|Phoenix Wright: Ticking Turnabout
Author: C.M. Kearney PM
Set one year after T&T, an AU disregarding the events of Apollo Justice: A victim, a witness, a suspect, a defendant. One of them is a fake. Which is it? Only time will tell. The hour it struck.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Romance - Phoenix W./Nick & Iris - Chapters: 10 - Words: 31,040 - Reviews: 71 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 06-26-08 - Published: 04-23-08 - id: 4214343
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I don't ownzors squat.
Need…to stay…positive! -.-;
Hachou! Stop nagging me for the updates, and let's see YOU try this without getting a splitting headache! ;o;
Kiruna! Thank you ever so much for even TRYING to solve the mystery! XDDDDDD
Everyone, lots of loooooooove! And voila, chappie thwee!
My attorney's badge. Important to my line of work.
Imbued with spiritual power. It pulses with a soft light.
Date of death: 7/24. Traces of coal found in the victim's mouth, died between 2 - 3 AM.
Leftover charcoal from the fireplace of Jeremy Barbers' study.
Photo of the crime scene. Shows the victim.
Found in the victim's study. Appears to be belonging to the defendant.
A clock in the study. Runs on a one-day movement. Plays for at least one minute during full hours and half-hours.
The victim. A politician and a landowner who recently acquired a great amount of wealth.
Son of Jeremy Barbers. A witness to the alleged murder of his father. Is highly allergic to sunlight. Diagnosed with photodermatitis.
Wife of the victim. A kind and reserved woman of reticent sincerity.
A young prosecutor and a rock star. Is the leading prosecutor in the current case.
Homicide detective at the local precinct. In charge of the initial investigation.
A maid to the Barbers. A suspect to the murder.
An elementary school teacher at Ford Elementary and is a tutor to the witness. We have a history together...
July 25, 11:04 AM
Defendant Lobby No. 6
All three characters were huddled in the middle of the room like a quarterback team. And Phoenix was focused on rustling the papers scattered and practically unorganized around in his indistinctly scuffled briefcase. Iris watched him work. The maid Gimlet was flicking her eyes between the both of them, unsure of what to say.
"Feenie?" Iris asked again, when he didn't look up.
Apparently, the attorney's mind was deeply swimming in nothing else but the crime scene. As well as the murder's execution.
"…Um," Gimlet muttered to the other woman as they went to the other side of the room, "I think…Mr. Wright's kind of busy right now."
Iris put on a troubled face and clutching the ends of her cardigan, she cast her eyes to the floor. "…I wonder if I went too far."
"What? No way! Ms. Iris, you saved my life in there!" the maid exclaimed, upset that Iris was blaming herself. "If it hadn't been for you, the Judge would have just given me my sentence and that would've been the end of it!"
The young teacher's cheeks reddened upon recalling her recent actions in the courtroom. "…I just hope I wasn't a nuisance to anyone. Or Feenie."
"Of course not, Iris."
Both women started at Phoenix coming towards them, briefcase snapped shut and held at his side. He looked directly at her. "Gimlet's right; you really hooked us up good in there. Speaking up about the murder method just might help me turn this case around." he smiled something rare at her. "Thank you. You helped us out a whole lot."
Iris covered her mouth at his appraisal, and felt embarrassed all over again. "N-n-n-no! It-it's alright--I mean…………you're welcome, Feenie."
They stared at each other a good long while. Ten seconds of that long-drawn-out silence, Gimlet began to stare. "…"
Phoenix must have realized he was looking a little too intimately at the woman too. "…! Uhhh…!"
He cleared his throat and tried to look less awkward-looking than he already felt. Iris blushed again and glanced elsewhere to hide her face.
"Um……right." he was able to say once he collected himself. "So, about the murder."
Iris followed suit to help him with the case. "Y-yes. The coal……is that really all there was?"
Phoenix thought hard on that particular piece of evidence. "Looking back on the last session, it's not that I have to prove how the murder was carried out. I need to offer how else the murder could've been pulled."
"Something else other than the coal Mr. Barbers choked on?"
"The blood found in the study brought up some serious questions." he pieced together in his head while talking to Iris. "Whose is it? How'd they get there? And what else happened in that room that night?"
"…" Iris was quiet, thinking it over just as much as the attorney before her.
"…Say." Gimlet's voice suddenly came up, as she rose to approach the pair. "I just want to say this, Mr. Wright. Before you jump to any conclusions, there wasn't anyone else in the room last night."
"Huh?" he gave a start. "Are you sure about that?"
She nodded quickly. "Very. When I came inside the study, Mr. Barbers was sitting in one of the armchairs next to the fireplace, and the other chair was empty."
Phoenix pondered. "Hmm…this mystery just keeps getting weirder and weirder…"
Of course, he was no stranger to mysteries. He'd had worse scenarios that completely stumped the police force and the entire courtroom. He was always the one to sort out the inconceivable and pull out the truth from the witnesses' lips to clear the fog of doubt.
