~*Sea of Tears*~
Even this place where we've lost ourselves feels so gentle…
All around her was water.
It dulled her senses, drowned out everything else. She couldn't even find the strength to open her eyes. And why should she?
She was tired.
Maybe, at last, she would know peace.
There's a howling madness inside of her mind and it claws at her heart. She doesn't care if the Witch tears into her—swirling musical notes repair the damage in seconds—she laughs and slams slams slams it into the ground, blood splattering, it's so amusing so pleasant so nice to hear it scream…!
She thought that, possibly, she was crying. It didn't matter. It had no importance. After all, what was more salt water to what she was already drifting in?
So very alone…
She was unable to open her eyes after all.
She's laughing and she doesn't know why, she's laughing and she doesn't know why…!
There was nothing left of her. She wasn't sure who she was.
She had to have a name, didn't she?
With all of this water—it felt like water at least—she can't imagine…to have survived so long down here…! She couldn't be human.
She kicked a mermaid's tail…
That was what it felt like, at least.
The men are screaming and she's giggling and driving her cutlass into them again and again and again and again and she'll teach them show them how dare they talk like that…!
What a beautiful sound.
They're all she can imagine. All she can hear.
She felt herself spiraling deeper, making no effort to resist gravity.
And why should she?
So pleasant, so lovely.
Maybe…one day…she would look to see who was playing them.
She lives in a world of lies and broken truths, but she will be a light…until she goes out in a blaze of glory. It's a beautiful lie and she will believe it until she finally dies.
She thought she heard voices. It was difficult to tell due to the water. She was so tired…
It had been just her for so long…
There was a chance, but she didn't think it was worth it for just a chance.
In her wildest fantasies has she never imagined a rush like this! There's blood on her cape in her eyes on her face she feels herself breaking and laughing and she lets herself go with a wild cry of—
This time she was certain.
There was a voice.
So close to her…
Was it worth…Was it worth…?
She could barely hear a thing now…
Was it really worth...?
She felt fingers twine with her own. So she wasn't imagining things.
Was it still worth actually…actually looking over to see…?
She opened her eyes at last.
There was a red gaze focused on her face.
She looked back dully, realizing that yes, they were indeed underwater. Beautiful dark blue water kissed by tongues of distant light. Bubbles rose up around them, and pushed the girl's red hair back. She didn't seem to look wet, despite the fact that they were leagues beneath the sea…
The red-haired girl had a smile on her face. Her fingers of one hand were knitted around hers, and the girl who couldn't remember her own name just stared.
The other girl tilted her head back a little and grinned. A fang gleamed brilliantly. "I told ya it sucks to be alone…didn't I? Did you think I was goin' to back outta my promise, Sayaka?"
She blinked. Once. It was almost too much of an effort to reopen her eyes. "Sayaka…?"
They continued to drift downwards.
"Yeah, did ya forget your own name or somethin'?" The other girl snorted. "You really are an idiot, I swear to God…"
"I…Oh." Sayaka still felt like her thoughts were consumed by music and water…and now…a pair of red eyes.
"That all you've got to say?"
A scoff, now. "Did ya forget me as well? Sakura Kyoko. Ringin' any bells?"
Sakura Kyoko. Kyoko. Kyoko.
"Kyoko!" She gasped; reaching out without thinking to grab the girl's other hand. The shift surprised Kyoko to the point that Sayaka's hand escaped the red-head's grip on her wrist. Their fingers locked. "You…What did you do?"
"How far gone were ya? I thought I went out with a bang, heh." Kyoko smirked. "I don't know what the hell is goin' on, or what's gonna happen now, but I wasn't goin' to let ya go through it alone."
"Did you…" Sayaka's eyes widened in shock. "Did you…?"
"Yeah, yeah, I did." Kyoko looked back steadily at her.
She caught the fiery Magical Girl in a sudden embrace, more tears trying to fall, only to be absorbed by the ocean. "Why…Why did you do that for me…? What were you thinking?"
"How many frickin' times do I need to repeat myself? I wasn't goin' to leave you alone."
The emphasis made Sayaka look up. Their faces were very close now, but she didn't even notice. Didn't care. It was a little late to feel self-conscious when Kyoko had already seen her at the height of her madness. She had poured her soul out to this girl.
Sayaka had nothing to hide, or to fear, anymore.
Kyoko sighed exasperatedly. "Enough with the Twenty Questions already."
