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The Great Dual Substitute Turnabout

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Phoenix felt hazy, like that feeling when you first wake up early in the morning. Where you are so tired that your eyes feel like lead, and opening them in the slightest almost feels too draining and even somewhat painful weirdly enough. So he kept his eyes shut. It was when his body slowly started to become more alert that he realized he had a large headache pinching right in the center of his forehead as well as around both his temples. His back he noticed was aching too, like when you slept on it wrong—knots and a lot of built up tension from laying in an uncomfortable position type of ache.

That was when clarity started to reach his mind. He was sitting in a chair, head resting on something wooden. His eyes still felt heavy and even when he barely tried to open them it felt like too much effort, still hurting a bit. But then he became confused.

("What am I doing here again? No wait, what was I doing again?") He thought as he still felt too hazy to move.

He sleepily tried to trace his steps mentally. But his mind still felt so foggy. He was struggling but for the life of him he couldn't remember what he was previously doing. Staying with his eyes closed and sitting there like a bump on a log was obviously not helping solve that answer.

He forced himself to blink his eyes open despite the grogginess, the headache, and the discomfort. That was when he first noticed he was in an office chair, and he was at a desk. He blinked several times and then stretched his arms as wide as he could. He rubbed his eyes then shook his head, as if to shake the metaphorical cobwebs from his mind. He proceeded to massage his forehead and temples in hopes of easing the headache.

When he finally felt a bit more alert that was when he noticed immediately what was off.

This desk wasn't his desk. This chair wasn't his chair. This office wasn't his office.

He looked around in the spacious dark office room that he fell asleep in. The room wasn't lit save for behind him from the window that the curtains covered enough just to leave a crack of moonlight to stream in. He couldn't tell its quality or color but there was a large sofa to his left in the room, and to the right there was an enormous book case that took up the entire wall. It went from ceiling to the floor it was so massive. From what he could tell from the very limited light there were several books and even more binders with labels he couldn't make out. Vaguely he was reminded of all the paperwork and files they keep in those cabinets at his office, but these were much bigger and there were much more of them. It was then it dawned on him how it reminded him in a way to Edgeworth's filing system.

He wanted to inspect more but he sat there scratching his head instead; he still felt incredibly groggy. He stretched his arms around some more then rolled his shoulders. His back was extremely stiff. He took a deep breath then let out a heavy exhale through his nostrils as he tapped his chin with one hand and rubbed the back of his neck with the other hand.

Just how did he get here? Why was he sleeping at this desk? What was he doing before he got here?

Then a knock at the door broke him from his thoughts.

"Uh—come in?" He said after rubbing his temples again.

Why was he giving someone permission to enter? This wasn't his office. Then again he had no clue to how he got to… wherever the heck he was. He heard the doorknob twist with a clicking sound, the door started to creak slightly as it was pushed open.

He could see the silhouette of a large and burly man.

"Sir? You're still here?" The man asked.

He wasn't sure how to answer that question. He had no clue where "here" was. He saw movement of the man's arm reaching over to the wall and Phoenix winced as he realized the man turned on a tall lamp by the doorway. Phoenix's headache he apparently had was still sensitive to light as he shut his eyes for a bit and waited a second before slowly opening them.

It was Detective Gumshoe; he hadn't seen him in a while. He looked still as unkempt as ever, his jacket was brown instead of the green he was used to, but it still looked pretty tattered and frayed on the ends and sleeves. He noticed several dark stains that were peppered here and there on the jacket. He still had the usual earnest but clueless expression he was certain the man must have been born with.

"Oh—Detective Gumshoe."

"You should have gone home a long time ago."

("If it's so late then why are you here? Wait...did he just call me Sir?") He thought puzzled.

Gumshoe apparently was acting as if him being where ever this was, was normal. Not to mention he was treating him differently. That was odd. Phoenix figured maybe he'll just play along and that could help give him answers. Who knows, maybe this was all just some weird dream he still hasn't woken up from yet?

"I uh—say Gumshoe, how come you knocked if it's so late?" He asked instead.

"Oh well I always knock just in case you are busy working late Sir! You know how it is, I got all the old files you said you needed. I was gonna leave them here locked safely in your special drawer. But it really is late though Mr. Wright. That desk can't be a comfortable place to sleep." Gumshoe chuckled as he scratched his cheek.

"Um...nodded off I guess." Phoenix said with a shrug, then thought to himself, ("Not Pal? When did I get promoted to Mr. Wright and Sir?")

"I'll leave the files here for you Mr. Wright. You should head home and get some rest. Big day tomorrow ya'know." Gumshoe said with an ear to ear grin.

Gumshoe moved over to a filing cabinet that Phoenix didn't notice until now, by the sofa. Gumshoe pulled a small key out of his pocket and unlocked the middle drawer and placed the files he had under his armpit into the drawer. He then shut the drawer and locked it back up.

Phoenix sighed to himself. Yes home did sound good. He still was trying to figure out what was he doing before he got there, and why was Gumshoe acting this way towards him all of a sudden. He grabbed a familiar blue coat that was draped over the chair; the material felt nicer than he remembered. He noticed a briefcase next to his feet and he picked it up. Phoenix couldn't for the life of him think of one reason of what he was doing here or even where here was. When did he get to this office? Whose office was it? Just what the heck was he doing before he fell asleep? He had a feeling it was something important but his mind was still hazy and aching. And why did he have such a huge headache all of a sudden?

Also the briefcase looked nicer too now that he thought about it; actually this wasn't even his normal briefcase he uses. His shoes also felt way more comfortable than they normally are. His neck felt very itchy he realized too, he reached to grab what he thought would have been a tie normally was instead...a cravat.

("What the heck?")

Phoenix stared at the piece of fluttery fabric tied around his neck like it was some second head that spontaneously grew from his collar bone. What in the world was he doing wearing one of these stuffy, itchy, overly fancy things?

"Oh before I forget, Ms. von Karma said for me to remind you that she wants to meet you early tomorrow." Gumshoe said.

"Von Karma?" Phoenix just blinked at Gumshoe completely lost.

What did Franziska want with him?

Suddenly something caught his eye on the lapel of his jacket. Something that reflected a small light the second his jacket happened to catch a bit of the moonlight that peaked through the window.

It didn't look like an attorney badge. He felt his eyes widen soon as he noticed what it was.

("What is THAT doing on my jacket?!")

The weirdness of the cravat on him momentarily forgotten to the new even more startling revelation.

"Umm—Detective?"

Phoenix felt his legs frozen where he was standing and he gulped what felt like a rock in his throat; staring at...that alien object. Because that was not a defense attorney's badge. That was a prosecutor's badge.

"Yeah Sir?" The detective asked.

This clearly was some weird dream right?

"I'm...your boss?" He questioned anxiously.

"Of course you are Sir!" Gumshoe exclaimed with pure enthusiasm.

"And this is...my office?" Phoenix questioned as he felt his confusion and anxiety grow.

"Well yeah? Of course it is, you feeling okay Mr. Wright?" Detective Gumshoe tilted his head with slight confusion mixed with worry.

"I'm not sure." He admitted.

"You must be working yourself too hard." Gumshoe said as he crossed his arms.

"Yeah...that's it." Phoenix agreed half-heartily.

This was just some crazy dream. He must have overworked himself on another case and his mind was creating some weird dream to release his pent up stress he's no doubt had bottled up.

"Oh Mr. Wright, I just remembered, your car is in the shop until tomorrow. Do you have a ride home?" Gumshoe inquired.

"Well no but—"

Since when did he own a car?

"No worries Sir, I can give you a lift!" Gumshoe exclaimed.

"Yeah...thanks Detective." Phoenix nodded, still in a daze.

He kept pinching himself and it wasn't causing himself to wake up. That's when it finally started to slowly come back to him. Not all of it was back, but he remembered that morning getting a call. His old friend Larry was arrested again, but this time the charges against him were far worse than usual. He told Larry they'd take on the case. He remembered then going to the office to talk to Apollo and Athena and...no he was still drawing blanks. His mind still felt fuzzy. This clearly had to be a dream because he has had weird dreams before where he felt very disoriented when trying to remember things going on in his real life outside of his subconscious. Trying to force himself to remember did feel similar to some of those occasional really weird dreams he's had in the past.

He followed Gumshoe out of the office and into the elevator, neither men saying anything. Eventually they made their way to the parking garage and to Gumshoe's beat up looking police car. Phoenix climbed into the passenger's seat and strapped himself in. When Detective Gumshoe drove him away from the—dare he say it—prosecutor's office, he didn't know what to think. This was one confusing dream.

The dream became much more unbelievable when Gumshoe pulled up not only into a nice looking neighborhood with all nice looking small houses, but then he pulled up to a house. It wasn't huge but still—it was a house. Not an apartment complex or even a condo, but a house—and a fairly nice one at that! Whoever owned it obviously had tastes because the landscaping not only was beautiful but well taken care of. Everything about it seemed clean, modern, tasteful, filled with colorful flowers in the garden (which he had no clue what type any of the flowers were), and someone who was financially well off despite the house not being huge he could just tell. He just had this feeling whoever owned this house wasn't hurt for cash.

"Here we are Mr. Wright, home sweet home." Gumshoe said after several seconds of Phoenix not moving.

Maybe he assumed Phoenix was falling asleep and he was helping his boss wake up?

("Wait so...this is MY house?") He thought with surprise.

This definitely had to be a dream; he never once owned a house in his life (not counting his parent's house he grew up in). He and Trucy recently moved to a much nicer apartment complex but that was still all Phoenix could afford even between the two of them. But he made certain it was in a nice area and it was a cleaner much newer complex so he knew it would be good for Trucy. But not a house...so there was no other explanation other than that this was a dream.

"Yeah...home sweet home." Phoenix said absently as he gathered his things, "Thank you for the ride Detective Gumshoe."

"Think nothing of it Mr. Wright." He grinned.

"Hey Detective before I head out, I had a question...what was it Ms. von Karma wanted to meet with me about?" Phoenix asked.

"Well I'm sure it has to do with tomorrow's trial." Gumshoe shrugged.

"Trial?" Phoenix tried not to sound as clueless as he actually was.

"Yeah, you know how much she wants to win tomorrow. I definitely wouldn't want you to keep your partner in crime waiting." Detective Gumshoe said jokingly.

Phoenix was starting to open the car door but immediately froze at the word partner.

Partner? Franziska von Karma? And what did he mean by partner? This dream was getting more confusing and weird by the second.

"I—um...good night Detective Gumshoe." Phoenix finally said after shaking himself out of his bewilderment.

Gumshoe saluted him (just adding more to the bizarre trend tonight) and bid him goodnight. Phoenix shut the car door and started to make his way toward what was supposedly his house. It then occurred to him he'd need keys. He checked his pockets and sure enough he found a set of keys in the left side pocket of his jacket. He assumed it was for the front door and his assumption was proven correct when he successfully unlocked the door.

He switched on the light and everything looked so neat, so pristine.

The furniture all looked high end from what he could tell in the front living room. He lazily wandered a little bit and found a kitchen, a utility closet, a study, then a hallway connected to the living room by the front door that lead further into the house. He was too groggy and disoriented to explore more so his only goal now was to find a bedroom.

He moved like autopilot out of the living room and into the hallway. There were quite a few doors. The first door he opened led to a bathroom. He checked the door next to it and sure enough it was a bedroom. However when he flipped on the lights he noticed the very clean room was probably not for him. Something about it had a bit of a feminine touch to it. What with the lacy bed-skirt and a couple of the throw pillows on the bed even had lace. The bedding was a light teal color, and he also noticed the smallest throw pillow in the center of the throw pillows had a white ribbon tied around it. The furniture in the room was modern but felt more like something a woman would pick out than a man...at least if he had to guess. It just looked slightly fancier than something a man would pick out.

He had no clue as he only ever had two criteria when picking out furniture. Trucy could not find it ugly and it was cheap, that was all he cared about on the subject. Phoenix briefly wondered if his dream conjured up this image of a fancy room to have for Trucy if they lived in a nice house. Although he didn't think Trucy would care for the fancy lace.

He turned the light back off and shut the door. He checked the doors to the right, there were three of them. He went to the one closest and thankfully it was a bedroom, he flipped the light switch on and that room felt more like himself if he had money.

The bedding was pretty basic and his favorite color blue, with just some decorative white and black throw pillows. However the material looked like a high end soft fabric—just by looking at it. The headboard was a black metal frame that seemed simple yet modern. The furniture in the room all matched the more modern style of the headboard. The curtains and the rug by the doorway matched the bedding.

He sighed and kicked his shoes off. He was bored of admiring furniture. He just wanted to lay down and get rid of this headache. He opened the closest dresser and started to inspect for some pajamas. He finally found some simple blue tops and blue bottoms except...

("Wait are these made of silk?!")

He rubbed his hands against the material and it was definitely silk. Upon further inspection nearly all of the pajamas in the drawer were made of silk!

("Why would I ever own something as stuck up as several pairs of silk pajamas?")

And why would he ever pay for something as ridiculous as that many either? Those couldn't have been cheap!

He shook his head, this was a dumb dream—no point in worrying about it. He changed out of his clothes, extremely grateful to peel off that stuffy cravat, and into the stuck up rich boy pajamas.

He pulled the object that felt so foreign to him, the prosecutor badge, from the lapel of the jacket and discarded the jacket onto the carpet. He pulled a handful of items, something smooth like a bead but he was too sleepy to tell what it was, along with a fancy leather wallet, some spare change, and the house key from his pocket. He was far too exhausted and confused to care that he just left the clothes all dumped onto the floor. He pulled out the sleek smart phone he was shocked he also apparently owned from the right pocket of the jacket before discarding the jacket on the floor again. He then went and turned off the light to the room, using the light from the smartphone to guide him to the bed. He placed the phone on the nightstand and rolled over into what was probably the most comfortable mattress he's ever laid on. He actually smiled and let out a moan, he felt like he was melting into the mattress it was so relaxing. He set the wallet, spare change, the prosecutor badge, the smooth bead like object he hadn't given much thought to, and the house key all on the nightstand next to the smartphone. He crawled under the covers and buried his face into the pillow.

This was just a strange dream. That's all this was. He'll lie down, wake up, and he'll be back in his homey apartment with Trucy greeting him for the morning.


Phoenix woke up to the sound of his phone ringing. Soon as he opened his eyes and nope...this still wasn't his apartment. This was still that nice room with the expensive furniture and the dumb silk pajamas.

Just what the heck was happening? His headache had lessened but was still there. He however didn't answer the phone in time. He frowned and scrolled it, whoever owned this smart phone apparently wasn't smart enough to put a lock code on it.

He groggily raised his head from his pillow and let out a yawn.

("What time is it anyway?")

That was when finally more memories surged back into what he was doing yesterday, well at least until he woke up in that weird office that most certainly was not his. He remembered the call from Larry. He remembered bringing Athena and Apollo with him to the detention center to go talk to him. He remembered they all went out investigating all day then he returned to the detention center and when he asked more questions to his old friend, three psyche-locks appeared. He remembered he currently didn't have anything that could have broken those locks. He remembered going home that night but then quickly texting Apollo and Athena to meet him early in the morning. He wanted to head down to the art studio Larry often worked at since he had a hunch he could find a clue there to break those locks. They were then going to quickly stop by the detention center and see if they could break the locks before his trial later on which would have been today.

So is he still dreaming? If he isn't dreaming then...what exactly was going on and how did he get here? Last thing he now remembered before waking up in that office was he took Trucy home, kissed her goodnight, then he went to bed. But he woke up in that office instead of his bedroom.

He went to look back at the phone screen to check the time but then several notifications popped up. He felt his heart freeze as soon as he saw what was on the phone screen. The name on the screen jolted his conscious to be firmly awake and he immediately jump out of the bed.

Five missed calls, the caller ID read "Franziska"!

"Oh hell...this weird dream is about to be a nightmare." He groaned.

He swiped the notifications away for the missed calls and went instead to the unread text message notifications. All of them also from Franziska. He felt a knot had begun to form in his stomach while his brow begun to sweat. He naively hoped that perhaps somehow in this weird bizarre dream he happened to know more than one Franziska, but he knew that hope was in vain as soon as he read the messages.

There was no doubt who this was...

["Where are you? I thought we agreed to meet early, it's been 15 minutes past the agreed time. Do not be foolish and respond to me post haste."]

Phoenix wiped his brow as he continued down to read more messages.

["Fool! You know better than to keep me waiting, where are you? Cease this foolish foolishness and respond immediately!"]

He felt himself involuntarily gulp as he read further.

["Why are you not responding to any of my calls or texts?! This is most unbecoming and foolish! The most foolishly foolish foolhardy foolishness! Cease this silence and respond to me! YOU FOOL!"]

Phoenix groaned and rubbed his temples while he set the phone back down on the nightstand then moved to get himself dressed. He had increasingly become suspicious that this was no dream (if it was then it was no ordinary one).

But dream or no dream...keeping Franziska von Karma waiting is a death wish he was not going to dance around with.

He stopped himself though when he started searching the drawers and the closet, not a single tie in sight! But there sure were a lot of cravats all neatly folded in a drawer! Either this was a bizarre dream, or Edgeworth was playing an extremely elaborate prank. Though he supposed that couldn't be right either, after all Edgeworth doesn't have much of a sense of humor. He went back to the closet where he saw all the suits and dress shirts all hung up neatly and organized.

He was grateful the suits were all mostly in his favorite color. He didn't feel right in anything but blue. All the vests though in the closet however were either gray or black. So he opted to put on a gray one over the dress shirt. The material felt really nice to him for some reason. And the shoes were pretty nice too. Even the belt he put on felt like it was more expensive material than he normally would buy. He placed on another really nice jacket, blue to match his suit pants.

He hesitated as he found the prosecutor badge on the nightstand after exiting the closet. He eyed it like it was some sort of alien. It was silly to be wary over such a small object, but none of this was natural. He grabbed the spare change that he set there last night as well as the house key and wallet he left on the nightstand, placing both into the other pocket of the jacket. He then sighed and grabbed the prosecutor badge and placed it into his front left pant pocket.

But that was when he spotted the other object he hadn't realized was in his pocket that he pulled out last night. He realized it was the magatama. So that was the smooth bead-like object he found. It was strange because not only did he wake up in that office he'd never been in before, he was wearing clothes that weren't his, and yet that was his magatama. It apparently was in his pocket despite all these strange changes he woke up too. He couldn't think of a single explanation for how that happened or any of this beyond this has to be a dream.

He heard the smartphone buzz again on the nightstand. He walked over and picked it up. Phoenix glanced down at it and saw another text message from Franziska.

["I'm here, I don't know what's gotten into you, YOU FOOLbut you better greet me at your door or I'm going to break it down and drag your foolishly foolish self out myself!"]

He groaned further, he was about to call her but he should have known putting it off was not a good idea.

Everything that was going on was absolutely crazy.

Why was he a prosecutor? Why was Franziska his supposed partner? None of it made sense. It was an insane dream, right? He hoped someone could slap him and wake him up from this already as Phoenix had just about enough.

He left the room and moved to head back into the living room. Phoenix went up to the front door, unlocked it, then opened to see Franziska stepping out of what looked like a brand new (probably the latest year model of the car if he had to guess) silver Rolls Royce.

Her hair was longer, it went about to the middle of her back in length, and she had it tied in a low pony tail. She was sporting an outfit similar to her old one but had its differences; her tastes were still as classy as he remembered. She didn't have any puffy shoulders of the sleeves. She had on a cropped black jacket that was trimmed with gold around the edges of the top and end of the sleeves. She was wearing black gloves and had a blue triangle shaped jewel pinned at the top of the cravat around her neck. The skirt was high waisted to just below her chest yet hugged her figure in a way to look more like a slimming short dress instead of a skirt. It too was also colored black with gold trimming on the edge to match her cropped jacket. She had on light brown colored tights and he assumed designer black high heeled shoes. They looked brand new almost, he didn't see a single scuff mark on them and they had that new shoe shine to them.

She eyed him with an icy glare that only made him immediately gulp in response. Despite her small size and after all these years of not seeing her, Franziska von Karma was still quite intimidating. Her heels clicked loudly against the pavement as she stomped up towards him. He couldn't help but take a step backwards out of instinct.

"I demand an explanation! You know it is foolish to keep me waiting, fool! And what's with you? Your hair is not even fixed, no badge or cravat? Let me guess, you didn't even eat breakfast and being a foolish fool you foolishly prepared to fly out the door?" She chastised crisply.

He felt like shrinking away. He had no idea what was going on but somehow she made him feel ashamed for his state despite him not caring that much five minutes ago. But he felt justified as he was really confused and out of his element, not that he'd ever voice those excuses to her. Dream or no dream, she'd never hear them.

"Uhhh..." He scratched the back of his head.

With one swift movement, her whip flashed in the blink of an eye. He flinched on instinct hearing the sound of her cracking the whip against the pavement.

"What is the matter with you?! Today of all days?!" She berated with that terrifying glare that caused him to shiver.

("Why does the universe hate me?")

He didn't argue as she grabbed him by the lapel of his jacket and dragged him back into "his" house. Franziska continued to pull him along and then forced him into the bathroom.

"Fix that mess, your head looks like a couple of foolish pigeons made a nest! Then you are to come to the kitchen and explain yourself, am I clear Phoenix?!"

("Wait, Phoenix—just Phoenix? No Phoenix Wright? This is surreal, I must definitely be dreaming.")

"I said, am I clear?!" She rose her voice and the glare she squared on him was even more scary, if that was possible.

"Yes ma'am!" He hurriedly exclaimed.

He sighed as she turned on her heels to head back to the kitchen. He fixed his hair to his usual look; trademark spikes looking particularly groomed not to toot his own horn. Phoenix brushed his teeth and washed his face and hands; he then dried off his face and hands with the small towel hanging from a handle on the wall by the mirror. He put his jacket back on and placed the prosecutor badge on the lapel of his jacket.

It felt so...wrong.

He would worry about that later. Phoenix turned off the light and exited the bathroom. He turned around the hallway and walked into the living room, then turned into the open doorway to the kitchen to find Franziska was pouring coffee into two plastic cups.

She certainly knew her way around here. That felt so strange to him. He woke up in some weird dream bizarro-world where apparently Franziska and him were well acquainted enough that she knew her way around his kitchen?

"We need to hurry, the trial may have been delayed for tomorrow instead being as there are no open courtrooms for today, but we cannot allow for setbacks! We will use this extra time to gain every scrap of evidence we can! We must not allow this additional time to be played to the defense's advantage!" She declared.

She forced the cup into his hands and he drank it, grateful to at least have something in his stomach. She then placed what he realized was a bran muffin into his other hand.

"You need to eat something. Now hurry, and once you finish you will put on your cravat, we have a reputation to uphold Phoenix! Perfection is our burden after all. You will quickly explain why you have delayed us. Then we must be going to the detention center, we're behind schedule as it is." She ordered.

He didn't pay attention to what she said as he realized he was quite famished. He took a bite into the bran muffin then took another gulp of the coffee. Phoenix gobbled the muffin up so fast that it dawned on him he shouldn't of done that. As Franziska was waiting for the food to be finished before demanding more answers.

"You were supposed to meet me forty-five minutes ago regarding this case! What happened?" She said crisply.

He swallowed the last fraction of coffee with almost a loud gulp.

"Huh?"

He wanted to slap himself. He was on the spot and had no idea what excuse to make up and instead of trying to think of one he actually blurted out "Huh", to Franziska von Karma, of all people.

"Huh?!" She yelled incredulously.

Suddenly the crack of a whip and a stinging pain across the back of his left hand signaled to him what he already knew was going to be the consequence for his stupid answer.

"OUCH!"

He jumped out of his chair and cradled his left hand with his other hand, as he blew on the stinging skin.

"HUH?! That's all you have to say for yourself, you fool?!" She exclaimed.

("Someone please wake me up from this nightmare.") He mentally groaned.

"Phoenix!" She slammed both hands on the table, "The case! Don't tell me you forgot?!"

"Uhhh..." He couldn't help but let out a nervous laugh as he tried to think of something to say, "Well..."

She crossed her arms to await his apparent explanation while she tapped her left foot in impatience.

"Which case...is that again?" He asked nervously, feeling he would regret it.

Her eyes widened like saucers, "Are...are you SERIOUS?!"

He definitely regretted it.

She pushed herself out of her chair and stomped up towards him. He backed away but she continued to march closer regardless. Her impatience looked like a volcano that was going to erupt on him.

"Foolish! Foolishly Foolish! An absolute foolish foolhardy tomfoolery foolishness of a fool!" She erupted.

("That's eight, what we couldn't shoot for nine different ways to say fool at me Ms. von Karma?") He snarked to himself.

"Phoenix, have you lost your mind?! The. Case. You know, the murder of our sworn enemy, the famed defense attorney—Gregory Edgeworth! The prime suspect is his former protege and also business partners with his son, both of whom are also our sworn enemies—Mia Fey!"

Phoenix felt his stomach back-flip up into his rib cage.

"W-What?" He barely squeezed that word out.

He felt a cold sweat break out onto his forehead and the back of his neck. His mouth felt extremely dry.

He was still trapped a nightmare, right?

("Mia...is alive?!)

He felt numb everywhere all of a sudden.

She also said Gregory Edgeworth! She implied that Edgeworth's father had been alive in recent years?! (Well until even more recently.) That Mia killed Miles Edgeworth's dad?! That couldn't be right! It was obviously a mistake, a horrible mistake!

He felt nauseous. Phoenix felt as if his own heart was hammering in his throat. The room was spinning and his headache increased again.

"Phoenix?" Franziska said with concern in her voice.

("Wait is she...?")

He looked up and she did indeed look worried.

("She's worried...about me?!")

"Nick, you should sit down." Franziska said seriously but still with concern.

"No I'm fine." He lied, his legs felt like jelly. "It's fine..."

Nothing about this was fine! Why is she so concerned over him? Why is she not just calling him Phoenix Wright every time she addresses him? Why is he here and what's with the prosecutor's badge and everything else? Why was this all happening?

And she just called him Nick! Nobody but Maya, Larry, and Pearl called him that!

"Nicky, you fool stop lying to me, you're as white as a blank sheet of paper." She said with more quiet concern but a hint of annoyance.

("Did she just call me...Nicky?!")

It became weirder...unsettling actually—only his mom and grandparents called him that!

Franziska von Karma is showing concern about his health and called him by just his first name and even nicknames?!

("Does not compute!")

Suddenly he felt dizzy, really dizzy. The headache multiplied double in pain—most of the pain stabbed right in between his eyes, white and yellow spots began to decorate his vision.

This was all a nightmare. It had to be it. Soon he would wake up. He would be greeted by Trucy, or Maya and Pearl, or perhaps Apollo and Athena. Or hopefully maybe even Mia herself.

Someone. Anyone.

Someone to let him know that it was just a bad dream.

That was when his legs gave out and his vision went black. The last thing he heard before his consciousness faded was hearing, disturbingly, Ms. von Karma's (of all people) frantic voice start calling for someone.


When he finally came too, he noticed Franziska hovered over him. She looked nervous out of her wits and someone else with her observing him.

("Wait...is that Gaspen Payne in a lab coat and stethoscope!?")

Just when he thought this day couldn't get any more strange.

He noticed he was still in the living room of the house that was apparently his, layig on the sofa.

"Thank goodness, you've come too!" Franziska let out a sigh of relief.

"You gave us quite the scare Mr. Wright. Luckily Ms. von Karma was with you while you passed out. I happened to be close by when she called so I was able to make a house call. Knowing you, you've been pushing all-nighters again and skipping out on meals occasionally for work. Mr. Wright we appreciate your hard work but running yourself ragged won't do you any good. Eat more protein and drink a lot of fluids. Ms. von Karma I would make certain he goes to bed early tonight."

Phoenix tried speaking up several times but the younger of the Payne brothers kept yapping not letting him speak once.

So apparently this—as strange as it was to say it—Dr. Gaspen Payne, thought he already knew everything and didn't let Phoenix get a word in to explain his symptoms and assumed he knew the full story. Somehow that's not surprising.

"Thank you Dr. Payne." Franziska said as she handed Gaspen a check.

"Also eat more bananas, and complex carbs, none of the fatty stuff. You need real energy. If any of his symptoms change or worsen give me a call Ms. von Karma." He instructed.

She thanked him again and he left, leaving Phoenix alone with Franziska again.

"Phoenix...what's going on?" She asked with evident concern that felt so jarring to see.

He sat up and rubbed the back of his head.

Either he was going crazy and having delusions, or this was some kind of nightmare his body still wouldn't wake up from yet...or...was this all real? Whatever this was? He had no explanation. He felt like he was losing his mind.

"I...I don't know." He answered honestly.

Franziska sat down next to him, she looked so worried. It was so weird seeing her this concerned about him, almost like they were good friends or something. The more they talked the more it was obvious how little he knew about what he clearly was supposed to know. The case, this house, everything attached...he had absolutely no clue what was happening to him.

