Full Metal Panic Fan Fiction ❯ One Thousand Oceans ❯ One Thousand Oceans ( Chapter 1 )

[ A - All Readers ]
This is the product of a long day, no sleep and a creative idea bouncing session with one of my beta's....

Many, many, MANY heartfelt thanks to clnv for getting those juices flowing, and then the hours spent picking through this to take it from "enthralling" to better than even I ever imagined it could be! Once again, you see what I wanted to say, then helped me find the words that I lacked...until you hinted at them and I made them my own!  I love you muchies, morsies and beyond infinities-ies!!  

If at all possible, I strongly suggest you, the readers, listen to "1000 Oceans" by Tori Amos while reading this...it really does make the story that much more powerful!  And  you might want to grab a few tissues while your at it.... *evil grin*

Disclaimer:  I do not own anything remotely affiliated to FMP!  I'm just a lowly fan fictionist who loves to torment these characters!

Disclaimer:  I claim no rights nor do I make any profit off of "1000 Oceans" by Tori Amos....That woman is in a class all her own!!!

One Thousand Oceans

The late afternoon sun was hidden beyond the cliffs that housed the underground docking bay of Mithril’s top secret submarine, the TDD1. Gentle waves lapped against the massive ship, their tranquil cadence belying the tension that hung heavy in the air. Two figures stood alone on the metal platform; one, a soldier with his sea bag at his feet and the other, a softly weeping woman with long raven tresses that reflected blue in the light.

"I'm truly sorry, Kaname," Sousuke whispered softly into her hair.

"It's not your fault," she sniffled into his chest.  "You have to save the world.  Fishing can wait,” she said with a bitter sigh, “again."

He tilted her chin up to meet his eyes.  "Please don't cry, Kaname.  Let me take you're smile with me."

Though the tears continued to trickle down her cheeks, Kaname couldn’t help but comply with his gentle command.  "Come back to me, Sousuke."

"Roger," he confirmed with a lopsided grin.  "I have twice the reason to return unharmed."  Sousuke crouched down until his face was level with Kaname's slightly swollen belly and directed his next command to the life snuggled safely within.  "Take care of your mother while I'm gone," he ordered the growing child.  "I expect a detailed report when I return in three days!"  Placing a tender kiss on her stomach, Sousuke stood to capture Kaname's lips in a long, slow kiss that expressed his regret over leaving her once again.  "I have to go."

"I know you do."  Her words caught in her throat as she pulled away from him.  "I love you, Sergeant Major Sagara."

"No more than I love you, Mrs. Kaname Sagara."  He stole one last quick kiss and ran across the gangway to the deck of the Tuatha De Danaan.

Kaname stood on the dock and watched as the powerful submarine began to move.  They stared at one another across the ever widening gap before the impending dive of the sub forced his retreat.  Before he disappeared within, he gifted her with a wave of his hand and although she knew he wouldn’t see or hear her, Kaname saluted with a watery smile and whispered, “Don’t die, Sousuke.”

It had become a ritual between them now.  Within the four years that Sousuke had returned to Mithril's Special Response Team full time, they had unknowingly developed this habit whenever he had been called away.  Although the wars were now over, there would always be rebel factions, terrorist cells and radical non-conformists to shake things up a bit.  These were the people he was duty-bound - no, honor-bound- to fight to preserve the fragile peace. It was one of the things she loved most about him; that indelible sense of right and wrong.

After graduation, Sousuke decided he wanted to return to Merida Island.  Kaname couldn’t find any fault with his arguments at the time, except for the fact that he would be rushing headlong into the fray once again.  But even if they had stayed in Tokyo, he would be doing that anyway, so she had merely told him that she’d go wherever he would be happy.  In the end, Tessa had convinced Kaname to work, in an un-official capacity – with the island’s R & D department.

So with Command’s permission, Sousuke built them a small house just on the outskirts of Merida Island's main compound.  It was a simple, tan two bedroom abode with a large yard surrounded by a green picket fence.  “White would provide too great a target in this area,” he had explained when she had complained about it. The rooms were spacious but not overly large and the relatively open layout of the floor plan made moving about efficient.  It had all that they would ever require in the years to come.  Since its completion, three more houses had been built near theirs.  One of which would be for Kurz and Mao, who were finally getting married at the end of the month and the others housed two other non-comm officers who had recently wed within the organization.  It seemed that Sousuke and Kaname had started a trend.

