Hi everybody! I wrote all of this in one day. I know why am I not doing anything else? It's finals week, my brain is not working, let me alone. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Plot notes after the story and if someone wants an expanded version of this please tell me.
Fandoms: Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Digimon Xros Wars: The Boy Hunters Who Leapt Through Time
Characters: Male Hunters Cast, Madoka Magica Cast
Warnings: Shonen ai, Shoujo Ai (hinted), death, blood, angst, PTSD
-It was an endless cycle of savior and saved, of love and departure.
Waking in Rain
~It began with nightmares and fake smiles. ~
They had won, victory glimmering with the sunrise and the safety from the storm. They were hurt but alive. Everyone was alive and their desire was glowing. Why wasn't it over?
Taiki was distant.
That was the only word Tagiru could think of for his senpai. In the passing months, he had slowly drifted into softness and avoided gazes. It was almost timid, like desperately burning ashes rather than the cool fire that accompanied them on adventures. He would observe rather than engage and would daze into daydreams that must have terrified him. Every time Tagiru shook him around, he would muffle a scream and look at him, grey gaze so dull and haunted by some deep terrors that couldn't have been from anything they had fought before.
"Are you okay?"
The hero had been first, a bloodied, mangled mass sacrificial lamb to the one called Fate. It cannot always be avoided.
It was the typical exchange, accompanied by fake smiles and shooing gestures. Not a single thing anyone said could pull him from this state he seemed locked in. They would often find him sleeping, face pinched and fists reaching out toward something that he just couldn't get no matter how many times he lunged. And he would always cry in his sleep, always endless tears and soft, unvaried whimpers of dismay. It was weakness of the purest kind and nothing stopped it, not even Shoutmon.
Taiki looked at him as he spoke, watching his lips and gestures with a blank expression. He wasn't alive anymore; he was just there. It scared Tagiru and by the disappearances Yuu kept having, it scared him too. Sometimes he would hate Taiki-san for it, an irrational fury rising up in him over floodgates.
"Hey you asked for this! Stop crying now because you made your choice!"
He would always wonder what choice. Tagiru would always think it wasn't worth it when he saw Taiki avoid his gaze and tremble at some unspoken and invisible burden. He would know it wasn't worth it when it took him three hours to find his senpai huddled in the rain and staring distantly toward some unknown speck of land, saying names that stirred his heart and made him ill at each thought.
He wasn't surprised however, on that day, when Taiki simply fell asleep and didn't wake up. He was concerned, but unsurprised. Even as the doctors fretted and worried over his survival, Tagiru didn't scream or cry or do anything. He had decided a long time ago to prepare himself. As much as it hurt him, he had to understand. Kudou Taiki's soul had left a long time ago.
He cursed his innocence, especially for bleeding out so rawly now.
~There was only so long a head could be kept above water.~
Yuu knew treading water when he saw it. And watching Taiki sleep, his senpai in a cold deep peace over a shallow warm world, he knew Taiki had drowned. What he had drowned in was unknown, aside from phantoms and battles that he couldn't have known or fought. The irony hadn't escaped him. Someone who valued friends, yet suffered alone. That just felt to horribly wrong, yet… it fit. Taiki was always fine, always when they spoke, even when he was in the hospital. In the days leading up to this collapse, Taiki had spoken with a soft fondness in a voice that was his yet not all at the same time.
"I said we'd meet again. I… I have to uphold that truth."
It ached, jealousy. He was jealous of the person who could hold Taiki's mind in at least one speck of clarity, to keep him so desperate to awaken and suffer through the demons he had made himself. Yuu wanted to throttle that person, for being so important and not helping. Wherever they were, he wanted to drag them by their ears and tell them to fix him, to help his hero before he died. They sure as hell couldn't and that just wasn't fair that the person was being selfish enough to hide and run away.
The royalty had been second, looking away from their subjects for only a moment, only for the gun so widely prized to be shoved down their throat.
Now that the other male was deeply unconscious, he just wanted to kill that person, make them suffer for each wound Taiki's mind had tormented him with. And that voice, husky with despair, had agreed, that part of himself that had played games agreed so ferociously.
"Our guidepost has gone out! Weren't they so valuable to you?"
Yet he felt horrible for it because it felt as though that missing person was like them. They were still trying to get there.
He cursed their ignorance and nonchalance.
~Dreams are a deep liquor with all the addiction and none of the intervention.~
Ren didn't pretend to understand what Tagiru was going through. He wasn't stupid enough to try or empathic enough to care. Someone the guy cared about had simply fallen apart at the seams and they had been helpless to stop it. He understood hating helplessness though. He hated his own weaknesses, though not nearly as much as those of others. Selfless people were the worst in his opinion, because good-hearted actions always backfired no matter what you did and no matter how hard you wished. It had done that to Taiki hadn't it?
Explaining that to Tagiru got him glared at hard enough to kill and nearly punched for his efforts. It simply proved his point, didn't it?
The hunter had been third, consumed by fury and hatred toward a blockade. They couldn't make it past the prey.
It didn't make the fact suck any less either. The nearly-silent breathing melded with the slow, gentle beeps of the heart monitor were suffocating in their own way, a coldness like a lack of food in the stomach and fire licking at a corpse with wild eyes. His fist had clenched slowly over his own beating heart. It tightened at the sight of no smile on Tagiru's face, of the resignation in Yuu's eyes. Despair. Of all people, they had reached despair first. It was sick and fitting for them. They had too much hope and threw too much out. It was only natural that the despair was even deeper.
Only natural. The words stuck in his throat like a bad taste.
"I beg you, God... If this is how my life ends... Let me see a happy dream, just once..."
Ren was selfish yes and he didn't know what this loss meant to Tagiru, his rival and supreme fool extraordinaire. But he did recognize the loss of the smile and hope that had come with it and cursed the world for not rekindling the light when they could.
Polluted. They all felt the tinge at the same time even though it shouldn't have existed. The stronger the curse, the tighter the twists in them.
~The clock rewinds by a different will and reveals reality, the truth seeped in the haze of dreaming.~
Kudo Taiki fell asleep and she awoke.
It hadn't been all at once as though thrown from a deep night terror. Rather, piece by piece, shard by shard, her soul gathered itself together once more. It was illogical, the placement. But she didn't care about logic. All she cared about was the wish. All she cared about was its fulfillment and what would come after. Logic was never something that they relied on.
"I… I wish to meet them all again… everyone… especially…"
She sat up slowly in his body. Behind her gaze lurked the images, which painted themselves against the moon's image. She shut her eyes and discarded them. They were horrible and distracting. The dead were already littering her hands with phantoms. She didn't want to repeat it more than it had already done. Her arms trembled and their heart pounded in his chest erratically. Tears welled up in these eyes; eyes that had once been full of vibrancy and joy were now lifeless disks with little droplets dripping like someone's broken sink. She opened his mouth and nothing left it, not even a rasp.
Without thinking, they smiled together.
~A wish and a will are the strongest steel.~
The phone had scared them all. It had rung ominously through the storm with the hospital ID sitting on the screen. Yuu had picked it up slowly, dreading it. He was dead. Taiki had drifted off and he hadn't come back for good. The world hadn't held its breath. Rather, the thunder boomed like laughter, cold, mocking laughter.
"Your friend has gone missing."
Within minutes, they were outside in a storm that felt like the tantrum of a child, rocking them all over streets and sidewalks and the people around them. They moved without pause or worry about the scrapes and bruises on their bodies. By the time they reached the white castle, drenched and battered, the police were gathered, speaking under the rain. Tagiru stopped abruptly in the dark, holding back a howl.
"What the hell?" he screeched miserably. "What were they doing? He was in a coma or something? He couldn't just walk! Where did he go?"
"Idiot," Ren muttered, smacking the boy's head with his fist. "You aren't helping."
"Neither is you hitting me!" The fiery retort was quenched by a sob. "Tai-Taiki-san…" He said nothing else and glared at the streetlights, hoping they would bring the missing person back into view, perfectly healthy and with that glimmer of happiness in his eyes.
Yuu stepped forward, followed by their silent bystander, the one who watched and thought. As the blonde and policemen conversed, his eyes fell on the bags. In one was a ribbon, a soft red color that made his heart shudder in his chest.
The traveler had been last, ironically, consumed by the one thing they had all of: time.
The second bag contained a note. Two words rested upon it, written in sloppy English: Remember me.
"Madoka," the bystander whispered, the word a prayer and declaration of something deeply intangible.
When Yuu looked, Ryouma was gone.
~The further you run, the longer you have to go.~
The simple items had awoken them both and the truth was clear. Yet there were still holes in their head, the color of despair. But still she wondered: why? Why were they alive and able to remember?
Running through the rain slowed her steps. But they didn't mind. He had to find the answers she sought. "Madoka," she whispered. "Taiki," he added. They were the same, they were different, they were loved.
And they would find them. That was the reason for the Soul Gem, for the sorrow and the pain, for the effort after a million months to unite around her, around the goddess who shouldn't have risen to her pedestal. Yet she must have, Madoka must have…
Her footsteps slowed to a stop and for the first time Ryouma realized Homura was cold. It seemed so minor though… Madoka must have made a wish. She, after how hard Homura had fought to prevent it, had wished on Kyubey. Tears welled up in her eyes and she sobbed, sucking in the frigid air in desperate gulps for breath.
