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Project: Matrimony

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Phoenix Wright was in love.

Not that he hadn't been for quite some time, but now it was different. After many long, torturous years of struggle and emotional anguish, after everything had fallen apart and he had somehow managed to patch it back together, after he had tried to deny the feelings over and over again, he finally had what he'd been seeking.

He rested his chin on his arms and watched Miles sleep.

The prosecutor's normally stern face was relaxed. The furrow between his brow had disappeared, and his lips were slightly parted. His bangs fell haphazardly across his forehead and cheeks, a far cry from their usual immaculate state. Phoenix reached over and brushed a strand of hair off of Miles' cheek, and the other man momentarily scrunched his nose up at the sensation before letting his face go slack again. It was so goddamn adorable.

For so long, he'd held himself back from thinking such things. Miles was a formidable figure, an intimidating presence in the courtroom and out of it. His history with Phoenix had led to a deep and abiding friendship, and their legal prowess made them fierce rivals in court, but Phoenix had never thought their friendly relationship would go anywhere further. Miles was not allowed to be adorable to him. He was not allowed to be attractive, or beautiful, or precious, or sexy, or any of the things that Phoenix now thought about him on a daily basis. He'd locked all those descriptors away and refused to acknowledge that they were there under the surface.

But now, thanks to a little Captain Morgan and a voicemail about unicorns, here he was: Miles Edgeworth, in all his pajama'd glory, right here in their bed. Their bed!

Phoenix laid back on his arms, crossing them under his head as he stared at the ceiling. They'd only been living here for three weeks now, but he could already tell this would be a place he wouldn't be moving out of anytime soon. It was in a convenient location, it was spacious yet cozy, there was a pool nearby for the summers, and most of all, it contained the two most important people in the world to Phoenix. Sometimes he'd wake up convinced that this domestic bliss had just been a very long, freakishly-detailed dream, but then he would look over and see Miles there next to him, and it was like a small electric current buzzed through him from his head to his toes. It had been fantastic. Even if Miles seemed preoccupied with work or lost in his own thoughts sometimes, he always made time for Phoenix. He was still a little enigmatic sometimes, but that just made it more interesting and exciting, Phoenix thought.

He had just started to feel his eyes flutter closed, his vision fading out as he surrendered to the laziness the early morning induced in him, when he felt a sudden warmth on his arm. His eyes snapped open, and darted down to see Miles' hand on his shoulder. “Miles?” he said, uncertain.

“You're here,” Miles breathed, sounding relieved. His voice was thick with sleep. “You're real.”

“Yeah, I'm real,” Phoenix responded softly, turning on his side and scooping Miles' hand into his own. “What's wrong? Bad dream?”

Reluctantly, Miles nodded against his pillow. “It's pathetic,” he said with a sigh.

“No, no it's not,” Phoenix told him, shuffling closer to him and laying his forehead against his partner's. “I still have a hard time believing it's real sometimes, too.” He looked at Miles' tired, half-open gray eyes. “I'm here,” he said. “I love you so much.”

Despite being sleepy, Miles' cheeks managed to go pink. “I suppose only the real Phoenix Wright would say such embarrassing things,” he mumbled.

“Miiiiiiles,” Phoenix said, rolling his eyes. “That's the part where you're supposed to say, 'I love you too, Phoenix Wright; you're the light of my life!'”

“I love you too, Phoenix Wright; you're the light of my life,” Miles repeated tonelessly.

“Eh, I'll take it,” Phoenix shrugged, kissing Miles on the forehead. The other man nuzzled his head under Phoenix's chin, and Phoenix scooted even closer and brought one arm up to gently stroke his side, from his shoulder to his hip and back up again. He internally cursed the cold weather that necessitated them wearing shirts to bed—even though Miles' pajamas were silky and soft, his skin felt so much better. Maybe they should just get heavier blankets. Then they'd be able to wear as little to bed as they wanted.

“Phoenix,” Miles sighed against his neck. Phoenix shuddered. His breath had been warm, but it made goosebumps erupt all down his arms and legs.

“Yeah, Miles?”

