I Don't Have to Prove Myself to Anyone
A Puella Magi Madoka Magica and A Hat in Time Crossover

Notes: Puella Magi Madoka Magica-wise, this one-shot is set the timeline before the show begins. Naturally, massive spoilers for the series are featured, but if you're in this fandom, you should know them by now.

A Hat in Time-wise, this one-shot is set during the events of the main campaign, while Hat Kid is still collecting Time Pieces in Mafia Town. No spoilers for the game are featured.


Mitakihara City
Devastated Streets

Why do I keep failing…?

As I sat in the ruined streets of Mitakihara City, holding Madoka Kaname in my arms, all I could do was mull over that one thought.

Why do I keep failing…?

Why can I never save the one I love…?

"…I'm sorry, Homura."

I brought my gaze onto Madoka's face. Somehow, despite all the pain she was in, she looked so at peace. (She always was so strong…)

"It should be me saying that," I choked out, struggling to hold back my tears. "I'm the one who's supposed to protect you…!"

"I know. But—I can't just sit there and watch you risk your life for me alone." She brought a hand to my cheek and smiled. "You're my friend. If doing this means being there for you, then—that's enough for me."

you deserve so much more than that.

The whole point of me going back in time, trapping myself in this endless maze, is so I can give Madoka the happy life I could only dream of. Again and again I've tried my best, but… I've never, ever gotten any closer to winning.

In fact, things have only ever gotten harder.

…is this all I can do?

Have I reached my limit…?

Maybe it's a death wish to keep going for this, but—Madoka's my whole world!

The kindness that she showed me, I have to repay it to her in full!

If I can't do this, then—

what good am I for?

"I hope my wish will be enough for you, too," she added. "My wish for you to have an easier time." With tears in her eyes, she brought her hand back down. "You deserve a break, too, after everything you've done. So please… don't forget that. Promise?"

I closed my eyes and nodded. "P-Promise."

"That's… good…"

Madoka went limp in my arms. I set her on the ground as her Soul Gem began to blacken completely, and reached for the gear in my shield.

As Kriemheld Gretchen once more entered this world, I twisted it all the way—and lamented how this latest failure had gone.

If only things could be that easy, Madoka…

Location: ?

…this… isn't my hospital bed.

What the hell…?

Instead of being whisked away to the start of the month, as has always been the case… I found myself in some sort of—rainbow void. There was nothing in sight, no one in range.

"Is this another aberrant timeline…?" I wondered, tensely glancing around. "Why would I be sent here? My powers only take me back in time, so what is—?"

Then, I saw it.

Or rather, I saw her.

A young girl, well within the age range for being a Magical Girl, stood just a little ahead of me. She wore a purple cape and yellow cape, the latter of which sported a large zipper—and a prominent purple-and-yellow top hat sat neatly atop her head.

She was a clear outlier, someone distinct from even the likes of Oriko Mikuni and Kirika Kure.

But more importantly, she was…


No one is around to help

Life is hard, life is stressful

I need peace and tranquility

I don't have to prove myself to anyone

Words drifted up from the bottom of my vision, hovering a little beneath the girl.

They were… strange, and yet, they were oddly compelling.

It was as if this realm perfectly understood what I had been going through.

"Who are you?" I asked her, pursing my lips. "Are you… here to help?"

She didn't reply, instead continuing to dance with her arms swinging, her legs bending—and bearing a smug face I'd expect to see more from Kyoko.

Then, the previous phrases were replaced with a new prompt.

Should I make life a bit easier for you?


A single question, with two buttons hanging in the air above it.

Yes, or no.

I recalled what Madoka wished for this timeline.

'For you to have an easier time.'

I didn't fully understand what was going on, but I did know this:

If I don't take this chance, I might not ever get another.

I looked into the girl's eyes again. Half-lidded, they were almost beckoning me to take the leap.

'This is a no-judgement zone,' they seemed to say. 'Whatever decision you make, I won't blame you for it.'

Should I make life a bit easier for you?


I sighed.

