Chapter 1: The Fire that rippled time
Chapter 1: The Fire that rippled time
2005, Fuyuki City:
Those words described perfectly the very setting of the city of Fuyuki. The once proud city which had stood up to many disasters, including the devastation of Second Impact, reduced to ashes by a fire. The only life among the wreckage was the many bodies of people that had fallen victim to the fire. However one person among all the destruction just kept walking. He was a little boy of 4, at best 5 years of age. He had short messy brown hair and blue eyes both which he had gained from his mother. 'Mother,' he thought to himself. It had been nearly a year since he lost his mother. When that happened, his father had just left him with a teacher he had no familiarity with. It was only a month ago when his teacher and him had moved here due to his teacher being offered a job. His life in Fuyuki was a quiet and peaceful one. But then the fire happened. Now the young boy finds himself wondering alone, with his home gone, his teacher dead, and hearing the cries of the people in pain as he passed. Whether he really heard them and was just ignoring or couldn't hear them, he couldn't care either way.
'Mother,' he continued to think, 'Father.' He then collapsed. After walking for so long, his legs had given out on him. He didn't get up. It was because he knew that even if he tried. As he laid there among the ashes, he thought more to himself, as his throat would not allow him to speak.
He then heard a faint sound of footsteps getting louder as if it was getting closer to him. He barely moved his head up to see a man walking and stopping right at him. That last he remembered before passing out was the man reaching out to him and saying to him, "Please, let me save you." The young boy then raised his arms to take the man's hand, but as he did he passed out. He then re awoke to see the same man looking at him. The only difference was that he was crying. Tears were falling from his eyes as snot fell from his nose. When he opened his eyes, the man then gave a small smile as he saw that he was awake. "You're alive...," he spoke. The man then pulled him into an embrace and held him tightly as the tears continued to fall. "Thank you, thank you, thank you..."
Why was the man thanking him? Did he do something that warranted this? However, the boy couldn't think any longer on this situation as he started to pass out again in the man's embrace, listening to the continuance of the man thanking him.
2005,Fuyuki City Hospital,:
As his eyes fluttered opened, he squinted to protect them from the bright light that was above him. He then slowly opened them as he adjusted to the light. He then noticed that he was looking straight up at the ceiling. 'An unfamiliar ceiling,' the boy thought to himself. As he pushed himself up on the bed, he then looked around to see many other beds around him. Most of the beds around him were filled with children who were in bandages or more. Surrounding his bed were monitors and an IV. He was in a hospital perhaps, he thought. His thoughts were then broken as he heard a door open and then close. He turned his head towards the noise, only to find the man he saw that saved him in the chaos caused by the fire.
As the man walked towards his bed, the boy had finally gotten a better look at him and took in his features. Black trench coat and a uncombed hair with a matching black hair color. The man also had on a small smile. He then stopped when he reached the boys bed and pulled up a chair. "So, how do you feel," he asked.
The boy just looked down at his sheets and gripped them, as he softly spoke his words, "Fine."
The man just looked at the boy when he said the words. His smile however remained on him. "That's good," he said. "I was worried, but I'm glad that you are okay." This confused the boy. Why would a stranger like him be worried for him? His thoughts were once again broken when the man spoke again. "Do you have a name?" The boy just turned and looked at the man with his head cocked. The man laughed. "Oh right. You don't even now my name. It's Kiritsugu Emiya. So now with that out of the way, could I know yours? The nurses and doctors haven't been able to tell me."
The boy then opened his mouth, but before any words could come out, he stopped. His eyes grew wide at a realization that he had come to.
'What is my name?'
'Who am I?'
'Where is my family? Did they die in the fire?'
These and many more questions ran through his head. His grip on the bedsheets tightened and he lowered his head more. It did not go unnoticed by Kiritsugu. "Can you not remember your name?" A quick shaking of the head answered that and any more questions of his. "Well then," he began, "we can't have that now." He then cupped his chin in his hand and hummed as he thought something. "How about Shirou?" The boy then looked back at his savior in confusion. Kiritsugu gave a soft smile as he gave an answer to cure the boy's confusion. "It means 'hard work'. With how hard you were pushing yourself to continue walking, I think it fits. Do you like that name? Shirou?"
