Disclaimer: I do not own Fate/ Stay Night or any of its characters...

Fate/ Stay Night: Alternate Routes

Scenario One: RIDER

By Traingham


Lately I've felt a disturbance in my thoughts at night. My dreams no longer follow a proper path, almost as if some sort of unseen force is at work. It feels as though my dreams are ensnared in some sort of web... No, that's not right. It's more as though my dreams are bound tight by threads directed by another dominating influence. Once captured I experience some sort of hi-jack. For example, I'll dream of a grassy knoll in the far distance where a sword awaits me up top. I'll run to it, pumping my legs tirelessly, pushed on by some indescribable desire to reach out and grab for it so that I can pull it free from the earth and when I arrive at the summit something unexpected happens. I grip the hilt of the sword and it begins to twist like a violent snake. I try my best to let go of it, but it transforms into a chain and proceeds to wrap around my arm, encircling it until it reaches my chest, down to my waist and finally, my legs. Losing my balance, I fall to the ground and get pulled into darkness.

Most people would dismiss it as a nightmare, but I tend to take my dreams seriously due to my past experiences dealing with them. It's a long story, but something is going to happen in the near future. I can feel it. The only problem that stands is, will I be ready to face it?

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"Sempai." A soft voice tugged at Shirou's consciousness gently. He didn't realize it, but a smile came to his lips as he groaned in his sleep. This voice was comforting for him. It provided the sense of warm familiarity that he needed to get in touch with after having, once again, been plagued with the recurring nightmare that had been no stranger to him for the past few days. His eyes opened slowly and he propped himself up on his elbows to look up at his usual early morning visitor, Sakura Matuo. Being woken up almost everyday by the young beauty was probably something he was taking fore granted and he knew it, but maybe that was the problem to begin with. They had known each other for so long that he had eventually gotten past the idea of her just being another one of his friends and had come to identify her as a younger sibling, however, lately that illusion had begun to deteriorate, revealing the truth that he had been trying to deny for so long.

Sakura is hot. The young Emiya's thoughts leaned in that direction, with only his integrity as a gentleman keeping those thoughts from manifesting into a full blown erotic fantasy. Not that it had done a successful job of preventing that whenever Tohsaka or Saber managed to arouse similar thoughts, but Sakura was a special case. She was delicate, pure, a childhood friend. He just couldn't imagine anything culminating between them past an everlasting friendship between two family members...so why was it that his eyes kept on straying towards those capacious breasts? What was she doing to get them so-

"Good morning, Sakura!" Shirou decided to get the exchange moving before he could come up with any theories. He averted his gaze from her before she could flash him her usual smile and turned his attention to the clock hanging on the wall. "Whoa, seven o' clock already?" Which should not have elicited such a response from him since that was technically early, but he was going to do everything within his power to convince himself that he should be concerned about it, or dairy products were going to come to mind somehow and they weren't going to relate to cows at all.

"It's still early, Shirou-sempai." The purple haired junior told him with a hint of concern in her voice. If Shirou took the time to look at her, he would have seen the blush blossoming upon her face as she considered her next choice of words. "I...heard you moaning in your sleep from the hall so...I got concerned."

"Concerned?" He looked at Sakura and her face went completely red with embarrassment. Bringing a balled hand to her chest, she turned her head to the side quickly, her bangs overshadowing her eyes in the process. Still, he didn't get the hint, "What were you concerned about?"

"Ah!" She perked up at his inquiry, "Well, th-that maybe you might have b-been..." She turned her head slowly to regard him, mouth hanging open to finish her answer. "...experiencing stomach problems?" Shirou, naturally, was unable to determine whether this was a question or an answer to his question. Either way, he was glad that the atmosphere lightened up a bit. He didn't need such an awkward start in the morning, especially with it being his turn to cook breakfast today and his fellow tenants being the demanding eaters that they were. Saber and Taiga were not going to give a damn about his feelings so much as whether there was going to be food on the table when they got up from bed. Admittedly, it was an abusive relationship. He just kept telling himself that it wasn't for the sake of his pride as a man.

"I better make breakfast then." With that he stood up from the floor and stretched out his arms before walking to the door, but it was closed. He scratched his chin and looked over his shoulder at Sakura with a quizzical expression. "Did you slide the door shut?"

"No." She replied innocently. "The wind, maybe?"

