All the way home

Chapter 20

Nell stopped dead as she walked around the corner, the diner just coming into view.

She couldn't believe what she was seeing, right in front of her was Deeks and Jake.

"Move!" Max snapped and dragged Jake out by his collar.

Jake stumbled and fell onto the asphalt and dropped his car.

"MARTY!" Max shouted, "Move it!"

Jake tried to go back to get his car, but Max grabbed him roughly by the arm and pulled him along towards the diner.

Jake shot a sad look back at his car and hoped that it would be there when they came back.

Nell felt in her pocket hoping she had her phone, she cursed as she realized that she had actually left her phone in the motel room so she would have had to go back for it anyway.

She stopped as her hand clasped over a handful of round objects, and she smiled, the first one she took and slipped in the wheel well of the car.

Turning quickly she picked up the tin car quickly pried one side loose and slipped another round disc inside and fastened it again.

"Excuse me!" she called running after the pair.

Max turned and narrowed his eyes at the small woman hurrying after them.

"What?" He snarled.

"Your son dropped his toy car." Nell said.

Max let go of Jake, "Get it now, clumsy!" Max pushed Jake towards Nell.

"There ya go," Nell said brightly handing the toy to Jake.

Jake looked at her, he gave her a small smile.

Nell smiled back and Jake ran up to Max who grabbed him by the arm and cuffed him around the head scolding him for dropping the toy.

Nell flinched as Max's hand connected with Jake's head, Jake never said a word as they entered the diner.

Max watched as the small red-head looked through her pockets, 'probably looking for her wallet' he thought as she took her key out and headed back to the motel, then he turned to the server and ordered breakfast for himself and a stack of pancakes for Jake.

Nell walked calmly as she could away from the diner until she rounded the corner, then she broke into a run.

Callen walked out of the bathroom, his hair freshly cut and clean shaven. He dropped the blue hospital scrubs in the trash and helped himself to more coffee.

"You look like you again G." Sam said with a smile.

He gave a curt nod but didn't say anything.

"Do you have anything on Jake?" Callen asked swallowing the bitter coffee down.

"Nell's gone to call Eric and find out." Sam said.

Callen snorted derisively, "Sure she has….she'll have trouble, she's left her cell phone here."

Nell burst in through the door, "He's here!" she yelled breathlessly.

Sam turned and held her by the arms, "Breathe Nell, who's here?"

"Jake and Deeks." she coughed.

Callen laughed, "Really, you expect me to believe that they have just turned up...This is a set up isn't it, you're holding me here until she can turn up."

He slammed the coffee cup down on the counter as Sam turned to him.

"Dammit G, Hetty doesn't even know we are here, why do you think we are in a motel room rather than my house, or your house?"

"She...doesn't?" Callen asked.

All three of them shook their heads.

"So...he's really…."Callen trailed off as her words of earlier sunk in, "Where! Where is he!"

"Diner...but...CALLEN!" She called as he ran barefoot out of the door looking for the diner.

Sam grabbed his gun and he, Gibbs and Nell followed him, Nell picking up Callen's boots for him.

"Put these on." she said roughly shoving the Blundstone boots into his hands.

"Which way?" he asked ignoring the boots and trying to find his son.

"This way…" Nell said pointing to the left.

They got around the corner just as Max was peeling out of the parking lot.

"NO!" Callen screamed as he saw Jake's face looking back at him through the rear window.

Jake placed his hand on the window as he saw his daddy running around the corner.

He tried to call out, but nothing would come out of his mouth, he cried silent tears as Max screeched around the corner and away.

Callen ran barefoot along the pavement, small chips tearing up his feet until he could run no more, he collapsed to the floor as Gibbs and Sam caught up with him.

They helped get Callen up and carried him between them to the motel room.

"I can't keep losing him, he looked terrified and hungry, Deeks is killing him!"

Gibbs sat him on the chair and nodded to Sam to get the first aid box for Callen's feet.

"You shouldn't have stopped for me, you should have followed him, you let him get away!" Callen snapped at Sam.

"No he didn't." Nell said moving to stand between the two men. "I put a tracker on Deeks' car."

"Nell, you know he's going to ditch the car!" Callen argued, he stopped as Nell smiled.

"Yeah, probably, which is why I put a tracker on Jake too." she grinned.

"I could kiss you." Callen said.

Nell made a face, "Ew." she reached over for her bag and pulled her laptop out. "I have a tracking program on here." she said bringing up the program.

"Why did you have trackers on you?" Gibbs asked,

Nell grinned, "Are you kidding, with the way Callen keeps running, I figured we might need one on him."

Callen shot her a disgruntled look, but had to admit that she was probably right.

" aren't here working for Hetty?" he said finally understanding.

"We are here for you G," Sam said, "I made a mistake...a rash moment, I never meant for you to be so hurt that you and your son would leave. I looked for you but you didn't leave any sign."

Callen looked at his ex-partner, there was no sign of deception, none of the little tells that G knew so well.

"I got them…" Nell said, "He's stopped, they are in another motel."

"We aren't losing them." Callen said, he tried to stand and winced as the cuts on his feet forced him to fall back onto the chair.

"We won't lose them Callen, Nell's good at what she does, you know that." Gibbs said, "Trust them."

Callen let out a deep breath he hadn't realized he was holding in.

He knew the only way he could find his son was to trust them.

He nodded. "I'll try."

Sam smiled, "That's all I ask G."

