"'Morning, Dr. Michaelis!"

The doctor in question paused in his walk down the green-walled hallway to see a cheerfully grinning intern. "How d'ya manage to stay so awake at this hour?"

"I suppose it comes with the job, Knox." Dr. Michaelis gave him a smile. "Best get those tubes along before Mr. Spears gets impatient."

"Righto, Doc, see ya 'round!"

Dr. Michaelis repressed another smile as he continued on his way, debating whether to grab a quick coffee or whether it could wait. It would have to wait, he decided- a particular red-haired nurse was sure to be in the break room too, and if he had to put up with Grelle's loud, squealy morning greetings one more time...

The Phantomhive Pediatric Asthma ward was soothingly silent. It was a somewhat recent installation, only a couple of years old- but there'd been a pretty constant patient practically residing there ever since.

And he was usually under Dr. Michaelis's care.

"Good morning, little lord," the tall man smiled as he pushed open the door to Room 2. "And how are we feeling today?"

The boy in the bed barely had time to scowl before cutting himself off with a yawn.

"Looks good." Dr. Michaelis peered over the boy's chart. "Did you have breakfast yet?"

"No, and why must you always call me 'little lord'?" the boy whined. "My name is Ciel. I've been in this blasted place long enough for you to pick it up. Or should I start calling you 'Butler Michaelis' instead of 'Doctor'?"

Dr. Michaelis adjusted a glove and uncoiled his stethoscope, smiling once more. "It's just that your manner is so very lordly, Ciel. But if it bothers you so much, I'll have to remember to stop."

He gently unbuttoned Ciel's hospital gown and pressed the stethoscope to the thin chest. "Can you take a deep breath for me, then we'll call Bard up here with some breakfast?"

Ciel took the requested deep breath.

And then coughed.

"Hmm." Dr. Michaelis made a note on the chart. "I think you could do with some fresh air. Perhaps Finnian will take you for a walk in the gardens today, how's that?"

Ciel nodded at the mention of his favorite physical therapist, swiping his wrist across his mouth. "Sounds all right."

"Wonderful."

Hospital workers were supposed to keep clean, Dr. Michaelis grimaced as Bard came strolling in with breakfast. The front of the orderly's (or disorderly, really, honestly) shirt was covered in soot. He'd have to get a janitor up here later. Although if it was going to be Mey-Rin, he'd have to get a hospital bed for her too; she tripped more often than not.

Ciel finished his toast and jam and yawned once more, so Dr. Michaelis felt perfectly justified in tucking the blankets lightly around his chin and making sure the ash-blue hair wasn't slipping into his eyes as it so often did.

"I'll see you later, little lord."

"Ciel," the boy mumbled, with only a trace of annoyance.