Chapter 3

Normalness

"OI! TIGER! THAT'S MY MEATBALL!"

"Buu Finders keepers, chibi-gaki (little brat)."

"Oh my..."

Very little has changed in the Emiya household since the last Holy Grail War. It's been just about a year and the wooden doors have faded a little, the grass seems to be much greener and of course, Shirou and Sakura have both moved up a year. Ilya too has taken up middle school in Homurabara Gakuen, and is doing pretty well...

Hardly anything has really changed.

Shirou, sleeping in the workshop every morning, obviously hard at work repairing something for the student government last night. Sakura, waking him with that sweet smile on her face and an apron around her waist, greeting him with breakfast in the dining hall. Taiga-sensei, dropping by every meal with that ravenous look on her face, constantly arguing with Ilya for that last morsel of food left on the table.

Yes, hardly anything really has changed in the Emiya household... Sakura's kindness, Taiga and Ilya's mismatched arguments... not even that contemplating look on Shirou's face whenever thoughts of her cross his mind. With those little memories, he would lose track of time and smile, fleeting joy... but enough to carry on for the day and make him believe...

Someday...

"Oni-san Oniii-saaan!" came Ilya's voice.

"Eh? What?" Shirou started, snapping back to reality.

"Ne, oni-san, can you really eat that much soysauce?" muttered Ilya, pointing at his rice.

"Uweeh, that's a lot of soy, Shirou." muttered Taiga, pointing at his bowl with her chopsticks with the last meatball tucked in her cheeks.

Every morning was like that in some way: Shirou, absent-mindedly doing something weird over breakfast, but they knew it was all right, after all: they knew why he was like this.

"Well, time to get to school Thank you for the food!" Taiga bowed, placing her chopsticks ontop of her bowl.

"Mou, you're just leaving because there's no more food Tiger-sense must be getting fatter" Ilya retorted, grabbing her bag and running outside.

"NANDATTO!! (WHAT!) Oi, chibi-gaki! GET BACK HERE!" Taiga hollered grabbing her own bag running after her.

Sakura giggled.

"Those two are always so energetic every morning." She mused, clearing the table.

"Somehow, I envy their entusiasm." Shirou smiled, stacking bowls from his side.

"Sempai... are you all right?"

"Mm... I'm sorry for worrying you, Sakura."

"Oh, it's all right, sempai... We all miss her too..."

"..."

"Will she be coming back?"

"I really don't think so, Sakura..."

"Oh..."

"..."

"Sakura?"

"Hai, sempai?"

"Thanks... for everything..."

Sakura smiled...

"You're very welcome, sempai."

It's spring again, in Fuyuki City, and just like that very same day, cherry blossoms seem to dance along the roads. There hasn't been anything completely strange going on for the past few months, and there's been very little crime since we last--

"DAISUKI DAAA! OREWA ORE DAISUKI DAA!"

"He must like reruns."

"I can't believe he watched that drama show again... that thing played on last year."

Woah. Deja vu.

"Ohayou, Emiya-kun." came a familiar voice.

Turning slightly, Shirou was greeted by that just as familiar face, deep black eyes and cute pigtails of none other than Rin Tosaka.

"Ah, Tosaka-san." smiled Shirou as a form of greeting, scratching his head.

"You sure do take your time when going to school." she muttered.

"... how would-- do you stalk me? (o.o); "

"... Maybe..."

Shirou stared.

"Think of it as 'someone keeping an eye out for you'." she said primly, tapping his nose with her finger.

"Why, is there someone out there to get me?" he joked.

"Maybe." Rin stated flatly who started walking as the light turned green.

Shirou stopped dead in his tracks.

"Wait--- what?" Shirou shouted after her, suddenly sprinting to catch up.

DING-DONG-DING

Step by step by step, Shirou climbed the school stairway all the way to the roof, pouting a bit, remembering what Tosaka told him at the school gates.

"I'll meet you by the rooftop at lunch. It might be something concerning you... maybe, maybe not. I don't really know. But you have to come and see it for yourself." she said rather vaguely.

Thoughts swimming in his head again, he bounded up the stairwell until he came to the doorway. Clamping hard against the knob a bit too tightly, he eased the door open as the sunglight poured into the dimmed hallway.