The Holy Grail war has been waged multiple times, in many worlds, in many ways, with many grails, but never has anyone claimed the grail for themselves. The result has always been the same. In some worlds the actions of the Einzbern family leads to its corruption. In others, the ones who kept getting to it weren't eligible. In a few more, they decided to have it in California. The one set in a super-computer on the moon was a bit weird. But never has the Grail been claimed by any one person.
All who seek the Grail have a wish they want granted, but there are none who have ever accomplished this. All it takes is one…
Somewhere, Emiya Shirou stared at the rising sun, Saber's smile burned into his heart. A part of him found it ironic– though, of course, that part didn't know what ironic meant– that now that he had a wish, he had nothing to fulfill it with…
Japanese legend says that if something survives a hundred years of use, it comes to life.
Somewhere, Emiya Shirou swore to become a hero of Justice, and prove that the ideals that Archer had abandoned were worth following. Rin was moderately supportive of this, as long as it didn't interfere with him being in her harem with Saber…
The Grail of Fuyuki has been there for longer.
Somewhere, a girl cries out in tears. "I don't want to disappear! I just want to live…!"
The Moon Cell knows it is alive…
Somewhere, Rani VIII stroked the sleeping cheek of the image of the girl she'd met in that place on the moon. "I wish… you would come back to me…"
In Snowfield, California, a tattered Grail is slowly filled. It knows it can never be complete.
Emiya Kiritsugu ordered Saber to destroy the Grail, ignoring the betrayal in her eyes…
It wishes it was…
Somewhere, magus Matou Shinji wished to be special…
The Grail of Shinjuku, complete, virginal, waits to be used, bathed in blood…
Fujimura Taigi yawned. "Man, I'm bored. I wish something interesting would happen…"
All things wish to be used for their purpose. All wishes desire to be fulfilled. In all the Grail Wars, one wish above all has been unheeded. When a something exists to grant a wish, what happens when it never accomplishes this? Would not the wish of such a thing be to enact its purpose? To grant the wish of the one who reaches it, whether Servant or human, whether good or bad? The Grail itself seeks to grant its own wish and achieve its purpose. It's reason for existence.
The Grails wished to be used…
Fate/War of the Great Grail
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapter 1: Ain't It Sad, Sacchin?
Disclaimer: The Fate series belongs to Type-Moon. I'm making no money off this. A certain idea shamelessly inspired by the Fate/Nuovo Guerra Secundus character page. I plead having no way to communicate with the author of the idea for why they were not informed. Sorry.
It was a perfectly ordinary day at the Café Ahnenerbe. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the cute gothic lolita maid waitress was yelling at the blonde guy for wasting food, the news on TV reported how a strange man in blue full body tights had been killed in a freak accident that had resulted in him being stabbed by a swordfish inside a Porta-potty on the roof of an office building, the smell of good food filled the air, and Yumizuka Satsuki hummed happily to herself. She enjoyed her waitressing job. It paid well, her bosses were nice, she met interesting people, and the food was awesome, even if it sometimes looked horrible.
"Can I bring you anything else?" she cheerfully asked the person in the corner seat.
Head shake. "No, thank you," he said. Satsuki assumed he was a he. His voice said so, anyway. "Here, accept this as a tip. You've been a really good waitress."
"Oh, uh… thank you?" Satsuki said, a bit confused but cheerfully grateful.
"It's a very lucky tool," he said. "It lets you make friends, get stronger, all sorts of useful things!"
"Well, thank you, customer-san!" Satsuki said, bowing and heading back to the bar.
Her boss looked up from where she was wiping glasses. "You all right, Satsuki-chan?"
"Ah, fine Neko Arc-san," Satsuki said. "Um, Seihai-san gave me a knife. What do I do with it?"
Her boss looked back towards the kitchen. "Eh, we already have a lot of those. Why don't you keep it, Sacchin?"
Satsuki gave him a wary look. "I don't know…"
"Nah, it's cool!" her boss said. "Every girl should have a special unspeakable self-defense thing!"
Satsuki sighed. Well, it was a good knife, nice and fancy. She'd seen expensive knives like it on TV. Might as well bring it home.
