Turnabout Lawful Love

Bro's Before Ho's

The Borscht Bowl Club, April 17, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

There were a myriad of reasons that Miles Edgeworth had been forever touted not only as Phoenix Wright's all-time greatest rival in the courtroom, but as a genius prosecutor. His keen ability to surmise a situation quicker than most, and then react quickly and accordingly, was most definitely one of them.

In this particular instance, the perceptive prosecutor took one look at Maya's murderous expression, rapidly speculated a calamity about to ensue should she open her mouth to reply to the waitress's harmless drink order query, and beat her to the punch.

"We will have a round of Dead Lawyers, please. Thank you," he said simply, and surprisingly, with a straight face. Larry actually let out a snort, and Maya actually couldn't repress a titter herself as she waited for the blonde's reaction.

Tiffany paused for an extra moment, rapidly blinking her copiously mascaraed eyes a few times before smiling brightly. "Well, slap my head and call me silly! I didn't realize you men of law could be so sexy and have such a sense of humor! Seriously though, what can I get you folks?"

"I ensure you Miss, while I can certainly see the comedic implications of the name, it is most definitely a real drink," Edgeworth assured her. "On the off-chance your bartender is not familiar with it, it entails a mixture of white crème de cacao, maraschino liqueur and dry vermouth." He flashed Maya a sardonic smile. "For the birthday girl's drink in particular, it appears a double would be in order."

"Mighty forthcoming of you to provide the recipe. Otherwise am sure this request would have made the bartender as confused as a fart in a fan factory! Ima try to hurry back with those drinks, but tonight is so busy the poor man's running around back there like a blind dog in a meat house! However, you got my word that anything y'all want, y'all will get. After all, your wish is my command, fine sir, I mean, kind sir." Tiffany gave another one of her flirty little winks and sashayed off, swinging her hips a bit as she did so.

The moment she did, Larry let out another wolf whistle and shook his head in wonder.

"Lordy, Lordy have mercy! Forget your twins, Maya! How the heck are those being held up?"

Edgeworth actually let out an uncustomary chuckle. "While gutter-minded individuals could spend their time pondering about Miss Tiffany's gravity-defying attributes, I am more inquisitive about how I happened to get the demotion of 'fine sir' to Wright's 'handsome'!"

"Silicon doesn't sag, you fool!" Franziska erupted, glaring at Larry first before turning her furious face towards Edgeworth. "And if I'm not mistaken, I do believe the inappropriate strumpet had included the both of you in her needless 'sexy' comment. Does this better please you, Herr Edgeworth?"

Edgeworth's previous chuckle was now replaced by a shout of full blown laughter as he looked at the stormy-eyed woman next to him, whose thunderous expression rivaled Maya's previous one. "Franziska my dear, do not tell me you are actually jealous of the innocuous flirtations of a young lady simply trying to ensure a generous tip?"

"So what if I am?" Franziska crossed her arms sulkily. "That man-eater was about as innocent as Dahlia Hawthorne! I thought it was bad enough that she was on the verge of giving Phoenix a lap dance before Maya intervened! But then to be making innuendos to you right before my eyes shows an incredible amount of disrespect. Did she not see the ring on my finger?"

Edgeworth managed to stifle another laugh and put his arm around his irked fiancée, pulling her closer to him, although a glint of amusement lingered in his dark grey eyes. "I assure you, meine dame that I only have eyes for you. As proven by said betrothal ring on your finger. So please keep calm and keep your whip away tonight, like you promised me."

The full weight of the exchange between the two of them finally sunk into the other four guests at the table. Although apparently quicker to some than others.

"Sir, you and Mr. Edgeworth are engaged? Congratulations!" Gumshoe beamed at his superiors.

"The old ball and chain, huh? Cheers to that! Wowee, Franzy, you could ice-skate on that rock! Way to go Edgy!"

"I'm so happy for you, Mr. Edgeworth and Miss Von Karma! All the best!"

"She was not about to give me a lap dance! She was just being friendly to me and Edgeworth and you all are the ones being disrespectful with your comments! What, wait, you guys are engaged?"

Unlike Edgeworth, whose brilliance was carried with him both in and out of the workplace, it seemed the other present legal mastermind left all his brain cells behind in the courtroom.

Now it was Maya's turn to be irate again. "Yes, Nick, Mr. Edgeworth and Miss Von Karma just made that abundantly clear! If your mentality wasn't still prioritizing a certain pneumatic nympho this whole time, you'd have clued into that by now!"

Phoenix blushed at the accusation, but looked at her in consternation. "How can you say such slanderous things about a woman you've only just met, Maya? Based on no evidence at all you're calling her virtue into question?"

Maya's face reddened too, although more in anger than embarrassment. "I think a better question here, Nick," she snapped. "Is why one of your best friends has just announced his engagement and your priority is defending some waitress instead of congratulating him!"

