The Sting, final chapter
Authors Note: So, now this is truly the final chapter I wrote in this storyline. It's always a pleasure to find any comments from the readers, so please to let me know if you've read it. Thank you anyway for reading.
Somehow, writing Callen-centric stories proved to be the easiest for me, although I really try to work around a story of my own. Perhaps, one day…
Disclaimer: all the original characters belong to CBS and Shane Brennan. Oh, and alright, also to Mr. R. Scott Gemmill nowadays. I just used them for this storyline. No matter how, I'm grateful for those who introduced agent G. Callen to us and make him into the agent he's become. Still, remember, "No crew is superior!"
Callen and Anna || Haiti, hotel Satama
"Go? Go where?" Anna asked, puzzled by his sudden urge.
Callen showed her his phone. "Hetty just sent me this."
Somehow the seasoned handler managed to know where he was and why, since the only message they read was an address just across the bay. "She knows. She always does and I guess I will never know how she does. You know, she once told the geeks that she invented the internet. We all know that's not true, but one way or another, she's mostly a step ahead of all of us," he continued.
"On you in particular, this time," Anna agreed and she smiled because of his expression which was a mix of annoyance and care and knowing. "Never mind. If you feel like going there immediately, we'll go. After I've finished this cup of coffee."
He nodded. "I'll see if I can arrange a rental car."
She wrinkled her nose and shook her head. "A cab will do fine. I'm not too confident to manage one of those manual transmission cars again with this manic traffic in this country."
He chuckled "Such a pussy you are." Then he shrugged and said "I'll drive."
"No you won't. You may be some kind of Alpha man when you're at work, but you're hardly able to walk the stairs with that knee of yours. Let alone use the pedals."
She already took the phone and asked "A taxi, please, in 10 minutes from now." She listened a few seconds, then nodded. "Thank you."
"Right," she then addressed Callen again, "shoes on. There's only 10 minutes to get ready. And you are слишком медленно, too slow, my love."
There was another big smile on her face when she crossed the room towards him and kissed him.
Twenty-five minutes later, the taxi halted in front of a large gate on which was painted, as neatly as possible, 'Sakala'. The name of the orphanage Hetty sent them.
The taxi driver had told them, on their way, that it was a safe haven for kids who used to live on the streets, with no parents. Or left in there, like little lost creatures. A safe place, with no way to be violated. There were teachers, they'd be educated and perhaps had more chance to grow up like children should grow up. Ever since Haiti was no longer occupied by Spanish, French or American people, nor dictated by the last Duvaliers any longer, it suffered from poverty, corruption and many natural disasters.
There'd hardly been an to build up the country. Still there was pride in this man's eyes and voice when he described his city.
Sakala. It meant something like 'all or everyone', though it wasn't in the original language of these people, but in Hindi it did, Hetty had added in the message they received.
Behind the gate, Callen heard the excited voices, a ball bouncing, scenes that were vivid in his memory. Still, his memories weren't all that happy. He let go a more shaky breath while he managed to ban those memories. The kids had a safe place to grow up, definitely better than on the street.
He rang the bell, and only seconds later the door was opened by a teenager.
There was a flash of expectation in his eyes, white foreigners mostly meant one or two kids would have a new future.
"Oui? Que est ce que vous voulez?" he asked as sophisticated as he could.
Anna just smiled. Her French wasn't good enough to reply whereas Callen greeted back kindly in the same language. After that he inquired if any of the staff was around.
The boy nodded and opened the door a bit further as an invitation. "I will show, come," he said. It wasn't perfect English, but he tried and was showing he was eager to learn. "Miss Julia is around."
For a second Callen halted. Julia was a common name, wherever around. Still…
He followed the boy in the direction of a porch connected to a large classroom.
There she sat, in a rattan couch, leaning back comfortably on its cushions and with a book on her lap. Her lips slightly curled as if she'd expected them. Maybe she did, he didn't know. Hetty's ways to communicate would always surprise him, even nowadays.
