A/N: This is my first attempt at a Full Metal Panic! fic and I've got to say how much I love the show but have never really tried to write anything about it; they pretty much play every angle in the anime and manga series. With that said, I didn't try writing this...it just kinda came to me and tapped on my head until I let it in and now I'm letting it out for you. Enjoy and please R&R!
Disclaimer: I do not own Full Metal Panic, that right goes to Gonzo and Kyoto Animation for bringing the manga to life on television. I did buy all three series so far and they are awesome.
"Mean What You Say"
The wind passed by and caught long blue hair, pulling the flowing strands freely along with the flow of the falling apple blossom petals and taking her sigh with it. Even the warm breeze and beautiful spring day couldn't lift her now fallen spirits. It was all fine before...
"Before he left." Kaname Chidori sighed again, resting her elbows on her knees to let her head sit in her hands. Things always got complicated whenever Sousuke was involved; she should be happy he left.
And yet she was still sitting in the spot where he left her.
"That was a call from the captain. I have to go."
"Tessa? But we just..." Kaname could tell her words were falling on deaf ears as he got up from their bench and gathered his things. "Just got here."
Sousuke turned around to glance at her quickly to confirm it was okay to leave as per usual but something in her eyes stopped him. It was so subtle that he almost didn't notice but he did, he saw more than she expected as she didn't even bother to wipe away the trail that single tear made. That made him watch her longer still, noting the way she sensed his eyes on her and yet didn't meet his eyes as they were focused on his shoes it seemed.
She looked up at the sound of her name but what he saw reflected wasn't the Kaname he saw everyday: their class's vice president, the strong and beautiful young lady with nerves of steel who always provided much needed advice about something or other. No, this was something else...this Kaname looked more exhausted than anything. Over what, he didn't know, but he was going to find out.
"Are you alright, Chidori?"
"Me? Oh, I'm fine. Just fine." The way she folded her hands in her lap made him tense; if this was something she didn't want to talk about than maybe he should leave well enough alone. But that look...
"Kaname, I'm sor-"
"No, don't say it. Don't say it unless you actually mean it and not just because it sounds like the right thing to say!"
She was really angry. "You always say it but never mean it, Sousuke." This made him take a step back as he tripped over his words but she cut him off. "You should go, your Captain is waiting."
"But Chidori, I-"
"I said I was fine!"
That decided it for him. Without a word, Sousuke took a few steps before thinking better of it.
"I will do my best to be back as soon as I can, Chidori."
She didn't look his way again but he caught the words she thought were said too low for him to hear.
"Your precious Tessa won't let you go that easy."
...Or maybe it was just his hearing.
Looking back on the last few hours, she realized she had been too hard on him; hindsight usually does that. Her anger got the best of her and she couldn't help it, sometimes he just made her so mad! Kaname's hands balled into fists and she pounded them into the bench beneath her, shaking them out in pain a few seconds later. Maybe that hadn't been the best idea.
"Is there anything else you needed, ma'am?" Sousuke stood at attention, never being able to fully relax around Captain Testarossa and she sighed in acknowledgement, used to it by now. It was just the way he was, but that didn't mean she didn't enjoy pushing his buttons every now and then.
"How many times am I going to have to remind you to simply call me Tessa when we're on our own?"
His salute faltered and he finally dropped his hand to his side in surrender. "At least one more time, ma-I mean, Tessa."
Her smile beamed at him and he felt a twinge, thinking back to the last time he saw Kaname smile that way. She had shared a few small ones with him on the bench but nothing like the way the Captain was smiling at him now. She had looked so tired;.did I do something to make her that way? She is always cleaning up my social debacles for me...
"Mister Sagara? Hello, Mister Sagara??!!" The Captain's frantic hands waving in front of his face brought him back to the port hull and he sighed. Sighing was a commonality of the day, he would have to see an end to it..
"Where did your mind just wander off to, Sergeant?" Tessa looked at him worriedly until a knowing look crossed her face and she crossed her arms over her chest. Sousuke did his best not to notice how this action enhanced that particular area and he mentally berated himself; he had been squad members with Kurtz for far too long.
"Oh, I see. Did I pull you away from Miss Chidori once again?" She took a step closer to him and he used all of his strength not to take a step back to keep the appropriate distance secured between them but to no avail. The Captain was as knowledgeable about tactic maneuvers as he was, he didn't have a chance.