He stopped and stared for a moment...and shrugged his shoulders. Sakura wouldn't lie about something like that...although if she was, that would mean that she was watching me while I was asleep. "Yeah, must have been the wind." Because that would have been creepy.


"Yay!" Illya's melodic cheer filled the dining room as she took her place at the table. Such was her way whenever it was Shirou's cooking on the table and not Rin's. "It's Onii-chan's day to cook breakfast!" She must have cried out loud enough for Rin to hear regardless of wherever she might have been, which conveniently happened to be, at the entryway from the west hall. As usual, the lovely magus entered the living room, sans the lovely, as she did every morning. Everyone got used to it.

"You don't need to yell." Rin groaned, clearly not in the mood to start anything this early. She spotted her cup of tea and her hands clawed for it as if it was her own personal life elixir. After taking her first generous sip her expression lightened up with a warm smile indicating her immediate switch in gears, "Ah...my favorite tea leaf." She licked her lips, turning her head to regard the man slave of the house. He was currently finishing off the complimentary onigiri that always accompanied Saber's breakfast. "Hey, nice touch, Emiya-kun."

"Yeah, thanks." He muttered, not sounding quite affected by her words in the least. He turned with Saber's plate in his hand and stopped short on the tip of his toes when he almost ran into Sakura in the process. Apparently she had been standing behind him the entire time. "Sakura? What are you doing up? I served you, didn't I?"

"I just wanted to help you finish off the table, sempai."

Shirou forced a smile to her as best he could without allowing any one of his eyes to twitch. Ever since Sakura managed to move in, her eagerness to help out, or rather, help him out with everything had been taken up a notch and all it was managing to do so far was the opposite of what she intended through her actions. Instead of taking the weight off his shoulders, she had succeeded in adding yet another chore to his task list, which just so happened to be, fending her off. "That's fine, Sakura. I'm almost done..." His voice failed him when the junior's lively expression gradually darkened with his words. Whenever she did that it always managed to make him feel guilty.

"Here." He handed her the plate, lifting her spirits again. "Take it to Saber."

"Alright!" She nodded almost gratefully before she turned away to deliver the goods. Back at the table Saber raised an eyebrow as the young Matou walked her way with the rice balls in hand. Yes, she knew that Sakura harbored strong feelings for Shirou Emiya, but there was something about her today that felt slightly exaggerated. While it was natural for her to insist on helping Emiya in the morning with breakfast, her approach today bordered a bit on aggressive. It was to the point that she could actually see Shirou's discomfort, something that he was usually quite versed at concealing when it came to the young woman in question.

Illya saw it, too, just not in the way that Saber viewed it. "Onii-chan!"

Shirou looked over his shoulder at her call. "Yes, Illya?"

"I wanna help with breakfast tomorrow!" She demanded.

Rin smirked, "Fine. I'll take the extra help." Her unexpected response made the little girl pale, if such was possible. She flailed her arms at the realization of her error and made an attempt out of it, "I-I meant, the next time it's onii-chan's turn!"

"Too late." Rin denied her, the smirk on her face having curled into a grin. "Hope to see you bright and early tomorrow, Einzbern."

Shirou finally turned away from the stove and walked over to his sitting spot beside Saber with his plate of food. Ignoring Taiga's looming eyes over his plate, he picked up his chopsticks and proceeded to dig into the fish that Sakura had prepared, "Your fish is delicious, Sakura," He complimented her after swallowing a bite before his self-esteem took another punch, "As usual." He muttered under his breath.

"Yes." Rin decided to voice her own opinion. "Better than Shirou's!" Her eyes swiveled over to him cheerfully as she added the sting, "As always."

Shirou glared at her, "No one asked for comparisons!"

"I was just agreeing with your feelings, Emiya-kun." The pig tailed magus retorted casually. There was an audible swallow from Saber's direction after her words were said and she looked to the blonde beauty just in time to see her wipe her mouth of a few grains of rice. The expression on the normally stoic knight's face told Rin that she was about to go on the defensive for Shirou.

"I must disagree." said the knight in an honest voice. "I find no flaw in Shirou's cooking, neither do I favor Sakura-san's fish over his."

"Your opinion doesn't count, Saber." Rin responded to her defense. "You naturally prefer anything Shirou cooks over other foods."

