DISCLAIMER: Phoenix Wright/Gyakuten Saiban is the property of Capcom. This is a non-profit tribute to the games we've come to love.

A/N: Hey there! First and foremost, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this. If you like it, I have nothing but gratitude, and if you don't? Well, I still want to say thanks for letting me borrow some of your precious time.

What is this? In so many words, it's Phoenix Wright noir. At its core it remains the same: quirky characters, puns and goofiness; however, at some point the fan and writer in me wanted to see where those things could be taken if you added a bit of introspection and morality issues into the mix. I know a lot of people like to make tragedy, drama, pain and overall unpleasantness the goal of their work, and I have nothing against them, but I'm personally trying to pursue other creative avenues. So why not make those things the means, a vehicle to further the plot, instead of it being the whole point?

This is the first time I have truly proposed myself, as a personal goal, to do a fanfic project of this kind. Those who know me probably think I'm beyond all of this to begin with; I don't know if they are correct, but I know I'll hate myself for not trying.

Please rate, review and enjoy! I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

This ain't no place for no hero,

This ain't no place for no better man.

This ain't no place for no hero

to call home.

No Place For A Hero

Chapter 1 - Justice Never Sleeps

May 5th, 04:03 AM

Phoenix Wright's Apartment

One humid night during May, Phoenix Wright woke up to the sounds of Death. He didn't immediately recognize its terrifying beat, confusing it instead with the digitized beeping of his old cellphone, the one he always charged yet only used to receive calls from certain clients. The ex-attorney, now ex-poker player and attorney once more –thanks to his retaking the bar exam- told Apollo Justice, his junior partner in the reborn Wright & Co. Law Offices, that this phone in particular was meant to be used for a special practice.

He almost treasured it, and there was a reason for this.

The truth was that it had been the same old blue phone he used during his first tenure as an attorney. It was a memento as much as it was a legitimate link to his past, and only his acquaintances from those days knew of this number, thanks to his persistent behest.

Thus, knowing the importance of this call right away, Nick wasted no time in rolling to the side of the bed and reaching out to answer it. The instant that the line connected, he was greeted by a loud, shrieking female voice piercing his ears, right through his brain.

"NIIIIIIIICK!"

Needless to say, he got a hold of his bearings right away.

"Augh, gosh! Okay! You don't have to be so loud. It's…" Nick glanced at the night table from whence he had picked up the phone. A digital alarm clock stood there, giving the time next to a half-empty glass of water. "-right, it's four in the morning. I can hear you just fine."

Nick remembered the nature of the phone and lost his patience for introductions.

"Who the heck is this anyhow?" he asked with slight annoyance.

A female voice with a big drawl blasted through the other side of the line.

"Whut! Ya gonna pretend y'don't know me now that I need ya the most! Yer the worst of the worst, worst than them flies standing on cow manure! I hate yer guts!"

The attorney smiled weakly and put the pieces together very fast.

"Lotta Hart? The photographer?"

"Reckgiven! Anyone else ya know packin' this much southern charm, and straight outta the Heartland!"

Lotta, the freelance photojournalist with the big mouth and the big afro, had been both an enemy and an ally to Phoenix; however, their friendship –or whatever semblance of it their relationship was- had rooted itself deep when the journalist gave Nick the numerous leads that led to Maya Fey's second murder acquittal. Following that, particularly during the case of People v. Engarde, she had been as much of an opportunist and a troublemaker as before. It was back to square one, only this time, you knew what you were in for.

"Wow. It's been so long." said Nick finally. His tone was wistful.

"W-wait a minute."

"Yeah?"

Lotta became nervous. "…am I speaking with Phoenix Wright, the attorney?"

Nick chuckled. "As of… what? A year almost? Yep. Why?"

"Er… I dunno, you sound a heck of a lot older now."

"And you sound just the same! But I guess you're right." Nick smiled. "Ha ha ha. I'm a daddy now, you see."

There was an awkward silence plaguing the line.

"Whut! Did you and the topknot girl finally get together!"

Usually, any mention of Maya either made Nick mad or it gave him a terrible spell of the blues; however, only those closest to him at that point in time knew of this. Lotta remained oblivious of the nerve she had just struck.

"Nah. That didn't come through. It's a long story." the attorney finally said, immediately doing a swerve in the conversation. "So how did you get this number?"

