A/N:This is my first Phoenix & Edgeworth mystery fic and I hope that you enjoy it. :) It's a genre I haven't written in previously so I'm hoping I do a good job writing it. :) Phoenix's POV is in italics with Edgeworth's is in the usual text beginning in chapter 2. As for the title, it refers to an oubliette, "a secret dungeon with an opening only in the ceiling, as in certain old castles." (The definition I used for oubliette is taken from an online dictionary)
The word itself comes from a French word 'oblier' which means "to forget" and it definitely wasn't a place you wanted to be in. That's where the title comes from. :) Of course, there aren't any castles that I know of in the PW universe so I had to make up an oubliette of my own in a different place. :) I hope it works. :)
Phoenix has been kidnapped and Edgeworth is desperately trying to find him before it's too late. Ema, Maya and Gumshoe, once they find out what happened, offer to help him in his search and the four race against time to find Phoenix. This question remains uppermost in their minds: is it already too late to save him and, for Miles, has he lost his love forever?
It's been awhile since I last posted anything but ideas are now flowing-and I have also begun writing-ATBE chapter 7 so that's good news from that front. :) I hope that everyone will enjoy this story in the meantime. :) I have made some corrections and additions to the story since I first put it up. :)
Thanks to Lyrical Rawr & ShadowSuzaku for their invaluable help and advice and to my husband, who's advice and suggestions were valuable in the revised version! I appreciate it more than I can say!! Thank you..one and all!
I dedicate this fic to ShadowSuzaku & Lyrical Rawr, with grateful thanks. :) You both are the best!
As always, comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. :)
Phoenix & Edgeworth, mild language
The first thing I was aware of was the darkness. Stygian, suffocating blackness surrounding me. The second was that I was in pain; my head throbbed insistently and I hissed through clenched teeth as I slowly began to move from my prone position on the ground. The third was that I was lying down on something uncomfortably hard that I could not identify as of yet.
I slowly lifted my arm and was surprised to discover that it stung with pain as well and was hard to lift. My eyes were slowly becoming accustomed to the blackness and it seemed like I was in some sort of underground room, near as I could tell. Maybe a basement of some sort, judging by the feel of hard dirt underneath me.
I had a hard time moving. When I moved even the slightest bit, every joint in my body screamed with pain, so I thought it best not to do so if I could avoid it.
'Where the heck am I?' I wondered, slowly lifting my hand to my eyes and rubbing them, 'and, more importantly, how did I get here?' Which led to another inevitable question: why?
I carefully concentrated in hopes of assessing the damage, if any and I was quite pleased to find there wasn't any significant harm that I was aware of save for the beginnings of a lump, making itself all too painfully known, on the back of my head. Anything else would really put a crimp in my legal career.
It was all rather...disconcerting, to say the least. I hadn't the foggiest idea where I was, how I came to be there or even who brought me here in the first place.
'What was the last thing I remember?' I thought, wincing at the pain shooting through my head. 'What was I doing?' I dimly remembered that I was supposed to be somewhere to meet with someone. But who? I couldn't remember.
A name kept hovering around the edge of my consciousness but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Like a phantasm, it stayed tantalizingly out of reach, just a little beyond my grasp.
There was something nagging at me; I wished that I could remember exactly what that was. I found that a mite aggravating. I supposed if I really put my mind to it I could figure out what the name that lay on the fringes of my memory was, why that was important and which person it was to whom the name belonged.
It was there..just on the tip of my tongue. If only I could reach out just a bit further...
A flash of bright, white light crossed in front of my eyes, accompanied by a stab of agonizing pain that felt like I had been struck in the side of the face with some hard object. I cried out, falling back down onto the hard-packed dirt floor, fresh pain searing throughout my body.
I gasped and twisted, writhing in almost unbearable agony, biting hard on my lower lip to keep from crying out. Oh, god, I hurt everywhere!
I heard a voice coming from somewhere up above me and it didn't sound very happy. It was a low voice, one that echoed with unspoken menace and one that was obviously put out with me for some reason I couldn't fathom.
"Now, Mr. Wright," it said chidingly, slowly making its way toward me. "You know very well not to do that." A deep sigh. "If you insist on continuing this rather vain and fruitless opposition, you'll end up just like she did." I could hear the voice coming closer. "And you don't want that, do you?"
