Well, it's been a while since I have written any fanfiction, but I was inspired to take up the pen-er.. finger? And write once more. Since comparison will no doubt be inevitable I'll throw this out there.
This isn't based on "In Flight." Personally I love the fanfiction, and think Gabriel has a great style of writing, in fact it was his work that made me want to write a FSN Sekirei crossover, despite (and this will sound INSANE) not having watched/played either of them! So yeah… Wikipedia for the win people.
I am completely unplanned and open on pairings, though Minato will be a separate entity in this fic, and will have most if not all of his harem as usual. I prefer to write and see what happens, see what bonds and relationships slowly form.
That said I hope you'll forgive me for the first chapter. Without a doubt, through all the works I have written… first chapters are my absolute kryptonite!
"Rin, yes I'm fine… no nothing is wrong." The tall red headed man let out a soft sigh, tinged with amusement as he listened to the worried young woman on the other end of the line. "The hunt didn't go badly, when I left the Clock Tower were clearing up the remains and convincing the locals nothing happened… yes they have paid me." That had always been a point that was sure to spark her anger… though the Clock Tower had accepted him into their ranks, it had been a rather grudging affair and they weren't above insulting him or forgetting to pay him. He never let the prejudice get to him, but it was amusing how worked up Rin would get on his behalf.
"Actually I'm taking your advice and having some time off…. No, honestly… no, I'm not lying to you. No, it's not a battlefield or a disaster zone. I'm genuinely having a holiday, I swear." He wasn't surprised at her questioning or her lack of faith, truth be told this was the first break he had taken in almost ten years since the war. Since Saber… He quashed the train of thought with the skill of one long practiced in the art. Iron is my blood and glass is my heart. The aria didn't change him physically, but he felt his emotions instantly dull as his very being hardened towards steel.
Golden brown eyes scanned the people around him, the hard edges softening when all he saw was the common rushed bustle of a typical Japanese town. It would take him a few days to step out of the harsh routine of constantly being in some level of danger, but it would give him some time to relax. An impatient cough in his ear brought him back to reality.
"Sorry, what?" He muttered with a wince, accepting the sudden furious tirade of a woman who had been ignored. "Ah sorry Rin, I'm in Japan, in Shin Tokyo in fact. I thought it might be nice to see what's changed in ten years and maybe get back to my roots." It had been a long time since he had experienced and indulged in the Japanese culture, usually travelling between London and Africa. Rin's next words wiped the nostalgic smile of his face entirely, replacing it with a hard look.
"No. I'm not going back there." There were too many memories, both good and bad, but it was still a can of emotional worms he wasn't willing to open. Idly he scratched at his arm, even after ten years it still felt different. "I've got to go now Rin, I need to find a place to stay… probably a full year… yeah, it would be great if you could come visit some time..." Finally the grim expression fell from his face, though Rin would never admit it, they truly were the best of friends now and he couldn't imagine being without her. "Okay, I love you too." He finished, laughing softly at her angry denials of feeling any such emotion as she hung up on him.
Even after so much time, some things really did never change… such a tsundere…
What he had said was true though, he really did have a few things he needed to do. He didn't have anywhere to live, and while he did have quite a decent stockpile of money to draw on, he doubted he'd be able to handle not working for a year – more for having too much time than finance. His usual undercover role was as a repairman, and he supposed it would work as a career as well.
Shin Tokyo was very different from anywhere he'd been before. Though London was a bustling city, there wasn't nearly as many sky scrapers and roads as there was in Shin Tokyo, and the Clock Tower was located in a pretty old part of the town. Not to say anything about Cairo or Nigeria, where he'd been apostle hunting last… the tallest buildings there were pretty much a single storey. In comparison Shin Tokyo was almost like what New York was rumoured to be, a bustling metropolis where the wealthiest of people slaved away to maintain their lifestyle.
Someone was certainly succeeding, he couldn't help but think with a wry smile as he glimpsed yet another advertisement for a company simply called MBI. At first he'd thought it an advertisement for that movie with the aliens that Rin and he had once seen in London, before scolding himself with a chuckle.
MBI wouldn't find him a place to stay however, and while Shirou wasn't above living a Spartan lifestyle, a hotel room was simply out of the question. For one thing he was going to need the security to perform some small magecraft in peace, without the risk of exposing their secrets and giving the Clock Tower reason to reign him in. On the other hand he'd be damned if he didn't have a place with a good kitchen… this was his holiday damn it, and he would cook as much as he wanted!
