"We go on and on about our differences. But, you know, our differences are less important than our similarities. People have a lot in common with one another, whether they see it or not." — William Hall
Disclaimer: I don't own either Ace Attorney or Detective Conan, although that's probably for the best since Capcom and Gosho Aoyama are both much better when it comes to creating crazy epic elaborate murder mystery schemes.
Words in italics indicate thoughts.
This story is set after the latest completed instalments/arcs for both series, which is Spirit of Justice for Ace Attorney and the Bourbon Arc for Detective Conan. This means that the fic will divulge from canon at these points. Also, fair amount of spoilers if you haven't caught up! Without further ado, enjoy!
Chapter 1: A Surprise Lockdown at Beika
"Attention all passengers, this is your captain speaking. We are approaching Tokyo International Airport and will land in five minutes. During the landing sequence, we advise all passengers to fasten your seat belts and turn off all mobile phones—"
An exaggeratedly loud yawn from a woman dressed in purple around the middle of the plane interrupted the plane captain's announcement on the intercom. "Doesn't really matter to me, I've set my phone to airplane mode. What about your phone, Nick?"
The blue-suited man seated to her right rolled his eyes, before holding up a blue cell phone using his left hand. "Maya, how many times do I have to tell you that I don't know how to use this thing?" Phoenix Wright sighed, putting his head on his lap, "Like even after all these years, I don't even know how to switch the ringtone from the Steel Samurai theme you set. Doesn't that tell you something?"
"Awww…" Maya pouted at his suggestion. "Why would you even want to change such awesomeness? The Steel Samurai phone ringtone is perfection!"
"Oh, don't you even start about the Steel Samurai. That children's show is the sole reason why I'm even on this plane with you in the first place. I could be resting at home if we never won those tickets, y'know?"
"You're such a couch potato, Nick! Going to the fresh outdoors never killed anyone." She carried on as Phoenix coughed something into his arm that sounded suspiciously like 'yes it did'. "And besides, I won those free tickets in the lucky draw fair and square!"
"I almost think that you channelled a spirit just to mess with the results," he muttered in response.
"I did not!" she denied furiously, "Whatever makes you think that I did something like that?"
Phoenix just gave her a deadpan stare, shrugging. "Oh, I dunno. I've known you for so many years now, so it just happened to be the first thought on my mind."
"Nickkkkk! Even if I would use my channelling powers to rig a contest, I won't do it for a Steel Samurai contest! The Steel Samurai is about justice! I can't betray him like that! It'll be like casting my lot in with the Evil Magistrate!"
Phoenix ignored all the show references and zeroed in on the main point he'd realised from her last statement. "So you admit that you would rig a regular lottery contest in your favor?" he smirked.
"Uhhhh… so, as I was saying, the Steel Samurai!" Maya hurriedly changed the topic, not willing to say more, "The official Neo Olde Tokyo live musical concert is the first time I'm going overseas for a live action Steel Samurai concert!"
"Geez, Maya." Phoenix moaned, stretching his legs as best as he could on the economy class plane seat. "Neo Olde Tokyo and the real Tokyo are not the same place. You're getting excited over visiting a place that doesn't exist…"
Phoenix trailed off when he saw Maya leaned over towards him, tears threatening to pour out of her eyes. "Uhhhh…" he brushed his spiky hair nervously, trying to take back his words. "I'm sorry for—"
"Hahahaha!" Maya's sudden shrill laughter put an end to Phoenix's informal apology. "Come on, Nick! Can't you tell that I was pulling your leg? Even though I'm a self-proclaimed obsessed Steel Samurai fangirl…"
"A very big one," Phoenix mumbled, remembering all the times in the past she would bring her Steel Samurai DVDs to his law office and blast them at full volume. "Oh sorry, continue," he hurriedly added after he saw Maya puff her cheeks out in irritation at his rude interruption.
