They were in and out in ten. Sprinting across the park to the trash can on the south side and then they were back in the car, racing across town, shadowed by Kensi and Deeks.

G relayed the instructions written on the edge of the scrap of paper—‘Head south on Pico Ave’ and, ‘Turn here,’ and, ‘Turn left at the old water tank.’

Sam didn’t say much other than a few, ‘Got it’sand a, ‘Hold on,’ when they took the last turn too fast.

And that was okay with G, mostly.

Because gathering in the op center, reviewing the situation with Hetty, had felt normal, like the past two weeks hadn’t happened. Like he and Sam were just the same as always and so what if their banter was a little strained? Eventually everything had smoothed out and as screwed up it was, the investigation had been almost fun at first.

The case hadn’t started out particularly dangerous or even of national security. Just an ex-Marine who’d gone missing after a week’s vacation in Hawaii.

He and Sam interviewed the parents a very worried couple living in Pasadena while Kensi and Deeks took care of the employer. They all came away with nothing. The Marine had simply vanished.

Even then, G’s spidey sense stayed quiet—people disappeared for a variety of reasons all the time and those reasons generally had nothing to do with murder or mayhem.

So, fun at first.

Until Eric and Nell got a line on the Marine’s phone and they found him on the floor of a dirty QuikStop! bathroom, his eyes fixed, his lips blue, dead for at least four hours. And then it turned ugly, fast.

Hetty called Vance, Vance called Quantico and from there the op deteriorated into a series of passing-the-buck phone calls until Hetty got the truth: a couple canisters of sarin gas had been stolen from a government lab outside of L.A. The head of security waited five crucial hours to announce the theft, so afraid of losing his job. Hetty had finally persuaded Vance—persuade had been the word she’d used although G was sure it had been something more extreme—to let them handle it with the help of the FBI.

They’d regrouped, shifted their focus and found a new suspect, the Marine’s ex-girlfriend. She’d been racking up purchases of clothing and shoes, not coincidentally the same time she’d been racking up credit card debt. They found that she and the Marine had broken up after a fight violent enough to be overheard by several neighbors, the gist of which he was tired of her spending habits and they were done until she got her act together.

It was her bills that gave them the first link to the sarin. After she and the Marine had duked it out, she’d gone on the town. Sometime between Wednesday and Friday, she’d hooked up with the lab’s head of security and that, as they said, was that.

They never figured out how the Marine had gotten exposed to the gas just as they never figured out how the girlfriend and the buyer hooked up. The only thing they were able to track was the call she’d made a little after four that afternoon, telling the buyer that she’d left instructions for the waterfront meet on a piece of paper, left out in the open at Banning Park.

“Why is it always warehouses?” G murmured as Sam drove around a semi that had seen better days.

“Because bad guys watch too much TV?”

“Or bad girls, in this case.”

Sam snorted softly, then leaned forward. “Number 17, right?”


“Here we go.”

Sam pulled up next to the semi and G peered out the window. It had been a gloomy day, the sky heavy with smog and possible rain. Now with dusk coming on, the light was flat, the shadows flatter. Not the best way to go into a situation.

Sam pocketed the keys, then got out his gun. “You got your Sig?”

“Of course.”

“Just asking.” Sam shrugged and checked his clip.

He’d never done that before, left his weapon behind like a rookie, forcing Sam to pull a quick U so he could go back and get it. Hetty had been standing by his desk when he’d come racing through the arched doorway. She hadn’t said anything, just watched him yank his desk drawer open, grab the gun, then take off again.

He still felt like an idiot. “How many times have Imade a mistake like that?”

Sam shook his head. “You really don’t want to know the answer to that question, do you?”

Sam’s words were playful, but his tone wasn’t and G frowned and looked out the window again.

“I need your head in the game, G.”

Again, words that were mild, empty of accusation but subtlety off and he tightened his lips. He wanted nothing more to get into it, right here right now even though he really didn’t know what ‘it’ was. But right here right now wasn’t the time. “You see them yet?”

Sam snorted. “When has the FBI been on time for anything?”

“I’ll give you twenty bucks to say that to Agent Thompson.”

