Despite the blush on his cheeks, which was definitely because he'd just told Edgeworth about the time that the Feys had made him go train with them back on Bikini's cold mountain and he'd made the ridiculous mistake of sticking his tongue to the ice in the frozen training chamber and not because Edgeworth was across the couch from him with the first few buttons of his shirt undone, Phoenix was feeling relaxed. The two had been spending more time together recently to work on getting Phoenix ready to take the bar again. Even his daughter had noticed his change in demeanor, and wardrobe.
“I see Uncle Edgeworth is coming over today, don't worry I'll be at dress rehearsal until 9 so you two can have some time to yourselves,” Trucy had teased him this morning when she'd seen her father in a button down and jeans instead of his more common hoodie and sweats combo. Phoenix had protested, of course, but the bright blush that spread across his face was all the proof his daughter needed. She winked at him, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and left with a smug look on her face.
“Okay that's my story. Now you tell me something embarrassing. Like a first crush or something,” Phoenix immediately felt embarrassed for asking. He felt the tips of his ears warm and wished he could go back in time and ask anything else.
Did he even have a first crush? Ugh, I wanted an embarrassing story from him, not to embarrass myself. Yeah that definitely makes your crush on him less obvious. Stellar job Phoenix.
“Nope, I'm gay.” Edgeworth said abruptly. Phoenix had been spiraling in his own mind, purposely not staring at the prosecutor, so he hadn't noticed the massive blush come across his face until he'd stared at him in shock at the unexpected timing. Plus, Edgeworth was flustered, which was just as cute to see as it was rare He'd known the man was a straight as a circle for years now, thanks to Franziska. Years ago when they'd finally reconnected in the courtroom, he'd been so in love with the prosecutor that he couldn't help but hope. But it was different now. When Edgeworth had chosen death, Phoenix had grieved for that loss and he'd moved on from loving him, but it was almost maddening how easy it was for him to start crushing on the man now.
“I have to go.” Edgeworth almost shouted without a shred of dignity. He looked like a deer in the headlights about to have a heart attack, and Phoenix had to suppress a chuckle as he realized that Edgeworth hadn't meant to come out in that moment.
Maybe I was his first crush...
Phoenix shoved the idea aside as what it was: his hopes clinging onto whatever the situation could offer and falsely calling those circumstantial point evidence.
“About damn time you told me,” Phoenix piped up as Edgeworth practically jumped off of the couch with his briefcase and coat.
As intended, the Chief Prosecutor stopped in his tracks.
“You knew?” Edgeworth sounded utterly shocked.
“Takes one to know one, heh,” Phoenix put his hand on the back of his neck. His attempt to play it cool was slipping. He was too distracted watching the little gears turn in Edgeworth's mind.
“I'm bisexual Edgeworth. So I liked Iris and yo-young people of my own age regardless of gender cause … yeah?” Phoenix breathed a sigh of relief because Edgeworth hadn't noticed that he'd almost slipped up and said 'you’.
I've come out countless times, why does Edgeworth always have the ability to mess with my words just by looking at me with those eyes?
“I'm not the only one. You're…” a genuine smile bloomed across his face and lit up the room and Phoenix's heart.
He's so beautiful, I could just kiss him right now… He snapped himself out of his imagination, reminding himself that Edgeworth hadn't said he liked him , and as he saw the man's eyes fill with concern he knew that right now he needed Phoenix to be his reliable friend.
“Tell me, how did you know?” Edgeworth looked petrified, and his knuckles had gone white around his briefcase.
“Don't worry, the straights have no idea. Most of the switch hitters haven't noticed either,” he intended to sound nonchalant, but he ended up sounding more like he was comforting his daughter.
“It's a baseball term. Baseball is a sport where-”
“I'm aware of that, I just don't understand what it means in this context.” Edgeworth flung his arms out wildly, clearly upset with Phoenix's attempts to return to their usual.banter.
“It means someone who plays for both teams, in a gay way. Specifically, I'm talking about the ones in your office.”
