AN: Once a oneshot writer, always a oneshot writer.
There is something about MamixKyouko that is pretty interesting. They're both veteran Puella Magi, so why not have them share some history? I'm aware that it's extremely vague, but I wanted to write this for the general feeling of pleasantry it gave me, not create a whole new AU line. It's a relaxed piece, so please read it as such. Also ignore the weird self-narrating I for some reason applied to this. ^_^'
The futuristic-looking city that was Mitakihara was making an impeccable impression. The moonlight was reflected in the abundance of glass and metal the city sported, and the nightly luminescence of street lights and lit windows created stationary fireflies in the dark space.
Atop a skyscraper, nothing more than a bigger piece of glass and metal and also some concrete, an proud character looked out across her territory. Perched on the very edge of the building's roof sat a girl of high school age, though she didn't actually attend any school. Her only companion for the night was a bulging paper bag full of food items. Most of them were stolen, bought with stolen money, or just swiped from a dumpster somewhere. It's ridiculous what people throw away. Honestly.
The girl stuck her hand deep into her bag and pulled out a chocolate bar. Her left leg stuck out over the concrete edge and dangled precariously, her right safely on firm stone. The cold and hard chocolate was easily broken into smaller pieces by the teeth of a healthy young girl, even if her unusual fang-like canines did a lot to help.
It was a warm night, even that high up. The wind that tore in the young girl's clothes was fierce and alive, just like the human it was playing with. Kyouko Sakura was greatly enjoying the view, the wind, the food, life. The night had gone well, with two Grief Seeds collected so far. It was great night for hunting, and Kyouko optimistically guessed that she could get at least two more Seeds before dawn.
Much like any person who is feeling good about themselves, the Puella Magi repressed every negative emotion she had. There wasn't a lot of them: Some general hopelessness that all humans carry, some hunger for a certain type of food she hadn't brought, some grating thoughts regarding a fellow witch hunter that was all but friends with Kyouko.
None of these things mattered at the moment. The night mattered. The city mattered. Kyouko swallowed the last piece of chocolate and threw the wrapper over the edge, in terrible disregard for a cleaner Mitakihara. The wind was thrilled to have a new playmate, and it and the wrapper flew off to have a wonderful life together. Kyouko smiled excitedly to herself. Things were all around great.
"This really is a beautiful place."
The voice wasn't Kyouko's, and even if it had been hers, she would never had said something so cheesy and predictable. Since the voice, as established wasn't Kyouko's, the redhead reacted by twisting her head to the right and promptly falling off the raised edge where she was sitting with a yelp. Luckily, she fell on the side that had a floor.
As one might've figured from the "redhead" comment, Kyouko has red hair. It's of unusual hip length and a lovely amaranth color. A black bow and a small golden clip carries all of it in a ponytail, that really doesn't even look like a ponytail since it's just that much hair. Digressing now.
"W-What the hell!'?" That time it actually is Kyouko's voice, shrill and gruff. The gruffness is just the result of the girl's personality, most noticeable when she's in a bad mood. The shrill part was there on account of her surprise, because next to the paper bag on the edge sat another girl. To justify the description of the area, she wasn't actually there before. Hence Kyouko's reaction.
"A busy area, a bustling city. I loved it here." This new girl was the same age as Kyouko, dressed in the proper high school outfit. Needless to say, she actually cared about education to some degree. Her features were soft and her expression calm as she looked out across the "bustling city", just like Kyouko had been doing a minute ago.
She's blonde, with hair that appears short. Two thick corkscrew pigtails tell a different story, and her hair is probably a little below shoulder length without them. Her eyes match the color of her golden locks (interestingly enough, Kyouko shares this peculiarity), as they are a honey-sweet yellow. Her name is Mami Tomoe, and everything about her is cute in a mature way.
"Mami?" Kyouko's crimson-colored eyes blinked in chock as she took in the sight of her blonde visitor. Her first, instinctive reaction was to transform, to swiftly defend herself against a powerful enemy. But something stopped her. Mami wasn't in her Puella Magi uniform, and didn't look like a person who came to kill. Besides, she just sat there. Looking. Searching?
"You sound surprised." Humongous understatement.
"They said you were dead." "They" being a couple of Kyouko's Puella Magi acquaintances and also Kyuubei, the white and furry alien whose job is to prevent entropy in the universe. He (because it's generally accepted that Kyuubei is male, even if the race from which he derives probably doesn't have genders in that sense) can literally be anywhere at any time, thanks to the multitude of physical bodies he possesses.
"They were right." Mami replied bluntly. Taring her eyes from the glimmering city, she looked at the upset redhead with a smirk. "I didn't scare you that badly, did I?"
Kyouko scrambled to her feet and rubbed her sore behind, which had graciously taken the fall for her.
"Are you...a ghost?" The question was silly, and quite embarrassing to ask. But Mami just smiled warmly and shook her head.
"Ghost, spirit, figment of your imagination. Whatever works. I like to think of myself as a leftover memory. A fragment of my former presence in this town. As for what I actually am...does it matter?"
"I s'pose it doesn't." Kyouko vaulted back onto the edge. She rubbed her eyes and yawned, surprised by the sudden feeling of weariness that overcame her. She obviously questioned the situation, but much like any person who is in a good mood, she decided to go with the flow. If it was a dream, then what would it matter? "Why are you here?"
