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Fanfic / Promises of a Wandering Hero

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Promises of a Wandering Hero by Neoalfa is a crossover Fan Fiction between Fate/stay night and Love Hina.

A few years after the end of the Holy Grail War, Shirou Emiya is spotted returning to Japan by Granny Hina at an airport, who believes that he's her long-lost grandson. At her vehement insistence, Shirou ends up indulging the old lady by taking a DNA test, where he learns that he was once Keitarou Urashima, who was believed dead as a child in the Fuyuki fire. When he decides to attend Tokyo U, she offers to let him stay at the Hinata Inn, without telling him that it had been made into an all-girls dorm or that he's the new manager.

It has a dedicated forum here (beware of spoilers).

On October 18th, 2021, Neoalfa released a public version of his Patreon only chapters through a MegaUpload folder, due to growning disillusioned with Fanfiction Dot Net and finding that maintaining WordPress was to laborious. Link to the public discord available in the March 11, 2022 update of his WordPress.

This fic provides examples of the following tropes, in addition to those already present in the source material:

  • Accidental Pervert:
    • To his chagrin, Shirou discovers that Hinata Inn might be in fact cursed to invoke this trope via Contrived Coincidences. The more he avoids the girls to prevent this from happening; the more forceful the next accident will get. (e.g., Shirou always avoids the Hot Springs while the girls are using them. During one such occasion he was trying to fix a heater, somehow there is a gas leak and as a result of that explosion he lands into the Hot Springs.)
    • Played for Drama in Narusegawa's Back Story. When she was fifteen, her stepfather mistook Naru for her mother and made drunken advances to her. Given that it was dark, his inebriation, and the fact his wife actually believed his side of the story, it's possible that this was a genuine accident. However, Naru never forgave her mother for not siding with her and left their house as soon as she could.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The Molmolian Royal Family is much more colder than there canon counterparts, with Amalla Su not even caring that Kaolla has a dangerously high fever.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Unintentionally done with Julia McDougal, Sarah's mother, who in canon barely avoids going unnamed whereas here she was briefly known as Helen.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: While Naru had a nebulous though still amicable relationship with her family, here it's decidedly dysfunctional due to a case of drunken mistaken identity.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Noriyasu Seta, as in canon. His arrival to Hinata Inn revealed that Shirou can not only be considered one as well but he's also the Evil Counterpart to Seta's It Belongs in a Museum mindset. As far as Seta knows, Shirou traveled around the world from one excavation site to the next, located and dug out priceless artifacts with unnerving accuracy and speed, bribed the local authorities to get them out of the country, and sold them to the highest bidder. Turns out, it was to finance the operations needed to prolong Illya's life.
  • Age Lift:
    • Due to the nature of the Nasuverse, the younger girls from the Love Hina side of the Crossover have been aged up. Specifically, Shinobu (13 to 16), Kaolla (13 to 15), and Motoko (15 to 17).
    • Illya also looks older than in canon, looking around fifteen instead of being stuck at a prepubescence appearance as in canon. It's eventually revealed that her new apparent age is a side effect of the magical treatments necessary to correct the life-threatening effects of her messed-up growth patterns as an half-Artificial Human.
    • In canon, Haruka is only 26 years old, however in this story she's a little over 40 though still having her canon appearance.
  • Agony of the Feet: Illyasviel is not above stomping on someone's foot if they annoy her or more importantly, if they insult Shirou to her face.
  • The Alcoholic: Kitsune, to the point that she admits that it's a rare day for her when she is completely sober.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy:
    • Naru coming onto Shirou in the hot springs is initially passed off like this. While it might be the case, for the most part, it's got much deeper roots than that.
    • This trope is also discussed by Kitsune, who personally refuses to blame the alcohol for any misdeeds she does. Alcohol merely removes one's inhibitions; anything a person does inebriated may be just as willing to do sober.
  • All Men Are Perverts: At first it looks like Motoko and Naru completely believe in this trope. The truth ends up being a lot more complicated than that for the two of them, and for very distinct reasons from the other.
  • All Take and No Give: Illya describes the Hina Girls' relationship with Shirou as this, much to Naru's incredlousness, while Motoko and Kitsune agree. Kitsune does try to argue that Shirou's humble nature makes it difficult to know what they can do for him since he would never ask for help, but Illya says that's their problem to solve.
  • Alternate Self: In order to set up shop in Hinata City, Shirou needs to contact the Second Owner. Said person turns out to be none other than a non-vampire Evangeline McDowell.
  • Alternate Universe:
    • On the Fate side, the story takes place a few years after an AU Heaven's Feel route where Shirou used a Command Spell to summon Saber just before she was consumed by the Shadow, who later sacrificed herself to end the war in Shirou and Illya's place. This left Shirou stuck with Archer's arm, and the difficult mission of saving Illya from her preprogrammed demise, which so far he has been successful at, but details remain unrevealed. For the rest, it's pretty much the same as canon: Sakura took over the duties as Fuyuki's Second Owner, and Rider remained in the world as her Servant. Rin moved to London to become Zelretch's apprentice, and Shirou somehow ended in a open relationship with the three of them... wait.
    • On the Love Hina side, so far it's been revealed that the Aoyama family has a supernatural background, and it's one of the ancient Japanese clans of demon/human hybrids. Who, like the Tohno, hunt demons and others like themselves when they become dangerous to normal people. In particular, Motoko's older sister, Tsuruko, trains to keep her Inversion Impulse under control and she's susceptible to it if her Blood Knight tendencies overcome her. The implication is that the reason why she remains single in the fic's continuity unlike canon is that she succumbed to her demon blood in the past and killed her fiancé. As for Motoko, it's stated that her unnamed mother was a Synchronizer who willingly gave up her own life in order to bring her husband back from insanity. Motoko's hatred of men stems from witnessing this event.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Shirou informs the tenants that the hot springs will now have a weekly schedule of mixed and gender specific bathing, and shoots down Motoko's and Naru's attempts to deny him. When Motoko demands to know "what gives [him] the right to ignore the majority's (really just her and Naru) decision", his response stops them cold.
    Shirou: I don't really know, Aoyama-san. It may be on the grounds that I'm a resident, the manager and, more importantly, the owner of this dorm? ... It's not really your choice to begin with. You can either adapt to what the new management has decided or find yourself another place to live.
  • Arranged Marriage: Combined with Trophy Wife, it turns out that Kanako was brought into the Urashima family for the sole purpose of being the heir's wife. Originally, it was Shirou, but after his supposed death..
  • Bait-and-Switch: Rider asks if Shirou would like to blow off some steam with her after a stressful day, to his eager agreement. Turns out they both meant a spar.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Shirou blocks Shisui, Motoko's sword, with one hand. Justified, as he used Archer's left arm to do it.
    Shirou: It's not impossible if you have lightning-fast reflexes and a grip of steel.
  • Battle Couple: Shirou and Rin actively cultivated this reputation in the Clock Tower as a deterrent to other magi's machinations. Their logic is actually sound, given how even the people who would dare to mess with either of them despite each of their reputations would hesitate to act, knowing that their significant other would surely jump to the other's defense.
