Allies by WickedBlue
Warnings: h/c, swear words, torture, irate blonds and mean bad boys
Summary: NCIS Los Angeles – The Magnificent Seven ATF AU crossover: Callen's past as an undercover agent gets him into trouble.
Many thanks to my wonderful beta achillies-eel.
This is it: the last chapter. Thanks to everyone who stuck to it to the very end, and of course especially to Skippy1967 who supported 'Allies' and me every step on the way. You are awesome!
They hadn't made it very far before Chris stumbled, his foot getting caught up in some roots. Loosing the gun in the process, he fell forward, barely slowing his fall with his arms.
Callen already was several meters away before he noticed that the other man was missing.
Turning around, he saw Mayfield's goons closing in on the blond agent, and he ducked behind a tree, his thoughts running wildly as he contemplated what to do next.
He had to get Chris out of their hands somehow. He had eight bullets in his gun, and there were three guys out there. Altogether, those odds weren't too bad.
But they also had Chris, so he had to be extra careful not to get the other man killed
Suddenly, he heard one of Mayfield's man calling out, "Collins, we know you're here. Come out or I will kill the agent."
Great, Chris thought. This guy must be stupid if he thinks that would work on a man like Darkov. Although the guy had saved his life a couple of times today, and Chris had certainly seen a different side of him; but he still wasn't sure how much of that had been real and how much had been to get his help in escaping from Mayfield. No, Darkov was probably far away by now.
Apparently, one of Mayfield's men shared his sentiments. "You really think Collins will come back for that agent, Thomlins?"
"It doesn't hurt to try, does it?" the man, Thomlins, replied, his eyes roving across the forest.
"This is your last chance, Collins; come out with your hands up, or he's dead." To prove his point, Thomlins pointed his gun on the side of Chris' head.
Chris didn't know who was more surprised, he or Mayfield's men, when Darkov suddenly stepped out from behind a tree, his hands up and behind his head.
"I'm here," Darkov said his eyes passing over the three men to stop on Chris. "Now, take your gun from his head," he ordered, slowly walking closer to them.
Shit, Chris just thought, silently cursing his stupidity. Collins must know that they would kill them both now. He just couldn't believe that the man had actually given himself up. For Chris. That doesn't seem to fit Darkov at all. Although the man Chris had seen here was quite different from the ruthless killer in Kiev, Chris had to admit.
To give himself up was sheer stupid… unless he had a plan, a way to get out of this situation. Maybe he thought he could talk Mayfield into letting them go, but the drug lord would never go for that. Not after they tried to escape, killing several of his men in the process. Surely Darkov would know that, so he must have another plan. Looking up, Chris studied Darkov's face for clues as he approached them.
Like he'd been waiting for it, Darkov caught his eye, as if trying to convey a message. Chris wasn't so sure what he wanted to tell him, but from Darkov's posture, he could see that the man was readying himself for an attack.
Even though Chris was waiting for it, he nearly missed Darkov suddenly bringing his hands, and the gun he had hidden behind his head, to the front, taking out the guy next to Chris with deadly precision.
Chris threw himself around to take out the next man, but suddenly, two more shots were fired. From two different guns.
Looking up, Chris saw that he and Darkov were the only ones left standing. Darkov looked pale, sweat gathering on his brows, but the gun he held in his hands was still, pointing unwaveringly into the forest behind Chris.
Unlike Chris, he didn't look surprised when four men stepped out from behind the trees. Four men Chris knew and trusted with his life.
"It's about time you turned up. Was kinda thinking you'd forgotten all about me," he said, grinning widely at them, relieved to see his friends.
"Yeah, actually, we tried everything we could to not find you. Old Bucklin here said he wanted a new team member with curves in the right places," Vin teased, ducking out of Buck's reach.
Chris just laughed, happy to hear the familiar banter. "Nice shooting there, Vin," he stated, aware that Vin's marksmanship had probably saved his life, for the umpteenth time since the tracker and sniper had joined his team.
Vin nodded at him, his eyes meeting Chris' in a silent question. Are you ok?
Yeah, I'm good. Don't worry, Chris sent back.
"Argh, stop your telepathic thingy," Buck interrupted them impatiently. "And your friend over there wasn't too bad either. Who is he anyway, Larabee?" he said, pointing at Darkov.
Suddenly aware that he had forgotten about the other man, he turned around to see how Darkov was reacting to the presence of even more ATF agents.
