(A/N) First of all, my bad. This is the last one I promise (I think). The stories y'all are actually readying will be updated any day now. This only exists because I couldn't get the thought out of my head. Now that it's out, I can finally focus again.
There's not much else to say, really. The story is based on In Flight, if only in the sense that the idea of a fate/sekirei crossover only seems plausible because Gabriel Blessing did it first. I would have sent him a PM for permission to write this story, but I don't think the good chap has been on this site since the first half of the decade.
Depressing thoughts aside, I present to you whatever the hell this is supposed to be.
P.s. this isn't a grimdark or otherwise angsty Shirou (as you will quickly find out despite the summary). He's just a bit of a fixer-upper (winks in Disney).
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at Haneda International Airport, local time thirteen twenty-eight. The current temperature is eighteen degrees Celsius. Please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened until…"
Emiya Shirou shifted in his seat, being awoken by the inflight announcement. As his eyes fluttered open, he caught sight of his neighbour smiling at him amusedly.
"You've been sleeping like the dead since we took off. Rough business trip?" guessed the man. He was middle-aged –thinning hair, widening waistline, and all. Though his suit was a little dishevelled by the long flight, the jacket was clearly well made. All in all, he looked the part of a Japanese salaryman, if a reasonably successful one. Shirou would wager that the man knew quite a bit about "rough business trips".
The younger of the pair laughed gently. "Something like that."
He was given a sympathetic nod. "I remember long flights like these taking a lot out of me when I was about your age; I was never the best at handling jetlag. If it's any consolation, it gets easier over time. Is your office giving you the day off, at least?"
Shirou shook his head. "I work overseas, actually. My last project was pretty big, so I took some time off to visit home."
"Ah!" the salaryman grinned sheepishly. "Sorry for reminding you of work while you're on vacation, then. I must say, it's unusual to see youngsters of your generation wearing suits when they're not on the job. Is it in style now or something?"
Before Shirou could answer, the seatbelt light turned off.
"… thank you for flying with us, and we hope to see you again soon. Have a nice day!"
The salaryman sighed. With a grunt, he got up and grabbed his overhead baggage swiftly so as to leave room for the younger man in the window seat. As he left, he bade farewell, "I won't keep you any longer. Rest up, kid."
"I will, thanks."
After allowing the other passengers to evacuate the aircraft before him, Shirou crossed the jet bridge connecting to the terminal at a brisk pace. His carry-on was small, so he was able to move swiftly.
He caught sight of his sleeve from the corner of his eye and grimaced. Maybe he shouldn't have worn the suit on the flight after all? He probably could've found a place to change his clothes once he arrived.
"Excuse me, are you Emiya Shirou-san?"
He was stopped at the terminal entrance by a pair of security guards.
Wait, no. These were actual police officers, weren't they?
"That's me," he confirmed. "Is there something that I can do for you?"
They didn't give him a direct answer. "Please come with us. We'd like to ask you some questions."
Shirou held back a frown. That's what he was afraid of.
But what could they possibly want from him? It's not like he entered the country illegally or anything. He bought a totally normal flight ticket, and his passport was authentic.
A SIG Sauer M17 pistol and a BR18 rifle were placed on the table in front of him.
"We found this in your luggage," one of the police officers in the small, secluded room remarked.
Shirou kept a straight face, but his mind was running a mile a minute trying to figure out what tipped them off.
Yes, he might have brought some relatively illegal firearms into his home country that just so happened to have particularly stringent gun control regulations, but that shouldn't have been an issue here– it never was before.
His suitcase was a mystic code, after all. There wasn't a security system in the world that he knew of that could accurately detect its contents.
Nevertheless, the fact of the matter was that he was found out. If he wanted to get out of this terrible situation, he'd need to revisit tried and true methods to divert their suspicions.
"That's not my luggage," he denied lamely.
The men in uniform gave each other pained looks. To Shirou's dismay, one of them left the room while the other took a seat across from him.
And just like that, it had become an interrogation. The man took out a tablet that Shirou didn't recognize. New protocol, maybe?
