Miles woke up with a gasp, fear crawling at his throat. It must've still been early in the night, because his body still felt tired from work that day. He wasn’t getting much sleep tonight, it seemed. He threw the the sheets off himself and tried to steady his rapid breathing. What even woke him up this time? Nightmares only came every so often these days. He sat up, trying to gather his thoughts, and turned to Phoenix sleeping next to-
His head spun. Phoenix was nowhere to be found in their room and- god , this wasn’t even their room. Where the hell was he? Miles quickly bolted out of bed, feeling like his heart was about to leap out from his chest. The room was small and dark. He should have noticed something wrong with that immediately; Phoenix always insisted on sleeping with at least a little light on. There was little he could make out while he fumbled around for the light switch, though there was a nagging thought at the back of his mind that insisted he’d been here before.
When Miles finally managed to get the light on he immediately felt like he was struck. Surrounding him now was the tiny bedroom he’d spent most of his childhood in.
“No,” he whispered, backing himself up against the wall. This had to be some kind of sick joke, right? Or some kind of twisted new nightmare? Miles dragged a hand across his face, alarmed by how real everything felt. He recognized the feel of the wallpaper beneath his fingers, the rhythmic ticking of the clock on the wall, the small window that just never seemed to bring in enough light. It caused him to nearly hyperventilate now, all memories of the life he’d lived beyond von Karma’s mansion were slipping through his fingers like sand. Like a dream he’d already begun to forget.
That was it then, his mind decided. Everything he’d accomplished in Los Angeles had always seemed too good to be true. Miles chuckled a bit to himself, feeling tears start to prick at his eyes. Of course Miles Edgeworth didn’t get happy endings.
He doesn’t know how long he stays like that, staring back up against the wall and staring at nothing. He’s almost afraid to glance at the mirror, or at the time on the clock, afraid that the feeling of reality would kick itself deeper into his gut. Hours must have passed, because the sun had begun to peek through the window, though Miles swears it’s only been a few seconds.
Before he knows it, the clock on the wall began to chime, a noise that always sent terror running down Miles’ spine. A voice at the back of his head screamed at him to run , though he knew there was nowhere to go. Fear coiled in his gut as he heard the familiar sound of a cane tapping on hardwood floors, slowly approaching his door, growing louder and closer and god , he just wants to run , but his feet are frozen in place and the tapping gets louder and there’s a searing pain in his gut then his door opens and he’s-
He’s jolting awake yet again, heart racing and shirt drenched in sweat. Miles rubbed at his eyes, surprised when his hands come away wet. Tears continued to stream down his cheeks, even when he shut his eyes in an attempt to stop them.
After a few attempts to steady his breathing, he dared to open his eyes and turned to the space next to him. He found Phoenix lying next to him as always, snoring a bit loud and oblivious as ever. It relieved him a little, though his mind was still muddled by his latest nightmare. Without thinking, his hand shot out to run itself through Phoenix’s hair, tangling itself in his dark locks and reminding Miles that he’s there and this was real.
The mannerism grounds him a bit, and Miles was greatly relieved that his boyfriend was a heavy sleeper. God knows he doesn’t need to be bothered by Miles’ problems on top of his, damn it. He flew home to help Phoenix with his issues, Phoenix is the one who lost his badge, the one he’s supposed to be supporting now , and here he was, still mulling over something that happened years ago?
“Pathetic,” he mumbled, trying to prop himself up on his elbows, but he froze mid-motion when he felt something tug at his sleeve. It’s enough to startle him out of his self-pitying spiel, and he glanced down to find a young Trucy looking back up at him with an expression Miles doesn’t think he’s seen on her before. He was so used to seeing a bright enthusiastic face that it almost felt like he was staring back at a stranger, now.
“Uncle Miles?” she asked, her eyebrows shifting up in worry when Miles doesn’t say anything. “Uncle Miles, are you okay?” Trucy swiped her hand under his eyes to wipe at his tears. He didn’t realize he was still crying.
Immediately, he straightened himself and tried to make his expression neutral, though the tears burning down his cheeks continued to betray him. “I’m fine,” he managed, trying to brush her hand away. “Go back to sleep.”
“Uncle Miles,” she said, firmer this time. Trucy fixed him with an even harder stare, and Miles is struck by how mature her face looked then. It was an expression riddled with concern and understanding and all the things Trucy Wright didn’t seem to show before. It almost made him sad- what had happened to this child that gave her a gaze that was far too wise for her age?
He suddenly remembered why she was in their bed in the first place. Earlier that night, she’d ran into their room crying, having woken up from a nightmare herself. Miles didn't want to listen to her explaining it to Phoenix, it almost seemed intrusive, since he'd only met this child a week ago. From what he could guess, it might have had something to do with her biological father- Phoenix had told him about it before- and he feels guiltier than ever. That wound was still fresh for her, wasn’t it? Wasn’t he supposed to be supporting her now, as well? Yet here she was, looking up at him as if he were the one who needed help and Miles Edgeworth, you’re absolutely pathetic, aren’t you?
His thoughts must have shown on his face, because Trucy tugged at his sleeve again, cutting off his trail ffof thought before he plummeted further into his self loathing spiel. Her expression was even sadder now, but less questioning than before. Then in an instant it was gone, replaced with what Miles recognized as Trucy’s “performer look”, a big grin on her face and stars in her eyes.
“You know, Uncle Miles, if you’re havin’ bad dreams, I can fight em off for you!” she said, inching closer to him. “I’m a pretty good magician!”
Despite himself, Miles chuckled. “Thank you, dear,” he said, settling back under the covers. “But you needn’t worry about me. I’m fine.”
“You’re still crying.”
“Nggh,” He wiped at his cheeks again. Trucy’s smile faltered, and she gingerly wrapped her arm over her uncle’s chest. Miles stiffened a bit, unsure about what to do with the gesture.
“Trucy, what are you doing?” he asked. She fixed him with another smile, softer and more real this time.
“Daddy likes to give me big hugs when I’m sad,” she explained. “He says it’s his way of saying he loves me 'n he’ll always be here.” She hugged him tighter.;
“I’m not sad,” he huffed. Trucy just snorted.
“You’re silly, Uncle Miles,” she said, closing her eyes and resting her head on his chest. Miles was taken aback by how attached she’d already gotten from the short amount of time they’d known each other. “Go to sleep.” she said, in a horrible European accent.
Miles scoffed a bit. “That is not what I sound like.”
“That is not what I sound like,” she mocked. Miles chuckled again, real and genuine this time. His nightmare felt further away now, his focus now on the little girl clinging to his chest. It amazed him, how the Wrights always knew how to save him from himself.
Trucy spared a glance back at him and grinned when she saw a small smile on his face. She sighed contentedly and settled her head back on his shoulder. “Goodnight, Uncle Miles,” she said, squeezing him a little tighter.
Miles glanced at Phoenix one last time before closing his own eyes, pushing his thoughts away and focusing on the gentle snores of the Wrights next to him. He was never good with physical intimacy, and was surprised by how comforting Trucy's embrace was. Almost unconsciously, his own arm wrapped around the girl as he fell asleep, and none of them wake up again til morning.