A/N: Ah...I've been busy so this chapter might not be of the best quality as it would be when I'm sane xD (Jks) But, here it is anyway~
Hope you enjoy chapter 2 of Heels Over Head by yours truly! (Ahaha, my best friend Tenshi got a sneak preview, not that she understands ALL of the concepts. She hasn't played the games)
Phoenix stared straight ahead at Mia, (channelled by Pearl) not believing what she had just said. Mia claimed she knew nothing of what Maya had done in that span of one year before she disappeared or where her beloved little sister went,
In fact, Mia hadn't even known that Maya had left the village at all. In fact, she had assumed the same as Phoenix, thinking that she was running the village, happy and safe.
Not that she had simply disappeared!
What Mia did know was that Phoenix was disbarred, that he had adopted Trucy, basically the details that everyone knew about his life during that horrid 7-year time span. Except, oddly enough, she knew nothing of Maya's side of the story.
The Master of Kurain had completely shut out her older sister in the details of her life, where'd she go, why she left…
Well, now she knew why Maya had left. She'd left of a broken heart and too much stress. Phoenix had actually started to cry when he told what he knew, that he was to blame but Mia only gently pinched his shoulder and sternly told him to dry his tears.
"No use getting upset about something Phoenix, especially when it's not your fault. Maya left of her own accord…Even if she did leave because of a broken heart, I'm sure she had other reasons that overshadowed that." she said.
Phoenix looked at her, eyes still blurry and nodded slowly, taking in a shaky breath to steady himself and whispered, "You're lying. I can tell you're lying, Chief. You're mad at me. Which is it? Is it Maya? Or getting disbarred?"
Mia bit her lip and cautiously nodded her head resignedly. "I'm sorry Phoenix, I really am. I-It's not that I'm angry at you for getting disbarred, it wasn't your fault, even though you technically were at fault because you presented forged evidence but you didn't know and Klavier Gavin didn't know either and-" Mia stopped and pressed a palm into her forehead, sighing.
Phoenix nodded for her to continue and eventually, she did. Mia gave him a look that vaguely resembled pity as she said, "As for Maya…Well, I am kind of mad at you for that. After I, er, passed on, I left you to look after her and vice-versa. To see that you didn't even contact her those past 7 years to see how she was doing…Or visit her, even once." Mia crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow at him in familiar disapproval.
Phoenix looked at his former boss now, irritated by the fact that she didn't understand. "No, Mia, Chief, you don't get it! Why would I visit her when the madman that framed me and cost me my job was watching me periodically in my daily life? He'd harm or maybe even kill –Yes, he could've killed Maya- with a high status. Or he'd learn how high Maya was-is in my thoughts and use that against me. Blackmail, Chief, BLACKMAIL. Sound familiar?" He scowled at Mia, his face a contortion of pain and anger…at himself.
He was angry at himself, he did not fault Mia for saying those things she did, but it was true to say the least, how could he have risked Maya's life just to see her? If he was blackmailed, Kristoph could have made him do virtually anything, just for the reassurance that Maya was alive and well, if not scared.
Mia sighed, exasperated and shot back with, "You think I misunderstood, Phoenix? Maybe I did, because I'd thought all these years that you'd visit her anyway with the risk of getting killed, not to mention you'd trade her life for yours if she was in any danger of getting killed…as she has been many times before." She finished with a raised eyebrow at Phoenix.
He bit his lip and said quietly, "You know I'd do anything for her Chief… But the risk of that is too big, it's like stepping into a fire, knowing the fact you're gonna get burned, yet you are disregarding the fact."
Phoenix sat and stared at Mia, awaiting some form of response from her when her shoulders slumped resignedly. "I…I suppose you're right. I'm sorry Phoenix, I'm not thinking straight…"
She looked at the floor miserably, but Phoenix still stared. He eyed her questioningly, wondering if she had any clues, anything to help him on this near-impossible search for Maya.
Finally, he decided to just ask, "If Maya didn't confide in you about where she went, is there anyone else who might know? Or have some clue?"
