Just a Whisper

Woohoo! I'm ehhhh... backish. It's more like I have an story ready, that I decided to finally put up. I know fans of my current fics are wondering, after a VERY long absence, why I bother to write a new fic when I should be working on my existing fic? Well, needless to say, I've been in a very long writing funk for a while. Didn't help matters that my life is a bit nuts with the economy, family issues, and so forth. And even this story, I wrote this back in 2008. So technically, it's not a new new story/update. That's how long I've been sitting on this story before finally getting around to fixing the 'major' issues with it (I'm bound to miss something that needs fixing. It always happens). I'll try to get back in the swing of things with my oft delayed stories that fans (the few that are left) are hoping for but, it will take time.

Disclaimer, I do not own Full Metal Panic or its characters. Therefore, if asked by very very rich people who actually do own it, and their well paid lawyers to take it down, then this story will disappear.

Since I don't want to bog down this story with excessive unnecessary author's notes, on with the story!


~Jindai High School Hallway~

"SOUSUKE!!!"

Said man, wearing a white button up shirt, and black pants that made up the uniform of the Jindai High School, was sent flying towards the hallway wall. The wall now held a new head sized hole in it. A new fist sized red bruise on his right cheek appeared, courtesy of a certain blue haired girl.

"Wow. That's stronger than usual Kaname," Kyoko said besides the irate blue haired girl. Kyoko her distinctive twin pony tails waving as she adjusted her glasses.

"Well… this was not a 'usual' situation. Sousuke!" Kaname, the long blued haired girl, said as she gazed down her victim.

Sousuke, with a noticeable scar on his left cheek, looked unfazed despite the awkward position he was in. He leaned slightly to the side as feeling slowly returned to his upper body. "There was a suspicious package left on your desk. I simply took the extra precaution in disposing the object," Sousuke responded in a matter of fact tone.

"Did that require destroying HALF of the desks in the classroom?" Kaname breathed heavily as she peered back into the classroom. Sure enough, Sousuke's solution to 'disposing' the suspicious package turned the classroom into a war zone. Pieces of twisted metal and wood splinters were strewn everywhere.

"It was a necessary precaution," Sousuke reiterated.

"Necessary? Necessary?!" A vain began to throb on Kaname's head. She slapped him with the massive paper fan she carried around. "So blowing up the shoe lockers every other week wasn't enough. You just HAD to up the ante didn't you?"

Sousuke weakly retorted. "I had to make sure..."

"So the only way you could be sure is to blow it up," Kaname screamed into Sousuke's ear. Any louder and it would have probably ruptured his ear drum. "Besides, do you know what that box is," Kaname said in a quieter tone. Her eyes narrowed a bit as she kicked Sousuke to the side.

"I do not know what kind of box it was, nor the context of it," Sousuke admitted. Sousuke placed his hand on the floor to help right himself up in a sitting position. "Which is why..."

Kaname slapped him with the paper fan. Sousuke face slammed right back to the floor with a thud. "You'll get nowhere with that kind of attitude!"

It was clear that Sousuke Sagara, Sergeant Sousuke Sargara, had not adjusted to civilian life at all. It was not that Kaname Chidori, a Whispered that Sousuke was assigned to protect, did not understand where Sousuke came from. During the hostage crisis that put her entire class in danger, she discovered Sousuke's true profession. While she did not know all the details, she knew that Sousuke came from a war torn nation. With a background like this, she knew that his 'macho' gung-ho attitude was not simply an act. But that alone was not an excuse for the daily idiocy he kept displaying. Yes, Sousuke grew up as a soldier. That does not mean he should continue to act like that in peaceful Japan.

Though her ways of trying to make Sousuke adjust and adapt to Japanese society, basically, beating him whenever Sousuke did something wrong (kind of like a reverse Pavlov's Dog), suffered some significant setbacks. Of all the people, the Student Council President Atsunobu Hayashimizu and to a lesser extent even the Principle did not help her cause. Atsunobu seemed to believe that what Sousuke was doing, blowing up the shoe lockers, training the rugby team to become elite soldiers, and even this incident would be a 'reasonable response'. Having the School Council give what could be considered approval for this kind of behavior was one thing. Having the Principle accept it was another. The Principle seemed to take a blasé approach to the situation. While she could be strict in most cases, like when she threatened to disband the rugby club, she continued to take a hands off approach to things when it concerned Sousuke. Even as the damages from Sousuke's antics kept piling up, the Principle refused to act. It's as if she was being paid off to stay silent about Sousuke.

