Disclaimer: I do not own the Ace Attorney Series or any of its characters. All elements belong to Capcom.
Notes:Alright, just finished my last paper and another semester of grad school is in the books, so I thought I'd celebrate it by sharing this little bit of misery with you. Enjoy and review if you feel like. I'll be focusing on Precious Maya after this until it's done.
Just the Way She Wanted
Maya bowed humbly to the people who had congregated at the train station to see her off. Just about everyone in Kurain was there, including most of the council of elders. She'd had her differences with them, but she was glad that they cared enough to come. There was a heavy cloud of sadness and regret hanging over the assembly, no one spoke. Maya knew that despite what her people had told her when she announced her decision; there were quite a few of them who were upset with her. But to Maya, that made the fact that they showed up all the more touching.
"I'm sorry everybody!" She blurted, wringing her small hands around the handle of her overnight bag. As she said this, she could hear the sound of the train coming down the track, the one that would take her away from Kurain for the last time. "Well, I guess that's it!" She said sadly. Suddenly, with an outpouring of emotion, they rushed her.
"Goodbye Mystic Maya!" One woman said, keeping back tears.
"You would have made a great Master." said another." Maya smiled and couldn't help but start crying, it was good to feel wanted. Through the mob of people, she heard a single small voice calling to her.
"P-Pearly?" She pushed her way through the mob to find her young cousin, her head bowed, trying her hardest not to cry. Maya didn't know of Pearly was going to come; she hadn't even seen her since she found out. Maya put on the best weak smile she could as she put down her bag and held out her arms to the girl, who instinctively threw herself into her older cousin's chest.
"My-My-My-MYSTIC MAYA!" Pearly bawled.
"Shhhh." Maya hushed wrapping her arms around her. "It's okay Pearly, it's okay." She squeezed her tight before letting her go. "Besides, i-it's not like you're never gonna see me again." She smiled.
"I-I-I know." Pearly stammered, wiping her eyes in her sleeve.
"S-So no more crying, alright?" Pearl slowly nodded.
"O-Okay Mystic Maya." She put on a weak smile of her own. "Say hi to Mr. Nick for me alright?" Nick, she hadn't told him yet, wasn't going to tell him, she didn't want him treating her any differently than normal; that was the last thing she wanted.
"I will Pearly." Maya took hold of her overnight bag again. "I love you Pearly."
"Love you too Mystic Maya." Before stepping aboard the train, Maya took a look back at the people she was leaving and waved goodbye.
"Maya, you here!" Phoenix called; no answer. The door was unlocked so she had to be here somewhere; she was the only other person who had a key. "Maya!" He called again, searching the apartment. He eventually found her in her room, sound asleep with the window open. He smiled to himself as he gently rocked her awake. "Come on Maya, wake up." He whispered. After a moment, her eyes fluttered open. "Weird for you to be sleeping in the middle of the day."
"Oh, hi Nick." She yawned sitting up. "I lead down for a minute when I got here and I guess I dozed off." She rubbed her eyes while Phoenix sat next to her.
"How many days did the elders let you take off anyway?" He asked.
"O-Oh, j-just a couple, but I can take a little longer if I want, there's nothing really important going on back in Kurain anyway."
"You didn't really bring that much if you're staying for more than a couple of days." Phoenix observed motioning to her overnight bag at the foot of the bed with his head.
"Oh yeah." Maya said, looking down at her hands on her lap. "Well, I didn't think I'd need much. A lot of my stuff is already here you know and if there's anything I want I'll just get you to buy it for me." She smiled. Phoenix chuckled.
"Oh, of course." He smiled.
"So, how was court?" She chirped.
"We're in recess until tomorrow night. It's a tough case Maya, I'm not sure if I can win it." Phoenix sighed. Maya patted him on the shoulder.
"P'uh stop being so humble Nick! You know as well as I do you can win any case they put in front of you."
"Ah Maya, you're always good for giving me an ego boost." He said
"Hey, I mean it! So come on enough petty talk of self-doubt, the next Master of Kurain is hungry and she demands grease soaked burgers!"
"Well, whatever you say 'Master' Maya." Phoenix replied, giving her a mock bow. Maya gave him a playful slap in the arm before hopping out of bed. She swooned when she stood, nearly falling.
"You okay?" Phoenix asked standing.
"Oh, yeah he he." Maya chuckled holding her head, her balance restored. "Oops, must of got up too quick." She looked back at him over her shoulder. "I'm better now."
"You sure, I mean you can stay here and I can go get you some burgers if you're not feeling well." He offered with concern.
"I'm fine Nick. Besides, that's no good, by the time you walk back here from the burger place they'll be cold and cold burgers Nick? That's just SICK!"