  • Bedmate Reveal:
  • Being Watched: Motoko and Shirou, in different situations, can sense when they're being watched.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Recoil (I) revealed that Shirou is a walking, breathing Berserk Button to Noriyasu Seta. In his eyes, Shirou isn't just a glorified Grave Robber who ransacked perhaps dozens of archaeological sites around the world and made (at least) a billion yen profit out of priceless cultural artifacts in the black market, he's also personally responsible for the death of Sarah's mother.
    • Seta is this to Naru, if greeting him with a "Hey, You!" Haymaker is any indication. It's later revealed that two years ago they had a one-night stand that went SPECTACULARLY wrong, which contributed a lot to her current misandry.
    • After the Rusty Heart Story Arc, messing with Shirou is the quickest way to make Motoko angry. She silently threatened to pull her sword on Rin until it was obvious that latter's roughhousing against Shirou was indeed just that. Motoko also gets particularly catty if someone badmouths Shirou or whenever Kitsune tries to pry into his personal life.
    • Given her A-Cup Angst, it takes some serious lady Brass Balls to call Illyasviel von Einzbern a "washboard" to her face, as Kanako Urashima did the first time they met. Cue a Mass "Oh, Crap!" reaction from everyone else present.
    • You can badmouth Shirou all you want and he will not retaliate, especially if he knows he deserves it. However, don't badmouth those he care about, as Seta found out.
  • Best Served Cold: Illya took over the leadership of the Einzbern family for Revenge and profit for her life-extending treatments.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Out of the girls in the dorm, who took the news of Shirou having a girlfriend the worst? Shinobu, no surprise there. Now, who among them got angry enough to unconsciously keep staring at said girlfriend with "raw killing intent" until she got caught doing it? Again, Shinobu.
    • Shirou is favorably compared to Buddha, with even the residents of the Hinata Inn admitting he's a kind, forgiving, and understanding man. He can also defeat even Motoko's older sister Tsuruko, and if he's willing to kill, he can take on her entire clan and win, and that is when he is calm. If he is angry, there is a reason Shirou is known as "The Second Magus Killer". As the Urashima Conglomerate found out when he assassinates Kyoko two weeks after her attack.
  • Big Brother Attraction: This fic has someone who makes even canon Kanako look prim and proper in comparison. Illyasviel for Shirou, who's completely willing to wait until her death for him to reciprocate her feelings.
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Naru, Shinobu, and Kitsune's reaction to Tsuruko's casual mention of Motoko's Arranged Marriage to a yet-undecided man. Shirou's above-average sense of hearing complained about the mistreatment.
    • His tenants reacted the same way in Recoil (I) when Shirou confessed that he made at the very least a billion yennote  in just a few years after graduating high school and spent that sum in its entirety somehow.
    • And again in Black Cat's Luck (I) when Kanako also mentions her Childhood Marriage Promise to Shirou. By then, Shirou's learned his lesson well and preemptively covers his ears with his hands to spare his hearing from the damage.
  • Blood Knight: Tsuruko. In her case, her Inversion Impulse is closely related to bloodlust (with emphasis on both blood and lust).
  • Bridal Carry: Shirou's preferred method to carry a girl. This being Shirou, he doesn't realize the kind of message he's sending with it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Subverted with Seta. The horrible circumstances surrounding the death of Sarah's mother and having to take care of the traumatized child for the last two years made him a lot more serious character than his canonical self. Furthermore, he hates Shirou's guts and thus isn't likely to be at his nicest with the redhead around.
  • Butt-Monkey: Shinobu in a Rom Com fashion. She's got a huge crush on Shirou and the bad fortune of almost always being the first in line to see him in a compromising situation, whether for real or just a misunderstanding, involving women she considers a lot more attractive than her.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Motoko's God Cry School (Shinmei-ryū) of Kendo.
  • Character Development: Shirou's helping the girls of the inn with this. He and the others from Fate/stay night have already gone through theirs. So far (as of the end of the Rusty Heart arc), Motoko is the most shining example.
  • Chick Magnet: Lampshaded by Kitsune about Shirou, after the Hinata girls discover that his two adoptive sisters both suffer from terminal Big Brother Attraction.
    Kitsune: So, Shirou—
    Shirou: Hmm?
    Kitsune: Is there anyone who doesn't want to jump your bones?
  • The Chikan: Naru's had to deal with a fair few of them in life, so she usually resorts to violence.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: This is a Love Hina crossover, after all.
    • Kanako drops a huge one on Shirou in chapter 20.
    • And to follow up on this, Illya drops another one on Shirou in chapter 21, right in front of Kanako.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Rin has been with Shirou for a few years now, so she knows this one by heart:
    Shirou: It's a long story. A very long story.
    Rin: Let me guess, it involves you being your usual idiot self, sticking your head into someone else's problem and getting out with more burdens to your name than what you started with.
    Kitsune: That's... a surprisingly accurate summation.
  • Closet Shuffle: Shirou does this to himself at Haruka's tea house after a Bedmate Reveal involving Illya and Kanako.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Shirou, and the Fate girls are well aware of it:
    Shirou: You're saying that like they are rushing at me or something.
    Rin: That naivety of yours makes you ten times more dangerous than you'd be otherwise, Shirou.
    Shirou: Huh? What do you mean by that?
  • Combat Pragmatist: Shirou knows it's not really fair that with just a glance he can see and copy the hard-earned skills of people like Tsuruko. This doesn't mean he won't use those skills against them, especially when people he cares about are in trouble. He'll just feel bad about it while kicking their ass.
  • Composite Character: Shirou's birth identity prior to the Great Fuyuki Fire, where he became Shirou Emiya after being saved and adopted by Kiritsugu, is Keitaro Urashima, the protagonist of the original Love Hina manga.
  • Continuity Cameo: An unnamed Dead Apostle in Rusty Heart VI seems to be the Alternate Self of Vincent Guilford, an Original Character from Path of the King.
  • Continuity Nod: Shirou helps Motoko to become a stronger combatant by training her in pretty much the same way he learned from Saber.
  • Conversational Troping: An exasperated Naru grumbles at all the ridiculousness going on at the dorm, complaining that the place isn't a setting for a Sitcom. Kitsune corrects her and says it was always a Sitcom, but Shirou's arrival turned into a Rom Com.
  • Could Say It, But...: Tsuruko Aoyama needed an external factor like Shirou to interfere with the family assembly where Motoko's future is going to be decided, but her position forbids her asking for help or even inform an outsider like him about it. Instead, she first said she couldn't tell him any details about the situation yet, but she probably could the next day, something Shirou correctly interpreted as "it's going to happen tonight". Then she excused herself and left, mentioning some necessary preparations for an appointment within the next few hours, which gave Shirou a rough estimate of the window of opportunity to make his move.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: The true meaning of the duel between Shirou and Motoko. From Shirou's perspective, had Motoko really won it would only let her self-destructive mentality grow that much worse. With her defeat, she can learn to face her fears without looking to her sword as a temporary solution.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The Aoyama's bloodline, Tsuruko being the main one seen and it turns out to be Crimson Red Vermilion, with all that implies.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: As it happened in Heaven's Feel, accessing Archer's arm can potentially turn Shirou into an Empty Shell. After he used it during his fight against Crimson-Red-Vermilion!Tsuruko, he lost the memories associated with seven months of academic work. By his own admission, that's getting off easy.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone Shirou meets will have this, as discussed by way of a Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    Kitsune: Damn, is there a single person in Shirou's life who had a normal past?