"You really have no idea?" She inquired anxiously.

"No, I don't. This is the first I heard of this case. At least...that's what it feels like." He added that last part remembering that the Phoenix she was used to was clearly supposed to know.

That thought then caused him to pause...the Phoenix she was used to.

He thought back to some sci-fi TV show that Athena, Apollo, and Trucy were all getting into. They were watching it at the office last week. Some space explorer woke up in some alternate universe where he never became an astronaut but instead was apparently some evil general who worked for the tyrannical empress to some evil empire that controlled the galaxy in that universe. Basically the opposite of the space explorer who often stops to help anyone he travels across in his exploration of the galaxy. He heard Trucy and Athena start exchanging all sorts of theories on the show about other possible...what did those kids call it? Multiverse theory?

But that was just a science fiction show with cheap practical and CGI effects—and hokey scripts! None of that was real! That was crazy! There was no way he woke up in some alternate universe where he was apparently a prosecutor or something because that was dumb and crazy! This is real life, not science fiction! He was just trapped in a bad dream he hadn't woke up from yet!

("I'm NOT in denial!") He insisted to himself.

"I caught you before you could hit your head...unless you passed out before I came here and possibly hit your head earlier—and now you're having a lapse?" Franziska von Karma theorized.

"No, I don't think so Ms. von Karma." Phoenix shook his head.

"Phoenix, we're not in front of reporters or in the courtroom. There's no need to be formal with me in your own home." She frowned.

"I...wait—I'm allowed to call you by your first name?" He tried not to sound so surprised but he couldn't help it.

"Of course, don't be ridiculous." She pursed her lips into a thin line.

Suddenly the concerned expression was back on her face again.

"Phoenix—what do you remember?" Ms. von Karma asked.

He knew he would need to keep it vague. Otherwise he'd go from just concern over possible amnesia to completely hysterical raving lunatic who has delusions of a different life that gets locked up in the asylum. Though he was starting to honestly worry he was going crazy.

"Well I'm Phoenix Wright. I'm a pretty decent lawyer, passed the bar exam and everything. I remember the court and won some cases...umm..." He tried to think of what else he could mention that wouldn't give too much of the actual truth away, "I'm the only child of Nicholas and Phoebe Wright. I remember Detective Gumshoe assisting me on some cases. I remember the Judge. I remember my favorite foods and TV shows and..."

He stopped himself from rambling when he noticed the female prosecutor appeared to be nervous.

"What is it?" He raised a brow as he asked.

He didn't know why but it unnerved him to see her that way. Something was wrong. He could feel it.

"What do you remember about...about me?"

She surprisingly sounded uneasy, really uneasy. He felt that bad feeling swell inside his gut again. Something definitely wasn't right.

"Franziska von Karma. Prosecuting prodigy. Became probably the youngest prosecutor in history when you became a prosecutor in Germany when you were thirteen years old. Your father is Manfred von Karma—he's also considered a prosecuting genius—never lost a case in what? About forty years or so right?" He said as he crossed his arms as he attempted to shrug off the anxious feeling inside his gut.

He deliberately left out also Manfred von Karma was an arrogant, vindictive, cold-hearted, petty, manipulative, heartless, and despicable monster. Probably wouldn't go over well.

"And...?" She said warily.

"And?" He said and just blinked.

Franziska sighed in an almost melancholic way and her eyes also were still showing hints of that anxiety still. That was incredibly bizarre for Franziska von Karma.

"Phoenix...I—you...you aren't an only child." She said in a defeated tone.

"Huh?" He said as he stood there dumbly and blinking again.

"We need to call Dr. Payne back immediately! It's obviously worse than we thought!" She exclaimed.

"Wait slow down, what's going on? What do you mean I'm not an only child?" He grabbed her by the arm to stop her.

She turned to look him straight in the eye and it caused him to let her go. There was such...sadness in her eyes.

"Is that really all you remember, my brother?" It was faint but he could hear a twinge of heartbreak in her tone.

He felt his blood stop cold and he held his breath for a second. His eyes widened and his brows rose practically to his hairline.

("B-Brother?!")

Chapter Text

("B-Brother?!")

Phoenix suddenly felt lightheaded again but he refused to pass out a second time and just pushed through it.

Franziska tried to explain everything as best as she could after that. She went over to a shelf by the TV and pulled out something. When she walked back towards him, he realized it was a photo-album.

"Here, Phoenix look." She held up a photo-album for him to see.

The short prosecutor flipped through and...everything looked so foreign to him. Images of apparently a childhood and adolescent years spent with Franziska von Karma. With...with Manfred von Karma. Franziska was apparently his adoptive sister. Meaning to his horror, something drastically different happened in his life where his parents could no longer take care of him, and Manfred von Karma adopted him!

He couldn't even hear what Franziska was saying, she was trying to give him the simpler play-by-play version of things but her voice sounded so distant. Nothing was being absorbed.

Here in this universe...DL-6 never happened. He felt himself internally shaking at that thought. Something else replaced DL-6. Something that instead involved him? Just what was going on? He still wasn't sure if this wasn't just some horrible dream.

"Phoenix, are you listening?" Franziska's voice broke him out of his stupor.

"I...this has to be a mistake. I can't be a von Karma, I'm Phoenix Wright!" He denied fervently.

"Well, I suppose that is half true—but you are a von Karma, Phoenix." Her tone almost sounded hurt.

"Huh? What do you mean half true?" He said while just staring at her dumbly and blinking.

She sighed and left the room briefly but not before ordering him to stay put. When she returned about three minutes later, she had what he realized was a passport in her hand. She really did know her way around here, which only reinforced the whole sister thing it seemed. He couldn't read the passport but that was because it was in German.

"Look here," Franziska flipped through to the most important page, an image of him with more words in German he couldn't understand but the important thing was the name listed, "See?"

He felt himself shiver involuntarily when he took the passport from her.

("That...that says...Phoenix von Karma!")

He immediately whipped out the wallet in his left jacket pocket. He found himself puzzled as he found a driver's license, which was surprising in of itself, but the name of that read Phoenix Wright instead.

"I'm confused, why do these have different names on them?" He gestured to both the passport and driver's license.

"I don't know the whole story, but legally you changed your name back to Phoenix Wright but you had it arranged to where that would be your name in the states. Internationally you prosecute under the same name as the name you were given when you were adopted, Phoenix von Karma. You had some personal reason, that I assume has to do with..." She trailed off and stopped herself before finishing her sentence.

He was about to ask her what she was referring to but then she started to rummage through her purse.

"So the pictures didn't help jog your memory but maybe this will. Your birthday is coming up soon, but I may as well give it to you now. Who knows, it may help."

She pulled a very skinny box from her purse and handed it to him. She urged him to open it. It was a blue box with a gold velvet ribbon tied around it. The wrapping paper felt nice too, he almost felt guilty for ruining such nice paper and ribbon when he tore into it. But then again who would waste money on making something out of fancy material that would end up in the garbage anyway? After pealing the last of the paper off he opened the skinny box...another fancy cravat.

"It's tradition that every year one of the presents I get you for both your birthday and Christmas was a new finely made cravat. It became a tradition ever since you first started studying law under our Papa." She smiled fondly as she explained.

She proceeded to put the cravat around his neck and tie it good. She didn't look him in the eye but he could see her small grin that glowed a bit as she did that.

It felt uncomfortable but he didn't have the heart to protest, especially seeing her light up when talking about this tradition. Seeing that happiness she barely was masking as she tied it around his neck...dare he say it, but she was looking adorable like this. It reminded him oddly enough about Maya or Pearl or Athena, and even Trucy (though being her father he could be biased in that department on finding Trucy adorable). It was weird equating Franziska to any of them but that's how it felt, strange as it was.

"Well?" She asked eagerly.

He just frowned and shook his head. He hated that he had to dash her hopes he would remember something considering he was not the Phoenix she thought he was, but it couldn't be helped. Not that Franziska would be one to give up so easily.

He decided to get her talking more around the circumstances that led him to being brought into the von Karma fold.

"So, how—"

Franziska then interrupted him.

"How did you come to be in our family?"

He could only nod. She let out a sigh and gave him the abridged version. She told him to sit down first as Franziska didn't want to make things worse; she wanted to keep it short but gentle as possible. (Well as gentle as Franziska von Karma is capable of.)

"Your mother and father—there is no easy way to say this Nick...I'm sorry, but they're dead." Franziska broke the worst of it first.

He was grateful he was sitting down. That seemed so unreal. He had recently talked with his mother and father on the phone about a couple of weeks ago. It had to be unreal. This was clearly a big mistake.

("I'm not in some alternate universe! I'm in a damn nightmare!")

The more Franziska explained, the worse it got apparently. They weren't just dead, someone murdered his parents! And not just any someone, a name he was familiar with, the suspect that was arrested and found guilty was Yanni Yogi who apparently in this universe was a cop and not a bailiff. But why would he kill his parents? Unfortunately, there was no answer for that in Franziska's summarized story.

According to Franziska, Manfred von Karma (no way in hell would he call that man father) found it "shameful" Gregory Edgeworth would defend the—apparently as she put it—"obviously guilty murderer of his parents". Found it "shameful" Gregory Edgeworth sided with the supposed murderer and not the victims' son—who happened to be best friends with Gregory's own son.

The more he gathered from her retelling that apparently Manfred von Karma found it even more "shameful" when he found out that the young Phoenix Wright aspired to become a defense attorney when he grew up. According to Franziska, "their Papa" was "horrified" that Gregory Edgeworth was "tainting" an innocent youth with his "lies and corruption".

("HA! If that isn't the biggest load I've ever heard! He's the last person to ever talk about someone being corrupted or a liar!") Phoenix mentally scoffed to himself in the middle of her story.

Franziska continued her summary of the events. Manfred von Karma deemed it necessary to "rescue" the young Phoenix Wright. Apparently during a recess of that trial, Manfred went into the defendant lobby to let Gregory Edgeworth know there was no way he could win this case and to quit while he was ahead. He stopped himself from approaching the attorney when Manfred overheard a conversation between Gregory Edgeworth and his son. Mr. von Karma heard the young Miles Edgeworth asking his father if they could take Phoenix in to live with them when the trial was over. Franziska said "their Papa" realized in that moment was the only chance he had to supposedly "shelter the young Phoenix Wright from such foolish and pathetic individuals who would taint him."

Phoenix would have thrown up after hearing all that if Franziska wasn't present.

But that raised a lot more questions. For instance, why would Manfred von Karma adopt him? He knew why he took in and mentored Edgeworth in his world, it was his way of getting back at Edgeworth's father. Spiting him from beyond the grave by molding Edgeworth into the opposite of what his father was. But he never adopted Edgeworth, he raised Edgeworth as a student...not as a son. Why would he do that with Phoenix? Was there more to this story? Not to mention Yanni Yogi and whatever his connection was to his parents? On top of a dozen other questions, but that would have to wait. That was all he would get from Franziska about this part of the story.

From what Franziska described however...it sounded as if Manfred von Karma didn't treat Phoenix that much differently than he treated Franziska. That struck him as odd considering how the man treated Miles...but then again, Phoenix realized his treatment of Edgeworth reminded himself that that was just an extension of his hatred of Gregory Edgeworth. Not that being treated similarly as Franziska was ideal either considering how warped she turned out.

("Please tell me I'm not some whip cracking lunatic also?!") He internally winced at the notion.

What really caught Phoenix off guard was Franziska describing their relationship. Apparently in public they were the perfect prosecuting duo. The perfect business partners. They always had their own cases they handled on their own; however they would still collaborate on some of their big cases together and be each other's co-counsel depending on who was assigned to be in charge of the case. They were feared and respected by many. Always on the news, whether nationally or internationally.

But in private...? Apparently, he was a doting brother, to Franziska von Karma. There was no mistaking the way she described it. While not the same it sounded similar to...him and Maya. That was just too weird to try to wrap his head around. In this universe Franziska was his Maya?!

Honestly, he hoped this universe version of him had half a brain cell to see anyone other than her!

("What about the Skyes?! They are both eerily similar to the Fey sisters! Lana was a chief prosecutor and could easily be a substitute for Mia here, and Ema makes perfect sense to be a substitute for Maya to this prosecutor version of me!") He thought desperately.

Phoenix then had to admit he was slightly ashamed for that thought. After all, was this not technically good news? It meant that Franziska von Karma was not completely heartless like her father...it was apparent she cared in her own way about her "brother". True, the Franziska von Karma of his world lightened up after he saw her last during that whole incident regarding the case with Dahlia and Godot. But he hadn't seen Franziska in years, and she still could be pretty...well pretty violent.

Phoenix was curious though; the idea was oddly fascinating, Franziska von Karma as a child...actually hanging out with him? It seemed almost too surreal. From everything she described, they sounded like their relationship was radically different than the Franziska and Edgeworth of his world. Franziska condescendingly once called Edgeworth "little brother," but he just could tell she didn't see him that way. She treated him more like a rival, an obstacle she needed to surpass that was even more important than her out-of-nowhere rivalry she declared on Phoenix. He couldn't really understand her. Never mind that Edgeworth didn't seem to treat her like a little sister. Though he didn't know the full extent of what the heck you would call her and Edgeworth's relationship, as no normal human type of relationship definition seemed to fit with both of them. Rivals or really weird, abnormal, friends who can't be anything but dramatic and overtly intense…that was the closest thing he could think of when describing Miles Edgeworth and Franziska von Karma.

He felt himself sigh, now wasn't the time to entertain these thoughts. Phoenix hated beating around the bush but he knew he had to ask about the current case at hand.

("Mia...what am I going to do?") He thought miserably.

His mentor, his former boss...Mia Fey. The woman he admired and aspired to emulate as an attorney. She meant so much to him, losing her was indeed a gut punch but he'd been able to move past that and go on with his life. But here she was, still alive apparently. And she'd been working for years with the Edgeworths now instead, that in itself had many questions but he knew for a fact that Mia would never kill anyone. Maybe he was letting his bias from his universe affect him, but he didn't care. Maybe things were drastically different in this universe, but his gut told him—alternate universe version Mia or not—she was innocent.

"Franziska," addressing her casually felt weird especially because in the past she would throttle him with her whip if he did so, "what about the Gregory Edgeworth case?"

"Well, with your current condition, it would probably be best if you rest and let me takeover. I know you were assigned to it, but you can't perform like this. I'll have everything taken care of, baby brother."

("No, I can't allow that! Knowing her, she'd just steamroll the trial to get Mia a guilty verdi—wait? BABY brother?! Last time I checked I was 34 years old, meaning you're only what? 27? Who are you calling a baby?!")

He frowned as his eyebrows furrowed and his nose scrunched up in annoyance.

"Baby bro—? I'm older than you!" He blurted out in exasperation but then immediately flinched fearing he'd get a whip to the face.

Franziska von Karma apparently didn't notice the flinch; she just...giggled?

("Wait? She's capable of giggling? Like some ordinary girl who doesn't whip you every five seconds, screaming fool with every other word? Okay this HAS to be a dream!")

"There he is." She said with a genuine smile.

It was so unsettling seeing a smile so warm on Franziska von Karma.

"There who is?" He asked, completely puzzled by this non-Franziska behavior.

"Despite your amnesia, I knew hiding under all that clueless buffoonery was my brother."

"Wait what?" He said with a single raised brow.

"When we first met, I declared you my new baby brother and protégé...you weren't keen on someone younger than you bossing you around. Despite my best efforts as a little girl, I could never quite tame you to see it that way." She chuckled with a nostalgic look in her eyes.

So, it was a trick. She was testing him; trying to see if he would react the way her Phoenix would react. Not that it mattered, he wasn't her Phoenix Wright. But...wait a second—?

"Who are you calling a clueless buffoon?" He actually dared to question out loud.

Instead of a whip like he'd normally expect she opted to flick him in the nose.

"OUCH!"

It wasn't the crack of a whip but it still hurt though.

"You, you fool." She said with a huff.

He grumbled and rubbed his nose.

"Let me help you." He said instead, changing the subject.

"What? You must be joking? Phoenix, you only have bits and pieces of your memories! Do you think I would be foolish to let you take this case on in your condition? Absolutely not! Utterly foolhardy foolishly foolish! Out of the question, brother!" She huffed.

"I remember plenty about the court! Listen uh—Rule number 1 in Evidence Law: No evidence shall be shown without the approval of the Police Department. Rule number 2: Unregistered evidence presented, must be relevant to the case in trial!" He exclaimed.

"Phoenix—!" Franziska had that impatient look but he interrupted her.

"The defense attorney engages a criminal bench trial, representing his or her client against the accusations of the prosecution. A defense attorney's aim is to cross-examine any witness brought to the stand, uncover any contradictions in their testimony or in the evidence itself during the cross-examination. Cross-examinations are especially important for not only finding contradictions in testimonies or evidence, but as well as leading to new information that can come to light!" Phoenix said confidently.

"Great so you know what a defense attorney can do, foolish brother, but I doubt that will help you as a prosecutor right now with your limited memories." Franziska said as she tapped her foot impatiently.

She had a point there; he was supposed to be a prosecutor here, not a defense attorney. But that didn't matter, he had to help Mia and find Gregory Edgeworth's real killer no matter what. He had to keep trying to convince her.

Phoenix racked around his brain to remember the official explanation when studying law for the prosecutor's role rather than his personal one as he wanted to sound as professional as possible to convince Franziska. Parroting Edgeworth's enlightened view on a prosecutor's role probably wouldn't go over well right now either. He needed a concise, unbiased, and most objective sounding answer possible.

"A prosecutor's job is having a suspect arrested for a crime the police investigate. They will build a case against their suspect using evidence that is collected and presenting the case against the suspect turned defendant in their following trial. A prosecutor is also responsible for managing the credibility of his or her case against the defendant as well as the defense attorney representing them. And as representatives of the state in criminal trials, prosecutors also have a duty to ensure the public that criminals are met with absolute justice and swift punishment for their crimes!" Phoenix then declared.

Franziska let out a heavy sigh through her nose and squared him up still with that impatient look, her nose crinkled a split second after he finished speaking. She remained quiet for a bit. Phoenix couldn't help but feel a burst of further confidence swell through him.

("Yeah, how about that Ms. von Karma!? I sounded like some kind of impressive, smart professor at law school, huh? You can't fault that answer, it was nothing but as you would say, PERFECT!") He didn't let it show physically but mentally he had a smug grin.

"You're a fool if you think remembering some definitions they teach in law school will convince me." Franziska said dryly.

("Oh, COME ON! What will it take to convince you woman!?") He thought with frustration.

He ran his fingers through his hair and let out a quiet growl under his breath. Why did she have to be so difficult?

"What else do you need for me to prove I remember law and can help do this?! Do you need me to describe DNA testing? Or dusting for finger prints? The role of the judge? Describing the three-day trial system? Gun ballistics?! Well if you must know, I remember being told over and over again they are like the fingerprints of a gun! What else do you need from me?! What?!"

He normally wouldn't have raised his voice against her in such a manner but he was losing his patience and he desperately wanted to help Mia. He was not going to take no for an answer! But what could he do? What could he say to convince her? He couldn't let her get Mia a guilty conviction. He had to do something, Mia needed him!

("Think Wright! Think! There has to be something you can say that would convince her! Wait...yes, that would be the only thing that would convince her...even if saying it out loud would make me sick.")

He took a deep breath.

"Franziska..." calling her by her first name felt so uncomfortable and alien to him, but he squashed his discomfort, "a von Karma is supposed to be perfect."

True, in this universe he was still Phoenix Wright...well technically half the time but that was beside the point. Like it or not he was also a von Karma here as well. It was the correct answer that even she couldn't argue against.

From the look on her face he could tell she was angry but also conflicted at his response.

"You can't be foolish enough to think in your condition—"

He interrupted her, "And if you were in my condition? What would you do?"

She had no counter argument. Finally, he found something that would sway her; he wished he thought of it sooner. He won this battle and she knew it. She looked quite annoyed at that fact, he was grateful he wasn't dumb enough to smirk at his victory over her. No need for a repeat of that; he was pretty sure he still had scars after his first victory against her when she whipped him enough times to knock him unconscious.

"Fine! Be a foolish fool who is foolishly stubborn! But don't you think for a second I'll leave you in such a state to prosecute this case alone! Your opponent is none other than that arrogant fool Miles Edgeworth, you need me!"

Edgeworth, one of his childhood friends. He wondered how different things were between them in this universe. He had to assume they weren't on friendly terms here like in his world, judging by how Franziska referred to the Edgeworths as "their" enemies. Add to that, she also made it seem like Mia was their enemy too. It was going to be difficult trying to help both of them while pretending to be their enemy. But even if both of them happened to hate him here, that wasn't going to stop him. He was going to do the right thing. He just hoped he can convince Franziska that he agrees with her point of views on this case when he actually feels the complete opposite.

"We will go speak to the Chief Prosecutor later, have it switched so you'll instead be co-counsel. Do you have everything? We should be going, we're behind as it is." The short prosecutor asked.

Co-counsel huh? Well he supposed it was better than nothing. He might still be able to manipulate this in Mia's favor even as just her co-counsel, but it will be tricky especially because it's Franziska von Karma. But he was confident he could pull it off.

As for her other question he did a once over of everything he had on him. He had the house key, his wallet, phone, the magatama that mysteriously is with him somehow, he supposed he would need whatever notes and evidence collected on the case. If this Phoenix was anything like him, he would keep most of it with him at all times.

"Hang on...just give me a sec—!" He dashed out of the living room.

He headed back to the room he was sleeping in earlier, the one belonging to the other Phoenix. He looked around the room and he found a light brown colored briefcase that was on the ground next to the nightstand. A pretty nice one that must have cost some money as the material felt like leather, but it was a simple design that was nothing too fancy thankfully. He couldn't keep Ms. von Karma waiting, so he would check the contents of what's in it later. He grabbed it and headed back to the living room where the German prosecutor was waiting.

"I'm ready now." He said as he greeted her.

"Very well, let's head out." She said with a nod.

Franziska moved to the front door and he followed her out. He shut the door behind him and locked it; putting the house key away back into his pocket.

"Nick, I was wondering, where is your car?" Franziska was looking around at the road in front of his house.

"Huh? Oh umm..."

What did Gumshoe say to him last night again? He scratched his forehead with his left hand as he tried to remember as a lot of last night was filtered through a haze. He dropped his left hand to his side immediately when the memory finally came to him.

"Detective Gumshoe said something about it being in the shop right now." He finally answered.

"The detective told you this? Don't tell me, you forgot about that." She said with a single raised brow.

"Hey don't blame me, it's not my fault I have amnesia!" He lied defensively.

The lady prosecutor just sighed, "No what I meant was, what were you thinking? You clearly were working late last night, meaning you dropped your car off at the shop on your way to work yesterday. How exactly were you planning on getting home? You're lucky Scruffy happened to stop by."

("So, she calls him Scruffy here too? Guess some things never change.") Phoenix thought to himself but then said out loud, "How should I know what I was planning? I have no memory of it, remember? For all I know maybe I was planning on taking a bus or taxi or made some other arrangements."

The petite woman next to him just rolled her eyes at him. He stopped following her, however, when he noticed something strange about the house. From what he could tell of the short time he was in the house, there was no garage to the back of the house. He would have expected there to be either a side or front garage then, with a driveway that leads to it. Except it has none of that. It looked especially out of place as both houses on either side of it had side garages. He turned to look at the house directly across the street and it had a front garage. A house without a garage? He supposed those can exist but they weren't exactly common. It would make sense in his own world if he owned a house to not have one as he doesn't have a car or driver's license. But the other Phoenix here had both a car and driver's license.

"Phoenix, why are you dawdling?" Franziska finally noticed he wasn't directly next to her.

"It's just...that's odd." He answered.

She walked back towards him, "What's odd?"

"This house—I mean, my house...how come it doesn't have a garage?" He inquired.

Phoenix wondered if he just asked either a bad question or a stupid one. She gave him the weirdest look. Then he noticed her strange expression morphed into something like pity.

"Did I...say something wrong?" He asked hesitantly.

"No, it's—" She let out a heavy sigh, "I see. You forgot about that too."

("Forgot about...what?")

"It's for the best I suppose, not having that trouble you." She practically whispered before turning her heels to head back to her car.

"Hey, hold up!" He followed after her, ("Just what the heck did she mean by that, and why is she being so cryptic all of a sudden?")


They finally made it over to the detention center. Phoenix knew he had to find a way to get away from Ms. von Karma for at least a couple of minutes so he could properly talk to Mia and figure out what's going on...but how to go about it?

Thankfully, he found himself lucky for once. The opportunity found itself on its own. Miles Edgeworth was about to head into the detention center. Franziska von Karma naturally zeroed in on him.

The first thing he noticed was that Miles was dressed in a regular business suit, but naturally in his usual red. Instead of a cravat as he would expect, there was instead a blue tie in its place. His hair was styled the same and just like in his universe, this Miles Edgeworth was also wearing glasses that couldn't help but make him look a lot like his father. His jacket was buttoned up all the way but it was a lower cut so he could still see a little bit of the dark gray vest that was underneath the jacket, with his tie tucked into the vest. What also was different was the attorney badge pinned to the lapel of his suit...it was surreal to see him wearing one of those.

He noticed immediately the haughty expression on Franziska von Karma's face, coupled with the glare of contempt on Miles Edgeworth's face.

("Oh boy...this isn't going to be pretty.")

"Look brother, a foolishly foolish rat came crawling out of his hole. Oh, I see he brought his foolish little fool of a mouse with him."

Phoenix resisted the urge to tell her to try and be politer; rivalry or no rivalry, this was just plain disrespectful as Edgeworth had just lost his father. He had no idea how the other Phoenix would have handled his sister. Franziska did mention he didn't take too kindly to her trying to "tame" him as children but that didn't exactly paint a picture of how he should behave around her to not raise suspicion. Still he also didn't want to call her out and cause a scene; especially if that's not how the other Phoenix would behave. It's one thing if it's just him and Franziska, but now he's in public around others who would definitely notice if he's behaving differently from his counterpart.

He sighed to himself as he was actually starting to get used to the idea of being in some other world, though a part of him still was in denial and insisting this was just a dream.

It was then Phoenix noticed none other than Maya hiding behind Edgeworth (Maya didn't help her case against the rodent accusation as she squeaked the moment Ms. von Karma addressed the spirit medium).

She was dressed differently but her hair for the most part was styled the same. It still had those two long strands of hair with beads dangling near the end and a small topknot bun at the top of her head. Except normally Maya would have her hair long and lose, tying it only at the end—not exactly a ponytail. Here, it was tied higher instead. Just at the base of the back of her neck—a true low ponytail, with her long hair flowing freely out of the hair tie. She was also dressed up in spirit medium garb, but it was instead an outfit that reminded him of the outfit Iris wore. It had its differences but it was very similar to hers. The main dress was a deep blue, but the sleeves were a much lighter shade of blue. The sash around her waist and tied into a bow at her side was long and colored purple. Just like the Maya from his world, she had obviously been training long and hard to take her place as the head of the Fey clan like her mother before her. He counted three beads on each side of the magatama around her neck. If what he remembered what Maya told him correctly, then this Maya had developed into a powerful medium going by what the beads represent.

He felt a pang of possessiveness he squashed down.

This wasn't his universe, so this isn't his Maya or his Mia and he's not a defense attorney—but he still couldn't help but feel this way. It felt wrong seeing Edgeworth in his shoes, side by side with Maya, and what Franziska told him earlier, he also had been practicing law with Mia for years. He couldn't help but feel jealous.

Though that was selfish of him. Now wasn't the time for that, especially considering what Edgeworth and Mia are going through right now.

"Wright, I thought I told you last time to keep your dog on her leash." Edgeworth finally spoke up.

Phoenix's jaw dropped probably a good couple of inches. He immediately took three steps backwards. He could not believe what he just heard. Edgeworth must have lost his mind. He actually called Franziska von Karma of all people, a dog! Franziska did egg him on but still...did he have a death wish or something? This was Franziska von Karma! No one would dare to have the balls to talk to her like that and get away with it!

The young female prosecutor narrowed her eyes dangerously; Edgeworth's glare then matched hers. The saying "between a rock and a hard place" didn't even come close to describing what he felt standing right there.

("Oh no...")

Phoenix could feel himself sweating on the back of his neck. The tension between Franziska von Karma and Miles Edgeworth was suffocating.

Sure enough, his "sister" erupted exactly as expected. While leaving Maya and Edgeworth at Franziska von Karma's fury (and stinging whip crazy antics) didn't sit well with him, this was the chance he was looking for. He snuck away into the detention center. He needed to talk to Mia.

Some guards saluted him, which felt odd to him, but he just nodded and made his way through. It was surreal that he didn't need to wait around. Just flashing his badge and saying who he needed to see and the guard called ahead and had it arranged immediately for him.

("Must be nice being a big shot prosecutor and having this luxury all the time...") He mentally grumbled.

