Apollo doesn't think he'll ever get over the disappointment of finding out what Phoenix Wright is really like. He'd looked up to the man for so long, he was so excited to meet him and help defend him, and Phoenix had only let him down again, and again, and again.
So he has no idea why he's working for the man. He spends more time cleaning the toilet than taking on cases as a lawyer though, seeing as Phoenix normally can't afford to pay him anything. He tells himself that he's worried about Trucy. She seems to be doing fine, but it bothers Apollo that Phoenix spends more time "working" at that seedy bar than he does at home taking care of her. She may not be a child, but she's still only fifteen, and when Phoenix is home, he spends his time drinking what he calls "grape juice" and sleeping, instead of caring for Trucy. So Apollo stays for her, to watch over her like some sort of big brother figure.
She doesn't seem to mind, and Apollo does have to admit that Trucy seems to love Phoenix, but it just rubs him the wrong way. She doesn't have to be grateful that Phoenix adopted her if he isn't actually a good father, and so far what Apollo has seen indicates that he isn't.
Every time Phoenix goes out, he tells Trucy it's on one of his "secret missions", but Apollo's quite sure all that means is he's going to the Borscht Bowl Club to hang out off the clock, to get drunk and play some poker and probably to find or pay someone willing to sleep with him before coming home late at night. Otherwise, why be so secretive about it all?
He decides to ask Trucy about it one night, if she knows anything at all about her dad's late nights, and she just shrugs and shakes her head. He's not sure, but he thinks he sees a slight twitch of her lips indicating she may not be telling the whole truth. He doesn't want to use his newfound ability on her though, so he lets it slide. Maybe she's well aware of her father's sketchy tendencies and would prefer to pretend not to be.
Apollo lets it go for a few weeks, but every time Phoenix stands up from wherever he's been relaxing the whole day and tells Apollo and Trucy that he's "going out", it grates on Apollo's nerves. Where on earth is he going so late in the evening?
Despite knowing he shouldn't, despite knowing that even if his boss is a sketchy loser, he still has the right to his privacy, Apollo finds himself leaving the office to follow Phoenix one night. He waits a few minutes for Phoenix to get ahead of him, then picks up his own jacket and follows him downstairs.
He tails the older man not to the Borscht Bowl Club, but to another small Japanese style pub not far from the office. Phoenix enters, but Apollo waits outside, peering into the window and hoping he doesn't look too suspicious. Phoenix heads straight to the back, pulling off his hat as he approaches the table. He slides into a booth across from a pretty young woman. Young, long black hair pulled back into a braid. She's dressed in a loose fitting babydoll top, from what Apollo can see through the window.
He's not sure what he expected. Phoenix really is leaving the office late in the evening to meet up with women. Though this one is a lot prettier and younger than the type of women he would have thought Phoenix would attract. They talk for a long time, so long that eventually Apollo has to make his way inside the pub himself or risk someone telling him to quit loitering. Luckily, Phoenix is so absorbed in his conversation with the young woman that he doesn't notice his employee slide into a booth across the room.
From so far away Apollo can't hear a word they're saying, and he can only see the back of Phoenix's head and a bit of the girl's face. She looks even younger from the front, and Apollo wonders how old she is. Around his age, maybe?
They talk for close to an hour. Apollo is into his third soda before the girl finally shifts and starts to get up. Phoenix stands up too, rushing around the table to help her. It's only then that Apollo finally sees that she's pregnant. The babydoll top she's wearing hid her stomach well, especially under the table, but now that she's standing it's quite obvious. She has to be seven or eight months along judging by her size.
Once she's managed to stand, Phoenix lets her go, and she starts to head towards the door by herself. Phoenix sits back down to finish his drink, which makes Apollo seethe. He's not even going to walk this pregnant woman out of the bar? This pregnant woman who is probably pregnant with his baby and keeping it a secret? A pregnant woman who is probably alone otherwise, with only Phoenix to support her? He can't help feeling incredibly sad for her, and angry at Phoenix for putting her in such a position.
Phoenix waits another ten minutes before he also gets up to leave. Apollo holds up his menu to cover his face again, being sure to hold it high enough that his hair horns don't stick up above it. When Phoenix has passed him by and he hears the door of the pub close behind him, Apollo slaps some money on the table for his drinks and follows Phoenix out.
By the time he reaches the sidewalk, he spots Phoenix a few feet ahead of him, the blue beanie already back on his head as he heads back towards the office. Apollo picks up the pace, wanting to catch up to him.
Phoenix stops mid-stride and turns to face Apollo, a look of confusion on his face. "Apollo? What are you doing out here?"
Apollo stops in front of him, almost unable to contain his anger. "I saw you, just now, with that girl."
Phoenix's eyebrows furrow together as Apollo stares up at him. Phoenix is taller and broader, but Apollo tells himself not to be intimidated. It's just Phoenix. He has nothing to be afraid of.
"And what about it?" Phoenix asks.
