"Oh wow!" said Rin. Beside her was Rider who was reading a book from the large selection Ichigo had bought for her. Her usual blindfold had become a pair of Mystic Eye killing glasses like he wore.
Apparently they had similar tastes in reading material as well as a fierce desire to protect family.
Uryu was busy treating Caster as his little cousin, and she had practically the entire crew wrapped around her finger. She was that cute. Of course Ichigo had to put his foot down about Rider sharing a room with him and Uryu.
Fortunately Zelretch paid for two rooms next to each other, which was good enough for her to back off.
Ichigo, Rin and Uryu spent a few hours for the next two days enjoying the cruise ship and all it had to offer. Caster enjoyed the children's area of the ship while Rider seemed to thrive in the dance and bar area, where she spent a few hours outclassing every other girl there.
It was the day before they hit land that Ichigo ran into a small...problem.
"Is something wrong Rider?" asked Ichigo.
"It's just... we're almost at the area were I used to live with my two sisters," she said.
Ichigo looked out into the ocean. He didn't see land for miles, and not even binoculars could help him find anyplace to live.
"It has a bounded field around it," she explained.
"About how far would you say it is from Greece?" asked Ichigo.
Rider looked at the map he brought up on his laptop. Unlike most Magi, Ichigo kept up with the times. Rider pointed at a small area not fifty miles from where they would hit port.
"It would be difficult to return to the ship if we snuck off," said Ichigo. He was no sailor, and this was the first time that he had even been near the ocean.
"Not if we used one of my Noble Phantasms and had the others cover for us," said Rider softly.
"Rin is going to kill me..." said Ichigo with a groan.
"YOU WANT TO WHAT?!" shrieked Rin. How was she supposed to explain Ichigo and Rider's disappearance?
"Just tell anyone who asks that I decided to take a nap for a few hours. I have our room key on me and Uryu can answer the door. This is something Rider really wants to do Rin," said Ichigo placatingly.
"You owe me for this," she growled.
"I'll help get you a decent room in Clock Tower? Or would you prefer to use my workshop once you get that apprenticeship?" offered Ichigo. He knew for a fact Rin wouldn't care for his work, and he had no interest in hers. He wasn't above sharing his workshop if he had to.
"Let me use your workshop when I finally get into Clock Tower," said Rin.
Ichigo sighed with relief. Hopefully this would be a simple run...
Ichigo watched as Rider summoned the noble phantasm that gave her that class. A white pegasus appeared under a golden bridle and he hopped on behind her. Uryu had a bounded field to keep anyone from bothering them for a few hours, and Ichigo had a pair of satellite phones that he always brought with him in case of emergency, since cell phones rarely had coverage in the places he landed in thanks to Zelretch.
They were far from the ship when Rider took a sharp right into the moonlight.
It took them an hour to find the Shapeless Isle, and five minutes before Ichigo could walk normally.
"Okay, Rin said she would cover for us for six hours, so we only have about five left," said Ichigo.
Suddenly they heard a rustling in the bushes. Rider tensed...there was no telling who or what could be living here since she had been killed by that bastard Perseus.
"I'm telling you I heard voices," said a woman in Ancient Greek.
"And I'm telling you that the odds of someone stumbling upon us are..." replied her friend before she stopped cold and stared.
Ichigo took one look at the two women who looked almost exactly like Rider before he face-palmed.
"I am so killing that damn vampire. He knew about this!" he said in his native tongue of Japanese.
"Steno? Euryale?" said Rider in shock.
"Sister?" they said in equal disbelief.
Ichigo looked at Rider.
"I take it these are the sisters you ate when you went mad?" he asked dryly. Rider nodded.
Ichigo pulled out his phone and dialed the third number.
"Damn you to hell, you freaking vampire! You knew they were here didn't you?" demanded Ichigo irate.
"Ichigo! Of course I knew...though I got the information from one of my alternates. Just think, if you hadn't taken that cruise you wouldn't have found them at all!" said Zelretch far too cheerfully.
