A/N: I was totally deceived when I started watching this show. In a good way.

Don't own MSMM.

Every failure hurts worst than the last.

For every time that she wakes up in her hospital bed, soul gem cool against her palm, she thinks she dies a little more each time.

It isn't fair. Her heart aches.

Her brain hurts, too, from thinking up ways to save someone that is destined to die.

What hurts even more is the rare occasion that she wakes up and thinks to herself that maybe she should give up - but she immediately banishes the thought from her mind, because that's something she just won't do.

It's something she can't do, no matter how many times she wakes up in this too white room with Madoka's anguished wails still echoing cruelly in between her ears.

It's like a terrible nightmare, one that loops around and around; the circumstances are different in each one, but they all end the same. They all end in puddles of murky water, with their ripped out souls and hearts that feel the same way.

And so she gets up; she doesn't even look at the calendar anymore. Homura doesn't have to, when she's been through this so many times.

This time will be different.

Last time was just a dream, or at least a horrible mockery of one. This time, this time will be the time that Homura succeeds. She'll save Madoka. She promised, after all.

This is what Homura tells herself when she walks into the classroom, each step becoming more and more confident than the last round. Each equation she is asked to complete on the board, each time she befriends Madoka - each time she becomes part of the makeshift circle of Puellas fooled into becoming witches becomes easier the more she goes through it.

The only thing that does not get any simpler is saving her only friend. The one person who had any sort of faith in the shy, stuttering girl she used to be - she still ends up dead on her back, eyes that were once filled with the vibrancy and kindness that Homura adores oh so much fading every millisecond.

Sometimes, she doesn't even wait for the life to completely vanish from her to go back in time.

Sometimes, it just hurts too much.

This time, this time, we'll win.

This time, this time, this time, this time -

And Homura, she still ends up rewinding time.

She still wakes up in that bright room, with her braids and her red-rimmed glasses that sicken her and leave her disgusted with the reminder of who she used to be, when she was too weak to protect the only thing precious to her the first time.

Every failure hurts worst than the last.