"Oh…right." Sayaka wondered how long they were going to fall like this, practically in each other's arms, drifting deeper and deeper into the ocean…She lifted her head, looking up. There was a shimmer of white light above them. Far above them. "Should we…?"
"No, I'm serious now! Kyoko, should we…try to go up?"
"Well hell, we can't float here forever."
Kyoko grabbed one of Sayaka's hands and started pulling them upwards. She followed a little hesitantly at first, because she realized as they went upwards that…
"W-We…Maybe we should stay here." She flicked her eyes downwards. The ocean's depths were black. "Th-The…the music gets harder to hear as we…!"
That drew the other girl up short. She stopped and stared at her with concern. "What music? There isn't anythin' here but us."
"No, no, there's an orchestra playing!" Sayaka felt an irrational fear rising inside of her. No, no, no. Must not leave the violins, the beautiful violins!
"Do ya hear yourself? There is no music." Kyoko let go of her hand, kicking upwards a bit until she was above her. She extended her hand again in a clear invitation. "Go down or come up."
It was a bluff, Sayaka knew. Kyoko was going to follow her no matter what she did.
She glanced down again, silhouettes of musicians dancing in front of her eyes. She looked up and saw Kyoko, resplendent in her Magical Girl outfit—Sayaka herself was in her casual clothes—waiting impatiently, one of her fingers twitching.
Taking in a shaky breath, Sayaka took Kyoko's hand. It earned a nod of approval from the red-head.
And they continued on.
It was a decision Sayaka didn't regret.
"Kyoko," Sayaka said after an unmeasured period of silence. "You…You're a lot stronger than I am." She looked away, unable to meet the other's eyes.
Still swimming, Kyoko grunted, "Hell yeah I am, but that doesn't mean you're weak. I'm just kickass like that." There was a broad grin—she was just trying to joke—but Sayaka had forgotten how to laugh or smile.
"Your whole family died…"
The broad grin vanished.
"And I…got upset just because of a boy…Kyubey had tricked you too, but you didn't—"
"Oi, enough with the self-deprecation already." Kyoko was practically dragging Sayaka along as she swam, the water making it easy by taking away most of the weight. "Is that what you've been thinkin' about this entire time?"
"Hard not to…"
"Look at the good stuff instead of the bad stuff. Or at least stop dwellin' over crap you can't change, it's not gonna accomplish a damn thing."
Sayaka nodded guiltily, knowing the other was right.
The surface looked suddenly closer.
Sayaka blinked, snapping out of her reverie at the sudden swear. "Huh? What?" She halfway expected a Witch or Familiar to come at them.
Kyoko snickered. "Nothin' to worry about. I just didn't expect it to actually…" She stopped swimming long enough to turn around and show the other what was in her hand. "Found it in my pocket."
A box of pocky. It wasn't even opened.
The red-head took one, stuck it in her mouth, and after a moment she said with a huge smirk, "Want some?"
Pocky? Here? Something so mundane had really…?
Sayaka remembered how to laugh.
And by extension…she remembered how to smile. Was this really happening?
Perhaps. Perhaps so.
The water's surface was right over their heads.
Sayaka's body froze up. She really didn't want to leave the familiarity of the ocean, as empty as it was. She was content to be here with Kyoko in the deep blue sea. Forever. She really was.
Kyoko poked her head out of the water though.
She was afraid to ask what she saw.
"What the hell…" Kyoko breathed, ducking down into the waves again. "You're not gonna believe this. C'mon, Sayaka, just a bit further."
"Further? We have a destination?" Sayaka said a bit sarcastically.
Kyoko smiled. "Yeah, we do. So you comin', or are you goin' to sprout a tail and live here for eternity?"
"I'll fish you out if I have to." Sounded like half a joke and half a threat—those scarlet eyes held a dangerous gleam.
She nodded, slowly at first, but more firmly as time went on. "Alright."
"Good." Kyoko gave a thumbs up, closing one eye in a mischievous wink. "Still hearin' that background music of yours?"
She shook her head.
Suitably satisfied, Kyoko pulled Sayaka up with her.
As they broke the surface, the sting of light hurt her eyes. Everything suddenly seemed louder, the roar of noise made her ears ache. Her nerve nearly deserted her and she would have fled back into the water if Kyoko hadn't kept a tight grip on her shoulder.
"It's gonna be all right."
Sayaka swallowed hard, feeling very much like a fish.
