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Shorts: Surprise! You're Related.

Back Flip Family
By paburke
Spoilers: Season 2 of both NCIS:LA and Young Justice League
Summary: Both Callen and Dick Grayson are Romany and thus (in my mind) related to each other.
Pairing: Hetty/Alfred, they both can appreciate a good cup of tea.
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me



G Callen stopped in the middle of the busy LA sidewalk and turned, somehow knowing that someone was calling him. The black-haired, blue-eyed young man bounced out of the brand new black convertible and jogged to G’s side. “Man, I have been looking everywhere for you.” He tried to hug G, but the agent slithered out of reach.

“Who are you?”

The kid cocked his head. “Seriously? Gunari?”

“I don’t know any Gunari.”

The kid laughed long and loud and then looked down at G (he was built like Sam) and abruptly stopped. “You are Gunari.” He was looking concerned. “Gün, did you get hit on the head or something?”

G could have answered that he had been hit on the head too many times to count but he was more interested in the possible intelligence. “How do you know me?”

“Gün, I’m your cousin.”

G shook his head no. He would have known if he had family, but then he hadn’t remembered his sister, Amy.

The kid was still talking. “We met once. I was young. Five? Six? I couldn’t say your name yet. You were in your teens and some adult brought you to our circus performance, I think she might have been your case worker. The adult brought you backstage and you were supposed to watch me while Mom and Dad talked to her and…”

G remembered this part. “I lost you. You climbed up some rigging.”

The kid crossed his arms and sniffed. “I jumped.”

“I chased you all under the Big Top.” It had been the most fun of his junior year and that included car backseat adventures. The kid had had the most infectious and creepy giggle. G didn’t think he was imagining the current laugh as the grown-up version.

“It was a great audition, I was so mad when my parents said that we couldn’t keep you. You would have made an awesome Flying Grayson.”

G took a step back. Part of him was elated that someone had wanted him and part of him was screaming that it was a trick. It had to be a trick. Why would anyone wait so long to claim him? “Why couldn’t your parents foster me?”

The kid –and G really needed to get a name- shrugged, frustration written all over his body. “My parents were part of the circus. Carnies, what have you. No stable address and your mom was pretty thorough at separating you from the family troubles. According to what I remember, my parents couldn’t prove that you were family, not enough to convince your case worker.”

Well, G could prove that now. “Can I have some of your hair? Not that I don’t trust you but…”

“You don’t trust me,” the kid said cheekily. “I normally wait until the second date to give up the DNA.” He was grinning when he yanked at a stand of black locks and offered the strands to G. “We’ll talk when you get the results.” Then the kid ran back to his car, doing an impressive gymnastic routine that landed him smoothly in the driver’s seat. He pulled out, leaving G without a name, a phone number or any way to contact him. G quickly memorized the car’s license plate. He would find out everything about this supposed cousin.


G called in a favor with Abby in the DC NCIS lab, over-nighted the samples and confirmed that the kid was indeed a cousin, but the DNA wasn’t in any database. G couldn’t get a name that way. The car’s license plate was another dead end as it was a rental that was currently part of a fleet of cars being rented out by some out-of-town big shot. Without a warrant, G couldn’t pressure the rental agency into divulging who was renting the convertible. G couldn’t get a warrant for a personal search and he was acting strange enough that both Sam and Hetty were watching him like a hawk.

So G tried another avenue. He cross referenced circuses and ‘Flying Graysons.’ He didn’t get anything in California, so he widened his search. He found some mention of a family of trapeze artists, apparently the best in modern memory, but the act had dissolved more than a decade before. G had reached the end of his computer capabilities. He was sure that Greg could get further. Really, Greg could take the time and day of G’s meeting and backtrack the cousin to his place of residence. And Hetty? She knew everyone. Chances were good that if G asked for a list of out of towners that could/would rent a fleet of convertibles Hetty would rattle off all pertinent names. But did G want help? Both of his friends/colleagues would be willing to help but they would want answers.

The problem was taken out of G’s hands when Hetty stopped at his desk and said, “I’m meeting a friend for tea. You’re driving me, Mr. Callen.”

G smiled up at the operations manager. “Sure, why not?”

“On that rousing recommendation, let us depart.” G followed Hetty to the car and drove through the traffic (at five under the speed limit) to an out of the way tea house. He parked next to a familiar black convertible. As soon as G shut off the car, he jogged to check the license plate and yes, this was his cousin’s rental.

“What gave me away?” G had to ask.

Hetty smiled. “Nothing you did. Come. Mr. Grayson is waiting.”

Grayson of the flying Graysons.

