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.
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.
- 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.
- Badass Creed: Shirou's Unlimited Blade Works aria:"I have come from across the sea of time.Pursuing endlessly, Hunting endlesslyI have created over a thousand bladesKnowing loss, knowing victoryMaking a miracle of human handsI have no regrets, this is the life I've chosenMy whole life was Unlimited Blade Works"
"Sheathed in the breath of starsIron Hammer of the Hollow KingA torrent of shining lifeOverturn the aurora, swallow the lightEXCALIBUR MORGAN!"
- The aria to activate Excalibur Morgan
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.