Well, I have but one thing to say to you guys: I'm so, so, so, so, so, SO SORRY for taking so long to update. I really have no excuse other than lack of motivation…I hope you can all forgive me…pwease?

A small word of warning for you too, there are definite spoilers for 1-4 ahead! So beware if you haven't played it! Not major spoilers, but still spoilers! Although…I'd think most people reading this have played that case anyway…:P

There are also very, very minor spoilers for Apollo Justice. Like…I don't think you can even call that a spoiler, but I feel the need to tell you because I'm paranoid like that.

Actually…I don't think you can call that a spoiler, I really don't…

Anyway, enough of my rambling, now go ahead and read!

Phoenix bounced impatiently on the spot as he waited for his mother to hurry up and get her coat on. He had been, unsurprisingly enough, waiting all day for this moment. He had so many new presents to tell Miles and Larry about. It was going to be awesome!

"Hurry up, Mom!" he whined, kicking the floor lightly with his new boots. "I'll bet even Larry's over there by now!"

Mrs. Wright laughed at her son's impatience. Being an only child, Phoenix really enjoyed going to visit with his friends. This was especially true on Christmas, when they all had new toys to play with.

"Be patient, Phoenix," she called back, good-naturedly, "I'll be there as soon as your father and I are done basting the turkey.

Groaning, the young boy had no choice but to comply. Plopping down onto the stairs, he stared out the door. It had really snowed out the previous night, blanketing the world in soft, white snow. Even now, several light flakes floated downward in silent mockery of the previous evening. It had been an enjoyable evening, even more so with his parents and Larry helping him finish his gift to Miles. Well, Larry had not literally helped, but it had been his idea.

"Okay, we can go now."

Startled, Phoenix turned to face his mother, who had suddenly appeared in the hall, wiping her hands on a towel. He had not realized how long he had been staring out the outside. It was kind of unnerving, really.

All of this was quickly forgotten, however, as the youngster bounded out to the car ahead of his mother. Today was going to be so much fun!

It was sometime later that they arrived at the Edgeworth residence. Bouncing out of the car, Phoenix sprinted up the stairs, not bothering to wait for his mother as he rapped sharply on the door.

Laughing, Mrs. Wright removed the two gift bags from the car before following her son up the steps. She'd be willing to bet that Larry, at least, would be less than pleased if his friend left the presents in their car.

She made it to the door just as Miles opened it, greeting his friend with a bright smile and a wave. Handing her son the two bags, she ruffled his physics-defying spikes as she turned to leave.

"You two have fun, I'll be back around four!"

Waving to his mother, Phoenix grinned as he followed his friend inside.

"Is Larry here yet?"

Miles nodded, which surprised Phoenix.

"Yes, he is here, actually. Believe me, I was as surprised as you are."

"Oh, well then let's open presents!" the black-haired boy cheered, holding up the two gift bags.

"Seconded!" Larry agreed from where he was sitting at the top of the stairs. "I've been trying to make Edgey let me open them all day, but he won't!" the blond continued, pouting slightly.

"First of all, it would have been rude not to wait for Phoenix, and secondly…you only got here fifteen minutes ago!" Miles exclaimed with an exasperated sigh.

Shrugging, Larry bounded down the stairs and snatched the two bags from his friend in one, swift movement.

"Race you back upstairs!"

With an apologetic shrug, Phoenix kicked off his shoes and took off after Larry, leaving Miles to tidy up the front area with a small sigh. He supposed it was for the best, however, at least Larry couldn't destroy his room with Phoenix there. Or so he hoped.

Following his two closest friends back up to his room, at a much more sedate pace, of course, Miles smiled to himself as he thought about his friends' reactions to the gifts he had gotten them. He sincerely hoped they would like them.

Joining the other two in sitting on his bedroom floor, Miles removed his gifts from the drawer were he had hidden them from Larry.

"So who's going first?"

"Me!" Larry yelped, leaning forward in an effort to snatch up the presents.

With a shrug, Phoenix handed over his gift to Larry, who quickly proceeded to tear open the bag.

Reaching inside, the blond boy yanked out a new action figure. "Nick, this is awesome!"

Grinning madly, the boy glanced between the new toy, and Miles' gifts, undecided as to whether he should open the next gift, or the toy's box first. Settling on the next gift, he quickly tore off the wrapping, grinning madly as he saw what was inside.

"Wow! Edgey, dude! I've always wanted my own woodworking kit!"

"Shrugging, slightly embarrassed, Miles glanced around his room, suddenly finding the walls very interesting.

Yes, well you have said so before…just don't burn any buildings down.

"Phoenix, do you want to go next?"

