The Seven Nightmares of Phoenix Wright
Just your ordinary sick fic. I wrote it for the PW Kink Meme when I was sick. That accounts for the quality :P ...I mean, why it's so *great* of course, yes. Vaguely P/M.
"Hmm, yes. Very interesting. Very VERY interesting…"
"Uh," ventured Phoenix, "the 'other' doctor already established that the ankle is the only injury still needing attention."
"It's important to triple CHECK… hmmm yes. What if the damage were…internal? Hmmm yes."
Phoenix was beginning to see why everyone in the district attended the Meraktis Clinic, even though all the rumours knew he was a quack who caused 'accidents'. But it went without saying Phoenix didn't have health insurance – this deathtrap had cost enough already! In the short time since he'd regained consciousness, his roommate had died, that kid playing in the aisle most definitely had whooping cough or probably something ever worse…. Phoenix cringed as he mentally tallied the expenses. Ambulance transport, bed fee, examination by doctor… he'd certainly hit the limit, so he'd had to resort to examination by 'doctor' to hopefully escape without incurring further charges…
He'd better leave before 'dinner' time, no doubt there was a fee attached to that as well. Particularly if it was in the style of 'lunch'.
"I would recommend…" the doctor was continuing, "we should proceed with a hemicorporectomy, and an orchidectomy certainly…"
"What about the ankle?"
"The ankle? Oh, hmm yes, perfectly restored, flawless…"
There was a scream from a nearby room.
The doctor scribbled on his report.
"Code Yellow. Code Yellow," repeated someone over the intercom. Phoenix trained his gaze to focus on his 'water' bottles instead of the resulting frenzy and blank his mind from wild guessing to what it might mean.
The nurse, harried, dropped in.
"Oh! Dr… Hickfield," she greeted, eyes flitting to his nametag. "You've finished your report, excellent! Why Mr.. Wright. It seems your ankle injury is fully recovered! You can elect to stay a further day of rehabilitation, but…"
There was a thud from the hall and its mass of hallbound imminent in-patients.
"Could I maybe have a crutch?"
"Why, no. According to the doctor's report, it's not necessary. On the contrary, it will make the scarring permanent if you don't exercise and use the ankle as much as possible."
Phoenix absently switched back on his phone with the object of distracting himself from the significant pain as he teetered down the clinic's front steps, face immediately assaulted with the vibration of his Classic Steel Samurai ringtone.
Maya's tone well imparts an image of her tearful and furious face to his head.
"Something HAPPENED, didn't it! AGHHHH! Are you in HOSPITAL?"
Phoenix lurched off the last step and onto the non-hospital public pavement. "No. And I'm fine. Nothing happened."
"I don't believe you! I ALMOST CONTACTED YOUR GHOST!"
"Uh.." Good thing Maya wasn't actually here, to break his poker face.
"How come the phone says you're at the hospital?"
"Huh? My phone doesn.." If even Kurain had more advanced technology, maybe it was time for a phone upgrade? Nah…
"I was just.. walking past," described Phoenix, finally managing to limp into the next street.
"How do you even survive without *sniff* me around to look after you? BE MORE CAREFUL!"
"Don't worry so much. I'm still alive."
"I KNOW you're still ALIVE, dummy! Are you okay?"
Actually, escaping the city and the fallout from whatever he'd set Apollo onto seemed entirely sensible – it was likely Kristoph had commissioned Meraktis' 'hit' anyway, and something else could be in the pipeline. A quick phone call to Apollo that he'd sue for murder if anything happened to Trucy –
"Have you ever heard of High Prosecutor Edgeworth, Apollo?"
- and he arranged a meeting with Maya.
Phoenix hadn't meant to worry Maya, the whole recent murder trial thing had been distressing and he didn't want to freak her out with more unnecessary trauma. No, he probably wasn't being as careful as he should have been, had got complacent since Kristoph was locked away. Stupid. Not that he was about to admit it to Maya, unless expressly forced.
But now he had an 'apprentice', he could keep himself out of the direct line of risk and fire. Genius!
He might have been able to cover up the whole latest incident, except he hadn't anticipated Maya had sensed his ghost.
"I hope you keep that magatama with you at all times!' Maya's phone-bound voice was now continuing.