    Illyasviel: I don't know, (motions to all the Hinata girls) is there?
  • Darker and Edgier: This is the result of a Harem Genre Rom Com entering the Nasuverse. Before Kanako's arrival, the Childhood Marriage Promise, one of the central themes of Love Hina, is never mentioned, and even now Mutsumi Otohime has yet to be introduced.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Naru seems to have increased the snark to compensate for the ineffectiveness of her Slapstick in this story.
    Naru: This behavior is going to put you in some real trouble one day.
    Mitsune: I'll take my chances. Besides, what would life be without a little risk?
    Naru: Longer.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Several people have assumed that Shirou is a Con Man who was impersonating the late Keitaro Urashima in order to lay a claim on the family fortune. It took three rounds of DNA testing by different labs to convince them that Granny Hina actually did run into her amnesiac grandson by pure chance. Shirou himself was skeptical about the whole thing and had Rin investigate the Urashimas to ensure that Granny Hina wasn't just another person seeking revenge on him for Kiritsugu's actions.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Motoko displays positive emotions more often as her Character Development continues.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: From From Home (III):
    Kitsune was many things, but a fool was not one of them. Rin and Shirou had left separately shortly after dinner and they returned at different times as well, but the resident fox could see it on Rin's face that something pleasant had happened. She wasn't frowning like she had been doing previously, for one thing. She was more relaxed than when she arrived.
    It didn't take a genius to figure they had gotten laid.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Motoko and Naru are quick to violence and their responses to reasonable requests by the manager eventually leads to a confrontation.
  • Does Not Like Men: Both Naru and Motoko do not like or trust men, due to some trauma. Motoko gets better. She's still wary of them, but she's improving. As for Naru, "some trauma" is an understatement.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted, and therefore not Played for Laughs at all. Motoko would strike down any man for even the smallest excuse, Naru hitting Shirou is treated as what it is, and he doesn't just sit there and take it. Motoko gets better after she has her sword taken from her.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Kitsune becomes fixated on finding out Shirou's secrets, unaware of how dangerous knowing or even attempting to look for such secrets is for a Muggle like her in the Nasuverse.
    • Shinobu falls head over heels in love with Shirou and comes to honestly believe that he needs and deserves someone truly intended on making him happy. The narration heavily foreshadows how much of a bad idea this is.
      Completely unheeding of Tohsaka's warning in merit she came to a determined decision, one that would change her life: to make Emiya Shirou fall in love with her for his own good.
      The road to hell is truly paved with good intentions.
    • In Black Cat's Luck (I), Shirou's two Not Blood Sisters travel to Japan on the same day, but he's only aware of the arrival of one of them. The reviewers' collective reaction at the prospect of Illya and Kanako, Action Girls and brocons extraordinaire, meeting for the first time can be aptly summed up as a mix of This Is Gonna Suck, Pass the Popcorn, and nervous, uncontrollable laughter.
    • This is also the case when Kyoko Urashima attacks Keitaro (Shirou) and kidnaps Illyasviel. She wouldn't even dare to make such an attack if she knew about the Moonlit World or how dangerous they really are. The rescue of the Hinata-sou tenants and Illyasviel by Rider and Shirou respectively is a Curb-Stomp Battle as a result and because Kyoko doesn't regret her actions she gets assassinated by Shirou two weeks later at the Urashima Conglomerate.
  • The Dreaded: At Rin's suggestion, Shirou actively cultivated this kind of reputation among members of the Mage's Association so they won't pick a fight with him. Much of the stuff that gets said about him isn't even a lie. For example, his Improbable Aiming Skills make the statement "If [Shirou] can see you, he can hit you" a factual warning. On the other hand, his street cred makes Magi who do attempt to attack him extra careful and thus harder to detect and counter.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Rider.
    Shirou: I don't mean to question your motorbike riding skills (duh), but I still blame this white hair on the last time I rode behind you. I don't plan to lose any more years of my life.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: A Running Gag.
    • Called by name in Rusty Heart (VI) after Tsuruko mentions that the Aoyama family was going to marry off Motoko once they deemed her unworthy of becoming the next heir of the Shinmei-ryu like it was yesterday's weather report. This being a crossover with Love Hina, the bombshell earns a Big "WHAT?!" loud enough to make Shirou cringe.
    • Rin very causally (and uncharacteristically) blurted out that she and Shirou are lovers in front of the Hinata girls. As she soon revealed, this is very much an Invoked Trope: Unlike Shirou, Rin noticed that Motoko and Shinobu were growing too emotionally invested in him, which is NOT a good thing considering the inherent dangers associated to his lifestyle. To this end, Rin sought to claim Shirou as "taken", which she hoped "should give them a bit of a pause".
    • See Childhood Marriage Promise above.
  • Dynamic Entry: Called by name and done in style. Shirou gatecrashes the Aoyama clan meeting where Motoko's future is being decided by throwing one of the guards through a wall and casually walking into the room through the hole. Then he apologizes for the intrusion.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Hinata-sou in a nutshell. It says something that Shirou considers Kitsune, a gambling addict and Hard-Drinking Party Girl, by far its least troubled resident. Kitsune herself calls the Hinata-sou a women's shelter sans the name and negative connotations attention attached to it.
  • Empathic Weapon: Implied with Shisui, a treasured heirloom of the Aoyama family and Motoko's favored sword. It's far from true sentience, but it's following Shisui's wishes to help its current wielder that Shirou later decides to take Motoko's challenge to a duel as an opportunity to take the sword and swordsmanship in general away from her as a mean to deprive Motoko of a convenient tool she was using to avoid facing her problems.
  • Entitled Bitch: Naru, Motoko, and Kitsune act as though they own Hinata-sou, and when Shirou lays down the law with them, they stalk him in the hopes of finding something they can use to blackmail him into doing their bidding. Naru and Motoko get better, but Kitsune, while lightening up a bit, is still trying to dig into Shirou's private life in the hopes of finding a way to control him.
  • Epiphany Therapy: It's only after she thinks she's hit rock-bottom, Motoko finally figures out the only way Shirou's actions against her or otherwise actually make sense: he was honestly trying to help her. That first realization leads to other, more painful ones, and becomes the turning point of her Character Development.
  • Everyone Can See It: Shinobu's crush on Shirou. Lampshaded by Sakura and Rider:
    Rider: There is this one girl, that definitely has a crush on him. I'm sure he hasn't even realized it.
    Sakura: I suppose that would be the case, Senpai doesn't notice that kind of things until they hit him square in the face.
  • Finagle's Law: Shirou is a firm believer in this trope. For example, one time he questioned a defeated Mook about a secret location and received a prompt and precise answer. He was surprised at the candidness and his suspicions of a trap were obvious enough on his face that the Mook smiled maliciously at him and explained that there wasn't any need for deception because the place where he was planing to go was filled to the brim with strong enemies who will make a short work of him.
    Ah, that made more sense. For a moment Shirou was actually worried things were going his way for once. He wouldn't have known how to deal with that.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: The survivors of the Holy Grail War realize that Shirou never really got over Saber, he just learned to cope with the loss. They privately call her the only woman who could've had Shirou's heart entirely for herself.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After her ordeal, Motoko falls asleep in Shirou's arms and dreamed of a vast Field of Blades without having any previous knowledge of his Reality Marble or Nasuverse's thaumaturgy in general. Given that her father's supernatural bloodline wouldn't account for this kind of ability, this most likely implies that Motoko inherited something from her Synchronizer mother.