He sat down in the chair and waited for the guard to bring her in. The door creaked open, and he caught a glimpse of her.

Her bangs were styled the same, but her hair was much shorter. It barely touched her shoulders and was cut in that bob-cut hairstyle. She had on a stylish, somewhat form-fitting business jacket that was a navy-blue color and unbuttoned. Her black shirt was form-fitting and her usual low cut, showing some cleavage. (He thankfully had the sense to not keep his eyes lingering there, he didn't have a death wish.) Her dress pants were also navy-blue, matching with her jacket. They hugged her waist, fitting her curves perfectly, but the pants were fitted looser around her ankles. Sort of like bell bottom jeans but nowhere near as dramatic, a more understated bell bottom cut. Her shoes were black high heeled boots. He did notice three familiar objects on her person though. First, he noticed the long yellow scarf she had tied around her neck. Next, he noticed her necklace which had a single magatama bead. Lastly, he saw her defense attorney badge that was pinned to the lapel of her stylish jacket.

An old feeling he thought he let go of years ago had started to resurface, but he smacked them back down. But it was such an amazing experience to see her again, one that was hard to even put into words. She'd been dead for so long but not here, she was actually here. Not being channeled through someone else, but it was really her! It was really Mia Fey! Flesh, blood and everything with it! She was really here!

As she started to approach the chair on the other side of the glass, across from him, an unpleasant emotion emerged and ruined his happier feelings. Very suddenly panic slapped him in the face like a wet fish. He had absolutely no idea what to say.

This wasn't his Chief, his mentor, his hero. The Mia Fey he knew personally and aspired to live up to her name and example. The Mia who meant everything to him. The one who always seemed to have the answers to every question and steered him back when he became lost.

What was he to say to this completely different version of Mia Fey who had a life completely different from the one he knew? How would he act around her? He had no inkling of an idea what the Phoenix Wright or von Karma or whatever he wants to call himself is like! He didn't exactly have anything to go off of from what little stuff he learned from Franziska!

("I'm so stupid. I just charged forward without even thinking as usual. Why do I do this to myself? There is a reason they say 'Look before you leap,' because that saying was obviously created for morons like me who just jump the first chance they get not realizing their next step LEAD THEM OFF A CLIFF!") He mentally screamed.

If the guard and Mia wasn't present he would have ripped his hair right out of his spiky head.

He gulped as she sat down. Mia stared at him with an indifference that really unsettled him. And maybe it was his imagination but the air felt a bit chilly.

"So, the famous Prosecutor Wright has actually come down from on high to grace me with his presence?" She said far too sweetly for it to be sincere.

He felt himself gulping again. Yep...he definitely had no idea what he was going to say. He knew he had to get to the bottom of what really happened but he didn't exactly come in with a strategy.

What was he thinking? Must he always fly by the seat of his pants with no plan?

"I—uhh...?" He sounded so awkward.

She stared at him, obviously confused at his behavior. She crossed her arms and tapped her right index finger against her left elbow.

"Yes, Mr. Wright?" She questioned apathetically.

"So, could you—um...that is uh—could you tell me about what happened—umm...please?" He internally winced at that sorry excuse of a question.

"Please?" She rose a single brow at him.

He could feel his cheeks burning. He couldn't look at her, so in his shame he decided he'd much rather make eye contact with the wall to his left. Instead of sounding like a seasoned lawyer with years of experience, he performed like a bungling amateur who hadn't a clue.

("Did I actually say that?! How embarrassing, could I be any more of a twit?!")

"This is quite a different strategy for you, Mr. Wright." Mia said sarcastically.

"I um—yes..." He cleared his throat and tried to straighten his posture.

He's supposed to be a big-time prosecutor here, not some bumbling defense attorney. He should try a better attempt at this.

"Could you explain to me what happened Ch—" He caught himself, he just nearly called her Chief, "I uh—Ms. Fey."

He externally winced this time. It was such a pathetic recovery attempt. He hated being so out of his element.

"You're acting strange Mr. Wright, are you sure you're feeling well?" She asked.

"I'm fine!" He insisted a little too quickly.

He needed to calm down. Prosecutors and defense attorneys were both lawyers, just different sides of the law. He may not know how to be this Prosecutor Wright-von Karma—or anything, but he could at least try to be more professional. He knows how to do that at least. He took a deep breath to steel himself. Once he felt himself calm down a bit more he finally felt he could look her in the eyes with more confidence sitting with him.

"Ms. Fey, could you please tell me everything that happened?" He asked, finally sounding more poised.

"I suppose, since you are being polite. But I have to wonder though...why?" There was a hint of skepticism in her tone.

"Why?" He tried not to sound so confused.

"You already have your culprit. What does it matter what I say?" She questioned with narrowed eyes.

Almost as if he was in the court room, on instinct he stood up and slammed his hands on the counter, startling her with his action.

"But you're innocent!" He exclaimed.

It was too late to take back what he just said. He reacted without thinking. He scrambled back in his seat and immediately looked at the floor, embarrassed by his outburst. He couldn't face her shocked expression at the moment. It was silent for about fifteen seconds until he heard her voice again.

"What...what did you say?" Her voice sounded taken aback.

He actually dared to look up and that shocked expression was still on her face. Well, he had no choice but to see it through now that he already bungled that.

"You didn't Chi—I mean—Ms. Fey! You're not the killer!"

"Your people arrested me. You expect me to really believe you think that? Especially after everything your family has done in the past—what you've done to me!" Her expression became extremely guarded, "What's your game?"

What he's done to her? What did she mean by that? What...what did his other self do?

Now he was extremely worried and angry, but not at her but his other self. Granted he had no context but still, just from hearing Mia's tone, her body language around him, and whatever vague incident she's implying...none of it is giving him a good impression on his other self.

No, he couldn't worry about that right now. He shook his head and clenched his fists at his side. He needed her to believe him.

"There is no game!" He asserted desperately.

She still eyed him suspiciously.

"Ms. Fey..." Phoenix murmured dejectedly.

He let out a heavy breath through his nostrils and rubbed the back of his neck with his right hand.

There really wasn't a way he could explain this to her. She probably wouldn't believe him. How could one explain he knew they were innocent because of their shared history in an alternate universe, where in the current one they wouldn't give you a second glance?

Still there was no time for this, Ms. von Karma and Edgeworth are going to notice his disappearance soon. He had to find out what he could and quickly.

"I'm only here to make sure the one who committed the crime is punished. I refuse to let a killer go free." He declared.

"Oh really? Then you'll lose on purpose? What about the precious 'Perfect von Karma Family' record?" She said with a silent snort.

He rose from his seat again and passionately slammed both hands against the counter like he does in the courtroom out of instinct once more. It wasn't Mia's fault but just thinking about the lengths Manfred von Karma went and everything he had done? He was absolutely livid, it made his blood boil.

"SCREW HIS PRECIOUS RECORD!" Phoenix practically yelled at the top of his lungs.

Phoenix thought a blood vessel would pop from how loud he was. His most recent outburst startled her far more than the last. He sheepishly sat back down and forced himself to be calm.

"Um—uh—I..." He struggled to recover himself.

There was a pregnant pause as he avoided eye contact with her. Just blinking and staring at anything in the room except her eyes. How on Earth do you explain the adopted son who—from what little he knows from what Franziska told him—was taken in with open arms by the von Karma's after a traumatic death of his family, suddenly has this irrational anger against his own adoptive "father". He still had very little context of the full story, heck he had the bare minimum of context. But still, he couldn't blame Mia for staring at him as if he'd spontaneously grown a butt on his forehead.

He really needed to work on trying to not be defense attorney Phoenix Wright.

"Who are you?" She asked skeptically again.

Mia's question caught him off guard. But he can't back down. The Mia Fey he knew would not stand for that. He needed to get a hold of himself.

He steeled himself once more as he looked her straight in the eyes with one of his trademark determined expressions that he became famous for in the courtroom. Then he inhaled a deep breath through his nose before exhaling, letting his tension escape.

"The Phoenix Wright you thought you knew Ms. Fey—he's gone..." Well that technically wasn't a lie, he placed a hand over the unfamiliar prosecutor badge that was pinned to his lapel, "Let's just say I woke up and realized the truth. It will be hard, but I will do my best to aide you as much as I can. I have a role people expect me to play still. But you're innocent Ms. Fey. I will do everything in my power to help you!"

She just stared at him, silent and unsure, but then a small smile appeared.

"How odd...you're almost starting to talk like a defense attorney." Mia said with a slight mix of curiosity and amusement.

She did not phrase it like a question but he couldn't help but feel there was a hint of question in her statement. He shifted nervously at her comment.

His Mia Fey really was sometimes just too perceptive for her own good; this Mia Fey was probably just like her in that regard and that was cause for concern. It's not that he doesn't trust Mia, (well...the Mia he knew anyway) he just wasn't ready or even sure he wanted anyone to know the truth—it was hard to believe enough as it is. He still wasn't one hundred percent certain he wasn't just dreaming or going crazy.

But he really needed to work on this whole behaving like a prosecutor thing. He'd so far done a lousy job at it. He didn't even want to imagine how he'll be in court if he continued like this.

"Why would you want to help me though?" She asked with genuine sincerity this time.

Phoenix let out a sluggish breath. They were back to this again, were they?

Although he couldn't exactly explain why. It was too unreal. He wouldn't believe himself if he wasn't currently experiencing this...actually he still couldn't fully believe this. And yet the denial was starting to appear ridiculous, as well as redundant at this point.

"I told you—you're innocent." He reaffirmed.

"And...?" She said while she gave him a tone of doubt again.

"And?" He repeated and just blinked with a puzzled expression.

And? What did she mean "And...?". What other reasons did she need?

("Oh...right...I'm supposed to be a prosecutor, one raised by Manfred von Karma. Ugh...that thought alone still gives me shivers.") He thought with internal disgust.

She'd obviously need more convincing.

("So...what would my universe's version of Miles Edgeworth say? He's a big shot prosecutor after all...come on, think Phoenix! He's been your friend for years, you should be able to think of whatever eloquent jargon Edgeworth spills out of his mouth.")

"It's..."

He tried his best to put himself in Edgeworth's shoes. Thinking like a prosecutor when you are anything but a prosecutor was harder than he thought it would be.

"It's the most...logical." He eventually decided to try to come up with some kind of explanation.

"Logical?" She gave him a puzzled look.

"Well yeah? I mean what are the facts?" He asked.

Phoenix then mimicked the exact way he remembered Edgeworth would cross his arms and tap his right index finger against his arm.

"Gregory Edgeworth was your mentor and someone you greatly respected, I would imagine. Strike one, you killing him doesn't make sense. You have no motive as far as I can see. Then we have to consider your personality, your background, and your personal life. Strike two, everything you are and have done up until now—as well as your upbringing as far as I know—doesn't paint a picture of someone who would become a cold-blooded killer." He explained.

He then copied that same stupid smirk combined with the stupid finger wag before tapping said index finger on his forehead—that stupid thing Edgeworth does.

"Lastly, Gregory Edgeworth is the father of Miles Edgeworth. Strike three, there is no way someone like Miles Edgeworth would defend his father's murderer if she was guilty. It doesn't add up with the facts. You can't be the one who did it." He asserted confidently.

Not quite how his world's version of Miles Edgeworth would have worded it but Phoenix hoped he at least sounded as convincing as Edgeworth to her.

This world's version of Mia was still frowning and before he could stop himself he ended up opening his big dumb mouth again.

"You shouldn't make a face like that Ms. Fey. For your sake and for your sister's sake, you need to keep smiling, no matter how bad it looks! Smile till the bitter end!"

She mirrored her previously surprised expression and he wanted to smack himself. He accidentally repeated what Mia has told him when he felt a situation was hopeless. He couldn't help it; his instincts just took over again.

("That's not going to look suspicious AT ALL! Way to go Wright, when will you learn to quit while you're ahead!?")

Unbeknownst to Phoenix who had still been too busy kicking himself, Mia smiled a much softer but understanding smile.

"So, it seems you are still the same a bit deep down after all. I guess Miles and Apollo were right about you...I was almost ready to give up hope on you." She whispered faintly.

Phoenix heard her mumble something to herself but he didn't catch it, all he heard out of that was "hope" but that was it.

"Did you say something, Ms. Fey?" He asked, slightly anxious.

He hoped he didn't have to try to do any more convincing again. He needed some answers.

"It's nothing important, Mr. Wright...I'll tell you everything that I can recall." Mia said.

Phoenix sighed a breath of relief and grinned, "Thanks Ms. Fey."

Mia retold everything she could remember before and after the murder. And after hearing the story...Mia was definitely framed.

Mia came back to work in the middle of the night to pick up some case files she was going to need for an upcoming case. She discovered the office a huge mess, a major disaster. Several windows were broken, everything was in disarray, papers were everywhere, furniture was moved or turned over. Files were all over the place. Her plant, Charley, was knocked over. She rushed in, trying to figure out what happened. Her immediate suspicion was that they were robbed. She only made barely past the doorway into the next room—the room that was Gregory Edgeworth's office—but then she felt a large and sharp pain slamming against the lower back of her head, just barely above her neck. Someone struck her from behind and she passed out. When she woke up, the police told her Mr. Edgeworth was murdered, pushed out the window to his death, and she was placed under arrest. Apparently, they found evidence that incriminated her.

Just when he was about to ask what that supposed incriminating evidence was, the door suddenly busted open. Edgeworth stood there, definitely not looking happy. Trailing behind him was a fuming Maya; her face was turning red and her cheeks were puffing out like a balloon.

"Unbelievable! Totally Unbelievable! You—You...YOU BIG FAT JERK! I can't believe you used your own sister to distract us, just so you could sneak in here and trick my big sister into making a false confession I bet!" Maya accused heatedly.

"Sicking Ms. von Karma on us like a crazed canine is not exactly what I would call a distraction, Maya." Edgeworth said as he straightened his tie.

Phoenix sighed and shook his head, he hoped he'd have more time with Mia. Oh well, now was a good time as any to practice with better effort at pretending to be a prosecutor.

He did his best to impersonate the smarmiest smirk he committed to memory. An arrogant smirk—he remembered more than anything how much he hated it when first seeing Miles Edgeworth in court. It was kind of ironic he was directing it at this version of Edgeworth. He even repeated the same stupid finger wag with it too at Edgeworth.

"Now Edgeworth, that's rude. Comparing a young lady to an animal? Deplorable—it's no wonder she had to discipline you on your manners." He did his best impersonation of the smarmy tone Edgeworth had back then too.

He noticed Miles's left eyebrow was twitching. Apparently, he could pull off a decent "prosecutor so patronizing you want to punch their teeth out" impersonation. He wasn't sure yet if he should be proud or disappointed at that. Regardless if he ever gets back to his universe maybe he should thank Edgeworth for being such a tool years ago.

"Discipline you say—?"

Whatever Edgeworth was about to say, he was cut off by Maya.

"While it's true Miley has no manners when addressing a lady..."

("Did she just call him Miley?!") Phoenix felt himself do a double-take.

"Hey Maya whose side are you—" Edgeworth tried protesting Maya's statements, but she nudged him for that and continued.

"But she also assaulted my delicate self! I'm a lady too! I didn't do anything wrong and now I'll be stinging for days because Miley doesn't know how to behave properly around girls!"

("She...she did just call him Miley.") He was in utter disbelief.

"Tch—throw me under the bus?" Edgeworth grumbled.

The slight pang of jealousy returned seeing Maya behaving with Edgeworth the same as the Maya Fey of his world was around him, but he ignored it. He was still trying to process her nickname for Edgeworth. Nick was a normal nickname for anyone, it wasn't the least bit embarrassing. Miley on the other hand...how the heck did he not die from shame hearing her call him that in public?

The attention however was now on Maya, and to be perfectly honest he couldn't bring himself to do it. He just couldn't bring himself to be a jerk to her. Yeah Edgeworth was a friend too, but here they are supposed to be rivals only, at least he assumed they were. Edgeworth almost seemed just as "happy" to see him as Franziska. He had to keep up an act, he didn't want to raise suspicion. But Maya? She was practically like a little sister to him, and he certainly wasn't going to antagonize her for the heck of it or to keep up pretenses. He just couldn't bring himself to do it.

He supposed he had to make something up on the fly in order to keep up with this whole prosecutor image when addressing Maya in that moment.

"Ah—the younger Ms. Fey. I do apologize for Franziska's behavior against you. You are right, while Edgeworth was indeed an ill-mannered brute around her, you had done nothing against her that was worthy of punishment. I give you my word as her older brother I will have a talk with her that she should only punish those who deserve it." He said with a polite bow.

("Where the heck did that come from?!")

He was just winging it; this whole pretend Prosecutor von Karma-Wright—whatever the hell his name is—image. However, he had no idea where this came from or where he was going with it. He needed to make this stupid persona and this conversation end quickly because he was three seconds from blushing twenty-three different shades of red and running out of there in humiliation. This was so beyond not him.

He took a quick breath to mentally calm his nerves. He was already knee-deep in the water; he may as well jump in. He was never one to not see something through, though this still felt so weird...and dumb...and embarrassing.

"Ms. Fey, as an apology for my sister's behavior towards you, I want you to have this." He smiled as charming as possible while he pulled a couple of twenty dollar bills out of his wallet and placed them into Maya's left hand, "Go get yourself as much burger ramen as you like, my treat."

"WHAAAAA—?!" Maya exclaimed, "I can REALLY have as much as I like?!"

Phoenix nodded in response, and she let out a tiny squeak of delight. Her eyes were practically glittering. The spirit medium then proceeded to jump up and down as she yanked Edgeworth's left arm in excitement (nearly pulling the thing out of its socket too).

He couldn't help but feel envious again seeing this. It was funny considering he was there yesterday as far as he could remember...but he already missed his home a lot. Especially his cheerful crazy assistant and one of his closest friends. And even if it's only been about a day since he was home in his alternate reality, he hadn't heard from Maya in several months. She was very busy training and preparing herself to take on the role that once belonged to her mother. But regardless of that, she quickly became the closest thing he imagined to what it was like to having a little sister. Phoenix couldn't help but wonder how his universe's Maya Fey was doing.

He shoved those thoughts down, they weren't helping him or his situation now. He cleared his throat and waved off Mia and Maya.

"I bid you ladies farewell...oh and Edgeworth?" He said in an obnoxiously cheerful tone.

Edgeworth was glaring at him...he wondered if this was exactly how Edgeworth felt when he messed with Phoenix himself in court. He had it admit a part of him did find it mildly entertaining.

"What?" Edgeworth was barely keeping a lid on his annoyance.

"You might want to clean up your face, it seems your nose is bleeding." Phoenix pointed out.

Edgeworth scrambled to get a tissue from his pocket and cursed Franziska's name while Phoenix turned to head out the door. Phoenix however stopped himself. The guilt was gnawing at him. He couldn't do this. He couldn't keep being so insensitive to Edgeworth. A part of him indeed got mild amusement out of some tiny juvenile crevice that would have loved to get back at the old jerk version of Miles Edgeworth, but this man wasn't that same Edgeworth. And even his universe's Edgeworth wasn't even that same Edgeworth anymore for years now. True the major reason he's doing this is to try and keep up appearances without casting suspicion on why he's so different from this other Phoenix. He had to keep up with this image he supposed until he figured out just how the hell he got there, and hopefully find a way home.

But Phoenix could feel the guilt clawing inside him, the sickness sitting in his chest feeling like something was gnawing around his insides literally. He just couldn't do this now, his conscious wouldn't allow anymore of this. Here in this world, Edgeworth had very recently lost his father. He didn't care if this Edgeworth hated him here, he can keep up his appearances in court tomorrow. At the very least they also used to be childhood friends in this alternate reality too. He hoped the other Phoenix—even if they became estranged—would have the decency to give his condolences to an old friend. And if he didn't then he didn't give a damn because he sure is hell wouldn't be that kind of person!

"Did you need anything else, Wright?"

Phoenix still had his back towards him so he couldn't see Edgeworth's face, but he could hear the thinly-veiled antagonistic tone in his voice.

Phoenix rested his right hand against the door frame as he let out another heavy exhale through his nose.

"Edgeworth..." He dropped the fake haughty persona entirely and made certain his tone was completely sincere and sober, "I understand this is a difficult time...I'm sorry about...I'm sorry about your dad."

The room was extremely quiet. He couldn't even hear anything except his own breathing. Phoenix finally dared to turn around and he wondered if he just sprung extra limbs from the complete shock on Edgeworth's and Maya's face, especially Edgeworth's.

"You're sorry?" Edgeworth said with quiet disbelief.

His shocked expression then morphed into complete animosity, he moved so quickly Phoenix had barely any time to react. He sprinted forward, grabbed Phoenix by the collar and shoved him hard against the wall; the back of his head smacked the wall pretty strongly too, he was definitely going to be getting a small knot there.

"Miles!" Mia exclaimed from the other side of the glass.

Phoenix was taken aback, not just by this action but because this was Miles Edgeworth. Even when Edgeworth got angry he never lost his cool like this. Between himself, Miles, and Larry...even as children, Miles was always the one who had better control of his emotions.

"You?! You're SORRY?!" He repeated with more ire.

"Miley, what are you doing?!" Maya ran forward but stopped in her tracks when Edgeworth turned his head to give his fiery glare towards her.

"No! I want to hear his excuse!" He then turned back to fix his glare on Phoenix again, "So out with it, Wright!"

His glare was actually pretty terrifying. Phoenix had to force himself to not let a shiver crawl up his spine from the mere sight of it.

"Out with wha—" Before Phoenix could finish that question Edgeworth cut him off, shoving him against the wall again making him smack that same spot on the back of his head even harder.

"Don't play dumb with me, Wright! If you're truly sorry, then tell me why! Why did your men arrest Mia?! You know damn well she would never do this! Why are your men not putting in more effort to find my father's real killer?! Doesn't he deserve justice, Wright?! You are always so big on bringing criminals to justice after all!"

Phoenix was momentarily rendered speechless as he just dumbly stared at Edgeworth wide-eyed and mouth gaping like the clueless attorney he is. He'd never seen Edgeworth express this much emotion to such an extent. That only caused Phoenix to have his expression to morph into sympathy knowing what he was going through; which he could tell threw Edgeworth off a bit...not that he was letting go of his grip on Phoenix's collar.

"You know better than that Edgeworth." Phoenix finally found his voice, "The police have to build a case on the evidence and testimony they find, if it points strongly to an individual, they will arrest them."

"So—you'll just blindly accept whatever they throw at you?!" Edgeworth hissed through clenched teeth.

Phoenix let out a light sigh. He felt a bittersweet smile curl onto his lips however when he remembered something important a certain rival and old friend once said to him and Franziska after the Matt Engarde trial. Perhaps this version of Miles Edgeworth needed to hear these words just as much as Phoenix did.

"There is only one thing that should matter in court. And that thing is the truth. The truth will always find a way to make itself known. All we can do is to fight with the knowledge we hold and everything we have. Erasing the contradictions and connecting the missing pieces one by one, it's never easy. We scratch and claw for every inch. But we always eventually reach that one single truth." Phoenix paraphrased from memory.

It seemed what he said partly got through to Edgeworth; while he didn't let go he felt his grip loosen a little bit, and his expression—it was still anger radiating off him—but he could see the tension ease up slightly in his face.

"We both have jobs to do, and while they are on different sides of the courtroom, our goals are the same." Phoenix said with a more confident smile.

"Really?" Edgeworth scoffed.

"I want the truth, and so do you, don't you? If Ms. Fey is guilty, then the truth will be revealed in court...but if she's truly innocent, then it's the truth. Our jobs are to reveal the truth. If you are so convinced of her innocence then fight to the bitter end and prove she isn't guilty. That is your duty as her defense attorney." He answered undauntedly.

Now Edgeworth was struck speechless, he still didn't let go but his anger seemed to finally leave his countenance.

Unfortunately, Phoenix could hear Franziska's voice getting closer as she barked several orders at the personnel. He turned towards the open doorway and sure enough Franziska eventually made eye contact and took in their positions. Her face transformed into pure, raw fury. She looked even scarier than Edgeworth. He didn't fight a shiver to crawl up his spine that time.

"Unhand him at once, Miles Edgeworth!" She screamed.

She whirled her whip to strike Edgeworth but thanks to Edgeworth's loosened grip, Phoenix easily pushed him away. That sadly meant the whip stung against his left arm but it was a necessary evil because he wasn't going to have Edgeworth dragged into this.

"What? Phoenix? Why did you—" Franziska was completely thrown off guard, "You foolish brother, why did you do that? You are not my target!"

"That's enough, it's the defense's time to speak with the defendant so let's just go investigate the crime scene and come back later to interview Ms. Fey." Phoenix urged politely as possible, he didn't want to deal with an irate Franziska at the moment (or ever if he could help it).

"I believe we are the ones who get to decide who can speak with her first! Us! The prosecution! Not them! And you are seriously going to ignore that foolish Miles Edgeworth was assaulting you?!" She then turned out to the hallway, "Guards! You incompetent FOOLS! Foolishly foolhardy foolish fools! You allowed an esteemed prosecutor to be assaulted on your foolishly foolish watch! I'll make certain EVERY last one of you fools gets a painful evaluation at the end of the month!"

("I see...she's the overbearing—overprotective type of little sister it seems. Lucky me...") He resisted the urge to roll his eyes or slap his forehead.

"Sister, that's enough!" He felt extremely weird calling her that, but he needed to get her to listen to him, "I'm alright! It was nothing to worry over. Let's just go and come back later, okay? You said yourself this morning you wanted to get to every scrap of evidence first, so let's go do that."

She frowned up at him then tilted her head to face Edgeworth where she glared something fierce at him. She stepped closer to Phoenix and even slightly in front of him, extending her right hand out as she gripped the handle of her whip tightly. Phoenix realized she was actively trying to shelter him from Edgeworth. That was just too weird for him to process.

"He still must be punished for his behavior! No one dares to lay a hand on one of us!" She declared with a vengeful twinge in her eyes.

He quietly groaned and quickly rolled his eyes before anyone could see it. He placed his left hand on her right hand and gently pushed it down. The short German prosecutor immediately tilted her head up towards him, eyeing him with confusion.

"Go easy on him—"

Franziska cut him off, her tone incredulous, "Go EASY on him?! Did you hit your head or something?!"

("Well...yeah, actually...but that's not the point.") He thought while rubbing the back of his head where a tiny bump had in fact started to form.

He shook his head and placed his other hand on her shoulder. He then leaned down towards her ear.

"Can't you cut him a break just this once, at least for now? His father was just killed." He whispered.

Franziska made a very tiny gasp that he barely heard it. She looked at him, then at Edgeworth, the two Fey sisters, then back at him. She huffed as she pursed her lips. There was a small glimpse of pity there, but she masked it quickly with a look of vexation. She crossed her arms and quietly grumbled.

"Fine, have it your way." She said with an expression that was a weird mix between a scary glare and an adorable pout, he wasn't sure how she accomplished that contradiction.

Franziska wrapped her whip back and put it away, he was grateful that being over at least.

"We're leaving brother." Franziska walked out without a second glance.

He gave everyone a forced smile and awkward wave before following her out and shutting the door behind him.


Miles Edgeworth had no idea how to process everything that had been happening these past two days. He promised himself he wouldn't lose control of his emotions, especially in public. But it seemed even he had his limits. He needed to be more careful, he was no good like this.

"Are you okay, Miley?" Maya asked next to him with evident concern.

"Yes, I'm alright now, forgive me. I was out of line, and I caused you both to worry." He apologized.

Mia just smiled at him from the other side of the glass while Maya cheerfully pat him on the back.

"Apology accepted, just don't fly off the handle like that again! You had a really scary look in your eye! Plus—I thought Franziska von Karma was gonna tear you a new one when she saw you pinning her brother against the wall!" Maya exclaimed.

"Maya has a point there, you should be more careful Miles. I can't have my attorney getting arrested for assault." Mia teased lightly with a bittersweet smile.

Despite her predicament, Mia was trying to lighten his mood as well as hers. Maya was also trying to do her best to cheer him up as well. He was grateful he had these two in his life, especially now...he didn't even want to think how he'd deal with it if he was alone in facing his father's death.

But more pressing matters was Phoenix Wright. He was behaving...rather off.

Even when he was being condescending towards him, there was something slightly different about it, he couldn't place it. Then he suddenly dropped it completely and showed a sincerity from him he hadn't seen in years. Did he dare hope that he was seeing glimpses of his old friend underneath all those frilly cravats and hot air that Manfred von Karma brainwashed him into? Or was this a trick? He couldn't say for certain...but something was definitely different about him. He almost wished he had either Apollo or Athena with him today instead of Maya. Not that he would ever deprive Maya of checking on Mia, but having Athena or Apollo around would be a huge help. He could easily have either of them tell him if Wright was just trying to trick him.

"Wright was acting a bit strange. What was his angle?" He asked out loud as he sat in the chair across from Mia.

