Warnings: Gyakuten Saiban (Phoenix Wright) 3 spoilers for the last case. Hinted shounen-ai (Edgeworth x Phoenix) but you really see nothing. And I mean nothing. I think I can label this as a gen. story, really.
Disclaimer: Gyakuten Saiban aka Phoenix Wright is property of Capcom and is not mine. I am making no profit from this except in review counts. Any recipes found in this narrative are not mine and are property of…someone else. But I'm not getting any money for it either.
A/N: As you can see, I changed the rating and genre of this story accordingly--it didn't quite go the way I planned. So this is it! I finally finished…a week and a half after Valentine's Day. I suck. But look out for my next story—it should be out on time. *hintMarch14hint*
"Let's go let's go let's go!" Maya and Pearl both chanted as soon Phoenix exited his bedroom door.
"Wait, wait, you guys, I have to eat my breakfast first!"
They were already at it again? The poor brunette nearly wept with relief the night before when he finally got the ingredients to mix after Maya stirred for thirty minutes without success (all it needed was a precise application of arm muscles). They poured it into the pan to solidify, and he simply couldn't deny them when the teenaged acolyte announced, "We're going out for victory-burgers!" which was followed up by her cohort's, "I want the Kid's Special!" This idea wasn't turning out to be as wallet-friendly as he anticipated.
"So," asked Phoenix, "what do you two want for breakfast?"
"We already ate."
"I made you eggs!"
The lawyer was taken aback. Maya eating breakfast before the morning cartoons ended? Pearl using the stove, even though she burned herself on the rim of the last pan she used and swore never to cook with fire again? Phoenix surveyed kitchen: eggs in the pan, bread waiting for him to toast, fudge cut into a giant heart shape…
The spiky-haired man's own heart filled with dread even before he knew what that implied.
"M…Maya?" he called, "Did you make enough fudge for everyone…?"
The samurai-holic was currently captivated by the screen, so her cousin piped up for her, "Yes, Mr. Nick. We made in-duh-visual sizes for everyone, and tied them up in baggies to make them look nice."
A quick check of the fridge confirmed the small pile of fudge squares, each in a sandwich bag complete with a red bow. Oh, good, there was enough for everyone. Well, he supposed the fudge heart was for them to keep at home and eat themselves—he wouldn't put it past the elder Fey, at least.
"Okay then, since you guys did this all by yourselves, we can leave after I'm done eating."
"Hey, you did most of the work, Nick." Maya turned away from the television since only commercials were on. "That's how come we kept a huge chunk especially for you," she winked.
"So you can give to your special someone!" Pearl added with glee.
Oh. Oh no.
Pearl helpfully lifted the heart to Phoenix's face as he straightened from locking the bikes in front of police headquarters. He took it with a small wince, and flinched under the grade-schooler's disappointed frown. The attorney quickly swapped his expression with an uncomfortable smile, which seemed to satisfy the little girl, who took her own armful of chocolatey confections and followed her cousin into the building. Phoenix trudged in after them.
Pretty familiar with the police station at this point, the trio bypassed reception, the ebony-haired girl leading the march straight up to Detective Gumshoe's desk.
Dick Gumshoe scratched his head with his pencil and tucked it back behind his ear. When did that coffee stain get on his report? He only drank from cheap Styrofoam cups at his desk, and they didn't stain in wide rings like that. Wait… he bent over the paper, peering past his nose at the mysterious mark. That coloring was so dark, it must have been from someone who took their coffee black…very black…and ate brownies wrapped in cellophane…
Wait, that wasn't on his report before!
"Happy Valentine's Day, Detective Gumshoe!" "Happy Valentine's Day, Mr. Detective!" came simultaneous cries before the hulking man found himself wrapped in two hugs.
"Hey, you two rascals!" he laughed, happy for a distraction from his paperwork. "What was that for?"
Maya winked. "It's Valentine's Day, so—"
"—we're spreading the luuuuuuuuv!" Pearl finished.
Behind them, the blue-suited lawyer waved weakly, clamping down on his facevault reflex. How early did they wake up to plan all this?
"Now, now," Gumshoe smiled embarrassedly at the trio, "I'm flattered, but I have a special girl waiting for me already."
"Oooh, so you're spending Valentine's Day with your special someone?" the pink-robed girl sighed happily.
"Are you taking her out for a romantic dinner? You haven't been making Maggey cry, have you?" the older acolyte mock-frowned.
The inspector was aghast. "What? No! I mean, I'm at work now, but she packed me a special box lunch!"
He whipped out a plastic food container and removed the lid with a flourish, revealing rice packed into the shape of a heart, several octo-dogs and what was doubtless a love note.
While the others chatted happily about the extent of Maggey's love and dedication, Phoenix tuned out the high-pitched squeals with well-practiced ease.
'Wonder how long they're going to talk? If it's Pearl and they're talking about romance,' internal wince here, 'that's going to keep them busy. Does Gumshoe even know I'm here? Why does he always have that bandage on his chin, anyway? I thought it was a shaving accident, but there's no way he can cut himself shaving in the exact same place every day. Or maybe it's one of those waterproof band-aids that never come off, and he forgot it's there. That is going to give him on heck of a tan line when it finally does come off.'
The brunette lawyer's budding parenting senses tingled, and he paused his musings on the origins of Gumshoe's ever-constant band-aid just in time to catch, "—and here's one for Maggey, too! You two have a wonderful Valentine's Day!"
"Why, thank you little lady, I'll tell her you said 'Hi.'"
The Fey cousins just dropped a square of fudge at the head detective's workspace (now sporting a calendar of "Hottest Firewomen" he bought at a fire department fundraiser), when a sudden disturbance caught the group's attention.
"I didn't do it! You can ask anybody! I was framed, framed I tell you! Of course I had a license to sell Samurai Dogs there, but a squirrel ate my permit! Hey! Hey!" a youthful voice screeched with everything it had, as a lanky figure in a distinct orange jacket was dragged into the department office space by two officers and forced into a chair.
Gumshoe spoke up, "Hey, isn't he that killer?" but the crew of Wright and Co were already on the scene.
"You can't do this! I want my lawyer!" the shouting continued.
"It's your lucky day, Larry," Phoenix sighed, clapping a hand on his friend's shoulder.
Larry Butz's head snapped up. "Nick!" he exclaimed, eyes going huge and tear-filled in a microsecond. "Boy, am I glad to see you! You've gotta help me!"
The rookie policeman coughed. "Excuse me, but civilians should avoid contact with the suspect for your own safety."
"Oh, um, I'm his lawyer," Phoenix stuck out a hand.
The other man took it. "Wow, I've never seen that work before."
"Well, he gets himself into a lot of hairy situations…"
"Hey, Nick, what's with the heart?"
With a start, the attorney realized he was still clutching the fudge heart in a bag of saran that Pearl "helped" him make.
Blushing furiously, he hid the sack from Larry's view and ignored him by speaking with the officer in charge. "I'd like to ask you what he's being detained for?"
The bearded man pressed on. "Oooooh, Nick has a girlfriend!"
"Hey, Larry, remember us?" the topknotted girl made herself known. Yes, Phoenix was saved!
"Maya! I never forget a beautiful face. And my little loser buddy!" Larry greeted the pair. Pearl giggled.
"Loser Handshake! Up hi—ugh." His right hand was still handcuffed to his seat. Whipping out his left hand, he tried again. "Up high!"
Pearl jumped up to slap his hand.
"Look, we got you a Valentine's Day present!"
One policeman noticed. "Is it okay for those girls to be here?"
"Yes, they're…ah…my associates. Now, about the item…"
It looked like Wright and Co was back in business.
"What is this?" Franziska eyed the offered confection with disdain.
"This is fudge," Pearl proudly declared. She knew something that an adult didn't! "We made it ourselves."
The von Karma's expression didn't twitch an iota. "I can see that, but why are you holding in that fashion?"
Indeed, the small bag sat in the pink-robed girl's outstretched palm, hovering about a foot from the prosecutor's nose. The brunette blinked at the inquiry. "It's for you," she answered, standing on her tiptoes and further invading Franziska's personal space.
The German abruptly returned to her case file. "It looks like dog excrement. And I refuse to eat any sweet that wasn't handcrafted in Europe. Go find yourself a fool who will foolishly eat your foolish attempt at baking."
Pearl frowned. "We made this in the microwave."
"Ha, you don't know how fudge is made!" Maya butted in, and Phoenix closed the door on an angrily sputtering bluenette, leaving the three girls to resolve their own matters.
As the voices in the room rose high enough to be heard through the door…four yards away…the defense attorney looked at his treat and sighed. Pearl made him carry it into the prosecutor's offices too. They passed out more fudge than he thought they would—including that poor security guard the girls took pity on at the front desk (who was trying to strangle himself with a megaphone because a girl shot him down), and then in apology to a balding man Maya nearly ran over on her bike. Now all they had left was the chunk for his "special someone."
