Disclaimer: Phoenix Wright is obviously not mine.

With her confession complete, Iris closed her eyes and waited for the angry response she knew she deserved. Even after all these years, Iris couldn't even forgive herself for deceiving him. She had no right to expect his forgiveness, but still she wished for it with every fiber of her being. Five years ago, there had been so many things left unsaid. Iris could remember every second with him. She could remember how her heart would skip a beat at the mere sound of her Feenie's voice, the way his face would brighten when he saw her approach, and all those perfect evenings as they held each other close until the morning light.

Over the past five years, not a day had gone by where she hadn't thought about him. There were so many times that she'd almost picked up the phone and called him. She actually had once about a year before. As she'd listened to the phone ring, anxiety had ripped through her as she thought about what he would say. How could she explain things to him? Would he understand? Would he even believe her? She was positive that he would have forgotten about "Dollie" long ago. He was a successful lawyer just as he had dreamed with a good life as far as she could tell from the news she heard when she went into town for supplies. What right had she to disrupt his life? As soon as the familiar voice answered the phone, she slammed down the receiver, biting back tears. "I love you, Feenie," she mentally screamed the words she knew she could never say. "It's for the best," she'd repeated this same line so many times that she had lost count. Believing this didn't stop the pain though.

Never had Iris excepted to see him at Hazakurain Temple. It had been both wonderful and terrible. Just seeing him made her so happy, but it hurt to know he was no longer hers. She looked at the younger woman beside him. Maya, he had called her. The girl the prosecutor had told her about. Was this her replacement? Iris smiled at them, feeling no anger at the young woman. If this Maya was important to her Feenie, than that was all the more reason to protect her.

Still nothing had gone right over the past couple of days, but at least all that was behind them and everyone was safe. More than that, the truth she'd been so afraid of had finally come out. Iris closed her eyes and felt her stomach tightened as she waited for what felt like an eternity. When Phoenix finally spoke, they were not the angry words she'd expected.

"You really are the person I always thought you were. Even after Dahlia Hawthorne was found guilty... I still believed in you," Phoenix told her gently.

Her eyes snapped open and tears started to well in her eyes. Those words of forgiveness were the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. She looked over at him and their eyes met. "Thank you," she whispered happily.

The trial was over and the bailiff moved to lead her away, but a strong familiar voice stopped them.

"Please wait just a second," Phoenix said quickly, his voice close to begging. "May I speak with Iris alone? Just for a couple of minutes?"

The bailiff considered the request for a second, but then finally nodded and led them to an empty room just outside the courtroom.

Silence fell between them for the first few moments they were alone. There were so many things she still wanted to say to him, but for some reason her mind went blank as they faced each other.

Phoenix spoke first, taking a step closer so that he was now standing right in front of her. As he took her hand in his, he spoke. "It's been so long," he murmured, gazing deeply into her eyes.

"I know," Iris interrupted, suddenly unable to look at him. Those old feelings of guilt still remained. "I'm so..."

"Iris," Phoenix spoke quickly, stopping her. "You don't need to apologize anymore. The past is the past. What matters now is the present and the future."

A small smile crossed her face as she stared at him proudly. He had grown and accomplished so much over the years. But of course she had always known he was special.

Phoenix paused for a second, reaching over to brush a stray hair from her face. Her cheeks flushed a bit at his gentle touch and a pleasant warmth spread through her body. Finally continuing, Phoenix whispered, "I don't want to lose you again. It was hard enough the first time. Not everyone gets a second chance, but we've been given one. As long as you agree, this doesn't have to end here."

For a second, Iris wondered if this was all a wonderful dream. Surely this couldn't really be happening. Her feelings for him had never faltered for even a second, but she had never even allowed herself to hope that he might still return those feelings. Certainly not after all that had happened. "What about that girl?" Iris asked, somewhat lost at the situation. "Isn't she your girlfriend?"

Phoenix's brow wrinkled in confusion. "What girl?"

"Mystic Maya of course," Iris said. "You two seem so close and little Pearl..."

Chuckling softly, Phoenix motioned for her to listen. "Let's get a few things straight. There is nothing between Maya and me. Trust me, we just don't have that kind of relationship. As for Pearls, she seems a little confused about our relationship. I keep meaning to set her straight, but with everything she had been through recently, I just couldn't bring myself to wreck the little fantasy she created. I'll just have to suck it up and try to explain the situation to her." Phoenix smiled reassuringly at her, his eyes never leaving her face. "It's strange. I always believed in you and I never stopped loving you. Even when my brain was shouting at me to give up and move on, I just couldn't."

Iris could feel her eyes moisten at his kind words and moved closer until she was pressed against his body, her mind torn by a number of emotions. Phoenix wrapped his arms around her, holding her gently, and she felt the tears start to fall. She cried for all those lost moments, for all the unnecessary heartaches they both endured, but mostly she cried out of happiness for the opportunity they had been given. Finally able to speak those precious words that had haunted her for so long, Iris whispered, "I love you, Feenie."

As Phoenix held her tightly, Iris knew he was right. It was time to leave the past in the past and face the future without regrets. Although starting over was never easy, it gave them a second chance at the happiness they had been denied five years ago and as she rested her head against his chest, she knew in her heart that it would work this time. Nothing would separate them again.