Phoenix Wright never believed in heroes. And because of that, he certainly didn't think himself to be one, despite his assistant's constant teasing on how he practically has superpowers with the way he turns hopeless cases around and wins them at all costs.
He was simply doing his job as a lawyer and as a lawyer, to him the law was the only way that justice could be rightfully served, and the guilty could be properly incarcerated for their crimes. To Phoenix, superheroes like the Steel Samurai only existed in television shows and comic books, and their way of crimefighting and justice-serving couldn't possibly work in the real world.
Which is why he had the shock of his life one day when he woke up after a particularly bad case, in a room not his own, and in a world he doesn't know.
So have you ever wondered what happens when a defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, and his paralegal, Maya Fey, suddenly find themselves amongst mercenaries, superhumans, demons, gods, universe-destroying entities and a gun-toting raccoon? The case of a lifetime, that's what.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters depicted in this story. Respective Marvel Comics and Capcom characters belong to their respective companies.
ACT I: WITH EYES WIDE OPEN
"Hey, so do you like it here?" he asked her.
The little girl sighed as she sat on the bed with the soft, blue blanket covering her. But she looked at him and she smiled at him, the kind of empty smile that people do when they don't want to disappoint. When they don't want to show sadness.
She was sad, frustrated, and crying deep inside, but she kept on smiling. A little girl like her was trying to hide a kind of pain not even adults can bear. A little girl like her.
"It's really nice. Thank you."
"Are… you sure?" he asked her. "You don't look happy."
"What? Silly, of course I'm happy."
"No, you're not," he reassured her, and she was quiet. "I know what you've been through. Bad days… happen. A bad day happened to me, too. I know what you feel right now but the thing is… we can make this work. You, me, just the two of us. We can make this work. Trust me."
She smiled at him, trying to persuade him that she was just okay. That there was nothing for him to worry about. He didn't buy it. He could see right through her fake smile. He's seen hundreds of them before, from people of different walks and ways of life.
There was nothing sadder than seeing that kind of smile on a little girl.
"Do you want to hear a story?"
She nodded, half-hearted.
"Let me introduce myself again first."
And with a proud smile, he started:
"My name is Phoenix Wright.
"Something happened to me not too long ago. Something you might not even believe is true. Sent to a world I didn't know, for a purpose I never would have ever believed possible, ever so slowly I came face-to-face with the reality that only by achieving this purpose would I ever even dream of getting back home. And if you had known me at the time, you would have doubted the very possibility that I could do it.
"I know I did.
"But the thing is, little by little, I came closer to realizing that the decisions I made and the battles I've fought… each and every one of them made me into someone who was in every way better than who I once was. They made me into the person that I am now. Someone who would be able to do what he once thought impossible. To face what he couldn't have before.
"And this is the story of how I became that person.
"Still, who am I to spoil the ending? Everyone has a story to tell, and this one is mine. How it began, how I got here, and how it'll all end, I'll tell you everything. This is my story."
Chapter 1: Unfamiliar Ceiling
He could feel his head ache as he groggily opened his eyes. There was a bad taste in his mouth, and whether it was from a particularly bad bottle of grape juice or the tinge of bitter defeat leaving his taste buds dry, he didn't know. All he knew was that as he stared at the ceiling above him, there was something completely wrong with it. It wasn't the ceiling he was familiar with. He rolled over to his side, but found no Maya noisily snoring beside him, stealing his blanket and pillows while he slept. Where was he? He sat up and scanned the room.
Someone left the windows open, thought Phoenix, as he checked the room. There's no furniture in here, except for the bed I'm sitting on and two desks on each side of it. He then opened the drawers of both desks and checked their contents. Pfft, nothing inside.
He checked the clothes he was wearing. A white dress shirt, blue pants, and black socks kept him warm as cold December winds blew in from outside, where large, white clouds covered the sky in a white sheet, blocking out the heat of the morning sun. On one of the bedposts hung a blue suit that matched his pants along with a pink tie, while black leather shoes were stowed away neatly under the bed.
"Something tells me I'm not in my office anymore," spoke Phoenix aloud to no one in particular. He could feel that something was off, but he wasn't entirely certain what it was. Although as he stared at the unfamiliar ceiling above him, he suddenly realized how obvious what it was that felt so off. He was nowhere near Wright and Co. Law Offices.
Where in the world am I?
As he silently thought to himself, he didn't notice the door creak open slowly and quietly. A young woman, with light brown hair and eyes, took a look inside. Noticing the fully awakened attorney sitting idly on the bed, she greeted him in a cheerful fashion.
"Oh, you're awake," she remarked, entering the room. "Sorry, I didn't mean to barge in all of a sudden." She was carrying a tray that had what seemed to be a bowl of soup on it while a single, silver spoon sat neatly to the side.
About six inches more than five feet in height, she was a young woman of fairly light complexion, whose brown hair was tied into two ox-horns on both sides of her head. Strangely, or at least Phoenix thought it was strange, she was dressed in a blue qipao, a traditional Chinese dress, that had gold accents accentuating the curves and edges of the garment. Dark brown pantyhose adored her legs, and she wore a pair of white, knee-high boots. She also wore two spiked bracelets on her wrists, and had dark pink-colored eye shadow highlighting her eyes.
"Sorry for disturbing you," she apologized further.
Phoenix turned towards the voice and was surprised by the sight of its owner, much more when she suddenly put her left hand over his forehead and felt it. It was warm, she told him, but it wasn't enough to warrant as a fever, which according to her, he had earlier. Handing him the soup, she happily advised him to eat it before it gets cold, and Phoenix smiled back at her and eagerly accepted her offer.
"Here," she said, as she handed him the bowl. "You're lucky your fever has gone down now. We were seriously considering bringing you to the infirmary downstairs if it had gotten any worse." Her smile afterwards couldn't be any warmer.
Food from a stranger in a strange place? I've been through weird mornings before but this definitely takes the cake.
Still, unhesitatingly, Phoenix took the bowl and mindfully tasted a spoonful of soup. To his surprise, he found it absolutely delicious. Although it might have had something to do with the fact that since he spends most of his money at noodle houses and burger stands, of which Maya is at fault, it's been a while since he's tasted homemade cooking.