"Who cares?! Look at all the burgers and burger ramen we can buy with this, he should act strange more often! Just no more pinning him to walls or else I won't get more money for burgers and burger ramen!" Maya said playfully.

He snorted but managed to smile at her jest.

"Ah-ha! There he is! See sis! I knew we would be able to find his smile!" The spirit medium giggled.

"That you did Maya. Good job. I know I can always count on you." Mia nodded.

"Oh yeah sis—what did Mr. Wright say to you?" Maya asked.

Mia just smiled. It was her usual cheerful, warm smile he always had been accustomed too except there was that hint of...something cryptic about it.

"Maybe he'll tell you eventually." She said in a light playful tone.

("What?! Mia, what are you saying?!")

Mia wasn't telling him what Wright said? His alarm bells went off. Why would Mia not tell him? What was the man up to?! No, that wasn't right. Even Phoenix Wright wouldn't go as far as Manfred von Karma to get a confession...and nothing in Mia's behavior hinted at anything that should be worrying. She seemed far calmer and even in higher spirits compared to when he last saw her yesterday.

"Whaaa—come on sis! No fair! Tell us!" Maya whined.

"I can't spoil the surprise, Maya."

"Mr. Wright got us a present?! Is it more burger ramen?!"

As Maya continued gabbing, Miles just observed while deep in thought. If it wasn't for the present circumstances, one would almost think Mia wasn't sitting in a police detention center awaiting a trial for a murder she was being accused of.

Every possible scenario he tried to think of didn't seem to fit with what he had been currently observing.

("Just what in the world is Wright up to?")

Chapter Text

"Mia, this isn't exactly stirring confidence. Why won't you tell me what's going on? What did Wright say to you?" Miles asked firmly.

He wished he knew what she was thinking. But it was important she communicate with him. Especially on suspicious matters like this.

"Miles...I understand I'm asking a lot but trust me. It's best if we wait and see how this plays out." Mia said with rather vague encouragement.

"And why the devil would I be okay with waiting to see how this plays out? I'm not going to let this rest until you give me something a little more concrete Mia." Miles said.

Mia gave him a sigh as she rubbed the right side of her neck.

"I don't know Miles. I don't know if I should. A part of me wants to believe—" She trailed off for a second, appearing lost in thought.

"Sis? What's wrong?" Maya asked next to him.

"A part of me is really hopeful what he told me was the truth and that he's being sincere...but...I don't want to get your hopes up Miles. Just in case it's some kind of trick. I'd rather it be just me bamboozled than both of us. I want you to focus on the trial and keeping your guard up. Let me worry about what Mr. Wright said, okay?" She gave him one of her tender smiles.

It was his turn to sigh. She was far more stubborn than he was unfortunately. But he did trust Mia. Whatever Wright said apparently made her more optimistic but she was still trying to protect Miles in case whatever the prosecutor said was some kind of trap. He wished she wouldn't do that. Mia should learn to worry more about herself than everyone else.

"Very well, I'll let it go...for now." Miles relented much to his displeasure.

Mia smiled another tender smile at him much to his annoyance. He hated when she did that. She always seemed to know how to win an argument between them anytime she started smiling like that. Curse her for it.

"How is Hayden? Oh—and Charley?" Mia asked with concern.

"You don't have to worry about either. Apollo and Athena promised to take turns on making sure Charley is well taken care of. And Miley immediately went to your place after this whole mess and got Hayden." Maya said cheerfully.

"Yes, I brought him straight to my apartment soon as I was called about your arrest." Miles nodded.

"Yep! Miley was on top of it because he knew you'd be worried." Maya clapped her hands together and nodded.

"You're so sweet Miles, I can always count on you. I hope he's on his best behavior for you, I know Hayden can be a bit of a wild animal." Mia teased.

"Your pup has shown he's capable of manners thankfully," Miles lightly jested, then added, "Besides, Pess is quite enjoying having a new friend around the apartment while I'm working."

Suddenly Mia was frowning, her mood became more downcast. That caused Miles to drop his smile instantly.

"Miles, how is Apollo doing? Oh and Athena too of course?" Mia asked.

He could read the guilt all over Mia's expression. Apollo and Athena both decided they wanted to take on their recent case together, it was personal for them as both of them had close friends involved in their case. But normally Apollo always goes over every finding of his investigations with Mia—his mentor. Even if he isn't doing a case with Mia, Apollo always felt more confident in his cases after getting a second opinion from Mia. Likewise, Miles would do the same for Athena who he had mentored. The last trial day of their case was tomorrow, Apollo and Athena sadly were both too busy at the time to help with his father's case.

"I know what you're thinking Mia, and you can quit that train of thought while you're ahead. Apollo has been an attorney for almost eighteen months now, you've prepared him well enough. He will be fine, I know it's tradition he asks for your opinion after every investigation but he will do fine. Athena too. We've prepared both of our students for the tasks ahead of them. They make a good team and will win their case, that I'm sure of." He stated matter-of-factly.

He could have phrased that a bit more gently, but that wasn't exactly his strong suit. He dealt with facts. And the facts were simple, they both had gifted students who would be fine without always having to turn to their mentors. Not that Apollo was dependent on Mia, but he knew it was important to her to be there for her protégé.

"Yes, I know but—"

"No buts Sis! Miley is right! You have nothing to feel guilty about! You're just as bad as Apollo and Athena. They were feeling all down and out because they couldn't aid with our case because they were so busy with theirs, Apollo especially was taking it hard. But it can't be helped. Stop worrying! They got this! And we got this! Everything is going to work out, I just know it! So you all can stop being a bunch of worry-warts!" Maya exclaimed.

"Very well, I'll try to stop worrying over Apollo and Athena, but only if you tell them both to not feel guilty about being busy with another case. I'm in good hands after all." Mia said.

Maya nodded and gave her sister a thumbs up.

"Maya...how—is mom alright?" Mia asked hesitantly.

Maya's smile immediately faltered. She looked down at the ground, crestfallen. Miles closed his eyes and crossed his arms, taking in a deep breath.

"She is deeply upset by everything that has happened, that is understandable considering the circumstances. However, she shoulders these burdens well. Misty Fey is a strong woman, just like her daughters." Miles said with a small smile.

He was glad he was able to get the two Fey sisters to smile, even if only slightly. But he frowned again when he noticed such heavy concern in Mia's eyes.

"Miles...are you going to be alright?" Mia asked gently.

He pressed his lips into a thin line and felt the muscles in his jaw tighten as he clenched his teeth. He closed his eyes again to take a deep breath through his nose. He promised he wouldn't lose control. It was even more important after that earlier outburst that he did not lose control. He's of no use like that.

"We're not here for me, we're here for you. Mia, please tell me everything that happened on the night of the murder." He deflected instead.

It was best not to dwell on such things. Focusing on himself would not help his father or Mia.


Franziska was driving and dialed some number, putting in a Bluetooth in her ear. She looked...extremely unhappy. She couldn't still be sore about what happened at the detention center, could she?

"Is everything alright?" Phoenix asked nervously.

"I need quiet brother...I have to call...her." Franziska said with disgust.

It seemed it was whoever she was calling then. He wondered what kind of person it was that was putting her in such a foul mood.

"Chief Prosecutor, this is Franziska von Karma."

Phoenix felt his eyes widen. So, the Chief Prosecutor was a woman here? Was it still Lana? He certainly hoped not for Lana's sake, he'd hate to think she was still being blackmailed for years on end here too, worse if it was here it would be much longer than back home.

"No, Ms. Mite. I have an urgent request! I need you to put me in command of the Gregory Edgeworth case."

Okay so not Lana, at least he hoped, not unless she changed her name from Lana Skye to Lana Mite, but he doubted it. Something in his gut told him that Franziska probably wouldn't be nearly so angry if it was Lana who was the Chief Prosecutor...or at least he assumed.

"Yes, I have Phoenix's permission that he is stepping down as prosecutor for this case! Did you honestly think I would ask this without my own brother's permission?!"

("Well...this is getting to be more awkward, I'd definitely love to be anywhere that isn't here. Any takers on waking up and this all is just a dream? Yes? No? Please? Ugh...it was worth a shot.") He mentally grumbled.

"No Phoenix is not feeling that well. However, the case is still rather personal to him so he's offering to step down for the sake of his health, but on the condition he still gets to act as my co-council. You can easily switch it so I'm the acting prosecutor, I know you've done it before last minute on other trials." Franziska glared daggers at the road ahead of her.

Phoenix decided to look out the window and ponder over everything that happened so far while Franziska did her best to not raise her voice and chew the ear off the woman on the other line, which was a remarkable feat in itself considering Franziska was still arguing with this woman but was quite clearly holding back. Just who was this Chief Prosecutor that she causes Franziska to hold back on being...well Franziska?

"Tch...fine, you may ask him yourself, but keep it quick! Phoenix has been having dreadful headaches all morning and your loud voice would probably upset him." Franziska kept her voice crisp yet neutral while her eyes were anything but.

Those were the eyes of a woman about to erupt.

Phoenix felt himself gulp. Now he was feeling nervous again, especially seeing how much Franziska was on the edge. He just hoped she didn't explode at him. Franziska stopped at a red light and quickly switched off the Bluetooth, switching it back to her normal cellphone.

"Hold on one second Ms. Mite, I'm getting an incoming call. Let me see who it is and tell them to call back later." Franziska lied as she put the woman on hold.

She then handed Phoenix over the sleek smartphone as the light turned green. Franziska resumed driving but continued to scowl at the road ahead.

"She wishes to speak with you. Her name is Ms. Dinah Mite, she is our boss here when we prosecute in California. I warn you brother...that woman is a lazy tart but is extremely crafty. Do not drop your guard. Keep it simple and vague but do not let her control the conversation. Her favorite past time is to use any and all men that she can get to bow to her every whim. Turn up the phone volume all the way so I can hear her, if you feel lost just look over and I'll mouth what to respond. She is the last person you want knowing about your amnesia, she'd jump at the chance to use you like some pack mule at her every beck and call if she so much as smells a hint that you're so vulnerable right now." Franziska warned sternly.

That made Phoenix gulp again. He wasn't sure he wanted to talk to his supposed boss of this universe now after hearing that. He swallowed his nerves and just nodded at her. He turned the volume all the way up like Ms. von Karma instructed, then hit the button to take the woman off hold.

"Hello? Ms. Mite?" Phoenix spoke up.

"Oh, Nixie Nix! There you are!" A woman with a sultry voice spoke on the other end of the line, in a rather chipper tone, "Franziska tells me you aren't feeling well. What's going on?"

("Did...did she just call me...Nixie Nix?") Phoenix thought utterly nonplused.

Phoenix looked over at Franziska who wasn't looking at him, thankfully at the road ahead, but her face was scrunched into complete displeasure.

"What are you waiting for? Tell her something at least." Franziska whispered with vexation.

"I uh...I'm not feeling very well Ms. Mite." Phoenix tried to not to sound clueless.

"Your lil sis didn't put you up to this I hope? I'd hate to think she is making you step off the case if—"

"No!" Phoenix quickly interjected.

While technically Franziska was trying to get him to step down, that was for the fact that she was concerned about his health. And at the very least he got an extremely stubborn Franziska to budge enough to let him assist her in the case. He wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth, or a gift Franziska von Karma in this case. He also didn't want to get Franziska in trouble, while he could easily argue that he should be in charge instead...that would have consequences. It would be undermining Franziska and getting on her bad side most definitely; but right now, as much as he hated to admit it, it seemed Franziska is his only ally currently. She was the only one who knows about the "amnesia". He did want to help Mia but he had to go about it extremely carefully as the last thing he needed was to burn any bridge that had Franziska von Karma attached to it, that was a death wish.

"No, I...I fainted this morning." Phoenix finally admitted.

"Oh...oh my! Nixie! You poor thing! Are you okay?!" To the woman's credit she did sound like she was actually worried.

"I'm doing better, Franziska is seeing to that. She wanted me off the case completely but I insisted, I needed to be still on this case. It's very important." Phoenix said, surprised how used to he had become to addressing Franziska a bit more casually.

"Well maybe you should listen to her in that case, what's going on?" Ms. Mite asked.

"No, I'll come in as Franziska's assistant and co-council. This case is...it's personal to me. I don't want to be booted off. Please grant our request, Ms. Mite." He tried not to sound like he was begging.

"Oh, yeah I did remember hearing once you had history with the Edgeworth family, very well I suppose I'll allow your lil sis to take over. I'll get my aid to file the paperwork and have one of the detectives bring it over to lil Fran tonight. But what's going on with you? Why did you faint?" She asked.

Franziska sighed then whispered quietly, "Just tell her what Dr. Payne assumed what was going on."

What Gaspen Payne said? Yes that's right, he was ignoring what Phoenix was trying to say this morning and insisted on an alternative explanation.

"I uh...well I sort of have been over-working myself I suppose. Haven't been getting too much sleep either." He said.

"Oh Nixie-Nix! I told you that you work too hard! You need to take it easy! Use this case as an opportunity to do so, I understand it's personal but we don't need you fainting in the courtroom. Don't stay up too late, you go home early tonight and get some sleep. That's an order Nixie, okay?" She ordered in a rather sweet tone.

"Yes of course ma'am." He held back a sigh.

"Ma'am? I haven't heard you call me that in a long time. You need to take a break from your overly professional family, how many times do I have to keep telling you it's okay to call me Dinah." She said with a giggle, but suddenly her voice became more silky and soft, "If you need some help taking a load off Nixie then I recommend a nice dinner and spa. I know this great spa that actually cooks you amazing food as well, different types of cuisine from all across the globe. They have salt water therapeutic hot tubs, saunas, massages, the works! Oh, and the wine there is so wonderful! I could set you up, just you and me! It'd be a nice getaway, you could use a vacation darling!"

He had no idea what she looked like but he just imagined probably a supermodel looking woman winking as she said this. He could practically feel as if a hand reached through the phone and started to caress his face which made him shiver involuntarily.

Phoenix felt heat rise to his cheeks as his voice-box became frozen. This woman who apparently was his boss just asked him out on a date, and a rather...interesting choice of a date. Franziska did warn him about that fact but he never considered she'd be that forward! Not that he wasn't flattered, but he hardly knew the woman. Yes the other Phoenix obviously would have known her better but the fact that she just told him that she always had to keep insisting that the other Phoenix call her by her first name told him he usually would address her professionally. Meaning that he was probably used to this and still never took her up on it, probably because it would be considered extremely inappropriate to be philandering with your superior...not that she had any qualms about that obviously.

Before he could stutter out a polite denial of the "generous" invitation, Franziska immediately yanked the phone away from him.

"Phoenix and I are grateful for your assistance in this very important matter Ms. Mite, was there anything else we can do for you?" Franziska kept her tone polite but her eyes were broiling with rage.

Phoenix didn't hear what the woman said but it sounded like she was whining on the other line. Franziska must have turned down the volume so he couldn't hear the Chief Prosecutor.

"No, he does not have time for something so trivial. I appreciate your concern, but I am quite capable of taking care of my brother myself, thank you." Ms. von Karma still kept a polite tone but her expression was getting scarier by the second, "Good day, Ms. Mite."

He wisely chose to not say anything for the entire car ride after she hung up. The short woman in the driver's seat was just radiating pure raw anger. Sometimes silence was golden. Especially when you're scared of the person you're sitting next to.

They finally made it to the office building, Edgeworth & Fey Law Offices. He remembered hearing that Edgeworth's father was a very respected attorney, but the amount of police cars pulled up at the office was insane. Interestingly there was a collection of officers just standing outside.

"What are those fools doing now?" Franziska asked with narrowed eyes.

Franziska parked her car and they both unbuckled their seatbelts then stepped out of the car. Franziska stomped over to someone who Phoenix eventually realized was Angel Starr.

She wasn't dressed like in her lunch-lady attire like he remembered. She had on a nice looking white business blouse that she of course unbuttoned to be low enough to show off her cleavage. She also had on a choker necklace around her neck that had a single silver star charm that was dangling from it. Her bangs were still long and swept to cover one side of her face, but her hair was cut very short. With the black beret on her head combined with the short bob style haircut it reminded him of a movie star from the 1920s. She had on form fitting black pants, and black designer boots that actually were low heel boots.

"Detective Starr, what is the meaning of this foolishly foolish foolery?" Franziska demanded.

("Wait, she just called her Detective. Is it possible that the SL-9 incident never happened in this universe? I hope so for the sake of all the lives that case ruined, especially Lana and Ema.") Phoenix thought.

"I wish I could tell you Ms. von Karma. I just barely got here myself. All I can gather is that there seems to be a bit of a...situation. Perhaps Detective Gumshoe can fill you in."

Franziska scowled and Phoenix immediately felt sorry for the unlucky detective. The gaggle of police that were crowded near the entrance instantly cleared a path as they noticed an irate Franziska von Karma stomping up. Phoenix just sighed and followed after her. Gumshoe had his back turned to them, he stared at the door and was scratching his head...the poor clueless man had no idea the storm that zeroed in on him.

"Scruffy, you doddling fool! What is the meaning of this?!" Franziska barked as she whipped the back of the unsuspecting detective.

"YEOWCH! Oh...Ms. von Karma! Mr. Wright! You're here!" Gumshoe shrugged off the pain as he saluted them both.

"Scruffy answer my question while I still have my patience!" Franziska practically hissed.

("Gee—I'd hate to see her when she's impatient then.") Phoenix thought sarcastically.

"You see Sir, there is a bit of a situation." Gumshoe said as he twiddled his thumbs.

"So we heard, what is going on?" Franziska asked rather impatiently for someone who supposedly hadn't lost her patience yet.

Gumshoe then explained something rather unexpected. Apparently, there was a young girl that locked herself in there and was throwing boots at anyone that entered. Franziska of course was in disbelief and her temper rose. She berated all the officers there for not being grown men and women and just storming in the place and subduing one little girl.

"Well I mean we did try to storm in but that girl kept pelting us with boots...I don't even know how she got a collection so huge, we figured we'd wait until she either ran out of ammo or tired herself out." A young male officer tried to come to Gumshoe's defense.

"You pathetic foolish fools! Are you not adults?! Are you not officers of the law?! Fools! Fools of the highest caliber! Grow a backbone you foolish fools who foolishly whine and foolishly tremble at foolhardy threats from a foolish little girl you foolishly foolish cowards!"

"But—that stuff really smarts Ms. von Karma! I mean she kept throwing those boots at our heads!" A middle aged female officer chimed in.

"Oh? So it was painful you say? You want pain?! Then all of you fools line up! I'll teach all of you foolhardy foolish fools the meaning of pain and humiliation! I'll truly give you fools something to be afraid of!"

"But Sir, she's just a kid! It's obvious she's taking the news of all this hard and doesn't really understand what she's doing." Gumshoe pleaded.

A kid? Taking this hard? Suddenly Phoenix was interested to know who this kid was. He asked the detective and it was as he suspected, the cousin of the defendant, Pearl Fey. Of course, Pearl looked up to Maya growing up in his world. Since Mia never died here it would make sense she would get just as attached to Mia as well. Franziska then pulled a folder out of her purse that had profiles of several individuals. She pulled up an image of what he assumed was Pearl to the detective. She asked the detective if this was who they were referring to and Gumshoe nodded. Franziska then grew irate again and berated all the detectives because despite her young-looking appearance the girl was actually seventeen years old. Phoenix did pause as he had to admit that there was definitely a lot of "older than they look" in the Fey family, maybe spirit channeling kept one more youthful in appearance?

"You fools will fix this immediately! That TEENAGER, not CHILD, should be arrested! She is obstructing justice and assaulting officers! Get to it at once!" Franziska shouted.

The cops all looked uncomfortable with that order. And Phoenix felt his heart drop. Pearl probably didn't understand what she was doing was illegal, at least the Pearl he knew was very sheltered. He had to come to her defense, she was probably going through enough stress as it is and didn't need more added to it. Plus, the last thing Edgeworth needed was another Fey arrested. Just as Phoenix was about to speak up a new voice interjected instead.

"Wait! Please wait!"

Everyone turned to see the source of the feminine voice and...it was Iris. She was older now but it was definitely Iris.

Her spirit medium garb reminded him of the one Maya used to wear, but the dress was much longer, down to her ankles. The jacket she was wearing with her spirit medium garb was colored magenta, and the sash tied around her waist was purple. She wore a magatama around her neck with a single white bead on each side of the magatama. Her hair was longer than the Iris he remembered. She had it pulled up in a large braided bun, with a single braid that tailed out of the bun that was long, like a couple inches past her shoulders. It was tied off with a magenta colored bead at the end of the single braid. She was also wearing a soft pink colored lipstick.

On the one hand he was happy to see her again as this Iris wasn't wrapped up in some plot that ended up getting her thrown into jail because she tried to cover for Godot. But on the other hand, he also felt conflicted seeing her again too. Once upon a time he was head over heels for her...or at least "Dollie". But then that case happened. And he did his best to get over "Dollie". Only to find out years later that he was right. "Dollie" and Dahlia were actually two different people. Even back then after the fact, a part of him still was confident saying he loved her. But there was still so much that happened back then that made him feel conflicted about still loving her. The whole situation was a mess.

And now so many years had passed. A lot had changed. He had changed. He wasn't the same crybaby college boy who would have jumped into a cage of monkeys if only to see her laugh. He could not love her the same way he once did. Maya even asked him in a letter years ago if he did still love her...and he honestly couldn't answer because he wasn't even sure anymore. He wished it would have been easy like it was long ago. But it wasn't, too much had happened and so much time had passed. He still cared about her, he still thought she was a very kind-hearted soul who deserved happiness...but he was no longer sure about his feelings.

He however pushed those complicated thoughts away, they weren't necessary for the moment.

"I heard you all talking about my little sister, please don't arrest her! She's a very sheltered girl! I know she didn't mean any harm, she's just very protective of the main family! I'm sure she is only doing what she thinks is right to protect our cousins and because she's grieving! Please forgive her!" Iris begged, her eyes became glassy as she fought back tears.

That caught Phoenix's immediate attention. Iris called Pearl her little sister. Meaning that unlike in his world the two actually know each other, he wondered if Pearl and Iris actually grew up together. A part of him hoped that was the case. They both were dealt a bad lot thanks to their terrible mother and the other sister. Though that made him wonder about the alternate Dahlia and Morgan of this world. How much of their fates were different here?

"Your sister has done some very serious crimes Ms. Fey, this cannot be ignored." Franziska said with a glare.

Iris's eyes grew wetter, she blinked them rapidly to force the tears to not spill out.

"Please, please don't take her away! She doesn't understand, please! She's a good kid and means well!" Iris desperately tried to implore with the female prosecutor.

"Wait Franziska please!" Phoenix finally interjected as he couldn't take anymore of this.

"What now brother?" Franziska sounded exasperated.

"Let me go in with Ms...uh...Ms. Fey here. I'm certain she can talk to her sister to calm her down and I can explain to the girl the situation so that way she doesn't repeat this mistake." Phoenix suggested.

It was mostly to help Iris and especially Pearl, but a tiny selfish part of him did also just want to see a familiar friendly face again. But it was still mostly to protect the young teenage girl.

"Really? You'll go in and calm a raging teenager down? She'd probably lob a shoe at you as well." Franziska sounded skeptical.

"That's why Ms. Fey will come with me, she'll be more manageable if she is allowed to see her sister. Cut the kid some slack Franziska. She's going through a lot of emotional stress and doesn't understand what she's doing is wrong." Phoenix said.

"Yes, that's right! It's as he says, please let me go talk to her! I'm sure I can get her to calm down and stay out of your way!" Iris continued to beg.

"Hmph...how do we know she doesn't understand? All we have is the word of this woman. And considering she is a Fey? Their family is nothing but trouble if you ask me." Franziska crossed her arms.

"Franziska please, let's not turn this into something bigger than it needs to be. Arresting her just will add more work on top of everything else, not to mention add more grief for everyone. It's unnecessary. Let me handle this. I promise we'll get her out of the way quickly so we can resume the investigation." Phoenix tried to bargain.

Franziska sighed with annoyance but thankfully she relented. She gave Phoenix the condition that they better get the girl out of their way in five minutes or else Franziska was going to do this her way.

As Phoenix walked into the building with Iris he heard Franziska bark at all the cops to line up against the wall so they could take their punishment for being stonewalled by a little teenage girl. She was still on that it seemed. Phoenix winced as he heard the sound of the whip cracking over and over as he heard the screams of pain from the cops down there...he could only feel pity for them all.

"Thank you so much for helping my sister. I'm really grateful you understand." Iris smiled warmly.

Phoenix gave her a small smile as he rubbed the back of his neck.

"Don't thank me just yet, Franziska gave me a time limit. So we need to work quickly. But I'm certain you can get her to calm down, it'll all work out. No one else at this office needs to get arrested this week for things that aren't their fault." Phoenix gave a light nod.

"Things that aren't their...fault?" Suddenly Iris gasped, "Wait, are you saying you think that—"

"Yes, your sister is just extremely stressed! Let's hurry and get to her!" Phoenix interrupted quickly.

He couldn't believe he practically let it slip that he thought Mia was innocent. He needed to distract Iris from that fact. Not that he thought Iris was the type to blab but he was trying to keep a low profile and pretend to play Prosecutor Phoenix Wright. He really needed to be more careful.

"Yes of course. I don't believe I got your name. My name is Iris." She introduced.

"Phoenix Wright." He nodded with slight relief she changed the subject.

"Phoenix...Wright? Wait, I think I heard about you. You're that famous prosecutor. Why did you help me back there?" Iris asked puzzled.

"I'm sure you guys are going through enough as it is. Besides...she's a teenage girl. I didn't always act rationally when I was that age either and considering everything going on it would only be fair to cut her a break." Phoenix answered with a smile.

No need to tell her it's because he knew Pearl from another universe and understands what the young girl is like.

Iris then flashed him one of her warmest smiles he'd ever seen, "You're so kind. Thank you so much Mr. Wright."

When they made it up the stairs, opening the door to the office, Pearl popped out of her hiding spot. Her outfit was similar to the one she currently wears in his universe except the sash tied around her waist is purple and the jacket around her medium garb was pink. Pearl's hair that she tied into two loops were sitting at the bottom of her head instead of the top, and her hair loops were actually braided loops instead.

Pearl was armed with two boots in her hands. She was definitely ready to aim for the lawyer who just walked in. Phoenix flinched and immediately covered his head. Thankfully Iris stepped in front of him. The girl immediately dropped her leathery weapons and began to cry, she ran up to Iris who opened her arms and embraced the petite teenage girl. Pearl cried into her sister's chest as Iris just stroked the back of her head.

Thankfully Iris managed to get her to quiet down quickly as they both explained to her the laws of why it is bad to "obstruct justice" and "assault a police officer". Just like in his universe it seemed this Pearl was indeed very sheltered as she had no idea what they were talking about at first. Thankfully by the time Franziska and the cops were up there he and Iris got her to understand.

Phoenix however was annoyed as he was supposed to help assist Franziska with this case and she was essentially pushing him out at the moment, putting him in charge of watching over the two Fey girls and keep them out of their way.

Despite this, he escorted the girls back down the stairs while Iris introduced Phoenix to Pearl.

By the time they went outside they ran into another unexpected individual. It had been a very long time since he last saw him, and he only met him once. But there was no mistake he was staring at Doug Swallow, the man who tried to warn him about Dahlia only to be murdered by Dahlia that same day and frame Phoenix for it. He was here...alive.

Doug's hair was styled the same as he remembered but was wearing a simple green polo shirt with a light blue jacket, denim jeans and brown tennis shoes.

Suddenly the man had a goofy smile on his face and was waving enthusiastically.

"Hey Pearly, hey my Flower Blossom! Ready to head back?" He asked cheerfully.

("Wait...Flower Blossom? Is he...talking to Iris?") Phoenix thought perplexed.

"Dougie, thank you for coming to pick us up." Iris giggled with a light blush.

Doug and Iris then held both of each other's hands and began to rub their noses together.

"Anything for my Flower Blossom!" He practically cooed.

Phoenix felt his jaw drop in disbelief.

("What the heck? He did call her that! And she's calling him Dougie? And they're being all weird and giving eskimo kisses?")

He knew it's been a long time since he last saw Mr. Swallow, but he remembered thinking the man to be stuck up and arrogant; however still at the very least being a good person at heart because he tried to warn Phoenix about Dahlia. But perhaps his perception of the guy was distorted by the immature jealously of an ignorant lovestruck college boy? He wasn't sure, but he definitely didn't picture him to be such a sickingly mushy type.

("Wait a second—I wasn't like that with Iris...was I? Crap please tell me I wasn't like that! This is too embarrassing I know I was a bit moonstruck but please tell me I wasn't THIS bad!") Phoenix thought with horror.

"Isn't it so romantic Mr. Phoenix?" Pearl asked next to him as she swooned.

"S-Sure..." Phoenix kept himself from groaning.

