Yes, You May
Author's Note: You don't have to read this if you don't want to, but if you need to know about what happened to crazy old me, this story isn't really about that. Although it's definitely not the standard definition of a "well-written" Madoka fic, either. Here's something that'll make you feel better if you knew the other crazy stuff I've written… There are no male main characters, and there's no actual sex (I will tip on the borders though). Then again, I hate spoiling stuff and I could be lying. With that said, off we go….
Consciousness faded and flickered within the mind of Sayaka Miki. It was inevitable. She was literally on the verge of death and disappearance from the material world, and in her last moments, she looked back at the world full of a strange sorrow and curiosity. It's over… she said to herself in her head. It's over, all over… And as she felt the last electrical spark between the neurons in her brain cells, she tried to calm herself down by assuring herself that her role was completed, preparing herself for the unknown future that would lie ahead…
And then, something went wrong. Suddenly, Sayaka felt air whooshing around her, and her lungs were drawing in deep, sharp breaths of cold air. No… Sayaka thought in her mind. This was wrong, improbable, impossible! Dead people remain dead and don't get revived. If this is permissible, then, then…
Jeez, blue ketchup, a mysterious, young, and feminine voice called out to Sayaka. What are you thinking, just leaving the world like that? Who was this? The voice sounded a little like Kyoko's, but it definitely wasn't Kyoko's, and not Mami's or that annoying transfer student's, either. "Ah, that's right…" Sayaka said softly to herself. "This voice, like my revival, is something that shouldn't exist in this world…"
In any case, your role isn't near over! The voice stated as Sayaka began to open her eyes. I have yet to play with you, you know? We'll have lots of fun together! Fun…?
And then, all of a sudden, Sayaka was lying flat on the ground, having suffered a decent fall from midair. Her body didn't feel it, however, for it had stopped feeling almost anything over the past week or so. And around the blue-haired Puella Magi, three other figures stared at the scene in utter awe.
"Sa… Sayaka…" Kyoko Sakura was the first one to speak up. It couldn't be… Sayaka had disappeared, faded away, in her final battle against a group of powerful demons a week ago, like all Puella Magi do. This was something that was supposed to happen, that indeed happened a week ago! Then we leapt through time… Instantly, the redhead turned to Homura Akemi. She had related her own experiences of an alternate universe changed by some pink-haired girl named Madoka Kaname a few days back, and if she was really a time traveler… But Homura, too, looked utterly mystified, sharing the same expression of Mami Tomoe's. Slowly, Sayaka got to her feet, resurrected from nonexistence and completely confused.
"We really did leap through time," Mami said, checking her digital watch. "And the strange thing is, the three of us weren't even together… Hey, I don't want to bring up strange paradoxes, but shouldn't we have doubles? Does anyone have a clue as to what's going on?"
"The scenes change when time leaps, but the physical masses don't…" Homura started, then realized that it was something only she would understand. "This definitely wasn't my doing though. There's no trace of any of our magic at all, even if we did erase our memories."
"The sci-fi stuff can wait," Kyoko decided as she rushed towards Sayaka, who was still getting to her feet in confusion. "Sayaka, is it really you…?" Kyoko scanned the Puella Magi clad in blue up and down. It was definitely Sayaka Miki, there was no mistaking that… "How are you? Are you all right?"
"I… I suppose…" Sayaka mumbled as Kyoko knelt down and checked the blue Soul Gem. It was still considerably tainted, which caused Kyoko to shiver with anxiety. "I'm not sure what happened, either…"
"That can wait," Kyoko said as she helped Sayaka to her feet. "First I want to make sure that you're okay." Ever since Sayaka's disappearance, Kyoko had realized how dear Sayaka was to her, and vowed to never let an opportunity like this slip away again. "I'd give you an offer to stay at my place, but…" Damn it, Kyoko cursed herself as she looked for the right words. This was really awkward. "Be it god or devil that dictated this sudden change of fate, I'll be sure to take the future into my own hands." The redhead put Sayaka's arm over her shoulder, and Sayaka looked confused among receiving the comfort. "Um…" Kyoko rattled her brain for more lines. "If you were meant to die, that time has passed already, so please don't create any arbitrary guidelines for yourself. Sorry if this sounds rude, but I'm coming to your place to make sure nothing stupid happens, okay?" With that, Kyoko reverted back to her casual clothing, and the three other Puella Magi reappeared in their middle school uniforms.
"Are you sure you'll be able to handle her by yourself?" Mami asked in concern. Homura still eyed Sayaka suspiciously. She didn't she would see this sort of massive time-space distortion phenomena anymore, and wondered about her own personal wishes that might be realized like this…
"I've got her," Kyoko said confidently, with the look of an utterly responsible adult. This really was a different Kyoko Sakura.
"I wish good luck to both of you," Homura said calmly as she brushed her hair. "Mami Tomoe… Mami," The name still felt awkward around Homura's tongue. "Let's scan around the area, shall we? It's probably better to know what caused this sort of thing. You two can take the night to enjoy yourselves."
"Hey, shut up, transfer student!" Sayaka mumbled as she straightened herself against Kyoko's shoulder. "You shouldn't…" Ah, Sayaka caught herself. She guessed she was feeling better already.
"So I can really stay with you?" Kyoko asked.
"Yeah, I guess…" Sayaka said, still a bit confused and surprised at her former rival's sudden display of affection. Maybe I misjudged more things than people, Sayaka thought. Maybe I misjudged the nature of the world… Ah, why does a middle school student like me have to care about this stuff?
"Don't start unnecessary fights, you two," Kyoko called to Mami and Homura as they left in a pair to scout the area. "Really…" Kyoko looked down at the blue-haired girl clinging to her. If Sayaka could be brought back so easily, it needed to be ensured that she wouldn't disappear so easily, either.
It was only a few minutes after seeing off Kyoko and Sayaka that Mami and Homura noticed something strange in the alleys. A streamlined figure and flashing red magic, Mami observed as she peered around a corner. It was a young girl definitely around the lines of a Puella Magi, but the thing she was fighting didn't seem to be any sort of demon. It was an odd sort of mass of writhing flesh that bounced around nervously as the red, fiery magic vaporized it and cut it down.
"She's the source, isn't she?" Mami whispered to Homura, and the purple-eyed girl nodded. Definitely an odd sort of Puella Magi, like one that was ripped out of some odd modern fighting game. Her black hair was tied up in twintails, and her similarly black outfit was covered asymmetrically in frills and casts. She held the blade of her curved sword underneath her ring and pinky finger, as opposed to above the thumb. Her eyes glowed a bright red to match her fiery flames. She wasn't scary by any means, but she definitely gave off the presence of a character that would have rock music playing in the background as she was introduced to the audience.
As soon as the stranger dispatched the weird mass of flesh that was her foe, she held her sword perpendicular to the ground and began to summon a vast column of red flames dancing around her. Upon further analysis, Mami and Homura concluded that this stranger wasn't necessarily the source of the change, but was tied in to it somehow. And beyond that, she was ridiculously powerful…
"Mighty suspicious activity for a Puella Magi," Mami said as she stepped out and pointed one of her muskets towards the stranger. Homura hadn't been in favor of such an approach, but it was definitely a valid way to test hostility. The stranger continued to do its red fire thingy, letting the flames finish dancing before turned to Mami with an amused look.
"I thought you'd find me," the girl said. "Mami Tomoe and…" Homura stepped out of the corner. "Homura Akemi. Pleasure seeing you again."
"You know our names but we don't know yours," Mami said as she lowered her musket a little. "That's very… interesting."
"I'm Zusa Kanajo." For Homura, the name triggered a strange, brief flash of hallucinations to play in her head. "I wasn't killing demons, but I'd say that I was doing my job well-enough. I sort of have different responsibilities than you girls do. Those masses of flesh aren't things that you have to be worried about, in any case."
