Disclaimer; I do not own Fate Stay Night, it is the rightful property of Kinoko Nasu and TYPE MOON.
Dedicated to anyone who has ever written a Peggy Sue Fic.
It's not as polished as I would have it, but I'd like to get it out of the way so it wouldn't be hanging over my head while I take care of more important real life matters. Still, mood whiplash aside, it should be a passable stepping stone for future projects. FYI, the joke takes a while to get going. So to any who can't wait feel free to skip the first few paragraphs and come back later.
Fuuyuki High Class Reunion
Assassin shadowed her target, already forming a plan in her mind. The Servant wore a white hooded robe and a skull mask that my symbolic of her Class. She moved completely undetected in the cool winter night. While venting at her stupid Master who had more or less thrown her out, Assassin had stumbled across a servant, a younger woman with long black hair and a billowing red cape. Now Assassin did what she did best: stalking prey.
"It's like she's completely immersed in her own thoughts, leaving herself wide open," Assassin murmured. The other Servant was making a beeline for the local High school like a late student on the first day of class. The fool had left herself completely open as if she believed it was impossible that an attack could come at her. "Oh well, her funeral."
Considering her own 'personal' experiences and how it shaped her life, Assassin wouldn't normally be so motivated to participate in a Holy Grail War. This time she'd been summoned barely six hours ago by an innocent boy she absolutely could not bear to fail; a boy barely into puberty who had no clue as to what the hell he'd fallen headfirst into.
Well, he wasn't that innocent... the brat.
"I swear I must be someone's butt monkey to have him as my master."
She had a half mind to drag him to the church and falling on her own blade to ensure his safety.
...Except her master mistook her for some crackpot stalker and had accidentally command spelled her ass into NOT going anywhere near said haven of sanctuary. He even threatened to call the police at her 'harassing him' and 'trespassing on personal property', which would have instantly put him on the radar. The other masters were likely to be on the lookout for unusual police reports, especially ones concerning women in skull masks.
Forced to leave before she aggravated him any further, Assassin had no other choice but to fight before anyone noticed the fancy new command spell tattoos on his arm. She made a last minute check to ensure her mask was securely over her face.
"I have to end this quickly." Assassin murmured, knowing the moment anyone realised her Master's identity it was game over. "Sorry Miss Servant. I don't know what dreams and ambitions you have, but they end tonight."
Counter Guardian Tohsaka Rin, now under the guise of Caster, was running through her checklist of 'things to do to save the future'. Having been summoned by her sister, Matou Sakura, Caster found herself in the unique position to prevent the horrible future from her reality from coming to pass.
If memory served her right, the younger Rin and Archer should be engaging Lancer while they investigated the Boundary field she'd thrown up over the school as bait. If all went well, tonight she should be able to throw her former Servant for a loop...
So immersed in her thoughts, she almost didn't sense the knife before it impacted against her thigh in mid jump. "!" An attack here? Impossible, none of the existing servants should...
Caster fell from the sky and, to add insult to injury, crashed headfirst into a pile of garbage.
"What a graceful landing. I guess that crosses out Rider as your class." A sarcastic voice commented.
The pile of garbage shifted as Caster extracted herself from the mess to see her assailant. One glimpse at the white hooded robe and skull mask, and Caster immediately knew that this servant hadn't been a participant in the Grail War that had shaped her life so much. This is bad, had my presence changed things already?
"A sneak attack? Who are you?" Caster demanded.
"Hey, hey, hey. It's rude to ask someone's name without giving your own. Show some common courtesy. Honestly..." Assassin tapped her foot playfully and then took an exaggerated bow. "I am the Servant Assassin of this Holy Grail War. Would you be kind enough to give me your name?"
"Sorry, unlike you, I am no fool that would give anything about myself so easily." Caster dusted herself off and struggled to pick a piece of bubblegum peel out of her hair. This creep was going to pay.
"Ah well, it was worth a shot. Some among the Knight Classes are honour bound to divulge details about themselves once someone has given out their identity. I've even heard a few have gone as far as to give their true names when politely asked." Assassin shrugged, her dismissive attitude to Caster clearly being a thinly veiled insult to the magus. "You on the other hand, seem to be less than honourable... kinda like myself."
This Assassin was acting strange. It was almost as if the servant was trying to antagonize her. And why did she reveal herself so straightforwardly? Caster's mind raced as she evaluated her tactical position. Then it hit her. This was bad, Assassin was probably sure of victory if she was acting like this. Add to the fact Caster had far more pressing matters, namely Archer, the magus knew she couldn't afford to dawdle any longer.
"I'm busy right now and I really don't have time for you. Is it okay if we finish this some other time?"
"And miss your complete and total humiliation at my hands? What a brilliant idea, I'll go chew some bubblegum instead... Seeing some of it stuck in your hair's put me in the mood for some."
"You... you really have a smart mouth don't you?" Caster replied, hiding her irritation behind a straining smile. Her hand was already creeping towards the Jewelled Sword of Zelretch, the copy of the legendary sword that the world had given her in exchange for her contract with it. No, Rin knew she didn't have time to waste on this irritating wiseass.
Not with the possibility of Archer already making plans to kill Emiya Shirou.
"I take pride in my ability to irritate the hell out of my victims, Caster."
"What makes you think I'm a Caster? I have a sword you know. What if you're wrong and I'm Saber?"
"You carry yourself with the pride of a magus. Lack of armour aside, by brilliant analysis of the facts suggests you prefer magic over a weapon." Assassin announced haughtily.
Assassin made a big show of counting off the details with her fingers.
"Well, for instance, there's your ridiculous flashy clothing. That means you're either nobility or a rich magus who had money to get your mage craft going. I'm hedging my bets on you being a magus because there's no way a noble would be act like you. Then, of course, there's your physique. It's nowhere near where one of the Knight classes should be and is in fact rather pitiful in comparison to mine, all things considered. My grandmother has better looking thighs than that! And I've already crossed Rider from my list as you have bubblegum in your hair - oh, you missed a bit of it by the way..."
"ENOUGTH." Caster roared. It was a herculean effort on her part to not senselessly charge Assassin right then and there. Caster was almost certain now that it was a trap, but the urge to shut Assassin up was almost more then she could bear. "Are you trying to piss me off?"
