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Second Round

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It was apparent something had gone wrong by the way their front door didn’t slam shut.

Edgeworth was not the type to abuse their furnishings whenever his mood took a hit, but Phoenix could usually gauge how well the prosecutor’s day had gone by the sound of his arrival at home. A noisy bang and an exasperated sigh meant he was in for a night of Steel Samurai reruns and sympathetic nodding. This evening there was no commotion, no frame-rattling clatter of wood. In fact, the only indication the entrance had been opened and subsequently closed was the quiet, metallic click of the deadbolt sliding into place.

That, and a dull thump, like the back of a head colliding with the unyielding wood, followed by the soft, whooshing whisper of fabric sliding down and keys clattering against the ground.

The hairs rose on the back of Phoenix’s neck, and he immediately sensed the shift in atmosphere. He craned his head around the kitchen corner, eyes snapping to the foyer.

“Miles? Is everything okay?”

Phoenix’s gaze drifted down and his stomach rapidly followed suit, plummeting somewhere into his toes as he looked at his husband, who had collapsed into a lump of burgundy on the tiled entry floor. For one horrible moment he thought an earthquake was happening – the tremors small enough to be unnoticed by him but all-too-perceptible to Miles. He braced a hand against the wall, readying himself to spring to Edgeworth’s side.

But there were no vibrations beneath his fingertips. Somehow, that made this worse.

Edgeworth’s head remained tilted back against the door, glasses slightly skewed from the impact. His arms hung limply at his sides, legs bent at the knees as though they had simply lost the strength to support the man. Short, shallow breaths moved his chest in a fast rhythm. Worst of all, Edgeworth’s throat kept moving, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as though he was fighting not to scream.

“M-Miles?”

Edgeworth swiveled his head to look at him, bangs falling across his cheek. His husband, his rational, unshakable partner, looked right through him with a thousand yard stare.When he spoke, his voice was low and hollow.

“It’s gone.”

The words hung in the air. Phoenix frowned, mind racing to think of what could be missing, or what had gotten lost, what thing could possibly reduce Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth, reduce Miles, to–

He drew in a sharp, painful gasp, the answer a klaxon blaring across his mind. “Oh no…”

Grey eyes fell shut, confirming his suspicion.

It had to be the proposal, the legal text Edgeworth had labored over for months. It was his opus, his legacy, the proposal that would change the practice of law and the administration of justice in the state of California and, potentially, the entire country. The governor had commissioned it himself, and the Attorney General – not the state official, the national one – had personally assured him she would refer to it in her upcoming litigation. All of Edgeworth’s brilliance, his experience – their experience – had been meticulously wrung into one perfect document.

Miles had sacrificed countless hours, nights of sleep, and degrees of sanity to finish his greatest work, the path of his life culminating in this unparalleled opportunity to effect real change in the world.

And apparently it was gone.

Phoenix swallowed painfully, his mouth suddenly too dry, and a dull ache settled into his chest. He allowed himself one deep breath, one moment to summon his strength and resolve and become the steadfast rock he knew Miles would need right now. A lawyer couldn’t cry until it was all over, and he’d be damned if this was over now.

With a gentle, wistful smile, he leaned down and clasped Miles’s hand in his own, lacing their fingers together.

“Come on, let’s get you up.”

He settled Edgeworth on the sofa, trying not to be unnerved by his lack of resistance to being carefully arranged. When he was certain Miles would not slide back onto the floor like so much jelly, Phoenix hustled back to the kitchen to put away the half-chopped vegetables. If ever there was a time to order in, tonight was it. He rolled back his dress shirt sleeves and busied himself with wiping down the surfaces, giving Miles time to reorient himself. To pester him now with questions of how or, more importantly, HOW, would only irritate him further. Or worse, cause him to retreat further into his personal world of misery and loss.

Though to be fair, it was difficult to ignore the sting of grief on Edgeworth’s behalf.

