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Saber's Wish Saber's Wish original

Saber's Wish

Author: 7empest92

© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Saber's Wish Chapter 1

My name is Arturia Pendragon...

Once upon a time, I was king of Britain. I led my country out of a Dark Age and granted Britain an era of peace and prosperity; a time when chivalry and honor were the values we upheld.

An era that, however, lasted too briefly for me.

Despite my best efforts, my country, my kingdom, and my rule would fall to ruin. I worked tirelessly and fought great evils, all at great personal cost.

But in the end, it was not enough.

I've isolated myself from my subjects, my knights, and my friends... Sacrificed all sense of self and any chance of personal happiness all in pursuit of preserving the utopia I worked so hard to bring.

It proved to be my downfall.

So suddenly, I've endured deceit, contempt, betrayal, and death of those around me as it all fell apart.

And only I remained. Traumatized, heartbroken, and burdened with failure.

Failure towards all the people I have served... who have put their faith in me...

So in my dying breath, I reached out to the World... to have a fleeting chance, a hope beyond hope, to set things right for my kingdom and my people so may prosper once more. Even if I could not be a part of it.

And the World... answered.

I adopted a new name, a title, a class...

Saber.

I would be a Heroic Spirit, summoned as a familiar; a Servant, for a mage to become my Master in a war for the Holy Grail, a device that would grant the deepest desire and wish for the Servant/Master pair left standing when the fighting stopped, and the dust settled.

Alas, I would not be the only hero of old seeking what the Grail offered, and I had to fight to my fullest to have a chance of having my selfless wish granted.

The first time... I failed. Unable to defeat my final opponent and forced to destroy the Grail against my will. I returned to the Throne of Heroes, broken, but not shattered...

As sure enough, I was granted another chance to set things right...

But not in the way I was counting on...

I was summoned by mistake... by a seemingly unremarkable individual; Shirou Emiya, who as it turned out was the adopted son of my previous master, the one who took my chance at the Grail away from me at the last second.

As I would later discover, it was for a great reason...

Not being an experienced mage, my master could not properly support me, but I was determined to fight for the Grail anyway despite this limitation. Shirou would soon prove to be an exceptional mage... or rather, exceptional enough. Together, we fought through every opponent thrown at us, endured torture, heartbreak, and a dark curse put on me, and soon the Grail was within our grasp.

While this was happening, me and Shirou have been drawn to each other despite my resistance to... personal convivences. I was content with loneliness.

Or so I believed...

Soon we discovered the truth. The Grail could not grant our wishes; it had been tainted, cursed to devour all life as a cost to our wishes. We were devastated... me especially. Everything I had fought for had been for nothing. I would only be happy if I fulfilled my promise to my people, and that chance was gone.

Just then, we were betrayed. The Overseer of the Grail War used us to defeat the other participants so the Grail will manifest, and he could spread its darkness across the World. He even had my old enemy from the last Grail War, the one I couldn't defeat, as his ally. The odds of stopping them were against us.

But me and Shirou, we prevailed... together. The bond we forged at that point could not be broken. For the first time in my existence, I wanted more than to save my people. Instead of wishing to start over and undo all the good things I've achieved for my people, I would honor them by destroying the dark abomination that was the Grail, keeping past, present, and future intact.

Hopefully a future where I could be happy with that outcome... one with the master I fell in love with. Shirou...

And so we triumphed, but alas with the Grail's destruction, I would fade from existence, and not stay with Shirou. As much as I so badly wanted to...

We would not get a happy ending.

However, everything I have said so far...

You already knew...

As it would turn out, Shirou would find a shard; an uncorrupted shard from the Grail, that had enough magic left in it for one wish.

You can guess what happened...

I would come back, along with everyone else...

Most of the masters, the Servants; we are all here, free from the Grail War, free from having to fight each other. Afterall the hardship, everybody was settling into this new status quo nicely; just enjoying life.

I was no exception...

I returned as Shirou's familiar, and I can exist as long as he remains alive. We wasted no time getting me into a more permanent state in society, as well as establishing our relationship. I was initially reluctant to be brought back into this World with no direction.

But after embracing Shirou again, those feelings did not last long.

I was living with him, still with my Servant powers, and looking forward to a life of mine and Shirou's design.

Where I can put the past behind me once and for all, and could live not as a king, but as myself.

Right now, I am the happiest that I have been in ages and feeling proud of that.

But in the back of my mind, I began to wonder about something as months passed with me and Shirou. It did not bother me until one fateful day...

Why am I telling you this? Well as I am about to find out the hard way, my master may have ended up earning his wish on the Grail, as victor of the Holy Grail War.

I have not yet redeemed mine...

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[A/N: Story Opening Theme: "Blooming" by BAND-MAID (Composed by Miku Kobato, Saiki Atsumi, Misa, Kanami Tono, and Akane Hirose. Written by Miku Kobato)]

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It was a bright, sunny day in Fuyuki City, and in the neighborhood streets of the Shinto district, two individuals were walking beside each other. One was a teenage boy with red hair holding a duffle bag, and the other was a shorter, braided-blonde haired girl with emerald-green eyes with a complexion that was not at all Japanese.

"I had much fun today, Shirou," she said to the boy beside her. "I especially enjoyed that movie, even though I'm still a skeptic of "superheroes"."

