Characters: Godot and Trucy Wright
Word Count: 1913
Summary: While on his deathbed, Godot gets a line of visitors, ending with one very precocious little girl.
filled with traps and tricks.
- Valant Gramarye
His name was Godot.
No, that wasn’t true anymore. He was only Diego Armando. A sick man. Like all murderers in this country, he was sentenced to death. However, unlike most murderers in the country, he was a dying man. He wouldn’t live to see the end of the death sentence handed down to him by the courts. He’d already been handed his death sentence seven years ago by a red-headed devil. He’d be seeing her again soon; after all, death was just around the corner for Diego Armando.
At least the second, redundant, death sentence Diego had received had been deserved – if this was the price he’d have to pay for his sins, his failures, then he would pay it. In jail, he felt a little closer to salvation, a little closer to being deserving of Mia’s forgiveness. This time, he knew everything was his fault.
That’s why he protested when they transferred him out of prison, instead putting him in hospital, as only a proper medical facility had the ability to deal with his illness. However, Diego wasn’t sure he could achieve his closure there. It felt like that damned Dahlia Hawthorne was still interfering with his life again, even this close to death, and he hated it.
However, after several weeks with not even enough energy to leave his bed, Diego came to accept it as another form of confinement – as another form of penance. Perhaps, even here, he could eventually reach his peace.
The only thing he wasn’t expecting was the visitors.
Maya Fey was one of the first – she wanted to thank him again, it seemed. He asked her what she was thanking him for – he’d caused more problems than resolutions.
She specified: she wanted to thank him for caring.
His voice was getting weaker by then, but still, he reminded her with a laugh bitterer than any coffee that he’d drunk in his life, that it’d been for Mia – all for Mia. He’d expected her to look hurt, or at the very least shocked, as stronger men than her or him had been damaged by the truth.
But instead, she shook her head, and said she understood. That’s what she had meant, after all: thank you for looking out for Sis.
Maya Fey was crying when she left – but she had a smile on her face as well.
Mia and Maya’s little cousin Pearl was another one of the visitors in his room. It’d been a while since Maya’s visit, so long, in fact, that Diego asked the girl how she’d gotten here. Pearl told him she’d walked. Despite Diego’s confinement in his bed, he knew the hospital was somewhere in Los Angeles’s city limits. Whether or not this meant that Pearl was staying in LA or if she had, in fact, walked all the way from Kurain village as he knew she would not shy away from doing, he never got the chance to ask, because at that moment, Pearl sat on the end of his bed, and said that she didn’t blame him for anything.
Diego didn’t know what to say to that, tried to laugh it away too, but Pearl stood her ground and said she agreed with Mystic Maya – she understood as well. Diego let her go, then, because he didn’t know what to say.
The next person to see him was Sister Iris, and this visit was one that caused him the greatest trepidation because he knew if he’d had trouble talking to Pearl, then he’d be unable to speak with Iris. In the end, Diego wasn’t sure if Iris was one of the people he wanted or deserved forgiveness from, insofar as he deserved forgiveness from everyone.
It seemed, however, that Iris was mostly content to talk. For someone who was so apparently shy, it was easy for people to overlook her determination. She told him about her time in prison, and Diego felt exposed then. He was the reason she’d gone through all that, but instead of immediately thanking him, she continued with her story, telling him what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. She summed it up by saying it had been a motivating, previously not thought of, but necessary experience.
He wondered if this was Iris’s way of saying that she didn’t mind what had happened, and for some reason, that discomforted him. Why was he the only one, now, who realised the truth – that if it hadn’t been for him, everyone would be happier?
Iris, however, seemed content regardless, and Diego instead decided to try and feel happy for her instead.
Even Franziska von Karma came to visit with a bouquet of flowers and a scowl on her face. When Diego laughed and thanked her sarcastically, she glared at him, the hold on the whip she seemed to always have in hands tightening. But then her gaze softened, pitying, almost, and Diego hated that.
“Even I can’t whip a dying fool,” Franziska said, and that was when Diego realised that Franziska von Karma would always have the subtlety of a spoonful of salt in a coffee.
The next visitors would be his last. In all honesty, Diego hadn’t expected Phoenix Wright to visit him, but that surprise was nothing in comparison to the man’s current appearance – he was dressed like a vagrant. In other words, he looked like Diego felt.
But that wasn’t the biggest surprise of all.
The most surprising thing Phoenix Wright had in store for Diego that day was the fact that Phoenix had a daughter. Godot had known the man recently – as recently as he could, now the passage of time seemed to have come to a standstill – and he didn’t seem old enough to have a daughter this girl’s age. “Say hello to Mr. Armando, Trucy,” Wright said, before nudging his beanie down over an eye and walking out the door again.
Bad as his eyesight was right now, Diego knew that was no ordinary hat. In a way, it reminded him of the mask he used to wear, if not in functionality, then in intent. But it was no use to dwell on that now, no point in wondering what had become of Phoenix Wright. That was a different world; a world that had been content in moving on without him. He wasn’t Godot anymore – no-one waited for him.
He’d almost forgotten the girl, almost closed his eyes and fallen asleep, awaiting the inevitable when she chirped up. “Hello, Mr. Armando,” she said, tipping her hat, a cheerful lilt in her voice. “Daddy’s told me some things about you.”
“Oh?” Diego asked, wondering what, possibly, Phoenix Wright could’ve told her that would’ve been a suitable for a girl her age.
“Well, actually,” the girl answered, her arms crossed over her chest, eyes skyward, “he didn’t tell me anything, really.” The she looked at him directly, gaze piercing. In that moment, Diego felt more vulnerable then ever – strange, that, he’d grown used to the feeling, confined to a hospital bed as he was. “You’re dying, aren’t you?” the girl asked shrewdly.
He laughed then, laughed at her innocence that allowed her to ask such a question so directly, without the hostility that came from such a person like Franziska von Karma. “Yeah, I am – Trucy, was it?”
The girl – Trucy – nodded, before hoisting herself up onto the end of Diego’s bed; she was still short, maybe nine or ten years old, legs swinging off the edge, still not long enough to reach the floor. She seemed to mull this over, head resting on the palm of her hand, almost as though she was searching for the right words. And Diego wasn’t sure if she didn’t manage to find them, or just had a strange perception on right and wrong, but finally she came to a decision and said, “Well, that’s no fun!”
Diego’s laugh was becoming drier and drier. He used to be good with kids. Back before this all started, back when he was a hot-shot attorney with a big head and bigger dreams, he’d wanted to have a family. He’d even found the right girl, finally, and then – everything had come crashing down. Life? Was no fun at all.
If Trucy found Diego’s laugh off-putting, she didn’t let on. Instead, she continued to swing her legs, pressing forward. “You know, if I die?” she said, and there seemed to be a certain vulnerability in the way she didn’t think it was inevitable, that in someway, it could be avoided, “it would be in a grand illusion. The grandest illusion. One moment, I’d be there, and the next, I’d be gone. Poof!” She waved her hands in the air, as if she was performing some sort of magic trick.
Diego found that he couldn’t stop laughing – it was funny, the way this girl believed that you could just disappear. Diego had always been a man, a proud man, the type who never went down without a fight. However, anything would be better than wasting away pathetically like this, without even enough energy to turn over. Since he wasn’t nine years old, he knew that disappearing simply wasn’t a possibility.
Trucy interpreted Diego’s laughter as a sign she had said something humourous, although Diego knew she couldn’t tell what by the way she joined in with her own giggles, tentative, like she’d told a joke but messed up on the punch line. They had gone on long enough, both of them laughing at nothing in particular when Trucy became sombre once more, crossing her arms over her chest. “Mr. Armando,” she said, stretching her arms – and if Diego thought that would be the extent of her actions, he was mistaken, because at that moment, she flopped backwards, her head on the pillow. “Isn’t it lonely, being all by yourself? Don’t you need somebody to talk to?”
Child-like innocence was so bittersweet he had to stop laughing. “Ha!” he said, doing his best to look at her properly, so she could see the face of this weary, dying man, “Sorry, baby kitten, I don’t do sleepovers.”
The only reaction the girl had to the nickname was to stick her lower lip out. “I don’t care,” she argued. “I’ll stay here until Daddy gets back.”
He saw no reason to push her away; no longer had the energy to – he was becoming tired, his already damaged vision fading even further.
Everything became a blur.
He felt a rustle of movement besides him – something brush his ear. “Got it!” he heard Trucy happily exclaim, holding something in her hands that Diego couldn’t see. He could only assume she had played some little party trick.
“Got what?” he asked.
She placed something against his face; petals tickled his nose. And for the first time, he was really laughing, not just because of the way the flower, as he supposed it was, was irritating his face, but just because the girl had thought to do that, that she would waste her time sitting here, entertaining a dead man.
He closed his eyes, then: felt the flower go away.
Felt nothing at all, really.
Nothing, but laughter. Funny how life worked, wasn’t it? Funny how children could be so innocent – the gift of a flower; no, in his dying moments – the gift of the illusion of life.