Arc 1: Childhood; Chapter 1
Ash filled his lungs, cloying and all-consuming as he marched onwards, ignorant to those that suffered around him. Ignorant to his own suffering. He doesn't know what was happening, at one point he thinks everything had been normal, or at least, he hoped so. Yet, as the flames licked higher and higher into the sky, what he thought he knew faded into dust. His family if he had any. His friends if he had any. Neighbors, familiar places, his own self, his identity, his very existence. The only thing that had resolutely stayed with him was his name: Shirou.
For hours, or for minutes or was it days? He didn't know but he kept marching forward, at one point the noise had died out, and a cruel solemn silence remained. Had his own hearing disappeared as well? Was this what death felt like? Eventually the ghost aches of pain became overwhelming, and he dropped to his knees before facing up towards the distant, cold sky.
If he could, perhaps Shirou would have felt some envy for the cold distant stars and moon. Freedom from the searing flames of hell around him, and yet, he felt nothing, he knew nothing, he was nothing. Stretching his hand out to an impossible dream, a wish that would never again be his own; the cruel wish of freedom. Forever locked away in the cruel hands of a world without remorse for anguish and agony. Shirou felt his will to survive fade to ash, as his hand steadily dropped.
As if by some miracle of fate, or will of a higher power, Shirou felt warmth flood his system as his hand was enveloped by another's. His salvation was in the form of a man with a scruffy beard along his jaw, and matted, ash-choked dark hair. Tears were leaking from vacant eyes, as he stared at Shirou.
Bronze eyes snapped open as Shirou shot up out of his bed. Breathing heavily, Shirou sat their shaking for a short while as his heaving and convulsions tapered out. Despite the fact, it had been almost ten years since the fire, and six since Shirou forced the man that saved him to take him with him abroad. The black reaches of his personal hell still followed in his footsteps. He would never be free from the chains of his past.
Now, however, Shirou would finally be returning to Fuyuki. Loathe as he was to return, he owed it to the memories of his deceased father. After he had Kiritsugu's body cremated, he shipped it back to Fuyuki to the Fujimura family for safekeeping, until he came back to give him a proper burial. Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months, and now four years later, and Shirou has finally worked up the courage for something that's long, long overdue.
Crammed into the uncomfortably small chairs all airports seemed to come with, Shirou waited for the boarding call for transit to Japan. It was roughly twelve hours from the airport in Frankfurt, Germany to Fukuoka, and another three hours, or so, by train until he was back in Fuyuki. Shirou had roughly 15 hours to get his shit in order.
Despite his misgivings of the place, there was a bright side to his return. He would be able to see the old man again, and his overly zealous granddaughter that had basically adopted herself into Kiritsugu's family. He would be able to return to a shred of normalcy. Listlessly, Shirou inventoried his small carry-on before sitting watching the people passing him by, while drumming his fingers on his thighs. Something foreign flooded his system when he looked at the happy, joyous expressions of those pushing through the crowded terminal.
Here were families preparing for vacations. Here were individuals returning from long trips overseas to their loved ones. Here were hapless tourists that would most certainly fall victim to tourist traps during their stay. Here were ignorant people that didn't realize that this city was a hotbed for the supernatural and the magical. Actually, Shirou felt that this feeling should be envy, yet he knew it wasn't, such a feeling never came, Shirou had made his choice. Though while he observed the people, he couldn't help but wonder. Would he have been in this situation? Would he be like that whinny little kid that was pouting while his father tried desperately to placate him, to save himself from further embarrassment. Perhaps, he could be like that happy little couple that was hopelessly doting on each other as they shuffled through security.
Could someone like Shirou have that level of normalcy?
No, no he couldn't after everything he had seen. After everything he had experienced. After everything he had done, Shirou would never be able to experience normalcy. Does he even know what normalcy is? Perhaps he was the normal one, and everyone around him was abnormal. Shirou didn't know nor did he feel like he ever would. The quiet buzzing of the intercom announced the outbound plane for Japan, which prompted Shirou to stand and wrestle his way through the throngs of people to his gate. Once boarded and seated in the absurdly cramped coach seats did Shirou loosen his tensed shoulders. After spending so many years living from a suitcase, following after Kiritsugu's back. Shirou had developed an acute fight-or-flight response to most situations. Even now, Shirou was still standing at trigger point – literally – he could never be too careful.
It had to have been a miracle; he wasn't stuck next to some obnoxious or disgusting person nor was he surrounded by whining kids. He should start counting his blessing more often. Leaning his head against the chilled glass of the window, Shirou spent the long flight, observing the thick blanket of cloud cover below him. They were very beautiful, yet disorienting at the same time, it seemed the world below him was swallowed by a thick white blanket, that could easily cushion a person were they to fall. It was simultaneously disorienting because he knew that their was nothing below him except for vapor, and terminal velocity.