“ Wait, there are others in the Prosecutor's office?”
“Yeah, a lot of them actually. But my point is, most of them haven't figured you out yet. Gumshoe didn't know Fransiska was a lesbian until he walked in on her an Adrian a couple years ago,” he almost laughed, but the woman's stare flashed through his mind accompanied by a familiar crack! and the mirth died in his throat.
“The detective did what ?” He had a look of amusement in his eyes, and then his face flushed with the information he hadn't wanted to know.
“Wait, my sister was.. in her office of all things! That's so incredibly unprofessional!”
Phoenix laughed to himself quietly.
“Relax, they were just making out and holding hands. Or at least that's the official story I got…” He couldn't resist leading the prosecutor on, especially since he was making the same face that he made in court when Phoenix would discover something that the police had missed. It'd been too long since he'd seen that expression.
Edgeworth looked like he might have that heart attack after all. “I need to sit down.”
“Granted, Gumshoe is definitely the most oblivious bisexual I've ever met but, you're fairly undetectable,” Phoenix lied. Once Apollo had started dating Klavier, he’d begun taunting Phoenix more and more about his complicated relationship with Edgeworth. From the gossip he'd heard, most of the Prosecutor's office used to made jokes about the two of them being an item in secret. However, It was equally possible that Apollo was stretching the truth just so he and Athena could make fun of the blush that would spread across his face.
“Let me make sure I have this straight,” Edgeworth began, finally putting his briefcase back on the floor.
Phoenix grinned, but didn't point out the pun when the prosecutor gave him his signature glare.
“ Stop that . Not only did you already know that I was a homosexual, but you yourself are also one, as is detective Gumshoe of all people?”
“You've got to be kidding, Gumshoe had a massive crush on you for years and you didn't notice?”
I currently have a massive crush on you, which I'm hoping you haven't noticed.
“Of course I didn't notice! Why are you acting like my orientation comes equipped with some sort of sexuality sonar?”
Phoenix tried to dampen his laughter, but his shoulders still shook.
“Because for most of us it does. You might beat Gumshoe out for the worst gaydar. Next you'll say you had no idea that I was in love with you during the DL-6 case.”
Phoenix was already cracking himself up, but felt a brick drop into his stomach when he noticed that the prosecutor looked more marine than mammalian.
He was doing a perfect impression of a popeyed goldfish: his eyes were wide as saucers and he was opening and closing his mouth soundlessly, struggling with the abundance of oxygen in the air.
Oh Fuck he didn't know. Is he having a heart attack? Did I break him?
Phoenix waved a hand in front of his face, and when that didn't elicit a response, he knocked on his forehead.
That seemed to reboot the system, although once the prosecutor moved his jaw back to the proper place, his face flushed a color similar to his suit. Which was fitting, considering that Phoenix could feel his blush conquering his face as well. It was so long ago, and yet the fact that his crush had returned so easily once they'd reconnected this year made his stomach twist like a cement mixer.
“Come on Tin Man, do I need to get you some oil?”
The sudden angry face combined with his tendency to chuckle when nervous threw Phoenix into a fit of laughter. He couldn't speak for a minute, and his sides began to burn with the closest thing he'd had to an ab workout in a decade.
When he'd calmed down, Edgeworth was still seated across from him, looking more like his usual self with an unreadable expression that meant something was going on in his mind. His arms were crossed and the blush had retreated to his cheeks.
“You're rather cavalier about all of this.”
“I wouldn't go that far. I'm actually excited.”
“Because coming out is a big deal, even if it's on accident. It means I can be more of myself around you and that you like me enough to open up.”
The secondary implication of the word hit them both at the same time, and Phoenix's cheeks continued to burn.
“I suppose so.” Edgeworth now had one arm crossed over the other, and couldn't meet the defense attorney’s eye.
An awkward silence stretched between them, and neither knew where to look.
“I had no idea that you felt that way about me. If I had, perhaps I wouldn't have left in the way that I did,” Edgeworth’s voice was softer now, and full of guilt.
“You would've stayed?”
