1 I Still Miss You


In honor NaruMayo day, 09/5/2016 and us now being in the official AA Timeline, this triad with ThePudz and Yanmegaman is a special tribute to Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey!
Takes place post-Dual Destinies and reunites these two dorks for the first time … in EIGHT YEARS?! Nick better have one HELL of an excuse for ghosting on her … because Maya can’t STAND even hearing his name uttered now! Uh-oh! Can Pearl and Trucy, Ace Matchmakers, get these two old pals to reunite or will their efforts go up in smoke?!


JP: A reader of ours Eveshowrtc, referred to me and fellow talented FF writers Punny Man and Violent Little Freak in one of his wonderful reviews as the Yatagarasu of FF, so I embraced my role as the Kay Faraday of the trio, along with my pals Yanny and Pudzy for this 3-parter in commemoration of September 5, 2016 – aka Phoenix and Maya Day! Enjoy!

Yanmegaman: Even in the depths of night, when no other bird dares to take flight, one alone soars to shine the light of righteousness on the world’s blight! And that one is me! For I am the Great Thief, Yatagarasu!

All kidding aside, it’s awesome to be working with my two best buds and amazing authors, JP and thepudz! JP’s already setting the bar pretty high, hopefully my chapter will be able to do the characters and my friend some Justice!

ThePudz: It is I, thepudz, AKA the Violent Little Freak! I am so happy to be working on a story with the two author’s who INSPIRED me to write, and hell, they still do! It really is an honor to be apart of this project, and we hope that you all love this as much as we have! Up first is an amazing chapter from the spectacular author herself, JordanPhoenix. Enjoy!

Fey Manor – July 23, 2027

“Mystic Maya! I’m famous!” Shrieked 18-year-old Pearl Fey, at an ear-splitting decibel that would have surely wakened all the residents of Kurain, had the entire female village not already been up since dawn and either meditating or working on some sort of spiritual training. “Have you seen this morning’s paper? I’m on the front page!

Maya Fey glanced up from her desk, where she had been going over some paperwork, and smiled indulgently into the glowing face of the young girl who’d had just burst into her office, her cheeks flushed with excitement as she waved the newspaper under the village leader’s nose.

“Make sure you don’t let your newfound fame get your head, Pearly!” She quipped, her dark eyes dancing with mirth as she took a gander at the image splashed on the cover of the Los Angeles Tribune.

The photo showed the Master’s beaming cousin, her hands coyly clasped to her cheeks, sandwiched between two pretty redheads. The one on Pearl’s left wore her long, titian tresses in a side ponytail, flashing a cheeky smile and a peace symbol to the camera. The other girl, on Pearl’s right, had a shorter head of hair, upon which she wore a pirate hat, and wore a cropped top, with a pink star patch over one eye. The scene-stealer, of course, was the beyond adorable orca in the aquarium behind them, sporting a pink star patch that was identical to the pirate girl’s, looking as though it were waving at the camera with one of its huge flippers!

“Will you look at that!” Maya beamed with pride. “Sounds like you were quite the big help for this case, sweetie! I’m so proud of you!”

Nothing Fishy Here! The headline read. Shipshape Aquarium Murder Mystery Solved by Wright Anything Agency!

Maya sniggered at the shameless pun and shook her head, a broad grin stretched across her features as she continued to read.

In bold letters, on the bottom of the photo, it read: Legendary Ace Attorney, and head defense counsel, Phoenix Wright, says Wright Anything Agency had “A Whale of Time!” See page 3 for the swashbuckling information detailing this ton of fun story – his very first case since reclaiming his legal badge!

The smile slowly faded from the village leader’s pretty face as she finally noticed the fourth person in the picture, who was smiling awkwardly at the camera, obviously trying to mask their slight trepidation, while comically standing as far away from the endearing killer whale as possible!

Although it had been eight years since Maya had set eyes on that familiar face, it was forever seared into her heart and mind. The lead defense counsel was none other than Phoenix Wright, who in another lifetime, had otherwise been known to her, and would forever remain, till the end of her days, as simply: Nick.

For the love of Mystic Ami, even with that weird stray curl hanging over your forehead now, Nick, you haven’t aged one bit since the day I met you!  Which, incidentally, in about six weeks, will be eleven years ago… not that I’m counting or anything…

Phoenix Wright… her former boss and best friend, whose first case since regaining his badge after losing it for seven years had made the news headlines, bringing his new agency into its surely deserved spotlight. Seeing his face again, even in print, resurfaced a slew of memories, most bittersweet, if not downright painful.

Phoenix Wright… the man who had been her dearest confidant, hero, and protector for the three years she had worked as his assistant since her beloved sister’s murder. The man for whom she had made several sacrifices as well, and had thought would be in her life forever.

Phoenix Wright….her sole object of unrequited affection. The very man who had first claimed her heart without even knowing it…and then shattered it into a million pieces ever since April 19, 2019 – the tragic day when he had been falsely disbarred. Right afterward, in the manner of that dorky Superman curl now occupying his forehead, he’d decided to eject Maya from his life faster than a speeding bullet! He’d virtually disappeared from the face of the earth and ignored all her calls and messages, not even responding any sort of acknowledgment to the several Steel Samurai DVDs she’d sent to the hospital when he had gotten hit by a car the year before reclaiming his badge.

The agony of that particular dismissal had nearly destroyed her. Nevertheless, her foolish heart still couldn’t let him go.

After all this time, I still miss you every day, Nick.

Without warning, tears stung the back of her eyes, which she quickly blinked away as she turned the paper face down, as though it were offensive, and flashed her cousin a strained smile.

“Why does Nick look so nervous around that friendly-looking creature, Pearly?”

“Probably because he doesn’t want another kiss from Orla!” The teen’s gray eyes sparkled with merriment. “Mr. Nick knows it would just knock him flat on his bum – again!

“Nick never did have much luck with animals. When we went to England, Barnham’s puppy, Constantine, took great delight in attempting to make a constant snack out of that bum of his!” A doleful smile played on Maya’s lips at the memory, followed by several other poignant ones, which were too much to bear at that moment.

Turning away, she made a big show of rummaging around in her desk drawers, attempting to appear busier than she actually was, to avoid the teen’s sympathetic eyes; the intuitive Pearl had always been able to read her like a book! Making sure her face was out of sight as she ducked her head down into files, Maya feigned nonchalance as she asked the loaded $64,000 question.

“It’s great Nick is back on his feet and that the two of you had such a lovely reunion, Pearly. Er, how did he seem to you? He didn’t mention me at all, did he?”

“Well…” Pearl murmured apologetically, biting her thumb. “Not exactly…”

Oh.” Maya’s shoulders slumped.

Pearl winced. Never before had the teen heard so much dejection in one short, monosyllable word.

“But he was really busy at the time, and was taken aback by seeing me after so long!” The spirit medium added quickly, hating to be the cause of her dear cousin’s pain, even unintentionally. It was glaringly obvious this conversation was upsetting the village leader. “But there was no weirdness whatsoever between us, considering the last time he saw me, I was just a kid! We picked up right where we left off… As though no time had passed at all!”

She stared pointedly at her cousin, who had given up on trying to keep her visage hidden in the desk compartments, and had finally, with great reluctance, lifted her head back up to meet the teen’s steady gaze.

“He seemed happy enough, but I still felt like something was missing, something that wasn’t quite the same as when I saw him last. I know seeing me reminded him of you, whether he asked about you or not, Mystic Maya! I’m positive it would make his day if you were to give him a call and congratulate him about getting his badge back…”

“Stop right there, Pearly.” Maya held up her hand, halting her cousin midsentence.

“But Mystic Maya…listen to me!” The acolyte insisted. “If Mr. Nick and I were able to pick up right where we left off, surely it’d be the same for the two of you! I’m downright certain that if you just phoned him up…”

“I did phone him Pearly. Many, many times over the years.” Maya’s voice trembled with emotion. “I phoned him, texted him, emailed him, even sent him that care package when he ended up in the hospital last year… And he never replied to me even once. He’s made his choice – he doesn’t want me around anymore, and he’s moved on with his life. That beautiful young woman in yellow he’s working with is evidence of that!”

“You can’t possibly mean Athena!” Pearl gasped in horror. “Eweth! Mystic Maya, that’s sick! Athena calls him “Boss,” and she’s only 18! Plus, she’s an employee of his, but that’s all she is! Besides, Apollo told me she’s dating this weirdo college student with even girlier lashes than hers…some college student, Wesley Stickler!”

“Well, if your boyfriend says as much, then it must be true.” Maya turned away so Pearl wouldn’t see her pained expression. “But that still doesn’t change the fact that –”

“Mr. Nick is not dating Athena! In fact, he’s not seeing anybody, otherwise, Apollo would’ve told me!” Pearl stared pleadingly at the Master. “So now that you don’t have that as an excuse, there’s no reason why you can’t contact him again…”

Maya hated herself for feeling so relieved upon hearing the news of Phoenix’s apparent single status, and that the busty redhead from the photo was not a contender for his heart, but still shook her head stubbornly.

“No, Pearly. Enough is enough,” she stated in her best no-nonsense voice. “I could even forgive him for going undercover like a mole when he lost his badge because he was ashamed of what happened to him. However, he’s had his name cleared for almost a year now! Moreover, he’s been restored to his former glory and is back in the legal game, even better than ever, so what’s his excuse for not keeping in touch now?!

“But Mystic Maya…”

“I need to get started with my training for today.” Maya rose from her seat and swiftly strode past the anguished girl. “I need to make sure that I’m fully prepared for the grueling rituals I’m sure to be succumbed to when I go visit the Kingdom of Khura’in in a few months.”

With that, she promptly left the room leaving a frustrated and saddened Pearl Fey in her wake.

She still loves him, I know she does! The teen thought to herself with determination. I don’t need to have a magatama in order to determine that! There’s got to be a way to get these guys face-to-face again… I know once they set eyes on each other, they’ll remember why I never stopped seeing them as each other’s Special Someone – Always have and I always will! And I know just the person who can help me out with this!

Chief Prosecutor’s Office – July 24, 2027


“Remember, we cannot tell Cody or Apollo about this plan!” Pearl reminded Trucy she and her best friend walked into the office building. “They would just tell us that we shouldn’t stick our noses in somebody else’s business, or something stupid like that!”

“Yeah, we truly have the world’s most unromantic boyfriends!” Phoenix’s daughter rolled her eyes comically. “Do you know that for Valentine’s Day, Cody gave me tickets to The Steel Samurai on Ice?! He might a teenager now, but he’s still the same Samurai-loving dorky kid he was when my Daddy first met him!”

Lame!” Pearl wrinkled her pert nose. “Although still nowhere near as lame as Apollo getting me voice coaching lessons with a Chords of Steel instructor for my birthday!”

“You’ve gotta be kidding me!” The magician nearly doubled over laughing. “Polly got you that?!”

“He told me I’m too soft-spoken, and my vocals could use a little bit more forceful command!” Pearl tried to look annoyed, but her lips still twitched into a smile as she remembered the incident. “I responded by rolling up my sleeve and reminding him that I don’t merely use just my voice to make my point! Luckily he got the point, and ended up taking me out to a nice restaurant right afterward!”

“I’m glad to hear Polly’s not as hopeless as I think he is!” Trucy tittered. “Gosh, boys are so dumb sometimes!”

“Luckily ours are cute!” Pearl giggled. “Isn’t that why we put up with them?”

“Speaking of dumb boys, between you and me, I don’t think it’s gonna last very long with Athena and that pervy panty-snatcher!” Trucy confided. “And for the record, I can’t say that I’m not overjoyed to hear that she’s probably gonna kick that creeper to the curb! She wasn’t very impressed when he bought her a set of encyclopedia books for their one-month anniversary to “improve her knowledge of the world” and the issues which he deemed to be particularly relevant!”

Encyclopedias?” Pearl clapped a hand over her mouth to smother her derisive snort. “Maybe he should have just saved his money to have bought a clue instead!”

The snickering teens sobered up quickly as they approached their destination at last, and Trucy timidly knocked on the heavy wooden door of office number 1202.

“Who’s there?” A deep baritone with the slightest influx of British intonation called out.

“Uncle Miles?” The magician hesitantly poked her head in. “It’s me …and Pearly. Do you have a minute?’

“I suppose I can spare a moment since you’re both already here,” the Chief prosecutor deadpanned as the girls entered the office, the glint of amusement in his smoke-colored eyes belying his words. Despite his aloof exterior, the teens knew Miles Edgeworth was secretly a big softy underneath it all, which was exactly the trait they were hoping to capitalize on with this visit.

“Long time no see, Uncle Miles!” Trucy chirped, greeting him by tipping her magician hat at him in customary fashion. “It’s been forever since I’ve seen you!”

“Indeed,” he drawled, trying hard not to smile. “The seven days it’s been since I last saw your show with The Wonder Bar has seemed like ages, to me too, I assure you.”

“Hi, Mr. Eh-ji-worth.” Pearl waved timidly. “Long time no see. Um, for real.”

“Not since the bombing case last year.” The charcoal-haired man leaned back in his leather wingback chair, his normally stern countenance filled with atypical warmth at spotting the spirit medium. “This truly is a most pleasant surprise. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

“What makes you think I need to have a reason?” Trucy affected her most angelic expression while Pearl assumed her most benign smile. “How do you know I just didn’t feel like saying hello to my favorite Uncle?”

