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View Full Version : A Change in Fate (HF, slight AU) (Unfinished)



RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 12:58 PM
A Change in Fate



Part 1

It hurt.

It hurt.

It hurt.

It was Saber’s only conscious thought as she struggled with the shadow at her feet. Assassin had disappeared, no doubt to heed the call of his Master; there was no need for him to stay and watch when he knew without a doubt that his prey was helplessly ensnared in his trap. Nothing was left but for Saber to die quietly, having used the last of her magical energy to fight off the hand that would have claimed her heart.

It’s painful.

It’s painful.

Why is it so painful?

But she was still alive, if a small thread of weak awareness could count as living. The shadow was certainly slow, she thought dully. Was it a living thing as well? Did it take pleasure out of her exhaustion, her weakness, her pain? Was in enjoying the fact that she had no way of fighting back, and as a result taking its time in finishing her off?

She still had enough awareness in her to know Assassin was gone. No doubt he had been called by his Master and saw no reason to stay when the end was inevitable.

Die.

Die.

I’m going to die.

Saber wondered. She certainly hadn’t sensed Assassin’s presence until the very last moment; was his Master the same? If that was true, and Assassin’s Master was nearby—indeed, in the very same temple—then his objective seemed clear enough. It had been a trap; certainly, the only target left to finish off now was Shirou. Her own Master.

She knew he would be killed. Shirou was stubborn to a fault; even if she was lost to him, he would still fight to discover the shadow and why it did what it did, because that was simply who he was. So long as he saw a threat to the lives of others, he would do everything in his power to try and save them. Anyone who even had an inkling of the boy’s personality would know this.

And if Assassin’s Master was smart, he (or she) would kill Shirou while he was defenseless. In the long run, he or she would save themselves a lot of trouble.

The corruption reached its target and seized her heart. With a gasped exclamation of pain, Saber blacked out.

“Shi… rou…”

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“Saber-chan! I give! I give! Please stop!!”

Sighing, the blonde pulled back and lightly rested her shinai against her shoulder, watching as Fujimura Taiga—Fuji-nee, as she was more affectionately known to Shirou—collapsed into a crumbled heap on the floor of the dojo, panting and twitching. “I give,” the older woman whimpered again. “You win, Saber-chan.”

Saber shook her head. “For the record, I warned you.” It didn’t escape her notice that Taiga’s Japanese had changed; she had dropped the original, more formal ‘-san’ in favor of the more intimate, friendly ‘-chan’. Dismissing it, the blonde also sat down, folding her legs gracefully. “Would you like some water, Taiga?”

A weak hand waved back and forth. “Nah, just give me a minute. I haven’t sparred like that in ages.” Taiga laughed shakily. “Man, Saber-chan. You hide a lot of power in that tiny body.”

“I trained for many years to get this far.” The last part of Taiga’s sentence sank in, and Saber frowned. “And I’m not that tiny.”

Taiga laughed softly and closed her eyes; to herself, she admitted satisfaction. She had been wary of Saber at first, unable to truly judge her intentions, but sparring was as good a way as any to learn about someone. Saber was cool and calm under fire, methodical and sure of what she needed to do. A fitting personality, the English teacher mused, for someone so determined to protect Shirou.

“Ne, Saber-chan.”

Saber blinked and was immediately at attention. “Yes?”

“You be good to Shirou, you hear?” Getting some of her energy back, Taiga sat up and gently flicked the blonde on the nose. “He’s a stubborn fool who will insist otherwise, but he needs protection when he decides to play superhero. You said you’ll protect him, so I’m leaving him in your hands from now on, okay?” She grinned.

Saber blinked again, stunned into silence. This wasn’t a game. There was nothing but pure, honest trust in Taiga’s words. “Taiga…”

“Give it your best shot, okay? I’m really counting on you.”

The Heroic Spirit wavered only an instant before she smiled and nodded. “I shall. I can assure you, I will do the very best I can to keep Shirou safe.”

Chuckling, Taiga fell onto her back and closed her eyes.

“That’s all I ask for, Saber-chan.”

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“Give it your best shot, okay?”

Her eyes snapped open. The shadow was pulling her in; it would only take a few more seconds and she would be absorbed completely.

“I’m really counting on you.”

“Let me out.” It rumbled from her throat like a growl, and Saber felt her scant magical energy gathering within her, nothing but sheer willpower keeping her aware and willing to fight. She knew what she was about to do was suicidal.

