"How did you get sick? You never even leave your office!"
"I'm just asking."
"Well, don't. I'm sick and that's the end of it." Maxie snapped, dropping his head back down onto his pillow.
"C'mon now, Maxie. Don't make me mother hen you," she tut-tutted at his stubbornness and shook her head. May gently placed a cool washrag on his forehead and hummed to herself. The man was an ass in the first place but being sick seemed to make him extra cranky.
"You already mother hen me even when I am not sick," Maxie grumbled. May’s endless outpouring of tenderness was met with the cuddliness of a Cacturne. She referred to him as incorrigible once, and she figured she had been pretty accurate. "Thank you, May," he said softly.
May paused for a moment, then turned back to him though she continued to idly pet her Altaria. "You're welcome, Maxie," she smiled sweetly at him and he practically coughed up a lung.
"Maxie! Maxie, are you okay?" she hurried over to him in concern.
After the coughing fit ceased, he turned to her and took her hand. "You could let me rot. You have every right to after what I've done, yet. Yet you insist on visiting daily. And now, here you are caring for me when it's very damn likely that I simply have the common cold," he sniffled and continued, "You don't have to do any of this, May."
She stared at him, unable to process his words. Over the course of his rambling, her jaw had slowly descended.
She could count on one hand the amount of times he'd called her "May". The answer was three. Four, now. He almost seemed unsure when he used it, but she liked the sound of it.
"I like it when you say my name."
"Sorry, sorry. Uh. Do I need a reason to stop by other than I've come to..." She paused. "Care for you? And you're sick, so you should be cared for. Everyone deserves care when they're under the weather."
"You enjoy it when I say your name?", the freckled man asked, still clearly hung up on her quiet admission. "Why?"
"I don't know. You never did it before. And the first time you did, it made me feel like you respected me as more than a child. Which I'm not."
"I am aware of that, Miss Maple..."
"May. It's May."
"May," he went silent, looking her in the eyes as he said it. She returned his gaze, blue eyes wide, curious, and tender.
Neither one of them blinked. The air was still and his brown and tired eyes seemed to be looking for something in hers.
Maxie's coughing broke the trance and earned him a worried look from May.
"Okay, it's time for some medicine!", she chirped and sauntered off to the bathroom, cheeks pink with a blush the whole way.