music_coaster2010: (darkside)
[personal profile] music_coaster2010
Title: Road Trip
Author: sspaz1000/bandgeek01
Rating: NC-17 to be safe, my mind plays the sex scene like how some movies show it but better safe than sorry.
Summary: Callen and Talia have 3 days off. Road Trip!
Characters: G. Callen, Talia Del Campo, Pairings: Talon
Disclaimer: I’m just playing in CBS’s sandbox. They own the characters and stuff.
Based on Prompts: There was a prompt list going around. I wanted someone to prompt me and the wonderful aprylynn gave me the road trip prompt. The plot bunnies had a field day. I also follow this LiveJournal community called Runaway Tales, I used to post in there, but I haven’t done original fic in a while, but I still sometimes get motivated by their prompts list, and I saw Strawberries, and somehow that was added to Road Trip and we have this.
Beta: The ever awesome ishiptoomanypeopleontv.
Notes: Restaurants and Hotel and food items are real. Google is my friend, and I also really want to do this trip now as well.


It sounded too good to be true. Talia and Callen had an entire weekend off. 3 full days to do nothing but relax and focus on anything but work. Pulling into Callen’s driveway, Talia wondered what Callen had up his sleeve.

Even before they started dating, Talia never pegged Callen as the super romantic or even just the romantic type but in these past couple of months he had surprised her with a few date nights to nice restaurants and even a day trip to Catalina Island. So him taking the reigns on planning something for the weekend was something she wasn’t fully expecting but it was also something she wouldn’t exactly oppose. The possibilities were endless, and while she would enjoy getting away for the weekend, she knew just being with Callen would be just as relaxing.

Grabbing her overnight bag and making sure she had everything for the weekend she let herself into Callen’s house. “Hey, G,” she called out as she placed her bag on the floor and headed towards his bedroom when he walked out of the kitchen instead, drying his hands on a dishcloth.

Turning towards him she gave him a questioning look, but didn’t say anything as she closed the gap between the two of them. He reached out and pulled her in for a kiss. “How’s it going?” he muttered.

Still in his embrace she whispered, “I’m good.” Placing another kiss on his cheek she looked at him grinning, “Though, I think I should ask, are you OK?”

“Why?” Pulling his head back from hers a bit he looked slightly offended, even though he knew what she was getting at.

Grabbing the towel from his hands she said, “First, you have this towel, and second, you came with it from the kitchen. It’s almost like you were… cooking.” Talia grinned and faked a small shudder. “It’s like two things you never do.”

Callen stifled a chuckle and replied, “For your information, I was doing some planning for the weekend.” He used his smolder to his advantage, and pulled her back into another hug and a kiss.

“Just remember, I know how you cook.” She said in a mocking but in a playful tone.

Laughing with her, he said, “I know, I know. Just trust me on this one.”

“Of course I trust you.” she replied. “So … what are you making?” She knew she probably wasn’t going to get a response but she had to try.

“Nice try. But I’m not telling you yet. It’s a surprise.”

Talia fake-pouted but all that did was make Callen kiss her again. The kiss intensified and she pulled away and said breathlessly, “You know if you keep that up…”, trailing off she made a glance towards his bedroom.

“Plenty of time for that this weekend,” he winked. “How about you go finish packing my bag while I finish in the kitchen?”

“Of course. We don’t want the surprise ruined now do we?” she smiled at him as they went their separate ways in the house. Talia was definitely curious as to what Callen had planned for the weekend.

****

They started their car ride in comfortable silence. Just having a moment to breathe and not worry about anything was welcome. The windows were rolled down and the wind swept through their hair. Talia had noticed a picnic basket in the back as Callen was packing up the car. She didn’t say anything about it because she didn’t want Callen to know she had spotted it. “What smells good in here? You hiding food on me again?” Talia laughed.

“Well it could be food, but it’s part of your surprise.” Callen replied.

“Really not even a little hint?” she fake-pouted again.

“Nope.”

She sighed. “Fine. For once I’ll be a good girl and wait.”

“Good.” Callen smiled at her.

“I mean I’m just surprised that you had food in your fridge. Usually, I have to bring my own food when I stay over because you are a camel and can have nothing for weeks and be OK.”

Callen laughed. “Actually takeout is my best friend. Very much to Sam’s chagrin. Also, leftovers are awesome.”

