Disclaimer: I wish I could say that I own NCIS…but that would be lying (and my mother taught me not to lie).
Timothy McGee looked up at the woman standing before his desk. She stood there, eyes pleading, hands clasp together. It was one of the few times he could recall that she didn't look menacing to him. "Please, McGee," Ziva begged. It was obvious by the tone in her voice that she wasn't accustomed to having to beg anyone for anything.
The special agent leaned back in his chair. "Ziva, why do you need me to be your dance partner for your tango lessons?"
Ziva crossed her arms, looking quickly to see that the two of them were the only two presently in the bullpen. "Because," she said in a whispered tone, "Tony would spend the entire time quoting Filthy Dancing—"
"Dirty Dancing," Tim interjected.
"Yes, that," Ziva continued, "Palmer seems afraid of me, Gibbs I don't think dances, and Ducky…well…he's Ducky!"
"So I'm your last resort?" Tim asked with a bit of a pout.
"Of course not!" Ziva said quickly. "You are the only man here that I would not mind spending one hour a week with outside of NCIS headquarters." She saw Tim's chest puff out a bit, happy to hear that, for once, he was considered the best man for the job.
However, even flattery did not completely sway him. "If you go there alone they'll pair you with someone."
Ziva shook her head. "That will not do. I cannot learn when there is a complete stranger touching me up."
"It's "feeling" up, Ziva," Tim corrected. He leaned forward, his chin resting on his hands as he considered his options. On the one hand he had a new crime novel sitting at home, begging to be read…
"This is a very nice hole puncher, McGee," Ziva said, gently caressing it, a menacing gleam in her eyes. She smiled a sadistic smile. "I recall once having to kill a man using only a hole puncher…"
…on the other hand, a nice night of dancing could be equally enjoyable.
"9:00pm," Ziva whispered to him, giving him a light tap on the cheek.
The dance studio, Rosetta Stone, was not very crowded that night. Aside from Tim and Ziva, the only other students were two middle-aged couples, an older couple, and two college-aged girls who had come together. The studio owner, Rosalita, looked to be in her forties, but her body was still as slim and fit as it looked in the picture of her twenty years ago that hung near the door. Her brown hair was pulled up on top of her head into a bun and the look in her eyes told Tim that she was a no-nonsense type of teacher. She wore a tight black halter top with a red wrap around skirt that ended just above her knees. The heels she wore were so high her feet looked like were practically vertical. It was a wonder to Tim that she could even walk in them, let alone dance in them.
Tim had arrived wearing the same button-up blue shirt, black slacks, and black shoes that he had worn that day to work. Ziva, however, had changed from her sensible work outfit into a spaghetti-strap red dress, which fell to her knees, and red heels.
Tim rarely saw her in anything other than her work clothing, so when she entered the studio he eyed her appreciatively. "You look very nice," he complimented.
Ziva smiled and asked teasingly, "Are you saying that I do not usually look nice, McGee?"
Tim blushed slightly. "Of course, not," he said, though he knew she was joking. "It's just rare that I see you looking so…" How could he end this thought and not be stabbed by a stiletto?
"Feminine?" she supplied.
"Well…I mean," he stammered. He was saved by a clapping from the front of the studio.
"Hello!" Rosalita called in a voice that seemed much too large for such a petite woman. "I assume you are all here for the tango class. If you could kindly grab your partner and form a line facing the mirror we can begin. For now, I want partners to stand side by side. We must first learn the basic front-together-back-together step before we have you facing each other."
The five couples formed a line across the dance floor, Ziva and Tim ending up in the middle. Rosalita took her place in the front. "First, step forward on your right foot," she instructed, demonstrating at the same time. "You are going to transfer your weight on to this foot, lifting the heel of your left foot, but not the entire foot. You will then rock the weight back on to your left foot and bring your right foot back into place." She demonstrated this movement a couple of times, making sure everyone could execute the step. "This time," she went on, "when you bring your right foot back to center, do a 'one-two-three' with your feet, first stepping completely on to your right foot, then completely on to your left, and then completely on to your right again." Once again, she demonstrated the step a couple of time, stopping to help the male half of the older couple properly get the "one-two-three" down.
"Your weight should be on your right foot, so you will now step back on your left foot in the same manner that you stepped forward with your right foot, bringing it back to center with a 'one-two-three.' The clunking of feet echoed through the studio as feet stomped in what, their owners hoped, resembled dancing.
