Grief Cubes and Contracts

Madoka explains her new business with Sayaka, involving the collection and dispersion of grief cubes. Sayaka agrees to help her find grief cubes.

Date: 2016-09-06
Pose Count: 14
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 03:34:26 53981
    There's a section of the King Penguin Park tended by Infinity University's Gardening Club, and now that school has started back up students are out caring for the plants that have gotten mildly in disarray since the end of the first term. Since it's summer this mostly means catching up on watering, and while the plants most certainly weren't allowed to die they could use more water and direct care than they'd been getting over the course of the break.

    Madoka's not a full time member of the Gardening Club but right when terms begin is usually fairly busy as there is much to catch up on. As such she's out and about in the park, wearing a pair of overalls over the top of a t-shirt the color of her usual school uniform's jacket. She's carrying around a big green watering can large enough to require both of her hands, carefully tipping it over and sprinkling a section of delicate white flowers, making sure they get enough extra water without drowning the poor things.

    Though her outfit is much in line with several other Infinity students also in the Gardening Club her hair is up in it's usual twintails and ribbons, pink and red distinctive enough to make her presence fairly obvious to anyone who knows her.
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 03:51:46 53986
    Since the fall semester started up again, Sayaka's returned to the Kendo club, having found some solace in the practice.

     With Kyouko suddenly busy all the time between her conbenie job, her newfound sister and her increasing interactions with the Sailor Senshi, Sayaka's been feeling pretty lonely, and it's the best way she can think off to keep her mind off of things.

    Today, she is also in the park, practicing her form and using her wooden sword, rather than the magical girl one she favors in her transformed state. At least for now, she's a little calmer than usual.
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 04:07:03 53990
    Madoka is making her way along the flowerbed watering the flowers, stopping every once in a while to reach down and pull a weed. It takes her a while but eventually she finishes with one bed of flowers, the pink-haired girl heading over to a small maintenance shed to fill her oversized watering can back up.

    The upside of such a large can is that it'll hold a lot of water, while the obvious downside is that it's rather heavy! That's okay though, because she's a fair bit stronger than she looks, especially with all the practice she's gotten pulling back her bowstring. The watering can is brought over to another small garden plot, Madoka all ready to set about watering it.

    Along the way, however, she notices Sayaka practicing with her sword. Setting her watering can down near the flowers she lifts one arm and calls out, "Sayaka-chan!" A happy wave is given to her friend and Madoka jogs over with a bright smile.
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 04:14:41 53993
    "Hyaaah!" she yells exhuberantly as she slices at an imaginary opponent with her wooden sword. Seems she's really getting into this. Enough that she doesnt even notice Madoka, until she calls out to her. The familiar voice is at least enough to snap her out of her reverie.

    "Phew...Madoka-chan, hey!" she smiles at her, looking a bit..Out of sorts. The exercise helped her a bit however, and she reaches for her towel nearby to wipe off the sweat. Fortunately, with summer coming to an end soon, it's getting a bit cooler these days but she's clearly been working hard.

    "How have you been? It's really been a long while since I've seen you.." Not since all that weirdness with Kyubey and those grief-cubes..Sayaka picks up her water bottle, thirstily guzzling it down as she thinks about this.
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 04:24:24 53997
    Madoka tilts her head a little when she notices that Sayaka doesn't quite seem her usual self. Still she keeps a smile on her face because it has been a while since they've talked. "I've been busy, but good. I was volunteering at the hospital a bit more since school was out and I've been working a lot with Homura-chan to get the Contractors up and running, especially now that there are Wraiths to fight."

    She lifts into her toes a little and drops down, holding her arms behind her back while she looks up to her friend, refraining from up and giving her a hug out of nowhere because she looks like she needs that water!

    "We should start seeing more of each other now that school is starting back up, though. There's so much to do when being a magical girl that I guess we haven't dome all that much together." There's a short pause and a moment of consideration and Madoka brings her hands in front of herself, pressing her fingers together and looking up hopefully, "Maybe we could go on a patrol together sometime?" Something occurs to her a moment later and she adds, "Oh, um, unless you'd want to do that alone with Kyouko-san. I'd understand if you did." Alone time can be important!
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 04:30:57 53999
    Sayaka smirks, "Heh, you work too hard sometimes, Madoka-chan! But I'm glad you've found something that you enjoy doing, and that you can put your passion into. So what's this business you're running, again? Is it like WPS, hunting monsters and witches and stuff? And how is Homura-san these days? I havent seen her around lately.."

