Tony DiNozzo was surprised by the knocking on his door. Not only was it ten in the evening, it was Sunday. he peered through the peephole. He opened the door in shock. "Gibbs? What's going on? You never knock."

Leroy Jethro Gibbs stood there with a half-smile on his face. His blue eyes were gentle in a way that made Tony more than a little nervous. It was like the world shifting on its axis. "I'm proud of you, Tony."

Tony swallowed. He tried to ignore the rush of pride and joy that statement evoked. It drowned under his fear. "That sounds an awful lot like 'goodbye', Gibbs."

Gibbs chucked him under the chin with his index finger. He closed the door between them. Tony stared at the door, lost for a moment. By the time he reached the front door of the apartment building, Gibbs' car was gone.


Tony searched through Gibbs' desk almost frantically.

"Jesus, DiNozzo, it's three a.m.!" the night guard said. He closed the snap on his holster. "Have you even slept?"

"No, Charlie. Did you see Gibbs leave on Friday?"

"He was in for about two hours on Saturday night. That's the last time I saw him."

"And he bitches at me when I work late."

"Looking for something?"

"Yeah. Something he probably took with him on Saturday." The agent slumped in the office chair. He looked old for a moment, but Charlie was sure it was just lighting. "Crap," DiNozzo finally summarized. He sat up straight and ran his hands through his hair. "Thanks, Charlie. May as well get something else done while I'm here."

Tony didn't bother to go to his own desk, just started up Gibb's computer and logged on. He wasn't surprised to find he had email. He scanned the first three memos. He stopped dead as he read the notice from HR. He started to shake, his hands going cold. He lost what was left of his dinner in the wastebasket. He laid his head down on the desk, the sour acrid taste of bile in his mouth making him feel marginally better about the adrenaline coursing through his veins.

He dialed Abby, not caring if he woke her. "Abs," he said to her sleepy hello, "come in. Now. I need you."

"Tony?" she asked, voice getting stronger. "What's wrong?"

"Gibbs is gone."

"What? No."

"Yes. The stubborn bastard is, he just, he's been stringing us along. I need you here. Please?"

"I'll be there soon. Are you calling McGee?"

"No. I want to see what's in your email first."


NCIS Bedroom