Amazingly it didn't take as long as he'd feared to find to purchase a small house in the North of Shin Tokyo, a simple trip to an estate agent and some small proof of the wealth he had at his disposal had been enough for them to set him up in a small property in record time... Ten years ago he'd have been horrified at the waste of money, now he could appreciate the convenience and opportunities behind such a purchase – a qualified magus could always use a few safe houses. Honestly he was still a pretty crappy magus, but no one could be friends with Rin without learning some things, often for their own defence. A few simple bounded fields would keep the neighbours from noticing any strange lights from within the house, and would subtly convince them that whomever lived here had done so all their lives, and was of no real interest. It was easier if he didn't have to go through the motions of working his way into their trust, and the last thing he needed was their bored curiosity as to how a twenty-five year old man could afford such an expensive property.
He'd also managed to set up a few quick adverts for his skill as a repair man on various directory sites. The use of new technology was rarely used within the different divisions of the Clock Tower, in fact by the most academic researchers it was completely scorned. To Magus Killers or those who took a more active role in hunting dead apostles however, it was a complete necessity. You couldn't even really book a flight out of the country without using it after all, and the ability to inspect the terrain of potential battlefields from a safe location was invaluable. Information was power after all.
As he sat down and tucked into the meal he'd had more fun preparing than eating, he let his mind wander over his situation. Ever since that time, he'd been living the distorted ideals Rin had accused him of, moving from one conflict to another in an effort to save the most people he could. Ironically the Clock Tower were quick to snap up his services with explanations of how he could use his abilities to protect people from the dangers that Magus faced. At the moment he was one of the premier hunters against the Dead Apostles and other vicious abominations, flying from battle to battle with little rest between. Despite Archer's warnings he hadn't let himself diverge from that path, and he didn't regret it one bit.
It did leave him at a loss as to what he could do with his spare time however… when that time was so very limited he had enjoyed the chance to relax and cook, even sleep where he could. Now with so much time opening up before him like a giant chasm, he could feel his head spinning as he stood on the metaphorical edge.
I could carry on my research into my projection abilities… He idly mused… Rin would kill him when she found out however. Research was dangerous at the best of times, and with his… stupidity… as Rin termed it, even idle curiosity would often lead to danger. He'd almost killed himself a number of times with his reality marble, before they'd realised the real danger of such a skill… Not to mention the more insidious dangers of the unlimited bladeworks…
"Matsu is sorry Miya-tan!" The braided hacker wailed as she sat before the pleasantly short landlady. Though a pleasant smile adorned the woman's face, her eyes were haunting. The lingering traces of darkness were almost unseen in the already pitch black room.
"And just how…" the lavender haired woman asked with a short sigh, "..have you managed to destroy the circuits of the entirety of Izumo house, while also costing us hot water?" Inwardly she wasn't truly angry at the childish young Sekirei before her, a little bit of frustration perhaps… maybe even some honest confusion. The simple fact was that she would never cast out any Sekirei. Even though she had forced an image of neutrality upon herself, one could never truly stop loving their family, and that was what Matsu was in some strange way.
It was simply a shame Matsu had inherited the genes for causing disasters.
"Matsu has no idea, Miya-tan! Matsu was upgrading some of her towers and tried to run her new processing units… then everything went out."
"Can you not fix the problem Matsu-san?" She asked while taking a short look about the room. Homura was thankfully out at his job and had mentioned he might not be coming back until the following day. Uzume was sat at the table with a small smile on her face and her mobile phone held in front of her, using the screen for light as she watched the drama unfold.
"Matsu's abilities help with computers and hacking Miya-tan, they don't give Matsu any knowledge on fixing things!" Miya felt that made a certain amount of sense, Matsu was a brain type Sekirei, which was rare enough in itself that there was very little knowledge on what their abilities entailed. But like most Sekirei, her powers were incredibly powerful… yet incredibly specific.
Still, that didn't help them in their current situation. Their food problems had been solved by Uzume who had been willing to go get them some takeout, but it was nearly pitch black now and without any heating they would be in for a cold night.
"Umm… Matsu can find a repair person using the wifi?" The diminutive redhead offered with a nervous shuffle, quickly wincing as Miya's attention shot back to her. A liberal dose of the Hannya had been enough to cow her into submission, even if this had just been a genuine mistake.
"Ara, then maybe you should do that right now Matsu-chan?" A faint sound of clacking emanated about the room as Matsu scrambled away to get her laptop, Miya cut off the technique as she left the room, turning to look at a panicky Uzume. A quick smile seemed to chase away her fear.
