"The first time I tried to… um, I was seventeen. Too young really to understand just how much I had going for me. When all was said and done, I felt embarrassed at my own melancholy. Ashamed at how I'd made Franziska feel. Frightened of Mister Von Karma's reaction and I felt very small and… I remember that I was so disappointed to find myself still… But then I said I'd never try something so foolish again."
Miles ran his fingers through her golden locks and stared at the ceiling with his eyes narrowed in contemplation. She was staring at him. He inhaled deeply, trying very hard not to seem dramatic about it.
"The second time," he began haltingly, but she was patient and her attention never wavered, "Was about seven months ago... I'd lost my first trial, and I was afraid of what the old man would say. In the end I was too afraid. I sat there in that dark place and I thought about all of the things that were making me feel so small and all of the things I wanted to run from. I think I mourned myself after a time. I was a fool. A selfish fool."
She blinked and cocked her head as if urging him to continue and Miles put a hand affectionately on her forehead. He met her eye and gave her a small smile.
"Nobody else knows about that," he said, "Just you and me."
He turned his face back toward the ceiling, "This time I felt there was no other recourse. Revenge is not enough. Winning wouldn't undo all of this tangled mess of—"
He was afraid to say it out loud, and he paused, choked up at the realization that his life had been a waste. Everything he knew and everything he was is a lie.
"I don't think a fall would be without pain and fear—and if I don't find the right place, I'll end up right back here. Drowning in my own sorrows. This is no way to live."
Pess adjusted her position and lay her head on his chest before letting out a long doggie sigh. Miles rubbed her ears.
"I know, girl," Miles said, "It's exactly like that."
They lay quietly together for several minutes. Pess fell asleep and Miles was very near dozing as well. Then his phone buzzed. He hesitated before pulling it out. It was a text from Phoenix Wright.
'Will you be my Valentine?'
Miles rolled his eyes and sighed as he shoved his phone back into his pocket.
"And then there's him…"
Miles startled awake and blinked up at the light hovering over his eyes. His head was cradled on something soft but very smelly and his right arm was being held up.
Miles recognized that stench anywhere. He shoved past the figure tending to him and jumped to his feet.
"GUMSHOE YOU IDIOT!"
"Mister Edgeworth, sir…?"
Miles glared at the detective, still panting from sudden stirring and excitement.
"Sir it looked like you… So I grabbed you. Then you kind of went out cold."
His glare softened as his heartbeat slowed, "How long was I out?"
"Maybe a minute—at most, sir…" Gumshoe said.
Miles ran his hand through his hair and turned to go back into the building. He had a hand on the door jam when Gumshoe cleared his throat behind him.
"Mister Edgeworth…" Gumshoe looked angry.
Miles couldn't look him in the eye, "I wasn't going to jump if that's what you're thinking."
Gumshoe's face grew angrier and his eyes went wide in astonishment, "What were doing up here, Pal?"
Miles slid his hands casually into his pockets and turned as if to take the stairs, "Come, I've put together your case file and you need to study it before we go to trial on Mon—"
"Edgeworth…" Gumshoe said with so much authority Miles stopped in his tracks and looked up at him, "What were you doing up here?"
"I—" Miles was at a loss. Gumshoe would never shout at him.
"I was taking a walk," Miles said, "getting a bit of air… That's all."
"You're… You can't even tell me? Sir, what if you had—"
"I didn't," Miles said and started down the stairs, "And there was no such intent either. If you would be so kind as to stop shouting down to me, that would be fine as well."
Miles kept moving down the narrow stairwell. He could hear Gumshoe clambering down the stairs behind him. It sounded like the larger man was running. Miles paused on the landing and turned to look at Gumshoe. He saw nothing but a large blur as he was slammed into the wall and then roughly turned so that his chest and his chin were pressed uncomfortably against the wall and his arms were wrenched behind his back.
"Detective!" Miles said awkwardly from his position, "Unhand me you fool! I'll have your badge for this!"
Gumshoe let go of him suddenly and Miles spun around to face the detective.
"Uncuff me," Miles said glaring at the detective despite the cool calm in his voice.
"Not until you tell me what's going on, Mister Edgeworth!"
"Nothing," Miles said with his eyes narrowed and his voice dangerously calm "is going on, detective. Please remove these han—"
"No! I saw what I saw," Gumshoe said, "And you've been weird this whole time—ever since that trial!"
"What trial? The Sheinhei—"
"The one with that old man that was acting like he lost his memory and Mister Von Karma—"
"Okay—the Hammond trial—now, where do you get off—"
"I swore I'd protect you Mister Edgeworth!" Gumshoe said through a surprising amount of emotion, "No matter what… I'd protect you."
Miles had no reply. How does one reply to that kind of statement?
"I really think you have the wrong idea," he said after a while, "There seems to be some sort of misunderstanding—"
"You haven't really been yourself since that trial," Gumshoe was frowning and shaking his head, "You're sick… I think you should get help."
"I'm not—!" Miles struggled against the handcuffs, "You can kiss your Christmas bonus goodbye!"
