Emotional ties. Miles Edgeworth shut his eyes and tried to squelch the pang of consternation and in his chest. Damn them all.
He despised hospitals. Yet wild horses couldn’t have dragged him from the ER that day.
I should have remained The Demon Prosecutor. Life would have been so much simpler for me if I had. But no, I let him get past my defenses. I allowed that impulsive fool of an attorney to put a chink in my guarded armor, and now I’ve gone from being a cold and methodical High Prosecutor who while criticized for being an android, was still praised for his infallible logic, to now being saddled with unnecessary feelings yet again!
Up until a certain impulsive, passionate hot-blooded spiky-haired mensch had saved Miles’s soul from eternal darkness, unease and uncertainty had been all he’d thought he’d ever need to contend with!
He’d known what others had whispered behind his back until Phoenix Wright had resurfaced in his life, had known his daunting previous title had included rumors of bribing judges and falsified evidence. Miles had let such imbroglios roll off him like raindrops on an oily pavement.
Weak people spread rumors. Stupid people believe them. The hell with all of those who judge hardships and pains they’ve never known. You don’t know what my Manfred Von Karma did to me. What Damon Gant did to me! So as far as I was concerned, they could take their judgments and shove them up into their posteriors, where they’ll enjoy the company of their peers!
He would have continued going along sweeping his emotions under a rug and attempting to remain unaffected by anything had things not all come to a head a year ago with his courtroom rival exposing the evil-doings of both his corrupt former mentor and police chief. After that, Miles had left the States for some deep soul-reflection time in Europe and returned a changed man, resuming his friendship with Phoenix and no longer caring about keeping perfect prosecution records – only about seeking the truth.
That included facing the truth at long last how he felt about her, all due to the intervening hand of fate.
Fate, in this case, had come in the form of an assassin’s bullet to a certain someone’s shoulder, dramatically changing everything as he knew it.
It was the moment that changed the course of his relationship with his foster sister, forever.
Franziska had looked so small and pale and helpless as they’d wheeled her in on the gurney, and in so much agonizing pain it had nearly brought tears to his eyes to see. It was unfathomable how a tiny bullet could have taken such a toll on the normally formidable prosecutor. She was such a pillar of strength. The smartest, feistiest, toughest girl he’d ever known. He admired those traits of hers so much.
If he were to lose her now…
I’ll never get to tell her the words my heart has been crying out for some time now. All I pray for right now is the chance to say these words aloud to her.
Miles had practically worn a groove into the ground of the hospital emergency room as he paced back and forth, anxiously awaiting news on his foster sister’s health, the letter he’d penned while waiting clutched in his fist as he read it again for them the umpteenth time.
As you read this, I ask you to heed my words. I promise you they are medicine. They come from my soul – a bridge to your own. They are something you can trust, my love; though I know it hasn’t always appeared that way. I am so sorry for the pain I caused when I disappeared last year. It was like a test, not only for myself but in hindsight, even a way of testing you, to see how you’d respond to the news, to make ensure you were a safe person to give my heart to when all was said and done. Now I know you were, and are, I carry the shame for having needing to ever do such a thing, and not having the courage to let you know I was alive and well, and how I felt about you, simply because I still wasn’t brave enough to do without knowing how you felt first.
In this journey that we call life, and in the world of law, I have tried every measurable path, pushed on every door seeking justice, seeking the truth, and trying to find out who I really am.
The few in my life whom I’ve let into my heart in full measure allowed the love flow from me to them, making me realize that isn’t finite. Nevertheless, the human heart and soul can wear thin. It was only when I broke that I ran away, including from you, the only person my instinct could ever fully accept.
The only woman I have ever truly loved. I’m just sorry that it took a madman’s bullet to make me come to terms with it.
You are the one I was born to love, to trust, to save, to nurture to full health. I see who you really are. I see right to your core and I still love you without reserve. What I see is beauty under damage, a spirit caged yet strong, life surging for liberty, boundless generosity at a cost to yourself. You’re like me… strong, feminine, yet the same.
