There are two simple reasons as to why Maya used her first day of absence of the entire school year this morning.
Firstly, she'd felt a bit of soreness coming on in the back of her throat last night, and in spite of her efforts to drink plenty of water and get adequate rest, she'd still woken up to a bit of discomfort in her chest and a dizziness in her head.
So she'd emailed her instructors right away to inform them she would be absent today, and being she hadn't missed a day yet this year, was given only the kindest words of support and encouragement.
Her first reason for taking the day off was because she truthfully was feeling a bit under the weather. But her second reason was entirely more selfish.
She was terribly curious to see how a certain person would react to her absence.
One of her instructors was kind enough to place an order for breakfast to be brought to Maya's room, and when it arrives she stiffly slips out of bed and limps to the door. The movement is a bit aggravating to the clogged feeling at the base of her neck, but she manages to straighten her posture and open the door. She greets the woman who is delivering a tray of cereal and fruits, and thanks her kindly as she accepts the food.
Maya brings it to her desk and takes her time. The flavors and the act of swallowing make her throat a little less irritated for the time being.
She then heads into her bathroom to shower and change into a fresh nightgown, planning to rest at least a bit more this morning.
Once her hair is dry, she retreats to bed as the sunlight begins spilling through the curtains. She curls up in the warmth and closes her eyes to enjoy some peace and quiet.
With any luck, it'll be the only time her room is this silent today.
Maya wakes again around 11AM. The stuffy mist in her head lingers, but she feels as well-rested as possible, all things considered.
She sits herself up and stretches a bit, then leans over to her nightstand to grab a hair brush, a book, and a bottle of water. She takes a sip, then combs through her hair for a moment before leaning back with the book on her knees. She scans the pages to pass the time, although her focus admittedly isn't entirely on the book. She's waiting, just to see if her theory might prove correct.
11:30 comes and goes, and she imagines her classmates are just starting lunch right about now. She closes her eyes, and soon the quiet of the room is interrupted by the stomp of rushed, angry footsteps drawing nearer and nearer.
-right on time.
Maya opens her eyes and looks casually to the door where a firm knock is being repeated. She can't help but smile as she clears her throat and replies.
"Come in. It is unlocked."
She hears a huff and the click of a tongue before the knob turns, and in bursts Claudine in her uniform, her cheeks flushed to prove she'd hurried all the way here, and her chest puffed and ready to unleash a lecture like no other. Maya looks up calmly from her book and smiles.
"Good afternoon, Saijou-san." She teases with the formalities of using her last name. "What brings you here at this hour?"
Claudine looks like she's about to explode. She storms over to the bed with her hands balled into fists at her skirt, her eyes narrowed in fury, and the lecture begins.
"I would simply like to inquire why in the world I am the last person to know you were sick? When they called your name for attendance first period and you didn't respond, I assumed you'd been selected for some sort of demonstration elsewhere. And then you didn't show up to second or third period either, and then I arrive at the cafeteria for lunch to hear Nana saying how she wishes you'll feel better soon, and Hikari agreed with her, Karen was wondering how many days you would be missing, Futaba said she wasn't surprised you'd finally fallen ill, and all in all everyone in the school seemed to know your situation except for me, and I simply had half a mind to come here myself and inquire as to why I am the last to know that you're sick"
By the time she finishes she's panting and even redder in the face than when she'd first entered the room. Maya hasn't stopped smiling the whole time, and Claudine being too flustered to censor herself from showing just how concerned she'd been only made it all the more amusing. Maya closes her book and puts it aside, offering her hand to Claudine instead.
"Ma Claudine, I must say you look absolutely adorable, but please catch your breath."
Claudine turns her nose up at the offered hand and crosses her arms instead.
"Je le jure... this woman is going to be the death of me... How sick are you? Do you have a fever? Have you been coughing?"
Maya maintains her calm smile in contrast to Claudine's scowl.
"No coughing and no fever. There's merely a bit of irritation in my throat."
