Tin Soldiers could not end the way it did. It was too clean with Callen and Sam forgiving and forgetting…no way. There should've been angst between the two mates. This is my take on how the narrative should have progressed. Love Callen's face when he gets scolded by Hetty, little boy with a pout…cute!

A few OC characters.

Don't own them…wish I did!

Chapter 1

Callen had been absent for 4 days. A toy tin soldier was placed at his sister's grave, which made him uneasy. Someone was trying to send him a message, or someone was playing with him. Either way Callen was compelled to do some digging of his own. The 4 days came to an end and he had found nothing. Frustration couldn't even begin to describe how he was feeling. While he was chasing ghosts, Sam had gone solo on a mission and Moe had died. He somehow felt responsible and couldn't bring himself to call Sam. The guilt weighing too heavily on his shoulders.

Hetty had ordered him back. They had a new case; something about corrupt Californian Highway Patrol police. But Callen's life is always unpredictable. At home in the early hours of the morning, he heard a noise. So the brand new day had started with an intruder in his home; the very place he was starting to call home. This intruder was a Romani along with the guy with tin soldiers whom he had found dead. Somehow the questions he tried to answer just produced more and more questions. He was annoyed with the bits and pieces from his past that kept coming to the surface. It seemed like someone was toying with him. Why was his past such an enigma?

Whilst Callen was angry at things that were out of his control, Sam was angry at the absence of his partner. He was angry that Moe's death didn't seem as important to Callen as it was to him. He was angry that Callen didn't take Sam's feelings into account. He was angry that Callen never showed any emotion. He knew Callen cared, he just wanted Callen to show it. He was angry because after 3 years together, Callen hadn't let Sam in. He just didn't know how to read his partner sometimes. He wanted to let him know that it was ok to feel, to let your guard down. Sam had been a SEAL and being part of a team was their M.O. They looked after each other, they supported each other and problems became a common and shared burden.

Callen couldn't relate to that. All his life there had been only one constant and that was himself. All he had was himself. He had been conditioned that way. The walls he had built had been long and strong in the making, built to protect the little sweet vulnerable boy that resided inside. It would take many more years to undo. Life on the streets had seen to that. There couldn't be cracks in his walls. If he started to show any emotion, if he started to open up, the cracks would appear and grow becoming larger until the walls would crumble. The fall out would be devastating. It had happened…once. He couldn't allow that to happen again. This was the reason he had let no one in and now, Hetty expected him to become a team player, to trust…how could he?

Callen was damn good at his job. Their team was highly thought-of and respected because of G. Callen. He protected his team. He made decisions that were risky, dangerous but brilliant. They all knew this but when his past emerged, Callen's focus shifted. That's what happened at the FBI, CIA and DEA. All the federal agencies labeled him a prodigy, brilliant, born chameleon but with too many emotional scars making him a possible liability, a bomb ready to detonate with the right trigger.

Hetty had kept her eye on Callen since his earlier days as a young agent. She had followed his career. She was amazed at what he had accomplished at such a young age…especially his stints in the eastern European states. But what intrigued her most was the man himself. She could see he was a troubled man in need of guidance and unconditional friendship and love. Being an agent gave Callen stability, gave him somewhere to belong…it met his basic needs. But she knew he needed more, even though he didn't. She had made it her goal in life to look after this wayward son although he certainly made it difficult.


At the boatshed, Callen had told Hetty, trust me with Arkady. She knew better. This time she should've stopped him, this time she should've protected him from himself. The days away, his failure to be there for Sam, his lack of interaction with his team were the signs. Callen was withdrawing. His speech about trust was another rouse. He knew how to play people, he knew the strings to pull and he had manipulated Hetty…or had she let him? That was the disconcerting part.

The team trusted him but they were concerned. Kensi had gone all quiet, as had Deeks. They could feel the tension; they could feel something was not right. They were worried for Sam. But Callen had never put them in harm's way before, and this time was no different. But something didn't sit right. Sam didn't want him going in alone. The whole lone wolf thing bothered Sam and he hated it. But Callen was the head agent and he had to follow orders. They all knew this wasn't going to end well, but they were all powerless to do anything about it. It was a disaster ready to happen.

