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Fate/stay night drabbles

Chapter Text

"Saber and I have a plan to defeat Rider," Shirou said proudly.

"Oh?" Rin said skeptically.

"To find Rider," Shirou said, "Saber simply has to follow her example. OI, SABER!"

An embarrassed Saber walked up— wearing a copy of Rider's visor, tight and skimpy black dress, and tall boots. Saber's body-type was utterly different from Rider's, and the hapless girl looked completely ridiculous.

And then, Saber walked into the door-jamb, whacking her head against it with a dull thud.

"Shirou?" said Rin. "If you're going to make your poor little Servant cosplay? At least poke some pinholes in her visor."

Chapter Text

A vain and unharmed Gilgamesh stood over a badly wounded Saber and a horrifically gashed Shirou. "I have decided to BUTCHER you," Gilgamesh said casually.

He raised his sword and charged at Shirou— and slipped in the large pool of blood around Shirou's body. Losing his footing in his heavy armor, Gilgamesh clumsily fell over backwards, conked his head on the pavement, and knocked himself silly.

"Well played, Shirou," Saber said admiringly.

Shirou tried to answer her, but instead, he weakly vomited up more blood. "*mwhraoollphh*"

Saber frowned. "Shirou, the fight is at an end. You can stop bleeding now."

Chapter Text

Sakura found Saber hard at work over an old-fashioned tub and washboard. "Have you always done your own laundry?" Sakura asked.

"Since I was a small child," Saber said. "A woman must be able to take care of her own needs."

"You certainly do get your clothes clean," Sakura said. "Your blouses are always so crisp and white."

"It isn't easy," Saber said, "especially when they are as badly soiled as this." She held up another blouse that was thoroughly stained with her own blood.

Sakura passed out.

"Perhaps I shall have to pre-soak this blouse," Saber said to herself.

Chapter Text

Saber walked up to Shirou. They gazed upon the prize of their final battle.

"I will destroy the Holy Grail," Saber said solemnly.

After a moment, Saber spoke again. "Master, your orders? If you do not command it, I cannot destroy it."

"fgsfds," said Shirou.

Saber frowned. "Pardon?"

"Notary sojac," Shirou said. "Lorem ipsum. Gazonk. Arfle, barfle, gloop."

Oh dear, Saber thought to herself. Either Shirou is having a profound religious experience, and his fervor has manifested itself in theopneustic glossolalia... or else he has taken one too many blows to the head, and brain damage has finally set in.

Chapter Text

As Saber brandished Excalibur, Gilgamesh opened the Gate of Babylon. The handles of several weapons emerged from ripples in space and time. Gilgamesh reached back and pulled at a random sword handle.

It didn't budge.

Gilgamesh turned and tugged at the handle with both hands. "Damn thing must be stuck between here and Babylon," he muttered.

Saber sweat-dropped. "Um, Gilgamesh?..."

Gilgamesh gestured again, as if to open the Gate wider. All of his weapons suddenly came loose, to fall to the ground with an awful clatter.

Saber winced. Perhaps, she thought, Gilgamesh should use the Sturdy Shelves of Babylon instead.

Chapter Text

Rin lay in her futon, late in the evening, her eyes wide open. She couldn't sleep because of a rhythmic bumping in another room. *bump* *bump* *bump*

Is that Shirou and Saber!?, she thought. I mean, not that *I* care, but still—

She suddenly overheard Shirou from the hallway. "Illya!! Stop bouncing that ball!! Miss Tohsaka is trying to sleep!!"

Rin giggled, and closed her eyes. It was only Illya, she thought. It wasn't Shirou and Saber at all.

Then Rin overheard Saber call out. "Shirou? Please come back to bed. We weren't finished yet."

Rin's eyes snapped open again.

Chapter Text

"Yeah, Saber likes lions," Shirou said to Sakura. "I mean, she liked that stuffed-toy lion—"

Sakura interrupted him. "No, Shirou. You misunderstood. I didn't ask if Saber liked lions. I asked, 'isn't Saber LIKE a lion?'"

They both turned to Saber, who was seated at the heated table. She was messily devouring a tangerine, savagely tearing it apart with her fingers, like a lion tearing at the carcass of a wildebeest.

Shirou sweat-dropped. "Fer cryin' out loud, Saber! What did that poor tangerine ever do to you!?"

A tear trickled down Sakura's cheek. "Nature can be so cruel," she wept.

Chapter Text

Shirou carried a wounded Saber to her room after another battle. Saber beared her injury stoically, but she still whimpered as Shirou set her on a futon.

"Oh," Saber said. "My blood is on your shirt."

"Don't worry about it," Shirou said. "I have lots of shirts, but only one Saber."

"At least let me help you wash that shirt," Saber said.

"Well, okay, but heal up first," Shirou said. "It won't do any good to wash out the blood if you just bleed on it again."

Saber smiled at Shirou's grim yet gentle joke. "Very well," she said quietly.

Chapter Text

A bedraggled Saber trudged back to Shirou's house. She was unharmed, but she was completely covered in thick mud.

"SABER!!" Shirou ran up. "What happened!?"

"Rider ambushed me," Saber said wearily. "We fell into hand-to-hand combat, and we fell into a clay pit in a construction area as we fought. Forgive me, Master, but Rider escaped..."

"That doesn't matter," Shirou said, "as long as you're alright, and we can be together." Ignoring the mud, he embraced Saber.

Oh my, Saber thought. Shirou is very thoughtful.

The next time Saber and Rider mud-wrestle, Shirou thought, I hope I get to watch.

Chapter Text

Shirou carried Saber into an abandoned house near Illya's castle, followed by Rin.

"What are we going to do?" Shirou cried. "Saber's almost out of mana, GARcher is gone, and the Juggernaut and the psycho-loli are after us! HOW—"

"NO!!" Rin shouted. "DON'T SAY IT!!"

Shirou said it. "HOW can it get any WORSE!?"

As if on cue, the abandoned house collapsed.

After the dust settled, Rin called out from somewhere under the rubble. "Shirou? If we both somehow survive this, I'm going to kill you with my bare hands."

Shirou answered from under another mound of rubble. "Duly noted."

Chapter Text

Shirou set a box with a note on his table. Saber, Rin and Illya crowded round him.

"What's that?" Illya asked.

"Dunno," Shirou said, as he opened the box. "It's a cake! What does the note say?"

Rin opened and read the note. "'Please enjoy this cake. —Gilgamesh.' Wait— WHAT!?"

Shirou blinked. "I didn't know Gilgamesh was a cook."

Rin face-palmed. "That's not the point, Shirou. Why would Gilgamesh send us a cake!?"

"Who cares?" Illya said. "Let's eat!"

"Um, NO," Rin said. "This is obviously a trick. Right, Saber?"

"*phmmmph mmmph mmmph*," said Saber through a mouthful of cake.

Chapter Text

"Caster?" asked Souichirou. "May I ask a question about your Noble Phantasm?"

Caster produced an iridescent jagged dagger. "Do you mean, Rule Breaker?"

"Yes," Souichirou said. "You've said that it can dispel any enchantment, with no exceptions?"

"Indeed," Caster said proudly. "However, it has no effect on other Noble Phantasms."

"Yes," Souichirou said again. "So, what would happen if you used it against an enchantment on another Noble Phantasm?"

Rule Breaker promptly vanished from Caster's grip in a puff of logic.

"Souichirou, dear?" Caster said irritably. "From now on, please concentrate on punching things, and let me do the thinking."

Chapter Text

Saber and Shirou returned to Shirou's house— and heard voices.

"Be careful," Saber whispered. "The other Servants might have laid a trap for us."

They came to the open bathroom door— and found a giggling Rider and Caster bathing together.

Shirou suffered a massive nosebleed, passed out and fell to the floor.

So that's their tactic, Saber thought. But I am a female warrior, so that won't work on me—

Gilgamesh and Lancer pranced past, wearing only bath towels. Gilgamesh playfully snapped another towel at Lancer's bottom.

