When Section 9 was disbanded after the 'Laughing Man' case, Ishikawa had thought it would be Batou that had been hit the hardest.

What with the stunt the Major pulled on him; on all of them.

And he can't even beginn to imagine what it feels like to watch the person that has kept you going for years, and that you are not so secretly in love with, be killed right in front of your eyes. Right before you managed to escape the whole turmoil. To watch the bullet enter that person's head, crushing the shell on impact, spattering brain-matter and artificial blood everywhere, while there was nothing you could have done to stop it.

In their business it's nothing uncommon. They are confronted with death and murder every day, but deep down inside, Ishikawa had been afraid that this would finally break the tall cyborg. Would make him retreat into himself. Make him more quiet and reckless, until his course was set on self-destruction and no one would be able to reach him anymore.

What Ishikawa hadn't counted on, however, was what one might call the 'human factor'.

What he hadn't counted on was for their youngest member to walk down that path.

Because it was Togusa they were talking about. The rookie with the honest eyes and open smile. The one that hadn't really been fitting in with them to beginn with. Sure, the man was more emotional and open than the rest of them, everyone knew that, but they hadn't thought that despite all the differences and disagreements they had had, Togusa would get so attached to them. So attached, in fact, that he - not Batou - was to one who set out execute a hopeless revenge.

Despite the fact that he had a wife and two kids at home.

Despite the fact that they had tried to not get him involved in this.

And that, Ishikawa came to realize, was infinitly more terrifying.