Kensi went to see Singh, with Sam and Deeks having her back. Her sting worked, Singh believed Esme and his plans had been thwarted. But in the meantime, Callen was walking into a nightmare situation…alone. He walked straight into the arena like a gladiator, fearing nothing. The only thing he truly feared were his dreams. He heard noises, flung around and saw Arkady and his henchmen. Arkady moved slowly down the steps and met with Callen. They exchanged intel and all of a sudden all hell broke loose. Shots were pelting down. Callen and Arkady were weighing up their options, calling each other names and fondly remembering past missions. 4 bullets left and no cavalry in sight…would this be the way it was going to end?

Until he heard the familiar rumble…the challenger came roaring into the arena. Callen secretly rejoiced. Sam had found him. Team players Callen, were Sam's words as they rang in his ears. The car stopped. It was fired upon. Deeks opened the door first and started firing. He got one as his window shattered and a bullet grazed his shoulder, "Oh man!" he yelled, as he crawled behind the car door holding his arm.

Sam burst through his door, shooting straight up hitting the guy to his left and then aiming and hitting the guy to his right in the shoulder. In that precise moment, he heard Deeks, he turned, "Deeks you ok?" Deeks answered as a bullet slammed into Sam. Callen watched in horror as his best friend and partner was thrown against the car and slumped to the floor. Callen rose from his position determination and purpose firing his rage and he fired. He took the gunmen down.

Suddenly everything blurred. His main priority was getting to Sam. He hadn't noticed Arkady slinking away. He ran and slid to where Sam lay panting, "Sam!"

Sam's eyes were open and they were staring at Callen. Callen felt the accusing stare. Sam said nothing. He didn't have to, his accusing stare said it all. Callen placed his hand on the wound, but the blood just seeped through. Not finding anything else to stop the bleeding, Callen took off his shirt and placed it on Sam's shoulder, "You're going to be ok!" said Callen. With the other hand he grabbed his cell and called for assistance. Meanwhile Deeks had come around.

"Deeks?" said Callen. How did this happen? He had put his team in danger. Why? He knew why. It was his fault.

"Yeah, just a graze…how's Sam?" asked Deeks coldly, not making eye contact with Callen as he crouched down, eyes clearly focused on Sam.

"I'm ok Deeks," whispered Sam, clearly about to lose consciousness. Callen saw the interaction between the two. When had this happened? Sam and Deeks had bonded. His heart sank. This time he had gone too far. He had pushed Sam and his teammates away for the last time. They were angry and hurt. He continued to push on the wound, waiting for help. Deeks had slumped next to Sam holding his arm. Then he heard the sirens. His head turned to the entrance and saw the ambulance. The EMTs grabbed Sam and loaded him in, meanwhile helping Deeks in there too.

They left and as Callen watched it leave in a complete daze until he was grabbed from behind. The grip on his shoulders was intense as he was spun around, "This time Callen, this time you have gone too far!" yelled a distraught Kensi. "We've always trusted your judgement…always! But this time you made the wrong call. This was your fault. This shouldn't have happened if you had backup, if you had listened to Hetty. If Sam dies, it'll be on your conscience." She pushed him and left. "Find your own way back!" she said acerbically. She got into her car and phoned in, "Hetty.."

Callen watched as Kensi, of all people walked away from him. He stood there in an empty arena, his partner's blood over his shirt and hands. Kensi's words still ringing in his ears…your fault…all your fault. He was alone as always, but this time it was all his doing. Something inside him snapped and the first tear emerged, then a hiccup and his chest hurt. The second tear streamed down his cheek, then the third until Callen had doubled over and was sobbing. His back against the car, he was completely broken. It had all been too much for him to bear. He felt tired and he felt exhausted.


Hetty had met Kensi at the ER entrance, "Any word yet, Miss Blye?" asked Hetty masking the anxiety and sadness in her voice.

