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He slides the glass forward and two fingers of bourbon sloshes against the sides like waves in an aquarium. It's been less than two weeks and he still finds himself with a visitor every other day, although if Mike's being honest, he doesn't mind this guy. Unlike most Marines, the Gunnery Sergeant isn't a nagging pain in his ass. "You're gonna need it, Gunny."

Two weeks ago, this guy's wife and daughter were murdered in cold blood. They just got caught up in someone else's shit and unfortunately it cost them dearly. Mike doesn't try to avoid the subject; a mention of it's inevitable considering he's the NIS agent leading the investigation.

Gibbs nods and takes the glass, nurses it for a while before finally he has a sip. It burns his throat on the way down and all he can think is thank you. Everyone's been walking on egg shells around him and he's sick of it. He just wants answers, wants someone to look him in the face and say it was outright murder.

"Have you talked to a counsellor yet, or a padre?" Mike asks. He doesn't mean it as an insult, but these types of wounds don't heal fast. Having someone in his corner could help Gibbs more than he knows.

"I've been talking to you," Gibbs says, and puts his empty glass on the desk. Counsellors and him don't mix, nor does he like any other head-shrink type; people poking around his brain isn't his idea of a fun time. They all want to pretend they know him when in fact they're just rattling off a bunch of crap from a book. "Does that count?"

"Fair enough." He won't broach the subject again, not for a week or two. Mike pours them both another two fingers and leans back in his seat. Sooner or later, he figures Gibbs will ask for the file. Of course he can't show it to the man but sometimes things just get left lying around. "You start building that boat yet?"

He's got some sketches. Nothing fancy. He'll start with a frame and work his way from there. It's a distraction from life, something to keep his mind occupied while he figures out a way to hunt down the bastards that took his family from him. After Gibbs finishes his glass, he stands, looks at the clock on the wall and makes note of the time. It's only three o'clock. Nine hours till the start of a new day.

This is how he does it. Counts down each day, each hour, each minute. So much time passes and so little happens that all Gibbs can be is frustrated. He pushes his chair in, nods at Mike in thanks, and walks outside. "See you on Friday?"

Mike dumps a file on his desk and flicks it open, reaches for the cigarette hidden behind his stack of folders. He needs a smoke if he's gonna reread this one. "Yeah, I'll be here."