Oh well here we are finally after a false start…the sequel to No Sacrifice Big Enough. I have to admit I've had writer's fright (as in stage fright), afraid to put it out there. But I've almost finished the story and I thought it about time I publish it. I hope you all like it. It may be slow in some parts but I assure you (and you'd know if you've read my other stories) there's always plenty of hurt, angst and action.

Disclaimer:I do not own NCIS: Los Angeles or any of the characters.

They belong to Shane Brennan.

Chapter 1

Los Angeles

"Well…never let it be said that love is NOT blind because friends, here we have proof. Our beautiful and gorgeous Kensi has, beyond everyone's comprehension, decided to marry Deeks." Laughter roared in the restaurant. "But seriously, we all couldn't be happier for the both of you. You guys deserve all the happiness in the world and we wish you both the very very best. Ladies and gentlemen, let's raise a glass to Kensi and Deeks! The crowd responded to Kensi and Deeks!

Sam sculled his champagne and set the glass on the table before sitting down and accidently bumping Mike who spilt champagne over his shirt, "Elephant in a china shop Hanna…that'll be your new name," said Mike giving Sam an annoyed look as he tried to blot the liquid from his shirt.

"They look so happy," said Sam quietly blissfully immersed in the scene in front of him, ignoring Mike's remark.

Mike looked at the inebriated Sam. He was funny when he was drunk; so vulnerable, so sensitive and so mushy. It made Mike laugh. "They do Sam. Made for each other." Then Mike picked up a knife and started tapping the glasses. The whole party joined in and the newly engaged couple locked lips. When they had finished, Kensi looked over to Mike and Sam wagging her finger and smiling. Extricating herself from her lover's grasp she wobbled over and hung herself between her closest friends.

"You boys! I love you," she said kissing them both on the cheeks.

Sam turned looking at his gorgeous colleague, "You look sooooo happpeeee, Kenz."

She turned to Sam and her face lost its megawatt smile. "Kensi?"

She leant in and whispered in Sam's ear, "You know what would make me the happiest?"

He stupidly asked, "And what's that?"

"If Callen were here." She breathed deeply, landing another kiss on Sam and Mike's cheek and left the boys bringing them back to their brutal reality. Sam lost his joy to partee. He suddenly felt like the whole place was going to swallow him whole as his face became ashen. Callen's absence was like a festering abscess in the heart of the team. It had been two years and there had been no sign and no word. Sam had spent a couple of months after Callen's resignation looking and searching, leaving no stone unturned. But he had disappeared. He had become a ghost. Sam hadn't expected any less. He would've been disappointed in Callen if he had actually found him.

Sam gulped down a glass of water and stood, waiting for the room to stop spinning and finding his balance he exited the restaurant. Mike's worried gaze followed him. It had been hard on Sam particularly, and that's why Mike had been called back. Sam had taken his frustrations and his anger out on Dom. He wasn't in the right frame of mind to mentor a new agent. Mike had thick skin. He was a seasoned agent. He'd be there for Sam.

The salty ocean breeze brought Sam back to reality as he stood outside feeling it rush past him. A day didn't go by when he didn't think about Callen; what he was doing or if he was still alive. He missed him. His melancholy grew worse as the effects of the alcohol started to wane.

"Sam…" approached Mike. Sam didn't flinch he continued to stare out to the ocean. Mike breathed out heavily wondering when Sam would stop pining for Callen. He hated seeing his friend descend into these pockets of depression. Nevertheless he walked up to him and stood beside him.

"What are the chances he's still out there and not lying dead in a ditch?" asked Sam.

Mike smiled. "Can't see Callen dead in a ditch, too mundane for our friend. He's out there Sam. You know that. We all do," said Mike affectionately facing his friend.

"It's been three years and nothing," said Sam restraining his anger.

"We've been through this Sam. Callen doesn't want to be found. He needs time to sort things out. You know how good he is. You need to let it go. You need to let him go. When the time is right he will make contact. He will find you," said Mike looking at Sam, not as a partner but more like a brother.