“Not that I'm not flattered, but I'd like to sleep a little longer.”

For a moment, Phoenix had no idea what he was talking about. “O-oh!” he exclaimed when he realized. He wriggled back away from his partner, his cheeks blazing. “S-Sorry. It's... it's morning, and everything.” God, it wasn't even like he'd been hard up lately... how embarrassing.

“'S fine,” Miles replied, resettling his cheek against his pillow. “Maybe later.”

“Wh-What?” Phoenix bleated, but from the way Miles' eyelashes were fluttering, he could tell the other man had already started to fall back asleep.

Yes indeed, Phoenix had never been happier in his life. But, he thought, as he turned over and adjusted his pillow to go back to sleep, there was still one step they hadn't taken. A step that Maya in particular had been quite keen that he and Miles take soon, and one that Miles had claimed more than once that he would never take. A step that Phoenix would have loved to take tomorrow if Miles would let him.

But he was hardly in a position to be greedy, right?


 

Not for the first time, Miles had woken up wondering if he was still dreaming. Luckily, Phoenix Wright had been there to assure him that this was reality (and when he wasn't reassuring him with words, he was reassuring him by snoring loudly and reminding Miles of his very real presence).

Unluckily, his workday started at 8 in the morning, and it was now 7 o'clock.

He sighed and threw back the covers on his side, swinging his legs out of bed. Wright stirred and lifted his head, blinking his eyes open blearily. “Time for work?” he mumbled. His hair was sticking out in spikes every which way instead of them all pointing towards the back like usual.

“Yes,” Miles answered, grabbing his glasses from the bedside table. “But that's no reason for you to get up. Go back to sleep.”

“Nah, I haven't really slept much since we went back to sleep before,” Phoenix said, rubbing his eyes and sitting up. He was wearing an ancient, bleach-stained Steel Samurai t-shirt Maya Fey had gotten him at a convention years ago, and it was unfair how good he looked in it. “Do you need anything before you go?” he asked, shoving back the covers with his feet. “Lunch? Phone charger? Some small bills?”

Miles gave him a wry half-smile over his shoulder as he made his way over to the walk-in closet. “I'm a grown man, Wright, not your teenage daughter. I can get my own lunch.”

“Well gosh, maybe I just wanted to be romantic and make you lunch; you ever think about that?” he countered with a yawn. He rose out of bed as well, shivering from the sudden loss of the warm blankets.

“Thank you, but I think I'll just go across the street for lunch,” Miles told him, and then carried his clothes with him into the bathroom. He might share a bed with Wright, and sure, there was no part of them that was a secret to each other anymore, but Miles still didn't feel comfortable getting undressed and dressed in front of him. It was one thing to undress for a purpose, like to take a shower or the like. It was another to undress because you were going to fumble on a different set of clothes. It was an undignified and awkward process, and Miles preferred it to be private. Phoenix never pressed the issue, though he was only too comfortable flinging his clothes on and off willy-nilly in Miles' presence himself (which Miles sometimes appreciated and other times was immensely embarrassed by).

 “Hey, maybe I can join you for lunch?” came Phoenix's voice through the door as Miles was brushing his teeth. “You're going to the soup place, right?”

"It's a bistro,” he said after he'd rinsed his mouth.

“Right, the soup place,” Phoenix insisted, and Miles heard the teasing smile in his voice.

Miles sighed, but smiled. “I'll be there around two,” he informed his partner, emerging from the bathroom fully dressed and immaculate in his usual elegant wine-red suit—complete with cravat, of course. “If you'd like to meet me there, I have no problem with it.”

“'No problem with it'? Oh, such tender words,” Phoenix sighed melodramatically, pretending to swoon.

The prosecutor stopped short on the way to the door. Wright may have been joking, but he had a point. They lived in the same place now. They shared a life together. They loved one another. Surely it wouldn't kill Miles to be a little more... emotionally sincere?