Edgeworth almost laughed, and closed his eyes as he adjusted his glasses. He clearly felt foolish. “No. I don't know how I would've responded. Perhaps it's better that I didn't know, I could've been needlessly cruel and shamed you for the feelings that I couldn't accept in myself at the time.” He looked at Charlie across the room, and Phoenix could see the pain and sadness in his eyes.
Phoenix wanted to extend a hand out to show that he understood that kind of darkness, but the potential implications would run the risk of Edgeworth running away. So he did nothing.
“I had those feelings once too, for you. When Larry called me and said that you might die, I felt very different. It was a moment of revelation mixed with concern. I knew I cared for you, as possibly more than a friend, but this felt different. I thought I had to tell you how I felt before you left for good, but you weren't even terribly injured and Iris…”
“Sorry for not actually dying? You really only would've told me on my deathbed. Wow.” The surprise of the statement had come out in a mix of anger and pain. He'd suffered so much in these past seven years, and he'd shifted some of the blame onto Edgeworth for not being there as much when he needed him. It didn't matter that at the time, Phoenix had only seen him as a friend and that he'd actually been interested in Iris, he was blinded by emotions and an impossible timeline.
If he'd just told me then, we could've been happy! He would've made sure I didn't accept false evidence and lose everything. But he was a fucking coward, like usual.
“No, that's not what i… just because I was on better terms with my feelings didn't mean that I expected the same from you or even that I wasn't prepared to freely give them. But I thought it pointless to risk our friendship to express something that was guaranteed rejection.”
“Wait… did you think I was straight?” Edgeworth's candid response made him realize how unreasonable his own had been. He'd fallen for a straight boy before, and he would only wish the pain on his worst enemy.
“What was I supposed to think? The way you looked at iris and talked about her…”
“Was because she looked like my girlfriend who tried to kill me, and yet felt much more like the girlfriend I remembered. I needed answers.” Phoenix saw the guilt on Edgeworth's face, and felt a pang of guilt for how mostly unjustified his anger was a moment ago.
And, I was looking at you like that. I've probably been looking at you like that for the past year since you came back.
“I didn't know that at the time. The point remains that at the time you were otherwise infatuated and our friendship was just starting to be comfortable again.”
“So you ran away. Again.” he didn't mean to sound harsh, but it did.
“I had to do a lot of thinking. That case also made me think about my father and if my badge was the right path for me. And my feelings for you made it even more dubious. I had to remove you from the equation, so to speak.”
“I'm not a damn binomial.”
“This wasn't about you, okay? This was about me. Really about me , not Von Karma's soldier or whatever I was molded into during that time!” Edgeworth hadn't yelled at Phoenix, he'd yelled while looking in the direction of the window. Both men had felt the long term sting of abuse, and while it was rare for a discussion to escalate between them, moments like this still happened occasionally.
Phoenix's defensiveness fell. Without thinking, he put a hand on top of Edgeworth's, calming him down considerably.
“Apologies, I didn't mean to raise my voice,” He took a deep breath and put his other arm at his side, but didn't shake off Phoenix's hand.
“At the time, I didn't think it fit to tell you because you'd just been disbarred, but a couple days before you took the Gramarye case, I had resigned as a prosecutor for three days, and was having my own issues with my review board.”
“You... resigned? You gave them your badge?”
“Indeed. I had been struggling with my father's legacy, and I'd run into his mentee who allowed me to assist with a handful of cases. The Prosecutorial Investigation Committee was threatening to revoke my badge, and after solving my father's final case I was offered a choice: to keep fighting in the corrupt prosecutor's office or to defend at my dad's agency. And you know the rest, I stayed in the Prosecutor's office to help fight the internal corruption.”
“That's beautiful,” Phoenix was misty-eyed, he'd always been a bit of a sap, but now that he has a daughter of his own, it was even easier to bring him to tears.
“Are you crying, Wright?” Edgeworth teased with a half smile.
“Only a little! It's really sweet that you could finish your father's last case, and carry on his legacy while still being true to yourself. He'd be really proud of you, I know I am.”
