PLEASE READ: Content is mildly graphic. Be warned.

The sound of striking steel echoed through the isolated forest surrounding the Uchiha Compound. The sharp resonating of steel clashing against steel seemed eerily calming in the otherwise quiet day. Perhaps it was the noise itself that deterred any animal from exiting their burrows, fearing any potential predator in favor of their normal routine. Regardless, the lack of any outside interference to the senses allowed for nothing less than absolute attention from Fugaku as he watched the heated spar going on between his two youngest sons.

At first glance, the bout looked to be evenly matched, however to Fugaku's veteran eyes, the match was downright infuriating and he was beginning to lose his patience.

Sasuke was on the attack; jumping around and aiming his strikes at Shirou's vital points with relentless ferocity and accuracy. His father would almost be proud of him were any of his attacks landing. As it stood, Sasuke's technique was, admittedly, quite adept. It could even be considered advanced for his age but despite this fact, Fugaku could not help but grow frustrated for his son's lack of ability to see through his brother's deceitful battle style.

It was Shirou himself that had garnered the most aggravation from their father. The two had just broken apart from each other and stood in a momentary stalemate to catch their breath and adjust their tactics. Shirou had a kunai in each hand, held chest-high parallel to each other, leaving every vital spot open to attack. Or so it appeared. Sasuke, as would most fighters, instinctively went for the openings every time and Shirou, at the last moment and without any wasted movement, dodged and prepared for a counterattack immediately. Only for it to miss or be blocked. It had taken Fugaku longer to notice than he would have liked to admit, but when he finally realized what his youngest was doing, his already stretched patience finally gave way.

When it had come time to teach Shirou their clans Fire Ball Jutsu, Fugaku had high hopes for him after the successes of his elder brothers. That hope was dashed as Shirou showed no such affinity for the element at all. Though displeased, he held out hopes for him to prove himself in other areas. Throughout the last couple months, he had noticed that Shirou had a particular knack for close combat. Though his stance seemed suicidal, it allowed Shirou to dictate the match; using his opponents own battle instincts against them. Yet Sasuke won most of their matches. This was Fugaku's biggest clue as to his son's intentions and, in Fugaku's eyes, his biggest affront.


The two had just taken their first step toward renegotiating contact when their father's strict demand caused them to immediately stop mid-motion and turn towards the fuming clan head.

He silently evaluated the two of them before finally speaking.


"Yes, father," the Uchiha's middle child bowed reverently to his father as he replied, hoping beyond hope for some form of praise from the man.

"...Head inside," the patriarch responded finally after another thoughtful pause. "I need to speak with Shirou alone."

If one were paying attention, like Shirou was, they would have easily noticed Sasuke's shoulders momentarily drop before being replaced by the proud facade that he put up in front of everyone. He reminded Shirou slightly of Rin in that way. Perhaps, he thought. Perhaps that why they don't get along. No doubt Arturia has already noticed this.

Attempting to dissuade or otherwise hamper the oncoming scolding with a preemptive strike, Shirou bowed his head low.

"My efforts are not up to your standards, Tou-sama," Shirou spoke slowly and respectfully, but his words were far from genuine and he was sure the subtle venom that had escaped his tone at the end was not unnoticed. Since Shisui's death, Itachi had been stopping by less often, his missions more frequent, and the tension in the household between the current head and heir had escalated to the point of it being near tangible in the air around them in the instances the two were in the same area. Information was hard to come by in his current age and body but he had managed to piece together enough to know that there was some form of conflict between the village and the clan, though what exactly was the cause he didn't know, and recently, it felt as though it's nearing its boiling point. From what Shirou could gather from the few talks he was able to eavesdrop on(even with reinforced hearing, it wasn't easy to spy on experienced shinobi; especially if you took a priority on doing so without be noticed), Itachi seemed to be trying his best to pacify and mediate the situation. Fugaku, on the other hand, seemed to be blinded by pride and honor. The way his father had handled the situation at every corner infuriated Shirou, though even dense as he was, Rin and Arturia had convinced him not to interfere unless it was unavoidable.

