Apologies, but this'll be the last new story for awhile. At this time I've completed and updated a LOT of stuff, and gosh darn it I aim to finish the rest! Not a Machine turned out nicely in that regard. Keeper of the Heart's going to be wrapped up soon as well. Daddy Won't You Please Come Home is nearing its conclusion as well, with an update planned for tomorrow. I'm also teaching others how to write if anyone is interested...? Now then, Major props to RedhathackerSin and his story "Lucid Berserker" for giving me this idea in the first place!
Go check it out!
I decided to take things a step further, however. A tale of Fate Apocrypha; in that Naruto is the Berserker of Red, replacing Spartacus. With his own Master.
This is literally the Naruto from cannon.
One who lived himself a full life.
One who raised his children.
One who died of old age.
One who lives again.
Also, Naruto's going to have a Master in this, because let's face it; none of us like the idea of him dancing to Shirou's merry tune. We all know he's not the type to just follow orders blindly without question. No, he would shout and snarl and rail against them all the while. Furthermore the matter of the Red Masters is a murky one at that itself; in that we never clearly see who summoned who with the exception of Mordred and Semiramis. Add to that the fact that Shirou all but undercut said Masters and stole their Command Seals and you have a very confusing situation. Not here.
Now, with that aside, I proudly present...
...A Most Unlikely Berserker!
And who knows?
We might see others from the Naruto cast...
...depending how well this is received!
"Ha? What's that? I don't look like a Berserker?"
"No! You don't! Not a bit! Not at all!"
"Well excuse me, princess!"
It was a good life.
I have no regrets. None worth mentioning at any rate. I had a good time. Won the war. Saved my friend. Got married. Became Hokage. Started a family. Raised plenty of kids. I outlived them all in the end, but still, I died happy. I got to see my grandchildren grow up and have kids of their own. That's the vaunted Uzumaki vitality for you. If you don't die in battle, you're going to get older. Nope, it wasn't a bad life. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Because of that I was able to see the world grow into a peaceful utopia. No more madmen. No risk of war breaking out. I can rest easy now.
Maybe I should just do that.
Leave it to the younger generations.
There's a few young upstarts in that lot of course-there always are-but I have faith that cooler heads will prevail.
I've done enough.
Everyone's waiting for me.
Still...is it wrong that I don't want to rest?
These old bones of mine don't want to lay down just yet. I may be the only left of my generation but going out like this just feels wrong somehow. Ha? Why the long face? Its not like me to just die quietly, ya know! I may be old but I'm not that old. I don't want to die in my sleep like the others. No, I want to go out with a bang. With laughter in my ears and a smile on my face. One last hurrah.
I wouldn't mind that at all.
Not like I got anything better to do...
Jean Rum watched the circle before her burn scarlet and felt her heart burn with pride.
Her preparations had been excruciating, her timing painstakingly precise. She'd acted at the exact moment the winds were at their highest, when her magic stood at its peak. All her calculations were precise. She didn't care which class she summoned-if she managed to avoid the unpredictable Berserker stigma!-so long as she whose talents complimented hers, that was all that mattered. A Servant with a wind affinity would be perfect, given the nature of her abilities. Yes, that would suit her expectations indeed.
"Arise!" she finished her lengthy incantation with a triumphant shout, "Guardian of the heavenly scales!"
Sparked by her command, the wind picked up, blasting her hair backward.
Such phenomena was within Jean's expected calculations, of course.
A moment of silence passed as she waited with bated breath.
Then came the explosion.
A pillar of golden-crimson radiance erupted from the circle all at once, throwing Jean on her rear and dashing her glasses from her face.
'What in the world?!'
If the mere summoning of her Servant could create a storm of this magnitude, then she'd truly chosen very well indeed. Most would have balked as the skies darkened overhead; others would cringed as the mighty gale spawned a towering tornado that sundered nearby trees and plunged the clearing into darkness. Jean did not fear the shadows. Nor the storm. She had seen far worse in her career as a magi. The darkness in humanity's heart put any form of nature to shame. Still, there was a certain savage beauty to be seen in the storm. A distant, detached part of her wondered if it would consume her. Even now she felt her feet dragging, threatening to lift her into the air at any moment-
And then, as abruptly as the storm had come, so too did it fade.
Steeling her very soul, Jean awaited a response.
Bleary eyes trained into the thick smoke.
Slowly, something stirred within.
These next few moments were crucial for Jean; not only would they determine the nature of her relationship with her Servant, but they may well affect her chances of success in the battles to come. This Holy Grail War would be most unlike the others after all; perhaps the first and last of its kind if Yggdmillennia had their way. Trifas was a large place indeed and she'd have to work with others magi at that. Although the idea of mutual cooperation toward a goal rankled Jean somewhat, she knew that it must be put aside until the Black Faction was dealt with.
Then, perhaps, there would be time for her wish.
Doubtless they would all turn on one another in time once the goal was within their grasp. Still, the Association had its expectations of her and she aimed to fulfill them. She was being paid handsomely for this endeavor after all. No doubt her efforts would prove fruitful. For now, it was critical that she'd summoned a strong contender for the war to come. For now, she would hold her tongue, await a response, and try not to look like an utter idiot in the face of her new companion. Yes, companion. Anyone who viewed such a fantastical being as a familiar was a fool in her eyes-
A blurred figure in bright colors stepped out of the haze and shifted into her field of vision.
"Well, now!" a loud, boyish voice exclaimed. "What do we have here?!"