Saber suffered a second nosebleed, and fell to the floor next to Shirou.

Chapter Text

Lancer and Gilgamesh found Kotomine reading a letter. "Who's that from?" Lancer asked.

"The other Masters and Servants," Kotomine said. "Apparently, Saber and her Master, Archer and his Master, and especially Caster and her Master, have all decided to enjoy each other's company, rather than pursue the Holy Grail."

"Is this a joke!?" Gilgamesh cried.

"Hardly," Kotomine said. "Their alliance convinced Rider and her Master to withdraw, and then, Berserker and his Master. Which leaves us, more or less."

"What shall we do?" Gilgamesh asked.

Kotomine shrugged. "'Make love, not war'?"

"Don't look at me and say that," Lancer growled.

Chapter Text

A discouraged Shirou sat in the middle of a floor littered with shattered gas lamps that he had failed to 'strengthen'.

Rin walked up. "Oh dear," she said snarkily. "Not going well?"

Shirou slumped over and sighed.

"Well, never mind." Changing her attitude, she held out a friendly hand to help Shirou up. "We'll try again tomorrow."

"Thanks." Shirou took her hand, and began to stand. "I'm tired of saying 'Trace Oh—'"

"YEEEK!!" Rin suddenly pulled her hand away. "Shirou!! Until you gain better control, never say 'Acetray Onay' while touching someone— especially me!!"

Shirou sighed again. "Oh, right. Sorry."

Chapter Text

"We have to repeat the, uh, procedure to replentish Saber's mana?" Shirou asked Rin. "Alright. I'll do anything it takes for Saber to survive."

"You said that, the last time we did this, a dragon tore off your arm," Rin said.

"It doesn't matter!" Shirou said. "It only happened in Saber's 'core'. And besides, I'd literally give an arm and a leg for Saber to be alright."

"This time," Rin said, "it might not be your arm or your leg."

Rin and Shirou looked at each other. And then, they both looked down between Shirou's legs.

"I'm out," Shirou said.

Chapter Text

Shirou sat up with a start. "WHA?—" He found himself back in his room, with Saber kneeling at his side.

Saber frowned at him. "You were mortally wounded again, Shirou. I wish you wouldn't throw your life away needlessly to protect me."

Shirou ignored Saber's scolding. "I don't think I'll ever get used to being killed," he said quietly, "or to coming back to life."

"I have," an introspective Saber said. "My mortal life ended more than a millenium ago. I was dead for a very long time."

"Being alive IS better than being dead," Shirou noted.

"Indeed," Saber said.

Chapter Text

Caster stood at a temple window, staring into the dark gray mist of a heavy rain.

Souichirou walked up behind her. "Is something wrong?" he asked.

"I do not like the rain," Caster said. "I am the granddaughter of Helios, but also... it was a day like this when I killed my former Master..."

"That was also the day when I met you," Souichirou said simply.

Caster turned away from the rain and leaned against Souichirou. I fear that we might have to part soon, Caster thought to herself. If that day comes, I hope the sun will be shining.

Chapter Text

Saber was working in Shirou's back yard, wielding metal-shaping tools and a bit of magic.

Shirou walked up. "What are you making?" he asked.

"I was training in my armor," Saber said, "and I almost passed out from the heat. I am from Britannia, and I am not used to this climate."

Shirou agreed. "I hate these hot humid Japanese summers."

"So, I am constructing lighter armor more appropriate for this field of battle." Saber held up a skimpy two-piece metal bikini held together with strands of chain mail.

I LOVE these hot humid Japanese summers, Shirou thought to himself.

Chapter Text

Shirou and Saber stood apart from the crowd of a summer festival, wearing colorful yukata, and watching a night sky full of brilliant fireworks.

"Are you enjoying the show?" Shirou asked pleasantly.

"Yes," Saber said, without looking away. "Only rarely have I had the chance to enjoy fireworks. Do you watch this show every year, Shirou?"

"Nah," Shirou said. "Actually, I never bothered to come to this festival before. Uh, to be honest, it's no fun unless somebody is with you."

"I see." Saber turned to Shirou. The glitter of the fireworks reflected in her wide emerald eyes. "Shirou?... May I ask you a question?"

Shirou turned to Saber, and smiled. "Of course. What is it?"

"May I have another serving of takoyaki?"

Shirou pulled a face. "Saber, you've already had two servings, plus the biggest dish of fried noodles they had, and two ears of roasted corn! What are you doing with all that food!?"

"I must keep up the strength of this mortal form," Saber said in an unusually husky voice. She leaned against Shirou, and grasped his arm. "After all, on a magical summer night like this?... Anything could happen."

Shirou blinked. "...I see," he said nervously.

Chapter Text

"It's time to practice your 'strengthen' again," Rin said to Shirou. She held out another fragile gas lamp.

"Alright," Shirou said, as he took the lamp from her. "I'll try to—"

"No!" Rin suddenly yelled. "Do, or do not! There is no try!"

Obviously taken aback, Shirou turned his back on Rin, and Traced On the lamp.

"Well?" Rin asked impatiently.

"I didn't shatter it," Shirou said, "but I didn't exactly 'strengthen' it, either." He held up a lamp that was now made entirely out of cheese.

Rin face-palmed. "The Force is stupid in this one," she muttered to herself.

Chapter Text

"I am truly humbled in your presence," a subdued Gilgamesh said. "For none have your bearing, your grace, or your majesty."

Kotomine walked up behind him. "Gilgamesh?" he said.

"The foolish mortals of this distant time must learn to worship you, to both love you and fear you," Gilgamesh said, ignoring Kotomine. "It is my sacred duty to teach them the error of their—"

"Gilgamesh!" Kotomine said impatiently.

Gilgamesh turned away from the full-length mirror in which he had been admiring himself. "Oh, I'm sorry," he said smugly. "I couldn't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am."

Chapter Text

Shirou and Rin cowered in hiding, as the horror that had once been Sakura Matou raged nearby.

I'm glad Rin is here, Shirou thought to himself. She's always calm, cool and collected in a crisis—

"Well," Rin said, "we're fucked."

Shirou blinked. "Pardon?"

"Seriously fucking FUCKED," Rin said.

"Ah," said Shirou.

"Look up 'fucked' in the dictionary," Rin said, "and you'll see our fucking picture."

"Er—"

"Every fucking aspect of our fucked-up existence is well and truly fucked!"

"Uh—"

"We are SO FUCKED," Rin said, "that FUCK-ALL ITSELF isn't as fucked as us!!"

"Well," Shirou said. "Fuck."

"Yep," said Rin.

Chapter Text

Saber ran up to Shirou, whining childlishly. "SHIROUUUUU!! Rin is teasing me again!!"

Shirou sighed. "Why do you let her get to you, Saber?... Alright, what did Rin say?"

"She said, I act like I'm middle-aged!!" Saber said, as a smirking Rin also walked up.

"Is that all?" Shirou said. "Still, that is kinda mean, Rin."

"That's not what I said," Rin said. "I said, Saber acts like she's from the Middle Ages."

"Oh," said Shirou. "Well, then..."

"You mean, you AGREE with her!?" Saber cried.

"Yea verily, I dost," Shirou said.

"I'VE NEVER TALKED LIKE THAT!!" Saber wailed tearfully.

Chapter Text

Rider was indulging at a street vendor's noodle stand. "More sake, please," she said.

"Don't you think you've had enough, Miss?" the vendor asked kindly.

"In a past life," Rider said distantly, "I was cursed, and I eventually went mad and killed my own sisters before I was beheaded. And now, I must serve a vile young man who molests me, and I must fight in a seven-way battle to the death, with little hope of victory. I shall probably die within the week."

The vendor set the bottle out for Rider, and turned away to mind his own business.

Chapter Text

As Shirou walked through his kitchen, he saw the refrigerator open by itself. He cleared his throat loudly. "*ahem*"

Saber became visible. "Um... hello, Shirou—"

A smiling Shirou reassured her. "If you want a snack, Saber, you don't have to sneak it."

