Disclaimer: Don't own these guys, though if they were real I would say I did just so Edgeworth could prosecute me (Phoenix probably wouldn't defend me, since I'm not innocent...).
Notes: No spoilers. Very, very mild PxE slash. Goes from humor to fluff. I think. Also, I know we don't really learn anything about Maya's schooling, but she's gotta take some sort of math course... right?
Wright sounded nervous, tense. "I need your help, Edgeworth."
The prosecutor raised an eyebrow before realizing that Wright couldn't see him through the phone, and sighed as he realized that this request probably wouldn't be as serious as it sounded. "Last time you called for my help, you told me that you were scared that someone was stalking you after you watched that horror film. What is it now?"
A light laugh. "Uh, well, I promised Maya that I would help with her calculus homework but then I looked at it and I realized I didn't know what the hell was going on. I mean, there was this S shape, but it was stretched out and I couldn't figure out what it was—"
"An integral symbol?" Honestly, neither of them had probably taken a math course in a long time, but could Wright really not recognize it? How on earth did he graduate from high school? Or for that matter, college?
"I—that's what I thought, yeah!" Edgeworth could almost see the other's sheepish grin. "Anyway, Maya's gone now so I was wondering if you could, er, come over and give me a hand with these since I don't want to completely disappoint her."
A smirk appeared on his face. "I'm sure she has had enough disappointments to last a lifetime."
Wright made some sort of non-committal sound.
Edgeworth glanced around the room idly. "Well, since I don't seem to be swamped by work for once, and because I don't want Maya's grades to suffer from your own shortcomings, I suppose I could drop by. Are you at the office?"
It really sounded like he lived there sometimes. "See you in ten minutes, Wright."
He hung up.
Phoenix looked at the mess on his desk. There were papers all over the place, and Maya's calculus books—there were two of them, he noted with incredulity—were opened to random pages, looking rather shoddy and pathetic. Kind of like himself when it came to math, he thought glumly. Why he had agreed to help her, he had no idea. It might have had something to do with the fact that she seemed even more at a loss when it came to this stuff than he was, but looking at the assorted scribbles and scrawls everywhere, he found it hard to believe that anyone could be more clueless at the subject.
Sigh. He was a lawyer, not a mathematician—what did he expect?
But Edgeworth was also a lawyer, and yet he seemed to have some grasp of the subject.
Phoenix shoved the papers off the table, then realized he'd have to clean them up later. More like now, since Edgeworth was coming over. Dammit. He got out of his chair and began picking them up one by one, looking them over as he did. Funny how most of his notes weren't even notes. More like doodles, actually. What had he spent the past hour doing?
He looked closer at them. There was an "Objection!" written out in large blocky letters, some abstract swirly things, a couple of sketches of his left hand, and a drawing of a man who looked like—
Someone knocked on the door.
"Come in!" he heard Wright say from inside, and so he opened it to find the defense attorney hastily stuffing some papers into what looked like a textbook.
Edgeworth's gaze landed on the disaster that was Wright's desk. "That bad, is it?"
The other man put the book down and shrugged. His shirt was untucked, he hadn't bothered with a tie, and one sleeve was pushed up. And though he looked like he had just rolled out of bed, Edgeworth couldn't help but think that he really didn't look that bad.
Wright spoke. "Yeah, looks that way. I'm glad you're here."
"Well, let's get this over with. What topic is she on?"
"Um." Wright scratched the back of his head. "Calculus?"
He tried not to roll his eyes. "We've established that. There are subtopics within a course, you know." He picked up the calculus textbook Wright had set down. "Alright, so what chapter is her homework from?"
"The—the one with the integral signs?"
"Wright, that's what calculus is about. This whole book is probably covered with integral symbols. There's even one on the cover. Were you even trying to figure her homework out before I got here?" One look at the other's embarrassed face told him the answer. "Never mind." He flipped to the mess of papers Wright had tucked in there earlier and pulled out something that looked like a syllabus.
"Edgeworth—" the defense attorney began, sounding slightly panicked for some reason.