She didn’t care. She had done crazier things when she had lived.

“I will do the very best I can to keep Shirou safe.”

“Let. Me. OUT!!”

The cry escaped her as a roar of fury and determination; the surge of magical power that coursed through her body was painful and nearly enough to make Saber black out as brilliant colors and bright flashes of white light blinded her. In her hand, her sword flashed gold, rays of light chasing away the darkness of the hallway.

Let me out. Let me out let me out let me out I promised let me out I don’t want to die like this let me out let me out she said protect him let me out let me out out let me I promised out out me let me out I can still save him let me out—

I promised.

Beneath her feet, the gathering shadow shrieked in agony at the attack of wind and light; even its wish to devour was unable to match her will. With the last of her strength and a burst of speed, Saber jumped away from the shadow, stumbled, lost her footing, and collapsed in the hallway, trembling and panting. Her sword clattered to the ground and skidded only a few inches beyond her fingertips.

The shadow didn’t pursue her. Instinctively, she knew; it was gone. With the last of her power, she had managed to escape and scare it off.

Her muscles trembled and she tried to rise; but she was too weak. She had done something nearly impossible, even for one of her class; it was only natural that she felt completely sapped of strength after accomplishing such a feat.

“I have… to…. Shirou…” The words escaped her softly, weakly, but she knew it was a lost cause as her vision once more began to dim. She would survive this, but she wouldn’t have the strength to save her Master. “Somebody…. Please….” And so, her last words were a request, a plea to anyone who was listening.

“Please…. Save…. My Master…”

She passed out. Bathed in moonlight, the Servant known as Saber finally lost consciousness, and slept. Her aching body would let her do nothing else.

Outside the temple, a shadow twitched, then leaped down from the trees and shot towards the main room where Shirou was. It was only by chance that she had heard the weak request; it was Saber’s luck that her Master’s orders perfectly matched that same request.

And deep within her heart, as she slept, the corruption of the shadow painlessly made its nest and began its work.

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 12:58 PM
Part 2

His hand was burning.

Shirou instinctively knew what it meant. Saber was in trouble. He didn’t know what kind of trouble; he didn’t know if she was badly wounded, if she was dying, if she had depleted her store of mana, or if she had already died. He just knew that his hand burned, his hand that carried his Command Spell, and it burned because Saber was in trouble.

He quickly dismissed the thought that Saber was dead. His left hand was in agony, but if Saber had died, his Command Spell would have faded by now, or at least would have hurt far more than it did. She was alive, at the very least.

I have to find her.

Gritting his teeth and rubbing the back of his hand in a vain attempt to soothe it, Shirou lifted his head. The moonlight spilled through the room once more, bathing everything it touched silver; Zouken was long gone, and he had taken his worms and his scent of rotting meat with him. The only ones currently in the room were Shirou and Rider. The Servant in question seemed relaxed enough, at ease with the situation.

Shirou had questions, but they could wait. He turned on his heel and flew to the door Saber had shut behind her only minutes before, and this time when he pounded on it, it flew open with a slam that made Rider jump.

“Saber, are you—“

The words froze in his throat before they even left his lips. Stunned into silence, he could only stare.

A small patch of blood stained the floor; dried blood, brown blood, blood that would flake and crack under his touch. Obviously, someone had been wounded in the fight between Saber and Assassin. But it was not the patch of blood that had caught Shirou’s eye, that had made him freeze.

She lay motionless beneath the moonlight, her silver armor glimmering and flashing at the gentlest touch of light. Even her golden hair, her skin, seemed touched silver by the moon; only a few inches beyond her fingertips lay her sword, revealed from its cover of invisible air, gleaming softly.

“S-Sa…. ber.” He swallowed the lump in his throat. “Saber?”

He couldn’t tell if she was breathing.

With legs that trembled Shirou crossed the distance that separated him from his partner; he was only dimly aware of Rider at his back, the purple-haired Servant watching everything silently. In a moment that seemed to last both an eternity and a millisecond, he finally knelt down, resting a shaking hand gently on her shoulder. “Saber?” he whispered.

She felt warm beneath his touch; her armor, despite looking cold from a distance, was surprisingly warm. Taking deep breaths he slid his fingers lower, to her throat, until he finally pressed gently against her pulse.

He felt it, then. A strong pulse, a steady beat. Saber was still alive.

The strength drained from Shirou’s body then; he blew out a long, ragged breath and slumped, his shaking hand resting on Saber’s hair as he trembled, head bowed. “Thank God,” he whispered hoarsely, closing his eyes. “Thank God….”