“Of course leftovers are awesome. Wait, wait. Does that mean we have leftovers in here somewhere?”

Callen laughed. “No leftovers. I promise. You’ll enjoy it.”

“Okay… I believe you. In other news, where are we going?” Talia’s effort to change the subject failed.

“You really think you are going to get it out of me that easily?”

“Oh, come on! Give me at least something. And by the way, a girl's gotta try” she winked. “But I can tell we are headed north, so we are definitely getting out of LA.”

“Correct.”

Talia knew that trying to figure out where they were going would annoy Callen, so she decided to leave it alone for now. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath she could tell there was a change in the air and that they were headed towards the coast. Opening her eyes, she saw that Callen was pulling onto the Pacific Coast Highway. Sighing she said, “I haven’t been this way on the PCH in years.”

“So how far north do you think we’re going?” Callen asked.

“Ideally, it’d be all the way if you know what I mean.” Talia giggled at her little joke and Callen just shook his head though not surprised that Talia went there. “No but seriously, I do hope a couple hours away.”

Callen was looking at Talia and thought, Sassy. That’s what I like about her. “All the way could be worked into your surprise.” he gave her a wink. “But in reality, we are going somewhere a couple hours away. And it’s nice to be driving the PCH with someone.

“I agree. I once drove the whole thing once. In my late teens. It was some sort of rebellious stage.”

“Oh really? And now you’re in your laid-back, saintly-like stage?” Callen sassed her.

Talia grinned and looked at him. Sassy. Just how I like it. No wonder we get on so well.

Talia reached over and grabbed Callen’s hand. Grinning, they continued their journey northward.

****

The rest of the trip went by in a flash. After a little while Talia pulled out her phone, synced it to Callen’s car and pulled up an 80’s music playlist. Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer started to fill the car and Talia was in no time singing along and having fun. At first G stared at her in disbelief (80’s music wasn’t exactly his first choice of road trip music), but seeing Talia that carefree made him laugh. He even found himself humming along to some of the songs as well. After a special Talia style version of Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac, Callen pulled off the PCH and she noticed the signs for Santa Barbara. She looked at him and smiled. “Santa Barbara. I haven’t been up here in years.”

“Neither have I,” Callen replied.

“So can I guess that Santa Barbara is our final destination?”

“You would be correct.” he replied.

“Be honest,” Talia said. “Did you choose here for the food or the things to do?”

“Food of course.” Callen said with a chuckle.

“You do like a good meal, G.”

Pulling into the Harbor View Inn, he said, “We have arrived.”

Looking around, she realized the hotel had a wonderful relaxing decor. “This place looks fantastic. Are you sure we can check in so early?”

“Yeah, I have it covered.”

They finished checking in quickly and the staff was helpful with the directions to their room, Callen and Talia gathered their bags and made their way to the oceanview suite. Once Callen opened the door, Talia walked in and checked everything out. “This place is amazing!!” she sighed contentedly.

Callen was also impressed with the room and made a mental note to thank the wonder twins on Monday for helping get the room and the early check in. He saw Talia out on the balcony taking some pictures of the amazing view. I guess this place does deserve a picture or two, he thought. When she was holding her phone in his direction he joined her on the balcony.

“Taking pics?” he asked.

“Not of you Mr. No Social Media.” she retorted. “But seriously, look at this view. He then noticed that she was attempting some selfies, but he knew she’d look much butter if he’d just take the picture himself. Reaching over he slid the phone out of her hands and took what he thought was the perfect picture. “Thank you.” she whispered. Callen nodded and went back inside allowing Talia to take some more pics outside.

Stealthily, Talia pretended to take a picture of a lantern next to their balcony door, but she was actually grabbing a picture of Callen, smiling to himself about something. There are memories to be made here, she thought. With that in mind, she followed him back inside.

Placing her phone on the table, she made her way to Callen who was unpacking and he pulled her in for a kiss. It was soft and lingering. Talia pulled away slightly, only to mutter, “I think we both needed this weekend.” She grinned as she placed another soft kiss on Callen’s lips. Pulling her closer it intensified and Talia ran her fingers through his hair. She wanted more and Callen did as well, but he pulled away. “Why?” She moaned at the loss of his lips on hers.

“If we keep that up,you will miss the surprise.”

“The hotel wasn’t the surprise?” Talia asked.

