The Matchmaking Mishap
Chapter 1: The Biggest Show of the Year
"What's wrong, Junie?"
"W-wrong?" Juniper Woods coughed. "Nothing's wrong. I'm fine!"
Athena Cykes put her hands on her hips and raised her eyebrows. Even if the discord in her heart wasn't so clear, they'd been friends long enough for Junie's mannerisms to signify that she was upset or troubled. Besides, a friend didn't drop by your apartment and just sit there looking disconsolate if nothing was wrong.
"I guess I just feel lonely."
"Lonely?" Athena put a hand on her arm. "I'm here for you. And what about Robin and Hugh—and Myriam?" she added, when she remembered the odd reporter's desire to become friends with the trio.
"Oh! I know, I didn't mean I don't have friends. I just…" She glanced down. "I guess I feel like I should be making new friends... and I'm not good at that."
Except Myriam was a new friend. Junie was still lying about something. "You should drop by the Wright Anything Agency sometime," Athena said. "Maybe you could get to know Apollo better."
"W-what?" Junie blushed and jumped to her feet. "I just remembered something I have to do. Goodbye, Athena, thank you for talking to me."
But Junie fled the apartment before she could say another word.
Athena sat down on the couch and frowned. Well, the problem was clear enough. The only question was the solution. Junie's crush on the defense attorney was painfully obvious—to everyone except Apollo. And Junie, quiet as she was, seemed to take his obliviousness as rejection.
She would never confess her feelings to him on her own, that much was clear. And it would be wrong for Athena to tell Apollo without Junie's permission.
There had to be a way to get them together.
"Aw, come on, sir, I haven't had a day off in months!"
Chief Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth's glare could burn holes through stone, and it only intensified as time passed. "Detective, I'm giving you a day off. Tomorrow. Why are you complaining?!"
Dick Gumshoe slumped. "I gotta have the day after tomorrow off. I'll work extra tomorrow, if you want."
"You wouldn't understand, sir."
With a dismissive shake of his head, Edgeworth turned his attention back to the paperwork piled on his desk. "If you can't even put in an effort to make me understand, I feel no obligation to listen to you any longer."
That was it? After twenty minutes worth of arguing, he'd failed? He slumped even further. Man, this was the worst day of his life. On the other hand, at least it couldn't get any worse. He brightened. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad trying to tell Edgeworth what was up.
"Okay, sir, here's the thing. The day after tomorrow is my anniversary."
Edgeworth gave him a sharp look. "Anniversary of what?"
He scratched the back of his head. "Of, well, of the day I first met Maggey Byrde."
"Does she know about this?"
"Yeah, of course! I mean, she must, right?" He slumped again. With his luck, Maggey would have a date with someone else. "Well, I'll tell her as soon as I get the day off."
"Why can't you celebrate your anniversary tomorrow?" The prosecutor folded his arms. "I think it's highly unlikely Ms. Byrde remembers the exact day you two met."
"But sir, it's the principle of the thing! Besides, that play is coming to town on our anniversary! It's just perfect."
Gumshoe fished through the pockets of his trench coat through an assortment of junk until he found the newspaper article. He held it out. "Take that!"
Edgeworth narrowed his eyes. "Don't do that."
He took the article anyway and scanned the page.
When the silence stretched on a little too long, Gumshoe said, "The Only Girl for Me. It's a romantic comedy. It's supposed to be really good, sir. Everybody's talking about it."
"I see." Edgeworth handed back the article and looked at him for a moment. "I suppose you already bought tickets."
"You did, didn't you? I've also heard about The Only Girl for Me. With a show as highly anticipated as this one, if you plan to see its premiere performance in the city, you should have gotten your tickets well ahead of time. I imagine they're selling out quickly."
Oh no. He'd have to run to the theater as soon as his shift was over. Still, he caught himself. If he told Edgeworth the embarrassing truth, he'd never get the correct day off. On the other hand, if Edgeworth thought he already had the tickets, it might just sway him.
"Yeah, of course I bought the tickets." He laughed. "They aren't the best seats in the house, but considering how long I spent in line, it'll be a real shame if we can't go!"
Edgeworth stared at him.
Sweat ran down the back of Gumshoe's neck. Telling a fib in the Prosecutor's Building was like waving your hand in front of a poisonous snake. They all could tell. Had to be something they taught them in prosecutor school.
"Very well. You can have the day after tomorrow off."
"Thank you sir, thank you so much, it'll never happen again, thank you—"
Edgeworth broke free of his attempts to shake his hand repeatedly and lifted a warning finger. "I expect a good day's work from you today and tomorrow. Don't make me regret my decision."
"You won't regret it at all, sir!"
Gumshoe saluted, spun around, and dashed out of the Chief Prosecutor's office before he could change his mind. Everything was perfect. He just had to work hard and tell Maggey the good news. Well, and get the tickets, but that would be easy. Nothing could dampen his mood, not even the glare from Prosecutor Blackquill, who didn't appear to have enjoyed his twenty-minute wait outside the office. Spoilsport. All he had were some case files to turn over, nothing as critical as this. Some people just didn't have their priorities in order.
Him and Maggey, watching The Only Girl for Me on their anniversary. It would be amazing.
Athena raced into the Wright Anything Agency. "Sorry I'm late, Boss!"
"It's all right," Phoenix said. "Anything wrong?"
"Oh, no," she said. She hung up her coat and held up her prize with a grin of triumph. "I just bought a ticket to The Only Girl for Me."
Two tickets, actually.
Phoenix frowned. "What's that?"
Her jaw dropped. Sometimes her boss was so out of touch with the world. "Are you serious?"
