Dear Matou. Dear sister. I am sorry I haven't visited more recently, I should make more time. And I am sorry for always being silent. You never liked to see people cry, you get that from Shirou, I think. So I always feel bad when all I can do is look at your grave and bite my lip and cry. It must hurt you, and it makes Shirou sad. But I can never say anything to you. No matter how much I want to try and talk, to say something, nothing comes out. That's why I am writing this to you now. See, I think I understand you now. I always wondered, why, at the end, in that church, you wrote a letter instead of calling me. we would have had a few precious moments, I could of told you, you could of told me, I could have been there at least once as your older sister to make the end easier for you. So why? Why….if you truly wanted to make me hear you, if you truly wanted to reach out, why the letter? Well I understand now. Its because…..sometimes, even though you really want to say something, but you dont, you hold in in, you hold it inside, day after day, year after year, when the day finally comes. when you finally can..., you can't anymore. somewhere along the line you lost the ability. I have been here many times now. And every time…no matter how hard I try, I just can't say anything, it's just no use, my throat locks up. Is that what it was like for you to? I think that's what it was, I think you sat there with all these thoughts and words that you desperately wanted to say, but they wouldn't come out. So you put pen to paper instead, and you write them. I can't go any longer without speaking to you, without trying to make you hear me, you once managed to get a letter to me from beyond the grave, so I hope somehow, I can do the same and you see this to someday.
I guess….i should start with answering your question. Why did I never come for you, why did I never save you? Why, in the end, did you have to save yourself? The truth is, the Tohsaka family is filled with brilliant people. I am one, my father was one, and we are arrogant because of that. We are intelligent, but when we come up with a plan, when we decide on a course of action, I can see, looking back that we never….checked our work. We never looked over it to see if we hadn't somehow made a grave mistake. In our brilliance, we simply and truly believed that we would not, could not do such a thing. I loved my father, I loved him so much. And he loved us. Yes, he loved you to, Sakura, and I am so, so very sorry about what that love compelled him to do.
He wanted everything for you, but I was the heir you see. And I was good at it, the oldest child, my circuits were strong and healthy and my mind was sharp, there was no reason I couldn't be the heir to the name Tohsaka, I, who would raise our family to the next level. But you…he was proud of you to, he didn't want you to just be second to me, always under my wing, never able to truly be free and happy and strong, it drove him mad. So he plotted, and he planned, and schemed, how could he give you the life he knew you deserved, and then he found the answer, or thought he did. Oh how I wish he hadn't. the Matous, Sakura, magus family Matou. Perhaps not one of the greatest family, but it was old, respected. They had so very much to offer a child, an heir. they had centuries of history, all the power of a magus line, carefully nurtured, handed down generation by generation, steeped in tradition, they had great wealth, and knowledge.
And they had a crest. The Matou's would not share the details, but my father, was sure it was just because one family did not reveal great secrets to another. A crest Sakura, oh Sakura, that's everything symbolized of what he wanted for you. As the proud Matou heir, he thought he had solved the problem, with that crest, and training, and backed by the power of your loyal family behind you, he truly believed you would want for nothing. You could go where you pleased, and all you met would fear and respect the name Sakura, even if it was Sakura Matou and not Sakura Tohsaka. And he was proud, in a way; your circuits burned bright and clean to, I would take the Tohsaka line to new heights, and you would bring the Matou clan to a new level. The formation of what he thought we would achieve would leave its mark for centuries.
But, we make mistakes, we Tohsakas. Our plans aren't stupid, events have taught me they are in fact brilliant, but fundamentally flawed. My father never considered the idea that the Matous didn't need an heir. The Matou circuits were all dark, they were soon to vanish from the world as a magus family, and my father knew any true Matou mage would hate that thought with every fiber of his being, so he believed that you would be a treasure to that man Zouken. More, the salvation he had prolonged his life hoping against hope might come, a new heir, a new chance for family Matou, someone he could pass on his teaching to, who could restore that old family to prominence. He believed that Zouken would cherish you more than life itself, that he would love and protect you from anything, make you strong to carry on the family, and that he would literally die to defend you, so great was your import to him.
He never checked. And neither did I. I am so sorry; we doomed you to that hell in our arrogance. We never thought that the Matous wouldn't cherish an heir. But that man Zouken, was not one we understood. He didn't believe he needed an heir, he thought he was to be immortal, that he himself would forever guide the Matou family with his miserable self at its head, so instead, you were just what you were to any other magi, a tool, something that wasn't human, nothing but a valuable test subject. That was our mistake, I am not afraid, I own up to every last measure of guilt I share, in that, both as your sister and as one who bears the name Tohsaka. because of his actions, i spent 10 years alone, but in comfort, and content as the heir, and you went to that horrible place. I am sorry.
