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
One of Every Color
"Mr. Wright!Did you know about Miss Gander's confession
ahead of time?"
"You can't be satisfied
with this verdict, Mr. Wright.Are you
going to appeal again?"
"Do you think this
evidence could have been forged?The
city has a reputation for it by now."
Phoenix's jaw worked, but he still couldn't bring himself to
properly respond.He was surrounded on
all sides by unfamiliar faces, each spilling some question or accusation, but
he could barely make them out.The
sensation of numbness hadn't left him yet; he was only vaguely aware of his
hands pressed against his familiar desk, and the sweat trickling down his
temple.He just couldn't get the image
of Chassie's unexpected confession out of his
She was guilty all along.Urami lied to me from the beginning--she set that
fire to cover up what Chassie had done.Edgeworth was right.Phoenix lifted his head, trying to peer through the
crowd.He warned me not to trust these people, but I…couldn't listen.I did
He couldn't see Miles through
the bustle of anxious people--just more strangers, bleating like sheep with
note pads as the court officials tried to herd them out.How am
I going to get out of here?He
wanted nothing more than to just be out of this room--the building, maybe even
A small hand tugged his
sleeve.Phoenix jumped, and was shocked to see little Pearl Fey
staring up at him with wide eyes."Pearl?"He
blinked stupidly."What are you
"It is a rescue
mission," she declared.
A rescue mission?Phoenix glanced up, and thought he could see a pair of hands
with thick bracelets waving frantically over the heads of the recently spilled
gallery.Maya?Phoenix straightened, his chest unclenching in relief.He almost laughed out loud.If he ever needed a Fey
rescue mission, it was now.
"Come on, Pearls."Fueled by the sudden, desperate need to
escape, Phoenix bent down and scooped Pearl up his arms.She squeaked in surprise and wrapped her arms around his neck."Excuse me!" Phoenix called as he pushed through the waves of people,
leaving his briefcase and its pointless evidence behind."Child coming through!"
Phoenix made it to the aisle where Maya was waiting for them.Her bright grin managed to be uplifting and
make him cringe at the same time.She
started to say something, but he had built up some momentum--he didn't stop as
he took her hand tightly and continued toward the courtroom's exit.It took a moment for her to regain her
footing and keep up with him."Hey,
"Let's just get out of
here," Phoenix said quickly.He was retreating, turning tail like a coward, but at the moment he
didn't care.All that mattered was
getting out from under the press of so many eyes--especially if Miles was among
What can I possibly say to him now?Phoenix bit the inside of his lip as they left the courtroom,
out into the hall were there were less people.I don't even know what to think.He started toward the exit but then he
remembered the reporters who were doubtlessly waiting for him outside.Not
that long ago I was out there, bragging about my innocent client.What the hell am I supposed to tell them?
Phoenix turned instead to the Defense Lobby.He had yet to let go of Maya's hand, and even
when they reached the doors she stepped forward to open it for him.The trio darted inside, and as the door
closed behind them it finally sealed off the shouted questions.
"Nick…?"Maya gave her arm a shake."You're, uh, crushing my fingers."
Phoenix quickly let go, grimacing a little at his own clammy
hands."Sorry."He set Pearl down and tried to draw himself up."Maya, you…I told you to wait until
after the case was over," he said.At
the moment, scolding her was a lot easier to focus on than the outcome of his
"We couldn't just let
you take on the mob by yourself," Maya replied emphatically, setting her
hands on her hips."I tried to call
you yesterday to let you know we were coming, but you didn't answer your
phone."She frowned at him."You said you wanted to do it yourself,
so we sat up in the gallery."
"Oh…yeah."Phoenix scratched the back of his neck sheepishly."My phone's, uh, broken."
"Never mind that
now--we're here, so we're going to take you out to lunch."
"Oh, yes!" Pearl piped up."Can we, Mr. Nick?"
Phoenix glanced between their smiling, excited faces, and his
shoulders sagged."You're just
trying to cheer me up, aren't you."I
lost.I was wrong about everything.
