A/N: I really hate doing author's notes at the start of a chapter, but this one is necessary. Please bear with me!
Firstly, this is a sequel to my story 'Trapped'. If you haven't read it already, then I suggest you do before reading 'Taking Flight', though it is not completely needed. I'm only suggesting it because there are a few references to 'Trapped', and this story will make more sense for those who have read both. If you don't want to read the first story for whatever reason, you should be able to understand this well enough.
This story is set six years after AAI (three years after 'Trapped'). Kay is 23, Edgeworth is 32 if the information on the AA wikia is accurate. This is a Kayworth story, and their relationship is continued from 'Trapped', but there is a mystery involved as well.
And that's about all. Enjoy!
It'd been three years since Kay's life had changed drastically.
The first reason was she'd been involved in a rather messy kidnapping case, both as the investigator and the hostage at one point or another during it. The case had long since ended, but she knew it wasn't something she'd ever be able to forget, altering her perspectives.
It had also been the commencement of her relationship with Edgeworth, deciding to forget the past and move forward into the future. And, to her delight, things had progressed smoothly since. Life wouldn't have been the same without him.
Neither was what was bothering her, as she walked at a pace that was both too fast and too slow across the foot path. She would occasionally stop to take a deep breath before continuing, the tightness in her stomach becoming unbearable.
She wanted to get back to the apartment. But at the same time, she dreaded it.
Just under three years ago, she had started at law school. She chose a course that both Edgeworth and Franziska had recommended; it got her the qualifications faster, but was a good deal harder, the workload almost ridiculous. They knew she'd be able to cope, her determination clear.
Kay had been eligible, as she'd been working as Miles' assistant for so long, giving her background experience. The course had been costly, but she knew it was the right time to open her father's bank account, untouched since his death, and use the money that was legally hers. She'd later found out that he'd taken the very same course, sending a surge of pride through her.
With that path, it would take three years to complete. And the three years were up; now she'd actually prosecute, with Miles as her official mentor for the next six months.
That was providing she'd scored the mark required on the exams. Assuming she'd passed at all.
Kay's stomach did another backflip. The results had been posted already. Everybody else had received theirs, which surely meant hers had arrived as well. Sitting on the doormat at home would be the letter which changed everything. Three years of work; staying up late revising the facts, learning what seemed like a million different laws - many of which she'd couldn't imagine a case where she'd need to know them – and it all came down to the three hours she'd had to complete the exam.
She felt slightly sick as the apartment building came into view against the setting sun. It was getting late. How much longer now? Had Edgeworth arrived home already? She hoped he had; she'd given him permission to open the letter and read its contents, knowing that if she hadn't passed, he would know the best way to break the news.
And in another instant, she seemed to be in front of the door.
Hands shaking, she fumbled with the key, at long last inserting and turning it. The door swung open, and her first reaction was to look down. The doormat was bare; no letter. That meant he was home, and had read it already. It seemed like a comfort.
"Miles?" she called, somehow able to keep her voice steady.
"I'm in the kitchen," was the reply.
Not wanting to waste any more time, she quickly entered, scanning in the scene before her. Miles was there, leaning slightly on the counter. Her eyes quickly found the envelope next to his hand, which was opened, the letter folded on top. Looking up, she met his eyes, and her unease grew. It was time likes these when she hated how he could hide any emotion.
The silence was unbearable. Finally, she broke it. "You've read the letter?" It was a stupid thing to ask.
"Indeed I have," he answered smoothly. "It arrived in the morning with the rest of the post. It's strange that you left early enough to miss it."
Whether he was pointing out her attempt to avoid knowing the results to hint that everything was alright, or doing it just to lighten the mood, she didn't know. "I've been in the city with Ema. There was a forensics display at the museum she wanted to look at."
"For the whole day?"
Kay couldn't help smiling slightly. "No, afterwards we had lunch at Très Bien." She wasn't sure why they'd chosen that particular restaurant, but knew she wouldn't be going back there anytime soon. As well as the food being terrible, she still couldn't quite place which gender the chef had been. "Then… well, I decided to walk back here."
"It's probably better you took so long, really," Miles murmured. He picked up the letter, extending his hand out to her. "Here. You should check the results."