"This is quite easy," Ziva whispered to Tim. Her feet swayed back and forth, stopping each time in the center for the "one-two-three." The movements were correct, though not exactly graceful as the heels of her shoes clunked to the floor with every step.
"Try staying up on the balls of your feet," Tim suggested. "It kind of makes it easier."
Ziva looked up at him quizzically before glancing down at his feet. As he did the front-together-back-together movement he stayed mostly on the balls of his feet, his heels stayed off the ground. She looked at her own feet in the mirror and mimicked his feet, finding that her no longer clunked as she danced. She gave Tim a side-ways glance, but didn't say anything.
"Those of you who feel you've got that down may now face each other. Men place your left hand on your partner's waist; women place your right hand on your partner's shoulder. Your free hands hold one another. Men, you are going to start, stepping forward on your right foot, and women you are going to step back on your left foot. The important things to remember are that the right foot goes forward, the left foot goes back, and the men always lead."
"Are you ready?" Tim asked as he and Ziva faced each other in the proper stance.
"Whenever you are ready," she replied. Inwardly she was hoping that Tim would not tread on her feet too many times. She soon found, though, that she needn't have worried at all. Tim stepped forward, placing his right foot exactly where her left one had been, his weight rocking back and forth smoothly from his right foot to his left foot. She gave him a smile, quite impressed.
Thirty minutes later, after every couple had perfected the "front-together-back-together" step, Rosalita wanted the couples to practice spinning out. "You will hold both hands of your partner and each of you step back on your left foot." She did so, using one of the middle-aged men as her partner. "The two of you will then step back on to your right foot. As you do this, the woman will lift her left arm up, so you men will be lifting your right arm, and she will turn under it so that she is facing away from the man, her arms crossed around her stomach." She again demonstrated with the middle-aged man who only had to stand there are she twirled under the arm and pressed her back against his body. "From here, the woman will let go with her left hand and spin out with a three-step turn, then spin back in the same way, her left hand once again grabbing the man's left hand." She demonstrated the spin before repeating the entire process with ease.
Ziva and Tim went through the step, though Ziva's moves were much more mechanical than Rosalita's. She spun herself out and in, stepping on Tim's foot with the heel of her right shoe. "I am sorry!" she said when he gave a small grunt of pain.
"That's alright, Ziva," he responded with a good natured smile. "You don't need to take such large steps, though. In fact, you could pretty much just spin in place." She once again tried the spin, this time taking smaller steps. She didn't step on his foot again, but her spin still was a bit rough. "Remember to stay off your heels. That kind of slows you down," Tim reminded her.
Ziva again eyed the special agent, but followed his instructions. She was rewarded with a spin that would have been perfect had she not tripped into him on the inward spin. His arms wrapped around her body, stopping her from falling, while her arms instinctively went to his shoulders to steady herself. Her chest against his, she looked up at him with a smile. "How do you know so much about this, McGee?"
His cheeks grew red in response. "No reason," he mumbled, obvious he wanted to change the subject.
"You've had training before, dear," came a voice behind him. The two turned to see Rosalita standing there, hand on her hips, looking at Tim approvingly. "You're certainly no beginner," she assessed.
Tim looked back and forth between the two women. "Just some…I mean, maybe….four years…" he admitted sheepishly. Ziva's mouth dropped both in shock and amusement. McGee? Timid, little, geeky McGee was a dancer?
Rosalita took Tim's hand and led him to the side. They stood there for a moment just facing each other. She looked delighted; he looked terrified. In a flash, her right leg swung up in a kick. As it looked like it was about to descend, Tim's hand shot up, catching it mid-air by the ankle. The other couples had stopped their practice and all eyes turned to Rosalita and Tim. Her hand was on his shoulder and his was on her back, his other hand still supporting her leg. She rose up further off the heel of her supporting leg before allowing her upper body to drop back, curving to the placement of Tim's hand.
In a moment, her body had shot back up and she had disengaged her leg from Tim's grasp. The studio burst into applause for the duo and Rosalita offered a bow while Tim stood by, not sure what to do. She turned to him, her eyes looking him up and down with the ferocity of a starving dog looking at a piece of meat. "You should try my advanced class," she said softly to him. "They are private lessons," she added with a wink. With that, she walked back to the couples who had resumed their lesson.