“No, but trust me we will have plenty of time for that later.”

Talia sighed and said, “I guess I can wait. But you have me really intrigued with this surprise though.”

“Good.” He pulled her back towards the kitchen area, where he had stashed the picnic basket. Grinning as he unveiled the picnic basket, “A picnic on the beach my dear?”

Talia was smiling while also giving a slight laugh, “Picnic? Is this what you were doing in the kitchen when I got to your place this morning?”

“Maybe…” Callen gave her a wink.

“With what food? I just saw your fridge the other night, and there was nothing.”

“I know. I know. Trust me?”

“Oh, I trust that it will be an interesting picnic basket.” She kissed his cheek, “but whatever it is, I wholeheartedly appreciate the effort behind it.”

Callen smiled. He knew he had to work at being romantic at times, and seeing that Talia appreciated the gesture made the whole planning of the weekend worth it.

Gathering the basket and a blanket they made their way down towards the beach. Callen rented one of those big beach umbrellas and set up the blanket. Slipping her shoes off and placing her toes in the sand Talia said, “Man, I love the beach.”

“I have to be in the mood to fully enjoy the beach.” Looking around and breathing in the air, Callens smile started to fade slightly as he remembered what had happened in Romania all those years ago. He hadn’t told Talia much about his family yet. He knew that she deserved to know all that’s happened to him in the past, but not now. Not at this moment. Getting out of his head he looked over to see Talia giving him a questioning look. Shaking his head, he smiled, “You know getting sand in places isn’t fun” he said, trying to distract her from the shadow that had just fallen on him.

Talia grinned, “I’d have to agree with that. But just remember, I have more places for the sand to go than you…”

Rolling his eyes, he laughed and kissed the top of her head. “I’m starving, let’s get this picnic started.”

Opening the picnic basket, he pulled out a container of fruit salad. Talia looked at it and said, “Wasn’t that my fruit that I left at your place earlier in the week?”

Callen shrugged his shoulders, “Maybe... possibly... don’t know? Sorry not sorry about that.” he gave a little smirk at that, and Talia just smiled and nodded.

“I never pictured you being a fruit thief.” she retorted, while wagging a finger at him.

“Ha. But like you’ve said all day today, remember you’ve seen my fridge.”

“I know, which is why I’m surprised we actually have food.” She stuck out her tongue slightly as she grabbed a fork from his hand. Opening the container, she took a bite and sighed. “Food tastes so much better when it’s prepared by someone you care about.”

They sat and watched some families in the distance playing with a frisbee and the tide starting to come in. Everything was peaceful and calming. Closing her eyes, Talia took a moment to just absorb the sounds.

Callen looked at how relaxed she had become. Breathing in the air as well, he whispered, “Don’t you dare and fall asleep on me.”

Opening her eyes slowly she looked at Callen. “I wouldn’t dream of it.” She leaned her head on his shoulder, and asked, “Do you ever think our lives would be different if we weren’t in the fields we were in?”

“I don’t know.” Callen paused. “Maybe. I mean I’ve been with the DEA and the Agency, so I’m really not sure. I mean I didn’t think I’d end up with NCIS, and it’s been good to me. But I really just try to be in the moment. Especially since we put our lives on the line daily.”

Talia nodded. She liked that Callen was being honest. “You never thought about having what Sam has?”

“What do you mean? Marriage? Family? More?”

“Yeah, you never thought about it?”

“To be honest,” Callen said, “Not really. My childhood was a rollercoaster of foster homes and I didn’t even find out who my father was and my full name until a few months ago. I guess I’m still trying to process the things I’ve been searching for my entire life and how to move on.”

Talia saw the vulnerability in Callen’s eyes and started to rub his shoulders. “I’m really sorry you’ve had a shitty childhood, and I’m really glad you did find out your name. I know finding your father was a big relief.” She kissed the top of his head and Callen leaned back into her.

“Me too,” he said. Taking a deep breath, he asked, “What about you? Do you want the fairy tale wedding?”

“I remember when I was little wanting a wedding and being with someone, but I also remember running around the neighborhood playing cops and robbers. I’m not exactly sure when I stopped wanting a wedding and wanting to get the bad guys off the streets. I guess I always wanted to do good in life and really haven’t thought about anything else. These past few cases have me thinking about if I’m happy where I am so far, and also being with you and if anything would happen to one of us, but you know what? I’m perfectly happy being in the moment.”