    For once, Sayaka's tone is not sarcastic as she asks about Homura. Lately, she seems less suspicious of the other girl. "Yeah, I was never fond of school, but I miss hanging out with you, Madoka-chan! And that'd be fun, going on patrol again."

    She sighs, "I mean, these new wraiths, dont really seem as threatenning as the witches, and their loot isnt nearly as valuable, but I guess you gotta take what you can get, right?"

    Sayaka chuckles as she says that, although her face falls a bit at the mention of Kyouko. "I...Actually havent' seen much of Kyouko lately.." The bluenette frowns softly, "I suppose, between her job, taking care of her sister, and helping out the sailor senshi more and more, she's been....Busy. I just wish..I could be more a part of her life, but sometimes it just feels like she doesn't have time for me anymore.."
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 04:42:26 54003
    Madoka rubs the back of her head and laughs, "Ehehe, I don't know about too hard... but it is a lot of work." It's sort of a natural thing to compare what she and Homura are doing to WPS, though her expression is mildly pained for a moment. "W-well... kind of? We don't really do research or anything. What we're trying to do is give Magical Girls and Magical Boys a way to make a living when they fight Youma and other monsters and keep the city safe. They put in a lot of hard work and effort, so we think it's fair that their skills don't go unrewarded."

    Which reminds her actually, "Oh! One of the things we do is pay for Grief Cubes, by the way. Even used ones. It's a way of showing us you've been doing good work and if you're already fighting Wraiths it's a good way to get extra money." A soft smile is given to Sayaka, "I know you don't really need money, but you could actually make a living hunting Wraiths if you really wanted."

    Homura is brought up and it's hard to miss the sudden softness in Madoka's expression. She twists a little from side to side, "Homura-chan has been good. We've been spending a lot of time together between hunting, work, the Contractors and dates and things. She's finally getting to enjoy her life and move on after spending all that time looking out for me."

    Madoka looks rather surprised when Sayaka says she hasn't seen much of Kyouko, letting out a soft, "Oh..." Her attention focuses a bit more intently on Sayaka, "Suddenly having her little sister to worry about again must be pretty hard for her. And it's true that she's been working a lot more closely with Mamoru-kun, Kunzite-kun, and their brothers. I didn't realize you weren't seeing much of each other though, Sayaka-chan. I'm sorry to hear that."

    Now she does step forward to try and give her friend a hug, a gentle but warm one.
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 05:06:26 54009
    "Oh?" she arches a brow, looking quite interested in Madoka's new business. "Hey, that sounds like a great idea! so do you train 'em and all too, or just put a bounty on wraiths and pay those who collect the cubes? Heey, you can sign me up! I suppose I could always do with a little extra money, and sometimes it's good to be able to hand over those cubes to someone who needs them more than yourself!"

    Sayaka smiles a bit again at the mention of Homura. "I guess my relationship with Homura-san has been...Rocky, at best, but after seeing the state she was in just before she witched.." She sighs, shaking her head, "I guess I saw a lot of myself in her. And..Maybe I felt a little sorry for her, not that she'd appreciate that, proud as she is!" Sayaka grins and winks teasingly at Madoka as she says that, hoping she doesn't take it the wrong way.

    However, the topic moves back to Kyouko again, and she's glad for the hug, returning it with some urgency in her movements. Sayaka's eyes reflect a strange loneliness. "I just...Wish I could be a part of her world..It's like, she's got her sister back, so she's no longer lonely. And she's practically a senshi and I'm not, so I kinda feel like I dont get to join her or help her on senshi missions. Suddenly I feel like the awkward outsider, the third wheel, so to speak.."
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 05:19:38 54012
    Madoka considers for a moment on training, "Well... I guess we try to look after them and give them help if they're new, but there's nothing strict like actual training. At least there hasn't been just yet." She smile brightly to Sayaka when she asks to sign up, "Sure! We have a clinic right next to the Karaoke Crown in the Neon District. Since you're a Puella Magi yourself you can go ahead and use them first if you want, but that is one of the reasons we collect them. If there are any Puella who are really desperately low on magic we'll give them some Cubes to hold them over. It also means other kinds of magical heroes can fight them and we can make sure the Grief Cubes get to people who need them; though we also ask people who know Puella Magi to give them to them first and then turn them in once they're used up." Madoka wrinkles her nose, "It wouldn't be very nice to sell them instead of giving them to someone who needs them, after all."

    Madoka sees the wink given to her and giggles at the joke, "Well, maybe she'd appreciate it a little bit..!" Slightly more seriously she adds, "The two of you haven't always gotten along together perfectly, but that's okay. I don't think Homura-chan really resents anything that's happened between the two of you, especially when something like that has put things into perspective for her." Becoming a Witch seems to be able to change the way someone looks at the world; there's not much harder of a rock bottom than being completely overwhelmed and overcome by despair.

    When Sayaka hugs her back Madoka leans into her and squeezes her more closely, sensing the urgency and wanting to be there for her friend. "Aww, I'm sorry to hear that. I had no idea you felt like you were being left behind. She's been through so much since she's come to Mitakihara. ...I can't really imagine what it must be like to have a family member come back like that." Madoka's voice is soft and quiet. She was so happy to hear that Kyouko was becoming closer to Mamoru and that they were both going to be able to have families again, but she never considered that that might come at a cost to one of her other friends. "Have you tried talking to her about it? She might just be so involved with everything that she doesn't realize you're feeling left out."
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 05:30:25 54015
    Sayaka grins, "Heh, Homura-san's always been stubborn..But maybe one day we can be...I dunno, friends? I'm just glad that such an intelligent and capable girl is watching your back, protecting you. Not that you need protecting, now that you're one of the most powerful Puella out there! But, y'know, with all the dangers out there.."

    However, right now, she's more interested in Madoka's and Homura's side business, and she nods a few times as Madoka explains it. "Sounds like a really good idea! I mean, especially now that the grief cubes dont purify our gems nearly as efficiently as grief seeds..I haven't stopped looking for seeds though. And I suppose Puella still run the risk of transforming into witches...." for a moment, Sayaka falls silent as she ponders something..

    Then the topic returns to Kyouko, and she sighs, "I guess...I just haven't seen her in so long, that I haven't had the chance..I suppose, I'll have to try and find her.." Sayaka frowns, "Of course, it'd be awkward too. I mean, I wouldn't want to seem like a spoiled brat, demanding all of her attention."

    Sayaka smiles sadly, "Although I do miss the good old days when it was just her and me against the world. Now she's a big sister, a sailor senshi, a conbenie worker..And I just dont know where I fit in with all of that anymore. I mean, dont get me wrong! It's everything she always wanted. A place to belong, people who cared about her, but...Now it's like our roles are reversed, you know?"
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 05:44:31 54018
    Madoka doesn't take any offense, nodding happily in agreement, "It's nice knowing she's always there to look after me. I may not be a veteran yet but I try to look out for her, too. We're starting to be a pretty good team together." She also can't help but agree with the dangers of the world, "It is dangerous... and without Grief Seeds we have to be a lot more careful, too. Even if a fight doesn't kill us if we have to spend too much magic healing, or use to much winning the fight it can be bad for us in the long term. Luckily Homura-chan really knows what she's doing."

    Madoka giggles happily as the Contractors is praised. "The lack of Witches has been really hard on us. We can't even say that people aren't getting hurt now either, because of those Wraiths. It's a lot less stressful, worrying about running out of magic when we can get Grief Cubes, though." She gives a small nod then, her voice quieter, "We do. Before Witches could have come from Familiars, but if there are any now we know for sure it's because a Puella Magi transformed into a Witch. As important as Grief Seeds are... if that happens I'm going to do my best to try and save them."

    Madoka gives Sayaka another squeeze before pulling away from her, "You won't seem like a brat. You should go talk to her. If you're worried about finding her you could probably go talk to people at Mamoru-kun's apartment; people are kind of hanging out there all the time and I'm sure if Kyouko-san isn't there someone could tell you where she is." Madoka herself doesn't really hang out there all that often, but then she spends most of her freetime with Homura these days anyway.

