Disclaimer: I do not own Fate/Stay Night or Sekirei. The inspiration and some themes come from Gabriel Blessing's In Flight and give all credit where credit is due. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do so.
This is the first work I've put up here in some time so if you find any errors, mistakes, contradictions, etc. please bring them to my attention.
After a review, I have changed the story from centered (the format I find easiest to edit in) to Right view for ease of reading.
I hope this is an enjoyable piece of fiction for you all and without further ado, let's begin!
After nearly a decade of roaming the world, travelling from one blood soaked battleground to the next, it was strange to be home. Not that I was quite back to Fuyuki yet. For all that tyrannical devil-woman felt it necessary to banish me from the Clock Tower, cancel my last job, and browbeat me into returning to Japan, I doubt that Rin had either wanted or expected my enforced vacation to start in a security interrogation room at Shin Tokyo International Airport. The reason for my being in said room, well, that is probably due to my own personal bad luck.
In the interim period between leaving Japan with Rin for the Clock Tower in England and now, the face of our homeland has changed much. One of those changes, and not so coincidentally the reason for my incarceration, was the rise of Mid Bio Informatics, or MBI, a multi-national super corporation leading the development of medical and medically related technology that had its roots here in Shin Tokyo.
As the seat of MBI's power, Shin Tokyo had rapidly increased from a small city to a bustling metropolis from the influx of jobs, capital and technology produced by the company. As such, it was no surprise that you'd often find some of the company's newest technology here before anywhere else. One in particular is responsible for why I mention this, as it is the cause of all my current problems.
I didn't know what the name of the device was but it was supposed to be some kind of DNA analyzer only without the bulk or needles I had associated with DNA testing. Admittedly, most of my knowledge of the subject was based off Taiga-nee-san's crime dramas and thus not wholly accurate. I was expecting a large whirling behemoth, not a device about the size of a briefcase, and the simple breath it needed was much less painful than what I feared would be involved.
Instead of a fully functional security device, the current iteration of the machine was still experimental and the airlines were working out the kinks and bugs in the technology. As such, when during my examination, instead of an 'all clear' beep that would have had me continue on with my day, I was rewarded with a shrill 'I'm ruining your day' chirping.
Had this chirping been an alarm, I probably would have started a running battle through the terminal, the air filled with the sounds of screams, gunfire and breaking blades as I escaped from Shin Tokyo International Airport. In hind sight, I should have done just that. Instead, I was led by apologetic airline officials into an empty security room until a consultant from MBI could be reached to address the error in the machine.
Instead of a nice, relaxing wait and a quick debug by a nerdy but cute young tech support girl or a professional and courteous young man, I was treated with an interrogation.
My first interrogator was tall for a Japanese woman. I was still taller that her, but I had already grown to a height where I was taller than a great number of my fellow countrymen. Her hair, while was long and pulled into a ponytail, wasn't the typical shade that would be found in Japan. Instead it was a light but uniform gray, lacking the shading that it would have had she gone gray prematurely. Under the circumstances, had I not known she wasn't human, I would have suspected it of being dyed.
She was wearing a tight black leather top with a matching black miniskirt that ended high on her thighs, bordering on indecently so. She had on long black stockings that closed nearly to the hem of the rest of her outfit leaving a rather appealing region of unblemished skin in there as well. On her shoulders rested a long grey coat, though she hadn't bothered to put her arms through the sleeves and instead chose to wear it like a cape of some sort.
The most striking aspect of this woman was not the long sword, nearly five feet of steel, sheathed at her side and fastened to a thick leather belt. Nor was it the way she smiled, her eyes crinkling till they were merely slits in a manner that was too benevolent and cheerful to be genuinely benign. It wasn't even the grace of an apex predator with which she moved.
Her most striking feature was the smell that accompanied her.
The first scent was sweet, almost cloying, like honey if it was left in the sun too long and started to decompose; managing to combine the sickening scent of decay with the sweet freshness of honey. The second scent was equally overpowering, but both a great deal more obvious and more ominous; the copper tang of blood.
