Chapter 58: Consequences and Reprimands

Callen was awake, but resting, when Nurse Olivia came on duty at three in the afternoon. She had been informed, by C.J., of the ill-advised long walks that took place during the previous shift, and her patient's apparent opposition to gradually building up his endurance. So, she readily joined forces with Sam to make sure the man confined to his bed for a little while longer.

When Sam was sure G had settled back to sleep, he decided to leave Kensi and Deeks in charge of watching over his partner, while he took a short break.

Sam returned, fifteen minutes later. He stopped just inside the door for several seconds, studying G with narrowed eyes.

Deeks and Kensi's quiet conversation ceased and their gaze traveled over to the bed. They were surprised to see that, at some point, Callen had rolled over onto his left side, and was now lying with his back to them.

Sam slowly approached the bed and stilled for a moment. "G. You asleep?"

"No," came a soft voice through gritted teeth.

"You hurtin'?"

"Little bit."

"Where?"

Callen shivered hard and then let out a strained breath. "Stupid hip."

"Do you think it's because you overdid it today?"

There was a long pause… "Maybe?"

"Uh huh… Are you going to listen next time we tell you to take it easy?"

Silence.

"So you're ignoring me now, G?"

"Tryin' to."

Sam heard a snicker from behind him, and turned to see the younger agents doing their best not to laugh out loud.

The big SEAL smiled, shook his head, and then turned back to his partner. "Just go back to sleep," he said, while extending his arm and giving G's shoulder a quick squeeze.

"I'm not tired."

"Well, just lay there with your eyes closed and pretend you're asleep."

At about four-thirty in the afternoon, Callen was finally freed from confinement; that is, with Sam's warning that he'd "put his skinny butt back to bed" if he didn't slow down some.

Of course, G passed it off with an eye roll, looking much like a teenager who'd just been threatened to be grounded.

Callen made a bathroom stop and then took walk in the hall, before Sam steered him back to hospital room.

He had just settled into the armchair beside the bed, when Kensi unfolded herself from the couch and stretched her neck, and then her shoulders. "Anyone else getting hungry?"

Sam's eyes met hers. "I am. I was thinking about getting a sandwich or something from the cafeteria."

Deeks made a face. "Hospital Cafeteria food?! You must really be hungry."

"Did you miss lunch, today, Sam?" Kensi asked.

"Yeah."

"Well." Now Deeks got to his feet. "We need to get you some real food, then… How about something from that Italian restaurant on ninth?"

"Sounds good to me," Sam said, before sitting down in a chair across from the couch.

Kensi pulled out her phone. "I think it's called Atino's?... No… Amante's… There… I have the menu pulled up." She handed Sam her phone. "Go ahead and click on what you want and I'll order online."

A few moments later, Sam passed the phone back to her.

Kensi turned to her partner. "Deeks. Do you want to split a pizza?"

"Sure."

"The usual?"

"Yep… And here." Marty handed Kensi his credit card. "My turn to pay."

"Anything else?" Kensi asked. "Callen?"

"No thanks."

"Yes. He wants something." Sam reached and tossed some cash on the couch beside Deeks. "Get G the vegetable soup."

Callen glared at Sam from around the hood of his jacket. "Not hungry."

Sam reciprocated the glare, only with a raised eyebrow. "Oh, you're gonna eat something. Unless, of course, you're more interested in the hospital food that will be delivered any minute."

Just as if Sam had orchestrated it, there was a knock at the door and a supper tray was dropped off on the table next to Callen.

"Let me see…" Sam stood up and began examining the contents of the tray. "Looks like broth… some sort of fruit mush… and… I don't even know that is."

Callen made a face and averted his gaze.

"He'll have the vegetable soup," Sam repeated, and then moved the tray to the small counter.

"Got it." Kensi completed the order and entered Deeks credit card information. "They're saying it should be ready in twenty-five to thirty minutes. Maybe we should go ahead and head that way."

While Kensi and Deeks were making the 'food run,' Callen tried to warm up with a cup of tea, went for another short walk, and Olivia stopped by the room to check vitals and to let them know the doctor planned on making rounds in an hour or so.

