A/N: I hope you enjoy this.
Disclaimer: I do not own Fate Stay anything; however, I do own the OC characters.
CH01: Tell Me Excalibur…
King Arthur opened her eyes, exhaustion evident in her face. She was resting against a tree, a serious wound spilling her very life-force. As her emerald eyes came into focus, she recognized her trusted Bedivere. A gentle smile graced her lips, a smile that many in her kingdom seldom saw, 'Perhaps that was a mistake.'
"My King?" Bedivere called her. She was standing just in front of her divine ruler, a loyal companion to the end.
"I was dreaming Bedivere." Arthur said tiredly. She blinked slowly, feeling her great lack of energy. Memories of the Grail War flashed through her mind, another smile forming when she remembered the boy she had fought for.
"Was it a pleasant dream my lord?" Bedivere felt tears sting her eyes, but she refused to let them come into view. Her King was dying, she knew that, but if it would grant Arthur peace, then so be it. Bedivere had seen it, though her king refused to show her deteriorating resolve. Arthur had been through so much, and it had finally come to this, 'I will make your journey to Avalon peaceful my King.'
"Yes," Arthur chuckled, light dancing in her eyes, "it was a very good dream… and interesting at times." Arthur blinked again, her eyes feeling very heavy.
"Then perhaps you can continue your dream my lord, I've experienced it before." Bedivere urged her, a solemn smile placed firmly on her face. If need be, she would play the role of a caring friend, seeing her off as death took its hold.
"Hmm," Arthur looked into the highest branches of the tree, "experienced it yourself you say… perhaps I shall give it a try." Arthur looked down at Excalibur, remembering her duty to the Lady of the Lake and to her faithful sword, "However Bedivere, I have one more task to do."
Bedivere stepped towards Arthur, "Allow me to do it my lord; it would be unpleasant to me if you delayed your return to your dream over such things."
"Very well then Bedivere," Arthur directed Bedivere to Excalibur, "take this and throw it back to the lake which gave it… I will sleep for a little while longer."
"As you wish my lord, please, return to your dream." Bedivere tried not to choke on her words, knowing her king would not be alive upon her return. She climbed on her horse and looked at Arthur. The King smiled once again, bidding her loyal knight goodbye, a cold, yet relaxing feeling sweeping over her body. It started from her toes and reached her chest, her vision fading to black as the horse's steps faded into the distance.
'I have done much for my kingdom… perhaps I could've done more.'
"Yeah, you could've, but what can you do?" Arthur's eyes snapped open when she heard an unfamiliar voice. She looked around and gasped, seeing her body still against the tree's mighty base. Her attention flew to a nearby rock when she heard someone whistle, "I think you're looking for me." Arthur examined the new presence. He was wearing armor resembling Archer's, only it was long sleeved and without the crimson coat. His pants were the same style, though he had sheets of armor on the side of his hips and on his shins. He had a hood on the shirt he was wearing under the armor, said cloth shadowing his face, save for the lower half.
"Who are you!?" Arthur reached for her sword instinctively. Much to her dismay, she had forgotten Excalibur was gone. However, she noticed a weight on her other side, it was a secondary weapon. Arthur drew the double-edged sword and stood ready with it.
"You really want to point that over there your majesty." The mysterious man pointed behind her, a smug smirk fixated on his visible mouth. Arthur wasn't about to follow his suggestion, that is until a group of growls came from behind her. Arthur turned around to face five shadows, each on all fours like wolves. Their backs were plated scales like dragons, but their paws were of savage dogs. The growls came from their drooling mouths, two fangs dripping with saliva.
"What demons are these?" Arthur backed away, her sword ready. Her eyes thinned when one of the hounds charged her, pouncing like a lion on its helpless prey. Arthur prepared to strike the creature down, only to have the mysterious man cut it down for her.
"They're called Hounds, pesky but dangerous in large groups." The man raised his palm to the air, a strange gas coming from his sleeve, "Cover your eyes!"
Arthur did as she was told, looking away as the man lit the gas. She felt someone grab her hand and pull, forcing her into a run, the gas becoming a blinding light, "Why are those things here?" Arthur's voice was commanding, refusing to be some damsel in distress.
"They're here to eat you Arthur; I'm sure you noticed your body lying against the tree?" The mysterious warrior continued to pull her along, his legs moving at blinding speeds. If it weren't for Arthur being in her "casual" attire, she probably wouldn't have been able to keep up.
"Yes, I know I am dead, but who are you and why do those things want to eat me?" Arthur freed her hand and ran along side her supposed ally.
"Simple questions, one of which can be answered without words!" The mysterious man picked Arthur up and jumped off a cliff, a determined look hidden under his hood. Arthur cursed the warrior, not expecting what would happen next. Without warning, two wings sprouted from a circle of light above the warrior's back, catching their fall. With one strong flap, they were soaring through the sky, escaping their unseen pursuers.