Once she had calmed down enough to actually look around…
There was a grass field in front of them, with a clear dirt path that led over to a white stone arch.
"Looks pretty important to me," observed Kyoko. "Wanna check it out?" Without waiting for a response, she dragged them onto land, hefting Sayaka up with her.
Sayaka nearly forgot how to move her legs, though the other girl had no such trouble.
"Weird how we're not wet, but I'm not complain'. Wanna get goin', or do ya need a minute?"
Hunched over with her hands on her knees, Sayaka tried to fight off the inexplicable panic attack she was having at having had left the water. Was it just water, or something deeper than that? Where were they, anyway?
"I'm…I'm fine." She stood up straight and tried to give a reassuring smile.
Kyoko was unimpressed, crunching down on her pocky sharply. "If ya feel tired, say somethin' before ya fall over." With that she started to walk.
She took Sayaka's hand again first.
The sky was a flawless blue, and the grass was unbelievably green, at least…that was how it felt to Sayaka. She took in a breath of air that was cleaner than anywhere else she had ever been.
Definitely cleaner than city air, or that of a Witch's Labyrinth.
On closer inspection, the white stone arch was about as tall as a doorway at an average house, but twice as wide. Perfect for two people to walk through side by side.
Experimentally, Sayaka stuck her hand through it, as if she expected a portal or something to open up. Unsurprisingly, nothing happened. She wondered how far the plains of grass went.
"Wonder if what my old man was preachin' had any truth to it."
The statement made Sayaka turn.
Kyoko appeared to be melancholy for a moment, but she stuck a piece of pocky in her mouth and shrugged it off. Sayaka wished she knew how the other girl was able to just…dismiss her thoughts so easily.
"Well? Wanna screw around with this or keep goin'?"
"Actually…Let's…take a break."
No sooner had the words left her mouth did Sayaka drop to the ground. She leaned her back against the arch's stone surface, closing her eyes.
Kyoko sat next to her, their shoulders touching. By a lot. What was she doing…?
"Oi, are ya sleepy or something? As fine a place to take a nap as any, heh."
"I don't need sleep, no. I've had enough of that. Just…give me a minute…everything feels…bizarre."
"Nothing's muffled like it is in the water, and the light hurts my eyes. There's too much silence…I feel like…"
"There should be music playin'?"
Looking at her in surprise, Sayaka nodded.
"Do ya even remember bein' a Witch?"
She flinched at the blunt statement, turning her head away. "…Not really…but…I know…I just do, okay?"
"No need to shout, damn."
"Ugh." Kyoko wrinkled her nose in disgust. "Stop apologizin', and stop actin' all…meek. It's drivin' me up the wall. Where's all of that self-righteous pride of yours? I'd rather you bitch and moan at me than sit here feelin' sorry for yourself."
Sayaka bristled a little. "You have no idea what I went through, so shut—"
"Yeah, I don't, but that's because I didn't give up on everythin' and succumb to Grief. Everythin' that happened was because you didn't want to try anymore. You gave up."
The statement was harsh, but true. Sayaka felt herself deflate again, cringing a bit guiltily away from Kyoko's reprimanding glare.
A hand ruffled her hair.
"I'm not gonna apologize for sayin' that, but don't worry. We're gonna start over. Got all the time in the world to ourselves right now."
Sayaka smiled weakly at her. "Y-Yeah…all the time in the world. Just us?"
"I don't see even a bird 'round here, looks like we're on our own."
The enormity of the situation hit her hard after that. They really were on their own. "…Thank you. Thank you so much." She felt tears forming. "You didn't have to, but…but you…"
"Hey, hey, hey!" Was she imagining things, or was that a blush on the red-head's face? "None of that crap, stop, I didn't do this to get thanked and then have you breakin' down into tears! That's what I was trying to prevent dammit!"
Sayaka blinked. "Wait, you were trying to stop me from crying…in case I was alone…?"
Kyoko looked away. Definitely red in the face. "That and a buncha other crap."
"What 'other crap'?"
"This isn't Twenty Questions."
"Alright, alright, sheesh you win…frickin' mermaid moron…" Kyoko rubbed the back of her neck, still looking away. She shifted her pocky from one side of her mouth to the other. "I've told ya before; I see a lot of me in ya. So…I wanted to try and prevent that…stop ya from makin' the same mistakes I did. Couldn't do even that. I couldn't do anythin' but watch ya spiral out of control…"
"Only way I could think of to make it up to ya was…to join ya wherever it is Magical Girls go. Sure as hell couldn't be Heaven, so I thought…might be better if…I could meet up with ya later and apologize, for not bein' able to do a damn thing."
