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Old 2012-03-03, 13:18   Link #123
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Mami Lives Chapter 5
Mami Romance Chain

Mami, with Kyubey perched upon her shoulders, had just made that suggestion to me after meeting up with Sayaka and I at our lockers prior to the start of classes on Monday morning. Given the timing of the suggestion, it took me by surprise. Sayaka and I cried a lot at Hitomi's funeral yesterday, and I was still feeling a little bit sad over Hitomi's passing. So the idea of taking a trip to the beach so soon after the loss of a dear friend struck me as a bit strange, maybe even inappropriate.

“A trip to the beach...” I replied under my breath, trying to absorb Mami's suggestion.

“Right.” Mami said, before restating her suggestion, “I think that this Friday would be an excellent opportunity for you and I to go on a weekend trip to the beach. After all, we picked up new swimwear only a few days ago, and I also have a convenient place for us to stay at there!”

“What beach would we be going to? And what convenient place are you referring to?” I asked, as I was curious about the idea in spite of my current misgivings with it.

“The Goza Shirahama beach.” Mami answered enthusiastically, “It's about a two hour bus ride from Mitakihara City, so it would have to be an overnight trip. Kazuki Kudo owns a nice beach house there, and he told me on Saturday that I could make use of it this coming weekend if I wanted to.”

“The Goza Shirahama beach is a great beach from what I've heard.” Sayaka stated, while she held her chin in her hand and started making a proud playful face, “It's a clear beach with white sands covering the shallow seashore for long distances. It's the perfect beach for a romantic getaway!”

Sayaka teasingly winked at me after saying that. I blushed a bit over that, as I could see what was going on here. Still, my worries over Mami's suggestion remained.

“Are you sure it's appropriate for Mami and I to go to the beach so soon after... ?” I began to ask Sayaka before Mami interjected.

“That's part of the reason why I think that now's a good time, Madoka.” Mami said in a deeply sympathetic tone, “It's important to honour the passing of friends and loved ones, but it's also good to find enjoyable activities to do that can take your mind off of such losses, better enabling you to embrace life again. I know someone who struggled to do that, and that may have contributed to how cynical and jaded she became after enduring a very tragic loss.”

There was a certain wisdom in Mami's words that resonated with me.

“Mami's right, Madoka.” Sayaka said, before leaning in closer to whisper to me, “Besides, this is part of the reason why I became a magical girl, so that you and Mami could enjoy a more happy and normal relationship. You and Mami can have a nice trip to the beach this weekend while I take care of magical girl duties here.”

“Well, it does sound like a great idea.” I said, “But aside from family vacations and sleepovers at friend's places, I've never been away from my home. If I'm going to go on a long trip with you, Mami, then I would want to get mama's approval first, and...”

“It probably would be a good idea for me to meet your parents soon, anyway.” Mami interjected, with a thoughtful look in her eyes, and a slight smile on her face, “So why don't I accompany you home today, and pay you and your parents a visit? While I do so, we can hopefully earn their approval of us taking a weekend trip to the beach.”

If not for how I had recently revealed to mama that I'm a lesbian, this idea would have scared me a bit and left me feeling very anxious. But thanks to telling mama about that, I felt a bit more comfortable with the idea of introducing Mami to my parents. I'm still a little bit nervous about it, of course, but Mami is very polite and well-spoken so I'm confident that it should all work out well as long as I keep my wits about me.

“Ok.” I said, after taking a brief moment to consider Mami and Sayaka's words, “That's fine with me. It's a great idea, Mami!”

“I'm glad you agree.” Mami said, while flashing a bright smile in my direction, “Anyway, I better get going to my own classes now, especially since I don't want to make you and Sayaka late for yours. I'll meet you here after school, Ok?”

“Ok!” I replied energetically.

After that, Sayaka and I waved goodbye to Mami and Kyubey while we made our way to class.

There was still a sombre and reserved mood in the class given Hitomi's recent passing, but as the day went on, I think that things were starting to get back to normal. It was thankfully an uneventful and unremarkable school-day, as I think my entire class wanted stability to return after the shocking events of last week.

During lunch break, Sayaka and I made our way to our usual spot on the school's rooftop. While there, Sayaka told me about the exciting time she had tracking down a couple powerful witches over the weekend.

