Categories > Anime/Manga > Fate/stay night

Шаг за шагом

by Xizuma 0 reviews

Her final moments of her life had left her untrusting, cold, and distant. The shell she had created long ago assured her avoidance of contact, a promise to herself that she would never allow the co...

Category: Fate/stay night - Rating: R - Genres: Romance - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2019-08-20 - 4205 words

Шаг за шагом


That was what she felt.

The howling wind that ripped through Chaldea was heard as she walked through the empty halls of the organization. She noted casually that other servants and staff were busy during this time of day. The sound of her footwear hitting the solid ground of the headquarters filling the mostly silent hall, with a few chatters here and there by her fellow servants passing by, usually waving at her as a sign of greeting or a nod of respect that she would return.

Of course, it was just a sign of courtesy. Nothing more, and nothing less. She knew nothing of them except for a few tidbits here and there, and they knew nothing of her. But she would treat them with respect as a woman of nobility and royalty would. If it were up to herself, she rather not interact with them anyway. She found that keeping others at a distance was easy, and she'd gladly distance herself from people as long as she could, even from her own Master.

Chaldea staff had noted her attitude and desire to be left alone a few days after her summoning, she had already built a reputation as cold and indifferent. Her last moments when she was alive ensured that.

But sometimes, she wished she wasn't as frigid as she appeared to be. The climate of the icy mountains Chaldea was built upon gave chilling breeze, even within the confines of the inside. The feeling of coldness still surrounded her, much to the point she was cold to the touch. Staff that simply passed by her had the slightest of chills that spiked up their bodies, their teeth chattering as if the rough winter outside had somehow broken in the facility, some would even visibly shiver. Servants, on the other hand didn't mind. Their bodies made to withstand even the toughest of climates and weather that would put down a normal human for good.

Secretly, Anastasia envied them.

The warmth the other servants had with them was like a fire that smothered her aura like a bonfire, the opposite of everything about her. One that she yearned for in her dying moments up to now-

"Ah! Sorry about that!"

Too preoccupied with her train of thought, the caster servant stumbled backwards. She mentally chastised herself for being distracted by her thoughts. A hand came into her view and she looked up to see the person she bumped into.

Ritsuka Fujimaru, the Master of Chaldea stood in front of her with an apologetic smile on his face, his out stretched hand offering to help her up.

She stared at him with small surprise at his genuine concern. Seeing as that her detached attitude sent staff and servants the other way made her assume that he would also do the same after bluntly shutting him down when he tried to initiate a conversation her first day here.

Gingerly, her porcelain-like hand reached up to meet his, and once more, surprise overtook her. Even within close proximity to her, Ritsuka Fujimaru didn't shiver unlike all the others, his breath was visible, yet no sign of discomfort appeared. His body wasn't shivering, nor were his teeth chattered. It seemed that he was fine with being close to her.

Helping her up, Anastasia couldn't help but notice the warmth that had filled her when her Master's hand held hers.

Quickly brushing that thought away from her mind, afraid that it may lead to another. Her cold gaze returned once more as she let go of his hand. Her behavior as a distant, and icy woman of royalty appeared and she walked away as if nothing ever happened.

She eventually reached her destination to her own quarters given to her. The door slid open with a sound, and she stepped inside a room that barely had anything personal except for a stand to house Viy that sat next to the bedside.

"Anastasia!" A voice-Ritsuka's voice, called out from behind her.

Turning around, her head tilted up slightly to look at her Master with an indifferent look on her face displayed as always.

The boy stopped just in front of her as he smiled.

"Glad I got to you in time." He said happily.

"...Do you want something?" She didn't make it to sound as cold as she did, but it looked like her tone didn't deter her Master.

"I know it's been kinda hectic here in Chaldea lately, what with the Mage Association and all..." He started, rubbing his neck sheepishly. "I was just wondering if you wanted to talk, y'know?" He asked.

A small part of her wanted to say yes, but she ultimately shook her head.

"No thank you, and I'm fine." Was all the servant said before the door closed.