"It's the biggest show of the year," Apollo cut in. "It's coming here the day after tomorrow, and everyone's going nuts for it."
Athena turned her shocked stare to him. Of the two, she'd expected him to not know what it was. "You've heard of it?"
"Yeah." He shrugged. "After everything that happened, I've been trying to get my mind off of things, and I ended up reading about a bunch of theater stuff. I don't think I'm going to become a big fan or anything, but this one sounds so good, I almost wish I could see it." He laughed. "Not that I want to wait in line for tickets, though."
This would work out even better than she expected. She flashed him a peace sign. "You're in luck Apollo." She held out a ticket. "This is for you."
He drew back in shock. "For me?" He reached for the ticket, then hesitated and gave her a suspicious look. "Wait, I know that look in your eye. There's a catch. You aren't just giving me a ticket so I can have a good time. What's the trick?"
"It's not a trick," she said. "But if you want the ticket, you have to agree to the terms."
"I knew it." He folded his arms. "What are the 'terms'?"
"The play starts at five. Get to the theater a little early—say around four or so—and wait." She grinned. "Someone else will show up to meet you, and you can watch the show together."
He narrowed his eyes. "Are you serious? You've set me up on a blind date?"
"You could put it that way."
"It'll be fun, Apollo! And even if you don't like your date—and I'm sure you will, by the way—the play is supposed to be fantastic!" She frowned. "Don't be such a grouch!"
"…Fine." He snatched the ticket from her. "I'll go. Like I said, I've been trying to get my mind off of things, anyway."
Poor Apollo. The death of Clay and everything that followed really hurt him. A fun evening with Junie would be just the thing to boost both their spirits.
Trouble was in the air.
Phoenix could sense something was up, and it was more than just Athena trying to play matchmaker with Apollo, which had enough potential to blow up on its own. Something else was going on, and he had a pretty good idea of who was its source.
"All right, Trucy," he said, when his daughter burst back into the Agency. "What's going on?"
He gave her a flat look. She'd run out of the building earlier with a glint in her eye that said she was about to wreak mayhem. And despite her attempt at innocence, her smug expression confirmed his suspicions. Whatever she was up to, it couldn't be good. "Trucy..."
She looked from side to side and beckoned him closer. "Are we alone?"
"Athena is taking care of some paperwork, and Apollo looked so distressed, I sent him out for a walk."
"Good! Guess what I just bought?"
Oh no. It couldn't be. "What?"
"The last two tickets to The Only Girl for Me."
It was. He groaned. "Trucy, you aren't going to go to the show and embarrass Apollo, are you?"
Her eyes widened, and she put her hand over her mouth. "What? Of course not!"
Strange, the Magatama didn't react. She wasn't lying. But she was definitely up to something. "Then why did you buy the tickets?"
She beamed. "Did you see how excited Athena was when she was talking about it? I bet she really wants to see it, except she thinks it's more important that Polly go and enjoy himself. Isn't that sweet, Daddy?"
"Very. Why did you buy the tickets?"
"So Athena can go see the show, of course!"
Of course. He sighed. "So you and Athena are going to go see The Only Girl for Me on the same day as Apollo, and you don't think this will be awkward for him at all?"
She grinned. "What are you talking about, Daddy? I'm not going. Besides, I saw the seat number on Polly's ticket. These seats are way on the other side of the theater. He'll never even see them."
Somehow, her reassurances made him feel progressively worse about the situation. "'Them'? Who is getting the second ticket? It's not me, is it?"
She giggled. "No, Daddy. It's a secret!"
"Trucy, what are you—"
"If Athena can do it, so can I! I'm setting her up on a blind date!" She giggled even harder. "Well, it's not quite blind if they know each other, is it? Oh, this is so much fun."
Phoenix sat down and rubbed his forehead.
The door opened. "All right, Boss, I got that paperwork you—" Athena stopped. "Is something wrong?"
Before he could answer, Trucy did. "Nope! I got you a ticket to see The Only Girl for Me."
Trucy tipped her hat and smirked. "It's the last ticket they had, so you better have a good time. Now, you told Polly to meet his date at 4:00, right? Well, you should go to the theater at 4:30 to meet yours."
"Your date," Trucy said. "Don't worry. Polly should already be in the theater by then, so it won't be like you're spying on him."
Athena wrapped her arm around herself and glanced to the side. "I don't know… After everything that's happened, I'm not so sure I want to go on a date."
"Do I have to go through this with you, too?" Trucy stamped her foot. "It would be so rude to leave your date waiting all alone. You have to go! Besides, you'll be so happy when you see who it is." She smiled. "I'm certain of it."
Phoenix's bad feeling about the situation got even worse. He loved his daughter, but she sometimes saw romance where there was none—which explained why she got on so well with Pearls. Thank goodness she wasn't visiting, or he'd probably be on his way to a "blind date" with Maya.
Trucy glared at both of them. "Come on, lighten up. It'll be fun! Isn't that what you just said to Apollo?"
"You're right. Well, I'll give it a try." Athena took a deep breath. "I guess if I'm making Apollo go through this, I shouldn't complain. Thanks, Trucy."
"No problem. What could possibly go wrong?"
Author's note: What could go wrong, indeed? Hehehehe.
Romance isn't one of my big genres to write in, but when this story idea formed in my head, I had to start writing it. In fact, I wrote the first 9,000 words in a single day. I just couldn't stop. I'm now a fan of a pairing that quite possibly has a following of one.
Special thanks again go to Stein999 (deviantart) for this wonderful cover image! ^_^ Now, stay tuned, everyone, to watch everything about this matchmaking plan go horribly wrong.