"It says here that you haven't been back to Japan since two thousand and nine, mister Emiya. What is the purpose of your visit?"
"I'm here to visit my hometown," Shirou answered easily.
"And how long do you plan on staying?"
"Eight days, including today."
The officer tapped something on the screen.
"I'm a licenced mechanic, plumber and electrician. I just finished a year-long contract with the British government, so I felt the need to take some time off to visit a friend."
"What's your friend's name?"
The officer grunted, unconvinced, but he still typed out the name on his tablet. "And for what purpose did you bring two military-grade firearms into the country? Doesn't seem like something a tradesman like yourself would carry around. You're aware that having these in your possession can land you fifteen years in prison? That's not including any smuggling charges."
"Like I said, those aren't mine."
"Enough. This is a waste of time."
The one who spoke wasn't the officer, but a woman who burst through the door with a deep scowl on her face.
Sahashi Takami glared at the cellphone buzzing in her hand.
She might have been a serious sort of person, but she liked to think that she had decent control over her temper– God knows she's needed it over the years. That said, the annoyance she felt towards this inanimate device would have been unusual in other circumstances.
However, she wasn't in a great mood to start with. She had just found out that her son went ahead and flunked his university entrance exam again, and now she was getting a call from the police department?
It had better be about the company. If she found out that one of her kids did something stupid, she might just have to strangle them both.
First, the one that got arrested, then the other one for good measure.
Mustering all her courage, she answered. "Hello?"
"Miss Sahashi? You might want to drop by Haneda Airport. One of MBI's machines caught a heavily armed man trying to sneak into the city."
"Another one?" she moaned. Her kids would live another day, it would seem.
"This is the third one this week… are you sure you don't want us to just hand him over to the guys here?"
"No, I'll come."
If you want something done right, do it yourself, as the saying goes. For however convenient it would be to replace the local police force with MBI's paramilitary, the truth of the matter was that the personnel under MBI's employ had an unfortunately long-running history of pissing her off. The police force was firmly under the company's thumb, either way, so she could trust them to do their job with more confidence than she could trust MBI to try to fill their shoes.
Similarly, she'd rather work herself to death than delegate any of her chores to that useless bunch.
"Get a car ready," she told the officer on the other end of the line. "We'll just take him back with us and get what we can out of him here."
"Got it. Anything else, ma'am?"
"Yeah. Send me the guy's record, would you? Everything you've managed to put together so far."
She ended the call and stuffed the damned phone back into her coat pocket.
A grey-haired woman walked into her office at that moment. Had her name not been uttered, one would think that her entrance into the sound-proofed room was a coincidence.
"Got a new toy for me?" she asked, sporting an unreadable smile.
An alarm sounded on Takami's phone, interrupting her thoughts before she could speak. A quick glance told her that the files she had requested had arrived.
In less than a minute, too. Not too shabby, for once.
"Maybe," Sahashi told the younger woman. She gave the files a quick once-over. "Hm? How quaint. This guy's Japanese. Rarer than you'd think. His name is…"
"Emiya Shirou, thirty-three years old– who would've thought, huh? You're definitely younger than you look."
Shirou stared back at the woman with as blank a look as he could manage.
"Born and raised in Fuyuki, Japan… Oh!" she shouted with clearly-faked cheer. She finally looked up from the tablet to meet his eyes with a half-disinterested stare. "About fifteen years ago, you left the country and moved to Europe. Says here that you're a British resident, but your travel record over the past eighteen months is quite extensive, you world-traveller, you."
He wasn't having it. "Can I have my suitcase back, please? I'm going to have to give my hotel a call, at this rate."
"I suppose you'd like the handgun and assault rifle back, too?"
"Like I said, those aren't mine. Do whatever you'd like with them."
The firearms were mundane weapons, so he didn't care too much if they disappeared. The suitcase, on the other hand, was a magical item. If he wasn't able to retrieve it, alternative measures would need to be taken.
To his surprise, the woman took out a pack of cigarettes and lit one on the spot. This was a smoke-free building, wasn't it?
"Tell me a little about miss Matou. You're here to pay her a visit, you said. Is that right?"