Ritsuka sighed, his shoulders slumping down as his head hung low. "I guess it was worth a shot." He said to himself, now alone in the hallway, the only noise being the distant chatter of servants and staff alike near quiet corridor. Honestly, why did he even bother? From the moment the Caster servant had been summoned, she had opted to stay to herself, cold and aloof as others, himself included described her as.

Da Vinci had assured him that she would come around sooner or later, it was just a matter of time. Ritsuka hoped at least, he had learned about Anastasia's difficult circumstance during her life, and he had wanted to try to show her that she was welcomed here in Chaldea. Clearly the feeling was not mutual.

He shook his head. Maybe another time. He promised himself, he will get to know her.

But just as he turned around, the door behind him suddenly hissed, indicating it's opening. He tilted his head, and looked at her. She was there, standing in the same spot, her eyes holding the same blank look as before.

He looked back at her in slight surprise.

"Yes, Anastasia?"

The two looked at each other in silence.

Ritsuka fidgeted, before he took a tentative step forward.

"Do you-?"

The door closed before he even had a chance to speak.

The Master sighed. "Well, so much for that..." He muttered.

Through the door, Anastasia's voice rung out.

"I guess... If you just want to talk through the wall, I don't mind." Her voice softly stated. Despite her voice sounding aloof, her fingers lightly rubbed her hand that came in contact with his, feeling the warmth of Ritsuka Fujimaru.

Outside, the teen looked at the door in surprise, before he gave an unsure smile.

Weary, blue eyes shot awake as Ritsuka sighed tiredly, his body slumped over his desk. Around him papers were scattered everywhere, mugs lie around his table that had long been emptied the hours before.

Standing up, he stretched his arms over his head and groaned, trying to stay active to finish the many paperwork given to him by Da Vinci and Goldolf.

A chuckle was heard beside him.

"My, you do like working yourself to the bone do you, Master?"

Ritsuka grumbled.

"Don't start, Holmes..." He muttered loud enough for the Ruler to hear.

Sherlock chuckled once more as he watched Ritsuka in amusement. He could sympathize with him, having also knowing the feeling of staying up into the late hours of the night to finish a mystery, or in his Master's case, paperwork. Though he would admit that his Master was having it a bit rough as of now. The past few days of countless questioning had tired out Ritsuka, which thankfully had stopped for a while, and with the new acting director of Chaldea, Goldolf Musik was, in Holmes' words, a bumbling fool, and a coward to boot.

But Goldolf was a powerful fool, being the director of the organization. A cowardly idiot, yes, but still powerful enough to order his Master around.

A loud groan was heard from Ritsuka, and the servant look at him as the boy returned to his desk, already nearly looking to collapse at this point from exhaustion.

Holmes shook his head as he placed a brewing coffee cup on an empty spot on the teen's desk.

"I think you had enough time spent in your room, Master." Sherlock began. "I suppose you would not be up for a little break, perhaps?"

Ritsuka was silent for a minute before his body shifted and he stood up, grabbing the cup of coffee and sipping it, enjoying the bitter taste of the drink,

"Maybe a small break would be alright." He conceded, gulping down the hot liquid. He sighed in content as the feeling of fatigue slowly went away. "I wonder if Anastasia would be up for a talk..." He muttered.

The Ruler servant rose an eyebrow at the mention of the servant's name.

"Miss Romanova? I heard that she is... aloof, so to speak." Holmes said, to which Ritsuka agreed. "Did you have a hard time talking to her?"

"You're right, but I feel like I'm slowly getting to her." The teen revealed. "It's small progress... but it counts."

"My oh my," Sherlock chuckled. "If what I heard was true, I'd imagine it would be quite difficult due to her attitude but for you to have been able to get her to talk is nothing short of a miracle." He said. "If I didn't know any better I would have assumed you wanted to get... closer to her."

At the implication, Ritsuka blushed, and sputtered. "N-not like that!" He laughed nervously. "I just wanted to know her a bit more, since she is my servant and all." He explained. "Because I don't really think talking through the wall is romantic."

