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Zero-sum game.

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Raigyou eventually came to realize that Ishu treats all things the way she treats her guns: with just the right amount of care and amazing amount of precision, with tentative touches that are just shy of intimacy, with a critical distance that allows her to remain close at all times but step away the moment she needs to.

 

It is only after he confirmed this that he came to understand what she expected their relationship to be like. It used to upset him, this habit of hers at holding all things at an arm’s length unless she felt the need to fix it with her own two hands, but he knows, better than anyone, that she is not nearly as strong as she would like to be, and exposing this would only hurt her.

 

It is for this reason that he nearly regrets his decision to throw himself in between her and certain death, because in the steps just short of his last stand, they had gotten close – too close – and he is almost worried that it will ruin her. That the way she’s handling him now is going to cause everything to explode in her hands.

 

He would, however, rather risk crippling her ability to love anyone else again than fail to protect her one last time.