A/N: Ah, this is my first fanfiction so...go easy on me, will you? This is basically me getting over The Reichenbach Fall by writing crossover fiction. Hah. Next chapter will probably be weird because these two will...just...not appear. It's the Sherlock side of the story.
I hope I did Maya and Nick's interactions justice. I adore their relationship. It's like when they first met they desperately needed Mia and ended up filling in for her for each other. Maya encourages Phoenix in court and Phoenix acts as a big brother to Maya. I'm not too fond of the way I had Phoenix regress to his lawyer days though. But I guess that's kind of what happens when you see a really close friend from your past after a long time of not seeing them?
There are two references to Turnabout Musical. I love them. All Ace Attorney fans should know about the project and should look them up.
The bar was easier the second time around. Phoenix Wright had lived being a lawyer after all and knew what to expect. He never liked law books, but sitting down there and reading them was all it took to re-trigger old memories and familiar case names.
It wasn't long until there was a defense attorney's badge on his lapel again.
The Wright Anything Agency was slowly, yet surely, receiving defense requests. Phoenix would listen to each and every one of them before handing them down to Apollo. Their partnership worked well. The famous defense attorney of the past, recently reaccredited and his talented protégé. Something changed in Phoenix those seven years without his attorney's badge. He had become a little less naïve, a little more conniving, and a lot wiser. It was hard to work him up now. Nothing shocked him. Unexpected twists and turns were no longer unexpected. Apollo still had the enthusiasm of a newbie attorney and was glad to take any cases that came up that Phoenix rejected, even though he didn't like to admit it.
This all changed one August day when Apollo knocked on his office door with a look of mild confusion on his face.
"Mr. Wright? There's someone who wants to see you…"
"Is it another case?" Phoenix smiled halfheartedly. "Go ahead and take it, Polly."
"No. And don't call me that," Apollo scowled. "I…think you'll want to see her."
"Hmm," Phoenix smiled, covering up any emotions he might have. He knew that annoyed his understudy. "Let her in then."
The girl who walked into his office wiped the tricky smile off his face. He stood slowly, ignoring Apollo's introductions.
"Hey Nick…" A voice he hadn't heard in years. "How are you doing?"
"'Nick?' You know each other?" Apollo's questions were sidelined.
They were silent for a moment. Apollo shot questioning glances at the two of them before conceding and leaving the room.
"Hey, Truce! Do you happen to know if Mr. Wright knows…" His voice faded away as he closed the door behind him.
The girl played with the beads in her hair and stared at the ceiling. Phoenix used the cuff of his sleeves to polish his attorney badge. Wait for it…
"Awww man, Nick!" Suddenly she was by his side, squishing him in her arms. "I was trying so hard to be all cool and adult!"
Phoenix laughed and returned the hug. "Maya Fey, cool and adult? I doubt that."
"Hey! I've got an important job to do now! I'm the Master of the Kurain Channeling Technique! I'm totally adult now!" She let go and looked up at him, her grin fading into a scowl. "The only thing different about you is that you somehow forgot how to shave. And what's with the hat?"
"Hey! I've got Trucy now and I'm proud."
"That doesn't explain the stupid stubble thing you've got going on!"
"Whatever you say, top knot."
"You're one to talk, spiky."
They laughed together, something that came so naturally after all these years of being too busy to visit each other. Maya had Kurain Village and Phoenix had Trucy. Emails and letters were all they had. Suddenly all that distance, polite language and formal letters fell away. Phoenix felt like he was in his twenties again, a newbie lawyer being dragged into cases by a teenage spirit medium.
"Anyways," Maya put her hands on her hips and gave Phoenix her best smile. Oh boy. Here it comes. "Guess what I'm in the mood for?"
They sat in their usual spot at the burger joint Maya favored. Phoenix ran his finger over the familiar scratches and dents on the table, finding himself surprised with the newer ones. Did I ever take Trucy here? He couldn't even remember.
But seeing Maya on her third burger, he understood why. Back then, majority of my wallet was emptied in this place.
"So. What brings you back to the city, big shot Mystic Maya?" He asked when Maya finally began slowing down when chewing her food, a sign that she was becoming full.
"Well…" She put the burger down and propped her elbows up on to the table. "See, it was just a normal day. Then Pearly starts running at me and says that someone was here for a channeling."
"That's not unusual."
"Geez Nick, wait until I'm done talking," Maya glowered at him. "Anyways, she normally doesn't get worked up about clients, so I thought it was weird. When I got to the channeling room, I figured out why." She grinned.
Maya flashed him a conspiratorial smile. "You're never going to believe me."
"You haven't even told me what happened yet!"
"Promise you won't start questioning me? Because I'm one hundred percent sure of who I saw."
"I'll believe anything except someone already dead. And I might even believe that depending on where Pearls was during the time."
"Nick…when was the last time you saw Mr. Edgeworth?"
Miles Edgeworth. He was the reason why a slightly scatterbrained art student switched over to studying law many, many years ago. Phoenix had entertained the idea of being a lawyer even years before that when he was a child. And there was Miles Edgeworth again, standing up for a young, crying Phoenix in a crowded classroom full of enemies.
