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A Certain Fondness

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1.
The foreign prosecutor had appeared when Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth was at an impasse. All acting prosecutor's had been assigned. He had slipped in, shimmering silk and gold. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth had taken the bit of good fortune, but not blindly.

The stage was in shambles. Broken wood snapped beneath his feet. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth tread lightly, lest Detective Skye give him a tongue lashing for interrupting her crime scene.

After his proclamation that it was indeed no accident, but a murder, he glanced up to Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth with a steely determination that had been hidden beneath his serenity.

"I wish to take on this case, and help find rest for the lost soul," he said.

Detectives and labbies whispered to each other. They were always gossiping, like birds flitting about. Except Detective Skye, who lacked an indoor voice.

"Oh no, and it's Trucy's big TV debut, too!"

"I know, how awful for her to have a murder happen so close," said another.

The last thing he needed was to fuel the rumor mill. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth gave one last glance to the detectives.

"Detective Skye, close off the crime scene immediately before any of the evidence gets compromised."

She pulled down her pink glasses, usually perched on her forehead. "Got it!"

"Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, let us discuss this in my office, shall we?"

From his peripheral, he noticed Prosecutor Sahdmadhi give Detective Skye one last long gaze before he turned and silently followed Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth down the hall.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth always felt a bit of comfort as he opened up his office, even in dire times. He had decorated it to his own liking, and the refined edge always gave him a bit of calm in the chaos that was his job. The tea set at the back was often filled with Earl Gray, though sometimes he would do something unexpected, and dip into a package of white tea instead.

(That man had rubbed off on him in perplexing ways. Sometimes he would take a detour from the routine, just to taste the old thrill of courtroom battles from when he was younger.)

Standing guard over the tea set was a large Steel Samurai figurine, which had taken a somewhat somber look after Ms. Oldbag's death. Even if she had been an insufferable person in life, the gift had been a heartfelt one. Of all the times she'd tried to get him to go somewhere with her, and to buy her flowers, it took her funeral for that to come to pass.

His old coat hung upon the wall like a warning of what never to become. He heeded that guidance. Should ever a prosecutor stray too far, all it would take was to point upwards at the last remains of the demon prosecutor.

Prosecutor Sahdmadhi sat before the desk. The silk above him still fluttered softly, though there was no open windows, or breeze in the room.

"Did you bring any staff, forensic scientists, or detectives with you?"

"I travel alone," Prosecutor Sahdmadhi said softly.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth checked over a paper. Many had upgraded to computers, but he preferred the smooth refinement of neat calligraphy. "Hmmm, Detective Labowitz should be free right now. I am sure Prosecutor Payne would be all right to let her work with you for this case. He had requested a day off for his wife's birthday tomorrow."

"...If I may, I would like to work with the very fascinating detective who showed me the forensics. Detective Skye."

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth looked up from the paper he had been considering. "Her?"

Fascinating? The only fascinating thing about Detective Skye was the sheer amount of food she could consume in a short time, and how much one detective could manage to destroy one case. Every single case had been a complete struggle simply to get her to do her job, and not lash out at Prosecutor Gavin, and sabotage his work at every turn.

Prosecutor Sahdmadhi nodded.

"Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, while you have taken cases in different lands, you still have not taken one within the United States."

"Oh? Do you execute Prosecutors who lose here?" he said, in such a calm manner that it was quite unnerving.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth grimaced. "I do not know what halls of justice you have been in, but I can only hope you are making a poorly timed jape."

He formed some hand sign that Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth did not know. Something from his homeland, no doubt. "No. The world beyond your borders is full of different courtrooms. Some run red with the blood of executions. In some lands, there are no lawyers left. I have tried cases within those halls. The cases are done before an hour's time."

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth crossed his arms over his chest. "I see the dark age of the law is prevalent within other countries as well."

"A dark age....more like an endless night," he said, with surprising bitterness. But the insight into this prosecutor was momentary, as he returned instantly to the serene face that was worn almost like a mask.

