Gilgamesh Tries his Hand at Babysitting (part 1)
I honestly should have seen it coming. I woke up that Sunday at around 11 PM. The sun was launching its final attack on my curtains, and at any moment it would be directly in my eyes. Too bad for it. I claimed a small victory by climbing from bed myself. No ball of burning hydrogen can order ME around!
In any case, I quickly got dressed and left my room, breathing in the fresh morning air. The scents of Caren's cooking were absent, confusing me until I remembered that it was Sunday. Occasionally, after his sermons, Kotomine enjoys cooking a brunch himself for the four of us. Lancer's room was empty, so it seemed like it was just going to be three today. I paused and stared into his room as I passed. Posters of various anime plastered the wall, and a hug pillow lay on the bed at the other end of the room. I squinted through the darkness, barely making out the image of Bazett emblazoned on the side of the pillow, her suit unbuttoned with a deep blush on her face. How shameless! I thought. That dog couldn't contain his lust for that woman.
I shut the door as I passed. No one else needed to see that. Besides, my room was practically as bad. I had an abundance of two things, pictures of Saber, and figures of Saber (courtesy of Caster, that witch). Caren and Kotomine know, but they don't make fun of me as often as you'd think.
As I had suspected, the kitchen was empty. The pots that were usually simmering on the stove were elsewhere, and it seemed that I'd be condemned to eat Kotomine's damned brunch. I sighed and walked towards the sanctuary, where the sounds of his exiting congregation were diminishing. I reached the door that would open to the back of the sanctuary, to the left of the altar. With my hand on the knob, I waited until I couldn't hear any more old people before opening the door.
The sanctuary was naturally the largest part of the building. The wide expanse created interesting acoustics. Even small footsteps echoed amazingly loud due to the high peaked ceiling. I would have taken it for my own room years ago if it weren't for Caren. She wouldn't have that at all. She is of course, much more pious than her father, who only plays the part of a priest. That said, him playing the part of a priest does a lot to annoy me, so he might as well be a priest.
Right now, Kotomine and Caren watched the last of the congregation file out the double doors. They stood next to the altar, side by side with their hands clasped in prayer. Even as I walked up to them, neither stirred from their poses. It was only after I cleared my throat that Kotomine even opened his eyes. Caren's remained closed for a bit longer. When they opened, they were glaring at me.
"W-what did I do you stupid girl?" I protested. There was no reason for her to be mad at me this early in the morning.
"Sloth is a sin, Gilgamesh," she replied with her characteristic monotone. Honestly, I wish she would actually sound mad for once. "You should get up for once and help us with the service."
I smirked at her. "Girl, isn't it blasphemous for a divine being to help people worship your god? Does that not evoke some sort of Faustian idea?"
"Yes, indeed," she said. "You are certainly the snake."
"Beware," I laughed, "Or this snake will find its way into your Garden of Eden!"
I couldn't believe I just said that. Apparently though, neither could she, because seconds later her shoe hit me directly in the forehead. I was caught off guard, and it nearly knocked me off my feet. I blinked rapidly, rubbing my head.
"Whatthehell?" I blurted out as she recovered her footwear. "A shoe? What nonsense is this?"
"Divine retribution," she said. I turned to her father, but the older man simply smiled at us. This was his fault anyway. Even after the beach day, Caren and I were still at each other's throats. Well, more like I was normal and she was at my throat if I spoke to her. Seriously, I might as well hang around Saber. I actually would have less of a chance of dying.
"In any case," said Kotomine, "it is time we ate."
Yeah," I said as Kotomine walked across the altar. Set upon a small table was a box of dark wood trimmed with iron. It was the church's donation box. While it was supposed to be used to further missions and philanthropic work, this wasn't exactly an official church. "When does Caren start cooking?"
"She's not," said Kotomine as he opened the box and began stuffing bills into his jacket without a moment's pause. "I have ordered food for today."
What was this? I wondered. There was no way Kotomine would order food to be delivered without a reason. Caren could easily make us enough food to go around. I opened my mouth to ask Kotomine this very question when the sanctuary door opened again. Thus, I was left with my mouth wide open when a woman's voice echoed around the room.
"What's this about, you Fake Priest!?" Tohsaka Rin's voice utterly broke the relative peace that I was used to. That damned girl was insufferable! Kotomine should have stabbed her with her damned father. Waitwaitwait, never mind. She has really nice legs, so I'll let her live. She wasn't alone either. Behind her was a massed group of undesirables, people that I'd never expect to see together.
