ONESHOT: Just a little fluff from NCIS LA: RED…
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from NCIS:LA or NCIS: LA RED.
The snow was pelting down. Idaho was unforgiving in winter. Danny was doing his best navigating through the mist, dark and sleet. The other team members were discussing the case, trying hard to piece some of the puzzle together. Suddenly out of the dark, the car's interior was set ablaze by the blinding light of a snowplough. Paris yelled out, "Pull over Danny. Let him through." But before Danny could react, the monstrous machine ploughed into their SUV with its shovel. The hard sharp edges cutting through the SUV's chassis like butter. They screamed and they shouted; chaos ensued.
Again they were hit, forcing Callen's weight to slam into Paris. Danny's limp form was catapulted onto Sam, who wriggled and squirmed to retrieve his gun. He had to do something. It was too dark and it was all happening too fast. A third time the death machine forced its might on the SUV. This time the car was trapped against an icy steep slope, and it was slowly being crushed by the power of the snowplough. Paris yelled as she tried to keep herself for being crumpled, pushing against the encroaching interior. Danny was silent and as was Callen.
Whereas Sam couldn't think straight, so he followed his gut and reacted. He lifted the gun he had managed to get free, and fired into the windshield. He pushed it out with a madman's force. It was already detached so not much effort was needed. Now he had full vision of the snowplough's front. He fired a succession of shots and kept shooting until the metal monster stopped. He climbed out, ripping his jacket on the jagged metal surrounding the car; blood dripping dark in contrast to the white snow. Paris, motivated by Sam's inspirational effort, maneuvered herself out of the back seat into the front, then out through the windshield space. She backed Sam up, showering the snowplough with bullets. They moved closer and closer, firing incessantly until their magazines are spent.
Sam carefully edged closer to the door, keeping his gun raised he identified himself, "Federal Agent." There was no movement…no response. Paris came up behind him, Sam opened the door but it slammed hard against his head. He was thrown to the ground, daze and confused. Paris tried to re-mag her gun, but the driver, bloodied and crazed, rasied his gun to her face. She was frozen looking at the maniacal driver. She was scared like a rabbit caught in headlights she couldn't close her eyes to death. When one, two, three, four, five shots rang through the air. Paris's body jolted back in shock and horror as the driver dropped the gun and fell out of the driver's seat onto the cold white ground, blood pooling around him, his expression frozen in surprise.
It took a few moments for Paris to gather her wits, then she turned her head and saw Callen, bloodied with his gun drawn, slowly slump to the ground, "Callen!" she shouted. She sprinted towards him. Meanwhile Sam jerked back to consciousness and watched the scene unfold with blurry vision. His heart raced in panic as he watched his partner silently fall to the ground, one arm around his waist and the other holding onto a smoking gun. Sam forced his hulk up from the wet snow and rushed to Callen, stumbling a few times on the way. He reached Callen just after Paris did.
Paris lifted Callen's head, wiping the oozing blood from his eyes, his amazing blue eyes. "Callen? Callen? Hey you with me?" she said loudly, trying to raise her voice over the raging wind and the roar of the engines; trying to hold back her tears.
Sam watches Callen as he tried to focus. Callen blinked furiously, but the fog just won't clear from his vision. He saw Paris but her name eluded him as did consciousness. Paris turned, "Sam you're hurt too. We need medics…NOW!" Suddenly a blaring car horn erupted the frigid air. I forgot Danny, she thought. "DANNY!" she yelled, giving Sam a knowing look…look after him. Sam nodded but that was a bad idea, his own concussion giving him no respite, as he emptied the contents of his stomach.
Paris fawned and fidgeted over Danny who seemed so close to death. She prayed the medics would arrive soon. Sam grabbed Callen's shoulder, "G…G open your eyes. No sleeping, come on man. You know the drill been through it enough times already." The brilliant blue orbs make an appearance.
"You puked…next…to me." The words stumbled out as he struggled to smirk.
"Yeah…I did. Damn idiot hit me with the truck's door." He saw Callen smile…then wince as his face contorted with pain, his body folding in on itself. Sam panicked, "G…what's wrong? Where's this blood coming from?" His hands tried to push him back, but the adrenaline made Callen strong and his urge to keep his position made it near impossible for Sam to move him. Moments passed and Callen's breathing became slower and his shoulders more relaxed. He didn't move but looked up at Sam.