"I know…I know. It' just…I miss him. I miss his whining and brooding…hell I even miss his wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-practice-his-Russian routine," he said sadly. Mike nodded and placed a hand on Sam's shoulder.

Meanwhile Nell stood in the doorway watching the two agents; her two favourite agents. Sam and Mike had become like her big brothers. She had started awhile after Callen had resigned. She hadn't been officially filled in on the mysterious G. Callen because nobody talked about him. They avoided mentioning his name, but her hacking skills had allowed her access to some interesting facts that helped her understand Sam's affection for his ex-partner. She was intrigued by this ghost. She'd make it her personal mission to seek him out and bring him back to his family.

Hetty had asked her to call Sam and Mike in. "Oh booyzzzz, they're cutting the cake and Hetty said time to come in," said Nell smiling.

Mike turned and smiled, "Thanks Nell. We'll be in."

"Noooo problem," she responded and headed back slowly, keeping her eyes on Sam. She hates seeing him so lost, so simply, sad.

"Sam?" asked Mike.

"Yeah. You know Mike, he'll come when he's ready but until then let's cut cake. Let's celebrate," said Sam smiling, pushing his thoughts of Callen aside and focusing on Kensi and Deeks' happy day. It was all a façade and Mike could see right through it but it was the best Sam could do.

They rejoined the gregarious crowd of well wishes. Kensi noticed and smiled, Sam smiled back. Suddenly he felt her presence, "Mr. Hanna, enjoying the night air? Nothing rivals the Californian ocean breeze on a balmy summer night to clear one's head, don't you think?" asked Hetty.

He knew what she was alluding to and he refused to bite so he changed subject avoiding her gaze. "She's happy. For the first time in a long time she's happy, Hetty," observed Sam.

"She is and deservedly so. Our Miss Blye has had her share of unfortunate events and now, to everyone's delight, fate is smiling down on her. Detective Deeks is a good man. They'll be very happy," said Hetty smiling.

"And how do you know that? Did you read it in your tea leaves?" asked an amused Sam, looking down on the diminutive giant.

"No Mr. Hanna. I did her astrological chart," she said smirking coyly. Sam shook his head in amusement. She was glad to see him smile. Sam's smiles didn't truly reach his eyes anymore. Hetty saw that. "Let him go Mr. Hanna. His memory robs you of the wonders of the present and the future."

"Have you?" asked Sam curtly, finally turning and looking down to face her.

"Yes." Then the crowd cheered as the betrothed kissed.

Somewhere in Indonesia

The sky lingered with an orange haze, as Callen looked to the horizon. He was alone, yet again. This time the sentence was self-imposed. His missions were taxing and these breaks kept him together. He looked down at his feet and scrunched his toes, feeling the glass-like sand shift and flow. The lapping of the waves drew his attention, as the local children ran around screaming at the top of their lungs from the simple joy of having caught a crab. He had let his hair grow longer than his trademark buzz cut. It hid the scar well. The scar that reminded him of the past he had left behind. His skin had acclimatized and the tan-bronzed look made him feel younger and healthier. He never thought he'd enjoy the equatorial weather nor surfing, but he had taken to them like a fish to water.

He raised his head and saw the wave coming in. He stood and walked to the water's edge gripping his board and ran in. The exhilaration of the expanse of the ocean and the adrenaline rush of riding a wave always cleared his head. It had been two weeks now. He felt it was time. He knew this would be his last surf at this beach before he'd have to leave again.

He emerged from the waves, shaking his head and carrying his board up to his shack. He placed his board against the wall and walked over to the esky, pulling out a beer when he heard a beep, followed by another beep.

His phone.

The agency.

A mission.

He opened the attachment. His destination was the US. It was back to base. It meant it was a clandestine op, the blackest of the black, one of their own. Those missions were the worst.

Going back to base meant going back home. It always made him nervous when he had to return to his native soil. There was always that constant fear that he'd see them again, or worse still, that they'd see him.

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