( rise from the ashes )

Phoenix's disbarment is felt most by the ones who are left.

i. larry butz

He feels terrible about it, of course, but in the first few days of Nick's, um, run-in with the law, he doesn't really worry that much. I mean, sure, it's Nick, he was always there for you when you needed him, so Larry figures that maybe he's just taking a breather – that last case was huge, of course; even Larry knows how hard it was for Nick to see Misty dead, and then Dahlia, and then Diego – it was just so hard, and Larry doesn't blame him if he suddenly wanted to take a quick vacation to some remote spot in Scandinavia to chill a bit. Besides, Larry himself's got Franzy's Whip-lash Splash to worry about.

He just hopeswishesprays he'll come back soon because heck, he's one of Larry's best friends, so he doesn't look at Edgey or Maya in the eye every time he comes up, because there's something in their eyes that tells him Nick won't be back anytime soon.

ii. pearl fey

Mr. Nick, when will you be back? Master Maya says you're away on a trip or something, but two years is an awful long time to take a trip, and I think she misses you an awful lot. Mr. Nick, what does "indefinite amount of time" mean? What does "disbarred" mean, because Master Maya and Mr. Edgeworth and Miss Von Karma seem to say it a lot. Speaking of, Mr. Edgeworth came to visit the other day, you know, and he asked if we'd heard anything about you. What were we supposed to say, Mr. Nick? I thought Mr. Edgeworth would've known where you were, and talking with him made Master Maya so sad.

Mr. Nick, how dare you make Master Maya unhappy! Please come back soon, because soulmates don't make each other unhappy.

iii. franziska von karma

That fool.

He thought it was okay, wasn't it, to just go and get himself disbarred after the biggest, most foolish case in the history of foolish cases got resolved thanks to his own foolishness? He thought it was okay to just go off for three years and not think any one of his friends would be worried at all – not that Franziska herself is worried, of course, she wouldn't waste any of her energy worrying about such a fool

That foolish little girl once asked her if she was worried, and Franziska had laughed. Did the little girl really think her such a fool? That fool would make it back to law, she'd told the kid. If he didn't, then he clearly wasn't the man Franziska thought he was.

iv. dick gumshoe

Hey, pal, come back soon, would you? Don't think I've seen hide nor hair of you for the last handful of years. Hope you're doin' okay. And don't tell anyone, but I think Mr. Edgeworth misses you, too. Law's a pretty scary place without you, really. I don't like the looks of that Gavin guy.

But wherever you are, I'll always be here for you, okay, and so'll everyone else. Never forget that, okay, pal? Maggie sends you her love.

v. iris

She used to cry herself to sleep every night after that trial, you know.

After her trial, it felt like she was letting out a breath she had been holding for a very, very long time, believing that it was finally, finally all over thanks to her Feenie (Dahlia's, not hers. He was never hers, not really.). But when Maya tells her the news of his disbarrment just a bare two months later with dull, empty eyes, Iris is shell-shocked and retreats to her room, reduced to a sobbing mess. And every night, it's like that, visions of beautiful red-haired sisters who whisper into her ear that this is what he got for helping you, and, perhaps, it was foolish to hope for happiness for someone like her. People like her – they were lucky to achieve even peace, if any, and Iris doesn't even have that.

vi. miles edgeworth

That Gavin guy waltzes into the prosecutor's office like he owns it. He's an okay kid, really, nice for someone of his caliber (or perhaps that was merely Von Karma's training), despite being that man's brother. He eats lunch with Miles sometimes, chats about his new favorite opponent in the courtroom – Artemis something, Phoenix Wright's new protege –

Miles had almost spit out his drink.

He contacts Wright later that night, for the first time in years. Asks him things. And Wright just smiles thinly at the camera. Tells him about the importance of a jury. And Miles feels the familiar cleverness he had missed coming back.

When Vera Misham gets put on trial, Miles just smiles to himself. This is when the real game begins.

vii. maya fey

The Kurain floors are cold and hard against her bare feet, and the draft whips around her legs. It's horribly windy today, and, as always, her main defense against the weather are the grand old Master's robes, which are a really pretty shade of purple and lined with fur, so they preserve heat and feel nice. They still don't fit her, not really, not even after seven years (she does look seven years older – wiser? – in them, though, although Nick would say something to the contrary). Now, Mia, on the other hand, these robes fit her like a glove. They made her look like the leader she should have been.

It should have been her, not me.

She huddles deep inside the cloak. But if it wasn't for her leaving...

The mailbox, thankfully, is not far from the Main House, so she hops along the round stone steps until she reaches the old rock structure. The servants cluck their tongues – she's the Master, she shouldn't trouble herself with such matters as getting the mail every day – but Master Maya insists that she be the one to check it, rain or shine, and so they let her, because they know deep in their hearts that she's waiting for something.

She doesn't try to hide it, not really, her excitement as she sifts through the mail every single day, her bright smile dimming with each irrelevant envelope that passes through her hands. By the end of the process she's no longer smiling, her lap filled with bills and advertisements and postcards from her coworkers' husbands from the city (those hurt the most).

But today – oh, today's different.

She sifts through the envelopes in her usual style, sorting everything into bills and junk and everything else, and all of a sudden she drops the pile and stares at the air, her face blank.

(Hey, Maya, I know it's been a while since we've last talked, and I'm sorry for that.

You were asking for a report on that Pink Princess DVD, weren't you?)

And all of a sudden she's filled with a sudden warmth and grins so widely that it feels like her face is breaking, and her eyes overflow with salty liquid, and it's all she can do not to keep herself from calling her cousin, because it's morning in Kurain Village, and she knows that somewhere out there, Phoenix Wright is doing fine.