Iris put a hand to her cheek with a worried frown. "Surely…there has to be a good reason why blood was on the curtains."
"Let's not forget that the victim had some on his hands, too." Phoenix added. "And now…I'm wondering if maybe…"
"If what, Feenie?"
He grimaced, obviously not liking what he was about to say for the two women. "…the blood really has nothing to do with the murder."
Gimlet ogled at him. "What do you mean…?"
"I mean, that it was placed there to throw us off guard with the murder scene."
Iris raised a hand to stifle a gasp, and stared at Phoenix with an appalled expression. "Feenie! You…you don't mean…?"
He was sad to return her glance with a grim one when he replied, "…Fabricated evidence." he caught the looks from both women, especially his confused client, and added, "But I can't be too sure yet. There's too much to work on with this case and I need more information before I ever need to point out that possibility in court. It could be especially bad, if I accused Prosecutor Gavin…"
If he didn't watch his step, Phoenix might end up pointing fingers at the wrong person. And if he did, that's one step away from losing his badge, as well as the case, if he pressed on without an ounce of evidence on him. He didn't want to panic, and he couldn't. Suffice it to say, he was saving his dread for later, when the prosecution would take jabs and send him flying across the courtroom.
"…So, what happens now?" Gimlet asked, anxiety written all over her face. "I mean…what happens to me?"
Phoenix turned the case over in his head, checking from every angle. "Well, according to you Gimlet, no one was in that room aside from your employer. And the blood seemed to have just magically appeared out of nowhere if that's true. The coal and the autopsy report are my only weapons from here on."
The maid looked at her attorney like he'd grown a second head. "WHAT? Then I'm doomed!"
"No no no!" he backpedaled, not wanting her to panic. "That doesn't mean we're on a losing streak! We just…we just need to get out of today's trial unscathed by raising more questions concerning the crime scene and the state of it."
"Qu-questions?" Gimlet stuttered, still unsure about the outcome.
"Don't you worry, Gimlet." Phoenix tried to console her. "Testimony is also a good way to keep the trial going, not to mention the cross-examinations. Evidence just becomes the catalyst towards speeding up the trial, and quickly putting it to an end for the day. At least that's what I'm aiming for."
"Oh…I see…" she responded, and nodded along to his plan.
"This trial needs to give me one more chance to look into the facts concerning the order of the events." Phoenix began to think again, sharing his thoughts to the pair with him in the lobby. "Remi's testimony, or rather his confirmation of the time he found the body really bothers me…"
Gimlet began to look thoughtful. "Hmm…I don't get it. And…Remi's not one to lie, Mr. Wright."
"Yeah, I understand…"
(In that case, his testimony is rock-solid.)
(Remi's Testimony added to the Court Record.)
Iris gave him a worried look. "Feenie? Will you be alright later?"
"Huh?" Phoenix got caught off-guard by that. "Why…of course, Iris! Don't worry! I know it looks hard for me now, but eventually, the truth will become crystal clear. I also want you there with me when the trial starts again."
She gasped, surprised by his words. "R-really?"
"Sure! I um, I sort of…feel better with you there by my side…" he dropped his tone and began to sound sheepish near the end of his sentence. Who knows what it was that made him want her there beside him…maybe because he felt he needed company, or to fill up the gap where Maya used to stand…
Iris seemed to not have the words to reply, because she just relaxed and smiled endearingly at the man in front of her. "…"
July 25, 11:26 AM
Courtroom No. 4
A resounding tap from the gavel, and the court was silenced, signaling the beginning of the second session.
"Court will now reconvene for the trial of Gimlet Limegarn." The Judge announced. "I assume the prosecution and the defense are well-prepared?"
Klavier was the first to answer. "Indeed, Herr Judge. I never expected for this to happen, but…" he leaned forward to get a good look at the defense's side with a teasing grin, "…it looks like this trial will go on for a lot more longer…"
Phoenix answered with a determined glance. "…"
(…Fifty bucks says he's got an ace up his sleeve…and why do I feel like he had it from the very beginning of this trial…?)
"I want this be to done with quite soon, actually." The Judge suddenly inserted, rather grimly. "The victim's funeral will be held right after the verdict, it seems."
Phoenix looked puzzled. "Your…Honor?"
The old man just shook his head as if to dismiss the gloomy mood he was in. "Jeremy Barbers…he and I knew each other once, I must confess."
Klavier eyed him. "…Thus you feel obliged to attend the wake, Herr Judge?"
"…As so much. Yes…" the gavel tapped the podium twice, and the Judge seemed to collect himself now. "Let's proceed with the trial. Does the prosecution have anything to construe regarding the manner of the murder's execution?"
Blondie was quiet for two seconds, before answering, "…………Blood."
The former blinked. "Eh? Blood…?"
