Asuka and El Guante stood by a pool table. It kind of looked grungy and dirty, but it was actually just in the recreation room of the Magical Girl HQ. Asuka never really liked going out and partying in… That was a lie. She loved going out and partying wherever she felt like.
Tonight, she felt like having a chilled hangout with her friend, the former villain of Mexico El Guante. They never really knew each other before Madoka’s frenzied attempts to capture him culminating in a very strange surprise birthday party, but once he turned to the side of truth, justice, and whatever magical girl stuff Sayaka always went on about, they became very well-acquainted.
Asuka lined up a shot. She had stripes, El Guante had solids. If she made this right, she would pocket the twelve ball, and push the six and seven balls out of the way of each other, so he couldn’t get them at once like he could at the moment. She stuck her tongue out, closed one eye, and let it rip. But she put too much english on the ball, and it hopped over the twelve, landing on the eight ball, and knocking that with enough power to send it flying off the table.
“This must be what Homestuck feels like,” Asuka said in anguish.
“Now it is my turn,” said El Guante, still dressed like Santa Anna because if there’s anything Thedude3445 likes, it’s continuing stupid visual running gags even in a prose story. Don’t forget that Madoka and Kyoko both regularly wear sombreros that match their hair colors, either. Anyway, yeah, he lined up his shot, except not with a pool stick, but rather one of his machine gun hands. It worked, Asuka guessed. Except how was he going to stabilize the machine gun when his other hand was also a machine gun?
Well, however he did it, he did it, because it sent the cue ball flying in all sorts of directions, bouncing all over the table, and pocketing not only the six and seven balls, and the three ball.
“Damn.” Asuka put her pool stick back up on the pool stick holder thing. “You’re too good.”
“I will take that as a compliment, for I am El Guante, the undefeatable!” He burst out into villainous laughter, which he still occasionally did, despite being reformed. The laughter part was one of the hardest parts of the villain to cure, she’d heard from several former baddies. Sayaka was only a witch for a couple weeks and it took her a year to stop cackling when she succeeded at sinister things.
“Hey guys,” Kyoko said as she walked up to the pool table with them. She had been very intense into her work the past few weeks, trying to help Madoka’s insane plan to use interdimensional travel or something to resurrect some of her dead friends, and damn did she look tired.
Asuka walked over to the fridge and threw her a generic brand diet cola. She caught it and began drinking almost immediately. At least her appetite was still the same. “Why are you still here, Kyo?” both El Guante and Kyoko cringed at Asuka’s extremely inappropriate use of cutesy nicknames.
“Just a lot of work,” Kyoko answered.
“Nothing important in the life department? You’re not suddenly pregnant with no idea how you got that way since you’re married to a woman, right?” Asuka asked in a far-too-detailed manner.
Kyoko blinked a few times, and turned to El Guante. “Are there any trainees that seem skilled enough to go with us on our first interuniversal expedition?”
El Guante shook his head. “Not at all. I would not even send myself, or Asuka, with such a potentially dangerous risk. Only the most experienced magical girls are equipped to deal with whatever comes their way.”
“Of course, I’ve done weird space shit before, if you recall from that stupid 3.0 movie,” Asuka said. “So I’d totally be able to help out if you just… made me… a magical girl…”
Ignoring Asuka once again, Kyoko said, “That’s not good. I don’t trust that we’ll have enough [wo]manpower to fight anything ultra strong. Assuming we will need to fight anything at all… Maybe I’m just being a pessimist–” Kyoko took out a pack of Oreo’s and started chewing on them– “But I feel like everything is going to go very badly when we do this. Experience tells me that interuniversal travel always works badly.”
“Like when?” El Guante asked.
“Sliders. Have you ever seen that? I’m preparing for the worst. Like that episode when Quinn is captured by… “ El Guante and Asuka stared at Kyoko. She brushed the Oreo crumbs off her face. “Um, anyway, I think we should try to get some of our trainees ready to help. I won’t be able to go on the trip because I’ll be monitoring things, so otherwise, we’ll only have four magical girls against who knows what.”
