Phoenix Wright stepped up to Miles Edgeworth’s side and looked up at the hundred-story building. He heard a soft sigh next to him, and he couldn’t help but share Edgeworth’s sentiment. There was a good chance that this lead was a dead end, but Phoenix had made it sound like the owner of this building was definitely the murderer. The judge had ordered that Wright and Edgeworth check out this lead together, so there would be no “misunderstandings” in the courtroom tomorrow.
Edgeworth had been, for lack of a better term, “on edge” the entire trial for some reason, and he wasn’t much better on the car ride over here. In fact, he had barely spoken the entire time he drove the both of them to the site. Phoenix wasn’t quite sure what his problem was. He was pretty sure that he wasn’t the one who had caused Edgeworth’s mood.
The building they were looking at right now was rather imposing. One hundred stories exactly, designed with weird spikes on the sides and glass panes to make it look like the building was glaring down them. The first word that popped into Wright’s mind when he saw this monstrosity was “impractical.” They had heard that the CEO of this corporate building was just as bad as this design.
“I think he might be compensating for something,” Phoenix joked, glancing at Edgeworth, who didn’t even smile.
“Let’s just get this over with,” the prosecutor sighed before stalking off towards the building. Phoenix muttered something under his breath and quickly followed him.
The lobby looked to be made entirely out of glass, with a high ceiling and a large crystal chandelier looming over them. A female secretary was sitting behind a desk all the way in the back of the room, filing her nails, with her crossed legs up on the desk. She barely looked up as the two men approached, instead choosing to chomp on her bubble gum.
“Hi,” Phoenix greeted her. “We’re looking for a Mr. Freddy Rich. Do you know where we can find him, by any chance?”
“Who wants to know?” the secretary asked, concentrating on her nails.
Phoenix swallowed the five comebacks he had ready in his mind and instead gave the more reasonable answer. “Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth,” he replied. “Attorneys on a very important case that he might be a witness for.”
“We called earlier and set up a meeting,” Edgeworth snapped.
“Top floor,” the secretary stated promptly. “You can find the elevators over to the right and down the hall.” Then she went back to filing her nails. Phoenix let out a sigh and suppressed the urge to roll his eyes.
“Thank you,” he replied instead. Then he started off towards the direction the secretary had indicated. He had gone several feet before he suddenly realized that his footsteps were the only ones he could hear. Confused, he turned around to see that Edgeworth was not following him, rooted to the spot where he had been.
“You go on ahead, Wright,” Edgeworth called to him. “I think I’ll look for the stairs and meet you up there.”
“Are you crazy?” Wright asked, walking back over to him. “That would take you all day! And you’d probably die before you reached the top anyway!”
He suddenly realized, now that he was closer, that Edgeworth was as white as a ghost. He was shivering slightly, and he had his arms wrapped tightly around himself. Looking at him made Phoenix remember Edgeworth’s crippling fear of elevators. Because of the events where his father was murdered, his friend had been afraid of elevators and earthquakes.
Miles was avoiding eye contact with him, and he looked to be trying hard not to break out into a cold sweat at the mere thought of getting on an elevator. Phoenix couldn’t help but feel a twinge of pity for him, though he tried not to let it show on his face.
“Maybe we could have this secretary call up to him and he could meet us down here,” Phoenix suggested, turning hopefully to the woman.
The secretary had somehow switched from filing her nails to painting them, and hadn’t looked up at all. “Sorry,” she replied, not sounding sorry at all. “Mr. Rich is very busy today and doesn’t have time to come all the way down here. He insisted that when his visitors arrived, they should come up to his office.”
Phoenix flinched, trying not to look at Miles. He could feel his friend stiffen beside him.
“Guess I’m taking the stairs then,” Edgeworth muttered under his breath. Phoenix let out a slightly annoyed sigh.
“Come on, Miles,” he stated, taking him by the arm. “It won’t be that bad. It’ll be over in thirty seconds flat. Then we’ll be on our way.”
Edgeworth was practically dragging his feet as Wright pulled him towards the elevator. He could feel his friend shivering even harder now, but he refused to let go of his arm. Edgeworth would have to face his fears eventually, and it looked like now was the time.
“Can’t I just stay here?” Edgeworth asked, still attempting to struggle out of his grip.
“The judge told us that we both had to check this guy out, remember?” Phoenix responded. His friend hissed swear words under his breath, giving up his attempts to try and pull out of his grasp. Phoenix still kept a tight grip on him, just in case it was a ruse.
