Disclaimer: Ace Attorney and all characters are copyright by CAPCOM; I'm just a fan imitating. The stories presented are influenced by the multiple games as well as the comic (Manga written by Kenji Kuroda).
This story is set after Turnabout Goodbyes and encompasses Rise from the Ashes (episode 4 and 5 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney), though extensive flashbacks are included. Some Spoilers for the first game especially and a few hints at things that occur much later in the series.
"Miles," the teacher said, and she made him stand in front of the entire class and introduce himself. He was arriving a month behind, but his father had told him not to worry, as this would only be temporary until the winter break started and he could be transferred to a private school.
Miles wore his best jacket, a burgundy coat with the emblem from his old school. No one in this new school wore uniforms, so it didn't matter that his jacket had the old emblem. It didn't matter—but still—all of the other kids looked at him strangely and were not inclined to speak with him before the teacher came, though they talked loudly amongst themselves.
Now he was forced to stand in front of them and tell them about himself, which he really was not inclined to do. Miles looked at the teacher, she nodded and smiled sweetly, silently goading him into his task. Well, Miles thought begrudgingly, it wouldn't do to upset the teacher.
"Good Morning," he said, "My name is Miles Edgeworth."
"Where are you from?" the teacher asked.
"The city," Miles said, knowing that the suburban town would need no more explanation than that. He stared out at the other kids and they stared back at him.
"What else can you tell us about yourself?" the teacher said.
"What's your favorite movie?"
"What do you like to do when you're not in school?"
The teacher put her hands on her hips. Miles stared out at the other kids in his class. They all looked strange to him. They also seemed as disinterested in him as he was about introducing himself.
"Um," Miles continued, "I'm very pleased to meet all of you."
"Thank you Miles," the teacher said, finally coming to his rescue and letting him escape to the safety of his desk. Miles was blushing full red from his forehead to the collar of his shirt.
He already hated this school.
Miles Edgeworth awoke in his flat to the yellow light of morning and the hot solid weight of Pess on his leg. He rubbed his eyes and slid carefully out from under the big dog so as not to wake her. He'd planned on sleeping in, and he had no pressing reason to get out of bed. But habit wouldn't let him stay so long in bed on a weekday. Among other things.
Miles stretched and got up to go to the toilet.
He washed his hands afterward and then washed his face and for good measure he brushed his teeth. Perfection was something to strive for in all things—so he'd been taught. He stared into the mirror while the froth from his electric toothbrush continued to build and drip into the sink. The face glared back, eyes cold and unrelenting. Miles spat into the sink, he hated that face.
He'd been allowed a personal leave following the case. After all, it had been a big case and it occurred over the winter holidays where the scandal loving public had the leisure of watching the case unfold while caught in the lull between the hustle of Christmas and the New Year. Miles buttoned his shirt and shoved the tails into his khakis—no, he didn't have to work today—but that only meant he had other errands to take care of.
His butler, Edmund Wellington, was waiting in the kitchen with a paper and hot water for tea—which he started to steep as soon as Miles exited his bedroom. Pess barked once, announcing her departure from the bed, and followed Miles into the kitchen. Miles sat down at the small breakfast nook and accepted his tea and the paper with a slight nod.
Mr. Wellington placed a tray on the table before him, toast and an egg-white omelet—no doubt painstakingly prepared to the exacting specifications of Mile's diet. Perfection—after all—was something to strive for in all things.
"Did you sleep well, sir?" Mr. Wellington said. He always asked and Miles always gave him the same made up answer to placate him.
"Yes, very well—" Miles set down his paper startled. He had slept well—after fifteen years of nightmares; fifteen years of the same haunting scream, of the dread and fear—he'd slept dreamlessly and content. Miles allowed himself a smile and even Wellington seemed a little surprised. Miles lifted his cup to the man, "Very well indeed, Mr. Wellington."
"What's happening in the world, today?" Miles continued and the old butler raised his eyebrows, Miles was never one to waste time with small talk.
"Err," Wellington said, "Well, Mr. Edgeworth, there's a report about a serial murderer on the news. Apparently, a victim escaped and went to the police. Miles lifted one eyebrow and then buried his face in the paper again—at least he didn't have to go into work for the next few days—the only thing bigger than DL-6 would be something like this.
Wellington retreated to some other chore in the house and Miles looked at Pess who was sitting at his knee and staring up at him expectantly. Miles glanced around quickly to be sure Wellington was indeed gone and tipped his plate toward the floor so the dog could lap up the omelet. Miles chuckled at Pess and finished his tea.
Miles wasn't terribly hungry this morning. He'd been up too late and still the events of the last few days weighed heavily on his mind. He was only acquitted yesterday, after all.
He'd spent the evening with his attorney, Phoenix Wright, and the motley entourage that had seemed to build over the course of the trial. The restaurant was not terribly fancy—not the kind of place he would have patronized on his own—but it was adequate.