"Who knows... but really, a cape? You look like a Harry Potter extra. Are you some 'cosplay maniac' or something?"
Those were insults that stuck a particularly sensitive nerve in Caster, especially since she was once a victim of the Kaleidostick and a magus. In short, Caster's patience broke. "...that's it. For that insult, I'm going to beat your face in."
"Heh, with a barbaric line like that, maybe I'm mistaken and you're actually Berserker." Assassin smirked. "Anyway, enough talk. Let's get down to business." Then Assassin took out her weapons.
...And clocked the hammer on her Glock 18 Assault Pistol to exaggerate her point.
Caster's eyes warily regarded the object Assassin's right hand. "Is that a gun?"
Assassin grinned behind her mask. Gun in right hand, bowie knife in left... Assassin knew it would be an odd choice of weaponry for a Servant. "Oh-ho, so you know what a gun is. Then you will probably guess what comes next."
"Since when does a heroic spirit use modern weaponry?" Caster said as she readied her own curses. Oh this was so not going according to plan...
"Since me. Now shut up and defend yourself!"
"Oh wow, she's actually using a gun at that range?" Lancer breathed from where he was hiding.
The tall bespectacled man, dressed in an extravagant black tuxedo and top hat hid behind a trash can not too far from Caster and Assassin's duel. He had been heading home with groceries as per his master's orders when the fighting between Caster and Assassin had broken out and he'd accidentally stumbled upon it.
His master had been shooting for a Berserker. Instead, because of some mishap involving a turnip, a clown mask and a white rabbit falling into her casting circle at an inappropriate time, she'd gotten him. To Ilya was displeased would be an understatement. While he had been able to perform most of her orders, or at least, the simpler ones, thus far, his master still took out her frustration in getting him to do all sorts of mundane jobs.
Lancer couldn't find it in himself blame her anyway, because he knew was totally outclassed the moment he arrived in this time period. For one, His legend didn't even exist yet!
A servant's abilities in a Grail War were determined from two things; their power in life and the legend they had left behind them so they could be worshiped. Lancer didn't have much in the way of power, and his rather extensive legend was missing at that moment. The legend of a humble circus ringmaster who was thrust into a battle between the mighty Dead Apostle Ancestors and ended up saving all of Japan did not yet exist.
Now watching the contest between Caster and Assassin from afar, the poor Lancer was wondering just how he was supposed to win the grail war without some extra help. Clearly, those two Servants battling it out didn't seem to be under the same restrictions. Just watching them fight made Lancer feel a bit ill. Pushing up his glasses up his nose ridge, Lancer sighed at the futility of it all.
"What I wouldn't give to have Emiya's advice right about now."
Though Assassin pressed her attack on Caster, she was unable to strike a decisive blow. She had completely underestimated Caster's close combat abilities. Relying on what a friend had told her in the past about magicians of old being untrained in melee, Assassin had been counting on Caster being a complete failure at hand to hand combat. As it turned out, Caster had trained for the eventuality of facing an opponent in melee combat and was using some sort of unique martial art that Assassin was finding eerily familiar, but could not place in the heat of battle.
Had her master not been completely mundane, Assassin might have considered using her first Noble Phantasm 'The Scourge of Eden', to ensure a kill before Caster even knew she was even there. However, her idiot of a master wasn't supplying Assassin with any prana at all. Thus Assassin was forced to carefully ration what prana she had, something that severely limited her options.
Although nearly a hundred blows were made and two empty magazines lay on the ground, barely two minutes had gone by since the two legends had begun their clash. The empty street they had started their fight in was now a scene of devastation, jagged pieces of concrete littering the ground around them and the air was thick with the charged life or death battle between the two servants.
Caster lacked options at such a range, while Assassin did not want to risk using too much prana so early in the war. But both knew through their fighting instincts that something was about to give.
Caster was a woman who had sold her soul for the sake of a miracle. A miracle to undo a great mistake that had taken the lives of all her precious people. For years, the young magus had trained for the sake of participating in her own Holy Grail War where she was betrayed by her servant and helplessly watched the tyrant Gilgamesh rise to power. For years after that, she had trained under the tutelage of the Wizard Marshall Zelretch to destroy the accursed King of Heroes, the monster that had selfishly coveted the power of the Grail for his own desires. When even her training was not enough to surmount her final challenge, on the edge of defeat against her penultimate foe Tohsaka Rin sold her own soul for the power to become a hero... and thus became a Counter Guardian.
Now that she had a chance to undo all those tragedies. Caster refused to fall to this trash-talking, arrogant, cocky Halloween reject, who dared to jeopardise her chance to save her loved ones and, above all, call her a cosplay-maniac and a Harry Potter extra!
However unbeknownst to her, Caster had also severely underestimated Assassin in her own way.
Unlike many of her colleagues, Assassin didn't have magic or any powerful weapons to help her survive. Assassin had always fought against foes that possessed advantages she could only dream of having. It was only through her resourcefulness, determination and sheer tenacity that had gotten her as far as she did.
A long time ago, Assassin was an innocent girl living in a peaceful nation, hospitalised for years only to wake to a changed world she did not recognise. Then she became a normal woman dropped headfirst into a world where miracles, monsters and legendary heroes existed. Then she a lonely wanderer, walking the globe in search of lost friends and purpose. And then, she became a soldier, a mercenary called into to save a besieged brotherhood in a time of desperation.
Finally, she became a leader, a peerless assassin whose true name struck fear into her enemies and invoked the respect of her allies.
Assassin was a hero. Perhaps she wasn't fast. Perhaps she wasn't strong. But there was no doubt Assassin was a hero, simply because she thrived against long odds. In her eyes, Caster was just another impediment to her current mission, to save her young master from this certain death at the hands of the other servants and end this ridiculous Grail War before innocents could get hurt.
She had already readied one of her cards to play... an underhanded one that would no doubt leave Caster screaming 'you damn cheat' right into the afterlife.