"You're limping," Ioulia Anghel noticed, her green eyes focused on the man whose life she'd saved only weeks ago.
"Never expected you to be alive," he countered. "How did—" He didn't finish his sentence, since he knew already how and by whom.
"Just sit," she suggested. He gratefully obeyed, feeling how the jeans rubbed over the light dressing on the wound on his knee. Just like Ioulia, he still was recovering.
Her eyes, softer than he remembered, darted to Anna who still stood and kept standing, in a way annoyed to know how she verbally attacked the other woman who, in the end, saved Callen's life, because of his love for her.
"So, the kids we got out are in here".
"Those, and many others. In here we prevent them from the harsh life on the street. Instead of growing up with crime, stealing food and living on the streets, they share a room in here. We provide them with food, educate them, learn to play together".
She faced them and continued "This place used to be one of the most luxurious hostels on this island, until the 2010 earthquake. Back then, the government used it as a hospital. Even the gardens were used as a mobile field hospital. One of the volunteers stayed. She was from India and named the place", she explained.
The orange ball rolled their way and the boys and girls yelled to throw it back. Anna, still on her feet, got it and wasn't sure who of them should receive it. With a wide smile, she used her fingers for a loud whistle, walked their way and as a referee, threw the ball in the air until it bumped once.
The team cheered, liking what she did.
"You've got a great place in here to recover."
"I won't recover completely." Ioulia looked troubled, then she smiled to take the sting out of her words. "Never enough to go back to the life I used to have. One of the bullets destroyed my wrist, another damaged my right lung."
A door behind him opened and he knew already whose steps he heard coming their way.
"But there's a new life ahead, right?" Darius Comescu smiled at her. Then he addressed both of them "In here, we learn to serve and protect as well, though in a very different way, moy brat".
Five months ago, Callen would never have trusted a Comescu, nor had wanted to meet with this man. He envied this man, who more or less had a normal youth. Sure, he was a orphan as well, just like him. But it had been HIS father who chose to raise this man, like his own son, yet never seemed to care and find his own flesh and blood. In the past weeks he had to admit that Darius Comescu was a good man. Still, he ignored how Darius addressed him as a brother.
"You take care of her," he told Comescu.
"As I did since I took her here. I knew where the kids had gone and decided we would need to take our responsibility. See to it they grow up to be good citizens."
Darius chuckled as he saw how Anna was enjoying herself, playing with the children. "We could use more volunteers in here. You sure she doesn't feel like that?"
Callen shrugged and shook his head "Maybe. But I want her around in LA."
"Make sure she won't hunt me down again with these CIA guys then", Darius laughed.
"She won't. Anna's not allowed to work for government services anymore. And yeah, I'll make sure the CIA knows you're one of the good guys". He heaved a deep sigh. "Who would've thought I would ever say this of a guy who has Comescu as a last name. Reznikov sure served you better, man".
"Names and jobs mean nothing, actually. Life is not always how you planned it, it is what you make of it." It sounded soothing, coming from Ioulia. Although her career as a federal agent was over, she spoke with some sort of serenity, as if content with what which was so far off to the everyday life Callen knew.
"So true." Anna replied as overheard those last words Ioulia spoke. "Thank you, both of you, for showing us."
She locked eyes with the blue eyed man, reading a promise in his eyes which made her eager to leave this place and discuss the future plans for them both.
He nodded and stiffly got on his feet as well. "You two will be alright in here. Anna and I will keep in touch, and let you know what life brings us. It'll be good as well, I know," he assured them.
"Be safe and happy then," Ioulia smiled as she noticed how Callen took Anna's hand to the exit of the property.
She still smiled after they left, this time at the man who took a seat next to her and kissed her on the lips.
"This Callen, Ioulia, I feel grateful to have him as a brother and will protect him, whenever necessary," Comescu said, his eyes on the special agent from Los Angeles, leaving to head back to the life he was used to.
There'd be happiness for both couples, though Darius also knew that danger would always trouble Callen's life.
Though never again from a Comescu.
Thanks again for reading, hope you enjoyed the ride!