For that moment I was back in Fuyuki, watching the skin and flesh melt off my classmates as I fought for my life in the great red haze that was Rider's phantasm; the great barrier that smelt of blood and honey. This was not a normal smell. No, this smell was not normal for the same reason it reminded me of that purple haired serpent. This was the smell of magic.
I knew this because every mage has a certain sensitivity, a sixth sense if you will, to the presence of foreign magic though each mage may experience this sense a different manner. Some magi might experience it as a different sound, or a taste, or even a physical sensation, but for me it manifested as a smell. I was also unusually adept at identifying and locating nearby magic.
This was Karasuba and she was Not Human.
My second interrogator was also a woman. She was slightly shorter than Karasuba and had on a white lab coat that was being worn properly. Beneath it was a pair of black suit pants and a white button up shirt and tie combo that could be found on any office worker in the city. She looked like any other middle aged career woman that could be found in any office in Shin Tokyo, with the exception that around her neck hung a lanyard holding an MBI identification card. Well, that and the fact that her hair was pure white.
This woman was Takami Sahashi and she was human.
She might also be my mother.
That was several hours ago. Now, a somewhat free man, I found myself sitting down across from Takami once more. We were at a small but bustling restaurant. The crowded atmosphere lent a suitable amount of both privacy and conspicuousness for our meeting. Although I couldn't see her, I knew Karasuba was no doubt present, watching from somewhere. Her distinctive scent filtered through the smell of cooking food every so often. Though if her presence here was due to any unease that Takami might have felt at inviting me to talk with her, or watching us was just something she was doing without orders was anyone's guess.
"It will take a few days for them to confirm the tests, but I have people working on it already," Takami informed me between bites of her beef pot. "And it will probably be a few more before your documentation is collected and verified."
How Takami and I went from sitting across from each other in an interrogation to sitting at dinner with one another was simple. The airport was nothing more than a testing ground for the viability of MBI's machine as a future security device and as such, the database for Interpol's most wanted wasn't the only set of data in the machine's memory banks. MBI scientists and personnel were also in the comparison set and when I my DNA was compared to this set it found a match. Well, it found two partial matches of which one just so happened to be my interrogator.
Even though the machine at the airport had identified us as related, or at least possibly so, we had decided to confirm that identification through three other independent companies and MBI's own resources. As one of MBI's lead scientists, Takami couldn't risk trusting an experimental device with something as important as identifying her long lost son. It would have been unprofessional and irresponsible to accept me into her already existing family and life on such little evidence.
Never really having parental figures in the first place and due to own bias against that damnable machine, having people unrelated to MBI investigating our relation was welcome.
Up until today, I believed I was an orphan: that my parents, both my biological parents and my adopted father as well, were dead. They died in a fire years ago, during the horrible last moments of the Fourth Grail War, and Kiritsugu died a few years after that from the injuries in that same war. I didn't remember my biological family.
Honestly, I didn't care to remember them for that matter. I am an Emiya. The only parent I need is Kiritsugu, who taught me more about how to live my life then I could believe anyone else in the world could, regardless of whether or not they were partial donors of my genetic code. It is the Emiya code of living and of conduct that was passed to me, more precious even than life itself, for it gave both life and meaning.
That was until a photo on Takami's phone shattered that perception entirely.
"I see. So what happens after that?" I ask her, hiding my own apprehension. This woman was still a stranger to me, and even after the shocking revelation that I still had a family, a brother and a sister too, wasn't any reason to abandon my plans just yet. I already had one family that I loved and lost that I had to pay my respects to. I wasn't yet ready to accept that I might have another.
"Well," She hemmed, leaning back against her chair with a sigh, "Well that all depends on what they conclude. If it turns out that you aren't Ichirou then I suppose we'd both go our separate ways. However, if you are my son, then I guess it would be best to get to know you better. You'd be welcome to rejoin the family."
