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 7

Thursday September 19th, 2019.  7:02 am




Miles sighed.  There was no use fighting it--he was awake.  With the day off he had intended to sleep in for once, and rekindle his energy from the exhaustion of the past day's events.  But the air in his bedroom was thick, warm, and uncomfortable, and whenever he closed his eyes for too long he felt as if it were crowding in on him.  Suffocating, even.  Kicking the sheets to the foot of the bed hadn't helped.  Not even Pess' subtle weight at his side was comfort enough to push back the anxieties circling his mind.


He had learned a long time ago that anticipation of the nightmare was often as effective as the dream itself.


Miles lay awake for several minutes after accepting this fact, idly stroking Pess' back as he slept, until finally glancing at the clock.  He had spent several hours working after Phoenix left the night before, and found his way to bed much later than usual.  But maybe he had managed to get at least some sleep.


The angular red display showed 7:02.  He had slept for just over ninety minutes.


"It's enough," Miles concluded.  He gave his dog one last pat and climbed out of bed.


A cool morning shower was just what Miles needed to wake himself fully and clear the thin layer of sweat from his body.  He took his time in what was usually a quick morning routine, which kept him from worrying about the myriad of problems facing him.  But as soon as he was downstairs, preparing what was sure to be the first of many cups of coffee that day, all his concerns came rushing back.  There were still insurance forms that needed to be signed, cases and their evidence files to be reviewed, not to mention the particular issue of Phoenix's very inconvenient timing.  It wouldn't be the first appeal Miles had been forced to handle, but this case was different, even without taking into account Phoenix's involvement.


He remembered Chassie Gander.  After the confusion of the SL-9 case only a few months previous, public opinion of the police was still rather low, and both departments were eager to solve a large case.  Putting a known mob accomplice behind bars had been a perfect opportunity for everyone, and especially for the advancement of Miles' own career.  It had even helped stall the rumors of his unethical practices, since none of the viable evidence in the case could have reasonably been forged.


And now Phoenix was trying to undo all that.  He knew, objectively, that he couldn't blame his old friend for it.  But the mixing of business with his personal life was not a problem he had often faced before, considering his almost total lack of relationships until more recently.  So far he wasn't handling it very well.


You shouldn't have kicked him out, Miles told himself as he peeled an orange to go with his breakfast.  He was only telling the truth.  He sank into a chair at the kitchen table.  But he could have said something sooner.  He was here drinking with you, and didn’t say a word!  He could have given some warning.


Miles abruptly lost interest in the orange and set it aside, though he kept a piece of the skin to worry between his fingers.  What am I going to do about you, Wright?  He sighed.  He had to admit to himself that Phoenix had been one of the more prominent reasons for returning home after so much time overseas.  He trusted him as a friend, and respected him as a lawyer, two compliments he couldn't give many other people.  He had Gumshoe, of course, but their relationship had always been more professional than anything, especially given their respective positions.


But Phoenix was someone on his level, and their being reunited meant more to him than he could have imagined.  More than that, just being around Phoenix had opened him up to more people--had even helped him learn how to be himself.


I'm a better person, for having met him, Miles thought as he stared down at the orange peel in his hand.  But now, we're going back to court.  I can't let him down.  His fingers tensed, gradually shredding the fruit skin in two.  I'll fight, just like I told him to.  And we'll find the truth.  That's our purpose.


Why does knowing that not make it any easier?


Miles forced himself to finish peeling the orange and eat it.  He was aware of his tendency to brood, and if he didn't get some food into him now he would certainly forget later and be worse off for it.  Coffee, however, barely required conscious effort to consume.  By seven thirty he was back to work with the same papers he'd abandoned only a few hours ago.


At eight thirty he called the Chief Prosecutor, who informed him they would be setting up a temporary office in the police force banquet hall while their own building was renovated.  He was not expected to return to work until Monday for recovery purposes, or even later, if he required it.  Miles assured him this would not be the case.


At nine he received a call from Ema, who was anxious to check up on his well being. He bypassed her concern by asking about her latest case, but unfortunately she didn't have any new information for him.  Whoever had set fire to the Prosecutor's Office had not left any clues behind.  She promised to keep working, and to check in on him again that evening.


At nine thirty he called Detective Gumshoe, waking him out of a sound sleep.  After brief apologies he called in a favor his comrade was more than willing to fulfill: to get him all the evidence relating to Chassie Gander's case.  Gumshoe was a good man who didn't ask many questions.


