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Steady State

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Madoka laughed, the giggle bubbling out of her like a spring. "Don't be so nervous, Homura!"

"I c-can't help it," Homura stammered, crossing her arms over her chest. She felt very, very naked under Madoka's gaze. The heat in her cheeks was so hot Homura felt dizzy, almost feverish. She wasn't sure if it was embarrassment, or arousal, or some weird mixture of the two. "It's not fair that I'm the only one who's not wearing something!" Homura made a grab for Madoka, who was suddenly submissive, eyes wide, and the position changed too - Homura was clothed now and she had Madoka up against a wall, pinned.

"Homura-chan?" Madoka's voice was trembling.

"You're not unimportant," Homura said, trying to reassure her. She ran her hands through Madoka's hair, undid her red ribbons, and suddenly the ribbons were white under her hands and Madoka was smiling down at her, infinitely kind, and Homura was floating in space that stretched out in all directions, falling through clouds and rips of stars, unsure if this was a dream or reality.

"How are you?" Madoka's eyes were a pure gold. She said it so simply, as though they just met at the supermarket or something, not like this, in this dreamspace where Homura was pillowed in billowing white. She laid a hand over Homura's cheek and Homura felt Madoka nip playfully at her neck, and then the nip wasn't a nip anymore, it was a painful bite and strands of black were everywhere, rocking in pooling darkness, hands clawing and grabbing, red flashes of pain.

Homulily was screaming - apologizing, the record scritch-scratching frantically - Gretchen's long cage-like strands falling through the infinite air and space and time and Homura was caught, repeating endlessly, all her mistakes, like a crazy movie reel split-splattering her memories across the landscape, almost obscene, she could've done this and she should've done that but she didn't, she didn't, she didn't and Madoka smiled, eyes twinkling as she pushed Homura down on the bed, breath hot in her ear, straddling her and laying so many kisses on her face, playful and happy and

Homura gently traced the curve of Madoka's cheek. She was so beautiful and Homura's heart ached - she loved her so much, but this Madoka didn't really know that. Every repetition, her love grew, but the gap between them only widened. The two of them could never again recapture that first time, crystalized in Homura's memory. Madoka gently removed Homura's glasses and Homura blinked, vision blurry, at Madoka's goddess-like form.

"Why are you crying?" Gretchen demanded, and Homulily said nothing. Inky oil ran from her eyes - it wasn't supposed to be like this. The record would never stop playing. This would never end. There was nothing after this - nothing - and the fragmented wisps of memory that was once Homura could only grab on to these shattered visions that may as well be delusions.

Because Madoka certainly wasn't a goddess, if she was Gretchen, and Madoka kissed Homura's tears away, holding her tight against herself as her fingers worked between Homura's legs, and Homura held onto her tight, eyes squeezed shut, breaths ragged and Madoka was laughing and talking about how beautiful Homura looked without her glasses on, affectionate and shy too because it was her first time, both of their first times, and Homura wanted to make Madoka feel good, better than anything, wanted to convince her that she was worth something because she was, she really was, and the sight of Madoka so weak and unsure of herself made Homura's heart break, and the record kept playing over and over and oh god Homura wanted to scream, wanted to break out of this ritch-ratcheting insanity, Gretchen was laughing and it sounded so beautifully broken, they became witches together after all, and Homura felt bits and pieces of herself wink away, soon there would be nothing but the witch and they would destroy the world, and they were fusing together, sucking into each other, and Homura knew nothing but Madoka, Madoka, Madoka, and Madoka held her tight, so tight, as if she wanted to squeeze all the suffering from Homura's body, and Homura felt herself relax in Madoka's embrace.

"It's okay, Homura," Madoka whispered. "It's all over now."

The record screamed, sputtered, and went into another revolution.