Now the school would have to order new desk and chairs thanks to Sousuke's recent incident.

'She could have taken away Sousuke's weapons at least,' Kaname thought darkly. 'The only ones who seem to think they are toys are Professor Kagurazaka. As well as, um, most of the student body as well.' Kaname's frown deepened as realization dawned that most of the student body was not exactly the brightest in Japan. She shook that thought off as she changed subjects. 'Yeah yeah yeah. He's my bodyguard and all. But you'd think a simple 'taser gun' would be enough. Besides, him carrying guns seem to be more dangerous for everyone around him.'

"Anyways Sousuke, from the looks of it, before you blew it up," Kaname said. She suppressed the simmering rage that she still held as she walked through the soot covered class to where her desk used to be. "It looked like a lunch box." She grabbed a black curved plastic shard. From her deduction, this was from the side of said box. She further scanned the floor and noted small pieces of rice, and burned tuna near ground zero.

"That could still be a rouse," Sousuke commented as he entered the classroom following Kaname. "Even if it was a lunch box, it could have easily been planted there by a terrorist."

"And let me guess..." Kaname's eyes narrowed as she followed Sousuke's logic. "It could have been poisoned, and if I took a bite, I'd die."

"That is a correct assumption." Sousuke sternly said.

"Right." Kaname rolled her eyes. She seriously doubt anyone would go towards the trouble of poisoning her in the middle of the day, and during the lunch break even. She eyed what appeared to be a letter of some sort. One she assumed was on top of the lunch box. It was a miracle that even a small piece of it survived given Sousuke's thorough demolition. Small being the keyword here. "Hmm." She tried to read what was on it. Though all she can read from the singed paper was nice, wonderful, raw, and while she was sure it was not a full word, also the words rossa, and Mit. None of this made any sense given what's missing. Still, something felt uneasy about it to Koname. "And you still had to blow it up?"

"If it was poison, it would be unwise for it to be consumed," Sousuke noted. "Even touching it could be dangerous as some poisons are absorbed through the skin."

"Yeah." Kaname continued to roll her eyes. She conceded Sousuke's point, but remained angry at the situation. While she appreciated that Sousuke would do anything to ensure she was safe, given his previous track record, this was yet another false alarm. She was amazed Kyoko and Mizuru have stuck it out so long with her given that Sousuke's antics have a tendency to backfire. And almost never in a good way. "But I'm sure that you could have done it without blowing it up?!"

"True." Sousuke admitted in hindsight. "I could have taken a sample and sent it to a laboratory to be tested. However, that would take a week for it to be processed. And by then, lunch break would be over."

"Right," Kaname said as her eyebrow twitched. "Of course, besides the lunch box, what are we going to do about the destroyed desk and the shattered window?"

"That I do not know," Sousuke said unfazed.

"Geh," Kaname's mouth began to twitch. "Well you better think of something because Professor Kagurazaka is going to be here any minute and..."

"Um, sorry to interrupt but..." Kyoko said. "But there fs a creepy man standing at the doorway."

"Creepy man," Sousuke said as he turned his head towards that area. As he caught sight of the man, his eyes widened and sweat began pouring down his face.

"Creepy man?" Kaname's eyed where Sousuke was looking. Though the man was vaguely familiar, she could not immediately place it.

The man definitely stood out. He was bald, wrinkled, wore thin glasses, and had a stern hard look on his face. He appeared to be assessing the now damaged classroom when he caught a hold of Sousuke. "Sargent Sagara. I assume you have an explanation for all of this."

"Yes sir!" Sousuke immediately straightened up his back placed his arms straight down, and saluted the man in front of him. "I found a suspicious package on Miss Chidori's desk and I took preventive measures in disposing it."

"..." The bald man eyed Sousuke wearily. "I take it that was the necessary action Sagara?"