The door opened again, and she turned to greet the latest customer, tucking the knife away out of sight behind the bar. "Welcome to Café Ahnenerbe!"
The customer, a boy about her age, smiled nervously. "Um, yes, I was wondering where your WC was…?"
"Oh, it's in the back there…" Satsuki said, her eyebrow twitching slightly.
As the boy headed back there, mumbling apologetically, the door opened again. "You're paying," the dark-haired girl in front was saying, glaring at the boy behind her who, by the hen-pecked air around him, was her boyfriend.
"Yes, Rin-san," he said. Satsuki wondered who the blonde girl whose hand the other girl was holding was. They seemed awfully close…
Satsuki led them to another seat, taking their order before going over to her next table to check on the gentleman there, a tall, rather dour man who was sharing a smoke with Neko Arc Chaos and drinking coffee. She checked to see if he wanted anything– just the bill– before she skipped off to the next table. The rich-looking red-headed woman elegantly drinking tea was glaring at the one sharing her table, who was loudly calling for more beer. Satsuki sometimes wondered about that– what kind of café served beer? Wasn't it against the ambiance?– but she ran to get some more from the bar. The serious-looking woman also at the table asked for some Mapo Tofu…
In truth, the café seemed abnormally full that night. She looked around, frowning as she didn't see anyone she recognized. Some of the voices sounded familiar though. Her attention came back as she saw a movement at the corner seat, and she hurried over. "What can I get you, customer-san?" she asked cheerfully.
His dot-like black eyes stared at her. She really had to wonder how he kept that weird ball-thing floating over his head. CGI? As always, she felt she should offer him a napkin. All that purple stuff spilling out from his widely smiling mouth looked messy. "Could you please go to the bar and get everyone's attention for me, waitress-san? I want to talk to everyone."
Satsuki blinked. What an odd request. Ah, well, this must be one of those customer-san was always right things. She turned and headed behind the bar, where her boss kept the stepladder she always stood on. She climbed it. "Um, excuse me!" she called out, and she could feel the massed attention of the room focusing on her. She tried to smile, and pretended they weren't there. Having an audience made her nervous. "Um, yes, thank you! Seihai-san would like to say something to all of you." She gestured. Confused stares turned where she'd pointed. Seihai-san had stood up, and she could see now the unspeakable purple stuff dribbling from his mouth seemed to stop before it reached the floor, somehow disappearing… or was it floating?
"Hello everyone," he said in his curiously child-like, obliviously cheerful voice. "I'm Seihai-kun! Welcome to the Holy Grail War!"
The world snapped into focus.
"Gah!" Illya cried, suddenly wide-eyed, looking around frantically. "Where are we?"
Around them, other people seemed to be coming to the same conclusion. Illya clutched at her head, trying to make sense of things. She, Kuro and Miyu had been coming home from school… and then for some reason they'd turned into a street and kept walking until they'd reached this café… and then…
"GAH! Don't tell me this is some sort of weird magic thing!" she cried, panicking.
Miyu slapped a hand over her mouth. "Calm down, Illya-chan," the other magical girl said, eyeing the other people around them warily.
"Something's definitely wrong here," Kuro said, her back to them, watching the other side. One hand was extended to the side, a gesture Illya recognized. She was ready to use that magic of hers.
"What is this?-!" a voice cried out. "What have you done to us?-!"
"An illusion…" another voice said. It sounded older than the first. "A powerful illusion of mundanity. Kept us from noticing or questioning where we were. You've altered it now, I see. Is there any reason why we may not see the faces of those around us?"
Managing to calm down, Illya patted Miyu's arm, and the girl released her. She looked around. The voice was right. Besides Kuro and Miyu, she couldn't recognize anyone else in the room. Their faces and bodies were shadowed, reduced to mere outlines. Even the voices had a slightly warped quality to them.
"To make it sporting," Seihai-kun said. Illya turned back towards him and nearly screamed. Now that she saw the customer in the corner seat, really saw him, she wondered how she'd never noticed how he looked. His appearance was unspeakably blasphemous, the very air around him abnormal and chaotic. "After all, it would hardly be fair for everyone to know who they must fight now, will it? "
"Why would we want to fight?" a confused, innocent voice asked. It sounded vaguely like a girl.
