"Calix."

Said person stared out at the waterfront. Thinking about the numbers given to him nearly a month a go, Calix grimaced at the idea that he had the information memorized like the back of his hand though he made no attempts in using it though he looked at the slip nearly everyday since the redhead had left his quarters.

"Mal still has your diploma. It's nicely framed in the living room. I'm sure he'd let you look at it if you want."

"Calix, are you even listening to me?!"

"Uh, yes," he replied quickly as he moved across the rooftop of a warehouse.

"Don't fuck this up," Tyson growled as he rounded the building to get to the back door. "The girls are already in position."

"Y-yes, sir," Calix replied as he made his way to the skylight.

"Don't move until it's time."

"Yes, sir."

"Make sure you're paying attention. If you screw this up-!"

"Tyson, I got it!" Calix snapped as he glared at the radio on his shoulder. "The longer you waste your breath, the longer this assignment will be and they'll get away with all the contraband in their possession."

"You guys, we have movement," came a timid voice through the radio.

"Thanks, Scarlet," Tyson said as he unholstered his weapon. "Keep the front entrance locked down. Alexis, get ready to go through that cargo bay and stop anyone from leaving." Three beeps sounded on the radio. "I'm moving in now."

Peering through the glass, Calix looked about the dark space below before seeing shy of a dozen individuals moving about below. The glint of metal tipped him off to the use of firearms before turning his attention to the boxes being loaded up into trucks.

His attention then shifted to the rear door that slid open. Seeing his leader make his way inside with his weapon drawn, Calix startled when one of the trucks started up. As several others started up, dark eyes darted over towards his leader to see him rounding several stacked crates before he fired at one of the truck tires as the cargo doors opened up.

As the shot rang through the building, Cal watched as dozen of weapons were pulled from their holsters or being slung over shoulders before several shots were fired in the officer's direction. More shots went off when Tyson returned fire, crippling the truck out front. As a few of the people started making their way towards Tyson's position, Calix looked back at the cargo bay door to see Alexis making her way inside with her weapon at low-ready.

Cal then raised an eyebrow as the woman brought a hand up to her mouth momentarily as she snuck up on one of the drivers that had gotten out of the truck. Tilting his head as he watched the woman flex her fingers in the low light, Cal scratched the side of his head when the man suddenly dropped. As she stepped around the man, she checked her six before continuing on her way.

As more shots continued to be exchanged, Calix pulled out a knife before wedging it into the seams of the glass. Propping the pane up enough to pull it out, the raven set it aside before dropping down through the opening to land on a rafter several feet below. Watching the exchange of gunfire until Tyson had to pull back to reload, Calix dropped down to the next few rafters before landing atop a stack of crates. Looking towards the cargo bay to see another four people laying on the ground, Calix got to his feet before taking cover as he watched the others make their way towards his team lead. Not seeing Alexis anywhere, Calix looked back at Tyson's position before hearing the sound of a gun being cocked behind him.

Stiffening as he looked over his shoulder to see one of the people they came to apprehend, Calix slowly raised his hands before having a gun the shoved into his back. Being led out of hiding, Cal raised his hands higher when the remaining few turned their weapons on him. His captor then struck the back of his head with the gun to bring him to his knees.

"Hey, officer! We got your friend here!"

"I wouldn't call us 'friends'," Calix muttered as be rubbed the back of his head before having his hair grabbed. "Hardly coworkers really..."

"Save it."

"Hey, come out before his head is blown off his fucking shoulders." Cal looked around before sighing as his hair was tugged at. "Come out!"

Hearing the slide of the gun being pulled back, Calix tensed before looking up the moment the lights went out. A few boxes toppled over shortly after resulting in everyone's attention being directed there before rounds were fired.

Reaching up to knock aside the hand holding him in place, Calix elbowed his captor before getting to his feet. Kicking his leg back to hear a grunt, the grabbed ahold of his weapon prior to swinging it to full length as the lights were restored.

Twirling the staff in hand, Calix pointed it at the nearest person as they went to reload before swinging his weapon across the man's back. Flinching at a bullet ricocheting off a support beam, Calix took cover before darting across the warehouse.

Taking residence on a stack of crates, dark eyes watched as two of the individuals stopped below him to take a look around. Giving the staff a spin before dropping down as the pair parted, Calix jabbed one end of the staff into one's back before turning to thrust the pole into the other's abdomen when he turned around.

A simple tilt in angle had the opposite end striking the man in the chin before Cal turned completely to have the end of the staff connect with the side of the other's jaw. Flinging their weapons aside, Calix looked over his shoulder at the sound of footsteps before rounding a pallet of boxes to take cover as the others started opening fire.

Ducking down as some of the bullets ripped through the wooden crates, Calix covered his head before turning to kick one of the boxes over to distract his attackers. Taking that opportunity to head to the next set of crates, Calix staggered when he felt a pain cut through his calf. As more shots struck the floor around him, the officer glanced down at his leg to see a darkening stain. Going to assess the damage, he flinched when a bullet cut through the box to strike him in the arm.

Cursing under his breath as the shots continued, Cal searched for possible exits before hearing additional fire arms accompanied by grunts. It was silent aside from footsteps soon after. As they drew closer, Cal held the staff tighter before swinging it. Having the thing caught made him flinch before he realized who had caught it in the first place.

"How the hell did you managed to get shot?" Tyson questioned before glancing down at the small puddle of blood around his subordinate's foot. "I stand corrected; shot twice."

"Well, if you took care of them quicker instead of playing games - games that could've gotten my damn head blown off I might add - then maybe I wouldn't be in this situation!"

"All you had to do was be fucking bait!"

"Which was a complete bullshit idea," Calix griped before having the front of his uniform grabbed. "I could've been help without being bait, Tyson."

"You wouldn't be injured if you were more focused in your work! I figured bait was something you couldn't fuck up!" he snapped.

Slapping Tyson's hand away, Calix used his staff as an aid as he started making his way to the door. Brushing off the help offered by Alexis as she came up to him, Cal continued out the front to make the call for a squad car to round up their objective.

-†-

Staring at the bandages wrapped around his wounds, Calix made a face prior to facing the window in his room. After the being released from his previous night of staying in the infirmary, the officer had been given strict order to not partake in any physical work for the next few weeks to a month, much to Cal's chagrin.

Glancing at the television mounted on the wall then over at the window again, Calix let out a frustrated growl before flopping onto his back to stare at the ceiling.

"All you had to do was be fucking bait!"

"I could've been help without being bait, Tyson."

Grimacing at the recollection of last night, Cal scrubbed a hand down his face as he sat back up. Staring at the wall, dark eyes shifted to regard the USB on the nightstand. Seeing the chain placed nearby as well as the slip of paper, Calix limped over to the small table before picking up the items. Thumbing the thin chain between his fingers, Cal put the necklace on before continuing to toy with the piece of jewelry as he looked at the small flash drive he had been given a while ago. Turning his attention to the piece of paper, he eyed the numbers for a time before looking over at the phone.

"Calix."

Said person flinched before looking up at the intercom. "Sir?"

"How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine," Calix replied. "I mean for someone that's been shot twice I guess."

The Director glanced over at the camera to see the raven staring at his lap. "Calix."

"Sir?"

"Is everything alright?"

"Y...yes," came the reply. "I...um..."

"Yes?"

"I was just thinking is all."

"About?"

Calix shook his head. "Nothing important, sir."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. Um, do you mind if I go to sleep? I'm feeling a bit tired."

"Ah, yes. I'm sure you are from the pain medicine..." the Director said as he watched the raven slide under the covers. "Please don't hesitate to call if you need something."

"Yes, thank you."

Pulling the blanket over his head, Calix lay quiet before peeking out after some time. Reaching over to grab the phone, he pulled it inside before taking a look at the number written on the back. It didn't don on him that he had already dialed the number until he heard the sound of ringing. Flaking out at the last second, he almost hung up until he heard a voice on the other end.

"Hello?" Cal stared at the phone. "Hello?"

"Mr. Lefay?"

"C-Calix?"

"Um, yeah..."

"Hey, uh, how are you?" the older man asked. "Are you ok?"

"Are you ok?!"

Flinching at the fractured memory, Calix held the phone tighter. "C...can I ask you a question?"

"Yeah, of course! Please ask me anything."

"I was told that I had something at your place."

"You have many things at my place, Cal," Malecai clarified. "You're going to need to be more specific."

"Um...a diploma?"

"Dipl-oh, yes! I do have it," Malecai said. "Would you like to see it?"

"May I?"

"Of course! You're welcome here any time."

"Good, good," Calix said as he held the phone a bit tighter. "Can I ask one more favor?"

"Anything."

"Do you mind coming to get me? I...uh...don't really know where you stay."

"Yes, of course," Malecai said as he grabbed his keys. "I'll be there in thirty minutes."

"One more thing."

"Yes?"

"Do you mind picking me up away from the station?"

"Away...from the station?"

-†-

Staring up at the sky, Cal took a deep breath before watching as a carrier went by to land on the station's roof. Watching as another departed, Cal turned his attention elsewhere in favor of watching the citizens go about there business. Seeing how many were in suits, Calix opted in turning his attention back to the sky before he heard the sound of a car door closing.

"Calix?"

Said person turned his head before offering a somewhat bashful smile. "Hello, Mr. Lefay." Grabbing his crutch, he got to his feet. "I appr-"

"What happened to you?"

Cal shrugged his shoulder as he hobbled towards the vehicle. "It's just a little work injury is all," he said as Mal hurried over to open his door. "I'll be ok."

"Are you sure?" Mal questioned as he helped the other inside. He then got in himself. "You've never needed crutches before..."

Cal glanced at him. "Is that so?"

"Do you mind telling me what happened?" he asked as he started driving. "I mean, if you can...or rather if you don't mind."

Calix looked over at him before turning his attention to the passing scenery. "I got shot...twice." The came to a sudden halt. "Jeez-!"

"Are you ok?!"

"Are you ok?!"

Flinching momentarily, Calix massaged the side of his head. "I'm ok. The painkillers are pretty strong at headquarters." His gaze then wandered towards the other's when he continued to stare. "Um, do you mind continuing to drive?"

"Oh...um, sure."

Watching the change in scenery for a time, Calix relaxed in his seat before rifling through his hoodie pocket to pull out the small flash drive once they came to a stoplight. "I wanted to return this to you. Sorry I kept it for so long."

"That's ok but did you read anything?"

"No."

"Then I think you should keep it."

"I'm busy with work."

"No offense but if you were busy with work then you wouldn't be sitting in my car right now," Malecai stated as he continued driving.

"If that's how you feel you can take me back to the station," Calix said as he looked out the window.

"If that's what you want I will."

As the car stopped then turned around, Calix looked back at the man as he started heading back. "What are you doing?"

"I'm taking you back. That is what you wanted."

"I- " Cal bit his tongue before looking over at the other to see him focusing on the road. "Mr. Lefay." The driver hummed in question as he made a turn. "I...um..."

"What is it, Cal?"

Lowering his gaze, Calix held out his hand. "Can I have it back? The flash drive I mean."

Mal dropped it back into his hand. "It is yours after all."

"Can we still go back to your place?" Mal hummed. "I...would like to see that diploma."

Sparing the raven a glance, Mal chuckled as he turned the car around. "Sure."

Listening to the man chuckle, Cal glanced at him from the corner of his eye before smiling as he looked back out the window. With nothing but the silence between them, Calix let his eyes slip close for some time until the vehicle came to a halt. Climbing out as his door was opened, Cal looked about before focusing on Mal when he gestured for him to follow. Taking that as his cue, Calix made his way in after the man before taking a look around as the door was closed. Being signaled to follow, the raven trailed after the other before coming to a stop once in the living room. Taking a seat as Mal went over to a wall, Cal watched up until he was handed a frame.

"Thanks."

"No problem. Would you like something to eat or drink?"

"Uh, water's fine."

Taking a look at the item in his possession, Cal ran his fingers over the glass as he studied the wording and dates.

"Here's your water." When Calix made no attempts of reaching for it, Mal sat it on the coffee table. "Cal-"

"Um, do you have anything else from this day?"

Studying his guest for a moment, Mal walked out of the room before coming back with another frame. Easing it into Cal's lap when the other didn't acknowledge him immediately, Malecai took a small step back when the raven picked up the picture. When the officer opened then closed his mouth a few times, Malecai took a knee alongside him to stare at the photo of him and the teen holding his diploma.

Seeing the corner of his eye twitch subtly as he started to hold the frame tighter, Mal took the item back when he heard the glass starting to crack. Placing the water bottle in his hands instead, Mal took a seat alongside Calix when he made no attempts at drinking.

"Cal." Aforementioned remained silent. "Cal, look at me. C'mon; look at me," Malecai said before giving the raven's knee a squeeze. "Cal." He noted the small twitch in the corner of the other's eye. "Calix!"

He looked down at the hand at his knee before turning his attention to the older man. "I...I graduated from here." His gaze shifted towards the picture then the diploma. "I...I..."

Cal clutched the side of his head before having his hand seized and placed back into his lap. Grabbing his head when it started throbbing, Cal jumped when his hands were grabbed and put into his lap.

"Calix, look at me." He did so. "Calix, what happened to you?" The raven stared down at his lap. "Look at me." He continued to stare at his lap before having his face grabbed. "Calix, look at me!" Letting go when the corner of Cal's eye twitched, Mal sighed before raking his fingers through his hair. "Calix..." Mal glanced back at the officer before getting to his feet to pace the floor. "Two years..." he muttered. "You were gone for two years! Two, Calix! Where did you go?!"

"I dunno..."

"Where did you go?!" Malecai shouted. "You just disappeared without a trace! Where did you go?!"

"I don't know," Calix said quietly before being snatched up by his shirt.

"If you didn't want to live here you could've said so. You didn't have to just disappear for two years!" Mal snapped. "Why would you do that?!"

"Mr. Lefay-"

"You had me and your friends worried sick! We searched everywhere for you! Everywhere!"

"Mr-"

"Even when they couldn't find you...I kept looking!" Cal dropped his gaze. "Where were you?! Where did you go?!"

"I don't know!" Calix shouted as he shoved the man back. "I don't know! I don't know! I don't know!" Shaking his head as it started to throb, Cal dropped back onto the couch. "I don't know."

"Cal-"

"I don't know!" he yelled before curling in on himself.

"Cal-"

"I don't know...I thought I've always been there."

"Been where?" Malecai asked as he took a knee when the raven started to tremble. "Been where? Calix, talk to me."

"I was in there for a long time," Cal whispered more so to himself as he started to rub at his arms. "So long by myself..."

"Cal-"

"And then he came..." Rubbing his arms faster until they were grabbed then held at his sides, Calix stared up at the man before being pulled into a hug. "Mr. Lefay-"

"Please call me Mal," he interjected as he combed through the dark tresses. "Please..."

The sounding of the doorbell had the older man part from the other. As it came again followed by a knock, Mal frowned when Cal lowered his head before heading to the front.

"Mr - Mal." Said person came to a halt before looking over his shoulder to see Cal rubbing at his arms. "C-can I come back for another visit? I have a few more questions."

"Of course," Mal said before flinching at the hard knock on the door. "You're welcome here any time. When I'm done answering the door, we can talk more, ok?"

Getting to his feet as there was another set of knocks, Cal grabbed his crutch before making his way over to Mal's side. "There won't be anymore talk for the day, sir."

"Why?"

Bowing his head at another knock, Cal glanced at the man before offering a smile. "I'll call you to see when it's a good time, ok?" he said as he opened the door to see a more than irritated team lead. "Good Afternoon, Tyson." Said person only gestured towards the squad car before walking back to it. Following suit, Cal looked back when his wrist was grabbed before shaking Mal off to give a small smile. "Thank you for showing me my diploma, Mal."


A/N: A bittersweet ending... I love Mal. I do...just wanna give him a hug sometimes.

Til next time!

TnY