"What do you want to tell me, Phoenix? Because if it's important, you can also tell me here."
"No, no... I really can't."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am. I'm sorry, Iris, but I don't want to do it here. Let's go to my office, okay?"
He gave her a nervous smile.
"Well, if you insist."
She returned the smile to him, a little ignorant.
"Let's get out of here! You're on your way to freedom!"
"Yes, I'm quite looking forward to seeing the daylight again."
"Let's get going then!"
"Goodmorning, miss Fey."
"What...? Where am I...?
"In my office, miss Fey. Don't you remember?"
"Huh?!" Mr. Edgeworth?! What did we?!"
"You came here for my help, miss Fey. Do not mix up the facts."
"O... Oh, yeah... I remember now... What time is it anyway?"
"It's six o'clock."
"Six?! Are you insane? Six o'clock is sleeping time! Well, at least, it was, at Nick's..."
"But we are not with Mr. Wright, miss Fey. Unless you want me to return you to him... I'm afraid I'll have to do for now."
"You'd... Return me to him?"
"If that's what you wish me to do, then yes, I will. To be honest, I think you should in fact go back."
"You think so?"
"Yes. I... Do not have the intention to meddle in your plans... But..."
He hesitated. Maya looked at him. He seemed a bit embarassed, but she had seen him like this before. She had seen him transform from ruthless prosecutor into a kind, but shy man.
"But what, Mr. Edgeworth?"
"But your friendship was unlike anything else I have ever seen. Wright may have been rude to you yesterday... But he is a good man, miss Fey. I never thought I'd say this, but... He's been the one person in my life that became closest to a friend. And I thought I told you to call me Miles."
Call him Miles? He had suggested that yesterday, but it seemed so unreal. Her and Nick... Had always called him Edgeworth. Pearly had called him Edgeworth. But maybe, with his transformation, the time had also come to change other things. Like his name. This man owed her a lot... But she also owed him.
"Then I would like to inform you that you're stil calling me 'miss Fey' too."
And then, he did something she hadn't seen him do in the three years that she knew him. He smiled.
"Point taken... Maya."
"Then I guess it's okay to call you Miles."
"So... Maya. Do I return you to Wright, or do I bring you to Kurain?"
"You know... Miles.... All these things you said... I thought they were true too. My sister thought they were true."
"So your point is?"
She thought. Yes, what was her point? Did she have to go back? Let go of all of her pride, and return to the man that was the best friend she ever had in her life? But, when doing that... She'd have to face his love for Iris. See him every day, in love with another girl, that was a thousand times the girl she was, despite of all the things she had done for Phoenix, maybe even see him marry her, would it come that far.
"Then I will respect your decision and bring you to your home. After breakfast, of course. What do you like?"
The pain... The memories... She had to say them all goodbye and forget about it. Everything but seeing him happy with someone else.
"So, we're here!"
"You have a lovely office, Phoenix."
"O, of course, you haven't been here yet!"
"No, I haven't. But I must say you've decorated it quite well."
"Well, that's Maya's work-"
He fell silent. Maya had decorated this office with him. She had placed the Steel Samurai poster on the wall. The poster he hadn't ever removed, even though his clients thought it inaproppriate for the office of an attorney.
"Yes, where is she, actually? I had thought she'd be here. I'd love to get to know her better - after all, she is my cousin, even though I haven't ever had the chance to speak to her properly."
'Think, Phoenix, think! You can't tell her...'
He had totally forgotten that Maya and Iris were family. They were, in some way, both Feys, even though Iris hadn't inherited any of the Fey power, and didn't grow up in Kurain Village. He thought back. Should he lie? Wasn't that the same as betraying Maya? But... She had left him! Not the other way around!
"She's gone to visit a friend."
"Okay. Then I guess I'll talk to her next time."
"Yeah, she really wanted to come, but she hadn't seen her friend in a while, and they made this appointment a long time ago, so..."
"No, it's fine! I understand. So, what did you want to tell me?"
Shit. He had hoped to have a little bit more time, but the time had probably come to tell her.
No, he had to be more straightforward, and, for once, not be the coward he had been all his life! He had to be more like... Him. Always cool and reserved, but still able to get his feelings across.
"I have wanted to tell you this for a while now, but I didn't really know how. And I still don't really know how, but I have to. My last trial... It did something to me. Something I didn't feel before."
"It did? Well, Phoenix... I must say... It did the same thing to me."
She blushed. He was going the right way with this!
"I've been willing to tell you that I... I love you, Iris. I don't know why... But I've loved you ever since that incident."
He moved towards her. Their faces were so close to each other, that he could smell the perfume that was on her neck. A sweet scent that made him remember everything...
"I think I love you too... Phoenix..."
