Hey there! This story was requested a while back, and I've decided it's not too nice to keep the requester waiting, so here it is. I believe the idea was inspired by that one chapter in All-Around Type Moon where there were two Illyas, but I could be wrong.
Depending on his feedback (and yours), the story might be long or short; he has yet to get back to me on that, but in the meantime, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Fate/Stay Night or Prisma Illya. If I did, I'd… yeah, I got nothing. What? I can't do witty remarks, okay?
To say I wasn't interested in magic would be a lie.
It wasn't like I had a bad life; I had loving parents, caring housekeepers, and a… wonderful onii-chan. I lived in a normal house, got good grades in school, and made some very good friends. I had everything a girl my age could want, and I was content with that. Even so, I couldn't help but wish for something more glamorous.
I always loved watching Mahou Shoujo anime. I loved how young girls – ordinary girls just like I was – could perform magic, could save the world like the heroes they were, and could shine so brightly even though they were normal, everyday children. I remember wishing that someday, maybe, I could be like them and fly around with glittery magic and colorful costumes.
… At least, that was what I used to wish, until a talking magical stick changed my life. In a bad way. No, seriously; during our first encounter, it (she?) made me have a nosebleed from seeing onii-chan's-
M-my point was, I knew shortly after that day that magic was not something so cheerful and pretty. I understood that the world of magic – the world of magi – was not a place for ordinary girls like me. I found out in the battles that followed, that I had to put my life on the line in being a magical girl of justice.
But I never expected the world to be even more messed up than that.
In comparison, my life was probably a joke. In comparison, my battles were probably a farce. To her, my entire existence must have been a sin – a blatant denial of her own experiences.
Maybe that was why she tried to kill me.
You'd think I'd be used to that, what with Kuro and all, but I was not; unlike Kuro, she did not make me feel guilty whenever I looked at her. Unlike Kuro, she did not look angry at me, or at the world. In fact, she just looked… broken.
I used to admire magic. I used to admire heroes. I used to admire a life more exciting than my own, mundane one. I used to think that maybe somewhere, in an alternate universe, there existed a me that had all those wishes granted.
But little did I know, that the other 'me' would try to kill me with a big, hulking giant wielding an axe sword.
Illyasviel von Einzbern woke to the sight of a horribly mortified girl.
She had black hair, beautiful eyes, and the air of a cool beauty. She was Miyu Edelfelt, and her face had apparently swollen to four times its usual size. Or maybe it just looked large, because their faces were far too close for comfort.
"U-um, Illya," she said timidly. "I-I think it's a little too early for k-kissing…"
Young girl or no, Illya had impressive lung capacity – an endowment she showed off in full by screaming Miyu's ear off. Scurrying away like a terrified mouse, she tumbled off her bed, slamming the back of her head onto the floor.
"Illya!" Despite what just transpired, Miyu seemed hardly unfazed, instead switching to an expression of worry. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Illya had already kissed her once before. "Are you alright?"
"Geez, can't you two keep it down in the morning?" an irritated voice asked.
Chloe von Einzbern – or 'Kuro' as they called her – walked into the room, already dressed in her school uniform. In terms of appearances alone, she was a perfect mirror image of Illya, except she had tanned skin. In terms of personality, however, she could not be more different from her 'little sister'.
"And Illya," she went on, smirking as she looked at her twin. "Isn't it about time you learned to get up on your own? Don't make Miyu babysit you all the time."
"I-I'm perfectly capable of getting up by myself!" Illya retorted, with surprising energy considering she was the only person in the room still wearing her pajamas. "Miyu just happened to be early, that's all!"
"Actually, Illya," Miyu corrected calmly. "We're going to be late at this rate."
Illya's head spun so fast she was surprised it stayed attached to her neck. The clock read-
Emiya Shirou was known by many names. At one point in his life, 'Hero of Justice' had been one of them. At that point, however, it also happened to be synonymous with 'Villain'; despite being the savior of millions of lives and the protector of humanity, he was ultimately despised by the very humans he protected. In the end, he was betrayed by the world, and died a pathetic death.
