Callen walked up the path and was surprised and pleased that Deeks came to the door, he was barefoot in jeans and Monty was padding around his legs.
Deeks bent down and patted Monty on the head, "Go find mommy boy." he smiled as the dog went in search of Kensi.
Callen looked at him, properly for the first time in years.
Deeks had lost weight, he looked more toned and more tanned than he had in years, only the wrinkles in the corner of his eyes belayed the years he had lived through.
"Good to see you Callen." Deeks said making no move to shake his head.
Callen gave a curt nod, "You too Deeks." He replied.
Deeks stepped back to allow him entry. "Come into my office and we'll talk."
Callen moved to follow but he noticed the way Deeks was keeping himself under control.
They walked down a corridor, Callen stopped as Kensi walked sleepily out of a room Monty trotting happily at her heels.
"Kensi?" Callen was shocked but not surprised, she knew that Kensi had held a torch for Deeks for a while, and now he was back he assumed that they had either just restarted or had kindled their relationship.
"Callen…" Kensi held onto Callen's arm as Deeks walked into his office. "If you're going to hurt him don't I swear not only will I hunt you down, but Deeks' mother will hunt you down. Ask Sam if you want to know why that is scary." She hissed.
"Kens, I'm not here to hurt Deeks...not at all, just need to sort some things out. That's all." He raised his hands in surrender and stepped back.
"Nate's in there." She warned him.
"I knew he was coming, I need to make sure Deeks is going to be ok."
Kensi wanted to snap at him, but knowing that Callen would turn tail and walk away she kept quiet. She knew that this meeting was important to Deeks, he had known it was coming but it hadn't been until Nate had turned up early that morning that they realized Callen was coming today.
Callen caught up to Deeks who was standing in the doorway waiting for him.
"Deeks? Kensi said I should be scared of your mom. I'm sorry I thought she was dead?"
Deeks smiled, "Get Sam to explain why. She's not dead, the other woman...I thought she was my mother but it wasn't it was her twin." He moved back and Callen could see Nate, he nodded in greeting. "Come into my office." he said and moved to behind his desk.
Callen took in the surroundings.
The furniture was worn and faded, obviously recycled but the room had a light and airy feeling to it. The desk was oak, a few scratches on the feet but it was well worn and loved. There was a large bookcase along one wall the shelves lined with tomes on the law.
Callen sat in the chair that Deeks indicated, "Did you want a coffee or something?" Deeks asked.
"I'm good thanks." Callen replied.
"Let's get on with this then." Nate said, "You both know why we are here." He had taken on the role of mediator for this meeting and it looked like both men were wary of saying the wrong thing.
Deeks sat up hands clasped together on his desk.
"I want to be kept informed on how Jake is doing." Deeks said. "I am not asking for contact. I can't...after what I...Max, did to him, seeing me now would damage him. I want to be given copies of his school reports, a picture or two...maybe be allowed to contribute to his schooling."
At his first sentence Callen exhaled a sigh of relief, Deeks didn't want Jake back. Maybe he didn't remember the clause in the contract that said he could have the boy back anytime he wanted him. His fingers clasped an inch tighter on the folder in his hand.
"I have a current picture with me, had some done after he had his hair cut last week."
He pulled out a picture of a smiling happy 6 year old in a plaid shirt and jeans looking every inch a carbon copy of his biological father.
Callen handed it across the desk to Deeks who marveled at the fact the boy seemed to be a perfect marriage of him and Sara, his blond hair, blue eyes. Right down to a smaller copy of Deeks' grin.
He traced his finger over the picture not caring that both Nate and Callen were watching him intently.
"I want to alter the terms of the adoption." Deeks said.
"NO!" Callen jumped to his feet, "You can't take him from me Deeks!"
"That's not what he's saying." Nate said calmly.
"That's not what I am saying." Deeks reiterated. "Jake is happy with you, you are his father. I am asking to close the loophole in the adoption papers that say that I can request at any moment the return of my son. I would like you to ask him if he could write me a letter once a year, just so I can get a feel from him as to what he's thinking. To make sure he's alright. He does know I'm his father doesn't he?" Deeks asked.
"He knows he had a father and that his father was too ill to raise his son so I adopted him." Callen said trying to control the shaking that was tearing through his body. "He doesn't know his father was the man that kidnapped him." he tacked on crudely.
Deeks nodded, "I understand Callen, I do remember a few periods of lucidity where I got to talk to Jake. I have a question. Will you let Jake meet me if in the future he wanted to do so?"
"I think so...his mother and I want what's best for him." Callen replied.
"His mother?" Deeks asked.
Callen smiled, "I am engaged, to Jake's teacher Joelle we are expecting our second child."
"You don't treat Jake any differently from your first do you?" Deeks asked concerned.
Callen shook his head, "Jake is our first. Don't worry Deeks, I would never allow Jake to be harmed again. All Joelle and I want, is for Jake to have a safe and happy life. To answer your question the answer is yes. If Jake ever expressed an interest in finding you I would move heaven and earth to make sure you were reunited. His welfare is all that matters."
Deeks smiled, "Thank you."