Shirou highly doubted even he could survive a fall from this height.
The hours ebbed on torturously slow, as the plane followed the course of the suns journey across the sky. Night was slowly bleeding into the area when the plane finally touched down. If all went well than Shirou shouldn't be too affect by jetlag. Luckily, he only had his overhead carry-on, so he didn't have to wait at all at baggage claim. The cool night air cleansed Shirou's lungs as he inhaled deeply and leaned his head back, taking in the sight of the cityscape around him. Fukuoka boasted a population of nearly two million cramped into roughly 345 square kilometers. Thankfully, Fuyuki wasn't this congested.
Meandering lazily down the street, Shirou paid keen attention to his surroundings as he walked. Perhaps he should stop and pick up something for Fuji-nee? Heaven knows that woman's going to be breaking down his door first thing when she finds out he is back. Maybe something small could tide over that monster until he made something. Stepping into the closest convenience store, Shirou picked up a few things before carrying onto the train station.
Some two hours later, Shirou was finally freed from the cramped train. Unlike Shinjuku station Fuyuki was way less cramped, however, their was still a fair amount of employees and students heading to their own destinations. Back on the streets of Fuyuki, Shirou faltered and stared at everything. So familiar, yet simultaneously so foreign. Back when he and Kiritsugu had left; Japanese police and even military personnel were still rebuilding from the damage. Now, however, everything seemed so fresh and new. Yet, Shirou could still feel the familiar overbearing pressure that rested heavily on his chest. A feeling that writhed deeply in his bones.
The moon began its steady ascent into the crisp evening sky as Shirou walked through familiar streets. The home that he and Kiritsugu had stayed in while they were there, looked just the same as they had left it. It seems that old man Fujimura had made good on his promise. However, Shirou walked past to his closest neighbor; he had something exceptionally important that he needed to pick up. After passing through the threshold of the Fujimura compound he was immediately confronted by one of old man Fujimura's men.
"Ah Shirou, you're back." He was greeted promptly causing a smile to bloom on his face. He was always a fan of familiarity.
"Hey, is the old man in?"
"Yes, Fujimura-dono and Taiga is here. If you would follow me, I believe that they will both be excited to see you." At this Shirou mentally patted himself on the back. He had managed to abate Fuji-nee at least for one night. He really needed to sleep.
Padding slowly through the hallways of the Fujimura compound reveling in the feelings of familiarity. Stopping in front of the paper screen door of the main seating area, Shirou's presence was announced and he was swiftly inducted inside. Seated facing the door was two very familiar faces, and an equally familiar plain black urn. Fuji-nee bubbly expression and million-watt smile caused a grin to spread across Shirou's lips. He dropped his bag as he promptly caught the teal and yellow missile that was launched at him.
"Shirou welcome back!" Fuji-nee began exuberantly. "How was your trip? Where did you go? Did you bring back any gifts? What did you see? See any cute girls? What did you eat while you were away? Did you even eat? Why didn't you tell me you were coming? Are you really going to do your big sister like that!" Fuji-nee shot of in rapid fire as she choked Shirou both in fondness and mounting annoyance.
In the haze of fog that came with being choked out, Shirou heard the throaty laugh of the old man, which slightly irked him, before a wide smirk stretched his lips. "Don't blame me Fuji-nee, I called old man Fujimura and told him to tell you that I was coming back. Clearly he didn't do that."
At those words, the joyous expression on Raiga Fujimura's face turned downright murderous as he glared at his surrogate grandchild. This kid was so going to get it. However, his expression quickly shifted into a chalky white as his granddaughter turned towards him with a blank expression. Scratch that, he might be dead before he even got the chance. Shirou's quietly laugh echoed under the sounds of bloody murder, causing Raiga to turned murderous bloodshot eyes to his youngest. One day, just you wait.
Outside in the safety of the halls of the Fujimura compound, the many guards and members all shuddered in quiet horror as they intentionally ignored the agonized sounds coming from their boss. They had learned their lessons; loyalty can only extend so far.
'We're sorry, Boss!'
After several minutes and a few thousand dollars of destroyed property later, the trio sat around the central table comfortably; three cups of steaming tea sat in front of them. Sat in the center of the table was quite possible one of the most important things to Shirou. It was plain and black and so utterly like Kiritsugu it hurt. Shirou couldn't take his eyes off of it.
After taking a sip of his drink, Raiga cleared his throat drawing the younger two's attention, "Now that you're back Shirou, it's only proper that I hand him off to you."
Silence hung once more in the air as Shirou maintained his staring contest with the urn.
"…what do you want to do?" Raiga's voice having a soft edge to it.
Pondering quietly, Shirou sat and stared. Now that he was back, what did he want to do? Over the course of his journey home, he had thrown around so many ideas of what he would do when he got to this point. Yet, here he was and everything that he had thought up flew out the window; left behind was a static gray film that seemed to coat everything. What would Kiritsugu do in this position? Should he take it to the temple and bury it there? Should he take him home? Should he leave it here? Should he even bury the urn? He didn't know. He didn't know. He didn't kn…
A soft weight feel onto his shoulders.
"You don't have to decide now." Fuji-nee soft voice wafted into his ear from his shoulder, "We can keep it here until you come to a decision."
At those words, Shirou's resolve firmed. He knows what he'll do. The highest form of respect he could give to his father, "I would like to take him from you, old man."
Raiga was about to speak, but the firm and resolved expression on his surrogate grandchild's young face reassured him. In the short times that the Fujimura family spent with the two, Raiga had come to know that resolved look in his youngest bronze eyes. He wouldn't back down; he was going to see this through until the end. Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges in his young life.
"Do you want us to come with you?" Raiga questioned, as he watched Shirou gather the urn into his arms.
"No, thanks old man," Shirou turned before throwing a soft grin over his shoulder to the two, "tomorrow I'll bring some food over for you."
Shirou couldn't help to chuckle when he heard the small excited gasp escape from Fuji-nee as he walked down the halls.
Once back into the quiet dark recesses of his own home, Shirou carefully set his father's ashes unto the landing as he stepped out of his shoes and proceeded deeper into the house. Stopping briefly to drop his things off into his room; Shirou proceeded into Kiritsugu's room, cause he had some necessary things he needed to do. Kiritsugu had beaten into his head the need for absolute caution, just because he was home doesn't mean he was safe.
Still though, standing in front of the room that Kiritsugu always used when they were home, Shirou hesitated. Annoyed with himself, Shirou flung the door open, yet still remained where he was. He didn't need to stay in here, all he needed was to do one single thing. Shirou could literally feel himself getting worked up as he stepped into the room. Ignoring everything, Shirou slide open the door to his closet, and pressed his hand against the back wall before flooding the sealing array with prana. The Bounded Field that Kiritsugu had erected around the compound was extremely rudimentary and mundane, yet it served it purpose well.
The Emiya Manor Bounded Field served as a glorified alarm system for those with ill-intent. Rudimentary but a vast improvement over places he had been. Afterwards, Shirou swiftly darted out of the room and stepped out into the central courtyard of the compound. Setting his father's urn by the porch, Shirou walked over to the shed and came back out with a shovel. The highest form of respect Shirou could show to his father would be to bury him in his most favorite place.
A long while later, a sweat-soaked Shirou finished packing in the earth before leaning back on his heels, as he turned his face towards the sky.
"I finally made it back Kiritsugu… sorry it took me so long; I know you had been waiting." At this Shirou's throat began to close but he pressed on, "I couldn't do it, I had failed. I'm not telling you this for your pity or for you to feel disappointed in me. I'm telling you this as a vow – as a renewed vow – I will save Illya. I will carry on the wishes that you had left behind. I will carry on your dream. So… So… please just watch me and know that I will make you proud." At this the tightness in Shirou's chest and throat became too much, as hot tears stretched across the edges of his cheeks.
To become a Hero of Justice; the ultimate wish and desire of Kiritsugu Emiya. Embodied in the boy he took in and called his own. Shirou Emiya's entire motive for carrying on is to fully embody these ideals. In the memories of a man he cherished above all others. Yet, what does it mean to be a Hero of Justice? Is being a hero someone that stands on the side of the weak? Are they the ones that make the righteous and just decision? Are they the ones that help all those in need? Isn't that what Kiritsugu firmly believed in? Even when he had failed time and time again, Shirou could see him get back up and carry on for this wish. Shirou believes it to be beautiful, and yet, was it something the boy known as Shirou Emiya truly desired for himself? What is it that Shirou Emiya wants? Could Shirou become anything after everything he had lost? After everything that he had done.
Shirou didn't know.
This is the story of a young boy finding the resolve to reach for a dream in a world trapped by fate.
Disclaimer: Everything that seems familiar to the audience means I do not own it. Please support any stories official release.
Geographic Information: Fuyuki is confirmed to be located somewhere in the Kumamoto or Oita Prefecture, thus putting it on the island of Kyushu. The largest airport here is in Fukuoka, roughly a three hour train ride to Oita. There are also airports in both Kumamoto and Oita.
Now, I created this story mainly for fun and for the sheer hype I'm feeling because Spring Song has a new release date for the 15th of August.
Source: game rant dot com fate-stay-night-spring-song-heavens-feel-movie-new-release-date/
Let me know what you guys think, and much love to you all!
Until next time.