A/N - All right, here goes number three. Hetty's turn. Trying to get back to writing instead of editing and polishing so hopefully this will kick-start the creative juices for a couple of new stories I'm working on.
Disclaimer - Don't own anything you recognise, just doing it for the fun and the learning experience.
Hope you enjoy.
A sense of dread settled heavily in Callen's stomach. Hetty sick? That wouldn't be good.
"Mr Callen, I am fine," Hetty assured him. "I simply came in close proximity with some feathers on my way through the corridor and, as you know, I am allergic."
Callen moved back closer to Hetty and checked her over from head to toe. "How close proximity?"
Hetty shook her head. "Not close enough to be an issue. Now go home, get some sleep and have a shower."
Callen took a moment to finish his perusal of her before saying, "Yes ma'am."
He turned and left but the mental image of Hetty pale, sick and lying in a hospital bed stayed in his mind and he didn't like it at all. He'd never seen Hetty sick.
Two weeks later
"For goodness sake, Mr Callen, I am not an invalid," Hetty protested when Callen picked her up and carried her up the path to her house.
"No Hetty, you aren't," Callen conceded. "You are simply injured and for once you are going to let us take care of you as you have done us more times than we can count."
Callen walked through Hetty's front after Sam had taken care of opening it for him. Kensi was coming up behind with their overnight bags. Sam had carried the shopping bags of food.
"Here, here," Sam agreed as they passed him.
"Mr Hanna," Hetty spoke sternly, though it didn't have quite the same effect as it usually did, even if she was at a higher altitude and closer to eye level with the tall agent.
"No Hetty," Sam cut her off. "G's right. You always take care of us, now it's our turn."
Callen had placed her gently down on the couch.
"And it is going to take the three of you to do it?" Hetty asked.
"Yep," Callen told her. "Sam's here as the muscle and the gofer, I'm here as the intelligent conversation – "
"Hey!" Kensi protested.
Callen continued as if Kensi hadn't said anything. "And Kensi's here to help with anything…. Umm… personal orientated."
Hetty raised an eyebrow and looked at him over her glasses. "So you won't be giving me a sponge bath yourself Mr Callen?" she asked innocently.
"I'm afraid not Hetty," Callen answered as neutrally as possible. "I have absolutely no experience in it and would not want to submit you to such a steep learning curve."
"And I have?" Kensi asked in a disbelieving tone.
"It's instinct for you, Kenz." Sam grinned at her. "Maternal Instinct. You'll just know how to do it without the trial and error."
Hetty chuckled as Kensi looked like she was seriously considering doing Sam damage. She had to admit it was rather nice to be taken care of. In a couple of days she should be able to get the doctors to knock some sense into these three and allow her to do things herself.
"So Hetty," Sam said, "Do you need us to do anything about the insurance on the Jag?"
Callen silently chuckled at Sam's less than subtle question.
Hetty narrowly suppressed a shudder at the loss of another prized vehicle. If only she'd answered that call at the office instead of walking out the door it, and she, would be fine right now. As it was, her Jag was a write-off and she had a broken wrist, dodgy knee and a hairline fracture in her ankle because some silly driver had run a red light. Okay, so maybe she wasn't entirely innocent since she had been creeping over the speed limit at the time, not that she would tell that to any of the three in this room. She reprimanded them enough for their driving and she needed to keep a certain air of authority where they were concerned.
"No," Hetty sighed. "That has been taken care of. I am going to miss that car."
"What exactly happened Hetty?" Sam asked.
Hetty glanced toward Sam and her eyes narrowed slightly. "The other driver ran a red light Mr Hanna. You know the verdict."
"We know the official report but we don't know what happened."
"Mr Hanna, I would like some tea if you wouldn't mind," Hetty asked in the hope of side-tracking her agent.
Sam raised an eyebrow but headed to the kitchen to take care of her request.
Hetty looked at Callen who was eyeing her off though he didn't say anything.
