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Fanfic / Café of the Round

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Café of the Round is an ongoing Alternate Universe Fic of Fate/stay night, by fanfic author LunaChi KuroShihone. It is set in modern-day London, with Saber and her Knights of the Round Table reincarnated and, after a series of fateful events, are working in a café that they named "Café of the Round".

Café is a spiritual spin-off to one of LunaChi's other works, titled Gemstones. In it, Shirou and Artoria (don't ask why she's not a Servant this time) summon one of the people from King Arthur's time as a Servant in a new Holy Grail War.


Also available on Archive of Our Own here.

WARNING: Unmarked spoilers for Fate/stay night, as well as for the rest of the Fate series.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.

Characters who have reincarnated:

    The Cast 
  • King Arthur/Artoria Pendragon/Saber as Artoria Whittington, daughter of Arthurian archaeologists Hershel and Marianne Whittington
  • Queen Guinivere as Ginevra "Gwen" Dolce, niece of a food mafia don, and owner of the Café
  • Bedivere as Benton Lucan, younger brother to Lucina Lucan
  • Lancelot as Leandre, older brother to Gabriel
  • Kay as Keith, son of Hektor
  • Gawain as Garret, brother to Mildred
  • Mordred as Mildred, sister to Garret
  • Percival as Percy, nephew of Travis
  • Tristan as Travis, uncle of Percy and good friend to Hektor
  • Ector as Hektor, father of Keith and good friend to Travis
  • Galahad as Gabriel, classmate to Percy and Mildred, brother to Leandre
  • Bors as Boris Tuckers, classmate to Percy and Mildred
  • Merlin as Marvin
  • Gareth as Phillipa
  • Gaheris as John
  • King Leodegrance as Edwardnote , father of John and Phillipa
  • Dagonet as Nimrod, brother to Edward and uncle to John and Phillipa
  • Queen Boudica as Beatrice Haran
  • Irisviel, Ilyaviel, Miyu and Chloe von Einzbern as themselves
  • Cu Chulann/Lancer and Bazett; Diarmuid is later shown to have been reborn as Cu's brother
  • Agravain as Private Investigator Anastas "Ana" Cox
  • Palomedes as Officer Dawid Bashir, Anastas's police contact
  • Robin Hood as Jay
  • Shirou Emiya as Souma "Shirou" Yukihira
  • Rin Tohsaka as Rena
  • Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde as twins Henry "Watson" and Edward "Moriarty", the wards and assistants of Anastas
  • Medusa/Rider as Aikaterine "Rider" Menexevi, owner of the Gorgoneion bookstore chain
  • Nursery Rhyme as Alice, friend of Jack and one of Ana's "Detective Boys"
  • Hans Christian Andersen as Hans, friend of Jack and one of Ana's "Detective Boys"
  • Jack the Ripper as Jack "Ripper", one of Ana's "Detective Boys" and the adoptive daughter of Anastas (as of Chapter 35)
  • Mashu Kyrielite/Shielder as Matthew, cousin to Gabriel and Leandre
  • Gudao/Male Protagonist of Fate/Grand Order as Ritsuka Fujimaru, boyfriend of Matthew
  • Fou/Cath Palug/Beast IV/Primate Murder as the white kitten (Chapter 36)
  • Arash as Ashkan, Officer Dawid's cousin
  • Marrok, as a vet for Percy's dogs
  • Waver Velvet/Lord El Melloi II as Walter Mackenzie, Ana Cox's colleague
  • Iskander as Agent Heron, of the European Union Intelligence and Situation Center
  • Medea as Melantha Sada-Menexevi, Rider's older sister
  • Sakura as Calantha Menexevi, Rider's younger sister
  • Reborn humans whose new names were not revealed include Ayako Mitsuzuri, Issei Ryudo, Souichirou Kuzuki, Kariya and Shinji Matou, Kairi Sisigou, Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia, Rani, Maiya Hisau, Kiritsugu Emiya and Taiga Fujimura
  • Reborn Servants whose new names were not revealed include Shakespeare, the Hassans, Ozymandias, Leonardo da Vinci, Solomon, Jeanne d'Arc, Charlemagne, Roland, Astolfo, Vlad III, Atalanta, Achilles, Chiron and Siegfried

