Author's note: D'you ever just look at some fanservice you wrote 10 years ago and think, "I could add WAY more fanservice to this"? Additional chapters to come (some of which will be too spicy for this site).
In retrospect, Edgeworth made numerous errors of judgement in the matter.
It all began with his first case, that day botched in many ways and crowned with a lack of verdict. Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth's legal debut ended in not a loss but, more devastatingly, not a win. It tumbled ceaselessly in his mind. His own errors, and blood trickling down the defendant's face, and the crystalline recollection of the defense attorney's confidence shattering, her face contorting with tears.
There was nothing to be done but to improve. Edgeworth planned counter-argument strategies for future trials, and he rationalized that Fawles was a criminal, therefore deserved his fate. As for the rest, he shelved it in his mind beside his childhood fancies, because Fey had showed mild potential in her field and nothing more.
Her surname lingered in his mind, however. Fey. An uncommon name, to be sure.
After an especially vivid nightmare one night, Edgeworth sat in his living room armchair under the silent blue cloak of 2 AM. He needed only to wait until the screaming faded from his memory — however, his racing mind had been busy in his slumber, and now raised the point that Fey was also the name of the spirit medium from back then. That was a remarkable detail, if true.
Surely, he was misremembering. Edgeworth opened his work laptop and unearthed a file about the police department's former working relationship with Kurain mediums.
Their family name was indeed Fey. They were an ancient lineage still practicing their folk art, to all appearances: women in robes, meditating in sacred temples. Their so-called "spirit channelling" technique was determined to be a failure for law enforcement purposes, and the mediums' partnership with police was lost — seemingly as a result of that case's inconclusivity. The timeline fit. Their downfall came as a direct result of Edgeworth throwing that gun. That meant there was a link between himself and the Fey clan's loss of status — a link that may even be a motive.
Foolishness, Edgeworth scolded himself in the dark. There was no hard evidence of why the lawyer Fey had faced him, merely conjecture. Perhaps she simply fell for that particular defendant's sob story.
Edgeworth then prepared a cup of tea, and closed the spirit medium files in exchange for some contracts coming due. He pushed aside the clamoring memories of his first case, and the way Fey had stared at him across the courtroom. Imagine the absurdity of obtaining a law degree to confront one specific person. Edgeworth had to stop indulging such ideas. He resolved again to win his cases and cease thinking about frivolous things.
His work progressed. His win record grew, as was necessary. It was nearly a year later that Edgeworth heard rumours around the office of a black widow finally caught, of Prosecutor Payne reduced to a nervous wreck and that a rookie named Fey was responsible for it all. It couldn't be true, it was too satisfying to be true. She had vanished from the courtroom after her disastrous debut and that, Edgeworth needed to believe, was the end of it.
He searched out the case details as quietly as he could muster. There was the cool truth of it, in writing on the legal record: Hawthorne convicted of first-degree murder. Sentence: death.
Mia Fey had done it. She had brought a lying killer to justice. How unlike a defense attorney.
Edgeworth chose to ignore the name of her defendant; that was not relevant, said the growing shelved feelings. He had enough to consider as it was.
Because it was not two weeks later that a case landed on his desk with her name attached. Attorney Mia Fey was continuing to defend — since the next months brought even more cases wielding her name.
Fortunately, given Edgeworth's unblemished performance and his connections, it was a simple matter to rid himself of such cases. Their meeting was a coincidence and a singular one at that.
The issue persisted, however, until one day when Edgeworth had won his case and was leaving the courthouse. The halls were crowded in the mid-afternoon — especially when, as today, a news crew took interest in a verdict. Four reporters and three cameramen stood partially blocking the hall, circled around someone of interest — a person Edgeworth was prepared to ignore but her voice tore into his awareness like a can opener through aluminium.
"It is vital that the truth come to light."
He stopped, petrified, before realizing that Fey was not addressing him.
"That is why," she went on, "today's verdict was a victory for justice itself. The wrongful death of a person must never be ignored, no matter which company is responsible. Another trial will be held for the findings revealed today, but I believe it's clear that Bluecorp is not what it appears to be."
The reporters talked over each other, eager for more. Edgeworth was stepping out of the flow of foot traffic, miming searching for something in his empty pocket while his heart hammered at what Fey said, so sentimental yet it was true. No, he reminded himself. No, it was not true. His mentor taught him that.
He caught a glimpse of Fey between the reporters, barely resembling the excitable woman he remembered — no, calm was her expression and noble was her stance, like she had emerged from the courtroom holding all the cards. Sweat glimmered on her brow under the camera lights. Her black suit jacket was unzipped and beckoning the eye. She tilted her head at the loudest reporter's query and smiled at him in a way Edgeworth should have found insufferable, and she said,
"You should direct that question to the CEO of Bluecorp."
More shouting followed, and Fey raised a hand.