Pearl bit her thumb, and
looked up at Maya, who had faltered in spirit a little."Well…you look like you could use
it," Maya admitted sympathetically."I mean, I don't know the whole case, but it seemed pretty rough in
there."She hesitated over her next
words."Did you…you really thought
she didn't do it?"
"I…."Phoenix lowered his eyes--he had a feeling a lot of people
were going to be asking that from now on, making that same, vaguely pitying
face Maya had now."I did," he
admitted quietly."I really thought…I
wanted…her to be innocent."
Maya shifted on her feet,
unused to seeing him so despondent.But Pearl stepped closer, her two small hands curling around
one of Phoenix's."We
are very sorry, Mr. Nick," she offered, with all the sincerity a nine year
old could muster.
Phoenix smiled shakily, his fingers tightening carefully
against hers.Her large brown eyes, her
childish uncertainty, somehow held at bay the conflict of emotions just beneath
his surface."Thank you, Pearls."
Maya sent them both a look,
and finally drew herself up.She nudged Phoenix's shoulder."Let's get out of here," she said, her old energy back."You'll feel better once we get some
food in you.My treat, all right?"
"You?"Phoenix chuckled."When have you ever treated for anything?"
"I'm allowed to treat a
friend to lunch, aren't I?" Maya shot back."I'm a working spiritualist now, you
know.I can handle a couple of
burgers."She turned to lobby door,
ready to march right out."We can
go to that place by your--"
As Maya reached for the
handle someone on the other side turned it, and she jumped back a little in
surprise as the door was opened.It was
such a slow, deliberate move that Phoenix knew exactly who it was before he saw her.Still holding onto Pearl he snagged Maya's elbow, tugging her back."Urami…"
She slipped into the room,
dressed in black as always, her dark eyes dull and displeased."Mr. Wright…"
As soon as he'd managed to
break away from the mess in the courtroom, Miles, too, retreated to the
relative safety of the council lobby.Several
guards were positioned there already to keep back the slew of reporters and
other gossipers.He asked his visitors
to wait for him in the hall for a moment as he saw to this bit of unfinished
Chassie Gander was sprawled
across the short lobby sofa, half on her side with her face pressed into the
cushions and her hands handcuffed behind her back.With her body so oddly positioned and her
long hair fanned out around her, she looked like a broken doll that had been
tossed into a corner.Miles wasn't
entirely sure what had prompted him to want to speak with her, but he was here
now.He filled a small paper cup with
water from a dispenser in the corner of the room before approaching."Miss Gander."
Chassie flinched, and turned
her head slightly so that she could see him through a gap in black locks."Mr. Edgeworth…"
He motioned for one of the
guards to step forward, who obediently undid her handcuffs at his order.Chassie kept her head down as she carefully
pushed herself into a sitting position and smoothed the hair from her
face."Drink," Miles told her,
pressing the cup into her bruised hands.She shivered a little, but did so.
Miles watched as she drained
the liquid contents.He realized then
that he might have been testing himself, to know if he could maybe see what it
was in Chassie Gander that Phoenix
had believed in so strongly.He was
confident in his evidence and in Chassie's confession,
but he still wondered if there was something in her face or manner that could
be construed as innocence.
After a moment of study, he
decided he couldn't see whatever it was that Phoenix had.Maybe it
was too late for that now.But Miles did
feel pity for her, and for the circumstances that had led her here.
"I'm only going to ask
you one more time," Miles said evenly."Who started the fire that night?"
Chassie didn't hesitate or
look up."I do not know."
Of course not.There was no
use in being angry with a dead woman."Then there's nothing I can do about your sentence.Your execution will be carried out on
"Yes, I know."Chassie set the paper cup aside and lifted
her head.Though her eyes were still
swollen from crying, and her cheeks stained, her expression itself was back to
being still."Will you tell Mr.
Wright…that I'm sorry?" she asked him softly."He's done so much for me.I never wanted him to suffer."
Miles cocked an eyebrow."Are you going to apologize for my
Chassie's eyes slid away."I never wanted anyone to suffer."She folded her hands carefully in her
lap."I never meant…to kill
anyone.I will accept my punishment,
but…I hope that people will know that much."
