Disclaimer: I don't own Fate/Stay Night, otherwise there would have been a good ending to the Fate route as well, and said route would have been the ending to the anime, instead of that never ending cliffhanger they left for us to loathe and hate.
'Well, I guess this is it,' I thought as I finally realized that the battle was over, that this would be the final time I'd be able to see her, possibly forever.
In only a few short weeks I'd fallen in love with the woman in front of me, it really was a hard prospect to grasp when I thought about it. It was weird, to have such conflicting emotions over a single object.
The Holy Grail, there isn't a doubt in my mind that destroying it was the right decision. To let such an abomination exist, that was a sin in and of itself. But at the same time, I couldn't help but feel a bit thankful towards it.
Yes, it was because of the Holy Grail that over the past few weeks people had been injured, sometimes severely. While in other cases, people like Shinji Matou had even died. Not to even begin to mention that fire that had struck ten years ago.
But… I have to keep in mind of the things that I also gained from this war. Even if that fire had been the tragedy of my life, I never would have met Kiritsugu and started my journey to become a superhero. Then there are the new friends I've made, others like Rin and Ilya. Finally, there's the greatest gift of all, the woman in front of me, and the one I'd fallen in love with, Saber. It goes regardless without saying that I never would have met her had I not accidently summoned her on that strange night with the help of the Grail.
So it's because of these things that I don't know whether I should hate the Grail, or thank it. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to think it over.
"So, I guess this is the end?" Saber asks me in a quiet voice, even if she already knew the answer. I continue to stare at her with her back turned to me, her loose hair and her blue dress flowing in the wind. I prepare to answer her, but I'm surprised to find how hard it was to utter only a few words.
"This is the end," I answer, it taking me all of my pride not to break down at that moment and beg Saber to stay, which would only end up making things worse. We both knew where she rightfully belonged.
"As your sword, I have defeated all your enemies and have protected you. I am glad that I have been able to fulfill this oath," she explained, almost as if wanting to just confirm it with me to hear my voice one last time. Similar to how she'd wanted to hear me command her to destroy the grail. Surprisingly, I find it easier to find my voice and respond to her this time.
"Yeah, you did well." I think I might have seen her shoulders ease up, if only for a moment.
"I need to tell you something before I go…" she continued, and at this my full attention was directed on her, wanting to hear her last words, wondering what they could be. She turned around, if painfully slow, to finally face me and opened her eyes. I make sure to etch this final moment into my memory, knowing that this will be the last time I ever see those eyes I'd fallen so heavily for. Yet, I can't help but wonder if maybe she's doing the same.
"Shirou… I… love you," Saber states as her final words to me. I'm surprised at my own reaction, or lack thereof for that matter. I guess to put it simply; I'd already known that, this was just the first time I'd heard her speak it.
At that moment the sun had risen to the point that it caused a glare that temporarily blinded my sight. But that had been all it took, when I look back, she's gone, the place she'd been only seconds before vacant of anyone.
"Saber!" I shout as I wake up and spring to a sitting position on my bed. Immediately looking at the clock display I had on a bed stand next to me. It was 5:37 in the morning. Well, no point in going back to sleep now, might as well just get ready.
I looked around the room I had accustomed to as my mind's haze started to clear and examined my surroundings. To my right was my bed stand, the only things on it were a lamp, an LED alarm clock and a book titled, 'The Art of Mastering Projection.'
Continuing to look, a bed dresser was at the end of my bed against the far wall, a number of variously labeled books and assorted magical items stacked on the shelves and many of the drawers contained the clothing I owned or some other needless item in storage, although I'm still wearing the same collection of plain blue and white t-shirts I've had for so long.
To my left was a large opening in the wall that led to the kitchen and beyond that was a closet filled with a few jackets, as well as an umbrella and pair of shoes or two. Then in the farthest corner of the room was a hallway that led to the front door.
If it isn't already obvious, this isn't my room at my family estate in Fuyuki City, Japan. I'm actually residing in a dorm complex in London. Yeah, I'm studying as a magus at the Clock Tower. I'm still considered an amateur in my understanding of magic, and while my expertise lies in magic most magi have considered useless, it's the only thing I know. I'm hoping that when I finish my education here, limited as it is, I'll finally be able to work on my goal to become a superhero on a much larger scale.
With that thought fresh in my mind, I get out of bed and start my morning exercises.
"Man, what is with all of these dreams I've been having lately," I mumble to myself as I stand over the kitchen stove, preparing a western style breakfast.