At least the food is good.
The utterly delectable sensation he felt throughout his taste buds was what finally led Phoenix to decide that this woman went against everything that he deemed hostile and deadly by this act of kindness. He then started lowering his guard and ate the soup more comfortably.
"How is it?" the woman asked him, as she sat down on the bed. Her smile was not fading in the slightest.
"It's pretty good," he answered, taking in another spoonful. It was really quite good, as Phoenix admits to himself.
"I'm glad you liked it," she told him, and she really looked like she was. Watching him eat, she continued to ask, "Are you feeling better now, Mr. Wright?"
Phoenix almost choked on the soup after hearing his name. He was famous now, something he begrudgingly admits, and yet he thought that there was something truly unholy about people knowing his name without him ever getting the chance to introduce himself properly. And especially with pretty girls like her, introducing himself is the only way to break the ice that Phoenix knows.
Well, there's that. He could also try talking about his hair, but no one ever pays attention to his hair. Except to remind him how incredibly spiky it is.
But he then thought that he really should have figured out that she would know it. He was apparently in her care after all, whoever she was and wherever he was. Still, he asked her just the same for the sake formality. "How did you know my name?"
"Maya told me while we were playing chess yesterday," she answered. "She's downstairs in the living room."
Maya, thought Phoenix. I never realized she knew how to play chess. And that… wait… what did she mean by 'yesterday'? How long have we been here? …And where is 'here', exactly?
He needed to talk to Maya right away, because right now she was the only one he could count on to make sense of the situation he suddenly found himself in. He hurriedly finished the soup he was given, partly because it was really good, and mostly because he wanted to understand what the hell was happening at that moment.
You know that there's something completely wrong going on when I start to depend on Maya in the sense-making department.
"If you're finished, I'll take you to Maya. She's downstairs playing video games," said the woman.
Phoenix looked at her from top to bottom as she took the bowl from his hands. She couldn't be an assassin. She doesn't even look like the type. And in Wright's head, he fully convinced himself that there really was no possibility that she was some sort of hired killer sent to get him. As if anyone would want to have him dead.
Of course, Phoenix was being too naïve. There was bound to be a handful of people who had a grudge against the Phoenix Wright, and there was bound to be a number of those who had the means and enough motivation to actually have the Phoenix Wright dead, either with a paid assassin, or with their own hands.
But he was right at least in the current scheme of things. She wasn't one of those people.
"Thanks a lot for this," said Phoenix. "It really was delicious. I just wished I knew your name so I could thank you properly."
The brown-eyed woman looked shocked, and her expression was that of someone who had the idea that they had disturbed the natural order of how things went on suddenly drill through her head.
"Oh, right, sorry," she remarked. Her eyes opened wide in realizing too late what she should have done in the first place. "I forgot to introduce myself, didn't I? Sorry. My name is Chun-Li. It's very nice to meet you, Mr. Wright."
She put out her hand and Phoenix shook it.
"Chun-Li... is that a first name or surname?" asked Phoenix in wonder.
"Yeah, it is," answered Chun-Li enthusiastically, in the manner of someone who didn't want to dwell on something any longer.
Phoenix was mildly surprised by the answer.
Did she just dodge the question? I can't be sure if she's hiding something. I can't see any psyche-locks on her.
"It's nice to meet you, too, Miss Chun-Li," said Phoenix, shaking her hand. "The name is Phoenix Wright. Wright as in the flying brothers."
Chun-Li then turned around, carrying the tray and the empty bowl and spoon, and walked towards the door. Phoenix took the opportunity to take a better look of her, and it was only then that he had noticed how thick and muscular her legs were. Actually, thick is a serious understatement. They were positively massive.
Those things look like they could smash a car to pieces. If she ever was an assassin… I'd have absolutely zero chance of survival.
Turning the doorknob, she leaned to the side to look at him, and found the attorney breaking into a cold sweat. "Are you okay, Mr. Wright? Maya's just downstairs. Shall we go?"
"Oh," replied Phoenix. "Yeah, yeah, of course I am. Why wouldn't I be?"
"You're sweating bullets. Is something the matter?"
"What? No, nothing. Everything's fine," came the reply. It was followed by a rather pathetic laugh.
She smiled at him, and he found himself at ease.
"Well, you should put your clothes and shoes on first. I'll be waiting outside when you're ready," she told him, and she closed the door behind her.
Phoenix then turned towards the bedpost where his clothes were hung and popped open his collar.
Easy, Phoenix. I know you should be careful and all, but try not to overdo it. Just relax and don't let your guard down.
Taking his tie, he slung it over his neck, but then hesitated. It suddenly came to him that he has completely forgotten how to put on a neck tie. Maya had always been the one to tie his on him, and thinking that it would take too long if he contemplated trying, he just stashed it in his coat pocket and put his coat on, followed by his shoes, the laces of which he fortunately remembers how to tie.
Step one are the rabbit ears… then step two goes the loop-de-loop… then something else… then there, step four: profit. If tied shoe laces equaled profit.
He decided that he'd just ask Maya to do his neck tie for him later.
Opening the door, Phoenix found Chun-Li waiting for him by the stairs, and proceeded to follow her as they descended the metal steps of the spiral staircase. It creaked and rocked slowly at their every step. Chun-Li led the way, while Phoenix followed closely behind her, sneaking looks at the floors they passed in their descent. And occasionally towards Chun-Li herself, which didn't go unnoticed.
"So, is Maya your sister?" she asked him in a sing-song tune, in an attempt to make small talk. "I mean, you look like you two are related."
"Nah, she's actually kind of like my secretary," he answered back. "She assists me in my work."
"Oh, I see. I just assumed that you were," she said. "You two seem to be pretty close though regardless, I mean, from how she talks about you."
"We've been through a lot together," he replied, and she seemed impressed. "I can't possibly do my work without her insight, and she keeps me from getting bored with her upbeat attitude towards anything and everything. Although she can be quite a handful at times, and at her age, she still has the mental maturity of a twelve year-old. Not that I'm saying that that's a bad thing, I mean it's sorta cute. But still, in my line of work that could be seen as unprofessional."
