Disclaimer: Phoenix Wright does not belong to me in any way, shape, or form.
Sitting alone on a bench not far from the college's art department, twenty year old Iris was clothed in a dress that was identical to one that her sister often wore, with a bag that was larger than the one she normally carried by her side. Keeping a careful eye out for her boyfriend, Phoenix, Iris's hand clenched tightly around the cell phone in her hand as she listened to the speaker's words. This was one conversation he must not hear.
"Please Dahlia, I just need a little more time," Iris pleaded, fighting to keep her voice low so she would not be overheard. "I know. I can get it back, I promise." Listening for a second, Iris gasped. Panic overtook her, and she spoke again, the desperation in her voice becoming obvious. "Please, sister, I'll get it back. There isn't any need to do that! I'll get the necklace back, just please don't hurt anyone." Tears running down her face now, she whimpered, "Please don't hurt him..."
Suddenly, a voice shouted, "Dollie!" Shock flooded through Iris at the sound of Phoenix's voice coming from behind her. Dropping the phone accidentally, she quickly tried to wipe the tears from eyes before he noticed. Phoenix bent down to pick up the cell phone and frowned as he noticed the puffiness of Iris's eyes. "What's wrong, Dollie?"
"Nothing," Iris said with forced cheeriness, trying to put the conversation with her sister behind her. Her smile softened as Phoenix returned her phone to her, and she blushed as their hands touched. This time her happiness was genuine when she spoke. "Thank you, Feenie... I'm really okay. I was just thinking about something sad; but I'm happy now that you're here."
Phoenix's face lit up at her words and he smiled broadly. Grabbing her hand, he said, "Come on, Dollie. I want to show you something. I'll carry this for you." Phoenix picked up her bag and to her surprise, he picked up one of his own with his free hand.
Dahlia's words still weighing heavily on her mind, Iris stopped for a second, pulling her hand free. As Phoenix turned to face her curiously, Iris asked cautiously. "Feenie, can you please give me back that necklace? It's very important." Her hand touched the small bottle hanging from his neck gently.
Phoenix laughed and laid his hand on hers. "You're being silly today. I'll never take this necklace off; it's a symbol of our great love."
Iris pulled her hand back reluctantly and dropped it by her side. Not sure how to respond, she answered, "Of course you're right." She just didn't know what she should do. It had been four months since Iris had promised her sister that she would retrieve the necklace and Dahlia was getting impatient. Iris knew that if she didn't get that necklace back soon, Dahlia would take over. Iris bit back tears, unable to think about the consequences of such an occurrence. Pushing these thoughts behind her, Iris smiled weakly at Phoenix. "So you said you wanted to show me something, Feenie...?"
"Right," Phoenix answered, gripping her hand gently again and leading her down the path. After twenty minutes of walking, they arrived at a park near the edge of campus. Turning to face Iris, Phoenix said, "It's just a little farther... Dollie, would you please close your eyes while we go the rest of the way?"
"Close my eyes?" Iris echoed in confusion. "Why?"
"I just want this to be a surprise. You can trust me," Phoenix told her.
Iris smiled. "I know I can, Feenie." Closing her eyes tightly, she allowed Phoenix to take both of her hands in his and lead her the rest of the way. It was another five minutes before Phoenix spoke again to signal her that she could open her eyes. Iris's eyes fluttered open, and her hand flew to her mouth as she was struck by the beauty of the area. They were completely surrounded by trees, which blocked the school's buildings from view, but there was a large opening above them that allowed the sun's rays to reach them unhindered. In front of them was a large creek, now full to the brim from the rain storm the previous day. "Oh, Feenie! It's so beautiful here," she laughed with delight.
"I'm really glad you like it here. I found this place just a few days ago and I immediately knew I had to bring you here," Phoenix told her, his eyes shining. Kneeling on the ground, he reached into his bag and pulled out a rolled up blanket. As he started to unroll it, Iris knelt as well to help him. "I figured we could have a picnic here."
