Gibbs woke up early the next morning. Sure it was Saturday and he wasn't' on call but, his body wouldn't let him sleep in from the years of being in the corps. At least that's what he told himself. He didn't want to admit, even to himself, that the real reason was because he knew Tony was supposed to show up at some point and that he was too nervous to sleep.
Not that he knew the younger man would even show up. He'd just stuck a note in the book before giving it to back to him to read the night before, telling him to come by to talk, no matter what time. He figured DiNozzo would be so eager to finish that he would put everything else on hold just to do so.
But, as Saturday came to an end, Gibbs hadn't seen a sign of DiNozzo. He tried to stop the inkling of hurt he felt with a shrug but the thought that accompanied it – the thought of DiNozzo with a date – made it worse.
As he got ready for bed around eleven, he felt like a teenage girl whose crush rejected her because he reached for the journal that was supposed to be in the nightstand, intending to write to his daughter about it. She already knew everything about his life – with a few deletions, obviously.
Only, just after he opened the drawer, he remembered giving it to Tony. But, there it was, sitting in the drawer. He picked it up wondering how in the hell he hadn't noticed that Tony had come into his house without him noticing. And why Tony had left without saying a word.
Inside, there was a note. It was nothing fancy, just a folded piece of paper with his name written neatly across it in Tony's handwriting.
So, I know you told me to come by to talk to you when I finished, but I couldn't. So, I just left after I put the book back in the drawer. You might be feeling either angry I didn't follow instructions or upset I left without talking to you. Either way, I know you're wondering why I wanted to know why you left so badly in the first place.
I wanted to know because you're my boss and, you never took a vacation in the time I've worked for you, so I thought it was a little weird. I had to figure out why in case it was something like Jenny not telling us she was sick. I don't think any of us could stand losing you again, boss.
I'm not going to go on and on about what happened in the past. It's been too long and there's no point. It won't change anything. But, I have to mention one thing.
We would've helped you if you'd asked after Kate died. We know how much you thought of her like a daughter, even if only Ziva knew that you'd actually had a daughter of your own.
I don't know how I can explain to you why I wanted to know why you left so bad except that, as you can probably guess, it's more than just because you're my boss and I'm nosier than a little girl.
Okay, Gibbs could sense Tony's pause, there's no other way to explain it to you except just to say it.
I love you. That's it. I was worried when you left without more than a few words a couple weeks ago and I had to find out why, whether you knew if I knew or not.
This probably sounds stupid to you but I have to ask. Can you call me when you're done reading? Just to let me know you don't hate me for snooping.
Gibbs laughed. And, even though it was late, he dialed the number and waited impatiently for the man on the other end to answer. When the sleepy greeting came, he said just a few short sentences before hanging up.
"I love you too, DiNozzo. But, we still need to talk about this. Since you didn't come to me, I'll come to you."
As he hung up and got ready to leave, Gibbs smiled. Just before he left his room he picked up the journal and wrote one sentence to his little girl.
Thank you, baby girl, for helping me find love again.