"I have a feeling that in addition to taking place in the space-time manipulation, you erased some memories… Or rather, some memories were erased from me." Homura said. "I don't like to just take people's words, but is that something you'll admit?"
"Hehe," Zusa laughed lightly. "I guess. It wasn't me who erased your memories. It was just something that needed to happen. I'm not sure what you believe needs to be forgotten and what needs to be remembered, but rest assured, the memories you had of Madoka Kaname are of a real universe and not implanted." Homura twitched upon hearing such a suspicious person say the name of her best friend.
"Well, cut to the chase, Kanajo-san," Mami started.
"Call me Zusa," the twintailed girl said, shrugging.
"Then, Zusa-san… You know why space-time was suddenly messed with, don't you? It doesn't seem that it's in the natural order for Sayaka to just reappear like that."
"Ah… I helped her with the space-time thing, I'll admit," Zusa said. "You'll meet the culprit behind this suspicious stuff soon, though. She just wanted to have good friends to play with when she arrived here. And I'm using 'friends' here in a perfectly cordial sense. She's a rather kind-hearted person, really."
"Why doesn't she just show up now?" Mami asked.
"She wanted to give Kyoko and Sayaka some time to relax…" After Zusa's statement there came a nervous pause, and Zusa looked like she was about to leave when Mami spoke up again.
"No, tell me. Who are you really? How do you know so much about us?"
Zusa put on an amused smile. "Let's just say that I'm one of the people in charge of making sure this universe doesn't go bonkers. When one wishes a wish with the scale or potential of the one Madoka Kaname made, chaos ensues for a short while. I'm just someone that calms that chaos…" Zusa's smile suddenly faded, and the twintailed girl let out a sigh. "Unfortunately, something big is happening, and you all – Kyoko and Sayaka too – better prepare for it… Again…" Zusa muttered, to some extent uncomfortable. "I trust you to make the right decisions in my absence." Zusa shot a strange glare at Homura.
"Decently plausible," Mami said as she looked Zusa down in the eyes. "But if you ever raise those weird flames and that blade against the Puella Magi that protect this town, I'll personally make you regret it." Zusa just shot the drill-haired girl another amused response.
"Well then, I'm off," Zusa said. "Take care, you two." The twintailed girl summoned a heavy motorcycle out of her red flames, and after leaping onto it, started up the noisy engine and rode into the dark and foggy night. Zusa Kanajo, Homura repeated the name in her head with a mix of curiosity and anxiety. What is she exactly?
"Ah, Kyoko…" Sayaka said awkwardly as she came out of the bathroom fully clothed in her pajamas. "I'm not implying anything, but would you like to take a shower as well…?"
"Eh… To be honest, I don't really want to let my eyes slip off of you again." The redhead still seemed fairly worried, and she had stripped down to her black undersized sleeved shirt. "There are… I don't know. I mean, there should be things… things we have to talk about, right?"
"Maybe," Sayaka said as she walked over to her bed and threw herself upon it lazily. After the shower, she had started to feel unexpectedly tired. "Anything specific you have in mind?" Kyoko twiddled her thumbs, realizing how unaccustomed she was to such an intimate situation. "Uh… You can sleep on the bed too, you know," Sayaka felt blood begin to rush to her cheeks. "It's not like I suspect you of carrying some sort of deadly disease or whatever."
"Thanks," Kyoko said as she knelt down on the bed besides Sayaka. She had thought about having a scene like this, where she would be able to say a few last words to her former rival, quite a while now, but wasn't sure how she would execute it in the present. Kyoko repeated phrases like "I'm sorry" and "You idiot!" in her head, but those lines didn't seem to match her honest feelings. "Well, uh, Sayaka… To be honest, really honest with myself, I don't think you're a bad person."
