Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney / GyakutenSaiban, 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
September 18th, 2019.
"You're in a good mood
this morning, Mr. Edgeworth."
Miles didn't glance up from
the papers he'd been paging through, but the edge of his lips tipped in a faint
smile."What makes you say
Gumshoe smirked back, wishing
Miles could see how obviously he'd answered his own question.He had stopped by the office that morning to
drop off information on a case off to Prosecutor Payne, but he couldn't pass Miles'
office without saying hello."Oh, nothing."
His tone was vaguely teasing,
and Miles straightened; he knew that if he didn't stop Gumshoe's imagination
now there might be trouble--or rumors--later."I had some unexpected company over last night, that's all."
Gumshoe hazarded, earning him an un-amused look.Both offices were well aware by now of just
how much time the young Ema Skye spent visiting their
lately returned prosecutor.
"Wright and Butz, if you must know," Miles corrected."We had some drinks.You ought to join us next time,
Detective.You get along with them well
enough, don't you?"
Gumshoe, surprised by the
invitation, stuttered over a response."W-Well, sure!They're not bad guys."He
scratched the back of his neck in embarrassment--truth be told, he still
couldn't shake the feeling that he owed the defense attorney for his work over
the past year."I'd like
"Good.Then next time I'll…."Miles frowned, glancing toward the door."Do you smell something?"
early morning for Phoenix.When he
arrived at the office that morning--just to check messages before heading out
again--he discovered an envelope had been slipped under his door.It was from Angel, with a short message
This is all I could get for
you.It's a list of the evidence the
investigators and I submitted to the Prosecutor's office when they decided to
go ahead with the case against Gander.I marked the
entries Edgeworth didn't present in court, but I
don't know if they mean anything.You'll
have to ask him.See you in court.
Phoenix skimmed down the list, and saw most everything he'd
been able to dig up at the police station.There were only three things that Angel had highlighted, near the bottom
of the list--the autopsy reports for the innocent family killed in the arson:
Jack Hoff, Ann Arky, and their baby.
Phoenix frowned slightly.He had yet to spot the name of the unfortunate baby, and couldn't help
but wonder why it hadn't been in any of the reports.As for the autopsies, he could see why Edgeworth might not have entered them into the court
record, as his case focused on Chassie's premeditated
murder of the people next door.There
wasn't any reason to talk about the family, other than as unfortunate
Phoenix made sure his cell phone was charged and then headed
out for the day.There was a tiny pit of
uncertainty brewing in his gut as he took the bus into town.He had finally come to the inevitable
moment--he had to tell Edgeworth.As soon as he filed the appeal, word would
spread through the prosecutor's office, and he couldn't let him find out that
way.He wasn't sure what to expect from Edgeworth's reaction, other than it wouldn't be pretty.
The bus slowed a few blocks
short of the office, pulling to the side as sirens blared from the rear.Passengers muttered to each other curiously
as they watched an ambulance speed down the middle lane and continue on.It wasn't an uncommon sight in a city as big
as L.A., but Phoenix frowned slightly, following its path with his eyes as
far as he could.When he listened hard
enough he could hear more sirens echoing back from further down the road.
A little boy closer to the
front of the bus stood on his seat and poked his head out the window."Mommy, I see smoke!"
"There must be a fire up
ahead," replied his mother.
Phoenix had no gift for foresight.Despite his acquaintances he didn't even
consider himself especially spiritual.But those casually spoken words made the knot already twisting his
stomach tighten tenfold, until he was sure it showed
in his face.He tried to beat back the
foolish conjectures of his imagination but it was difficult when he could still
hear the sirens throbbing in his ears.
The bus started up again, but
it only made it another block before they came upon police cars."I'm sorry," the driver reported to
his passengers."They've got the
road blocked off."He twisted the
doors open."You can get off now or
wait here, but it looks like it's going to be a while."
