All rivers, even the most dazzling, those that catch the sun in their course, all rivers go down to the ocean and drown. And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river.
- Simone Schwarz-Bart
To think that all of this nonsense had started with a damn guitar. Ema had always found music instruments tedious and a complete waste of the Earth's resources, especially when they now had computers to make the music for them. However, since Klavier's broken guitar and his blackmailing her into a date (she still cringed) with him, she hated them more than ever.
His flirtatious behaviour and emotional blackmail hadn't stopped. He'd managed to push her into going out with him again not once, not twice but three times since then. In fact, she was going to meet him for her fourth outing (as she preferred to call it) and thankfully, it was the last. That evening, she was leaving for Berlin again and he'd insisted that she see him one last time before they had to leave. Klavier was officially a prosecutor and had decided to stay in L.A. to pursue his career whereas Ema had to return for her studies.
"Sorry I took so long," Phoenix said, sliding back into his seat. "An old man needed some… assistance."
Ema grinned when he shivered. "What kind of assistance?"
He pretended not to have heard her, choosing instead to dig into his dessert with relish. "Did you see Lana yet?"
She sighed, her heart sinking as she thought of her sister. She missed her terribly. "Yeah. The Detention centre closed early for some reason. I heard the guards talking about a magician so I didn't get to spend much time with her."
Phoenix nodded. "Shadi Enigmar was arrested yesterday for the murder of his mentor," he explained.
Ema frowned in concentration as she tried to recall why the name sounded familiar. "Shadi Enigmar?"
"Zak Gramarye of the famous Troupe Gramarye," Phoenix elaborated.
"Ah," Ema nodded, sipping her orange juice. "Are you going to represent him?"
Phoenix shook his head. "He hasn't requested my services."
"That never stopped you before!"
His hesitation piqued her interest and she narrowed her eyes in scrutiny when he spoke. "I… don't want to get involved in such a high-profile case."
"Why?" Ema asked, confused. "You defended that Max Galactica guy and that Engarde – " Phoenix cringed " – as well! Why is this different?"
"Because it involves their mentor," he replied. "It just seems too messy."
"What if he asks for you?" Ema asked. "Will you then?"
"I can't turn down a request for help, so yes," he acceded, "I probably would."
Ema stared at Phoenix for a while, a contemplative look on her face as she fiddled with her hair. There was something odd about his behaviour. As far as she knew him, she understood that he didn't care about anything except helping the defenceless and, above all, justice. So, why was he hesitating now? It didn't make sense.
Phoenix seemed to read her mind because he sighed, setting his spoon down and looking her in the eye. "The word is Kristoph Gavin is going to be representing Mr Enigmar. Don't worry, he's in good hands – probably the best. In a day or two, the headlines will be broadcasting Mr Enigmar's acquittal at the hands of the 'coolest defense in the west.' Gavin will do a fine job."
"That's Klavier Gavin's brother, right?"
Phoenix nodded. "An extraordinary pair, those two. Driven to succeed."
"What's his brother like?" Ema asked curiously.
Phoenix laughed. "The complete opposite. They call him the coolest defense in the west for a reason, Ema."
"So he's, like, the defense version of Mr Edgeworth?"
"…You could say that."
"That's so cool!" Ema exclaimed. "Do you know him?"
"No," Phoenix said with a shake of the head. "Anyway, I spoke to someone about Lana's sentence."
The change of subject affected her instantly: Ema struggled to keep the smile on her face. "Did you have any luck?"
Phoenix looked calm. "Given that the basis for Joe Darke's sentence was false evidence, the penalty for her crime is what it is. However," he continued reassuringly when Ema's shoulders slumped, "it's also true that he was guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt considering his attack on you. And, the rest of the crimes that were committed thereafter were because she was being coerced by Gant. In a few months time, she'll be eligible for parole. So, hopefully, the next time you visit us, Lana will be out of prison and you'll be able to—ooof!"
Phoenix knocked his head against the wall as Ema threw herself at him, hugging him with all her might. "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
He laughed nervously as he awkwardly patted her back. He wasn't fully composed until she was back in her seat and clearly planning on remaining there. Phoenix cleared his throat and straightened his jacket before picking at his dessert which he seemed to have lost his appetite for.
"What time's your flight again?" Phoenix asked.
"Er… 11.15 tonight," Ema replied.
He frowned. "Wasn't it a little earlier?"
She scowled unexpectedly. "It was but Klavier changed my ticket," she grumbled. "That guitar's costing me a lot more than it's probably worth."
Phoenix raised an eyebrow. "Is he harassing you, Ema?"
She hesitated. "N…not really. He's not that bad, I guess." She sighed. "Oh well, I only have another 2 hours of having to deal with him anyway. I'll never see him again after that except on billboards and T.V."