It also would not be a lie to say I hurt you again later, during the war, but I tried you know. My father had given me something, something wonderful, a stone of power beyond anything I could imagine, far stronger then even the 10 great stones I had spent my entire life up to that point creating. With this power, I could crush another magister, challenge a servant, perhaps even breach the veil of true magic itself, I could work a miracle with this power, my father's legacy, and I was ready to use it to win the war. But then I found Shirou. My servant and another had crossed blades, he had been collateral damage. I only found him, because I thought I should see who it was, this first casualty, that I would accept with my own eyes the price of a grail war. After all, I Tohsaka, was a deadly magus who would not hesitate to kill myself, I told myself at the time that if lancer hadn't killed him, I would have needed to. foolishness sakura, I know now, but that was another of my beliefs, that Rin was as cold as her name. back then, i would of thought that the desire to not see an innocent die was a weakness, now, I know its what made me strong
But that person...that man was Shirou, Emiya-kun to me, Senpai to you, The man who tied all of us together, you, me, even Shinji. I knew he meant a great deal to you, though at the time, I had no idea to what extent, but it was still him. I had never done anything for you, even If I attained the grail, I had no wish. I thought you were just fine, my father couldn't be wrong could he? But still, I think a part of me thrilled at this secret chance. Nobody would know, I wouldn't have to explain it to anyone, even myself, this one small opportunity, to prove that I loved my sister. A magus wouldn't do this, but a sister would. At the time, I really didn't understand why, but I knew that it was something I had to do for you, and for myself.
I used the stone. I saved Emiya Shirou using the single greatest weapon I had; I did that for nobody else but Sakura Matou. That was my gift to you.
That war…..sister, I learned more in those two weeks then I would of thought possible, about magic, about myself, about what it means to believe in something even if everything says it's a lie. My servant and my enemy, you see, were one and the same. Only the date differed. That gem that I used for your gift, after it was emptied of power, I left it, because it was useless for me then. But how could it not be something of value to Shirou? He had died, and now he lived, with nothing but a beautiful gem to explain it. He kept it, and cherished it. And with it, I had I called Shirou to me. But oh Sakura, you would have wept at the sight, this was not your senpai. This was not even the awkward boy I knew and was jealous of for summoning saber instead of me. He was cold, he was calculating, he was merciless, and he was treacherous. And he made really good tea. He had a wish that had nothing to do with the grail. Betrayed at every turn, heroic spirit EMIYA had grown to hate the world. I couldn't save him. I hope he found a way to save himself, he was another who I couldn't help, no matter how much I wanted to.
Shirou was forced to face that man alone; he was trying to help me. The person that Archer was, I could see it as I slept, such a wonderful, noble, very stupid person, that boy who only wanted to see people who were happy. I practiced my magic because I wanted to, it was my choice as a Tohsaka, I did it for nobody but me and my family, that was the only reason I could accept. But Shirou, he didn't, truly didn't care about himself, he just wanted to save people, and one of those people was me. He saved me, and he loved me. And now, I choose to believe he will be the one I won't fail, I will save him from Archer, I won't let him down to. I love him so much Sakura, I won't apologize for that. Even to you, I can't believe that love is wrong.
After the war, servant Saber left. Shirou and I think about her a lot, we hope she found what she was looking for, but Saber was someone who forged her own path. We have faith in her. After that war, in those heady days when we realized we had won, when we knew we loved each other, things were just….beautiful. I trained him. I teased him, he laughed and learned that it was OK to play, that he didn't have to hate himself when he was having fun, we couldn't give up our dream, but we shared ours with each other. I wanted us to be great magi, Shirou and Rin Tohsaka, and he wanted to fill the world with happy people, I became a smiling face for him, like you did Sakura, I like to think that was something we did for him together.
Then I lost my sister, and I really, really wanted to die. For the rest of my life I will live with what I….we….my father and I...did to you, you sent me a letter that was filled with longing, with a pain quietly endured, of love unrequited and dreams that died, and I could do nothing but cry. I don't like crying, it makes Shirou sad to see and it makes me feel weak. I know enough about myself now to know that I am human, not some mage of ice, I cry when I am hurting, but I still don't like it. You cry when you don't have anything else to do, when you cant think of a plan. Me? Tohsaka Rin? I prefer anger; anger is good, anger gives you purpose, helps you focus even when it hurts, helps you focus especially when it hirts. And I was SO angry, Sakura. I couldn't help you in life, it was only to late that I really wanted to see and hold my sister and take all her pain away from her, but at least, I could make damn sure that last heroic act wasn't wasted. That if you were willing to die for it, then so help me god, I was going to ensure that wish was granted, whatever it took. I needn't have bothered; the work was masterful, death had finally come for Matou Zouken, your witch had taken his life. I wasn't able to find her, I tried. Even paid money to hire a magus investigator, but he just didn't find any leads, I guess she was good at hiding. She sounded like it in your letter. That makes me sad, I would like to talk to that person, I can't hate her, nor can I be grateful to her. She gave you the tool you needed to shine for a brief moment, to declare that your life really wasn't meaningless, that you had value, and you would only trade something as precious of your life for the promise of protecting an idea that was important to you.
