TURNABOUT REGRESSION

Written for Phoenix Wright Kink Meme

Prompt: "Maya found Phoenix's old sweater, and has him try it on to see if it still fits and... you guessed it! He turns back into Feenie."

PAIRING: Phoenix/Maya. Part crack, part fluff...


Phoenix peered resignedly into the recesses of his wardrobe and hesitantly considered what to wear.

He'd never cared much about fashion, and it had seemed completely irrelevant whilst his mind was consumed with more pressing priorities, such as his 'investigation' of Kristoph, the stigma of being known as an 'evidence forger', and looking after Trucy.

He was aware he looked like some dirty old hobo, and while he really hadn't cared whilst he was forced to 'associate' with Kristoph, and in all honesty, still didn't, Edgeworth's jurist trial had been considered a resounding success by the legal community, and his old associates from the Bar Association [who had all abandoned him 7 years ago] were insisting on dragging him back into their social circle. Phoenix wasn't naive enough to think they genuinely wanted to be his friends, but regardless, it was probably best not to wear his hobo outfits to their functions.

Though he didn't want to impart with any more money either, he'd spent more than enough on clothes for Trucy! His older clothes were probably out of fashion, but he knew fashions were cyclical. Maybe some of his 'vintage' items were so old they'd come back into fashion?

The items at the back of the wardrobe weren't very promising, he sighed as a pile spewed out, bringing with it a cascade of dust and lint. And what was fashionable now, anyway? He hadn't really paid much attention.

His musings were broken by an unexpected knock at the door. It turned out to be Maya, Phoenix suddenly recalling that she'd mentioned she might 'drop by'. She wanted to know why he was covered in dust.

Phoenix explained briefly that he was seeing if any of his old clothes were still fashionable. Maya seemed to be required to wear spirit medium gear the majority of the time, so she probably didn't know much about fashion either, but maybe she knew more than him, considering he knew nothing at all.

Maya was eager to assist. She peered in with fascination.

Phoenix was now lifting out the only items he seemed to have given much attention to proper storage – two of his old blue lawyer suits, carefully bagged, which had languished untouched since the fatal day of the disbarring.

Maya reached in and her hand withdrew an intriguing item. "This again!" A pink sweater with an even pinker heart.

Phoenix failed to hear her, standing lost in a slightly morbid daze, mournfully staring at the suit bag and fingering its surface forlornly.

He obviously needed a distraction.

Maya was struck with inspiration. "Try this on! I'm sure you look great in pink!"

Phoenix mechanically hung the suit back in the wardrobe and limply took the sweater Maya was pressing on him. Unbeknownst to Maya, this item held just as many 'questionable' memories. But Maya's anticipating gaze was insistent. Sure, why not…

Phoenix removed his hoodie (Maya immediately grabbed it and tried it on. He would never quite understand all her impulses, but he figured she must be amusing herself.) He slipped the pink sweater over his head and to his relief, it still fit. (Not being able to drive did have significant fitness advantages.)

Maya was now removing Phoenix's hoodie from herself, and happened upon the Magatama she'd given him, still in its pocket. "Hey! Don't forget this," she exclaimed, handing it to him.

But Phoenix had acquired an unusual expression. Something was up. She couldn't quite place it, but…

Although Phoenix tended to relax and lower his guard when associating with Maya, he still could be cryptic when the moment took him, and regularly emitted a cynical air. However, right now Phoenix's eyes swelled huge, spilled over with unsuppressed emotion, as readable as an open book. He was gazing at the Magatama in his palm in awestruck wonderment.

"You gave this to me, didn't you," he breathed in awe. "As a present!"

"Oh yeah… that. Well, you are my friend.."

"But it was a very important object for you! I remember!"

"Don't mention it," dismissed Maya, obscuring her affection.

Phoenix's pupils dilated hugely, and two tears of overwhelming emotion seeped from the corners of his eyes. "Is it really… a sign of our eternal love and friendship?"

"I.. I guess" stammered Maya, taking a step back.

Too late. Phoenix had grabbed her in a hugely affectionate embrace. "That's so... SWEET!"

His face suddenly wilted in intense nervousness.

"Does this mean you.. you know... like me?" He awaited her answer in un-veiled palpitating terror.

"Well... I do.." Maya was forced to admit, trapped by the intensity of the overflowing affectionate sincerity in his gaze.

Phoenix gasped, then flattened her in another overwhelming embrace. "I LOVE YOU TOO!" he cried in delirious overjoyment.

Maya was shocked. "I... never thought..."

"It's like a beautiful fairytale," simpered Phoenix.

"Uh.. Nick... are you feeling okay?" Maya was uneasy. Had Pearl's fantasies finally brainwashed him? Where was her jaded, cynical bastard who, deeper down, was a real sweetie?

It seemed what he'd previously held deeper down had somehow overflowed unsuppressed and undefended to the surface.

***

"Look!" demanded Phoenix, thrusting out the Magatama. "Maya gave this to me as a symbol of our everlasting love!"

"I know, Daddy. You had it since before you met me," replied Trucy, who was not in the slightest nonplussed by Phoenix's transformation, merely assuming he'd overdosed on the grape juice again.

Phoenix suggested he and Maya take a walk, and insisted on taking her arm and loudly displaying the Magatama she'd given him to every random person they met. He'd hung it round his neck to have it on explicit view at all times.

They eventually arrived at the park, sinking down on a secluded bench, Phoenix endearedly placing his arm around her and beaming continually and openly. "Would you like to make out?" he questioned, as eager to please as a little dog.

"Uh.. well, okay," agreed Maya, noting that his usual stubble appeared not to be present.

Phoenix's face lit up. "Uh, just wait." The midday sun was radiating heat, and he had elected to remove the sweater...

Phoenix's eyes flashed, and he blinked a few times before drooping into a micro-sleep. When he resurfaced, dazedly, Maya noted to her alarm his stubble had somehow resurfaced. His eyes had again acquired a hint of cynicism, and he was muttering confusedly. "Wh... what? ...What happened?"

"Nick... do you remember anything?" queried Maya, deeply concerned.

"Uh....." Phoenix's expression was impenetrable.

Noting Maya's distress, his eyes softened slightly.

"Did... I have a strange dream?"

"I..." Maya trailed off, unable to decide what to say. Phoenix had endeared her in ways beyond a mere friendship, but in this incarnation of normality, his feelings probably weren't mutual.

"What.. do you remember? Because.. just before, you said you liked me."

Shock briefly rippled his eyes. "I.. did?"

"You didn't mean it? Okay, I understand," Maya replied brightly, her facade unable to obscure from Phoenix the hint of regret in her body language.

"Wait.. I guess.. I kind of like you," admitted Phoenix.

"Well.. I guess.. I kind of like you too," she murmured in reply. Their eyes met bashfully, and Maya pulled him into an embrace, Phoenix's reciprocation a moment later far more restrained than previously, but still betraying his significant affection.

This was no fairytale. But it was not a delusion, either.