Jean's face flushed with a thousand shades of shame.
If only she had her glasses to see them...!
Perhaps her Servant could...
"Here." the newcomer rumbled abruptly. "I'm guessing these are yours."
Thus, it came as something of a surprise when her lost spectacles were inexplicably returned to her. As she looked, still squinting against the dust and grit in her eyes, the figure extended an arm and pressed her lost frames onto her face. Rough, callused fingers brushed her face. Jean's mind blanked to white. She no longer had it in her to move in that moment. With infinite gentleness her Servant adjusted her glasses in swift yet deft movements and then, apparently satisfied with their work, stepped back with a satisfied grunt.
Almost immediately, their own visage swam into crystal clear clarity.
"There." he bobbed his head. That should do, Master."
The sound reactivated Jean's frazzled psyche and she hastened to correct the battered rims as best she could. Frantic, the magus scrambled back to her feet. Dirtied hands palmed her dress with needless haste, desperate to focus on anything, anything, anything but that surreal experience she'd just endured. She almost couldn't bear to look at the being who was clearly her Servant. How...how could he?! She'd never been touched like that before! Ever! By anyone! It might seem strange for an accomplished magus and killer to be flustered so, but therein lay the truth.
Jean Rum was embarrassed, right and proper.
More-so when she finally mustered up the resolve to look at him.
With a jaw popping yawn, her Servant stretched his arms to the heavens.
"Ah, much better! Feels good to be young again!"
Bright blue eyes the color of endless skies gazed back at her, framed by whiskered cheeks, wild saffron hair and a smile like sunshine. A cloak the color of dark honey hung over their shoulders, sheltering the dark crimson and black vestments worn beneath it. Upon his back lay a giant scroll of unknown origin, secured by a single strap to his shoulders. Jean felt her hopes plummet at the sight of him. Her first thought was that she'd made a mistake and summoned Assassin rather than one of the top tier classes. Oh, this was just the worst...! She silently prayed she was wrong.
"If its about your wish, don't worry; I've got the gist of it thngs to the Throne." he hummed, folding both arms behind his head before she could speak up. "I don't really have a wish of my own. I'm just in this for fun."
That didn't reassure Jean.
Not at all.
"And you are...?" she managed through clenched teeth.
"Eh? Oh, you mean me. Right, right. Sorry, this is still kinda new to me." he grinned, knuckling his forehead like a churlish child. "Lets see...what were the words? Aha! There they are. Ahem," laughing, he coughed into a fist to clear his voice, "I'm Uzumaki Naruto! Class, Berserker. At your service. I ask of you, are you my master~?"
His simple remark innocent smile-as well as those words-knifed straight through Jean's heart. That look, that smile, that expression of absolute trust...it was more deadly than a poisoned knife. Too good! Too pure! But he was a Berserker?! This was the worst possible match-up for her! Just how young was he?! He barely looked to be out of his teens! Was he even?! She wanted to laugh. She wanted to cry. She wanted to shake him and all but demand her catalyst back. Of course, she could do none of these, so she was left with only one option.
In the end, slumped.
"Urk." she managed eloquently.
Really, it was all she could think to do.
"Did you not hear me, Master?" Naruto blinked, confused. "I said my name is-
"No, no," she groaned, "I heard you, its just...you don't look like one...
Naruto's right eye twitched at her offhand remark, ever so slightly.
"Ha? What's that? You mean I don't look like a Berserker?"
"No!" Jean exploded! "You don't! Not a bit! Not at all!"
"Well excuse me, princess!"
A/N: And there we go. An older, more experienced Naruto summoned in his prime and youth. That is to say, at his peak. Furthermore, I know its obvious by now, but YEs Naruto's Master for this war is Jean Rum. I wasn't about to swipe Mordred's master from her. Those two jive too well together. Yes, Jean is an actual character in Apocrypha-but not well known. Go look her up on the Type Moon Wiki if you're at all confused. She wields the wind element and chakrams as her weapons, making her a capable magus of the Association.
And there we have it.
Naruto as Berserker of Red.
I can easily see him being paired with Atalanta or Morder so TELL ME WHO YOU WANT in a review. Hell, I'd even be down with a female iteration of Astolfo in this. That little trap's just too amusing to ignore...
So In the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Review...Would You Kindly?
And enjoy the previewssss!
Yes, the last one is intentional~!
Care to guess what I'm thinking?
'This one...is dangerous!'
Shirou paid his Servant's concern no heed.
"Ah. Its a pleasure to finally meet you, Berserker of Red."
Naruto eyed the extended hand with vague interest.
Almost imperceptibly, his gaze narrowed.
...noted. We're leaving, Jean."
"Huh!? Wait a second-
"Hmm...I think I like you."
Atalanta sputtered in surprise.
"W-What?! What nonsense is this?!"
"Enough! You're going to pay for everything you said about me and my Master...
"You can't possibly win."
Turned his head, slowly.
"You're missing the point."
His entire body seemed to pulse with otherworldly radiance, as though lit from within. Gold vied with crimson, wild prana warring for a dominance within his body. While neither triumphed, the tension continued to rise. Veins throbbed in his forehead and neck, his appearance becoming more and more feral as Lancer looked on. Indeed, those once gentle red eyes held a decidedly slitted look to them now, wide and nearly euphoric with demented glee. Not just that, his very presence felt unstable, cracks of energy bursting beneath the skin with wild abandon. Surely he wouldn't continue this. Not unless he intended to...
Too late, he realized.
The explosion hit a heartbeat later.