Love is a Battlefield
Departures Gate – March 23, 2018, 9:00 pm
"So you're running away," Miles said dully, with a trace of bitterness. He couldn't believe she'd been about to leave the country just like that, as soon as the Matt Engarde case had been wrapped up, creeping away like a thief in the night.
Miles had honestly thought he'd meant more to her than that. Had that moment between them at the hospital meant nothing to her at all? He could have sworn he'd seen tears of varying emotions in her exquisite eyes when he'd bravely made his confession of how he felt about her now, and she'd whispered that she was tired and needed to sleep, but had pulled him close and brushed her lips against his with a featherlike touch before laying back on her pillow and drowsily closing her eyes, her tiny hand still holding his. He'd left quietly soon after, but had been sure that as soon as things died down and the trial was over, they would pick up where things had left off. That she would tell him that he wasn't the only one who felt this way. Had it really only been all been in his mind?
She wouldn't have even given him the courtesy of a proper goodbye and would have left back to Germany without a second glance if he'd not chased her down with that tracking device she'd planted on Detective Gumshoe which had somehow wound up in her luggage! Good Lord, the woman was maddening! Now he wondered if their tender moment had been a figment of his own imagination, stemmed from years of desire.
"Shut up! You have no idea what it's like being Manfred Von Karma's daughter, Miles Edgeworth," Franziska's voice was cold.
"You don't understand a thing! You can't possibly understand what it means to be Manfred Von Karma's daughter! So many expectations from everyone around me...expectations I must fulfill! I'm expected to win no matter what. And failure? Such a thing is not an option for me!" She put a hand on her hip and eyed him with her normal stoic expression. "My father was a genius. There's no doubt about that! But...But me... I'm no genius. I've always known that. But I... I had to be one. I had to. I'm expected to win no matter what. And failure is not an option."
"You may not be a genius like your father," Miles protested, wanting to smack some sense into her and wishing she would stop being so hard on herself. "But...You are a prosecutor. You have been and always will be."
"No I'm not. Not anymore." Her glacial eyes betrayed no emotion. "I've even thrown my whip away."
"Speaking of that," Miles grinned, presenting her with her discarded prized possession. "Wright gave me this to hold onto." That ever intuitive attorney. Wright, you knew something like this would happen, didn't you?
"I'm going to say this again," he went on. "We prosecutors do not fight for personal honor or pride. I hope you will think deeply... about what you should be striking down with that whip." Other than my ego, my sanity…my heart.
"You haven't changed a bit." Her eyes began to flash fire. "You've always left me alone and walked on ahead without me! Miles Edgeworth… I've always hated you!" Because when you walked out, you left me behind! I felt like you didn't care about me at all! Like I was just some bratty kid you didn't give a damn about! How could you have just left me alone with that monster that we called father? I looked up to you! I worshipped you! I…I loved you!
Miles stared at her, too dumbfounded by the unprovoked attack to speak.
"And then... Finally, my chance to take my revenge on you arrived. If I could win against that man... If I could make Phoenix Wright bow down in defeat... Then this "girl" you left behind would have risen higher than you! That was supposed to be my revenge!" I've always had to keep on trying twice as hard to prove I was as good as you. I wanted irrefutable substantial evidence to show you that I'm no longer a little girl, and that I was your equal, somehow. So then maybe you would see me as an adult and now you would care. As your sibling I hated you because of this insane rivalry my father played the catalyst in. But as a woman, how I felt about you as a man was a different story. It still is. And it scares the hell out of me. Which is why I just can't stay!
"I see…" He finally managed, barely able to get the words out. She never had feelings for me. It's just so easy for her to cut her losses and flee. And I know how she is when she's got her mind made up. There's not a thing in hell I can do to change it.
"You know what?" She said suddenly, an acquiescent look coming across her face, replacing that incensed one from a moment ago. "I can't change who I am. I can't throw away everything I've been until today." But, under the right circumstances, I could be persuaded to try. I just need some incentive, Miles. Please prove me wrong.
"I believe you can," he said quietly. "Just like Adrian Andrews did."