He made up his mind, and turned on his heel. Phoenix looked surprised at his approach, but waited to see what was to come rather than making a comment. Miles cupped Phoenix's face in his hands, tilted his head, and kissed him softly on the mouth. Phoenix sucked in a breath through his nose and leaned into him, his hands coming up to hold Miles' wrists. No matter how many times they kissed, Phoenix always reacted like it was their first. He did everything earnestly and whole-heartedly, including (or especially, rather) loving Miles. It was one of the many strange, inexplicable things about him that Miles wanted to spend forever trying to figure out. But of course, there was no guarantee that they had forever to spend.

Phoenix smiled at him when Miles pulled away. His blue eyes were swallowed up by his wide pupils. God, that expression made him want to throw the workday away and just stay here with him, but Miles was a professional and he could not skip out on work to... to canoodle with this defense attorney. “Wow,” Phoenix breathed. Miles smirked. That was what he had said after their first kiss, too. “Not that I'm complaining,” the other man continued, “but what brought that on?”

Miles released him and turned away again. “You deserve affection without having to ask for it,” he admitted. He frowned at the carpet. “I'm sorry I'm so...closed-off, frequently.”

“What? No you're not.”

The prosecutor sighed. “The man I love asked to meet me for lunch and all I said was 'I don't have a problem with it.'”

Phoenix laid a hand on his shoulder, and Miles faced him again. “I've known you were like that for years,” he said, “and if you suddenly changed, you wouldn't be the guy I fell in love with, so...” He shrugged, his mouth quirking up on one side. “Feel free to keep being prickly if you want to. I think it's cute. You're like a cat.”

His frown became even more pronounced. “A cat?!” Miles wasn't sure he approved of this comparison.

“Yeah, like, they pretend they don't need you or care about you, but you know they do.”

Miles grabbed his hands. “But... I want to tell you that I care about you.” Indeed, he had been trying to do just that since they'd been living together, but it seemed as if all he managed to do on a daily basis was say awkward things and offer lukewarm displays of affection which did not at all match the depth of his devotion towards the man.

Phoenix's cheeks went pink, because despite the fact that they were lovers in every sense of the word, he still seemed amazed every time Miles expressed sentiments of love to him. What a ridiculous man. “If you keep saying nice stuff to me, I'm just going to want to keep you here all day,” Phoenix warned him.

“Well, sadly, that is not an option,” said Miles. He kissed one of Phoenix's hands and then dropped both of them.

“One of these days I'll convince you to take a day off,” the defense attorney vowed.

“I look forward to seeing you try,” Miles challenged, grabbing his briefcase from beside the door.

“You do, huh?” Phoenix purred. He was attempting to sound smooth and alluring, but Miles knew from his still-slightly flushed cheeks that he was actually thrown off by Miles' candor.

“I do,” he replied, opening the door to their room. He sent one more smile back at the defense attorney. “I love you, Phoenix.”

Phoenix's face blushed a little deeper. “I-I love you too, Miles,” he breathed. He sounded and looked wonderstruck. That was the expression Phoenix Wright deserved to be wearing all the time, Miles thought.

He hurried out the door before he could decide to skip work today after all.

***

The last words he'd said to him rang in his head all morning. I do. I love you. I do. I love you. It reminded him yet again of something he couldn't seem to get off his mind recently.

It had all started when he'd more or less expressed his intention to stay with Phoenix forever. That had been during a high-stress time during which they had both been worried sick about Trucy, and Miles had been desperate to show his support, but that didn't make what he'd said then any less true.

You—and Trucy as well—will never be alone. This I promise you,” he'd said. Phoenix had gone on to half-jokingly ask him if Miles had just asked him to move in with him or proposed to him. Miles had responded that Phoenix could interpret his words however he wanted.

Shortly after that, they had indeed ended up moving in together. But the other potential implication of Miles' promise had not been brought up again for some time.

Like most problems between Miles and Phoenix, this was Miles' fault. A year ago or so, they'd worked a case involving a wedding. Miles had never been a fan of the concept. You could only spend your entire career hearing “You work too hard; find yourself a nice girl and settle down” so many times before even hearing the word “marriage” made your eyes start twitching in irritation. Miles had always maintained that he had no plans to do any such thing. He just had never felt compelled to reveal the reason why he had no plans to get married: he'd never had any interest in marrying anyone.