After Saber left, Shirou saw the refrigerator open again. "*ahem*" he said again.

Archer materialized. "Well, you're allowed too, I suppose..." Shirou said reluctantly.

And then, after Archer left, the refrigerator opened yet again. "Who's that!?" Shirou said.

An embarrassed Caster appeared. "Ah... Er..."

"Oh, fer cryin' out loud!" an exasperated Shirou said. "You don't even live here!!"

Chapter Text

Saber and Shirou stood outside a strangely quiet Ryuudou Temple. Saber announced herself to an open window. "Servant Caster!! Show yourself!!"

The only answer was some girlish giggling. Saber and Shirou looked at each other, and then Saber turned back and cleared her throat. "I SAID—"

Caster came to the window. Her hair was disheveled and her shoulders were bare. "Um, hello," she said. "I'm sorry, but Souichirou and I are 'busy'. Would you mind coming back later?"

"What could be more important than the Holy Grail War!?" Saber shouted indignantly.

Caster smirked. "Saber? I know that you are very serious, and that you first died young. But surely, you are not THAT narrow-minded and naive?"

An annoyed Saber sighed. "Very well. We shall wait, if we must."

"Actually," Caster said, "why don't you return another day? Souichirou has both stamina and skill, and it might be some time before weEEEEK!!" With a happy squeal, she was pulled away from the window.

'Some time'? Saber thought jealously. How long?... And how MANY times?...

"Saber?" a clueless Shirou asked. "Is something wrong?"

"We must train... TOGETHER," Saber declared. "And YOU must be able to surpass Souichirou in EVERY way."

Shirou gulped.

Chapter Text

Shirou couldn't sleep. He turned in his futon— and found Saber kneeling next to him, silently staring at him.

"...uh, can I help you with something?" Shirou asked nervously.

"I am watching over you," Saber said solemnly. "I cannot leave your side. I must guard my Master."

"In that case," Shirou asked, "why don't you just bring another futon in here, and get some sleep?"

"I would not ask to sleep in your room," Saber said. "We do not know each other well. I would not want to make you UNCOMFORTABLE."

This is not going to be easy, Shirou thought.

Chapter Text

"You know," Rin said to Archer, "when I said earlier that you don't always have to stay at my side, I didn't mean that you could take a vacation without me."

Archer was standing at the door, wearing sunglasses, a flower-print shirt, shorts and sandals. "In that case," he said smoothly, "why don't YOU come with ME?"

Rin face-palmed. "Archer, I can't take a vacation during the Holy Grail War!"

"Why not?" Archer asked. "Wouldn't you enjoy catching rays on the beach with your extremely handsome Servant, while the other participants kill each other off?"

"STOP MAKING SENSE!!" Rin yelled.

Chapter Text

A mortally wounded Caster and Souichirou embraced. "Oh, Souichirou-sama..." Caster said weakly. "Our time together has been so short. I do not want to say goodbye..."

"Then we shall not speak," Souichirou said solemnly. He held her close and kissed her deeply.

"Excuse me!?" an indignant Gilgamesh yelled from a distance. "The Servant who just killed you, here! If it isn't too much trouble, would you both please knock off the 'doomed lovers' act and die already!?"

"He's really... getting on... my nerves," a dying Souichirou growled.

"I've found..." Caster gasped, "that most people... who've killed me... particularly annoy me."

Chapter Text

Saber and Shirou were working in Shirou's kitchen, while Rin was reading a book at the dining table.

"This modern kitchen is amazing," Saber said, "but still, some things were easier when I ruled Brittania."

"Oh?" said Shirou. "In what way?"

Instead of answering directly, Saber suddenly yelled at Rin. "YOU!! PEON!! WASH THESE DISHES!!"

Without looking up from her book, Rin silently gave Saber the finger.

"If I had done that back in Britannia," Saber said, "these dishes would have been washed for me."

"If *I* ever yelled at Rin like that," Shirou said, "I'd be eating those dishes."

Chapter Text

The fragile truce between Saber and Archer had ended, and they now fought fiercely for a prize that only one of them could claim.

Saber swung her sword down in a mighty death blow. Archer blocked her attack with crossed falchions. The well-matched opponents paused briefly, looked into each others' eyes, and smiled grimly. And then, the battle began anew.

Shirou and Rin watched them fight. "You know," Shirou said to Rin, "we could just order them to share the last slice of cake, instead of fighting over it."

"We could," Rin said, "but that wouldn't be nearly as entertaining."

Chapter Text

Caster was bragging about her evil schemes to Assassin, but he didn't seem interested in them.

"Don't you care about the Holy Grail War at all?" an annoyed Caster suddenly asked.

"Why should I?" Assassin asked. "I cannot win this battle of attrition, for I serve another Servant. If you and I survive all other attackers, you will then dispose of me yourself in order to claim the Holy Grail."

"Thought of that all by yourself, did you?" Caster asked smugly.

"When one hasn't had a single enjoyable sword-fight for days," Assassin growled, "one has plenty of time to think."

Chapter Text

Shirou found Sakura searching through his house. "What are you looking for?" Shirou asked.

"Rider's mask and glasses," Sakura said. "We can't find either of them at our house."

Rider walked up, wearing a blindfold to hide her Mystic Eyes. With arms outstretched, she wandered through the room, and walked into the far wall, whacking her head against it with a dull thud.

She felt for the doorway, and left the room. A moment later, Sakura and Shirou overheard a long cartoonish crash that ended with the sound of an empty bucket falling over.

"I'll help you look," Shirou said.

Chapter Text

Rider was absently tracing her fingers in circles on a world map.

Sakura walked up. "What are you doing?" she asked kindly.

"Remembering Atlantis," Rider said distantly. "I think it was near here..."

"You visited Atlantis!?" a surprised Sakura asked.

Rider nodded. "It was a land of many wonders, and home to a highly advanced civilization."

"It sounds like you liked it," Sakura said.

"Not really," Rider said. "The people there only stopped trying to kill me after their island sank and they all died horrible deaths."

I don't think Rider has ever been happy anywhere, Sakura thought to herself.

Chapter Text

Saber and Shirou were sharing a heated table, munching on winter oranges and watching some television. "Isn't this nice and relaxing?" Shirou said happily.

Saber suddenly breathed in sharply, clenched her teeth— and effortlessly kicked the table high into the air, and all the way across the room, with her inhuman strength.

After recovering from his own shock, Shirou looked down, and saw Saber rubbing the calf of her left leg. "I am sorry," she said. "I have a leg cramp from sitting too long like this."

"Gosh," said Shirou. "I thought slow heat was good for preventing leg cramps."

Chapter Text

Several of the Masters and Servants quietly and nervously sat in a circle on the floor, around an empty bottle on its side. By a random draw, Sakura was chosen to spin it first; it pointed at Rin.

"Don't you dare ask me for a Truth," Rin said dangerously. "You already know everything about me, anyway."

"'Kay," Sakura said playfully. "Dare. Um... kiss Archer."

Rin's face turned as red as her sweater. But she silently motioned to Archer, and he leaned over and planted one on her. The others ooh'ed and aah'ed appreciatively.

"Are you not going to spin the bottle?" Saber asked Rin, after waiting patiently for a moment or two.

"Puh-pass," Rin gasped, still out of breath. "Guh— go a-huh-head, if yuh-you want."

Saber spun the bottle; it pointed at Archer. As might be expected, Saber showed no mercy, but to the others' surprise, she was unusually forward. "Dare," she said. "Kiss her again. But this time, do it like you mean it."

Archer grinned. "With pleasure," he said smoothly.

I'm going to order Archer to kill all of them slowly and painfully, a completely flustered Rin thought to herself, and then I'm going to kill Archer personally.

Chapter Text

Sakura walked up to Shirou, who was standing at a kitchen counter and holding one hand against a toaster.

