Breadcrumb Trail

Relena doesn’t like feeling helpless, and decides to do something about it. Drama, I-3

Her earliest memory was of fire.

Sometimes she thought she truly remembered the words that came after it, and sometimes she thought she must have imagined them later, knowing that something like them must have been said. She was really to young to remember or understand, then. But they were always the same, when they echoed in her mind.

“It will be safer if I take the Princess.”

“No! She stays with me.”

“But sir, they’ll be looking for two children—”

“I will protect my sister.”

She was sure that the memory of her brother’s arms tight around her, refusing to let go, was a true one. Onii-san wasn’t good at letting go. She was old enough to remember most of the arguments he’d had with their guardian. Especially the last one, when she was eight.

“What would your father and mother think?”

“It doesn’t matter what they would think, they’re dead! And I will bring down the ones who killed them, no matter what!”

“But a pilot… OZ only trains pilots, you must know that.”

“Of course I know it, that’s why I need to be there. Mobile Suit pilots go everywhere. Besides, OZ accepts cadets younger than anyone else.”

Yes, Onii-san was very good at not letting go. Of course, sometimes Onii-san wasn’t very good at logic.

“You did it. Why shouldn’t I?” Relena glared at her brother across the table.

“Because you’re my sister!” he said, as though that was any kind of argument. “I did this to protect you, Relena. I don’t want you being involved in fighting!”

She set her cup of tea down onto the table with a definite clink, just about out of patience. “I was involved when I was two, Onii-san! I’ve been involved all my life.” She bit her lip, trying not to cry. “I don’t want to be helpless anymore, can’t you understand that?”

“Oh, Relena. I’ll keep you safe, I promise.” He came around the table and knelt by her chair, strong arms folding around her. It was comfort and safety and home… and it wasn’t enough anymore. She threw her arms around him and squeezed him as tight as she could, and pushed him a little away.

“Onii-san. I’m going to join OZ too. I’ve already applied and been accepted.” She wiped her eyes and firmed her mouth, looking straight on into wide eyes one shade lighter than her own.

He sat down on the floor with a thump. “…accepted?”

“Yes.” She crossed her arms and frowned a bit. Did he think she wasn’t good enough to have been accepted?

Milliardo rubbed a hand over his face, muttering. All she could make out was “…going to talk to Treize…” At last he looked back up at her, frowning in turn. “I’d hoped that—” he bit his lip. “Well, that you might be the one to keep our parents’ ideals alive.”

Onii-san really, really wasn’t good at logic sometimes.

“Peace would be nice, but we haven’t got it, have we?” she asked. And then she looked down at her laced hands. “Besides, I’m not Relena Peacecraft. I’m Relena Merquise. I’m the Lightning Baron’s sister.” He flushed and she snorted. “Thought I wouldn’t hear that one? Onii-san,” she leaned forward and grabbed his hands urgently, “I want more than just me to be safe. I want to help. Isn’t that what our parents would want too?”

“I…” He didn’t look like he’d really thought of that. After a long moment he said, softly, “I can hope so.”

She nodded firmly. “Right. So I’m going to be a pilot and I’m going to do something.”

Her brother sighed, laughing a little helplessly. “I think you got all of Chichiue’s stubbornness genes.”

Relena smiled impishly. She could live with that.

They had a quiet dinner together that night, and didn’t argue any more, and Relena held her brother’s hand all the way to the gates of the training base the next morning.