A light blush blossomed upon Saber's face and she turned her head to the side to hide it, "A-And there is something wrong with that?" Of course, she asked this while pulling her plate of onigiri closer to her own eating area. She was not liking the surreptitious glances that Fuji-Nee was casting over them, and the empty bowl of rice in front of the teacher was enough of a warning to the rest of them that it was time to finish what was left on their own plates before she decided to do the job for them.

"No," Rin replied, waving her chopsticks back and forth as she did before reaching down into her rice bowl to pop the last of it in her mouth. "Anyway, I don't have any real plans today." She looked to Shirou with an unreadable expression. "Hey, Shirou." At her call the other three girls at the table shifted their eyes towards the magus suspiciously.

"Yeah?" The young man responded, setting his eating utensils down.

"You wanna come with me to the city?"

"What for?" He asked, paying no mind to the shift in Tohsaka's expression.

She narrowed her eyes slightly, not taking well to the subtle rejection. "Who cares, what for? You have plans for the day already?"

"Not really."

"Then go out with me." With the way she simply went out and said it, misinterpreting her words as a date proposal would not have been odd. Sakura and Saber stared at her as if she had grown another head on her shoulder. Illya on the other hand-

"Onii-chan can't go with you anywhere." The snow fairy stood up from her spot and walked over to the young Emiya to claim his arm possessively as she went on, "Because me and him are going to go to the park to play together."

"But didn't he do that with you yesterday?" Sakura worked up the nerve to protest, but her words were only met with a cruel stare from the little girl whose red eyes seemed to pierce her own with an implied threat. Was it ever mentioned that Illya could be downright scary whenever she got that way? To her there only seemed to be two things that were important to her, that being amusement and Shirou Emiya. Try to deprive her of any of the two and you were looking for trouble, as was just made clear to the junior.

"So?" Illya finally said after looking away from her to nuzzle Shirou's cheek with her own. "Today we're going again."

"Perhaps that is unfair, Illya." Saber announced her own protest. "Shirou must want to-"

"Get beaten around by you again?" The little girl interrupted her before she could finish. She looked to Shirou, "Well, do you, oniichan?"

Shirou massaged the back of his neck awkwardly. "I don't necessarily get beaten around by her..." His defense was admittedly weak, because that was exactly what went on in the dojo whenever he trained together with Saber and it didn't help that Illya sat in on a few sessions. If anything, the only reason he returned from a session with less bruises than he used to was because Saber had gradually gone easier on him from guilt and a few other reasons that didn't need any listing.

Illya decided to go for the throat with this one, "Then what would you call it, onii-chan?"

"Failing excessively." Naturally, Tohsaka went in for the execution before Shirou could come up with a reasonable excuse. "So," She got the young man's attention again, "Are you coming with me, or what?" That aspect of her was truly amazing in his eyes. When Rin wanted something, she went after it with the total confidence that she would eventually have it within her grasps, hence the way she casually threw another offer his way to accompany her to the city when seconds earlier, she nonchalantly insulted him.

"Why don't you take Illya along with you." Shirou suggested, intending to kill two birds with one stone. That way he can put some distance between him and Illya and manage to go for more than a few hours without Rin's sarcasm. Oh, simply the thought of it threatened to bring tears of joy to his eyes! But Illya wasn't going to accept it.

"No way!" Illya protested, hugging Shirou's arm even tighter than before. "I want to go with you, not her!"

"Um, sempai?" Sakura raised her hand hesitantly.

"You really are disappointing me, Emiya-kun." Rin stood up from the table with a frown.

"Sempai?" Sakura called to him a little louder the second time.

"Shirou?" Saber got his attention before her much to her dismay.

"Yes, Saber?" Shirou looked at her, gradually doing his best to free his arm from Illya's vice grip all the while.

"Would you be against walking?" The knight inquired, a hint of timidness in her voice. "If you are opposed to accompanying Tohsaka, that is."

"Well..." He seemed to consider it, but-

Rin perked up at his indecisive response, "What is this?" She glared at him. "You can consider her offer, but you flat out refuse mine? Where is the fairness in that?"

"SHIROU!" Sakura's sudden cry broke everyone else out of the conversation, even getting Fuji-nee to set down the newspaper that she had been occupying herself with. Shirou blinked a few times in shock while Rin and Illya stared at Sakura dispassionately as if she was nothing more than an interrupting nuisance. Saber, on the other hand, took on a curious expression, studying the girl with mild interest. Yes, this must have confirmed her suspicions somewhat. There was something off about Sakura Matou today, but she was unable to diagnose what exactly it might have been.