It was a weak attempt at deflection, at humor—Sam and Thompson had locked horns the minute they’d met—but it worked. Sam smiled. “As soon as this mess is over, I’ll let her know what I think of an agent who puts her career over her team.”

“I thought you already did that.”

“Not even close.”

A black SUV slid up behind them. He and Sam looked at each other at the same time. Back in sync if only for a short while; he felt almost at peace.


Deeks craned his head towards Hetty’s desk as he clattered down the stairs. “She still reaming him out?” He sprawled on the couch with a grunt.

Kensi frowned at her report. “I don’t think either Hetty or Director Vance would call it, ‘reaming.’”

Deeks looked over his shoulder, upside down. “What do you think they’d call it?”

“A meaningful exchange of ideas?” Kensi said thoughtfully.

G snorted without looking up. “A tête-à-tête?”

“Yeah, that’s more like it,” Sam agreed. “Head to head, each of them trying to find the other’s vulnerabilities.” He pictured it, Hetty and Vance going at it—no matter the difference in size or age, she’d have him on the mat in under five seconds.

“On the contrary, Mr. Hanna.”

Sam looked up to find Hetty standing by the fax machine, her hands folded in front of her, her expression imperturbable.

“It was as Miss Blye said, a meaningful exchange of ideas,” she added placidly.

“Meaning, you gave him an idea of how bad the FBI had screwed up and then you exchanged threats until he gave in and apologized?” G said, still focused on whatever he was doing on his computer.

Kensi and Deeks traded small grins but Hetty cocked her head and glanced at Sam. G’s words were odd, tinged with an unusually sharp sarcasm. He wanted to shrug his shoulders and say, ‘don’t blame me,’ but he just left it alone. There was something going on with G and if they could ever get a minute alone, he’d find out what it was.

She nodded, as if reading Sam’s mind in that creepy way she had, but all she said was, "You'll be happy to hear that Sherry is going to make it."

"And the buyer?" Sam asked when G didn't.

"Not so lucky, I'm afraid. He was very foolish." She shook her head.

"Live and learn," Sam muttered.

"Or not, as the case may be," G muttered in return, his tone still oddly sharp.

Hetty shot Sam another look, then said blandly, “Something of the sort. Now,” she smiled to no one in particular. “Mr. Deeks. I’m assuming you finished your report?”

Deeks stopped grinning. “I—”

She cocked her head. “Because that ‘date’ you were telling Eric about earlier in the day—the one with the yoga instructor? It won’t be happening if you don’t get cracking.”

Deeks jumped up and hurried to his desk. He opened his laptop and began typing furiously.

Kensi watched him, one eyebrow raised. “When did you have time to make a date?”

“You know,” he muttered. “When we got coffee at that place on Pico.”

Her mouth dropped open. “You mean when you went in to see if they’d seen Sherry?”

Sam looked at G, and for once, G didn’t look back at him.

“Yep,” Deeks answered absently.

“You were in there for two minutes.”

“Actually,” Deeks glanced up and smiled. “It was three; I got her number in one.”

Kensi actually growled. And went back to her report. Which was fine by Sam. His own report was only half done and it didn’t matter that G basically ignored the entire conversation. There was nothing Sam could do about it. For now.


By the time he finished detailing the finer points of the operation, it was after nine. Kensi had left around six, Deeks sometime shortly after. Around seven, G had muttered something about going for a run. He didn’t look at Sam as he packed up his gear and headed out the door, too fast, like he had someplace to be.

He sighed and printed out his report for his files, sent Hetty a copy, then leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. He was so tired. The day hadn’t been all that different from the others. At least, the mission hadn’t.

But he was so damn tired.

“Mr. Hanna?”

He didn’t open his eyes. “Yeah?”

“Do you have a moment?”

‘No,’ he wanted to say. ‘No. I’m tired and angry and want to go home so I can worry about G in relative peace.’ But you just didn’t say no to Hetty. He pushed to his feet. “I’m all yours.”

She snorted delicately, murmured, “Would that that were so,” then waved a tiny hand, leading him to her desk. She had a cup of tea ready and she pushed it towards him. It was still hot. How she knew just when he’d be finished, he didn’t know. It was just one of those Hetty things. He took a sip. And sighed again.