"Issei and Ayako recommended it," said the red-haired boy named Shirou. "I wasn't able to see it with them when they went, but I knew you'd enjoy it, Saber."

"Yes. Curiously, I've found some interesting parallels."

"Like what?"

"Well... this "Spidey-sense" they called it; I can't help but think someone copied my Instinct skill..."

"Oh really?" Shirou said to Saber cheekily. "Never occurred to me..."

"I can't tell if you're being dense or not," Saber lightheartedly remarked. "I have to ask however, if you wanted to see it so adamantly, why didn't you go with Issei and Ayako? Not like you were busy... well, not as much as you were months ago after..."

Shirou turned to her as Saber trailed off, knowing perfectly well what she meant. The heartwarming smile he gave her affirmed Saber that Shirou understood what she was referring to.

"Why can't I watch a movie with just me and the girl of my dreams?" he said as it was an obvious fact. It made Saber's hurt flutter as she then added:

"And also take me back to the batting cage, the museum, and buying me a new lion plush?" Saber holds up the item in question to show Shirou before she continued. "I can't help but think that you are being extra nice to me today, Shirou. What for?"

"Must you question everything Saber? It's just a date as per usual..."

Saber turned to him as they walked and narrowed her eyes at him; her smile not leaving her face. She can tell if Shirou was not being honest, but judging from the growing on the boy's face, Saber also could see that Shirou was making no effort to hide that from her.

He knew something she did not.

"Shirou..." she addressed him in a mock-serious tone. "Don't take me for a fool."

"I never do, Saber," Shirou countered honestly. "If you want to know why..."

He suddenly stops and turned his whole body to face her, and Saber follows suit, looking at the boy inquisitively.

"It's simple..." Shirou answers. "You're worth it."

Saber's smile returned, and she had to push down the growing blush on her face. Ever since she was miraculously summoned back as per Shirou's wish months ago, every day she spent with him made her feel like the luckiest person in the world. Whether it be just going out in the city, practicing kendo, and learning (and often failing) to cook with him, Shirou did all he could to ensure Saber's happiness, after all the hardship of her past life and the hectic ordeal that was the Holy Grail War.

She came into that war prepared to make a dramatically altering wish, one that would have dishonored those she fought to protect and undo all her accomplishments, for a fleeting chance of history turning out slightly better. The former king who would be Servant Saber defined herself solely on her crusade to bring salvation to her people, and was willing to give anything, even her own humanity to make that happen.

Saber's master was in a lot of ways like her. Shirou lived to serve others while seeing himself as expendable, stricken by the death of his adopted father, who saved his life from a horrible fire that all but erased Shirou's previous life. They both learned to shed their self-destructive natures and learned to strive for their respective happiness. Saber now lived to embody the happiness she wished to give her people, and Shirou lived to fulfill his alongside his desire to help people.

As of recently, Shirou was thinking about going to college to pursue a profession that could do so while also building a future for him and Saber.

"You do too much for me..." she told Shirou as they continued walking, coming up to the Emiya residence.

"I do whatever my king desires..." Shirou said with a shrug as they came up to the front-door.

"I'm not a king anymore," Saber reminds him as Shirou pulled out the keys. "I wasn't even a good one."

"As usual, the most incredible girl I ever met sells herself short," he remarked before he unlocked the door. "I swear you have no clue how amazing you are to me."

They step inside as Saber once more found herself elated by Shirou's confession. The house felt curiously still and silent, absent of other occupants.

"And you never cease to amaze me, Shirou," she says as she followed Shirou into the family room of the large, traditional-style house. Shirou turns back and smiles at Saber, stopping before a corner and holding out a hand beckoning her to go ahead.

"You haven't seen anything yet... Arturia."

"What do you mean?" Saber asked, confused by his statement while she caught up to him, and went ahead around the corner as directed. "And why did you use my first name all of a sudden-?"

"SURPRISE!"

Arturia nearly jumped out of her skin as she entered the dining room and the lights turned on and revealed a nearly a dozen people. She would have summoned Excalibur for a fight if she had not recognized the myriad of people in the room.

Namely Taiga Fujimura: Shirou's legal guardian, Illyasviel von Einzbern: Shirou's stepsister, Sakura Matou and her servant: Rider Medusa, Issei Ryudou and Ayako Mitsuzuri: Shirou's classmates from Homurahara Academy, Lancer Cu Chulainn (admittedly strange for Arturia to see him here), and finally, Rin Tohsaka: Saber and Shirou's ally in the Holy Grail War.

"Happy Birthday Arturia!" the twin-ponytailed mage said to a still surprised Arturia.

"Wha-?! Birthday?!"

"You should've told us sooner Arturia-chan," remarked a cheery Taiga. "We would've thrown you something grander!"

"Shirou-senpai had to keep you busy all day for us to prepare," said Sakura.

"We hope this is good enough," then said the little white-haired girl, Illya.

"Don't mind the dog," the tall, lavender-haired woman with glasses that was Rider pointed out casually towards the tall man with blue hair and wearing a brightly colored shirt. "He invited himself..."

"I knew the kid wouldn't mind if I showed up," Lancer said shamelessly before adding; "Besides, I would not pass up the chance for free food."

"We all got you presents too!" Ayako pointed out for Arturia. The spectacled boy beside her, Issei then said:

"Shirou didn't want us going overboard, but we convinced him we would for his special someone that's NOT Tohsaka..."