    • Shirou really didn't know the full scale of it but he was correct about having the tenants he visits having more issues than the previous one during his meetings in Opening III. Naru was the last tenant he visited.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • The reason Motoko Does Not Like Men, which is not as much of a(n arguably) laughing matter as it was in canon. Motoko has partially repressed memories of her mother dying at her father's hands, during an Inverted frenzy (there's more to it than just that, though), making her terrified of him and likely to project that fear on every man she meets, an apprehension that ended up manifesting itself as perceived predatory behavior either aimed at herself or at any other woman.
    • As Recoil (II) reveals, Naru has just as bad of a reason for hating men. Just replace "a" reason for an entire Trauma Conga Line of them:
      • First, her biological father walked away from her mother the moment he knew she was pregnant, leaving her to raise Naru as a single mother. To make things worse, Naru was ill as a child, just as in canon, and they burned through a lot of money because of it. She eventually got better, but by then the lesson that a woman only has herself to count on was deeply ingrained in her mind.
      • Puberty was particularly generous with Naru, which sadly made her a frequent target of gropers in crowded trains and other assorted creeps since she was barely fourteen. More than a few incidents ended up with her knocking the crap out of the guy in question.
      • Her mother eventually remarried and even gave her a younger sister, but as time went by Naru was unable to develop more than a perfunctory relationship with her stepfather. Even that went down the drain when Naru was fifteen and got into a horrible argument with her mother that resulted in her running away from home. As expected, the cause was her stepfather, who in a drunken moment mistook the younger-than-she-looked Naru for his wife and got handsy with her (she knocked him out before things got past that), and her mother took her husband's side in believing that it was an accident.
      • Not too long after she moves into Hinata-sou, she meets and develops a Precocious Crush on Noriyasu Seta as in canon. That died when Shirou Mercy Killed Julia McDougal and the then sixteen-year-old tried to comfort him, neither of them in the right mind to stop before things escalated into Sex for Solace. Seta leaving her the very next morning is what finally broke and distorted her. Her hatred for the male gender culminated not only in pure misandry but also projected self-loathing. Beneath her self-assured and even dominating public persona, Naru's self-esteem is so horrible that she's come to accept herself as a Lust Object who simply can't elicit genuine affection from any man.
      • Finally enter Shirou, the new manager of Hinata-sou and thus someone she can't really keep away from her, whose perfectly respectful behavior around Naru ironically makes her issues even worse. See the inverted example of Hope Is Scary below for details.
  • Friends with Benefits: After giving up on playing The Vamp with Shirou for fun and rent money, Kitsune changed plans and is now looking forward finding a way to end up as this trope with him.
    Naru: Wha-? Do… do you really like him that way?
    Kitsune: [rolls eyes] Jesus, Naru. I don't want to marry him. I just wouldn't mind him nailing me to the wall a couple times… [Beat] or a couple dozen.
  • Furo Scene: Par for the course considering that the story's main location is Hinata-sou.
  • The Gadfly:
    • Rider. Picking up Shirou in a biker suit, making easily misinterpreted comments...
    • Also Caren Ortensia, however briefly.
    • Tsuruko Aoyama just loves making people uncomfortable. It's a family thing. Her father is the same in his own way and even Motoko seems to have picked up a bit of that too.
  • Game Between Heirs: Because of Keitaro's unexpected survival, there is one between Shirou Emiya and so far his aunt Kyoko Urashima that got too personal to ignore.
  • Good Bad Girl: Mitsune "Kitsune" Konno fully admits to her fondness for casual sex but still looks after her friends and chastises Naru for getting drunk and propositioning Shirou, specifically because unlike Kitsune, Naru wasn't in her right mind at the time.
  • Grave Robbing: Shirou's success as a tomb raider meant that many genuine archaeological expeditions ended with little to nothing to show for their efforts and the funding put into them. Even Seta's tenure in Tokyo-U is at risk due to the lack of results.
  • Guilt by Association: Kyoko Urashima planned to kill the Hinata-Sou tenants for the sole reason that they were given a place to live by Granny Hina and they want to burn everything she has built. Take note that she also attacks her daughter Haruka during that moment.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Motoko and Naru.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Aoyama Clan has a similar ancestral bloodline to the Tohno from Tsukihime.
  • Head Desk: Shirou's reaction to losing seven months worth of memories (mostly of his studies in preparation for the admission exams because of his low emotional attachment to them) to Archer's arm.
  • Heroic BSoD:
  • Hope Is Scary:
    • Naru suffers from a complex and particularly nasty case of this. Due to her Internalized Categorism that she's only good as a Lust Object to men, whenever he meets a guy who isn't instantly swayed by her physical attractiveness, Naru tries both consciously and unconsciously to "reveal" him as a no-good pervert out of fear of coming to actually trust him, which is when he could actually hurt her.
    • The opposite is also true. Shirou unwittingly pushes Naru into a worse vicious circle because, despite hating the superficial attention she usually gets from men, the notion that the one guy she feels she can genuinely trust doesn't even have that much interest in her just plain terrifies her. In order to escape of the feeling of complete worthlessness, Naru feels compelled to "test" Shirou for the shallow validation that signs of his physical attraction toward her would provide, all in an effort to bring things back to an unpleasant but at least familiar status quo.
  • How We Got Here: The Rusty Heart Arc is basically one of how Shirou got to claim Motoko as "his". He made an agreement with her family to take her as his student in swordsmanship and help her to become strong enough to defeat her older sister.
    • A much shorter example happens in Black vs White II where the chapter begins with Shirou hiding in the closet of Haruka's Teahouse and how he got to that point.
    • The Cerebus Syndrome beginning of Black vs White III.The Flash Forward shows Illya being threatened with the narration telling why that's a bad idea. This is connected to a Game Between Heirs that popped up because of Keitaro's unexpected survival.
  • Hyperlink Story: The story consists in several story arcs that are all interconnected in some way, especially the Black Cat's Luck arc that seems to be the closest thing to a main storyline. According to Word of God, none of them will be resolved as easily or linearly as Rusty Heart.
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: Kanako hates agreeing with Illya out of principle, but she's totally behind her and against whoever dares to insult their adopted brother within their hearing.
    Kanako Urashima: As much as it pains me to admit that, I concur.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter is named after the Story Arc it takes place in, followed by a roman numeral. Furthermore, the Story Arcs are named after the characters they focused on. To date there are 6 arcs with more on the way:
    • Opening: Shirou's arrival to Hinata City, the establishment of character dynamics and Shirou setting things up for his stay at the dorms.
    • Rusty Heart: Motoko's Character Focus arc, which explores her Character Development, her conflict with her family; particularly her father and her becoming Shirou's student and ward.
    • From Home: A sort of interlude arc that deals with the Fate characters interacting with the Love Hina characters while also giving minuscule details about what happen in this version of the Holy Grail War.
    • Recoil: An arc that currently deals with Naru's past. Only two chapters has been published and not much else is known.