When the two stopped their little...whatever that was...Doug turned to look down at Pearl and repeated his question. She however was unsure. When Iris asked her what was wrong, Pearl then admitted she wanted to wait for "Mystic Maya and Mr. Miles" to return. And that she still wanted to try to do something to help "Mystic Mia". That was when Phoenix had an idea.

"It's okay if she stays. I'll keep an eye on her until Edgeworth gets back. She can even assist me in my investigation if she wants." Phoenix suggested.

Pearl gasped loudly when he said that.

"Really?!"

Phoenix just nodded down at Pearl and she started to beam with so much joy that it was infectious. He couldn't help but smile seeing her so happy.

"Are you sure Mr. Wright?" Iris asked.

"Franziska said if either of you stayed I'd be in charge of keeping an eye on you anyway. Besides, I could always use a second pair of eyes. I tend to work better in my investigations that way." He said.

After some convincing, Doug Swallow left with Iris, who he assumed were dating in this universe. He supposed that was good news. Doug never died and got to meet the non-evil twin, and Iris found love and both of them seem happy.

He then turned to the teenage girl next to him. Perhaps it was selfish, but he already had to deal with Gumshoe calling him "Sir" and "Mr. Wright" as well as Franziska addressing him not by his full name. It felt weird and wrong. He needed something of normalcy.

"Pearl, you can help me try to find any clues, but I have two conditions."

The teenage girl just nodded.

"We can't get in the way of Ms. von Karma or her men, it's very important they do their job," It was also important to not piss Franziska off but he left that out and said instead, "Also, I want you to call me Mr. Nick instead."

"Mr. Nick? How come?" She asked with confusion.

"Well because my friends call me Nick." He answered.

"But we just met." The girl was still puzzled by him.

"Yes but, I'd like to be your friend. Besides some of my best investigation partners called me Nick or Mr. Nick. Think of it as...good luck." Phoenix explained.

"Oh okay, well in that case Mr. Nick it is! Let's go Mr. Nick, we gotta find some clues!" The teenage spirit medium instantly perked up.

Phoenix felt annoyed as once again Franziska was telling him to stay out of Gregory Edgeworth's office where most of the struggle occurred therefore most of the evidence would be. She told him to just relax since she was apparently under the impression he's still fragile or something because of this morning, just watch the girl and keep her out of everyone's way. His plan to try and help Mia wasn't looking so hot if she kept him from investigating. Even worse as he was basically boxed into the office that belonged to Apollo and Athena as Franziska didn't want the officers that were investigating Mia and Edgeworth to be "distracted".

Pearl however was enthusiastically checking every nook and cranny with him in their office, where no sign of struggle was seen and they apparently had already checked over that room last night and found nothing. But at least Pearl was in good spirits, not that she knew Franziska was keeping her away from anything important and that the German prosecutor wanted Phoenix to play babysitter.

Phoenix figured he may as well learn what he can about this world, so he asked Pearl a bit more about her family. She babbled about Mia and Maya for a bit, obviously the girl really admired and looked up to them the same way in his world Pearl looked up to Maya. She also talked very briefly about Edgeworth and how he and Maya are an inseparable and unstoppable team in the court.

Pearl then talked about how she grew up with the love of her Aunt Misty, her cousins, and her older sister. She seemed to have no knowledge about another older sister and said that she doesn't remember her mom very well as she died a long time ago. So Morgan was dead here, but apparently Pearl didn't know how it happened, just that she died when she was young. He supposed he should count their blessings that the Feys didn't have to deal with the likes of Dahlia or Morgan...but it still was strange how Iris was here yet Pearl never knew about her older sister's twin. He supposed he could always try to get more information out of Mia or Iris later. But he'd have to be careful when asking considering his circumstances.

But talking about Iris got Pearl back onto the subject of her and Doug. Apparently, Iris decided she wanted to go to college to learn medicine since Kurain village was at least a thirty-minute drive to the nearest hospital. They did have a doctor's office that was at least a bit closer but still, being that far away from a hospital it would make sense why Iris would consider going into nursing. They all had the choice to go to school or just devote themselves to the channeling technique. Iris still wanted to try and get stronger in her spiritual prowess to better assist the main family, being as she is part of the branch family. But Iris wanted to at least be able to know some medical knowledge in case of an emergency. She only studied in nursing but never wanted to get a job in that as she was devoted to the family.

She met Doug at Ivy University. They had dated for years but apparently Doug wanted to save up a lot of money before settling down. Eventually Iris sat him down and said she didn't care if Doug had money or not, she just wanted to be with him. Doug finally proposed to her five years ago...so they weren't dating like he assumed. They were married.

Phoenix asked more about that, Pearl explained that women in the Fey family are expected to take on the Fey family name. So legally Iris would be considered Ms. Iris Swallow outside of Kurain, but in Kurain she is Iris Fey. Likewise, that meant Doug would be considered Mr. Doug Fey when he was in Kurain. Also not only were they married, but they had a daughter. According to Pearl she has an adorable 3-year old niece named Lily who is loved and adored by practically everyone in the village.

That was when Pearl got all giddy talking about Iris and Doug, their beautiful love, and how it was so wonderful to see her sister find her special someone. Phoenix felt bad seeing this though as he remembered why the Pearl of his world was that way. This Pearl had no memory of her mother but she still had to be exposed to the rampant broken families and divorces that plagued those in Kurain Village. Pearl distracted him from that depressing thought however.

"Mr. Nick, do you have a special someone?" She asked.

"No, I don't." He said.

He then remembered that extremely forward Chief Prosecutor on the phone earlier.

("At least I hope not.") He blanched.

"You shouldn't wait on this, you need to go find your special someone while you're still young! I mean my sister found her special someone and she's so happy. And Mystic Maya found her special someone and she's so happy too...I mean they haven't gotten married yet but they're still very happy together!"

Phoenix then halted in his tracks. Maya was dating someone?! He felt sorrow for the wallet of whoever took her out to dinner. But then another thought came to his mind. Pearl did mention how...Maya and Edgeworth were an unstoppable and inseparable team.

("No...no no no, there is no way. Not in a million years would Maya and Edgeworth ever be a couple. That is way too weird to even consider. No. I'm just taking her earlier comment out of context. That's all. Maya isn't even Edgeworth's type...actually I don't even think he has a type. Does he even date? Ever?")

"Oh Mr. Nick, come over here!" Pearl exclaimed, distracting him from his thoughts.

Pearl found what she hoped was a clue. Phoenix highly doubted it. It looked like soda stains under the rug with some hairs stuck to it. But he still put on some gloves and pulled out the sticky hairs and put them in a bag, then took a picture of the stain. But he was pretty sure it was just a spilled drink and either Apollo or Athena's hair stuck to it. He doubted it would tell them anything.

"Hey Mr. Nickhow come you're letting me help you investigate? I believe Mystic Mia is innocent. And you're a prosecutor, right? Do you think she's guilty?" The young spirit medium asked.

Phoenix let out a heavy breath through his nostrils. He couldn't tell Pearl the truth. He knew he could trust her, but still...he needed to take extra precautions as this wasn't his domain. He didn't know everything about this world yet so he needed to try to stick to whatever normal status quo for the Phoenix here was...for now anyway. But at the same time, he didn't want to lie to Pearl either. It didn't feel right.

He supposed he could meet her halfway then.

"Pearl, can you keep a secret?" He asked.

The girl nodded.

"I don't know. I can't say yes or no, at least not right now. I can't argue against the evidence, it's unfortunately stacked high against your cousin. However, I also can't argue against her character, she just didn't strike me as a killer. But I do care about finding the truth. If I can find something to discover the truth of this whole case, then I can say for certain if she is guilty or not guilty." He said.

Pearl then gave him a half smile.

"Well I'm gonna help you find the truth that proves her innocent! Then you'll have to answer my question!"

He chuckled with a slight nod, and they continued their search to see if they could find anything of worth. They spent hours in that room. Pearl did help find one thing out of place in Apollo and Athena's office. She found it hiding in the corner of the room by the trashcan.

A very old looking coin. It wasn't an American coin, but if it was from another country he couldn't tell. It was very old looking however. On one side it had a plus sign with four dots in each angle of the coin and on the other side was a shield with a symbol of a bird on it. There was no distinctive lettering on the coin, all he knew was that it was extremely old looking. He placed it in a bag and thanked Pearl as he felt this could somehow be a clue. A clue to what he had no idea.

It seemed more time passed than he realized as Edgeworth and Maya eventually showed up and it was apparently 8:36 PM. His stomach growled in protest because they were so focused on trying to find something both of them missed lunch. The cops all started to pack up and head out. Phoenix bid Pearl farewell and left with Franziska, the moment he mentioned he accidentally missed out at lunch Franziska suddenly pulled up to a fancy looking seafood place. Apparently, she not only thought she was fragile but needed as she put it "a decent meal to get back his strength". Although he wouldn't lie, he preferred being taken to a fancy place to dine over being sidelined from investigating. He couldn't help but feel slightly excited as he never could afford lobster and was quite excited to find out how it tasted since his prosecutor self actually had the money to eat like this.

After their dinner (which was extremely delicious and one thing he would not complain about), she drove them over to the precinct to apparently get results on some tests she ran on some evidence. Phoenix felt his heart drop into his stomach when Franziska had a triumphant smirk as she read out loud one of the tests. There was what looked like hair that was in the fist of the deceased Gregory Edgeworth...DNA testing proved to be a perfect match to Mia Fey. The theory was he tried to defend himself and ended up ripping some of the hair out of his attacker before he died. But Mia came in after this happened, she was definitely being framed. If only he could find something to prove it. Phoenix handed the sample of hair he and Pearl found to one of the forensic analysts but he knew that one would probably not turn up anything of merit. He held onto the coin however, he didn't want to relinquish this evidence yet until he could find out what it was and where it came from. And he wasn't sure he could trust everyone right now, especially since nearly everyone was convinced Mia was guilty. Franziska didn't stay too long as she then pulled Phoenix back to her car and drove him back immediately to that house that was apparently "his". He tried to protest that he wanted to help with the investigation especially since she made him contribute so little because she was afraid he'd overdo it or whatever. But she insisted that he needed to go to bed early. When he tried to argue further he received a strike from her whip across his left arm. She berated him and said he was going to bed and that was final.

He grumbled to himself after she left to continue her investigation as he started to get ready for bed. Phoenix wasn't sure he enjoyed being coddled by Franziska if it meant he couldn't do anything to help Mia much.

He was tired though. The fatigue of everything that happened so far that day finally caught up to him. He rolled over in the ridiculously comfortable bed and prayed that he could find a way to somehow find holes in Mia's case and somehow get that information to Edgeworth without either of them realizing he's on Mia's side.

("I definitely have my work cut out for me.") He thought to himself before he fell asleep.


January 10, 8:45 AM

District Court

Defendant Lobby No. 2

Phoenix was forced to wake up early and quickly get ready thanks to Franziska von Karma. As she put it, a von Karma is always early. The trial didn't even start until 10 AM but she wanted to make certain the witnesses were prepped for their testimony. She forced Phoenix to wait in the lobby but he was bored after sitting in there for twenty minutes so he ended up wandering from hall after hall, he found himself in a defendant lobby he'd been in several times out of instinct. He was then distracted by a very loud voice.

"Alright that was good, but maybe we should try one more time Athena. I'm Apollo Justice and I'M DOING FINE!"

"Okay! My turn! I'm Athena—"

The bailiff then interrupted them, "Mr. Justice, if you both would please return, recess has ended."

Phoenix couldn't believe it. There they were. He heard they were here in this world but it just was such a relief to see Apollo and Athena. They were dressed differently but it was still them.

They both had the same familiar hairstyles at least. But Apollo had on a red dress shirt that was fully buttoned all the way to the collar, no tie. The sleeves of the dress shirt were naturally rolled up to be just barely below his elbows, a familiar golden bracelet still worn on the young man. He had on a black vest over the red dress shirt, with his attorney badge pinned to the lapel of his vest. His suit pants were red to match his shirt, and black dress shoes. Athena's outfit was somewhat similar to the Athena from his world. She had on a jacket that was white, a very similar yellow vest and skirt, a white collared shirt underneath the yellow vest, a bright blue tie with her Widget pinned to the knot of the tie. She had on a ribbon that matched her tie and a familiar moon shaped earring. She was also wearing what he assumed were black leggings, and white boots.

"Oh man, I didn't get to finish my chant with you." Athena whined.

"Come on, we practiced plenty with our Chords of Steel, we got this Athena!" Apollo exclaimed.

"Yeah! Come on! Let's win this!" Athena pumped a fist in the air.

"You guys ready?" Apollo turned to the two individuals sitting on the couch.

That was when Phoenix noticed there was Athena's friend, Juniper Woods, dressed in a Themis Academy uniform. Next to her was, to his shock, Clay Terran. The young man had on a simple baggy navy-blue sweatshirt and dark pants with red tennis shoes. But at least he was still alive here, he smiled in small relief knowing that at least Apollo hadn't lost his best friend here.

"Well, as ready as we'll ever be. But we believe in you guys. Right Juniper?" Clay nodded.

"Yeah...I mean...I'm a bit nervous...but I believe in you Thena and Apollo." Juniper smiled shyly.

The four walked into the courtroom to take their positions it seemed. Phoenix couldn't help himself. He quickly scurried in and found an empty spot on the front row in the gallery on the defense's side. He was so excited seeing Apollo and Athena he couldn't control himself following them in. He then noticed both Juniper and Clay were sitting in two chairs where the defendant is supposed to be. So they were probably charged for a crime together, it made since then their best friends would represent them.

Athena started to lay out some of the paperwork and evidence on the table as Apollo was conversing with her below. He had his back against the defense bench so he was actually facing towards the gallery, but he had his attention mostly on Athena to whatever it is they were conversing about.

It seemed something caught Apollo's eye, as he suddenly turned away from her to look up towards the gallery. And Phoenix would have slapped himself if he realized what he was doing. But he couldn't help it. The moment Apollo made eye contact with Phoenix who was directly behind them in the gallery above, Phoenix couldn't stop himself. He smiled down at Apollo and started to wave at him.

Apollo's reaction to what Phoenix just did was just as good as any slap in the face. The young attorney's eyes widened and his mouth gaped, he looked so dumbfounded.

("You moron! You aren't their mentor here! And judging by Apollo's face you're nothing more than the jerk prosecutor that's enemies with their actual mentors!") Phoenix thought as he looked away and quickly dropped his hand onto his lap.

He then noticed Apollo whispered to Athena and was very obviously pointing at Phoenix. He slowly started to sink in his seat. Athena whipped her head around and made a face that was mix between disbelief and a scowl. He sunk even further in his seat.

("This universe stinks, my kids hate me here.") He mentally pouted.

The Judge stepped in, or at least not the usual elderly man, but his brother. He sat in his seat and swung down his gavel.

"The trial for Clay Terran and Juniper Woods will now contin—wait, I see the defense, but where is the prosecution?" The Judge's brother asked.

That was when Phoenix realized the prosecution bench was surprisingly empty. That was really weird.

"Has anyone see Prosecutor Hawstion?" The blond bearded Judge asked again.

Suddenly a human sized blue colored caterpillar popped out from behind the prosecution bench. Athena, Apollo, the Judge, bailiff, and Clay and Juniper all jumped from their chairs at the emergence of this large bug. Phoenix felt himself jump a bit in his chair.

"Oh! There you are!" The Judge's brother sighed.

"I hate it when he does that." Athena grumbled.

"I'm here, I'm up. Whaddya want?" The bug had a slight southern accent apparently and was yawning.

"Um...the trial, Prosecutor Hawstion?" Apollo groaned.

That was when Phoenix realized it wasn't a huge bug, but a man in a large sleeping bag zipped up all the way to where you could only see his face. The man had enough bags under his eyes to rival Simon Blackquill.

("This...This is the prosecutor? They're kidding right? Why is there never someone normal in this courtroom?") Phoenix thought with a groan.

The man unzipped the sleeping bag and revealed a man that Phoenix assumed was somewhere between 25-30 years of age. He had auburn hair that was really shaggy and messy, he assumed it could have been the sleeping bag but the man looked like he just crawled out of bed and didn't bother to comb his hair at least. He also had random patches of stubble on his chin, his jawline, and around his lips. He had brown eyes and olive skin tone. He had on a white dress shirt that was only half tucked into his pants. A green tie that was loose and uneven and gray colored pants. His clothes were a bit wrinkled too, giving Phoenix the impression that he probably slept in his clothes.

The prosecutor let out a yawn and stretched his arms wide.

"What were we doing again?" He scratched his chin lazily.

"The trial...for Clay Terran and Juniper Woods, they are charged with theft of the L.A. Museum as well as a double homicide of two security guards there? Did you forget?" His Honor asked completely baffled.

"Oh right...that trial." He let out another yawn, "Here I thought it was something I dreamt up. Whatever—weren't we supposed to have a recess? I'd like to get a quick nap in if you don't mind."

"I—Mr. Hawstion we just HAD a recess! Bring in your next witness if you would please!" His Honor finally lost his patience.

"Fine, fine...send in my next witness. Let's get this over—" Suddenly the man's head slumped over on the bench, a loud snore could be heard.

"Mr. Hawstion! Will you wake up please?!" Apollo shouted.

"I'm up! I'm up!" Suddenly the man's head shot up.

"Ugh...thank you Mr. Justice. The next witness if you would please." The Judge's brother ordered.

("They'll make anyone a lawyer these days it seems...") Phoenix deadpanned to himself.

They brought in two witnesses, one waiting in the seat at the side next to the defendant seat, the other on the witness stand. A young woman took up the stand, whereas the young man sat down. They both looked to be around Apollo's age. The girl had curly honey blond hair and green eyes. She was wearing a simple pink long sleeved designer blouse and a black pencil skirt. The young man had slicked back brown hair, rectangular glasses, and brown eyes. He had on a blue polo shirt and khaki pants.

"Would the witness state their name and occupation." Prosecutor Hawstion yawned.

"Hello everyone, my name is Evelyn Tent! I'm a business major student at Ivy University with my fiancé over there! We're gonna get married in the summer! Hi Gil sweetie!" The girl waved to the other witness.

"Yeah, yeah, that's peachy, who cares—just hurry with your testimony little lady so we can end this trial quickly, I need my beauty sleep ya see." Prosecutor Hawstion scratched his neck.

"How rude! Fine! I'll get on with my testimony!" Ms. Tent whined.

The girl went into her testimony about how her and her fiancé, Gil, were taking a nightly stroll. They noticed apparently a suspicious pair (Clay and Juniper according to her) walk down the alley by the museum. They didn't think anything of it until after leaving the park later when they noticed the museum, which was supposed to be closed, had its doors wide open. That was when they walked in to see what was going on, only to find the defendants standing over the dead bodies of the security guards.

Apollo pressed and pressed her every statement. Eventually Athena then pointed out to Apollo one of the witness's statements contradicts something in the evidence. That was when Apollo pointed out a security camera image of Juniper and Clay leaving the shopping mall across the street from the museum. The witness didn't see what was so important about that but Athena then pointed out the witness said that they saw the "suspicious pair" go down the alley around 10 PM, which was what the timestamp of the security camera from the mall puts the defendants leaving the mall around exactly that time, as that was when the mall closed. The witness then jumped back and let out a gasp. Then Apollo piled on saying if the front door was broken into like they found, as the door was open to the museum, then why would the "suspicious pair" go down the alley on the side only to break in through the front door later? The gallery became filled with whispers as Athena and Apollo managed to strip apart the witness's contradiction. The Judge's brother swung down his gavel to restore silence to the court.

Phoenix couldn't help but smirk seeing Athena and Apollo in top form. It wasn't his Apollo and Athena, but he couldn't help but be excited to witness this. They were both very sharp kids and made a great team. He felt another pang of jealousy and homesickness, as these weren't his proteges. They were Mia and Edgeworth's.

He was interrupted from his thoughts when Apollo slammed his right fist onto the desk and extended his left hand, pointing his index finger at the witness.

"This proves our clients were not the suspicious individuals you claim to have seen!" Apollo declared.

"Right! Therefore, they are not the guilty parties!" Athena then mimicked Apollo by jabbing her index finger out at the witness.

There was silence as Athena and Apollo were still frozen in their poses for several seconds.

His Honor cleared his throat, "Is there a reason you two are still standing like that?"

"Well it's just that..." Athena said awkwardly as she kept her pose.

"I was kind of expecting to hear the prosecution object to our argument." Apollo said flustered as he too kept his pose.

Everyone then looked over to see that Prosecutor Hawstion was back in his sleeping bag, fully zipped up, but sleeping on top of the prosecutor bench.

"It would appear Mr. Hawstion has decided he doesn't need to wait until after the trial for his beauty sleep." Athena groaned.

"Mr. Tex Hawstion! This is most unbecoming! Wake up at once!" The Judge's brother shouted.

("How the heck did this man ever pass the bar exam?!") Phoenix felt himself sweating.

The prosecutor awoke to the Judge's screaming and then provided a counter argument; apparently, he was only half-asleep so he heard what the defense was saying...or so he claims. Then the prosecutor decided to switch up witnesses and called the fiancé up instead. So the other witness took the stand, his name was Gil T. Azell. His testimony proved similar to his lover's except he fixed it to cover up for her mistake that Apollo and Athena picked apart.

"Very well, Mr. Justice you may begin your cross-examination." The Judge's brother nodded.

"Hmm—anyways, wake me when it's over." Mr. Hawstion yawned.

Prosecutor Hawstion started to zip himself back into his sleeping bag and hopped back on top of the prosecutor bench.

"You should probably be awake for this." Apollo said perturbed.

"No, it's fine, you're the defense attorney here so you are more important for this part. I can sleep during the cross-examination." The southern accented man said with a yawn and laid down.

"O-Objection! I don't think you should!" Athena shouted with annoyance.

"Hmm...nah." He shrugged then closed his eyes.

Athena slumped her shoulders along with Apollo and the Judge as they heard snoring. It seemed like most prosecutors, Mr. Hawstion just did whatever he wanted.

They continued through the cross-examination, Prosecutor Hawstion apparently would only wake up to object to some of Apollo's counter arguments before laying back down to go back to sleep. Phoenix didn't look at his watch, but several minutes definitely must have passed. He wasn't paying attention to time as Apollo, along with Athena, were definitely in top form. Eventually after what felt like forever, Apollo and Athena finally got the guy to crack. In actuality the real robbers and killers were Evelyn and Gil. They broke in and started to swipe some expensive paintings, when they got caught they killed the two security officers. They went to make a break for it when they heard someone approaching, Juniper and Clay noticed the front door being wide open when they walked by and went to check what was going on. They discovered the dead bodies. But in order to create an alibi for themselves, Ms. Tent and Mr. Azell quickly got out of their robbing outfits and back into their regular attire. They ran back in to act as if witnesses who stumbled across the two supposed killers at the scene of the crime.

"This court finds the defendants, Clay Terran and Juniper Woods: Not Guilty!" His honor declared.

Everyone cheered, Apollo and Athena hopped over the defense's bench to run over to their friends. Athena hugging Juniper and Apollo throwing an arm around Clay as the four of them celebrated.

"That's nice…I'm gonna go back to sleep now." Prosecutor Hawstion crawled back into his sleeping bag.

("He's...taking his loss well. Does he even care about the law? Why is he even a lawyer if all he wants to do is sleep?") Phoenix thought dumbfounded.

That was when Phoenix noticed his watch. It was 9:50 AM, Mia's trial was at 10 AM. He felt himself pale as he flew out of his seat and shoved his way through the crowd of people.

("Crap, crap, crap! If I'm late Franziska will kill me!") He thought in panic.

He rushed through hallway after hallway, door after door. Thankfully he made it to the prosecution's lobby of Courtroom No. 6, and he just barely made it as the time was now 9:55 AM. Franziska was pacing by the doorway and she was not happy. He gulped as she made eye contact with him and her tiny frame started to march over.

"You fool! How many times have I told you that a von Karma is supposed to be early! We were to be in that courtroom at 9:45 sharp! Foolish! So foolish!" She berated.

She then whipped him across his chest for his troubles. He yelped but chose not to argue. There was no point with her.

"What were you doing?!" She questioned with an even more frightening glare.

Phoenix opened his mouth to say something but she cut him off.

"Quiet! I don't want to hear your excuses!" She hissed as she squeezed her whip.

("If you don't want to hear excuses then why did you even ask me in the first place?! Make up your mind!") He whined internally.

She then reached up and forcefully yanked him down by his right ear.

"Owowowow! That hurts!" He complained.

"Stop your whimpering brother! You disappeared without warning and don't even tell me?! After what happened yesterday morning?! I do not enjoy fearing that you could be passed out in some random hall!" She lectured.

So her irritation wasn't that he was just late but she was worried about his health again. He wasn't sure he'd ever get used to Franziska von Karma fretting over his well-being.

"Okay, okay! I'm sorry Franziska! I'm sorry! I won't do it again!" He pleaded, then thought, ("Now please release your ironclad grip from my harmless innocent earlobe!")

Franziska von Karma seemed appeased with his begging apology and finally relinquished her merciless hold from his ear. She however moved instead to grip the uncomfortable cravat that was tied around his neck and proceeded to drag him along.

"Come Phoenix! We have a trial to win! We shall crush Miles Edgeworth where he stands!" Franziska exclaimed with a smirk.


Phew! I apologize for summarizing a lot of stuff in this chapter but I have big plans for chapter 4, and I had to cut back on A LOT of dialogue for this chapter, because I didn’t want to have this chapter split into two, as then it would have to have half of it combined with what I have planned for chapter 4...and not only would that ruin the flow of what I have planned for chapter 4 (as chapter 4 is SOLELY going to be Mia’s trial) but I have a very specific ending planned in mind for chapter 4 and I would have to leave that out and put it in Chapter 5 if I spilt this chapter in half…and even then that would mean my planned ending for Chapter 4 would be in the middle of 5, which that would also REALLY ruin the flow of Chapter 5 as well! So I decided I needed to cut back on some of the dialogue and just summarize a lot of what happens. This chapter was already pretty long even without it…geez.

To answer your question Phoenix…yes you were that bad and that embarrassing when you were lil ol’ Feenie dating “Dollie” lol.

And yes the chapter title, along with Pearl pelting the boots at the cops...yes that is indeed a reference to the very famous youtube video, I don’t think I have to explain it to you guys. For all two of you who haven’t seen it, just go to youtube and type in “Ace Attorney Boot To The Head” and you’ll find the famous classic meme.

I thought it’d be fun to bring back the Judge’s brother, at least for this chapter because there have to be more than just that one Judge conducting trials. But our good old usual Judge (or at least an alternate version of him), will be in the next chapter for Mia’s trial.

If you don’t know who Pess is, Pess is the name of Edgeworth’s dog. Yes he actually has one, and she is beautiful. And maybe you guys will get to see Mia’s lil pup, Hayden, in the near future ;). Same with lil Lily-the daughter of Iris and Doug! Yes I have Doug Swallow alive and well in this universe and married to Iris, he definitely would have had a better life if he met the nice twin as opposed to the evil one. And yes, I do crack ship Iris and Doug. I originally didn’t but as I was writing this fic the idea to have them together just randomly came to me, then as I thought about how they would work...it made me end up shipping them. And since we never really got to know Doug as a character, barring him trying to warn Phoenix about Dahlia, he’s pretty much a blank slate I’m free to do with as I please. And I will admit I never really was a fan of Phoenix/Iris as a couple, now I don’t hate it, don’t get me wrong, it just never was something I felt invested in or interested in. But I do like Iris as a character and I do think she deserves happiness...also it drives me nuts that her and Pearl don’t get to interact, THEY’RE SISTERS! AND THEY’RE BOTH SUCH SWEETHEARTS! They’d get along so well! Let them interact! Let them be happy! LET THEM BE TOGETHER CAPCOM YOU COWARDS!!!

...ahem...anyways...

So yeah despite not finding myself getting into Phoenix/Iris as a ship and not finding their dynamic as a couple interesting I didn’t want to be disrespectful and just ignore that it was a thing (which apparently Capcom has kinda forgotten about...unless they didn’t and Iris will eventually show up again idk? I am just headcanoning the reason we don’t hear about her from Phoenix is because they probably realized they don’t have the same feelings like they once did.)

Speaking of ships, in this universe I actually have Clay alive too and he’s dating Juniper. Because my two friends, Tim and Janie, and myself we all crackship Clay and Juniper! I mean you got Apollo’s best friend and Athena’s best friend and I’d like to imagine they’d complement each other’s personalities nicely! I think they’d make a cute couple if Clay, you know...didn’t die :(

There is a lot of differences in this Prosecutor Universe compared to the main Attorney Universe so I can’t wait to reveal all the differences and changes.

One of the additions I do love however for this fic is all the new characters you’ll meet. I literally have a document that is filled with all sorts of punny names I plan to use for random witnesses, idk if I will use them all but, they are there. In true Ace Attorney fun fashion. The two witnesses that Apollo and Athena questioned were Evelyn Tent and Gil T. Azell. Sound it out and you realize their names are “Evil Intent” and “Guilty as Hell” hahaha!

