Disclaimer: NCIS belongs to DPB, not me. I promise. Just borrowing. Do I have to keep going?
Author's Note: Inspired by a single gesture. Enjoy.
Summary: Kate reflects on her dance with Medal of Honor recipient Ernie Yost once the team proves him innocent of murdering his best friend, Wade. Tony also has some confessions to make after his encounter with Yost...Spoilers: Call of Silence Kate/Tony
"Dance With Me"
She closed her eyes and imagined it all over again. Did he? Yes! He placed her hand over his heart while they were dancing. It was as if she were replacing his lost wife for only a few moments. In the midst of her subtle tears, she didn't remember the small gesture until now. Ernie Yost was lonely and lost. While he playfully leered in her direction, he mostly wanted someone to hold again and she provided that for him if only for a short while.
She opened her eyes again only to be met with the stacks of paperwork she had neglected while helping Veteran Yost maintain his honor. The last couple of days had been a learning experience...especially the power behind the Medal of Honor. She understood why Gibbs told her you didn't win that medal...you were awarded it. This was something she would never forget. In fact, this case would stay with her for a long time.
She glanced over to him, his lopsided smile beaming at her. Only Tony could continue to act immaturely after a day like today. She sighed and told him straight up,"I'm not in the mood, Tony."
He put on a face of confusion and asked, "But...I didn't say anything yet."
"'Yet' is the key word there," she forced a mocking smile at him, but had to admit, she wasn't in the mood to tease him right now either. She stood up to get some air and prayed he wouldn't follow her. To her dismay, he did. Once on the elevator, she put a considerable amount of space between them. He shortened it. "Tony, a little space please?"
"Sorry," he mumbled and backed away.
He tried to stare straight ahead, but he couldn't help but sneakily try to look at her. She could see his reflection in the elevator doors. His lip curled down, trying to look serious but he still appeared goofy. His eyes slightly narrowed, his brow furrowed in concern. If she didn't know any better, she would think Tony was actually worried about her! The ride was over, they stepped off and then were outside breathing in the fresh air.
"Oh," Tony nodded, still not sure whether she was okay or not. They stood their a moment, watching the activities in the parking lot. It was a bit chilly out, but neither of them cared.
"Did he get to you at all?" Kate asked suddenly and looked at him. Her tone was less then encouraging. She watched his face suddenly take on a expression of alarm at her question. She wondered if he was going to come up with some lie to make her feel at ease.
His eyebrows lowered and he replied bitterly, "You know what Kate? I'm not a child."
"Could've fooled me," she rolled her eyes. She then felt him grab her arm and turn her to face him. She gave him a disgusted look and nearly shouted, "Tony!"
"Kate, to be perfectly honest, I did fool you," he told her. "I did fool you."
She calmed down immediately, taking on the very challenging tone in his voice. He had fooled her? Oh, yeah. He definitely fooled her. She had never seen him this serious...ever. He finally released her arm and placed his hands on his hips. The stance made him finally look his age. Like he was an adult male with an adult mind. She swallowed hard realizing the Tony who chased any skirt that passed by was merely a piece of him. It wasn't all of who he was.
"I'm sorry, Tony. It's been a stressful day."
"It has been for everybody," Tony finally smiled softly. "Sometimes in this line of work, it's easy to forget that other people have stressful days as well."
Kate returned the smile and asked seriously this time, "Did he get to you?"
"Yeah," Tony looked down at the floor. "He made me think."
"In what way?" she asked curiously.
Tony shrugged it off and pretended it didn't matter, but she insisted. It wasn't everyday they had a serious conversation. She felt they were finally bonding. He sighed and continued, "He was so faithful to his country, his friend and his wife. Made me think about how I treat the people around me. That I take them for granted. That's all."
"Aww, Tony," Kate gushed slightly at his honesty. She playfully hit his arm and remarked, "You really do care."
"Yeah, I guess I even care about McGee," he admitted quietly.
"Really?" she asked, giving him a skeptical look.
He stood there a moment, then smiled at her, "Nope!"
She shot a glance at him and he continued to grin at her nonsensically. She rolled her eyes, knowing that twinkle in his eye meant he was ready to get back to his old tricks. Their Hallmark moment was now officially over.
He held out his hand, "Dance with me?"
She stared at him curiously. Hallmark moment over? Maybe not...
"I'd love to," she smiled and took his hand. Tony held her in the same fashion Yost did earlier. They rocked to the music in their heads. He had pulled her close, his hand wrapped up in hers. It took her a moment to figure out what he was doing, but he slowly but surely placed her hand over his heart.