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
Phoenix spent the entire rest of that day with the two
Feys.Maya treated them to a large
lunch, as promised, and all through the meal she chatted on about the village,
her new responsibilities in the clan, and a few of the clients she'd
taken.Even Pearl was convinced to talk about her own continued
training, which prompted many words of praise from her older cousin.Phoenix took in their idle talk, enjoying the simplicity of their
conversations.If the idea had been to
cheer him up after his loss, it was working.
After lunch they walked
together back to Phoenix's apartment, stopping along the way to buy snacks and
rent a few videos.Everywhere they went,
Phoenix had a suspicion of being watched, and he was eager to
return home to hole up for a while.The
girls didn't mind.After talking him
into getting all manner of junk food and old movies, they raided his apartment
and set themselves up for an afternoon marathon.Phoenix changed out of his suit before joining them on the
sofa.He wasn't in much of a mood for
Steel Samurai, due to his many run-ins with the studio and the memories it
raised, but he wasn't sure he could deny anyone anything at that point.
As Maya started episode
#39--something about a rampaging monk--Phoenix's eyes thinned with a sudden, odd thought."Hey, Maya.How rare is a signed Steel Samurai holofoil
"Hm?"Maya laughed shortly."Pretty darn rare, Nick.You gonna start collecting?"
"No, I was…just
wondering."Phoenix sank against the arm of the sofa.He couldn't explain it, but he felt awful.
He dozed off at some point,
only to be awoken in the evening.He
ordered them some pizza for dinner, and after that it was back to chattering
and movie watching.Phoenix joined his guests in demolishing a bag of cheese
curls and a two liter of soda.It was
loud, a little hectic, and worth it.
And then it was getting
late.Thankfully Phoenix had done laundry the day before, and was able to
offer them some clean T-shirts of his as sleep shirts.Pearl was nearly asleep even before Phoenix tucked her into his bed.
"I'll sleep on the
sofa," he told Maya."You guys
don't mind sharing, right?"
not."Maya bounced on the edge of
the bed, pulling the tie out of her hair."Feel better, okay, Nick?"
Phoenix smiled faintly."I already do," he assured."Goodnight, Maya."
Phoenix closed the door behind him, and with a quiet sigh
moved to the kitchen.It wasn't that
late--not for him, anyway--and he wasn't sure he'd be able to get to sleep so
easily.Usually he would put the radio
on while he filed papers, or watch the news until he felt tired, but the idea
of having either on at the moment was not appealing.Chances were, everyone
would still be talking about the same thing.
Maybe I'll just put on another movie, Phoenix
thought glumly as he pulled a beer out of the fridge.He would have liked one earlier, but didn't
think it would be appropriate around the girls.He helped himself now, taking long gulps.It didn't make him feel any better, but maybe
if he drank a lot of it….
Phoenix jumped and spun around, hiding the can behind his
back.He started again when he saw who
it was: Mia, dressed in one of the sleep shirts he'd
offered and wrapped in a bathrobe he never used.He blushed a little despite himself and
glanced briefly away."Chief…?"
"I told Maya to call me,
once Pearl had gone to bed," Mia explained.She strode forward and seated herself at the
Phoenix joined her, still trying to hide the alcohol he'd
been so eager to gulp down.When she
raised an eyebrow at him he gave in and set it on the table."But how…?"
"At court," Mia
elaborated."Pearl didn't see any of the trial--she summoned me, and I
left as soon as it was over."
"Oh."Phoenix felt a heavy weight of shame begin to form in his
stomach as he lowered his head.He
twisted the beer can between his hands."So…you saw all that, huh?"It was one thing for Maya to have been there, after all the cases they'd
won together, but Mia had been his mentor, and he owed nearly all his success
to her in one way or another.The idea
that she might be disappointed in him made him ache.
Mia's voice softened."Yes, I did.You fought very hard."
"Is that what you think
happened in there?" she asked, tilting her head to the side.
Phoenix glanced up cautiously."Isn't it?I was wrong, and I made a total fool of
myself."He took another long gulp
of his beer, suddenly not caring if Mia saw.
"The truth came
out."Mia leaned her elbow against
the table, setting her chin in her hand."Isn't that what you've always wanted, when going into court?"
"I've always wanted my
client to be innocent," he murmured.