If you will have me, I will be yours for all infinity, softly waiting if ever it is you who needs to wander and always be there on your return. I know other people have goodness within, I see it every day, I do. Yet you are my other half, my soul twin, my queen… and so I hand you my heart, and pray that you will keep it safe when the hurricanes come. And no matter what, I am here to keep your heart safe too, to be whatever you need me to be. So no matter where life takes me, with whom, near or far, you will be my rest.
With a heart filled with the love I’ve long had for you, that I hope you return for me, too, I now await the many other journeys and adventures life has for us. Yet this one is precious too. I ask that you be my strength and let me be your comfort.
Hurriedly shoving the paper into his inner suit jacket pocket, Miles raised haunted, bloodshot grey eyes and saw a kind-faced, snowy-haired doctor standing in front of him.
“I’m Doctor Weller. I’ve been the surgeon in charge of Ms. Von Karma’s case.”
“Is my sister…?” For once in his entire life, the normally articulate attorney couldn’t find the right words to form the question he was too terrified to ask.
“It was a shoulder wound, Mr. Edgeworth,” the ER doctor assured him, smiling at the worried-looking prosecutor. “Good thing you were there – you got her here just in time. We were able to successfully remove the bullet. She’s lost some blood, and we will have to keep an eye on her for a few days, but she’s been medicated and is resting comfortably. You can go see her now.”
Franziska woke up in a foggy haze to hear two pieces of news. First, the extraction of the bullet had been successful, and that despite her protests, she would be kept in the hospital for observation for the next few days. Second, her hard-earned trial, her ultimate triumph over that dummkopf, Phoenix Wright, had been taken away from her. And by none other than that traitorous fool of a Little Brother!
Neither surprised her. She had suspected as much. She was just peeved beyond belief that all her careful preparations would now go in favor of him rather than her. She felt no qualms admitting that Manfred Von Karma had been quite successful in his endeavors of pitting them against each other. It was sibling rivalry at its best. Or worst, depending on how you looked at it.
She glared as said fool entered her room, as refined, elegant, and, she was loathed to admit, handsome as ever, despite the slight disarray of his normally perfectly styled greyish-black hair and the faint worried crease of his well-groomed eyebrows.
“Franziska,” he murmured, looking relieved upon seeing her awaken. “How are you feeling?”
“Just fine,” she snarled, sparks flying out of her icy gray eyes. Although his appearance was welcome, it didn’t do much to ease her mood. “Why are you still here? You’ve done your good duty of the day, have you not? You already did the heroics of rushing me here whilst driving like a madman in that sports car of yours. Surely you comprehend that you should leave me be now so that I can rest?”
“I do,” Miles agreed, frowning. “But I wanted to see you with my own two eyes, Franziska. Surely you can understand how I cannot be so heartless that I wouldn’t worry about my Big Sister, as she’s the only family I have left?”
“You always were a sentimental fool, Miles Edgeworth,” she scoffed, unwilling to show how touched she was by his words, yet how inexplicably irked she was at his reminder that he indeed saw her as his kin. Which was ridiculous of course. What else did she want him to see her as?
Not his sister, but an actual woman mayhap? One that he had come to see for reasons other than obligatory pity?
Franziska cursed herself for her foolish train of thought. She blamed the medication. She figured it was best to keep her words to a minimum to keep her from uttering any foolish drivel that could later be used as incriminating evidence against her.
Miles didn’t appear to be too affronted by the barb. He simply shrugged and offered her a half-smile, instead. “Guilty as charged, I guess. I shall not, however, repent being in ownership of a heart any more than I would expect you to atone for your lack of one.”
The words stunned her. They stung. Unexpected tears sprang to her eyes at the onslaught, but she was too proud to let them fall.
“If you’re done sharing your unsolicited observations on the presence of my vital organs,” she said coolly, turning her head away from him. “Might I suggest you leave now, so I may get my aforementioned rest?”
“Don’t you want an update on the investigation?”
“Fine.” Her voice was wooden. “Go on then.”
And Miles told her everything, De Killer’s calling card, Celeste Inpax’s suicide note, and the rescue team he had dispatched in search of Maya.
“The Fey girl has been kidnapped?”
