The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 64: Chapter 64 (Intermission) - Being Something Else

Conrad enters the main barracks room and spots Darwin, sitting on his own, doing some doodling. He gives the nonverbal soldier an awkward wave, and Darwin beams at him, inviting him over.

“Thanks.” Conrad says, sitting down. He sighs. “I was hoping to find you today, actually. Stop me if you’re not in the mood to listen, but… could I talk to you about Petra?”

Darwin nods, and flips to the back of his sketchbook to write his answers. ‘Of course,’ he writes. ‘What do you need?’

“We haven’t hung out in a little while. Can’t really blame her, either.” Conrad mutters. “I tried to kiss Petra during that night that nobody could sleep. She… just kinda fled after. Wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.”

‘Sorry to hear that.’ Darwin writes.

Conrad shrugs. “I just misread the situation super hard, apparently. I was just wondering, what on earth do I do now? I want to talk to her and figure things out, but I don’t want to do that until I know what I should say.”

Darwin thinks for a moment before he writes; it’s a complicated situation, and he’s terrified of giving Conrad bad advice. Eventually, however, he begins writing an answer.

‘The best thing you can do is talk to her about it, even if you don’t know what to say. You tried to move in when you weren’t sure of her feelings, and she wasn’t sure of yours, and there’s been a miscommunication. Tell her upfront how you feel, and give her the chance to choose.’

“...Yeah, I guess I should’ve said something before I just went in, all guns blazing.” Conrad admits.

Darwin chuckles behind his facemask, and Conrad gives him a smile.

“Thanks, Darwin. I’ll see if I can find Petra later and actually talk to her.”


Petra is sitting with Andromeda and Peregrine as they talk in the kitchen room of the barracks, around a white table, nursing mugs of coffee.

“Right then!” Peregrine announces, standing up. “Gonna go hit up Vanny’s room and catch a movie with her. Coming, Petra? I’m sure you’d be welcome.”

Andromeda stands up too, reaching a hand out to Petra.

“Please, Petra, I’d care, um, love, if you were to come.”

Petra shakes her head, giving a half-smile, with none of her usual energy. She adjusts her flat cap a little. “Oh, uh, maybe next time. I’ll see you guys later, gonna finish this coffee and then get some sleep.”

“Suit yourself.” Peregrine says, winking. “Later, Petra!”

As she and Andromeda walk out of the kitchen room, Lorelei, at a nearby table, comes over to sit with Petra. She stirs her mug of herbal tea and gives Petra a motherly look.

“Mm?” Petra says, glancing up at her.

“What’s up, Petra?” Lorelei asks.

“Why do you think something’s up?” Petra says, and Lorelei simply smiles.

“It’s hardly like you to turn down an invitation to hang out with some friends. And your flat cap is usually at a jaunty angle - I believe you say it’s to show off your “chaotic personality”, but now you’re wearing it completely straight.”

Petra blushes hotly - she didn’t think anybody paid that much attention to how she wore her hat. “Well, OK, maybe I decided to wear my hat straight because I’m not as bubbly as usual, but-”

“Come, then.” Lorelei says, placing a gentle, warm hand on Petra’s hand. “Tell me what’s on your mind. I’ve a lot of experience; perhaps I can help.”

“It’s Conrad. You know Conrad?” Petra says.

Lorelei tries her best to hold back a grin. “The young ginger boy you’re almost never seen without? I’ve seen him once or twice, yes.”

“Well, he tried to kiss me the other night!” Petra announces, looking half-excited, half-wounded by the thought. “The night when it was just too hot to sleep, we were sitting and talking, and then he just… kissed me! Or tried to.”

“I see. And how did you feel about that?”

Petra puts her head in her hands. “I just got out of there. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, and I don’t know how to feel about it!”

“I bet he’s feeling quite stupid right now.” Lorelei says, sighing. “He wanted to move your relationship in a more romantic direction, and he’ll have taken your reaction to be negative.”

“No, that’s not-” Petra replies, wincing. “Well, I- argh, I don’t know.”

“Let’s put this simply, then. How do you feel about Conrad?” Lorelei asks.

“I… he’s been really supportive. I care about him a lot, and I don’t want to lose him.” Petra mumbles.

Lorelei nods. “He feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose you, and he cares about you… the only difference is that he views things more romantically, whilst you view them more platonically.”

“I… guess so.” Petra says.

Lorelei leans back in her chair and sips her herbal tea. Petra isn’t in the mood to drink, and stares into the swirling blackness of her coffee.

“At the end of the day, you both care about each other very deeply. And if that’s how you both feel, then you’ll find a way to work it out.”

Petra nods. “I guess… I’m not totally freaked out by the idea of dating him. It just… took me by surprise! I’d never thought of him that way before that night.”

“Well, it’s worth thinking about. Why not talk to him, see how he feels?”

Her energy renewed, Petra leaps up, giving Lorelei a grateful look. “Thanks, Lorelei. You’re right! We need to figure this out, because I’m not going to lose him!”

Lorelei watches her rush out of the kitchen door, a smile on her face. She sips her tea again, sighing in bliss. “Ahh… perhaps I should fall in love again. I forgot how much fun it could be. Good luck to you, Petra.”


“Petra!” Conrad says, spotting her marching up the corridor. Petra turns in surprise as Conrad catches up to her.

“Oh, I was just looking for you! How convenient.” Petra says. “Um, Conrad…”

“I know, I know.” Conrad says sheepishly. “I was a little hasty in going to kiss you. I should’ve told you how I felt first. Petra, I was really grateful when you wanted to be my sibling-in-arms. I’d never had a sister, and it was nice to. But as we spent more time together over the last campaign, I started to realise… it was more than that. I didn’t want to be siblings.”

“You wanted things to be romantic, and I put you right in the middle of the friend zone.” Petra says, nodding. “I know, and I’m sorry!”

“Sorry?” Conrad replies quizzically. “I’m the one who should be apologising. I should have been upfront with my feelings. I just… I care about you. Whether it’s as friends or romantically, the last thing I want is to lose you.”

“I feel the same.” Petra murmurs fondly, smiling up at Conrad with genuine warmth. “I’ve been thinking about it, and maybe… maybe I feel similar to you. I don’t know; I’ve never done relationships before.”

Conrad shakes his head. “Let’s not put a label on it, then. We can just… be close. Not siblings-in-arms, not friends, not lovers… we’ll just be… something else.”

“Something else.” Petra repeats. “That sounds nice to me.”

The pair breathe a sigh of relief, and Conrad smiles down at his favourite person in the Allied Nations. “Well, wanna go on a nice evening walk together?”

“Heck yeah. Let’s do it!”

The pair link arms and begin walking off together, happy to be something else whilst they figure their feelings out.