"Relax, I'm just getting the syllabus, not ripping the book apart." He pursed his lips. Miles Edgeworth, telling other people to relax! "It looks like she's on her ninth assignment, which is trigonometric integrals—ah." His eyes had strayed down to a rough pencil sketch at the bottom of the paper. "Why is there a drawing of me on Maya's assignment sheet?"
Stupid, stupid, stupid, Phoenix thought to himself over and over again, eyeing the calculus textbook Edgeworth was currently holding. Why had he hidden his stupid doodles there, in the one place the prosecutor was guaranteed to look? He was here to help Phoenix figure out the calculus homework, after all. So of course he would need the calculus textbook. Based on his track record for today, it was a miracle he could get through court.
Edgeworth hadn't come across them yet, though. That was good. Maybe he didn't care that there were a bunch of papers stuck there—oh shit, he had just flipped to them.
This was going to get awkward.
"Edgeworth," he said, trying desperately to come up with some sort of excuse that wasn't something along the lines of well see I think you have a really handsome face and so I just had to get it on paper and oh my God what am I thinking.
The other man waved one hand, stopping his train of thought, and said something about a syllabus.
Syllabus? There had been a syllabus? He did seem to remember drawing on one paper that had a lot of text on it…
The prosecutor was looking at him now. "Why is there a drawing of me on Maya's assignment sheet?"
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
"I was, um, drinking tea at the time?"
Very believable. It didn't even make sense. Was he on crack?
"I—I'm on crack?"
Dammit! Had he really just said that out loud?
But what else had there been to say, anyway? Even he didn't know why that had appeared from his pencil tip. Okay, well, maybe he did. Better not to tell him, though.
Edgeworth's mouth was open, presumably to reply to the tea comment, but he shut it again at Phoenix's next outburst. They stared at each other for an increasingly awkward period of time before he finally said, "Well, that would explain a lot of things."
Phoenix tried to grin, but it came out more like some sort of lopsided baring of the teeth. He wondered how much of an idiot Edgeworth thought he was. "Yeah."
"So I am foremost in your thoughts when you're high, Wright?" Edgeworth seemed amused.
He could feel the blood rushing to his face. "Well, I mean I wasn't actually high. I was just… you know."
"'You know'? I may be an astute man, but even I have difficulties comprehending what comes out of your mouth sometimes." He was looking at the sketch again.
How could graphite betray him so? "I'm, er, sorry. I don't really know why I drew you. It was stupid." Stupid, stupid, stupid. He put his hands in his pockets and looked up at the ceiling, trying to focus on a mysterious stain on one of the tiles. It looked like… shit, it looked like Edgeworth. What the hell. Maybe Maya had slipped something in his drink and he was high after all.
"I don't mind."
Phoenix looked at him, startled. "What?"
"I don't mind," Edgeworth repeated. "This isn't bad. I did recognize my likeness immediately, didn't I?" He began to turn to the other doodles, pausing as he considered each one. "I had no idea you were this talented, Wright."
The defense attorney tried grinning again, and this time it came out much more naturally. "Er, thanks, I guess."
A pause as Edgeworth continued to look at his other handiwork. Then: "I have a favor to ask."
"What is it?"
"Would you mind completing the sketch?"
If he was honest about it, the way Wright had drawn him made him look—rather dashing, actually. The lines were messy, and there were smudges from the other papers brushing against it, but somehow it still radiated some sort of—of what? Elegance? Grace? He didn't know. It was just a simple, tiny portrait, and yet it was also more than that.
He could almost feel Wright shifting uncomfortably in front of him, staring at the ceiling. This was probably a good time to let him know he wasn't upset. Not even creeped out. Why wasn't he creeped out? Now he was creeped out by not being creeped out. Damn Wright. Nevertheless: "I don't mind," he said simply.
The other man looked like he had just been jerked from another world. "What?"
"I don't mind. This isn't bad." His finger hovered lightly over the pencil sketch, wanting to touch it but knowing he shouldn't. "I did recognize my likeness immediately, didn't I?" He remembered that there were other papers under the syllabus and started to flip through them. A text bubble with "Objection!" written in it—he could almost imagine Wright shouting that to him from across the courtroom. Some loose sketches of people in various poses, with almost none of the details filled out. A couple of drawings of a hand—Wright's own, probably. They looked surprisingly real. "I had no idea you were this talented, Wright."
