A/N: Just an idea a friend and I had. I don't own anything, but I sure would love to have me a Sosuke.

Full Metal Panic!

Dodgeball

This particular day at Jindai High School was one that was alternately anticipated with longing by some and dreaded by others. Kaname Chidori, Student Body Vice President and Class Representative for Class 2-4, most certainly fell into the former category. Athletic and highly competitive, Kaname appreciated any opportunity to demonstrate her abilities. However, this year was a little different. This year there was one Sosuke Sagara to consider.

Kaname waited impatiently outside her apartment building for Sosuke. He was always on time, of course, so it wasn't like he was running late. No, Kaname had just been too excited this morning and had arrived downstairs early. She was actually looking forward to this.

"Good morning, Chidori." Sosuke greeted her in his usual formal manner.

Kaname smiled as she looked at her handsome if somber classmate and bodyguard. His appearance was impeccable as ever although, Kaname observed, he could use another haircut sometime soon. Kaname blushed a little as she remembered Sosuke's last haircut. It meant a lot to her that he'd felt safe enough with her to let his guard down so much that he actually fell asleep.

'Take that, Tessa.' she thought with satisfaction.

"Chidori?" Sosuke asked after a minute had passed with Kaname just staring at him and not saying anything.

"Oh!" Kaname said, her face turning red all over again. She whirled around so Sosuke wouldn't see and started walking towards the train station.

"Are you alright?" Sosuke asked with concern as he followed her.

"Oh, yes. I'm fine." Kaname said hurriedly before Sosuke could begin wondering about her health. Kaname slowed her pace a little so that Sosuke was walking beside her and glanced over at him quickly, "Hey, Sosuke, did you hear about what's happening at school today?"

Sosuke's steely eyes looked confused for a moment.

"I'm not sure what you are referring to. I did hear about a number of different activities that are scheduled for today." He looked at Kaname with concern again, "Is there an increased security risk?"

"No, stupid! I'm talking about gym class." Kaname explained, feeling her usual annoyance flare up at Sosuke's typical military reaction. She quickly pushed that feeling back down. She was determined that today was going to be a good day for her and for Sosuke.

Kaname stopped her progress towards school and turned to face her bodyguard. She couldn't wait any longer. She had to tell him. She let her excitement show through on her face, her mouth spreading into a wide smile.

"We're playing dodgeball today!" she revealed.

Sosuke just stared at her. Kaname waited, thinking maybe this exciting news was taking a moment to sink in. Sosuke still looked blank.

"Dodgeball?" he finally ventured uncertainly.

Kaname sighed. Of course he'd have no idea about dodgeball. She'd just figured since he'd had experience with basketball and baseball that maybe he'd know another classic high school sport. Well, she wasn't going to hold it against him. This would just make today even more special. Not only was Sosuke going to get to play a sport that she was sure he'd be great at and probably enjoy, she was going to introduce him to it for the first time. Recovering, Kaname smiled again.

"Yeah, dodgeball. It's a game. It's really fun. I think you'll like it." she said, gesturing for Sosuke to walk with her again.

"I see." Sosuke said, contemplating this.

"It'll be great. Don't worry." Kaname reassured him, "Now come on. We don't want to be late!"

"Roger."

***

That day just before gym class, Kaname pulled Sosuke aside. She figured it might take a little time to explain everything to him.

"Okay, Sosuke, now pay attention." Kaname said, standing in front of him with a red rubber ball in one hand.

Sosuke snapped to attention, his eyes focused unwaveringly on Kaname, "Ma'am!"

Kaname smirked a little at his response, but didn't comment on it. She held up the ball in her hand.

"This is the equipment you'll use on this mission. No attacking people with guns or grenades or anything crazy like that, got it?"

Sosuke nodded, "Affirmative."

"Your goal is to hit members of the other team with this ball while avoiding being hit by any balls being thrown by them. Once someone gets hit, they're out. But if you can catch a ball that they throw, the person that threw it is out and one of your team members gets to come back into the game. Understand?"

Sosuke hesitated a moment, "Uh…yes, I think so."

