Disclaimer: I don't own them, Type-Moon and Nasu does.

Author's Notes: This story might rape the Nasuverse cannon more than a little. Also, be forewarned, this story is greatly inspired by 80's buddy cop movies like "Lethal Weapon". So expect lots of violence, things blowing up, fights, witty dialogue, and maybe some questionable adult content at latter venues.

The Hound and the Blacksmith

The First Tale: The Hound and the Blacksmith

By Elf

Part Five: The Golden Rule

Lancer was merrily whistling to himself as he stocked flimsy metal shelves with various confections and other assorted goods. Keen eyes raked over labels proclaiming steamed cakes, melon bread, and red bean filling. People were milling about as they collected their wears as the Irish hero worked diligently at making sure they had wares to choose from. It was simple yet honest work, and it raked up a paycheck bigger than the one at the Florist had.

Of course, what he'd rather be doing would be crossing blades in battle with the smell of sweat and blood thick in the air.

Not much of that going on lately, he thought with a sigh as he filled a shelf full of banana crème rolls. Ayako feels almost as at odds as I do, he thought as a smile filled his face. Had he a tail it would have been wagging at the thought of his amber eyed vixen. A slow, steady charge was tingling along sensitive skin in anticipation. He had won her favor again, and this time he wasn't going to lose it until they both decided to part ways.

Unlike most women she wasn't asking for forever, just for some fun now. That fact alone intrigued the hell out of him and the fact she was gorgeous and had the sort of body meant for both battle and taking a man just made her even sweeter. He wondered if she'd ever been touched before, or if he was going to be the one to introduce her to the pleasures of the flesh. That thought alone spread his grin wide enough to almost crack his face.

"Did you hear about what happened in that clinic in Miyama-cho?"

Lancer shrugged and was going to ignore the low gossiping of housewives until another equally low female voice said, "One dead and that poor girl in critical care."

"My sister works at that clinic. They arrested some giant man wielding a pair of short swords," the first woman said.

Giant man with short swords . . . Lancer frowned, that sounded all too familiar.

The second woman made a clicking sound with her tongue before sighing. She said, "I thought we were past all of that nonsense that happened last winter."

"Well, you know the killer was never caught, just the murders stopped happening," the first woman said with a snort.

The second one replied, "You think he came back?"

"I just hope he gets what's coming to him," the first one snorted.

Lancer frowned as the fishwives conversation turned elsewhere, to some actress or TV show. He rubbed the back of his neck as the implications rang heavily. A quick glance to the wall signaled that within fifteen minutes there would be time enough to ask questions with a hefty price. Lancer turned back to his cart filled with pastries and took a quick look around. For the moment the isle was completely empty with no interlopers or "normal" people.

He hadn't been the quickest Servant because the rest of them were all slow blokes. The Hound of Ulster moved in a blaze, kicking up tiny puffs of dust with each rapid step as items were packed into place. Then he moved to the next isle to tidy it up, careful not to get caught. Yet the clock continued to drag at its agonizing pace, the fifteen minutes not running themselves up in a hurried fashion. One foot tapped against tile as Lancer stared at the clock before he got his time to himself.

When the hand made its final rotation to where it needed to go, Lancer all but ran to the back room. The heavy white apron that was regulatory wear was thrown off to flutter to the table. At the back of the room on a tiny, flimsy table was a simple black phone. He stopped as he dug into his trousers to find his wallet. He opened it and pulled out a thick piece of parchment paper with neat, precise handwriting and a number. It would be international distance, but Lancer didn't want to make a good lass cry if he didn't have to.

As much as I'd like to dance with the Bowman again, I don't want to condemn an innocent man either, Lancer thought as he stared at Tohsaka Rin's information scrawled on that sheet of paper. She had given it to him one day after school without her Archer's knowing. She then all but placed a geas on him to make him promise to call if Archer was ever in any danger. "Bollocks," he said as he had no idea what to do.

His eyes drifted from the phone back to the paper before it was secured back into his wallet. The billfold made its way home back into a snug pocket while the phone lay untouched in its cradle. "The hell with it," Lancer said before picking up the phone and pounding the correct sequence of numbers in.

A shrill ring filled his ears and made him flinch. He pulled the earpiece away from him with a grimace as it continued to ring, ring, and ring. An irate foot tapped restlessly against the floor to accompany the harsh shrill ring, but there was no answer. "Well, bugger it. Lass, if you want me to call you, then bloody be there," Lancer snapped at the phone before slamming it into its cradle.

He stood to his full height and said, "Bowman can take care of himself . . ."

Unless he's gotten over his head, Lancer thought as he began to grin. If Archer had found himself defeated, then what an opponent that would be. Fists clinched in anticipation to feel steel between their palms and the hot spray of blood on them once again.


"Where the hell did those swords go?"

Archer sighed as he rested his bound hands on the metal table before him. Keen eyes raked over the cuffs digging into bronze wrists. Trace On. Analyze. Break into the required eight parts. Three inherent flaws in the links. The left cuff's lock is weak and a good blow would break it open.

"Hey, asshole, didn't you hear me?" the gruff voice snapped at him again.

Archer's eyes narrowed as he replied, "I believe you were imagining these swords you keep talking about." My imagination brought them into reality, he thought as he looked at the stout police officer standing there. His suit was wrinkled, the tie did not match and he had a good day's growth of beard littering his face.

His partner, better kept save for the hair that was receding farther and father back into his head, rested a slim hand on his partner's broad shoulder. "Easy there, Hiro, we don't know if this guy killed Dr. Hirano or not," he said in a low, haunting voice.

"Besides, the wounds on Dr. Hirano's throat weren't caused by a blade," Archer said as he eyed the two detectives, "And Hoshi-san's wound was made by teeth, which your forensics agents already explained to you."

Hiro's dark eyes narrowed and he said, "I don't think I like your tone of voice . . . what the hell was this guy's name again?"

"Archer," the slimmer detective said.

Hiro snapped, "What sort of name is that, Keichi?"

"A foreign one," Keichi said with a hint of a smile.

Archer shrugged and said, "My adopted mother was German." Or would have been, if she would have survived the War.

"We're running your record, and we're going to keep you here until we get some damned answers from you. And you sure as hell can explain why you had these," Hiro said before throwing the manila folder that Seto had given Archer mere hours before on the table before him.

Keichi said, "Come on Hiro."

"Fucking freak," Hiro said with a sneer before storming out of the room. Keichi gave him an apologetic smile before following his partner.

Archer sighed as he looked at the handcuffs encircling his wrists. It would be all too easy to shatter them and escape, but that would simply make him look even more guilty. He narrowed his eyes at the Dead that had attacked at the morgue, apparently waking up during its autopsy with a severe need to feed. Considering all that physical damage, that's not surprising, he thought as the image of the ruined mess of its chest coming to mind.

He wanted to call Fujimura to have him arrange so Archer could legally leave, but Detective Kurosawa Hiro would have none of that. So all Archer could do was wait. While I'm stuck here there's a chance those other three might rise as the Dead and do the same.

He flexed his hands as the image of the girl with the wide eyes behind glasses came to mind. The feel of her blood had been hot against his skin as he had bound her wound with blessed cloth. Cloth that probably suddenly vanished as soon as they pulled me away from the morgue, Archer said. His eyes narrowed as he thought, And if she does die, then chances are at will that she'll wake up as one of the Dead.

I should have cut her head off, not treated her wounds.

And if the other three had enough potential to wake up as the Dead . . .

I wonder if Satsujinki is active in this reality, Archer mused. He sighed and stretched out his long legs, knowing fully well he wasn't going to be going anywhere for a long time. He'd been arrested like this many times before due to misunderstandings or the like. It was just best to let them shake him around a little bit, realize they have nothing substantial on him and then let him go. However there were situations like this where time was of the essence.

The chance for a person bitten to become even a Dead was rather slim, but the one who had apparently awakened during his autopsy had enough potential to rise again. Due to the corpse's physical condition due to the autopsy it was probably starving for blood to heal itself. The medical examiner and his tech had been the unfortunate ones who were in the clichéd wrong place at the wrong time. The fact that the girl was still alive was a cold comfort because there was always the chance she could turn and would be in an area for more potential victims.

"A vicious cycle," Archer said with a shake of his head and a sigh.

Footsteps sounded outside of the interrogation room, more sure and lighter than the two detectives' footfalls. Frowning, Archer turned to look at the glass window at the door to see a flash of golden blond. His body tensed as the door was flung open with a bang and a pair of nearly glowing crimson eyes met his.

"Faker," was the King of Heroes' greeting as the other man's gorgeous countenance spread into a slow smile.

Archer tensed and reinforced, throwing his arms apart in a smooth movement. Links of steel shattered like glass before skidding across the table and the floor as bound hands were now free. The chair clattered to the floor as its occupant rose to his full height and prana flared through circuits in preparation.

"Such a welcome for a king, Faker?" Gilgamesh said with a chuckle and a shake of his head.

Archer smirked and said, "Forgive me for bowing, but you should understand in all of your wisdom why I don't trust you."

"Hmph," Gilgamesh replied with his lower lip thrust out ever so slightly as he folded his arms over his chest, "I come to do you a favor and I'm treated poorly." He shook his head with a sigh before raking his eyes over Archer.

Archer studied him, taking in the Armani charcoal grey suit with the red shirt and black tie underneath it along with equally designer loafers with no socks. Apparently, Gilgamesh was adapting rather well to this time without the Grail's taint affecting his sanity. True the former king had aspirations about ruling the world, but he had quickly found out that money was the new power in this day and age. With his already ingrained wealth and charisma he had become the CEO of a company called Golden Rule which apparently handled everything from aviation to zoology.

Behind closed doors Archer knew that Gilgamesh had a cadre of powerful magi at his beck and call as well.

With his sanity regained, Archer knew that even with his still substantial ego, there was no way he could win a battle against the Golden King. If he so choose, Gilgamesh could make him a bloody stain on the wall and spin it into his favor for the public. However Gilgamesh had some sort of strange fascination with the "Faker" much to Archer's dismay.

"I didn't ask for your favor," Archer replied as his eyes shifted to the door.

Gilgamesh smiled and said, "Of course not. That is one of the reasons I adore you, Faakkkkeeerrrr."

The word was all but a purr on the King's lips, more of a lover's endearment than an insult.

"I'm so damned lucky," Archer said with a snort and a shake of his head.

Gilgamesh smiled and said, "And such cutting wit. You know, if you worked for me you would want for nothing. Beautiful women, finery, automobiles . . . I would even allow you to indulge in your penchant for manual labor."

"I'm not going to be your damned pet," Archer retorted, "Why don't you go bother Lancer and Rider?"

"The mongrel and the harlot? While I have a fondness for wild animals, that mongrel does nothing for me not to mention he is loud and bothersome. The harlot . . . it is a king's right to take only what is pure and new," Gilgamesh said with a snort.

Archer laughed and said, "And who the hell said I was pure and new?"

"Well, you are useful. Despite what little you have and copy, you make a place for yourself here. You protect what is mine from harm," Gilgamesh said with a shrug, "That . . . intrigues me."

Archer groaned, "Goddamn it."

"So you were inspecting some monster eating my subjects?" Gilgamesh asked with a smile.

Archer frowned but nodded, knowing that lying would get him bound in chains and bent
over that desk.

Which had happened once before.

Rin had watched with wide eyes and a look that scared Archer more than just a little bit.

It was something he wasn't going to talk about and only Rin and Sakura knew about it. Gilgamesh was going to approach Rin to work for him, Rin, unknowing who he was exactly, was going to take the offer. Archer cut her off and it ended in combat. Or rather, bound in divine chains with Gilgamesh laughing in his ear as something poked him that he really didn't want to think about.

Ever.

Like he was right now.

Goddamn it.

"I see that old man told you about it," Gilgamesh said with a frown as his perfectly manicured hand swept across the table to pick up the manila folder. The heavy folder was opened and the glossy photographs paged through as a wide mouth settled into a thin line. "Disgusting filth. It would be an insult to beasts to call these things such."

"Well, considering your fondness for beasts . . ." Archer said with a shrug.

Gilgamesh smirked and said, "I have a fondness for a great and many things that are defiant to me to the end." Then the smirk was wiped clean from his face as the blond shut the folder and threw it back on the table. "He would have enjoyed your company I think. He was quick with his tongue too."

"Which you enjoyed," Archer muttered.

The smile grew across Gilgamesh's face anew as he said, "I would like to see how well you use yours."

"You're not my type," Archer said and swallowed hard as the king took a step closer to him.

Gilgamesh simply smiled and said, "It is a king's right to take the virtue of a virgin if they so choose."

"Well, I'm not a virgin," Archer said with a laugh.

Lashes fluttered over crimson eyes as Gilgamesh said, "In rebirth everything is pure once again, Faker, and I am not the only one who values purity."

Archer frowned and said, "It's not your style to be cryptic, King of Heroes."

"I spent too much time with the priest. It was an easy habit to pick up," Gilgamesh said with a shrug, "Pity, I think you two would have enjoyed each other's company."

Archer surprised himself by saying, "I think we would have."

"Well, I will do you this favor, but one day I will collect," Gilgamesh said with a smile as he headed out of the interrogation room.

"Somehow I'm not surprised," Archer said with a sigh as moments later Gilgamesh reappeared with a slender black man with his head shaved bald in a blue pinstripe suit. Behind them Hiro and Keichi came in, Hiro looking like he wanted to punch an all but purring Gilgamesh in the face as Archer's bail was arranged.

Author's Notes: I hope everyone is enjoying this turn of The Nasuverse meets Urban Fantasy. It's become a bit different than when I first envisioned it, but it's still been a fun ride. Also, if you're liking this story, I have something else that I've written that I would love to recommend.

Best of all, it's free to read. That's right, no Amazon links.

So, are you tired of vampires who sparkle?

Like 80's movie action?

Have a hard on for Whedon-esque dialogue?

Well, I have just the story for you!

The Law Unto Herself Chronicles star Forest, a vampire who's just a bit too good for her own good and can't leave well enough alone. Armed with an absurdly large hand gun, a love for pop culture, and quite the smart mouth she fights the Forces of Evil.

You can find the story here: home/read/533 It's free to read, and if you like the story please comment, and more importantly vote! I can earn rewards (money) depending on how big my audience is. So I hope you read and enjoy! I mean if you love Archer and Lancer's adventures, you're going to probably enjoy Forest's as well.