"Funny. I've discovered a bit of irritation myself." Claudine huffs and glares down at her. "Have you eaten? Have you gotten any medicine to-"
"No need for that, Ma Claudine. The nurse merely prescribed water and rest."
"You went to see the nurse?"
"I sent her an email, as well as the instructors, to inform them of my condition."
"I see. And did you email Futaba and the others as well?"
"I may have texted Hanayagi-san, yes."
Claudine's brow twitches.
"Oh? So you message Kaoruko, and everyone else in the school but me? You know, I really don't enjoy yelling at sick people, but I swear, Tendo Maya, you've given me no choice."
Maya can't even make a neutral expression if she tries. Claudine is just too precious and adorable, especially when she's miffed as such.
"But you see, Ma Claudine..." This time she reaches out a bit farther and takes one of Claudine's hands from where she has her arms folded across her chest. Maya gives a small tug and brings her closer to the bed. "There is a very good reason why I didn't tell you."
Claudine's blush deepens, and she almost attempts escape, but her curiosity wins her over.
"Oh? And what might that reason be? It had better be a good one."
Maya dips her head down to kiss the back of Claudine's hand, then gives her a look just shy of haughty.
"I did not tell you, Ma belle Claudine, because I knew you would come and find out for yourself."
And Claudine turns even redder, though this time it isn't just from consternation.
"Why, you... insufferable-"
"I know," Maya coos. "I know very well what I am to you." She pulls Claudine to the bed and has her sit, wrapping an arm around her waist. Claudine tries to resist at first, but must think better of the idea of pushing off a sick person, and she eventually relents.
Maya soaks in her victory and pulls her close, resting her head against Claudine's chest. Claudine must temporarily forget about her irksomeness, because the second Maya leans against her and lets out a long sigh, she becomes concerned.
"Maya? Hey, are you-"
"Shh..." Maya turns her head to a more comfortable angle. "Allow a sick girl to recharge her energy, yes?"
She hears Claudine grunt, but it doesn't sound as irritated as usual.
"Idiot. Why waste your energy teasing me if you were this tired?"
"I suppose my feelings for you are like a disease in and of itself. But only in the sense that I simply cannot stop myself from acting. My feelings themselves are no disease. Only a blessing."
"How poetic," Claudine mumbles, leaning back against the headboard. "If you're so tired, then why don't you rest your mouth?"
In spite of her slight fatigue, Maya continues to smile. While it is true she's suffering a bit of sluggishness from the headache, she also simply cannot pass up the opportunity to be close to her partner.
As close as possible.
She feels Claudine's fingers as they begin to card through her hair, their pattern unobstructed by the usual blue ribbon which Maya had never put in this morning. Claudine shifts her legs, slipping her shoes off so she can draw her feet onto the bed as well. Maya is delighted by the notion that she's decided to stay, but she feels the need to ask anyway.
"Not returning to class this afternoon?"
"When you're as fine a mess as this? Hardly."
"Then I must apologize for making you skip lessons."
"Don't apologize. Just get better, idiot."
Claudine readjusts her hold on her, allowing Maya to snuggle up a bit closer. Maya can hear her heartbeat fully, and when Claudine speaks she feels the vibrations of her tone. It's all a soft and soothing pressure to Maya's slight headache, and the hands stroking down her back are doing wonders for her person in general.
At one point, Claudine trails her fingers beneath Maya's chin, tilting her head back slightly. Maya keeps her eyes closed, anticipating a kiss, but she truly should have known better. Claudine rests her forehead against hers and stays there for a moment, so close that Maya can feel her sweet breath. When Claudine eases back it's with another huff.
"You feel a bit warm. I thought you'd said you didn't have a fever."
Maya opens her eyes dreamily.
"I assure you, Ma Claudine, the warmth of my skin is simply reflecting the warmth in my heart now that you are here."
"Save it." Claudine grabs the water bottle from the nightstand and hands it to her. "Drink."
"You know, I may be the one who is sick, but it is your heart that's beating rather quickly, Ma Claudine."
"I said drink."
