"A Brand-New Start"
Sung to the tune of "(With A) Thankful Heart"
from the movie
The Muppet Christmas Carol
District Courthouse – October 9, 2026
"Incidentally," Apollo informed his former employer with a smug grin. "The one responsible for making this happen...was Phoenix Wright."
Kristoph's eye began to discernably twitch with animus upon hearing the accursed name of his most hated foe.
As the weight of the disclosed ultimate bluff fell upon him like a bag of cement, the periwinkle pisshead man began quaking from head to toe, such was the force of his unsuppressed rage.
"So... Everything was leading to this. Of course... Right...Wright... Wright..."
It was at that exact moment the ever-composed legist lost the last lingering shards of his sanity … then proceeded to go completely, irrevocably, snake-fuckingly crazy.
Get back, folks! The horned lawyer drew back nervously. He's about to blow!
Standing there in the jurist's room, alongside a dozen pairs of thunderstruck juror eyes while these surreal events occurred on live camera, Phoenix coolly watched this as impassively as a movie-goer seeing the events unfold on the silver screen.
If only I'd thought to bring a bucket of popcorn…
Eftsoons, there was an earsplitting din unlike anything ever before heard within the walls of that courthouse as in the next instant, Kristoph Gavin fell utterly apart, unhinging his jaws and emanating a deafening, puling bray of defeat that appeared to have been forcibly ripped from the German's throat.
Kristoph's knees seemed to give out from under him right after, and a heavy thud sounded as he fell forward, then remained slumped over the witness stand.
Achtung, baby! Phoenix stared with a combination of pity and loathing at Drew Misham and Zak Gramaraye's unraveled murderer. This show at least deserves some chocolate covered raisins!
However, despite having spent himself, and even in his limp, rag-doll state, the unglued fiend still managed to conjure up a maniacal, bone-chilling cackle; a non-stop, hysterical cachinnating that echoed through the courtroom and froze the blood of everyone within it.
Even from afar, that haunting death rattle would undoubtedly continue to resonate in the hobo's ears and plague his dreams for years to come.
Despite this, the card shark stonily witnessed this all while feeling utterly devoid of any emotion at the downfall of his longtime tormentor. Kristoph was nothing more than a shadow of his once-formidable self now, uncaring about the wrinkling of his once pristine suit sleeves, which he clenched in his fists, while he rocked back and forth and stared sightlessly ahead like a traumatized child. He was naught more than a spasming, unkempt disarray now; a far cry from the once perfectly groomed, sophisticated Coolest Defense In The West persona he'd once prided himself on being.
Revenge was a dish served cold, indeed.
And God's justice be done.
The vindicated poker champ felt himself sagging with relief back into a nearby chair at the sight of Herr Snapped Like A Twig in his seemingly catatonic state now being forcibly dragged away from the courtroom, his once chiseled features frozen into a contorted mask of hatred.
Looks like a one-way ticket to the funny farm for you, Kristoph. The spiky-haired DILF didn't even flinch. Meanwhile, this phoenix will rise from the ashes at last. It's taken a long time since the day you thought you took me down for good, but No More Mr. Nice Guy. I got the last laugh in the end. You broke the boy in me but you couldn't break the man.
Jurists' Chambers – October 9, 2026
A few hours later, the newly exonerated Phoenix closed his stinging eyes and finally released the bated breath he'd been holding in his lungs as the jurors made their decision and unanimously declared Vera Misham: NOT GUILTY.
And Kristoph Gavin, his diabolical nemesis with the demonic scar on hand and deranged, satanic, laughter had subsequently paid the full force of his now exposed crimes.
But none of that mattered right now, because the poisoned teenage girl who had miraculously escaped the clutches of death wasn't the only one who had been pronounced innocent that day.
His name had been cleared of all charges as well.
It's over. After seven, agonizing years … it's all come to a head.
Phoenix Wright's unjust reputation of shamed disgrace had been abolished at last. After seven long years, the one-time legendary defense lawyer could finally shed the erroneous stigma of being deemed "The Forging Attorney."
I still can't believe it. It's finally, and truly over.
Feeling slightly overwhelmed yet elated at the same time, the faux pianist found he couldn't stick around in the courtroom after the verdict had been heard. He needed to get out of there. He needed to think. To plan out his next steps.
Hold It! Fark that noise!