By the time the food arrived, Edgeworth regained enough willpower to recline back into the cushions, and had removed his shoes and jacket. The latter article was folded primly over the furniture’s arm; even despair could not override the instinct for order and garment preservation. His glasses rested on the table in front of the couch. When their eyes met again, Phoenix could see Miles looking back at him – Miles, not the anguished creature that had been slumped against their door. At his tentative smile, Edgeworth let out a long sigh, lips not-quite curling in return, but twisting into something more deprecating and rueful.

It was a start.

Phoenix gave the driver a generous tip and juggled the paper food cartons in both arms. He dumped them on the coffee table, cursing as a splotch of wine-red sauce spilled out.

“…Hundreds of eateries in this city, and you choose French for delivery?” Edgeworth’s eyebrows nearly disappeared into his hairline, eyes wide with incredulity.

At last the silence was broken. Phoenix let out a nervous chuckle, opening the packing with vigor. “So I panicked. You try ordering food when I’ve blue screened out on the floor. See if you can remember my favorites.”

“Excessively salty noodles. Chicken sandwiches. Perhaps some fried rice.” A thin smile accompanied the list, the flush of embarrassment returning some of the color to Edgeworth’s skin.

“Shut up and eat your coq au vin.”

As expected, the meal did not meet the standards of haute cuisine. But it was comforting, at least, and they dined in a contemplative quiet. Edgeworth only finished half of his container, abandoning the remainder in favor of sinking down and laying across the sofa. With his knees curled up and his arms tucked in, Edgeworth laid his head against Phoenix’s thigh, eyes closing.

Years of hardship and trust allowed for moments like this, permitted them both to seek comfort from each other without fear of humiliation. A hard-won intimacy. Phoenix felt warmth bloom in his chest, heart lurching as he looked down at his partner, allowing himself such vulnerability. Even after all these years, the idea that Miles would cast off his armor with him left him slightly breathless.

Phoenix raked his fingers through those fine strands of hair, sifting through the grey bangs and the stubborn cowlick again and again. Rhythmic. Soothing.

“Do you wanna tell me what happened?”

Miles stiffened, until suddenly he relaxed, tension leaking out of his muscles like a dam breaking. He shifted, looking up, and Phoenix was abruptly reminded of the time all those years ago when Edgeworth was imprisoned and had begged him not to look into the DL-6 incident. He wore the same expression on his face then, when he realized he had no choice but to relate the details of the case to Phoenix, as he did now: one of utter defeat.

“There was a power surge. It happened just as I was saving. It corrupted the entire file.”

Phoenix blinked, movements freezing. He had been expecting something more dramatic. “What about the backups?”

“The surge overheated everything. All the backup servers had to be rolled back several months, before I even started working on… on the…”

His eyes squeezed shut, and Phoenix picked up the dangling thread of thought. “Is there an online copy you can get ahold of?”

Edgeworth shook his head. “There was no need. I had my version on my work computer, and a copy safely stored on the Prosecutors Building servers. Why would I worry?” The question had a sarcastic bite, the self-derision sharp and sour. “A bitter lesson indeed.”

Phoenix resumed stroking through Miles’s hair, softly massaging his scalp as he turned over the event in his own head. Edgeworth, however, continued his quiet tirade against himself. “I should have ensured more backups existed. Something this important, and I was a fool.”

“You’re not a fool,” Phoenix said automatically, brushing his thumb against Edgeworth’s cheek. “It was just a mistake.”

“Just a mistake?” Edgeworth echoed, aghast. He turned to face Phoenix. “A mistake is leaving a typo in an autopsy report. Forgetting to file a motion to extend. But this?” He abruptly rose, nearly colliding with Phoenix’s as he hauled himself up. “This is nothing short of a disaster of my own making.”

There was a part of Phoenix that wanted to laugh, the dark, cynical part that came out when he was reminded of his own disbarment. One lost legal text was not the end of the world, or even the end of a career. It was only words, after all. Hardly a disaster, even if it felt like a horrible punch to the gut. But Edgeworth could be a man of extremes, and when something so integral to his sense of self was threatened he had a tendency to catastrophize.