Sam noticed Callen moving the arm that had had been wrapped around his waist. It came away bloodied; his whole side was bloodied, as was the snow he was sitting on. "G!" exclaimed Sam trying hard to mask his worry. Sam parted the torn clothing and discovered a long deep gash scaring his side.
"The door…I…think," added Callen.
Sam's breathing hitched as his eyes met Callen's. He knew if help didn't come now, Callen would bleed out. He'd lose his partner. He needed to stop it, if not at least staunch the bleeding. "Hold on! Hold on! I'm going to the car and find something to stop the bleeding. Keep your hand pressed hard." Callen nodded weakly and did the best he could. Sam arrived a few moments later, his face ashen from his own pain. He had found a towel, which he folded carefully and pressed it firmly against the wound. Callen's body reacted violently, "Arrgh…you could…make…my last…moments…easier…oaf!"
Sam looked at Callen, terrified. His brows knitted closely in fear, "Not on my watch. Remember Venice Beach…didn't happen then either. You need to do one thing G."
Callen's eyes had closed due to the pain and exhaustion but he managed to answer. "Yeah…what's…th..at?" his words slurring into each other. Sam was losing him.
"G…open those god damn eyes…you hold on. Use your special Buddha mind tricks and hold on. The medics are close and we'll get help G…please," begged Sam. He looked on helplessly as Callen's head slumped forward. Unconscious was better than dead. "Yeah, you never listen to me."
Paris' voice startled him from his morbid thoughts, "Sam how's Callen?" She spoke tough but it barely masked the terror coursing through her veins.
"Dying…the metal from the car cut him…the gash is deep…it maybe nicked a major vein." There he had put a name to his fear. Callen was dying and Sam was watching it happen. Then he remembered Danny. Callen wasn't the only victim here. "How's Danny?"
Paris stood staring at Callen's prone form. She didn't hear anything after the word dying…. "PARIS! Get a grip…how's Danny?" yelled Sam. He knew she needed support but he couldn't leave his partner.
She shook her head, "Danny…yeah…he's not good. Heartbeat's faint, he's unconscious…I don't know…umm…internal bleeding maybe, concussion definitely…Sam-"
A helicopter, no not one but two…they had never been so happy to hear the chopping sound of their rotor blades. Sam smiled at Paris who attempted one herself. "G!" Sam patted his cheek, "G!" Magic…Callen's eyes drew open but only marginally.
"S..mm?" he murmured without moving.
"It's here man…you're going to be alright…the medics are here." Sam moved to the side as the medics pounced on Callen.
"Shallow breathing…low BP…pupils unresponsive. Snatch and grab…lets go," said Gail.
"We have to stop the bleeding Gail," argued Mason.
"In the bird…not here." They gently placed him on onto the stretcher and then it stopped. Callen's heart stopped. "Drop. Defib now Mason," Gail yelled.
Sam rushed over, his heart sinking…nonononono, his thoughts running amuck.
"Charging, clear, go…" yelled Mason.
"Nothing," answered Gail. Sam's knees went weak as he held his face in his hands, smearing Callen's blood.
"Charging 250, clear, go…" Come on G…Come on, went Sam's thoughts, hoping his will would pull his partner through.
"Nothing. 300 Mason," ordered Gail.
"Charging 300, clear, go." There it was…the beep, and another and another.
"Let's go…Come on big guy, you too." Sam did as he was told and boarded the helicopter leaving Paris and the medics working on Danny. They exchanged a look, a look that described the hell they had survived.
Callen had barely held his own as he was transported to the hospital. That was all Sam could remember. He actually couldn't remember much after strapping himself into the helicopter. His injuries finally took their toll as soon as he knew Callen was in good hands. He woke to the antiseptic smell he knew so well and the buzzing neon lights. His eyes blinked slowly as the room casually came into view. His head hurt; it pounded to the rhythm of his heart. It took him a moment to recollect his thoughts and then piece them in the right order when he heard a voice.
"Mr. Hanna, good morning. How's the head?" she asked smiling, knowing too well what the answer would be.
Sam pulled himself up and scowled at her. "Oh…that bad. I am sorry Sam."
"How long have I been out?" asked Sam, still fidgeting trying to find comfort for his aching body.
Hetty stood and moved towards Sam, "A day. How do you feel?"
"Like an elephant sat on my head. How's G and Danny?" he asked quickly deflecting the attention.
"Special Agent Danny Gallagher is stable at the moment. His condition is serious but the doctors seem to think he will make a sound recovery. He was lucky, Mr. Hanna," she paused giving Sam a moment to ask about Callen again, dreading what he might hear.