He had already squandered far too much time thinking and plotting for this triumphant moment. No more languishing amongst the poker circuit, hoping Zak Gramarye would resurface. No more being shrouded in an affected air of uncharacteristic mystery because he had to keep his elusive persona in check to protect his loved ones. No more secrets. No more hiding. No more of being this brooding bindlestiff who hid behind the brim of his beanie.
No, more than anything, what Phoenix needed to do was celebrate while shouting propitiously at the top of his lungs up from the highest rooftop!
He needed to hug his daughter and let Trucy know she could now hold her head high in bearing his surname; actually be proud to call him her Daddy now, as she never had been able to before.
He needed to locate Apollo Justice and squish that kid in the mother of all thank you bear hugs until the rookie's eyes bugged out of his head!
He needed to shake the hand of his best friend and express his undying gratitude to the new Chief Prosecutor for all the backstage aid he'd had given in setting up the jurist system and the judge's collaboration in the first place!
And last, but not least, he needed to call Maya Fey. He had to let the love of his life know that they no longer needed to hide their relationship for fear of rebuke from the village Elder Council. There'd be no more worry about the rest of the world judging the prestigious Kurain Master for associating with a lowly disgraced derelict who had been disbarred.
His irrepressible girlfriend had never cared about the opinions of others and had always been ready to declare her steadfast faith in him, as well as her unyielding place by his side all this time, but Phoenix had refused to let her tarnish her reputation alongside his. Ergo for the last seven years, they had been sneaking around like a couple of guilty teenagers.
None of that anymore! The mystical firebird had been reborn, and he was ready to finally spread his wings and fly once again.
As he stumbled out the courthouse doors, his mind still reeling with this latest turnabout in his life, Phoenix was momentarily blinded by the sudden flashing of camera lights that greeted him the second he stepped outside. With a start, he realized he was being presently bombarded by at least two dozen members of the local media!
Sweet candy cane Christ in a Camaro! When did these vultures get here?!
An obscenely large boom microphone was thrust into his mug, along with a barrage of intrusive questions that left his brain spinning.
"Mr. Wright! How does it feel to finally have your name cleared?"
"Will you be suing either Kristoph or Klavier Gavin for unlawfully lost wages over the last seven years?"
"Do you plan to retake the bar exam again right away to reclaim your badge?"
"How does it feel knowing that the world has finally been made aware of your innocence after all this time?"
The endless tirade of queries continued, nobody stopping long enough to even let him answer.
And that was when he heard it.
Looking into your eyes I know I'm right
If there's anything worth my love it's worth a fight
We only get one chance
But nothing ties our hands
You're what I want
Listen to me, nothing I want
Is out of my reach
The unmistakable song from the retro Footloose soundtrack … Coming from the bottom of the courthouse stairs.
Heaven helps the man who fights his fear
Love's the only thing that keeps me here
You're the reason that I'm hanging on
My heart's staying where my heart belongs
Squinting from the glaring lights and raising a hand to his eyes to shield them, Phoenix cast a startled glance down at the bottom of the stairs and spotted a sight straight out of a John Hughes 80's movie.
It was Larry, holding, of all things, a huge blaring boombox over his head! The sunny Butz was flanked by the smiling Edgeworth, Apollo, Trucy, Pearl … and his Maya.
Everyone in the world whom he loved most was right there.
His friends all waved merrily and were already trying to push through the throng to reach him, prepared to be his side just as they'd been all these years, and were now ready bask in this moment of triumph with him.
Beaming from ear to ear, Phoenix began trotting down the stairs towards his selected family at the same time, holding his arms out to push against the swarm of reporters who insisted on following him.
Like the world's tiniest, most determined quarterback, the feisty Maya had already shoved her way to the front of the group and leaped right into his arms, wrapping her own around his neck as he spun her round and round and held her tightly against him, all the while rejoicing in his ability to now publicly do so.
Running away will never make me free
And nothing we sign is any kind of guarantee
But I want to hold you now
And I won't hold you down
I'm shaking the past making my breaks
If that's what it takes…
"You won, Nick!" The spirit medium cried, raining kisses all over his face while tears of joy streamed down her cheeks. "It's all over now! You won!"
"We won, Maya," Phoenix corrected her, uncaring that they had an audience as he leaned down and kissed her firmly on the lips. "I never could have achieved any of this without you! Without any of you!" He gestured towards his dear mates, then turned to his goateed childhood mate and chuckled. "Holy jumping Moses in a sidecar, Larry! Where on earth did you find a boombox in this day and age?"