“This is not a disaster,” he argued, softening his tone to avoid Edgeworth putting his guard up. “We’ve gone through worse. We–”

“This was supposed to ensure what happened to you could never happen again.” Edgeworth caught his eyes, and the look he gave him was piercing and heartbreaking. “So no one else would suffer such a gross miscarriage of justice like you did.”

Oh. The soft admission halted Phoenix’s words, stealing the breath from his lungs in one swift, brutal blow. He knew the proposal was important, knew what it could mean for the entire system of law – but not once, not once, had he questioned the motivation behind Edgeworth’s drive to finish it. Because of course Miles would put his utmost into it, just like he did with everything in his life, that ambition and determination and unrelenting search for truth pushing him onward.

It had been for him.

He threw his arms around Miles, emotion threatening to burst out in an embarrassing display of sudden tears and gibberish. He buried his face in Miles’s shoulder, and Edgeworth did the same with him, two grown men suspended in a bubble of grief and gratitude, anger and astonishment, clutching to one another like their whole world would fall away if they let go. Edgeworth drew in shaky gasps, fingers trembling as he breathed out his anguish and regret. Phoenix pressed his face further to Edgeworth, his cheek and lips molding to his partner’s neck.

“It’s okay,” he murmured, senseless and placating, leaving lingering kisses to the pale length of skin. “It’s okay.”

“It’s gone,” Edgeworth repeated, voice tremulous and weak.

The minutes crawled past as they stayed together, until at least they drew apart, hands still clasped and foreheads leaning into one another.

Edgeworth glanced aside, eyes lowered with chagrin. “The most important legal document of my life, and I let it slip away like a thief in the night.”

Phoenix quirked his lips. “Not the most important.” At Edgeworth’s quizzical frown, he let a tender smile spread across his face. “I think there’s a little certificate in our file cabinet which holds that honor, something about a marriage…”

The owlish blinking as Edgeworth realized what had been said was, dare he admit it, adorable.

“That is not what I meant.”

“And I think there’s an adoption form in there too, that’s also pretty important.”

Edgeworth spluttered, wringing a snicker out of Phoenix. He continued listing every piece of legal evidence of their life together – mortgage agreement, tax records, court cases – until Miles finally stopped him with a firm kiss. The words tumbled off his tongue and into the warm depth of Edgeworth’s mouth until there was nothing left but the sounds of their lips moving against one another, one kiss melding into another, and another, the pressure valve on their emotions released at last: loss, and comfort, expressed at once.

He cradled Miles’s face in his palms, trying to convey with every touch and movement how much his partner meant to him. “I didn’t know,” he whispered, voice raw.

Edgeworth’s own words came out in a subdued rumble. “It was a sequel, in its way, to your work on the Jurist System.” His eyes were soft. “I’m sorry.”

Even as his heart cracked in sympathy Phoenix leaned back, tightened his hold on Edgeworth’s fingers. “You’ve given me so much already, Miles. And I’m selfish, you know. I’m not going to let your efforts go to waste.” He put on his brightest, most cheerful smile. “It’s not over yet. Let’s see what we can do.”

One thin eyebrow raised on his partner’s face, bemused. “Trying to pull one of your famous turnabouts with this?”

Phoenix grinned. “The way I see it, you have two options. The first is calling it quits. Let the governor and the Attorney General know that your work is gone and they need to look elsewhere.” As Edgeworth instinctively scowled, mouth drawing in a taut line, Phoenix hurried on. “And no one would think less of you for doing that. How could they? You’re Miles Edgeworth, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.”

“I admit there’s some appeal in that prospect,” Edgeworth reluctantly said, eyes cast down. “After investing so much energy and work into that project, to have it ripped away is just…”

As Miles trailed off, Phoenix rubbed one hand along the prosecutor’s arm, waiting until he had his attention again. “But I know you. You’re Miles Edgeworth. You’ve never let things like time or distance or cost or stupid power surges stop you from what you want to do.”