"A-An angel," Arthur stuttered. She was very familiar with the existence of such beings, but never in her life had she expected an angel to be this… different from her belief.
"Yeah, I'm not some baby with a diaper and small wings, nor am I wearing a tunic," The angel smirked, "we kind of moved up in terms of technology."
'This man reminds me of Archer.' Arthur scoffed at the thought, but she had to ask, "Are you, by any chance, Archer?"
"Archer… sounds familiar, but no I am not, my name is Mio." The angel banked left, gently lowering their altitude to the ground.
"Very well Mio, why are those things after me?" Arthur hopped down from Mio's arms right before he landed, watching as he gently landed on the solid ground.
"A simple question, demons feed on spirits, and seeing as you are not just any spirit, but a spirit who had made a pact with the Grail, you smelled very appetizing to them." Mio folded his arms.
"Then why are you here?" Arthur arched an eyebrow. The last time she checked, angels didn't really do what he was.
Mio smirked again, taking out a small crystal from his sleeve. He raised the crystal, a red light pulsating from it. Like magic, a gate of pure light opened, "If you'd follow me King Arthur, I've been ordered to take you to my General." Mio watched as Arthur walked through the gate, hesitating before walking through.
Arthur shielded her eyes as she found herself in a hospital room, Mio standing next to her, "Where am I?"
"Just take a seat on the bed and one of our doctors will take a look at you," Mio put his hand on her shoulder and led her to the bed, "all your answers will come when my General arrives."
"You're leaving?" Arthur questioned. She had no special attachment, but she did want to ask him a few more questions, like if he would ever show her his face.
"We'll meet again Arthur, but for now, wait, rest, and listen." Mio left with those words, a female angel replacing him.
"You must be King Arthur, a pleasure to meet you." The female angel offered her hand to Arthur and smiled when she shook it, "My name is Sabrina, we were actually expecting you yesterday, all the others came in before you."
"Others?" Arthur could feel her head spinning; this was all happening so fast.
Sabrina giggled nervously, "At any rate, we'll have to examine you quickly, the General is on his way and he doesn't seem too happy today." Sabrina asked Arthur to remove her shirt and began the checkup.
"Well, you are unharmed; it seems Mio is getting better at soul retrievals." Sabrina leaned in and whispered, "Before, Mio's assignments would be on the verge of dying… well… you get the point."
Arthur finished putting on her shirt and smiled slightly, "He did an impressive job, I hope I will be able to thank him sometime." Arthur looked at Sabrina when she felt the doctor stare at her, "What's wrong?"
"You're nothing like the General described," Her eyes slid half-closed in a sly look, "you probably fell in love with someone didn't you." She smiled when Arthur's cheeks became stained with a pink hue, a surprised look on her face.
Arthur's face softened when her thoughts rested on her former master, 'Emiya Shiro,' His name ran through her memory, "Yes… I did."
"Sabrina," Both women jumped when a male voice was heard through the closed door, "I'm sure a simple examination doesn't take this long." The voice sounded young, yet authoritative, as if the very tone demanded respect.
"Y-Yes General, the checkup is over so you can come in." Sabrina seemed nervous as said angel entered the room. Arthur examined him in slight surprise. The man looked to be in his late teens or early twenties. His hair was as white as Archer's, and his skin was tanned. However, his eyes are what made her shiver. His eyes were ice blue, a cold aura spilling out from them. Arthur felt another shiver as his eyes focused on her.
"Sabrina," The General glanced at shaking angel, the meek doctor leaving immediately, but not before giving Arthur an encouraging smile, "Speak freely, I'm sure you have questions."
The former Saber-class jumped, "Where exactly am I, Avalon?" She watched the high-ranked angel as he pulled up a chair and sat down.
"No, you are in Algernon; Avalon is about six miles east from Algernon's edge." The General snapped his fingers, another angel giving him a folder. The room was silent as he went through the folder at inhuman speeds, "An interesting life, one worthy of legend I'm sure King Arthur." The cold celestial being placed the folder on a nearby table and leaned back, his chin held in his hand, "Do you mind if I use your real name, calling you Arthur kind of unsettles me."
"I don't mind." Arturia said coolly. She had yet to break her usual demeanor, even in the presence of such a person.
"Arturia Pindragon, you have shown your worth as a warrior, however," The General made a motion with his hand, a sword appearing in his hand; "I must ask a certain someone his opinion."
"E-Excalibur," Arturia's eyes widened when her legendary sword appeared in his hand, "but how?"
"Excalibur, you have been by this woman's side throughout her trials, tell me Excalibur… is she worthy?" The angel's eyes thinned as a sagely voice responded to his question.
In the King's possession, I have seen much of her. From her first days as King, to her last days, I saw a woman capable of withstanding much. However, it is only with her development during the Grail War that I grant her passage. If she so wills it, she is worthy.
Arturia, once she got past the fact that Excalibur spoke, felt tears sting her eyes. It was very rare for the former Saber-class to shed tears, but hearing the approval of her trusted weapon, though strange in nature, caused a burden to lift. Shiro had chipped away at her own self-doubt, but Excalibur cut it from her with the same efficiency as it did her enemies.
"Very well Arturia," the General tossed the sheathed Excalibur, scabbard and all, onto the bed beside her, "I'm going to give you a choice." He paused, giving Arturia time to compose herself, "You can either rest until the Final Day, or become one of us."
"I-I… I don't know," Arturia closed her eyes in thought. She had been fighting for so long, rest was sounding very nice right now. However, 'I'm sure those demons are still around Shiro, though he may not know it.' This thought was all she needed, but the General spoke first.
"Arturia, I'll level with you." He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, "I've heard about your escapades during the Holy Grail War from that crack-pot wizard."
"You mean Merlin?" Arturia's eyes lit up at hearing about Merlin. The wise wizard was like a grandfather to her. Her excitement died when the angel eyed her.
"Yeah, anyway, there's an issue I want resolved before you make your final decision." The general took out another folder and set it before her, "It concerns the Holy Grail… we want it gone."
"You want me to participate in the next war, correct?" The blonde warrior guessed.
"What gave you that stupid idea?" The General looked at her as if she were crazy, "You'll simply fight it." He opened the folder and showed her a picture. It was when Shiro had rescued Ilya from the Grail, "Your actions there triggered a very unusual reaction, the Grail has become aggressive, stealing souls to repair itself."
"How is it doing this; haven't anyone noticed?" Arturia looked into the General's eyes.
"It's taking the souls of those who try to summon the spirits of heroes, as well as the heroes themselves." He closed the folder and cracked his neck.
"So you want me to stop it?"
"I want you to help, stop it." He pointed out.
Arturia nodded, "I assume this is happening in Fuyuki City?"
"Very well then, I accept this task." Arturia looked up at the General, "May I ask your name angel?"
"Gallium, Gallium Tenbatsu." Gallium got up and started for the door, "I had someone wait for you outside, he'll take you to Merlin's place and around the city if you desire." With this, Gallium left Arturia alone to her thoughts.
The former king of England stared at Excalibur for a few minutes before picking the sword up, her usual determined look returning to her pale face, 'I wander who he was talking about... Mio perhaps?' Arturia shook her head. Knowing her luck, it's probably some idiot.
"Out of all the things that guy could've ordered me to do, he orders me to wait for little miss Saber." A tall man with white hair and a long crimson coat ran a hand through his hair. He had been waiting for at least ten minutes before Gallium walked out of the hospital, "So how is she?"
Gallium's eyes shifted to the slightly taller warrior, "She should be fine Archer, however, I think she'll need your help with this."
Archer chuckled and smirked, "No doubt, Heracles and Medusa are ready to leave when she is."
"Who would've thought Rider was really Medusa… thank God she doesn't do the whole turn you to stone thing." Gallium ran his hand down his face. In the short week Archer's been here, they had become friends. Gallium took a liking to his loose yet logical nature; likewise, Archer started respecting Gallium's stoic sarcasm and wit.
"Amen to that, it would've sucked if she did still do that." Archer's eyes shifted to the door when a familiar Saber-class exited the hospital, her wide eyes looking at him, "Hey there."
"A-Archer, what are you doing here?" Arturia took a step back, her defenses going up. Archer raised his hands to try and calm her.
"Calm down Saber, we're all here and we're all friends… well, accept for Gilgamesh." Archer smirked when he remembered the blonde hero.
"Is this true?" Arturia looked at Gallium to see him nod, "Very well then, I suppose you're the one who's supposed to take me to Merlin."
"That's right little lady." Archer's smirk grew when Arturia glared at him. His smirk soon disappeared with a yelp when Arturia stomped on his foot and grabbed his collar, bringing him to eye-level.
"Never, call me little lady again." She growled. Releasing the older form of Shiro, she regained her calm composure.
"We'll meet up tomorrow; for now, visit old friends and rivals." Gallium walked off, leaving the two to their business.
"Well then little…" Archer stopped when Arturia shot him another dangerous glare, "I mean, Arturia, shall we go?" Archer bit his tongue when he saw her eyes widen, 'Stupid move, she never told me her real name… not Archer at least.' He immediately started walking, trying to dodge the question before it was asked.
A/N: I'll stop it here so I can lay some ground work. Don't expect too much fluff because I suck at it (though if you have suggestions bring them on) and there will be story-art for armor designs. Suggestions are always appreciated. Please read and review!