"Yeah. Of course I do…" Maya had said it was supposed to ward off evil, or something… she'd added a few extra spirit powers over the years. Possibly ones which included why he hadn't broken his spine or something… Phoenix began to feel a little more secretly grateful.
"NICK! YOU'RE ALIVE!"
This was becoming an all-too familiar greeting ritual. So, of course, Maya was as delighted to hear of Phoenix's 'apprentice' as he himself was.
The hospital hadn't discharged him with medication (his ankle was 'cured', remember?) but an overdose of non-prescription painkillers swigged down with an overdose of grape juice and he could walk normally as directed! Having finally detached herself from her limpet-like embrace, Maya eyed every inch of his body suspiciously, but without knowledge of his injury, she didn't devote her undivided attention to the actual point of weakness, so a few momentary lapses into limping went unobserved.
"Ah, you do seem okay! I was so worried!" Maya seemed so joyously relieved, it didn't seem right to spoil the mood by indicating otherwise. Besides, he couldn't actually feel anything, so he agreed to the 'short walk' – how else were they going to talk in private?
"Isn't the mountain lovely at this time of year?"
"Uh, yeah. Very.."
He vaguely noticed his foot had begun to feel very strange and – was it really snowing at this time of year? And that fog or mist or whatever it was, and the way things began to waver like a slow-motion earthquake…
"Wait," mumbled Phoenix, clutching a nearby tree for support, "I think I'd better… rest… a …minute"
"What? You're getting to old to…
"I didn't know it was possible for peoples' ankle to swell up to that size," lamented Maya, shaken. "Are you sure we aren't dreaming, Nick?"
"I… don't feel…so good."
Maya reached to him in a frenzy of concern.
"Why didn't you tell me you had a fever? We could have stayed home."
"I didn't.. before… n…"
He dramatically collapsed in her arms.
Phoenix was too heavy for Maya, so she immediately fell down too.
Maya's tearful eyes peered deep into Phoenix's face.
"Nick! Nick! Ah! You're awake! Can you get up? Are you any better?"
"No! B…. Butterflies!"
"Huh?" Maya's eyes darted to follow his unseeing undirection.
"Butterflies! Save me, Maya!"
"Um. Where's the butterfly?"
"Right…THERE!" howled Phoenix, pointing his finger into thin air. "Make it go away! Make it go away!"
"It's burning me alive!"
"Oh Nick.." fretted Maya, taking his enfevered hand.
"Can't you cast a *pant* spell on it or something?"
"Of course!" Maya recited a garbled string of nonsensical archaic Japanese, Phoenix none the wiser. "Has it gone? Its power had been, um, NEUTRALISED."
"Yes! It's gone! AGH! There's one on my arm! And my back! And my HAIR!" Phoenix writhed and crawled under the swarm of scale-winged imaginary spectral torture.
"It's okay, it's okay," soothed Maya, taking Phoenix in her arms and almost recoiling from the heat radiating out of him. "Gah!" She attempted to obscure her panicking. "I really need to get you something for your fever…"
"More! More are on me! They're burning me UP!"
Maya's pose grew utterly distraught. . "I'll save you, Nick!" She reared her full weight behind the limpened Phoenix toward the ledge's downward direction, dumping him in the stream.
"You… you washed them all away!" Phoenix reclined prone in the pool, with an overwhelm of stunned gratitude.
"Y..Yes." affirmed Maya, slightly shaken. But his eyes are now again lucid and focused.
"I musta…caught something at the hospital…" he slurred thoughtfully as Maya stoically dragged him through a maze of fallen bark.
"What did you say?"
"N…nothing! I feel… hideous!"
And by the time they'd arrived at shelter and Maya had begun fussing over his bedraggledness, he was slipping back into overheated absentia.
"Nick, um, I think maybe we should take you to a hospital or something. They don't have doctors here, they just have an, um, healer, and…"
"And we don't really have any strong medicines. So I thought Pearly could sit with you for a bit while I go to the other town and…"
"Oh, poor Nick, you're such a baby. Okay, you'll just have to eat this, um, bark, it's a folk cure they used to use here to reduce fever and…"
His frenzied pupils dilated further in terror.
"Now, I crushed it up as much as I could!"
