2018-12-13 - TIMELINE 1: White Night! A Gift Exchange!

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White Night! A Gift Exchange!

Homura gives Madoka some White Day chocolate. Madoka gives Homura something else.


Homura Akemi, Madoka Kaname


Kaname Household

OOC - IC Date:

12/13/2018 - 03-14-2014

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.


Homura waits all night for her chance. In the meantime she keeps tilting her head when she thinks no one's looking, first one way and then the other, simply to feel the strange and different way her long hair feels swinging from up high in those odango. The other girl is well-loved, and even if she were not the hostess it would be hard to catch her alone. Homura would hate to interrupt.

Some kids already snooze in the adjoining living room by the time she approaches. The kitchen is quiet enough, and Homura's voice quieter still, conferring a late night sort of privacy nonetheless punctuated by the occasional snore of heroic proportions from the other room.

Her bare feet squeak on the kitchen floor as she twists on her heels. The little violet giftbox she hides behind her back, where it suffers some nervous palm sweat. "Kaname-san, I ah... I got you... I mean, because of," and her voice gets even smaller, "Valentine's... and because of all the times you've saved me and everyone else..."

Out it comes, presented with both hands! Held together by a cheery pink ribbon that Homura tried very hard to match exactly to Madoka's hair by memory -- and she did a good job of it -- it holds four little white chocolates, lumpy and probably meant to be square. They're the very best of a large and lumpish batch.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka pauses midstride to listen to Homura, and to look at her. There's a pleased little smile tucked between cheek and chin whenever she spots that hairdo, but it softens, to true tenderness, at the other girl's nervous mien.

"Omigosh," she squeals happily, at the volume level of a stage whisper. Before she even opens it all the way, she's tied the ribbon around her throat like a choker, beaming. Then she tears open the rest of the packaging and with satisfying enthusiasm eats a chocolate. "Delicious," she coos, and means it. "It's really good, Homura-chan!"

Leaning forward, she boops Homura's snoot with the tip of her own, in a quick and deeply affectionate nuzzle, too quick to be so easily shrunk away from by the shy girl. But it's over fast too, too quick to be really embarrassing.

Clutching the package to her breast, she wanders across the kitchen, then tries on tiptoes to stash it in a hiding place on top of the fridge.

She isn't tall enough, so she repeats this process with a chair.

"There," she says, afterwards, returning to Homura's side. "I'm sorry that my own tomochoco is so general... I wanted to be fair so I just made everything for everyone? But... hmm."

Madoka is thoughtful for a long moment, before gently grasping Homura's wrist and starting to tow her towards her room.

"I know what to do."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

She's warm from bare toes to odango'd crown after that unexpected nuzzle, and already so very pleased by the other girl's reaction to the chocolates. Homura claps hands over a mouth gone into awkward wiggles, indeed not in embarrassment but from emotion. Her cheeks puff on either side, crinkling the corners of her eyes. She's careful not to touch the tip of her own nose, though -- that might rub the Madoka off...

She likes the chocolate! She deserves all the chocolate. "That's good, I mean... I'm really glad."

Then she scrambles over to hold the back of the chair, eager to help and taking the duty very seriously. "Be careful, Kaname-san," she worries. Homura's just beginning to shake her head and protest that Madoka's chocolates were wonderful and special, "Oh no, they were so--"

--grasp and tow! Homura follows along easily; her delicate wrist in Madoka's hand might as well be a lead line on a gangly lamb. Still she finishes, "They were so good, and it's so nice of you to make some for everyone..."

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka squeezes Homura's hand a little more tightly.

"Yeah, but there's something a little less special about that, you know? And you deserve something really nice, because you're really nice. And special."

They slip into the room in short order. It is quiet and dark, but not gloomy. Any hints of gloom cannot withstand the bright-eyed expression on its owner's face.

Kyuubey hops off the shelf with all the plushies to meet them, padding across the bed. He sniffs hopefully at a bag of chips which someone must have left in here from an earlier event. People were playing cards before.

Madoka ignores him, though she gives a lissome, permissive little shrug that indicates that if Homura wants to feed him the chips, she wouldn't complain. Instead she makes straight for the desk and starts rummaging around, until... she finds... charcoal!

