Ades commands the ZAFT forces to cease attacking, while Athrun swears to Kira that he'll rescue Lacus. Returning to the Archangel, Kira asks Mu if taking hostages is the sort of thing they should expect from the Earth Alliance. Mu tells him that they only did it as a last resort in order to survive, and neither of them have the right to criticize.
Flay suddenly wakes up, remembering her father's ship exploding. Sai, watching over her while she slept, tries to calm her down as she demands to know where her father is. Miri and Kira enter the room, drawn by her screaming. Flay yells at Kira, calling him a liar for not protecting her father's ship like he said he would, and accusing him of not fighting hard because he's a Coordinator too. Kira leaves, fleeing to the Archangel's observation deck in order to be alone, but Lacus soon finds him there.
As Rau gets out of the shower, one of the crew tells him via intercom that he's received a message from Patrick Zala. His iconic mask is lying on his desk, but we still don't get to see his face. He tells the crewman that he'll take the message on the bridge, and muses to himself about how much fuss has been caused by a single girl. Taking a dose from a bottle of distinctive pills, he looks down at one of his hands, turning his wrist and flexing his fingers as if inspecting himself for something.
Kira tries to explain to Lacus that he needs to take her back to her room, but she ignores him, instead observing that the fighting has stopped. Kira agrees that it has, thanks to Lacus. Lacus remarks that he seems sad anyway, and Kira explains that he's tired of fighting, and that he's friends with Athrun. At Lacus' prompting, he explains that he was friends with Athrun Zala, who's now piloting the Aegis. Kuzzey, eavesdropping on the conversation from the hall, overhears this and quietly slips away. Lacus says that she understands, telling him that Athrun is her fiancé, and mentions that it was Athrun who gave her Haro, which is just one of many that he's given her since she said she liked the first one. Kira says that it sounds like Athrun hasn't changed, since it was Athrun who gave him his own robot pet, Birdy. Lacus says that it would be wonderful if Kira and Athrun didn't have to fight each other.
In the Archangel's dining room, Miri says that she understands that Flay is upset, but that she went too far by accusing Kira of not fighting hard enough because he's a Coordinator. Tolle insists that it's ridiculous, and Kira's obviously fighting as best he can every time he goes out. Sai says that none of them doubt him, since they can see from the bridge how tough the battles are. Kuzzey wonders if it's true, though, and tells the others what he overheard, that Kira "just happens" to be friends with the Aegis' pilot.
In his bunk, Kira looks at Birdy, remembering his conversation with Lacus and saying to himself that the situation just doesn't seem right. He goes to Lacus' room, telling her to be quiet and come with him. Sneaking through the halls, Kira spots Sai and Miri and swiftly shoves Lacus out of sight. Sai greets him, but before Kira can react, Lacus sticks her head out of cover to see what's going on, prompting a baffled reaction from Sai and Miri. Kira asks them to forget they saw him, since he doesn't want to get them involved. They do him one better, agreeing to help, since they're not happy about taking a hostage either.
Kira finds a space suit for Lacus to wear, and she takes off her long, flowing skirt without hesitation in order to put it on. The four sneak into the hanger, and Kira and Lacus board the Strike. Lacus thanks them all and says that she hopes they'll meet again, but Sai expresses his skepticism of that possibility. Before Kira closes Strike's cockpit, Sai asks him if he'll be coming back. Kira promises that he will, and Sai tells him to make sure that he does. The bridge crew notices the Strike launching and demands to know what's going on, but Mu reports over the intercom that Kira's taken Lacus, and the airlock is already open so it's too late to stop him.
The Vesalius scrambles its pilots in response to the Strike approaching, but Kira contacts them and tells them that he'll give Lacus to them as long as only the Aegis launches. Rau gives Athrun permission to launch alone, explaining to Ades that the situation represents an opportunity for them and ordering his CGUE readied for action. Mu launches from the Archangel in the Mobius Zero. Natarle argues that they should attack, since they didn't give permission for Kira's actions, so they're not beholden to abide by any agreements he makes. Mu responds that if they do, the Strike might attack them in return.
As the Aegis approaches, the Strike levels its beam rifle at it. Kira tells Lacus to say something so that Athrun will know it's her, and Lacus responds by cheerfully greeting Athrun ("It's nice to see you again!"). Lacus transfers from the Strike to the Aegis, and thanks both Kira and Athrun for everything they've done for her. Athrun tells Kira to come with them too, since there's no reason for him to be with the Earth forces. Kira says that although he doesn't want to fight, he has friends on the Archangel, and he has to protect them. Athrun tells him that that leaves him without any choice; next time they fight, he won't be able to show any mercy. Kira says the same applies to him.
As soon as the Strike withdraws, Rau orders the Vesalius forward, and launches in his CGUE. Mu moves to intercept him, but Lacus gets on the radio and insists that she, as a representative of the memorial committee, will not allow him to start a battle. Rau grumbles to himself, but accepts her demand. Mu and Kira return to the Archangel, not wanting to start a fight themselves. On the Archangel, sitting alone in her bunk, Flay says that she won't let things stay the same anymore.
Tropes used in this episode:
- Heroic BSoD: Flay suffers from one as a result of her father's death.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Mu's defense for Natarle using Lacus as a hostage.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Kira deciding to release Lacus, as well as Miri and Sai going along with him.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Lacus shutting Rau down with nothing more than a stern lecture (despite the fact that she doesn't actually have any authority over him) is the first hint that she's anything more than The Ingenue.