"Becoming a monster-killing machine and causing people to worry about me doesn't make me a bad person… Heh." A wave of unpleasant emotions flew through Sayaka's heart. "I know that my emotions and circumstances, and the surprise I felt on thinking that I was nothing but a rock may make you feel sympathy for me, but looking back, I think I totally made the decisions I made out of my own free will… I don't think I was some pawn in some great destiny. I just did what I did, and there's no escaping that. Do you think otherwise, or what?"
"But… Your actions…" Kyoko looked at her new… friend with a contemplating glance. "You didn't think they were the moral actions, at the time?"
"You sort of have to do different things according to the situation," Sayaka said. "I did the same thing over and over, and got stuck in that stage where I felt I had to sacrifice everything instead of moving on. When you say 'I don't think you're a bad person', what do you really mean by that? Do you believe there are bad people to begin with then?"
"Let's not overcomplicate this," Kyoko said as she lied down, and Sayaka silently agreed. "Really, Sayaka… What do you value more? Being a good person, or loving and being loved? The thing is that you aren't just a living weapon, contract, or rock to me. You may have done some stupid things, but I don't know why, I mean… You're my friend."
"Hmmph. It doesn't make sense at all. Don't most people want to believe that their self lies beyond the body somewhere? And here I got all excited because I was put into a rock… But I think my body was something that was important to me. You run with its legs, think with its brain, and see with its eyes… If the body was something I could disregard, I think I would've lost a large part of my life. I wasn't risking anything when I fought Witches. I was just running a machine and doing a menial task…"
"Still," Kyoko said, her emotions starting to flow out in words. "Perhaps we can put some of your soul back in your body. Sayaka…" Kyoko pressed down on one of Sayaka's hands with her palm. "Can you feel this? If so, you still have a body, and that body is still a large part of you... I don't know. From what scientists seem to say recently, our body is nothing more than a set of automated, watery fibers running their systems, and beyond that we are composed of invisible particles that move in patterns. Maybe separating your soul and putting it in a rock isn't much better than that, but I still think that we are what we make of ourselves. The system exists and we control it."
"I still think I'm in a tough spot," Sayaka said, starting to get a little annoyed. "Either I made bad decisions out of my own free will, or some system of fate manipulated me so that I had no choice to do what I did, and no choice to do what I'm doing now. Both of those thoughts seem pretty depressing."
"Well, let's say we believe in free will, and you have the choice to stop moping about. I don't think you're so irrational to stay in your situation believing that…" Sayaka curled up a little more upon hearing those words. "You know? Forget the idea of what you deserve, or how guilty you should feel," Kyoko suddenly said. "Where's the good in a bad person supposedly feeling bad about something? Maybe there is no real system of justice that we can agree upon. Maybe everyone gets an excuse for everything. But friendship… Love definitely exists, and I'd prefer that to making guilty people feel miserable."
"If you really…" Before Sayaka could finish her sentence, Kyoko embraced her in a deep hug. The fact that it was her first time being hugged this tightly by another girl on her bed of all places caused her to stutter, then flush, but eventually, warm feelings started to flow through Sayaka's heart. "I don't get it…" Tears started to come to Sayaka's eyes. "You don't get it either, but…"
Kyoko closed her eyes and smiled. "This might not be an adequate conclusion of human nature for emotion-ridden psychologists, but if it makes you feel better, it's the best thing to do at the moment. Get well soon, Sayaka…" And, as she blushed heavily, the redhead added in a quiet whisper, "I love you."
"You…" A flash of images went through Sayaka's mind. "I… I love you too, Kyoko." It was a strange love, a forbidden love born out of magic, curses, and deep pain, but it was so strong that it made Sayaka forget all about Kyousuke, and stopped feeling guilty-ridden about her failed pursuit of justice.
"Sayaka…" Kyoko muttered, a little surprised that she would actually say that so quick. "You… Well…" Romantic moments made horrible literature. "Good night," Kyoko said as she flicked out the lights. In the warm comfort of a bed with the pleasant smell of friendship and compassion, the new couple fell into peaceful slumber surprisingly easily.