Phoenix's mouth responded with frenetic spluttering and near incoherent stream of protest. "Rasping!... splinters.. knives tearing me ap-part…"
"PLEASE swallow it, Nick!"
The sincerity of the terrified tone helped Phoenix to force his insubordinate gulping reflex.
"Wash it down," signed relieved Maya, dumping a river of water on his mouth. (She hoped it was clean.) Phoenix's fever swiftly diluted into a soporific haze.
He was only vaguely aware of Maya's apologetic attempts to explain why she hadn't taken him back to Fey Manor. "It was hard enough to drag you here! I thought of channeling someone bigger and stronger, but I didn't know who I could trust with you…"
"Don't leave me, Maya!" he protested weakly.
"Okay, okay, I won't. Um, nobody else is strong enough to carry you either, and we don't have cars here…"
Phoenix was too sick to really care about his surrounds. He drifted in and out of a fitful doze.
The night was actually fairly balmy to regular people, but icicles stabbed and tore Phoenix to his core.
Good thing he had his 'security blanket'. Pity she wasn't big enough to cover him all at once; but the assurance effect helped compensate for the lingering chill, and somehow he managed to get some genuine rest.
In fact he had fallen into actual deep slumber when something broke him out of it, dazzled Phoenix's eyes into semi-consciousness and back into his feverish delusion. A sense of loss, hopelessness, and hideous ill-health.
Where was he? Was this the hospital? Where was Maya? Maya? Didn't she say she wouldn't leave him? Oh please, let it not have just been a dream!
Phoenix's visuals were interrupted by prickly swirls and disintegrating fog; he reasoned it was probably best not to trust them. Some of the sensation of needles jarring into him should hopefully be ignored, but some things his fingertips detected were surely present?
*Am I… in the ground… DEAD?*
He thrashed and flailed wildly, a futile attempt to fight to the surface. His surrounds displaced, crackled and crushed. What was that smell?
Wait, those were definitely leaves and, could those be… feathers?
Phoenix continued his alone panic for a full minute, but it seemed more like hours or….
Yes, it was definitely Maya! He could see her small but welcomed form reappearing through that off-centre jarringly confusing tilted… window?
Phoenix's eyes were too disoriented to observe, but Maya was panting as she laid down a large selection of objects.
He could only see Maya's presence emerging through the ethereal haze. Surely she wasn't using her E.S.P. was.. she…
"And I didn't let you thrash your head open on a dirty old rock!"
Phoenix might have clung to her in relief, except he couldn't cause himself to move. Thankfully Maya saw fit to take his hand; that pressure was real. Surely he was alive after all!
"Y..you said you wouldn't leave me," Phoenix couldn't help whining.
"Oh! I ran as fast as I could- I HAD to get you something to make you better! And I did look after you, see? Like a chick in a nest!"
"Here, have a glass of water."
Phoenix's unsteady hands took the cup, shook, and dropped it all over Maya.
"Aww." Her face fell.
"Pearly got you some medicine from the city. Please try to eat it. It should work better than that awful bark." Apparently now untrusting at his ability to hold anything, Phoenix ceased resistance to Maya's attempts to open his jaw. She shoved the pill inside and as he choked and spluttered jammed the contents of the (refilled) cup to his lips.
As the pill took effect, Phoenix began to have a more coherent awareness of his actual surroundings. He'd been too sick for Maya to drag him all the way back to the house, so they seemed to be inside a very large old hollow tree. And, as incredulous as he'd been, Maya did appear to have bedded him down in a pile of leaves, moss and feathers.
"Wasn't it a great idea?" demanded Maya. "You went crazy every time I tried to leave you, see."
Phoenix accidentally kicked a pile of blankets near his foot which he assumed were Maya's attempt at keeping his ankle elevated; it was also tightly bandaged and embedded in ice packs and seemed to have reverted to a more normal dimension from her ministrations.
After some drifting minutes, Phoenix's mind was clear, but his body felt utterly unusable. He could only limply submit to Maya's admittedly comforting advances - wrapping him in a blanket, rearranging his sweat-soaked hair spikes back into their usual formation, curling up next to him while he drifted off to sleep again…
"Come on, Nick," cheered Maya encouragingly. It wasn't just a matter of his ankle being near-unusable; the entire landscape lurched unsteadily and erratically, and all his limbs felt so both limp and heavy he could barely force them to move or obey.