What do I have to lose?

I held a finger, and tapped the leftmost button.


The hat-wearing kid seemed to smile.

Presto! This Death Wish is now easier!

Location: ?

"Hat Kid, I don't think you should really be poking her so much."

"She just showed up on my ship! What else do I do with her?"

"You could wait! It's not like she's gonna do anything!"

"Nah, that's not any fun! I'll gonna keep poking 'er! Poke, poke, poke~"

My eyes shot open.

Immediately, I backflipped up and away from the two voices' owners. They yelped in surprise, myself barely resisting the urge to reach into my shield and pull out one of my (stolen) guns.

"Who are you!?" I demanded to know. "And where have you taken me!?"

There were two girls in front of me. One was blonde-haired, wore a red cape and hood, and for some reason was growing out a mustache. The other was brown-haired, wielding a sky blue umbrella, and—

—and was a perfect match for the girl I had seen in the rainbow void from before.

Could it be…?

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, c-calm down!" the mustached girl said, arms flailing about. (She reminded me a lot of Kyoko.) "We're not the bad guys or anything!"

"Yeah!" hat girl nodded. "'Sides, we should be asking you that! You just showed up on my ship all of a sudden! I think I have the right to ask intruders what the heck's going on first!"


It was then that I took notice of where I was: a massive living room with a level of technology beyond even Mitakihara City. Screens and mechanical doors lay on the walls as confirmation—and even more bafflingly, the giant windows ahead showed that this whole place was in space.


My flabbergasted feelings must've been obvious. The hat-wearing girl replied soon after, "Wow! For somebody who's practically made of time, you look like you've never seen space before!"

"I… haven't." I brought my arms down in realization. "I'm… not on Earth anymore, am I?"

"Assuming you're not hallucinating Earth's existence, nope!" the brunette smiled widely. "I'm Hat Kid, interstellar traveler! And this is my new best friend, Mustache Girl! We're on a quest to reclaim all my lost Time Pieces over the planet over there!" She pointed to the window, where a bright blue globe sat just outside.

"Seeing as you smell a lot like time, I think we can really help out each other!" she continued, swinging her umbrella over her shoulder. "It's not like I've got anything more to lose so, why not?"

"I'm not sure what the 'smell like time' thing is about," Mustache Girl admitted—"but us kids have to stick together! And any enemy of the Mafia of Cooks is a friend of mine!"

"So, what do you say?" Hat Kid stuck out a hand. "Wanna join us?"

I stared at her for a bit.

I was far from everything I've ever known—from Kyubey, from Mami, from Kyoko and Sayaka—

But above all… I was far from Madoka.

If she was here, she'd waste no time in making friends with these two. Me, on the other hand; I struggle to keep myself together on any given day.

Still, she'd want me to at least try…

…and after so many timelines, I could do with taking a small break.

"Homura Akemi," I introduced myself, shaking her hand. "Time-traveling Magical Girl, and… on a vacation, apparently. If you can get me back home after everything is said and done, then we have a deal."

Mustache Girl grinned. "Great! With the three of us united, there's nothing stopping us from turning the Mafia into jars of jelly! We're gonna show them what it means to cross a hero of justice, full stop! HA HA!"

"Yeah! Down with the Mafia!" Hat Kid cheered.

I watched the two interact excitedly with one another, bemused.

What have I gotten myself into?

I've been listening to Man on the Internet's version of Peace and Tranquility a lot lately. And while I was doing so, I remembered how both Puella Magi Madoka Magica and A Hat in Time share a few key components.

Namely, time travel elements, and a villain who happens to deal with souls.

(Although, the Snatcher is arguably a lot less nightmarish than Kyubey, ironically enough.)

That naturally got me thinking about Death Wish, and then about its Peace and Tranquility mode. One thing led to another, and now we have this.

Being Meguca may be suffering, but it doesn't have to be this way.

Because now, for the low, low price of 77 Pons, you too can make the Meguca Death Wish easier for all.

Homura Akemi needs your Pons. What are you waiting for?