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25 February 2010 @ 06:35 pm
096 | April 11, 2019 | Phoenix's Apartment  
Edgeworth couldn't sleep, but he couldn't say he was surprised by that fact; he'd awoken feeling rested, but with how poorly he had been sleeping lately, he had hoped to attain a little more rest before work. However, after Phoenix's less than appropriate departure nearly a half hour before, the prosecutor had tossed and turned, finding the bed to be uncomfortably large without the defense attorney beside him. Nothing about that morning had been typical, and although he felt a pang of shame for laughing so freely in front of Phoenix, he instead found himself plotting about ways to return the other man's serve later in the day.

Light filtered through the thin material of the curtains on the windows, and the room just felt too bright. Edgeworth was used to sleeping practically in tandem with the sun, leaving the glow of the morning more annoyingly foreign than pleasant. Lifting the comforter over his head, Edgeworth attempted to sleep under the darkness of the blanket, but it wasn't too long before he became too warm to rest comfortably. Giving up on sleep for the morning, he tossed the comforter off of himself, climbing out of bed and into his bathrobe.

Despite the differences in his morning, his rituals were very much the same - he showered, groomed, and dressed himself just as he normally did, and at the same pace - but he still found himself with too much time on his hands. He wasn't expected until eleven, and, without any cases to tend to, showing up early would have been a waste of time.

The answer to Edgeworth's concern over his excess time came to him as he was putting on his cravat. The all too familiar Steel Samurai theme suddenly boomed from the living room, first startling him into dropping the garment he'd been folding, then tempting him to spend his morning in the most unproductive manner possible. It took him a few moments to reason with himself that he could spare enough time for one episode (or two...perhaps three?) before he nabbed his cravat from the floor, tying it deftly around his neck before setting off into the living room.

Of course, the issue remained that Edgeworth had no idea how to talk to the little guest in the living room, but if they were both watching something, conversation wasn't a necessity, right?

Edgeworth's stride was tentative as he made his way toward the recliner he'd come to favor, and the issue remained that the television was far too loud - wouldn't Pearl harm her hearing if she kept that up? Deciding that this conversation point was more appropriate than asking to join her to simply watch, Edgeworth decided to say something to that effect. "Pearl?" he said, raising his voice to be heard over the television. "I don't think Wright would appreciate you damaging the speakers to his television. Would you mind turning it down?"

Pearl was generally a morning girl and that usually meant she'd be up right when the sun crested the horizon. Normally, though, she was careful not to wake anyone else up. She knew Mr. Nick didn't approve of being woken up before his alarm, so she took careful pains to make sure she was quiet until his alarm went off. Any time after that was fair game.

However, despite this being her normal routine, Pearl had overslept that morning. She thought she was starting to get sick and she didn't like that. What if Mystic Maya got back just in time to catch her cold? Pearl didn't want that to happen. So she'd foregone her normal activities in favor of more sleep and had woken up just in time to see Mr. Nick leave for work. Yawning sleepily, Pearl rubbed her eyes and made her way into the kitchen to make a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

Sitting at the table, she stared blearily at the bowl until it was finished. She felt as though the world was standing on its head. But since Mystic Maya wasn't here and Mr. Nick had left, there wasn't much for her to do unless she went out into town again. Considering she didn't have much to do today, she figured the possibility of getting lectured about running off on her own again wasn't a very good idea. So, the littlest Fey put her bowl in the dishwasher and decided to watch a little Steel Samurai.

Mystic Maya would be proud.

Soon enough, she stopped paying attention to anything when Edgeworth entered the room and took a seat, but his words eventually snapped her out of her thoughts and she glanced over at him. Why was Mr. Edgeworth... She shrugged inwardly and nodded.

"Okay." Hopping up from the couch she usually shared with Mystic Maya when her cousin was here to watch with her, Pearl turned the volume down to an acceptable level and hopped back up to her seat. "Do you like the Steel Samurai, Mr. Edgeworth?"

Edgeworth made himself comfortable in the recliner as Pearl toyed with the volume, crossing his right leg over his left as he turned his attention to the television. He recognized the episode a little faster than he would have liked to admit, and it was one he'd seen quite a few times, but it would, at the very least, allow the time to pass a little more quickly.

