divine wind; suicidal, self-destructive.
(the things we do for love)
Homura looks up from what appears to be her second chocolate mousse today –she had been famished by the time school ended and decided that she could use the extra energy to do her midnight hunting later – and with a pair of bored eyes watches as the door swings open to reveal a chestnut haired girl strolling in with shopping bags dangling from her arms.
Erika – she learned her name just two timelines ago – harrumphs when the café appears deprived of her girl friends. Homura flicks her gaze away from the stranger and resumes eating her dessert, knowing by now the once nameless girl will have pouted and told her friend Miyuki (again, she discovered this two timelines ago, purely coincidental) to come at once over the phone.
The clock tells her it's 6 PM when she finishes her cake, and as Homura saunters out of the café she wonders if certain people will enter it soon, if they'll take their usual seat (Momo by the window, batting her eyelashes sweetly at her boyfriend; Yamamoto in the corner of the room futilely trying to concentrate working on his laptop; the high school student group that's obsessed with video game and none of their homework as they schmooze over coffee and tea in the far end of the cafe).
Homura plods her way toward the elevator down, the glaring yellow lights of the mall probing her back, and stops. An immediate grunt turns up in tow behind her, but she doesn't swivel around to apologize for her abrupt halt. She lets the man pass and wonders why she even bothers.
This mall she has visited so many times, this world and these meaningless people, she knows them all. This realm keeps providing her with the information she doesn't need, and all she can do is swallow them all, the diminutive details, and how every bit of them tears herself apart, cuts her off more and more from the world.
Ironic how things turn out this way, she muses to herself, trying to summon a rueful smile then, and isn't surprised when nothing comes. Smile is something cheap she finds on countless masks in this city, but too expensive for her to buy. For its replacement, she has knitted a stitch for herself, a thin line that seals her destiny and everything she is (once was).
Smiles she can't buy, perhaps, but at least she can buy time.
Walking away from the grand building and its warmth, Homura treads her way toward darkness with a demure purple glow as her guidance. She keeps it close to where her heart's supposed to be (memories and wishes and another life and other lives), and thinks it's almost warm.
For the tenth (or was it the twentieth already) time, Akemi Homura is isolated from the rest of the world.
Somewhere far away, somewhere in her mind, a witch cackles. The laugh is cold and sinister and lonely, and it lasts for quite a while.
The main hall is teeming with students, and as Homura gets close she can see the third graders: some are talking animatedly with others, their countenances beaming up with excitement; some hunch their shoulders with their head bowed, either formulating a brilliant plan or brooding on depression.
Homura doesn't even need to ask anyone what the commotion is about – she has seen this for many times now.
"What are you going to do after graduating, Rem?" A girl with pigtail asks her friend, curious blue eyes glinting.
The girl named Rem shrugs, not even bothering to glance up from her cell phone, and intones in a bored voice, "university, of course. Abroad, probably. My parents have been so fussy about it."
The pigtail girl fumes. "What? But we're best friends! How can you…"
Homura evades two boys engrossed in their talk about science and the possibility of androids doing housework. She makes her way out while the effusive talk continues to reverberate in her head in dull, loud thuds.
She doesn't fail to notice the fact that each one of them (at least the ones she remembers anyway) keeps their dreams for the future from the previous timelines intact.
Homura's steps are unwavering as she leaves the school. She draws her hand up.
Her future in this timeline is unchanged as well; it's been engraved here all along, fate woven by a wish.
The ring returns her gaze with silence, wickedly beautiful in its simplicity.
She won't deny ever thinking of the possibility of becoming a witch herself.
Sometimes, in the heat of battle, her mind will wander (which really isn't a problem, because she's so used to doing this thing, and because time stops for others but never for her).
She wonders how her witch will look like; if she'll be able to manipulate time too, if her stage will have a thousand gears and clocks ticking toward midnight but never actually reaching it. She wonders if she'll wear sorrow on her body, dark frills and laces rippling onto the floor. She wonders if there will be purple roses that have noxious thorns, crying black tears.
Homura closes her eyes, imagining everything and nothing, and shakes her head, raven strands whipping on her face.
Not now, she firmly tells herself.
Her heart belongs elsewhere, and she will remain a Puella Magi forever and ever, until someone who holds her heart and hope and life ceases to exist.
Behind her, time moves again. And the witch shrieks in agony, burning and burning and burning.
Homura doesn't look back.
Before her, Mitakihara stands tall and solemn. It's more crimson than ever, like a child play drenched in red paint, thousands of slanting boxes housing broken marionettes. The water around her feet is just as claret, salty with deep sadness. With this view, it seems as if the whole city had been set afire and bled so much it's seeping into the ocean.
In her opinion, ruby has always fitted Mitakihara well. It's a city built on love, after all. And love makes people do all sorts of things they could never have imagined doing, both the good and the bad. For someone who constantly moves, flows alongside time, she has seen and learned more malice and less kindness.
The most important lesson, however, is that love is the cruelest witch of all.
People murder because of their love for money and position and respect. Cheat because it's one of the easiest and less treacherous and honest ways to obtain love. Love saves and destroys, makes them sinner and no saints.
This wretched city of sinners deserves nothing better than the wrath of heaven, she's fully aware of that, and it's not like she cares whether or not the entire universe will perish or not – she never quite belongs anywhere anyway. Not in this timeline, not in the previous, not in the next one. For all she knows, the city can explode right before her eyes and consume her whole afterward, and she will be charred into black nothing like the rest of them, the strangers, the sinners.
For half a heartbeat, Homura considers the option (she's tired, so, so tired of repeating and ending her life over and over again), wondering if the end of the world will burst in scarlet fireworks – if it's supposed to be now at last.
But she knows better than giving up.
Fighting against the lethargy gnawing on her, she rises from her spot and averts her gaze upwards. The wind blows. Homura turns her head and swallows the red vista and lets it bleed for a while in her mind, reeking of corruption and imminent calamity.
Then, she walks away (just as she has many times before) from this world. She leaves the red city and its sinners behind, for her life has ended and born anew (again and again and again and again). She'd like to think of it as a curse because it's only appropriate for the greatest and worst sinner in the entire universe after all.
For love, she has cursed this world to absolute doom.
And the one she loves to be the harbinger of that end.
Homura rewinds time.
Amidst the grating sounds of wheels and gears spinning and turning, a voice as cold as ice croons, "sweet child,"
Love laughs a rusty, condescending laugh then, cuts and scrapes her rotting heart till it spills black dust.
Come save me.
a/n: So I originally wanted to focus on the theme "things I do for love", but of course nothing went according to plan and I ended up with this instead - which is more like a series of explorations of Homura's thoughts and what the timelines did to her. Honestly, repeating timelines over and over isn't healthy. And um, I just like writing twisted stuff and jump at it when I see the chance.
Those "random" numbers are actually the "clock" (notice how it never reaches xii). I'll definitely write more for this show soon as I've just rewatched it again... and I've come to like Kyoko better now, which is kind of an accomplishment.
Please tell me what you think; reviews are greatly appreciated!