She is used to him walking away now. Whether with harsh words he doesn't really mean, designed to purposely drive her away, or a lacklustre apology. Sometimes it's just a note left in the dust.
She's never thought about giving up on him. What Joe doesn't seem to understand is that these battles don't have to be taken on all alone.
Ahim tries to explain. But when the words, "all five of us," come out of her mouth she can see by the look on his face that it isn't really the thing he wanted to hear. It makes it easier for him to send her away.
She wishes she'd been bolder, then.
Marvelous - strangely enough - teaches her the art of subtlty when it comes to Joe. It isn't a typical trait one would link to Marvelous. But perhaps this undignified impatience isn't something people would assume of Ahim either. It might be because Marvelous has his own bitter past he is reluctant to talk about, but Ahim won't discover Basco until much later; none of them will.
She sees the way it pierces Joe to the core when he admits he knew nothing of Basco either. Worse to think they'd all turned to him for answers when it was clear Marvelous was too preoccupied.
In this they are exactly the same. That's why.
"Leave him alone," she is told. And, "he'll come around."
"We trust him," Luka says. And Ahim has to stop and think. Yes, she does trust Joe. It isn't that she thinks he can't fight his own battles, certainly. And it isn't that she's scared he will never come back. Even though she's lost many things in her life, so many people-
It's simply her nature, something deep in her bones that answers when there is danger. Or perhaps...
The sword is her way of being there for him without actually fighting beside him. She hopes that makes sense. It's all she knows how to do without causing more fuss; she trusts Marvelous too, and Luka, and she is trying to do what is best for Joe even if it goes against her true wishes.
This sacrifice is just a part of it.
He seems to understand. His voice is gentle when he asks if she is okay with her decision, and even though she would not lie to him that tone would have undone her if she'd been planning to.
"I'm doing this because I'm your friend," she says. And she means that, truly. But she also means a lot more. It would be impudent to say it out load right now though; sending Joe into battle with such a distraction would be dangerous. "I'm doing this because I love you," no, she can't say that in this moment.
That doesn't mean she will keep it locked up forever, though.
Even if that twist of a smile on Joe's mouth before he turns away says he has already heard her.