“Trucy, you are every bit the bluffer your father is, but nowhere near as skilled!” The magenta-clad man smirked and tapped his temple. “I know you way too well. Let’s cut right to the chase, shall we? What made my two favorite teenagers decide to barge in on me in the middle of the workday?”

Pearl gulped. She hadn’t realized just how transparent the motives for their impromptu visit would appear right out of the gate, and she was uncertain how to respond. Obviously, beating around the bush wouldn’t get them anywhere! Perhaps they should simply throw themselves at the mercy of the only person who could possibly help bring their plan to fruition.

“It’s about Mystic Maya,” she blurted out helplessly.

“Miss Fey?” Immediately, the prosecutor’s forehead furrowed with concern at the mention of his old friend. “Is everything alright with her?”

“Well yes…” The spirit medium replied carefully as at the same time Trucy shouted, “No!”

Edgeworth cocked a well-groomed brow as both girls regarded each other sheepishly.

This is going just great! Pearl groaned to herself. Maybe Trucy and I should have rehearsed this part first!

Trucy gently gave her friend’s arm a slight squeeze, cautioning that she was going to be the one to answer now.

“Maya is perfectly fine physically, as is my Daddy,” she confirmed, bouncing slightly on her heels. “It’s just that she’s been miserable without him all these years, which Pearly can attest to! And I can tell you that even though my Daddy has his badge back now, he still looks like he’s trying to hide some kind of inner sadness, and I just can’t take it anymore! There’s got to be some way we can get those him and Maya to reunite!”

“Those two truly were at their best when they were together,” Edgeworth acknowledged with a sigh. “Unfortunately, Wright, although he won’t admit it, is simply too terrified of an adverse reaction from Miss Fey if he were to contact her now after so much time has passed. Am I correct in assuming that the slighted and mulish Master would also refuse to make another effort, after countless exercises in futility over the years?”

“That’s pretty much it.” Pearl was thankful he understood their plight. “Mystic Maya put her pride aside one final time when Mr. Nick got hit by the car last year, even though he ignored all her previous efforts, and sent him a care package to the hospital. She’s done! And I don’t think we should wait around for him to be in another life or death situation to test the limits of her loyalty to get them reunited!”

“Exactly!” Trucy chimed in, pouting slightly. “At the rate, my Daddy is going right now with his love life, I’m never to have a new Mommy!”

Hold it!” In full courtroom mode now, Edgeworth raised his hand to halt the conversation. “Is that what this is all about? The two of you attempting to play Cupid with Miss Fey and Wright?”

“I don’t know if I would call it playing Cupid per se…” Pearl shuffled her feet uncomfortably. “It’s more of actually just wanting to get the two of them in the same room and letting nature take its course …”

“From what Pearly has told me about their history, and from the look on his face every time her name comes up, my Daddy did seem to have a special place in his heart for Maya!” Trucy exclaimed, peering at Edgeworth beseechingly. “Daddy seems so sorrowful and lonely, and you did agree that the two of them were at their best when they were together! So what’s wrong with trying to help make that happen again?”

“As much as I acknowledge the two of them should be back in touch, I’m certainly not going to condone any meddling efforts to play matchmaker!” Edgeworth shook his head. “I know your hearts are in the right place, girls, but I just can’t see either Miss Fey or Wright excusing this sort of intrusion in their lives.”

“You are so mean, Uncle Miles!” Trucy crossed her arms in a huff. “My Daddy is supposed to be your best friend! Why do you want him to die alone?!”

Edgeworth looked taken aback by this unexpected verbal lash and was struck momentarily speechless.

Attacking the very man we are cajoling for help may not be the best route to go, Truce! Pearl barely resisted the urge to facepalm at her friend’s emotional outburst, and instead affixed the prosecutor with her best puppy dog eyes, (the ones she had inherited from her burger-loving cousin whenever she had historically been begging the perpetually broke Phoenix to take her out for hamburgers), as she sidled up to one side of his chair.

Pretty please, Mr. Eh-ji-worth?” She begged. “Mystic Maya has been so forlorn all these years without Mr. Nick and I’m positive, by what Trucy tells me, that he’s been the same way! They’ve been so hopelessly lost without one another…” Inspiration suddenly struck her. “In the same way, I’m sure Miss Franziska felt when you vanished and left behind that farewell note, which made her, along with everybody else, think you were dead…”

“Yes well….” Edgeworth coughed uncomfortably at the reminder. “Franziska and I are married now, so that’s all water under the bridge…”

“That’s right!” Trucy came up on his other side, her expression pleading. “Daddy told me how woeful he was when he thought you were gone for good back then, Uncle Miles!”

