Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Type-Moon characters or properties expressed in the work of fiction below. They belong to Type-Moon and their creator, Kinko Nasu.
That Ever Illusive Utopia
Folly of the Third
Saber was glad.
The urge to close her eyes was strong, but she kept them open, staring at the boy before her. His golden brown eyes were starting to become dull and blank, the toll of the unnatural graft of his new left arm all too evident. Bits of shining steel were starting to break through thousands of places his skin. He would break at the end of all of this, but before then he would emerge victorious.
He would save the day, be the hero he so craved to be.
Sakura and Rin would be safe at the cost of his life, this she was sure of.
Then again she knew what sort of fool her former Master had been that first night.
So, it is not a bad thing to die by his hand.
Saber watched as his glaze cleared as he looked down at her and his arms trembled, even his alien left arm. His chest rose and fell deeply with each breath as the dagger was suspended before her. Already she could feel the wounds mending, he wouldn't have long before she could stand again and strike him with her cursed blade. He had chosen this path and everything it entailed.
The blade came slamming down, and Saber finally found peace.
They were both dead mad men engaging in a useless folly. The boy's body had all but turned into the swords that were within him and the evil buying the priest his time had all been but defeated. Yet they still raged as a clash of ideals, however they were two sides of the very same coin. Good and Evil, Light and Dark, Yin and Yang. They both knew deep down that one could not exist without the other and liked the other simply for that.
Not that they would ever breathe a word of that to each other.
So as broken limbs threw punches driven by sheer will neither were aware that they were being watched.
Ilya stood there in her heavy dress of spun gold and watched with tears forming in her eyes. Her hands were clenched at her sides as she watched beloved flesh being shredded by more and more steel that should not have been real. She wondered if this fate was kinder to her younger brother than the man who's soul was trapped inside of her, but neither ending was happy.
The boy would die only to have his lover waste away without him.
The man had been damned to an eternity of slaughtering many so countless he would never see would live.
Ilya watched as the priest fell first, his determination and body falling to the one named Emiya Shirou. She watched as Shirou stood panting, staring ahead with blank, lifeless eyes at the horror brewing before him. She bit her lip and brushed away tears with a heavy hand before taking another hard step.
She wished she had more of the Servants inside of her, after all she didn't want to part with Archer. It would have been nice to take him with her into eternity, to have his soul reborn with hers over and over again. However she knew that was not to be.
“Sempai,” a familiar soft voice whimpered beside her.
Ilya turned to see the nude, blood streaked girl standing before her. Matou Sakura was once again sporting her soft violet eyes and hair. Ilya regarded her dark counter part and tilted her head.
“He's dying,” Sakura whispered, tears pouring down her eyes, “Nee-san's dead and Sempai's dying . . . It's all my fault.”
Ilya knew that Rin was far from dead, after all the magus was too stubborn to die from such a trivial wound inflicted by her own sister. However she was right about Shirou, but both young women had been shaped for a purpose by nefarious forces. They had the ability to work a Miracle between the two of them.
Ilya held out her small hand, smiled, and said, “Well, you have the power to change it, if you want.”
Sakura blinked at her hand and asked in a soft voice, “What do you mean, Ilya?”
“We were both messed with for others’ gain. I think it might be nice to make a wish of our own making, don't you think?” Ilya asked with a grin as Sakura bit her lip, but the other girl's hand carefully grasped her own.
There was no peace, no sense of satisfaction, just burning anguish.
The former king of the Britons sat up with a scream as she was brought back into the hellish cave where she thought everything had ended.
"Onii-chan, I'm going to need you to wake up, Onii-chan."
It was a soft voice, an all too familiar one with a sweet sing-song quality to it. A cool hand caressed his cheek and his eyes opened to gleaming, white light. Automatically he reached up for that illusive hand, the harsh bronze of his skin a stark contrast to the gleaming white. Crimson eyes squinted shut as a large smile spread across angelic features framed by silken hair the color of fresh falling snow.
"Ilya," he whispered, his voice harsh and rusty even to his own ears as the rest of his senses began to focus.
There was no gaping hole leaking in his chest, his left arm was attached to his body once again, and there was no connection to an interesting little magus. The prana that was flowing through his circuits was his own and there was nothing ethereal about his existence. Even though steel was his body and fire was his blood, the tissues were restored and whole. Life was given once again.
“They’re going to need you, Onii-chan,” Ilya said as the former Counter Guardian Emiya rose shakily to a sitting position. Ilya was standing before him, a being shining with her own inner light that was almost blinding to behold.
His eyes widened at the sadness reflected in crimson eyes that were too old for the face that held them. Automatically the large hand held the smaller one even tighter as brother and sister stared at each other for what seemed like a small eternity. After a moment Archer broke the silence and said, “Ilya, what’s going on?”
“I’m acting like an older sister for once. You tried so hard to protect your Ilya and it broke you,” she said in a soft voice as her eyes shimmered with crystal tears and her free hand brushed his cheek.
He threw his free arm around her and cradled her close, her words a heavy weight upon him. “I’m not losing you again,” he said against the silk of her hair as he clutched the soft material of her dress.
Ilya stepped back and gave him a bittersweet smile before her hands slipped away from him. “It’s my choice Onii-chan,” she said as those glittering tears finally spilled from her eyes.
Archer shook his head and said, “No. No, goddamn it, Ilya, I’m not . . .”
Eyes like the finest rubies bore into his, locking and holding him in place as if she had bolted him down to the cave floor. Her voice rang out with the clarity of a bell as she said, “Farewell, Onii-chan. This time promise me you will try to be happy, see what my onii-chan saw.”
“No,” Archer said, and he would have shook his head and grabbed her if he had been able to move, but the pressure she was putting on him was too great.
Ilya smiled, spinning ever so slightly, her white dress floating around her. She said, “Maybe you can save the one person you failed.” Then she was gone, walking farther and farther away from him.
Archer gritted up his teeth and summoned every reserve he had to break the spell she’d put upon him. With a shout he fell forward onto trembling limbs as he forced himself to his feet. He started to run in the direction she had vanished, screaming her name over and over again.
Yet she had left him once again.
A loud, female scream in a voice he knew all too well resounded from deeper within the cave. Gnashing his teeth, he looked back to where Ilya had vanished and headed into the cave. Each step deeper into the cave brought him closer and closer, Ilya’s last words to him ringing through his head with each step.
Author's Notes: Okay, since my laptop died that had The Hound and the Blacksmith and S&CB on it, I had to start this until the information's recovered. Don't worry, I WILL end S&CB, and the Hound and the Blacksmith is my fun project.
Thank you to Valmoer for going back and making a listing of all the chapters for new readers so they don't have to slog through all the posts.