A Fate/stay night fanfic by Lobb.
After the end of the Holy Grail War, Shirou spent twenty years studying to find a way to see Saber again. Eventually, he found a solution, a loophole in the Second Magic, and was able to go back in time to when Camelot was still strong.
Unfortunately, this involved being summoned as the familiar of Saber's sister, the witch Morgan le Faye.
Shirou is forced to balance an antagonistic sexual relationship with a woman who could kill him with a thought, with his desperate need to reunite with the woman he loves—who is currently ruling as king and pretending to be a man while married to a woman.
Shirou's life is complicated, and then he adopts a homunculus.
Can be found here on Archive of Our Own.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Morgan kept Mordred imprisoned in the castle at the best of times, and often imprisoned in her room specifically. It's clear she has no idea how to actually be a mother besides punishing Mordred when she disobeys. Shirou immediately adopts her before he can stop himself because she deserves something better than an angry witch for a mother and a distant king for a father.
- Aborted Arc: In a way, the sequel itself. It was originally going to be a retread of the Heaven's Feel route, but the writer decided to post the epilogue straight away after some backlash, leaving the actual events shrouded in mystery.
- Accidental Pervert: Shirou walks in on Morgan naked, then immediately blushes and leaves. She finds this exasperating, since (in addition to trying to seduce him) she actually does need to talk to him. She is amused at how quickly he jumps to apologies and trying to appease her, and notes that this sort of thing has probably happened to him before.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Sometime before the start of the fic, Shirou finally realized that Rin and Sakura were in love with him. He refused their advances as he didn't think it was fair to them that he was still in love with Arturia. Rin apparently didn't take this well, and became bitter over time.
- Alternate Self: In an omake chapter, various copies of the characters are summoned to Chaldea, leading to the canon versions meeting the fic versions. Canon Arturia and Canon Mordred are not amused at alternate Morgan and Mordred, while Shirou gets into a Cooking Duel with EMIYA (Archer).Shirou: [to EMIYA] I do not know who you are, but I will not lose to you.
- Badass Creed:
- Shirou's Unlimited Blade Works aria:I have come from across the sea of time
Pursuing endlessly, Hunting endlessly
I have created over a thousand blades
Knowing loss, knowing victory
Making a miracle of human hands
I have no regrets, this is the life I've chosen
My whole life was Unlimited Blade Works"
- The aria to activate Excalibur Morgan:Sheathed in the breath of stars
Iron Hammer of the Hollow King
A torrent of shining life
Overturn the aurora, swallow the light
- Shirou's Unlimited Blade Works aria:
- Big Eater: In canon, Arturia would eat platefuls of Shirou's cooking and demand more. Shirou assumed it was a result of her being a Servant and needing lots of food to keep up her mana supply. When he meets her sister Morgan and child Mordred, he's mildly annoyed to discover that no, the entire family can eat their own body weight in food in a single sitting. And since he's apparently the best chef in Britain, they won't eat anyone else's cooking.
- Break Them by Talking: Morgan takes Mordred with her when she meets Guinevere. The young Mordred doesn't get what the two women are talking about, but she innately feels her mother's cruelty in her breakdown of the queen and stands in awe at the sheer level of sadistic joy Morgan is deriving from Guinevere's pain.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: When Shirou officially meets Mordred, he immediately and instinctively shields her from her mother's wrath, despite knowing that this will ruin what little he's built up with Morgan. Shirou wryly notes that he's still the same stupid kid he always was.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Morgan le Faye, to the surprise of no one, turns out to be the jealous type. What's slightly more surprising is the emphasis on clingy. When other women are around, she tends to sit in Shirou's lap and glare at everyone else. When they summon Arturia for the Holy Grail War, Morgan very pointedly refers to him as "my Shirou" before Arturia has any idea what's going on.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: While Shirou is finally aware that he tends to attract women in the general sense, he is still absolutely terrible about recognizing when it is actually happening. Morgan comes within a heartbeat of dragging him into her bed (hell, when he was first summoned he found herself in her bed), and he never notices until she just flat-out does it.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: While Shirou is normally an infamous Nice Guy, Morgan le Faye is amused to discover that he's also the jealous type. She enjoys watching him politely destroy men who flirt with her.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Shirou wins his first duel against a prospective knight in three breaths, without magic, and without killing his opponent. Then Arturia offers him a friendly duel. By the end of it, Shirou has barely managed to survive despite going all-out while Arturia was clearly just toying with him.
