Author's Note: Hello, and welcome to the story! On October 1st I posted a little stream of consciousness piece called 'The Last Day,' which gave a peek into Sam's thoughts about Callen. Think of that piece as Sam's state of mind going into this story.

Disclaimer: The characters in this story are not mine- they belong to the lovely people that made NCIS and it's new spin-off, NCIS: LA. Also, this story is SLASH. That means it deals with male/male homosexual feelings, so please don't be surprised by this fact.

Now, please enjoy, and I'll try to get the next chapter up soon!


"Come on, G, looks like you've had enough. Don't forget you still have to haul your sorry ass out of bed in a few hours."

The bar was loud, and dark, and Callen had to lean in a little just to make out who was carefully prying his fingers off a mostly-empty beer bottle. Sam looked pissed, he thought to himself. But not drunk-pissed, and not fuck-you-up-pissed, but the new special kind of pissed Sam had been a lot lately, and which Callen had noticed he was usually the recipient of.

"It's only my fourth bottle, I'm fine. Go worry about Kensei. She wasn't lookin' so hot last I saw her."

Callen went to snatch his beer back, but Sam merely knocked back the contents and tossed the bottle towards a nearby garbage can.

"It was your sixth, but actually I was talking about the five shots of tequila you had before that."

Sam sighed, shaking his head at the bartender Callen had called over for another beer.

"Callen, Kensei left three hours ago. Come on, man. It's time to go."

Callen looked surprised, quickly turning to look for a clock. Already after 1 am.

"Shit! Wait, weren't you Kensei's ride? Why are you still here? Did she get home safe?"

From the tone of his voice this news had sobered Callen a little, and for that Sam was profusely ungrateful. He could usually drop his guard a little around a drunk Callen, but now his partner was drunk and alert, and the sudden scrutiny was a little overwhelming.

"I called her a cab. I wasn't ready to leave yet and she said she didn't mind."

Not a lie, but a careful omission that Sam was sure would shut Callen up. He wasn't prepared for the sly smile and knowing nod he got instead.

"Ahh, I see how it is."

Sam tensed, backing up half a step. What?

"How what is, man?"

Two steps and G was next to him, heavy arm slung around his shoulders and turning them so they faced the bar.

"Well, which one?"

Sam stared blankly for a moment, almost laughing out loud when he realized what G was thinking, and how ironically close to the truth he actually was. He quickly scanned the crowd.

"Redhead in the back corner. She's already taken, though. Come on, let's go."

Tossing a $20 at the bartender, Sam shrugged off the arm around his shoulder and nudged G towards the door.

"She's pretty, yeah, but I've got it on good authority from a close friend redheads are more trouble than they're worth. Oh, wait-"

They had almost made it to the door. Almost, so fucking close Sam could feel the cool air, and then Callen was walking the other way again.

"Now what, G? Come on."

Was the only reply, and begrudgingly Sam turned and followed him to towards the men's room, figuring he might as well too. Lord only knew where Callen was staying now- it might be a long ride.

By the time he got there Callen was already using the urinal, back facing both the door and Sam, who was standing just inside it. G was the only man Sam had ever seen that had such a hard time keeping his pants up when he was drunk; though of course, that could quite possibly have been because he rarely wore anything under the pants.

Callen (predictably, Sam thought) was completely oblivious to any other presence, standing propped against the dividing wall with one hand attending to business and the other loosely gripping his open jeans, which were sliding awkwardly down around his ass. Sam looked away, but as he did so something rather unexpected caught his eye. The fluorescent light Callen was standing under was flickering and buzzing, but in the intermittent glare Sam could make out a dark, purple/red mark- smack in the middle of his right cheek. He quickly turned away, rubbing his eyes.

"G, what the hell are you doing with a hickie on your ass?"

Sam tried to make it sound casual, perhaps mildly incredulous but mostly disinterested. Instead it came out sounding harsh and accusative to his own ears, but Callen's brief flash of insight from earlier was gone and he merely laughed as he zipped and flushed.

"Redhead." He wagged his eyebrows, taking one look at the vomit-covered sink and shrugging before heading back towards the door. "Real kinky- not usually my thing, but she knew what she was doing, I'll give her that much. I haven't sat down the same all week."

They reached the bathroom door at the same time, just as Callen stopped talking, and for a moment they just stared at each other.

"G... are you saying what I think you're saying?"

Sam knew he must look at least half as thunder-struck as he felt; a suspicion that was proven correct when Callen laughed and leaned in conspiratorially, smiling as only the drunk can when revealing a particularly juicy secret.

"I am saying exactly what you think I'm saying. Her nails were a little sharp, but man- you don't know what you're missing."

They left the bathroom and G kept walking so Sam did too, but at that point it was little more than an automatic motor function. He didn't need to be thinking about things like that, least of all involving G. He'd spent months trying not to think about it at all, any of it, but now the pictures were there in his head and they wouldn't leave. He'd never let himself actually think about the sex before. It had seemed crude, or insulting, or just wrong to think about Callen like that. G was his friend, his teammate, his partner, and you don't fantasize about your partner- you just don't. Of course, it had made things a lot easier knowing G would never go for it. But that was just it. Now he knew G would- had- gone for it, even if it was with a girl. But just the fact that G would even consider was too tempting, too fucking hot and then, in a brutal flash clarity, Sam could imagine exactly what it would be like to be the one leaving bite marks on G's ass. How his skin would feel, the kind of sounds he'd make-

But then they were sitting in Sam's car and the engine was running and Sam had no idea where they were going. He looked over, and rolled his eyes to see Callen was already half-asleep.

"Hey-" he elbowed his partner, "G, where are you staying tonight?"

Callen sat up and looked around, startled to find they were still in the parking lot. He could have sworn the car had been moving...

"Shit. Umm, just drop me at the Motel 6 over by the office. It's Thursday, right?"

Sam pulled the car out onto the street, shaking his head as he took the left turn towards his own apartment instead of going right towards the motel.

"Yeah, you've only been drinking like it's Friday."

Callen snorted, looking out the window.

"Not my fault. You were the one that said we should all go out before Nate leaves for that seminar-thing tomorrow. Hey, wait- you're going the wrong way. The Motel 6 is over there..."

He vaguely motioned to the right.

"You're not going to the Motel 6, you're going to sleep on my couch. If you go in one more day this month looking like you just crawled out of a cardboard box Hetty's going to put you on the bench."

Another snort.

"Hetty wouldn't do that. She loves me! Besides, your apartment is too noisy..."


"And why do I always have to sleep on the couch anyway?"

Sam shook his head again- it seemed he'd been doing that a lot lately. Sometimes this was just too much.

"G, did you seriously just ask that? You really expect me to sleep on my own damn couch because you can't get your hickie-covered ass an apartment?"

Callen just clicked his tongue.

"That's cold, man. Real cold. First you get me drunk, then you kidnap me and drag me back to your apartment- all to lecture me on the importance of a stable home environment? Cold. How can I ever trust you again?"

They pulled into the building parking garage and Sam found a space, killing the engine and leaving them in silence.

"G, if it's that important to you, just sleep in the damn bed. Now come on, I'm tired and we have to report at 08:00."

Sam was tired. Not sleepy-tired or even bone-deep-tired; it was just a deep, dragging, heavy sort of exhaustion that dug into his chest and made him feel a little sick.

Callen was already mostly asleep again, and Sam had to half-way drag him from the car before he could even get an arm around his waist to help him walk the rest of the way.

"You don't really think Hetty would put me on desk duty just because I don't have an apartment, do you?"

They were stopped at the gate while Sam fumbled with his keys. Everything around them was all patches of light and shadow that made time go fuzzy, and Sam sighed.

"It's not that you 'don't have an apartment,' it's that you're basically homeless right now, G. That doesn't look good for a Senior Field Agent. They need to know you're stable, that they can count on you, and right now you're making a few of the higher-ups a little nervous."

The gate was open and they stumbled up the steps and into the dimly-lit hallway.

"You're making me a little nervous, too,' Sam added silently.

"What! There's nothing wrong with me and you know it! What the fuck are they worried about? I saved that kid today! I did, in there, alone, when the stupid transmitter went out. I was flying blind and I still did it and they're worried about me?!"

Sam stopped in the middle of the hall, turning and grabbing Callen's shoulder.

"Hey-" He hissed, "Now who's loud?" A meaningful nod down the hallway full of apartment doors."Listen, I know. I know you're damn good at your job. I know they shouldn't stick their fat heads where they don't belong, but it doesn't matter. It's what they do, and if you want to stay in the game you have to play by their rules- at least once in a while."

G just stared up at him for a minute, eyes a little wide, before he silently nodded and followed Sam the last few doors to his apartment.

To be continued...
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