The obligatory post episode 8 fic. I'm not actually sure I believe any of this, but it's what came to my mind first. This will very soon be AU. All ideas are simply idle conjecture Summary quote by Irene Peter. The title is from the phrase 'change is the only constant'.

Warnings: (repeated) character death, lesbianism, spoilers for episode 8

Do enjoy.

The Only Constant

Madoka tells her: Don't cry.

This is the hundredth iteration and Madoka is standing over her, whispering into her hair, pressing kisses into the crook of her neck.

She wants to scream, wants to fight, wants to let her eyes fall away in endless rain. She wants to keep like this if only for a moment longer.

It will all be okay, Madoka says between kisses and she simply thinks that it never will be, never again.

She wants to say, you don't know what happens next, because how could it ever turn out differently from what she has experienced so many times over and can remember so clearly with her heart.

But maybe she can't remember anything at all.

Homura wakes up to sweat on her sheets and the heady contance of her clocks.

There are weeks left and she can already feel herself breaking.

Homura grows up in the aftermath.

The city is a gleaming white, stark to the cerulean sky, and people bustle about mindlessly without a care in the world. The people here know magic as fairytale fiction and nothing more.

Homura listens to the stories from her mother's lap, closing her eyes to picture every flash of dream and sparkling girl. She knows all about Madoka from the historic fables he mother used to send her into sleep, knows all about that brave girl and her sacrifice for the world.

She keeps the book, even after her mother is too busy to read it, cluttered against her school books and the novels that keep her lonely world sane.

Ocasionally, Homura will pull that battered tome from her shelf and let her eyes fall continuously on the heavy words and the rough illustrations of the girl who has always been her hero.

And oh how Homura wishes she could meet her, oh how she wishes Madoka were real.

The day is warm and Akemi Homura is smiling through her open window when she catches sight of a movement in the shadows.

"She was real, you know. If you really want to meet her, I can let you. All you have to do is wish." says the Incubator.

And Homura doesn't know what this will cost her when her only reply is "More than anything."

Homura is fourteen years old and in love.

Kaname Madoka is life incarnate, beautiful and strong beyond belief, and this is only the first time the two of them have ever met.

"Homura." she says to Madoka, just to see the blush that lights on her cheeks "You can call me Homura."

And Madoka repeats the name, just as a whisper out into the day.

The world falls apart when Homura has forgotten that it ever should.

Homura has been protecting Madoka from the truth, fighting her battles from behind the scenes, if only to keep her smiling.

In the story books, though, Madoka always dies with a smile and Homura doesn't know if she is changing anything at all.

Walpurgisnacht let's the world end, the skyscrapers fall, and Madoka's smile to crumble away.

Madoka wishes for the world to be beautiful again, tears streaming down her broken face.

Homura has changed the world, but she doesn't know if she could ever make it better.

She tries again.

On this iteration Homura tells Madoka everything, lets the words fall from her lips in messy torrents that only say believe her.

Madoka doesn't.

Her hands are shaking, face pale against the bright colour of her hair and her eyes are wide with fright as she runs away.

This time neither Madoka or Sayaka become magical girls, but that is only because there is no one there to save them as they die.

Homura thinks that she can do this, though, and doesn't stop to wonder if the past had been perfect before she had made her wish, because a world without Madoka is the cruelest thing she can immagine.

The third time around it's Sayaka for whom Madoka wishes and that causes the world to shatter.

Madoka is a magical girl far too soon and the balance of reality is slipping away.

She's far too strong, and the worst part is that Madoka knows it.

"Kill me." She says to Homura against a torn skyline once everything is over.

"Please." Madoka says, and there are old tears caked on her cheeks.

Homura holds up her handgun and in the time it takes for Madoka to close her eyes, Homura has made a decision.

The world swirls again and she is gone.

Homura watches the end over and over.

The power that it takes to revert the world transforms Madoka into a witch, a mindless killer, but in all the fables, she has just enough mind to destroy herself.

There is a soul gem left where her grief seed should be and Homura hold it close to her heart.

Everything Homura does is for Madoka, even if she must be cruel.

She let's her emotions fall away them best she can in an effort to protect what she knows to be true: There is no good in a world where Kaname Madoka does not exist.

This time, it feels as if she has gotten it right, doled out all her secrets in careful measure such that maybe this time she will succeed.

But Madoka is breaking already and even if she lives, Homura doesn't know what would be left.

Madoka kisses Homura softly, giggling like the child she is.

Sunlight echos golden off the surfaces of the room and all their worries have never existed at all.

Homura thinks there is a world like that and keeps trying.