Suddenly, he felt a flashback of that case. How Iris had been on trial, how he immediately wanted to represent her, but couldn't, because of his injuries, and how he had asked Edgeworth to replace him instead... He hadn't been able to go himself, because he had fallen from the bridge. He had wanted to rescue Maya...
Then, after that... He had gone to court himself, to defend her, and he had somehow proven her innocence... Even though he didn't quite remember how, because all this time, he had been worried about Maya...
Wait. He loved Iris, didn't he? Then why didn't he remember the pain that he had gone through when he realized that she would be taking the blame for something she hadn't done? Why did he suddenly feel like he didn't want to be here, like he didn't want to kiss her? Why was his head... hurting?
He thought back, all in this moment, of the time he had defended Maya in court, the day she had been arrested for killing a surgeon... And how he had believed in her, every single time, even in the last trial, in which Iris had testified against her, even though it hadn't really been her. It had been so believable that Maya had killed her mother, not knowing it was her, but he hadn't doubted her a second. He relived the despair of the moments in which he had thought he had lost her forever, in the case against Engarde, in the last case, in which he had really thought that she was dead, and he had failed to protect her... He felt the pain of last evening... He smelled Iris' scent, and suddenly, felt like he was going to faint.
Suddenly, the moment was over. He had been living towards this for so long, and now... He couldn't do it.
"I- I can't do it, Iris... I'm so sorry, I can't..."
"Why is that?"
"I... I fought with Maya yesterday..."
"You had a fight?"
"She... She told her she loved me, and I rejected her..."
"I'm such an idiot!"
He hit the wall with his fist, and didn't feel the pain at all, even though his hand started bleeding.
"Phoenix... If you feel like you love her more than me..."
"I don't know anymore, Iris! I honestly don't... I'm so sorry... Up until now, I thought I wanted to be with you more than anything... But now I'm not sure anymore... I feel like an idiot for doing this to you, but... I can't be with you right now.
"It's okay. I had expected it."
He looked up, his face covered in tears.
"You expected it?"
"Yes. The way you were defending her, even though it seemed so likeable that she had done it... I've heard it from Mr. Edgeworth. He thought the world of you, you know, Phoenix? And I know I should be sad that we didn't happen... I think it is right for you to be with Maya. It hurts, but... We are in the past."
"Please don't tell me you don't want to see me anymore..."
"I won't. I still admire you as a friend, and if you wish me to be yours, I will."
"Thank you, Iris... Thank you so much... You are so much more of a person than I am... I let her go, and now I'm doing this to you..."
"Find Maya. Before it's too late."
He panicked. What if it was too late?
"I- she said she was going to Edgeworth! I- I have to go now! Before I'm late!"
"Then go. You have my blessing."
"Thank you, Iris!"
He rushed into the prosecutors' office. He had no idea where Edgeworth lived, but then again, Maya didn't have any idea about that either, so she had to have gone here in the first place. Maybe someone knew something!
He looked at the security guard office.
"This is weird, Maya was here too, alone, and now you're here, alone-"
"Maya was here?! Thank God, Maggey, where did she go?!"
"She spent the night here, and Mr. Edgeworth got up early this morning to bring her to her home-"
"I guess they left at seven, why?"
He checked his watch. It was already eleven am.
"Shit, I'm too late, I'm too late!"
He cried like he had never done before.
"What is wrong?"
"I have to see his office, I have to!"
"Wait... Maya... She left you something, sir."
"Yes... Here it is."
Maggey gave him a letter. It was in Maya's handwriting. He opened it, his fingers trembling.
Though I wished things had gone differently last night, I accept that you cannot change your feelings towards me or Iris. I therefor do not blame her.
Mr. Edgeworth has been very friendly to me, and I guessed you'd come here... It's the way you are, isn't it? Always on top of things... I guess I will miss that. But I can't do anything else but leave. I will be in Kurain, and become the new master. I need to grow up, like you said. Don't come after me, Nick. I'm not mad at you, but I can't be with you, knowing that you love someone else. I guess I believed in miracles too much, even though it seemed like we've been living nothing but a miracle together. I have to stop believing in miracles. They do not exist.
I guess you will have to eat burgers for the both of us, now. Promise me you won't ever change, Nick. You were the best person I've ever met. Thanks for the memories. I won't ever forget. Please don't ever forget about me either.
PS. I will be sending you Steel Samurai tapes! Don't forget to watch them.
Tears were covering his whole face now.
"Are you okay... Mr. Wright?"
"Yes... I am... She's right... We shouldn't... See eachother... For now. I'm sorry Maggey. I... I'm going now."
He hadn't seen her after that. He had lost his badge, without her standing next to him... And still... The only thing he ever got from her was Steel Samurai tapes... He played them over and over, even though he didn't like the show. It was the only thing that kept the memory alive, over all those years. The only thing that stopped him from talking about Maya to Trucy, Apollo, or all the other people he had met over the years. But he had never forgotten her. Ever. If only he hadn't been too late...