“I have since apologized to your father profusely for my actions, Trucy…” he began, but the magician cut him off.

“At least you went and found yourself after only one year!” She sulked. “But even with his badge back, my poor Daddy is still losteight years later!”

“I – that’s most unfortunate to hear…” Edgeworth looked conflicted now, though still not entirely convinced.

Pearl sensed that the prosecutor needed just one more slight nudge to bring him over to their side. Looking behind her at the Steel Samurai figurine in the windowsill behind the desk, an idea slowly formed in her mind, and she flashed her best friend a surreptitious wink as she decided how to do a complete turnabout in persuasion tactics. Heck, she hadn’t lived with Phoenix Wright and watched his courtroom shenanigans all those years about picking up something!

“Mystic Maya thinks the world of you, you know.” The spirit medium’s Bambi orbs were solemn. “I think she felt an affinity with you because of your shared obsession with The Steel Samurai, even though you’ve always tried to cover it up and hide it.”

“Miss Fey was, and always shall be very dear to me, as well.” Edgeworth looked decidedly uncomfortable with the turn this conversation had taken. “Although I have no idea where on earth she came up with the ridiculous notion that I was ever was a fan of…”

“An obsession,” Pearl continued ruthlessly, as though he hadn’t spoken. “Which I’m imagining you probably still keep denying, more than ever, especially now with you being a big, important Chief Prosecutor and everything! It’d probably be super embarrassing if anybody ever found out about it, right?”

“That’s enough of this cockamamie conjecture!” Edgeworth looked flat-out agonized now.

Holy Harry Houdini!” Trucy gasped clapped a hand over her mouth. “So that was you who Cody and I saw at the Steel Samurai fan convention he dragged me to last weekend! You made a big stink and refused to let that kid cut in front of you in the line for the Steel Samurai’s autograph, and told him to go wait his turn like everybody else!”

Dammit! I  knew  I should have worn a disguise! What are the odds of me being spotted?! It was all the way in San Francisco after all…wait – she’s bluffing!  She’s got no actual proof!

Objection!” Edgeworth thundered, his face now the same shade as his suit. “You have zero substantiation that it was me!”

Don’t we?” Pearl asked slyly, speedily whipping out her cell phone and snapping a picture of the evidence behind her. “Is that not an autographed cravat hanging around the neck of the figurine here? That says: To Miles – Never fear! Good shall always triumph over evil! May justice always prevail for you!

“And what’s this we have here?” Quicker than the blink of an eye, the sleight-of-hand magician swiped the prosecutor’s datebook and flipped it open to the page bearing his agenda for the next month. “It looks like the Chief Prosecutor’s schedule for the next month! I know somebody that would pay some really good money for the invaluable information of knowing your whereabouts… Daddy told me all about her! You do remember Wendy Oldbag, don’t you, Uncle Miles?”

“There is no way The Wicked Witch of the Witness Stand could still be alive!” The prosecutor visibly paled at the mention of his geriatric stalker. “And even if she were, you girls couldn’t possibly know how to get a hold of her!”

Sure we would.” Trucy blinked innocently. “She’s on Facebook as Number One Edgy-Poo Fan Girl with a shrine of photos of you… Including some really risky ones she somehow took of you in the shower…”

“Ngh!” Edgeworth clapped a hand over his face. “This is unbelievable! I am being blackmailed by Wright’s unofficial former protégés!”

“Does this mean you’ll help us?” Pearl asked hopefully, reverting to her adorable pleading persona as she leaned forward on her side of his chair. “Pretty please?”

Please, Uncle Miles?” Trucy pleaded. “Pretty please, with sugar on top?”

Even worse than a possibility of being found by his insane octogenarian admirer and being a fanboy of a children’s TV show was word getting out about how he was secretly a complete sucker for these two girls.

“Fine!” Edgeworth moaned, knowing when to concede defeat. “The two of you win – count me in… It’s against my better wishes and judgment, and has a very high possibility of blowing up in all of our faces should things go awry, but yes, I’ll help. ”

Yay!” The girls cheered, simultaneously both leaning in from the sides at the same time and each pressing a thankful kiss on the flushed prosecutor’s cheeks. “You’re the best!”

“Yes, yes, I’m absolutely outstanding,” the prosecutor muttered, his face still red from the unanticipated display of affection from the effusive teens.

“Since you’re like a brother to him, if Mystic Maya marries Mr. Nick, can I call you Uncle Miles, too?” Pearl’s doe eyes were earnest. “Just like Trucy does?”