"I love it here, and I think a picnic is a wonderful idea," Iris giggled contently as they finished laying down the blanket and sat down beside each other. Reaching into her own bag, she pulled out the fluffy, pink item from the bag and held it to her chest. Her face reddened from embarrassment as she spoke, "Feenie... I made this for you. I hope you like it." Iris held her breath as she gave it to Phoenix.
Taking the item from Iris, Phoenix unfolded it and saw that it was a bright pink sweater with a "P" sewn on the front. "I love it, Dollie! It's wonderful. I'm going to wear it right now." Pulling off the sweater he was wearing, he slipped into the one Iris had brought him. "It's so warm. Thank you, Dollie."
Iris's face flushed even redder at Phoenix's praise, pleasure running through her. "Thank you, Feenie." Reaching back into her bag, she pulled out the other item in there; the lunch she made for Phoenix. "Here you go, I made your favorite again."
Phoenix grabbed it eagerly, "Thank you, Dollie. I have something for you too." He reached back into the bag he had brought and pulled out a little box similar to the one Iris had given him. "I made you a lunch too." He blushed as he spoke. "It isn't as good as the ones that you always make me, but I wanted to try. I even skipped class this morning to finish it. I hope it's okay."
Iris took the little box from him and smiled gratefully. Kissing his cheek shyly, she said, "Thank you, Feenie. I love it."
Confused, Phoenix asked, "How can you say you love it when you haven't looked at it yet?"
"I love it because it's from you." Looking into the little box, she added, "Besides it looks wonderful." She ignored the fact that much of the food in the lunch box was burnt as that wasn't what was important; what mattered was the thought and effort that he had clearly put into the lunch. "You shouldn't skip classes though. What about your dream of becoming a lawyer?" Looking away shyly, Iris said, "I want all your dreams to come true, Feenie."
Touching her hand, Phoenix laughed. "Don't worry, Dollie. It was one of the art classes that I'm doing really well in anyway. We weren't learning anything important today. Besides, my greatest dream... my g-greatest dream has already come true." Phoenix blushed again and stammered a bit as he said those last words.
"Oh, Feenie," Iris whispered, tears of happiness brimming in her eyes. As they sat together and spoke, Iris leaned against his shoulder and smiled contently. As always, however, Dahlia's shadow hung over them, disturbing Iris's peace of mind. There was more to her worries though; every time Phoenix called her "Dollie," Iris felt her heart sink. The more the lies piled up, the more she could feel the distance between them grow. She didn't know this 'Dollie,' but it certainly wasn't her. Every day she wanted to scream out "Iris! My name is Iris!" But she didn't.
The words Dahlia had spoken to her when she had agreed to allow Iris to retrieve the necklace haunted her. "Listen carefully, sister dear," Dahlia had hissed, grabbing the magatama at Iris's neck and pulling Iris's face close to her own. "I don't tolerate traitors. Betray me, and not only will you pay for it, but that idiot will suffer for it as well. He will die, and it will be your fault."
Iris shuddered as she recalled the exchange and the harsh look in her sister's eyes. On top of that, Iris knew that Dahlia would be in danger as well if she confessed everything. Torn between her love for Dahlia and Phoenix, Iris felt completely paralyzed. Unable to erase the growing dread within her, Iris buried her face in his chest; finding the softness of the sweater she made for him comforting.
Suddenly the alarm on her cell phone went off and Iris jumped up with a start. Horror flooded through her as she realized that she was supposed to meet her sister in ten minutes to return the necklace that she still didn't have. Reaching out to touch the pendant again, Iris tried to suppress her panic as she asked, "Feenie, please may I have the necklace back?"
"You really love that joke, don't you Dollie," Phoenix said cheerfully. "I will never take this necklace off. Just like the sweater you gave me today, it's a symbol of our love."
Pulling her back in defeat, Iris whispered sadly, "Of course." Forcing a smile, Iris stood up. "I'm sorry. I need to leave, Feenie. I...I have a class."
Confusion played over Phoenix's feature as he considered her comment. "I thought you didn't have another class for an hour."
"Oh really," Iris squeaked, her smile falling away for a second and her mind racing as the lies caught up with her. Unable to remember what she had told him, Iris's smile reappeared. "It is an extra lecture, but its required for the class or I wouldn't go. I'll call you later though, Feenie."