"Watch it you," Rin warned him before beaming back at Arturia. "So, what do you think?"

Arturia blinked several times before a smile grew on her face from looking around at the decorations, the wrapped gifts and all the people in here; friends, some former "enemies", all who went out of their way to do this for her.

"It's perfect," she told them before slowly turning to Shirou. "But..."

She stares at him, still in complete disbelief of how Shirou managed this whole event for her, especially considering...

"How did you find out?" she asked the red-haired boy, needing badly to know. "I never told anyone my birthday."

"Me and Rin did a bit of research after... you know."

Arturia was left speechless yet again, amazed both Shirou and Rin managed to determine her birthday from over countless sources of King Arthur. So very few people in her time knew the exact date of her birth, and that information was very unlikely to survive to the modern age. Arturia never even celebrated her birthday since she pulled the sword from the stone. Considering the turmoil that gripping Britain at the time while she consolidated her rule, it never seemed important.

Until today, with the boy she loved...

"Shirou... I- I-!" She stammers, overcome with affection. "Thank you!"

Arturia attack-hugged Shirou, who gladly returned the gesture, earning some embarrassed stares and groans from certain onlookers, namely Rin.

"Lovebirds," she said under her breath as Shirou then told Arturia:

"Just wait until you see your cake..."

Pulling away, Arturia stared at Shirou with lit-up eyes. Shirou could have sworn her ahoge twitched the moment he said "cake."

"Did you make it?" Arturia asked.

"As a matter of fact, I did," Shirou boasted, only then for-

"He's had help..."

Arturia and Shirou both turned to the person who just emerged from the kitchen; a tall, tanned, white-haired man with an apron over his clothes and holding a spatula.

"Archer..." Arturia acknowledged. Just then, another familiar face peeked out from behind him.

"Excuse me," said a woman with light blue/purple hair who appeared very annoyed. "But did YOU design that confection? I put a lot of work into that..."

The man called Archer sighed in response.

"Why are you even here, Caster? Nobody asked you for help."

"I could not pass up to hone my cooking skills so I can make a cake for me and Souichirou-sama..."

"Ugh..." both Archer and Shirou cringed in response. The irony of them reacting similarly was not lost on Arturia.

"Besides," Caster Medea then proclaimed proudly; "I want to give Saber my latest dress!"

"Spoiler alert," Archer remarked bluntly, implying that was Caster's gift for Arturia. The Saber said nothing while feeling flattered, then Shirou then put a hand on Arturia's shoulder and said to everyone:

"Enough banter, let's celebrate!"

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Arturia's birthday was currently going better than she ever would have hoped. After dinner was prepared, everyone sat down and enjoyed the meal with casual banter between courses. It was amazing for Arturia to think everybody was getting along now considering that not too long ago some of the people here were enemies in the Holy Grail War. With the Holy Grail destroyed, nobody had any reason to fight anymore.

Thinking about the destruction of the Holy Grail, Arturia felt truly lucky to come back after Shirou found a piece of the Grail that was somehow devoid of the corruption brought on by Angra Mainyu. Granted, it had the side-effect of bringing back just about everybody:

Archer, who turned out to be the older version of Shirou from a different timeline, jaded and cynical, had been staying with Rin since his return, somewhat to her joy as the Tohsaka-heir could order him around and get him to do chores for her. He did not seem very discontent with that as far as Arturia could tell, and even remarked one time that "Rin would not know how to send emails without me."

As for his feud with Shirou, it seems to be cordially civil now. He would watch from afar to make sure Shirou would not end up like he did, but whenever Arturia caught him looking at her and Shirou together, Archer's face would turn ever so more reassured, like as long as she was the most important thing in Shirou's life, he would never become his older self.

Rin herself has plans of temporarily leaving Fuyuki to study at the Clock Tower in London. She offered Shirou to consider coming as well to expand his limited understanding of magecraft, but he declined, stating that it "just wasn't for him." Rin was currently getting her affairs in order as the head of her family, namely rebuilding her relationship with her sister: Sakura Matou.

Arguably, Sakura had the hardest time in the Holy Grail War, Arturia would say even more so than she and Shirou. Having been forced into the war at the behest of Zouken, and being imbued with his soul-draining worms, Sakura snapped and became corrupted, temporarily turning Arturia against Shirou. She would have been beyond saving if it were not for her Rider servant, Medusa, reaching out for help, even if it would end up costing her the war in the end. Having been saved by Rin and Shirou, Sakura was in a much better place now, free from Zouken's influence.

A place where she and Rin could be sisters again after being ten years apart.

With everybody's return however, came a curious conundrum for the former Matou mage. While Zouken thankfully did not return, the same could not be said for his grandson, Shinji Matou. He was killed later in the Grail War, having played an indirect part in causing Sakura's corruption due to his animosity and violent tendencies towards her.

That deplorable boy did not deserve a second chance, but to Arturia and Shirou's amazement, when Sakura learned of his return, she gave him one.

There were all there when it happened. In a display of great maturity, Sakura gave Shinji an ultimatum: she would forgive Shinji for all the grief and pain he gave her if he turned over a new leaf. Granted, she would control all of the Matou's family's assets but will let Shinji live with her as he would have nowhere to go otherwise. She wanted a healthy relationship with him, like they did when Sakura was first adopted into the Matou's, with no magecraft or Grail War looming over them. Shinji would have to be nicer from here on out...

