The Let's Play Archive

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

by cosmicPostman

Part 78: Chapter 78 (Intermission) - Better Than You Think

As the soldiers exit the barracks in rank and file, ready to move out to the final battle, Lena finds herself sitting in an APC next to Fliss, who keeps looking out at the road nervously. Lena raises an eyebrow.

“Bit tense, I take it?”

“O-oh, yes…” Fliss murmurs. “I always am b-before a big battle… I want to do my best.”

“Yeah. I get that.” Lena says. “I want to give it my all, too. Never thought I’d be saying that, but… it’s true now.”

There’s a few moments of silence as Fliss tries to work out what to say. Eventually, it’s Lena that breaks the silence again.

“I spoke to your sister recently, you know.”

“That must have been n-nice.” Fliss says, turning to Lena. She seems a little more at ease, somehow. “My sister is good at making p-people feel better… wouldn’t you say?”

“I’d agree.” Lena replies. “She… made me realise how valuable it is to be a sister. Admittedly, being someone’s little sister isn’t ideal…”

Fliss nods. The APC hits a bump and causes her to gasp, but she regains her composure a moment later.

“I think there’s, um, some benefits to being a little sister. F-for one, you can… always rely on your big sister to look after you…”

Lena stares at the floor, nodding slowly. “I didn’t see much of that when I was younger. But now… yeah. Selena’s been there for me in the battles we’ve had.”

“Th-there’s nobody there for our big sisters, you know… I always worry that Fleur w-will get hurt, and I won’t… be strong enough to help her.” Fliss replies glumly.

“She seems pretty competent.” Lena says, shrugging. She glances out of the back of the APC, where more APCs, full of other soldiers, can be seen trundling towards the battlefield. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be there for our big sisters like they were for us. But we can help them in other ways.”

“Wh-what do you mean?”

“Well, like… Selena fought tooth and nail to save me from the path I was going down, even when I thought I was too far gone. In a way, though, being able to save me also saved her, I think.”

Fliss gasps as she begins to understand. “I see… s-so we’re helping them by letting them help us?”

“Yeah, I reckon so. Your sister is probably the same.”

“Sh-she does say that looking after me makes her, um, more motivated.”

Lena nods, giving Fliss a quick grin. “Exactly. So don’t downplay your achievements. As little sisters, we’re always gonna have somebody that we can’t measure up to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t contribute in other ways.”

“You’re… very wise.” Fliss says. “You’ve been, um, thinking about this a lot, I guess?”

“I had a lot of years of resentment to work through.” Lena mutters. “But it’s funny how changing your mindset can feel so easy at times. Never thought I’d be glad to be Selena’s younger sister.”

“I’ve always b-been glad to be Fleur’s soeur… if it was the other way around, I don’t know if I’d be able to look after her like she’s looked after me…” Fliss replies, giving a small giggle.

Lena chuckles with her. “Heh. I know what you mean. I don’t know if I could have forgiven Selena if she’d been the Director. I guess you’re all just… better than me.”

Fliss places a hand on Lena’s, and looks up at her with her eyes shining with admiration. “Actually, y-you’re… better than you think. We found the s-strength to forgive you… but only because you found the strength to forgive yourself…”

“The strength to forgive myself? Hadn’t thought about it like that.”

“E-exactly. I’m proud of you, Lena.” Fliss replies.

Lena smiles, and leans back, feeling much more relaxed all of a sudden. “Thank you. You might be right, Fliss; perhaps I would have forgiven Selena, if it had been the other way around. Perhaps I have that strength after all.”

As the APC rattles on towards the battlefield, the two younger sisters sit with their thoughts, both of them thinking about their respective situations, and the older sisters they can always rely on.