Turnabout Lawful Love

Miles Edgeworth, Genius Defense Attorney?

Hotti Clinic, ICU, February 8, 2019, 12:00 pm

With great trepidation, Miles headed towards the patient room he'd been directed to by the nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. How he hated hospitals! They were third on his aversion list, right after earthquakes and elevators. To him they only symbolized pain and death and the pungent smell of the place always made him queasy. He tended to avoid them like the plague. How was it he was forced to return to this dreadful place for the second time in less than a year, both times for people he desperately cared for and couldn't imagine his life without?

Of course, he'd rather die than tell that to Wright. If his friend ever found out that he'd chartered a private jet right after he'd gotten Butz's hysterical late night call, he'd surely tease him mercilessly.

He turned the doorknob and entered Phoenix's room, absently noting the simple furnishings: a wooden table on the left of the stretcher, a couple of chairs on either side of the bed and a glass sliding window with a view of the outside of the buildings surrounding the hospital.

Of course, what had his full attention was the sight of the coughing, spiky-haired man sitting up in the bed, hunched over and frowning at the laptop in front of him.

Humph! Miles thought, simultaneously relieved and peeved. While the patient doesn't look to be in any condition to be making fun ofanything, he most surely also doesn't look like he's knocking on heaven's door, the way that histrionic buffoon Butz led me to believe!

Surprise was stamped across Phoenix's features as he looked up then and saw his friend standing in the doorway. He started to speak, but suddenly his body began to shake as he went into coughing fit. Winded with exhaustion, he flopped back down on his pillow and silently waved at Miles in welcome.

"Wright." Miles nodded in greeting, even as he stifled the urge to hug – and possibly then throttle – his friend for nearly giving him a coronary.

But of course, being a logical man of law, he would never commit such an action, for it would be done purely in vain.

After all, they were in a hospital, with resuscitating equipment!

"Edgeworth!" Phoenix's dark blue eyes were the size of saucers as he stared at him. "What are you doing here? I thought you and Franziska were happily shacked up in Europe!"

"Working international investigations and for Interpol – not at the same residence! – should anyone else ever ask," Miles said wryly. "That insider information is strictly for you and Miss Fey's knowledge only, thank you."

"Whatever you say, buddy." Phoenix nodded solemnly, well aware of how he and Franziska were with their jealously guarded privacy.

"Anyhow, to answer your question, Wright, I took a break from said duties because I was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from a hysterical friend of ours who led me to believe that you were on the brink of death."

Phoenix's shoulders drooped as he grimaced. "Let me guess…this friend wouldn't happen to occasionally be referred to as Harry Butz now, would he?"

"Yes, although the man of many names rather insistently informed me that he now wants to be known as Laurice Deauxnim." Miles lips twitched with amusement.

"Heh, heh…there's a bit of a story to that. I have quite a bit to get you caught up on. Why don't you pull up a chair?"

As Miles sat down, he noticed, for the first time, the Demon Warding hood tossed carelessly at the foot of the bed.

"Wright, what in God's name is that ridiculous looking contraption?"

"Oh, ya, that's another tale entirely. It's the Demon Warding hood Iris gave me. I was wearing it up until you came in. It was making my head itch…plus it totally flattens my spikes."

"I didn't think there was any force of nature that could achieve that, Wright," Miles quipped, smirking when he saw Phoenix's scowl. "So tell me, how are you feeling?"

"Well, I feel dizzy, my ears are ringing, my throat burns, and my head is on fire. Other than that, I'm fine, thanks."

"Right. I spoke with the doctors. They told me that you'll need to stay here for two days and get bed rest."

"They told me that too, but I don't need to stay here that long. I told them I'm completely fine!" The minute Phoenix finished the sentence he went into another coughing fit.

"Oh yes. You're doing splendidly."

Once the coughing episode had subsided, Phoenix let out a deep breath and flopped back against his pillow again, shutting his eyes.

"I can't stay here Edgeworth! There's so much I need to do! I need to find make sure Maya is alright, find Ms. Deauxnim's murderer, locate Pearls and defend Iris…"

"What you need to do," Miles said firmly. "Is get better, Wright! You can barely talk, never mind walk! You're not a superhero and it's a miracle you're alive after falling off an 40 foot high burning bridge! You're lucky you didn't catch pneumonia, or your death! I've never known you to be this foolish before. What the hell were you thinking?!"

