Distance

She haunts his memory, guides his mind to what is right and even steals his heart without her own presence, despite the fact that they have been separated for seven years. Neither distance nor time can keep them away. Phoenix/Maya.

A very special thanks to my dear friend and Beta, MildeAmasoj! Be sure to check out her amazing stories, too!

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is copyright © 2016 Turnabout Writer. All rights reserved.


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When it came to regrets, he had none.
Nothing but a lie to the world, for he had one.

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Phoenix Wright was a man of no regrets.

He never regretted being stripped of his badge – it brought him to his adoptive daughter, Trucy. He never regretted befriending Kristoph – they always say that you should keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, right? He didn't even regret that his daughter forged the bloodied ace of spades and gave it to Apollo without telling him, at least not until after he had the satisfaction of seeing Kristoph Gavin behind bars.

He had no regrets.

But that was a lie.

He always told that to the world. The same lie, in the vain attempt to hide the truth from everyone and from his own heart.

He takes a deep breath as he inhales icy cold air mixed in with the horrid scent of borscht.

He can hear her sweet voice in his mind, imagining what she would say if she were there; she would plead him to bring her to eat burgers, and then her pleas would turn into a childish demand when he refused. She would whine some more about eating that inedible borscht and he would give in to her, with a fond roll of his eyes.

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An unachievable declaration of love to his sweetheart,
For a tragedy set the lovers apart.

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When his shift at the Borscht Bowl club is over, he plods his way back to the Wright Anything Agency.

As he walks, he ponders about the past.

When he had first met her, he had seen her as nothing more than a possible friend.

They had gone through so much after that – so many trials and adventures – and life had been great for the two friends.

But then, she had been kidnapped.

He remembered that night clearly – his eyes blurring and the world trembling around him; his knees almost buckling under his weight, as if they couldn't hold him up for much longer; his heart thumping painfully into his chest, every beat resembling an unbearable torture. . .

Her life hung in the balance between the innocent being found guilty, and the guilty being freed.

But then, against all odds . . . A miracle occurred.

Only then did Phoenix realize how devastated he would have been if any harm came to her. The world was unimaginable without her and if he lost her. . . His life would lose its meaning, just as his soul would lose his essence. From that moment, he subconsciously kept her closer to his heart.

Not even a burning bridge stopped him from trying to save her, rescue her, to try to bring her back to safety. He had almost died that day, but he had done it for her, and he would never regret it.

Even then, they both had survived, even if their hearts bore scars that would never fade.

And in the end, he had realized that with her beside him, nothing could ever go wrong. Together, they could face anything.

From then, not only the subconscious part of his brain, but the conscious one, too, started to see her importance into his life.

There was so much more to Maya Fey than Phoenix Wright ever knew – he had been determined to discover every single part of the real person hidden at the bottom of her soul.

Unfortunately, he never got a chance to, for destiny had decided once more to send something against them.

A pitiful excuse for a jealous man would be what parted them.

Kristoph Gavin. That name sounded like a curse to his ears.

When Phoenix had presented that diary page to the court, he hadn't realized that it would decide his future and change his life forever.

That a little piece of paper would cruelly snatch her from his arms.

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His heart is what she still owns,
Even with a high reputation to hold.

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After a long walk, Phoenix finally reaches the Wright Anything Agency – Apollo and Trucy seem to be taken by an intense game of poker, so he slips quietly into his room without greeting them.

He falls onto his small bed with a grunt.

He stares at the small television in his room – it's the very same one on which he used to watch the Steel Samurai with her. The same on which they heard the news about their future clients and about their victories. It stays there, far from him, as if to mock him. Far from him, just as she was.

He wishes so bad for her to be there.

Damn you, Kristoph.

If Kristoph were to know about Maya having any kind of contact with him, she would be in danger, and that was the last thing he needed. As a result, he had been forced to cut off whatever communication he had had with her. He knows that she hates doing it; he does, too, but they had had no other choice.