A bluffing defense lawyer who tried such incongruities as cross examining a parrot and making a mockery of the court would be little barrier to someone as experienced at this. (Even if it was more a blow when the theory of the lawyer was inevitably right and they won.)

"Then the American courts should be no problem. However, I must warn you, this particular detective has a history. She's quite intelligent and talented, but she is also extremely strong willed, moody and prone to outbursts. In fact, she and the Prosecutor she was assigned to have gone their separate ways. Too many cases were being compromised by their constant clashing. She would sabotage his case repeatedly if she did not agree with the defendant he brought in. One time in court, she stopped it entirely, and made a mockery of his case on the stand, due to evidence she felt he did not give proper credence."

"...She stopped his case?" Prosecutor Sahdmadhi said slowly.

Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's look was more interest and awe than shock and revulsion. How strange. He couldn't fathom being drawn in by someone who would sabotage cases, and that being a tipping point.

But then, who knew what halls of justice this prosecutor had seen?

"Yes. She did not trust his assertion of who the culprit was, and completely objected in court upon the stand. It turned out her hunch was right, and it led to quite an uproar. When she pleaded with me to finally assign her elsewhere, I finally gave in to her wishes. A shame, for prosecutors should always have a loyal detective or forensic specialist they can rely on. But these things cannot be helped."

To no surprise, many of the other prosecutors wouldn't take an assignment with Detective Skye. And there were others, such as Franziska, and Prosecutor Blackquill who he would never assign her to, even had they asked, or been short of staff. If Prosecutor Gavin and her were oil and water, then sending Detective Skye to these two would be like flicking a lighted match at dynamite.

Something shone in his green eyes. Interest? He wasn't an easy man to read. "Is that common here? A detective being assigned to a prosecutor so closely?"

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth nodded. "Yes. We believe that bonds build trust, and ensure a better working environment. However, there was no salvaging her and Prosecutor Gavin. A shame. I thought it would be a good match, given how genial he is. But their personalities did not mesh at all. Both morale and cases suffered because of this. In fact, the morale was so low it reached the entire precinct."

Largely by Detective Skye's own efforts, that was.

"I see. There is no such thing within Khura'in. Perhaps I have much to learn from your ways."

"Perhaps you will. Now, Detective Labowitz should be able to show you more forensics. She has a bit of a sharp tongue--though not as sharp as Detective Skye--but she's dependable. She's never broken a single one of Prosecutor Payne's cases. If not, I can see who else is open."

"...Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth. I still wish to work with Detective Skye, and her alone."

His declaration was firm, yet somehow very calm. Overall, he seemed the exact opposite of Prosecutor Gavin. Perhaps he'd cool her fire. Detective Skye had been a concerning problem for some time. Yes, her demeanor had changed for the better when she finally passed her exams after years of failing, and become a true forensic investigator. However, he doubted that her problematic habits--such as lashing out and completely interrupting cases upon the stand when she disagreed with the prosecutor--had completely disappeared. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth suspected that her temper was still lurking under that smile, just waiting for an empty bag of snacks, or a snag in a case, to come out.

He'd let her work on cases along with Gumshoe. So far, they hadn't clashed too much. However, she'd rubbed off on him, in more ways than he would have liked. Now Gumshoe had started with the noxious habit of snacking while working. She even felt sorry for him, and shared her treats. Now there were constantly crumbs all over his office, the floors, and sometimes even in the evidence. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth had considered banning snacking outside of designated lunch times, however what that would do to the often volatile Detective Skye kept him from making the directive. After all, her "Snackoos" was all that kept her from exploding at times.

"Fine. She has no acting prosecutor as a partner right now." He left out the consider yourself warned. It was implied.

Prosecutor Sahdmadhi bowed gracefully, and again did some hand gesture he did not recognize. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth made a mental note to buy some sort of Khura'inese guidebook. "Thank you for your generosity. We shall work together to read the last rites of the dead."

He couldn't call himself a man of religion, but if that was the face this prosecutor put on keeping the law in order, then he'd take it. "Yes, then. You are dismissed."