"Chief Gumshoe, pal!"

Phoenix always felt like breaking into a belly laugh whenever he heard that Dick Gumshoe was, in fact, the Chief of Police after so many years of dedicated, passionate albeit often clumsy service. He supposed such a good guy deserved his big break after so many years of hardships and noodles.

By this time, footfalls were heard outside Phoenix's room. He figured it was Trucy, his adoptive daughter, getting up this early in the morning just to check up on her dad.

"I see." said Phoenix to keep himself from laughing too much or too hard. He also watched the volume of his voice, something he figured he had forgotten to do. "So, what can I do for you, Lotta? Need someone to bust you out? Which celebrity's house did you break into this time?" he joked.

It was then that a series of sobs and sniffles came through the line.

"Yer heartless, Phoenix Wright! Yer a monster!"

Phoenix finally realized this was serious, as a man who was aware of the kind of cases that would usually come knocking on his door. Nonetheless, he tried not to jump to conclusions. You can't be a homicide magnet forever, right?

"I'm sorry, Lotta. I didn't mean to upset you. Now tell me," he said in a voice so caring that a man can only find it once he has become responsible for another's life and well-being. "what's wrong?"

Lotta, paying homage to her name, regained her composure and finally stated the purpose of her call: she had been arrested under suspicion of murder.

"But I swear on the grave of my granddaddy that I didn't do nothin'!"

Nick almost wanted to put the call on hold and mutter a dry "Of course". He had been inexplicably drawn to murder cases ever since the beginning of his career, both due to his capacity to get clients acquitted –sometimes through sheer bluffing- and his oath to protect those who were in their most helpless moments. His whole practice record had consisted of murders almost entirely; even that one case he took, defending a famous master thief under suspicion of grand larceny, had been all a ruse to cover up for a murder.

Phoenix Wright undoubtedly had the experience of a veteran, but regardless, it always struck a nerve when fate put the life of those close to him on his hands.

After promising Lotta he'd personally take her case, Nick immediately asked her to stop talking on the phone and only give him the information he explicitly requested. After writing down data like the number of her detention cell, full name and case number, he scheduled the time when he'd come down to the detention center that day and discuss Lotta's defense at length.

"Keep that chin up, Lotta. I'm getting you an acquittal, no matter what. I believe in you."

Lotta chuckled and sobbed for the last time.

"Heh! Ya sure got better at inspiring a gal now. I'll be waitin'."

"Alright. But be tough now." he added. "Questioning gets pretty thorough in murder cases."

"Reckon course! I'm weaselin' my way out of every one of their questions like a champ! Just watch me!"

"-wait! That's not what I'm asking you to-"

Lotta's voice was abruptly replaced by a busy signal. Phoenix felt like burying his face on his hands.

"Sheesh. This is going to be so much trouble." he told himself.

The bedroom door finally opened. Nick had forgotten entirely about Trucy, who had decided to peer in only after her father had finished with his call. Even with her messy auburn locks, as well as a clearly fatigued face, she was able to express sincere concern for him.

"Is everything okay, Daddy?" she asked, tugging at the sleeves of her pajamas. "And don't lie to me like you did last time. If you do, I'll turn you into a newt!"

"I'll get better, anyway." Phoenix chimed.

Of course Phoenix wouldn't lie to his daughter, due in no small measure to the fact that he simply couldn't. Since she carried the Gramarye's gift, almost no twitch or involuntary reaction escaped her. It was just like her half-brother Apollo Justice, a young man who up until this point she only knew as a friend.

The attorney stood up from his bed and slid the rest of the covers off. Trucy had been the only one to ever see him in such an average state, wearing only a pair of shorts, a wrinkled tanktop and socks. He had gotten so used to it that it didn't matter.

Nick briefly explained to her what had been discussed in that prior phone call, making it as succinct as possible as he started looking for something all over his room.

"It'll be alright. Go back to sleep, honey." was the last thing he told her before finally sitting back on the mattress with his laptop in tow. Trucy obeyed like a good daughter, not before taking a second to stare into that newly found fire in her father's dark eyes, the blaze that erupted since he had regained his right to wear the attorney badge.

Nick coughed and began to type away. The first order of business was to write Lotta Hart's letter of representation.