I originally wasn't planning on releasing this as a fully fledged story until I'd finished one of my currently active fics.
But I'm not particularly patient so I ended up giving in and deciding to post this anyway.
First things first, I will point out that while this is labelled as a Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime Crossover, the Tsukihime aspect comes from the presence of the 27 Dead Apostle Ancestors as an organisation (given Nasu has said in an interview that the organisation doesn't exist in Fate Worlds and Servants can't be summoned in worlds with it... but naturally, this is fanfiction and I can choose to ignore those for the sake of the story).
I have a Discord Server for anyone interested in discussing anything with me.
The Invite Code is:
This is also available on my profile page.
Now that that is out of the way... let's get on with the fic.
Emiya Shirou could do little more than sag as he hefted the pair of bags at his side.
To think that Fuji-nee had sent him to collect her order from that bar her friend worked at.
It wasn't a problem helping her out, but he was a bit too young to be walking the streets with bottles of Sake... especially now that it was the height of winter and the sun was going down so early.
That wasn't even including the fact that there were quite a few bottles in the bags, making them a bit heavy for someone of his age and build, which combined with the long walk across the bridge to the other side of town made the journey rather tiring.
Even now, he was only just reaching the park at the base of the bridge, a thin covering of snow making the stairs down to the park far more treacherous than he was used to.
At least he was wearing a thick coat and was working hard carrying the bags, so the cold wasn't really getting to him, even as the dark streets were showing a lack of the usual bustle that occupied them during warmer seasons.
Finally reaching the final step, he breathed a sigh of relief that he had managed to make it all the way down without slipping or dropping a bag.
Exactly why Fuji-nee couldn't have chosen someone better suited to the task was beyond him, but then again, she wasn't the sort of person who thought things through that well to begin with.
Shaking his head clear, he started to make his way through the park as he wondered how his surrogate sister would react to the length of time it had taken him to get the delivery to her.
Looking around the park as he continued his journey, he found his attention quickly being drawn by something that was laying on the ground near a bench.
Focusing on the strangely shaped lump, he moved closer in an attempt to get a better look before a realization hit him.
It was a person.
His mind started to race as he wondered why a person would be lying on the ground in a place like that, especially with the dusting of snow proving just how cold it was.
"Uhm… are you okay there?" he called out, earning little more than a shifting of the mass as it seemed to curl up more.
At the lack of response, he made his decision on what to do.
Moving right up to the person lying on the ground, he noted they were a woman that looked to be about the same age as Fuji-nee, with long dark hair that was flayed out on the ground, while a dark Yukata hung loosely covering her body.
There were also several bottles of Sake lying around that made it clear she had passed out from drinking too much.
"Uh… are you okay miss?" he asked once again as he leaned closer to her head, "do you need any help?"
He knew that helping the woman would be hard, especially with the bags he was currently carrying but he wasn't going to just leave her to freeze to death in the middle of the park.
Slowly the woman started to open an eye before looking at him, clearly indicating she'd at least registered some of what he'd just said this time.
"You really should go home," he found himself saying even as the chill started to seep into his muscles now that he had stopped moving, "if you stay here you'll freeze."
His statement was met by a dismissive wave of the woman's hand.
"Don't have a home," she proclaimed, and he found himself blinking in surprise at that declaration.
"Don't you have anywhere to stay?" he asked, earning a shake off the woman's head.
"Nope!" she chirped out almost happily and Shirou found himself growing even more worried for the woman.
"Don't you have any money?" he questioned with concern, "you could always get a room at a hotel or something."
Her expression seemed to scrunch up before she started to search around her pockets before her face lit up again.
"Oh yeah… I lost everything didn't I?" she asked rhetorically, and he found himself growing even more concerned for the inebriated woman.
If she had lost everything, then it was no wonder she was lying on the street in such unseasonable clothes.
But what could he do to help her?
He didn't have any money on him so he couldn't give her anything to help tide her over until she got her belongings back, but he couldn't exactly leave her there either.
There was one thing he could think of however.
Releasing a sigh of defeat, he proceeded to give the woman an offer.
"I have a few spare rooms at my home," he told her, drawing her attention to him, "you can borrow one of them until you've got yourself sorted out."