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth took one last look at his schedule. He would keep his eye upon this new prosecutor. Last time someone returned after a disappearance, they'd had an assassin on their hands.

 

2.

To absolve the worry in his mind of another corrupt prosecutor? Or worse? he stayed at the edge of the taped off scene just a little while. Enough to form a reconnaissance. He couldn't quite read Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's expression as he came. He seemed serene--a little too serene.

"Does something trouble you, Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth?"

"No... I needed to discuss something with one of the detectives," he said.

"If it is Detective Skye, then she is over there still processing data. She's very hardworking."

That was one word to describe her.

"Mmn, no. It's another one." Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth furrowed his brow. "I believe that detective may have gone to lunch early. How like him."

"Ah... I see. Then, thank you for your insight. I shall oversee the scene from here."

There was something steely in him, just beneath the surface of his calm.

"Of course," Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth said.

"If you'll excuse me, I must ask Deceive Skye something," he said. With a bow he strode towards her.

But Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth made no move to greet any of the detectives. Instead, he watched over the scene, and watched for signs of what--a warning? Or something more.

Detective Skye smiled brighter than ever before, and even hummed to herself as she dusted the crime scene. She threw herself into the job with such enthusiasm as he'd never seen from her. Truly, she acted as a massive weight of despair had been lifted. (Which was perhaps, an unfair description of Prosecutor Gavin. He'd been a flashy sort, a bit quick on the draw when bringing in defendants, but he was still young. However, nothing could be salvaged of them now, and this was for the best.)

And that smile blossomed even more as Prosecutor Sahdmadhi approached her.

"Oh! Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. Are you here to see another forensics display? I've got plenty more where that came from!"

"Not at this moment...however, if you have time later, I would be very interested to see your forensics."

Detective Skye lit up in a big smile at this. "I'd be glad to! I'm finished collecting the evidence up here. It'll be processed as soon as I can get back to the lab. I've only got some of the hand-held stuff with me."

"The bottom of the theater will have to be done as well. However, it should wait until after you have taken a break for lunch to keep your strength up."

"I did that already. I'm just checking over to see if there's anything that got missed along the way."

"Already? Your work ethic is quite amazing... and so are your skills."

Detective Skye pushed her hair back behind her ears, her cheeks a bright pink. She smiled up at him, and it did take some effort, with the height difference between them. "Thanks for noticing. It's about time somebody did."

Prosecutor Sahdmadhi smiled. There was no telling if it was merely Khura'inese customs, or his personality, but he had never seen the other prosecutor smile before this. Yet all Detective Skye could mention was his gentle smiles. She'd been telling anyone who would listen, including lab assistants and wandering defense attorneys.

"Then all prosecutors within this country must be blind, dumb, or completely daft to miss such talents."

Detective Skye giggled--giggled!--then, and continued to twirl her hair around her fingers. "Some of them definitely are."

"Are you stopping for lunch too?" Detective Skye didn't even wait for his reply before she continued, "How much American food have you had?"

"I found a place that serves Khura'inese food, however the dishes were sorely lacking."

She tapped her lower lip. "Huh, I've never had that type, but let me show you something really good. We could--go together. And discuss the case, of course."

"Of course... the case. That would be very good. I am very interested in American food."

"Well, that makes us a pair, because I'm interested in all kinds of food."

"What is that you always eat?"

She held the bag out for him to examine. He pronounced the name slightly wrong, and she corrected him.

"Ah. Snackoos. I shall have to try them sometime."

"You should. They're great! Oh yeah--I'll just close off the crime scene so nobody disturbs it. The defense already came through here anyways."

He raised his eyebrows. "The defense?"

"Er--Ahah, did I say something? Um--We really should be going now, I'm starving! In fact we need to go right now!"

"Yes, we should," he said.

Apparently the subject was dropped. They left, and leaned close together. Already, they seemed to be mirroring each other in small ways. What a strange meeting of opposites.

Detective Badd had once told him that a prosecutor and detective's relationship was like a marriage. There should be full of understanding and ultimately, an unshakable trust. And it was an unbreakable vow which should remain until death.