"I happen to notice that, actually," she remarked, as she had spent the previous day with Maya. It mainly involved them playing a single game of chess throughout an entire afternoon. They eventually got bored.
The board and its pieces were left in the lobby of the residential wing of the building, and the game was left unfinished When Clint Barton and Hank Pym had passed by the game earlier that morning, both had noted that whoever was playing with the red pieces, they were only three moves from a win.
"On a side note, what is your work, if I may ask?" She was also wondering if she or Maya was playing red. She couldn't quite remember.
"I'm a defense attorney," he answered her, and quite proudly at that. He contemplated adding 'defender of justice' at the end to impress her, but decided against it. It was too cheesy for his liking anyway.
"Really? Then that would make us both defenders of the law," she said cheerfully. For the life of her, she really couldn't remember who was playing red.
"Hmm? Why is that?"
"Well, I may not look like it," explained Chun-Li, "but I'm actually part of the International Police."
At least she knows she doesn't look like it. Not that I'm saying pretty girls can't be law enforcement, what I mean is…
Although, that doesn't explain the qipao. It's possible that she probably is Chinese, being with Interpol and all, and taking her name into consideration... but with those big, brown, puppy dog eyes, I might seriously doubt it.
And really, a Chinese woman wearing a qipao as casual clothing? This is the 21st century. Stereotypes like that don't even work anymore, especially not in this time and age. I thought globalization was making sure that everyone knows that not all Japanese are samurai and not all Britons have bad teeth.
Unless the reason she's actually wearing it is because it's some form of cosplay. Well, there's nothing wrong with a grown woman cosplaying. But where in the world can someone wear a costume like it was some form of casual wear and not look like an idiot for doing it?
Am I in New York?
Thoughts of how he was able to get from a city in the state on the east end of the country to the city in the state at the other end started flooding his mind. The most plausible of the ideas he could come up with was that he had sleepwalked all the way there. Yes, that was the only plausible idea he could come up with.
Considering the others involved teleportation and sleep-induced telekinetic flight capabilities, it was easy to see why. And it was easy to see just how much Maya's overactive imagination had influenced him these past few years.
Phoenix silently laughed at the absurdity of his ideas.
Ugh. Did I hit my head last night? My brain isn't working as efficiently as I'd like it to. I should have slept earlier last night, but after what happened... Actually, who's to say I'm not asleep right now?
"Really? Well, that's pretty awesome, Miss Chun-Li," complimented Phoenix. At the same time, he was seriously thinking if his sleepwalker theory was really that plausible.
Or could the Mythbusters bust it in one segment? Actually, how are they even going to test that?
"Why, thank you," answered Chun-Li, flattered.
Phoenix followed her until they reached the foot of the staircase. At that moment, all of a sudden the tone of her voice changed. It became more somber and serious just as they reached the end of their descent.
At the end of the staircase, the path branched off into two directions: one to their immediate left, and one right in front of them. From three doors down the hallway in front of them Phoenix could hear voices shouting.
"So... I guess you're probably wondering where you are and why you're here," asked the Interpol agent suddenly.
When someone winds up in a room he doesn't know, with a person he's unfamiliar with, and for a reason that has yet to be disclosed to him, I think those would certainly be the first things that would pop into his mind.
"Well," started Phoenix, with a straight face, "I just hope I didn't wind up in some alternate universe in my sleep." Those science fiction stories he's been reading during his free time have started to tax on his imagination almost as much as Maya.
The shocked look on Chun-Li's face seemed to alleviate his tension somewhat.
Well, now I know she can't take a joke. Heh, she probably thinks I'm crazy for saying something like that.
Turning off his imagination for the moment in order to block his more outrageous thoughts on the matter, he looked at her again, and noticed that her expression had turned into an uneasy smile.
"Well, I, uh, sorry then," she stuttered, laughing nervously. "I'm afraid I'll be disappointing you then, Mr. Wright."
Huh? What did she say?
Chun-Li pulled on her collar and cleared her throat. "Uh, anyway," she told him, pointing at the hallway in front of them, "just, ah, just walk down this hallway. You'll find that Maya's in the den three doors down." Then, pointing towards the hallway to their left. "I'll just go wash these in the kitchen."
She's just going to leave me here?
"Wait a minute, you haven't told me why I'm here yet," cried Phoenix, as Chun-Li started walking in the other direction. This was all very confusing to him. "Wait! Come on, HOLD IT!"
Chun-Li turned and looked back at him with a worrisome look on her face. "There's no need to shout, Mr. Wright," she told him. "Just go and find Maya," she continued, smiling awkwardly, "she'll tell you everything." Chun-Li then continued to walk to the end of the hallway, and turned right, completely disappearing from his view.
She was sweating bullets. Phoenix could see that.
"What was that all about? It's like… it's like there's something she doesn't want to tell me," said Phoenix out loud, dumbfounded. Then shaking his head, he turned towards the other hallway and said, "Alright, where to, again?"
Phoenix scanned the place.
Okay, so right now I find myself in an otherwise empty hallway, thought Phoenix to himself.
Walking towards the window behind the staircase, he continued, I seem to be in some sort of high-rise establishment. A company building, perhaps? I'm about 30 stories from the ground, and judging by the vibe of things, it doesn't look like I'm in Los Angeles anymore. Where am I?
Pulling himself from the windows, he then turned around and walked down the hall towards the room Chun-Li spoke off. There seems to be a lot of paintings here. To an untrained critic like me, I'd say these are all pretty expensive -looking, but I can't be sure.
As he reached the door, Phoenix could hear several voices coming from the room, one of them very familiar to himself.
Peeking inside the room, he saw his partner sitting comfortably on a couch, while her eyes were fixed on the television screen mounted up high on the wall a few feet from her. She wasn't wearing her usual acolyte uniform, which was the regular outfit worn by the practitioners of the Kurain Channeling technique.
Well, I'm glad that I found her ...And that at least now I know that my 'I-Must-Have-Sleepwalked-All-The-Way-To-New-York' theory isn't completely unfounded.