Anyone except one man, that is.

Anyway, this particular wedding case may have gotten him worked up to the point of shouting that he would never get married, while in the middle of courtroom proceedings. Phoenix had been right there in the room at the time, wearing an expression that Miles would describe as an “ oh boy, here we go again ” expression, because Phoenix Wright always understood which things irritated Miles the most. Miles suspected it was this vehement proclamation that had led Phoenix to the erroneous conclusion that Miles had no interest in marriage. He had reacted to their friends' recent suggestions to get married with embarrassment and discomfort, glancing at Miles out of the corner of his eye with an almost apologetic expression. He seemed afraid that if the idea were brought up too many times in front of him, Miles would get fed up and storm out or something. Which was preposterous. But of course, Miles never told him so, because saying something like “Please do not be afraid to bring up marriage around me” to him would be altogether too revealing.

But maybe that was what he needed to do: Just lay it all out on the table. Maybe if Phoenix wouldn't bring up marriage (was too afraid to because Miles was so damaged and easily upset and hard to read and altogether impossible), he, Miles, should be the one to do it.

And so he had come to the conclusion that he needed to find a way to propose to Phoenix Wright.

The disadvantage of being mostly uninterested in romance and physical intimacy for your entire life was that if you did find a reason to be interested, you had already missed out on years of learning how to navigate such territory through pop culture and such. Thus, you were left to flounder through a relationship like a dog who has gotten its head stuck in a paper bag: wildly amusing to witness, but quite scary and humiliating for the individual in question (that had once happened to his golden retriever, Pess).

For the past several weeks, he'd been attempting to secretly study up on how to propose. He knew about the ring, of course; he wasn't completely oblivious to the world at large. But there were so many other questions: How should he phrase the proposal? Would Phoenix be upset that he wouldn't get to be the one to ask Miles? What setting were you supposed to propose in? How long were you supposed to be in a relationship before it was appropriate to ask someone to marry you? Should he ask Phoenix's daughter for her blessing? Well, at least he was mostly certain he knew what Trucy would say if he asked her. The question would most likely be met with squealing, followed by many hugs and excited giggling. The girl had already taken to calling him “Papa,” after all, which always made Miles' heart glow with warmth, even if it made him a little nervous.

Speaking of Trucy, Miles was somewhat relieved it was a Saturday. He could go straight in to work without dropping Trucy off at school. Not that he minded spending time with Trucy—it was rather the opposite. It was just that the girl was... uncannily perceptive, especially with that bracelet Apollo Justice had given her for Christmas (the bracelet had even been his, Miles', suggestion. What cruel irony). She seemed to have caught on that Miles was preparing to do something big, and Miles was terrified that if he gave her any inkling of what that something was, she would simply be too excited to keep it a secret. Or maybe he was completely wrong and she'd think Miles was being too presumptuous to ask Phoenix to marry him. Miles was often bad at predicting people's reactions to things.

He sighed and walked a file over to his bookcase, knowing he needed to focus on work right now. But work and Wright often coincided, so he could hardly be found at fault for thinking about Wright at work. Or at least, that's what he told himself.

He made his way back over to his desk, and started on responding to e-mails. The fact that he had many fewer subordinates than he had used to due to the purging of the Prosecutor's Office was both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, it meant that whoever still remained at the Office was trustworthy and hardworking, and Miles usually had a good working relationship with all of them (although Prosecutor Debeste still required quite a lot of supervision). On the negative end of things, it also meant that there were fewer people to handle all these cases, and they frequently needed more help from Miles. Thus, much of his day was often spent giving out advice to other prosecutors, in addition to handling his own investigations. He hardly ever got to stand in court himself anymore, except for high-profile cases and ones which he worked overseas. He missed that courtroom sometimes, especially on days when he felt liable to drown in paperwork.

He checked the pocket watch he'd gotten from Phoenix for Christmas (he already had a pocket watch, but Phoenix had gotten him one anyway, probably because he felt bad that his only other gift had been a stuffed unicorn, which was currently residing in the bottom drawer of his work desk). It was already after noon. Just a little more of this, and he could go across the street and meet Wright for lunch.