Maya let out her breath before she carried off from where she left off, "Even I know Neo Olde Tokyo doesn't really exist. We visited Global Studios in the Steel Samurai case, remember? I saw all their film sets, I'm not an airhead! It's just that the concert at Japan just happens to be called the 'Neo Olde Tokyo' musical."
"So it's just a coincidence, huh?" Phoenix placed his head down on his arm, supported by his elbow.
"But there's a reason it's called the 'Neo Olde Tokyo' concert! This is the first time they are releasing the series in Japan! Think of it as a debut live pilot! This concert's going to be huge! You know the small-scale Steel Samurai live shows I used to drag you to in the past?"
"Excuse me? Those were small-scale?" Phoenix asked, recalling the ridiculous amount of fans every time he was dragged to a live show.
"Small scale compared to this! This concert is a live crossover musical with one of their local shows, so the expected turnout is gonna be massive!"
"Just what I needed, the chance to be squished into a human sardine."
Maya ignored Phoenix's negative remark, continuing to gush, "It's going to be held in a place called the Haido City Hotel, a luxurious hotel in Beika City. Aren't you excited, Nick?"
Phoenix's reply was blunt, "Meh."
"Do you remember the last time you were at a hotel, Mr. Nick?"
"Yeah, I do. It was the Gatewater Imperial Hot… hey, wait a minute!"
Did she just say 'Mr. Nick'? Phoenix's eyes widened as he came to the realization that the one who had just spoken wasn't Maya.
"Pearls? Is that you?" He looked to Maya's side to see the offending spirit medium seated to Maya's left look sheepish at being caught out. "Weren't you and Trucy supposed to be asleep? The plane ride was twelve hours long!"
"Daddy!" Phoenix almost jumped out of his seat in shock as his adopted daughter Trucy Wright scolded him from the seat to his right. "You should know the difference between someone who's dozed off and someone who's pretending to sleep. We woke up five minutes ago when the captain made the touchdown announcement."
"Yep, Trucy and I woke up a while ago!" Suddenly, Pearl's brown eyes turned mischievous as she made a remark, "It's nice of you to be at a hotel with Mystic Maya again, Mr. Nick. So you do remember when I booked the romantic honeymoon suite for the two of you at Gatewater Imperial!"
Before the sputtering Phoenix could utter a retort, the plane captain announced that touchdown was commencing, forcing him to save his remarks for Pearl until they got off the plane.
From the time they had checked out of Tokyo International Airport to the time they had arrived at the Haido City Hotel after taking a train to Beika City, the conversation shifted across multiple different topics. It had started with Pearl's incessant shipping and was currently now at the exhilarating topic of… burgers.
"I heard that in Japan, there are vending machines that serve burgers! A fully automated burger dispenser, Nick!" Maya pumped her fist in the air in her excitement, exclaiming, "These people are geniuses! This invention has endless possibilities!"
"Of course a freaking burger machine is the first thing that you'd focus on after getting off the train, Maya," Phoenix muttered under his breath, his irritation plainly obvious to the others. Maya had a near insatiable appetite when it came to burgers. "I'm so glad that no one here can understand that you were talking about burgers," he admitted.
"That's where you're wrong, Nick! All of us mediums from Kurain Village know how to speak Japanese as our second language!" Maya informed Phoenix as the four walked inside the front doors to the Haido City Hotel. "Even Pearly knows the language! The Fey Clan has relations and ancestors dating back to this country, you baka!"
Phoenix felt a tad annoyed by the insult. "Very funny, Maya, but I know what 'baka' means."
"Wait, you understood that?" Maya said with surprise.
"First of all, everyone knows what the word 'baka' means. But as a matter of fact, I do know how to speak Japanese as well," Phoenix informed Maya with a cocky grin on his face. "It's a requirement by our country's bar law to learn Japanese before you can pass the law."
"What? Really, Nick?" Maya's look of surprise turned into a cheeky smile, "And here I thought that you were someone who hated travel."
"I only needed to learn it because of my profession. That being said, I don't use honorifics. I can't remember all of them."