"Then it's too bad,
really," Miles said, frowning."If you hadn't associated with Shikabane
in the first place, you wouldn't have had to keep your son a secret.You could have taken custody of William
without anyone getting hurt."
Chassie blinked slowly."Like I told you four years ago, I have
never been a Shikabane associate," she said."I made a friend, that's all."Her voice softened a little."You can't choose the people you care
Miles' eyes narrowed; he
hadn't come here to hear these kinds of words, let alone to feel sorry for
her.He motioned to the guard again, who
came forward to replace her handcuffs."Well, I'm sorry it had to come to this," Miles said, turning
to leave.He wasn't sure if Chassie had
answered any of the questions he'd had in coming in, but he had heard
enough."Goodbye, Miss Gander.I'll pass on your regards to Mr. Wright."
"Thank you, Mr.
Miles shook himself as he
stepped out of the Prosecution Lobby, meeting back up with his three
supporters."I'm sorry to do this,
but I have a favor to ask."
Maya's shoulders hunched at
the sight of the unwelcome invader, but before she could say anything Phoenix took a deliberate step in front of her.Not
this time, Maya.He had no idea what
Urami wanted or might say, and the last thing he
could deal with was her finally losing her temper."Can I help you?" he asked, trying
to sound as calm as he could manage.He
could feel a tug against the back of his jacket as Pearl ducked behind him as well.
"Isn't it customary for
a client to see the attorney, after a trial…?" Urami
asked easily enough.It was difficult to
gauge her expression--there was no hint of the subtle, eerie teasing she
usually employed in her tone, making her all the creepier.But she didn't exactly look angry, either.
"Urami…."Phoenix took a deep breath to force the words out."I'm sorry.I did the best I could.But not even I can defend a guilty client
from the truth.You…know that,
Urami pressed her palms together in front of her."Yes, I know," she said."You have a habit of uncovering truth…as
I understood, when I hired you.It was a risk I was willing to take…."
A risk.Phoenix felt his chest tighten all over again as he met her
dead gaze.A risk to my reputation, my career.A
risk to Edgeworth's life…He knew it wasn't worth it to be angry with
her--he had known for a long time now that she was a liar and a murderer--but
he couldn't help the swell of frustration behind his ribs. "Then I don't have anything else to say
well.I only came…to give you this."
Urami reached into a pocket in her dress, pulling out a
folded piece of rectangular paper.Phoenix accepted it hesitantly, opening it to reveal another
check.Maya peered around his arm, and
until she declared the amount out loud he was convinced he was reading it
"$100,000!?" Maya exclaimed in disbelief."But…but he lost the case!"
The corners of Urami's mouth deepened just slightly."I hired you to prove Chassie did not
set fire to Mr. Arky's duplex," she told Phoenix."And…you
did.It wouldn't be fair if I didn't pay
you for your troubles.This…plus the
twenty-five from last week…makes up half the fee I promised you."
up at Phoenix sharply."Nick, is that true?"Her eyes widened impossibly.
Phoenix stared down at the check in his hand, his mind
certainly feels like I've gone through that much trouble for this case.He thought, in the span of several
heartbeats, how many different things he could do with money like this.He could pay his bills for months to come,
replace his broken vacuum and cell phone, fix up Mia's office like he'd always
Those images passed through
him quickly, leaving him feeling only cold.Phoenix's brow furrowed, and at once his fingers jerked,
tearing the check in two.
her jaw dropping."N-Nick!What are you doing!?"
"I don't defend guilty
clients," Phoenix said firmly.For the first time he could remember Urami
looked honestly surprised when he handed her back the torn paper."Keep your money, Urami.All I want as my fee is for you to stay away
from me, my friends, and as many innocent people as you can stand to.All right?"
Urami tucked the ripped check into her pocket."I suppose you want to include Mr.
Edgeworth in your conditions, as well…?"
Phoenix's hands clenched, and when his voice lowered it
sounded almost menacing in a way he couldn't remember having talked
before."If you lay a hand on him,
I'll turn you right in to the police."
Urami stared back at him, unmoved."For what, may I ask…?"
"I'll tell them you
confessed to starting the fire at the Prosecution's Office," Phoenix threatened.
