Fate/Zero is the property of Type-Moon and Nitroplus. Fate/Stay Night is the property of Type-Moon.

Chapter 1: Shirou's been havin' a tough night

"Who the fuck decided to host a goddamned renaissance festival at six o'clock in the evening?" Shirou cried to the heavens. The japanese school boy was currently racing along the empty second floor of his highschool in flagrant violation of several school codes for breaking and entering.

Also for damaging school property, due to the fact he was leaving several scuffed floors from his track shoes, and broken sliding doors in his wake. Yet he didn't quite have it in him to give a fuck. Mostly because his pleas were met by a harsh, barking laugh.

That warning saved his life, and he madly threw himself towards a set of stairs. He barely managed to restrain his scream of fear when a crimson spear stabbed out, uncomfortably grazing his cheek, and racing past the periphery of his vision.

Oh, upgrade that fear to slasher victim fear. He somehow did not begin to shriek like a little girl.

It was a proud moment for him.

Shirou ducked, tucked, and rolled, and his body was jerked, rattled, and bruised while he smashed to the bottom of the staircase. He weakly moaned, pain radiating out of his every pore.

"Hah! At least I know you run well, boy!" The voice of his would-be killer drew his attention up to the stop of the stairs. Much like the boogiemen in most slasher movies, somehow the man in the bodysuit staring down at him had managed to go from being on one end of the hall to shanking range in a single step.

It would have impressed Shirou's track club sensibilities if it wasn't so damn terrifying.

"It was interesting to find someone that could manage to pull off some of those stunts you did." The lean man above Shirou spoke up. "I respect your determination." He gazed down at Shirou with fierce red eyes. A hunter lurked within them. "But it ends here. In honor of your tenacity, I'll answer any last questions you have before I put an end to your life."

Shirou did in fact have many questions. Unfortunately, the slasher victim fear had upgraded to crazy bitch fear. Unfortunately, and as his little sister knew well, this often led to the redhead's mind going off the beaten path.

"Yes, I have a question," he began, staring up at the man.

The blue haired lancer raised an impeccably refined eyebrow over crimson eyes. Which was blue. He stood above Shirou in his skin tight suit.

Which was also blue.

"Are…are you some kind of religious fanatic who's going to gut me and wear my skin to commune with the immortal spirit of Rei Ayanami or something?" Shirou babbled.

Oh yes. His brain really went places when he was stressed out. Stupid places.

However, unlike the flagrantly rude question would suggest, Shirou continued to look up at Lancer with wide eyes. Eyes which were clear of mocking while he stared up at the older man.

The older man, Cú Chulainn or the Heroic Spirit Lancer, just continued to gape at the young man with a look of profound confusion.

Shirou went from nervous to a full blown anxiety attack, thinking this silence meant a confirmation.

"Oh god, just don't flash Rei-chan at me!" He wheezed out in a high pitched voice, holding his hands up to try and prevent the sight from potentially being burned onto his retinas. "I don't want to see Rei-chan!"

The legendary hero of renown and timeless antiquity, merely continued to stare at the Japanese youth for a few more moments in silence.

Shirou felt his hope rise. Was he going to be spared the Rei?

The redhead began to relax from his mission critical levels of stress when no angry shouts, furious punches, or sharp, pointed denouncements as to the moral integrity, and positions favored by his mother followed.

Perhaps…just perhaps Shirou was wrong? Besides the potential dead end of having several feet of steel shoved into him, this man didn't seem to be that bad. Certainly not bad enough to be accused of believing in Rei Ayanami as the next Messiah.

That was crazy talk, after all. Yuki Nagato was the next Coming, after all.

Lancer had taken a quick mental break in the meantime. Crouching low to the ground, Lancer lightly held onto the middle of his curse spear, Gae Bolg and lightly tapped the shaft up ahead his right temple. A strange itch began to gather in his mind ever since the boy before him mentioned this Rei Ayanami.

With the exclusion of his Master, that same itch triggered whenever he needed to communicate and understand the other people around him.

At the moment, the itch was there and even stronger than before. Oddly, the demonic spear in his hand seemed to throb in sympathy to the effect. Well, whatever was going on, it felt strangely compelling in a way that reminded the Son of Light of the geas of his day.

The last thing he wanted to do was ignore a geas and lose from the word go.

Lancer continued gazing straight ahead at nothing in particular. He took a second to glance down at Shirou with a slightly befuddled look to his crimson eyes. "I'm going to have to get back to you on that. You can go ahead and run along for now."

Lancer ignored the teenager's repeatedly babbled thanks. He cleared his throat before he could dash off. "Lancer," He called out after Shirou.

