A/N: I had this idea randomly, but it's a little similar to Last Man Standing (6x1). Set sometime in the eighth season when everything is resolved. This is my first real case fic. Let me know how I do, and please be kind! It could go for a few more chapters. I would eventually like it to evolve into Tiva. I have plans for once! Anyway, reviews are appreciated!
"OK, so here's the plan," Anthony DiNozzo told Timothy McGee, suddenly interrupted by the ring of his cell. Ziva was calling him, finally.
"Ziva, where the hell are you?" he hissed.
"Relax, Tony, I am on my way," she replied from her car.
"You better be! We have to get a look inside this club if our suspect comes here every night! Are you ready? I mean, I know I didn't give you a lotta notice—"
"No, you didn't. Luckily for you, I am always prepared."
"Well, yippee for you, just hurry up!" he said sarcastically.
Tony snapped the phone shut. Earlier that day, they had gone to a local nightclub and asked around to see if anyone knew Stefan Branson, their suspect. A print of his had been found on the bodies of three Navy SEALs. Although he was particularly difficult to locate, he wasn't very good at covering up his crimes. The bartender recognised his photograph and said that he came every night there was a show. Now, their plan was to get Ziva in there to get a better look at him. During the day, anyone was free to come in and have a drink, but at night, only people invited directly by the owner of the club were allowed in. Either that or people who paid the five thousand dollars to join.
"McGee, you take the back exit. It's locked from the inside not the outside, so you can get in, but I have a feeling some of them still might be able to get out."
"It sounds so weird when you give me orders," McGee replied.
"Yeah, well Gibbs isn't here, and when Gibbs isn't here, I'm the boss."
"Why isn't Gibbs here again?"
"I don't know! All he said was that I was in charge tonight."
The two men were inside their surveillance van, waiting for Ziva to arrive so the plan could commence, and almost completely on cue, her car pulled up around the corner form them. Ziva honked her horn, signalling for McGee to go and guard the back door. He waved to her but could not see her through the tinted glass. She slipped out of the car and into the van, making Tony jump at the sight of her.
The silky, scarlet red dress clung to Ziva's body. It shimmered in the low lighting. It was long, past her knees, and had shoulder straps and a V-neck. She wore strappy red stilettos and her toes were painted to match. Her glossy hair, usually wildly curly, was now in thick, spirally locks that bounced on her shoulders. Tony was left speechless.
"Take a picture, it will last longer," she stated. At the sound of her voice, Tony remembered what he was supposed to be doing. He picked up a sparkling broach and tried to pin it on her dress, in the centre of the V-neck. She promptly Gibbs-slapped him and Tony pricked himself with the pin of the needle.
"Ow," he whined, clutching it.
She rolled her eyes and spoke to him in a puppy-dog voice. "Do you want me to kiss it better?"
He glared at her and she took the broach off him, putting it on the dress herself.
"It's a camera and microphone, designed by our very own McGeek."
There was a silence. "You should go," Tony said after several minutes, handing her an earwig. "Remember to get a good look at our suspect."
"Why didn't I just wear the glasses for a camera?"
"Well, first of all, how many nightclub performers do you know who wear glasses? And second of all, aside from your face, this is where most of the guys will look."
He took this opportunity to prove his point and his eyes fell downward. She lifted his chin with her finger and leaned close to him.
"Having fun?" she whispered.
"As a matter of fact, yes," he replied calmly. "But you have to go." He was clearly hesitant to let her leave. "Do you have something you can lip sync to?"
Ziva bit her lip. "Lip sync, sure." She thought of the sheet music in her car. Maybe he would find it a pleasant surprise.
Ziva smiled contently as she left to enter the nightclub. It had been a challenge getting ready on time, but she had done it. Contrary to Tony's, and everybody else's belief, she actually did own a dress. Actually, she owned several. More than she cared to mention. She just didn't wear them very often, only on special occasions or something undercover like this. Of course, she never wore them to work. It was far too hard to run, and from what she had heard, Kate, the team's female agent before her, had made the mistake of wearing skirts to work numerous times, which often resulted in McGee's or Tony's head in the wrong place.
Luckily, she managed to convince the guard that she was a performer and was rushed backstage for make-up. A pianist approached her.
"Do you have music? I'll do my best to play," he said.
Ziva handed him her sheet music in a plastic pocket and he thanked her. When she finally was rid of the people crowding her, she made sure both Tony and McGee could hear her clearly and that Tony could see. It was an affirmative for both.
"Tony, if you see Branson get up, make sure you let McGee know so he can stop him."
"Sure," Tony replied. "Ugh, the computer isn't working. McGeek! Get over here, I need you!"
McGee rolled his eyes and jogged over to the surveillance van. "Here, I'll take the controls, you take the back exit. I'll tell you if our guy gets up."
Ziva's song inevitably began and Tony wished that he could see it. He knew that she was singing for real, he could hear her sweet voice, and quite frankly, hearing it through an earpiece wasn't enough for him. Oh, how he wanted to be inside. Please?
"Tony! Tony! Branson is getting up. Get in there!" McGee barked. Ziva was a little offended. She thought people liked her singing.
Tony barged through the door and into the bar area.
"Wait, he's not leaving. Good improvisation, Ziva."