This was the thought that came to him as Prosecutor Sahdmadhi and Detective Detective Skye exited out for lunch together.

"Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth, did you need something from the crime scene?"

He turned towards the detective. "No, I'll leave for lunch as well. It seems as if for the moment at least, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi and Detective Skye have this under control."

3.

A knock came to his door. The fact that the person actually waiting for his response, as opposed to simply coming in right after the knock told him it was certainly not Detective Skye.

Prosecutor Sahdmadhi gracefully sat just on the other side of the desk.

"I aim to return to Khura'in soon. My Queen has requested my presence," he said.

"Yes. Thank you for helping out on that case. We were short prosecutors that day."

He couldn't exactly congratulate Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. After all, he had lost. Sometimes Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth still had to remind himself that they were not wins or losses, just justice. Any case where the true culprit was found was a win for both sides. But, old habits died hard, and Manfred's ghost lingered, even as hard as he worked to banish it.

"I am glad that this servant of the Holy Mother has helped another soul be laid to rest." Again, there was that bow. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth never knew quite if he was to return it in this prosecutor's culture, so he simply accepted the token for what it was: a foreign display of manners.

"When will you be departing?"

"Soon. I have but one request: the paperwork required to request Detective Skye's help overseas."

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth removed his glasses, and carefully wiped away the smudges with a cloth. He would never be so crass as to simply use his shirt. "You wish to work with her again?"

As he predicted, her wildness hadn't been quite tamed, even if she was happier now. Despite the display at the crime scene, the honeymoon was over by the trial. She'd tried an all out assault on Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's case. If anything, he was too gentle on her. A few minor threats of salary cuts that weren't even instituted, and even then he kept praising her. Perhaps his admiration clouded his vision. If it'd been his case, she would've immediately had her salary sharply cut, and perhaps finally he'd make that Snackoo banning directive for such behavior.

Even during the investigation, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi had complimented her at every turn. Yes, her work ethic had been exemplary--up until she tried to torpedo Prosecutor's Sahdmadhi's case--but it hardly warranted that much fuss.

"I will delay the trip as long as it takes to secure these papers, even if I must tell the queen such. I do not wish to even leave this country without her by my side," Prosecutor Sahdmadhi said slowly. There was something in his green eyes. Sheer determination. His serenity belied something steely within. "Be it weeks, or months. Working together with her again is....deeply important to me."

Well, despite that little display in the courtroom, she had been surprisingly happy working underneath him up until that point. If he was still willing to try and work with her, despite her failings, then he would hardly stand in the way. It wasn't as if other prosecutors were begging for her help. This case had cemented her as nigh impossible to place within the precinct, and had he not intervened, a future of nothing but processing lab results would lie before her.

No other prosecutor would take a look at all the things she did and persist in working with her. Even Prosecutor Gavin, in all his flashy and flamboyant geniality had reached the limits of his patience with Detective Skye.

He supposed that no harm could come of it. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth removed a stack of papers and straightened them.

"I'll have a temporary transfer request set up immediately. Of course, you will have to ask your own Chief Prosecutor for your own country's rules and regulations. I am not familiar with how things are done in your country."

He closed his eyes, and made some sign with his hands that Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth did not recognize. He really needed to get that guidebook already. "There is no need."

"Oh, it works differently within Khura'in? Well, if Detective Skye has no objections, then I'll have the documents notarized right away."

"Good. Thank you. Now, if you will excuse me, I must give her the news right away. She must have time to pack, after all."

"Indeed. You are dismissed," he said.

For several moments after this prosecutor left, Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth stared at the door. He'd never had a prosecutor so determined to work with a detective, not even Prosecutor Byrne and Detective Badd, who had been a simple chance assignment. (It'd been years of service--ended by death and scandal from a secret vigilantism.)

At least this prosecutor showed no signs of secretly being a great thief or assassin.

4.

The door opened before Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth could even answer the knock. She looked happier this time, but then a storm was always near with her. The precinct always changed when she returned, and not always for the better.

"Is something the matter, Detective Skye?"