But she also took my sister from me, in the exact moment when she reached out to me. That hurts me. Every day it hurts, and I will have live with that.
I did get a chance to see your brother though, while I was in town, it was a really pleasant conversation. I explained to him, quite eloquently I thought, that what he had done was really wrong and what I thought about it, and I am pretty certain he got the message. I gave him your letter, the original. I didn't have a choice, it was either give him the letter, or give in to every last urge and hit him until there was nothing left of the Matou name but a stain on the floor.
I would have, you know. killed him I mean, killing I have learned is not something to be done lightly, but even after all we did, Shirou and I to save his miserable life, after what he had done...the extent of it...I think the only thing that stopped me is I am smart. and I cant turn that off, even when I want to. and I knew, that in that moment, if you had 5 minutes of life, you wouldn't embrace me as your sister, or even ask a kind word from Shirou. no, you were a person who would spend every last one of them sheltering his body with your own and begging me to stop. that was who you were. So how could I kill him knowing you would have given anything to stop me?
But I kept a copy though, and here is where I have to apologize to you again, for you see, you only asked me to do one thing Sakura, my little sister, one thing only, and I didn't do it. I am sorry. When I got back, I showed Shirou that letter. He was your friend to, and the man I loved. I couldn't keep something like that from him. He deserved to know your story, you deserved for him to understand you to. We cried together that night, something we have done more than a few times since then. He really did care for you, he liked you. I hope you knew that.
That was a tough time for us, for a while I thought we might even break up, we had to come to grips with what we had done, and at times, I almost regretted telling him. But in the end, we loved each other, we couldn't change the past, so we decided to enter the future. Ironically, it was Shinji that showed us how.
Emiya Shinji. I don't get him. Is what he did really ok? There was a man who was doing good things, not because of benevolence, but because…he wanted to be doing good things. That was his motivation. I have trouble accepting that. Is there anything good about someone who is trying to be good? Shouldn't it be because he wants to help? But Shirou tells me that it's really a great thing. He says that if someone believes there is merit in doing good, if someone is seeking redemption for the sake of being redeemed, then that means something. An evil person wouldn't do that at all, an evil person doesnt desire redemption, or forgiveness, so the fact that he finds it something worthwhile and pursues it means it's ok, still something worthwhile.
He makes me smile. Does that not sound like the Shirou you knew? He Is changing, I can see something of what archer might have been if he hadn't lost hope in Shirou lately. His eyes are bright, but smart. He thinks a lot more, he challenges me, when we debate he even wins sometimes, not that I ever let him know that, of course. I love that about him.
And Shinji tried, all the way to the end. He made it along time here. He was always a charismatic man, add manic and rushed to that and I suppose its only natural he moved quickly. He bought and sold favors more than any magus I have ever seen. He wasn't that great a magus, but he was a good, impassioned speaker. He really believed in what he was saying, combine that with over five hundred years of the Matou fortune backing him up, and a year and a half was all it took for his dream to find form, at least on paper. He was ordained by the association as the first of a new group of executors whose job it was to locate and rescue promising magical prospects that were being unfairly experimented on. I remember the speech that was made.
"...So that the magi shall no longer lose valuable magical potential, we hereby invest Matou Shinji with authority to rescue those unlawfully used by unscrupulous magi, and to see to their care afterwords…."
All bullshit, Shinji bought at every vote he got. Still, it was more progress then we as magi have made in a hundred years. I hate to admit it, but I was proud of him that day. He helped us to, you know, after your letter, Shirou and I were having trouble, he….we….felt like we had failed you, we didn't know what to do about that. But Shinji wasn't a great magus, even with backing from the association, his status as a sealer was only honorary. He lacked the training and skill to take on rogue magi. He needed help. Or as he put it when he asked Shirou, he needed a Hero of Justice.
Sakura…I think we would have been lost without that. But we worked with him on his harder cases. And we found people. Little girls, little boys, people just like you. Every door we broke down, every mage I blasted to dust or Shirou cut down with those beautiful short swords was an homage to your name and your sacrifice, we love you. Even your brother, I think, though maybe he just regretted things. We made a good team. Shinji had resources to locate hidden magi, Shirou and I had more power than any who would oppose us, and then, afterwords, we would all try to be there for these children. Try and help them rebuild their lives and themselves, Shirou, Shinji, and I would smile together at these times.