The first witch was a TV and amusement park-themed witch that her and Mami had defeated together. Sayaka talked about how fun it was to watch Mami blow TV screens into sparkling smithereens. Sayaka expressed some pride over how she was the one to deliver the final blow in that first witch fight.

The second witch was one that looked like she was inside of gigantic birdcage. Mami had watched on while Sayaka had fought that witch alone, as Mami wanted to make sure that Sayaka was ready for solo witch hunts in case Mami wasn't around to help her.

While it was interesting to hear about these witch fights from Sayaka, what I was most curious about was how Kamijo was doing, given how Sayaka had made a wish largely for his benefit. So I decided to question Sayaka about it.

If you chose B for Choice M3, read Section Thankful Violinist. Otherwise, skip over it.

Spoiler for Thankful Violinist:

Sayaka then explained to me how deeply moved she was by hearing and watching Kamijo perform a violin recital on the rooftop of the hospital during Saturday. She said that no matter what else would come from her wish, that one moment was worth it all.

As I thought about the good that had arisen from Sayaka's wish here, I couldn't help but wonder if I had made the right choice in not making a wish to bring Hitomi back to life.

My mind would be plagued with guilt over that during much of the rest of the school day, but I would force such thoughts out of my mind so I would be in a better state of mind for introducing Mami to my parents.

Mami met up with me at my locker right after classes ended for the day. She told Sayaka that she intended to meet up with her later this evening after she was done visiting my place. Sayaka nodded in agreement with that, and waved goodbye to Mami and I while wishing us luck. I appreciated the gesture, although it did cause me to have that feeling of having butterflies in my stomach.

Mami and I then began to slowly walk towards my home, side by side. After we were on the forested trail just beyond our school, she took hold of my hand and made a radiant smile towards me.

“Don't worry.” she said to me, “From what Sayaka told me over the weekend, your mother is a very mature and understanding person. I'm sure it'll all go well.”

“I hope so.” I replied, before chuckling nervously, “I might stammer a bit and act a bit shy though. Please don't hold it against me if I do that.”

Mami giggled a bit over that, while bringing her free hand up over her mouth.

“W-What's so funny?” I asked her, feeling a bit hurt by her laughter.

“It's nothing to be upset about.” Mami said towards me with a playful grin, “In fact, your... very girlish nature is something that I really like about you, Madoka.”

“Thanks.” I replied with a slight smile and a blush, as I could tell that Mami was sincerely complimenting me here.

It wouldn't be much longer until Mami and I arrived at my home.

“Wow, Madoka, what a beautiful home with such serene scenery all about it!” Mami exclaimed, upon seeing my home for the first time, “Your home looks modern yet also attractively quaint. And all the lush forestry around it makes it so warm, picturesque, and inviting.”

“Thanks.” I replied, “My parents, especially my mama, really likes having a home that lets them get away from it all. Our home is a great place to recharge your batteries, as mama likes to put it.”

“Yes, I can see how that would be the case.” Mami responded in a sweet tone of voice, although I was troubled by the slight sense of regret that I saw wash over her face.

Was Mami envious of the house and family I had to come home to? I hope not, but I could understand it if she was. But I had to put that aside for now, in order to properly introduce Mami to my parents.

“Mama, papa, I'm home!” I shouted out, as Mami and I walked in through the front door, and laid my schoolbag down on the floor, “And I have a new friend with me that I want to introduce you too!”

“A new friend?” Mami asked teasingly, raising an eyebrow, while she smirked a little towards me.

Before I could respond to Mami, though, I heard mama call back out to me.

“Welcome home!” Mama cried out to me, “You and your new friend can come join us in the kitchen.”

A minute later, Mami and I walked into the kitchen. There sitting at the table was my mama, wearing her usual work attire. I guess that she had arrived home early from work. Sitting in the highchair was my younger brother Tatsuya. He was playing with some little toy cars, while trying to imitate the sound of a race car motor. I think that Mami was greatly amused by that.

“And you are?” Mama asked, addressing Mami.

“My name is Tomoe Mami.” she replied, while bowing slightly, “It's good to finally meet you, Mrs. Kaname. To set the record straight, I'm your daughter's girlfriend.”

Mami had a funny grin on her face while she said that. This combined with the words themselves, and mom's response of “... I see” to it, caused me to chuckle a bit nervously.