Phoenix finally had the chance to repay him years later in the beginning of his law career…but in the process, he learned of the twisted case that was the DL-6 and it's implications. It left Edgeworth a changed man, a cold and indifferent prosecutor instead of the enthusiastic and inspired defense attorney he originally set out to be. He still had a crippling fear of earthquakes and elevators due to being trapped in one during the incident and was one of the people who didn't believe in the supernatural because of a channeling that was discredited during the DL-6 trial.
"Nick! You said you'd believe me!"
"Well there's a huge contradiction right there! Edgeworth doesn't believe in spirit channeling."
"Yeah that was because of what happened to his dad. But that case with Dahlia! She had control over my body and everyone in the courtroom saw her leave! That includes Edgeworth."
"Alright, fine. I'm still having a hard time believing it."
"Don't waste time doubting the facts, Nick. Mia would have said that."
They were quiet for a moment. Mia Fey was Maya's sister and Phoenix's mentor. While Edgeworth was one of two people who were the inspiration that led to Phoenix becoming a lawyer, Mia was the guiding light. Even in death, Mia helped him out countless times. Maya would channel her sister whenever they were in a bind. An odd use of an ability normally used for personal uses: to channel dead loved ones. Speaking of personal…
"Maya… Why are you telling me this? Edgeworth is…pretty introverted. I don't think he would want you talking about a channeling he requested."
"Well, that's the thing. It's almost like he wanted you to know."
"What do you mean?"
Maya rummaged through her pockets before producing a scarf. There was a bloodstain on it, which didn't surprise Phoenix. Edgeworth was a prosecutor. There was a good chance this was evidence. It was a business trip then. Not something personal. That's Edgeworth for you. Won't even visit Maya to say hello until a case is involved. …Or until someone forces him to be social.
"He asked me to channel the owner of this scarf," Maya placed the scarf on the table, snapping Phoenix out of his thoughts. "Apparently the owner committed suicide and he wanted to ask a few questions about the guy's reasons or something. Edgeworth wouldn't tell me what it was all about, but he insisted it had nothing to do with his personal life when I got all concerned."
"But when I tried to channel the owner…nothing happened."
"Nothing," Maya reaffirmed. A smile played on her lips.
"So…" Phoenix began drumming his fingers against his chin. "We're looking at something like what happened in the Ini Miney case."
"Yep. This guy faked his suicide. There's no doubt about it. If I can't channel him, he's alive."
Phoenix found himself becoming more interested by the second. If Edgeworth thought that there was a suicide, he had all of the police resources to confirm it. If someone faked a suicide, they would have to fool a lot of people. He had no idea where this was going, but this already seemed like a mystery he would like to try and solve.
"What does this have to do with me?" He ventured. Maya wouldn't come all the way over here just to flaunt something that he couldn't get involved in. She may have wanted to in order to get him to actually work, but as the master of the Kurain Village, there was no way she had the time.
"Don't know. Edgeworth asked me about you though. Specifically if you've been reinstated yet. When I said you were, he told me that I should visit you sometime. He also left this behind," She said, gesturing to the scarf on the table. "Pretty un-Edgeworth to leave a vital piece of evidence behind, don't you think?"
"Maybe he forgot."
"I don't know. I could have sworn I saw him take it with him, but when I went to bed last night, it was sitting on my pillow all folded up like that. Creepy, huh? Because I'm pretty sure I never let Edgeworth into my room."
"That is very…un-Edgeworth." In more ways than one. "And you think he was trying to get my attention?"
"I'm just saying," Maya picked up her burger again and took a big bite. "Iff yoo hefr from Fransiskrf or Gum-"
"Chew and swallow, Maya." Or just swallow, knowing you.
"If you here from Franziska or Gumshoe or even Edgeworth himself," She repeated as soon as she finished with her bite. "Hear them out. Now…" She pushed the scarf away from her with a bottle of ketchup. "They found this on the body. I don't really want to keep it. It's creepy even holding the thing. I barely touched it during the channeling."
"Is that why I always had to hold onto anything that had to do with the actual murder weapon back when we were on cases together?"
"Yep. I'm a spirit medium, not a detective. That stuff creeps me out. But I do like touching everything else! It's like they placed things on the crime scene so they could make people curious to touch them…"
Phoenix took the scarf from the table as Maya alternated between talking and eating fries. So this was found on the body, huh? But he's still alive. Geez Edgeworth, why do you always have to be so hard to read?
…Then again, he was hardly one to talk with the way he treated Apollo.
He examined the scarf closely, feeling familiar gears turning in his head. The blood was concentrated on one side…so when the body was lying down, the scarf was facing down this way…
"…and I never got why you were so picky about whether they're stepladders or-Eww, Nick! Why are you playing around with that thing? I'm trying to eat here!"
Phoenix ignored Maya and he unraveled the scarf, intending to arrange it the way it would be on a body if it were laying down on the floor. A card slipped out of the folds of the fabric.