Phoenix looked towards the stairwell.
He told Maya it would be unfair if they didn't give everyone a little something on Valentine's Day.
Pearl would kill him if he didn't give Maya his heart by the end of the day.
The commotion from Prosecutor von Karma's office was escalating.
"We do celebrate Valentine's Day in Germany!"
"Oh, yeah? What's the story behind Valentine's Day?"
"A story? I love stories!"
He guessed that they would take awhile. The blue-suited man opened the door to the stairwell.
Pearl would understand.
Phoenix was surprised to find Edgeworth's door locked. Maybe he was out for an early lunch, or had a court case today? Just in case, he rapped the wooden surface a few times, cautiously calling, "Edgeworth?" and waited.
It took a minute before he heard the locks turn, and a slate-gray eye peeked out. "Oh, thank goodness it's just you, Wright."
"What do you mean by that?" the brunette frowned as he entered the office, and raised his eyebrows at the bouquets and balloons, a stack of heart-shaped boxes and small pile of Steel Samurai action figures placed around his rival's desk.
"It's that woman, she's been sending me chocolates and flowers every hour since I came in this morning," Edgeworth ranted, securing the deadbolts. "That…that Oldbag, even sent me a singing telegram. If my work weren't so important, I'd leave right now!"
Phoenix winced. The alien.
The prosecutor continued, "I mean, I get the usual amount of Valentine's trinkets from coworkers and so forth, but frankly, why can't she leave me alone?" He collapsed in his chair with a groan. "I really should remember to get a restraining order for that woman. Didn't that sidekick of yours watch Steel Samurai? Take a few of those for her," he added, waving a hand at the unopened toys.
"Errrrr…alright, thanks Edgeworth." He was neck-deep in Valentines already—obviously he wouldn't mind missing one or two...or five, judging by the number of blister-wrapped packages, peppered with red heart stickers. The best idea, the defense attorney figured, was to grab the proffered items and beat a hasty retreat.
"So, why are you here, Wright?"
Taking a deep breath, Phoenix tried to come up with a response that would cause the least trauma. "Maya and…"
"Oh, Edgey-poo!" crooned a voice from the doorway.
"Gods, it's her!" Edgeworth vanished.
'Did he just…duck under his desk?'
"Have you no sense of self-preservation, Wright?" came the urgent whisper. "Hide!!!"
The brunette crouched down to the eye level of the so-called Demon Prosecutor (who was currently huddled at the corner of the table) and not bothering to lower his voice, said, "She can't see you when the door's closed."
"Obviously you also lack any powers of observation," Edgeworth hissed. "The door has a peephole!"
"You can't see anything through a peephole."
"Then why are you hiding down here?"
"I'm not hiding!" To make his point, Phoenix stood up—
"I brought you some afternoon teeeeeeeeeea!" Wendy Oldbag's words of love sailed through the thin barrier of wood.
--and swiftly dropped back to the ground.
Edgeworth raised an eyebrow.
"It was a reflex!" the other man said hotly.
A roll of the eyes proved that his sometimes-partner didn't believe him.
"It's your favorite Earl Grey!" the aged voice continued.
Both men went as rigid as Phoenix's hair.
"I even got your favorite brand although I found one that was much more expensive and obviously must be a higher quality but I brought both to see which one suits your taste better oh ho ho you're so cute when you're drinking you tea Edgey why haven't I seen you all day are you shy oh how sweet but that's okay I'm a nice girl I'm sure all sorts of young tramps that propositioned you and why not you're a fine cultured young man with a promising career and a true gentleman besides but not to worry I'm a lady with respect and class that you can't find among the new generation these days what is wrong with them it's because their parents spoiled them with their newfangled cell phones and video games and internet why back in my day we properly socialized in person and had delightful talks over lunch but noooooo now everyone's texting…"
She was talking to a door! How long could she possibly go on? The two attorneys shared a look.
'Every hour, huh?'
'You should try it sometime.'
For once, Phoenix was glad someone didn't like him.
When the old security guard left ten minutes later, they gave identical sighs of relief and stood up. The blue-suited lawyer winced. Ugh, his knees. Only twenty-six and he was getting old.
Edgeworth popped his back, uttering a satisfied groan before asking the question that had been on his mind for the last seven minutes. "Wright, what IS that thing you're clutching, anyway?"
