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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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「これが、モノを殺すと言うことだ…!」

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Now I'm starting to worry about Kitty-chan and her swine flu... I hope nothing's happened to her... T_T
If videogames make murderers, then guns kill people and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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~~

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Me too.
I hope she's all right.
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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purplepjs

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aww dudes, I'm touched by your concern!! I'm fine, just busy catching up on life now that I'm not bedridden.

I'll have the next chapter up over the next few days, I'm just rewriting one of my sections. I'm so self critical it slows me down!

Shiki, I think I owe you a PM, but I'm off to bed now because its late. :)
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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「これが、モノを殺すと言うことだ…!」

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Oh yes, yes you do. XD Hope you're feeling better, dear. =) <3
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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Spoiler: Spoliers for chap 19
It's so sad! And the scene at the end is sooo touching.
The thought of them having to be apart gets me every time. Boohoo...

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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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You'd better be nice to Mr. Judge!

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For chap 19?! Where is it?
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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「これが、モノを殺すと言うことだ…!」

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Icer, you tell me you're Kitty's neighbor and I might have a seizure. -_- You're both Aussies and all, and you're probably closer to her than every single one of us will ever be, so you get sneak peeks and we don't? Nyat fair, dammit. =p
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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Mr. Step-ladder

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Ah! Kitty! You're alright.... I.. *sob* I... *breaksdown into tears like Apollo*

This look may explain it more, yeah THAT look... [/Pun]

Spoiler:
After hearing you're fine I actually felt relieved, so I'd though I'd draw something up to offer something for your good health... Okay, the real truth, it was meant to say Please Get Well Soon or something in that matter... :sawit:
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Uhuuu, uhhuu *Sniffles* I'm so glad you're okaaaaaaay! *Breaksdown on the floor*
Always strive to improve, not compare to others! - Arkillian
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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purplepjs

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Kitty-chan is back, yo!! :hobohodo:

Ardeeeeeee!!!!! :jazzedgy: <----- This is totally me right nao.

I love it, its beautiful and you are amazing!!! I'm touched too that it was a get well thang. Must have worked cos I'm fit as a fiddle!

(And TOTALLY on a caffiene high)

LULZ Shiki. Icey and I aren't neighbours... or are we? :haykitten:

Story was on FF.net. Now iz here for your reading pleasure.

Spoiler: Chapter 19 - Nothing Lasts Forever
Phoenix sighed heavily as Maya closed the door to her sleeping quarters, leaving him outside in the sitting room. He leaned against the door and rubbed at his eyes, fatigued. It had been a long day.

She’d requested a moment alone to fix her hair and freshen up but Phoenix knew that what she was really asking for was to take a few moments to regain her composure. Althea has been particularly harsh at that afternoons meeting. He’d had managed to get her out of the council chambers and lead her back to the main house, but the defiant spark she had displayed earlier that morning seemed to be gone.

Maya seemed numb. Lifeless. He hated seeing her like that. The added stress of Lillian’s funeral tomorrow certainly wasn’t going to help either.

Phoenix frowned and cursed under his breath. There were so many new questions. Kurain had so many secrets. So much betrayal. He found it hard to believe someone as wonderful and pure as Maya came from such a place. She didn’t belong here. She belonged someplace far away. Someplace with him. Free of ridiculous responsibilities, free of the hurt. He wanted nothing more than to turn around, open the door behind him and take her away for good.

But he knew she wouldn’t allow it. She may be having trouble coping right now, but he knew Maya was strong and proud of her village. She wanted to make it a better place.

It was just like Iris had told him. She didn’t need someone to protect her right now.

She just needed someone to understand.

***


Maya walked slowly across her room towards the bathroom. She was tired, angry, hurt, stressed… But she had to keep moving, even if she was just going through the motions. She reached the small ensuite and stood over the sink, bracing her hands on either side. She glanced up at her reflection in the mirror. Tired eyes looked back at her with an almost cynical edge.

“You’re not fooling anyone.” Her reflection told her. “You’re just a kid pretending to play grown up games.”

She closed her eyes and sighed. Who was she kidding? She couldn’t run Kurain. She didn’t know its history. She didn’t even know anything about her father. Turning on the tap, she splashed some cold water on her face. Her thoughts turned to Phoenix, no doubt sitting outside the door worrying about her.

Sweet, protective, reliable Nick.

She picked up a brush and began to run it through the long, silky strands that she had been left free of the elaborate knot her hair had been styled into. Despite her sullen mood, the corner of her mouth turned upwards in a faint smile as she thought about the lawyer outside her door. He always had that effect on her.

He didn’t need to be here, but he was. He was here for her. Standing up to Althea this afternoon had been easy. Simply because she knew he was right next to her. She knew it wasn’t just her either – Phoenix had an uncanny ability to lift the all the people around him. Everyone had felt it at some stage. He was inspiring. His enthusiasm was infectious. And she felt bad for relying on it.

Gently, she placed the brush down on the sink and headed back to her bed. Sitting down her thoughts moved to a particular topic that she had been avoiding.

She was falling in love with him.

Maya couldn’t remember a time when she didn’t at least feel something for Phoenix. She remembered fondly how this kind, handsome man came into her life when all hope was lost and did everything he could to save her. And he continued to save her. Over, and over and over. How could she not fall for someone like that? She had always thought it would never be anything more than an unrequited crush. But now, things were different.

Maya knew Phoenix had feelings for her that went beyond that of just friendship, and the thought of that made her cheeks flush and her heart pound in her chest. But at the same time, it made her sad.

“Nothing lasts forever...”She whispered softly.

