This little oneshot was inspired by that line in season 7 episode 10: "Means you won't be getting a hug anytime soon." "Nothing? No hug?" Enjoy!
"G! G!" Sam ran to the cell, grasping the bars with white knuckles. "Kensi! Deeks! I've got him!" Sam made sure his half conscious partner was clear from the door before blasting the cell's lock with his gun. "G!" Sam said again, kicking the door open.
"S'm?" Callen asked, eyes bleary. He lifted a tentative hand. Sam knelt down and grasped it, ignoring the blood that smeared on his palm when he did.
"Yeah, G, we got you." Sam tugged Callen into his lap, brushing dirt and old blood from his partner's filthy forehead.
"You gon' get m' outta here?" Callen mumbled, squeezing Sam's hand tighter.
"Yeah, buddy, yeah." Sam gathered Callen into his arms, squeezing him tight.
"Fin'ly got m' hug," Callen mumbled with a smile, hiding his face in Sam's chest. "An' it on' took tortur' ta get it from y'u," he slurred, fisting his other hand in Sam's shirt.
"Oh, G," Sam started, tears spilling from his eyes and landing on Callen's grimy hair. "I would've hugged you if you'd asked." He couldn't hold in the few gentle sobs that escaped him, and his cries made Callen start too.
"I know," he replied. Callen clung to his partner like a lifeline, relishing in the gentle, loving physical touch he had craved. Sam bowed his head over him, tightly holding him close.
"Don' let go," Callen murmured, tightening his grip on Sam's shirt. "Don' let go."
"I won't, G, I won't." Footsteps pounded behind them as Kensi and Deeks finally located them, but Sam didn't move. He'd waited too long for this.
Kensi and Deeks shared a glance and a smile. Deeks tucked Kensi under his arm, pulling her close.
"Okay, G," Sam said after a moment. "Let's get you out of here. Can you walk?"
Callen whimpered and shook his head, smearing blood and tears on Sam's shirt.
"I thin' m' leg is br'ke," he said, picking his head up and glancing at his leg. His ankle was bent at a funny angle.
"Oh, yeah," Sam said in realization. He hadn't even checked his friend over for injuries. "Don't worry about it. I'll carry you out of here." Sam let go of Callen's hand, ignoring his whimper of protest, and scooped him up. He nodded at Kensi and Deeks, then brushed past them. Kensi smiled while Deeks touched his ear.
"Eric, get us an airlift out of here. We've got Callen," he said quickly, as he and Kensi trotted down the hall after the rest of their team.
"You got it," Eric said from Ops. "It's on its way."
"Thanks." The helicopter had arrived once the team had made it outside, and they boarded it straightaway. Sam collapsed gently on the floor, still cradling Callen to his chest. Headsets were passed around, and Sam placed one over Callen's bruised ears. Pulling his own set over his head, he adjusted his mic and said to Deeks with a nod:
"We need to get his shirt off. Think you can help?"
Deeks got up and knelt on Callen's other side, gently and slowly pulling off Callen's shirt as Sam supported his torso, holding his upper half of his body up off the helicopter floor. Kensi, Sam, and Deeks all let out a simultaneous gasp as they saw the damage. Callen's entire chest was covered in lacerations, bruises, and blood. His back was a mass of oozing stripes left there by a leather whip. There wasn't an inch of clean or uninjured skin.
Sam got to work with the First Aid kit, pulling a piece of gauze from a sterile package and wetting it with water from one of the bottles on board. He started with his face, gently wiping off the dirt and blood, and patching up the cuts. He wrapped Callen's hands too, smearing healing cream on them before. He then moved to the wounds on his chest. Callen groaned at the sting, squirming away from Sam's probing fingers.
"Hold still," Sam said gently. Callen sighed, but sat still as Sam patched up the smaller cuts with band-aids and the larger ones with gauze and tape. He moved on to the raw wounds on his back, gently wiping blood away and applying antiseptic to the oozing stripes.
"That... hurts...," Callen had enough energy to say, his arm shooting out to grab Sam's to halt the sting.