Abruptly, in a complete turnaround, Assassin 'accidentally' left an opening by deliberately swinging too wide and exposing her back to Caster. The opening was but for a heartbeat, but Caster pounced, kicking her hooded assailant away and giving her that much needed gap. "Hnrg!"
"Hah! Finally gotcha you overconfident hack!" Caster laughed. Assassin wheezed painfully, and helplessly, on the ground. Sheathing her sword, Caster pulled a jewel off her belt and started into one of her advanced spells... Just as suddenly, Caster was looking up at the sky a feeling of weightlessness overtaking her. Without even a warning, Caster legs were swept out from under her and she crashed to the ground in an ungainly heap.
Assassin withdrew the wire from her hidden grappling device in her sleeve, the one that had coiled around Caster's legs seconds before and yanked them out from under the magus. Without another word the masked killer fell upon the hapless magus. Before Caster could even blink, she was punched in the nose, stomped on in the stomach and then had her face kicked into the ground. Then while Caster was dazed, Assassin reached over to Caster's belt and took something off the magus' person.
"Gwa..." Caster choked while Assassin retreated a good ten feet from the downed magus.
Sitting up hurriedly, Caster looked down at the street... and sucked in a frightened breadth. Assassin had taken her Noble Phantasm! "Wha-Wha-What are you doing? A Servant's Phantasms are symbols of their heroism! You can't just take it!"
"Normally that would be the case. However..." Assassin replied, then pivoted on her foot and held the Phantasm out as if reading a strike. Gone was the singsong voice that taunted Caster. Instead the person before her was as cold as steel. Caster suddenly was struck with the revelation that she was now seeing another side of Assassin, the side that was the reason why this heroic spirit donned the mask of 'Hassan-i-Sabbath' in her time.
"There's got to be a rule against this!" Caster swore. "What do you think you are doing? And for that matter, you can't even use it so give my Phantasm back!"
"...When I was alive, I often fought against Magi in my journeys. I do not have many Magical Circuits of my own, so I naturally entered into every battle at a severe disadvantage." Assassin explained coldly. "A close friend of mine, a certain Master of the Second Magic, helped me develop a method to use magical items belonging to other people using their circuits. And because I happen to be a very adept pickpocket... well, the results speak for themselves. As it happens to be one of my more notable abilities, it naturally became one of my Noble Phantasms. Incredibly useful in conserving my own limited prana in a Grail War, wouldn't you say?"
Caster's mouth ran dry. Second Magic? But the master of the Second Magic was... "S-S-Second Magic? What kind of... I've never heard of anyone having such a thing! Who the hell are you?"
"No one you should concern yourself with." Assassin stated with finality and activated the Noble Phantasm. "Goodbye, Caster."
Lancer gaped like a fish. A Servant that can steal other people's Noble Phantasms? Absurd! Absurd enough that if and when Lancer relayed his master of this discovery, she'd flip out at getting such a weak servant instead of Assassin.
And that would mean more demeaning housework until his inevitable defeat.
"Oh man... Mistress Ilya is going to throw a fit when she hears about this."
Almost as if in slow motion, Caster watched in horrified fascination as Assassin readied her own Noble Phantasm for the killing blow.
Not like this. She couldn't lose to some random servant before accomplishing anything! All her loved ones were depending on her, and now she was just going to get taken out? She haven't even avenged that 'Harry Potter Extra' insult! Preposterous!
But of course, none of that mattered to Assassin, who had no idea as to what Caster was trying to accomplish. "Goodbye, Caster."
Caster closed her eyes, accepting her failure.
"Now Caster... Feel the power of your own Noble Phantasm! Blessing of Eden...!"
Assassin and Caster both paused and stared dumbly at the magic wand in Assassin's hand. Lancer leaned forward from his hiding spot, wondering just what had caused Assassin, moments ago so cold and unfeeling, to hesitate.
Caster bashfully rubbed the back of her head. Oh yeah, she forgot she had taken the damnable thing with her to fight Gilgamesh. Who knew it would save her life? "Well I guess that is one way to stop a Noble Phantasm thief..." Caster mumbled with both surprise and disbelief. She now owed her life to that irritating piece of wood that had been a 'gift' from her master Zelretch. Who would have thought?
Assassin on the other hand...
"Wha-The Kaleidostick? What's the God-Damn Kaleidostick doing here?" Assassin gaped, losing every bit of composure at the sheer disbelief upon realising just which Noble Phantasm she had stolen from Caster. In her haste, Assassin had picked up the very worst magic item that she ever had the displeasure of touching in her lifetime, an item she'd vowed never to come within ten feet of ever again.
"Oh? Someone different this time...!" The sentient wand's dreaded voice exclaimed happily. "This ought to be fun!"
But Assassin wasn't listening. Her sharp mind, honed over years of adversity, was quickly assessing the changed situation. If this was Caster's Noble Phantasm, then that could only mean one thing... Assassin's head snapped up to look at Caster and twenty fourth Hassan-i-Sabbath took a good look at her foe... and finally recognised the identity of the Magus before her.
"Wait you're... you're... TOHSAKA! TOHSAKA RIN! But how on Earth...? Why the hell are you a Heroic Spirit?" Assassin gaped in shock pointing an accusing finger with her free hand at 'Caster'. Although Caster was definitely younger, wearing different clothes and had vastly different capabilities from the mighty Master of the Second Magic, Assassin knew beyond a shadow of a doubt the person before her was undoubtedly some version of her friend and rival, Tohsaka Rin.
On top of that there was the horrible realization that she'd somehow, by a complete fluke, fallen for the same embarrassing trick twice. And this time, the Kaleidostick's owner wasn't even out to prank her!
From his hiding place, Lancer did double take at Assassin's words, disbelieving of the scene playing out before him. "Tohsaka? As in Tohsaka Rin? As in bane of my high school life and fake-honour student, Tohsaka Rin? That can't be right!"
Since she hadn't been blasted to her component atoms by Assassin, a very much relived but completely baffled Caster had scrambled to her feet. "Wait a damn second. You know my identity? Who are you?" Caster demanded. She was astonished someone could actually recognise a Counter Guardian, a faceless hero with no legend or story to identify them, by merely by looking at her Noble Phantasm.
Alas, a more pressing matter was at hand.