"Huh? That wasn't there during the channeling."
Maya leaned forward towards him like an inquiring cat as Phoenix held up the card. There was a pair of wings on one side with three…were those thorns sticking out of it? And on the other…Phoenix flipped the card.
Take the case.
"Take the case…" They both read slowly. Maya shrugged and Phoenix bit the bottom of his lip.
"Looks like someone wants your attention after all. It would make no sense for me to take on any cases. And he did say I should visit you sometime. I don't know what the card is all about though." She popped another fry into her mouth.
"Hold on," Phoenix tapped the card against the table. "This is familiar. I know I've seen this symbol somewhere before. It was in the papers."
"How long ago? Kurain has been getting TV and Internet for around five years and I don't recognize it."
"This was after you left the city for the last time before I lost my badge. The Yatagarasu. The truth thief."
"So…the truth thief wants you on a case? Oooh, Nick! This is exciting! What cases are you working on now? Do they have anything to do with the thief?"
"Well…actually…" Phoenix rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
"'Well actually' what?"
"I haven't taken any cases yet."
"Niiick!" Maya flicked his forehead.
"What have you been doing for the past year?"
"I let Apollo take cases! He needs experience!"
"So do you! You need to experience the court room again!"
"Hey, I helped out with the jurist system! Give me a break, will you? I'll take a case when I find one that catches my interest."
"Whatever. Find one soon. I'm taking a vacation for a couple of weeks," She grinned. "This is your best shot at reliving your youth."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means, I'm here. You need a case. I brought you one," She paused and tilted her head to the side to stare at the ceiling. "…I think. It's just like old times! Let's work together one more time before I go, Mr. Stubble!"
"HOLD IT! I'm not that old yet!"
"Oh please," Maya smirked. "You practically have that old wise man thing going on with Apollo, from what I see. You need to get back on the scene again! Stop playing the mentor for a minute and show everyone that you've still got it!"
Phoenix sighed. He could tell she wasn't going to give this up soon. "If I find a case that I want to take, I'll take it."
"Good. Also…can I stay at your place? I forgot to book a hotel."
"You never moved out of your apartment even though you had Trucy?" Maya asked incredulously as they reached Phoenix's floor in his apartment complex.
"What did you expect? I was out of a job by then," Phoenix retorted.
"You could have at least moved to a bigger apartment later. Or even now, since you're a lawyer again. Oh right, I forgot, you're not taking cases," Maya noted sarcastically.
"Lay off about that, will you?" Phoenix sighed. "I'll take a case when I'm ready."
"WHY ARE YOU TWO IGNORING ME? I haven't seen neither of you in ages and you won't even say hello!"
Phoenix and Maya jumped as the voice in the background began stomping towards them. "Detective Gumshoe!"
"Yep! Been a long time hasn't it, pal?" The detective grinned. "I heard you were back in town, Maya. So I came to say hello."
"How did you know she'd be with me?" Phoenix questioned.
"Well… I don't know. You two have always been together in my mind. Ever since the trial of that Butz guy!"
"…That was before I met Maya."
"Oh, right," Gumshoe rubbed the back of his head. "Anyways!" He grinned. "Did you hear the news?"
"What news?" Maya asked. "Oh! Does it have something to do with Edgeworth by any chance?"
"Wow! Are you a psychic now too?" Gumshoe asked, his eyes widening at the idea. "I remember the spirit channeling, but I'm pretty sure you couldn't read minds."
"I can now," Maya winked. "So…let me guess. He's on a case?" She asked, giving a Phoenix a conspiratorial smile. Yeah, yeah. You told me so. I get it.
"Not just that, pal! It's the first one he's been on in years! Lately he's all about studying international law abroad and practicing in other countries. This is the first one he's had back home in a long time!" Gumshoe was practically glowing in happiness. "I got assigned to the case as well!"
"And let me guess. They haven't gotten a defense attorney yet?" Maya ventured. Phoenix concentrated an impassive gaze on his keys in order to escape that wide smile on Maya's face.
"Yep! Wow, you're really good at that. What am I thinking about now?"
"Wow! You're really good at that!"
Phoenix let their banter fade away from his mind as he stared at the card in his hand. Take the case, huh? Maybe the case the card is talking about is this one…
Could he really do it? Maya Fey at his side, Detective Gumshoe in charge of the crime scene…and Miles Edgeworth, his friend and greatest rival, on the other side of the courtroom, countering every argument he made.
He had a daughter now. There was an understudy he left confused at the office by the entrance of the famed Master of the Kurain Channeling technique. Would it be that easy to just…transition back into his old life?
If the defendant was innocent he turned down this case, he probably shouldn't have taken the bar again in the first place.
"Who is the defendant?" He asked suddenly, cutting off Maya and Gumshoe's conversation.
"What was that, pal?"
"Who is the defendant?" Phoenix gulped and ignored the ear-to-ear grin Maya was flashing him in his peripheral vision. "I'd like to meet him."