"The question that the defense raised before the verdict was handed down by Herr Judge. I believe that he requested further details concerning the murder due to that. And that the blood might have some relevance to the case."
Something occurred to Phoenix just then.
(Funny…if he hadn't brought it up, it would never have come to this… ………!)
(…Don't tell me…could I be walking into a trap because of that…?)
He stole a sideways glance towards Iris, who returned it with a questioning look. "…?"
Klavier continued, absentmindedly fingering the strands of his hair again. "Very well. I request for the good detektiv to make his appearance before the witness stand."
As soon as Gumshoe stepped up before the entire court, the prosecution addressed him. "Herr Detective, I believe I asked for further details regarding the murder scene and the body's conditions, did I not?"
"Uh, yessir, you did." the other man answered, surprisingly polite. "Soooo…" he fell quiet all of a sudden. No doubt…having forgotten what it was he was supposed to say.
"…" Phoenix dropped his guard, and pleaded, "Errr…Detective Gumshoe, talk about the blood, would you please?"
He laughed uneasily from where he stood, recovering his lost state. "Sure, pal. To start, we need to look at the diagram to show the blood's pattern." he produced a two-foot chart illustrating the floor plans of Jeremy Barbers' study. It depicted the north side layout of the study, the windows on the left. There was also a figure drawn by the fireplace's situation, possibly the position of the victim. And on the narrow design of the curtains, Gumshoe marked a micro-sized light-blue splotch. "There we go. Yep. This is where the blood was found, running down the drapes and that's a fair lot of it too. I already said it before but, the blood belongs to neither the victim nor the defendant."
"Yes, but how do you judge did the same blood appear on the victim's hands?" Klavier asked him directly, no secret smiles this time.
Gumshoe thought for a while. "… …Maybe the victim touched the curtains and didn't realize what got on his hands."
The Judge cast a withering look in the direction of the detective. "…That is improbable. Oh!" he suddenly exclaimed on a burst of deduction. "What if he was pushed by the defendant towards the curtains, hands outstretched to keep from crashing headlong through the window?"
"And why would the defendant do that? And where would the blood have come from?" Klavier inquired quietly, thinking deeply himself.
"…Oh!" went His Honor again, on a role. "Because she was trying to kill him! By pushing him out the window!"
Phoenix recoiled in shock as the court buzzed with this idea. "What the!"
(Since when did the Judge even have the right to establish the murder method!)
Gumshoe started talking again after the Judge's gavel settled the racket down. "I'm sorry, but as creative as that might be Your Honor, pushing the victim out of the window's just downright impossible."
"Huh?" Phoenix stared, puzzled.
"Listen, pal. Those glass windows are thick, bullet-proof anti-smash brands. And they don't come cheap in the market either. Anyone flying headlong through those couldn't expect to break past 2 layers. And if anyone tried, you're rest assured you wouldn't die trying."
"I say the defendant knew this too." Klavier added for him, snapping his fingers to a quiet tune again. "She lives in that mansion, afterall. There's no valid reason for a useless attempt to kill her employer." he threw a grin over at the defense again, his confidence unbreakable. "Methinks that there was only one thing the defendant did that night: catch the victim off-guard and shoved Death down his throat, just like that."
Phoenix almost palmed the bench to defend his client's reason for wanting to kill Mr. Barbers. However, his conscience beat him to the chase. He was in no position to demand for a motive yet, and Blondie was actually provoking him into doing something reckless. He needed to wait it out a little longer. And besides that, he promised himself that he wouldn't lose it and outright deny everything that the prosecution threw against the accused. That wasn't how Mia Fey tutored him, and he knew better than that. He was more experienced than that, more clued-up than before. Listening for the truth, believing in the witnesses and his client…it was Phoenix Wright.
Beside him, Iris was watching both the trial and her once-college sweetheart with a vaguely guarded expression, as if she was afraid to lose face if it meant Phoenix's life (or anyone's for that matter) was on the line.
(Wait a sec.)
Phoenix took the opportunity to give the crime scene some thought too. After a while, he spoke up. "Detective. A while ago, you made it sound like the blood was already there. Why would you think that?"
"Huh? Wha?" Gumshoe cocked his head to one side, confused all of a sudden. "Well…uh…"
"Instead of Herr Detective having to be troubled with that assumption," Klavier interrupted, his tone benign, "what say Herr Wright give his own opinion?"
He seemed to challenge Phoenix, and the attorney could tell that much himself. He risked a quick glance over to the defendant's chair where his anxious but brave-looking client sat. Whatever the outcome of this case was, there was nothing else but to go forward, even if his position fell into jeopardy. What mattered was for Gimlet's name to be cleared.
(Can I offer an explanation for the blood's appearance…?)
A/N: Cut to update the Court Record. :) And vote for the sake of having that gamey feeling!
Do you want to:
1) Explain the reason
2) Stand down