Kaname didn't miss the uncertainty on his face, "What is it?"

"It's just…is this a normal civilian game?"

"Yeah. School kids everywhere play it. Why?"

"Well, it seems…no, nevermind." Sosuke finished decisively, all uncertainty vanishing from his face.

"Good, well gym class is about to start so we should go get changed." Kaname said slowly, still curious about what was going through the moody sergeant's mind. She was also frankly a little disappointed that he hadn't shown any enthusiasm about the game so far, but she supposed that might change when he actually started to play it.

'Chin up, Chidori.' she instructed herself, 'This is going to be a good day for Sosuke. He's done so much for you. This is the least you can do for him.'

***

Kaname stood poised to run. One hand was held behind her, fingertips touching the gym wall. Her face was set with determination, her mouth a fierce line. Her eyes were focused on the line of five rubber balls lined up in the middle of the gym floor. She spared a glance to the person standing ready next to her. Sosuke's eyes didn't waver from the target. Smiling a grim smile, Kaname turned her eyes back that way as well.

"Blue team ready?" the gym teacher called.

The opposing team yelled affirmative.

"Red team ready?"

Kaname yelled along with her team mates except for Sosuke who remained silent.

"Dodgeball!"

Kaname shot away from the wall, sprinting as fast as she could. A few feet from the line, she stopped, letting herself slide the remaining distance to the ball, which she snatched before the opposing team member could get his hands on it. Turning, she ran back to the wall. Turning once she'd reached it, she glanced around and saw that her team had secured three of the five balls; she had one, Sosuke had one, and Maya had the third. On the other team, Ono D and Shoji both stood poised with rubber balls.

'Sorry, Mizuki.' Kaname thought before she launched her ball at Mizuki.

Mizuki shrieked as the ball screamed through the air towards her. She froze in her fear and the ball hit her right in the stomach. With a grunt, Mizuki collapsed onto the floor.

"Mizuki's out!" the gym teacher declared.

"Sosuke, get Ono!" Kaname yelled, pointing.

"Roger!" Sosuke nodded.

For a second, Kaname was afraid that Sosuke was about to do something crazy, but thankfully he simply launched the rubber ball, catching Ono in the side as he tried to jump out of the way.

"Out!"

"Yeah! Good job, Sosuke!" Kaname cried, punching the air.

"It's not a problem." Sosuke replied with a smile.

Sudden movement out of the corner of his eye caught Sosuke's attention. Shoji had just thrown her ball at Kaname. Sosuke gasped and yelled a warning.

"Kaname!"

Kaname's head whipped around and she caught sight of the ball flying towards her. It was too late to dodge. Kaname braced herself for the impact.

Suddenly, the ball exploded a second from hitting her. Everyone in the gym jumped at the bang that accompanied the explosion. Kaname blinked in surprise for a moment before it dawned on her what must have happened. Turning to look at Sosuke, her suspicions were confirmed when she saw him standing there with a smoking gun in his hand. Kaname clenched her fists, feeling herself grow warm as she started to fume.

"Kaname, are you alright?" Sosuke asked, lowering the weapon.

"Grrrrr!" Kaname growled, snatching the ball from Maya's hands and launching it at Sosuke's head. The ball hit with such force that it knocked the sergeant off his feet, "I told you no weapons!"

"Ow." Sosuke groaned.

"What's the big idea?" Kaname demanded, looming over Sosuke's prone form, shaking with rage.

"You said not to attack anyone. I merely used my gun defensively." Sosuke explained calmly while pushing himself into a sitting position.

"Moron!" Kaname snapped, but she caught herself before she struck Sosuke again. Taking a deep breath, she reminded herself that she was trying to do something nice for this idiot.

Sosuke, meanwhile, stopped cringing when he noticed that Kaname hadn't attacked. Looking up at her, Sosuke wondered what had happened and if it might be safe to stand up yet.

"Uh…Kaname and Sagara," the gym teacher hazarded into the silence, "you're both out for improper conduct."

