AUTHOR'S NOTE: LAST CHAPTERRRRRRRR.
Wow, this has been a long time coming, but nearly a year and half later (thanks to two massive hiatuses) THIS STORY IS FINALLY DONE.
I won't get into the thank yous now, I'll wait till the bottom of the page.
This chapter is dedicated to Adonis1218, ChaosOrderVoid2, lordmick134, kurashibata70 and YukaAkemi.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I do own my OCs Sammy, Maya, Anastasia, Tessa, Julie and Beebe.
Chapter 12 - Aftermath
Anastasia's funeral was held exactly one week after she died. The girls had told her parents she had been attacked by a rouge bear, the same lie they'd been forced to tell Julie's parents when she'd died. Homura couldn't imagine she would ever forget the horror on Stasia's parent's faces when they'd had to tell them their eldest child was dead. She was just grateful she hadn't been their when they'd seen her body.
The whole town turned out for the funeral. Homura heard many people muttering about how horrific it was that this had happened only a year after Julie had died, and that the government would have to do something about the "bear problem." Homura felt slightly guilty since there was now a huge chance that the local bears would be driven out of their homes when they hadn't done anything wrong, but she didn't dwell on that thought; she was far too focused on trying to hold back her tears and keeping a tight hold on Sammy's hand.
All four girls were standing together, their parents close behind them. Everyone had red eyes from a mix of tears and a week of sleepless nights. The four of them had been nearly inseparable since the night that Stasia had died, and none of their parents had questioned that. Apparently it had been very similar when Julie had died; the girls practically clung to each other for support for quite a while.
In the church where the funeral was taking place, Homura noticed two young children sitting in the pew in front of her next to Anastasia's parents. The boy looked around ten and the girl around seven; both old enough to understand what was going on. Both children had looked round when they'd sat down after the coffin carrying Stasia had been brought in, and they'd smiled weakly at Sammy and the others. The girls had managed to smile back at the children, Maya even reaching out to ruffle the boy's hair. He'd started crying again then, burrowing his head into his mother's chest. Maya had started to cry too, feeling guilty for making the boy cry, which then set off all the other girls.
The little girl had knelt up in her seat and leaned over towards them, poking Tessa – who has closest to her – in the arm.
"My sissy wouldn't have wanted you to be crying," she said to them all. "She loved you guys a lot. She hated it when you were sad. So please smile, otherwise my sissy will be sad too."
All four girls stared open-mouthed at the child. She had tears in her eyes too but she was smiling through them. Her mother patted her back and she turned away from the girls to face the front again as the minister walked forward.
Homura noticed that the little girl's voice had sounded a bit thick, and her face was slightly flat. She nudged Sammy gently, and she looked up at her.
"Stasia's sister, does she have…" Homura started to ask in a whisper, but she stopped not knowing if what she was about to say was offensive or not.
Sammy nodded once. "She has Down Syndrome," she replied quietly before turning her attention back to the minister.
After the service everyone in the church walked slowly behind the funeral car the short distance to the same graveyard Julie was buried in. Homura saw Beebe perched on a wall near the gate, but she ignored her. Beebe either didn't notice or just didn't care as she hopped off the wall and followed the girls into the graveyard.
Once the coffin was lowered into the ground Anastasia's family all sprinkled some earth onto the coffin before Stasia's mother gestured for the four girls to do the same. They all did so with tears in their eyes, all reluctant to say this final silent farewell to their friend.
The funeral party left Stasia's graveside to allow the workers to bury her coffin. The four girls lagged behind the rest of the group, all of them instinctively hesitant to leave Stasia alone.
"Beebe," Maya suddenly spoke up. "When a Magical Girl dies, does their wish still get carried out?"
The other three girls stopped and stared at Maya, unsure of why she would be asking that.
Beebe nodded at Maya. "Yes. Her wish will still be fulfilled. Those are the terms of the contract."
"Hold on," Tessa interjected. "Maya, do you know what Stasia's wish was? Cause she never told the rest of us."
Maya nodded once, tears beginning to drip from her eyes once again. She raised her head up and stared after the rest of the funeral party, her eyes landing on one child in particular.
"She told me just after Homura arrived," Maya explained in a quiet voice. "She wished that Molly wouldn't be bullied when she started school."
"Molly?" Homura asked.
"Stasia's little sister," Sammy replied with a sigh. "That sounds just like her. She'd been worried about that ever since Molly was born."
"She didn't want Molly being teased for being different," Beebe said. "When I told her I could grant any wish she wanted, she agreed to the contract right away."
"If she'd known the consequences then she wouldn't have," Sammy muttered.
"I'm not so sure about that…" Tessa said. "Stasia loves Molly more than anything or anyone else. I think she would have made the contract even if she'd known how risky being a Magical Girl is."
"I think she would have too."
All four girls whirled around and gasped. Madoka was hovering right behind them and was smiling at them. From the looks on Maya and Tessa's faces, Homura was pretty certain they could see her this time.
"Madoka…" Sammy whispered in shock.
"Mado-who?" Maya said, looking very confused.
"Are…are you an angel?" Tessa asked, her eyes wide.
Madoka giggled. "Not exactly Tessa," she smiled.