"Where are you going tonight?" he asked with an amused smile and Ema narrowed her eyes, remembering his fondness for his sarcastic inner monologue. I wonder what's going through his head, she thought.
"Gatewater Land," she said with exasperation. "I've no idea what he's got in mind, so don't ask," she added, seeing Phoenix's puzzled expression. "Probably something ridiculous like jumping off an amusement ride."
"That's the price you pay to deal with a rock star, Ema," Phoenix winked.
"Fräulein Skye," Klavier's voice broke into her thoughts and she groaned inwardly. "You enjoyed yourself tonight, ja?"
"The food was good," Ema said agreeing. "The weather was awesome," she added, waving her hands in the general direction of the darkening sky. "The scenery was…" She looked at the Pink Badger that ran by. "Ugh. Never mind."
"And the company?"
Ema eyed him a critically. Ever since the first 'date' (she cringed again), she'd found it a lot easier to deal with Klavier: it was getting easier and easier to see him as just another guy – the squealing fan-girls and paparazzi aside. She was calmer now and less easily frustrated.
So now that she was taking in his immaculate, bad-boy appearance, Ema found it simple to just wave a hand dismissively; "Meh."
Klavier threw his head back and laughed heartily. Ema watched with a reluctant smile as his hands slid out of his pockets and took his sunglasses off, slipping them onto the opening of his neck. He raised a hand to her in an invite and she raised an eyebrow questioningly. He hadn't touched her since he'd promised to keep his distance and Ema was oddly surprised by it. After all, sex, drugs and rock and roll came in a package for a reason but Klavier defied that stereotype – he was a regular good bad-boy.
"Will you dance with me?"
Ema's eyes widened with shock: instead of accepting his hand, she moved away as if it was a dangerous weapon. "Er, there's no music."
Promptly, as if he'd been waiting for just such a comment, Klavier began to hum a slow tune that she hadn't heard before, his hand still outstretched towards her. His eyes were fixed on hers, still sparkling with mischief as he cast a fleeting look downwards as a hint for her to accept his invitation. Ema, however, shook her head again.
"I can't dance!" she blurted without thinking then bit her lip, her eyes closing of their own accord, wishing she had some semblance of control over her mouth.
But Klavier didn't tease her about it – his expression remained gentle and his smile was reassuring. "I can teach you," he said.
She shook her head for a third – and more vigorous – time. "No."
"Come, Fräulein, my guit—"
"If you mention that guitar one more time, so help me God, I'll strangle you!" Ema cut across him loudly. If she'd been expecting a shocked response from Klavier, she was disappointed: he only retracted his hand and chuckled.
"I wondered how much longer I could get away with that line," he said with a quiet laugh.
Ema was outraged. "What's that supposed to mean?" she demanded.
"Very well, if you will not dance with me, perhaps you can oblige another request?" Klavier said, glancing over her shoulder.
It was a mark of how alarmed she was at the new look in his eyes that she didn't realise he'd ignored her question. Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "What?"
"Fräulein!" he called a little loudly and Ema jumped, wondering what the hell was wrong with him and why he was shouting…? She followed his gaze and found a wide-eyed, attractive girl who was staring at Klavier in shock, a Polaroid camera clutched in her hands. She appeared to be frozen mid-walk and Ema felt a little sorry for her, knowing how potent Klavier's presence was.
"Could you please give us a moment of your time?"
Ema glanced back at Klavier who was watching the girl before she turned back to the victim of his dazzling smile. She gulped visibly before glancing around (probably to make sure she was the one he was talking to) and approached them. Ema noted that her knuckles were turning white.
"What is your name, liebling?" Klavier said, arching his back as he leaned back cockily.
"I-Ina," she stammered. Ema had a sudden urge to kick Klavier for what he was doing to Ina: she looked as if she didn't know whether she was awake or dreaming.
"You have a beautiful name, Fräulein," Klavier said with a smile and she blushed. Ema rolled her eyes. "I wonder if I could bother you for a favour?"
"Er, yeah?" Ina said inquisitorially and Ema was glad to see that she wasn't looking so shocked anymore.
"Would you take a picture of me and this young lady here?"
Ema's neck turned so fast, she was sure she'd done some damage but she didn't care. She was the one staring at Klavier in shock now.
"Um, sure," Ina said somewhat uncertainly, lifting the camera in her hands a little higher.
"No, no, wait!" Ema cried, waving like a madwoman at Ina then turning to Klavier who was still smiling. "What do you think you're doing?"
"You are leaving tonight, ja? I thought it would be fitting for us to have a picture taken as a memento of our time together," Klavier explained.
"How do you know she's not with the media?" Ema snapped, gesturing wildly. "I don't want my face plastered on some—"
"Calm down, Fräulein," Klavier said soothingly. "I can recognise a media hound a mile away. This young lady is an innocent passer-by. I am sure she had no idea I would be here with you."