"It's like what, ten at night?" The busty Sekirei complained while waving her arms. "Who's going to be available at this time?"
"Oh I'm sure Matsu-san will find someone." Miya soothed, arranging herself so she could sit down and accepting the cup of cool water she was offered. Some nice hot tea would have been wonderful…
Shirou sighed as he made his way down the road towards his destination, it had been more than a little unexpected that he would find work so quickly, but it wasn't completely unreasonable he supposed. Things broke down all the time, and there weren't many independent repairmen who worked this late at night. He didn't even mind being called out so late, it gave him an excuse to stop thinking about his plans, while also wearing himself out so he could get some sleep. Not to mention he might be able to build up a good reputation. After all it was an inn he was going to visit, and landlords tended to keep in touch with one another, often suggesting service men among themselves based on good experiences.
Thankfully this Izumo House was only about a ten minute brisk walk from his place, otherwise he probably would have gotten completely lost this late at night. The phone call hadn't been all that enlightening to be honest, a frantic conversation from what at first sounded like a young child, but turned out to be a grown woman after a few quick questions. Apparently the electricity was gone, which had somehow taken out the heating as well. Thankfully the woman hadn't asked for advice, because at the end of the day structural analysis didn't quite work that way. He could understand the mechanisms, understood what made something tick… but understanding wasn't the same as knowledge. Thankfully it also gave him the "history" of the item as well… so he could see what it was like when it was functioning, and work towards that image.
As he made his way through the gates and towards the front door of the building he found himself pausing. There was something… off… in the air. The experience wasn't unlike crossing a weak bounded field, a sense of acute unease washing over a person before immediately vanishing, leaving you looking for something that was no longer there. For a person who had been in as much conflict as he had, it was enough to set off his internal alarms.
Taking a deep breath he pushed the feelings under his skin, keeping himself alert while letting a more friendly expression come over his face. One of the first tricks he'd learned from the other hunters and magus killers was that it was always better to be underestimated. It was a lesson that might have served him well in the war… The lack of light coming from within the building only served to make it look more ominous as he knocked on the door.
The face which greeted him both calmed him down, and sent his mind into frantic panic. Small, pretty, lavender, traditional… dangerous. She spoke a short greeting to him which he almost missed, all he could think about was why she was setting off his instincts so badly.
"Ah yes, I am Emiya Shirou, a pleasure to meet you." He bowed in the traditional Japanese style, even as his time in England tainted his manner of speaking. The woman performed a perfect bow in return, her easy grace setting him even further on edge. She didn't seem to have a weapon visible, but that certainly didn't mean she was harmless. Idly he wondered if she was a magus.
"Ara, thank you for coming so quickly Emiya-san. I am Asama Miya, the owner of Izumo house. We're very sorry to call you out this late." She was polite, very polite. He wondered if she could sense that he was dangerous in return, or if she was genuinely like this to everyone. Either way she'd made no threatening gestures towards him, so he would give her the benefit of the doubt, for now.
"That's not a problem Asama-san, I had a free evening." There was a pregnant pause as his usual friendliness struggled in the face of his suspicion. "… Why don't you show me what's the problem?" He added lamely, hoisting up his toolbox of freshly projected tools.
He was very young, Miya mused to herself as she led him deeper into Izumo house. Though she liked to consider herself a very kind person, she couldn't supress a small amount of scepticism at his appearance. Though undeniably handsome, with a tall and built figure, he didn't look like a stereotypical repairman. In fact she would have said he looked like an athlete, or a fighter of some kind. Perhaps he was a martial artist or boxer in his spare time? Either way, he had seemed unusually nervous upon first meeting her, she hoped this wasn't his first ever job…
"One of my tenants, a young woman named Matsu, caused the problem when she was upgrading her computer. We've tried checking the fuses, but there is obviously something a little more troubling at hand. Our heating seems to have gone down with it… I'm not sure how much you can fix but…"
Well she guessed they would need to spend the night without hot water, there were plenty of public baths they could visit if they had to… though Uzume would need to take some steps to hide her crest.
"Well I should be able to have everything fixed tonight." He asserted confidently, despite her raised eyebrow. That was a very confident thing to say, especially when he hadn't seen what the problem actually was. Her repairs were normally handled by a local gentleman who while very traditional was a hard worker, but he would often need to purchase specialist tools that might take a day or two to arrive…
"This is a really nice place you have here Asama-san." She shot him a look in suspicion but relaxed when saw the genuinely pleasant expression on his face as he looked around. Despite herself she felt a small amount of pride bubble up. This was the home she and Takehito had made together, even though he was gone it felt nice to have someone compliment what they had made together. What would endure, even after he'd gone.
