T for character death and violenceWord Count:
For years, Atsuki Saijo has wanted to avenge the death of his parents, but hasn’t had the ability to do so. When a man offers him the powers he needs, Atsuki is willing to make a deal with him to gain them. But a mysterious person from one of Atsuki’s nightmares keeps trying to intervene… [Madoka Magica AU]
Atsuki hadn’t dreamt in years. Whenever he went to sleep, he’d always wake up the next morning with no recollection of any sort of dream if he was lucky. When he wasn’t as lucky, he’d wake up in the middle of the night after a horrible nightmare, struggling to breathe and calm down and get everything he’d seen out of his head. Sometimes he only saw hazy images of blood. Other times he felt like he was sitting with his father as he died again, and the way he smiled and said, “The world is full of sorrow” felt just as real as it had the first time Atsuki heard it. Sometimes he only heard screams and screeching tires and the sound of glass breaking. No matter how many times he had those same nightmares, he always tried and failed to save his family in them. The dreams were always just as overwhelmingly painful as they were the first fifty times he had to endure them, and they always ended the same way.
Every night, it was the same nightmare over and over, until one night it was something else entirely.
The first thing Atsuki knew, he was somewhere dark, somewhere empty, somewhere he’d never been before. Everything was eerie and empty, besides a fight that was going on in front of him. Beyond his reach, someone was fighting a huge metal monster all alone. Atsuki couldn’t see every detail from this distance, but it looked like a dark-haired man a bit older than him was trying to take down the monster, and he was losing. He didn’t seem to be making the smallest dents on it no matter how hard he tried.
“It’s too bad, isn’t it?”
Atsuki turned to look behind him when he heard the voice. A man with silvery blond hair dressed in all white walked up behind him and stood next to him. He gave Atsuki a small smile. “He’s going to lose. He can’t beat it on his own, and if he loses, we’re all doomed.” The man had a pleasant voice, and didn't sound the slightest bit upset over what was happening.
Atsuki looked away from the man for just a moment to look at the fight again, then looked back at him. “Can’t you help him? Do something.”
“I can’t help him. But you could,” the man replied, still smiling as he looked at Atsuki, then looked at the fight again. “If you want to.” The way he said it sounded like less of a casual offer and more of a guilt trip.
“How?” Atsuki asked, “I can’t fight things like that…” Atsuki didn’t even know what that thing was, but he was fairly certain he wouldn’t be able to scratch it before it killed him. The man that was fighting it already had to be far stronger than he was, but he was still losing.
The man in white’s smile brightened. “I could give you the power to fight things like that. I could give you the power to save him and save this entire world. All you have to do is make a contract with me.” He looked Atsuki directly in the eyes and held out his hand to him. “So what do you say?”
Atsuki woke up trembling, but he didn’t know why. What was so unsettling about the man in white, and what was so painful about seeing that stranger losing that fight? He didn’t understand his reaction or the nightmare itself at all. A simple bad dream wasn’t anything to get worked up over, anyway, no matter how vivid it was.
That’s all it was, anyway. A dream. A dream he was making too big of a deal out of. Atsuki got out of bed and got dressed and tried to pretend it never happened, just like he did with every other nightmare he had. But like his other nightmares, he couldn’t escape the feeling that what he saw was real.