Just after ten o'clock, when Miles was considering a nap, the Chief Prosecutor called him back to inform him that The People versus Chassie Gander had been appealed, and would appear on the court docket in twenty-four hours.




Phoenix let out a thin sigh as he made his way down the steps of the police station.  By now he was familiar with many members of the city's law enforcement, and it hadn't been difficult learning from them where he could find the Chief Prosecutor and his temporary office.  Despite the chaos the city was in, Chassie's execution was so close and Phoenix's new evidence strong enough that his appeal couldn't be denied.  He had filed and would appear in court as early as the next day.


He thought he should have felt some kind of anxiety, now that he had his appeal and a date was set.  But there was only a kind of grim acceptance that left him feeling offset with the bustling city around him.  He was even a little relieved.  As long as he was moving forward, his mind was occupied.


Phoenix stopped at the bank for a cash withdrawal, and soon after received a call from Lotta to tell him she'd finished the pictures.  They met at a coffee shop to exchange goods and payment.  Once she'd left, Phoenix took a few minutes at the back of the shop to look over the contents.  As he'd suspected, most of April's photographs he couldn't look at without blushing let alone consider submitting to court.  But there was one that had benefited from Lotta's enlargement: it was April posing with her drink, and just over her left shoulder, a figure was visible through an open window.  Once Phoenix figured out what he was looking at, it was fairly easy to make out Chassie Gander in a phone booth just outside the duplex.


She called Urami after she left, Phoenix recalled, tucking the photos back into their envelope.  This corroborates her account.  Just after this, she left for the clinic


Phoenix headed back to K.B. Security, and met with a rather irate April May.  Her manner quickly improved upon seeing the white bank envelope he had to offer her.  She thumbed swiftly through the bills and returned to glaring.  "This is only half."


"You get the rest after you testify, remember?" Phoenix said, giving his wallet a pat once it was back in his pocket.  "I'm counting on you to tell only the truth."


April waved a hand dismissively.  "Yeah, yeah.  But I don't think you'll like what I have to say."  She took the money out of its envelope and tucked it into her bra, for no reason that Phoenix could comprehend.  "Not a bad wad for a few pictures and testimony I'd be subpoenaed for anyway.  I hope it's worth it to you, Wright."


Phoenix frowned slightly, shaking off the sensation that April's comment had been deliberate.  "If it saves her life," he said, more seriously than he'd intended, "almost anything's worth it."


"Hmph!  Should have guessed you'd say something sappy like that."  April rolled her eyes and turned back to her desk.  "Seeya in court, Feeny."


Phoenix wandered back outside, and hesitated on the sidewalk for a few minutes as he tried to decide what to do next.  He still had most of the day left and no errands to run.  He was starting to consider an early lunch when his phone rang.


The number that flashed across his screen was Miles'.  Phoenix cringed as he fought with himself whether or not to answer.  Am I up for another fight?  I can't just ignore him.  As his ring tone started over, he finally answered.  "Yes…?"


"Where are you now?" Miles asked first, skipping all supposed pleasantries.  It was hard to gauge his tone of voice over the phone.


"Downtown," Phoenix replied evasively.  "I was about to head home.  Why?"


Miles was silent a moment.  "I'll meet you there.  We have to talk."


"Um…all right."


Miles hung up, but Phoenix kept the phone at his ear for another few seconds to be sure.  He's going to my apartment?  His brow furrowed as he slipped his phone back into his pocket and continued on to the bus stop.  What does he want to talk about anyway?  If yelling at me makes him feel better I guess I owe him that much.  Without having any idea of what to expect Phoenix rode the bus to the other end of town and walked the rest of the way home.


Miles was easy to spot.  He was seated up on the wall again, like he had sat with Ayame, hands braced on the ledge and shoulders hunched forward.  He was tapping out some intermittent beat with his heel.  He didn't notice Phoenix at first, which allowed the defense attorney a decent reading of his expression.  Miles looked…anxious, but not angry.  It was the most Phoenix could have hoped for.


Miles finally spotted Phoenix heading toward him, and he hopped quickly off the wall as if embarrassed to have been seen on it.  He was dressed casually, in a peacock-blue turtleneck and faded jeans.  Phoenix wasn't sure he would ever get used to seeing him wearing such every-day clothing.  He slowed, and finally they were face to face.


"Sorry about the short notice," Miles said evenly.  Each word sounded stiff, as if he'd been rehearsing them.  "But it's important."


"It's okay."  Phoenix was just glad they hadn't started fighting immediately.  "Let's go inside.  We can talk there."




