windsnocturne: (Mia/Diego)
[personal profile] windsnocturne
Title: Cousin Mom
Fandom: Ace Attorney
Characters/Pairings: Mia/Diego, Pearl, Maya
Genre: Family, AU
Rating: PG
Summary: In a reality where Mia never died and Diego fared better after surviving the poisoning, the lovebirds find themselves with a sudden addition to their family.

Any, any, suddenly becoming a parent.

"She's coming home with us," Mia said for the fifth time, mostly to herself. It had been a month since Aunt Morgan's arrest and incarceration, and she still wasn't fully over the truth. The woman who'd taken care of her and Maya after their mother disappeared, made them the sweetest, softest strawberry desserts, an accomplice in a murder meant to frame Maya. Mia had acted as Phoenix's court council during the trial and had Diego sit with Pearl in the lobby, but eventually they'd had to tell her the truth.

The next few weeks were filled with talks and paperwork and Maya along with the elders deciding Mia and Diego were the perfect choice to take Pearl in. As of this moment, you're the only one with a stable career whom Mystic Pearl knows well enough. None of us want to see her dropped into a foster home, given how she is with strangers.

The trip to Kurain to finalize the adoption had been fairly uneventful; they'd signed the papers, then spent the day with Maya and Wright as a family. Now the trio were on their way home, Pearl asleep on Diego's lap as he stared listlessly out the window.

"We can handle this, right? I mean, she'll need less care than a baby would," he murmured. "And we were planning to adopt anyway."

"Yes, we were." Mia smiled sadly. She'd long accepted that thanks to the lingering effects of the poison she and Diego would never have children of their own, and they'd started talking about adoption not long after the diagnosis. Of course, neither of them had expected they'd be going through with their plan quite so soon. "But this isn't just a new family member, this is my little cousin. She's been through so much, and our work's so demanding..."

"Yeah, we'll have to reorganize the schedule. Maybe give Wright some more work at the office," Diego said. "Maya said she'd be glad to help out wherever she's needed, though."

"And we'll have to clear out the office in the apartment...or maybe we should be looking for a house," Mia sighed. "Plus, there's her education...I don't want to keep her shut away with only tutors, but how would she feel about going to school? She's not a good reader, she's shy with strangers..."

"I think she'll be okay, she's pretty tough." Diego smiled, then his face became serious. "What about me, though? I mean, my problem...what if she gets hurt? She'll pass out from blood loss before I realize what's going on." Ah, yes, the other lasting effect of the poison. While he wasn't technically blind, his vision was sorely limited without the visor he wore and he could no longer see the color red, with or without it.

"I'm sure she'd tell you if she was bleeding," Mia said, trying to sound more confident than she felt. "And it has a distinctive scent, you'd notice it anyway."

"Not always. And what if she was trying to pretend it was nothing? Kids can be stubborn."

"Pearl's not like that. However, she might hide it because she wouldn't want to cause trouble..." Mia shook her head. "What am I saying? You and I aren't going to let her get hurt that badly, and neither will Phoenix and Maya if she's with them! We'll have a strict rule about not touching sharp things without supervision, end of story." Diego laughed a little.

"Right, that'd be the sensible thing to do. Sorry, Kitten, this parenting stuff's new to me, too. Even with her amazing power she's still a little girl." He brushed his hand gently over Pearl's face. "I babysat a few times when I was a teenager, but babysitters just follow the parents' rules."

"I know what you mean. I used to babysit Maya, but half the time she would rope me into mischief and we'd both be in trouble when Aunt Morgan got home..." A pang of sadness struck her at the thought of her aunt. I used to want to be just like her if I ever had kids, but now... "Maybe we need to get some parenting books."

"I dunno, Kitten, I hear a lot of those books contradict each other," Diego chuckled. "Maybe we'd be better off winging it. Just go with common sense and all that."

"Wing it? Diego, this isn't a high school term paper!" Mia rolled her eyes. Not that she'd ever half-assed a term paper, but her classmates had and they weren't exactly quiet about this fact. "Maybe just one book."

"And there's the internet. I mean, as long as we stay away from WebMD or we'll think every sneeze or achy finger means she caught herpes from a water fountain." Diego stroked Pearl's cheek again. "But otherwise, think of it like a case. If you believe in your client, you win." The advice he'd given her long ago, and what she'd told Wright during his first case. Mia smiled, leaning against her husband's shoulder.

"I believe in us, and I believe in Pearl. We'll make this work."

Just then, Pearl began to stir and opened her eyes. Mia braced herself for confusion and crying, but instead she smiled up at Diego.

"Are we almost home, Mr. Armando?"

He smiled back, patting her on the head.

"Just ten more minutes. And when we get home we'll order some takeout and I'll make coffee. Er, for Mia and I. You'd probably rather have milk or hot chocolate!"

Pearl sat up on his lap and hugged both of them as best she could.

"Thanks, Mr. Armando."

"Hey," he said, "call me Diego."

Mia smiled.

I think this is going to work out fine.


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