"Yes, Sakura-san?" Shirou asked.

Finally having his attention on her, Sakura straightened out the wrinkles on her sleeves. "I actually had something in mind for today." Ignoring the way Illya was staring at her, she went on, "Since you and me really don't spend as much time together as we used to...I figured that maybe you and me could go to the archery club and spend the day there. Um...what do you think?"

"That..." Shirou nodded his head a few times before offering her a smile, "...that's not a bad idea, Sakura. Sure, why not?"

Then, just as if recalling something, a confused expression washed over Rin's lovely features. "Now that you mention it, didn't you tell me that you were going somewhere with the other archery members today?"

"What?" Sakura gave her an equally confused look.

Rin nodded, "Yeah, that's right. You told me that Mitsuzuri had some kind of trip planned for the archery club today, and that you were going to leave to meet up with them early in the morning. You informed me last night, remember?" There was a pregnant silence after she reminded Sakura of her predetermined plans. Both girls simply stared at each other for a good minute or so, building enough tension in the room to choke a horse. After a while it didn't seem like Sakura was going to respond, so the magus decided to prod her on, "So what are you still doing here?"

Sakura swallowed. "...She canceled." Her answer was, needless to note, a hint suspicious.

Shirou looked to Taiga, "Fuji-nee, shouldn't you know something about that? You're in charge of the archery club to begin with, aren't you?" His question was met with a few blinks from the teacher as she munched on a strip of fish that Tohsaka had left unattended. If the young woman was aware of this, she sure wasn't showing it.

"I heard something about a trip today." Was all she could respond with.

"Ugh," Shirou pinched the bridge of his nose in annoyance, "I can't believe that you're so ill informed about these things."

"Heeey!" The Taiga whined. "I heard about it, at least!"

"Well, "Shirou turned his attention to Rin, "If Sakura says it's canceled, I don't see any reason to doubt her."

Tohsaka stared back at Shirou, stroking her chin for a moment as if appraising him before shrugging her shoulder. "Alright then. You're coming with me today, Illya." She ignored the groan that the little girl let out at her words, leaving no room for any argument. She then turned her attention to Saber, "And you, Saber? If you're in the mood to go out walking, then come with us. You might even have some fun at the city."

Saber shook her head to the magus's disappointment, "I must decline. It would be best if I accompanied Shirou and Sakura to the archery club."

The young Emiya glanced at his servant uneasily at her response to the offer. He should have seen this coming somehow. "Um, Saber..."

"No!" Sakura snapped. "I only invited Shirou-sempai!" The girl had some bite, that was for sure.

Saber, reaching the end of her patience with the girl, fixed her with a cold stare. It was not unlike the stares she would shoot at one of her enemies and Shirou was all, too, familiar with it, having been a witness to all of the engagements they had pulled through together. He had the feeling that some intervention was in order, and quick. "You are not my master, Matou. Do not think that I will pay any mind to your protests, as you cannot command me."

"Saber..." The knight looked to her master when he called her name, feeling a twinge of betrayal at his disapproving tone. "...Could you go with Rin and Illya instead?"

She did not intend to back down easily. "Shirou-"

"Saber." Shirou called her name again softly. His tone was so sincere and gentle that she felt the anger within her dissipate like a doused flame. She simply could not bring herself to fight against him wholeheartedly whenever he spoke to her that way and on that count she felt that he was cheating, because he knew just as well, dammit. "Could you please go with Rin? I'm sure you'll have more fun going out with her than concerning yourself with me and Sakura."

"..." Saber appeared as if she wanted to argue over his choice of words, but she managed to hold back. "...Very well."

"Oh," Rin's voice got the attention of the three, "By the way, Sakura..."

Sakura almost appeared to be threatened by Rin's presence when she spoke, "Yes?"

"Where's Rider today?" Her question had everyone else at the table, with the exception of Saber and Fuji-nee-sensei, thinking the same thing. In the 'Taiga's' case, she paid no mind to the name because she wasn't actually familiar with the servant. Saber, on the other hand, simply held no shred of concern for the treacherous servant. The less they saw of each other in the day, the better. Such was the manner of their relationship despite the fact that they themselves did not truly understand why. Perhaps it was all part of the natural balance of the world for them to oppose one another and they were simply victims to causality.