It's been five years since the 5th Holy Grail War, and honestly, a lot has happened since then. Ilya continued to live with me and Fuji-nee after the war, apparently the Einzbern family hadn't expected her to live through the war, and because of that, staying with us hadn't been a problem, such a great family, huh? After living four months with her though, we officially adopted her and made her a member of the Emiya family, although she still prefers her original name when she's addressed formally over being called an Emiya, even if she is one.
I remember that day when we'd told Ilya the news. I don't think she let go of me until at least an hour after the ordeal, and let me tell you, walking around with Ilya swinging around your neck isn't as easy as it sounds. I think the only other time she was that happy was when I'd legally became an adult and Fuji-Nee allowed her to stay with me at the Emiya residence. Despite the attraction she had developed for Raiga Fujimura, her relationship with Taiga had remained strained at best throughout her stay at their place, so Fuji-Nee had pretty much thrown her at me when she'd been given the chance.
It was only a short time after that when I found out something that shocked me. Curiosity getting the better of me, I had entered Kiritsugu's study for the first time. When I look back on it, I still wonder why I'd never gone in there before, the door wasn't locked or anything, I guess I just felt it was a disgrace to go in, and that I wasn't worthy to enter due to my admiration for him, before or after his death. Of course, that dedicated admiration had died when I had found out Kiritsugu had participated in the Fourth War, even if I still had the utmost respect for him and the ideal of his I had inherited.
While searching curiously around the room to see what was in there, I began rummaging through a few of the drawers in his desk. In one I found an unknown picture of Kiritsugu and two women I didn't know. Or better yet, a woman and a very young little girl. The two looked like spitting images of each other. Of course it was the two pairs of red eyes and identical pure silver hair that I'd seen on a daily basis since Ilya had joined the household, that told me immediately who they were.
When I asked her about it, Ilya just responded with a, "Yeah, Kiritsugu was my father and that's my mother, she died in the 4th Holy Grail War, what's so special about it," as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Well it definitely explained why Ilya continued to always call me 'Onii-chan', although it was still a shock to discover one of your greatest enemies at a time was also your stepsister. After I had a discussion with Ilya about it, things didn't really change all that much. I already thought of Ilya as my younger sister, so the only real change was that I had taken my responsibility to be her Onii-chan a bit more seriously and worked harder to spend time with her.
Sakura still came to the house to help around with breakfast and dinner, as well as any chores that needed to be done. I don't think I'll ever be able to repay her for what she's done over the years. She was probably the only person who was aware of the war who wasn't a master. I'd admitted to her what had really happened during that time and who Saber really was, and I was surprised at how well she'd taken it. She took it a lot better than when I'd found out she and Rin were sisters, and that she'd been adopted by Zouken Matou when they were both young. When Rin had admitted that to me, I'd spent weeks trying to get the two together and eventually after multiple failed attempts, I did something I've always regretted.
Luring the two into one of the guestrooms in the Emiya household, I locked the door and told Rin I wouldn't open it until she'd had a talk with her sister. They were in there for over an hour before I finally opened the door to check on them and I met a sight I would remember for a long time. They were both embraced in a hug, tears built up in both of their eyes, and it was obvious to me that things were going to be fine, my opinion of Rin would have changed at that time too if it hadn't been what had happened next. When they finally noticed me in the doorway, they both gave me tearful smiles, although with Rin there was something… malicious.
Minutes later I'm running through the house screaming at the top of my lungs while Rin's shooting Gandr shots at me from behind screaming insults and something about modesty towards a girl, although it's kind of hard to be pay attention when said girl is trying to kill you. Needless to say she lived up to the personal nickname I'd given her, the 'Red Devil' and I made sure to never lock Tohsaka up in a room again.
My thoughts of the past are interrupted though as I hear a knock at my front door. Checking on breakfast again before I move, I head over to open the door, already knowing who it is. Opening the door, I receive the usual greeting. "Morning, Emiya-kun," Rin Tohsaka, the devil herself says to me as she enters with a tired expression. Yep, Rin still isn't a morning person.
In fact, it was because of Rin in the first place that I'm here in London at all. After graduation, Rin had received a letter from the Magic Association to study and be a part of the Association here at the Clock Tower, something to do with being the last Tohsaka heir or something of that nature. Being as she was trying to help me learn other ways to use my abilities as her 'apprentice' of sorts, and she was able to bring an apprentice or two with her to London I accepted her invitation to come. Even if I had survived the war before, my magical abilities were still amateur at best, and to be in such a strong magical community we both thought would be a good experience for me.
'Of course, there's still the fact that it's Rin Tohsaka we're talking about that's the issue here,' I thought in despair as Rin flashed a smile towards me, an omen just begging for trouble.
"So Emiya-kun, what's your plan today since you don't have any classes at the Clock Tower?" Rin asked me as we both participated in washing the dishes, having finished the breakfast I had prepared.
Of course, you couldn't really call them classes like you would at my old High School. It's more like mentoring since its often one-on-one magic lessons between a master and student like when she had made her own attempt at teaching me magic during the war, even if all she really did was open up my magical circuit. Rin just happens to be one of those people who fill both roles, while I just try to get experience here and there through practice. So since our abilities differ, we hardly see each other during the day except for mealtimes.
Although, then again, there are some courses that are similar to the classes at the old high school. Even magi are willing to admit that having a broad range of knowledge can be really useful, even with all of that pride in their magical abilities.
Of course, even if she does scare me half to death I still regard Tohsaka as a close friend, and because of that we sometimes hang out on certain days during the weekend. Nothing romantic, but it's fun to just hang out as friends.
"Honestly Tohsaka, nothing much. I have to work at ten until four today, but after that I really didn't have that much planned, thought I might practice my sword fighting a bit before dinner and then continue to work on my magic, it's been a while since I got some good practice in. Why? Did you have something planned?" I asked, explaining my plans for the day and ending with a question of my own.
"Well no actually, I'll be pretty busy today, as well as possibly the next week, just wanted to make sure you'd be okay without me Emiya-kun," Rin answered with that usual grin. I swear Tohsaka, sometimes…
"Well I'll see you later Shirou," Rin called out as she grabbed her stuff and left, leaving me once again alone in my dorm.
'Well now that she's gone,' I thought to myself, I could finally ponder about that dream last night. Recently I've been having a lot of dreams that have to do with the last Holy Grail War, and almost all of them have to do with the girl I saw last night.
Yes, I'm still hopelessly in love with Saber even five years later. I can't help it, even if I don't think of her as often as I used to, Saber will always have a place in my heart. Of course, last night wasn't exactly very comforting, but… it was just a dream, right?
It was hard to handle the first time though. I'd spent months trying to put my memories of her to rest and finally get over it, and I thought I had. But after that first dream a few weeks ago, I realize for the first time that I was just fooling myself. Saber was the first girl I loved, and because of that, I'll never completely forget her. But then there's the question, do I really want to forget her, or am I just continuing to deceive myself.
Well whatever it is, there's no point in sulking about it, might as well get ready for work, even with another two hours or so until I need to be there.
Walking home from work I recounted the day's events. As a magus and a way to practice my tracing magic I worked a local mechanics workshop. The job offers a good pay and it allows me to use my magic as much as I need to, as long as I don't get caught that is.
The day was pretty normal though; I dropped by the shop at 9:57, and started my usual routine. My job is basically the same thing I did back in the shed at home and from time to time when the school's equipment malfunctioned and Issei needed help. I'm given machinery that's broken or malfunctioning and quite simply, find what's wrong and fix it if I can. Easy when you add my tracing powers, of course like I already mentioned, I have to make sure not to get caught while doing so or else I'll get in trouble with the Association, even if I'm still not 'officially' a part of their organization like Rin is.
Now I'm walking home, a free afternoon ahead of me. I'll probably just do what I'd told Rin. I'd like to practice in a place like the old dojo at home, but unfortunately the only place close to appearance like that here in London would be one of the gyms. But for obvious reasons, not to mention the danger in sword fighting in itself, as well as the attention it would grab, prevents me from training in any gym, so I have to settle with tracing a sword in my dorm and practicing there.
Changed into some clothing with a bit more movement room to them, I moved the furniture in the room to the walls and cleared an area in the middle of the room for training. After all, I wouldn't want to break anything. Concentrating and pushing the 'button' to my magical circuit, I begin the usual procedure when practicing my tracing magic.
Analyzing basic structure.
Analyzing materials needed."
Scanning through the list of swords within my memory, I choose a familiar pair to project. Within seconds the process is complete and in my hands are Kanshou and Bakuya. Yes, I projected Archer's swords instead of something like Excalibur. Why? Well, truth be told, I think I may have figured out his real identity.
It had all started out with Rin stating how much the two of us looked alike. Ilya had already told us about the battle between Berserker and Archer, something that Rin hadn't found very comforting to listen to, hearing about your servant's demise. Although when Rin had mentioned the appearance similarities, it wasn't long before we started to make comparisons.
