It's a few days late but I wasn't going to miss Phoenix/Maya day, no matter how busy I am.
Maya placed a hand on her hip as she took in the sight of Phoenix relaxing in her sitting room, his sneaker clad feet propped up on her rather expensive hand carved antique tea table. His beanie was pulled down over his eyes, but she didn't miss the corner of his mouth turn upwards with a small smile at her mock condescending tone.
"Yep," he replied, not moving a muscle.
"Good." Maya sighed, ambling her way around the small table to the other side of the settee so she could sit beside him. "At least that makes one of us."
Phoenix shifted slightly, peeking out from under the beanie to watch Maya as she braced her hand at her lower back and clumsily lowered herself down to the sofa, the simple movement taking every ounce of strength and concentration that she had. Once finally seated, she leaned back and closed her eyes.
"Lucky you're so cute, Nick." she said with a small smile, nudging him playfully as she lifted her feet, propping them up on the table next to his.
"Hmm," he acknowledged, eyes once again shrouded in the cover of his blue beanie. "You need glasses."
"My vision is perfect," Maya said, turning slightly to face him, her eyes sparkling as she grinned. "Really, this whole dishevelled unshaven thing... It's really working for me."
She snatched the beanie from his head and threw it on the table, giggling as Phoenix squinted against the sudden light intrusion. She ran a hand through his hair, marvelling at how the soft shaggy spikes fell every which way without the aid of styling products. He'd been letting it grow much longer these days and she'd started to like the way it curled upwards at the nape of his neck.
Even as unkempt as he was, there was no denying that he was a handsome man. She ran her hand over his stubbled cheek, a soft smile settling on her lips as she felt him lean into her touch. He finally opened his eyes, smiling gently at her as she dropped her hand.
"Well clearly this look has been working for you for some time..." Phoenix trailed off, motioning towards her protruding belly with a nod of his head.
"Clearly." Maya confirmed, leaning back on the sofa again and absently running a hand over her pregnant stomach.
Phoenix watched her, loving the look of contentment that spread across her features. Having a child at this point in his life with everything that was happening was hardly ideal, but Maya was so happy that he couldn't find it in himself to dampen her enthusiasm in any way. She'd always been like that though, tackling things head on with an unwavering belief that everything was going to work out just fine. He wished he had that kind of resolve and truly admired her for it. She already loved this baby so much and it was so amazing for him to watch her body change to accommodate the child.
He found himself grinning at the thought. This strong, capable, beautiful woman had chosen him. And not just that - she was also willing to stick by him when things got rough. He could never quite figure out what he had done to get so lucky.
"What are you smiling about?" Maya frowned, glancing over to find Phoenix with a goofy expression plastered on his face.
"You look beautiful," he said simply.
"I look fat," she countered.
"No way," he answered automatically with a shake of his head, so quick that she knew that he meant it sincerely. She found herself smiling back at him.
"Now you need the glasses," she laughed, and he delighted at how musical her light, tinkling laugh sounded to his ears. His trips to Kurain had been so infrequent lately that it was almost heartbreaking to miss this much of her pregnancy, but he was doing it to protect her. If Kristoph discovered that he was here... with her... like this? He couldn't bring himself to finish the thought.
He slung his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close to him. She snuggled into his shoulder and rested her hand over his chest, content to feel his heartbeat beneath her fingertips. The rhythmic beat was tangible proof that he was here with her, right now. She knew he wanted to keep her distanced from the troubles he was dealing with right now but it still hurt to not be able to fight every day by his side. She wanted to help him take care of Trucy. She wanted to be there every night when he came home from work. But she understood his concerns. She was safer here in Kurain, especially now that there was a baby to worry about.
Thanks to a cleverly doctored fake newspaper article, everyone believed that Maya Fey had married an Italian diplomat and was currently living in Europe. They owed Lotta, Edgeworth and Franziska pretty big for that one. It was a good thing that those three didn't ask too many questions.
"So you don't miss the clean cut spikes? The suit?" Phoenix asked.
"You're you, Nick. I don't care what you look like. You could wear a fish suit and I would still think you're the hottest guy I've ever met."
"A fish suit?" Phoenix inquired, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah," Maya nodded.
"Is that a suit that looks like a fish or a suit made of fish?"