A distraught Kensi turned to Hetty, "No, not on Sam. Deeks will be fine. It was just a bullet graze."

Hetty noticed that she didn't mention Callen. "And Mr. Callen?"

"Don't care!" she Kensi tightening her arms around her waist.

"I see. Where did you last see him Miss Blye?" asked Hetty, watching the slow disintegration of her prized team.

"At the Arena," said Kensi curtly.

"Fine," answered Hetty. Then she opened her cell, "Eric find Mr. Callen and no word on Mr. Hanna yet."

Then she realized she wasn't going to get any more out of Kensi. The anger and the fear were still raw. The girl needed support and care. Hetty moved over to Kensi. "It'll be fine dear," she said whilst holding her hand. Kensi looked at her and nodded. Kensi couldn't muster a smile for Hetty because part of the blame was hers. She had let her golden boy run amuck. In Kensi's opinion, Hetty should've reigned Callen in.

Moments passed and the two women were to be found sitting, waiting when Deeks emerged. "Hey…how's Sam?" asked Deeks, arm in a sling.

"Don't know yet," answered Kensi, "How are you doing?"

"Fine, just a scratch," said Deeks finding a seat next to Hetty and rubbing his arm.

"Protocol Mr. Deeks," said Hetty. Finally, a doctor emerged. "Family of Mr. Hanna?"

Hetty stood first, followed by Kensi and Deeks, "Yes, I'm Miss Lange," said Hetty showing her credentials.

"Oh…well then Miss Lange, surgery went well. The bullet has been removed and there was no major damage. He should be discharge in a couple of days barring no infection. You'll be able to see him once he's out of recovery. The nurse will inform you," said the doctor then left.

"Thank you," Hetty called after him. Then she heard Kensi let out a big sigh of relief as if she was holding her breath all this time and Deeks smiled.

"Well done big fella…that's good news," said Deeks flashing a smile. Kensi smiled too as she sat back down.

"Good news indeed," said Hetty.

Minutes had passed when a nurse approached them, "Miss Lange?"

"Yes, dear," Hetty said.

"You may see Mr. Hanna now," said the nurse.

"Thank you," replied Hetty, the she turned to Kensi and Deeks, "I need to speak to Mr. Hanna first, then you can both go in. Then I'll see you tomorrow."


Hetty opened the door and saw Sam propped up on several pillows. He heard the noise and looked over. She approached him, smiled and placed her hand gently on his, "Oh Mr. Hanna that was a scare. I am so glad you are all right. Doctor said you'll be out in a couple of days."

"Thanks Hetty…" then Sam looked around frowning, hoping to find Callen in the room.

Hetty noticed, "Miss Blye and Mr. Deeks are outside waiting to see you." Hetty sighed…oh this was going to be difficult. "We haven't located the whereabouts of Mr. Callen yet. I'm sure we'll find him soon."

Sam looked at Hetty, "I warned him, Hetty. He wouldn't listen."

"Yes, Mr. Hanna, we all did. Maybe I should've exercised more authority on the matter. I let him proceed with the operation and I need to shoulder some of the blame," she stopped paused, sighed and replaced her smile, "This is my problem, you need to rest and heal," said Hetty smiling and tapping his hand.

Sam nodded, "I know what it's like to be on Callen's receiving end. It wasn't your fault Hetty. Find him before..." Before Hetty could reply, Deeks and Kensi burst in.

"Hey there Butch Cassidy…" Deeks said as Kensi laughed and ran to Sam. Hetty took that moment to slip out not without catching Sam's eye.


Callen's phone had been destroyed in the shoot out, making it impossible for Hetty and Eric to find him. Callen had been there for hours. The well of tears had dried up and he was emotionally exhausted. He noticed how late it was. He needed to see Sam, he needed to see how his friend was faring and he needed to apologise for his physical and emotional absence. But he was apprehensive. He didn't know if Sam wanted to see him. However he needed to be there for his friend.