His cell phone vibrated on the desk, and he hastened to pick it up and press the talk button. “Chief Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth.”

“Hey, Mr. Edgeworth! What are you up to today?” said a familiar voice.

He sighed, leaning back in his chair. “Kay, what have I told you about calling me during work hours?”

“Ummm... I don't remember exactly, but it was probably not a fun answer so I probably didn't pay attention.”

“What a surprise,” Miles deadpanned. “Well, what is it? Ordinarily you just harass me with text messages if you're bored.” He decided to sort through one of the folders on his desk while he talked to her, holding the phone between his ear and his shoulder.

“Wellll,” Kay drew out the word. “See, here's the thing. I probably shouldn't say anything to you, but I'm worried about her, so I felt like it would be the responsible thing to—”

“Kay. Context.”

“Oh, right, sorry,” she chuckled. “Pearl told me that Trucy's been texting her a lot about you and Mr. Wright.”

Miles pulled several pages out of his folder, straightened them, and brought them to the top of the stack, paper-clipping them to the front. “And how is that any different from usual?” Those girls and several others (plus Apollo Justice), collectively called Project: Matchmakers, were known to gossip about the prosecutor and the defense attorney frequently. Miles preferred to not ask too many questions about it. It was an uncomfortable topic.

“Well, apparently Trucy's worried about you,” Kay answered him.

He paused in the middle of paper-clipping another set of pages. “Worried?”

“Yeah. According to Pearl, Trucy says you seem antsy and anxious all the time, and whenever she tries to talk to you for more than casual conversation, you shut down and get really hard to read. Or, worse, you avoid her.”

I—!” Miles was indignant. “I would never avoid her!”

A brief pause. “Mr. Edgeworth,” the Great Thief said, sounding unconvinced, “the last time she asked you what was on your mind, you said 'I have to water the begonias' and made a run for it.”

“So?” His voice had come out more defensive than he'd intended.

So, as far as I know, you don't have any flowers, let alone begonias.”

“All right, fine, maybe there has been something on my mind recently,” Miles conceded resentfully, “but it's nothing that concerns Trucy.” He thought a moment. “Well,” he reconsidered, “I suppose it does, a little. But it's nothing she needs to be worried about.”

“Ugh, Mr. Edgeworth, don't be vague with me,” Kay whined. “You know I can't resist the allure of a good unsolved mystery.”

Miles rolled his eyes, though his friend couldn't see it. “Then stop prying.”

“You know I can't do that,” Kay responded flatly. “For whatever reason, you're making your daughter worry about you. That's not cool.”

M-My daughter?” he repeated weakly. He had stopped being able to do any kind of work, his hand hovering pointlessly over the stack of papers.

“Yeah, your daughter, you know, the one that calls you 'Papa.' Don't play dumb, Mr. Edgeworth.”

“I'm, I'm just not used to—”

Then get used to it!” she insisted. “Look, I won't try to get you to talk about whatever it is you're worried about. But you shouldn't shut Trucy out. Not just because she's your family now, but also because Trucy gets really scary when she's made up her mind to get to the bottom of something. That girl is a force to be reckoned with.”

Well, she wasn't wrong there. “You have a point.” If he kept trying to skirt around the issue, Trucy would find a way to figure him out. Would she be angry that Miles had kept it from her? Probably, Miles thought. She'd been upset when she discovered Miles had lied to her about the relationship between himself and Phoenix, after all.

“That being said,” Kay continued, “I know I'm just a kid to you or whatever, but if there's anything I can do to set you at ease, or anything you want to talk about... I'm here.”

Could he?...

Miles' thoughts became a tangled mess of “what ifs” and “perhapses.” It would feel so good to get this off his chest. But Kay was not exactly an expert at keeping secrets. Still, she'd managed to keep one particular secret for over ten years, even under duress. She had been known to eavesdrop and spy on people. But she was also one of his oldest friends, and one of the people he trusted the most. She had come through for him so many times.

Abruptly, he made up his mind.

“I take it from your silence that you're done talking,” the Great Thief Yatagarasu sighed in a disappointed voice. “I'll let you g—”

“I want to ask Wright to marry me!” he blurted out.