"I am not paying for their plane tickets," said Ichigo flatly.
"I already paid for them, and I have their 'passports' waiting for you in your room. Have fun explaining this to Rin!" cackled Zelretch before he hung up on him.
"Damn vampire..." said Ichigo, before he looked at Rider.
"Ichigo, does this mean..."
"He paid for their tickets and he left fake passports for them in my room. It's up to you whether we bring them back with us, though I'll have to call dad about whether the expansion in the clinic is done yet," said Ichigo.
Isshin had, once informed of his son's summer plans, decided to expand the clinic an extra floor. There would be a second guest bedroom and two extra rooms for patients in the event of an emergency. He wasn't going to be short beds again like the time Chad had to stay over because of the soul in his pet parakeet.
Karin and Yuzu spent most of their vacation with Altrouge, who wanted to introduce them to some of the other apostles. Mostly as a way to warn them off about drinking from them and spreading the option of drinking donated blood to get the Church off their case like Arcuied did. Arc was off to visit Shiki to see how he was doing, but she had long since given up her infatuation of the man.
"Kurosaki Clinic, Isshin speaking."
"Dad, is the new extension finished yet?"asked Ichigo.
"Ichigo! It should be finished in a few days, unless you're open to helping me with the wallpaper or the paint. Ryuusuke offered to fund the extra beds and the like when I told him what the extension was for, since it would relieve some of the overflow from the hospital. When are you coming back?"
"I should be home in a two to three days...but I'll be bringing what are likely to be permanent guests...all girls."
"You're not cheating on Arcuied are you?"
"Hell no! I summoned my Servant and we found out that her sisters are still alive and I doubt they'd want to stay on an abandoned island like they are now," said Ichigo.
"That's perfectly acceptable then! Though you'll be explaining to your girlfriend about the newcomers," said Isshin.
Ichigo looked at Rider.
"Dad said it's okay, but the rooms still need a coat of paint or some wallpaper. Gives me a chance to find a way to teach them English and possibly Japanese," he said to Rider.
"Your family is okay with you bringing strange girls home?" asked Rider surprised.
"I brought back a True Ancestor Princess who later became my girlfriend because of a comment I made about donated blood instead of drinking it directly. I don't think they'll care if I bring a trio of gorgons home so long as you don't reveal you're anything but human," said Ichigo dryly.
"...A true ancestor Princess?" said Rider surprised.
"Arcuied Brunstrud. She has her own room and is pretty much part of the family. My little sister Karin is good friends with her sister Altrouge...they have a similar love of dogs apparently," said Ichigo.
It took Rider two trips to bring her sisters to the cruise liner and collect Ichigo as well. They were very excited over leaving the isle and staying with their sister again. Something about how they had teased her when she was alive.
Rin's eye was twitching when Ichigo came back though.
"Let me get this straight. You went out for a short trip with Rider and end up finding her sisters?" she said.
"Look at it this way... you could probably convince them to give you some of their venom on people you really don't like if you ask nicely?" he said.
"I have to admit Ichigo, this is weird even for you," said Uryu.
"It gets better...they can only speak Greek," said Ichigo.
Uryu and Rin grimaced.
A few hours later, after the sisters had gone to sleep and woken up to find yesterday hadn't been a dream, they got ready to leave the ship.
Ichigo found a man waiting for them with a letter from Zelretch and what appeared to be lozenges.
"What are these?" he wondered.
Since I don't want my fun to be stalled by a communication issue, I had one of my alternates show me a world where you can learn the basics of a language by taking one of these lozenges. The red ones are for Japanese, the blue are English. They can only be taken once a month, and it takes a few hours for them to start working.
"Well at least old fang face isn't a total asshole," said Ichigo. He handed both the gorgon sisters a red lozenge.
"What are those?" asked Rider.
"According to fang face they're language lozenges. The red ones will teach them Japanese, so hopefully they can understand me and the others by the time we get back to Fuyuki. Blue ones are for English and they can only be taken once a month," explained Ichigo.
