Fools Don't Rush In
The Borscht Bowl Club, April 17, 2019 10:35 p.m.
Maya’s jaw fell to the floor as her saucer-sized eyes looked at
Franziska in shocked dismay. She felt as if her throat was constricting and for
the most terrifying of moments, literally felt like she couldn’t breathe.
Finally, and with great effort, she pulled herself together and drew a deep
breath, struggling to contain herself.
“Y-you are the one who found that card?” She whispered shakily. “B-but how?”
“It was in the scruffy detective’s old trench coat.” Franziska shrugged. “And it was hardly the first time the incompetent fool had overlooked a glaring piece of evidence.”
Maya felt tears threatening to fall again as she looked beseechingly at the other woman. “Oh please, please don’t tell me you’ve gone and told Nick? Surely not even you could be that incredibly cruel?”
“Foolish girl! Whatever do you take me for? Of course I didn’t give that fool Wright the card.”
“Oh thank God!” Maya actually sagged back against the wall behind her, such was the weight of her relief at those words.
“I gave it Miles for safekeeping instead.”
“OK, just kill me now!” Maya groaned, face-palming. “What on earth possibly made you think doing that was a better alternative?”
“I figured since my fiancé is better acquainted with the object of affection than I, as well as older and wiser – or so he keeps telling me, anyway – that he might be a better source to handle both the timing and delivery of it.”
“I don’t see why either one of you had to be involved at all!” Maya stormed. “Who are you or he to play God with our lives? Why couldn’t you just leave well enough alone?”
“Maya Fey, just when I think you’ve regressed to the lowest possible pinnacle of foolishness, you go and prove me wrong!” Franziska’s eyes raked her with scorn. “Surely you aren’t fool-headed enough to truly believe that any of the events that transpired tonight couldn’t have actually been prevented had Phoenix Wright actually known how you’ve felt about him all this time?”
Maya’s silent, down-cast gaze was her answer.
Franziska crossed her arms, closed her eyes, and gave a long-suffering sigh. Realizing that this was going to be more difficult than she’d realized, she decided to switch strategies entirely.
“You know, I didn’t wish you Happy Birthday yet,” she remarked casually. “Nothing personal, you see. It’s just that I never did understand the whole birthday concept myself. The act of celebrating being another year older, and hence, all the more closer to your grave seemed like a foolish concept to me. At least, that’s what my father believed. That was his logic for never throwing birthday parties or acknowledging either Miles’ birthdays or mine.” She smiled grimly. “However, being with Miles has, shall we say, mellowed me somewhat.”
Thawed out at tad, is more like it, Maya thought caustically, confused at where her dialogue partner was going with this but still too despondent to speak.
“Miles, for reasons I cannot completely fathom, holds Phoenix Wright in very high esteem, both on a personal and professional level,” Franziska went on in her monologue, uncaring that Maya still hadn’t spoken. “He is also quite fond of you, Maya Fey, which, I will concede is somewhat less perplexing. As I have chosen to love this man, if not always understand him, for the rest of my mortal days, I have decided – what is it you Americans say? – if you can’t beat em, join em?’ is the philosophy I must take.”
Maya finally found her voice. “Does this mean you’re going to finally stop whipping us all to a bloody pulp whenever the mood strikes?”
Franziska hesitated slightly, but then gave a tiny nod of affirmation.
“Admittedly, it is a work in progress. I promised Miles I would try. I did refrain from whipping that fool, Larry Butz, when he had me in that death grip earlier, did I not?”
There was no reason, Franziska figured, to let Maya know at that moment about her little slip up with Phoenix prior to her restroom arrival. Just like in the courtroom, her motto was to never present evidence that could only weaken her case.
“And for the record, I have never whipped you.”
Only with your words, Maya thought wryly. “Thank you so much for your restraint, Ms. Von Karma.”
“Sarcasm duly noted.”
Maya shook her head in wonder. “You’re really willing to turn over a new leaf for Mr. Edgeworth’s sake? Wow. You must really love him.”
Franziska blushed slightly, but nodded again. “Love makes even the most perfect of us into perfect fools, Maya Fey. I will have to concede my fiancé is the sole reason that I am doing my very best to be worthy of his love and be somewhat less of a, a…”
“A toxic, cold-hearted bitch?” Maya suggested helpfully, then flushed in embarrassment at the irritated look she got for the tongue-slip. She clapped a hand over her mouth. “This is why I don’t drink! I’m so sorry Ms. Von Karma. I didn’t mean it.”
“Yes you did.” Franziska smiled grimly. “However, I am feeling magnanimous, so I will pretend I didn’t hear that, and will still forge ahead. As atonement for not wishing you Happy Birthday earlier tonight, I shall give you a birthday present instead.”
Maya was taken aback more by this gesture of kindness than anything else that had been dished out to her all evening. She shook her head frantically.
“It’s fine, really. That isn’t necessary. You and Mr. Edgeworth already got a round of drinks for us all…and didn’t you comment earlier about how you don’t approve of the frivolous spending of money?”
“Foolish girl!” Franziska scoffed. “I never said that your gift would cost me any monetary value in the least.” She smiled mischievously at Maya’s mystified expression. “However, I can assure you that is most priceless.”
“Will you please stop speaking in riddles?” Maya exclaimed. “My poor, alcohol-infused brain and broken heart can only take so much!”
“Fine. Let’s start with the hurtful acts that clueless, foolish Phoenix Wright committed tonight, however unintentional they probably were.” Franziska began counting off on her fingers.
“Number one, he didn’t appear to notice or comment on your obvious efforts with your appearance or attire tonight, which I will profess, while a bit too outré for my own taste, is quite stunning indeed."
