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Talented Hands

by: BuffyAngel68 (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 009 Word Count: 16653
Rating: ADULT
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Other Male Character
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, Crossover, First Time, Humor, Romance
Pairing(s): Tony/OMC
Crossover Shows: CSI
Summary: NCIS/ CSI crossover. After managing to continually avoid being the one to go to law enforcement conferences, Tony is forced into attending the latest one. In Las Vegas he runs into a like minded soul, in more ways than one.

Author Notes: ' Boxed In ' actually took my imagination in two very different directions. This is the much shorter, practically angst-free version. Tony's comment about playing piano got me thinking and I had to get the monkey off my back...

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

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Dropping his bags by the reception desk with a decided thump, Tony DiNozzo gave the young woman in front of him a hard stare. Receiving a kind, sympathetic smile, his frustrated, angry expression dissolved into weariness and faint humor.

"Sorry. Long flight, long security lines... *really* long day. Special Agent Tony DiNozzo. I've got a reservation for the duration of the law enforcement conference."

"It's okay. Half the people I've checked in today are in the same boat. Here's your key-card Agent DiNozzo... and some info so you can find your way around if you have the time to explore a little." The woman told him, handing him a brochure with a map and other papers tucked inside. "You're in room 471. I'd say enjoy your stay but I get the feeling you'd rather be anywhere else."

"Perceptive. I hate these things, but I had to take my turn."

"Well, hopefully you'll find a few minutes to relax and down shift before the conference really gets going."

"Not much chance of that, but I appreciate the thought."

"No trouble. If there are any problems at all, just call down and I'll try to get it fixed as fast as possible."

"Thanks... Amy," he said, leaning a little closer to read her name tag "but I plan to go straight to sleep. Even if there is a problem, you won't hear about it 'till tomorrow." Tony told her, retrieving his bags and moving toward the elevator.

"Someone can get those for you."

"Uh, no. My suspicious cop's mind would rather keep them in my sight at all times. Thanks anyway."

Once he made it upstairs, which entailed waiting twenty minutes for a car with enough empty space for him and his luggage, he found his room fairly quickly. The card slid in, the tiny light changed and he struggled inside with his bags.

Somehow he mustered the energy to strip down to his boxers and undershirt, drop on the bed and turn onto his side and within minutes he was deeply asleep.

---------------------------------

5:30 THE FOLLOWING MORNING

Tony arrived in the lobby, hands in his pockets, fully aware of how early it was and prepared to have to leave the hotel in order to find food, though he was hoping, in a 24/7 city like Las Vegas, that he wouldn't have to go far. He was pleased to see Amy at the desk again and approached when she looked up and smiled.

"Good morning, Agent DiNozzo. You're up early."

"Not my fault. My boss would kill me if I let myself get out of the habit just because I'm not working this week."

"The restaurant won't be serving breakfast for another hour or so, I'm afraid."

"Yeah. I thought maybe...."

"There are a few all night places only a couple of blocks away. They serve breakfast all the time."

Tony was about to ask for her recommendations when he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye that held enough potential to keep him busy, and his mind off his stomach, for at least an hour.

"That room... is it open to guests?"

"The lounge? Of course."

"Would it be okay if I waited in there? I can't resist a piano."

"You play?"

"Not in a long while... not since college."

Amy made a show of looking around the empty lobby then turned a sweet smile on Tony.

"I don't see anyone around to criticize while your fingers remember what to do. Go ahead. Actually, whenever the resident pro isn't on the job, it's all yours."

"Thanks."

"Glad I could help. I can't wait to hear you play."

"Trust me, you can." Tony joked, strolling into the empty, dimly lit lounge and dropping onto the bench behind the large instrument, where the only real illumination in the room made the ebony finish gleam enticingly. Feeling playful, he mimed sweeping the tails of his non-existent tuxedo out from under him then laced his hands together and cracked his knuckles. Gazing down at the keyboard, he allowed memories of his childhood lessons to slowly return. At the time, he had known others his age who took piano as well, but could never understand why they hated it so fiercely. He cherished the hours he spent practicing, working feverishly to meet the standards of a teacher who truly cared about him and wanted him to do well. The way she showed her devotion might have seemed cruel to some, but Tony had understood. Every blow across his hands was a reminder that he had talent and unlimited potential, and that wasting even a fraction of an ounce of either one was a tragedy.

As he tentatively reached out for the keys, the thought crossed his mind that if his teacher knew about the years he'd spent away from his once beloved piano, she might well beat him into an intensive care ward. Despite the darkness of the idea, he chuckled and tried to recall one of the simpler tunes he'd learned when he'd first begun to play. His teacher's voice spoke to him, quietly, in the depths of his memory, and he held back for a moment to listen.

{The music doesn't come from your muscles or your brain, Anthony. The goal is to touch people, to move them and to do that it must flow from your heart and your soul. Your fingers know the mechanics by now. If the music is flowing from your spirit, you should be able to close your eyes and still play...}

Though he wasn't sure anything even faintly musical would happen, Tony curved his fingers over the keys and began to pick out a simple children's song. Slowly, that morphed into a slightly more complicated version of the same melody, then shifted again into a classical composition he'd created at the age of seventeen. Gradually, he stopped thinking and worrying and everything else fell away except the music and its power to lift him higher and higher. The more he played, the farther he slipped away from the world, until nothing mattered but the flow of one note into another and the long-abandoned ties to his passion that were finally being renewed.

Eventually, however, cramps in his hands reminded him that he hadn't done this in far too long. His reverie shattered, he returned to the piano, the room and the noise of a hotel that was waking up. Gradually fading the song into silence, Tony pulled away and began to massage the palms and sides of his hands, hoping to relieve the pain. When slow applause sounded behind him he whirled around on the bench, banging his knee on the leg of the piano.

"Oww! Damn... who's out there?"

A tall, lean figure rose from a love seat deep in the shadows at the rear of the room and made its way forward. As he drew closer, the figure was revealed to be a light skinned black man in khakis and a loose white shirt. A neatly trimmed beard curved around his chin and delight sparkled in his eyes.

"Sorry about that. I should've just come up and introduced myself..."

"It's okay. I just... I thought I was alone."

"So did I 'till you started playin'. I wasn't tryin' to scare you, but I had to give you props. Man, you can really work that thing."

"I haven't played in years."

"Nobody'd ever know it, bro. That was intense. Had my stomach in knots an' my heart in my throat."

"Yeah? I guess..."

"You don't take compliments too well, do you..."

"Tony, Tony DiNozzo, and no I usually don't."

"Warrick Brown." the other man responded, holding his hand out. Tony shook it firmly, but briefly. "You had breakfast yet?"

"I was waiting for the hotel restaurant to start serving."

"Stale mini-bagels an' dry scrambled eggs? Forget that. I know a great place a few miles from the strip. Half the LVPD an' most of CSI eat there, so you know it has to be pretty damn good."

"Which one are you?"

"CSI."

"NCIS, out of Virginia."

"The convention. Right. We'll have somethin' to talk about anyway. You comin'?"

"The meetings don't start 'till eleven. That's a lot of time to fill up and I can only eat so much."

"I'll show you around town, give you the skinny on the hot spots the tourist board won't tell you about."

"Sounds good. Okay, I'm in."

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Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

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MTAC - NCIS Fic