"What! But the locals don't like it if you don't use honorifics! It's rude!"
"Eh," Phoenix shrugged. "As I said, I only learned it for court purposes in the first place. I think people have to say their full names in court anyway."
"Wait, does that mean that Trucy is the only one who can't converse with the locals here?"
"Nope! My old daddy used to teach me some Japanese as well since we were travelling magicians. And even if I didn't know, not to worry! I could just show a trick or two! Our profession is universal!" Trucy said, placing her arm to her hip in what was a familiar position to Phoenix.
"Don't do it, Trucy! I know you're going to activate Mr. Hat! I get the point!" Phoenix shouted.
"You're a magician, aren't you?" a kiddish voice speaking in English suddenly questioned from behind the group.
The four turned around to the source of the voice, only to see…
"Nick, Nick, look! He's dressed just like you!"
Phoenix couldn't believe Maya's words until he saw the person who spoke for himself.
The one who had spoken happened to be a young bespectacled brown-haired boy. He was dressed in blue, with a red bowtie tied around his collar and red soccer shoes.
Maya was right — that blue attire really did make the boy resemble him. The moment Phoenix realized that, he blurted out the first thing on his mind.
Maya had significantly more to say than he did. "You poor child! Oh my god, that fashion sense is awful! His parents need to be charged for felony! Dressing a young extrovert child up in a formal blue suit with a bowtie? That's almost criminal!" She walked over to the child and squished his cheeks, talking in a babyish tone of voice, "Did your parents force this suit on you? Yes, they did, yes they did! Bad parents!"
Phoenix sighed when he saw Maya glomping the child. "Maya… you and Pearl are dressed in traditional spirit garb. You of all people have no right to comment on fashion, not when you're wearing that old-fashioned purple one-piece… ouch!"
His cheek suddenly stung red after Pearl performed one of her trademark forceful slaps. "Don't say that to a lady, Mr. Nick! Apologize to Mystic Maya!" she scolded.
Phoenix winced, rubbing his sore cheek. "Okay, I admit that I was asking for that one."
Before he could say more, Trucy spoke up, "Daddy! Don't interrupt me! I want to know how the kid guessed correctly!" Switching to Japanese, she knelt down towards the boy and asked, "How did you know?"
"I did not guess. It was basic deduction," the boy switched to his native tongue, speaking with a professional tone of voice. "Your right palm was constantly curled inwards, which gives the impression that you practice sleight-of-hand. The sleight-of-hand is a technique used by magicians to palm coins and cards. That, coupled with the fact that you're dressed in a cape, allowed me to come to that conclusion."
"Eh? That's stuff about sleight-of-hand is… absolutely correct!" Trucy exclaimed with shock. "Wow, you're better at magic than my assistants! Polly doesn't know how I keep making coins appear behind his ear to this very day! How do you know all this magic stuff?" she asked, legitimately curious. It wasn't common for the public to know the secret behind techniques like sleight-of-hand.
"I… know someone who loves to perform magic tricks," he replied, his eyes briefly flashing dark as if he was recalling a painful memory.
"Oh my gosh, that's awesome!" Trucy squealed. "How old are you?"
"Right now I'm in first grade, so that makes me seven."
As the two made small talk, Maya walked back to Phoenix and chuckled. "Admit it, Nick! He even looks a little like you!" Phoenix happened to notice the boy furrowing his brow for a momentary flicker at Maya's words, but he turned back to Trucy just as quickly, as though nothing he had happened.
"Not really," Phoenix retorted, feeling the need to defend himself. For crying out loud, the boy's hair wasn't even spiky like his was! They weren't that similar! "Come on, my eyesight's perfect, I don't wear glasses. If anything, that bowtie and suit reminds me more of Edgeworth."
Maya raised an eyebrow at the mention of the prosecutor's name. "Edgeworth? Why would you say that?"
"When I was younger, in elementary school to be specific, Edgeworth would always wear a suit and bowtie. I remember it very clearly because that was the attire he'd wore when he defended me in the class trial that time when we were in fourth grade."
