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15 March 2010 @ 03:25 pm
099 | April 13, 2019 | Central California Women's Facility: Chowchilla, CA / Visitor's Patio  
Phoenix's morning had been uneventful in and of itself - the drive up to Chowchilla was a task Phoenix had managed to snare Edgeworth into, as there were little to no bus routes to the area and the prison was four hours away from Los Angeles - but the weather had been perfect for a drive, even if they had needed to wake up early. While Phoenix had invited Edgeworth to accompany him in visiting Iris, the prosecutor had declined, and had dropped Phoenix off in favor of going to check in to their hotel.

After going through the vigorous security routines of the prison and filling out various paperwork, Phoenix had been taken to the Visitor's Patio, where he had been instructed to sit down and wait for Iris. The defense attorney was dressed simply - a navy blue turtleneck sweater and black slacks - but a few people turned to look at him as he passed by, a glimmer of recognition in their eyes. As Phoenix sat down, purposely choosing a table nearest to a window, he awkwardly scratched his head with his right hand and averted his gaze from staring eyes, not sure how to respond. Phoenix couldn't help but wonder how many of these inmates could have had a chance to not be here if their verdict had been the correct one, and he imagined that many of the people who were looking at him thought - or perhaps even knew - the same thing.

The whisper of voices and the occasional scraping of chair legs as they moved across the clean tile floor were the only noises that drifted to Phoenix's ears as he waited, and his thoughts moved to Iris versus his surroundings. Letting his gaze wander to the opposite wall, the paint white and boring, Phoenix wondered if Iris was doing well and if Sister Bikini had visited - it had only been ten days since he had last seen Iris, but after the events of his birthday and the signing of the new house, it felt like forever.

Iris's guard seemed to be taking his time coming to get her to inform her that she had a visitor. She'd been moved after her trial had ended and had been there for a while by this point, yet it still seemed as though people were bypassing her. At this point, she'd stopped wondering if anyone would come visit her and just settled on waiting for her sentence to end. She'd gotten to know a few of the inmates with her, though none of them really talked to her much, so her days were a bit lonely sometimes.

Her head lifted when the guard finally came and told her she was to be taken to the Visitor's Patio. Iris blinked just a little bit before nodding and standing to follow. The guard grasped her upper arm in an effort to lead her properly, only solidifying the feeling of being imprisoned. As though she didn't get enough of that feeling every minute of every day. With a soft sigh, she lowered her gaze and allowed herself to be guided forward.

They stepped through and onto the patio, where he pointed out her visitor. Iris' eyes widened slightly as she recognized Phoenix and she nodded as he led her over, letting her walk the rest of the way. She was sure the guard wouldn't be very far for the whole visit, but at least she could take her seat without the guard making it obvious. Still, she was slow and careful, just to be sure it really was him.

"...Mr. Wright?" she murmured, once she was close enough to be heard.

Absorbed in his thoughts, Phoenix only looked over once Iris had called his name - and he immediately perked up at the sight of her, a warm smile appearing on his face. The past week had alleviated Phoenix of several different emotional burdens, and he was feeling considerably more mellow as a result. Once he got a good look at Iris, however, his expression became lightly concerned, as he could feel the melancholy emotion coming off of her in waves.

"Hey Iris," he greeted her. Phoenix had promised to visit, and it felt slightly odd to see Iris in this gloomy, sterile setting, but Phoenix tried his best to be cheery for her. The defense attorney then motioned his right hand to the seat opposite of himself, as if to invite her to sit down.

Iris hadn't honestly expected to see anyone any time soon, but the sight of Phoenix made her smile as she took the offered seat. It was strange that he was the one offering her a place to sit when he was the guest. It was strange, but Iris was getting used to it.

She nodded once as she took her seat, folding her hands in her lap as she usually did when she had nothing to do. Her days were idle here, or well not idle so much as not what she was used to. The fact that she had a visitor and it wasn't someone to tell her what community service would be like was a nice change, though she knew she wouldn't come to expect it.

"It's good to see you again-" She had to catch herself before she called him formally again, barely remembering that he'd asked her to use his first name not that long ago. "-Phoenix. I didn't expect to see you again so soon."

