Title: The Case of the Human Popsicle (and How Trucy Wright Solved It)
Day/Theme: May 27th / it only hurts when I cry
Series: Ace Attorney
Character/Pairing: Phoenix Wright, Trucy Wright
When he had been a boy -- yes, Trucy, a long time ago, but not that long! -- he had dreamt of lots of things.
Things like walking on the moon, and meeting Miles Edgeworth again. Finding a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow who would teach him real coin tricks and not that thing where money disappeared into the hands of ice cream vendors. (You don't want to know how many rainbows he and Larry chased down together...)
He'd had dreams of children, and long summers away from school, and there had been girls. Sometimes boys too, but the special girl had been, well, a girl. A beautiful girl with big eyes and soft hair and a gentle voice who had tried to poison him and a lot of people ... to cut a really long and scarily convoluted story short, it hadn't worked out, honestly, and he found new dreams later.
A-anyway! The point was that Phoenix Wright had dreamed a lot. But none of those dreams had included freezing to death in his own office!
"Oh, is that all?" said Trucy. Phoenix had the impression that she was distinctly unimpressed.
"You wear, like, an actual cloak and gloves all the time," Phoenix pointed out, not unreasonably.
Trucy only shook her head and rose to the tips of her very small toes so she could pat him on the head condescendingly. "When we take this show on the road, Daddy, that's when you'll learn real cold," she said.
"'On the road'? Is that magician-speak for sitting in a freezer?" he muttered.
She shot him a funny look. "We've got to exhibits our talents, Daddy! In person and in public!"
"I think we can keep suffering in this kind of cold before we take on any sort of 'road chill'," he said drily. (Talents? The only one with any talent in the Agency did not have spiky hair or an aversion to winter in July...)
"Er, did I say it was cold?" Trucy said with a big smile. " I meant it was toasty as a Samurai Breakfast Treat in a toaster!"
He gave her a Look. "Sometimes I can tell when you're lying too, you know," Phoenix told her. "But nice try."
"Aw, Daddy, you're no fun," she pouted.
On the following day, Phoenix found that his trusty old phone with the missing battery cover and extensive contacts list was nowhere to be found. "Have you seen it?" he asked Trucy.
"Let me check my things," she promised.
"Don't lick the white powder!" he called urgently. (There was metal stuff in it! It was made of Science! It could probably cause cancer.)
"I haven't done that in forever, Daddy!" she called back. (Which didn't mean she couldn't start again. Also, cancer.)
"That's not exactly reassuring," he concluded.
She came running back with the battered old thing, having dug it out of her pile of props. (That was strange, but considering the state of the office, he was willing to put it down to migratory tendencies of inanimate objects in an animate space.)
He noticed that Trucy had a really big smile plastered across her cheeks.
"What?" he said, suspiciously.
"Nothing!" Trucy skipped off, waving. Hmm.
He hit redial as soon as she was out of sight, her blurry shadow no longer gracing the frosted glass of the office door. (Probably run to Mr. Eldoon's again...) The phone rang twice in his ear before the other end picked up. "Miles Edgeworth speaking."
"Edgeworth?" Phoenix said in surprise.
"Wright?" He sounded surprised too. (Didn't he always check his display screen before answering?) "It isn't precisely convenient right now."
"Oh, sorry, um. Hey, quick question, I promise this time. Did Trucy call you?"
"Yes, about a matter of some personal delicacy."
Phoenix felt his gills turn a shade of deep jade. Or something. "Thanks, Miles. Er--"
"Yes, I'll speak to you later." There was a click and then the line beeped in Phoenix's ear. Wasn't that sort of terse, even for Miles Edgeworth? (He was probably in a meeting, or just about to be.)
Trucy was carrying a number of shopping bags when she came back. He decided that he didn't want to snoop around in them.
He found his first piece of concrete evidence in her infestation of props.
Mia would probably smack him around a few times if she ever figured out he was letting Charley cohabit with an enormous mess. (One reason to avoid having Maya over as much, not because she was busy being Master of the Kurain Channelling Technique or anything...)
It sprawled around him in an array of trick tables and levitation hoops and floating spaghetti and colourful handkerchiefs, looping up and down in dizzying spirals of disorganisation. Charley, in his unspoilt corner of serene carpet and wall, was kind of aristocratically above it all. A king. An overlooked monarch, maybe, but a king nonetheless.
The he saw something thin and metallic gleam, winking up out of the shadowy realm of Charley's subjects. It tapered to a point. Like a needle.
For a moment, he panicked. (What if Trucy was doing drugs! That was not the way to deal with delicate personal problems! Probably! How would he know!) Then he remembered that Miles Edgeworth would probably not have told her to stick needles into herself for any reason. He was a very sensible sort of person. And anyway, on a closer look, it was really a needle that was way too big for someone who hated the sight of blood to stick into herself.
He decided not to think of the fact that it was physically impossible to look at one's back, or of huge tattoo tapestries.
"Be careful you don't put out anyone's eyes with that new prop of yours," he said to Trucy casually over dinner.
"What prop?" she said innocently.
"The one sitting next to Charley," he said, equally as innocent. He pretended not to hear her inadvertent squeak.
"Oh, that! I'll be careful." He could practically see her thought process.
('Daddy is an old fogey.' 'Daddy doesn't know the names of more than three flowers.' 'Daddy can't recognise a knitting needle for a knitting needle.')
Come to think of it, he ought to be more insulted at her thought process, rather than resigned.
Maya and Pearls had conditioned him too well.
Balls of soft yarn began appearing all over the office, now that Trucy could be less circumspect about her newest hobby. When she was out (and therefore could not yell at him), he heaped them on the sofa to use as a cushion for him head. It really was a very comfortable napping place. And the yarn was pretty warm, so at least one of his ears stayed insulated in the not-really-that-bitter cold.
They disappeared on the morning she plonked the woollen beanie on his head. "What's this?" he said, sublimely unamazed.
"You could pretend to be surprised," Trucy prompted.
He widened his eyes exaggeratedly until she giggled.
"30 percent of your body heat is lost through your head, you know," she said self-importantly. "I'm only looking out for your welfare, Daddy."
"Papa, huh?" he smiled, taking it off to look. (His ears felt the loss of warmth keenly...) "I like the colour scheme. Did you make this yourself?"
"Absolutely," she said.
"Hmm," he said, flipping out the scratchy laundering label sewn into the seam of the hat.
She clapped two fingers over her mouth. "Oops! I can fix that in two ticks!" She plucked the hat from his finger and exclaimed, "Alakazap!"
Trucy handed him the hat. He fingered the place where the label had been; there wasn't a trace left, not even the annoying little scrap that always got left behind when you cut the label off.
And that, decided Phoenix Wright, was real magic, right there.