"I'm not taking a picture with you," Ema said stubbornly.
Klavier scanned her features silently and sighed when he realised she wasn't going to give in. He turned to Ina with an apologetic look (who was surveying Ema with something akin to disbelief) and flashed her a smile. "I am sorry to have hindered you, Ina. It seems I will not require the services of your impressive camera."
"Um…" Ina took a discreet breath that didn't go unnoticed by Ema. "Could I…?"
"Yes?" Klavier prodded, leaning forward to look in her face.
"Could I take a picture of you, Mr Gavin?" she said so quietly that were it not for the silence surrounding them, Ema would not have heard her.
"Of course!" Klavier said with a click of his fingers. "I will sign it for you also!"
Ina flashed her first smile and Ema suppressed a groan, quickly stepping aside when Klavier posed for the shot. She looked at her watch to make sure she wasn't late for her flight as Klavier and his fan waited for the picture to dry out. She was examining her surroundings when he spoke to her again: "Ema, would you have a pen upon you?"
Grumbling inwardly, Ema opened her bag and pulled one out, throwing it at him. Wishing he hadn't caught it so smoothly, she turned away again, trying to ignore their low voices. She looked at her watch again: it was almost ten o'clock. She'd already packed everything beforehand so she only had to allow time for getting to the airport. Given that she was taking a taxi, she had to set off early in case anything went wrong. She didn't want to miss any classes and she certainly didn't want to pay for another flight.
"I can't believe I've spent 2 and a half hours with him already," she muttered under her breath.
"I take that to mean you did have fun," Klavier's voice was at her ear and she spun around to find him towering over her with that ever-lasting smirk. He handed her back the pen and she glanced over his shoulder to see Ina walking away, excitedly talking on the phone.
"I… Thanks." She took the pen from him, annoyed. "Do you always eavesdrop?"
"Only where Ema Skye is concerned." He winked.
She glanced at her watch again. "I… have to go. I don't want to be late for my flight."
"You flight is at 11.15, Fräulein," Klavier said.
"I don't want to risk missing it," Ema said.
"Ten more minutes," Klavier said. "Then I will let you go."
She sighed and looked at him long and hard. "It doesn't really matter if I say no, does it? You'll extract 10 minutes from me anyway."
Klavier laughed. "That I will, Fräulein."
"Fine," Ema complied, turning away from him and starting to walk towards the hotel. "You have until the we reach the hotel."
He flashed her the famous Gavin-smile as he fell into step beside her. "So, are you looking forward to going back to your studies?"
"Yeah," Ema said, brightening at the thought of all those test tubes and chemicals waiting for her back in Berlin. It had been too long since her hands had touched a flask. She wondered if she would be able to fine-tune the report she'd been working on in the plane…
"One need only mention a science-related matter to see the shining light in your eyes," Klavier said and Ema blushed.
"Anyway, you mentioned a trial earlier," Ema said brusquely changing the subject. "Your first time in court isn't it?" Klavier nodded. "How are you feeling?"
"Great," Klavier said. "I have waited for the chance to face Kristoph in court for a long time. At last, I have my chance."
Ema frowned. "I thought Mr Gavin was on the Gramarye—Oh!" Klavier looked at her in amusement when she gasped in realisation. "You're prosecuting Zak Gramarye?"
"Indeed I am," he verified with a nod and a far away, partly serious look washed over him. "A Gavin on either side of the court. It will be quite a trial." Suddenly, he glanced at her with a playful look. "Perhaps, someday, you will be there rocking the court with me."
Ema snorted at the absurdity of his comment. "If I ever appear in court it would be to testify. But there's no use talking about that. I'm going into Forensics and they're the guys behind the scenes." She rolled her eyes. "You're more than enough to 'rock the court', Prosecutor Gavin. I'll leave that to you."
It was in this banter that Klavier walked her to her hotel room and more than ten minutes had passed though neither noticed. When she came to her door, she turned to look at him with a slightly shy smile; now that the time for goodbye had come, she felt awkward. She knew that she would probably never see him again which was odd, as she'd spent a considerable amount of her spring break with him.
"Well, er…" she looked down at her bag in order to avoid his gaze. "Thank you for everything."
Klavier suddenly touched her face, lifting it with his fingers so that she was forced to look into his eyes. They still twinkled but his smile had taken on a wistful quality. "Nein," he sighed. "Thank you for your time. I have greatly appreciated it. It is rare and difficult to find a true friend."
Ema smiled back this time, a crooked smile full of embarrassment. "You're welcome."
Smooth, Skye. Real smooth.
Klavier didn't answer reply. He continued to stare at her and she found that she was staring back. A sad sort of emotion was filling her and it surprised her. She hadn't expected to feel upset at her departure but now that she knew this was the last time she would talk to him face to face, she wished she'd spent more time with him. He really wasn't all that bad to be around.