“If it pleases you.” Edgeworth smiled awkwardly. “You could still call me that now, if you wish, Pearl, seeing as how I already consider Maya to be family.”

“That’s OK. I’ll stick with Mr. Eh-ji-worth for now.” The spirit medium flashed a beatific smile. “This way, I have something extra to look forward to!”

Edgeworth’s cheeks reddened further, and he cleared his throat.

“The biggest obstacle we have in orchestrating this plot is that it’s going to require quite a bit of deception on all our parts because there is no way Wright and Miss Fey are going to agree to show up to the same event if each knows the other is going to be there – because he is a complete coward and she is too stubborn!”

I have no idea which one of them to be rooting for! He grumbled silently to himself. Mistakes are always forgivable if one dares to admit them. Since neither is willing to do so, I sit in judgment that they’re both completely immature idiots!

“We’ve already figured that part out!” Trucy beamed, resuming her customary bounce as she headed out the door. “Give your wife a ring, and she’ll explain everything to you!”

“We called up Miss Franziska before we came to see you,” Pearl added, smiling guiltily as she followed her friend. “The whole Steel Samurai blackmail angle was her idea.”

“Swiping your planner and contacting your stalker was entirely mine – my insurance just in case plan A didn’t work – call it last-minute turnabout bluffing if you want.” Trucy shamelessly boasted, sticking her head back in the door at the last minute. “Hey, you don’t get to be Phoenix Wright’s daughter without learning a trick or two of your own to hide up your sleeve!”

Gah!” Edgeworth was rendered speechless now, not only at having been outwitted by not only a couple of teenagers but also by his own wife!

“Check your breast pocket, Uncle Miles,” Trucy winked impishly at the completely flustered prosecutor. “Consider that little present our way of saying thank you. I think you might appreciate it more than I would, anyway. Bye-bye!”

With that, Phoenix’s daughter bounced off, taking her scheming partner in crime with her.

Shaking his head as if to clear it, Edgeworth reached into his pocket, still trying to ascertain exactly when the quick-fingered magician had managed to slip anything in there! The girl really was a professional!

He let out a rueful chuckle at what he produced, and his spirits were buoyed slightly as he then reached for his office phone and dialed his wife’s work number.

“Interpol Offices, Los Angeles. Agent Franziska Edgeworth speaking.”

“Franziska, it’s me.” He grinned at the item in his hand as he leaned back in his chair. “Number one, my apparent die-hard romantic of a wife, I am supposed to consult you about some Master Plan of reuniting a pair of very reluctant lovebirds. And number two, clear your calendar for the 15th of next month – I seem to have suddenly acquired a couple of tickets for The Steel Samurai on Ice.”

The Gatewater Hotel Ballroom – September 5, 2027


“This place sure brings back memories,” Phoenix remarked as the two men exited Edgeworth’s shiny red sports car and walked through the lobby of the hotel, towards the grand party room. “Although I wish more of them were happy! After all, this is where I was with Pearls and Maya when that psycho, Matt Engarde, had that monster Shelly DeKiller, kidnap her.”

“Well, hopefully, today’s festivities will replace all of your disturbing recollections with more pleasant ones,” Edgeworth said easily. “Let’s not look back on things that make us sad, Wright, and instead put on our most festive smiles, in light of the occasion.”

“True. Hey, thanks for bringing me over, Edgeworth. My staff just took off the minute office hours were over, and said they’d meet me here, without even checking if I’d want to share the cab ride down with them!” Phoenix laughed. “It’s all good though. At least I get to show up with the guest of honor. It was really great of Franziska to throw you this congratulatory celebration for being appointed Chief Prosecutor, even if it is almost a year later!”

“Whatever are wives for?” Edgeworth pushed the door open and ushering his friend inside. “I’m quite the lucky man!”

A blast of loud music greeted them from the stage, where a band was playing the Keith Anderson song, “I Still Miss You.”

I’ve talked to friends 
Talked to myself
Talked to god
I prayed like hell
But I still miss you
I tried sober I tried drinkin’
I’ve been strong and I’ve been weak
But I still miss you.
I’ve done everything move on like I’m supposed to
I’d give anything for one more minute with you
I still miss you
I still miss you baby

“Is that Klavier?” Phoenix gasped in disbelief, staring agog at the stage, where the former rock star for the now-defunct band, The Gavinners, Klavier Gavin, was at the microphone. “Or are my eyes playing tricks on me in my old age?!”

“That would be the golden boy!” Edgeworth couldn’t help but smirk at his best friend’s dumbfounded expression. “I commanded him to be here, and seeing as how I am his boss, he couldn’t really refuse, could he?”