- Daddy's Girl: Mordred to Shirou, immediately and shamelessly. She lived under the thrall of her abusive mother Morgan until Shirou showed up, protected her from Morgan, cooked food for her, play-fought with her, and dragged Morgan into being a decent mother almost by accident. Since Mordred was so young she just assumed Shirou was her father, but once she got older and understood the difference she didn't care. She also trained in his fighting style and became a master archer, unlike in canon where she used a bastardized self-taught version of Arturia's sword style.
- Didn't Think This Through: Shirou spent twenty years devising a ritual to go back in time and see Arturia again. When he got there, he realized he had no idea what to actually do, as Arturia was currently king, living as a man, married to a woman, who was having an affair with Arturia's best friend, and Camelot was destined to fall in a decade or two. He decides to go along with Morgan le Faye's plans, and that quickly derails what little forethought he had. Especially when he adopts Mordred, who is the daughter-homunculus that Morgan conceived from Arturia, without Arturia's knowledge, when Arturia was temporarily a man.Shirou: Wow, I took a lot longer to realize how complicated this all is than I should have.
- Disappointed in You: The key turning point in Morgan le Faye's relationship with Shirou is how he takes her to task for being a terrible mother to her homunculus Mordred. "She deserves a decent mother. And you deserve to be a great one." While Morgan has had people hating her and her ambitions her entire life, she's never had anyone disappointed in her because they expected her to do better.
- Do You Want to Copulate?: Morgan le Faye's method of flirting can be summarized as "I'm naked now, why aren't you?" Of course, Shirou being Shirou, he still tries to resist "taking advantage," which she finds both annoying and adorable.
- Drives Like Crazy: As in Nasuverse canon, both Saber and Mordred are insane drivers. One of their first father/daughter bonding activities is going out driving together. Mordred complains that her parents never let her drive any of their top-of-the-line cars, and the way they drive is boring.Mordred: They drive like old people!
- Eternal Love: The witch Morgan le Faye warns her sister Arturia that if she rejects Shirou, Morgan will take him and make him her husband forever. And when a witch says "forever," she means it. The epilogue and the sequel show that they remain together for fifteen hundred years, reaching the modern era by The Slow Path. They're still Happily Married.
- Evil Chancellor: Agravain. When Shirou and Morgan retreat to Corbenic following Tristan's disastrous intervention, he all but pushes Lion King Artoria into attacking them. An irritated Morgan knows full well the King would not have bothered with them but for Agravain's hatred.
- Fountain of Youth: Shirou starts the fic at age forty, but something about being summoned back in time regressed his age by a few decades.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Shirou scoffs at the archery portion of the tournament, and gets a bullseye from a hundred and twenty yards away. Everyone else was having trouble with thirty yards. He privately notes that he could have done it from farther, but a hundred and twenty was the edge of the field. Morgan quickly realizes that he could have hit a moving target at that range with no more trouble.
- Instant Armor: Morgan le Faye enchants Shirou's armor to have a Collapsible Helmet and to be summoned or dismissed at will. What she doesn't tell him is that she mostly did this because she found it annoying that it took him so long to undress when she was in the mood.
- Intimate Healing: After Morgan le Faye uses a lot of her magic to make Shirou a weapon, she needs a recharge, so she goes to Shirou for a sex-as-mana-transfer. Of course, it's quite obvious that she could have chosen some other way to restore her mana, but decided this way would be more fun. Shirou, who is in love with someone else and still not used to her vampy tendencies, is very hesitant.Shirou: There's no way I'm getting out of this, am I?
Morgan: If you want what I'm going to give you, then no.
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: At first, Shirou thinks of Mordred, a homunculus Morgan created as a weapon against her sister, as "it." That lasts half a second before Shirou corrects himself, and he later corrects Morgan when she says "it."
- Loophole Abuse: Like most of Shirou's magic, his time travel involved him finding a "loophole" in a supposedly immutable magical law. He notes that not only Zelretch but the world itself could easily decide to stop him, but they don't.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Morgan le Faye starts as The Vamp, but slowly evolves into this. By the sequel, Mordred has taken to going on vacations every few years so that she can stay away from her parents when they enter a "Honeymoon" phase again.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: A rather bizarrely downplayed version. For some reason, Morgan le Faye takes all the sheets off the bed, dumps them on the floor next to the bed, and has sex with Shirou there.Mordred: Why is Papa sleeping on the floor?
Morgan: Because he gave me a reward.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Merlin hoped that by summoning Tristan to interrupt the duel between Shirou and Artoria, he could stop Camelot's fall. Instead, he kickstarted it in a different way, and he was sealed in Avalon knowing he was to blame.