"It's for Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. Actually, he's in court with the Whet case right now, so he asked me to get another clearance. Actually a semi-permanent clearance, so I can go with him wherever he ends up."

He couldn't say that he hadn't seen this coming. Enough that he'd already gotten the papers ready in a free moment.

"Wow, that was fast," she said.

"I had a feeling this would be coming for a while," he said. Though he did not mention how long. From the first moment Prosecutor Sahdmadhi had sat in his office and so determinedly argued to be assigned her.

"He said that?" Detective Skye puffed out her cheeks. "He didn't tell me that he'd already told you! I can't read him at all. Was this all a big joke, making me come in here and request these papers..."

"You misunderstand me, Detective Skye. He hadn't spoken earlier, but some of his earlier comments made me think so. And, before you judge him too harshly: At times prosecutors must keep things from those beneath them. At times for international relations, or to salvage a case, should it be sabotaged by outside forces."

Detective Skye tapped her lower lip. "I guess when you put it that way, it makes more sense."

She crossed her arms and let out a big sigh. "I want him to trust me with that, though. If we're supposed to be a team, then he should talk to me. Instead, it's trying to put the pieces together to try and figure him out!"

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth fixed her with a cold gaze. "I am not the person you should be saying this to, Detective Skye."

However, Detective Skye was too wrapped up in her own problems to notice. "Telling it to his face feels like losing. I'm a forensic scientist. It's my job to figure things out."

"As any lawyer will tell you, at times the best path to solving a mystery is a straightforward one. Wright has solved many a mystery by reading between the lines of witnesses."

"Easier said than done with him! Nothing is straightforward about him. I just keep asking myself, is it a culture thing? Is that what's the problem?"

"If you cannot gather evidence from a witness, studying the witness also could work. If you're unsure whether a gap is due to a person or a culture, then the first way to gather evidence is to study that culture."

She clutched her cheek. "Oh! That's a great idea, Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth! But I won't have any time because he's constantly working me."

Her phone rang. "I have to take this. He probably wants something forensics work done immediately."

"What? I'm getting the clearance like you asked. Something was uncovered? Fine, I'll get to it right away--" She got up from her chair, and forgot even the propriety of a goodbye.

All in all, the call had interrupted his comment about world's tiniest violins, and the tragedy of her having a prosecutor who actually made her do her job, instead of eating on the crime scene, sabotaging cases and wasting all her vast amounts of talent.

Which was likely for the best. Detective Skye never saw a snide comment that she wouldn't add match with a sarcastic one of her own.

5.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth read over the guidebook again. He couldn't make out a single word of this language. Hadn't Wright mentioned a guide? This country was truly peculiar. He couldn't even find a good official tourist or embassy to help him along.

Certainly, the mountains were lovely and the temples intriguing, but he wasn't here on a vacation. And before he spoke with the queen on such matters, he needed some damn tea.

"Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth, what are you doing here?"

He looked up from his book to see Detective Skye standing near, with a clipboard in one hand and an ever-present snack in the other.

"I could ask the same," he said dryly.

"I'm working with Prosecutor Sahdmadhi. I've got semi-permanent clearance to travel with him, remember? He sure is making good use of that," Detective Skye said. She rolled her eyes.

"I see," Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth said.

The text on the stand was unreadable to him. He had glanced over a Khura'inese phrasebook, but the text was quite complicated, and not something he could master in a matter of hours.

"I am to meet with Wright soon. But before that, is there a place where I may find some refreshments? It was quite a long flight."

"There isn't exactly any McDonalds here. You'll have to go to the marketplace. Usually if you need help, just go to Tehm'pul Temple. There's a guide by the name of Ahlbi there. That is, if he doesn't find you first. He's pretty talented at finding tourists. Here—I'll show you."

She led him off down an increasingly noisy path.

The marketplace was full of the scent of fresh fruit, bustling with women selling their wares. Further down the cobblestone street, a yak drawing a load of goods drove further down the street. Behind them were rows of stores and shops lettered with a complicated language he couldn't read. He would have to make liberal use of his guidebook again.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth reached for one of the fruits he did not recognize. At least it would wet his parched mouth with some sustinence. "How much? Ah, a moment." He opened up his guidebook to find the point on buying, but he'd lost his place. Now, where was it...

