Maggey hated the detention centre.
It didn't matter that she knew the guards on a first name basis from both her time on the force and her frequent visits, or that they acted nicely towards her because of it. It didn't matter that outside its walls was a man who hadn't given up on her.
She'd seen Franziska take Gumshoe off the case. He wouldn't have access to the crime scene any longer, and though his heart was set on it, what could he do? Determination could only get one so far, she'd learned that from experience. But she missed him, more than she thought possible. Part of her hoped he'd visit again.
Hours dragged by so slowly, and there wasn't anything productive to do at all. Maggey was only faced with the dull walls, the uncomfortable bed and the freezing cold floor. The only thing she could do was think, and most times she didn't want to at all. Thinking made her stomach churn.
Yet, a thought had been nagging in the back of her mind from the moment she'd seen the witness take to the stand, until she could ignore it no more. Sitting on her bed, hearing the springs creak as she did so, she rested her chin on her hands.
She knew that man, Randall Ladnar. She'd seen him before, she was sure of it, but couldn't for the life of her remember where or why. Perhaps it had only been for a second. She didn't know.
Maggey just really wanted to leave.
Only to be thrown back in, she thought bitterly. Maybe one of my friends will be in here with me next time as well. Bad luck's contagious.
It wasn't that she didn't trust Mr Wright, only that he was up against a prodigy who, frankly, would have already spun up a motive for her. That was all the court needed to hear before it was all over. She didn't want to give her hopes up, not anymore.
Wasn't that all she'd done the last few years of her life? Kept hoping that her luck would turn around and that she'd suddenly be able to work for something without everything falling apart?
She drew her knees up to her chest, hugging them tightly as she closed her eyes.
Just a minute later, there was a knock on the door. She looked up only to see the blurred shape of a guard, one of the ones she didn't knew well. They carefully approached her, holding a small package in their hands.
"This was just scanned and deemed alright to give to you, ma'am," he told her, gently handing it over. "I think you'll appreciate what it is." With a small smile, they closed the door slowly, and she was left alone.
She looked down for a moment before curiosity got the better of her. Tearing the packaging, she flipped it upside down, holding her hand out as an object fell into it. Feeling it with her fingers, she let out a gasp.
A new pair of glasses. Smiling, she tried them on, relieved to be able to see clearly again. Granted, there wasn't a lot to see, but it was still nice.
Shaking the packaging, she felt that something was still in there. She drew out a small piece of paper, recognising the messy penmanship immediately.
Knowing that Gumshoe had been thinking about her loss made her feel wanted, more so because he'd decided to do something about it. Who knew how many weeks of pay the glasses cost him? However, as she read the two simple words that adorned the torn parchment, she felt the feeling evaporate.
It was a condolence present.
'I'm sorry.' It said so little, yet so much.
Though she'd expected it, she couldn't help her tears for the rest of the night.
A stack of papers thudded against his desk loudly, causing the weary detective's head to snap up. He blinked a few times, eyes adjusting to the now brightly-lit room. His head throbbed, and he raised a hand feebly to shield himself from the light.
"Giving up isn't in your personality, Detective." Miles Edgeworth looked down on him – literally, as Gumshoe was slumped against the desk – expression unreadable. "You know she's innocent yet you've succumbed to doing nothing? Hardly the detective I know at all."
"I tried," was the weak reply.
Edgeworth nodded. "That much is evident. You tried very hard, so hard that you were thrown off the case. But that doesn't mean you give up." His fingers drummed against the stack of files. "As soon as the judge declares a verdict today, it's over; perhaps there could be an appeal at a later date, but neither you nor Miss Byrde will forget that you, the first time, gave up. This is your chance, Detective, to prove yourself to many." His lips twitched slightly. "I'm certain it would result in more whip lashes, however Franziska's rage wouldn't compare to the benefits."
"I-I…" Damn it, Mr Edgeworth was right, of course he was. Gumshoe's hand ran through his hair, panic evident. "Sir, I don't know what to look for. Miss von Karma only had to prove that Maggey had a motive to win her case, and let's face it, she's already thought up something. Only a miracle could overthrow all the evidence."
"But she's innocent, is she not?"
Gumshoe stared up at him helplessly. "Of course she is!"
"Then the evidence you need will exist somewhere."
"She can't be convicted, she just can't," Gumshoe muttered. "Sir, she doesn't belong in prison. She's not a criminal, she won't last a week in there. It would completely destroy her." He gripped his hair desperately. "But I have no idea where to start looking for something that will prove she's not guilty. It feels like there's nothing at the crime scene."
Edgeworth could see how much this was affecting the detective. It was clear to anybody that he cared deeply for Maggey; if she went to prison, she wouldn't be the only victim. "There's more evidence in the world than that at the crime scene. If Franziska has already established a motive for Miss Byrde, as well as an alibi for her that says she was committing the crime, then you need to do the opposite. Mr Ladnar's alibi is as fragile as Miss Byrde's. If she is truly innocent, then he lied in his testimony, which means it's very likely that he's the real culprit. So turn things around."
The detective mind worked slowly on the words, but when he at last understood them, he felt a spark of hope ignite within him. "So, you think I need to figure out his motive, and find out where Maggey really was during the murder?"
The prosecutor smiled. "Correct. Now, I hope you appreciate that I've broken every rule right now to bring you these files. They're about the victim and the witness. If you can find a motive, then you're on the right path to discovering what really happened."
"Sir… sir, thank you so much!" Gumshoe said. "I'll solve this, I know I will!"
"Good. In the meantime, another case requires my attention."
Edgeworth turned to the door before he halted, knowing he should offer one more piece of advice. The detective's loyalty couldn't be faulted, but sometimes it wasn't enough to prevail.
"If you feel you're stuck, or something seems odd, just think."