- Our Homunculi Are Different
- Mordred, as in canon, is a homunculus that Morgan le Faye grew in her own womb using DNA stolen from King Arthur. Mordred is basically a Super Soldier, given natural battle instincts, a superhuman body, and Rapid Aging to get her up to age fast enough to be useful. While initially Morgan dismisses "it" as nothing but a tool, Shirou encourages her to actually be a decent mother. Once Mordred is physically an adult (which is at approximately age three), Mordred gives her immortality. She is a little ashamed that, even though the process is very easy with Mordred because of her artificial construction, she had never considered doing that before Shirou came along and was perfectly willing to let her die of old age in a decade or two.
- In the sequel, Mordred is compared to Illyasviel von Einzbern. Morgan notes that while Mordred is physically far superior, in terms of construction and purpose Illya is much more advanced. Illya is built to contain a major ritual and is thus something of a living miracle, while Mordred is basically a battle golem with a brain.
- Parental Substitute: Mordred assumes that the strange man who has been hanging around her mother is her father. Shirou doesn't have the heart to correct her, and immediately does everything in his power to be a better parent than Morgan and Arturia (though Arturia doesn't know about Mordred yet, he knows she won't do a very good job once she does know).
- Pragmatic Villainy: Morgan could have destroyed Camelot years ago through various means, but has no interest in ruling over ruins. Though she does admit that she's getting more vindictive over time, and maybe eventually she'd reach that point.
- Psychological Projection:
- Shirou spends quite a lot of time worried about how much he might be projecting his feelings for Arturia onto Morgan. Even Morgan notices that he looks at them in a similar way.
- He also compares Morgan to Rin quite a bit, though that's a less positive association because Rin had become bitter and angry by the time he cast his final ritual.
- Realpolitik: It is well-known that Morgan is a witch who is at least passively fighting against Camelot. She can still order a booth at a tournament and enter a fighter, because King Arthur can't just ignore such a powerful entity.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Shirou's relationship with Morgan le Faye starts out this way, with Shirou repeatedly making her angry enough for her to be interested. This culminates when they fight about Mordred, and Morgan flat-out tries to kill him, but he ultimately calms her down by grappling her into an impromptu hug and kissing her neck. After that, they're mostly Sickeningly Sweethearts, but in the sequel, Morgan mentions that he gets a lot more violent when he's jealous, which she enjoys.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Arturia and Morgan could be twins, the main difference being that Morgan has long hair and enjoys being cruel, while Arturia is pretending to be a man and emotionless.
- Supreme Chef: As in canon, cooking is the one thing that Shirou takes pride in. There are a lot of other things he's great at, but cooking is a battlefield he refuses to ever lose in. In medieval Britain, he doesn't have very good materials to work with, but Morgan and Mordred are quickly enamored with his cooking, and the castle staff swear he used magic. This might be a reference to how a lot of the world considers British food to be terrible.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Shirou has to join with Morgan le Faye, the infamous witch, and fight King Arthur in order to save Arthur from the destined fall of Camelot. He eventually embraces his identity as the Black Dragon, the Tyrant King Who Destroys Utopia, who leads a war against Camelot and personally strikes down Arturia when she is the insane pseudo-goddess Rhongomyniad.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Of all people, Morgan le Faye suffered from this. As far as she's concerned, her Fatal Flaw is that she falls in love easily, holds her partners to an impossible standard, and then lashes out when they fail to live up to it. It says something that the only person she considers to have lived up to her standards is King Arthur. Of course, she also hates the King with a burning passion for "stealing" the throne; Morgan is complicated. By the time Shirou shows up, she's mostly moved past this and has no trouble viewing him objectively instead of holding him to an impossible ideal... and then he lives up to that ideal anyway.
- Time Travel: Shirou spent his entire life working on a ritual to go back in time so that he could be with Arturia. This goes against basically everything that it means to be a mage, and required tricking the world itself into thinking he belonged in the new time. Shirou also notes that Zelretch could easily interfere, and his only hope is that he found the whole affair too amusing to mess with.
- Translator Microbes: Shirou speaks English, but not Old English. He still understands everyone in Camelot, which he ascribes to Gaia looking out for him.
- The Vamp: Morgan views her body as just another of her weapons, albeit one that's more fun for her to use. On the first night of the tournament, she was planning on taking Shirou to bed, and is extremely annoyed when he gets called away without even noticing that she was trying to seduce him.
- When She Smiles: When she was a Servant, Arturia was The Stoic who rarely smiled, but when she did it lit up the room. Here, when she is king, she never smiles, and it kills Shirou when he sees her displaying all the emotions of a statue. He is delighted when he does actually make her smile, if only briefly.