Disclaimer: I do not own Full Metal Panic or any of its characters. I am not profiting in any way from writing this fanfiction. Full Metal Panic! is written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Douji Shiki and the anime is produced by Gonzo.

Author's Note 1: I'm actually writing a multi-chapter FMP fic! I've run out of reasons not to actually put this down on paper and post it. I originally conceived a much shorter fic, but I'm hoping that by putting this story into a lot of smaller chapters, I'll stay consistent and interested in writing (my main failing with multi-chapter fics). This will be a character exploration of the steps that Kaname and Sousuke might take in becoming a romantic couple after their reunion of Always Stand By Me Part 2, so there won't be too much in the way of plot. Warning: These chapters will get... ahem... spicier (lemony-er) as they go along. If that's not your thing, no worries. Just warning you up front. Happy reading!

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Overwhelmed

By Starzki

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1. Joy

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The wind whipped tangles into Kaname's hair as she clung to Sousuke on the back of his motorcycle. Her mind was flickering with thoughts that never seemed to quite take hold because she was positively overwhelmed with happiness.

She wanted to shout and laugh to the wide open blue spring sky.

It was happening. She had her arms around Sousuke. He was here, with her once again. He would be with her always. She trusted that, but it still seemed too unbelievable to be true. She squeezed him tighter, relishing the feel of his breathing in her arms.

He was alive.

And he had kissed her. In front of everyone.

The entire school had seen their first kiss and it had still seemed so right. She laughed with delight again. It had been worth the teasing they endured right after.

He had been so bold. He had a new confidence in him that she didn't remember him having before and she liked the way that it made him stand taller. Kaname knew that she had a tendency to steamroll over everyone around her when she wanted something in particular done, and Sousuke had always taken his cues from her. But now it looked as though he knew who he was and what he wanted. Kaname felt a great sense of relief that he was self-assured enough to stand on his own and make decisions that would truly make him happy.

One of those decisions was that he wanted to be with her. They were going home. Kaname felt that her sense of giddiness could almost allow her to take flight.

The entire day had been so full of excitement. Coming back. Seeing her friends. Finding that Sousuke was really alive as she felt all along. It was wonderful and exhausting.

They had gone with their friends to a local restaurant to celebrate both their reunions and graduation. Neither gave out many details about what they'd been through. They pretty much just grinned stupidly at their friends and at one another, eager to hear about what had been going on in their absences. They had been missed, of course, and things weren't nearly as interesting as when they had both been there, but life had gone on without them. Kaname was happy about that.

Both Sousuke and Kaname begged off the graduation night parties and promised to meet everyone again for lunch the next day. They wanted time together alone. Even Kyouko didn't push them to come.

Kaname whispered in Sousuke's ear, "Drive faster." His revving the engine proved he had heard her.

They made it to Kaname's apartment building in record time. Sousuke hopped off and immediately grabbed Kaname into his embrace. He kissed her once again, the first since in front of the school, and her head spun with elation.

This was it. That was exactly how she had imagined they'd come together once again.

He was smiling. He hadn't really stopped smiling since the moment he had seen her and her heart filled with delight to know that she could make her taciturn sergeant look so happy, light, and free. He looked as though the weight of the world was finally off his shoulders and that he was no longer burdened by duty or work. The long struggle was over for him. And he still wanted to be here with her.

Kaname pulled from his embrace, leaned in to kiss him once again, playfully, on the corner of his mouth, and then sprinted for the apartment doors. Sousuke followed in hot pursuit.

TO BE CONTINUED...


AN2: My main excuse to start writing this was LuxKen27's Summer Mini Challenge. This chapter meets the requirement for the prompt "playfully." Notes for this chapter (and the series as a whole) can be found at my DreamWidth or Livejournal accounts under the name "starzki." Comments are always very much appreciated and are great incentive to keep writing! Thanks!