A few people stood and moved
to the doors, grumbling irritably about the inconvenience.Phoenix clenched his jaw as he joined them in stepping down
to the sidewalk.There were a lot of
people outside by now, moving in a kind of dull wave toward the direction of
rising black smoke.He joined the moving
crowd but at a swifter pace than the rest.By then his fingers were beginning to feel numb and he had to check his
briefcase several times to be sure he was even still carrying it.
The crowd thickened, and it
soon became obvious just what building their attention was fixed on.Phoenix was propelled forward by near panic until he was face
to face with the whole mortifying scene.The District Prosecutor's office was surrounded by fire trucks and
police cars, and up and down the streets men and women in uniform were doing
their best to keep people back and direct the arriving ambulances.There were no actual flames visible from the
street, but thick, black smoke was pouring out of the windows on the twelfth
story and above.The ash left a horrible
smell in the air that stung the back of Phoenix's throat with every breath.
It was unreal.Phoenix stood dumbfounded with the rest of the onlookers,
trying to take in the scene without being overwhelmed by it.He wasn't aware that his hands were shaking
until he felt his briefcase tapping against his thigh.His insides curled nauseously, and when his
brain kicked back into function there was only one thought in his mind: he knew
who was responsible.
Phoenix was so shocked by what he was witnessing that it took
a moment before he realized who stood next to him amidst the crowd of horrified
spectators.It wasn't until there was a
dull crashing noise from within the building, causing both of them to jump,
that Phoenix finally took notice and glanced over.It was a woman, dressed in trim tan slacks,
and a mauve-toned sweater with an oversized neck.She was watching the burning building with a
hand covering her mouth and wide, worried eyes.It was her expression that let Phoenix recognize her in the different clothing."Lana?"
She flinched, lowering her
hand to her chest as she turned to face him."Mr. Wright…?"She
looked horribly shaken, and he almost offered his arm to steady her."How long have you been here?" she
asked quickly."Do you know what
Phoenix cringed--he felt as if his blood were draining from
his body."I just got here,"
he replied."I don't know
anything.What are you doing here?"
"I was on my way to meet
with my sister."Lana glanced back
to the prosecutor's building with a look of dread."I heard about the fire on the radio.Ema comes by here
all the time.I thought…maybe…."
She trailed off, and almost
looked faint.But Phoenix was saved from having to come up with some kind of
reassurance when another familiar figure came bobbing towards them."Lana!"
Lana's head snapped up, and a
moment later Ema broke from the sea of bodies and
threw her arms around her sister.They
embraced tightly as Lana whispered a few thankful words."Are you all right?" she asked, too
many concerns coming out of her at once."I was afraid you might be in there.You're not hurt?"
"I'm fine, really,"
Ema assured as she pulled back."I wasn't even inside.They've almost got the fire under control
Phoenix snagged the sleeve of Ema's
lab coat, startling her, but he couldn't wait any longer to know."What about Edgeworth?"
he demanded anxiously."Is he all
Ema looked surprised to see him, but thankfully she
didn't hesitate in giving an answer.She
pointed to an ambulance parked just outside the front of the building."He should still be over there."
Phoenix's heart rose into his throat.All manner of vicious imagery flashed through
his already overworked mind, and before he realized he'd dropped his briefcase
he struck through the waves of people.This isn't really happening, he
continued to tell himself.Just last night we were drinking and having
a great time.And then--
His thoughts were cut off
when a familiar voice rose among the commotion already spreading, and he almost
laughed out loud in relief.If Miles was
all right enough to be yelling, he couldn't be that badly hurt.
"I want every available
forensic officer at this scene," Miles was saying angrily as Phoenix approached."And the area blocked off until this arsonist is found.Are you listening to me?"
Phoenix moved around the open ambulance door, and some of his
relief was staunched when he finally laid eyes on the angry prosecutor.Miles was sitting in the vehicle's open back,
stripped of his suit coat and collar laid open to help him breathe.His hair, clothing, and skin were stained
dark with smoke and made him look even more ghastly pale beneath it.He didn't appear to have been burned but the
mere proof that he had been inside the building when the fire started was
enough to make Phoenix's knees feel a little weak.