"Are you trying to 'trace' a problem with the toaster?" Sakura asked.

"Yeah," Shirou said. "I can't find anything wrong with it. It should work!..."

"Um, sempai?" Sakura said.

Shirou had closed his eyes in concentration. "Not now, Sakura," he said patiently.

"But, sempai!" Sakura gently pushed him aside, and plugged in the toaster.

Shirou hung his head. "Uh, please don't tell Rin about this," he said meekly.

"Don't worry," Sakura said sweetly. "I'm always forgetting to plug it in myself."

Chapter Text

Saber was intently watching a television special on European archaeology. To Shirou's surprise, she seemed to be unhappy.

"What's wrong?" Shirou asked gently. "I thought you'd enjoy seeing your native lands again."

"Yes," Saber said crossly, "but they are digging up ruins in Brittania now."

"So?" asked Shirou.

"Would you enjoy watching someone looking through your garbage?" Saber asked.

"Good point," Shirou noted.

Saber's expression suddenly turned to surprise. "OH!! Look, Shirou!"

"Looks like they dug up a gold brooch," Shirou said. "It's pretty nice—"

"That was mine!" Saber said excitedly. "I had wondered what had ever happened to it!"

Chapter Text

Saber met with Shirou on the way to her bath. "Is Taiga still angry with you for eating the last of the stew?" asked Shirou.

"I do not think so," Saber said. "In fact, she kindly lent me this container of bath salt, and told me to be sure to soak it up."

Shirou took a closer look at the container that Saber was holding. "...uh, that isn't bath salt," he said. "It's seasoned salt. You know, for cooking MEAT."

Saber gulped.

"This might also explain all the raw carrots and potatoes in your bath water," Shirou thought out loud.

Chapter Text

Rin opened the door of a storage room in the back of Shirou's house, intending to fetch a pot for Shirou to use for cooking dinner. Before she could turn on the light, strong arms grabbed her, pulled her into the dark room, and closed the door behind her.

To her credit, Rin didn't scream. "HEY!! Leggo, you *MMMPH*!!"

After the surprise kiss, she tried again. "Archer!! I thought you were watching the house!!"

"I am," Archer said smugly, "and I've caught an intruder."

"Very funny," Rin said irritably. "You know, you scared me half to *MMMPH*!!"

"Oh dear," Archer said after another kiss. "I was hoping that you were this excited to see me."

"Take it easy, wouldja!?" Rin gasped. "How'm I supposed to talk with your tongue in my *MMMPH*!!"

After a even deeper kiss, Archer gave her another chance. "I'm so sorry, Rin. You were saying?..."

"Shut up," Rin in a husky voice, "and finish what you've started."

"I wonder what's taking Rin so long," Shirou said to Saber, who was already sitting at the dinner table.

"Most likely," Saber said matter-of-factly, "her Servant has distracted her, and now they're having sex."

"...you lost me," Shirou said.

Chapter Text

Shirou served dinner to Saber, Rin, Sakura and Taiga.

"Only five cuts of meat?" Rin asked. "That's only one for each of us."

"I cooked TEN," Shirou said, "but..." He gestured at Saber.

"Why do you suspect ME?" Saber asked indignantly.

"Because you interrupted me five times while I was cooking," Shirou said, "and 'distracted' me with ridiculous warnings. It was so cute that I just had to play along."

"What nonsense!" Saber said. "I would NEVER— Oh, look! Is that Halley's Comet?"

"If you try to distract ME and steal MY cut, girl," Rin growled, "I will cut YOU."

Chapter Text

Shirou found Rin hard at work, but humming to herself, in the room she had taken in Shirou's house. "You seem to be enjoying yourself," Shirou said.

"I've been preparing and training for the Holy Grail War for years, and it's finally here," Rin said. "Why shouldn't I be enjoying myself?"

"Because you might die?" Shirou said.

"If you worry about death, you'll never enjoy life," Rin said. "After all, you could fall ill, or get hit by a bus... or your extremely talented and beautiful classmate might tire of your nonsense and wipe you out."

"That's true," Shirou admitted.

Chapter Text

Shirou sat down next to Saber with a heavy sigh. "Problem?" Saber asked.

"Just another argument with Rin," said Shirou. "She told me that I shouldn't bother trying to be good."

"That is terrible advice, Shirou!" Saber said angrily. "You must remain true to yourself and not betray your principles."

"No, Saber," Shirou said patiently. "Not good instead of evil— good instead of BAD at being a Master."

"Oh," said Saber. "Well, it IS probably useless to try to improve yourself. As it is said in this day and age, you SUCK."

"That seems to be the consensus," Shirou agreed.

Chapter Text

Illya watched as her Servant proceeded to beat the snot out ouf Shirou, Saber and Rin.

But then, she suddenly raised her hand. "Wait a moment, Berzerker! I gotta go potty."

"WHAT!?" Rin yelled. "Are you SERIOUS!?"

Ignoring her, Illya walked away. Saber, Rin and Shirou awkwardly looked at each other.

Somewhere, a toilet flushed.

And then, Illya returned. "OK, Berzerker" she said, "go ahead and kill them now."

Shirou hesitantly raised his hand. "Actually... I gotta go too."

Rin held her poor head. And to think that I trained my whole life for this battle, she thought to herself.

Chapter Text

"Is something troubling you, Souichirou?" asked Caster.

"I know that your plan requires patience," Souichirou said, "but I am a man of action, and I find it difficult to do nothing while our opponents fight."

"Grant me but a few more days," Caster said, "and the Holy Grail will surely be ours."

"But I want to punch things NOW," Souichirou growled.

"Aahn, Souichirou-sama." Caster draped herself all over him and whispered in his ear. "Why don't you let this Servant soothe your troubled mind? And by 'soothe your troubled mind," I mean SEX."

Souichirou sighed. "Oh, alright," he said reluctantly.

Chapter Text

Rin went to visit Shirou, and found him sitting behind his house, absent-mindedly staring into the distance.

"How're you holding up?" Rin asked.

Shirou shrugged. "Alright, I guess."

"You're still thinking about Saber, aren't you," Rin said quietly.

Shirou didn't answer, but after a moment, he brushed away a manly tear.

Rin gave him a friendly side-hug. "She wouldn't want you to sit around and mope, you know," she said gently.

"Yeah, I know," Shirou said sadly. "Rin? You lost Archer earlier on in the war, but don't you miss him too?"

"Nope. He was just my Servant," Rin lied.

Chapter Text

"Rin?" asked Shirou. "Could you explain again how I transfer mana to Saber? I just don't get it."

Rin face-palmed. "You have SEX with her, you big dope."

"...you lost me," Shirou said.

"You make HOT SWEET LOVE with her ALL NIGHT LONG!" Rin yelled. "You have sexual intercourse in the missionary position, as for the purpose of procreation!! You make the beast with two backs!! You dance the horizontal tango!! You make a magic sandwich!! You lock legs and swap sauce!! YOU PUT YOUR P*N*S TO HER VAG*** AND JAM IT IN!!"

"Still not following you here," Shirou said.

Chapter Text

Lancer found Gilgamesh working at a computer terminal and printer, typing serial numbers and printing bar-code stickers.

"I never thought I'd see the King Of Heroes reduced to a warehouse shelf stocker," Lancer said smugly.

Gilgamesh returned his taunt. "I've taught myself the 'magic' of modern technology to catalog my collection of swords. A fool like you, with a STICK as his one and only weapon, wouldn't understand."

"DUDE!!" said Lancer. "You have TOO MANY SWORDS!!"

Gilgamesh was thoughtful. "'Too many swords'... I know what those words mean separately, but when you use them together, I can't understand them."

Chapter Text

"So," Rin said to Archer, "are you going to help me clean up the mess you made of this room when you answered my summoning?"

"If I must," Archer said casually.

"But before we start..." Rin opened a closet and pulled out a French maid uniform on a hanger.

"You have GOT to be JOKING," Archer said.

