Bread of life

Chapter I
'Panis angelicus'


Sakura Kyouko is dying.

This is an inescapable fact.

It's funny, though. Wasn't she meant to be the tough one?

Wait…

That's not so funny.

Fucking depressing, more like.

A-and she's going to die because of Sayaka? The same newbie little puella magi Kyouko goaded all those times? The same foolish little girl with dreams so big they crushed her heart at every footstep? That stupid fucking idealist with her perfect visions of a perfect world that twisted her body beyond repair until she turned into this ugly monster Kyouko sees before her?

Maybe if Sayaka had listened to Kyouko's advice it wouldn't have ended like this- but it's too late now.

It's too late for Sayaka.

And now it's too late for Kyouko, too.

Sakura Kyouko is going to die because of that ignorant, insolent, insufferable little brat.

That, also, is an inescapable fact.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

What a cheap way to die.

T-that's… that's stupid.

So stupid.

If there any bits of Miki Sayaka left inside that giant metallic mess of mermaid's tail and razor sharp swords Kyouko's sure those bits and pieces will be laughing at her.

Didn't you say magical girls should only use their magic for their own gain, Kyouko? What happened to that? What about your philosophy? Aren't you being hypocritical?

Being a 'hero' doesn't get you anything- apart from an early grave.

You of all people should know this.

Remember what happened to your dad?

There's so no such thing as a selfless puella magi- because she's the over-bearing idiot who waltzes into battle all guns blazing and gets her head bitten off.

You're better than that, Kyouko.

You should know by now how foolish it is to care about others; especially when Sayaka was so hell-bent on driving herself into her own grave.

Miki Sayaka is dead.

And soon, you will be too.

W-why did she have to be such a big damn hero?

But Kyouko couldn't leave Sayaka… A-and maybe, if there is a piece of Sayaka left inside that monstrous mutation, that soul-corruption and loss of innocence, then maybe that piece of Sayaka won't be sniggering at Kyouko's sudden heel face turn after all.

Maybe, instead, it will be smiling.

Thank you… Kyouko-chan.

Nobody wants to die alone.

Ha.

At least Kyouko will go out with a bang.

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White.

It's so bright.

Dying… doesn't feel that bad…

I-it's more like…

Drifting…

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She expected it to hurt more.

Maybe it should hurt more.

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Maybe she's not even dead.

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Is this real?

An illusion?

Everything around her white…

So white…

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Where is the pain?

Where did it go?

Was ever there to begin with?

Kyouko can't remember.

Searching for the pain is like trying to divine whether it's raining; cautiously reaching your hand out from underneath your umbrella, and checking the puddles at your feet to see if there are any tell-tale ripples.

Is it safe to put the umbrella away?

…D-does that analogy even make any sense?

Whatever.

What the fuck ever.

Kyouko doesn't care.

Kyouko doesn't care about much anymore.

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Then, much later (or maybe it's only a few seconds after), a thought occurs to her.

There was pain once- but that is little more than a distant memory.

Kyouko is sure, as she struggled to get to her feet- tried to avoid the devastating blows of those flickering wheels (who used wheels as a weapon when that monster, that witch, Sayaka, had been quite plainly holding a sword? Maybe there was some symbolism about those wheels, but Kyouko's sick and tired of 'symbolism' now), it had hurt.

Every crushing blow had broken bones, rupturing organs- internal bleeding all round. It felt her chest was on fire (maybe she shouldn't have eaten all those snacks…) It had hurt to breathe.

Now there is nothing.

Is this… heaven?

…M-maybe her dad was right… …

And that's funny, too.

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Some part of Kyouko- some cruel, biting, sarcastic part she always tried to smother when she was younger- always doubted her dad's teachings.

Maybe that was why he snapped.

Because he knew, even though the magic-controlled masses believed, his own daughter didn't. Kyouko sacrificed her life, became a… a fucking zombie, a parasite, a lich, for a fantasy she never even truly accepted.

Kyouko had… never really believed…

B-but maybe her dad was right.

Maybe heaven did exist.

I-I'm sorry.

M-maybe you didn't a miracle.

If I had believed in you, with all my heart and all my soul, that might have been enough.

I'm sorry.

I-I was a bad daughter…

D-damn.

F-fuck this sentimental shit.

I-I think I've got something in my eye…

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How long has she been drifting, formless, like vapour?

She doesn't know.

Maybe this isn't heaven.

Maybe this is purgatory.

She is repenting for her sins.

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Time passes like the waves running against the shore.

And Sakura Kyouko continues to drift.

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And then-

An angel?

N-no…

Not an angel.

The mysterious figure is attired in an ornate dress of subtly shifting fabric; red and black and gold. Her blonde hair is tied up in an elegant bun. Her eyes are narrow and calculating.

Kyouko wonders how she can see this figure in so much detail. Wasn't she a dim silhouette; a shadow in the distance; a figure enveloped by fog?

But the fog has gone now.

Vanished without a trace.

Just like the bodies of dead magical girls.

I wonder if I left a corpse.

Kyouko wonders if this is a dream. Maybe all of it was some delusion; her father, the incubators, Sayaka… Everything.

Kyouko pinches her cheek-

Ow.

-no such luck. It still hurts.

And then…

Kyouko's eyes widened.

She just pinched her cheek.

She pinched her cheek.

Implying she not only has cheeks, but fingers too- and with fingers come hands, and with hands come arms; and, before you know it, you've got a whole human body in perfect working order!

Kyouko looks down in some surprise, hardly daring to hope.

For the first time in her life, her hopes are all granted.

She has legs and arms, hands and feet, and when her brain says 'move' her fingertips twitch in accordance to her commands. Having a body shouldn't surprise her so much- but she's been drifting, formless, for so long it's a little disconcerting.

Her head feels like a lead weight.

Her heavy feet root her into the earth.

Her hands are inelegant and clumsy.

But she has a body, and perhaps that's all that matters.

Kyouko then turns to look about her surroundings. She's sat on a chair at a circular table. The blonde-haired woman is sat opposite her in a similar chair. There's a second woman stood beside the first; a person with long lilac hair who seems to exude a 'tranquil' aura. Her eyes are half-lidded.

The table before Kyouko is set neatly with willow-patterned plates of sugar cookies and cups of tea. Are they having a tea party?

A tea party under a pavilion surrounded by an endless rose garden…

How quaint.

Oh, look.

There are golden butterflies, too.

Kyouko is not surprised. Somehow, the concept that she has arms and legs again was more of a shock than the strangely-colored insect life (are butterflies insects…?)

If this is 'heaven', Sakura Kyouko doesn't think much of it. Personally, she quite likes the idea of a Viking Valhalla; a place where fallen heroes congregate to fight to the death every night.

Kyouko liked fighting; she really did. It was exhilarating. It was fun.

Tea parties?

…They're not really Kyouko's forte.

The sugar cookies do look quite good, though…

Kyouko reaches across the table and takes a handful before she realizes what she's doing- but she hasn't eaten in so long, and those dark memories of starvation and sticking out ribs float across her mind before she can stop them. She has to have food in her hands, in her mouth, on her tongue.

It's reassuring.

It assures her she's still alive.

That she's not going to starve.

Not like last time.

…Those sugar cookies are incredibly good.

Even so, if 'heaven' is, in actuality, an endless, sweet-smelling rose garden and eternal tea parties, this a fucking joke! All the sugar cookies in the world couldn't change Kyouko's disgusted opinion of the whole matter.

Kyouko didn't sacrifice herself for an eternity of mind-numbing tedium!

Kyouko wants out.

But the blonde-haired woman with the blue eyes is talking. She pushes a cup of tea towards Kyouko, a knowing smirk flickering across her lips.

Somehow, it feels like looking into a mirror.

Kyouko looks at the blonde-haired woman and she sees a lot of herself reflected in that cruel smile.

Kyouko feels this woman, beneath her beautiful hair and beautiful clothes, is a complete bitch.

Kyouko's always been good at judging people.

And then the golden-haired woman speaks.

"Welcome to the Golden Land, Sakura Kyouko. My name is Beatrice the Golden Witch- but I'm quite different to the witches you usually fight, no?~ I'm muuuch more refined and elegant!~ Gyahaha!"

It is at this point Kyouko wonders, speculatively, if she's gone insane.

The cookies are heavenly, though, so what's the point in complaining?


a/n: Why am I always struck with such weird fic ideas? XD
Umineko is an /incredibly/ fun fandom to cross stuff over with, though. I'll explain everything to you (and Kyouko XD) in the next chapter, if anybody cares to stick around for that long XD; This fic is only gonna be like 5-6 chapters long though. It's a baby ficlet :D

~renahhchen xoxo