Tony couldn't believe it. Gibbs was gone from NCIS again. Only this time, it wasn't because of the fifteen years of his memory he'd lost and was trying to regain by drinking his weight in alcohol. It seemed to be for giggles. His workaholic boss – who he'd never seen take more than a day off unless barred from the building – had taken a two week vacation to visit Franks in Mexico. And he was going to figure out why.

In the time that Gibbs was gone, Tony was going to snoop around his house to see if he'd left any sign of why he'd left so randomly.


Getting past the front door had been surprisingly easy. He thought Gibbs would at least lock the door when he left the country. Getting past his feelings so he could focus on the job at hand was not surprisingly hard.

He'd been in Gibbs's house before – so the spotless, sparsely furnished rooms hadn't shocked him – but never alone. It was always because of an on the job injury that called for him to not be left alone so Gibbs was constantly around. But, unlike all of those times, he didn't have to constantly keep his thoughts in check so his boss didn't find out that he was in love with him.

The basement held nothing more than a trash can filled with sawdust, a half empty bottle of bourbon, and miscellaneous hand tools. And the first floor was pristine so he knew that Gibbs hadn't left any clues there.

When he went upstairs, Tony didn't even bother checking the guest room. Sure, Gibbs didn't have visitors too often – Abby staying during the Cyber-Vid case was his first guest in years – but he wouldn't risk anyone that did visit snooping around. Especially since he had started to reconnect with his father.

He went to the next door but, for some reason it was locked. If it had been any other search, he would've pulled out his lock-picking kits but he didn't. Gibbs had locked this door for a good reason and – even though he was snooping – Tony had a feeling it wasn't to keep any of his nosy visitors out, but to not tempt himself into reopening old wounds. Kelly's room, maybe?

The last door he tried was Gibbs's bedroom and, even though it was the only other door on the hall that didn't lead to a closet or bathroom, it shocked him to see it. He stood in the doorway for several seconds before he finally ventured in.

The room was exactly what he'd imagined it would be like. Simple wood furniture. No clutter. No nonsense.

Just like Gibbs, he thought.

Part of him wanted to give up the search, crawl under the covers on his boss's bed, and just breathe in the intoxicating scent. But only part. The other, more sensible part knew he had to keep everything in its place so Gibbs wouldn't know that he'd been there.

He went to work quickly and began searching through the two nightstands on either side of the bed. He didn't know which side of the bed Gibbs favored and didn't want to take the chance of missing something.


Inside the first nightstand, the only thing Tony found amongst the boat and woodworking magazines was a picture of the first Gibbs family. He didn't recognize the woman or child but could tell from the pure joy that he saw on his boss's face. He smiled before putting the photo back in its place in the drawer.

The other nightstand held a small journal as its only contents. Tony opened it and recognized Gibbs's handwriting before he even registered what words had been written. The date of the first entry, he noticed, was December '83. Going again with his gut, he made himself comfortable and started reading.

It may not be an outright sign as to why Gibbs left, but it may lead to something.