Phoenix caught a brief glimpse of a shimmer in Edgeworth's eye that he suspected was a tear.
Ha, Take that! Now who's crying. Oh, it's me again.
He wiped the additional tear on his sleeve, and Edgeworth made a judgy face. He was about to make a snarky comment about Edgeworth's cravat doubling as a tissue, but he realized that Edgeworth hadn't moved his hand away, and the butterflies in his stomach leaped into his throat.
“We can talk about this stuff y'know, boys?” Phoenix was just grateful his voice didn't crack like the teenager he suddenly felt like.
“You are aware that we're in our thirties and not your teenage daughter, right?”
“Boys, men, potato potato .” He made a flippant gesture with the hand that wasn't touching Edgeworth’s.
“Those are not interchangeable Wright, I was hoping that someone studying to become a lawyer would understand the implications of such phrasing,” Edgeworth was goading him with a grin.
“No no no no no! No. That's not what I meant.” Phoenix quickly defended himself, and then shot the other man a glare as he noticed Edgeworth’s devious smirk.
“Sorry this is just an awkward conversation. It's just, you're Edgeworth you know?” Phoenix began to rub the back of his neck. The room was feeling warmer by the minute
“I've been told there's a resemblance.” Phoenix crinkled his lip in response to hide a smile, which only made Edgeworth smirk wider.
“What I mean is, if you're not completely oblivious to people flirting with you then you're all closed off and bristley at even the mention of romance. The only case that we worked together which even mentioned sex had you clutching at your cravat like an 80 year old Catholic grandmother would her pearls.”
“That witness was needlessly crude!”
Phoenix raised an eyebrow with a smug expression.
“See? I even mention sex and you're blushing.”
“No, I'm blushing because... you're holding my hand.” Somehow saying it aloud made him look even more embarrassed.
Neither moved their hands, and as Phoenix looked into the soft grey eyes, all he could hear was the sound of his own heart beating.He swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry.
It would've been easy for him to move his hand away, and he didn't. He’s gay, you're gay so it's not weird at all. Here goes nothing.
“Objection,”Phoenix said softly while moving a bit closer. He gently interlaced their fingers together, and noticed how Edgeworth spread his hand once he realized what Phoenix was doing. “Now I'm holding your hand.”
The room was silent enough for a pin to drop. Phoenix was waiting for Edgeworth to respond because he knew if the feeling wasn't mutual, an awkward hand grasp was much easier to move past than a kiss on the cheek.
“What does this mean?” Edgeworth half mumbled, unable to look away from their hands knitted together.
Phoenix gulped. Not going to make this easy for me, are you?
“It means, I like you...as more than a friend.” He could feel his cheeks burning, and every millisecond that Edgeworth didn't answer made him even more nervous.
“L-likewise,” Edgeworth finally was able to look him in the eyes, which were full of joy and a bit of fear. He was smiling the brightest that Phoenix had ever seen.
Phoenix scooted over until their legs were touching. “We could, um, do something about that, if you want to I mean,” Phoenix could feel the adrenaline begin to flow through his veins, and he had to resist the urge to split the distance between them with a kiss and risk him bolting for the door.
Edgeworth learned in close, until they were barely a breath away. Phoenix put a hand delicately on his cheek, and could feel the heat radiating off of it.
I don't want to push him, but I don't know how much more of this I can take.
“Would it be acceptable if I were to...kiss you?” Edgeworth spoke rapidly, his eyes locked on Phoenix's lips.
“Yes, I'd like-”
Edgeworth didn't hesitate and kissed Phoenix into silence. His lips were softer than he'd expected, even if the prosecutor was using too much force. It didn't feel like fireworks, it was more subtle, like the confetti after a not guilty verdict combined with the warmth of going into a heated building after being outside in the snow. The kiss wasn't perfect by any means, it was a bit uncomfortable, unbalanced, and messy. While they knew how to banter between each other with ease, this was a bit more difficult. But there was something endearing about how Edgeworth was trying too hard to do something so simple and emotional. It showed more meaning to Phoenix than any perfect first kiss could.
