A/N: Hello everyone. I am currently playing Spirit of Justice and I had to write something after case 3. Mildly spoilerish but not really?

Also, I will update The Complexity of Memories soon - I just reached an important story juncture where everything needs to be mapped out properly before I write anymore or I might miss something important out. I'm expecting at least another 10 chapters, but knowing how I write it could be 15.

This fic is not part of that story universe, it stands alone. Everyone go play SoJ.

Phoenix ambled through the vast hallway of Tehm'pul Temple towards the guest quarters, barely aware of the thud of his footsteps on hallway runners.

They'd done it. They'd cut it close a few times, but their conviction had finally been overturned. She wasn't going to die. He wasn't going to die. They were free. She was safe. He could finally breathe.

Maya Fey was no stranger to danger, and honestly, neither was he. It didn't matter how long they'd been apart, it seemed that as soon as they got together things were just the same as they always were, no matter how many years had passed. Chaos and calamity. Death and destruction.

But despite the usual murder, mayhem and subterfuge, were things really the same this time?

He sighed heavily at the thought and shifted the bag of food in his arms that he'd picked up at the market with Ahlbi after the trial. Maya had been taken away to be processed before release and he'd realized that they'd barely eaten over the last few days. She hadn't called him yet, so he could only assume that she was still over at the detention center.

Eleven years. That's how long they'd known each other now. So many ups and downs and changes. He hated that it had been years since they had seen each other last. They'd stayed in contact, of course, but her training and his... problems... had kept them apart a long time. But now, her training was all but finished. He had his badge back too. She was coming home.

He hadn't been prepared for the rush of emotions he'd felt at finally seeing her again. The intense anticipation he'd felt coupled with the familiarity of her voice had stopped him dead in his tracks as she'd pulled back her hood. A warmth had enveloped him from the moment he had set eyes on her pretty face. She spoke his name, and it was like a missing piece fell back into place. These feelings - he'd always had feelings for her in some way or another. Protector. Defender. Champion. Something more?

She's too young. She's too important to her village. It's too dangerous. He'd painted a thousand pictures of why they could never be anything more than friends. But now... Now the canvas was blank. They were adults. The obstacles were gone. But was it even possible? Did she feel the same way he did?

Given the severity of the case and the sentence that came with it, he'd done his best to keep himself as clinically detached as possible for the duration of the trial. He had needed a clear head. The stakes were just too high to lose himself in thoughts of a future they had no chance at at all if he wasn't at the top of his game. He hoped Maya didn't think he was unaffected or that he didn't care. That couldn't be further from the truth. He'd barely slept and he was pretty sure it showed. She had looked exhausted as well.

But there had been moments... brief and fleeting, but there nonetheless, where their eyes had met and locked, revealing something simmering beneath the surface. Moments where their hands would touch and they'd both feel the jolt of electricity that indicated a desire for something more. She'd smile and avert her eyes... change the subject. But she felt it. He was sure of it. At least, he hoped she did. They'd lost so much time already. He had to tell her how he felt.

He reached the door of his room and slid it open, stepping inside. He pulled it closed softly and turned around.

He froze as he spotted her on the other side of the room, pacing and wringing her hands together.

"Nick..." she cried as she saw him, her voice full of emotion.

"Maya..." he breathed.

Before he could register what was happening, she had closed the distance between them. Throwing her arms around his neck, she pressed her lips against his.

His body stiffened as the usual practiced objections formed in his mind. But this time, they weren't necessary. There was absolutely no reason why he couldn't just give in to his feelings. This was just the two of them, finally letting go. She clung to him, her lips never leaving his, almost helping him through his thought process. She felt him relax. The bag in his hands dropped to the floor with a clutter as his hands moved to her waist and he began to return her kiss.

Gripping her waist, he pulled her body against his and pressed his lips harder against hers, finally letting his emotions overrule his mind. He felt her smile as their kiss deepened. Lips and hands explored frantically as they gasped for air between kisses. Maya slid her hands over Phoenix's torso, pushing his jacket over his shoulders. It dropped to the floor in a heap, next to the forgotten grocery bag from the market.

Her hands moved to unbutton his vest and he somehow mustered the clarity of mind to grab both her wrists as he tore himself away from their kiss. She was undressing him... This was happening too fast. They hadn't even talked about what was happening. Emotions were high from their escape from death, he knew this. As much as he didn't want to stop her, he'd never forgive himself if they did something she ended up regretting.

"Hold it..." he croaked. His pale imitation of his courtroom catch cry elicited a giggle from the woman in his arms. "Maya... this is... this is too fast."

She scoffed lightly as she buried her head in the crook of his neck.

"Nick, are you kidding me?" she laughed. "This is about ten years overdue."

He pulled back slightly to look at her.

"You know what I mea- wait a minute, ten years!?"

She brought her hands up to frame his face as she looked him in the eyes.

"Uh huh. The Engarde trial. That's when I knew. I knew you were the only one I wanted."

Phoenix frowned as she moved her hands from his face and lazily draped them around his neck once more.

"You were so young then..."

"I was eighteen, thank you very much," she huffed playfully. "Old enough to vote - old enough to tear your clothes off in a fit of passion... or old enough to want to."

She smiled before continuing. "I was a grown woman, not that you noticed."

"Oh I noticed," Phoenix smirked, looking down at his former assistant. "But I was too much of a gentleman to do anything about it."

"And what about now?" she countered, returning his smirk.

"Well, I did stop you just now..." Phoenix shrugged.

"True." Maya conceded. "But the question is, are you going to let me continue?"

"That depends," he said seriously. He carefully removed her hands from around his neck and held both her hands in his. "Maya, what exactly are we doing here?"

Maya opened her mouth to speak, a sarcastic and somewhat filthy reply on the tip of her tongue, but stopped herself at the last second. She knew what he was doing, and she knew what he needed to hear.

"Nick, please. I get it. You don't have to worry. I'm not high off endorphin's from our little near death experience. I'm not caught up in any moment here. I know exactly what I want. It is what I wanted yesterday and it's what I'll still want tomorrow," she finished, eyeing him seriously.

"And what is that, exactly?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. Maya sighed in exasperation.

"You, you big dummy!" she groaned.

Squeezing his hands, she looked him straight in the eyes.

"I love you, Phoenix Wright." she stated simply.

Seconds passed like hours as she waited for him to respond. Her heart lurched in her chest when he grimaced slightly, screwing up his nose. She panicked. Had she misread him? Had she just thoughtlessly destroyed a decade long friendship? Of course not, she reassured herself. But what exactly was going on?

"What? What is it?" Maya stammered when his silence became too much. Phoenix gently shook his head in response, his frown remaining in place. Frustrated, she tore her hands from his.

"You know, this is the part where you say 'I love you too, Maya' and we get back to making out!" she huffed, placing a hand on her hip. She knew he loved her. Why was he being difficult?

Silence stretched out a while longer before he finally spoke.

"You called me Phoenix..." he frowned.

"Well, that is your name." Maya replied.

"Yeah... I know. But from you... it... it just doesn't sound right." He paused. "When I imagined you saying it... you just... you never used my proper name."

Maya sighed with relief. That was the problem? That reality didn't match up with expectation? She moved back towards him, taking his one of his hands in hers.

"You're so silly," she laughed. "I just thought it would sound more dramatic!" she finished with a flourish for effect.

"Don't you think we've had enough drama?" Phoenix countered.

"Hmm. True." Maya agreed, placing her finger on her chin. "I do love you though, that's well and truly out there now, I guess."

Phoenix nodded, the corner of his mouth lifting in a lopsided grin.

"Say it again..." he requested.

Maya raised an eyebrow. "...I love you?"

"Say it properly," Phoenix elaborated, his eyes locked with hers. Maya suddenly realised what he was getting at. With a broad smile, she finally said what he had been waiting to hear.

"I love you... Nick."

"There we go!" he smiled, pulling her back into his arms. "I love you too, Maya Fey."

"Happy now?" Maya teased. "Heard what you wanted to hear?"

"Definitely." Phoenix smiled.

"Fantastic." Maya smiled, curling her fingers into his hair. "Now that you've indulged your fantasies, how about we get back to mine? I've always wanted to remove this suit. Piece by piece..."

"Yes ma'am." Phoenix nodded, bringing his lips to hers for another kiss.

A/N: FYI, I have not finished SoJ, I am halfway through case 4 so I have no idea what kind of shitstorm 6-5 will bring and whether or not it will make this fic not make sense at all. Also, I may have a teeny tiny extra bit for this fic up later if I decide it is not too cheesy and/or crap.