Gibbs finished bandaging up G's feet and helped him get his boots on.

"OK, so we need weapons." Sam said as he came in carrying a duffle full of arms.

"No...I mean, I don't want anyone hurt, you might hit Jake." Callen said worried, "It had been a long time since he had properly carried a gun and with the drugs in his system he didn't trust his aim.

"You take your gun, and a taser, you never know G, better to have it and not use it hey." Sam coaxed.

Callen nodded, "I will need stuff for Jake, I don't have his things."

"I still have the bag you packed for him in the trunk." Sam told him.

Gibbs looked over at Nell, "We are going on a field trip." he said looking at her.

"We are?" She asked.

"I want to see what we are up against, before we go in all guns blazing so to speak, I want to see if there is a safe way of getting Jake out."

"I need to go!" Callen argued.

Gibbs moved and crouched down in front of Callen, "Callen...not this time, we are just going to look, to make sure it's safe to get him out. Could you handle seeing him and having to leave?" Gibbs asked.

"Would you sit here if it had been Kelly in there?" Callen snapped and instantly felt guilty.

Gibbs looked saddened for a moment at the thought of his deceased daughter, "I would have to, I would do if it were you and you are as much my son as if you were flesh and know that don't you?"

Callen nodded his eyes downcast, "I'm sorry Gibbs….I didn't mean…"

"Yes you did, but it's ok, you're my son and you are hurting...You need to stay here, Nell and I will handle it, I need you to get the last of the medications out of your system. Get yourself ready for when your son needs you." Gibbs said, he pulled Callen into a hug and whispered into his ear.

Pulling back with tears in his eyes Callen looked at Gibbs his face full of hope, "Really?" he breathed.

Gibbs smiled, "Really."

Callen swiped at his eyes, "Ok, dad…" he smirked a bit, "Go...find out what you can and as soon as it's safe we get my boy."

Sam watched as Gibbs and Nell left.

"What did he say?" Sam asked.

Callen smiled, but said nothing.

Jake hit the side of the wall with a thud, soundless tears fell, he wanted to scream but his mouth didn't work.

Max hadn't seen what he had seen as they had pulled out of the parking lot of the diner, he knew he couldn't be wrong, he had seen his daddy.

He had been with the nice lady who had given him his car back, but his daddy hadn't been able to get to him.

Max slammed the door and threw their bags onto the bed.

"What the hell did you think you were playing at?!" Max yelled.

Jake moved away scrambling to the corner. "You got that woman's attention, you were trying to sneak away weren't you?"

Jake blinked his eyes wide and scared he frantically shook his head.

"You want I should go back and find her, maybe sort her like I did that Amanda lady...maybe I should bring her's about time you stepped up to the could deal with her make daddy proud."

Jake shook his head rapidly hoping that Max wouldn't make him do that.

"You're saying no to me!" Max snarled.

Jake whimpered and moved further into the corner.

Max grabbed him by the collar and lifted him into the air, his small legs kicking in terror as he was lifted from the ground.

"YOU WILL ANSWER ME!" Max screamed in his face.

Jake opened his mouth trying to answer, but he still hadn't found his voice that had been scared away.

Max backhanded Jake and threw him on the bed, "Useless child!" he spat and rubbed the back of his head.

Deeks pounded on the cell he was locked in, "STOP IT!" he screamed, "He's your son! stop hurting him!"

Max shook his head, "Annoying gnat!" he said aloud. Jake thinking Max was still talking about him crawled away again his hand on his sore eye.

"You can't do this, you are not your father, Sara would hate what you have become!" Deeks yelled to himself.

Max walked over to his bag and pulled out a bottle of whiskey. "Shut up gnat…" he said opening the bottle and taking a large drink.

Jake moved to the corner of the room and curled up his head in his arms and silently cried himself to sleep.

Nell and Gibbs watched for the better part of a day, no one entered or left the room.

Gibbs pulled the maid aside, "I need your help." he said and outlined a plan to her, explaining that they were Federal Agents and they were watching the man in the room.

Listening and nodding the woman agreed to help.

Gibbs moved to what would be a good position and waited as the maid walked to the door.

"Sir...Towels…!" she called as she knocked.

The curtains twitched and the door opened.

"Go away." Max snarled.

"Sorry Sir, but I haven't changed your towels, I need to swap them and clean the bathroom." she argued, "It's my job, my boss will fire me."

Max sighed and opened the door, "Be quick." He snapped.

Jake flinched as the light from outside hit his eyes and he opened them.

She shot a look at the boy who refused to meet her eyes.

She walked straight through to the bathroom and changed the towel. "I am sorry for the inconvenience sir." she said quickly and left.

Rounding the corner she stopped and motioned to Gibbs to come over, "There is a man and a child in there, but only one man...I think the child may be hurt, he's definitely scared… I'm sorry, I didn't see any guns...or anything...I hope I helped."

Gibbs nodded, "You did great thank you?"

She nodded and hurried on to her break, probably, Gibbs thought to gossip with the woman in the office..

He turned and went back to Nell, "You're right, it's just Deeks and Jake in the room, we will need to get the local LEO's onside and have Callen and Sam to back us up."

Nell nodded and got on the phone to Sam as Gibbs called the local sheriff.

Sam put the phone down and looked over at Callen, "You ready G, we're going to get your boy." he said.

Callen stood up and put his gun in the back of his waistband, comforting himself with the familiar weight, soon one way or another this would be over.

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