    "I think I understand. I'm sorry if you feel like you're getting left behind, Sayaka-chan. I don't know what it must be like for her to find a family after she'd felt like she'd never have one again." Madoka almost wonders if what Sayaka's saying means Kyouko isn't really in an emotional place that leaves her open to romantic relationships at all, but she doesn't want to put such a gloomy idea into her friends head, especially not when it'd only be speculation. "Maybe you should go talk to her and let her know that? That you're happy for her. Everything must be so overwhelming for her right now, but if you've been away from her for so long maybe you should try to go spend time around her and remind her she has that to be happy about as well?"
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 05:52:59 54019
    Sayaka nods and smiles, "Yeah, you two do make a great team..And I hope I can be of help in finding and bringing back lots of grief seeds. Have you had a lot of good feedback from that program? I'm sure a lot of lives will have been saved because of your kidness and consideration, but..Dont stretch yourself too thin! Now that you're going back to school, and helping out with all these clubs.."

    She points to the gardening she's doing, and there's the hospital too, "And spending time with Homura even, I hope you have time for yourself. I'll work extra hard to find lots of grief seeds so you dont overwork yourself.." At the very least, it'll keep her occupied, so she doesn't feel so lonely all the time.

    Madoka mentions Mamoru's apartment and sayaka smirks, "Yeah, I guess he fits the job description of 'Prince' pretty well, huh..I mean, I dont know everything there is to know about him beyond that, but I am curious. Maybe I will drop by and visit him sometime soon. It's been a while since I've seen him, afterall..I'm sure he wouldn't mind, right? I mean, there arent any evil alien plants trying to kill him or evil queens trying to kill his girlfriend or anything else of the like, right? At least i hope things are quieter for him and his friends now.."

    As for Kyouko, Sayaka takes in her advice, nodding here and there thoughtfully, "Yes, you're right. I guess I'll go and look for her and get this out into the open. I just...Hope that...But no.." She shakes her head as an unsettling thought pours over her. Had Kyouko found other more important things in her life than Sayaka? But maybe she's getting too far ahead of herself.
Madoka Akemi 2016-09-06 06:02:28 54021
    Madoka nods, "A bit! I think things have been working out so far. We've bought a fair number of Cubes and given some of them away." She considers for a moment before noting, "If you're fighting all the time you should probably keep them for yourself though, Sayaka-chan. There's no reason not to keep your Soul Gem clean and shiny, especially since it takes a while to use the Cubes. Still, bring the used ones to us because you still deserve to get paid for all the hard work you do." She smiles brightly, "I know you take your job as a Puella Magi seriously."

    She then giggles a little in embarrassment, "Well... I probably won't be going to clubs as much as I used to, but they still want to keep me on their rolls just in case." When having time to herself is mentioned Madoka blushes, "I don't really feel like I need all that much time to myself anymore, but I'll try not to overwork myself." She doesn't quite want to rub in that her alone time is now generally spent on girlfriend time.

    A very quick nod is given to Sayaka when she notes that Mamoru probably wouldn't mind her dropping by, "No, I'm sure he'd be happy to see you again. You were a big help at the north pole, and even before then when Kyouko-san was brainwashed." She then nods about things being quieter, "I think they have been quiet for a little while, at least when it comes to dangerous things. I think mostly they're trying to get settled in together. Though... I'm sure you are one of his friends too, Sayaka-chan! There's usually people there even if Mamoru-kun isn't, you should go say hi!"

    If Sayaka is feeling lonely injecting her into a group of friends who likely all have good opinions of her surely should help, right?
Sayaka Miki 2016-09-06 06:17:49 54022
    "Yeah.." She nods, "I can do that..Thanks again Madoka, for your advice!" the pink-haired girl is given one last warm smile before Sayaka realizes she has some stuff to take care of, and she begins packing up her belongings, stuffing them into her duffel bag.

    "Perhaps Mamoru-san or Kunzite-san can give me further insight on Kyouko-chan as well. i'm glad that they're not being threatenned lately, and I still owe them a favor for helping me out in the past too!"

    Swinging the bag over one shoulder, she gives Madoka one last quick hug. "Thanks again, Madoka-chan! I feel a bit better now, talking to you, I'm sure..Things will work out okay in the end, right?" And with a hurried wave, she rushes off.