A twitch at Edgeworth’s lips let him know that even if Miles thought he was overestimating the prosecutor’s abilities, he nonetheless appreciated the compliment.

“I suppose this brings us to your second option. I’m almost afraid to ask.” Edgeworth let out a huff of air. “What did you have in mind?”

“Write it again.”

Moments ticked by in utter silence.

“That isn’t funny, Wright.”

That flat look spoke volumes, eloquently expressing all of Edgeworth’s disbelief and doubt about simply re-writing everything that had been lost.

Phoenix braced both hands on Edgeworth’s shoulders, squeezing lightly. “I’m not joking. You wrote it once, spent hours pouring over every chapter, every line. The details must be seared into your mind by now. So just do it again.”

Edgeworth pinched the bridge of his nose, head shaking. “Of all the simplistic, naive suggestions…” He folded his arms across his chest, one finger tapping against his bicep. “All right, let’s entertain this foolish idea. First of all, this proposal was expected to be delivered next month. That is simply not enough time to completely rewrite the entire document.”

A thrill ran along Phoenix’s spine. That wasn’t an outright rejection, and if Edgeworth was willing to debate this, then he was on the right track. He drew his legs up, back straightening like he was facing the prosecutor on the opposite side of the courtroom instead of the other side of the couch. He couldn’t back down now.

“Ask for more time, then. You have a reputation, Miles, you’re brilliant. And you’re worth waiting for.” His palm reflexively rubbed at the back of his neck, a blush creeping across his cheeks.

He was pleased to see a mirrored flush on Edgeworth’s face, grey eyes racing back and forth as he considered an extension. A scowl interrupted the thought, and Edgeworth spat out his second argument. “Despite your apparent faith in my memory, I have no such trust. There is simply no way I could remember or recreate all of the cases and reasoning I laid out.”

“Did you make any notes?”

“Of course I kept notes, what kind of imbecile do you take me–”

“And did you go over your notes with anyone?” Phoenix asked the second question with a smirk, knowing full well the prosecutor had asked for his own advice on-and-off over the last few months.

Edgeworth’s finger jerked against his dress shirt, as though it took effort to restrain from letting it point out in objection to the interruption. “I consulted you for several parts.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“And who else?” If Phoenix’s hunch played out, this whole rewriting idea might be more than a daydream or a bluff.

Edgeworth stared, the hard lines of his face threatening to morph into a glower, but eventually he relented with a long sigh.

“Franziska, of course. Agent Lang, for a more international perspective. Prosecutor Blackquill for his experience during the Dark Age of the Law, to complement your own. Detective Skye and Gumshoe, for their input on police procedure. Raymond offered his bit of advice, as did Judge Courtney. Even Prosecutor Debeste contributed a comment or two…”

Miles’s eyes widened as he realized just how many people had supported his work.

Phoenix smiled gently. “Look at that. All these people ready to help and support you. You won’t be doing this on your own, Miles.”

With a dumbfounded expression, Edgeworth gave the smallest nod. “At times it’s difficult to silence the voice von Karma instilled in me. To convince myself that a setback is not a personal failure.”

Phoenix laughed, though there was no mirth in it. “If this had happened to him, it would be a disaster. He’d have to do it all again, alone. But you’re nothing like him anymore.” A wry twist of his lips, and he leaned forward, sensing victory. “Any other objections?”

Edgeworth’s throat bobbed, his spine going ramrod straight. “It would be considerably difficult to write everything out again, both from an intellectual standpoint as well as… emotionally.” The last word slipped out with some resignation – or perhaps that was misguided shame.

“You’re allowed to feel upset,” he assured his husband, in case it needed to be said. “You can be angry and sad and disappointed. You can mourn your work. You don’t have to hide from those emotions. But don’t let that feeling of loss root you in place. It might be hard, and it might take a while, but you can move on from this.” His fingers tugged at the tip of his hair, trying to pull down a turquoise toque that had been retired years ago. “Don’t let the loss define you.”

At those words, Edgeworth reached forward, stroking their fingertips together.

