This is the start of my new story. It won't be a super long story... but I don't want to rush to complete it, i want to do these characters justice


"… wounds across most of her body. Signs of more than a dozen fractures that have never properly healed. I don't know what your interest in her may be… but I'd say the damage is more than just physical."

"Is there any sign of medical intervention?"

Doctor smith glanced down at the report in the folder, scanning it.

"No. There are a few… worrying scars on her left forearm. But nothing that suggests…"

Before the doctor could reply Mike interrupted with another question

"Is there any sign of treatment for breast cancer?"

The doctor steadied himself. This was the part of the job he hated. Telling a patients loved ones that they were terminal

"I'm afraid not. At least nothing that's immediately apparent. but I'm not an oncologist… I would strongly suggest you seek a second opinion"

"I'm truly sorry" he added as he slinked out of the observation room


3 Years Ago

"Have her taken back to LA. I want Rose to do the autopsy" Mike said, almost robotically.

He had spent the last few hours liaising with local PD and Hetty had just arrived.

He didn't even know how he was going to break the news to Sydney and Jake, never mind Vic… she hadn't made it home yet. So had no idea what had happened to Grace.

"Mr Renko… I know this is not an easy situation. I need you to return to Los Angeles immediately. Your new SAC will be wanting to debrief you"

"You don't get it Hetty… I was outside when this happened. If I had got here a minute earlier, Grace…. She would still be alive. G… he was here. He needs to know…"

"Mr Renko. Please focus. I will deal with Mr Callen, Ms Schwartz will receive Ms Callen's…" Hetty briefly paused, struggling to say the words. "…Grace's body" she finished, having had to take a big gulp before finishing

Mike looked so lost, regretting doing what Grace had asked, regretting letting her come home when she was finished in LA

"Michael. I will stay with her. She'll not be alone"


Mike stumbled into the motel room. Having not paid enough attention to where he was going. He had been wondering how to explain things, and in all honesty he still had no idea how he could explain to Syd what had happened to her niece. It was just as he closed the door that he came up with a plan.

"Babe? Sorry, but Hetty needs me back in Los Angeles. New SAC… new case. Besides, Grace isn't here… disappeared with her… em, well…" Mike tried to find the words to explain, but not reveal anything about Grace's life that she hadn't wanted her aunt to know "partner" he finally finished, having settled on the term.

"But she only got back a few days ago… surely she could make time for us. We are family after all"

"She's already left. Found out third hand from her boss. She'll check in when she gets home"

Better to tell a lie now, and pay for it later


After Mike and Syd got back to Los Angeles, Mike had dropped Syd and Jake off and he had gone straight to the Morgue. There was nowhere else he felt he should be. Hetty had said he should report to OSP to await debriefing by his new SAC. He couldn't do it… he had never been a boy scout, and was in just as much trouble with the higher ups within the agency as Callen had.

Rose hadn't been there when he arrived. So he relegated himself to sitting outside the examination room, but after an hour or so he decided to wait inside, rather than out where the other morgue staff were frequenting themselves. He could see the looks from them… could see the questions they wanted to ask. Why would he wait in a morgue over a weekend if he had any choice. That wasn't correct though, was it. He had choices… he didn't have to wait there. He could have gone back to OSP and try and distract himself with the piles of paperwork that would no doubt had been building up on his desk for the last few weeks. He could have gone to the bar. But no matter where he could go, he knew there would be questions… questions he didn't know how to answer… or maybe, he just didn't want to answer them.

When he would think back to his actions that night, he couldn't explain why he did what he did… but at the time it felt like the only thing he was capable of… he wasn't proud of it, but he simply had to hit something. He hadn't had any intention of letting things go as far as they did… he hadn't had the intention to singlehandedly destroy the room.


"Is it true, is Grace dead?" Kensi asked having rushed down the stairs from OPS, followed by Sam and Deeks "What happened?"

"I don't want to talk about it, Kens" Mike replied, sounding incredibly hostile, never raising his vision from the laptop on his desk

"Don't give me that. Davis just briefed us. You were there. WHAT happened?" Kensi was very worked up, to the point that Deeks was trying to pull her back and steady her.

Mike knew that Grace meant almost as much to Kensi… to the rest of the team, as she had meant to him. But he couldn't bring himself to talk about what had happened… he hadn't even been able to tell Sydney, and she was Grace's flesh and blood.

"What happened?" Sam asked, appearing to be in far more control of his emotions than Kensi

"Nothing more I can tell you than Davis already told you" Mike answered, sounding so cold, and unaffected by recent events, that it made Kensi's blood boil

"Don't you FUCKING Care! She was family… and you just take the hit, and don't let it bother you. She was a daughter to you… to us all"

"WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY…What am I meant to do, huh. What can I say or do that'll change anything?" Mike started shouting angrilly, having stood up from his seat and swiped his arm over the files and laptop sending them flying "Is that what you want me to say, Kens…. Huh" Mike continued "You want me to tell you how I was too late, All I could do was hold her and watch the light fade in her eyes. Feel her blood pour from her body. Is THAT what you want to hear, huh" He finished before purposefully striding out of the bullpen


1 Week Later

Mike hadn't returned to OSP after storming out. He had ignored all calls from Sam and Kensi, had ignored indirect and direct orders to return to OSP for debrief by the new SAC. Sam had called round to Mike's place every day, but he wasn't there…

Sydney had gotten worried, since Mike hadn't been answering her calls and messages, and hadn't been home since they got back from visiting Grace. She hadn't any idea what had happened until Kensi called round to offer her sympathies… She was quite simply devastated, it wasn't just finding out that her only niece was dead, it was that her boyfriend of more than 4 years had lied to her about why they had to come home on such short notice. Sydney now was left with the unenviable job of telling her sister that her only daughter was dead, not to mention telling her mom or Grace's half brother that she was gone… to say nothing of being left to make funeral arrangements alone.

Mike had almost vanished off the face of the earth, in the end he had retired to a place no one would think to look… Callen's old house. Mike knew he hadn't handled things all that well.. but he couldn't face looking Syd in the eyes and try and explain that he was the reason her niece was dead. Mike had felt that Grace was the daughter he never had, for a long time. He had watched out for her since she was small