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Maxie clearly remembered the day his Keystone had been stolen.

He remembered feeling rather useless at the time, even as the stone was snatched from his glasses; he'd watched the perpetrator walk away from the scene of her crime triumphant, and he'd been unable to do anything to stop it. It was the Groudon incident all over again, and quite frankly, the guilt over losing the stone was not a welcome addition to the shame he'd already been feeling from the near-disaster he'd caused.

There had been no way for him to manage sleep that night, and thus, he'd remain awake, scratching his Camerupt's head as the creature lay on the floor at his feet. The large beast sometimes peeked his eyes open, turning his head to look up as his master mourned (sulked, even), and sometimes let out a soft, deep rumbling in the depths of his throat; an obvious attempt at comfort that unfortunately kept falling short.

Added to the guilt and shame was what he'd identified as actual agitation and worry, both for the pokemon at his feet, whom would never be able to achieve mega-evolution again... and the girl whom had gone to retrieve his keystone. He knew she was capable, for not everyone was able to calm down a creature like Groudon from what he'd snidely come to think of as a rather dramatic temper-tantrum, and yet that small inkling of worry still ate at the back of his mind.

The rest of his agitation was mostly directed at the fact he was well aware he'd never get his Keystone back. His pokemon would never achieve that extra bit of power in battle ever again, and while the loss of power was worrying, it was the fact he felt like a part of him had been stripped right out of him without permission. Like a part of his bond with the pokemon at his feet had been torn to pieces... smashed and it'd never be repaired. After all, it would have been rather counter productive for May to return the stone to him even if she managed to get it back in one piece.

Fortunately for him, he'd recently come to find out that he was, in fact, not always right about everything (a fact which he desperately tried to hide, despite it probably being widely known by now).

He was actually proven quite wrong in all of his assumptions mere hours later, when not only just his Keystone, but his megastone were returned to him, all in one piece and all accompanied by a girl with a brilliant smile.

That's how it'd all started, he'd mused later on; with a smile. That had been the turning point; the proverbial linchpin.

Alas, needless to say, Maxie had been quite blown away not only by her sudden appearance, but by the fact she'd held out her hand and offered him both stones, all in a matter of moments. The exchange had been a silent one; she smiling, and him wearing what was no doubt, the single most baffled expression of his lifetime, because he simply did not get this girl. None of what she did was logical to him; just when he thought that maybe, just maybe, he had her all figured out, she'd veer ridiculously off-course and do something that fell entirely out of all probability charts, leaving him (never better said), completely lost at sea again.

Meanwhile, as he turned to look at his computers, he found his monitors had not shown an intruder alarm. No system alerts; nothing. No one had alerted him whatsoever of the girl's return; as if not just his team members (there was bound to be someone up and about on patrol), but the actual damned systems within the building itself were all trying to let him know that yes, the girl was more than welcome within the base.

As such (and also because, let's face it, he was still riding the wave of happiness that the retrieval of the stones had caused him), he'd issued an actual, honest-to-Arceus invitation; he'd told her (before actually thinking things through, granted), that she was most welcome to stay, any time, any day, any when, for however long she pleased. In so few words, he'd more or less told her she'd always be welcome there, and though the girl had grinned at him (grinned! She'd actually honest-to-Arceus grinned at him! Why on earth?) and thanked him kindly for the invitation before leaving, Maxie was more than slightly convinced that he'd never really see her again.

After all, why would she bother to visit his deep, underground base when there was a whole, wide world out there, ready to be explored? Still, he'd done his part; he'd issued the invitation and thus, put the whole thing to rest. He'd even been been nice enough to shove the ball back into her court, so she could proceed however she saw fit in the future.

And so... that was that. Maxie had put the whole situation behind him, and proceeded an attempt at redemption for both himself and his team... eager to prove not only to himself, but to everyone else that he could do this. If that girl could calm down Groudon from a god forsaken temper tantrum, he could put his intelligence to better use.

Unfortunately, this was... much easier said than done. Leading a criminal organisation for so long had taught him a great many things, but most of them useless for these endeavors, and thus needless to say, his next couple of days were long and very tiring. He spent long hours of the night pondering, thinking, calculating... which was why he barely got any sleep at night, and in turn was why he'd been waking up later and later as the couple of days passed by.

Despite his slightly altered sleeping habits, life at the base remain mostly unchanged, and thus was why Maxie was completely caught off guard just a handful of days after the Keystone incident.

Having only just managed to drag himself out of his bed, grabbed a coffee mug and made his way to his office quarters... he hadn't really expected any surprises upon entering the room.

Instead, what he got was another clear bout of evidence that he really did not understand May, because the girl was right there, sitting in the middle of the room, reclined against his Camerupt, while his Mightyena and his Crobat (all three of whom should have technically been keeping guard of the office while he slept), squabbled over who got to have most of the girl's attention and pokepuffs.

Maxie felt the grip of his hand loosen around the handle of his mug, which instantly dropped and crashed on the floor below.

This, of course, gathered the attention of his three pokemon, all of which offered him extremely sheepish expressions, and the girl whom smiled at him from her spot on the floor.

"I... I think you dropped your coffee," she said helpfully, apparently thinking that her being there, in the middle of the room, surrounded by his pokemon... was the most mundane of normal things, "Do you uhm... need help with that?" she pressed when she was greeted by silence on his part.

What the poor girl didn't know was that Maxie was in the middle of having a slight panic attack for several reasons, and thus, due to this, was being a rather poor host, being unable to talk to her. You see, he was currently dressed informally, having only just gotten out of bed; his hair was in absolute disarray and he distinctly recalled having put on a rather unappealing looking robe over his informal clothes.

Needless to say, his brain was the middle of doing a rather impressive imitation of a running, headless chicken, and he was having trouble reining it in and trying to figure out why this girl was simply sitting there, smiling at him!

Several hours (and several cups of coffee) later, he'd managed to figure out that May's presence was, in fact, not due to any sort of emergency or need for his help (nor was it a joke or a trap, as his rather paranoid mind had seemed to insist it was). She was there simply because she'd felt like it and because she'd wanted to see him. Them. All of them.

And would wonders ever cease?

Apparently not, because that had been merely one of many, many visits, and while he had at first questioned her mental health (vocally at one point), he'd grown used to her presence at the base. To the point he no longer almost tripped if he saw her walking and talking eagerly down the halls with Tabitha; he no longer backtracked to make sure he'd actually seen her sitting down in a corner of a room with Courtney, both in amiable silence, reading some book or other together.

He no longer felt the need to look over his shoulder as he worked, to make sure his mind was, in fact, not playing tricks on him; that the girl was, really, actually lounging on his sofa, playing with his damned pokemon like they were hers.

Maxie grew used to it and simply... stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop, because he wasn't always right in his assumptions, as life had recently taught him, and maybe a good thing was simply a good thing once in a while. He decided he was in no position to look a gift horse in the mouth.