"What?" Shirou had picked himself up and was ready to rush out.

"That's my name." Lancer showed off his sharpened teeth with his next smile. "Remember that this is your question."

"...crap." Shirou turned and ran like his life depended on it. Which he now realized it did, Rei cultist or not. A freaking killer with a code was after him!

In a place where the ley lines of Fuyuki City met, a grand and terrible machine lurked. Built three hundred years ago, this monstrous device had been designed by three affluent family of Magi, and built for one purpose.

To drill into the fabric of reality and reach the center of everything. The Magi believed that what awaited them on the other side was the Root, also known as the Akasha. With these records, one would have the answer to life. Nothing would be beyond your understanding.

With this noble goal in mind, the three families – Einzbern, Makiri, and Tohsaka worked hard to develop the Grand Holy Grail. The Tohsaka donated a spiritually rich land with ley lines on it to fuel the machine while the Einzbern and Makiri worked on an operating system and user interface, respectively.

The Grand Holy Grail provided each Heroic Spirit which was summoned into the war with several abilities. These abilities were frequently set up into specialized roles, and the spirits were each given unique abilities in addition to the skills and powers they possessed in life.

Sounds simple enough on paper. The Makiri and Einzbern had designed the systems perfectly, and made it so they would be bound to a human Master.

However, there were also lesser known features. The Grail also allowed access to information on social mores and memes. In the days when the system had originally been set up, this basically allowed Masters and Servants to freely converse if they were from different walks of life as the Grail made up for the differences in life and culture. Things became a bit…different with the advent of the Age of Technology, however.

As Lancer pondered deeply into finding an answer beyond "I don't know" for his target's last question, this feature on the Grand Holy Grail activated. In fact, it almost seemed to relish being able to be used beyond the initial download of information into Lancer's mind.

The Irish hero's mind was filled with information that would never have actually been pertinent in a Holy Grail War, but which had been requested for none the less.

From there, the Grail helpfully continue to spew information related to the original request based on its relevance. Lancer felt increasingly baffled, watching the choices spread out before him. He definitely did not understand at all what it meant when he started to hear whispers offering to extend his spear size, but he hoped if he made a choice, all the voices would vanish.

'Rei-chan, huh?' The Irish hero brought up the first result.

Unfortunately, the Einzbern weren't constantly around to keep tabs on the software involved. Or even run a freaking anti-virus check...

Shirou's breath harshly ripped through his ears, pumping his arms for all they were worth, and ran for his life. His long, frantic strides ate the distance between point A and point B faster than a rotund young Swedish child went through delicious cakes. However, it turned out he had yet to discover the essence of speed when he heard a long, tortured scream rip through the night from behind him.

Shirou ran even quicker, the lockers and walls just blazing past him.

Shirou's eyes teared up as he gazed upon the shattered glass doors, and the garbage can in front of them. The glorious promise of freedom just lay beyond the same doors he had used to rush in from his initial 'try not to get stabbed the fuck out' flight.

At least, until the garbage bin ceased to be the only thing between him and his hasty retreat. A furious, and twitchy, Irishman suddenly leapt over Shirou's head, and landed in between him and his exit!

"You fucking ass," Lancer hissed, rearing back his cursed spear, and swung for the fences.

Shirou was discouraged from continuing further discourse as said spear smashed him in the torso and sent him pinballing against shoe lockers. He bounced exactly three times on the squeaky clean linoleum floor of the school before rolling to a stop in front of the teacher's lounge.

'This situation needs to be carefully handled,' Shirou solemnly thought within the sanctuary of his mind. 'What do I say to the Rei cultist?'

"I…did it…" Shirou coughed. "For the lawls."

'Probably not that.' Brain and mouth had an apparent falling out, and it'd be up to his ass to cash that check.

Lancer let out a roar of fury, launching himself at the slowly rising teenager. Both men went crashing through the ridiculously thin door barring the way into the lounge behind them, sending chunks of wood and plaster flying about from the force that Lancer brought to bear to wreck Shirou's shit.

Shirou only had a few moments to spare, and he managed to squeeze out of the grasp of the raging Lancer. He quickly dash-crawled beneath the maze of desks and tables that scattered about the den of the underpaid and overworked teachers.

A particularly loud crash behind Shirou caused him to speed up. He took a few turns and raced away deeper in the maze.

"What kind of sick fucks live in the world these days?" Lancer's voice raged behind him. "Then it led to those images of those dogs. Those…those poor dogs." His voice actually trembled.

