By: James D. Fawkes
Revenant True: Memoria
— o.0.O.O.0.o —
"So, that's really what happened?"
"Yes," Saber said. "The Grail was flawed. Despite their best efforts, they weren't able to recreate the system properly. The Servants summoned were only wraiths, not true Heroic Spirits."
"And for someone like you and Shirou, simple wraiths would've been relatively easy to take care of," Rin concluded. "Idiots. It took the Einzbern, the Matou, and help from a True Magician to make the Fuyuki Grail, and years in between that to charge it. Making a new one on their own was doomed to fail."
"As you say, Rin," Saber agreed. "Even still, it is fortunate that we were there. The situation could have worsened if we had left it on its own."
"Alright, that's enough of the official business. How have you held up, then? I meant to ask you years ago, but after all the cleanup following the War and catching up with school and everything, I just forgot. So…What's it like being human again?"
Saber took a long moment to ponder the answer.
"The powers I held as a Servant have long faded," she said finally. "In exchange, however, I possess all the powers I did as King of Britain. I may not have all the advantages of a Heroic Spirit, but I'm still not an ordinary woman."
"That's not what I meant," Rin said pointedly. "I mean, what's it like being human again? A living, breathing human being?"
Not, "What's it like not being a Servant anymore," but, "what's it like to be alive after being a Servant for so long?"
Saber hummed thoughtfully.
"It's…different," she admitted. "Things like sleep and food weren't necessary as a Servant, even if I indulged in them, and I hadn't needed to worry about everyday things involved with inhabiting a flesh and blood body. It feels…good."
No longer needing to worry about fighting in the Grail War, no longer needing to worry about using too much energy, no need to sleep to preserve energy, no longer needing to worry about fading away — it was refreshing to live like that. A Servant was a spiritual entity that required an anchor to exist in the world; being a human, free to live, free to enjoy life, free to simply be, was a good feeling.
Saber didn't regret the life she'd lived as King of Britain — after everything, after all she had learned from her time with Shirou, she couldn't regret it at all — but there was something so very freeing about having no obligations to weigh her down. Yes, Saber had always chosen duty over her own wants and needs, but this second chance a life, this second chance to set everything else aside and simply live with Shirou, she could not say it was something she would ever regret, either.
"And the sex?" Rin asked slyly. Saber felt her cheeks grow hot and heard the phone's plastics begin to creak and groan under her grip as her fingers tightened around the receiver.
Unbidden, images of her nighttime "adventures" with Shirou arose in her head. Her heart thudded and a shiver ghosted down her spine.
"I'm hanging up now!" she declared suddenly.
"Wait, wait! I'm sorry!" Rin's voice called desperately. "Don't hang up, yet!"
Saber sighed and forced her hand to relax.
"How's Shirou holding up?" Rin asked quietly. "Since Illya, I mean…"
Saber sighed again and turned her head to look into the kitchen, where Shirou was silently slicing ingredients up for dinner. There was just the slightest droop in his shoulders, invisible to all but those who knew him well.
"Her death was a heavy blow," Saber said softly. "I suppose I should have informed him of a homunculus's ultimate fate, but I could not think of an appropriate manner or method to broach the subject. And if I am honest, I had held out hopes that Illya's survival of the Fifth War was a sign of her longevity, but…"
"There's nothing you or he could have done," Rin said solemnly. "We miss her, and she did become a part of the family, but we can't work miracles, Saber. Illya was a homunculus. To give her true life is beyond any magecraft we could work. Those three extra years were a blessing, all things considered."
There was something that Rin wasn't saying — Saber had known her long enough to recognize that Rin was omitting something for some reason. She should probably ask, just to make sure. After all, Rin had a tendency to sugarcoat things where Shirou was concerned, and even with Saber, if she thought it was something important enough of depressing enough.
But she wouldn't ask. If Rin didn't want to say it, then Saber would respect her decision.
"I suppose you're right," Saber conceded.
"What about the Association? Have they been giving you any trouble?"
"Officially, the Association has no interest in Shirou and I," Saber said. "That does not stop some of the less scrupulous Magus families from trying to capture us for their own purposes."
The Archibald family, she thought they were called, had sent a number of assassins their way since the Grail had been dismantled. If she remembered right, their heir had been killed during the Fourth War by Kiritsugu (well, Maiya had shot him and Saber had finished him off, but it was on Kiritsugu's order, so the difference wasn't important), so their motivation was probably revenge. Those assassins had been handled swiftly and mercilessly.
That wasn't accounting for all of the wannabe magi who had wanted to capture them and dissect them for one reason or another. The numerous attempts that had been made on them had forced Shirou to learn how to make Bounded Fields to protect the house. Granted, they weren't on the level of a specialist, nor even Rin's, for that matter, but he was improving, and they were strong enough to do the job.
"The reason the Association doesn't bother you officially is because they'd be stupid to try and cross the King of Knights and the King of Miracles at the same time," she said. "You may not be a Servant anymore, but Excalibur is a Noble Phantasm approaching the level of a Divine Spirit's thaumaturgy. Shirou's got his own Noble Phantasm, and he can create copies of others as the situation calls for it. Only the Association's most bullheaded members are arrogant enough to think they can take on one of you, let alone both at once."
"Yes, I suppose you have a point."
"Well, I've been doing what I can to keep them off your backs," Rin told her. "It hasn't been easy, but Waver's been really helpful in keeping you guys off the Association's radar. As long as you don't kick up too much of a fuss, then officially, the Association has no reason to pursue you."