Sayaka looked at her, truly speechless. She blinked. "It wasn't your fault at all."
"I guess so, but I don't regret comin' here with ya."
Sayaka gave her the gentlest smile she could muster. "I'm…I'm…Really glad you did."
"Least I did one thing right."
Kyoko remained turned away from her, absently moving her pocky from side to side. She seemed either intent on ignoring Sayaka, deep in thought, or both. Her blush had pretty much faded too.
Such a big heart beating beneath all of that fire and attitude.
It was…a pleasant surprise.
She couldn't believe that this was the same girl who had tried to kill her before. The same girl who had mercilessly battled her that day in the alley. In such a short time, she had shown her true colors—and they weren't bad at all. They were beautiful, bright and wonderful.
Before she knew it, Sayaka had started to lean in closer. What was on the mind of the girl with the scarlet eyes? Those eyes that were still turned away from hers?
She brushed her lips against her cheek. It was the faintest touch, and not even that long, since it had been done between the intervals of Kyoko's pocky changing position.
However, the brief moment of contact sent a thrill through her body.
Kyoko's head snapped around—Sayaka barely pulled back in time to avoid having them crashing into each other—her eyes wide. "Say-Sayaka…?"
Sayaka just laughed a little and smiled, leaning her weight on her hands. "Thank you, Kyoko."
Rubbing a hand on her cheek, her face entirely red, Kyoko muttered, "Frickin' moron."
Smile turning a little more razor-edged, which was reminiscent of her old energetic and teasing self, Sayaka said, "What's wrong, didn't like it?"
"…Go to Hell."
"I would, but we have to figure out where we are first."
Kyoko grunted. "We're not gonna figure out a damn thing sittin' here doin' nothin'. How are ya feelin'?"
"Better." Sayaka really was….just…so grateful that Kyoko was here. She never would have gotten out of the water on her own. She wondered how the other would react if she did anything else though, since really, that kiss on the cheek had been nothing.
"Good." Standing up, Kyoko offered her hand to help Sayaka as well.
Fingers intertwined again.
That fire that had shot through her just from that one moment…! That one gesture on the cheek, it had made her feel so…alive. Like she hadn't in a long time, or at least, what felt like ages.
She wanted that feeling again.
So when Kyoko pulled her up, she used the upward momentum to press her lips to the other's.
Kyoko made a surprised sound, but it wasn't long before she was gripping Sayaka's arms and returning it with gusto. Her unexpected vigor for it caught Sayaka off-guard, and a deep shiver ran through her body when their tongues touched, though the contact was only momentary. An accident even on Kyoko's part, it seemed, since her blush just intensified. Sayaka wondered how red her own face was.
A flash of light made them pull apart.
The space between the arch—it was gone, replace with a faint pink-white radiance. It was so intense that it hurt just to look at…but it felt…warm. And familiar.
"What the hell," Kyoko breathed out.
Sayaka realized she hadn't taken in a breath, amazed by how otherworldly and…magnificent the light was. No description did it true justice.
The two looked at each other.
"Looks like somethin' is callin' us. Or someone. Whaddaya say, Sayaka?"
There it was again—that hand extended in invitation.
Sayaka didn't hesitate this time, taking it. Fingers locked.
"We won't know until we go take a look. Nothing else to do, right?"
Kyoko quickly bent down, and Sayaka looked at her curiously until she realized the other had picked up her fallen stick of pocky. She gave Sayaka a look that read I don't waste food, remember?
She just rolled her eyes and laughed a little.
Though she wasn't sure what her feelings for Kyoko were exactly—she still felt a deep pain in her heart for a boy whose wrist she had healed—a decision she didn't regret even now—but, surely, this red-haired girl was dear to her in a very unique way?
They had time to figure it out.
Hand in hand, they stepped through the arch, together.
"Both miracles…and magic…exist."
Author's Note: I apologize for any typos or OOC-ness, this was literally written with zero planning as a spur of the moment thing and finished at nearly 7 AM. Do you see what my random bouts of inspiration bring about? Horrors such as this. Reviews are appreciated, I may write some more stories if people want. These two are my OTP after all!