Once we brought Sakura and Ilya into the mix, it wasn't long before we started to really see the similarities in both our magical abilities as well as fighting styles. I brought up the fact that he'd be from the future then, but Rin just countered that with the time paradox involved in becoming a heroic spirit. One after another, any arguments I came up with fell until I was forced to realize that there really weren't any solid arguments against it. So yeah, apparently I know who I'll be in the future, and it does explain my dislike and even hatred for the man in the red cloak. He's everything I hope to be, yet at the same time, everything I fear I'll be.
Of course it wasn't long after that when I discovered how easy I found it to trace Kanshou and Bakuya, which just added to the continually growing pile of evidence. And after that, well, let's just say I've been working on a few tricks to become a better magus since then as well using my projection skill. While it may seem useless to a normal magus, I've found quite a few uses for my projection skills. But I guess the thing that really helped was what Archer became to me, an example.
And with that, I began practicing my sword techniques, even if it was better back when I had a partner to spar with. But that's getting into the topic again I try to avoid.
After dinner I start my usual routine of practicing my reinforcement magic, although I started much sooner than I usually did. I sometimes don't get a chance to practice until midnight, but I guess this is just one of those days that I spent relaxing instead of running around all day.
Although my projection abilities allow me to be a superb swordsman, my reinforcement abilities help me in other aspects. Included in that would be my ability to reinforce some of my physical abilities, like my sight range, and something that I'd learned from Rin, 'strengthening' my feet as to run both farther and faster.
Unfortunately, when it comes to applying this to my own body, my attempts often result in failure, so I concentrate more on the reinforcement of objects around me to turn them to weapons. After all, Rin always says that my abilities lie in creation and projection, not strengthening, and I have to say that in that regard she knows what she's talking about. Then again, she usually always does.
Well I guess after this I might as well take a bath and then get to bed early tonight, no harm in getting a little extra sleep.
Laying in my bed thinking of the events today, I remember the dream I had last night. Now that I think of it, after this morning I didn't think of that dream at all today. I guess that's the effect of putting so much effort in the work in front of me. But now that I'm thinking of it, I wonder what ever happened to Saber. I know that she went back to her time and, I'm hoping, died peacefully. But what happened after that, did she go back to Avalon, or somewhere else?
I let out a sigh of frustration. I remember back when I used to ask myself this question all the time. "Ugh, I'm letting these dreams get to me," I whisper quietly to myself out of annoyance. I've already faced facts, Saber is dead, gone forever, and I need to move on like I had before. Why is this bothering me now, and why am I having dreams like the one last night in the first place.
I smother my face with my pillow and let out a scream to vent my frustrations. I find it hard to believe that I was fine just a few minutes ago. I remember that dream and now I'm all vexed. I sigh again, at this rate I'm not going to get any sleep. At that, I use the relaxation techniques I use as a magus and a swordsman to clear my thoughts and to calm myself once again. And finally, I manage to get some sleep.
I find myself standing in what appears to be the lobby of Ilya's castle, but the really odd thing is not the location I'm at, but the person in front of me.
"Archer," I whisper in disbelief, even in my dreams, I already know he's dead. Yet, here he is standing in front of me, Kanshou and Bakuya in his hands, ready to strike. A look of irritation is on his face, the same one mirrored by my own from just seeing him. No, I still don't like him, even after his death. Wait a second, what's he… I take another look around myself and see that there's no one else here, so then who is he attacking.
I'm not given a moment to question the situation as at that moment Archer charges, straight towards me. Out of instinct I trace my own version of the twin swords and block his attack, if barely. I can feel my knees almost give from the strength put into his first attack. Man, even after five years of training I don't stand anywhere near as powerful as a servant in terms of strength.
Of course, rational thought isn't possible during a fight, and soon Archer continues through with a second attack, then a third, and a fourth. I can already feel my body weakening. My responses and counters are slowing, and before I know it he makes a powerful attack to my left side.
"Aah! – Ugh!"
I cry out as his attack breaks Bakuya held in my left hand. The majority of the force behind the attack is stopped and I jump back, but that doesn't stop him from continuing. His attack cuts my left hand as well as my side, and the blow even manages to knock me off my feet.
"This – is your end!" I hear him cry out as he makes the final blow on my fallen form.
I raise Kanshou to block even if I know it's pointless, I've lost. I close my eyes, aware of and accepting the death that awaits me.
I rise from my sleep in an alarmed state, my responses fast due to the dream I just experienced.
