This is a parallel story with my other NCIS fic, Believe. You don't have to read them together, or the other first, but ya know, it's fun. :)

Disclaimer: I do not own any aspect of NCIS, the story, the characters, ditto ditto etc etc. Though I totally wish I did.

Ziva stood in front of the long mirror attached to the back of her bedroom door. She was not quite sure why she cared what she wore tonight. It was only Christmas Eve, and she and Tony, and potentially Tony's father were just having some Italian take out while they watched some movies. And yet she found herself thinking that the comfortable, worn- in pair of cargo pants and plain red tee shirt were wrong somehow.

Moving back to her closet she shoved each clothing item aside, studying each as if looking for a secret hidden within the fabric. Ziva paused at a small black dress, wondering if Tony would think it odd if she showed up wearing such a formal outfit. Pulling at the bottom of her shirt, she yanked it over her head and stripped off the cargo pants. In her bra and panties she perused the closet, her previous outfit in a pile on the floor. With a sigh Ziva pulled on a form-fitting pair of blue jeans and a simple short-sleeved white shirt. She loosed her Star of David necklace from under her shirt and slipped on a pair of Keds over her socked feet. Swiping on some mascara, a skill learned for the art of seduction while still with Mossad, she shrugged at her reflection, grabbed the bottle of wine that sat waiting on the kitchen counter and sauntered out the door.


Tony was straightening his apartment in preparation for dinner that evening. He had been hopeful for a night alone with Ziva, but his father had already called to confirm that he would still be coming. Tony should have known; after all, he was buying the dinner. Expecting Ziva and Tony Sr. at any moment, Tony splashed on a touch of his favorite cologne and slipped on a pair of jeans and a deep red polo. It had taken him a lot of time before his shower to decide exactly what he wanted to wear. It needed to be something attractive and alluring, but not overwhelming. Tony had long ago given up on denying his feelings for his partner, but was still unsure as to how he should go about pursuing them. He found it ironic, really. He, Tony DiNozzo, could not get a woman. Well, it wasn't that he couldn't get Ziva…or, perhaps it was. Either way, he wanted to look his best tonight without being obvious or appearing desperate. Now where was that bottle of wine…