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all I can give you is memories

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There’s a memory of how we used to be, that I can see through the flames.

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Homura could never bring herself to truly hate the three magical girls that seem to be as caught up in the whole thing as herself.

Not after the forgotten years of trying to keep them alive. Sure, she saw the worst in them but she had also witnessed all the good.

They weren’t bad people.

Sayaka used to get into fights with people who tried bullying Homura in the first timeline. She’d grin afterwards, her bruised eye gleaming, as Homura followed Madoka to their lunch table.

She never contracted in that timeline, and maybe that was because she was originally meant to avoid the tragedy that befell upon her in almost every other instance.

That felt like a lifetime ago, before the truth arose in the form of Oktavia von Seckendorff.

Homura may have learnt how fragile Sayaka really was, and how she was often the one to tip off the bloodbath in their group, but still, she could not forget the kind smile of a girl who was born to be a protector in a world not so kind.

Sayaka and Mami had one thing in common — their morals hailed from some sort of fantasy where friendship and a good heart is all that’s needed to save the whole world. That’s a trait that will be the death of them. It has been the death of them.

Mami’s need for companionship betrays her every time, but Homura cannot fully fault her for it. There truly are few things more dreadful than being alone; than dying alone, as they are all fated to do.

It’s not like they belong with humanity anymore. Abominations may be too cruel of a word to describe them, but that would not stop society from labeling them as such.

Homura has seen the results of a timeline like that.

It wasn’t pretty.

Loneliness is the burden of them all, but it may as well be who Mami Tomoe is. She’s abandoned by those she trusted. That’s a certainty as consistent as Sayaka selling her soul for a violin player.

Homura has known Mami when she’s surrounded by friends — both old and new. It’s always the calm before the storm, but that does not make those moments any less real. She’s a different person then; smiles that aren’t hiding sadness.

That’s the most tragic part of the whole thing.

No matter how many times Sayaka’s sword pierces through one of her allies, or Mami’s bullets cause the other soul gems to shatter, Homura will never stop relating those two to the better days.

She has stopped trying to save them from themselves, her attention already taken by another futile case, but she does not fault Kyouko for her continuous attempts.

There’s a lot that she doesn’t understand about Kyouko, with her hot and cold tendencies, but she knows exactly how it feels to drive yourself to self destruction in order to save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

It’s an eerily similar story; a lost girl seeking redemption and salvation in another person. That alone is enough reason for her to respect Kyouko’s efforts, and if they are hopeless, then Homura has no room to judge.

Kyouko will live how she wants to — hiding behind brutal ethics to save what’s left of her sanity — and she will die how she wants to — bleeding for people who are never in the right mind to appreciate it.

Who is Homura to deny her those simple rights?

So she silently takes one of the offered pocky.

(She absentmindedly sips her cup of tea).

(She looks at the white cape blowing in the wind).

She’ll let them live their lives.

It’s already asking a lot to change one fate.