Now it seemed as though all their hard work was finally paying off and they were about to start a family of their own.  When Kaname had given the wonderful news to Sousuke two short months ago, he had arranged for a week long shore leave to Tokyo so they could ‘procure the needed supplies’ for the nursery room and a short visit with their friends.  They had argued for an hour over color swatches and themes for the baby’s future living quarters and had finally decided on a pastel sea-foam color scheme with a Bonta-kun décor, and when they returned to the base Sousuke had refused to let her help with anything.  He had acquired quite a few new lumps on his head that week courtesy of the dreaded harisen!

Kaname unconsciously stroked the barely-there bulge of her abdomen as more tears slipped from where they had been precariously balanced on her long lashes.  “This is your fault, you know,” she whispered lovingly to her babe.  “I haven’t cried over your father’s deployment in years!”  A smile lifted the corners of her lips as she felt the small, answering flutter in her belly.  “Well, you’d better get to work on that report, Little One.  Sgt. Major Daddy doesn’t mess around!”  She gazed down the long tunnel that the TDD1 had disappeared through as though- by sheer force of will alone- she could bring him back into her arms.  

For some reason she couldn’t explain, Kaname had a bad vibe about this mission.  Sousuke had assured her that it was a routine objective and he would be home in three days.  She knew he couldn’t discuss it with her in detail because she was still considered ‘a civilian’, but that hadn’t stopped her from trying this time.  To placate her, Sousuke had offered to take her fishing in the hours that had remained.

After several moments of staring into the distance, she released a long sigh and turned away.  “Maybe we can just sit in Daddy’s favorite spot and watch the sunset.”

As Kaname made her way slowly through the thick, sub-tropical foliage, a familiar yet elusive tune began to play through her head.  What song is this?  It’s one that I haven’t heard in a really long time…. The path was, by now, a well-worn one, allowing her to maneuver without thought and concentrate solely on the haunting melody.  A piano playing slowly…sadly…  Why can’t I remember the words? She released a low growl of mild annoyance.

Without realizing it, she had arrived the top of the cliff that served as her husband’s favorite spot on the entire island.  From here, the ocean below was an endless blanket of shimmering diamonds that rolled gently toward the shore and the sky stretched on into forever, swirling and blending in a myriad of colors found only on the canvases of master painters.  

From here, it was easy to imagine that the world was perfect.

The sun continued its gradual decent into the horizon with rich tones and hues exploding across the atmosphere, but the beautiful view was lost upon Kaname as she slowly sank down to sit upon the lush grass.  Drawing her knees to her chest, she stared out at the crystal waters awash with the blazing palate of the sunset with unseeing eyes.  The unidentified tune whispered relentlessly within her mind as she unconsciously hummed along.

Oh this is ridiculous! Kaname scolded herself as tears of loneliness slipped unbidden from her eyes.  As she lifted a hand to impatiently brush them away, the lyrics of the song suddenly sprang to mind.

These tears I've criedI've criedA thousand oceansAnd if it seems I'm floatingIn the darkness, well
The sun dipped below the waves, plunging the cliff and the small cove below into the shadows of twilight.  Kaname let the tears flow freely as various images of Sousuke from days long past flashed through her memory.  

Some of them were of him piloting the now destroyed Arbalest, and some were faded recollections of their intense arguments after he had inevitably over reacted to some invisible danger and had blown something up.  However, most of them were of the tender moments they had spent alone in her apartment.  Sousuke’s head had been bent studiously over her notes as he had tried desperately to understand classic Japanese literature, or when they had cuddled together on the couch watching some idiotic game show while she tried to explain to him why people would put themselves through ridiculous situations for the supposed entertainment others.

I can't believe that I would keepKeep you from flyingAnd I would cryA thousand moreIf that's what it takesTo sail you homeSail you homeSail you home

A tender smile curved Kaname’s lips as she recalled how Sousuke had tried to give up fighting after he'd retrieved her from Leonard Testarossa's clutches.  For the remainder of their time at Jindai High School, Mithril had left them alone and that small span of peace had been one they had both treasured.  However, as they neared graduation, the world came knocking on his door once again.