After we left the airport I was set up in a small hotel, courtesy of Takami and MBI. Of course, this courtesy was contingent on several factors. The first was that I wouldn't skip town or attempt to flee until the situation regarding Takami and I was settled. From their point of view I was still suspected to be an infiltrator of unknown origin who had somehow managed to find a bug in one of their experimental systems to get close to one of their premier researchers. I was being given the benefit of the doubt for this not being the case for the time being, but they wanted to be thorough in their investigation.
The second factor was that I was actually Ichirou Sahashi, the supposedly dead first child of Takami Sahashi. If I were not her son and their investigation into my past turned up that I was working for a foreign government or rival corporation, then I could look forward to them giving the order to silence me. This would probably involve me, Karasuba and death.
If it turned out that I was on the level like I claimed to be, then I would likely have to reimburse MBI for the expense of the hotel. Well, unless I threatened to talk about the earlier botched interrogation attempt, but that would lead me right back into a death match with Karasuba. It looked like a confrontation with that bloody woman was as inevitable as fighting my own self. That said event had already happened and, where I was concerned, happened every time I stepped onto a battlefield should be left unsaid.
On some levels it still hadn't really sunk in that I could really be this woman's son. What did we even have in common? We were both tall for being of Japanese descent, yeah, but that didn't mean anything. Our hair both started turning white, not gray, prematurely in our lives? Well, my hair was losing its pigmentation due to my use of Projection, not due to some genetic quirk. Right? That was what Archer had said and while he never outright lied to me, he was a total bastard and deserved to die. Turning his back on others, on the very aspect that defined our lives made him unfit for the name Emiya.
"You mean your children. Minato and Yukari was it?" I asked after I was done chewing, "Are you planning on telling them about me?"
"Eventually," Takami hedged. "I'd rather we have the final conclusions before I let them know anything about this. You understand that they've grown up believing that their elder brother is dead." There was a moment of silence from both of us. The sudden reappearance of long thought dead relatives was a hard concept to grasp on both sides. "We actually have a small shrine at the house."
I didn't know what to say to that, so I said nothing, looking down at my bowl.
"So, what was that about girlfriends, clients and having to leave your job?" Takami growled at me. Despite myself I couldn't help but feel some amount of shame at her disapproval.
"Ah, yes. I did say I could explain that, didn't I?" I asked, smiling in what I hoped was a disarming manner. By the unchanging look on her face I could tell that Takami was hardly amused. "I said I was an independent contractor right? The client in question is a good friend of mine from back home. Her name is Rin Tohsaka. We ended up in the same university in England. Over time we ended up in a relationship but after graduation I set up my own business over there. My jobs, the contracts I take, have me travelling a lot to remote places."
This is more or less the truth. Except for our complicated relationship at the Clock Tower during the period we studied together, I had spent most of the past seven years since leaving Fuyuki wandering from apostle hunt to war zone to massacre. She always took exception to my need to involve myself, to try to save others, from these situations despite being the only person who could understand my motivations. Our contact with the Archer Emiya and her experience with the Dream Cycle leant her insight into my mind that no one still living could hope to gain.
"She thought I should spend less time at work and more at home. When I disagreed with her and tried to continue with the job I'd just accepted when we had our latest fight. She contacted my employer and got them to cancel our arrangement. That's the reason I'm back in Japan. She can be very scary when she is angry and at that point it was easier to accept my time off than to fight with her anymore."
"So will there be any repercussions upon your return?" Takami had a weird look on her face that I had trouble placing.
"Only from Rin and only if I return too soon. I handle my contacts in a professional and dignified manner. You don't last long in my field without skill and tact." I replied, which was true. If one didn't have the skill for it, then they'd most likely end up as another body in an unmarked grave or, worse, and undead monstrosity. If one didn't have tact, then they'd most likely end up on an operating table of a smear the wall within the Clock Tower. I took great pride in my professional demeanor and work ethic. "Rin is also a known factor by most of my clients. When I go back to England, I will be able to continue with my work as if I never left."