Phoenix was still soaking in the room surroundings, so the prosecutor opted to keep mum about the fact that the blond man had actually been quite eager to volunteer his pro-bono live music services, with no coercion needed whatsoever, as he was beyond eager to make reparations for his part in the defense attorney’s disbarring eight years ago.

I never knew til you were gone 
How many pages you were on 
It never ends I keep turning 
And line after line and you are there again 
I don’t know how to let you go 
You are so deep down in my soul 
I feel helpless so hopeless 
Its a door that never closes 
No I don’t know how to do this…

The spiky-haired man felt a lump rising in his throat, the way it always tended to whenever he heard songs that referenced missing somebody dear. The powerful lyrics struck melancholic wave chords through him, more than they normally would have, as he was especially wistful, today of all days. After all, September 5 marked the 11-year anniversary of Mia’s tragic death, as well as the day he’d first met Maya Fey.

I hope someday you can forgive me for ghosting on you, Maya! His heart cried silently. I was too ashamed to face you when I fell from grace. I knew your Master’s reputation would be tarnished to associate with a disgraced attorney, and your village elders would have never approved. I couldn’t let you make such a sacrifice, so sparing you that dilemma was my way of being cruel to be kind. That’s what I kept telling myself. I never forgot you, but by the time I got back on my feet, too much time had passed by. You surely despise me by now…if only you knew I never got over you. How I wish I could tell you, the truth: your face is my heart, Maya Fey, and the love of you is my soul.

As another wave of nostalgia hit him, he looked around the room and was astonished to see nearly everybody he had ever defended or encountered in his entire legal career, included but not limited to:

*A scowling Detective Ema Skye, who was hurling Snackoos at Klavier on the stage while shouting, “Boo! This is supposed to be a party! This song is totally depressing, you stupid glimmerous fop!”

*Edgeworth’s old assistant Kay Faraday, holding hands with a guy sporting a most unfortunate bowl cut, with a cow-lick somehow shaped like a question mark atop his head, prosecutor Sebastian Debeste

*Dick and Maggey Gumshoe, chatting with Franziska by the buffet table

*Angel Starr was nuzzling up to Jake Marshall, who still wore his trademark cowboy hat

*Lana Skye was whispering sweet nothings into the ear of Mike Meekins, who had apparently left his megaphone at home for the occasion

*Larry Butz was not-so-discreetly sucking face with Adrian Andrews in the corner

*A pregnant Dessie Delite was resting her head on the shoulder of her husband Ron, whose cinnamon bun swirly hair remained intact

*Will Powers was feeding hors d’oeuvres to a coquettishly giggling Penny Nichols

*Justine Courtney was linking arms with the broad-shouldered, Detective Tyrell Badd, still in his trademarked bullet-holed trench coat

Aside from the Gumshoes and the Delites, Phoenix marveled how this had to be the most unlikely pairing of Noah’s Ark couples he had ever encountered in his life! Just as he was trying to ascertain which twosome was the most bizarre combination, he glanced over at a table in the corner, and spotted the pink pouf, Jean Armstrong, plant a juicy, wet kiss on none other than Wocky Kitaki! Amazingly, the fox-haired boy didn’t haul off and deck the phony Frenchman for the gesture, but instead, very enthusiastically reciprocated it!

“What in the world?!” Phoenix’s jaw hung open.

“You know how Armstrong did some jail time for his whole part in the fiasco with the restaurant?” Edgeworth explained. “Well Wocky, after his heart surgery, felt like paying it forward when given a second chance at life. He started doing a prison penpal program, to someone that he thought was a woman named Jean… whom he fell in love with during correspondence. When he found out that Jean was technically a manof some sort and not exactly a female, he figured the former chef was close enough to one, and the two of them have been inseparable ever since.”

By the performer platform, Trucy and Cody were fiddling with some sort of enormous banner that stretched from one end of the stage to the other. His daughter blew a kiss at him in greeting, and he was smilingly waving back when he heard a well-known voice behind him, still palpable over the loud music.

“Hey, Mr. Wright.”

The defense attorney turned and found Apollo and Pearl, holding hands.

“Hi, Mr. Nick!” Pearl beamed. “Welcome to your badge-reclaim party!”

What?” The Ace Attorney’s eyes widened. “What do you mean, my party? This is Edgeworth’s shindig!”

Hit it!” Pearl called to Trucy and Cody at the stage, where Klavier had paused in between songs. The magician’s boyfriend pulled a switch, and suddenly, just like in the courtroom, a rainbow of confetti showered down upon the astounded blue attorney, just as the enormous banner lowered to read: Congratulations Phoenix!