"Nope," Rin said with a somewhat disturbing smile.

"I hope you realize," Archer said, "that I'll barely fit in a maid uniform that appears to be in Saber's size."

"You say that as if it were a bad thing," a drooling Rin said.

Chapter Text

"Good night," Saber said to Shirou from the open door of his room. "'Don't let the bed bugs bite.'"

Shirou smiled as he slid into his futon. "Did you have bed bugs in Britannia?"

"Yes," Saber said uncomfortably, "but we hardly noticed them amongst the lice, ticks, and fleas."

Shirou grimaced. "I'm sorry I asked."

"Don't worry, Shirou. You and Sakura keep this house clean," Saber noted. "Well, good night."

After Saber closed his door, Shirou tried to relax. But then, he involuntarily scratched himself.

Aw, nuts, Shirou thought to himself. My imagination is gonna 'bug' me all night long.

Chapter Text

Rin found Saber sitting at the dinner table, fork and knife in hand, waiting for Shirou.

"When Shirou runs late," Rin said, "you could just warm up some food for yourself."

"Or you could warm up some food for me," Saber said.

"Or you could just get STUFFED," Rin growled.

"Or YOU could BE my food," Saber said dangerously.

Rin sweat-dropped. "Wait, what?"

Shirou finally returned, and found Rin sprawled on the dinner table and howling with ticklish laughter. Saber was theatrically gnawing on Rin's bare leg.

This is what happens when you forget to feed your Servant, Shirou thought.

Chapter Text

"What are you worried about now?" Rin asked Shirou. "Not that I really want to know."

"The Holy Grail War is a battle to the death, right?" Shirou asked.

"Unless a Master seeks sanctuary, yes," Rin said.

"What happens if the police get involved?" Shirou asked. "They're already investigating Rider's attacks at school."

"The Holy Grail War is a WAR," Rin said. "Generally speaking, WARS are BEYOND DOMESTIC LAW ENFORCEMENT!!"

"But, Rin—" Shirou started to say.

"If I'm arrested and put on trial for murder," Rin yelled, "you can come to my trial and tell me 'I TOLD YOU SO!!'"

Chapter Text

As Saber walked with Shirou, she noticed him glancing from side to side and eyeing passers-by with suspicion.

"You have seemed unusually nervous lately, Shirou," a concerned Saber said.

"You'd be nervous too," Shirou said, "if an Irish fisherman impaled you, a supermodel in a goth-punk cocktail dress stabbed you, an albino loli sic'ed her giant on you, and then your ethics teacher beat the snot out of you."

"And yet," Saber noted, "if any of them needed help, you would do anything for them."

"Well," Shirou said modestly, "as long as they stop beating the snot out of me first."

Chapter Text

Rin was studying aged books of lore. Archer appeared and embraced her from behind.

"Archer, please. I'm working here," Rin said. "I'm trying to find where you came from."

"I was summoned from the Throne of Heroes," Archer breathed into Rin's ear, "the same as the other Heroic Spirits."

"No, BEFORE that," Rin said. "If we don't know where you've been, how can we know where you're going?"

Archer's hands wandered over Rin's body. "Surely you can tell where I'm going now," he said as he kissed her neck.

Rin sighed, but smiled. "Yes," she purred, "but keep going anyway."

Chapter Text

Shirou awoke in the middle of the night to find Saber staring at him.

"Saber, why don't you get some sleep?" Shirou asked nervously.

"I could not sleep even if I wanted to," Saber said.

"Everybody needs sleep," Shirou said. "Why don't you try counting sheep?"

"Why would I ever do that?" Saber asked.

"When you ruled Brittania, you must have owned sheep," Shirou said. "Didn't you ever count them?"

"There was no need," Saber said. "When I ruled Brittania, I knew exactly how many sheep I owned: ALL of them."

An exasperated Shirou pulled his blanket over his head.

Chapter Text

Sakura found Shirou at his table, flipping through household expenses with one hand and using an antique Chinese abacus with his other hand.

"I haven't seen one of those in years," Sakura said. "And you're so good with electronics and machines that I would expect you to use a calculator or a computer."

"It belonged to my father," Shirou said, "and I enjoy using it."

Sakura watched him for awhile. "Sempai?" she said gently. "You have no idea what you're doing, do you?"

"Nope," Shirou admitted readily. "But the beads are pretty and they're fun to slide back and forth."

Chapter Text

"The next time we encounter Berzerker," Rin said to Shirou, "I'll need you to... wait, are you TAKING NOTES!?"

"Well, yeah," Shirou said. "You can't expect me to memorize everything. Our tactics change for every battle."

"You're not going to have time during a BATTLE TO THE DEATH to CONSULT A NOTEBOOK!!" Rin yelled.

Shirou turned to another page in his notebook. "When Rin yells at you," he read out loud, "nod your head and say 'Yes, Rin'."

And then, Shirou closed his notebook and nodded his head. "Yes, Rin," he said.

DO NOT KILL THE IDIOT, Rin reminded herself.

Chapter Text

At Saber's request, she and Shirou were sitting before a cozy fire— or rather, a long-playing video of a cozy fire.

"Sorry, Saber," said Shirou. "This house doesn't have a fireplace. This is the best I can do."

"It is strange," Saber said. "Back in Britannia, if we did not have a warm fire, our lives would have been in danger... but here, we would be in danger if we DID have a fire."

Shirou held an arm around her and pulled up a blanket around them. "Well," he said, "I'll do what I can to keep my Servant warm."

Chapter Text

"I'm almost out of jewels," Rin said to Archer, "and I'm also almost out of money. I guess we'll have to go rob a bank."

"Could you not use a less expensive medium for your Jewel Magecraft?" Archer asked.

"Such as?" Rin asked skeptically.

Archer reached into a pocket and produced a small wax-paper bag. "Jellybaby?" he asked.

"You can't be serious," Rin said.

"Exploding candies would bring a whole new meaning to 'trick or treat'," Archer said.

An amused Rin chewed on a jellybaby thoughtfully. "Well, a candy store would be easier to rob than a bank," she noted.

Chapter Text

Shirou was running errands with Saber in the Fuyuki City shopping district late in the evening after the sun had set.

"These modern city lights are a nuisance," Saber muttered irritably. "I cannot see the stars to keep my bearings."

"I suppose light pollution must be annoying after the 'dark ages' of your native Brittania," Shirou said thoughtfully.

As if on cue, the shopping district suffered a sudden blackout. A few nearby couples gasped and embraced in fright.

"Ah! This is much better," Saber said happily, without a trace of fear.

That's the least romantic reaction imaginable, Shirou thought sadly.

Chapter Text

Caster and Souichirou stood in the grounds outside the Ryuudou Temple and gazed upon a moon so bright that it cast shadows.

"This full moon is much brighter than usual, is it not?" Souichirou asked.

"It is a perigee-syzygy of the Earth–Moon–Sun system," Caster said, "but the popular term is 'supermoon'."

"I am not familiar with your sorcery," Souichirou said. "Does this moon portend bad luck or cruel fate?"

Caster clutched at her Master's arm. "No," she said, "but it IS incredibly romantic, don't you think?"

"I suppose so," Souichirou grumbled.

Caster giggled. "It's just like you to 'moon about'."

Chapter Text

"I have found a new Master for you," Kotomine said to Gilgamesh.

Taiga walked up. "HI!!" she said brightly.

"Seriously!?" Gilgamesh said in disbelief.

"Well," Taiga explained, "Shirou and Rin finally told me about this Holy Grail War thingy, and they told me ALL about Saber and Archer, and I decided I wanted a piece of the action."

"Not only is my new Master a 'mongrel'," an unimpressed Gilgamesh thought out loud, "but she's also a 'Christmas cake'!"

Taiga licked her lips suggestively. "Oh," she purred, "I can't WAIT to use a 'Command Spell' or two on YOU."

Gilgamesh gulped.