The boy rapidly shook his head yes to answer the question that had been laid out for him. "Alright then," Kiritsugu began, "Shirou it is."
'Shirou,' the newly named boy thought. To be given something, even as simple as a name, felt good to him. He was then brought out of his thoughts by the man known as Kiritsugu, as he began to speak again.
"Well then Shirou, you have two options now. Your first is that you are most likely going to be sent to an orphanage. I don't know what will happen to you there. But, your second option is to come home with me." Shirou gaped after Kiritsugu had finished. Here he was, being offered to be adopted by a man who owed nothing to him. Shirou turned his head slowly to look back down at his sheets.
"I...I...," he tried to speak, and Kiritsugu leaned in to listen. Shirou then turned back and looked at the man with determination in his eyes. "I want to go home with you!" Kiritsugu's eyes widened as he heard the boys answer. Shirou had barely talked during his entire visit, but here he was exclaiming his answer passionately. He allowed himself a smile at this.
"Alright then," he said as he stood up, "I'll get started on the paperwork to get you out of here." He then saw Shirou eye's widened as if he thought he was leaving him all alone. "Don't worry, I'll be here every day until you get out," he reassured him. This work as Shirou gave out a sigh of relief. "But for now, I think it is best if you got some more rest. You deserve it after what you've been through." Shirou meekly nodded at this, and with Kiritsugu turned to leave only to stop himself to turn back and face the boy one more time for the day. "Oh by the way," with this he caught Shirou's attention once more, so he continued, "keep this a secret, but I'm actually a Magus." It was then that Shirou gave a look of awe at the man before him. Kirittsugu gave one more smile. He was smiling a lot today. It felt good.
2005, Emiya Estate:
"Well, here we are," said Kiritsugu. It had been nearly a week since he had first visited Shirou in the hospital, and eight since he rescued him from to fire, and true to his word, he had visited Shirou in hospital every day since then. Now, here he was, after picking up his newly adopted son and showing him the house they would be living in. The same house that had belonged to his father. He quickly pushed those unneeded thoughts away as he looked down at Shirou's face. He let himself have a chuckle when he saw the look of awe written on the young boy's face. "Well Shirou, what do you think?"
"It's big," was boy's reply.
The former Magus Killer allowed a soft smile to etch its way onto his face. "That it is Shirou. That it is." He then ruffled the boy's hair while saying, "Well, instead of standing out here in the cold, how about we head inside?" Shirou then looked up at his new father, quickly looked away, and then meekly nodded yes. With that said and done, Kiritsugu grabbed hold of the boy's hand and led him to the front door. He then proceeded to open the door and pat Shirou on the back, pushing him forward slightly. "Welcome home, Shirou," he said.
Said boy looked over his shoulder at the man and replied back nervously, "I-I-I'm h-home?"
Kiritsugu smiled at the boy. "Glad you are." They then proceeded to walk into the house. He then closed the door behind them and turned to face Shirou. "OK, right now I think it's best to set up which room will be yours." His son then gave out another meek nod, and with that, they began their journey into the house. They then stopped at one of the doors that led to a guest room within the house. He opened the door and led Shirou inside. "This is one of the guest rooms that I lend to people who stay over for a while; so unfortunately, it doesn't have any proper furniture in it. But I have a lot of futons, so you'll have a good bed to sleep on. But the moment we have the chance, we'll get some more stuff in here to make it a proper bedroom."
Shirou said nothing as he overlooked the room set before him. "...thank you," he said softly.
Kiritsugu looked at him with confusion set in his eyes. "Hmmm, what for?"
"For everything," he replied back. "Everything I have now is all because of you. You, this house, this room, even my name. All of this is because you gave it to me. Even when you had no obligation to do so, it just means so much to me..." As he said this, Kiritsugu swore he could see tears starting to form in the corners of Shirou's eyes.
