She had never seen him show such weakness. You’re so clever, Peter. You saved your weakness so you could use it to move me now.
And yet it did move her. Because if it were true, even partly true, then Peter was not a monster, and so she could satisfy her Peter-like love for power without fear of becoming monstrous herself. She knew that Peter was calculating even now, but she believed that under the calculations he was telling the truth. It had been hidden layers deep, but he had probed her until he found her trust.
“Val, if you don’t help me, I don’t know what I’ll become. But if you’re there, my partner in everything, you can keep me from becoming—like that. Like the bad ones.”
She nodded. You are only pretending to share power with me, she thought, but in fact I have power over you, even though you don’t know it. “I will. I’ll help you.”
— Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
This passage stuck out to me while I was reading Ender’s Game yesterday. I’m not sure if Valentine is simply deluding herself and that Peter is really playing her, or if Valentine is right in her assessment of the situation and therefore the one playing Peter. From what the book has been letting on about both characters, I’d say that both are playing the other but they both know it and allow it. Valentine is a sweet girl, but she’s just as shrewd as her brothers. And Peter … he’s complicated, but certainly no dunce. I’m interested to see what becomes of this uneasy alliance, and what sort of fruit is born of their ambitions plans.