He was still standing there, a few meters away from Chris and his team, the gun held loosely in his hand; his posture wasn't exactly relaxed, but wasn't ready to attack, either.
He seemed to be just surveying the situation, but Chris could see that he was nearly at the end of his rope, his injuries having taken their tole.
Damn, what do you do with a perp you knew was a killer, but who had saved your life three times in one day? There was no way Chris could just let him go, even though he owed him a lot.
He just hoped Buck wouldn't kill Darkov as soon as he heard his name, and would let Chris explain first. He had been with Chris in Kiev, and while he hadn't seen the shooting itself, he had been as furious as Chris when the bust was over and Darkov couldn't be found.
Keeping an eye on Buck, he waved his hand at Darkov.
He was abruptly stopped by Vin calling out a surprised, "Callen?"
Oh shit, Chris just thought, readying himself to defend Darkov not only from Buck, but also from Vin. Maybe the ex-bounty hunter had apprehended Darkov under even another name before. Then he knew exactly what kind of man he was. But he owed the man. and he wouldn't let Vin or Buck attack him.
Chris tried to gauge Vin's reaction, but for once he couldn't read his Second's face.
Turning to Darkov. Chris found the same inscrutable expression in his eyes.
"Tanner," he acknowledged the other man, his voice betraying nothing.
After a moment of silence Darkov went on, "Heard you joined the ATF," in the same inflectionless tone.
By now, Chris had the feeling of two cougars circling each other. But as long as they were still talking and not maiming one another, Chris didn't want to stop this. He was quite curious now to see where this strange conversation would lead.
"Yeah," Vin confirmed, his eyes still fixed on the other man. "Heard you left the DEA."
Chris was so astonished by what he'd just heard that he nearly missed Darkov's reply.
Darkov shrugged sheepishly. "A friend roped me into it."
Suddenly, as if triggered by a silent prompt, both men grinned widely and said in unison, "Gibbs."
Chris was still trying to get over his surprise, but Buck was faster. "I take it, you know each other?" he asked curiously, his eyes moving from one man to the other.
"Yeah, Callen and I served together in the army. After that, I started bounty hunting, and he joined the DEA," Vin replied, not moving his gaze from Callen.
"May I inquire as to who this Gibbs is you mentioned, Mister Tanner?" Ezra joined the conversation as Chris continued standing there, his thoughts running wild.
"Gibbs is a friend, a marine we worked with on a couple of assignments. He's now working for NCIS," Callen replied this time.
Vin felt another grin tug the corners of his mouth. "So you finally gave in and joined NCIS, I heard," he said brightly, a teasing glint in his eyes.
"Yeah," Callen confirmed, grinning sheepishly. "You can only put up with so much of him dissing the DEA and praising NCIS. It's like brainwashing, I swear," he complained, still grinning.
Chris still couldn't get his head around what was happening here. So Darkov was not Darkov - and not Collins, either - but Callen, a special agent working for the NCIS? And Vin knew him? And from what he could gauge, knew him quite well, even if they might not have actually talked to each other for some time? Well, enough to let his guard down, anyway, and that didn't happen with many people outside of the team.
But before Chris could sort totally through his confused thoughts, he saw Callen pale even more, his legs giving out under him as he sank to the ground.
Chris and Vin were the first ones to reach the wounded man's side, quickly joined by Nathan. Vin started to quietly talk to him while Nathan checked his pulse.
Crouching next to Callen, Chris silently berated himself. He should have gotten Nathan to check on him sooner, but through all the commotion, he had totally forgotten about the man's injuries.
Not knowing what else he could do at the moment, he stood up and turned to Buck. "Did you get Mayfield?" he asked, a hard glint in his eyes.
His old friend grinned evilly. "Yeah, Josiah and JD are keeping an eye on them."
Turning more serious, he continued, "Back up and an ambulance are on their way."
"How did you find us, anyway?" Chris asked, the thought just now coming to him.
"Ahm, don't get angry, but JD and Vin decided to test one of JD's new toys on you," Buck replied, his voice taking on a slightly concerned tone.
"A new toy? What kind of new toy?" Chris asked quietly. his voice slightly clouded now by a threatening undertone.
"Just one of those new locator thingies we got last week, the ones that are supposed to be nearly undetectable if you didn't know they're there. Apparently JD bet Vin that you wouldn't find it. Just took some time to notice that you were missing," Buck explained, taking a step back as he was well aware of Larabee's often volatile temper.