Phoenix's eyes remained closed, and he only managed to whisper one word. "Maya."

Miles sighed. Maya Fey. Of course. The only person in the world who could make his semi-rational (on a good day) friend lose his head entirely. The besotted fool loved that girl so much he had first nearly let a murderer walk for her, and now had nearly died for her. Miles was no stranger to love anymore…he would do anything for Franziska. Although he wasn't sure he would have Phoenix's crazy fortune and survive such a spill with only a cold – if at all! He would have surely suffered at least a few broken or amputated limbs! Naturally he hoped and prayed he'd never have to prove his devotion with such drastic means. Was he wimp because he preferred the much safer champagne and flowers path instead?

"I know you love her, Wright," he said gently. "But you're no good to Miss Fey, or anyone, as a dead man. Sometimes…it may be better to lead with your head than your heart."

Phoenix open up one dark-circled eye. "You mean like you do?"

"Like any logical person, Wright."

Phoenix opened both his eyes then, the bags underneath them proof of his sleepless state over his current plight, which Miles knew naught about. They were now glaring holes into the prosecutor as he seethed, "Edgeworth, you freakin' hypocrite. You and Franziska wouldn't even be together now if you hadn't followed me and Maya's advice to follow your heart…and her, back to Germany!"

Miles groaned inwardly and felt his face turning the same color as his magenta suit. He couldn't think of any argument, logical or illogical, to counter that statement. Especially when he knew his friend was right. He and Franziska indubitably owed a lot to the two in lovebirds in denial – although he'd noticed Wright hadn't even bothered refuting the allegation this time – and someday, somehow, they would find a way to repay that priceless endeavor.

"You got me there, Wright," he said reverently. "It was never my intention to try to make you over in my own image, or to not give credit where it is due pertaining to you and Miss Fey's assistance with getting Franziska and I together. Our sincere thanks for that. I merely wanted to ensure that you'd be more careful in your actions henceforth, as neither one of us would ever want to lose our favorite courtroom adversary."

Phoenix's defensive expression softened. "You're welcome, Edgeworth, don't sweat it. I know if the roles were reversed, you'd do the same for me. I shouldn't have jumped down your throat like that. I know you're just looking out for me. It's just hard to keep it together with this particular predicament… "

"I don't know much about your current situation," Miles admitted. "I have to go meet up with Larry at the detention center after this, and we both know however noble his intentions, he's not exactly the most credible source of information. If you are willing to tell me about it, I'm willing to offer you my assistance in any way I can."

"Really?" Phoenix eyed him with a mixture of skepticism and hopefulness. "You aren't pulling my leg here?"

"I thought you'd know me well enough by now, Wright." Miles crossed his arms and tapped his finger. "I rarely make jokes, and especially not about matters of such importance. Now, you can tell me what's been going on in my absence, or I shall take my leave."

"Wait, don't go! Sheesh, I'll tell you!"

Phoenix went on to explain the details of events that had transpired: the medium special training course Maya had wanted at Hazakura Temple, meeting Sister Bikini and Elise Deauxnim and the other subsequent details leading up to her murder.

Miles listened intently, jotting down the pertinent information on his organizer. When Phoenix got to mentioning Iris, he noted an odd hesitation in his friend's voice, and he would pause often as if trying to figure out a complexing puzzle. He recalled Butz mentioning the name to him during the phone call. That, combined with the defense attorney's flummoxed expression as he spoke of her, greatly piqued his particular interest as well. He underlined Iris twice on his pad next to a large question mark.

Phoenix finished the summary of him finding Elise Deauxnim's body and his consequent fall into the raging river.

"Well, this is quite the quandary you've gotten yourself into, Wright," Miles said dryly. "The Matt Engarde case seems like a real pip in comparison. And you said Miss Fey is still trapped on the other side of the Dusky Bridge?"

"Yes she is, and Pearls seem to have disappeared, too. I hope she's OK. She's going to be devastated when she finds out about Maya and her favorite children's author."

