Author's Note: Ahh, finally! I finally sat myself down and forced myself to write a Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney fanfic. I am so thoroughly in love with the series and finally finished Trials and Tribulations the other day (yes, I know, I'm terribly behind the times). T&T really solidified my love for the Maya/Edgeworth pairing. I think that they're great together. Or could be, anyways…

Anyways. That said…I hope that you guys enjoy this. It's going to be multi-chaptered, but will probably only have a couple more chapters, because I can't keep up with long multi-chaptered stories. I'm a major flake. I won't deny it.

What would definitely keep me more motivated, though, is if you guys would take the time to review. I don't like begging for reviews, so I'm not going to beg, but the simple truth is that, without reviews, I'm just going to lose my motivation and stop writing the story. So, if you guys want to see more, please let me know!

Disclaimer: I really hate to admit this, but…I don't own Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. At all. Even though I bought all three of the games. Um. That doesn't mean that I own the series. I wish that it did, though…

It was dark outside. Pitch-black, really. Even though streetlights dotted the horizon here and there, the starless sky seemed to swallow the entire city whole. It wasn't doing anything for Maya's nerves. Shivering, she pulled her fluffy Pink Princess blanket even more tightly around her small frame. Her long black hair was devoid of its usual bindings and was allowed to cascade freely down her back and shoulders. It was, however, matted and sticking to her bare skin, as she had broken out into a cold sweat.

Even in the condemnably early hours of the morning, Maya Fey couldn't seem to get herself to sleep. It had only been a few days since Godot's trial and Iris' re-trial. Everything had finally come to light concerning the incident at Hazakura Temple, and no one could possibly be happier. No one but her, of course.

Mother…

A lone tear escaped down her cheek as she squeezed her eyes shut, burying her head in her blanket-clad arms. Godot finally found redemption in his sentence, and she knew that he would learn to live once again. Iris resigned herself to serving her time, obviously with the hope of reuniting with Nick—or "Feenie"—once her sentence was up. Nick…well, the trial had traumatized him as well, to a certain degree, but…in all honesty, she had never seen him happier. Apparently, he had never stopped loving Iris, even though he thought that he had fallen in love with Dahlia, to begin with. Even through all of that…he kept loving her. It was astounding, really.

But where did that leave Maya?

Godot, Diego, loved Mia, but didn't even know Maya at all on a personal level. There was no way that she could talk to him about what she was going through. Nick was just so happy. How was she supposed to ruin that for him? She couldn't do it. And Pearly…well, Pearly had been through so much, and she was just a little girl. Maya had to remain strong for her. There was simply no choice in the matter.

Who did she have left? As always, she found herself on the outside, unable to partake in everyone's happiness. As always, she knew that she had to manufacture her own happiness, or else she would be doomed to remain miserable. With a fake smile plastered on her face, she would carry on through life, hoping only to bring joy and laughter to those whom she cared for.

But…what about her? Who cared for her?

Maya knew that Nick loved her in his own way. She was like a little sister to him, and that was something that she could deal with. He was more than an older brother figure to her, though—he was really the only friend that she had, and therefore was incredibly important to her. She didn't want to be the little sister that he could easily ignore at a moment's notice. Maya wanted to be important to someone in the same way that people were important to her. Things never seemed to turn out that way, though. Everyone knew that she was loyal to a fault and never doubted that she would always be there.

Could she really blame them? With that fake smile and cheery disposition, she made everyone believe that she was the happiest girl alive. And, in truth, she was a very happy person. But…what happened at Hazakura Temple scarred her deeply. Maya was in a state of deep pain, and she had no outlet—no one to talk to, no shoulder to cry on. Maya, the perky social butterfly, was alone.

Her mother, Misty Fey, was dead. Gone forever. Maya had always harbored the hope that her mother was alive and would come back to her, but then…the next time she saw her mother, she was dead. Worse than that, she had been murdered. But not by Godot—no, by Dahlia Hawthorne. Godot had only wanted to protect her, just like her mother had. How could she blame either of them for that?

She could definitely blame herself, though. Even though she knew that her mother wouldn't want her to…she could definitely blame herself. If it hadn't been for her existence and her constant stupidity, her mother would still be alive. Perhaps a lot of people would still be alive. Maya had never directly murdered anyone, but…maybe, in all reality, she was responsible. Maybe she, the seemingly innocent little girl, had more blood on her hands than anyone she had ever seen convicted in court.