Maya nodded mutely.
"Number two, he appeared to be besotted with that Booberella bimbo of a waitress all night and allowed her to monopolize all of his attention, even though the fool had you, lovely and longing, by his side the entire time."
Maya sniffled and nodded again.
"And finally, number three, he decided to take sides with said bar wench and then outright declared to her that the two of you, in no uncertain terms whatsoever, were together in any way, shape or form. Does that neatly summarize his list of follies or am I missing anything?”
The blatant rehashing of the series of gut-wrenching events that had occurred, and resulted in her secluded solace in the ladies room, was still too much for Maya, who choked back a sob as she looked tearfully at Franziska.
"Four years, Ms. Von Karma. I’ve loved that man for four long, heartbreaking, unrequited years! Yes I know I was just a teenager when I first met him, and he saw me as Mia’s little sister, and then just as his faithful assistant. But I’m all grown up now and no longer work for him! So many trials and tribulations have befallen us over the years; I’d just assumed, hoped, prayed that they were for some reason. That all the suffering and agonizing loss would result in at least one great thing – that Nick would be forced to finally realize that he loved me and couldn’t bear to be without me.”
Maya’s tears were falling again, faster than she could wipe them away.
“I was kidnapped and tortured by a madman, and all I could think about the whole time was Nick, my knight in shining armor, to get me through it. I was so hopeful that if I were to somehow survive, that maybe he would realize how much I meant to him. But despite Pearly booking the honeymoon suite for us after that ordeal, still nothing changed between us. All that happened that night was we got shit-faced off the bottles in the mini bar and we passed out watching Steel Samurai shows on the jumbo TV.”
Franziska giggled slightly upon hearing the last bit, then bit her lip and looked instantly contrite when Maya frowned at her.
“Go on,” she said softly.
“Then the next tragedy occurred just earlier this year. The one where my mother was killed because his sociopathic, demon ex-girlfriend Dahlia tried to kill me, and Nick thought I was dead. Once again, I nearly died, and things still remained as they’d always been with us; he didn’t magically come to his senses even then and suddenly realize that he loved me. Nor when I had to leave, to go back to Kurain, did he come running after me. This birthday, this outing, was my final hurrah. My last, pathetic attempt to try to have him see me in a different light, since losing me, or almost losing me, hadn’t had any affect.”
Maya laughed bitterly and gestured at herself.
“And you know how well that turned out. I would have given anything in the world to have him just say, without being forced or prompted, that he thought I looked pretty and grown up. He certainly had no problem ogling that waitress tonight! What does she have that I don’t have, aside from the obvious store-bought set? I would have killed to have had him look at me, just once, the way he looked at Tiffany tonight.”
“Nervously and with reluctant lust?” Franziska derided, arching a brow.
“Are you kidding me? He was obviously aware that she was a woman, and one he found sexy and attractive!”
“Objection! Because she didn’t give him a choice! Woman like that have no qualms about being seen as baseless sex objects and shamelessly flaunt their assets because that’s all there is to them, and all most men will ever see or desire them for. But what you failed to see, Maya Fey, was that she was hitting on him, and not vice versa. She literally threw herself, and those can’t miss mammaries into his face all night, and because he is only a man, yes, he looked. But that’s all he did. So did my Miles,” Franziska inserted sardonically. “Hell, so did you and me! But I can hardly claw my fiancé’s eyes out for it, tempting though it might have been! Is that how you want Phoenix Wright to see you Maya Fey? As a piece of meat he can devour for the night and then promptly discard?”
“Of course not!” Maya denied hotly. “I want his heart. Not his…parts. It still doesn’t explain why he couldn’t even compliment me! He did so with such ease with you!”
Franziska waved her hand dismissively.
“I am the future wife of his childhood friend. His prerequisite flattery posed no risk, nor reward for him, and was purely done as a social convention, as surely as Miles did with you. Men are always more attentive to other women who aren’t their own. Do you think my fiancé noticed that I had bought a new dress? No he did not! But do I doubt his feelings or attraction to me over it? Not at all.”
Maya shook her head stubbornly.
“It’s still not the same. You already know he loves you and obviously desires you. Four years, Ms. Von Karma! Nick’s had four years to make a move…and the closest he’s ever come to commenting on my appearance was when I had to wear that tacky, skimpy waitress outfit at Très Bien, which was only a trifle less revealing than the uniforms they wear here. All he had to say was ‘maybe you should quit being a spirit medium’!”
“Foolish man!” Franziska laughed. “You keep carrying on about how in four years Phoenix Wright hasn’t had the nerve to declare his affections. But all men are fools, Maya Fey. Yes, even mine, the genius prosecutor – although admittedly less so than most. And fools don’t always rush in! I’ve known Miles Edgeworth almost my whole life, and still the blasted man had yet to ask me to marry him! Do you know that ultimately, it was me that had to propose to him?”
“Say what? You aren’t serious! Don’t tell me you had buy your own engagement ring too!”
“Of course not!” The silver-haired woman smirked. “I did, however, present him with the pickup slip for the ring I’d been eyeing at the jewelers and go with him to ensure he at least got that right.”
Maya laughed, her sorrows momentarily forgotten. “I’m sure Mr. Edgeworth just loves when you tell this story!”
“Probably not. But the point is, he loves me. Even though he took his precious glory time finally telling me, and even longer in proving that he wanted to be with me always.”
Franziska looked Maya directly in the eye.
Just as Phoenix Wright loves you, Maya Fey. And in case you don’t believe me, I have irrefutable, conclusive evidence. This was the birthday gift that I have wanted to give you.”