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 13

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019.  10:17 a.m..




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 Phoenix's apartment the night before.  Remarkably fine, even, for his first time with another man.  It was good--very good.  He swallowed hard, pursing his lips.  But it was still so soon.  Not that I know what the rules normally are forsomething like this.  I've slept with people I didn't know nearly as well as him.  So why am I this uneasy?  I should call him.  Will he still be asleep this late?  It is Sunday, so maybe….


"Mr. Edgeworth?"


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."


"But 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 Gander was an accomplice, that she asked Shikabane to do it--"


"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?"


Phoenix Wright….  Miles folded his hands in front of him.  "It has everything to do with him," he said evenly.  "He's the one that proved me wrong."


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 Phoenix had submitted to court on Friday: April's photograph.


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 2:20, I guess.  Maybe 2:25.'  That would have been roughly half an hour after Gander appeared at the scene."


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."




Phoenix had really intended on staying in bed most of the morning.  As he had anticipated, he was still sore, and no longer in the half-dazed, post love-making way.  When his phone rang in the next room, it took a lot of effort and a few curses to get up and retrieve it.


"Hello?" he asked blearily.


"Hm, did I wake you?"


Phoenix blinked.  It took him a while to recognize the voice on the other end as Detective Starr.  Oh yeah.  My office phone forwards here over the weekend.  "Yeah, but it's okay."  He rubbed the small of his back as he headed for the kitchen.  I'm up, might as well stay up.  "What is it?"


"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."


Phoenix's stomach did a little flip at the mention of that name.  He was very thankful that Angel couldn't see his blush through the phone.  At the same time, however, he registered what she had said, and it made his fingers curl for an entirely different reason.  Either way, he wasn't in a mood to hear anyone bad-mouthing Miles.  "What makes you say that?"


"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, Phoenix thought glumly.  I can kind of see how she got fired after this case.  But if she had really found something, he probably needed to hear it.  "Okay, I'm listening.  What did you find?"


"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?"


Phoenix made a face as he dug into his refrigerator for some milk.  "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?  Phoenix continued with his breakfast preparations as he listened.  "I appreciate your help, Angel, but it hardly matters now.  Chassie has an alibi--anything Edgeworth might have covered up doesn't mean anything."  Besides, I know he did that kind of thing in the past.  I've forgiven him for that.  Not that it explains his ordering a second autopsy….


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."


Broken sternum?  Phoenix paused in reaching for a spoon to eat his cereal with.  "You mean, as if someone tried to do CPR on him?" he supposed.


"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 Phoenix sighed as he picked out a spoon and took his breakfast to the table.  I guess she's always been that paranoid.  I don't know why she's trying so hard, though, when Edgeworth is going to lose enough face over this whole thing as it is….


Phoenix set his phone on the table next to him, and watched it for a few minutes.  He said he'd call today.  When he remembered that his cereal was getting soggy he quickly started to eat.  It's probably expecting too much to think we could meet again soon, with the trial, he thought, trying not to be upset by the prospect.  But I would like tohear his voice.


Phoenix blushed as he ate.  Look at me, getting all flustered over a phone call.  He'd make fun of me, if he saw.  He couldn't help it, though.  The memories of last night were still so fresh in his mind: the way Miles had touched him, moved with him so perfectly….  It was only natural to feel attached after something so intimate, as he had told himself several times.  For all that Miles was unsociable and curt, he had shown tenderness and even affection.  They really were lovers.


At least, we must be, Phoenix told himself.  I mean, we slept together.  God, I can't believe we really went through with it.  But we did, and it was good, and....  His shoulders hunched.  I want to do it again.  It's been too long--I want to be with him again. 


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 innocentso 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, Phoenix dressed in his suit and headed out.




The guard at the Detention Center was not any more helpful than he had been the day before.  Angel had said Miles was busy harassing the lab, so Chassie couldn't have been in questioning, but still Phoenix was denied admittance.


"I'm sorry," the guard tried to calm him.  "But she specifically asked for no visitors.  Not even you."


Phoenix's fists clenched.  She's avoiding me.  How does she expect me to defend her like this?  "Will you at least tell her I'm here?" he insisted.  "It's important that I speak to her."


"It's all right, officer…."


Phoenix jumped at the eerily familiar voice, and spun on his heel; it was Urami, walking slowly up to join them.  His jaw clenched.  "You again…."


Urami nodded to him politely in greeting.  "Mr. Wright.  I thought you might be here."


Phoenix didn't take his eyes off her as she approached.  It seemed awfully convenient that she had shown up, and he couldn't shake the feeling that she might have been following him.  Even if Urami gets me in, if she's here I won't be able to ask Chassie everything I wanted to.  "Good morning."


"Mr. Officer…."  Urami turned to the jailor, and Phoenix could see the goosebumps rising up his arms.  "I'm sure Chassie would have said…'let no one in except Miss Shikabane.'  No…?"


 "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.  Phoenix didn't envy the man for his job of watching over these people.  But at least he was being let in.  I'll just have to ask as much as I can, and hope Urami gives something up.  As…unlikely as that is.


They took their seats, Urami sitting closer to Phoenix than he thought was necessary.  He did his best not to look at her as the guard left to call for Chassie.  If she has been "checking up" on me, she…may have someone watching my apartment, he thought with a sick feeling.  And if someone was watching last night, when Edgeworth's car pulled in….


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.  Phoenix fought to keep his face neutral as Chassie and Urami exchanged nods and greetings.  Don't let her keep it up.


"Chassie," Phoenix interrupted when he believed himself ready.  "I know about the baby."