"Because this is a Holy Grail War," Seihai-kun said, still cheerful. "The War for the Wishmaker, which allows you to realize any wish."
"Bullshit," a low, dour voice said. "The Grail is tainted. It will corrupt any wish into destruction and death. It is a poisonous prize of no value."
"Ah, yes, it used to be…" Seihai-kun cheerfully admitted. "But it's not any more!"
It was like waking up from a dream and realizing you've been awake the whole time, and the nightmare was real.
Somewhere in the room, someone began to cry "No, no, no…" all over again. They sounded like they were on the edge of panic.
"The Grail has been cleansed? I don't believe you!" someone called out. He sounded like an impulsive idiot.
"We could talk about this," Seihai-kun (what a ridiculous name!) said. "But you'd be wasting time! After all, the 28 chosen to be Masters have no time to dawdle. You need to hurry, or else all the good Servants will be taken!"
"28?" a female voice cried. It sounded naggingly familiar. "Impossible! There are only 7 Masters and 7 Servants!"
"Ah, yes, it used to be…" Seihai-kun cheerfully admitted. "But it's not any more!"
"Is that a catchphrase or something?" a tipsy voice asked. "Cause it could use some work. Anyway, I don't really understand what's going on here…"
"Then be silent, woman," a sharp, impatient voice said. "What are the terms?"
"Ah…" Seihai-kun said. "Finally. A wish that makes itself known. Okay, I'll tell you. After this, you get to leave. Go anywhere. Hide anywhere. Do anything! And tonight, at midnight…" That disturbing smile grew wider. "At midnight, your Servant will come to you. No fuss, no muss."
"Eh?" an obnoxious voice said. "It's that simple? We just have to wait?"
"Oh, no!" Seihai-kun said. "That's just for the lazy ones! If you're impatient, then you can summon up your Servant earlier! That might be a good idea. If you wait, all the good Servants will be taken!"
"There, that's another catch phrase, right?" the tipsy voice said.
"When you get your Servant, you get 3 Commands seals to give them an absolute order!" Seihai-kun said in an 'as-you-know' sort of fashion. "Use them all up, and your Servant disappears! Except for one guy. This lucky person gets 27 Command Seals, but no Servant! Isn't he lucky?"
"Huh?" a confused voice said.
"But why am I telling you this?" Seihai-kun said. "Most of you were Masters once or at least know what to do. You know how it goes. Go! Get your Servants! Kill! And then, when there are no more, you get to make a wish! Look, we'll even give you a freebie! From now until midnight, no one in this room will recognize you. That way, if you don't want to play, you won't get pulled in. See, I'm being very generous!"
"Go, do Master-y things! Or not. Up to you!" Seihai-kun said. "If you ever need a safe place to stay, come back here! This is neutral ground! I'll always be here if you have questions! No promises about whether you'll survive leaving though…"
Someone cried harder…
A wish. He was being offered a wish. A wish free of corruption. A pure wish…
He could see her again…
The back of his right hand began to burn with a familiar heat.
This city was foreign to her. All her life, she had only ever known the Institute. Travelling was new to her, and even then, she'd known where she was going. They accepted her money, at least. Was that an affect of the Grail? The world felt strange, similar to the discontinuity she'd subtly perceived when she'd been within the SE. RA. PH.
A wish. A Grail that would fulfill her desire. With it, she could do anything. She could see her again…
She closed her eyes and tried to recall everything she'd heard of the ancient and nearly forgotten crafts of summoning…
"Kuro…" Illya asked blandly, staring at the design Kuro was drawing on the floor of their bedroom. "What are you doing?"
Kuro looked up. "Come on," she said. "Aren't you just a little bit curious?"
"No!" Illya cried. "If anime and manga has taught us anything, it's that this never turns put well!"
"Oh, live a little Illya-chan," Kuro said, going back to her drawing.
Miyu scratched at the back of her hand, frowning. Was this a rash?
For old time's sake, he stole the chickens.