Shirou kept crawling around the desks in search of the teacher's stash. He tried to pitch his voice out and away from him. "Those are terrible people! We should get PETA on their case. Like, if you let me go, I can go get on their case right the fuck now." He encouraged this line of thinking. It was a line of thinking that he hoped would leave him alive for a while longer.

"Yeah…fuck them." The teenager's words briefly made Lancer feel nostalgic. In life, Lancer had learned first hand what a dog had to put up. Lots of random dicks thought they were superior to man's best friend. Hell, he had been one of those dicks too.

Hindsight was always a bitch.

It was even worse when he had to play the part of a bitch until he could rear a replacement dog for his master. Thus, it could be said that Lancer was perhaps a little bit fond of dogs. Make that absolutely in love with dogs.

Lancer's tone of voice led to plans, and Shirou slowly replied. "Hey…hey. Uhm. I have some bad news for you." It was a shaky plan, but the redhead had never let such trifling things such as details and hesitation get to him. "Did you know that we cook and eat dogs in some parts of the world?"

Or common sense, apparently.

Lancer's vision went blood red. The next thing the hero knew he was staring at a wreck of a room. His spear was embedded on the wall next to a window he had inadvertently smashed in his rage. Oh, and the red haired punk was staring at him from the other side of that smashed window.

In one hand, Shirou held a bottle with a rag stuffed in it, and in the other, he held a pink Hello Kitty themed stun gun. "It's hero time!" Shirou shouted. Lancer leapt towards the kid.

"Fuck my life!" Shirou's triumph turned to horror, and he pressed the taser to the rag before the blue haired man could grab him. The rag burst into flame, and the redhead flung the bottle towards Lancer.

One of Lancer's innate skills as a Heroic Spirit - Protection Against Arrows, kicked in, and he impossibly changed his direction in mid-air to avoid the thrown bottle. The blue clad Irish hero viciously grinned, and snapped a kick for the red haired punk's face the second he touched foot on the ground.

To Shirou, it was a big blur of blue, and then a sudden sensation that he had just been rocked.

Shirou cursed, flying backwards, his arms wildly flailing about before he smashed onto the ground shoulder first. In a painful repetition of last time, he skipped off the ground one more time crotch first before coming to a halt along the ground.

However, the young teenager had gotten the last laugh, because if he remembered right, Taiga usually stored the booze in her desk...

The sound of a thump preceded a flash of crimson. Flame and smoke belched out of the teacher's lounge.

…around this time of the month.

Shirou saluted the burning room, and then turned. Unfortunately he found himself slamming face first into a wall of beef and muscle. The teenager staggered back a few steps and gazed up at an incensed pair of red eyes.

In a haze of the flames behind Shirou, the wickedly barbed red spear Lancer had been wielding all night formed in his hands. He went into a ready stance. "Would you like to kiss your sorry ass goodbye now?"

Shirou nervously gulped. He raised a finger, and took a thoughtful expression. "Is…is that physically possible?"

"No. Not really," Lancer promptly responded.

"Oh. You know, all things considered, you've been a pretty good sport," Shirou mused. "Why is that?"

Shirou's imminent killer hesitated for a few moments. He opened his mouth to speak, but he was interrupted.

"That's because he made a promise and fucked up the wording." A man's voice - deep, powerful, and a bit husky suddenly came from behind the blue haired man.

"Fuck. Not you again." Lancer spun to face a dark skinned man that walked out from the darkness cast from the increasingly bright flames spewing out of the teacher's lounge. He was a powerfully built man dressed in a gleaming red coat with mantle trailing behind him slightly. His frame was a direct contrast to Lancer's slim and agile body type.

He was also wearing bondage gear.

Or at least that's what the redhead thought the jet black breastplate the white haired man wearing was.

Against all rhyme and reason, Shirou decided to question this bullshit.

"…did I walk into some kind of kinky lover's spat instead?" Shirou quietly questioned. It was not quiet enough, though. Lancer twitched, and the white haired man smirked.

"Keep shining on, you crazy diamond." The white haired man ignored the blue haired man to address Shirou. "You can go home now."

"Huh?" Shirou blinked.

"Another of his crazy promises. He can only fight one enemy per day." Lancer tensed at the other oddly dressed man's words, hands gripping his spear tightly. "Geas, I tell you, nothing but trouble, huh?"

The red coated one continued blandly, "Oh, by the way, ask him as many questions as you want. He did promise after all."

Lancer roared. He was a blur when he flung himself at the white haired man. However, it turned out that the white haired man didn't take any chances – somehow materializing a pair of curved chinese swords, each cast to mirror the other in a black and white ying yang pattern. With an easy looking block, he locked the man's crimson spear with his paired swords.