He was distracted from his thoughts by the soft sound of rustling movement; with grace he hadn’t known she possessed, Rider knelt down beside Saber. “She’s still unconscious,” she murmured, “and you are injured. I will carry her.”

“But—“

“I will carry her.”

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True to her word, Rider carried Saber to the gates of the temple. Shirou was honestly surprised; either Rider was stronger than she looked, or Saber was even smaller than he had previously thought. Finally, he cleared his throat. “I’ll take her now,” he said softly.

She looked at him. Behind her mask, Shirou had the acute feeling she had lifted a brow.

“I can carry her,” he muttered. “My wounds are already healing. If I go slow and take it easy, we’ll both make it home in one piece.”

Rider continued to look at him. Just as Shirou was beginning to wonder if she would hold his Servant hostage, she sighed and shook her head. He thought she would say something then, but she passed him Saber wordlessly. “Would you like me to walk you home?” she asked as he shifted his arms, getting a good, firm grip on Saber.

He shook his head, gently checking to make sure Saber was as comfortable as she could be. “My debt to you is already deep as it is,” he said, looking directly at where he assumed her eyes were. “If I accepted anymore help from you, it would make things difficult when we meet in battle.”

There was a beat of silence; finally, the agile Servant chuckled and nodded in agreement. “Fair enough. We’ll part ways here, then.” She turned her back to him, heading into the trees.

“….” Shirou sighed. “Rider.”

She paused and looked back at him. “It’s too late to change your mind.”

“Not that.” He took a deep breath before he bowed his head to her. “Thank you. You saved my life back there. And you helped me with Saber.” He lifted his eyes and once more met her gaze. “So… thanks.”

There was another beat of silence; finally, Rider turned away. “You don’t have to thank me,” she murmured. “I simply followed my Master’s order.” With that, she disappeared into the trees like a shadow, so light on her feet that Shirou didn’t even hear her leave.

He gazed at the trees for a long moment; finally, Shirou turned away and left the temple, his grip on Saber firm and steady, yet gentle enough so she wouldn’t wake.

She never stirred once the whole way home.

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 12:59 PM
Part 3

During the walk home, Saber’s armor faded away and was replaced by her usual house clothes. Shirou had to admit he was relieved; it was bad enough they were getting home late, but it would have been even harder if he’d had to change her. He cared deeply for his partner, but even that would have pushed his limits.

She whimpered and trembled occasionally in his arms, but otherwise Saber didn’t wake. By the time he was by the gate of his home, Shirou was too worried about his Servant to even notice the brightly burning light. He had seen no wounds or signs of injury when he had finally been able to reach Saber, yet she still slept.

It worried him. Bruises and cuts, scrapes and broken bones, those were injuries he could treat. But if Saber bore a wound that ran deeper, something inside of her, then there was nothing he could do but trust that she was strong enough to recover from it on her own.

She did so much to save me, but in the end I can’t even treat her wounds.

“Senpai?”

The soft, surprised voice snapped him out of his thoughts; he’d entered the house without even realizing it. Lifting his eyes, he met the confused, uncertain purple gaze of Sakura. “Sakura.” He blinked. “Um…. Did you wait for us?” He only dimly remembered the light burning outside, but he had headed for it instinctively, knowing it meant home, safety. It had to be nearly three in the morning. So, if she waited for us…

“Ah, no, no, no!” Hastily Sakura shook her head, lifting her hands in denial. “I was just… um… I had to go to the bathroom, you see, and I happened to be passing by right when you came in….”

What followed next was an awkward silence. She’s lying, Shirou thought, barely repressing a sigh. But in any case, he was in no mood to call her out on it, and besides… he had to admit it was sweet, that she had waited. “Is that so?”

“U-um, yes.” Sakura took a deep breath. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s my own fault. I was too busy thinking.”

The purple-haired girl nodded; after a moment, she stepped closer. “What happened to Saber-san?” Despite the conversation between the two of them, the Servant continued to sleep unaware, save the occasional twitch and tremor of her body.

“She…” What was he supposed to say? Sakura was innocent in this. She wasn’t a magus, and she knew nothing of the Holy Grail War. He couldn’t tell her the truth of what had happened to Saber, even if he wanted to. The best he could give her was a half truth. “We got separated tonight,” he said at last. “She protected me, but… I think she may have been in over her head this time.”

