I'm in that cosplay cafe again, dressed up as a femswapped version of the Winter Soldier from Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, in theaters April 4, 2014. Today there aren't as many customers for some reason, which normally would be a good thing since I'm paid salary, but that doesn't matter anyway since I'm asleep and all. Now it just means I get to stand around bored, like most chapters of this story, and wait for a few customers to show up. Slowly, those that trickle in leave just as well, until the cafe becomes emptier than a Nickelback concert at 8 in the morning.
I turn around and survey all the empty tables. A couple still have dirty dishes on them, so I guess that's something to do. However when I walk up to one of the tables I find a bill, and underneath... a ton of cash. The first tip I’ve ever gotten, which is awesome. Further still underneath is a hand-written note:
“Dear Loli Lovely,
If you're reading this, then you've passed all the tests I have to offer. You are now a true woman. I am so proud of you. Now go out and make things happen. Make daddy happy.
Antepenultimatum... What does that-- OH CRAP!
Kyoko jumped to her feet, jolting into consciousness. She looked around her and found that she was still next to the refreshments table. No sign of Sayaka, though. Music was playing on the nearby electric organ. Was it playing... Take Me Out to the Ball Game? ...Nah. Well, it looked like the wedding had already started. Homura was already up on the stand next to the minister, who was definitely also the judge at Sayaka's trial. At this point the ridiculousness of the situation didn't even faze her.
The judge, er, minister (No he's totally the judge) recited the phrases commonly heard in weddings with a furious blaze of loudness. “We are gathered here today to bear witness to the greatest marriage between two magical girls that has ever been and ever will be.”
“Hey!” Nanoha and Fate stood up in anger. Dozens of other couples followed suit.
“Silence,” the judge commanded with a most awesome fury. “Or I will hold you in contempt of the court. Do you understand me?” They all sat down very quickly. Nobody had the heart to tell the judge he wasn't in a criminal trial. Meaning, their hearts wouldn't have been able to withstand the shockwave of anger from the judge that would surely follow.
“Now, where was I? Ah yes. These two Japanese teenage girls will be married under the highest court of Mexican law there is, and their bond will remain so for the rest of eternity. Because divorce is illegal in Mexico.” Kyoko gasped. Not really, because it wasn't that shocking a revelation. Where was Madoka, though? She wasn't up on stage but the generic wedding stuff had already begun. From the (blank, nonexistant, expressionless) look on her face, Homura wasn't worried so it just meant the ceremony was happening in an unorthodox manner. Guess the author didn't care to research weddings, either? Wow, good going, you lazy ass.
As the judge blabbed on about more droll ceremonial stuff (albeit with amazing power and ferocity), Kyoko snuck around the wedding area, scouting out an empty seat. Man, it was a full house. Bob Saget was here, even! Argh, how was she going to make her grand entrance if she couldn't first be in a completely inconspicuous spot? Well, she'd have to make due, then. Makes you wish she got here a couple hours later than she really did, huh. She could have pulled a Princess Bride and fooled a bunch of guards and killed some eleven-fingered dude and shit.
Finally, some royal trumpets played a jovial tune. There she was; Madoka Kaname, followed closely behind by Maid of Honor Sayaka Miki, who was apparently trying to double as flower girl as she tossed Sakura leaves at everyone. Behind her was the ringbearer, Madoka's little brother Tatsuya. Madoka wore an elegant dress, pure white (besides the pink) and sparkling brightly (this was an exaggeration). Her hair was let down rather than the normal twintails, which looked amazing on her. And to top it all off, she was wearing her sheriff star along with it all, to prove that even at her own wedding she would not stop fighting crime.
Kyoko's heart beat faster than an atheist meth addict at the Republican National Convention. This... This was it. No going back. Madoka walked up onto the stage and glanced at Homura, who made no visual response, only blinking to acknowledge Madoka's existence. Kyoko jumped down into prone position and crawled her way over to the base of the stage. However her plan failed as dozens of guests saw her and were watching her attempt at covert action instead of the wedding.
“Pssst... Sayaka!” Kyoko whispered as loudly as she could. Sayaka looked down at the girl and gave a blank stare, her mouth ever so slightly ajar. It took several moments before she registered all this information and replied. When she did, all she did was wave. Kyoko punched her shin. “Sayaka! Why did you spike the punch and make me pass out!”
“It had to be done,” Sayaka said. She didn't bother to whisper. “I did it for your sake and the sake of everyone else. Sake for everyone!” It was astounding how much alcohol one fourteen year old girl could consume. “I didn't realize you'd pass out like that. I was ready for a great time at this wedding but you ruined it by having a crappy tolerance level.”
“Sigh,” Kyoko said.
“Yep,” Sayaka replied.
The two sat in silence for a moment, before Kyoko remembered there was an utterly urgent event going on right now. The judge was still grumbling on at a dangerously intense dB level, so it wasn't quite time to make the climactic appearance that would inevitably kick off the final battle. So she would wait for a few minutes longer.
“blah blah blah holy matrimony”
“blah do you part blah blah”
“sacred blah blah vows blah”
… Screw this.
Kyoko sprang up onto the stage and stomped. The metal clang against her foot resonated against the entire ceremony, and all went silent. The judge stopped, and the dancing lobsters subsided once more.
“Who are you?” The judge roared.
“Kyoko Sakura,” she stated. “I have to tell Madoka something!” Madoka raised an eyebrow.
“What is it, girl?” he questioned, his voice an ultimatum against all silence in the universe.
Kyoko took a deep breath. “Madoka Kaname... I.. I can't let you be married to Homura Akemi!” Not exactly what she thought she was going to say, but it worked well enough. Homura began to stare intently into Kyoko's eyes, her expression unchanged.
Madoka tried to stammer out some words. “I--”
Homura interrupted. “She has to be married, Kyoko, or the plan will not succeed.”
“But... Why does she have to marry you?” Kyoko pointed at her to increase the intimidation factor. It didn't seem to work, but Homura was at least silent for a second, trying to come up with an answer.
Finally, Homura stepped forward, raised her hand... And slapped Kyoko. “Don't do this,” she whispered in a growl that made no attempt to conceal her anger. “I'm so close, so close. I thought you would understand by now...”
“No! You don't realize. This is all a setup by Kyubey. He's been plotting this ever since I was exiled, trying to turn us all against each other so we could all turn into witches! There are no hordes of enemy witches coming to this party, just us potential witches. If you call off the wedding we can stop all of this.”
“Hahahahaha!” Homura laughed the most fear-inducing laugh Kyoko had heard since the dub of Death Note. “You were so close. So close to correct. However...” Homura's eyes flashed red. Her entire body glowed white and shrunk down. What remained was an all-too-familiar face. “You missed one crucial element, Ms. Sakura. I AM Kyubey.”