Chapter 3: Nurse Marty

With Nurse Monica gone, Callen seemed to let his guard down, allowing his tired eyes to gaze at the far wall. Deeks gave him a few minutes of peace and silence filled the hospital room.

Marty took a few moments to check his e-mail on his phone. He was relieved that neither Hetty nor Sam had sent him any additional instructions. Their original instructions were still resonating in his mind, though, and Monica had just echoed them. He exhaled quietly, trying not to be obnoxious to the patient who was just as lost in his own thoughts. Deeks switched between five apps on his phone, hoping to eat up a few more minutes, but managing only to distract himself for another 60 seconds. Finally, he put his phone back in his pocket. He refilled the Styrofoam cup and got up to stand by the bedside, waiting silently for Callen to take it.

Callen stirred from his thoughts, glanced up at Marty briefly, and then looked down at the sheet that covered him, keeping his face unreadable.

"Come on, Callen," Deeks encouraged quietly. "You've got to keep drinking. Sam's gonna check that fluid intake log when he gets back and you're making me look bad."

Without making eye contact, Callen reached up with a shaky left hand, accepted the cup, and began drinking.

Deeks smiled, quite pleased with himself. He had managed to get eight more ounces down Callen with minimal persuasion. The process seemed slow and Deeks was sure that, by now, Callen considered him to be a total nuisance. But at least Deeks was no longer in fear of being body-slammed by the huge ex-SEAL for not adequately hydrating his partner.

Suddenly, the door opened and a lunch tray was unceremoniously plopped down on the portable bedside table, with the deliverer gone within seconds.

"Really?" Deeks said, gazing curiously at the now closed door. "Where do they find these people?"

Deeks rolled the table to the bedside, pursing his lips, thinking. He needed to place the table in front of Callen, but realized it would not clear the side rail. He spotted a lever on the back edge of the table and figured this must be what raised and lowered the contraption—but no—instead, he inadvertently slid the tabletop forward, revealing a hidden compartment inside the table, and almost launched the lunch tray onto Callen in the process. Deeks' eyes widened as he quickly pinned the tray down and kept it from spilling. He hesitated to be sure that the tray wasn't going anywhere.

"Okay. So, that wasn't it," he muttered. Marty glanced up to see Callen watching him, with what appeared to be some degree of amusement. He focused back on the table.

Searching, Deeks found a lever at the end of the tray. "Ah Ha." I am a highly trained detective, after all—and have a law degree… No piece of hospital equipment is going to do me in. He pressed the lever, raising the table to its highest point so it cleared the bedrail, and rolled the table to where it was over Callen's lap.

"There… Wait… This isn't right." Deeks furrowed his brow. "That's way too high." There was no way a patient would be able to eat from this height; not without reaching up and raking the food onto their head. Now, he was sure he was seeing a look of amusement on Callen's face. He gave him his own look back. "What?... I haven't had nearly as much hospital experience as you."

"I think you have to lower the rail," Callen said, a hint of a smile peeking through his poker face.

Deeks sighed. The detective/lawyer rolled the table out of the way and knelt down to begin his skirmish with the bedrail.

After a couple of minutes, Callen finally took pity on his younger colleague and reached over to show Deeks how to lower the rail. But when he attempted to press one of the release buttons, he immediately jerked his right hand back, stifling a yelp.

Callen stared down at his hand with narrowed eyes, wondering why that had hurt so badly.

Marty, kneeling next to the bedrail, glanced from Callen's hand to his confused eyes, and frowned. That had to smart. "I don't think they want you to use that broken wrist just yet," he explained with a playful warning tone.

Callen continued to focus on his right hand, but now with an even more puzzled expression. "My wrist is broken?"

"Yeah," Deeks replied, finally releasing and lowering the rail. Satisfied, he stood up.


Deeks was a bit shaken by the question. Not wanting to take Callen through the traumatic events of the past few days, he opted to sidestep the issue. "I think you fell, or something," he replied simply, praying he wouldn't press the matter.

It seemed to appease Callen for the moment and Marty let out a thankful breath of air. After all, he had only been assigned to temporary nursing duties and really hoped to leave all the emotional stuff for those who were much more qualified to handle Callen… namely Sam and Hetty.

The bed rail out of the way and the tray table successfully lowered into position, Deeks moved the tray in front of Callen.

Callen glanced up at Deeks with a slight smirk. "I'm not hungry."

"Oh no, you don't, Special Agent Callen," Deeks objected playfully stern. "After all I went through? You're going to eat." He emphasized his point by dramatically lifting the metal cover from the lunch plate.

Suddenly, hospital food aroma permeated the air, not smelling appeasing, at all.

Callen, hit with a wave of nausea, shut his eyes, turned his head, and grimaced.

"Sorry. Sorry." Deeks slammed the metal cover over the plate and rolled the table as far away as he was able to. It would have made me sick, too. Nasty.

While standing helplessly, waiting for Callen's nausea to pass, Marty came to terms with the fact that the 'mother hen thing' was inevitable. It just wasn't natural for the team to see their lead agent in this defenseless state. Still, he was pleased with the fact that his degree of protectiveness came nowhere near Sam's level on the 'nurturing scale.' If the big guy were here right now, he would be hovering right over the patient. Marty found that he had, at least, stepped back a couple of feet to hover.

