Title: In the Rain
Fandom: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Play as a rookie defense attorney, trying to get your client a verdict of "Not Guilty," while ignoring subtext that has all the subtlety of a brick dropped on your foot. Also, yell "Objection!" a lot and use the Pointed Finger of Justice.
Taunt: My fandom objects to your taunts.
Miles Edgeworth was one of only a few people drifting in and out of the courthouse following the sentencing of Manfred von Karma. There hadn't been much of a crowd there—not too surprising, really. The man had always believed himself superior to all others and shunned personal connections as being detestable; he had spent a lifetime cultivating hatred, rather than friendships, and enemies in lieu of colleagues.
In truth, Miles wasn't exactly sure why he had come here himself. Why did he come to witness the spectacle of a man who had first murdered his father for daring to point out the truth, and then twisted and used him in an attempt to achieve further vengeance on someone already gone? He tried to write it off as some sort of favor—the last shreds of bitter loyalty and respect he had once held for the one who had taken him in, raised him, and taught him.
But even that was hard to swallow. von Karma had taken him in with the intention of using him to strike one final blow against his father. There was no charity in his seeming act of kindness. Merely manipulation and vengeance.
No matter what reason he tried to feed himself, none were right. It was like trying to put a motive to a truly random, senseless crime. An internal case that fell apart before it even went to trial, if the appropriate metaphor could be forgiven.
He glanced up. It was overcast—the clouds had been rolling in earlier, and now they were quite thick. It would undoubtedly rain today, probably sooner than later.
How sadly fitting that it would rain today…
As he stood on the steps, gazing up towards the charcoal-colored sky, he was taken by an uncharacteristically impulsive thought. But after a moment, he recognized the thought as being more than a mere whim. It was something he needed to do.
He had walked away from this whole ordeal understanding several things that he had not grasped before. And one of those notions was one that now seemed so simple: he couldn't run away from what had happened forever There really was no better time to take this step.
It wasn't too long of a journey; he opted to walk the several blocks there. He did make one side-quest on the way, though, stopping at a small shop to buy something he thought he would need. Tucking his purchase neatly under his arm, he began his trek anew.
It starting raining just after he left the store. For once, he didn't mind being without an umbrella in such weather. And before too long, he found himself standing outside the place. It was here that he finally hesitated. Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all. Maybe he shouldn't be here. Maybe he should just…
But a glance around revealed that his feet had already taken a few steps forward and carried him past the open entryway. He stopped and glared down at his shoes.
Then he fought down the urge to slap himself in the forehead. I'm starting to sound like Wright…
Still, it was the little push he needed to get him there. His ultimate destination was not far—it was actually visible from the gate. A few quick glances around told him that there were very few others around. That was nice really—an expected, and very welcome, side effect of the weather.
When he got there, he stood for a moment, his purchase still under his arm. Then, at a loss for what else to say, he simply murmured. "Hi…Dad."
Not surprisingly, the gravestone didn't answer.
It was raining harder now; he was completely soaked.
Suddenly feeling very self-conscious (though there was really no one around to see him there), he dropped to one knee and took the bouquet of flowers from under his arm and arranged it before the stone. He did not rise, but stayed kneeling, letting his eyes drag over the letters engraved in the smooth marble.
His father's name.
The events of the trial. That day in the elevator. The realization that he wasn't to blame. The truth.
Miles dropped his chin. There was something damp on his face, though whether it was from the rain or…something else, he was not at all certain. He wanted to talk to his father, but even now, faced with all that was left of the man, he couldn't begin to find words.
He had never felt more alone.
Tolerating Larry Butz at moments like these should be an Olympic event. It certainly was a challenge, and took years of practice and hard work. If that ever became a reality, Phoenix Wright was fairly sure that he would walk away with the gold medal.
Still, Larry had been crucial in getting Edgeworth off on the charge in Hammond's murder, so he supposed it was the least he could do to pretend to listen while Larry babbled on and on about this, that, and the other thing.
Theirs was certainly an odd friendship, but somehow it worked.
When the rain started, both had been prepared, and umbrellas had gone up. Granted, Larry was only prepared because Phoenix had specifically told him to bring an umbrella, but whatever the case, he had one. It was wet, but not unpleasant—the temperature was cool, but not cold.
