Hello, all! This is my first Phoenix/Maya fic (though not my first AA fic), and as such, I tried really hard to get their dynamic and character right! I'm proud of the result, so please enjoy.
Note that you probably won't get a portion of this fic if you haven't played 3-2 yet—more specifically, if you never showed Phoenix's profile to Maya during 3-2. What basically happens is that Maya picks on Phoenix's lack of photogenic skills. Unfortunately, Phoenix takes it quite seriously and translates her comment to him having a silly face, quickly causing Maya's guilt. I thought it was actually a very cute piece, so I wanted my first Phoenix/Maya fic to be centered around it.
Without further ado, please enjoy!
Phoenix Wright had never been a very self-conscious man.
It wasn't to say that he never cared about his looks, because that wasn't the case. He liked to think that he was a fairly handsome person. But as far as he could remember, he'd rarely make a large effort to make himself look good.
A lot of it was probably due to his profession as a defense attorney. He got plenty of exercise walking or riding between destinations, and his financial…status caused him to spend wisely and cheaply.
When he was on a case, he tended to not eat much anyway—stress and exhaustion usually killed his appetite, leaving him to run mostly on coffee and the occasional fruit.
His assistant often heckled him about it. No matter how many times he insisted that no, he would not pass out in the middle of court proceedings (…again), and that yes, he could hear his own thoughts over the growling of his stomach, the glimmer of concern in her eyes lived, latching onto him and not letting go.
It was sweet of her. He'd take her out for burgers after the trial was over and eat as much as she wanted him to.
(Maybe. As long as she didn't try to have him make up three days' worth of food all in one sitting.)
(…Which she probably would.)
The point being, Phoenix Wright was a self-confident man, and didn't need his assistant to monitor his eating habits. He was a perfectly healthy member of society.
…Of course, that did not explain why the renowned attorney was currently leaning over his sink, scowling into the mirror.
Phoenix knew that his job was one that required dedication and self-sacrifice. He knew that by being a lawyer, he was subjected to growing white hairs before he hit thirty years old. And he knew that his death would probably come about in the form of an aneurysm.
But he did not know that already, at the young age of twenty-six, his poor face was already showing signs of wear.
Moaning, he brought up his hand and rubbed it over his eyes. Now that the whole Mask deMasque case had finally finished, he might have a chance to sleep without the words "I AM" constantly flashing through his dreams.
Yes. Sleep sounded good.
He went through the motions, shrugging off his suit jacket, discarding his tie, kicking off his shoes and watching with mild interest as they flew across the room. Already he could feel his eyes drooping and his feet dragging.
Hell with it, he wouldn't last until he got home. Might as well crash on the couch. It was just as comfortable…
…A little too comfortable. Phoenix couldn't remember his couch ever being quite so soft and welcoming to his tired bones. Blinking sleepily, it took him a moment to realize that his couch had never begun shrieking upon impact, either.
"Nick?! What are you doing?! You're heavy!"
Eyes widening, Phoenix shot up with a small gasp, falling back against the armrest of the couch. "M-Maya!"
Maya Fey glared at him from the opposite end of the couch, looking very much patronized…and a little squished.
"I-I'm so sorry! I was just so tired, and I didn't see you—" he gulped quickly before pointing a finger at her. "What are you doing here, anyway? I thought you were heading home for the day!"
"I was, but then I remembered that I left my favorite Steel Samurai DVD here…" Maya's eyes flashed, and she flailed her arms at him. "Wait—don't turn this around on me! This isn't the courtroom!"
"I said I was sorry!"
"You squished me! I could have died, Nick, and then me and Sis would both haunt you!"
S-Scary! "Don't be ridiculous, Maya. I don't weigh that much." She puffed her cheeks at him—it was a cute gesture, and although his assistant radiated cuteness, he wasn't feeling up to it right now. He raised a hand to rub at his eye, using the other to make a waving motion at her. "You'd better hurry, or you'll miss the train."
"Oh!" Maya jumped up abruptly, the baubles in her hair clinking together lightly. "That's right! It leaves in half an hour! Where's my Steel Samurai DVD?"
Phoenix, who had slouched over, slurred in his reply. "Don't know…check the player."
"Good idea!" Maya stomped over to the small box stationed over the television, squinting at the many silver buttons. She frowned, stuck her finger to her chin, and used the ancient art of Eeny Meeny to choose one. Nothing happened. "I can't work your DVD player."