At those words, he saw something in Sakura’s eyes shift. Before Shirou fully had time to register it, she stepped closer and gently brushed her fingers through golden strands of hair that had fallen into Saber’s eyes. “But she doesn’t seem injured…”

“I know. I don’t really know what happened to her. I think if she’s injured, it’s somewhere inside.” Shirou tightened his grip on his sleeping Servant. “I’m going to keep watch over her tonight. At the very least, if something happens to her, I can be there to help.”

Not that there’s much I can do even then. If her injury is internal, there’s no way I can treat it.

“Do you want me to join you, Senpai?” Sakura’s soft question snapped him out of his reverie yet again; she looked up at him with concern. “I can keep you company.”

He smiled and shook his head. “Thank you, but you sleep, Sakura. If you stayed up because of this, Saber would scold me when she wakes up for worrying you.”

At that, the younger girl squeaked softly and blushed slightly; feeling the matter was settled, Shirou moved past her and headed down the hall to Saber’s room.

“Besides… it’s my fault this happened to her. If I had stayed with her, maybe she’d have woken up by now.”

With those last words, he left Sakura alone in the hall.

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She couldn’t sleep after Senpai left and she had no urge to go back to her room and stare at the ceiling, so Sakura went into the kitchen. She didn’t know what she was doing, working with only half a mind as she rummaged through the cabinets; she was simply moving for the sake of moving, keeping her body busy.

She didn’t come back to her senses until a soft scene invaded her nose and she realized she had made a cup of English tea; the flavor Saber always preferred. The blonde had taken well to Japanese food and customs, but she still had a weak spot for the occasional English taste when she was given the chance.

Why did I make this? It’s not like she’s awake to drink it.

Quietly, Sakura stared down at the cup. She lowered her head slightly, her hair spilling across her face and shielding her eyes from the light of the room.

She knew how she was supposed to feel; angry. Angry that Saber was still alive, that she was still a threat, that because of her Senpai would continue to go out late at night and come home with injures of some kind, even if he said they weren’t serious. And on some level, she was angry. But yet, on another level…

“She protected me, but… I think she may have been in over her head this time.”

Quietly, her hands curled into fists. Her nails bit down into the skin of her palm, causing small bloody crescents to form. She bit down hard on her bottom lip.

“She protected me.”

Is it because of what I said to her?

She was angry that Saber had lived, but at the same time…. She was relieved that she had survived and kept Senpai safe.

On the counter, the fresh cup of English tea began to cool.

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Shirou briefly considered changing Saber for bed, took a moment to imagine every possible scenario that could unfold from it as a result, then hastily rejected the idea. It wouldn’t kill his Servant to spend one night sleeping in her usual clothes. Thankfully, as a result he only had to tuck her in and flick off the light, then stood bathed in the darkness.

He had told Sakura he intended to watch over Saber tonight. He had meant it, but now he wasn’t sure if that was the best idea. Spending a whole night by Saber’s side could be enough to drive him crazy… but deep down, he knew he owed it to her. Besides, there was little he could do if he slept in his own room. They were right next to each other, but he could still be too far away to do anything if something happened.

Shaking his head, he went and grabbed a blanket, wrapping it around his shoulders as he settled down beside the blonde.

It was going to be a long night.

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It was cold.

Why was it so cold?

Saber recognized this landscape; she knew it so well that she wouldn’t be surprised if the memory of it was forever burned into her brain. The bloody hill, the corpses; the sword of promised victory, right at the very top of the blood soaked hill, the blade firmly buried in the grass and soil.

But something was wrong.

It was too cold. Frost clung to the blades of grass. The corpses were frozen solid; a soft winter wind drifted through the place. Her sword at the top of the hill seemed to radiate with an unholy warmth compared to the chill of the battlefield.

Watching her breath mist in front of her face, Saber shivered and rubbed her arms to try and generate some kind of body heat, instinctively heading towards the only source of warmth she saw. But even as she headed towards the warmth, she knew something was wrong there, too.

A dark, shadowed figure stood behind her sword. A clawed black hand gripped the hilt firmly. Lazy yellow eyes watched her approach before the creature smirked, extending its free hand.

“You’re cold, right?”

Saber felt a chill run down her spine, her bones freezing at the soft voice. Seductive, husky, soft; it was everything she knew her voice wasn’t.

So why did it sound like her?

“Come here, Saber.” And the smirk became a grin, yellow eyes gleaming. “I know a way to make you warm.”