Maya chuckles and sits herself up straight with Claudine's assistance to take a few sips. It does wonders for her throat, which had started to become a bit dry from all the talking, but she has no reason to tell Claudine such a thing. When Maya's finished she hands the bottle back to Claudine, who in turn replaces it on the nightstand.
"So?" she asks. "How do you feel?"
"Infinitely better now that you are here."
"Honestly. I wonder why I even bother worrying in the first place..."
"Oh? So you were worried about me?"
"Shut up. You're insufferable."
They return to their prior positions, with Claudine sitting up and Maya slouching comfortably against her chest. She can feel her headache fading more and more with every beat of Claudine's heart against her ear, every pass of slender fingers through her hair...
"So," Claudine says. "What were you reading earlier?"
"Oh, it was fascinating, truly," Maya proclaims, hugging Claudine's waist. "It was a magical story of fairytale, telling the myth of healing. Evidently, a kiss from one's sacred lover can hold healing powers and cure any sickness within twenty-four hours-"
"It was Les Misérables. I can see it on the nightstand."
Maya grins. "Why then, Ma Claudine, why did you ask?"
Claudine huffs and looks away.
"I suppose I was curious about what ridiculous story you'd concoct. But I surely wasn't expecting a farce of that magnitude."
"It is no farce. I do believe I've heard the tale somewhere before, the story of a lover's healing kiss... Wouldn't you say it's a wonderful concept?"
"You always were a hopeless romantic."
"And you aren't?"
Claudine rolls her eyes.
"Fine then. I suppose it's worth a try... But should I contract your sickness-"
"I shall take full responsibility. Worry not, Ma Claudine."
Maya sits herself up almost a little too eagerly and waits. She can already see Claudine has started to blush again, so for her sake Maya closes her eyes, so as not to make her feel rushed.
She hears a few words muttered in French before Claudine's hands find their way around her shoulders. Maya reaches out to hold her waist, inching herself closer.
The kiss is everything she's ever wished for, and then some. Claudine's kisses always are, simply because they come from Claudine.
Her lips are soft and taste faintly of the fruits she'd had for lunch, likely as a side dish to some potato entree. Maya smiles as she muses to herself, but her mind is quickly pulled away from such thoughts.
Claudine demands her full attention, working her mouth firmly against hers, as though whole-heartedly trying to drag the sickness out of her. Maya kisses back softly, quietly telling her she needn't worry so much.
By the time they part, both girls are a little breathless, faces flushed and hearts leaping. Claudine more or less forces herself to speak before she's fully regained her composure.
"There..." she sighs. "If that doesn't do the trick, nothing else will."
Maya just smiles back as she's been doing all the while. She leans forward and brushes her cheek against hers in a gesture of gratitude.
"I'm entirely certain I will be back in classes tomorrow."
"You'd better be. Or else you shouldn't be surprised when I surpass you and take the Number 1 spot for myself."
"Ma Claudine, you truly needn't worry about me so much."
"I'm not worried, idiot..."
Nonetheless, Claudine leans back against the headboard and opens her arms, though she avoids direct eye contact as she invites Maya in again. Maya happily reclines against her once more, letting out a blissful sigh as she does so.
"I am honored that you would sacrifice the rest of your day to watch over me, Ma Claudine."
"Hmph. What choice do I have? I can't allow my rival to start slacking off. Or else it will hardly be a challenge when I take your place for myself."
"You always did love a good challenge."
"Yes. I suppose that says a lot about my feelings toward you."
Maya laughs outright for the first time all day, and when she does she hears Claudine's heart skip a beat.
"Ma Claudine, you are too kind to me."
"Quiet. You talk an awful lot for a sick person. Just go to sleep."
And at long last, Maya keeps to her word, snuggling warmly up against Claudine as the soreness in her head and throat fade to nothing.
She sleeps, and Claudine stays with her for the rest of the afternoon.
And perhaps it is merely coincidence, or perhaps it is a bit of healing magic, but Maya's sickness is entirely cured by the next morning.
A/N: Someone on tumblr proposed this idea to me and I've been craving more Revue Starlight content so I eagerly agreed. And did a second chapter as well.
Please leave comments or kudos!