“Me too,” Callen said. “We are both in good places personally and professionally. But you know, I also don’t mind calling my team my family. I spend most of my time with them. Including you, I work with some of the best agents around.”

“Should we be dating if I’m considered family?” she winked at him and gave him a kiss on his cheek again.

“Funny. I’m just saying I think you’re a fine DEA agent, Talia.”

Talia blushed. To distract him from it she continued with the “interrogation”. “So now that we’ve talked families and stuff, what are your thoughts on retirement?”

Callen laughed one of those full bellied laughs. “Retirement? Honestly, I don’t think I’ll live to see that day.”

Taken aback by Callens words Talia replied, “Really?”

“Yeah really. I mean so far I’ve had a few close calls, but I do thank my lucky stars I go home every night.”

“I think we should be thankful for each day, and I think living in the moment helps you to be aware of your surroundings.” said Talia.

Callen smiled and turned to kiss Talia’s forehead. “Well this has been some deep conversation.”

Talia laughed, “Yeah, it has been. Do we agree no more deep conversations this trip?”

“Deal.” said Callen. “You know there is more to this picnic than just your breakfast food right?”

“OK,” Talia said slowly, not knowing what to expect. “Let’s see what else you have in there.”

Opening the basket, he pulled out some sandwiches. Handing one to her, she unwrapped the sandwich and said, “Is that bologna?”

“Like I’ve said…”

Joining Callen, they said in unison, “You’ve seen my fridge.”

Laughing, she looked closer at the sandwich, “and cheese? You had cheese in the fridge? Where have you been hiding that?”

Callen just smirked.

“A simple sandwich is so much better with good people.”, she said. “Is there anything to drink in this magic picnic basket of yours?”

“Yeah, I have some water.”

She was a bit surprised about the lack of beer in the basket but kept her tongue in check, “Hand it over, pretty please.”

“Since you asked nicely.” Callen handed her the bottle of water and she took a swig. Following suit, Callen also took a drink as well.

They sat there finishing their sandwiches and watched the people on the beach for the rest of the afternoon. At one point they even splashed around the water’s edge, and seeing Callen being a little carefree in that moment made Talia smile. She flicked some water at him and he returned the favor. As the sun started to set, they packed up and headed back to the room.

****

Back in the hotel room, they were getting ready for dinner at the hotel restaurant. While Talia slipped into the bathroom, Callen checked the fridge to see that the hotel had provided the champagne and strawberries like he’d requested. All was there, and he couldn’t wait for a little dessert back in the room.

As Talia was doing her hair, Callen entered the bathroom and hopped in the shower. Giving him the once over through the curtain she said, “You know this could be distracting.”

“Why?” asked Callen innocently.

“Oh, I don’t know… you naked, I’m getting ready. Seems counter-productive if you ask me.”

“Well, there’s plenty of time after dinner to see all of this.” As he pulled back the curtain, he stuck his ass out at her.

Laughing, she shook her head, sighing, “Only you, G. Only you.”

When they were both done getting ready they checked each other out. “We clean up pretty well don’t we?” said Talia.

“Yes, we do.” Callen gave Talia a soft kiss on the forehead.

Talia smiled, “I like when you do romantic. You don’t do it often, but when you do, it makes one feel appreciated.”

Callen almost blushed. He wasn’t sure what to say to that but he appreciated Talia’s words. He led her out of the room and down to the restaurant. Once seated, they both ordered wine, a Harbor Salad, and Caprese.

“This hotel is really amazing.” said Callen.

“You picked it out.” Talia replied.

“I know, I just didn’t think it was going to be this good.”

Talia grinned, “Let me guess, Nell and Eric helped?”

He nodded. “A little bit. I gave them the city, and what I wanted to do this weekend, and they gave me a list of hotels that would meet our needs. I just kind of went on a whim and no chain hotels, and this one kept popping up. Very glad I went with it.”

“I’m glad too. But I have a question. If the wonder twins helped with the hotel did they help with the picnic?”

“Of course not. That was all me. Though they did suggest I get something other than bologna sandwiches.”

Talia smiled. “That’s what was great about the picnic, it was all you. Sandwiches and all. But this whole weekend is amazing so far.”

Sipping her wine, she placed her hand into his and started tracing little circles in it. Called smiled looking at her, wanting to skip dinner altogether and take her back to their room. Breaking their silence was the waitress bringing the appetizers and taking their meal order of shrimp pomodoro and macadamia nut mahi mahi.

Splitting the salad and the caprese, they made small conversation about the day and did some more people watching. “Ever wonder what it would be like to not watch and wonder about everyone?” asked Callen.

“Sometimes. But I do think life would be boring, and let’s face it our jobs wouldn’t nearly be as interesting.”

“True, I think trying to understands all sides to a situation is what makes us good at our jobs.”

The waitress came by and topped off their water glasses and Callen ordered another glass of wine. Soon after their meals came. They ate in silence.

“You know this is a sign of a great meal.” said Talia.

“What? That we are both focused on the food and not conversation?” replied Callen.

She grinned “Yeah. Let me try yours.” They each had a bite of each others meals and agreed that the restaurant was amazing.

“So did you pick out any other restaurants for the weekend?” asked Talia.

“Nope, I figured we can do that after our adventure tomorrow.”

“Adventure?” Talia looked at Callen questioningly.

“You’ll find out tomorrow.”

Talia rolled her eyes, “OK, tomorrow.”

They toasted their wine glasses and enjoyed the rest of the meal.

****

Walking back to the room, all Talia wanted to do was kiss him. She managed to get one small kiss on his cheek, before he stopped her. “If you keep doing that, we’ll be on the wrong side of the interrogation room for exhibitionism.”

Giddily, she said “YOLO” a little too loud for the hallway.

Callen tried to shh her, but she just laughed harder. “Never say YOLO again.” Callen said, rolling his eyes at the thought of the word.

“But I got you to say it. So who really won here? Come on G, this is fun.” she mock pouted as she tried to nibble at his ear.

“How much wine did you have?”

“Only a glass and a half. And this isn’t the wine talking. You love it and you know it,” Talia winked at him.

Callen shook his head, and smiled as he pulled her in for a kiss with one hand and swiftly opened the door with the other. Once inside, the kisses got more frantic and Talia pinned Callen to the counter. Her hands ran through his hair, and started to move down the rest of his body, trying to unbutton things as she went when Callen broke the kiss he muttered, “Not here.”

Releasing him she walked over towards the bed. Never losing eye contact with him she took off her shoes and started to work on her dress. Callen was pouring two glasses of champagne with a strawberry in each glass when he saw her reach for her zipper. Walking over to her, and handing her a glass he whispered, “Let me.”

Placing his glass on the nightstand, he kissed the back of her neck as he unzipped her dress. Sliding the dress over her arms it fell to the ground. Her breath hitched as she took a sip of the champagne. Taking her glass he placed it next to his. He leaned to kiss her gently yet with intent. “You are so gorgeous.” he whispered. Talia leaned into the kiss wanting more than anything to have Callen just as undressed as she was now.

He let her slip his jacket off, and while she started to undo his shirt buttons, he was focused on getting his belt undone. Pants and shoes followed and soon they were both in their underwear.

Callen guided Talia to the bed where she pulled him on top of her. She wrapped her legs around his waist and started to kiss his neck. His hands were moving from waist to shoulders as he unclasped her bra. Tossing it to the side, all that remained were their underwear. After removing each other’s, they paused giving each other the once over before muttering in unison “You are gorgeous.”

“You keep saying that,” Talia retorted. He looked at her and rolled his eyes, but saw the laughter in hers and said, “I know. I’m just making sure you know that.” Leaning towards the nightstand, he reached in the drawer and grabbed a condom he had placed in the drawer earlier.

“Let me do the honors.” Talia said as she unwrapped the condom and slipped it on not breaking the beat. Callen’s breath hitched as her hands touched him. Reaching up, he started placing kisses all over her body enjoying the fact that she was writhing in pleasure. “If you don’t hurry up…” Talia threatened, but Callen continued to place soft kisses all over her breasts and stomach.

“That tickles,” she laughed trying to catch her breath. “G, please,” she whimpered. Callen moved his kisses towards her lips when she wrapped her legs around his waist again, pulling him in. Both of them moaning at the sensation and desire. This wasn’t just sex. It was a deeper connection. They took turns dominating each other and when they climaxed they both collapsed onto the bed. Slipping off the condom, he tied it off and tossed it aside to clean up later. Moving the hair out of her face, he kissed her forehead and whispered, “That was amazing.”