"You have let me down every chance I've given you," Fugaku's voice seemed to scream of carefully tempered rage and disappointment. At this point, the man's opinion of Shirou didn't matter to the boy—he had even expected the man hated him—though the bluntness of the statement still surprised him slightly. "Your talent for the Ninjutsu this clan is renowned for is nonexistent, as is your talent for Ninjutsu in general. Your ability to quickly learn the shunshin was quickly demerited by your inability to take the technique any farther than what a novice could accomplish. Your Taijutsu showed promise but your style, while skilled in it, will lose you your life before you're ever able to gain any honor for yourself. In addition, in spite of your obvious skill in your own... style of fighting, you always hold back and never even attempt to win your matches. You lack any intent to kill. That will get you killed if your fighting style doesn't. What's more is you seem perfectly aware of all of this but make no attempt to correct your actions, despite the blatant disrespect your actions reflect on the clan. I have ignored your associating with that Hyuuga girl and the orphan despite my reservations, and my lenience has rewarded with me with nothing but more failure."

"Is that all that we are to you?" Shirou prided himself on being an even-tempered individual, but the mention of the two that meant the most to him had placed his self control dangerously close to the edge. As it were, his words were a barely repressed hiss through his teeth. Compared to Kiritsugu, this man was an insult of a father in Shirou's eyes. At first, he couldn't explain it, but the more he discovered of Fugaku's priorities in the months since his hospitalization, the more he felt the reasons for his distaste were solid. Kiritsugu may not have been the ideal parent, and from what Shirou had found out at the Clock Tower, most people couldn't even consider him an ideal human... but the man that raised 'Shirou Emiya' knew what was important. Fugaku Uchiha didn't. "Assets to the clan?"

"The clan is everything," his 'father' glowered. Of course.

"Not everything," Shirou's response was spoken low, but firm and he held his father's glare for a moment more before deciding himself that the conversation was over. Turning his back to the coniferous terrain of the training area exclusive to the main branch of his clan, he made his trek back to the main house; not giving pause to allow his father a retort.

The last couple weeks, Shirou had been on edge. There were no visible differences, but the atmosphere around the entire village felt tense and offensive. It was the same kind of apprehension he felt during days of the Fifth Grail War. Like everyone was just trying to enjoy going through the motions of their everyday lives before all hell inevitably broke lose. His promise to Rin and Arturia not to interfere only added more to his own feeling of restlessness. He understood why they requested as much of him, and he had no intentions of breaking his promise, but the inability to act added onto every well earned instinct he possessed telling him to act was.. unnerving him.

Making his way into his family home, he immediately paused when he caught a familiar scent. The unique signature of a certain individual hit his brain along with Sasuke's and three other individuals he didn't recognize, but the distinct and underlying smell of ember marking them all as Uchiha.

Itachi-nii is home, he realized. I hope his mission went all right.

Though he wouldn't quite classify it as a complete sensory ability, like what Arturia seemed to possess, his ability to distinguish an individual's unique signature via his sense of smell had somehow carried over into his new life, something he'd noticed since becoming 'aware.' While Arturia's sensor abilities were more that of a true sensor, her scope of detection somewhat akin to an in depth radar, his own ability was more analogous to the Inuzuka clan's; though way less flexible. While the Inuzuka could use their abilities to track over longer distances and from older trails, his own abilities were more limited in range in relations to himself, though he could gauge the overall chakra capacity of an individual through his smell slightly better than the average clan members, though not nearly as adept as some of the Inuzuka's more elites, such as the current clan head, Tsume.

"—by the way, we have our own connections inside of the Anbu black ops. You try and sweep this under the rug, and we're gonna know about it."

Shirou was abruptly hit with an almost suffocating amount of killer intent. Guessing the identity of the aggressor, Shirou quickly ran to the front entrance of his home.

Sasuke was terrified. The sheer fury displayed on his big brothers face formed a picture he would have never associated with Itachi—nor did he ever want to again. Itachi's hands clenched into fists over Shisui's note and the strange pressure that made him feel as though he was suffocating somehow worsened then lessened slightly, and it was a moment until he gave his response, something more like a low, threatening growl than actual human speech:

"...why don't you just come out and say it!?"