The back of his hand burned with a half-remembered fire as the night deepened, and he wrote the circle in blood. The clearing hadn't really changed much in ten years, though he suspected that was just his perspective. After all, if he could step into what he thought was a café in London and end up in Fuyuki, then perception might be compromised.
Adding a bit of his blood, he began to chant the words…
"This is the circle you want to use?" Rin said critically, staring down at the old lines etched into the floor of the storage shed.
"Well, it worked for summoning Saber, didn't it?" Shirou said.
"And how were the complications that caused?"
Shirou had no answer to that.
Saber frowned. "Shirou, is this really a good idea?" she said. "After all, you did not really have a wish last time either…"
Shirou nodded. "But if I'm part of the War… I can keep people from getting hurt by it."
"And how did that work last time?"
Rin sighed. "You're never going to learn, are you? Fine, fine, I'll help you set this up. But if you're doing this, you're doing this right! That means actually winning the Grail! Do you understand?-!"
"Rin—" Shirou began to protest.
She glared at him.
He sighed. "Fine…"
Rin grudgingly set about repairing the circle. For a bunch of ten year-old scratches on the floor, it was pretty well drawn. It wasn't much like the circle she'd used— this was made using alchemical theories, not Jewelcraft— but she could see it worked well enough, and restoring the flow of power was a lot faster than redrawing the whole thing. They only had until midnight if "Seihai-kun" was to be believed. Even if he couldn't, other people would be summoning.
Rin was nearly finished when Saber's head snapped up. "Intruder," she said, her armor materializing around her, Excalibur shining in her hands.
The resident Tsundere swore. "Someone's being proactive," she said.
"It doesn't feel like a Servant," Saber said, moving towards there door. "And they did not activate the Bounded Field around the house…"
"Um, doesn't that mean they're not hostile?" Shirou said.
The door opened. Shirou stared.
Shirou stared back, sword in hand.
No one moved.
In the silence, there was the distant sound of the front door opening.
"Hey!" they heard someone say. "Who left the lights on?"
Saber's head snapped up. "Rin! I sense a Servant!"
The Shirou with the sword stared. "S-Saber?"
Saber charged at him. He let out a yell and darted back, sword rising to guard, but his foot slipped, and he fell over. Saber darted over him, her sword swinging. There was a clash of metal on metal.
Her opponent stared. "Saber?"
Saber withdrew, staring right back. "Rider?"
"No fighting! No fighting!" three identical voices cried.
Rin stared. Three Shirous. Two Servants. A stunned-looking Sakura. And unless she missed her guess, that hot piece of ass coming from the house was… her.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?-!-?-!-?-!-?"
Satsuki sighed. The Café had cleared completely after Seihai-kun's announcement. It had been hours since they'd had a customer. "Um, I'm going home now, manager," she said.
Neko Arc sighed, looking across the empty Café. "Eh, you might as well, Sacchin. Oh, don't forget your knife!"
Bending down, Satsuki pulled the knife out of the floor. It seemed to have fallen from behind the bar at some point. "Ah, do we have some newspaper to wrap it with?"
A few minutes later, Satsuki left the Café in her street clothes. It was late, and she shivered, pulling her jacket tighter around her for extra warmth. She began to walk home.
It took her an hour to realize she was in completely the wrong city.
"EH? HOW DID I END UP HERE?-!-?-!-?-!"
Wailing, she began to wander through the back alleys.
The table had become a council of war. Again.
Shirou stared at Shirou, who stared at Shirou, who stared back at Shirou. Saber and Rider stood opposite one another, alert but not hostile, as the two Rins stared at each other with intent, intelligent gazes. In the middle of all this, Sakura felt quite alone and left out.
One Rin, her sister, sighed. "Okay. What the hell is going on here?"
The other Rin, not her sister, made an exasperated wave of her hand. "If I had any idea, I'd have said I something already." She gave the other Rin a cool look. "Besides, why should I bother helping an enemy Master?"
Shirou, Shirou, Shirou, Sakura, and Saber all opened their mouths to respond. The Rins glared. Shirou, Shirou, Shirou, Sakura, and Saber all closed their mouths. The Rins went back to staring intently at each other.
Saber coughed. "Um, Rin, not to disturb you or anything but… shouldn't we be hurrying?"
