I've been dying to write a Christmas-related story since July.
Enjoy! And if you like this story, check out my other Phoenix Wright fics!
"Mr. Nick," Pearl asked curiously, "What's 'San-tah'?"
It was a cold night in December. We'd just spent the entire day at the mall, searching for evidence for an upcoming trial. The entire place was made up to look like Santa's Village. There was a mile-long line full of parents with their young children crying, spitting, fussing, and causing needless commotion… I mean, waiting to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.
I was shivering as we walked home. It had to have been a couple degrees below zero, at least.
"Pearls! You've... never heard of Santa?" I replied, shocked.
"No," she mumbled sadly.
"Nick!" Maya screamed, clearly overly excited about something so random, "Let's go back to the mall! And take Pearly to see Santa!"
I glanced at my watch. "Sorry, it's eleven o'clock. The stores closed an hour ago... anyway, we're halfway home."
The girls looked down sadly as we continued walking home. After a moment, Pearl whined, "But, Mr. Nick, I still don't know what Santa is..."
"Well, you know Christmas, right?"
I tried to take on the voice of one of those always-happy Christmas movie narrators: "Well, Pearls, Santa is ... the 'mascot' of Christmas. He wears a red and white suit, and he's really fat, because of all the Christmas cookies he eats. He lives in the North Pole, the Christmas capital of the world, I guess... But every year, kids around the world go to Santa, sit on his lap, and tell him what they want for Christmas. Then, on the night of Christmas Eve, Santa gets on his reindeer-powered sleigh…"
"Rain-dear? Slay?" Pearl questioned.
"Santa's sleigh is basically a flying carriage. The reindeer are, basically, flying deer with big antlers," I explained. "So, um, where was I... oh! So, on Christmas Eve, Santa gets on his reindeer-powered sleigh, and flies around the world, delivering to the children all the gifts they asked for and... spreading holiday cheer!"
Pearl gasped, grabbing my hand and waving it around in excitement. "Oh my goodness! I want to see Santa, Mr. Nick! I know just what I want!"
Maya exclaimed, "YEAH! Me too!"
My heart sank. I said, "But... today was the 23rd, tomorrow's Christmas Eve... I think Santa went back to the North Pole."
"Oh..." Pearl's eyes were so disappointed.
We were silent the rest of the way home. I opened the door for the girls, and they both plopped down on the couch. The Christmas tree (the real Christmas tree that Maya forced me into driving three hours to chop down with her) sat in the corner, its lights glowing prettily. Pearl fell asleep almost immediately.
"Nick," Maya nagged me quietly after we were sure Pearl was out. "That was mean... you got Pearly's hopes up!"
"Sorry!" I replied defensively. "Well, now there's nothing we can do-"
"NO! There is something we can do! Call up Gumshoe and ask him to go get a Santa costume! You know where I'm going with this!"
"No... no, I can't ask him to pretend to be Santa, that's so... insulting."
"Nick..." Maya glared at me impatiently. Scared to death of what Maya would do if I didn't follow her orders, I called Gumshoe.
Ring, ring... "Hello?"
"Hi, Gumshoe...! It's Phoenix."
"Mr. Wright! What can I do for you, pal?"
"Well, I was wondering you could do me a big favor. Would you mind... uh, dressing up as Santa? And asking Pearls what she wants for Christmas?"
"Of course not! Get her on the phone!"
"I meant in person..."
"Oh, sorry, pal... I'm all the way across the country with my extended family."
"WHAT! Ugh. Never mind, then..."
"That's okay. See you in a couple weeks," I hung up the phone glumly. I turned to Maya, saying with a hint of I-Told-You-So seeping through my voice, "He's across the country. Now what?"
"Um," Maya thought to herself for a minute. Suddenly, a mischevious grin spread across her face. "You know who else would be a great Santa?"
"No, Maya. I'm not going to be Santa," I stated plainly.
"Not you, silly! I meant," she could barely finish her sentence in between giggles, "I meant Mr. Edgeworth. I mean, think about it: he always wears that fluffy CURTAIN-thing on his neck!"
"You mean his cravat? What does that have to do with being Santa?"
"I'm just saying... dressing up in a red-and-white fluffy jacket shouldn't be a stretch for him!"
I choked, "I'm NOT asking Edgeworth to pretend to be Santa. It's not happening. Sorry."
Maya sighed angrily. Then, after a little thinking, she turned to me and looked at me with her signature doe eyes- the secret weapon she uses anytime she wants something from me. "It would really make Pearly's Christmas if she got to meet Santa," she sighed.