“Yeah, it was,” she replied still breathless. Pulling him close, she whispered, “Stay.”

Callen grabbed the covers and rearranged them over themselves. He closed his eyes and felt himself drift off into sleep. Sleep was something that happened so little, but this connection with Talia made sleep come easily.

****

The next morning the sunrise woke them up. Trying to untangle themselves from the sheets had them ending up even more tangled up.

“I guess we had fun last night,” Callen laughed. Slowly, he was realizing that the actually slept through the night.

“Yeah, we did.” replied Talia with a smile on her face as she thought back to the night before. Leaning over she kissed Callen’s temple, “So... what’s on the agenda for today?”

“To start, I’d say we need to get out from under these covers.” He started to untangle the covers, but stopped when he saw how pretty Talia looked in the morning sun. He leaned in for a kiss and she immediately deepened the kiss.

She rubbed her hands down Callen’s chest and whispered, “Are you sure we have to get out bed?”

Pulling away, he looked at her and said, “Yes, I’m sure. There’s adventure waiting for us. Plus tonight, we can even improve upon last night.”

“Sounds like I have a lot to look forward to today.” She gave him a wink, kissed his forehead and they both worked themselves out from the covers. Once free, Talia realized how naked she was, but at this point she really didn’t care and made her way towards the bathroom.

She spent relatively little time in there since she was curious what his plans were for the day. And Callen wasn’t one to spend hours in the shower anyway, so they got ready for the day fast.

Talia eyed him intensely as he was coming out of the bathroom, “You look damn sexy in that blue plaid button down. Makes me feel things.”

Callen laughed. “Is that so?”

“It is.” She raised her eyebrow suggestively, “But before I get anymore ideas that involve not leaving this room, please tell me where we are going today?”

“The Zoo.”

“The Zoo?” Talia was a bit flabbergasted. She had expected a lot of things but not that. Callen didn’t seem like a zoo person, and actually neither was she. But thinking about it, she warmed up to the idea. It had been ages since she had last been to one. And then she remembered something “Ohh, I did see on the news a little bit ago that they have a baby giraffe there.”

“Yeah, I saw that too. I figured you’d enjoy seeing baby animals.” Callen said smiling.

After a quick breakfast they made their way to the zoo arriving in time for opening.

“So which way do you want to go?” Callen asked as they looked at the map.

Watching the crowd for a moment Talia said, “I don’t know. How about we go the opposite way of the crowds? But the one thing I do want to get to are the giraffes to see the baby. And look, it says you can feed them!”

Callen grimaced “They have slimy tongues.”

“So what?” she retorted. “They are amazing and awkward all at once. Just think about having a long neck like that.”

Callen rolled his eyes but when he saw how excited she was getting he relented, “I agree they are gorgeous and as long as I don't have to feed them…”

Talia placed her hand in his, “No you don't have to feed them but you do have to take pictures of me feeding them.”

“Deal.” Callen leaned a little closer to her when she pointed to the train.

“Let's start with the train.” she said. They paid and found their seats. During the ride they looked at the map and figured out their plan of action for the day. Talia was also taking pictures, and much to Callen’s chagrin she took one of the two of them together.

“You know this place seems pretty cool.”

“You planned coming here, G.” Talia said.

“I know, I just kind of figured it’d be more fun for you. But I’m having fun too.”

“I’m guessing fun isn’t a word you used a lot as a child? Talia asked.

“Not really.” Callen replied.

She leaned in and kissed his cheek. “I’m having a good time even though we just got here. Because I’m here with you. The animals are a bonus. I mean what could go wrong?”

After getting off the train, they made their way back towards the giraffes. Talia paid for two feedings. She knew Callen wasn’t going to do it, but it gave her the chance to feed them more than once. As soon as the zoo worker gave her the lettuce, she handed Callen the camera and he started taking pictures. When Talia got to the front of the line, Callen was snapping away making sure he got all angles. The giraffe was gentle and Talia thought it was the greatest thing being that close to such a large animal. Towards the end of her feeding, the worker took the camera from Callen and snapped a couple pictures of the two of them together with a giraffe photobombing them.