At the mention of that, Sherlock couldn't help but laugh at his Master's antics.
A flash went off beside her, and she looked towards the source.

Ritsuka was there, a smile on his face as he held an unfamiliar looking camera as a slip of black and white paper slowly slid out of the device.

"...You take pictures?" She asked, the blank look on her face reflected within the photograph the Master took of her.

He grinned. "Yeah, it's something I do in my free time." He said, storing his newly acquired picture within his pocket.

"...Why do people take pictures?"

Surprise took over his face, before he cleared his throat. "Because leaving behind a memory... and being able to see it, is a pretty romantic thing, perhaps." He explained. "I guess that these memories would fade away eventually."

A sad smile crossed his face, as his eyes glanced over to one particular photo.

"So if everything would be gone. At least I have something left behind."

Her eyes also glanced at it out of curiosity, noting the man within the photograph had the same uniform as the staff of Chaldea.

The duchess noticed his change of tone, but decided not to question it. Her eyes drifted to the other set of photos that were displayed on a table. All of which Ritsuka took. Various servants and staffed photographed, most of them were smiling, some laughing, yet she had noticed something.

She knew the feeling of wanting to keep a memory. One of the few things she remembered during her life before they stormed and massacred her family, was taking a picture with them, all of them. Her beloved sisters, with her being the youngest stood with each other, while her dearest little brother was held by her mother. It was one of her most treasured memories that she made sure were never tainted.





Gather the initials, and it became OTMA.

It was their secret name. Even if they were to be wed, even if they were to bear children... and even if they were to be separated, there were no difference as sisters. In her life, Anastasia loved her country, and bared the pain alongside her family. She wanted to stop the fighting. The hatred. She wanted all of them to have a good life,

Yet it never came to be.

The sight of the Revolutionaries storming her family's home forever fore into her mind. The feeling of their rifles piercing her body, the sight of her mother holding her little brother as she shouted for help, and the voice of her father reassuring her that everything would be alright was vivid as ever.

Her dream of having a good life never came true.

But she cherished her last moments with her sisters.

Even in the end, at the time of their death, they were together.

"There are no pictures of you?" She asked softly.

A chuckle escaped her Master's lips.

"Well, I'm usually the one to take them."

Silently, Anastasia grabbed his arm, hooking it with her as she pulled him closer. The same warmth that she felt a few days prior, but she forced it down as much as she could. The cold that enveloped her was melting, and she couldn't have that.

"Then it is fine if I do this..."

Ignoring the feeling, she grabbed the camera from his hands and raised it up, her slim finger going towards the button.

The same flash went off.


Silence filled the area, but Anastasia noticed Ritsuka's mood was visibly lifted.

"...Thank you."

Again, she noticed the Master's seeming immunity to her chilly and frigid touch.

"Are you not cold?" She asked, her arm still connected with his.

He looked at her, and shook his head. "Not really." He laughed. "You're not that cold, actually."
A few weeks had gone by, as Anastasia went about her daily life now in Chaldea, usually lounging around her living quarters or snapping photos around the facility. Ever since she had talked with her Master, she had been given a camera of her own made by the small brunette servant calling herself a "genius."

Since then, she had taken advantage of the device and had been using it more as time passed. Back when she was alive, cameras were tall and often hard to use. But now, she had grown accustomed to the smaller, and functional "digital" camera that could finish a photograph far faster than the ones in her time.

Whenever she would be deployed into singularities, most of which were minor ones at best. She had never failed to capture a fragments of beauty that would cross the camera's screen, from exotic and beautiful locations and cities that were vastly different from the royal palaces she grew up in Russia, Anastasia didn't hesitate to get a photo of them, which she stored in her quarters.

Recently though, Viy had noticed her eagerness to be around her Master, even though she had expertly hid it. He asked her about this, and she would always deny it.