Mia sighed, but there was a
kind of subtle humor in her voice."Of course, that's what most lawyers want."
"Mia…Chief, I know what
you're going to say," Phoenix
told her."But I don't want to hear
'everyone loses sometime.'Not on this
When he glanced at her their
eyes met, and Phoenix took another sip from his beer so he wouldn't have to
face her directly."Why this
case?" she asked evenly.
"Because I'm the one that started it
all!"Phoenix's shoulders hunched in frustration as he folded his
arms on the table. "Urami fed me a
story and I completely believed it!I
challenged the police, the district--almost got Edgeworth killed--and all just
to prove Chassie even more guilty
than she was before.It was all a total
Mia touched his shoulder--he
flinched, but didn't pull away."You did nothing wrong, Phoenix," she said firmly."Trusting people is our job.Sometimes…we're wrong.But that doesn't mean you made a
Phoenix shook his head."I…can't accept it that easily.I didn't become a lawyer to help people like that."
Besides, that's not the only reason I feel so rotten.Phoenix glared at his beer before taking another long
drink.Edgeworth still wants to talk to me, but what do I tell him?We fought, we made up, had a great
evening…and then he railroaded me and I ended up the failure.I don't even know if I'm still mad at him--if
I have a right to be mad at him.I'm the
one that was wrong.
Mia was watching him.He'd gotten plenty of help from her in the
past, so it didn't make sense for him to reject any advice or wisdom she had to
offer now.But for once, she didn't seem
to have any."I'm sorry, Phoenix," she told him seriously."But it's true--everyone loses.There's nothing else I can tell you, other
than it's something you have to come to terms with."Her voice lowered."You should be glad that you found out
the truth before the verdict."
I know, I know."I'm sorry," he replied just as
quietly."I…turned down my
fee."He sighed."It would have paid off your office for
a long time, and I blew it.It was
stupid of me.I can barely pay rent as
it is, and…."
"Hey."Mia gave his shoulder a squeeze."It's your office now.Whatever
you do with--or without--it is up to you.You don't need to worry about me."
"Yeah, I know."You're
Phoenix cringed a little at his own thoughts, and tried to
hide it with another drink.His
discomfort would have been obvious to anyone, let alone his mentor of several
years.Her face reflected honest concern
as she straightened once more."Phoenix…is there something else going on?This isn't like you."
Phoenix smiled thinly.I really never did know how to act
when it came to romance.It makes me not
myself."There is," he
confessed.He finished the rest of his
beer in one long gulp."But I don't
think I'm ready to tell you, Chief.I
haven't told anyone."
surprised--withholding truth was not something Phoenix did often."All right.You don't have
I can't stay here.Phoenix considered the empty can he held, frowning to
himself.I'm just going to brood all night, not get any sleep, and still feel
awful by morning.This isn't solving anything.
"Chief…."Phoenix pushed up from the table."I have to go somewhere."
"Now?"Mia blinked up at him, baffled."It's almost ."
"I know, but there's
someone I have to see."He ran a
hand over his hair, frowning at how limp it felt."I was a jerk to him, and he still came
here to make things right.I at least owe
him the same."
"Yeah…."Phoenix risked a glance at her face; Mia was squinting at
him, her detective-like brain probably whirling.It wouldn't be difficult for her to figure
out, but he couldn't worry about that now."I'll leave Maya a note," he promised, hunting up a slip of paper."She and Pearl will be okay here for a while, right?This is just something I need to take care
"All right."Mia watched him scrawl out the note, still
puzzled but accepting."Just watch
out for the paparazzi--they're bound to still be about, even at this
The press…right.Phoenix frowned as he handed the note off to Mia and started
past.Maybe I can…go in
"disguise", like he did?
As he passed Mia she reached
out, taking his hand.He started at the
unexpected contact.Though worried he
was about to receive some kind of reprisal, Mia only smiled at him."Good luck."
Phoenix couldn't be sure if Mia really knew what she was
wishing him luck on, but he blushed darkly nonetheless."T-Thanks," he stuttered, smiling
nervously."I might need it."
As his "disguise" Phoenix pulled on an oversized sweat-jacket and an old
baseball cap.It flattened his hair out
even more, but considering that it--and his blue suit--was his signature, he
figured it would be enough to hide his identity from any night-time
paparazzi.Just to be extra safe,
however, he slipped out the back of the building.Times like this reminded him of why he ought
to have a car of his own.Not that he
had ever been in a situation quite like this.
The wind was starting to pick
up.It was actually somewhat welcome after
the dead still from earlier, even if it meant rain was on the way.Phoenix quickened his pace.He had never been fond of storms, and showing up on Miles' doorstep,
drenched and pathetic, probably wouldn't help matters
He did tell me to call, Phoenix
reminded himself, tugging his hat on more firmly before the wind could take
it.The trees along Miles' street were
rustling eerily, not helping his mood.As
often as he'd walked down this street as a child, the only time he'd been here
this late was on Halloween.Even if I can't think of what to say, maybe
he has something in mind.Hm, wishful thinking.
At a few houses away, Phoenix paused to look for reporters.He didn't see anyone hanging around--maybe
they had been chased off by the impending storm.That was some more wishful thinking on his
part, but he wasn't about to be scared off by the mere possibility of someone spotting
him there.With a deep breath Phoenix jogged up to the door and knocked loudly.
There was a long moment of
nerve-wracking silence, followed by quick footsteps that were even worse.Phoenix tensed as he listened to the locks being undone, and
finally the door was jerked open, revealing the man Phoenix had come to see.
At first, Miles had been
hesitant--he wouldn't put it past the reporters to still be at his door at this
hour.It was for that reason that he
hadn't changed entirely out of his suit, in case one of them managed to catch a
shot.But the second potential visitor
that came to him inspired a moment of self-conscious panic, and he hurried to
answer.Would he really come out this late?He threw off the locks and twisted the door anxiously open.
It took Miles a moment to
realize just who the bundled figure really was."Wright!" he couldn't help but exclaim when it finally
occurred to him. Despite how many times
he'd checked his phone messages that evening, expecting a call, he was still
surprised to see Phoenix standing there on his front porch.
"Hey."Phoenix smiled grimly and shrugged."Um…can I come in?"
Miles shook himself, and
quickly took Phoenix's arm to pull him inside.His mind spurred back into function."I told you to call so you wouldn't have
to come out like this," he scolded, peeking quickly out the front door
before closing it behind Phoenix."There might still be--"
"I couldn't," Phoenix interrupted.His shoulders crept up in embarrassment."I, uh…my phone is broken.But
I wanted to see you."
Those words made Miles'
stomach tighten, and he turned slightly to face Phoenix with his hand still on the doorknob."Wright…."The defense attorney's strained expression
was making him feel guilty, and he lowered his eyes."I thought you'd be too angry to speak
"So did I," Phoenix admitted, his hands fidgeting in the oversized
pockets of his jacket."But I
really don't know what to think right now, so I figured I might as well come
That didn't make much sense
to Miles, but he was grateful.You've been waiting to talk to him properly
all day, he told himself.And now you have that chance.So say what you wanted to say.
Miles opened his mouth, but
all of a sudden he forgot everything he'd planned.Each word was wiped so cleanly from his mind
that a moment later he doubted that he'd prepared for this at all.He hated seeing Phoenix like this, his eyes downcast and uncertain.Unable to think of anything else Miles
stepped forward, cupping Phoenix's
face with both hands to draw him up into a firm kiss.
It was too soon to think that
Phoenix would accept an advance like that, and yet he
did.He shivered as he sank into the
kiss, and soon his arms were wrapping around Miles, his fingers clenching
against the smooth material of his black vest.Miles relaxed in elation--if Phoenix was willing to kiss him back like that, maybe he really
wasn't so mad after all.
Phoenix pulled back first.He was still quivering a little as he rested his chin against Miles
shoulder and released a long sigh.His
relief must have been just as great.
Miles rubbed at Phoenix's shoulders--he was cold from walking about outside
so late at night."You've been
drinking," he noted.He could smell
the cheep beer they'd shared last week on his breath.
"You, too," Phoenix retorted, a bit of weak humor in his voice."Something harder than I was."
Miles smiled thinly."I'll pour you a glass," he
Chuckling quietly, Phoenix let go of him."I think I could use some."