When they were done they thanked the worker for taking pictures of the two of them, and decided to have lunch at The Wave. Making their way through the zoo, they enjoyed watching the animals, and watching families enjoying themselves as well.

Before they left, Talia saw a rock climbing wall. “Come on, G. Let’s race.”

Callen took a look at the wall and just laughed. “Nope, I’m good. I’m still scarred from Hetty beating me a couple years ago.”

“What? Hetty beat you at a climbing wall?”

“Yes, can we not talk about it?”

“Oh, we will talk about this. Okay, okay... Not now. Did Sam see this? Deeks? Kensi? Come on, I need the scoop from someone.”

“I plead the fifth.”

“I’m so texting Deeks.”

Callen took the phone from Talia. “No texting anyone. Not until tomorrow night anyway.”

“Why, you think they’d be too nosy?”

“Umm..”

“Oh my goodness, Deeks beat you on the wall as well, didn’t he?!”

In the end, and mainly to please her Callen walked over and bought two tickets to do the wall. He took one look at her and said. “It’s on.”

“Bring it,” sassed Talia right back.

They both got harnessed up and the worker laid down the rules. Once he said go, they were off to the top. It was neck and neck until the very end when Talia reached her arm out and rang the bell first.

Callen just looked at her in disbelief. “Not fair.”

“Don’t be a spoilsport,” she laughed.

Once they were back on solid ground, Talia gave Callen a kiss. “Sorry, I beat you. But you were super close.”

“I know, it’s OK. I will beat you in a rematch. But that just means tonight, I call the shots.”

She laughed, “Deal.”
As they headed out of the zoo after a busy day, all they wanted was a nice night of room service and lovemaking. The car ride back to the hotel was short and sweet. Walking into the hotel, Talia was placing kisses on Callen’s hand when the front desk staff motioned them over. “Are you Mr. Callen?” the receptionist asked.

Callen looked surprised, “Who needs to know?”

“I have a message from a Nell Jones for you.”

Callen looked at Talia, “How the hell did they find us?”

“They helped you book the place. Of course they know where we are.”

“Fair point.” Callen looked back at the lady. “What’s the message?”

“It was just two words. It says Janvier escaped.”

Callens face turned white. Then he turned to Talia. “We need to leave NOW.”

“Why? Who is Janvier?” Talia turned to get an answer but Callen was already halfway down the hall to the room. She turned, thanking the front desk for the message and asked if there was anything else other information given.

The receptionist shook her head no, and Talia ran after Callen.

By the time Talia got to the room Callen had already packed up and was heading to the car. “Callen!” She called. He didn't stop. “Please tell me what is going on?”

“We need to leave, and we need to leave now.”

She grabbed his arm and he tried to pull away, but she wouldn’t let him. “Callen, please talk to me.”

“It’s not safe here. We are not safe.”

He pulled his arm away from her a little more forcefully than he would have liked. Realizing what he did, he gave her a look that was a silent apology. She nodded and did a once over of the room and followed him.

Callen was on the phone to ops and simultaneously searching the car as she slipped into it. “Nell, what is going on?” Talia couldn’t hear what Nell’s reply was but Callen wasn’t too happy. “No, I AM NOT going to wait until I get back to LA. Tell me now.” Callen slid into the driver’s seat.

Talia could hear Nell raise her voice now. “Callen, I can’t. Just get here. Safely.” Just as Callen was going to argue some more, she heard the click of the phone. Talia closed her eyes and said a silent prayer to get them to LA safely.

Meanwhile, in anger Callen’s nostrils flared a little and his breathing was heavy. He needed to get back to LA and fast. He then felt Talia’s hand on top of his and he tried to calm down. She looked at him and whispered, “Whoever this is, we will tackle this. Together. Alight?”

“That’s what I’m worried about. I need to keep you safe. I need to keep the team safe. I’m not there to help right now.”

“Just drive.”

Callen started the car and they made their way back to LA.

****

Somehow the traffic gods were on their side and they made the trip back to the Mission in under two hours. Getting out of the car he was making a beeline for the door. “Grisha, wait.”

Hearing her use his actual first name made him stop. He turned around to her. “I need to get in there.”

“I know. I just wanted to remind you to breathe, and we’re all here for you for this.” She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. He sighed.

“Let’s get this bastard.” she muttered as they both entered the mission to get rid of this man. Once and for all.

April 2017

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