"Sir, please calm
down," the ambulance technician was trying to quiet him.He held up an oxygen mask for him."I'm sure the police will--"
Miles' roving eyes spotted Phoenix quickly."Wright!"He pushed to his feet, to the technician's dismay."Do you see this madness?Someone
is getting hung for this, I swear it!"He shook his head in disbelief.
Phoenix's shoulders sagged."I'm just glad you're okay," he said honestly.
"Thanks to the good
detective."Miles waved his arm
toward a nearby fire truck, where Detective Gumshoe was seated with more
paramedics.He was just as covered in
smoke as Miles, his broad shoulders uncommonly slack."It's a good thing he was there."
"Sir, I need to take you
to the hospital," the technician tried again, taking Miles by the elbow.
"I'm fine," Miles
snapped, trying to pull away from him."It's just smoke."
"Where's that Ema?I want her on
this case--she knows that building as well as--"
Miles broke off, his eyes
wide, and was quiet for a few brief seconds until he shook with a sudden,
violent cough.Both Phoenix and the paramedic reached for him at once.Each grabbed an arm, steadying the man as he
nearly doubled over.Most of his weight
slumped on Phoenix, who did his best to keep Miles upright even if he
wasn't feeling much more stable himself.
Miles covered his mouth,
incapacitated until the fit ended.When
the paramedic pressed the oxygen mask into his hand this time he didn't
protest."Now keep that on, for
God's sake," the man told him, his voice dripping with vindication."You inhaled a lot of smoke, and you're
going to the hospital."He looked
to Phoenix."You got
"Y-Yeah."Phoenix adjusted his hold, and was surprised when Miles
willingly leaned against his shoulder for support."I've got him."
"Thanks--I'll be right
The paramedic went to check
on Gumshoe, and had to call over another colleague to help him support the
detective on his feet.Phoenix didn't pay attention as they helped Gumshoe over and
into the ambulance--his attention was solely on Miles. Now that Miles seemed to
have given up any pretense of good health he looked remarkably weak.They were standing so close that Phoenix could feel when a tremor passed through him, and his
grip on Phoenix's blue suit collar was faintly clinging.
"Edgworth…?"Phoenix licked his lips, watching as his friend put his
concentration into each slow breath.It
was oddly chilling to watch."Are…are you okay?"
Miles lifted his head,
watching the smoke that continued to billow from his office window.He sighed, and lowered the mask so he could
speak."My signed Steel Samurai holofoil card was in there."
Phoenix stared, speechless, even as the paramedic returned to
help Miles into the ambulance bay with Gumshoe.He gave no resistance to the officers prodding him out of the way.The last view he had of the pair before the
ambulance doors were closed was Miles slumping against Gumshoe's shoulder.
The ambulance left the scene,
and was followed quickly by another that Phoenix hadn't even noticed.It didn't make the scene feel any less crowded; there were still lines
of people stopping on the sidewalk to watch, in addition to the ever-growing
number of police officers and other city officials.Phoenix swayed on his feet, disoriented by the
commotion.The words Miles had told him
wouldn't leave his head.Ironically, it
was those simple, almost childish concerns that impressed on Phoenix just how lethal an incident his friend had been
His phone rang several times
before he thought enough to answer.He
cleared his throat."Hello?"
Wright."That familiar, chilling
voice sent a pulse of heat through Phoenix's disheveled frame.
"Ura--"Phoenix clamped his jaw shut, and glanced around quickly to
make sure none of the nearby officers had heard that.He strode quickly past the thickest
collection of spectators."You!" he hissed into his phone.His hands began to tremble angrily."What the hell is the matter with
you?Where are you?"
"Where…?Does it matter…?"
"Don't mess with me, I know this was you!" Phoenix all but yelled.A few people glanced at him, and he sucked in a low breath and strode to
a new patch of sidewalk."Tell me
Urami's tone sounded vaguely bored."I'm really not sure what you
Phoenix's chest clenched painfully.It had been a long time since he'd felt this
angry, at anyone, and it was making his temples pound."Damnit, this
isn't a game!" he exploded."He could have been killed!"