Phoenix slipped out of his shoes, and they moved together to
the kitchen, both of them struggling awkwardly for something to say.Miles retrieved another glass and filled it
from the bottle of whiskey he'd been nursing for the later portion of the
evening.Phoenix tried to gulp it down like he would his beer, but he
quickly discovered that to be a bad idea."Ah--it burns," he declared, wiping his mouth.
"That means it's
working," Miles replied, refilling his own glass."Though you shouldn't drink too much of
that if you were drinking beer earlier."
"It was just
one."Phoenix took a more reserved sip.He was watching Miles carefully, as if
waiting for him to say more.
He came here to talk.So…let's talk.Miles motioned
for Phoenix to follow him."Let's sit down."
They took a seat together in
Miles' living room, on a short, white sofa with no armrests.Miles drew one knee up so he could sit
sideways, facing his slumped guest."Wright…I owe you an apology," he began slowly.He had never been very good at this sort of
thing, and he feared his voice came out sounding forced."I had evidence, and I kept it from
you.I'm not sorry for that, because I
was doing my job.But I am sorry…that I
didn't handle it better."
"I was pretty
pissed," Phoenix confessed."It was just like you, sure.I shouldn't have taken it personally, but…."His expression sobered as he cast a quick
glance at Miles' face."But it was
just such a shock, after our date."
"I don't date,"
Miles replied by force of habit.
"Come on, Edgeworth, you
know what I meant."Phoenix sighed, taking off his cap at last to toss
half-heartedly away.He didn't look like
himself with his hair mussed and limp."I've had a hard enough time already without you being a
"Sorry," Miles said
quickly.The last thing he wanted was to
make things harder on Phoenix."I
didn't mean it like that."
Phoenix lowered his eyes as he stretched his legs out in
front of him."Edgeworth," he
went on slowly."All that evidence
you presented in court today…it was all real, wasn't it?"
Miles tensed defensively, and
he forced himself to take a sip of his drink before trying to reply.The delayed response helped keep the flash of
irritation from his voice."Of
course it was.We spent all of yesterday
hunting it down."
Phoenix gave his answer more thought than Miles thought it
was worth, and he couldn't help but take it personally."Do you really think I'd fake a report
like that--now, on this case?" he challenged."For what?Just to prove you wrong?"
"No--no, I thought for a
moment maybe…."Phoenix's brow furrowed guiltily."Maybe you knew earlier than that, and
just didn't tell me."He leaned
back to down the rest of his drink like a shot--not what Miles would have recommended.
I?"It had been a long day, and the
stress was wearing Miles' already thin temper down."You mean, that I let you think you'd
won, to butter you up so you'd sleep with me?"
Phoenix winced."No, I--"
"Because if I remember
correctly, you were the one begging
me to go to bed with you."
Phoenix set his glass down on the short coffee table."I wasn't begging," he retorted.
"I should be blaming you
for making me go soft," Miles continued, setting his own glass
down--unfinished--next to Phoenix's.He knew he shouldn't be saying this, but he
was hurt by Phoenix's insinuations, and he couldn't let them go
unrivaled."If you hadn't been so
eager to believe Gander, I wouldn’t have gotten strung along.I almost gave up my investigation because of
you--without Ema we never would have found that evidence, and then what would have happened?"
"Well I'm sorry!" Phoenix shouted, glaring at him."I'm sorry I believed a single word of
it, all right?"
Miles started to reply, but
then he glanced down, finally noticing that Phoenix's hands were shaking against his knees.He couldn't remember if they'd stopped at all
since Phoenix first entered his house that evening."Wright…"
"I let you down," Phoenix said thinly."You were right--I shouldn't have trusted her, but I did, and I
valued that more than the truth.I had plenty
of chances to check the autopsies, and I didn't."
Phoenix pushed abruptly to his feet."I deserved to lose," he
Miles snatched his wrist
before he could take a step."Where
are you going?"
"Home--I don't even know
what I'm doing here."
He tried to pull away, but
Miles would have none of it; his other hand grabbed the waist of Phoenix's jeans, dragging him back down onto the sofa with a
thud."Yes you do," he said
firmly."You said you came to see me."
"So what?"Phoenix scowled."You got to say 'I told you so' and I apologized.So we're even.There's nothing left to say."