“Yes,” she said as she sat down. “It’s a new shipment, from the Kalej Valley in India.”

“It’s not caffeinated is it, because—”

“Calm down.” She waved a hand. “I decaffeinated it myself.”

“It’s good.” He took another sip. “It could use a little sugar.”

“Philistine,” she rebuked with a smile.

He smiled in return but his heart wasn’t in it. “What do you want, Hetty?”

“To the point, yes.” She sat her cup down, very precisely, as if needing a moment to gather her thoughts. “I’m aware that things have changed between you and Agent Callen.”

He sat his cup down as well. “I wouldn’t say ‘changed,’ exactly.”

“What would you call it?”

He shook his head. Because he didn’t know. G had become opaque, almost mysterious, like he wasn’t the friend that’d had Sam’s back for years now. Or maybe it was just him? His time in the Sudan had been tough, but he’d gotten through okay.

But ‘changed’? The thought made his chest ache. “Maybe strained?”

She nodded. “That works just as well.” She turned her teacup forty-five degrees. “You do know why, don’t you?”

He watched the teacup, watched Hetty’s fingers just touching the handle. She had some sort of clear fingernail polish on, making her nails gleam dully in the low light. “I have an idea.”

“As do I. Many, many ideas. Of the cause and the solution.”

“And the cause would be?”

“You, of course.”

He said nothing and she added. “What you two are experiencing is the fallout from your separation. Did you know…” She turned the cup again. “That Agent Callen was the one to identify the body?”

He stilled. It took him a moment to realize what she meant. “You mean Saleh?”

She nodded.

He reached out and turned his own teacup, needing something to do because G hadn’t said anything. ‘Welcome to Sudan.’ That’s what he’d said. He’d even patted G on the arm. As if he’d just stepped out to the nearest 7-11 for a bottle of water, instead of traveling halfway around the world for a dangerous undercover op. “And the solution?” His voice was rough and he had to clear his throat.

“I’m giving you a—” Hetty gazed briefly up at the ceiling. “Let’s call it a sabbatical. A sabbatical whereby you’ll have four uninterrupted hours to fix this.”

He had to smile. The conversation was taking a turn for the weird. Which wasn’t unusual when dealing with Hetty and he really didn't want to know what she meant by 'fix this. “And when would these four hours take place?”

“Between eleven this evening and three tomorrow morning.”

“And how are you going to ensure that?”

“I’ve got a friend upstairs that is going to disrupt the wireless cameras and feeds that have been placed throughout your house. This disruption will seem like a simple network snafu and will block the signals, giving you a blackout period.” She smiled. “Of exactly four hours. How you spend those hours are up to you, of course.”

He sat back. “Why are you doing this?”

She hesitated, her smile dying. “Because you both have been through a great deal of stress lately. Because I care for you and Mr. Callen deeply. And,” she shrugged and smiled again, this time devilishly, “because I can.”

“Hetty,” he said slowly, shaking his head. “You scare me sometimes.”

“Pish posh.” She waved her hand. “Flattery will get you nowhere, Mr. Hanna. Now—” She waved her hand again. “You better leave before I change my mind and send Eric home.”

She opened her laptop, a clear dismissal, and he stood up. He took one step, then turned because even though he was still a little creeped out, he couldn’t help himself. “‘Pish posh?’”

She pointed a finger, not looking up. “Go.”


“…we’ll have more but first, are you prepared for the holidays? Vons has just the thing to make your party the—”

G couldn’t stand it. He leaned over and turned the radio off. Talk radio was supposed to be that—talk. Instead, the station had been full of inane chatter about the upcoming holidays and the great deals he could find at the mall. Maybe he should get a TV.

Deeks’ comment of a few days before about being a, ‘white noise man’ came back to him. He wasn’t sure, but it was probably an insult. Of course, it had been Deeks speaking so maybe it had been a compliment?

He wiped his hands on a rag, tossed it aside, then switched off the lamp.

The old ham radio he’d picked up a few weeks ago was being stubborn. He’d thought it was a burned-out tube, but he’d replaced it and still no luck. It wasn’t a big deal, of course. Just something to keep his mind from straying, his hands busy.

