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 11

Saturday, September 21st, 2019.  9:28 a.m.




"You can't keep me from seeing her," Phoenix argued.  He was growing increasingly frustrated with the guard on duty, and the man's cold, unimpassioned face wasn't helping any.  "I'm her attorney.  There's new evidence, and I need to speak to her."


"I'm afraid I can't do that," the guard said once more.  "Miss Gander is in questioning."


"She was in questioning all of yesterday evening.  What could they possibly have left to ask her?"


The guard shook his head stubbornly.  "I'm sorry, Sir, but I've been ordered not to allow any visitors.  You're going to have to leave."


Phoenix glared at him, but it didn't seem to be doing any good.  After fifteen minutes of arguing he finally gave up and stalked out of the detention center in as poor a mood as he'd entered it.  How am I supposed to prepare for court on Monday if I can't even talk to my client? he thought sourly.  I'm not even sure what this new evidence means.  He sighed as he made his way back to the bus stop, hoping he hadn't missed the 9:30.  Was that baby really Chassie's?  She had to have known.  But how could Urami burn the building down knowing he was in there?  And why hide it?




Phoenix perked as he noticed the bus approaching, and he hurried to reach the stop.  Unless Urami is somehow hiding it from Chassie, too.  If Chassie knew Urami killed her son, would she still be protecting her?  There has to be truth in here somewhere.


The bus halted, and Phoenix showed his bus pass and moved to the back.  It was mostly empty but he did hear someone whisper his name to another passenger.  At least his fame was going to last a while longer.  Ignoring the eyes on him, Phoenix took a seat.


There is one other person I can ask.  Phoenix pulled out his cell phone and stared at it distastefully.  If I confront Urami with this new evidence, she might reveal something.  Or get me killed.  He rolled his phone back and forth between his hands as he considered.  But Edgeworth said to trust him.  Freeing Chassie is my job.  Nailing Urami is his.


ButI want to know the truth.


His phone rang, startling Phoenix into almost dropping it.  A quick glance at the display showed a familiar but unexpected number, and he sat up a little straighter as he answered.  "Hello?"


"Nick!"  Sure enough, Maya's bright voice rang in his ear.  "What's going on there?  I just read about you in the news--you're working for the mob!?"


Phoenix smiled; despite everything, he was ridiculously glad to hear from her.  "You know it's not like that.  She's just a client."


"A client who works for the mob!?"


Phoenix hadn't realized how much he missed having Maya around--nothing she said now could bother him.  "No, Maya, she just got caught up in something too big for her.  It's turning into…quite a complicated case."


"Really?  You should have told me sooner," she pouted at him.  "I'm not so busy I can't give you a hand, you know."


He was tempted to take her up on that--another welcomed, familiar face would probably do him a world of good just about then.  But he remembered quickly enough just what he was up against.  If Miles did manage to find anything against Urami, things could become ugly very quickly, and the last thing he wanted was for Maya or even Pearl to get involved. 


And Edgeworth is coming over tonight, he reminded himself, swallowing back the little flutter in his stomach.  Fordinner.  The thought of having to explain anything concerning Miles and him to Maya was almost as unappealing.


"It's all right," he assured her.  "This case has some…dangerous people mixed up in it.  I don't want you to get in trouble for helping me."


"I'm not scared of the mob," Maya insisted.


"I know, I know."  Phoenix's grin softened.  "But…I'm already in pretty deep.  You know I always appreciate your help, Maya, but this is something I have to finish on my own.  It's important to me.  Okay?"


Maya was quiet a moment, and when she spoke again her voice had lowered somewhat.  "Okay, Nick.  I understand."


"Thanks, Maya."  She really is growing up, he thought.  "I'm glad you called," he added.  "It's good to hear from you.  Maybe once this case is over I'll come visit you and Pearl in the village."


"It's boring here--we'll come visit you," Maya replied, cheerful once more.  "We'll go out for burgers like old times, okay?"


"Yeah…yeah, we'll do that."  Phoenix glanced out the window, taking note of where he was.  "Listen, my stop's coming up.  I'll call you once this has all blown over."


"Sure thing.  Good luck, Nick!  We'll be rooting for ya."


"Thanks, Maya.  Talk to you soon."


They each hung up, and Phoenix tucked his phone away as the bus turned the corner towards his stop.  It was only a short call but he felt energized somehow, with that brief renewed contact.  Edgeworth was right, he thought as he pushed himself up.  I can't take people for granted--especially those I care about. 


The bus slowed to a halt, and Phoenix hopped off along with two others.  And Edgeworth himself, most of all.  I'll have to be ready for…just about anything tonight.  Damn, what am I going to do until then?  He sat himself down on the bus stop's bench to collect his thoughts.


Clouds were rolling in off the horizon, thick and dark and huge.  Their steady approach was already sending a cold chill into the air, and Phoenix tugged his jacket closed.  Is that supposed to be some kind of omen? he thought with a dry smirk. 


It's not very funny.




Miles stood with his arms crossed in a corner of the lab as he watched the technician go about her work.  He could tell he was making her uncomfortable, but he wasn't about to wait outside for these results.  He wanted to know as soon as possible.


The machine made a dull ping noise, and at the other end of the room a printer spat out the finished report.  The technician retrieved it hastily and scanned the page.


"Well?" Miles asked impatiently.


"We have a match," she reported with relief--probably more pleased that Miles would be leaving than with the actual results.  "The baby that died in the fire was the son of Jack Hoff and Chassie Gander."


She handed the paper over for Miles to see.  He nodded to himself.  "Good.  Good work."


"Thank you, Sir."


Miles took the report with him as he exited the lab, and returned to the lobby where Gumshoe was waiting for him.  He related the news.


"So 'William Gander' really was her son, huh?" Gumshoe said thoughtfully.  "So what was'e doing with Hoff and Arky?"


"Just because I'm a prosecutor," Miles replied, "does not mean I understand what a criminal thinks.  Who knows?"  He tucked the paper into his briefcase as they turned to head for the door.  "She tried to keep the birth a secret, so there aren't any records about the baby, let alone some kind of custody battle.  And she still hasn't cracked to interrogation."


Gumshoe watched him as they walked to Miles' car.  "Do you…still believe it was her?" he asked carefully, wary of offending him.  "If the clinic report is real, and her own son was in the building…she couldn't have started the fire…right….?"


"I still have another day to decide what I believe," Miles said, keeping his gaze straight ahead.  "There's more evidence out there--I know there is.  We just have to find it, and put it together."


"If only we knew where to look…."


Miles smirked at him.  "You're not giving up on me already, are you, Detective?"


"N-No, Sir!" Gumshoe was quick to answer.  "Not at all!"


"Good.  Because I still need your help."


They climbed into Miles car, but before he started the engine Miles paused, frowning to himself.  "Detective…."  He set his hands on the steering wheel, watching the back of his palm.  "Can I ask you something?"


"Hm?"  Gumshoe nodded, looking perplexed by Miles' suddenly cautious tone.  "Sure, Pal."


"What do you…."  Miles glanced at him sideways.  "…usually eat for dinner?"


Gumshoe blinked.  "Dinner?"


"Yes, you know--the meal after lunch, before dessert.  What do you eat?"


"Um…."  Gumshoe scratched the back of his neck.  "Microwave dinners, I guess.  Hot dogs.  Sometimes I order a pizza…."


Miles frowned.  Phoenix does buy that cheap beer, so chances are he eats cheap, too.  But I am not bringing hot dogs or pizza.  "Let's say you were having dinner with…someone else," Miles tried again.


"Like a date?" Gumshoe immediately jumped to conclusions.  He looked at his companion with something nearing shock.


"No--not a date," Miles corrected quickly.  "Just dinner with…a fellow detective or something."  This is not very convincing.  "What would you want to eat?"


Gumshoe's brow furrowed in deep thought, giving much more consideration to the question than Miles thought was necessary.  "Gee, I dunno, Pal," he finally said.  "When me'nd the other officers get food, it's usually either at the deli or a bar and grill kind of joint.  Steaks and burgers and such."


"I see."  Miles sighed--that wasn't helpful at all.  "What horrible nutrition…."


Gumshoe shrugged helplessly.  "Uh…sorry?"


"Never mind."  Miles started up the car and buckled his seat belt.  "One of these days, I'm going to take you out for real food, Gumshoe.  Your life expectancy will thank me."


"Oh, um, all right!  Sounds great, Pal."


They pulled out of the parking lot and merged into traffic, heading back towards the police station.


I guess I'll just have to think of something myself….




Just after five in the evening, Miles called to ask what Phoenix would like for dinner.


He sounded rather irritated about something, so Phoenix didn't argue when Italian was suggested.  Miles assured he would be on time and hung up.


Phoenix then went back to what he'd been up to all afternoon: cleaning his apartment from top to bottom.  He didn't normally entertain company, but he had decided he might as well make the effort to look presentable.  It had turned out to be a more strenuous endeavor than he'd had in mind--every surface in the apartment needed to be dusted, and every window was hopelessly spotted.  He hadn't vacuumed in so long he'd forgotten the thing was broken anyway.  At the store he settled for a carpet sweeper and did the best he could. 


This last hour of preparation, however, he devoted to wardrobe.  He could think of few things more emasculating than standing in front of his bathroom mirror, changing in and out of the few decent shirts he owned.  I feel like a teenage girl, he thought with a dry wince as he put the blue one on again.  Does everyone have such a hard time with this?  I'm sure Edgeworth puts too much thought into his clothes.  Probably has a full length vanity and everything.


Phoenix hadn't officially dated since college, back when he couldn't really afford nice clothes anyway.  He had gone with Mia to lunch a few times, to grab a bite to eat while talking over court strategies, or sometimes even to meet a friend of hers in their same profession; but it was always work related, and he always wore his suit.  This non-date scenario was, therefore, rather new to him, and he had no idea what would be deemed appropriate.


Do I wear a tie?  Phoenix pursed his lips at his reflection.  He wasn't wearing his cravat the last time he came over.  But then, he was half in disguise then, or something, I guess.


Phoenix agonized over his choice for a while longer, and finally decided he should try to look nice.  He picked a blue dress shirt and navy slacks, darker than he usually wore.  Ten minutes before Miles was supposed to arrive he added a tie.


Date or not, it's still two people sharing dinner, he reasoned as he moved through the apartment one last time.  I should look…nice, right?


Phoenix nearly jumped out of his skin when the doorbell rang.  "C-Coming!"  He checked his hair one last time for spikiness and hurried to open the door.


Miles stared back at him through the open doorway.  He had come dressed far more casually, in khaki pants and a pale pink button-down shirt.  He glanced over Phoenix with a raised eyebrow and then smirked.  "I'm not taking you to prom, you know."


Phoenix blushed darkly in embarrassment.  "Are you coming in or what?"


Miles' lips parted in a grin as he stepped inside, handing Phoenix one of the large brown paper bags he'd brought with him.  "You cleaned," he noted, glancing about on his way toward the kitchen.  "It looks good in here."


"Gee, thanks."  Phoenix elbowed the door shut, and used one hand to remove his tie as he followed.  He tossed it moodily on a chair.  "Not like I was at it all day or anything."  As annoyed as he felt with himself for overdressing--and Miles for commenting on it--he had to admit, it was better than feeling awkward and shy.  He set the bag on the kitchen table and headed for the cupboards for dishes.


"Oh?  I'm flattered."


"Well…the place needed it anyway."  Phoenix rolled his eyes and pulled out a pair of plates.  "What did you end up bringing?"


"Lasagna."  Miles started emptying the bags, and the smell of meat and cheese quickly filled the small kitchen and started Phoenix's mouth watering.  "I know a good carry-out place not far from here.  There's bread and salad, too."


Wow, a full course meal.  Phoenix's irritation quickly faded in light of a real dinner.  "You must really like Italian," he remarked as he dug out some silverware, remembering that Miles had been cooking spaghetti the last time he was over.


Mile shrugged.  "It heats up well," he explained.  "I usually make a lot and eat the leftovers for lunch at work.  But Lasagna is too much effort to feed one person, so I only eat it when I dine out."


Miles pulled a bottle of wine out of one of the bags; Phoenix blinked at it in surprise.  "You brought wine?"


"To repay you for the beer last time."  Miles smiled as he retrieved a corkscrew for it.


"That looks…a little more expensive than the beer I brought…"


Miles shrugged, pleased with himself.  "I figured you could use some real alcohol for once."


Phoenix rolled his eyes again, but he was honestly curious--it had been a long time since he'd had real wine.  "I…don't have any wine glasses," he remembered suddenly.


"No?"  Miles frowned, for a moment looking honestly troubled.  "Well, I suppose anything will do."


As he uncorked the bottle, Phoenix turned back to his cupboard, scanning the shelves for the closest he could find.  He didn't own that many glasses.  Living alone usually led to him drinking from cartons or cans instead of bothering with a cup, and those he did still have were cheap, plastic things his parents had gotten him for college.  After a bit of digging he unearthed one of the tall promotional cups Maya had insisted on getting during a lunch trip.


"Here."  Phoenix set a pair on the table in front of Miles.  "Use those."


Miles stared at them for nearly a full fifteen seconds, his brow furrowing.  Finally he picked one up as carefully as if it might bite him.  He looked to Phoenix.  "You want to drink red wine out of a plastic Steel Samurai cup?"


"Why not?"  Phoenix set out the rest of the dishes and tossed the bags into the trash.  "I thought you were a big fan."


Miles opened his mouth, then paused, finding himself speechless.  He was still frowning as he poured the wine into the cups.


"I almost have a full set," Phoenix added, his tone bright and teasing.




Phoenix grinned to himself as they both sat and began dividing up the food.  The uncommonly casual banter between them was slowly erasing all his worries from the day.  As far apart as they'd grown since childhood, there was still something comforting about being in Miles' presence.


"You really went all out," Phoenix complimented.  He took a sip of the wine, and despite not figuring himself stuffy enough for such expensive tastes, he found he rather liked it.  Even if it was out of a plastic Steel Samurai collector's cup.  "This couldn't have been cheap.  I thought you said you don't date."


"I don't," Miles replied easily.  He paused for a bite of salad before continuing.  "I just brought carryout and repaid you for the alcohol the other night.  A date would be us going out for Italian, or to a movie, or down to the beach."  He smirked.  "And I would have worn a tie."


Phoenix's cheeks reddened again.  "I thought I looked fine."


"You do.  It's…charming."


Charming?  Phoenix wasn't sure if Miles was making fun of him again, but he didn't mind.  It was good to see him so relaxed.  "Then I'm surprised you didn't come in your jeans again," he said.  "You know, I didn't think you would even own a pair until I saw them."


"They are my only pair," Miles admitted.  "I only wear them when I don't really want to be recognized."


"Does it work?"




Phoenix hummed thoughtfully as he stabbed into the lasagna.  Everything was delicious, so much more filling and refreshing than the box dinners and fast food he was used to.  "Do you really get that much attention as a prosecutor that you have to…go in disguise?"


"Don't you?"  Miles turned his cup, reading the bits of dialogue along the sides.  When he noticed Phoenix watching him he quickly tried to look uninterested in it.  "I would have thought by now the paparazzi would be banging your door down."


"At the office, maybe," Phoenix admitted.  "They don't usually come by here.  I guess the apartment's not exciting enough for them."


"They might after this case, for as high profile as it is."


"Yeah…."  Phoenix took another bite of his dinner as he considered that particular topic.  Tonight they were supposed to be relaxing, and…talking, about each other.  He didn't want to interrupt these long-awaited personal moments with discussion about the trial to which they were inevitably returning.  But at the same time, he was still uneasy concerning the evidence Miles had uncovered the other day.  If Chassie had been in questioning all day, chances were Miles had gotten something out of her.


When the two of us work together, there's no truth we can't uncover, Phoenix thought as he busied himself with eating.  We should work together.  It's best for everyone.


Phoenix sat up a little straighter.  "Hey, Edgeworth…."


"After dinner," Miles told him, as if having read his mind perfectly.  He took another sip of wine.  "Let's just enjoy dinner, and then I'll tell you everything I know."


Relieved that he understood, Phoenix nodded.  "All right."  We're still working on this one together.  That's how it should be.


They returned to lighter topics as the meal slowly diminished.



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