Tim, cheeks still red, walked back to where Ziva stood, his eyes cast to the ground. The Mossad officer's mouth was agape. "McGee," she said in a hushed voice, "Why did you not tell me that you are a dancer?"
"I'm not a dancer exactly," he explained. He looked like a little boy standing there in front of her, hands in his pockets, head down, his right foot shuffling back and forth against his left. "My aunt runs a dance studio. She teaches things like ballroom dancing, swing dancing, salsa, and tango," he said, finally looking up at Ziva. "When I was twelve my mom decided that the reason I didn't go to any school dances was because I couldn't dance, so she signed me up with my aunt to take lessons." He grinned slightly. "In some weird way I guess my mom thought this would make me the cool kid in school."
Ziva smiled, trying to imagine a pre-teen Tim in a dance studio. He was probably the only boy in the class, surrounded by skinny little pre-teen girls who had been dancing since they came out of their mothers' wombs.
"As it turns out, I wasn't half-bad," Tim said, pulling Ziva from her thoughts. "In fact, I was pretty good and I kind of enjoyed it. I had assumed before I even tried that I would fail miserably, so when I didn't fall flat on my face it made me, well, kind of proud in a way. I still did everything in my power to hide my dancing from the entire school," he added hurriedly, "but I ended up staying with my aunt's studio until I was sixteen."
"McGee, you are so full of surprises!" Ziva told him, still slightly in shock. "What kinds of things can you do?"
A small smile formed on Tim's lips. "Well," he began, placing his left hand on Ziva's back, grabbing her left hand with his right, "I can dip you, like this." He thrust her body back, supporting it with his left hand. Ziva gave a small yelp of surprise as her head flew back, coming only one foot from the dance floor. Just as quickly has she had been dipped back, her body was pulled back up and she was face to face with Tim.
"Don't ever do that again!" she told him, smacking his arm lightly, though she was still smiling.
"Okay," Tim agreed, beginning to look serious, "but you have to promise that you will never ever tell Tony about my dancing."
Ziva pouted slightly, but nodded. "I promise."
The next morning Tim found the bullpen empty when he arrived. Sitting on his desk, however, was a single, large, red rose. He curiously picked up the flower, examining it. There was no card or note attached to it, and none left on his desk. Shrugging, he placed it back on his desk and dropped his bag on the ground before pulling out his chair.
"Ziva!" he bellowed angrily.
"What, McGee?" the young woman asked as she walked into the bullpen. "You do not have to yell."
Tim did not respond, but instead pulled his chair completely out from under his desk and thrust it in Ziva's direction. Placed on the seat was a large, pink ballet tutu with sequins glues around the edges. Ziva bemusedly placed a hand over her mouth. "You promised you wouldn't tell Tony!" he said accusingly.
"That is true. I did not, however, promise that I wouldn't tell Abby," she pointed out with a devilish smile.
Tim's eyes widened. "You didn't!"
"Probie-rina!" Tony came around the corner, his eyes gleaming. "Why didn't you tell us about your secret life as Baryshnikov?"
Tim threw the tutu at Tony. "Can it, DiNozzo. As I recall you spent one summer mastering the art of clog dancing, didn't you?" From behind him, Tim heard a squeal that could only belong to one Goth forensic scientist.
"Timmy!" Abby threw her arms around him in a hug. She spun him around to face her. "How come you've never taken me out dancing?" she asked, wagging her finger at him.
"C'mon, McTwinkle Toes," Tony said, coming up behind Tim, "this little tutu is just your size, I think."
"Here," Abby said, shoving the stem of the rose into Tim's mouth, "you can show me some moves and then this Friday we'll go out dancing."
"Abby!" Tim mumbled around the stem. From behind Tim could feel Tony attempting to throw the tutu around his waist. "DiNozzo!" he yelled, though still muddled because of the rose stem.
At that moment the elevators opened and Gibbs walked in. He looked up at the quartet: Tim with a rose in his mouth, Abby holding Tim's hands captive, Tony behind Tim, trying to wrap a pink tutu around his waist, and Ziva standing off to the side, enjoying the entire thing. The group stopped and looked at him as he walked to his desk and sat down. "I don't even want to know."
AN: This was inspired by the tango studio next to my apartment and further inspired by wondering what kind of dancer McGee would be.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think!