"Why should we?" the non-onee-sama Rin said.
"Well, I thought we were going to try and summon a Servant before midnight…" Saber ventured.
Everyone blinked… then the Rins kicked over the table, both trying to flip it over the other, turned, leapt out the open door to the yard and ran for the storage shed. They glared at each other, and Gandrs began to fly.
Inside, everyone else sweatdropped.
Sakura clapped, trying to smile through the situation. Old habits died hard. "W-well, let's try to get along, shall we? Onee-sama, try not to hurt anyone!"
Saber, Shirou (not sempai), and Shirou (not sempai) blinked and stared. "Bwah?"
"It's a long story," Shirou (sempai!) said.
"Look, I really don't see why onee-sama thinks you'd be enemy masters," Sakura said. "I mean, you two are still sempai, right? Sempai wouldn't wish for anything bad…"
The two not-sempai nodded. "Of course we wouldn't!" the not-sempai sitting alone said.
"I want to use the Grail to let everyone be happy!" the not-sempai next to Saber said.
Sakura clapped. "Then, why don't we all team up? After all, we know we can trust each other, right?"
The not-sempai next to Saber and sempai looked at each other warily.
"R-right?" Sakura repeated as the remaining not-sempai looked between the two of them.
One by one, the Shirous nodded.
Outside, the Rins had gotten to Magus CQC: hair-pulling, bitch-slapping and name-calling.
"I guess we should try pulling them apart…" the not-sempai sitting by himself said, looking at the Rins.
Across the night, the words were uttered over hurried circles, hastily made. No foci were used, no preparations before hand. Yet they rushed, hoping for a strong Servant…
In the house of the Matou, deep within the Earth, three voices chanted…
High on the penthouse suite of a hotel, a red-haired woman made the circle, clutching the artifact of a dead man, from a dead man…
Deep in her own mind, an alchemist began to make the calculations for the perfect summoning…
Within the hidden domain of a magus, a light shone…
Somewhere, a child's floor scribblings began to glow…
Two Rins, slightly rumpled looking– one had a slap-mark on her face, the other one of her pigtails undone– sat off to the side as the Shirous, all with Command Seals threatening to erupt from their hands, drew straws for the order they'd use the summoning circle in the storage room…
The wind died. The glow of the circle faded.
He stared at the giant before him, and felt a very un-magus-like rush of childish glee. Definitely glee. He wasn't crying, darn it!
The Servant looked around taking in his surroundings, ignoring him. He waited. Finally, the giant turned to him. "Hey, are you my Master?"
Ruler. His class was 'Ruler', according to the knowledge imprinted on his consciousness. That wasn't a class he'd ever heard of, but he found it strangely appropriate. He knelt, bending his neck deeply.
"No, your majesty," he said. "I am your servant... Master."
The summoning circle blazed with light as Shirou awkwardly finished repeating the words the Rins had told him.
Everyone stared as a figure began to emerge from the circle, a blonde ahoge leading the way.
"S-Saber?" Shirou stuttered, staring at the figure rising from the circle.
Green eyes. A red dress. No armor. Very much no armor. Sakura blushed, and the Rins scowled, patting their own chests.
"Greetings, praetor! I am the Servant of the class of Saber," the figure in red said, looking coolly upon them. "Art thou my master?"
Shirou's heart sank. Not Saber. Not his Saber.
It looked like he was going to need to win after all…
Illya and Miyu stared as Kuro coughed, waving her hand to dispense the smoke. "GAH! You actually did it! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?-!-?-!-?-!-?-!"
Kuro grinned, though her eyes still watered, and the expression wasn't as victorious as she was going for. "Respect my mahd magick skillz!"
The dark-skinned man in red and black stood in the center of the room, arms crossed. "Are you my master?" he said. He sounded slightly confused.
Kuro stood up and tried to look intimidating, which didn't really work when she was wearing the panties and sleeveless top she wore to bed. "Yup! I, the great Kuro-sama, am your master! That means you obey me, right?"
Illya, meanwhile, was crying as to how she was going to explain all this to their mother… okay, forget her mother, how was she going to explain this to SELLA!-?-!-?-!-?-!-?-!