“Yes ma’am, I’ll try,” said El Guante.
Asuka was totally going to ask Kyoko about her clear emotional problems but she decided to let that wait for a later chapter. She thought she’d try to school her in a match of billiards anyway.
She lost the match.
“You’re here early,” the bartender said. Madoka sat at the bar, drinking whatever alcohol the bartender poured for her. She didn’t know, and didn’t much care, either. Barely anybody else was here tonight, because the bar had only just opened a few minutes ago. The bartender was still sweeping the floors getting ready though she was still able to serve Madoka a drink almost effortlessly. If only Madoka were as good at her job of policing the country as Sheriff of Mexico…
“I heard Sesame Street was going to HBO for the next few years…” Madoka mumbled. “Sucks, really. Kyoko and I don’t have premium cable. So how are we going to raise our hypothetical kids if we don’t have the newest episodes of Sesame Street to help them learn about giant birds and hobos in trashcans?”
The bartender ignored this non-sequitur and poured Madoka another glass. She didn’t say anything, but continued sweeping. Madoka would start calling her Sweep instead of bartender if she didn’t realize she was drunk and that was definitely a bad idea. Bartender and Sweep were two stock characters that she never wanted to get mixed up, because that would have dire consequences.
Madoka stared at her already half-empty glass. “Man, I remember that time my Mom was telling me to make mistakes while I’m young and all that so I can grow up well. Of course the only thing I took from that was that I should hurry up and grow up so I could get drunk with her.” Madoka laughed softly. “I haven’t even seen Mom in forever. I wish I could go back to Japan sometime… Kyoko and I never did get a chance to go on a honeymoon, what with Sheriff duties and all. Maybe sometime?”
She tried to hold in the inevitable flow of tears that was about to ensue, and, being Madoka, failed miserably. She sobbed as quietly as she could, so she wouldn’t disturb any of the customers that were starting to enter the bar. “Man, I’m such a bad wife. I spent the last eight years being a jerk and now she probably doesn’t even love me anymore. Dammit.”
The bartender took the glass away. “You’re drunk enough,” she said. She began pouring drinks for the other patrons that had arrived and sat on the bar stools next to Madoka. Most of them were really tough guys, probably former fighters for El Chapo, who Madoka had captured all by herself six years ago, and he was never able to escape again, no way.
“Hey! I wasn’t–” She realized the bartender was right. Or something. It was hard to tell, being drunk and all. “I should be less shitty to Kyoko, probably.”
“Sheriff Kaname,” the bartender began. “Maybe your problems start and end with that drink in your hands.”
“Eh?” Madoka looked over and realized she had swiped the glass of the guy next to her. She put it back down and put both her hands on the bar. “Maybe you’re right. If only I could get some way to fix all this that,” she said, ignoring this super obvious drinking problem she obviously had.
Sayaka, dressed in blue bunny-print pajamas, laid down on the bed and spread out over as wide a surface area as she could do. She felt more sore than that time she and Kyoko… Anyway, it had been a really long day, trying to get the best of the magical girls out there and ready so that they could fight with the other magical girls after whatever inevitable catastrophe was going to occur as soon as they entered the other universe. None of the newbies were very good yet. It wasn’t unexpected; El Guante was still adamant that the whole plan to use any of them was really stupid and terrible. It didn’t really matter that much to Sayaka, honestly. She just wanted to have some fun and probably kill some people, something that being a guardian of Mexico was sorely lacking in compared to her job as a magical girl (and her amazingly-brief stint as a witch/crime lord of the Yakuza).
“Yo, Asuka,” Sayaka shouted to her wife, who was brushing her teeth over in the bathroom.
“Ah? Wha oo wa?” Asuka asked, toothpaste and foam keeping her from actually saying anything.
