Author's Note: Coda to NCIS: LA 3x09, "Betrayal", because it had to be done. Therefore, SPOILERS for that episode! If I can, I'll write a smutty follow-up to this as well.

Despite feeling bone-weary Sam slept badly and woke up when dawn was barely breaking. After a few minutes of staring at the ceiling, he grabbed his running gear, kissed his sleeping wife on the cheek and slipped out of the room.

When he opened his front door, checking his surroundings without even thinking about it, he was not in the least surprised to see Callen's car on the other side of the street, and Callen leaning against the hood, wearing running clothes. Sam smiled wryly - G knew him too well, knew what a mission like Sudan did to him. It was what made them such good partners.

Sam Hanna liked to think of himself as one of the good guys, his moral compass steady and unwavering, and while he was willing to do what was necessary to finish a mission, the ruthlessness this sometimes required did not sit well with him. Or rather, the ease with which he did it, hurt people like Jada for the sake of a cause, made Sam not quite sure yet how to face his wife, his family - hell, he didn't even particularly want to look at himself in a mirror right now.

Which was why Callen was here, wordlessly joining Sam as he set off down the road, their feet hitting the ground in a steady rhythm. Callen lived in a world of shades of grey, ruthlessness came easy to him when it served a greater purpose, but he knew Sam was different, knew that while Sam might try to isolate himself after a difficult mission, letting him get away with it actually made things worse. So there he was, a familiar presence at Sam's elbow as they made their way through the sleeping streets, making it impossible for Sam to forget why he had to be ruthless. After all, they had to keep each other safe, and how could Sam do that if he hesitated?

Glancing at his partner Sam allowed himself a grin and sped up, hearing G huff in amusement and follow suit. They raced each other for a couple of miles, until Sam's muscles started burning and he was soaked in sweat, feeling pleasantly out of breath. G, who, as the better runner, was a couple of paces ahead of him, chose this moment to look back with a sly smirk.

"If you wanted to go to my place, we could have taken the car, you know."

Sam slowed down and looked around properly, realizing they were only a few blocks away from G's house.

"Why would I want to go to your place? There's nothing there!" he shot back, the banter coming easily again, a sign that things were sliding back into place. Which doubtlessly was what G had intended.

"So you'd rather walk or take the bus to the office in your sweaty clothes than use my shower, because my lack of furniture offends your delicate sensibilities? I had no idea you were so sensitive, man!"

"I hope you have something resembling breakfast - or at the very least coffee," Sam commented laconically. They were jogging more slowly now, cooling down, and it was Sam who led them into G's street.

They took the back way in, G checking the leaves he'd strewn on the back porch for disturbance before opening the door and letting Sam pass.

"I have coffee," G offered up, "and some leftover pizza." He paused and looked Sam up and down critically. "But really, shower first, big guy. I bet you haven't washed properly since Darfur and I can't have you dirtying my nice house."

His tone was dry, but his eyes were soft, and Sam's reply lacked heat: "Because you're Mr. Clean, of course."

G just smiled and motioned Sam up the stairs, to the bathroom, which was empty but clean. He disappeared to get towels, and Sam started to undress. A long hot shower did sound good, wash the last remnants of Sudan off him...

He was down to his boxers when G returned with the promised towels. He'd taken off his sweaty t-shirt and was barefoot, giving Sam a measuring glance. Sam just looked back calmly and finished undressing. G grinned wolfishly, dropped the towels unto the floor and stepped closer.

"Now, let's get you clean, agent Hanna..."

His hands were firm and gentle on Sam's skin, and Sam allowed himself to be pushed into the shower. G turned on the water and left Sam to adjust the heat while he stepped out of his pants and boxers. Then he joined Sam under the warm spray, and for a while they just stood there, breathing each other in.

Finally, G pulled Sam's face towards him, and Sam's eyes closed as he fell into the kiss gratefully. They tasted each other while G's hands traveled gently over Sam's body, mapping his scars as he always did.

"It was this scar that told me the body they'd found wasn't you," G finally said softly, interrupting the kiss to lean down and trace the old bullet wound on Sam's calf with one finger. "You have no idea how scared I was to look under that tarp, at that body!"

Sam leaned down and captured G's lips in another kiss, needing the dark look of remembered pain on his partner's face to disappear. G's finger trailed upwards and Sam's breath hitched slightly, opening his mouth to deepen the kiss. G responded in kind, heat replacing tenderness as their bodies reassured one another that they were alive, together, and that was all that mattered.

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