Kyoko and Asuka sat around at the table, drinking (apple) ciders. It was very quiet with most of the team gone to some strange alternate universe with which they had no direct line of contact, so they were making the most of it by relaxing and definitely not getting drunk because their drinks were completely non-alcoholic.
Asuka wasn’t entirely sure how Kyoko felt at the moment. She seemed happy, but she wasn’t sure… “Kyoko, how are you right now?”
“Eh?” Kyoko seemed confused.
“Nevermind. Um… So, when is yours and Madoka’s next anniversary, again?” This was probably not the best of subject changes, but Asuka couldn’t get it out of her mind.
“Uh, I don’t… It’s on… September 27th, I think?” Kyoko rubbed her chin. “I don’t exactly recall what day it was. There was a lot of fighting Kyubeys, and I got turned into a witch, and we kind of got married on impulse. It was a really big blur, to be honest.”
“You were married on impulse?”
“Yeah…” Kyoko laughed, and then ate an entire package of oreos at once. “We had only kissed for the first time about fifteen minutes earlier, or something. It was like, two chapters before the end of the story, at least.”
“Hmm… You don’t regret rushing into it like that?” Asuka was pretty sure she was being extremely nosy right now, though Kyoko didn’t seem to mind, for whatever reason. Maybe she just needed someone to talk to.
“No, I don’t. I love Madoka Kaname more than anything else in the whole world.”
“Well then… I’m glad for you.” Asuka smiled as wide as she could to cover up how nosy she was being.
“And I’m glad you married Sayaka,” she said. “I was worried she was going to end up with Kyosuke in the end…”
Asuka burst out laughing. “Oh, man. I don’t even know what happened with all that crap. That guy is the biggest jerk I’ve ever met in my life, and wow did Sayaka deserve to get beaten over the head after all that.”
“Well, it’s all over now, at least.”
“At least.” Asuka laughed some more… and then it faded. Should she tell her? Yeah… Probably. “Uh, Kyoko? So, Sayaka and I… we’re… Uh…”
“Okay, so, like, you know I’m trans, right?”
“Of course, why wouldn’t I know that? You’ve been extremely open about it, and I think it’s a very good thing that you’ve been so cool about it.” Kyoko looked directly into the camera as she delivered this information to the audience that every reader should definitely already have been aware of, because it’s not like this was some sort of suddenly-introduced plot point out of nowhere, of course. It had been firmly established ever since Asuka’s first appearance in “Madoka’s Birthday Wish”, obviously.
“Good. Well, uh, so, it turns out that I wasn’t entirely hormone’d up in time to, uh…” Asuka had no idea why she was getting so nervous about this. “Like… Okay… Sayaka’s expecting.”
“Pregnant. With child. We’re having a baby, and the baby is you. Er, I mean, not you. Like, you are the one learning about the baby. That’s what I mean.” Asuka’s heart felt explosion-ready. She felt like she was about to die.
“That’s great! …But didn’t we just send her to an alternate universe where she could potentially be in danger?”
“Uh.” Asuka blinked several times. “Yeah, that’s exactly what we did, isn’t it? Oh my.”
Sayaka sneezed. “Oh, I guess someone’s talking about me,” she said. She, Crispina, and Nagisa stood in a very small building that acted as a refuge from the massive battle going on outside. It was just small enough that it wasn’t fodder to be picked up by Walpurgisnacht, and they could still hide from Kiiko and the others.
Crispina said, “It is almost certainly just all the dust and sand everywhere. Speaking of which, why is there sand everywhere, anyway? Has the entire city desertified somehow?”
Nagisa started hopping up and down in joy. “I know! I know!” she shouted. “I read all that background information that Homura gave us. It was very exciting!”
“Oh, really?” Crispina crossed her arms and sat down. “Do tell.”
“Well, the reason everything’s all sandy is because Walpurgisnacht has been attacking Mitakihara City for over three whole years! Years? Holy damn. “And apparently, after it ran out of rain and storms, it began naturally terraforming the environment. If left unchecked, it will turn the city into something like Mars over a long period of time.”
“That’s kind of lame,” Sayaka said. “Like, pretty terrible, honestly.”
“Why is Walpurgisnacht even still around, when that Gyuhey guy has so many magical girls to send at it?”
“Well,” Nagisa began. “It turns out that Kiiko Kawakami has learned how to take control of it. So Walpurgisnacht is little more than a weapon of Kiiko and Aaya at this point. It’s pretty terrifying. All these other magical girls have made double-wishes, so they are extremely powerful, but they will turn into witches as powerful when they succumb to despair. Any magical girl from this universe, we will have to be very careful with.”
As she said this, Neoakemi walked into the building and sat down with the three of them. She was completely silent, and was busy rapidly typing into her holographic computer with her right hand. How she could type so quickly with just one hand, Sayaka didn’t even know. She also didn’t know why Neoakemi’s right eye was glowing, or why her own alternate universe self was apparently a huge Nietzsche fan. Maybe this alternate universe plan wasn’t the best one, in the end…
“Yo, Homura,” Sayaka said. “You feeling cool?”
“No. My girlfriend has been kidnapped by someone as powerful as a god.”
“Oh yeah. That’s probably reason to not feel cool.” Crispina glared at Sayaka, so she shut up from there.
Madoka woke up, and realized that she and her alternate universe counterpart were standing, apparently completely free, in the middle of the sky, above the dark-gray clouds that surrounded Mitakihara City. But upon closer inspection, AKA trying to take a step forward, she realized that she couldn’t move from her spot. Dammit. Also, Kiiko and Aaya, both floating in the sky as well, were right in front of the two Madokas.
She really wanted to take a swig right now…
Also, she realized at this exact moment that Shinigamidoka was still only sixteen or seventeen years old. That was… really weird. They warped to an alternate universe, not time travelled. Why did they end up almost a decade in the past? Maybe it had something to do with Homura’s time warps that were apparently real in this universe, unlike her own? That seemed like the rational explanation, which was much less likely than the occam’s razor explanation that it was just some unexplainable bullshit that led this to happen.
“I want an explanation for this,” Kiiko said.
“Why we have such a big age gap?” Madoka asked, forgetting that her inner thoughts weren’t also part of the dialogue.
“I want to know why there are two Madoka Kanames,” she said.
Aaya, who had a large bruise on her forehead from when Madoka knocked her out, stepped behind Kiiko and put her hands on her shoulders. “That other Madoka, the one with the sombrero? She’s from a different universe. She said as much to me earlier.”
“She brought multiple copies of several of these pesky magical girls, possibly to help defeat the others. I don’t know why. But you can have lots of fun with them, can’t you?” Aaya pecked her on the cheek.
“Maybe,” Kiiko said. “I do feel like having a bit of fun.” She snapped her fingers, and Aaya began falling through the invisible floor, plummeting to the Earth.
Shinigamidoka looked at Madoka with horror. “Why are you even here?” she asked the woman.
“Long story. A very long, very dumb story.”
After a minute had passed, Kiiko snapped her fingers again, and Aaya appeared back where she previously stood, by Kiiko’s side. She breathed heavily and collapsed onto the transparent floor on her knees.
“I want to know everything about this ‘alternate universe’ situation,” Kiiko said. “Please tell me, or I will destroy everything both of you have ever known. I may do it anyway. I may already have for you, Shinigamidoka.”
Shinigamidoka almost instantly started crying. Madoka felt really bad for her, as if she– Yep, Madoka started crying too. It was completely unavoidable. In no universe was Madoka Kaname able to prevent herself from crying near-constantly. It was a universal constant, much like John Cusack.
“Well then, let’s get started. Talk.”