DISCLAIMER: NCIS and its characters are the property of CBS, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I apologize for the song fic. I usually don't write them, don't like them myself. But this one has more story than song, and I could not get the image of Abby in this outfit out of my head. So I apologize and, once again, fall back on that old stand-by - My Muse Did It. Also, the prompt... Frank Sinatra and Abby are both the "star" I'm referring to. It fits, I promise! :D
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Fighting Vainly, the Old Ennui
By Geonn


"Frank Sinatra?" Abby said, holding up the offending CD.

Kate looked up, shrugging at the sight. "What? I like him."

Abby walked over, forcing Kate to look directly at her. "You listen to Frank Sinatra. On a regular basis."

"Yes," Kate said, snatching the CD out of Abby's hand. "I like him."

"Scooby-Doobie-Doo and... and big band music? And trumpets?"

Kate shrugged again.

"Kate, Kate, Kate, please... this guy is grandma stuff. You have to get rid of it."

"No!" Kate said, offended. "Listen, you can have all the Android Lust and Black Hearted Clown Cannibals, but Frank Sinatra has been popular since the fifties. He has staying power. So just lay off my music, all right?" She put the CD down on the table and turned back to her reading.

Abby, realizing she'd gone too far, said, "Kate..."

"No, it's all right," Kate muttered, not looking at her.

Abby bit her lip and stepped back. She'd seen Kate like this before. She'd be snippy, she'd mince words and eventually ease back into the routine. But right now, she was offended and hurt. Abby looked at the CD again, wishing she'd just kept her mouth shut. She'd have to find a way to make it up to Kate.

"Let me know when you have something, Abby," Gibbs said, heading out of the lab.

DiNozzo and Kate followed him, almost to the elevator before Abby said, "Kate, hold on!

She stopped and returned to the counter. "What's up?"

"I wanted to apologize for what I said last week." From Kate's confused expression, she added, "About your musical tastes."

"Oh," Kate said, dismissively waving her hand. "I'd forgotten all about that. Don't worry about it."

Abby shook her head. "No, I hurt your feelings. So..." She reached into the pocket of her lab coat and withdrew a ticket. "There's a theater downtown doing a fifties concert. People in costume, lip-synching to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, uh... Darin..."

"Bobby Darin," Kate offered, taking the ticket. "Thank you, Abby. I really wasn't offended..."

"Yeah, you were. And you had every right to be. I mean, someone who listens to Android Lust really has no room to complain about anyone else's musical tastes."

Kate turned the ticket over and said, "Wait, one ticket... you're not coming?"

"No. I'm sorry, Kate, it'd be like you going to..."

"Right, Android Lust," Kate smiled. "All right, I'll go. But you have to let me take you out to dinner afterward."

Abby grinned. "It's a date."

Plans made, Kate left the lab and Abby returned to the work Gibbs had left for her.

Kate dress in a blouse and slacks, settling into the round table that had been reserved for her. She had to admit, Abby had really splurged on a great seat. She settled in, scanning the crowd and the big band set-up. She was excited about the concert, but there was an undercurrent of loneliness.

She couldn't help thinking that Abby should be here. And since she wasn't, she felt like she didn't belong. As the lights started to dim, she was torn between using Abby's thoughtful gift and just fleeing and heading to Abby's apartment. She sighed when the trumpets blared the opening burst of the first song.

A man dressed in a tuxedo, his salt-and-pepper hair slicked back against his skull, trotted out to center stage and took the mic. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, it's a blast being here tonight. We're gonna see some great performers, hear some great music and basically just have a fabulous night, okay? Our first performer will be singing one of the greats, Mr. Frank Sinatra. It's a little different than usual, but I saw the rehearsal and this is gonna blow your socks off. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our star performer, Mr. Frank Sinatra."

The lights went down and a silhouette walked out on stage, taking the microphone and turning to face the orchestra. The crowd applauded and, when that died down, the orchestra began a quiet melody. "My story is much too sad to be told," Sinatra sang from the speakers. "But practically everything leaves me totally cold...

The singer on stage brought the microphone to their mouth, as if they were singing. A fedora was tilted on top of the singer's head, tilted down and leaving the back of the neck exposed. Kate's eyes widened when she spotted something on the left side of the singer's neck.

A spider-web tattoo.

"The only exception I know is the case," Frank sang as the singer walked towards the orchestra. She kept her back to the crowd, trailing the microphone cord between her fingers. "When I'm out on a quiet spree, fighting vainly, the old ennui... And I suddenly turn and see, your fabulous face."