"That is correct sir," Sousuke said. A wave of unease and uncertainly washed over him.

"..." The man lowered his head. "What does she see in him," the man said under his breath.

"Sir," Sousuke questioned, still sweating in absolute terror.

"Um, Sousuke," Kaname said. She never seen him this terrified before. "Who is he?"

"Um, don't you remember Miss Chidori," Sousuke said as the top part of his collar was starting to get very wet. "He's the..."

"Visiting professor from Cambridge." The man corrected. "Richard Mardukas." As he approached the two, he then lowered his voice. "At least, that fs my cover."

As Kaname heard the word 'cover', she knew it had to do with Sousuke's employer. Then, her memory instantly flashed back to the time when she was aboard the Tuatha De Danaan. "Oh, you were the ones giving out all the orders."

"Incorrect," Sousuke said. "He is Second in Command of the Tuatha De Danaan Commander Mardukas."

"Eh hem." Richard coughed.

"I mean, a visiting professor from a well reputable university," Sousuke quickly corrected.

"Anyways, I've been taking a tour of this institution since I'm here with a foreign exchange student," Richard said as he frowned. "It was sooner than expected, but she c wanted to come as soon as possible."

"She," Sousuke swallowed as the bad feeling became more intense.

"Come Sagara." Richard said as he gritted his teeth. "She should be coming down the hallway now."

Richard forcibly grabbed Sousuke and shoved him out of the room, Kaname, followed suit as she wanted to know what exactly was going on.

They exited the doorway, Sousuke's eyes was at first on Richard. However, Richard gestured down the hallway. Sousuke's eyes met a woman that he was all too familiar with. His eyes widened.

The woman, with her gray braided hair that was draped over her shoulder, wore a standard issued Jindai High School's uniform. Aqua colored skirt, white v-neck shirt with blue colored collar, and a red bow at the base of the collar. A bright smile adorned her face. "Oh Sousuke!" The woman waved back at him.

"What?" Sousuke sweated even more. "Commander..."

"It'll take two weeks for the Tuatha de Danaan to be repaired," Richard said. "So right now, we have no Ops or missions to worry about."

As Kaname saw the girl in question, her face immediately dropped. "Eh... what is going on?"

"I'm not entirely sure," Sousuke said as his chin quivered. "It does not explain why she is here."

"Well…" A slight blush appeared on the new woman's face. "All I wanted was to check out the school that Sousuke goes to since I have all this free time."

"But Captain..." Sousuke raised before being interrupted.

"Talking out of turn Sagara," The stern older man said as he glared at the younger man.

"No sir. Sorry sir," Sousuke quickly said.

"Tethea Testarossa. Though everyone can just call me Tessa," Tessa cheerfully said before she peeked over the side of The Commander. She smiled as she eyed her target. "Ah. Miss Chidori, did you enjoy the lunch I made you?"

"Lunch?" Kaname tapped her chin. "What do you..." Her eyes widened. "Wait, you didn ft put it on top of my desk did you?"

"Me?" The gray haired woman shook her head. "That was Comm... uh, Professor Mardukas."

"Miss Kagurazaka was kind enough to give me the seating chart for the class. So finding Miss Chidori's desk was not a difficult task," Richard noted.

"Gah!" Sousuke sounded as realization hit him like a ton of bricks. "The... the..."

"I wanted to start my visit on a friendly note," Tessa said. "So I made a nice traditional Japanese lunch for the Class Representative!"

"Is that so." Kaname turned her head towards Sousuke as a wry smile appeared on her face. "I'm sorry Tessa. But it got blown up."

"It… what," Tessa said as she did not follow. Her smile slowly disappeared.

"Oh, a certain someone thought it could be a threat to my well being and... well, blew it up for my safety!" Kaname raised her hands in mock defeat.

Sousuke began to quiver. Fear was replaced with outright terror. Sweat poured down his face in buckets.

"Wait…" Something clicked in Richard's mind, "The suspicious package..."

Sousuke quickly tried to defend his position. "If I had known the item in question was from the Captain I wouldn't have..."

"Sousuke… blew it up?!" Tessa felt dizzy and wavered.

Sousuke reached a hand out. "Captain I didn't..."