How did everything turn out this way?
He had never sought recognition. To him, helping others was more than enough; to desire anything in return was a betrayal to his ideals. He had never hoped to be repaid, and he had dedicated his life to saving those in need. And yet, despite that selflessness, he had failed to become a true 'hero'.
There was no escape from this Hell. There was no escape from the mountains of corpses he had to create with his own hands. There was no escape from the oceans of blood he had spilled in his quest for justice. There was no escape, so he had to seek another solution.
And so, he decided to kill his past.
To erase his own existence, so that he would never become a hero. That was the sole goal of the man known as Emiya Shirou, and it was for this very reason that he once again lifted his bow. Perhaps, he thought, this would be the last time he would have to see bloodshed. But then again, if it was his own blood he was shedding, it was probably alright.
His eyes burning with steel-cold resolve, the Servant Archer stepped into the fifth Holy Grail War. Only this time, something was… different.
"Ugh… Taiga's really merciless today…"
Grumbling as she swept the courtyard, Illya sighed heavily. As punishment for being late, she, Miyu (who was late because she was waiting for her) and Kuro (who was late because she was arguing with Illya for too long) were told to sweep the school grounds after school. It might have been a piece of cake since there were three of them, but the school grounds, as it turned out, were huge.
"It's never getting done today…" she whined.
"Now, now, don't say that, Illya-san!" a strange object said merrily, popping out from inside her hair. As usual, Magical Stick Ruby-chan was energetic to match even Taiga, and that was saying a lot. "Occasional exercise is good for your health, you know?"
"This isn't exercise," Illya pointed out. "Besides, we fought the Class Cards; that's enough exercise to last two lifetimes. I'd rather be home reading manga or watching anime…"
"Sounds like something a NEET would say," Kuro teased.
"I'm not even going to play along," Illya sighed. "I'm too tired to even argue anymore-"
"On your guard, Illya-san!" Ruby said suddenly. "An enemy's approaching!"
"Eh?! An enemy?!" Illya asked in panic, unable to follow the turn of events.
"Yes!" Ruby replied. "It's a powerful one, too! It's a vengeful spirit of pure hate and terrible fashion sense-"
It took exactly one tenth of a second for Ruby to fly across the yard and slam into a wall. For a moment, Kuro and Miyu readied themselves for battle, only to relax a moment later when they identified this 'foe'.
A disgruntled look on her face, Tohsaka Rin took a second to regain her refined aura as she turned to look at the group. Except for when it came to Ruby and a certain blonde with oversized tendrils, she was a dignified heir to the Tohsaka lineage, and was by every definition a skilled magus. It was only natural for such a woman to have this much pride, and it went without saying that she tried to keep a prim and proper appearance in public. Whenever she was not going around throwing Ruby like a Frisbee or stomping on it to relieve stress, that is.
"Eh? Rin-san?" Illya, the slowest on the uptake, asked. "What're you doing here?"
"Something came up," Rin replied simply. "I needed your help, but you weren't at home, so I came over here. Luvia and Bazett be here shortly, too, so-"
"Ah, what's this, Rin-san?" Ruby asked. For a talking ring with wings and a star, it was surprisingly good at expressing mirth. "Relying on little children at your age? I guess you really are a helpless old hag-"
For the second time in less than a minute, Ruby flew across the courtyard and left a dent in the wall.
"Back to topic," Rin said, acting as though nothing had happened. "You remember that eighth card we discovered a while back? We've found similar anomalies around the town after that, and we were thinking of investigating them one by one. But to do that, the power of the Kaleid Sticks are required. So with that in mind…"
She trailed off, having seen no need to explain further. Even Illya, the slowest of the three, would have known what she was getting at by now.
"Understood," Miyu replied. "But should it be a powerful Heroic Spirit, how will we engage it? The cards we have at our disposal are severely lacking in power."