And damn those old hags of Kurain, with all their rules and all their icy stares!

Of course, for the sake of the Master of Kurain's reputation, the elders of Kurain strongly discouraged contact with a blemished lawyer, disbarred for using false evidence.

It didn't stop her from writing to him, though, even if he couldn't reply.

But then, Kristoph was arrested, convicted by his very own apprentice.

Phoenix could finally breathe easily.

He could afford to send a letter or two back to Maya – but he had to act cautious, as Kristoph was very unpredictable. Maybe he could work on those reports on The Nickel Samurai that Maya requested. The elders wouldn't know a thing either – and they never did.

Even if Kristoph is locked away in jail, Phoenix still has issues with the elders and hopes that his plan for the jury system ends well and works to his advantage, maybe with the help of the boy, Apollo.

Fuck it all, he thinks angrily, burying the heels of his hands in his eyes.

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His mind is where she still haunts,
Where she makes her pleasurable jaunts.

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He sits up on his bed and reaches down to the side, where he grabs an unopened bottle of "grape juice" by the neck – it is his secret stash, hidden from Trucy. He opens it and takes a long swing from it, hoping to drown his sorrows into its sweet taste. He finishes the bottle in five minutes, and, with a burning throat, he places it back on the floor. Now, nothing can put a halt to his thoughts.

Maya. Maya. Maya. Her name runs through his mind, and he is unable to forget it, just like how he is unable to forget her.

He sees her in his mind, giggling, whispering his name and beckoning him to reach her. He can't, though.

It is only a figure of his imagination.

I love you, he hears her say in his mind, her voice echoing softly into his head. But it sounds so clear to him, as if she was actually there.

The warm Californian breeze caresses the side of his face, and he can almost swear that it's truly her hand, striking his cheek gently.

"I love you, Maya," he whispers, his voice thick with unshed tears as it echoed as loud as a shout in the empty room. He grabs shakily the framed picture of her and Pearl from his bedside table's drawer. The picture, though old, came in with one of her recent letters – which he treasured dearly, along with the other letters from over the course of seven years. He, of course, framed it.

What he doesn't know, however, is that his apprentice and his daughter stand behind the door of his room, watching him with sad, sympathetic eyes.

He cries himself to sleep that night, muffling his sobs into his pillow, unaware that his daughter does, too.

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He feels her presence in the air,
It seems like she is actually there.

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It's the same routine as the previous day at the Borscht Bowl Club, except with a twist that hasn't been made for a while.

A challenger.

Phoenix gets up from the piano bench and plods down the steps of to The Hydeout, bored – he's going to win, so what use is there?

It's the routine procedure, he reminds himself, as the cold air from the underground room begins to hit his bare skin like shards of ice. It's for the paycheck. For Trucy.

When he finally reaches the last step, he notices that Olga isn't by her usual seat. He whips his head around the room, his eyes scanning for her.

She isn't in The Hydeout at all.

In fact, the basement of the restaurant is empty.

Suddenly, he hears Maya's voice from behind him – most likely in his head. The dealer is not here. She's not going to deal for the game. You don't have a challenger tonight, but a visitor.

"Thank you, Captain Obvious," he says aloud, laughing slightly. His eyes are closed as he smiles.

When he opens them, however, his eyes are met with a wonderful sight.

One that not even in his wildest dreams had become true.

His long awaited Maya stands before him; however, it's not like the Maya he usually imagines – whose features and attire resembled how she looked 7 years ago. No, his mind is playing tricks on him tonight. This vision of Maya has a face with sharp, defined features. She looks older, of course, as if it was how she was meant to look if he were to see her now.

Her acolyte's garb is still no longer short, but extends at least to the length of a cocktail dress, and it is of a darker shade than her usual purple. Her robe does open to resemble a slit of sorts, and he can't help but ogle momentarily at the sight of Maya's creamy legs; but his stare turns inquisitive when he realizes that she wears something underneath, almost matching the color of her skin, that covers her legs.

. . . Are those pantyhose?

Hah.

Phoenix should have known his mind well enough. Those elders are so damn strict that they made her wear hosiery underneath her clothing. They didn't want their beloved Master to flaunt her bare legs in the hot Californian sun around like a strumpet, after all.

She looks into his eyes and lifts her hand up to his face. Her frosty fingers trace up from the shape of his lips, up the length of his nose and to his eyelids. Then her fingers brush his cheek and cradles it with her palm.

Nick, he hears her say.

Her touch . . . it feels so real. It's almost as if he can physically feel her skin against his. It's like the other night, in his room, where he could have sworn that she was there.

Nick, Nick, Nick . . . I've missed you so much.

The sound of her sweet voice rings true to his ears. It's so real, he ponders, staring at her beautiful face.

Tentatively, he, too, reaches up to touch her cheeks. His rough fingers caress her face, treating her like a delicate, porcelain doll. Soon, chapped lips replace rough fingers and his hands run up her spine, caressing her tantalizingly slow. He smirks when he feels her shiver and her hands fly to his biceps, gripping tightly.

Nick, he hears her murmur.

"Maya," he whispers back to his hallucination, his lips brushing her forehead.

Phoenix moves his hands away from her back and brings them down to her waist, pulling her close to him. Her chest is pressed taut against his and her face flushes a faint pink.

He loves the feeling of her heart beating irregularly against his and the sight of her blush.

She stretches up on her toes, her lips brushing his ear, making him shudder.

"Nick," she exclaims softly, her voice breaking, grabbing his hoodie tighter and burying her face in the crook of his neck.

That is when it hits him – it dawns upon him faster than a wrecking ball.

This is no ordinary fantasy.

No, not at all.

He should have known it all along – it is too detailed, too exact to be another fantasy of his. She is really there. She is with him, where she belongs.

He feels her wet tears on his neck, and in response, one of his arms tightens itself around her, while the other lifts to her hair and begins to stroke it softly – it's still the same as it was, black, long, silky.

Phoenix's eyes flood with salty water as thick tears roll down his stubbly cheeks. His hand momentarily leaves her hair to roughly wipe away his tears. He has to stay strong, if not for his own sake, but for Maya's.

He lifts her chin up with his index finger, so that her face meets his. His thumb brushes over her eyes, wiping away her tears.

"Don't cry," he soothes, his fingers trying to smooth away the creases in her forehead and the furrowed 'v' of her eyebrows. "This is not the time to cry – remember what Chief used to say? This is the time to smile. Will you smile for me?"

"I – Nick, I'm not a lawyer!" She laughs shakily, her eyes still full of tears as she gives him a watery smile.

"That's better. You're so beautiful when you smile," he breathes. He can't help but let a wave of pure and unaltered love go through his body, making him shiver with emotion.

"I-I just . . . I missed you so much, Nick!" She curls herself around his torso and he trudges the both of them to a chair – the one opposite to the chair where Shadi Enigmar was killed.

"I missed you, too, Maya. So much," he whispers.

He hugs her again, holding her as if she would shatter like glass without his arms holding her, and he laughs, almost hysterically, when he realizes that his dream has finally become true.

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Even if in the world, their love had no say,
Neither distance nor time could keep them away.

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He feels like a teenager again. It's like the time he tried to sneak a tractor out of the farm in his adolescence. But this is different – he is trying to sneak Maya into his home, the office.

Where Trucy sleeps . . . supposedly.

Phoenix loves Trucy to death – she was his binding light in his time of darkness (and still is), but he prays to the heavens that she won't awaken, or be awake, for that matter. He doesn't want to introduce her to Maya, at least not until Kristoph is exposed completely.

But when he slowly . . . quietly shuts the door to his room, he breathes a sigh of relief, and throws himself on his bed, rubbing his hair with the back of his hand. Maya climbs on as well, hovering over him. She brings his free hand to his chest, intertwining it with hers, while she leans her cheek on her other hand.