And if he wasn't... then Rider would remind him to be...

Arturia could not help but marvel at how much Sakura had grown after all the horrors of the war. She was not sure if she herself would give that deplorable young man a chance to redeem himself after knowing what he did to her, but Arturia could admire how forgiving Sakura was now that she was in charge of her own life.

Thinking about the others, Arturia observed Illya as Shirou urged her to eat her vegetables. Illya came into this war ready to kill Shirou for supposedly taking her father from her. After Arturia and Shirou defeated her Berserker servant: Heracles, and revealed Shirou's father had never abandoned her, Illya had a complete turnaround, now having the best relationship she possibly could with Shirou.

Perhaps too close for Arturia's comfort...

Her servant, Berserker, was staying at the Einzbern mansion as Illya was with her maids. Naturally, the Einzbern homunculus could not possibly bring him here.

Lancer had been hanging around all over the city since his return. Arturia and Shirou had seen him by the harbor fishing several times. She felt somewhat sorry for him as his master, Bazett, had not come back with him, and the Hound of Culann seemed to be wandering aimlessly. Out of the goodness of his heart, Shirou told him he was welcome here anytime.

Caster was residing with Issei at Ryudou Temple, along with Shirou's former ethics teacher, Kuzuki Souichirou, her master in the Holy Grail War. As far as Arturia knew, Medea had been staying out of trouble, indulging herself in her more "harmless" hobbies. She constantly offers Arturia to come to the Temple to see her "projects."

Speaking of which, Arturia would see Assassin: Sasaki Kojiro hanging around the Temple as well. She does not see him anywhere else and wondered if he preferred the serenity of the Temple as opposed to the bustling of Fuyuki city. Arturia can see him not liking crowds but would have like to see him here with all of them right now.

Arturia was glad that "other" Assassin was not around. Perhaps most so of all...

Kirei Kotomine was still dead.

The Overseer of the Grail War, the man who brought so much pain to her and Shirou, whose very existence was a curse brought on from the Grail... Arturia was glad to never think of him again. Though she wondered who took over the church in his absence, as somehow it was still open.

Arturia did not feel comfortable enough to go back to that church and find out... she had a sneaking suspicion that the King of Heroes, Gilgamesh, was residing there, although maybe unlikely considering that he never seemed the type to let his presence to be unknown for very long if he even did come back.

Pushing down those thoughts, Arturia perked up as dinner was concluded and Shirou brought out her cake. As everyone enjoyed the dessert, Arturia found herself once again content with how well things were for her. She put the past behind her, she had friends, and most importantly, she was living happily with Shirou. Things were perfect as far as the former Saber was concerned.

Or so she thought...

Arturia's attention was pulled away from the remaining slice of cake she was enjoying, when out of the blue, Taiga asked her:

"So Arturia, how old are you now?"

Turning to Shirou's guardian, Arturia was caught off guard and did not know how to answer. She may have appeared as an adolescent, but she stopped aging centuries ago when she pulled the sword from the stone. Arturia had not visibly aged in decades, over forty if she had to guess. It made it easier for her to pass on as a boy when she became King of Britain.

Now however, she could not say that to Taiga, and she seemed genuinely curious to know. Taiga was completely oblivious to magecraft and anything remotely of the sort, and Arturia had to keep her in the dark as Shirou and Rin have to.

"Uhhh..." Arturia hesitated, unsure of what to say, Thankfully Rin, who was sitting beside her, was there to help her. She leans towards them and says to Taiga:

"She's seventeen of course!" Rin then put a reassuring hand on Arturia's shoulder, telling her to play along. "Right Saber- eh, Arturia?"

"Yes..." Arturia replied reluctantly, feeling bad for lying to Taiga but knowing it was for good reason. Taiga seemed to buy her response, after which Rin quickly whispered in Arturia's ear:

"You're welcome..."

Rin pulled away, leaving Arturia feeling relieved, until she looked back at Taiga, who seemed to be looking at her suspiciously.

"Hmmm... that's strange," Taiga remarked, and Arturia felt a ripple of anxiety. "You look younger than you should be."

Now that made Arturia curious. She found herself asking Taiga:

"What do you mean?"

"I just thought how most girls by this age would start to appear more... developed," Taiga answered rather nonchalantly, not sounding as if this was actually important or anything and just a matter of opinion.

Arturia however froze upon hearing what the woman said.

"D- Developed?!"

Taiga then casually continued, not seeming to notice how stunned Arturia was.

"I've seen my fair share of students who start showing signs of puberty well before Senior year. It seems you've missed the boat a bit."

Arturia was blushing at this point, daring to look down at herself. Sure enough, she was staring at the body of a girl stuck before the edge of adulthood. Bringing both hands against her (admittedly...) flat chest, Arturia found herself for the first time in her life... self-conscious.

Arturia never thought of herself as a woman before meeting Shirou, seeing herself instead of a Knight and King first and foremost. Besides appearing regal, the only thing she concerned herself with in terms of appearance was NOT looking like a woman, as there was no telling how the people of Camelot would react if they found out their king was not a boy after all.

Now that she was here today with her history well behind her... there was no need to hide herself anymore.

So what did that leave her with now that Arturia acknowledges that she IS a woman?