"I'm not...sure." The girl replied, albeit hesitantly.

Tohsaka was not quick to accept her answer, seemingly content with studying her face for a moment before shrugging her shoulders. "Alright then. You two have fun at the archery club, then."

Shirou glared at her, "What are you trying to imply?"

Rin simply grinned, "Nothing, Emiya-kun." She turned the question back on him, "What kind of thoughts are going through your head?"

"N-Nothing!"

"Nothing, huh?" She mused. "Well, I guess that's natural for you."

"And what is that supposed to mean?"

"You figure it out."

"GRR!"

Saber appeared to have the right thing in mind for her day since the weather was beautiful outside. It was the perfect day to go out for a walk and the young Emiya inwardly felt a little guilty for turning his partner down, but Sakura was on him all through the morning so he figured it would not have been fair to her to ruin her plans in favor of the blonde knight, especially since they rarely did this sort of thing together. With Shinji gone, may he rest in peace (..Not really...), Sakura had more freedom to herself, which she mostly spent at the Emiya Estate, helping him around the house and just about everything else in general. She helped him with the shopping, small house repairs, and she even tried accompanying him to work a few times despite his protests about it. All in all, she dedicated the majority of her time to him, never really bothering to cater to her own needs and desires, or at least that's what he thought. So whenever she wanted something out of him, he just had to fulfill her wishes or he would naturally feel bad about rejecting her later. It was terrible enough for him when she made that pout of her's. Who could resist it?

The walk to the school was a fairly quiet one, so much in fact that Shirou had begun to wonder whether he had done something wrong back at the house to get this sort of treatment from Sakura. Usually she would have brought something up to talk about by now, however, by looking at her he was able to see a concentrated expression gracing her normally gentle features. The effect it gave off made it seem as though the girl was pursuing some sort of goal that was-

She grinned.

-not far... from...reach. What was that about?

"What happened, Sakura?" Shirou inquired curiously, causing the grin to drop from her face quickly. The expression she regarded him with after she did resembled that of a person who had just gotten caught in the act of doing something suspicious. This was just getting weirder by the minute.

Sakura folded her hands over her lap as she walked along with him, "What was that, sempai?"

"I saw you smirking at something, so I figured something might have been funny." Shirou replied. His words were met with a quick shake of her head in response.

"No, nothing is funny." She answered him, a relaxed expression returning to her features. "Although," She brought a balled hand up to her bottom lip, rather close to covering her mouth, "Don't you think Saber-san was acting a little weird at breakfast earlier?"

Shirou cocked his head to the side inquisitively, "What do you mean?"

The expression on Sakura's face looked a little hurt. "She didn't seem to trust me." She turned her head away slightly, "Maybe she thinks I'm a bother."

"Oh, that?" Shirou forced out a chuckle to lighten the mood, "Saber is always like that whenever I go somewhere! It's not that she doesn't like you. It's just, she always feels like she needs to be close to me for some reason even though there aren't any more masters running around." He massaged the back of his neck awkwardly, "Well, except you and me, that is."

"That doesn't bother you?"

"Bother me?" His cheeks burned a little from her question. "Maybe a little, but...that's just her way, and it's not like I don't appreciate it. Saber is the closest person to me, so-" He whipped his head back to her and laughed nervously when he realized how his words came out, "I-I mean, she's one of the closest people to me besides, um, you, Tohsaka, and Illya." He paused. "Er, and Taiga-san." He was so focused on the conversation that he was having with her that he didn't notice her come to a halt in front of a red light.

"Sempai!" She snagged him by the the back of his shirt to stop him before he got hit by a car.

"Geez!" Shirou looked over his shoulder and smiled at her sheepishly. "Thanks, Sakura...that was close."

"Pay attention to your surroundings!" She scolded him, her eyebrows furrowed in genuine anger.

"Yeah, I'm sorry about that." He scratched the back of his head, looking away from her. "That would be a terrible way to die after living through the war." He joked, "Saber would probably track me down in the after-life and smack me around a few times for dying just for not looking both ways." The image was vivid in his mind, Saber coming after him like a mad woman with a shinai in her hand while he pumped his legs to keep a distance from her, angels looking on in the background trying to decided whether they should get involved.

"...Don't." The somber tone in Sakura's voice got Shirou to turn his head and regard her in worry. He must have said something to upset her. "Please don't bring that up."