Phoenix tilted his head and leaned forward, lips brushing against Miles’s. “You can write it again, no matter how long it takes. I believe in you.”

A soft kiss. Something in Edgeworth’s posture changed, melting into Phoenix as though the words had relieved an unseen burden from his shoulders. Maybe some words were important.

Miles met his eyes. “I’ll consider it,” he said, and in his tone Phoenix heard the promise of possibility.

For the first time since he heard the thump against the front door, a wave of relief washed over Phoenix. They could handle this. They could fix this. He tugged Edgeworth up, standing with him. “Why don’t you sleep on it. I bet you’ll feel ready to make a decision in the morning.”

He had a good feeling about what the answer would be.


Edgeworth slipped his glasses back on and strode down the hallway toward their bedroom while Phoenix collected the remaining dinner boxes. He watched his partner leave, feeling the tightness in his chest finally begin to relax.

He expected Edgeworth to be crawling beneath the duvet when he returned, perhaps wearing his favorite pink pajamas. After such a draining day, it was only natural to collapse into a cocoon of familiar blankets. Rest, recuperation, relief: these were the comforts he would seek after such a devastating disappointment.

Miles, apparently, had other ideas.

As he stepped past the threshold he found Edgeworth waiting at the foot of the bed. Miles’s expression, the flicker of grey eyes up the length of him, stopped Phoenix in his tracks, his breath stalling out and his heartbeat quickening. There was something stripped bare in that heated glance, even though Edgeworth was still dressed in his work attire.

So was Phoenix, come to think of it, minus his blue jacket. He plucked at his rolled up sleeves, caught in a limbo between a need to protect and soothe the figure in front of him, and a powerful curiosity about what Miles wanted, just what kind of comfort the man might seek from him now.

With quick, deliberate steps – and damn, that powerful stride always sent the butterflies in his stomach into a frenzy – Edgeworth caught Phoenix at his waist, hands warm and broad and rough against the small of his back even through his dress shirt and waistcoat. He was walked back, just a few paces, until his shoulders met the wall, the soft impact jolting him and sending a surge of – of blood, emotion, desire, spreading like fire through Phoenix’s body. The empty space between them filled, replaced with warmth and closeness as Edgeworth pressed forward. Phoenix blinked, head spinning.

“You never fail to astound me,” Miles stated, and the growl in that low, rich baritone laid to rest any doubts about Edgeworth’s intentions.

Those hands crept around to his front, rising along his chest with just enough pressure to elicit a shiver, and cupped his jaw. Phoenix had just enough time to shut his eyes, wondering what had changed in the five minutes they’d been separated, what dimension he had accidentally stumbled into, and how he could fall into it again.

Then all his thoughts dissolved as he felt Miles’s lips fit against his own.

It was hard, and needy, and aggressive. Miles moved with a fervor, parting Phoenix’s lips with a deft tongue and deepening the kiss, licking at his mouth, sliding along his own suddenly inept tongue that could barely keep up with the force of Edgeworth’s attention. Edgeworth’s glasses pressed into his cheek, the cold metal a welcome relief against the hot flush of his skin. Teeth grazed at his lower lip, a quick bite, just enough to sting, and another at his jawline, his neck, the lobe of his ear. Edgeworth had parted Phoenix’s legs without his notice, and now he was all-too-aware of the firm thigh pressing against his growing cock. He rocked into the hard muscle, letting a groan tumble out.

“The world falls out from under my feet,” Edgeworth murmured, breath ghosting hot against his ear, “and you give me the strength and resolve to find my footing again.”

If only all his advice and encouragement could prompt this kind of response from the prosecutor.

Miles ground against him, sliding his own erection against his hip, maddeningly far enough away from where Phoenix wanted him most. He drew back just enough to meet Phoenix’s somewhat frustrated gaze. Those eyes were like dark storm clouds behind his frames, and Phoenix could drown in them, lose himself in pools of darkened grey, especially when they looked at him like that, like nothing else existed except for him.

“It’s worth writing again.”