"Yes. It was made by myself and my late husband Takehito." She accepted his polite apologies, despite not fully believing they were necessary. He was at the very least polite, so she could respect that about him. When she led him to the fuse box she was unsurprised to notice Uzume hovering around in the background, spying on the new person who had entered the house. He seemed to notice her and offer a small nod in her direction but interestingly enough didn't let his eyes linger on her. Considering Uzume's somewhat impressive figure… and somewhat scandalous state of undress, she found herself intrigued.
"Do you want to leave me to this while I work?" The man offered, opening up the box and toying around with some of the wires inside. While the suggestion was not a bad one, there really was nothing else to do in the house. It was too dark to see anything, and she could hardly offer him any tea or food…
"Ara, I think we'd best stay by whatever light there is at the moment." She answered, pointing towards the large torch the man had set up to point into the box. It offered a lot more illumination than Uzume's phone did, and as was typical when the lights went out, no one could find a torch. He didn't respond to the comment but simply carried on with his work, talking to himself softly as he did so.
"He's pretty young." Uzume quietly spoke to her as the busty Sekirei shifted to sit by her, the both of them watching the young man work. Despite the stares of two young women on him he didn't seem the slightest bit interested in anything other than the task at hand. Miya found it surprisingly refreshing.
"I have no idea where Matsu found him from, but yes he is rather young."
"Handsome though eh? Look at those abs!" Miya smiled and shook her head as the sekirei spoke in a loud stage whisper, pointing to the visibly toned abs where the man's shirt had ridden up. Miya hid a smile behind her sleeve when she noticed those same abs tighten up, suggesting that the man had heard Uzume perfectly well and panicked a little. She certainly had a gift for teasing young men. She heard him mutter something, though failed to pick it up, but his eyes did turn to regard them both for a brief second before going back to work.
"I thought you were committed Uzume-chan, and to another woman no less?" She made sure to keep her voice a little quieter, so only the Sekirei next to her would hear it. Even when she was certain someone could not hear them she still would refuse to words like Sekirei and Ashikabi. It was one of the reasons why Matsu had been instructed to stay in her room, despite that the man was unlikely to recognise her as a fugitive.
"Hmmm… it doesn't stop me from admiring." The bubbly girl leered, again loudly. This time the red haired man didn't visibly respond to her teasing, despite the gentle laugh Miya let out.
"I apologise for my tenant Emiya-san, she rarely engages her brain." Uzume favoured her with a rather scandalised look, which Miya returned with a teasing glance.
"Ah… it's fine, really." A simple yet unassuming answer. Miya was actually a little surprised the man didn't take advantage of the situation to try and wheedle a date or similar from Uzume, or become embarrassed and stutter an answer. Instead he just calmly and confidently brushed the sentiment aside, like he'd been getting such looks all his life. Perhaps he had, Miya allowed, tall men were rare in Japan and Uzume was correct when she said he was well sculpted. "Ah! I think I've found it." He crowed happily, grinning a moment later when the lights flickered once. Twice. Then came to life with an audible ping.
"Wow! That was quick!" Uzume was quick to cheer, climbing awkwardly to her feet as Miya more elegantly rose beside her. Yes, that had been very quick indeed. She was genuinely impressed at his ability. In fact if he could work the same magic on whatever had caused the heating to fail, then she would keep his number close at hand.
"Yeah it was a pretty simple problem, just reconnected a few wires… you mind if I check the boiler?" The explanation meant nothing to Miya of course, her specialities really didn't lie anywhere in the realms of mechanics or engineering.
"Of course Emiya-san, if you will follow me?" No doubt by now Matsu would have realised the power was back on, and would be watching them through her cameras. She might be able to find her own solution to the heating problem given enough time.
Impressively it took him even less time to fix the boiler, and he hadn't needed to use any other tools than the ones he had brought with him. Even as he smiled and left the building he'd only asked a rather reasonable amount in payment, not even charging extra rates as most would for such a late night job. As Matsu went back to her tinkering and Uzume bounced about the house like a child on a sugar high, Miya couldn't help but watch the tall man as he walked off into the distance.
What a strange man.
Well Gosh I still hate first chapters, part of me would have liked to do this all as some kind of flashback, but I personally regard flashbacks as a great evil. Almost as bad as people putting subtitles with songs in, that you're meant to "play" as you read…. Good God no… Feel free to read this to Sonne Ich by Rammstein… it will make no sense, but go ahead.