"I will release a full statement on this matter. Right now, I need to see to my client. Thank you for your time. "
She pushed through the throng of reporters — toward Edgeworth, too quickly to react. Fey stopped before him and with the chaotic movement of the lobby crowd all around, there was nowhere to escape.
She was too startled to guard her expression, it seemed. A brief purse of her lips; a fractional narrowing of her eyes; then a return of the all-knowing smile.
"Excuse me," she told Edgeworth as she sidled past, the elbows of their jackets brushing and then she was leaving, swishing long hair and clicking heels. She had very nearly touched him, this person quarantined to the defense stand far away in Edgeworth's mind, and the awareness burned on his skin as the news teams dispersed around him and the world settled in Fey's wake.
The local news channel played that footage later in the evening. Their piece was about some startling accusations levelled at against infotech company Bluecorp, as a result of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the accidental death of a contractor.
Edgeworth watched the entire broadcast knowing that disrupting the political structures around Bluecorp was a …bold proposition. He would do well to deny any awareness of the matter.
It is vital that the truth come to light, said Fey's sound bite at the end. She gazed into the camera and into all of Edgeworth's fears.
The nightmare changed a little that night. Before the scream, there was also someone outside the elevator, watching him.
The entire issue was a construct in his troubled mind. That much was clear from his own guilty behaviour. He was devising answers to questions unasked by anyone.
So he hesitated over the eighth case he received that bore Fey's name. Considered what would happen — in actual probability — if he prosecuted this case like any other. The charge was grand larceny, and a fairly typical example of it; Fey's track record in court was good but not perfect; Prosecutor Edgeworth would make short work of the verdict. Detective Gumshoe would need close supervision, given his openly stated conflict of interest regarding Ms. Fey — or perhaps Edgeworth should just ensure that Gumshoe was absent from this case altogether. It would not do to be compromised. He told himself again: it would not do to be compromised.
He stared at the case files a while longer, at that six-letter name, before putting the case in his inbox and plunging himself into wrapping up his current case.
It seemed achievable. One hour turned into another, then into a late night. Finally, Edgeworth was finished as sunrise was bleeding into the dark sky. He had perhaps an hour before he had to begin the day anew and the livid edges of a migraine were creeping in toward him. A nap was the only sensible remedy. With little hesitation, Edgeworth laid on his office couch and fashioned his suit jacket into a pillow.
He didn't sleep, merely closed his eyes and was still. His pulse thumped inside his head but gradually, its cacophany subsided. Into his lucid stillness came a calm, a relief that although his fortitude was taxed in this moment, the case was settled and Edgeworth's work was done. It would pay off. Success. Triumphant. Striding out victorious. Sweat on her brow.
Strange association to draw, he knew right away, but here was the memory of Fey's statement to the press, in all its clarity. The waking dream hurried swiftly on, into a realm of fiction: she bumped into him more fully this time, a jarring contact he could nearly feel, and then she was staring him down. Like she could smell his guilty him by the lapels now and pulling him closer, with her brow set determined.
How would she feel against him, this ambitious though reckless woman? He had a vague supposition of feminine build and proportion. Soft around the chest, plainly enough. Edgeworth had never truly considered it before. The fitfully imagined sensations were a type he hadn't thought he liked, but this was another secret shame to add to the heap. He rolled onto his back in his silent office, present on the couch but imagining her sitting astride him.
This was straightforward, these sensations in the comfortable now. He palmed the front of his pants, for just enough friction. Recalled her smug correctness across the court and how it had stung. Recalled that calm new smile and her sentimental talk of justice.
Edgeworth tried to imagine movements and actions. Found his imagination lacking, and found the real details more appealing anyway. Her gaze on him, her sometimes-intelligent tongue, the glimmer of exertion on her skin and the tacky but engaging cut of her clothing. The way she had once looked at him like she wished to strangle him. The way, today, she had appeared unsure how to feel about him. How bizarre and unexpected it would be for the two of them to couple.
Coupling was a dangerous term and it put gasoline on the fire, made him rock more firmly against his own palm and forget the quietude around him, only hearing the sureness in her sound bite — the truth, the truth. It was a beautiful lie and he believed it, letting all the stifled things swallow him as he dared to suppose the hand was hers, that she twined around him, that she spoke of the truth into his ear—
He crested and quashed his cry in his throat, bucking. And then he was damp and alone, staring stunned at the ceiling.
It was past sunrise now, the thin grey light trickling into his office. He had just indulged in a compromising dream about Fey. Thought lasciviously about an attorney he would be opposing in a trial just two days from now. Never had Edgeworth been so unprofessional before — if that could be said about a man who had earnestly considered whether spirit mediums were scheming against him.
It appeared, Edgeworth thought while grinding the heels of his hands into his aching eyes, that he had a problem.
During the trial, it became a problem.