It quickly became apparent that he hadn't really paid attention to Pearl's question, but once he realized she'd been talking to him, he rolled over what he had heard in his mind until he could make sense of the question. "Ah, uh...well, I actually had to oversee a case in court pertaining to this show a number of years ago, and it's...been a bit of a curiosity to me since then." The excuse was practically rehearsed - the statue in his office had inspired the question a few times in the past - but Edgeworth didn't exactly think it would be that difficult to bluff a child.

The difficult part didn't lie in bluffing this child. It lay in keeping the bluff going. Pearl believed what Edgeworth said about dealing with the show and a case, but her little mind worked in strange ways and soon Edgeworth would understand the headache Phoenix had lived with for over a year.

"Oh... okay..." That made sense. Lawyers had to do their research, right? "What was the case about?" she asked, looking at Edgeworth curiously.

The question meant nothing to the little girl at all. She had no idea that it wasn't normal for a girl her age to be asking about murder trials. After all, her own cousin had nearly gotten convicted of killing people twice and been in extreme danger because of a dead person's spirit. Not to mention, she was a spirit medium. Death just didn't mean that much to her. Not compared to the rest of the normal populace.

Edgeworth was the sort of person that could become easily immersed in various mediums of entertainment, and Steel Samurai tended to be the worst culprit when it came to pilfering his attention. However, despite that fact, Pearl's inquiry into the case that had brought the series to its untimely end snapped his attention away and back toward the young medium. Any knowledge he had about interacting with children was sparse to say the least - how exactly was he supposed to handle a child asking about a murder case?

Common sense told him to stray far away from the true facts of the case, though speaking in generalities seemed safe. "...well, the...actor that plays the Steel Samurai was on trial for a crime, and I was prosecuting the case...however, once I realized that he had been framed, I assisted in bringing the true criminal to justice." It was the truth, even if his part in resolving the case was sugarcoated to some degree. "Incidentally, Wright was the defense attorney for that case," he added after a moment in the hopes that it would detract her attention away from the details of the case itself.

Poor little Pearl had no idea why Mr. Edgeworth was suddenly looking like she'd asked him a complex mathematical equation. To her, it was part of the business of being Mr. Nick's assistant, though... she didn't really get to see much of the action. Usually, he requested for her to channel Mystic Mia, but that didn't mean Pearl wasn't interested.

Still, Edgeworth's response made sense again and Pearl had to think about some of the cases she'd heard about. Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately - she didn't recall this one, likely because she hadn't actually been there with them at the time. The little Fey girl decided those details didn't matter.

"Mr. Powers?" she asked, again sounding way too curious for this sort of conversation. She had no idea what an actor was, but she remembered Mr. Powers had been involved in another case and he was somehow involved with the Steel Samurai and the Pink Princess. Speaking of the Pink Princess...

"Mr. Edgeworth, do you watch the Pink Princess?" If he liked the Steel Samurai, why wouldn't he like the Pink Princess? The jump in subjects was perfectly logical to her, not so much to anyone around her.

Sincere surprise washed over Edgeworth's expression when Pearl mentioned Will Powers by name, but her next question cut off any chance he had to inquire about her knowledge of Will Powers. Sufficiently thrown, Edgeworth glanced at the television briefly as though it would offer him sort sort of salvation.

The prosecutor's opinion on the cartoons that Sal Manella had directed after the Steel Samurai was a bit of an elitist one; naturally, nothing compared to the original, but he couldn't discount the fact he had still enjoyed the brief time Pink Princess had been on the air...but did Pearl need to know that?

If he were to be truthful, he would have admitted to favoring Pink Princess over the last attempt at the series - the Nickel Samurai. He'd never been a fan of Matt Engarde's acting in comparison to Will Powers, and the case he'd prosecuted against Engarde had cemented his distaste for the show. The reminder of the case seemed to dust a few cobwebs from Edgeworth's memory, and he recalled Pearl's presence throughout Phoenix's investigation. She must have met Powers then, he concluded.

"...it's no longer on the air," he said in a clear attempt to dodge the subject. "I understand that Maya is a fan."

Fortunately for Edgeworth, subjects were easily dodged with Pearl around. She had yet to cotton on to the whole conversation techniques thing. Which was just as well. Her mind probably couldn't handle it quite well enough. There were few things she could handle, truth be told. Oddly enough, trials were something she was familiar with. Relatively.