"Aright, alright, let's go."
Phoenix was a little worried as he walked to the courthouse the next night. Maya didn't act like herself last night when they went for burgers. She didn't eat like she normally does, taking slow even bites instead of just inhaling her food like usual. On top of that, she only ordered two burgers and looked squeamish enough just trying to eat them. Of greater concern was the fact that she disappeared into the bathroom right after and was in there for quite awhile. Then, when they got home she went right to bed, not even bothering to see if there was anything on TV before she went, and she was asleep until just before he left, so unlike her. But, Phoenix knew Maya, knew she wasn't one to keep secrets, if there was something wrong, she would have told him. He was disappointed she wasn't with him right now. Even though she wasn't his assistant anymore, he was sort of hoping she'd come with him to court, but he reasoned that she knew she wasn't going to get into the city much anymore and didn't want to spend her time there in a courtroom. As he thought about it, he realised Maya had probably seen enough of the inside of the American justice system to last a few lifetimes, so if she just wanted to sleep in and watch TV or something, that was fine. Phoenix cracked his shoulders as he reached for the knob of the courthouse's main double door, ready for a long hard night.
Maya had every window in the apartment open and was trying her best to keep from throwing up. Nothing she ate stayed down anymore, she was lucky she made it to the bathroom in time at the restaurant; she certainly didn't want to vomit at the table. All she had eaten the entire day was some cold cereal and even that was coming up in her throat. She was afraid Nick was soon going to figure it out; he cracked alot tougher mysteries than this; if that was the case she wanted to have just one more night with him as just Nick and Maya.
It was well after midnight when Phoenix opened the door and limped in. He knew it was going to be tough, but he managed to get an acquittal by the slimmest of margins. He wished Maya would have been there, she would have been proud of him. He was surprised to find her sitting on the couch, wide awake in her pajamas and her hair down, a large book on her lap that she was flicking through.
"Hey, Nick." She smiled. "How'd everything go?" Phoenix just raised his hand and gave her a thumbs up. "Told you so." She chirped.
"How come you're still up anyway?" He asked sitting next to her.
"I got enough sleep yesterday and today already. Geez, I think I'm starting to get lazy."
"Starting?" Phoenix smirked. Maya slapped his arm again.
"Shut up Nick." She groaned and returned to her book.
"What are you reading anyway?"
"I'm not reading anything, just looking through the photo album. W-wanna go through it with me?" She asked hopefully.
"I don't know Maya. I'm really tired." He yawned.
"Pleaaase Nick, i-it won't take long I promise." She croaked, her voice sounded a little rough.
"Hmm, alright." Maya snuggled into the back of the couch and flipped back to the first page as Phoenix shifted closer. The frist page showed a younger Phoenix, nervously grinning at the camera from in front of the courthouse. His tie wasn't tied right and his briefcase was hanging open.
"Dear Lord." He grunted. "Your sister took that one, just before I had my first trial. I was a bundle of nerves and I was so disorganised, I-I don't know I still think I only managed to win that one by luck." Maya giggled.
"Guess some things never change then, eh Nick?" She teased, digging him in the ribs with her elbow.
"Just because that's true doesn't mean you need to say it." He whined. "Oh, and we took this one after I won back here at the office." He pointed to the picture below it. Mia and several other lawyers stood around Phoenix who looked decidedly more confident, sticking his chest out and smiling as if begging for adulation.
"Wow, sis looks so pretty." Maya gushed. "You know Nick, I never thought about it before, but…" Her eyes narrowed as she looked up at him with a goofy grin. "…I bet you had the biggest crush on her back then."
"Wh-wh-what?" Phoenix stammered wide-eyed.
"I mean yeah. Look at the picture, she's got her arm around you and it kinda looks like you're blushing." She replied. Phoenix leaned forward to get a better view of the picture.
"Oh Maya it does not!"
"Well, Mia always had all the boys all over her." Maya said with a shrug. "I mean look at her, she was gorgeous. Why would you be any different, Nick?" Phoenix gave a chuckle.
"I-I never did think about Mia like that. I mean, I noticed she was, well, hot; it was next to impossible not to; but you know, that sort of thing never really appealed to me."
"Huh?" Maya grunted wide-eyed. "What do you mean?"
"You know; the whole glamorous, super-model look. Mia always seemed to be a bit over the top for me. I always preferred more understated beauty; a girl that you can wrap your arms around and really get close to." He explained. "Don't get me wrong I loved Mia, I still do. But she was my hero and my mentor and…"
"What, you're saying it's wrong to have a crush on your hero or something?" Maya asked quickly.