He was padding across the dark living room to the kitchen when a moving shadow briefly obstructed the street light. His heart jerked and he crept to the front window and looked out. He couldn’t see much, just a dark mass in the darker shadow cast by the house.

Hoping Arkady wasn’t stupid enough to try something new, he hurried to the kitchen and got his weapon.

He waited, Sig up, heart pounding in his throat expecting anything but the dull sound of metal working against metal as the door was unlocked and pushed open.

“Put the gun down, G,” came the soft voice.

He breathed a sigh and turned on the hall light. Sam was standing in the doorway, silhouetted against the street light, pocketing the key. He was dressed all in black—jeans, Henley, leather jacket and boots. But it wasn’t the clothes that made G’s eyes widen. It was Sam’s expression—eyes blank, mouth pressed in a straight line, hands clenched in fists at his sides.

“Sam?” he asked, heart in his throat again because he recognized that expression for all he hadn’t seen it in what seemed like months but was really only weeks.

“We’ve got three and a half hours. She gave us that.”

The words didn’t make sense. “Wha—”

Sam stepped into the house and locked the door. “Put the gun down, G,” he repeated, only this time it wasn’t a request, it was a command.

Without really thinking about it, G flicked the safety on and laid the gun on the hall table and that’s all the time he had—Sam rushed him, there and here so fast…

Shoving him back across the cool floor to hit the wall with a thud that would have hurt if he wasn’t opening his mouth wide to Sam’s kisses, fingers scrabbling on leather and denim, trying to grab everything, grip everywhere.

Sam moaned deep in his throat and ran his hands down G’s chest and G was already there, taking Sam’s hand, guiding him, pressing his palm against his bare belly, sucking in his breath and…

It should be frightening, how fast Sam could turn him on, take him from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. “Sam,”he whispered, his throat tight. “Here…” He shoved his sweats down, just to his thighs because the rest didn’t matter and that’s all he needed, and his legs almost gave way as Sam slipped his hand underneath his shorts, finding his dick.

He was in a cave, made by Sam and the night as Sam worked his dick, long familiar strokes that felt like fire only weren’t and he held on, to Sam’s arm, to his belt loops, his mind awash with nothing but—

He came hard, biting something soft, and it wasn’t perfect because it was too damn short and he wanted…

He wanted, all over again.

Not taking time to recoup, he pushed Sam’s hand away then dropped to his knees, fingers scrabbling all over again, this time at Sam’s zipper.

“No, G. C’mon,” Sam mumbled, “let’s go to bed.”

He shook his head, unable to form words, mouth already busy watering, already empty and when he yanked Sam’s jeans and shorts down, he got to work. Diving in, licking first the fine skin of Sam’s thighs as a minor foreplay, then the head of his cock, making Sam cry out, knees buckling.


He smiled and wrapped his hand around Sam’s thigh and pulled. And didn’t choke when Sam groaned and tried not to thrust, tried not to do all the things that G wanted him to do. He smiled again because he knew this too, and so he moaned and hummed and Sam swore, “Damnit, G,” not angry, not anything but coming as G took it.


He drew back, slowly because he’d hurt Sam, that first time, and didn’t want to do it again. He fell back against the wall, still on his knees, laughing a little, gulping the air as he tried to catch his breath.

Sam didn’t move, braced above him. “I don’t like it when you do that.”

G shook his head. He never understood Sam’s problem with blow jobs. It had been a little off-putting at first, Sam's distaste. Until he got it through his thick head that he actually liked them. “Like you could stop me. Here…” He reached up and Sam pulled him to his feet.

They were a mess, pants down, breath coming in stutters. But he stared at Sam and Sam stared at him and now it was perfect. After weeks of it not being perfect, it was perfect.

He started to pull up his sweats, meaning to go wash up, but Sam caught his hand and nuzzled his palm.

“We done yet?” G asked, swallowing against the heady sight of Sam’s lips on his skin.

“Not by a long shot. We still have—” Sam stopped kissing and peered at his watch. “Three hours and eleven minutes.”

“Then, here…” He pulled up his sweats, then Sam’s pants and took his hand and led him across the living room, to his bedroom.

“One of these days I’m gonna buy you a proper bed,” Sam said as he pulled off his jacket and tossed it on the chair. “And a chest of drawers and a nightstand.”

