|Erin Ptah (ptahrrific) wrote,|
@ 2012-01-30 01:09 am UTC
|Entry tags:||genre: comedy, genre: fluff, pairing: mami/kyoko, series: puella magi madoka☆magica, yuri|
Fandom: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Characters/Pairings: Mami/Kyoko, Homura, Charlotte, Yuma
Contents: sick!Charlotte fanon, references to sad bits of canon
Disclaimer: MadoMagi characters and plot aren't mine.
There are some things even a puella magi can't face alone. (Post-series fluff.)
For the latest girlgay prompt: Write a humorous scene about a warrior who is brave in battle getting nervous about activity off the battlefield that may cause them minor pain. Tayaki are the fish-shaped pastries often seen vanishing into Kyoko's mouth. Also here on the AO3.
It's about a month after Sayaka's disappearance when Mami gets the cryptic call. I need your help. Please, come over as soon as you can.
A shaken-looking Homura guides her into the apartment that afternoon. She's still in casual clothes, so Mami toes off her shoes and follows without transforming, thumb rubbing absently over the inside of her soul-gem ring.
"I'm glad you're here, Mami-san," stammers Homura. "I was so sure I could handle it! But nothing I did seem to work...you have to understand, I'm out of practice, I haven't even tried to do this for years...and then I realized it was growing."
Half the kitchen is decorated with a charred starburst. Ash and bits of broken ceramic paint the counter, the floor, the back of one of the chairs, the side of the refrigerator. One of the cupboard doors hangs crooked, with part of a fork embedded in its bottom edge. It looks like someone threw a grenade at it.
"My apologies for the mess," says Homura, blushing. "The only strategy I could think of was to throw a grenade at it. I forgot that it wouldn't all be cleaned up in a few weeks anyway."
Mami looks to the pile at the heart of the starburst. She can see the growth all right, fuzzed in brown and blue-green. "That's what's been giving you so much trouble?"
Lips pressed together, Homura nods.
"Right," says Mami, standing up straighter. "We'll start with a broom and a bucket. You'll need a couple of garbage bags too. And then, my dear Homura-chan, I'll show you how to use dish soap."
Halfway across the parking lot, Kyoko turns on her heel and starts walking firmly in the opposite direction. Mami grabs her ponytail and hauls her back on track.
"I don't wanna!" wails Kyoko.
"Nevertheless, you must persevere."
"Ya don't understand, Mami-chan! They're monsters in there!"
Mami puts an arm around her shoulders. "Is this really the brave Sakura Kyoko? Just what kind of example are you trying to set for Yuma-chan, hmm?"
The mention of the girl Kyoko rescued last week serves to rein her in, but not much. "Yuma can learn all she needs to know about bravery by seeing me in action."
"And I'm sure that'll be a great help if she ever makes a contract with Kyubei." Mami lowers her voice as she steers Kyoko through the revolving door. The reception desk is just a few feet away; they're in the home stretch now. "In the meantime, she needs examples of normal bravery...and you need to stop relying on magic for every little thing, or you'll disappear before she even gets old enough."
Kyoko flinches away from the pictures of dancing teeth on the office walls. "I'm at least gettin' a lollipop out of this, right?"
"We'll make them give you a sticker," says Mami smoothly.
Mami passes by the girl in the booth almost without recognizing her, and backtracks in a hurry when she puts the face together. Even when she's active, Yuzuna's demon-hunting doesn't bring her to this area often; and while the strawberry-pink twintails that go with her polka-dotted outfit are pretty distinctive, she's back in a generic too-light wig.
"Mind if I join you?" says Mami softly, drawing the other girl's attention away from her tray. The spread looks delicious: diced vegetables in a cheese dip, a fruit salad topped with walnuts and cheese cubes, with two or three other varieties of cheese on the side.
"Mami-san!" Yuzuna's big blue eyes shine with guilt. "I wasn't eating any of it, honest! I just...uh...."
"You're not in the hospital," says Mami. "That's good."
"Yeah." Yuzuna pokes at the plastic cup of fruit. Sliced grapes and fat blueberries glisten dark and rich in the caf&eactue;'s warm light. "They say I can be an outpatient for now. I might have to go back again eventually, though."
"We'll cover your territory," Mami promises. "And schedule visits. Just let us know."
The other girl's lip begins to tremble. "It's not fair," she whispers, and Mami wholeheartedly agrees: a girl who fights so long and hard to slay demons in the night and keep her people safe doesn't deserve to be cut down by something as insignificant as her own rogue cells, to have to pencil her eyebrows on in the morning and stagger home with nausea long before night. If only they had some healing magic around, if only...."I wouldn't mind being twice as sick if they'd just let me eat cheese!"
"And fruit," admits Yuzuna, "and yogurt, but mostly cheese! Maybe I could have some without the doctors knowing, if I just didn't tell them about any extra throwing up. Maybe Kyubei would let me have an extra wish if I promised to fight twice as many demons. Augh, why didn't I just ask for this in the first place? So stupid!"
"Now, Yuzuna-chan," stammers Mami, who vaguely remembers that Yuzuna's wish was to save her mother from a similar illness, "I'm sure you don't really mean...."
The other girl shoves the tray aside and flops her head dramatically down on the table, nearly dislodging her wig. "You don't understand," she moans. "Living like this is torture. If I hadn't had other puella magi to come visit me last time, I bet I would've died."
With a delicate touch Mami pulls the tray just a bit farther, until it's no longer within Yuzuna's reach. "Tell you what. The other day I read an article about how to cook dishes that are flavored like cheese without having any dairy in them at all. Why don't you come over for dinner tonight, and we'll see if we can't figure out how to make one."
As the last of the demons in the park melts away, Kyoko dismantles her chain-link barrier and rounds on Yuma. "What were ya thinking, charging in unguarded like that?"
The younger girl flinches, gripping her kitty-headed staff. "I had it under control!"
"You could've gotten killed!"
"Could not!" wails Yuma. Her heels dig into the rain-damp grass; the soul gem at the back of her neck bounces as she quakes. "Just bruised! Maybe a couple of sprains! Enough to miss a few days of class, that's all!"
"What are ya, stupid? Just because your parents thought it was fine if you got hurt doesn't mean—!"
"Settle down, Kyoko!" The ribbon in Mami's hands snaps like a whip as she leaps in between them. "She's okay. That's the most important thing. Let's talk about this calmly."
Kyoko complies as best she can, though she's still grinding her teeth hard enough to crush gravel.
In a flurry of gold ribbons Mami's puella magi outfit melts back into the frilly waitress getup she's still getting used to. Maybe someday she'll own her own bakery and design a more comfortable uniform. Or, come to think of it, maybe she'll just serve up cakes as a puella magi and use that uniform as the template for her employees. It would make life more convenient all around.
She'll daydream more about it later. "Yuma-chan...what did you mean by 'a few days of class'? Is there something coming up that you don't want to attend?"
Sure enough, there's a presentation due, about a book Yuma didn't understand and deeply resented. Kyoko smacks her forehead and visibly bites back another scolding. Mami remembers reading that same book in school, so she draws Yuma into a conversation about it on the walk home, teasing out ideas and half-formed insights while Kyoko trails a few steps behind.
"You're really good at this," says Kyoko that evening. Yuma's in the other room busily writing; Mami's putting away dishes, while Kyoko in theory is helping and in practice is munching on a sweet bun. "I'm like an onee-san for her...which is cool and all, it's good for her and it's what I know how to do...but with you it's almost like she has an actual decent mom."
"Does that mean you're my daughter too?" teases Mami.
Kyoko's face splits into a wolfish grin. "Yeah, right! Just you try telling me to go to my room some time. We'll see how far you get."
They meet at the usual shrine.
Mami's never been religious and Homura lived with Catholics when she was younger, but they wanted to memorialize the deaths of puella magi in some more unified way than a series of empty graves in far-flung family plots, and this was as good a place as any. Better, according to Homura, who's been known to spend hours praying before the statue of a mysterious young woman in a long robe. (When Mami asked, none of the miko remembered where it came from.)
Now there's a tree reserved for their wishes (the ordinary paper kind, not those wishes), and a row of flowers planted in the earth near the statue (the oldest is Sayaka's, wild and blooming, while the newest is Yuzuna's, just starting to bud), and two young women walking through the cherry blossoms.
"I guess I just feel...scared. What if it's not the right path? So many things could go to pieces if I get this wrong!"
"What does your heart tell you?"
"I know she's a mess half the time," Mami admits. "I know I'm a mess just as often. I'm terrified of what will happen if she laughs in my face. But my heart hopes it's right. Silly, isn't it?"
Homura shakes her head. A distant smile crosses her face, though her violet eyes are clear and focused, not missing a word Mami's said. "The wisest person I know," she replies, "once said, 'If someone tells me that it's wrong to hope, I'll tell them they're wrong every time.'"
Mami turns over the box in her pocket. "Yes, but did that person know Kyoko?"
It just might be the first time she's heard Homura laugh. "Oh, Mami-chan, this is Kyoko we're talking about! Bring a box of your signature tarts, and I'm sure she'll say yes. Throw in a few custom taiyaki and she'll probably offer to elope."