"What? Oh, no, no, no." He replied, waving his hands in front of himself. "That kind of thing is perfectly normal; it's just that I never did."
"Hmph, w-well that's good. Sis was spoken for anyway." Maya turned back to the album, Phoenix noticed that she was smiling to herself. "Hey!" She exclaimed, "This's the first picture me and you ever took together!"
"Oh yeah, I remember that. It was just after I got you acquitted and we decided we'd try working together." Maya nodded.
"Yeah, you know Nick, I remember thinking back then how handsome and cool you were, you know"
"R-really?" Phoenix stammered.
"Yeah, boy was I wrooong!" He sighed.
"Thanks a lot Maya." He noticed then that her head was beginning to droop.
"You okay?" Her face was turning red too and she was sweating, he put his hand to her cheek. "Hmmm, you feel a little warm."
"I'm fine Nick." She said as she turned the page and let out a low gasp. "Ooooh I remember this, it's the time we all went to the amusement park, r-remember that?" Phoenix took the album from Maya and laid it on his own lap.
"Yeah." He answered with a smile. The picture was a group shot of all of them, occupying two picnic tables at the refreshment area. He sat with Maya, Pearls, Gumshoe, and Maggey. Larry occupied the second table with Edgeworth and Franziska. Phoenix was smiling at the camera with his hand on Pearls' shoulder, who was looking up at him sadly, Maya was busy choking down a hotdog, Gumshoe had his arm around Maggey and they were both looking behind them at the camera, both smiling. Larry was grinning over his shoulder, giving a thumbs up and a wink. Edgeworth and his sister both had their arms crossed and neither appeared to be amused. Phoenix couldn't help but wonder why they even bothered to come.
"Hey Maya, why does Pearls look so upset in this one? I can't remember."
"That's because she couldn't get us to go in the Tunnel of Love together." Maya sighed as she absent-mindedly lay her head on his shoulder.
"Oh y-yeah, I remember now."
"He He, remember after when Larry asked me to go through it with him?" Maya said gazing at the album. "You pretty much flipped out and…"
"I did not 'flip out' Maya." He interrupted. "I reminded Larry that, given his reputation with women, I wasn't going to let him anywhere near you." Truth be told, the thought of Maya as a notch on some guy's belt; especially Larry's; made Phoenix want to hurt somebody; mostly Larry.
"Whatever Nick, you know, I was really mad at you over that."
"Wh-what?" Phoenix choked. "M-M-Maya don't tell me you actually liked Larry?"
"'Course not!" Maya answered quickly. "But it got on my nerves that you'd try to tell me who I could go out with."
"Just trying to look out for you." Phoenix grumbled.
"I could've understood if you were jealous or something, but we both know that's silly." She said. Phoenix froze for a second.
"M-Maya, I…" He began before she cut him off.
"Remember when we were leaving the park and Pearly asked you to pick her up?" She asked; Phoenix nodded. "You gave her a piggyback ride all the way home, she was so happy. And then you tucked her in and read her her story. Th-that's something I'm always gonna remember from that day." She raised her head from his shoulder and softly kissed his cheek. "Y-you're gonna, you're gonna make a great dad someday Nick." She whispered. Phoenix turned red.
"Wh-why, Maya, where did that come from?" Maya's head slid back down to his shoulder.
"Thanks Nick, thanks for-thanks for being my friend." With that she grew silent.
"W-wow." He stammered. "Hey, Maya, Maya! Geez, don't tell me you fell asleep that quick?" He moved his shoulder to try and jostle her awake. She didn't respond. "Hey Maya!" With one final flick of his shoulder, she limply fell onto the couch. "M-M-Maya!" Sweat formed on his forehead as he darted up, everything froze. everything went silent. He cold feel cold sweat forming on his back, his mouth went dry. "What the hell?" He took hold her shoulders and started to shake her. "COME ON MAYA, THIS ISN'T FUNNY!" He screamed desperately. He did everything he could think of; he compressed her chest, blew into her mouth, anything to try to get her to open her eyes again, but to no avail. Her skin was already paling, she felt cold and she wasn't breathing. He sank back down onto the couch, in complete shock. "Wh-what the hell?" Then it struck him, and he felt the tears start squeezing from his eyes; Maya was dead. Shaking, he bent over her and saldy put a kiss on her forehead,his fresh tears falling onto her. "G-Goodbye, Maya."
Note: Maya died from a condition of my own design, a sort of spiritual degradation. When a channelled spirit leaves a medium's body, for a second the body thinks it's dead before the original spirit reclaims its body. Insufficient training coupled with excessive amounts of channelling would eventually confuse the body into thinking it is dead, causing it to shut down. This caused a fever, as well as Maya's stomach to be unable to keep down any food.