"There's no need to worry about that," Rin said, holding up three cards. "I have the remaining ones here. We've managed to talk Bazett into 'loaning' us these cards until we figure out what's going on. It's not an indefinite deadline, but for now it's a blessing."
"So, where're we headed?" Kuro asked. "You know the location, don't you?"
"Yes, indeed," Rin replied, pointing to the ground beneath her feet. "And it's right where you're standing."
"Eh?" all three girls asked at the same time.
"I don't know why, but one of the anomalies is right where your school is," Rin explained. "It's not as big as the one caused by the eighth card, so I don't know if it's a Class Card at all, but it's probably less dangerous if that's the case. It'll be a good place to start."
"Well then, what're we waiting for?!" Ruby chimed happily. "Let's finish this flashily and quickly so we don't have to bother with this boring sweep- I mean, so we can get some exercise for a change!"
"You just called it 'boring' didn't you?!" Illya exclaimed. "You were saying something about sweeping being exercise, weren't you?! Weren't you?!"
"Well, don't sweat the small details!" Ruby chirped, extending its handle and placing itself in Illya's grip. "Let's transform and go fight evil!"
"Wait a minu-"
Rin's complaints fell on deaf ears (or whatever it was that magical wands used to listen with), as Ruby started glowing. A huge magic circle appeared beneath them, and a blinding light surrounded Illya, leaving a bright pink costume as it faded. The magic circle started giving off a light of its own, enveloping everyone who stood on top of it.
"Jump!" Ruby said, almost cheekily.
As light filled her vision and obscured everything else, Illya felt a strange sensation in her body. It was as though all the air around her had been replaced with a vacuum, and a huge hand was trying to crush her body with its iron grip; something was going horribly wrong, and she could neither escape nor change the situation at hand. All she could do was to let it unfold, and let the warmth from the light swallow her, engulfing her in its otherworldly glow…
The last thing she remembered, was Miyu's helpless scream.
When she finally awoke, night had fallen. The sun was down, and a tranquil sheet of black inky night had been drawn over the sky. The stars glittered across the black canvas, and the moon cast a soothing glow upon the Earth. It would have been quite the sight to behold, if not for the fact that Illya had no idea where she was.
For one, she was definitely not in school; rather, she was sitting in some random street, accompanied by no one and nothing but streetlamps on the sidewalk. Ruby was gone, and she was back in her school uniform.
"Ruby…?" she asked weakly. "Miyu? Kuro? Rin-san? Where are you? If this is some sort of weird joke, it's not funny…"
The empty street yielded her no replies, no answers. The silence did nothing more than to amplify the sounds of her heart pounding against her ribcage, and emphasize just how alone she was.
"Hmm? What do we have here?"
Cutting sharply into her thoughts was her own voice, which would not have meant much except that her mouth had not moved. She had not said a thing, and yet Illya was sure she had just heard her own voice in her ears.
Turning around, she came face-to-face with… herself. She'd have believed it to be some sort of hallucination, but reality was not that kind.
She was dressed in a purple coat with a matching hat, both made of warm, fuzzy material made for winter. A pair of expensive-looking boots completed the look, but that was not what attracted Illya's attention. What attracted her attention was the girl's porcelain-white skin and bright, crimson eyes. She was different from Kuro, who had tanned skin and different eye color.
She was the exact image of Illyasviel von Einzbern.
"Who are you?" the girl said in Illya's voice. Even though it had sounded so similar, it was oddly callous and felt completely different from her usual tone. "It's pretty daring to try and look like me. Trying to attack me mentally like that won't work, you know."
Her brain hardly even working at this point, Illya just stared at her counterpart, who was wearing a small smile which could only be described as 'malicious'.
"Well, whoever you are," her doppelganger said. "It doesn't matter. If you know me, you must be participating in this War as well. Master or Servant, I'll just eliminate you all the same.
"Kill her, Berserker."
With that one line, Illyasviel von Einzbern – a normal, everyday schoolgirl – felt her world instantly fall apart.
Hoped you liked that chapter, and do leave a review to let me know what you thought of it! Till next time!