His eyebrows knitted up, a joyous bloom lifting his heart as he realized what Miles said. His mouth opened, assurances and encouragement ready to spill out, but then Edgeworth repeated himself.

“It’s worth writing again. For you.”

Those words would melt solid steel. But for Phoenix, they strengthened him in turn, suffusing him with something that was a little like awe and a lot like a primal rush of heat, possessive and yielding and thunderstruck all at the same moment.

He rushed to meet Miles’s mouth again, twisting his lower half enough to rock against Edgeworth’s hard length. Even through the fabric, the friction was enough to leave him dizzy with pleasure. Even Miles couldn’t keep from crying out at the sensation, voice ringing in a deep pitch. His palms skipped down to Edgeworth’s broad back, squeezing at the perfect globes of his buttocks, pulling him closer, closer, more.

“Bed?” he managed to whisper against those kiss-swollen lips, clutching at Miles’s hips, the only coherent word he could utter in his lust-addled state.

“Bed. Now.” Edgeworth pulled at Phoenix, tugging him in toward their mattress, stopping when the backs of his knees collided with the frame.

He tried to remember the last time Miles had been so direct, but the fog in his mind meant he could only focus on the present, and how badly he wanted to drag Miles on top of him, and how much he wanted his stubborn, brilliant husband to touch and kiss and fuck.

Funny, how all those highly-charged emotions turned to passion so easily between them.

Somewhere in the midst of their grinding, Edgeworth had loosened his cravat, leaving the cloth hanging open on either side of his neck. Phoenix’s hands drifted to the buttons on his waistcoat, fingers shaking with anticipation as they clutched between the powder blue threads, until they were suddenly held in place by Edgeworth’s firm grasp. Miles shook his head.

“L-Leave it on,” Miles gasped, a crimson blush blooming across his face.

Ah. Edgeworth always did have a thing for clothes.

With a wry smile, Phoenix sank down onto their bed, lifting his feet to recline fully against the pillows. Chest moving quickly with his own shallow breaths, he was content to stare at his partner and let him take charge. He watched as Edgeworth peeled off his own expensive trousers, laid them carefully against the armchair, and then reached for Phoenix’s belt.

He wondered if Miles realized how good he looked wearing only the top half of his clothing, his eyes lingering on each bit of his partner. When it came to Edgeworth, Phoenix could see the appeal of leaving the clothing on: letting the fabric hug that muscular form, enticing him to explore the heated flesh beneath, pale skin peaking past his collar and at the edge of his cuffs and between his buttons. Tantalizing, teasing, formal and filthy at the same time.

Mmm. Edgeworth could make just about anything appealing.

The air felt cool on his bared legs when Miles pulled his pants free. His cock, though, ached with warmth, throbbing within the confines of his fitted boxers, and he pressed his palm firmly against it through the damp fabric, trying to relieve some of the pulsing need, silently imploring Miles to hurry. How could Edgeworth still stand wearing his own boxer-briefs?

Instead of immediately exposing Phoenix, Edgeworth moved to the nightstand at the head of the bed, rooting around inside the drawer. Ever since Trucy left for college, they could be more indiscreet with their adult paraphernalia. Phoenix’s pulse kicked up a notch.

However, when Edgeworth leaned back with only a couple of condom foils and the bottle of lubrication, he couldn’t help but feel a minor stab of disappointment. His expression must have betrayed his feelings, though, because Edgeworth–

Edgeworth winked at him.

So this was what death felt like, because Phoenix was fairly certain his heart had stopped beating.

“If you remain slack-jawed like that, I’m sure I can think of a good use for your mouth,” Miles taunted as he positioned himself at Phoenix’s thighs, nosing against the placket of his boxers.

And this was his afterlife, a devilishly wicked version of the Demon Prosecutor sent to torment and pleasure him into oblivion.

…He couldn’t imagine a better version of heaven.

At last Edgeworth tugged Phoenix’s boxers off, only to tear open one of the foils and roll the latex down his cock.