"Okay, your turn Miyu-chan!" Kuro said, grabbing the surprised girl and pulling here towards the circle. "Let's see what you get…"
The man frowned. "I'm not sure you understand what you're doing…"
The circle glowed again. On the back of Miyu's hand, a symbol began to burn…
The summoning circle blazed with light as Shirou finished repeating the words the Rins had told them, a bit more smoothly than the previous Shirou had. That Shirou was off to the side, standing quietly in deep thought as his Red Saber stood next to him, eyeing the other Saber… and Sakura… and Rin… and Rin… and Rider… and Rider's cleavage…
Shirou ignored all this, focusing on the circle. Music began to rise in the air.
"Is that normal?" Sakura asked. Her sister subtly put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
From the circle, a figure rose. Female, she had long curling hair that fell to her shoulders, and wore a white tunic that left one shoulder bare, a simple leather skirt that bared her leg, and sandals that laced up to the knee. A lyre rested on the crook of one arm, and the fingers of her other hand played idly over it, making the music she heard. Her eyes were closed as she rose, even as the circle's light faded, and for a moment the storage shed was filled with nothing but the sound of her music.
It faded slowly as she opened her eyes, regarding Shirou. "Greetings, stranger," she said, her voice sounding like she was singing even with just those two plain words. "I am the Servant Caster. Are you my Master?"
Shirou had to blink, getting the song of her simple question out of his ears before he could answer.
He was interrupted, however, as the Red Saber suddenly appeared in front of Caster. "Share my bed, fair maiden, and I shall build an amphitheatre of such glory as to be worthy of your divine music that rivals the muses themselves," Red Saber said, face completely serious. "For truly, nothing on this earth is worthy of the beauty of your art."
With a shriek, Caster slammed her lyre on Red Saber's head.
Within the chamber deep below the earth, three Servants stood, each within their own summoning circle drawn on the cold stone. One was a man in Grecian armor, whose face bore some resemblance to the boy who had summoned him. Another was a woman with long dark hair, clad in a mix of armor and robes. In her hand was an unspeakable crimson spear that looked bathed in blood. The third was a beautiful blonde woman in golden armor, a shield in one hand, a shining spear in the other. Her face was beautiful, and bore a distinct resemblance to Brad Pitt.
"Strange," the small, shriveled old man said, his cane thumping as he inspected his Servant. The golden woman regarded him in distaste, which made his expression twist, though whether it was a smirk, sneer, or anger was impossible to say. "I would not have thought a Servant such as you would come to my call…"
She preened, smirking. "Then consider yourself lucky, old Master. For there is no hero more invincible in battle!"
The dark-haired woman smiled quietly.
The boy stared at his Servant, distaste in his mouth. "A Rider? How weak. Ah, well, I suppose you will have to do…"
The summoning circle blazed with light as Shirou finished repeating the words the Rins had told them. Third time was the charm, and he was actually able to recite the whole thing smoothly. Off to the side, standing nervously as his Red Saber stood next to him, the first Shirou tried to keep his Servant back as the Red Saber eyed Caster, who stood defensively behind her Shirou and gave Red Saber wary looks, her hand idly flicking over her lyre, providing a quiet, tense tune that appropriately underscored the tension between the two Servants.
The light of the circle flared ,and Shirou felt a pain on the back of his hand as the Commands seals burned… and then there was nothing. No Servant stood in the center of the dead circle.
"Did something go wrong?" Sakura asked. What was she doing here? Shouldn't she be with her grandfather? "Where's your Servant, Shirou-san?"
He'd never heard her call him that before.
"Maybe I should try again?" he asked Rin, running a hand through his hair in frustration.
Rin frowned. "What happened to your Command Seal?"
He blinked and looked at it. It was… very different. Instead of three Commands Spells, there were– he did a hasty count, lost track, repeated it slower, then again when he lost count because Rin pulled his arm to get a closer look– 27 on the things, forming three concentric rings of red swords on the back of his hand…
Illya stared as Kuro and Miyu coughed, waving her hand to dispense the smoke. "GAH! You did it again! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?-!-?-!-?-!-?-!" she wailed.
