Naughty or Nice
Ace Attorney

by Tenshi

"I don't usually do this sort of thing," Miles Edgeworth confessed, his voice loud and rough to his own ears, confined by all the close angles of his car's interior. Somehow, with Phoenix Wright's impressive shoulders there in the front seat, the car had never seemed more crowded, more constricting. Or maybe that was Edgeworth's scarf, wound too tight around his throat. It was not so cold now, out of the knifing wind, and their combined warmth had already fogged the windows from the inside. Beyond their blurred surface, the snowy parking lot was a distant, sparkling galaxy. Inside the car there was only heat, the smell of salt. "I hope you know."

Surely, Phoenix knew. After all these years on opposite sides of the courtroom, how could he not know? Miles Edgeworth, the demon prosecutor, was not like this. No one would ever believe it, even if they saw it. And oh, how his face burned at the thought, how the shame and humiliation of it made his pulse trip. Never mind that he was human, that he had hungers and appetites like any man. Of course there were things that he craved. Of course he would want ...things.

"I don't need to press upon you the need to keep this confidential, Wright. If word got out--"

"I'm not going to tell anyone that I watched you inhale two quarter pounders and a large order of fries in one sitting," Phoenix said, rolling his eyes as he dunked his last remaining fry in the mayonnaise harvested from his sandwich. "God, Miles. We've been Christmas shopping for almost seven hours, of course you're gonna be hungry." Ice gurgled in Phoenix's cup as he polished off the rest of his soda. "And this was the closest restaurant."

"It's just that I'm not the sort of person who-- are you saving those chicken nuggets?"

"You're not the sort of person who is basically like the sort of person everyone is?" Phoenix said, passing him the carton to take the last chunk of chicken.

"Yes," Miles said, around his mouthful. "No. I mean, that doesn't even make sense, Phoenix. And ugh you know this isn't even free range, much less organic, and what do they put in this sauce, high fructose opium?"

Phoenix chuckled, wadding up his napkin. "Once in a while won't kill you. C'mon, are you done shopping or--"

Edgeworth had interrupted him with a glare sharper than his name. "Wright. You put that greasy, ketchup smeared rag in the door pocket of my car and I'm going to have another corpse in the trunk. I may have sunk, but I still have standards."

"Uh-huh." Phoenix neatly tucked the napkin back in the paper bag. "Standards. And arguing with the cashier for fifteen minutes because she had given you last week's Steel Samurai happy meal toy instead of the new one is--?"

"STAND. ARDS." Miles Edgeworth pulled himself up, dusted the stray fry crumbs off his cravat. He'd still get Gumshoe to vacuum the car later. "Now buckle up. The Barrel and Crate outlet is still open for another hour, and unless you want coal in your stocking, we'd better get over there."

Phoenix was tempted to say he'd rather some coal than another hour spent examining individual leaded-glass display boxes for used wine corks, but he refrained. Even free-range shade-grown, artisanal coal was still coal. "Fine. But only to keep you off the naughty list."

Edgeworth was grim-faced as he put the car in gear. That was already a lost cause, and they both knew it.


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