Daisy was sick, and she was hiding it. As usual.
May watched her putter around the cloaked space station they were now living in with a certain level of frustration. They had been over this before. Daisy always hid it when she was sick, trying to pass it off as no big deal, continuing to work no matter what, despite having, on several occasions, worked herself to sleep.
She wasn't the only one who had noticed. May had noticed Jemma giving Daisy those worried looks every time she groaned as she stood up, every time she hurried out of the dining hall to be sick. Elena often hurried after Daisy, taking water and whatever medicine she had managed to sneak from the med bay. Even Fitz had taken to giving her any spare blankets he could find.
And still, even with everyone else trying to help her, Daisy refused to admit that she wasn't well.
After a week of Daisy refusing to take care of herself, the others met in the common area to talk.
"She's not getting better on her own." Jemma said in a quiet voice.
Coulson shook his head. "Anything you can do?"
Fitz grimaced. "They won't accept her to medical unless she admits that something's wrong." He muttered.
"And she wouldn't do that if her arm had been taken off." Mack said.
Elena raised an eyebrow. "Have none of you tried talking to her?" She asked. "She must know that this is unhealthy."
"Of course she does." Coulson sighed. "She just- doesn't care. She doesn't want to be a burden." He felt so tired. They were all there because of him, and now Daisy was really sick and refused to accept anyone's help because she was so obsessed with being strong. It hurt.
May's eyes darted between each of them. "Maybe I should talk to her." She suggested.
The others immediately turned to her, and Jemma beamed. "Yes, excellent idea!" She said brightly. "She listens to you."
May scoffed and Jemma rolled her eyes. "Fine, more than she listens to me." She amended.
"I'll go talk to her." May said, turning and walking out. She heard soft footsteps coming after her and knew exactly who it was.
She could almost have counted down to the moment Phil put his hand on her shoulder. "Do you need a hand?"
She smiled. "I think I'll be okay." Melinda murmured. "But I'll let you know."
"Okay." Phil said softly, moving so that he could press his lips against hers. "Go get her."
May scoffed. "She's not going to attack, you know."
"I don't know." Phil teased. "She can get pretty grumpy when she's sick. A little like someone else I know."
"Oh shut up."
Daisy did not feel good. In fact, she felt like shit. Her body ached, her ears ached, she felt nauseous, and her chest felt like it was hiding a hive of bees inside. She didn't like this. She hated it.
Not to mention that she'd barely had a decent night's sleep since they'd gotten there. Her tiny room was one thing, but tied with how she was feeling it just made sleep impossible. All she could do was try. And fail.
Currently she was curled up under a flight of stairs in a mostly empty part of the station. No one had bothered her there yet, and she hoped that no one would. It was more open than her room at least. Now if only that buzzing would go away.
Daisy had even managed to smuggle some pillows and blankets under the stairwell, which was surprisingly clear of dust. She still couldn't sleep, but at least the claustrophobia was gone.
The buzzing was so intense that she didn't feel the footsteps approaching, didn't notice the presence of another person until May was standing there, watching her.
Daisy swallowed, knowing that she was there to nag her. Just like the others. "Hi." She said, hugging a pillow to her chest.
May raised an eyebrow, nodding to her position. "You're sleeping out here?"
Daisy hesitated, then shrugged. "My room's too... small." She muttered. It was a good thing she'd told May about her claustrophobia. How many nights she'd spent sleeping in tiny windowless rooms, terrified of what might happen to her.
After a moment of pause, May climbed in beside her. "You're sick."
"No I'm no-"
Daisy met her hard eyed stare and realised she couldn't deny her way out of it now. She sighed. "I'm not... technically."
Melinda cocked her head. Technically? "What's going on?"
"Look, there's nothing we can do about it, so... can you and the others just let it go?"
May raised an eyebrow and Daisy sighed again. "Thought not." She muttered. "Seriously though, I'm fine."
"Are you pregnant?"
Daisy choked on air. "What?!" She exclaimed, turning to stare at May in horror. "No!"
The hint of a grin broke through at Daisy's reaction. "Had to check."
Daisy thought back to her symptoms and, for a moment, started to wonder that herself. Then she shook her head. "No, no way. I haven't even had sex recently."
Daisy groaned, shoving her. "I don't need to know that." She whined as May grinned. "Why would you even say that?"
May shrugged. "I'll keep talking about it until you tell me what's going on." When Daisy was silent, she cleared her throat. "So last night-"
"Oh my God, okay!" Daisy exclaimed, "You win, just stop!"
Melinda grinned at Daisy's horror and waited patiently for her to speak.
Daisy swallowed. "It's... this place." She said quietly. "I can't- everything's vibrating really weirdly and it gets in my head and I can't let it out- because..."
