Rain

By Midnightwitch33

AN: Ok, this is just soooooo dumb. Why are there no decent fanfics about Full Metal Panic? I mean, maybe I've found a couple, but still! It is so pathetic. So anyways, this is the first FMP fic I've written. It may even be the last if I don't get enough feedback!!!

**

Rain.

I have always loved the rain.

That cool, calming sound that seems to soothe the city, and wash everything away.

The noise, the dust, the panic, the blood.

Murder.

I never really gave much importance to killing; after all, I've spent my life doing it. It wasn't my choice. I was thrown in the middle of a war, and it was either death or dying. I chose to kill, to survive.

Death. I've been so close to it, so many times, that sometimes I even doubt that I'm alive. What a thought.

They all say that I'm too serious. Stone faced. Emotionless. Devoid of reaction. A perfect killing machine, with no regrets, no afterthoughts, no memories.

I have memories, too many memories.

I never wanted the war, I was thrust into it, face first. I was only seven years old. Already, I had killed. I had taken away someone's life. I hadn't wanted to, no, but when I saw, amidst the flames, that man with my mother's body in his arms, her blood on his hands, I lost it. I lost all measure of reason, and killed him. Took away his life, just as he had done with my family.

I had always had an empty space inside of me, a bottomless void threatening to swallow me up and reveal just how vulnerable I really was. I had always tried to ignore that part of me, trying to fill the void with the blood that I had on my hands. But then...

I met her.

I thought nothing of her at first; I just treated her like any other mission that I'd ever been assigned to. But after a while, she got through to me. Her proud, carefree manner, her arrogant look. But also her other side, the side I would never really get used to, yet long to see more of. It was those quiet moments when she accidentally brushed my hand, when she laughed at something or other, when she lit up the room with her smiles. I started to live for those smiles, in which she let me look into her eyes without a penitent look.

Her eyes. Those beautiful, large, hazel colored orbs, framed with those thick, long eyelashes. I've never really understood women. The only relationships I've ever had with them are professional. So I never really cared.

Then, slowly, I began to feel less empty inside. I searched myself for the reason one day, and found that I already knew. I don't know when, I don't know for how long she'd been there, all I knew was that her smile was my reason for living.

Sure, I made her mad. And I hated myself for it. One day she told me she hated me. I didn't really blame her, I'd heard it before. But then why did I feel so heavy? So useless, so overcome? Then it hit me.

I refused to believe it, that emotion that I refused to give a name to. I still remember the day when I realized that no matter how much I denied it, no matter how far I ran, that emotion would find me, and I would be vulnerable. An open target.

I was walking her home from school, as usual, when suddenly she paused.

"Sosuke?" her voice shook me out of my thoughts. I turned to face her.

"What is it Chidori?" I eyed her with professional nonchalance. She sighed.

"At ease," she teased.

"I am," I replied with a somber air. She sighed again.

"Well, I guess I just... wanted to thank you, that's all," she said, looking away and shrugging her shoulders. I must have flashed her a puzzled look.

"For always looking out for me, as you put it, 'Protecting me,'" she said, and turned away. I heard the low rolling of thunder in the distance, then a raindrop hit my hand.

"Oh no!" she exclaimed, looking frantically around her. I immediately tensed, quickly surveying the surroundings to see if there was any kind of danger. She smacked me on the head.

"No silly. I forgot my umbrella at school!" she said, somewhat irritated.

"Oh," I replied, but it could have been mistaken for an 'Ow.' "I'll go get it for you."

She turned. "Thanks."

I started back towards the school. By the time I reached the building, got in, and found the umbrella, it was already pouring rain. I ran quickly back to where I had left Chidori, completely forgetting to open the umbrella. I was soaking wet by the time I got back to where she was standing, under an awning. I had a moment of panic when I saw that she wasn't there, only her backpack. I put down the umbrella and looked around. And there she was, standing in the middle of the deserted street, her feet splashing in the slowly forming puddles. Her wet skirt clung to her thighs, and her limp bangs hung on her forehead. She was twirling in the pouring rain, face to the sky, an extremely joyous expression on her face.