"Ara~! What a wonderful church! Isn't this place wonderful Soichirou?" Caster was here, wearing the clothes of a housewife. Beside her was the stoic Kuzuki, a veritable brick wall of a man.
"Yes," he replied. He was a man of few words obviously. Behind him came a trio that made my skin crawl. The Faker, his younger self, and the beastial Rider walked side by side, dressed in casual clothes. The one who surprised me the most was Rider. Her blindfold was missing, replaced with a pair of glasses that an amateur could tell were magical. Nevertheless, I didn't meet her gaze. It wasn't exactly hard either. I just stared directly at her ample chest. Wearing a sweater over those things was too good, even a monster like her could be considered attractive!
Finally, a pair of girls entered. Wearing sundresses, they walked happily hand in hand, though it looked more like a mother leading a child. Saber and the Einzbern homunculus followed the Emiya boy into the church. The little one happily skipped and hummed some sort of nonsense tune. Honestly why did they bring her? Saber was stunning, but it wasn't like I could say anything with that brat standing right there!
"Kotomine, what is the meaning of this?" I asked. "Why are all these mongrels here?"
Kotomine looked at me like I was an idiot (which I'm not), and said, "They are taking brunch with us. Is that unacceptable?"
Before I could say 'yes', he had already turned his back on me. He clapped his hands twice. "Come, we will eat out back."
Not many people come to the Church enough to know, but there is a sort of patio area. Occasionally Caren would set up a table out there and the three (or four if Lancer was around) would eat outside for the evening. As the group walked out of the sanctuary towards the small courtyard, I noted that the table had indeed been set up at some point this morning. Miraculously, there was enough space for all of us.
"A moment please," said Kotomine. Apparently, the food had arrived, and he left with Caren to go collect it. The others stared at me, as if I had some sort of authority in this place. While I was naturally a man of great authority, in this so-called House of God I was but a mongrel myself, at least to Caren and her father anyway.
"Did you have a hand in this, Goldie?" asked the Tohsaka girl. I barely caught what she was saying; as I was too busy alternating between staring at her legs and Saber's. She continued to tap her foot as I ignored her, but what was she going to do, sic her Servant on me? It's not like he killed me, ever. There's no way that would ever happen, even if I was at a massive disadvantage!
"No," I replied, "Kotomine surprised me as well, but I am not one to reject a gift when it is given."
"For once I agree with him," said the red Archer. "As long as we check the food for poison first."
As he said that, he cast a long glance at his younger self. Surely he wasn't planning on using him to test the food? After all, he probably wouldn't even eat until Saber gets her food. He's a generous boy, sometimes to absurd levels. A real man should take what he wants, and then give to others when he has had his fill.
"Poison?" said a deep voice from behind me. "The very thought is insulting."
Kotomine strode past me, a large box under each arm. Each seemed to be one of those containers that retained heat, allowed food to remain warm even after a long time. Caren followed him, carrying a third container. She struggled under the weight, and in a rare moment of compassion, I took it from her easily.
"Thank you, Archer," she said between deep breaths. She made sure the table was set properly and then directed everyone to their seats while Kotomine opened the boxes of food. He must have ordered from a western restaurant, as there wasn't a Japanese dish in sight. Honey roasted ham, bacon, fresh pastries; there were dozens of different things. Out of Caren's container came a jug of English tea, which she poured for everyone.
I watched as Caster reached into a bag, pulling out a computer and a webcam. She switched it on, and in a few seconds, the picture focused on Assassin, still at the Ryoudou temple gate.
"Look how much fun we're having Sasaki!" she said. "Don't you wish you were here?"
"Of course I do, you damned witch!" he replied angrily. "You're doing this to taunt me."
"Yes, that's correct," replied Caster. "You can watch us eat and if you're polite we'll bring you something back."
"Kotomine, where did you order this from?" asked the Emiya boy. His voice had an undertone of hostility. That was understandable though. There was absolutely no reason for him to trust Kotomine. Even I barely trusted him. How things had changed since the 4th War, when I was the one in control. Now I was simply the houseguest of that sadistic preacher.
"Come now, Emiya Shirou," replied Kotomine with a closed-eyed smile. "I cannot reveal all of my secrets. Enjoy the meal, but be sure to properly thank the Lord before eating."