Gumshoe looked at him. His face was set in his determination. Tears glistened on the big man's cheeks, "I swore I'd protect you…"
Edgeworth was struck by the other man's show of emotions. They stood there unmoving and unspeaking for several awkward moments. Then Gumshoe hugged him.
"Your summer vacation days? Gone!"
"Edgeworth," he said into the phone.
"Edgeworth?" Phoenix said on the other line, "Are you okay?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" Miles said.
"I just haven't seen you for a while, and I thought—"
"I'm very well, Wright," Miles said with a touch of irritation in his voice.
"Larry and I were going to hang out—since neither of us have dates tonight. You're welcome to join us—"
"No thank you, Wright," Miles said, "I've already made plans…"
"They're private, but thanks for the offer. Goodbye."
Miles hung up. Maybe Wright would call back, or maybe he won't. Miles would be sure to let it go to voicemail next time.
Finally, after deciding to get out of bed for the first time that day, Miles sulked toward the bathroom to wash up.
Pess tried to follow him in.
"No," he said to the dog, "this is a men only room."
He was still chuckling to himself as he put toothpaste on his electric toothbrush.
When he was dressed, he went out into the flat with Pess at his heel. Immediately, Mister Wellington greeted him.
"Good afternoon, sir. I trust you are well?"
"Yes, I'm well. Do you know where the portable DVD player is?"
"Yes sir," the butler replied, "where would you like it?"
"In the bedroom, please," Miles said, "Thank you Mister Wellington."
"My pleasure, sir," Wellington said.
Miles went straight to the kitchen. Mrs. Kucharka was sitting in there with Miss Harris, the maid, and they were chatting about something having to do with flowers and Valentine's Day.
"Good day, sir!" Miss Harris popped tall and gave him a salute.
"Oh!" Miss Kucharka said, "So sorry sir! Not cooking yet…"
"That's not a bother," Miles said, "What is there to eat?"
"I make salad for your lunch but you did not come out," Mrs. Kucharka scolded him.
"I'll eat some of that…" he said, "and perhaps a peanut butter and jelly?"
"Okay," Mrs. Kucharka said and patted his arm, "Yes, yes… I make it."
He pulled the covers over his head like a tent and stared at the portable DVD player. He had the entire first season in HD, and really the first season was the best, although the Pink Princess did bring a new dynamic to season four. Not that he was really into that stuff…
Best. Valentine's Day. Ever.
Miles took another bite of his peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich. If there were anything he really missed in his childhood, it would be days like this. Where he could do whatever he wanted and nobody was around to scold him or interrupt. Such wasting of time was certainly not tolerated by Mister Von Karma.
Well, no one could tell him what to do now…
His phone rang. It was Maddy.
Miles ignored the first three calls and answered the fourth with no small amount of irritation.
"You'd better be on fire…"
"Miles darling! It's me, Maddy."
"I know who this is."
"Hmph… There's no need to be so gwumpy…"
Miles pushed pause on the DVD player and rolled his eyes. He could hear her pouting on the other line.
"Okay, what can I help you with, Maddy?"
"Did you have any plans tonight?"
"Yes," Miles said, "I'm going to sleep."
"Oh don't be such a bore, Miles… I turned down three very nice young men because I was hoping you'd ask me to be your Valentine."
Miles hesitated and then said, "What made you think I'd do something like that?"
"Stop it, you're being dreadful darling, and I won't have it!"
"I'm busy, Maddy," Miles said and he dragged himself out from under the blanket tent and started to pace his room, "I simply haven't the time for—"
"You know what, darling?" Maddy interrupted, "We were going to get married today…"
"Hmph… I didn't think it would work out," Miles said, "and there you have it. Don't bother about me Maddy, because I am certainly not bothered about you…"
"I don't care, Maddy."
"You certainly seemed to care a few days ago," Maddy said.
"I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression."
"Miles, why must you be so pig-headed? We can try again, darling! We can start over and—"
"Because you left me on Christmas, Maddy. Because you care more about your reputation than you do anything else. I think you're shallow and petty and—need I go on?"
She hung up.
He tossed the phone into his wardrobe and went back to the battle in Neo Olde Tokyo.
"Oh, you're awake," she said cheerfully. Too cheerful for this time of night—well—morning.
"Doctor Young?" Miles looked around, "What am I—? How did I—?"
"We can talk about that later," she interrupted, "You should try and get some sleep."
"Is this—?" Miles said looking around the room, "Doctor Young, why am I here? I'm not crazy!"
"Nobody said you were," Chihiro said, "But you're not well. You have a very good friend in Richard."
"Doctor, this is a complete misunderstanding. I think Detective Gumshoe—"
"We can talk about it tomorrow," she said, "and don't worry, I checked you in, I'll treat you, and nobody ever has to know about it."
"So… How long do I have to stay—"
"I can't keep against your will," Chihiro said, "but, I hope you stay at least until morning. We can do a session then, and then you can go home."
"You mean therapy?"
"I told you I don't believe—"
"We can talk later," said.
The doctor smiled at him and offered a small Styrofoam cup of water and a pill in a small medicine cup, "This will help you sleep. If you need it."
He hesitated and then took the pill. He settled back in the bed and was asleep before the doctor left the room.