"Ah-ha! Found it. You'll just love the costume. And I have a theme song to boot! It's oddly fitting that you're a Servant." The shrill voice of the wand declared, drawing both Caster and Assassin's attention back to it.
"Oh Sh-That isn't the problem right now!" Assassin cried in horror, shaking her entire arm wildly as if to try and fling the Kaleidostick from her hands. No luck, as the wand remained glued to her hand though it's insidious magic. "No! Not again! Not ever again!" Only once before had Assassin activated the cursed item... the incident had left mental scars so deep, the battle hardened woman was reduced to wild panic merely thinking of it.
"Oh shit. Oh shit! Tohsaka, turn it off! Turn it off! Turn it off right now! Rin, HELP!"
Caster on the other hand, was still too confused to even consider rendering aid. "Wait, you... you know what it does? Who are you? Tell me, Assassin!"
"Explanation later! Real crisis here!"
"Time for some Kaleidostick Action!" announced the cursed magic item.
Assassin, waving her arms around and running in circles aimlessly, was truly an shameful sight. "Wait! No! I'm begging you! Stop! STOP!"
"Three! Two! One-"
Such were the last words of Assassin before she was engulfed in a bright white light. The skull mask that was the mark of Hassan-i-Sabbath clattered to the ground. And that was then the whole area was bathed in strobes of light and that odd theme music started playing.
Koi no Mitsuzuri Densetsu!
One! Two! Three! Four...!
From his hiding spot, Lancer's jaw dropped. Caster fell back on her behind in shock. When the figure that had been Assassin emerged out of the fog standing valiantly in that ridiculous costume the demon stick had chosen for the masked killer, it was clear that the Kaleidostick had risen to a new level of notoriety.
"In the name of Love and Peace! 'Magical Miracle Meido Mitsuzuri' has appeared! Moe, Moe, Kyuu-n!" An older but still recognisable middle aged Mitsuzuri Ayako, clothed in a pink and white frilly maid outfit with heart emblems sewn all over, struck an all too cute 'heart' pose. Strobes of pink and purple coloured light burst out from behind her to complete the surreal picture.
This vision was about as far from Hassan-i-Sabbath that anyone on this green earth, let alone the befuddled Caster, could image.
"Now little boys and girls, I shall be off to deliver righteous smitings to evil doers everywhere! Farewell, and don't forget to wash your hands before and after every meal!" Then, just as suddenly as she had appeared, the Miracle Maid departed in a flash of movement, no doubt heading off to find some perceived doer of evil to do battle against somewhere.
Lancer rushed off somewhere to wash his eyes. Caster could only dumbly stare at the spot Assassin, no, Mitsuzuri Ayako, had been moments before, still trying to gather her wits about her.
"... Now I've seen everything."
"I take it you're seeking sanctuary, even though it's this early in the war?" Kotomine Kirei said amusedly as she paced back and forth in his church like a college professor.
"Yes I am." Bazette affirmed, trying to hold onto whatever dignity and composure she had left. "As you can already tell, my servant... was too much for me to handle. Already I have used two command spells in futile attempts to control Berserker. I do not want to tempt fate with my last. I am afraid that if his rampage continues it may not only jeopardise the war, but expose us and have lasting ramifications on the town and the world at large."
"Indeed. I can see why that might be the case." Kirei nodded understandingly. He had planned to murder Bazette and take her command seals, but with the way things were progressing perhaps it would be better to illicit her help instead since Berserker was on a rampage. Besides, right now she was too unsightly to kill. "Still, was it really that bad? I couldn't imagine that a magus of your calibre would not have failed as utterly as you had."
Bazette nodded slowly, her face flushed with the abject humiliation her uncontrollable Servant had wrought upon her. "It is as bad as I have said. Even with Farangarch, I couldn't control him. That Servant... no, that DEMON, is uncontrollable. His speed and strength are beyond comparison, and is single-mindedness, unparalleled. Berserker would be impressive were it not what it was..." Bazette looked the floor and balled her fists.
"He truly is the enemy of all women."
A servant that lived for the purpose of destroying all forms of women's clothing except their undergarments... who could know such a detestable beast have become a hero, much less the once she had summoned?
"If that is the case, then it would be best that I be off." Kotomine announced. "You had best stay here while I assemble the other masters." Or at least, grab Gilgamesh and make him go kill the beast. "A crisis like this transcends the rules of the Grail War. Berserker must be stopped, lest he expose the whole Grail War and the existence of the Supernatural to the world."
"Thank you for being so understanding."
"And one more thing. Bazette... you look really good in that swimsuit."
The Magus flushed even redder with embarrassment and brought her hands to cover what she could of the one piece swimsuit, ruing the day that Berserker had burned down her home and all her other garments with it.
Having just about to set off and attempt to rescue Assassin and get her Noble Phantasm back, Caster whirled around in alarm at the sudden new voice. She had just collected herself after finally accepting that yes, the Servant that had nearly killed her had been in fact some future version of her old friend Mitsuzuri Ayako, when this tuxedo clad man revealed himself to her. The fact he'd already called her by her true name didn't help her either. Having already endured one close fought battle, especially one that should never had happened, Caster didn't want to take any chances.
"Identify yourself." Caster said as she slipped into a defensive posture. Despite the fact everything about the man, from his relaxed posture to his facial expression, told her he didn't intend to fight her, Caster was feeling understandably cautious.
Lancer sighed and held out his hands. "Tohsaka, it's me. Ryudo."
Caster's shocked face was priceless. "Huh?"
"Ryudo Issei, the student council president back when we attended High School? The one whose family ran Ryudo temple? I'm Lancer for this war. I saw what happened with Mitsu... Assassin earlier."
Caster looked at the man from top to bottom, taking in his tuxedo, top hat and the grocery bags he had around his bent elbows. "...bullshit."
Issei pushed up his glasses in exasperation. "Tohsaka, I'm serious."
"That's not what I meant," Caster groaned, dropping her guard as she massaging her temples at the massive headache she was now suffering. "I mean this is bullshit. Mitsuzuri? You? Hell, Me? What is happening with this Grail War?"
