2019-05-16 - Intermission 7: Yakusoku wa Iranai

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Intermission 7: Yakusoku wa Iranai

Madoka and Kasagami meet for a final time where it all began.


Madoka Kaname, Kasagami Araki


Ohtori Academy - Chapel

OOC - IC Date:

5/16/2019 - 06-02-2015

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ Chapel +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
  Nestled against the outer wall, Ohtori's chapel is half-encrusted with ivy,   
  only its high triangular steeple catching the eye. One of the older           
  buildings on campus, the Fuka Oratory is home to a handful of Catholic        
  priests and nuns, and tends to the spiritual needs of faithful students, and  
  occasionally to non-Christians who are particularly terrified of an upcoming  
  exam and feel the need to cover their bases.                                  
  The inner walls and pews are aged cherry, stained a wine-like purple hue. A   
  simple wooden altar of the same material stands at the end of a red carpet    
  bisecting the room; to the left there is a tall fluted organ, to the right a  
  door to the living quarters of the staff. Above the altar is a three-paneled  
  stained glass window, and since this is Ohtori, the theme of the design is    
  flowers, twining around elegant metal gates with a sun rising behind.         
  Perhaps they lead to heaven, perhaps to lost Eden.                            

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"I want to erase every witch before they are even born! Every witch, from every universe, from every dimension, from every past, and every future. With my own hands. I don't care what I become. I don't want to let all those girls cry, all those Puella Magi who believed in their hope and fought against witches. All their friends who tried so much to help but could only win pain. I want them to live on with smiles on their faces. I will destroy the rules that prevent that. I will change them. This is my prayer. This is my wish. NOW -- fulfill it, INCUBATOR!"

And the whole world is replaced with blinding light...

...until it begins to concentrate...

...and darken, from purest white to gorgeous pink to brilliant red...

...it's the setting sun.

The setting sun, pouring through the stained glass windows of Ohtori's Chapel.

Streaming, it makes patterns on the floor, and on the walls, and on the pews.

And on Madoka.

Small, small Madoka, as small as the day they first met here, as small as she was in the rubble. Smaller than ever, kneeling there, her hands in the same prayerful position they were in as she finished her wish.

Her expression is different, though.

She looks very peaceful, and...

...well, maybe not so different. The way that she's overflowing with radiance, that's the same.

Only now it's the kind that comes from within.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"You really do care so much for everyone around you, Madoka-chan." Are the first words out of Kasagami Araki's mouth. She blinks twice, one leg crossing over the other as she watches the small girl that she'd judged so harshly. The pew she's sitting in briefly creak as she slowly pushes up to stand. Slowly, hands in her pockets, she goes to join the girl.

Her own face soon coated with reds of the setting sun, a few paces behind her. Kassie doesn't quite kneel, but rather sits down with one knee up to her chin. Setting her head upon that knee, the lightest of frowns sits on her face. That coat of hers is left over on the pew, forgotten as she spends a few moments in quiet contemplation of the Wish Madoka has just made. It's a grand thing. A powerful thing to put to words.

Even a little frightening. Kasagami forces a bit of a smile. Worry wars with surprise on her features.

"After the things I did to you, I never thought we'd be here together again. Life can be strange, pulling you back to old places when you'd rather be anywhere else. ...I guess I don't mind so much though." A pause, and she looks to the radiant girl praying so dutifully.

"You've grown I think. It's impressive, your Wish. Are you going to be okay with it?" Kasagami doesn't doubt that it's possible, no, she believes in miracles after all. In fighting for them. And the girl she once despised has earned the Duelist's respect without a blade, but with something far more powerful.

A loving, caring heart and the will to use it.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Madoka glances back, over her shoulder.

Her smile is warm. So warm that it doesn't belong in this chapel at all, which has always been more than a little bit chilly, at its essence. But then, because of that warmth, there's a sense of what this place could be -- what it is, now, in this moment.

A place of grace.

Then she loses her balance and falls onto her butt.

"Aa!" There's more humor and dismay in the noise she makes than any kind of pain.

The next few moments involve scooting and scrambling and resettling, also seated on the floor. Legs crossed, knees butterflied, back almost against the altar she was in front of.

"I like it here... I always did. I'd come here to wait for other people, when they were busy after school, you know? And one day it turned out I was waiting for you, even thought I didn't know it yet."

Her smile isn't forced at all.

Which is not to say it isn't complex, layered. But resentment isn't one of those things that dwells within her. More than anything, she seems thoughtful, in an outsized way for her friendly little face.

"Maybe we're here because I'm hoping you can be okay with liking being here again, too..."

She turns the question back around, not like a volley shot over the net, and not with the coldness of a mirror. More like the sparkling surface of a sweetwater lake.

"Are you okay with it?"

They both know she doesn't really mean the chapel anymore.

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Here in this Chapel, seeing that friendly smile directed her way? Kasagami can't help but think of the future. How this beautiful building could be, all of it's potential to be warm and a place of safety. For Ohtori, for Tokyo itself. Even beyond. A better place, with a Miracle to change it. Her heart pounds a little.

The tension breaks for a second, and the Duelist snorts out a laugh. There's a touch of ease to her heart, seeing the thoroughly radiant girl just fall like that. She grins.

"Poise isn't bad, but your balance needs work!" Teases Kassie with dazzling teeth.

The moment passes with Madoka's scramble for them to face each other. Not moving, she waits for the smaller girl and her thoughtful words and that wonderful smile. Somehow, Madoka seems a little larger as Kassie looks at her. Not in stature, but in spirit.