The members of the Uchiha Police force whipped their heads back around, their sharingan active in response to Itachi's.

"You believe I had a hand in this don't you?" Itachi continued, his eyes cold, almost unrecognizable to Sasuke.

The first one to respond was the short brunette, "Yeah, that's right. Punk."

"Listen, Itachi. If we find out you've betrayed the clan, you'll pay for your crimes."

The tallest of the trio had barely finished his sentence before Sasuke saw Itachi begin to move. Itachi, however, found no chance to finish whatever his planned actions before Shirou, whom no one there had even noticed his presence, beat him to it as the small, snow-haired boy burst past Itachi at speeds he hadn't shown capable of before. Quickly jumping up off the ground and spinning mid-air counter-clockwise, Shirou twisted his hip and planted a firm right foot to the tall ones face which, to the astonishment of everyone present, swiftly knocked the man unconscious to the ground before landing in a low crouch with one hand beneath himself.

Sasuke watched in awe as his younger brother pulled out a tanto, from where, he wasn't sure, and prepared a stance to continue his assault on the other two. Sasuke felt ashamed. He knew that he had a responsibility to Shirou right then but was frozen as his body couldn't overcome his confusion and fear he felt in this situation.

Itachi for his part felt not fear, but shared his brothers confusion at the current situation. He'd had suspicions of Shirou's capabilities for a while now but seeing them brought out in a way that was so unlike him gave the eldest sibling pause.

Fortunately, their indecision was interrupted as before the skirmish could escalate any further, Fugaku's appearance seemed to halt everyone in their tracks for differing reasons, aside from Shirou himself, whose glare only hardened on their father before he slowly stood from his crouched position and lowered his arms, though the strange sword was still in hand.

Shirou's scowl was matched by Fugaku's, the two stared each other down for a long moment before Shirou, without saying anything, turned and left. The direction indicating him leaving the Uchiha Compound entirely. Sasuke, finally regaining control over his body, made to chase after but Itachi held him back. Sasuke turned his head back to protest but was silenced once again when Fugaku spoke. He spoke loudly so that Itachi, Sasuke, the present members of Police Force, and all else present could hear. A single declaration that in the future, the three brothers would all note as the point in time in which their paths began their split from each other.

"From here forward note that on this day, I, Fugaku Uchiha, renounce any and all rights Shirou Uchiha has as a member of the main family and will receive only the barest of rights as a member of the Uchiha Clan. This is an order as both Head of the Clan and of the Police Force."

Shock and fury at this proclamation struck both Itachi and Sasuke.

Shirou landed gently on the windowsill outside Rin's bedroom window, silently cursing himself for his actions. Sneaking into the Hyuuga's residence unnoticed is a difficult task when one is focused, and Shirou had nearly alerted his surroundings of his presence once during his entrance onto the grounds. It was almost midnight at this point. He had been roaming the village trying to blow off steam for several hours, doing menial chores, and he hoped Rin was awake though he, reluctantly, admitted the possibility of her being asleep being just as high. Knocking gently on the window, he was greeted by a pajama clad Arturia poking her head out inquisitively. Seeing Shirou, she gave him a gentle smile before Rin pushed her way through and gave him her own form of greeting.

"Oh, Shirou," Rin began, that devilish teasing grin ever-apparent on her face. "Sneaking into a noble's daughter's chambers in the middle of the night. Whatever are your intentions~?"

"Hey, Tohsaka, Saber," he smiled grimly and the underlying stress was evident to his partners.

Their faces changing to those of complete seriousness, Rin and Arturia ushered him inside quickly before Rin passed out tea. Situating themselves on the floor of Rin's bedroom, Arturia faced her former master.

"Shirou, tell us—"

"What did you get yourself into this time, dummy?"

"So basically, you lost your temper with your father, the clan head, no less, then attacked members of your own clan," Rin held her hand to her mouth in thought.

"This is unlike you, Shirou," Arturia, sitting in seiza on the floor, was as calm as the former Tohsaka, though her tone more prompt than scolding.