The Commander grabbed Sousuke's right arm, twisted it, and slammed him down on the floor. With that arm in a tight grip over Sousuke's body, one knee on Sousuke's back, Richard used his free hand to point a pistol at Sousuke's head. "How can we entrust the safety of Miss Chidori when you can't even tell a package came from a friendly?"

"It… was an honest mistake!" Sousuke sweat pooled on the ground.

"So you did NOT notice the fact that the letter on the lunch box came from Mithril?" The Commander narrowed his eyes.

"That… is true! I failed to observe the fact that it came from Mithril. And even if I had noticed it could still have been forged," Sousuke quickly said. Kaname could hear a clicking sound, which Kaname assumed came from the hammer of Richard's gun. "An incorrect assumption on my part and one I won ft hastily assume again!"

"Oh don't worry Commander. I'm sure it was just an honest mistake just like he said." Tessa straightened up and smiled.

"Hmph." Richard slowly retracted the gun from Sousuke's head as he stood right up. "Make sure that doesn't happen again Sousuke. Understood?"

"Yes Commander!" Sousuke said in a slightly elevated tone.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

Sousuke, Kaname, Tessa, and Richard all stared back at the source of the sound.

Eri Kagurazaka stared wide eyed at the classroom. Kaname could only imagine what was going on in her mind. Kaname was not sure why Eri did not notice the state of the classroom before given all the commotion. But seeing that a special new transfer student was here, and assuming they placed her in the same class, she could only surmise that they were on a tour of the campus with Eri as the tour guide.

"My… my c my classroom!" Eri twitched as she saw the utter destruction in front of her. And she knew exactly who to blame. "SAGARA!!!"

"Well, it appeared that Miss Kagurazaka is busy now." Richard glared at Sousuke. "Lucky for you, I still need you to do something."

"Eh?!" Kaname eyed The Commander and Sousuke questionably. "But what about..."

"Desk… chairs..." Fire burned in Eri's eyes as she glared at Sousuke. "You! I know you had a hand in this!"

"Don't worry ma'am." Richard said as he presented her with a piece of paper. "As a goodwill gesture, we'll going to repair all the damage and replace all the desk and chairs lost in this unfortunate incident. It is, after all, the classroom Miss Testarossa is assigned to. And we prefer nothing but perfection." He eyed Sousuke, "I just need him for the rest of the day."

"Don't think you can bribe me!" Eri glared at the bald glasses wearing man. "I'm going to ensure Mister Sagara suffers from destroying my classroom. I'm going to string him up, rip out his entrails..."

"You can choose whatever chair and desk you want. We'll even throw a new computer, LCD television, and a new projector to do your presentations in class," Richard noted.

Hearts appeared in Eri Kagurazaka's eyes. "Oh in that case, I'll see you tomorrow Sagara!"

Kaname's head dropped. "So much for ethics at this school!"

"Now Miss Chidori ..." Richard interrupted Kaname's thoughts.

"Huh?" Kaname eyed the older man.

"Since it's clear that Sagara will be busy for the rest of the night, and Miss Kagurazaka will have her hands busy thanks to Sagara, would you mind continuing Miss Testarossa's tour of the facility," The Commander said.

"Oh… sure." Kaname frowned as she eyed the gray haired girl. Unexcited about the prospects of showing her around... anything.

Tessa simply smiled back at her. "That's so nice of you Miss Chidori!"

"As for you Sagara," Richard forcibly grabbed his arm and began leading him towards the doorway. "We have a few things we have to do. Like prepare the place where the Captain will stay."

"Wait." Sousuke looked back at Tessa and Kaname. "What about those two? They could be in danger if..."

"Don't be concerned. They are not alone." Richard said as two men, both wearing suits and dark glasses, came into view behind Tessa. "Now the only thing you should be concerned about is me!"

Sousuke gulped. "Yes Commander."

Kyoko, who simply watched the events in the background, took out a small digital camera, and took a picture at the two departing men. "Wow. Who would have thought my day would be this exciting?" She turned to Tessa and took her picture. "And we get a new student? Cool!" She looked at her watch. "Ah! I have practice. I have to go!"