He'd done so much for her already, in court and out, that she hadn't wanted to ask for anything else. Maybe, though, she'd be able to express just how much this visit meant to her.

"How have you been?"

At first, Phoenix wasn't sure where to start with the question, and he scratched his head awkwardly with a hand. There was so much that Iris didn't know, and there was no way to summarize his feelings in a short response. Phoenix was feeling practically joyous over the fact that he had a weekend with Edgeworth alone, on top of the incredible week he'd shared with the prosecutor, but as she didn't know about their relationship yet...

"...it's good to see you too," he started, before he leaned his elbows on the table, crossing his arms lightly. "I've...been great, to tell you the truth." Phoenix then smiled again, the look almost shy in nature, as if he didn't know if it was appropriate. "How are you?"

In many different ways, Phoenix felt like a different person, as if he'd been able to pull himself out of a shell that he'd placed himself in for years on end, and merely breathing in oxygen felt like a new experience. And as Phoenix had settled back into his work habits for the short remainder of the week, he had felt more freed than he had in his entire life - it was as if he was seeing the world in color versus black and white.

Iris didn't really know what to talk about at that moment, but when Phoenix smiled again, she couldn't help but mirror the expression, reflecting the happiness she could feel radiating off of him. He seemed much more relaxed than the last few times she'd seen him and that made her heart a little lighter. All she really wanted was to see Phoenix happy again and so far that wish was coming true. Someday she'd have to find out what was or who was causing it and thank them properly.

"I'm really glad to hear that," she answered truthfully. It was good to see him smiling so freely. "I'm doing all right." She couldn't exactly say she was doing well or fine in a place like this, but getting to see that Phoenix was happy on the outside of her prison made what she'd done a little more worthwhile.

"I'm beginning to get used to the routine here," she continued, her hands playing with the fabric over them as she sat at the table. "They say my community service won't start until I've settled in here."

Iris paused for a moment and glanced down at her lap. Phoenix's happiness was starting to rub off on her and she smiled as she looked back up at him. "I won't know what exactly they're giving me to do until then, but I don't mind. It could have been a lot worse and... I wanted to thank you again... for what you did in court for me." The show he'd put on for her really meant a lot to her and Iris didn't think she'd be able to tell him just how much.

Phoenix lifted a hand, scratching his head awkwardly as a light flush appeared on his cheeks, his expression softening at Iris' gratitude. "...i-it...don't worry about it, Iris," he said. "Everyone deserves second chances. I'm glad that I could help."

The defense attorney then fell into contemplative silence for a moment, his gaze focused on the braids of Iris' hair as she looked down at her lap. The reasons why he came to visit her were complicated, and as a result difficult for Phoenix to verbalize, but he knew he needed to attempt to. "Speaking of second chances..." he trailed off, as he lowered his hand from his head, resting it on the tabletop. "...I wanted to talk to you about something."

Iris smiled again, her cheeks reddening just a little bit nearly in tandem with Phoenix's and she glanced away momentarily. She didn't know what else to say on the matter that she hadn't already. Even if he said it was no big deal, to her it was, and she could express how grateful she was that he was willing to give her that second chance. It meant the world to her.

Iris brought her gaze back to Phoenix when he started speaking again. Her head tilted just enough as she listened carefully to what he was saying. She had no idea what he would want to ask her at this point, but she knew she would answer anything he wanted.

"A-all right. What is it?" Iris asked carefully, waiting patiently for a response.

Phoenix was quiet for a moment as he considered his thoughts and how he wanted to approach the question. What he wanted was far from simple - the reasoning was complicated at best - and he didn't want Iris to misinterpret what he was saying.

"...Maya and Pearls are like family to me," Phoenix started, as he crossed his arms loosely on the table. "We've been through...a lot, more than most people have. But even then, we've still stuck together." The defense attorney then took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Iris, I know we haven't had the best history...but I wanted to start over. As friends. We may not be that close, but...I want to get to know you, like I have with the Feys."

Likewise, Iris was silent as she waited for Phoenix to find words enough to reply. His silence made her a little nervous, but she didn't dare break the noiseless moment, waiting for him to speak again. Once he did, she listened carefully, feeling something inside her tug at her heart at each word. Even after all she'd done to him, even after the trial for Misty Fey's murder, after she'd admitted to what she'd done... he was still willing to be...?

