I'm sure this comes as a shock to everyone, but I'm not in any way affiliated with or in ownership of Type-Moon and its products.

In the center of the darkness stood a tower, carved of flesh and curses. It made him sick just to look at it. From the great hole hovering in the air above the tower poured forth thick black mud, spreading across the ground beneath the tower, burning, burning everything it touched. The mud flowed towards where he was standing, and as it flowed over his feet and-

-a ruler was dragged to her execution, not understanding what she did wrong, not understanding how her subjects could be upset with her for bathing in the blood of their daughters and-

-a starving child stared up at the opulent palace, gnashing his teeth and cursing those who lived within and-

-a disowned child, only ever searching for acknowledgement from the one who sired "him" gasped for breath, transfixed upon the lance of "his" "father" and-

-a man stood above the corpses of his wife and children, red eyes wide and screamed in anguish and-

-the boy fell back, out of the mud, screaming as the fire began to char his legs. He didn't want this, didn't want to see, didn't want to know…

The tattooed arms reached around him from behind, wrapping around his body as the thing that they belonged to leaned forward and whispered into his ear- "Hey, hey, don't look away now! You have to keep to watching! Don't you get it yet? You know where this is, who I am. Hey, you accepted this burden. You can't just lock it away and pretend it doesn't exist! You feel it too, don't you? This place, where the base truth of humanity is laid bare, where suffering and curses are all that exists… this is what home feels like, you know?"

Shirou Kotomine awoke gasping for air. Golden-yellow eyes, near luminescent in intensity squinted in the morning sunlight. He had assumed when he was first brought to the church that it was a coincidence that his bed was perfectly set up so that the sun shone perfectly in his eyes. Now, two years later, he was almost certain that the room's arrangement was completely intentional on the part of Kotomine Kirei. He ran a hand through his prematurely gray hair.

"That dream again, huh?"

He sighed, stepping out of bed. "I guess I'll get started on making breakfast. Nii-san will get upset again if he doesn't get fed, and Dad'll just skip breakfast if I let him…"

Kotomine Kirei was always strange when it came to meals. In fact, he was strange when it came to most things, but that was beside the point. As far as food went, Shirou's father viewed just about everything with utter apathy bordering on disdain. Shirou had trained himself in cooking, making all kinds of different meals for his father in search of approval from the man. However, even at the point when Gilgamesh himself started to refer to Shirou's cooking as "passable", Kirei still treated it with total apathy – with one exception.

Mapo Tofu.

The first time Shirou attempted making Mapo Tofu was also the first time Kirei took interest in the meal he was cooking. While he was in the process of making it, his father had given him multiple tips, which eventually resulted in a dish spicy enough to make Shirou fear for his taste buds' continued existence and cause the King of Heroes to flinch. At first, Shirou had thought Kirei was messing with him again, but the vigor with which the older Kotomine had dug into the food and the look of joy on his face made him change his opinion. Over the two years that followed, Shirou came to appreciate the… unique… flavor of Mapo Tofu, and the dish would commonly be served for lunch and dinner, much to Gilgamesh's distaste.

Shirou shook himself out of his reminiscing in time to greet the golden-haired child that entered the room.

"Ah, Nii-san. Good morning. In child form again today, I see?"

"Yup! Kirei has guests visiting later today, and I've gotta avoid being seen, so I figured I'd head down to the park and play around with the commoner children. What's for breakfast?"

Shirou smiled as he pulled the pot off the stove.

"It's just miso soup and rice today, I'm afraid. We ran out of fish and I forgot to go stock up yesterday. I'll have to go to the shopping district and buy more today or tomorrow."

Gil smiled and replied that it was fine with him as a tall priest with a mullet-cut entered the room and began walking past, heading for the door that lead towards the chapel in an almost stealthy fashion. Unfortunately for Kotomine Kirei, his stature made sneaking past and skipping breakfast near impossible. Shirou grabbed his father by the collar and unceremoniously dragged him to his seat.

"Listen, Dad, I know you're disinterested in every food except Mapo Tofu, but man doth not live on bread alone, you know."

Kirei gave his son a pointed look.

"You do realize you just took that verse completely out of context, my son?"

Shirou smirked in response.

"I learned from the best, Father."


So yeah, this is a thing now. Got myself addicted to Type-Moon and next thing I know this happens.


Anyways, this story's being told in CYOA format over on the Beast's Lair Forums (The Type-Moon fan forum for those not in the know).

Go check that out if you want. Or don't. The choice is yours.

Remember, reviews are to Fanfiction authors as Mapo Tofu is to Kotomine Kirei. In short, I'd greatly appreciate them.

Chapter two's being uploaded at the same time, so I'll save the main comments for that one.