"What's wrong, Lancer? You mad?" Lancer's expression twisted into a rictus of unending horror. The white haired man looked pleased by this.

The two of them began to meet in a clash of blades and spear, and the redhead decided to make a break for it. "By the way!" The white haired man's voice called out over the rapid ringing of steel on steel. "Do not fuck up tonight for me, you understand, Shirou? Do not fuck things up!"

Shirou, already well away from the duo's fight, gave the white haired man an awkward sort of thumbs up. He continued to awkwardly hop-dash away as the school burned behind him. Several minutes of blessed silence began to bring Shirou out of his somewhat stupid haze...

'Of stupid.' The redhead breathed out a few more times.

"…huh." By the time the teenager was back to his senses, the angry red lights of several law officers were slicing through the night's darkness. "Oh, goddammit."

The redhead quickly decided to go with Plan A with dealing with authority figures.

Shirou was looking appropriately disturbed and inconsolable. Several shrieking sirens of nearby fire trucks were all around the front of the school.

The redhead intentionally crawled out from underneath a nearby rose bush to meet the fire fighters. They usually had bigger things to worry about. Much better chances to not go to jail if he popped up next to them. Several men and women dashed past him, and he stared at an approaching fire marshal with haunted looking sherry eyes.

A few minutes passed in relative calm while Shirou recounted his version of events. Since the truth was much wilder than was even possible, he decided to go with it.

"So then the guy roars something about being a lover of dogs everywhere and then tackles me straight through a door before I could even twitch!" Several fire fighters tried to take the pink taser Shirou was waving about wildly during his explanation of the situation, but quickly backed off at the wild look in his eyes.

"Yes, of course. I understand." The fire marshal held up a reassuring left hand, and fingered an extendable baton strapped to his side with his right hand. "So, why did you say the crazy, penis exposing dog lover attacked you all of a sudden?"

"Well, that's the thing. I'm not completely sure. He told me that he'd answer any question I wanted." Shirou lightly tapped the stun gun's prods up against the skin on his left wrist. A look of great concentration briefly crossed his features.

"Did…did you ask him if he could expose himself to you?" The fire marshal wondered weakly. The school was now merrily burning away in the background despite the brave efforts of Fuyuki City's finest. The teenager glanced at him in pure horror.

"What? No!" Shirou boggled.

"Oh, thank goodness," The fire marshal began to sigh.

"I asked him if he belonged to a cult that worships Rei Ayanami by exposing their penises at people." Shirou's explanation was to the point. The older man's sigh turned into a death rattle at the shit he had to put up with.

"Just…just go, please." The fire marshal pressed the back of his wrist against his left eye. "I've lost the will to continue. We'll speak to you about tonight another day, alright?" The older man didn't notice the faint smirk on Shirou's face. The teen quickly moved away from the burning building.

Shirou occasionally winced and tried to discretely rub his thighs together to get the burning, unending agony to stop radiating out of his crotch from his earlier fall. Occasionally, the redhead would have to lean onto stone walls along the incline back down to his neighborhood, and take a few moments to compose himself.

A few feminine giggles could be heard ascending the hill to school and Shirou made himself look as composed and rugged as possible.

"Oh. It's just you three." Shirou's debonair charm vanished like the morning mist when he gazed upon the three teenagers directly in front of him.

"What do you mean, by just?" Kaede Makidera stepped to the front of the pack, letting Kane Himuro and Yukika Saegusa stand at attention behind her. With her soft, dark hair cropped close and short, and her deep tan, Kaede was practically hitting the tomboy fetish button for young Shirou with a sledgehammer. "We have goddamned names you know!"

Shirou idly glanced past the ranting girl to gaze at the grayish brown haired Kane. She caught his roving gaze and faintly smirked back at him. She adjusted her glasses slyly, pushing her chest a bit forwards with a faint smirk. The redhead tagged her under the appropriate hot nerd clichés.

His eyes finally settled down on the last girl, who had a slim and petite body with shoulder length brown hair. A dismissive look crossed Shirou's face as an equally devastated look crossed the girl's face. Yep, someone fun to tease.

Shirou gazed back at Kaede in time for the track girl to finish her rant, "…and that's why you're a louse!" The teenager considered this with a grave air all about him. It was grave enough to momentarily startle Kaede out of her chiding mode, and they leaned slightly forwards.

"I burnt down the school. Your objections are meaningless." Shirou suddenly placed his hands on Kaede's shoulders and leaned in close and place a kiss on her lips. He was in and out of her swinging range before the sprinter could react.