“I’ve got all the necessities.” G stepped out of his sweats and tossed them on the floor.

“A mattress, a chair, a radio and a lamp on the floor doesn’t make for necessities, G,” Sam said as he shook his head mournfully. “How did I fall for such a slob?”

“Which begs the question,” he said, his voice muffled as he pulled his t-shirt over his head, “how did I fall for such a neat freak?”

“Charisma, good looks and style.” Sam had shed his pants, briefs and shirt and he stood there, arms out.

G put his hand to his chest, feigning surprise. “You mean me? Thanks, buddy.”

He bent over to turn on the lamp and as he straightened up, Sam was there again, dragging him back, whispering in his ear, “I’ll buddy you.”

They were back to scary because it felt too good, Sam’s arms around him, body hot and firm and his.

He wrapped his arms around Sam’s and they stood there, frozen. Until Sam began to kiss the nape of his neck, that spot behind his ear that drove him crazy. He made some noise deep in his throat and fell sideways.

They landed on the bed and he rolled free, on his back, legs and arms splayed out. Sam raised himself on one elbow and stared, running his eyes over G’s body.

And except to spread his legs a bit wider, G stayed that way. Sam always did this when they’d been apart, cataloging any new wounds, bruises or marks. G had given up assuring with words—Sam needed to see and so he let him.

Finally, he took Sam’s hand and tugged. “I’m fine, okay?”

Sam gave up tracing the fading bruise on G’s ribcage and lay down. “Yeah, okay.”

“Besides, I’m not the one that’s been through the wringer,” G muttered. It was the nearest he’d gotten to what had happened in the Sudan and shit, he hadn’t meant to go there. Because going there meant a longer conversation and he wasn’t ready for that. So he smiled to show he was joking and after a moment, Sam smiled back. “Where were we?”

“I was telling you how good looking Iam,” Sam said, stroking G’s belly, bending down to kiss the hollow of his throat.

He laughed. “Yeah, I guess you were. And yeah,” he dropped his voice and ran an appreciative hand down Sam’s ribs to his ass. “Iguess you are.”

Sam chuckled, his breath making G arch with pleasure.

“Do it again,” he urged, shivering when Sam did it again.

“Where’s the stuff?” Sam murmured.

“I’ll get it.” G pushed free and leaned over Sam to get his kit, hissing when Sam leaned up and kissed his chest, then nipple. “Sam. I can’t think when you do that,” he said breathlessly, forgetting for a moment what he was supposed to be doing.

“Who wants you to think, baby?”

“So you want me barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen?” He found the lube.

Sam laughed, wrestling G around until he was on his back again. “I’ve tasted your cooking—the last place I want you is in my kitchen.”

G closed his eyes halfway and tipped his head back. “Yeah?” he whispered. “Where do you want me?”

“In my bed, under me, riding me, fucking me—I don’t care.”

He squeezed the tube and squeezed his eyes closed. Christ. “Sam?” he said hoarsely.


“Here.” He unscrewed the cap and gave the tube to Sam, holding his hand out. The slick was cold and he warmed it between his hands, then reached out. Sam threw the tube aside and straddled G’s hips and chest, on all fours above him. He stroked, slicking Sam’s cock, not too much pressure, but enough to make Sam sway and groan.

“I’d love to see that,” Sam mumbled.

Not letting go, G leaned up and kissed Sam’s chest where his heart beat and shook. “What? What would you love to see?”

“You. With kids. With my kids.”

He’d never thought of marriage or children—his life was too fucked up for that. But the idea of raising Sam’s kids? Of seeing Sam with them, maybe a boy, definitely a girl, who would have Sam’s dark hair and skin and maybe his blue eyes? It was crazy sexy and he let go and wrapped his legs around Sam’s hips, muttering, “Jesus, Sam— Fuck me. Fuck me, Sam…”

Over and over again, as Sam got him ready. Working his fingers in, first one, then three when G restlessly assured him that he was fine, he couldn’t possibly be more fine and if he didn’t fuck him now he was gonna…

Sam pushed in, stopping G’s words and he could only grunt when Sam did it again, shoving in, then out, again and again and if they were in a bed, a real bed, it would be screeching across the floor and he smiled mindlessly, holding onto Sam’s wrists for leverage, ankles locked behind his waist.

