Value in Being Patient
~A NCIS: Los Angles/Batman Crossover Story~
Tag to NCIS: L.A., Ep. 1.20 "Fame"
I want to thank Angelprincesslilac for her beta reading/editing, superior use of the comma, and encouragement.
Summary: Hetty recalls just when Callen came under her radar.
Disclaimer: NCIS: LA and any other recognizable characters belong to their creators. The episode "Fame" was written by Shane Brennan and Speed Weed. The author is, sadly, in no way associated with any of the owners, creators, or writers of these characters. This story was written purely for the enjoyment of the author and, hopefully, for the entertainment of others.
"Fame" – Season 1, Episode 20 – final scene directly transcribed by the author
Callen: That's not what you wanted him for. You do your homework, don't you? In choosing agents? Deeks didn't end up in this building because we needed some LA police liaison. You've been watching him for a while.
Hetty: There is value in being patient.
Callen: So, how long did you watch me before I joined NCIS? When did G. Callen become a blip on your radar? Was it Kiev? Houston? Bogotá? Don't tell me it was, ah, Jersey City.
Callen: You mean, Beijing?
Hetty: Tea, Mr. Callen. (Showing a canister of Dragon Pearl/Peking Tea).
Callen: It was Jersey City wasn't it?
Hetty watched as Callen left. She had told him the truth about when he came under "her radar" as he described. She had first noticed him because of Peking Tea, but she had no plan of telling him what she meant by the comment anytime soon. She would be patient and wait until he figured it out himself.
Hetty remembered the first time she saw him vividly, how could she not? She had been having breakfast with an old friend. They were sitting at his kitchen table sipping tea. . .
"Oh, this is very good. Where did you get it?" Hetty asked. "It reminds one of a Tieguanyin Tea."
"You are close, Henrietta. It is a type of Oolong. It is made by a friend in the Fujian providence. He calls it Peking Tea, because his late wife was from Beijing."
"Ah, and, of course, with a Fuijanese dialect he would pronounce it as Peking rather than Beijing," Hetty realized.
"My friend lives in Xiamen."
The man nodded in agreement. "Tea from that providence . . ."
Her friend's sentence was cut off as a young man of about nine years of age came bounding into the room very quickly.
"Good morning, Alf!"
The boy skidded to a halt when he saw Hetty, but not before he bumped into the table causing the teapot to start fall into Hetty's lap. Before Hetty could even blink, the boy had deftly caught the teapot and in one smooth motion was adding more tea to her cup.
"Allow me, please, Ma'am," he said as he poured the tea. Hetty could only stare for a moment as the young man smiled brightly pouring her tea. He was the picture of innocence as if nothing has been amiss. He looked her in the eye and winked before returning the teapot to the table.
"Master Richard, what have I told you about running in the house?"
"Don't get caught?"
Alfred just raised an eyebrow at him.
"And what do you think I should do about it?"
"Let me off with a warning?" Richard suggested, hopefully.
"I believe I should let Miss Lange decide your fate, since you nearly caused the Lady, my guest, to be covered in hot tea."
"Miss Lange?" Richard turned to her looking sad and apologetic.
"You may call me Miss Hetty, Master Richard." Hetty just stared at the boy. He was very convincing, both when he was smiling, acting the picture of innocence, when he poured her tea, and, now, doing his best interpretation of a whipped puppy to hopefully play on her sympathies. She'd wager that he would fool most people with that face, too. Not too old pros like Alfred and herself, of course. Not yet, anyway. Still . . . he was special, that one. He warrants watching as he gets older, she thought, briefly. "I will not be leaving town until tomorrow. I think I will tell you my decision before I leave."
Richard looked up at her in question.
"You heard the Lady, Master Richard. Breakfast will be ready in about fifteen minutes. I suggest you go find Master Bruce and inform him of this, please." Alfred told him sternly.
Richard turned to Hetty before leaving, "Miss Hetty?"
"I am sorry, Ma'am."
"Thank you, Master Richard," Hetty replied.
Richard left the room quietly. As soon as he was gone, both Alfred and Hetty started to chuckle. "Oh, Henrietta, I think you have the lad frightened about what sort of punishment you will devise."
Hetty only smiled in reply. "Your boy is something else. Is he the lad you were telling me about?"
"Yes, his name is Grayson. Master Bruce took him in about a year ago. His presence in this house has been a Godsend," Alfred told her, clearly proud of the boy.
"I could tell. The house has felt warmer this visit. I can see why you are so proud of him, Alfred."
Later that evening, Hetty was out to dinner, alone. Alfred had canceled stating that there was something of a minor emergency with Master Bruce and that he would not be joining her. Hetty was no stranger to dining alone and she really wanted to have dinner at the Masquerade Club. She had heard they had the best Peking Duck in the city. She also heard that it maybe the base of operations for the Russian mob in this city. Either way, the spot was worth examining.
As she sat in a corner, eating, she started to hear what sounded like a scuffle coming from behind the wall. Moments later a man came flying through the wall. She recognized the man instantly. This was Batman. There was also something else about him . . . Before she hardly had a chance to think, goons came out of the new opening in the wall followed by a young boy who she guessed must be Robin.
Robin tackled one of the goons, before another goon sent him flying into one of the tables. Hetty watched as he stood-up, picked-up the bottle of wine that had fallen from the table he landed on, and started pouring it for the couple seated at the table. "Allow me, Ma'am;" he said with a smile as he poured the wine, then proceeding to whack the goon that came up behind him with the now empty bottle, before flipping backwards over the guy's head and kicking the goon again before he landed.
The phrasing, the precise pitch and cadence of the voice, even the smile. . . . She knew she had seen this scene, this player before. She had realized the first time she had seen it that the boy was special; this just added the proverbial cherry on top. Oh, how she loved being right.
Hetty watched the fight as Batman fought goons on one side of the room and Robin fought them on the other side. Robin had actually tied-up or rendered all but one of the goons on his side of the room unconscious, when he risked glancing over at Batman. It was then that Hetty saw the last goon sneaking up behind Robin. She was close to him this time. She could not allow the boy to be hurt; so, she reached over and grabbed the long cast-iron pepper mill, the one the server had abandoned at the table next to hers when the scuffle broke out, and hit the goon across the back of the knees, sending him face first into the floor.
Robin turned to face her. She thought for a moment she had seen a surprised sort of recognition on his face, but she could not be sure. It was gone too quickly to be certain.
"Thank you." He said quickly with a nod.
Robin rejoined the action and he and Batman managed to take care of most of the goons (and she and her pepper mill had taken care of a few, as well) before the Police arrived on the scene.
The next morning, when Hetty was packing her bag, she heard a timid knock on the door.
"You may enter, Master Richard."
The door opened and the boy entered in. "How did you know it was me?"
"One day," Yes, one day, she had decided. "You will come to understand that I know everything." She smiled down at him before winking at him.
"You wish to know what your punishment will be?"
"Yes, Ma'am. I am sorry." He was clearly earnest in his admission. "I know you could have been burnt by the tea."
"I think you have realized your mistake. I shall let you off with a warning – this time. However, Master Richard, I expect you will not repeat this mistake again."
"No, I won't."
Over the years, she kept track of the boy through Alfred and through the press. He was never far off her radar. One morning, she was sitting at her desk when she received a package addressed simply to "Henrietta." She opened it up and found a canister of Peking Tea, the tea Alfred had introduced her to so many years ago. There was, as usual, a small note from Alfred. Of interest, was a second note, not written in Alfred's hand that contained a name: G. Callen, an address in Jersey City, and a message that said only, "Alfred says you're good. Prove it."
Within the week, G. Callen had been recruited into NCIS. When Hetty met "G. Callen" for the "first time" there was never any indication that he remembered his brief meeting with her, neither when he nearly scalded her with hot tea, nor when she used a pepper mill to protect him from a sneak-attack.
Thinking of all of the good Mr. Callen had done during his time in NCIS, Hetty smiled; she loved being right, and she had most definitely been right about the boy: he was something special. There was definitely value in being patient.
Thank you for reading. I hope everyone enjoyed it and, perhaps, I convinced someone that G. Callen might just be Dick Grayson and that, of course, Hetty knows everything. Thanks, ~Teri