NOTE: At some point when FanFiction . net updated their systems, part of this story (and maybe others of mine) lost it's quotation marks! I will try to fix this at some point, but I'm not sure when I can as I don't write fan fiction any longer. So please understand I know the problem and I didn't intend it to be this way!

So, I ve finally taken the plunge and started writing Full Metal Panic! fanfiction. I truly must be mad. But ever since I first watched FMP? Fumoffu! last October, I ve been insanely in love with the series , and especially with the relationship between Kaname and Sousuke. I've just about watched every episode of both animes five times, have read each of the first five mangas twice and read a few of the novels. It really has become an obsession.

This fic take place around June/July, just a few months after Kaname and Sousuke have started their final year at Jindai. There are also a few little mentions of events that occur in the End of Day by Day novels (thanks to the good folks over at boku-tachi .net for the translations), which takes place after both seasons of the anime. But there is no knowledge from them required to understand this fic and nothing that will spoil the novels (they are very, very small hints). The story is told mainly from Kaname s perspective (though it s not a first-person fic), which is something very knew for me; I normally balance the characters perspectives.

I d like to thank Anysia for helping me get my backside in gear to write this, for beta-reading it, and for everything else as well huggles

As I ve never written anything for this fandom before, I d love to know how I m doing and if the characters and events are believable. It s taken me so much courage to sit down and write this thing and I d love to know if you guys think it s been worth your and my time. Gets into begging mode So, please R&R.

Okay, on with the show.

Kaname slowly opened her weary eyes, blinking instantly as the summer sun assaulted her pupils. It couldn t be morning already. It felt like mere moments since she had lazily pulled her bed sheets over her.

The alarm hadn t gone off just yet. With the sun so high in the sky it was doubtful, but perhaps there were still a few more hours before she had to get ready for school. Turning slightly, attempting not to provoke the form next to her, she took in the hands of the clock and groaned. She only had twenty minutes before it would disturb her. There was no way she could get back to sleep now for such a short duration of time.

Feeling the arms clamped around her waist pull at her gently, she moved a little closer to the middle of her bed. He unconsciously held her tighter, placing his chin against the top of her head as she nuzzled up to his bare chest. Twenty minutes of lying like this wouldn t be all bad.

She guessed this was all just part of his overwhelming need to protect her. Even though his mission was now voluntary, old habits seemed to die hard. If she moved even a few inches away from his side at night, he would unconsciously pull her back in. That time she had actually managed to break away from his grip to go to the bathroom She was going to have to have a little talk to him about the gun he always kept under HER pillow. She didn t like the thought of having a pistol aimed at her forehead in the early hours of the morning.

But then if that kind of security made him comfortable

There she went again. Merely three months ago she would have been all in his face if he had EVEN thought about something like that. But now He was making her a soft touch.

Sousuke, she happily sighed. She hated to admit it before she would have despised another girl for saying the same about a guy but she felt her heart race when he did anything to protect her.

Things had all happened so quickly. After they had returned from Hong Kong, they had gradually become closer. Now that Sousuke was more sure of himself and nearer to figuring out what he wished for in life, his emotions became less unreadable. Of course, most of their classmates had neglected the change. But she and many of his colleagues from the Tuatha de Danaan had come to appreciate his evolving spirit. Scratch that; she doubted Mardukas cared all that much.

Where the alterations in his personality were unnoticeable to those who did not know him well, they were glaringly obvious to her. He still caused problems at school, but the time between events had widened; he was only being called to the principal s office once, perhaps twice, a week now. His grades had improved; even his World History and kanji grades were of an acceptable standard. He d even done well in the university entrance exams he d taken, though he was still unsure about taking up any of the offers. Over the last half a year, he d even begun to use her given name more regularly.

The last few months of second year had almost become peaceful at least more peaceful than they had once been.

But things had really begun to change once April came around. Maybe it had been the spring air, the arrival of the cherry blossoms, or perhaps just that now they were more mature, but things had started happening without either of them really instigating it.

They d been spending more time with one another than ever before. Whether it had been playing video games at the arcade, doing a little fishing near the bay or studying, it seemed like they were always together. She d even started to enjoy watching his favourite old war movies with him. Of course he didn t exactly have many favourites; unless they were exact in every detail of military jargon, he wouldn t waste his time.

It had first happened on such a night. This time she had taken the opportunity to rent a movie she thought he d really enjoy. Sadly, it had been a poor choice; Sousuke spent most of the time complaining about its prevailing inaccuracies. Rather than become aggravated by his actions, she was in fact rather entertained by his passion. She could remember leaning slightly closer to him upon the sofa, placing her head upon his shoulder, and gazing up at his handsome face as he ranted. Of course, he didn t even take any notice of her proximity.

