|Life Doesn't Work That Way
Author: Daphne22 PM
Phoenix and Edgeworth deal with the repercussions of Lana Skye's trial while trying to trying to figure out what they really mean to each other. Set between 1-5 and JFA, spoilers for both. Slash. Miles Edgeworth/Phoenix Wright.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Chapters: 18 - Words: 54,752 - Reviews: 195 - Favs: 146 - Follows: 58 - Updated: 07-04-08 - Published: 03-25-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4154821
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As one might guess, I don't own the characters I'm playing with. Oh well.
Phoenix Wright did not have a happy ending. What he did have was a giant pile of paperwork, no assistant, and a coffee machine that wasn't working right. Yes, trials were faster affairs than they used to be but somehow the amount of paperwork seemed the same. What time might have once been spent writing briefs for a judge's perusal before a case had now transformed into a meticulous record keeping of arguments and logic after the case, whose submission was demanded by the state.
It had been two months since he'd had a case and Phoenix was finally getting to the end of his backlog, pulling together the final pages of the whole mess with Von Karma, Edgeworth, and DL-6. After the trial had ended it had almost been a relief to go back and work through Will Powers' trial again on paper. Will was a genuinely kind, if somewhat bumbling, man and it made Phoenix smile to think of him.
Miles' case was another matter. Miles had been saved, true, both from the guilt he'd carried and from whatever sentence might have befallen him had he been found guilty, but he'd also learned the man he'd trusted as mentor and father-figure for years had killed his real father and would have gladly done the same to him. Phoenix felt a little ill every time he tried to wrap his mind around it.
Miles himself had disappeared for a month after the trial. Apparently, he was back in the prosecutors' office now but Phoenix had heard nothing from him in the time since.
Phoenix turned away from his computer and stared out the window at the hotel across the street. He took a sip of his now cold coffee and then, being reminded of the sludge the coffee machine was turning out these days, made a face and put it down.
What had he expected, following after Miles like he had? He'd written letters when they were younger and Miles had first disappeared. In a remarkable act of commitment for a young boy, he had kept the habit up for almost three years even though he had never recieved a response.
He'd written more letters in college, when Miles had resurfaced at the prosecutors' office. Miles never responded to those either, but Phoenix hadn't been surprised. At the time it was just something to do, some way of reaching out. He'd followed the man into the law after that, saved his life in court and... nothing.
Phoenix wasn't sure what he had expected but it wasn't this half-empty feeling of things being incomplete. It wasn't total silence from the other man. Something which had never been defined in his mind was supposed to be happening and, at the moment, it wasn't.
Phoenix watched as a maid in one of the hotel rooms made up the bed and then shut the curtains to block out the afternoon sun. Then he turned back to his computer telling himself that he really ought to grow up and let the ideas of childhood drift away. Life didn't work that way. That's all there was to it.
There was a knock and the office door opened. Phoenix jumped slightly, caught in his reverie and not expecting anyone, and then got up to see who it was. A young girl stood there, about Maya's age, a bag slung across her shoulder and an enormous pair of pink glasses perched on her head.
"Mr. Wright?" she said. "My name's Ema Skye."
O O O
A body had been found in the trunk of Miles Edgeworth's car. He was not happy about this. Luckily, the evidence had panned out in a way that he was on no one's suspect list. Still, it meant that he was involved in a case in some way other than running it and he hated the feeling. Therefore, Miles did the only thing he could think of.
He made sure he was prosecuting the case.
But something was wrong. The evening before the trial Miles stood in his office, staring out his window at the Los Angeles skyline, a cup of tea cooling in his hand. He was not entirely sure that Lana Skye was guilty. Yes, she did confess to the crime but there was something not right about the whole situation. Things didn't add up quite correctly and there was a Von Karma-like feeling about the whole affair.
Still, he thought, sipping his tea, his job was to try to prove the defendant guilty, so that was exactly what he would do.
Perhaps a bigger problem was the opposing council.
Miles had taken a month off after Phoenix had successfully defended him. He had rented a place up the coast and spent his time walking around the rocky cliffs near San Francisco and Monterey, trying to make sense of all the things that had just happened.
In the end, though, he couldn't really. So he'd simply come home and tried to do what he done for the past four years, letting the routine of work and life he'd cultivated carry him. He didn't call Phoenix because calling people and going out for coffee and seeking out social ties was not something Miles did. Right now Miles was running on pure habit.
He really did feel like he owed the man something, though. He put his tea down and, collapsing into the chair behind his desk, glanced at his chess board, still set up in its angry tableau after all these months.
He wasn't angry at Phoenix anymore, far from it. Even that had been a short competitive burst. Still, the chess pieces sat unmoved, a constant reminder that Miles had met his match in court.
Certainly in terms of knowledge of the law and sheer persuasive power, Miles was the more skillful. But Phoenix was also passionate and deeply observant and those qualities made him an opponent to contend with.
Miles turned his attention back towards the papers on his desk, forcing his mind away from Phoenix and back to the argument he had been preparing. There was no reason his mind should keep wandering back to him. He sat, pen poised above a yellow legal pad.
Nothing sprang to mind. He frowned. He put the pen down.
It was just that he was connected to Phoenix now, somehow, and he wasn't used to that. Nor, for that matter, could he put his finger on what exactly that connection was. They had been childhood friends but to most rational people that would be a very limited connection, particularly when two people hadn't seen each other for almost fifteen years.
Although, Phoenix had written, sending letters through the courthouse when Miles left without a forwarding address. He'd hardly thought of the letters in their seven year pause but then there he was, more than twenty and a boy from half a lifetime ago was again sending messages through the courthouse again.
"Dear Prosecutor Edgeworth. Wow, that looks funny to write. I guess it's just going to have to be Miles from here on out, then... How are you..."
Miles shut his eyes, as if that first letter from four years ago was burned into his eyelids, remembering distinctly the childish prose. Even now, Phoenix had stood up for him and Phoenix believed in him effortlessly, but Miles couldn't begin to say why. Nor could he say, for that matter, what Miles role in all of it was supposed to be.
Miles inhaled deeply. The whole thing was just foolish. Life didn't work that way, whatever that way might be, and he couldn't live in some other man's daydream, even if the other man thought he was involved in it.
He stood up and began packing his briefcase. Tomorrow, he told himself, he would get up, and he would go to court. He got his coat and wrapped a long scarf around his neck. When he would see Phoenix and he would greet him as a colleague and an opponent. Miles Edgeworth shut off the light and closed the office door.
And then he would prove Lana Skye guilty.