Her eyes seemed to fix on him as her head tilted and he was sure he saw a hint of something behind her expression but before he could identify it, it was gone.
"Oh? So you'll give me somewhere to stay?" she asked him and he simply nodded in confirmation, dismissing whatever he thought he saw as a trick of the light, "oh… what a friendly little fairy you are."
Shirou could do little more than stare at her at the strange nickname she had already given him.
"My name is Shirou," he told her bluntly, earning an amused smile off the woman, "can you walk?"
He wasn't sure if the woman would even be able to stand up, but he found himself silently relieved when she proceeded to push herself off the ground and stumble to her feet.
"… yep! I think I can!" she proclaimed victoriously, and he found himself wondering just how much this woman had to drink if she was this excited over simply standing up.
"Well… uhm…" he found himself focusing on what to say to the woman before dismissing any response and just giving a simple instruction, "my place is a little in that direction… just follow me and we'll be there soon."
Turning to face the direction that lead towards his house, he started to walk, continuing to be careful about any slippery spots while keeping an eye on the woman that was following him.
"So… what are you little white fairy?" the woman's voice called out and he found himself simply shrugging in response.
"Just a student," he told her without delay, if anything, the fact that she had asked something with such an obvious answer was just more proof of just how drunk she was.
"Really?" she sounded disbelieving, but he once again dismissed it as a case of her not being cognitive enough to understand he was just a kid, "you certainly remind me of a fairy."
He released a sigh at that claim as he considered whether she even understood what he was currently doing.
All he could tell, was that it was most likely going to be a rather long trip home.
XXX Tainted Steel XXX
Reaching the entrance to the Emiya Residence was enough to make him worry about the greeting he was going to get.
Both from how long he took to get Taiga's order and from the fact that he brought a stranger back with him.
But it was too late to change his mind now.
"We're here," he said as he turned to face the woman once again, noting that she was starting to lose her balance as they stood still.
"Oh… this place looks nice," she said with a smile that looked almost nostalgic.
"Yeah… now come on, I'm late enough as it is," he told her as he proceeded to enter through the gate and make his way towards the front door.
Opening the front door was easy enough, it had been maintained properly so using his foot to slide it to the side was perfectly doable, allowing him to enter the house with the lights on, showing that Taiga had returned from her meeting with the staff of the local high school.
"Fuji-nee, I'm back," he called out before hesitating and adding an extra part, "…with a guest."
"Huh? A guest?" the voice of his big sister figure sounded confused as it echoed from the living room, "who is it?"
He found himself turning to face the woman and noted that now he had a proper light source, he could finally identify that her skin was incredibly pale, to the point where it reminded him of porcelain, while the hair that she had draped over her left shoulder was jet black.
Beyond that, her Yukata was a navy blue with white wave patterns adorning it, and most strikingly was her eyes… a deep Scarlett.
"Uh…" he hesitated upon realizing he didn't know the woman's name.
Unfortunately, that was clearly enough to give that fact away to Fuji-nee.
"SHIROU!" he practically rushed towards the living room as his irate guardian charged out of the door and turned a glare on the person he had brought with him.
"Ah, Fuji-nee-" he started to say before he noted the way her face went from angry to suddenly far more concerned after looking at the woman he had brought home.
"Oh god, you're so pale," was the first thing she said as she looked at the woman and quickly moved past him to check up on the woman, with her hand immediately going to feel the woman's forehead the moment she was within reach, "SHIROU! PUT THE KOTATSU ON AND MAKE SOMETHING HOT!"
He couldn't stop himself from noticing the near panic in his legal guardian's tone and lay the bags down on the floor before rushing to do as he had been told.
Turning on the heated table first, he quickly moved through to the kitchen and set some water to boil for some tea before he decided to see what sort of food he should make.
By the time he had set the water to boil, he noted that Taiga was already setting the woman he had found at the blanket covered furniture while obviously worrying about the woman.
"Just stay there, I'm just going to call an ambulance and-" she was cut off when the woman proceeded to grab her arm before offering a serene smile.
"I'm fine," the woman said as she started to lean to the side.
"You're freezing cold!" his practically adopted sister stated firmly, "that is not fine!"