He then smiled, bent down, and ruffled the young boy's hair. "Don't mention it. In fact, I should be thanking you." The boy then cocked his head in confusion, so he continued to speak, "When I was able to save you, it made happy. Happy to know that I could help someone. So thank you Shirou. Thank you for allowing me to save you."
It was then for the first time since meeting this boy, that he saw him smile. "Your welcome, d-d-dad!" His expression went from shocked to joy when he saw Shirou smile and talk like that for the first time. He still stuttered when he called him by any kind of name that meant father. He knew that Shirou was obviously still nervous about being adopted, but he knew as time went on he would probably become more comfortable. It was then that after seeing the young boy smile, had his thoughts turned serious.
'Illya,' he thought. His thoughts had now drifted to his birth daughter. He knew he had to get her, but he knew he couldn't leave Shirou alone. Not right now. He needed to at least wait until he was old enough to stay home by himself. That and he needed to be with him, he was the only family the boy had left now. 'Illya, just please wait a little longer.'
"D-dad?" His thoughts were broken by the young boy who was in front of him. He blinked as he looked at him, while he was being looked at with a confused stare. "Is everything alright?"
He smiled at Shirou as he tried to reassure the boy that nothing was wrong. "It's fine Shirou. Just thinking of something that you don't need to worry about." He then tried to lighten up the atmosphere. "Well, I don't know about you, but I am really hungry. How about we sit down and I make us something to eat?" But before Shirou could answer, the doorbell rang. Kiritsugu just blinked when he heard this. 'Who could that be,' he thought to himself. 'I wasn't expecting anyone today.' He then made his way out of the room, with Shirou following from a distance. He finally made it to the door and opened it up, only to wish he hadn't.
Suddenly something had rushed into him and knocked him over. Whatever hit him hurt as bad as one of the punches delivered by that priest Kirei. When he recovered from his fall he looked up to see a certain cheerful expression. "Taiga?" Yes it was indeed the granddaughter of his friend Raiga Fujimaura, Taiga.
"Yep," she said happily as she moved off of him to allow him to sit up. "Where have you been? You've been gone for so long, it made me worry."
He smiled at her and patted her head. "There was no need to worry about me. I was just doing a job for a friend." This in itself wasn't exactly a lie, although he never considered Old Man Acht to be a friend at all. He then looked back to see Shirou poking his head out of the corner.
"Who's that?" Taiga asked. It was then that Kiritsugu had an idea. If Shirou had a friend, perhaps he could get over his nervousness.
"Someone I want you to meet." He then turned back to look at his adopted son. "Shirou," he said. He swore he could he a small yelp. "Come over here. There someone I want you to meet." It was then that Shirou slowly, but surely made his way over to a rising Kiritsugu. When he made his way over to his father, he got a better look at the girl who had tackled the older man she appeared to have light brown hair that was tied into a ponytail, and had the same color eyes. She was also wearing a school uniform and appeared to look much older than him. Shirou then tensed up as his father put his hand on his shoulder. "Taiga, this is my new adopted son, Shirou. Shirou, this is the granddaughter of a good friend of mine, Taiga Fujimura."
The girl, know identified as Taiga was looking him over as a tiger would look at meat. "Shirou, huh?"
Shirou had no idea on what to say, so he just meekly looked at her with his blue eyes and said softly, but loud enough to hear, "H-hello F-Fujimura-san. M-my name is S-S-Shirou." Taiga then just looked at him. Only one thought went through her mind as she voiced.
"EEEEK!" Shirou's eyes then widened from the girl's exclaim. He had not expected that kind of reaction from the girl. What he also didn't expect was for her to sweep him up in a death hug. "You are just the cutest thing ever!" She then turned back to face Kiritsugu, while still holding onto her hug of Shirou. "So you really adopted him?" With a nod from the older gentleman, she tightened her but affectionately rubbed her cheek on the boy's head. "So Shirou, have you gotten a tour of the house?"