"I'm...sorry, Sakura." He apologized, dropping his hand at his side. "I didn't mean to bring back old memories."

"That's fine." She did her best to smile. "You'll just have to provide me with new ones."

He blushed at her words and nodded absently, "Um...yeah. That's right."

When the light turned green they crossed the street and continued their walk to the school, which was nearing in the distance. Since there were no classes today, most of the students were either at their clubs or hanging around at the front gate waiting for their friends to come out. Shirou figured that Sakura didn't want to make anymore conversation since the walk resumed in a long silence. Perhaps bringing up the Holy Grail War might not have been such a smart idea. Bringing it into the context of a joke might not have been so hot either.

I sure feel like an ass. The young Emiya thought with a sweat-drop. He looked back at Sakura and turned away in lower spirits when the look of concentration had returned to her lovely face. She probably didn't want to hear anything from him right now, so she was doing her best to block everything out. I wonder how Saber is doing with Rin, and Illya. Hopefully she isn't giving Rin such a hard time down there. I know how difficult it is for her to appreciate most of the things they have to offer, so she probably has this neutral expression on her face even as I'm thinking about it.

"Sempai..."

"Huh?" He pulled himself away from his thoughts at the sound of her voice. "Yes, Sakura?"

"What do you think about, Rider?"

...Silence...

Shirou stared dumbfounded at the younger girl for a moment. He had been under the impression that he sprinkled salt on an old wound, so the fact that she decided to speak relieved him, but for her to bring up Rider of all people at the start of a new conversation was totally unexpected. She really blindsided him with the question as well. What did he think about Rider? What did she mean by that? What did he think of her personally, or was she referring to his opinion on her looks? It was difficult on all accounts, really. On one hand, his personal thoughts on Rider was rather mixed due to a few obvious reasons. She proved to him on a few occasions that she could be a nice person, but most of his experiences with her could not be written down on paper without including terms like blood loss, or agony, or even paradox. On the other hand, Shirou might have been a little dense when it came to female matters, but complimenting a woman's looks in front of another female was a BIG NO. It was an unwritten rule. Tohsaka didn't like it. Illya didn't like it, and she was a little girl, by the way. Hell, even Saber didn't like it! So there was absolutely no way Sakura was going to ask him a question like that and he'd answer with something positive. So with that dilemma laid out as it was-

"What do you mean, what do I think about her?" Shirou asked, unable to hide the suspicion in his voice.

"It's a simple question, sempai." She told him in an unSakura-like tone. She turned her head to look at him slowly, "What do you think of, Rider?"

Chills rattled his spine. "Think of her...how?"

She narrowed her eyes, "I'm not being specific. Just tell me."

"But, see, that's the problem." Shirou told her, his self-preservation instincts kicking in, "I need you to be specific."

She walked closer to him, her eyes still meeting his own, "I don't think it's that hard, Shirou-sempai. What do you think of her?"

"Rider is...okay." He regretted that answer when Sakura came to a sudden halt, leaving him to hit the brakes hard before he could leave her behind. He turned around to find the young woman standing their with an expression on her face that was difficult to place. It didn't look like she was angry...just...between amused and dissatisfied. "Did I say something wrong?"

"Okay?" Sakura echoed him. "Rider is just, 'okay'?"

Shirou did a quick side glance to check for any onlookers before replying, "Yeah. She's okay."

"Okay?"

"Well, I don't know. She isn't exactly...spectacular!" He heightened his voice on the last word to exaggerate it.

"So you basically prefer Saber." She outright stated it rather than asked.

Shirou nodded a few times, unsure whether he was even allowed to. "Um...yeah? But, um, why did you bring her up? Are we comparing servants?"

Sakura humphed and walked past him, "Forget that I brought it up."

I don't get it...

He watched on as she walked ahead for a few seconds before a great idea suddenly hit him, and he jogged to catch up to her, joking, "Hey! Do you want to trade servants for a day?"

"..." No response.

He bowed his head. "...I thought it was funny."


[ The Archery Club ]

As always, nothing appeared to have changed about the archery club since Shirou had been forced to leave it. The floorboards were waxed to their usual shine thanks to Mitsuzuri's guidance as captain of the club. She probably had the freshmen do most of the work, though, so it was sort of a forced labor on her part. He walked around to get a feel of the place again as Sakura closed the door behind herself, and spotted the storage closet in the corner of the room where all of the equipment was kept. The last time Mitsuzuri had him come over and repair some of the bows was about two weeks ago, so he was sure that a little bit of maintenance had to be done on them. Maybe that was the actual reason Sakura brought him over with her.