If you chose A for M Opportunity Choice 2, then now read Section Mami Tomoe's Bold Confirmation. Otherwise, read section Junko Kaname Talks to Mami.

Spoiler for Mami Tomoe's Bold Confirmation:

Spoiler for Junko Kaname Talks to Mami:

“So, Mami Tomoe is it?” Mama asked, just to make sure she had her name right.

“That's right.” Mami answered, “I'm a 9th Grade student at Mitakihara Middle School.”

“... Twistchy!” exclaimed Tatsuya, taking note of Mami's hair, “Gooood for CARS!”

Tatsuya then reached one hand out towards Mami's hair and starting playing with it with his stubby fingers. Mami laughed over the gesture, before smiling pleasantly at my younger brother. Tatsuya then tried to use Mami's hair as a curvy raceway for his toy cars. That unfortunately ended up with one of Mami's curls getting a bit messed up while Tatsuya's cars crashed to the floor below, as Mami's curls couldn't support their weight of course.

“No!” cried Tatsuya, as though in shock and horror, “Cars fall down, go BOOM!”

“Sorry about that.” Mama said to Mami, while I laughed uneasily over Tatsuya's behaviour.

“No, it's Ok.” Mami replied warmly to my mama, “I'll get his cars for him.”

Mami then leaned over and reached down to pick up Tatsuya's toy cars, and hand them back to him.

“Here you go!” Mami said enthusiastically to Tatsuya, as she handed him his three toy cars, “Enjoy your VROOM VROOM cars!”

VROOM VROOM!” Tatsyua exclaimed in reply.

“This red car has a special name.” Mami said to Tatsuya, while pointing one finger at the car in question.

“Whatsitsname?!” Tatsuya shouted in eager question.

“It's a Rosso Fantasma car.” Mami answered with a playful grin.

ROSSSSO PANTAZZZMAAA!” shouted Tatsuya, holding the red car high above his head like it was a great reward.

Mami giggled over Tatsuya's words and actions here.

“You're pretty good with kids.” Mama said with a smile towards Mami, before turning her attention back to me, “Not bad, Madoka. You made a good catch here!”

Mom!” I piped up in extreme embarrassment over her words.

“Don't worry about it, Madoka, it's fine.” Mami replied, before turning her attention back to my mama, “In fact, I'm very glad you seem to be so accepting of it, Mrs. Kaname.”

“Madoka is 14 now, so there's some choices that I think she's ready to make for herself.” Mama replied, “Still, since you are here, there are some questions I'd like to ask you directly.”

“I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.” Mami replied.

“Let's start with the beginning then.” Mama responded, “How did you meet Madoka?”

“There's a great story behind that.” Mami answered with a smile, “A friend of mine was chased by a bully into a closed-off section of the nearby mall. My friend called out for help.”

Mami then turned her face towards me, while she made a beaming smile towards me.

“Madoka and our mutual friend Sayaka responded to my friend's call for help, and raced him to safety, where I met up with him.” Mami continued, “That's the first time I met Madoka, as well as the first time I met Sayaka. I was impressed by their heroism, and the three of us struck up a quick friendship.”

Mami's words made me blush with embarrassed pride. It was nice to think back on how I first met Mami, although it was a bit funny and unfortunate to hear Homura characterized as a bully!

“Madoka, you never told me about that.” Mama asked me, with a touch of concern in her voice.

“I didn't want to worry you.” I replied, “Especially since everything seemed to work out fine. We didn't get hurt! Sayaka, Mami, and I are all fine.”

“That's right.” Mami chimed in to support me here, “Shortly after Madoka and I became good friends, she... confessed romantic feelings to me, and I was very moved by that, and so I gladly accepted her confession.”

I blushed deeply over remembering that, and I think that even Mami blushed a bit over being this open about it all. As for mama, I think that she was mainly surprised that I had made the “first move”. It took her a moment to get over that surprise, before she continued to talk with Mami.

“Well, you certainly seem like a nice and mature young woman.” Mama said to Mami, “But because of that, I'm going to ask you this straight out: Do you love Madoka?”

“Yes, I do.” Mami said, with no hesitation and a touch of passion in her voice, “Your daughter is a very important person to me, Mrs. Kaname.”

I was relieved to see mama making a relaxed smile over all of this. I could tell that Mami had won her over!

“I'm glad to hear you say that.” Mama said to Mami after a slight pause, “Let me go get my husband. He's working in the garden right now, but he probably should meet you as well.”