So they had three hours and as Sam fucked him—as Sam made love to him—he pushed away the awful thought that three hours were impossibly short and never gonna be enough.


They did it again an hour later, this time on his belly with Sam heavy on his back. It was somehow better and worse and at the end, he found himself gripping Sam’s wrist, covering his watch, as if that would stop time.


“You will not,” Sam murmured.

“Yes, I will.”

“Please. You wouldn’t manage a day without me and you know it.”

It was too close to the truth, but he managed to keep his voice light when he answered, “You got it the wrong way around, big guy.”

Sam didn’t answer and G gave it ten seconds. It was actually seven when Sam said softly, “You’re sure?”

“I’m beginning to think you think I’m a girl.”

Sam laughed and kissed the top of his spine. “I hate to break it to you, sweetheart, but I know some girls that could snap you in two.”

“Kensi, for example?”

“No, but Hetty could take you.”

“Hetty could take us both.”

“Don’t I know it.”

G snorted and rubbed his cheek on the pillow. “So, yes, I’m sure you’re not too heavy. Yes, I want you to stay right where you are.” After they were finished, Sam had gotten up to get a wash cloth. He'd washed them both, then went back to where G wanted him, covering him, draped over like a living blanket. “And yes, I will shoot you if you move.”

The moon was going down and he could see it through the spaces between the blinds. It was waxing, getting smaller and smaller; in a few days it would be gone and the night would be pitch dark. But that was for later—now it was still round enough to reflect a certain amount of light and that light streamed through the blinds, casting long, thin rectangles over the bed, over their twined arms. He sighed.

“We gonna talk about it?”Sam whispered into his skin.

He rubbed Sam’s finger, the one where the gold ring sometimes was. “Do I have a choice?”

Sam shrugged, his light beard rough against G’s shoulder. “You always have a choice, G.”

He sighed again. “Yeah. Okay. Move—” He pushed up. But instead of rolling back, Sam sat up, bringing him with him. They sat there, Sam up against the wall, G between his spread legs, staring at the dark room.

“So,” he said, after a moment of nothing.

“Yeah, ‘so,’” Sam agreed.

Well, that wasn’t getting them anywhere and he knew Sam—if they didn’t talk about it now, he wouldn’t let up until the cows came home.

He smiled at the stupid expression and shook his head when Sam made a questioning sound. “It’s nothing. But, yeah, we need to talk because you know I’m not…” He shifted, sliding his leg over Sam’s. He wasn’t really sure what he wanted to say. He tried again. “You’re in back-to-back undercover assignments, Sam. And you’re in one so deep that you—” He shook his head again.

Sam tightened his arms. “Are you jealous?”

He twisted so he could look into Sam’s eyes when he protested, “No! Well—” He shrugged and turned back around. “No.”

“G, that ‘well’ is a pretty big qualifier.”

“I know.” Even to himself, his voice sounded miserable. “No, I’m not jealous. I’m just worried.”

“About me?”

“Yeah, about you.”

“I can handle it.”

G’s throat tightened up. “See, that just pisses me off, Sam. How many times are you going to ‘handle it?’ How many times are you going to put yourself in danger? When is it all going to be over?”

“It’s what we do, G. We put our lives on the line everyday, you know that.”

His voice was too calm, too casual, and G shoved away, twisting around to kneel between Sam’s so he could look Sam in the eye when he said, “You think Idon’t know that? That it’s part of our life? You think Idon’t know that when I get hurt, you do too? That’s not what I’m talking about.”

Sam didn’t say anything, but his gaze flickered and he glanced away. “I said I was sorry for not letting you know Iwas okay.”

“I know.” And he was okay with that, mostly. If Sam didn’t have time or a safe place to make a call or text, that was how it was.

“Then what is it?”

“I saw your face, Sam. When she asked you—” This time his throat closed and he heard it again…

‘Was any of it real?’

He reached out and palmed Sam’s cheek, stroking his bottom lip with his thumb. “You’re not me, Sam.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’ve been alone almost all of my life. I’ve been so many people, all of my life.”

“And I haven’t.”

It wasn’t a question and G shrugged. “You’ve taken on temporary personas, but the long term stuff? Pretty soon all those little chips you keep letting people take out of your heart are gonna add up.”

Sam looked at him steadily. “What do you mean?”

He shook his head. “No, Sam. Don’t try to play me.”

Sam swallowed, his steady gaze crumbling. Finally. “Yeah, okay.”

The were both silent for a long moment, then Sam took G’s hand and held it between his two. “What do you want me to do about it?”

This time Sam’s tone wasn’t casual and G answered thickly, “No more long-term undercover assignments until this one is finished. Completely finished.” Until your ‘family’ is gone and you’re on your own again. He didn’t say the words, but Sam gave him a look like he had.

“That could take another year or so.”

“Sam,” he warned, tired of the quibbles and excuses.

Sam frowned, but he nodded. “Okay. I can do that.”

He sat back on his heels. “As simple as that?”

“As simple as that.”

“You don’t want to clear it with Hetty, first?”

“No. Besides, I’m pretty sure she had this in mind when she gave us our sabbatical.”

“What about Vance?”

“Vance does what Hetty wants, you know that.”

G cocked his head. “What if she comes to you with another life or death undercover op?”

Sam tried not to grin. “I’ll tell her my mean boyfriend won’t let me do it.”

“You better believe it.”

Sam’s smile died. “We’re good?”

“Yes, Sam,” he murmured. “We’re good.”

Sam held his hand out and G went willingly.

He brushed his lips against Sam's. “How did she do that, by the way?” He felt weird, like he’d just survived a brutal firefight. He hadn’t expected Sam to balk at the request slash order, but neither had he expected such an easy capitulation.

“Eric did his magic with the spy network I’ve turned my house into.”

“Huh.” He rubbed Sam’s shin with his foot. “Does Eric know? About us, I mean?”

Sam snorted softly. “I most definitely think Eric knows. Remember the waltz Hetty wanted us to do?”

G grinned. In all the crap that had gone down after, he’d forgotten. “I remember your freak out.”

“Me? Please. I was there; I saw your face.”

The words were a reminder and he had to push them—and Jada’s grief—away. Speed bumps; she and Sam’s current assignment were just speed bumps and in a moment he was able to joke, “I was just worried you would step on my delicate feet. You saw what Deeks did to Kensi.”

“Like that would ever happen. I move so smooth, dancing with me would be like floating on air.”

G burst out laughing. “Oh, really?”


“You want to put your money where your mouth is, sweetheart?”

Sam stilled. “You can’t be serious.”

“Yeah, I am.”

“You want to dance with me. Naked.”

It wasn’t a question, but he answered firmly, “Yeah,  I do.” He rolled to his feet and padded to the radio. He turned it on, taking a few seconds to find something suitable. A slow, quiet tune that seemed appropriately romantic. He looked over his shoulder. Sam hadn’t moved, but he was watching again, this time with a small, appreciative smile.

G straightened up, conscious of Sam’s gaze, hoping he wasn’t gonna screw this up. He wasn’t much on the dance floor—he never knew what to do with his arms and feet, never mind the requisite small talk. But this was Sam and when he held out his hand, Sam took it.

They laughed, at first. Shuffling about, watching their feet, making the floor creak and whine. But then they found a rhythm and they danced, holding each other, moving to where the music took them.

And when the song ended and bled to another, they started kissing, going where that led, back to the mattress and down.

This time, it was nothing more than body to body, Sam on his back, G on top, holding Sam’s cock and his own, humming under his breath as he brought them both off.


Sam’s alarm went off at two-twenty. He disentangled himself from G’s arms and kissed him on the cheek. “Don’t move. Be right back.”

G listened to the soft sounds of the shower, arm crooked over his eyes. He was wide awake, and had been for at least an hour. But if he went in there and saw Sam, seal slick with water and soap, he’d never let him leave. So he lay there, thinking of nothing in particular as Sam washed away the night, washed away him.

In a few minutes Sam returned and there were the soft sounds of clothing being put on. Then the mattress dipped. “Hey?”

“Yeah?” He asked without opening his eyes.

“Will you do me a favor?”

“Of course.”

“Will you not get up as soon as I leave to go work on whatever electronic gizmo you were working on when I got here?”

“How do you know Iwas working on an electronic gizmo?”

“You’re fingers smelled like grease.”

He smiled and opened his eyes. “You know me so well.”

Sam leaned over and kissed his mouth. He tasted like toothpaste. “You better believe it, baby.” He pushed to his feet. But instead of leaving, he stood there, staring down, his expression growing solemn, almost grave. “You know I want to stay, right?”

G nodded. “Yeah, I know.”

“You know I love you, right?”

Almost the exact words from weeks ago only now said completely different. G swallowed. “I know. Same as I love you.”

Sam shrugged and played with his jacket’s zipper, pulling the tab up and down a few times.

Sam was a breath away from stripping and getting back into bed—G could see it. “Go,” he said. “It’s okay.”

Sam took a step back, then another. “Yeah, all right.”

“I’ll see you in a few hours.”

“Yeah, okay.”

“I need to finish my report. I was thinking of getting there by six.” Just a head’s up in case Sam was able to get away early—it would be nice to have a few minutes together, even if those minutes were spent separated by their desks and five feet of air.

“I’ll bring breakfast.”

“Sounds good.”

Sam finally turned and he was almost across the threshold when G called out, “Say hi to Hetty for me.”

The only response was a slight pause and a soft snort. Then Sam was gone and the house was quiet again. Well, not completely; he got up and turned off the radio, then went the window and peered out. Sam was crossing the street. Cautious as always, he must have parked a few blocks away.

G watched him disappear up the block, then he went back to bed. The sheets were already cool; he pulled up the blankets and turned on his side.

His thoughts tumbled, one after the other and he tried to grab one but thinking wasn't really important and he finally gave up. He reached out, grabbed Sam’s pillow and wrapped his arm around it and let himself fall asleep.


Sam stuffed his hands in his pockets and picked up the pace. LA was supposed to be warm, right?It wasn’t, probably due to the month and the cold front that was about to blow through. G’s house had been so warm, and the contrast from then to now was almost shocking.

He turned the last corner and found his car, thankfully unmolested. He unlocked her, got in and started her up.

Of course, it could be something else entirely. G himself was always so warm, he made everything seem cold by comparison. Like he was the sun. And the moon and the stars and Sam laughed at himself as he pulled away from the curb. It had been a while since he felt so whole.

Maybe they could take some time off, go sailing or go up the coast. Spend the day in the hot sun, the evening in a cool bed.

It was a nice thought and as he drove through the sleeping city, one hand on the steering wheel, the other on the seat beside him, he made plans. He was down to the month, location and the clothing he'd tell G to bring when he realized he'd forgotten one important duty. He got out his cell and dialed.

She answered on the first ring, just like he knew she would. “You’re cutting it close, Mr. Hanna.”

“I know, Hetty.”

He didn’t explain; he didn’t have to. After a moment, she said, her voice softening, “I understand. And Mr. Callen?”

He thought of G, laying among the rumpled sheets, looking up at him, blue eyes turned silver in the moon light. His dick and heart reacted like they should and he smiled. “He says to say hi.”

“And you?”

“I’m good. We’re good.”

“Just what I wanted to hear,” she said. “Now get home. I’ll see you in the morning.”

She hung up before he had a chance to chide, ‘It is morning, Hetty.’ She usually didn’t make mistakes like that. Which meant she’d been as worried as he’d been. As G had been.

He got home at two fifty-one.

He did the usual—locked and bolted the door, took his jacket off and hung it on the hook by the door. Then he went into the first bedroom with its childish drawings on the walls. She was fine, sound asleep with that intensity that only kids seemed to have. He closed the door softly and went to his bedroom.

He sat on the bed. His wife wrapped her arm around his waist and asked, “Are you okay?”

He started to answer and then remembered the look in G’s eyes, his even words when he’d said, “Yes, Sam. We’re good.”

So, not just good, but better.

He patted her hand and said with all sincerity, “Yeah. It’s fine. I’m fine.”




Story notes:
G. Callen/Sam Hanna
6,700+ words
An explanation of the appearance of Sam's family. Based on the episode, "Betrayal"
All characters belong to people and organizations that are not me