Below, her mother a called out, "Illya-chan? Is anything going on up there?"
"Noting mama!" Illya lied badly.
The large, black armored, highly intimidating figure with the equally intimidating black sword was definitely not 'nothing', but what was she supposed to do? Say "Oh, Kuro's been using the dark arts to summon handsome devils from hell"?
The dark-eyed, dark-haired man with the sword who for some reason reminded Illya of Alan Rickman in that long-running wizard movie looked down at the slightly wide-eyed but otherwise blank-faced Miyu, who was cradling her right hand with the three red marks on it. "I am the Servant Saber. Are you… my… Master?" he said, his voice rising slightly on that last word, as if he wasn't quite sure himself.
Miyu glanced at Kuro, who was grinning even more widely and with more tears in her eyes from the smoke, over at Archer standing in the corner with his arms crossed and one eyebrow raised, and looked back at Saber. "Yes," she said blandly.
"Illya-chan, stop banging your head against the wall," Kuro said cheerfully, grabbing her twin. "Your turn!"
"I just wanna go to sleep!" Illya whined. This sleepover was starting to sound like a bad idea. Stupid café. Stupid weird, unspeakable, ominous, blasphemous, chaotic, abnormal thing…
She yelped as the back of her hand began to burn…
The red-haired woman stared at her Servant, and felt herself falling in love.
"My Lady," he said smoothly, on his knees. "I am the Servant Saber, here to see your will done in this Grail War."
The alchemist looked at the rather short personage in armor before her and nodded in satisfaction. "Excellent. This outcome was well within my calculations."
In the basement of a western-style house in one of the city's better neighborhoods, a tall, kinda busty girl waved the smoke away.
Within her summoning circle, a figure stood. "I am the Servant Archer," the Servant said. "Are you my Master?"
The Irish woman stared at her Servant, saw his weapon, and had to fight down the frankly unprofessional and girlish urge to squeal like a fan girl…
In the basement of the church, the Servant appeared before him. Kotomine Kirei smiled at the thought of 'amusement' to come…
High up in the penthouse of her own hotel, a young blonde laughed as her Servant appeared before her and thought merry thoughts of revenge…
Well, one-upmanship. She wasn't really malicious enough for that kind of revenge just yet…
In a much cheaper hotel with less lavish accommodations, a man with nothing else left to lose knelt on the roof and drew a summoning circle. It was the most basic magecraft configuration there was, but it would have to do. His plans hadn't accounted for something like this…
From his circle, a small figure rose. "We are… the Servant Assassin. Where… where is our mother?"
Illya stared as Kuro coughed, waving her hand vaguely to dispense the smoke. "Bwah?" she said… then started coughing at all the smoke, since she'd emptied out her lungs.
Saber was frowning, and Miyu was as blank-faced as ever, but Archer was obviously puzzled at what he saw in the circle. "There are… two," he said. "You have two… Servants?"
"Wh…what-t?" one of the two asked, hand trying to push down her skirt.
Kuro was not grinning widely. Her grin, in fact, was positively lecherous, and her fingers were twitching in a worryingly perverted manner. "A-are you two girls… Illya-chan's Servants?"
You could practically see the question marks on their heads. "Yes?" the one in the white dress said.
"I summoned magical girls from somewhere out there?" Illya said, scratching at the Command Seals on the back of her hand. They itched, okay?
"Illya!" Kuro cried, grabbing her by the shoulders. "I'll trade you!"
"Eh?" the two girls in the circle said.
Illya did the logical thing. She fainted and hoped this would all turn out to be a dream.
Satsuki cried on a convenient discarded box for oranges. She was lost. She was completely, absolutely lost. She had somehow ended up in a strange city with nothing but the clothes on her back, a kitchen knife her weird customer had given her, and somehow the café she'd been working in.
Deciding that such a thing was too complicated to think about, she tried to simplify things and decided to go back to the Café. The owners lived in the floor above. Maybe if she asked nicely, they'd let her sleep over…
Satsuki yelped as the back of her right hand began to burn. In front of her, a weird circle of light appeared. She watched, not really sure what was happening as she scratched frantically at her hand (it itched!). From the ground, a man with long blonde hair and narrow, deep-set eyes began to appear.