I was right."
Phoenix tensed, the blood leaving his face so fast it left
him feeling cold."…What?"
"Those rumors about you
and Prosecutor Edgeworth being friends…" Urami explained coolly."They weren't false, were they…?"She chuckled darkly, sending goosebumps down Phoenix's arms."That's…good to know."
Phoenix shuddered, his eyes focusing dizzily on the sidewalk
at his feet.Because of what you said last night, he finally realized.He covered his mouth with his free hand in
sudden nausea.You told her you didn't want Edgeworth
prosecuting the case.And she…damnit, she…!
"Besides…" Urami continued in that same, dreary tone."You underestimate me.If I…wanted
someone dead, they would be, wouldn't they…?"She chuckled again."This is just…a lucky coincidence."
Phoenix squeezed his eyes shut and bit his lip, determined
not to let his anger get the better of him.It wouldn't do him any good against Urami."You said you were leaving it in my
hands," he said once his composure was a bit stronger."Don't you trust me to win this
"I do….And I trust you to continue moving
voice sharpened slightly."So
please don't let me down, Mr. Wright."
She hung up then, and in his
frustration Phoenix nearly threw his phone into the street.He managed to control that impulse and
settled instead with cursing under his breath.I knew she was Shikabane,
but I didn't think she was capable of this,
he thought bitterly.He ran a hand over
his slicked back hair and realized it was still shaking subtly.And all
because of one stupid remark I made when I was drunk!She's completely insane!And now--
The phone rang again, and Phoenix pounded on the receive button."Now what!?"
"My my, Feeny.Don't we sound
Phoenix let his breath out in a loud sigh."April…."Just great."What do you want?"
that's no way to talk to a lady," April admonished."And here I had all those lovely
pictures you asked me for."
Oh, right.The pictures.Phoenix's shoulders sagged.He was still irritated and tense, but as April drew his mind back to the
case he was able to focus better."How many were you able to get?"
up about half a dozen.I'd drop them off myself but I'm a busy
girl.You better come get them."
Phoenix frowned, his mind spinning through options."I'll pick them up," he said."Or have someone else pick them up.You're still at K.B.?"
course.It's my job, you know.But if you send someone make sure they--"
"You'll get your damn
money," Phoenix snapped, and hung up on her vengefully.Damn
criminals.But as soon as he did, he
felt an uncommon stirring of guilt.He
rubbed his eyes.Calm down.You've got to keep it together, Phoenix.When he was
calm again he dialed a new number."Hello--Lotta?This is Phoenix Wright."
"Oh hey, Mr.
Lawyer," Lotta said brightly from the other
end.At least someone was in a good
mood."Y'gotta story for me?"
"Something like that."He
paced up and down the sidewalk."Listen, I need you to do me a favor.Can you go to the K.B.
Security headquarters, and ask for a Miss April May?She has a bunch of photos that I'd like you
to blow up for me.You still do that,
"Well I am a photographer.Just how many and how big are we talkin' about?"
"Half a dozen,
8x11," Phoenix told her."I need as much detail as you can give me.I'll pay for it, of course."
Lotta hummed thoughtfully, seemingly relieved that he
hadn't counted the entire job as the "favor" he was asking for."Sure, I'll help ya
out.K.B Security?I'll drop by this afternoon."
"Thanks, Lotta, I owe you.Oh, and if April asks you for money, tell her I'll pay her myself."
They both hung up, and there Phoenix paused, staring at his phone for several long seconds
in case it rang again.When it remained silent
he shoved it in the pocket of his jacket, and wavered a few seconds longer
before sitting down abruptly on the curve.The moment of distraction had passed, and now he had no choice but to
face what came next.Whatever
that might be.