"Fuji-nee," he found himself speaking up as he considered what he knew of the woman that had just walked with him, "let's wait until tomorrow before we make that decision."
"What? Why would you say that Shirou?" the woman that lived next door asked with confusion clear in her tone.
"Well… it's just that she managed to walk all this way from the park on her own," he explained, earning a frown from the brown-haired Yakuza Granddaughter.
After a few seconds, the Fuyuki Tiger proceeded to release a sigh of defeat before nodding in confirmation.
"Fine… but you're staying under the kotatsu and making sure you stay warm," she declared to the raven-haired lady that had just been brought into the household.
"Sure, sure…" the woman responded unenthusiastically, "do you have any sake?"
Shirou found himself releasing a sigh as he found himself unsurprised by that question by the woman.
"Wha-?" Taiga started to speak before she started to shake, "Sake is the last thing you should be drinking in your condition!"
He honestly didn't know why that was the case, but he wasn't going to try arguing when the woman was likely in this position because of it in the first place.
"It's fine, it's fine," the woman spoke with an easy smile as she attempted to placate the other adult in the house.
"Shirou, go and get all my drinks and put them in a bag," those instructions were said without any hint of uncertainty and he found himself nodding even as he poured a cup of green tea now that the water had boiled.
"I'll do that once I've made dinner," he told her bluntly, earning a nod of acknowledgment from the brown haired woman.
"Don't let me forget, understand?" she commanded him, and he nodded in acceptance.
"Yeah," he wasn't exactly enthusiastic about her giving him instructions like that… she should learn to remember things on her own instead of relying on him to remind her.
But he would do what he was told, dealing with her being angry at him for not reminding her would be more trouble than it was worth.
XXX Tainted Steel XXX
Shirou couldn't stop himself from watching as the woman he had brought home slowly ate the meal that he'd prepared.
It was a pretty standard fare all things considered, with rice, fish, whatever meat he had available and other such things all laid out on the table for pickings.
The woman however seemed to be thinking as she ate the food.
"You know," she finally spoke up and he found himself fixing his attention on her as she continued her thoughtful frown, "you're pretty good for a kid."
"Thank you," he accepted that compliment without issue as he finished off the last of his portion of the meal.
The woman seemed to just frown even more before she opened her mouth once again.
"It would be better if I had some Sake to wash it down with," her words didn't come as a surprise to him but given the growl that came from his legal guardian, he doubted they were appreciated.
"You're freezing," the woman that was supposed to look after him stated firmly, "Sake would not help."
"Mah, you're just being too serious," the woman responded without delay, "a little sake never hurt anyone."
"Tell that to all the people who need to get their stomachs pumped," it was a bit of a surprise to hear Fuji-nee talk like that, but he wasn't going to argue, especially not in this situation.
"Meh, they just have a weak constitution," the woman responded with an amused smile, "I've been drunk for…"
The way she stalled made it clear she was about to say something but stopped herself.
"Well… let's just say it's been a long time since I was sober… and I've never had any problems," she finished off.
Silence reigned after that declaration.
Shirou found himself staring at her blankly even as Taiga did the same.
"That is probably the most ridiculous thing I've heard," the brown-haired woman finally said after a few seconds.
"Well it's true," the drunkard said with a frown of her own.
Shirou couldn't stop himself from releasing a sigh at the interaction.
"It doesn't matter," the woman he knew longer said with her annoyance clear in her tone, "you're not getting any more alcohol."
"That's no fun," the obvious displeasure in the woman's voice made it clear she wasn't happy with that condition.
"I don't care," the declaration by Taiga was completely expected.
The huff that came from the woman he had brought home was almost childlike.
Shaking his head, he simply pushed those thoughts aside and started to clear the table.
XXX Tainted Steel XXX
The night started to drag after a little while and Shirou found himself noting that the woman he had brought home didn't look any different from how she had been before with the sole exception that she appeared to be sobering up.
Taiga however was clearly beginning to look tired and Shirou decided it was probably time for the woman to go home.
"Fuji-nee," he called out to her, drawing her attention, "I've packed up the alcohol."
The girl that was the closest thing he had to a sister seemed to freeze at that before releasing a tired sigh.
"Will you be all right?" she asked, and he found himself nodding his head in response even as the woman glanced at his 'guest'.
"Yeah," he admitted without delay, "I'm not a child anymore."
It was something that could be argued, he was still only about twelve years old from what he was aware, so he could still be counted as a child.
The frown he received from his neighbor made it clear she was thinking the same thing.
"… fine… if anything happens, don't be afraid to call… okay?" the woman told him, and he nodded in acknowledgment.
"Of course," he acknowledged without delay.
Watching his sister figure picking up the bags containing all the drinks, he offered her his farewells as she proceeded to make her way out of the house at a sedate pace.
Eventually the brown-haired Yakuza granddaughter had left the house and Shirou found himself turning his attention towards the woman still sitting at the kotatsu.
He probably shouldn't leave her alone, but he found himself considering the fact that he needed to practice his magecraft if he was to ever make anything of the skill.
Besides, she likely wasn't going to go anywhere.
"Sorry, but I've got something I need to do in the shed," he told her, offering no explanation as to what exactly he needed to do as he moved to leave the room and make his way across the garden, "just stay here and try to stay warm."
And with that said, he proceeded to leave the area and start his short journey towards his workshop.
Entering the shed didn't take long, however he immediately proceeded to do what he could to lock the door just in case the woman didn't listen to his instructions and came out.
He didn't want her witnessing the sort of thing he practiced after all.
After making sure the door was firmly closed, he finally turned to one of the shelves and looked at the scrap he had ready for his practice.
Picking out a simple pipe, he set it down on the floor before taking a seated position in front of it.
Taking a deep breath, he started to focus inside himself.
"- Trace, on. "
With that simple chant, he proceeded to hypnotize himself, focusing on the concept of having a Magic Circuit so fervently that he forced his nerves to register one that wasn't there.
Almost immediately, he was forced to endure a pain that felt like having a red-hot rod pushed down his spine… but he didn't let his concentration break for even a moment.
This pain was the proof that he was succeeding, proof that he was getting his body ready to perform magic.
And if he lost control of it for even a moment, the process would rip through his body and kill him without achieving anything.
It took well over an hour of intense concentration to push the rod in place, the excruciating pain a constant reminder that he was still undergoing the process needed to use any magic at all.
Eventually, he felt the rod settle in place and prepared himself for the next step.
"- composition, analyze," he muttered as he proceeded to start analyzing the pipe before him, seeing it in near perfect detail, all the way down to any minor scratches that had appeared on it over the course of its lifetime.
"- basic structure, alter," he chanted as he focused on starting to infuse the pipe with the magical energy he was currently forcing through his body, attempting to iron out all the flaws that existed within the pipe.
"- composition, reinforce."
He fought as hard as he could, but he simply couldn't produce enough power to fuel the spell.
And with a shattering gasp, he felt the rod vanish from his spine and the relief that came with no longer having the burning within his spine.
Collapsing onto his back, he closed his eyes as he gasped for air, every gulp of winter chill helping in cooling him down even as his throat cried out for moisture.
After several seconds of gasping, he felt something that immediately made him go rigid once again.
Something was moving under his head and pushing it up.
All the while he felt a cool surface touch his lips before a cold liquid splashed against his lips and made its way into his mouth, letting him identify it as water.
Without thinking, he started to drink the fluid, before the glass finally ended and he found himself managing to relax slightly.
"That was an incredibly stupid thing you just did," a voice that sounded familiar but much more serious than he remembered it ever being spoke and he opened his eyes to see the very person he had locked the door to keep out.
Glancing at the entranceway, he found himself blinking at the simple fact it was clearly unlocked, though he had no idea how it could be.
"I mean honestly… jury-rigging your nerves into a makeshift magic circuit has to be one of the most idiotic things I've ever seen," he took a second to process what she had just said before his eyes widened in disbelief.
"Y-you know about magic?" he couldn't stop himself from blurting out in shock at the revelation.
She just looked at him with an expression that made it perfectly clear it was a stupid question.
"How about we go back into the house and talk there," she offered, and he found himself nodding in acknowledgment even as he wondered just what was going to happen now.
XXX Tainted Steel XXX
Shirou couldn't stop himself from reeling as he considered the simple fact that the woman he had brought home had known about magic.
"So, let's start," she spoke up and he found himself looking at her with rapt attention, "what are you?"
"What do you mean?" he decided to ask for clarification… he was sure she had asked him that question before… but last time he had thought she was simply a drunk lady lying on the street… now he knew she was at least familiar enough with magic to figure out he was using his nerves as a makeshift magic circuit.
"Let's just say that I'm particularly in tune with nature," she spoke, and he found himself blinking, "so I can feel two conflicting natures coming from you."
That made him frown in confusion.
What could she possibly mean by that?
"The weaker nature… feels like the Fey," her words were clear and he found his eyes widening in disbelief at that, "and the other one… the other one reminds me of certain people I know."
"But why would they contradict each other?" it was a simple question, especially since he didn't even know how he apparently felt like he had these natures.
"Because the Fey are extensions of nature and therefore embraced by it," she stated firmly, "while this other nature is an aberration that is rejected by it."
That statement alone made him freeze in disbelief.
What did that even mean?
"I don't get it," he admitted with a frown, earning a sigh off the woman.
"You feel like people I know who possess Reality Marbles," she proclaimed, prompting him to stare blankly at her.
"I have no idea what that is," he admitted without delay.
The exasperated frown he got off her made it clear she had expected him to have some idea what she meant.
"Basically…" she started before giving a thoughtful frown, "basically, a Reality Marble is… it's who you are…"
She definitely sounded like she was struggling with that explanation and he found himself frowning at that.
"It's who I am?" he found himself asking for confirmation.
"Look kid, I'm not a Magus, so if you want a proper explanation then ask someone like Chaos, Blackmore, or Svelten… they'd be much better at explaining it than me," she claimed with clear frustration.
The important part however, was clear to Shirou.
"You're not a Magus?" he couldn't stop himself from blinking at that.
"No, I'm a Dead Apostle with a close connection to the True Ancestors," her words meant nothing to him.
Clearly she noticed his lack of comprehension.
"Basically, I'm a vampire with a strong connection to the type of Elemental that creates them," her words rang out and he found himself suddenly growing much more concerned about her presence.
"Y-you're a vampire?" he found himself asking uncertainly.
"Yep," she chirped out easily and suddenly he realized just why her skin was so pale and her temperature was so low, "you found me when I was hunting."
He suddenly felt his blood grow colder as he considered just how bad a situation he was in.
"So why haven't you killed me yet?" he asked, wondering just why she was being so… well, friendly towards him.
"Eh?" she looked almost puzzled by his question before speaking up once again, "you're a kid and I'm not Svelten."
He had no idea who this Svelten person was… but he doubted they were anything good if her words were anything to go by.
"So you don't plan to eat me?" he asked, earning a snort off the lady.
"You're a little small for my tastes," her proclamation was made without any sense of sarcasm or mockery in her tone.
He still didn't feel good about her presence.
"And what about Taiga?" he asked without hesitation.
"… is that the woman who forbid my drink?" she asked with her expression darkening somewhat.
"I don't know," she stated in a blasé fashion and Shirou found himself clenching his fists in response, "I mean, normally I just wait for idiots who think I'm an easy target… but she's going about the right way of getting me to make an exception."
He found himself growing angrier before the woman let out a laugh.
"Relax," she told him with amusement clear in her tone, "I'm not quite so petty as to eat someone for something that small."
It took him a second to realize what she meant.
She had been joking.
He felt a sense of relief at that revelation, even if he found himself unable to relax around the Vampire he had inadvertently brought home with him.
"So why are you here?" he felt that that was the most important question to ask in the current situation.
She simply let out a small chuckle before looking at him.
"Because of what you feel like," she stated bluntly, and he found himself growing confused at the claim.
"But why does that matter?" he asked with his confusion clear in his tone.
"You feel out of place, unique… of course I'm going to be interested in you," she told him with a blank stare.
It was a simple statement and he found himself inwardly acknowledging that point.
She had mentioned that he had contradictory essences before.
"What are you going to do now?" his question was short and simple, and he found himself watching the woman for anything that might give him an idea of her intentions.
"Well… I was hoping to get the chance to properly analyze you," she spoke and he found himself frowning, "after all, if you don't know what you are, then that seems like the best way to find out."