"Goodbye would be inappropriate," Klavier said quietly.
Ema cocked her head quizzically. "Why?"
"Because I think we will meet again."
She laughed a little disbelievingly. "Scientifically speaking, the chances of us meeting again are equal to that of a—"
"At the risk of incurring your wrath, my Honigbienchen, not everything is guided by the hand of science."
Ema would have been irritated but there was something in the lowered tone of his voice that kept her from snapping at him. "Good luck with your trial, Klavier," she said instead.
For the second time that evening, he touched her: Ema did nothing as he lifted her hand to his mouth, brushing his lips over the back. "Danke, Fräulein."
She shot him another smile before closing the door to her room and leaning against it, frowning in confusion. She didn't understand what had just happened but she felt there had been more than just a modicum of truth to his words. A part of her wanted to open the door and talk to him some more – there was something unfinished to their conversation, almost as if it was meant to be concluded another time, like he'd predicted…
"Oh get a grip," Ema muttered, hurrying towards her bags to make sure she hadn't forgotten to pack anything. "He's a rock-star not a fortune-teller."
"Take care of yourself, Ema," Phoenix instructed her as he lowered her bag at the gate. "And look me up the next time you're back in L.A."
"I will Mr Wright," Ema replied, turning to him. "And thank Mr Edgeworth for letting me help him, won't you?"
Phoenix looked like he'd eaten a sour lemon but Ema barely noticed. "Sure."
"And thank you again for letting me spend time with you."
"Don't worry about it," Phoenix said with a warm smile. "And I'll deal with Lana's parole while you're gone. You just focus on your studies."
Ema's mouth wobbled as she regarded the attorney. She already owed him so much and she didn't know how she could ever repay him. Her gratitude for him kept piling up and this help that he'd offered only served to push her more. Her eyes welled up and before Phoenix had any time to get uncomfortable, she'd thrown her arms around him in a hug. Now, however, he took it in his stride: he was laughing softly, hugging her back.
"You're the best, Mr Wright," she sniffed, readjusting her hat.
"Eh heh heh…" was his only response as Phoenix scratched the back of his head. Suddenly, Ema ripped the campaign button off her lab-coat and thrust it into his hand. Picking up her bag from the floor, she spun on her heel and swept through the gate leaving the baffled Phoenix behind.
7 years later…
The crumpling sound of a packet announced her return and her new appointment at Criminal Affairs. Most people ignored her – after all, she wasn't particularly unique, except for maybe the lab coat draped around her voluptuous figure. She was the moody new detective – her green eyes were serious and there was a permanently annoyed fixture on her lips. Although, right now, the former were glittering with excitement and the latter were lifted in a secret smile.
Ema Skye may have failed to qualify for Forensics but she only took that to mean that the universe had wanted her to work alongside the great Edgeworth. How could she be annoyed about that? For the first time ever, she believed in a power other than Science. So she rushed along the hallway, glancing at the descending numbers on the doors, waiting for the right one to come. Eventually, she stopped, her insides practically bursting with anticipation as her gaze fixed on the half open door.
She knocked on it and peeked her head around it slowly. "Mr Edgeworth?" she called, scrutinising the office. Something wasn't right here. Mr Edgeworth was organised and neat – nothing at all like the chaotic room before her, littered with stray sheets, speakers and wall-mounted screens.
"Mr Edgeworth?" a voice echoed from behind her. "He does not work here."
She spun on the spot, wanting to see who had just ruined her hopes, who had dared to give her such horrendous news but the swiftness of her move caused her to lose her footing. She gasped, her packet of Snackoos dropping from her hand.
Instantly, strong hands snaked around her, preventing her fall. She grabbed onto the arms to steady herself and shook her head, blinking, as she tried to get her bearings. She was in an uncomfortable position, her back arched, her legs stumbling to get some stability and her hair was caught on something… and something was bumping painfully against her forehead, although it disappeared almost instantly after she noticed it. The arms lifted her slowly, steadying her on her feet and when she was finally standing up, she looked into the face of her helper.
An array of emotions rushed through her – all of them negative: shock, disbelief, anger, humiliation and… dislike. His hair was longer now and if she wasn't mistaken, he was taller. His features were more defined, his clothes still rock-worthy but mature. The G–adorned chain was still around his neck and she touched her forehead gingerly, realising what had hit her.
How could history be repeating itself? It was scientifically impossible!
His eyes still twinkled, his smile was still cheeky and his pose still cocky. No doubt the events of the past 7 years had blown his opinion of himself out of orbit. She grimaced, unable to believe the facts of the situation before her. If Mr Edgeworth wasn't here and he was, that only meant that he was her boss which meant—
No freakin' way.
"I told you we would meet again, Fräulein."