Franziska ceased the listless plucking of her hospital bed blanket, which she had been doing the entire time he was speaking in order to avoid looking at him. However, her head jerked up upon hearing this last detail.
“I hope you find her alive and well, fast. We both know what a complete mess that fool-hearted Phoenix Wright is without her. He would hardly be a worthy courtroom adversary to either of us if he’s even half the emotional wreck he was the last time she was out of the picture. You told me how despondent he was when she left for home last time. He must be out of his mind right now, as that fool is so madly infatuated with her.”
“A fact that all parties seem to be aware of except for Wright and Miss Fey,” Miles grinned. “I will not fault Wright for his ardor, however, as I am quite fond of her myself…”
“Really?” Franziska cut in, feeling the first irrational pangs of jealousy unfolding within her and thus hating herself. “How sweet, Little Brother. Does that fool attorney know that he has romantic competition for the fair damsel in distress’s heart?”
Miles was taken aback at the scathing pitch in her inflection. Maya was a cheeky, ever-enthusiastic spirit medium, with a contagious smile and overall cheery disposition. She was also one of the few people in his life privy to know about his secret Steel Samurai obsession, which she also shared. It was their little secret, or so he needed to believe. Alongside Phoenix, Maya had also gone to bat for him in court, even risked her life in order to secure evidence proving his innocence when he’d stood as the defendant on trial for his father’s murder. The prosecutor had never forgotten this, and it was all the more reason he’d been willing to go above and beyond all means to ensure the safe return of the irrepressible young woman his dear friend loved so desperately, a fact that everyone seemed to be well aware of, except for Maya, and even Phoenix himself.
Normally he would have let such a typical waspish, insouciant Von Karma comment slide by, unnoticed. However, one of the few good things with being in back in touch with one’s feelings, he realized with wry amusement, and a slight stirring of hope was that it made you acutely aware of the latent emotions in those around him as well.
Which meant the unmistakable note of jealousy he’d noted in those stormy gray eyes, in spite of the lofty tone, was clearly palpable, not to mention encouraging.
“Whatever nonsense is this you are speaking of, Franziska?” Miles did his best to appear flummoxed at the words. “If you had allowed me to finish my sentence, what I was actually going to say was, I am quite fond of her myself, as she’s done much for me in the past. I feel that I should at least return the favor.”
“Ah yes, I remember you telling me now,” Franziska mumbled, embarrassed by her outburst. She resumed her blanket plucking so he wouldn’t see her pink cheeks. “Reckless girl, although admittedly admirable. She was present at Papa’s trial, wasn’t she? The one who secured some important evidence that secured your acquittal.”
“Yes…” Miles seemed to be lost in thought for a moment, then looked at her with a knowing smirk all of a sudden. “How curiously odd that you, with your perfect memory, should forget such an important detail.”
“Have you forgotten, you fool, that I am on very heavy medication?” Franziska scowled, despite turning a deeper shade of red now. “You would think you would cut me some slack, hence!”
“I would, without question,” Miles said quietly, with a look in his eyes she’d never seen before. “But that would require me to have a heart now, wouldn’t it?”
Franziska was speechless, for once in her life. She felt a stinging sensation behind her eyes and looked away, praying he wouldn’t gloat about his victory in this particular battle of wits. She was just as foolish as he was, allowing him to get to her this way and letting her emotions get the better of her. She was a Von Karma, after all, and shouldn’t allow herself to be blinded with such trivial matters. Well, she’d be damned if she even let him suspect…
All thoughts vanished from her mind as she suddenly felt the unexpected warmth of Miles’ hand clasped over her own.
“I’m glad you’re alright, Franziska.”
She huffed, although she allowed their hands to remain linked. “Don’t get all mushy on me now, you fool,” she muttered, although her face was still slightly flushed as she stared down at their interlocked fingers, still refusing to look him in the eye. “I’m not a little girl. I don’t need my Little Brother’s pity.”
“It’s not pity,” he murmured, and his hand tightened around hers.
Something in his voice made her force herself to look up at him then, and she caught her breath at the sudden intensity of his gaze.
“And I think deep down, you know that’s not the case here. Just as surely as you must know that I’ve ceased regarding you as my Big Sister for quite some time now…”