"I'll give it all up for you," he had told her after receiving the fax from Commander Mardukas.

"And how would you feel knowing that you turned your back on your duty?"  
Kaname had asked him in a hushed tone.

Sousuke had tried to argue with her, but in the end Kaname's common sense had won, as it so often did in those days......

With that, he had gone to fight the good fight once again and it had been the last time she had cried at his departure.

I'm aware what the rules areBut you know that I will runYou know that I will follow youOver silbury hillthrough the solar fieldYou know that I will follow you

A slight shiver brought Kaname from her inner most thoughts as the ocean breeze wafting toward the shore had grown cold with the onset of the impending evening.  Brushing the non-existent debris from her clothing, she stood and cast one last look of longing toward the vast ocean which was quickly turning dark with the setting sun.  Wishing to return home before it grew too difficult to maneuver the terrain; she sighed and made her way quickly toward the direction of their home.

The next section of the song’s lyrics strangely eluded her for the rest of the evening as she prepared a light meal, showered and turned down the sheets.  Kaname kissed the picture of her mother reverently.  “Watch over him for me, Mom,” she implored in a wavering voice.  “Keep him safe.”  She picked up the frame next to her mother’s, desperately clutching their wedding portrait to her chest and crawled into the large queen-size bed.  Even though she had piled on the coverings, it always seemed so much colder and infinitely empty without Sousuke there beside her.  Burrowing under the blankets, she felt another onslaught of tears as the flood of memories washed over her once more.

"I will find you, Kaname!" Sousuke had shouted over the roar of the helicopter.

Kaname closed her eyes in an attempt to block out that horrible day.  The last person she wanted to think about was Leonard Testarossa and all the pain and misery that man had caused them! Taking a deep breath, she concentrated furiously, focusing on another, more recent memory.

"What the hell were you thinking, Sousuke?" Kaname had screamed as he had been carried to the hospital wing on a stretcher.

"I was thinking I'd be late for dinner," he had quipped, then moaned in pain when she whacked him with the harisen.  "Ow..."

"That’s no reason to be so damn reckless!  You could have been captured, you idiot!  Then I would have had to steal one of the new prototypes to come save your stupid ass!"

"Tessa would not-"


“That hurt, Kaname!”

"You moron!  Tessa would have been in the other prototype right behind me!"

And if I find youWill you still rememberPlaying at the trainsOr does thisLittle blue ballJust fade away

The previous, tension-filled memories were soon replaced by fonder ones:  their train rides all over Tokyo and playing at the beach with that ridiculous blue ball Kyoko had brought.  Because that last summer at Jindai had been Sousuke’s most enjoyable, the memories they had made then were the ones she held dear to her heart.  He had finally learned to relax a bit and have some fun with their friends, grateful that they all had accepted him back into the fold after the disastrous event of her 'kidnapping'.  

Within her mind's eye, she watched as he ran and splashed through the waves with Shinji and OnoD.  She quickly replaced that with some of her favorite memories: strolling along the beach under the stars, holding hands and just being comfortable and content together.

Kaname tried to hold on to the images, but her exhausted body simply wouldn't allow her to continue with this self-induced torture.  With the bitter tears still trailing hotly down her cheeks, she finally succumbed to the beckoning darkness of slumber.


Kaname lifted her face to bask in the warm glow of the sun as she struggled to release the tensions of another arduous day.  The work she aided in perfecting for Merida’s Research and Development team -improving the Lambda Driver and Omni sphere systems so that any of the SRT pilots could use them- was tedious and the continuous buzz in her head from the Whispers always gave her a splitting headache.  But it never failed to help distract her from the constant concern she harbored for Sousuke’s safety while he was away.  

On top of all that, for the past two days the song would not leave her – ghosting just along the edges of her consciousness like a forgotten dream.  Although the familiar melody danced on her lips, the last of its haunting lyrics strangely escaped her.

The damn thing's almost as irritating as the Whispers!  Kaname grumbled inwardly, angrily kicking away a large shell that had dared to impede her path.  Long forgotten memories continued to flash through her thoughts at the oddest times, along with some troublesome chest pains.  When she had reported to Dr. Sheldon's office that morning, he'd assured her it was just anxiety and that she needed to make sure she got plenty of rest and didn’t over-work herself.  