Mama then went and brought papa back with her to meet Mami. I was very happy to see Mami make a great first impression on both of my parents! Mami, my family, and I chatted a lot over the next couple of hours, including dinner.

During the Dinner conversation, Mami brought up her beach trip idea to my parents. My parents thankfully approved of Mami's idea! I was extremely pleased by everything going so well.

After Dinner, Mami told my parents, brother, and I that she had to get going now. Mama told Mami that she's welcomed to drop by my home whenever she'd like to. Papa agreed with that. I think that Mami was touched by how quickly my family had embraced her.

I then bid Mami goodbye at the door.

“I'm so glad it went really well.” I whispered to Mami, as I leaned in close to her.

“I was confident that it would.” Mami replied to me, as she placed one hand on my shoulder, “You have a wonderful family, Madoka...”

“Thank you.” I replied, although I once more could sense a touch of regret coming from Mami.

“Anyway, I can't wait for our beach trip!” Mami exclaimed with a smile.

“Me too!” I cheerfully replied with a smile.

“I'll see you after school tomorrow.” Mami said to me, “Goodbye for now.”

Mami then leaned in to give me a quick goodbye kiss. She then left, with us waving goodbye to each other.

Today had been a great day! After the tragedy of Hitomi's passing, it felt so refreshing for genuine happiness to once more take hold of my life. I couldn't wait for the coming weekend's beach trip! I was so looking forward to spending time with my precious Mami-san...

Through all of this, it was easy to forget all about the world of magical girls and witches, even as Mami and Sayaka were now big parts of that world. I wondered how long this blissful avoidance of that world could continue for me...

__________________________________________________ ___________

Mami Lives, Sayaka Romance Chain

Around noon time Sunday, Sayaka would arrive at my place. Now that Sayaka was my girlfriend, I have to admit that every planned meeting with her brought with it an added bit of anticipation and excitement. It was silly, I know, but my heart and mind couldn't help feeling this way.

So when I heard a knock on the door around noon time, Sunday, I excitedly leaped out of the couch I was sitting on, and raced to the door. I then eagerly pulled the door back.

“Good morning, Madoka!” Sayaka shouted with a smile and a slight blush.

“Hi!” I exclaimed, as I gave her a quick and firm hug before inviting her inside.

I think that mama caught a glimpse of me instinctively hugging Sayaka, and it made her raise an eyebrow.

“Is anything wrong?” Mama asked of Sayaka and me.

“Oh, no, everything's fine Mrs. Kaname.” Sayaka said with a dismissive wave of her hand and a brief chuckle after I released her from my hug.

“So what do you and Madoka have planned for today?” Mama asked Sayaka.

“Um, well, I was going to visit Kyousuke at the hospital, and I was hoping that Madoka could accompany me for that.” Sayaka answered.

That explanation was fine with my mom, so after I grabbed a quick bite to eat, Sayaka and I headed off for the day.

“Do you really intend to visit Kamijo today?” I asked Sayaka, as the two of us walked side by side after leaving my home.

“Actually, I do.” Sayaka answered, “...I mean, if you don't mind.”

“No, I don't mind.” I replied, “I'm fine with you still caring about Kamijo, and he probably needs all the support he can get.”

“Right.” Sayaka stated, “Don't worry. My heart is settled. You come first in my life now, Madoka...”

Sayaka's words warmed my heart, and were welcomed reassurance to me, especially since she took hold of my hand while she said those words. But I had to admit that it felt a bit awkward to accompany my new girlfriend as she paid a hospital visit to a guy she once had a crush on.

Still, Kamijo truly did need the support. It would be cruel and callous of me to want Sayaka to stop visiting him in the hospital. And from a practical standpoint, it was probably best if I did accompany Sayaka on such hospital visits just to make sure her romantic feelings for him wouldn't crop back up after visiting him.

After arriving at the hospital, Sayaka went up to Kamijo's room on one of the higher floors while I waited on a bench on the first floor of the hospital. I was surprised to see Kyubey appear before me!

'Good day, Madoka' he said telepathically to me

'Good day' I replied telepathically, 'But shouldn't you be with Mami right now?'

'Mami is an experienced magical girl, and can look after herself.' Kyubey responded, 'The person that concerns me the most is you, Madoka.'

I was a bit surprised by Kyubey's words here. After Sayaka and I had made it clear yesterday that we had no intentions of becoming magical girls, I didn't expect to see more of Kyubey except when I met up with Mami.

'Why are you concerned about me?' I asked him telepathically.

'I've noticed that your relationship status with Sayaka Miki has changed.' he replied, 'My understanding of humans is certainly not perfect, but I do know of the problems that can arrive from humans having split motivations.'

So Kyubey knows about how Sayaka and I are now girlfriends! I hope that he hasn't told Mami, as I'd hate for her to find out about it that way.

'What do you mean by split motivations?' I asked Kyubey telepathically.

'I can tell that Sayaka still cares deeply for Kyousuke Kamijo.' Kyubey began in answer, 'Based on my experience with other humans, such feelings could prove a hindrance to her growing relationship with you. I find that many humans like to have one other particular person that they devote their cares and emotions to, and I think that Sayaka Miki is one such human. So her being split between you and Kyousuke Kamijo could cause some unfortunate problems.'

Kyubey's words reflected some lingering worries that I still had, uncomfortably bringing them back up to the surface.

'Then what do you suggest?' I asked him telepathically.

'I'm not making suggestions, merely observations.' Kyubey answered, 'One such observation is that if Kyousuke Kamijo's hand was to be healed, Sayaka would have much less reason to continue to be concerned about him. It would likely make it easier for her to focus all of her cares and emotions on you, and isn't that what you would want, Madoka?'

'So are you saying that I should wish for Kamijo's hand to be healed?' I replied after a brief pause.

'As I made clear, I'm only making observations.' Kyubey responded while closing and reopening his eyes, 'But I will say that such a wish would be acceptable if you were to change your mind, and decide to contract with me as a magical girl.'

'I... I'll think about it.' I replied to Kyubey, 'Thank you for showing concern over Sayaka and I, Kyubey! But please don't tell Mami about our 'relationship status change' yet, as you put it. I'd rather do that myself.'

'Of course.' Kyubey responded, 'In my experience, most humans highly value discreetness and privacy in such matters, so I'll respect your wishes here. Please feel free to take your time in informing Mami of your relationship status change with Sayaka. I doubt Mami will mind. I'll be leaving now, Madoka, but if you do change your mind on becoming a magical girl, you can find me with Mami.'

'That's good to know.' I replied.

And with that, Kyubey and I wished each other goodbye for the day. Kyubey's words did resonate with me. I hadn't considered wishing for Kamijo's hand to be healed in the hopes of it unburdening Sayaka's heart, but there was a certain logic to the idea.

After paying Kamijo a visit, Sayaka left the hospital with me. She seemed a bit distracted and sad over his condition, but she tried to downplay the situation after I asked her about him.

But the person who would be the most distracted and lost in thought, throughout the rest of day, was me. Kyubey's words had given me a lot to think about, and it caused certain worries to become front and centre in my mind, making it hard for me to relax. Unfortunately, Sayaka started to notice that, while we spent most of the day hanging out at her place, playing video games, watching some TV, and listening to music. Sayaka's parents weren't home, and so that should have relaxed me if anything, so I think how distracted I seemed was particularly noticeable to Sayaka.

“Madoka, are you Ok?” Sayaka asked me, while she had her arms wrapped around me as she sat snugly beside me, “No offence, but your mind seems to be miles away!”

We were watching TV at the time, and Sayaka was right. My mind wasn't focused on the here and now. It was focused on what Kyubey had said to me.

“...I'm worried about you, Sayaka.” I answered her, “That's been distracting me much of the day.”

“Why are you worried about me?” Sayaka asked, in a tone of great puzzlement, before smiling widely at me, “Madoka, I've never been happier!”

“Really?” I asked, “You really feel happy now? You don't find your heart to be torn in two any more?”

Sayaka sighed a bit over that.

“I'm sorry.” she said to me, “It was a bad idea for me to bring you on my visit to Kamijo earlier today. Part of my hope with that is that I wanted to demonstrate to you that my heart isn't torn any more, but I can see it just caused uncomfortable doubts to rise back up for you. I really should have known better.”

“It's not your fault!” I exclaimed to Sayaka, as I didn't want her to feel bad about herself, “It's my fault. I should have put more trust in you.”

“It's not your fault, since trust has to be earned.” Sayaka replied, “So let me earn it now.”

Sayaka then reached one hand behind my head, while she gazed lovingly into my eyes.

“I love you, Madoka.” she said to me, “You're the only person for me.”

Sayaka then gently pulled my head towards hers, while she moved her lips towards mine. We then kissed. Sayaka held my head gently in place with one hand, while she used her other hand to softly caress my back. It felt very pleasant, especially as she continued to kiss me. It was a very wet kiss, and I felt my heart race a bit during it.

In this moment, nothing else seemed to matter. All that mattered was how tightly bonded Sayaka and I now were. I felt such happy contentment in this moment, as my faith in her was renewed, as was my feelings for her.

After our kiss ended, Sayaka and I looked into each others eyes with feelings of intense love and desire.

“Have I earned your trust now, Madoka?” Sayka asked me, while she caressed my face with one hand.

“You earned it a long time ago.” I answered her, as tears welled up in my eyes, “But I'm sorry for ever doubting you!”

With a warm smile on her face, Sayaka brought me in closer to her with a tender embrace. I nestled my head on her shoulder.

“There's nothing to be sorry about.” Sayaka said, “I'll be more careful in the future. But please know that Kyousuke is simply my friend now, while you're the person that my heart belongs to.”

A couple minutes later, after Sayaka had released me from her embrace, her eyes seemed to light up with sudden inspiration.

“Madoka, I have a great idea!” Sayaka exclaimed, while standing up with her hands on her hips, “Why don't you, Mami, and I all go clothes shopping tomorrow after school?”

“Eh?” I replied, as the idea seemed somewhat random to me, “Do you need new clothes, Sayaka?”

“It's just for fun, silly!” Sayaka replied with a wide smile, “I think it might be good if we all did something fun and relaxing together. Plus we haven't seen Mami at all today, and I don't want to leave her feeling lonely.”

“That's a good point.” I said, before I started to smile with encouragement over Sayaka's idea, “Ok, sure! Let's all go shopping tomorrow after school!”

Sayaka then walked me home, and shouted “I'm looking forward to tomorrow!” after wishing me goodbye for the day.

“Me too!” I shouted back to her.

“What are you and Sayaka doing tomorrow?” Mama asked.

“Oh, we're just going to go shopping for clothes together.” I answered mama.

“Oh, I see.” Mama replied, “That's a good idea, Madoka! Your wardrobe could use some spiffing up. That's another one of the secrets to being a beauty.”

“Right.” I replied with a shy grin.

Not much later, I went to bed. I went to sleep with a smile on my face, as Sayaka's words and actions had put my concerns and worries to rest. It seemed as though Kyubey might have been wrong about Sayaka, and this cheered me up a lot.

The next day at school seemed to fly by, and without much incident. Hitomi was typically very busy on Mondays, so she thankfully didn't mind not getting to go clothes shopping with Sayaka and I. Sayaka and I then met Mami at the entrance to the mall.

“Thanks for inviting me along!” Mami exclaimed to Sayaka and I, “I had great fun watching Burning Sisters with both of you last week, and after a busy weekend it's probably time for another relaxing getaway.”

“Yeah, I also thought it would be good for you, Mami.” Sayaka replied, “Now, let's all of us go get some great new clothes!”

With wide smiles on our faces, Mami, Sayaka, and I cheerfully walked and skipped through the mall. It seemed to me to be a simple yet fun shopping spree. But what I would soon find out is that Sayaka had special ideas in her mind for this particular trip to the mall.

In one of the newer clothing stores, I found myself admiring one notably flashy outfit. It was a very short, pink, button-up dress with yellow sleeves and black petticoats sticking out underneath. I thought it was very pretty. Unfortunately, it was also very expensive. I could afford it, but just barely.

“You seem to really like that outfit, Madoka.” Sayaka said to me, after noticing me closely looking over the dress, “I also think it would look great on you!”

“I agree.” Mami stated after looking at the dress itself, “Why don't you try it on, Madoka?”

“Ok.” I answered, a bit uneasily, knowing that it was probably too expensive for me to buy, but not wanting to disappoint Sayaka and Mami.

After changing into the dress, I walked out of the change room with it on. I had to admit I felt a little bashful in such a flashy dress, but at the same time, it did suit my tastes.