"If I didn't, then Itachi-nii would have," Shirou's reply was quick but firm.

"Then you should have let him," Arturia's response was firmer than before. "It was with him there was conflict, and so it was his honor to defend."

"You don't understand! They were accusing him of murdering Shisui! I couldn't stop him from attacking himself, but I could attack first. The alternative was if he was the one doing the assault, he would have looked more guilty—"

"I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than that, Shirou," her tone snapped at the attention of both of her guests. Rin's serious tone rarely came out, so when it did, people knew to listen. "You weren't raised in nobility originally, like Saber, or even taught to be a proper mage, like myself, so you don't understand the consequences of what you just did; or what the possible ramifications are."

Arturia gave a grim nod in return and Shirou seemed to have lost all air in him.

"Is it really that bad?"

Arturia nodded again slowly. "The fact that he was so blatant in his disappointment of you would normally indicate your were already in a somewhat low standing in the eyes of the clan, being the son of the current head probably worked against you in this case."

"And then, you attack a member of your own clan, a member of the Uchiha Police, and attempted to attack two others; in spite of the fact that we still know nothing of the reasons for the current state of Konoha," Rin seemed to be talking more to herself as opposed to actually conversing with the two of them. The last sentence trailing off as her expression deepened in thought. Seemingly coming to a conclusion, she looks back over to the two. "This is bad, Shirou. I think... I think you should apologize."

Shirou stared hard into Rin's eyes before deciding that she had probably thought this through in more ways than he could conceive. He decided to trust the genius that he knew lay behind the girls proud image. He got up to leave but Rin stopped him grabbing hold of his hand.

"Don't. If you try it now, not only will he not forgive you, you'll also lose more honor in the eyes of the clan."


"No, Shirou" Arturia was the one to cut in this time. "I know that you hold no weight on things like pride and honor, but the world does and as we are right now, we need to wait and build our strength before taking large actions."

"I..." this was one of the decisions he hated the most. This was he a decision that, in his own twisted mind, was one of many small-yet-large decisions that he would make every now and then. Decisions that he knew would take him either one step farther down the same path as Archer or one step away. Archer would have taken action by now, regardless of the risks. It's what Shirou wanted to do. Which is why... "I understand, Rin. Arturia."

Rin perked up immediately and gracefully got to her feet.

"Good boy," she patted Shirou on the head, who grunted. "You can grovel tomorrow evening after taking Saber and I on a date. In the meantime, you will be staying here tonight."

Arturia blushed then choked slightly on her tea. "But Rin, that's indecent!"

"Oh?" Rin smirked, the look of mischief incarnate, and Shirou knew Arturia had just fallen for some well-laid trap. "And where is your mind at Saber? After all, we're only six. What could you possibly have thought of for the three of us to do other than an innocent sleepover?"

With every word Rin uttered, Arturia's face grew a darker shade of red until her responses were left an indecipherable stutter of embarrassment. Shirou smiled to himself at the pairs antics.

I think... if things just stayed the way they are... I'd be fine with that.

"See you later, Shirou!"

"Good night, Shirou."

Shirou gave them a tired wave good bye. Night had long since fallen and Rin's idea of a 'date' had been loading Shirou with bags; using him as a pack mule for the entirety of the day and more as she squandered yet another family's fortune on nonsensical items and clothes for her and Arturia.

He turned and began his trek back towards his own home, making sure to slow his pace so as to hopefully delay the inevitable lecture he was about to receive from his father, the distance between the Hyuuga and Uchiha compounds was not great. Or wouldn't receive. Shirou admitted there was a chance he wouldn't even listen to him and realized, he didn't much care. His mother, on the other hand... he didn't want to worry her. Shirou never really had mother before. It was nice. Like Fuji-née but responsible.

Shirou's first step into the Uchiha grounds sent an icy chill down his spine and to his very core. Sweat accumulated heavily on his palms and his throat became bone dry. His heart began pounding, slowly at first, then gradually faster and harder until his chest felt as if it were about to burst.