Taiga saw Arturia looking distracted and reassured her:

"Oh, not to worry. Every girl develops at a different rate! I'm sure that within a few years, you will bloom into a genuine woman."

"..."

Arturia's blood ran cold. Taiga was under the impression that she was regular girl who would age normally. That's not the case, as Arturia is still Shirou's Servant and familiar and, as a result, will never age. She was going to be stuck in this body while Shirou-

-!-

A terrible thought crossed Arturia's mind. If she and Shirou were going to stay "together," then what would people think of him if as an adult, his companion was a young girl with not even a hint of maturity? The great scrutiny she will unintentionally be putting on him!

How could she not have foreseen this?!

"Arturia, are you okay?"

Taiga's concern was completely ignored by Arturia who was visibly shaking with dread. Observing from the kitchen, Shirou was washing dishes and noticed Arturia was in great distress and decided to act.

"Taiga!" he called to her. "You want to help me clean up a bit before presents?"

"Oh, Shirou!" Taiga complained. "Since when you ever ask me to do anything?"

"Please... or no leftovers for you."

"That meanie!" Taiga muttered under her breath before regaining her composure and standing up. "Right away!"

Taiga grabbed a few used plates and carried them to the kitchen. Shirou breathed a sigh of relief that he was able to get her away from Arturia. He could not hear what they were talking about, but whatever it was, it must have been really upsetting for his servant. Shirou had seen Arturia's look of regret and sorrow enough times to know whenever she was in that mood; he'd chalk that up to they shared as Master and Servant.

Meanwhile, as the evening went on, Arturia would find herself obsessing over what Taiga said to her for the rest of the night.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

[Later on...]

"Glad that's finally over..."

Arturia was beyond relieved when she and Shirou retired to his bedroom after everybody left for the night. They both found themselves alone with night fallen outside Shirou's window, and he was determined to find out why Arturia was acting sullen after her conservation with Taiga. Just from watching her while she was opening her presents, Shirou could tell Arturia was half there and half NOT there, distracted from whatever she and Taiga talked about.

"You want to tell me the reason why you were acting as such a downer earlier?" Shirou questioned Arturia while she was sitting on his bed. "Today's your birthday. You deserve to be happy."

The Saber looked up at her former master, unsure how to articulate her predicament to him; the inescapable truth that she will never age with him. In truth, she felt almost embarrassed to tell him considering her plight first stemmed from her becoming self-conscious.

"It's nothing, Shirou," Arturia lied with a pang of guilt. "Trivial, all things considered."

Shirou narrowed his gaze, not buying her response. He knew Arturia was a terrible liar, but he still wanted to be gentle with her.

"If it's "trivial", then you can tell me what Taiga said to you that killed your mood," he said before crouching to meet Arturia at eye level. "You can tell me anything Saber."

Arturia was hesitant, avoiding Shirou's gaze and twiddling her thumbs slowly.

"I... don't know if you would even understand. It's silly actually..."

The Saber honestly did not how to get what was in her mind across to Shirou. How would she explain to him that she will not age a day while Shirou will grow old? And that he might be better off if Arturia appeared more, dare she think... "developed"?

Shirou observed how Arturia was acting, and he deduced that she seemed far more conflicted than outright bothered. There was one thing he wanted to know above all else; the one subject he knew weighed on Arturia more than anything.

"As long as it has nothing to do with Camelot... that's not the reason, is it?"

"No!" Arturia quickly answered before correcting herself. "I mean... not exactly..."

She was not sure if there was any truth in what she just said. Camelot had nothing to do with Arturia's concerns of her appearance, but at the same time it sort of did. She was just a girl like any other until she became king and forced herself to pose as a boy while never aging beyond how she appeared now.

Arturia had no clue what it was like to be a woman, but throughout her reign it remained at the back of her mind. Now that she was exploring her regained femininity with Shirou, Taiga's words brought that curiosity back to the forefront.

"Shirou," she said quietly, lifting her head up to face him. "You would never ask me to change. Right?"

Shirou was caught off guard by this, but he eventually reassured Arturia:

"Why would I?" he asked without hesitation while putting his hand on hers. "You're perfect to me just the way you are..."

Arturia felt partially elated to hear that, but a feeling of doubt lingered, knowing how she and Shirou will differ in the coming years. Arturia once again cast her head down and said under her breath:

"Will I always be...?"

"What?" Shirou asked, not hearing clearly what she said. Arturia lifted her head back up and stared into his eyes so full of concern for her. Silence hangs as Arturia's gazed at her beloved, contemplating their future.

Deep down, she knew Shirou will love her no matter what she looked like, but she cannot help but think that her staying in an adolescent body would burden him greatly.

If only she could appear just mature enough...

Arturia briefly pictured herself as a tall, busty bombshell of an adult before pushing that indulgent thought down before she let that fantasy stay too long in her head. Arturia was unaccustomed to vanity, even if it made her momentarily excited to think how she would look like if she ever was an adult.

"-Strange...-"

This started out with Arturia obsessing how she appeared to Shirou. Now, the more she thought about it, Arturia found wanting to grow up mature and beautiful for herself. How uncharacteristically selfish of her...

"-I sure changed a lot since meeting Shirou, haven't I?-"

Arturia suddenly steeled herself and said adamantly to Shirou:

"Shirou, I assure you that I have no qualms about what happened back in Camelot anymore. It's better to keep that history intact. You have my word that I will not worry about that ever again."

