Warning! Spoilers for Full Metal Panic, The Second Raid.
Rain, by kmf
Disclaimer: I do not own Full Metal Panic in any way, shape or form. Darn it.
Kaname looked out of the window and frowned. It was raining and the sky was a deep, dirty grey; low and heavy. It wasn't weeping, but crying heavily. Thick drops of woe which fell straight and hard to the ground in the absence of wind.
Chidori Kaname hated rain.
It never used to upset her. Once upon a time it was merely another type of weather; sometimes annoying, sometimes refreshing. Natural. Expected.
Grasping the curtains, she dragged them across the balcony window shutting out the weather from view. Her head bowed low as she tried to stop the feelings of panic that were welling up inside her. The racing of her heart, shortness of breath and dryness of her mouth all combining to make her feel ill.
The feeling of being watched and hunted flickered around her.
With difficulty Kaname took a deep breath and relaxed her grip on the curtains, willing herself to let the fabric go. She turned to the kitchen.
It was very early. Her alarm had not even gone off yet, and normally she would be sound asleep in the comfort of her bed, reluctant to open her eyes, lethargic and warm. But today was a rainy day and somehow she had sensed it. The feelings of disquiet and unease had crept into her dreams and woken her. She had all but sprung from the bed, adrenalin giving her speed, and she had grasped her baseball bat in her hands, standing in a fighting stance, before her eyes had even opened.
When they had focused, they had turned towards her balcony door knowing that she would see rain and gloom.
Moving quietly into the kitchen, her bare feet making no noise on the wooden floor, she filled a kettle with water and switched it on frowning as she stood to watch it boil. Tea would sooth her nerves. Tea would make her relax enough to be able to dress in her uniform, crease her mouth into a smile and unlock her front door ready to brave the outside world.
Food she would forgo. She knew from experience that anything ingested whilst feeling so panicked would turn to lead in her stomach and quickly reappear. She had no appetite on rainy days.
Outside, the rain got heavier, pattering lightly against the fragile panes of glass that separated her from the outside world.
After finishing half a cup of tea, Kaname wandered into her bathroom intent on having a quick wash before she dressed. She glared at the shower as she entered the room, and put the plug in the sink before filling it with hot water to splash on her face.
She no longer indulged in showers. She couldn't stand the feeling of the shower spray hitting her skin, drenching her hair, running into her eyes. Even when she had it scalding hot it still reminded her of the cold rain on that day.
She scrubbed at her face, trying to push back the memories. The fear. The pain. The shock of the sensation of her mouth being covered, robbed. Swallowing hard, she rubbed her mouth with the back of her hand again, wishing she could rub that memory away.
But worse than all these feelings was the one that threatened to reach up and stop her breathing.
The overwhelming sense of abandonment.
Souske."The only one I trust is you"
She had whispered those words to him in her last moment of true peace and tranquillity, that last lazy day she and he had shared. His eyes had widened as he gazed back at her through the mirror that framed them both, his mouth remaining in it usual unbending line. And she had felt his acceptance.
But still he disappeared. Suddenly, without warning. At the moment when she needed him most, he was gone leaving her vulnerable, scared and hurting.
It had been explained to her, later. Souske had been ordered to leave, ordered not to contact her again, ordered not to explain. And Souske was a soldier who obeyed orders. His orders, his military life, were more important than her.
Blinking, Kaname felt a wave of nausea and she held her hand over her mouth as the tea that was supposed to sooth threatened to reappear. Swallowing hard, she tried to calm herself again and block out the thoughts that were causing her so much distress.
She turned and left the bathroom, scuffing her way back to her bedroom, collecting her baseball bat on the way. Hugging a pillow to her she sat on the edge of the bed, her long hair falling over her knees as she rocked slightly pillow held to her stomach, weapon held in the other hand.
She couldn't face the rain.
It was raining heavily. Souske hated the rain. He wasn't sure why he hated it. Possibly it was because it muted sounds and made it difficult to detect potential threats. The dull greyness of a day such as this made visibility poor, the tops of buildings swathed in gloom could hide any number of watchers.
He knew it hid Wraith.
Souske's jaw tightened as he thought of that Mithrill agent. He hated the thought of another watching Chidori's every move; Souske was definitely the best man for the job and didn't need another, especially one who failed to keep her from harm on so many different occasions. The last time almost cost her her life.
He clenched a fist as he recalled the sinking dread and horror when Gould had told him in Hong Kong that Chidori was dead, that he had arranged the death as a favour to Souske. He recalled perfectly the satisfaction he felt as he pumped Gould's body full of bullets, wishing he could do the same to Wraith, the agent that was supposed to protect her.