A long silence followed.

Miles heard a long intake of breath, and so was able to pull the phone away from his ear in time to save himself from the deafening squeal that was currently issuing from its speakers. “Oh my gosh, that's so exciting!” she gushed when Miles had put the phone back up to his ear. “I knew it had to be something big if you wouldn't talk to Trucy about it! Can I be a bridesmaid? Wait, no, that's not right... uh, a groomsmaid? Oh, who cares; this is great!”

“Kay,” he said sternly. “I haven't asked him yet.”

“Psh, please,” Kay snorted. “He's gonna say yes.”

Not if I never manage to ask him,” said Miles miserably, deciding to give up on the work and flipping the folder closed. “I've been distant with Trucy because I was afraid she would realize my intentions and tell Wright.”

She would flip out,” Kay admitted. “Trucy's really good at keeping secrets when it counts, but I don't know if even she could keep one this big.”

A sudden dread seized him. “B-But you can, can't you?” he asked desperately.

“Of course I can. I am a professional,” she replied, her voice smug. “But if you think this is the last we're talking about this, you have got another thing coming.”

He sighed again, turning in his chair to look out the window and massaging the spot between his eyes. “I figured as much.”

“So, what's the plan?”

“Plan?” he repeated blankly.

“The proposal plan, silly! A fireworks show? Skywriting? A string quartet and a hundred roses?”

“I...what?”

“Oh my gosh, Mr. Edgeworth. Don't tell me you haven't thought about how you're going to propose to him!”

“I—don't I just have to get down on one knee and ask? At... dinner, or something?”

Uh, yeah, if you want to be boring!” she said dismissively. “Everybody dreams of getting proposed to in a super-romantic way. Do you want to disappoint the love of your life?!”

“N-no,” he answered feebly.

Then you'd better start planning something big!” she yelled. She had inexplicably taken on the manner of an overzealous personal trainer. Miles half-expected her to demand that he drop and give her fifty.

“Is that really necessary? I mean, such grandiose gestures aren't really—”

“Mr. Edgeworth,” Kay cut him off dramatically. “I have been waiting for this my whole life.”

You've been waiting for it?”

“The chance to plan the perfect proposal... it's a dream come true!” Miles suspected she had stopped listening to him. “We've got to make this one for the history books. We've got to absolutely knock his socks off.”

“Your plural pronoun is making me nervous—”

We've got to show him how much you really love him! How sincere you are about your wish to spend the rest of your life with him!” Well, he agreed with her there, anyway. “We've got to make him an offer he can't refuse!”

“What?”

“Oh, you know what I mean,” she said. He didn't. “Look, Phoenix Wright deserves the most magical proposal of all time, wouldn't you say?”

“I...” He turned back to his desk and rested his forehead in his hand. “Yes... he does...”

“So I would like to help you make that magic happen, if you'll let me.”

He let out a resigned sigh, feeling dread trickle down through his lungs again. “I don't have a choice here, do I?”

“Of course you do,” she assured him. “If you told me right now, 'Kay, old bean, I must insist that you cease your daft nattering and leave me to my solitary contemplation and teacups'—”

“I don't talk like that.”

“—then I would hang up the phone right now and never bother you about this again.” That sounded good to Miles, frankly. “But.”

He raised his eyebrows. “But?”

“But,” she repeated. “You wouldn't have told me if you weren't feeling uncertain about it.” Damn. She knew him too well. “So I'm thinking you probably need all the help you can get. Am I right?”

He really hated to encourage that sly, knowing tone of hers, but he couldn't deny the allegation. “You are,” he mumbled.

“Hehe, I knew it,” she giggled, because for some reason all of Miles' most trusted friends and associates were also all exceedingly frustrating. “Okay then, I'll give you a piece of advice: find out his ring size in advance. Actually, maybe I can help you with that.”

“Wouldn't it be better to simply go with him to pick it out?” Really, he'd intended to ask the question first and worry about the ring later. How was he supposed to find out something like a man's ring size without being incredibly obvious?

“What? No! It's got to be perfectly sized by the time you open the box on bended knee!” she retorted indignantly.

All right, calm down,” he told her. “Fine. If you and your other 'operatives' want to make it your mission to find out Phoenix Wright's ring size, be my guest. But do not breathe a word of this conversation to them, do you hear me?”

“Are you kidding? If I said 'do any of you know Mr. Wright's ring size?' the jig would be up immediately,” Kay pointed out. “No, this is going to be a solo mission.”

“Please do not stalk him for weeks. Again.”

“Relax; I'll only use my most scrupulous of information-gathering methods,” she reassured him, but her nonchalant tone did not inspire much confidence.

“Fine,” he said, wanting to let the topic drop. He glanced at his watch again, and found the perfect reason to escape. “Anyway, thank you for... your support... but I'm afraid I must take my leave.”

“Oh? Going to have a spot of tea?”

He rolled his eyes. “No. I'm meeting Wright at the bistro for lunch.”

Oooooh,” she sang. Miles covered his face with his free hand again. “All right, enjoy your lunch date, Mr. Edgeworth. I'll call you later if I find any information on P's ring size.”

The prosecutor felt his cheeks blaze in a blush at her reference to what he'd “codenamed” Phoenix in all his old, embarrassingly sappy journal entries. “Very well,” he bit out. “Goodbye for now, Kay.”

“Bye!” she said sweetly. The phone clicked off.

Miles sat there a moment, listening to the silence, wondering if he'd made a huge mistake.

***

“Hey there,” Phoenix greeted him with a smile when he sat down at the table. The bistro was filled with people as usual, but it always managed to maintain a calm and quiet atmosphere that Miles found relaxing. What Miles did not find relaxing was seeing the alarmingly brilliant smile on Phoenix's face right after he'd just discussed plans to propose to him. Somehow, admitting his intentions out loud to someone else made it ten times more frightening and real. He suddenly felt short of breath.

Y-Yes,” he responded stupidly, sitting down in his chair in one stiff movement. His eyes were roving around the room nervously, and he grabbed the menu just to have something to put in his hands, because he was afraid Wright would see them shaking. It had been all well and good to think privately to himself that he'd like to marry Phoenix, but now that someone knew he planned to ask him...

Phoenix tilted his head a little, his mouth turning down in a slight frown. “What's up? You look like a kid who just found out what hot dogs are made of.”

Miles blinked. “And what exactly does that look like?”

He shrugged. “Horrified, nauseous, and sad all at once.”

“Ah.” Miles nodded slowly, staring at the table rather than at Phoenix. “Yes...” It was an alarmingly appropriate comparison, in that case.

“Did... did something happen at work?” Wright probed. His eyebrows had angled up in concern.

Miles almost laughed. You could say that, he thought. But instead he just shook his head. “No, I'm... I'm just hungry, and a bit tired.”

“Oh.” Wright sat back in his chair, looking satisfied with the answer. “Well, we can fix one of those problems here, anyway.”

“Indeed,” he responded, allowing a half-smile to flicker across his features before dropping his gaze to the menu. He read the Soups and Salads part of the menu three times, but was failing to take in any of the information. Was it hot in this restaurant? It felt hot. He quickly decided to take a sip of the water Phoenix had ordered for him. And then another sip. And another.

“So, what are you in the mood for?” Phoenix asked, scanning his own menu. “I'm in the mood for soup, I think. But which one...” He hummed thoughtfully, dragging his finger down the menu. “Ooh, I think I'll have the Italian Wedding soup!”

Miles promptly sucked some water into his lungs and slumped over, coughing and sputtering.

“Holy crap, M-Miles!” Phoenix stammered, getting to his feet and reaching over to pat Miles' back. “Are you okay?!”

“'M fine,” he wheezed, his eyes watering.

“Are you sure you're all right today?” Phoenix asked again, rubbing soothing circles into his upper back. Like almost everything about Phoenix, his hand was warm and comforting.

“Y-Yes,” he got out, finally managing to take a deep breath again. “I'm sorry, it's just, something unnerving happened at work and I... I'm still working through it.” There, that was both a convincing story and the truth, sort of.