Tropes that apply to this fic:

  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
    • After the hit-and-run, Artoria comforts a despondent Bedivere via a variation of this:
      Instead, she took a look at his unruly hair, and began combing through it, softly. (from Chapter 10)
    • In Chapter 15, Gawain ruffles his now-sister Mordred's hair, grudgingly accepting his role as her elder brother.
  • All There in the Manual: In the footnotes and the author's blog. For example, she gave this answer on Gwen's tweenage and teenage years.
  • Advertisement:
  • An Arm and a Leg: Bedivere loses his right hand again. This time, however, it occurred in a hit-and-run car accident. Initially, he doesn't take it well at all, but he comes to terms with it later.
  • Anachronic Order: The story is presented as short novellas (known less professionally as "drabbles"), scattered across a timeline.
  • Animals Hate Him: Well, one particular cat seems to have something against Merlin.
  • Anticlimax:
    • Rin's reaction to learning of the Café and its connection to Avalon's discovery.
    • Merlin's disappearance, which brings in the attention of Agravain and Palomedes. It turns out that he was searching for his Missing Mom, Hunith.
  • Archer Archetype: Tristan, natch. Fittingly, he awoke in the middle of an archery tournament at age 15.
  • Being Human is Suffocating: Merlin finds this out when his memories awaken in Marvin.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't bring up Bedivere's missing hand. Oh, and don't ever insinuate that he and the others are Artoria's "bitches". His sister Lucina found that out the hard way.
    • Artoria has an "Annoyance Button" variation: Singing a certain song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail will cause Artoria to groan in anger and embarrassment.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Bedivere. See Berserk Button above to see what can cause even the Knights to back away from him.
  • Bi the Way: Artoria and Gwen.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Played Straight with Gawain's pre-awoken self Garret, in regards to Mordred—who is now his little sister. Subverted when Gawain awoke, proceeding to make Mordred as miserable as possible. Luckily, Artoria convinced him to knock it off, making this a Double Subversion.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The author, being from Germany, uses their native language to write the dialogue for Irisviel, Chloe, and Ilyasviel when they stop by the Café.
  • Bishōnen: Galahad.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • From Chapter 8:
      Mordred was overjoyed when she first saw her father again in their new lives. Everything was good in their new lives (well, sorta): they were neither father and son nor father and nephew, there wasn't any incest whatsoever, she was human, wasn't stir-crazy from being rejected by him/probed by her mother, her mother wasn't an evil, crazy witch and she had plenty of time to think of a good excuse for killing him.
    • Artoria gives an example after Merlin returns from his disappearance:
      Artoria: "...being somber does not suit you, Merlin. You are running and skipping and energy and frolicking and freedom and fun and jests and stupid magical experiments, but you are not somber or depressed." (from Chapter 28)
  • Brought Down to Normal: Everybody, but especially for Artoria (formerly King Arthur/Saber) and Merlin (the wizard). Shirou, Rin, and the other Masters, too.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Leandre and Gabriel are both French. After awakening as Lancelot and Galahad respectively, their English became more fluent (though they do still use French words from time to time).
  • The Cameo: Let's see, there's there's Irisviel, Chloe, and Ilyasviel; there's Lancer and Bazett; there's Queen Boudica; there is Robin Hood; there's Rider… Aside from them, there are also Agravian's "Detective Boys", who all are implied to be Victorian England-related Servants.
  • Character Development:
    • Artoria is willing to lay the past to rest, when she eventually gives her parents a hint to Avalon's location.
  • Chekhov's Gunwoman: The "mystery woman" from Chapter 16 returns in Chapter 31. Lucina encounters her while searching for a copy of a certain book, and the woman helps her in acquiring it.
    • It turns out to be the Lady of the Lake, a.k.a. Vivianne, a.k.a. Christine Fyre, a.k.a. Donna Azura.
  • Christmas Episode: Chapter 27, fittingly titled "Christmas Cake".
  • Cliffhanger: Used to delay Shirou and Rin's eventual reunion with Saber, from the visitors' perspective, to the Knights, and ending with the Once and Future King herself.
  • Collective Groan: Inverted example: the Knights of the Round enjoy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is technically based on their past lives. Artoria, meanwhile, is embarrassed by the film to no end, and groans whenever her co-workers start singing the song. The author has stated that the cause may never be known...
