Inspired by the NCIS: LA episode Higher Power (3x11) mostly the conversation in the car:

*Talking about the pony toy*

Sam: "That's what I'm talking about, I have a bad feeling I'm not going to find one."

Callen: "Yeah, maybe Santa Clause will bring it to her."

Sam: "Maybe I'll tell her Uncle Callen said he'd get it for her. It's okay baby girl, Uncle Callen didn't mean to let you down."

Deeks: "That's messed up!"

Callen: *looking horrified* "You wouldn't."

Kensi: "You shouldn't."

Sam: "Ho-ho-ho."

I just got the feeling that Callen enjoys being a part of Sam's children's lives, the way he looks completely horrified by potentially being Sam's Christmas Scapegoat.

I also wanted to show how much a part of Sam's life Callen actually is and how much about Sam's home life he knows but I couldn't work all this into Blood and Bone. So it can be read as part of the series- but it stands alone just fine.

::

Callen paused outside of the door, he'd never done something like this before and was far more nervous than he had expected to be. He looked down at the gift bags in hand and wondered if what he chose was appropriate. Then again, he'd asked the woman at the store, and she seemed to know what she was talking about. He knocked before he lost the nerve, but as he waited the internal debate continued.

"Gregory!"

He looked up and put a smile on his face. "Michelle," he greeted warmly and reciprocated her hug with his free arm, they pulled away and he grinned at her, "you look fantastic."

She smiled, "you're a charmer," she stepped back and held the door for him, "come on in."

He did and kicked off his shoes, "so...?" He could hardly contain himself, he was excited and a little scared at the same time.

She gave him a warm smile. "Come on, I'll show you," she lead him through the house. He'd been at a many times, but this time was special, this time it was different. She opened the door, and he knew which room it was- he should- he spent weeks helping paint and put together the furniture inside.

The nursery had really come together, not knowing the gender of the child they'd gone with a light green. The crib was a light oak with a shine finish, the blankets were also green, there was a changing station made from the same oak. A large giraffe decal was stuck to the wall, they'd been determined to get it up right after the first three had ripped. There was a rocker in the corner that just finished off the room perfectly.

Michelle had worried so much about what colour, what furniture, what decor they would put in the room, her husband had wanted to make it a surprise, and a surprise it was- it was absolutely perfect.

Callen smiled as he walked in, there was something strange and yet natural seeing his partner Sam Hanna standing in the middle of the room gazing lovingly at his first born child. "Congratulation Sam!" Callen had been on an assignment and this was the first time he'd seen Sam with a baby.

"Thanks man, glad you're back G."

As far as Michelle knew Sam had quit SEALS and become a legitimate business man- instead he had joined NCIS Office of Special Projects. As far as she knew Gregory Callen was a co-worker, now friend- who worked in the same office. It was easier giving her an actual name to call him than explain that his name was just 'G' and keeping with a 'g' name Sam would never have to remember to call him it. It worked well for the both of them.

"Glad to be back," and since Michelle was still in the room he added, "be glad you missed those board meetings, Chicago," he said the city name with great distain, "rained the entire time. Miserable."

Michelle smiled, "I'll leave you to your own devices, I'll call you when supper is ready, you're staying right Greg?"

Callen grinned, "if you're inviting me."

"I'll set an extra plate," and she closed the door behind her.

"How did it go?" Sam wanted to know, he'd been worried about his partner.

"Fine, Kensi did have to put some makeup on me before sending me over though, if I came over with a shinner Michelle would ask questions. Now enough about work, boy or girl?"

Sam smiled and there was pride in his eyes, "a boy."

Callen stepped closer and kept his hands behind his back like a child in a store of glass. "Cute, got more hair than you already."

Sam laughed, another time, another place he might have launched a line back but he had his newborn son in his hands and he couldn't find it in him to be agitated with his partner. "You want to hold him?"

"Oh God no," Callen took two quick steps back. "I mean... no, I'm good."

Sam laughed, "it's just a baby! Come here."

"Sam," Callen said the name like a warning.