Nothing quite got a young man to feel alive quite like a romp down a hill with a teenage girl screaming their name out loud passionately. Shirou's wounded pride recovered, the long night of being pretty pathetic set aside while he happily raced for his life away from more mundane things.

Like his fellow club members.

"Shirou, you asshole! Get back here!" Kaede hollered bloody murder, following him into his neighborhood. Unfortunately for the sprinter, she could never quite catch up to the redhead, who would duck into a side street or squeeze into alleys, preventing her from gaining enough speed in a straight out dash to snag him up.

The redhead breathed hard, a big smile crossing his lips when he ducked into the shadow cast by a particular side path. Moments later, the dark skinned girl ran past him, still hollering for his skull. Possibly for some sort of fiendish decoration.

Shirou sighed happily. "That was what I needed." Tension decreased, and unhappiness was equally redistributed across the world. Balance achieved, the teenager headed home for the day.

Shirou tiredly sighed, sliding the front door closed. What a fucking night.

The redhead slouched over, dragging his feet over, and deposited his shoes. He retrieved his tiger themed house slippers. He ambled his walk so he was sliding across the ground more than walking, feeling too lazy to lift his feet.

Opening the door to the living room, the redhead walked past his father.

"Good evening, asshole," Shirou merrily greeted the slumped over figure of his father, who - wonder of wonders, was leaning chin first on the kotatsu staring glassily at the television. Several bottles of cheap booze littered the surface of the table around him.

"Welcome home, you pansy wrist. Did you finish sucking up to Shinji Matou for tonight?" Shirou's father drawled.

"Hey!" Shirou's eyebrows rose to his hairline in anger. "I'm just trying to help out a friend!"

"He's never going to let you near his sister, you dumbass." His father repeated the same thing he told the redhead a thousand times. Mostly because he knew that it was a private fear that Shirou guarded closely to his chest.

"Oh, fuck you too, old man." Shirou winced, and his father laughed at the grimace on his face. How the hell did he ever think this broken, bitter fuck was a hero of justice?

"Hey, the sooner you learn you can't get what you want, the better you're off." The glee vanished from his father's face so quick that the redhead knew he had probably been faking the fight from the word go. "I'm just trying to watch out for you…you know?"

"…I guess so," Shirou uneasily responded.

"I put the leftovers Ilya-chan made in the oven if you want them," His father offered.

Shirou shook his head. "I feel like hell."

"You look like hell too." The older man grinned. "Well, then just go to bed, then? You got school tomorrow, right?"

"School's closed tomorrow." And for every day for a while thanks to that award-winning flaming bottle throw.

"Ah. Alright. Well, good night then, Shirou." The man reached for another bottle.

"Night dad." Shirou trudged off, and then upstairs. Times like these made him feel sad as hell for the old timer. It probably wasn't his fault that his wife was gone. Then he remembered the rest of the times he had spent with his father, and he once again felt the almost uncontrollable urge to kick him upside the head.

"What a night…" Shirou breathed, and he opened the door. Then he choked. Then he started going blue.

"What's wrong, oniichan? Never seen a girl before?" Ilyasviel von Einzbern nee Emiya gazed up at Shirou from where she was crouching before him in a sheer white negligee. With the window open behind her, the light of the full moon into his otherwise dark room let the teenager almost glow in the dark as her silver hair and alabaster skin soaked it all in.

Shirou's wide eyes took in every curve, and idly noted in the back of his mind that he'd have to check in the morning on the heater in the house when two very prominent indicators on his helpful nighttime visitor did a fine job of letting Shirou know that it was rather nippy…

Very nippy…

Pink and nippy…

"What?" Shirou's brain rebooted, causing Ilyasviel to giggle. She crawled up towards him. His mind began to scream and babble in all the dead languages known to man and dog alike while the school's Madonna paused a few inches away.

"I asked you whether or not it's true that it's your birthday tomorrow." Ilyasviel smiled up at her with full, pouty lips.

"I…yah…I…yah." Oh, so that's what the red ribbon around her waist was.

Ilyasviel grinned at Shirou. "Well, I hope you don't mind if I give you your present a little…bit…early?" She breathed each syllable out.

The redhead raised a finger to ask if this was all that necessary.

"Do not fuck up tonight for me, you understand, Shirou? Do not fuck things up!" The white haired man yelled as he led Lancer away.

In that moment, Shirou Urobuchi believed in God. As his kohai promptly dragged him down on top of her and the thin futon in Shirou's bedroom, the red haired teen was reduced to babbling his thanks over and over all night long.