"No… no this can't be, it… why?"
Walpurgis Nacht had been defeated, the four of them had won… so… what would prompt the need…
"I… love you… please… don't let me hurt you… Madoka…"
Her body writhed in pain, purple almost the color of ink and staining her clothes. She was floating at the edge of water as pink hair flashed in and out of her vision, searching desperately for the one thing they could use. "It's too late Madoka… go on…"
The familiar sound echoed in memory ears; the sound of a gunshot rocked the twisted body to the core and her eyes created the last image she had once seen…
Pink eyes and hair, the normally vivid features drooping with water and blood, a handgun in her hands pointing towards a black gem, that was her final image of Madoka, a crying girl with a gun. "Don't cry… We aren't going to hurt anyone now…" She felt the peace before she heard the shot, regretting only that she hadn't been able to smile.
"Madoka!" She screamed the name, howling it as the streets passed her. "Come out! Please! Don't you recognize me? Please!" Remember… Homura remembered. Slowly, the five of them had died, whittling to two and then, to one, a lonely, useless one.
I love you…
This was my fault. She kicked herself. The consequence of not allowing Madoka to fight, and to focus on protecting her… it led her to be easy prey the second she was left alone. The despair had most likely been from desperately guarding her, from no grief seeds and too many battles. She had degraded herself… and now here they were. And Madoka was scared. So was Taiki.
The pieces fell into place.
"Taiki-san," Ryouma whispered. "You knew. Why didn't you tell us? We were, we are…" Miki Sayaka, Mami Tomoe, Sakura Kyoko… the names were there and the faces in places no one looked. Their friends… they were all here, stirring slightly from sleep, awakening through Madoka. Madoka was their guidepost… their reason, her reason for living again. "Taiki-san, Madoka…" he called sadly. "What did you wish for?"
She whirled and the answer was standing there, tensed for a punishment and brokenly believing one was necessary.
She had wanted someplace special to rekindle the fire. But… but she was frightened. They were going to hate her, hate her selfish wish, his selfless sacrifice. But… Homura-chan… it had been lonely… and the anticipation had coiled in her like a rusted spring.
Kaname Madoka had not instantly made her wish over Homura's corpse. She wasn't stupid, merely grief-stricken. That was not always a sign of desperation. No, what had driven her ultimately was the loneliness and the knowledge. People wondered, they interrogated, and the witches kept coming. So many people had died there had been a quarantine.
It hadn't been until her mother had been found in a group of burned corpses that she had made her choice.
"I wish to meet them all again, my friends and… Homura." She had stumbled over the name, her name, love's name. The devoted young woman was unparalleled in affection and now she was going against everything she had worked to do. She hated it, hated herself… but loved the girl more than the self-deprecation allowed. It was cruel and selfish… but… It was her turn to do the protection.
So now… in the storm, she faced her. They were boys, both boys and now unable to prevent entropy like Kyubey would have liked. Both had suffered in their own ways. Madoka could still see Homura, the desperation in now green eyes and the haunted expression made with matted silver hair and a pale face, a strong independent figure. Homura could see Madoka in drenched brown spikes and gentle grey eyes, in the permanently broken smile and way she hugged herself in cold rain. Ryouma shifted towards her and Taiki flinched, stumbling back on bleeding bare feet.
"Madoka… why are you running away?"
Taiki whimpered softly, Madoka's tears rising in his eyes. "I… I couldn't keep your wish…"
Homura felt a smile, a worn but familiar gesture, rise to her lips. "Do you think I hate you?"
"You should," Madoka told her in an almost childish tone. "I… I do."
"Why?" Slowly Ryouma stepped forward. "We… we have no more magic… and we are free. And you have become so much stronger. Tagiru… Sayaka I mean… and Mami… Yuu… you gave them hope and I… we were…" He smiled through his own tears. "We were so proud of you both."
"But… your wish…"
"It doesn't matter anymore. We're right here and we have another chance, a chance you gave us." He stopped a short distance away. "Come here. I'm not angry." They offered a sad smile, a rare comfort of warmth. "Please. The rest… we can understand later can't we?"
Madoka hesitated, still shivering in cold and doubtful of her own heart. But in the end she ran into Homura's embrace, nearly knocking her over. Her sobs were muffled in the black jacket, one Ryouma was quick to wrap over Taiki's head. He seemed smaller than they remembered. Satisfied, he returned the desperate clinging hug and guided them toward a bus station. Memories, raw and cruel, flowed into the melded mind. "It's all right," they whispered. "This time, whatever awaits us, we'll beat it together. Believe me… like I believe in you."
Madoka only shivered but Homura could feel the answer in the gentle fingers that looped around his neck and pulled his lips for a wet kiss. Acceptance was different than resignation. It was not a curse.