Saber recoiled as if burned, stumbling back and crashing back down the hill to the very bottom. The chill around her increased and she shivered, but she curled up tightly and stayed firmly at the bottom of the hill as the creature chuckled.

She instinctively sought the warmth, but her instincts were also screaming at her. They told her to stay away, far away, from her sword, from that creature, from the warmth it offered.

That warmth would kill her the minute she accepted it. Of that, she had no doubt.

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Her body felt sluggish and heavy, but she surfaced briefly from the black; the Servant known as Saber groaned softly as her eyes opened and adjusted to the darkness. Unseen by anyone, her green eyes cleared and sharpened slightly, containing traces of yellow that hadn’t been there before.

She knew where she was; in her room, back at Shirou’s house. Her aching muscles relaxed. She wasn’t in danger. She had survived the shadow, she had lived; she was safe, back in her home base. Hearing a soft snort and mumble, she blinked in confusion and tilted her head to the side; she felt no aura of danger, so that meant…

“Shirou?”

It was him. Her Master slumped against the wall across from her, his head bowed and his hands in his lap; he was asleep. A blanket was wrapped tightly around him to keep him warm, and beneath it she saw the clothes he always wore. The boy hadn’t even taken a moment to change.

Saber stared at him for a moment; her eyes softened, and she sighed. “Honestly,” she murmured softly so he wouldn’t wake, “you put up such a fuss when I want to stay by your side, and yet here you are by mine.” She shook her head and closed her eyes, still exhausted.

To herself, she admitted that it was honestly a sweet gesture. A small smile curved her lips before her weakened body once more claimed her mind, and she succumbed to the darkness a second time.

She didn’t stir until the late hours of morning.

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:00 PM
Part 4

“So, you turn away from the warmth, little king?”

A clawed hand tapped to a light tune against the sword hilt; a soft humming echoed throughout the frozen landscape. In the darkness, the creature bared its teeth in a grin.

“Well, then, game on. Let’s see how long you last before you give in.”

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“N…. gh.”

She woke with a soft grunt. Grimacing at how brightly the sunlight streamed into her room, the Servant named Saber finally found the strength to sit up, moving slowly. Her muscles still ached, and her whole body felt heavy, but she wasn’t so weak that she couldn’t move around.

Quietly, she flexed her hand, curling her fingers into a fist. Her body was slow to respond, and she still felt faded pain. No doubt it would take her days to recover the mana she had lost while fighting off the shadow; had Shirou been a proper Master, such a thing wouldn’t be a problem, but….

But he isn’t a proper magus, and I swore an oath to be his sword in this war. I knew what I was getting into when I chose to shake his hand.

Shaking her head to ward off her thoughts, the blonde slowly got to her feet. Beside her, Shirou still slept; she had no doubt he was going to be stiff when he woke up. Looking at him, she sighed. “Really, now,” she said, “you could have at least lain down on your side, you fool. I wouldn’t have noticed anyway.”

He didn’t stir; she felt herself soften. The boy had to be exhausted. She didn’t know what had happened, but he had brushed against death; such an experience would tire anyone out, even someone with her Master’s spirit and stamina. He deserved to sleep as much as he could, at least for today.

Moving gently so as to not wake him, Saber laid her Master down and slid her pillow under his head, adjusting the blanket accordingly. She didn’t know how much it would help in the long run, but she wouldn’t be at peace until she was sure Shirou was comfortable. Satisfied that he was still peacefully sleeping, Saber left her room, sliding the door shut behind her softly.

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“… Ow.”

Moving around so soon after escaping the shadow, once Saber really thought about it, wasn’t the most brilliant idea she’d ever had. The instant she started moving, her whole body protested; her muscles screamed, her bones throbbed, and a headache blazed to life against her temples, pounding against her skull in tune to a war song. Even so, she refused to stay down; she was weak, not crippled.

Focusing on her destination made it easier. Giving herself no room or freedom to think, Saber headed for the kitchen with a single-minded determination, like an animal seeking its next meal. So focused was she on her task that she passed right by Sakura, who watched her go in confusion, forgot to turn into the living room, and crashed face first into a cabinet.

“Ah! Saber-san!”

Startled out of her single-minded thought process, Saber stumbled back at the sharp sting of pain and instinctively brought a hand to her head, grimacing. Ironically enough, the pain of walking into the cabinet had distracted her from the aches and pains of her body; it was as if one source of pain canceled out the other. “Good morning, Sakura,” she managed between gritted teeth as the younger girl rushed to her aid. “Please, don’t. I’m fine.”