I mean, the whole premise of the movie is inaccurate. At the time of the operation, the United States had not yet entered the conflict. In fact, it was the British S.A.S. who secured the submarine.

She couldn t help laughing. This was the young man to whom most people he encountered thought was cold and over-disciplined. And yet again, he was becoming aggressive over a dumb war movie.

She hadn t meant to say it. It had just slipped out. In the midst of her mirth, she spoke the words, God, I love you so much, Sousuke.

Her laughter stopped right after she had uttered the last syllable. The look in his eyes was unmistakable. He had ripped his vision from the television, and stared down at her with an expression of complete shock and confusion. She turned away from him, pushed herself up from her restful position and sat as far as she could from him upon the sofa. In a moment of stupidity she had just blurted out what she d tried to say back in October to no avail. Stupid head. Moron! she screamed inwardly. She d used the same words for him so often. Now who was the more idiotic one?

She took a deep breath. She could get out of this. She could convince him that she hadn t meant anything by it. This was Sousuke, after all. He believed everything she said. Er I have no idea why I just said that. She forced a cheerful tone into her voice, and smiled to enhance the effect. I mean you know You can be so funny sometimes and I really like that about you as a friend, of course. Just as a friend.

She felt all trace of self-confidence drain from her body. She was Kaname Chidori, representative of Class 3-4 and President of the Student Council. She had gotten past the death of her mother; had survived middle school and that brush with the law; lived on her own since she entered high school; helped save a top-secret submarine; escaped an assassination attempt single-handedly. And she wasn t even eighteen yet! And now, after finally placing herself in a position where she could admit her true feelings for her closest friend, she had immediately taken a step backwards, covering for her slip. She hated herself for it! Why was she being so damn weak!

Despite her internal conflict, she maintained her outer façade of joviality. She stood from her seat and made a move for the kitchen area. Do you want me to make some more pop-

She jumped when he grabbed her arm.

Part of his confusion had been replaced by a frantic intensity. Did you mean what you said?

She shook her head. His grip upon her wrist was becoming painful. N-no. I just meant that I love you as a friend.

Sadness filtered into his features. Why was he so upset by her retraction? His focus dropped to the floor, but he still held her firm. Did you mean what you said? He sounded desperate now, as if he would crumble if she told him once more that her words had meant nothing. Why was he acting this way? Why was he being so forceful? Was he begging her to admit that it had been the truth?

She couldn t take it. She couldn t take the pressure, or the despair in his pleas. She was the one to crumble. Y-yes. She couldn t understand her feelings as she breathed the word. Was this a liberation, or would this destroy the strange sense of closeness they had built up over the last year?

He looked into her face once again. There was a grin pulling at his lips, but he still seemed torn. He couldn t even understand his own feelings, nor his extreme actions. Kaname, he softly whispered.

For endless moments, they could do nothing but look at one another, each unsure as to what the revelation meant. He was the first one to make a move. Releasing her wrist, he trailed his fingers upwards over her bare arm until his hand was able to cup her jaw. She felt herself automatically relax into his caress despite her worry. He could be so gentle at times. She literally felt herself melting.

This cessation couldn t go on much longer. Her patience was wearing thin. She needed to know the truth, why he was doing this. Without consciously making a decision, she pushed herself forward, throwing her arms around his neck, and kissed him. His lips were so soft and warm, nothing like she had expected. She felt her hands play with the ends of his thick hair. At first, she was the only one to apply any pressure, but after a moment he finally responded, closing his eyes and mimicking as best he could the small motions she was applying with her lips.

The rest of the night had been as close to perfect as she could have hoped. No, he hadn t given her an admission of his own love, and things hadn t progressed beyond a few more kisses and holding each other. She had been in a daze for the rest of the week at school, and hadn t even cared when he d blown out a number of windows in the canteen with a grenade.

But on that night they had made an agreement; until they both understood what was truly happening between them and were confident their prospective relationship would work, they d keep everything as a secret. Kaname hadn t even told Kyouko the truth.

For the first few weeks, everything continued in the same manner. He still found it difficult to speak about how he felt hell, she wasn t a whole lot better but from his actions, they way he treated her, the way he responded to kisses, she knew he loved her. He maybe hadn t realised the fact himself yet, but she was certain. She didn t need a confession anyway. She was happy with things the way they were.

