Isaac was hugging her. He was hugging her back, and not flinching away, and he wasn’t unhappy about it. Summer sniffed hard, once, and clung tighter. Here was this person who had so many struggles of his own, and he was willing to push aside his fears to help her. She could hear his breathing rise a little, and feel his heartbeat strong under her touch, but he was conquering his fear. She made herself loosen her grip and pull away enough to look into his eyes. “You,” she told him sincerely, “are amazing.”

It was hard brushing aside the rising wave of fear that threatened to overwhelm him, and he knew that she would be able to feel the slight tremors that travelled through him, but Isaac was doing alright. It had been a long time since he’d been touched in kindness, nevermind hugged, and it was taking him a few moments to come to terms with that fact. As she pulled away, he ducked his head and smiled shyly. “Really? How come?”

“You let me do that.” Simple. She shrugged and moved back a little bit more. “You didn’t freak out.”

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