I've been meaning to do a Fate/Stay Night crossover for some time now. I wrote and posted the first two chapters of an admittedly abortive attempt to do a crossover with Harry Potter in The Cauldron. However, I realised that was going nowhere fast. I then had a bit of inspiration for a story: how would Saber, aka King Arthur, react to watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail?
While this is far from the only crossover between the two, it is, as far as I know, the only story with this premise. I admittedly only know so much about Fate/Stay Night. I've read plenty of fanfics, but am yet to watch any of the anime adaptations (and I do have the first on DVD, so I have no excuse). But this should require little prior knowledge, save that it is based partially on one of the endings of the Unlimited Blade Works route.
Anyway, onto the usual disclaimers. Firstly, there will be spoilers for both Fate/Stay Night and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Finally, the following is a fan-written work. Fate/Stay Night and Monty Python and the Holy Grail are the property of their respective owners. Please support the official release. Otherwise, I'll set the Vorpal Bunny on you…
Kishua Zelretch Schweinorg was bored. This was a state of affairs that made many a Magus run for the hills in much the same way as people fled when discovering an armed nuclear weapon on their doorstep with fifteen minutes left on the timer. Only Zelretch's efforts when he was bored were far less lethal, but perhaps as psychologically damaging as a nuclear bomb. The fallout tended to be nasty too.
Zelretch, whenever he was bored, turned his not inconsiderable intellect to relieving it. It was while he happened to look at a shelf containing his DVD collection that he stopped, paused, and then began laughing out loud, another thing guaranteed to have grown Magi pissing themselves and calling for their mothers.
He plucked a DVD out in particular, a wide, disturbing grin on his features. To most, such a movie was, relatively speaking, innocuous. But in the hands of many a Magus, even the most innocuous things could cause damage. In the hands of a bored vampire with access to parallel worlds, it was even worse.
Zelretch liked chucking stones in the great lake of parallel worlds. Or boulders, when he felt so inclined. And while this was no boulder by any means, it was still going to cause ripples that would amuse him…
Life as the familiar of Rin Tohsaka wasn't so bad, Saber reflected. The woman known to myth and legend as King Arthur was enjoying her life, away from the pressures and expectations of command and monarchy, from the battle for the Holy Grail. She got to be with people she had fought alongside, with whom she had grown bonds with.
True, too many people died in that mess, some who shouldn't have. It wasn't until later that she realised that the Master of Berserker was actually the daughter of her former Master. That Illyasviel died, her heart torn out by that blackguard Gilgamesh in order to help him summon the tainted Grail, was another blow to Saber. She had fought alongside Illya's parents, the cold-hearted Magus Killer Kiritsugu Emiya, and the beautiful homunculus Irisviel von Einzbern, in the Fourth Grail War. In the Fifth, she had fought alongside Kiritsugu's adoptive son, Shirou, though due to various circumstances and the Rule Breaker Noble Phantasm of Caster, she ended up becoming Rin's Servant, in place of the treacherous Archer.
She still frequented the Emiya household, which was where she was heading: Shirou's cooking had her hooked, and he had been a good friend and comrade. He just needed better self-preservation instincts. Otherwise, he'd have been a good addition to her knights.
Saber tried not to think of her former comrades, especially after being forced to fight Lancelot when he was summoned as Berserker in the Fourth Grail War. The memories were painful, to say the least, especially now that she had begun to relax the façade of her royalty.
She was driven out of her reverie when she saw something appear on a nearby fence, something with a tag marked, For Saber, aka King Arturia. It was a package, and judging by the shape and size, it was a DVD. She opened the package up, and frowned. It had on the front a cartoonish hand holding up a large cup…no, a grail, from which a group of men in the garb of knights seemed to emerge. In English lettering, writ bold, there was a title: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
After a moment, she murmured, "Who is Monty Python?"
Once she got to the Emiya household, with Shirou out at the moment, she put the DVD into the player, and began watching the movie. She found herself bemused by the strange opening credits and the subtitles. "What does a moose have to do with anything?" she mused out loud.
She blinked. "Coconuts? He's pretending to ride a horse…while his page bangs two coconut halves together? We didn't have coconuts back then."
The ensuing scene, where that very question was actually asked, only served to confuse her further. "Are these people sane?"
Saber stared at the scene involving the cart of plague victims. "Must be king because he hasn't got shit all over him?" she repeated, astonished.
Saber facepalmed. "Bloody peasants," she found herself echoing her counterpart on the screen. Seriously, it did actually happen, how she got Excalibur, though she had been selected to be king by pulling Caliburn out of the stone.
Saber's eyes were wide as she watched the carnage unfold, the Black Knight getting his limbs hacked off. "Only a flesh wound?!" she repeated herself in disbelief, albeit quietly. "What are you, Berserker or something?"