Shirou stared at Arturia, and felt her hand tighten around his, affirming her resolve. While he wished to know for sure what was bothering her earlier, Shirou was at relieved to know that Camelot was not the reason for it. Shirou figured if he really wanted to know, he could always ask Taiga about it tomorrow when she comes over.

"Glad to hear that, Saber," he said, earning a smile from Arturia. He understood she would tell him when she was ready if it did not weigh her down like her past. Shirou did not let her go just yet.

He still had the job of making sure Arturia's birthday ended with her being happy...

"Besides, whatever it is, I know just the thing that will cheer you up!"

Arturia stared curiously as Shirou quickly stood up and left her in the bedroom until he came back with-

"A cupcake?" she questioned as he showed it to her. It looked delicious with its white icing with blue and gold sprinkles, but Arturia found it peculiar considering she had her cake over an hour ago. "Shirou, we already had-"

"I know," he affirmed, handing the little confection to her. "But this is just between the two of us."

Arturia glanced between Shirou and her cupcake, not ready to have it just yet.

"Still," she said, overwhelmed that Shirou was still doing so much for her today. "You didn't have to..."

"You're worth anything I can give, Saber," he confessed. "Anything to see you smile."

Arturia was left stunned as Shirou smiled at her, and felt her eyes tear up from joy.

"Shirou... Thank you," she said to him with a growing smile forming on her face. "I don't deserve you..."

"Likewise... yet here we are," he replied, his response almost making Arturia giggle like a lovestruck schoolgirl. She now looked at her cupcake, ready to enjoy it with Shirou until-

"Hold on," he suddenly said. "I want to try something."

Arturia stared at him curiously as Shirou pulled out a little candle and a match. He stuck the candle upright on the icing of the cupcake and lit it with a match.

"Why the candle?" Arturia asked.

"In the West, apparently, it's customary on someone's birthday to blow out lit candles on their cake."

"What for?"

"So that they can make a wish of course..." Shirou answered, earning a skeptical look from Arturia, who also seemed rather amused by the custom.

"Shirou, that's silly. Besides..." she leaned forward and said wholeheartedly to Shiro; "I already have everything I could possibly wish for."

"I know," Shirou said. "I'm just curious if there's something you would wish JUST for yourself. Something, as you would put it... trivial."

Arturia briefly glanced sideways, as if taking a moment to think what her wish would be. She was about to open her mouth when Shirou stopped her.

"Don't tell me what it is though. It's also bad luck to tell someone your birthday wish."

"Shirou..." Arturia lightheartedly scolded him, not fond of whatever game Shirou was making her play. He was not about to let her back out; this was just for amusement.

"Come on, Saber. There's no need to be serious about this. Not like this is a Holy Grail..."

Arturia's focus went back to the cupcake, and the lit candle on top of it. Sensing her hesitancy, Shirou then calmly instructed her:

"Just think of your wish, close your eyes, and blow."

Arturia's gaze on the still flame narrowed. There was a time when the only wish she ever would have made for herself was to give her kingdom another chance to prosper even if it meant that she would not be king to her people anymore. The happiness of her subjects mattered far more than her own.

That all changed when she destroyed the Holy Grail and was reunited with Shirou. Every day with him made her happier than she thought altering the past ever would have made her. There was nothing she could possibly wish for now that she had Shirou, friends, and a life of her own.

Or was there?

It crossed her mind instantly... the thought of maybe maturing into a genuine woman; the woman she could have become if she did not have to rule Camelot.

If she did not have to hide who she was...

Arturia closed her eyes, envisioning how she would want herself to look and feel. Mature, confident, regal...

Sexy-? no, Alluring?

The moment THAT particular characteristic crossed her mind was when she decided to go for it. Arturia blew out the flame on the candle and after a tense silence, opened her eyes and looked down at herself, thinking that by some miracle her selfish wish was fulfilled.

What she saw... disappointed her. With a sigh, Arturia was forced to acknowledge it had only been vanity. Nothing more...

"It didn't come true..."

"Are you sure?" Shirou asked with a coy smile. "What did you wish for?"

Pushing her sorrow down, Arturia cheekily replied:

"Sorry, Shirou. I can't tell you, remember?"

Shirou playfully huffed.

"And here I thought you saw this all as "silly"."

Arturia played along, knowing that she should not have been taking this whole charade seriously to begin with. Shirou just wanted to know what she would have wished for herself.

"Well," Arturia said as she ripped off a piece of her cupcake. "I was willing to indulge you this one time..."

She and Shirou spent the next few minutes sharing her dessert before it was time for Arturia's special day to end.

"It's getting late," Shirou pointed out as he took off his shirt, revealing a tank top underneath. "You should probably turn in for the night, Saber."

"Sure..." Arturia said cryptically as she watched Shirou change into sleepwear and sit on the bed. He looks back at her curiously as she refrained from leaving Shirou's bedroom, noting how she was slowly rocking her hips back and forth while having a suggestive smile. "But I don't feel right sleeping all by myself tonight... Not when you now have a big enough bed for both of us."

Shirou was left stunned as Arturia turned her back to him and began to undress.

"Saber...!" he exclaimed as she removed her skirt and top.

Arturia turned her head over her bare shoulder to blush and smile at Shirou.

"My birthday isn't over yet," she said as matter of fact before returning with her boldness in full force. "Would you deny a king this one selfish request?"