"So?"Phoenix bristled, feeding off his own surge of protective
word will the police believe?All they need
is probable cause to search your home.If I give them that, and they show up at your door, do you really think
they won't find some kind of dirt on you?"
The humor in Urami's face had been only slight before, but it was very
clear when it vanished.Her eyes
narrowed."You would tell the
police," she challenged, "that you asked me to get rid of Prosecutor
Edgeworth, just so that he wouldn't try this case…?"
Phoenix squeezed her arm, and she fell silent beneath his
They stared each other down,
and at last Urami relented, taking a slow step
back."You don't need to
worry," she told Phoenix lightly, though her face was still tight."I have no more business with Prosecutor
Edgeworth anyway…."She turned,
slipping out of the lobby as quietly as she'd entered.
Phoenix let his breath out with a long sigh; his hands were
shaking, just slightly, in shock from his own display of aggression.What
did I just do?I guess it worked, but….
"Hey…Nick."Maya slipped her arm out of his grip, moving
around to face him.Her low tone made Phoenix realize just how strangely he must have been acting,
for it to affect her as well."Are
you really okay?You're kind of freaking
"Yeah…."Phoenix wiped his palms off on his pants, taking a moment to
breathe in and collect himself."I'm sorry, girls--I'm okay.It's just been…a really stressful week,
"Okay…."Maya offered him a smile, its enthusiasm a
bit more tempered than earlier."Come on--we'll get takeout, okay?We gotta get you home."
Phoenix smiled grimly, allowing the Fey
cousins to guide him out the door."Yeah, okay.But wait, the reporters--"
They stepped into the hall,
and were there greeted by more familiar faces--Detective Gumshoe and Lana Skye
were chatting just outside the Defense Lobby, and judging by the way they
looked up when Phoenix appeared, it seemed they'd been waiting for him."Detective…?"
Pal," Gumshoe greeted gruffly."We're here to help."
"Help?"Phoenix glanced between the pair in confusion."Help what?"
"My car is just out
front," Lana explained."I can
drop you and your friends off somewhere, to keep you away from the press."
Phoenix was baffled by the gesture, and his silence gave Maya
a chance to interject."Wait a
minute--who are you anyway?"
"How can you talk to
Miss Skye like that when she's here to help
you?" Gumshoe berated."Be
Though he didn't really
understand where the sudden philanthropy had come from, Phoenixwas
grateful."Lana's an old client of
mine," he explained to Maya and Pearl.And then to
Lana herself, "Thank you.I really
"It's no trouble at
all," Lana assured."I'm
certain I still owe you a few favors."
Gumshoe led the way down the
hall to the courthouse doors.As they
neared the exit Phoenix had Pearl crawl up on him piggy-back style so that she wouldn't
get lost in the swarm of people.Maya
took his elbow, and together they braced themselves.
It was the chaos Phoenix had expected.As soon as he appeared the lights started flashing, and the noise of so
many inquires drowned out even his conscious thoughts.Phoenix clenched his jaw and kept close behind his two aids
as they made their way through the undulating crowd.Gumshoe was an impressive defensive
lineman--he surged through the mass with relative ease, urging reporters out of
the way and clearing a path for the others to follow, as he had done for Miles
the week before.They were aided, too, in
that half the mob was already diverted.Phoenix glanced toward a circle that had gathered on the
sidewalk, and he caught a glance of familiar magenta among them.
Edgeworth.Phoenix's heart skipped, and he
tilted his head up."Can you see
Mr. Edgeworth, Pearls?"
"Yes!"Pearl pushed against his shoulders, craning her neck to get
a better look.She slumped back down to
talk into Phoenix's ear."He is talking to a lot of microphones."
Edgeworth is talking to the press?Phoenix frowned as he hurried to stay behind Gumshoe and
Lana.Just what he told me not to do.
They broke free at the
sidewalk, and Gumshoe waved them ahead so he could spot from the rear.Lana continued on and led the way to her
car.Phoenix tried to look back once they reached it, to thank
Gumshoe for his help, but by then the detective was already heading away.He seemed to be joining Ema,
who was standing near the circle around Miles.