Phoenix was quick to accept Iris's explanation. Standing up as well, he rolled up the blanket again. "Oh, speaking of class, I saw you earlier on campus. I called to you, but you didn't answer. It was kind of weird."
Iris suddenly found herself unable to breathe as she heard this. It was like something had grabbed her heart and squeezed. Spinning to face Phoenix, she laid her hand on his chest and urgently said, "Feenie, we discussed this. You must never approach me on campus. Please, you must remember that."
"Okay, Dollie. Calm down. I promise," Phoenix said, gently grabbing her arms. "What's wrong, Dollie? Please tell me."
Suddenly realizing her mistake, Iris covered her mouth. Trying to fix things, she responded, "It's nothing. I'm just... really busy during the day and I'd rather wait until we can get away from everything to see you. This way, there is nothing to interrupt us."
The excuse may not have been the best, but Phoenix took no notice of that. Nodding quickly, Phoenix accepted Iris's answer. "That does make sense. Okay, Dollie, I promise I won't approach you on campus."
Iris let out a huge sigh of relief at Phoenix's response, but her relief was only temporary. Glancing at her phone, Iris smiled. "I need to go, Feenie." They hugged and Phoenix told Iris how to get back to the main part of campus. As she took a step away, Iris turned back to face Phoenix. "Please be careful..."
Still a bit mystified at Iris's strange behavior, Phoenix quickly tried to reassure her. "Of course, Dollie. I promise. I'll talk to you tonight."
"Good, I'm looking forward to it," Iris said before turning to leave again. Once she was out of earshot, she whispered, "My name is Iris." As soon as she knew she was out of his line of sight, she broke into a run, unwilling to make the situation worse by keeping Dahlia waiting. Dreading her sister's reaction to yet another failure, Iris could feel the tears start pouring down her cheeks. As she ran, Iris's mind sought desperately for another excuse. She had to hold Dahlia off just a bit longer. She could do this; she had to do this.
Five years had passed since the fateful day that her world had collapsed and she had lost the two people she loved the most. As Iris had feared, Dahlia had not only gotten tired of waiting, but she had also discovered Iris' love for Phoenix. In an attempt to kill him to retrieve the necklace, Dahlia had killed another person and had been executed for her crime. Not only had Iris lost her sister, but after the trial was over, she couldn't bring herself to face Phoenix. She had been so certain that she had done the right thing when she left. This way he could move on with his life without her interference, but she came to realize that she had been wrong.
It had been a month since her trial. Iris smiled as she was led to the Detention Center's visitation room and saw a spiky-haired man in a blue suit waiting for her. "Hello, Feenie," she said as she sat down.
"Hello, Iris," Phoenix's face lit up when she arrived. "How have you been?"
"I've been wonderful," Iris answered happily. Iris felt a wave of happiness as he said her name. "Feenie, please say it again," Iris requested quietly.
"Say what again?" Phoenix asked in confusion.
"My name," Iris clarified. "Please say my name again."
Although he didn't understand the reason why she wanted this, Phoenix gladly met her request. "Iris." Feeling playful, Phoenix began to say make up silly words based on her name, making Iris giggle. "Irissy, Trissy, Mrissy, Krissy, Issy, Rissy..." Phoenix trailed off as he said this last name, a thoughtful expression crossing his face. "You know I rather like that last one. What do you think of it?"
"For what?" Iris asked shyly.
"As a nickname. You call me Feenie, after all. It only seems fair that you have a nickname too," he answered with a wide smile.
For a moment Iris could only smile, receiving this symbol of affection from him that was not marred by lies and deceit. 'Dollie' had never truly been hers; to have a nickname that was actually hers, just as he was now truly hers, the idea made her tremendously happy. "I love it, Feenie."
Not understanding why this made her smile so, he opened his mouth to question her reaction but then snapped it shut again. He had spent the past five years questioning every little thing and it now occurred to him that perhaps her smile was answer enough for this. Although he didn't understand her reaction, and probably never would, he would always remember how it made her smile. "Alright then," Phoenix grinned. "Rissy it is."