A/N: You guys have no idea how long I've been working on this fanfic. It's been sitting half-finished on my laptop for over a year, I'm pretty sure. Sorry if everyone is horribly out of character and my writing makes your eyes bleed… I just wanted to get this posted. Enjoy?
I own nothing aside from Daisy.
We all take people for granted, whether we notice it or not. There's comfort in familiarity. But the deal with taking people for granted is that once it becomes second nature to have them by your side, they can disappear at any moment.
I remember my first week and a half without her. It wasn't like I hadn't done a case alone before, but I knew this time she wouldn't be coming back for a very, very long time. To be honest, I was a disaster. I couldn't concentrate on finding evidence and my cross-examinations were half-assed. Luckily all my cases were won, but only by the skin of my teeth. Every night, I came home mentally and physically exhausted.
One night in particular, I was especially worn out. I twisted the knob and opened the front door with my weight as I leaned against it, about ready to collapse. The apartment was dark. As I made my way down the hall, I left a trail of shoes, jacket, and tie behind me. Once in my room, I barely made it to the bed before dropping. My eyes were like lead weights, but my mind would not slow down. Did I finish all the paperwork? Did I leave it at the office? Where is she? Where is the ba—
A cool hand brushed against my cheek. I instantly relaxed and nuzzled my face into it. "Tough night?" Maya asked softly, crawling into bed beside me.
I nodded slightly. Without opening my eyes, I pulled my wife to my chest. "You have no idea. Everything is ten times harder without you around."
"I never thought I'd hear you say that!" She chuckled, positioning herself in his arms. "But you know I can't go to work with you now that we have the baby to worry about."
I yawned loudly. "I know, I know."
"She cried all day." Maya mumbled into my neck, her breath hot against my skin.
"Been out with Apollo since this morning."
Sitting up, I unbuttoned my shirt and tossed it at the laundry basket across the room. And missed. "He's too old for her."
Maya laughed and pulled me back down for kiss. "They're half-siblings, Nick! Anyway, you're too old for me."
"Well, yeah, but we're different…" I grumbled, leaving light kisses along her cheekbone. Ever since Maya had the baby, she'd been surprisingly mature… and it drove me nuts.
"Are we, though? You're an attorney, Apollo's an attorney. I was your assistant, Trucy's his."
She was right, but I refused to acknowledge it. I continued to leave a trail of kisses down her neck and to her collarbone, slowly tugging at Maya's pajama pants… but she wasn't having any of it. Squirming out of my grasp, Maya sat up and pointed out down the hallway. "Back it up, big guy. Don't think I didn't notice the clothes you left out there. You're gonna go clean that up, check on Daisy, then go to bed."
Sighing, I trudged down the hall, retrieved my discarded clothing, and poked my head into the nursery. There Daisy slept, in a pale yellow crib, curled up into a tiny ball. I decided that a glance wasn't enough, so I entered the room to get a better look. She looked so damn peaceful that I couldn't help but smile.
Daisy had my eye color, dark brown and serious, but the shape was just like her mother's: round and friendly. Her hands were balled into little fists. She was about five weeks old, having lost her reddish hue, but retained her alien-like fingers. I snorted to myself.
"Let's not wake her up," Maya whispered from the doorway. She pointed down the hall. "Come to the kitchen, I think I figured something out."
When I reached the kitchen, Maya had spread my case file across the table. Pictures of evidence littered the first layer of papers. She pointed to the copy of the Jones' wedding photo. "The man next to the groom… who is he?"
I thought for a second. "Well, I suppose that's the best man, but—" and then it hit me. I snatched the business card pinned under Maya's elbow and held it up to the photo. "They're… the same man!"
Maya perked up and fished out another photo, this one of the best man and the bride seated at a table in a coffee shop, holding hands and laughing. "Exactly, Nick! But he looks different every time…"
I scratched my chin. "Man of many faces, huh?"
She nodded and leaned back, a satisfied look on her face. "Something like that."
It was all starting to make sense! I was so happy I could sing, but I decided I should thank my wife instead. I pulled her close and kissed her. "You are brilliant! This is exactly why I need you back on the team with me."
Maya rolled her eyes and kissed me back. "You are—"
"I know, I know… I'm hopeless without you."
"Well, I was gonna say you're a massive dork, but hopeless without me works too!"
That whole mature-Maya thing I said earlier? Yeah, I take that back.