When he was sure Callen's queasiness had passed, he began urging him to drink, once again.

Within the next two hours, G had asked for the time and what day it was twice, and had consumed a glass of iced tea from the lunch tray, another apple juice, and two cups of water. Deeks was successfully hydrating the patient, logging every ounce, and all without any overt coddling. Sam would be so proud.

Callen suddenly shifted in the bed. His expression changed to something that resembled mild distress. He looked over at Deeks for a brief moment and then back down to the bed sheets.

Deeks noticed from the magazine he was flipping through, watching everything like a detective; not looking like he was watching. He wasn't exactly sure what was going on, so he pretended he hadn't seen anything, just in case.

About thirty seconds later, the process repeated itself; repositioning and a glance that clearly told Deeks something was not quite right.

Marty lowered the magazine. "You need something?"

Callen hesitated before looking up at Deeks. "I need to go to the bathroom."

What Deeks really wanted to say was 'Yay! No unpleasant procedure!' But what he actually said was, "Oh. I'll go get the nurse." He put the magazine to the side.

Before he could stand up, Callen disagreed. "Just help me lower the rail and I can get up and go on my own."

"Uh, I don't think that's such a good idea. You see…"

"If you'll just lower the rail… I can do the rest."

"Well, Sam said you weren't supposed to get up so I'll just go get…" Marty stood awkwardly.

"I don't need help. I've been taking care of myself longer than you've been alive."

Deeks pulled back a little, trying not to take Callen's words personally as Callen reached for the rail to his left.

Unable to manipulate both release-buttons with just one hand, Callen's frustration level escalated. He scowled at the younger detective. "Deeks. Just lower the rail!"

Callen tried to sit up. Immediately, a bolt of pain in his side brought him back down, closing his eyes and clenching his jaw against the agony.

Deeks took a half-step away. Not good.

When Callen's breathing had evened out, he opened his eyes and swallowed hard. "Deeks, stop messing around and just lower the rail," he ordered quietly, not making eye contact, but sounding furious.

Yep. Not good at all. Marty pulled out his cell phone and hit speed dial number four.

Callen saw his motion and turned, looking sharply at Deeks. "What are you doing?"

Callen was given the signal to 'hold on' by an index finger held in the air.


Deeks ducked into the bathroom just as a sleepy, and grumpy Sam answered.

"This better be important."

"It is," Marty said, keeping his voice down. "Callen needs to pee."

"Call the nurse."

"But he keeps insisting I lower the rail and let him get up on his own."

"You sound like you're in a cave. Are you hiding in the bathroom?"

"Uh… no?"

"Yeah, right," Sam snorted tiredly. "Deeks. Here's what you're gonna do. Hang up the phone. Go down to the nurses' station. Tell them G needs to go to the bathroom."

"He's not going to be too happy with me," Deeks protested.

"Deeks. He's never happy with you."

Marty hesitated, tilting his head to the side, acknowledging that it was true, sadly. He closed his eyes and took a breath. "But, Sam. He's really getting ticked off."

Sam exhaled. "Is he giving you the look; the one just before he goes off on a suspect in the interrogation room?"

The detective leaned his head out and peered around the bathroom door. He found Callen glaring daggers at him. Marty quickly ducked back into the bathroom. "Yeah," he confirmed lowly. "That's the one. He's even got that 'little crease between his eyes thing' going on."

"Deeks. He can't hurt you. The condition he's in, Nell would beat him in a wrestling match."

"But… he's… just so…"

"So Callen?"


"Deeks. Go. Get. The nurse. I'm hanging up now."

"Sam… Sam?" Deeks heard his phone beep softly to indicate it had disconnected. Panic grew in his chest. Crap. On my own.

Realizing that getting the nurse was his only choice, Deeks left the bathroom and darted out the door as quickly as possible, not even glancing in Callen's direction. He made his way to the nurses' station to find Nurse Monica doing paperwork.

After she'd heard the situation, Monica retrieved a specimen container from the supply closet and headed to the room. Deeks followed her, feeling like a traitor. (He was not about to re-enter the room without backup.)

There sat Callen, still glaring at him, as he followed the nurse. Marty stopped just inside the door and shoved his hands in his pockets. Why couldn't the bathroom thing have happened on Sam's watch?

The nurse headed into the bathroom.

Callen's expression changed from peeved to near panic when she stepped out of the bathroom with a urinal in hand.

"I don't need that. I just need to get up."

"I'm sorry. But even if you were strong enough to get up, you would still need to use this. We have to get an output measurement."

Callen frowned and turned to face the window, just before the privacy curtain was pulled.

Deeks leaned against the wall by the door, and wondered if Callen would ever forgive him. His cell phone chimed quietly, surprising him. He brought it out of his pocket and resisted a laugh when he saw who it was.

Sam had texted one word: And?

Marty couldn't help but grin. The "mother hen thing" apparently worked even when one was half-asleep. He texted back exactly what Sam needed to hear.

Got the nurse. We're good.