“Wouldn’t want to ruin that exquisite clothing,” Miles said, biting at the corner of his lip as he slowly roamed his gaze along Phoenix’s still-clothed torso, and languidly tunneling his hand along Phoenix’s begging length.

Phoenix could feel the liquid beading at his tip, could picture it dripping and his release staining his shirt, and he boggled at how Edgeworth could even think of such consequences while they were both clearly wanting. He rolled his hips up, thrusting into Edgeworth’s hand. “Miiiiles,” he trilled, and that was enough to snap Edgeworth into more immediate action.

He was stretched quickly, Miles wasting little time. He wanted to enjoy the preparation, grinding against one finger, two, three, but Edgeworth was nothing but efficient – not painful or uncaring, but urgent, and Phoenix felt the occasional rut of Edgeworth’s hips against his legs, as though he was only just holding back. Even Miles could not hold on to his perfect control when tempted so.

When he felt Edgeworth wholly withdraw his digits, Phoenix was panting in desperation.

To his mild surprise, when Edgeworth removed his own undergarment and Phoenix could finally marvel at that elegant, curved cock, Edgeworth laid at his side and slipped the second condom over it, giving in to his baser instinct and canting into his own hand.

“Phoenix,” Miles moaned, with his long fingers still wrapped around his cock, and oh, how beautiful his name sounded wrapped in those lips and uttered in that heady voice.

With lightning speed, Phoenix scrambled atop Edgeworth and straddled himself at Miles’s waist. No more preparation, no more waiting.

Neither knew who moved first: Phoenix, bearing down onto Edgeworth’s straining cock, or Miles, hips snapping up into Phoenix. All that mattered was that they were suddenly joined, and Phoenix could feel Miles pushing into him, long and full and god, it was good, so good.

Phoenix pushed his palms against Miles’s chest as he rose and fell, undulating his hips, matching Miles’s rhythm and voicing his enjoyment in low groans and stuttered gasps. The waistcoat felt soft against his hands, the metal buttons smooth and cool. He took unexpected delight in touching the bespoke cloth, dignified and proper, fitted to and befitting of his partner – who moaned and shuddered in carnal pleasure beneath him, sweat matting his bangs to his forehead, the utterly debauched sounds of Edgeworth driving into him again and again echoing in their room.

A perfect contradiction.

Miles never faltered in his thrusts, fingers digging into Phoenix’s thighs with each movement, a sharp counterpoint to every moment of pleasure. At some point Phoenix’s tie had escaped the confines of his vest and it fluttered in the space between them, the long line swaying like some exotic dancer. Suddenly Edgeworth gripped the end of it, twined it around around the knuckles of his hand, and tugged hard.

All at once Phoenix found himself lying parallel on top of his husband, the change in angle bringing him a new, delicious thrill. Miles swallowed Phoenix’s moan, lips closing over his, tongue thrusting into his mouth as surely as his cock filled him below, as though no amount of Phoenix would ever be enough. The dual sensation, the drag of starched fabric against the sensitive buds on his chest, the noises Miles let loose, unfettered and unrestrained in their sanctuary – the pressure in his abdomen would soon reach its climax, and Phoenix ached for release.

But Miles was closer. With a surge of strength, muscles flexing with alluring tension, Edgeworth flipped them over, splaying Phoenix out beneath him. With one hand he gripped the headboard, steadying, and the other he placed at Phoenix’s hip, and in moments he renewed his rhythm, faster, more.

God. The sight of Miles driving into him, outfit gloriously disheveled, lips parted, panting with exertion; and the vigor of Edgeworth’s thrusts: it was all enough to reduce Phoenix to incoherent babbles.

Miles stiffened, locking in place as he gave one final thrust, deep, as deep as he possibly could go. His eyes flew wide, meeting with Phoenix’s, and his breath escaped in a broken gasp.

Phoenix would never tire of seeing Miles fall apart in his arms. It would be like tiring of water.