“You should be glad you’re not a magical girl. It really sucks and I hate it. I can’t move at all.” This was Sayaka’s excuse for not brushing her teeth tonight, she decided at this moment.
Asuka spit out her toothpaste and turned on the faucet. “You know I’d be a kickass mahou shoujo and that’s why you guys keep pretending I shouldn’t be one!” She walked into the bedroom and up to the bed. Her yellow pajamas had a bear print, and Sayaka wondered if the contrast actually meant anything or if she was just reading too much into things. “Now move over so I can get in,” she said.
“I’ll have to shove you, then.”
“Do it. I won’t move, though.” Sayaka groaned as she said this.
“You’re not THAT tired, Sayaka,” Asuka said, putting her hands on her hips as usual. “you were just fine at Kentucky McBurger Queen Bell.”
“That’s because I was getting food then. Now I have no incentive to exist, much less move from my spot.”
“Sayaka… I’m hurt. You’re saying my cuddles aren’t a good incentive?”
Asuka was right. As soon as she said this, Sayaka rolled over to the right side of the bed and pulled herself under the covers. Her wife followed suit and went through with her threat of cuddling.
“I love you,” said Asuka.
“Yeah, me too,” said Sayaka. She received a bop on the head in response. “Tomorrow’s the day, huh?”
“Yep, it is. And you’d better come back safe, sound, and with that stupid Akemi girl you guys care so much about.”
“Aw, you’d love her if you knew her. I know I did, if you know what I mean.” Asuka bopped her on the head again. “Okay, fine. I’ll come back safe. Don’t worry about that at all.”
“Good.” They continued cuddling in the silence of the night. “Wait,” Asuka interrupted. “I wanted to ask you about…”
“Eh?” Sayaka had already almost lulled off into sleep.
“Do you know what’s up with Madoka and Kyoko?” she asked, finally.
“Uhh… I’d shrug but you have a hold on my arms so I can’t. Yeah I don’t know. I think Madoka’s just… really stressed and stuff. You know? Because I don’t.”
“Kyoko seems really upset too, though…”
“Not as upset as the time she and I… Ha, I digress.” And with that, Sayaka conked out, and dreamed about a world of ice sculptures.
And there they stood, in full cobalt-colored battle armor– Crispina Gonzales, Nagisa Momoe, Sayaka Miki, all ready for whatever lay beyond the breach of space and time. Madoka, wearing armor herself (including a new pink sombrero outfitted with all the latest in laser weaponry and a homing device for when she threw it like Captain America’s shield), walked up to them and saluted like some cool military lieutenant person (NOT “left-tennant,” no British readers allowed). Beside them, stood three OCs, er, fresh recruits– Madoka still hadn’t learned their names, but they all had green hair and looked vaguely like that one girl from Higurashi, if that meant anything. Asuka and Kyoko stood behind Madoka, probably cheering her on for the inspiring speech she was about to give.
“Alright, everyone,” Madoka said, pacing back and forth. “This is going to be a very quick extraction job. We’re getting in, and then getting out. Kill anyone who gets in our way. Leave no stone unturned. Never give up. Trust your instincts.”
Kyoko walked up to the crew and pushed Madoka out of the way. Madoka made a big frown. She thought she was being cute. :( “Don’t listen to Sheriff Kaname, please,” she said. “Take as much time as possible. Make sure everyone is safe, and if you happen to be able to come back with any alternate-universe versions of ourselves or our departed counterparts, then that’s very good. Please do that.”
“Aight,” Sayaka said. “Let’s do this.”
El Guante entered the scene. He bowed gracefully. “I will begin the preparations for the inter-universal transportation machine, if Mrs. Kyoko Kaname will join me.” She walked away, leaving the seven magical girls (and Asuka) standing there.
“Uh, I think I need to use the little girl’s room,” Madoka said, as she obviously walked towards where Kyoko and El Guante were going, and not towards the bathroom.