Iris' head tilted downwards as she wrestled with herself. Finally, she brought her head back up and offered Phoenix a wavering smile. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate the offer. His words made her happy, in a very sad sort of way.

"Even after everything that's happened between us... you'd still want to know me?" she asked softly. "I'm not complaining. I don't wish for you to avoid me." Iris paused again, feeling that her words weren't quite doing what she wanted to say justice. "I'd like to be your friend, Phoenix. If you really don't mind."

The request from him was simple, but it made her very happy to think about. And this time, Iris promised herself that she wouldn't mess it up.

"Iris..." Phoenix's gaze lifted to meet Iris', concern writing itself across his expression once again. He then averted his gaze down to the table, flickers of an emotion similar to shame drawing itself through his eyes. "...I...I know that it seemed like I didn't want to be around you at the beginning. I couldn't accept that I needed to face what had happened. After I decided to represent you, I realized that...when it comes down to it, none of this was your fault. Dahlia...it wasn't your fault that she was the way that she was. But you put yourself in her way - and you never had do that."

The memory of Dahlia's machinations ran through Phoenix's head vividly. The idea that someone could be so evil, with seemingly no remorse...to even come back from the dead to aid in the murder of someone else...was nearly inconceivable to Phoenix. A half-hearted smile appeared on Phoenix's face, his tone tinged with an indescribable emotion. "...Dahlia..." he paused. She was your sister - how do you cope with the fact that someone of your own flesh and blood - even the mirror image of you... "...you put yourself in the line of fire, now and back then...even if you had no idea of how it would turn out...how could I not want to be friends with you? Even if you may not think so...the fact that you were willing to sacrifice yourself...that was admirable."

The concern in Phoenix's eyes was touching and Iris' smile slid slowly off her face as she listened to him figure out how to say what he needed to say next. She understood that the whole situation had been rough on him. It had been rough on the both of them. But even so, Iris had accepted it for what it was the moment she'd gone back to Hazakura after Doug Swallow had died. Her choices were limited and in some ways it was easier that way. She had fewer things to worry about.

But then the incident had happened with her sister's channeled spirit and everything had been turned upside down again. Iris didn't mind it so much, though it did complicate life where she'd thought life would be simple again.

"But-" Iris looked down at the table and let the word drift off until Phoenix had finished speaking. How could he say it wasn't her fault?

"I don't blame you," she finally spoke, looking back up at Phoenix seriously. "I never blamed you. I didn't think you'd ever want to speak to me again after I deceived you and I couldn't blame you for that." Iris paused again, letting her eyes slide shut as she figured out how to explain this to him. "By the time Doug Swallow died, I realized that... losing you would have been the worst thing to ever happen." And it had happened, in a way, though she'd prevented Phoenix's death and that was the important thing. "When I thought about it that way, nothing else mattered. Why shouldn't I have tried to stop her?"

Iris' eyes reopened and she smiled at Phoenix warmly. "I'm really... very lucky to know you, Phoenix."

Phoenix's heart skipped a beat in his chest when he locked gazes with Iris after she had finished speaking, and warmth filled him as a flush spread across his face, a smile appearing on his lips to mirror Iris' after a moment. "...I'm lucky to have gotten to know you too," he said after a few seconds, his tone warm. In more ways than one - I don't think I'd be here if you hadn't intervened, Phoenix thought to himself wryly. The kindness in Iris' expression touched Phoenix deeply, and to say that he was happy that Iris cherished his existence was an understatement.

However, the emotion was bittersweet, and Phoenix suddenly felt guilty for feeling so intensely. In no way did he feel as if a romantic relationship between himself and Iris would work, but it was undeniable that there was a large amount of history between the both of them; Iris knew him at his core, more than Phoenix had ever revealed to Edgeworth.

The fact that Iris had been able to be so frank about how she felt caused a strange feeling in Phoenix - while words hadn't been as difficult in the past week for Edgeworth, he was very rarely verbal about how he felt, and Phoenix was quickly discovering that it meant more to him than he thought previously, even if he understood that Edgeworth's actions always spoke louder than his words.