Tony had no idea what McGee was talking about. He scanned the room and saw her twirling flirtatiously around him. A pang of jealousy ran through his veins, but he ignored it. Well, he tried to ignore it, but subconsciously his fists clenched up and he gritted his teeth. His face was now as red as the dress. He had the urge to run over there and break it off, but luckily he stayed where he was.
"Go sit near him, Tony," McGee told him. "Make sure he stays until the end of the song. If he doesn't, then that means he has somewhere to be."
Tony plonked himself down at the table next to their suspect's and was sure not to look at him.
"Ziva, make sure to interacts with every guy in the room. There aren't that many. I'm just taking precautions here. I don't want it to look like you're singling him out."
It was clear that Ziva did not like that order, but she did as she was told, quickly touching each man she passed, sometimes stopping. She hadn't finished her song and was yet to even go near Tony. Branson looked curiously over at him. He seemed to be enjoying the show, but disappointed that the singer had not approached him.
McGee's eagle eye picked up on this questioning stare. They would not take any chances. They could not lose any more men to this guy. Somewhat reluctant because of the possibility of revenge that might be taken against him, he gave Ziva one more order: "Tony too." McGee laughed. This would be good. But whilst amused he was slightly jealous. Of course, Ziva was his friend, and he respected Gibbs too much to break one of his rules but...she was beautiful. Then again, Tony had always liked her, and they did make a cute couple.
Ziva didn't have long before her song ended. She strolled over to Tony, acting like she was indeed having a good time, which she wasn't, and acted convincingly interested in him. She ran her fingers through his hair, stroked his cheek and even pulled him out of his chair and danced around him. Now Tony was really enjoying himself.
Before her song ended, Ziva made a quick dash to the stage and sang her final note under the lights. The crowd cheered. Only when McGee spoke to him did Tony realise he was still standing and he had his mouth open.
"Now he's really leaving, Tony. Follow him."
"McGee, he's probably just going home. Do we really need to follow him?" Tony replied in a low voice.
He didn't want to leave. Only a few times in his life would he ever see Ziva in a dress. And Ziva singing to him was even more of a rarity.
"Where is this coming from? Look, wait until he goes outside, do not let him get a good look at you and follow him."
Tony moaned and rose from his chair, tripping over the leg as he tried to walk away. People's heads turned in his direction. Now that he had gotten everyone's attention, he couldn't just slip out the back entrance. He had to leave through the front door. A waiter came to pick up the dishes of the suspect's table.
A burly guard stopped him at the door.
"ID please, sir," he said. This was bad. Their suspect was getting further away every second. He didn't have his ID with him, it was in the van.
"I'll go," McGee told him, getting up and leaping out of the van. But the suspect was gone. There was no car, no people on the street, nothing. "We've lost him."
Ziva approached the guard at the door, fighting through the small crowd of people and pulled her ID out of her dress.
"NCIS. Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He's with me."
The guard stepped aside and let them exit. They walked down the street towards Ziva's car.
"Where were you keeping that exactly?"
She just laughed. "So, you like the dress?"
"Do I really need to answer?"
"No, I saw your mouth hanging open."
"Yeah, about that—"
"Don't worry, it never happened." She opened the door of her parked car. "Come on, I will give you a ride home."
He frowned at this unexpected offer but accepted, and got in the car. The ride was comfortably silent, and whilst some might see this as a way for temptation to get the better of them, they saw it as quality time spent together, nothing Navy-related to worry about, except for their suspect being on the loose, of course. Tony pulled out his cell and started flicking through pictures, smiling and chuckling a little.
"Pictures of your girlfriend?" Ziva asked. The pictures were in fact pictures of her in her red dress. Tony was going to remember that sight.
"I tell you the truth Miss David, I am NOT looking at pictures of my girlfriend." He put the phone away, deciding now was not the time to look at the photos. There was another silence.
"You were good tonight," Tony told her.
"Hm?" she hadn't been paying attention.
"Your singing. I didn't even know you could sing."
"There are so many things you don't know about me, and most of them you will never find out."
"Like your tattoo on the inside of your thigh?"
"Tony, I was drunk!"
"Yeah, I have an issue with that too."
Ziva braked as the traffic lights turned red.
"You don't think I can have a little fun?" She looked him up and down.
"You don't seem like the 'fun-having' type."
"Oh, so you find me boring?"
"No way! You're interesting to say the least, I just can't picture you drunk."
"Yes, good luck with that."
"You know, you never told me what it was. The tat."
"And you're never going to know. Add that one to the list."
"Pretty please? You can make it my Valentine's Day present." It was February 13th, the day before Valentine's Day.
Ziva pulled up out the front of Tony's building.
"We're here," she stated.
"Aren't you gonna walk me to my door? Maybe a goodnight peck on the cheek?"
Tony sighed as he got out of her car and walked towards his apartment. So, Ziva didn't walk him in, but she didn't leave until she saw his window light up. He really was a player, but of course Ziva David would never fall for that. No, she had fallen for the brave, handsome, caring, gentle, crime-solving, funny, unique man that was Tony DiNozzo. But she was smart; smart enough to know that their circumstances would never allow a relationship between them. All they had what the mutual and unspeakable love they had for each other. They weren't breaking the rules, they were just bending them, and they had both learnt that from Gibbs.