“But—you, your head, you walked right into—“

“I know. I wasn’t paying attention. Please forgive me for distracting you.”

Sakura stared dumbly at the Servant for a moment before she lowered the hands that had come up to examine Saber’s head. “I-If you say so, Saber-san.” In all honesty, she itched to check the small cut on the other girl’s forehead, but if Saber said she was fine… besides, Sakura knew she couldn’t push Saber half as well as she could push Shirou.

For a moment, they both stood there awkwardly. Finally, Sakura cleared her throat. “Did you sleep well last night?” she asked softly. “You were still unconscious when Senpai brought you home…”

“Ah, yes, I feel much better now. Thank you for asking.” Saber smiled. “I just feel a little pain from what happened last night, but otherwise I’m having no other problems.”

“That’s good.” Going back to the meal she had been preparing, Sakura hesitated only a minute before she pushed a cup towards Saber. “I made this for you,” she said. “It’s English tea. I know you like it.”

A peace offering, of sorts, Saber supposed. Accepting the cup, she lifted it to her lips and sipped.

“Is it good?”

It tasted cold. It occurred to Saber then that Sakura might have made it last night, while they had been out; she had probably forgotten about it in the events that had followed. “Delicious.” She drained the cup in one gulp. “Thank you, Sakura. I appreciate it.” She peered curiously over the girl’s shoulder. “And breakfast?”

Laughing at that, the purple-haired girl gently batted her companion away. “It’ll be ready in a few minutes, so please be patient. Find something to do for a little while, please?”

Grumbling good-naturedly and smiling when she earned a giggle from Sakura for her antics, Saber got the hint and started to leave the kitchen; she would respect Sakura’s request.

“Saber-san.” Sakura’s voice had softened.

Saber glanced over her shoulder. “Yes?”

“… Thank you for last night.” Her hands tightened around the cutting knife she held. “I know…. Senpai told me you were like that because you protected him. So… thank you. I know it must have hurt, but, thank you for protecting Senpai.”

Saber was quiet for a moment as she gazed at Sakura; like Taiga before her, there was nothing but pure, honest truth in the girl’s words. Sighing softly, she turned away and lifted her hand as she walked. “There’s no reason to thank me, Sakura,” she murmured. “I already told you when I came here, right? My intention is to protect Shirou no matter what.”

Sakura said nothing to that, but Saber had a feeling the girl was smiling. Stepping outside of the house and into the yard, the blonde Servant sighed and slumped back against the wall, rubbing her eyes.

“Don’t say things like that,” she whispered. “Because if you do, I’ll be inclined to protect you, too.”

She tilted her head up, gazing up at the clear blue sky.

“… My headache came back.”

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Shirou woke to the sound of birds chirping and the distinct feeling that he was alone in the room. Opening his eyes confirmed what he already suspected; he was lying down, and Saber was gone.

Crap, she’s quiet.

Shaking off his blanket, the boy hastily got to his feet and shot into the hallway. Seeing no sign of Saber there, he headed to the living room next. Sakura was in the kitchen still cooking, but the green-eyed blonde was nowhere to be seen.

There was only one place left, then. Breaking into a run without even realizing it, Shirou ignored Sakura’s startled look and headed outside, across the grass. Panting, he reached the door of the dojo and peered inside, his shoulders heaving.

He saw her then. Sitting Japanese style in the sunlight, her eyes closed, her breathing deep and even, Saber was the picture of composure and calm. Slowly, he breathed out a long sigh of relief and slumped against the side; she was alive. It hadn’t just been a dream. For a horrific moment, he had thought he had imagined her survival.

Shaking his head to clear it, Shirou slapped his cheeks and straightened up, stepping into the dojo. “Saber?”

Her eyes opened at his call; she looked up at him in response. He froze.

Her eyes had changed. The deep depths, the main color, was still the same green he had come to know over the past six days; the same deep, calm, unshakable green. But there were flecks, traces, of yellow in those same eyes that hadn’t been there last night.

It was a small change. A small change, so why did it scare him?

“Shirou?”

He blinked; in the time he had spaced out, Saber had stood and was currently in front of him, concerned in her changed eyes. “Shirou?” she repeated, lifting a hand. “Are you feeling well?”

Noticing she was way too close for his peace of mind, Shirou hastily took a few steps back. “S-Sorry,” he stammered out, wondering why his face was heating up. “I spaced out for a minute.” He took a deep breath, then blew it out, before he smiled. “I’m glad to see you up and around, Saber.”