"…E-Eh?" Sayaka was still a little drowsy upon what had happened the last night, and now she was being woken up by another unknown voice. A different one than the one that called out to her during her resurrection, and… Oh yeah. She had slept with Kyoko last night. But she didn't have time to blush and be all embarrassed since a stranger was in her room. "Who are you?" Sayaka rubbed her eyes.
Zusa Kanajo gave off another one of her many amused smirks and crossed her arms. "You don't really need to know me." The twintailed girl looked down at Kyoko, who was still in a heavy sleep clinging onto Sayaka. "Geez… You have school today, don't you?"
"Well, uh…" Sayaka was still really confused. If Kyoko wasn't by her side, she might've drawn out her sword.
"I'm here to tell you that she can come along." Zusa pulled out a fresh school uniform and tossed it onto Kyoko's unconscious body.
"Whoa!" Upon having a fresh uniform hit her neck, Kyoko snapped up in a hurry. Sleep like a lion and awaken like one, huh? Sayaka thought, but didn't have time to be amused. "Who are… you?" Kyoko said awkwardly upon looking at the stranger in the room. "Have I seen you before?"
"I need to get better at doing my job," Zusa muttered to herself before turning up to the two girl couple. "Hey, Kyoko Toshi-I mean Sakura. You want to go to school with Sayaka Miki?"
"Uh, I'd rather sleep, but…"
"That's good, because there happens to be a spot for you, don't ask how. Anyways, I just came here to drop off your uniform. Didn't think Sayaka's would work all that well considering sizes." Sayaka was getting annoyed. This girl was a Puella Magi, no doubt. Annoying as that transfer student… "So I'm going to go, and you may not see me again for a while…"
"Hold on," Sayaka spoke up. "You can't just barge into people's rooms and…"
"Let's say you grew up in Plato's Cave. No, say we grew up in different Plato Caves, and I grew up in one where it was socially acceptable to barge into a room containing a couple of sleeping lesbian middle school students... Oh, I should probably save that question for her. As you can tell I'm bad at the set-up. So yeah, bye-bye…"
"Wait!" Sayaka said as she shot up off the bed, but Zusa carved a flaming red hole in space-time with her sword and jumped in, closing the gap before Sayaka could get through. "…Seriously?!" Sayaka turned to Kyoko for the redhead's opinion, and found that she was already putting on the uniform. "And here I thought you were the one wanting to be careful and stuff…"
"I uh… I do want to go to school with you," Kyoko said as she put on black thighhigh stockings. "You really think there'd be some huge trap at school waiting for us?"
"But I mean, some weird girl that barged in on us and escaped through a portal gives you a uniform and you just put it on… Never mind." Sayaka looked up at the clock. "If we spend too much time talking, we're going to be late." To be honest, while Sayaka did want to spend a lot more time snuggling with Kyoko, she also wanted something for her to do during the day if this relationship continued. Talk about troublesome… Sayaka said as she went into the bathroom and brushed her teeth.
"You'll help me on stuff, right?" Kyoko asked. "I haven't been to school in a long time…"
"That transfer student can help," Sayaka said, not wanting to admit her rather disappointing scores. "She's good at all subjects and in the same year as us."
"I'm not sure if we should put such a burden on her…" Sayaka spit out the mixture of toothpaste and saliva and washed her mouth after a few gargles. A daily routine, huh…? Kyoko thought in her head. It seemed really, if not completely pointless. But she had made the decision, and it was something to do with Sayaka every week, so in any case…
"Get ready," Sayaka said as she changed her clothes in a rush. "You said you wanted to go to school."
"Yeah…" Kyoko was about to slip on her green jacket when she realized she was in uniform. Pretty damn awkward, she thought to herself. "Uh, what exactly do I get ready?"
"…Right," Sayaka said as she grabbed her bag. "I'll let you borrow my stuff for today." Until now, she hadn't even thought of going to school the next day. But it was something to get her moving again after being caught up in that dreaded and painful rut in the crusade for justice. Work your way up slowly, Sayaka thought to herself. "Oh yeah, breakfast, breakfast…" Sayaka ran up to the refrigerator to fetch out two slices of plain bread, with Kyoko eyeing her curiously. I guess I can't just steal stuff anymore… Kyoko thought with a pang of conscience starting to chip in. But borrowing feels weird too… I guess it's Sayaka, though, so it's fine… "Take one," Sayaka gave Kyoko one of the slices. "We're going to have to eat on the way to school."
And so, two middle school students, one with red hair and one with blue, ran up a moderately troublesome hill to complete the demands of their daily education while chewing up pieces of bread in their mouths. I always thought these scenes in pop culture were cheesy and shallow, Kyoko thought. But doing it yourself is on a completely different level…
"Sorry I'm late… ish," Sayaka said as she walked into the classroom. Made it just in time, huh? Kyoko was told to wait in the halls for her supposed introduction. Homura Akemi the transfer student was busy sketching something on her notes, and looked a little tired. Sayaka still didn't have a clue on how this all worked out.
"All right, class, today we have another new transfer student," Saotome-sensei said. "Sakura-san, please introduce yourself to the class!"
Kyoko walked in and created an atmosphere that was definitely awkward, but didn't have so much a blush on her face. "Um… I'm Kyoko Sakura. Nice to meet you… or whatever." The mumbles the students gave seemed to be mostly positive. She was rather cute, after all. Sayaka eyed Homura, and the transfer student just looked a little amused regarding the whole situation. After that brief introduction, Kyoko sat down and waved off questions, and the teacher started lecturing after a quick discourse about some guy she dated. Well then, I don't get any of this at all, Kyoko thought, noticing Sayaka glance at her from time to time worriedly.
As for Homura, she was busy thinking about what happened last night. Zusa, Zusa, Zusa Kanajo… Homura tapped her pen pensively against her notebook. On top of the time-space scar, the resurrection, and the new Puella Magi, she had gone through an extremely strange dream last night as well, and couldn't quite recall the details. There's got to be something, right?
Making sure she understood what the teacher was going on about, Homura began sketching whatever came to her mind, trying to draw out all the events in the dream. Strangely enough, it ended up being a young, faceless male figure with dark hair dressed in casual clothes and poised in a manner similar to Michelangelo's statue of David. The face, the face… Homura thought. I want to remember it, but I also don't want to… Really now, this is weird. Homura flipped to the next page and began drawing what she usually drew, sketches of her best friend that she would never see again. It created deep feelings of sorrow in her heart, but it was something she had to do nevertheless.
When the bell rang for break, the four Puella Magi in the school met up and began discussing things. "I confirmed it with Kyubey," Homura said. "Zusa Kanajo is indeed responsible for cleaning up time-space distortions or something of the like. Of course, the little white mongrel could be lying again…"
"But still, she just barges in on us this morning and doesn't say when we would see her again," Sayaka said. "In any case, this body of mine, and even my Soul Gem… I feel better since last night, thanks to Kyoko, but I'm still not sure whether or not it's permanent."
"It could just be me…" Kyoko said, contemplating. "But did Zusa look familiar to you guys too?"
"I don't think I ever saw the likes of her before," Mami said.
"Me neither," said Sayaka.
"She seems a little familiar, that's all," Homura said. "She did mention something about wiping memories."
"Really…" Kyoko muttered. "In any case, I don't get any of what the teacher's saying. Can you help me with all of this?"
"Ah, well…" Homura started. Life had seemed to be relatively calm for her since time stopped looping, and now this…
"Ooh, would miss transfer student prefer sketching moeblobs on her notes all day instead?" Sayaka asked. Homura shot the blue-haired Puella Magi an annoyed glance upon hearing Madoka's former friend simplify her to that. "Well," Sayaka said, easing up a bit. "I guess you don't have to help if you don't want to. I'll see what I can do."
