Author's Notes – I cannot claim anyone associated with NCIS: LA. Unfortunately!
I realize I am currently behind on updating one of my stories and I promise I am working on the chapter, but this kept popping in my head and wouldn't go away. It seemed writing it would eliminate the distraction.
I am not really sure about this piece, but I figured I would post it and let you guys decide. My thought was to give a reflection of sorts for Callen and a look at where the team may be after several years.
The last little part where Callen is reflecting on something Hetty said was from Season One, Episode Eleven (Breach).
Leaning back in his chair, Callen takes in the scene in front of him and marvels at what he sees. It's the Tenth Annual For The Hell Of It Party. He really isn't sure how it became an annual thing, but it has nonetheless. It was a good way to get everyone together and catch up with life. Everyone is here once again and they are having a great time as usual. Letting himself think back through the years, Callen counts down the most memorable events from each year.
It's been fifteen years since they all worked together at the Office of Special Projects. Just as with anything else in life, people move on and create more memories. As with any other good friends, the former team have kept in contact over the years. They don't get together nearly as often as in years past, but this party has been a guaranteed way to get everyone together.
Hetty finally retired and handed the reins of the team at OSP to Callen. As much as Granger and Callen didn't get along, they found a mutual middle ground that allowed things to flow smoothly most days. It bothers Callen some days that he is on the sidelines, but he does occasionally go with the team on missions which helps squelch his restlessness. He also trains daily to keep his skills up to par.
Sam took the team leader position vacated by Callen and has proved to be more effective in some ways than Callen. Sam has an innate ability to motivate the team that proved highly effective in keeping the team cohesive. The years have worn on the older man and he has considered more than once when retirement will come.
Kensi stayed on with the team for two years before leaving to work private security for a few key clients. Her reputation meant she was not only highly recommended and regarded, but paid very well. The financial freedom allowed her to open her own business that now employs ten people. Having employees has also given her more freedom to not work nearly as much and enjoy her new life outside of OSP.
Deeks, being Deeks, remains officially employed by NYPD. He never opted to become an agent as he just couldn't see himself as anything other than a cop. Tensions still run high from time-to-time at the precinct, but Deeks knows it all part of the politics. He still works as a liaison for OSP and it seems, over the years, his undercover assignments with NYPD have all ended for the most part and he spends everyday at OSP.
Nell and Eric remain in the ops center and continue to be an invaluable asset. Their skills are unrivaled and, over the years, they seemed to have created this unbelievable connection that rivals any partners working at OSP. Most days, it seemed they didn't even need to speak to get their meaning across to each other.
Fourteen years ago, Kensi and Deeks finally got married. It proved to be a fast courtship leading up to the beach wedding attended by all their friends and family. Of course, everyone knew about their thing long before they admitted to anything, so the courtship really spanned several years.
This was also the year Callen and Nell started officially dating. Something about seeing her all dressed up at Kensi's wedding set Callen's desire to give in to his feelings into high gear and he finally asked her out. It was hard for him at first and he fought his own tendency to push away anything remotely personal and they persevered. Nell proved to have just as much tenacity in her private life as in the office and she refused to let Callen ruin a good thing just because he was afraid.
Thirteen years ago, the world welcomed another Deeks. Kensi never told Callen and Sam that was her reason for a job change, but two months after leaving OSP when she announced her pregnancy everyone understood. Kaelani Julia Deeks was born just before the end of summer and was the perfect mix of her parents.
This also marked the year when the former team first started feeling pulled apart by their personal lives. Kensi's new job pulled her out of the mix frequently. When you add in the arrival of Kaelani, both she and Deeks were frequent no-shows at dinners designed to keep them all in contact. It became so frequent that Nell and Kensi set up weekly lunches so they could at least stay in close contact, while Callen, Sam, and Deeks remained close through the office. Eric seemed to ride the line depending on the moment. Of course, Hetty spent a lot of time traveling the world and just seemed to appear at random when everyone least expected it.
Twelve years ago, Callen made a huge move. He proposed to Nell Jones. The proposal was a shock to everyone except Eric. Unbeknownst to anyone else in the circle, Eric had helped Callen plan the entire evening. Eric was also the one who lured Nell to the spot in question. Callen had been gone on business in Washington and wasn't due back for two more days. Eric, under the guise of distracting his best friend, convinced Nell to meet him at a new restaurant in town. The plan went off without a hitch and Nell happily agreed to marry Callen.