Phoenix moaned, lifting himself up and moving to stand behind his assistant. Clumsily punching a button, the rim of the player flashed a bright blue before a CD slid out. "There," he mumbled, and didn't bother to turn it back off before plodding back to the couch.
Maya, frowning, popped the CD into the case and snapped it shut, tucking it in her robes. She advanced towards her employer. "Jeez, are you okay?" She watched as he flopped down on the sofa, making no visible attempt to reply. "You look horrible."
"Tired." The couch's fabric muffled Phoenix's simple reply, but he lifted his face to address Maya. "Haven't had a good night's sleep since the case started."
Maya's grimace deepened, and Phoenix suddenly got the feeling that he wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon. "Nick! I told you that you were pushing yourself too hard! Look at you—you're barely coherent! How many fingers am I holding up?"
"Three. Maya, I'm tired, not delirious."
Her cheeks puffed again, and she crossed her arms and made room on the couch, planting herself near Phoenix's legs. "You know, Nick, I've been thinking this for a while, but I don't think being a lawyer is good for your health."
Jeez, even Maya's noticed. "Maybe I should take up boxing." He lifted his head from the couch once more, giving his assistant a dry smile. "Or professional bear wrestling."
"I'm serious!" Soft hands violently battered his ankles, and he couldn't fight away the smile on his face. She acted like such a little kid sometimes.
"Or maybe logrolling—you think that's considered a profession? Maybe if I moved to Canada, and grew a beard…" He sat up, rubbing his chin and feigning seriousness. "Even if it's not a paying job, I suppose I could live off of the prize money from logrolling contests."
He saw Maya's face break into a grin—bingo. "And you could have this really cool stage name—'The Freezing Phoenix', the cold-hearted contender with a fiery knack for balance!" She fell back into the couch, laughing.
Cold-hearted!? She just said that so it'd match the name!
"Wait!" She sat up suddenly, clapping her hands together in a no-doubt-ingenious idea. "You should be a news reporter! You know, those guys who sit at desks and shuffle their papers and stare at the camera with a really scary expression!"
"You think news reporters are scary?"
"Nick, you've seen episode fifty-two! The one where Evil Magistrate dresses up as an interviewer in an attempt to get at the Steel Samurai?"
…Oh, I remember that one. Ridiculous—they just had Hammer wear a toupee and glasses. Still had his Evil Magistrate outfit on and everything. "An interviewer is different than a reporter, Maya."
"Of course! Interviewers are actually on the scene, for one, and usually have to do more grunt work than reporters…"
Phoenix felt his skin prickle in irritation as Maya rolled her eyes, waving her hand dismissively. "Oh boy, here you go again. They both report the news, right? They're both talking live when they're shown on the screen, right? They both speak into microphones, right?"
"…That last one is really pushing it."
She scoffed lightly, setting her hand upon Phoenix's shoulder as though she were a sage about to share her vast wisdom. "Nick, you need to look past the details, into the essence of the matter!"
Phoenix pulled away sharply from her slim fingers, a disheveled glare on his features. "Maya, we are not having this conversation again."
He instantly regretted his actions, as her hand hovered in thin air before her fingers closed slightly; she seemed to be genuinely hurt by his aloofness. Way to go, Wright.
He groaned, grabbing at a cushion and smothering it over his head. A filter of light shone into his left eye—he watched through his gap as she pinched her kneecaps together, resting her hands in her lap and leaning towards him expectantly.
It was a little uncomfortable. He could almost feel her light breaths tickling his neck, and the weight of her baubles set on his back implied that she was invading his personal space much more thoroughly than she should have been.
He felt hot under the pillow, and mumbled into the fabric.
"What was that, Nick?" The words were spoken all-too-quickly, and he briefly wondered if she was just waiting for him to say something. When he didn't respond she made an irritated sound, and suddenly the air around him was cool as the pillow was whisked away.
Defeated and tired, Phoenix pulled himself into a sitting position. A hand rose to his face, and he rubbed his forehead absently. "I said besides, my face is too silly to be shown to millions of people all day.
"What? Nick, what does that have to do with—" Maya paused at her employer's pointed look, and put a finger to her chin in thought. "I—ohh! Oh my God, Nick, are you still hung up about that? I didn't even mean it like that!"
Phoenix raised an eyebrow at her, then stumbled to his feet in the direction of the coffee maker.
"Nick! Hey!" Maya Fey leapt to her feet and stomped after the defense attorney lividly, only to find him fiddling with a sealed bag of ground coffee. "Nick!"
