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Title: The Turnabout Affair
Fandom: Ace Attorney
Characters: Adrien Sandoval (OC), Belinda Phosphor (OC)
Warnings: SPOILERS for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Summary: Belinda Phosphor, a coworker of Mia Fey's, deals with her death.

The Turnabout Affair

Spoiler: Fic under the cut
September 6, 7:09 AM
Phosphorous Law Offices
Ballet Studio

This story starts with a dance. Belinda Phosphor, clad in lavender leotard and matching ballet slippers, pirouettes to the tinny music coming through small speakers on a table. The music of Swan Lake soars as she spins, faster and faster, her yellow hair with red streaks up in a bun that makes a circle from above. She stops on a dime, and returns to starting position as the tune of another piece fills the small studio.

Belinda prepares to dance once more, but a young person bursts through the door before she gets a chance. They are far shorter than Belinda, with flaming red hair almost completely covered by an orange cap. They have a kind face that is wracked with concern. This person’s name is Adrien Sandoval, and they will become quite pertinent to the story in a moment. Before that, look at the imposing figure of Belinda Phosphor. She is tall, with magenta hearing aids, and where once she was focused on dancing, her face now wears an expression of surprise.

Adrien has just said “Miss Phosphor! A defense attorney has been murdered!” This, one might expect, explains why Belinda now looks so worried.

“Who?” she says, shock crossing her face, then returning to invest in long-term housing.

“M-Miss Mia Fey, Miss,” says Adrien, fidgeting with a pin on their lapel. It says ‘Reply loading...’, and despite its wittiness, Adrien is hardly calmed by touching it.

Several expressions flicker across Belinda’s face, first the shock left over from the previous revelation, displeasure finally showing over being called ‘Miss Phosphor’, instead of ‘Belinda’, surprise at the victim Adrien named, and finally sorrow, for she knew the victim well.

Adrien resumed worrying mostly about Belinda’s silence, but partly about the idea of a murderer targeting defense attorneys. “Miss?” Adrien says. “Are you alright?” They wave a hand slightly, to see if Belinda is still conscious of her surroundings.

“I’m...” Belinda trails off. She thinks for a bit, then says in a sad voice. “I don’t know.”

“Miss, do I know Miss Fey? You certainly seem to.” Adrien put a finger on their cheek in thought. “I think I’ve met her, her name seems familiar somehow.”

Belinda closes her eyes for a moment. “I... believe you met her at the Grossberg Offices reunion party.” She opens her eyes and smiles. “Yes, that’s it! It was a year ago, do you remember?”

Adrien’s recollection comes to their mind in a flash. “Was she the one with the white yin-yang-thing for a necklace?”

“Yes!” Belinda beams, her eyes shining. “That’s an heirloom, I think. Something vaguely mystical like that.” A weak smile replaces the bright one, as if the memory is painful. “She was so excited to meet you. She said you reminded her a bit of her sister with your enthusiasm.”

Adrien snorts derisively.

“Don’t deny it, Adrien, you have a real passion for the law.” Belinda puts her hands on her hips, smiling triumphantly at her protege. “She even said you were coming along better than her understudy, and you can’t deny that.”

Adrien looks sheepish. “Well—“

“Do you know how incredibly proud I was when she told me that? You are a star, kid. Accept it.” Belinda smiles, then signs, the joy of the situation sucked away by the dire news.

Adrien looks pained, their mentor is usually such a positive presence. “There’s going to be a trial tomorrow, Miss Phosphor. You might want to know that the defendant is Miss Fey’s sister, Maya Fey.”

“That’s obviously a mistake; Maya’s two years younger than you are!” Belinda frowns in annoyance The police force can’t really think a child did it, that’s ridiculous.

Adrien’s hands ball into fists and their eyes narrow. “What, teenagers can’t commit crimes?” they cry, adamantly.

Belinda rolls her eyes. “Adrien, please! That’s hardly the point!”

There is some silence as Adrien flounders for a witty comeback, but instead of retorting, Adrien asks “Was Miss Fey special to you? If it were any other lawyer, we’d be on our way to the courthouse right now. What about Miss Fey makes you paralyzed with grief?” It’s a tad melodramatic, but it works on Belinda. Mostly.

“No, she wasn’t special, other than being my friend,” Belinda lies, eyes turned away from Adrien.

Adrien sees right through it, to the shadowy past beyond. They ready their index finger, then point it emphatically at Belinda. “Hold it!” they interject. “You’re lying! You contradicted yourself! You say she isn’t special, but then say she is because she’s your friend! What is the truth, Miss Belinda!”

Belinda is startled by this, and stumbles back a few steps. She looks regretful, as if this could have been avoided. “You’ve honed your lawyerly skills well, Adrien. I suppose I did too good of a job training you. Alright, here’s the truth.”

Belinda begins after a deep breath and avoidance of eye contact. Not that Adrien ever makes eye contact. “As I’ve already told you, Mia was a coworker and a friend at Grossberg law offices. I wanted more than her friendship, you see. I was in love with her. I never got a chance to tell her because of the chaos of her first case, the death of her boyfriend, and then we got offices on the opposite sides of the state... I last saw her a month ago to congratulate her understudy on his first case. You were visiting your relatives, that’s why I didn’t bring you with me.”

Adrien looks shifty, like they’re hiding something, but luckily for them, Belinda doesn’t notice.

“I tried to tell her then, but... it didn’t work out that way. I think—“ Belinda chokes on her words. “No, I know that I’ll never know if she ever felt the same way.” Belinda sobs. I can’t believe she’s gone, that I’ll never get this off my chest, that I’ll never see that smile of hers again.”

(Now I’ve done it. Nice job, jerk,) thinks Adrien, then hugs Belinda as she cries, saying “It’s okay. It’ll be okay. You have your memories, and that will be enough.”

Belinda finishes crying after a long while, sniffling. “Thank you, Adrien. I needed that.”

Adrien smiles, a bit rakishly. “Which one? The infodump, the hug, or the cry?”

Belinda beams. “All three!” She then gets a tad more serious. “So, tell me about the trial.”

Adrien digs in their bag and pulls out a paper, reading bits and pieces and turning them into an explanation. “The murder of Miss Fey was committed with the statue of the Thinker—“

“From her understudy’s first case! His name is Phoenix Wright, if you’re curious. He’s a very good man, very polite.”

Adrien glares at her. “Please don’t interrupt, it’s difficult enough to focus on my notes with the music still playing.”

Belinda busies herself turning the music off as Adrien continues “Prime suspect is Miss Maya Fey, as the name Maya was written in blood at the scene. Mister Phoenix Wright, yes the same one, is defending her, and Mister Miles Edgeworth is prosecuting. Okay, I’m done, Miss Belinda.”

“I’m so glad you’re calling me by my first name, Adrien.” Belinda then processes what was said and blinks in surprise. “Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth? Two rising stars? Well that’s settled.”

“What is?” says Adrien, puzzled.

“We’re going, of course! To watch those boys duke it out and go make sure Mia’s protege does not go unwitnessed! Pack your bags, kid. We’re going to Los Angeles.”
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