She has a nightmare (Homura Akemi)

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She has a nightmare (Homura Akemi)
Date of Cutscene: 15 December 2015
Location: Homu Home
Synopsis: There's no rest for the Homura.
Cast of Characters: Homura Akemi

Homura lies face up in her apartment, once again alone. Alone with her thoughts, her accusations, and her failures.

She's weak. She's pathetic. She wasn't as bad as Sayaka or Kyouko or Mami said she was. No, she was much, much worse.

Madoka didn't see that. She was too kind. Too sweet to see Homura for the monster she really was. Or maybe she knew all along, but forgave her anyways. Homura didn't deserve that kind of forgiveness. There was nothing redeemable left in her. Nothing worth saving.

Homura's latest failure was just one more in a long string of failures. Failures of character. Failures to protect. Failures to even fulfill her basic purpose in life. Only, this time, it wasn't Madoka that she failed. No, it was Mamoru, a friend she never even had before six months ago. There was no point in thinking about it. Focusing on despair could be lethal to a Puella Magi. It wasn't something she could afford to do. As long as Madoka was alive, Homura had a job to do. Her work wasn't done yet.

Yet, for the night, exhaustion settled on her like the weight of the world, crushing her heart and soul. She had no tears left to shed. She lacked the strength to stop the dark hands of sleep from dragging her away.

Sleep was no comfort.

Homura saw Madoka, from behind, walking down an aisle, her wrists bound together by a cord. Flanking the aisle were familiar forms. Friends of Madoka, friends of Homura, all lined up on either side. Mami, Sayaka, Kyouko and Hitomi had always been there. Nagisa, Masako, and Basu were new. Madoka's family, teachers, and even nameless classmates were here. All of them lined up to observe Madoka's path.

None of these people had a face.

Kyubey, on the other hand, had a face. He had glowing red beady eyes, and a small sacrificial knife hanging from his curled lips. He sat at the top of a bloody altar, at the end of the aisle. That was Madoka's destination.

Homura screamed. Her scream made no noise, but all of the faceless masses turned to look at her. Homura rushed down the aisle, reaching out for Madoka, but large arms caught her and held her back. Homura struggled against the forces pushing her back, uselessly. For a brief moment, Madoka turned around to look at her, giving Homura an apologetic smile, before turning towards the aisle and continuing down her path.

Homura raged. She broke through. She followed Madoka down that aisle, even as the faceless others chased her. She drew closer to her pink hair, her fluffy dress, desperate hands held out to grasp... only to catch nothing, as faceless horrors caught her once again, pulling her back, pinning her down. Homura looked up at them, and watched as the blank spaces where their faces should be began to melt. Flesh-colored droplets like wax dripped, burning Homura as they fell. As the not-faces melted away, Homura began to make out shapes underneath.

The horrific masks they wore were their true faces. Even Mami and Sayaka, once looking so righteous and proud, were absolutely terrifying underneath. Inhuman and disfigured. Homura recoiled, disgust rising from her stomach and threatening to vomit out of her throat, only to be overcome by shame crashing into her head and washing down to her arms. She knew she had a hidden face under her skin that was just like that.

Madoka climbed the steps leading up to the altar. Kyubey raised the knife, red eyes glowing with a hungry anticipation.

Then, a black-clad figure appeared, stepping between the blood-covered altar and the pink-haired sacrifice. A friend, a brother, an ally. Homura, still pinned, looked up to see his face.

The black figure turned to look at Homura, faceless like all of the others. That face melted away, revealing a horrific mask she has only seen once before. It was the mask Mamoru wore on the night he died. Homura screamed.

Homura once again stared at the blank white ceiling above her bed. Was Mamoru, in the end, just like everyone else? Corruptable? Harboring some deep darkness, just waiting for a chance to show itself? She thought back to the way he handled Usagi so carelessly, as if their love was no big deal. A prize to be displayed, instead of something precious to be treasured. Could she ever have something in common with someone like that? Was that his real face?

She couldn't believe it.

... but she didn't have any other explaination. In the end, even Mamoru was just another traitor.

Homura couldn't decide which form of treason was worse: That he turned on them, or that he died.