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…"


Damn….  Phoenix licked his dry lips before continuing.  "Why didn't you tell me this before?  You said you trusted me.  This case is almost over--if you don't tell me the full truth now, you won't have another chance before trial tomorrow.  Do you understand?"


"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 you," Phoenix said, focusing entirely on Chassie.  "You were convicted, Chassie.  That should have been enough for you to tell the entire truth the first time Urami tried to appeal your case."


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."


Phoenix's brow furrowed as he fought off his frustration.  I can still get her acquitted.  I was right in the first place--she shouldn't have to die to keep Urami safe.  But…but still, I….  "You're still protecting her, aren't you."


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 respond, Phoenix continued.  "I know you know something more.  If you were there for your son, how did he end up dead?"


"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.  Phoenix quickly stood as well; he was still unwilling to give up this last chance.  "Chassie, you don't have to keep protecting her," he told her desperately.  "She killed your son--doesn't that mean anything to you?  You have to tell me what really happened!"


"You've done enough, Mr. Wright," Chassie said quietly, turning away.  "Thank you."


"Chassie!"  Phoenix pounded at the partition between them, even knowing it was useless--he could only watch as Chassie was led away.  He should have known better than to expect anything more from her, but his hands were still shaking against the glass.  Edgeworth was right, some part of him echoed.  You can't get Urami.  Not this way.


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 Phoenix scowled as he followed on her tail.  "I'm through with your games, Urami," he told her vehemently.  "All that talk you gave me back at the crime scene, about your friendship--it was all lies, admit it!"  He knew his mouth was probably about to get him in even deeper trouble, more than it was worth, but he couldn't stop himself.  "Chassie was convicted because of you, and now she's staying quiet to protect you!"


"Keep your voice down," Urami warned as they headed together for the exit.


Phoenix shuddered angrily.  Damn this woman!  "Like hell I will.  I'm not scared of your threats anymore, Urami.  None of it will change the fact that you killed those people.  What happened?  Did you start the fire without realizing the baby was in there?" he challenged.  "Did you go back for it, try to resuscitate it?  Is that how that baby's sternum was broken?"


"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 Phoenix still close behind.  "I'm going to do my best to get her set free," Phoenix continued heatedly.  "She hasn't done anything wrong, other than believe a monster like you.  So you stay away from her, do you hear me?  She certainly doesn't need your protection getting her thrown in prison again."


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…?"


Phoenix scowled again, and was about to continue when his phone rang.  He glanced to his pocket indecisively.  Could that beEdgeworth?  Or Angel again?  Either away, I shouldn't let her--


"Aren't you going to…get that?" Urami asked.


Phoenix hesitated a moment more, and finally jerked the cell out of his pocket and answered.  If I don't, she'll get suspicious.  God, if she knew Edgeworth was over last night--  "Yes?"




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 Phoenix had been hoping to hear from him, and his stomach made a quick descent towards his feet.


Shit.  What now?  Phoenix took a breath, trying to ignore Urami's eyes still on him.  "What is it?"


"Your client is guilty," Miles told him bluntly.


"Wh…."  Phoenix's gaze unfocused.  "…what?"


"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."


"Wait," Phoenix said when his voice returned to him.  "Wait, what evidence?  What are you talking about?  You said yourself the alibi was irrefutable!"


"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 happenedhow can he not trust me?


Miles was quick to correct him.  "It's not you I don't trust.  It's your employer."


"Urami…."  Phoenix felt a chill as he glanced at her over his shoulder; she was watching him with sharp curiosity. 


Miles was quiet for a moment, and then asked, "Is she there with you now?"


Phoenix gulped.  "Yes…."


"Let me talk to her."


"What!?"  He shook his head sharply.  "Are you crazy?"


"Just do it, Wright."


Phoenix closed his eyes.  The situation was wheeling out of his control, and it was beginning to make him dizzy.  With a shaky sigh he offered the phone to Urami.  "He wants to talk to you."


Her eyebrows rose as she accepted.  She held it too close for Phoenix to make out anything that Miles might have been saying to her, and he held himself tensely in wait.  Edgeworthyou weren't just playing with me, were you?  A thousand questions passed through him, none of which with an answer he could believe in.  I thought we were finally working together on this one.


"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.  Phoenix glanced between her retreating back and his phone indecisively, and finally decided Miles was the more pressing concern.  But when he brought the phone to his ear, he heard nothing--Miles had already hung up.


Phoenix cursed, and by the time he lifted his head to call after Urami she was already climbing into her vehicle.  Whatever had just happened, it had ended without him catching any of it.  The trial was starting in less than twenty-four hours and he suddenly felt no closer to the truth than when Urami had first stepped into his office.  Everyone was hiding something from him.  Everyone was acting only for themselves.


"Damnit…."  Phoenix trembled, his chest tight with frustration and an unshakeable sensation of betrayal.  His hand tightened around his cell phone, and suddenly his anger overwhelmed him--he threw the device hard against the sidewalk, watching it shatter into pieces.


"God damn it all!"




"I have all the evidence I need to keep Gander behind bars until she's put to death.  But I'm not unreasonable.  If you agree to confess to your part in the arson, the Prosecutor's Office is willing to negotiate a lower sentence for you both.  Perhaps life in prison."


"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 Phoenix wouldn't be happy, but talking to him would probably only get them caught up in another fight.  He couldn't relinquish this evidence to him.  It was too important, and if Phoenix charged after Urami to confront her with it, it would ruin Miles' chances in court.  It's like I told him.  This case comes before our friendship. 


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.



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