Beginning to cough violently, Maya threw her blanket off, exposing herself to the cold air in her apartment clad in nothing but a pair of pink stretch shorts and a white spaghetti-strapped tank-top. Her almost transparently pale flesh was dotted everywhere with dirty beads of sweat. She made a mad dash for her bathroom, crouching down in front of the toilet only moments before she began to dry-heave. She had spent most of the night throwing up, and, seeing as though she hadn't really eaten anything for the past couple of days, there was nothing left in her stomach at all. That fact, however, did not stop her body from trying to rid itself of what wasn't even there.

Exhausted and finally able to slow her convulsions, Maya slumped back against her bathtub. She knew that she was sick—really sick. She had been sick ever since she had gotten locked in the Sacred Cavern. Maya had an immune system of steel, but even she couldn't go through Hell without getting a few scratches. Unfortunately…she wouldn't let herself admit to everyone that she wasn't alright. She had to be alright. For Pearl. For Nick.

…for herself?

Before she could get too lost in her self-deprecating thought processes, she heard her cell-phone ring faintly in the distance. Clutching her stomach tightly, with a grimace on her usually perky face, she half-stumbled, half-crawled back to her bedroom. In her delirium, she completely forgot that it was about three o' clock in the morning, and there was no reason for anyone to call her. As such, she figured that Nick or Pearly was calling to check up on her, and her heart leaped in her chest. They never noticed that there was anything really wrong with her, but…if there was ever a time that she needed compassion, it was at that exact moment.

Reaching up to her nightstand from her crouched position on the floor, Maya missed her cell-phone and knocked it off of the little table and onto the carpet. She let out a deep, miserable groan and just flopped down on her stomach, grabbing the phone and flipping it open.

"Hello?" Her voice rasped into the phone, almost breaking off at the end of solitary word due to a new fit of coughing choked by tears that had never really stopped flowing.

"…Maya?"

Maya's brow furrowed deeply. That voice…it was a man's, but it wasn't Nick's. It was…it was…

"…Edgeworth?" The pure shock and surprise that she felt was enough to scare away her shivers and coughs for a brief moment. Why was Edgeworth calling her? What could he possibly have to say? Her immediate suspicion was that something had happened to Nick or Pearl, or she was suddenly the prime suspect in yet another murder case. The thought was enough to freak her out completely. Anxiety was certainly not good for her condition.

"I…was calling to see how you are. I know that it's late, but, somehow, I anticipated that you would still be awake."

Maya could sense his frown, even though she couldn't see him. She knew exactly what expression he had on his face. Edgeworth was a predictable man, but not necessarily in a bad way. He was…consistent. Reliable. Loyal, even. But…since when had he cared about her?

"I…um…yeah, I guess I am." Another fit of coughing threatened to wrack her body, but she struggled valiantly to suppress most of it. Her voice still sounded incredibly weak and raspy, however. There was nothing that she could do about that. "I'm…um…sick."

"I gathered. Is Wright there?"

A bit taken aback, Maya blinked, then winced as a blinding pain tore through her head. "N-no… Why…w-would he be?"

All that she received in response was a deep sigh from Edgeworth. It was an accusatory sigh—one that said, "You didn't tell him, did you?" They both knew perfectly well that, if Nick knew that there was something wrong, he would do whatever he could to make it better. But Nick just didn't understand, and she didn't really want him to. Nick was supposed to be happy. She…just wasn't. That's all that there was to it.

"You sound terrible. I'm coming over."

Just like that? He sounded so matter-of-fact. So…stern. Maybe she deserved it. Still, she couldn't stop asking herself one very obvious question.

Why did he care?

"…w-why…?" She was too weak to protest, even though she wanted to. She didn't want anyone to see her as she was. That wasn't the Maya that she wanted everyone to know and love. She wasn't a weak person. …was she?

Unfortunately, she wasn't strong enough to hold on until Edgeworth could give her an answer. Her eyelids suddenly drooped, and, after one final coughing fit, she simply lapsed into unconsciousness. Thankfully, she was already lying on the floor, so she couldn't hurt herself further by falling onto something hard. Her body simply relaxed as she slipped out of awareness and into a sleep that was as deep and dark as the night outside.