But before Chris could react to what he had just heard, a moan interrupted his thoughts.
When he looked back down at Callen, he noticed that his eyes were slowly fluttering open and that Vin was still speaking softly to him.
"Come on G, open your eyes," he was saying encouragingly.
It seemed to work, and Callen blinked a couple of times at Vin before his eyes moved to settle on Chris.
"You okay?" He rasped, his eyes showing a hint of worry.
Chris couldn't believe it. This man had gone through hell, not just at the hand of their kidnappers, but also at Chris's. And he was worried for him? Chris didn't know how he could have ever thought that he was some ruthless killer.
Chris went over and crouched down next to Callen. For a moment, he didn't do anything but study the man lying there - covered in bruises, blood and sweat – as he let his mind run through the events of the last day.
Then, having come to a decision, he slowly stretched his arm out to Callen, careful not to spook the man.
"Chris Larabee, Special Agent with the ATF, and sometimes a mean, ignorant, self-righteous son of a bitch," he introduced himself.
Chris owed this man. Not only for saving his life several times that day, but also for getting Callen into this mess in the first place and for treating him with nothing but contempt and hate. He just hoped that in time the other man would forgive him. Chris had to admit he had come to like him, even when he had still thought of Callen as a killer, but had tried to push that feeling down. Now knowing that Callen was in fact an agent too, he felt relieved - relieved that the man he had come to respect and actually like was no murderer.
Still keeping his arm stretched out to Callen, he waited.
Callen tried to get his bearings.
Mayfield and his men were caught. Check. Larabee's team had saved them. Check. He was on the ground and hurt like hell. Check. Check. Check.
Damn. Ok, Vin Tanner was kneeing next to him looking worried. Check. Larabee's team was standing around them, none the worse for wear. Check.
Wait. Stop. Larabee. Where was Chris? Was he injured? What if he had been too slow, or Larabee hadn't gotten his message and had been caught in the line of fire?
No. He was sure Chris had moved away. Hadn't he?
Moving his head was harder than he thought it would be. But to his relief, he was able to see Chris standing to the side with one of his men. By now both were looking at him, Chris with a strange look that seemed to be a combination of remorse, surprise and worry, while the other man just stared at him with open curiosity.
Chris looked unharmed, but you could never be sure.
"You okay?" Callen rasped quietly, hating how weak his voice sounded. For a moment, Chris just looked at him. Callen didn't know how to read that look. Was Chris glad that he wasn't Darkov, or Collins? Or was he angry because Callen had gotten him into this situation and had never told him that he was an agent himself?
Somehow, Chris's reaction mattered to Callen. Yeah, Larabee had treated him like shit. But if it had been the other way around, Callen was sure he would have done the same. He had come to like the other man despite their problems, and hoped that, in time, they would call each other friends.
But he didn't need him. He had Sam. And Gibbs. And Hetty. That was quite a lot for a loner like himself. He didn't need Chris Larabee.
So if he was angry at him or even hateful for not telling the truth and for getting him into this situation, Callen could deal with it. He always did. It would be disappointing, though, as he had come to like and even trust the guy a bit. But Callen was no stranger to disappointment. He would get over it. Forget about the Agent, forget about what they had been through together.
Callen nearly had given up on getting a reply, when Chris came over to his side. For a moment he did nothing but look at him with an unreadable expression on his face. Callen didn't know what to expect. He tensed slightly, but knew that he wouldn't be able to do much if Larabee decided to attack him.
When Chris stretched his arm out to him, only the slow speed of the movement kept Callen from flinching. Expecting the worst, he was astonished when Chris's hand stopped in front of him and introduced himself - and what an introduction that was; an introduction that was both an apology and an offer of friendship in one.
Totally caught off guard by this unexpected gesture, Callen didn't know how to react for a moment. Looking at Chris, he tried to gauge the other man's intentions. But Chris's eyes only showed something between compassion, remorse, worry and friendship, and he detected no hint of deception.
Taking a leap of faith and trust, he grabbed the other man's lower arm.
"G. Callen, best undercover agent of the alphabet soup," he stated grinning at Chris.
For now, that was enough. Both men knew that there would be some talking, later, when Callen was better. But for now, they had found peace with each other, and maybe the beginnings of a friendship.
Time would tell.
This is it. 'Allies' has come to an end - or maybe a beginning?
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this fic as much as I did writing it.