Big Sister

Miles Edgeworth checked his watch before opening the musty wooden door to the Wright and Company law office. 11:40. He was early. It was to be expected, as he'd gotten frustrated with some detectives that morning and told them not to come back to his office until they could figure out just exactly what they were going to charge their suspect with. Then he fumed at detective Gumshoe and told him that he would be taking a long lunch. With an exasperated sigh, he turned the doorknob and entered Phoenix's office.

"Welcome to Wright and Company! We'll get you off!" Maya greeted with more enthusiasm than foresight.

"I do hope you don't answer the phones like that, Maya," Miles replied, burying his face in one hand.

"Oh it's just you, Mr. Edgeworth. I was hoping it would be a client. And no, I just thought of that catchphrase today."

"You should forget it today."

"Oh." Maya sighed. "Well, Nick ran out to buy some more legal pads. It turns out that Pearly drew all over his reserve supply the last time she came with me to visit."

"I see." Miles seated himself on the long leather couch of the reception area. "We're doing lunch today, so you're invited, of course."

"Burgers?" Maya clasped her hands together so tightly her knuckles went white. "It's been so long since I've had red meat!"

Amused by her enthusiasm, Miles curled his lips curled into a wry grin. "Sorry to disappoint, but Wright was going on about some Mexican joint with 'burritos the size of your head' on the phone yesterday, so I think we'll dining there."

Maya looked up and mulled it over. "I suppose that works," she sighed. "I guess if Nick really had his heart set on it, we can have burritos instead."

Miles smirked and shook his head. Phoenix really spoiled those Fey girls—but it was to be expected, considering how much the man respected and missed the late Mia Fey. Miles shifted in his seat, grabbed an issue of California Lawyer from the stack on the coffee table, and settled in to quietly wait on the missing defense attorney. He had barely skimmed the table of contents before Maya spoke up again.

"Man, I really miss my sister sometimes."

He slowly shifted his gaze from the magazine to the office chair where the young woman was sitting. This was awkward, but he had more experience with mourning than some people, so perhaps she was looking to him for help? No, that couldn't be. After all, Maya tended to cheer him on for even the most minor social 'accomplishments.'

"My, ah, condolences…"

"No, I don't mean that," Maya waved her hand, batting the statement as if it were an insect. "Well, I mean that too, but what I was going to say is that she used to brush my hair for me, so when it gets all tangled like this, I miss the way she used to brush it."

Unexpected memories rose to the surface of his mind—memories of a bedroom covered in lace, ribbons, and bows. Pouring tea for teddy bears. Combing the tail of every Pretty Pony doll.

"Would you like me to brush your hair?" The words came slowly, with more than a hint of uncertainty.

Maya didn't seem to notice or care. "Would you really, Mr. Edgeworth?"

"If you would like."

"Does this mean that you used to have beautiful girl hair?" She looked at him with wide, admiring eyes. "I can almost see it, pulled back in a ponytail like a French noble, or all wild like a rock star…"

"No, of course I didn't!" Miles cut into her fantasy before it got too far. "Franziska used to have long hair, though. She made me brush it all the time." He crossed the room and took Maya's brush in hand. She turned her back to him eagerly as he began to work it through her thick black hair.

It was strange, he realized, just the sort of things one forgets. There was a time when Franziska constantly dragged him to her room for tea parties. She was never a quiet girl, and even then her playtime consisted mostly of finding ways to scold her "little" brother. He didn't place the tea set correctly. Too much sugar in one cup, not enough in the other. Mr. Bear took lemon. Pinkies up, you fool. But oh, how she loved to get her hair brushed. Her eyes would close with contentment while he ran the brush gently over her scalp. Not a word, not a complaint would escape her lips while he brush, combed, or braided her long hair.

He must have been fifteen when she cut it. By that time, von Karma had taken them out of normal school and pushed their academics through private tutors. He'd already completed his AA through local junior colleges and was preparing to go away to a four-year university the following year. And so, those quiet moments spent in front of her vanity mirror disappeared. It must have been then that Miles stopped being her brother and started being her rival—at least in her eyes.

Spurred on by the unexpected nostalgia, Miles started to braid Maya's hair after he finished brushing it. He never realized how much he missed this.

"Oh yay, you're going to keep playing with it," Maya grinned.

"We'll see if I remember how to do this," Miles shrugged, weaving a section of hair from one part to the other. He continued to work his fingers along the length of her hair until it was all in a herringbone plait. "Apparently my hands have more memory than my mind does," he said as he banded the end of the braid with one of Maya's hair ties.

Maya touched the back of her head gingerly. "How does it look?"

"Surprisingly elegant, coming from hands that haven't braided anything in ten years," he admitted. She also actually looked like a nineteen-year-old for once, but he kept that to himself.

"Oh I can't wait to show Nick," she smiled, continuing to trace the pattern of the braid with her fingers. She got to her feet and gave Miles an enthusiastic hug.

He fidgeted, not knowing what to do with his arms.

"You make a great big sister, Mr. Edgeworth," she said. "Thank you."