"H-hey, kitten...wait up a moment!"
Godot would have avoided drawing attention to himself, if the option were available. He would have stuck to the shadows, trailed behind the woman unnoticed until she was safely home. His own body, however, soon betrayed him. Within ten minutes his already sore back protested the strain he'd put on it, his legs ached for rest and his lungs burned. He kept up with her casual pace for as long as he could out of spite, but even he had to admit that she was inching further and further away. If he didn't call her back, he'd loose her.
And if he lost her...well. Maybe nothing, if they both were lucky. But given those years he'd spent in death's cold embrace only to awake burning in his own personal Hell, he wasn't about to place her life in hands so fickle as those of Lady Luck.
The fact of the matter was that the sun had vanished out of the sky, leaving the world dark and foreboding despite the best efforts of every street lamp, and Mia's sister was wandering about alone, wearing that stupid waitress outfit from the restaurant.
He'd been interrogating Jean Armstrong in the hour before the place closed down, and had kept careful watch in the hopes that Wright would pick her up when her shift was over. Obviously, the idiot learned nothing from the loss of his mentor. When they once more faced each other in court, he'd be sure to give him the worst time possible, but for the moment it fell to him to keep the girl safe in Wright's absence.
Maya started, then paused, a split second of hesitation before she turned to face him. "...Prosecutor Godot?"
She was too far away for his damaged vision to make sense of her face, but he could hear the confusion behind her words. Not unexpected, he was probably the last person she expected to go chasing her down.
He straightened his back, pulled on a grin to hide the pain it caused, and put his best effort into playing off his sluggish approach as a relaxed, casual stroll. "I thought it was you. Though I must say I find it odd to see you working in a place like Tres Bien. Aren't you Trite's assistant? Or does he not pay you enough to get by on one job?"
The indignant huff of breath told him his comment wasn't appreciated, though he wasn't about to take it back. He came to a stop just outside of arms reach in time to see her eyes harden into a glare.
"First of all, his name is Phoenix Wright. Got that? Wright. Second, I don't see how what I make is any of your business."
He shrugged, his smile unwavering. "Look, kitten, all I'm saying is that if Trite isn't paying you properly, you might want to go looking for a better employer."
"Now listen here, you." She took a step closer, "Nick is my friend. If you followed me out here to try and get me to work for you-"
"Now now, I wouldn't go that far. I don't need an assistant. It's just some friendly advice."
She folded her arms, snorting out the air from her lungs. "What do you have against Nick anyway?"
Everything. "Why does coffee burn the tongue when it's freshly brewed?"
"It is its nature. And such is the nature of defense attorneys and prosecutors. Harsh it may be, but there's no changing that anymore than you can brew coffee cold."
"But you can brew coffee cold."
Her lips twitched upward, and he caught the tiny shifts in her stance. The idea of finding him unaware was amusing, it seemed. She said, "There are some types of coffee you can brew cold. You seep the grounds in water for twelve hours, then you drain it through a strainer, and add ice."
He shook his head, letting out a low chuckle. "I'm sorry to disappoint you, kitten, but that's tea, not coffee."
"Oh, come on, at least try it before you put it down!"
"Tell you what, you try it, then come tell me how it was."
"And if it's good, you'll give it a chance?"
Maya scoffed, but there was still that hint of a smile there. "What, are you afraid you'll find something you like better than the sludge you drink normally?"
"Hey now, that one was below the belt. I'll have you know my coffee is the darkest and most bitter blend out there."
"That's the problem! Why do you keep making it taste bad on purpose?"
Because he wouldn't be able to taste it at all otherwise. "Who's the one judging things before they try them now, kitten?"
A beat of silence, and he smirked. He got her. But then she grinned up at him, her hands clasped in front of her chest. "Okay." she said.
"I'll try some of your coffee. Not tonight, I need rest for the trial, but maybe tomorrow, before the courtroom opens?"
"Oh...well, it'd be an honor."
"I'll look forward to it."
The flow of conversation tampered off. For a moment, the two of them just stood there, seconds ticking away until it started to feel awkward. He hadn't exactly thought of things to say, hadn't intended on interacting with the medium until he'd no other choice.
"So, did you want any-"
"I was wondering-"
Both of them cut off at the same time to let the other speak. He motioned for her to go first.
"...um..." she glanced away, hands going behind her back. "What was it you wanted, anyway? I mean... you followed me out here for a reason, right?"
He nodded. "It's a nice night for a walk. I was wondering if you might like some company?"
"Oh. Well, sure!" She smiled...then her eyes narrowed, and she frowned up at him. "Wait...why are you being nice to me, and not Nick? You're not trying to weasel evidence out of me, are you?"
"I wouldn't dream of it."
"He has it all anyway, you know. Couldn't exactly carry it around while I was working."
The prosecutor snorted, "If he's hoarding all the evidence, I can't imagine I'll have many problems at the trial."
Maya bristled. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Just what it sounds like. He'll go and loose everything then come to court and flaunt his incompetence."
Her voice sharpened, rising as she took another step closer, fingers curling into fists at her sides. "That's uncalled for and you know it! I don't care how you think attorneys and prosecutors are supposed to act. It doesn't give you the right to be such a jerk!"
"If Trite actually knew what he was doing-"
The smack of flesh against flesh hit him first, followed an instant later by complete darkness. Everything went black, and he stood there, dazed, wondering what happened...and then his cheek felt like it'd been torn off the side of his face. He heard the clatter of metal against the ground, and a rush of cool air chilled the skin that had just seconds ago been covered by his visor.
"Nick is one of the best lawyers out there! Sure, he's clumsy, and he can be a bit of an idiot, and sometimes he throws around evidence like he has no idea what he's doing, but he always comes through when it counts! He's done more for me then you could imagine, and I'm not going to just stand here and listen to you make fun of him!"
Godot stiffened, strain coiling in his shoulders, and before he could stop himself, he took a step back.
She went on, and despite his retreat, she sounded no farther away. "Even Franziska Von Karma was more professional than you were, and she's attacked him with a whip!"
"Okay, kitten." He took another step back, hands raised. "I didn't mean to draw out your claws. There's no need to fight outside of the courtroom."
He felt her fingers dig into the front of his shirt. "If you don't want to fight outside the courtroom, then you won't insult him outside of it either."
"I understand. I'll stop, I'll stop."
"Good. Because if I hear one more word from you about him-"
She held him for several seconds more, the entire world dead quiet except for the hollow beating under her hands and the rush of air through his lungs. He made no move to remove her by force, but he did close his eyes, hoping to protect the fragile organs from harm should she feel the need to further punish him.
"Well, good then." She snapped. Her grip loosened, then released him entirely. The tap of sandle against concrete told him she was moving away. He was going to be left sightless by the side of the road, and she was going back into the night unprotected.
"Wait. Just...wait, please?" Godot trailed behind her, his voice covering up the sound of her footsteps. "I honestly-"
Of course he bumped into her. Her position was odd, her already short stature even more so. She'd been kneeling it seemed, because when his leg made contact, he toppled over, and met the ground with a dull thud. A sharp breath hissed through his teeth as he pulled himself into a sitting position, hand gripping at his bruised shoulder.
"Oh! Are you okay?" The anger she'd displayed previously vanished. He felt her move to crouch next to him, a hand placed on his arm. "You really need to watch where you're going. You could have broken something! Did you break something?"
"No, no I'm fine. This is nothing."
"Nothing? You dive bombed the ground!"
"It looked worse than it felt."
"Then why are you holding on to your arm like you've ripped it out of its socket?"
He let go, trying not to wince as he put both hands on his lap, and offered her the brightest grin he could manage.
She scoffed, "Okay, right, I'll believe that. Fine, be that way if you don't want to admit that you're hurt, but at least take some aspirin when we get to the house."
"As you wish."
Without further comment, he pulled himself back to his feet, but he didn't know what to do from there. He'd lost his sense of direction in the fall. If he just started walking, there was a very good chance he'd wind up going right out into the street.
"Um...don't you want your thing back?" asked Maya. "Your...science-y sunglasses? Is that what this is?"
"It's a visor, but I suppose you could say it's a type of glasses."
Was she holding it out to him? Swallowing hard, he reached out in her general direction, searching along the area he thought she was. Despite his best efforts, it took several seconds. Worse still, when his fingertips did finally find her, it was at the bend of her elbow. He followed the path of her arm, and was rewarded with the sensation of cool metal when he got to her hand.
That was all. A quiet murmur of realization. She knew.
When he put it up to his face, though, there was no flash of light. The world didn't come back into focus. He flipped the switch on its side, and still nothing.
"Oh, joy." he murmured, flipping it a second and a third time. Each click was accompanied with a quiet pop of the gears inside.
"The light's not coming on. Did it break?"
"Unfortunately." Shaking his head, he gave up on his efforts. The device was left where it was, partly because he had nowhere else to put it, and partly because he was more comfortable with having his eyes covered.
"You jerk. You should have told me! I would've made you take it off first."
He folded his arms over his chest, a smile parting his lips despite the situation. "No harm done, kitten. I have a spare at home."
"Oh, okay. Let's go pick it up, then. I'll go with you."
"Sorry, no. I live on the far side of town. A half hour away by car. I think that's a bit much for a walk, don't you?"
"Then we'll get to my house and call a taxi. Come on." Before be could respond, she linked her arm around his own and started forward. She went slow, and he was grateful that it seemed to be in response to his inability to see rather than his physical ailments. At least there were some secrets he could keep. He put extra effort into keeping his back straight, outright refusing to let himself lean on her.
"I don't have a way to pay for a taxi." he said. "I'm not going to get a check until the current case is solved. And I don't have enough from my last job to cover it."
"I'll take care of it, then."
"You shouldn't have to-"
"Don't argue! You need this. If it bothers you that much, you can pay me back later, but just let me help you for now, okay?"
Godot's chest tightened, and he gave in. "Alright. If you insist."
"Good! It's settled then. I expect a full meal of burgers with fries the day you get your check. Enough for both of us."
"Consider it done."
She giggled then, a small, delighted laugh, and it sounded so much like Mia that it hurt. He gave her arm a fond squeeze. Nothing was going to hurt her, ever, he wouldn't let it. He'd already failed to protect Mia, he wasn't about to repeat his mistake.
He was going to protect her, no matter what the cost.