Sayaka started to explain all she had picked up from class to Kyoko while Mami and Homura observed silently. Kyoko definitely showed herself to have a decent sense of wit about her, and Sayaka was surprised upon her friend comprehending the stuff so quickly. "Really, you got it already? I had to spend like half an hour thinking it over…" Homura wanted to go back to sketching random memories, but the other three girls were all gathered at her desk since she hadn't bothered to stand up.
Mami stifled a soft giggle. "What's so funny?" Sayaka asked her upperclassman, feeling good and bad about herself at the same time.
"…Nothing," Mami said. "It's just… nice to see you in school, Sakura-sa – Kyoko." Upon hearing that statement, Kyoko flushed a little, and Homura looked out the window. Such an idyllic life this would be for them, Homura thought as she observed the clouds wisp back and forth. But all four Puella Magi knew that miracles like a resurrection had to come with a drastic price – and if so, who should pay for it? Homura thought of volunteering herself if the time came. Through the time loops, Kyoko had arguably shown enough feelings for Sayaka as she had for Madoka, even if Homura still didn't really like Sayaka. While on the other hand, all Homura really could do was perhaps sketch moeblobs and daydream all day…
…Well, I'll wait till that time actually comes, Homura thought to herself as she turned back to her three acquaintances. Acquaintances… That's right, it's probably still too early for "friend". "Mind if I help Kyoko catch up on things or something after school?" Homura asked.
"Wow, the purple-eyed majesty actually steps out of her own head for once," Sayaka said in jest. "I don't know… I sort of think your mind just sort of works differently than ours'."
"Sayaka…" Kyoko said. "You still haven't even heard her story yet. It's pretty unbelievable, but I don't think she's lying or under a delusion… I mean, if that Zusa girl could enter portals and such… Ah," the redhead stopped herself. "Sorry. You should say it to her when you're ready. Or should I relay the story…?"
"Do what you want," Homura said, getting up from her desk. "I'm going to the bathroom." Even if Sayaka was just joking around, she had a point about something. Homura's mind really worked differently. And not differently in the way that each individual was unique… She was probably a lot different from all the Puella Magi she knew, even arguably Madoka.
The four Puella Magi had a short study session at a café after school, and all the while Sayaka and Kyoko were still awkwardly thinking of each other. "You know, you really will have to buy twice the food…" Kyoko said as she walked to the apartment complex with Sayaka. Homura shared the same building, and perhaps the same room, but she was off doing something else. "I wonder how much that Zusa girl would pitch in for us. Getting some random girl on the streets into school isn't really a simple process, right? I mean, it really does feel I'm relying on people here."
Sayaka shrugged. "I don't know, we'll worry about such things when the time comes. But right now…" Sayaka's voice trailed off, not sure whether she was ready to say what she wanted to say. "Never mind."
"Well, if there's one thing for sure, it's that I'm not going to let you starve yourself and get all depressed again," Kyoko said. Mami and Homura had been kind enough to share their lunches at school today, but even then the food didn't seem to be enough. As if on cue, Kyoko's stomach began to grumble. "Sorry, I really am. I'm quite a heavy eater."
"We'll see what we can do," Sayaka said as she opened the door to her apartment. "That's right, I didn't buy anything since last week… At least I didn't spend all my money on stupid things." Sayaka began to dig around for the hidden cabinets containing her money. Kyoko spotted a white envelope on the floor.
"Uh, Sayaka…" Kyoko said as she pried open the envelope to find a fair sum of cash and a note.
"Found it… Oh," Sayaka said as she was loading her wallet. She read the note inside the envelope and scanned the value of the money. "These are Kyoko's living expenses – Zusa. Really? I guess we should go out to do some shopping now."
