The lighting of the room was dark and dingy, retaining some of the dignity and the remnants of the murder of a foreigner between the walls of a forgotten bar- so was the bar where Phoenix Wright has once worked in. This was a place he was terribly familiar with, this was a place which reminded him of his wretchedness. It's almost ironic that Edgeworth had to choose this place to meet up with him. Was Edgeworth mocking him or did he not know?
Just the night before- he has had the shock of his life and was at lost at how to respond when suddenly- out of nowhere, Miles Edgeworth- with whom he had last contact within the currents of years, send him an email.
The email retained Edgeworth's distinct characteristic, short and formal and so painfully terse. Phoenix remembered how his palm pressed with a strange insistence to the body of the mouse as he glared at the screen of his old, worn out, out-dated PC. Trucy had scolded him for the mess he had caused as the coffee scalded his hand, as if jolting him awake and proving that all of this isn't just some wrecked dream of his.
'Let's meet, Wright- at Borscht Bowl Club at 9 pm. I have something we need to talk about. Miles Edgeworth'
Why he was even here confuses him- he felt like laughing aloud- pressing his lips at the glass of grape juice that was his favorite- he ponders of who Miles Edgeworth really is for him. This was the man who had tossed him away and cut ties with him as soon as he was found a fraud. This was the man whose life he had saved and proven not guilty and the man who had been his best friend and rival. This was the man who had not trusted him, yet this was also the man who had made him cancel his previous appointments- watching midnight shows with his young daughter and apprentice- this was the man who had made him felt angrier than he ever felt.
The grape juice was just concocted perfectly for him- the sour sweet taste blending inside his tongue, melting and coagulating. Even if it doesn't contain any alcohol- its sweet intoxicating smell was enough to make him feel slightly dizzy- the room was making him feel hot.
Yet the Edgeworth that appears before him was not at all what he had expected to see. In his face were the trace of ages sinking in, the lines that Phoenix never recognized before- yet it was still the face with the grey eyes peering in hard determination and the lips that pressed into a thin line were still the same one. The magenta suit was also a remnant of the thing of their past- a silent salute between them that pronounce that this is still Edgeworth, reliving their old past. For his own accord, Phoenix had also made sure to wear his blue suit. In case Edgeworth would not recognize him anymore. In fact, he wouldn't be surprised if Edgeworth did not recognize him anymore, given the time they had been away from each other.
He did not know why he had taken the pains to even shave- the thought flittered through his mind that perhaps he did want to return to the past, so that he could banter and talk with Edgeworth like the old times.
His fears were blown as soon as Edgeworth- not saying anything grabbed a stool and sat in front of him. His eyes kept level with Phoenix's, as if saying, here I am.
"Edgeworth." The words escaped his lips like a gasp- that couldn't quite believe itself. Edgeworth assessed Phoenix for a while- searching Phoenix's eyes for something- a hint of shock or resentment, perhaps? yet he seemed to not finds it.
Finally, Edgeworth spoke, "Wright. Are you well?"
There was so much to reply Edgeworth with, for half of the moment, he wished he could lash at Edgeworth, he wished he could scream and tell him what the years had done to him. He wanted to tell Edgeworth that he had suffered, yet the thought disappeared, as soon as he saw a slackening of Edgeworth's face muscle- something he does when he is relaxed- something that pronounced that he was at home. Something so tantalizingly familiar that Phoenix couldn't help but be fascinated with, something to connect himself to the past that was long gone. A bond. The words just naturally tumbles out of his lips.
"Yes." Phoenix said, smiling tiredly. "I am well- Edgeworth. How about you?" They had been friends, rivals- then something preciously irreplaceable to each other, the pillar of support that was supposed to stand even if the world itself was about to crumble. So, no Edgeworth- its not okay, you left me- you left me to shatter. But he placed in his face a glassy poker face he had been used to donning this years and he wondered if Edgeworth was still as good as before in detecting the changes of his expression.
"The years... had not been good to me, Wright." Edgeworth's deep voice sounded strained, Phoenix knew that Edgeworth is apologizing- that this is his style of apologizing, and suddenly it felt as if he was suffocating for an emotion he could not name. "I'm happy you have gotten your badge back."
The last words fell hollow to Phoenix's ears. So that was why Edgeworth was back- because his badge was back. Edgeworth seems to notice the significance of the words- but he doesn't let the misunderstanding go for any longer.
"But that's not why I have come here." Edgeworth said after a moment of hesitation. Grey eyes assessed his expression carefully- grateful that Phoenix is still here to hear what he had to say- but there was something else- something else that had been engrafted deep in those grey eyes. Inside Phoenix Wright chided himself. No- its not fear. Edgeworth doesn't have any reason to fear me.
Phoenix waited for what seemed to be an eternity- before the words came full-force, crushing him.
"I am getting married, Wright."
The silence wasn't supposed to be there.
Phoenix smiled, the smile doesn't quite reached his eyes- it froze in his lips- as if it has the duty of being there. "I am happy for you, Edgeworth. Who are you marrying?"
"Her name was Ironia. I met her in Germany." Edgeworth said, and as if to stress his commitment, to convince both himself and Phoenix, he added. "She makes me happy. I love her."
"I... see." Phoenix suddenly concentrated on the spot where the murder had occurred, thinking how expertly they had washed the blood off- yet the bar still hold it, the scent of a blood. No matter how much they wash it, the scar will still be there- and the room will still be colored with blood.
"- - -"
The three words were something had came too late- years too late. Yet after Edgeworth says it and left Phoenix sitting in the cold bar alone- the cold fury fading to sadness, with his grape bottle gripped tightly on his hand and when the tears started streaming down his eyes, hot- searing and painful, he knew very well how Kristoph Gavin had felt.
I am sorry.
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