Eleven years ago, to the day of the proposal, Callen and Nell were married. It was a big wedding and everyone made an appearance. The after-party was such a nice change of pace for the friends and all felt the night could go on forever without anyone caring. Hetty came back in time for the ceremony as well as Nate. As the night wound down and guests began to leave, Callen felt a bit sad to see the dispersal of those who had once been so close everyday.
Six weeks following the honeymoon, Nell and Callen got a big surprise of their own. She was expecting. They hadn't really talked about when to start a family, though they both knew it would happen eventually. They waited until the first trimester passed to let anyone know their news as both were a little worried about those beginning months when anything could happen. Everyone was happy to hear their news and very excited to meet the newest member of their scattered family.
Ten years ago welcomed the newest Callen baby, rather babies, into the fold. The identical twin boys were born one week late and were just another in many surprises over the years. No one knew Nell was having twins until they arrived, not even the expectant parents. Because the pregnancy was completely normal and healthy, the only ultrasound they had was at the end of the first trimester to estimate the due date. The twin had apparently remained hidden for this one-time viewing. They used a midwife and she said sometimes the heartbeats are so close to each other it's impossible to differentiate. Joseph Samuel and Matthew Sage were born looking exactly like their dad. It seemed Nell's genes were nowhere to be found in their boys.
Ten years ago also welcomed another Deeks into the mix. Kensi gave birth just two months after Nell and also had a little boy. Deeks refused to let Kensi name their son after him and felt it was much more fitting to honor her father. Cain Donald was born three weeks early and came home a week later after a brief stay in the hospital. He favored his dad in more ways than Kensi, but was also a pretty good mix of his parents. The pair was very excited to have Callen's boys so close in age and hoped the trio would grow to be good friends just as their parents had.
It seemed fitting to start a new tradition in light of all the changes everyone was experiencing. They decided to have a party just for the sake of getting everyone together. They could celebrate the new births as well as remember good times. Thus, Callen and Nell threw a party just for the hell of it. After it was such a success, they decided to make it an annual thing.
Nine years ago was the hardest of them all up to that point. The team were killing time on a particularly boring week with nothing big in the works, when their world took a spin. Nate Getz was unexpectedly killed during an undercover op gone wrong. He had been deep cover for more than a year and was compromised when a rogue agent went bad. It took two months to track the man responsible, but in the end they caught him and he is currently locked up for life.
They all took the news really bad and it hit closer to home than any of them experienced in a really long time. It had been a pretty uneventful several years with just the basic injuries; nothing like this. Just as they were recovering from Nate's death and the closure of the case, they were hit with another tsunami. Eric was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, it was caught early, but it was months of recovery and treatments to get him back on his feet. They all spent a little more time cherishing their loved ones in light of the tragedies that befell them that year.
Eight years ago marked a year of celebration. Sam and Michelle's daughter turned sixteen and the whole team was on-hand for the festivities. Nell and Callen added a new baby to the already hectic days of everyday life. It seemed there was no point in discussing family planning in their home as nature tended to just take its course. Nathaniel Michael was born healthy and it seemed genetics were more on Nell's side for this little one. While young Nate had his daddy's eyes, the rest of his features were a mix of Callen and Nell.
Eric celebrated his one year anniversary of the cancer being in remission with a proposal of his own. He met Sarah during his treatments and they had developed a relationship that was known only to Callen and Nell. Kensi and Deeks celebrated the year with a family vacation to the beach. While Hetty made one of her various appearances, this time she actually stayed for a couple months.
Seven years ago, Eric and Sarah were married in a Vegas wedding that would have made anyone jealous. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on who you are, the pair were both geeks in a major way. Whatever obnoxious theme any of those close to them could have concocted was put to shame by the nuptials. But the bride and groom were happy, so that's all that counted. It also gave the couples a nice weekend vacation. Luckily, the grandparents were on hand to watch over the children.
Six years ago marked the birth of the final Deeks baby. A bouncing baby girl that looked just like her mama; save the tuft of blonde hair on her head. Genevieve Rebecca was born on her due date and joined her big siblings the day after her birth. The family of five settled in a new home and adjusted to the schedule changes a new baby added to an already hectic life.
Sam and Michelle's daughter graduated from high school with honor's which resulted in yet another epic bash for celebration. The Hanna's never did have another baby and were quite happy with the decision, especially after seeing the craziness of the Callen and Deeks household. Now the parents were entering a whole new realm of empty nest syndrome as they sent their little girl off to college.
Five years marked a calm year with no major changes. Sam and Michelle were adjusting well to their new life with their daughter at college and even seemed to be enjoying the perks of not having children in the home. Kensi and Deeks seemed to find a seamless schedule with their kids and were enjoying the everyday chaos three kids brought. Eric and Sarah were busy enjoying all life had to bring and traveled as often as they could. Callen and Nell were finally getting relaxed in their busy routine with three young boys and even talked about adding to their family at some point. Hetty had finally settled back in Los Angeles and seemed to be slowing down on her constant traveling.
Four years marked the year some wondered if they would ever really be able to recover from. Henrietta Lange passed away. Callen took her death especially hard. She had been the mother figure in his life for so long and he never really imagined life without her around. The only person who he let see his trauma was Nell, even though everyone close to them knew how hard her death was on him. It took months before he would open up to Sam about her death.
Three years ago marked a year to recover. Callen and Nell took an extended vacation for two months to allow him to work through the aftermath of Hetty's death. They were missed by all, but it was a necessary step in the process. The party was hosted by Kensi and Deeks this year as it was just too hard for Callen to process the yearly event without Hetty. She had passed away just a week after the one the year before.
Three years also saw Eric and Sarah work on adding to their family. It was a little trickier for them than some other couples as the cancer meant Eric had to make concessions for the possibility of a family in the future. He is eternally thankful Callen and Nell convinced him of the importance of this step, even when he couldn't see the point.
Two years gave way to the arrival of a new Beale to the mix. Tanner Eric Beale was born healthy and weighing the most out of any of the babies born throughout the years. He definitely looked like his daddy which left Sarah feeling much like Nell after the birth of Joseph and Matthew. The couple celebrated with the purchase of a new home to accommodate their new family size.
Callen also re-joined the land of the living so to speak this year. It seemed the birth of the new baby helped Callen heal the rest of the way. The party was back at his house and everyone was happy to see the new sense of calm Callen had found. Sam had been especially worried about his old friend and was extremely happy to see the change.
Last year was much the same with nothing unexpected or new. The usual cases were seen by those remaining at OSP and everyone seemed to just be happy with the new normal that surrounded their everyday life. The group actually took a much needed vacation all together in a secluded wooded area. They made sure to rent a large cabin for those who weren't interested in camping on the property. It was the first group vacation they had taken and several thought this could also become an annual tradition.
Callen revery is broken as he hears the unmistakeable groan of a now teenaged Kaelani as her parents go over with her once again why she was not allowed to bring friends to what amounts to a family get-together. He laughs as he considers when that conversation will happen with his own kids. Looking over at his boys playing happily with Cain, he can safely say they have indeed become best friends just as their parents had hoped when Cain was born.
Sam and Michelle's daughter is home from college now and taking some time off before going back to complete her Master's Degree. She has grown into such a beautiful woman and it amazes Callen everyday that she is old enough to be a college graduate. Eric and Sarah are expecting another baby which they are happy to announce will be a little girl, especially considering they will not be having any more kids.
Callen looks over by the play area and watches Nate playing with Genevieve. He can't help but wonder how much of the psychologist has seeped into his boy's psyche as it seems the youngster is well on his way to becoming a counselor even at this early age. Maybe it's the name.
Nell catches her husband's eye as he watches her from across the yard and gives him a curious glance. She smiles at Sarah and Tanner before lifting her own bundle into her arms and heading to see what's on Callen's mind. She hands the newborn over to Callen and smiles as he straightens the little girl's dress. Clara Henrietta Callen was born just three weeks before the annual party and marks the last of the Callen babies. The little girl looks just like her mother in every way and, if Callen's wishes are fulfilled, she will stay that way.
Taking stock of everything he has in his life, he can't help but feel like Hetty was onto something all those years ago when she told him to make sure they all took time to smell the roses. He definitely was doing just that and he could say with complete confidence that the hopes she had for him to find a life outside OSP have indeed come to fruition. And he could not be happier.
Author's Notes – With any luck I haven't offended anyone with the deaths of Nate Getz and Hetty Lange.