Miles followed Phoenix up to his apartment on the third floor, neither of them speaking a word.  He had only seen the interior of the place once before, and as he stepped inside he wasn't surprised to see it hadn't changed.  It wasn't cluttered - Phoenix didn't own enough for that - just simple, and cozy, not unlike an old chair that only became more comfortable as time passed.  Miles took in the layout, trying to decide where the best place for the conversation he had in mind was.


"Can I get you something?" Phoenix asked awkwardly as he took off his suit coat.  He clearly wasn't used to being a host.  "Some water, or a beer…?"


"No, I'm fine," Miles assured as he paused in the main room.  "I can't stay that long.  I have to prepare for court tomorrow."


Phoenix fidgeted.  "Yeah…."  After a moment of deliberation he continued.  "Listen, Edgeworth, I'm sorry about that.  I didn't know--"


Miles waved a hand at him.  "It's all right," he said before Phoenix could go on.  "You're just doing your job, and me, mine."  His shoulders drooped a little.  "I'm sorry about throwing you out last night."


"No, I…I probably deserved it."


Phoenix smiled, that thin, sheepish smile that made his eyebrows wilt and his eyes gleam like a guilty schoolboy.  It rendered him impossible to be angry with.  Miles lowered his chin.  "Probably," he echoed.  "But I've been thinking about what you said."


Phoenix stepped closer.  "You shouldn't," he said quickly.  "I was just upset--I didn't mean most of it."


Miles' lip twitched.  "No, I know you did.  And it's all right."


"But I--"


"Wright."  Miles glanced up, meeting his gaze.  "It's all right," he repeated.  "It's the truth, after all.  I…made mistakes, before you came along."


"But it wasn't entirely your fault, either," Phoenix continued to try and object.  "You were just--"


As much as Miles appreciated that support, it wasn't helping to get his point across.  It was difficult enough to admit his failings without Phoenix trying to tell him they weren't his fault.  He took Phoenix by the shoulders, holding him at arms length.  "Just listen," he insisted.  "I'm trying to tell you something important."


Phoenix fell still beneath his hands, and at last gave up his arguing.  "What is it?"  Though he was trying to look calm and attentive, uncertainty showed behind his wide blue eyes.  Maybe it was the sudden contact making him wary of being thrown against another wall.  But the stability helped Miles in his resolve, and he wasn't about to let go.


"I wanted to tell you…you were right," Miles said slowly.  He couldn't remember now how many times he had played this conversation over in his head, how to word it to best convey his meaning.  In the beginning he had even attempted to imagine Phoenix's reaction, but that didn't matter nearly as much now.  All he wanted was to expose his full honesty before they went to court and possibly forgot it all.


"I made mistakes," he went on, his fingers twisting slightly against Phoenix's white dress shirt.  "Probably more than I even remember now.  But I haven't forgotten that you're the one who showed me that."


Phoenix gulped.  "I was just doing what I thought was right," he replied quietly.


"Yes…I know."  Miles smiled thinly.  Phoenix's expression was becoming too hard to look at: it was all sympathy and confusion and maybe even optimism.  "You always do.  I owe you everything because of that, you know.  If not for you…."


Phoenix shifted and looked about to speak again, but Miles wasn't ready to let him.  If he didn't finish now what he'd come to say, he was afraid he might never have another chance.  He pulled Phoenix closer, nearly resting his chin against Phoenix's shoulder so he wouldn't have the weight of those blue eyes on him.  Phoenix flinched, his hands lifting indecisively only to halt, suspended, in the air next to them.  "Edgeworth…?"


"I'll never be able to repay you for what you did for me," Miles told him firmly.  "You've saved many lives by now, but for me…you saved me from something worse than execution."  He squeezed his eyes shut.  "What I was going to become.  I know you'll never really understand what that's like or what it means to me.  But I want you to know I won't ever forget it.  And that's why…."


Phoenix finally figured out what to do with his hovering hands--he let them rest against Miles' ribs, curled faintly against his back.  And though Miles was fairly sure Phoenix was just trying to find a solution to them being pressed so awkwardly together, he was struck momentarily by the intimacy of the gesture.  Reciprocation turned what Miles had intended as a position of hiding into an embrace.


Miles licked his lips and forced himself to continue, now that he couldn't pull away.  "That's why I have to fight, too," he said with a bit more confidence.  "You said you're doing this for me, but it's just as much the opposite.  Because I'm the only one who can beat you, if you've made a mistake.  I can't let you win a case you weren't meant to any more than you can me."


Phoenix sighed, but wasn't inclined to argue with him any more.  "Then we'll just have to settle it in court."