Tessa stepped back slightly. "How do you know my name?"
"I'm a friend of Homura's," Madoka explained, grinning slightly at her old friend. "My name is Madoka. I was the one who sent her here to help you, and I told Sammy she was coming."
"You could have told us about this," Maya said to Sammy.
Sammy threw Maya a look. "Let's be honest, you wouldn't have believed me if I told you."
"I hate to ask this when you're all still mourning Anastasia, but I have a favour to ask of you all," Madoka said. "I need your help. There are more caves like the one you girls destroyed all over the world, and they're producing distortions as well. I need you girls to find them and destroy them too. Please."
Sammy looked at Tessa and Maya who both nodded before turning back to Madoka. "Of course," she nodded.
Homura grabbed Sammy's arm and pulled her round. "Sammy, are you sure? After what happened to Stasia?" Without waiting for Sammy to respond, Homura turned back to Madoka. "Why can't Mami, Kyoko and I handle the other caves? You don't have to bring these girls into it."
"Unfortunately, this cave was relatively small compared to the other ones," Madoka explained. "It'll take you four girls plus Mami and Kyoko to deal with the rest of them."
Sammy reached out and squeezed Homura's hand, causing her to turn around. "Homura, we want to help. Stasia would have wanted us to help."
Tessa laughed under her breath. "She would have kicked our butts if we just sat around moping."
Maya, Sammy and Homura all smiled, knowing that Tessa was right.
"But what about your parents?" Homura pointed out. "You can't just all up and leave."
"We'd have been leaving school after next summer anyway," Maya said. "Plus I think our parents all suspect something's going on. I know we can't tell them specifics but I think they'll understand."
"We're in this together now, okay Hammy-chan?" Tessa smiled.
Homura smiled back at the three girls and nodded. "Okay."
A few days later and Homura was back in Japan, sitting atop a skyscraper telling Kyubey about what had happened in America, making sure to leave out the parts about Madoka.
"So you're now going to go around destroying the rest of these caves?" Kyubey asked. "Even after what happened to the Anastasia girl?"
Homura nodded. "What else can we do? Like Tessa said, Stasia would be mad if we just sat around and didn't do anything."
Kyubey coxed his head slightly and twitched his ears. "Mami and Kyoko are hiding behind that door," he informed her.
"I know," Homura said. "They've been listening in this whole time."
Homura heard a grumble as she turned to face the blonde and the redhead. She hadn't seen them since she'd left for Alaska. Both of them had already transformed into their Magical Girl clothes.
Mami smiled. "Good to see you again Homura."
Kyoko had her hands behind her head, some kind of candy bar sticking out of her mouth. "Sorry about your friend."
Homura smiled slightly. "Thanks."
"So where are the other girls?" Mami asked.
Before Homura could reply there was the sound of footsteps and the door to the roof of the skyscraper being flung open.
"We're here!" a familiar voice called as Sammy appeared followed closely by Maya and Tessa, Beebe on Maya's shoulder. All three girls were also already transformed.
Homura grinned and stood up before hugging her three friends. They'd had to stay a few more days in America than Homura had since they had to get things organised for coming to Japan, and she'd asked them to not mention Madoka when they got here. Homura stepped back and introduced the American girls to Mami and Kyoko while Kyubey and Beebe bumped their heads together in greeting.
"We were sorry to hear about your friend," Mami said. "Anastasia, was it?"
Tessa nodded. "Homura told us about your friend Sayaka too. Sorry for your loss."
Mami and Kyoko both smiled their thanks to the three girls. All six of them then came across to stand at the edge of the skyscraper, Beebe perched on Maya's shoulders and Kyubey perched on Mami's.
"So do we think there's a cave around here somewhere?" Maya asked.
Kyoko shrugged. "We don't know for certain, but there's definitely a hell of a lot of distortions in this area."
"As good a place to start as any," Sammy agreed.
Homura looked around at the five girls standing next to her before all six of them jumped off the skyscraper together towards a horde of distortions swarming on the ground below.
Without knowing exactly why, Homura looked up at the sky while she was falling, and Maya, Sammy and Tessa did the same. As they did a bright light flashed through the sky before two girls faces appeared above them. One was Anastasia, and the other had shoulder-length dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Somehow Homura knew it was Julie. Both girls smiled at them, and they all smiled back before they disappeared.
Homura locked eyes with Sammy, Tessa and Maya in turn and they all shared a knowing look. They could do this, together with Mami and Kyoko. Madoka had trusted them, and they knew that no matter how hard it might be, they could do it.
All six girls summoned their weapons before simultaneously attacking the distortions. They had a long, hard fight ahead of them.
AN: And it is doooooooone! I'll leave it up to your imaginations what happened next with the girls :-D
Not going to lie, there were times when I seriously wished I hadn't started writing this story, but now that it's finished I'm actually pretty proud of it. And I'm pretty sure you guys have enjoyed it too, which is all that really matters.
Thank you to everyone who reads this story, or has ever followed, favourited or reviewed it. It's thanks to you guys that I ever even got this story finished.
Side note: I got twitter so please follow me on that! I'm veryberry96 on twitter too.
Hope you guys all have a great summer! Thank you again. Love you all!