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Chapter 12

It took Callen quite some effort to wake up fully and he could sense Sam gazing at him before he managed to peel his eyes open. "What are you doing here? Hetty send you?"

"I don't need anybody sending me to look out for my partner," Sam said taken aback.

"I am not your partner, Sam. You made it very clear that you don't trust me," countered Callen.

He slowly started to get his arms under him in order to push himself up. Sam made a step forward to help him up but Callen shot him a vicious glance making clear this was not to happen. Slowly Callen managed the task on his own and finally sat on the couch, leaning his head against the backrest, his eyes closed. It was obvious he was in a great amount of pain though he tried to hide it.

"I don't think I did anything wrong, Sam. I tried to be a good partner but as usual it was not enough. I am sorry, Sam, I just don't do family." It took Sam's breath away how detached Callen sounded and how lost he looked in his obviously ill state. G had just granted him a rare insight which made Sam realize once more how much he had actually messed up their relationship.

Sam tried to reach his friend head on, "G, I know now, you did all you could, I have seen the camera feed!" he got up and started pacing, "Hell! You even did more than any human being would have been able to do!" Sam stopped and faced Callen when he turned into a softer tone, "I was wrong, G! I was too busy feeling sorry for myself and being angry at the whole situation that I didn't realize what you had gone through!"

Callen looked at him confused, "You left me, Sam. Even in hospital you left me," Callen gave him a seldom and precious glimpse into his inner fears. Sam knew that must be due to Callens rising fever and overall poorly state. He had to trade carefully.

"I get it, G," Sam said, looking Callen into the eyes sincerely, "yes, I left you in the first place because I was self centered and judging you hastily, I was angry for you shutting me out and I have to admit, I had been scared for my life there, shortly. I am sorry I let you down and didn't trust you because I came to wrong conclusions. I should have guessed there was another OP running, I should have known you would have come to our workouts and invitations if possible. I was worried about you G, so am I now!"

Callen was taken aback by Sam's honest approach, his head was swirling and he looked down at his hands, trying to digest Sams words. He sensed Sam's truthfulness but felt confused and at a loss at how to respond. A heated dispute he could manage, but this was far too emotional for his liking. "Sam, I don't do these kind of talks, so don't you!" Callen tried to diffuse the situation.

Sam hoped that he got through to his friend and knew he had said more than G felt comfortable with but he needed to finish this off, "I have been with you all along in hospital. Hetty and Kensi were around quite some time, as well. I only left to get your doctor. When I came back you had already bolted on us. I am sorry for it all, you are like a brother to me G! I do trust you with my life and I want to make up for it, please let me help you."

Callen hardly recognized his partner, Sam never apologized like that and he definetely didn't get that cheesy. It made him feel desperately awkward and ready to bolt. He felt that Sam really meant what he was saying and he was glad for it but he didn't know how to deal with this kind of emotional stuff, it just wasn't in his skill set. Callen shifted around uncomfortably, wondering how to steer this conversation back onto safe grounds.

"Do you want a beer, big guy?" Callen asked showing a hint of his familiar smirk, trying to lighten the mood and distract his partner.

Sam glanced at him, surprised but couldn't help chuckling. This was definetely a step in the right direction, this was the Callen he knew and he was glad to fall back into their well known routine. This was his partners way of giving him the chance to make it up to him.

"Beer for me, water for you. I'll get you something to eat, as well," Sam immediately turned into his usual mothering mode. Callen had to smile to himself, this he was familiar with and knew how to handle. He let himself relax and closed his eyes.

After Callen had eaten half of a light cheese sandwich Sam was grateful to be on safe grounds with his friend, again. Sam secretly looked Callen over, once more. The effort of eating and drinking had obviously worn him out. He seemed breathless and pale, his eyes were glazed over. So he dared try, "You need to be in hospital, G. You are obviously in pain and you are sporting a fever."

"Don't stretch it, Sam, you know I don't do hospitals. I better heal at home," Callen replied tiredly but firmly, not even looking up.

Sam could sense that he didn't stand the slightest chance against his stubborn partner but was glad that Callen trusted him enough to have given up on trying to hide the pain. He had to think of Hetty's perception of Callen's way of doing things and started chuckling to himself.

Hetty was right, his Callen was annoyingly stubborn and more self reliant than was good for him but it made him the loyal person who had managed to safe his life against all odds. He realized that he didn't want to change his partner, his brother, at all. So he was ready to just help him along his screwed way as well as he could, even if it went against his better judgement. He would just have to try and guide him into the right direction.

"What is so funny?" Callen wanted to know.

"I just realized something, G," Sam said grinning at him. "Do you want me to drive you to hospital later on? Get a check up, get that dressing changed, some painkillers and antibiotics?"

Callen gazed at him alarmed but then he put on his familiar smirk. He would readily accept this offer to make his partner happy, grateful that this mess was over. "Thank you, Sam," he said and Sam knew that he was referring to more than just the ride to the hospital.

The End

So this was it, my first story ever. Thank you for reading and supporting my efforts.