A/N: Taking a break from my Skip Beat fanfic to write this. I just had to!
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Former ace attorney Phoenix Wright rolled over and shoved his offending alarm clock off the nightstand. Why he set it for the morning after New Year's he did not know. The highball and the champagne he downed during last night's festivities were coming back to haunt him. With a groan Phoenix dragged himself out of bed and towards the bathroom.
"Aspirin . . ."
All of a sudden his right foot landed on something small and slippery, sending him tumbling toward the ground. Luckily no more damage except a bruised ego and buttocks. Muttering a curse he twisted to see what he had slipped on.
It was an old calling card . . . with a caricature on it.
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Trucy opened the door at the sound of a firm knock. On the other side stood a woman with upswept raven hair, wearing a kimono of deep purple.
"May I help you?"
"Um . . . has Attorney Wright's office been moved?"
"This is the Wright Anything Agency. Whatever you need, Polly and I can help you . . . and maybe Daddy, but he's not really allowed to . . ."
The woman blinked at her for a moment, looking very lost and rather upset.
"Who is it, Trucy?" Apollo came up behind the little magician to look at the stranger.
"Someone here for Daddy, I think."
"Do you know where—?"
"Who's at the door, Apollo?" Phoenix had stepped into the living room and spotted the visitor, still standing on the other side of the threshold. His head was still pounding and his eyes still heavy. He did not bother to take a good look. He already had his "hobo" outfit on. "Well, don't keep her standing there, let her in. Maybe we can help. Have a seat."
When silence ensued Phoenix finally began to pay attention. The visitor was in the room now, staring at him.
Phoenix stared back.
The familiar looking woman blinked for a moment then walked towards him, very slowly. Phoenix felt his chest constrict with each step as his head and memory began to clear. Once the kimono-clad woman stood inches away from him she paused. Then with an agonizing slowness, she reached for the blue hat and pulled it off his head.
The woman gasped sharply and raised a hand to her mouth. Tears filled her eyes.
"Nick . . .?"
Phoenix averted his gaze but did not move. "I'm sorry." He murmured.
"WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?! NO PHONE CALL! NO LETTER! NO EMAIL! NO NOTHING! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN DEAD FOR ALL I KNEW! WHY—ACK! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"
Phoenix had picked up the spirit medium and hoisted her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"PUT ME DOWN, YOU BIG MEANIE!"
He walked into his room but paused before closing the door behind him.
"You're going to be late for court, Apollo," he said over Maya's screeching.
Court . . . ?
Then it registered. "EGAD! YOU'RE RIGHT!" The tableau in front of him had so distracted him . . . he would have to ask about this later. "Come on, Trucy, let's get going."
"But, I want to stay and watch."
"This is none of your business, Trucy," Phoenix said firmly, "go along with Apollo. You know he's helpless without you."
That got Trucy to go. Phoenix waited until the front door closed before he shut his own door.
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Phoenix deposited Maya on the bed.
"What happened?" She demanded, struggling to sit up. With a deep breath Phoenix sat down beside her and proceeded to tell her all of what had happened, including Trucy's adoption.
"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked when he had finished.
"I . . . didn't want you to worry . . ."
"DIDN'T WANT ME TO WORRY?!"
Phoenix flinched. "I know, I know. I was ashamed of what happened. I was hoping to get back my badge a lot sooner than this. I'm still working on it. I'm surprised you didn't show up on my doorstep sooner," Phoenix let a little hurt feelings of his own creep in.
"It's not so easy when you're the head of the village," Maya replied quietly. "I tried so many times to go, but the village elders always found ways of stopping me. I finally convinced them that Pearly is old enough to stand in for me while I'm here."
"How is Pearls?"
"She's fine. She'll be glad to know you're alive."
Phoenix hung his head. There was a moment's silence then suddenly, Phoenix felt Maya's arms wrap around him.
"I forgive you."
For some reason those three words hit him like a ton of bricks. The tears he should have shed when he lost his badge were coming now. The guilt was falling away with them.
Maya held him tighter every time he sobbed and shuddered. Only when Phoenix began to calm down did she loosen her grip.
"Sorry for swearing in front of your daughter."
"That's okay, it's nothing she's hasn't heard before in the courtroom. I was rather surprised, though."
"So was I. I was that upset, I guess."
Phoenix began to look a little guilty again. "No! No more of that!" Maya reprimanded, lightly smacking him on the head.
Maya grabbed his left hand. "So, you're still not married?"
Phoenix laughed. "What woman would marry a penniless ex-lawyer—turned crummy pianist—like me?"
Maya's mouth curled up as if she were enjoying a private joke.
"What?" Phoenix wondered if she, perhaps, knew the answer to that. He took his first good look at her since she arrived.
"What are you wearing, Maya?"
"Oh! This?" She got up and spun around, her scarlet and purple kimono making the slightest flutter.
Phoenix's gaze swept over her slowly.
"How old are you now, Maya?"
Phoenix's jaw dropped. "T-Twenty-five? You don't look twenty-five!"
"I didn't look sixteen when I was, either."
"No, you didn't," Phoenix grinned. Maya sat back down next to him.
"But . . ." Phoenix added softly, " You do look older."
"And you really look like an old man." Maya smiled softly and nudged him in the shoulder. Phoenix gave her a weak glare.
Maya smile faded as she looked at him. Pity and something Phoenix could not identify crept into her expression. Tears crept into her eyes again. She lunged forward and hugged him again. Phoenix immediately returned her embrace.
"I really should have contacted you."
"Yes, you should've," Maya replied into his ear in a pouting voice. "I really, really missed you."
Phoenix pulled back to look at her. Over the seven years separation she had matured into a woman, a woman who dealt with so many troubles and responsibilities, which came with being the head of an entire village.
Suddenly, both of their stomachs grumbled in unison.
"Hungry?" Maya asked before Phoenix could open his mouth.
"A little. Is our place still open?"
Maya grabbed his hand and tugged him towards the door.
"Well, come on. This time I'll treat you to the burgers."
Phoenix laughed, for a moment looking like his old spikey self again.
"Maya . . ."
Phoenix leaned down and placed a light kiss on her lips.
"I missed you, too."