"Um... yeah," I said awkwardly, trying not to make eye contact.
Maya walked over to me, knowing that as soon as I looked at her, I'd call up Edgeworth. "Nick?" she asked, placing a hand on my arm. "Don't you want Pearly to be happy?"
"Yes. But I'm not looking at you," I replied stubbornly.
"NICK!" she screamed in my ear. I jumped, and accidentally looked at her, meaning to scream back at her. As soon as I lifted my head, she gave me those puppy-dog eyes.
"Nngh... okay, you win. But you owe me!"
Maya laughed as she watched me pick up my cell phone for the second time, "You're so easy to win over."
I dialed Edgeworth's phone number.
"Wright, it's midnight. What do you want at this hour!" He scowled.
"Uhhh. Please don't laugh, but... I have a huge favor to ask of you." I took a deep breath. "Do you think you could come to the office tomorrow, um... dressed up as Santa?"
"Pearls has never seen Santa before, and she was really disappointed that she didn't get to this year. Gumshoe's out of town, so he can't do it. The mall's closed. You were really our last resort," I assured him. "But, please? It'd mean so much-"
"Around how much am I getting paid for this, would you say?"
I growled, "You want to be paid? That's disgusting, Edgeworth. Nice to know you can't do a simple favor for a friend."
Edgeworth muttered something under his breath. I waited for a legitimate response from him.
After a drawn-out sigh, he said, "I suppose I could stop by tomorrow. I don't know how you expect me to find a... Santa suit... but if it's for Pearl, I guess I can manage. But you owe me big-time. Goodbye, Wright."
With that, he hung up the phone. I looked at Maya happily.
"Looks like we've got ourselves a Santa!"
Pearl had a look of disappointment on her face the entire way to the office. I tried my hardest not to say anything that would give the big surprise away. Maya was practically falling over herself, trying not to spoil the secret.
I unlocked the office door, saying, "Pearls, you want to go investigating with me in a little while?"
"Nah," she moaned. "I'm not really in the mood..."
"Oh, okay," I sat down at the desk, straightening out the papers that I had thrown around in a hurry the night before. I wondered if Pearl remembered that we were actually closed on Christmas Eve... The only reason we'd gone into work was to wait for Edgeworth, after all.
For about an hour, Maya and I just sat there, looking at each other, and then at the clock. Pearl was sprawled out on the floor, drawing a picture of Santa and his sleigh. The office was completely silent, aside from the quiet scribbling of Pearl's crayons against her paper, and the clock ticking.
We all jumped when we heard a knock at the door.
"Ho, ho, HO!"
"Oh my gosh!" Maya's face lit up.
"Who is it?" Pearl asked curiously.
I sprung up from my seat to answer the door. I opened it, and sure enough, there was Edgeworth, dressed in full Santa garb. The hat, the jacket, the red velour pants, the boots... and the beard.
I tried not to laugh as I exclaimed, "Pearls! It's Santa!"
She jumped up, and ran over to Edgeworth, giving him the biggest hug I'd ever seen. "Santa! My name is Pearl! Merry Christmas!"
Edgeworth patted Pearl on the head. "Ah, yes, Merry Christmas to you too!" He glanced over at me, giving me a look that clearly ordered, you better not mention this EVER again.
"Now, Pearl, why don't you sit on my lap and tell me what you want for Christmas?" He sat down casually in the chair in the corner of the room.
Pearl looked like she was going to faint from excitement. I laughed as I watched her climb up on Edgeworth's lap.
"Well, um..." she looked around uncomfortably. She whispered, "Santa, could you tell Mr. Nick and Mystic Maya to leave? This is top-secret!"
"Ho, ho, ho! Well, Mr. Nick and Mystic Maya, you heard little Pearl. Out with you! Ho, ho, ho!"
I whispered to Maya after we shut the office door behind us, "Edgeworth's got that Santa voice down pat... it's kind of scary."
"Yeah, I know!" she giggled excitedly. "Now, shh! I want to hear what Pearly's asking for!"
We pressed our ears against the door. I couldn't hear anything except Edgeworth occasionally saying things like, "Hmm... yes, I see... ho, ho, ho! So that's how it is!... Really, now?... I know just the thing!"
"What are they talking about in there!" I whispered to Maya.
"I have no idea! I can't hear Pearly at all!"
The door opened suddenly, causing Maya and me (who were still pressed against it, trying to eavesdrop) to fall flat onto the floor.