He thought about it for a few seconds, going over the simple fact that she had given him a glass of water after his attempt at training earlier, and hadn't actually shown any signs of hostility since meeting him.
"Okay," he decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, especially since he was sure he couldn't have done anything to stop her if she wanted to hurt him.
An almost mischievous smile crept onto her face at his acceptance.
"Well then, come here and lay your head on Onee-chan's lap," her tone sounded like Fuji-nee's when she was mocking him, even as that smile remained on her face and she patted her lap in a clear sign of where she wanted him to move to.
"Don't be shy," she continued before he could say anything to argue.
"Why did you call yourself 'Onee-chan'?" he couldn't stop himself from asking her, his mind focusing on the familiarity she was showing.
His question seemed to make her frown a little.
"I don't get many chances to be an Onee-chan, so don't ruin it for me," she responded and he found himself gulping a little in response before moving over to her side of the table.
Doing as he was told, he rested his head on her lap before noting that she practically started to massage his head with her eyes closed.
"Now… let's see here…" he heard her mutter under her breath.
Silence reigned for what felt like an eternity, though the changing expression on her face made it clear she was actually doing something.
Eventually though, her eyes opened in obvious surprise.
"I don't believe it," she muttered before shaking her head, "so that's why you feel like a Fey."
"What is it?" he asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.
"Where to start…" her words made him nervous.
The mere idea that there was enough to make deciding where to start awkward was not comforting.
"Well… I guess I'll start at the most obvious part," she continued, "physically you're human."
That was obvious.
"You currently have an interesting number of dormant magic circuits," her words made his eyes widen.
He had magic circuits?
"How many? And what makes the number interesting?" he asked her, earning a wry smile from her.
"Twenty Seven," she stated bluntly, "and it's interesting because it matches the number of us there should be."
"What do you mean 'us'?"
"I am one of a certain group… a group that there are supposed to be twenty seven of," she said before her expression turned serious, "we are known as the Twenty-Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors."
That… didn't sound good.
"Who are you?" he couldn't stop himself from asking, hearing that she apparently counted among a group with such an ominous name made him uneasy.
She tilted her head to the side before opening her mouth.
"My name is Sumire… but most people either call me the Twenty-first Dead Apostle Ancestor or by my other title… The Water Bottle."
Shirou found himself wondering if the title 'The Sake Bottle' was more appropriate but decided to keep his mouth shut about that.
"But back to you," she shook off the seriousness that had previously encroached into her tone before continuing, "you appear to have a very strong alignment with the concept of 'sword', have an innate Reality Marble and most importantly…"
Shirou focused hard at her stressing the last point was the most important.
"You have an exceptionally powerful Fey artifact imbued within your body."
He had to blink at that even as he noted her hand hover above his chest before a golden mist started to drift off it and slowly coalesce into the most beautiful object he had ever laid eyes on, as she drew it further and further away from his body.
When the object had finally emerged in it's entirety, he found his eyes fixated on the stunning sheath of blue and gold, made with a craftsmanship he could have never even dreamed of before seeing it with his own eyes.
"This, is Avalon… the Sheath of Excalibur," she was looking at it with eyes that indicated she held mixed feelings about it, "… and unfortunately… it is a relic that will only work for one person."
The way she shook her head made it clear she wasn't happy with that particular trait.
Shirou however, simply found himself considering the information and more importantly, the fact that he was certain she was being honest about it's inability to be used by anyone.
"Do you want to give it back to the Fey?" he asked her, earning a couple of blinks from the woman in response.
"Oh? Are you saying you're willing to give up such a priceless piece of history?" she asked and he nodded without hesitation.
"It isn't mine," he declared easily, "so it isn't right to keep it from it's true owners is it?"
He soon found himself the recipient of a pat as the woman offered him a wry smile.
"Then I'll return it to it's true owner the next time I'm in Europe," her words were simple and he found himself relaxing at that.
"In exchange… I guess I can give you some basic tips concerning magecraft and reality marbles," she declared and his eyes widened in shock.
"Now, what I'm about to tell you is how I understand it… but since I'm not a Magus, I can't say I know if it's exactly right or not… now… why don't we start on exactly what a reality marble is."
And with that, Shirou found himself listening intently until his exhaustion finally overcame him.
And that's all for now.