"I guess I don't have to worry about another son being a lay about then," Takami laughed good naturedly. "Minato failed his first round of entrance exams. The next one is in a little over a week and he's been on an allowance in the interim." The statement lacked any heat, despite how it was phrased.
"Perseverance is important though, and from how you said it I take you've no doubts about his ability?" It was odd to hear about a stranger in such a way. There was a strange sense of warmth that accompanied the words.
"None at all, he's a smart kid." She positively beamed before finishing the last bit of her meal. "Hmm, now, this Rin of yours, anything I should know?" Her smile turned absolutely evil. Her eyes shrunk to small points of malevolent light as her mouth widened to inhuman proportions, showing way too much teeth. This must be a power that only mothers gain, the ability to instantly dredge feelings of horror and embarrassment at nothing more than a look.
"Not anymore," I grin nervously. Despite the awkwardness of our interaction, it was pleasant in an indescribable sort of way. If having a mother was similar to this, then maybe I would be so opposed to a positive result to this situation. "It didn't really work out. There were just some irreconcilable differences."
Most of these differences stemmed from my oft called suicidal nature. Rin was a genius. There were no mincing words about it. As an unfortunate side effect though, Rin was used to instantly understanding things. School or magecraft or even people, she could intuitively solve any problem she faced. All except one, it appeared. Even with having seen the memory of the Fuyuki Fire, the horrible pall over the burning bodies littering the streets, people screaming as they melted trapped in under rubble or begging to be saved even after they were long past dead, she didn't understand how I couldn't turn away from that memory. How I couldn't leave those people behind, to live my own life without being shadowed by them. I couldn't leave them. Not ever, for they were those that were not saved.
"We may no longer be together, but she's still a good friend for a short tempered, foul spirited, demanding little spitfire." My smile as I said this might have been a little off putting, but I was honest and not at all spiteful towards the diminutive and manipulative magi.
I think Takami's laughter at that was tinged with a little nervousness, but it seemed less like she was apprehensive about me and more amused. She waved down our waiter for a dessert menu and we spent much of the remaining evening just talking.
My walk back to my hotel gave me a welcomed reprieve. That isn't to say that my dinner with Takami was unpleasant. Actually, that couldn't be further from the truth. We didn't get past much more than cursory introductions, but there was some deeper connection with her that I didn't rightly understand.
If this all turned out to be a mistake, if Takami and I weren't related after all, then I think I might be a little disappointed. I shook my head to banish the thoughts. What will be will be, after all, and there was no use dwelling on what family I might or might not still have until after all was said and done. If this was a mistake, it would make leaving a lot easier if I didn't get too attached.
Rin the one person uniquely suited to understand me had turned her back on me. My friends and family were all either dead or had left me. Hell, some were even actively trying to kill me. What were the odds that some random strangers I shared naught but blood with would be any different? No, it would be better if we were not connected at all. There would be less pain for everyone involved, if I didn't have to abandon yet another person for this suicidal quest of mine.
Unbidden, the image of a young blond woman appeared in my mind. She was dressed in a long sleeved white blouse and a tapered blue skirt that went all the way to her ankles. Her golden blond hair was tied into a braid and bound to the nape of her neck by a blue ribbon. She was framed from behind by the rising sun as she turned to lock those emerald green orbs to mine and speak those fateful words. Saber. She was waiting for me. Waiting for the realization of the promise we made that day, to find one another on a hill of swords. That is, if she hadn't abandoned me as well.
The memory was just as suddenly dispelled by the scent of honey and blood. I didn't bother looking for the source. I already knew what it was from and where I'd find her. Low and behold, there she was standing right outside my room. "Great," I sighed aloud and resumed walking. I could have, and probably should have, just turned around and walked somewhere else. Although, given the situation she would most likely just follow me.
Karasuba opened her eyes, tracking me with her steely gray gaze as I moved past her to key open the door. "Good night, Karasuba," I greeted her as I opened the door. Maybe if I didn't stop to talk with her she'd just go away or something.
"Hmm, I guess it is." It was not to be as she slipped through the door as it closed behind me, apparently not concerned about simple things like being given an invitation or respecting boundaries. Instead she leaned against the now closed door, looking for all intents and purposes as if I were the one intruding into her space and not the other way around.
It was a small, single bedroom hotel room. To the left of the entrance was a small washroom complete with a shower stall. Opposite the stall was a wall to wall mirror hanging over a full countered sink. The bedroom itself was dominated by a single bed flanked by nightstands. The wall opposite from the bed was lined with two large dressers and on the far side of the room was a small work desk. It was small and cheap, but it would be home for the next few days.
"What did you bring for me?" She grinned, gesturing to the carry home bag I was carrying back from the restaurant. Takami had ordered some devilishly rich chocolate cake for desert, but somehow I ended up taking half of it back with me. She gave me the excuse that as a middle aged mother, there was no way she'd keep the figure she had if she ate everything she wanted to.
"It's cake and no, you can't have any." I snorted at her audacity, placing the leftovers on a dresser top before heading into the bathroom. Leaning over the faucet I splashed cold water on my face to help calm my nerves. The last thing I needed after such a tumultuous day was to play nice with this blood soaked fiend. I did take some solace in the fact that we weren't actively trying to kill each other yet, but that she was in my room uninvited brought me no comfort.
"Ah well," I heard her move past the bathroom doorway and into the room proper, "I suppose you can't get everything you want right away."
Toweling my face dry I stepped out of the bathroom. "What, you wanted me to bring you desert?" I asked, incredulous. Apparently when I heard her move it was so she could take a slice of the cake. She stood there body cocked to the side as she held her slice between a small knife and her thumb. Bringing the piece to her lips she deftly scooped it from the blade with her tongue, meeting my gaze from the corner of her eye.
"Isn't that my knife?" I asked. I did not stare at the way her tongue darted across her lips. I did not. Instead I focused on the Altered steak knife I threw at her back at the airport. Alteration was a spell that allowed for the addition of a property or effect onto an item that would normally not have such a quality. With this spell I imbued the otherwise unremarkable piece of cutlery with keenness and balance beyond what mundane methods could achieve.
And then I threw it at Karasuba, who was at the time taking perverse amusement in Takami and I having one of the greatest foundations of our lives ripped out from underneath us; that we were long lost mother and son. Family we each thought long dead.
Why on earth did she have that with her and when did she take it?
"Not since you gave it to me." Her smile widened as she sauntered away from the half eaten remains of chocolaty death towards the door. There was no describing the audacity of this witch. "So, how was your date with Takami, Ichirou?"
I didn't even notice what I was doing before it happened. The hammer pulled back and fired as I let fly the keycard pulled from my back pocket. Once again Alteration had given the cheap plastic card an impossible edge as it blurred through the air and imbedded itself in the door next to Karasuba's head.
"My name is Shirou Emiya." I growled. Ichirou Sahashi was dead. That was a name I never knew and didn't recognize. My old name, my old identity was one of the first things I cast off in the Fuyuki Fire, discarding more and more aspects of myself in the attempt to live. No, I had lived my entire life as Shirou Emiya. I have lived and fought and loved and died as Shirou Emiya. I would not let those sacrifices and experiences be lost to a dead man.
Her eyes stayed locked onto mine as she brought a finger to trace the card lodged in the door, only to flicker to her finger as she pulled it back sharply.
"Or maybe you can," She mused, almost to herself as she appraised me once more with half lidded eyes. I don't know what she saw but it made her beam, her smile filled equally with the promise of suffering and rapture. Idly, she pulled the card from the door and pocketed it before opening the door. "Goodnight Sahashi. Sleep well."
Before I could do anything she was gone, the door closing behind her. Oh, by the Root I was screwed. In that fit of rebellious anger I had given her the ability to come and go from my room as she pleased. What gods did I anger to deserve that?
With an aggravated groan I flopped onto the lumpy mattress and closed my eyes. Somehow I knew Archer must be responsible for this misfortune.
Thank you all for reading.