The Story of Illya Emiya
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Fate Stay franchise or the characters associated with them.
Rin was still having trouble processing what was asked of her. "Emiya-kun's fiance . . . ."
Just continuing to think about it caused her face to burn up as her cheeks were growing redder by the minute. Illya couldn't help but softly chuckle at her reaction.
Taking a deep breath to calm her raging emotions, "I don't understand. Why request something like this from me? What purpose would it serve?"
A simple question with a very complicated answer. When the young homunculus absorbed Archer's spirit she learned of what awaited her brother. It was nothing but heart ache.
His memories were a bit of a mess. But she understood enough about what happened.
Many years from now there will be a terrible war in which Shirou will fight in for the sake of saving lives. In his wish to save people he made a contract with the world to become a servant after his death. Yet as the war came to it's conclusion his side lost. To save their own pitiful lives they framed her brother for causing the war as he was hanged at the gallows.
Yet her brother didn't hate them for it.
Moving onto his next life he ended up becoming a counter guardian. An existence who would pull humanity back from the edge of destruction.
For a while things were fine. But in time it started to wear him down. Constantly challenging his ideals of what it meant to be a hero. Though beautiful and innocent as it was even she knew it was a completely naive ideal. It just wasn't feasible as you can't save everyone. Something her brother learned the hard way as he was forced to kill for the sake of the many.
Having to repeatedly watch and clean up after humanities imaginatively endless destructive nature it destroyed her brother and everything he stood for. Eventually his heart completely broke under the burden of that regretful decision.
In order to escape his torment he wanted to kill his younger self in hopes of causing a paradoxical event that would end his misery. However coming to this time he realized it wouldn't have made a difference due to the nature of himself and that of the world around him.
Though he couldn't change his fate he could still change his.
"A wish he entrusted to me . . . ." Illya thought solemnly. But for Rin's question, "I have my reasons. However you are the perfect candidate that would be well suited for my brother". That was the truth. She knew what kind of man Shirou was as his nature and charisma just swept people off their feet. In that case what he needed was someone who wouldn't so easily be caught up in the moment. A person who would serve as his anchor to keep him tethered from making rash decisions. Just someone who would tell him no when it mattered most.
As much as she tried to hide it Illya knew Rin really liked her brother.
Of all the people she has seen her with, Shirou was the only one she ever acted different around. Amusingly enough when other girls hung around him she would scowl but try to immediately hide it. The fact that she liked him and how grounded she was, she knew she could entrust Shirou's future to her in hopes it would serve to detour him from Archer's path.
But this wasn't her only plan in motion. Yet for now it will do.
"So what say you?" Illya questioned as she gently smiled at her.
However the brunette magus was still dazed about all this. On one hand she was still trying to figure out Illya's angle. Was this some sort of power play by arranged marriage? What did she have to gain from any of this? That was the key Rin was trying to figure out. But on the other hand was how tempting it was. With her pride and responsibilities, she'd never try anything. But with this proposition it was OK now for her to feel something for him . . . . Wasn't it?
Weighing out her options as she was about to give her answer, "I cannot allow this!"
"I won't accept this!"
Startled, the pair looked to the doorway as the door was slammed open as Luvia and Sakura had entered.
"I truly apologize for this intrusion and rudeness of my behavior" Luvia bowed her head. "But I cannot allow this to stand at all. To give a barbaric woman such an important task will only end in failure".
Feeling a nerve pinched Rin would have shot back a scolding retort if not for her sister. "I'm sorry nee-san. But even so I will not surrender Shirou-senpai to you!" Sakura exclaimed as it took all her will power to confront her like this.
Originally the two coincidentally wanted to thank Illya only to arrive at her study to hear such disturbing news. As Rin was about to possibly seal the deal they just couldn't help themselves.
Though Illya should have stopped this she decided to sit back and see where this would go with great amusement on her face. Knowing this was going to get loud she casted a noise silencing spell around the room.
"Why do you even care?!" Rin countered shooting back at Luvia. Though she knew she should have walked away from this argument it couldn't be helped. The two of them had a natural rivalry with each other spanning back from when they first met. When challenged they always had to one up each other. "It's none of your business who I'm engaged too. And besides, it's not like you feel anything for Emiya-kun!" At this point she knew she was too neck deep to walk away from this as she partly admitted her romantic interest with the mage smith. Now she had no choice but to see where this rabbit hole goes as her cheeks where reddening from embarrassment.