Pearl thought about Edgeworth's response for a moment, allowing her attention to stray back to the TV. Had he actually aired his response about Matt Engarde and the whole Nickle Samurai case, he would likely have been greeted by a rather irate and then wildly upset Pearl. Her opinion of the man responsible for putting Mystic Maya through all of that kidnapping stuff was not a very pleasant one. That case in general had really put a strain on the nine-year-old and any recollection of it tended to throw her into a tantrum in a millisecond flat.

Tantrums aside, Pearl considered her reply. "Mystic Maya likes Pink Princess," she agreed. "It's a good show."

However, soon enough, the TV caught her attention again and she watched in silence for a few minutes. Eventually, she noticed a note in someone's hand and she immediately thought of the two notes she'd gotten from Mr. Brush-elle. She still hadn't given them to the two men and she wasn't sure when the best time would have been. If only she could ask Mystic Maya! Pearl's thumb snaked its way up to her mouth and she chewed on it worriedly.

After a while of thinking it over, Pearl just couldn't stand it any longer. "Mr. Edgeworth, does Mr. Nick like notes?" she blurted out, looking for all the world as though her very life hinged on his answer. Of course, to her, it did, but there was no need to tell him that.

No matter how many times Pearl addressed Maya as 'Mystic Maya', it still tended to knock Edgeworth off balance. Ignoring his complete distaste for anything in relation to spirit channeling, the idea of the Maya he knew being called mystic in any capacity was almost laughable. Edgeworth had come to care for Maya a great deal in the time that he'd known her, and he'd had spent a fair amount of time with her, Phoenix, and Pearl during her time away from Kurain, but her attitude and demeanor didn't seem to reflect her stoic background.

However, silence was golden, and the conversation dropping into a lull was suitable enough for the prosecutor. He soon became engrossed in the episode, his expression taking on an interested edge before he was suddenly pulled back to reality by yet another question from the young girl. But unlike the others, this one didn't make any immediate sense to Edgeworth, and the more times he rolled the question around in his head, the more confused he became.

"...I'm afraid I don't understand," he admitted after a moment, his brow furrowing slightly as he considered both Pearl and her peculiar inquiry. "What do you mean by 'notes'?"

Pearl was still watching the TV and for a while it seemed that maybe she'd forgotten her sudden question. Oh if only. A moment later, she turned to face him, her thumb still hanging out near her mouth. "U-um..." she began hesitantly. She'd thought it was a straight-forward question. Apparently, Mr. Edgeworth had missed her point.

But how was she to explain it without giving anything away?

"Sometimes special someones write notes to each other, right?" Pearl began, looking nervous. She'd been bad and she knew it. But it was for a good thing! That couldn't be entirely wrong, could it? "A-and they're very important and... um... mee-neeng-fuhl?" What a weird word. "Mr. Nick likes things that are mee-neeng-fuhl, right?"

The conversation had made a giant leap from difficult to uncomfortable. Not only did he have no desire to discuss his love life with a nine-year-old, but he had to somehow set her straight on a topic that he wasn't even sure he fully understood.

"...notes," he repeated, almost as though he was praying for some clarity by saying the word out loud. "I...can't say that Wright and I have ever exchanged notes. It's a bit of a juvenile thing to do, especially when one takes into account our...living situation." Edgeworth uncrossed his legs, only to recross them with his left leg crossing over his right this time. "Pearl, I don't...why do you ask?"

The longer Edgeworth talked, the further Pearl's face fell until her hands were folded in her lap and her head was bowed over them. If they had never exchanged notes, then maybe her idea to have someone write notes for her to them was a bad idea...

"Ngh...." Pearl definitely looked as though she was having a difficult time coming to terms with something he'd said. She didn't want to give away her surprise but if Mr. Edgeworth was sure Mr. Nick wouldn't like it... "I-I..." she began, unsure of where to begin. "I wanted to do something nice for you. So I went to a no-toe-ree. No-toe-rees write notes."

Maybe the surprise didn't matter if the effort hadn't been worth it. Pearl sounded as though her little heart was breaking.

Edgeworth's expression deadpanned completely, but no matter how many times he tried to make sense of her pronunciation, he couldn't figure it out. After a moment, he began thinking out loud. "No...toe..." Comprehension washed over his features. "Notary? You went to a..."

A second wave hit him then, coupled with a sensation not unlike his stomach inexplicably knotting itself. A notary. Pearl had gone to talk to a notary about Phoenix's 'special someone'. Anger began to well up beneath his significantly more calm exterior, and when he spoke, each word was deliberately terse as he tried to put together what he had just been told.