Beside her, Maya was sitting with two men who looked like they wouldn't look out of place in a convention, and the three of them were all attentively focused on the television screen. On closer inspection, Phoenix saw that they were actually playing video games. And that they were so engrossed in playing that they seemed to not even be remotely aware that Phoenix was at the door.
To her right was a man who was wearing a full-body outfit that had a red and black color scheme, complete with red gloves and boots. He was also wearing a mask that had two black ovals over his eyes, which completely concealed his face, although somehow he was still able to breathe, regardless.
On his belt hung several large, brown pouches, and the buckle of which resembled the likeness of his mask. A pair of handguns were stowed into holsters on his thighs, while two, rather long katanas were strapped perpendicularly on his back. Additionally, there was a rather large, sheathed knife strapped onto his left arm.
He might have been a ninja, but everyone knows that ninjas don't wear garishly bright colors for their outfits. And Phoenix wasn't quite sure if he could believe that the man had real guns and knives and swords on his person.
He should have seen the other man first, then.
To her left, Maya sat next to a rather handsome young man whose eyes were of a piercing, icy blue, and whose hair was as white as snow. He apparently wasn't wearing a shirt under the long, flowing, crimson coat that he had on, as Phoenix could observe.
He also wore black, leather pants, black, leather boots, and black, fingerless gloves, which were also, as it seemed, made out of leather. Two, large handguns were holstered on his belt, and beside him, leaning on the sofa's arm, was a very huge broadsword with a demonic looking hilt.
And by the looks of the sword, there was no way this man was some cosplayer wearing a costume. To put it simply, in the words that even lowliest of creatures could understand, he had a real freaking broadsword that could easily slice a man in half and dice his remains into minced meat.
Maya herself was dressed differently than usual, as Phoenix had already noticed. She was wearing a black Black Sabbath shirt, blue, short jeans, and the purple sandals that she always likes to wear. As her hair was still in a topknot, and the beads she always has on adored her neck and her wrists, Phoenix couldn't possibly mistake her for anyone else. Though this would be the first time he has seen her without her uniform.
Maya and the masked man both stared attentively at the screen, while each of them were furiously smashing away at the controllers in their hands, while the white-haired man sat to the side, nonchalantly eating pizza as he watched his two companions duke it out in virtual combat.
"Hey! Can't I block in the air?" cried Maya frantically as the masked man unceasingly pummeled her character to a pulp. The exasperation on her face as she tried to keep her character alive was evident.
"You can't," answered the white-haired man, "and you shouldn't even be jumping too much anyway. No one actually jumps in these games, except in some characters' special moves where they're part of the input. I've never seen anyone combo with a jump in these games before."
"I'll try," answered Maya meekly.
After a couple of minutes full of non-stop button mashings and controller smashings, their focused gazes turned into blank expressions, and their jaws all consecutively dropped. Maya looked back and forth between her controller and the television screen, as if trying to make sense of what had just happened.
"Fascinating," remarked the masked man as he scratched his chin. "I didn't even know you could get yourself killed that way. You just set up a new low, topknot."
"What... what just happened?" asked a perplexed Maya, as she tilted her head left and right while looking at the screen.
The white-haired man squinted his eyes, not because he couldn't see the screen clearly, but because it was a reflexive action done when trying to makes sense of something senseless, even if the action itself won't help in better understanding what the hell just happened. "Well, first Deadpool got a perfect on you, and secondly, this is the first time I've seen that sort of K.O. ever. This is definitely YouTube material."
"Way ahead of you!" announced the masked man, as he held a camcorder in his right hand which he had inexplicably procured from somewhere. "We're gonna be famous," he continued, as he pointed the camera at the television screen.
"What's that supposed to mean?" demanded Maya, seemingly on the verge of tears.
"Hey, uh, on the bright side," spoke the white-haired man. "You get to be on the internet."
Maya's eyes glinted as she thought deeply about the societal ramifications being an internet sensation would pose upon her. But as she tells Phoenix over and over, there was no such thing as bad publicity, and who knows, if the video goes viral she might become an internet star. The possibilities were endless. At least, they were, in Maya's collective imagination.
Meanwhile, the white-haired man lamented the sudden lack of pizzas on the table. Taking the empty box with him, but not before leaving a thoughtful Maya with the last slice, the white-haired man started to walk towards the end of the den, where an open door led to another room. He disappeared as he entered it, leaving Maya and the masked man in the room on their lonesome.
"Mr. Dante!" cried Maya after the white-haired man, noticing his absence only after he left the room. She was holding a slice of pepperoni and cheese. She contemplated running after him, but the masked man stopped her as she stood up, telling her to look to her left as he restarted the game. Maya's surprise turned into a happy smile as she turned to see the man standing by the door.
"Nick!" shouted Maya as soon as he saw him. She then found herself running towards the spiky-haired attorney, who was but a moment earlier watching silently from the hallway. The young woman then jumped towards him, tackling him to the ground. "Nick! I'm so glad you're okay. You were burning with fever this morning, did you know that? Are you feeling well now?"
Maya, thought Phoenix, am I glad to see you. Although damn, you couldn't have made a much more painful welcome. I think I threw my back just now.
He then sat up on the floor as Maya moved from straddling him to kneeling beside him, while placing one hand on his shoulder.
"Sorry, Nick," she said, although her voice was not too terribly regretful. Her words sounded more like a silly pseudo-apology, for lack of a better word. At least that was how Maya would have called it. "I guess I got carried away there," she remarked, while laughing nervously.
"It's okay, really," reassured Phoenix, as he helped Maya stand up. Then suddenly he remembered something. "Actually, before you get excited I wanted to ask you something. Where are we?"
Maya stared at him, and seemed troubled. She bit her lower lip for a second, before turning back towards the room. There was an odd look in her eyes, and Phoenix wasn't sure what was causing her to be like this.
"Uh, well," she stuttered, as she wasn't really sure what to say, "it's not that easy to explain, Nick."