"Yes.  And we will."  Miles frowned as his fingers tightened.  "But whatever happens, I wanted you to know I won't forget.  Do you understand?"  A subtle tremor ran the length of his body.  "Too much has come between us already for something like this to make us stop being friends."




Those words were just what Phoenix had wanted to hear, and it wasn't until Miles said them that the block in his stomach finally dissipated.  Their gradually rebuilding friendship was so tenuous he had feared their fight the night before might have shattered any chances of reconciliation.  But now, Miles had come to him with reassurances, confirming the tiny hope he'd held on to all long: their work didn't have to come between them.


Phoenix shivered, his hands creeping up Miles' back as his arms tightened around him.  Miles tensed, probably confused by his friend's intensity, but he didn't care.  It was as he'd told Miles only two nights ago--his close companions were a precious few, and the thought that he had just been saved from losing one brought him almost more relief than he could bear.


I can't lose him again, Phoenix thought, the grip of his fingers almost desperate as he rested his chin against Miles' shoulder.  He finally came back, and I almost ruined it.  I can't let him leave again.


Miles made a quiet, awkward noise at the back of his throat, and just when Phoenix thought he would force them apart he finally relaxed.  He stretched his arms to circle Phoenix's shoulders.  Neither of them were used to this close contact--they were each, in their own way, accustomed to keeping people at a comfortable distance.  It wasn't until then that Phoenix realized just how similar they were, in that way.  He had always been drawn to the bold, those friends that would stay beside him and allow him to take as little personal initiative as possible.  In this way he had many arms-length acquaintances.


Had Miles surpassed him?  Phoenix couldn't remember hearing such sincerity from the man before now, and listening to him divulge his feelings when they were already pressed so close made his chest clench with an unfamiliar sensation.   Even when at opposite ends of logic, Miles placed all his trust in his childhood friend.  Phoenix was awed by the thought.


Miles sighed and at last began to pull away.  As he did, Phoenix drew his hands slowly down Miles' back, preparing to let him go completely.  But as he did Miles abruptly fell still again, and Phoenix's fingers could feel the toned muscles along his ribs and spine contract beneath them.  When Miles let out a shaky breath the air hissed past his ear.  They both stopped.


Phoenix was only instinctually aware that his unintended caress had caused the halted movement.  His body understood better than his mind that some part of Miles' taut frame misinterpreted his retreat as an advance.  But he did know, all too consciously, that whatever made Miles tense in that way it had sent a pulse of heat into his gut he hadn't felt in a long time.  There was another person in his arms, warm and unexpectedly inviting.  Though he was confused, and downright raw from all the deception and confrontation of the past several days, he couldn't give that up.  The trust Miles had confessed to him blurred, and suddenly all he could think was that he couldn't let him go.


Miles turned his head, probably intending to ease him back, but it was just enough to be construed as invitation--Phoenix tilted his own chin to meet his lips in a firm kiss.


Miles' hands flinched against Phoenix's back as his eyelids fluttered in surprise.  The kiss had almost missed; Phoenix's aim was low, his lower lip landing just below Miles'.  But Miles did the unexpected, dipping his head enough for them to properly meet.  This act of acceptance only lasted as long as the kiss.  As soon as Phoenix leaned back, face flushed and shocked with himself, he saw that Miles was just as surprised.


What did I just do?  Phoenix's eyes went wide, too frozen to think of drawing his trouble-causing hands away.  I didn't really just do that, did I?


Miles watched him, and for those few seconds his cool gray eyes seemed to fill the entire world.  "What was that for?"


"I-I didn't do it," Phoenix stammered without thinking.


"Didn't…."  Miles' face scrunched in confusion - had that actually worked?  But then he shook his head.  "I didn't know you were…like that."


"I'm not.  I mean, I wasn't.  I…."  Phoenix slumped hopelessly.  "What are we talking about?"


Miles looked baffled.  The situation would have been humorous if it wasn't already painfully awkward.  He slid his hands back to Phoenix's shoulders.  "I'm not sure."


Phoenix felt the strength begin to run out of him.  Now what?  He lowered his eyes, feeling guilty and embarrassed.  "Sorry.  I don't know what came over me."


"It's all right." 


Miles voice sounded strange just then, or at least, more contemplative than it ought to.  Phoenix started to look up, and flinched when the hand at his shoulder slithered up to cup his chin.  This time he could only stand frozen as Miles leaned in and kissed him again.