Wow, Madoka, you look simply radiant in that dress!” Sayaka shouted enthusiastically, while leaning towards me with her hands arched at her sides.

“It suits you perfectly, Madoka.” Mami said in turn, making a smile, “It brings out your natural prettiness.”

“I-I'm really glad that you both like it.” I said, as I shyly smiled and blushed over Sayaka and Mami's compliments, “But unfortunately, it is really expensive, and...”

“Don't worry about that.” Sayaka said with a proud smile, “I'll buy it for you!”

My eyes went wide in shock over this.

“B-But Sayaka, it's really expensive, and...!” I began in protestation.

“Let Sayaka do this for you.” Mami whispered to me after moving in close to me.

“After all, isn't it only normal for people to want to buy nice gifts for their girlfriends?” Mami continued in whisper to me, while winking at me.

“... S-So you know about Sayaka and I?” I asked in nervous whisper, “Did Kyubey tell you?”

“No, Sayaka herself told me about it over the phone late last night.” Mami replied in whisper, “She felt guilty over keeping it a secret from me, but I can understand why you and her chose to do so. Don't worry, Madoka, I'm not hurt by it or anything like that. In fact, I'm glad to see my two new friends happy like this.”

Even as Mami said these words, there seemed to be a slight look of regret on her face. Still, she did seem to be taking it pretty well, so I was very glad and relieved over that.

“So, Madoka, is it Ok if I buy that outfit for you?” Sayaka earnestly asked me.

“I-If you really want to, I guess...” I answered.

“I do!” Sayaka exclaimed in shout.

So not long after that, I changed back into my student uniform, and handed Sayaka the outfit that I really liked. Sayaka then handed it to the cashier, and used her Japanese Express credit card to pay for it.

“You're paying for it with a credit card?” I asked Sayaka.

Sayaka laughed a bit nervously over that.

“Well, I don't have enough cash on me to afford it.” she answered, “But I'm sure if I save up over the next few weeks, I'll be able to handle the credit card bill.”

That made me feel a bit guilty over how generous Sayaka was being here. I hated the thought of her going without just so I could have a nice outfit. But the purchase was now made, so I would have to make it up to Sayaka some other way!

Mami, Sayaka, and I would soon be done shopping. Sayaka and I then waved goodbye to Mami while Sayaka invited me over to her place just for a short bit before I would go home.

After Sayaka and I arrived at her house, Sayaka said she wanted to try something. For that, she wanted me to change into my new outfit. So I agreed to it.

After changing into my new outfit, I sat in a chair now situated in front of the mirror in Sayaka's bedroom. Sayaka carefully removed my hair ribbons, and started combing my hair.

“I wanted to see how you'd look with your hair down while in that new outfit, Madoka.” Sayaka said, “I hope you don't mind.”

“No, not at all.” I replied, “It's the least I can do after you bought me this expensive dress...”

“Oh, stop fretting over that!” Sayaka exclaimed in slight irritation, “I bought that for you since... since you're my dearest friend, and I want you to know that.”

Sayaka's parents were home, so she was playing a bit coy here in case they overheard us talking. But the meaning behind her words was clear to me. She had probably planned this all out carefully. She wanted to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that I really was the only person for her now.

This made me feel such deep gratitude towards Sayaka, and my love for her grew even larger because of it. I really did have to make this all up to her somehow...

“Sayaka!” her mother shouted out to her from the base of the stairs leading up to Sayaka's bedroom.

“What is it mom?!” Sayaka shouted in question to her mom, while she continued to comb my hair.

“I just heard word from the Kamijo family that Kyousuke was released today!” Sayaka's mom shouted in answer, “I thought you'd want to know right away.”

And then Sayaka became very startled and excited. She instantly stopped combing my hair.

“Madoka, I'll be right back!” she quickly shouted to me, as she raced out of her bedroom, and down the stairs.

With curiosity getting the better of me, I couldn't help but to slowly follow behind Sayaka, as I wanted to listen in on her and her mom's conversation.

“How is Kyousuke doing?!” Sayaka excitedly asked her mom with great concern in her voice, “Is he doing Ok?”

“Well, he's on crutches and his hand is still injured of course.” Sayaka's mom replied, “But his father felt that since you visit him so often that you should be informed of his release from the hospital before he goes back to school.”

“I... I see.” Sayaka replied, as she started to calm down, “Is he planning on returning to school soon?”