It was then I realized it. It was nothing mind blowing, unless you count the new sensation of warmth from the tips of my fingers down into toes. It was more like a sudden reminder, of something I'd always denied, but now felt I had to somehow express. Only when she turned to me and smiled, offering her hand, did I actually have any hope that maybe the feeling was mutual.

Now that I look at her while she studies, the events that overturned her life haven't really changed her, not much. She's matured, sure, but she's still the proud arrogant Chidori that I... I shrug away these futile thoughts. Now isn't the time to be thinking of this. But as I observe the way she purses her lips, concentrating, and the way her loose hair seems to fall just so on her face... she turns to look at me.

"What are you staring at?" she cocks her head, like she expects an answer. I clear my throat.

"Nothing," I reply. She shrugs, with a murmur of 'whatever', and turns away. I've watched her turn away so many times, that now I'm used to it. She continues to write. I watch her brow furrow in frustration; she's working on algebra, not one of her best subjects. Suddenly she sighs and puts her pen down.

"I give up," she says with a resigned air, turning back to me. "I can't get ANY studying done with you staring at my back the whole time."

"Forgive me." What else am I supposed to say? Chidori raises an eyebrow, then smiles. There is a peaceful silence in her room; the only sound that I can hear is the patter of raindrops and my frenzied heartbeats.

"Uh," I suddenly say. "Would you like something? To eat, or drink I mean."

"Shouldn't I be asking you that? Sosuke, what's wrong? I know you well enough to see that something's bothering you," she says and crosses her legs.

"Nothing's bothering me, Chidori," I reply, while I think how utterly helpless just a simple conversation makes me. Just one word from her and I drop my defenses. She looks down at the floor.

"Have you... have you been called back?" her voice drops to a mere whisper. I start. Is she crying? Why should she? But she knows all too well, I've gotten a fax from Captain Testarossa. She's calling me back to base for 'a quick report,' but I know better than to let these tricks fool me. I am to go on another mission, if my guess is correct. And maybe this time, I won't be coming back. It's one of my greatest fears. Not death, no. But not being able to come back to her, that yes, even too much. Those times, in battle, when I found something to live for, it was her. And now... I might never see her again. That's it! I resolve to tell her how I feel.

"Sosuke... have you? Answer me," she looks up at me, her eyes pleading with me to tell her the truth. Damn, she's broken my defenses again.

"Actually, I... I have. But just for a report," I amend, as her face saddens. I'm a horrible liar. She knows. She knows that this time, I may not come back to her.

"Do you have to leave soon?" she asks softly, avoiding my eyes.

"Yes," I admit. "Tomorrow morning, in fact."

What's the use of lying if I can't hide the truth from her?

There is a thick silence in the air.

"Well..." her voice interrupts my thoughts. She turns, her eyes brimming with unshed tears.

"Make sure you come back to me you big jerk!" she says, and my eyes widen. I know perfectly well that there are too many unspoken truths between us, too many barriers to tell her just yet, but I...

Before I really know what I'm doing, I've put my arms around her, hugging her soft form close to me. She's so frail, so warm. Her scent is so sweet... I find myself murmuring in her hair.

"I always will."

And it's the truth. No matter how close I am to death, no matter how far away, I'll always come back to her. Always. I feel her grip on me tighten, and something wet on my shirt. She's still crying. I hug her closer and whisper,

"I promise."

After a few minutes, her breathing becomes more even, and even though her arms are still around me, I know she is asleep. I look out the window, watching the drops of rain slide down the windowpane.

I love rainy days.

AN: Whew! How the heck did I go from freaky thoughts and memories to total fluff??? Muse, you are seriously getting on my nerves. Well, did you like it? Hate it? I really want to know! Midnightwitch33@yahoo.com