"I'm almost done," Sam said gently, finishing the cleansing and wrapping layer upon layer of soft gauze and bandages around Callen's torso. There was a change of clothes for each of them aboard the helo, and Sam went sifting through them until he found a zip-up hoodie meant for himself. He put it on Callen instead, hoping the larger garment wouldn't rub and irritate his skin too much.
Kensi pulled another water bottle from the little cooler on board while Deeks readied a heavy dose of painkillers in a syringe, using gentle fingers to pull aside the waistband of Callen's ragged jeans and poke the needle into the skin behind his hip. Callen's breath caught in his throat as Deeks pulled the needle out, and Callen couldn't help but glare at him for not giving him a warning. Deeks rolled his eyes jokingly and disposed of the syringe. Kensi passed the water she had pulled out to Callen, who took it with a shaky hand and tried to twist off the cap as Sam unzipped Callen's jeans, stripping his lower half down to his boxers and readying supplies for his broken ankle. After a few moments of struggling with the tiny cap, Callen sighed and handed the bottle back to Kensi, who opened it and helped him bring it to his mouth. Callen managed a few swallows without spilling too much down his chin.
"We've got to set that ankle," Sam said grimly after Callen had finished his drink. "Sooner we get it done the better."
"Jus' get it over with," Callen ground out, closing his eyes. He bunched up a a corner of his jacket and shoved it in his mouth, biting down. Kensi and Deeks took their respective positions around their teammate. Kensi sat cross-legged, cradling his head in her lap. She reached over him and hooked her hands beneath his arms, stabilizing his upper half as Deeks crouched at his knee, placing one hand there and the other on his hip, steadying his lower half. Sam placed his hands on his ankle and without warning, he popped the broken bone back into place. Callen cried out and bit down hard on the jacket.
"All over, G," Sam said, taking the First Aid kit Deeks had slid in his direction. Callen let out the breath he had been holding, and spit out the corner of jacket as Sam began to splint and wrap his ankle. Kensi was still as Sam wrapped his injury, gentle fingers carding through his scruffy hair and trailing down his face in a soothing way. Deeks clasped his left hand like Callen might be ripped away again.
In that moment, lying on the helicopter floor, bruised, bloody, and tired, Callen forgot his pain, because he was surrounded by the people he loved most, and they had come to get him.
Once Sam had returned to his right side, Kensi and Deeks started to move to give the two some space.
"Wait," Callen said desperately, squeezing Deeks' hand. "Stay, please. Don't let go, please," Callen pleaded. "I need you. I need you."
Deeks smiled at him. "We won't leave you, buddy," he replied, squeezing his hand back.
"We're right here," Kensi said, gently cupping her hands around his cheeks. Callen smiled up at her, eyes bleary, then at Deeks, then at Sam when he felt the warmth of Sam's big hand envelope his bandaged right one. Sam gently massaged that spot between his thumb and forefinger.
"We won't let go," he assured his partner in a whisper, the mic on his headset barely picking up his words to transmit it to the others. Callen smiled and relaxed, closing his tired eyes and letting out a breath. Confident he wasn't alone, he allowed himself to fall into the deep sleep he hadn't achieved since before his capture. By the time the helicopter had landed at the hospital, G. Callen was out like a light.
The co-pilot turned around in his seat to check on his passengers, smiling at the scene before him. G. Callen, asleep, bandaged to high heaven, clad in an oversized hoodie and no pants, had his head cradled in Kensi Blye's lap, her hands cupping his face. Marty Deeks clutched Callen's left hand with both of his, resting his chin on top. Sam Hanna mirrored Deeks' position, clutching Callen's hand in his own. The co-pilot withdrew his phone and snapped a picture and sends it to Eric in Ops, with instructions to forward it to Hetty. To this day, that photo rests, framed, on Henrietta Lange's desk.
You know, I never realized how much I took my computer for granted. I went on a weekend retreat without it, and when the muse all the sudden kicks in and you want to write so much, it's really difficult. I had this story typed out until the part where helicopter landed and picked them up, then I had to hand write the rest out. I suppose I could've waited, but I really didn't want to! I finished this on paper, which turned out to be so much longer than I had anticipated, then started another one, but got sick of hand writing and gave up. Now I'm home with my laptop! Yayyyyy! Can anyone else relate?