But, as much as she liked to admit, the servant had started to open up to her Master, slowly breaking the icy shell she covered herself, to reveal what was inside. Viy told her to not be shy, to open up more to the boy that had summoned them, and that would always make her cheeks burn rosy red when her companion slyly made an implication that she did not like.

However, it seemed that her Master had been busy lately, going on and off into another singularity more recently than a few weeks. Up to the point that other servants had advised him to take a break, herself included.

"Anastasia, you called?" Ritsuka appeared, outside the entrance of her room with a tilt of his head.

"Ah! Welcome, Master." She greeted.

With a smile on her face, she walked over to him and grabbed his hand, the warmth of his skin enveloped her own colder hand. Her fingertips lightly played with his, slightly enjoying the warmth that he radiated off him, before she led him come inside. Patting the bed, she gestured him to sit down, much to the Master's confusion.

"Um... Ana-?"

"Just wait a bit please," Anastasia cut him off. Walking over to a table at the middle of her room, she grabbed the handle of a kettle, she slowly poured liquid on to a small porcelain cup, steam rising from the fine china that gave warmth that wasn't as hot as her Master's.

"I'm brewing tea right now." She informed him, "The other servants mentioned that you were working yourself to the bone, so I thought I could help ease off the stress."

The boy widened his eyes in surprise, his eye bugs unintentionally showing, displaying his lack of sleep, before he gave her a gentle smile.

"You didn't have to, Ana..." He started to say before his lips were shushed by his servant's finger.

Anastasia gave him a mirthful smirk hidden by a smile as she set the tray down on the bedside table, grabbing the freshly brewed tea and handed it to him.

"None of that Master, for now relax." She assured him. Ritsuka took the cup, and sighed. A smile graced his face before he nodded.

"I guess you're right." He admitted, raising the cup lightly and sipped it. The hot liquid entered and he gave a hum of approval.

"This is good!" He praised.

The duchess' smile grew bigger, as a tint of red adorned her cheeks. "It was nothing special, Master. I can do various things by myself, despite being royalty, you know?" She stated as she sipped her own tea.

The two shared a laugh as they enjoyed this moment, a moment of normality before going back to the saving-the-world campaign they were on.

Time was cut short, however, as another emergency deployment brought Ritsuka back to reality. The Master sighed, before he placed the finished cup on the tray.

"I'm really sorry for cutting this short, Anastasia." He apologized, standing up as he dusted himself.

Despite her best efforts, Anastasia couldn't hide the sliver of disappointment that had slipped through her voice.

"I see..."

The boy grinned as he started going to the exit.

"Don't worry, I'll make this up to you somehow." He declared with bravado while he walked.

"And Anastasia..."

As he was about exit, he looked back at his servant and gave a sincere smile.

"Thank you, again."

With that, he left.

As the door slid close, the caster cleaned the table in silence, a smile on her face.

You don't have to repay me, Master...

He already did, her Master, despite how many efforts he tried in the past, she ignored him to distance herself from others, his unwillingness to not give up, and his kindness towards her had affected her greatly.

Viy had noticed as well, observing her change throughout the time she spent here in Chaldea. He had told her that it was good for her. So she could come out of her shell, especially during the early days of talking to Ritsuka through a wall.

She pouted at that memory. Her companion disliked most humans, after all. So she was glad that Viy tolerated her Master.

Of course, Viy also teased her about their summoner, constantly noticing how she seemed to have become more talkative whenever he was around, and how she would constantly try to feel the heat that was her Master. She didn't know how to describe it, her Master. His warmth was like an inferno, consuming the blizzard within her.

The warmth that was Ritsuka Fujimaru melted her core, and warmed his way into her heart that had been covered in a wall of ice and snow that she had built. The chill in her body practically felt nonexistent when he was with her. Her heart beat loudly in her chest, the sound like a drum being hit right next to her ears. While it fluttered whenever she thought of her Master.

There was no denying it.

He was slowly melting the ice that surrounded her.

And she wanted it.

In her time here in Chaldea, Anastasia didn't need to feel fear, she and Viy were safe within these facilities, and she was capable of defending herself against monsters and the like during deployments in singularities.

Until now.

It wasn't fear for herself, no.

It was for him.

It all had seemingly been routine by now. Another request to investigate a singularity that had started to briefly act up. From her knowledge it was nothing new, so she didn't had to feel worry for her Master, and it became evident that the singularity was weak enough so three or more servants were enough.

That wasn't the case, however.

She had felt horror go through her when the Ruler servant who had been like an advisor to their Master, Holmes she remembered Ritsuka mentioning him, had been the one to inform her of their Master's condition.

Without a moment's notice, she had rushed into the medical facility of Chaldea, to be greeted by the sight of a bandaged and sleeping Ritsuka. His form lay still on the hospital bed, breathing, yet he looked pained. His bandages stained crimson red from various parts of his body.

It broke her heart.

In that moment, the images of sisters, bloody and broken flashed in her mind, laying in the pool of their own blood. Their mother, holding their little brother dearly, as she too, bled out. The sight of her beloved Master looking nearly the same had sparked something in her. The feeling of desperation and realization.

She didn't want to lose him.

He had to stay there for weeks, to recover. But Anastasia felt eternal gratitude to the more medical based servants that came to help their Master. She, herself, was by his side all the way, keeping watch to ensure he was comfortable and breathing.

The Berserker Nurse had to ask her to get out when she had to check up on him, telling her to visit another time.

She had hesitantly admitted to that, before leaving the medical facility, at a loss to what to do now.

Viy assured her he would survive.

He had to survive.

She had returned to his designated room a few days later, only to be surprised at finding a number of Servants had left gifts. Seeing it all, she couldn't help but smile a little seeing the good-will Ritsuka had managed to garner from so many.

Yet, she couldn't help but feel envy once noticing the more... grander gifts were from the female Servants.

Viy, of course had amusingly teased her relentlessly about the little tidbit.

Blood rushed to her face and she couldn't quite pin if it was from anger or embarrassment. As she muttered under her breath in very unladylike like fashion as she entered her Master's temporary room in the medical facility.

Maybe she could give the Romanov Dynasty's Easter Egg as a present?


Her stupor was broken when the familiar sight of her Master, standing tall, as if the events a few weeks ago hadn't transpired. He still looked a bit weak considering, but this was far better than laying in a hospital bed all day.

"Master...!" She gasped, a bright smile breaking out her face, before rushing towards him.

Ritsuka's cheeks burned a red hue when he felt his servant's arms envelop him. He chuckled softly, returning the embrace with a small smile adorning his bandaged face.

"Did you miss me that much?" He joked. Though his tone changed immediately when small sobs were heard from the servant.


She slowly pulled away, her arms falling to his as her hands softly enveloped his. His calloused hands, rough from all the adventures and fights he had throughout human history felt against soft, and tender hands that intertwined together.


Throughout her life, Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova was never selfish. Despite her being blessed with royalty and nobility she never felt like wanted to be treated like a princess or queen. Even when Russia betrayed her and her family, she loved them and her people true.

"Don't let go of these hands..." Her voice, soft and tender, spoke.

But maybe, this one time.

"Please stay in places I can see you..." Her lip quivered. "Please... answer me, whenever you hear my voice..."

A tear slipped out and cascaded down her cheek as she looked up to him.

"I never want to part with you again."

She could be selfish?

Ritsuka stared at her in shock, no words leaving his mouth. Then, a smile graced his face, and he let his fingers intertwine with hers.

"I promise you that I will never leave." The boy declared softly. His voice soothing her as he gently tightened his hold. "I swear to you." He whispered to her ear, which sent small shocks down her spine.

Slowly, he leaned his head down, and planted a kiss on the girl's forehead.

"I love you, Anastasia."

She sniffed, her cheeks a deep red tint as she leaned on his chest, listening to his heartbeat, savoring the feeling of warmth that had fully consumed her and her soul, melting away the howling winter that contained her being.

"Я люблю тебя, мой мастер."
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