Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney / Gyakuten Saiban, its characters and settings, are property of Capcom, and are being used here without permission.  This fic is rated NC-17 for adult male/male content and some violent material.  C&C welcome and appreciated.




One of Every Color

Chapter 10

Friday, September 20h, 2019.  12:13 pm




Phoenix had peeked at the address Urami had given him before handing it off to the cab driver, so he wasn't surprised when they pulled into a less reputable section the city.  The streets were lined with rundown apartment buildings, dirty bars, and alleys that managed to look dark and dangerous even at the height of the afternoon.  He was still more concerned with what Urami might have to say, rather than the location.  Court had gone as well as anyone could have expected, given the case.  Anything she had to complain about was probably not something he could fix.


Phoenix stepped out of the cab, giving the driver a few extra dollars and asking him to stick around a while, so he'd have a ride back--the idea of being stuck in this part of town with just Urami and no way out was not at all appealing.  Figuring he already knew where Urami would want to meet him, he moved down the sidewalk to put himself in front of the burnt out shell of what had once been a duplex.


The crime scene.  Phoenix took in the sight of the dilapidated structure.  There wasn't much left of the building.  No one had bothered to make anything of the lot in the past few years; he could even still see scorch marks on the surrounding buildings.  There was a frame that might have once been a window, and a bathtub near the back.  The only thing that didn't seem to have been decimated by the fire was the phone booth on the corner that Chassie had been in that night.  It was filthy and didn't look like it had been used in years, but it was intact.


A single black car pulled up behind the taxi, which must have spooked the driver.  He glanced between his fare and the man in black stepping out of the vehicle, and with a helpless shrug he pulled away from the curb.  Phoenix jumped, and tried to call after him, but by then the cab was already driving away.  The driver shot him a grim smirk as if to say "You're on your own."


Phoenix sighed, watching as his getaway vehicle sped off.  Trapped.  He reminded himself again that it was in Urami's best interests to keep him alive as he turned to wait for her.  Sure enough, she slipped out of the car--she must have changed vehicles along the way.  She whispered a few words to her driver before heading for Phoenix. 


Here goes.  Phoenix loosened his tie as she approached.  "Um…Miss Urami.  You, uh, wanted to talk?"


"I thought this would be…more convenient for you," she told him, turning to face the old building.  "In case anyone followed you.  You're merely investigating your case with a related party….  Isn't that better than coming home with me…?"


"Yes," Phoenix answered quickly.  He wasn't sure if he was honestly thankful for her discretion, if it could be called that, but he might as well act like he was.  "Though…we could have talked at my office."


"I wanted you to see this…."  Urami was still staring at where the duplex had been, her eyes unfocused.  He imagined she must have been remembering what it looked like intact.  "You didn't come to this scene in your investigation…did you?"


Phoenix frowned.  Is she saying I missed something?  "I didn't.  I read it had been completely burned down--there isn't any evidence left here, and even if there was, it wouldn't be worth anything.  It's been four years."


"Yes, you're right…."  Urami lifted a hand, slowly, pointing towards the far corner of the rotting foundation.  "I came in through the back.  Not like Chassie."


Phoenix stared at her, his fingertips going a little numb.  "What…?"


"Through the back," Urami said again.  She lowered her hand just as slowly.  "By the stairs to the basement.  I took the wine from Mr. Hoff's cabinet.  He had a collection."


She's…confessing.  Phoenix shifted anxiously on his feet.  He wasn't supposed to be hearing this, and he knew nothing good would come of it.


"I went into the basement, and--"


"Urami," Phoenix interrupted, his gaze sweeping about quickly in sudden paranoia.  "You don't have to tell me this.  I already agreed--"


"I know…what you must be thinking."  Urami took a few steps forward, and turned so they were face to face.  "After today….  But that clinic report is real.  I know you don't like me…but you have to believe that."


For so small a woman Urami was certainly intimidating, and yet her words actually put Phoenix a little at ease.  "You really care about her, don't you," he murmured.  "If you're willing to go this far to convince me."  He felt he was maybe coming to understand her better; in her own, twisted way, her confession was an offering of trust.  As foolish as it was, he was beginning to honestly believe she had no intention of harming him.


"We are each risking our lives for each other."  Urami tilted her head slightly, and for once her tone was sincere instead of eerie and mocking.  "It's what friends do…."


Phoenix smiled grimly.  "Since we're being honest," he attempted, "why don't you tell me the real reason you did it?"


Urami rolled her eyes to the side.  "I was protecting her…."


"From Hoff?"


"…Yes…."  Urami folded her hands in front of her.  "Chassie…is a poor judge of character.  She loved him.  When she called me…I knew she would never forgive Mr. Hoff for what he had done to her.  She would never leave him alone…."


Phoenix's brow furrowed.  Nothing like a woman scorned, I guess. 


"But when Mr. Hoff starting seeing Ann…he connected himself to Mr. Arky, and Bluecorp," Urami continued.  "He could have used Bluecorp's power against her...which was once quite a bit, as you know.  I couldn't let that happen to her."


"Urami…."  Her explanation approached actual reason, but Phoenix still couldn't be satisfied with an answer like that.  "You need to stop this," he told her seriously.  "This isn't about you, and whatever you think you had to do.  It's about Chassie.  Right?"  He was treading dangerous territory, but Urami's continued pressure was only frustrating him in what could have been a much simpler case.  "I already know you're a murderer.  I believe that Chassie is innocent.  All right?"


Urami returned his gaze calmly.  He liked to think he was getting better at reading her, and she didn't appear offended.  "All right…" she finally conceded.  She lowered her head slightly.  "I will not meddle."


"Good."  Phoenix sighed, glancing over the ruined building one last time.  It's just rubble now.  There's nothing left here.  "Then…can you at least drop me off at my office?  I'm not hitch-hiking out of this neighborhood."


"Of course…."  Urami turned, smiling faintly as she led the way back to her car.


They sat together in the back as her driver pulled away from the sidewalk.  Phoenix kept as close to the door as he could manage, staring out the window.  He wasn't interested in anything else Urami had to say.  Of course, that didn't keep her from talking.


"The police…they are getting better, you know," she told him slowly.  "I would know.  Their lawyers are more careful.  Pretty soon…they won't make so many mistakes."


Phoenix frowned at the buildings passing by.  "What's your point?"


"If you remain so picky about your clients…you won't be able to keep your practice up for much longer…."


"I know what you're offering me.  The answer is no."  When they arrest you for setting fire to the Prosecutors' building, it won't be me defending you, Phoenix thought bitterly.


Urami chuckled.  "Maybe you should start a civil practice instead.  I'm sure it's much less…stressful."


She dropped Phoenix off at his office, as he'd asked, and said only a polite goodbye before driving off once more.  As Phoenix watched her leave, he couldn't help feeling that there was still something he was missing.  Urami had certainly gone out of her way to further convince him of Chassie's innocence, which didn't seem necessary given how much effort he'd already devoted to her case.  He hadn't even thought their first day of court went that poorly, considering it was Miles they were up against and Hotta's limited credibility.  She could have just been nervous for her friend, but something was sticking at the back of Phoenix's mind.


Edgeworth said he was going to try and find the doctor that worked on Chassie.  His testimony would make the case absolute.  Since I have all weekend, I might as well do what I can to find him, too.


Phoenix stopped for a bite to eat before heading out once more.




"Is that so…?  I see.  Thank you, Detective."


Miles hung up and frowned down at the report he held in his hand.  He was still getting over the surprise of discovering it, so it wasn't difficult for him to accept the other news Gumshoe had to tell him: Dr. Hotta's clinic report was legitimate.  They were able to match the handwriting on it to other, older reports issued by the same doctor, and there were no signs of any kind of forgery.  It was a solid alibi.  Chassie could not have set the fire.


But there's still something very wrong with this case.  Miles tugged thoughtfully at his cravat as he read this new report over again.  He had been right to bully it out of Dr. Hotta, and though it still had to go to the lab for processing, he was already trying to find an explanation.


This is what Urami didn't want me to find, he told himself.  It certainly complicates things.  But why did she risk Gander's freedom to hide it?


He was still considering when he heard a car door close, and paranoia made him glance up.  He wasn't surprised to see Phoenix climbing out of a taxi.  What perfect timing.  He probably could have avoided him, keeping the evidence to himself as Phoenix had done, but it didn't seem worth it.  Phoenix would probably get the truth out of Dr. Hotta anyway.


"Wright!"  Miles waved to him from where he stood leaning against the side of his car.  "Over here."


Phoenix blinked, but he wasn't startled by seeing Miles there at the clinic, either.  As he drew closer, Miles noted that he looked exhausted, even though it was still fairly early in the afternoon.  He frowned.  "Are you all right?"


"Hm?  Yeah, of course."  Phoenix straightened his suit front.  "I thought you might still be here.  Any leads on the doctor?"


"He's overseas," Miles admitted.  "We won't be able to subpoena him for testimony.  But I did find this."  He handed the paper over.


Phoenix took it, scanning its contents.  His face underwent a more animated version of the transformation Miles had experienced earlier: confusion, shock, and more confusion.  His crooked eyebrows drew together.  "This is a birth certificate."


"I noticed."


Phoenix read over it again.  "For…is this real?"  He looked back to Miles, the fatigue deepening the lines in his face in light of this new discovery.  "Chassie had a son?"


Miles nodded grimly.  "It hasn't been confirmed in the lab yet.  We'll have to check the document for forgeries, and of course do a DNA test.  I've already asked Detective Gumshoe to put in an order to have the bodies exhumed."


"Wait--wait a minute."  Phoenix shook his head doggedly.  "You think the baby…that little boy that died in the fire, that was Chassie's son?"


"If this document is real, Chassie has a son," Miles reasoned.  "He had to have ended up somewhere.  When we pulled the bodies out of that building four years ago, we tested the baby against Mr. Hoff--it was his son.  We couldn't find any documentation on the birth so we assumed Ann was the mother."  Miles plucked the certificate out of Phoenix's hands; he was too bewildered to stop him.  "Dr. Hotta kept this hidden.  But now that we have it, we can reexamine the baby, and check it against Chassie's DNA."


Phoenix's body wavered, and he turned to lean his back against the car Miles was also using.  He really didn't look very well.  "I take it she didn't tell you," Miles surmised.


Phoenix rubbed his eyes wearily.  "She's still lying to me." 


Of course she is.  Miles nearly chastised him for his naivety, but from the look of Phoenix's troubled face, he was doing enough of that himself.  He wondered how much of a burden it must have been, to be that trusting.  "Wright…."


"Which means…Urami was trying to distract me."  Phoenix shook his head again.  "She's only badgering me because she's hiding something else."


He looked to Miles, and his face was so tired and distraught it could have softened a heart even harder than Miles'.  "What am I doing, Edgeworth?  Really.  I don't know what to think anymore…."


Miles folded his new evidence, tucking it into his coat.  Only the inks on it would serve useful, so he wouldn’t have to worry about preserving any fingerprints.  "I can't tell you what to think, Wright.  But if it makes you feel any better, the clinic report you presented in court today turned out to be legitimate."


Phoenix snorted.  "No kidding?"


We can't talk here.  Miles glanced around.  Though the clinic parking lot was half empty and devoid of people at the moment, they were still too out in the open for his liking.  He patted Phoenix's shoulder.  "Get in," he instructed.  "Let's take a ride."


"A ride?" Phoenix echoed.  He watched, puzzled, as Miles moved around to the driver's side.  "A ride where?"


"Just get in the car, all right?  We need to talk."


His wording must have caught Phoenix's attention, as he blushed a little as he finally slid into the passenger seat.  Seeing it almost made Miles redden in return.  Now still isn't the time to worry about things like that.  Butit's not exactly easy to forget, either.  He himself had spent most of the night before over-thinking the encounter, trying to determine what it meant and what he intended to do about it.  If it were anyone else but Phoenix, it would have been so much easier.


Miles took his seat behind the wheel and pulled them away from the clinic.  First things first.  "The clinic report is real," he told Phoenix, figuring they should at least give conversation precedence to the case at hand.  "Our lab wasn't able to find any evidence that Dr. Hotta faked any of the information on it.  It's…a sound alibi."


It was a sobering admission for him, as his friend must have realized.  Phoenix watched him as he relaxed in his seat.  "What are you going to do?"


"Keep looking," Miles said immediately.  "There's more to this case than just whether or not Chassie started the fire herself."


"You won't find anything," Phoenix replied glumly.  "She's covered her tracks too well.  They're both going free."


Miles frowned.  "That doesn't sound like you."


"I took this case because I wanted to save an innocent woman."  Phoenix's voice was tipping defensively.  "And I have, haven't I?  The report is real--that's all I need to prove she didn't do it.  That's enough."