    • Black Cat's Luck: An arc that involves Kanako meeting with Shirou, confronting Illyasviel, and the beginning of the Game Between Heirs involving the Urashima Family.
    • Black vs White: Tying in with the Black Cat's Luck above, this is the Cat Fight between Kanako Urashima and Illyasviel von Einzbern.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Averted. At least at the present time of the story, Tsuruko doesn't seem to resent her father because of the demon's blood she inherited from him, nor she holds the deaths of her mother and Motoko's against him.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Motoko, Tsuruko, and Shirou. Especially the latter two during their duel, more specifically when Tsuruko channels Crimson Red Vermilion and when Shirou switches gears and channels Archer with his left arm.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Sakura and Rider discuss Shirou's new living arrangements as Hinata-sou's landlord this way in From Home (I). See Funny sub-page for details.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Tsuruko mentions that she was tempted to take Shirou home with her when he was younger because she found his reluctance to speak to her casually completely adorable.
  • Indy Ploy: Shirou's time-honored modus operandi.
    So, without so much as a clue as to where he was actually headed, Shirou decided to stick to his usual course of action: winging it!
  • Insecure Love Interest: Shirou himself, in a way. He genuinely believes that each and every one of his possible Love Interests would be better off with someone else because he is, well, him. He even tried to convince Sakura, Rin, Rider, and Illya of this despite loving them back, but they aren't having any of it, so eventually he stopped trying.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • In Tsuruko's presence, Motoko shall refer to Shirou as "Onii-chan". It Makes Sense in Context.
    • Kanako doesn't call Motoko by her new surname because she doesn't like implicating that the swordswoman and Shirou may be as close as family.
    • Naru calls Kitsune a gossip queen. She corrects her by saying she's an "investigative reporter."
  • Intrepid Reporter: In this story, it's explicitly stated that Kitsune is a freelance journalist instead of the vaguely alluded writer job she had in the manga. Her reporter instincts tell her that there's a big scoop about Shirou waiting to be discovered. She doesn't know yet how over her head the truth really is.
  • I Regret Nothing: Kitsune doesn't really regret her behavior in regards to drinking and occasionally sleeping around, since it was her decision more than anything.
  • Is It Something You Eat?: In the first chapter, Motoko advises Shinobu to always keep her guard up around men, because All Men Are Perverts. Then this happens:
    Kaolla: Ne, Is a pervert good to eat?
    Everybody else: [in unison] NO!
  • It's Personal: One-sided on Noriyasu Seta's part but he witnessed Shirou Emiya perform a Mercy Kill on Sarah's mother who was also unfortunate to witness this act.
  • I Will Wait for You: Despite knowing that she can't expect to live as long as a normal person, Illya will still wait for Shirou to stop thinking of her his sister and reciprocate her romantic feelings. She knows there's a good chance he won't, but that doesn't change her decision to wait for him regardless.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Shirou has quite a skill set and not just in being a warrior (as both a Swordsman and an Archer). He also has Janitorial skills, Engineering skills, Medical skills (or at least planning to due to Majoring in Medicine), an Archeologist and a Historian, and Culinary skills on top of being the landlord of Hinata Inn.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Motoko learns just how others feel after getting crushed by a superior opponent, after having done so to others.
  • Laugh Themselves Sick: Both Haruka and Kitsune couldn't stop laughing when they learned that consummate badass Shirou ran like hell after a Bedmate Reveal involving his two adoptive sisters in sexy sleepwear. In the former's case, Shirou had to wait several minutes before his aunt got her laugh under control before continuing their conversation.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Kitsune's exact reaction when told that Shirou's Not Blood Related little sister appeared claiming that the two of them are betrothed since they were kids. Once she confirms that's really the case, she drops her head repeatedly on the table.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Invoked in particularly twisted manner. Shirou's Chronic Hero Syndrome makes him put anyone's well-being above his own. To mitigate this, Rin, Sakura, and Rider all deepened their relationship with him in a way that even though Shirou doesn't value his own survival for himself too much, he knows he will hurt them deeply if he ever let something bad happen to him.
  • Loophole Abuse: Shirou forbade Kaolla from activating any of her inventions that could cause damage within any of the Hinata-sou's buildings, which is why she targets him with her disarmed weaponry when he's outdoors. Shirou lets her get away with this because she isn't causing damages nor hurting anyone, and avoiding her creative inventions' attacks makes for good combat training for him.
  • The Lost Lenore:
    • Shirou to Kanako is an implied case. Early on, Haruka commented that Kanako never accepted her adopted brother's death and predicts that she will put her life on hold, including throwing her schooling to the wind, the moment she hears "Keitaro" is alive just to see him again. That's the reason why she was deliberately Locked Out of the Loop by the Urashima family and has yet to make an appearance in the story. That is, until the Black Cat's Luck arc.
    • Though Shirou is in a longtime relationship with Rin, Sakura, and Rider it's been made clear several times that he still misses Saber dearly, even years later. Her name is hardly spoken aloud, but her impact on his heart is still felt and is acknowledged by his partners.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Discussed, Rin mentions to the Hinata girls that falling in love with Shirou is a folly due to his inability to put down roots and would only end in heartbreak. But if they are willing and able to capture his heart, then she would give said girl/woman her blessing.
    • This goes double for Naru Narusegawa. See the Hope Is Scary above and Morton's Fork below for more details.
  • Magic Realism: You have Ki and Kaolla's inventions from the Love Hina side of the crossover coexisting with the Urban Fantasy elements from the Nasuverse and its Functional Magic.
  • Meaningful Rename: Played Straight and For Laughs. Following her banishment from the Aoyama family, Motoko loses the right to bear their name until she wins it back in a formal duel against her sister within the next three years. On the funny side, her father legally changed Motoko's surname to Emiya for the time being, a namesake that makes anyone unfamiliar with the incident assume that Shirou and Motoko are now married.
  • Mercy Kill: Shirou killed Sarah's mother, who was infected with a nasty ancient curse that effectively turned her and her team into zombies, both to end her pain as quickly as possible and to protect her daughter. In a horrible case of Dramatic Irony, this action created more problems that he didn't know about or its results until he learns about Naru's past and the true source of her misandry in the Recoil arc.
  • Metallicar Syndrome: Subverted. When a limo stopped in front of the stairs to the Hinata Inn, the neighbors did notice. Especially when its exotic-looking passenger — Illyasviel — descended from it.
  • Metaphorically True: Rin describes the subject of her research work to Muggles as "refractive phenomena and energy storage in crystal structures" (a.k.a. The Second Magic and how to store prana in jewels). She also refuses to give further details citing a non-disclosure agreement (i.e. The Moonlit World).
  • Morton's Fork: Shirou's relationship with Naru starting with the Recoil Story Arc. Should Shirou show signs of sexual attraction to her, Naru would take it as confirmation of her Internalized Categorism that she's only good as a Lust Object. However, keeping himself Above the Influence as he does makes her feel like she isn't worth even that much. Shirou tries to Take a Third Option by asking Naru to tutor him for Toudai's entrance exams, which he apparently hopes will highlight her academic success in her mind and improve her opinion of herself.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Shirou's Heroic Build makes his body a sight for sore eyes if you happen to caught him undressed, as Kitsune wholeheartedly agrees.
    Kitsune: Haven't seen that much beef in one place somewhere other than on a cow before.