What nonsense, I thought. There was no way I'd pray before eating. The gods of Sumeria weren't deserving of my praise, much less the God that Kotomine pretended to worship. Nevertheless, the others at the table actually acquiesced, offering silent prayers before eating. As they began to distribute food, I moved to sit, only to be stopped by Kotomine.
"What is this, Kirei!" I demanded. Was he going to stop me until I prayed? I watched as everyone but the two of us began to eat the food. It must have been good, because as they took the first bites, their pace increased. Even the normally proper Tohsaka girl and the calm Rider were eating food like starving beggars.
"Wait," said Kotomine with a wide smile. He palmed something into my hand and walked off. "Lancer should be here soon. I'll leave it to you."
What the hell did that mean? As he walked back into the church, presumably to head into town, I finally looked down at the item in my hand. A familiar empty vial stared at me. I knew it well, because I had dozens of them in my Treasury. It was one of my potions of youth. There could only be one explanation for what Kotomine had done, and it was happening right in front of me.
One by one, the people eating began to shrink to a child's stature. It started with Emiya and Tohsaka, with the larger ones being affected afterwards. Archer and Kuzuki were the last to revert. The stoic man's expression didn't change. He just hummed quietly as Caster turned to a child right before his eyes. Archer looked at me in a panic.
"What is the meaning of this?" He asked as his body began to shrink.
"I can't say," I replied. "This is Kotomine's doing."
Even Caren was a child now. It didn't even look like she'd noticed. The most surprising thing, I think, was that their clothes shrunk as well. Even that didn't happen when I used the potion.
So now, I looked upon a courtyard full of children. They milled about. Some, like Tohsaka and Caren, continued to eat. Archer and Sakura had reacted to their transformations. Archer's face was a mask of terror, and Sakura was crying her eyes out. The only one that looked puzzled however was Ilya.
"Goldie," she asked, "what happened to them?"
I cocked my head. "They were turned into children by a potion that Kotomine stole from me."
I was about to ask how it was that she was unaffected, until I finally realized. I chuckled a bit, and then began laughing out loud. "Hahaha! You're too much of a child to be affected! How humorous!"
She realized it just as I did, and began shouting me down. "That's not funny! That's not funny!"
It was funny actually. She huffed and puffed, almost as if she wanted to be turned into a child, but her already tiny body didn't allow it. Behind me, the door opened. I looked over my shoulder as Lancer walked in, dressed in his casual clothes.
"Oh, Gilgamesh," he said, "How it. . ."
He paused mid sentence, looking at the spectacle before him. As he watched the last vestiges of Archer's adult personality drop away, his jaw slowly fell. "What the hell is this?" he said.
"A farce of Kotomine's making," I replied as Lancer stepped up to my side. "It seems we will have to take care of this."
Lancer sighed, looking at the kindergarten class that had developed in front of us. "Yeah," he said. "It can't be helped."
One by one, the children assembled in front of us, with Ilya at the back holding the computer. Sasaki looked ecstatic. His Master turning into a child was probably the best thing to ever happen to him. The crowd stood no higher than our waists, staring up at the two of us with wide eyes. Beside the sobbing Sakura and docile Caster, Kuzuki remained as stoic as ever, his glasses still perched on his nose. Archer and Shirou glared at each other, their childish antagonism returning.
"Mr. Gilgamesh," said Tohsaka, tugging at my leg, "What do we do now?"
Now it was my turn to sigh. It was just like Kotomine to lay something like this on me. Honestly, this task was beneath me. But, I had no choice. In truth, I love kids, even if the kids are some of the people I despise the most in this world. Perhaps they'll be easier to tolerate like this. I silently waved for them to follow me, and Lancer and I ushered them into the Church. I'm sure we can find something to do while the potion wears off.
Author's Note: Its certainly been awhile hasn't it? Next chapter will not be a continuation of this one. It will be Gilgamesh Tries his Hand at a Halloween Party. You can bet it will come out on October 31st sometime. I will also announce the contest now. In that particular chapter, every character will be dressed as a character from some other anime. After you finish that chapter, give a review with your guesses as to who was dressed as who, with a request for a later chapter at the end. Whoever guesses the most will have their request fulfilled. A hint will be provided at the next of the next chapter, as well as a repetition of the rules. As for right now, toss me a review or a PM if you liked this chapter. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say.