I do not own Fate Stay Night, Tsukihime or Kara no Kyoukai. They belong to Nasu Kinoko and TYPE-MOON.


FACT 02 – WAVER'S FIRST LOVE

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Characters: Rin Tohsaka, Waver Velvet, Taiga Fujimura (Fate Stay Night - UBW)

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"I'm telling ya! This whole thing is fucked up!" Lord El-Melloi II, otherwise known as Waver Velvet, shouted in the middle of the hall.

"Yes, yes, I know." Rin answered in a shush voice, pinching the bridge of her nose as if on the verge of a migraine.

It wasn't like the young magus ever wanted to be there in first place. Clock Tower's social events were pretty much a pain in the ass, full of arrogant, obnoxious aristocrats. But she didn't have much of a choice: being a novice in the Magic Association, Rin had to stay in these aristocrats' good graces to get anything done with her research.

It didn't help either that her sponsor's drunk stupor was starting to draw the attention of other guests in the fancy party they were attending.

"It's always like that," Waver continued on, not turning down the volume in the slightest. "They ignore you all the time, but when they need someone to wipe their asses' clean, you're the first in the row. Then when you're done, they conveniently forget about you again!"

Now Rin was very close to a real migraine. Her sponsor and tutor in the Clock Tower, Lord El-Melloi II, was a grouchy and lousy-mouthed magus, whose office resembled more a teenager's basement than a research place. To say they didn't get along well was an understatement. She remembered the first time they had met, when Waver had called her the 'worst Japanese in the world' just because of her complete lack of interest in video games. Even so, Rin found him to be slightly more tolerable than most of the other magi around, so that was why she was putting up with his alcohol-induced, self-piteous complaints.

Not that sometimes she didn't have to suppress an urge to shoot a Gandr right on his face. 'Never bite the hand that feeds you', they said.

"I was supposed to have been promoted years ago. It was only because of politics that I didn't."

"Well, maybe if you spent more time doing your research than playing those kids games, you might have been." Rin risked a jab, a sign that her patient was already running thin.

"What was that?" Waver clearly didn't like her retort. "I did more for the Association than you can ever imagine! The only reason nobody recognize that is just for a little mistake that I did in the past, which was stealing the catalyst of that asshole Kayneth!"

Rin immediately froze with his blurt out. Yes, she knew, just like many others in the Clock Tower, that Waver had become a Master in the Fourth Grail War by stealing the summoning catalyst of his professor, Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald, the previous Lord El-Melloi. She also knew that Kayneth didn't survive the war, leaving the Archibald family leaderless and forcing Waver to serve the family as a way of compensation. If anyone around heard Waver bad-mouthing the family he was serving, his career (and consequently hers too) would be over.

"Uh, Lord El-Melloi, I think you've drunk a bit too much," she said in a forcibly cheerful tone, hoping that nobody had noticed his last statement. "Why don't we go to terrace for some fresh air?"

She didn't wait for a response and quickly pulled him to the manor's terrace under protests.

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"What was that for?" Waver complained while leaning on the garden's balcony, visibly irritated at being dragged there. "I didn't ask to come here, damn it!"

Rin groaned, visibly irritated too. "Gee, you're impossible! You really should watch your mouth before spitting out stupidities like a drunk sailor!"

He glared at her, and she glared back at him, but none of them said anything at all. In the end, Rin got tired of the glaring contest and simply leaned back on the balcony too. Her migraine had just gone worse. She sighed, taking in some nightly fresh air in hope of soothing the pain.

How she wished she was back at her apartment with Shirou. That lucky idiot who, being only her apprentice, was disobliged of attending this kind of event. They had been together ever since they had graduated from high school back in Fuyuki and moved to London to study magecraft. She couldn't wait until the night was over and she could head back to her boyfriend, in her run-down apartment (which was the only thing she could rent after wrecking one of the dormitories in a dispute over rooms).

"Fuck, you're so coarse," she heard Waver grumble. "Just like that girl I liked back in Fuyuki".

That comment caught Rin's attention. Did she hear it right? Had her sponsor ever liked someone? And in Fuyuki, of all the places?

"Lord El-Melloi," she probed in carefully. "I didn't know you liked someone in my hometown."

The lord finished the wine glass he had brought with him and went on. "Yeah, but that was long ago... during the Grail War."