Kaname snorted derisively.  "Does he not work for the same organization?" she asked the empty beach in a sardonic tone.  

Sousuke would be returning home today.  Her heart skipped a beat at the thought and the flutter in her tummy seemed to respond to her sudden elation.  "That's right, Little One, Daddy will be pulling into port soon!  What should we have for supper to celebrate? Maybe some curry?"  When a wave of slight nausea rippled through her stomach, Kaname chuckled.  “I know you don’t care for it, but it’s Daddy’s favorite…..”

Over silbury hillthrough the solar fieldYou know that I will follow youI'm aware what the rules areBut you know that I will runYou know that I will follow you

"Mrs. Sagara!"

Kaname’s head turned at the call to see a young ensign racing across the beach toward her.  "Yes?"

"Report from the TDD1, Ma'am,” he said in between panting breaths.  “She's pulling into port as we speak, but the mission was FUBAR.  The SRT and PRT both sustained heavy casualties."

"Is Sousuke..." she paused to swallow past the lump of panic that had lodged in her throat.  "Sgt. Major Sagara, is he wounded?"

"I don't know," he sighed regretfully.  "No names or status was given, the Captain just ordered to have all available medics at the dock in 20 and to find you. That was ten minutes ago.  I'm sorry, Ma'am."

Kaname set her shoulders stubbornly, refusing to let the rising tide of anxiety get the best of her.  "Don't apologize to me yet, soldier!  Until I see him, I have to believe he's ok!"  She darted quickly in the direction of the underground dock to help in whatever capacity she could.

The area was a scene of organized chaos.  Tessa stood authoritatively on the deck of the massive submarine shouting orders through Commander Mardukas’ bull horn to both the ground and sub crews.  Three gangplanks had been set up in order to efficiently transport the injured ashore and their terrible cries of pain added to the eerie cadence of the turmoil. Any thought of aiding the wounded was overwhelmed by the singular purpose of finding her husband.

At the far end of the dock, Kaname spotted Kurz’s blonde head bobbing through the crowd.  She frantically called for him, but he was too far away and her voice was lost in the roar of confusion and panic.  She tried to find Mao, wondering if maybe Sousuke was with her helping to direct the medics, orderlies and crew members to their various tasks.  

Her stomach churned at the noxious odors of blood, gun oil and fuel that permeated the dock.  She placed a hand over her abdomen to comfort- and in some way shield- her unborn child from the sight of so much carnage. Kaname’s gaze continued to dart through the throng of Mithril soldiers as they raced to care for the wounded, barely resisting the urge to clamp her hands against her ears to block the terrible noise.

A small section had been allotted for the stretchers that bore the dead and, unbidden, Kaname’s eyes drifted toward the covered bodies.  She was about to turn her head away from that heartbreaking sight when a pair of mechanics carefully set down another lost soul and the sheet slipped slightly to uncover a mop of unruly sable hair.  

“Dear God, no…” she whispered as the clamor around her suddenly ceased.  Amidst the deafening silence all she could hear was the frantic beating of her own heart.  Colors ran together in a garish mixture of black, white and crimson until only that one motionless body could be seen clearly.  Hot tears began to well up in her eyes as she felt her heart shatter into a million pieces.

These tears I've criedI've cried a thousand oceansAnd if it seems I'm floatingIn the darkness, well
All around her, soldiers scrambled about and shouted various names and emergency status to the doctors, but Kaname didn’t notice any of it as she slowly stumbled toward her goal with a heavy heart.  Time seemed to have swallowed her in that moment, leaving her all alone on the platform with that one broken body.  Her vision swam, but she furiously wiped the tears away and focused solely on that head of hair; every labored step carrying a prayer to the heavens like a mantra.  Not Sousuke…

Just as her trembling hand reached out to unveil the fallen soldier’s face- There won’t be a scar on his jaw! - a frantic voice called her name sharply.  Closing her eyes, Kaname took a deep breath and turned slowly, hoping beyond all hope that her mind hadn’t conjured that voice to deceive her.  Of all the cruelties fate had dealt Kaname in her short life, that one would be the worst!  

Pleading with all her soul to any and every higher being that would listen, Kaname opened her eyes and released a loud sob of joy.   There - not twenty feet before her- stood her husband.

