A/N: I don't own FMP!, but I do like to play with their characters. This is just another little idea that came to me because I have too much time on my hands. Please read and review.

Full Metal Panic!

The Splinter

Kaname tightened her grip on the baseball bat as she waited for the pitch. She imagined that it was Sosuke's neck she was wringing instead of a wooden bat. After all this time, you'd think that idiot would have learned to adapt at least a little bit, but no!

The pitcher threw a fastball and Kaname swung with all her might, smashing the bat against the ball so hard that the bat splintered in her hands. Tossing it aside, she started sprinting for the bases, knowing that there was no way anyone was going to be able to catch that ball. It was definitely a home run.

As Kaname rounded the bases, her satisfaction over the home run warred with her still raging temper. She still couldn't quite figure out why she'd gotten punished for Sosuke's stupid military antics. They'd had a substitute teacher today and somehow Sosuke had convinced himself that the sub was actually a terrorist spy. So, of course, he'd had to start torturing him to try and get him to reveal his secret mission. Kaname had launched into action to stop him, beating Sosuke thoroughly with her paper fan, but by then someone had already gone for the principle. When she arrived, she saw Kaname attacking Sosuke and the substitute hiding under the desk crying. The sub had refused to talk and had hightailed it out of the school as soon as he got the chance. The principle had sentenced Sosuke and Kaname both with detention after school, effectively ruining Kaname's plan to hang out with her friends. And she had just been trying to help!

"Good job, Kaname!" Kyoko congratulated her as she rejoined her friends on the bench.

"Thanks." Kaname replied shortly.

She felt a sharp pain in her hand and glanced down to find a splinter had embedded itself in her palm. Frowning, she tried to pull it out, but only succeeded in pushing it further under her skin. With a frustrated sigh, she decided it would be best to just leave it alone and let it work itself out. Although, this was certainly also Sosuke's fault.

Detention was as terrible as Kaname had anticipated. They had to write out promises of better behavior and gripping her pencil had hurt thanks to the splinter in her hand. As a result, she was still pretty mad when she was finally allowed to go home and therefore decided to ignore Sosuke, making him trail behind her like he used to before she'd started walking next to him. Sosuke didn't say anything about it, making a smart choice for once.

Just as Kaname was heading down the street to her building from the train station, her phone began to ring. She dug the phone out of her bag, wincing at the pain when it pressed against her splinter. Switching the phone to her other hand, she answered the call.

"Hello?"

"Hi, Kaname!" Kyoko's voice greeted her, "I just wanted to see if you're feeling any better. You seemed a little upset at school today."

"No, I'm fine."

"Are you still mad about what Sosuke did?" Kyoko guessed.

"Why would you think that?" Kaname asked through clenched teeth, trying to keep her temper in check.

"You'd think you'd be used to his crazy stunts by now."

"Why should I have to get used to them?" Kaname demanded angrily. She glanced over her shoulder, not wanting Sosuke to overhear her conversation, "You know what, Kyoko? I should probably go. I'm home now and I've got to make dinner. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay. Bye, Kaname!" Kyoko said, a hint of a knowing tone in her voice.

"Bye." Kaname echoed a little grumpily before hanging up her phone.

"Chidori?"

Kaname jumped in surprise. She hadn't realized Sosuke was right behind her. Annoyed, she whirled around towards him.

"What?" she demanded.

Sosuke looked a little nervous at her display of temper and his eyes seemed to be searching for any sign of her fan, but he continued, "Is there something wrong with your hand? I noticed you seem to be having some difficulty with using it."

Kaname was tempted to punch Sosuke and show him how well she could use her hand, but in a remarkable show of restraint, she merely shoved her palm in front of Sosuke's face.

"I got a splinter thanks to you." she informed him stiffly.

"Oh." Sosuke replied.

Kaname was about to respond to that reply when Sosuke caught her injured hand between both of his, turning her hand so that her palm faced up and he could bend his head over it to examine it. The feel of his warm hands cradling her own made her blush and her hand tingle.

"I believe I can be of assistance by removing it." Sosuke finally decided.

It took a moment for his words to register.

"What? No!" Kaname gasped, snatching her hand away from him.

"But Kaname, I have plenty of experience in field med. Let me help you." Sosuke insisted.

Kaname imagined Sosuke brandishing a huge knife and quickly shook her head, "It'll come out on its own eventually. I'll be fine."

"But this will be much quicker and will save you a lot of discomfort."

"But…it'll hurt." Kaname finally revealed her fear, looking down at her feet so that her hair hid her face.

She glanced up hesitantly and Sosuke caught and held her gaze, "I promise it will not hurt."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Oh…okay. Let's go up to my place." Kaname at last relented.

She led the way up to her apartment and Sosuke followed silently. She wondered for a second at how quickly Sosuke had diffused her anger. It had happened almost as quickly as he could incite it. And all it had taken was a simple touch.

Kaname pushed thoughts of what that might indicate from her mind as she unlocked her door and let them both inside. Sosuke flipped on the light and quickly moved ahead of her to check that the apartment was secure. When he returned to her, she figured that meant everything was fine.

"Do you have a first aid kit?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'll get it."

Retrieving the kit from under the bathroom sink, she took it into the living room and sat down on the couch, setting the kit next to her. Sosuke kneeled in front of her. He opened the kit and removed a pair of tweezers. Taking her hand, he placed it palm up on her knee.

"Are you sure this won't hurt?" Kaname pressed, tensing.

"Positive." Sosuke answered confidently, "Close your eyes."

"What?" Kaname asked in surprise.

"Trust me."

Slowly, Kaname shut her eyes. She did trust him, after all. He'd saved her life before and this was just a little splinter.

She felt the cool metal of the tweezers and the warmth of Sosuke's hands. She even felt the tingle of Sosuke's breath on her hand from holding his face so close. Kaname found herself distracted by the soft caress of air as he breathed out across her skin.

"Finished." Sosuke announced and Kaname's eyes snapped open.

"Really?" she asked, studying her hand uncertainly. She hadn't felt him prodding her with the tweezers or anything, but sure enough her hand was free of the splinter. Her eyes wide, she transferred her gaze to Sosuke, "Thanks, Sosuke!"

With a wide smile, she lunged forward and enveloped Sosuke in a hug. The action caught the sergeant by surprise, causing him to drop the tweezers to the floor with a clatter. He instinctively tensed, but eventually relaxed and slowly brought his arms up around Kaname.

"You're welcome." he finally replied, his words almost murmured into her hair.

Kaname reluctantly pulled away, the smile still on her face, "Well, as long as you're here, you might as well stay for dinner."

Sosuke felt an answering smile tug at his lips, "Thank you. I'd like that."