Miles was clearly the more experienced.   His lips were wide and firm, and the tiny, coaxing movements they made against Phoenix's mouth sent a quiver down into his knees.  He knew just at what angle to meet him, how much pressure to keep at Phoenix's jaw to guide them together.  His confidence was overwhelming and his tenderness even more so.  When they finally separated, Phoenix's hands were trembling at his friend's ribs.


What is this?  Phoenix took in a long gulp of air, and with it regained some of his senses.  He couldn't explain his own actions, but Miles' were definitely deliberate; his mind began to spin with questions, half-remembered exchanges, old jokes he and Larry had made at their friend's expense--they didn't seem quite so funny now, with his heart fluttering in his chest and moisture drying off his lips.


Is this what I want?  The fingers against his jaw shifted slightly, and without thinking Phoenix obeyed the prodding, tilting his chin up for yet another kiss.  This can't be why I wanted to see him again, all those years.  But when Miles drew their bodies tightly together once more, when the clench of Phoenix's hands against his back made him shiver in what Phoenix finally understood to be excitement, the rest of his rational thoughts slipped away.  It no longer mattered that it was a man's frame he was clinging to.  Miles' lips were too strong, too clever for him to consider they weren't the soft offerings of a woman that he was used to.  Instead of supple breasts Phoenix was pressed against a flat chest of toned muscle, and he didn't care.


He felt amazing.  It seemed like an eternity since he'd had a warm body wrapped around him, let alone one so confident and unyielding.  When Miles parted his lips he didn't hesitate in doing the same, and moaned softly beneath the attentions of his eager tongue.


Their breath ran out too quickly.  Even after Miles pulled back Phoenix could feel his lips tingling, and his sigh was almost a murmur of pleasure.  Every muscle in his body was taut and every nerve bright and aware, but just when he tried to pull Miles back he was halted by a hand on his chest.


"We…can't do this now," Miles said breathlessly.  A conflict of reason and lust played out all too clearly on his face as he urged Phoenix to step back from him.  "It's too…"


Phoenix retreated a few steps, and started when the back of his thighs bumped against his sofa.  He leaned heavily against it--his limbs were acting ahead of him, and he wasn't sure he could trust them with Miles still in range.  "Edgeworth, I…."


Miles straightened, smoothing his shirt and pushing his hair back in an effort to regain his composure.  Seeing him so flushed and disheveled gave Phoenix a strange feeling of accomplishment.  "This is a bad time," he continued.  "We have to go to court tomorrow, and…"  He paused, watching Phoenix, and then a slow grin stretched his features.  "And you look so confused."


Phoenix laughed weakly.  "What an understatement."


Miles' expression reflected sympathy, making Phoenix wonder exactly what the man was thinking about him.  He couldn't consider for long, though, because then Miles was stepping towards him again.  His stomach clenched expectantly just before the kiss touched his lips.  Fearful of being caught up again, Phoenix kept his hands braced firmly against the sofa back until Miles pulled away.


"We'll talk about this later," Miles assured.  His smile was young and even charming.  "Sorry, for barging in like I did.  I'll see you tomorrow."


"Yeah," Phoenix replied dumbly.  "Tomorrow."


Miles turned and headed for the door.  As soon as it closed behind him Phoenix's knees finally gave out--he sank to the floor with a long sigh.  "What the hell just happened?" he wondered aloud.  He stared down at his hands, which had caused the bizarre exchange.  "I guess Miles really is…but that means…."


Phoenix closed his eyes and shook his head.  It was hard to concentrate when he could still feel the imprints of Miles' hands on him; his stiff lips, kissing him with such intensity; the short, hot pant of his breath.  The darkness behind his eyelids gave his imagination too much of a breeding ground, and soon his mind was filled with echoes of stimulation, wondering what it would have been like if they'd gone further, if those rough hands were given more freedom, if clothing weren’t in the way--


Phoenix shivered and groaned softly, only half aware that his own fingers were creeping over the front of his pants.  It's been a long time since I've been with someone, he thought, rubbing his suddenly throbbing groin.  With my work I haven't had time to really think about myself, or having a relationship.  Let alone with someone like--


No, what am I doing?


Phoenix quickly drew his hand back, startled and a little frightened by how deeply he was being affected by the encounter.  He and Miles had certainly grown closer since his return, but not like this.  They were friends.  He shouldn't have been so filled with…the desire he felt now.


Damn it, I'm just too worked up to think clearly.  Phoenix forced himself to stand, and was already removing his shirt and tie as he made an escape towards the bathroom.  I need to calm down.  Maybe thenI can really think about this.



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