They made it to the elevators after that with very little incident. It was getting on the elevator that was going to be the tricky part. As they waited for the elevator to arrive, Edgeworth kept trying to walk away, completely forgetting in his nervousness that Wright was still hanging onto his arm. Phoenix would pull him back to his side with an annoyed look on his face as soon as he felt the familiar tug of Edgeworth trying to escape.
Then the elevator finally arrived, and that made hanging onto Edgeworth even harder. When the doors opened, Edgeworth grabbed onto a nearby banister and refused to let go. They had a long, silent and furious tug-of-war, with Wright already half way in the elevator.
Eventually, and I do mean eventually, Wright managed to shove Edgeworth into the elevator and close the door before he could escape. But it took way more effort than it should have, and neither of them looked too happy about the ordeal.
The interior of the elevator was made of some sort of metallic looking surface, with handrails winding around at waist-height. A plush carpet of a deep forest green covered the floor, while the lights were simple strip lights.
The button for the top floor was the largest and flashiest looking. Phoenix pressed it quickly once he got his breath back and positioned himself in a way so that Edgeworth couldn’t bolt out the doors. He didn’t relax until the doors fully closed and he felt the slight jolt as the elevator began to move.
“This place has been surprisingly empty for a large company,” Phoenix commented casually. “There weren’t that many people in the lobby.”
Edgeworth didn’t speak and instead shifted so he could firmly grasp the handrail and stare blankly at the wall. He was looking worse now that he was actually on the elevator. He was breathing heavily and he refused to look at Wright.
“Come on, it’s not that bad,” Wright sighed, walking over and putting a hand on his shoulder. “The elevator breaking down was a one-time thing. You just happened to be on one when an earthquake struck. It could have happened to anyone.”
“That whole thing killed my father,” Edgeworth hissed at him, shrugging off his hand. “And it drove an innocent man to murder over it. But I wouldn’t expect you to understand any of that. You could never understand.”
Wright drew back as though he had been bitten. He was about to say something to defend himself, but there was a sudden lurch and they both staggered.
“What was that?” Edgeworth gasped, panic filling his voice.
“Relax, it’s probably just stopping at a floor to let someone on,” Phoenix soothed him.
The lights flickered. Then the elevator lurched again.
“Is that supposed to happen?” Miles asked, a hint of sarcasm in his voice. Phoenix didn’t answer right away. It didn’t feel like an earthquake. What was going on?
The elevator lurched once more, then stopped completely. Edgeworth’s grip tightened on the handrail and Wright lost his balance. Then, horrifyingly, the lights went out and the two of them were plunged into darkness.
So, the elevator went out and this is basically Edgeworth’s worse nightmare. Again. Let’s see how he reacts to this. Enjoy Part Two.
An emergency light went on, filling the space with an earie red.
Even then Phoenix could see how pale Edgeworth had gone. His friend had fallen to the floor and was curled up in the corner of the elevator. He was shivering badly and was clutching his own arms in way that looked like he was trying to crush them. Phoenix could feel himself breaking out into a cold sweat.
“What just happened?” he wondered, breaking the silence.
Before Edgeworth could reply, a crackling, disinterested voice came from above them, possibly from a hidden speaker.
“Our apologies, we appear to be having a power outage,” the voice said. “We will try our best to fix it as soon as possible and get you out of there. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Edgeworth let out a groan, closing his eyes and pressing his forehead against the smooth walls. Phoenix sighed with defeat and slowly slid to the ground. Well, this was just perfect. And after he had just finished saying they had nothing worry about too.
“I’m sorry, Miles,” Phoenix said softly. Edgeworth glanced over at him.
“For what?” he wondered.
“I’m just sorry that this had to happen to you again,” the defense attorney explained. “I shouldn’t have pushed you like that.”
“There was no possible way you could have known,” Edgeworth pointed out. “Although this wouldn’t have happened if we had taken the stairs.”
“And I still say you would have died long before you even got half-way,” Wright asserted. Edgeworth narrowed his eyes briefly at him before going back to staring at the wall. “We’re going to be ok, Miles. We just have to not panic.”
“You’re too late for that, Wright,” Edgeworth muttered under his breath.
Phoenix thought for a moment. His only concern was keeping his friend from having a panic attack, and that meant keeping him calm. He already looked like he was on the verge of fainting. Maybe he could distract him somehow?
