It wasn't as if Arturia herself wasn't aware of what was going on.
She knew what those feelings were called.
But she despised them. This was wrong in so many ways.
She was not supposed to harbour those feelings toward this man – she could not think of him as a man. He was her master after all.
Yes, master was the right word.
He was only... her master.
Shirou wasn't more.
Raking her hand through her hair once more, she sighed and stepped back into the house.
It was a lot warmer than outside, but there was also his smell, everywhere.
She had not wanted that to happen.
That had been one of the benefits when she had worked with Kiritsugu. That man had not been as... as warm as Shirou was.
She walked by his room and stopped.
There was no noise instead of his steady breaths. He was safe.
She would do everything for him to be safe.
And it scared her.
That was only normal, she told herself, after all, he was her master.
Of course she would protect him.
Not being able to hold herself back, she quietly opened the door and looked inside the room.
Just to reassure herself that he was really safe.
And he was.
She caught herself thinking that his sleeping face was adorable, that the orange strands of hair falling into his eyes made him even more cute.
That was wrong.
It was just too wrong.
When he asked her to go on a date, she didn't knew what that meant.
And well, she would have preferred not to know.
But she hadn't been able to say no either.
Her head knew that it was wrong, but apparently, her heart didn't.
She wanted this. She just wanted to be held by him. Forever. It should be the other way around – he should feel protected by her.
But she felt protected whenever she was near him, even though he was reckless and didn't act like a master should.
He had become so much more than just a master for her.
But here she was, in a city, with him, in a shop for plushies.
She held the stuffed lion to her chest. She had always liked lions – they were kings.
And they acted more like kings than she did.
Falling in love was not something that was supposed to happen to her. She had to care about Britain, not about a simple man who had summoned her on complete accident.
"Saber? You're kind of spaced out, are you ok?"
She shrugged, looking at the lion and then at Shirou.
At the man she... loved.
There was no need in denying it anymore.
"Ah... that lion really... reminds me of you."
Feeling a sudden wave of rage, she put it back onto the shelf.
"Let's go, please."
An animal that resembled a king was not supposed to remind him of her.
She had not been worthy of taking the king's place.
Rider from the previous Holy Grail War had already said this.
And he had been right, too right.
Without looking back at Shirou, she walked out of the shop, leaning against the window to calm herself down.
She had no right to be that aggressive towards him.
It was hard, but she suppressed her tears that were coming to her eyes.
She couldn't love him.
She couldn't, that was impossible.
"Shirou, your actions are making me uncomfortable."
He was so close to her. His body was warm and that was what she had always wanted, since she had met him.
His arms around her, on her back and shoulders, his fingers slowly stroking her neck.
Since she had noticed that he had always been her scabbard, he had not hugged her.
And that had been too long. Much too long.
She melted into the hug, contradicting her own words.
"Then push me away."
Her mind screamed to do this, but her body wouldn't allow and instead she carefully put her hands to his back too.
But then, her mind won.
And then, she pushed him away.
"You're mean, Shirou. Even though you know my past and... the sins I've comitted... you..."
"I'm in love with you and I can't help it", he responded, looking into her eyes.
Her cheeks were so warm. He had stated this often enough now, but it made her heart flutter everytime, no matter if he said it again and again.
Her feelings were requited.
She could kiss him if she wanted to, she could...
And suddenly he was there again.
His hands were on her arms now and his fingers were trembling.
He closed his eyes and without wanting to, she did the same, feeling tears on the brim of falling down.
"Don't...", she whispered as soon as she began feeling and smelling his sweet breath.
It was over for her and she knew it.
She wanted him to kiss her, there was no way she could actually stop him seriously. This...
This felt too good. And he wasn't even kissing her yet.
But he would.
Her pulse went up, her heart sped up, her breath hitched in her throat.
She was losing control over her own body and she was definitely not used to this.
"Shirou...", she breathed out, he came even nearer, his body was pressing into hers once again.