Kaname waved at Kyoko. "See ya later Kyoko!" Kaname watched as her friend ran down the hallway. The two men behind Tessa turned a corner and disappeared. Kaname returned her attention to Tessa. "Well... I guess I have a job now. Heh... heh... eh."

There was something that Kaname did not like about Tessa. While she was friendly enough, the fact that she proclaimed to be her 'rival' for Sousuke fs affection certainly did not sit well with her. Not that she had any feelings for the idiot, of course not. But that 'honesty' gave her an unease feeling.

The two girls walked down the hallway.

"It's a pity you didn't get to eat the lunch I made for you," Tessa said in a slightly disappointed tone. "I worked very hard on it."

"Well, that's Sousuke for you." Kaname's face distorted as she thought about that idiot. "Always doing something rash like blowing up someone fs lunch if he thinks it fs dangerous."

"That was actually very smart of Sousuke," Tessa noted.

"Eh?" Kaname stopped as she faced Tessa. "What do you mean?"

"Well, it could have been poisoned." Tessa tapped her face. "I mean you can never know these days."

"But… you were the one that sent it to me right?" Kaname chuckled lightly.

"Yeah." Tessa smile never left her face. "But how can you be sure I didn't poison it?"

"Be…be… because... you're the Captain of that big ship! I mean, and you fre part of that group that's trying to protect me!" Kaname was quickly weird-ed out by this conversation.

"So," Tessa said as she looked up at the white tiled ceiling. "I came to a realization. If our goal is simply to avoid the enemy from getting a Whispered, there is a more... permanent way in doing that."

"You… you're... kidding right?" Kaname's jaw twitched. "Mithril would never consider doing that!"

"Consider what," Tessa said as she closed her eyes and smiled brightly. "Killing a Whispered is not something Mithril would ever consider. It would be unfair for a Whispered simply because they are 'gifted'. However, it might be more important for the enemy not to get one."

Kaname gulped. "You didn't... you..."

"Of course not," Tessa said. "I mean, I put my name on that nice card that got blown up by Sousuke." Streams of tears rained down her face. "I worked so long on writing it too. If I poisoned it, it would all lead back to me right?"

"Yeah. Hehhehheh." Kaname chuckled a bit. Her hand scratching the back of her head. "That would be extremely silly. I mean, you'll have to be an idiot to incriminate yourself!"

"Unless a terrorist really did plant it without my knowledge," Tessa added.

"Huh?" Kaname raised an eyebrow at Terra's statement.

"Well, I can't be sure if and when something like that could happen." Tessa's gaze dropped. "I'm sure even Sargent Sagara or Commander Mardukas couldn ft have known if a terrorist were to plant a deadly almost undetectable poison on the tuna sushi I made."

Kaname's heart began to beat a little faster. "What, what are saying?"

"Oh, I'm just thinking out loud." Tessa smiled and cocked her head. "Now, mind showing me the gym? I heard there are many club activities there!"

"HUH?" Kaname was startled by the sudden change of topics. "Um, yeah. It's, just down that way!"

"Alrighty!" Tessa beamed. "I can't wait to get there!"

"Yeah!" Kaname took a few deep breaths. "It fs always busy this time of day since..."

"Kaname," Tessa interrupted.

"Huh?" Kaname stopped dead in her tracks as she looked at the back of Tessa.

"Sousuke isn ft the only one watching you," Tessa said without turning back.

"Wh…wh… what?" A sweat drop trickled down Kaname's face.

"Oh, it's nothing." Tessa smiled back at her. "So, ready to go?"

For the first time since the hostage situation on the Tuatha de Danaan, Kaname felt true terror.


------End of Chapter 1

If you're wondering where I got this idea... well, no. You're probably not. XD But if you were, the idea sprang up when, at the time, ADV released two versions of the FMP Fumoffu box cover. One where it was 'happy blue', the newer one, was much more sinister. That is where the idea came from.

And stupid Open Office. Screwed up my formatting. I think I caught them all, but if you see a misspelled word with e and f, or where there is supposed to be a contraction with an extra letter, and simply, random lowercase letters, this is why.

[edit]Added disclaimer.

Next chapter, Kaname has nothing to worry about. Right? Until then, later!