What am I going to do?Phoenix lowered his head, elbows resting on his drawn up
knees.The odor of smoke was still heavy
in the air, and every time he took it in he felt more disturbed.God, Urami tried to kill him.Can I really go through with this?His hands were still shaking.But what will she do if I don’t?If Chassie knew
about this, it means I might be trying to free a murderer.But
what if she didn’t?What if she really
is innocent, and Urami's
just taking it too far?Condemning Chassie for her friends is the same mistake the police made.
Phoenix clenched his jaw until it ached.Edgeworth…I'm so sorry.He covered his face with his hands as he
tried to calm himself down.I wish Mia was here.
had no desire to speak to anyone at the moment, but he couldn't just ignore
whoever it was.He drew his hands from
his face with a brief rub and lifted his head."Yes?"
It was Lana, staring down at
him with his briefcase in hand."You dropped this."
Phoenix frowned--he had to stare at it for a long time before
realizing she was right.He sighed and
accepted the briefcase back."Thanks.I didn't even notice."
Lana sat down beside
him.She was fixing him with a concerned
look that made him wonder how awful he must appear at present, to warrant such
attention."Are you all
right?" she asked softly."You're pure white."
"Am I?"Phoenix smiled grimly."I'm just shaken, that's all."
Lana didn't stop staring at
him.There was something unsettling in
having her cool eyes on him, as if they were trying to draw something out of
him.He chuckled."Well, I guess you were a
detective," he said, mostly to himself.
Lana frowned, and looked
about to question, but there wasn't a need.The story was already too close to Phoenix's mouth for him to stop it."I'm in trouble, Lana."
They hadn't met face to face
like this in over two years, but Lana didn't hesitate."Tell me."
And he did.Phoenix knew it was probably wrong to open his mouth like
this, especially after the trouble his carelessness last night had caused, but
he had spent the last two days running around the city, and he was too tired of
keeping this secret alone.He told her
about Urami's first visit, her extraordinary
fee--without disclosing the amount--along with his interviews with Hotta, Angel, and April.Talking about the evidence he'd collected only reminded him how deeply
he had believed, even a few hours ago, that his client was innocent.He had even entertained the idea that Miles
would be convinced as well, and accept the results
graciously.There was very little chance
of that now.
Lana listened without
interruption and without change in her expression.It was both intimidating and oddly
reassuring, and it helped Phoenix
to speak his mind.When he was finished
she finally glanced away."I
"I have to talk to Chassie again," Phoenix said, staring straight ahead."The evidence can still prove her
innocent but I have to hear from her that she didn't know about this.I'm not sure I can defend her
"I wish I could be of
some help to you," Lana said honestly."But I was in a new position when that case took place--Edgeworth handled most of it, with von Karma's
supervision."That particular name
didn't help Phoenix's ill ease any."I'm not familiar enough with it to give you an opinion on her
"It's all right," Phoenix said with a shake of his head."Whether or not I trust Chassie…is something I have to decide on my own."He sighed, and glanced over at Lana."I just haven't been able to talk about
it with anyone.Thanks, for
Lana smiled thinly."I understand.I know how hard it is…shouldering a secret by
Phoenix nodded.That's right--she would."All I can do is keep going," he
murmured."That's what Mia would
He pushed to his feet and
took in a deep breath to steel his determination."I guess my next stop is the
Lana stood as well, and
touched his arm briefly."Mr. Wright…just try to understand who you're dealing with.You do realize what people will think of you,
if you win this case for them."She
lowered her voice."And what it
will do to Edgeworth's career, if you prove he sent
an innocent woman to her death."
Phoenix grimaced."I know--I do understand."His hand clenched around the handle of his briefcase."But if she's innocent, her life matters
more.The truth is more important than
anything--Edgeworth understands."He smiled faintly."He's the one that taught me that."
Lana watched him a moment, and
then offered her hand."Good luck,
Phoenix shook her hand gratefully."Thanks, Lana.I'll probably need it."
They parted, Lana to find her
sister once more, Phoenix to find a taxi.There was still a long day of work ahead of him.