"I...", she added, not knowing what she had wanted to say in first place.
And then there were his lips. And they were soft.
She grabbed the cloth of his shirt, furrowing her eyebrows without noticing at the intensity of all those feelings inside of her.
Her legs were giving in.
Suddenly his lips started moving, only slightly and insecure, but...
Her legs and her whole body began trembling and she could feel him quietly chuckling into the kiss.
That was too much.
All those feelings, they were too much, she broke away, gasping, looking at him.
"I'm going to sleep", she rasped out, panic overtaking her mind, then she just ran straight towards her room.
Slamming the door shut, she sank onto the floor, several tears leaving her eyes at once.
As soon as this was over, she would perish, she would go back to the time she had lived in originally.
She would never see Shirou again.
Pressing her fingers to her lips, a sob escaped her throat.
She was crying because he had kissed her.
Shirou had kissed her.
She had been... kissed.
She pressed the finger against her lips harder to make the feeling of his lips on hers go away.
That had been too much, too much, too much.
His voice. That was his voice.
Biting back the next sob, she stayed quiet.
„I... just wanted to say that I'm sorry... you didn't... want this. I'm... I shouldn't have done this.“
She knew that if she would speak now, her voice would be full of tears.
He shouldn't hear that, so she didn't answer.
„Saber? Are you ok? I just thought that you are... crying. Believe me, I'm sorry.“
She couldn't answer, she couldn't-
And then the door was opened.
„I knew that you were crying. Won't you tell me why?“
It would be so easy to tell him that she hadn't want to be kissed.
„I...“, she whispered, not being able to hold back the next sob anymore.
Shirou kneeled down in front of her, not doing anything, not touching her.
„Shirou...“, she said instead, „you know that after the war is over, we're never going to see each other again, right?“
He shook his head, looking to the floor.
„I tried not to think about that, to be honest... But... aren't you mad at me at all?“
She met his gaze, grabbed the cloth of her skirt.
„No. I am not mad at you, Shirou.“
And there it was again. There was the blush on his face again and it caused herself to blush too because that just looked too cute.
„Saber uh... you know that I did this because I love you, right?“
Her breath hitched in her throat again at this.
„Stop saying this...“, she mumbled, looking away again.
„But... yes. I may not know what a date is but... I know what a k-kiss means.“
„Ah, ok, so uhm... was that your first...? I mean... it was for me... at least.“
„Yes, it... it was my first kiss... too.“
Her voice still didn't sound like it should.
She couldn't hold back anymore, she couldn't hold her body and those words back anymore.
Tears started running down her cheeks once again only to be gently caught by his thumb.
She grabbed the sleeve of his shirt and weakly rested her head against his shoulder, breathing in his smell.
„I love you... too.“
It was out of her mouth. She had said it. She had confessed her love to the man she loved, to her master.
This wasn't right, but she simply didn't care.
Shirou held her close, closer than before, cradling her in his arms.
She gave in to every single one of her feelings now as there was no use to hide them anymore.
„No“, her voie was muffled by his shirt and his skin.
„It's Arturia. Please call me Arturia.“
„Arturia“, he whispered, letting go of her, „I'll ask you now since I haven't asked you... before. Can I... can I kiss you again?“
With a nod of hers, he leant in.
Their lips were touching once again and she would never learn to handle this feeling because it was so much more intense than anything else, but at the same time it felt too good to stop.
They only broke apart after minutes of lips and hands touching.
„Arturia...“, Shirou repeated, smiling so beautifully that her heart hurt, „I will never stop loving you. Even if you disappear, I'll never...“
Now there were tears in his eyes too.
„Don't cry, Shirou... please... please, that hurts. Uhm... Shirou?“
He looked at her.
„Uhm... can I sleep in your room, then? I mean... in, uh... your arms? I mean... you know, when we were in that cottage in the Einzbern forest, and that just... felt pretty good.“
„You're adorable, Arturia.“