The seller seemed to get the gist, or did know some English after all, for she held up five fingers.

"Hey, Sey'lar! N'aah ey'a Dahma," Detective Skye said quickly. The seller nodded, and held up three fingers.

"There, now that's a better price. 5 dahmas for a single price of fruit is way too much."

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth stiffly handed over his dahmas, and took the fruit in hand.

"They like to bargain here. So they'll overcharge foreigners by accident when people don't realize. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi says it's really common in some parts of Asia, and likely spread through commerce and settlers several centuries ago."

"You've already gotten this much of a grasp of the language and culture?" Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth said.

"A bit. I've been working from some online courses and every night after the trial adjourns, Prosecutor Sahdmadhi and I eat together and practice the language. He's says I'm a fast learner, which is something considering how he prepares for the court. Sometimes I can even catch him for breakfast and lunch, so we can discuss the cases more."

"Well, you seem to have accustomed quite well to the locale already," he said.

Detective Skye smiled. "You think so? It was a real shock at first, but there's so much to learn. I miss my morning lattes, though. At least Prosecutor Sahdmadhi managed to get me a shipment of Snackoos from Zheng Fa so I wouldn't run out."

There it was again. He was indulging her at every turn. If it had been his call, she would mere get the occasional faint praise. Not too much--she was definitely the sort that could have constant flattery go to her head. But enough to keep her motivated and not fall into her old ways. She did have lots of raw talent, after all. Except it came with bouts of an awful temper and moods which would turn utterly mercurial around the wrong person.

But, she seemed relatively happy now, so maybe Prosecutor Sahdmadhi had found a way to manage her rebellious ways.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth noticed that just behind the seller was a shop showed a cup imprinted on the door.

"Is that a tea shop?"

"Oh--yes! Prosecutor Sahdmadhi took me there. You should try the Jasmine tea. It's really good."

"Do they have Earl Gray?"

Ema tapped her lower lip thoughtfully. "I'm not sure. I know they have some kinds of black tea, but I haven't gotten a chance to try it yet. I can't show you now, though. If I stay away any longer I'm going to get a phone call and a tongue lashing. He made me listen to so many sutras last time."

"Do I have to worry about bargaining within there?"

"No, it's just flat rates. I think the seller is a bit too old for such games. She's been making the same recipes for over sixty years!" she said.

"I see. Thank you for your help, Detective Skye. The guide book was unclear on that. Thank you for the clarification."

She continued on, "He's a really good teacher, actually. He's gentle when he corrects my pronunciation, and when I get frustrated he tells me that I'm doing a wonderful job and have already learned so much. Then when we're working together over here, it's like I'm with another person! He barely even looks up except to order me around. I can't figure him out at all!"

So it was back to her favorite topic. Ah well, at least she didn't speak constantly of bodily functions and ailments, like some lawyers he had known in his life. "So investigating the culture for clues hasn't helped?"

She scrunched her nose. "No. I keep running into blocks. Either I'm too busy or I have to ask him for translations. And I'm not going to have any more luck getting info from him that way."

"What about the guide you speak of? Could he offer translations and insight?"

"Maybe, but he's pretty young. There's some things you just don't want to ask a kid." She blushed suddenly at that. "I mean--um--" She blushed even harder at what she'd revealed.

Either way, he had far more pressing concerns than Detective Skye's complaints--or personal life.

"...Right. It's been a long flight, and I need some refreshment. If you'll excuse me, the tea house will be my next destination."

"Okay, that's--" Her phone started to ring, and she rushed off, muttering to herself as she did. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth gave her one last glance as she left.

Perhaps he'd misjudged this Prosecutor Sahdmadhi, if he could get the most wild and belligerent detective of the entire precinct to obey like that.

6.

Things sorted themselves out, and somehow, they managed not to all get executed in the process. (Though Wright and Justice, foolhardy as ever, came quite close.)

