For a while, Phoenix stood in the doorway, watching the way his daughter slowly breathed. In. Out. In. Even when he felt like shit, watching Trucy sleep calmed him down , and he knew every poker game he had to play for her sake was worth it.
But they weren’t home now. They were with Edgeworth in Norway. Phoenix didn’t have to pretend he was a piano player at a shitty Russian restaurant.
It was freezing out, although Phoenix hated the cold, and the snow, and the ice, and the fact that he wasn’t a lawyer, and all of those put together reminded him of the Hazakurain case, the wound still a little too fresh. It was bizzare how only a few months before he and the Fey’s visited Hazakura, and only two months later he defended his final client, but Phoenix felt better now than he had in months.
Edgeworth still believed in him.
Or, at least he trusted Phoenix enough to ask him for help with his cases. That was good enough for Phoenix.
With a sigh, Phoenix slowly, quietly closed the door behind him, careful not to let the wood beneath his feet creak, or let the door knob make too much noise. Then he returned to the living room, trying to think of what to say to Edgeworth.
Edgeworth sat on the couch, his bangs hanging over his face while he studied some forms, not looking up even when Phoenix walked in the room.
“Is Trucy asleep yet?” Edgeworth finally looked over at him when he sat down.
“Yeah, between the fifteen hour flight, the snowball fight she made us have, and that big supper you gave us, she was out like a light.” Of course it had taken a lullaby as well, but that wasn’t anything unusual for her.
Edgeworth gave him a small, nervous smile, and in the soft glow of the lamp next to him made him seem almost younger (or maybe how he might have normally looked if it wasn’t for the influence of his old “mentor”), “Good.” He turned back to the papers on the coffee table, smile gone and back in business mode. “Here are the current testimonies, I already had them translated for you so you could look over them and see if there were any details we might have missed earlier.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” Phoenix replied, taking the papers from Edgeworth.
The two of them worked in silence for a few hours, every once in a while Phoenix would glance over at the prosecutor, and sometimes their eyes would meet. They’d give each other a small, awkward smile, and then return to what they were doing.
This would have been much easier if I could’ve questioned them myself, he thought with a yawn.
“...The trial is in a few days, you should get some rest, Wright.”
“I’m fine, Edgeworth, don’t worry--”
“I mean it,” Edgeworth put his hand on his shoulder, startling Phoenix. “You had a very long flight, and you did it with an excitable eight year old, no less. Get some rest so you can get over your jet lag, tomorrow we can look at this case in better detail, even visit the scene of the crime.”
Reluctantly, Phoenix nodded and stood up. But when he met the threshold of the room, he paused, turning back to his friend.
“Wright…? Is something wrong?”
“...No, it’s the opposite, it’s…” he paused unsure of what to say next, “Thank you.”
Edgeworth’s eyebrows furrowed, “For the vacation? It’s hardly--”
“No, not for that… it’s just… thank you, for believing in me, despite everything,” he gave a sad smile, “and for helping me take care of Trucy from time to time… it… it means a lot to me.”
Edgeworth gave him that same awkward quirk of the mouth as before, “Of course Wright. You’re… You’re my best friend.”
Under normal circumstances, that would have made Phoenix’s heart soar. It would have made him smile nonstop for a week, maybe even a month, and he would’ve hugged the prosecutor. However…
CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. CLACK. CLACK.
The sound of metal grinding against metal, the way the rest of the room grew dark except for the man in front of Phoenix.
The five chains that appeared over Miles Edgeworth…
So much for believing in me, huh?
Edgeworth’s eyes widened suddenly, he must have realized that he had psyche-locks, but Phoenix didn’t want him to explain himself, “Thanks, Edgeworth,” Phoenix didn’t even try to hide the bitterness in his voice as he slouched back towards the doorway.
“You don’t have to explain anything to me Edgeworth.”
“Damnit Wright!” And suddenly Edgeworth was gripping Phoenix’s arm, stopping him in his tracks.
Phoenix tried to pull away, but Edgeworth wouldn't let him get away. Phoenix was angry, tired. He didn't want to fight, it had been a long day, all he wanted right now was to cry himself to sleep and pretend nothing happened the next morning. “Let go, Edge--”
“It’s not what you think, I promise! How could I not believe in you after everything we’ve been through together!? How could I ever turn my back on you!?” Edgeworth was trying to keep his voice down for Trucy’s sake, but it still felt like it echoed throughout the house he was renting.
Phoenix opened his mouth to tell Edgeworth that there’s no possible other explanation, to tell him that he doesn’t have to pretend, Phoenix would rather he was honest with him about this instead of lying to protect his feelings, but…
“Those locks… they shouldn’t be new! Phoenix Wright… I… I love you!” Phoenix whipped his head around, watching as the five locks around the prosecutor shattered.
The grip on his arm tightened, as if letting go would send both of them flying into the sun. Maybe it would, because Phoenix felt dizzy and lightheaded. “I never said anything because I knew there was no possible way you could return my feelings, and I never intended to,” Edgeworth scowled at the carpet, a habit Phoenix hadn’t seen him do since his last actual case. “I don’t know when it happened, or even how… maybe when we were children, I don’t know… but I do know that much, it’s the truth…”
Edgeworth released the death grip on Phoenix's arm, allowing him to turn fully around again. Edgeworth’s arm moved to grip at his own sleeve now, as he began closing in on himself. “...Say that again?”
He didn’t need to be asked twice. “Phoenix Wright… I love you.”
Even though he saw those Psyche-Locks break earlier, he held onto the Magatama like it was the only thing keeping him on the Earth, it almost felt like the Magatama would break in his grip.
After a moment of waiting, he relaxed again. “You aren’t lying…” Phoenix breathed, tears threatening building up in his eyes.
Without thinking, his hands moved on their own, prying one of Edgeworth’s--no--Miles’s hand from his arm, and placed the stone into his hands. “I love you too, Miles Edgeworth.”
His head snapped up to look at Phoenix again, eyes scanning for any locks. “I love you,” Phoenix repeated, his face crumpling into a teary smile. He gently placed his palms on Miles’s cheeks. “I don’t think I’ve ever stopped loving you.”
“Phoenix…” Miles mirrored his expression, sinking into his hands with a disbelieving laugh.
Phoenix copied him too, and soon they were both laughing into each other’s embrace, unable to stop shedding tears even when little Trucy padded into the room to ask for a glass of water.
“Daddy--?” She looked so scared.
But then Phoenix smiled at her, and he and Miles spread out their arms so she could fit into their hug. "Everything's okay, Trucy..." The small family slowly sank onto the carpet, too exhausted and too relieved to stand any longer
Phoenix and Miles had to have a long talk soon. About how they should proceed with this. Set some boundaries, make sure Phoenix wouldn't jeopardize Miles's position as a prosecutor. But tonight he was content to just fall asleep on the floor, along with two of the most important people in his life held tightly in his arms.