Shirou was left speechless as Arturia, who was now in her lingerie, sat on the edge of his bed and took off her stockings. It was not every day that the normally reserved and dignified King of Knights was this bold around him. He was even more amazed when she reached under the bed and pulled out what appeared to be her own set of nightwear, planted there by her at some point recently.

She was not normally this devious either...

"Of course, not..." he eventually said, snapping out of his stupor as Arturia slipped on a light sleeveless shirt and bed bottoms. "But just so you know, Taiga would freak out if she caught us doing this, and I will never hear the end of it from Rin or Illya."

"We're just sharing the bed, Shirou," she said innocently as she undid the ribbon in her braided blonde hair and let it fall past her shoulders. "Not the most scandalous thing that could happen."

Now all set, Arturia slipped under the covers of Shirou's bed, and he did the same. The moment he turned off the lights, Arturia snuggled against him.

"You know," she starts. "We should tell Taiga that you and I are dating."

"That would mean I will have to tell her the truth about you," Shirou told her as he gently settled in with her. "I can't let her know anything about magecraft, OR the fact that we met while fighting in a life-or-death battle royale. That would be one AWKWARD conversation."

Arturia giggled as she then draped her arm over Shirou's chest, adding:

"More so than the fact that we already...?"

She trails off, and Shirou knew what she was implying; the night they had together before their final confrontation with Kirei and Gilgamesh. When the two of them-

Shirou need not finish...

"That will REALLY send her over the edge."

He stiffens as Arturia snuggled even more against him, her soft moan indicating that she was getting comfortable.

"You know, I absolutely enjoyed that night we had..." she said with a tired voice. "-While it lasted. Why can't we...?"

Arturia trailed off again with a yawn. Shirou thought she could not be any more adorable, but he needed to be a "real" with her for a moment.

"Because I want to do this right, Saber. That happened because we knew our time was running out. Now that the war is over, we can take our time. Make it "official"."

She looked up into his face with sparkling emerald eyes, her expression pleading.

"But we're already past that point. I love you... why can't that be enough?"

"I love you too... it's just now that everyone's back, things got complicated," Shirou replied, not feeling good about revealing this to her. "You know I would do anything to ensure your happiness, Saber. You're what I live for now."

Arturia smiled at Shirou's confession, but taking one last look at herself and being reminded that as long as she was stuck in this young body, she knew it will eventually get in the way of their happiness.

It will be so much easier if her wish came true... but considering how she returned to him after everything they went through together, Arturia felt fortunate to have such a caring, understanding young man to call her partner and beloved.

Fate seemed kind enough to her already.

"I really don't know what I would do without you, Shirou," Arturia said as she rested her head down and closed her eyes. "I want to stay like this forever."

Shirou humored her, feeling grateful at the fact that the girl of his dreams was here with him today.

"I bet you do," he said to Arturia. When she did not respond, Shirou looked down at her. "Saber?"

(Zzzz...)

Arturia had fallen asleep remarkably quickly as indicated by her light breathing. Shirou thought she slept like a cat which was cute, and thankful that she did not snore.

Otherwise, he'd let her have the bed while he would pull out his old futon.

Stifling a laugh, Shirou gently kissed Arturia on the forehead before resigning himself to sleep himself.

"Goodnight... Arturia."

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

...

It was the dead of night in Fuyuki City. The Emiya household was still and silent with Arturia and Shiro sleeping soundly in the bed they shared. While the red-haired boy was laying mostly motionless, Arturia was squirming and softly moaning in her sleep.

It wasn't because of a dream or a nightmare, but because something was happening to her, and she was too deep in sleep to be aware of it.

The Saber's body began to glow, and the sound of tearing clothes and the creaking of the bed from added weight briefly filled the room.

Somewhere on a different plane of existence, a white-haired woman in an ornate robe with ruby red eyes, said this upon gazing at the scene unfolding in the Emiya household.

Be careful what you wish for... victor.

...

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Morning broke, and Shirou began to stir from a peaceful, uneventful sleep. Facing away from the girl of his dreams, he subconsciously turned over on his bed...

And suddenly buried his face in a pair of large, yet unbelievably soft pillows.

Except these "pillows" ... felt like they had skin on them.

Startled, Shirou woke up, but before he could react, an arm wrapped around him and pulled him even closer into whatever his face happened to be pressed against. Shirou tried to yell, but his voice was muffled. He heard a soft moan from the "other" occupant of the bed and his face was pressed even closer into whatever soft material he was stuck in. It became hard to breathe as Shirou tried desperately to push himself away, failing several times before finally freeing himself in one forceful heave and falling off the side of the bed with a thud.

The noise caused the one remaining person to stir awake. Rubbing his head, Shirou stood up to be welcomed with an alluring sight. Words failed him as he saw a stranger lying in his bed. Said person sat up and stretched with a yawn, making Shirou's face turn as red as a tomato.

This grown woman had long, blonde hair, and a very heavenly face. Shirou could discern that she was quite tall and would even say taller than himself just from seeing her sit up. But the teenager's gaze wandered to the other features this woman had; namely her rounded hips, thick thighs, and perhaps most obvious of all... her almost comically HUGE breasts, further emphasized by her stretching. It was a miracle that they were still partially covered, which they were (curiously...) by her torn shirt that was ripped from the neckline down, completely exposing her cleavage. By the way, the shirt she wore looked WAY too small on her to begin with. As for the bed bottoms she wore... those were small for her too.

