Disclaimer: Still not my characters or copyright, and I am so sorry for this.
Notes: For the kink meme. Requester notes that GS4-era Phoenix dresses like a pothead, and wanted him to introduce his boyfriend to weed. I had just watched an episode of That 70s Show involving Red walking in on "the circle". ...Nuff said, right?
Warnings: Drug use, Larry Butz... really awful title... XD
Dude, Where's My Cravat?
"Good evening, Wright and Co. Law Offices," came a somewhat disinterested response from behind the innermost door. "What can I do for you?"
Miles Edgeworth blinked curiously and glanced behind him at the door he'd just come through. Yes, the door still was blank, where the lettering had been removed years ago. "...I know perfectly well that you're not a lawyer anymore," he reminded the owner of that voice. "And why are you greeting me as if you're answering the phone, when I'm at the door?"
"Uh...? Oh, I forgot..." There was a pause, then a clearing of the throat before a more appropriate response. "Who is it?"
Edgeworth frowned. It might be a little late - his plane had been delayed, and he'd only gotten in at 7:35 PM, but even accounting for potential sleepiness, this was the kind of thing he'd have expected from Larry Butz, rather than Phoenix Wright. "It's Miles Edgeworth."
"Heh, too bad," cackled a different voice. "Edgey's not here, man!"
After a moment, Edgeworth recognized that voice - he hadn't heard it for years, but he'd only just been thinking of the man. It might explain a lot if it was who he thought it was. "I'm right here in the reception area," he stated irritably.
There was abruptly a muffled "Oh, fuck!" and scuffling sounds, then laughter, which grew closer as footsteps approached the other side of the door. "The fuzz was already here, Larry," Phoenix's voice pointed out, and then the door opened. "Hey, Edgey."
Edgeworth was about to protest against Phoenix using that stupid nickname as well, but was distracted by the... well, the fact that smoke was billowing out of the office and into the reception area. "What is this, Wright?" he demanded.
Phoenix shrugged, not quite suppressing a wide grin. "Guess the cat's out of the bag."
"There was a cat in the bag too?" came the other familiar voice, incredulous. "It better not eat any - that stuff's expensive!"
"I don't think cats like green things..." came another voice, female and less familiar. "Except catnip. They like catnip. And... green toy mice."
Before the conversation could get any further derailed, Edgeworth pushed past Phoenix into the office and slammed the door shut behind him, fixing him with his best glare. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Look, Edgey," Phoenix drawled, sounding like he was talking in his sleep, "I'm not in the legal system anymore. And Larry's been good to me. Good old Larry. So if we want to get together and have a little smoke now and then, what's the problem?"
"For starters, it's illegal unless prescribed by a physician."
"Aw, cut it out - we're using it responsibly. Trucy's off at a friend's for a sleepover, Polly's out... uh..." Phoenix scratched his head through the beanie. "Actually, I forget where he's at... but even if he comes back, he's old enough to make his own decisions. And none of us is driving or anything. What's the difference between this and some grown-ups having a few beers in the privacy of their own home?"
Edgeworth supposed he might have a point. But... even so. "...I flew all the way here from overseas to surprise you," he began hotly, "and I find you sitting here getting stoned with the Butz?"
Phoenix didn't seem to understand what the problem was with that. "...Yeah, looks that way. Hey, you want some?"
"No!" Miles exclaimed in horror.
"Come on, Edgey!" Larry's hand abruptly popped out from the cloud of smoke and latched onto his arm, holding out a rather sad-looking little blunt. "If anyone needs to lighten up and relax, it's you."
"I do not!" Miles barked. To his annoyance, Phoenix started laughing. "...That's it, I'm leaving," he grumbled, shaking Larry's hand off. "Be grateful I don't call the police."
"Present!" spoke up the third voice, though it was slightly garbled.
Edgeworth felt he should know that voice, especially given what it implied. Not anyone he'd worked closely with, certainly... but it did put him in mind of his days as head prosecutor, and Lana in particular. He waved some smoke away from his face, squinting in the direction from which the voice had come, and managed to make out someone sitting on the couch, wearing a white coat, glasses perched on her head... "Ema Skye?" he gasped.
"Yup, that's me," she confirmed around a mouthful of something crunchy, and held out a plastic bag. "Snackoo?"
She shrugged and went back to munching. Edgeworth just stared at her, then glared at Phoenix and Larry. "You've corrupted a promising young officer as well?"
"All the time!" Larry said proudly. "Just the other day, there was this hot babe officer that-"
He was cut off by Phoenix elbowing him hard in the ribs. "Come on, Larry, don't tell him that. You know he's always been a goody-two-shoes."