A thin golden eyebrow arched at that. “Is there any reason I wouldn’t be up? It will take more than a shadow to do me in.”

“Still, I’m glad you’re okay.” He had questions about what had happened, what she had seen, and he knew he had to tell her about Zouken and how Rider had saved him, but first things first. “I want to talk to you about what happened last night.”

She blinked. “Yes?”

“You separated us.” Shirou frowned. “I know you meant well, Saber, but I don’t want you to do that again.”

Saber blinked again, then nodded. “I understand. If I do such a thing again, we could end up in a situation similar to last night.”



She didn’t get it. Shirou growled softly. “I don’t mean that,” he snapped. “What I meant was, you’re not going to put yourself into a situation where you don’t think of protecting yourself to try and save me.”

Saber’s eyes flashed at that; she scowled and squared her shoulders. “I only obeyed my duty as a Servant, Shirou,” she snapped back. “Protecting you is my top priority. Saving myself means nothing if you are lost in the process.”

“I don’t care!” He could feel his anger rising; she didn’t understand. “What I’m saying is, never do that again, got it? I’ll use a Command Spell on you if I have to.”

“Of all the—“

“Do you know what that was like for me?”

His voice had softened now; it made her freeze, the raw anger, the pain, the self-hatred she heard in his tone. “Shirou?” she whispered.

“Do you know what it was like, knowing you were on the other side of the door and there was nothing I could do if something happened? That I had agreed to help you, and yet I was so powerless?” His voice cracked. “I know you’re a Servant, Saber. I know you can take worse than that. But dammit, don’t make me feel that again. Don’t make me feel helpless because you’re in trouble and there’s nothing I can do to help you.”

She opened her mouth, then slowly closed it. Shirou had bowed his head; his eyes were closed, his teeth tightly grinding together. He was admitting his feelings to her, she realized. He was admitting that he had felt helpless, powerless. And he had hated it.

How can I say anything against that?

His eyes snapped open at a soft touch; she was touching the top of his head, a gentle pat, a soothing gesture, before she lowered it. “If that is my Master’s order,” she said softly, “then I will do my very best to obey it.”

He took a deep, trembling breath; her eyes met his evenly, and she hid nothing. “Is that a promise?” he asked.

She smiled. “It is.”

He nearly broke then. Had he been less reserved, Shirou would have probably yanked Saber into a tight bear hug. As it was, he satisfied them both by smiling shakily and offering her his right hand. “Then,” he said, “we’ll remain partners the rest of the way. Let’s see how this ends, Saber.”

There was no hesitation in her now; her hand lifted, met his, and their fingers clasped firmly. A sign of trust, of partnership. The shadow hadn’t managed to destroy that.

“Yes. Let’s, Shirou.”

And so a new day dawned on the city of Fuyuki.

-----------------------------------------

And... nothing else beyond this point, sadly. I always intended to try and keep this short, even if the bunny latched onto me pretty hard, and then I was hit with the idea for Rain and had to give this one up completely. I'm hoping to come back to it if I can because hey.... Saber/Sakura goodness. Oh, and Shirou would be involved too, but still. Saber/Sakura.

Techlet
August 16th, 2011, 01:06 PM
Want more of this.

Also want more of Rain.

But only one RB.

Dilemma! D:

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:07 PM
Sadly, Rain has won out for the current moment. ^^;;; Doesn't help that the content in the two stories is pretty similar, what with playing with the whole "Sakura has a lover who isn't Shirou" angle.

Techlet
August 16th, 2011, 01:08 PM
And lesbians!

Have you ever considered throwing Rider into the mix here or in Rain?

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:09 PM
Yes, lesbians. Though Change was going for more of the threesome "keep Shirou involved" angle.

Techlet
August 16th, 2011, 01:18 PM
So, Shirou will be the "pillar" in that relationship?

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:21 PM
He's the meeting point, pretty much.

Tracer
August 16th, 2011, 01:21 PM
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.
Need.. more.. chapters.. NOW.

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:25 PM
Hopefully once Rain is far enough along I'll return to this one. ^^;;;;

RR121
August 16th, 2011, 01:29 PM
Somehow, I have a feeling where this is going.
And it doesn't bode very well for Rin.