Now he had Rin's full attention. In a way, Rin always liked hearing her tutor's stories of the Fourth Grail War, as annoying as he could be at times. Not surprising, for she had been a Master too in the Fifth, that being one of the reasons they had connected, despite their constant quarrels. She was also curious about what kind of woman this over-aged teenager would ever be attracted to. And, even if Rin would never admit it to the world even under torture, she still held a tiny bit of romanticism in her heart.

She was about to ask more about it, but it wasn't necessary, for Waver started blabbering out of his own volition.

"It was around the middle of war. Rider and I had just finished a meeting with other Masters, when she fell off the roof of a house.

"We asked what she was doing up there and she said that was looking for a thief that had stolen a wine barrel from her friend's bar."

Waver snorted at the irony. "The thing was, it'd been me and Rider the ones to have stolen it." He looked at the now empty wine glass on his hand, wishing he had brought the bottle too.

"But of course we didn't tell her that. So, as compensation, we offered to help her find it, even if we knew nothing would come out of it.

"Things didn't go as smooth as we thought though. When we got to the river, she spotted a puppy drowning in and, before I could even register it, she jumped in to save it. The water was freezing and I don't think she ever could swim."

Rin's eyes then widened at this girl's recklessness. Strangely, such recklessness almost reminded her of a certain red-headed boy he knew way too well. "So, what did it happen?"

"We set off to save her, of course," the lord answered, as if it was obvious. "We ran along the shore and the moment she was within reach, I grabbed her hand. The current was too strong though and I almost got pulled into the river too. Thankfully, Rider caught me before that happened. As soon as she was back to safety, I scolded her, asking what the hell she was thinking for jumping down like that."

As saying that, Waver's face blushed a little. Whether it was due to the wine or something embarrassing, Rin couldn't tell.

"That was when she said that she'd trusted me and Rider to save her in case of danger. She said that she believed in human kindness and in the same way she was helping a friend in need, she believed we'd do the same for her.

"Can you believe that? That girl had known us for no longer than a few hours and she was already trusting her life to us. What kind of person would promptly sacrifice themselves for others like that?" Now Waver's face was too flushed to be only the wine's fault. "And that was when I started thinking she was quite cute."

Rin, on the other hand, was quite surprised. These concepts... trust, self-sacrifice, helpfulness... they were too familiar to her. Not because she practiced them, but because they matched perfectly the person of whom she was thinking before. If not for the person's gender, she would almost be sure Lord El-Melloi II was talking about Shirou.

"And it didn't end there," Waver continued. "Then she started chasing an underwear thief she saw sneaking out of a building. Next, she dragged us halfway across the town to find the puppy's owner. She even had the gall of saying I needed more exercise. Not to mention that idiotic Rider even tried to set me up with her. Gee, what a pushy girl she was, really.

"But it was getting late and the war would soon restart, so we had to send the girl home for her own safety. So I used hypnotic suggestion on her and we never saw each other again."

Waver finally finished his story. And along with the blush on his cheeks, his eyes bore a nostalgic expression.

"Wow, that was quite a story," Rin commented, genuinely impressed by it. He didn't seem to be making this up. 'A drunk man's talk is a sober man's thoughts', it was also said. "But you never thought of looking for her after the war?"

"Nah, never got her name," the lord brushed it off. "And it's been too long. I probably wouldn't even recognize her if I saw her again."

"Didn't she have any particular features? Something distinguishable about her?" Rin wasn't sure why she was probing so much into it. Playing matchmaker wasn't her thing. It was probably more out of sheer curiosity, since she never expected her grouchy tutor to have a soft side.

'And knowing a few of his weaknesses might come in handy if I ever want to get back at him,' the sinister part of her mind reminded.

"Hmm," Waver mused, as if in deep thought. "I recall she was wearing a high school uniform. I guess it was of that school of yours in Fuyuki. And she was carrying a bamboo sword...," he racked his brain further and completed. "Ah, and that sword had something like a miniature tiger attached to the hilt."

At this very moment, Rin's mouth curved into a very, very wicked smile. That kind of smile that a typical movie villain would make before throwing the hero into a crocodiles pit. Maybe his head was still dazed by the alcohol, but Lord El-Melloi II didn't perceive it.

Oh yes, that feeling of familiarity she had during all the narrative wasn't there for nothing. She knew way too well of whom he was talking about. Oh, she definitely couldn't wait until she got home and told Shirou what she just learned. She would love to see her boyfriend's face after she told him the news.

Actually, scratch that. She couldn't wait until she phoned Fuyuki and invited Fujimura-sensei over to London for some vacation.

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Sometime in 2006.