    Naru: [Luminescent Blush] Kitsune!
    Kitsune: What? There's nothing wrong with appreciating high-quality meat when I see it.
  • Mugging the Monster: Kyoko Urashima doesn't know it but by hiring mercenaries and kidnapping Illyasviel just to attack Keitaro, she made it personal against Shirou Emiya to the point he is willing to sic Rider on them all and Kyoko gets assassinated two weeks later by Shirou within the Urashima Conglomerate.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: A literal and justified example. Even with her treatments Illya only has about 30 years in her life expectancy if that. As such, she really wishes Shirou would stop looking at her like a little sister and instead see her as a woman in order to have a child and heir who she can see grow into an adult before she dies.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Discussed. Kitsune believes this to be the reason that Seta bolted out of the Hinata after having a one-night stand with Naru, who "comforted" him after seeing how depressed he was after he learned of Julia McDougal's death.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Just like in canon, Keitaro (Shirou) pulling off a Barehanded Blade Block on Motoko pushes her into a Heroic BSoD. Not Played for Laughs at all here, because this takes place during a duel between them and at this point Motoko was losing to Shirou, she is desperate enough to kill Shirou and letting her fears consume herself. And the arm Shirou used to pull this block? It was Archer's arm and thus it is a single arm Barehanded Blade Block.
    • When stripped of her sword, Motoko tries to "live as a woman" and discovers that she's hilariously incompetent at any domestic chore. The Meido outfit makes an appearance too.
    • The way how Shirou one-time complained that he's never been fortunate enough to find himself in a situation caused by apparent, within-the-ordinary reasons is likely to put a smile on whoever played Fate/stay night before.
      Shirou: Damn your E ranked Luck.
    • Despite the otherwise hellish training that he provides for Motoko, Shirou takes care to never harm her face. This is a reference to the Unlimited Blade Works route in the visual novel where he was more pissed that Rider, a woman, would throw her dagger at Rin's face than the fact he intercepted the shot with his arm.
  • Naked First Impression: At the beginning of the manga, Keitaro decides to take a dip in the hot springs before learning that Hinata-sou was an all-girls dorm instead of an inn with obvious results. Here, our protagonist wasn't so lucky: The very first thing to welcome Shirou after opening the door was the naked bodies of Naru and Kaolla being thrown at him by Ki Manipulation, followed the former's trademark uppercut that propelled him into an equally naked Motoko (or to be precise, her breasts), which prompted her to launch a second Ki Manipulation that sent him flying into a wall and rendered him unconscious.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: One time Shirou guesses that if they hadn't had completely opposite moral compasses, Archer and Kirei would have gotten along famously...
    ...That thought alone was enough to make him want to vomit.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The Einzbern Homonculus Uprising. All that is known is that Illya, after discovering the truth about what happened in the Fourth Holy Grail War, led the Einzbern's homonculi in a revolt against the family, slaughtering all but a few. Shirou gained his father's epithet as the "Second Magus Killer", apparently just trying to keep Illya from taking things too far.
    • Partially un-Noodle-fied later on: The Einzbern disowned and left Ilya to die after her unexpectedly surviving the Holy Grail War. Shirou basically Tomb Raided his way into enough fast money to pay for life-extending magical treatment from unaffiliated magi. Once her condition was stablized enough, she decided to march in and take over the leadership of the Einzbern from the cold, dead hands of whoever dared to oppose her. How did she exactly accomplished this is (probably best) left unsaid, but it's implied that The Magocracy's equivalent of their Supreme Court had to get involved in the fallout.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Shirou has two of them in this story, who interestingly aren't related to each other at all: Illyasviel von Einzbern, the biological daughter of his adoptive father, and Kanako Urashima, the adopted daughter of his biological parents. Trying to figure out who has the bigger decidedly un-sisterly crush on her adoptive brother is a conundrum best left untouched.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: Subverted. Illya has managed to survive her preprogrammed demise as a pseudo-Homunculus and even grow older than in the visual novel. Sadly for her Big Brother Attraction, this is partially a Double Subversion because she currently doesn't look any older than 15, which still places her well below Shirou's strike zone.
  • Not in Front of the Kid: Naru's complaint about this to Kitsune when the latter wants to explain to Motoko what "Friends with Benefits" means in front of Shinobu. Kitsune simply points out that, after Rin dropped the bombshell about her relationship with Shirou, Shinobu is just too out of it to register anything they were saying.
  • Not in the Face!: Shirou seems to be a firm believer in this trope. The first time Motoko went through the Training from Hell he promised to her, she was left a "walking bruise" that barely could stay on her two feet, however her face was conspicuously spared of any damage at all.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Strongly implied with Kaolla.
  • Odd Friendship: Kitsune and Naru's personalities are as opposed as they come. Kitsune's is a laid-back gadfly and an Ethical Slut with shades of The Vamp if her trysts don't know better. Naru is a strait-laced bookworm with a Hair-Trigger Temper who hides severe psychological issues about her sexuality.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Hinata-sou's residents never expected their manager to get betrothed to his adopted little sister once, never mind twice when Illyasviel arrives.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite looking a lot older than her canonical appearance, Illya still looks around 10 years younger than her real age.
  • One Degree of Separation: Taiga Fujimura and Tsuruko Aoyama were rivals at high school Kendo tournaments. They even made a bet on the result of one but Taiga lost by default because she got disqualified for having a tiger-shaped strap on her shinai.
  • The One Guy: Much like Keitaro in canon, Shirou is the only guy in the Hinata Inn. Lampshaded in Black vs White (III), when all the residents plus a female visitor ended up going grocery shopping together one day, earning them the stares of every other passerby around.
  • One-Man Army: Shirou, without Tracing any weapons or killing anyone, kicks the crap out of several dozen of the Aoyama family's guards.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Tsuruko immediately realized that something happened to Motoko when she saw her walking side-by-side with an unknown man (Shirou).
    • Rin was unusually forthcoming about her personal life with the Hinata girls the first time she met them. There is a reason for this.
    • As noted under Wham Line, Naru Narusegawa's question really shakes up everything we know about her and her issues.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Julia McDougal and most of her archaeological team became Technically Living Zombies after accidentally unleashing an ancient curse in an excavation site somewhere in the Amazon rainforest. The incident was covered up by The Masquerade as an outbreak of rabies that turned the infected homicidally violent before killing them. Only Sarah survived, thanks to her mother's quick thinking and Shirou's timely arrival, but she still must carry the mental scars of such a traumatic experience and the loss of her mother.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Shirou does this to Motoko at the start of Rusty Heart (I).
  • Parental Betrayal: A good deal of Naru's problems stem from this. Her birth father abandoned her and her mother, leaving the latter to raise her alone until she remarried. Then she ended up being groped by her stepfather one night (he was drunk and mistook for her mother in the darkness), which she punched him out for. Then her mother believed his side of things, that it was an honest mistake.
    • There is a far worse one that happens within the Urashima Family. Specifically between Kyoko and Haruka. When Haruka refused to seduce Keitaro's Father, Kyoko disowns her. Not long afterward, Granny Hina took pity on Haruka and gave her a place to start her teashop.
  • Polyamory: After the events of the Holy Grail War, Shirou entered a somewhat-open relationship with Rin, Sakura, and Rider. However, there's not enough emotional attachment for Shirou to fully give up his path of a hero.
