AN: I confess to not knowing if this is exactly how a songfic is supposed to work- I don't read them, you see. Yet, I think it counts, as I can take very little credit for this story- all of it goes to NCIS and Mary Chapin Carpenter's New Year's Day, a lovely song which you should now go and download immediately. Heck, buy the whole album.
Crime is no respecter of national holidays, a truth long evident to Tony and Ziva.
But it is the last night of December, and though they find themselves trapped in Baltimore, far from their respective friends and scheduled parties, they decide it is no excuse to ignore the passing of another year.
This is his turf, so she follows when he takes her elbow and guides her into a little bar on a residential street. It is as crowded as one would expect, but they maneuver well together and manage to tuck themselves into the only available table, right by the door. There is a bustle, people constantly going and coming, and every time the door opens it pulls a draft in.
The entire situation is less than ideal, but she allows it to pass without comment and simply moves a little closer to his warmth with each and every gust of cold air.
This must encourage him, because the lines around his eyes begin to smooth and once the waitress brings their order, he launches immediately into stories from another time and life.
The celebrations around them and the easiness between them blurs out all the edges, and she knows that later she's going to struggle to determine whether this night really happened, or whether she dreamed it. He is lost in the reverie of his recollections, and she leans in closer so she doesn't miss a thing. She knows his secret- in the details lie the heart.
This is possibility, a fragile kind of magic, and she wants to memorize it all before it fades away.
They're on their second round when the music starts up. She has been moving progressively closer to him all evening, her smile growing wider with every story he tells. Not once has she chastised him. Not once has she seemed to wish she was anywhere else. And it might just be the lights in here, but he swears her eyes are shining, and he'll do anything to keep them this way.
His head is not yet clouded by the gin, and he realizes that either the night is just starting, or it's beginning to wind down. He knows which he wants to be true and thinks his stories are the key to keeping her. He's having a harder time recalling life before her, so he takes a detour into shared memories.
Remember that green dress?
I remember your face when it fell to the ground.
And the easiness remains, and she has memories of her own.
Remember when you became obsessed with playing air guitars?
That was a competition, Zi-vah. I looked damn good doing that.
You looked like a boxer who kept swinging and missing.
She gives a little imitation, and the scent of the light perfume on her wrist lingers in the air. Any hope of a comeback is lost, his mind entirely preoccupied with the thought that she smells exactly like possibility.
They leave the bar together and make the long walk back. The sky is a bleached out silver against the bones of the city. It will begin to snow soon, and that will change everything. And they are both thinking the same thought, though neither is saying it- that it's remarkable how change happens suddenly and slowly, all at the same time. That it's infuriating how you can never be sure whether a chance is there for the taking or lost to you entirely before you reach for it.
That on New Year's Day, perhaps it is enough to dwell in possibility.