You've loved so many people. Kira, Lacus, Nicol, Dearka. Even Yzak. Meer, Shinn, Lunamaria. Your mother—your father, before revenge and hatred consumed him.

You love them both. That's the problem.

-

You knew you would love her from the first time you met. It was impossible to resist. The fire burning bright in her, even as tears fell from her eyes. Even when she was wrong, stubbornly fighting for a lost cause, you couldn't help but love her conviction, love the blonde strands of her hair, couldn't help but pull her closer.

You thought then that nothing would ever be better than those two years by her side. Caring for her, watching over her. Even pretending to be someone you weren't, you were happy. But now, you can't forget the bright fear you felt, pulling your hand away from her head, seeing your palm coated in her sticky blood. It's always with you, riding on your shoulder, (she'lldiesomedayyoucan'tsavehernoonecansaveher), and part of you is always in the cockpit of that Zaku, surrounded by enemies, with your heart beating like a rabbit's, and you know, you know, she's going to die in your arms. There were still long nights after that, and the ring even later, but maybe that was the beginning of the end.

-

You never thought you would love a girl like her. You don't even remember the first time you saw her; dimly in the back of the crowd of military figures, all more important than one lone bridge crew member. She was overshadowed by her sister and Shinn, both of them flying out to battle with you while she issued orders and locations. All she could do was watch you fight and hope love could sail through space, could protect you from missles, and hateful men.

And then there was the plot against you, your furious flight to her room--(why? You didn't know at the time. All you knew was that you were sure she would help you, and behind that, a feeling you didn't want to face; the feeling that maybe she was home)--her sudden core of steel, wet hair and fragile eyes lying to the guards. The GOUF sinking into the sea as you wrapped your body tight around her, hoped she could live, even if you couldn't. The first time you opened your eyes after that terrible, endless fall, and her bright blue stare before she cried on your chest.

-

She's not a lioness or a warrior, not a princess made of fire and bone and memory. She's just a girl, just a soldier in a war, not a Gundam pilot or a songstress of peace. She's a Coordinator, she's just barely out of childhood, but she's seen war and grief, she's lost and loved. She'll fight the people she's loved for you—she'll leave behind her sister and her friends, her people and her country for you. She won't save the world, but she'll try. She'll watch you fly off to that final battle, and pray her love can be a shield. When the guilt crashes down on your head, she'll hold you close to her and pray her life can be a sword to fight off all who would do you harm. She's not the smartest or the most beautiful, not the bravest or kindest, but she's yours. You think maybe that's enough. You think maybe, with her, you could learn to speak the language of peace. You think maybe with her, you could be happy.

-

You love them both, but you know which one you want to choose.