Shirou sighed as he rolled his shoulders. I should have known that Sakura wasn't behind this. She'd be to shy to invite me anywhere alone. Mitsuzuri most likely convinced her to do this so that she didn't have to come up to me directly, herself. He proceeded over to the closet and placed his hand on the handle to turn, but he became hesitant, noticing that Sakura had not turned the lights on. It shouldn't have taken her very long to flip the switch since it was right beside the door. What was keeping her so lon-and then, it hit him.

A squeamish sensation passed through his stomach as the smell of blood wafted through the room. Actually, no, that wasn't it. It was not so much that it smelled of blood, but rather it felt like blood had been splattered all over the walls in such an instance that it could have been there the entire time and he would not have noticed until it was too late. Considering that he was experiencing it right now, he was too late. A dark presence was felt behind him and his muscles tensed up reflexively.

Shit. Shirou grit his teeth. What the hell is behind me?

"Sakura?" He called the name of his kohai anxiously.

His call was answered by the familiar rattling of chains. "Sakura-sama is currently on a trip with the archery club, Shirou Emiya."

Shirou's eyes widened in surprise, "Rider?" He turned around, unsure of whether he should have been relieved or... "Why are you dressed like that?" He was referring to the black dress, arm sleeves and knee high boots that she normally wore whenever she was in battle mode. Her iconic, purple seal also took the place of the glasses that she had taken to wearing with her civilian clothes. The way she looked now, it was giving him horrible flashbacks. He could still taste the sweet air of the blood fort from so long ago, and the smell of his own blood on his clothes after being stabbed and ripped apart by her iron nail.

"What's the matter, Emiya?" Rider questioned him sinisterly, her abnormally long, purple hair bouncing around her face with each step she took toward him. "I've given you no reason to behave so cautiously around me," She stopped to bring her iron nail to her lips so that she could give it a long, suggestive lick, "...have I?"

"You're armed." Shirou replied, his eyes narrowing imperceptibly. "How do you think I should behave?"

"Obediently." Rider answered him with a smile that sent unpleasant shivers through him. "That way it'll be easier on you." She ended her sentence by throwing her nail at him without warning. He did the only thing his mind could formulate as a defensive maneuver in such little time and tried to dodge to the side, but it did him no good in the end. The chain took on a life of its own and wrapped around his right leg, slithered around his waist and finally, his left forearm in a fluid motion before the end of the iron nail lodged itself in the ceiling above him. He was trapped like a fly in a web.

"I wonder if Saber will come to your rescue, Emiya." The dark woman said with a straight face before stopping in front of him. "Without any more command spells it is bound to be impossible, so it's just you and me roughing it out."

"I don't understand why you're doing this." Shirou struggled against the chain futilely. "Are you going to hurt me?"

"That depends entirely on you." At some point as she was talking her hand found itself upon his chest. He looked down at it as she slid two of her fingers into an open space between two buttons and gripped the fabric before tearing his shirt open in one smooth pull. He didn't wear a muscle shirt underneath so he was showing off his bare chest to her and it was made even more apparent to him when her cold finger tips came in contact with his warm skin.

"Shirou," Her lips curled into a smirk, "You're shivering."

"It's cold," He replied as he did his best to flinch away at her touch, "Your hand," He clenched his teeth when she placed her entire palm on his chest, "It's c-cold!"

"Are you nervous?"

"Of course I am!" He yelled at her. "Who wouldn't be?"

"Good." With that, she grabbed him by the back of his neck with her other hand and leaned in quickly. When their lips met, Shirou, was naturally shocked, so much, in fact, that he almost cried out, but his mouth never opened far enough, because the moment he unwittingly granted passage something slithered into his mouth and coiled around the tip of his tongue. His eyes widened as the slimy muscle pushed into his mouth even further and started moving around in a looping motion, seducing his tongue into joining along. His resistance to the dark servant's advance gradually fell as he lost himself to her kiss, her teasing him to bring their serpentine dance into her own mouth with a strong suckle. After what lasted longer than his drunken mind could clearly measure, she pulled away from him, snapping the string of saliva that stretched between their parted mouths and slurping in what she was left with.