"Officially," Saber agreed somewhat bitterly.
Just because the Association didn't bother them officially didn't mean that they were left alone entirely. No, of course not, because that would be too easy.
"Yeah," Rin said. "Listen, I'll be back over there in about a week. Are you guys heading out again, or are you going to stay home for a while?"
"We'll be spending the next several months here," Saber replied. "I think Shirou is looking forward to a break from everything — a chance for us to be alone for a while. He doesn't say it, but I believe these last few weeks have been difficult on him."
Rin hummed an agreement. "Another Grail knockoff, right? I heard about that in the Association's grapevine. Were the Einzberns involved in this one?"
"No," Saber shook her head once before she remembered that Rin couldn't see it. "These imitators, however, came much closer than any of the others. I fear it is only a matter of time before another true Grail is built."
"That's much less likely than you think," Rin informed her. "The Fuyuki Grail had the backing of the Association — or at least their unofficial approval, at any rate — and was presided over by the Church. These knockoffs aren't, so they have to take place in secret where the Association doesn't have any influence."
"Which only makes them more dangerous," Saber disagreed. "The Fuyuki Holy Grail may have been tainted, but it was set up properly and performed its function mostly as intended. Without the backing of the Association and the expertise of the likes of the Einzbern, these imitations are more likely to suffer a catastrophic malfunction, which could endanger the lives of everyone in the vicinity of the Grail."
"All too true," Rin admitted easily. "That's why the Association feeds me as much information as they can find about these things, so that you and Shirou can go and do their job for them with minimal risks. Simply by doing what you do, you and Shirou have extended the life expectancy of an Association Enforcer by about ten years."
One of Saber's eyebrows lifted. "Oh?"
"Waver thought it was funny," Rin told her with a soft, short chuckle. She sighed. "Alright. I've got to get going, then. It might be late afternoon for you and Shirou, but it's only eight in the morning over here, so I've got to get back to my studies and stuff. Tell Shirou I said 'hello,' won't you?"
"Of course," Saber agreed. "Goodbye, Rin."
There was a click as Rin hung up, and Saber set the receiver back into the cradle.
A week, then, she thought as she turned away. She and Shirou had a week alone together before Rin came back. Until then…
Saber allowed herself a brief smile.
Until then, all they had to worry about was each other. They could be together and do as they pleased without worrying about interruptions.
She turned around and looked back into the kitchen, where Shirou was silently cooking dinner. The slump that she'd noticed in his shoulders earlier seemed only more pronounced now, but perhaps that was because it seemed all the more noticeable now that she wasn't half focused on her conversation with Rin.
She should do something, anything, to cheer him up.
Yes, she decided. She would cheer him up.
"Shirou," she declared strongly as she strode towards him.
Shirou stopped for a moment and looked back at her, eyes wide and questioning. She glanced down at his hands, which had stilled halfway through chopping up another carrot. That would be her method, she knew.
She had been meaning to learn, anyway. One day, she would be the one cooking for him. Not every day, no, but she would change the dynamic from Sakura and Shirou cooking and insert her own slot into the lineup. She was no longer a king being waited on hand and foot, so she would no longer allow herself to stay around the house without contributing anything.
"Teach me," she said simply. She put all of the command of King Arthur behind it, and spoke it with all of the passion and affection of the girl, Arturia.
Shirou smiled, a small, real smile, and Saber couldn't help but smile, too.
It would not always be easy, she found herself thinking as Shirou taught her how to prepare that night's dinner, standing behind her, chest pressed against her back, his hands guiding hers. No, it would not always be easy. There would be deaths and hardships. They would lose friends and be betrayed. They would be injured and scorned, hated and loathed. People would reject them, reject Shirou's dream because they could not understand it, because they could not understand him.
But none of that mattered, because she was there. She would stand beside him, his sword, his shield, his sheath. She would protect him against the wear and tear, against the elements that yearned so badly to rust and destroy him. She would be with him, his partner, his other half, and she would walk with him down his path so that he need turn to no other.
As long as she stood beside him, she would help fulfill his dream, she would save him from that lonely fate, from dying upon a hill of swords, broken and lost.
Yes, as long as she stood with him, there would be no regrets, because this was the only path.
That beautiful image that they both cherished, that radiant dawn, together, they would find that Utopia.
— o.0.O.O.0.o —
To all things, there is a time,
A meaning, a purpose, a rhyme.
For love and for hate,
For Destiny and for Fate,
For wrong and for right,
For words and for might.
That is why they never despair,
Their ideals, they never forswear.
Time marches on,
So there will come a dawn.
Even in a world of blight,
It can never always
— o.0.O.O.0.o —
True End — Close
Disclaimer: I don't own Fate/Stay Night.
This is the True End. This is the epilogue that closes the story, the real epilogue, that brings the curtain down on Fate/Revenant Sword. Thank you for sticking around long enough to get here.
The difference between the Good Epilogue and the True Epilogue is really just the matter of a single detail that sends ripples down the rest — when, exactly, Rin left for Clock Tower. In Good Epilogue, she stayed in Fuyuki with Shirou and Saber long enough to suggest using Avalon to heal Ilya whenever she started to deteriorate. In this one, Rin left almost immediately after high school, so she didn't have the chance to make that suggestion. The difference is five years — Rin stayed in Fuyuki for five years after high school in Good Epilogue; in this one, she didn't.
In the end, it didn't matter. All we ever needed was each other.
James Daniel Godric Alan Fawkes
James Daniel Godric Alan Fawkes(Signature best viewed in Wendy Medium font style)