Satsuki screamed, turned and ran.
Behind her, the gentleman dressed in elegant black followed…
Fujimura Taiga woke up the next morning to the familiar taste of alcohol in her mouth. She was also naked, also a familiar sensation.
Being naked with someone else in the bed was a new one, though.
Blearily, she opened one eye. A beautiful blonde, equally naked, and fairly busty woman smiled at her. "Good morning, Master," Arcueid Brunested said.
- To be continued...
A/N: surprisingly, the original idea wasn't mine. It's from Handsome Rob on the TvTropes All Purpose Fate/Stay Night Fanfic thread. I decided to give it a shot. Sounded better than the gameshow idea or the Grand Prix race…
In this game, even the Holy Grail's sort of forgotten the point of Heaven's Feel, but since not all of them are Heaven's Feel Grails, that makes sense…
What an abnormal, unspeakable, blasphemous, ominous, chaotically long setup chapter. This is a lot longer than what I usually go with. As to what the heck is going on…
Teach Us, Seihai-kun!
"Hello! I'm Seihai-kun!"
"And I'm Irisviel von Einzbern!"
"And welcome to the first session of Seihai-kun Dojo, the part of the fic where we explain to the reader what the heck is going on because we couldn't really fit the exposition into the fic itself!"
"Don't worry, it's all perfectly legit. I used to run the Einzbern Consultation Room back in the Blue-Ray discs. Today, we're going to answer a review FROM THE FUTURE! It says: 'Hey, what the h*ll is going on here? Why are there more than one Saber? And why are there a lot of Shirous? Why is that magical girl crap there? Explain, explain! Argh! This fic sucks for not copying the plot of the game/anime/whatever exactly!' Wow, such a short-tempered reviewer, Seihai-kun."
"It's all easy to explain, Irisviel-chan! You see, this is what is called a 'fanfic'. And in 'fanfics', the story can be completely different from the source material. Dumbledore can be gay, Tom Bombadil can be completely gone from the story, Shirou can have sex, that sort of thing! In this 'fanfic', other things are different. Do you understand?"
"Seihai-kun, I think you better stop treating our readers like morons, or else they're going to send us angry flames. In fact, here are some now FROM THE FUTURE!"
"Ah, don't worry, I'm sure that out intelligent, reviewing readers know that we're only being satirical, because they are intelligent, erudite, good-looking people of good taste."
"Wow, your blatant sucking up seems to have worked a little. Now why don't you explain what's going on in a way that we could fit in to the prose narrative portions of the fic? "
"Eh, I suppose so. See, this is a different Grail War. Basically, the Grails from Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Extra, Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Strange Fake got together, decided they want someone to actually MAKE A WISH, and got together to become some kind of supergrail that is definitely not tainted and will grant your wish the way you want it granted. They got together a bunch of different people from other continuities, both official and not, got them to Ahnenerbe, and set them loose on a kinda Fate/Hollow Ataraxia cobbled together Fuyuki. There are 28 Masters and 28(?) Servants, three each of the normal kind and 7 'Wild Card' Servants. The Wild Cards are: Ruler, Avenger, Saver, Monster, 'Hole', Magical Girl (x2) and Vigilante. And except for that last one, they're all canon, appearing in some shape or form in official Type-Moon material!"
"Wow! Our writer really DID THE RESEARCH!"
"Wrong fandom for that meme, Irisviel-chan. Besides, I'm sure a lot of die-hard Type-Moon fans will say he screwed up a lot. But hey, not all of us can speak Japanese and buy the official products! "
"Still, it seems like very lazy and shoddy writing on the writer's part to slip this in here instead of presenting it properly in the story proper. Such a Carnival Phantasm– YES, HE HAS SEEN IT, BRING IT BACK FOR MORE SEASONS!– thing to do."
"Ah, don't worry, he'll present it into the story gradually since it's part of the overall mystery, but for now, he had to make the setting make sense for the readers."
"Well, that's all the time we have today on Seihai-kun Backalley Alliance! Tune in again next chapter– if he manages to make one– same FFNET Story ID, same FFNET author! This is the Seihai-kun Hour, signing off!"
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.