He wasn't too surprised when after the events in Khura'in, and the installation of the new Regent, Detective Skye gave him the news that she was staying in Khura'in. It was, of course, on Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's request, and that semi-permanent clearance had turned quite permanent. There were so many exceptions. The logic fit when each theory and evidence was placed together.

He just didn't think he'd lose Detective Skye for good in the process. Perhaps it was cynicism, or simply following the evidence. After all, Detective Skye had destroyed every single prosecutor-detective relationship she'd been within. Logically, she should have destroyed this one as well.

From the first moment that Prosecutor Sahdmadhi had persisted to work with her, something had been forming between them. A complex partnership that had formed beyond the odds.

7.

It would two years until he saw her walk through his office doors again. She was flushed cheeked from the weather, with a thick coat spattered with rain drops. She, as always, did not wait for his response and burst in.

"Of course it'd be a dang hurricane on my trip," she muttered.

She'd definitely grown rounder, though he would never vocalize such a thing. (Part manners, part the fact that he valued his life.) Her brown hair hung down her back in a braid, and was tied with gold. She wore two rings now, one of platinum and the other of gold. Both were elegant, with inlays of some kind of gemstone, yet discreet enough to fit underneath her gloves and not cause any tears.

"Hey, Chief Prosecutor Edgeoworth! Long time no see!"

In that, she was just as bright and brazen years later.

"Congrats on cracking that big case," she said.

"I couldn't have done it without Wright," he said.

Detective Skye smiled. "You guys are always such a team."

"Yes. Indeed." He glanced to the hair which fell across her shoulder. "You've picked up Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's habits, I see."

She touched to her brown hair, with a little laugh. "Oh, Nahyuta always braids my hair when it's windy and stormy like this. I get annoyed when my hair gets tangled. And sometimes when the layovers are particularly long, and we've run out of places to visit in the airport, he'll just do it for fun."

He lifted his eyebrows. "He's Nahyuta to you now?"

"He's been Nahyuta to me for quite a while now. In fact, that's why I'm here."

She reached into her bag and pulled out a small and elegant envelope, only slightly crinkled from the trip.

"Our wedding was supposed to be next year, but then we had a little surprise and I wanted to still fit into my dress, so we had to make it way earlier than planned. So a lot of people couldn't come to the first one. In the end, we're just going to have a wedding reception thing here for everyone who missed the first wedding."

His gaze flickered down to her stomach for a moment again. So that was the cause of her rounded belly, and not the constant Snackoo consumption. Though that had certainly helped.

He cleared his throat. "Ah...congratulations."

Detective Skye glanced back towards the door. "He's supposed to be here, but Prosecutor Payne caught him on the way. Probably asking about his brother again. Maybe he's giving him the third degree about all the things Prosecutor Payne has been up to. Oh--There you are."

He closed the door behind him. Prosecutor Sahdmadhi was largely unchanged in looks, though his smile was certainly new. But as before, it was Detective Skye who brought this forth. The way they looked at each other hadn't changed much, either. Still there was something--was it wonder, mixed with respect and affection? It was as if, for that moment, the world faded away until it was just them.

"I was just telling Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth about our upcoming reception," she said.

"Good," Prosecutor Sahdmadhi said.

"Yes...about that. Do you wish to take on a case while you're here? All our prosecutors are busy. I should note: there is new high tech forensic equipment that we just got in," Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth said.

Detective Skye lit up in a beautiful smile. "New forensic equipment? Even newer than the stuff in Khura'in? Nahyuta always gets me the latest stuff. Sign me up for that--wait. Do you want to take on the case?" She glanced towards her husband.

"It is your honeymoon," Prosecutor Sadhmadhi said.

Detective Skye puffed out her cheeks. "It's yours, too. You get a say, too."

"Ema, my love, I always am willing to help read the last rites for the dead. But sometimes work tires you. Especially in your condition..."

"Fah, I'm not bed-ridden yet. Besides, you'd just work at all hours if you could," Detective Skye said.