"Ho, ho, HO! Well now, look what we have here! Looks like there are two names I have to add to the naughty list... Mr. Nick and Mystic Maya! Shame on you for snooping! Ho, ho, ho!"
My eye twitched as I glared up at Edgeworth. I got up, and brushed myself off. "So, Pearls, can you stay in there for a moment? Maya, go keep Pearls company. Santa and I have some talking to do."
They went back into the office, closing the door behind them.
Edgeworth smiled evilly, "Heh."
"What were you TALKING about in there!"
"Edgeworth... is there something I should know?"
He cleared his throat, and wiped the smug look off his face quickly. "No, nothing. But, don't worry about getting Pearl anything for Christmas. I have it all set."
"What the- Edgeworth, what did she ask for, anyway?"
"I can't say. It's top-secret, after all. But... I can say this: I better be invited to your apartment tomorrow. I simply must watch you, I mean, Pearl, open this gift..."
"Ugh," I groaned, my face turning red just thinking of what Pearl and Edgeworth were plotting. "I guess you're invited..."
"Excellent!" Edgeworth smiled. I could see the wheels turning in his head. "Well, see you tomorrow. I'll come over before Pearl wakes up, so, you know, she doesn't see Santa dropping off her gifts."
"Sure..." I sighed worriedly, watching Edgeworth walk to his car.
Remaining in character as he opened his car door, Edgeworth howled, "Ho, ho, HO! Merry Christmas!"
Later that night, Pearl threw on her pajamas and sat down on the couch.
"What are you doing?" Maya asked. "You have to go to sleep, or Santa won't come!"
"But... we're friends! And I have to make sure the gift is perfect!"
"Pearls!" I squawked. That whole night I'd been a mess, trying to figure out just what this gift was that Pearl and Edgeworth wanted to be so secret. "It's getting late! You don't want Santa to skip over our house, do you?"
She gasped, "No!" she jumped up and ran into Maya's room. "Well, goodnight! See you all in the morning!"
The bedroom door slammed shut.
"I fear for my life," I whispered to Maya, who was laying on the couch, drinking hot cocoa.
"Why? It's probably a pony, or something."
I sat down next to Maya. "Then why did Edgeworth have that ... look on his face?"
"How am I supposed to know?"
I moaned, "Ugh... well, I'm going to bed. See you bright and early in the morning."
I got up and went to my room. I said a prayer that night, asking God, whatever the gift was, to let me have a little dignity left by the end of Christmas...
I looked at the tree. It was looking pretty festive, if I did say so myself.
The night before, after I went to bed, I felt bad about not getting Maya or Pearl anything. I sprinted to the department store to do some last-minute shopping before it closed. The gifts I'd gotten for them were placed under the tree with care.
The doorbell rang. I opened the door, and there was Edgeworth. He was wearing his normal clothes… and carrying four gift-wrapped boxes.
"I didn't get you anything..." I apologized.
"Oh, don't worry. This stuff is for Pearl and Maya," he replied, shoving the boxes under the tree. I was almost insulted. He laughed to himself as he looked at the biggest box, tagged To: Pearl, From: Santa. "So, where are they?"
"Pearls and Maya? Oh. I don't know-"
"Mr. Edgeworth! Hello! Merry Christmas!" I heard a tiny voice coming out of the bedroom. Pearl ran over to the tree, gasping excitedly, "Oh, my! Look at all the presents!"
"Merry Christmas, Pearl," Edgeworth replied. "Oh, and hi to you too, Maya."
Maya brushed off Edgeworth's greeting, too preoccupied with the spread of gifts under the tree. "Look at this, Mr. Edgeworth!"
"Before we get started with all that, do you have any tea?" Edgeworth asked me. I was surprised to find out that I actually did have some in the back of the kitchen cupboard.
Finally, we were all settled around the living room, with some sort of drink- tea for Edgeworth, coffee for me, and hot chocolate for Maya and Pearl -in our hands.
Pearl and Maya began to open the dreaded presents. The entire time, I was sweating, hoping none of Edgeworth's gifts would be embarrassing.
"Aw, Nick!" Maya squealed, holding up a sparkling necklace that I'd gotten for her during my quick shopping spree the night before. "It's gorgeous!" She was also excited about the gift she received from Edgeworth, which was the entire Pink Samurai series in one collection.
Pearl jumped up and down when she opened the gift I got her: a brand new art set. And she couldn't stop smiling when she opened the teddy bear from Edgeworth.
There was only one box left. It was for Pearl, naturally.
"Whose gift is that?" she asked. We all shrugged. Pearl crawled under the tree, and grabbed the box. She looked at the tag, and immediately yelled, "Santa came! Santa came!"
I gulped, looking at Maya, and then at Edgeworth, who had a look on his face so mischevious and suspicious, I was ready to scream.
Pearl hurriedly ripped the wrapping paper, and looked inside box. "Look! A note from Santa!" She cleared her throat, and read from the piece of paper, "You know what to do with this. Merry Christmas! -Santa."
Her eyes widened, and she smiled ecstatically as she pulled out the present from the box.
She cried, "Oh, it's PERFECT!"
In Pearl's hand was a big piece of... mistletoe.
I glanced over at Edgeworth. His face was bright red, his lips pressed tightly together trying to suppress his laughter. I didn't like where this was going.
"Pearls," I asked cautiously, "Why... why mistletoe?"
She giggled. "Well, the one thing I wanted for Christmas more than anything else was... for Mystic Maya to share a kiss with her special someone!"
"Her... special someone...?" I nudged Maya, who looked like she was about to run out the door.
"Yes!" Pearl replied happily.
"What a nice thought, Pearl!" Edgeworth chimed in. I shot him a furious look. He just smiled at me, which made me even more angry.
"So," Pearl stood up, "Get to it!"
"To what?" Maya started nervously.
"Mr. Nick, of course!"
I stood up. Maya immediately followed. Edgeworth sunk into his chair in anticipation, waiting for our 'performance' to begin. I argued, "I can't do that! Not in front of...!"
Pearl waved the mistletoe around above her head. "But Santa said that you have to kiss!" She sat down and pouted. Edgeworth leaned over and patted her on the back.
"I'm sorry, Pearl. As always, it looks like Wright's too chicken to-"
Oh, no you didn't!
"Chicken?" I shouted. "I'll show you chicken!"
Edgeworth raised an eyebrow, tapping Pearl on the shoulder and telling her to look at what I was about to do.
I wasn't about to be called chicken by a man who cried every time there was an earthquake...
Shaking with a mixture of fear and anger, I grabbed Maya, pulling her in close for a kiss... a kiss that lasted a little too long to be considered a peck, to say the least.
Our lips parted, and immediately I turned red, looking at the reactions on Edgeworth's and Pearl's faces. Edgeworth looked like he'd just seen a ghost, and Pearl, still holding the mistletoe, looked so excited I thought she was going to burst.
There was silence for at least a minute.
Finally, Pearl swooned, "Mr. Nick, that was soooo romantic!"
"Well, then," Mr. Edgeworth clapped. "Excellent performance, Wright and Maya! I'm a little shocked..."
Maya was speechless. "Nick..."
"Sorry," I mumbled.
"Why! I'm not mad..." she smiled. In a mockingly solemn tone, she stated, "It was Santa's will!"
Pearl squealed, "This has been the best Christmas ever!"
A few hours of visiting with Edgeworth went by. Things were definitely not as awkward as I'd expected them to be, but the whole time, one thought went running through my mind...
Maya seemed to enjoy that kiss... as did I.
The day had ended, Edgeworth left, and Pearl and Maya were fast asleep. I lay in my bed, reflecting on the day's events.
"I expect a thank you for setting up that little kiss," Edgeworth said as he left. "Somebody had to push you to make the first move..."
It was certainly a Christmas I wouldn't forget.
My thoughts were interrupted by a knock on my bedroom door. "Yeah?" I asked, inviting whoever was knocking to come in.
It was Maya, in her pajamas and slippers. "Hi," she said, turning on the light and closing the door behind her. She sat down on the edge of my bed.
"Oh, hi, I thought you were sleeping," I said nervously.
"I can't sleep. I'm too excited!"
"This was a good Christmas, huh?" I asked, scooting over to allow room for her to lie next to me. I noticed she was wearing the necklace I bought her.
"Yeah, it was really fun..." She didn't say anything for a while.
"...Maya," I turned to her, "Did you think... that kiss... did you think it was awkward?"
"Huh?" I guess I caught her off-guard. "No... I actually sort of..."
"Sort of what?"
"Liked it," she smiled.
We looked at each other, and I smiled back, "Me too."
We laughed for a moment. Sighing, the room got quiet again.
"Actually, I would've changed one thing about that kiss," Maya spoke, sitting up.
I sat up too, facing her. "What?"
She looked at me again, leaning forward, "I wish it would've lasted a little longer..."
The rest, as they say, is history.
Grinning, I placed my hand behind her neck and pulled her in closer, our lips an inch away from meeting.
"I think I can fix that," I smiled.