I hope they're alright, too. Those poor girls have been through enough. To think they had to be there when this horrific event occurred…

"This is a most captivating case, Wright. I'm going to go check out Hazakura Temple myself after I go meet Butz at the detention center. I will keep you updated on what's happened since you were brought here. I'll do my best to find out how Maya and Pearl are doing, as well. Thank you for the information." Miles put away his organizer and pen and rose to his feet.

"No problem. Hey, before you go, here, take these with you." The bedridden defense attorney reached over to his bedside table and grabbed a couple of items.

The first item he handed over was a green rock shaped like a number nine. Miles blinked a few times and held it up to the light. It looked like something out of an alien Sci-Fi movie.

Is this thing actually glowing? No, impossible, it can't be glowing!

"It's a magatama," Phoenix explained, grinning at the prosecutor's perplexed expression. "Essentially it's a rock that allows you to see inside people's hearts. When someone is keeping a secret, or hiding something from you, with that stone, you will see silver chains appear, and on the chains, red locks. They're called psyche-locks."

Psycho-locks? How appropriate. This whole concept Wright is trying to sell me on is absolutely psycho!

"No, seriously," Phoenix chuckled, catching Mile's dubious look. "Depending on how many secrets the person is keeping, or how well-guarded, there will be more locks. The most I've ever seen is five. Breaking the locks can help you get vital information out of people, which can be used in court. When you see the locks, just present the magatama and question the person. You usually need to present some evidence to get the locks to actually break. Are you following me?"

Miles nodded after a moment's pause. "Yes, I believe so." This cold must have really affected Wright's brain if he's spouting off such nonsense. As if anyone could seriously see into the hearts of others! Outrageous! Although if this thing actuallywerereal, it would certainly explain how a reckless rookie attorney could have repeatedly beat me and both Von Karmas in court!

He frowned. When you actually thought of it that way, he wasn't sure if believing that Wright had beat him in court because he'd had some supernatural, advantageous edge made him feel better or worse!

"One more thing." Phoenix dropped the other item into his hand.

Miles stared down at the small gold-colored item in his hand. It was engraved with the scale of justice and so well polished that it shone brightly even in the dim room light. "Wright, whatever is the meaning of this?"

"You know what that badge means, Edgeworth. It means the wearer swears to believe in people, right up until the bitter end. I'm giving this to you because I'm actually in the position to need to take you up on your offer to help in any way you could."

Miles stared incredulously at the other man. Surely he was misunderstanding him. Phoenix Wright couldn't seriously be asking him to –

"Yes, Edgeworth." The psychic lawyer appeared to be reading his mind as usual, even without the psycho-lock reader in possession. "I'm asking you to defend Iris."

"Wright, I…" Miles was speechless. What he was being asked to do could end with serious legal repercussions for both of them. His friend's fever obviously had affected his ability to think straight. The man looked like he could barely remain conscious as they spoke.

"Please, Miles." Phoenix's expression was a mixture of earnestness…and some sort of pain. And not just the physical kind.

Miles could tell his friend was suffering in silence about something pertaining to this Iris woman, despite his feelings for Maya. It was both bewildering and intriguing.

"Alright," Miles nodded. "I'll do as you ask, Wright. But I really must get going now. Take care."

"Thank you. You're the best, Edgeworth," Phoenix said drowsily, closing his eyes and falling back onto his pillow.

Miles left the room, shutting the door behind him while still shaking his head at the unexpected turn of events. He couldn't believe that he, a prosecutor whose job it was to doubt people, and expose the truth, had agreed to defend someone. While it could be interesting to stand on the opposite side of the courtroom and experience what it was like to be a defense attorney – his late father Gregory had been an incredible one – it was still the most insane, impractical and overall reckless thing he'd ever contemplated doing; even more so than getting on that plane! Miles couldn't believe that he, the so-called former Demon Prosecutor, could ultimately be such a soft touch.

It was the use of his first name that had sold it. Phoenix Wright never called him Miles, proof that he was entirely stirred out of the norm. The defense attorney truly was at the end of his tether if he had been resorted to asking this monumental of a favor. Above all, the man was his childhood friend. Aside from Franziska, possibly his best friend. It was impossible for Miles to deny such an obviously desperate, heart-felt request.

Jeez, two groundbreaking revelations in one day. I concede to being a defense attorney,and the fact that Phoenix Wright is my best friend? How the hell did I allow that to happen?!

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