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Burgers and Apple Juice

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Miles Edgeworth, 29, pored over the case on his desk. He knew his lover hated it when he brought his work home. Absolutely despised it. Today was no different. But he was positive he had the right guy and if he couldn’t remove doubt as to his guilt by court tomorrow, he would walk free.

It was getting late. Miles was used to late nights and early mornings; when he was younger, it was a regular occurrence for him. As he got older, it got harder. Especially now that he lived with another human being who needed him to be there for her, as well as himself. It wasn’t a one-way relationship, by far; Maya Fey carried him much more often than he carried her, and did it without complaint or expectation of him. But she did require a lot of attention, regardless of what kind of attention that was.

And he knew she’d be angry with him if she woke and he wasn’t beside her. He promised last month that he’d stop coming to bed at three in the morning when he had to be at the courthouse by six. It was now quarter-of two and he was no closer to cracking this situation than he was when he started working that night.

Maya hadn’t reacted to him going straight from the dinner table into his office. She sat on the couch and watched TV, bathed, put on silly, stupid, grating pop music and danced around the living room. Then she’d made his lunch for the morning, came in and asked if she could help, and when he said no, she left, came back in the office stark naked and asked if she could help now. It was almost painful for him to turn her down, again, and he felt horrible turning down such a blatant come-on. There was no possible way for him to plead ignorance to her flirtation when it was that blunt.

Fortunately, she’d not been offended. Maya just shrugged, asked if he minded if she spent some time alone with her purple buzzer, and happily skipped off to take care of herself when he rolled his eyes and asked her why he’d have a problem with her masturbating.

He wasn’t fooled by her cheerfulness; the threat of break up was always there. He’d proposed a year ago, on her twenty-first birthday, and they’d almost ended when she said “no.” Fortunately, he wasn’t so hurt that he was incapable of listening to her calmly explaining why. And why was because she didn’t believe in bigamy and he was still very much married to his work. And unless and until he got his work addiction under control, she would love him unconditionally, but she’d not agree to marry him.

She was also willing to show him what he needed to do, and he was willing to listen. Late, late nights working at the office were one of her dealbreakers, and it was just recently that they’d fought over his late, late nights at home. Apparently simply choosing to spend more time in his files than with Maya was missing the point, and she believed it to be intentional at that point. He’d barely kept her from returning early to Kurain. And now, he ran the risk of alienating her the same way now.

But his defendant was guilty. He’d committed an especially heinous crime, and Miles would not be able to live with himself if this evil man ended up loose in Los Angeles again because he couldn’t figure out how to prove it!

As he was telling himself that he needed to calm himself, that he wasn’t going to solve anything if he worked himself up, he heard soft footsteps in the hall. Just as his blood froze with the realization of what that meant, Maya poked her head in the office. “Your good reason for being up at this hour, my love,” she demanded, sleepy and unamused with him.

Miles looked down, grimacing. Maya came in to stand fully in the home office, waiting silently, patiently. She wasn’t going to move or speak until he did. “William Masser.”

Maya’s eyes widened. “Huh? You caught him?”

He looked up at her, eyebrow quirked. “Yes. And I can’t establish that he was at the crime scene at the time of the crime.”

“DNA?”

“Inconclusive.”

“Well shit.”

Miles grinned despite himself at her curse as she strode around his desk. “Maya, this is confidential. You know I can’t let you see this.”

“And yet for some reason, you are,” she replied with a sleepy grin, when he failed to do anything to stop her. She examined the photograph he had on his screen, and then asked, “What was the cause of death here?”

“A single stab wound to the temple.”

“Who stabs someone in the head?”

“Masser, apparently.”

“Can you show me the autopsy report?”

“No,” Miles answered smarmily as he switched windows to the report. Maya smacked him lightly on the shoulder and then read it, as he protested, “I could be disbarred for letting a civilian see my confidential files, Maya.”

“You fell asleep at your desk. This is only a dream,” she murmured in retort. Once she’d looked over the autopsy, she took control of the mouse and clicked over to the photos of the victim at the scene and of the murder weapon. Miles didn’t protest this time, and she shifted screens several times before frowning. “Hey, what’s that?” she said, pointing at the photo of the crime scene, sans body.

Miles squinted at it. “That’s a glove,” he said finally. “We’re relatively sure it’s Masser’s, and that’s what he used to keep his fingerprints off the knife. But we’ve got no way of proving that it’s Masser’s.”

“It’s been looked at?”

“Of course it’s been looked at.”

“By you?”

“… I know where you’re going, Maya, and it’s nowhere. Gumshoe wasn’t the detective on this case.”