"Because you are."
"I didn't mean here as in this place. I meant here as in...on Earth, or whatever."
"Why I'm not chatting it up in heaven?" Mami's tone of voice changed slightly, and her friend got the impression that she was being imitated. Which might've annoyed her, if not for the overwhelming sea of other emotions that flooded her mind.
"Somethin' like that." The redhead's hand sought her food supply, but suddenly realized that she wasn't hungry. Or rather, she didn't want to eat anything. It felt...disrespectful, somehow.
"Same answer, almost. I wanted to see you, Kyouko." Mami's eyes glowed golden when she spoke, as the city lights were reflected in them.
"Don't say stuff like that."
"Well, you asked."
The two fell silent. Every twenty seconds, red eyes glanced over to check that the blonde apparition was still there. The wind ruffled their hair and clothes and kindly asked them to play with it, but Kyouko pulled up her knees to her chin and hugged them tightly, refusing.
"For what it's worth, I wasn't all happy that you had died."
"No. It sucks losing a good rival. My new one is awful." Mami giggled heartily and dangled her legs freely off the edge, enjoying herself in quite the childish way.
"You said rival. Not partner or companion, not friend. But rival."
"You trying to make me feel bad?" Kyouko's voice turned apprehensive.
"I'm stating an observation. It's curious that you want to remember me as your rival. We were so much more, Kyouko."
Out of nowhere, Mami threw her head back and started laughing loudly in a very uncharacteristic manner. The redhead looked at her with annoyance; she didn't find the situation particularly funny.
"I'm glad one of us is enjoying herself." The living girl said grumpily. Mami gave her an apologetic look.
"I expected this to be a pleasant conversation, where we would talk about old times...the good old times..." She added when she saw Kyouko's grimace. "...I didn't want this to turn out all depressing!"
"Mami, you're a ghost-spirit-fragment-thing who came back to talk to the person you shared your life with for months. You're dead, I'm here. How much more depressing can this get?"
"...I see your point."
Stars twinkled in the inky sky as Kyouko dug up an apple from her bag of treats and sweets and took a big bite out of it. She didn't feel that disrespectful anymore. Mami lost herself in her city once more, and many minutes went by before either of them said anything.
"I trust you to take care of Mitakihara for me, you know? It's a-"
"A beautiful city, you've told me already." The redhead's teeth sunk deep into the sweet flesh of the red fruit. Kyouko didn't know why, but she loved apples. She liked a lot of fruit, but there was something special about apples that was appealing to her. But at the same time, food was food and she never gave her tastes any thought. "I did a fair job when we were still friends, didn't I?"
"I didn't mean it like that. I know you'll take good care of this place, even with the familiars-don't-drop-seeds mentality of yours."
"I told you I wasn't going to change."
"You did. I know better than to argue about that with you."
"Huh. Wish you would've said that when we were still...together." Kyouko's tone was intentionally a very harsh one, and she once again wondered how Mami could've pictured this being anything but depressing.
"That was what ruined us, wasn't it? Me trying to convert you."
"Maybe. But Mami, even without that, do you really think 'us' could've worked out?" Down on the ground, the sidewalk of a busy street was hit by an apple core. Tiny pieces of fruit flew everywhere, pedestrians angrily looked around for the idiot who had thrown the item, and the core itself bounced onto the actual road where it was crushed by the tire of a passing car.
"Why not? No parents or friends to hinder our relationship, true feelings for each other."
"If we had all that goin' for us, then why the hell did we break up?"
"Because of this." The blonde raised her hand, and the silver ring with its amber-colored gem stone glittered faintly. "We are Puella Magi. We aren't supposed to have normal lives, normal relations. We are supposed to be alone."
"It sucks to be alone."
"Tell me about it." Images of someone flashed before Mami's eyes. Someone who promised that she would never be alone again, who had brought her back to life. Metaphorically speaking. It was nothing more than a memory of a memory, but the mere thought gave Mami strength. But she wasn't with that person now, and she didn't want to be. That person was a friend. Kyouko was something more.
"That's why I want to remember you as my rival. A person who made me stronger and who made me want to live, who stood up and fought me. Anything else hurts too much."
Kyouko almost pushed Mami off the building.
"No kidding it is! Mami, I know you're a bit of an airhead, but come on!"
"Sorry...I just wish that things could've been different."
"We all wish that, I think." It was a profound moment as the redhead said this. She didn't care about the statement sounding forced, because it felt right. Looking at the serene and calm personality that was Mami, it just seemed appropriate to be (or act) profound. "It just isn't the first thing that comes to mind when asked."
The fragment of a memory sighed contently. She looked lovingly at her best friend, her anchor to this world. She wasn't going anywhere, not to heaven or the afterlife or anything like that. She'd stay by Kyouko's side for as long as she wanted or was allowed to, looking over the peculiar girl.
The memory that was Mami Tomoe gently put her hand on Kyouko's shoulder and gave her friend, her companion, her rival and her love a light kiss on the cheek. The redhead closed her eyes, if only to avoid the golden gaze of a person she missed very dearly.
"Take care, Kyouko." Then the wind whisked her away and all that was left when Kyouko Sakura opened her eyes was the faintest spot of heat on her cheek. The city of Mitakihara twinkled and shined at her and the wind tugged tentatively after a paper bag, too weighed down for it to play with.
"Take care, Mami."