He woke up ridiculously early the next morning. Miles was shocked to find himself in a tiny hospital room with a barred window, a sink with the pipes covered and, a mirror that wasn't really a mirror at all. Just a hazy piece of foil-colored plastic with scratches over the surface. He got up despite the cold and stepped out of bed only to be shocked by the cold tile of the floor.
They'd taken his clothes and he was dressed in an ill-fitting set of hospital pajamas. After several moments acclimating to the cold in the room, Miles walked over to the window and stared out at the city below.
When Chihiro came in followed by a nurse with a breakfast tray, she found him pacing along the wall near the window with his hair tousled from sleep and his arms wrapped around for warmth.
"Good morning, Miles," she said.
He gave her a slightly contemptuous look for her informality and then said, "Good morning Doctor Young."
"Did you sleep well?"
"Yes," he said, "When might I go home?"
"I'm going to go over a couple tests with you, but first you should eat some breakfast."
"I'm not—" he paused near the tray and picked up the covered paper cup and sniffed, "What is this?"
The doctor smiled, "It's hot cocoa. All they serve here to the patients is decaf, and I thought maybe something sweet would elevate your mood a little."
Miles took a drought from the cup, relieved to have something warm inside him. He looked at Chihiro.
"Is that really true? That sweet things make people happy?"
"Well, it depends on the kind of sweet or the kind of food, but for the most part, yes."
"Hmph…" he said and took another drink.
"Well, alright," the doctor said, "would you mind if we knocked out these forms now? The sooner we're finished the sooner you can go home."
"What's your mood right now?"
"Huh? Um… I'm… I'm feeling rather indifferent about everything… And annoyed about this enormous misunderstanding… Is that what you want me to say?"
"The only thing that matters is what you want to say."
"This is so strange," Miles finished his cocoa and set it on the tray.
"Just bear with me—it doesn't hurt, I promise. So, are you currently having suicidal thoughts?"
"No," Miles said.
She paused and looked at him, "Hmph… Okay… Are you having homicidal thoughts?"
"How did you sleep last night?"
"Miles…" the doctor stared directly into his eyes, as if trying to read something in them, "Gumshoe was distraught last night. Why don't you explain your side of it to me so that I can better understand the situation?"
"What did he tell you?"
"Tell me your side first."
"Hmph… Nothing happened except for Gumshoe's over-reaction that nearly toppled me from the top of the building. Then he got upset and restrained me and dragged me down here beyond my will."
"So you don't think there was anything for Richard to be concerned about?"
"Not at all."
"So what made you go up to the roof? Is that something you normally do?"
Edgeworth stared, "No that was my first time. But I thought it quite normal for a man to be curious once in a while."
"But aren't you scared of heights or elevators or something?"
"I was feeling rather intrepid that evening. I was facing my fears! So I took the elevator—I only went one floor at a time. I went up, because going up is much less frightening than going down. When I got to the top I saw the signs for roof access and I followed them."
"How long were you up there?"
"I don't know," Miles said, "It might've been thirty minutes… It might've been an hour."
"But you can see how Richard got the wrong idea, can't you?"
Now Miles felt some measure of guilt, "Well, yes. I suppose my presence on the top of the building would frighten someone who knows me."
"So are you really going to stop all his pay and benefits?"
"Are you doing this for his sake or mine?" Miles smirked at her, "I might have been upset last night. I prefer not to be handcuffed 'for my own good', you see I don't much like that kind of restraint."
"He was only acting out of concern for you."
Miles grumbled under his breath and then said, "I know that. I won't dock him any pay or holiday leave… But I'm not going to tell him."
"I think you might be evil," the doctor said.
"May I go home now?"
"I'm not finished," she said, "But I promise we'll get you out of here soon. How would you describe your family life?"
Miles made an exasperated noise and sat on the bed, nearly upsetting the laden breakfast tray.
"Do you really want to start down that road?"
Doctor Young nodded with a small smile.
Miles took a few moments to think, "I don't have a family. Unless you count my dog, and my butler. I also have a cook and a maid. Oh, and the gardener."
She stared at him without bothering to hide her annoyance, "What about Franziska? Isn't she your little sister?"
"No, not really," Miles said and then thought better of it, "Well, perhaps one would consider her my sister. We were raised together."
She narrowed her eyes in scrutiny, "How would you describe your upbringing?"
He bit his lip and his brow furrowed slightly, "I was never want for anything."
"Were you happy?"
"Yes of course."
"I'm reading some anxiety in your movements and a difference in tone when we talk about your childhood can you—"
"I thought you said I might go home today," Miles said with his voice strained with desperation, "I have work to do—and it's Valentine's Day."
"I didn't think you were the type that would be into that."
"Just let me go?"
A/N: Thanks for Reading!
Okay. That's chapter 46. Who hates me now?
47 is a much-needed Phoenix chapter…phew!
In case it wasn't obvious, the "flashback" scenes in this chapter are actually flash-forwards. (They happen in the future!)
I just can't seem to keep up… I haven't seen things this busy in a while… And yet… (I'm not going to complain about it here…)
Oh and see my forum… say hi!... or something…