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When She Returns

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It had been a while, she noted.

The office did not look like it had changed much. It was slightly more dilapidated (if that was at all possible) and some of Trucy's props were obviously hidden thanks to Pearly's help. She could not deny the comfort that came from its almost never-changing form.

Her name was Maya Fey, she was twenty-eight years of age and currently the master of Kurain Channeling Technique after years of training for the coveted position. Her decision to follow her mother's footsteps had come naturally, her decision to move so far from home (yes, she considers the office as her home), and him, had not.

It had been seven-hundred and seventy-three days since she had last been home. She knew this for she had counted every single day as it passed, one by one. The last visit that she had was when she was already leaving for her ascetic training, sharing heartfelt hugs and weepy goodbyes with him and his daughter.

The afternoon had been blessed with unusually balmy late July weather, a cool breeze blowing slightly outside as she glanced at the window. She turned her eyes towards her sister's old desk, now occupied by a certain someone who is quietly scribbling something on a piece of paper, mostly likely finishing up dreadful paperwork from the last trial.

He was sitting tall, arms resting against the desk, surrounded by stacks of papers and colored folders. He was wearing an expression of complete seriousness, occassionally mumbling something to himself. He hadn't noticed her looking at him yet, his attention clearly on his work.

He, Phoenix Wright, had not been all that pleased when his favourite, and arguably closest friend, had decided somewhat suddenly that she desired to train for her future profession at a country ever so far from where he is.

It has been years since his name has been cleared and only several months has passed since he got his attorney's badge back. He was once again doing what he does best, defending other people's innocence. Being back at the courtroom reminded him of his rookie days when Maya was by his side, giving her unwavering support.

Maya, on the other hand, had always known that she wanted to make 'something' of herself. 'Something' being the opportune word.

He was the last to know of her final decision. She didn't have the heart to tell him right away. He realized something was up though, much to her surprise. When he asked, she told him straight faced and dead pan, pausing afterwards to judge his reaction.

To be honest, he didn't know what to feel. He told her this. She sighed.

Perhaps, had they been gifted changed circumstances, things would have been different. Had he not decided to be a lawyer instead of being an art student, had she not been born to a prestigious family of spirit mediums, had he not defended her from the trial for her sister's murder, had she not channeled Mia to help him through the said trial; perhaps things may have been different.

But that is who they were. Those very unordinary life circumstances led them to that very moment and what was to come.

She had left on a Monday morning. Phoenix claimed that bad things always happened to him on Mondays. They both secretly remembered every last detail of that day. From the clothes the two of them were wearing, to the smell of the office and sound of the final words.

His voice had been soft, almost whispered, "Be happy. Be safe."

And boy had he meant it.

Maya didn't know what would happen next. She arrived in Khura'in, unpacked her bags and began to get settled into her first weeks of her training. She was not miserable to say the least, she was meeting new people, experiencing new things; this is for her village's future! But, she couldn't deny the lingering feeling of loss, a tinge of dissatisfaction. Something wasn't right, and it flew through her mind and dreams almost every night.

To him, she had been sort of plain looking, with her long black hair with a weird top knot. She certainly wasn't the prettiest girl he ever met, but she had an odd charm about her that had, over some time, grown on him. They already went through a lot for each other, even risked their lives just to keep each other safe.

He was no stranger to Maya's absence. Since that incident that had happened many years ago, he greatly discouraged her from visiting him and Trucy, not wanting her to be associated with a disgraced lawyer. They kept in touch through prolonged phone calls and letters given to him by Pearl. Maya would still visit him though, being the stubborn girl that she is, and tried but failed to teach Phoenix piano lessons.

He knew her sudden departure would affect him; he had severely underestimated just how greatly so. Her training left her to almost no time for herself, least of all the time to call her favorite lawyer.

Time spent with her hadn't been perfect, but it had damn well been enjoyable. He found himself in the days after she left staring endlessly at his bedroom ceiling, morning after morning, wondering just what the hell he was suppose to do now.

His choices eventually came quite naturally.

Phoenix Wright , passing the bar exam with flying colors, joined his junior lawyers, Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes, and acted as their co-counsel in some of their trials. He didn't really know what to expect from it all, but had proceeded regardless.

To be honest, the entire household had been in a form slump since Maya had departed. But managing the agency gave them all, in a way, renewed purpose. Trucy's magic shows were flourishing spectacularly, and clients were showing up left and right which kept the ace attorneys busy.

Phoenix spent his days surrounded by crime investigations, uncooperative witnesses, and thankful clients, congratulating his wins with elated smiles and hugs. It helped fill the time, the emptiness. Mainly, it helped him move on with his new-found life.

But it wasn't enough, and he knew it.

She was lying on her bed, reading through a steel samurai manga, slightly tired after finishing four rounds of training under a waterfall when her cellphone rang from her bedside table. It was nearly one o'clock in the morning and she wondered why someone would call her this late in the evening, or maybe too early in the morning. She recognized the ring-tone as the one she had assigned to him so she smiled as she reached for it.

His voice came in soft, almost whispered - "Hey?"

Phoenix wasn't sure why he had chosen to call so spontaneously that night or what had truly inspired him to grab the phone, dial her number, and- well, he wasn't entirely sure what would happen after that.

They talked. For what felt like the longest time. And that's all they did - just talk. And they enjoyed every single moment of it.

When a few days later she called the agency and asked to talk to him, he was extremely pleased, not that he told her that, but still.

And this is how it went from then on.

And for the first time in so many weeks apart, the two of them felt right again. Hell, they even admitted that to each other, it was their little secret. As time and weeks went on, they found themselves calling each other to talk almost every other night. They set apart time, they always knew when to expect the other and for the most part made sure that they were free.

Sometimes he unexpectedly wouldn't call though, and Maya would find herself lost in her days. It was an unexplainable mood that almost haunted her - she did not feel like herself. When, usually a day or two later he would finally chime in, there was always a good reason behind his actions- a spontaneous trial or a training seminar from another city over… stuff like that.

He told her about Apollo and Athena, his daughter's epic magic shows, his own cases, and his day to day activities. She couldn't explain why she loved hearing about them, maybe it was the way he talked with such burning passion; he never failed to force a smile across her lips. She found herself missing them more and more.

Phoenix worried sometimes about her. Worried about who she met and what she did with her time. He couldn't deny how protective he was of her, even with her ever so far away. He would smile to himself, just thinking about her during a quiet moment, or if he saw something that reminded him of her, which he often did.

Sometimes, when it was very late and the two felt very tired, their conversations would take turns into areas both of them typically avoided. Mainly: how they felt about each other. It was during these times incredibly small concessions on both their behalf's were made. She admitted she got jealous of his pretty female clients, he admitted that he worried about her meeting new 'dudes'.

Most important of all however, is that they both confessed they missed the other very, very, much.

At that moment she heard his yawn carry across the room, breaking her train of thought. He gave one final look at his work then started re-arranging the papers scattered across his desk.

How much had time changed them? She wondered this for a moment, watching him closer. She felt very odd. But it was a good kind of odd.

She knew she wouldn't be back forever, she's still the master of her own village even if she doesn't act like it. She would have to return to Kurain soon and fulfill her duties. She would have to leave him again.

But he wasn't going anywhere.

He told her this, after all.

Phoenix Wright finally turned around to face towards her, a gentle smile plastered across his face, his intense blue eyes looking straight at her.

"Hey."