Kensi felt decidedly uncomfortable. She wanted to know what happened but she certainly wasn't going to ask. Hetty wielded too much power to risk annoying her. "I'm going to take the bags to the rooms. Have fun you two." She left quickly.
"So Hetty," Callen said expectantly.
"Yes, Mr Callen?" Hetty kept her tone innocent.
"Do you think there is?" Hetty asked.
Callen sat forward and rested his elbows on the tops of his legs as he looked his boss in the eye. "With you, there is always something else."
Hetty smiled – one of those ones that should have made the receiver back off quickly and never ask the question again. On anyone other than Callen it would have worked.
"You've read the report Mr Callen. There is nothing else."
"True, I've read the report."
Callen waited patiently for Hetty to say something else. When she didn't he continued. "What the report doesn't say is why the officer who wrote it called you Hetty, not Miss Lange."
Eric had been in the office at the time and his monitoring systems had caught the report of Hetty's vehicle and accident. He'd called Callen right away and Callen and Sam had arrived at the scene before Hetty had been taken away in the ambulance. They had witnessed the less than professional way the young officer had addressed Hetty.
"A young officer who was never taught formality," Hetty offered.
"No," Callen disagreed easily, "because if that's all it was, you'd have taught him there and then."
He shook his head at her. "I've got time Hetty. Plenty of time until the doctor says you don't need help anymore. I can be very patient when necessary."
"As can I Mr Callen. We both know how to keep our mouths shut when the need arises. Do you really think I will cave to the pressure of your knowing look?" Hetty asked.
Callen grinned. "You just did. There is definitely something more."
Hetty silently cursed the pain killers that the doctor had ordered her to take before she left the hospital and the way they were dulling her minds reflexes. Playing on sympathy, she closed her eyes and put her head back against the couch. "I am feeling rather tired Mr Callen. Perhaps you could ask Mr Hanna to take me upstairs."
"No need to bother Sam, I can do that."
Hetty groaned. "You've already done enough."
Callen ignored her protest, just as he had done outside and picked her up off the couch as if she weighed no more than a small cat. "Not nearly enough," Callen said quietly and sincerely. "You done a lot more for me than I could possibly repay you for in more lifetimes than I have."
"So stop asking about the accident and we'll call it even," Hetty suggested as he walked up the stairs.
Callen chuckled. "Nope."
Hetty shook her head. "You are persistent Mr Callen, I'll give you that."
"My skills were refined by the best in the business Hetty."
Callen put her down carefully on her bed and stepped back. "I'll get Sam to bring up the tea. Just call if you need us." He indicated to the phone beside her bed. "Use it Hetty. Don't make us camp out here in your room with you."
Three days later.
"How much longer Callen?" Sam asked after he flopped down on the couch. "I'm tired of all this running around she's making me do. She keeps thinking of all these things that need doing by a man around the house."
Callen chuckled. "She's trying to run you out Sam. Can't you see that?"
"Yeah, well it's working," Sam grumbled. "Why doesn't she get you to do it?"
"Because I'm here for my conversation skills, not my muscle."
Three days. Callen still didn't have a straight answer out of Hetty about the accident and he certainly wasn't giving up yet.
"Are you going to answer my question?" Sam prodded. "The doctor was here earlier, what did he tell you?"
"That Hetty is more than capable of looking after herself now."
"And we are still here then?" Sam asked. Kensi looked at Callen confusion clear on her face.
"Look, do you want to know what really happened with the accident or not?" Callen asked them.
"Not," Kensi answered. "Hetty'll make our lives hell if we push."
"Fine go," Callen told Kensi. "She's close to breaking and if you don't want to know that's fine."
"I'm going. If Hetty wants me to I'll help her, just call me. But I'm not going to force her anymore."
Kensi grinned. "You know those little cheques Hetty slips into our Christmas cards – the unofficial bonus?"
Callen and Sam both nodded.