"Awww! That's so cute! So do you think this is Edgeworth No. 2, Nick?" she asked, pointing at the child.
"Perhaps…" Phoenix mused.
"I think that maybe this is Mr. Eh-ji-worth's clone!" Pearl added her own input.
Phoenix proceeded to leer at her disapprovingly. "Pearls, did Maya make you watch too many movies?"
"Hey, don't you insult my movies!" Maya cried out. "For your information, the sixth Steel Samurai movie has a cloning subplot where the Evil Magistrate made an evil edgy clone of the Steel—"
"La-la-la-la-la, I'm not listening!" Phoenix hurriedly covered his ears before he could hear anything stupid.
All of a sudden, a gloved hand reached for his arm, grabbing his attention. "Trucy! Don't distract me when I'm covering my ears!" Phoenix yelped. "Do you want me to listen to Maya's Steel Samurai nonsense?"
"That's not the reason!" Trucy pointed back at the child from earlier, looking glum. "I'm upset, Daddy! That kid said that he didn't want to be my assistant!"
"Trucy… has it ever occurred to you that you live in different countries? You can't scout an assistant like this."
"It's not that! He just said that he had no interest in magic whatsoever! What a downer! He said he wanted to be a detective when he grew up!"
"Huh? A detective? Like Gumshoe?" Phoenix felt a twinge of guilt at the thought. He hadn't seen the green-suited clumsy detective in over seven years. Phoenix looked back at the young boy just as a sneaky thought entered his mind. "But who knows, he might change his mind."
"Really?" Trucy grinned at the thought of having a new recruit.
Phoenix couldn't keep himself from smiling like an idiot before he delivered the punchline. "Yeah! Maybe he'll be a lawyer like me and Edgeworth when he grows up!"
He expected to see Trucy pouting at him for bringing her hopes up and tearing it down in one fell swoop. What he did not expect was Maya adding to the situation.
"Nick, don't influence the young child! Let him dream of being whatever he wants!"
"For now, Maya," Phoenix snickered, before leaning to Maya's ear and lowering his voice to a whisper. "But when he grows out of childhood, the harsh realities of life will crush those dreams to smithereens."
"I don't think so, Nick. You never crushed Pearly's childish dream, because she's still trying to get us together to this very day."
Crap. Maya definitely had him there. "Well, besides Pearls, most children will have their dreams crushed."
"Is there some resentment I detect in there, Nick?" Maya started smiling faintly when she realized that Phoenix probably had a reason for acting this way.
Whup, looks like she figured it out yet again.
He sighed, admitting the truth. "To be honest, I took a degree in art when I was in Ivy University. Long story short, it didn't work out." Before Maya could reply, he strolled over to the young boy. He didn't want to hear what smart remark Maya would say to what he had just said.
"It was nice to meet you, kid. You made my daughter really happy." Phoenix knelt down to the bespectacled child, patting his head with a smile. "What's your name?"
The boy scratched his head with his right arm at the spot Phoenix had just ruffled, before exclaiming with a childish tone, "My name's Conan! Edogawa Conan!"
To Phoenix's complete surprise, right after he introduced himself, chains began to surround Conan, finally culminating in five red locks slamming down around the boy.
He couldn't keep his jaw from dropping.
Wait a moment… seriously? Psyche-Locks?!
Phoenix couldn't keep the shock out of his eyes at the unexpected appearance and sheer number of the Psyche-Locks. Conan tilted his head slightly at Phoenix's weird reaction. To be frank, Phoenix couldn't blame the child for his confusion since Psyche-Locks were something that only someone with a Magatama would be able to see.
The Magatama, a green sacred charm in the shape of a figure-nine, was a very useful item that he'd always kept with him ever since Maya gave it to him during the Kurain Village trial. This essential tool was one that he'd often use to his advantage in investigations for trials. Whenever he ran into a witness who clammed up and tried to hide something from him, the rattling chains and locks would appear, visible to him and only him.