The agent that had failed.
Souske still didn't know the details; Chidori had refused to talk to him about what had happened to her to prompt her to run to Hong Kong. Wraith had been typically silent on the matter commenting by phone only that it had been an agent of Amalgam who had dispatched the threat to Chidori and that Wraith could not be held responsible if Chidori went to extreme efforts to evade her watcher.
When pushed Wraith admitted that Chidori had discovered or worked out that her clothing was being bugged and had enticed a lecherous old man to a love hotel where she had managed to knock him out, strip and then leave wearing only her underpants and the old man's overcoat. Souske had felt both pride and shock at Chidori's actions. Pride that she could be so resourceful and shock that she had managed to evade the one who was supposed to protect her. What if she tried to evade Wraith again? What if she tried to evade Souske?"The only one I trust is you"
He had felt good when she said that. A strange warm feeling had filled his stomach and radiated outward. The feeling had been fleeting though, turning into anger as he had read his orders; leave Chidori and not contact her again.
He had obeyed. Orders were orders. He hadn't picked up his cell phone when she called him from school as he packed up his remaining gear. He had wanted to. He had not wanted to leave. And he had not, and still did not, really understand why he had not wanted to leave.
The mission was over, as countless missions had been before. It was time to move on to the next one. But Chidori's voice had not left him alone.
"The only one I trust is you"
Those words had haunted him when he returned to base. They distracted and teased him. They caused his chest to ache and he had been full of an overwhelming need to return to Chidori, to continue his mission as if it was not already completed.
Whenever he considered her, his body seemed to react violently, out of control. It felt lethargic at first, then it burned with anger and pain at the news of her death. It had evolved into a sharp feeling, intense and frightening when he had discovered that Gould had lied or been mistaken about her demise.
Chidori had appeared before him in Hong Kong, her face beautiful and expressive, her eyes flashing with anger. She had not said she missed him, had not rebuked him for leaving, rather she had proceeded to kick the shit out of him for giving up on his comrades.
Souske felt his lips twitch slightly at the memory. Chidori had a violent and passionate temper. Quick to anger and fast to forgive; her emotions mercurial and more often than not totally incomprehensible to him.
She made him feel alive.
And he needed to protect her.
After the successful completion of the Hong Kong mission he had done what months ago would have been unthinkable. He had gone before his superiors and demanded that he continue guarding her. He had first threatened to leave the organisation and then he had thrown at them his willingness to work on half pay. His request had been granted though he was unsure if it had been the money that had swayed them. The gleam in the generals' eyes had been unreadable. He had been returned to his mission of guarding Chidori and he ought to have been satisfied.
And yet, he wasn't.
Soon after he had his teacher tear up is notice of withdrawal from school, he had incurred the wraith of Chidori again. He couldn't remember exactly what he had done wrong, but she had rounded on him in the school hallway and started giving him a tongue-lashing. She had raised a hand in which she clutched a paper fan in readiness to strike him to emphasise the point that she was making.
He had closed his eyes, flinching waiting for the strike, almost eager for it. Her slaps, whilst not pain free, rarely hurt for long and he had missed her energetic fiery displays.
But then, her voice had softened and the expected blow had not arrived. She had murmured something about things being back to normal and then, when he had opened his eyes, he had found to his surprise that she was crying. Her eyes were overflowing and she had grasped the front of his jacket and buried her head against his chest.
Once again he had felt the painful tightening of his lungs and had been at a loss to know what to do. Even when Chidoris' friends emerged from heir classroom, Chidori had remained plastered up against him, sobbing and refusing to let go.
And all Souske could think of was how her hair smelt of flowers, warm and relaxing.
Chidori had not been quite herself since that day. Her temper was still cutting, she told him off when he did things she felt were odd or invasive to her privacy, regardless of whether it was done to protect her or not. He had found her watching him, eyes wide as if she couldn't quite believe he was there. He would get phonecalls from her late at night to remind him of things he needed to study for school, but he got a sense that those topics were just an excuse for her to talk to him.
She had not broken down and cried in front of him again, but often he detected that her eyes were red from lack of sleep or crying. He had noted her routine had changed, she no longer took long morning showers but bathed in the evening, shutting herself away for hours in the only room in her apartment that he could not listen in to.
Something was not quite right, and as time when on Souske was beginning to worry.
He sighed, peering out at the rain once again before checking his watch. It was time for him to leave for school.