"Either," Maya shrugged as if the conversation taking place was the most natural thing in the world.
"Good to know," Phoenix nodded as they settled into a comfortable silence.
She was weird. He was weird too. It worked. No wonder everyone else had seen their weird little relationship blossoming from a mile away.
"So..." Phoenix exhaled. "What do you feel like doing today? Do you think you've got the energy to go for a walk?"
Maya scrunched up her nose in way that told Phoenix that the idea of a walk sounded terrible right now, but she knew she had to get up and move around, no matter how tired she felt. Her swollen feet and ankles didn't fit into her sandals at the moment and she'd been going barefoot for about two weeks now. Thankfully the weather was warm as spring faded into summer.
"Maybe in a bit..." she bargained.
"Okay..." Phoenix relented. "But I'm holding you to that."
"I know," Maya said with a slight roll of her eyes. Phoenix was so bossy and overprotective when it came to the baby. "No need to worry, Dr Wright, I'll get my exercise."
"Yes, you will," Phoenix nodded smugly. She could throw all the sarcastic remarks at him that she wanted. He was going to take care of her while he was in Kurain whether she liked it or not.
"Actually," Maya began, scooting her body around so that she could place her feet in Phoenix's lap. "I have a job for you."
He eyed her questioningly as he placed his hands on top of the dainty feet resting in his lap, chuckling softly when she jumped slightly. She'd always had very ticklish feet.
Reaching into the pocket of her robes, she produced a small purple bottle. She grinned, jiggling the bottle in the air between her fingers.
Phoenix groaned, leaning back against the lounge and squeezing his eyes shut.
"Come on!" Maya whined. "You're so good at it."
"No," Phoenix shook his head. "I'm not doing that again."
Maya frowned pathetically, an exaggerated pout forming on her lips.
"But Nick, I can't reach."
Phoenix shook his head, exhaling heavily as he snatched the bottle of nail polish from Maya's outstretched hand, shaking the contents as she had instructed him the last time she had convinced him to paint her toenails.
"Do you have any idea how emasculating this is for me?" Phoenix asked, narrowing his eyes at her as the pungent chemical smell of the varnish hit his nostrils.
Maya couldn't help but laugh.
"Come on, Nick. This is hardly the most embarrassing thing that you've done in your lifetime. I've even got those pictures of you in college that Iris emailed me to prove it."
Phoenix laughed despite the situation as he painted his first purple line down Maya's toenail.
"Yeah, okay. Point taken."
"Did you ever think you'd be putting those wonderful art skills to such good use?" Maya chuckled, watching as he painted her toenails with deliberate, precise strokes. She wasn't just trying to bargain with him, he really was good at this.
"Somehow, I think not." Phoenix replied, shaking his head in disbelief. "Are you sure this stuff is safe for the baby?" he asked, concern crossing his face.
"Yes, Nick." Maya sighed. "You asked me that exact same thing last time too. This brand is perfectly safe for pregnant women."
"Well you can't be too careful..." Phoenix reasoned. Maya shook her head. He sure could.
Placing the cap back on, Phoenix admired his handiwork before handing the bottle back to Maya.
Maya swung her feet from his lap, back up on to the table so she could cuddle up next to him once more.
"Great job, Nick. Once these are dry we can go for that walk," Maya smiled, hoping her offer would placate him.
"Great," Phoenix laughed. "I guess my masculinity is a small price to pay for the health of you and our baby."
"Believe me," Maya said, angling her head upwards to place a kiss on his lips. "We wouldn't be in this predicament if you weren't all man."
He smiled as she settled against him once more.
"I'll take that as a compliment."
He moved his arm around her shoulder, resting his hand on her belly. He felt her relax against him as she covered his large hand with her own small one.
"You worry too much, Nick." she said, almost sleepily. "She'll be fine."
"She?" he snapped his head to look at her. "You found out?"
Maya shook her head, her eyes remaining closed as she snuggled into his shoulder.
"No, but I just know."
Phoenix nodded. She probably did. He'd seen far crazier things from this family.
"We're going to call her Mia," Maya added.
Phoenix leaned down to place a small kiss against her temple.
"I can't think of a better name," he smiled.
Happy Phoenix/Maya day everyone