The words were painful to say. She knew that Kurain would need her one day, and she would have to leave him. He didn’t belong here in Kurain and she had no right to even try to keep him here. He needed to be in the city, helping people, winning cases. She needed to be here, leading her people and making Kurain a better place. If things continued on how they were going, she knew she would hurt him when the inevitable time came that she had to leave.

Right now she felt like she needed him, like she couldn’t do anything without him. Maya knew it was wrong to feel that way. His purpose in life wasn’t to support her. She was holding him back.

Tying him down in any way would be...

“Selfish.” She whispered to herself.

Wiping away the tears that had started to fall, Maya made her decision.

As much as it hurt to do so, she needed to put some distance between herself and Phoenix. If things didn’t change, in time she knew he would fall in love with her and she couldn’t bear the thought of breaking his heart. If they went back to being friends now, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much.

What Maya didn’t realise was that it was already far too late for that.

***


Andre looked up at the deep purple sky that had seemingly draped itself like a blanket over the picturesque little garden. The sky was clear and thousands of stars twinkled down at him happily, almost as if they didn’t know about the sinister plans he was there to discuss.

“You’re early,” said a familiar voice from behind him.

Andre spun around to find Althea standing behind him, arms crossed and expression firm. He glanced down at his watch, stifling the urge to tell her that she was in fact, late. He simply nodded instead.

“Does anyone know you are here?” Althea asked. Andre shook his head to signify no. “Good.” She said with a curt nod.

The pair walked in silence towards an old stone bench and took a seat. The bench was out of view of all the main paths and was hidden behind two large trees. They could speak freely there without being heard.

“I assume you’re working with Morgan.” Althea stated.

“How... how did you know that?” Andre stammered. He had been so careful!

“Please.” Althea said icily. “I know that woman better than anyone. I’m surprised she didn’t come to me herself.”

Andre frowned. He had originally planned to only give Althea tidbits of information in order to keep the upper hand for himself. Unfortunately it appeared he didn’t have that luxury.

“Am I also correct in assuming that manipulating me was part of her plan?” Althea said, breaking the silence with a difficult question. Andre hung his head. He should have known she would figure that out.

“Yes.” He said quietly. He looked over at Althea, studying her expression for a reaction. To his surprise she nodded approvingly.

“Quite a good avenue to approach from. I see that Morgan has really planned this one well.” Althea said. “So what is her next step? Once you have me on side, where to then?”

“I actually have no idea.” Andre admitted. “She feeds me portions of the plan, one step at a time. She thinks I’ll be less likely to screw up that way.”

Althea looked over at Andre, her expression compassionate. She sighed.

“Well it’s certainly just like Morgan to keep her cards close to her chest. But a mother needs to have more faith in her son.” Althea said softly.

Andre smirked and shook his head.

“I should have known that you knew she was my mother.” He said.

“Well I’ll just warn you that I’m not the only one. That damn lawyer knows it too and nearly told the whole council today.” Althea said, annoyed. Andre’s eyes widened.

“He did? I mean, I knew he thought he knew, but...” Andre trailed off.

“Your father admitted as much to Mia, or so he told me when I asked him about it. Mia no doubt told Mr Wright. The lawyer is a problem and he needs to be taken care of.” Althea snapped.

A gentle rustling noise came from a bush behind Andre. Snapping his head around to locate the source of the noise, he relaxed when he saw a small squirrel dart up the tree next to where he and Althea sat.

“If we get rid of Maya, he will no longer be a problem. He will go where she does.” Andre reasoned.

“Yes, but how DO we get rid of Maya, Andre? How?” Althea asked. “Morgan hasn’t told you that part yet, has she?”

Andre shook his head.

“Can’t the council just stand her down?” he asked. Althea scoffed, shaking her head.

“If it were within my capacity I would have done it by now. Unfortunately for me she had the rest of the council eating out of her hand at that damn meeting this afternoon, so even if we could bring it to a vote right now I would be out numbered.”

“Well, we need to find out what mother has planned.” Andre said with a sigh. “You know she will have planned this from start to finish, so she obviously has something in mind.”

Althea thought for a moment... then it hit her.

“We may not need to...” she said slowly, her lips spreading into a satisfied grin. “I’ll need to do some research first though, just to make sure. Proceed with whatever Morgan tells you to do for now. And don’t tell her you spoke to me. She’ll want to reformulate the plan if you tell her that I know about anything that’s going on.”

Andre nodded. That sounded like his mother, alright.

“I’ll take care of things from my end and I’ll meet with you again once I have all my information.” Althea said as she stood. Andre stood also.

She moved to leave, but turned back around to face Andre.

“I have one more question.” She said, raising an eyebrow. “Did you kill Lillian?”

Andre steeled his expression. There was no use lying about it now.

“Yes.” He said simply. Althea’s face remained unchanged.

“We’ll keep that between you and me.” She said, patting the boy on the shoulder. “We’ve all done questionable things for the good of the village. Lillian died for a noble cause.”

Andre nodded, his eyes showing no emotion, despite the fact that Althea’s admission had surprised him.

With no more to be said, the pair turned and walked in opposite directions, leaving the garden in silence, as if their little exchange had never taken place at all.

Once they were out of sight, the rustling from the bushes behind Andre grew louder, as a little girl pulled herself to her feet. Tears streaming down her face, she ran as fast as her little legs would take her towards the Master’s quarters.

***


Finally back in her quarters after a lengthy dinner with Council members and other prominent members of Kurain Village, Maya yawned and began to pull the pins out of her hair, placing them atop her dresser. Phoenix sat on a chair close by watching her movements.