There's a phenomenon when it comes to humans and things they don't like. It's rather like watching a car accident: absolutely horrible, and yet, with an uncanny knack of seizing the attention of those watching. That was really the only reason Saber kept watching the film.
"What kind of logic is that, you pale imitation of Sir Bedevere?!" Saber yelled at the screen. "Ducks can't be used to tell whether a woman's a witch or not!"
"Sir Not Appearing in This Film?" Saber asked. Then, she actually chuckled, for the first time since she started watching the film. Those moments would be few and far between.
Of course, she couldn't help but laugh at the 'We're Knights of the Round Table' musical number, silly though it was.
"Why does God look like a crude cutout of a photo?" Saber asked, tilting her head. "Do these people have no shame?"
She didn't know it, but no.
The torrent of taunts from the French knight made Saber peer at the screen bemused. "You may not be the real Galahad, but I agree. What a strange person." Plus, she reflected, she had encountered far better taunts than 'I fart in your general direction'.
Saber blinked. "A Trojan Rabbit? Really?"
As the Sir Galahad segment came up, Saber reflected it couldn't possibly get any worse than that whole business with Sir Robin and the three-headed knight.
She was wrong.
After the intervention of Sir Lancelot to save Sir Galahad's chastity, Saber facepalmed. Okay, a vow to chastity was a serious thing, true, but the women weren't any threat that she could tell…save for being some of the most bizarre temptresses she had seen.
At least the real knights were nothing like these…base imitations, these parodies. Now she knew how Gilgamesh felt when he saw Archer and Shirou's Projection abilities…
"A shrubbery? For those annoying knights?" Saber asked in sheer disbelief. "I would have hacked them down, 'Ni' or no 'Ni'."
Saber stared at the screen again. "No, no, I don't want them to sing either! And why did you have to do that, Sir Lancelot? Why?!"
Saber nearly gave up on the film until the wizard arrived. And she actually laughed for the first time in a while when he claimed he was called 'Tim'. She also laughed, a little more uneasily, when the rabbit attacked.
She also found herself desiring a Holy Hand Grenade when that scene ended, and wondered whether Shirou could rustle one up somehow with Magecraft. Probably not, but she thought it would be worth asking.
The animated monster was bemusing, as was the way it was dealt with. Saber had never heard of the term postmodernism, so she didn't quite get it. The 'riddles of the bridge' scene, however, made her laugh.
The rest of the film, assuredly, did not.
As the credits ended with her cinematic counterpart suddenly arrested before he could storm the French-held castle, she was staring at the screen blankly in shock, in the manner of someone who had seen the worst of horrors. She was sitting there for quite a while, by which time Shirou, along with Rin and Sakura, came in. "Saber?" Rin asked. "What are you doing?"
Shirou, unusually quick on the uptake, found the DVD case, looked at it, recognised it despite it being in English, and groaned softly. "Oh dear," he murmured. "I saw this once."
"Who is Monty Python?" Rin asked, peering over his shoulder.
"They're a bunch of British comedians," Shirou said. "They did this film in the Seventies, parodying King Arthur, and the Quest for the Holy Grail. And given that Saber was King Arthur…"
"Oh," Sakura said, the single syllable having revelation in it. Then, she asked a somewhat more pertinent question. "But how did you get the DVD, Saber?"
"It just appeared," Saber said, her voice rather flat. She handed over the tag with it.
Rin peered at it, and scowled. "That damned vampire…he and I have been corresponding about my possibly entering Clock Tower, I know his handwriting. This is Zelretch's handiwork! He did this to annoy Saber for fun."
Saber got to her feet. "Well, it was not funny." After a moment, she admitted, "Well, a few bits were funny. Oh, and Shirou? I want your opinion on how to create something…"
Zelretch pouted. He hadn't gotten as much entertainment as he would have liked out of Saber. True, her reactions had been amusing, but he expected more ranting and raving.
Well, it seemed that that attempt had gone wide of the mark, sadly. But he still needed some entertainment, and his usual victims had had the good sense to flee.
After a moment, however, he was struck by a moment of inspiration. Once more, an evil grin split his features, and malevolent laughter echoed throughout the Clock Tower, much to the consternation of all. What Zelretch intended would be considered impossible by many, true, but he thought it might be well worth the effort…
In another timeline, Gilgamesh was staring at the screen in shock. He had been given a DVD to watch, something he put into a DVD player that Kirei Kotomine had in his church. And then, it played, showing footage from a game series called Final Fantasy. And then…HE showed up.
Gilgamesh's lips curled in a snarl. When he found the base mongrels who turned him into this…strutting, loud-mouthed, makeup-wearing buffoon, he would make them pay dearly. Oh yes, he would make them beg for a death that wouldn't come for a long time…
Not much to say here. Not that great a story, admittedly, but sometimes, there's some ideas that need to be put down. Hope you liked it anyway. My first published foray, sample chapters aside, into Fate/Stay Night fanfic (hopefully my next ones will be much better), along with Monty Python fanfic.