He'd arrived late, having spent most of the afternoon in filling out paperwork and conducting the necessary precaution in the re-instatement of his freedom. The question of whether or not he was a murderer had only been answered satisfactorily in the eleventh hour. The restaurant was closing when he showed up, and the whole time he questioned his presence there. Why did he feel the need to see Phoenix Wright?
Maybe it was loneliness. Maybe it was just boredom.
He was coerced somehow into following Maya and Phoenix back to the flat they were sharing. Maya went directly to bed and he was alone with his lawyer.
No, it was Phoenix, his childhood friend.
Phoenix wanted to talk to him about his past. About things Miles didn't want to talk about or dredge up—and Miles left angry and confused. Miles was so angry he walked all the way back to his building—and when he arrived it was several hours later, very near morning.
Really, he should just go back to bed.
"I don't understand what he wants from me," Miles told Pess. The big dog stopped licking the empty plate and looked up at her master. She wagged her tail and her great black tongue lolled. "But he says things that make me… Emotional… I just don't understand."
Miles reached down to scratch Pess behind the ears, "I made an appointment with my physician before I was arrested. I suppose it's just as well that I've been given this leave."
Pess whimpered. "You missed me?" Miles asked, "Really, it was only a few days."
Pess whimpered again and lifted one of her big paws, Miles took the paw in his hand.
"Pess, I promise we will go somewhere nice this afternoon. Just not Gourd Lake."
Miles let go of Pess's paw and stood, "Mr. Wellington," he called, "I'm getting my coat, would you make a cup for me to take along?"
"Very good, sir," Wellington said, appearing out of nowhere, "Will you be returning for luncheon?"
"No," Miles said, "I don't think so."
"Very well sir," Wellington said.
"I will be home this afternoon," Miles had moved to the closet in the lobby and was sliding on a black wool pea coat. Pess followed him wagging her tail expectantly, "Later, my friend," Miles said bending to pet her, "Well go out somewhere nice."
"I hate it here," Miles said, arms crossed and pouting, "All the kids in that school are stupid and strange."
"Miles," His father scolded. He kept his eyes on the road while he drove, "It's only the first day. You ought to give them a chance. You'll be at this school whether you like it or not until the semester ends. Don't you think it'll be better if you tried to enjoy it?"
"I guess," Miles said, unconvinced.
His father chuckled and smiled at the boy. It was only a glance, he didn't take his focus from the road, not since the accident. Miles was frowning, knees drawn up to his chin, watching the large houses with their yards and fences. Each with their own attempt to look unique from the others—by decoration, or lack of—but they seemed more the same for all the effort.
"Will we still be able to visit mom?" Miles asked and the car slowed as his father pulled his foot away from the gas pedal.
"Of course," he said adjusting his glasses while his eyes remained locked on the road.
"Even though we're so far away now?" the boy said.
"Miles," his father said, "We're not so very far from the city."
The boy's frown deepened, but he said nothing. Whatever his father said, it did seem very far. They could not go every week like they had done. Not when his father settled and his clients came calling. They were already calling. The move was an excuse for a break. Miles didn't think they needed to move at all.
"I don't know anyone," Miles said, "No one really wanted to talk to me at school."
"They'll warm up to you, Miles," Dad said with unfound certainty.
Miles let out a soft sigh and slouched further in the seat.
"Part of moving to a new place is meeting new people," Dad said, "It's fun."
"No it isn't," Miles said.
Dad chuckled at him again.
"I hate it here," Miles said softly, but his father didn't hear him.
Miles buttoned his shirt with more focus than was necessary, at least he avoided the nurse's gaze. She was awful nosey and he found her chattering rather tiresome. He wasn't really feeling very out-going—not so soon after…
The doctor hadn't come back in yet. Miles tucked the tails of his shirt into his pants and buckled his belt. Then he shoved his hands in his pockets and leaned against the exam table. The doctor came in whistling. Miles glared at him.
"I don't deserve that look," the doctor said, "You're a healthy young man."
"Yeah," Miles said.
"You say you're sleeping better… I don't see any reason why—"
"I made this appointment before I was…"
"Well, it was good of you to keep it," the doctor smiled and adjusted his glasses, "What with everything…"
Miles looked sidelong at him, "You heard about…"
"Everybody's talking about it," the doctor said.
Miles' shoulders sagged a little but he said nothing.
"Cheer up, son," the doctor smiled, "Everything came out well in the end."
"Hmm," Miles said and crossed his arms, "I have a headache."
The doctor raised an eyebrow and then smiled, "I can get you an aspirin—just don't tell anyone."
The doctor walked over to his desk and took out a commercial bottle of aspirin and then grabbed one of those ridiculously small bottles of water from a case on the floor near his desk. He smiled in an annoying way that said he thought he should feel sorry for Miles.
Miles frowned and took the proffered medicine, emptying the little bottle of water in one draught. What was the point of making the bottle so small?
"What's going to happen to the old man?"
Miles glared at the doctor again. Now why was it any concern of his? They knew each other. He supposed they might have been friends to a point.
"He confessed," Miles said shocked at the bitterness in his tone, "The judge is going to review his case and make a ruling next week. Then, it will move to a federal court."