With a sheepish shrug, the black-haired boy accepted his gift from Miles, before tearing off the paper. Glancing at the box that had been concealed only moments before, Phoenix gasped. There, illustrated on the cover, was a beautiful, glass phoenix. The gold and red tinted glass coiled beautifully about the small object, giving it the appearance of flames and feathers.

"M-Miles…it's beautiful!" he gasped, not caring how feminine he sounded.

"Open mine now, Nick!" Larry called out, shoving his present into Phoenix' hands before Miles got a chance to comment on his friend's reaction.

Setting the box aside carefully, Phoenix tore the paper off of his gift from Larry. With a soft chuckle, the black-haired youth stroked the cover of the sketchbook with his free hand.

"Thanks, Larry. I needed a new one."

Nodding, Larry smiled widely.

"I thought you might have. You've taken to drawing on your notes now…"

Ignoring the jibe, Phoenix picked up the final present, handing it over to Miles.

"Here, this is from both me and Larry."

"Larry and I…" Miles corrected absentmindedly as he accepted the bag. Setting it down in front of him, the young boy carefully slit the tape so he could neatly open the bag.

With a soft gasp, he pulled out a large, handmade picture frame. Nestled within the frame was one of the very pictures his father had taken the previous day. The frame itself was made of wood, with the names of all three boys engraved into it.

"Larry…Phoenix…I…it's wonderful," he told them, running his fingers over the frame. He could tell Larry had made it himself, with Mrs. Wright probably supplying the photo—undoubtedly received from his own father—and Phoenix painting it. He could only imagine how much work his two friends had put into it. Making a picture frame was no small task for nine-year-olds.

"Thank you. I-I love it."

Phoenix was about to reply to Miles' statement when Larry, intervened.

"Okay, now that that's over with…snowball fight!" he cheered, jumping up. "Come on you guys! Let's go!"

'Way to ruin the moment, Larry…' Phoenix thought, shaking his head before rising to his feet too. He really could not complain about the idea of going out to play in the snow.

"You coming, Miles?"

With a chuckle, the grey-haired boy fell into step alongside his spiky-haired friend as Larry dashed out the door.



"Guess what Father is letting me do for Christmas!"

Slightly shocked, Phoenix blinked it was unusual for his normally solemn friend to act so excited.

"What is it, Miles?"

"He's taking me to court tomorrow!"

Phoenix grinned at his friend's words, only Miles…

"Well, that's awesome! Who's going to be…you know…that guy who…?"

"The prosecutor?"

"Yeah! Him!"

"Um, I think Father said it was going to be Prosecutor von Karma. He's one of the best in the country, but I'm sure Father can take him down!"

Phoenix nodded eagerly in agreement. Miles' dad was awesome, of course he would win!

As they entered the front hall, a rather irate Larry, who was standing with his arms crossed over his chest, met the two boys.

"There you are! I've been waiting forever!"

Raising an eyebrow, Miles made no comment as he simply grabbed his snow pants and began tugging them on.

Phoenix, however, refused to let the comment slide.

"Hey! We weren't that long!" he retaliated as he grabbed his own snow gear.

"You boys going outside?" Gregory Edgeworth asked, appearing in the doorway, baster is one hand, measuring cup in the other, and an oversized, magenta apron tied around his waist.

"Nice apron, Mr. E.," Larry stated, glancing at the older man with a laugh.

"You think? My wife made it for me," responded the older man with a smile.

"It's pink!"

"It's magenta, Larry," Miles corrected as he pulled his boots on.

"Whatever, it's still a kind of pink!"

Still laughing, Gregory turned and made his way back into the kitchen as his son leered daggers at the blond boy.

"Have fun you three. I'll make you some hot chocolate when you come back in, if you want."

"That'd be awesome, Mr. Edgeworth!" Phoenix answered for them as he pulled on his mittens.

Ready to go, the three bolted outside, Larry well in the lead.

Skidding to a stop, the blond boy bent over, scooped up a handful of snow, and loosed it at Phoenix' spiky head.

Ducking his head, Phoenix laughed as the snowball shattered off of a support post on the Edgeworth's porch.

"You couldn't hit a fencepost, Larry!" he teased.

"No, but it would seem he can hit my porch."

"It's a big enough target!"

Annoyed with the teasing, Larry grabbed another handful of snow, instead loosing this one at Miles.

Phoenix nearly doubled-over with laughter at the sight of his friend with a face full of snow.

"Good shot, Larry!"

Spitting out snow, Miles glared about for a moment before grabbing his own snow. This was war.

Laughter, mingled with a few startled yelps, echoed around the lawn as the three boys pelted on another with the soft snow. Also mixed in were random cries of 'Take That!,' 'Gotcha!' and even one or two 'Objection!'s from Miles when he found himself with another snowball in the face.