"I could say the same of you," he said.

She waved her hand dismissively. "It's not work if I'm enjoying it. It's the paperwork I can't stand. Just put me processing evidence all day long and I'll be happy."

She turned to Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth. "Count us in."

It was the least Prosecutor Sahdmadhi could do, considering he'd taken Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth's best detective.

Then again, he'd helped mold her into the best detective she could possibly be. Back then, he'd thought Prosecutor Sahdmadhi's touch too light on Detective Skye, with not nearly enough reprimanding. Of course, he had certainly never imagined that fleeting memory of detectives and prosecutors viewed as marriage would ever become so literal.

He handed her a largely empty folder. "There is still much that needs to be done. The autopsy must be preformed immediately."

Detective Skye pulled down her pink glasses. "I'm on the case!"

As they left, he could hear them speak. Detective Skye always had a problem with never quite shutting the door. Likely a remainder of when she'd slammed too many doors, and gotten reprimanded for it many times. With a sigh, he got up to close the door.

Even through the closed door, he still heard them. Detective Skye was prone to speaking too loud, even when she wasn't angry. Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth settled himself down with his paperwork and tried to focus. Still, their voices filtered through.

"Ah...I feel a bit dizzy."

"Love, sit down. There's a bench right here."

"It's okay. I just need to rest and eat a minute. This kid really has an appetite!" Detective Skye said.

"Yes, I can already see the resemblance. Shall I get you something from the vending machines?" Prosecutor Sahdmadhi said.

"No, it's okay. I've got some Snackoos here," she said.

With a soft sigh, Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth set the papers away. But instead of going to the door, he turned to his tea cup.

It'd been so very long since he'd heard their voices, such a long time since he'd been interrupted and heard her snide comments. He poured out the tea into his fragile bone china, and took a sip.

"Nahyuta, can we get some of this equipment when we go back? I haven't even seen this in the magazines, and I check all the time. I can't wait to work this new tech!"

"There is always enough money to help guide the souls of the dead to the afterlife...and for you," he said.

He heard a rustle of something. Hopefully it was something chaste, and he wouldn't have to come in there like some chaperone at a school dance and tell them such behavior was not allowed in the public halls, and they would need to go back to their hotel room for that.

He already had to do that enough with those mischievous defense lawyers as it was.

"It's been far too long since we solved cases together," he said.

"It's been what, a week at most? We spent most of it packing or on the plane."

"Yes, much too long."

Detective Skye laughed. "You big dork. You missed solving cases already, and we barely just stopped. You're such a workaholic, you can't stop."

"The dead always must be laid to rest. That is my calling. ...Besides, it is thrilling. Solving cases with you by my side never feels much like 'work.'"

"I can't say the same. Even though I'm your wife, that doesn't mean you don't stop working me into the ground."

"Yes, but that is only during the day. During the night, I work you into other, more intimate places..."

Detective Skye laughed. "You're so naughty. I must've rubbed off on you, because you sure didn't get that from your monk school."

With a sigh, Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth rose from his desk. He took the door handle and jingled it loud enough for them to clearly hear that a reprimand was coming. Honestly, flirting newlyweds, in his hall no less.

"Oh, crap! We were too loud. Let's go off to work before we get a reprimand before we even start."

"Like running from the police," Prosecutor Sahdmadhi said.

"But we are the police," Detective Skye said.

"As they say, who will guard the guardians?"

All their conversation faded as they reached the end of the hall.

Ah, peace and quiet again.

Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth glanced at the little invitation. You are invited to the wedding reception of Nahyuta Sahdmadhi and Ema Skye-Sahdmadhi at... He glanced to his schedule and penciled it in. There was no telling when he would see Detective Skye again, after all. Prosecutor Sadhmadhi's job as prince regent was almost up, and he thought that the wanderlust had set in already.

Perhaps he'd been a bit harsh in his assessment of Prosecutor Sahdmadhi going too light on her. By all means, she seemed to be thriving. And perhaps there was something to Detective Badd's thoughts of prosecutors and detectives, after all.