Phoenix broke the kiss with a smile, unsure if he was hearing his racing heartbeat or Edgeworth's. They smiled at each other, and Phoenix couldn't help but stare at Edgeworth who’d somehow morphed from being an esteemed and confident adult into an awkward teenager.
“Did we just?” Edgeworth asked innocently, almost out of breath. He looked bewitched and out of touch with reality.
“Mhm. Is that a problem?” Phoenix almost felt bad that Edgeworth's lack of confidence made him feel even more so, but he couldn't help it. He purposely leaned close again, and enjoyed how his proximity alone deepened the prosecutor's cheeks.
“N-no. But I've never... promise you won't laugh?”
“Promise.” Phoenix said sweetly, and put a hand under the prosecutor's chin to make sure he wouldn't try to hide his face like he usually did when embarrassed.
“I've never kissed anyone before,” Edgeworth said with shame, his eyes looking down.
“So?” Phoenix said with as much encouragement as he could, purposely pushing away the feeling of surprise.
I thought there would've been someone, anyone. I mean sure, people tease him about this kind of stuff but I doubt anyone actually believed that he'd never been kissed. That probably means he's a virgin too. Phoenix put a stop to the last thought before it got of hand and refocused.
“Isn't that...peculiar? Most people have been in many relationships by the time they're my age, and yet I haven't had my first kiss until today. I'm sure I was atrocious at it.” Edgeworth sat up straight and looked at the wall.
“Miles, you're not most people. That's what makes you so extraordinary,” Phoenix lightly touched his cheek, and when that didn't break him out of the trance he kissed him there.
“Sorry, I'm just not accustomed to feeling so... foolish?it's delightfully frustrating.”
“I feel pretty foolish myself, if it helps.”
Edgeworth raised an eyebrow at him in disbelief. “Really? Or are you just saying that to make me feel better?”
“Honestly? Both.” Edgeworth smiled at that.
“And I'm trying to be smooth enough to make you want to kiss me again, is it working?” Phoenix purposely invaded Edgeworth's personal space by letting go of his hand and wrapping his arm around his shoulder.
Edgeworth shook his head with a grin. “I guess I'm not as bad of a kisser as I feared.”
“Oh no, you're terrible. Which just means we're going to have to spend a lot of time practicing.” Phoenix leaned in, but Edgeworth’s demeanor changed.
“What in particular do I need to work on?” He asked analytically, and Phoenix was almost surprised that he didn't reach for Phoenix's notebook and pen to take notes.
“ Relaxing. ” Phoenix moved his arm to the other man's waist, and Edgeworth gulped.
“Don't think so much, just follow your instincts, and listen to your heart.”
Edgeworth looked away with a brighter blush than before, “I fear that my heart will overly complicate matters.”
“Miles, I'm hate to tell you this, but your brain is what overcomplicates things.”
“I do not! I analyze the evidence and tend to use my emotions sparingly rather than impulsively like someone.”
“Ah yes, how could I fail to see the cold hard logic in blurting out 'nope, I'm gay’ in response to a question about your first crush.”
Edgeworth gave him an incredulous look, “Well what was I supposed to do? Fabricate a tale about some woman to hide how you invaded my thoughts so frequently that my reading level jumped three grades once I left? Not even Larry would buy that!” He scoffed at himself, and made a face of concern when he noticed that Phoenix was looking at him with big y eyes filled with tears of joy not unlike an expression that Larry often made.
“I was your first crush?! Me?” One of his legs was bouncing with excited energy, and he grabbed both of Edgeworth's hands.
His cheeks flushed dark enough to match his lips. “I believe that was already established. We were children Wright, it's not a big deal.”
“You did not 'establish’ that! I mean I assumed your crush was on a guy because you said you were gay and all, but on me, wow. This changes-”
“ Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Before you jump to conclusions, no I have not had a crush on you endlessly since that day.” Edgeworth pointedly moved his leg away.