He kept his back towards her, and she heard a ripping sound followed by the flinging of the seal into the garbage can. "Jeez, what did the coffee ever do to you?"
"Nothing, Maya." She frowned at the exasperation in his voice, and watched as he roughly dumped the coffee into the maker before pushing a button. "I'm just tired." Another button. "And upset." Another. "And I can't—"
There was a brief silence, followed by a series of beeps. Phoenix turned to his assistant, a sheepish smile replacing the earlier anger. "…I can't figure out this new coffee maker."
Maya couldn't help a light smile as she reached for a bottle of unopened water, opening a flap on the coffee maker. As she poured its contents, a small meter on the maker rose. She chuckled lightly at Phoenix's flushed face, flipping the lid shut and pushing a large silver button. "Man, Nick, you're so stingy when you're tired. And forgetful. You're like an old man."
Phoenix blanched. He wasn't—fine, okay, so he was a little uptight sometimes. He watched as his assistant prepared her own drink, scooping a generous amount of chocolate powder into a glass of milk. She hummed a familiar theme song as she pushed the glass into a microwave they kept handy around the office—just in case there were leftover burgers, Maya insisted. Meanwhile, he noted, a steady trail of liquid fell from his coffee maker's nozzle into a pitcher.
He grimaced as Maya took his wrist and pulled him lightly towards the couch, and blinked as something warm was pushed into his cold hands. An unmistakably bitter smell rose into his nostrils, and he blinked down at the beverage in his hands. A quiet thump on the cushion next to him signaled Maya, clutching her own drink.
He blinked, tuning into the familiar opening music of the Steel Samurai—the DVD case that Maya had taken was now lying on the coffee table. Her attention, however, was directed solely on him, and he felt himself squirm under her appraising gaze.
Maya shrugged, and his discomfort peaked as she took a swig of hot chocolate and turned her attention to the movie. "Nothing. Just checking."
He was afraid to ask, and spent a full minute watching the television along with her. "…Checking what?"
The couch shook lightly with her laughter, and Phoenix hurriedly set his full-to-the-brim coffee on the table to avoid spilling. He opened his mouth to tell her to be more careful, but halted as she grinned at him. "I was just joking before, but your face is pretty silly after all."
Phoenix huffed. "Don't you have a train to catch?"
"Relax, Nick. I still have twenty minutes."
"That's really not a lot of—"
A hand was rapidly shoved in his face, muffling his next words. "Shhh! The opening scene is the best part!"
This wasn't working. Phoenix peeled her hand away, reaching for the remote and shutting off the television. Maya's protest was cut short by his gaze. "What?"
"Why is my face so funny-looking?" He blurted out, and flushed at the absurdity of the words.
Maya's lips quirked upward in a smile, and she shrugged. "I don't know. What's the big deal? It's not a bad thing."
"It isn't," she insisted, and took another gulp of her drink before setting it down as well. She tipped her head in thought, resting her cheek in the flats of her knuckles. "All the handsome, heroic guys these days have the same features…like a bunch of clones. It's weird. I think it's cool how you're so different than the rest!" She clapped her hands together, nodding at him joyfully.
Phoenix swallowed, staring at Maya as though she had grown a second head. He held his breath, waiting—any second she'd realize what she just said. Any. Second. Now.
…She didn't. The air around him grew hot again, and he felt numb to the violent shaking of his arm. "Now turn the TV back on! We're missing the other best part, Nick!"
"Nick! Wake up!"
Phoenix awoke with a start, feeling a soft impact. He blinked groggily as the pillow rolled off his face, and saw Maya, her hair tousled by sleep, preparing another projectile. "…Huh?"
"You jerk! You made me miss my train!"
Another cushion to the face, and Phoenix was quite awake now. "How is this my fault!? You're the one who turned on the movie and made me sit down!"
"Why didn't you wake me up?"
"I was asleep before you were!" The defense attorney protested, but quickly folded under the force of yet another pillow. "Okay! Okay! Sorry!"
He raised his arms in preparation for the next assault, and blinked when he heard the soft patter of buttons. Maya had taken her cell phone out. "…Who're you calling?"
"Pearly. That was the last one to Kurain, but it still has to come back. I'm going to tell her to catch it."
"Pearls? Then, you're going to spend the night at the office?"
"It looks like it—oh, Pearly! No, I missed it…I know, so can you catch it on the way back? No, more like...like a slumber party! Isn't Nick great? He's going to take us out to dinner and everything! Okay...yeah, meet us at the station. Bye!"
"…I'm paying, aren't I?"