"Are you sure…?" Kyoko said hesitantly. Sayaka raised an eyebrow. "I mean, I don't think that there's going to be a trap or anything, but there is going to be a price for these miracles." Resurrection of her beloved, and then an easy road to romance… Karma couldn't be that fair, and Kyoko wasn't even sure what would be fair to begin with.
"It's nothing the two of us can't take on," Sayaka said with a confident smile. "Even if we die together, that's better than if I never came back, right?"
"Y-Yeah…" Kyoko said. It really was just how the world worked. Just like Puella Magi faded away once they were consumed by despair, humans, too, shut down after their bodies grew too old.
And with that, the very young couple spent the next week in what seemed to be a paradise. Everything worked out so perfectly and evenly. Kyoko caught up to the average student's pace surprisingly fast, and there was plenty to talk about in the spare time with Sayaka. Mami and Homura seemed to be willing to take the brunt of fighting demons for a while, and both Kyoko and Sayaka worked a lot more effectively on homework when they were together. There was a sizable amount of spare time, but it wasn't boring. Sometimes the two would just go out to eat and play at the arcades, or hang out at a café.
The nightmares of the past seemed to weaken as well. Sayaka now fought with a sense of vigor and ease in the battles against demons. It felt like her weapons were part of her body instead of her body being a living weapon, and she would actually take the time to dodge attacks. Kyoko and Sayaka made a powerful pair – one with pressure and agility, and one with power and speed. As a result, the demons were cut down in almost no time, and the people of the city seemed happier than ever.
As for romantic movements, a kiss or two was oftentimes shared, but there was still something preventing the relationship from getting too intimate besides the notion of forbidden love. Kyoko still felt a bit uncomfortable touching the naked body of the person she loved with her bare hands for longer than a few seconds, and was sure Sayaka felt the same. Even then, everything was working out well. Sometimes a cold passage of air would wisp by, or a nightmare would linger over one of the girls' hearts, but the two slept soundly in bed, cradling and holding one another.
Mami and Homura's morale were slightly lifted upon seeing Kyoko and Sayaka so happy together, but there was still the lingering question of Zusa and prices that would be paid for the resurrection. The twintailed girl hadn't shown up for a while, and both Puella Magi sensed an uneasy tension flowing in from the outskirts of the town. Homura especially felt like she was going to get involved in something big. She didn't know if it was just her good spirits trying to convince her that she could see Madoka again, but nonetheless the premonition rested in her heart. "This is far from over, especially for me."
"Are you going to make your appearance already?" Zusa Kanajo asked her friend. She was still pondering as she rubbed her knuckles leaning against the dark alleyway, the violent mixture of thoughts still swirling in her mind. "Hey." Zusa wanted to feel compassion for the girl, but she was just really annoying sometimes. "You said you wanted to resurrect Sayaka Miki to 'have fun with her'. Don't go back on your word now."
"Remember, if you drag this out of hand, you're a goner," a white-haired Puella Magi clad in black with an enchanted scythe said as she sat on the rooftops. "Don't expect Zusa to be on your side. And even if she is, she's not going to help you much. This world has gone through enough chaos already because of that demon whose seed you grew out of, and people like Zusa and me have to clean up all the messes, erasing memories and stuff. Our new autobalance system was supposed to be the final installment, but you just had to go do a resurrection. I'll repeat it again, demon girl. One slip-up and you're dead."
"Don't be so mean to her, Arla," Zusa said. "She's not a mean person, you know…"
"Hmph." Arla turned her back to Zusa. "You've definitely been hanging out with her type too much. Any person who thinks the type of thoughts she does has no place in a world full of humans."
Zusa's friend adjusted her blue jacket and let her messy, bluish-black short hair flop about awkwardly. "I got it, Arla. I'll still have as much fun as possible, you know? In any case…" The girl lifted her face and revealed her bright orange Soul Gem to enhance her daring, yellow-brown eyes. "I'm ready."