And with that, Taiga ran off holding onto Shirou to show him the house in which he will be living in. Kiritsugu just stood there stunned. Well at least he wouldn't have to worry about Taiga liking Shirou. Now it was only vice versa that he was worried about. His thoughts were broken from hearing an old laugh. "Heheheheh, well she's truly excited about this boy, huh Kiritsugu."
The magus turned back to the door to see his longtime friend, Raiga Fujimura. "Raiga, good to see you are still alive."
The current head of the Fujimura clan gave another laugh at that. "Heh, if Second Impact didn't kill me, do you really think something as measly as fire could take me down."
"Not at all," replied Kiritsugu, "You're way too tough to die by those means."
It then Raiga's expression became serious. "So I take it that boy is the one you adopted?" He was answered with a nod. "Alright then, here are all the papers you needed." He then handed his friend a vanilla folder containing important documents. It was thanks to Raiga that he could fill out the adoption forms much quicker than he thought. "Everything he needs to tell the world that he is alive."
Kiritsugu smiled at his friend. "Raiga, thank you. This means a lot to me."
He was then waved off. "Don't worry about. Besides it is all for the boy who changed you." He recieved a confused stare from the magus. He sighed. "The last time I saw you, you didn't have a honest to true smile as you do now. That boy, Shirou did something, I don't no what, but it must have been great to make you smile like that."
Kiritsugu smiled as he this. "Yes," he said, "he did." He then opened the folder to take a look but then stopped at the first piece of paper he saw. "Raiga, why does this say that he was born in 1998? The doctors said he was about 5."
Raiga then gave a smile to his friend. "What boy wouldn't want to feel like their older than they are Kiritsugu?" Kiritsugu could clearly see the flaws in that statement, but choose to ignore it. "Think of it this way, he be old enough to enter into things he couldn't at 5." The magus had to give credit to the old man, that point did give a reason.
It was then that Taiga came zooming back in with poor Shirou still in her death hug. "Grandpa, can we stay over a little longer? I haven't seen Kiritsugu in long time."
Raiga looked at Kiritsugu who could only give a shrug and laugh. "Why not, me and Shirou were just about to sit down and eat something. You're welcome to join." 30 minutes later, they all found themselves sitting at the table in the dining room. Taiga sat between Kiritsugu and Shirou, and was smiling quite happily. Raiga was seated next to Kiritsugu, who was seated at the end of the table. He had just brought from the kitchen the food he had prepared. Shirou looked at the food with awe, until his new father had said to him. "Go ahead Shirou, it isn't getting hotter." He then took a bite of the food and then stopped. On that day Shirou had made himself a promise. He would learn how to cook, or die by the hands of his father's cooking.
2010, Emiya Estate:
"Hey old man, are you asleep?"
Kiritsugu then jolted himself up. He and Shirou were on the porch staring at the night sky. He then smiled at that thought. He and Shirou. It was only 5 years ago that he had adopted the young boy. In that time his life had truly changed. Shirou brought happiness to Kiritsugu that he hadn't felt in a long time. Only a year after being adopted, had Shirou had started and became good at cooking; now it was a true joy whenever he ate his cooking. Apparently he had gotten himself some cooking books after the first he ate his cooking, which kind of hurt his pride, but understood it enough. His cooking wasn't exactly...high standards. Taiga had had gotten along with him extremely well, as sh had taken the liberty of asserting herself as the older sister of Shirou and made that quite clear. She even went as far to help teach him kendo, which surprisingly enough he was very good at. Almost as good as Taiga. Key word here being 'almost'. It hurt every time to watch a match between the two, as it usually had Shirou ending up on the mat with Taiga above him giving a haughty laugh.