The teacher braced himself for Kaname to explode, but strangely enough, she just moved to the sideline silently. Everyone exchanged glances at her odd behavior, but nobody dared to say anything to her about it. After a moment, Sosuke got up and joined her.

The game resumed with four players still active on both teams. Shinji was soon hit on the red team and despite her best efforts and skillful dodging, Kyoko was struck in the leg by a ball thrown by Shiori. That left only Maya and Ai still playing for Kaname's team. Kaname and the others cheered them on from the side line.

"Come on, guys!" Kaname called.

As if in response to Kaname's encouragement, Maya managed to catch the next ball that flew at her. She gestured quickly at Kaname who ran back onto the floor. Grabbing a ball that rolled onto their side, she launched an attack at Shoji, determined to knock her out of the game. Shoji managed to jump out of the way, but that just made Kaname even more resolute.

In the next few minutes, balls flew wildly back and forth. In that time, the other team managed to get a total of three team members in play while taking out a member of the red team. That left just Kaname and Maya. Kaname dodged a wild throw, but Maya wasn't so fast. All alone now, Kaname knew she needed to get somebody from her team back in the game to help her. Kaname leaped up and caught the next ball thrown by the other team.

"Alright, Sosuke." she said, only sparing a second to glance at him, "No weapons this time."

"No weapons." Sosuke confirmed, stepping in next to her.

Kaname and Sosuke battled valiantly against the blue team, but they seemed to be fairly evenly matched at the moment. Finally, Kaname managed to hit Shoji, evening the odds.

"Yes!" she cried, jumping in the air in victory.

"Kaname, look out!" Sosuke cried.

Kaname had a flash back to earlier in the game as a ball flew straight for her. This one seemed to be directly in line with her face. She wondered for a second if she wouldn't rather have Sosuke break the rules and save her from the pain of a direct hit to the face, but it wasn't like she'd even have time to say anything. Kaname closed her eyes.

A form flew in front of her and, sensing the movement, Kaname opened her eyes just in time to see Sosuke had leapt in front of her and taken the hit for her. Landing hard on the gym floor, Sosuke groaned and lay still for a moment.

"Sosuke!" Kaname cried, running over to him.

She barely even noticed when a ball caught her in the shoulder as she was kneeling at his side. She didn't care about the game at the moment. She just wanted to make sure Sosuke was okay. Reaching out, Kaname gently took hold of his shoulder and pulled it towards her so that he was lying on his back and she could see his face.

"Sosuke?" she asked.

"I'm alright." Sosuke assured her, his gray eyes meeting hers firmly, "No major damage."

"You didn't have to do that, you know." Kaname said softly.

"It's my duty to protect you." Sosuke reminded her, his voice telling her there was no question about it in his mind.

Kaname frowned, "Yes, but I wanted to play a game I thought you would like and well, look how it turned out."

"Are you okay, Sosuke?"

Kyoko leaned over Sosuke and Kaname, looking between them. The intrusion broke whatever moment was going on between them.

"Yes, I'm fine." Sosuke confirmed, getting up.

"Looks like we lost, Kana." Kyoko informed her friend sadly.

"What? Oh. That's okay." Kaname said, straightening herself.

She found herself staring after Sosuke as he joined the other boys to go change in the boys locker room. Kyoko smiled when she saw where her friend was looking. There was certainly something special going on between Sosuke and Kaname.

***

At the end of the day, Sosuke and Kaname walked slowly home from school. After gym class, they had both been fairly busy with their school work. It had been a long, busy day and Kaname was feeling pretty worn out. She was frankly relieved when they arrived at her building.

"Kaname…" Sosuke called her quietly before she could head inside.

"Yes, Sosuke?" Kaname asked, turning to face him.

"I had a good time today. Thank you."

"Really?" Kaname pressed, a small smile beginning to form.

"Affirmative."

The smile on Kaname's face was now full-fledged. She considered hugging him, but was too embarrassed to do so. Instead she said, "Well, I'm glad you had fun. See you tomorrow, okay?"

With that, she headed into her building, pleased with how the day had turned out, but already planning ahead for tomorrow.