"It was my bête noire."
Tony's voice echoed through the dark autopsy room. After working together for almost six years, she knew he'd be down here, lights out, Ducky's bottle of scotch on the desk, a glass sitting next to it.
"What?" she asked as she slowly moved across the room, watching him bring the glass to his mouth, the brown liquid touching his lips.
"Losing her was my bête noire."
He smiled at just the mention of her name. "Kate. Paula. Jeanne. Jenny. You."
She stood across from him, arms crossed, her body leaned against an empty autopsy table. "You did not lose me."
"But my track record doesn't bode well for me."
Ziva sighed. "Tony, it was not your fault."
He sat forward. "But technically I could have done something to prevent each of them."
"Like what?" she asked. "Disobeyed orders? Stuck to them like glue? Refused them to take a step outside? Tony, everything happens for a reason."
He smiled. "Who told you that?"
Now, she smiled at him. "You did."
"I do not remember. But my point is, you cannot change the past. These things are meant to teach us and help us grow."
Tony let out a light laugh and picked up his glass. "You've become very philosophical since becoming an American citizen, Miss David," he said and then brought the glass to his lips again.
She looked down and he recognized the glimmer of remembrance in her eyes. "I just know what it's like to lose the people you love."
"Hey," he said and she looked up, a hint of tears in her eyes. "You are always going to have people here who love you."
She smiled. "Thank you, Tony."
"You're welcome," he said. "But you're wrong, you know."
He leaned back in his chair, his finger tracing the rim of his glass. "I've already lost you once."
She smiled softly at him. "Maybe someone thought you deserved a second chance. Perhaps you should not screw up again."
"I don't know," he said. "Rescuing you was pretty exciting. Plus, do you know how many dates I was asked on after we came back?"
She held her hands up in front of her. "I do not want to hear it!" They both laughed and she lowered her hands. "Are you going to be okay?"
Tony nodded. "I'll be fine. But thank you, Ziva."
"For what?" she asked.
"For listening. Thank you."
"It's not a problem," she said and then walked towards the door, but stopped as the doors slid open. "Tony?"
"You won't lose me again," she said before walking to the elevator, the double doors sliding shut behind her, and Tony couldn't help but smile.