And a sketchbook, which she plucks from the floor. Then she settles on the far end of the bed, in the corner beneath her shelves, again cross-legged.

"Can I make you a drawing? I've always wanted to draw you, Homura-chan."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Special. Madoka's word for her repeats in Homura's head, like she's mashing the rewind button on her memory. Some moments, she could just relive over and over again...

The magical living plushie himself makes an appearance and this time the squeaking sound comes from her mouth instead of her toes on tile, and it has an entirely different tenor. "Oh hi, Kyuubey-san!" Yep, he's Mr. Kyuubey to Homura. "Do you want something to eat...?" That shrug is the permission she needs -- she's too mannerly to feed someone's mascot in their own home without that.

A crouch brings her down to the white creature's level. Homura has that obvious and hopeful forward lean of someone who reeeeaaaally wants to make friends with a critter and lacks the proper chill about it. She's intent as she lofts a potato chip over his head for him to catch. He seems to like that... Homura hopes he does. "How is your tail so fluffy?" she wonders aloud, then colors briefly. Maybe that's a rude thing to ask a fairy. She's feeding chips to a fairy!

"You, you want to...?" What a question; what a gift. Homura is the awkward kid who doesn't know how to gracefully accept something so precious, and the search shows in how she stammers her way in that direction. "Are you, I mean, no one's, that would be the... nicest thing..." She looks up at Madoka where she sits on the bed, and just nods, a lot. Her odango tails dance with all the nods.

"Um. Should I..." Then she looks around herself and immediately has no idea what to do with her hands, they're like awkward alien appendages instead of a natural part of her own body -- what should she do with her hands?! They kind of flap around her face, then fold in her lap three different ways, then she tries to shove them into pockets that don't exist in her purple-striped nightgown. "...just... sit here?"

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Kyuubey is always game to play with food. He catches the chip on the tip of his nose, tilts his head left, then comically right, then finally flings it back into the air and chomps it in one bite.

<< Thank you, Homura Akemi!! >>

Then he goes back to looking at her expectantly, with those huge, innocent, hungry red eyes.

"You should do whatever you feel like doing," Madoka replies with her typical serene soothingness -- she deals with extremely loud people the same way, much of the time -- and gives Homura a little thumbs up with her free hand. "Keep feeding that little glutton if you want, even. No need to hold still."

After a few moments of scratching she adjusts her seat so that her knees are now IN FRONT OF HER, ^ shaped, and provide her with a drawing board. Then she leans forward and gets back to work in earnest.

"You have such a cute nose," she remarks a few moments later, in that sort of absent-but-earnest way that artists do.

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Homura suppresses an utterly undignified sound to see Kyuubey toy with the chip. SO CUTE. It takes both fists over her mouth to accomplish this. Of course she feeds him another after that thanks. Who wouldn't? "You're welcome!"

She knows she is safe in Madoka's hands, and even through all the nervousness that has a huge affect. No matter what silly thing Homura does, however she stumbles, it never drives the other girl away. Fluttering fingers settle on her knees, and she draws a deep breath before sighing it out again.

"Okay, Kaname-san." What does Homura feel like doing? Little questions can feel big, sometimes. She looks around the bedroom a few times, and each search eventually comes back to the girl with the sketchpad. The longer this goes on, the more keenly she feels that artistic gaze. The comment about her nose almost prompts Homura to reflexively to cover it, until she remembers -- can't rub the Madoka off!

"Yours is too," she blurts back. Surface thoughts escape so easily...

"And... and your drawing. I really like it a lot." This is said more quietly, and is something she thinks a lot. "Everything you do is so creative, like it's going to dance right off the paper, like a dream... I could look at your drawings all day."

It's just the two of them, and as usual when Madoka gets Homura alone, the words pour out of the dark-haired girl more easily, given time. "It's... I think it shows up when you fight too. The creativity, I mean. Like a poem, except all... visual. Um..."

