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I create a world of finite somethings

Arcadian Dreams

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.
...Don't read too much into this. I won't be doing anything more with it until after Hearts of the Suffering is done--if I even do anything with this at all. I wrote it in a drunken haze a few weeks ago because I was tired of running around in Shirou's head. I hate having things just sit around when they kind of work (at least, the first part does for me) so here you are.

Arcadian Dreams

In his dreams, he remembers what he had once forgot.

Living. Dying. Living again. Dying in the place of the girl he called “sister.” Living in place of the boy he called “brother.” Seeing the precarious balance of life and death over and over and over until his head was spinning and his eyes throbbed.

That was once taken away from him. Then returned. Then all taken once more as that brother and sister were lost to him. Taken from him, perhaps not unjustly, but stolen just the same.

He now kept Akiha and SHIKI as they were, both good and bad. Children playing games in the gardens. Children crying over bloodied bodies. Children still, not quite full adults, as they lay dead and broken amidst one another, leaving only broken living ones behind.

In his dreams, he remembers what he had lost and just barely managed to retain.

But even so, there was much that left an unpleasant taste to his mouth, like the bile that had overwhelmed him the night he had lost them for the last time. Even after taking Hisui and Kohaku from that mansion tainted with the scent of the afterlife, he could do little more for them in the short term. Looking at the elder sister had yielded such truth to him—that she would never recover if he was there the whole time, that he would never recover with her there as a reminder of what he could not do.

So he left, for a time, with nothing in mind and no destination planned. He was sure that Ciel-senpai and Arihiko would be fine looking after the sisters—he knew, deep down, how much they too seemed to understand the preciousness behind life and the finality of death—so he was heartened by their offer to help. A promise that he would be back and ready to tackle everything head-on sealed the deal.

He had laughed at himself when first stepping onto the train to leave the city. Money in his pocket, nothing to stop him, no sister to rag on him over his actions or allowance.

What he would do to never have that freedom.

In his dreams, he could stay locked away in that house forever—

If it meant they could be there with him.

My shoulder shook violently, almost enough to throw my neck out. “Out,” a deep voice said in heavily-accented English.

I cracked open an eye and saw red. Groaning, I felt around my breast pocket for glasses, slipped them on, and tried again with my other eye.

The sky had darkened to just-shy-of-dusk. My afternoon nap had apparently gone for the entire remainder of the trip. Trying to blink the cobwebs out of my head, I looked to the person who had woken me, the driver of the semi-truck that I had paid to hitch a ride with. Grizzled and liver-spotted in a way that only a true blue-collar man could be, he motioned to my right, past the door. “Hasselt.”

I nodded and gathered the stuff at my feet. Hasselt was the place he had taken me to from some tiny town in the Netherlands where I had last been dropped off. A larger, better-equipped city promised a nice place to stay and the possibility that I might actually be able to understand somebody—although plenty of people spoke English, it was English I was terrible at understanding.

“Thank you,” I said, although he ignored me in favor of responding to someone over the radio that was installed in his dashboard. He waved me off as I bowed, pulled my bag over my shoulders, and jumped down from the oversized vehicle.

Despite probably being a pretty city to look at, all I could really think about was getting something to eat first.

Which is of course a strange difficulty in such a foreign place. Finding a place to eat was easy enough, but finding something that I could understand enough to get both what I was eating and how much I was paying was…fun. In the past three months I had probably ended up skipping on a good half-dozen meals just because I couldn’t stand what it was that I had apparently ordered. I missed home food.

Thankfully my thought of bigger cities featuring an easier time was confirmed here with a wider variety of more commercialized fare that I recognized. Finding a quick bite to eat was straightforward enough, although I did decide then and there to make sure that my next meal would not just be some deli sandwich.

What with the long nap, finding a place to rest was not really on the forefront of my mind. In fact, despite the promise of a real bed if I checked into a hotel, I had more often found myself sleeping in transit between places. If I could luck upon a clear travel hub early enough and find someone to drive me or a train to take, I’d probably just do that and then sleep.

Which, in the end, should have been my main goal, since long train rides offer food.

Oh well.

There was a nice transit station that was fairly close and a train due to leave. I did not quite catch where it was going, but after some weeks of cars and trucks, a train ride suddenly sounded entirely too comfortable.

Entirely too comfortable.

Upon boarding and finding my seat, I found myself opposite of beauty.

The girl—young woman—was gorgeous, a strange stand-out from the otherwise unremarkable area. She wore clothes that suggested her age was around mine, maybe slightly older, university-aged or the like. Blonde, skin with absolutely flawless complexion, a figure that would make any interested guy look twice—

A dangerous gaze.

Bright, kind eyes met mine, a sharp difference that made me wonder if I just imagined it. She really looked nothing more than a young traveler and I knew that people my age often did that in Europe after finishing high school, so it should not have been anything strange.

No, it shouldn’t have been strange.

Not at all.


“Where are you heading?” she asked in the most wonderful accent of English I had ever heard. Exotic. Flowing in a way that I’m pretty sure wasn’t natural to the language. Must be French, from what few languages I knew of other than English. French, German, and Italian were the European languages, right? Where did Latin fall in that?

Ugh. Why did everyone from my country sound so god-awful when they spoke other languages? “Nowhere,” I said, trying to find the right words. “Just…wandering.”

“Then you will be company until the next place?”

So, was that danger I had seen before? Was it? Because, really, this seemed okay. I mean, I know I’m asking for it by even thinking that, but…right?

“Yeah. Um, my name is Tohno Shiki.” I thought about that for a second, then said, “Shiki Tohno. My name is Shiki.” Smooth, dumbass. Maybe James Bond did that repeating thing because he was really an idiot too.

The smile she gave was somehow completely forward yet somehow mischievous at the same time. “You can call me Laetitia.”

Secret Technique: Fate/Far Side Upside-Down Reversal


  1. Lycodrake's Avatar
    Laetitia as in the planet, the saint, the geomantic figure, or the goddess?
  2. LJ3's Avatar
    Shiki with Jeanne...
  3. Lycodrake's Avatar
    Oh. I'm used to "Leticia". Well played, Arashi.
    though I dislike Shiki and think that this is even less likely to end in anything good than Jeanne x Gilles
  4. Servant Shiki's Avatar
    If I hadn't just had to pay for my college courses I would pay you to write this.
  5. Elf's Avatar
    Shiki x Jeanne?

    Color me interested.
  6. Tikigod784's Avatar
    This sounds entertaining. I'm thinking that your take on Apocrypha will be interesting.