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Memories To Chew On

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Got to sing with Master Jeff and the lovely Kate, while investigating with Mister Edgeworth! A dream-come-true…
Case not looking good, however. What to do when most evidence points to defendant?
Mister Edgeworth still optimistic about the case.

Raymond tore up the page and chewed on it thoughtfully.
If he was honest with himself, this whole case was a wonder.

First, Mister Edgeworth had agreed for him to follow the investigation. He’d witnessed quite a few trials, but it was the first time he got the full experience of meeting defendants and investigating a crime scene.
It should have been chilling (it was, actually, when he put his mind to it and remembered that someone had been killed in the very room filled with amazingly delicious looking treats exposed in the most epic way), but he couldn’t help but feel satisfied when the paper of the memo turned to paste in his mouth.

Second, he got to meet one of his heroes, Jeffrey Master—Master Jeff! This was amazing. He even managed to sing along with him, and to get Mister Edgeworth and the guard into the song. Quite an achievement, if only it hadn’t happened at the detention center…

Raymond sighed and swallowed what remained of the lump of paper.

What a weird day so far.

*

Von Karma seems like an asshole. Case looking worse and worse. Evidence disappearing before our eyes. Kate as adorable as ever. And her chocolate is just as sweet as her. Lucky I got to experience it, along with her tea. Wonder if Mister Edgeworth would let me stay in touch with her…

The case was growing scarier and scarier, somehow. Prosecutor Manfred Von Karma was terrifying, Detective Badd was… a bit strange, if sometimes still helpful, and despite Mister Edgeworth’s confidence in the innocence of their client, Ray felt ill at ease with the whole situation.
Something was very wrong, in the crease in the brow of the man he looked up to, in the wicked (bloodthirsty) smile the opposing prosecutor offered them every time they met, in the almost off-tune song Master Jeff served them when they met him again.

At least Raymond had convinced Mister Edgeworth to have young Miles watch Piece of Cake. It warmed his heart to know he’d been able to indirectly bring something to the Edgeworth family—witnessing Gregory Edgeworth rambling about his son, opening up about his concerns or sharing ideas on how to make his eyes shine…
…sometimes Raymond wished his father cared as much as Mister Edgeworth cared for his son.

Ray winced at the thought of his family and quickly discarded it before tearing up the page.

He meticulously chewed on it while wondering what to make of it all—family situations, sketchy cases, dubious prosecutors and his path as a defense attorney.

*

Von Karma is an asshole, full stop. As if Kate’s story wasn’t tragic enough, he’s now trying to pin the blame on her?
She’s so strong through this whole ordeal, and she doesn’t look older than me!
Should I try and find this Pierre Hoquet she seems to like so much and get her something to cheer up? Wonder how much it would cost… Sculptor seems famous, but I know nothing of art.
Still…
No parents, losing her home, being blamed for a crime she didn’t do…
I hope nothing ever happens like this to the people around me…

Raymond Shields stared at the page of his old notebook he had uncovered from boxes he’d left forgotten for as much time as he could.
He felt a lump in his throat. Some memos were more bitter to swallow than others, and this one was such a tough piece that he had given up on it, leaving it intact instead of munching on it as usual.
Maybe he just didn’t want to remember.

Taking over a Laws Office at not even twenty because the mentor who trained you had died a tragic death shouldn’t be a thing.
Having to wear his hat as a commemoration because even the son of said mentor seemed to have lost his way shouldn’t be a thing.
Having to confront said son who’d become a monster trained by the very cause of a great man’s death should have never been a thing.

As much as Raymond Shields loved his life as a defense attorney, he may probably never overcome how painful this whole ordeal had been.

Visiting Master Jeff with Kate for so long, and bonding over it, should have been a dream come true. If only it hadn’t been in such tragic circumstances. If only Kate hadn’t been a sobbing mess every time they left the prison.

After a while Ray couldn’t take it anymore and went overseas for a while, to try and find reasons to stay on this path—that was when he lost contact with Kate, who’d grown so famous in the meantime.
Sometimes, they’d still cross paths in the prison, but would have a harder time talking, barely trading awkward hello’s and how are you’s that rang wrong in his ears.