Also the prosecutor that Apollo and Athena go up against, well he was actually a newer addition I added later into development of my story. Mr. Tex Hawstion (get it, his name when you sound it out is Exhaustion lol).
So my friend coolman229 and I were watching the first season of the Ace Attorney Anime funimation dub, we realized that the actor they got to play Miles Edgeworth also plays the teacher Aizawa aka Eraserhead from the My Hero Acadamia dub. And that got me talking how a character like Aizawa (a guy that looks so worn down tired, randomly appears in a sleeping bag, and just falls asleep from time to time) would fit RIGHT IN with Ace Attorney. I was joking saying, “Imagine if there was a prosecutor like this?! He just naps at random and brings his own sleeping bag with him during trials?!” Then I messaged coolman229 a week later after we watched the dub, about how I was totally going to find a spot for him in my fic with the most hilarious idea for a name and the concept alone is too funny to ignore. He agreed, because how could he not?! The guy would literally fit in so perfectly with Ace Attorney I wouldn’t be surprised if Capcom makes a character like him! (though I wonder if I’d be allowed royalties??? Lol)

I asked if I should add locations and dates like in the game last chapter and I got some of you saying I should, one suggestion saying I should just do it when it’s at the court during the trials themselves. I think I’ll go with this for now doing just the location and dates with just trials, I think it’s a good idea. And starting next chapter I’ll add court records at the end of the majority of the chapters. (Some chapters in the future won’t as I feel it wouldn’t fit...but I want to try to keep to the spirit of the games as much as possible.) The only reason I don’t have a court record yet is A)Franziska has kind of strong armed this investigation and Phoenix is kind of new in this universe so he’s clueless to some things and B) Some things in the court record would end up being a spoiler.

I apologize I know I said I’d get this chapter out much sooner, but I recently started a job that I actually have come to really hate and am miserable in. If it wasn’t only for the fact that it eats up SO MUCH of my time and I come home completely exhausted that I don’t want to get anything done, not even writing or drawing or even just play video games for fun! But there is the fact that I don’t feel completely suited for this type of work, and my manager is an ABSOLUTE jerk who seems to enjoy making the lives of everyone around her miserable :/ Blech…anyways, it took more time than I would of liked but I hope you guys enjoyed it, idk if it’s as good as chapter 1 or 2, but I like to think it has some highlights at least. Chapter 4 is definitely going to be amazing though and I’m super excited for! (Don’t worry I’m on the lookout for another job and as soon as I get one I’m going to quit my current one in a heartbeat)

Also some of you asked when we will be seeing Prosecutor Phoenix in the main Attorney Universe, well I actually plan to have him finally show up in Chapter 5 actually! But stay tuned till then!

I wasn’t expecting the amount of support I've gotten when I posted this fic both here and on my fanfiction.net account but the amount of support I'm getting already is extremely touching and honestly it's what kept me going in trying to find the time and energy to write this next chapter as soon as I could despite my current time and energy consuming job. You guys made it worth the effort and are my source of motivation!

I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Please leave a review and let me know what you think! As I already said your reviews are what keep me going and give me double the power and motivation to write faster!

Thank you everyone, have a nice day!

Chapter Text

Trucy had to get up super early.

Her rehearsal was around 6:00 AM as there was sadly no other time they could book the theater for practice, but she didn't mind as she went to bed earlier than usual, plus she knew she could always nap at her daddy's office later if she was too exhausted.

Speaking of her daddy, she made her way through the small hallway towards his room. She creaked the door open and was careful to watch her step. It was dark but she tip-toed her way in.

She couldn't help but let out a quiet snicker as she noticed how messy the counter-tops of his dresser and his desk were. Then there was his laundry basket, which was overflown with clothes that was spilling out. She even noticed a couple of discarded clothing on the floor in random spots around the room.

"Tsk-tsk, you told me you got your laundry done. Daddy, you fibber." She whispered teasingly.

She knew he stayed up super late; he was really worried about his upcoming case today, as he knew someone framed Uncle Larry. She was glad he finally found a chance to get some sleep, he needed every little bit he could.

She leaned closer and suppressed a giggle as she noticed a bit of drool on his pillow. Her smile grew a bit as she noticed her father wearing the pajamas she recently bought for him as a gift. She could tell he wasn't a fan of them but told her he loved it and would wear them as often as possible. As always he was a man of his word.

"I have to go to rehearsal, Daddy." She whispered.

She softly and quickly pressed her lips to his forehead, giving him a tiny little peck goodbye. Trucy suppressed another giggle as she watched him let out a quiet groan as he rolled over.

"Remember, don't sleep in too much or else you'll be in big trouble with Polly and Athena. Plus, Uncle Larry is counting on you. Well, I have to go now. Love you, Daddy." She said in a hushed tone.

Trucy turned to leave but then stopped one more time to look at her daddy. She wasn't sure why, but a strange feeling crawled up her back. She couldn't put her finger on what the feeling was though. She shook her head, she was going to be late if she didn't hurry. She quietly closed the door and left.


He glanced around, he knew this place.

The large room he was in was quite spacious. A basic bed and rug were there, curtains too. All colored blue. There was also a large dresser and two tables against the wall by the window. There were boxes everywhere that hadn't been opened yet.

He remembered this.

This was the room he moved into after being taken in by Mr. von Karma...after...after his mother and father...

He shook his head and approached the large mirror next to the dresser. He looked in the mirror, he was small, a child again. He was wearing navy blue colored pajama tops and bottoms.

It was like he was back in time.

He noticed a simple red alarm clock on the table by the window. It was late in the evening. He should probably go to bed.

That was when a scream cut through his thoughts. It came from the room next door. Knowing who it was, he dashed out of the bedroom as quickly as he could. He threw open the door to the bedroom next door. Curled in a ball, hugging her pillow, he noticed was his new little sister. She had short hair pulled into two pigtails and was wearing a black nightgown with lace around the collar and on her sleeves. The 3-year old Franziska von Karma didn't seem to notice him at first. Her cheeks were stained with tears she was obviously trying to hold back.

She finally noticed him, a glare was on the little girl's face.

"What are you doing here?" She furiously wiped off her tears.

He still couldn't believe how this little girl could talk so coherently despite being so young. He was told she was a prodigy and he believed it.

"I uhI heard you scream." Phoenix said hesitantly.

"So, you thought you'd come play my hero? You're foolish! I don't need anyone! Especially not you!"

He winced internally. He remembered. He remembered how for two weeks straight Franziska wanted nothing to do with her "new baby brother". All they ever did was argue. He remembered how he just wished she would try to be nicer, try to be friends, try to not hit him with her riding crop...just something good.

"Why are you always like this? I just wanted to see if you were okay." He gave the little girl a hard frown.

"Why do you care?!" She yelled.

"Why do I—Well, I mean...we're supposed to be family now...can we at least try to get along?" He asked as he crinkled both his brows.

"Family? You're a fool! You're no von Karma, Phoenix Wright! You are not blood! You have no reason to care! So why don't you leave me alone!?" She demanded.

He remembered how a part of him wanted to do as she said, he was tired of fighting, and he wouldn't want to be with someone who didn't want him around in the first place. But he couldn't let it go. She was obviously upset, and her father...no, their father...he was out of town on a big case in America. He knew he should probably call for one of the staff at the von Karma mansion. But he didn't want to leave her.

She had to be lonely and scared. He remembered what that felt like for the first time, he'll never forget that. Then Miles and Larry stuck up for him. And he didn't need to be alone from then on...however even worse, were the recent events regarding...that night. Every day he was still haunted and ached from that night, the hurt would never go away it seemed. He was helpless, scared, and he felt even more alone than he ever did before because he'll never have the two people he wanted the most right now who could make all this hurt go away. But...his mother and father could never come back. The two people he needed that could have eased this pain were the very source of the pain because they were taken away.

But at least he met those two nice policemen, Mr. Badd and Detective Gant. They tried to help him and make him feel better, they both stuck with him during every interview and always gave him words of encouragement during that trial. And then there was Mr. von Karma, who came in, brought the killer to justice, and gave him a home. And Larry and Miles promised no matter what that they'd always be friends. The relief they all gave him...it truly meant the world to him.

It was different, but he couldn't stand the thought of this little girl feeling the same loneliness and helplessness. Which was why he refused to move.

"I won't leave, like it or not, we're family now. And that means I'm your big brother. So I have to look out for ya and be there for you." He said with resolve.

Her little face twisted into greater fury, but hot tears managed to spill out of her glare.

"Why should you care?! Why?! Phoenix Wright, why do you bother?! We're only family because a piece of paper said so, that doesn't mean anything! Stop pretending, fool! You don't care! Go on, leave! Me being family means nothing to you, just like her I bet!" She shouted.

"What...what do you mean?" Phoenix was taken aback.

He ducked, dodging the pillow she threw at him.

"My mother! She didn't have a piece of paper that told her she was my mother, we're blood! But even that didn't stop her from just walking out the door and refusing to come back! She hates Papa, and she hates me too! So go on! You don't even have my blood, so just go and leave already! Just like her, go be an unreliable fool who is good for nothing except running away!" Despite her glaring more tears were spilling out.

Phoenix remembered this memory all too well and how his heart ached for her when he heard this. It was definitely a different situation, but she too was experiencing something similar to what he was going through.

"Franziska, I won't leave you." He said sincerely as he walked closer.

"Huh? Why?" She said with disbelief, blinking through more tears.

"I know how it feels to be scared and lonely. I really hate it. It sucks honestly." He sat on the bed.

She looked up at him with surprise, she tried to wipe away the tears that continued to spill out.

"You...you too?"

He just nodded, then said, "But I don't have to deal with it by myself anymore. I have you now, right? Well if you count on me, then I'll count on you."

"Even after all the things I said—you want to depend on me?" She questioned.

He gave her a small smile and another nod.

"You make no sense Phoenix Wri—von Karma. You're a strange and foolish child."

He held back a laugh at the irony of that coming out of the mouth of this prodigy who happened to be 3-years of age.

"I guess am weird. But that's okay. Because I'll have you to help me." He scooted a little closer to her.

"I...I suppose I'll allow that."

Franziska appeared flustered, blushing with embarrassment, while wiping away more tears.

"I don't know what it means to be a brother...I was always an only childbut I promise I'll do my best to learn this role!" Phoenix said with conviction, "I'm your big brother Franziska, so I promise as your brother I'll be here for you."

"Y-You..." Franziska sniffled then asked hesitantly, "You really mean it?"

Phoenix gave her the most confident smile he could muster as he nodded his head.

"I'm a big brother now, I may be still new to this sibling stuff...but I mean it! As your brother I will always be here for you! I'll never abandon you! If you need me to chase away any monsters under your bed, you can count on me!"

The precocious little girl eyed him skeptically, "There are no such things as monsters, Phoenix, you're old enough to understand that!"

Phoenix could never wrap his brain around how someone as young as her could be as smart as she was. But still, he was thrilled he finally got her to stop calling him by his full name.

"I wasn't talking literally..." He grumbled then shook his head and gave her another confident smile, "What I mean is I will always be here for you. I promise Franziska, I'll always protect you."

He held out his pinky, nudging her lightly to take it with one of her pinkies, as he kept that same confident grin.

"Always?" She hesitantly took the right pinky with her own.

"Always." He nodded and shook his right hand and hers, to seal the deal of the pinky promise, "You can trust me, Fran-Fran."

"Fran-Fran?"

"We're siblings, remember? It's only natural we give each other nicknames." He grinned.

"Nicknames hmm...okay...Fee-Fee!" She said with a genuine smile.

He felt himself blush immediately at that girly nickname, a little embarrassed. He didn't have the heart to tell her not to call him that, especially because she finally smiled.

"Yeah see, you get it. Nicknames! Oh, but we're supposed to only call each other these special names when it's just the two of us! And we can make up as many as we want also!"

"Only when it's just us two...how come?" She asked.

"Because it's a secret thing between siblings or friends. We can't share it with others okay, trust me on this!" He lied with as convincing of a confident expression he could muster, forcing his embarrassment out.

"Okay." She nodded.

"So...are you going to be okay now? You had a bad dream, right?"

She looked away anxiously, biting her lip and he could see her blush slightly.

"Fee-Fee...I...I'm supposed to be brave but..." She was trying her hardest to be proud but was failing as whatever dream she had obviously rattled her, "I-Is it okay if...if you stay with me tonight?"

She was still scared of that dream. Phoenix gave her a half-smile out of sympathy.

"Of course it's okay, I already told you—I'm your big brother and I will protect you, I promise!"

She seemed relieved as she scooted over, he pulled the comforter over them both. She hadn't let go of his hand, even as they both slowly started to drift to sleep.

He smiled as he snuggled closer to the child version of his little sister. They had a rough start, but he would always fondly remember this moment. That moment made them truly become siblings, and ever since that night they were inseparable.

However, the dream of this fond moment was no more. Things began to shift away from his childhood memories and into something else entirely.

He huddled closer to Franziska when he noticed the room grow very cold, bone-chilling. Both he and Franziska were shivering, and their teeth were chattering.

Suddenly, Phoenix noticed Franziska's room was larger. The walls seemed as if they were growing, making the ceiling higher and higher.

"What's going on?" Franziska asked next to him.

"I don't know, but I have a bad feeling, let's go to my room." He said.

She nodded, and he took her by the hand, both hopping out of her bed and heading for the door.

They heard her closet door force itself open behind them. It startled both of them, Franziska and Phoenix both jumped backwards. Franziska hugged onto his arm. The closet...it was pitch black, the only thing in there a complete dark nothingness. The room became even colder if that was possible.

That was when they saw a pair of glowing eyes. They both yelped at the sight of that.

"Ph-Phoenix!"

"Run Franziska!"

He bolted for the door, dragging Franziska out of there.

The hall seemed to go on forever. The house was no doubt huge but was it always this big? What was worse, the doors to the other rooms had vanished; it was just a big empty hall that seemed to go on forever. But he didn't care. He had to get out of there. He didn't dare look back, he could feel whatever that was, was chasing them.

Phoenix didn't notice it at first but apparently the further they ran, the older they became. Phoenix was now wearing a blue vest with a white dress shirt to match the cravat hanging around his neck, and black dress pants and shoes. Franziska was in a navy blue dress with a white lacy collar that had a black ribbon tied around the neck, as well as white lace decorated around the end of the sleeves, white stockings and black dress shoes, and a black headband with two roses on it. Her hair length was long enough to be touching her shoulders.

He realized he was 16-years old again while Franziska was now 9-years old.

Franziska hadn't run as fast as he hoped, so he immediately picked her up.

"Brother?! Put me down!"

"No way! We're getting out of here so just deal with it!"

The further they ran, Phoenix noticed their ages changed again. Phoenix was wearing a blue business jacket that was decorated with silver trimming on the lapel of the jacket with black cuffs. He had on a white dress shirt underneath and his usual cravat with a low cut black vest. His blue dress pants matched his jacket and he was wearing black testoni dress shoes. Franziska next to him had longer hair now, to her mid-back, and tied in a low single braid. She was wearing a white dress shirt with puffy shoulders. She was also wearing a black vest that had gold trimming. The buttoned jewels on her vest were teal, matching with jewels pinned to her cuffs on her shirt as well as the single jewel pinned to her cravat. She had on a long black skirt that reached to her ankles and she was wearing black boots.

He realized he had aged to when he was 20-years old while Franziska was 13. But the rapid aging he could worry about later. He refused to look back, he had to keep running.

By the time he reached the stairs at the end of the hallway, he noticed Franziska was heavier than earlier.

Their appearances had changed once again.

Phoenix was now wearing a blue tailcoat suit jacket, still with a white cravat but a gray vest over the white dress shirt underneath the jacket. His nice business suit pants matched the color of his blue jacket. He was also wearing a black belt and black oxford dress shoes. Franziska's hair was now short, barely past her chin. She had on a white dress shirt that had blue jewels pinned to her cuff, which naturally matched the jewel pinned to her cravat and the ones on her vest. Her vest was black, with gold trimming, but it had twin tails coming from the back of the vest similar to a tailcoat. She had on white dress pants and black low cut high heel boots.

"Stop being a fool and put me down at once, I am no child Nick!"

Once again, he and Franziska had aged, she was 18-years old. He was now 25-years old. He ignored the change to do as he was requested and opted to just drag her by the hand down the stairs instead.

By the time they reached the foot of the stairs they were finally to their correct ages—34 and 27—and wearing the correct outfits he was used to.

"Look! The door!" Franziska shouted next to him.

Yes, the front door, they were so close. Just a little bit further and they'd out of there!

But then the ground was shaking, loud banging and cracking could be heard. Another violent shake sent them both toppling to the ground.

The shaking finally subsided, and they both raised their heads. They gasped in unison. The entire front of the house was...gone. It crumbled away. Nothing but a black void ahead.

"Ph-Phoenix!"

Whatever that thing was...it caught up to them.

It sort of looked like a man wearing a bowler hat and a trench coat; it had arms and a head...but it had no feet. Its bottom half was billowing out with a trail of smoke. The thing had no face. It had glowing eyes but no ears, no nose, no mouth...just those creepy glowing yellow eyes.

It wasn't looking at him though, it was staring right at Franziska. Suddenly a gun appeared in that...thing's...hand.

There was no time and nowhere left to run. So he crawled as quickly as he could over to Franziska, thankfully she was only a couple feet away.

He glared up at the thing as he placed himself on top of her.

"N-Nick?! What are you doing?!" Franziska cried out.

"My job!" He kept his glare focused on that monster.

"You..." The thing finally spoke, it had an unearthly sounding voice that was deep—just hearing one word of that voice was enough to send shivers down his spine, "Move..."

He curled himself further, making sure to shield Franziska completely. He glared at the thing just to make a point.

"Over my dead body!" He said through clenched teeth.

It was silent for just the briefest moment. Phoenix could feel a single drop of sweat slide from his forehead to his brow before it finally slid off his face.

"As...you...wish..."

The thing placed its finger on the trigger and Phoenix clenched his eyes shut. A loud bang echoed through the room as a searing pain jolted straight through him.


A loud gasp escaped his lips as his body lunged forward.

A dream...a bad dream. It had to be, as he was still alive. He chose to keep his eyes shut however, out of an irrational fear he could still not yet be awake.

He panted as he wiped the sweat from his brow. His heart was practically hammering in his ears as well as banging against his ribcage. He did his best to try to catch his breath.

Suddenly he noticed an awful pain in between his eyebrows, it felt like his head was split into two. He groaned as he furiously massaged his forehead.

"Agh...what—?"

His entire body felt like it was made of lead too, and his back was incredibly sore.

His head was pounding so he just rested back against the pillow again. He held his hands over his eyes, he decided he would continue to keep them shut. His heart rate was finally calming down at least—if only he could say the same for the blasted migraine.

As he laid there with a huge headache, he tried to remember what he was doing. He didn't even remember going home. He couldn't remember anything about yesterday at all now that he thought about it. All he could remember currently was that damn nightmare.

("That dream—I know it was nothing more than a horrifying illusion the brain conjured up, but...my mind can't rest easy after that. I should call Franzy, I know she's okay...but still...") He thought with a sigh.

But something was amiss, in his daze and migraine filled mind even he could sense something felt off.

("Wait...is this some kind of joke?") He thought as he gripped onto the bed-sheets.

He kept his eyes closed thanks to the migraine, but he could immediately tell what was off.

("These bed-sheets...is this...regular cotton? Not Egyptian cotton? Wait...")

He brought a sleeve of the pajamas he was wearing to his face, and rubbed the material against his cheek.

("Just as I thought... a cheap mixture of 11% polyester and 89% cotton.")

He continued to keep his eyes shut but just shook his head with a sigh.

"If this is some juvenile prank, I am not amused." He mumbled out loud.

The pillow felt like a cheap pillow too. Not the special memory foam that Franziska bought him for his birthday because she was one of the most thoughtful little sisters on the planet who knew he had weeks where he just had trouble sleeping before big cases. This was not an expensive pillow that was bought out of the love of a perfect little sister's heart. This was some mediocre purchase that obviously only cared about pinching their pennies and not into consideration for good neck support. Therefore it was completely soulless and devoid of his sister's love. He still kept his eyes shut due to the headache, but he yanked the offensive bargain brand pillow from beneath his head and tossed it to the side.

And no wonder his back was hurting, the mattress was clearly something someone bought for the sake of it being inexpensive and not for comfort! It was dreadful, just downright awful for back support!

He wondered if this was some kind of elaborate prank. It wouldn't have been the first time Kay and Ema pranked him. Though usually their pranks was more of things like replacing all the lamps in his home or office with lava lamps or removing all clocks and calendars from his home and office then replacing them with Jammin Ninja merchandise and chemistry sets. Or how they would disorganize his case files then stick random magazines in said case files. Or that other time where they taped over cut outs of Winston Payne's head over every single picture of Phoenix in his house. He'll never understand how they found the time or how they got so many different pictures of Prosecutor Payne to pull it off.

He supposed their antics could be escalating...but still, something about that didn't feel right. He knew they both were mischievous, but this seemed even a bit much for them. But he had no other explanation for why he woke up in a mattress he never owned, with bedsheets and pillows he never bought, with pajamas he knew never belonged to him.

He would have to lecture them that dressing their boss into a different pair of nightwear is...extremely inappropriate. The mattress, bedding, and pillows were one thing, but that? It was definitely going too far, even for them. There were some lines you didn't cross...though he hoped it was just a prank from them. If it was something else...like some creepy stalker broke into his home...well, he certainly didn't want to imagine a worst case scenario like that. He was being paranoid and needed to relax.

He finally opened his eyes and it was actually difficult to do. It felt like his eyelids had weights that were trying to force them back down. Despite the headache, he was grateful that opening his eyes didn't make it worse...though that was probably the lighting or lack thereof.

The room was dark, but he could vaguely make out some things. The furniture wasn't arranged correctly, heck some of the shapes didn't seem right. And was it his imagination or did his room feel...smaller?

There was a small window, but his room had two windows and they weren't as small as this one. And they had curtains also, nice blue curtains that Franziska helped pick out to match with his bedding. And his blinds were nice wooden ones, not these cheap flimsy metal ones strung through some strings.

He opened them to shed some light into the room and...this was...very wrong.

"Where the—?!"

He was now starting to get worried about his lack of memory of what happened yesterday. He had no clue what this place was. This...was way too elaborate for a prank. The girls would never take it too far.

Also there was the fact that his pajamas he worn were a light blue and apparently was covered in little cute rabbit cartoon faces all over it. Why would any grown adult his age ever wear or own something so ridiculous.

"Am I...still dreaming?" He questioned out loud as he scratched his head.

That was when his eye caught something on the wall, a picture that was framed. He could see himself in garish attire looking like he was some homeless bum with a little girl in a cape and top hat...he would suspect photoshop, but who was that girl? That was when he noticed two elderly looking people standing behind him and the girl. He couldn't make it out, so he grabbed the frame from the wall to take it to the window. He wasn't sure why, but he became increasingly curious of this obviously fake picture.

Perhaps elderly was too strong of a word he realized, they looked to be in their mid-to-late 50's. But he couldn't put his finger on it, there was...something familiar about this woman with short dark hair, as well as this man with brown and gray peppered hair.

He continued to stare and...something in their smiles...their eyes...it reminded him of something. Something very familiar to him.

"No, not just that—their noses, and her cheekbones...his eyebrows...they almost remind me of..." He trailed off as he traced his fingers around the fake picture.

His eyebrows shot up and his eyes widened, it hit him like a semi-truck of who these two eerily reminded him of. He felt almost as if someone punched him in the stomach, his heart froze for a split second.

He launched the framed photo across the room, as if it was a hot iron that burned him. He scrambled backwards, and the framed photo crashed onto the floor, the glass cracked into a perfect spiderweb-like fracture.

This was no prank! Even if somehow Ema and Kay set up a prank so elaborate that it would of cost them dearly with the load of work he would have dumped on them and a heavy pay-cut...but this?! No, there are some lines that people never cross!

Then he was still trapped in a dream. So he woke up from a nightmare and into whatever the hell this was.

He felt his heart twisting in his rib cage, he had a bad feeling about this dream as well.

He got up and walked far away from that picture as much as possible, he placed his hands on the old cheap-looking desk. He needed to calm down and collect his thoughts, he wasn't going to let some dream get the best of him.

That was when he noticed more framed pictures. One with him and that top hat girl again. Another one with him as a child with Larry and Edgeworth, he smiled a bittersweet one at that. There was another one with some girl in some strange purple garb with long dark hair, she looked familiar. He could be wrong, but she reminded him of Mia Fey's little sister. What was he doing sitting next to her eating burgers and taking a picture?

There was some other picture of him in a blue suit and tie, he was standing next to two kids. A boy with brown hair and weird antennas for bangs, and a girl with long orange hair and an obnoxiously bright yellow outfit. He couldn't shake the feeling he met both of them once before, but nothing came to mind, which was weird as it looked as if all 3 of them knew each other and were celebrating something. They looked to be like a couple of young interns...why was he celebrating with two random interns? This dream was rather odd.

Then there was another framed picture, but this one was hanging on the wall above the desk. He leaned in closer to get a better look and he had to admit what he observed in the image made him uneasy. He was wearing a similar blue suit and tie as the other image but in this one, he looked younger. He was holding up something with such enthusiasm, but it was too tiny to make out, a pin of some sort perhaps? But next to him was none other than Mia Fey herself. She was smiling almost...proudly? At him?

He didn't remember ever taking a picture of any sort like that with Mia Fey...this dream was really bizarre.

And he continued to have an unsettling feeling in his gut. Why would he imagine a life with these people? The image of his childhood made sense. As much it hurt thinking about, imagining older versions of his parents as well as that image with Mia made sense he supposed. But her little sister? These two kids? And that top hat girl he never met? Why were they in his dream?

That was when he saw another framed photo on the desk near the lamp in the corner...he was younger, blue cap and graduation gown, a high school graduation he supposed. But that wasn't right, he was home-schooled in Germany.

Another what-if his mind conjured up?

He felt his face pale. His parents were there, both hugging him with huge grins on their faces. His mother even had tears in her eyes in this image. He felt his heart race as he recoiled backwards as he crashed into a small bookshelf he hadn't noticed was behind him.

Suddenly a book nicked him good on top of his head, right in the center. He scratched his head and rubbed away the pain, grateful for that distraction.

He reached down to pick up the book, then moved over to the light switch. He grumbled when it wouldn't turned the lights on.

"Tch—probably cheap light bulbs too."

He moved to the lamp and...it also didn't turn on.

"Is every bulb in this place cheap?" He grumbled.

He supposed it could be something else. It was more important to distract himself anyway. He moved back to the light switch and tried to turn on the ceiling fan, which also wasn't working.

"No electricity it seems..."

He sighed and headed back to the light of the window, he wanted to distract himself from those pictures so maybe this book would help. He deliberately pushed away the broken picture with his foot that he left on the ground.

Franziska always told him to distract himself if he felt overwhelmed and never lose his cool. They were supposed to uphold the burdens of perfection as she would put it. She'd probably whip him and call him a fool right now if she saw how easily he was letting himself get rattled. He sincerely hoped she'd whip him then and there in reality to hopefully get him out of this farce of a dream.

However the book, it seems, was a terrible idea for a distraction. It wasn't a book, it was a photo album. His headache increased, and his breathing became shallower, yet he continued to flip through the pages.

("It's just a dream, you will NOT let it best you!") He thought to himself, and then ended up repeating it to himself over and over again.

But it was quite a test on him, seeing a childhood and adolescent years with his parents, seeing them grow old...it was becoming too much.

There were other images too but there was just so many of his parents with him, it's as if this dream was outright mocking him.

"You're dead..." He whispered, then spoke louder, "You're dead."

He took a couple steps backwards as he shook his head with fervent denial.

He then began to sputter out his own mantra, "This isn't real, you're dead. This isn't real, you're dead. This isn't real, you're dead."

He tossed the album across the room, it sounded as if it crashed into some of the photos decorated on the desk, but he didn't care. He clutched both sides of his head while the room felt as if it was spinning.

"This isn't real! This isn't real! It's one big mistake, nothing more than a convoluted illusion dreamt up by a foolish subconscious! This isn't real!" He started to shout.

His migraine had doubled. Then he broke into a sweat as a wave of vertigo crashed through him.

"This...this isn't...you're...you're...not...you're not here anymore. You're...you're gone." He practically whimpered in a lower tone.

He couldn't stand anymore; his legs were like gelatin. His weak legs finally gave out and he tumbled down to the floor. He felt the left side of his head smack into something before his vision faded to black.


Apollo Justice felt himself let out a heavy sigh as he slumped in his chair. Mr. Wright was late.

He at first assumed their boss had pulled another all-nighter and accidentally slept in, which was why he didn't show up that morning and hadn't answered any calls or texts. While this wasn't common for him, this also wouldn't have been something unusual. It happened a couple times in the past.