Her lover.

Her protector.

Her best friend.


I can't believe that I would keepKeep you from flyingSo, I will cry a thousand moreIf that's what it takesTo sail you home

Before she even knew it, Kaname’s feet took flight and she raced into his open arms with tears streaming down her face. “Thank you God,” she cried in relief.

Sousuke grunted and nearly stumbled as she impacted with enough force to knock him off his feet.  Sweeping her into his arms, he spun around once before catching her lips in a searing kiss.  This was what had kept him alive.  When he had seen so many of his comrades fall, the memory of her love had steeled his resolve to emerge from that battlefield in one piece.  He had promised her, after all…..

Kaname clung desperately to him, not knowing whether to laugh or sob hysterically at the many emotions churning within her.  The feel of him in her arms again, kissing him, loving him, was better than any paradise on Earth.  “I’m home, Kaname,” she felt him whisper reverently against her mouth.  

She leaned back and inspected his face with both her eyes and her hands.  "You're okay!"

"Only minor injuries,” he assured her.  The weariness in his voice was evidence of whatever hellish nightmare he had endured.  “It's not a problem."

Hearing those four words set Kaname's frantic heart at ease. Tucking her slender frame securely at his side, he squared his shoulders and turned toward the make-shift emergency triage center.

Kaname took in the worn expression on his face and the severe frown that marred his brow.  "What happened out there, Sousuke?"

"Fifteen Belial's and ten Chordal's were waiting in ambush. It was a trap!  All of our Intel was wrong and while we tried to devise a new strategy, they moved in for the kill!  It was a mess, Kaname," he groaned.  "Mao's hurt bad, but she'll make it.  We lost Bel...."  He continued to recount the dead and wounded from his squad.  It seemed that only he and Kurz had managed to make it out with minor injuries.  

While they waited for orders from the medical team to aid in the treatment and transportation of the wounded soldiers, Sousuke held her close to his heart.  Exhausted and battered in both body and soul, he wept silently into her hair at the losses they had incurred that day.  

An hour later, the docking bay was cleared with the exception of a small group of soldiers.  Those who had remained were resting before undertaking the heartbreaking task of burial detail.  The injured had all been transported to the medical complex and Tessa had returned to the command center to finalize the damage assessment to the ship and all the equipment used in the failed mission.  

Sousuke had volunteered for the task to bury his comrades, but was told by Commander Mardukas to take Kaname home.  "The poor girl looks like she's about to fall over," he informed his subordinate.

“But, Sir, those were my men!” he protested hotly.  “It’s my responsibility to-“

Mardukas frowned sternly.  “Your responsibility and primary objective is the well-being of ‘Angel’! Or have you forgotten that fact?”

Sousuke ground his teeth together in frustration, caught between his duty to his wife and his duty to his fallen subordinates.  “No, Sir, but-“

“Then take your wife home!  That’s an order!”

"Roger.  When shall I report for debriefing, Sir?"  

"0800 hours,” Mardukas said in a gruff tone before clasping a strong hand on Sousuke’s shoulder.  “Get some sleep, Sergeant Major.  You did a helluva job out there."

"Yes, Sir," Sousuke barked as he saluted sharply.  "Thank you, Sir!"

Mardukas returned the salute with a rare smile.

Sousuke gathered an exhausted Kaname and left the bay.  When they reached their home, he noticed that she had started crying once more.  "What's wrong, Kaname?" he asked with deep lines of worry in his brow.  

"It's this damn song," she sobbed brokenly.  "It's been driving me crazy ever since you left!"

He pulled her into the bedroom and closed the door with the heel of his boot.  "Perhaps you need something to help distract your mind......"

"Not something," she replied through her tears with a sultry smile.  "You're all I will ever need.  Welcome home, Sousuke."

Sail you homeSail you homeSailSail you home

so there you have it.  Drop me a review with your thoughts, cheers (even your jeers...I know I was mean in this one...) or whatever.  Thanks for reading, you guys Kick ASS!  

Don't dispair, oh faithful readers of Kono Te Ni....I'm still working dilegently on it and will hopefully have another chapter ready for you within the week!  This song just begged to have a story, and who am I to refuse a gift muse in the mouth?