A/N Welcome to Three Seconds, I always wondered while I played the game and watched the anime why there wasn't a route where Shirou was too slow to stop Saber from killing Rin, and from that spawned this idea. How much would have changed in the War without Rin around?

I am looking for a Beta, so if someone wants to take the job let me know, and we'll see how it works out. I'll probably be posting a chapter a week, if everything goes smoothly.

And here we go


Three Seconds

Night One

Three Seconds, such an insignificant amount of time out of someone's day, out of someone's life. Yet three seconds was enough time to irrevocably change the course of The Fifth Holy Grail War

Moonlight filtered in through the door of the open shed for a brief moment illuminating the scene that lay within. An unnatural light flared as the boy known as Shirou edged back further from the man wielding the red lance, his mind consumed by the fact that he was about to die, for the second time tonight. "This is bullshit, there's no way I can let myself be killed twice in the same day. Am I truly so weak that I can't even save myself, are my ideals so meaningless?" The man in blue armor moved closer raising his lance and preparing the fatal strike. "I won't die, not again, not like this!" The unnatural glow grew brighter blinding the occupants of the room as the red lance shot forward seeking its target, and a clash was heard as sparks flew from the collision of the lance and the invisible weapon throwing the lance wielding man back through the door. The boy moved further back from where the man had been, until his back was touching the wall as his eyes finally locked on his savior. Illuminated in the Moonlight stood a woman, her blonde hair reflected in the pale light giving it an ethereal glow, her emerald eyes shifting to land on his prone form freezing him to the spot and taking the breath from his very lungs. Clad in a blue dress with white lining, and finely detailed silver armor, and yet this description could not do justice to her beauty.

Her eyes still penetrating to the depths of the young man's soul she finally spoke her words clear and resolute. "Are you my Master?"

The words shocked the red head from his dream like state, forcing his mind to start assessing the situation that lay before him. "What was it that she just said, am I her Master? What does that even mean?" Staring at the woman before him Shirou could definitely tell that she was the same as the man in blue, and yet so much more. "Your…Master?" He said, trying to make his mouth form the words in his mind.

The woman continued to stare, her gaze searching for something he could not tell, and again she spoke. "I am Servant Saber, I ask again, are you my Master?" This time upon hearing the words the red head felt a twinge of pain in his hand. Looking down the marks were glowing an intense red before fading back to its regular color. It seemed as though this was the signal she was waiting for, for as the marks fell to their original color she spoke again. "Your orders, Master?" Before Shirou had a chance to speak his decision was made for him, although it seemed as if an eternity had passed when Shirou began looking at Saber in reality it had only been a few moments, and Lancer was back. Saber moved far to fast for Shirou to follow and sparks began exploding in the night as the two Servants fought. Shirou was awed at the speed of the battle, and even more so at the skill these two warriors were showing. They clashed over and over Saber clearly at the advantage with her invisible weapon. With a vicious strike Saber threw Lancer back separating the two knights for the first time.

"How about we call this a draw, your Master is useless, and mine is a coward, no use finishing things here" Lancer said as he brought his spear back to the ready position.

Saber scoffed at his attempt at negotiations "You will die now Lancer, Prepare yourself" she yelled pushing off the ground and sprinting toward him. Lancer jumped back keeping his distance from the blonde while turning in full retreat. There was no point in continuing this battle, he was only scouting out his pray at the moment, no sense in revealing his Noble Phantasm this early in the War. Seeing the perfect distraction Lancer smirked as he jumped over the girl running down the street in red with her Servant Archer. Using there confusion to his advantage he continued back to his Master, never realizing how much his actions would affect the war.

Shirou continued to watched in a daze as Saber sprinted after Lancer, he couldn't believe that this was real, and he had no idea how he came to be mixed up in this crazy battle. What he did know was that he needed to hurry, because his Servant had just rushed off, and she was only just barely in sight. Running after her was going to be harder then he thought, she moved far too fast for him to keep up with, and she was still a few hundred meters in front of him.

Saber cursed silently as Lancer jumped over the incoming pair, It seemed her Master was rather popular tonight, as another Servant had just appeared headed in the direction of her Master's house. Lancer may have gotten away, but she swore to herself that this Servant would not. Using her momentum she attacked without warning aiming to finish this battle as quickly as possible. Her opponent was fast, but no where near as fast as she was. He fought well, blocking her strikes as if he knew how long her blade really was. While this was rather admirable, it did not change the fact that she had the advantage. Putting forth as much strength as she could into the next few blows she heard the satisfying crack of his blades as she made a cut trailing from his left shoulder to his hip.

"ARCHER!" The young Tohsaka heir yelled as she witnessed her Servant being injured, She could already tell that this was Saber, and no matter how good with a blade Archer may be, he stood no chance against this woman. Calling him back to spirit form she withdrew her signature jewels and began to toss them at the blonde woman. Explosions rocked the area as the gems exploded clouding her vision for a few moments.

Three

When the dust settled the Servant was standing there unharmed, and Rin knew instantly in her heart, that she was in trouble.

Shirou ran, he had watched as Saber engaged this new enemy, and just as with Lancer she had defeated him without too much effort on her part. When she had been covered with smoke he had sped up his heart skipping a beat and praying that she would be okay. He sighed in relief when the dust had cleared and she seemed to be standing there without any damage

Two

"It was a valiant effort, unfortunately for you I have a class A resistance to Magic." Saber said as she raised her arms preparing to strike at the now defenseless girl.

His heart was pounding in his chest as he pushed himself to move faster, he needed to reach the battle, he wanted to yell out to his Servant, but he was still too far away.

One

Saber rushed forward her blade held ready to pierce her opponent through the heart.

Rin sighed, unshed tears clinging to her eyes as Saber approached her, this was it, this was how it all ended. "To think, I wouldn't even survive the first night of the war, how embarrassing." Her eyes looked past the rushing form of Saber to the red headed boy sprinting toward their battle "At least your still alive Shirou"

His feet pounded against the pavement in tune with his heart smashing against his ribcage. His eye's had cleared, and even though he was still too far away to be clearly heard, his vision was perfect, he could see the wind rustle against Saber's clothing, he could see the tears beginning to form on Rin's face, and he could see with perfect clarity that he would not make it in time.

Zero