She turned then and Kate had to cover her mouth to keep from crying out. Abby Sciuto, in a tweed suit, bright red tie and white blouse, standing on a stage, under a spotlight, lip-synching to Frank Sinatra. She was wearing black lace gloves that ended with a ring of ruffles just above the cuff of her suit jacket. Her make-up was a little more outlandish than usual, blood-red outlining her lips and a deep, dark onyx around her eyes. Her face was powdered and pale, making her features stand out like a porcelain doll.

The music picked up and Abby started snapping her fingers in time to it. "I get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all. So tell me why should it be true that I get a kick out of you?"

Strutting to the front of the stage, Abby took a step down and the audience applauded. "Some, they may go for cocaine," she sang, brushing a finger against her nose as she headed all the way down the steps. Once in the crowd, she sidled up to a table and sang, "I'm sure that if I took even one sniff, it would bore me terrif.. fically too. Yet I get a kick," the song paused and Abby did a neat little double-step in time with a drum beat, "out of you."

Kate's cheeks were burning as Abby grew closer. She covered her face with her hand, feeling more embarrassed than ever in memory. When she looked up again, Abby was two tables away, staring at her.

"I get a kick every time I see you, standing there before me." She took an unlit cigarette from the table and pretended to puff on it, doffing her hat to the man she'd stolen it from. "I get a kick though it's clear to see, you ob-vious-ly do not adore me."

Kate looked around, hoping for a decent exit. Only then did she realize the extent of Abby's seat choices; she was completely boxed in!

"I get no kick in a plane," Abby mouthed to Sinatra. She was now right in front of Kate's table. "Flying too high with some gal in the sky is my idea of nothing to do. Yet I get a kick..." She kicked up her right leg, revealing that she was wearing combat boots with the tweed suit. "You give me a boot..."

She dropped to one knee and took both of Kate's hands in her own. "I get a kick out of you-ou-ou-ou-ou." She bent down and kissed Kate's knuckles as the music faded. When she stood, the crowd applauded madly. Abby turned to Kate, lifting her hat and taking a bow to her before accepting the audience's applause.

"Let's hear it for her!" the emcee said once he had the microphone back. "Miss Abigail Sciuto, ladies and gentlemen! No offense to the man, but Francis Albert never looked quite that good in a suit, am I right?"

The applause continued even through the next artist's introduction, a passably good Dean Martin. Kate anxiously waited through the entire first set, jumping to her feet during intermission. She rushed out of the theater and fumbled with her cell phone, dialing Abby's number from memory.

"Yes?" Abby answered, a slight smile playing in her voice.

"Where are you?"

"Outside in my car."

Kate hung up on her and rushed outside. Once outside, she realized how vast the parking lot really was. She was about to call Abby back when her phone bleeped a text message arrival. She opened it and smirked at the message: "Blue Lot, Space 7." Kate followed the signs that led her to the Blue lot and headed down the row until she spotted the familiar horned taillights of Abby's station wagon.

"Did you like it?" Abby asked as Kate slid into the passenger seat.

"I finally understand why Sinatra was a sex symbol," Kate said breathlessly. She grabbed Abby by the lapels of her suit jacket and pulled her into a kiss.

"The concert is ending. People are going to be coming out."

"Oh," Kate said, rising from the makeshift bed in the back of Abby's car. She held her blouse to her chest and searched for her underwear. Abby lay back, lacing her fingers behind her head. She was still wearing the fedora and tie, but nothing else. Kate pulled her undershirt on without bothering with the bra and squirmed into her pants. Noticing Abby was staying still, she said, "Aren't you going to get dressed?"

"You're distracting me. All half-naked and stuff." She sat up and, reluctantly, pulled on a t-shirt she had stowed.

The move knocked her hat askew and Kate took it, putting it on her own head. "So what do the members of Android Lust where in their concerts?"

"Leather bustiers, thigh-high boots, fish-net stockings."

Kate raised her eyebrows and said, "Really? Well... we'll just have to see about me returning the favor. Although that sort of outfit sounds more like a... private concert."

Abby smiled the way a predator does when it spots easy prey. "Oh, yes. Yes, it do, Caitlin Todd."

Kate reached over and twirled her finger around Abby's hair. "Those fingers in my hair... that sly come-hither stare... that look that lures them there... it's Abby-craft." Abby smiled and pulled Kate in for another kiss. "We're going to get caught," Kate said.

"Go with the flow, daddy-o," Abby said.

Kate's laughter was drowned by a moan as Abby's lips found her pulse. And, suddenly, Kate didn't care about getting caught.

The End

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