For the hundredth time his imbalance gave way and he began to topple. Maya allocated all her attention and resilience to steadying him and not collapsing too under his dead weight. "It's.. okay… just a …little further…" she kept reiterating as she half-led, half-dragged the beleaguered Phoenix. "Look! I can see the house!"
Phoenix couldn't, really. He just felt tired. Wished he could close his eyes, and leave them closed, but that made him even more liable to lose balance again. Maya's decree that he'd be better off in bed in Fey Manor provably would have made logical sense at some point, but right now he couldn't really see what was the problem of just bedding down in the nearby dirt or grass or something – he'd be lying down, for starters!
Maya swayed at his latest impending descent, but locked her feet steadfastly. "Keep… going…" Admittedly this had taken far longer than she anticipated. Maya had her heart set on this for some reason, and she hadn't let him fall, so Phoenix again forced himself to painfully stumble onward. "Here.. we are!"
"Time to… lie down.." he wheezed gratefully, attempting to droop to Fey Manor's entry floor.
"NO! Oh, get in THERE," commanded Maya, pushing him toward her nearby bedroom.
Phoenix collapsed into blissful, plunging exhaustion, too sick to appreciate Kurain's finest bedding, or to register much of Maya's valiant attempts to remove his dirt-caked, wet, sweat-soaked outer clothes, or her painstaking extraction of the bark and leaves from his hair.
And Phoenix found himself drifting off, and eventually reopening his eyes blearily in the familiar and comforting surroundings of his home. (All the more familiar and comforting that it was his childhood and pre-lawyer days' home.) He'd been roused by a minor itchiness on his forearm, no big deal, right, he conceded as he filched it from under the motheaten covers, and it was hardly dangerous, that elegant little pure white butterfly with the curiously pinkish tinge.
Some kind of instinctive and irrational panic set in; swiftly shown to be justified when the butterfly opened its murderous and poisonous blood-red mouth…
"MAYAAAAAAAA! MAYA, HELP! IT'S BITING ME! MAY…."
Phoenix lurched in the direction of the cry, fell, then bodily dragged his weak self onto the window ledge. "MAYA! GET IT OFF M…..MAYA!"
But Maya apparently couldn't hear him, and was swiftly being consumed by the hellfire of the hideous scene outside.
She was chained up on the other side, out of his reach.
The bridge was irreconcilably broken, the last charred smoldering shards plunging into the infinite abyss below….
The butterfly clamped its jaws in murderous agony and Phoenix blanked… back into consciousness.
"You weren't there! You didn't hear me! You didn't save me! I didn't save you!"
"Nick! Nick! Calm DOWN! I was here all along! See?"
Maya certainly looked to have embedded herself by his bed. She was perched on his screwed up bedding patiently, her position alone summarily flattened. There was a stack of snacks (Phoenix's stomach churned,) a TV had been jammed in and droned whatever Samurai series idly in the background. No contradictions here.
"Awww, you're all stiff," observed Maya compassionately. "Try to relax," she directed, beginning to iron out his taut upper body with well-intentioned fingertips.
"There," she whispered after he'd been lulled into limpness. "So, …how do you feel?"
"I think," declared Phoenix, "I'm going to die."
Maya's eyes filled with fear. "No," she corrected a moment later, "I could tell. You're just sick. Now," she queried thoughtfully, "what can I do to make you feel better?"
"No more bark!" flinched Phoenix defensively.
"How about a massage?" Phoenix's eyes lit up. "Where hurts?"
"Well, isn't it lucky we've got all day!"
He stemmed his shaking. All was not lost, finally he had an idea of tactics to break this opponent. A 'miracle'!
The sinister anthro-radio crackled. Phoenix pricked his ears and spikes in absolute attention.
"Yes! Yes Mr DeKiller! We require your testimony! Your client has broken his contract of honour with you and…"
"But what of our deal? Mr Wright, didn't I say I required our transaction within one day? Your *ahem* precious object has already been disposed of. Actually committed ritual jigai whilst misguidedly ranting about preserving your 'honour'!"
"NOOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOOO OOOOOOO!"
Phoenix's pupils blanked out in pure horror… to open into Maya's peering curiously into them.
"Ow! Nick, you're CRUSHING ME!"
"Y… You're alive!" Phoenix's frantic grasp flopped limply in wonderment.
"Of course I'm alive, silly! Now," she continued obliviously, "how do you feel?"
Phoenix's brain took a moment's pause of shaken grasping. "Obscene."
"Well, you'll feel better soon! I made you some soup!"
"What kind of soup?" demanded Phoenix suspiciously, wincing in remembrance of the hospital's mucusoid greywater.
"Hamburger Soup! Now, open wide…"
"I can feed mysel…"
"You mustn't strain yourself," chided Maya whilst shoving the spoon in his protesting mouth.
"Isn't it delicious?" proclaimed Maya. "I know it is! Just like if you mixed a burger with hot water, chewed it up then spat it out!"
"Um, you d-didn't make it that way, did you?" shuddered Phoenix between forced gulps.
"You really think I would, Nick?"
I hope that's a rhetorical question.
But through his poor-tempered cynicism, Phoenix had to concede the stuff was actually quite tasty – or at least, hadn't actually increased his nausea.
The greying sun cracking through the courtroom window, so familiar. The fake pine polish fumes of the defendant box, so familiar. The oppressive foreboding of apprehension, also so familiar.
"I'm sorry, Mr Wright. I now pronounce you GUILTY of the murder of Doug Swallow."
"N..no!" This simply *wasn't possible*. "I didn't do it! My D..Dollie was there! She knows I didn't do it! Dollie! DOLLIE!"
"You disgust me, Feenie! I'm sorry, Mr Judge. Feenie was a naughty boy."
"But Dollie! I trusted you! I believed in you! Why didn't you come to trial? WAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"
"Mr Wright! Bailiff, I think we'll have to sedate him!"
"Nick, what's up? You were thrashing so much, I thought I'd better wake you. Did you have a bad dream?"
"I'm okay, I'm okay," Phoenix repeated, methodically clasping Maya's offered and welcomed hand.
"I can try getting something to make you sleep easier…"
"N…Noooo!" yelped Phoenix. "Just…" he continued more coherently, "just stay with me."
"Okay," ceded Maya agreeably. "So…. how do you feel?"
She wants me to say better. But I'd *hate* to disappoint her. Phoenix began to take inventory. "My head hurts. My feet hurt. My face is burning up. The rest of me is freezing. My head is going to explode. And I think my face is going to fall off."
"You still have a fever, and you're dehydrated," diagnosed Maya. "How about a nice, frozen drink for your poor exploding head?"
Numbing out the hellfires, obliterating the throbbing… Phoenix may have thanked Maya if he wasn't so preoccupied with draining the drink. His relieved eyes flitted closed, totally spent.
Phoenix's eyes stirred to the dawn light. The smaller weight against him stirred also, and reared her head.
"Good morning, Nick! How do you feel?"
Phoenix took critical examination of his symptoms thoroughly. "Better," he marvelled.
"Are you SURE?" demanded Maya disbelievingly. "You really shouldn't push yourself, rest as much as you need!"
"No, I really do feel better," confirmed Phoenix.
"You're BETTER!" Maya hugged him with such enthusiasm that Phoenix feared re-injury. "I was SO WORRIED."
"Aww, it was no big deal," defended Phoenix sheepishly.
"As if! You were feeble as a baby! But if you're better.. hey, what do you want to do?"
Phoenix hadn't thought about being infectious. Maybe he'd have told Maya to back off a little… It could have been any one of those grimy kids in the hospital, or Dr Hickfield's unwashed hands, or…
"NIIICK! Aunt Morgan's HERE! She has a GUN! Save me!"
"Anyway, Trucy, tell Apollo that I have to stay overnight again for my 'secret mission'. Probably tomorrow night too. You can bribe him with another pudding to stay longer – the money's in the left side of the medium-large magic box. Keep him entertained with another one of Mia's law books – it hypnotised him last time!"
"Nick, wh…what are you doing? Come back here, I'm so c…cold. DON'T LEAVE ME!"
"I won't," reassured Phoenix, switching off his phone.