Kyoko, currently eating from a styrofoam cup of ramen, saw Madoka come up to her. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“I needed to tell you how much I love you,” Madoka said, hugging her wife tightly. “Even if I’m kind of… awful sometimes.”
“What?” Kyoko looked confused.
“I’m sorry! Please don’t let me get killed, okay?”
Kyoko seemed to switch modes of thought as she said this. “Oh, I won’t let you get killed,” she said. “If anything goes terribly wrong, it’ll probably be that one of the trainee magical girls gets trapped in the other universe for a couple years and horribly mutated, bonding her suit to her skin, and then when we rescue her, she starts blowing people’s heads off. On the plus side, everyone else will get cool superpowers.” Now Madoka was the one who was confused.
“Well uh, yeah I love you.” She kissed her on the cheek.
“I love you too. Go get Homura,” Kyoko said, slurping the last of her ramen. Madoka gave a thumbs-up, then darted back over to the other magical girls. She still felt like Kyoko wasn’t exactly happy with her. She didn’t seem very enthusiastic until it came time to make a stupid pop culture reference, but… maybe Madoka was overblowing all this stuff anyway.
The others had stepped into position and were waiting for Madoka to arrive. Madoka looked at Nagisa and gave her a thumbs-up as well. “You ready, little girl?” The six-foot-three-inch, twenty year old girl blushed and got all flustered. It was adorable.
“I’m ready,” responded one of the OCs. Nobody said anything else for a few minutes because nobody was sure how to respond to one of them actually talking.
Then a bunch of lights started flashing and swirling around them. The last thing Madoka saw was her wife waving goodbye, and El Guante’s voice as he said, “Don’t forget, you all need to–”
Madoka looked up again and saw a dark crimson sky. It looked beautiful, almost captivating, except when she looked forward, she saw ruins all around her. Where were they? Collapsed buildings, vehicles, and a few skeletons were scattered all throughout this highly desertified environment. It chilled her to the bone, though she wasn’t sure why.
Crispina walked by, examining the surroundings and glaring at them intensely. “What’s wrong?” Madoka asked her.
“I don’t know,” she answered. She walked over to a destroyed sidewalk and looked down. “This all looks incredibly recent. I don’t like anything from any of this. We are in Mitakihara City, right?”
“Mhm,” Madoka answered. She suddenly realized that yes, they were indeed in the city, the place where she grew up for all her life, the place where she became a magical girl, the place where she had her first kiss… all kind of strange returning. Especially when it was all ruins.
Over by a ruined VW Beetle, Sayaka snuck up behind Nagisa and punched her in the arm. “Punch buggy! no punch-backs.” Nagisa was very nervous already, and the punch sent her into shock.
“Sayaka!” Madoka shouted. “Cut it out!”
“Sorry, Sheriff.” The only time any of her friends ever called her sheriff was when they were being sarcastic. Really lame, Sayaka.
One of the magical girl trainees pointed up into the sky. “Look! There’s some sort of light!” Everyone looked into the red clouds and indeed saw a small yellow light. It wasn’t just floating– no, it was coming closer. And very quickly.
Before any of them could grab their weapons, someone zoomed by all of them and flew into the sky. Whoever they were, they collided with the yellow light, and began battling it. Madoka looked at the aura of the combatant and realized its blue hue meant– that was this universe’s Sayaka!
“Sayaka, I think that’s another you,” she said.
“So what do you think’s going–” Several more figures passed the group and began battling in the sky. Two of them were knocked right back onto the ground within moments, though. One of them zoomed towards the group; Crispina dodged as the person hit the ground with a thud, buried under a feet of sand. This person got right back up, and looked at Madoka.
Madoka saw who it was. “Who are–”
“Who are you?” Said this universe’s Madoka, draped in black robes and holding a huge scythe.
It seemed they walked right into the middle of a final battle.