"What the hell," I murmur as the dream is reenacted by my memory, what the hell was that all about. Why would I dream about Archer trying to kill me of all things? Yes, he disgusted me, and I'm pretty sure I disgusted him, but… I just don't know.
Trying to calm myself down so I can think logically, I notice a deep burning feeling on the back of my left hand. Don't tell me I hurt myself while I was asleep. Of all the stupid things to do…
I'm struck breathless as I see what's causing the pain on my hand.
"The command seal...!?"
-- Interlude 0.1 – Location Unknown --
In the night a shadow can be seen on the sands of what appears to be somewhere in the middle of a large beach shore. If one listens closely the sounds of the ocean can be heard nearby, although it's obvious that the mysterious man didn't come here to enjoy the scenery. He seems to be crouching down etching something down in the sand. When one focuses out from the scene, what appears to be a large ancient rune can be seen drawn in the sand. The odd thing is that even though the wind is blowing strong, the sand around the rune doesn't misplace or shift, almost as if it were stuck there by magic.
After it appears he's finished, he rises, pulls an object out of one of the many pockets of the trench coat he wears that reaches down to his knees, places it in the center of the rune, and walks to one of the edges of the ritual circle. Taking a small book out of a different pocket in his coat, he flips it open to a marked page, and begins chanting:
If thou wouldst serve under me, my fate shall entwine with thy sword.
If thou wouldst answer the call of the Holy Grail, come.
For I am the one who seeks victory.
Assist me in this goal, and your reward shall be great.
By the memory contained within this artifact,
Let it guide you to mine destination.
Guardian of the steed, I summon you.
Now come forth, my servant!"
Bright waves of what appear to be a malevolent dark aura begin to be dispelled from the ancient rune, as the lines drawn into the sand turn into an unearthly black color. It's not soon after that when a second figure begins to rise as if from nowhere. Eventually the magical energy disperses, and at the same time, the wind dies as well, resulting in total silence as the duo observe each other.
A tall, muscular figure now stands in front of the man. The magus, now master, allows a victorious smirk to slide on his face as the heroic figure asks in a deep, gruff accent.
"I am the servant Rider. I ask of you, are you my master?"
Author's Note: To put it simply, I've basically become obsessed with Fate/Stay Night recently, and truly for those of you reading this, I hope you can agree that at least it's gotten your attention (otherwise why would you be reading this, right?) Anyways, as most of you other readers may believe, the ending to the Fate route in the anime and game was 'dissatisfying', to say the least. So as it was mentioned in the description this is a continuation of the Fate route.
And yes, there are going to be a few references to the UBW route as well, because to put it quite simply, even though Saber is my favorite character, Unlimited Blade Works would definitely be my favorite route. Of course, the only references to that in this chapter would be the fact that Shirou's in London, and the dream he has that reenacts the battle between him and Archer, with an alternate ending.
And yes, I'm using the ever so popular plot of a Sixth Holy Grail war to bring Saber back, if that isn't obvious. Don't worry too much though, I have a plan and hopefully the action will keep you interested, if not something else. I feel like I'm contradicting myself though, I've told people how overused this plotline is, yet here I am, using it myself. Unfortunately, it was the only real plot base that came to me that I wouldn't end up using someone else's plot ideas, which I hate to do, even if I had permission from the original author. So yeah, hope the obvious transpire of events doesn't throw you guys off and you continue with the story, as I hope to add something new to this overused plotline.
Well to end this I have a question to you as the reader: What would you like to be the main pairing for the fic, the simple and enjoyable classic, Shirou/Saber or the more complicated yet slightly more satisfying, Shirou/Saber/Rin threesome? Answer in a review or on the survey poll on my profile, or get two votes in and do both, I don't care.
Also, sorry if the chapter seemed a bit drag, the action won't probably start until the third or fourth chapter, so wait for that. About the summoning ritual, if it seemed off, I apologize. I'm not too familiar with how the summons in Fate/Stay Night works, so I just took a shot at it. Hope it's not too odd, that is, if you even care. I'm also trying to recreate different servant characters, so if you have any historical figures you'd enjoy seeing in the story, I'm open to any suggestion, except for the Saber and Rider servants, since I already have their character figured who I want them to be. Send a PM, or mention it in a review, either ways fine for me. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this first chapter and the chapters that will, hopefully, soon follow. Leave a comment about anything you enjoyed or that bothered you if you feel the urge too. A writer can only be as good as his reader's advice in some regards.
So then R & R as well as,
Edit (12/30/09): Nothing much, just edited or extended a few scenes here and there. If you already read it, nothing really changed.