When Edgeworth could draw in deeper lungfuls of air, he collapsed on top of Phoenix, shaking the breath out of him. His glasses had managed to stay fixed in place, despite their exertions. Fingers toyed with the damp spikes at the back of Phoenix’s head, unhurried, while Edgeworth nestled against his chest.

…As nice as Edgeworth felt like this, the ache in Phoenix’s cock was near unbearable. He just needed – one touch, one more stroke, something.

“Hey,” he said gently, unable to keep from shifting his hips. As soon as the word left his mouth, though, a pang of guilt broke through the lustful haze in Phoenix’s mind. This was supposed to be about Miles, about giving him comfort and relieving the burden of such a terrible event. But he had Edgeworth’s attention, as his head tilted up to fix him with those piercing eyes. “Um,” was all he managed to say.

To his amazement, Edgeworth gave him a soft, knowing smile.

“You are far too giving,” Miles murmured, sliding downward. He had softened enough to slip out of his partner, making Phoenix bit his lip in silent frustration, but it enabled him to nestle between Phoenix’s thighs.

Without warning, Edgeworth removed the condom still clinging to Phoenix’s cock in one swift motion – and just as quickly, Miles wrapped his lips around the head and swallowed his length down, as far as he could go, all wet heat and suction.

Fuck.

“Fuck!”

The curse sounded impossibly loud in his ears, drawn-out and far too obscene, but the sensation was too overwhelming to rein in his voice. His hips rose unbidden, seeking more of Edgeworth’s devastating mouth. Miles easily moved with him, and took the opportunity to slide his fingers back into Phoenix, crooking and stroking against that perfect spot.

Well. A man could only withstand so much pleasure.

In moments Phoenix cried out with his own release, knees bending, back arching, fingers burying themselves in tousled, sweat-dampened hair. Somehow Miles kept his lips sealed tight, until Phoenix finally relaxed and lay dazed on their bed.

“Wow,” he breathed at last, carding his fingers carelessly through grey locks. “Just… wow.”

“How very eloquent,” Miles muttered, shifting to his side to remove the latex hanging off of his spent cock. With a graceful stride that Phoenix doubted he could ever match, Miles promptly disposed of them. As intended, their clothing remained pristine, if not sweat-dampened – nothing a trip to the dry cleaners couldn’t handle.

But now the layers were stifling, motivating Phoenix to sit up and divest himself of his remaining articles. Edgeworth did the same, folding each of his items and gallantly doing the same for Phoenix’s. He set his glasses atop the nightstand, blinking at the change in visibility.

A shower was the next logical step, yet Edgeworth simply arranged himself back at Phoenix’s side, laying his head on his now-bared chest again. He had never confirmed it, but Phoenix suspected Miles liked to listen to his heartbeat, or to feel it beneath him. Maybe that was comforting, too.

Phoenix moved his fingertips idly along the line of Edgeworth’s shoulders, gentle strokes. Soothing, like before.

“There’s one thing I fear most about rewriting,” Miles started, voice muffled against Phoenix’s skin.

Of course. Now that the roiling emotions had been burned off – not that Phoenix was complaining – Edgeworth had refocused on the cause that brought them here in the first place.

“What’s that?” he asked, gently.

Miles sighed. “Even if I could magically remember every detail, I cannot faithfully reproduce the chapters. The prospect is like trying to shape melting ice back into their rigid trays. An impossible task.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“It… may not turn out as well-written as the first time.” Edgeworth tightened his arms around Phoenix’s waist.

If left unaddressed, Edgeworth would become paralyzed in the effort to write his words again.

“Think of the first time as a rough draft,” Phoenix said softly. “A dress rehearsal. A chance to do it once, and then perfect it.” He smiled, tilting Edgeworth’s head up until their eyes met. “Besides, these things always turn out better during the second round.”

“Where’s your evidence?” Miles demanded.

“Hmm. Give me about twenty minutes, and I’ll show you.”

Miles’s legal text would be reborn, rising from the ashes of despair – Phoenix would stake his namesake on it.

And he’d be there to help Miles rewrite, every step of the way.