He opened a file on his desk and handed a contract and an unsealed envelope to Callen, This is a new adoption agreement I have drafted, it renounces all claims I had left on Jake. I...I do care about him Callen, the letter to Jake is unsealed and for you to give him when you feel he is old enough to understand. It explains, somewhat, the events that happened. Where Max came from, why he took him and why I cannot be his father and why I was pleased you are. Just know that I do love him, in a way I always will he is my flesh and blood son. But I cannot care for him. I am getting better but after what happened….I cannot see him right now without causing him pain...Right?" Deeks asked looking over at Nate for clarification.
Callen looked over at Nate, "You're discussing Jake's sessions with you?" He asked.
Nate shook his head, "No...not specifics, but it is inevitable that Jake would have issues if Marty was introduced as his father are going through some changes of your own Callen and I thought it would be a good idea for Deeks to let you know where he stood with Jake, so you didn't have the worry to deal with as your life moved on."
Callen nodded, "Thank you Deeks. I am glad you are healing and I know you were not...yourself...when...you know...Jake." He felt a little lost for words, he hadn't known what was going to happen but it seemed that all he had to do was read the form, sign it and the adoption would be completely finished. Callen looked at the form reading it thoroughly.
"What if you change your mind again?" He asked pen in his hand.
Deeks shook his head, "Jake was never really mine, he's always been your son, he loves you and he's always felt like Max's son not mine. I never did the lammas classes with Sara or the doctors appointments and sonograms. Maybe one day if Kensi and I have kids things will be different. You should know though with Sara Giamatti being his mother, and Marc his uncle Jake is entitled to the share of the estate that the FBI didn't confiscate."
Callen nodded, whatever it was he would put it aside for Jake, maybe he could use it toward college or a trip.
Callen signed the adoption form and then Deeks handed another folder over to him. "As Max I inherited half, the other half is in a check here for you to open an account for Jake."
Callen looked at the envelope and nodded.
"You might want to check that."
"I'm sure it'll be fine, I'll let him know it's from his mother and that he can use it towards a car or something when he hits eighteen."
Deeks smiled, "You really want to look at that."
Callen sighed and opened the envelope and looked at the check.
"Holy...whoa! What?!" he exclaimed in shock.
Deeks smiled, "I was looking at the finances and I checked around, The Giamatti fortune was worth one hundred and thirty million dollars. The FBI determined that thirty million was to be confiscated, mostly drug money, but one hundred million was legit. You are holding a check for fifty million there."
"I don't want it...Jake doesn't want it." Callen stood up and backed away from the money afraid he would lose the lovely boy he had raised and have a spoiled rich kid, like the ones in his childhood he had despised.
"It's Jake's. It is also your responsibility for him to learn to control his money."
Callen took another look around the office again. Scratched yes, but old? No not old antique. I have the number of an Ex FBI accountant who can be trusted not to screw Jake out of his money.
"What did you do with your share?" Callen asked curiosity getting the better of him.
It's in trust to be used to fund and run this shelter permanently. He pushed one more envelope Callen's way. "This is for you, to help raise Jake."
Callen looked at the check inside. "I'm not taking that Deeks. I work for what I have and I intend to continue to work for what I have."
"I feel the same way, I will be working, this helps it means I can help my clients for free. You can still work Callen, it just means you don't have to struggle, Jake and your new child won't have to struggle." Deeks said, "Please, I need to do this, I need to provide for my ...for Jake and the only way I can do that is like this."
"It's too much Deeks." Callen looked at the check in his hands in shock.
"No it's not...it's not enough, not for what you have done for me. You stood on my side when I was at my lowest ebb, you took care of my son when every rule in the book tells you to call child services. You raised him with nothing, alone and in a trailer. I asked around, I know how bad a shape that trailer was in. The only decent room was Jake's, you went without and gave him everything. You could have shot me when you found me with him. But you didn't. You understood, you made sure I was getting help and I know how you depleted your savings putting money on my medical bills, think of this as a repayment with interest." Deeks insisted.
"How did you find out about me paying your medical bills?" Callen asked.
Deeks grinned, "I'm a lawyer." He said nothing more and left the implication hanging in the air.
"Come and have a coffee and something to eat, I can't let you drive back as you are right now. Besides my mom wants to meet you."
Callen nodded, took the folder and put the checks into it and followed him out.
Kensi and Caroline were looking over kitchen plans as they entered.
"So you both alright?" Kensi asked.
Callen nodded, "Thanks Kens. I am a bit in shock but yeah."
Kensi smiled, "Marty fainted when they told him." She said conspiratorially.
"Kens!" Deeks laughed as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. "She's right though, but it came just at the right time. The day after mom was attacked by the same guys who attacked me, we got a notice of foreclosure on this building. We were all worried that we were going to be kicked out on the streets. Then out of the blue I got a call from Director Vance. He had been asked to call me as I knew him. The FBI told me about the money and I decided that it was going to be put to good use. We brought the house and the land. Kensi and I are building a house for us with a small law office at the back. We are doing up the building and this place will be a safe refuge for many years to come." He said proudly.