"I . . . . I have my reasons" as Luvia was a little caught up by that statement. But she was proud and honest about the way she felt. There was no reason for her to feel embarrassed or ashamed about it. Facing the brunette magus with all her confidence, "for I too have feelings for Shirou!" Though she said it she couldn't help but blush at not only vocalizing her feelings for the first time but for others to hear it as well.
"Ehh! Since when?!"
Feeling the dominating presence of these two girls Sakura felt her confidence rattled. How could she compare to two strong and independent girls like them? However she had to choose now. Though she had the courage to voice her disagreement if she didn't follow through now then she would lose her chance forever. Mustering up all her courage, "I won't give Shirou-senpai to either of you!" Sakura exclaimed almost on the brink of tears. "I want to be with him more then anyone else!"
From there the conversation or rather argument flew all over the place ranging to why they were best suited to be with Shirou to why their rivals were undeserving of him.
At this point it even got a little ridiculous.
"Oh? What do you expect to do with your figure?" Luvia gloated to Rin. "In comparison to me" as her arm cradled her bosom pushing them up to emphasize their size, "you are clearly a child by comparison. Even Sakura is more mature then you in that aspect".
As the meek girl shied away at such a comment hugging herself it only showcased the clear differences that was pointed out.
Definitely feeling a nerve being pinched as Rin was fuming Illya had decided to interject before things could really go off the rails. "Alright that's enough from all of you" she warmly smiled giving a soothing tone. "Why don't you all take a seat now". Doing as they were told, "how about we make this interesting?"
"What did you have in mind?" Luvia asked.
"Since you all have feelings for my brother then for the time being Shirou's official fiance will be put on hold. Thus all three of you will be candidates competing for his heart. However there will be rules to this of course. To keep this simple none of you are to interfere in each others time with him. Nor will you be allowed any ill intent against each other. Your time with him is your own. So ingrain yourselves into his heart the best you can. The time limit will be indefinite as Shirou will decide for himself who he wishes to be with. Once he decides the results will be final. Does this sound fair?"
The three girls contemplated for a bit as they nodded to this.
"I'm glad to hear. I wonder who in the end will be my new sister" Illya smiled.
With that they parted back to their rooms thinking over their strategy of how they plan to win Shirou's heart.
Ending the eventful evening Illya returned back to her room. Giving a yawn as she entered she saw Kuro still awake sitting on her bed waiting for her.
"That was a very interesting conversation you had" Kuro purred. "Looks like a lot of fun".
"Not very nice of you to be spying like that".
"Can you blame me?" as Kuro gave a mischievous cat like smirk. "If anything you should let me compete as well" only for Illya to give an unamused look. "Kidding! I'm just kidding! But I'm surprised you would make an offer like that to them. Are you sure you really want to trust them with something like this?"
". . . . Is there really any other choice? But if you know what I'm thinking then this is just one of a few counter measures".
Kuro was aware of why Illya was doing this. Putting the pieces together, she knew of Archer's true identity. She had to say she was rather displeased with how his story was going to end. But staring at Illya intently she then got up as she gave her sister a deep hug.
"Kuro? What is this about?"
"I know how much it hurts" as Kuro tightened her hold as her expression became heavy. "It must have taken all your strength not to break down in front of them like that. But in front of me you don't need to be strong . . . ."
"What are you talking about? I'm just doing what is best for oniichan. I'm certain . . . . He'll be quite happy to be with . . . ." However the answer came soon enough as warm tears started to roll down the sides of her cheeks as they seeped into Kuro's shoulder. Even now she couldn't stop despairing over the path that awaited Shirou if things didn't change. She knew she wasn't the person he would need in his life when it mattered most. But more then that was her own self-fish wish. Regardless of how everyone else felt she loved Shirou more then any of them. Far more then Rin, Luvia, or Sakura could possibly compare too. Yet . . . . it was a path she could not walk.
Feeling her heart break, she hugged her sister back burying her face into her shoulder as she cried till eventually she fell asleep.
~ Fuyuki city ~
With the coming days Rin, Luvia, and Sakura had planned out their attack strategy to win Shirou's affections.
As meticulous as their planning was, you just had to laugh sometimes at what life throws at you.
Currently a weekend Rin was dressed casually playing to her strengths trying to be as physically appealing as possible.
Swallowing her pride she had managed to ask Shirou out on a 'date' inviting him to come to the new animal themed amusement park that had opened up. This being her first date she was absolutely clueless about what to do or how to behave. So researching what she could, this was the best she could come up with as she felt a little proud of herself in managing to put this together.
She memorized some of the basics of how to behave as everything should fall into place from there.
Reviewing her rivals, she knew she definitely had a lead over Luvia. Considering time frames she had spent more time with Shirou. At the start of the war she has been working very close to him and his sister. Thus she had an advantage. However Sakura was a different matter. Her heart still felt restless in relation to her. She didn't want to hurt her little sister anymore with her choices. But concerning the mage smith, if there was one thing she ever wanted self-fishly for herself then it would be him.
As her thoughts dwell on them, "nee-san? What are you doing here?"
"Sakura?" as Rin was equally surprised to see her sister.
Before the shock could fully settle in, "What are you two doing here?" as the Edelfelt head had also arrived.
"I invited Emiya-kun here on a date" answered Rin.
"You must be clearly mistaken as I asked for Shirou's company" then said Luvia.
"But I was certain I was the only one to ask Shirou-sempai . . . ." Sakura faded off.
Right on cue the very boy they were looking to spend time with alone had arrived. But he was not alone. With him were Kuro, Miyu, Illya, her maids, and their servants in casual wear.
Thus the three girls were completely confused about what was going on. Before they could ask, "let's have lots of fun at the park today. After hearing about where I was going everyone else wanted to come as well. I think this would serve as a nice break after everything that happened. Also to mend any hard feelings between us".
However it didn't take long for everyone else to understand what had happened. Apparently the rivals ended up having the same idea of inviting Shirou to the park. Coincidentally they all invited him on the same day and time. Being the person that he was misunderstood thinking this was a group activity and ended up inviting everyone to come.
As sharp as Shirou was he was surprisingly dull when it came to things like this.
"Oniichan . . . ." Illya sighed tiredly.
"Well if you want to make god laugh" Kuro chuckled.
Miyu, Leysritt, Sella, and Saber just stoically stood aside. Though for the knightly servant she did feel a strained pull in her chest.
"That's my master for you" Caster whimsically smiled.
"Ugh this dork" Rin muttered under her breath.
"Since it can't be helped let's enjoy the day together" said Luvia.
"I agree" Sakura continued. "Let's all have fun today!"
This earned a curious look from Rin, Illya, and Kuro. Since when were they this chummy with each other?
The reason for this was simple.
Learning Rin had kissed Shirou forming a contract with him they needed to even the playing field. Hence their goal today of stealing his lips themselves. Though complications had appeared this was a matter they needed to settle as quickly as possible as they couldn't wait.
Going over the attractions of the park and sitting down for lunch the group were on their way. Starting off with the carousel and getting a few pictures in they made their way to the first attraction being a haunted house tour. Of course part of what made this attraction popular was that it was tailored for couples as only two people could go in at a time.
Saber indifferent had decided to wait outside.
Illya and Miyu were the first to enter.
Then was Kuro and Caster.
Which was followed by Leysritt and Sella.
This then left Shirou and the girls to decide who would go in next. Rin wanting to take the upper hand tried to take the lead. However Luvia not wanting to be bested ended up arguing with the brunette magus.
With the two girls sufficiently distracted, Sakura made her move. "They'll be fine senpai. Let's just go on ahead first" as she took his arm and guided him in much to the disdain of her rivals at realizing what had happened.
Walking along the tour Shirou couldn't really feel scared. Most of the sights were childish or were obvious to see coming. Aside from everything he's been through till now he felt a little off since the last battle. He couldn't quite put his finger on it but he felt a bit . . . . 'colder' on the inside. He wasn't sure how to describe it. It was nice his armory of noble phantasms greatly increased. Yet he couldn't shake his sense of dread with that graveyard he stood in. Archer's reality marble was the testament to his life. It was how that man both lived and died. "Forget it . . . ." trying to shake his head of the memory. "Best to let it go for now".
During the entire time he had been lost in thought Sakura had been clinging so closely to him as she seemed to have been muttering something.
Being the guy he was, "are you scared? Don't worry, I'm here for you" Shirou said trying to ease whatever was troubling her.
Looking up in surprise the meek girl gave a sweet smile. "Thank you Shirou-senpai for taking care of me".
"Don't mention it. It's the least I can do".
Nearing the end of the tour, "senpai . . . . for everything that you have done for me please allow me to thank you properly".
"Hmm?" as he sensed how uneasy she was. Yet he was completely caught off guard with what happened next.
Earlier Sakura was chatting a contract spell she had learned from Sella. Wrapping her arms around his neck she pulled him in as she softly placed her lips on his.
Like that time with Rin, a contract had formed between them. Just like before, pieces of Sakura's life began flashing before his eyes. For most of her childhood was filled with so much pain and anger with very few moments of rest. However one memory stuck out among them all. Walking down a hall and looking out the window she saw a boy doing the high jump. "Why does he keep trying? Why doesn't he just give up?" as she watched him repeatedly fail. An all too clear reminder that there were things in life you just couldn't change. Yet she couldn't turn eyes away as she continued to watch him try nonetheless. As the sun had begun to set, the impossible happened as he succeeded. Watching this event with her own eyes her heart trembled as the emotions she had long since buried began to reawaken. For the first time in a long time a warm smile had emerged.
He was her light. He was proof that change could happen if you were strong enough to do so.
"Sakura . . . . I . . . ." as Shirou was still stunned at everything that had happened in that short moment.
"It's OK. You don't need to think too hard about it" said Sakura solemnly turning her back to him as she walked ahead a bit. "That part of my life is over now as I'm standing right here".
"But that kiss . . . ." as the mage smith was still trying to orient himself.
Sakura turned around as she continued to smile at him. "As I said Shirou-senpai. It's just my way of showing my thanks to you" as a new magic circuit appeared on his arm. Even if she were to convey her feelings she doubted it would truly reach him. But this was her first step and that was enough for now. "Come on senpai, everyone is waiting for us!"
~ Fuyuki city (amusement park) ~
Luvia was growing frustrated over the course of the day. She knew it wasn't on purpose but Shirou wasn't paying any attention to her besides the short chats and mindful gestures. Otherwise he was mostly with everyone else.
Seeing the new mark on Shirou's arm, Sakura was successful with her contract.
Thus she was now dead last. That was quite painful to stomach. Especially having to admit she was second to Rin or rather third at this point in time.
But as the day was beginning to draw to a close she wanted to spend sometime alone to gather her thoughts.
Aside from her rivalry with the head of the Tohsaka house, her heart was still in disarray concerning the mage smith.
She truly did feel a genuine attraction to him as she wasn't just trying out compete Rin for his attention. But like her long time rival, what she wanted and what she had to do were not the same. In the end she would eventually have to marry a man of noble birth to continue on the prestige of the Edelfelt house. However what she truly wanted was to fall in love with a simple man. A person who didn't have any unnecessary complications or motives behind them. That was what she saw in Shirou.
A person without any strings attached in which she could enjoy the spring of her youth with. Though she would never vocally admit it this was one aspect of jealousy she felt towards Rin. She was free to fall in love with anyone she wished without restraints.
Thus she was left in a state of uncertainty.
"Are you alright Luvia-san? You left without saying anything".
"Shirou . . . ."
Taking a seat next to her, the mage smith was in the middle of enjoying a funnel cake. "Would you like some? I currently have the last one as they are sold out for the day". Before Luvia could answer Shirou had already cut a piece and was prepared to feed her. "Here you go. No need to be shy".
Flustered at his actions the blond magus looked into his eyes as she contemplated her decision. "Shirou . . . . Such a simple man you are . . . ." Of course it was just a kind gesture on his part. If he were a bit more sensitive about these kinds of things he wouldn't always cause such misunderstandings. Closing her eyes as she smiled to herself she accepted the offering. "It's very good . . . ."