  • The Confidant: Shirou and Rin as outside variants of this to the Knights.
  • Creepy Child: In-Universe example with an orphan girl named Jack. As in, Jack the Ripper. Luckily, she's not prone to doing anything like that now.
  • Curse Cut Short: From Chapter 30...
    Agravain: "Tell me if they brought her [Jack] back again; I'll have a word with those ungrateful..."
    [Door shuts.]
  • Date Peepers: Gwen and Gawain go in disguise in order to spy on Artoria and Shirou during their excursion to the Thames. Subverted, because the lovebirds knew they were being followed.
    Gwen: Damn.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A lot of the Knights, if not many Awoken.
  • Death Glare: Gwen gives a rather heated regal version to Shirou after he beats her in a baking contest. Shirou takes it in stride.
  • Declaration of Protection: Artoria gives one (fittingly, during the Renaissance Fair) when Gaheris and Dagonet immediately act hostile towards Mordred. Percival, Galahad, and Gawain pitch in, too.
  • Decomposite Character: Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, who initially shared one body in the original story, have now reincarnated as brothers.
  • Defrosted Ice Queen: Rin's come a long way since meeting Shirou and Saber, especially when taking the addition of reincarnations into account.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Leodegrance comes to terms with this when he learns that King Arthur was actually a woman, and was wed to another woman (his past daughter, no less!)—something that challenged his Catholic upbringing in his second life.
  • Disappeared Dad: Merlin's father. The ex-magus doesn't think very highly of him.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The Sleepover of Doom, which is finally brought up in Chapter 22. The purpose? As Kay reminds one of his fellows, it's to explain to Shirou and Rin how the Knights are all related in this second life (e.g. Lancelot and Galahad being brothers, not father and son; Mordred and Artoria not being related by blood at all).
  • Easily Forgiven: Mordred and Tristan. Justified, as they no longer live in an age of swords and witchcraft, and they can beat each other senseless at Artoria's place with kendo equipment. Besides, she's their King; they won't dare defy her anyway.
  • The Empath: Gareth.
  • Excuse Plot: Merlin's disappearance, in coincidence to the missing-persons case that Agravain is working on. While it does cause some uneasiness among the cast, the whole point of it was for the author to bring in Agravain and Palomedes into the café.
  • Eye Scream: In the same hit-and-run accident that cost Bedivere his arm again, his acquaintance Andre was also blinded.
  • Friend to All Children: Agravain is a rather grumpy variation on this, but he does help kids out a lot, including helping out a deaf girl to adopting an unwanted orphan after she gets sent back.
    • Merlin is a more straightforward example. During the Christmas Episode, he tells the tale of King Arthur to the orphans at Telma's.
  • The Gadfly: Gwen.
  • Gender Reveal: In-Universe example. Out of the Awoken from the Camelot era, only Gwen, Kay, Ector, and few others knew of King Arthur's true gender. As such, people like King Leodegrance are justifiably shocked to learn the truth.
  • Happily Adopted: Jack, whom Agravain adopts late in the drabbles.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bedivere suffers one when he loses his right hand—again—in a car accident. Luckily, he lives in the age of modern medicine, so it's less of an issue; but he angsts over having to feel the same pain again, for no good reason this time, and being unable to tell the staff. Luckily, Artoria helps to bring him out of it.
    Bedivere: [on losing his hand again] No war, no danger, no actual reason why I should loose it, no magic to fix it.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The Knights.
  • History Repeats: Even without magic and the possibility of another Holy Grail War, this is pretty prevalent:
    • Bedivere loses his right hand again, this time in a hit-and-run. He eventually gets a prosthetic (the not-magical kind).
    • Artoria and Gwen have a relationship, but Lancelot and Gwen eventually find themselves in each other's arms again. Luckily, Artoria reveals that she met and loved Shirou, who may or may not have reincarnated as well. In other words, Gwen and Lance can be happy together, and Artoria can be happy—assuming Shirou is around.