So the story went in the on-going battle of wits with Maya Fey that he had yet to win, Phoenix mused. Score: Maya, 10,000, Wright, 0. But she was dead-on with this particular argument, inexplicably maddening though she was behaving.

He turned his attention to the couple and gave them a genuine smile. "My apologies for my delay in conveying my happiness to you lovebirds. Congratulations to you both."

"Thank you, Wright," Edgeworth smiled wryly. "I will accept the world's most delayed reaction of felicitations, under the premise that the next round of drinks is on you."

"Deal," Phoenix said with a grin.

"Maybe you're right, Nick." Maya suddenly changed tactics and smiled sweetly at him, the earlier dispute between them apparently forgotten. "Perhaps I was too hasty in my snap judgments about your lovely friend. Hey, perchance I've been wrong in judging quite a few people in my life. Take Larry here for instance. I've always thought he was an irresponsible, goofy guy with a tendency to have terrible luck with law as well as the ladies and should never be taken at all seriously…"

"Hello, I'm right here, you know!" Larry objected, scowling.

Maya disregarded this and went on. "But as stated, maybe I was wrong to have dismissed him, and his previous declarations of affections towards me in the past! After all, in the last year he's evolved into a career as a well-respected artist of children's books, and even has a car now. Most of all, he hasn't needed you to defend him in court on some bogus murder charge for at least the last couple of years…"

"Maya, where are you going on with his?" Phoenix demanded, alarm beginning to creep into his voice now.

"I mean I should follow your shining example of being so open-minded about people and giving them the benefit of the doubt!" Maya flashed him a dazzling smile before directing it towards Larry, who was all but swooning as he looked back at her with a dopey expression. "Larry, you've asked me out a few times in the past few years and made it clear you found me attractive way before I said yes to this dress." She tossed her satiny hair over her shoulder and looked meaningfully at Phoenix before she continued. "How would you feel about me taking you up on that offer? Assuming, of course, that it still stands?"

"Larry?" Phoenix stared at her in disbelief. "Are you kidding me? Maya, tell me you aren't serious. You absolutely cannot go out with Larry Butz!"

Maya raised a perfectly shaped brow. "Oh, I can't, Nick? And why not, prey tell?"

"Yeah, Nick, what the hell? Why you gotta try to c-block your bro for?"

"Because!" Phoenix now had beads of visible perspiration forming at his temples. "Because, Larry, you are indeed, my bro! You dating Maya is a direct violation of The Bro Code!"

"The Bro Code, Pal?" Gumshoe looked at Phoenix with a bewildered expression and scratched his head. "Is this some sort of legal code of conduct us detectives just aren't aware of?"

Edgeworth smirked and tapped his forehead. "Considering this legal code literally just materialized from the depths of Wright's imagination and out of his mouth, Gumshoe, I would say surely not, as it is the first I've heard of it."

"I did not make this up!" Phoenix protested. "It is an indisputable real deal, and has a number of rules and regulations that legitimate bros, friends, if you prefer, under no circumstances, are to infringe upon. Look it up online!"

"Your rationale fascinates me, Wright. I believe I will do just that." Edgeworth pulled out his smart phone and tapped a few times on the screen. "Eureka! I found it!" He then looked up with a disapproving frown. "Do not tell that you are actually going to try to use the beyond offensive clause of bros before ho's in this instance?"

"What?!" Both Franziska and Maya shrieked in infuriated unison.

"No, not that one Edgeworth!" Phoenix exclaimed and desperately grabbed the other man's phone, which was still on the site listing of The Bro Code's rules and regulations. "Take that! This one is the applicable clause I meant!" He cried triumphantly, rising from his chair and holding up the BlackBerry high like a trophy. He pointed at the screen. "A bro NEVER under ANY circumstances gets with or even attempts to get with another bro's girl!"

"Oh, man, you're right Nick. Respect," Larry looked genuinely humbled. "Although I kinda thought I'd broken that rule years ago when I hit on Iris!"

"See? I told you I didn't make it up!" Phoenix put his hands on his hips and smiled triumphantly.

"Objection! Well played indeed, Wright," Edgeworth said dryly. "You would absolutely be righteous if you were to have voted Larry off the island for making a play for your ex-girlfriend, which I must say am surprised you didn't at the time. However," he smirked. "While former and current lovers are presumably pertinent, I fail to see how with Miss Fey, who falls into neither category, it is at all applicable in this case?"

His euphoric feeling of victory slowly draining from him, Phoenix slowly slunk back down on his chair, feeling as bested as he did in the courtroom when Edgeworth counter-attacked him with factual logic to which he had no sustainable retort.

After all, the prosecutor had spoken nothing but the truth, the defense attorney realized despairingly. Maya was neither his former or current girlfriend, so there was no rule, argument or justifiable reason that could be enforced to dissuade Larry from dating her. With a heavy heart he looked forlornly at The Butz and then at the gorgeous young woman sitting next to him.

There's nothing I could possibly do or say to keep from losing her at this point, he thought dejectedly. Nothing at all.

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