The food they ate for dinner had been lovely, but that had been the extent of his enjoyment. Maya was quiet and distracted during the meal, barely speaking to him and Althea had spent the entire time glaring at him. Andre, however, was thankfully not present. He hadn’t even been able to see Pearl yet. She had been delegated to the children’s’ dining area, which was in a separate room to where the adults ate.

“Maya...” Phoenix said softly. “Are you alright? I...I know you’ve been through a lot today, and you were so quiet at dinner...”

“I’m fine.” Maya said quietly, her voice lacking any real emotion. She didn’t turn to face him, but continued to watch her own reflection as she undid her hair.

Phoenix stood and moved behind her, placing his hands on her shoulders. Her eyes met his in the reflection of the mirror and she couldn’t help but sigh. Looking away, she turned to face him. He shifted his hands so they remained on her shoulders. His gaze was serious as he looked down at her.

She smiled sadly and placed her hands over his, gently lifting his hands from her shoulders and holding them in her own. She gave them a quick squeeze before letting go. A little surprised, Phoenix let his hands drop to his sides.

“Nick...” Maya began.

He said nothing, just watched her, waiting for her next words.

“I...”

She stopped again. Biting down on her lip, she tried to hold back the tears she could feel stinging the corners of her eyes.

“This is so hard.” She thought to herself. She felt sick to her stomach. Her hands were shaking. She took a deep breath. Was she really about to tell Phoenix that she thought he should go back home?

Suddenly there was a loud bang on the door, accompanied by the sound of a crying child.

“Mystic Maya! Mystic Maaaayyyaaaa!!” the voice wailed.

Maya and Phoenix both froze, looking at each other in shock.

“Pearls!” Phoenix muttered in recognition, panic setting in as he rushed to the door to open it. Sliding the door open, he was greeted by the sight of a very distraught Pearl Fey. Her knee was grazed and bleeding and tears streamed down her angelic little face.

“Mr Nick!” she cried, as Phoenix scooped her up into his arms. He closed the door and carried the young medium over to where Maya stood. She continued to cry, burying her head in Phoenix’s shoulder.

“Pearly, what is it, what’s wrong?” Maya asked gently, stroking the little girls’ hair.

Slowly, she lifted her head, her grief stricken face almost breaking Maya’s heart.

“I heard them. I heard them talking.” She said, between sobs.

“Heard who, Pearls?” Phoenix asked. Pearl didn’t respond. Maya dashed quickly to the bathroom, wetting down a small cloth to wipe Pearl’s grazed knee.

“What happened to your knee Pearly?” Maya asked, gently cleaning the wound. “Did you fall?”

Pearl looked up again. She sniffed and nodded.

“I was in the garden.” She said quietly.

“You know you shouldn’t be in the garden after dark Pearly. It’s dangerous.” Maya chided softly.

“I’m sorry, Mystic Maya.” Pearl sobbed. “I stayed too long at the dinner hall and I was running late for evening meditation. I took a shortcut through the garden, but it got dark so quick.” She explained.

“Who did you see there, Pearls? Who was talking?” Phoenix asked again. Pearl looked up at him with a devastated expression.

“I saw Andre. I tried to run over to him so he would help me find my way out of the garden, but I fell. That’s when I heard them.” Pearl said sadly.

“Who else was there?” Phoenix asked gently. Pearl was clearly very upset and extracting information wasn’t exactly easy considering he didn’t want to upset her more.

“Mystic Althea was there.” Pearl said, stifling a sob. “They were talking about getting rid of Mystic Maya!”

Pearl began to wail again as Phoenix patted her back protectively. He looked over at Maya, his frown full of concern. Maya shook her head. She should have seen this coming.

“Shhhh,” Phoenix soothed, moving over to Maya’s sitting area. He sat on the small couch, settling Pearl in his lap. “It’s okay. We won’t let them get rid of Mystic Maya. Mystic Maya is in charge now, you know that. Everything will be just fine.”

Maya stood, and began pacing a little. She rubbed at her forehead. A stress headache was starting to set in. Phoenix watched her worriedly as he continued to try and console the little girl on his lap.

“Mr Nick?” Pearl croaked, looking up at him.

“Yes sweetie,” he answered concern evident in his voice. Pearl paused, a frown marring her petite features.

“Andre is a bad person, isn’t he?”

Maya’s head snapped up. She met Phoenix’s puzzled gaze.

“What makes you think that, Pearls?” Phoenix asked her, feigning ignorance.

She shifted slightly, sniffling a little more and wiped at her eyes with the back of her fist.

“Mystic Althea asked him if he killed Mystic Lillian.” Pearl managed to whisper quietly. Phoenix was taken aback.

“And what did he say?”

“He said he did.”

Phoenix hugged Pearl tightly as she began to cry again. He stroked her hair, feeling absolutely at a loss for what to say to this poor child who had just had her faith in humanity almost completely destroyed. First it was her mother, and now this.

“I knew Mystic Mia wasn’t bad. I knew it. Andre lied to me.” Pearl said through her tears, her voice muffled by Phoenix’s shoulder.

Maya watched Phoenix continue to hush and soothe the poor child, rocking her back and forth while he told her everything was going to be okay and that nobody was going to hurt anyone.

“The lies we tell children...”
Maya thought hopelessly to herself. This was all just too much. Her whole body was shaking with the effort of just preventing a complete emotional breakdown. She couldn’t take it anymore.

Turning abruptly, Maya dashed from the room, leaving Phoenix behind. He frowned and cursed silently. He couldn’t go after her right now – there was no way he was leaving frightened little Pearl. She continued to sob lightly into his shoulder, but she seemed to be calming down.

He squeezed his eyes shut; sighing with exasperation at the mess they had once again found themselves in.

“Why does it always have to be this way?”


***


Phoenix looked down at the sleeping child he had just covered with a blanket. She looked so peaceful. Like she didn’t have a care in the world. But when she woke up again the weight of her problems would no doubt once again crush her tiny spirit. Pearl was like a daughter to him, and he wanted to hurt anyone that hurt her. The little couch was more than enough room for her to sleep on, so he decided against moving her very far once she had fallen asleep in his lap. But now that she was settled, he had to go and find Maya.

Just as he turned to leave the room, the door slid open, and Maya stepped inside. Her eyes were red and puffy. Phoenix knew immediately that she had been crying. The tired expression on her face matched his own. He didn’t need to ask her if she was okay. It was plain as day that she wasn’t, and quite frankly, neither was he.

He stretched out his arm, offering her his hand. She looked at it, an odd expression on her face, then back up at him again. After a few moments more of hesitation she moved towards him and took the hand he offered. He pulled her over to him and enveloped her in a tight hug and she allowed herself to be held.

She didn’t cry. She was all cried out. Just exhausted. He reached over to the side table next to where Pearl slept and switched off the lamp. Light from Maya’s bedroom filtered out into the small sitting room.

Maya took a deep breath, doing her best to commit his scent to memory, while she fought with her inner turmoil about sending him away.

“Not tonight.” She argued with herself. “I need him here tonight. Just one more night.”

Her shoulders slumped, and she leaned into him. He was keeping her on her feet, both physically and emotionally. Sensing that she was near her breaking point, Phoenix scooped her up and carried her into her bedroom. Gently, he laid her down on the bed, taking his place by her side. They were both too tired to change. She would sleep in her fancy kimono and he in his suit. He pulled her into his arms.

Brushing her bangs out of her eyes, he kissed her forehead and whispered.

“It’s okay. I’m here.”

The words stung, even though they were intended as soothing. Maya fought back tears as she replied, her voice barely a whisper.

“I know.”


Waaaah!!! :nixiesob: Why do I write this garbage that makes me cry!??!
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 18 - 01/07Topic%20Title
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kitsune13 wrote:
LULZ Shiki. Icey and I aren't neighbours... or are we? :haykitten:

Well, I live in Sydney. But guess Kitsune won't reveal her location since Shiki was going to kidnap her or something.
Quote:
Waaaah!!! :nixiesob: Why do I write this garbage that makes me cry!??!

Oh no, does this mean chap 20 is even sadder? Like I said before, all those scenes where they're cuddling are so cute,
fic wrote:
She just needed someone to understand.

*dies*.

and then the parts where they have to be apart are so sad! Though they make the prospect of them getting back together that much sweeter, but it's such a double-edged sword... :larry:

Also, just realised all this fic happened in less than 2 months after 3-5 [since Phoenix is not yet disbarred but that's looming :nixiesob:] Poor, poor Maya, that 'incident' and now all this. They sure heap the drama on our pairing round then :(
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title
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Munch munch munch.

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Whaaa, it's so saaad :sob:

But I still looove to read it :bellboy:
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title
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You'd better be nice to Mr. Judge!

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Omg I can't wait to write more. :wacky-edgy:
Poor little Pearly. :larry:

Lots of cookies for your writing skills! :cookie: :cookie: :cookie: :cookie: :cookie: :cookie: :cookie:
And I'm very glad you recovered. :edgy:
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Beautiful. Truley beautiful :larry:.

I love this chapter. Jusrt wondering whatever is going to happen next (since little Pearly finally found out that Arde lied to her).
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Proud PxM shipper.

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kitsune13 wrote:
Waaaah!!! :nixiesob: Why do I write this garbage that makes me cry!??!


It isn't garbage. I am absolutely in loooooooove with this fanfic. I am a big Phoenix and Maya shipper. They are adorable together. I cried a little too. I feel so bad for Maya!!! The loving scenes are so cute and beautiful. I can't wait to read more!!! :pearl:

BTW, as for the crying thing, as Robert Frost said... "No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader."
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title

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I totally cried at that last chapter. :nixiesob: hahaa. So glad that your better again, and your writing skills continue to amaze me. Thank you so much for writing this amazing fic <3
that is all.
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Proud PxM shipper.

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Location: A dark scary place with enchanted creatures.

Rank: Ace Attorney

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I so can't wait for the new chapter. I just want to add that chapter nine just made my heart sink. Poor Maya. :sadshoe:

Spoiler:
In the beginning of chapter 17, I'm like "YES YES YES!". Then I kept reading. "DAMN IT!!!".

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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title

[Words]

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Bump for update.
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title

[Words]

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And...bump'd.
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title

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Thanks for bumping it! I'm only up to chapter five (I need to work on summer homework D:) but this fic is awesome! :D Can't wait to read all of the chapters~
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purplepjs

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Sorry I haven't been around guys!! I went on a fantastical magical rollercoaster filled holiday, and now I'm back and totally bogged down with work, life and other projects.

I do have a few more 90% finished chapters up my sleeve so I'll force myself to sit down and tweak them until I'm happy with them. Soon my pretties... soon!

icer, I live in Melbourne, but most of my family is in Sydney. So maybe we were once neighbours? LOL
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title
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Everybody lives in Melbourne :(
But I'm glad you're okay.
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title
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I can't wait to read the next chapter, don't want to pressure you but HURRY!! :edgy:
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 19 - 16/07Topic%20Title
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Eff me, I was on the 3rd page! That sucks man!! I'm so tardy!

But I'm here now, and thats what matters. Doing paid writing stuff at the moment with deadlines and such (yuck remind me to never be a full time writer) so I've had zero time to write this fic, so I hope this chapter is up to standard.