"That's not true, and
you know it," Miles insisted.He
didn't let go of Phoenix's wrist."So tell me what you came here to say."
Phoenix chewed his lip.His face told Miles that he was right--there was something on his mind,
and from the looks of it he had been struggling to bring it up for some
time.After a long moment his brow
furrowed, and he spoke."Edgeworth…I screwed up, didn't I?" he asked simply.
Miles' eyes widened.It was such an uncomplicated, innocent
question, and yet he had asked himself the same thing years ago.At the time he had been too much of a coward
to say it aloud, but he clearly remembered the answer--the only one Phoenix would be satisfied with.They were too much alike, after all."Yes," he told Phoenix seriously."You did."
Phoenix wilted a little against the back of the sofa.Is that
what I wanted to hear?He couldn't
be sure because his stomach was suddenly hurting, and yet he didn't feel
disappointed, like he had when Mia offered him her assurances.He swallowed hard."I did," he echoed quietly.
"Yes."Miles finally let go of his wrist."You couldn't tell that your client was
lying to you.You went to court without
knowing the full story.You didn't
investigate every possible lead.So I'd
say yes, you made quite a few mistakes."
He's right.Phoenix realized then why none of Mia's kind words had been
able to ease his mind; he was at
fault.He did want Miles to blame him.He had caused so much trouble that someone ought to hold it against him."I tried really hard," he murmured.
Miles sighed, sliding closer
across the cushions."It's not like
you're the first, you know," he reminded the distraught defense
attorney.His hand slid to the back of Phoenix's neck--it was an inordinately reassuring
gesture."Believe me, you can't rival some of the mistakes I've made.So you'll tell everyone you're sorry and do
better next time.That's all there is to
Phoenix nodded, even though his chest felt suddenly
tight.Miles' calm advice, and more than
that his easy understanding, wore down at the strong front he had been trying
to show after his defeat in court.But
there was no reason to hide how he felt in front of Miles.No reason to tell him anything short of the
"I'm so sorry," Phoenix whispered."It's my fault your office was burned down."
Miles frowned at him, his
fingers flexing slightly against the collar of Phoenix's jacket."What do you mean?"
"Urami called me," Phoenix explained weakly, not caring if his retelling didn't
entirely make sense."We'd been
drinking--I told her I didn't want you to take the case.That's why she tried to…get rid of
His response was a long time
in coming; Phoenix bit his lip again, waiting nervously.His mind spun back to the day of the fire,
and the helplessness he had felt slumped next to Lana on the curb.I know
it doesn't do any good to tell him that, but…I can't keep secrets anymore.
The fingers at the back of Phoenix's neck tightened, causing him to jump slightly."It's all right," Miles finally
replied."I didn't want to have to
fight you, either."
Phoenix let out a low breath, but his throat had closed off
abruptly, making it sound like a sob.He
quickly covered his mouth to keep any more alike sounds from escaping him.He was ashamed, and exhausted, and relieved--too
many emotions at once, bearing down on him.
"I tried so hard," Phoenix repeated through his fingers.When his eyes began to sting he pressed them
tightly shut.As desperate as he was not
to show this weakness in front of Miles, he was quickly becoming aware that he
might not be able to help it."I
ran across the entire city, talked to everyone I could, collected
evidence--"He shook his head as
his shoulders hunched."I haven't slept
right in days.God, I'm so tired of
Miles made a soft,
uncomfortable sound at the back of his throat, clearly not equipped to deal
with a crumbling Phoenix.It made it
all the more surprising when he gave Phoenix's shoulder a tug, urging the man to lean against
him."So am I," he replied
Phoenix shuddered, and finally gave in.The stress and frustration of the past week swept
through him as he pressed his face into the soft fabric of Miles' cravat and
sagged wearily against his body.When
steely fingers sunk into his unkempt hair another thick, pained sob fell past
his lips, but this time he didn't try to stifle it.Miles held him tightly without a word.It was the greatest comfort he could have
offered, and Phoenix clung to him, crying softly like he had alone in his
apartment just over a year ago, the night Maya's life had been spared.Like he had sitting next to Mia in the
Defense Lobby when the first woman he'd ever loved betrayed him.
He cried, trembling like he
had almost eighteen years ago, when he had peeked into this very room one cold
January morning only to find it empty.