Phoenix let the silence linger for a few moments as he moved his gaze down to the table, his expression once again turning contemplative. He wondered if this was the right moment to tell Iris about Edgeworth...friendship was a give and take in several respects, and Edgeworth was the most important person in his life. "...I...I have a question, Iris," Phoenix started, and he looked back up at her. "Do you remember Edgeworth?"

So they were both lucky. A slight blush reddened Iris' cheeks at his words and she smiled in return, her hands tightening around themselves in her lap. She'd long ago accepted that no romantic relationship would work between them simply because of what she had done to him. Iris would never dream of even attempting that sort of conversation, no matter how much she wanted it. What was most important now were Phoenix's life and his happiness. So far, it sounded like he had both, and that was all Iris could ask for.

The nun tilted her head at him as he asked her about Edgeworth. How could she forget Mr. Edgeworth? If Iris remembered correctly, he'd been prosecuting Dahlia's very first trial. Dahlia had gotten off, but Iris didn't blame anybody and in a way she was glad it had happened. Otherwise she never would have met Phoenix...

But Mr. Edgeworth had also helped her recently, while she was under custody and the prime suspect for Elise Deauxnim's murder. He'd watched her and he'd been the first person she'd admitted her past to. After he'd confronted her about it, she'd admitted to her part and he had encouraged her to tell Phoenix the truth. So she'd promised. And she'd followed through. She really owed him a lot, as well.

"I remember Mr. Edgeworth," Iris answered finally. "How could I forget everything he did for me during my first trial?"

Phoenix tried to recall if he had ever described Edgeworth in a personal way when he had been dating Iris. He'd been thoroughly wrapped up in his relationship with her, and he hadn't thought about anything else - he'd even drifted away from his law studies for a time. He'd focused primarly on his art classes and making plenty of time to spend with Iris - or Dahlia, as he had known her back then. Lifting his right hand, he scratched his head awkwardly as he began to speak.

"...I don't think I mentioned him to you when you and I were dating...but Edgeworth and I have been friends since elementary school. We ended up drifting apart for a long time, but he's the person that inspired me to become a lawyer in the first place. And um...after I defended you the first time, I asked him to stay here with me for a little while..." he trailed off, considering how he was going to come out with the information, "...and he and I...we ended up getting together. Um, romantically."

Nervousness danced along Phoenix's nerves, and he wasn't sure how Iris was going to take the information - if he was in the same situation, he knew he would want to ask questions about how it had happened and what their plans were - and Phoenix had never discussed all of the details of his relationship with Edgeworth with anyone, not even Maya.

Iris listened for Phoenix's answer. Somehow she had a feeling it wasn't going to be a very simple one, and the more he spoke, the more she realized she was right. She'd never really known how far their friendship had gone or what it had involved, and while this wasn't an exact recount of every tiny detail the two had faced, it gave her a decent enough grasp on what was going on - particularly the last admission.

To say Iris Hawthorne was surprised would have been a gross understatement. She was floored in a way, and the shock registered on her face for a brief moment. Her hand hovered somewhere near her mouth, as it tended to do when she'd been surprised, but it soon dropped back to her lap and she offered a small smile as she turned the idea around in her head.

Iris had never deluded herself into thinking she could worm her way back into his life. So the fact that he had found someone else to love wasn't really the surprise. She supposed, when she really stopped to think about it, the shock came from the fact that he was telling her about it at all. In one way, she was flattered, but in another she was saddened. It really hit home the fact that she had lost everything by lying to him for those six months.

Still, that didn't mean she couldn't be happy for him and her smile said as much. "I'm really happy for you, Phoenix," she told him honestly. "You deserve that." Mr. Edgeworth could give Phoenix the support he needed, support she couldn't give anyone while she was in prison. And as much as she would have liked to know how it had happened, Iris wasn't the type of person to pry into that sort of thing. She'd take what information was given to her, but she wouldn't demand more.

"...Thank you for telling me."

Or at least under normal circumstances she wouldn't. But he was offering her the information, wasn't he? He said he wanted to be open with her? She should be more open with him as well. Friendship was a two-way street, as Iris was slowly learning. So she hesitated before asking something she was honestly curious about.

"When after my trial did you two... become involved?" Mostly because she wanted to know. She couldn't blame him for it and while it did hurt a bit, the whole discussion was a healing point for them both. They couldn't heal if they didn't try. "You said you've known Mr. Edgeworth for a long time... Did it happen because of that bond?"

In other words, Iris was asking - not that she really knew or would admit - if he'd dated her to get away from Edgeworth, because Edgeworth wasn't there, or had he truly cared about her. Not that she could really say anything about the whole caring thing since she'd been lying to him all that time. The whole situation was more confusing and convoluted than Iris liked to admit. The only real consolation she had was that at least now she and Phoenix were on speaking terms again. That was something.

Phoenix flushed, fidgeting in his seat slightly. It was a new experience to talk about Edgeworth in this way - and strangely, he liked it more than he cared to admit. "...i-it...well. Um. We started dating," Is that even the right word? Phoenix asked himself, as he tried to recall how they had gone about the initial stages of their relationship, "a few days after your trial." His expression turned thoughtful, and he lowered his hand and crossed his arms on the table, turning his gaze down to them after a moment. "I think I've been attracted to him for a long time, ever since I became a defense attorney and saw him in court. I...didn't think about him that way until recently - I realized what I felt when he came back from Europe and helped us."

A smile tugged at Phoenix's lips, a fond look appearing in his eyes. "When I started dating Edgeworth, I realized I didn't know him at all. We knew each other back when we were kids, but we spent a lot of time apart...we've only started to understand each other in the past few days..." The defense attorney then lifted his gaze to meet Iris' and he swallowed, feeling suddenly awkward and as if he'd taken a step backwards into his teenage years. He then staunched his gushing, not wanting to overload Iris, even while he realized that his desire to talk to someone about Edgeworth had been bubbling up within him for ages.

Iris had always thought Phoenix was adorable when he blushed and now was no different. It was something in his coloration that set him apart from everyone else and she could tell that he'd always put his entire heart into everything. That was part of what had drawn her to him. He'd taught her how to be pure and genuine, and that was a lesson Iris wouldn't soon forget.

She smiled in return, almost in an encouraging way, as though she wanted him to continue - which she did. Iris wanted Phoenix to feel comfortable with her again, even if she wasn't entirely sure she deserved it. Talking about something so personal was a good start, wasn't it?

"I guess it's like getting to know a best friend again after you go to different colleges," Iris mused softly, even as she wondered what it would be like to be in such a serious relationship again. She was more than certain at this point that her life would be as a nun living on the mountain at Hazakura with Sister Bikini and she was okay with that. This fate had been accepted many, many years ago.

Iris paused again and examined her fingers before she continued. "Have you told anyone else about it?" She assumed Mystic Maya would know as the young girl had been practically everywhere with him since Mia Fey's death. "I wish I knew Mr. Edgeworth better, but I really don't. I never got a chance to really talk with him, aside from the small time we had alone on the mountain."

"...I told Maya, and I think she told Pearls," Phoenix said, recalling the memory of when he had come out and told Maya about his relationship with Edgeworth fondly. "I...at first, we didn't want to be open about our relationship, but...after the shooting, we decided against it.

"There's another reason why I needed to tell them, too - as quick as it probably seems, Edgeworth and I are moving into a house together." A cheery warmth washed over Phoenix's expression, the sensation trickling into the rest of his being. His posture began to relax considerably, and it was clear that Phoenix was feeling more at ease. "Since Maya and Pearls stay with me, I had to get their approval first. Once you're able to, I want to show it to you; I think you, Maya, and Pearls will like it - there's an outside pool and a huge lawn. I'm pretty sure Edgeworth is going to get a big television, too, so maybe Maya and he can share some Steel Samurai with you."

As much as Phoenix knew his relationship with Iris was going to take time to repair, he wanted to include her in his life, as a friend and part of his patchwork family of sorts. If there was one thing that Phoenix understood better than anything else in his life, it was that family was incredibly valuable - an asset that couldn't be replaced or assigned a quantifier. As he understood, Iris didn't have much of a family - Sister Bikini was the only one, and Phoenix couldn't imagine that it was easy to abandon the duties of Hazakura in order to visit. And after Iris had been given away by her father, abandoned and used by her sister...Phoenix couldn't help but want to try to fill the gap, as small as the effort might be.

