A/N: I don't own Fate/Extra.
I'm... saddened by the lack of development between the MCs and the Servants. I really wish there were "events" you could trigger with them to show how far you've come together, stuff like that. I also really wish there were multiple endings, this being Type-Moon and all. I guess that's what fanfiction is for!
As of the moment, I'm playing through the game with Archer and the FeMC, so this fanfic will focus on them for now.
WARNING: This chapter contains an overly-dramatic confession scene (Your mileage may vary) and a poorly written kissing scene. Contains serious spoilers. You have been warned.
"This is the End... or is it?"
She was going to be erased. That was for certain.
She would never see her Servant ever again, whether she vanished or not. That was the truth.
She'd already made her peace with her fate of erasure... still, she had one last important little thing to say to her Servant. It just didn't sit well with her that she'd been hiding it all this time - so it was now or never.
"...Archer, where are you?" She knew he was inside the Moon Cell with her; instead of just hearing his voice and feeling his presence, she wanted to actually see him.
"I'm right here, Master." In the next minute, Archer was floating in front of her.
She wasn't expecting him to just... appear right in front of her so quickly though. All she could muster was, "...You're not my Servant anymore so stop calling me Master, Archer."
He just shrugged.
"What's with the uncharacteristic shyness? Just say whatever it is you need to say," Archer chided gently. In truth he was a little worried - their relationship was at the point where no secrets were withheld; if she felt reluctant to tell him whatever it was she was thinking...
"...Archer, thank you," she blurted out. "for... for sticking with me, for guiding me, for... for being my Servant. Thank you so much!"
Inwardly, the bowman frowned. He could tell this wasn't really what she wanted to tell him. He'll have to draw it out of her the hard way. "You know..." he said with his usual sarcasm. "You have got to be the most troublesome Master I've ever had."
A pause. Around them, the "water" shifted and flowed.
"...Well, thanks to you, nobody else in this world can ever use the Holy Grail, ever again," Archer said. "The minute you vanish, the Moon Cell will make some important changes in history and then close itself off from the world forever." He chuckled. "In a way, you're a hero - you've prevented the Harway family from acquiring the Holy Grail and fixed history. You really should be proud of yourself."
Archer took a deep breath. "With this, it's finally over. I am proud of you, Master."
He grinned mockingly at her. "Sorry I'm the last person you ever get to see. You must be sick of seeing this face, huh?" He said this with his usual sarcasm, but the thought of her being sick of seeing him hurt a little inside.
"On the contrary." She said abruptly with new bravado, staring him straight in the eyes. "You were with me since the beginning; if I have to be deleted, I'm glad it's you by my side in the end. The bond I share with you is the most important thing I have..." She took a deep breath, gathered her wits and finally admitted, "You are my most important person."
Archer went perfectly still. She pushed on, stuttering,
"The truth is, I'm scared as hell. I'm scared of dying, of vanishing forever. But what I fear most is going on with my life without you, Archer. I knew it from the start; that no matter how the Grail War ended, I'd be separated from you. Honestly, I'd rather be deleted here and now instead of eventually parting ways with you."
She gave her quiet Servant her best, albeit shaky, smile. Her eyes were misty with tears that threatened to fall.
"I love you, Archer, and I'm glad I get to spend the rest of my life with you, even if it's only for a few minutes."
There. She finally said it. She had nothing to lose from confessing her feelings, really; she didn't even need him to love her back. Heck, she was pretty sure he liked Rin Tohsaka. She was already content with letting him know how she felt and spending her last moments with him. That was what she told herself...
Archer bent down so he could peer directly in her face. Embarrassed, she looked to the side, but he cupped her face in his hands, gently forcing her to look at him.
"One doesn't make this kind of facial expression if they're happy, Master."
"T-they're tears of happiness, you jerk!" She sniffed. She'd already resolved herself not to cry, but... there was something about the way he looked at her... he had such a gentle look in his eyes she couldn't stop a single tear from escaping.
"...Master." Archer's voice was odd. He stroked away the tear with his thumb. "...I'm sorry everything has to end this way, but I am proud to be your Servant... and-"
His next words were so muffled she didn't understand a single thing, but still she was able to read his lips. It made her heart stop.
At that same moment, the "tides" and "undercurrents" around the pair began flowing at an incredible rate, and everything rapidly went white.
This is it... She thought. This is really it. I'm going to be erased.
She vaguely felt Archer's arms wrap tightly around her just as everything went from white to black.
When she finally realized she hadn't been erased yet, one question escaped her lips.
"...As I said to you before, Master: we go through life without ever knowing the reasons why," her Servant replied easily.
It was in that moment the nameless magus realized she was not, in fact, erased; right alongside her trusted Servant and partner. Said trusted Servant and partner still had his arms locked securely, tightly around her.
She couldn't stop the deep blush spreading over her face. Archer saw this and grinned, satisfied with what he saw.
"Our only choice is to move forward and search for the answer. Right, Master?"