Not easy to explain? What is? With all the random, crazy wamajama I've seen in my life, I'm pretty much whatever the opposite of a skeptic is. I'm sure there's nothing that can surprise me anymore at this point.
"Really now, Maya," spoke Phoenix, as he followed her into the room. "You know me. With everything that has happened in my life, in our lives, you can pretty much count on me to believe anything."
"Oh, is that so?" asked Maya, unconvinced. "Then what if I told you that we got sucked into this alternate universe where superheroes exist and a plot to destroy the world is at hand?"
Phoenix calmly walked up to her. He, like any sane man would, placed the back of his hand on her forehead and felt it. Maya retreated in surprise, taking a step back, and asked him what the matter was.
"And I thought I was the one with a fever," explained Phoenix. "Then again, you say crazy things all the time, so maybe this is just one of those instances when you try to sound like you want to, but utterly fail to, make sense."
"Nuh-uh, Nick," she cried. "This isn't one of those. Can't you tell I'm serious this time? I'm brimming with seriousness. This is my serious face right here."
Amusingly, her serious face was a cross between her "trying-not-to-laugh" and "not-making-this-up" faces. Needless to say, when combined, they were no more serious than any of other faces she makes.
Gee, no, I can't. I mean really, an alternate universe? I guess next time she'll tell me that in this 'alternate universe' I'm a prosecutor, Edgeworth is a defense attorney, she's a popstar, and the Judge is a pro-wrestler. ...Wait, why is the judge a pro-wrestler?
And why does my mind keep going off into silly tangents?
As Maya sat down on the couch, Phoenix took this time to scan the room.
The room is fairly large and well-lit, and the walls are littered with decorations of all sorts. Phoenix then proceeded to walk towards the windows, as Maya watched him. Leaning on the window sill, he continued with his observations.
A flat-screen television set is mounted up high on the wall, while a small desk is set up beneath it. A video game console is sitting neatly on top of the desk, while a few feet from the screen is a rather huge, black, leather couch, which has a coffee table in front of it. An air-conditioning unit is mounted above the single window in the room, while to the left was a door that leads to another part of the building. A while ago, there were two men here playing a game with Maya. Right now, Maya is in the room with me, the white-haired has moved to another room, and...
…Now that I've mentioned it, where did that masked man go?
As Phoenix thought to himself, he didn't notice the rather large arm that suddenly wrapped around his neck, completely taking him by surprise. From the corner of his eye, he saw the masked man come in from the window, apparently from the fire escape. He entered the room with Phoenix in a light headlock, with the masked man proceeding to greet him in the most absurd way imaginable.
"Glad to finally meet you, Nicky!" cried the masked man, dragging the hapless attorney from the window towards the door to their left. "Have you ever noticed how spiky your hair is?"
"Although damn, I can't be the only one who can smell those chimichangas," he continued, seemingly oblivious to the man struggling to escape his grasp. "I know you're a grilled cheese sandwich kinda guy, but you have got to try my chimichangas, they're heavenly. You know, without the dying part. But you'll probably feel like dying, but that won't be from the cyanide I may have accidentally put in them, it'll be from the Deadpooliciousness! Which, by the way, is my new word for awesomeness. And deliciousness."
Is this guy for real?
"To the kitchen, young padawan!" he shouted once more, dragging the lawyer through the open door into the next room, leaving Maya in the den. The young spirit channeler turned to wave at Phoenix, before leaning back on the couch and grabbing her controller from the desk.
"Hey! Who reset the game?" she cried.
A tall, white refrigerator stood prominently in the kitchen, and in front of it, the white-haired man from earlier was kneeling on one leg as he was taking a bite out of something he got from the fridge.
Beside the refrigerator was a standard oven and stove, and beside that was the kitchen counter, where a green-eyed, red-haired woman was happily chopping up vegetables. She was quite tall, and her rosy complexion complimented her blood red locks quite well. Dressed in green spandex, a golden sash was tied around her waist, while yellow gloves and boots completed her whole ensemble.
"Hey, Jean," called the white-haired man as he stood and closed the fridge door. He was eating what looked like a deep-fried burrito on a plate. "Did you see Peter by any chance?"
The red-haired woman turned to him and answered, "He was supposed to help me cook lunch, but his phone rang and he had to step out. By the looks of it, it was probably important. I'm guessing it was Tony who called him."
The two of them were then alerted to the sound of footsteps, and turning towards the door, they saw Deadpool with Phoenix in tow walking in.
The collective look on their faces seemed to say "Not again."
"Hey, Phoenix!" shouted the mercenary. "Hey, Phoenix! This here's Phoenix, too!"
The confused lawyer sheepishly looked up at the red-haired woman and waved. Smiling, she reached out her hand to him and they shook hands, as she introduced herself.
"Jean Grey," she said, as she held his hand. Her grip was dainty but firm, and as Phoenix tried to make sense of that description, he admitted to himself that there was no other way to describe it. Her personality could pretty much be defined the same way. "I'm glad you're finally awake, Mr. Wright. We were all very worried about you."
"Uh, thank you, Miss Grey," replied Phoenix with a smile.
She seems nice. Although for some reason she's also wearing a costume. Wherever I am, this must be the norm or something here, for some obviously convoluted reason.
Am I in a convention or something?
As they exchanged greetings, Dante slowly approached Deadpool. With one hand clamped onto his shoulder firmly, the demon hunter went on to tell him, "Wade, put Mr. Wright down." With his mouth full, mind you, so the end result was more along the lines of "Waff, pugh meeshef wiefgh donn."
Turning to his companion, Deadpool's face contorted into abject horror and anguish as he saw the empty plate Dante held in his hand. Enraged, he let go of Phoenix, and the lawyer promptly fell face first onto the floor. The mercenary charged towards Dante, grabbing at the lapels of his coat and pulled the demon hunter's face to his own.
"Why?" cried the mercenary.
"What the?" exclaimed the demon hunter. "No way, you're finally going to do it, aren't you, pal… you're finally going to kiss me."
"Why?" cried the mercenary once more, ignoring his adversary's quips.
"Why what?" asked the demon hunter complacently, honestly unaware of what his companion was getting himself worked up on.
