Summary: He's got a talent, and she's the one lucky enough to get to see it.
Disclaimer: If I owned NCIS, I'd give in to my delusions and make all the characters rockstars ^^ but I don't own, so ... they're staying federal agents! Which ain't bad. Nice guns. (And yes, I'm really talking about the weapons.) Also, I don't own Michael Weatherly's Bitter and Blue. Michael Weatherly does, obviously. And TPTB probably owns some rights to it, too, but I don't know. It's all confusing. This is the longest disclaimer on Earth, but all you have to know is that I don't own anything!
Spoilers: None specific, unless you count the lyrics to Bitter and Blue.
In this fic, Tony and Ziva are already together. This does not tie in with any other of my fics, although it can some if you wish. It's just something I wrote for my awesome little sister ^^
Dedication: To Harm Mei, who sings like a lark. Happy Belated Birthday!
"You want to what?" Ziva paused, staring at her boyfriend two feet away.
Tony shifted uncomfortably. "You asked. I didn't say I was going to do it; it's just a pipe dream!"
She laughed. "Some pipe dream. A demo tape, Tony, really? Is that some sort of mid-life crisis?"
"Okay. A, thanks for reminding me that I'm old; B, can we go back to the game of Truth and Dare that we were playing before I shocked you so much, you apparently forgot it's my turn to ask you a question now?"
"Okay, fine. I pick Truth."
"You always pick Truth; I can't even dare you to kiss McGee or something. What's the strangest thing you've ever done?"
She tilted her head and thought. She'd certainly done her fair share of strange things, ranging from the memorable childhood experience of consuming an entire bag of jellybeans, to dating Tony (he was just unusual enough to qualify as 'strange' sometimes. Still, she loved him very much).
"I assume you would not like to know about the time I gutted someone —" she ignored his cringe—"So, I would have to say, hitching a ride on a semi-truck by clinging onto its back for four miles."
He winced. "Wasn't that hard?"
"My arms and hands hurt for the rest of the week, and that was with medication. It's my turn now, yes?"
"Yeah. I pick Truth."
"Why won't you do it?"
"Do what? I assume you're not talking about sex here, because I seem to remember a fun little morning romp…"
Ziva rolled her eyes so hard, she thought they might've popped out of their sockets. "Send in the demo tape, Tony. Why won't you send in one?"
Tony shrugged. "You just said it was a mid-life crisis."
"I was kidding."
"Yeah. But, I mean, who would want to hear me sing? I'm an old dude with no concept of music and who knows no instruments. I'd be a real sell, alright."
"Sing a few bars," she suggested gently.
"To you?" he asked incredulously, and then looked over his shoulder as if searching for a way out. "Oh, no. Last time I checked, you make the shower sound like a Broadway stage. Never. Ever."
"Come on! I dare you."
"Hello! It's my turn to dare you now!"
"Okay, fine; but after you have dared me, it is my turn."
"Can we stop playing now?"
"Why are you that afraid of singing to me?"
"Maybe 'cause you hit all the high notes and all the low notes, and all the notes in between! Forget it. You don't wanna hear me sing."
"Yes, I do."
He finally dropped the hands he had lifted in panicked despair, the corners of his mouth drooping. "Why?"
Sliding off her stool at the kitchen island, she stepped in between his legs and reached up to softly kiss him. When she thought she felt him relax a bit, she raised a hand to cup his cheek, leaning back to study his eyes. "Because if you really want this, then I don't mind helping you get it."
His shoulders dropped. "C'mon, Ziva, a singing federal agent? This was just a happy little fantasy; I never meant it to be serious. I mean … guys get that all the time, right?"
"I would not know; I'm not a man. But your eyes seemed very hopeful."
"Of course they were—fantasies are hopeful. But I never seriously thought about pursuing it."
"You could pursue it now."
He looked back at her, hope and misery clashing fantastically in his eyes. Finally, he dropped his gaze. "I think mostly, I just wanted to know if I was … any good. It's not really an I-must-sell-a-million-copies thing … I just wanted to know. Y'know, 'cause the only person who's heard me actually sing is my mum, unless the gardeners at my boarding school were eavesdropping on me when I skipped class and hid out in the bushes. I've never really sung since…"
"So, sing to me now."
"I can't. Not after knowing how well you sing."
"I will not judge you." She pressed another feather-light kiss to his lips. "And even if you were really bad, I still love you."
He chuckled, his eyes suddenly becoming a bit shiny. "You sure? 'Cause I've been known to send people running for the—"
"I'm sure," she said firmly, and he nodded.
"Okay." He took a deep breath, looking as if he were trying to steel his nerves, and opened his mouth. "Oh, I can't do this."
She frowned and opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, Tony interrupted her with, "Let me try again."
And so he took another deep breath; steeled his nerves once more … and, his voice shaky, finally sang. "I've got a query, so I'll riddle you; you and your theories, divine false and true. But what about the gnawing doubt inside? Here's mud in your eye.
"So, what do you think?" he asked, his voice still shaky. She blinked.
"No, there's more. But I can't do it, Ziva; please don't make me."
"Okay, okay." She rubbed his thigh to calm him down. "It was good."
"Are you shitting me?" he asked doubtfully.
She furrowed her brows. "I assume you're asking me if I am lying to you or playing the fool with you, but I assure you that I'm not. I have never lied to you about who you are and what you can do."
He nodded, but she saw an expectant shine in his eye, as if he were hoping for her to say more. So she continued, "And it was good. You have a good sense of rhythm and melody, and … a very husky voice."
She must've blushed at her words, because the semblance of a smirk appeared on his face; he only glanced away, however, and regained his composure before looking back at her. "Thanks."
"You're welcome." She tapped her fingers meditatively against his thigh. "That was a nice song. Who sang it?"
It was his turn to blush. "Uh, no one did. I … I wrote it."
"You wrote it?" Her eyes widened.
"I had some free time, okay? It's not like—"
"No, Tony. I mean that that is incredible."
Tony stopped, his mouth opened mid-way through his defensive words. "Really?"
"Yes. And for the record, I am not … shitting you. I think you may have some musical talent."
He stared at her. "Huh."
"You should still do that demo tape."
"Yeah, but I can't … that song I wrote, it's supposed to be accompanied by the guitar, but I can't play the guitar. I know that sounds stupid, but when I was writing it, I just hummed the melody in my head, and somehow I remember it. But, y'know…"
"Hmm. We could pay for some guitar lessons for you."
He snorted derisively. "Yeah, sure, indulge my pipe dream."
"It's not a pipe dream."
"Ziva, listen to me." He slipped off the chair, pulling her into his arms. "I know I say I want it, but I don't; not really. Okay? It's not my biggest dream, and frankly, I don't care if it doesn't get fulfilled. It's just something I'd like to try for fun someday. We don't have to work seriously on it. Okay?"
She nodded, chewing on her lip. "Okay. If you are sure."
"I'm sure." He kissed her forehead. "Tell me something, though."
"Did you really like it?"
She smiled up at him. "I loved it. More, please? Please, Tony?"
A grin slowly curved his lips as he took in her request, and he seemed happy when he abruptly tightened his arms around her in a hug. "Your wish, my command. If I can get past my nervousness."