Before the artist formerly known as Laurice Deauxnim could reply, another persistent reporter, clearly refusing to let him have a private moment with his loved ones, shoved a huge microphone right before his nose.
"Ain't this the berries? Congratulations, Mr. Wright! Now, ya care to give a statement for the Los Angeles Times?"
His jaw dropped to his chest as he recognized the unmistakable sharp, nasally twang - it was none other than Lotta Hart!
"I do declare! This is quite the scoop!" The former paranormal journalist exclaimed. "The people are fixin' to know your thoughts are gettin' your name cleared after it was dragged through the mud for so long - so speak already! Don't be coy!"
Beside Lotta was a younger woman with short hair, wearing a parka, in spite of the warm California sunshine. Her invasive video camera lens was presently positioned only inches from his kisser.
"She's as tenacious as a pit-bull, Wright," Edgeworth noted dryly, clapping a warm hand on his best friend's shoulder and jutting his chin at the frizzy-haired nuisance. "And you know she won't leave until she gets what she's after. May as well throw this dog a bone!"
"You're right," Phoenix sighed, reluctantly releasing Maya and turning to face Lotta. "I'll do you a solid and give you something for your viewers since we go way back – if only to get you off my back!"
"Why, I'll be dipped and rolled in cracker crumbs!" Lotta crowed victoriously, nodding at the woman holding the video camera. "Nicole, you getting this? Mr. Phoenix Wright's first words to the press since getting his name cleared?"
"You bet I am, boss!" Nicole Swift nodded vigorously. "Ready and rolling!"
Phoenix yanked off his beanie, put his hands on his hips, and flashed a huge smile.
"I'd like to publicly state this for the records: if there's one thing I learned from all of this, it's that you need to spend time crawling through the shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun."
"Lordy, Lordy, who shot Shorty? Dang it, boy! When did you go and become a poet?" Lotta swooned and waved the mike at her camerawoman. "Girl, you gettin' all this?"
"The other thing I've learned," Phoenix continued, staring straight into the camera. "It's that the friends who hold your hand through the tough times and want your soul to twirl during the best are the ones you should spend your lifetime dancing with."
He snapped his fingers and prepared his vocal cords in readiness.
"And there's no better point to start dancing – and singing! – then right here, right now!"
It's a brand-new start, world lookout, ahoy!
Risen from the ash with that jurist ploy
No more shamed Forging Attorney!
[Chorus: Maya, Pearl, Edgeworth, Apollo, and Trucy]
(Shamed Forging Attorney!)
My verdict was NOT GUILTY!
(Verdict was NOT GUILTY!)
My brand new protégé, I thank with all my heart
For your brilliant defense and your lawyer smarts
(Apollo *blushes furiously*)
I can now say: "Clients, my defense is yours!"
Scrubbing toilets hence that won't be my chore!
*Phoenix points at red attorney with a smirk*
Apollo: me?! What the heck?!
Legal skills that will show new stealth!
(Skills that will show new stealth!)
Edgeworth: And by "skills" he means "bluff" of course!
Cleared rep with a clean bill of health!
(Cleared rep with a clean bill of health!)
*Phoenix flashes a shit-eating grin at Edgeworth*
I will bluff without recourse, but from truth I shan't depart
Blessings from above, helped this brand-new start
*Phoenix looks up and the heavens and mouths: "Thank you, Chief!"*
My path as an attorney
God knows what's round the bend?
Yet there's one fact that I know, the reason here I stand…
*Phoenix gestures to his pals*
It's all due to my friends!
*Edgeworth and Apollo cough awkwardly, Trucy and Pearl giggle while Maya just clasps her hands and beams*
Don't be shy, it's all true
Thanks to you all, I'm free
When my path led astray, you helped me on the way
And I'm back to being me!
With this brand-new start, there's so much at stake
Will think before I act oh for heaven's sake!
Edgeworth: I'll believe it when I see it, Wright!
*Phoenix just smirks at him, then winks at Maya, who blows a kiss back*
Hobo gear was just a phase!
And goodbye to my poker days!
Be the best lawyer I can be!
*Phoenix smiles fondly at Trucy*
But a father first at heart…
*Phoenix reaches out and manages to grab Apollo, Trucy, Pearl Maya and Edgeworth in a tight group hug while they all squeal*
I embrace you lot with this brand-new start
*Phoenix's voice breaks*
And I love each of you with all my heart!