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 9

Friday, September 20h, 2019.  10:52 am




Miles was used to taking risks in court, but he had a feeling this particular maneuver would stay on his record for some time.


It wasn't as if he had a choice.  When his boss had described to him the clinic report Phoenix had produced, he was dumbfounded--alibis that strong just didn't show up in court.  If it was a legitimate document, it meant that Miles' case was already over.


But she concealed it for this long.  Miles watched Urami from across the court, and she met his gaze without falter.  Whatever Phoenix said, Miles knew who he was really up against in this battle.  It's been four years.  If she didn't hand it over to her pet lawyers before now, there's a reason.  And on this short noticethere's only one way to discredit this evidence.


"The Prosecution calls Dr. Hotta to the stand."


Phoenix could not have looked more surprised if his jaw had literally hit the table.  The gallery, however, was merely confused, judging by the murmurs echoing behind him.  Their thoughtful mutterings quickly changed to stunned silence when Dr. Hotta shuffled up behind the witness podium.  The Judge didn't seem to know what to make of him.  Dr. Hotta was certainly making Miles' case already, degrading his own credibility with every scratch of his armpit.


Not my finest hour, Miles admitted to himself.  He cleared his throat.  "Witness.  Please state your name and occupation."


"Ah, hm.  Do I have to?" Dr. Hotta asked.  He spotted Chassie in her defendant's seat and waved creepily.


Miles frowned.  "What you told me earlier will be sufficient."


"Ah, okay."  He straightened and grinned, displaying crooked teeth.  "I'm Dr. Hotta.  I work at the Hotta Clinic."


"As a doctor?" the Judge inquired quickly.  As slow as he usually was, even he didn't seem encouraged by the prospect of having Dr. Hotta as a physician.


"Yes!  Well…."  Dr. Hotta's beady eyes gleamed.  "Sort of."


"S-Sort of?"


"Your Honor," Miles interrupted.  "I believe Dr. Hotta is the source from which Mr. Wright received his latest evidence.  Isn't that so?"


He glanced to Phoenix, who was finally overcoming his surprise.  "It was Dr. Hotta who gave me the report," Phoenix confirmed carefully.  "But if you check the information on it, he was not the doctor that treated Chassie."


"Yes.  In fact, I checked with the clinic myself, yesterday."  Miles shifted through his papers.  "The Dr. Stiles that treated and released Chassie no longer works there, and I wasn't able to find any current contact information."  He pushed the rest of his evidence aside--all that mattered now was this one report and the man that had supplied it.  "So there really is no way to confirm the contents of this report."


Phoenix leaned forward slightly against his desk.  "You still haven't shown any proof the report is faulty," he reminded.  His voice had strengthened to show how closely he was paying attention.  They were both gauging the other, waiting for some contradiction or moment of weakness.  His intensity was…oddly exhilarating.


"Witness."  Miles tore his gaze away to focus again on Dr. Hotta.  "Will you please testify as to what you witnessed the morning of October 2nd?"


Dr. Hotta nodded, though he was distracted, busily scanning the row of spectators.  All along the walls Miles could see women flinching and drawing away.  "Ah, that's right.  Night of the fire, hm.  I was around."  His leering gaze swung back to Chassie, who held herself with remarkable self-control under his scrutiny.  "Cute little thing comes in, I take notice.  She was all cut up, so they stitched her up good.  Sent her home.  I got a picture for my collection."  He patted the front pocket of his frayed lab coat, and the stiffness of it indicated there was more than one photo inside.


He had better not have Franziska's photo in there, Miles thought uncomfortably.


"Would the defense like to cross examine?" the Judge prompted.


Phoenix considered, trying not to notice as Dr. Hotta turned his attention to Urami.  "Dr. Hotta's testimony confirms the evidence," he said thoughtfully.  He was watching Miles for any indication that he was coming to the wrong conclusion, but Miles had played that game longer, and he didn't give anything away in his face.  "Chassie hurt her hand and went to the clinic for treatment.  It put her well out of range for when the fire was started."


"In that case, I'd like the witness to continue his testimony," Miles took over.  "Specifically, this 'collection' he mentioned just now."


The Judge looked dubious, but he nodded.  "Very well.  The witness may continue."


Dr. Hotta glanced between Miles and the Judge with his own expression of doubt.  "My collection?"  He covered his pocket protectively.  "Photos of old patients."


"You don't have to show us," Miles quickly assured.  "Just describe it, briefly, for the court."


"Well…they're photos," Dr. Hotta explained, suddenly wary.  There was clearly someone in there he didn't want Miles to know about.  "When a pretty girl shows up to the clinic…sometimes they let me take a picture.  Out of gratitude, yup.  For all the help I give'm."


Whispers arose from the gallery, mostly women expressing their disgust.  It was the best reaction Miles could have hoped for, even if he was considering surrendering Dr. Hotta over to his sister by the end of the day.  "Out of gratitude," Miles repeated, half to himself.  He lifted his voice once more.  "So you're saying they're all pictures of beautiful women that you've collected over the years."


"'S right."


"You're very fond of beautiful women?"


Dr. Hotta chuckled deeply, inducing another round of cringing spectators.  "Isn't everyone?"


"So if one of these women needed your help, like when they come into the clinic," Miles pressed, "you would help her.  Isn't that so?"


Phoenix straightened at his bench, finally catching on to the direction Miles had taken.  Dr. Hotta's answer was so immediate that he didn't have a chance to interject.  "'Course I would.  More gratitude for me."


"Mr. Edgeworth," the Judge said, frowning as he considered the strange testimony.  "May I ask what point you're trying to make?"


Miles grinned smugly.  "Isn't it clear, Your Honor?  This supposed 'doctor' has a weakness for attractive young women, like the defendant.  He just admitted he would be more than willing to help such a woman in need.  And here he is, with a remarkable piece of evidence that just happens to be exactly what's needed to save her life."


"Objection!" Phoenix shouted.  He pointed emphatically at Dr. Hotta.  "Just because he likes Chassie doesn't mean he's a liar, and it doesn't disprove this report, which was written by a different doctor!"


"Then let's ask him," Miles suggested boldly.  He looked to Dr. Hotta as well, knowing full well that his case and half his reputation depended on the man's answer.  "Dr. Hotta.  Would you lie to help Chassie Gander, if it meant she would be indebted to you?"


"Prob'ly," Dr. Hotta replied, causing Phoenix and most of the court to falter in surprise.  "Wouldn't be the first time."  He caught on a moment later as to what Miles was implying.  "Oh!  But I'm not lying this time.  Nope."


Miles grinned at his rival triumphantly.  He was about offer some extra words of gloating, but he suddenly realized what Dr. Hotta had just said.  Wouldn't be the first time?  He might not have thought too much of it, if not for the sudden narrowing of Urami's eyes.  Miles glanced to Chassie, who was wringing her hands together anxiously.  She had been watching the proceedings closely up until then, but now her head was turned away.


Phoenix struggled to recover, seemingly unaware of the irritation his unofficial co-council was projecting, or the discomfort of his client.  "That still isn't proof!" he insisted.  "Dr. Hotta didn't even write this report."


He's lied for her before, Miles thought, his mind suddenly spinning.  And it doesn't look like Wright caught that.  He took a breath and pounded his fist on his desk, using the percussion to focus himself once more.  "But he could have," he reasoned.  "This document was only introduced today--we have only the word of an admitted liar that it's authentic."


The Judge pounded on his gavel to quiet them down.  "Mr. Edgeworth, the defense does have a point.  Do you have any proof this document has been fabricated or altered in some way?"


"Not yet, Your Honor," Miles admitted.  "But our lab has not had the chance to examine this document, whether to authenticate or discredit it.  The Prosecution asks that court be adjourned until certain tests are conducted."


"Hold on!" Phoenix interrupted.  "There's no reason to think this document might not be authentic.  As it clearly shows Chassie could not have committed this crime, the Defense pushes for a verdict now!"


Phoenix certainly had learned decisiveness in the years since Miles had first faced him in court, and he had to admire him for that.  But Miles wasn't about to let him get away with such a speedy trial, for all the trouble they'd been put through.  "Your Honor, I think this witness alone speaks volumes as to the credibility of this document."


Dr. Hotta blinked dumbly.  "What, you mean me?"


The Judge cleared his throat uncomfortably.  "The Prosecution has a point.  How much time do you need?"


"I'd still like to attempt to get in contact with the issuing doctor, as well as perform the necessary tests," Miles said, relaxing a little.  "Since it's already Friday, I request that we adjourn for the weekend."


Phoenix jumped suddenly, and shot a quick glance at Urami.  Miles didn't catch what she'd done but it must have worked, as Phoenix spoke up again.  "Your Honor, my client has been imprisoned for the past four years for a crime she didn't commit.  Do we really have to wait another three days?  I'm sure the tests the Prosecution is talking about wouldn't take that long to conduct."


Thankfully, the Judge shook his head.  "This is an important trial, with a new and surprising piece of evidence.  As I understand, the Prosecution was given very short notice on the appeal of this case.  More than that, their office burned down just the other day."  He nodded to Miles in sympathy.  "It's good to see you in good health, Mr. Edgeworth."


"Thank you, Your Honor.  Not that our office was entirely burned down."


"See what a good sport he is?" the Judge complimented.  "I think the least this court can do is grant both sides the opportunity to conduct the necessary investigations.  Dr. Hotta is excused from the stand, and this court is hereby adjourned until ten o'clock Monday morning."