The mention of the shooting brought Iris' gaze back to Phoenix's for a very quick moment. She was very glad he seemed to be feeling fine after it all. The news had been quite a shock to her, but now he seemed to be on the road to recovery and the sight of him moving around so easily was a very good one for her.

Iris' eyes blinked in surprise at the mention of the house, but then she smiled. It made sense. "You'll probably need more space now with the four of you," she replied. "I'm certain Mystic Maya and Mystic Pearl need their room more often than not." Children would be children, after all. Iris smiled at the image of their happy faces seeing their new home for the first time and almost missed the rest of what Phoenix was saying. "Oh... I... I would really like that."

The nun blushed warmly. He was offering to let her back into his life, really into his life. The idea nearly sent her head to spinning.

"I've never had anyone to share things like this with before," Iris admitted softly. "But I can't leave Sister Bikini alone very often. I've already been away from her long enough." Maybe, with a little luck, Hazakura would be doing well enough now after everything that had happened during the trial for Sister Bikini to be able to hire help or convince someone else to join and help out. Goodness knew they needed it.

Phoenix lifted his right hand and pressed the side of his thumb and the tip of his index finger to his lips lightly, his expression sobering thoughtfully at the mention of Sister Bikini. He couldn't help but wonder if there was some way that he could fix the current situation - after all, Phoenix couldn't imagine Sister Bikini not missing Iris. "...I remember you telling me that Hazakura is for spiritual training, but I can't imagine a lot of people wanting to go through what Maya did. Is that the only service that the temple provides...?" he trailed off, refocusing his gaze on Iris.

The idea was blossoming in Phoenix's mind - if he could manage to somehow get the temple taken care of for a day, Sister Bikini could visit Iris - and he was thinking that both Maya and Pearls would enjoy taking part in the endeavor. After all, they hadn't been able to appreciate the temple for what it was considering how long they'd been there and everything that had happened, and getting hands-on with what happened there on a daily basis seemed like it would be the most effective way to familiarize themselves.

Iris couldn't imagine any reason Phoenix would be asking aside from simple curiosity. It didn't occur to her that he might have something else in mind. She smiled in response as she shifted her weight a little bit where she was sitting.

"Well," she began, "Hazakura also has a lot of information on the different schools of spirit channeling. It's mostly been a place of study for those who are interested in learning more or training. Most of our information is on the Kurain Technique, but the others are listed, too."

She tilted her head warmly at him, moving her hands to rest upon the table for the first time. Usually, she kept them in her lap as a security measure, but now she was beginning to feel a little more relaxed. Enough so that she could show more of herself to Phoenix. It was a nice feeling.

"My job used to be informing people of other schools of channeling about the Kurain technique and showing them the grounds and training places when I wasn't helping with the upkeep. Sister Bikini was the one who usually helped with the training."

Iris didn't have any spiritual powers to speak of, so that didn't really bother her.

"And I believe Sister Bikini wanted to start preparing things to reflect the new Master when she's ready to take over." It was a daunting task, taking over an entire School of Channeling - especially so soon after her mother's death - but Mystic Maya had many, many people to support her. Iris was more than certain she would be all right.

"Hmm..." Phoenix looked pensive as he processed the information, and he lowered his arms, crossing them once again on the table. His gaze focused outside the window towards the grounds of the prison, and it was clear that he was thinking.

The defense attorney hadn't been aware of the other avenues of spirit channeling - he'd only known about the Kurain technique - but the existence of others wasn't a surprise. Phoenix couldn't help but feel slightly curious about the other schools, as the methodology seemed to stem straight into the supernatural. When he had been in college, supernatural occurrences had never intrigued him - in fact, they'd been more frightening than anything else - but after a few years in the company of two young girls who were obviously fluent in their channeling skills, Phoenix's curiosity and tolerance for such things had risen.