Wright grinned—a vast improvement from the garish face he had presented to him only moments earlier. "Er, thanks, I guess."
Edgeworth went back to the drawing of himself. As strange as it sounded, he was getting rather fond of it. And then he realized that he wanted to see it finished—and more, to watch it be finished. "I have a favor to ask," he said.
"What is it?"
Well, it wasn't as if this whole situation wasn't awkward enough anyway. And he wasn't sure if he'd have this good of an opportunity with Wright later. "Would you mind completing the sketch?"
Wright stared at him with an incomprehensible look on his face. Then he flushed. "I'd love to."
Edgeworth couldn't help the smile that appeared on his face.
Miles Edgeworth was smiling. It wasn't that insufferable smirk that appeared in court (though of course, Phoenix was able to wipe it right off his face with some clever cross-examining most of the time), but an actual, real smile. How often did this happen? It was like—well, he couldn't think of it, but it was certainly like something. Something that was beautiful and amazing and temporary.
"Keep that face," he said, before dashing off to find some decent paper and a better pencil. Edgeworth smiling. That was what he needed to capture.
But when he turned back to the prosecutor, the smile was gone. "Aw, Edgeworth," Phoenix began.
"You didn't actually expect me to stand here grinning like an idiot the whole time, did you?" Yes, the smile was definitely gone.
"The muscles hurt after a while. And I am not entirely sure you would want to draw a man with a fake smile."
"I don't really care, as long as it's you," Phoenix said, and then realized what had just come out of his mouth.
Buy your tickets now! Featuring Phoenix Wright, the biggest moron of all time!
What the hell was he doing, anyway? What was that? All of his actions today seemed to point in one direction: the road to Big Gay Lawyer Crush, population: one.
Well, he'd be damned if he hadn't been walking down that road for a while now. And looking at Edgeworth's perfect face, with his perfect hair, and hell, even his perfect cravat (not to mention the flash of that perfect smile), he realized that he certainly was not going to turn back.
"Really?" But it seemed to be directed more to himself than to Phoenix.
And then, inexplicably, the smile was back. "Alright, then," Edgeworth said, and sat down.
Phoenix wasn't sure what had just happened, but he put his pencil to paper and swore to himself that he would make the best of it while he could.
It felt as though barely any time had passed before Wright made his announcement: "I'm done." Somehow he had managed to stay still and smile for the past—what, twenty, thirty minutes? He had no idea. And the amazing part was that the smile stayed in the first place, with no effort needed from him.
For some reason, he felt as though his head was up in the clouds.
There just seemed to be something about Wright today—his awkwardness, his crumpled clothing, his talent—that was… attractive. Not that he couldn't be attractive at other times, but it had really shone today.
I am attracted to Phoenix Wright.
But the words weren't as much as a shock as he'd expected. No, this had been coming for a while. And watching as the other's eyes casually flicked between him and the paper he was drawing on, it was stronger than ever.
Wright came and sat down next to him—rather close, too—and looked a little embarrassed as he showed him the finished product.
"Beautiful," Edgeworth breathed as soon as he saw it. He was stunned. All this time, and it was only now that he found out about Wright's hidden talent. "Only one problem."
"What?" Wright looked alarmed. "I might have overshaded your neck, but I wanted it to really stand out against the cravat because your neck is really nice and I wish I could see it more but—I mean, there was a—a nice contrast b-because it's shaded more… shit."
He shook his head, then, when he was certain Wright had finished babbling, he said, "This man looks too perfect to be me."
He could feel the other's gaze on him, heard the slight ruffling of fabric as he shrugged. "I drew what I saw."
Edgeworth didn't reply, too busy looking at the drawing. He couldn't stop staring at it. Wright had done this. Wright. And so he had to ask: "How?"
To his surprise, the other's hand touched his chin and turned his head so that they were facing each other.
"Light," he said, a finger on Edgeworth's cheek—still just a hint of the awkwardness from earlier, but somehow it was more endearing than ever. Then the finger moved back toward the nape of his neck. Wright's face was suddenly much closer. "And shadow."
Maya would have to figure out the homework for herself.