"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough."

- Frank Crane.


Trust. It was always something difficult for Ziva to embrace because her whole life she had been trained not to trust and not to open up. As a killer you're not suppose to have feelings, so they were trained right out of her, as was her trust and communication. Because as a killer those were what made you weak. And as a killer you couldn't open up, you just couldn't. It took Ziva a long time to learn how to feel and now she feels like she feels too much. Even though she has learnt to feel, she still hasn't learnt to completely open up and trust. She wasn't sure if she ever would.

If in life you trust and it is broken, that's almost as bad as not trusting in the first place. Although she would never admit it - Ziva was scared of her trust being broken. She was scared of letting someone in, she was scared of letting someone too close, because in her experience they all either died or they left.

And then there was love, when you loved you hurt and when you hurt you loved. Ziva hated falling in love. It didn't happen very often but when it did she fell hard. She tried and tried with all her might not to fall in love this time, but apparently love wasn't something she could control and she hated that. She hated things she couldn't control - especially love, because in her in her experience love always hurt - people always left, people always lied, people always died.

So now the two things she hated - love and trust were sitting on her couch in front of her eating Chinese food - it went my the name of Tony.

"Talk." Tony told her. His eyes found hers and they spoke volumes - far more than his lips did. Ziva saw the look that told her he cared, the look that told her he was there for her.

Tony saw the conflicting look and internal battle she was going through. To talk or not to talk?

"No," She said, "I can't"

"Why?"

She didn't answer, just looked down at her food.

"Why?" Tony asked again.

She sighed, "Because every time I let someone in they hurt me, every time someone gets too close they leave, every time I love I hurt."

Tony paused and took a moment to processes what she had just said, every time I love I hurt. What was she saying?

"Are you saying you love me?" He said slowly.

Her eyes snapped up from her food and narrowed in on him, "You should leave."

"Why didn't you deny it?

"We are not having this conversation." She said sternly.

Ziva could feel her hear racing. How did the conversation get to this? She couldn't do this. She just couldn't. She had told herself she wouldn't let people in any more, but Tony had managed to claw his way in and as far as Ziva was concerned he needed to find his way out. She just couldn't bring herself to let him in because one or both of them were bound to get hurt - it always happened like that. To avoid getting hurt she just pushed everyone away.

"You should leave." She stated.

"No, not until you talk to me."

"Tony, you do not want to know what is going on inside my head, trust me - it is best if you do not know."

"No, I do want to know otherwise I wouldn't have asked." He told her, "You need to stop shutting me out."

He reached forward and grabbed her hand and caressed her thumb gently. It sent shivers down her spine. She should have fallen in to Tony's arms in a heap and cried. She should have told him what was going on inside her head. She should have let him in. But she didn't. Because in her eyes she couldn't afford to trust or love, because that would just end in heartbreak and she couldn't deal with anymore heartbreak, she was already broken enough - she just couldn't afford to break anymore.

Ziva was so wrong about the trust and love this time, but of course she couldn't see that. So instead of doing what she should have done and let Tony help her save herself, she jerked her hand away from his and shook her head, told him the final time to leave.

Tony could see her heart was screaming for help, he could see it in her eyes - her eyes always betrayed her. He knew she needed help, he wasn't stupid. He also knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with her tonight, it would be a working progress.

He got up from the couch - never breaking eye contact with her and walked to the door. "You need me." He told her and shut the door behind her.

And it was true, she did need him... and deep down she knew it.