All the way home

Chapter 27

Callen lay back his eyes closed, one arm behind his head and the other was carding through Joelle's hair as they rested after a picnic. Jake laughed as Bert was fishing with him and Wanda sat clearing up the picnic.

"Sounds like Jake may be a fisherman after all." Wanda smiled watching her grandson with her husband.

"Maybe you could put fish on the menu at the Diner." Callen laughed.

"I might, would you eat it?" Wanda asked looking at her 'son' with a smile.

"Err….Sure." He said uneasily.

Joelle laughed and poked Callen, " hate fish."

"I'd eat it if Ma cooked it and Jake caught it though." Callen argued. He sighed and for a second enjoyed the hot sunshine on his face. "I've been thinking Joelle, I wanna buy a house."

"Sounds nice, around here or further?" She asked shifting to look at him.

"Around here, not gonna leave my home." Callen replied knowing that this family here and now was all he had been seeking. "But if I do...I need you to help me pick it."

"Why? Surely you should just look for the house you want."

Callen nodded slowly. "I should, Jake will get a say and I'm hoping that you would like to have a say too...I mean if we are going to all live there as a family."

"We…? Family?" Joelle sat up, moving her long hair from her face and stared at him.

"I want you to marry me, be my wife...and ...Jake's mom?" he asked.

Joelle blinked in shock and said nothing for a second. "I will...If and only IF...Jake is alright with the idea."

Callen turned and whistled, for a second reminding himself of Eric and his old life. He held the ring box aloft and Jake whooped.

"I think he's alright with the idea." He grinned as he opened the box.

Joelle teared up, "Yes." she gasped and held out her hand as Callen put the ring on her finger and kissed her deeply.

Wanda clapped in excitement and hugged them both. "Congratulations and welcome to the family my dear."

Bert and Jake came over Jake launched into Joelle's arms, "Welcome to the family...miss...Mom…?" he asked tentatively.

Jo nodded, "Mom…" she giggled, "I like that."

Deeks stood at the door of the secure unit his bag in his hand.

It had been two years of therapy and tests and training. Now he was free to go.

But free to go where?

A horn honked and he looked over to see Kensi and Hetty waiting for him.

"Mr Deeks?" Hetty called.

Deeks looked confused, "Hetty? Kens? Why are you here?"

"Did you not think that Mr. Getz would let us know that you were going to be discharged today." Hetty said as he climbed into the back seat of Kensi's car. "We are here to take you home."

Deeks sighed, "Home?"

He had avoided asking about it, he knew that his apartment was owned by the LAPD and when he had been retired, (Although in his mind fired was still the operative word.) the apartment had gone to another police officer.

Hetty nodded but said nothing as Kensi drove them to downtown Los Angeles.

Deeks wasn't paying attention to the journey, he was just sitting with his eyes closed and enjoying riding in a car with his part...ex-partner.

They pulled up outside an old victorian house on a large plot of land. It stood strangely out of place in amongst the other buildings, a few children played in the yard behind a big security fence and a woman stood on a porch, her greying blonde hair covered in a scarf and she watched quietly as Kensi got Marty's bag out of the car and nudged him to get out.

The woman walked down the path to the security gate and put a code into the keypad on the wall.

"Kensi Blye?" she asked looking at the young woman who was standing by the car.

Kensi nodded as Hetty walked around the car. "Thank you." the woman said to Hetty.

"It's quite alright my dear." Hetty said shaking her hand.

The woman's attention was drawn to the blond head that exited the car.

"Marty?" She was shocked at how drawn, sad and lost he looked.

Moving past the two women she walked over to him, giving him space for a reaction. "Martin." she said softer as her hand reached out to tousle his hair.

This seemed to pull Marty out of his trance.

"M...Mom?" He reached out as if she wasn't real. His eyes went wide in shock and he started shaking.

"It wasn't me Marty, it was your aunt Mary…"

"Momma?" Deeks couldn't hold the tears in and neither could Caroline Deeks as both mother and son were reunited.

"I think we need to go inside." Hetty said guiding the two up the path to the large kitchen where surprisingly Nate was sitting drinking coffee.

A large woman shushed a couple of giggling kids as the group were ushered into the kitchen and she went to close the door. "I'll give ya'll some privacy Caroline." she smiled.

"Thanks Angie." Caroline smiled as she manouvered her shaking son into an armed dining chair.

"I think a cup of sweet tea for Mr. Deek is in order." Hetty suggested as Nate nodded and went to pour.

"I think I need to explain." Caroline said as they all sat.

Deeks gave a high pitched laugh, "You don't have to explain, you're dead...they let me out too early and I am still crazy." his voice shook as he spoke.

"No...No Deeks, This is Caroline Deeks your mother." Nate told him sitting next to him on one side for support.

"Hetty tracked me down, I didn't know where you were, you were eight when I last saw you." Caroline explained.

"I remember eight; eight was when you and him started to hate me."

" baby that's not true...I have never hated you, but I couldn't find you. Your father had been beating me for a year and he beat me and dumped me at the beach. I lost my memory for a while and when I got it back I was told that you, Gordon and I had moved. I realized that he had replace me with my sister Mary, she used to come around when you were little." She pulled a large album over of candid style photographs. "Gordon knew where i had gone to, but I couldn't find you. The shelter took me in and became my home. I have been living and working here since eighty seven. It is my home now, and maybe if you want to stay yours too."

"You left me with him?" Deeks voice broke as he asked the question.

"Baby I tried so hard to find you, all I had from him were these. I could see how much he hurt you and how much you were hurting but the police wouldn't tell me where you were only that I was wasting their time as I would answer the door to them and tell them you were fine and that I was sick."

She opened the album, there were pictures of Deeks but they were not happy childhood pictures. They were pictures of a scared little boy, with bruising and cuts to various parts of his body. Looking distrustful at the woman he thought was his mother.

"They are not nice to look at but they were all I had of you." Caroline explained.

Hetty put her tea cup down and cleared her throat.

"I watched the tapes from D.C, when you refered to your mother by two names and I felt your explanation was a bit thin. So I had Miss Jones and Mr. Beale do some digging and they found the real Caroline Deeks alive and well here at the shelter."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Deeks asked in shock.

"It wasn't confirmed until last night." Kensi explained, "Nate was here and we were on our way to pick you up when we finally knew. Nell did a DNA sample on both Caroline and Mary, Mary was your aunt and Caroline is your mother."

"This place helped me heal Marty, I hope it can help you too. Angie has prepared a room upstairs for you if you want to use it?"

Marty nodded. He wasn't sure still if this was real, but as her arms wrapped around him again he had flashes of memory, from long ago when his mother smelled and felt like his mother.

He cried again as he held her.

For a while, mother and son stayed like that the others watching but not wanting to break the moment.

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