Three weeks into their blossoming relationship, he had nervously asked her back to the safe house so that he could treat her by making dinner. His invitation had shocked her to say the least. Sousuke didn t exactly understand the concept of romance. She had always cooked him dinner and had never heard of him ever attempting to cook. She should have expected it; he ended up burning everything.

He d looked so disappointed. He had really wanted to do something nice for her and he had failed. As he prepared himself for her wrath, whether it be physical or verbal, she simply pulled him into a hug and offered to order some Chinese food. She didn t understand why, but the rest of the night they had felt more connected than ever before, more comfortable in one another s presence. It had all started innocently enough, but in a short time soft kisses turned into something else. It seemed like one second they were cuddled up in his living room, the next lying upon his bed, their heavy breathing permeating the scene.

The next morning she awoke with a terrible sense of guilt. She d been the one to instigate the situation. She should have stopped what was happening. Sousuke was barely comfortable with his emotions, never mind having to deal with the additional worry of a sexual relationship. She d never realised he d been so naïve about making love. She should have put an end to it when she saw the first signs of his hesitation. She felt awful for taking advantage of his innocence for her own pleasure.

He once again shocked her, however, and disrupted all thought of betrayal when, as soon as he opened his eyes, he gave her a searing kiss before lowering his lips to her neck.

That was all either of them needed to know that this relationship wasn t going to end. Only death would be able to pull them apart now. She thought that fact would set everything right, but

A month later, they still hadn t told anyone about their relationship.

It certainly wasn t Sousuke s fault. Every week he d ask her why they couldn t break the secrecy now that things were concrete between them. Each time she d held him off by saying that they would very soon, but first they should focus upon the exams to come just before school broke up for the summer. He seemed settled with her reasoning, but occasionally she believed he resented her for stalling. Their relationship had been a giant step in her life, but for someone with Sousuke s history, it was even more momentous. Whenever he would speak to Kurz or Melissa, she could see the wish he had to share the news with his friends. She was doing such a horrible thing to him, and she herself couldn t see any reasoning behind it.

Why was she holding back? She d given herself fully to him. So why couldn t she spread the happy news?

She sighed. She wasn t in the mood for such questions this earlier in the morning. Her talking alarm seemed to agree with her.

Get up, Kaname. Time for school.

Sousuke sat bolt up at the call. Kaname, however, just pulled the sheets up around her a little more. Even after being awake for so long, she lacked the motivation to rise from her bed.

Kaname, are you awake?

Just give me five more minutes, she grumbled.

You must get up now or we will be late for home room.

I m sure the teacher won t mind too much.

Kaname, he said, a little more forcefully. He normally had the patience of a saint, but after having to ensure that his girlfriend managed to get out of bed each and everyday, even his tolerance was wearing thin. If you get up now and take a shower, you will feel much better.

She opened her eyes and looked up towards him. He never failed to make her swoon. That body. That face. His longish dark hair and those intense eyes. The cross-shaped scar showing just above the hem of his boxers. I think I have a better way of you getting me up. She winked and tugged upon his arms, not yielding until he was perched over her.

With a short kiss on the lips, she could tell he was already wavering. We have school in just over an hour. We shouldn t, he weakly protested.

We ll make it, don t worry.

Just over an hour and 20 minutes later, the couple passed over the threshold of their home room.

Kana-chan; Sagara-kun. You re both late again? Just be glad the teacher s late as well or you d both be in for detention, Kyouko cheekily commented. Torturing them was too much fun.

Kaname took up her seat, Sousuke falling into his own desk behind her. Don t look at me. It s not my fault.

Why? What did you do to offend her today, Sagara-kun?

Sousuke hesitated for a moment. Kyouko wished she d had her camera ready to record that comical expression.


Unsure if he was going to let the reason for their tardiness slip, Kaname interrupted. The idiot decided that it would be a good idea to do a strip search on a man he thought was carrying a gun. Luckily I was able to stop him before the cops showed up or the poor man was TOO deeply traumatised! Isn t that right, Sousuke? She turned around in her chair, awarding him with a stern stare.

Yes, Chidori. You are correct.

With his acceptance of the blame, Kyouko took her attention from her friends. However, Kaname s vision wouldn t budge from the image of her boyfriend. He looked downcast, his head lowered and his grey eyes sad. What was wrong with him? Was he hurt by the fact she always choose him as the object of blame when they needed to hide something?


Before she could continue, the classroom door slid back and their teacher walked in.

I know this chapter is pretty subtext heavy, but there will be more dialogue in the next few. Thanks for reading!