The butterflies returned to her stomach. "I-I suppose so." She opened it, purposefully looking away. "Can you at least give me a clue about what's said in here?"
"I could," he admitted, "but I think it would be better if you saw the results for yourself."
She nodded weakly, finally turning her attention to the page. There was the stuff she'd expected to see; the course name, date the exam was taken, national average, mark needed to pass… and finally, she saw what she had been looking for. Her jaw dropped, and she blinked a few times, reading the score over and over again.
"Congratulations, Prosecutor Faraday."
At that moment, lights from other areas of the apartment that she was sure had been turned off previously lit up, people seeming to come from anywhere and everywhere. Before she knew what had happened, she was surrounded by them, the air full of cheers and compliments. A grin rapidly flew onto her face as the information registered.
She'd passed. Not only that, but with more than the mark needed for Edgeworth to become her mentor for the next half year. She had to stop herself from jumping into the air with joy.
"Way above average, pal!" Gumshoe announced, beaming widely. "Well done!" By his side, Maggey was saying similar things, excitement overwhelming her.
"Thanks, you two!" Kay replied. "Gummy, you have no idea how worried I was! This was beyond anything I could have imagined, really."
"We always knew you could do it, pal," he told her. "No doubts at all! That's why I organised the party… but I'm not sure why this is a completely good thing. I mean… now you can boss me around, and cut my salary, and-"
He was beginning to look so gloomy that Kay had to interrupt him. "Gummy, I won't cut your salary, I promise. I'll try not to boss you or Ema around too much either." She smiled. "Thank you for throwing the party."
"It's nothing, pal. You deserve it." He scratched the back of his neck guiltily. "Besides, it's Mr Edgeworth who's paying for most of it."
Looking at the people present, Kay realised that most of them were prosecutors that she'd gotten to know over the years, as well as some old friends. Uncle Badd had now begun talking to Gumshoe, and she saw that Ema and – judging by the blue beanie – Phoenix were in a conversation, laughing about something. She spotted Trucy in the corner of the living room, amazing a few people by changing the colour of one of the lamp covers.
"Hey! It's my babe Kay!"
Of course. If anything tonight went wrong, it would undoubtedly be Larry's fault. Edgeworth's childhood friend was the complete opposite to what Kay had expected. She always pictured him friends with people more like himself, but Butz was something else altogether. "Hey, Larry," she replied.
"So, now you're a lawyer like Edgey and Nick, huh? And while you're still young… nice going!" He winked at her, and she had to prevent herself from laughing. Larry was an idiot, there was no other way to put it. "Things seem to be going pretty well for you! But my beautiful Sasha…" His eyes suddenly welled up with tears.
Kay sighed. "What happened?" she asked.
"S-She… she left me! To get back together with her old husband!" Larry wailed. "He was a jerk, I tell you! Just because he had a good job and money, it's not like I'm a bad guy, right, Kay? Sasha was so beautiful… my cutie pie!" He wiped the tears, suddenly looking much brighter. He gave her thumbs up. "But I suppose I'll have to move on now. After all, I'll still have you, right Kay? You're better looking."
"Would you be hitting on Edgeworth's girlfriend, Larry?" Phoenix asked, joining in on the conversation. Ema was next to him, raising an eyebrow. "Probably not the smartest thing to do. Both he and Kay could sue you for harassment now if they wanted to."
"Better be carefully, Larry," Ema advised. "I have all the science I need on my side to find evidence so I can help them out."
"How could you be so cruel, Nick?" Larry howled. "I wouldn't have really done anything, I swear."
"Done any of what, now?" Edgeworth asked, appearing behind him.
Larry jumped, looking back at him hastily. "Nothing! I would have done nothing, really! Um… oh look, Franziska!" He scurried off, and Phoenix sighed.
"Out of all the people he could have fled to, he chose von Karma," he muttered. Soon after, they heard the crack of the whip, along with multiple exclamations of 'you utterly incompetent fool!'. "I better check on Trucy, apparently she has a new magic trick she wanted me to see."