"You ate my chimichanga!" shouted the mercenary in an anguished wail.
Dante was unfazed.
"So sorry," apologized Dante, who didn't seem remorseful at any rate, considering that he was smiling rather mockingly. "Didn't see your name on it so I didn't know it was yours. If it's worth anything, I'd like to say that it was terrifically delicious."
He followed it up with mockingly licking his fingers one by one, once he realized what his compatriot was getting so angry about.
The grief-stricken mercenary pushed his enemy to the side, and with one, quick motion, pulled his sidearms from their holsters and pointed them straight at the demon hunter. The enmity in his voice was noticeable. "Feeling lucky, punk?"
Without missing a beat, the white-haired man was able to whip out his weapons as well, and in the course of milliseconds, had pointed them at the masked man's face before both could react. Smiling mockingly at his opponent, he countered, "Go ahead, make my day." By the looks of it, this wasn't the first time that these two had engaged in such a face-off.
Did I miss a Clint Eastwood marathon on television last night? Phoenix thought to himself.
The lawyer grumbled as he rolled to his side, and faced the ceiling. With two men right beside him drawing guns on each other, Phoenix was by all means understandably worried that he might be seriously hurt if they ever decide to open fire, despite how comical they seemed to be. To his wonder, Jean had resumed chopping up vegetables, seemingly blissfully unaware of the madmen wielding firearms to her right.
"Uh, Miss Grey," started Phoenix. As he was about to continue his question, Jean had cut him off.
"Don't worry, Mr. Wright," she told him dismissively, preemptively answering his question. It was as if she could read his mind. "They don't usually get past pointing their guns at each other, so there's no need to worry."
I didn't even have to ask. Is she a… psychic? …No, Phoenix, try and stay within the realm of reality. This must have happened before and she's probably speaking from experience.
…I can't even imagine what life would be like with people like these two if this kind of thing is considered normal here.
As Phoenix contemplated standing up, getting back to the living room to meet up with Maya and get away from the current craziness he was in, from the door came in the pretty Chinese woman from before. She was carrying a bag of groceries in one hand and had her nose buried in a book she held with the other. Needless to say, she was unaware of what was taking place around her, and the moment she had stepped inside, she tripped over the spiky-haired attorney lying on the floor.
"Jean, here are the grocer—gah!"
She landed face first onto Phoenix, butting heads with him and knocking the lawyer out cold. The bag of groceries she was carrying had spilled onto the floor, while the book she was reading has slid over the kitchen tiles, ending up in the middle of the scattered mess of vegetables and canned goods.
As Chun-Li nursed her slightly bruised forehead, she opened her eyes to see an unconscious Phoenix lying down on the floor. Mumbling something to herself in Chinese, she pulled on the lawyer by the lapels of his coat and started shaking him.
"Mr. Wright! Wake up, Mr. Wright!" she cried.
"Oh dear," remarked Jean, as she knelt down to pick up the grocery items scattered on the floor. "You better take Mr. Wright to the living room," she advised Chun-Li, who quickly grabbed the book she was reading from the pile and bit down on it.
She then stood up, the book secured tightly in her mouth, and pulled on the lawyer's coat, dragging him towards the living room. Jean was left picking up the boxes of cereal and cans of tuna scattered on the floor, while Deadpool and Dante stood motionlessly a few feet from her, seemingly oblivious to what just happened.
As Chun-Li dragged the attorney outside towards the living room, Maya, who had been playing video games at the moment, quickly noticed her and came to her aid. They pulled the hapless attorney together towards the middle of the room and propped him up on the sofa. Lightly slapping his cheeks repeatedly in an awkwardly comedic fashion, Maya tried to wake up the lawyer from his accidental knockout.
A few minutes passed, and she took to grabbing his shoulders and shaking him vigorously back and forth. It would seem like this was the favored tactic in trying to snap people out of unconsciousness in this part of the multiverse.
"Come on, Nick. Wake up," spoke Maya, as she rocked the spiky-haired attorney left to right. Behind her, Chun-Li was apologizing profusely for the accident that she deemed was all her fault.
"I'm really sorry, Maya," she told her, and unlike Dante towards Deadpool, she meant every word of what she said. "I wasn't looking where I was going, and he was on the floor for some reason, and... and I just—"
"It's okay, Chun. Really. He's been through worst, you know," assured Maya that Chun-Li had done nothing bad.
Ugh. What happened? thought Phoenix.
"Hey, Nick... Nick, you awake yet?" he could hear Maya's voice whispering in his ear softly. Much to his chagrin, his head ached at a level that would make it difficult for him to even open his eyes.
Leave me alone. Head hurts. Can't think. Leave me alone to rest.
"Do you think we should bop him one on the head again?" suggested Maya, and Chun-Li recoiled in surprise. How hitting someone on the head again when they're unconscious can be helpful was beyond her capacity to understand Maya's crooked way of thinking. Still, she humored her on her idea nonetheless.
"Uh, Maya, how exactly is that going to help wake up Mr. Wright?" asked Chun-Li, knowing the answer would be something that would prove ultimately unhelpful.
"Well," explained Maya in a matter-of-factly manner, "since bopping him on the forehead caused him to go out cold, I therefore hypothesize that bopping him on the back of the head would cause him to wake up."
It was proven already by everyone that Maya is quite a polarizing individual. Not in the sense of whether you like her or not: Maya was bubbly melting pot of cute likability, and no one of the heroes would disagree.
She's polarizing only, as they have observed, when it comes to handling situations that would be taxing on her need to make decisions. One moment she would be suggesting all sorts of weird, quirky solutions to the most mundane of problems, and the next moment she'd be able to make up insightful, helpful ideas that not only make sense, but work well.
Chun-Li knew that, and whether this was one of the former or the latter wasn't clear to her, despite being with Maya since the day before. So she resigned herself to agree with her companion on her illogical solution, in the slightest chance that it could work.
"Well, if you say so," said Chun-Li, "then let's do it."
Wait, Miss Chun-Li, what are you saying?
"Alright, Chun!" said Maya happily, as she raised her hand and prepared give Phoenix a smack on the noggin.
