Best Interest

by llamajoy

Author's Note: Set after the end of T&T.

"Miles Edgeworth!"

The man in question didn't look up from his newspaper, though he deftly picked up his teacup at the precise instant that his office door slammed, so that the cup wouldn't rattle in its saucer. "Hello, Franziska."

"Miles Edgeworth," she said again, and the authoritarian note in her voice wavered a bit, but rallied. She took off her coat and tossed it dramatically over his settee. "We shall just see if I ever do another favor for you, little brother."

He lowered the paper to meet her eyes over the headline ("No News For No-Good Nun"). The look on her face had him folding up the paper entirely, and pulling another cup from his tea set drawer. "Cream, no sugar?"

She sat on his couch with a huff, arms crossed and cheeks flushed, and not entirely to do with the early March chill. "Two sugars, please."

"You have my attention already," Edgeworth said, raising an eyebrow. One sugar meant a sour mood; two was unprecedented. "Are you doing to tell me what's bothering you?"

Franziska uncrossed her arms long enough to accept the tea, and drank the whole cup before speaking. (He shouldn't have been surprised; she took her espresso extra hot and turned up her nose at "medium" salsa.) "That no-account judge!" she said. "In the trial today, he said he was inclined to give her life in prison for her actions. Can you believe it?"

Edgeworth feigned innocence, as though he had not just been reading that news himself. That the sister involved in the Misty Fey murder was facing trial was not newsworthy. But that Franziska von Karma should be so upset about it was an interesting development. "'Her'?"

"Do not play the fool with me, Miles Edgeworth! I was in the detention center just now, speaking with Sister Iris."

"Ah, I see. You have a new hobby of interrogating nuns?"

"Hmph! I wasn't interrogating her. We were having a-- a friendly chat. As women do in this country, yes?"

"They have been known to, yes." Edgeworth narrowed his eyes. He thought he was beginning to draw a conclusion, but it was a fairly ridiculous one. Surely not. "But you have not been known to. Franziska, have you been-- making friends?"

She threw up her hand (almost both hands, remembering at the last moment that she was balancing a teacup). "Really! You have to ask me this? I was doing you a favor, in case you forgot. Which it seems you foolishly have."

He steepled his fingers, waiting.

She caved first. "Why, Phoenix Wright, of course."

Edgeworth's fingers, poised tip to tip, suddenly clasped together. "What has Wright got to do with any of this?"

That earned him a bona fide Von Karma glare, equal parts furious and smug. "Why, everything! You did not think that I would let him get the better of my little brother, did you?"

His ears were getting hot. Years of carefully controlled composure and impeccable poise-- and still, when he was flustered, his ears would blush. Damnation. He wondered if Franziska would notice. "In case you hadn't gathered, I was not the prosecutor in his last case. How then should he have the better of me?"

Her tea gone, Franziska stood and stretched, seeming much more herself. She perched on the edge of his desk, and he didn't like one bit that knowing look in her eyes. Or the fact that she was /sitting on/ a pile of court decisions. "Little brother," she said. "You cannot fool me; I am no fool. Your Phoenix Wright, he has a past with this little nun, yes? Yes. I saw your face fall when you found out."

Edgeworth slid his files out from under her. "You saw no such thing, Franziska. Wright's personal life is his own business. What matter is it to me, what he did in college?"

"Ha ha, little brother, you think you can fool yourself, but you cannot fool your big sister."

"Yes, but--"

"Oh, I nearly forgot." Her smile was back in full force. "Iris says that they talked quite a bit about you after all."

"A-about me?"

"In college. And these days, too. Seems she helped him to make up his mind, shall we say?"

Edgeworth wondered just when he'd lost control of this conversation. "His mind?"

"That Phoenix Wright of yours, and his foolishly foolish notions! Iris saw right through him, of course, as any woman of sense would be able to, and so now you haven't a thing to worry about."

"Franziska, what are you talking about?"

His office phone rang, and he snatched it up, trying to ignore the look on Franziska's face. "Edgeworth speaking."

"Hey! Hey, wow, I wasn't sure you'd be in the office this late, but I thought, what the heck, I might as well give it a try, after all--"


Franziska was radiant with benevolent I-told-you-so.


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