"She's pregnant," Apollo states.
"You're very observant," Phoenix replies flippantly, turning to continue his walk down the sidewalk.
Apollo reaches out, grabbing the other man's wrist. "Is it yours? I wouldn't put it past you to knock up some poor young prostitute or something—"
Phoenix's head snaps around to look at him, and before Apollo can do much to protest, Phoenix grabs the collar of his shirt in his fist and pushes him against the brick wall of the building they're walking beside, bringing his face uncomfortably close to Apollo's.
"Don't you dare say anything like that about her again, Apollo. You don't know what you're talking about."
Apollo swallows. He knows he went too far that time. And he knows Phoenix won't really hurt him, but that doesn't stop the adrenaline from coursing through his veins as Phoenix holds him pressed against the wall with relative ease.
"I-I'm sorry," he stammers.
Phoenix's fist slowly uncurls, releasing Apollo's shirt from his grasp. "Keep out of it. It's none of your business," he says, before turning and walking away, much faster now.
Almost a month passes, and Apollo doesn't dare mention the girl again. Phoenix doesn't either, though Apollo has to wonder how often he meets with her whenever he mentions going out. He's curious about her, for sure, but he doesn't have the guts to ask Phoenix about her more respectfully, not after he accused Phoenix of getting a prostitute pregnant, which he's still kicking himself for.
Still, the curiosity eats at him. Maybe the baby isn't even Phoenix's. Maybe she's an acquaintance or friend that he's helping out? Or maybe the baby is his and he doesn't want anyone else to know about it for some reason. Apollo badly wants to know the truth, but as Phoenix had made it clear, it's none of his business.
He's sitting at his desk around a month and a half after the night he followed Phoenix, working on paperwork for Vera Misham's trial when there's a rhythmic knock on the door. No one else is in the main room to hear it, so Apollo pushes his chair back and gets up to answer. He's not sure who it would be so late, since the office is closed to clients now.
When he opens the door, he blinks in surprise. It's the same woman from the pub, still heavily pregnant, but dressed in flowing robes that show off her protruding belly more than the shirt she was wearing at the pub did. Her hair is down except for a little knot on the top of her head, and some pieces in the front with large beads attached.
"Um… hello?" he says.
She tilts her head at him and smiles. "Hi. Is Nick around?"
"Oh, um, Phoenix. Is he here?"
"Y-Yes. But um… who are you?" The question slips from his mouth before he can stop it.
The women laughs and holds out her hand. "My name is Maya."
He's not sure why her name sounds so familiar, but he takes her hand and gives it a quick shake. Maya pushes past him to enter the office. She seems strangely comfortable with her surroundings, as if she's been there a thousand times before.
"Nick!" she calls, before Apollo can go get Phoenix for her. "I came to visit!"
Apollo hears a noise from the other room, and in no less than a few seconds Phoenix is rounding the corner, a look of concern on his face as he approaches the young woman. Apollo watches with fascination as Phoenix takes her gently into his arms and guides her to the couch.
"Maya, what are you doing here? Sit down, I can't believe you came all this way in your condition without telling me."
Maya rolls her eyes as she sits, pulling Phoenix down beside her. "I came to celebrate Apollo's victory."
Apollo starts when he hears his name. "You know who I am?"
Maya nods. "Of course, Nick's told me all about you. I've also known about his investigation into Kristoph Gavin for years, and it's thanks to your help that he'll finally be put away for good. It's thanks to you that we're finally free."
Apollo's head is spinning. What is she talking about? "I don't get it. Mr. Wright, I'm so confused."
Phoenix is too busy fussing over Maya to hear, stroking her hair out of her face and making sure she's comfortable. Maya swats him away. "Nick, I'm fine. And can you please take that hat off? You know I don't really like it."
Phoenix immediately reaches up and removes his beanie. The only other time Apollo has ever seen him without it was also when he was meeting up with Maya. "I should really clean up a bit, Maya. I'm sorry the place is such a mess. Watch where you step, okay? I don't want you falling down or anything."
Maya shakes her head, grabbing his hand to calm his fussing. Apollo eyes her finger and notices a ring. It's a thin silver band with a small diamond, and he can't seem to tear his eyes from it.
Maya looks at him and notices him staring. "I guess Nick hasn't told you much about me."
"Try nothing at all," Apollo says.
Phoenix looks at him, for once bright eyed and alert. He looks completely different from the slobby, half-lidded, aloof boss Apollo is so used to. His whole demeanour has changed, just because of this woman.
"I couldn't tell you, Apollo," Phoenix says. "It was too risky. Even with Kristoph in jail after my trial, I couldn't risk Maya's safety until we made sure he wouldn't be getting out again. I also had to be positive that I could trust you. You did work for the man, after all."
Apollo sits down heavily in the other couch across from them, nodding understandingly. "So you two do know each other."
Maya glances at Phoenix, and Apollo notices a smile pass between them. Phoenix turns back to him. "Maya has been my best friend for ten years, Apollo. She used to be my assistant when I was still a lawyer."
Apollo's mouth drops open. That's why her name sounded so familiar. He'd read all about Phoenix's trials when he was still an attorney, and included in all of his cases was the name of his young assistant. Maya Fey.
"I've been more than your friend for about five of those years, though, Nick," Maya says, leaning in to kiss him on the cheek.
Phoenix smiles, taking her hand, the one with the ring. Apollo sees his thumb swipe over it. "Yeah. She's also my future wife, and mother of my children, and the only real mother figure Trucy has ever known, too."
Apollo's eyes widen. "Whoa. Mr. Wright, I had no idea… I feel like I've had the wrong opinion of you all this time…"
Phoenix shrugs. "I didn't exactly do much to change your opinion of me."
Apollo isn't sure what to say, and yet again the first thing he thinks of is the first thing to pop out of his mouth. "So, uh, how far along are you?" he asks Maya.
Maya glances down at her large belly as if she'd forgotten all about it. "Oh, seven and a half months. We're almost there!"
"Oh." He's surprised. She's huge, much bigger than she was over a month ago when he'd seen her at the pub. He would think she'd be ready to pop at any moment, but she still has a month and half to go. "But you're so… er…"
"Huge?" Maya supplies.
Apollo scratches the back of his neck, smiling embarrassedly. "Yeah, sorry."
Maya waves a hand, using her other to rub her belly. "That's probably because I'm having twins."
Phoenix smiles, reaching over to rub her belly with his own hand. Apollo has never, in the entire time he's known him, seen Phoenix look so happy. "I can't wait," he says. "I know it'll be tough but we've gotten through every other obstacle life has thrown at us, right?"
Maya nods. "Yeah. And now that Kristoph is out of the way, we can relax. No more hiding or worrying."
Phoenix looks over at Apollo. "Apollo. I'm sorry for not telling you sooner. I'm sorry for what I did at the very beginning of your career too, and it's okay if you can't forgive me for that. I'm not sure what I could ever do to make up for it."
Apollo sighs. "It's alright, Mr. Wright. I suppose you did it for a good reason."
"Thank you, Apollo," Maya says. "Really."
He nods shyly. "I'm just glad I finally know who you are. I, er, I kind of saw you a while back, at that Japanese pub, and said some things to Mr. Wright after that I definitely regret."
Maya raises her eyebrows at Phoenix, who just shakes his head. "I'll tell you later," he mumbles, though Apollo hears him loud and clear. He can only hope Phoenix leaves out the part where he accused Maya of being a prostitute.
There's a loud yawn from behind him, and Apollo turns to see Trucy walking into the room. "Daddy, what are we going to make for dinner? I'm hungry—oh! Maya! I didn't know you were here!"
Trucy runs over to sit down beside Maya, giving her a gentle hug and then leaning down to press her ear to Maya's belly. "And how are my little brothers or sisters?" she says quietly.
"Wait, Trucy, you knew about this?" Apollo asks. The three people on the couch across from him look like a perfectly happy little family. He can't quite believe what he's seeing.
Trucy gives him a look. "Of course I know. As if my daddy wouldn't tell me about his pregnant fiancée? That'd be a big secret to keep!"
"Um, but, he did keep it a secret."
"Well yeah, but I'm family! Of course I was going to know. I'm sorry for not telling you but I couldn't. I really, really wanted to, but Daddy kept saying 'no Trucy, it's too dangerous!'"
Phoenix laughs. "Well, everything is fine now."
There's a stretch of silence as Apollo watches Phoenix gaze at Maya, his eyes so clearly full of love for her. It's kind of weird to see this side of him, but nice too. It gives Apollo a little bit of hope that maybe the Phoenix Wright he used to be so enamoured with really is still in there somewhere.
"So… do you know the gender of the babies yet?" Apollo asks, breaking the silence.
Maya shakes her head. "It might seem weird in this day and age but we decided not to find out. It'll be a surprise. Oh!" she leans forward a bit, wincing.
"Are you okay, Maya?" Phoenix says, taking her hand.
She nods. "Yeah, one of them kicked. They've been really active today, I think they know we're celebrating!"
Phoenix lays his hand across her stomach. "Apollo, do you want to feel?"
Though he feels a little shy about it, he nods and gets up to cross the room to sit down beside Trucy and lay his hand across Maya's belly. He can feel movement beneath his fingers, and it's amazing and strange at the same time. Maya smiles pleasantly at him.
"I'm glad I finally got to meet you, Apollo," she says. "I hope we can be friends from now on."
"Yeah, me too," he says.
Maybe Phoenix really will take the Bar exam again soon. Maybe Apollo will get to know Maya and the rest of their little family once they're born. Maybe he can stick around for Trucy now simply because she really has started to feel like a little sister to him.
Maybe working at the Wright Talent Agency for a little while longer won't be so bad after all.