"Hold it!" Miles called out, pausing to clean yet another snowball off of his face. This was getting ridiculous! How come neither of the others ever got hit in the face?

Chucking his last snowball away, Phoenix was about to suggest that they stop with the face-shots when he was interrupted by an unfamiliar yelp.

Eyes roving about to detect the source of the sound, Phoenix almost laughed when he locked eyes with a young boy of about his own age, snowball still resting on top of the boy's scowling head.

"S-sorry about that! I didn't realize you were there!" he apologized, walking over to the boy and what must have been the rest of his family.

The older woman laughed softly as her son roughly cleaned the snow off his own head. Shifting her younger son to the other arm, she gave the young boy a hand getting the snow out of his incredibly bright, blond hair.

"Don't worry about it, no harm done. Kristoph will live," she reassured, smile never fading.

"Phoenix! We're going to head inside!"

Rubbing the back of his head sheepishly, Phoenix grinned nervously.

"Well that's good, I guess I should be heading inside. Sorry again about that," he told them, turning once again to the boy—Kristoph—as he apologized.

"Niiiiiick! C'mon!"

With a small bow, Phoenix turned and dashed over to join his friends.

Noting the odd look on her son's face, Mrs. Gavin glanced down at him.


"Phoenix…odd name," was his only comment, the Japanese words practically sticking in his throat, before he began walking away once again. It did not matter anyway.

"Who was that?" Miles asked Phoenix as the three stood, removing their now wet clothing in the front hall.

"I dunno, just some kid I accidentally hit with a snowball."

Miles sighed, of course Phoenix would hit an innocent.

"So you don't know who he is?" he asked again, putting emphasis on the correct grammar.

"Nope, he had a funny way of talking though."

"Maybe he's from Osaka?" Larry chimed in, pulling off his boots.

"I don't think his accent was anything like that. It was…weird."

"Perhaps he's a tourist or something," Miles replied, shrugging as he watch his friends continue to remove their outdoor wear, having already done so himself.

Before either of the other two could reply, Gregory appeared in the door, three steaming mugs in one hand, a tray of cookies in the other, and that same, ridiculous apron.

"Here boys, why don't you go enjoy the fireplace until your parents get here?"

Accepting the food, the three boys took it into the living room, where the Edgeworth's tree stood, now safely tied up and Larry-proofed. Here they remained, fiddling with Miles' gifts, and Phoenix and Larry chatting about theirs, until Phoenix' mother arrived.

"Hey, boys," she greeted from the front porch. "Did you have fun?"

Nodding eagerly, Phoenix grinned happily.

"Yup, we had tonnes of fun! Can I go over again soon?"

Mrs. Wright laughed at her son's eagerness.

"We'll see, although maybe we should invite them over sometime too?"

"Not Larry! He'll break the house!"

Shaking her head, Mrs. Wright laughed softly.

"Well regardless, Larry, we're going to be driving you home. Your mother called a little while ago to see if we could pick you up."

"My Mom said I shouldn't get into cars with strangers," he announced, straight-faced.

"Well regardless, you're coming with me young man."

All three boys broke down chuckling at this, while Mrs. Wright and Gregory stood smiling.

"Don't forget your things, boys," Gregory reminded them, indicating the still-wet clothing and presents.

As Larry and Phoenix finally collected their things, they turned to Miles and Gregory.

"Well, see ya!"

"Call me after court tomorrow, Miles! I want to hear all about it! Maybe if you get home early enough you can come over to play for awhile!" Phoenix told him with a grin.

"Okay, I will!"

"Bye Miles! Mr. Edgeworth! See ya later!"

"Bye Phoenix, Larry!"

"See you later, boys. Enjoy yourselves!"

Turning back one last time, Phoenix waved, already looking forward to the call from Miles the next day.

A call that no one could have predicted would never come…and it would be fifteen years before Phoenix even knew why…

Miles Edgeworth, Demon Prosecutor Extraordinaire, sigh as he picked up the old, ratty picture frame from the mantle above his fireplace. The simple, digital camera print still clearly depicted himself, Larry, and Phoenix from years before.

Sighing again, the now much-older Miles ran his fingers over the smudged glass. He had never been certain as to why he had kept the old photo, it being one of the only things that he had taken with him from his old house, but he had. Now, thinking back on it, he was truly glad that he had taken it with him. It held so many memories for him. His father, the best Christmas Eve and Day of his life, followed immediately by the worst day of his life.

That day had been followed by many hard years, yet through it all a small, handmade frame and picture of three boys and a felled Christmas tree had come with him.

And he was darned glad that they had.

Well, and that's the end of that. I must say, writing that last bit was totally heart wrenching. It like what…went from cute to angsty in forty words or less? Blah. I'm a horrible person… DX

Anyway, angst or not, I hope you enjoyed it and please review! –heart-