After a few moments of consideration, Phoenix decided to come out with his idea. As the endeavor was entirely for Iris, Phoenix felt that she had the first say as to whether it would happen or not, even while he was pretty sure she would agree. While Phoenix couldn't relate to prison life, he couldn't imagine that it was exciting, and he wanted to see if he could give something to Iris that she would be able to look forward to.

Returning his gaze to Iris, his eyes focused on her hands, as they'd come out from their hiding place underneath the table. Phoenix wasn't sure if it meant Iris was feeling more comfortable, but he couldn't help but feel slightly uplifted by the possibility, his expression warming in response. "...I was trying to figure out a way for Sister Bikini to come visit you if you wanted her to," he started, as an explanation for his silence. "I was thinking that maybe we could help at the temple so she could travel over here. Though I think Maya and Pearls will be better at it than Edgeworth and I," Phoenix joked, as he lifted his right hand, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. "Maybe we can go rake leaves or something." Or I can, Phoenix thought to himself, I don't know if Edgeworth is even going to agree to help, since it'll involve...that stuff.

Iris tilted her head to the side as she watched Phoenix move to look out the window. She couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking so hard about. Spirit channeling was such a difficult thing to wrap one's head around if they weren't already accustomed to such supernatural events. Iris had grown up knowing about it all, so it wasn't much of a stretch for her. But for someone like Phoenix, she was sure it had to have been a shock when he'd first found out about it. Hearing about a spirit medium channeling a spirit and seeing it were two entirely different things.

Still, Iris was polite and waited for Phoenix to say something in response. He seemed lost in his thoughts for quite a while and just as she was about to ask if he would like to accompany her to Hazakura sometime, he began to speak again and she fell silent.

To say that Iris was shocked by Phoenix's idea wouldn't do justice to the flood of emotions she experienced at his words. For a moment, all she could do was stare at him before her face broke out into a genuine smile, one that spoke of the wave of feelings. "I would... I'd really like that," Iris murmured in response. "I'm sure the Temple would be all right without the spirit medium training being open for a few days, especially if Sister Bikini's managed to get her tours set up. And I'm sure Mystic Maya and Mystic Pearl would do a great job helping."

She was so thrilled and flattered that Phoenix would think of something like this that she barely knew what to say. It was overwhelming the kindness that he'd shown her today. All her life, really, he'd been the epitome of a kind and caring person. Iris wasn't sure how she'd gotten lucky enough to find someone like this. Someone who would accept her even though she'd done terrible things to him in the past. The idea gave her hope. Maybe all wasn't lost.

"...and Maya could familiarize herself with the temple," Phoenix agreed, nodding his head slightly. The smile on Iris' lips flattered Phoenix deeply, and he was happy that he was capable of brightening her expression. She had seemed downtrodden upon her entrance into the visitor's room, but Phoenix hoped that he'd been able to cheer her up. He then placed his hands down on the table lightly, palms down. "All right. I'll talk to everyone involved, and I'm sure..." he paused briefly.

Out of the corner of Phoenix's eye, he noticed the guard was looking at him and motioning at his watch with a hand, as if to tell him that his time was up. "...that everyone will want to, save for maybe Edgeworth, since he's pretty busy most of the time. Can I call you to let you know?" The defense attorney turned his gaze back towards Iris. He knew they didn't have much time, but Phoenix wanted to make sure everything was in place before he went through with his plan.

The idea was growing on Iris. It sounded wonderful to her and she nodded eagerly. If Phoenix had any doubts that he had managed to make her happier than she'd been when she walked in, he should have banished them at the sight of the light in her eyes. This was more than she had ever expected and she felt... lucky to have been offered this.

"Yes, of course," Iris agreed. A phone call wasn't as nice as a personal visit, but she knew Phoenix was a busy person and even taking time out to make a call would mean the world to her. "I'd like that. And I... I really appreciate this, Phoenix. Thank you."

They were simple words and didn't do anything for what she felt about the whole offer, but they were the best she could do. The tone of her voice would have to convey the weight of the emotions she felt. Hopefully, that would be enough.

Phoenix turned pink at Iris' words, and he looked briefly sheepish, not sure how to accept. While he was going out of his way in order to set everything up, he didn't particularly mind - after all, Iris was a friend, and Phoenix didn't feel it was an inconvenience. "It...it isn't a problem, Iris. Anything for a friend - after all, that's we do for each other, right?" he asked, before he pushed his chair back slightly, indicating his right hand towards the guard.