  • Power of Trust: While the residents of the Hinata Inn are wary after learning Shirou killed Sarah's mother, after hearing the circumstances behind it, they decide to give him the benefit of the doubt, noting that he's never done anything to actually betray their trust before. Meanwhile, Haruka doesn't even ask the circumstances despite having been good friends with the woman. She simply asks if Shirou made it as painless as possible, and concludes that he must have had a good reason for it.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Technically two lines:
    Shirou: I am... the bone of my sword. Steel is my body and fire is my blood!
  • Rags to Riches: And then back to rags. Shirou found a way to make a lot of money out of his sharp magical senses by traveling to archaeological sites and tracking any ancient magical protections around, which is almost a sure-fire sign that something very valuable is buried there. Seta estimates that Shirou must have made at least a billion yen profit from his pillages (around USD 9-10 million), but he assured his tenants that he's already spent every last cent of that money but refused to explain how. It's revealed in Black vs While (III) that all that money went into the magical treatments needed to keep Illya alive beyond her preprogrammed demise in the Holy Grail War.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Kanako Urashima wore a "faintly see-through black negligee with ribbons in lieu of straps" and little else when she Invoked a Bedmate Reveal on Shirou in Black vs White (I). To add insult to injury, other three tenants saw her leaving his room in that getup and logically assumed they just ran into her mid-walk of shame… which is a bit of a misnomer because A) no hanky-panky actually happened, and B) Kanako looked anything but ashamed at the time.
  • Red Baron: Shirou is also known as "The Second Magus Killer" due to an incident with the Einzbern.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation:
    • In this story, Motoko and Tsuruko are half-sisters as opposed to full-blood sisters; this is due to the Crimson Red Vermillion that their family has, damaging their family dynamics. Tsuruko's mother lost herself to her demonic blood forcing the sisters' father to kill his wife. As for Motoko's mother, she is implied to have been a Synchronizer who sacrificed herself to bring her husband back from that same brink.
    • Mei and Naru are stepsisters in the Akamatsuverse canon, here they're half-sisters.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • Somewhat played straight with Shinobu and Shirou. He saved her from being run over by a car in the prologue; she eventually developed a crush on him.
    • Kitsune is disappointed this isn't the case with Shirou and Motoko. She might be half-right, though. There are clear signs that Motoko's feelings toward Shirou are becoming romantic, especially after he brought her back to the Hinata Inn at the end of the Rusty Heart storyline, but her issues with men that she's just starting to overcome and simple personal inexperience with romance make it unlikely for Motoko to understand what those feelings actually mean. For his part, Shirou is, well, Shirou.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Kiritsugu stepped on quite few toes during his Magus Killer career, many of the survivors being willing and able to visit their revenge on his adoptive son Shirou if given the chance. The only silver lining the latter could find in this situation, is that said unsavory characters just as often hate each other's guts too, which is why they haven't resorted to a Villain Team-Up so far.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Naru tries to warn Kitsune about how her snooping (particularly into Shirou's life) might get her into trouble someday.
    Kitsune: What would life be without a little risk?
    Naru: Longer.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Kitsune's journalist senses pick up on the fact that Shirou is way to humble and modest for all the skills he possesses and figures from her own personal experience that no one is like that, so he must be hiding something. She's right that Shirou is hiding something from her, the Moonlit World to be exact, but is wrong about his attitude, Shirou really is just that much of a Humble Hero.
  • Rotating Arcs: Downplayed as there isn't too much Cast Herding involved. While the story is told chronologically, after the Rusty Heart Story Arc, the narrative focus jumps from one storyline to next and back roughly depending on which characters other than Shirou take the limelight as denoted by the Idiosyncratic Episode Naming.
  • Running Gag:
  • Saying Too Much: A nervous Shirou let slip that he thinks Kanako is "extremely pretty" while trying to convince her to not sneak into his room. The girl in question positively beamed at the admission.
  • Scar Survey: The Hinata Girls discover at the hot springs that Illyasviel von Einzbern has large ones that look like autopsy marks. She doesn't really have a problem telling them how she got them, though.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: When Motoko and Naru try to force Shirou to bathe in a bucket, he institutes a weekly schedule on usage of the hot springs. Their attempts to stop him fail as he's not an Extreme Doormat like canon Keitaro and responds to their demands of what gives him the right to do so by pointing out he's both the manager and owner of the dorm, and that his rules aren't unreasonable by any objective standpoint. If they don't like how he runs things, they simply can find somewhere else to live.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Shirou may have lived the high-risk life of a world-famous tomb raider, confront an entire clan of swordsmen to all but snatch their heir away, and even join a Dead Apostle hunt for fun, life-saving, and profit, but even he knows better than to stay in a bed with his adoptive sisters when the two of them were in color-coordinated Ready for Lovemaking getups and a fiercely competitive mood. Cue Super Window Jump.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Played for Laughs. Kitsune visits Fuyuki in order to find out more about Shirou, just missing his adopted sister Kanako's arrival to the dorm who incidentally revealed stuff that not even Shirou himself knew about his past. Kitsune herself lampshades the irony upon her return.
  • Shoe Slap: Tohsaka demonstrated the throwing variant seconds after meeting Shirou in From Home (II).
  • Shout-Out: Motoko's first day of training is not dissimilar to that of Guiche's in The Hill of Swords.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Kitsune. She's not as clever as she thinks, though, and she seriously underestimates Shirou.
    • Motoko too, especially early on. She gets better.
  • Sneeze Cut: Happened to Taiga in Rusty Heart V. Somehow, she can even tell who was badmouthing her.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Motoko tends to speak in a polite and somewhat of old-fashioned way. There are exceptions:
    Motoko: Nobody said that change is ever easy. I can attest that it's anything but.
    Naru: It sucks.
    Motoko: It's worthwhile, (smiles) and it sucks as you aptly surmised.
  • Spit Take: Shirou and Shinobu's reaction to the following gem of a line:
    Motoko: Emiya-san, please make me into a woman!
  • Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male: Averted: Naru, Kitsune, and Motoko stalking Shirou is not Played for Laughs at all. Rider took exception to the second time they tried it and found a way to Scare 'Em Straight without attacking them. At his return to the dorm that night, he tells them that what he does with his own time is none of their business, and that if they ever do it again, he'll throw them out and maybe even take it to the cops.
  • Start of Darkness: As mentioned in Dramatic Irony, Shinobu falling in love and attempting to make Shirou love her is implied to be this for her.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: One time Kitsune tried to bounce ideas off Naru and Motoko in order to figure out the Fridge Logic as to why Shirou decided to become a stronger combatant than any normal person would ever need to be. Motoko answered with this trope plus a dash of sass.
    Motoko: Because he wanted to help as many people as he could and he couldn't do it by being weak.
    Naru: And you know that, how?
    Motoko: I asked him.
    Kitsune: [surprised] And he answered? Just like that?
    Motoko: It's incredible what you can find out of a person by simply asking a question, Mitsune. As opposed to trying to pry information illicitly.
    Kitsune: Hey!
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Haruka, probably thanks to the power of Rule of Funny, managed to sneak on Shirou and Rin, experienced magi both, at the same time. Though, considering her possible training in Urashima-ryu Jujutsu, this may not just be regulated to Rule of Funny.