The remaining four piled into
Lana's car, and she pulled quickly out of the lot."I don't think I've ever seen it that
busy!" Maya exclaimed as she helped Pearl buckle herself in the back seat."I'm surprised we made it out
really…."Phoenix sighed, sinking into the passenger seat.As they pulled away he glanced out the window,
trying to catch another glimpse of Miles.But there were too many people, and all he could make out was a wisp of
"--not exactly what the
city had in mind," Miles' voice suddenly filled the car.Lana had turned on the radio, and Phoenix quickly drew in his attention to hear."But we have a conviction--Miss Gander
was not wrongly convicted four years
ago, and her execution will not be delayed.It's unfortunate that we have not yet been able to find her accomplice,
but rest assured, the police still intend to investigate."
Phoenix's eyes thinned as he tried to imagine Miles' face as
he said those words."He told me
not to talk to the press," he murmured."But I should, shouldn't I…?They're going to want to hear from me…."
"Whether you do or not
is up to you," Lana told him seriously.She hesitated before offering a bit more personal advice."You haven't done anything wrong, Mr.
"Maybe…."Phoenix focused back on the radio, and the impromptu press
conference being held.I made a mistake, and almost got a murderer
set free.If it wasn't
"What about Defense
Attorney Phoenix Wright?" the man on the radio was asking, and Phoenix tensed a little at the mention."He seems to be refusing comment.Do you think he--"
"I'm not in any position
to comment on Mr. Wright in regards to this case," Miles interrupted
sternly."But as you know, he and I
have known each other for some time now, and I can't say enough about his skill
and integrity as a lawyer.That's all any of you need to know."
"That's the latest from
the scene down at the courthouse," the radio announcer came back on."Just a few minutes ago a verdict of
guilty was passed down on Chassie Gander, who--"
Lana turned the sound back
down, which Phoenix was grateful for.Edgeworth….He
glanced out the window as they turned at the intersection, moving further away
from the courthouse.Does he really think that about me?
Lana glanced at him out of
the corner of her eye."Where would
you like me to drop you all off?"
food," Maya spoke up from the back."We're treating Nick to lunch."
"Somewhere far from
here," Phoenix added.
Lana frowned slightly, but
she only nodded and pulled into the turn lane.She seemed to know where she was going, so Phoenix didn't say anything more.I just
want to forget about it for a while.Maya's right--I'll feel better once I've eaten.He frowned.I didn't even eat breakfast
today.No wonder I feel sick.
Some time later Lana pulled
them into the parking lot of a restaurant--a Red Robins, only a few blocks from
appreciated the choice, and as Maya and Pearl unbuckled happily he turned to offer his thanks."I really appreciate this," he said
seriously."You didn't have
"I thought…I owed it to
you, after going behind your back like I did," Lana confessed, honestly
looking troubled."I was the one
that told Mr. Edgeworth about your appeal ahead of time."
"I know."Phoenix smiled."I can't blame you for that."I should have done it myself, a
lot sooner."I should be
thanking you, really."
Lana looked relieved, and as
he unbuckled she reached into a pocket of her slacks."You should know," she told him,
"this 'escape plan' wasn't our idea."She handed him a folded sheet of paper.
Phoenix had had enough of secret notes, so he was slow to
open it.It's wasn't addressed or
signed.Written in the center were only
two short sentences in Miles's familiar handwriting:
things turned out this way, but at least it's over now.Please call me.
Phoenix stared at the note for a long moment, reading the
words over.He wasn't sure what to make
of it, let alone the pulse of emotion behind his ribs.He gulped."Edgeworth gave this to you?"
"He's worried about you,"
He asked them to do this?But….Phoenix folded the paper again, tucking it into his suit
coat."Thanks…for the ride,
By then Maya and Pearl were outside and peering at him through the
window.He smiled at Lana briefly and
finally climbed out.With only short
words of parting he closed the door, and she drove away, heading back in the
direction of the courthouse--probably to return to Miles and her sister.
I would, Phoenix thought glumly.But you made me break my phone,
you jerk.He sighed as he turned
with the girls towards the restaurant.