Mia put a hand to her mouth, and closed her eyes, thinking hard before opening them abruptly and exclaiming, "Ah!"
Phoenix leaned forward anxiously to hear what she had just remembered and was surprised when Mia said, "No one. If not Pearl and I, Maya wouldn't tell anyone. But…" Mia regarded Phoenix suspiciously before sighing.
"You're looking for Maya right? You want to find her before this 7th year is over? The 8th year after you were disbarred? Your first year back with your badge?" Phoenix didn't know how Mia kept track of all of this information, but he nodded mutely.
Mia played with the magatama around her neck before hesitantly saying, "Well…There might one other thing of use to you…Maya's diary."
Phoenix's confusion got the better of him and he asked, "Maya keeps a diary?
Mia stared at him and put her hands on her hips. "How do you not know that? All those years ago, when Maya stayed with you, didn't you notice her writing in a specially decorated notebook? Didn't you ever ask her what she was writing, only to have her ignore you and continue writing?"
Phoenix's mind flashed back to chilly day in November, when he'd seen her sitting on the couch and not watching TV for once. He was so surprised he just had to know what she was doing…
"H-Huh? Maya? You're not watching the Steel Samurai or something?"
"Well then, what are you doing…?"
"Just writing…Nothing special."
"Well, what are you writing?"
He remembered now. That notebook… He had sat down beside her and asked her what she was writing. She looked up with a start and stared blankly at him, then held it up to show him the cover. "Maya's Diary" it had said in purple glitter.
"It's a diary Nick! You don't just ask a girl what they're writing in their diary!" she smiled and laughed when she'd said that. Phoenix smiled bitterly. Would he ever see that cheerful smile again? Would he ever hear her angelic laugh once more?
He quickly cleared such acidic thoughts from his mind and nodded at Mia, indicating he remembered said diary.
Mia smiled at him and said, "Pearl said Maya didn't even bother to touch it or look it over anymore that one year she was still here. I'm sure she's left it behind, forgotten."
"But where is it Chief? You wouldn't happen to know would you?" Phoenix raised the obvious question because doubt still clouded his mind. Maya wasn't stupid; Phoenix wouldn't just fall for some stupid girl with a pretty face.
Maya was a clever and cunning girl, if not a bit bizarre. She wouldn't leave behind something so obvious for him to just pick up and say, "Look! I found a clue!"
No…She'd either take it or hide it if it was obvious.
Unless…One conclusion remained. She wanted him to find it. Maya wanted Phoenix to find her diary and read it, to know the pain she'd felt, to let him know why she'd left.
It wasn't much, but answers are answers. To Phoenix, finding this diary was like finding a giant diamond in his hoodie pocket! (Even though at the moment, he was wearing his favourite blue suit, the one that he'd left in closet and ignored for so many years.)
Back to previous question though, Mia crossed her arms and answered, "Somewhere no one would dare search. Otherwise known as…her room."
Phoenix, for not the first time, gaped and stared in disbelief. "Her room?" He shouted. "Would she honestly just hide something so important in her room?"
Mia put up a hand, signifying that I should calm down and replied bluntly, "She's most likely forgotten about it. Besides, like I said, everyone respects the Master's privacy, including the Elders. They would never search her room."
Phoenix raised an inquisitive eyebrow at Mia. "Even if she's up and left? Disappeared? Gone? They still wouldn't search her room?"
Mia looked uncertain for a moment then nodded, gradually bringing her head lower and raising it again. "It's not entirely impossible, but most likely they wouldn't have searched it. They probably would have only let Pearl, as she was the closet acolyte to Maya. Even if the Elder Council did decide to search her room, they probably never would have found the diary." Mia covered her mouth with her hand in thought. "Even if they did, don't you think they'd be after her? The diary probably has at least one important clue to lead on with."
Phoenix nodded and took a moment to let this sink in before feeling his mouth crack into a wide grin.
"Well, Chief, it seems we have a diary to find."
Ooh~ Diary hunt! Lessee what Maya has written in the diary next chapter hmm?