The Judge's gavel came down, signaling the end of that day's proceedings.  It was a welcomed sound that allowed Miles a long sigh of relief.  Three days.  More than we usually have to make a case.  It'll have to be enough.  He arranged his papers together and slid them into his briefcase.


The crowd was buzzing as everyone began to pile slowly out of the gallery seats.  Miles tried not to pay attention to them, as he was fairly certain he didn't want to hear whatever they thought of him at the moment.  As he straightened his suit and cravat Gumshoe came up next to him.


"Mr. Edgeworth!  You did great," he said brightly.


"Not really.  But at least I bought us some time."  Miles ran a hand back through his hair, collecting his thoughts.  "There's still a lot of work to do."


Gumshoe clapped his shoulder.  "I've got the weekend off duty, 'cause of the other day.  If ya got any leg work for me to do, I'll hop right to it, Pal."


"You shouldn't waste your time off on this," Miles chided.  "You earned it."


Miles glanced across the court, where Phoenix was handing over his clinic report to the bailiff.  For a moment their eyes met, and Miles felt a little twinge in his chest leftover from the day before.  We have to talk about it.


"It's no problem at all, Sir!" Gumshoe assured, drawing Miles' attention back.  "With so many of us working on the arson--er, the newer one--there aren't many cops to spare for ya.  You'll need a hand on the investigation, won't ya?"


Miles relented.  "Yes, you're right.  Thank you, Detective."


They turned to go, Miles relating his instructions on the way.




Phoenix, meanwhile, was trying to reassure Urami and Chassie as they returned to the Defense Lobby, where the officers would come to take their charge back to her holding cell.  "I know it's not the best outcome we could hope for.  But it's not like the report has been thrown out, right?  As soon as Edgeworth has them do the tests and it turns out to be legitimate, no one will be able to argue you started that fire."


"That fool Hotta," Urami murmured, straightening her dress.  "I knew he would be a problem…."  She glanced up at Phoenix through her bangs.  "You should have argued harder…"


"I did the best I could," Phoenix replied quickly.  "You have to admit, Dr. Hotta's credibility is a hard thing to defend."  He rubbed the back of his hand with a slight wince.  "You really didn't have to pinch me so hard…."


"Will I still have to testify?" asked Chassie.  Phoenix was amazed by her composure--he rarely had clients that calm. 


"Probably not.  The clinic report is solid evidence, and once it's proved authentic there won't be a need."  Phoenix rubbed his chin thoughtfully.  "Besides, I'd rather you not be up there against Edgeworth, if we can help it.  He'll do whatever he can to ruin your credibility, too."


Chassie nodded slowly.  It was already going to be a struggle for her once she was acquitted; even if the law found her innocent, it didn't mean the public would.  She would never be able to escape being considered a Shikabane accomplice.


"Phoenix Wright!"  The Defense Lobby door burst open, and in stomped April May.  She had barely reached him before she had her hand out.  "I believe you owe me a little something?"


Phoenix sighed.  "Yeah, yeah…."  He reached into his suit pocket for his wallet.  "You did a good job today, April."


"Yes, I know--I was there."  She glanced at Urami and Chassie.  A woman's smile had never looked so fake.  "Congratulations, you two."


"Good to see you again…Miss May…" Urami greeted coldly.  She looked to Phoenix.  "You paid her off…?  I didn't think you had that in you, Mr. Wright."


Phoenix chuckled nervously as he pulled out the money, sealed in another white bank envelope.  "It's not like that," he tried to defend himself.  He glanced away uncomfortably, and with his eyes fixed on the open Lobby door, he caught a glance of familiar magenta sweeping past.  Miles was leaving.  Phoenix tensed as he remembered his determination from earlier that morning--they still had to talk.  It was important, and he had the sudden fear that if Miles escaped from him now, he would go the whole weekend without knowing what had really transpired between them.


Phoenix barely noticed when April snatched the money out of his hand.  He instead turned to Urami, ignoring April as she marched out.  "I have to go," he said shortly, already moving toward the door.  "Today went well--trust me, okay?  I'll get you set free, Chassie."


"Is something the matter…?" Urami asked quietly.


"N-No, of course not.  Just…very busy."  Phoenix grinned sheepishly.  He knew he was doing a horrible job of looking innocent, but he couldn't just let Miles slip away without a word.  "I'll talk to you again soon--I promise!"


Phoenix retreated from the Lobby, leaving two confused women in black as he hurried down the corridor.  Thankfully, Miles' suit was never hard to spot, but as he drew closer Phoenix noticed Gumshoe was with him again.  It would make it harder to speak his mind, but he was through with all the confusion and misunderstanding between them.


"Edgeworth!"  Phoenix hadn't meant to call out, as he figured it would only make Miles walk faster, but he was surprised to see it work; Miles slowed, and Gumshoe with him, so that Phoenix was able to catch up.  He huffed momentarily before speaking.  "Edgeworth, we…we have to talk."