"Come here, G, you have to hold him." Reluctantly Callen came forward. "Okay put your arms like mine," Sam instructed and Callen mirrored his partner's pose. Sam carefully placed the baby in Callen's arms. "You just got to be careful with his neck, not strong enough yet to hold his own head up."

Callen looked down to the newborn in his arms, it was odd, the child wasn't his but he found his heart swell just at the sight of the little boy who was looking around with unfocussed dark brown eyes. He studied the baby, who after much deliberation, Callen decided the new bundle took after his parents equally. Sam's eyes and strong bone structure was present, but the lips and slightly upturned nose were traits of Michelle.

"You know you can move, and breathe right G, you won't break him."

Callen took careful steps and found a security in holding the baby more like... well an infant than before when he'd held the bundle like a bomb. "So what did you name him?" Callen asked after a moment, growing up with only a letter made names of little importance, but he figured that he should know his partner's son's name.

"Zachary," Sam responded.

"Zachary," Callen repeated in. He held the baby in one arm while pulling the blanket down a little to catch sight of little hands. "Please tell me you won't call him 'Z' for short."

Sam laughed, "I'd call you by a name if you had it." From anyone else it might have stung, but from Sam, Callen didn't mind. "Zack for short."

The baby grabbed on to one of Callen's fingers and he looked down at the baby in awe. He moved the finger slowly but the baby held on, "he'll grow up to be tough, hopefully though he'll keep his hair and take more after his mommy."

"Very funny," Sam responded taking great joy in his best friend discovering the wonders of a baby.

"Oh here," Callen kicked at the bags, "I doubt he'll be opening them. Wasn't sure what was appropriate so I kept the receipts."

Sam bent down and opened the oversized yellow bag first finding a olive green, very urban looking baby bag that lacked the look of an actual baby bag.

"There was a guy walking in down Venice with his kid and this baby blue baby bag... never seen a man look more emasculated in my life. Had to make sure that wasn't you." Callen explained.

Sam laughed, "thanks man, Mitch has these awful cotton ones with bunny prints." Sam shook his head while opening the second bag to find a soft beige bunny rabbit and a white blanket with a rubber duck motif. Sam smiled, "they're great G, thanks, he's going to love them." Sam stood back up and studied his partner who was still looking a little awestruck by Zachary. "So, G, I wanted to ask you something."

"Yeah, sure, what?" Callen responded not really paying attention. He was studying the little wrinkles on the finger joints.

"Mitch and I were wondering..." Sam smiling as Zachary burped causing Callen to jump. "We were wondering if you'd be Zack's godfather."

Callen looked up incredulous, "what?"

Sam laughed, "Michelle and I want you to be Zachary's godfather."

"Yeah, man," Callen smiled, "I'd be honoured."

There was a quick double knock and Michelle poked her head in. She took one look at Callen and then looked to Sam, "you asked him already."

"Yes, and he said yes," Sam responded.

"Great," Michelle came in and stood by Callen cooing over Zachary. "Well, lets get moving boys, dinner is done."

At this the baby started crying and Callen looked startled, "oh God, someone take him."

Sam laughed and Michelle took Zachary carefully into her arms and started singing as she left the room. "You ever not going to freak out when he cries?"

"Unlikely," Callen responded looking around the room. "So you're a dad. What's it like?"

"Exhilarating," Sam replied, and Callen knew due to their work that when Sam said 'exhilarating' he meant it. "Terrifying," Sam shrugged, "I know what's out there and now I have this little infant..."

"You'll protect him," Callen responded.

"And if something happens to me?" Sam looked meaningfully at Callen. The job held no promises of safety, of life beyond the day.

"I'll protect him," Callen promised.

"And if both of us-'

Callen felt it necessary to cut him off, "don't even go there, you got my back, and I'll make damn sure you come home to this every night." Callen crossed his arms across his chest, "but Hetty would take care of him, you know that. This child has the biggest network of badass aunts and uncles imaginable."

Sam smiled, "thanks G."

"Anytime," Callen opened the door to the nursery and looked back, "you coming? You know I only came over for Mitch's cooking."

"Keep telling yourself that G," Sam argued, "you're under the baby spell too."