"What would you like to know?" asked Shirou. He didn't mind being transparent about the matter. He wasn't lying after all.
"I guess I find it kind of strange that you came all the way back here for a dead girl. She passed away in two thousand and four."
It didn't take them a lot of digging to figure that one out, it would seem.
"There was a lot on my mind at the time," the man rebutted. "I wasn't able to pay my respects back then, so here I am now."
He tugged at the cuff of his all-black suit meaningfully.
"After sixteen years?"
She wasn't having it.
"I'm afraid that you'll need to come with me, sir."
Shirou shut his eyes in resignation. He could only blame himself for the terrible situation that he'd found himself in– however it was that it came to this. He could always force himself out later, but for now, it was easiest to do as he was told.
This predicament was still salvageable, after all.
It was only once that Shirou was strong-armed into the back seat of a black Humvee that he considered his situation to be a little less forgiving than he'd originally thought.
His hands were cuffed behind his back, and a metal net separated him from the driver. He could tell instantly that both the doors and windows were heavily reinforced.
If escaping his captors was necessary, none of these were factors that needed any further consideration. The only problem was the creepy woman who occupied the seat next to his.
Usually, you wouldn't cage someone you believe to be a dangerous criminal together with another person. It would be a hostage situation begging to happen.
He'd bet anything that she wasn't a normal human, though, so such worries were most definitely moot.
There were no words exchanged between them on the trip to wherever it was that they were going. She just kept smiling at him, as if she were anticipating something.
Decidedly, going along with the woes of whoever had picked him up from the airport was a terrible idea.
They weren't the police, that's for sure. Though the metal box that he was trapped inside of along with the chair that he was strapped to could pass for a particularly meanspirited containment cell, the way that the creepy woman was eagerly tapping the edge of her katana was a little different from standard police behaviour.
Had he been duped? His suitcase really shouldn't have been detectable by customs. If these people were part of a moonlit organization, then he was just wasting his time.
The issue was that if he acted now and was wrong in his assumption, then he would be forced to uphold the laws of the association.
How unfortunate it would be if he needed to kill everyone in this building. Truly a waste of human life.
The tip of the katana pressed against his jugular.
"Hey, Mister," the woman drawled. She sounded surprisingly tired despite the peppy way in which she carried herself. "If you don't want to talk, that's okay with me."
The white-haired man quirked a brow.
"Mhm. I'll just kill you now. I kind of want to."
Without a doubt, he was not at a police station. This woman was too unhinged to pass any sort of psychological screening needed to land the job.
Either way, he persisted, "Like I said earlier, I really don't–"
Shirou cranked his neck to the side just in time to avoid the blade thrust towards his face at inhuman speeds. He saw her baffled look just as it was replaced by her smiling mask once more.
"I change my mind," she said. "I'll play with you a little more."
With a flick of the wrist, she cut through the steel chains binding him to the chair. Unsurely, the man stood and faced his captor.
The sword came swinging at him again, though much more swiftly. Due to the limited space in the containment cell, he could only shuffle backwards to keep his head attached to the rest of his body.
He couldn't detect any signs of reinforcement. Though he was growing more and more confident in his assumption that his captors were not regular people, he had yet to smell any sort of mage craft. As unbelievable as it sounded, the woman's supernatural talents were simply an aberration.
That, or she just wasn't human.
With each swing that he dodged, her swings became more focused. The woman's amused smile morphed into one of ecstasy.
It was when he took advantage of one of her strikes to split his handcuffs apart that she stopped her advances altogether. Though he was still cautious, he stopped as well due to the suddenness of her stilling.
"Why did you come to Japan, Mister?"
Shirou frowned. Again with this? It's not like they were going to listen to what he was saying.
"I came to visit a good friend of mine," he answered honestly.
Her grin became sadistic. For whatever contrived reason, she spoke to him like an apologetic store clerk rather than a nutjob who was fishing for reasons to cut him open. "Is that right? How about we pay Sakura-chan a visit together then? That'll clear up any misunderstandings, right?"
No, that wasn't right at all. Showing this woman a tombstone was no reason to let him go– not that he believed them to have any intention of doing that, to begin with.
