A Phoenix Wright Fanfiction
Gumshoe, that has to have been the dumbest thing you have ever done, pal. He could feel his face burning as he practically ran out of courtroom number one's vestibule and into the cold January afternoon. His trench coat whipped about his ankles as the wind blew with a gust, signaling that Mother Nature hadn't yet wrested the city from Father Winter's icy grasp. The chill did nothing to ease the blush that gripped his face and the sinking feeling in his heart as he trudged back to the station.
Maggey hated him now. The thought struck him like a blow, and he swallowed back the sick feeling. He supposed he would have to get used to it, but her heart shaped face, scrunching up in anger, and all because of him? He doubted he would ever get used to that. His eyes stung, and he blamed the wind that still toyed with the edges of his coat.
I could have done more. I could have been there during the investigation the first time! His thoughts degenerated into a whirl of bitter emotions as he strode into the criminal affairs department, his face a thundercloud. All of the rookie detectives who pestered him with questions because he was less likely to yell at him were suspiciously absent. He sat at his desk and mumbled something about not feeling well, pressing his forehead against the cool desktop.
He straightened when he heard footsteps, and turned to look the chief of detectives in the eye. The man looked nervous, but also stern as he marched over to Gumshoe's desk. Gumshoe raised his eyebrows. It wasn't often that the man visited him.
"Dick, go home for the day." It was an order. The burly detective scratched his jaw, about to protest. "No arguments. I need your computer, anyway."
"Sweetaznprincesz?" Gumshoe muttered. The chief coughed and turned a very violent shade of red. "I thought so. Let me grab my stuff."
He sputtered down the street in his jalopy minutes later, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel in agitation. He finally realized he had been turning circles around Vitamin Square when Tres Bien's flowery sign came into view for the fourth time. He found a parking spot, cranked the car into park, and shut her off, silencing the rattling engine. The audacious pink sign mocked him.
"Ugh." Gumshoe grunted, rubbing one of his broad hands over his face. "I just don't know what to do anymore. She hates me now, and I…"
He continued to sit there, slumped against his seat and feeling sorry for himself. How long he was there, he didn't know, but a sharp rap on the glass of his window startled, him, and he gave a yelp of surprise. He turned quickly, and felt his heart stop.
Maggey was standing there, bundled in a beaten leather jacket, a small smile on her face. She gave a sharp little salute, and he felt his heart start back up, going triple time. There were dark smudges under her eyes from her time in jail, and were red and puffy, as if she'd been doing a lot of crying while she'd been on her own. He felt a protective instinct rise up in his chest, hot, threatening to burst, and then he dumbly realized she was standing outside in January, in nothing but her old police jacket and a skimpy Tres Bien uniform.
He hurriedly got out of the car, escorting her to the other side, opening the door, all the while rambling on about how she'd catch her death out here. He shut the door firmly, before realizing he'd shut it on his own thumb and yelping again in surprise and pain, jerking the car door open quickly to free his digit before shutting the door. As he made his way to the other side of the car, he took several deep breaths to calm himself before he got into the vehicle and turned the key. Swearing under his breath, he smacked the dashboard a good one when the rusty heap didn't start immediately like she was supposed to. With a guttural roar, she cranked, and he fiddled with the heater for a second before he could coax some heat out of the ancient behemoth.
And then there was no more avoiding it. He turned slowly; it felt like someone had coated his muscles in molasses. She was staring at her hands very hard. Despite the feeble but welcome heat from the car, she still looked extremely cold, and she was shivering a little.
"What are you doing here, Maggey?" he finally managed to sputter out.
"I-I was going back to the restaurant to lock up…since Mr. Armstrong is receiving his sentence for committing perjury," she said, twisting her fingers about one another.
"You're sweet, doing that for him even though he did that to you," Gumshoe replied hastily, trying to reassure her. "I was…I was actually going over here myself since they let me off work early, and see if it had already been done." Did his voice sound normal? He thought so. He didn't think she noticed anything amiss.
"I'm glad I caught you, actually, sir." She finally looked at him, and he felt his pulse begin racing again. She gave another little salute – oh, he loved that about her – and looked back down at her fingers. "I wanted to thank you, sir."
"Oh, it was nothing!" He felt a goofy grin spread across his features. "I'm glad you liked it. I thought you might have needed cheering up."
"I also wanted to apologize."
He looked at her in alarm. "F-for what?"
"For doubting you. Mr. Wright told me that you worked your fingers to the bone to uncover all the evidence you could for me, and I'm really grateful to you, sir. I didn't figure you would go so far for a former rookie, but I still shouldn't have said what I did about you."
That still stung, even though she was apologizing. Gumshoe remembered it like a paper cut. Not life threatening, but it still stung like hell.
"I…I hate him, sir! And I mean that! I never want to see him again!"
"No, you had every right to act that way, Maggey. I don't blame you. Maybe if I were smarter, not such a loser…"
Maggey shook her head violently. "No! That wasn't fair of me, and I shouldn't have said it. I mean, you were the one who got Mr. Wright to right things when everything seemed to go wrong. You worked on the case by yourself!"
It was Gumshoe's turn to look down. "But it still wasn't enough."
"Yes, it was! I'm sitting right here, and that's proof enough!" She had a hand on his sleeve now, and was tugging it earnestly. Realizing the familiarity of that gesture, she dropped her hand, her cheeks tingeing pink.