"So," she starts, smirking, "how long do we play this game of hide-and-seek with the daughter you never told me of, you old geezer?" Her hands move up to his chest, playing with his locket to humor her.

"Soon, Maya. I promise you'll meet her, along with the office's attorney. They're siblings . . . well, half, at least." The returning smile disappears as Phoenix's expression turns dark. "It's all almost over. Kristoph is behind bars and my innocence will be proven soon enough. Edgeworth and I have been trying to put the jurist system into action for a while now. He's finally coming around the idea to make extra use of his power as chief prosecutor. The approval process is almost complete."

"Ah, yes, Kristoph Gavin," Maya mutters darkly in response, though it seems more to herself than to Phoenix. She looks up at Phoenix. "I can do something to help, no? I'm the Master of Kurain! Edgeworth's not the only one with power and influence to flaunt! Hellooooo, I managed to open my own fast food burger chain in the vegetarian-dieted Kurain for tourists!" She smiles through her tears, her head now resting against Phoenix's his chest.

He laughs, knowing the anguished storm that was passing over their heads has scattered its clouds now. His fingers comb softly through her hair, loosening her top knot completely.

"Nick, I'm serious, though. If there's anything I can do . . . I will be more than willing to help."

Phoenix traces his fingers along the inside of her arm, pondering for a moment. "Hmm . . . well, then. Oh, Master Maya Fey, of the Kurain Channeling Technique, would you do me the honor of signing you as Jurist #1 of the first trial under the new jurist system?" He smirks at her shift in facial expression and stretches his neck down to press his lips to the corner of hers.

"M-Me?" she stutters, both from shock and from his almost-kiss. "N-Nick, are you in your senses!? I . . . I can't be a jurist . . . ! I'd probably mess up and put us into some miserable fix!" She pushes herself up and sits on the bed – by now, her bun is completely undone and her hair acts as a curtain around her face. For that, she is grateful, so that he can't see the blush on her face.

"You don't give yourself enough credit," he whispers back. "And I am definitely in my senses. Are you under the impression that I'm intoxicated from 'grape juice,' Miss Fey . . . ?"

She frowns. "Nick, stop calling it grape juice. You may believe that you have enough self-control to not let the alcohol leave you always drunk, but I'm sure even your daughter knows that what you drink is not grape juice. You have to stop drinking that nasty stuff – you think that you can continue on like this, but the truth is, the alcohol will consume you whole." Her voice breaks slightly.

He sits up on the bed as well. Maya doesn't move, and her eyes stay focused on her folded hands in her lap.

". . . You have to sober up, if not for yourself, but for your daughter, and for me, especially, if you plan on retaking the bar. How am I supposed to kick ass with a defense attorney who is never fully sober?" she ends with mumbles.

Phoenix smiles sadly but does not reply. He moves his face to level it with Maya's, and his fingers push away her hair away from her face. His arms wrap around her torso as his lips touch the tip of her nose, move to her soft, warm cheeks, until his lips finally linger not even an inch away from her lips, waiting for some form of rejection.

But his beloved only pushes off the hanging beanie and grabs fistfuls of his spiky hair in response, pulling him closer to her, along with pulling his rough lips to her soft ones. Their kiss speaks the unspoken words they wish to say, the declarations of love. It brings them closer to each other and closes the distance they were separated by.

"To have you always by my side, Maya . . . I'll do anything," he murmurs against her lips.

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When it came to regrets, he had none.
But it was a lie to the world, for he had one.

An unachievable declaration of love to his sweetheart,
For a tragedy set the lovers apart.

His heart is what she still owns,
Even with a high reputation for her to hold.

His mind is where she still haunts,
Where she makes her pleasurable jaunts.

He feels her presence in the air,
It seems like she is actually there.

Even if in the world, their love had no say,
Neither distance nor time could keep them away.


A/N: Written by yours truly, this poem brought about this shipper's oneshot. Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed!