One of Every Color
Did I make a mistake?
Miles stared down into his coffee cup, watching the surface ripple with each tiny, uncertain movement of his hand. He had been drinking too much of this particular beverage lately, and by now the smell was beginning to sicken him. But he hadn't slept well again last night, and he needed to stay awake.
He seemed fine with it, Miles thought, not for the first or even fifth time
since he'd left
Miles jumped, startled from his deep thoughts; he'd entirely forgotten that he was not alone at his kitchen table that morning. Shortly after ten, Gumshoe and Ema had shown up on his front door, intent on speaking to him. They were both watching him now with concern.
He cleared his throat. "Excuse me. What were you saying?"
"I didn't say anything, Pal," Gumshoe replied. "You've been staring at that mug for the past five minutes."
"Oh…" Miles frowned, and ran a hand briefly through his hair. He must have looked like a mess. "My apologies. I didn't sleep well last night."
"You've been acting awful funny lately, if you'll excuse me saying so," Gumshoe told him slowly. "Are you sure you're all right?"
"We can leave," Ema added, "if you wanted to get some more sleep."
Miles quickly shook his head. "No, it's…it's nothing." His eyes were drawn back down to the smooth brown ripples in his cup, as if they had a hypnotizing effect. It wasn't like him to speak his mind, but after last night he was feeling uncommonly…emotional. He licked his lips. "I've done something I can't take back," he said quietly. "Something that changes everything. And now I can't figure out if it was the right thing to do."
Gumshoe and Ema exchanged mystified looks. "Are you…talking about the case?" Ema hazarded.
The case…. Miles sighed. They wouldn't understand, and I don't want to explain this to them anyway. He straightened. "Yes, the case. I'm sorry, both of you. You've worked very hard, but…." He pushed his mug away, suddenly sick of it. "I don't plan on winning tomorrow's trial."
"But…but Sir!" Gumshoe said quickly. "You can't just let her get away with it!"
Ema nodded emphatically. "You can't give up now, Mr. Edgeworth! There's got to be a way to solve it!"
Their determination was admirable, at least. "I'm sorry," Miles said again. "But Chassie has an alibi we can't disprove. It's as simple as that. She could not have set the fire."
what about Shikabane?" Ema insisted, half leaning
out of her seat. "There's got
to be something else we can prove.
We can at least prove that
"But why?" Miles interrupted wearily. "Her own son was in that building. Once it comes out that we convicted the wrong person, no one is going to want to hear those kinds of accusations. I know it's not easy to hear, but our reputation matters, as well. We have to accept this loss as gracefully as possible."
Gumshoe's shoulders sagged. "We're gonna get sued, aren't we?"
"…Yes. Very badly."
Ema's shoulders hunched as she glanced between them. "Well, I'm not giving up!" She pushed to her feet. "We owe it to the victims--to this city--to find the truth!"
She hurried out of the room, returning to her kit that she had left in the entrance hall when she and Gumshoe first arrived. In her absence, Gumshoe glanced to their host. "Mr. Edgeworth," he asked, quietly enough that Ema wouldn’t be able to hear. "I know it's none of my business, but…it's not like you to give in like this. It doesn’t have something to do with Wright, does it?"
Gumshoe frowned, dissatisfied with his answer, but he didn't say anything more. Miles lowered his head slightly. I'm sorry, Detective. But Wright is rubbing off on me--I can't pursue this case, knowing I was wrong. I won't be a part of making innocent people suffer. Not…anymore.
Ema returned, dumping out her papers. "I made copies of the court record just after I got off work on Friday," she said, shuffling through them tenaciously. "The clinic report may be out, but there's got to be something in here we can use. Even if we have to admit defeat here and re-file charges on Shikabane, there has to be something."
"Ema…." Miles glanced down at the mess she was
making of his kitchen table, and reached to pick up his coffee mug before she
accidentally spilled it. Just as he
did, one of the papers slid across the table to rest in front of him. It was the only other piece of evidence
Miles picked it up, taking a sip of the coffee without realizing. It had cooled and still tasted awful. But it wasn't that disgust that made his brow furrow. "Ema."
"Hm?" She glanced up, her attention firmly piqued by his serious tone. "Yes?"
"Read the court record back for me," Miles requested, his eyes narrowing. "About when this picture was taken."
Ema shuffled the papers again. "'It was just a few minutes before
I left for the night,'" she quoted April May's testimony. "'So , I guess.
Maybe 2:25.' That would have
been roughly half an hour after
Miles continued to stare at the photograph. He tried to convince himself that he was only being paranoid, that a shadow was disrupting his view, but he couldn't shake the sensation that some kind of piece had fallen into place. "Do you have your luminol with you?"
"Well, yes, of course." Ema glanced again to Gumshoe, who shrugged, just as baffled as she was. "What is it, Mr. Edgeworth?"
He pushed out of his chair. "We have to go back to the crime scene."
"Hello?" he asked blearily.
"Hm, did I wake you?"
"Sorry I missed you in court the other day," Angel said, her voice thin and bitter. "Edgeworth pulled some strings to have me put on the office fire--to keep me from testifying, no doubt."
"I did some digging for you," Angel continued, ignoring his question. "I told you I'm not letting him get away with anything else, didn't I? Reassignment isn't about to stop me."
She must really enjoy trying to discredit him,
"Remember that evidence list I sent you a few days ago?" Angel was all too willing to go on. "There was only one thing Edgeworth withheld last time--the autopsy reports. And guess what?"
"Just this morning he put in a request for revised autopsy reports, using the bodies he dug up yesterday. The lab's been going crazy trying to keep up with him. I managed to get a copy of the original report, at least."
Where's she going with this?
Angel snorted, sounding miffed that her concerns were being brushed aside. "Well at least listen to this," she insisted. "On the autopsy for the baby, the coroner noted that its sternum was broken."
"It's not in the paramedic's report," Angel went on. "All five bodies were recovered well after the fire had become lethal. None of them could have possibly been saved."
"That…doesn't prove anything. That building burned down completely--any kind of debris could have done that to the baby."
"Fine--if you're so sure, I'll leave it to you."
Angel hung up abruptly, and
At least, we must be,
Phoenix finished eating and took a shower, spending more time than was really necessary…reminding himself, with the help of the hot water and his own anxious fingers, how much he had enjoyed the night before.
By the time he was finished and drying off, however, he began to think more on what Angel had called to tell him. Miles hasn't given up, if he's still ordering autopsies and driving his office crazy. He admitted last night Chassie must be innocent…so is he going after Urami now? He frowned at himself in the mirror as he slicked his hair back for the day. Can I let him do that alone? I can't expect Chassie to help me, but maybe if I can figure out the truth behind this whole baby deal, it'll be of some help to him.
His decision made,
The guard at the
"I'm sorry," the guard tried to calm him. "But she specifically asked for no visitors. Not even you."
"It's all right, officer…."
Urami nodded to him politely in greeting. "Mr. Wright. I thought you might be here."
turned to the jailor, and
"That's…." The officer shifted. "Yes, that's right."
"So…? Let us in."
The officer looked
distraught, and finally accepted them into the visitation room.
They took their seats, Urami sitting closer to
The door opened, and a guard
led Chassie to her seat opposite them. It would have been hard for her to look
even paler than the first time they'd met, but somehow she managed to do it. She's
been lying to you.
Chassie tensed, her fingernails leaving marks against the backs of her palms. Somehow her face remained unchanged. "My son…."
"That's right." He felt Urami shift next to him, but he didn't dare look at her. "I know you went to Mr. Hoff's home that night to get your baby back. Isn't that right?"
Chassie nodded miserably. "…Yes. He took William with him, after we separated. I couldn't stop him…"
"I only hid the truth about my child," Chassie told him, her voice raising slightly in pitch. "I thought they would use him against me." Her wide, dark eyes swiveled away from him. "I have done a lot of things I'm not proud of, Mr. Wright. Anyone who looks into my history will know that…."
"It doesn't matter anyway…does it?" Urami interrupted calmly. "The clinic report is genuine. That is all that's necessary…."
For you, I'm sure. "I don't believe
Chassie lowered her head, obscuring his view of her face with her long hair. "Like I said, those other lawyers were no good to me."
Urami was watching him closely. He didn't look, but he could feel
it. I still want to know the truth. Chassie, meanwhile,
remained still. When she didn't
"It…wasn't my fault," Chassie whispered.
"Of course not--he died in the fire."
"Mr. Wright." Urami stood up suddenly. "I believe…that's enough for today."
She signaled to the guard,
who stepped forward to help Chassie to her feet.
"You've done enough, Mr. Wright," Chassie said quietly, turning away. "Thank you."
He turned to her, fighting back the urge to shout. "Urami, you…."
"You're not very bright," Urami said evenly. "Are you…?"
She turned to leave, and
"Keep your voice down," Urami warned as they headed together for the exit.
"I didn't see any baby there…."
"So you admit you set the fire without realizing."
"I didn't say that…."
They reached the exit, and Urami slipped outside with
Urami stopped once they were out on the sidewalk, and turned slowly to face him. To his surprise, her eyes and voice were just as calm as ever. "You're very passionate today, aren't you, Mr. Wright…?"
"Aren't you going to…get that?" Urami asked.
Miles' familiar voice sent too many conflicting emotions spinning through him, and he turned away from Urami in case any of them showed in his face. Why'd he have to call now? "Y-Yeah, it's me."
"Listen, I know I said
I'd call you, but I have some bad news," Miles said, his tone clipped
and…almost cold. It was not what
"Your client is guilty," Miles told him bluntly.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you like this," Miles went on. Just last night his manner had been warm and even playful, so unlike the professional tone he was using now. "But I have evidence. I'm just giving you fair warning."
"Decisive evidence," Miles answered unhelpfully. "I'm sorry, but I can't tell you this time."
"Can't tell me?" I don't believe this. Why is he doing this? His hands were shaking again as he struggled to keep the phone against his ear. "What, is this payback for the clinic report? Or do you just not trust me?" After everything that's happened…how can he not trust me?
Miles was quick to correct him. "It's not you I don't trust. It's your employer."
Miles was quiet for a moment, and then asked, "Is she there with you now?"
"Let me talk to her."
"What!?" He shook his head sharply. "Are you crazy?"
"Just do it, Wright."
Her eyebrows rose as she
accepted. She held it too close for
"I'm sorry," Urami said into the phone. "But you know I can't do that…. Whatever you say, Prosecutor Edgeworth. Until tomorrow."
She handed the phone back and
turned, heading down the curb to where her usual limousine was parked.
"God damn it all!"
"I have all the evidence
I need to keep
"I'm sorry. But you know I can't do that…."
"Hm, I didn't think so. In that case, we'll just have to settle this in court. I might not have you now, but I'll get you eventually, Urami."
"Whatever you say, Prosecutor Edgeworth. Until tomorrow."
Miles hung up. He knew
Somehow, telling himself that didn't make the feeling of guilt go away.
I'm sorry, Wright. Miles returned to Gumshoe, who was waiting for him in another section of the crime lab. But when this is all over, you'll understand why I have to do this.
It's for your sake, too.