“Of course not, that's ridiculous,” he said sincerely.
“Then why are you so overexuberant?”
“Because little Miles Edgeworth had it so bad for little me that you sabotaged yourself just to be in the same reading group! You literally couldn't think straight!” He beamed, finally delivering the pun he'd been working up to.
Edgeworth dropped his hands. “Are you quite finished?”
“Nope, I've been gayting forever for this.” He grinned and leaned forwards expectantly.
Edgeworth reached for his briefcase, crestfallen.
“If you think this is such a joke, perhaps I should go.”
“Wait what? That's not it at all! I'm flirting with you,” Phoenix put a hand on his shoulder and Edgeworth sat back down, utterly confused.
“I suppose that makes more sense,” he laid a hand over his face and ran it through his hair.
“I must apologize, I'm still rather new to all of this.”
“I take it Von Karma was less than accepting,”
“Much worse.” He looked down and didn't say another word on the matter.
“So, no gay puns or jokes. Got it. Did you understand that I was purposely being annoying so you'd have to kiss me to shut me up? Or…”
“That's... something you want? I felt rather rude earlier when my impatience got the best of me, so I assumed that was an aspect of kissing that needed improvement,” he adjusted his glasses again, trying to distract himself from the growing blush.
“I said that because then I could tease you and say we'd need to practice more. As in I want to kiss you a lot .”
“How can you be so snarky and flirty in court And yet so cluelessly modest when we're alone?”
The prosecutor turned scarlet. “Did I mention that my reading comprehension plummeted when I sat next to you in class?”
“Hold the phone, you weren't faking it to be the same reading group as me?”
Edgeworth looked away and laid an arm across his chest.
Dumb Edgeworth might be hotter than regular smart-ass Edgeworth.
Phoenix set a hand just above his knee which quickly regained his attention. Edgeworth opened his mouth like he wanted to say something, and closed it rapidly.
This time Edgeworth approached him much slower, which Phoenix was far too impatient for. When Edgeworth broke the first kiss, Phoenix returned with another and another until before long Phoenix was leaning into the prosecutor, straddling his lap but keeping his body at a distance. He'd lied to himself when he'd moved, saying that he was doing so simply because it made kissing easier. The tightness of his pants decisively proved otherwise.
“Is this okay?” Phoenix interrupted.
The prosecutor was at a loss for words and nodded feverishly. As they continued kissing he placed a hand at his waist, and was pleasantly surprised when Edgeworth pulled their bodies almost flush in response. Their fiery back and forth banter returned in an equally passionate desire to not just be close to each other, but to crawl into the other's skin or just be absorbed.
Phoenix decided to be bold, and trailed kisses down Edgeworth's neck and gave him a hickey just where he knew the cravat would cover it up. Phoenix could’ve sworn his heart stopped as Edgeworth released a low moan. He was so busy enjoying how incredibly unraveled and uninhibited the prosecutor was at the moment that he didn't hear the footsteps nearing the apartment.
“Hey Daddy, do you have any…” Trucy sang into the apartment, but it only took a moment for her eyes to land on the position her father was in. Instinctively she reached a hand up to shield Apollo's eyes because he was behind her. Athena simply turned around without a word and walked back down the steps with a gigantic grin on her face.
To his credit, Phoenix had immediately flung himself off of Edgeworth's lap the moment he heard Trucy's voice and had landed with a thud next to Edgeworth.
“Um, hi? How was the uh, thing you guys went to?” Phoenix could already feel a bead of nervous sweat trickle down his forehead. He flung himself up from the couch and picked up the two empty water glasses from the coffee table just so he had something to do with all the nervous energy.
“It was...fine? Great, I mean great. Polly and I just had to get our um…” Trucy looked back at the attorney who was still in a state of shocked embarrassment, outdone only by Edgeworth's expression on the couch which he'd covered by putting his head in his hands.
