When it was all over and Manfred von Karma had been led away in handcuffs, Phoenix felt like he could breathe again, like he had been holding his breath for the last few hours until the Judge had come to a verdict. And if he was feeling this way, he wondered how Edgeworth was feeling. Edgeworth had been fairly quiet since the verdict. Since before the verdict really, when von Karma had admitted to his crimes.
It was fair, Phoenix felt. It would definitely take a while for the other man to come to terms with the fact that his whole life had been changed, defined, by a man who had only taken him in as a revenge plot against his deceased father. Who he had murdered. Edgeworth’s life had turned into a soap opera plot in an instant, and not even a good soap opera. One of the ones that only seemed to air when you were home sick from school with a cold.
Edgeworth was sitting on the couch in the Defendant’s Lobby, his head in his hands, his fingers buried into his hair. Phoenix sat down next to him, put his hand on Edgeworth’s back gently.
“We’re getting dinner,” Phoenix said, when Edgeworth looked up at him, still looking completely shellshocked. “You’re coming with us.” An order, not a request. Edgeworth, for a split second, looked surprised and then his face slipped back into its usual mask and he nodded. He stood up, brushed imaginary dirt off his pants and looked at Phoenix for a moment before walking to the other side of the room to speak with Detective Gumshoe.
“Is he okay?” Maya asked, suddenly beside him. He hadn’t heard her walk up to him. Last time he had looked over at her, she had been across the room, excitedly talking to Lotta about something. And now she was here, looking worried. He supposed that in a way this case had affected her life as well. Phoenix stood up and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Probably not,” Phoenix said, looking across the room at the hard line of Miles Edgeworth’s shoulders. “But he will be.”
It struck him, about twenty minutes into dinner, that maybe taking Edgeworth to a party might have been a bad idea. Even if said party was to celebrate him getting off of a murder charge. Honestly, Phoenix just felt that maybe the other man shouldn’t be on his own right now, and well, it wasn’t like Miles Edgeworth the Demon Prosecutor had much in the way of friends.
Throughout dinner, Phoenix watched Edgeworth. Watched him talk to Gumshoe and Maya, watched him laugh at a joke that Larry told him. But the look in his eyes was still as haunted as it had been back in the courthouse. It made sense, his whole life had been turned upside down. The only person who had really stood beside him was his childhood friend turned rival.
When the bill was settled and they poured Larry into a cab, after Gumshoe had agreed to drive Maya to the train station, Phoenix turned to Edgeworth and looked at him. “You’re coming home with me,” Phoenix said. He reached out suddenly, grabbed onto the sleeve of Edgeworth’s jacket just so he couldn’t make a quick getaway.
“I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Edgeworth said.
“I don’t think you should be alone right now,” Phoenix said, and Edgeworth looked away from him, stared down at Phoenix’s fingers clutching onto the fabric of his jacket. “And I think maybe you need a drink or two.”
“Okay,” Edgeworth said, which was honestly kind of a surprise. Phoenix had expected it to be harder to get him to come home with him than it had been.
“Okay,” Phoenix said, and hailed a cab.
Edgeworth at least had the courtesy not to comment on the state of Phoenix’s living room. His apartment was small, he knew it was small, and he was barely there. Especially had barely been there the past week. He had practically been living out of the office, only coming home to shower, and the apartment reflected that.
Phoenix kicked his shoes off and walked into his kitchen, pulled the bottle of whiskey that his uncle had given him for passing the bar out of the cupboard he had been keeping it in for a special occasion and found two clean, but mismatched, glasses.
“To winning,” Phoenix said, handing Edgeworth one of the glasses.
Edgeworth tilted his glass towards Phoenix, and then downed his drink in one mouthful. “I don’t feel like I won,” he said, which was the most honest thing that Phoenix had heard from him all day.
“I guess not,” Phoenix said. “I’m sorry… about, well, your whole life, I guess?”
Edgeworth smiled against the rim of his glass, another split second micro expression that Phoenix wouldn’t have caught unless he was looking at him. “Thank you,” he said, and held his glass out to Phoenix for more whiskey.
“Well, it’s only fair,” Phoenix said, pouring him another drink. “I owed you one. A defense for a defense, and all that.”
Edgeworth smiled again at the memory, and he was so handsome when he smiled. Phoenix completely understood why he rarely did it though now. Terrible childhoods definitely gave you a pass from smiling. “I suppose you did,” he said.
One minute they were drinking, quietly laughing about the year that they were childhood friends, and the next Miles Edgeworth was in his lap, kissing him with such desperation that it made Phoenix’s heart hurt. Phoenix didn’t quite know how they had gotten here but he didn’t really have a problem with it. He just truly wasn’t expecting the night to go this way.
“Phoenix,” Edgeworth said, more of a whisper, and Phoenix leant in and kissed him so very gently against the corner of his mouth. Edgeworth closed his eyes, leant into the touch like he was starved for it. The sheer intensity, the emotions, in Edgeworth’s face just made Phoenix want to help him in any way that he could. And if kissing would help then kissing was what he would get. He pulled Edgeworth closer, kissed him back, fisted his hands in the back of Edgeworth’s jacket before he helped him remove it.
“Shh,” Phoenix said, gently. “It’s all going to be okay.” Phoenix didn’t have much experience in this sort of thing at all. Dahlia, a few hookups in college, it didn’t matter though about how experienced he was. He wanted this. He wanted this so much, and Edgeworth was kissing him like he wanted it too. He helped Edgeworth take his shirt off, took off his own, kissed him some more, and it was all so very lovely.
In the morning, he woke up completely naked in his own bed, and Edgeworth was just gone. No note, no sign that he was ever there except for the second glass in the lounge room. Phoenix supposed that that’s just the way things went sometimes. And anyway, he would see Edgeworth again soon. Surely.