As they entered the apartment, Nick walked straight back toward the bedroom, glancing over his shoulder. "Trucy's room is this way. It's next to mine," he said. "The bed might be a little small for you, sorry." His voice was still cold and distant, letting the guest know that he still wanted no part of him.
I made a mistake, Nick. Even after seven years of separation - that he had insisted upon - he still thought of the other man as "Nick," not "Wright." Even if he knew they were back to a last-name basis as far as Nick was concerned. He looked after him, following to locate the room that he'd been offered and set his bag down - one bag, for everything: he'd left his life behind him in Europe for the time being, under the care of Franziska. I needed to see you, Nick.
Words that couldn't cross his lips filled his mind. Instead of speaking them, he merely stepped into the offered room when Nick gestured and set his things down. He looked around the room. Not a lover, then, he realized with a wave of relief, this Trucy was merely a child. Nick was a lot of things, but not a pedophile: this was just his kid.
Nick had a kid.
He looked around the room more. Not a kid of his own , he thought. This was the room of a teenager. A childish one, but a teenager regardless. He couldn't help but wonder how Nick had acquired a kid, or what this girl was like. She had friends, apparently, which was better than he'd done at her age. Looking around the room, he guessed that she liked magic, too. It was a silly, frivolous hobby, but he couldn't help but think that it fit the daughter of a man like Nick.
You've always loved the inane.
He stepped back out of the room: he couldn't wait in that child's room while Nick brooded. He had to do something. He saw that Nick had experienced a similar moment, because the man was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee, black. He watched him for a moment, the man he'd left seven years ago, unable to bring himself to trust him when he'd needed trust the most. He couldn't believe that he'd done something so stupid, in retrospect, believing that Nick - his Nick - could have done anything even near that horrible. He could see the toll that seven years had taken on him, the pain and tiredness in his eyes, the way his shoulders slumped slightly forward, his head tilted just slightly down, his eyes staring off just to the right of his shoes.
He wanted to reach around him and pull him into an embrace that would erase the past seven years' worth of pain and torment. He wanted to kiss him and remind him of how important, how amazing, how truly, absolutely, undeniably perfect he was. He wanted to strip him there in the kitchen, worship his body and massage away the tension that was reflected in his every movement. He wanted to look into his eyes and take him, remind him of how fully he was loved and cherished.
He walked over and said, "I'm sorry."
"We've been over this," Nick said sharply.
"Not well enough, it seems." He had no intention of dropping this. It was too important to simply let it fall by the wayside.
"Shut up, Edgeworth." Nick's eyes promised punishment if he disobeyed, angry and cold. "I'm through talking to you. I only offered you a room so you would shut up and drive me home."
"I would have driven you home anyways," he said. He sat down by Nick's side, leaning in. "Nick. I..."
The proximity seemed to crack Nick's shell a bit. The man sighed, his shoulders drooping a bit. "Look, we'll talk in the morning, okay? I'm drunk, tired, and angry, and I don't want to think about anything except this cup of coffee and when Trucy is going to get around to calling." He looked up at him. "You hurt me, Edgeworth. I thought I'd never see you again. I need some time to adjust to seeing you again."
A night. He needed a night to relax, to think. He could give him that. He nodded, taking Nick's hand for a moment. "Alright, Nick."
Nick looked down at their joined hands quietly. "Wait here until Trucy calls?" he suggested. "You might as well have a cup of coffee if you're staying here. Or do you still just drink tea?" he asked, wrinkling his nose at the mention: he still didn't like tea, then.
"Coffee's fine," he said. There was no way Nick would actually have tea in his apartment on his own, and he didn't want to turn down the beverage or the chance to sit with Nick, even if he couldn't talk to him about what really mattered. Anything to be close to you.
Nick rose, going over to a cabinet and pulling out a tin of Earl Grey tea, pouring him a cup of hot water and placing the bag into the cup. "You still take it plain, right?"
"Yes. Does Trucy drink Earl Grey?"
Oh. That was a good sign: Nick had kept that tea in the cabinet for him. Seven years, and Nick still kept his favorite tea on hand. He couldn't help but smile, watching Nick fix the tea and bring it over. He tasted it, and smiled at Nick to show him that it tasted good. Nick smiled thinly. It didn't meet his eyes.
"So how did you and Trucy meet?"
"She's... his daughter. I took her in after he pulled that vanishing act."
"She's a Gramarye?" He couldn't contain his shock. Zak Gramarye's daughter - living with his Nick, for seven years! How had he known so little about his friend? How had he known so little about the man he'd loved then and loved still?
"Yeah. She's as big of a magician as her dad, too," Nick said, a beam of pride rising over his face. "She's quite good, in fact. I'm always impressed with her when she does shows. She really brings in the money, you'd be surprised..."
He smiled, listening as Nick extolled the virtues of his daughter. When he finished, he smiled. "I'd love to meet her some time, Nick."
Nick looked surprised, then beamed for a moment. "I'm sure she'd love that," he said. "She's always wanted to meet the people I used to know. She claims that she's worried that I really don't have any friends." Despite the easygoing smile, he could see the pain behind that statement: Nick was worried, too, about not having any friends. That's ridiculous. How could anyone not love you, Nick?
They sat and talked, avoiding the elephant in the room, until Trucy called at 11:30, with an apology for making him wait and an assurance that, yes, she's fine, and having fun, and being safe, and following the rules. After that, Nick retired, leaving Miles to finish his tea and retire as well, mind spinning with ways to apologize, speeches that proclaim his undying - never dead - love for Nick and his profound regret for ever doubting him or leaving him.
In the morning, all he said is, "I'm sorry."
And Nick held up a hand, with a smile, and said, "You can start by taking me out to breakfast."
It was small, but it was a start. Miles grabbed his car keys. "We'll take it slow."