"You appear eager for more, Emiya." Rider moaned in his ear playfully as she pressed herself against him. She hummed seductively as she slowly dipped her right hand along his stomach, stopping to grip his belt with a frustrating tug. "Tell me, Shirou...am I really such a bad servant?"

"Ri...Rider...what do you want from me?" Shirou's question left his mouth in a near slur. Right now it was difficult for him to focus on anything. He had been profoundly aroused by the sensation of her tongue coiling around his own seconds ago and now, with her soft flesh pressed against him, his rationality was being driven to its limits. His heartbeat was pulsing in his nether regions and it was expanding. Not to say that Rider was oblivious to it since her hand had been long preoccupied with it, stroking the bulge through his pants with loving attention.

"I want you, hero." The servant purred to him, "I want the love that you devote to your dear, Saber. Is it really that difficult to understand?" She ended her sentence by touching the center of his chest with the tip of her tongue and leaving a saliva trail to the very bottom until all Shirou could see was the top of her head. He felt a pressure against his waistline as she pulled at his belt and the weight dropped, leaving him in his boxers. She let out an amused giggle at the sight of his tip peeking through the flap.

"Will you give this to me?" She asked without looking up at him. She accentuated her question by reaching in through the opening of his boxers and gripping the shaft of his member possessively. That contact was all it took for him to release his load on her face. Within the space of that moment his mind was able to process a sliver of embarrassment from the pre-ejaculation. Rider, on the other, merely smiled up at him and passed her tongue over the semi-transparent slime around her mouth before murmuring, "I guess that was a yes."

"A-Ah..." Shirou bit back a groan when her hand began stroking him in a slow motion.

"So Shirou, have you decided yet?"

"...Deci...what?" He choked out.

"Do you want me as your servant?" She gripped him and ran her tongue along his tip in circles.

"Urmph..." Shirou bucked forth by some irresistible urge. "Y...Yes..."

Rider pulled her head back, "Will you devote yourself to me as I will to you?"

Shirou's chest rose and fell a few times before he nodded weakly. Rider appeared to like the manner of his response, rewarding him by leaning in again. Electric jolts made both of his legs nearly give out beneath him when he was enveloped in her wet mouth. Unlike the cold touch of her skin it was warm, inviting him in every time she bobbed her head down. Before long he became saturated to the base in a mixture of her saliva and his own cum, filling the room with loud slurping noises every time she pulled back. One of her hands reached up and massaged him, while the other followed through in the up and down motion of her head like a second pair of lips.

"UrGH!" He finally reached his limit. The tips of her teeth came down on him gently and she bobbed her head a final time before pulling out and allowing him to explode. He wasn't sure how much time passed before his vision returned to him, but Rider was still on her knees when it did, though she had halted in her service.

"A final question, Emiya." She told him seductively.

Her response came in a wheeze.

"Am I better than Saber?"

Shirou nodded vigorously.

She stood up to his confusion and licked her lips before smiling, "Good to hear."

"...Huh?"

"We'll continue this in the evening." With that announcement she dipped low into a crouch and jumped up towards the ceiling before disappearing like a ghost.

(((Silence)))

"R...Rider?" Shirou called her name weakly, only to be met with no answer. He looked over his shoulder and to the ceiling to see if she was hanging over him, but she was nowhere to be seen. "Rider?" He called again, this time a little clearer, but he was still met with no answer. Then the horror dawned on him. He was standing in the middle of the room with his shirt popped open, and his boxers on the floor. This was a set up!

"RIDER!" He cried out desperately. "I'm sorry! You're the best!"

No answer.

"I SAID IT! YOU'RE THE BEST DAMMIT!"

And just as the other times he screamed out to her, he was met with no answer, however, something else managed to reach his ears: The sounds of approaching girls. The hapless young man nearly screamed in terror, writhing against the chains in hopes that he could somehow slip free, but it was too late. He heard footsteps out on the front porch of the club house accompanied by a few giggles, and-

Click...

The door swung open.

"I told you it would be fun!" Mitsuzuri told Sakura, leading the way into the room. The archery captain laughed haughtily, turned to switch on the lights and-

"SEMPAI?" Sakura cried out at the top of her lungs, dropping her purse to the ground.

Shirou, finding that there was nothing else he could possibly do, gave them the cheesiest smile he possibly could.

"H-Hey girls."


RIDER, ROUTE ONE-DEAD END