Welcome to my first (and very horrible) attempt at yet another Maya x Phoenix fic which takes place after the events of Apollo Justice. You know you love all of the variations of the plotline, though. XD

Anyway, I didn't intend to write a fic for this pairing – especially not one that took place after GS4 – but, when I was playing the second case and visiting Phoenix in the hospital, I took a look at the stack of DVDs near the bedside table. When asked about them, Phoenix replied, "Some kid I know keeps sending them to me." Hmm. Let's think about that for a second.

A person he considers to be a kid + the fact the kid likes the Samurai TV shows = Maya. Which proves they have communicated after Phoenix lost his badge. Which is basically how I got the idea for this story. -nods-

Anyway, there are appearances by members from the original cast, and there are some spoilers for JFA and GS4. So, if you haven't beaten either game, beware. Plus, I suck at writing any pairing that isn't Mia x Diego, so please bear with me. Or flame me. So long as you throw in a suggestion or two, I'm good.

Disclaimer: The only video games I can design are lame 2-D maze games, and I even suck with those. So if you think I could own/design/have anything to do with the development of the Ace Attorney games, someone call a psychiatrist.

1. The Phone Call

"In last week's episode, the Steel Samurai and his arch foe, the Evil Magistrate, faced off in the streets of Neo Olde Tokyo. . ."

"Do you have to watch that during work?" Apollo asked in a hoarse voice, fiddling with the phone receiver as he gazed at the show playing on the television.

"It's not like we have a trial or something," Trucy replied without turning to look at him. "Besides, the Steel Samurai is the best of the Samurai shows!"

"Well, can you at least make it look like you're working?"

Trucy sighed. "I have been working!" She held up a piece of lined paper, on which was a half-drawn stage and a couple of words. "See? A new act!"

"Can you work harder than that?"

"I will – later. And why's your voice so weird?"

Sighing, Apollo massaged his throat. He really had to lay off the Chords of Steel training, which was making his throat sorer and scratchier every day. He was saved from replying because the show's intro had ended, and Trucy had held up a hand to signify that she didn't want to talk anymore, which was perfectly fine with him.

Apollo watched the first few minutes of the show without really registering what was going on. Half his mind was focused on the portable phone that he was playing with in his hands, hoping it would ring, while the other half was wondering why he hadn't gotten any job offers for over a month. He supposed it was a good thing that there hadn't been a lot of crimes being committed recently, but he had to make a living somehow. Not that he'd make much from his four clients – only one of them, Machi, had paid him with money. His first client, Phoenix Wright, had given him pudding and a job, but other than that, Apollo had gotten nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

And at the moment, Mr. Wright wasn't making much, either. The Borscht Bowl Club, who had hired him years ago when he had lost his original job as a defense attorney, had decided to fire him two weeks ago. Mr. Wright, who was supposed to be a pianist but had played poker against willing customers at the restaurant, was trying toa be optimistic for the sake of Trucy, his adopted daughter, but both Apollo and Trucy could see he was troubled. No job meant no paycheck, and no paycheck meant even more trouble with paying the bills.

In fact, the only one of them who actually had a job here at the Wright Anything Agency was Trucy. She was a magician, which was easy to figure out just by her light blue cape and silk top hat. Never mind the fact that she owned "magic panties" and had a puppet named Mr. Hat who popped out of nowhere. She ran nightly shows at the Wonder Bar, and the shows were almost always sold out, especially since the return of Troupe Graymarye, which had been founded by her grandfather and had disbanded seven years ago.

Sighing, Apollo shifted around in his chair to get in a more comfortable position before gazing at the phone imploringly. Ring, he begged it. Please ring. Please, please

"Sh, Apollo!" Trucy whispered, staring at the television screen. "This is a good part."

. . . Did I say that all out loud?

"Yes, you did," Trucy responded, turning around with a small smile on her face.

Apollo opened his mouth to reply – he wasn't sure what he was going to say – when the phone unexpectedly rang in his hand. Surprised, he dropped it. With a giggle, Trucy paused the show (it was a season DVD) to watch Apollo bend down sheepishly, pick up the portable phone, and press the talk button.

"Hello, Wright Anyth–"

A cheery-sounding woman on the other end interrupted him before he could say anything else. "Hey, Nick! Guess who!"