Miles' eyes thinned slightly, but he managed not to falter in stride or expression.  He didn't even look at Phoenix as they continued down the hall together.  "About what?"


Phoenix rolled his eyes.  Denial is not going to get us anywhere.  "You know what I mean."


"Now's not a good time," he said stiffly.


Being a jerk about it won't, either.  Phoenix watched him, hoping to see some indication that Miles was giving their "encounter" the same gravity of thought that he had, and finding none.  Do you even know how confusing this is for me?  "Then can I at least call you later?"


"What for?"


Phoenix snatched him by the arm just before they reached the doors, dragging Miles to a halt much the same way Gumshoe had detained him earlier.  It surprised Miles enough to make him look at him, at least.  "Please," Phoenix said, unashamed to let his vulnerability show.  "Don't pretend it didn't happen."


Miles met his gaze, and finally something behind his eyes softened, revealing at least some of the sensitivity Phoenix had seen in him before.  His lips pursed, which made him look almost embarrassed.  "How could I?"


Phoenix sighed quietly in relief.  I don't really know what's happening to usbut we can't go back.  He smiled shakily.  I don't want to go back.


Gumshoe glanced between them awkwardly.  "Umm…."


Miles must have forgotten they were being watched, as the sound of Gumshoe's voice jarred him.  He tugged his arm out of Phoenix's grasp.  "I'll call you later tonight," he promised.  "So we can talk."


"Okay."  Phoenix held his hands up in mock surrender.  "That's all I wanted to hear."


Miles smirked faintly as he turned back towards the door.  "You might want to brace yourself."




Miles pushed the door open, and immediately they were flooded by a fresh barrage of flashing camera lights and unanswerable questions.  Phoenix winced and squeezed his eyes shut--he didn't think he'd ever get used to that.  When he blinked them open again, Miles and Gumshoe were heading down the courthouse stairs, Gumshoe acting as defense to keep the reporters at bay.   They managed to work their way down the line with impressive dexterity.


After all this time, he's still a mystery, Phoenix thought as he watched Miles' gray hair bob through the crowd.  I have no idea what he thinks of me.  He took a deep breath and prepared to make his own exit.  Maybe we'll figure it out tonight.


Just as he stepped outside, the commotion raised a pitch, and it wasn't until two thin arms wrapped around his elbow that he really understood why.  He glanced down, and jumped at the sight of Urami clinging to him.  Right in front of every camera in L.A.


"Mr. Wright!  So you are working for Miss Shikabane!"


"Have you changed your ethical policy, Mr. Wright?"


"Exactly how much is she paying you?"


Phoenix let out a long sigh.  Of course they'd all get the wrong ideas.  He glanced further down the stairs, where Miles had finally broken away and was heading for the parking lot.  You could have at least stayed behind to help me! 


"Just keep walking," Urami instructed.   He could barely hear her over the sound of the reporters.  "Don't answer their questions."


Phoenix bit back a wince as he moved, slowly but steadily, down the steps.  He couldn't hear most of their questions anyway, but it was difficult not to respond to so many people suddenly challenging his integrity.


"Is this going to be a repeat of last year, Mr. Wright?" someone close to him asked.


Phoenix took a deep breath.  How can I let that stand?  "My client is innocent!" he called, despite Urami's arm tightening around his.  "I'm not defending her because Miss Shikabane or anyone else asked me to.  I'm defending her because she hasn't killed anyone!"


That only increased their fervor, making Phoenix wish he hadn't said anything.  As they neared halfway down, Urami tilted her head up to whisper in his ear.  He was wishing so strongly that no one got a shot of it that he almost didn't hear her.  "You're coming with me."


Phoenix blinked, and glanced ahead of them to the street where a long black limo was waiting.  He had seen too many crime dramas to think for a second that was a good idea, and not just because it would convince the crowd even more strongly of his criminal intentions.  "I'm not getting in any limo," he said instantly.


Urami chuckled.  "There's a taxi behind it…."  She lowered her arms to instead hold his hand, and he felt her tuck a piece of paper into the cuff of his sleeve.  "Meet me at this address…  We have to talk."


This…does not sound good.  Phoenix gulped, but there wasn't anything he could do, with the press of journalists so close and the taxi certainly there on the curb.  She can't kill you until you've won the case, he reminded himself.  Not that it brightened his mood any.


"Okay."  Maybe Edgeworth will avenge me, at least.  "I will."


"I know you will…."  Urami let go of him, and thanks to her shorter stature managed to slip through the rest of the gawking spectators with little difficulty.  A man in a black suit opened the door to the limousine for her.


You've come this far.  What's the worst that could happen?  With a deep breath Phoenix pushed his way out of the mob and headed for the taxi.



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