Kensi's grin widened. "I still want mine."
Callen and Sam looked at each other.
"You think she has a point?" Callen asked.
"It is possible, if you keep pushing G," Sam said, "that there may be some differences between this year and last years."
Kensi left to grab her bag from upstairs.
"Sam?" Callen asked.
Sam shook his head and slowly stood up. "Sorry G, but my back is killing me. She had me moving the spare room around all morning. Plus, I have plans for that bonus even if you don't."
"You're a chicken too," Callen retorted.
"Sane. You," Sam pointed at Callen, "are simply crazy. You know she won't tell you anything."
"She will," Callen said confidently.
Sam shook his head and went to pack. Within a few minutes, Kensi and Sam had left and Callen was now the sole provider for all things Hetty needed. Hopefully it wouldn't take him too long to get the information out of Hetty. Moving furniture he could handle. The sponge bath? That he definitely wasn't looking forward to.
He heard Hetty moving about and went to check on her.
"Mr Callen. I have a job for Mr Hanna if you wouldn't mind getting him."
"Sorry Hetty," Callen said smugly. "Just me. Sam and Kensi had to go."
He watched Hetty's reaction carefully. She'd been avoiding being alone with him for the last few days, making sure either Kensi or Sam were around.
"Oh," Hetty said thoughtfully.
"What can I do Hetty?"
Two hours later
"All right Hetty, that's enough. We've moved the room around twice already and it's back to the way it was originally," Callen told her. "It's 5 o'clock. Your usual time for a bath I believe?"
Hetty raised her eyebrows and looked at Callen. "Usually," she said.
"Well then, I'll just go get everything ready," Callen replied before he left the room.
As he got the supplies ready for the sponge bath Callen tried not to think of how close to the line he was pushing this. He knew he wouldn't go ahead with it but Hetty didn't know that. Hopefully she would back down before he did otherwise he'd never hear the end of it.
He took the supplies to Hetty's bedroom, knocked before entering and glanced at her out of the corner of his eye whilst he put the things down on the side table. She was sitting on the bed.
"So, where does Kensi usually start? Feet?"
Hetty glared at Callen. "You are not going to do this, Mr Callen."
"Somebody has to and Kensi's not here."
"I'm sure a day without a bath is fine."
"Why Hetty? Are you embarrassed?"
"No Mr Callen. Are you?"
"Nope," he replied nonchalantly as he dipped the cloth in the warm soapy water. Please Hetty, just tell me!
Callen turned back toward her and stepped closer, hoping the look on his face was innocent enough and not terrified or giving away the fact that there was no way he could go through with this.
"Enough Mr Callen," Hetty said as he stepped up next to her.
"Yes. Enough. I was speeding and the young officer is one of my old friend's grandchildren that I persuaded not to put that small fact in the report. Unfortunately I had my usual identification on me and a speeding ticket wouldn't be a good thing for someone trying to keep her name out of official channels."
"You bribed a police officer?" Callen asked putting on a shocked expression.
"No," Hetty denied vehemently. "Of course I wouldn't do such a thing. I simply asked nicely."
Callen waited for the rest, because there was always more with Hetty.
Hetty rolled her eyes. "Perhaps I reminded him of some of the things his parents don't know he got up to as a slightly rebellious teenager."
Callen smirked. "So blackmail. I'm shocked Hetty." He moved away to put the cloth back in the bowl of warm water before turning back to face her and continuing. "Thank you Hetty. Was that really so bad to tell me that?"
"A whole lot better than sponge bath."
Callen chuckled. "You can wash yourself if you want. As long as you don't get the cast wet, the doctor said you were well enough to look after yourself. I'll drop by tomorrow though to check on you."
"Mr Callen!" Hetty exclaimed.
"Goodnight Hetty," Callen said as he quickly walked out the door and left before she could do or say anything.
Hetty sat on the bed shaking her head. She couldn't believe the lengths Callen had gone to get her to talk.