The dry spell had gone on long enough when Tony got the email from his old friend, Suzanne Laurent. His lack of luck with women wasn’t helped by the fact that he was having trouble getting over Jeanne or that he had fallen half in love with his emotionally unavailable partner. Ziva was literally the last person in the world that he wanted to have feelings for, so he jumped when he got the email from his old friend. If anyone could help get him out of a funk, it was Suzanne.
Tony had met Suzanne when they had been twelve. There had been much pigtail pulling and harsh words between the two of them. The tension had between them had come to a head and she had been his first love and long time friend. Amis-amants, she would say.
The woman had recently been transferred to D.C., to the French Embassy there. Tony was looking forward to getting to see her again in person. There was something lacking about emails and phone calls. He missed her, missed being in the same room as her. He wouldn’t deny he loved her; to say otherwise would be a disservice to their long friendship.
The guards at the embassy weren’t particularly friendly. Understandably, they didn’t like the idea of a federal agent showing up at their gates, let alone one looking for one of their armament attaches. But he wasn’t looking for her in a professional capacity, so he told them to call up to her and tell her that Anthony DiNozzo was there to see her. They did and with darkened expressions, allowed him inside the gates.
Suzanne Laurent was as beautiful as he remembered. Her short dark curls reminded him of a picture he’d once seen of Louise Brooks, her hair softened in finger waves instead of her iconic razor sharp bob. The last time Tony had seen Suzanne with long hair had been when he had taken a knife to one of her braids in class, a plot for revenge that ended with him earning a slap and a week’s worth of detention.
“Anthony!” she exclaimed, kissing both cheeks as she embraced him. Even when she moved back, she did not let go. Her arms remained on his, wallowing his hands to stay around her waist. “What on earth are you doing here?”
“I got your email, saw you were in D.C. I thought if you weren’t busy tonight, you wouldn’t mind having dinner with an old friend.” Tony grinned at her.
Suzanne laughed and it was not the cruel sound he had gotten used to at work. Hers was like the sunshine after the rain.
“You and I have never just been old friends. That being said, I would very much like to go to dinner with you.” She motioned back inside. “Let me just get my coat and we shall go, oui?”
“Oui, ma belle.”
Suzanne kissed him quickly, chastely, but Tony was so starved for contact, he barely cared.
They settled on a Middle Eastern restaurant not far from the Embassy. It was practically a hole in the wall restaurant, but the service was good and the food reminded him of the summer they had made out passionately in the sands of the Mediterranean beaches and against the sides of dusty stone buildings. It was somehow safe and less threatening than anything else they could have done. A neutral ground to negotiate terms. He wanted to laugh. It had always been love and war between them, passionate and fierce, with no middle ground. This was as close to compromise as either got.
“I know you did not come to see me just because we are friends, mon petit chou, nor should we pretend you did. We have known each other too long and too well for that.”
“You’re right,” he sighed and Suzanne laughed. “I did miss you though.”
“There is something quite off about you. You look lonely, Anthony. Sad. I thought you enjoyed your work.”
Too preceptive. She should have been a spy, he thought fondly, or at least an interrogator. She could always read him as if he were an opened book. It was probably safer that she wasn’t.
“I do,” he protested, though off her look, he amended, “I did.” He sighed, running a hand through his hair. “There was an assignment I was on, undercover, that screwed me up bad. Then a protective detail went wrong and I lost the person I was supposed to be protecting. The new director isn’t my biggest fan either, so everything has been an uphill battle. And my team has stopped feeling like home.”
She reached across and touched his face. Suzanne had always been generous with her affections and she had always known how touch starved he was. Her fingers rubbed the skin softly and he closed his eyes under her ministrations.
“Will you be leaving D.C. again?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he whispered, frustrated.
“You always run, Anthony. I wish you could find what it is you’re looking for.” She leaned in and kissed him, long and slow. “Shalom, nasone mio,” she whispered, standing.
“You are not in a good head space tonight. I’d rather leave now before we have regrets.”
Tony took her hand, clasping it tightly. “With you, I never have regrets.”
Suzanne was silent for a few moments, considering before she nodded. “Your place?”
Tony walked into NCIS the next day, whistling a cheerful tune. McGee rolled his eyes when he heard Tony coming.
“Obviously you had a good night,” the computer geek snarked. But even their crankiness couldn’t get him down.
“Yes I did, McNosy.”
“What was this one’s name?” Ziva asked from where she was working on something at her desk. “Or did you not remember to get a name?”
Tony DiNozzo would have made some snide remark. But having spent the night with Suzanne, he felt more like the man who had first been hired on to NCIS. So instead, he simply gave her a smile and let them wonder.
“Gear up,” Gibbs voice came from the elevator as he headed over. “We have a dead Marine at Quantico.”
Murder aside, it was shaping up to be a pretty good day.