Deeks and Kensi returned a while later, carrying a pizza box, several bottled waters, and a plastic bag from the restaurant.

Sam pushed the small rolling table a little closer to G, and poured him another cup of tea.

Kensi opened Callen's soup container and placed it, a napkin, and a plastic spoon in front of him.

"Thanks, Kenz," Callen said, looking up at her briefly. He sat up a little straighter in his chair and then pulled the hood of his jacket back, letting it fall to his shoulders. Then he just sat there, staring blankly at his soup.

Sam watched Callen out of the corner of his eye for a while, until he decided he had waited long enough. "G. You need me to feed you?"

Without changing expressions, Callen shakily picked up the plastic poon and attempted to take a bite of his soup. Between the cast, and the tremoring, none of the liquid stayed on the spoon. And, unfortunately, switching the flimsy utensil to his left hand didn't prove to be much more successful.

Sam continued watching from where he had now started on his own meal.

G was definitely struggling.

Sam inwardly sighed. Then, without a word, he got up from his chair, retrieved a metal soup spoon from the hospital supper tray and put it down on the table in front of Callen.

Callen blinked at the replacement utensil for a few seconds. He glanced over to where Sam was now settling back into his chair, and then hesitantly traded the lightweight plastic spoon, for the heavier one.

Either, through sheer determination, or just wanting to escape being spoon-fed by his partner, Callen managed to eat a little more than half of his soup. And, in spite of his shaking, there was minimal spillage, as most of what didn't make it to his mouth, ended up back in the container.

Doctor Lee arrived around six-forty. He greeted everyone and then moved to stand near where Callen was seated. By the look on his face, he had already been informed of his patient's earlier excessive exploration of the fourth floor.

Nurse Olivia quietly stationed herself off to the side. Judging from her expression, she was the one who had told the doctor that his patient had worn himself out today.

"How do you feel this evening, Mr. Callen?" the doctor asked.

G's tired blue eyes looked up at the tall man in front of him. He pulled the hood off of his head and sat up a bit straighter. "I'm good," he said, while fighting back a light shiver.

"I heard you did a lot of walking today… maybe too much walking?"

Callen turned his head to the side and scowled at his partner.

"Don't look at me." Sam held up both palms at shoulder level. "I didn't tell him."

With only a hint of a frown, Callen looked back to the doctor.

And, by now, the doctor was putting forth very little effort to hide his amusement. "Actually, your day-shift nurse documented it in your chart. But I'll have to say… I'm really not all that surprised. I remember Nate saying something about you having a history of reporting back to work without being medically released?"

"Yes, he does." Sam and Kensi chorused.

Callen gave his partner a quick sideways look. "It was only once. And was fine."

"G." Sam's eyes narrowed. "You'd been shot full of holes."

Dr. Lee exchanged looks with the nurse, before his expression turned slightly more serious. "I just want to make sure you understand the risks, Mr. Callen, before leaving the hospital."

Callen's eyes lit up. "I can go home?"

"As long as things go well overnight, the plan is to discharge you tomorrow morning. But only under the condition that you don't overdo it when you leave here. Until you've been cleared by the Neurologist, it is imperative that you continue with your medication and not overexert yourself… Do you understand?"

Still focused on the doctor's face, Callen nodded once.

"Let me check you out, and I'll go down and write the orders."

After listening to Callen's heart and lungs, Dr. Lee put away his stethoscope. "Scale of zero to ten, what's the pain level been in those ribs today?"

Callen processed the question for a moment. "One?"

"What about your hip?"

"One."

The room was suddenly filled with the sound of three people loudly clearing their throats.

Callen's attention was drawn, briefly, to where Kensi, Deeks and Sam were all giving him looks, and then he looked back up at the doctor. "Two."

There was, instantly, another clearing of throats.

"Three."

Doctor Lee looked back at Sam, who was shaking his head, and then he turned to face Callen, again. "Alright… Mr. Callen, can you tell me what day it is?"

G shook his head slowly. "I have no idea."

"Today is Thursday, October eleventh."

