothes. Picking up his car he sleepily followed him out to the car.
"Not that one." Max snapped.
Jake looked confused until Max broke into another car a few spaces down, "Come on...move…" Max hissed.
Jake ran and climbed in the car and as had been the norm for a while now he climbed over the back seat and sat on the floor behind the drivers seat so he couldn't be seen on the cameras or by anyone passing by.
Although he was sad his daddy wouldn't find him on the camera he was glad that other people wouldn't see him. He didn't want anyone else to be hurt like the Amanda lady was.
Max pulled out of the parking lot and Jake wedged himself as far down as he could so that he wasn't thrown about too much by Max's driving.
Jake's stomach rumbled as the sun started to rise.
"I'll stop for food soon." Max said as he drove away, "I wanna get a few hours between the motel and where we are going, I have someone to meet, you had better be quiet while I meet this guy." Max laughed, "Who am I kidding, Callen made you defective, you don't talk at all do ya."
Jake shrank back as Max laughed at him. He wasn't sure who Callen was but he knew he hadn't hurt him anywhere near as much as this man who said he was his daddy did.
Max whacked the radio up to a deafening level, laughed as Jake covered his ears, and kept on driving.
Callen stirred as the drugs left his system, he could hear low talking in the background and he stilled wondering if it was more doctors or worse...her.
"I've got his stuff here." Nell said softly and stopped as she noticed Callen's breathing change. "I think he's awake."
Gibbs looked over, Callen was unusually still.
"G?" Sam said looking at him.
Callen shot off the bed heading in the direction that last night held a door. He stopped for a moment confused as the door wasn't there.
"G!..." Sam wrapped his arms around Callen trying to calm him and reassure him he was safe.
Callen started fighting with all his strength, which admittedly wasn't a lot.
"Lemme go...I'm not crazy...I have to save my son!" he screamed.
"Callen...G…"Nell said. "It's us…"
"Callen." Gibbs walked across the room and headslapped G gently.
"Gibbs?" Callen said stopping and focusing on them for the first time.
"Yeah, I'm here...you're not in there anymore."
Callen sank to his knees as Gibbs wrapped his arms around his foster son, "I'm...not...but...Hetty, she said….why are you here?" Callen asked pushing Gibbs at arms length, "Why are you all here, you hate me?"
"No!"Nell gasped shocked.
"Hetty said, you didn't want to see me...I know it was my fault, I left because I was hurt about what you said, I knew I was doing what Deeks asked...but she said that I had been injured and that you didn't want to help me find Jake."
"That's not true, we've been looking non stop since the day we found you. we haven't found him yet though." Sam admitted.
"So why…" Callen started but he really wasn't sure he wanted an answer to the question.
"We didn't get you out because we didn't know," Sam said bluntly.
"She wouldn't let me go...they told me I was lying, I was crazy...I'm not crazy am I? Jake is real...he is...I can't love someone this much and hurt for him so much and him not be real...can I?" Callen asked.
"No son…" Gibbs said, "Jake is real, he is your son and now you need to trust us to get him back."
"Dad?" Callen looked at Gibbs.
Gibbs smiled, "Yeah...I know you were hurt son, but we are here now, will you trust us to help you find Jake?"
Callen nodded, and then grabbed his head, "Ow, what did they give me my head is killing me."
Sam handed him a bottle of water, "Drink this and take these." He handed him two pills.
Callen drank the water but eyed the pills warily, "What are they?" he asked poking at them.
"Advil...Just take them G," Sam sighed.
Callen shot them an evil look and turned away taking another sip of the water, "I'm hungry."
He looked around and grabbed a mug, pouring some coffee and a few spoonfuls of sugar he made himself a drink and sat tiredly in the small armchair in the corner of the room.
"You need more than that." Gibbs said, "You need real food."
Callen shook his head, "The food's for Jake...I mean…" he stopped as he realized again that Jake wasn't there, "I'm not hungry...I just...I don't even know if Jake is eating, I can't waste time, I need to get out of these!" he snapped pulling on the scrubs the hospital had had him in and he was still wearing, "I need to get some clothes on and go find my boy."
He grabbed his bag and headed into the bathroom, locking the door he sank behind it for a second trying to get a hold on his emotions, he started up the shower and stood under it allowing the water to wash off the hospital smell and allowing his emotions free reign while no one could see or judge him.
In the next room, Gibbs, Nell and Sam looked at each other concerned as they heard the sobs the water couldn't cover, each vowing never to mention it.
"I'll get some food and check in with Eric." Nell said as she left the room. She knew if he walked out now she would be sobbing right along with him.