Pearl had explained to him exactly what those chains and locks meant when the young medium had charged the Magatama with her spiritual energy, what seemed like an eternity ago.
"Please take this. I'm sure it will be useful. It will let you see people's secrets, Mr. Nick."
Despite his skepticism, Phoenix soon found out that she hadn't been lying. The lie detection power of the Magatama was indeed legitimate. The appearance of the "Psyche-Locks", as Pearl called them, would signal to Phoenix that a person was either lying or withholding the full truth from him about a certain topic.
With that knowledge in mind, he would often be able to uncover new evidence and re-confront witnesses later to drag the truth out of them. Having the Magatama around was such an advantage to his job as a defense attorney that he couldn't even remember a time when he hadn't kept it with him. Even during his seven year disbarment, he had always held onto it, tucked safely in his shirt pocket.
The Magatama's lie detection wasn't foolproof since it required him to ask a question to the person in question before it worked its magic. It meant he couldn't detect a lie in a passing conversation unless he got involved. But in his line of work as a defense attorney, investigative interrogations meant that for the most part, the Magatama would be able to inform Phoenix anytime someone was willingly holding something back.
But why the heck did Psyche-Locks even appear on the Conan kid in the first place? It didn't make sense to Phoenix in the slightest. The only possible reason was that Conan was willingly withholding his real name from him.
His first thought was that perhaps the kid didn't trust him. It wouldn't be the first time his spiky hair had scared children away. But he dismissed that idea quickly. If that really was the case, then why would he have five Psyche-Locks?
The number of Psyche-Locks a person had on them directly correlates to how much they wanted to guard that specific secret. The more Psyche-Locks they had, the greater they wanted to lock it within their hearts forever.
Five Psyche-Locks was the maximum number of locks that Phoenix had ever seen on a person. The only thing greater than that was if the secret was completely ingrained into a person's subconscious, which would mean the appearance of the cold, dark Black Psyche-Locks, that of which he had only seen twice in his long career. Black Psyche-Locks were impossible to break by conventional means as they were so ingrained to a person's spirit, it risked permanent damage to a person's soul if forced out.
But five Psyche-Locks appearing on a child was completely ridiculous! He had come across and used the Magatama on murderers who had more to hide, and yet less than five Psyche-Locks had appeared on them. To have five Psyche-Locks meant that a person was completely determined to guard the topic under lock-and-key for the rest of their lives. If those people had it their way, they'll take those secrets with them to their graves.
He'd only ever seen five Psyche-Locks on a child once, when Pearls was nine and vehemently determined to keep him from finding out the truth of what happened at Hazakura Temple. But that was a murder case that was directly related to her mother, Maya, and the Fey Clan, so it made at least some semblance of sense as to why she would have five Psyche-Locks.
This, on the other hand, was completely illogical. Why would five Psyche-Locks appear on Conan over a freaking name?! A first-grader should have no reason to want to hide their name this much!
Wait a minute… that voice!
"Daddy!" Trucy folded her arms as the distracted Phoenix finally heard her. "Don't just gape at a young child like that. You'll scare him away!"
Pearls nodded in agreement. "Trucy is right, Mr. Nick! Mystic Maya told me that if you open your mouth wide, you'll catch flies in there."
Just as Phoenix snapped back to reality, Conan abruptly looked up and proceeded to give him an unnerving stare. He hurriedly closed his mouth upon seeing Conan's piercing blue eyes gaze into his. The glint of reflected light shining off Conan's glasses only made the young child's already scary glare even creepier.
Just what the heck is this kid's deal?! He's like less than ten years old! Why is he making me feel like this? I shouldn't be scared stiff by this guy's stare! He's not even someone with a whip like the trigger-happy Franziska!
"There you are, Conan-kun! Ayumi-chan and the others were looking for you!"
At the drop of a hat, Conan's hostile scowl instantly dropped. In its place was the sweetest smile Phoenix had seen in a while as the child hastily ran over to the new arrival.