What was she trying to accomplish, here?
"Alright. Is this fine with your boss?"
The woman's grin threatened to split her face.
"I wouldn't worry about it."
When Karasuba forced some lackey to drive her and her new plaything two and a half hours south of Shinto Teito, she was really hoping for something interesting.
Honestly, she felt played– like she played herself, rather.
He seriously dragged her all the way here to visit a corpse. Boring.
How frustrating. She went ahead and ignored Takami's express orders to deal with the spy within the confines of BMI's interrogation rooms in the hopes that he'd show her something interesting again.
With nothing but a skilled body to rely on, he kept his own death at bay for nearly a minute. For a human, that was impressive, right? If she gave him a longer leash, he'd be able to show her something even better, right?
And yet, here they were. Forget putting up a fight, he didn't even try to run away.
"Are you done there, Mister?"
Frustratingly, he wasn't answering her. He didn't even bother looking at her. He was sitting cross-legged in front of a grave, not at all mindful of the wet earth ruining his expensive-looking pants.
"Thanks," he spoke over his shoulder.
Karasuba wasn't expecting that at all.
"I beg your pardon?"
"Thank you," he repeated. "I don't like bloodshed."
Hah. How peculiar. Maybe he wasn't as interesting as she had originally hoped.
"Let's go," she insisted. She had enough of this. Utterly pointless. Not at all worth Takami jumping down her throat again. She would bring him back to headquarters, gut him, and tell Takami some made-up story to make her think that she bothered to do her job.
A government agent sent to capture one of the younger birds? Mhm. She liked the sound of that. Generic, but then again, it was only so because it was the most likely story.
For all she knew –or cared– it might as well have been the truth.
"Coming," the man answered after a moment. With a parting glance to the tombstone, he followed her back to the car waiting for them at the front of the church.
What a disappointment this one was. Maybe he just got lucky? He didn't actually think that he'd be able to get out of this, did he?
She had captured him, and so he was already her prey. His life belonged to her now.
And she had enough of him.
They drove back in silence. Though she sat in the back with him on the way out, she didn't bother when they returned. Riding shotgun, she leered out the window with an unfocused yet oddly unwavering stare.
The car rumbled and came to an abrupt stop.
Karasuba glared at the driver questioningly.
"I– uh… I don't know what's wrong ma'am. I'll check the hood–"
"Don't bother," she told him. "How far are we from HQ?"
How frustrating. They couldn't call another car to pick them up because she didn't want Takami to know where she was.
"On foot? Er… fifteen minutes?"
Karasuba pulled herself out of the now-useless vehicle. Her sigh carried clear marks of exhaustion. "That's fine. Let's go, Mister."
She opened the door for him, and he followed without any issue. At least the lamb followed along to the slaughter obediently.
The sun was setting now. Had it really been that long? What a wasteful day.
They walked along in silence. Though she appreciated the peace and quiet, Karasuba couldn't help but resent the easy-going nature of the spy. He knew that he was about to die, right? The least he could do was show some fear, or even a little panic would do just fine, really.
A teenage girl with short, pink hair popped out from an alleyway. Behind her was a plain-looking man in his twenties. Nothing was particularly outstanding about either of them save for the fact that the street was otherwise completely empty, and that they were clearly blocking their path.
The girl's expression was strangely resolute.
Karasuba grinned. Maybe the day was salvageable after all.
Shirou felt utterly lost. Who were these people supposed to be?
He turned his head towards the woman with the sword in the hopes that he'd get some sort of explanation from her, but she was clearly ignoring him.
"You're like her, right?" the plain-looking man asked while pointing at his companion.
The lady with the sword chuckled.
"And if I am?"
The pink-haired girl lifted a fist, and a pair of chakram floated behind her.
Telekinesis. A supernatural ability used with the intent to harm.
The bladed disks shot forward. Though they were directed at the Sword Woman rather than himself, he stepped forward and grabbed them out of the air. The girl's telekinetic powers pushed against his hold, but the reinforcement spell that he cast on himself proved to be too powerful for her to fight against.