"Hmph! Magic!" Ema scoffed. "Everything is controlled by science! I might- oh, damn." He eyes seemed to be avoiding an area close by. "Prosecutor Gavin's looking this way. I better go. Congrats, Kay!" The two retreated, with Kay and Edgeworth left behind.
"How are you feeling, Prosecutor Faraday?" he asked.
Kay sighed. "I have no idea," she admitted. "I would say happy, but it seems too tame of a word. This is like some sort of crazy dream. I'm scared I'll wake up any moment to find that none of it was real."
Miles shook his head. "I can assure you that this is no dream. You are now a prosecutor of the law, passing your exam with one of the top marks for those who've sat it this year. Which reminds me." He quickly checked his pocket, holding out his palm with a shining badge sitting in the middle.
Kay recognised it immediately. "I already get one of these, huh?" she murmured. Taking it from him, she pinned it to her shirt. It seemed to stand out against it a little too much, but she liked it nonetheless.
"Yes. It arrived with the letter, but I feared people might damage it if they all wanted to see at once. Especially with Larry and Maggey present. It also would have given away the results immediately." He raised an eyebrow. "You're going to wear it? Most prosecutors are reluctant too."
"Just for tonight." She smiled, leaning forward to hug him. It had been what she'd wanted to do as soon as she'd heard the news, however she hadn't had the chance. "Thank you, for everything you've done for me these past three years."
She knew that she wouldn't have been able to do it without him. He'd spent countless nights staying up with her, patiently going through things that she hadn't understood or just helping her with revision in general. He'd kept her going when she thought that she wouldn't have been able to continue.
"It was my pleasure," Edgeworth replied. "You've worked hard, you deserve the mark you received. Your father would be proud."
Kay couldn't help but grin, but it was quickly cut short. "Oh God," she muttered. "Who invited him?"
"Who would you be referring to?" The embrace ended, and he looked over to her she was staring. "Ah, Prosecutor Payne. You'd prefer it if he wasn't present?"
The one in question was trying to get into a conversation with Franziska, failing. He quickly moved on, deciding that the best course of action was joining a larger group of people and hope for the best. He seemed out of place in the happy, bubbly atmosphere.
"Yes," Kay replied, following him with her eyes. "Out of all the prosecutors I've met, I dislike him the most."
"Is that so?" Edgeworth said softly. "Well then, I take it that you won't be informing him that he was the… inspiration? The one who made you decide to become a prosecutor in the first place?"
"He was my inspiration for all the wrong reasons," Kay reminded him, thinking back to that day. It had been so long ago, yet she could picture it clearly in her mind.
They had been walking along the corridors of the prosecutors' office, a mere three weeks since the Jones incident. Kay had been in fairly high spirits, until she overheard voices coming from the sitting room herself, Gumshoe and Edgeworth usually occupied. Her and Miles stopped walking, peering into the room through the slightly ajar door. She wasn't bothered by Winston Payne being there, per say, but more what he was doing.
Gumshoe was sitting next to him, looking troubled. "Sir, I'm not sure that this evidence adds up quite right."
"How so?" Payne asked, continuing to write. He didn't seem interested in what the detective had to say.
"The witness's testimony seems a little off, doesn't it?" Gumshoe voiced. "It seems like it has too many holes, stuff he's avoiding to talk about. We should probably try and get it out of him; otherwise we won't know what happened properly."
Payne scoffed, finally looking up. "That's ridiculous. The witness seemed like a trustworthy person to me."
"Looks can deceive," Gumshoe muttered.
Now he had Payne's full attention. Laughing, the prosecutor spoke. "Detective, are you suggesting that the defendant is innocent? Because I can assure you that if those are your thoughts, you might not enjoy the number next on your pay cheque."
Detective Gumshoe seemed to be fighting the option of not eating for the next week against continuing a corrupt case. Eventually, he fell silent. It was a heartbreaking scene for Kay. Before she could do anything, Edgeworth had opened the door further, walking in the room in a way that not even Payne could miss it.
"Prosecutor Edgeworth!" he greeted, standing. "Did you want to use this sitting room?"