He notified Trucy anyway in hopes to see if she knew why her father was M.I.A. or could at least contact him for them. He, however, then remembered after sending the text to her that Trucy was currently in the middle of a rehearsal for her next big show, so she probably didn't have her phone on her.

Apollo frowned and let out a heavy exhale through his nose as he rubbed the back of his neck.

He had to admit he didn't know how long the rehearsal would be going for today. He completely forgot to ask Trucy when she mentioned it to him three days ago. He and Athena sat around (uselessly...in his opinion) just re-going over what they found yesterday with Mr. Wright.

Apollo wanted to aid Mr. Wright but Athena butted in saying she wanted to be his aid for this trial. Apollo was mildly annoyed at that as she assisted Mr. Wright in far more trials recently than he did the past months. It should be his turn.

What should have been a simple investigation somehow ended up turning into a competition to see who the most helpful assistant could be and then the winner would get to be Mr. Wright's co-council for today. He didn't know how he let Athena talk him into playing along with a contest...but their boss didn't seem to mind and went along with it so long as it didn't distract their focus in finding evidence and helping his client.

Despite Apollo finding it a bit juvenile that Athena would turn this into a contest he had no plans of losing. He certainly didn't want to stay put, play office sitter, man the phones, and clean toilets and the cabinets all day should he lose. And he had to admit he certainly couldn't let Athena get the leg up on him. He was the senior defense attorney between the two of them (barring Mr. Wright of course), and even he had to admit the thought of impressing Mr. Wright enough that he'd pick him as the winner did send a bit of a tempting excitement through him.

Apollo clicked the pen in his hand over and over as he read over the case file again.

An old friend of Mr. Wright's was on trial for two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder—two women were found dead and one was currently clinging to life at the local hospital. Apparently, this guy their boss befriended during his elementary school years had a knack for getting in trouble

("What was it Mr. Wright said? Something about trouble smelling like butts? No, that wasn't it. Ah whatever, it's not like it matters.") Apollo thought as he scratched his chin.

Apollo knew their boss was extremely anxious yesterday when he got the news. And he could understand his predicament, your childhood friend being accused of more than one serious crime is nothing to relax over.

Apollo had to admit from the moment he met Larry Butz he could tell the man was very dim-witted, extremely emotional, and tended to shoot his mouth off and land him in hot water for it...but this? No, his boss was absolutely correct. Mr. Butz was definitely innocent of this crime.

Larry Butz was the one who discovered the women and called 911. Apparently, the cops found evidence pointing to Mr. Butz doing it, Mr. Wright however knew his old friend was being set up.

The woman in question who was currently clinging to life was the girlfriend of Mr. Butz—a woman by the name of Lotta Hart. It seemed she also was someone who befriended their boss years ago. The two women found dead were with Ms. Hart that evening, which was an unlucky break for all three of them (Lotta however at least survived). They were her best friend—Ms. Candace Barr who went by Candi according to her friends, and Ms. Hart's cousin who was also a close friend of hers—Ms. Ima Hicks.

He had no doubt Mr. Wright would have pulled an all-nighter for his old friend. So he was not at all suspicious that morning regarding their boss not answering them. But as 30 minutes passed of him and Athena going over the same stuff over and over again, Apollo decided he couldn't wait for a response from either their boss or possibly Trucy anymore.

There was still plenty of time until the trial, however their boss had said last night that he wanted to check into one more thing that morning before they would head over to the detention center, then finally to the courthouse. While Mr. Butz was indeed innocent as Apollo also believed, Mr. Wright said that after he asked his childhood friend some questions—three Psyche-Locks appeared. If he had to guess, Mr. Wright was probably gathering whatever else he needed to break those locks.

Their boss wasn't going to take any chances—they needed every scrap of evidence considering this was a double murder plus an attempted murder charge on top of everything. He wanted to be extra prepared and was planning on taking both him and Athena that morning to wherever it was Mr. Wright wanted to check into quickly. He said he was definitely going to need both of them (however, Athena said that didn't change they still were under competition).

He sighed as he checked the little novelty Steel Samurai and Pink Princess desk clock that was sitting on Mr. Wright's desk, a gift from Pearl's older cousin who was a good friend to Mr. Wright. Mr. Wright thought it was ridiculous but didn't have the heart to get rid of it...also fearing to get rid of it as he said Maya would kill him if he returned it, and if she didn't Pearl probably would. Something about special someone's?

It was 8:51 AM...Apollo sighed again.

If they were to find what Mr. Wright needed and get back to the detention center to break those Psyche-locks and then get to the courthouse on time...no, they needed to leave now. Apollo knew they couldn't wait any longer to hear from Trucy or Mr. Wright.

"Come on Athena, we can't delay any longer. Let's head out." Apollo said

"Huh? But what about what Mr. Wright said? And head out where? We don't even know exactly where it is Boss wanted us to go accompany him to...he stormed out in a hurry last night and just said in a quick but vague text message what he wanted to do this morning. Would have been nice if he texted us back later with more clarification, so we could at least have met him wherever he wanted to go." Athena grumbled that last part out.

He just shook his head, "It can't be helped. You know as well as I do how he gets...he probably just was so engrossed in his investigation that he got side-tracked and forgot to text us further details. And we both already assume he probably pulled another one of his all-nighters on this one and accidentally slept in. We need to head over to go get him, otherwise we won't have the time necessary to get what we need before today's trial."

"Yeah, yeah I know...he still needs to remember to set himself at least a couple more alarms on his clock after sleeping in from his all-nighters...we've only reminded him of this the last three times he's done this." She complained before shoving the rest of her half-eaten bagel in her mouth.

Her cheeks were ridiculously full shoving something that big in there and she looked so comical with her puffed out cheeks and annoyed glare—like some grumpy squirrel.

He gave a silent small chuckle and nudged the leg of her chair lightly with his foot, already placing his wallet and keys back into his pocket.

"Come on Athena." He encouraged.

She managed to chew that huge piece of food and grabbed her bottle of juice and gulped the rest of the contents down with her bagel and then tossed the empty bottle into the trash. The grumpy expression never left her face the entire time. Athena never was much of a morning person.

"Alright fine..." she whined as she sat up and crossed her arms in a huff.

"I'm not used to you being grumpy." Apollo couldn't help but find her kinda cute like this.

"I'm not used to being asked to get up three hours earlier than usual to do a favor and said person I do this for gets to sleep in instead. He's still going to get tattled on to Trucy if I find out he really was sleeping in again...hey how come you aren't being your usual grumpy self? YOU'RE usually the one who is always reprimanding him every time he forgets when he does is all-nighters that he should at least set his alarm clock to four different times. And you're the one ALWAYS reminding him that he should have his phone charged before he goes to bed." Athena pointed out.

"Well, I was annoyed but you pretty much said everything I would say and well...yeah." Apollo tried to hide his face from her as he could feel a light blush coming on, embarrassed because he'd almost admit that he found her grumpiness cute.

He'd never hear the end of it if he admitted that...worse he had no doubt that she probably would have "tattled" on him to Trucy about calling her cute. Never hearing the end of it from Trucy was far worse than never hearing the end of it from Athena.

Suddenly, Athena was right in front of his face and was a little too close for his comfort...her grumpiness now replaced with her trademark grin and almost a mischievous glint to her eyes.

"Yeah right, I don't need your perception to see that you're obviously lying." She chuckled.

Dammit all, he could feel his cheeks getting hotter, and with her being so close he knew she would definitely see it.

The fact that the mischievousness only brightened in her eyes and her grin grew wider was immediate confirmation of this.

("Ah dangit...") He mentally groaned.

"My, my—Apollo Justice, is that a blush I see?" If somehow possible her smile curled even wider.

He could now feel his ears burning with his cheeks, and no doubt they were the same shade too. Just his luck...

"It's your imagination!" He said with a huff as he turned away from her.

"You can hide your face from me all you like Apollo, but you DO remember I can hear your emotions, right? And someone is AWFULLY embarrassed about something, huh?" She questioned coyly.

Apollo ignored her comment as he shoved his hands into his pockets, making his way already to his desk.

"Can we go already? We're wasting time." Now it was his turn to grumble.

Athena giggled at his response...her mood clearly did an immediate 180 at his expense.

She patted him on the back of his shoulder and said in a chipper tone, "There he is, there's the grumpy Apollo we know and love!"

She turned back to her desk and gathered her things and he scowled at the back of her head as she began humming while they both gathered all the evidence and the case file.

They made their way out and locked up the office. The two defense attorneys however ran into someone unexpected in the parking lot.

"Wait...isn't that Maya?" Athena asked next to him.

Apollo looked over to where Athena was looking and sure enough Ms. Fey had come from across the street where the bus stop was.

"Hey guys!" She ran over and immediately spotted them.

The spirit medium and former assistant to Mr. Wright seemed to pick up her pace as she made her way towards them.

"I heard all about you both, let me guess? Apollo and Athena, right? Nick's told me a lot about you two! Nice to finally meet you both in person! I'm Maya Fey!" She introduced herself enthusiastically.

"Likewise! It's great to finally meet the famous Maya, we heard all about you from Mr. Wright and Pearls! What are you doing here? I thought Mr. Wright said you were still going to be doing your training?" Athena asked brightly.

"Well I have been, it's been a lot of hard work but will definitely be worth it. I thought I deserved a little vacation however and wanted to see Nick...I thought I'd surprise him." She smirked.

They then explained to Maya they were currently on their way to him right now and why. While Maya made a teasing comment about their assumption their boss probably slept in, Apollo explained to her that he had a habit of sometimes overworking himself to the point of all-nighters on really big cases. They both then told her what Phoenix told them and why they need to hurry. Maya asked about the case and gasped when they mentioned Larry. She yanked Apollo by his wrist and dragged him to the complete opposite direction where he was parked and headed for a random white jeep parked over by the light-post in the parking lot. Ms. Fey yelled that there was no time to waste.

She was a lot stronger than she looked, for such a skinny girl he didn't expect that...then again, Athena was proof to never judge a petite book by her skinny cover either.

Apollo finally managed to scramble out of Ms. Fey's grasp.

"Hey, what's the hold up?! Larry needs us to move on the double!" She declared.

"Yeah, except that's not my car and I'm parked that way." He deadpanned as he pointed over his shoulder behind them.

"Oh..." Maya dropped her arms to her sides before her right arm reached up to scratch the back of her neck as she chuckled sheepishly. "So uh...lead the way."

"Thank you." He repressed an urge to roll his eyes.

He immediately turned around and both girls followed behind him. He slid into the driver seat and quickly belted himself in. Athena was already in the passenger side holding their things and already buckled in before he knew it. Maya Fey had climbed into the back, put on her seat-belt, and placed her bag in the seat next to her. He started the car and made a beeline for Mr. Wright's apartment complex.

He will admit he did speed a little bit but not enough over where if a cop was around they'd get pulled over. He was grateful they managed to not hit a single red light.

No, Apollo did not suspect something was wrong originally this morning. But something was definitely wrong. He had a nagging feeling resting on the back of his mind that wouldn't leave him alone. He just hoped everything was alright with Mr. Wright and he was just being paranoid.


The rehearsal was super early, but luckily it went very smoothly in Trucy's opinion. She was able to finish fifteen minutes earlier and thankfully there was a bus that ran at that time. She was about to head to the elevator but remembered there was a scheduled blackout, so she trekked up the stairs, thankfully they only lived on the third floor.

She headed down the hall and to their apartment. Once she made it to their room number, she unlocked the door and let herself in.

"Daddy! I'm home!" She announced as she set her things on the kitchen table.

There was no answer. She frowned.

"Daddy? Did you hear me?" She called out again.

Still no response. Her frown grew further as she tapped her foot impatiently.

"You better not still be sleeping, Daddy! Uncle Larry needs you today, you know!" She marched over to where his room was.

She opened the door and...he wasn't in his bed. That was weird. He wouldn't have left without her.

She then noticed some of the picture frames on his desk were knocked over, as well as his photo album randomly sitting on the desk as if it was what knocked the pictures over.

"Huh?" Trucy blinked.

A couple of books were on the ground too, and some books looked loose, ready to fall off the bookcase any minute. And she nearly tripped over one of his pillows that was sitting on the ground. While she was trying to be careful however, she sadly did step on a broken picture of her with her daddy and grandparents. Did it fall off the wall? But that couldn't be right because that picture was supposed to be hanging on the wall from the opposite side of the room. She walked over to the wall and couldn't see what would send the picture flying.

Something caught her eye however, she gasped when she looked down. Her father was sprawled out on the ground.

"Daddy!" She immediately rushed to his side.

It looked like he wasn't asleep, but thankfully his heart was beating and he was breathing.

"Daddy, come on! Get up!" She exclaimed as she placed a hand on his head.

She wasn't getting a response. He was out cold. Dread bubbled in her stomach. That was when she noticed blood on the fingers of her left glove, the same hand that touched the side of her father's head. She looked closer and there was a cut on the side of his head, it wasn't deep thankfully but still, he was hurt and needed help pronto!

She reached for her pocket, yet...her phone wasn't there.

"Oh no! Where?! Where is it?!"

She ran back to the kitchen and rummaged through literally all her things, even if it somehow by off chance was in her magic panties. Nothing, it wasn't there.

"No! I must have left it at the concert hall! Wait—Daddy's phone! Yes I'll just use his phone!"

She ran back to his room and...the old phone wasn't plugged in.

"No..."

Her worst fear was realized when it wouldn't turn on, it was dead.

("Daddy! How many times have I told you to charge your phone the night before bed!? And the landlines won't work either with this blackout! Of all the rotten luck!")

It was faint, but she heard a familiar loud voice. She approached the window and looked down and saw Apollo parked out in their apartment complex's parking lot. He was lecturing Athena and Pearl's cousin to not slam the car doors if she had to guess. Seeing Apollo, though, felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders, finally some good luck.

"Hang on Daddy, I'll go get Polly! He'll know what to do!" She bolted immediately.

Her heart was racing, dread now bubbled into her throat. She was so scared, but she knew Apollo and Athena could help, they had to.

("Daddy, please be okay!") She begged silently as she made it towards the staircase.

Chapter Text

Apollo walked in and noticed that the building was dark. An older gentleman came out of the stairway and told them the building was experiencing a scheduled blackout due to maintenance. Apollo thanked the man and the gentleman said goodbye. He left to head out to the parking lot. Apollo, Athena, and Maya then headed to the stairway since the elevator would be out.

They barely made it a couple steps when someone bolted down the stairs and crashed right into Apollo. The individual knocked him down to the floor, flat on his butt, as they fell on top of him.

"Ow! Geez! What's the big—?!" He stopped short when he noticed who it was that crashed into him. "Trucy?"

"Polly!" Trucy sounded scared, that immediately put Apollo on edge.

"Trucy, what's wrong?" He lightly grabbed her by the shoulders.

"It's Daddy! I walked in to his room, he was on the ground! And he has a cut on his head! I don't know what happened! But he's not waking up!"

Fear immediately seized him, cold dread squeezed inside his chest. The last thing he expected when they came down here was Mr. Wright being hurt. He jolted himself to his feet, dragging up Trucy. He let go of her shoulders and his right hand grabbed onto her left wrist as he sprinted up the stairs. Athena and Ms. Fey were not far behind, all of them running as fast as their legs could take them to the third floor. They were careful still to watch their footing up the stairs since it was practically pitch black.

They moved down the hall when Athena stopped Trucy from opening the door.

"Athena what—"

"Shhh!" Athena shushed Trucy then closed her eyes.

They stayed quiet for a couple of seconds. When Athena opened her eyes she had a very serious expression on her face.

"Athena?" Apollo asked nervously.

"I hear movement in there." Athena said.

"Maybe Nick woke up?" Maya suggested.

"I don't know...I have a bad feeling all of a sudden." Athena turned to Trucy again. "Trucy you said he was out cold?"

"Yes, he was." Trucy nodded.

"What are you thinking Athena?" Apollo narrowed his eyes, "Someone broke in?"

"It's a hunch but—what I'm hearing sounds suspicious." Athena said seriously.

Apollo tapped his chin in thought at this scary revelation.

"Trucy, was anything moved or knocked over in Mr. Wright's room?" Apollo inquired.

Trucy gasped, "Yes! Some pictures have been knocked over and books too! One of the pictures on his wall even was on the ground and broken!"

"It seems your hunch is correct Athena." Apollo narrowed his eyes.

"That's what I was afraid of." Athena mirrored his expression.

"Huh? Wait are you saying—" Ms. Fey stopped short.

He nodded his head, "Most likely a burglar came in, but didn't know Mr. Wright was still home. There was possibly a struggle, knocking Mr. Wright out. But then Trucy showed up and he or she hid, when Trucy ran out they probably tried to either quickly grab what they came for or are trying to hide their tracks."

Athena then punched a fist into her hand.

"Then let's nail this creep!" She exclaimed.

"Wait, we should call the cops at least!" Apollo said.

"There's no time! The criminal will get away!" Ms. Fey said passionately.

"Well at least one of us should—" Apollo reached into his pocket then his eyes widened.

He checked each pocket then groaned.

"You left your phone in the car, didn't you?" Trucy sighed.

"H-hey it's an honest mistake!" He said defensively.

"No worries Apollo I—" Athena reached into her pocket and her cheeks puffed out as a sheepish look appeared in her eyes.

"Don't tell me..." Apollo grumbled.

"I maaaay have left mine in the car too." Athena laughed nervously.

"What about you Ms. Fey?" Apollo asked.

"Don't be silly, this outfit doesn't have pockets. I left mine in my suitcase." She frowned as she crossed her arms.

Which meant her phone would also be in the car. Apollo groaned.

"Trucy, what about you?" Athena asked.

Trucy had a guilty look and started to blush, "I...accidentally left mine at the concert hall where we rehearsed this morning."

Ms. Fey started laughing, "Well aren't we just a collection of hopeless people?!"

("I fail to see how this situation amuses you.") Apollo thought in annoyance.

"Okay so none of us have phones! And Nick is in trouble! Come on, there are four of us! Let's take out this dirtbag!" Maya exclaimed.

"I still don't know if—"

"Look kids, I've been doing this for a long time with Nick! We need not fear danger! We are crusaders of justice! Let's go catch a criminal!" She exclaimed with further passion.

"Yeah!" Athena and Trucy exclaimed in unison.

Apollo still felt it was a bad idea, but Maya was older than him and she did have a point about doing this longer than any of them. He remembered reading once she was even held hostage by a dangerous assassin...that actually made him greatly respect her courage. She was only a teenager back then, yet she could be brave and strong in the face of such danger. It's no wonder why Mr. Wright has such an amazing assistant by his side.

"Okay, but we're gonna need something to defend ourselves with." Apollo suggested.

"Good idea!" Ms. Fey agreed.

"Trucy, do you have any props in your hat that we can use?" Apollo asked.

Trucy frowned at him, "Polly you know better than that. All my best props are kept in my magic panties. Ask me again but THIS TIME, ask me correctly."

("Trucy, there is no way I can say in good conscienceOUT LOUD, 'Hey do you have anything useful in your panties?'! You are out of your mind!") Apollo thought as he glared at her.

Apollo was not going to dignify Trucy with that, so he said instead, "Trucy do you or do you not have something I can use?"

"Alright fine! Hang on." She frowned up at him.

She reached into her cape and pulled out another pair of her huge granny panties she keeps.

"Alright, let me see..."

Trucy then pulled out...a sword?!

"Trucy what the—?!"

"Relax Polly, it's fake."

"Wait...is this made of rubber?" Apollo raised his brows at her.

"Yeah!" Trucy bounced with a grin.

"How will this make a good weapon?" Apollo questioned.

"Hmph, that thing really smarts you know if you smack 'em hard enough with it!" She complained.

"Alright fine...I suppose I'll take your word for it." He rolled his eyes.

"I don't need any weapons, I know some martial arts so I'm fine!" Athena said confidently.

"Yeah I remember all too well." Apollo grumbled.

"Wait where did Maya go?" Trucy asked.

Apollo looked and she disappeared, where did she go so quickly? She was standing right behind him.

"Did you see where she went Athena?" Apollo asked.

Athena just shook her head.

"Back!"

Suddenly Maya appeared out of nowhere, right behind him. He may have been startled.

("GEEZ! YOU SCARED THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME!")

"Maya, what's that?" Trucy asked.

"Fire extinguisher! See this one time a creep sneaked up behind Nick and bopped him good on the head, so he could steal some evidence for a trial, and hit Nick so hard he knocked him unconscious and gave him temporary amnesia! Maybe it's time a criminal sees how they like it!" She said with a disturbingly evil grin.

("I know we're here to defend Mr. Wright...but you're enjoying the prospect of assaulting someone a little too much.") Apollo thought nervously.

"Okay Polly, open the door!" Trucy exclaimed.

"What why me?" Apollo gave her an incredulous look.

"Well you're the man here, so be a man. You can't tell me you'd let one of us get hurt first? What would Nick say if he knew you let one of us get hurt on your watch?" Ms. Fey said disapprovingly.

("So apparently it's okay if you tell him I got hurt though?!")

Apollo sighed as he slowly turned the knob and quietly pushed the door open.

He peeked his head in but he couldn't see anything, just a dark apartment with only the windows giving some light.

Now that he was in though, he could definitely hear movement coming towards the back room...Mr. Wright's room. There was indeed a lot of shuffling.

He gulped and raised the fake sword as he tip-toed in. The girls followed suit behind him.

"Okay...you guys ready?" Apollo whispered as he clasped onto the doorknob.

The three girls nodded. He took a deep breath. It was now or never.

Apollo yelled as he charged in and started to swat at the silhouette of a man.

"Ow! Ouch! OW! WHAT THE BLAZES?!"

Apollo froze when he realized whose voice that was.

As if on cue, the lights came back on. And Apollo was looking at a very irate Phoenix Wright.

("Oh crap...I just assaulted my boss...")

"M-Mr. Wright?! Um—I...I'm so sorry I thought you were...I'm gonna end up cleaning the toilets for this..." Apollo chuckled nervously, "H-How...how is your head, Sir?"

Maya came running in screaming, Apollo immediately turned around.

"Wait Ms. Fey! Hang on!" He yelled.

She thankfully stopped in her tracks.


"What's going on? Oh, Mr. Wright! Trucy come quick! He's okay!" Athena shouted.

Athena then sighed in relief as she stood in the doorway behind Apollo.

"Oh Nick, you're up. Hey Nick! Glad you're doing better!" Maya waved as if she wasn't about to toss a fire extinguisher at him had Apollo not stopped her.

Suddenly Trucy came barreling in, wrapping her arms around his waist and as she tackled her father into a hug.

"You had me so worried!" Trucy exclaimed.

Athena watched with a smile but then a frown appeared...Mr. Wright...his heart sounded like it had a lot of discord. She'd have to pull out her mood matrix to be able to pinpoint it with better accuracy, but she was pretty sure she was hearing shock...and fear. There seemed to be...confusion? Yes confusion, she was positive. That was extremely weird.

"Apollo...something is wrong." Athena whispered.

Athena could also hear anger too...she assumed at first it was from Apollo apparently whacking him, but it was a different anger. It felt more serious. Much more serious. She could definitely hear it more loudly then before. All his emotions were a whirlwind of too much. Anger, confusion, fear, shock, and an overwhelming amount of anxiety. He was clearly overwhelmed by his own emotions but doing his best to try to remain calm.

He seemed frozen too...like a deer trapped in headlights.

"I...I think you may be right, Athena." Apollo whispered back.

Their boss uncharacteristically pulled away from Trucy's embrace and stepped backwards by like six steps.

The discord in his heart was getting louder. That had gotten even more worrisome.

("Mr. Wright, what's going on? What happened?")

She felt bad also as Trucy was incredibly worried, yet he peeled away from his daughter clearly uncomfortable all of a sudden. It was beyond out of his character to do that to her.

Athena also didn't like the way he was eyeing all of them. He was eyeing them all far too warily, almost like a cornered and caged animal.

"Mr. Wright, is everything okay?" She asked.

"Is everything okay?" He repeated, then said in an almost bitter sarcastic tone, "What an interesting question to ask me..."


Apollo had to agree with Athena, there was something off about their boss's posture and body language. He was acting very strange.

"So...you want to tell me what this is about?" He asked them in a guarded tone.

He was...being suspicious of them. Apollo just stood there really confused. It was so strange, it looked like him, but his mannerisms and body language was different. Why was their boss acting like they were someone he didn't trust?

"Boss? What do you mean?" Athena asked nervously.

"Well either this is a dream I haven't woken up from still...or I'm in the company of some very twisted individuals." Their boss said in a low tone.

Apollo had to admit the tone in his voice made his skin crawl. Their boss was acting EXTREMELY off.

"Twisted?" Athena tilted her head in confusion.

"Yes. I can see from the cheap furniture, interior, carpet, and even clothing...that you lot would be pressed for cash." He said as he crossed his arms.

It was so weird, Apollo definitely noticed it. The exact way Mr. Wright's brows crinkled in distaste as he mentioned the furniture, the way his posture stiffened more as he addressed them, even down to the exact way he crossed his arms...Apollo couldn't help but feel like he was reminded of someone else.

Who? He searched through his memories and suddenly...yes, while not exactly identical...it was slightly similar to Mr. Edgeworth, differences to be sure but it was the only person whose mannerisms came close enough to what he witnessed on his boss.

"But to hold an esteemed lawyer hostage—"

"Wait, hostage?!" Athena did a double-take.

"But changing me into another's clothes wasn't inappropriate enough, these doctored and photoshopped images?! That goes too far! I demand answers you hooligans!" He said with a finger-snap motion that looked so weird on him, before extending his index finger out in his usual trademark pose.

It was so strange. It was like at the same time it was definitely Phoenix Wright...but then other mannerisms, speech patterns, and body language and facial expressions were not. It was like half the time he was seeing somebody else wearing the skin of Phoenix Wright (Who was still wearing those silly blue bunny pajamas he knew his boss was embarrassed to have but refused to give it up and not wear it because it was a gift from his darling little Trucy).

Apollo hesitated but he had to ask, "What photos are you talking about?

Mr. Wright grabbed some photo album on the desk and just tossed it across the room. It landed on his bed.

"Like the photos in there!" He shouted, then gestured to the knocked over small picture frames on his desk, "Or how about these!"

He stomped over to the wall and picked up a broken picture frame from the ground. He stomped back to the desk then held the broken photo up.

"Or what about this?!" Their boss exclaimed with ire.

"Is there something wrong with that picture of Grandma and Grandpa?" Trucy asked with evident concern.

Mr. Wright out a very quiet gasp as he dropped the photo, the cracked glass now shattered completely. He masked his surprised expression very quickly behind an angry one, but Apollo still saw it in that split second.

"Wh-What did you say?" He asked with a frustrated tone.

"Grandma and Grandpa?" Trucy repeated with confusion.

"Why...why would you call them that?" Mr. Wright backed up another step away from them.

"Because they're my grandparents? Why are you asking such weird questions Daddy?"

Mr. Wright's glare evaporated again momentarily. His eyes widened like saucers and his jaw dropped.

"Wh-What did you call me?" He tried to mask his stunned state behind a calm face.

But he wasn't calm, his hands in his pockets were shaking. Apollo noticed his lips twitch slightly for a split second. Just what was going on? Why was he acting like this?

("Why is he acting like Trucy is like...like a complete stranger. Like we're all complete strangers...oh no...don't tell me...") Apollo thought with dread.

"Daddy, why are...why are you asking me this? It's freaking me out! Please stop talking like this! What's going on with you?!"

Trucy mentioned a cut on his head...Ms. Fey did mention this happened to him once before years ago, but he didn't want to go there. He didn't want to think that Mr. Wright had no idea who they all were. That he had no idea who Trucy was.

"Mr. Wright, where did we meet?" Athena suddenly blurted out.

It seemed Athena came to the same conclusion as him.

"What?" He eyed Athena skeptically.

"Come on Mr. Wright, how did we meet? And where? It was only about a year ago after all. Surely you remember that?" Athena repeated but even more seriously.

Mr. Wright just stared at her with a rather lost expression before he masked it again under an expression of distrust and agitation.

"You're just trying to trick me no doubt!" He insisted.

"It's no trick! Come on Mr. Wright!" Athena exclaimed.

"Daddy, what's my name?!" Trucy then interjected.

He then turned to Trucy, as did everyone else. Apollo felt his heart sink. Trucy was barely holding back the tears that were already welling up in her eyes. This caused their boss who was behaving weird to pause. He dropped his distrustful mask and actually looked like he felt guilty.

"Come on, Daddy, you know me! What's my name?" Trucy asked again.

Mr. Wright just stood there frozen, but guilt written all over his face.

"I...I'm sorry, I don't know who you are." He regarded the teenage girl with pity.

Tears finally did spill out of her eyes as she sprinted forward and with both her hands gripped onto his pajama shirt, clutching the fabric tightly.