The front door to the tea house was unlocked, though the sign indicated that it was closed. The front room was devoid of employees. Only one man was visible and he wasn’t G’s cousin. The thin grey-haired man smiled at the agents’ entrance and poured two cups of tea. He stood as they approached, holding a bright bouquet of tulips. He was in a very high-end suit.


“Alfred,” she addressed him with a smile. “I was so pleased at your call.”

Alfred handed her the vase of flowers. “It is always a pleasure to be in your company.”

G turned his head away, first so that he wouldn’t witness Hetty and her man and second so that he could find his cousin. Alfred’s weathered hand appeared before his face, pointing to a cleverly designed alcove. “Master Dick is waiting for you, Mr. Callen. He wanted a bit of privacy for your conversation.”

“Thanks,” G murmured. He walked to the alcove and his hand didn’t brush his gun. No matter how uncomfortable he was, Hetty wouldn’t bring him to an ambush. The alcove held four private tables, his cousin and one very beat up wooden box.

His cousin looked up from the letters in his hand as G entered. “Dick Grayson, I presume,” G snarked.

Grayson smiled and nodded. “Gunari Callen, glad you could make it.” He shoved the papers in his hand at G. “These are the letters than your mother wrote mine. You can keep them, I guess.” Grayson sounded pained as he made the offer.

G flipped through them and saw that they weren’t written in any language he could read. He would need them translated. “What happened to your mother?” Why wasn’t she here? Did she care about G?

“Dead. With the rest of the family.”

G analyzed the younger man and saw the grief that was normally packed away. “What happened? I couldn’t find any reference to why the Flying Graysons retired.”

“They didn’t retire.” Grayson shrugged. “It happened in Gotham, so the story stayed local there. One of Gotham’s many crazies killed them during a show.”

G could add, or in this case subtract. The Flying Graysons show had dissolved more than a decade before and Dick was in his early twenties. He had become a ward of the state. How had he managed to keep a hold of his mother’s belongings and what about Alfred and the expensive car? “What happened to you?”

“Bruce Wayne took me in.”

G twisted his mind and couldn’t come up with a good reason for a (then) young, billionaire playboy to take in a troubled orphan.

“Bruce is a good guy,” Dick stated. “He’s overbearing and a bunch of other over-adjectives, but he understood mourning. He had been at the show. He took me home.”

G nodded as if he understood. He didn’t. He would set it aside for now, call Nate at the earliest opportunity and demand a profile of Bruce Wayne until he could understand. At this moment, he’d continue gathering evidence.

Dick knelt in front of the box and G knelt beside him to see the newspaper clippings and the odds and ends that would be considered junk by anyone not related. “This was my mom’s, her safe box while we were with the circus. When somebody went gunning for me and they had no reason to go after Bruce a couple of months ago, I started looking into all of the family things Bruce had put into storage. I found evidence of you and Amy.” A quick glance here to determine that yes, G knew about his sister and yes, he knew that she was dead. “I also found evidence that you and I are on one side of the Romany version of the Hatfields and the McCoys.”

“Are we the Hatfields or the McCoys?” G quipped.

“Our mothers were the ones that ran away from the violence. I pretty sure that’s the violence that got your parents in the end.” Dick glanced at G again. “Look, I just got to know. Do you want us to be family? Do you want phone calls every weekend, or do you just want a birthday card and a Christmas card and to never hear from me again?”

“I want more than that,” G was quick to realize. He needed that connection. “But with my job…”

Dick smirked at him. “Gün, I found you during one of the few times you weren’t with your partner, on a case and you weren’t at home. That wasn’t an accident. I know about your job and I know Hetty.”

G was reassessing his cousin. “About that: which came first, knowing Hetty or knowing my job.”

Dick leaned back, his face alight with mischief. “Met Hetty ages ago, but I didn’t know that she was your boss until after I found you.”

G sensed a good story. He spared a thought to the silver tea service on the corner table.

“We can have tea,” Dick offered.

“I’d like that.”

Dick left the box on the ground and went to pour the tea. G just couldn’t step away. Dick understood somehow and brought G a cup. “You can take pictures of everything,” Dick promised. “And there’re a couple pieces of jewelry from our mutual grandmother if you’re interested.”

G didn’t give Dick a chance to renege on his offer. He began to systematically photograph every scrap. Dick brought him more tea when he had finished the first cup and watched. “Tell me about the first time you met Hetty,” G prompted.

Dick laughed. “The first time I’m still trying to bleach the memory out of my head. We’ll just summarize it as Alfred and Hetty being very good friends since they were in their twenties. And every time they meet up, it’s as if they’re twenty again.”

G laughed and made eye contact to encourage him to continue. “So let’s start with the second time.”

Dick cleared his throat and a slight blush stained his cheeks. “So there might have been a bored kid in mourning with a clueless guardian and a really impressive computer stashed in a corner. The kid sat down at the computer and explored the Internet and might have very clumsily visited the Pentagon super-secret files.”

“You hacked the Pentagon?”

Dick shrugged. “I had time on my hands. Alfred and Bruce changed that –mostly- after they sent Hetty to scare me into not doing it again.”

“Did she succeed?” G had to ask.

Dick’s smirk was 100% cheek. “She scared me into not getting caught again. I tend not to pay attention to supposed boundaries on the Internet.”

G smiled at the rebellion.

“What about you?” Dick turned the conversation to him. “What is Hetty to you?”

It was an insightfully non-invasive but still personal question. G couldn’t blow him off with the ‘classified’ excuse. “Friend, boss, defender. She prods me into doing what’s best for me.”

Dick understood. “Family.”

“Pretty much.”



The Many Smiths in the Phonebook
By paburke
Spoilers: for all of the movies RED and Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Summary: There was once a MI-6 spy impregnated by a KGB spy and she gave the baby girl to a CIA spy to hide so that she could grow up and have a normal life. Life has a way of not following one’s plans.
Disclaimer: No one belongs to me.


John Smith woke up in the pricy yet anonymous hotel room and knew something was wrong before his hand found nothing under his pillow. He should have a gun there. He tried to be casual as he reached under his wife’s pillow. He found Jane’s hand (empty) and enough tension in her fingers to know that she was also awake and missing her gun. They were on the run from the people who wanted them dead and someone had managed to unarm them.

“We know that you’re awake, dears,” a female voice with a British accent called.

Jane rolled over and sat up. “Victoria?!”

John sat up and concentrated on the other person in the room, whom he recognized. “Jane, why is the actor you hired to play your father at your wedding here?”

Jane broke off her staring match with the elegant, white-haired woman to identify the older, balding man in the doorway. “I don’t know, but that is the actor I hired.”

Victoria smiled at the strange man. “Francis! You inveigled yourself to be part of Jane’s wedding, you old softie!”

Francis didn’t let emotions cloud his face, but his body gave the impression of confusion. John was pretty sure that he knew Francis was confused because Francis was letting him be confused. “Isn’t that what godfathers are supposed to do?” the supposed actor asked.

“Only if everyone involved is a spy?” another female added wryly. “And as the only non-spy in the room, let me point out that we should let them get dressed before Ivan returns with breakfast. You already disarmed them and peeked their curiosity. They’ll stick around. But doesn’t matter if you are married, you don’t want the first impression you give your biological father to be one of you naked in an occupied bed.”

“Sarah is correct,” Victoria agreed. She smiled beatifically at both John and Jane. “Hurry and get dressed, dears. We have so much news to catch up on.” She ushered Francis out of the bedroom.

Jane called out and made the older woman pause. “Victoria, are you here for a contract?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Jane. Why would I accept a contract to kill my own daughter when I worked so hard to keep you safe? Now do hurry. Ivan should be back at any moment.” She closed the door purposefully.

John and Jane were equally stunned.

“Car accident when you were six?” John asked as he tossed the blanket aside and grabbed his jeans.

“I never went back and checked their DNA,” Jane confessed. “Have you seen my…”

John was holding up the bra with a leer. She rolled her eyes at his juvenile behavior and grabbed her clothes. “You know Victoria?”

“One of the best snipers in the business. Had a complete career with MI-6. Supposedly retired but she still does the odd contract for my old company.” She buttoned her shirt and ran her fingers through her hair. John thought she looked beautiful and told her so.

She appreciated the comment and threw his shirt at his head. “Hurry up.”

Together, they opened the door to chaos. An older Russian had arrived, laden with coffees and pastries. The man had to be Ivan. He stopped and called to Victoria. “Our daughter is beautiful and deadly, Bunny. She takes after you.” He turned to Francis and bowed. “It appears I owe you one for keeping my daughter safe, Frank Moses.”

Moses shrugged from where he was curled up on a recliner with the non-spy Sarah. John had a hard time reconciling the man/actor that had threatened him at the wedding with the RED spy Frank Moses. All those things Moses had threatened and John had discounted could very well come true.

Well what was breakfast without death threats to help the meal digest?



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
Sweet so many spies in one place imagine all the stories! Awesome!
Feb. 10th, 2013 12:09 am (UTC)
lol. pretty much. thx for the review
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )