Chapter Six: Goodbyes

The next two days passed in a blur and, sooner than Gibbs had expected, Sunday morning had arrived and it was time to leave. The time after Thanksgiving had been spent either chasing Tony around the town as he tried to wrangle stories out of everyone there or talking to people he hadn't seen in years.

Thankfully, no one had mentioned that night yet, and Gibbs was grateful. He just hoped that they would follow his unspoken pact: what happened in Stillwater, stayed in Stillwater.

Slamming the back door of his car, Gibbs called to his team one last time.

"Coming oh-impatient-one," was Abby's reply as she gave Erin one last hug. The blonde grinned and promised to email whenever she got the chance. Beside her, Tony and Ziva were arguing about who would drive with McGee desperately trying to stay neutral.

"McGee," Gibbs barked.

"Yeah, Boss?"

Gibbs snatched the keys from Tony and threw them to the younger agent. "Drive," he commanded.

McGee grinned and all but dashed to the driver's seat as Tony and Ziva looked on, flabbergasted. Their silence lasted for only a second or two, however, because they immediately began fighting over who would ride shotgun.

Deciding to let them yell it out on their own, Gibbs turned to his father.

"Thanks, Dad," he said, genuinely grateful. Jack gave him a hug before giving him one final instruction.

"Don't be a stranger, Leroy."

"Won't," his son promised.

"And Leroy," Jack said as Gibbs turned away.


"Don't forget to bring that team of yours whenever you drop by."

Gibbs swore his father's eyes were twinkling more than usual as he watched them drive off.