A/N: Just a minor change in the timeline, instead of ramming that one ship and ending up outside the bubble, Battle 7 gets dragged along for the ride.
As I've stated, this is my take on what happened in ep 18 when she watched her Valkyrie get destroyed. I actually felt that the way she freaked out doesn't do her justice, especially with the sort of character she is. That and I felt that considering that it was her original VF-1J Valkyrie that she piloted since the days of SDF Macross, its destruction deserved something more poignant. I also didn't appreciate the minute showing of Milia and Max rekindling their relationship, so I decided to add some of that into this.
Hope you enjoy it :)
She watched helplessly as her Valkyrie exploded moments after its head was destroyed. She watched as all that remained was debris as the escape pod was ejected clear of the explosion. She watched in mute silence, as over 30 years of precious memories shattered before her eyes.
Milia's hand trembled, as she touched the screen, fingers gently resting where her Valkyrie once was. "My...my precious Valkyrie..." she whispered. No tears. No cry of anguish. No anger. Just mute silence. She was stunned. She had no idea what to do. She'd just watched as a piece of her memories of days long go, just disappear in a flash.
"Mayor," Michael said, placing a hand upon Milia's shoulder. "Will you be alright?"
Mira sighed and hung her head. "Just...let me know when they've brought the Valkyrie in."
Falling back down into her seat, Milia sighed as she glanced at a small picture frame that sat on the corner of her desk. She remembered how everyone wanted a copy of this picture as they left one by one. She picked up the picture, lightly running her hand across the image, fondly remembering how 14 years ago they took the photo. She smiled, in spite of herself, as she looked at the confused expression upon Mylene's face. She hadn't a clue of what was happening back then.
Sighing aloud, she thought back to her youngest daughter. Watching it, she had a sudden feeling of dread. Bolting up from her seat, she placed the frame back down upon the table and marched straight for the City 7 hangar. She had to be sure.
Watching them lower the remains of the cockpit, Milia watched with trepidation. The moment it touched down, the hatched released, and she let out a sigh of relief when she saw that it was Gamlin who'd been in it at the time. The moment he looked up and their eyes came in contact, he looked away shamefully.
He knew with absolutely certainty that he'd destroyed his former instructor's old machine. He honestly didn't know what to say or do that could possibly rectify the situation. Steeling himself, he hoped down onto the deck, and approached Milia, and promptly bowed before her, offering his sincerest apologies for destroying her machine. One she weakly accepted before walking past him. Watching her back, he looked upon her sadly as she ran her hand along her emblazoned name. He considered saying more, but something told him that it was best to leave. Sighing he relented and quietly left the hangar.
As he walked through the main doorway, he stopped and saluted the officer passing him, stopping in midstride when he released that it was the captain. He watched dumbfounded as the captain quietly strode along, heading straight towards the remains of the VF-1J. It was then he remembered that the two of them had served together back then.
"I...I heard what happened..." Max awkwardly stated, stopping a few metres behind Milia.
The Meltran said nothing as she climbed the ladder and jumped into the cockpit. She reached out, touching the controls before her. She could look at every switch, every button, every gauge, and be able to tell what it did or read. Even after years of inactivity, she could still remember every sequence of commands to have the machine respond in whatever way she wished.
Max climbed up the ladder as well, and took in his wife's forlorn expression. She was taking it quite hard. They'd done a lot together with their Valkyries. His was retired, but she had brought hers along. He looked down upon her name, painted sky blue. He ran his hand along; fondly remember that he'd been the one to paint the name on.
Milia let out a heavy sigh and moved to get up when she noticed the hem of her skirt was caught. Sitting back down, she reached underneath the dash to free her skirt when she suddenly stopped. She scoffed in amusement.
Max looked back up, giving Milia a curious look.
Her answer was to point to a small arm that stuck out inconspicuously from underneath. "Do you remember what this was?"
Max's shook his head. But he felt that it was something important that he should know.
And yet Milia didn't look too offended. "It held Komalia's crib the day we took over that mining facility."
Realization quickly down upon the captain. He smiled thoughtfully. "I almost forgot about that..."
"I'd also forgotten about it as well," the Mayor admitted as she gently fingered with the appendage. It was something that'd been used once, and then forgotten.
"Remember our flying days?" Max asked wistfully. Milia nodded thoughtfully, leaning back against her seat. A light smile graced her lips thinking of those days.
"Those were easier days..."
"We were a lot younger then," Max added.
Silence befell the couple for some time, the two of them quietly reminiscing of days long gone. It truly had been easier days. They were just soldiers, squadron leaders at most. No politics to worry about, no more than a few people's lives to truly look out for, and most of all, no work-related issues that could divide them. And then the children started to come along, one after another, it all somehow just fell into place. They reached respectable places in their careers, while at the same time being able to raise their family that eventually grew to 8 children.
"When did things go wrong?" the captain asked aloud.
"I'm...not too sure myself," the Mayor replied. She looked over towards her husband. Milia suddenly wondered when Max started to develop creases along his forehead, or the odd wisp of grey here and there. And since when did his eyes seem to sag. She never seemed to have noticed, but he seemed far older than she remembered.
"How many years has it been?" Milia asked aloud.
Max chuckled as he said, "Over 34 years since you tried to kill me." Milia couldn't help but chuckle at the thought. She remembered it like it had only been yesterday. She remembered how he had humiliated her twice before that night. How he had stained her honour and how her pride demanded compensation. Yet at the same time, it was because of that pride, because of that honour, that landed her the life she now led, and awarded her a husband, and 8 children, all of them whom she missed.
"Do you think...it would be possible for things to go back the way they were?" she asked, looking directly at her husband.
Max looked down a moment to think, before he looked up back at her. "No, they can't."
Milia's expression fell and looked away. "I...I see." Perhaps they'd grown too far apart to change anything. Perhaps it was best to make it official.
"Because we're not like we were back then," he added, drawing Milia from her thoughts. "We're not as energetic as we used to be. We're older now."
"Perhaps...when all of this is over...how about we both retire, and just live our lives as civilians upon City 7," he suggested. "I'd like to be there for Mylene more...I think we owe her that much."
Milia nodded in agreement. Max raised a good point. She felt detached from Mylene when she thought about it. She hardly saw her or spoke to her nowadays. When did the two of them become so busy that they started to see her less and less? Looking back, "Perhaps...we haven't been treating her like she did her sisters..." Max nodded, having come to the same conclusion.
Milia chuckled as she stood up in the cockpit, minding the hook. "We've both been stupid, haven't we?"
Max said nothing as he helped his wife down the ladder. "Perhaps...but at least we've learned something, haven't we?"
Milia nodded in agreement. "Yes. We have."