They were debating over whether or not to go and get burgers when they passed the cemetery…and Larry stopped dead in his tracks. "Hey, look! It's Edgey!"
Phoenix automatically turned to follow Larry's stare, and spotted his courtroom rival kneeling beside a grave. The prosecutor's head was bowed, his silver-gray bangs obscuring his face. But everything about his posture suggested…something…
Beside him, Larry was taking a deep breath and opening his mouth, undoubtedly with the intention of bellowing at their old classmate. The man was shameless, with precious little grasp on such concepts as timing or tact. "HEY, EDGE—"
"Larry!" Phoenix cut him off, his voice unusually harsh. But it did the trick, and Larry fell silent, jerking to stare at him in surprise. "Larry, now's not the time." He glanced back towards the cemetery. "I think he's visiting someone."
Comprehension dawned on Larry's face and he nodded. "Then…we should leave, huh?"
A bit more subdued now, Larry started walking again. Phoenix paused, took a few steps after him, then hesitated again and looked back.
Edgeworth had risen and was standing upright now, still beside that same headstone. He held no umbrella, and thus was getting soaked. There were flowers on the grave—had Edgeworth brought them? If so…well, all things considered, there was really only one person he could be visiting. He was standing with his arms wrapped around himself, his shoulders slightly hunched, and his expression…
He looked lost. Alone. Completely vulnerable. No sign of the smug, confident prosecutor he had tangled with in court. Granted, with everything that had happened to him following his acquittal, anyone's confidence would have been shattered.
Phoenix couldn't move away.
"Nick?" That was Larry, who had realized he was walking alone and backtracked to see what the hold-up was. "Everything okay?"
Phoenix didn't reply, his focus still on the man standing at that grave.
And after a moment, his feet moved, carrying him past the cemetery gates.
Miles was completely lost in thought and memory. An entire lifetime was replying in front of him, and being forced to realize how much of that lifetime had been unknowingly caught up in a plot of vengeance and lies that had only been exposed through the efforts of an idiotic idealist of a defense attorney with a knack for working miracles in the final acts of a courtroom drama.
Just one more thing to throw him off-balance at a time when balance was what he desperately needed and wanted most. Much like his formerly-perfect record, balance had been dragged just beyond his reach…and it was Wright who had done it.
And…strange, why wasn't the rain falling on him anymore? It was still pattering against the stone in front of him and the sidewalk around him. So why wasn't it…
Oh. Someone was holding an umbrella over his head.
And that someone was none other than Phoenix Wright himself. Who was now getting drenched in the rain. Miles had been so wrapped up in his thoughts that he hadn't heard his rival approach.
"…you're getting soaked," Miles said finally. It was the only thing he could think of right then.
Wright grinned. "Not the end of the world." He glanced at the grave in front of them. "Is this your dad?" It was sort of a silly question, given that the stone was very clearly engraved with the name Gregory Edgeworth.
Still, Miles answered. "Yes."
"I didn't mean to interrupt—" Wright started to speak.
"No, no," Edgeworth waved a hand. "I was just getting ready to leave. It's just…" He glanced back down at the grave, then softly admitted, "…it's just been a while, that's all."
"A long time?"
A weight dropped onto Miles' shoulder, and he was startled to realize that Larry was leaning on him. But rather than outburst with some outrageous thing, as he usually did, he was just…grinning. And somehow, it was different from his usual ear-to-ear affair.
Miles looked back and forth between the two idiots. Why were they here? What were they…
…and why did he feel like he wanted to smile back and return those ridiculous grins? He really just wanted to be left alone. Except…he wasn't sure if he did. There was something unexpectedly comforting about the presence of the two other men, one on either side of him.
Larry's hand clapped down on Miles' shoulder and gave him a slight shake. "C'mon, let's get some burgers," he crowed. "Nick's buying!"
Wright protested, while Larry snickered and tugged on Miles' arm to pull him along. The prosecutor let himself be guided away from his father's grave. His two friends (Lord help him) were still bickering around him regarding who was footing the tab. And he sighed.
…still, burgers did sound good.
PS. I am currently playing the second game. Yes, I tend to be rather late to the party. There might be more ficcage once I have the entire rest of the canon under my belt. In the meantime, I offer this up as my first fandom contribution. Hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!