"And because I'm a Servant I don't actually need one," said Rider, realizing his reasoning. She explained the red items to her sisters who both took one. They couldn't speak Japanese immediately, but Rider could translate for them until the lozenges took full effect.
Rin, Uryu and Caster all spent the next few hours looking around until their flight was scheduled to leave, while Ichigo spent the time with a raging headache from the excitable gorgon sisters and a rather quiet Rider. At least Ichigo was able to quell Rider's anger towards Athena by dragging her to the first bookstore he found and telling he to go nuts.
By the time they got on the plane, Ichigo was exhausted. By the time they reached Rin's house in Fuyuki, he was downright dead on his feet. Jet lag and keeping Steno and Euryale contained on that plane for ten hours? He was lucky he was even able to walk.
Ichigo was about as awake as Rin was when he came into the kitchen. Shiro had gotten a call from Rin the night before that they were back, and he was ready for them.
He wasn't ready for a pair of sisters and their overprotective sibling, or the childish Caster to wake up first.
"Morning Ichigo...who are these three?" asked Shiro, handing him some coffee.
"Rider is the one with the glasses. Steno is the one on the right and Euryale is on the left. Rider is my Servant and these two are her sisters," explained Ichigo with a yawn.
"Shiro, meet the gorgon Medusa...her legend was misinterpreted horribly, and from what she's said of Perseus he was a 'more successful Shinji' according to them."
Shiro's face went dark.
"Yes, about Shinji...normally I wouldn't ask this but is there any chance we could kill him during the Grail War or have him be eaten by a hollow anytime soon?" asked Shiro.
Ichigo's sleepy gaze sharpened suddenly as he looked at Shiro.
"What did Sakura say?" he asked a little too calmly.
"He's raping her on Zouken's orders. It took me days to even get her to admit that much," spat Shiro angrily.
"...I agree. Shinji is a dead man, Master or not," said Ichigo.
"What's this about that braggart Shinji?" yawned Rin, accepting coffee from Uryu.
"Shinji," spat Shiro, "Has been raping Sakura on Zouken's orders."
Rin, who had been about to take a drink of water, spewed the drink across the table.
"HE WHAT?" she demanded.
Shiro told her what Sakura had reluctantly admitted to him. Rin wasn't pissed, no she was a pillar of glacial fury hearing that.
"And from what I've heard of the Makiri line, they specialize in crest worms," said Ichigo grimly.
Rin was damn near the point of breaking her coffee cup. She was that angry.
"He is a dead man," she snarled.
"Who is Shinji, and why are you so angry?" asked Uryu.
"Shinji Matou, Sakura Matou's adopted older brother. Sakura was my little sister before my father traded her over to Zouken shortly before the fourth grail war. She wasn't even five at the time," snarled Rin.
"Shinji is a bit of an asshole and a braggart. From what I've seen of him, he couldn't even use magic if his life depended on it. He has no circuits, and if push came to shove he would be little more than cannon fodder against any real Magi," said Ichigo.
"Didn't you once say that my description of Perseus sounded like a 'more successful Shinji'?" asked Rider.
"Pretty much. He's all talk and no ability or talent to back it up," said Ichigo.
Rider made a face.
"In that case. Anyone feel upset if I were to string his dead corpse up by my chains for the entire world to see after giving him a lethal dose of venom?" she asked. He wasn't Perseus, but he was a good second from that description alone.
"Only after we're through with expressing our displeasure for him hurting Sakura. An older sibling is supposed to protect their younger ones, not hurt them like Shinji has!" said Ichigo angrily.
"I don't blame you Rin. You were too young to do anything about it, and the laws of the family would have made it impossible for you to help her openly. But we are going to rescue Sakura from that house before the war is over," said Ichigo.
(A/N: the alternate Zelretch visited is the one from Fate's Gamble by Lupine Horror. If you haven't read it, then you are seriously missing out on a good story!)