"I never would have guessed," the doctor said conversationally.
"I should go," Miles said.
"Right," the doctor said, "Merry Christmas, Miles."
Miles looked at the doctor, "Yes."
He almost laughed. Almost.
Miles grabbed his coat and made for the door.
"Oh," the doctor said, "Something, I wanted to tell you the last time… Perhaps it's too late, but I thought this might be another option—should you find the issue hasn't been resolved."
Miles slid on his coat while the doctor spoke and eyed him with no small amount of trepidation. The doctor passed him a business card.
It belonged to a therapist. Miles frowned. There was nothing wrong with him. He wasn't crazy. Or whatever.
"Thank you doctor," Miles said and opened the door to leave, "Good day."
"It isn't really his place to say," Miles told Pess when he'd returned, "I'm, perfectly fine. I should've just cancelled."
Why didn't you cancel? Are you that desperate for an excuse to talk to somebody?
"I'm perfectly fine," Miles repeated and Pess wagged her tail at him.
It was awkward navigating the building's narrow stairwell with the big dog, and Miles was on the ninth floor near the top. But he wouldn't dare take the elevator. Even with the nightmares over there were things that would haunt him forever—scars that would never heal.
Once outside Pess was a ball of energy—about a hundred and ten pounds of energy—tugging on Miles' arm. Miles was all but running to keep up with her. Pess tried to turn into the Gourd Lake Nature park entrance and Miles was forced to call her to heel. It was still too soon. But Expose Park wouldn't be a problem, it was much further away, but he felt he could use the exercise anyway.
They weren't halfway to the park before Miles' cheeks and nose were red from the cold. It was quiet in the street as it was pretty close to the New Year holidays and most other people had families to spend the day with. Miles kept his glare fixed in place anyway to discourage any of the few others out and about from talking with him.
There were several police officers in the park, but that wasn't strange. Miles focused his glare on Pess' happily wagging tail so as to avoid seeing anyone he might know. They continued walking until Miles found a grassy area devoid of people and he led his dog into the center of the field. When Miles knelt to remove her leash Pess licked his face and Miles laughed and wiped his face with a sleeve.
"Hey!" Miles put a hand in his coat pocket and pulled out a much-abused baseball, "Look what I have."
Pess' ears perked up and she barked once and ran away waiting for Miles to throw it. It was very nice to be out on a winter day and brave the bite of cold on his nose and cheeks just to see his dog run after the silly ball. Pess brought it back enthusiastically and when she reached Miles she stood—Pess was nearly as tall standing as he was—until Miles took the ball from her mouth and threw it again.
This time when Pess returned, Miles ran letting the big dog chase him. He was smiling now, and for once he didn't have to force his emotion. Pess caught him and knocked him down begging for the ball to be thrown again. Miles stood breathless and grinned happily and picked up the ball.
"Prosecutor Edgeworth!" Miles recognized the voice and frowned at the ball in his hand. He didn't turn around, maybe the fool would think it was someone else and go away. Pess growled and bolted before Miles knew what was going on.
"Pess! Heel!" Miles shouted. It was too late, Pess had Detective Gumshoe by the leg and was shaking her head vigorously. Detective Gumshoe was screaming bloody murder.
Miles ran toward them and took Pess by the collar, speaking softly to the big dog.
Detective Gumshoe was still sobbing into the grass.
"Are you hurt, Detective?" Miles said, not bothering to hide the note of long-suffering and annoyance in his tone.
"That's a big dog!" Detective Gumshoe said, "I thought you said were getting that puppy?"
Miles' glare narrowed, "I obviously had a change of heart, Detective. What do you want?"
"I just wanted to say hi, sir," Gumshoe bent and reached out to pet Pess and the big dog growled menacingly. Gumshoe shuddered and retracted his arm.
"Heh," Gumshoe said.
"Hello," said Miles with a disdainful drawl.
"Uh," Gumshoe said, "Happy New Year too."
"Is that all Detective?"
"Well, did you hear about the Honeymoon Killers?"
"I saw a bit in the paper," Miles said, "Why should I be concerned?"
"It's pretty heinous," Gumshoe said and rubbed the back of his head in a nervous tic, "The department's running us ragged."
"Ah," Miles said and he hooked Pess' leash back onto her collar, "Then I should let you get back to work, lest they use this distraction as an excuse to dock your pay."
"Oh, right," Gumshoe said with a slight frown, "Enjoy your leave, sir!"
"Thank you," Miles said, "I plan to."
"You need it," Gumshoe said and Miles turned and walked away from him.
Not him too.
A/N: Thanks for reading!
So begins my first story in Phoenix Wright land.
Yeah, it's been more than a year since I started this.
I'm finally going back to clean these up. It's hard enough to read through 190,000 words without the story going all over the place! None of the changes are going to be especially drastic—mostly I'm trying to catch typos and grammar and spelling errors. Oh, and murdering a few very loose ends.
Revisions round two. Most of the changes will be more drastic in later chapters. I'm hoping to make this better for a whole new generation of readers but mostly I'm an insufferable perfectionist.