"Don't look at me. I'm just as confused as you are." Lancer admitted. "Anyway, I thought I'd lend you a hand if you were going to stop Mitsuzuri from embarrassing herself and exposing all of us. We'll work this all out after we stop her from doing something outrageously stupid, like getting caught on the late night news."
Just to be safe, Caster read the man's face and found him sincere. "If that's the case, feel free to come with. I'll warn you though, that Kaleidostick has made her mighty powerful."
"Heh, we're Heroic Spirits. If we couldn't handle something like this, we shouldn't even have been summoned." Lancer shrugged and materialised his quarterstaff. He may not be all that powerful, but damned if he wasn't going to help when there was someone in need.
And groceries could wait after all, what with the possessed Assassin running about. His master should understand... at least he hoped so. Ilya was a bit temperamental.
"Well, look on the bright side. At the rate we're going, we might get lucky enough to see some heroic version of Emiya. I'd bet he'd make one heck of an impressive hero." Lancer joked.
Caster tripped and fell face first into the floor.
"Sooo... let me get this straight. There is this war going on."
"There are seven heroes from throughout human history that have come to fight in this war."
"They are contracted to seven masters and together they all fight each other to the death for this magical wish granting thing. Correct so far?"
"And if I'm following you right, then I happen to be one of those masters and you are my partner."
"You sure you aren't having me on, Fujimura-sensei? It sounds like something out of an anime-" Mitsuzuri Ayako said before she was hit over the head with Saber's sword.
"Don't call be that! You must call me Saber! If they learn my real identity, then we will be in trouble!" 'Saber' instructed as she assumed her 'lecture' pose. Even so, it was hard taking a lesson from the Fujimura Taiga, let alone when Taiga was wearing a kendo uniform and holding her shinai as if it was the greatest weapon in the world. "A Servant's name and weapon are the most powerful secrets a Heroic Spirits has! Don't say them aloud!"
Ayako massaged the growing bump on her head in annoyance. "This is so surreal."
"But it is the truth, dear student." Saber nodded her head sagely.
For Mitsuzuri Ayako, her quiet day had taken a distinct turn for the worse. She had been just about to call it a day and turn in for the night, having already finished her studies and thought up new ways in convincing Emiya to return to the Archery Club, when Fujimura Taiga of all people had materialised in her room though what had to be the most sophisticated display of special effects Ayako had ever seen. Fujimura-sensei, or 'Saber' as she now called herself, had insisted that Ayako was now the unwilling participant of some bizarre contest for some Wish Granting Holy Cup, and that Ayako's life was in imminent danger from heroes from across time and space.
As Ayako had already observed, it was like something out of one of Minori's cartoons.
Ayako, being a person of common sense, didn't believe a word of this. The archery club captain suspected that this was some kind of elaborate prank. This was of course, Fujimura Taiga. She was person widely recognised by everyone who knew her, including Ayako, as a rather eccentric teacher. Compounded with Minori's similar story about a freaky masked stalker who kept calling him 'Master', Ayako believed she and her brother were now the target of some kind of practical joke.
Maybe she was on candid camera?
If some majestic samurai or some knight in shining armour had appeared, Ayako might have considered this ridiculous story... but this was Fujimura Taiga, the last person Ayako could take seriously in a situation like this.
Even so there was one thing that Ayako's common sense could not explain. Ayako turned over the mysterious tattoo that now rested on her forearm. Despite her conviction that she was now the subject of some bad joke, Ayako could not explain the strange warm feeling emanating from the mark that had magically appeared on her arm. This Command Seal thing was supposed to be the mark of a master in this crazy affair, one of seven...
...hang on. "Hey Fujimu-Saber?"
"I think I've seen one of these symbols before, or at least a tattoo that looks similar."
Saber tilted her head curiously. "And where might this tattoo be?"
As if to answer Saber's question, the door to Ayako's room swung open and the man in question walked in. "Hey sis, I need some help with my Math homework..." Mitsuzuri Minori entered completely oblivious of his sister's plight... and Saber and Ayako's eyes immediately went to the tattoo like mark on Minoni's left hand.
Saber reacted instantaneously.
"Enemy Master detected!" Saber jumped at the startled boy and thwacked him over the head with her Shinai. "Have at you!"
"Ow! Who the heck?" Before the Shinai came down again.
"Ow! Ow! Hey Stop! Not the Face!"
"Fujimura Taiga shows no mercy to her foes!"
Watching the unprovoked violence her teacher was inflicting on her younger brother, Ayako quickly decided that Fujimura-sensei wasn't playing a prank, but had in fact gone completely bonkers. "Minori, run! She's out of her mind!" Ayako shouted to her brother, who proceeded to take his Sisiter's good advice and escape.
"Call the police, sis! Ow! Ow! Cut that out you crazy-!"
"Ha, no one escapes from me!" Saber declared as she pursued the fleeing boy as he sprinted out of the Mitsuzuri residence and out into the empty streets.
Minutes later, Minori found himself running aimlessly through Fuuyuki for his life, a crazed teacher waving a wooden Shinai threateningly hot on his heels, with his panicked older sister even further behind that.
"First that crazy mask woman, now a crazy teacher? What the hell is going on?"
"Kyaa!" Shrieked a random female night shift worker as the front of her clothes was ripped away.
"Eeek, a Pervert!" Another screamed as she ran to protect her own modesty.
Indeed, it was as bad as Bazette had said. Her renegade servant had made it down to a local nightclub and was quickly making his presence all too well known. The bouncers had tried, and failed, to stop him. A stampede of panicked patrons, male and female alike, rushed out of the nightclub. Like an unstoppable force, Berserker went from victim to victim, scarring the hearts and minds of many a Fuuyuki maiden.
"Oppai, Pantsu! Oppai, Pantsu! OPPAI! PANTSU!"
Berserker roared. The man, his muscular form naked except for a small G-String and at set of panties he wore over his head, continued perusing his prime directive.
In life, Berserker was a complete jerk-ass who abused his sister and took advantage of his only friend. That was until said little sister snapped and infested his brain with her worm familiars, rewiring him too become a mindless monster as revenge... except even she didn't think her brother was that much of a pervert that he would turn out this way.
Well, at least he was a hit on the internet. Crazy stuff happens on the World Wide Web, and a mindless pervert gaining heroic spirit status there wasn't all too surprising all things considered. He did become 'An Hero'. And after the events that lead to his death, who could not refer to him as such? He was put down like a rabid dog on live television by an angry church executioner from the Burial Agency. After destroying her clothes, and the clothes of around three hundred other maidens, at the annual Misaki City Curry Festival, Ciel's response could only be described as 'completely justified'.
Hell hath no fury like a woman stripped.
The swath of torn clothes that led from Fuuyuki to Misaki was soon gained the unofficial nickname as 'the Matou Highway' and became a path of pilgrimage for amused tourists from around the globe. Indeed, his story would be told for generations upon generations to come, eventually entering the annals of myth and legend.
'A Pervert's Fabulous Suicide by Jackhammer Wielding Naked Nun'.
Well, stranger things have happened.
Suddenly, from above the disco floor, came a shower of multicoloured sparkles.... And Theme Music.
Mitsuzuri Ayako had arrived.
"Hold evil beast! I have seen how your defiling touch has defiled the innocence of young maidens and ruined them for marriage! Your interference is unforgivable!" The Magical Maid declared from an elevated position, as all super heroines do before they smote evil. "Now I, Magical Miracle Meido Mitsuzuri, will strike you down in the name of the brilliant future and our glorious youth! Prepare yourself, monster!"
Undaunted, Berserker roared as he flung himself at the entity that was once Assassin, intent of ripping her frilly uniform off. The vicious duel between the force of good and a super pervert began in earnest.
Behind the two battling servants entered sprinting Caster and Lancer. They screeched to a stop at the sight of the astonishing sight.
"Uh, Caster? Who is that?" Lancer asked, faint recognition tugging at the back of his mind.
After a few moments, she recognised the man wearing some poor girl's underwear over his head. "Oh great, it's Matou Shinji. This just can't get any crazier can it?"
Caster cursed her big mouth. The nightclub exploded, and the fight spilled out onto the street.
"As per your summoning I have come fourth. I ask of you are you my Mas... ter..."
The mysterious woman trailed off as she stared at the startled boy crouched before her. Her trembling hands cupped her mouth and tears started to well up in the corners of her disbelieving eyes. Emiya Shirou was minding his own business cleaning out the Archery Club as a favour to Shinji when bright light suddenly appeared and blinded his vision. When it returned a long purple haired woman in an exotic violet and gold kimono was standing before him. "Uh, excuse me ma'am? Do I know you?"
"...sempai?" The woman dropped to her knees and reached out a hand to lightly caress his face as if to confirm he was really there.
"Um, ma'am? Can I help you?" Shirou nervously asked, scooting away from her.
"...sempai... sempai... SEMPAI!" The woman flung herself onto him and embraced him with both arms. Shirou gave a yelp but was rooted to the spot when he felt Rider's figure pressing up against him in all sorts of places. "Sempai, I've missed you! I've missed you so much!"
Emiya Shirou was naturally thrown for a loop as the woman began crying into his chest. She was holding him so tightly he had trouble breathing, as if she was afraid that if she lessened her hold on him that he would disappear into thin air. In fact, it was getting very, very hard to breathe. "Erm, Miss? Please let go. I think you're... crushing my ribs..."
Then she kissed him.
Then she KISSED him.
This wasn't an innocent peck either. Rider captured his lips in the longest, most passionate kiss that Shirou would ever experience in his entire lifetime.
The servant Rider had been a girl who once turned to darkness as the result of injustice she had suffered through no fault of her own. She had been brought back from the darkness by the sacrifice of her one true love... a good man who had so much potential, but had relinquished his life and his dreams for her sake. She had wept rivers of tears for this man, always wondering if she was worth his sacrifice.
For that man, Rider had become a hero.
After years of self pity and doubt, she had found resolve and purpose in the dream he had once discarded in her name. As he had given everything for her, she would live for the sake of achieving his dream; the dream of becoming a hero. In that regard, she had been marginally successful. However, despite her successes and victories, Rider could not fill the emptiness in her soul. This weakness that had almost caused her to return to darkness at the hands of the Black Princess herself... had she not chosen the same damnable path as her beloved had done in another time and place...
The path of a Counter Guardian.
The purple haired servant, tormented by years upon years of surviving the man who had sacrificed everything he was for her and then dying without ever knowing if she'd lived up to his memory, just had her unfulfillable wish granted completely by accident.
Her dream of seeing her dearly beloved Emiya Shirou's face just one more time.
Even if this wasn't her Shirou, the Counter Guardian now felt that all her sacrifices, all her years of struggle, were all worth it now that she could just hold him if only for that moment. "Thank you Sempai... I love you, I love you!" She blurted out, all her feelings over countless years gushing out in an instant.
Rider looked up... and found herself staring into the face of a lifeless man.
It was expected; Emiya Shirou was a mortal teenager who hadn't always been the sharpest knife in the kitchen when dealing with the opposite sex. His brain shut down three milliseconds after the lips of a totally hot woman who loved him more than life itself connected with his own, who had also incidentally pressed every curve of her voluptuous body up to his, and who had hugged him with her superhuman strength... he couldn't even breathe. It wasn't a pretty sight.
You could almost see his spirit rising out is his mouth from limp form.
"Oh my god! Sempai!" Rider shot up in fright eyes darting around the old archery club house for something that she could use. The shock at having her dream come true suddenly take a turn for the worse had muddled Rider's judgement beyond to the point of idiocy. "First aid, first aid... I don't know any healing magic! What do I do, what do I do? I know, CPR!"
Hence why, when Shirou came back to consciousness for a half second, he was treated to Rider breathing hot fumes of love down his mouth while practically sexually assaulting him. "Bweeeeh..."
Naturally Emiya Shirou passed out again.
"It's not working!" Rider despaired. "Don't worry Sempai! I, Emiya Sakura, will save you!"
Please note dear readers, this future version of Sakura really did change her last name to Emiya. She had never been the sanest of people, and years of not 'getting any' from her beloved Shirou did not do her mental health any favours.