“So what?” Maya pulled up the evidence file list, and found the photo of the glove. That done, she squinted at it, her face getting closer and closer to the monitor until Miles snapped, “Maya, you’re going to go blind. Back off!”

She huffed at him, but obeyed. Finally, as he was about to ask her to just go back to bed, she exclaimed, “A-HA!” and circled a point of the glove with the mouse pointer. “Lookie what I found! A bulge!”

It was, indeed, a bulge. A very small one, that if Miles hadn’t been concerned with the gloves at the scene, he wouldn’t have looked hard enough for. And, being told that there was nothing extraordinary about the gloves, he wasn’t concerned with them. But now he was, and he immediately reached for his phone. “I expect you in bed when you get finished with that call,” Maya said, kissing him on the cheek.

She didn’t know if he’d come to bed immediately after that call or not; it was too late at night and she was too tired to stay up for him. She didn’t take offense that he wasn’t there in the morning; he never was, when he had a major trial. She knew he’d been in bed with her at some point, due to the Miles-sized messed-up sheets on his side of the bed.

She hoped he’d gotten enough sleep.

With nothing to do but her thing until he came home, that’s exactly what Maya did. Chores, getting ready to make dinner, a visit with Nick to help him with his investigation, a call to Kurain to check on when Pearly would be visiting them in the city again, and back home. From there, some mild training. There were no waterfalls in this house; the best she could do was meditation, so that’s what she did. She was still trying to figure out whether or not she wanted to be the Master, but until she made a firm decision, she had the title and needed to train.

Maybe it was time for her to go spend a few weeks in Kurain. Miles would pitch a fit like he always did, but this time, she Maya wanted to take him with her. There were several reasons for this; she knew the villagers were very hesitant to trust any outside man but Nick, and Pearly had to understand that she and Nick were not and would not be special someone’s.

And to see if Miles was really as interested in her and her culture as he claimed. See if he was willing to be away from his home for her, as she was for him. It was only fair, she thought. She knew all too well what he thought of spirit channeling. But she’d gone far out of her comfort zone for him; it was time to see some reciprocation.

An hour later, Maya hadn’t done any meditation and she was even more pensive than she’d been when she started. With a heavy sigh, she got up and went to the kitchen to start dinner. This housewife thing had its perks, but it was horribly suffocating in other ways. Yes, that was why she was so nervous and upset at the moment. It had nothing to do with questioning her lover’s love for her.
Again.

Moments before sticking the dish in the oven, the phone rang. “Edgeworth residence,” she greeted, trying to sound cheerful.

”I got him, Maya.”

Her boyfriend’s satisfied, happy voice lifted her spirits despite her ruminations of the day. “Oh yeah? That’s awesome! How did you-“

The bulge in the glove you saw last night was a class ring. I had forensics fingerprint it immediately, and it was a match. There was no way for Masser to deny that the gloves were his.

“I’m so glad,” Maya said with a smile, and she meant it.

I am, as well. I don’t know what I’d do without you. I’d like to do something to thank you, Maya. You really saved my case last night.

“Oh posh!” Maya scoffed. “No thanks needed. That’s what I’m here for!”

She could almost hear him roll his eyes. “Even so, I would really like to show my appreciation.

Before he could talk again, Maya said, “Yeah, well, I only accept payment in the form of burgers and apple juice.”

There was silence on the other end, and Maya thought that she’d offended him, when he said, “If you insist. I’m coming home now. I’m looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening with you, Maya.

“Same,” said Maya. “I love you.”

And I as well. See you shortly.

As he hung up, Maya sighed. That was another thing. Would it kill him to say it back? She knew he did, but sometimes she just wanted to hear it. But, Miles was Miles and that was on the list of phrases Maya was sure she could count on never hearing out of his mouth. Sadly, she went back to doing Maya-like things, in turmoil once again.

Miles, when he arrived home, came in through the back door. “Maya!” he called.

Maya had been in the living room, watching Steel Samurai, and waiting for the timer to go off. It took a moment, but then Maya smelled burgers. A grin spread over her face. Oh no, he didn’t… She jumped up and dashed to the kitchen, in time to see him thunk a plastic jug of apple juice down next to a full bag from the local burger joint, and Miles himself grinning mischievously.

She went to him, laughing, and hugged him tightly. Through a conversation about what to do with the dinner in the oven (“Don’t worry about it; I shall put it away after dinner, and take some with me to work for lunch.”) and sitting down with him for a dinner of burgers and apple juice, Maya couldn’t help but think that, maybe his hesitance to speak the words wasn’t as big a deal as she thought. After all, he had ways of showing her, loud and clear. Who knew burgers and apple juice could be code for “I love you”?