"You were going to use her during the trial, right? But you...You were "dependent" on your father by using his tactics. Isn't that right? Today, you chased after me, after I had left you behind all these years. And that's why we're standing here now, side by side. But I have no intention of stopping." Edgeworth took a deep breath and looked Franziska straight in the eyes, noting her stricken expression. He then switched from logical prosecutor mode into that of a man who couldn't hide the sadness and resignation in his voice as he spoke the next words.
"But, if you say you are going to quit your walk down the prosecutor's path...Then, this is where we part ways, Franziska von Karma." For good, even though this is killing me. Because I still have my pride. I will no longer play the fool here. I'll be damned if I beg a woman with a heart of ice to remain here for my sake.
She looked completely stunned at his words. Then, to Miles' complete shock and amazement, her beautiful face crumpled, and for the first time he'd seen since they were children, Franziska Von Karma began to cry, giant tears trickling down her face in unending streams.
"I... I... I am Franziska von Karma!" She wept, nearly wrenching his heart with her tears. "Don't think I'm going to walk in your shadow forever...Our battle... begins now... so you had better prepare yourself, Miles Edgeworth!"
The haughty, arrogant, artic facade of the woman he'd known for so long was shattered, and gone forever. In its place was a girl, heartsore and vulnerable, sobbing so hard her slender shoulders shook. The same girl who hadn't shed a tear when her father had been incarcerated, then executed, or when she'd been shot, was now weeping as if her heart was breaking, when he'd told her that this was goodbye.
That's when it hit him. The evidence was so glaring, so obvious, that Miles cursed himself for not seeing it earlier.
She had been hoping he'd come after her. Franziska Von Karma was a perfectionist. There was no way a woman of her cultured taste and sophisticated demeanor could have ever "accidentally" packed away Gumshoe's tattered, grubby coat among her fine things. She didn't want to leave.
And Miles Edgeworth, the so-called genius prosecutor that he was, discarding the poignant hospital memory of that fiery look of jealousy on her face when she'd thought he'd had a tendre for the Fey girl and swirl of raw emotion in her eyes when she'd kissed him, he had been about to let her go! And even bade her adieu!
He really was the fool she had always accused him of being. Miles had never been more filled with more self-loathing in his entire life than he was at that moment.
But he could berate himself later. Right now, he had to act first, think later. He had to be…Phoenix Wright.
"If by battle you mean the one for your heart, Franziska, then get your armor," Miles growled, noting her startled expression as he strode purposefully towards her. "Because I promise you, I never fight to lose. And I will be victorious!"
Without meaning to, he reached her in three strides and snatched her in his arms. Her breathless gasp tickled his ear as he lifted her off her feet. Urgently his mouth roved across her face with rough kisses that stung her cheek, her chin, her forehead. As his lips lowered to hers, his hands reached down and, scooping up her legs, wrapped them around his waist. Finally, when Miles' hungry mouth at last claimed Franziska's, his kiss was slow and deliberate, giving everyone in the departure lounge more than enough time to enjoy the spectacle.
For once, the normally conventional pair couldn't have cared less about making a public exhibition. The rest of the world faded away into the background. The only thing that existed right now was each other.
He grabbed each side of her face and pressed her forcefully against him, locking his lips around hers with ravenous intent.
Franziska's mouth opened immediately, and she gripped the back of his neck, pushing them together closer, a low moan like a growl rising from her throat as she pressed herself against him. He kissed her harder, wrapping one arm around her back and pulling the rest of her body closer. She returned his kiss with aching sweetness, her silken silvery hair falling into his face. She completely gave herself into it, gave all to it, a moment's madness where body ruled mind and blood roared over reason. Her heat, her scent, her devastating sensuality all entered his bloodstream. Beneath his hands, the lush, lithe give of her body pressed against his chest, the hum of that ardor she kept so contained, burned through him.
He melted under that passion as though it were rain and he a pillar of salt.
He stood, helpless in that crowded airport, unable to rule his needy mouth, his restless hands, while, within, his heart beat out the mortifying truth. The battle was over. Neither of them had lost. Because they had both won.
Ich liebe dich.
I love you.
Check and mate. He was hers now.