Shirou and Lancer Drink Tea
The blue man wielding a vicious-looking red spear stopped his attack and blinked, clearly confused, having stopped midway through the lunge that would've allowed him to impale his opponent, namely one Emiya Shirou, protagonist of this tale, through the stomach. "What?"
"Tea," Shirou repeated, looking at him. "I'm offering you tea."
"Oh. Right. Sure, why not?" the lancer said, shrugging. Then his spear vanished somewhere, and they walked into Shirou's house.
The two walked to the kitchen, where Shirou put a kettle with water on the stove, losing himself to the process of brewing the tea, while the blue man sat on the table.
Once Shirou was done and the only thing left was to wait until the tea heated appropriately, he turned around. "So... Why are you trying to kill me?"
"Since you're going to die, I guess I can tell you," the blue man said. "I'm a legendary warrior from times past summoned to fight in a secret war, in order to compete for the Holy Grail, which will grant the winner of the war a single wish," he continued, explaining his reasons.
At this, Shirou nodded. "Neat," he said, simply.
The blue man made a face of confusion before shrugging. Shortly after, the kettle whistled, Shirou pulled it out of the fire and served them both the piping hot tea in a pair of cups he kept for just such an occassion. After blowing on it to cool it down a little, the lancer took a sip of it. "This is very good," he admitted. "It's almost a shame I have to kill you."
"Thanks," Shirou said earnestly, smiling at the compliment. "Anyway, why do you need to kill me?"
"Well, non magi aren't supposed to know this happens," the blue man said, almost apologetically.
"Ah. Well. I'm a magus," Shirou said. "Though I'm not very good at it."
"Then that means I don't have to kill you," the man said, nodding in approval. "Do you mind if I drop by later? You make really good tea, and I'd like to have it again. My name's Cu Chulaínn, by the way, but call me Lancer," he added.
"Sure," Shirou said.
They both drank their tea in peaceful silence. "Say... I've got a friend who's in a spot of trouble right now. Do you think you could take care of her for me?"
"Okay. I'm happy to help," Shirou said, evenly.
And so Shirou gained his first freeloader when, the next day, the same Blue Man dropped an unconscious, one-armed woman wearing a torn and bloodied brown suit on his doorstep. After patching her up, though Lancer did most of the work with runecraft, they put her in one of Shirou's spare futon and had another cup of tea. Before Lancer left, they also had a short spar, as he taught Shirou some of the basics of combat that one doesn't learn outside of combat. There was also a very basic lesson in runes and their usage both in combat and in every day life thrown in, both during the spar and the time they spent healing the unconscious woman, whom Shirou learned was named Bazett.
It wasn't long before Fujimura Taiga came along and questioned the woman's presence. She relented upon learning that the woman'd had a recent accident that costed her the arm that she was missing, and was even sympathetic when the woman proved to be facing deppression because of it. The fact that she wasn't some pretty freeloader looking to capture her primary food source's heart helped.
Shirou went to school, and the woman stayed behind, clearly trying to cope with the fact that she now had only the one arm. When Shirou came back, he found that she had pulled out many of his own notes about thaumaturgy. After an hour of berating him over improper defense of his workshop, she proceeded to instruct him on how to go about it properly, first cleaning the shed that was Shirou's workshop and inspecting it in its entirety.
Along the way, Shirou tripped a summoning circle and wound up with yet another pretty freeloader, this time a petite blonde with a bottomless stomach. This required an explanation on the mechanics of the Grail War. Bazett flat out refused to go meet with the priest to formalize it, citing the fact that he'd ripped her arm off and stolen her servant as enough proof that he wasn't trustworthy.
The blonde, now named Saber, agreed that it'd be a stupid idea to go visit the priest. She, however, disagreed with the suggested approach to the war Shirou offered, IE, not fighting to win, but rather to prevent others from getting hurt even if it compromised their chances at victory. Not because she disagreed with the philosophy of it, but rather because she simply wanted to win. A lot.
Bazett understood her determination, but she supported a more cautious approach. Her own straightforward approach had ended with her missing one of her suit's sleeves, so that was a no go.
Later that day, Lancer dropped by and had a brief fight with Saber, after which Bazett noticed that Saber wasn't getting Prana from Shirou.
That night Shirou lost his virginity, and the next day he went through a school with a massive grin on his face for the entire day. So much so that it creeped people out. Tohsaka Rin was so creeped out, in fact, that she decided to investigate, because Archer implied that Shirou might just have managed to summon a servant and that was why he was so happy.