Even if I hate Shinji, and I do, I can't help but see a light that will build from this. That was Archer's lament, that he couldn't see those smiling faces, that he would save and be betrayed, and look for the power to make his ideal real. I think I see that possibility fade a little more from Shirou each day. A child's smile holds all the hope for the future, I want to give him one of his own someday, and every new one saved is a new miracle. Here, Shirou will save a hundred lives, or a thousand, and need no contract to do it, merely his own hard work and the path set out by an evil, spineless little man who dreamt of being a miracle. Shirou will build a hundred smiling faces, who in turn, as his legacy, will create a thousand more, and in time, who knows? Maybe an unreachable ideal may be attained after all. So there won't be any reason for archer. With this, Shirou will become a hero of justice by his own hand, and will lay his head down at the end knowing the world is filling with the smiles he longed for, and that it was him, and me, and Shinji, and yes, you Sakura Matou, who began creating that world, by choosing not to accept a world in which an innocent person may be used by someone evil, and dedicating our lives to the idea of stopping it.
They were sad when your brother died you know, the children I mean. He lasted a long time. Six years. He was infected by the taint for six years. In the end his body began to break down, it was….not a pretty process. At first he wasn't able to accompany us on missions, but as the process intensified, it became obvious to us that he wouldn't last long. His mind was clearly beginning to fade, so he transferred all of what remained of his assets to our name while he was still lucid. he died surrounded by all those he had helped. I didn't want to be there, but Shirou wouldn't hear of leaving, so I wanted to be there for him. What happened that day, I can't really approve of. There was a girl, her name was Elenia, her hair was blue, and she was very close to Shinji. She had been one of the first, her brother had been trying to convert her magically into a synchronizer, with a certain amount of success, and he had been ravishing her daily for the benefits. The parallels were obvious, and Shinji had taken her under his wing.
In a moment I am not particularly proud of; I once cornered her and asked her if Shinji had ever taken advantage of her. The sound of her hand hitting my cheek must have resonated for miles. I asked her if she knew the truth about Shinji, and she did. He had told her himself one day, when she asked him why he did what he did. I was…surprised to hear he had done something like that.
Well, Elenia was there with him holding his hand, he had been almost raving the day before, but he was calmer at the last. It was a death watch. But then, Shinji began clutching at her hand and trying to pull her to him, we wanted to get her away, but she waved us off. He was crying out for you, Sakura. He was holding her and saying that he was sorry. as I said, I just can't approve of what she did next. She held him to her and whispered "it's all right, nii-san. It's all right" he heard. He understood. I dont know if he ever found peace with himself, but if there was ever a time when he did, it was then. He shuddered and slept in her arms. He never woke again, and passed on the next day.
I am angry about that, my sister. I am angry because you should be the only one who could forgive him. He lost the right for that when you took your own life. His apology was too late. But he got it anyway. I can not respect that, I can't be forgiven by you. You aren't here. Shirou can't, because you made a choice and left us, leaving only a letter behind. but shinji did, or thought he did. I hate that.
Sakura...Shirou and I, we can't help you now. But…. we can still love you. Is that ok? thats all we have, and all we can give you. I love you as my sister, and Shirou as his dear friend, and we honor the sacrifice you made. So I hope that you know that, I hope that's important to you. We can always remember a girl who was in a dark, cold place and still tried with everything she had to find some light, and when the time came, faced eternity strong and unafraid, because she was something that was bright, and she had something she believed in. I want you to know that we are very sorry for the mistakes we made in those days, and that you will always be remembered and honored by people that love you. So rest now, sleep easy, my sister, you deserve to that, at the very least. Leave the rest to shirou and I, we will continue the work you started. the ideal is wonderful, and the purpose is good. you died for it, your brother died for it, and I promise, we shall live for it.
Sakura, my sister, my heart, I can't say there are no regrets. A life lived without regret is one without meaning, but it's the very poor choices, as much as the good ones that define your life. shirou and I didn't save you, but we saved each other, with a little help from a miracle named Emiya shinji, we shall always be there for the people you wanted to save, and hopefully, wherever you are, that will help us be there for you to.
Love, Tohsaka Rin
P.S. I really would have loved for you to call me nee-san
The grave was nothing special. they never were. the only thing special about it was the memory of the one who rested there. the envelope was tucked neatly into a bouquet of roses sprinkled with cherry blossoms. The wind blew quietly, there was no sign that these words had been heard, but Shirou and Rin smiled at each other through their tears anyway. Sakura had been right. I will never hear your answer of course, but that's not so important... Shirou and Rin held hands and bowed their heads together once more. It was time to go home.