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Sousuke's Last Stand

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Rain. Rain for 3 days straight now - so fitting. Sousuke had just received orders to leave. He'd been recalled – someone else was assigned to watch over Chidori Kaname through college. In a week, he'd be back aboard the Tuatha de Daanan.

He sighed in frustration. At least he'd graduated from high school before they called him back to the military life. This was the first real civilian thing he'd ever accomplished. Thinking back to the new set of orders - he bristled at the thought of someone else guarding Kaname. He wasn't feeling that well today, and this didn't help at all.

"When did I start thinking of her by her personal name instead of her family one?", he mused for a moment, before dread washed over him. "I should tell her about my new orders."

This emotional roller coaster was driving him crazy. So much was happening inside of him all at once – it was hard to sort out. He wondered if something was wrong – maybe he wasn't getting enough of some particular vitamin. Later, he'd take a supplement, AFTER he went to talk with Kaname...

It was still pouring rain, as he trudged across the lake in the street between his apartment and hers. He was soaked when he entered her building, and not caring one whit. The mission was to talk to Kaname. Pressing the buzzer to her apartment, he got no answer. “It's Saturday, she didn't say she had any plans. She usually does – so I don't mess them up. Is she ok?" he thought to himself while pressing the buzzer again, and again. Stepping out of the building and looking up at her apartment, he noted the lights were on. So, why wasn't she answering? A sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach grew, as he reasoned, "I'm going up to make sure she's ok."

He stepped over to the nearest patio and easily scaled the building. When he reached her veranda, the curtains were closed. Hoping it was unlocked, he tried opening the sliding glass door - so he wouldn't have to break the glass. He was in luck! Letting out a relieved breath, he made a mental note, "No halisen slap for breaking anything." Silently stepping inside and closing the door, he was poised, Glock ready in his hands – scoping the brightly-lit room. He would talk with her about safety and making sure to lock the patio door.

Just then, Kaname stepped out of the bathroom in her bathrobe, towel drying her hair...

Eyes popping open wide, then narrowing, she squinted down into the 'boy you are in SOOOO much trouble' look. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING BREAKING INTO MY APARTMENT SOUSUKE?!" she was so furious that her voice squeaked as she screamed and snatched the halisen off the counter. Lowering his head obediently, he prepared for impact. She didn't even wait for an explanation - SMACK!

"I'm sorry Kaname," he whispered the reply still standing statuesque.

Picking up on the fact that he used her personal name – he never did that before. What was going on in that military otaku head of his? She huffed before letting him continue.

"You didn't buzz me in – I waited...buzzed several times. Lights were on and there was no answer. Something could have been wrong. But I see now, you were showering and didn't hear."

Her look softened, he was always here to protect her. Crazy otaku. "What am I going to do with you?" she gave an over-exaggerated sigh. "Come in, sit down. I'll get changed. Be right back. STAY IN THE LIVING ROOM OR ELSE."

Nodding, he chose not to sit. Goosebumps were forming on his skin – the rain was cold this time of year and his clothes were soaked. A puddle formed at his feet. Opening the curtain, he watched the rain pour outside, refusing to shiver.

She hurried to get dressed and run a comb through her hair. Stepping out, she saw him staring out the window and finally noticed his wet clothes. Something must be on his mind. "Sousuke you're drenched – you must be freezing. Let's get you back to your apartment for dry clothes. Then we'll talk about what's bothering you," she gently chided as she grabbed her raincoat and umbrella.

How could she tell? He'd tried hard to not let it show. Was he letting his guard down?

Walking back across the street huddling under her umbrella – the couple looked like a little mushroom. Glad he lived so close, she put her arm around him to keep him under the umbrella and noticed him stifle a shiver. It was too dark to see his face.

In his living room, she sat waiting at his table. His little apartment was so sparse! How odd - he'd actually acquired a couch this last month. Grinning at the thought of him being "civilized", she concluded he'd never really fit into society, would he?

He reemerged, wearing several layers and looking rather pale with flushed cheeks.

"Sousuke – are you feeling ok?" she inquired. He nodded. But feminine intuition kicked in and she put the back of her hand to his forehead. "Sousuke, you're burning up. Good grief!" Leading him to his couch, she motioned for him to sit and started to fuss about how guys won't admit when they're sick and what her mom did for her when she had a fever, while she dug through his cupboards to see if there was anything to make some sort of soup with.

Sousuke wasn't really listening. He HAD to tell her he was leaving – it took extreme effort to concentrate on that thought as the fever tried to overtake him. Interrupting he blurted, "Kaname, I have to tell you..."

She looked up at him with a package of noodles in her hand.

Starting again, he tried to sit up a bit, "Kaname, I'm leaving next week. For good..."

The noodles were a bomb dropping to the floor with a crunch explosion.