Tony was bored. He was going a little stir-crazy at home alone tonight. None of his extensive DVD collection seemed appealing. What had started out as a trip to Redbox at the grocery store, ended with him parked outside Ziva's apartment, finger hovering over the send button on his phone. On the screen he had typed, Movie?. He was pretty sure he could persuade her, despite her having declared she was looking forward to a quiet evening with her book as they were leaving work.
He hit send. A few seconds later, his phone sang out its ringtone. He took a moment to smile at the bikini-clad photo of Ziva that popped up, then answered it.
"Hey," he greeted her cheerfully.
"Movie here, or movie out?" She cut right to the chase.
"Uh…I didn't bring anything with me." He should have thought this through better. Even if she didn't want to go anywhere, spending the evening with her at her apartment was still far preferable to spending it alone at his.
She sighed loudly, and made him wait several interminable seconds. "I was just about to sit down with my book."
"Then I caught you just in time."
This earned him another loud sigh. "Where are you?"
"Tony," she whined. She didn't whine much, and it was adorable. "Figured I would say no if you put me on the point."
"On the spot."
"You are not helping your case."
"We can see something funny. You like funny." He really didn't care what they saw, or if they say anything. he just wanted company.
After another silence, she finally told him. "I'll be down in a minute. I just need to put on some jeans." And with that she hung up.
For all her long, drawn out sighs, it had been even easier to persuade her than he thought it would be. A few minutes later, Ziva opened his passenger door, and slid in. Along with her jeans, she was wearing a tight yoga top and sandals. Her hair was pulled back into a messy, curly ponytail.
"I just got back from the gym, she answered in reply to his stare.
He wasn't protesting her appearance. Rather, he was caught up admiring the fact that she very clearly didn't have a bra on. "You look nice."
She tipped his chin up so he was looking her in the face again. "You like it because this shirt is thin."
"No…" Yes. "Well, maybe a little," he grinned sheepishly. She never seemed to mind his lecherous stares when he just admitted what he was doing.
She shook her head with amusement. "You are very predictable."
"What do you want to see?" he asked as he pulled the car away from the curb.
Ziva turned the radio up to listen to the end of an advertisement. "Have you ever been there?" she asked.
"Where?" He'd totally missed the ad.
"Bobby McKey's. The piano bar in National Harbor."
"Never been. Sound fun. Would you rather do that?"
She nodded. "You do not mind going all the way out to National Harbor?"
He shook his head. "Whatever you want to do. I just wanted company."
She looked at him thoughtfully. "You could have just said that, you know."
He shrugged. "If you'd rather just stay in—"
"No, let's check out this place."
As it turned out, Bobby McKey's was not what they hoped it would be. The place was packed for a weeknight, full of bachelor parties and college kids. Once upon a time it was the kind of scene Tony would have appreciated—sought out even. now it just made him feel old. They weren't even able to both get seats. But that turned out to be a good thing. They'd managed to snag one high stool along a chair rail overlooking the stage. Ziva sat on the stool and he stood behind her. And she was leaning back against him, sipping on her mojito. It always amused him that the assassin liked such sweet drinks.
"Did you see that outfit?" Ziva clucked, shaking her head. "She is so drunk she is going to fall down in those heels."
Tony chuckled. He hadn't noticed. He was much too distracted by the nearly-bare shoulders of his beautiful partner. Shoulders his hands rested lightly on.
"You did not see her," Ziva noted.
"No," he admitted.
He could tell it pleased her that he wasn't checking out all of the scantily clad girls in the place.
"I don't think they're going to play my request," he sighed.
"No, it's a little too…classic…for the tastes of this crowd."
"Is that your euphemism for old?"
"If you would like to take it that way." She leaned back into him and looked up grinning. "Though, I did mean classic. That song is much more what I was expecting to hear."
"Scenes From an Italian Restaurant is the perfect piano bar song. Any Billy Joel song."
"Right," she nodded against his chest. "Not this…what is this?"
"I think its Britney Spears."
She growled her disapproval. "I was not expecting it to be so much like a dance club."
"Too many stupid crowd games, not enough piano playing."
They listened to the end of Womanizer, and Ziva sucked down the rest of her drink.
"Want another, or—"
She shook her head. "I am done."
It was a warm night, but Ziva leaned into him as they walked down the sidewalk, by the twinkle-light covered trees to the water's edge.
"I love that statue," she told him. "The Awakening."
"Rawr!" He imitated the giant hand coming out of the sand, and wrapped his arm tightly around her shoulders.
She laughed. It was such a beautiful sound. She was in a wonderful mood tonight. He kissed the top of her head, letting his lips longer on her hair. They stood there for a while, the only sounds the waves crashing gently against the docks. This just felt so right.
After a while, she spun around leaning against the railing and looking up at him. Maybe it was the alcohol—no, he'd only had one- maybe the moonlight, but before he could think the better of it, he leaned down and kissed her. If she was surprised it didn't show. She kissed him back immediately. Now that he thought of it, she'd looked like she was about to kiss him. Her lips were warm against his. He ran his hands down her bare arms, and she shivered slightly.
He chuckled. "Ticklish?"
"You knew that," she asserted through a smile. "Leave it to you to break a kiss for some teasing."
He shrugged, grinning broadly. She seemed amused, not pissed off.
She slid her arm through his and they continued along the water to the parking lot.
He pulled the car up in front of her apartment building. Their hands had been interlaced on the gear shift for most of the ride home. This evening had turned out so differently that he had anticipated. Better than he could have possibly imagined.
She unbuckled her seatbelt and turned in her seat to face him. "This was a fun evening. Unexpected, but fun."
"Glad I pried you away from your book?"
She nodded. "And it was nice to do something other than just stay in and watch a DVD."
"It was, wasn't it?" he smiled. Tonight had probably been the closest to a real date that they'd ever been on, and she was telling him that she preferred it to their usual just hanging out.
She studied him for a moment. "You are okay to drive home this late?"
It seemed she had been considering asking him to stay. Probably better if he didn't. Keep things simple tonight.
"I'm fine," he assured her.
"Goodnight," she leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. "See you tomorrow."
He watched her climb the stairs up to her building and shut the door, grinning like an idiot.