Work Header

Dulling the Pain

Work Text:

Kyoko had finished hunting witches for the night, and was ready to sleep. She had found a bench in a more secluded area of Mitakihara Park, and that was where she was going to kip for the night. However, as she approached, she saw that someone was already sitting there. Ready to reclaim her territory, she sprung from the back. "Hey! This is my bench-" She pulled up short. Wasn't that- "Akemi?" She asked incredulously. "What are ya doin' out here at this time of night? There ain't any witches 'round here, so if that's what yer after..." Kyoko trailed off. The dark haired girl was sitting hunched over, head down. She didn't look much up to fighting witches, or doing anything really. Kyoko was mildly alarmed that she hadn't said anything yet. Usually, that girl had no shortage of deadpan remarks. "Oi. What's wrong with you?"

At last, Homura looked at her. "Kyoko?" She asked, a glaze in her eyes and a slur in her speech.

For the first time, Kyoko noticed the bottle in her hand, and the ones on the ground beside her. "Princess, are you drunk?!"

Homura grinned lopsidedly, "I sure hope so." She took a swig, and grimaced. "Disgusting."

Kyoko eyed the bottle distastefully. "Drinking to forget your problems won't solve anythin'."

Homura chuckled darkly. "Nothing and nobody can solve my problems." She took another sip, "And I can't forget. Not even if I wanted to." Her eyes glinted, lost in memories. She raised her bottle, a silent toast. "But this? This dulls the pain."

Kyoko clenched her fists. "No it doesn't!" She shouted, "It only makes you do things...things you regret..."

Homura half-nodded with recognition. "That's right. I forgot." She hiccoughed. "Your father-"

Kyoko grabbed the front of Homura's shirt. "Don't talk to me about my father." She snarled. But suddenly, she was grasping at thin air. Homura was several paces away, swaying unsteadily. Kyoko raised her eyebrows, then shook her head. "I'm not even gonna ask how you did that." She sighed, and walked over to Homura to support her. "Come on, sit down, and then you can give me that bottle, yeah?" She successfully guided Homura to sit back down on the bench, but when she reached for the bottle, Homura moved it. She tried again. And again. "Geez! Stay still won't ya?"

Homura hugged it to her chest, like a teddy bear. "But I neeeeed it," she whined.

Kyoko scoffed. "Believe me Princess, you've had more than enough to drink. The best thing for you is to sleep it off..." She grinned wryly, "But you'll have a helluva hangover in the morning. Come on, give it here."

Reluctantly, Homura held it out for Kyoko to take, but at the last moment, the bottle slipped from her fingers and fell to the ground. It didn't break, but somehow most of the liquid ended up splashing onto Kyoko. "What the hell Princess!?"

"Oops." Homura said, with a touch of her usual snark.

"Tch, I don't even know why I'm helping you." Kyoko muttered.

Unexpectedly, Homura answered. "You feel guilty about your part in your family's demise, and are projecting those feelings by attempting to rescue me." She said dully.

Kyoko did not take that well. "Fuck you! I ain't projectin' or whatever." She narrowed her eyes, "And how do you know what happened with my family?"

Homura waved her hand disinterestedly. "I pieced it together, after a while."

"Pieced it- Princess, we've only seen each other a couple times, and we sure as hell wasn't chattin' about family!"

But Homura didn't answer. She now seemed to be thoroughly engrossed in staring at nothing.

Kyoko waved her hand in front of Homura's face. "Oi! Earth to Akemi, anybody in there?"

"Kyoko." Homura was addressing the ground, like it was so interesting that she couldn't take her eyes off it, or perhaps, she simply couldn't find the strength to raise her head. "If you had a chance to fix things, to do them over differently, would you take it?"

"Hell yeah!" There was no hesitation in Kyoko's voice. "If I could do things differently..." Her face twisted in remembrance.

"But, suppose you tried, and it didn't work out. Suppose...Suppose you tried many times. Only to fail, no matter what you do. Isn't it all your fault?"

Kyoko sucked in a breath. "Well... People all have their own agendas, so maybe their desire to do something is stronger than your desire to stop them. But... Have you tried everything?"

"What?" Homura looked up at that, staring into Kyoko's eyes, looking for...what?

Kyoko shrugged. "If it was me, until I tried every possible solution," she gestured to the bottles on the ground, "I wouldn't give up. Because... Isn't that when it's really over?"

Homura's eyes widened, then softened. "Yes... You're right. I shouldn't have forgotten that." She leaned back her head and closed her eyes. Then, so quietly Kyoko almost missed it, she whispered "Thank you."

Kyoko flushed. "It-it's not like I was tryin' ta help you or anything, you just happened to be in my way. So- Oi, Princess, are you listening to me?"

But Homura had fallen asleep, and no amount of poking would wake her. "Tch," Kyoko muttered. "I should just leave you like this. But, I'm feelin' generous tonight." She shifted Homura so that she was laying horizontally, then sat on the ground, propped up by the side of the bench. "So much trouble," she yawned, "for someone I don't even like."

When Kyoko woke early the next morning, the first thing she noticed was the crick in her neck. "Aw shit, that hurts!" She moaned, stretching painfully. She was unsurprised to see that the bench was empty and the bottles were gone, but she noticed a white plastic bag that hadn't been there before. Picking it up, she saw that it had all of her favorite convenience store snacks in it. "Sweet, breakfast!" She cheered. After wolfing down several pastries, an apple, and a can of coffee (still warm!), she noticed a small scrap of paper at the bottom of the bag. It read:


You have your uses.


Kyoko smiled. "You ain't all bad yourself Princess." She grabbed the bag of snacks and cracked her knuckles. "Now, time to go kick some witch-ass!"