All the way home

Chapter 29

Callen stood up and walked towards the door.

"Mr. Callen...Wait...please?" Hetty asked.

Callen turned and regarded her with indifference. "What Hetty, what on earth do you think you can say that will erase what you have done to Jake?"

"Nothing Mr. Callen," Hetty hung her head, "But at least allow me the courtesy of trying to explain my reasoning." She requested.

Callen gave a curt nod, turned and sat back down in the chair.

"I have known you all your life." Hetty said.

Callen's head shot up in interest.

"Please allow me to tell you this and then you may walk away if you wish."

Saying nothing Callen nodded.

"I have known about you since Clara called and told me she was expecting her second child." Hetty waited as a flash of anger crossed his face.

"I have known your mother since she was a child, I will explain why I neglected to tell you later. When you were separated from your mother and sister I went frantic trying to find you both. I was devastated by your mother's death, but she knew she was in danger and had already made plans to get you and your sister out of Romania in into America." She took a breath and continued.

"I found Amy, a week before she died. I made plans to have her transferred to my care, but then she slipped out with Miss Lawson," Hetty stopped closing her eyes in pain at the memory.

"I then focused all my attention on finding you."

"You took a while." Callen couldn't help blurting out and Hetty nodded sadly.

"I found you when you entered the juvenile court system, I was there at your incarceration."

Nate looked up curiously at that and Callen mouthed 'later' he knew this was a part of his life he hadn't told Nate about.

Hetty continued, "I arranged for your record to be expunged and for you to be fostered with me upon your release….then you left."

"It was hell Hetty, I wasn't staying or going back there." Callen snapped, he had hated his three weeks in the Juvenile Detention Center and he had never talked about it.

Hetty nodded, although he hadn't talked to her she had sat up nights listening to his screams the first few weeks he came to live with her and gathered that although not all his nightmares where from his three week detention, the worst seemed to be.

"It was then though that when things were at there worst you stopped trusting people wasn't it?" Hetty asked.

Callen crossed his arms refusing to meet her eyes.

"I noticed as you grew up that this was a trend, you are a lot like…" she paused and shook her head with a wry smile, he was not ready to know that yet, but he was incredibly a lot like his father.

"A lot like who?" Callen asked noticing the slip as Hetty mentally cursed.

"Later," She promised. "However Since knowing you when things were at their worst, you would go off alone. You don't think when you are worried you react. How many Comescu did you kill when trying to save Reinhardt, you didn't think then did you. You just reacted and you killed them. You need a partner, like Sam to temper...your temper."

Callen sighed he was volatile he knew it, but it wasn't his fault...was it?

"I know how much you love Jake, I knew it from the moment you told me you would take him that you would die to protect him. I couldn't let that happen."

"It wasn't your call." Callen snapped.

"You need family Mr. Callen, both those you know...and those you do not care a great deal about you. I knew if you left, injured as you were you would have died and Jake would have grown up without his father or his dad."

"So why tell the doctors that Jake didn't exist, why leave me...alone."

"You healed didn't you?" Hetty asked.

"Dammit, that wasn't the point, Jake was out there missing and alone and you had me drugged!"

"He was never alone, Mr. Beale and Miss Jones were looking for him around the clock, your team were trying to find him."

"Yeah because they are so good at that. I disappeared with Jake for five years and they didn't find us."

"Yes but you are an expert in hiding and you knew what they were looking for. You lived under the radar."

"And Deeks didn't know all this?!" Callen exclaimed.

"Mr. Deeks did, but Max Giamatti didn't." Hetty argued. "You needed to heal, you needed to be level headed and fit enough to take on Mr. Deeks without losing your temper and doing something you would regret."

"And having the doctors forcibly drug me and making me think I was crazy was your way of doing it."

"I was doing what I thought was best."

"I was trying to save my son!" Callen yelled standing up and looming over her.

"And I was trying to save mine." Hetty replied.

"What?" Callen sat back in the chair with a thump. "I know you thought of me as your son, but I'm not...not really."

"You are, Mr. Callen…" Hetty sighed, "I told you in that church in Russia, before you found out about Nikita's death."

"The church you were married in?" Callen asked.

Hetty nodded, "I didn't know then, not until the Reinhardt case. In 1985, when I went to Russia on assignment, just before I met you, I met and married Nikita Reznikov."

"For a case right? married him?"

Hetty shook her head, "I fell in love." She smiled sheepishly. "He had your eyes. I didn't know he had been married to Clara, I did know he was widowed. I was alerted to the fact that you had been located not long after we were married, I left Russia to come back to the US for you. I honestly didn't know that I was really your stepmother until you found out his name. But I have always loved you as if you were my own, as much as you love Jake."

"I would never do to Jake what you did to me."

"I hope you never have to." Hetty said honestly. "But you would do all you could to keep him safe wouldn't you."

"Of course?"

"Well then, please don't begrudge what I did. I knew you would need to be able to trust someone to be able to help you rescue your son. I knew it would be easier for me to be the bad guy, for you to hate me to the point that when Nell and Sam came to rescue you, you would trust them while hating me."

"You knew?"

"Of course I knew, I let slip your location to Miss Jones, I made sure she overheard enough to be able to co-ordinate your rescue attempt as soon as you were fit and well enough to locate young Mr. Callen, which was just before we located him. It was I that made sure Nell was directed to the Motel where both Mr. Giamatti and young Mr. Callen were staying."

"Why didn't you just tell me this?!" Callen exclaimed.

"It is better that you hate me and you have your son. Than you ignored my pleas for you to rest and heal and I lost my son and we all lost Jake."

Callen turned away blinking back the traitorous tears that threatened to fall.

"I made a mistake Mr. Callen and I am prepared to pay for it for the rest of my life, safe in the knowledge that both you and your son are safe." She closed her eyes silently and placed her hands in her lap awaiting his judgment.

Callen stood up and walked to the window, staring at his truck parked outside as Nate sat in shock at the revelations he had just been privy to.

Everything Hetty had put Callen through had been a plan to help him to trust to save Jake. Not only that but the one woman Callen had been hating for months was actually family, at least by marriage, if not because she had been in his life for years.

And Callen had been in prison, and not on a case?

He mentally ran through his bag of tricks, but he wasn't sure how he was going to help Callen cope with this, nor was he sure if Callen would allow him to help deal with it.

He watched as Callen stared out of the window rubbing his thumb and forefinger together while his mind tried to figure out the best solution to the information he had been presented with, his jaw tightening and slacking as he thought about what he was going to do.

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