Spoiler: Chapter 20 - That's What Friends Are For
Maya woke with a stretch from the best sleep she had had in ages. She gazed down lovingly at the man beside her, still deep in slumber. His breathing was even and the corner of his mouth was curved up in the faintest of smiles. She wondered what he was dreaming about. Secretly, she hoped it was her.

As Maya continued to look down at Phoenix sleeping so peacefully her heart lurched. She wanted to reach out and touch his face. She wanted to wrap her arms around him and never let him go. But she knew it wasn’t meant to be. He wasn’t meant to be hers. He was too good for the life of pain that she and her village would no doubt bring him.

She eased herself out of the bed, successful in her attempt to not wake him. Pausing in the doorway to her bathroom, she glanced over at him one last time. Sighing, she looked away sadly. That beautiful face.

It hurt to even look at him now that she had made up her mind.

***


Phoenix kicked at a rock on the ground and cursed under his breath as he watched Maya and her entourage of followers disappear from view. He let out a sigh and sat cross legged on the grass, deciding to carry on with his visit anyway, even though Maya had opted not to join him. He placed the flowers he had picked from the garden at the foot of the headstone and began rambling. Maybe she could actually hear him.

“Don’t take it personally.” Phoenix said casually to Mia’s headstone. “I’m sure she only said she was too busy to visit you because all the idiots on the council still think you’re responsible for what happened to Lillian. She’ll come around. She’s just gotta save face today because they’re all fussing over her.”

He paused and played with a blade of grass. Maya had already been gone when he woke that morning and while he had “seen” her during the day, he hadn’t really seen her at all. Lillian’s funeral was of course a solemn affair and Phoenix had expected her to have to preside over the ceremony, but that didn’t explain her refusal to make eye contact with him and the cold shoulder that he had just received when he approached her with the idea to take some flowers to Mia.

“She’s been acting pretty weird today.” Phoenix explained to Mia. “I don’t know what it is. I know she’s no doubt upset over what happened to Lillian and having to bury her today, but I don’t get why that means she wouldn’t want to see me.”

Phoenix frowned.

“I wish there was more that I could do to help her, you know. I know, I know...” he said, raising his hands in defense, as if Mia’s headstone was going to tell him he needed to let Maya do things on her time. “I get that she needs to be strong on her own, but how long do I have to sit back and watch people like Althea push her around?”

He peered at the granite headstone as if it might have somehow held the answers. It glinted in the sunlight. Phoenix sighed.

“You know, I never actually thought I’d have to visit you like this. I figured you’d always be around. I guess I kinda took that for granted.” He finished sheepishly. “I’m sorry, Mia. I really shouldn’t have relied on you so much. Maybe if I hadn’t I’d be of more help to Maya...”

He stood, dusting the dirt off his knees with his hands.

“...And not just be standing here hoping a lump of rock will give me the answers to life’s problems.” He chuckled lightly and shook his head.

“See, Mia?” Phoenix said to the sky. “You’re not even here and I’m still relying on you.”

He turned and began to walk in the direction on the house, pausing to look over his shoulder at the simple headstone. He would find a way to get that spirit block removed.

“See you later, Mia. And I mean that.”

***


Maya’s silence was driving Phoenix crazy.

She sat on the floor across from where he sat on the sofa, flicking through some paperwork that he was sure wasn’t important at all, although he knew she would claim otherwise if he asked her. He watched her. He could tell that she sensed his eyes on her because she was trying her hardest not to look at him.

Maya had only come back to the room about an hour ago. Phoenix had no idea where she had been all day, and he had eaten dinner alone in her suite. He wondered if she had instructed the young acolyte to bring it to him.

“Probably not.” He thought to himself. She’d merely nodded in greeting to him when she came back and pulled out that stupid paperwork.

“What the hell is going on?” he thought to himself, frowning.

Suddenly, Maya stood and moved to the door without saying a word, or looking at him.

“Where are you going?” he asked her.

“I’m going for a walk.” She said emotionlessly.

“Then I’m going too.” Phoenix said, challenging her to respond. She didn’t. She simply moved through the open door and began walking along the Winding Way. He ducked quickly out the door behind her. He couldn’t help but feel further discouraged when he saw that she had not bothered to wait for him.

“Maya, please.” He began as she walked briskly ahead of him. She did nothing to acknowledge that she had heard him speak at all.

“Maya, STOP.” He repeated firmly. She stopped walking a few feet from where he stood and turned around to face him, her expression stoic.

Phoenix sighed. He didn’t want to have this conversation outside where anyone could hear, but if it was going to happen, it was going to happen now. Luckily for them, the Winding Way was deserted at that time of night.

“What have I done?” he asked, puzzled. “You’ve avoided me all day. You wouldn’t even make eye contact with me unless it was completely necessary and now that I’m with you, you won’t even speak to me. What’s the matter with you, Maya?”

Maya let out a small sigh. She steeled herself. Now or never.

“It’s been a busy day, Nick. I’m sorry. It wasn’t intentional.”

Phoenix wasn’t going to buy her weak excuse for even a second. He crossed his arms.

“Please don’t look at me like that.” She pleaded. “It’s going to get worse from here on in. The more involved I get with my position, the less...” she trailed off.

“The less what?” Phoenix asked, willing her to continue.

“The less time I’ll have for you.” She finished quietly, unable to meet his gaze.

“What?” Phoenix asked incredulously. “What are you trying to say, Maya?”

Maya took a deep breath to calm herself and give her courage, but no matter how hard she tried, she still couldn’t move her eyes from the polished wooden floor.

“What I’m trying to say is... “

“Yes...” Phoenix said, raising an eyebrow almost mockingly. She could tell he was really annoyed and that wasn’t going to make this any easier. Maya squeezed her eyes closed and let the words come blurting out. Words she never thought she’d ever be able to say.

“Phoenix, maybe you should head back to the city.”

She looked up at him quickly, worried about how he would react to what she had just suggested.

Phoenix’s eyes flashed with something that wasn't quite anger, but she could tell it wasn't far off. She watched him closely for a few moments. She had absolutely no idea what he was thinking. His chest rose and fell as he took deep breaths. He locked his eyes on hers. She regretted what she had said already.

Then, out of nowhere, he closed the distance between them with one swift motion. Maya barely even had time to be surprised at his abrupt movement when he crashed his lips against hers in a somewhat authoritative kiss. She gave out a small yelp of protest, but if he heard her, it didn't register in the slightest. She tried to push him away, but her action was weak. They both knew she didn't mean it at all.

Her brain rushed to make sense of what was happening. This was nothing how she had dreamed their first kiss would be. But it was somehow exactly right. How could something be imperfect and perfect at the same time? He was angry at her, but there was so much love in his kiss. She had just asked him to leave, but they both knew she wanted him to stay.

His forceful actions, her heartbreaking words... they were nothing but contradictions. Just like the kiss they shared as the moon peeked through a gap in the clouds over the Winding Way.

There was little resistance. It was only seconds before she felt herself melt against him. Her body was experiencing sensations she'd never felt before. She never wanted this harsh yet somehow beautiful moment to end. But as abruptly as he had kissed her, he pulled back. The same annoyed expression still marred his handsome features. He took a few steps backward before turning his back to her and running his hand through his spikes in exasperation.

Maya on the other hand, was having trouble holding herself up. She brought a hand up to gingerly touch her lips, still amazed that his had been there only moments before.

"Nick..." she finally managed to stammer. “Why... Why did you... Why did you do that?"

"I don't know?!" he snapped. He turned to face her.

"No. That's a lie." he corrected himself, almost coldly. "I do know why I did that. I know exactly why. And so do you."

Maya said nothing, but felt tears gathering in the corners of her eyes. He was trying to prove a point to her. She sighed. He did a damn good job of it. One kiss was all he needed to prove to her that she couldn’t live without him. She shook her head. This was for the best. She had to send him away.

"You don't understand what I'm trying to do..." she started, but Phoenix cut her off.

"Oh, I understand perfectly." he said. "You're trying to build a wall. You're trying to shut me out. You're the Master of Kurain and you've resigned yourself to a sad and lonely existence. You're doing this to protect me. Send me away so I don't try to solve your problems by making them my own."

She looked down at her feet and he took a step towards her.

"I appreciate your concern, Maya" he continued, his tone still stern. "But I don't need you to protect me, and I'm not going anywhere. Order me out of here if you want to. I'll just come straight back. Have me arrested for trespassing if that’s what you want. But you know that Gumshoe will just let me out anyway, and guess what I’ll do then? I'll just come straight back here looking for you."

Her shoulders slumped as she fought back tears. She hated fighting with him. He waited a few moments for her to speak, but she didn't. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and decided to continue on.

"You want me to back off?" he asked her, already knowing that she wouldn't answer. "Fine. I will. I'll take the guest room. I won't kiss you again." he finished with a scowl.

Maya winced. Her heart was screaming at her brain to tell him how much she loved him, but she just couldn't get the words out.

"But if you think I'm just going to up and leave you and go back to some happy existence without you, well that's just stupid, Maya. First and foremost, I'm your friend."

He moved back towards her, placing his hands on her shoulders. She looked up at him, trying her hardest to not let her face betray what she was feeling inside. Little did she know that her eyes had already done all the work for her.

Seeing Maya clearly fighting herself over what she really wanted simply frustrated Phoenix further. He frowned. More at the situation than her, but she couldn't help but take it personally. Tears began to fall.

"Friends don't leave friends to battle their own problems." he said through gritted teeth, his own frustration getting the better of him. "And if a friend is the best I can get from you, then friends it is."

He studied her expression intensely, waiting for her to speak.

"Friends." she croaked after what seemed like an eternity, reaffirming what he had just said.

He sighed inwardly. The last, tiny glimmer of hope that she would throw herself into his arms and cry out that she loved him trickled away, like water down a drain. He stepped away from her and turned to head inside.

Maya frowned and bit her lip. She had hurt him and she felt terrible.

“Nick...” she called out to him.

Without even turning around he waved her off and walked into the house.

Maya felt sick.

“What have I done?” she whispered to herself.

Phoenix stopped just inside the doorway and swore to himself. She’d had an extremely hard day and he was acting like an ass. Sure, he had a right to be upset, but she was too. He shouldn’t be taking it out on her. Even if she did have dumb ideas.

“Maya, I’m sorry. I didn’t me-“ he said as he turned around, but froze when he realised Maya was gone.

“Damn it.” He whispered to himself. Thunder rumbled off in the distance. He headed inside to grab his jacket. He had a feeling he knew where she was headed.

***


Maya ran.

She ran blindly until the pain in her legs became too much. Collapsing on the grass, she realised she had subconsciously returned to the cemetery. More specifically, the gravestone in front of her belonged to Mia. The flowers Phoenix had left there earlier rested against the headstone bearing her name. She began to sob, her voice harsh and loud as the howling wind from the impending thunderstorm swirled around her.

“Mia! Mia, please help me!” Maya cried out as she started to sob. “I need you. I need you to tell me what to do. I can’t do this! I can’t do this without you!”

The wind whistled loudly past Maya’s ears, whipping her hair around wildly. She splayed her fingers into the cold grass that had been growing in this spot for too many years.