That night, Tohsaka Rin discovered her latent bisexuality when she set her eyes on Shirou's bedmate for the night. Also, she began to trust Archer more, as he'd been ''completely right''. That, and he also made heavenly breakfast.
The next day, Shinji started to utilize Blood Fort Andromeda. Rin approached Shirou to ask him if it was his doing, which Shirou denied. Shortly after, Saber dropped by, because Shirou had called Bazett with his cellphone and informed him that he had problems at school and Saber had asked Shirou to inform her of any possible problems, because Shirou was likely to get involved.
Shinji may or may not have crapped his pants when Bazett found him and dragged the answers out of his beaten carcass. Rider may or may not have faked being incapable of shaking off Shirou in order to allow Shinji to get the crap beaten out of him.
There was not much left of him after he accidentally confessed to his rape of Sakura, shouting "I swear I'll never touch Sakura again" in order to get Bazett to stop kicking him, and then admitting to the rape when pressed. Rin was not amused.
On the flipside, her relationship with Sakura was patched up, because Shirou forced them to interact, making it clear to Rin that it was ''not her fault'' as she didn't know and to Sakura that ''she was not disgusting'' due to what had been done to her. Shirou's earnest and simple approach to it worked better than expected, as the fact that both of the sisters knew that he was being bluntly and completely honest helped them accept his words more easily than it would've been if he'd been someone else.
Incidentally, between Rin and Bazett, they quickly found the worms in Sakura's body. They were forced to go to Kirei in order to get him to surgically remove them. Kirei accepted, but demanded a favor in exchange for his help, and told them that they needed Caster's help to create a potion that would render Sakura temporarily immortal to perform the surgery.
As such, the next day they went to Ryuudo temple, to meet Caster. Assassin and Lancer had a fun fight for the both of them, which meant they'd nearly destroyed the shrine's gate. Incidentally, theirs was, so far, the only fight to the death in the war, as both enjoyed the fight better that way. It also put to rest the debate of which of the two 'impossible to dodge' techniques trumped which, as Gae Bolg struck before it was used, preventing Tsubame Gaeshi from launching in the first place, saving Lancer's life and ending Assassin's.
He died with a smile on his face.
Caster knew she was in deep shit and didn't even try to fight, as the invading forces made it clear that they came in peace. In exchange for having her life spared, Caster agreed to stop feeding on people's souls and also to provide the necessary potion. Her goal in the war had changed to 'Survive with Kuzuki at all costs' anyway, so she wasn't really trying to win anymore.
With the potion in hand, the party returned to Kirei, who performed the surgery flawlessly.
Sakura slept soundly for the first time since she had been given to the Matou family. Rider declared her undying loyalty to Shirou for being the one who had made that possible.
The next day, the Makiri family was ended permanently.
Lancer dropped by for tea that afternoon, and he brought along with him the phony priest up the hill.
Bazett objected to his presence, but Kirei revealed he would reattach her arm, sans command seals, in exchange for her ''not'' kicking him in the genitals again. He only wanted the command seals anyway. Since they were all drinking tea at the table, and they all liked the person providing them with the tea, the party decided to allow Kirei's presence. Shirou disliked conflict, after all, and wanted them to get along. So they'd at least pretend to for the time being.
The favor that Kirei asked for had been pretty simple. Deliver the Einzbern heir to him.
Shirou didn't even have to hunt her down. She came to him. With an eight foot tall mountain of gray muscle at her side. Berserker was insanely tough, and just short of invincible. Excalibur incinerated him thirteen times over all the same. Ilyasviel von Einzbern was left stupified by the power of her 'brother's' servant's Noble Phantasm. She knew King Arthur was a powerful hero, but that was ridiculous!
Rin blew on her nails and wiped them on her clothes. The fruits of regular sex, she called it. True, keeping Saber permanently topped on Prana without her having to eat Shirou out of his house required the help of both herself and her sister, but it certainly paid off quite a bit.
Rider admitted to being glad she hadn't really tried to win the war. Caster gave up after she saw the massive golden beam from a distance.
Ilya threw a temper tantrum, inadvertently revealing all the reasons she hated Shirou, which were quickly countered with simple and cold logic. Then they went to Shirou's home and he made cake for everyone to eat. Ilya fell in love with him on the spot and decided she would keep her 'Onii-chan' all to herself.
In the end, it is said that the only two people who survived the cataclysm that destroyed Fuyuki city were two suspiciously similar males, who sat on opposite ends of a short table, both calmly drinking their tea as chaos raged around them.
"You really ''do'' make great tea," Lancer remarked, having hidden from view in Astral Form.
"Thank you," Shirou replied, smiling.