She placed her hand on his arm, "Mr. Callen made it through surgery."
"He's alive," stated Sam, letting out a relieved sigh. Hetty nodded smiling. "I want to see him."
"He is still unconscious," replied Hetty.
"Still? I don't care…I need to see him for myself," said Sam trying to get out of bed but the floor not agreeing with him.
"Stop Mr. Hanna! Rest a moment. I will speak to your doctor and see what can be done. Don't forget your wounds need healing as well. I won't be long," appeased Hetty.
Hetty kept true to her word and Sam was wheeled into Callen's room as she waited outside. This scenario wasn't new to Sam, but it still sent a chill through his bones. Callen was on life support. The doctor had explained why…
Agent Hanna, Agent Callen's injury was severe. An artery was damaged and he lost close to 5 units of blood. Most people wouldn't have survived. He is being transfused but with such a large transfusion we are concerned about the risks. There was also major internal trauma. The wound to his side was nasty and infected. It needed a surgical debridement. It's still open until the infection disappears unfortunately. There is a draining tube for that purpose. He has a mid to high fever which is compacted by the Grade IV concussion, our Mr. Callen is a very sick boy. We've got him on life support until he is strong enough to start managing the breathing on his own. We don't want to add anymore stress to his already battered body. He's made it through the first 24 hours, but he's not out of the woods yet. The next few days are crucial. Let's pray to God he has the strength to hang on.
Sam moved closer and noticed the sheen of the fever scattered over Callen's face, the deathly palour of his partner and the dark circles under his closed eyes. He looked gaunt and so young. The scratches from the imploding windows were starting to heal but they littered his face. He could see them clearly now after all the blood had been cleaned away. He saw the source of the concussion. A stitched finger's length gash crowned his right side loosely covered by a thin gauze.
His eyes traveled to the bandaged area of Callen's torso…internal trauma Sam recollected. His eyes kept roaming until he saw the area to his side that was responsible for his condition. It was barely covered, the redness of the infection seeping through the gauze, followed by the tube draining into a small receptacle. He shook his head in frustration. It couldn't end this way for Callen, it just couldn't. Life owed him a greater death, but thoughts like these were noxious and useless. Callen was Callen and he would survive this, like he had all the times before. He grabbed Callen's hand, "Hey buddy…you doin' it again, scaring the shit outta me. Doc said you're in a bad way but we know better. Wake up G…enough with the shut eye." There was no response. Sam hadn't expected any. He sat for a few minutes until the nurse came to fetch him. Like Hetty had said, he had his own wounds to nurse.
Paris had sat with Danny long enough. His family had arrived. Now she needed to regroup and head out, but her thoughts wandered to G. Callen. She smiled at the thought of him. She had caught up with Hetty during a standard coffee break and Hetty had told her how Callen and Sam were faring. She was relieved to hear Sam was going to be just fine, but uncharacteristically upset when she heard Callen's status.
"Paris, I think you need some rest, deary," comforted Hetty truly concerned over this agent's welfare.
Paris looked at her, struggling to keep her emotions in check, "I need to see Agent Callen first…he saved my life Hetty disregarding his own. I really need to see him."
"If that's what you need to do in order to rest, go then. Mr. Callen is one of the good ones Paris," she smiled. Paris nodded as she moved away from Hetty.
She couldn't leave without seeing him…he had saved her life but there was something more, something she felt for Callen that she hadn't felt in a very long time and it scared her…frightened her to the core. She walked aimlessly down the hall towards Callen's room. Her slight frame trembled at the prospect of seeing him. For the life of her, she couldn't understand why she was acting so out of character. So she willed her hand to push against the door. She placed it there taking a moment, then leaned forward when she accidently looked through the door window. Her hand recoiled to cover her mouth. Danny looked like death warmed over but Callen, he looked like a mere shadow of himself. Paris took a long deep breath and walked in. The room was quiet aside from the machines. She stood over Callen's still form. She didn't know what to say. She wasn't good in these situations. Her hand gently caressed his hand then his cheek. A tear fell onto the white sheets. She felt herself being drawn to him…closer and closer. She couldn't help what came next. Her lips touched his forehead as light as feathers dancing on the wind. She looked around, scared that someone had seen her moment od weakness. There was no one. She squeezed his hand one more time and left. The day had brought elation and desolation; she needed sleep but she'd be back.