“I can’t believe this!” The defense lawyer was both touched and flabbergasted as everyone in the room applauded and began to sing “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow.”

He whirled around to gape at his smug best friend, who was standing behind him with an equally smug-looking Franziska on his arm.

“You had this planned all along, didn’t you, Edgeworth? You knew I thought this was a party being thrown in your honor!”

“Of course you did, you foolish fool!” Smirked Franziska. “That’s what we led you to believe! Don’t look so floored! Have you never heard of a surprise party?”

That’s why we had to take off right after work,” Apollo elaborated. “Pearl, Cody, Trucy, Athena, and I all promised Franziska we’d help do last-minute prepping for the party. Initially, we thought with Athena dumping Wesley at the last minute, there may have been room for you in the cab but then Pearl brought another guest with her, who is just checking in our coats right now…” He was about to say more, but his girlfriend nudged him sharply in the ribs, ignoring his grunt of pain as she smiled sweetly at Phoenix.

“Athena found out the encyclopedias Wesley gave her were already used – he didn’t even buy them for her, that lousy cheapskate!” Pearl twittered. “She finally figured out his skinflint self must have pre-owned them because he actually had written little corrective cliff notes in the margins in most of the volumes! Guess it makes sense –where would he have bought a set of books like that in 2027?!”

“Gee, that’s…a shame?” Phoenix rubbed the back of his neck, not knowing what else to say – he’d secretly thought Stickler was a creepy pervert anyway, and that Athena could do way better! “But seeing as how my junior partner is now standing by the stage, flirting shamelessly with Klavier, and appears blissfully oblivious to the never-ending supply of Snackoos Ema is still pelting at him, it’s safe to say she’s not too broken up over the whole thing!”

“Pearl and Trucy didn’t even tell me or Cody that this party was for you and not Mr. Edgeworth until we got here,” Apollo admitted sheepishly, scratching his head. “That’s why I’m empty-handed and don’t even have a card or gift or anything for you, Mr. Wright. Well that, and because I couldn’t really afford to since it’s only been recently that you stopped paying me in pudding…”

“Oh hush!” Pearl swatted his arm. “You know if I’d told you the real story about this elaborate hoax, you and Hackins would have just tried to talk us out of doing this!”

Klavier chose this exact moment to break into Smashmouth’s hit song from Shrek, “I’m a Believer.”

I thought love was 
Only true in fairy tales 
Meant for someone else 
But not for me 
Love was out to get to me 
That’s the way it seems 
Disappointment haunted 
All my dreams

Hold it!” Phoenix raised a hand, brows knitted together in confusion. “Elaborate hoax? Pearls, why would you and Trucy keep the truth from your own boyfriends about who this party was truly for? Surely everybody else here knew this party was for me, not Edgeworth?”

The Chief Prosecutor coughed slightly at his friend’s elbow, just as the former Gavinners lead singer launched into the next verse.

And then I saw her face 
Now I’m a believer 
Not a trace 
Of doubt in my mind

I’m in love 
I’m a believer 
I couldn’t leave her 
If I tried…

“Disclaimer! I’d like to state for the record how I was against the entire notion of meddling in the first place!” Edgeworth stated, staring pointedly across the room at the entrance at that moment.

“It was the only way to get you foolish fools together!” Franziska put in loftily, following her husband’s gaze and smirking again. “It was quite the feat, convincing my “doesn’t possess a romantic bone in his body” husband to play along, so I had to figuratively crack my whip to get his assistance!”

“You mean extorted, don’t you?” Edgeworth muttered under his breath. “With the aid of minors, to boot!”

Please don’t be mad at Trucy, Mr. Nick!” Pearl’s expression was imploring. “I was in on it too…”

“Mad about what?” Phoenix was still facing his friends, mystified beyond all reason, his back still to the room entrance, so he had no inkling of what everyone was staring at behind him as of yet. “Can someone please tell me what the heck is going on here?!”

“Er, there was one other person who was kept in the dark about who this party was truly for and especially, about who wouldn’t be in attendance.” Edgeworth took his friend by the shoulders and literally spun him around to stare at the newest arrival, who was now staring, open-mouthed, back at Phoenix, with what only be described as an expression of complete and utter shock!

That ethereal, classically sculpted face, still recognizable even from a distance, had only grown more beauteous with age. Phoenix would have known it anywhere. It’d been haunting his dreams for eight long, agonizing years.



Say Hello To Yesterday Copyright © by JordanPhoenix. All Rights Reserved.

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