      • He is.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: What Lancelot wants for Artoria and Gwen. Subverted, but for the better, as Artoria also found love with Shirou Emiya, who may have reincarnated.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: What some of the Knights, but specifically Lancelot, threaten a rather bemused Shirou with. Others, like Bedivere, are merely trying to keep the situation from escalating.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Percival(?) dishes out vegetable-related ones out during a shopping trip. Much to Rin's chagrin.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Aside of their differing ages and having no blood relation to their "ancestors", the reincarnated Knights all appear to have their previous appearances. Including, in the case of Bedivere, lost limbs.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: An inevitable result of the nature of Reincarnation in this fic. Artoria and Gwen are in their 20's, but some of the Awoken are still in school, while the oldest is in his late 40's.
  • Irony:
    • Merlin, who was enamored with humanity, discovers just how it feels to be human, instead of…whatever he was before. Suffice it to say, it was like "suffocating on air".
    • Agravain, an assassin, takes up a job as a private detective in his second life. When he's introduced, he's working on a missing-persons case in the Red Light District.
    • Shirou finds it amusing that a reincarnated Knight of the Round can use a cell phone better than a certain 21st-Century mage.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Mordred. Gawain (who is now her brother) admits that she's actually quite a nice person, "if a tad too bossy".
    • Agravain the assassin. He's a gruff private eye who puts up with things he doesn't like to help people in trouble. And if you do something wrong, like abandoning an orphan, he'll chew you out.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: Agravain, in particular.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Naturally.
  • Luminescent Blush: Galahad, at recieving praise for handling the staff's medieval costumes.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Whatever happened after the Fifth Holy Grail War, the magic went away with it. Obviously, this means that people like Rin and Merlin couldn't use magic if they wanted to.
  • MacGuffin: Seriously downplayed example. Artoria's parents are searching for King Arthur's sheathe, Avalon. Artoria eventually decides to nudge them in the right direction. The news of the discovery reaches Shirou and Rin, prompting them to travel to London.
  • Meaningful Rename: The café was previously named the Crescent Luna, owned by Gwen's parents. After they let Gwen and Artoria take it over, they rename it the Café of the Round, which is mainly staffed by—well, you can finish that thought yourself.
  • Missing Mom: Merlin's mother, Hunith. It's the reason he went missing briefly: he was looking for her.
  • My Greatest Second Chance:
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Rin's making "baby steps" towards getting better at using machines.
    • Artoria gets very interested in hearing Mordred and Gawain have been summoned to two different Holy Grail Wars.
    • Merlin once again establishes a blog named "Magi-Mari".
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Artoria has the unique circumstance of having been named after her past self, the legendary King Arthur. Overlaps with Named Like My Name, funnily enough.
  • Nice Guy: Bedivere.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Sis: After Benton's accident, his sister Lucina tries to talk to him. It backfires spectacularly, thanks to a poorly-thought-out joke.
    • They eventually reconcile about 20 chapters (a few years) later.
  • No Name Given: For some reason, Leodegrance's second-life identity is never named beyond "John and Phillipa's dad". However, if one were to infer this name from the book series Children of the Lamp, it's likely that he goes by Edward.
  • Not So Different: Tristan's first reaction to seeing Mordred is "Traitor", but stops, seeing as he is one himself. Also, when he finally meets with Artoria and Guinivere, he sees in their eyes the same self-loathing that's been bothering him (i.e. the events that led to Camelot's downfall).
  • Oh, Crap!: Mordred and Gawain each have this when they unwittingly admit having been involved in a different Holy Grail War, in front of Artoria, by recognizing Jack and Hans, respectively.
  • Overprotective Dad: Ector definitely has shades of this.
  • Past-Life Memories: When a reincarnated person "awakens", they'll remember everything from their past life. Some of these "Awoken", like Arturia and Mordred, remember from birth; while others, such as Sir Ector, take years to come around.
    • Interestingly, even normal humans only tangentially related to the Holy Grail War begin remembering; Ayako had brief flashes until she saw Issei, which restored her memories in full. Taiga remembered nothing until she saw a rerun of a program featuring Avalon, which shocked her memories in a rush.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Artoria wears a rather stunning cocktail dress during her New Year's date with Shirou.