“I’m thinking of a number between one and two hundred,” he decided on. Edgeworth gave him a look.
“Is this really the best time for that?” he wondered.
“I think now is the perfect time for it,” Phoenix pointed out. Edgeworth rolled his eyes before glancing down at the floor.
“High or low?” he asked.
“Low,” Wright answered with a smirk.
“Not that low!”
Edgeworth thought for a moment. “Is it less than ninety?”
“Higher than fifty?”
Phoenix blinked in shock at him. He had figured it out. He could tell. “Yes.”
“Could it possibly be sixty-two?” Edgeworth asked, a hint of a smirk showing. Phoenix grinned at him.
“How did you know?” he wondered.
“Because for some reason you were obsessed with that number when we were children,” Edgeworth recalled. “Whenever we played that game in school, you always picked that number. I never understood why.”
“Because it’s a funny number to say,” Phoenix replied, his grin getting wider. “Sixty-two.”
“You’ve been watching too many cartoons, Wright,” Edgeworth stated, a small smile appearing on his lips.
“It’s your turn to think of something,” Wright pointed out.
“Oh, I already have something in mind.”
Phoenix stared in surprise at him for a moment before thinking it over. He had a feeling that Edgeworth was not thinking of a number.
“Animal, plant, mineral or object?” He asked him after a moment.
“Animal,” Edgeworth replied.
“Hmm… is it a mammal?”
“Is it a small animal?”
“Not normally, no.”
“So, a large animal?”
“It depends on what you mean by large,” Edgeworth pointed out. “Large can mean a number of things, depending on what you’re comparing it to. An ant can be large compared to a single-celled microorganism.”
Wright rolled his eyes. Miles could never just give him a simple answer, could he?
“Ok, is it as large as a great white shark?” he asked instead.
“Depends on where you find it.”
Phoenix stared at him. “What is that supposed to mean?” he asked, narrowing his eyes at him. Edgeworth didn’t reply right away, and instead tapped his temple with a familiar smug look on his face. Phoenix hated and loved that look at the same time.
“You’re never going to get it,” Edgeworth taunted. “You’re not asking the right questions.”
“Oh, I’m not, am I?” Phoenix hissed. Edgeworth cocked an eyebrow at him. He certainly seemed calmer now, almost like he had actually forgotten that the two of them were trapped in an elevator. “Is it a type of fish?” he wondered.
“But it can be as big as a shark?”
“It depends on who you ask.”
“Why have you been acting so weird?”
That was the next question that spilled out of Wright’s mouth, and he instantly regretted it. He had meant to ask another question about this mystery animal, but this is what he had blurted out instead.
Edgeworth’s eyes widened and he stared over at him in surprise. Phoenix was glad he was already sitting on the floor, because he was certain that his legs wouldn’t have been able to hold him up. They were both silent for a long moment, both of them just staring at each other.
“Wh-What do you mean?” Miles stammered.
“You’ve been acting weird ever since this case began,” Phoenix pointed out. “You won’t look me in the eye, you’ve been avoiding me, you barely speak, even in the courtroom.”
“So?” Edgeworth snapped. “My behavior is my own affairs. If I wanted to tell you about it, I would have done so already.”
Phoenix let out a sigh and carefully stood up. He tried to ignore the shaking of the elevator as he moved and he made his way over to Edgeworth, who was beginning to shiver and sweat again. His friend flinched with every step he took, but he eventually made it to his side.
“What’s been going on, Miles?” he asked, sitting down next to him and putting a hand on his shoulder. Edgeworth narrowed his eyes at him. “Is…is it my fault?”
Edgeworth let out a reluctant sigh. “Of course, it’s not,” he replied after a moment. “But it’s not something I want to discuss with you.”
“Why not?” Phoenix asked. “Why won’t you tell me?”
“It’s none of your business,” Edgeworth said, not looking at him. Phoenix wished he had brought his magatama with him, because there was definitely something wrong with Edgeworth, and he was sure that it did have something to do with him. Not that it mattered, he didn’t really have any evidence against him anyway.
“Are you sure?” he asked. “Because you’re my friend and I actually care about you. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong, you know.”
“Who said I want you to help me?” Edgeworth hissed at him. Wright pulled back slightly in shock. He certainly didn’t expect that answer.