He shrugged his shoulders at her in wide eyed panic, and she scanned the room for anything she could claim to need so they could leave as soon as possible. “Flashlights! We wanted to take a walk in the park but we forgot to bring a flashlight, so silly right daddy?” she ran to the hall closet, pulled two off of the shelf, and sped back to the front door, no longer able to hide her gigantic grin.
“We'll be back in an hour, maybe an hour and a half, bye!”
“An hour? Won't we need bug spray then?” Apollo finally found his voice, but only managed to take a step across the threshold before Trucy yanked him away by the collar of his vest and slammed the door behind them. But the trio wasn't known for their volume control and the echos carried through the closed door with ease.
“Not cool Trucy, now my ankles are gonna get devoured. it only would've taken a second…”
“You wouldn't understand, you're too young to see those things,” Trucy said arrogantly.
“I'm in a committed relationship and I'm seven years older than you.”
"Ooh, so you and Klavier have gone all the way.”
“i’m not having this conversation.” the sound of footsteps descending the stairs faded before another voice joined in.
“Dish Dish Dish Dish!” Athena chanted, and a groan escaped Apollo as Trucy and Widget joined in the chorus.
Phoenix breathed a sigh of relief, pleased that the focus had been taken off of what was gunning for the most awkward moment of his already embarrassing life. Edgeworth finally peeked out from his hands, his face still bright red like he'd taken a vacation on the sun and was left with a never-ending burn.
“So...that was awkward.”
“Few things can make an already unbearable situation worse than confidently declaring how awkward it was.”
“Gotta say something to move on from the silence, right?” He rubbed the back of his neck with a cheeky smile.
“And how do you propose we ‘move on’ from what just transpired?”
“We could make out to take the edge off.” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Edgeworth pulled his lips taught in annoyance.
“Is this going to become your new solution to everything?”
Phoenix shook his head at the ridiculousness of it all, and plopped down directly beside Edgeworth.
“I'm just glad you're still here and didn't jump out the window.”
“I did beg for the ground to swallow me whole, but alas,” despite the tone of despair, there was a sliver of a smile on Edgeworth's face. His blush had retreated back to his cheeks.
“After I finally got to kiss you? I'd never forgive the ground for taking you away,” he delicately placed a hand on Edgeworth’s shoulder, and was relieved when he finally sat up in his perfect posture.
Phoenix cracked a huge grin as he noticed the thumbprint sized hickey on the prosecutor's neck.
“What? Is there something on my face?”
“Not exactly.” He moved his face closer, but stopped as he felt the prosecutor tense up and opted just to trace the outline on his neck with a fingertip.
“Oh,” was all he managed to say. He looked up at the ceiling and Phoenix could feel his pulse quicken.
Phoenix could feel anxiety begin to stir in his gut, and he pulled his hands back to rest in his lap. Somehow, this moment was the most awkward of the day.
He can't even look at me right now. Dammit! Is this going to be over before it's even started just because Trucy barged in?
They sat in awkward silence for a couple minutes.
“Wright, I mean… Phoenix,”
The defense attorney hadn't realized how much he'd been slouching until he looked up at him.
Edgeworth looked like he wanted to say more, but all he could do was blush profusely. He gracelessly grabbed Phoenix's hand, and took a deep breath.
“I apologise, sentiments like these tend to be more your area than mine,” he steeled his resolve but couldn't stop blushing.
Phoenix had to restrain himself from kissing him again, just thinking about where they'd left off before they were interrupted made the collar of his shirt feel too tight. But he wanted to hear him out, and nodded in encouragement.
“While certain aspects of today have been humiliating, I want to clarify that none of that embarrassment is because of you or how I feel. Rather, I prefer to keep my private life, well, private and I don't believe I'm ready to be Japanifornia’s first openly gay Chief Prosecutor yet. I have no doubt that I will be comfortable doing so someday, especially with you by my side, but what I'm trying to say is,” He sighed, sounding more sad and exhausted than embarrassed.
“Would you mind imploring your daughter and associates to keep this between us at the moment?” There was a palpable fear in his voice as he drew his arm across his chest.