“Yes, he intends to return tomorrow morning.” Sayaka's mom said, “From what I could gather from what Mr. Kamijo said to me, Kyousuke is really looking forward to seeing you and all your friends at school tomorrow! Isn't that great, Sayaka?”

“Yes... yes it is.” Sayaka replied, as I could sense deeply conflicted feelings wash over her, as I looked at her face from the top of the stairs leading to her bedroom.

And so... doubt, wretched doubt, began to creep back into my heart and mind. I hated myself for it. How could I doubt Sayaka like this when she had been so incredibly kind, generous, and loving to me?! Am I this shallow a person?!

But as I turned around and slowly walked back into Sayaka's bedroom, another idea quickly took hold of me. An idea that rushed back into my mind as there, perched on a chair in Sayaka's bedroom, I saw Kyubey, smiling at me...

__________________________________________________ _______

Mami Lives, Madoka Stands Alone Chain

Sunday came and went without any incident, but that ironically contributed to a day that was displeasing to me, as it felt very long and lonely. I called Hitomi during Sunday to see if she'd like to hang out with me, but she was busy with piano practice and various other activities.

Sayaka and Mami were no doubt busy out fighting witches or familiars, and I didn't want to get in their way.

If you chose B for MH Opportunity Choice 1, read Section Madoka Considers Contacting Homura. Otherwise skip over it.

Spoiler for Madoka Considers Contacting Homura:

Some doubt began to creep into my mind over my decision to not become a magical girl. I was starting to become worried that my decision to not become a magical girl would isolate me from some of my closest friends, and leave me with nobody my own age to spend time with. But I tried to put such worries out of my mind, as I went to sleep Sunday night, looking forward to school tomorrow.

I eagerly shouted out to Sayaka and Hitomi when I met them at our usual spot on the way to school. They both shouted 'Hi!' to me in turn, and we both made our way to school for a day of classes that seemed to go by pretty fast.

If you chose A to S Opportunity Choice 1, read section Curt Sayaka. Otherwise, skip over it.

Spoiler for Curt Sayaka:

I was hoping to hang out with Sayaka after school, but Sayaka told me that Mami wanted to take the afternoon and evening to introduce Sayaka to a different magical girl. Sayaka made a short apology to me over that, but that made it clear to me that this meeting was for magical girls only.

As for Hitomi, she's typically very busy on Mondays, so she didn't have any time to spend with me either.

So I simply headed back to my home after school, feeling increasingly cut off from my friends. As I laid upon my bed, feeling a bit restless and bored, I suddenly saw Kyubey appear once more amongst my plushies!

“Kyubey!” I said to him, “What do you want?”

“I'm concerned about you, Madoka.” he answered, “You don't seem to be very happy lately.”

“Well, that's because all of my friends are busy with their own activities.” I replied with a tone of regret in my voice.

“I'm seen this problem before.” Kyubey stated, “In my experience, it's hard for magical girls to maintain close friendships with normal humans. Their two worlds are simply too different, and inevitably they become distant from one another.”

I could tell where Kyubey was heading with this. Part of me resented that, but at the same time, I could understand where Kyubey was coming from.

Was I making a mistake in choosing to not be a magical girl? Was I cutting myself off from Mami and Sayaka by making that choice?

These questions were at the forefront of my mind while I continued to talk to Kyubey about it. The earlier decision I had made here was maybe not as firm as I had thought it was.

I might soon need to rethink that decision, and reaffirm it, or make a different decision in its place...


Phew, finally blasted through that Writer's Block, I think.

Now, a few key things:

Mami Lives, Mami Friendship Chain has now been split into a chain for Mami Lives, Sayaka Romance, and a chain for Mami Lives, Madoka Stands Alone.

I think it's fairly clear which chain each reader should go on, depending on the choices he or she has made thus far. But if there's any confusion over this, please tell me that, and I'll try to make it more clear.

A link to the image that inspired my description of Madoka's new outfit is found in the Sayaka Romance section above.

Also, my intention is to have the first line of each update contain a link to the previous chapter in its route, thus hopefully making it easier for readers to follow the story.

Thanks to both Kogetsu and Sol Falling for their excellent feedback!

But that's it for now. I look forward to know what people think of this update, since it took me longer than most, lol.

Last edited by Triple_R; 2012-03-05 at 06:11.
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