"Ran-neechan!" Conan greeted with excitement.
"Oh, hello!" Trucy called out to the woman. "Is this your child?"
She blushed, hastily correcting Trucy. "No, no, no! Conan-kun is just staying with me."
"Awwwww! He's a really cute child, isn't he? I like him! Can I keep in contact with him?"
Phoenix sighed. It looked like Trucy hadn't given up on having him as her magic assistant.
"You know," Phoenix decided to ask before he lost his chance, "I come from America, so I find Conan an unusual name. Out of curiosity, how was he named Conan?"
"Ah-le-le? You want to know how I was named?" Conan repeated the question with a childish grin on his face. "I can answer that! My parents are both huge fans of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series, so they decided to name me Conan when I was born."
"I see. So that explains why your name is so unusual," Phoenix found himself muttering. "Well, it's nice to meet you, Conan." After the acknowledgement, he found himself strutting away from the group.
"Hey, Nick! Where're you going?!"
He ignored Maya, quickening his pace and turning around a corner in the hallway to get out of everyone's sight. He needed a few seconds to compose himself and think carefully about the situation.
Conan—the seven-year-old child, he had to remind himself—had just given him a bogus, but very plausible cover story as to the origin of his name, almost as though he'd guessed what Phoenix was thinking. What scared him more though was the way that Conan had spoken.
To a normal person, Conan was the splitting image of a precocious child dressed in formal clothes, telling the tale of his Holmes-obsessed parents naming their child after their favorite author. The tone of his voice was overtly that of an innocent child, supported by his body language, which had a cute demeanor when he was talking.
However, since the Magatama told Phoenix that Conan's name was false, it meant that the story about his name was also false. Knowing that fact made Phoenix see Conan in a very different light.
Conan hadn't even flinched once as he relayed the phony story of his name's origin. Instead, he was calm and collected as he told the tale, more so than even some of the murderers he'd faced down in court.
This was utterly absurd. When he himself was seven, his elementary school teacher had been able to spot him telling a fib from a mile away. Children, by their very nature, do not tell lies with such ease. They do not prepare pre-made responses like criminals preparing a foolproof testimony in court.
And yet, Conan's story was rehearsed. It had to be, judging by the way he had calmly stated it without hesitation. It was highly unlikely that he came up with it on the spot. He would have been a stuttering mess if that was the case. Not only that, but if it was a spontaneous lie, then his guardian Ran should have contradicted it.
This meant this wasn't the first time he'd told this story. Furthermore, it also implied that this wasn't the first time he'd lied about this topic to others as well…
Phoenix frowned. The enigma surrounding the young child was growing and he couldn't help but feel that he was onto something huge.
Unfortunately, as of right now, he was stuck. He couldn't coax any more information out of Conan, not when he didn't even have a shred of evidence to support his claim that the name Conan was an alias. If he told Maya and the others about this, they would probably think that he was overreacting.
The only thing that he could do right now was to keep tabs on Conan and confront him about the topic later. Only one thing was for certain — Edogawa Conan was not the child's real name.
Since that was the case, then what on earth was his real name, and why the hell was an elementary school kid trying to keep it secret so desperately?
Hello there! This is my first ever crossover fic!
The idea of this wacky crossover came about after a crazy moment in the Reddit Fanfiction Discord server when everyone was screaming about lies (not to worry, such chaos is normal).
At that moment, I had a sudden epiphany. It struck me that virtually every lawyer in the Wright Anything Agency is a living lie detector — Phoenix's Magatama, Apollo's Perception ability, and so on. So won't living lie detectors be absolutely troublesome for someone who has to lie about their identity virtually every day?
So after that I decided on placing Conan in the latter position, which meant the plot bunny quickly devolved into a Phoenix and Conan meetup. The concept of two sarcastic people letting their sarcasm meter roll off the chart in a detective vs. lawyer trollin' badger-style conversation then ensued.
I couldn't resist, really. Hope you all enjoy this chaos with me too!