Phoenix pulled him into a hug without saying a word. He could feel Edgeworth’s muscle tension evaporate, and his own followed suit at the smell of his cologne. He kissed his check before returning back to a normal sitting position and smiled as he could feel his lips warm.
“I'll text her right now, and then I'll talk to all three of them once they get back and make sure they understand.”
“Thank you Phoenix.” Their eyes met, and Edgeworth's soft yet flirty smile came out of hiding.
He nodded sincerely before typing out a quick message with more punctuation than he normally used:
Hey, please keep this just between you three right now. He's the Chief Prosecutor and that means there's a lot at risk of we don't announce it right.
A minute later, Trucy responded in a series texts:
Hmph that's what Polly said too
You guys are no fun but fine
Guess I shouldn't call him uncle anymore huh ;)
We’re gonna be home in half an hour don't forget
He showed the messages to Edgeworth who gave him a small smile in response.
“See? Unlike the people you work with, my employees are able to keep a secret.” He beamed with pride, in part because he knew that this meant they really had a chance for a relationship.
“Detective Gumshoe hardly counts considering how often you pressure him for information.”
“Oh, I'm not talking about the oblivious detective, I'm talking about little miss science. She can be quite the gossip, ” He grinned like Edgeworth had fallen into his own trap in the courtroom.
“What did Detective Skye tell you,” he sounded much more like the Chief Prosecutor now, and every question became a command in disguise.
“See, now I'm scared to answer. It's no wonder I cried when I was on the witness stand in college, you're fucking terrifying,” he baited him mercilessly, not even slightly intimidated by what Edgeworth considered his business voice.
“ Wright , tell me. Now.” He gave the man his trademark icy glare, and the words tumbled out of Phoenix’s mouth in fear.
“You were starting at Shi-long Lang's ass so often Ema was tempted to dust it for fingerprints!” Phoenix clapped a hand over his mouth in a mirror image of his daughter. Edgeworth stared at him incredulously.
“I thought you said straight people didn't notice!”
“Again, she's not . If anything she's gayer than I am! I guess we're going to have to keep this twice a week study session going even after I pass the bar, because clearly your gaydar needs the help.”
“Only if you write a syllabus.”
Oh no, he can still be clever when he's blushing like that. He's EVOLVING. Time to up the ante then.
“Why am I not surprised that you get hot under the collar for teachers?” He delicately traced his slightly exposed collarbone and followed it under his shirt. The prosecutor forgot to breathe for a moment, and Phoenix watched his adam’s apple jump as he swallowed hard.
“Intelligence is attractive and evidently you agree with me on that,” his voice was a little awkwardly warped, and compared to how smooth his speech usually was it sounded like it came from a completely different person.
“Actually, it's pretty hot when you can't think because I'm this close to you,” His voice was darker now, and he smiled smugly as he watched the prosecutor's pupils dilate in response.
Edgeworth opened his mouth to retort, but Phoenix grabbed him by the waist and straddled his lap, only hesitating to make sure that he had no objections to picking back up where they left off.
“I haven't the foggiest idea what I was going to say,” he shook his head and let out a breathless chuckle.
“I don't know if I'll ever get tired of leaving you speechless,” he flashed a 1000 watt smile and kissed him.
Neither of them said more than a word for the next twenty uninterrupted minutes.
In the typical Edgeworth fashion, he was gone by the time Phoenix had to have the dreaded conversation. Thanks to Trucy and Athena's pointedly invasive questions, it was more awkward than when he'd given the sex talk to Trucy. No doubt because at least one of them, if not all, presumed that that was what they'd intruded upon. Unfortunately, no amount of objections or logic could save him from the teasing. Fortunately, nothing could bother him enough to outweigh the immense happiness that Phoenix now carried with him, and thankfully the girl's kissy noises didn't even register in his mind when he picked up the phone that night and Miles Edgeworth said that he loved him.
He loved him back, obviously. But he loved seeing him embarrassed too, so he had no qualms about Trucy telling this story to the mixed company at their wedding three years later. True to his word, he never got tired of seeing Edgeworth bright red and speechless.