Had Shirou been awake, he would have realized just how inescapably screwed he was... and in the literal sense too.
Then, devoid of all other options, Rider summoned her massive steed and obliterated the Archery Dojo from the inside out.
It was a quiet night out over the Fuuyuki High premises, the tranquillity none the more evident than on the rooftop of the main building, there two figures in red stood.
"Hm... now that I have completed a full scale scan... this boundary field seems inadequate, almost like it was thrown up as an afterthought and then abandoned. It's a dud." Tohsaka Rin complained as she prodded the boundary field Caster had set up as bait. Behind her stood Archer, his memories recovered and secretly plotting his younger self's demise.
"I just wasted an hour of my life. Wonderful."
...And it at the end of those words that the tranquillity was shattered, and the Tohsaka duo was altered to a number of goings on in the town.
First, the loud crash from the Archery Dojo collapsing that caused both Rin and Archer to jump in alarm. Second, the sudden rainbow coloured beam of light that shot out high over their heads, the words 'MITSUZURI BEAMU!' echoing through the night. Third was the enormous roar as something massive burst out of the rubble that had been the Archery Dojo. Finally, and most alarmingly, was the sudden feeling of not one, not two, but a whopping SIX servants suddenly entering in their general vicinity.
Not to mention the amount of noise that now filled the previously silent night.
"Yes Rin, I felt that."
Responding to the threat like Rin and Archer rushed over to the side of the fence and looked down into the school courtyard...
... and bore witness to anarchy in its purest form.
"Stop chasing me you crazy Bitch! You call yourself a teacher?"
"Ha! Your blood relation to my Master will not save you, Minori-kun! Besides, exercise is good for you."
"Exercise? Exercise? You've chased me all the way from my house to the school while trying to beat me up!"
"Fujimura... Saber... Whoever, just stop already and leave Minori al-... Holy shit, is that ME? What am I WEARING?"
"Ah-ha! I Have you now, foul beast! ONE HIT KILL, SU-PAH MITSUZURI BEAMU!"
"Oppai, Pantsu! Oppai, Pantsu! OPPAI! PANTSU!"
"Wa-what is going on? Where did all these people come from? I need to save Sempai...!"
"Caster, there they are! Hurry up before they get away!"
"Damn it, they're fast... eh? Lancer, where did all these people come from?"
"Heck if I know!"
"Look at that Sis, it's a giant cool black... thing."
"Holy Shit! A real giant tentacle monster! And what did it do to the Archery Dojo?"
The sound of a loud "twap" could be heard.
"Mitsuzuri, you shouldn't use such language in front of your brother."
"Please move out of the way everyone. Tsukai-kun can't fly without a runway and I have someone who needs medical help quickly..."
"To everyone here! My name is Fujimura Taiga! This is my Noble Phantasm, the Tora-Shinai! Any who dare, come fight me!"
"...keeping identity and weapon secret my ass."
"Oppai, Pantsu! Oppai, Pantsu! OPPAI! PANTSU!"
"Ah, you are truly an impressive foe. But how about this? MEIDO FATAL KISS, KISS BUSTA SMASHU!"
"Uhhhh... Sis, is that YOU?"
"No, it's NOT! I'd never wear anything like that!"
"Damn it all, I'm making a run at it. Cover me! "
"Wait, Lancer! Don't touch it! You'll get trapped by the Kaleidostick -!"
"Ack, too Lat-*FLASH* I am guardian of a young maiden's love; the enemy of heinous perverts everywhere... Brilliant Battle Butler Ryudo Issei! Come, Ayako, For the sake of our glorious masters, let's banish this evil creature!"
"Yes, Issei! We'll use... the LOVE, LOVE ATTACK!"
"Cheh, Kirei making me do all his dirty work... Looks like the disturbance is h- By my Golden Throne! What is this Chaos? Where did all these Mongrels come fro-WAHHHHH!"
"Mitsuzuri, it appears the LOVE, LOVE ATTACK has knocked out this poor blond bystander but was ineffective against the monster!"
"Yes Issei! I lament this poor innocent, but we must carry on. If the LOVE, LOVE ATTACK has failed, you know what this means!"
"Isn't anyone interested in beholding the power of the Tora-Shinai? And as a side note, I'm very hungry. Time to go to Shirou-kun's house for dinner."
"Guhhhh... The Pain... Damn Mongrels... I'll... I'll show you all... Gate of Bab-HURK!"
"Oh no! Bad, Tsukai-kun, bad! No stepping on people! Now I have to get this poor man to the hospital too!"
"This is getting too wild! Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap... Minori, let's get out of here!"
"That's the best idea I heard all day, Sis!"
"Why are there so many people here? Tsukai-Kun can't even move on the ground like this! I need to get to the hospital so I can save Sempai!"
"Ah! Sakura-chan, what a pleasant surprise! Can we home and eat now? I'm hungry."
"GUTS AND HARD WORK ULTIMATE HOUSEHOLD SERVANT TECHNIQUE! LOVE, LOVE DOUBLE KIIIIICCCKKKUUU!"
"YOSH! JUSTICE PREVAILS!"
Looking down at the scene below them, Archer and Rin remained motionless on the roof as they tried to take in these new developments in the Holy Grail War.
"Uh, Archer..." Rin opened her mouth as if to speak, but found herself understandably at a total loss for words.
"Don't ask me. I don't have a clue either." Her similarly shocked servant could only join her at staring at the chaos below.
Extracting herself the chaotic mess as it spiralled further and further out of control, Servant Caster, exhausted body and soul propped herself up against a wall and groaned.
"Urg, I give up... what is this? The Fuuyuki High Class Reunion?"
"So… Assassin, I've been meaning to ask… how'd you know about the Kaleidostick anyway? Mind telling me?"
"Not a chance in hell." Assassin answered as she polished off her eighth mug of beer in the past thirty minutes. It seemed as if the servant was dead set in trying to getting herself drunk and forget about what had happened earlier that day. "Bartender, one more please."
"Err... miss, I think you've had enough." The man answered having kept track of the number of drinks the woman had ordered that night.