Noticing her muttering under her breath Shirou was caught off guard for the second time that day as Luvia leaned in pressing her lips against his. Like the previous two, memories started to flood his mind. Just like the others he was beginning to wonder who this dumb guy was that apparently everyone was watching that day doing the high jump.
It was a few years ago as Luvia was driven by the school looking out the window at nothing in particular. Spending sometime in Japan there was nothing that really caught her fancy as she was just passing through. Growing bored of this country she was already contemplating her trip home. Yet out on tracks she caught sight of someone attempting and failing to jump over the bar. He was nothing special as she figured she could kill some time by watching him fail. But as she continued to watch she was surprised at his demeanor. His passion and single minded focus in trying to accomplish his goal. By the time the sun had begun to set she had hoped he would reach his goal. Right at the break of twilight, he succeeded.
"Luvia . . . ." as Shirou was still stunned.
Placing her finger on his lips, "you just had a bit of cream there" Luvia softly chuckled.
"But that contract . . . ."
"I don't care to ever be second to that barbaric woman in anything. Whether it comes to skills . . . . Or you" Luvia muttered the last part.
"Nothing" as the blond magus shook her head standing up. "Let us return now. I'm sure everyone is waiting for us".
~ Fuyuki city (amusement park) ~ (night)
Now closing hours as the day had come to it's end everyone had a good time with many laughs to be shared by friends and family. Even the battle hardened Saber and the no non-sense Sella enjoyed their small break from the normal.
But among them, Shirou was a little troubled about today. Not so much by the results but rather the act. He understood why Rin kissed him as it was for the sake of their survival. But it was unusual to why Luvia and Sakura did it too. Their reasoning equally troubled him as he wasn't sure how to talk to them about it. I mean you only kissed someone if you liked them . . . . Right?
Seeing her brother with a flustered look on his face, Illya hung back to talk to him.
"Is everything OK oniichan?"
"I'm not sure" Shirou coughed out rubbing the back of his head. "Just . . . . Something a little weird happened today . . . ." as the mage smith recounted the strange event to his sister. "I'm not sure what it means".
". . . . It that so?" as Illya had a calm on her face. But on the inside, she felt herself break a little. Though she gave them her blessing she couldn't help but feel jealous. Yet as she continued to listen to him her head started to feel rather dizzy. Even though Shirou was talking it was all becoming incoherent words as she was having trouble understanding.
For there was a bit of another secret she had been keeping since their battle against Caster and Assassin. After absorbing Archer into herself she was beginning to feel dull and heavy. She was having trouble moving her own body or even functioning to fulfill her usual daily activities. At first she just thought it was fatigue. But as the days continued on, the problem wasn't getting any better as it was actually getting worse.
Soon her legs were beginning to grow unsteady as she was about to fall over at any moment. "What's wrong with me . . . ." she panicked as her mind started to go black.
About to lose consciousness her brother called out her name in worry as everyone quickly gathered.
Before long, Illya had fallen into a coma.
To be continued . . . .
Author's notes: Hope the chapter was OK. Now here is some commentary.
Shirou is literally one of the prime definitions of dense protagonist when it comes to romance. Specifically when it comes to those who are interested in him yet he just can't take the hint. However there was that case when he rejected Sakura in the Miyuverse in the prisma series. Though to be fair it was for a good reason as he couldn't abandon Miyu so he could just run away with Sakura.
Though strangely enough, his high jump attempt all those years ago seemed to have been that magical catalyst that started the affection of Rin, Luvia, and Sakura. Each in their own individual routes or the shared one they had in the prisma series.
I know Saber in the original route shared affections with Shirou. Though I'm still deciding if I should make something out of it. For of everyone that has known her only Shirou could truly understand her best through their mutual connection to Avalon. At the moment they are better then friends but less then lovers. Whether there is a shift or not I'll decide later.
As noted in Fate/Zero, Iri body stopped functioning properly as servants started to fall as she was absorbing them into herself. The only reason she was able to maintain some functionality was due to Avalon being inside her with Saber by her side. Something similar to that is happening to Illya yet not exactly at the same time. I'll go into it next chapter.
If there are any questions or concerns feel free to ask as I'll try to answer them.
So thank you for reading as I further extend my gratitude if you can review as well.