Oh boy, it was time. No backing out now. Good thing the fudge heart was so big and obvious. The brunette took a second to muster up his courage. "Oh, this? This is why I'm here, actually. It's…," he gulped. Man up, they'd passed out a dozen of these things already. "It's for you." He thrust the heart out in front of him. "HappyValentine'sDayMiles!"
Smooth, Nick, real smooth.
Edgeworth's jaw dropped.
The last time he'd seen the magenta-clad man this utterly shocked was when DL-6 was reopened. Not a good sign.
"Ah, it's not just for you—we made some for everybody! Larry and Gumshoe and Miss von Karma…" he babbled, voice going noticeable higher as the grey-haired man plucked the bag from Phoenix's hands and scrutinized its contents. "…and even this random guy we met on the street. I think he's actually a prosec—"
"You…made this?" Edgeworth casually interrupted, not looking up from the confection.
"We all made it! Me, Pearl and Maya. It was all Maya's idea, she wanted to do some sort of Japanese Valentine's Day tradition—"
"The one where girls give chocolate to the boys they like?"
The prosecutor gave him a sidelong glance.
"I mean—no! Like I said, we gave one to everybody, it's just yours is a giant obnoxious heart because Pearl wanted me to give it to my 'special someone'—" Oops. Open mouth, insert foot. "Gah!" Phoenix furiously rubbed at his temples. "Sorry, I'm just…it's been crazy lately, you know?"
Edgeworth deadpanned, "Of course I know. You made me a defense attorney. That is very crazy."
Phoenix's head snapped up, recalling the chunk of action he missed while hospitalized. "Oh, yeah, I never really thanked you for that, did I?" he smiled. "You really saved my keister, Miles. Thanks. I don't know how I'll ever pay you back."
Edgeworth's shoulders began trembling, and he put a hand on the brunette's shoulder for support. Was he trying not to cry, or not to laugh? When he finally raised his head, Phoenix wasn't sure what shocked him more—the soft, upward curve gracing his rival's mouth, or the fact that his eyes contained a hint of sadness at the same time.
"Save you? You once told me something very similar, Wright, and I never got a chance to respond. You're wrong." With a swift movement, he pulled the startled lawyer close. "It is always you who saves me," he murmured into Phoenix's ear, and released him. "But if you insist, I'll accept this as my reward." He waved the fudge heart in the air, voice back to normal, like he didn't just invade the other man's personal space in the most freakish way.
Phoenix's face flushed, and he suddenly found it difficult to breathe. "Um…yeah…you do that. I've got to go get the girls." He made for the exit.
"Wright, aren't you forgetting something?"
The defense attorney turned back around, confused.
Edgeworth rolled his eyes. "The toys."
"Oh, yeah, for Maya." He gathered up as many as he could carry, nearly tripping over his own feet in his haste to leave the room, which had suddenly become too small, too cramped, too close to Miles.
"And one more thing…"
Phoenix paused in his tracks. Oh, no, what could he want now?
His rival flashed him his most dashing smirk. "Happy Valentine's Day, Wright."
Don't do something you'll regret, don't do something you'll regret… "Happy Valentine's Day, Miles," Phoenix managed to choke out before high-tailing it out of there, all but slamming the door behind him.
Attempting to calm his fluttering heart, the flustered man slid down the wall only a few feet from the office. 'What…what…what was that?'
After regaining his composure, Phoenix managed to make it down the stairs, extract the Feys from Franziska's office (a process facilitated with the lure of new toys), and at Maya's suggestion, went out for "Mission Completed!" burgers. But he still couldn't get Miles out of his mind, even after putting both girls to bed. He was standing really, really close. And was that almost a hug, earlier? He felt his face go red again. Augh!
Meanwhile, a certain prosecutor had already seen his "older" sister glaring at her petit square of fudge, and decided the differences between their portions were too notable to dismiss. He ripped off the tip of the heart and popped it in his mouth. Hmmm, not as smooth or rich as one from a good store. The texture was grainy, too, and the whole thing strongly resembled dog poop in appearance. Miles got himself another piece and chewed. Now, what was he going to do about everyone's favorite ace attorney?
I know, I know. Longest chapter ever, and still, nothing happens. Sorry for building up everyone's expectations, but Phoenix wigged out on me and Miles…was being evil. Okay, everyone was being evil—Phoenix Wright just attracts that sort of attention. I have to admit the characters carry me away a lot. Gomen nasai! Yeah, so this happens after Turnabout Hospital, and more happened in that fic than this one! I promise the next one will have more action. Read and review, please!