A/N: The first section I've copied directly from the b-t translation of Continuing on My Own. What has been copied is italicized. I apologize for the size of content that is not my own, I put this much in there for the benefit of those who have not had the fortune of reading COMO. The first 594 words are not my own. Sorry!!

Also, I want to take this moment to acknowledge that the b-t translations are no longer hosted by them, and that I certainly have intentions of buying the Tokyopop release of the book, whenever it comes out. Because I'm obsessed and must have it all, so rest assured, I will be supporting FMP with actual purchases.

EDIT: I have edited this first chapter so that what was my own doing matches the quality of the rest of my story. Nothing new plot-wise, just cleaned up.

DISCLAIMER: Full Metal Panic and everything within belongs to Shouji Gatou, Shikidouji, and whoever else has rights to it (which certainly isn't me~)

Aruiteku Together Forever (Walking Together Forever) - Chapter One

How long had it been before they could walk home side-by-side like this? In the beginning, Sousuke had kept his distance and it had felt like he was following behind her. Gradually- really, one day at a time, that distance had slowly narrowed, and before anyone knew it, it had become natural for them to walk next to each other. And when had it become so that their sleeves sometimes touched?

Suddenly, Sousuke opened his mouth and said, "Chidori."

"What is it now?"

"Let's hold hands."

Kaname doubted what she had just heard.

"Huh… hands… what did you say?"

"I said let's hold hands."

What's he doing? I don't understand at all. Earlier he wouldn't say a word, and now this all of a sudden? Something's definitely strange. And-

"Do you not want to?"

"N… no, it's not that I don't want to…"

"Then it's okay."

Sousuke reached out with his right hand and softly took her left hand. Cautiously at first, then tightly. They had held hands many times before during emergencies, but never like this before.


Her ears grew hot.

Kaname felt awkward, and unthinkingly buried her face in her scarf.

"I… I don't understand. Why all of the sudden…"

"I don't understand, either." Sousuke said, pulling Kaname's hand because of her stilted way of walking.

"This is kinda strange…"

"Strange? I guess so. It is strange."

Neither of them said anything else after that.

There was a small yakitori shop on the outskirts of the shopping district. As they passed by it, they could hear a song coming from inside. "Yagiri no Watashi." It wasn't the right mood, but for some reason it left a strong impression.

It was like they were engulfed in a sense of security.

His hand was large and warm. Yet at the same time, some kind of helpless feeling threw itself upon her. She didn't know why.

The time after that passed before they knew it.

The two of them left the shopping district, getting closer to the apartments where they lived. The two buildings were separated by the main road. It was the same old scenery, but somehow even that looked different to her.

Normally, this is where they would break up and go to their own apartments, but- unlocking hands would be extremely lonely.

"Umm… do you want to get something to eat?"

Even as she said it, she was surprised at herself. With this kind of atmosphere, wouldn't saying something like that be, well, dangerous?

Sousuke also seemed surprised.

"…would that be okay?"

"Uh… well, yeah. A kind of… end of everything wrap party, for today."

"Wrap party?"

"Yeah. That kind of thing… is alright, I think."

Sousuke gave a little nod, and after tightening his grip on her hand, they walked in the direction of Kaname's apartment.

They said nothing as they went up the elevator.

Because something might happen.

It was scary. But exciting.

It felt as if her world had shrunk. She could hear her heart pounding in her chest. She could feel the palm of his hand gradually becoming sweatier.

They walked down the common corridor.

And arrived in front of her place.

She floundered around with her keys so that she wouldn't have to let go of his hand.


"It's okay. Maybe we should let go for a minute."


She put the key in the hole and opened the door.

They stepped into the entranceway. After slowly taking off their shoes, they once again joined hands, and getting close together, turned towards the living room.

"Uhm, so, Sousuke, what would you like to eat?" Kaname glanced up nervously, shuffling her feet in an anxious gesture.

"Anything is fine with me," his voice was rough, more than usual, he seemed to be swamped with emotion just as she was.

"I see… So, are you hungry now, or…?" she looked down at their joined hands, then glanced between the entranceway to the kitchen and her sofa, wondering which she should head towards.

"I could wait," he also glanced down at their hands, reluctant to let go. Her hand felt so wonderfully soft and warm in his. He never wanted to let go. Sousuke was hungry, really, but he did not care at the moment. He wanted to stay close to her, holding her hand, never letting her go.

"Oh, uhm, ok. Why… Why don't we watch some TV or something then?" While she didn't want to let go, she was also nervous of what might happen if things kept up this way. Would they kiss? It would be so wonderful if they did, she thought, so wonderful to finally have that kiss with Sousuke that Leonard had stolen from her. She really, really had wanted her first kiss to be with Sousuke.

Sousuke slowly pulled her towards the sofa, and tugged her down to sit beside him, snapping her out of her reverie. She blushed, wondering if perhaps she was being foolish, hoping for a kiss. This was Sousuke after all. Did he even know what a kiss was, other than the 'kiss of life' anyways? Even if he did kiss her, what would that mean for them? Would things get awkward? Would they stay the same? Would Sousuke change? Would she?

He rested their hands on his knee and stared at them, as if amazed. It was starting to sink in. The two of them, alone in her apartment, holding hands, sitting so close their thighs touched. It was too much. He blushed and turned his gaze back to her face to see her wearing a similar expression. Once again he found himself stunned by her, her sheer beauty doing him in.



Her eyes widened. He used her given name. The small blush she had spread further, turning her whole face scarlet. He leaned in closer, tilting so his chest was facing her now. The movement caused his right leg to move, pressing against her left more forcefully. She was suddenly very aware of him.

Sousuke's leg was hard against hers, his hand was beginning to feel clammy, and sweat ringed the collar of his shirt, which was probably too heavy for her heated apartment on top of the heated atmosphere between them. His handsome face would be almost childish if not for the hardened expression he usually wore tightening his features. His warm breath, coming harsher than normal, reached her sweat-lined throat, causing her to shiver and shift towards him. He was staring at her with the same intensity he always had, but it was all directed at her, and if she hadn't gotten to know him as well as she had, she might have been scared of the nearly unreadable emotion.

Sousuke was making similar notes about Kaname. The skin of her thighs looked so smooth and inviting, as did the gentle curve of her neck. He wanted to pull her close to him and feel her meld into his hardened body the way he knew she would from the times he had briefly held her close. He desperately wanted to feel it like this, in a non-combat situation, where he could just enjoy her softness. The blush looked so charming on her, with only the dim light from the entrance to illuminate her. Her shiver excited him, and he didn't know why, when ordinarily he would be concerned. His body seemed to take over his actions, leaving him no time for rational thought.

If it had, would he have stopped himself?

He couldn't answer that, and before he knew it, he had given into his desires and pulled her closer with his free arm. Still holding her hand tightly with the other, he kissed her. He had no idea what he was doing, his body was on auto-pilot, if he had to stop to think about what to do, he probably would have been unable to do anything. He was grateful for his instincts at the moment though. Kissing her quickly became the most amazing thing he had ever experienced in his life.

Kaname whimpered at the tidal wave of sensations. She had been so sure he would not be this bold. Sure, he had kissed Mizuki that one time, but it had been for the 'mission,' and he had confused it with CPR. This was different. This was because he wanted to, because she wanted to. This was for them and no one else. Nothing else mattered, not school, not Mithril or Amalgam, nothing but each other. She whimpered again, kissing him back with fervor, thoroughly enjoying this.

He was so good.

Not that she had any real experience, but with the way he pressed his rough lips against hers and the shocking feeling that coursed through her body – those were surely an indication. Kaname shivered again, shifting forward to get closer she lifted her leg and half-crawled into his lap. He moaned into her mouth and lowered himself backwards, pulling her with him, finally releasing her hand so he could rest both hands on her waist to guide her.

This truly was wonderful, for the both of them.

For how long had he wanted to do this? Sousuke could hardly remember. It had nearly happened back in the mountains of North Korea, he knew that now. He never would have even thought it because his body had been giving the orders back then too. If only he could have gotten her alone, it would have happened on her birthday, when he was going to tell her how he felt.

That reminded him…

Reluctantly, Sousuke pulled back, resting his hands on her cheeks to gently keep her from following him. Their breathing was ragged and faces flushed, they gazed at each other with half-lidded eyes. "Sousuke…?" she sounded so concerned. Did she do something wrong, she wondered? Why had he pulled away when things seemed to have been going oh so well?

He smiled gently at her and allowed his thumbs to trace her delicate cheekbones, hoping to reassure her and soothe her uncertainties away. "Kaname… I never did tell you. That time, when I got you alone after the Pacific Chrysalis, I lost my nerve, but now…," he took a deep breath, closing his eyes. He opened them and stared at her, looking her in the eyes with even more of his trademark intensity than usual. "I love you."

There, he had said it. Now there could be no doubts. Any nervousness he had felt melted away when he saw that smile on her face. There was no describing it, except to say that he had never felt her codename to be more appropriate than in this moment. She truly was an angel, with such a serene expression full of only the most positive of emotions, the dim light behind her lighting her hair like a soft halo.

"And I love you, Sagara Sousuke," her voice was tender and full of emotion, unlike his which had been hard and to the point. But that was his way, and she knew that. If it had been anything else, she may have doubted his sincerity. She leaned down and timidly kissed him. Unlike before, this kiss was soft and gentle, a simple desire for their emotions to be understood by each other further than their words could ever hope to describe.

Kaname smiled brightly at him, unable to contain her joy, and then tucked her head under his chin, letting him wrap his arms around her to hold her close. He enjoyed the feel of her weight on top of him, her breath sneaking under his shirt to tickle his chest, just having her so close and knowing she was enjoying it as much as he was. He smiled. It wasn't often – if ever that he could recall – that he was happy enough to smile like this. For a moment, a flash of emotion, he was getting accustomed to those times thanks to the girl in his arms. This feeling was far more lasting. It almost hurt his face to smile for so long.

His phone rang.

She pulled back and looked at him concerned, and he sighed, reaching into his pocket reluctantly. He glanced at the caller ID then flipped it open to hit the talk button. "Uruz-7. Mm. Ok. Got it. Understood. The field on route 10. 2200 hours. Yes sir." He ended the call, snapped it closed, and then put the phone back in his pocket. "I'm sorry, Kaname, I have to go."


"Yes," he placed his hand on her cheek and leaned in for one more kiss. "We'll have to save dinner for another day. Does that sound all right?"

She smiled bravely and nodded, "Okay. When you get back, I'll make you all the curry rice you can eat."

"All right. It shouldn't be more than a couple of days, if I get the chance, I'll call you when I'm returning," he pulled her down for just one more kiss.

Kaname slid off of Sousuke and stood up, keeping her eyes on him as he did the same. They walked to the entranceway and once he had everything set to leave, they leaned in for one last kiss, desperate to make the most of this time they had together. He let his body do the talking once again and stepped forward until she hit the wall, where he pressed against her, fiercely kissing her. He dropped his school bag to wrap one arm around her waist and set his other hand to the back of her head, tilting her neck so he could deepen the kiss.

Boldly, he pressed his tongue against her lips, and she immediately parted them with a happy sigh. Ordinarily, he would be concerned with his lack of control. But feeling like this, experiencing this, knowing she was enjoying it as well, he could not find it in him to care. In fact, he gladly allowed his mind to shut down and to just simply feel. He had never given in to the demands of his body like this, but that was just one more thing he could attribute to this wonderful woman he held. She had taught him to feel. She had taught him to care. And now she had taught him that it was okay to just let go of everything.

She moaned happily into his mouth, savoring the feel of his body so close to hers, holding her so tightly. She never wanted this moment to end. But it had to. He slowly backed off, nipping her lower lip before completely retreating. "I'll be back soon." He was flushed and out of breath. It was adorable, seeing him like this, knowing she was the only one.

"When you return, use your key to let yourself in and say 'I'm home.'" Kaname blushed at her words, but held his gaze when she said them. She meant it. She wanted him to feel at home with her.

Sousuke looked at her with shock and amazement etched across his face. His features softened and he gave her the most genuine smile she had ever hoped to see him wear. He turned to open the door, "I'm leaving."

"Return home safely."

AN: Promise the rest of the story make suffering through this worth it. ^_~