"I wish I could stay, but I think my time's up," Phoenix said, his tone apologetic. As much as he didn't want to leave, there wasn't much he could do. "I'll try to visit soon again - maybe I can bring Maya and Pearls next time. What do you think?" A cheerful smile came over Phoenix's face as he asked the question.

Iris was blushing brightly herself and she smiled warmly, even as her head dipped downwards a little in a subconscious effort to hide the reddening of her cheeks. Thanking him would probably be a bit much now, so she held herself back and simply nodded.

"That's all right. I understand." Iris knew her time with anyone was limited and as much as she wished he could stay, she knew he couldn't. But the offer to bring Mystic Maya and Mystic Pearl brought Iris' head back up again. "That would be nice. I hope they wouldn't mind."

She wished they had more time, but it wouldn't do to dwell on what she couldn't have. She hadn't done so before and there was no reason to do so now. "Will you... will you tell everyone hello for me?"

Phoenix nodded once, his gaze focusing on Iris' warmly. "...I will, I promise."

There was a soft scraping noise as Phoenix pushed his chair back further and rested his right hand on the table, using the leverage to stand up. Moving to the side of the table that was closest to the entrance to the room, Phoenix extended his right hand to Iris to help her out of her seat.

Iris watched Phoenix stand up, fully expecting for him to leave right away. So she was pleasantly surprised when he stopped next to her and reached out a hand to help her up. She hesitated in surprise for a moment before accepting his hand up with a smile.

"Thank you."

Those two words encompassed quite a lot, but she didn't elaborate on them. She'd already explained enough to Phoenix. Anything more would be overkill. However, as she looked up at him, the urge to give him a hug in thanks came over her, but she held herself back for the time. She didn't want to completely overwhelm him or push him in the wrong way. What agreement and friendship they'd come to was more than she'd ever expected... and yet it was something she would treasure no matter what happened.

Once Iris managed to stand up and had moved away from the table, Phoenix hesitated for only a split-second before he wrapped his arms around her shoulders in a warm hug, squeezing her to himself gently. He smelled of cologne and sticky-sweet hair gel, his clothes softened and scented by some type of dryer sheet, and his embrace was an honest one.

For Phoenix, touch was healing - something he needed in moments where things couldn't be repaired by verbal glue - and as a result, he expressed himself in the same way. Phoenix was incredibly thankful for the fact that he'd met Iris, even with all of the troubles that they'd had, and he was even more thankful for the fact that they'd been able to come out friends in the end. Their friendship was something that they could work on and it was guaranteed to be imperfect, but Phoenix knew that everything would be fine.

The embrace lasted for a few moments before Phoenix pulled away gently, his gaze focusing on Iris' face as he rested his hands on her shoulders. A fond, gentle smile tugged at Phoenix's lips. "...don't stop smiling, okay? There's a lot to look forward to, and I'll be back soon." The guard then made his way over from the door, as he was sure that they were saying their goodbyes, and he stopped in close proximity, making it obvious that he was waiting.

Like Phoenix, Iris reveled in touch. The hug caught her off-guard at first - it was as though he'd read her mind - but shortly she wrapped her arms around his back and returned the embrace warmly. She enjoyed the feeling of closeness, how it made her feel as though their friendship was repairing itself. She inhaled the scent he carried, remembering the hair gel as though it were yesterday when she'd first smelled it. Iris herself didn't particularly smell like anything other than normal prison smells. At least she was allowed to shower, so she didn't smell particularly badly, but it was nothing like the gentle but flowery smell she normally carried.

When Phoenix finally pulled back, Iris smiled up at him warmly, her eyes speaking of the emotion she couldn't say with her voice. His request made her blink once, but then she nodded. "I won't. I promise."

Iris could see the guard approaching and so she quickly slid her hand into Phoenix's to give his a quick squeeze before she turned to let the guard lead her away again. This had been a good meeting, and the smile she gave Phoenix over her shoulder as she walked away said as much. At the very least, she was holding herself taller than she had when she'd arrived earlier.