Chapter Text

Shirou, Rin, and Sakura wandered through a mostly-empty hotel convention room.

"I gotta say that this 'Holy Grail Con' is a major disappointment," Shirou said.

"I can't believe they held a last-minute 'mana-raiser' at the door," Rin agreed.

"Now, now," Sakura said. "It'll be worth it just for the Eirei panel—"

As if on cue, Zouken appeared. "I'm afraid that the Eirei panel has been canceled. As reimbursement, please accept these tickets for an extra hour in the Crest-Worm Pit."

"Oh GOODY!" Sakura cried. "I LOVE play pits!"

Shirou and Rin offered Sakura their tickets. "Have fun," Shirou said nervously.

Chapter Text

Saber and Lancer prepared to do battle on a city street. But then, Shirou shouted. "WAIT!!"

He drew a three-meter-wide chalk circle around the Servants. "Don't cross that line," he said.

Saber facepalmed. "WHY!?" she asked.

"We're between a school, a temple, and a police station," Shirou said. "If we leave a hundred-meter 'buffer zone' for safety, this is the remaining space."

"NO," said Saber.

Shirou raised his Command Seals. "YES."

"Well, I don't mind," an amused Lancer said. "However, this 'field of battle' is too small for our weapons."

"Paper-rock-scissors?" Saber asked.

"Best three out of five," Lancer agreed.

Chapter Text

Saber was accompanying Shirou home from school when she suddenly paused.

"Is something wrong?" Shirou asked nervously.

"I smell something," said Saber. She sniffed the air while slowly turning in place.

"I know you have heightened senses," Shirou said, "but I can't smell anything."

Saber pointed. "Half a kilometer away..." she said in a deadly serious voice.

Shirou gulped. "Yes?"

"...taiyaki are being sold," a drooling Saber declared.

"Well," an unusually snarky Shirou said, "at least it's something important."

"It is very important to purchase taiyaki for your hungry companion," Saber said.

"You got me there," Shirou said with a smile.

Chapter Text

Shirou glanced at Rin's favorite red turtleneck as they set out to fight. "Are you going to wear that sweater to a battle to the death?" Shirou asked.

"You're one to talk, 'Mr. Jeans And Jersey'," Rin growled.

"It's not that," Shirou said. "I know you like that sweater, and it suits you. I'd hate to see it get torn or muddied."

"Oh," a touched Rin said. "Well, um..."

"Or drenched in blood and gore," Shirou continued cluelessly, "or partly dissolved by some weird acid attack in a fan-servicey way."

"You need to learn when to stop talking," Rin noted.

Chapter Text

As Irisviel watched, Saber faced another young female swordswoman who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jane Wiedlin.

I wonder if that Servant could be Joan of Arc, Irisviel thought.

"Your MOTHER was a HAMSTER," the swordswoman said snarkily to Saber, "and your FATHER SMELT of ELDERBERRIES!"

Well, Irisviel thought, she's definitely French. I wonder how Saber will respond.

"Why don't you ROAST a MARSHMALLOW over YOURSELF," Saber shouted, "you CHEESE-EATING SURRENDER MONKEY!"

Irisviel facepalmed. This couldn't possibly be more ridiculous, she thought.

The swordswoman made a magical gesture— and then a cow fell on Saber.

I stand corrected, Irisviel thought.

Chapter Text

Rin was walking through downtown Fuyuki City when Archer suddenly pulled her aside.

"Rider is directly above us," Archer explained. "She's obviously waiting to... uh, ambush... uh..."

"Are you looking up Rider's dress!?" Rin hissed.

"Of COURSE not!" Archer said. "She's facing down. I'm looking DOWN her dress."

"Quit perving on the enemy Servant," Rin growled.

"Are you implying that her beauty distracts me?" a distracted Archer asked.

"DUH!" said Rin. "She's so hot that even *I* find her attractive."

Archer slowly turned to face Rin. "Go on," he said through a heavy nosebleed.

"Welp, we're gonna die," Rin said.

Chapter Text

Saber found Shirou admiring a small ornate sword. "Did you 'trace' that sword yourself?" Saber asked.

"No," Shirou said. "I pulled it out of my chest cavity after our latest battle with Gilgamesh. He plunged it entirely into me."

Saber sweat-dropped.

"I don't recognize this blade's place in history," Shirou said, "but it's very well-made, and it's held its edge. I hardly even felt it when it cut my pancreas in two."

"This is not the first time that I have said this," Saber said, "but Shirou? Sometimes I honestly and truly worry about you."

"Duly noted," Shirou said cheerfully.

Chapter Text

Shirou walked up on a completely disheveled and flustered Rin.

"Did Archer grab you and make out with you... again?" Shirou asked.

"Yep," Rin squeaked.

"You know," Shirou said, "if you don't want him to grab you and make out with you, you could order him to stop."

"Ih-it's not like I duh-don't like it," Rin stammered, as Saber walked up. "Why don't you mind your own business— and why don't you make out with your OWN Servant instead."

After Rin walked away, Shirou and Saber stared at each other for a long silent awkward pause.

"Did Archer grab her and make out with her... again?" Saber asked.

"Yep," Shirou squeaked.

"I see," the ever-serious Saber said thoughtfully.

They stared at each other for another long silent awkward pause.

"So, uh," Shirou said nervously, "would you like to, uh—"

"Yes," Saber said simply.

"I mean," Shirou said, "only if you want to, uh—"

"Yes," Saber said again.

"It's just, I wouldn't want to pressure you into—" Shirou started to say.

Saber reached up with both hands and held his face. "Shirou, please shut up so that I can kiss you."

"Shutting up now," Shirou said just before he was kissed.

Chapter Text

"Are you ready to go fight Caster?" Shirou asked Rin.

"I guess so," Rin said noncommittally. "If we have to."

"Uh... are you feeling OK?" Shirou asked.

"It's just that I realized something," Rin said. "The Holy Grail itself chose the Masters to participate in this war... including YOU."

"And?" Shirou asked.

"If the Holy Grail thinks YOU'RE worthy of it," Rin said, "I seriously have to question its good judgment. In fact, if the silly thing doesn't know any better than THAT, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble."

"That does call its value into question," Shirou agreed readily.

Chapter Text

Lancer had gone fishing on a day off, but he was loudly cursing to himself.

Sakura was walking nearby, and she overheard him by chance. "Is something wrong?" she asked.

Lancer turned to face her. "Pardon my language," he said sheepishly. "The bait shop was closed."

"Oh! I can give you some bait!" Sakura said cheerfully.

She turned away and make horrible wracking noises. "*HOK*!! *HOK*!! *HAAAUGHK*!!"

And then, she turned back and held out a handful of crest-worms. "Here you go," she said sweetly.

"On second thought," Lancer said weakly, "I think I'll just buy some frozen fish sticks."

Chapter Text

Rin and Saber were eagerly waiting for Shirou to serve dinner. But then they heard him sneeze, and then sigh sadly.

"Sorry, but we'll have to order out," Shirou shouted. "I just ruined dinner."

"Did you just sneeze all over the food!?" Rin asked angrily.

"No," Shirou said, "but I accidentally TRACED ON when I sneezed, and..." He held out a tray full of solid-metal food.

Rin raised an eyebrow. "Is that a precious metal? It could be valuable."

"I think it's molybdenum," Shirou said.

"Can we eat molybdenum?" Saber asked.

"Nope," Shirou said.

"Then it is worthless," Saber declared.

Chapter Text

"Do you know," Caster said to Souichirou, "I think you might have killed more people than I have."

"I was an assassin since I was a child," Souichirou said.

"It's still quite an accomplishment," Caster gushed, "for a mortal to have outperformed a spirit."

"I merely worked for hire," Souichirou said modestly, "but I gather you killed for personal reasons."

"Oh, they DEFINITELY had it coming," a yandere Caster agreed.

"Your bloodlust makes you even more beautiful," Souichirou said.