Callen's brow wrinkled. "How long have I been in here?"

"Let me see… I believe you were admitted on the third?" Doctor Lee looked Sam with a questioning look.

"Right," Sam answered. "G, you were injured Tuesday, the second, came to the hospital the next day, so… this is your ninth day in the hospital."

"Thank you," the doctor said while turning back to Callen. "Mr. Callen, can you tell me what you had to eat this evening?"

"Soup," he answered quickly.

"Good. What about lunch?"

G instinctively looked to his partner. "Did I eat lunch?"

Sam crossed his arms across his chest and tilted his head to one side. "I wasn't here. But, yes… you did."

Suddenly Callen began to fidget, seemingly uncomfortable with all eyes on him, waiting for an answer. His gaze quickly scanned the floor around where he sat, as if searching for the lost information.

"Callen?" Kensi called gently.

G looked around Sam's big form to where Kensi was seated.

"Remember? Nell brought lunch up here for you, me, and Deeks."

Callen blinked a few times in confusion, and then looked away. "That was today?" he asked softly, as if talking to himself.

"It's alright, Mr. Callen," the doctor reassured. "Between the head trauma, and the medication you're on, it's not unexpected that you'd lose pieces of information, or have memories that are out of sequence. Just give it some time." Dr. Lee crouched down on one knee in front of Callen's chair and pulled a small penlight from his shirt pocket. "I need you to just look straight ahead for me."

With one hand, Dr. Lee pressed his thumb against Callen's left upper eyelid, and with the other, he flipped on the penlight.

Callen winced away from the light when it passed in front of his eye.

"Sorry. I know it's bright." The doctor repositioned his hand so that Callen's head was being held in place.

The next time the light passed across Callen's eye, he winced, but he was unable move away from Dr. Lee's hold. The doctor switched the penlight to his other hand, and repeated the process for Callen's right eye.

As soon as the doctor was finished with the exam, G lowered his head and began rubbing at his painful eyes.

Dr. Lee looked over to where Nurse Oliva stood. "Pupils are still a bit sluggish, bilaterally."

She nodded and began writing on a notepad.

"Lungs are clear," he continued. "Oriented times two… Would you make a note that I'd like a discharge report to be faxed to the Neurologists?"

"Yes, Sir. Dr. Lindow?"

"That's right. Thank you, Olivia." From where he was still crouched down in front of G's chair, Dr. Lee turned his head to look up at Sam. "It might be good for him to wear sunglasses when he leaves here tomorrow."

"Sam, I can stop and pick up a pair in the morning," Deeks offered.

"Let me check the Challenger first. He usually keeps an extra pair in the glovebox."

"Alright," Dr. Lee said, dropping the penlight back into his pocket and then rising to his feet. "I'm going down to write those discharge orders, and then call and update Miss Lange."

The nurse and doctor had not been gone for more than fifteen minutes, when Olivia returned with Callen's seven o'clock medicine.

G was given an opportunity to go to the restroom before taking the capsules, and then insisted he wanted to sit back down in the chair. He was unanimously overruled, and had to be practically forced to get in the bed.

It didn't take long for Callen's frustration to dissipate, and for his eyes to become droopy.

Kensi got up from the couch and threw away the water bottle she had just finished. "Well, guys… I've got to go home and tackle a huge pile of laundry."

Deeks' eyebrows shot up. "Can I help?"

His partner's initial answer came in the form of a 'are you crazy?' look on her face.

"Pa-leeeease."

"Absolutely not."

"Pleasepleaseplease."

"Deeks?! I'm warning you. If you ever touch my clothes again… I'll take you out."

"Oh, come on, Fern," Deeks drawled from where he was following Kensi out into the hallway.

"And don't call me Fern."

"You're so mean," Deeks whine was heard from down the hall.

Gazing sleepily toward the door Kensi and Deeks had just exited, one corner of Callen's mouth turned up a little. "They'll end up married someday."

"Those two?" Sam stiffened. "To each other?!... No way Kensi's would ever marry Deeks."

"Mar' my word. Zomeday…" Callen softly slurred, just before his eyes slid shut.