“I thought you would have trusted me by now,” he muttered. “Especially after all we’ve been through together.” Edgeworth flinched at his words, but didn’t speak. “I don’t understand you sometimes. You’ve been so cold and distant lately, I don’t know what to think.”
“I do trust you,” Edgeworth said in a low voice. “Just not with this.”
“Not with what?” Phoenix wondered.
But, frustratingly, Miles chose not to answer and instead turned his head away from him. Phoenix let out a sigh of annoyance. Why did Edgeworth have to always be like this? Act like he didn’t care about him or anyone else?
“You can’t avoid me forever,” Phoenix hissed. “Especially now. And even if they get this elevator up and running, I have half a mind to keep you in here until you talk to me.”
“Phoenix,” Edgeworth groaned. “Why do you have to be so stubborn?”
“Why do you have to be so stubborn?” Phoenix shot back. Edgeworth narrowed his eyes at him before slowly and carefully standing up, trying not to shake the elevator. Without looking down at Phoenix, he slowly shuffled to the other corner of the elevator, pressing himself against the wall. Wright let out a sigh and also stood.
“I really don’t get you, Miles,” he said softly. “I really don’t. Why won’t you talk to me?”
Edgeworth didn’t answer, or even look at him. His breathing had started to become labored again, and even in the dark red light, Phoenix could see that he was shivering. He cautiously made his way towards him.
“Come on, Miles,” Phoenix pleaded. “What’s wrong?”
Edgeworth let out a long, frustrated sigh.
“You’re just going to make me say it, aren’t you?” he growled. Wright blinked at him in confusion.
“Say what?” he wondered. Edgeworth closed his eyes, shaking his head in defeat.
“You’re so clueless, Wright,” he sighed. “It’s one of the many things I love about you.”
It took a good five or six seconds for his words to sink in before Wright suddenly realized what he had said. He blinked in shock at him.
“Wait, what?” was all he said.
Edgeworth didn’t reply, but instead took Phoenix by the shoulders, leaned forward and kissed him gently. All of Phoenix’s shock immediately evaporated and he kissed him back, wrapping his arms around the prosecutor’s waist.
They stood there kissing for a long while, completely forgetting about anything around them. They both even seemed to forget that they were still trapped in an elevator, they were so wrapped up into each other.
Eventually though, Edgeworth broke off the kiss and pulled back slightly to look at Wright, who was staring back at him wide-eyed. He was still breathing heavily, but he had stopped trembling, at least.
“I love you, Phoenix,” Edgeworth breathed, breaking the silence. Phoenix let out a gentle laugh, pressing his forehead to his.
“You could have just said that,” he muttered affectionately. “Because I’m in love with you too.” Edgeworth’s eyes widened with surprise.
“R-really?” he asked. Phoenix grinned at him.
“Ever since we took down Von Karma together,” he replied. “Why do you think I was so angry when you left without telling me? It broke my heart, you know.”
“I’ll try not to do that in the future then,” Edgeworth replied, his expression softening. “I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you.”
Phoenix grinned and leaned forward, kissing him again. Their arms tightened around each other as they deepened the kiss. They didn’t stop this time until the lights suddenly flooded back on and there was a lurch as the elevator sprang back to life. Wright blinked at the sudden brightness and looked over at Edgeworth.
“Looks like they finally fixed it,” he said, a note of disappointment in his voice.
“It seems so,” Edgeworth agreed with a sigh of relief. Neither of them let go of each other as the elevator began moving once more. “It was a phoenix, by the way,” Edgeworth said suddenly. Wright blinked in surprise at him.
“What was?” he wondered.
“The animal I had in mind,” the prosecutor replied. “It was a phoenix.”
The defense attorney let out a laugh and finally released him. “You’re so cheesy, Miles,” he laughed. A small smile worked its way onto Edgeworth’s mouth.
“You were never going to get it,” he stated matter-of-factly.
“That’s not fair,” Phoenix replied, still trying to contain his laughter. “I think you were cheating! You said that it was an animal!”
“I never said that the animal was real,” Edgeworth pointed out, still smiling.
“You got me,” Phoenix conceded, righting himself. He went over and took Edgeworth’s hand as the elevator dinged, signaling that it had finally reached the top floor. He gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Now let’s go get this son of a bitch,” he declared.
“I love you,” Edgeworth said in a soft voice.
“I love you too,” Phoenix replied. And they stepped off the elevator together.