"Archer, um... could you possibly repeat what you told me right before I was supposed to vanish?" She asked. Truthfully, she knew exactly what he said - she was able to read his lips - but she didn't dare hope; she needed to actually hear it to believe it.
"I told you; I'm sorry everything had to end that way."
"I know, but what did you say after that?"
"...I'm proud to be your Servant." Archer was doing this to her on purpose; she could see it in the playful smirk and mirthful twinkle in his eyes and it was infuriating!
"After that!" She nearly shouted up at him in exasperation, not noticing how Archer's arms around her tightened even more. "You know exactly what I - mmph?" Whatever she was about to say was muffled by Archer's lips capturing her own. At first she was shocked by his kiss, by the sheer neediness behind it that she would have dropped to the floor if he wasn't holding her so tightly. But then she found herself kissing him right back with equal ardor, flinging her arms around his neck in an effort to pull herself up even closer.
In the background, someone quietly chuckled.
The Master and Servant pair abruptly stopped kissing and stared.
"Now don't you two feel ashamed of yourselves? Showing such lewd behavior inside campus," Kotomine remarked snidely. When he said this, the nameless magus realized that she and Archer were currently standing in the middle of a classroom... a classroom she didn't recognize. Everything from the material of the desks to the shape of the windows to the color of the walls were different.
Kotomine was saying something else, but she was too dazed and confused by the fact that Archer kissed her so passionately just a minute ago to listen. Apparently the inhumane priest must have said something that irked Archer because he gave a curt, stiff reply that made Kotomine laugh his head off before he promptly left the pair alone.
"Hmph. The corrupt priest is finally gone." She heard Archer sigh. Before she could do or say anything, the bowman turned to look at her with a hungry, heated expression that her heart leaped into her throat. "Now, where were we...?"
She watched helplessly as he reached out, grabbed her arm and tried to draw her closer to him again, unable to stop a fresh blush from staining her cheeks. That's when she noticed something strange about herself. Her arm... it was in a black sleeve. Wait just a minute! Her clothes have completely changed! "Archer, my uniform! It's totally different!" She blurted out, looking up at him.
That's when she got a good look at Archer... and noticed that his entire outfit had changed as well. Her mouth dropped open in shock.
"Before you ask - this isn't a hobby of mine. I woke up looking like this after I got pulled in."
"...Pulled in...?" She took a second look around the classroom they were standing in. "...We were in the Holy Grail, weren't we? I was supposed to be deleted, right? ...Where are we, Archer? Is this still the SE. RA. PH.?"
Archer sighed at the multiple questions fired at him. "We're still on the Moon," he said, answering only the last question. "The 'far side' of the Moon, to be precise."
"What do you mean?"
"The Holy Grail War happened in the 'near side' of the Moon. We were transported here, to the 'far side'," Archer explained.
"...Why?" her voice carried her disbelief.
"Haven't you been listening to what Kotomine was saying? An error in the Moon Cell is glitching the virtual world. Long story short, the Grail War we just fought in failed."
"Failed?" She echoed. "How is that even possible?" Everything should have ended already the moment she touched the Grail and made her wish!
"Well, since its come to this..." Archer gestured towards the classroom door. "Why don't we investigate the school grounds, Master? Maybe we'll find the answers if we take a look around."
He called her Master. Technically the contract should have ended already; but hearing him call her that brought forth a mysterious sense of nostalgia inside her. The War didn't even end that long ago.
It also brought forth a sense of responsibility. She made her decision on the spot.
"Let's go, Archer," she said. "We need to find out what's happening, and we won't learn anything standing around here." She turned and headed for the door, but stopped and turned around again. "Archer, you still haven't answered my question: what did you tell me right before I was supposed to vanish?"
"What, you're still hung up on that?" Archer grumbled. "Wasn't my kiss good enough for you?"
She blushed at that, but stubbornly persisted. "Please, Archer?"
The bowman sighed again. He felt powerless when she looked at him so earnestly.
"I love you too, Master. "
A/N: For those who were wondering: this is where Fate/Extra CCC begins! (In my imagination, anyways.) I read somewhere online that you could import a save file into CCC from the the first game, and start playing with a "maxed affection score" (or something like that) with your Servant!
As for Archer's line: "Before you ask - this isn't a hobby of mine. I woke up looking like this after I got pulled in." This was taken directly from a screenshot of the CCC game! Yes, he really does say that to you while inside a classroom! Let me be honest with you - this entire chapter was inspired by this particular screenshot. It was so hilarious and so full of WIN for me, I just had to use it! :)
As for Archer's... ahem... new outfit, it's easy. Just Google "Fate/Extra CCC Archer costume" and you won't miss it. I love the FeMC's new uniform (you Google that too, if you like) but Archer's costume... it doesn't seem to fit him at all, you know? He says so himself (He just woke up wearing it). I would've been happy with the black shirt he wears from Fate/hollow ataraxia, but...meh.
Next chapter: "Formal Wear"