Epilogue

The flight had been long and exhausting. Sam was exhausted. It had all been too much. He was looking forward to having a few days leave, catching up on sleep and trying to get as much normalcy back into his life. He had come to terms with the G would no longer be watching his back, that he'd no longer be in his life.

Dom had come into the team when G was shot and he'd stayed. Now he'd be Sam's partner. He'd break in Dom or break him, and hopefully still be alive and kicking if G ever decided to come back. His life had to go on something he'd just have to accept. That was the easy part, the hardest part would be breaking it to Hetty.

Sam decided he wouldn't put it off. He parked the car outside, left his gear in the car and entered the building. Things were as normal as ever. People walking here and there, just doing their job. He walked into the main room. Kensi and Nate saw Sam, only Sam. They were about to approach him when he extended his hand and signalled stop. They did because they saw where he was headed. Then his eyes caught Hetty's. Hetty's eyes scanned the area behind him and they fell. They saw nobody else. Sam acknowledged her disappointment and walked over carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. "Mr Callen's not with you Mr Hanna?" asked Hetty, forcing the words out of her mouth.

"Hetty, no he's not. I won't repeat the lie he told me. I assume it's in this letter," said Sam bitterly, pulling the closed envelope from him jacket pocket.

Hetty nodded looking extremely sullen, "Well hand it over and let's read it."

Dear Hetty

There are times in one's life when hard decisions must be made.

My past has interfered too many times endangering the people I have come to call family.

Family looks out for each other and that's what I'm doing.

I'm removing myself from the equation.

I'm removing the danger.

I am officially resigning from NCIS Special Ops effective immediately.

I have been offered a position elsewhere.

Please inform the others. I'm sorry I couldn't tell them personally...especially Sam.

It's been an absolute honour working with you and the team.

Please don't come looking for me

G. Callen

The letter fell out of Hetty's hands as she leaned back to grab her chair. Sam saw her struggle and helped her sit. She looked up and said, "Call Director Vance Sam, he's up with Eric." Sam did as he was told. It was the first time she had called him by his first name. Then Sam picked up the letter and read it himself. He was half expecting what he read. But that didn't dull the pain that was ripping his heart wide open.

Suddenly Director Vance appeared. Hetty looked at him and her look spoke volumes, "Mr Callen has resigned."

Sam handed him the letter. Vance read it and sighed with frustration. "So he got his prey. The whole saga has finished, Hetty. Clean up the mess. I'm going home and I'm going to try to forget these last months. Take my advice don't act on this, don't try to find him. It's not worth the repercussions. That goes for you too Special Agent Hanna, that's an order," he said turning to Sam, "CIA internal affairs need to debrief you upstairs. A few words of advice; don't keep them waiting and tell the truth." He looked at Hetty, then at Sam and left.

Sam turned to Hetty pouring her a drink, "You OK?" asked Sam.

"Oh Mr Hanna...today is a sad day. But I'll be fine. Need I tell you the case is now closed. Now go upstairs so we can get rid of those paper pushing parasites and then take a week off or more if you need it," she ordered. But Sam stood his ground. "What's the matter? Go on!" ordered Hetty signalling with her frail hand.

Sam looked at her squarely, "The case isn't closed because I didn't fulfil my directive."

Hetty looked at him honestly bewildered, "Which was Mr Hanna?"

"You said, bring yourself and Mr Callen back home safe and sound. I haven't completed it. I haven't brought G home," declared Sam honourably.

Hetty's eyes shone and she smiled. How could G ever think that this wasn't where he was meant to be? That this wasn't his home? That these people weren't his family?

"Yes I do recall that now. What do you plan to do about it?" she asked quite precociously.

"I'm going to get rid of those paper pushing parasites and then I'm going to start to look for G and then I'm bringing him home," said Sam.

Hetty smiled, "Sounds like a plan to me...not that I heard it."

On the other side of the world...

"Special Agent G. Callen your ID number will be Agent 41. You're induction will begin shortly," said a non-descript man. G looked at the cold, impersonal surroundings. Here he was just a number, just like he was to the Welfare System when he was a child. Nothing had changed not that he ever thought it would. Here he was alone, just like he'd always been.

Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

A/N So this is the end. Or is it? A sequel might be in the works. Will Sam bring G back? Let's hope so. Thanks to everyone that read and reviewed the story. It was fun.