It was that after two years of waiting that he had decided to rescue Illya from the Einzberns. Luckily, not only was Shirou old enough to stay at the house by himself, as he proved himself to be responsible enough to not burn the house, Taiga had offered to babysit. Usually he was gone for a month or more. The closest he ever got to getting her back was thanks to an informant of his. He couldn't remember the man's name though, but he thought it something like Taji or Kaji. But thanks to him, he had gotten a far as the grounds of the mansion in Germany. But it was no good. She was beyond his reach. Acht had taken her away for failing to give them the grail. He had manipulated her and brainwashed her against him. If it wasn't for Shirou, he'd probably go into a depression by now.
Then 2 years ago Shirou had started begging him to teach him magic. He had refused to however, for he wanted Shirou to lead a normal life. However, after constant bugging on the subject, he cracked and began teaching him magecraft. However, he had only been able to teach him three things: structural analysis, which the young boy had proved to be quite good at, projection, or 'Graduate Air', and reinforcement. But even then, he was only able to teach him what little bit that he kew on the subject. He wasn't exactly the best teacher. The former freelancer had also began to take note that as of lately, it was beginning to get harder to do things. To such simple things as walking or getting up out of bed. But he knew the reason. It was the grail.
The 'Holy Grail's' curse that was inflected upon him 5 years ago during the 4th war, when he had rejected the tainted cup's very existence. Kiritsugu knew that the curse was catching up to him quickly, but surprisingly; he could care less. These last 5 years had been good to him with Shirou as his son. And he was thankful for that.
"Sorry Shirou," he replied back. "I was just thinking about my dream."
"Your dream," Shirou asked interestingly.
"Yeah, it was a silly one," Kiritsugu said. Indeed it was. His foolish dream on becoming a hero of justice. A dream in which he would save everyone. Where he would save the world. But it was a dream that had cost him so much. His beloved wife, his beautiful daughter, his lover, and so many innocent lives due to the Grail War. "It was to become a Hero of Justice. I had given up on it though."
"Because, as I got older I realized I couldn't save everyone. So I gave up."
Shirou then crossed his arms and gave his adopted father a determined look. "Alright then, I'll accomplish that dream. I'll become a hero and save everyone. I'll finish your dream." This kid; he had truly changed from the nervous and scared little boy he had met in the hospital all those years ago.
Kiritsugu just gave a smile to his son. "Thanks Shirou, I know I can things in your hands. But now, I think I should take a long rest." With that said, Kiritsugu had closed his eyes and leaned over. Shirou had become confused at this action and his father's words.
"Dad?" This time a little louder.
Still no answer.
The result was the same. Tears began to fall out of Shirou's eyes.
2015, NERV HQ, Commander's office:
Within the dark recesses of the office stood two figures. The first was the Sub-Commander of NERV, Kozo Fuyutsuki. Next to him was the Commander NERV, Gendo Ikari. Both of them were just staring off into space as they thought about upcoming events.
"It's almost time," spoke Fuyutsuki. Gendo grunted in reply. The former college professor continued speaking, "The Dead Sea Scroll has stated that they will return any day now." Gendo again had grunted in reply. The old man sighed. It was hard enough to speak to the Commander, let alone get a decent reply from him. His thoughts were then broken as he was spoken to.
"Was the letter sent?"
Fuyutsuki nodded. "Yes, Section 2 had just sent it to Fuyuki today."
The Sub-Commander stared at him. It would e nearly ten years since they last saw each other. If he decided to come. "It took more time than we thought to find him. His changed identity had made sure of that. What makes you think he will even come. Much less want to see you?"
Gendo hadn't even bothered to smile as an answer. "Because I know him too well." He then turned to face the old man. "You are dismissed Sub-Commander."
With that, Kuyutsuki nodded and proceeded to walk out of the room. Perhaps he would check in on Dr. Akagi and how the Eva unit was.
Gendo watched as the man leave, and when the door closed behind him, he turned back to go into his thoughts. 'Soon Yui,' he thought to himself, 'we'll be together again soon. Just wait a little longer.' His thoughts than took a darker turn. 'Be grateful Shinji. You will be the pawn that will bring me closer to her.' He knew that when his son would arrive at Tokyo-3, he would be in the palm of his hand.
If only you knew Gendo. If only you knew.