""Aahn, Souichirou-sama!" Caster cried. "Let us win this war, and make love upon the graves of our enemies!"

"OK," Souichirou said.

Chapter Text

As Rin and Shirou watched, Archer faced off with Gilgamesh, who was still wearing his civilian clothing.

"I am the bone of my sword," Archer said predictably. "Steel is my... are you making a PHONE CALL!?"

Ignoring Archer, a smirking Gilgamesh dialed his mobile. And then, Shirou's mobile rang.

"Excuse me," Shirou said politely. "Yes?... OK." He handed his mobile to Archer. "It's for you."

Archer rolled his eyes, but accepted Shirou's mobile. "YES?... NO, I DID NOT MEAN 'BANE'!!"

"Gilgamesh might also be the King Of Smartasses," an impressed Rin said.

"I should start screening my calls," Shirou agreed.

Chapter Text

"So, what are you doing this evening after school?" Ayako asked Shirou. "That is, if you have any time left for yourself after doing favors for everybody else."

"Just some homework and housework," Shirou said. "Oh, and I'll probably have dinner with my, uh, 'friend'."

Ayako raised an eyebrow. "Your 'friend'?"

"You might have seen her around school today," Shirou said. "Foreign girl? Green-eyed blonde? Cute as a button?"

"And YOU'RE having dinner with HER?" Ayako said smugly. "Next thing you'll be telling me she's the King of Spain."

"Actually, you're pretty close," an impressed Shirou said.

"Huh?" said Ayako.

Chapter Text

Rider walked past Shirou and the other girls while they were having breakfast.

"Good morning," Shirou said pleasantly. "It sure is a nice day, huh?"

Rider gave him a silent baleful look that would have killed many men.

"I wish she'd cheer up," Shirou said after Rider left. "The war's over."

"She's never been outgoing," Rin said. "And besides, you'd be grumpy too if you were a drop-dead sexy woman who was mostly remembered as a monster with snakes for hair."

"I suppose," Shirou said cluelessly. "I've never been drop-dead sexy myself."

"Truer words have never been spoken," Rin noted.

Chapter Text

Saber and Shirou were arguing about how Shirou had repeatedly shielded Saber from injury in battle with his own body.

"ARRGH!!" A frustrated Saber suddenly drew her sword.

"SABER!! CALM DOWN!" Shirou cried. "It won't help if you disembowel me yourself!"

Saber breathed out heavily. "...forgive me, Shirou. You're right, of course."

"I knew you'd see things my way," Shirou said cluelessly, "if you'd just look past your own stubborn pride and— *eep*!!"

Saber held her sword against Shirou's throat. "Shirou?" she snarled with righteous wrath. "DO. NOT. PRESS. YOUR. LUCK."

"Taking my hands off my luck entirely," Shirou whimpered.

Chapter Text

Two schoolgirls ran up to Gilgamesh and Lancer. "Can I have your autograph?" one girl asked Gilgamesh.

"Why should I bestow my signature upon mere mongrels?" Gilgamesh sniffed.

"Wait," the other girl said. "You're not the lead singer of 'Playboy Renaissance'."

"What nonsense you speak, child!" Gilgamesh said. "I am the King Of Heroes!"

"Never heard of them," the first girl said.

"The sovereign ruler of Uruk!" Gilgamesh yelled. "The master of Mesopotamia!"

"What-EVS," the other girl said as she and her friend walked away.

"Don't take it too hard, dude," Lancer said. "I doubt they've heard of me either."

Chapter Text

Rin and Saber watched Shirou prepare another dinner. "He is quite talented, is he not?" Saber asked.

"I suppose," Rin admitted reluctantly. "It's too bad he's an idiot who's only holding you back in battle."

Saber frowned. "Rin, we might be working together, but you should not disparage my Master like that."

"Oh?" Rin said with a smirk. "It sounds like 'someone' might have a crush on her 'Master'."

"I did not think so," a worried Saber said. "Have I somehow been accidentally crushing him in some way?"

Rin face-palmed. "Never mind. You know, you two totally deserve each other."

Chapter Text

Saber heard a rapping at her bedroom window, and found Gilgamesh standing outside Shirou's house and holding some notes.

"What do YOU want?" Saber asked flatly.

"I wrote you a love poem," Gilgamesh said.

Saber sighed. "Oh, very well. Let's hear it."

Gilgamesh cleared his throat and read his notes:

Roses are red, violets are blue;
Everyone here is a mongrel but you.

Saber face-palmed. "Are you CAPABLE of SPEAKING for FIVE MINUTES without calling people 'mongrels'?"

Gilgamesh cut himself off, but not quite in time. "Of COURSE I can, you MOH— MOH— MAH-velous girl!... HEY! Where are you GOING!?"

Chapter Text

Rin was briefly alarmed to find Archer behind the house wielding an array of weapons in his sleeveless shirt.

"Are you training?" Rin asked. "That's a relief. At first, I thought you were fighting an invisible foe."

"I must train to wield my weapons without hesitation from 'muscle memory'," Archer said.

"I see," Rin said thoughtfully.

A few minutes later, Archer paused. "Er, Rin? Why are you still staring at me?"

"I'm memorizing your muscles too," Rin said lustily. "Mind taking your shirt off?"

"Far be it from me to inhibit your studies," an amused Archer said as he stripped.

Chapter Text

A domestic-mode Caster prepared two salads for dinner while Souichirou carefully brewed a fine tea.

Caster sipped her tea. "...you've added iocane powder!" she said. "Such poisons are harmless to Servants, but I'd bet my life on it!"

"I've spent many years building up immunity to all common poisons," Souichirou noted. "It's supposedly odorless and tasteless, but I find it brings out the flavor of sencha."

"How's your salad?" Caster asked hopefully.

"Superb," Souichirou said. "The hemlock and belladonna are particularly palatable."

"Meals with you are so wonderfully romantic," Caster said happily.

"We certainly have good culinary compatibility," Souichirou agreed.

Chapter Text

Shirou and Rin were chatting in Shirou's kitchen when Sakura walked up to the refrigerator.

"Sakura? Did you need something?" Shirou asked.

"Ice cubes for Rider." Sakura emptied a tray into a bowl.

Rin frowned. "Is she drinking alcohol this early? And with you?"

"Oh no," Sakura said sweetly. "I stripped her naked, tied her up, and blindfolded her for some ice cube play."

Shirou and Rin watched Sakura walk away. "Huh," Rin said. "They're getting along well."

"I don't know whether to be worried about Rider," said Shirou, "or happy for her."

"¿Por qué no los dos?" Rin asked.

Chapter Text

Shirou tossed and turned in his futon, opened his eyes— and once again found Saber silently staring at him.

"Saber? Is something wrong?" Shirou asked patiently.

"No," Saber said flatly.

"Are you sure? If something IS wrong, we can talk about it."

"No," Saber said again.

"In that case," a well-annoyed Shirou said, "WHY are you SITTING there and SILENTLY STARING at me like that?"

Saber answered him with another question. "Shirou? Is something WRONG?"

An exasperated Shirou pulled his blanket over his head.

"If something IS wrong," Saber said, "we can talk about it."

Shirou whimpered into his pillow.

Chapter Text

While snuggling with Archer, Rin studied the fine web of faint scars on his hands and arms.

"Did you earn these scars before you became a Heroic Spirit?" a sympathetic Rin asked.

"When I became your Servant, I maintained my mortal appearance," Archer answered.

Rin held his scarred hand to her lips and kissed it. And then, Archer whispered in Rin's ear.

Rin rolled her eyes. "Do you expect me to believe that you have scars THERE?" she asked.

"Does that mean that you won't Kiss It Better?" Archer asked.

"I didn't say THAT, now did I?" Rin said lustily.

Chapter Text

Shirou and Saber were walking down a street on a sunny day when Lancer appeared— and handed them sunglasses.

"Uh?..." asked Shirou.

"Just put 'em on, kid," said a resigned Lancer as he put on sunglasses too. "It's for the best."

