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09 May 2008 @ 08:48 am
[ in absentia ]  
Title: in absentia
Rating: Totally PG, dudes
Pairing: Phoenix/Maya, a little Phoenix/Iris
Notes: Post T&T through AJ, a little post-AJ. Riddled with a million spoilers, sorry. Ten drabbles, exactly 100 words each.

i. in medias res

Maya was young, and therefore sometimes prone to youthful flights of fancy (yes, she thought, she liked that wording quite a bit), but she was neither stupid nor blind. When Pearl tugged at her skirt and asked, "Why is Mr. Nick looking at her like that?" she had to pause. Mia's voice at the back of her mind urged her not to accept it, to fight for what she wanted, but Mia couldn't see the picture painted before her. The way he smiled.

"I suppose," Maya said carefully, "that he's happy."

She would have preferred to be stupid and blind.

ii. in absentia

Two months later, with Phoenix on one side of the table and Edgeworth on the other, a deal was struck to spare the girl in between. The prosecution would agree to no jail time, ten years probation and house arrest at Hazakura temple in return for her testimony against Godot – no, Diego Armando.

All for her sake...?

As Nick enveloped Iris into a warm embrace, Maya clasped her hands in front of her and forced herself to contort her mouth into what she hoped was a passable, excited grin. "How wonderful!"

Her stomach turned something wicked, but only Edgeworth noticed.

iii. in flagrante delicto

The last person she expected to be sitting at her kitchen table was her sister. "Mia!" A hand flew to her face to wipe away what she hoped her sister would interpret as fatigue. "What are you doing here? I thought you said – "

Strong fingers gripped Maya's forearm. How had she even gotten up so quickly? "I told Phoenix that I had nothing more to teach him. However," she looked disapprovingly at Maya's red, puffy and obvious eyes, "it seems you are still in need of lessons.

"Here's number one: never allow yourself to cry until it's truly over."

iv. ab initio

"What if there was something you wanted to say to someone," Maya posed, holding her wineglass so tightly Edgeworth thought it would crumble under the pressure, "but every time you tried to get the words out, all you could say was something ridiculous like, 'I really love ramen!'"

"Maya, Wright is – "

"An idiot!"

"Well," Edgeworth smirked, "yes. That, and... haven't you noticed yet? His one weakness? The one thing for which he would sacrifice everything?" He didn't wait for her to answer. "The problem is that he himself hasn't noticed yet. His worst crime isn't idiocy, Maya; it's ignorance."

v. ex gratia

It was her own idiocy that forced her hand. Even though her sister and Mr. Edgeworth (and even Detective Gumshoe, once) had given her rational advice, she couldn't bear to take it. Nick was so happy lately, whistling as he poured over law books, smiling at no one in particular, taking weekend trips to the Temple. She wouldn't make him choose. She couldn't.

The mere thought terrified her.

After his last visit to the mountains, Phoenix returned to a sterile, empty office. Her absence was as striking as the magatama sitting on the table – and the letter underneath. Dear Nick...

vi. videlicet

"Wright, do you know what they say about the past?"

"No." Phoenix was already unsteady on his feet, which was strange because he was pretty sure he was sitting. The two Edgeworths (or were there three?) in his field of vision were looking at him with contempt. "I'm pretty sure you're going to tell me, though."

"'We can draw lessons from it, but we cannot live in it.'"

"I object!" Phoenix slurred. Pathetically. "It was never Iris at all. It never Iris -- "

Edgeworth's mouth curved into a smug smile. "Well? What are you going to do about it?"

vii. terra nullius

Phoenix lost count of the number of times he made it from his apartment to the train station before doubling back. Sometimes he would buy a ticket. About twice a year, he actually made it on a train, but he never could make it all the way to Fey Manor. He wondered what was stopping him. He wondered if she knew how much he needed her by his side. How much he missed her. How much he wished he could take back.

His hat fell into his eyes. Of course she never knew. He'd never been able to tell her.

viii. res ipsa loquitur

Dear Nick,

I'm sorry to do this to you without proper notice, but I've been called back to Fey Manor. The council has decided that it's time for me to take my place as the Master of the Kurain School. With Mother really gone, I suppose there is no one else. I can't thank you enough for everything you've done for me. Without you, I never would have known the truth about, well, anything.

I don't think I'll be able to be in contact for awhile, so try not to worry about me. I'll write when I can.

With love always,

ix. a priori

It was a half truth, really. It was Iris, at the very least, for a little while. Daliah had left incredibly deep scars in both; perhaps they could have helped each other heal. It turned out, to the surprise of no one, that the easiest way to heal was to leave the past behind.

So Phoenix moved forward, carefully observed, and gathered evidence and courage. He had so much, now; a daughter, a pupil, friends, goals. Yet, he couldn't deny he was still missing something crucial.

Magatama warm in his left hand, he finally managed to knock with his right.

x. ad infinitum

"Person A and person B decide to enter a contract during a full moon on the first of the year. Person A invests $13, two dogs and a fish – "

"No more," Phoenix groaned, covering his head with his sweatshirt hood. "Please."

"Come out from there, you coward." Maya's aim had gotten better over the years; the review book hit him square in the forehead. "If you don't study, you'll fail."

"I hate contracts. I'm a defense lawyer!"

"Not yet you aren't," she retorted, "So man up! If you survive torts, dinner's on me."

It was good to be home.


Notes: Maya's absence in AJ is STILL bothering me, though I know The Powers That Be are probably setting us up for a Phoenix/Maya reunion in AJ2. I also just recently finished T&T and found myself REALLY LIKING IRIS. I know. I was shocked myself. After finding her again, I just don't think Phoenix would let her go so easily -- though he would find his way back to Maya in the end.

Where's Pearls in the rest of the story? No idea. I envisioned Trucy and Apollo in the final drabble as well, ganging up on Nick, but ran out of space. Notice I also left out Fey politics -- let's just pretend that as Leader of the Kurain, Maya can Do What She Wants, capice? XD

x-posted to justice_for_het and the fic journal, honeymoonchild.