TITLE: Every contact leaves a trace

AUTHOR: TaleWeaver

DISCLAIMER: Not mine. No sue.

FANDOM/PAIRING: Full Metal Panic! Sousuke/Kaname

RATING / CONTENT: M to R. Sexual implications and activities.

SPOILERS: All of the anime and current novel story arc. Takes place after Kaname and Sousuke return to Jindai High.

SUMMARY: She's never noticed these marks before.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: For the thirtykisses lj challenge. Theme 21. Violence; pillage/plunder; extortion

TECHNICAL NOTES: according to the Fumoffu episode 'A Hostage with no compromises' Sousuke uses a Glock 26 on the video game. Also, while there's a short story on how Kallinan met Sousuke, I've only read a summary. As far as I know, it's never been mentioned just how Sousuke got the scar on his face

"Sousuke, where did these come from?"

Sousuke looked up at the curious tone of his lover's voice. He and Kaname were enjoying a rare spring afternoon alone; since their return to Jindai High, they'd had visitors almost every night. The lack of privacy, except for late at night or early in the morning, meant that they were both running a little short on sleep, in order to fulfil certain other needs.

But even knowing that there were no guests coming for once, they hadn't immediately locked themselves into their bedroom. Instead, they were sitting on the living room floor, watching a mecha-themed anime that Shinji had enthused about. Sousuke was sitting with his back against the couch, with Kana seated between his legs and leaning back against his chest. Having set the booby-traps at all the entrances to their apartment, he was only lightly armed.

The evening was warm, so much so they'd left the sliding door open to let in the breeze, and Sousuke hadn't been this relaxed in... He couldn't remember how long. He'd been making notes on the action on the screen with one corner of his mind, so he could review his impressions with Kazuma the next day, but most of his attention had been on the woman in his arms. Kana was warm and pliant against him, her hair smelling like lavender and peppermint, and as he absently traced patterns on her lower thigh below her cut-off jeans, her skin felt like silk under his calloused fingertips. Kaname, in turn, had been tracing her own fingertips over his right hand and forearm.

He'd been toying with the idea of sliding a hand beneath her cropped T-shirt to caress her midriff, when her voice had broken into his thoughts.

"Hmm?" was his only reply.

Kaname smiled indulgently – she loved it when he just let go and luxuriated in her presence – and lifted his right hand in her left, lightly tracing over his knuckles with her right-hand fingers.

"I've never noticed before, but you have scars on your knuckles. Very tiny ones, but they're still there."

Sousuke ducked his head, his mind flipping back to one of the darkest times of his life. One of the reasons he had such bleak memories of it, was that in hindsight, there were so many things he could have done to make it easier for both him and Kaname.

"It's from when I was recalled from Tokyo. Right before Hong Kong. I was sitting at the table, reading the order on my laptop, and when I reached the line about all further contact with you being forbidden... I don't remember actually moving. I just remember standing bent over the desk, gasping for breath, my mind screaming and my fist in the laptop screen, cracks spreading around it."

Kaname's eyes went soft, and she raised his hand to her lips. As her warm, damp mouth slid over the marred skin, her tongue flickering out oh-so-softly, Sousuke felt a sharp stab of desire.

Twisting so that she knelt between his legs and faced him, Kana reached up and lightly traced the crucifix-shaped scar on his left jaw. Sousuke inhaled sharply in reaction; no one had ever really touched him there before, and he'd had no idea that the area was that sensitive.

"What about this?" she asked quietly. "I didn't know much about scars until recently, but it's so clear and precise... it had to be deliberate."

"I was quite young," Sousuke told her, his voice low with remembrance. "It was just after I'd been adopted by Majid, and he'd sent me to one of his most trusted cells. He said that they would give me the seasoning I needed to become a truly great warrior. The leader of the troupe didn't like me – I know now that he was jealous of his leader's regard for me – and when he found I'd been raised as a Christian in Siberia, he took out his knife and sliced a crucifix into my jaw, so that no one would ever forget that I was a kafir – an unbeliever – and thus unworthy to be the leader's son."

Kaname's eyes went wide and inhaled sharply. "Why didn't you ever have plastic surgery to have it removed? Mithril's medical benefits would cover it."

"One of the officers in the training camp suggested it, to help with undercover work. But I wouldn't. When the Tiger found out what had happened, he was furious with the man who'd cut me. It was the first real memory I'd ever had that someone cared about my wellbeing. That it mattered whether I was hurt, without it affecting my training or mission readiness."

He didn't mention to Kaname that it was the first time someone had killed for him. The Tiger of Badakhshan had personally executed the man who'd injured his son.

Kaname's gaze was soft, as she stated, "It reminded you that at least once, you'd had someone who loved you."

Sousuke could not have said the words, even now, but he was glad that Kana could read between the lines and say what he couldn't. He wasn't sure that love was what he'd felt for the legendary guerrilla – he wasn't sure he'd ever loved anyone until Kaname - but it had been something very close.