"Because you'd kill us all."
"Yeah." She muttered. "Everything here's just... wrong, so I get headaches and body aches and- well, a lot of aches. And I feel sick."
May gritted her teeth, all traces of humour gone. "We have to get you out of here."
Daisy shook her head. "May, we can't. You know that."
Her fists clenched. "You can't stay here."
"This place is killing you."
Daisy sighed. "I can take it." She said softly, leaning back against the wall.
May mirrored her position. "Do the drugs help?"
"Not really." Daisy mumbled, looking up at the stairs. "If I could let it out I'd be okay, but- I can't."
"Have you tried purring?"
Daisy weighed the question, listening for any of the usual teasing that she got for that weird little quirk of her powers. There was none. "Yeah." She admitted. "I can't though. It's not happening, and I can't force it or I could blow this place open or break something."
May thought about it. If she had a loud pounding noise going on in her head this whole time, how would she fix it? There were no earplugs for Daisy. She hesitated. "What if you had something else to concentrate on?"
Daisy looked up. "Like what?"
In response, May took her hand.
The slight change in the vibrations sent a wave of relief through Daisy as the space station's massive size was challenged by May's proximity. It was nice, it was familiar. But... "I don't think it's enough." Daisy muttered apologetically. "Thanks, though." She didn't pull away. It was still an improvement.
Melinda paused, then shifted until she was right beside her and wrapped her arms around Daisy. "Better?"
Daisy became very still, not expecting the contact. For a moment she forgot about all the aches and the nausea and the buzzing in her chest and all she could feel was May's arms around her, her warmth and her presence. After a second she realised that it was better. She couldn't feel the confusing rhythm of the space station at all past May's proximity. Daisy melted into the embrace, resting her head in the crook of her neck. "Better." She confirmed.
May smiled, resting her head atop Daisy's. "Good." She murmured. "I'd hate to be suffering through this if it wasn't helping."
Daisy laughed softly, "You love it." She teased, then yawned. "I'm tired." She mumbled. Now that the incessant buzzing of the base had abetted, the fatigue set in, her head and limbs becoming heavy.
"Sleep." May said, pulling the blanket up and around Daisy. "I'll stay."
"Thanks." Daisy mumbled, shifting so as to snuggle up to her more. "You're really cuddly, huh?"
May smiled, combing her fingers through Daisy's hair. "Go to sleep Daisy."
Daisy hummed in response, letting her eyes flutter closed as May continued to stroke her hair. It didn't take long for her breathing and heartbeat to even out as she drifted off to sleep.
Melinda continued to hold her close, smiling a little at the sleeping girl cuddled up to her. She really was something special. After several minutes of Daisy resting against her, something in the station juddered, the gentle hum of the engines changing in pitch as it did sometimes. May noticed Daisy's brow furrowed with new stress and, after a moment of consideration, she started to hum the tune to one of the songs her mother had sung when she was a child.
Though May knew she couldn't carry a tune to save herself, she noted Daisy's face relaxing into a sleepy smile as she continued to hum the old songs.
It didn't take long after that for a second kind of humming to begin, and Melinda realised that Daisy had softly began to purr.
She smiled, feeling those gentle vibrations wrack Daisy's body, keeping in synch with her breathing, as always. Though they had always teased her for it, Melinda knew she wasn't the only one who found it incredibly endearing. Daisy had always been very tactile, showing her affection with hugs and being close to people. The purring just came off as an extension of her already cuddly nature.
Something about Daisy's warmth and her gentle purring must have helped Melinda nod off, because the next thing she knew, Phil was standing in front of them, smiling.
He nodded to Daisy's still sleeping form. "I guess you worked it out."
May's eyes went to Daisy. "It's her powers." She murmured, "They're not reacting well to the space station."
Phil took half a step forwards, concerned. "Is she okay?"
"She will be." Melinda said, humming gently. "This," She gestured to the two of them, "Cancels it out. Helps her sleep, recharge." She smiled a little. "She was purring earlier."
Phil grinned. "So this is going to be a regular thing then?"
"I think we'll have to take it in turns."
He laughed softly. "I'll talk to the others. I don't think they'll have a problem with it."
"They'd better not." Daisy muttered, still clinging to May. "I'm the best."
Phil and Melinda both snorted and Daisy grinned, keeping her eyes shut. "Go back to sleep." May said, "You need it."
Daisy groaned. "It's not my fault," She mumbled. "You're clearly not hugging me enough."
Coulson laughed and May rolled her eyes, tightening her arms around Daisy. "Better?"
"Much." Daisy grinned, squirming until she was more comfortable. "Wake me up when the sun rises."
"Daisy, the sun won't rise for two weeks."