Kasagami's leg tucks in harder against herself. She shivers, once, full body. Enough so that her hair shakes a little and she almost looks cold for a second. It passes quickly, but slowly the Duelist lets her guard down. She takes a risk, and opens up just a crack.

Steel and white find themselves on pink upon pink.

Could she really feel comfortable in the Chapel again? She finds herself wordless on the suggestion. But the real question strikes her right in the chest. Brows tighten, her jaw sets. Toes curl inside of her boots and her left hand grips the wrist of her right arm.

"Okay? No, I am not okay with it!" It's not a yell. Not Kasagami's usual volume. The denial is still fervent, but lacks the snarl of her battle voice not so long ago.

"People should fight for what they believe in, to obtain their dreams and make the world right! And it might not be the one I'd make, but the world you've got in that head of yours is a beautiful one!" Her hand grips until it hurts. Her gaze dips just a bit. Mist begins to form in it as she once again thinks of that family she met, so loving that they'd gather a small army of friends to help their depressed daughter.

She draws a breath, and with visible effort, calms herself. Kasagami refuses to fall to pieces in front of this young woman so keen on sacrificing her life.

"You're a good girl, and stronger than I ever saw. I can't accept a world that requires you to throw away your life to make it a little more fair. When you change things for the better, you deserve to do it with the people you love and care about right by your side!" Comes Kasagami, passion shining through.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Yakusoku wa Iranai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VfU4A0Qs6M

Madoka doesn't flinch away from Kasagami's gaze. She never has; not from its sternness and not from its damage, the bared wounds. Shy and scared she may have been, but always of the older girl's actions, never her person.

She isn't any of those things now, in any case.

She leans forward when the mist rises in Kasagami's eyes, a beautiful clarity in her own, and gently rests her hands on hers. There's a huge size differential here, also, but one made up by the steadiness that she applies. And the tenderness.

Kasagami has rarely been touched so gently.

"You've saved my life," she says, quietly, but earnestly. "More than once. All of this is only possible because you -- you personally -- put yourself in terrible danger to keep me safe."

It's a solemn moment, but her smile lingers in her eyes, a tiny candleflame in the darkness of the moment, but unquenchable, irrepressible.

"It isn't the world that you can't accept," Madoka points out softly. "That isn't fair to me, Kasagami. I wasn't required to do anything. This is my choice. I choose to believe that a better world is possible. I choose to believe that even someone like me can make a difference. I choose to believe in hope."

Ah, there's the smile, back in earnest on her lips, blooming like a tiny pink flower.

Kasagami discovers how soft those petals are, when Madoka is suddenly risen to her knees, and has pressed her lips to her forehead, half on skin and half on hair.

The kiss burns at her temple, but not like fire. Like anointment.

"I choose to believe in you," she finishes, in her ear. "Whether you're okay with it or not... I believe."

<Pose Tracker> Kasagami Araki [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

The shivering, at least, stops when Kassie feels those hands take hers so gently, so kindly. The care that Madoka Kaname has in her heart and soul for someone that's wronged her is beyond Kasagami's capacity to truly understand. She's selfish in so many ways, as that light is directed at her. But what she can understand is just how earnest the girl is, how honest and truthful.

Those hands may be small, but she can neither pull nor look away. The gentle way she holds may as well be steel. Better than steel, really, right now.

So much softer than any metal or wound.

Kasagami finds herself drawn to the flame, staring at it, and within the flickers of Madoka's candlelight she doesn't feel fear.

She almost debates Madoka. Over Kyuubey, over just how wrong the whole system the alien has set up is. But as she tries to argue, she finds the words won't come out. No, it's not the point. What Madoka says means so much more to Kassie. That this girl once so timid finally shows a desire to change things. To make the hard step of reaching for something. And that something is a better world.

Her jaw works, and closes. She smiles, this time sadly.

"Heh. I guess you've got me there. The moment you thought to ask the question 'Can I change things'? That's when you proved that you can make a difference. You brought people together, Madoka. With bad blood, suffering and hate. You say I saved your life?"

She tilts her head. "Helping enemies become friends and allies doesn't need a Wish. I wonder if that's the power of your hope when none of us had it..." She muses, thinking back to Sayaka and Madoka bringing everyone together.

Looking back on it, Kassie can't find it in herself to be surprised that Madoka would make this audacious choice.

The kiss to her forehead burns so gently, and without the pain. Kassie gently squeezes Madoka's hand, twin tears streaking down her cheeks.

"In me?" Repeats the Duelist in almost a whisper.

That sad smile grows. "I don't understand why you would. But maybe I don't have to. If I cling to the hope we have left...maybe I really can become that person I want to be. Make your belief in me worth it."

She looks Madoka in the eyes again, warmly. "To make this world truly a place where good girls like you don't have to choose like this when you and your family deserve so much better!" Her voice cracks, a single sob wracking her. Kasagami knows the resolution of this girl now. And in her heart, she vows it, on the crown she dreams of and the people she loves and lost.

<Pose Tracker> Madoka Kaname [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

From her knees, Madoka looks back, looks at Kassie, looks at all of her.

She does not look away, not from any of it.

She sways slightly, then shifts her weight onto one knee so that she can plant the other foot, firmly, onto the ground.

Then she stands up -- stands tall -- stands proud -- stands strong.

Her hand, rising with her, winds up resting on Kasagami's shoulder, instead. She squeezes it, squeezes her, softly.

"But don't you see?" Madoka replies--

--as the light rises up to swallow them both.

"You're already worth it."