And then, Gilgamesh strode into view in his golden armor. "Greetings, Lesser King and Mongrel," he said.

"Oh, for— ARRGH!!" Shirou took off his glasses and was immediately blinded by the armor's golden glare.

"I tried to warn you," Lancer said. "He spent all day yesterday polishing his armor."

"You spend more time 'polishing your pole'," Gilgamesh said smugly.

Chapter Text

Shirou and Rin had returned to Shirou's house after winning a battle in the Holy Grail War.

"Rin, you were amazing!" Shirou gushed. "My favorite part was when you did a back-flip while blasting Caster's dragon-tooth warriors on both sides. The angle of your requisite panty-shot was perfect."

"Um, thanks?" Rin said with equal parts embarrassment and annoyance. "And I was impressed when you, um..."

She hesitated as Shirou smiled at her expectantly. "...when you remembered to keep breathing," she said weakly.

"The regularity of my respiration was always one of my strong points," an otherwise talentless Shirou said proudly.

Chapter Text

Assassin was standing guard on the Ryuudou Temple steps late one evening.

And so another night passes, the reflective Servant thought, with only the light of the Moon to keep me company...

Assassin suddenly heard Caster's girlish laughter from the open window of her temple bedroom.

She and Souichirou made love loudly last night, an annoyed Assassin thought. Do they HAVE to go again TONIGHT!?

As if in reply, Caster's giggling soon turned into load moans, and then, rhythmic cries of pleasure.

Assassin sat on a step and held his head in his hands. I am SO LONELY, he thought.

Chapter Text

Saber was standing next to Shirou in his kitchen and watching him prepare another home-cooked meal.

"I know you have a hearty appetite," Shirou said, "but my cooking isn't THAT interesting."

"I enjoy watching you prepare food," Saber said earnestly. "You are very skilled with that kitchen knife."

"Oh," Shirou said modestly. "Well, I—"

"The way you chop vegetables," Saber said, "reminds me of a beheading."

Shirou sweat-dropped. "Uh... really?"

"Off With Their Heads!" Saber made a chopping motion and a cute clicking sound with her tongue.

"Are you SURE that you're one of the Good Guys?" Shirou asked nervously.

Chapter Text

With Illya and Berzerker in pursuit, Rin and Shirou ran up to a brick wall.

"We're trapped like rats!" Shirou cried.

"Speak for yourself," Rin said. "I have an idea. When I say duck— DUCK."

Berzerker advanced on them. "Squish 'em REAL good!" Illya said eagerly.

"DUCK!!" Rin shouted.

Shirou ducked, and Berzerker punched a convenient hole in the wall behind him.

"That was brilliant," Shirou said to Rin as they resumed running, "but why did we have to use my head as Berzerker's target?"

"I thought of the idea," Rin declared, "and so my brain is obviously more valuable."

Chapter Text

"Saber?" said Shirou. "You seem like you're thinking about someplace far away."

"I am," Saber admitted. "Japan is beautiful, but I feel like a stranger in a strange land here. I ruled Britannia for only a short time, but I miss my homeland."

"I'm afraid that, even if we could get away, I couldn't afford to take you back," Shirou said. "But we could go to the international grocery for Earl Grey tea and digestive biscuits, and then watch 'Keeping Up Appearances' reruns."

"Those things came about long after MY time," an amused Saber said, "but that does sound enjoyable."

Chapter Text

"Why do you remain with that MONGREL!?" Gilgamesh said to Saber while gesturing to Shirou.

"I assure you, he is no mongrel!" Saber declared. "He has the heart of the fiercest lion!"

"Well, I—" Shirou began to say modestly.

"And the backbone of a bear!" Saber added.

Shirou blinked in surprise. "I do?" he asked.

"And the pancreas of a porcupine!" Saber cried.

"OK," Shirou said, "NOW you're just being SILLY."

"I love it when she just can't help herself," Gilgamesh said to Shirou.

"She's so CUTE when she gets carried away," Shirou said in a rare moment of agreement.

Chapter Text

Archer and Rin were walking in the park when Archer suddenly paused. "What's wrong?" Rin asked.

"I have a feeling of déjà vu," Archer said.

"Are you getting your memories back?" Rin asked excitedly.

"I believe," Archer said with a straight face, "I once made love with a beautiful woman in this place."

Rin rolled her eyes. "Let me guess— you want to make love with ME to jog your memory?"

"Do you have a better idea?" Archer asked smugly.

"Actually, yes," Rin purred. "I'll make you forget all about that other woman."

"That IS a better idea," Archer agreed.

Chapter Text

Rider was spending a quiet day alone in a small neighborhood coffeehouse, her nose buried in a library book.

A handsome young fellow made the mistake of approaching her from behind. "*ahem* Could I buyyyyAIEEE!!"

Rider instinctively grabbed his arm, flung him over her head, slammed him onto the floor, and then crouched over him with her fist against his neck.

"...oh. Sorry," Rider said. "I've been, um, attacked recently. Did you want something?"

"I was going to ask if I could buy you a coffee," the man said weakly, "but maybe you could take me to the hospital instead."

Chapter Text

After a banquet-sized breakfast with Shirou, Saber stood up. "Where are you going?" Shirou asked.

"To fight in the Holy Grail War," Saber said. "The time for talk is over. It is now time for SMITINGS."

"Wait!" Shirou said as he also stood up.

"Why?" Saber asked. "It was my understanding that smitings would be required at some point."

"Do you HAVE to?" Shirou cried.

Saber frowned at him. "Shirou, is there something more urgent than smitings?"

Not knowing what else to do, Shirou embraced her and kissed her passionately.

"...that might be more important," a not-so-secretly flustered Saber admitted.

Chapter Text

Souichirou came home to find Caster apparently lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood.

"What's for dinner?" Souichirou asked.

Caster weakly raised one arm. "Only a... physical... mana transfer... can save me..."

"If you had lost that much blood," Souichirou said calmly, "you would already be unconscious."

"I suppose I couldn't fool a trained assassin," Caster said sadly.

"You are a most troublesome Servant," Souichirou said with a rare smile.

"Aren't I, though?" Caster agreed. "You should PUNISH me... with LOVE."

"Is there anything you WON'T do to seduce me?" Souichirou asked.

"Nope," Caster said shamelessly.

Chapter Text

Rin found Archer carefully sharpening one of his countless swords with a small stone. "Why are you doing that?" Rin asked. "Can't you just 'copy' a weapon with an already-sharpened blade?"

"Maintenance of one's weapons is an important skill," Archer said solemnly. "One cannot effectively wield a weapon if one is not intimately familiar with its design and construction."

"In other words," Rin said smugly, "if you don't practice, you'll 'lose your edge'?"

An amused Archer held his sword against Rin's throat. "Careful, girl. You're 'living on the edge'."

"Stop that," Rin said with a smirk. "It's turning me on."

Chapter Text

Shirou awoke in the middle of the night, opened his eyes, and found Saber kneeling next to him and silently staring at him.

"Saber? Is something wrong?" Shirou asked patiently.

"Yes," Saber said bluntly.

Shirou blinked in surprise. "Oh. Well, what is it? It's the middle of the night, but I'll help if I can."

"The Holy Grail War is nearing its conclusion," Saber said. "We still have a chance of winning the war, and my dreams— our dreams— might yet come true. I should be pleased. But..."

"But?" Shirou asked.

"I am afraid," Saber said quietly.

"You've always been a brave Servant," Shirou said. "Just remember that bravery is just being afraid and doing what needs to be done anyway."

"Your words comfort me," Saber said. "However, might I ask for additional comfort?"

"Uh... sure?" Shirou said nervously.

Saber crawled into his futon, snuggled up against him, and pushed her face into his shoulder.

For once, Shirou read the mood perfectly. He held her tightly and patted the top of her head.

I once hoped that, when my days were done, I might find peace in Avalon, Saber thought to herself. But this might be even better than Avalon.