"I'm a goody-two-shoes?" Edgeworth repeated incredulously. When they were kids, Phoenix had been the most uptight... well, then again, they hadn't seen each other for years after that. Apparently Larry had had more influence on the man than Edgeworth had believed... which probably did make him the goody-two-shoes now. This was a discomfiting thought.
"Hmph. I don't see what's the point in it being illegal," Ema mumbled through her lazy grin and her Snackoos. "I did a little scientific experimentation, you could say, while I was in college, and found out that all it ever does is make me happy and sleepy."
"And... perhaps hungry?" There were several identical empty snack food bags littering the couch around her.
"Nah," Phoenix put in, since Ema had just crammed more Snackoos into her mouth. "She's always like that."
Edgeworth was at a loss for words to describe what was wrong with this. It just... wasn't a good idea, that was all. "...I'm still leaving," he said at last, turning to the door.
"Awwww," Phoenix groaned, hooking his arm through Edgeworth's. "We hardly get to see each other anymore. Why don't you stick around?"
"Unlike you," Edgeworth said pointedly, "I'm still in law enforcement. If I get caught in-"
"You're not law enforcement over here," Phoenix pointed out. "If you're here, then you're on vacation." He paused, but before Edgeworth could say anything more, he smiled brightly. "Hey! You're on vacation! When did you get here?"
Between the smoke and the stupidity, Edgeworth just had to sit down for a moment, and did so across from Ema. "...How long has this been going on?" he muttered. "Wright - you weren't... when you had a case..."
"Huh?" Phoenix looked confused as he sat down beside him, a lit roll of paper in his opposite hand. "Uhm... oh, you mean when I was a lawyer? Nope. But..." He grinned. "Larry came by to cheer me up after he heard the news, you know? And when I was in art school, we used to light up all the time... it was pretty much a given. I only gave it up for the law, honestly."
Well, there went Edgeworth's theory about the crazy things Phoenix had done in court. "So you're a natural-born idiot."
Rather than answering by conventional means, Phoenix put an arm around Edgeworth, inhaled deeply, then blew a puff of smoke in his face, making him wave it away irritably, grimacing. Phoenix was still grinning, though. "This stuff's all-natural too. And after those years spent trying to be smart, I have some idiocy to catch up on, I think."
...Maybe it was that ridiculous smile that Edgeworth had missed - he hadn't seen it so much since Phoenix gave up his badge. Maybe it was the taboo of the whole thing. For some reason, now that the shock was fading, Edgeworth found himself growing a little intrigued. Still... "Aren't you afraid you'll wind up like him?" Edgeworth commented, gesturing vaguely towards Larry, who was doing something to the potted plant... "...What's he doing, anyway?"
Phoenix made an exasperated noise, and called out, interrupting Larry's maniacal giggling. "Hey, Butz? For the last time, stop telling Charley you're smoking his little brother." He shrugged as he turned back to Edgeworth. "Charley never believes him anyway."
Edgeworth just stared in disbelief. Yes... Yes, he absolutely should be leaving now. Absolutely.
An hour later, Larry was sitting crosslegged on the floor at one end of the coffee table, blinking at the cards laid out before him on the table. "Nick, dude! This is totally not fair! You always beat me! Why do you always beat me?"
To his left, Ema smirked. "For one thing, he plays cards for a living nowadays," she reminded Larry. "For another..." She lowered her glasses and peered at the cards. "Scientific examination tells me that you're playing solitaire."
"That's what I mean!" Larry protested. "How's he beating me at solitaire? And while he's making out with Edgey at the same time!"
"Uhh... Objection... and stuff." Edgeworth was a little distracted. Not so much by Phoenix basically devouring his jawline, but by Ema and her never-ending stash of Snackoos. He couldn't stop staring. It was kind of nauseating, watching her eat and eat and eat... and yet... he kind of wanted some. Only the fact that there was a vast expanse of glass between them kept him from getting up to grab a bag for himself. When did that coffee table get so big? It was bigger than the whole office had been the last time he was here. There was a vague thought floating somewhere, that Lana would have been furious if she knew he was doing this sort of thing with Ema... or considering stealing her snacks. He'd stopped caring about that thought at some point, or the fact that Phoenix had abandoned his seat at the other end of the table and seemed fairly determined to molest him in full view of both Ema and Larry. The man was draped all over him... Oh yeah, that was also preventing him from grabbing a bag of Snackoos. He'd sort of forgotten.
This whole situation, he reflected, as Phoenix slid a hand up the inside of his thigh in slow-motion, was thoroughly confusing and bizarre. And somehow, not entirely unpleasant despite this.
"Are you okay?" Phoenix mumbled, only semi-coherent due to his refusal to stop sucking on his neck while talking. "I think that's the first thing I've heard you say for like half an hour."
Edgeworth nodded, groggily. Now that he'd been reminded of Phoenix's presence, he was like a warm blanket... which was nice, though it made him awfully sleepy.
Somewhere, way off in the distance, beyond that giant ocean of glass, Larry was giggling as he opened that little plastic bag again, and Edgeworth thought his laughter sounded like some sort of birdcall. "He hasn't moved, either. Edgey is so stoned, man."
I am not, Edgeworth thought with a vague sort of indignance. I'm just... comfortable. For some reason, Phoenix started laughing, and Edgeworth wondered if he'd just said that out loud. "Yes you did," Phoenix told him.
Edgeworth decided that was okay after all, and just leaned his head back, looking up at the ceiling. ...The foam tiles were full of tiny holes, and he wondered if they had someone whose job it was in the ceiling tile factory to poke tiny holes in all the tiles, and if... "There could be a hidden camera up there behind all those little holes," he said, growing abruptly nervous.
"There isn't," Ema assured him. "Larry checked earlier."
"As usual!" Larry grinned and gave him a thumbs-up.
"Oh... thank goodness."
The paranoia vanished as quickly as it had arrived, and Edgeworth just occupied his thoughts with hole-pokers at the tile factory and their possible wages (entirely too much no matter what they were paid, in his opinion) while Phoenix went at his neck like some sort of vampire. The cravat must have come off at some point - Edgeworth couldn't remember.
Not much later, amidst the rhythm of Ema's munching, the little noises Phoenix was making against his skin, and Larry's griping about losing against himself in cards, there was a series of sounds he couldn't quite place into their proper context - a thudding, a shuffle, a click... then a voice. "Mr. Edgeworth?" exclaimed a voice that he... no, wait. He knew that voice. Edgeworth froze as the door banged open. "Is Mr. Edgeworth... Hey, pal!" the voice exclaimed, shocked.
Edgeworth was afraid to turn his head and look, but Ema and Larry were gaping. Phoenix confirmed his suspicions by looking up over the back of the couch, unconcerned. "Gumshoe... what's up?"
"Uh... I got word Mr. Edgeworth was back in town, and I had a feeling he'd show up over here first..." Gumshoe began, sounding confused as he approached the giant coffee table. "So I came over to have a look, and... and I know what I just walked in on here!" he shouted, his voice taking on its usual fire again. "You, Harry Butz! Let me see that bag!"
Larry had frozen with his hand still inside, and he gingerly withdrew it, handing it over with sudden meekness. Edgeworth couldn't imagine how things could possibly get worse, as he watched Gumshoe open it up and peer inside, giving it a sniff. He, a prosecutor, found by a police detective among a group of people in the process of getting stoned out of their minds - and with Phoenix on his lap, even.
"Yeah, that's just what I thought," Gumshoe said with a confident nod. "You guys are partying with... oregano!"
Ema looked like she wanted to say something, but no sound was coming out. Larry was just staring with his mouth open, Phoenix looked completely blank. Edgeworth felt as though there was something building up inside him, something he couldn't identify, but growing larger and larger... And he wasn't sure what was going to happen when it burst.
"This stuff turns up down at the station in little plastic bags like this all the time," Gumshoe continued. "And they're always acting like they're just going to toss it out and stuff... but that's a complete waste of food, pal!" He gave them a bright, cheerful smile. "There's no wasting of food on my watch! I grab it when they're not looking and take it home to have in my dinner! And then one day I left a bag of it sitting on the stove and it burned... and for some reason, even instant noodles tasted so good that night that I ate five packs!"
"Yeah," said Phoenix distantly. "We uh, sort of caught some on fire too."
"It happens, pal, it happens," Gumshoe reassured him. "But even so, cooking with oregano makes a pathetic, miserable day better every time, yes sir!"
Whatever was building up, that made it burst, and a curious, high-pitched sound escaped Edgeworth's throat, causing everyone to look at him oddly. It wasn't enough to provide relief for that overwhelming feeling, though, and suddenly Edgeworth was doubled over, giggling uncontrollably.
When he'd recovered enough to hear anything but his own laughter, he came to realize that everyone else was laughing now too, and that set him off again. Gumshoe clapped him on the back companionably. "Yeah, exactly, sir!"
"N-not... h-h-helping..." Edgeworth managed between fits. Why could he not stop laughing? "If I'd known you were cooking with... oregano..." And he had to stop to calm down again. "...I wouldn't have turned you down all those times you offered to cook dinner for me. Well, now that I... I know how good... o-oregano is." He had to stop yet again there, because he was laughing so hard that no sound was coming out.
"Let me know next time you're in town," Gumshoe suggested. "I'll put a whole bag on for you, sir!"