I wrote this one night when I was thinking about how Phoenix had been wrapping up that final case of his for so many years... it's a long time to stick to solving something that hurt you so badly. (Just shows how awesome he is... sob) I like writing emotional stuff where we get a deeper look at how the character feels. Hope you like it ;).

Oh, yeah... Phoenix is owned by Capcom. I, um... don't own capcom.

These Last Seven Years

He sat on the steps, just thinking.

It had been seven years- seven long years.

Years in which he had been attempting to set right the injustices that had come to pass...

He had never thought it would take this long.

But, somehow, he had never thought of quitting, either.

When he looked back on that trial, only one option presented itself to him: I have to set it right.

After all, he was the only one who could…

The tangled web of deception and hidden wounds was finally unwoven, and he felt curiously free.

He pulled off the beanie that had so often covered his hair these last seven years and put his hands over his face.

They came from nowhere- tears, pouring down, slippng over his fingers, cold and wet. On that quiet evening, sitting there on the back steps of his law offices, Phoenix Wright let his tears fall. He didn't feel regret, nor sorrow, over what had happened. Instead, there was a secret joy that he could finally bury what had happened and put it all behind him.

It had been over for seven years, but still every unanswered question had haunted him. He knew that until they were laid to rest, they always would haunt him.

Until now, when justice was finally served.

Phoenix had lost his lawyer's badge because of that trial… maybe because of that magician. At the time, he remembered feeling as if he had lost everything. He felt… empty, inside.

But now… he raised his face towards the setting sun, looking at the splashes of color painted across the sky.

And he no longer felt empty.

These last seven years… in the end, they had given him more than he had lost. He had made his mark in law; he had finally lain to rest the turmoil of what had happened at that last trial of his. Now he had Apollo to teach and watch over, and a new duty in the legal system. These years had given him a daughter, and had seen him learn all over again what life is all about.

Funny how things turn out… he was even fuller than before.

The tears kept coming, but not because of sorrow. Those tears had been shed long ago.

No, he knew exactly what these tears were for. They were the last, final tears… marking an end to a chapter in his life; consecrating and sealing how he felt within. It was finally all over; every secret unlocked and made known. Even when his badge was taken away, even then, he had known that the fight was not over.

But now they came, because this time, the battle was won. This chapter had come to a close. The seven years were at an end.

He stood up, looked at the sky.

Then his gaze fell on the hat clutched in his hand. He smiled and put it in his pocket. Maybe he'd wear it again someday.

Phoenix took a deep breath and put his hand on the doorknob, ready to open it and enter the office again, a different man than when he had stepped outside.

He turned and looked behind him as he opened the door, running a hand through his spiky black hair. It felt strangely good to have his hair free again- to show himself to the world.

As he closed the door behind him, Phoenix left behind more than just the beautiful sunset streaked across the sky. Out there remained much of the last seven years- the heartbreak; the sorrow; the wounds he'd uncovered.

Now they were buried again, put to rest.

A bubble of sunshine met Phoenix as he entered his home. "Daddy!" Phoenix slipped an arm around his daughter. A frown on her usually cheerful face, she remarked, "You're not wearing your hat!"

Phoenix smiled, sticking a hand in his pocket and running his hand over the fabric.