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Title: Memory of a Dream
Fandom: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Rating: G
Warnings: spoilers for ep. 12
Wordcount: ~400

Kaname Junko dreamed that she had a daughter, and didn't realize it was a dream until she was halfway done brushing her teeth in the morning.

Where's her toothbrush? she wondered sleepily as she blinked at the bathroom counter. Two toothbrushes on the counter — one yellow and one green — and the red one in her mouth, but where was the pink one?

Then all at once she remembered that there had never been a pink toothbrush, and there had never been a daughter to use it.

For months, Junko found herself oddly preoccupied with the lives of middle-school girls. It's almost exam time; I hope things aren't too stressful for them, she would think, though she had no reason to remember exactly when schools held their exams.

One day in October, her eye caught on a pretty pair of girls' shoes in a store window. If I had a daughter I'd give her these as a present, she thought. I wonder if she would be allowed to wear them to school?

(And then she suddenly knew that they would be acceptable under Mitakihara Middle School's uniform rules, but why on earth would she know that? And in any case, she didn't have a daughter.)

When Tatsuya was in elementary school his new tutor, Miss Shizuki, came over for the first time, and Junko's first thought was They grow up so fast! It seems like yesterday they were all little girls, and now look at Hitomi-chan, a grown-up young lady!

Then she forced a bright smile onto her face and showed the tutor up to Tatsuya's room, trying to hide the shock because she had never met Miss Shizuki before in her life, and she hadn't thought of her daughter — her not-daughter — the daughter she didn't have — in years.

At Tatsuya's wedding Junko got just tipsy enough to be giggly and affectionate. She hugged everyone in turn, her husband and her son and her new daughter-in-law, then dragged them all into a group hug and laughed at their amused, long-suffering expressions. But even with her whole family in a hug it suddenly felt like someone was missing, and she looked around in dizzy confusion.

Tatsuya's eyes caught hers and with a jolt she somehow knew that he felt the same thing. But that made no sense

He smiled and hugged her tighter, and now it wasn't like someone was missing, it was like there was someone extra, another person there with them, and somehow everything was perfectly right.
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