"Would…would you like some coffee?" Gumshoe offered. He was sort of shocked at his own forwardness. This was the most he'd ever talked to her that didn't involve a police case. He didn't realize he was holding his breath until she nodded, and he exhaled with a great whooshing of air.
He reversed out of his parking space, and they drove for a little bit, to a coffee shop that Gumshoe frequented because it was cheap. He really couldn't afford anything more, and he slid a guilty look over at Maggey, but she didn't seem to particularly care. Ah well, at least it's warmer than the squad car, he thought to himself as he escorted her inside.
The little diner was quiet for the afternoon. It wasn't yet the supper rush and there were only a few regulars that Gumshoe recognized lingering to enjoy the heat some more before going back to their lives. No one seemed interested in the cop and his ex subordinate as they took their seats. She seemed grateful for the extra heat, and as he took her jacket, he realized that it was worn paper-thin in some places.
Maggey had fallen on harder times than he had thought, and that made him worry even more. He frowned. He couldn't even take care of himself, though. He gave a mental sigh and decided to cut down on his instant noodle intake and see if he could save up for something nice for her. She deserved it.
Coffee was ordered, both of them taking it black with sugar. One thing about cops that Gumshoe appreciated was that they knew that real coffee had nothing like a 'chino' on the end of its name. It was coffee. No nonsense.
Maggey was finally warming up, it seemed. She talked on about how happy she was that Gumshoe and Phoenix had worked together to get her out of that mess, and how even though her luck had been bad, she was sure it was about to change for the better.
"And even though Tres Bien is closed, I'm sure I can find another job," she said, smiling. Then, she frowned. "One thing that's been bothering me, though, sir…"
"Stop calling me that, Maggey," Gumshoe broke in. "I'm not your superior anymore."
"Yes, sir," she replied, with a little salute. Then she realized what she was doing and reddened. She hastily tried to make up for it, knocking over the saltshaker in the process and causing chaos at the table for a few minutes while she righted everything.
"What's bothering you?" he asked, when she had gotten situated.
"Why didn't you ever come and visit me at the restaurant?"
Gumshoe didn't know how to respond to that. For one thing, Tres Bien had horrible food. Not only was it stomach curdling, it was expensive, too. He admitted that she had looked happy, serving people in there when he had happened to walk by on his way to his apartment (on the other side of town, in the opposite direction).
"I didn't want to bother you," he said, finally. Maggey looked disappointed in him, and he panicked. "Y-you always looked so busy, pal. I didn't want to distract you from your job."
"Please don't lie to me, sir," she replied quietly. He gave a start. "I can't bear being lied to. You and I both know that even during lunchtime, it was silent in there."
Gumshoe had to admit defeat at that. She was totally right. He hung his head in shame. He tried to backpedal, to explain himself, and couldn't come up with even a decent explanation. Their coffee came, and she sat with it between her hands, savoring the warmth as much as the actual liquid.
He stared into the black depths of his cup. He was here, she was here, and it might as well be now. He swallowed around a tongue that had suddenly swelled to twice its size and made him feel slow and stupid.
"I was afraid. I wanted to come in and say hi. I really did. I just never worked up the courage."
"But it's just me, sir. Why were you afraid?"
"That's just it, it was you."
Maggey suddenly seemed to understand. He remembered his testimony yesterday, the part where he had said out loud that he wished he could have been the one to do the investigation, and find her sleeping. He felt his face heat up, and he swallowed again, rising.
"I think I should go."
Her hand on his arm stopped him like he had hit a brick wall head on. He looked down at her, and saw her smiling at him in a way he had only seen her smile at Dustin before. His heart tried to speed up again and leap into his throat at the same time, causing a moment of delicious confusion and vertigo as his body tried to right itself enough so that he could tell if this was really happening or not.
She guided him back into his seat, her smaller hand grasping his fingers tightly.
"I know you came by the restaurant every day," she said. "I saw you look in the windows a couple of times. I wish you would have come in to talk to me."
"Right about now, I kind of wish I had, too," he said hoarsely.
"So, are you going to come visit me at my next job?" she asked, releasing his hand and suddenly lifting the tension that had dropped over their table like a net.
"Wh-what?" he asked.
"When I get another job, you'll come see me, right? Everyday?"
"Y-yes!" he said, hope flashing in his eyes.
"Good," Maggey said, seeming satisfied. She rose, paid for her drink, and leaned over, pecking him lightly on the forehead. "I'd hate to say I'm seeing an inattentive guy."
It took him a couple of minutes to realize what she'd just said, and by the time it had hit him, she had already tossed him a cheerful little salute, grabbed her jacket, and walked out. He gave a whoop of joy and tossed some bills onto the table, racing out after her. He caught up to her, grabbed her by the shoulders and spun her around.
He looked into her face for a long moment before he kissed her tenderly. Breaking away, his face aflame, he grinned down at her like he had just won the half million-dollar lottery.
"I'll bring you a box lunch every day," he said. "Weenies. And we can eat it together."
"Good," she said, hugging him. "They're my favorite."
A/N: Case 3-3 for me was one giant squee of "Awwww, Gumshoe…!" This basically commanded me to write it as soon as I finished the case and saw the ending screen. Cute. As. Hell. God, what is it with me and Gumshoe lately?
Also, I'm not dead! Just on like a permanent hiatus. I work nights, so my writing has gone down to nothing lately. This is the first thing I've written in a long time. Please, criticism is more than welcome, it's appreciated! Thanks for reading!