He swallowed before attempting to speak. "It's not a problem, ma'am."
Sousuke was constantly getting into these situations as Kaname kept reminding him about leaving his blind side open that he should be used to it by now but it never failed to surprise him when he was cornered once again. He should have a handle on this but he was only a highly trained special operations Sergeant still suffering through high school. What did they all expect of him?
"Is there anything e-else, Captain?" His words shook as he fought the urge to run off the platform to the safety of the plan but he would not be a coward.
"Mister Sagara, didn't I just tell you to call me Tessa when we're alone?" She twirled her braid and looked up at him with big doe eyes until he had sweat dripping around his head and thought he'd pass out from the stress. Thankfully, someone came in just at that moment.
"Oh, Commander Mardukas!"
"I hope I wasn't interrupting anything, Madame Captain." His voice contradicted every word spoken as he looked over at Sousuke with mistrust in his eyes after the Captain's vacation fiasco that was apparently all Sosouke's fault. In the Commander's eyes, he would never let it down and he felt his hand falter in his salute.
He stayed at attention on one side of the harbor beside the de Danaan while the Commander looked him over before addressing some much needed issue to the Captain. Tessa continued to twirl her braid but this time in thought as she listened to her Commander's concern for the matter at hand. Sousuke couldn't help thinking that she really did make a good Captain but this thought was cut short by Mardukas.
"Is there something else you need, Sergeant?"
Sousuke read the message loud and clear in the Commander's underlying tone as in there had better not be until Tessa finally gave him permission to leave. "Oh, sorry Sergeant. You are dismissed."
"Not a problem, Captain," he said, finally resting at ease and doing his best not to run the length of the platform to the plane waiting that would take him back to Japan and Chidori.
She was sitting in the same spot that he had left her at hours ago and he had never been happier to see her. Guessing from her consistent position, she was still angry with him and so he proceeded with caution. However, she beat him to it.
It was a simple statement that no matter how long he could argue that there was no set time on the situation he had just escaped, he would still not win and so he didn't bother trying. When she was right, she was right.
The first words that came to mind were the words she had warned him earlier he had better mean the next time came out of his mouth. He paused in contemplation, not wanting to do something wrong again as he was sure he already had before.
Kaname finally looked up at him, reading the hesitation written all over his face and she sighed, it couldn't be helped. That sigh did it as his vow to make the sighing come to an end this day was brought forth in that single soft sound. Squaring his shoulders and taking a deep breath, he did what he knew he had to do.
There was no widening of the eyes, no look of shock spread over her face, no tears of relief in her eyes. Instead, she simply rose from her place on the bench and looked at him, really looked at him with searching eyes. He watched her watch him and he couldn't help thinking that he had somehow messed this up too, so he gave it another try. He didn't notice she had moved towards him until she was right in his face.
"Kaname, I said I am so-"
A finger over his lips stopped his apology. "I heard you the first time, Sousuke." It was then that he caught the sight of something he hadn't seen in days and it made his heart do something odd in his chest.
"See, that wasn't so hard now was it?"
Her lips were upturned in a smile so soft and so pure he had the sudden urge to trace his fingers over it, to feel how real it was there on her face. He didn't do that however, it didn't seem wise and would probably only upset her and instead focused on preparing a response to her inquiry.
"Not a problem."
There was that smile that seemed to act as a smoke screen over his train of thought again even as she rolled her eyes, openly mocking his semi-serious nature to even such a simple civilian yes or no question.
His confusion to his own reaction was increased tenfold when she closed the distance remaining between them, wrapping her arms around his waist. He froze, unsure of how to react in such a close contact situation that was borderline intimacy. Sensing his awkwardness as only she could, Kaname let go of him to lift his hands up from his sides to rest comfortably around her waist, keeping her hands on his until he knew it was okay to proceed without assistance. With a little nod, she left his hands where they were and returned her own to encircle him, her face resting against his chest.
"Wasn't so hard, was it?"
Kaname said the words muffled into his chest but she knew he was listening intently as he always did when they were together.
She felt him move and looked up at his face to see him nod before he answered, "No, not at all."
And so they stood like that for who knows how long, simply relaxing and finally enjoying the company kept in each other's arms...as it was meant to be.