Disclaimer/Author's Note: I've been replaying 3-5 lately, and I thought of this fic while doing so. Sorry if this is barely coherant, I just kind of wrote without thinking about it too much. Anyways, I don't own Phoenix Wright and yada yada.

I burst out with a fresh sob as I hear my little sister wailing from the other room. I lie curled upon my bed, my nightgown flooded with horrified tears, questions bumping, cluttering, sticking in my brain and preventing sleep during this early hour.

Where are you Mother-

How will I explain to Maya-

Are you ever coming home-

Why did you leave-

Was it because of me-

Am I not good enough-

Why can't you come back now-

I'm scared-horrified-petrified-terrified

I need you, I need you now, because the darkness is swallowing me up right now and I'm scared of it, I can't even get up to light a candle, I'm afraid of the shadows in the corners of the room, Mom

I'm just a kid, I'm only a kid and I can't live without you Mom and please, please, please don't make me do this, please don't make me responsible for everything, because I c-can't, I can't, Mom.

I can't do it.

I need you.

I miss you.

I weep alone in my frigid room, my tears sticky and raw and freezing as they roll down my numbed cheeks, over and over, like a waterfall, over and over again until I cry myself tearless.

And then, when the tears are gone, I can only shake and whimper and crush my legs against my chest with gripping fear of the darkness that envelops me completely.

Yet I do not get a respite from the questions.

Tomorrow, what am I going to say to Maya?

How can I explain it?

Mommy is gone?

Mommy's not coming back?

Mommy abandoned you?

How will a two year old understand?

My little sister cries out again, her voice breaking and begging for her mother. I shudder with another cry and press my face against my pillow, trying to block out her pleading howls.

She pauses.

And cries out my name instead.

I moan and let a wave of agony rush over me.

Am I to become her mother?

I…I…I can't do t-that!

What are you thinking, Mom?!

I'm only twelve!

I'm only twelve!!

I'M ONLY TWELVE!

I shuck my pillow away from my head and blindly fly out of my room, sobbing and tearing at my hair and bumping into walls until I find the doorway. I cross the hall to Maya's room, where she is screaming and howling my name.

"MIA! MIA! MIA! MIA! M--"

Because suddenly there I am, panting and leaning over her crib, emotions swelling my stomach until I think I will be sick, but the next scream dies and gurgles in Maya's throat as she stares up at me.

We are silent, me looking down and her looking up, and my stuttering heartbeat recedes from my ears into a steady pat in my chest, and suddenly Maya is in my arms and I'm cradling her against me and my bare feet are burning numb upon the frosty wooden floor but I don't care because I'm weeping into Maya's hair and she's holding on to me and I am comforted.

"It's okay, it's okay," I repeat endlessly, sinking to the floor with my little sister in my arms, jagged sobs breaking and hiccupping through my throat. "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay…"

I know it won't be.

But the lie feels better to tell.