Introduction: Are you my Master?

By: HopelessRomanticist

Author Note: So, I play several hours, and watch 24 episodes of a slowly building relationship, and then... THAT happens. That…ending. Sure, I get far too emotionally attached to characters, and that I am a (as my name indicates) Hopeless Romanticist, but really? That gorram bittersweet ending where next to no-one ends up truly happy?

So I decided that I was going to pull a time travel fic on everyone. And not just any time travel fic. I've run into a few "Shirou to the past to help out in Camelot" (Read Arkueid's 'Turning Back the Pendulum'), several "Saber goes back to the future to live with Shirou" but actually no "Shirou goes back to the start of the story". Two 'Rin goes back to the past as Sakura's Magus Servant' though, which surprised me.

And yes, this does mean Shirou will be rather more powerful and *snicker* more intelligent than he was at the start. The problem is that at the end of the anime show, his power level at the end isn't really defined. (He stabs a priest with someone else's dagger, and activates the magic built into the blade. Not all that much there...) So unless I get objections, I'm going to say that he is going to start significantly less powerful than he was in the UBW movie. He's not going to use Conjuration/Projection off the bat, either, as that would lead to...uncomfortable questions.

Not everything will be 100% canonical (I'm not all that big a researcher, and FSN verse is pretty complex), and I'm trying a new method for this fic (Don't plan every little detail out. Allow myself room to change my plot as it goes).

Oh, and I don't own FSN or any characters. You've read my views on the ending. Do you really think I had anything to do with it? (This disclaimer applies to this, and all subsequent chapters. Just in case I forget to write it out every chapter.)

This WILL be the shortest chapter (I hope), and longest AN in the story. Sorry for this...




"As your sword, I have slain your enemies and protected you at every turn, I am glad I was able to carry out that oath."

"And as my sword, you were amazing." 'Please, don't leave yet.'

Master and Servant fell silent. Shirou could hardly breathe. Why did it have to be this way? He had protected everyone, except the one he cared about the most. Just how cruel was this world? The one time he wished to be selfish…He shook himself out of his reflections as Saber, no, Arturia, began to speak. At the very least, he could remember her.

"There's something I must tell you before I go…"

Saber turned to Shirou while her eyes were still closed. The wind was blowing her hair which made her even more beautiful; truly the image of a goddess.

"Shirou...I love you"

Before Saber was able to finish what she was saying, she opened her eyes and looked at the person who had once been her Master, her student, her lover. She smiled at him for the last time, trying to covey through her eyes what she did not -could not- say.

'Goodbye, my love. Forever.'

The sunrise brightly behind Saber, and Shirou cursed the halo of light as it forced him to close his eyes. When he opened them, Arturia was gone. The grass that she had been standing on slowly unbent, and so the last of Saber's presence in the world vanished. He looked at the sunset with a somewhat bitter smile on his lips as he softly said, "Of course, that's just like you."

He stared at the sunset for a time. It was both the most beautiful and most hated sight he had ever beheld. Seconds of silence turned to minutes, and finally the boy shook his head once more and turned towards home. A sigh escaped his lips.

"I need to go back."

The words were completely unintentional. Looking back on them, he wasn't even sure what he had meant: did he mean to say that he wished he could go back with her to Camelot? Did he mean to say that he wished he was home? Either way, the single statement had immense, unintended consequences.

A single drop of black ooze levitated itself up behind Shirou and a sickly sweet voice, a voice that carried a promise of corruption and desolation and assistance at a price; a price far too high for any sane being, floated through the air.

"As you wish, Champion"

For despite the best efforts of Arturia, the King of Knights, not even Excalibur's powers were enough to completely destroy the cruel, ancient artefact known as the Grail. Her powers had burnt away much of the cursed cup, but even the drop that remained had enough powers to grant a wish, and enough of the Grail's cursed 'personality' to manipulate the wish to cause as much destruction as it could.

And what could cause more destruction than the death of time itself?

Shirou was turning when the black drop expanded, covering him like an oily shroud. His body collapsed as the Grail pushed him to the ground and screamed when it began to shrink, crushing his body into a speck.

With a pop, Shirou vanished from time, and the world where he had once lived was engulfed in a wave of darkness, disappearing from existence as time itself was rewritten.

Shirou opened his eyes, finding himself on the floor. A very familiar floor. He knew where he was instantly: he had spent many hours here practicing his conjuration, and this was the place where he had first met Saber. The blue light in the building was the same as it had been that nig-

Hold on.

The light was exactly the same, and on the ground in front of him was a runic circle that was still glowing with the after-effects of the magic that had just been forced through it. And his eyes were drawn up to the figure in silver armour looking down on him with green eyes he had last seen bidding him goodbye. Shirou was stunned speechless, and as such gave the universe a little joke, as he was once again too shocked to respond to the question posed by the goddess before him.

"I am Saber, your Servant. I have come in response to your summons. I ask you...are you my Master?"

'What the hell is going on here?'

AN: Just a short chapter to set the scene