  • The Professor: Hershel and Marianne Whittington, moderately-well-known archaeologists and Arthurian scholars—and Arturia's birth parents in her new life.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Here's one from Christmas Episode Chapter 27, describing an embarrassed Artoria's feelings about a certain parody song:
      She. Hated. That. Song!
    • Another one from Chapter 34:
      Agravian: "We. Are. Leaving. Watson. Moriarty. Ripper." Also counts as a Wham Line.
  • Punny Title: Chapter 20 has Date, which covers Artoria and Shirou's first outting together.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Galahad was responsible for making his fellow employees' costumes for the Renaissance Fair.
  • Red Light District: No, not where the café is based. But Merlin does live in London's RL district, with his guardian Telma and her cat.
  • Reincarnation: As mentioned already, Artoria and her Knights of the Round have all reincarnated into people of the modern age.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Of course. Guinevere and Lancelot get a second chance at love and life, as do Shirou and Artoria.
  • The Resenter: Lucina, Bedivere's elder sister, of the other Knights—or, from her perspective, a group of people who aren't his family. She eventually grows out of it.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Merlin suffered it when he awoke, discovering how limiting it is to be 100% human.
  • Secret Keeper: All Awoken, obviously. Although, the Grail Trio doesn't seem to be entirely good at it. (Don't worry: their classmates are still none the wiser.)
  • Selective Obliviousness: Hershel knows that something is off about his daughter Artoria, but he doesn't really confront it until the Christmas chapter.
  • Serious Business: Gwen's attitude towards baking.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spit Take: The mention of Ector not being ready to be a grandfather quite yet leads Rin to spit out her coffee.
  • Split-Personality Takeover: For quite some time, despite being pretty happy with her new life, Boudicca fears she's destroyed the personality of Beatrice Haran. Artoria tells her that she has always been Beatrice and Beatrice has always been her.
  • Splitting the Arrow: Courtesy of Jay, the reincarnation of the Trope Maker; and much the ire of Shirou and Tristan, since he did so in the middle of their archery contest.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Rin did meet Ayako's reincarnation and even became her friend once more, though they lost touch as Rin found it painful to talk to someone who resembled her friend but didn't have their shared memories... until some time later, Ayako confirms she, Issei and Taiga have all regained their memories. Rin immediately arranges for them to meet Kuzuki to get in the loop.
    • At the big reunion chapter, Rin meets Rani, who realizes she's not the same Rin who she fought against in the Moon Cell.
  • Tempting Fate: Narrative version. Tristan vowed to never play the harp again. Cue him coming across a harp in a music store, with another Knight happening to work in it.
  • Theme Naming: For the chapters. Save for the first chapter, every drabble is named after (or is used in) a recipe of some description; be it a cake or some other baked good, coffee, or even icing.
  • There Are No Therapists: Because let's be honest: who's going to believe that a group of randoms are a bunch of reincarnated people from various time periods? Only someone in the same position as they could help, and that's if the Awoken could believe them, too. On the other hand, it becomes easier and easier to find help as more people Awaken, to the point a good chunk of them arrange for a big reunion to help foster connections and Merlin establishes a blog to link and help Awoken.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Bedivere most of all believes this, seeing as they are Knights who don't really belong with anybody but their fellows. Shirou calls him out on it late in the drabbles, saying that it's not worth alienating his new family in this lifetime.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball
  • Title Drop: The name of the café.
  • Transplanted Character Fic: Arturia's Knights of the Round in an alternate modern-day London, set after the events of the original visual novel's Fate route(?).
  • True Companions:
    • The Knights, natch.
    • Shirou and Rin, as the author confirmed.
  • Tsundere: While Rin still has some of that in her, the Knights have one in their ranks: Kay.
  • Undying Loyalty: The Knights to Artoria, naturally. The narrator states that Shirou would have been worried if that weren't the case.
  • Unfortunate Name: Dagonet's second life identity is Nimrod. Although it's a reference to Children of the Lamp, the word nimrod is also used as an insult in American vernacular.
  • The Watson: Henry to Agravain. The detective even nicknames him Watson.


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