Maya, don't you even dare. Miss Chun-Li, don't give in, please.
Pain was imminent. There was no point in trying to avoid it. Or at least, so he thought.
To Wright's surprise Maya wasn't as strong as he was afraid she would be. The painful smack on the back of the head that he was getting ready for turned out to be the weakest, most laughably pathetic slap he has ever been dealt with. Pearl hits harder than her, he mentally noted. Still, he couldn't help but yelp out a meek "Ow!" purely by reflex.
"Well, wow, it actually worked," remarked Chun-Li, falsely concluding this to be one of Maya's more insightful moments.
To her left though, Maya was shaking her hand to ward off the pain that she brought on herself. It would seem that she had hurt herself more than she had hurt Phoenix.
"Nick. Hair. Too spiky."
Phoenix threw back his head, and he couldn't help but mentally note what his affairs were like this particularly cold December morning. Mostly, about how he didn't like it.
To wake up after a bad day is one thing. To wake up after a bad day in a place you're unfamiliar with, with people you don't know, while still experiencing the general craziness of my normal life and multiplying it by 10 might just turn out to be much, much worse.
As he opened his eyes, he found himself staring back at a pair of brown ones, looking intently into his. His face was just a few inches from hers.
…But I guess waking up like this once in a while isn't that bad.
Chun-Li sat down next to Phoenix and Maya, and gave the lawyer her sincerest apology, which he instantly brushed off. "It's okay," said Phoenix, "really it's okay, Miss Chun-Li. You don't need to apologize or anything. It's nothing."
"Yeah, it happens all the time with Nick," explained Maya. "He's so used to it that getting abused on a regular basis is second nature to him!"
Phoenix recoiled at the statement, and Chun-Li simply kept quiet, noting the awkward atmosphere Maya had instantly created with her comment.
For a few seconds they just sat there quietly, motionless. Phoenix was whistling, while Chun-Li had engaged herself in a game of finger twiddling. Maya, between the two, has kept to herself, wondering if she had said anything wrong.
All of a sudden another masked figure came into the room, revealing himself as he ran inside the den and jumped over the sofa. He then latched onto the ceiling, much to Wright's utter amazement, and crawled towards the kitchen door, disappearing as he went inside.
"Who was that?" asked Phoenix, slack-jawed.
"That was Spider-Man," said Chun-Li, which really didn't help much in the information department. Besides letting Phoenix muse over the name 'Spider-Man' and how funny it sounded.
"He sounds like a superhero," remarked Phoenix.
Which was something that wasn't completely unfounded, as Chun-Li told him:
"He's... a superhero?" asked Phoenix. He couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Oh yeah," answered Chun-Li, giggling. "He's a super freak."
"A super freak?"
"He's super freakayyy," she sang, as her arms did the appropriate dance gestures.
Phoenix and Maya stared at her worriedly, and only then did she realize that the joke was completely lost on them. Trying to save face, she feigned coughing, but realized that she still owed them an explanation. She started to speak, while flustered.
She bit her lower lip, and said, "Heh. Sorry, it was a little something I learned from Deadpool." She then turned to look up as she tried to hide how red her face was turning. "On another note," she remarked, "I've never realized how high the ceiling in this room was."
As Spider-Man entered the kitchen from the ceiling, he noticed two things: one was that he forgot he was supposed to help Jean cook lunch, and she was already on the verge of finishing a large, heaping pot of beef stew, the recipe of which they had found in a cook book within the confines of Tony Stark's massive library.
The second thing was that he had only been gone for about ten minutes, yet for some indiscernible reason, Deadpool and Dante were already at each other's throats again for perhaps the third or fourth time that day.
I really need to put a leash on these two, thought the arachnid.
Lowering himself on a webline attached to the ceiling, the webslinger slowly descended upon the two hotheads as they unwaveringly stared each other down like ravening wolves. The two mercenaries were so immersed in each other that despite being a metahuman and a demonspawn who both have honed senses that are superhuman in level, they failed to notice the wallcrawler as he hovered a few inches above their heads.
As he came into arm's reach of the two, he stealthily placed his hands behind their heads, and in one, swift movement smacked their foreheads together. Understandably, this elicited a shocked yelp of pain from both men, and only then did they realize that they've been in each others' faces for way too long than what was socially acceptable.
"What the hell was that about?" complained the masked mercenary. As he looked up to see who his adversary was, he recoiled in fear and disgust at the sight, screaming, "Look out! It's a giant spider! It's gonna suck out your brain juices through a bendy straw!"
"Shut it, Wade," warned Dante, before looking up at the arachnid. The displeased look on his face publicly showed his disdain for the webslinger getting the drop on him. "You didn't need to hit me that hard, webhead."
"You guys have been at each other's throats since day one," said Spider-Man. "We're a team, and if we're gonna stay a team, you two need to learn to not screw yourselves over every little argument you have."
"A giant spider!" continued Deadpool, dropping to his knees and clutching his head in a nervous fashion. Screaming towards the ceiling, he continued to cry out, "Oh, say it ain't so! The humanity of it all! Is there no salvation from the reign of the mutant spiders?"
"Geez, shut it, Wade," cried Spider-Man, as he landed on the kitchen floor. "Jeez. I can't believe they haven't come up with a cure for your kind yet."
"You got a problem with mutants?" asked Deadpool, pointing an accusing finger towards the webhead.
"I meant Canadians," corrected Spider-Man. "And you're not a mutant."
"What? Of course, I am!"
"You're not," seconded the white-haired man, as he folded his arms over his chest.
"What? Come on, this is insane," remarked Deadpool. Then turning towards Jean, who had just finished making breakfast, he cried, "Hey, Jeannie, help me out here. Us X-Men gotta stick out for each other, am I right or am I right?"
"You're not a mutant," answered Jean, without looking at her companions. "And you're not an X-Man either."
If there was one thing Deadpool was good at, it was talking. Non-stop. Maybe until his opponent either gives up or commits suicide, but perhaps not even then. So both Spider-Man and Dante were awestricken by how dumbfounded Deadpool looked after Jean shot him down. There was nothing particularly cringe-worthy about what she said, and if perhaps either of the other two had said those exact same words, it wouldn't have left as much impact as when Jean said it. They didn't know why. But the important thing to them was that it was the end of that conversation.
The thing about Deadpool was that every sudden pause he makes elicits twenty minutes (on average) of non-stop, inane chatter afterwards, before he remembers to breathe again. Coupled with the fact that a lot of his pauses only last from about one-half to three and a half seconds, it would be a very nightmarish experience for that to happen.
Fearing the retaliating insanity that would make its way out the mercenary's mouth, Spider-Man took advantage of the moment and quickly blurted out the reason why he was there, if only to stop Deadpool from reviving the conversation of whether he was a mutant, or an X-Man, or both, or neither.
"Tony called," started Spider-Man, just in the nick of time.
Deadpool was already past his shocked, I-can't-believe-I-just-shut-up phase.
"It's urgent. A new one just turned up in downtown Manhattan, and has X and Zero on his tail. He's hostile, and since we don't know on whose side he's on, our orders are to track him down and find out who he is.
"…Although actually, I think we already know who he is," said Spider-Man finally, looking in Dante's direction.
"What are you looking at me for?" questioned the demon hunter.
"The guy they're after has white hair, wears a blue coat, and has a very long sword on his person, " explained Spider-Man. "And from the few glimpses that they've had of him, they said he looks like you, but has his hair slicked backwards. Obviously, I'm willing to bet my web shooters that you know him."
"…Vergil?" muttered Dante to himself, subconsciously.
"Friend of yours?" asked Spider-Man.
"Hardly," answered Dante, and Spider-Man gave him a doubtful look. "He's my brother."
"Like a real brother, a stepbrother, or a not-blood-related-but-you-totally-treat-as-one brother?" asked the arachnid. "Or maybe a clone? 'Cause if he's a clone, I might sit this one out."
Since I might not be able to stop myself from beating him senseless.
"No, not a clone. He's my real brother," answered Dante, while wondering what the wallcrawler meant by the last one. "It's... kinda difficult to explain. How about we catch him first then ask questions later?"
"Sounds like a plan," agreed Spider-Man, who was already on his way out of the kitchen.
"Awright, I finally get to kill someone!" shouted the masked mercenary in glee, as he passed Spider-Man by the door. He ran out of the room giddier than a school girl on prom night.
"I doubt he'll be able to kill him," remarked Dante, as he followed Deadpool out the door. He then wordlessly left the kitchen and proceeded outside to the den.
As Spider-Man was about to leave, he contemplated to himself. He really needed to apologize to Jean for leaving her to cook on her lonesome. Gathering up the courage to say sorry, he turned to her as he faced the door, and started, "Uh, hey Jean, I—"
But the telepath had beat him to it. "It's okay, really. Just go do your job," she told him. And with a nod of approval, the wallcrawler proceeded out of the door, and followed his two companions outside.
Phoenix has always been kept in the dark about a lot of things, but he has never yet felt so clueless in his life until he was dumped with the uneasiness he was feeling at that moment. There was something weird going on, and to a guy who has jumped to conclusions in every decision he has made in every waking moment of his life, he knew the repercussions of doing exactly that in that moment.
So when the masked mercenary came running through the room with guns akimbo, followed by the white-haired man in the red coat, who did about twenty (Phoenix had a knack for exaggeration) backflips while retrieving his claymore as it leaned on the couch, and ran outside like they were escaping the plague, Phoenix deemed it necessary that he would not jump to conclusions.
Mostly, said conclusions ended with him in bed, waking up and realizing that this was all some weird dream that he would tell Maya during breakfast, and the two of them would laugh it off as the silliest dream anyone has ever had.
Unfortunately for Phoenix, it wasn't a dream. He was firmly in reality, and reality was firmly trying to screw him over.
"Peter, what's going on?" asked Chun-Li in a concerned tone of voice, and Phoenix was snapped out of his pondering.
"Something urgent," spoke Spider-Man.
As the hero stepped towards the middle of the room, Phoenix recognized him as the ceiling-crawling guy from earlier. He was wearing red and blue tights, possibly made out of spandex, which had a distinct web motif all over the red areas of the outfit. There was a black spider logo on his chest, and a much larger red one on his back. His mask covered the entirety of his face, hiding all of his features and muffling his voice, although Phoenix noticed that he spoke with a distinct New York accent, probably belonging to someone who was a native of Queens.
"Another one turned up like Mr. Wright, probably only a short time after he did," continued the arachnid, while acknowledging Phoenix and Maya's presence. "Dante knows him, which kinds of muddles things up, since he's pretty hostile and we have to take him down. Chun, take care of Mr. Wright and Maya while we're gone."
"Don't worry. Of course, I will," said Chun-Li, perking up. Spider-Man nodded understandably. "Good luck, Petey."
The wallcrawler then proceeded towards the single window in the room, and opened it. Glancing back one last time, he then nonchalantly jumped out of the window like it was the most normal thing in the world. Phoenix turned to his two companions, but saw that they weren't even remotely surprised, much less be so in the manner that Phoenix was.
Wow. A guy just jumped out of a window like it was nothing and no one but me bats an eye. Now I know I'm dreaming.
Just then, the kitchen door creaked open, and a red-headed woman holding a ladle peeked out, smiling.
"Who wants brunch?" asked Jean aloud. "I made beef stew."
Maya's eyes then lit up like a Christmas tree as she heard the word 'brunch' being mentioned. "Brunch, Nick! It's the joys of lunch and breakfast combined!" she shouted, and she quickly dashed towards the kitchen, following Jean inside. Chun-Li, who was surprised at Maya's enthusiasm even when she shouldn't have been, eventually stood up as well and followed the spirit channeler's lead.
"Would you care to join us, Mr. Wright?" asked Chun-Li, holding out a hand towards Phoenix. The lawyer then accepted her offer eagerly.
"Sure," he told her, but his mind was elsewhere.
It was like the last bus to sanity just left and he was all alone in a deserted terminal.
End of Chapter 1