"Only to explain a few things to you," Miles replied. Upon receiving the confused look, he continued. "Firstly, only I – or the chief of police or prosecutors - have the authority to alter the detective's salary in any way. As such, I would appreciate it if you didn't use such a meaningless threat against him. Furthermore, the context of it was completely out of place. For disrupting a crime scene or in general not doing his job properly; yes, perhaps Detective Gumshoe would require some form of penalty. Although I would hardly call pointing out a flaw in the witness's testimony 'not doing his job'." He took another step forward. "Need I remind you, Prosecutor Payne, that it is a detective's duty to find the truth?"
"W-Well," Payne stuttered, unsure how to respond. Next to him, Gumshoe was looking between shocked and flattered.
"Let's see, then," Edgeworth murmured, picking up a page of notes. He scanned it briefly, expression seeming to become graver by the moment. "I'm sure somebody of your experience can see the contradictions in your argument? Or did you choose to purposely overlook them in the hopes that the defense attorney was a rookie?"
"Quite a few of them," Edgeworth continued. "The witness states that the defendant was spotted near the murder scene at 3:00? That doesn't add up with about…" He quickly counted, "three pieces of evidence." He shook his head, thrusting the sheet of notes back to Payne. "I would highly advise speaking with the witness again before the trial tomorrow. You may find yourself in some trouble if you don't."
Payne was silent for a few moments, opening and closing his mouth at random in the hopes of forming a decent reply. "I was just about to do that," he muttered eventually, standing. "Come, detective."
"I think that, after the trouble you've caused him, Detective Gumshoe has no obligation to offer his assistance further."
"Yes, of course," Payne said quickly. "I'll just be leaving now." He quickly gathered his belongings, retreating a moment later. He bustled past Kay, who couldn't help but glare at him before stepping into the room.
Gumshoe stared up at Edgeworth in awe. "Pa-… sir, that was amazing!"
"Please don't mention it," the prosecutor requested. "I only said what needed to be said. How men like that are allowed to even pass law school is beyond me… the case was completely full of holes! No wonder he's called the rookie killer, I doubt he's defeated anybody else."
"That was disgusting…" Kay managed to murmur. Both Edgeworth and Gumshoe looked at her. "Not what you did!" she added quickly. "Just… how could he? Does getting a guilty verdict matter so much to him that he'd lead such a hole-filled case? How is that the right thing to do? The real killer could walk free!"
"We know, Kay," Edgeworth replied. "But many prosecutors such as Franziska and myself were like that once. They change."
"That's my point," the thief stated. "Both you and Franziska did change. But Payne hasn't, and after all these years, I doubt he ever will. He can't be the only one." She thought for a moment, something rising within her. "I'm going to become a prosecutor." She announced suddenly.
The room was silent for a moment. "Pardon?" Edgeworth finally asked.
"I said that I'm going to become a prosecutor," Kay repeated. "I won't do it for the guilty verdicts; I'll do it to find the truth. I'll lead fair cases, not corrupt ones. It won't alter a lot when I think about it… but it's better than sitting here and watching things like this happen. If I get at least a few criminals punished truthfully then it'll be worth it."
Miles shook his head. "Though I agree with you whole-heartedly, you cannot decide your future so quickly. Things like this need to be thought over well before making the decision. It's a lot of work to put in, becoming a lawyer."
"He's right, pal," Gumshoe added. "Are you sure?"
"Don't you think I can do it?" Kay teased.
Edgeworth sighed. "That's not what we-"
"Then I've already decided," the Yatagarasu said firmly.
"To think," Edgeworth said, bemused, "that a prosecutor who you found horrific was more of an inspiration than one who genuinely wanted to find the truth. I'll admit that I find it odd."
Kay nodded. "I did too, looking back on it. But I suppose it opened my eyes. Though people like my father, you and Franziska actually realise that it's not all about the 'perfect' score, you were the only ones I'd ever really been around. I'd forgotten that there were others out there who weren't like that. It made me determined to join the good side."
"Well then… I hope the justice system is prepared for Kay Faraday, the truth stealing Yatagarasu," Edgeworth told her, unable to help but think that she would bring a new sort of life to the courtroom.
"They'll have to be," Kay responded. "I'm not sending out a calling card till I'm finished."
A/N: I know, not much happened this chapter. I will try to get into the main plot as fast as I can while maintaining a somewhat decent writing style, promise :P
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed!