On a bleak March day, people clad in black stood in a rough circle, surrounding a freshly dug grave. Inside a plain coffin held the remains of Ms. Wendy Oldbag, completely dressed in her pink badger costume.
"She was a fighter," announced the priest presiding over the ceremony seriously. "And she knew the importance of never giving up."
"You can say that again," muttered Phoenix Wright to his assistant, Maya Fey, who placed a hand over her lips to hide a small smile.
"She really never did give up, right until the end," the priest continued, ignoring the whispers.
"I am aware of that," Miles Edgeworth murmured, gritting his teeth.
Of all the places, he never pictured himself to attend the funeral of the old bag. It had only been two weeks since they'd seen her at Gatewater Land; the same as always. She'd berated them about respect for elders, ranted about the stone age in which she'd grown up in, and worst of all... insisted that there was some sort of romantic relationship going on between them. Yet here he was, paying his last respects, though he detested using the word when it came to this situation.
"It's sorta weird that she's gone now..." Kay muttered next to him. "I'm not really upset, but... I got the impression she was sorta gonna live forever, you know? I mean, she made it this far."
"She was only human," he mumbled in reply as he grasped her hand, though he suspected the old bag was more demon than that. Everyone paused for a moment, and it was as if they could hear her angry "Whippersnapper!" echoing in the wind.
"May she rest in peace," the priest concluded at last, softly shutting the bible he was holding. General sighs echoed around the circle, but whether from remorse or just relief that the ceremony was finally over, no one would ever know. The group slowly began to disband, everyone heading toward their cars, or in Phoenix and Maya's case, the bike racks. Soon, the only people left were Kay, Miles, and Ema, still on her vacation from Europe.
Suddenly, a taxi pulled up to the winding drive leading to the grave site. A familiar woman jumped out and hurried up the road, heels clicking on the asphalt. She ran a hand through her wavy black hair, looking anxious. Then she saw the people standing on top of the hill and grinned, waving. Ema waved back, but Edgeworth stood still in disbelief. It couldn't be...
His mind raced immediately. He never expected her to have come; Madeline, his legal aide had only met the old bag once or twice, and had been just about as thrilled as he had. Still... he'd come to the funeral regardless. He glanced at Kay, who was unaware of the newcomer.
He had to act fast. As slyly as he could, his hand dove into his pocket, searching for something, anything.
"Here's ten dollars!" he burst out, handing the money to her. Upon receiving her somewhat bewildered expression, he forced a smile. "Ah... you've had a long day. I'm sure both you and Gumshoe would enjoy sharing a swiss roll; I believe there's a store down the street. It's been a while since you've had the opportunity."
"Really?" Kay's eyes lit up at the mention of her favourite treat, and one of her dearest friends. She grinned, not caring about how sudden the situation seemed. "Thanks!" She took the note, looking around and spotting the good detective leaving in his beat-up old patrol car. The thief looked up at the prosecutor, smiling. "I'll see you later." She quickly kissed him on the cheek before sprinting down the hill and catching up to a car. After a few quick words with Gumshoe, she climbed in and the two Swiss Roll fanatics sped away.
At about this time, the woman made it to the top of the hill. Besides from being slightly annoyed that her heels were digging into the grass and making it difficult to walk, which had distracted her thoroughly on the journey, she looked beautiful. "Hi," she said shyly, hands clasped behind her back like they always did when she was nervous. She'd been away for almost a year now, studying abroad much like Ema was.
"Madeline," Miles managed to say. "It's been a while."
"Yeah, it has," she replied. Ema interrupted their awkward moment for a brief hug with the long-lost legal aide, chastising her for not visiting while she was in Europe. Eventually, the young scientist could see that the two wanted to be alone, so she quickly retreated to the other side of the grave. She fiddled with something in her bag while trying to look like she was not listening to the conversation between the pair.
"So, how have you been?" Madeline asked, smiling the same smile she'd had a year ago.
"Busy," he replied, sighing and looking at the ground. He just couldn't meet her gaze. "A lot of cases since you... departed."
They didn't talk about why she left. There was nothing to discuss. She'd left because she wanted more experience toward her own badge, and the only way to do that was to leave the country, going to where she'd previously begun her studies.
Madeline laughed. "Departed... you make it sound like I died! Anyway, I know about your cases, I've been reading the papers. You've had some pretty interesting adventures." Edgeworth prayed she wouldn't ask about Kay. It was ridiculously hard to lie to her, she could read him like a book. Thankfully, she dropped the subject. "So, I'm back in town now..." she said quietly, her large gray eyes still fixed on him, waiting to see how he would react. A small half-smile formed on her lips. "Is my position still open?" she asked teasingly. Edgeworth hesitated for a brief second and Madeline noticed. "Is it not?" she asked in slight surprise. The prosecutor weighed his options carefully. "If it's not, you can just tell me," Madeline said, raising an eyebrow.
He knew he couldn't refuse her. "No, it's fine. I'd like to have you at the office again."
She smiled, leaning up to kiss him. Even after she pulled away, their faces stayed close.
Ema's jaw dropped. How was the famous Mr. Edgeworth going to work his way out of this one?
"You haven't changed a bit," Madeline whispered in his ear.
"Neither have you," he murmured back. But the situation sure has...
They were interrupted by the sound of breaking glass. Ema had dropped her bag on the ground and was now frantically trying to retrieve the test tubes that were rolling around on the ground. Madeline quickly hurried around the hole to help, but it was too late. Two or three of the glass containers had already rolled into the grave, their rainbow-colored contents spilling all over the coffin and seeping through the lid.
"Well, that can't be good," Madeline said matter-of-factly, examining the damage.
"I'll say," Ema agreed, looking slightly worried. "Those chemicals were extremely unstable! There's no telling what they'll do when mixed." She peered into the uncovered hole, where the mixture appeared to be bubbling slightly, a visible gas rising. "Maybe we should back away, I'm not sure if those fumes are safe at all."
"Yeah, I actually have to get going," Madeline said with one more uncertain look at the hole. "I'll see you later." She flashed him that same uncertain yet alluring smile she'd had while working for him, then she disappeared, hurrying down the hill. Before she left, she turned and gave him one more small wave, then she was gone.
Edgeworth let out a deep sigh, unaware of Ema's presence next to him until she coughed.
"So," she began, a strange tone in her voice. "That was your legal aide, right? Madeline Brent?"
"Correct," he replied, knowing where it was leading. Ema had seen him kiss her; the look on her face was proof enough.
"But you're going out with Kay." Her words were forceful, filled with disappointment and some form of betrayal. "Mr Edgeworth, why would you let her kiss you?" After he didn't reply, she looked at the ground. "I didn't think you were like that."
"Ema, I know what you must think of me right now, but this isn't what it looks like," Edgeworth protested faintly. He realized then that he'd never truly ended things off with Madeline before she'd left, partly because he hadn't had the chance, but mostly because he didn't want to. And he still didn't. Seeing Madeline again... it ignited feelings and thoughts he hadn't had in a long time about her.
But at the same time, Kay appeared in his mind, her bright eyes and easy smile. It had been Kay that had helped him in Gatewater Land when he was trapped, and days later at the embassy with the culprit's perfume she'd kept for so long. Kay, who strived to uphold the Yatagarasu, despite all risks it posed, some that worried him. He knew he cared for the thief as well.
"So, what are you going to do, Mr. Edgeworth?" Ema asked, that note of reproach still evident in her voice. "I don't want to have to tell anybody, but you better sort this out soon."
He frowned as he watched Madeline get whisked away by another taxi. "I don't know, Ema."
The sky finally broke, and a torrential rainstorm began. Both the prosecutor and the student were quick to flee, leaving the grave site deserted.
It was only a few hours later that the impossible happened.
Due to the sudden heavy rain, the workers who had been assigned to fill the grave with soil had neglected to, leaving the coffin visible inside the hole. Just as water can get through wood, another substance had managed to seep through the coffin along with the rain, eventually dripping onto the occupant.
A moan and creak would have been heard coming from inside, had anybody been present. Since nobody was, the sound went unnoticed, only becoming more frequent and louder as time passed.
Suddenly, a pink-covered hand smashed through the lid of the coffin, and a figure rose from the black abyss of both grave and death, one word being echoed through its surroundings.
A/N: Hey guys!
This is a collab with Diana Lily and Isabella and myself. This is what happens when you say something random regarding Ace Attorney and turn it into a story :) This is a zombie apocalypse (but with Oldbag), and includes Diana Lily and Isabella's OC, Madeline Brent! To learn more about Madeline, go check out the stories Diana's written for her!
Being that we both have different views on pairings regarding Edgeworth (I am a Kayworth fan), we're sure you'll be entertained by the silent (or not) arguments we're bound to have during this story :)
We don't know the ending. We don't know how anything will turn out. But this is possibly the hardest challenge our heros have to face; Oldbag. Oldbag everywhere.