Phoenix looked sympathetic as he sat back down. “Yeah, the job can be kinda rough sometimes,” he said with a nod. “Anyway, you're on your lunch break, so let's not talk about work.”

“A fine suggestion,” Miles responded. He told himself to pull himself together already. Wright was going to start thinking Miles was sick. Or worse, he was going to start thinking there was something wrong between them. He cleared his throat, looking over his menu again. “So... what is Trucy up to?”

“She's spending the day at Nine Tails Vale,” Phoenix answered with a smile. He always lit up when he talked about his daughter. “Her friend Jinxie invited her.”

“Ah,” Miles nodded. He thought he recalled Trucy having mentioned this Jinxie before. If Miles was remembering correctly, she was the one who was obsessed with yokai. A rather unusual hobby, to be sure, but then again, how many teenage stage magicians were there either? “Will she be home for supper?”

“Most likely. Why, did you have any dinner ideas?”

“No, but you never do either, so I suppose we're even,” Miles quipped. Phoenix nudged his foot against Miles' leg under the table in protest. Miles smirked at him. Even when he was feeling anxious like this, Phoenix had a way of setting him at ease and making things feel... normal again.

He allowed himself to relax, and just enjoy lunch with Phoenix.

***

Regrettably, relaxation and Miles Edgeworth seldom kept company for long.

He was just about to climb into his car at the end of the day when he felt his phone go off in his pocket. He pulled it out and answered the call. “Chief Prosecutor Miles E—”

She didn't even let him finish. “Size 10!” Kay exclaimed.

“Wh...what?” What kind of greeting was that?

“Mr. Wright's ring size,” the Great Thief clarified. “It's 10. Or at least, it was when he was in college. You might want to go one half-size up just to be safe. You can always resize it later!”

Miles flapped his jaw a few times. “H-How in the world did you find it out so quickly?!” he finally managed to get out, opening the car door and dropping into his seat.

“His class ring,” she chirped. “I found it.”

Wh—you broke into our home?!” He had been about to put the keys in the ignition, but paused and dropped his hand, utterly flabbergasted.

“Of course not!” She sounded offended. “I called Trucy and asked if I could go get something I left at you guys' place! She told me about the key under the mat, heheh.”

Well, Miles thought, now they'd have to move the key. But he knew better than to leave it at that. “And then?” he prompted.

“And then... okay, yeah, I did a little snooping, but it was for a good cause!”

Miles sighed and rested his forehead on the steering wheel, defeated. “10, you said?”

“Yep! Although I'd go with a 10.5 to be safe, just in case anything's changed since college.”

“Okay,” he said tonelessly. He paused. She had definitely invaded their privacy, but she had also just given him very useful information... “I... I suppose I should thank you.”

“It's generally the way things go, but you've never been conventional.”

He huffed out a small laugh. “Just this once, I'll follow convention. Thank you, Kay.”

Kay didn't say anything for a moment. “O-Of course!” She sounded surprised. “So... does that mean you'll keep talking to me about this?...”

“Well, it's not as if I have anyone else I could talk to about it,” he admitted.

“Yesss! Oh, thank you, Mr. Edgeworth. I won't let you down!”

“I know,” he said, and he meant it. Well, he was already this far in. Why not throw away a little more dignity while he was at it? “So... um. Wh-What style do you think I should look into? For the ring.”

“Hmmm, well, as a Great Thief, I am of course well-acquainted with jewelry of all types,” she said proudly. “But I don't think Mr. Wright would care what style, in my professional opinion.” Miles interpreted this as “I don't know what the shapes are called.

“Well, you're probably right that he doesn't care about style,” Miles snorted. “So I guess I should just... pick what I think is best?”

“Bingo! You got it!”

“Hmm. I see. I can do that,” he decided. “Thank you for your input.” Not that she'd given him much.

“Hey, anytime! All right, I'm guessing you're headed home right about now, so I'll let you go,” said Kay. “Let's talk more tomorrow. Give Mr. Wright a kiss for me!”

“No.”

She just giggled and hung up.

Miles wondered again if he was making an enormous mistake.