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The three years Madoka has spent in America predictably take their toll on how well she can keep up with her studies. Neither Sayaka nor Kyouko are themselves good enough at schoolwork to be of much help, and Shizuki Hitomi is too busy to offer aid. This is why Homura introduces Madoka to Tomoe Mami.

Mami is not lonely in this world. Homura has taken care to smooth the crippling emptiness from Mami’s memories, to provide her with the friends she so desperately longed for. She has Nagisa now, but Homura knows she would never reject a chance at building a relationship, especially not with somebody like Madoka. More importantly, Mami gladly helps those in need. She is competent and kind and stable – in this world.

That is why Madoka bumps into a senior as she rounds a typical transparant corner in school while worrriedly looking over her poorly graded homework. Her bag clatters to the floor and her papers scatter.

‘I’m so sorry!’ both parties exclaim even as they bend down to pick up Madoka’s dropped things. Mami catches sight of the red mark on the schoolwork as she hands it back. When they straighten Madoka is blushing and clutches the papers closer.

‘I’m s-sorry, I didn’t see you.’

‘Neither did I. I suppose we should both do something about our eyesight.’

Mami smiles and Madoka feels a warm rush of flutters in her chest. She is not sure if it is more embarrassment or gratitude.

‘Let me make it up to you with some cake.’ Mami proposes. 'I’ve baked it myself and I would love a second opinion.’ Well, a third opinion, Mami thinks to herself.

It is a bold friendly gesture in response to a simple incident, but Mami does not feel the need to ration her time and energy for other things, anymore. She does not linger on the thought.

Madoka says yes almost immediately and then rushes to say it really was not Mami’s fault, but the girl just smiles. Madoka stops for a moment. There is something about her… There is something…

She just seems so cool and collected and kind.

When they make their way up to the roof, cold hot eyes sit on their backs and a smirk painfully slowly curls the self-proclaimed devil’s lips.