Confused, Apollo rasped, "Um, I think you have the wrong–"

"What's wrong with your voice, Nick?" the woman asked, sounding semi-concerned. "It sounds scratchy. You have a cold or something?"

"I don't have a cold," Apollo replied hoarsely. "And I'm not–"

"You sure? It sounds like it. Maybe you should get some ColdkillerX and lie down?" she suggested.

. . . I'm receiving medical advice from some woman who I have never met before, and she thinks my name is Nick. What. The. Heck? Apollo thought, staring at Trucy, who stared back with her head tilted slightly to one side, probably just as confused as he was.

Resting an elbow on the table, Apollo replied, "Uh, I don't like ColdkillerX."

There was a pause. Thinking back on it, Apollo realized he probably should've told the woman that his name wasn't Nick, or hung up. But, out of curiosity and a faint hope that she had a job for him, he waited for the woman's reply.

". . . Are you Nick?" she asked, sounding a bit downhearted.

Apollo shook his head, then remembered the woman couldn't see him. "No. I'm Apollo Justice, attorney at law. This is the Wright Anything Agency."

"'Wright' Anything Agency?" she asked, perking up a little. "Does Phoenix Wright work here?"

"Yeah, but he's not in right now." Excitedly, Apollo reached for a memo pad, thinking, Does she need a pianist? "Did you want to hire Mr. Wright?"

The woman sounded confused as she asked, "Why would I want to hire Nick? He's my friend."

So. . . Mr. Wright = Nick. Phoenix, Nick. Nick, Phoenix. Why didn't I see that?

"So. . . do you want to leave a message for him when he comes back?" Apollo asked, looking around for a pen.

"Just tell him to call Maya – he knows the number. Thanks, Mr. Justice." She hung up the phone, and Apollo scrawled, "Call Maya" on the memo pad. Then he stared at her name for a few seconds. Something, in the very back of his mind, was telling him he knew who this person was. It was just out of his reach, and he struggled to remember, closing his eyes, thinking, Maya. Where have I heard that name before?

"Who was that?" Trucy asked, resting her arms on the back of the sofa, breaking his train of thought.

"Someone who knows Mr. Wright," Apollo said, opening his eyes to look at her. "She said her name was Maya."

A look of comprehension dawned on Trucy's face. "Oh! I know her!"

Apollo stared. "You. . . you do?"

"Yeah. I met her after I moved in with Daddy," she explained. "She came for a visit, but she hasn't been here since. He gets letters from her, though, and she calls sometimes."

Suddenly remembering where he'd heard the name before, Apollo snapped his fingers and leapt to his feet. "Maya Fey!" he cried triumphantly. "She was Mr. Wright's assistant!"

Trucy gazed at him with wide eyes. "You know Maya, too?" she asked, surprised.

He shook his head. "No, but I read a lot about your dad and his cases, and the name Maya kept popping up a lot. They met during his second case, I think."

"I don't really know that much about Maya," Trucy confessed. Then her eyes slid to the Steel Samurai season DVD case lying on the floor in front of the TV. "But. . ."


Trucy pointed at the DVD case. "Daddy got all those Samurai DVDs in the mail from her."

Apollo gazed thoughtfully at the case. "That explains a lot. Mr. Wright doesn't seem to be the type of person who would like that kind of show. I guess this Maya is a fan, then?"

At that moment, the door opened, causing both Apollo and Trucy to turn to see who had come in.

A tall man carrying a few bags of groceries walked into the room, a thoughtful look on his pale face. He had black stubble on his chin, making him look like a hobo, and this fact wasn't helped by his wardrobe, with his spiky black hair covered by a light blue hat with a smiley face button attached to it and his hoody, which looked like it had been wet and then naturally dried by the sunlight. He noticed Apollo and Trucy staring at him and, looking a bit confused, set the bags down.

"Were you two talking about Maya a minute ago?" he asked, sliding his hands into his pockets.

Apollo nodded, almost guiltily. "Yeah."

Trucy ran over to the grocery bags and started rooting through them. "She called about five minutes ago, Daddy," she explained, pulling out a few bottles of grape juice and setting them beside her. "She wants you to call her back."

The young attorney held the phone out sheepishly. There was something about his boss that had always managed to make him feel awkward. "Here you go, Mr. Wright."

