Turnabout Lawful Love

Cupid's Arrow Thwarted

The Borscht Bowl Club, April 17, 2019 10:30 p.m.

Maya’s mouth was completely dry as she guiltily forced herself to look into the waitress’s stormy eyes, which were shooting off sparks of fury in her direction.

“Goodness gracious! I hope I’m not causing any trouble here,” Tiffany cooed, her syrupy sweet voice tinged with venom. “It appears I’ve stumbled upon some sort of lover’s quarrel, for which I must beg your pardon. I had no idea, stud-muffin’, that you and this meaner than a wet panther of a little girl, who likes comparing me to tentacled sea creatures and bitches in heat, were an item.”

Maya winced at the realization of just how much the waitress had overheard.

“But up until this very moment," Tiffany went on, "I’d always been under the impression that you were a free agent, Nick.”

THAT DID IT! Her embarrassed discomfort completely annihilated, Maya literally saw red.

Nick? NICK? Listen, Booberella, let me make something clear. His name is Phoenix Wright. Nobody, but nobody calls him Nick but me. You got that?”

“Um, I call him Nick, too…” Larry interjected feebly.

Nobody paid any attention. All eyes at the table were on the incensed Maya and steely-eyed Phoenix, whose face was flushed with anger and embarrassment.

“Maya, I have no idea what’s gotten into you tonight!” He yelled. “First you make inappropriate comments towards poor, clueless Larry, who doesn’t know better not to take you seriously…”

“Hello, do you people not see me?” Larry muttered.

Phoenix ignored him, he was too busy getting worked up and was in full courtroom lawyer, finger-pointing mode. “Plus you’ve been making unprecedented acerbic remarks, staring daggers at me all night for who knows what reason, and now you go and insult this nice waitress about her, um, endowments for no apparent cause. What the hell is your problem?”

“Yeah, why ya done got yer knickers in twist, missy?” Tiffany pursed her pillowy lips, her expression still livid. “Don't go gittin yer gussie up, cuz I ain’t the type of hussy to mow another girl’s grass, ya hear? So tell me something, Nick.” She looked contemptuously at Maya. “I never saw a ring on your finger, so I’d done assumed you were fair game. Is Harlot O’Hara there your girlfriend or what?”

“M-me? A harlot?!” Maya was spluttering with rage, she was so angry. “Says the girl in the barely-there Daisy Duke shorts she can’t even bend over in and the implants ready to bust the seams of that handkerchief she’s passing off as a shirt!”

“I ain’t got no dang implants!”

Yeah, right, Silicon Valley, and this stifling bustier I’m wearing under this damn dress is actually making breathing easier!”

Objection!” Phoenix exploded. “That’s enough, Maya! Tiffany, I’m so sorry. No, Maya here is not my girlfriend. She’s just had a few too many drinks tonight, or is possibly PMSing…”

The tension-filled silence at the table following his last words was deafening. Even Tiffany looked shocked. Everyone’s eyes now switched abruptly from Phoenix to Maya, who had risen from her seat and looked like a volcano about to erupt.

“Oh man…” Larry whimpered, burying his face in his hands and sliding down so low in his chair only the spiky tips of his hair could be seen.

“You porcupine-headed prick!” Maya hissed and without further warning, promptly tossed her martini right into Phoenix’s astonished face before storming away from the table.

Tiffany wisely chose this moment to make a hasty retreat.

Phoenix sat there, spluttering, while droplets of icy vodka and fruity mixture dribbled down his face from his hair and onto his shirt. He gratefully accepted the handful of paper napkins Gumshoe hastily handed him and tried to dry himself off as best as he could with the flimsy material.

“Oh well,” he smiled weakly, attempting humor to diffuse the apprehensive atmosphere. “At least it wasn’t hot coffee this time, right?”

None of his friends returned the smile, just continued to gaze at him silently.

“W-what?” he finally asked, looking genuinely bewildered. “What are you all looking at me like that for? As if I’m the bad guy here!”

Gumshoe wordlessly busied himself wiping the wet areas on the table left over from Maya’s drink-flinging.

Larry, still slumped low in his chair, let out a barely audible grunt.

Edgeworth crossed his arms and tapped his finger, staring soundlessly at Phoenix.

“Are you serious, you fool?” Franziska finally snapped, rising from her seat and (discarding her earlier promise to Edgeworth) cracking her whip against the defense attorney’s forearm with a rapid sharp flick. Phoenix cried out in surprised pain, and she glared at him before turning to face Edgeworth, who was seated next to her. “Excuse me, Little Brother,” she said sweetly, “But could you please move aside? I need to use the restroom.”

Edgeworth raised a well-groomed eyebrow. “Are you seriously still going to call me that even though we’re now engaged?”

A cheeky smile flickered across the German prosecutor’s normally stern features. “Forgive me, Miles. Force of habit, you see. It’s hard to undo decades of custom within just a week.”

“Uh huh,” he smirked, a teasing spark in his eyes. “And you just happen to suddenly need to use the facilities at this particular moment, do you?”

“What can I say?” Franziska gave a little shrug, feigning insouciance. “When a lady has got to go, she’s got to go, right?” She squeezed past her fiancé and once out of sight from her table, hastened her steps to the ladies’ room, where she found the birthday girl dabbing at her tear-stained face with a paper towel in front of the mirror.

“I thought I would find you here.” Franziska crossed her arms and leaned back against the sink so she was facing Maya.

“Congratulations, Sherlock,” Maya retorted, carefully dabbing at the eye makeup she’d so painstakingly applied earlier, which had slightly smudged due to the torrent of tears she’d shed. “You solved the mystery of the mortified birthday girl’s whereabouts. I couldn’t very well leave,” she added bitterly. “I gave that…dumbass my purse to hang onto, so I guess I’ll have to go back out there at some point and show my face to him…to all of them...” Two more tears rolled down her cheeks as she spoke, and she brushed them away angrily.

“I am not letting you go back out there until you are no longer in this soggy, pathetic state, Maya Fey,” Franziska declared firmly. “Have some dignity. You’re a grown woman now, not a little girl. Cease that crying immediately!”

“It’s my party,” Maya sulked, knowing even as she said the words she sounded every bit the recalcitrant child she was accused of being. “I’ll damn well cry if I want to!”

Franziska sighed heavily. “Fine, cry and get it all out of your system if you need to, but you must also then listen to what I am about to say, without any insolence or interruptions. Are we clear?”

Maya nodded.

“First things first, I suppose I should thank you, Maya Fey, for fulfilling my secret longtime dream of throwing a drink into that foolish lawyer’s face tonight.”

Maya choked back a horrified laugh. “I still can’t believe I did such a churlish thing – I feel so awful!”

“Don’t,” Franziska flashed an uncharacteristic grin of merriment, which made her normally icy gray eyes glow with momentary warmth. “That dummkopf had it coming, with that uncalled for, degrading comment he made back there, proving he’s an even bigger fool of a man than I had initially given him credit for. For putting into place that foolish defense attorney who destroyed my perfect-win courtroom record, I salute you!” She finished this proclamation with her customarily dramatic courtroom bow.

Maya managed a watery smile, in spite of her confusion. Wherever was all this sudden empathetic kindness coming from? Especially from a woman she’d always thought of as nothing more than a mean combination of piss and vinegar. However, Franziska’s next words stupefied her even more.

“However, Maya Fey, I’d expect nothing less than utmost foolish foolery from Phoenix Wright. In your case, however, I must admit that I am somewhat disappointed. Even though you’ve managed to at last achieve the dressing-up component of adulthood, I see wisdom has not come with age in your case. You’re every bit the foolish fool of a girl you were when I saw you last.”

Maya gave her a look of unveiled indignation at this character assassination, especially coming from someone the same age as she, and parted her lips to speak.

Franziska merely placed the top of one hand under her chin and waved her pointed index finger in the same manner she had in the courtroom all those times at Phoenix. “Ah, ah, ah, I said no interrupting.”

“So I don’t fault you at all for what you did to Wright,” Franziska affirmed. “Nevertheless, I must mourn the loss of a perfectly good, expensive Grey Goose vodka martini that the poor scruffy detective must have spent a week’s salary on for you.”

Maya blushed at the thinly-veiled reprimand as the other woman went on.

“Wasting good alcohol on a man who isn’t even worth the bottle it’s poured from! That, Maya Fey, I cannot condone! Especially since I know the real foolish reason behind your actions.”

Maya puffed out her cheeks. “You have no idea what you’re talking about lady.”

Franziska placed a hand on her hip and eyed her coolly. “Don’t I? It wasn’t because of Wright’s obnoxious comment that he wound up drenched in the expensive remains of your untouched cocktail, which I’d wager probably costs more than his entire ensemble tonight.”

Maya fumed, while clenching both fists at her sides and raising them to chest level.

“The hell it wasn’t! He insinuated to that…that blonde hoochie mama bimbo, not to mention a table full of men that I was acting out because of my period! As if I was the one somehow in the wrong!”

“Maya Fey, you reacted that way because that waitress was the final straw that broke the camel’s back this evening. Phoenix Wright ended up wearing your drink because you were sick and tired of him acting obliviously to the fact that you’ve been wearing your heart on your sleeve all night! His announcement to some slutty stranger that the beautiful, attentive, available young woman next to him was not his girlfriend was what finally made you snap!”

The evidence was so obvious, so glaring, that it could have come from Phoenix himself. All that was missing was the loud, smug-sounding “Take that!”

Maya’s shoulders slumped, and she hung her head dejectedly.

“You’re not even going to deny it, are you?” Franziska said quietly. “Don’t bother, because I know. I’ve known how you feel about Phoenix Wright for some time now. That drawing you did of him, on De Killer’s card? I’m the one who found it two years ago.”

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