Miles glanced at him; Phoenix's slumped posture and heavy eyes were unfamiliar, and raised in him a strange sensation of anxiety.  They drove on a few minutes in silence until he spotted an opportunity.  Miles turned hard into the driveway of an old, abandoned restaurant.  Phoenix grabbed at his chair against the inertia as Miles' sports car swerved to the back of the lot.  The property was closed in by a high wooden fence on one side, and tall, thick shrubbery on the other.  It wasn't much, but it was the closest to privacy Miles could rely on at the moment.


He shut off the engine and unbuckled, and turned as much as he could in his seat so that he was facing his passenger.  "What happened when you left court today?"


"Geez, Edgeworth, are you trying to--"




Phoenix glared at him in an attempt at stubbornness, but he was no match for Miles' interrogation face.  He relented with a quiet sigh.  "I talked to Urami."


Miles' fists tightened in sudden protectiveness.  "Did she threaten you?"


"No--no, not…exactly."  Phoenix scratched the back of his neck.  "She might, if I tell you what she told me."


So that's how it is.  Miles studied his friend's face, drawing out the clues he needed from it.  There were only so many things that could upset Phoenix so visibly.  "You really are no good with criminals, are you," he said thoughtfully.


"How can you be good with criminals?" Phoenix asked loudly.  "I don't know how you deal with these people."  He shifted in his seat, clearly agitated, his gaze fixed on the dashboard.  "I'm doing everything I can for Chassie, and she's still lying to me!  And I know that's not what matters.  I know it's the fire she's being tried for, and that she couldn't have done it.  That should be enough.  That's all a defense attorney is supposed to do."


"You're wondering," Miles hazarded carefully, "if this new evidence will somehow lead us to the real arsonist."


"Why else would she hide it?  It certainly proves Chassie's innocence even more--why would she set fire to a building her own son was in?"  He snorted irritably.  "Urami's only protecting herself now.  Somehow."


I'll pretend I didn't hear that.  "It's not your job to catch criminals, Wright."


"I know, but…."  Phoenix shook his head in frustration.  "I can't stand watching her go free.  She's only going to hurt more people, and I can't forgive her for that.  Not for…what she almost did to you…."


Miles' eyes widened slightly as he watched Phoenix, and the distraught expression he was making.  His sincerity and concern were touching, in a way Miles only felt when around him.  He reached out, closing his hand over Phoenix's and holding it against the seat between them.


"Listen, Wright," Miles told him seriously.  "You've been lucky until now.  Even most detectives aren't as good at finding the truth as you are…well-meaning as they might be."  He shook himself slightly and continued.  "But you can't do everything.  You just worry about doing your job, and I'll worry about mine.  Do you understand?"




"You trust me, don't you?"


Phoenix's hand turned and tightened around Miles', and he met his stern eyes with greater conviction.  "Of course."


"So trust me."


Phoenix nodded slowly.  His bright blue eyes darted briefly down to their joined hands, prompting the same from Miles, reminding them each of the contact of skin against skin.  It was foolish of them to be so easily distracted from their serious talk.  There was another reason I wanted to talk to him, Miles recalled as he reached out with his free hand to undo Phoenix's seatbelt.  It doesn't look like he knows what to think about yesterday, either.  But he didn't feel like "talking" about it at the moment.  Phoenix's fingers had already gone stiff against his, his tongue feathering quickly over dry lips.  He was vulnerable and much too tempting.


Miles leaned in.  It was awkward in the front of his car, but Phoenix shifted, too, and they were able to meet in a tender kiss.  Each was soft and almost hesitant in their affections.  Miles wasn't used to the slow pace, but it was…charming, in a way.  He could feel that Phoenix was testing him.  Neither was as emotional as they had been the day before, and it allowed them greater objectivity.  Miles wondered, briefly, if Phoenix would finally come to realize it was a man he was with and change his mind….


But Phoenix didn't retreat.  He even shivered a little as he tried to lean in for a deeper kiss.  And though Miles had feared his own interest would turn to uncertainty when faced with this second chance, he found himself more eager than ever.  There was honest admiration in Phoenix's gentle kisses, so unlike the lustful advances of his former lovers.


They drew apart as slowly as they'd come together.  Phoenix was blushing darkly, and Miles held back his own comments to wait for him to say what was on his mind.  From the look of it, he was struggling with difficult thoughts.  "Edgeworth…."  Phoenix licked his lips again as his brow furrowed.  "I don't know how to handle this," he confessed.


Miles continued to watch him, uncertain if the sudden weight in his stomach was a feeling of disappointment.  Not that he knew how to handle this situation any better than Phoenix.  "You've never been with a man," he surmised.


"Well…no."  Phoenix gulped.  His eyes lowered to their hands once more, making Miles wonder if they were easier to look at than his face.  "I never had…the inclination, really.  Or the opportunity…."


Miles let go of him.  He knew that Phoenix's reaction towards him and this unexpected attraction was only natural, but it reminded him of the situation they were really in.  He was still too pragmatic in his relationships to be fooled by one afternoon of sweet kisses.


But Phoenix didn't let his hand get far.  Something about the contact must have drawn his attention; his eyes narrowed in curiosity as he drew his fingers along the back of Miles' palm.  It…tickled, a little, enough that Miles was content to let him do as he liked.


"Wright."  Miles watched with his own interest as Phoenix explored the contours of his hands with light fingertips.  "I'm really not very good at this sort of thing, you know."


Phoenix smiled.  "I know."  He traced Miles' fingers with his own, and the softer web of skin between each knuckle.  "Neither am I, remember?"


Miles shivered, not sure if it was because of Phoenix's caress or the quiet, amused face he was making.  How either could be so effectively enticing was beyond him.  "I'd like to think we're…good friends by now," Miles continued, though his mouth had gone dry.  "And you know I can't say that about a lot of people--"


"Is this the 'let's not ruin our friendship' speech?" Phoenix interrupted cautiously.


"It's…no.  It's not."  Miles pursed his lips, dissatisfied with his own inability to communicate his jumbled thoughts.  He blamed his trembling hand, and finally took Phoenix's once more to still them both.  "Honestly, I'm not sure which speech it is."


Phoenix chuckled, and the sound of it helped put Miles at ease.  "For two lawyers, we're sure awful at expressing ourselves."


Miles sighed.  "True enough," he agreed with a thin smile.


They met each other's gaze again and, thankfully, Phoenix found a way to speak his thoughts.  "We are good friends," he assured.  "I trust you.  And after yesterday…"  He blushed darkly.  "Well, I haven't been able to put it out of mind, that maybe…it's more than that.  Would that be so awful, if it were?"


"No," Miles answered too quickly.  "It wouldn't."


I just don't know what to do about it.  Watching Phoenix now, he felt he understood the real problem hanging between them and this tenuous attraction; he had never had a lover like Phoenix before.  Those he trusted and those he went to for pleasure were not one and the same in his mind.  Phoenix was already so close to him now he wasn't sure what would happen if those lines finally blurred, let alone…how it might change him.  The thought was as intimidating as it was exciting.


And Phoenix is just as inexperienced.  What ifI make a mistake?  Miles' fingers tightened.  What if I just end up hurting him?


As he considered, Phoenix leaned forward again, and his lips erased some of those fears.  Phoenix was already gaining confidence with each new kiss.  The added pressure coupled with his partially-restrained enthusiasm was almost enough to convince Miles that inexperience wasn't so terrible a hurdle after all.


Still isn't the time for this.


Miles pulled back reluctantly.  "We still have a lot of work to do," he murmured, stretching his cramped fingers.  Phoenix finally let him go.  "And we're still in a parking lot."


Phoenix chuckled as he buckled himself back in.  "I guess this'll have to wait."


Miles buckled as well, thinking things over as he started the car back up.  "I'll come over tomorrow," he decided.  "There will still be too much press around both our places tonight.  It should be all right, by tomorrow evening."


"Really…?"  Phoenix sounded so much like a teenager then it was almost comical.  He smirked.  "You gonna bring dinner and make it a date?"


A date?  Miles frowned as he pulled out of the parking lot.  "I don't 'date'," he protested.  "But…I will bring dinner."


"Huh?  I was just kidding…."


"I said I'll bring something," Miles insisted.  He never backed down from his word.  "I'll be there at six."


Miles cast a quick glance at Phoenix as he merged back into traffic; the defense attorney was blushing again, and looking very pleased with himself.  If not still exhausted.


"All right.  I'll see you then."



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