Hey, I finally got around to working on this one enough to post! This was going to be a one shot, but when writing just the first part, it took forever. There will be a few more chapters to tag onto the end of this one, so bear with me! Im hoping to have the next one up soon. Basic spoilers - this chapter = Legend pt. 2 Reviews are appreciated, and thanks for taking the time to read.
Disclamier - Yeah, I'm not rich enough to own any of this.
It almost happened when he was shot.
Kensi remembers the day clearly, with even the smallest detail engraved in her memory. It was the day they had taken down Hazeke and his arms buying ring, with some added problems coming in the form of Michael Rivkin, the Mossad agent operating undercover. Callen had also been undercover, trapped inside the Israeli's gun buyer's garage.
Kensi had been the first called when they needed another set of eyes on Callen. Being the only female field operative on the team sometimes sucked, especially when you had to smooth talk a sleazy terrorist. Either way, she'd gotten in and planted the camera, and sent a 'what the hell' look toward her team leader. His expression was unreadable as ever, but the woman next to him was anxious and afraid. Kensi quickly went back to her car, set a date for a repair that Hazeke would never make, and drove off, calling Macy on the way out of there.
Two hours later found Kensi trying to explain why her brand new Nissan convertible had a broken headlight to their operations manager Hetty. The older woman was just asking her if she knew how much the repair would cost the agency when Eric's voice came ringing from the ops center.
"It's Callen! Callen's been shot!"
She heard the words, but her brain couldn't comprehend. Callen was shot? But the op had ended hours ago. Some instinctive part of her managed to take control and lead her to where the computer nerd's shout came from. Inside, the large TV screen up front was showing a street corner, close to the beach. Kensi didn't recognize it, but being L.A., that didn't surprise her. What did surprise her was the action going on the screen. There was an ambulance surrounded by people, with police officers darting through, pushing them away. Medics were scrambling to lift a gurney up and into the back of the waiting vehicle. Near the ambulance was Sam, who was unmistakable even in the zoomed back angle of the camera. He was motioning to the gurney and then looked straight up at the camera they were watching him through. The look on his face sent a plummeting feeling into Kensi's stomach, and she watched as he leaped in the van and the doors closed, lights and unheard sirens clearing a path. The room watched in shocked silence until Hetty spoke up.
"Mr. Beal, can you pull earlier footage of the street?" There was no answer. "Mr. Beal!"
Eric slowly responded, and hit a few things on his keyboard. Instantly, the tape began to rewind, but was soon stopped. Kensi noticed Sam's black SUV parked to the far right of the screen. After a few seconds, Callen stepped out, and walked to the corner where the ambulance would be moments later, straight across from their camera. Kensi watched as he smiled to someone off the screen. He had such a handsome smile. Then, a black van obscured him for a moment, but not before she saw his body jolt and crumple to the ground, fruit being blasted apart behind him. Kensi wasn't sure if the strangled cry in her throat had actually come out, or if it was still stuck inside her.
The van had left as quickly as it came, and Sam ran on screen, his gun raised. Kensi could see the flash as each bullet aimed for the shooters. Sam quickly lowered his gun and ran to Callen, raising him up and grabbing his cell phone. Kensi turned away as Eric paused the screen.
"Why are we just hearing about this now?" Kensi asked, using anger to cover up her fear.
"One of our people caught Sam's call on the police radio," Eric replied, taking the image off the screen.
"Play it," Macy said, pacing behind the rest of the team.
"911, what's the emergency?"
"Stay with me G, don't do this to me. Come on! Yeah, I need an ambulance!" Sam's near frantic voice came on the line.
"Sir, what is your location?"
"Ocean Front Road, Venice." There was a slight pause before quieter calls of "Stay with me, stay with me. Come on buddy," followed.
"Okay, sir, we are dispatching units to the scene."
After the audible click of the recording ending, Kensi looked over at Macy, who was standing near Hetty. They looked up at her, and could see the request written on her face. Unfortunately, it was Macy's job to get the job done, even though they might rather be with Callen.
"Kensi, take Dom. Process that street corner."
Hours later, Kensi was standing in an elevator on her way to Angel of Mercy hospital's Intensive Care unit. Sam had given her a call earlier and told her that Callen had gotten through surgery and was moved into the ICU. She'd headed over as soon as the street had been cleared and every witness had been exhausted, but they still had no lead on the van. Breaking many a road rule on the way, it had felt like she couldn't get there soon enough...just make it to that hospital to see him and make sure that he was still there...still alive.
The doors opened with their characteristic ding and Kensi did nothing. She'd been so concerned with just getting to the hospital and to Callen that she didn't think about what she would do when she finally got there. She couldn't just run into his room, throw herself on his bed and cry because she'd almost lost him. But she couldn't just walk into his room with him lying there, nearly dead, and act as if everything was completely fine either.
"Miss, can I help you?"
Kensi blinked and realized that she was still standing in the elevator and was being examined by an old woman wearing scrubs. She had a caring, questioning look and Kensi snapped out of her trance.
"Oh, sorry," Kensi said, stepping out and letting the doors close.
"Are you here to see someone?" the woman asked, leading Kensi down the hall.
"Yes," Kensi replied, "G. Callen."
The old woman nodded her head. "Oh, yes, the young man who came in today. Another man was in the room just a moment ago, but you can go ahead in. He's just resting now," she said, and Kensi noticed that they were standing in front of a door. The woman left her there, but not before turning back to Kensi. "Don't worry, dear. He'll be fine."
Kensi nodded and put her hand on the door. Why was she so worried? They all knew that there were risks in the job they'd chosen. Hell, she was sure Callen had probably been shot before. So why was she so worried this time? Because, this was a random attack. And the attackers were still out there. And Callen was her boss, she was allowed to be worried about him. Wasn't she?
Opening the door, Kensi tenatively took a step into the room and closed the door quietly. She couldn't help the sigh that escaped her when she caught sight of Callen. His body was wrapped in bandages and his skin was pale. Kensi walked closer to him and heard the steady beeping of the monitors he was on. She never had liked hospitals, and other than the sight and the smell, the sounds were the reason. There was the constant drip of the pain killers, the beep of the heart monitor, and the pnuematic sound of the machine pumping air into his lungs, but not a sound came from the man himself, and that scared her.
It was so unnatural to see him like this. Callen was usually the picture of strength, both physically and emotionally. And seeing him like this, unconcious and clinging to life, it just seemed so...wrong.
Looking around, Kensi didn't see Sam anywhere in the room. Guessing he must have stepped out, Kensi took the chair he'd probably been occupying, and pulled it up to the side of Callen's bed. Instinctively, she reached over and touched his hand. It was cold, but she ignored her brain's warning and questions and slid her smaller hand into his palm. She looked at his face and felt the tears well up, wondering why she felt as though she'd taken those bullets, and not him.
She almost fell in love with him when he was shot.