At his nod, Kana leaned forward and brushed an open-mouthed kiss over the scar, blessing it. Sousuke shuddered at the contact, and couldn't quite suppress a moan at the flash of sensation running from his jaw to his heart to his groin.

When he opened his eyes, a familiar hot spark danced in the brown eyes that met his. Kana didn't smile as she reached for the collar of his shirt. Sousuke kept very still as she deliberately flicked open the buttons one by one, slowly sliding it off his shoulders and dropping it on the cushions of the couch behind him. She efficiently reached behind his back and removed the holster from the back of his belt, dropping it on top of his shirt with the Glock 26 still in it. Grabbing a throw cushion from the couch, she tossed it on the floor before tugging on the belt loops of his jeans, to guide him into lying on the floor.

Sousuke settled his head on the cushion as Kana straddled his hips. The slowness of her actions and the grave expression on her face indicated that she had something specific in mind; he was happy to lie back and let her carry it out. His beloved was backlit by the late afternoon sun, limning her figure in a halo of light – not to mention, the pale yellow T-shirt was made transparent by the light, showing the outline of her lithe torso. This was the same outfit she'd worn the first time she'd given him a haircut; he hoped she'd lean over and give him another look at her breasts. He was intimately familiar with her naked body by now, as she was with his; but the always-aroused lover that Kana had unearthed in him (not to mention the constantly horny teenage boy) could never get his fill of the sight of her body, no matter what stage of undress.

Balancing on her knees, Kana reached down and touched a star-shaped scar between two of his ribs. "You got this in Khanka, didn't you?" she asked quietly. "Shrapnel from the Savage you stole and Gauron destroyed."

Sousuke nodded.

Kana stated, "You got this scar for the sake of someone who loved you, as well." She braced herself on her arms and leaned down to kiss the scar. The only places their bodies touched were her lips to his ribs, and when her lapis-lazuli hair fell over her shoulder to drape across his body.

Kana straightened, and shuffled backwards until she was at his knees. Gently and efficiently, she opened his belt and undid the fly of his jeans, before pulling the denim over his hips and down his legs. Sousuke braced his bare feet and shoulders on the floor and lifted his hips to help her – quietly grateful that he hadn't become fully aroused yet.

When his jeans were puddled by the foot of the couch, the clip of rubber bullets still in the pocket, Kaname removed the ankle sheath that held his bowie knife and reached up to place it next to his gun. Then she leaned forward again, and kissed a bullet crease on the outside of his right thigh, where he'd been shot by that traitor during Gauron's takeover of the Tuatha de Danaan.

"You got this scar, too, for the sake of someone who loved you then, and loves you now."

Her glorious hair fell into a waterfall over his groin, and Sousuke let a groan escape as the touch of her silken locks – even through the fabric of his briefs – sent him into full-blown arousal. A satisfied smile flickered across Kana's face as she saw the effect she was having, before the loving seriousness returned to her eyes.

He had more than a dozen noticeable scars littering his body from his years as a warrior – but surprisingly few of them had been gained in Kana's service. She knew all of them, though, and sanctified them all with her lips in the order he'd received them. From the hair-thin, invisible score across his left cheekbone that he'd gained in Hong Kong, during the greatest despair of his life, to the pockmark across his right bicep from a flying splinter of wood, when he'd defeated all the members of the Amateur Karate Club (although he still didn't quite get why Tsubaki insisted that he'd cheated, or why Kana agreed with him).

The last one was the ugly blotch across his ridged abdominal muscles. He'd lost a third of his liver, half of one kidney, and almost a foot of intestine to that bullet, and spent months healing. He considered it a very, very, small price to pay for having Kana back. An even smaller price to have her as his own.

Kana's eyes filled with tears she refused to shed, as she gently dragged her fingertips across the mark. "You came so close to dying," she whispered chokily.

"It was worth it," Sousuke told her matter of factly. It was simply the truth.

Kaname dove down to kiss him on the lips for the first time since she'd asked about the scars on his knuckles, her teeth nipping at his lower lip to encourage him to part his lips. When he did, her tongue probed deep into his mouth, with a desperate passion she usually only showed when he came back from assignment, or when the mood between them underwent a lightning-fast switch from arguing to mating. Just as he was about to reach for the hem of her top, Kaname dragged her body off his, sitting up again.

Tracing her fingers over the scar again, her face was intent as she told him, "You got this scar for someone who loved you then, who loves you now and who will love you for all the days of her life."

She twisted and tied her long hair into a rude knot at the base of her neck, before sliding down his body and bending again, to trace every fragment of the still-red scar with her mouth. Nothing was hidden from him now, and he could see as well as feel her pink tongue flicker out to brush over the skin again and again.

He wasn't sure whether to whimper or cheer when she moved away again, and settled on a sigh of relief when she reached for his briefs, impatiently dragging them down to his knees.

When her mouth engulfed him, Sousuke cried out as the pleasure ripped through his body, so exquisite and sharp that it bordered on pain.

FINI