'She? Who...is...she? What is this person talking about? Who are you and who is it that you're talking about? I don't understand.. Gods, my head hurts...'
A cruel chuckle and shuffling footsteps that stopped in front of where I was lying. I looked up trying, in vain, to make out the person standing in front of me in the darkness.
I could see a vague outline but nothing more and I couldn't tell if the person standing in front of me was male or female. The voice certainly gave nothing away.
"Tch. My dear Mr. Wright, if only you'd done as I had asked and come with me quietly, none of this would have been necessary. You have only yourself to blame for this, you know."
I could hear the voice coming ever closer and realized that, whoever it was, they were either bending down or kneeling on the ground.
"We can do this the easy way or the hard way, Mr. Wright. It's entirely up to you." Another cruel chuckle emitted from it's lips. "I don't want to have to send you back to your lover in pieces; that really wouldn't be at all pleasant, now would it?" Deep, menacing laughter suddenly rang out. "Not only that but it really is rather messy and I would like to avoid that as much as possible." A protracted sigh soon followed. "It really does depend on you."
My head spun. 'Lover? What...lover? I don't have a lover. What on earth are you talking about...?'
Wait a moment. A name... That name, hovering just beyond me. Was that name my...lover's... name? I couldn't think straight through the fresh pain that flowed through me once more; it felt like my head had split open.
"Don't play with me, Mr. Wright," the voice hissed angrily in my ear. "I promise you that you will certainly regret it if you do and then what would your dear Mr. Edgeworth do with you dead, I wonder?" I felt rough fingertips draw themselves over the skin of my cheek and I instinctively shrank away from it.
Another burst of menacing laughter from the darkness; I really didn't like where this conversation was heading. Who was Edgeworth and why did that name sound so familiar to me?
I wished I could understand...
'Edgeworth...? Who...?' The thoughts were hazy and incomplete. I knew this name but I couldn't remember how or the face to whom it belonged. Everything was so fuzzy and out of focus..
"So pretty," the voice crooned above me, the unwanted caresses continuing; my skin crawled at the shape's every touch. "Such a pretty, pretty boy. You make such a beautiful pair, you and Mr. Edgeworth; so perfect together..."
High-pitched giggling followed that last statement and I felt a chill creep up my spine. "I wonder what he will do to ensure your safe return, hmmm?"
I was dimly aware of hot breath on the side of my face; I tried not to wince at the shape's sour-smelling breath as it drifted past my nose. "Maybe, just maybe, we may even be able to strike a deal to ensure that you're returned alive and well...and in one piece." Loud, raucous laughter rang out all around me. "You'll be the prize."
My blood ran cold at these words, a shudder ripping through my body. I felt a closed fist crash into the side of my head, which sent another burst of pain coursing through me.
A thin scream escaped from my tightly clenched lips and tears flowed down my cheeks. I curled up into a tight ball, whimpering in pain.'Gods..stop. Please, stop...'
"Don't make me angry," the voice hissed again, the words spit out in a staccato manner, each word dripping with venom. I vaguely wondered why. "That would be a very, very foolish thing for you to do." I could hear his teeth grinding together, the terrible, gnashing sound sending chills up and down my spine. " I would have to hurt you and that isn't what I want to do."
The voice seemed further away now and I belatedly realized that the speaker had stood up. "I never wanted to hurt any of them but they made me. They made me hurt them! I didn't want to but...they...made...me!"
Hurt...them? Did this mean that this person killed other people? It certainly sounded like it. And what exactly did this person mean by "I didn't want to hurt them but they made me?" Truthfully, I didn't want to find out.
I retreated back into silence which seemed to mollify the shape somewhat. The pain in my body only seemed to increase. When I lifted my arm once again, I was quite surprised to hear the clinking of chain links and felt cold metal biting into the skin around my wrists and waist.
It was at this point that my fogged brain came to understand that I was chained to a back wall which spread out behind me, iron manacles circling my wrists and waist tightly with enough chain attached to both that I could move for a limited distance.
And, while I had no idea exactly what was going on as of yet, who it was had taken me to this godforsaken place or even the face to whom the name that kept nagging in the back of my head belonged to, one inescapable truth did become unmistakably clear in that instant.
I was in serious trouble.
And so was 'Edgeworth,' whoever he was.