Wright accepted the phone and stared at it for a couple of seconds. Trucy broke the small silence by crying, "Look! Pudding!" Both Apollo and Wright turned to look at her, Wright with a smile on his face, Apollo wondering if this was his pay check for the month.

"How about you two go into the kitchen to have lunch?" suggested Wright.

Apollo checked his watch. "It's only ten after ni–" Then he caught sight of the look on his boss's face, and realized that Wright wanted to be alone. "Yes, sir," he mumbled, piling the groceries that Trucy had taken out of the bags in her pudding-search back inside them and leading the teenager into the adjacent room, leaving Wright alone with a phone in his hand and an odd look on his face.

Phoenix Wright—

Carefully, Phoenix dialed the number for the Fey Manor, wondering about several things, mainly why Maya hadn't left a more elaborate message for him. Was this something important that she wanted to tell him herself? Was it about her little cousin, Pearl, whom he had dubbed Pearls? Was she injured? Sick? Or even. . . dead?

By the time Phoenix heard the click, he had convinced himself that Pearl had either broken her neck, had been diagnosed with a deadly disease of some kind, or was lying in a funeral home. "What happened to Pearls?" he burst out before the person on the other end could speak. "Is she okay? Will she be okay? Where is she?"

There was a long, long pause on the other end. "Um, Mr. Nick. . . is that you?"

Phoenix could feel his face go brick red. There was only one person he knew who called him "Mr. Nick," and that person was a certain sixteen-year-old girl he hadn't seen for years. "Y-Yeah," he replied sheepishly. "Is that you, Pearls?"

"Yeah, it's me, Mr. Nick," replied Pearl, and he could hear her giggling on the other end. Then, a voice in the background stopped either one of them from saying anything more. Phoenix could only pick out the words "that" and "Nick" before Pearl added, "Mystic Maya wants to speak to you."

Maya's voice suddenly poured out of the phone excitedly. "Nick! You called back quickly! How are you? How's Trucy? And who's that guy who picked up the phone a little while ago?"

"Hey, Maya," Phoenix replied tiredly. "I'm fine, Trucy's fine, and 'that guy' is Apollo Justice. He's a defense attorney, and he works here."

"I thought he was you for a few minutes," Maya admitted. "His voice sounds kind of raspy. Do you think he has a cold?"

Phoenix replied, "Probably up early doing his Chords of Steel training. His voice gets like that when he does it."

"Chords of Steel training? That sounds cool! How come you never do anything cool, Nick?" asked Maya.

Same old, same old, I guess, Phoenix thought with a sigh. "So, why did you call me?" he asked, wanting to get straight to the point.

"Aw, come on, Nick! We haven't talked for five weeks! Can't we have a little conversation before I tell you?"

"No," he replied shortly. "Your 'little' conversation will end up taking hours, and I can't afford a large phone bill."

Maya sighed, evidently disappointed. "Okay. I guess we can do all our talking in person, right?"

Phoenix nodded. "Yeah, sure we– Wait, in person?"

"Yeah. I called to tell you that I'm coming back on the train. There's some sort of week-long lecture going on at the Gatewater Hotel – the one we went to see the Nickel Samurai at – about spirit channeling for students studying the occult, so they want me to speak there. I'm bring Pearly with me. Won't it be great?"

"I guess," he responded, rubbing his temple.

There was a long, awkward silence between them. Finally, Maya asked, rather hurt, "Why don't you sound excited, Nick? I mean, it's been seven years since we last saw each other face-to-face. Don't you think a little visit is overdue?"

Phoenix nodded. "Yeah. So, you want to meet at the train station, or what?"

"Yep! Tomorrow, five o'clock in the morning! Thanks, Nick!"

"Wait, what?! Five in the morning?!"

But Maya had hung up before he had voiced his issues with having to get up so early. He turned off the phone and placed it back in its cradle, rubbing his temple. This was typical of her, to spring something on him so suddenly it made his head spin. He smiled wanly, thinking, She really hasn't changed that much, has she?

It wasn't that he didn't like Maya – she had been one of his closest friends and his assistant while he had been a defense attorney, after all. It was just. . . he didn't want her to see him looking like a hobo, especially not at five in the morning. Like Maya had said, they hadn't seen each other for seven years, and those had been long, long years.

With a sigh, Phoenix sat down on the couch, burying his face in his hands, thinking, This is going to be one long week.

He had no idea how off the mark he was with that presumption.