“I love him Mia. I love him. I want to leave everything for him. That’s selfish. That’s wrong.” Maya yelled to the ground where her sisters’ earthy body lay, as light rain began to fall. She felt like maybe, just maybe, if she was louder than the wind, Mia just might hear her cries.

But it was hopeless. Mia couldn’t hear her. Mia couldn’t help her.

Tears streaming down her face, she reached out and traced her sisters’ name in the cold granite.

Mia would tell her to follow her heart and not her head. She knew that. But hearts break a lot easier than heads. Maya sat still for a few minutes, clutching at Mia’s headstone. Her life was a mess and there was no simple solution. Mia would fix things. Mia would find a make everyone happy. Maya felt inferior.

The rain began to come down harder, but Maya barely registered it. Her beautiful, delicate masters’ robes would no doubt be soaked through and muddy. But the condition of her clothing was the last thing on her mind. Her bangs stuck to her forehead as the rain mixed with her tears.

Nick was so mad at her, and with good reason. He cared so much about her. He would give anything just to help her, and she had treated him like dirt. Just because she was afraid of her own feelings. She told herself she didn’t want to break his heart and that she was doing this for him. But deep down she knew that she was just as afraid of her own heart being broken. She was afraid of the pain she would feel when he left. Just like all men in Kurain eventually did.

“Nick.” She sobbed to no one in particular. “I’m so sorry. I’m so very, very sorry.”

Maya jumped as she felt the weight of a familiar blue jacket over her shoulders. It was dry and warm.

“I know.” Phoenix said as he lifted the girl to her feet. “I’m sorry too.”

She looked up at him, wondering how long he had been standing behind her. His shirt was soaked through and his hair was flat, but he still somehow managed to look as handsome as ever. She wondered how much he had heard, but she decided it best not to ask. Almost as if on cue, the wind died down and the rain slowed to a light sprinkle.

“Thank you.” Maya said as Phoenix led her back towards the house.

“Don’t mention it.” Phoenix said casually.

“Are you still mad at me?” Maya asked. Phoenix scoffed and shook his head. “I’m mad at myself for acting like a jerk.”

Maya opened her mouth to protest that he was not a jerk at all, but Phoenix beat her to it.

“But never mind that. It’s over and done with now, right?”

“Right.” Maya agreed, slightly puzzled. They walked in silence for a little while longer.

“Thank you.” Maya said again.

“You already said that.” Phoenix said.

“I meant for the jacket. Thanks for coming out in the rain to find me.” Maya elaborated.

Phoenix sighed. It was a tired, but content sort of sigh. He didn’t seem to be mad anymore at all.

“That’s what friends are for.” he said with a shrug. Neither of them missed the obvious hint of sadness in his voice.

As they trudged along the path and the main house came into view, Phoenix found himself wondering what her first thank you was for; while Maya wondered if he understood that she had thanked him for simply being Nick.


Spoiler: Okaaaay
I know we've just taken like TEN steps backward but no flames plz!! :karma:
It gets better I swear!


:kissy:
OOOOOOOOOOH

/childish :edgy:
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 20 - 24/08Topic%20Title
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YESSSS. CHAPTER 20, FINALLY!! D: D: D: *reads*

The angst, it's lovely. Lovely. *noms on angst* As usual, I crave the next chapter. Brilliance. :keiko:

Side note: Ohh, I live in Melbourne too :D
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 20 - 24/08Topic%20Title
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AH, IT'S THE BEST CHAPTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The beginning is so sad. Emotion and angst overload chapter.
Spoiler:
That's a fantastic take of the 'first kiss' scene. Sort of IC, too, I guess.

(This fic does have a happy ending, right?)
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Woah, the 20th chapter finally came! Although ti kind of made me sad. In a good way though. I have no idea what I'm saying. I can't wait for the next chapter...
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Proud PxM shipper.

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Dammit, stop trying to make me cry! You came so close this time!

*cough* Anyway, can't wait to see what happens next! That first kiss was so cute!
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 20 - 24/08Topic%20Title
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This is awesome! moar plox!

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Wow, I love chapter 20... it was so sad in the start, but somewhat cute too. =D
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rereads chap 20
I like chap 20.
Spoiler: more discussion
As I said, this is the best chapter of the fic so it was worth the wait. Even if you weren't working on it all of the time, maybe the time made for a better chapter? I get the sense from some of your comments the fic has slightly changed direction/concept from the start (since you said it was going to be short and all)
I don't think anyone's seriously touched on the 'men leaving Kurain and Phoenix/Maya' thing before, partly because the original PW3 subverts it by having Maya still going to be assistant AND Master (but of course then they wrote a 4th game.) So it's great to see it.

Of course, the big question is, does this mean they're going to be unwilling 'just friends' for the whole '7 years' thing? :larry: It's a possibility, but I always found the idea of Phoenix having self-admitted strong feelings he can't pursue for the 7 years too depressing on top of everything else for him in my own fanfic ... doesn't mean I don't want to read it though, and it explains a lot. (reminds me of a song I wish I didn't associate with this pairing but do :hobohodo: )

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Even if it is...Ain't love worth waiting for? I think so.

That kiss scene made me tear up. Good job.
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Wait... it's going to get BETTER?! Is that even possible? :|
I admire you for writing this. When I started with the 20th chapter, I was sitting upstraight, but in the end my nose was only a few inches from the screen and I was biting my nails. How did you make me do that? =O
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「これが、モノを殺すと言うことだ…!」

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I swear to god, if I can get a freaking decent headset this week, I'm making a recording of Nick's dialogue from this chapter. It feels way too awesome to not have it in audio. xD
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purplepjs

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icer wrote:
(This fic does have a happy ending, right?)


So sweet you'll need a freaking filling! :edgy:

icer wrote:
rereads chap 20
I like chap 20.
Spoiler: more discussion
As I said, this is the best chapter of the fic so it was worth the wait. Even if you weren't working on it all of the time, maybe the time made for a better chapter? I get the sense from some of your comments the fic has slightly changed direction/concept from the start (since you said it was going to be short and all)
I don't think anyone's seriously touched on the 'men leaving Kurain and Phoenix/Maya' thing before, partly because the original PW3 subverts it by having Maya still going to be assistant AND Master (but of course then they wrote a 4th game.) So it's great to see it.

Of course, the big question is, does this mean they're going to be unwilling 'just friends' for the whole '7 years' thing? :larry: It's a possibility, but I always found the idea of Phoenix having self-admitted strong feelings he can't pursue for the 7 years too depressing on top of everything else for him in my own fanfic ... doesn't mean I don't want to read it though, and it explains a lot. (reminds me of a song I wish I didn't associate with this pairing but do :hobohodo: )


This chapter has been 90% written since about a week after the last one was published. The only thing that I wrote in the last few days was Nick's "conversation" with Mia. Maybe I'm just getting better at the story as I move along :hotti:

It was originally intended to be a short story, but I don't think I've deviated too far from the basic premise of what I set out to write. I've just managed to fit in a whole bunch of filler and ups and downs and fun angsty little obstacles for our lovebirds. The ending will still be very much the same as what I intended to write when it was only going to be a few chapters long. I'm enjoying writing it and I'm loving how it grows. Not so much as to make earlier chapters redundant, but long enough to keep things rolling for a while.

I'm thrilled this is your fave chappy so far. I love it too, but maybe not quite as much as Mia's impromptu slumber party. That's my fave. I had always planned for their first kiss to not be something sappy and sweet. There's too much drama in both their lives, I just wanted it to be a little more situationally driven. LOL That doesn't even make sense.

Spoiler: Just Friends
C'mon... I'm not that mean. They *might* have to be apart for reasons not yet disclosed, but just friends for seven years? Pffft. I'm not that cruel! I mean as if Maya hasn't had a crack at that hot hobo action in SEVEN years... she's only human. There's a lot Phoenix doesn't tell us in GS4


Tessa wrote:
Wait... it's going to get BETTER?! Is that even possible? :|
I admire you for writing this. When I started with the 20th chapter, I was sitting upstraight, but in the end my nose was only a few inches from the screen and I was biting my nails. How did you make me do that? =O


LOL. I aim to please! Glad you're enjoying it. Your positive comments encourage me to write.

Shiki Tohno wrote:
I swear to god, if I can get a freaking decent headset this week, I'm making a recording of Nick's dialogue from this chapter. It feels way too awesome to not have it in audio. xD


Aww Shiki, you make-a me blush! :pearl-blush:

Serious Q though for those reading. I am probably about eight (give or take a few) chapters away from where I originally intended to end it. BUT my sequel (which I have also already started) flows so nicely from where this one would leave off that I'm just thinking of letting it run on. Plus my epilogue for the sequel (also written - hey I had to find my end point, right?) ties in so nicely with the original story at this stage I'm thinking a sequel is just totally redundant and that I should just let this one travel on and become a 50 chapter epic journey. What do you guys think?

Also coming up soon there will be a few chapters (not totally sure how many yet) that move back in time which means no Phoenix or Maya. They are important to the story, but I just hope you guys won't get bored with history chapters if you will.
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「これが、モノを殺すと言うことだ…!」

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kitsune13 wrote:
[...] I should just let this one travel on and become a 50 chapter epic journey. [...]
GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!!
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kitsune13 wrote:
So sweet you'll need a freaking filling! :edgy:

I look forward to it. (Now, there was this one tragic fanfic which set up a lengthy adorable romance and engagement, and then Phoenix got shot and died, it actually depressed me quite a lot)
Quote:
I had always planned for their first kiss to not be something sappy and sweet. There's too much drama in both their lives, I just wanted it to be a little more situationally driven. LOL That doesn't even make sense.

It makes total sense. Kind of fits these two as well, who don't seem to be able to admit their feelings, it takes Phoenix about to lose her to say it, and he doesn't even use words... it's far more powerful than the usual fluff scene.
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should just let this one travel on and become a 50 chapter epic journey. What do you guys think?

Probably mark the point where the new 'fic' starts as PART 2 or something.
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Sorry guys, I have to put this fic on hiatus.

Long story short, big family problems and I have to move interstate. Hopefully I can dabble with it again when I get settled.

Thanks for reading. Your comments make it worth writing and I'm glad you are enjoying it.
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:nixiesob:
Well I can only hope things improve.
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Nooo. =( I really hope everything goes smooth with moving and stuff.
When you'll start writing on this story again, I'll go and have a party. =)
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Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 20 - 24/08 ON HIATUS :(Topic%20Title

Gender: Female

Location: USA

Rank: Desk Jockey

Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:33 pm

Posts: 69

im checking back like everyday to see if a new part of the story has been updated :')
i hope everything is okay :/
i also hope you post the rest of your story soon, i really love it so far :)
that is all.
Re: That Look (Phoenix/Maya) CHAPTER 20 - 24/08 ON HIATUS :(Topic%20Title
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You'd better be nice to Mr. Judge!

Gender: Female

Location: the Netherlands

Rank: Medium-in-training

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:48 pm

Posts: 309

Well, as long this story is on hiatus, there won't be any updates, so I'm not sure it's useful to check it every day. ;)
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