"I look coherent enough, don't I?" Assassin shot back, passing him the exact change for her drink. "Just give me the damn drink. I've had an incredibly bad day. Damn it, how much does it take for a heroic spirit to get drunk anyway?"
"Maybe it's just you." Caster tried to hide her smile at Assassin's drinking binge. "C'mon Assassin, just tell me already."
"No, it's stupid." Assassin stubbornly maintained. "And you're pretty pushy. Is it that important?"
"You know I won't stop bugging you about it until you do." Caster pointed out truthfully. "It's the least you could do after trying to kill me. You know how important Noble Phantasms are right? What if there's some weakness that I don't about that could identify me in a future Grail War, or worse yet on a mission..."
"We're copies of heroes, so it's not like you'll remember if I tell you anyway." Assassin argued.
"Er, Hel-lo? Counter Guardian? Jewelled Sword of Zelretch?"
Assassin paused, then sighed and gave in. Oh yeah... this Tohsaka was a Counter Guardian who had a way to retain her experiences. "Darn, you're as persistent no matter what form you come in. Well, if you put it that way… what the heck, I still owed you a couple of favours when I bought the farm anyway. And it's not as if I'd want to try THAT again anytime soon."
Assassin sighed and produced a worn fingerless glove from her pocket, one that had a red jewel embedded onto its palm. Even just looking at it, Caster recognised seemingly ordinary object of Assassin's for what it really was. "You remember my Noble Phantasm, 'Blessing of Eden', the Second Essence of the Creed'? The one that your alternate self developed as a favour for me?"
"The one that lets you steal other people's magical weapons? Yeah, how could I forget such an unusual thing?"
"What do you think you tricked me into testing it out on when you first made it?" Assassin shuddered before she pocketed the glove and sculled her entire drink to rid herself of the horrible memory.
Caster blinked. "Oh. Ohhhhhhh…"
Just in case you were confused, here's the list of alumni.
Saber - Taiga-sensei
Normally the Heroic Spirit of the Taiga, for the purposes of this story she is Saber. Taiga is the most powerful Heroic Spirit, period. Capable of untold feats and heroism, and is said to be unbeatable in a one-on-one duel. Her mysterious past is unknown to everyone, but still she is worshipped by humanity nevertheless. With her two Noble Phantasms, the Torashinai and the Reality Marble Taiga Dojo, the fabric of reality literally bends to Taiga's will.
Archer - Emiya Shirou
Pretty much the only canon servant still participating. See UBW scenario for details. Or if you want a good fanfic, see the Interlude in 'Black Princesses, Crows Wings and Heros's Broken Dreams' by Elf.
Lancer - Ryudo Issei
Inspired by other 'fake ultimate heroes' like Commissar Cain. While Issei was indeed a fairly powerful hero in his time, his abilities and background was drummed up by the media when Japan was imperilled by the Dark Six, making him seem more powerful than he actually was. Despite this he succeeded and he foiled the Dark Six's schemes, which was indeed a great feat. His massive popularity allowed him to ascend become to Heroic Spirit. He drowned while on a fishing trip, but the public merely thought he went into solitude like the heroes of old. Issei's overblown reputation and legend is near ridiculous levels. Despite the fact it annoys him to no end, Issei needs the 'boost' from said reputation to fight 'real heroes' in Grail Wars.
Rider - Matou Sakura
A version of Sakura from the HF True End route accepted Shirou's death and decided to take up his dream of being a 'Hero'. Trained by her former servant Rider and her sister Rin, Sakura left little Japan to travel the world and fight evil. In the middle of her career, Sakura was almost lured back to darkness by her arch-nemesis Altrouge Brunestud. Only by contracting with the world was Sakura able to resist falling again. After many years of battle and hardship, Sakura eventually passed away by natural causes in her mid-thirties, never believing to herself that she lived up to Shirou's example despite a lifetime of heroism. And yes, she is a bit messed up in the head about Shirou.
Caster - Tohsaka Rin
The Caster here is meant to be a generic 'Heroic Spirit Tohsaka', similar to the one in 'Endless Dream's by 'Pata Hikari'.
Assassin - Mitsuzuri Ayako
A legendary figure in her time, Ayako is unique in that she is a 'Hassan' who did not relinquish her previous identity, and thus may or may not be a 'true Hassan'. While many knew of her name and deeds, Ayako kept knowledge about her true abilities to a minimum. WHAT she did was well known, HOW she actually carried out her assassinations was a secret known to the Hashashin and a few of their close allies. Ayako sacrificed herself as a diversion so her chosen successor could assassinate a high profile target, forever immortalising her legend in her timeline. Ayako has three B rank Noble Phantasms that can only be used one at a time. They are collectively known as 'Zabaniya'.
Berserker - Matou Shinji
See above. A powerful Reverse Hero created through the sheer notoriety of his actions and his remarkable popularity on the internet. Subjected to a fate worse than death, one cannot help but wonder if this beast is to be pitied or reviled. Clearly even with the corruption eating at it, something is terribly wrong with the Grail in this war... for the ultimate pervert Matou Shinji should never have materialized otherwise. His Noble Phantasm is 'The Matou Highway' which allows him to cross large distances in short periods of time in his quest to seek out more females.
Quite a number of those on the list have some extensive back stories, such as Ayako who is actually from an unused plot bunny I have, Rin who seems a very popular choice of a Peggy Sue and Sakura whom I may one day decide to write about. One difficulty I had here was knowing the extended back stories of these characters, and then having to use them in a way suitable for a oneshot fic that would not leave too many people scratching their heads.
Hopefully the small summaries provided above could help alleviate some confusion.
I'm also aware that my lack of knowledge of the Nasuverse might have this fic lacking (for instance in the original draft Assassin introduced herself as Hassan-i-Sabbath, which I have been told is a huge no, no for Servants). Given how enormous the Nasuverse can be, I hope such oversights will not detract too much from your enjoyment of the story itself.
Finally, I'd like to give many thanks to the large number of people who have Beta'ed for me on this fiction. This piece of fiction would not have been possible without their help.
For the record, this will STAY as a one shot, so I apologize to anyone hoping for a sequel for this (from me at least). My track record for making sequels is... disappointing. But as always, constructive criticism is welcome.
Thanks for reading!