Once they were in his grasp, their edges crumpled and dulled. It was easy to cast alteration on such a simple object.
Of course, all onlookers were caught off guard by his use of mage craft. There wasn't any point in keeping his abilities hidden anymore, however.
It would be irresponsible of him to leave a supernatural being to its own devices when threatened to expose the existence of the moonlit world. He couldn't predict how many lives would be lost if he turned a blind eye to it now.
It would have to die.
Karasuba's eyes widened as her little lamb had suddenly decided to become interesting once more. Through means unknown to her, he had rendered the little bird's weapons useless.
The girl and her Ashikabi glared at the man uneasily. Karasuba felt her smile pinching her cheeks.
"Hold on!" the Ashikabi shouted. "So you were the–"
A thin blade –more of a dagger– was lodged in the little bird's throat. She died instantly.
Karasuba's breath hitched.
How? The spy must have done it– but how? He didn't throw anything. He didn't so much as twitch.
"No!" the Ashikabi screamed. Was it grief that he felt? Anger? Both?
The spy seemed wholly uninterested in the man's mental state.
"You were with her?" asked the spy, tilting his head towards the corpse.
"She… she was my–"
And the Ashikabi dropped dead alongside his Sekirei. The spy lowered the pistol to his side.
Once again, Karasuba was entertained.
No… it was more than that. This moment was truly joyous. She hadn't been in such a good mood in a long time.
"Hey, Mister. Where did you get that gun from? I thought our fellas shook you down before bringing you in."
He didn't answer, instead offering an apologetic smile.
"Sorry. I'll have to kill you too."
Her teasing grin turned savage. Her heart skipped a beat.
"You're like her, right? I don't know who you people are, but if you're going to be causing problems then you're better off dead," he explained bluntly.
He dropped the gun. Somehow, she didn't notice where he'd found the pair of dao that he now held in each hand.
Swords, of all things. This human thought that he could fight her with swords.
A heat simmered in her loins.
There was something witty that she had wanted to say –to pick at his brain a little more– but apparently, she had a little less restraint than she had anticipated. Her legs moved before she could think properly, and her sword came crashing down on the human's head.
The blow was suspended, met in the air by one of the swords. Karasuba held back a giggle, noticing that the blade of her weapon chipped under the force she had applied whereas his dao wasn't even scratched.
With just one arm, though it was starting to buckle under the pressure she was applying, the human held her off.
As close to him as she was, Karasuba whispered, "Killing me means losing any leads that I could offer to you. Do you really want a dark, mysterious third party running around under your–"
His second sword swiped at the inside of her leg, forcing her back a few paces in order to get away safely.
The man's expression was stone cold, her taunts weren't eliciting any sort of reaction from him.
"I'll manage, thanks. I can chase down the driver if I have to."
"Will you kill him too?"
"If I must."
Karasuba started to breathe heavily. Her heart hammered in her chest as the man went on the offensive. He wasn't faster than her, nor was he stronger than her, but he was skilled. Unnaturally so.
Skilled enough to justify his ability to hold his ground against her despite being nothing more than a human? Most definitely not, but she wouldn't complain.
Shirou hid a frown as another strike of his was blown to the side.
He was worried.
Not because of the fact that the woman had a clear physical advantage– at this point, he expected as much considering his track record with magical creatures.
It was more that the woman was making a really strange face, like she was sick.
As in, physically ill.
And yet, her strikes became more fierce and her footwork more controlled. He was seriously getting mixed signals from this creature.
His one, absolute advantage –one that he had capitalized on thus far– was the disparity in the quality of their weapons. Kanshou and Bakuya, the Noble Phantasms, would never lose a clash against a run-of-the-mill katana forged within the last year.
Though her blows were heavy, the sword was weightless.
And so, the next swing from Bakuya shattered it at the hilt.
The woman looked ready to pass out.
Victory was his. Bakuya followed a clean, telegraphed path meant to cut her down as quickly as possible while Kanshou followed behind, ready to deal the finishing blow once she made an attempt to distance herself from the sister blade's assault.
Only, she didn't do that at all.
Instead, the woman crashed into him and shoved her tongue down his throat.