In the following days, Sam had been released and Callen's condition had improved. He was reacting well to the transfusions and the antibiotics were working miracles. They managed to close the wound and now he could move his aching body. His body was getting stronger as was his breathing so they had removed the breathing tube. He had been inundated with visitors. He was glad because it broke the monotony of lying in a hospital staring at the wall. That's what he was doing when she walked in, just staring at the wall reciting an old Belarus poem. He stopped when he saw Paris. She was what he needed and he smiled. She melted; her tough agent exposure crumpled like a little schoolgirl at the sight of G Callen smiling at her. Her breathing quickened as she walked towards him smiling, "Well look at you G Callen. Back in the land of the living and talking to yourself?"
"Never left it Tinkle and that was a poem in Belarusian…a love poem," he smiled, his eyes twinkling making the blue in his eyes sparkle. She certainly had a curious effect on him.
Suddenly she felt heat in her cheeks…she was blushing but she tried to keep her cold. "Cute. Never picked you for a love poem kinda guy. So how are you feeling?" she asked sitting on the side of his bed, "really…" She was serious now.
Callen took a moment. His bright smile dimmed a bit. He couldn't lie to her and he didn't know why. "I'm ok…had worse," he said looking away, recollecting painful memories, not wanting to open scars of old.
This gave her an opportunity to tear her eyes away from his. They lingered on old gunshot wounds. She frowned, "I can see. You took five. They said it was a miracle you survived. It spread all over the agencies like wildfire. An urban legend G Callen…the unkillable and invisible agent."
Callen looked up and caught her eyes; blue locked on blue. He scoffed at her. "Is that what they said? It wasn't a miracle. Sam saved my life…if he hadn't been there...That's when I started thinking having a partner wasn't such a bad idea."
His words made Paris think about her own past and her own decisions. He had suddenly put this into perspective for her; actions and events that had been locked far away in the recesses of her soul. She looked at him honestly. "Yeah…maybe you're right. Talking about saving lives…I don't know how you did it, how you pulled yourself out of that wreckage considering how injured you were…but you saved my life Callen and I don't know how to thank you," she said candidly, gripping his hand tightly. They looked intently at each other. She looked vulnerable and fragile; he looked tired yet happy. He smiled at the idea of falling for this woman.
"What's so funny?" said asked a little annoyed.
"Nothing…you don't need to thank me," said Callen, trying to move and wincing in pain.
"Hey take it easy," Paris scolded, helping him adjust his aching body.
"I never get used to this…I don't do hospitals and being in one place for too long…I hate it." Paris saw the slight panic and terror in Callen's face.
Paris' hand went straight to his face, tracing the fading scars. He loved the comfort it gave him and he closed his eyes, like a puppy dog enjoying a rub behind the ears. "Won't be for much longer Callen…just do what the doctors say…then when you're out, I'll come over and make you dinner. How's that?" she teased trying to get his mind off the conversation.
"I'll just let you know now, regardless of what Sam might say, I am strictly a carnivore…don't do vegetables, and I love pie…apple specifically," he answered maneuvering his hand, so his fingers interlaced hers.
"So that's a yes?" she asked. He nodded. They stared at each other. The sexual tension gripping them both but Callen was exhausted and so frustrated as his body's failings. She noticed and it broke her heart. The great agent G Callen seemed so broken and so helpless.
"I best be going. You need to rest," she said pulling her hand away.
Callen gripped it, refused to release it then pulled her forward, "Wait…"
"Cal-len…" His look was hungry. She read it correctly and moved closer. Using all his strength, knowing he would suffer later for it, he shifted forward until their lips were a breath away. The world was still, their hearts beat in unison and the moment was perfect then their lips met and locked hungrily for what seemed an eternity until the pain became unbearable. But he wasn't letting go. He eased back against the pillows as she followed, on hand snaking to the nape of his neck and the other placed gently on his shoulder. It was innocent yet passionate, hungry yet restrained. It was something he had wanted to do since first meeting her. They finally stopped and their gazes lingered.
"You've had your fun, now you rest. You think I can't see that you're in pain G. I Joe," she said keeping up the pretense of the tough chick, but deep down she was concerned and worried.
Although Callen smiled, his deception didn't go unnoticed. He sensed her unease, "I'm ok Paris…I'll be ok."
"Yeah…" She gave him a knowing smile and started to leave.
"Hey Tinkle, see you tomorrow?" he asked, between panting breaths.
"Only if you rest, and don't think I won't check with the doctors," and with that she left.
Maybe you're the exception….thought Callen.