Normally this is where Homura would apologize for saying something weird, but Madoka never seems to mind when she's weird, and she feels like maybe she doesn't need to. It's the smallest of victories, for the meekest of esteems... and so big, for all that.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

Madoka flushes a little, with surprise and pleasure; it's enough of a distraction that she has to pause in her sketching long enough to regain her composure, and while she's waiting for her heartbeat to slow down a bit, she gazes at Homura steadily.

"Uehihi," she giggles finally, "You give me way too much credit. Everyone on the battlefield is less clumsy than me." Except for Usagi-chan, she's too kind to say out loud. "But it makes me happy that you feel that way..."

Her hands are both pretty black, so she starts to scritch at the back of her neck, then pauses and aborts. At last there's nothing to do but return to her task.

Kyuubey keeps cadging chips from Homura throughout. One at a time he devours them all... and ultimately lies on his back, distended tummy facing upwards, squarely in Homura's lap.

"You really are special. Brave, to stay friends with us, after all the times it's put you in danger. Smart. Kind... there have been so many changes in the last year, Homura-chan, and they haven't all been easy ones, but meeting you might be the very nicest."

She pauses wtih her charcoal suspended above the page -- then nods, and with a swift scribble of finality, signs it.

Then she swallows, mouth suddenly dry in the way it always is when she shares her art, and turns the sketchbook around.

Madoka has a lot more practice drawing clothes than people, and indeed Homura's nightgown is rendered in meticulous detail. She adorns it more than the other way around, though; it is beautiful and flowing and lovely because it is on the girl wearing it.

The Homura in the picture is, like the real one has been, feeding Kyuubey, a hand teasingly extended with a chip inside, and the two of them are gazing into each others' eyes with a similarly rapt expression as a girl and her dog. Her face and hair are each rendered in bold, simple strokes that are not ineffective at capturing her essence: Homura on the page is a little nervous and a little generous and a lot happy and a lot beautiful.

Not cute.

There's nothing glamorized about the rendition, nothing hyperbolic. Middle school girls can be beautiful too, in the same way that half-open rosebuds are. She isn't a woman in miniature; she is a creature in transition. Like nature itself, ever-changing.

"This is how I see you," Madoka says, a little more quietly and seriously than she has been. "I love seeing you, every day, Homura-chan. I hope I see you every day for the rest of my life."

<Pose Tracker> Homura Akemi [Ohtori Academy (8)] has posed.

If Homura Akemi has her way, this will be the most overfed fairy in all of Tokyo. She can hardly believe her luck when she ends up with him in her lap and immediately goes stock still from the waist down, even though her feet go all tingly from being tucked under her too long -- maybe he'll stay longer if she doesn't move...

Madoka's words pull her up from that, and she takes the same careful posture while listening. It's a spell, a lovely dream woven over her with friendship and warmth, and Homura only remembers to breathe afterwards. Special; brave; smart; kind. Madoka thinks she is all of those things. More than anything, Homura wants to be special to her.

"I wouldn't trade the last year for anything!" Homura clasps her hands in front of her chest, fingers curled and laced. She looks almost prayerful. "It's been... so, so... You're the very most graceful magical girl out there! And you're the brave one... I still don't know how you fight those things. It's wonderful."

Homura's holding her breath again as the sketchbook rises in Madoka's hands. She gets to see, and -- the changes dawn across her face one by one. White she goes from shock, a perfect pale field for the blooming of scarlet beneath big eyes.

She takes her glasses off, scrubs them with the hem of her nightgown. Then she scrubs at her eyes with the sleeves. The glasses go back on and, with a murmured apology to the dislodged fairy -- his lap occupation just doesn't rate any more to Homura -- she gets up and pads over to the bed to lean down and peer close. That cute nose of hers almost smudges the charcoal.

"It's... it's... perfect..." Her voice comes out all wobbly, taking on the shape of her mouth. That's her, to Madoka. And what the other girl says...

Who needs fairies? Who needs wishes? Is her heart going to explode? It's sure racing like it might. "Kaname-san... I um... I've never been so happy." Indeed Homura never knew it was possible. She sniffs and the corners turn up slowly and it becomes a wobbly smile instead of just a wobble, as shy as a groundhog checking for a shadow.