Shirou was beyond captivated to even speak as this person opened her eyes to look at him with a heartwarming smile.

"Good morning, Shirou..."

-?!-

Shirou's brain cells finally kicked-in again upon hearing the woman's oh so familiar voice. He need then only look at the woman's bright emerald eyes, and the ahoge on top of her head to recognize her.

"S- Saber?!"

Shirou's flabbergasted tone caused the woman to look at him with genuine concern, oblivious to the state of her body.

"Are you alright, Shirou? What is wrong?"

Once he got over his initial shock, Shirou replied:

"I'm not sure if "wrong" is the right word to use..."

He then pointed at her, and Arturia followed his gaze.

And then she saw them... her eyes widened.

"Wha-?!"

Arturia was stunned as she surveyed her new body, specifically the two big protrusions on her chest. She lifted her shaking hands and cupped her breasts, testing them by pushing them up and down, forcing Shirou to awkwardly look away. She was shocked to discover-

"Merlin's beard! They're real!"

Her eyes dart back to Shirou with a growing blush. Arturia then stood up in a hurry, and briefly froze when she noticed that she was now taller than Shirou, adding to her panic.

"Shirou!" she exclaimed and grabbed him by the shoulders, prompting the redhead to look at her. "What happened to me?!"

Seeing her in this state, Shirou tried desperately to put words together.

"Umm, I'd say you got... bigger?"

"But how?!" Arturia asked, shaking Shirou with her arms. "How did this happen?!"

"How should I know?!" Shirou said while slowly turning his head away. Unbeknownst to Arturia, her shaking Shirou was causing her breasts to jiggle. "You were fine last night..."

"Obviously!" She said while shaking him again. "This is not normal! And where are you looking?!"

"I'm trying not to look!" he insisted. Arturia sighed and released him before hurrying out of the room. Catching his breath, Shirou called out to her as she left. "Saber! Where are you going?!"

"To find a mirror!" Arturia answered as she slid open the door and ran into the hallway. Shirou eventually followed her to the bathroom where he found her staring at the mirror and feeling her face with her hands. Seeing the look of shock and realization on her face made him eventually break the tense silence.

"Saber?"

"Shirou..." she said without looking at him. "My wish..."

"What?" Shirou asked in confusion, not seeing how-

-No way...-

Those words echoed in Shirou's head when he at last realized it. He remembered last night when he pegged Arturia to blow out her candle last night... to make a wish.

"Saber..." he said to Arturia seriously. "What did you wish for?"

Arturia at last turned to him, slowly, and looked at him dead in the eye.

"This..." she said in a hushed voice. "I wished to mature as an adult..."

They stared at each other in stunned revelation. They both thought the same thing: "-But that's impossible". It was a silly superstition, no way it could have worked...-"

Both Arturia and Shirou wanted to question this miraculous occurrence, but it would become apparent that they have more immediate problems. It was almost morning, and Taiga had yet to come back to the residence. If she were to see Arturia now, just HOW would Shirou explain that?

If Taiga discovered any hint of Magecraft, both master and servant will find the Mage's Association breathing down their necks and bringing trouble. Until they could find a way to reverse this (if it even could be...) then they would need help.

They have to call Rin...

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Shirou phoned Rin as soon as he could. It was still early in the morning, and Rin was not very pleased to be called away from her slumber. She was cross at Shirou until he urged her to come over quickly due to an "emergency." Rin was not given many details over the phone, other than "she had to see it to believe it," so being the friendly-neighborhood patron mage of Fuyuki, she agreed to come over before Taiga stopped by. Rin knocked softly on the door of the Emiya Residence and Shirou lets her in.

"Thanks a ton for coming Tohsaka" Shirou greets her with reserved urgency in his voice.

"Whatever," said an exhausted Rin as she was led by Shirou to the living room, carrying a bag of "supplies" over her shoulder. "Whatever this emergency is, it better be dire enough to be worth cutting two hours off my sleep. With how many times I had to bail your sorry hide out of trouble Emyia-kun, this better be a pretty bi-iiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG..."

Rin immediately trailed off when she turned the corner and her eyes widened when they fell on Arturia sitting on the futon, still in the clothes she had on for bed (because nothing fit her). She froze on the spot upon seeing the Saber, instead of petit and cute, now tall and... shapely. To emphasize her shock, Rin accidentally dropped her bag.

"Yeah," Shirou said to her bluntly. "It's a big deal..."

"You're not kidding..." Rin eventually said, unable to look away from Arturia as the Saber stood up and walked up to her, further highlighting the new height difference between them; Not to mention Arturia's bosom, which was now right up at Rin's eye-level, the twin-ponytailed mage could see that both of the Arturia's breasts were nearly the size of her own head.

Rin found herself in envy as well as sheer awe...

"I'm very grateful you've come Rin," Arturia said expressing her gratitude to her, oblivious to the mage's stunned state at seeing her. Rin slowly looked up at Arturia's face to meet her in the eyes. "I know if anyone can fix this, it would be you."

"I'll... do my best..." Rin said reluctantly before making a sideways glance at a very concerned Shirou, and the anxious look she gave him told the redhead what he secretly dreaded.

Her best might not be nearly good enough for this...

TBC?


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