"Stop this, stop saying this Daddy. You know me. It's me, I'm Trucy! Trucy Wright! I'm your little girl, your number one favorite magician. I'm Trucy!" Trucy began to choke back a sob.'

Apollo wanted to say something but couldn't bring himself to say anything. What made it worse was seeing how uncomfortable and unsure Mr. Wright was with Trucy despite his guilt for his words. Trucy needed a hug and reassurance, but right now it seemed her own father didn't know how to give that to her.

Mr. Wright gently pulled himself away from her, Trucy wanted to run back to him, but Apollo just grabbed her by the arm and Mr. Wright walked to the other side of the room.

"Polly?" Trucy looked at him puzzled, as she wiped off her tears.

"He's lost, he clearly has amnesia. He needs our help. I know this is difficult for you and I'm sorry Trucy, I really am. But this will only cause more confusion and discomfort for him. We need to take this slow, okay?" He whispered to her.

She nodded as she wiped the remainder of her tears, giving him a small tiny smile despite her feelings. He put an arm around her shoulder and gave her a quick hug.

"We'll get through this with you. You can count on us Trucy. We have to be strong for your dad's sake. I know it's hard, but we can manage if we work through it together. And you know I'll always be here for you too." Apollo whispered with a smile, "Remember, you're Trucy Wright, and you're fine."

Despite her sorrow, she let out a quiet giggle, "Right, thanks Polly. You're the best friend and magical assistant this magician could ask for."

Athena sighed next to him.

"This is going nowhere. Trucy, Mr. Butz needs our help; we'll try to get him to remember us later." Athena said more quietly then turned to Mr. Wright and spoke up louder, "It's clear that we need to take you to a doctor. So let's hurry and hit the road. We'll need to get him taken care of as well the trial today. We'll have to go in his place Apollo."

Mr. Wright scowled at Athena, it was quite intimidating.

"I'm not here for jokes whoever you fools are, only answers is what I want...well and being captured apparently too—but mostly answers!" Mr. Wright said at first confidently but dipped slightly into an awkwardness that Apollo was familiar with, then immediately jumped right back into confidence again, "And you do not tell me what to do, fools! Now am I simply still trapped in some ludicrous dream that wishes to torment me further? Or are you truly a group of twisted individuals who wish to keep me from doing my job and living my life peacefully?"

It was...really weird hearing Mr. Wright use the word "fool". He wasn't sure why, but it just felt weird hearing him say it in a manner like Mr. Edgeworth or Mr. Blackquill would.

Apollo however did notice how while their boss was glaring at him, Athena, and Ms. Fey, he refused to give that same expression directed at Trucy. In fact he wouldn't even make eye contact with her, he was actively avoiding it, Apollo realized. It seemed he still felt guilty about breaking her heart earlier. That gave Apollo a small hope that their Mr. Wright was still in there deep down. They just needed to find a way to help him come out and remember who he is.

"Very well, if this isn't a dream, then a kidnapping from some twisted fools then? Alright how much do I need to pay to be able to walk away from this? I have work to get back to if you don't mind." He said in an annoyed tone.

"What—?" Athena was interrupted from whatever question she was about to ask.

"Also, where are my clothes? And my badge and suitcase if you don't mind." He said with narrowed eyes.

"Your badge is right there?" Apollo pointed to the tiny thing sitting on the nightstand by a lamp next to his bed.

It was clear he had amnesia, but something still didn't feel right. There was something really off about this whole thing.

Mr. Wright immediately headed to the nightstand. He picked up the tiny defense attorney badge, and even only to glare more at them as he picked it up.

"You think I'm a fool? Where is MY badge?" He glared at the them harder.

"That...Mr. Wright, that is your badge." Athena said with evident concern.

He remembered he was a lawyer and had a badge, yet he seemed angry and confused at seeing his own defense attorney badge? Just what kind of amnesia was this anyway?

Mr. Wright's glowering expression then morphed into confused for the briefest second then concern, but he immediately masked it. It was so quick Apollo almost didn't catch it.

"Please, let's just get whatever it is you want over with, then return me home. My sister is probably wondering where I am."

Mr. Wright's expression was guarded as he said this, but Apollo noticed the way he was supporting the weight of his left hand against the nightstand. He was nervous. Apollo really hated this. He wished Mr. Wright would remember who they were because they were not people he should feel uncomfortable and nervous around.

Apollo then paused...sister? What on Earth was he talking about? Mr. Wright told him he was an only child! Trucy even mentioned to him once that she wished it wasn't so because she would have loved to have cousins to play with when she was growing up (but she was grateful she had at least Pearl around). This amnesia was definitely something unnatural...and a bit unnerving.

"Nick—" Maya finally spoke since they first entered Mr. Wright's room, "You don't have a sister."

Apollo saw that guarded expression immediately evaporate. It was pure distress and shock in its place. He looked almost as if someone dumped a bucket of icy water over him.

"Stop...stop messing around with me. I don't find these foolish games the least bit amusing!" There was a mixture of anger and panic in his eyes and voice.

"This isn't a game, Boss!" Athena shouted incredulously.

"Boss? That's an odd thing to call your hostage." He said suspiciously.

"Enough with this hostage crap already!" Athena exclaimed with exasperation, "We didn't kidnap you!"

"Alright I've had about enough of this I can take." Maya shouted from behind Apollo, "Athena, hold him down for me!"

"Wait what?" Apollo blinked.

Athena pumped up a fist, "You got it, I've had about enough of this as I can take myself!"

Athena tackled Mr. Wright to the ground before suddenly holding him in a headlock. Phoenix squirmed and flailed, and Apollo sighed and rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache coming on.

"I don't see how this is helpful Ms. Fey." Apollo said.

"Isn't it obvious? Phoenix is being possessed by some malevolent ghost! I'm going to exorcise it immediately!" Maya exclaimed with fire in her eyes.

"Wow! You can do that?! Cool! We're gonna see a real exorcism!" Athena said with stars in her eyes.

Apollo sighed. Trucy shifted anxiously next to him but said nothing.

"You're all lunatics!" Mr. Wright yelled while he still struggled but failed to get out of Athena's headlock.

"Ms. Fey is this necessary...I'm pretty certain he just hit his head and that's why he can't remember this stuff?" Apollo asked.

"Well...hopefully not, this is a powerful prayer I'm about to perform. If no ghost is in him then he might end up unconscious...or just stuck with annoying bouts of nosebleeds and migraines for two weeks." Maya Fey said as if it wasn't a big deal.

Mr. Wright paled, and Apollo was right there with him in that regard.

"WHAT?! GIRL—LET ME GO THIS INSTANT! YOU ARE NOT SCRAMBLING MY BRAIN YOU CRAZY WOMAN!" Mr. Wright flailed around in Athena's hold.

"I-I'm not so sure this is a good idea." Apollo felt himself sweat.

"Some gambles you have to take Apollo...sacrifices must be made for the greater good." Ms. Fey said again in that tone that made this sound like it wasn't something to worry over.

"I just—what?! OBJECTION! Not with Mr. Wright's health on the line it's not!" Apollo shouted.

"I concur! Listen to the rooster-haired boy!" Mr. Wright shouted.

("Wait...rooster haired?")

He shook off the poultry jab directed at his hair, and figured it was time to get control of the situation.

"Maya..."

He hadn't addressed her by her first name before but knew that would get her attention—they still didn't know each other that well hence why he was formal with her,

"Stop. This will not help Mr. Wright's behavior. Something is wrong with him, but he certainly needs to be seen by a doctor first before you go exorcising any malevolent spirits. Besides, remember Mr. Butz? He specifically asked for Mr. Wright to represent him. He would be very much upset if you incapacitated his lawyer."

"But even if this isn't an evil ghost, and your 'amnesia or sickness or whatever' is the case..." She emphasized how unimpressed she was with his more logical theory to Mr. Wright's behavior like it was too mundane to be possible for her, "How exactly can he still represent Larry?"

"Yes, Athena and I will probably have to take over this case, but regardless Mr. Butz still asked for him specifically...and if he has to miss the trial to go to the hospital I'd rather it be that he was sent there because of some other reason being the cause and not his friends and employees." Apollo explained.

"Oh fine..." Maya said half exasperatedly and half pouty.


Phoenix was extremely confused...these people apparently were not kidnappers (not that he fully believed them, those two girls already proven they were crazy), claiming he was their boss and...a defense attorney?! Not to mention they thought he had amnesia? Completely preposterous! He knew exactly who he was and how he's lived his life! They were the ones who clearly have lost their senses!

The antennae-haired boy and the top hat girl left the room to discuss something, leaving him alone with the two crazy fillies. He wouldn't stand for that.

"Both of you, out." He ordered.

"What? We have to keep an eye on you! You hit your head!" The orange-haired girl said.

"Plus what if you try to make a break for it?! You aren't yourself Nick, we have to protect you from yourself!" The raven-haired girl said.

That line was especially rich coming from her considering she was all too eager to put his health at risk for the sake of exorcising non-existent demons.

"The cut to my cranium is shallow, the bleeding has already stopped. And I refuse to change out of these absurd pajamas and into something more respectable until you both vacate this room."

Both girls lightly blushed and laughed awkwardly.

"Oops, sorry, we'll give you a little bit of privacy then." The self-proclaimed exorcist girl said.

"Well, let us know if you need anything or feel like you might faint again Mr. Wright, we don't want your situation to get worse." The carrot-top said after leaving with the other girl as they shut the door.

He didn't even understand the big deal anyway from them, after all the window in that room wasn't even big enough for him to use for an escape.

Suddenly it dawned on him as he glanced back at that one framed picture on the cheap desk, the picture with him and Mia Fey's little sister eating burgers. That girl, she was dressed a bit differently, but it was definitely her, Mia Fey's little sister. Well Franziska was right about Maya Fey it seemed. She definitely has some screws loose in her head.

Then the other two, the boy in red and the girl in yellow. He scratched his neck as he tried to come up with something. They did seem vaguely familiar...he knew he's seen them somewhere before, but where?

("Wait...didn't the Edgeworth & Fey Law Offices have two people...weren't they interns or something? Yes that's right, the loud boy always follows Mia around, and the energetic girl always tagged along with Edgeworth. They had names...what were they again? Hmm...I'm sure I'll remember later.") He thought as he moved away from the cheap desk.

He was drawing nothing but blanks on the top hat girl, which he did feel guilty for. She seemed so distraught when he didn't recognize her. But there was nothing he could do about that as he doesn't know who she is, he still felt responsible for causing her such distress. He'd figure a way to better apologize to the young girl later, he needed to first figure out what to do about his situation.

So he walked over the tiny closet to see what he could find.

This day was certainly weird, and it was becoming weirder by the second. Whoever's home this was, was apparently his same size. The shoes, the suit, even the belts. True the material wasn't as nice as what he owned, but it wasn't by any means an obviously pitiful frugal looking material. At least whoever owned this could look presentable and not like he needed a paycheck badly. They even had the same tastes in color, he always loved blue.

And while he'd never admit it, he was also grateful whoever this was owned a tie. He'd never admit it to his dear little sister—Franny—that he never liked cravats. They were itchy and uncomfortable. But it was a staple for the von Karma's, she especially loved them. She always bought him two new ones every year ever since he became a prosecutor. One for his birthday and one for Christmas. He never had the heart to tell her he found them uncomfortable. She looked so happy when she helped him first put one of the fanciest ones she ever bought, back when he became a prosecutor at the age of 17 (one of the youngest in history...then Franziska beat him to that record, he smiled a bit proudly remembering that). He remembered how she said he looked so cool, sophisticated and even handsome wearing it. So he swallowed his pride and always wore the cravat because it made her happy.

But what a breath of fresh air it was wearing a tie was. He wondered when the last time he wore a tie was. It's certainly been years.

He then placed the unfamiliar badge onto the lapel of his jacket. He stared down at the object with mixed feelings. Once upon a time, it was his dream to be a defense attorney. Now there was a group that was insisting he was one? He couldn't think of any explanation other than he lost his mind or this was still a dream. Nothing seemed right. And he still can't remember what he was doing recently until he wound up here. He kept trying to recall what happened in the previous 36 hours, he knew it had to have been something important, but he couldn't recall what that was! He let out a heavy sigh as he scratched his neck. He'd figure it out later, he didn't want to keep those crazy kids waiting.

He walked out of the tiny bedroom and into a hallway, those two girls were waiting for him and lead him out of the narrow hallway and into the main living area of the humble apartment. The boy was waiting there with the top hat girl, the two of them didn't seem to notice the three who recently appeared.

"Trucy, I know this will be hard, but we have to keep moving. Did Mr. Wright mention where it was he needed to go today before we visited Mr. Butz?" The horned head boy asked the magician girl.

"Hmmm...oh yeah! He mentioned something about going to the art studio where Uncle Larry hangs out, Daddy said last night he thinks he could find some clues there!" She nodded.

They dragged Phoenix with them and headed out to the art studio. During the car ride they all introduced themselves to him, hoping it would trigger some sort of memory. It didn't work as he didn't have amnesia, but he'd try to humor them for now in attempting to remember something until he figured out what exactly was going on. He probably should have paid attention when the intern girl and boy introduced themselves...he couldn't recall what they said their names was. Oh well, he'd probably figure it out later.

Mia's little sister introduced herself next and despite him finding her a bit...crazy, he was grateful he actually had some knowledge of who she was beforehand.

"And I'm Trucy, Trucy Wright." The girl who called herself his daughter introduced last.

"Um...pleasure to meet you." He said awkwardly as she was the one person he was unsure of how to behave around.

He didn't exactly have experience in being a father and suddenly a kid shows up insisting he is one. He needed to be polite however, he hated seeing kids cry and he was not comfortable with causing her tears earlier.

He still had no clue as to why they were supposed to be heading to this art studio though.

So he asked, "So why is it we're heading to this place again? You lot seem to be in a hurry, what is the situation?"

"Oh right, well Uncle Larry is in trouble again and you were supposed to represent him Daddy." The magician girl, Trucy, said.

"Uncle...Larry?" He blinked with confusion.

He certainly never recalled ever having a brother named Larry. More weirdness thrusted onto him perhaps?

"Oh right, Nick, do you remember Larry? Your old childhood friend?" Maya Fey asked him.

"Childhood friend...Larry?" He pondered out loud.

The name sounded familiar and from his childhood they claim. That actually sounds like something that matches up correctly with his memories.

("Hmm...Larry? Larry? Yes that name sounds familiar indeed. My childhood, I wonder...wait...don't tell me...") He thought with a scowl after realization finally hit him.

He hoped they weren't referring to who he thought it was, but then again, he didn't know many Larry's. He groaned.

"Please tell me you aren't referring to Larry Butz, right?" He asked with hesitation.

"Wow! This is great, so you do still remember something after all!" Maya Fey exclaimed.

His scowl deepened. Of course it was him. He hadn't seen the man since a trial he had against Edgeworth 10 years ago, but even then, it was only briefly. Larry kept shouting in the gallery every time something didn't go Edgeworth's way and eventually the Judge had him removed from the courtroom for the remainder of the trial. He hadn't actually spoken to Larry since they were kids. But it seems his penchant for getting himself into trouble has not slacked through the years one bit.

"What misfortune has that trouble-magnet brought upon himself this time?" He asked as he massaged his temples, prepared for any headache his old friend would no doubt give.

His "daughter" explained to him the situation about the double homicide as well as the attempted murder charge on top of it. He couldn't help but feel sympathy even for a moron like Larry. Those were some heavy charges to lay on someone. He knew his old friend was ill-mannered, loud-mouthed, and not too bright...but he wasn't the type to commit murder. While it's true people can change, Larry is far too simple-minded to be a mastermind behind such a serious crime.

On the car ride however the two intern kids in the front discussed the possibility of taking him to see a doctor. Apparently, they felt that Maya Fey and the Trucy girl should stay with them while the two interns should investigate. He didn't like that suggestion one bit, while he supposed from their point of view it was logical, but something in his gut told him that it wouldn't help the situation entirely. If it was just a dream it'd be no big deal, if he was going crazy then seeing a doctor would be beneficial but...he was too afraid to admit it, but he knew there was an increasing possibility this was neither a dream or hallucination. And if it was neither of those things, the only option left available was, whatever the hell this all is, it's real. And he'd never be able to get to the bottom of it if he was trapped in some hospital. Especially if they all did assume he was going crazy. No, going to a doctor right now was out of the question. He needed answers, not medicine.

"No." He said flatly.

"No? No what?" The young man questioned.

"No, we're not going to a doctor." He spoke plainly.

"Huh? But Mr. Wright—" The carrot top girl started but he however interrupted her.

"I said no. I refuse to go to any doctor or hospital. I will figure this out at my leisure." He said with his arms crossed.

"I'm not so sure that's a good idea." The orange haired girl frowned.

"I am 34 years old, none of you have the legal authority to place me in a medical establishment against my will, and since my condition is not life threatening there is no reason to force me there." He stated.

"But—" The boy was about to argue but he was gonna stomp that out of the two interns who suggested this idea right now.

"If I recall, I am the boss of you two, am I not?" Phoenix gestured to the two in the driver and passenger seat in front of them.

The intern boy and intern girl could only nod, the boy thankfully still kept his eyes on the road.

"Very well, judging from the appearance of the fabric on your persons, you two I imagined are pressed for cash and went for the more frugal choices, correct?" He asked.

The orange haired girl looked annoyed, "What's wrong with the way I look? I saved money and look cute!"

"Right...so—why are you bringing this up Mr. Wright?" The horn-headed boy questioned.

"How would you both like a significant raise in your salaries?" Phoenix asked with a smirk.

The squeak and gasping combination that escaped the throats of the two only served to make his smirk grow wider. Just like Gumshoe, they could easily be bought, just as he predicted.

"Polly, don't you dare!" Trucy chided.

"But Trucy, he said significant raise! Not a little one! A significant one!" The young man was almost on the verge of tears.

"Yeah Trucy! We could always use some extra cash! We have bills to pay you know!" The intern girl exclaimed while she too was on the verge of tears.

"You both are weak." Maya Fey said with disappointment.

"Yeah!" Trucy nodded in agreement.

"Nick, you need to see a doctor! If you don't...I'll...I'll...I'll never speak to you again! You can kiss our friendship goodbye!" Mia Fey's little sister threatened.

He didn't even look at her as he said with an apathetic expression, "That's fine, I'm sure I'll live without it."

"What?! You can't call my bluff! I mean—uhh—you can't just be so callous and end our friendship like that!" The raven haired woman scrambled to gain footing in their argument.

"I have no memory of this friendship of ours that you speak of, so your threat doesn't do anything to sway me. How can I value the loss of something that I currently have no memory of? If you're going to blackmail me, then blackmail me on something I would currently care about." He said in a monotone.

"Curse your sudden yet inevitable betrayal, Nick! You're so cold! I hate the new you, give me my old Nick back!" Ms. Fey glared as she stuck her tongue out at him.

("It honestly baffles me how someone so childish can be the same age as my dear little sister, then again perhaps I'm being unfair. To be at the same maturity level as Franziska is a tall order to expect just anyone to live up to.")

"Yeah well, I can make Polly take you there, Daddy! You're going to see a doctor and that's final!" Trucy declared as if there was no room for argument.

He admired the fire in her eyes, but alas, he'd have to snuff it out.

"Well as your father I don't see how you could, if you attempt to force my employees to take me there, or anyone else, then I can easily just ground you." He matched her fiery stare.

She faltered, "W-what? But...you have NEVER grounded me before!"

"First time for everything." He did not let his fiery stare falter.

"But—I—no, this is a trick! You're bluffing! It's a trick!" She challenged him.

She certainly had spirit, but she has met her match.

"Oh? Try me then." He said with a smug grin.

He and Trucy just had a stare off for probably for several seconds until she finally backed down.

"Y-You're not bluffing." She said as she looked away, before turning back at him with angry tears in her eyes, "Are you some kind of alien?! A clone?! A doppelganger?! My Daddy would never ground me!"

"Maybe this supposed amnesia is exactly what I needed then young one. Because it's clear to me you all could learn a thing or two about discipline." He said confidentially, as he knew he finally won that battle.

"Maya, he's clearly possessed by an evil ghost after all." He heard Trucy whisper sarcastically.

So apparently, they needed to look for something to, as Mia Fey's sister put it, "break the locks around Larry's heart", whatever the hell that meant. When they arrived at the art studio they looked all over in every place that Larry was known to frequent in the building. They didn't find much at all. They continued their search until eventually they were given access Larry's locker by the building manager. It should hold some of his belongings. When the manager opened it for them, they also didn't find much. All that was in the locker was some art supplies, an old worn out sweater, and a magazine. The magazine interestingly enough had a bookmark in it. It seemed to be the only thing in there with potential, so they took the magazine.

He asked them again what the purpose of all this was, and what they meant by "unlocking" or whatever, but it still baffled him. The spirit medium explained to him the concept of something she called "psychelocks"...the whole thing was very confusing. When that Maya girl said to pull out something called she called a "magatama" he had no idea what she was talking about, and just stared at her while he just blinked. She reached into his pocket and he protested at that huge invasion of personal space, but then the girl pulled back immediately with shock as she said she hadn't found one. He had no clue why she assumed he'd have whatever it was she was talking about.

Mia Fey's sister then figured he probably just lost it. She pulled out a strange bead of her own and said she will make him another one, putting in her own spiritual energy—according to her. When she handed him the bead it suddenly had a strange green glow to it, and it did feel, well he couldn't quite explain the sensation he felt as he held this object in his palm.

With nothing else left to find, they all had to head out, the trial for Larry was in a few hours so they piled back into the car and the intern boy drove them all off to the detention center, so they could break these supposed locks on Larry. The last person Phoenix expected to run into (almost quite literally had he not stopped himself at the last second) Miles Edgeworth.

He was dressed slightly different; the most noticeable difference was he had a much longer red coat and he was wearing a white cravat...a cravat that reminded him too much of the ones he would wear.

"Chief Prosecutor, wait! There's still some papers that need your signature!" He heard one of the guards call out.

That made his eyes widen momentarily before he quickly masked it before Edgeworth could see his shock.

("He's a prosecutor here?! Not just any prosecutor, but the Chief Prosecutor?! What the devil is going on?!") The possibility of everything not being all in his head was getting harder to deny.

"I'll be right there in a moment." Edgeworth said to the guard before he turned to the group, "If it isn't the Wright Anything Agency, good day to you."

"Good morning Mr. Edgeworth." The intern boy said politely.

"I take it you lot are here to see the crying mess that is our...dear old friend, Larry?" Edgeworth sighed.

Sounds like he went in to visit him briefly.

The intern girl nodded, "That's right, so are you going to be the prosecutor for this case Mr. Edgeworth?"

"No, I'm far too busy as Chief Prosecutor right now helping some of the prosecutors with several other much bigger cases. You do realize this detention center holds more than just one person the police arrest correct?" He said bluntly.

The intern girl glared at his comment and the intern boy just chuckled nervously.

"But you still made time to drop by and see one of your old friends, you try to pretend otherwise but you're a nice guy Uncle Miles. I bet Uncle Larry appreciates seeing his two best friends look after him." Trucy said with a smile, Edgeworth frowned but didn't argue otherwise.

Phoenix couldn't help but feel shocked. This girl who is supposedly his daughter apparently is close enough to Larry and Edgeworth that she refers to them as her uncles? He realized what that implied though, that implied that...that he would be close friends with both of them still.

As the other four chatted with Miles Edgeworth, he felt his mind drift off to the past.


The young boy fought back tears as he brought the last of his belongings to the limo.

The rest of the things in their home was to be auctioned off, his grandparents had no need for his parent's belongings, they were old and lived in nursing homes. His new father, Mr. von Karma had arranged everything to help them, as his grandfather was too heartbroken to even look at any of the things. So they mostly packed Phoenix's things and Mr. von Karma arranged for someone to come and take care of the rest as well as sell the house.

He looked back at the house and felt his lip quiver. He had to be strong, he wasn't supposed to cry right now. But it hit him hard how he'd never see this house again, his home...just like he'd never see his mom and dad again.

He put the box of some of his toys in the trunk and shut it, a heavy emotion sitting on his chest. He then looked over at the small keychain on his backpack. One of the three Signal Samurai, Signal Blue. He was going to move to a completely different country, he found it harder to fight back his tears at the thought of leaving his two best friends behind.

"NIIIIIIICK!"

He suddenly heard shouting at the end of the street. Phoenix looked back and there they were, his two best friends, Miles and Larry, running up towards him.

"Phoenix!"

"Guys! You're here!" He ran towards them.

"Thank goodness! We made it in time! See Edgy, I told you we wouldn't miss him!" Larry said with a cheeky grin as he rubbed his nose.

Miles glared in annoyance at Larry, "Yes, but we almost did because you just had to drag me onto one of your dumb little so-called shortcuts! We were completely lost, Larry! Thankfully, I had the foresight to stop and ask an adult for directions, because if not we never would have made it in time!"

"Details, details..." Larry waved off Miles's chastisement.

Phoenix couldn't help but chuckle at their antics.

"What are you guys doing here?" Phoenix asked.

"What are we doing here? Dude? Don't ask such dumb questions! We're here to see you off, duh!" Larry exclaimed.

"You...you are?" Phoenix felt his eyes get wet again.

"Of course." Miles only nodded.

"But...but the trial, Miles"

The gray haired boy interrupted him.

"Phoenix, don't worry about the conclusion of that trial. That doesn't change anything." Miles said with confidence.

Phoenix felt a floodgate of emotions come crashing down. The tears started to pour out. He was honestly scared that Miles would hate him after what happened at the trial, especially since he looks up to his father so much. He also was afraid that if Larry found out he would take Miles's side in hating him. But they came all this way just to see them, smiling at him as if that whole traumatic event and awful trial never happened, even Miles was smiling.

"You...y-you mean it Miles?" He sobbed.

"I am a man of my word." Miles declared.

"Dude...you're a kid." Larry pointed out.

Miles blushed in embarrassment and glared at Larry.

"Fine, I'm a BOY of my word! Don't get caught up in semantics!" Miles huffed.

"What's that mean?" Larry said as he blinked dumbly.

"Ugh, now isn't the time for this Larry!" Miles rolled his eyes.

"Right sorry...anyways, don't sweat all that junk Nick, we're your best friends, and that will never change!" Larry puffed out his chest as he held out his yellow Signal Samurai keychain, "We're the Samurai Three!"

Phoenix smiled through his tears as he unclipped the keychain from his backpack and held it out like Larry. Miles gave a half-smile and pulled his red Signal Samurai keychain from his pocket.

"Yeah! We are the Signal Samurai! Nothing is gonna separate us!" Larry said excitedly.

"Agreed." Miles said with far more subdued enthusiasm, but a smile still present.

"We're best friends...forever. Right guys?" Phoenix asked hesitantly with a small smile as he wiped the tears off his face with his other hand.

Larry then grabbed Miles and Phoenix, forcing them all into a group hug, which despite his embarrassmentMiles didn't actually protest to.

"That's right, we're friends forever!"

"Even I will have to agree with Larry, we're definitely going to remain friends for as long as time will allow us"

"Geez Edgy, why do you gotta make everything sound so boring?!" Larry whined.

Miles just glared at Larry and Phoenix felt himself burst out into laughter for the first time in weeks.


Phoenix sighed to himself as he distanced away from that memory.

"Wright, is something the matter, you've been awfully quiet?" Edgeworth's voice broke him away from his thoughts.

He looked up and kept a neutral expression on his face. If what was going on was indeed real and not some figment of his imagination, then Edgeworth would immediately catch on if he's acting differently from what is considered norm here, wherever here is. He wasn't comfortable with the idea of Edgeworth catching on that he is in a vulnerable position.

"Sorry, lost in thoughts, thinking about a lie once told to me long ago." He mused quietly.

"I beg your pardon?" Edgeworth raised a brow at him, clearly puzzled at his words.

"Never mind me, just tired. Didn't get much sleep last night." Phoenix waved off.

If supposedly, Phoenix Wright here is close friends still with Miles Edgeworth, then that is what would be expected. Though there was a slight problem with that for him. He and Miles Edgeworth weren't exactly even considered friendly acquaintances. He'd probably have to avoid him as much as possible until he figures out better what his situation is.

"Oh, I forgot to ask! Mr. Edgeworth, if you're not running the trial for the prosecution, then who is?" Mia Fey's sister asked.

"Someone who should be a blast from your past, for you and Wright." Edgeworth said.

"Really? Who?" Maya Fey perked up with anticipation.

"Franziska von Karma." Edgeworth answered.

Phoenix felt his blood slightly run cold. His enemy was to be Franziska? His sister? No, this was clearly a cruel joke.

"She just flew in last night and was briefed on everything. She is quite eager to meet you in court again, Wright. I hope you don't disappoint her." Edgeworth said before waving them off and leaving the room.

("If there is any heavenly body listening then please just grant me an answer to just one question. I implore you, will you confirm if I'm truly in a nightmare?")