After some time, Ryouma pulled out his cell phone and dialed. Sayaka-Tagiru- instantly started to wind up but he coughed. "I found him. He's all right, just drenched and disoriented." He chuckled. "We're fine Sayaka. All of us are fine." He hung up and Homura closed her eyes.
For now, just let them live. Let this moment be made.
About this oneshot: (this is long people)
Plot: (If you get this part, go ahead and skip it)Okay for those of you who have played Homura's route on the PSP ending, Walpurgis Night gets beaten by everyone together but Madoka if played right. There are still witches, Kyubey's a really manipulative jerk, and Madoka is not Ultimate Madoka. The game called this the True Ending somewhere and implies it's a happy ending for all. However, this is Madoka and I had the theory that the happiness didn't last. Ergo, Madoka this time ended up alone. Due to the fact that she never really got the chance to make her wish for everyone, those feelings must have festered. And there was always the possibility that she would be killed by accident anyway. So… well she made a wish clearly for all of them, mostly for Homura. This is my fan theory though, if it's canon I will laugh.
HomuraXMadoka: Okay for the record the writers threw this at the viewers, ESPECIALLY in the true ending route. It was called friendship but also looking at the manga version, I believe Homura was more than friendly toward Madoka. I'd accept friendship guys, really, but seriously… when it's right there, it's right there. Also, in this there was a bit of a time skip between Walpurgis Night and the various deaths. So their relationship developed a little. How far is left to the imagination really.
SayakaX Kyoko: Rivalry. For now. If someone wants lesbian undertones in an extension, I'll imply them for all its worth. Tagiru and Ren are rivals/bash brothers right now. Yeah. Hahah.
Now onto character studies.
Yuu- This was Mami. NOT just for the blonde hair, but in comparison to Sayaka. Mami was a senpai who was pretending to act strong and cool in front of her seniors and her overconfidence in anime led to her death. In one game route, it led to her being a witch. Originally Yuu thought the Digital World was a game and that overconfidence in that belief led to Damemon's death as well as major trauma. So their beliefs were both shattered. Also they both behave similarly and have each held a position of minor but valuable power.
Tagiru: Sayaka. Was I going for color motif? ABSOLUTELY. Also, his wild emotions remind me of Sayaka. Also they both want to emulate someone. Sayaka was Mami and Tagiru was Taiki. They worked hard to be the people they wanted to be, the idealistic figures they imagined. Ultimately Sayaka failed due to the tribulations in her heart and her looking before she leaped simply not working. Tagiru… well he's getting there. They also both can be outspoken and temperamental.
Ren: Kyoko. Haha there was a color motif here too from what I can tell. Ren's eyes are red just like Kyoko's. Now this one was the funniest and took me the longest to think of. They both are selfish people and rather fine with whatever methods they choose to get what they want. Also they each have a symbol, Kyoko an apple and Ren his music player. They both enjoy goading people too. I also think that Ren, though it was unrevealed due to TV airing and such, may not have so much of a softer side (unless he is a tsundere haha) but a more childlike side. He genuinely enjoyed having fun and the company of his fellow Hunters, just as Kyoko enjoyed Sayaka's company. Also, I've seen too many images of them both with pocky. Haha.
Ryouma: Homura. I'm not sorry for this okay? It's the fangirl in me and the laughing maniac too. First off, time control. Quartzmon. Sounds easy enough. Secondly, the hero-worship/ crush thing. Ryouma from what I can tell had a nice healthy man-crush on Taiki for the Baguramon/Xros Heart battle. Homura admired Madoka like nothing else in the beginning. They both changed in response to these and new feelings that came up in their hearts yet still had the ability to cry. Their independence was also a factor. They grew independent from the crutch they had for a goal yet it was still the main factor. It wasn't completely shown, but that was my guess. Also, the purple. Homura is decked in purple, Ryouma has a purplish Digimon and it's his Chou Shinka light. Need I say more?
Taiki: Madoka. Okay I'm sorry this was the first one that popped into my head. Selfless, kind, hard-working, slightly reckless with their own lives (turning into god, I swear they would both do that) They make pure-hearted a mature, good thing to look at. I figured one would reincarnate into the other simply due to the fact that Taiki healed someone's heart with FRIENDSHIP. I mean really now. I do apologize for the OOCness on Taiki's part but keep in mind, Madoka cried a lot in the beginning before making a decision on her goal. Taiki didn't, but he also had to keep Shoutmon on the path to his. I'm pretty sure the guy had to have been slightly unstable by the end.
Kyubey: Where was he? I didn't include him, even though I love the little bastard. They're boys now, maybe magical boys. He has nothing to do with those, only the wish that Madoka made to get them there... probably.