  • Storming the Castle: Or rather the Aoyama family compound in Kyoto during the Rusty Heart arc.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Shirou discovered that his unique skills together with Shinmei-ryu techniques are an incredibly unfair advantage against practitioners of the same. Unlike with Noble Phantasms, which he won't ever be able to use to their fullest because they're designed to be wielded by very specific people (generally with capabilities well above his own), reading the centuries-long Accumulated Experience stored in Shisui grants Shirou with an unparalleled insight in a supernatural sword style meant to used by normal (albeit very skilled) humans.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Discussed. Illya states that anyone who spends enough meaningful time with Shirou is pretty much fated to fall in love with him, or as she puts it, to "crash and burn" in love with him regardless of whether he reciprocates their feelings or not. The Hinata Girls aren't convinced of this, but they realize Illya truly means each and every word. Except for Shinobu who knows exactly what she means.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Urashima family is known to marry into itself that the best way that Haruka can describe it is that the family tree is contorted. Haruka herself was once arranged to marry Shirou's biological father, her uncle.
  • Tattooed Crook: Discussed. Kitsune deduces that Shirou isn't actually in the Yakuza because he doesn't have any telltale tattoo anywhere on his body. When Naru hears this, she immediately notices the Fridge Logic of how could she know what is or isn't drawn on his body, to which Kitsune nonchalantly admits to Female Gaze charges.
  • Technically Living Zombie: A nasty curse ravaged an archaeology team in South America. While it was covered up as a rabies outbreak, this was the result. Everyone cursed ended up going after people like zombies and had to be put down. That included Sarah's mother, right in front of her daughter.
  • That Came Out Wrong: As Shirou puts it, there is such a thing as proper wording. See Spit Take example above.
  • Training from Hell: In order to prepare Motoko to face her sister Tsuruko in combat in three years, Shirou trains her by fighting Motoko at slightly above her level. If by the end of the spar, she hasn't hit him once, he goes all out and beats the hell out of her. They do this every day: first thing in the morning, and again after dinner. Despite being in amazing shape, the training is rough enough that Motoko throws up afterwards.
  • Trauma Button:
  • Twirl of Love: There's a platonic example in Black vs White (I) when Shirou bleeds off the momentum of Illyasviel's glomp like this. Well, platonic as far as he is concerned.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • In-Universe example. Rider, in her servant attire, gives these kind of feeling to Naru, Kitsune, and Motoko when they stalk Shirou's nighttime walk. Kitsune feels this again, though a bit diluted, when she sees Rider in her "civilian" form. invoked
      So beautiful and so terrible at the same time, it was something that defied description. The being went against everything that was… Not human, were the only two words that filled [Kitsune's] mind, repeating themselves continuously. Not human.
    • Tsuruko undergoing Ancestral Return gives off the same feeling, as well as Shirou "switching gears" and drawing power from his implanted arm, turning himself into a pseudo-Archer.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Recoil (I) reveals that Shirou's involvement in what we can generously call "archeology" after finishing high school sparked a sense of Friendly Rivalry in Julia McDougal. This motivated her and the archaeological team led by her to excavate an ancient tomb in the Amazon rainforest before he could, releasing a horrible curse that only left Sarah, her daughter, as the sole yet heavily-traumatized survivor.
    • Recoil (II) expands the above and reveals that he's also indirectly responsible for making Naru's issues with men a whole lot worse than canon. The death of Julia McDougal at Shirou's hands pushed Noriyasu Seta so deep into depression that he accepted the advances of the then-sixteen-year-old and very much in-love Naru Narusegawa. He immediately regretted this and basically vanished from her life soon after, breaking her heart to pieces and doing such a number on her already fragile self-image issues involving men that now she's unable to believe she can be anything more than a Lust Object.
  • The Vamp: Kitsune has been known to extort and blackmail men using her charms and had tried doing so on Shirou, not knowing that Shirou has grown inured of examples of this trope and tired of the often petty motivations behind their actions.
    Konno still tried shamelessly to flirt with him at any given chance, her efforts doubled since his return from Fuyuki. Shirou had enough knowledge of a woman's mindset to understand that it wasn't much about him anymore but rather a challenge to Rider. It wasn't the first time a woman came onto him just to heal her wounded pride.
  • Verbal Backspace: Motoko Emiya née Aoyama's narration when she was getting carried, bridal style, by Shirou in Black vs White (I).
    Still, [getting Bridal Carried] wasn't something she couldn't live with for a short while.
    Or even a little bit longer, actually.
    As a matter of fact, she wouldn't mind staying like that for a while.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Naru and Kitsune have a tendency of snarking and play fighting with one another, especially in Kitsune's case. But when Shirou's nature and Seta's reappearance make Naru's Dark and Troubled Past poke it's rather ugly head; Kitsune is there to lend a shoulder and give a wake-up call.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Motoko didn't realize just how badly she was seeking her teacher's approval until Shirou Emiya said these three simple words in Black vs White (I): "Well done, Motoko."
  • Wham Line: Naru Narusegawa asks Shirou a real humdinger of a question in Recoil (II) that totally throws whatever the readers thought they knew about her out of the window:
    Naru: [drunk] Do you want to fuck?
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Naru in Recoil (II). The correct answer is proposition Shirou for sex. Though, she thinks it went further than it did before it gets corrected by Kitsune.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Happened to Motoko the first time she met Tohsaka. Motoko didn't understand the underlying reasons, but she knew she felt an instant dislike towards Rin and an unconscious need to compare herself to her. It went unsaid, but what Motoko experienced was most likely envy and a sense of rivalry at Rin's (until then) implied relationship with Shirou.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: An In-Universe example. Even though the reader and most of the regular cast knows the circumstances behind Motoko's new surname, the news became prime-grade gossip material and speculation fuel for her schoolmates. To put it mildly, Motoko wasn't amused:
    Yes, she now bore the family name of the only man who ever defeated her. No, she wasn't married to him. No, it wasn't her family custom to give their daughters to whoever managed to best them. Yes, she was now his apprentice and ward. No, she wouldn't date anyone even if they managed to win a duel against her. And finally, no, they most certainly hadn't done it, as someone had crudely put it.
  • The Worf Effect: From the Love Hina cast point of view, Shirou effortlessly defeated Motoko in Rusty Heart II.
  • Worthy Opponent: Kanako thinks this of Motoko... for all the wrong reasons, that is. To wit, she seems to think Motoko likes getting beaten up by Shirou during their Training from Hell sessions, which is the kind of kinkiness and devotion Kanako can respect despite disliking the idea of a romantic rival on principle.
  • Yakuza: Kitsune manages to find out that Shirou was taken in by a bona fide Yakuza Princess (Taiga) and her family after his adoptive father's passing, but doesn't think he's actually affiliated with them beyond doing some odd jobs for them. Which is true.
  • Yandere: Shinobu already starts to show signs of this as she is the only member of the tenants to give Rin a stare filled with enough Killing Intent to be felt, which is notable because the 16-year-old girl has no martial training whatsoever.
  • Younger Than They Look: Naru hit puberty early, to the point she had a grown-up figure when she was barely fifteen. Played for Drama when her stepfather mistook her for her mother one night while under the influence and made drunken advances to her.