Title: If I Have to go (Zoe)
Author: Trista Groulx aka dustytiger
Rating: T (like the show to be safe)
Disclaimer: I am a starving artist and I do not own NCIS it belongs to its creator, network, writers, actors and actresses who make it happen. I also do not own the song quoted; Tom Waits does.
Summary: As he is leaving Philly to go to Baltimore DiNozzo must say goodbye to Keates; but in a bar full of their co-workers he can't instead he sings an old song.
Notes: I was randomly clicking on you tube and came across this song "If I have to go" by Tom Waits. Two ideas popped into my head and I decided to run with each of them. I have learned that the NCIS fandom has very specific camps so I will posting each as a stand alone because they are. I split the lyrics between the two fics but you should check the song out too! This is set in the past but could have happened in cannon please note this is not my usual warm fuzzy fic. Enjoy!
Until I send for you, don't wear your hair that way. If you cannot be true I'll understand.
Tell all the others you hold in your arms, I said I'd come back for you. I'll leave my jacket to keep you warm. That's all that I can do. If I have to go, will you remember me? Or find someone else, while I'm away?
Anthony DiNozzo knew that it was time to move on his career, but it wasn't making the evening any easier. As much as he was going to enjoy saying goodbye to the "Spider" moniker saying goodbye to his partner would not be nearly as satisfying. He watched her hanging back while everyone drank and celebrated with their mischievous soon to be former co-worker.
No one else knew how close he was to her though. They had had to be careful not to let anyone find out if they wanted to keep their jobs. Now that he was going to be leaving he thought she'd let her guard down for the night, but she seemed to be purposefully avoiding him. Even if it was just a few words he wished she would come over without letting anyone know about their relationship.
Had he known he might not be able to say goodbye to her he never would have agreed to the going away party at the bar with their co-workers. He still hadn't fully wrapped his head around the fact he was leaving Philly PD to go to Baltimore but it was an opportunity he wouldn't get again.
He went up to the bartender and ordered another cola. He only had a few drinks knowing he needed to get going early the next morning. After many rough mornings riding with Zoe Keates further torturing him as they worked he had learned it was better to switch to something else. He would need as much of his faculties as possible the next day.
"Hey, does the keyboard work?" he asked the bartender.
"It does, but I don't want you banging on the thing like a mad muppet," the bartender told him sourly.
"I know how to play I have since I was a kid. I just really need to get through to someone, can you help me out?"
He then slipped the bartender a twenty dollar bill who nodded at him. DiNozzo went up on the stage and a few of the guys drunkenly began to make random requests, but he ignored them. He began to play a few old Tom Waits songs; as he sang the last song he locked eyes with Keates as he sang the last one. He could tell he'd gotten her attention and hoped that she would stick around to speak to him.
He tried to get to the back of the bar as quickly as possible, but the guys kept stopping him to tell how surprised they were than he could sing and play. As much as he liked the attention he was getting from his police buddies, he needed to talk to her before the night was over. By the time he made his way to where he'd last see her she was already gone. He sighed softly he didn't want to push her further so he decided not to go straight to her car and force her to talk to him.
Keates had been sure she'd be able to handle him leaving in front of everyone they worked with. It was quickly apparent she wasn't. She knew that he was leaving and they needed to say their goodbyes, but a part of her couldn't stand the thought of letting all the guys know the truth about their relationship. She was sure if they found out she would feel like she did as a rookie; having every guy she came into contact with hitting on her again. She'd worked to make the guys respect her and she didn't want to risk the inroads she'd made.
She was not ready for that and regretted not asking DiNozzo to do something more private where they could properly move forward and say their goodbyes. Her mind began to wonder as she watched him going over to the bar again. Even if she had invited him over or gone to his place they likely would not have talked about what they needed to. It always ended the same when they were alone together; not that either of had ever minded before.
The moment he had sat at the piano the butterflies in her stomach started to flutter. By the time he got to the last song she was overwhelmed as he locked eyes with her. She could see him watching her as he sang to her; despite everyone else in the room. She was struggling to keep her emotions in check but somehow she kept herself together; she'd had to develop a thick skin early in her career.
She knew exactly why he had chosen the song he had. As he played the last few notes she went out toward the door. She paused for a moment but decided to quickly slip out as the guys talked to him. Keates just couldn't risk it, even though it was totally unfair to DiNozzo.
She went to her car finally allowing her emotions to win and she wiped away her tears; relieved she had only nursed a beer the whole night. She didn't want to go home by cab or have to wait around longer than she needed to in case he followed her out. After she had composed herself she very seriously considered going back inside to say goodbye to him properly but she couldn't make herself do it. She didn't want to hear it from anyone if they found out the truth about her relationship with him.
She looked on her backseat and smiled seeing an old jacket of his on the seat although she wondered when he had put it there. A moment later she found what she had been looking for, a notepad and a pen. She was constantly losing them and would find them everywhere as result with various scribbles from cases. Thankfully this one had blank pages and she quickly wrote a note instead of finding her nerve to tell him how she felt to his face.
When DiNozzo got to his car almost an hour later, he saw something tucked under his wiper. He took it and opened it up. It didn't look like a ticket. No one else had anything on their windshields so he knew it wasn't an ad either. He unfolded the paper and he stared at what was written.
"I will always remember you. XX -Z" it read. He took a deep breath and tucked the paper into his wallet. He wished he could find the energy to head to her place. Somehow it felt right to leave like that; it was clearly what she wanted. He wondered if they might cross paths again; hoping they would, but for the moment he knew he needed to let that be the end of their story.
Notes: All right so that was that. I hope you liked it please let me know. Also let me know if you have read or plan to read both or not. Hearts - Trista