Raymond sighed and put the old notebook away, focusing instead on the new paper he had found by chance.
So Kate had finally managed to buy Master’s Manor, uh?

Well.

Some things were harder to forgive than others, he pondered while looking at the pamphlet for the Zodiac Art Gallery’s grand opening.
Some things like a crime that was never resolved, and a son who lost his father.
He straightened his former mentor’s hat on his head, and decidedly headed for the prosecutor’s office.

*

I don’t like where this is going.
I don’t like what all the evidence is pointing at.

Chewing on paper to remember was a habit he’d lost throughout the years, instead focusing on finding comfort in the arms of strangers there or then—in the literal meaning of the sentence. It was weirdly addicting, being able to embrace someone in a sense of proximity, arms against arms for a brief moment of respite, a breath of fresh air in the middle of the tempest that is life.
Most people didn’t find it weirdly addicting, though.
Most people seemed to find it plain weird.
Raymond still asked from time to time—for the sake of it.
When he saw Katherine Hall at the gallery, he almost offered—but something kept him at bay this time.
There was something just too strong, too loaded between them.
He didn’t dare.

Most of his observations remained in his head instead of on the paper, now, and he liked it this way. Raymond prided himself in his acute sense of reading people, and yet Gregory’s son kept surprising him with how sharp he could be.
It should have been no surprise, considering how talented his father was at logic, but it was still a comfort to find out that Von Karma hadn’t trampled on everything that had made Miles an Edgeworth.
Raymond had probably nothing to do in all this, but he couldn’t help but feel pride when he saw the new Mister Edgeworth uncover the whole, terrible truth.

Sweet, caring Kate had committed a monstrosity in the name of a daughter’s love for her adoptive father, to finally prove Mister Master not guilty, only to be found guilty herself.

When he came back from his (flying away) studying from abroad, Raymond Shields had a new understanding of what being a defense attorney meant.
It was more than trusting someone to be innocent and defending them to the end.
Sometimes, it was trusting someone to be guilty, and still showing compassion towards them no matter what, because no one may have tried to understand before. Even the guilty needed defense, someone to rely on, someone to listen to them.
Raymond Shields liked to believe that he was good at listening and defending.

At least, he hoped he was, when he offered to defend Katherine Hall.

*

I wonder how many people can say they visit their teenage crush in prison for Christmas.
It’s been over six months and Master Jeff and I have been taking turns visiting Kate. It hurts, seeing her behind bars, but at least it ended up intended murder in her case and she had a lot of circumstances surrounding it. It will only be six more months for her.
Sometimes I wonder if I would be so lenient for any other prisoner I defended, or if she really holds a special place in my heart.
It seems like I do hold a special place in hers at least. During one of the cooking workshops Mister Master set up in prison, she remembered my old ways of taking notes and took it upon herself to make me this sugar-paste notebook and chocolate-ink filled pen. It’s so delicate, and yet it’s functional. It doesn’t even melt in my hand.
These two really are dessert geniuses.

I still feel sorry young Miles never seemed to enjoy Piece of Cake as much as I did, and I would be lying if I said I’m not disappointed that he chose to remain a prosecutor in the end. But I’m still proud of him, and I’m sure Gregory is too.
Maybe I’ll give him the hat someday as a memento…

 Ray nibbled at the end of the chocolate-filled pen he was holding, only to find out that the rubber part of it was, in fact, vanilla flavored.

…nah.

He skimmed the words on the pages, the closure of over eighteen years of pain, loss, grief, anger, and searching his own way, and pondered.

Despite the bitterness of the images that filled him as he took it all in (lost father figure, guilt, beloved people behind bars, betrayal, and a Laws Office that would probably never welcome the one who bore the actual name of the office), this memo would surely be the sweetest of all.

He tore the sugar-paste page delicately, the chocolate ink having completely dried by now, and crammed it in his mouth.

Ah, yes.
Sweet and sour.
His favorite.

He’d have to thank Katie-pie during his next visit.
Maybe with a hug?