This Year's For Me and You
But the wind blows right through you, it's no place for the old.
- the pogues; fairytale of new york
If Miles Edgeworth had his pick of New York days, any time of the year, he would choose a winter day between the end of November and the middle of December. It was, in his opinion, the best of what was on. Plenty enough had been said about the spring or the fall in New York, but they had no charm for him. Both of those left him red-nosed and sneezing. It was pretty enough for looking at the park from a hotel window, but New York is a city to be in, not to look at. Summer was right out as well; it was a turgid quagmire, with heat pooling between the buildings in sticky puddles, and the subway tunnels breathing fire. Even the best cravat and the coolest prosecutor's demeanor could not withstand summer in the city, and Edgeworth would lunge from shop to shop in search of air-conditioning, gasping in it like a diver for air, before plunging back out into the heat. (And when that happened, he always spent too much money at Strand and Fish's Eddy, and then had to figure out how to get all the books and flatware in his carry-on.)
No, it was Christmastime in the city for Edgeworth, not for any love of the season but for the solid, bracing thud of the wind as it shunted down Fifth Avenue, for the ease with which one could find a good cup of tea and a macaron, for the bustle of commerce and the crisp sound of cab horns in the clear air. The tourists could jostle around the ice rink at Rockefeller Center and ooh and ahh at the big tree all they liked, while Edgeworth was content just to be in any borough at all, for the anonymity and the pulse of so many people, for the refreshing east-coast mentality of everyone leaving everyone else the hell alone.
There was no getting that back home, that was for certain.
He paused in the act of removing the lid from his teacup, and cast an involuntary glance at the front of his cell phone. It had been almost twenty-four hours since his last email from Gumshoe (the paperwork for CV-3447 has gone through no prob and when you say your African violets hate water just how much do you mean they hate it because I might have watered them too much and they look a little off now kinda droopy like is that ok), and almost two days since he'd heard from Phoenix.
The latter was worrying, though Edgeworth, snug in a posh cafe with his tea and his book and his impeccable neckwear, would barely even admit that to himself. True, Phoenix had his badge back, Phoenix had a firm now with more lawyers in it than stage acts, Phoenix had proven he could manage both accolades and infamy with equal aplomb. But when Edgeworth was away and the silence went on too long, he started to wonder if Phoenix was at that moment leaping off of flaming bridges or playing poker with murderers or god knows what.
I go on these trips for the peace and quiet, Edgeworth reminded himself, settling back into the plush seat of his window booth, trailing his fingers through his teacup's steam. It won't do me any good if I spend the whole time texting with him like I would if I was in the same town. The waiter brought over his afternoon indulgences of a croissant and a chocolate pot de crème, and Edgeworth took a deep, relaxing breath. His fall caseload had been intense. He'd spent half of November with a cold. The least he deserved was a little getaway before the new year, to linger over some Dutch masters in the Met and do a little shopping and actually sleep past six-fifteen in the morning. He worked hard for these islands of solitude. He enjoyed them. He told himself that firmly, took a long drink of his tea, and when the front of his phone lit up with an incoming message he fell upon it like a drowning man grasping an oar.
How's NYC Phoenix had said, without bothering with more punctuation.
It's fine, Edgeworth texted back, because it was. Fine. Cold, he added, on reflection.
Miss you, Phoenix's next message ran, and Edgeworth smiled, unaware of the loosening of his shoulders, the easing of his usual aloof squint.
I'm sure you've got plenty of company, he typed, thinking of Phoenix in his office with all its decorations up, and Trucy and Apollo and Pearls and Maya all arguing over the monopoly game, and Kalvier arriving like some suntanned rock god Father Christmas to take them out on the town. I miss you too, he added, and his finger hovered over the send button, uncertain.
He did miss him. He missed all of them. Christmastime once was nothing but bad memories for Miles Edgeworth, but now instead of murders he thought of a shabby little law firm, and laughter and warmth, and the weight of Phoenix's arm around his shoulders. He still loved New York in the winter. But he wondered if he'd gotten too old, too sentimental, or just too involved with Phoenix Wright to enjoy it alone at Christmastime. He allowed himself to imagine Phoenix there with him, sitting across the booth with a coffee and some enormous muffin half-eaten on his plate. Maybe they would go to Edgeworth's usual haunts together, quiet museums off the beaten path, posh restaurants. Or maybe they would be tourists together, laughing nervously at the terrifying view from Top of the Rock, eating a messy hot dog from a cart while standing in the warm steam of a subway grate.
Edgeworth deleted the last line of his text, wrote I wish you were here instead, but still did not send it. A minute slipped away as he hesitated between send and delete.
Your tea's gonna get cold, Phoenix sent.
Edgeworth had already thumbed in T-h-a-n-k in reply before he realized that there was no way for Phoenix to know that. "Where are you?" he breathed, faster than his fingers could type, and the answer came even faster.
In the booth behind you.
Edgeworth's phone clattered to the tabletop as he turned around to find Phoenix standing there, real and smiling, already reaching out for him. They embraced and then they kissed, because it was New York and nobody could be bothered to give a damn, except for the waiter who asked, in slightly annoyed tones, if they wanted to move to one table now, because four-tops were at something of a premium.
And Miles Edgeworth had never loved the city more.