All around him, staining everything it touched and coating the air itself in its own rustic scent, was the suffocating smell of spilt blood. The lights were out in the streets, in the houses, everywhere was pitch black, yet coated in pools of crimson reflecting the only visible light source in sight: the moon. Shirou darted to the closest house, hoping he would find someone, anyone. An elderly couple lay slain on the floor.

Fires tore around him. Adults trapped under fallen debris were grasping at the boy, pleading for help, but—

He made his way to the next house. The door was intact! Maybe—his hopes dashed. A woman and child dead in the home. The child on the floor; the mother pinned to a wall with a kunai.

A mother was screaming for someone to save her baby, not realizing the infant she was waving around begging aid for was already dead. Burnt to a black char along with the woman's legs and entire left side. The delusional screams of her impossible hope was only silenced once the raging inferno collapsed the building on her. The boy ignored them and—

Bodies littered the streets further in the grounds. The entire area devoid of noise. Not a whisper of a noise from Shirou as he quickly went from home to home, searching for any trace of life while making his way towards his own residence.

The boy cast his memories into the fire—


The boy cast his emotions into the fire—

Not again.

He burst the rough the doors of his house. His mother and father lay in of pool of their own substance. Shirou heard a noise in the hall and traced Kanshou and Byakuya, silently cursing himself for not having done so already. Turning slowly round the corner into the hall, he noticed a small for, around his size, on the ground.

Finally, the boy cast away his hope into the fire—


And he wasn't covered in blood.

Seeing a chance, Shirou made to check on his brother was confused when he felt a sharp pain in his chest and found himself rooted to his spot.

Dazed, he looked down and noticed something sticking out of his chest. Blood filled his lungs from where sword had pierced one of them. The flow only seemed to greaten when he felt a foot on his back used as leverage to quickly, and painfully, pull the sword out and Shirou slumped down on the floor, his consciousness hanging by a thread. Panting heavily, he slowly looked up through crimson eyes, determined to at least see the face of his family's killer before his breath hitched.

Looking down on him with a sword in hand was the Uchiha Clan heir and his older brother, Itachi.

Shirou felt lost, hurt, confused, betrayed.. but his biggest question was 'why?' A quick glance at the sword that impaled him told him one thing though before his vision faded.

"...your blade is filled with regret... nii-san..."

And the boy wondered... could he ever smile like that?

AN: Sorry for the delay. I am currently with out a computer.

Fixed a typo where Fugaku called Shirou 'Emiya.' There really wasn't any excuse for this other than I just accidentally typed out the wrong name due to habit. Now to explain some things and tell you why I'm not explaining others.

Shirou wasn't banished from the clan, just the main family. It's a similar treatment to what Obito is portrayed as having gone through, depending on your source.

When Shirou reads the history of a blade, in my reasoning anyway, I always doubted that the sword gives him a word for word of previous events, it's a sword. So when he 'reads' Itachi's sword, he doesn't get filled on on the entire conspiracy but enough to know that Itachi didn't want to do it.

For Shirou's 'suicidal style,' he copies Archer's style. I know that people are telling me that he never used that style often but, to be honest, I prefer it and that style is easier to describe when you're trying to write a story and I'm taking a few liberties so I can do certain things.

I did a shit job of explaining it in the earlier chapter, but from one franchise to another, conceptually at least, the tenkutsu in Naruto and the magic circuits in Type-Moon look and work pretty similar. At least, in a way that I thought it could translate over. That's why I'm making the connections between the two. No, they're not exact, but they are similar enough to draw comparisons.

For the few saying that there was no way that Shirou would have let the massacre happen: they're all six years old, physically. On top of that, the three of them weren't aware of what was going on other than that there was something going on, which is why Rin and Arturia were trying to calm Shirou down. Without knowing the problem, and already on thin ice with his family, they told him to wait until they could get more information. It just so happened to be too late.

Another reason the massacre had happen, was a test on Shirou's resolve. He had bad survivors guilt from the Fuyuki Fire so this will definitely effect his mindset, not being able to save the clan members.

Also, without saying too much, the seeds have been placed in each chapter for the biggest fallout caused by the massacre. I won't say what it is yet, but I've done everything for a reason and I can only hope you all continue to stick with me and keep reading.