Theocrass
August 16th, 2011, 01:29 PM
Beam-chan, Theo-chin wuvs you~

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:30 PM
You approve, Theo-chin? :3

Theocrass
August 16th, 2011, 01:33 PM
Theo-chin approves~

Saber x Sakura x Shirou~

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 01:34 PM
Though I admit, I'd far more enjoy developing the Saber/Sakura side of it, just because it would be new.

Theocrass
August 16th, 2011, 01:35 PM
Hm ... if that's what you feel is best! ^_^

I won't tell you how to run your story!

Techlet
August 16th, 2011, 01:36 PM
He's the meeting point, pretty much.

In other words, if Saber and Sakura were two clams, Shirou would be the hard rock they both share? :D

Theocrass
August 16th, 2011, 01:37 PM
In other words, if Saber and Sakura were two clams, Shirou would be the hard rock they both share? :D

Theo-chin also loves Tech very much.

Techlet
August 16th, 2011, 01:38 PM
Theo-chin also loves Tech very much.

*Rubs Theo*

Theocrass
August 16th, 2011, 01:40 PM
*Rubs Theo*

*Nuzzles Tech.*

You gotta stop cracking me up.

Techlet
August 16th, 2011, 01:43 PM
*Nuzzles Tech.*

You gotta stop cracking me up.

:3

RR121
August 16th, 2011, 01:43 PM
Next comes the belly rubbing? *takes seat*

*fetches popcorn*

OK, I'm ready. Go ahead you two.

Sherrinford
August 16th, 2011, 01:47 PM
Very good, count me interested in for more!

Edit: I mean the fanfic not what's going on up here :p

lethum
August 16th, 2011, 01:58 PM
I liked it. Mind you, I'm only enjoying it, so I have nothing in particular to comment.

Bloble
August 16th, 2011, 02:00 PM
I like it too, and Saber getting slowly corrupted looks to be interesting.

Alulim
August 16th, 2011, 02:02 PM
Al likes, yet again you overcome my slight dislike for yuri with your awesome stories~

Altima of the Gates
August 16th, 2011, 02:46 PM
Though I admit, I'd far more enjoy developing the Saber/Sakura side of it, just because it would be new.

Admit it, you liked the Chikane/Himeko angle with it. :3

I kid, it's pretty good so far.

Arashi_Leonhart
August 16th, 2011, 05:49 PM
So, posting this much and then saying "ah, actually, gonna work on something else, dunno when get back to"...Beam biggest tease on BL?

Mike1984
August 16th, 2011, 06:14 PM
Well, the story has already been posted elsewhere.

ringlhach
August 16th, 2011, 07:02 PM
So, posting this much and then saying "ah, actually, gonna work on something else, dunno when get back to"...Beam biggest tease on BL?She's up there with IRUn, I'd say. Who wouldn't actually be that bad if he'd just produce something once in a while! >: (

Arashi_Leonhart
August 16th, 2011, 07:05 PM
Except, with Beam, I get the impression that some part of her does it on purpose :D IRUn just doesn't have the time or is lazy.

RadiantBeam
August 16th, 2011, 08:34 PM
Except, with Beam, I get the impression that some part of her does it on purpose :D IRUn just doesn't have the time or is lazy.

I swear I don't do it on purpose. ^^;;;

Neir
August 16th, 2011, 08:54 PM
Lovely ;___;

MOAR.

Mike1984
August 17th, 2011, 05:37 AM
Well, this story has been waiting for more for at least six months, so I doubt you're going to get it any time soon....

Arashi_Leonhart
August 17th, 2011, 06:00 AM
Ooooh, Beam, that sounded like a dare...

rajvir
September 3rd, 2011, 07:05 PM
man this story is awesome I hope it will be updated soon.

fraggle
September 3rd, 2011, 07:08 PM
god dammit, Though there was an update :mad:

Thread die when they are killed(of left alone to die), that's the way it's supposed to be -_-

Tobias
September 3rd, 2011, 07:21 PM
Bah...just as I was getting interested. Feh, who posts an unfinished story if they don't have any immediate intention to continue? Either let it die or pick it up later, don't string it along on life support.

rajvir
September 3rd, 2011, 08:33 PM
Bah...just as I was getting interested. Feh, who posts an unfinished story if they don't have any immediate intention to continue? Either let it die or pick it up later, don't string it along on life support.
personaly I hope it does get updated agian and the hope of it updating makes the sting less.

Grant
September 4th, 2011, 01:56 PM
Please stop reviving threads unless you have something relevant to add. It's getting irritating, especially when done twice.