"...explain this to me one more time, Pearl. You sought out a notary...in order to obtain some notes for Wright? Notes pertaining to my relationship with him?"

Uh-oh. The sudden coldness of Mr. Edgeworth's expression told Pearl that something was up. She nearly bit down on her thumb out of fear, but managed to avoid that very quickly. That would hurt. Instead, she shook her head violently, as a hand came up to cover her mouth in surprise for a second.

"N-no," Pearl told him worriedly, hands dropping back to twist around themselves in her lap. "I...."

Well so much for her secret. Pearl hesitated a moment longer before hopping up off the couch and tearing for the closet where she kept her clothes. In the pocket of one set of acolyte robes, she'd hidden the notes. Pulling them out, she walked slowly back into the room with the three papers held in her hands.

At least it was small consolation that Mr. Edgeworth was the one getting his note first. He wasn't the most important one she'd wanted to surprise after all. Pulling out the correct one, she handed it to him.

It was a very generic little note and obviously not written by Pearl herself, though she'd scribbled her name at the bottom. It basically told him to never hurt anyone or she'd never forgive him. No other names were involved. For once, Pearl had tried to keep things simple and vague.

"I-I know I shouldn't have gone out alone," the little girl told Edgeworth, using a voice that was very obviously close to breaking down in tears. "But I thought you and Mr. Nick and Mystic Maya would like them."

Edgeworth read over the note carefully, then skimmed through it a second time to make sure that he didn't miss anything. Flipping it over, he glanced at the blank backside of it before facing it forward again. Pearl going out alone was the least of his worries - after all, she'd made it back safe - but he did take some solace in the fact that the note didn't seem to have any potentially damaging information.

...but why does she seem so concerned that I'll harm someone? Do I really seem that abrasive? he thought bitterly before returning the note to Pearl.

A crucial detail in the State V. Iris Hawthorne case had shown Edgeworth long ago that Pearl had no real grasp on reading and writing, and the handwriting itself was far too...adult to belong to a nine-year-old. Even if she hadn't divulged any details worth writing on the note, the possibility remained that she could have said something to the notary that Edgeworth could consider dangerous if he did nothing about it.

"...who wrote this for you?" he asked after a moment, raising a hand to massage the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.

It wasn't so much that Edgeworth came off as abrasive as it was a general reaction Pearl had to everyone who was close to someone important in her life. Particularly Mystic Maya. And no matter how Edgeworth looked at it, he was twisted up in Pearl Fey's strange child-like logic.

When she was offered the note back, Pearl tried to refuse it with a shake of her head. "It's for you, Mr. Edgeworth." The note had been meant for another, more special time, but the fact of the matter was that she'd gone to the trouble of getting someone to write it and she didn't want it back. It was his. From her.

His question distracted her, though, and Pearl stuck her thumb in her mouth again. She didn't like his tone at all and somehow she had a feeling he wasn't going to like her answer. Nor would he likely let her not answer. Pearl had been good when she'd gone to talk to the other man. Relatively. She didn't understand why Mr. Edgeworth would be upset with her if it wasn't because she ran off on her own again. He seemed to have bypassed that detail completely.

"Um..." Pearl began, looking down at the floor again at the Steel Samurai theme song blared in the background, signaling the end of the episode. "Mr. Brush-elle. He was really nice to me."

Brush-elle. Well, it wasn't as though Edgeworth could really expect to know who the individual in question was - after all, Los Angeles had a population of nearly four million - but something about the name rang a little...familiar. "Brush-elle..." He rolled the name around in his head repeatedly, sounding out the syllables in various manners in order to locate the correct pronunciation.

Unfortunately, no amount of mental processing allowed him to place a face with the familiar name. Something tugged at his memory - something vaguely unpleasant, he could recall - but the poorly pronounced word wasn't awakening much more than the tiniest of clues.

Eyeing the card in his hand, Edgeworth reread the words once again, his gaze remaining on it even as he addressed Pearl again. "Do you happen to remember his full name? Or what he looked like?"

Pearl hesitated, feeling increasingly as though this whole thing had been a bad idea. Maybe she should have kept quiet. But it was too late now. She had to deal with Mr. Edgeworth's questions.

"Um... His head was clear, he had a shirt and... I think his name was Spark."

It made no sense to her at all and the look on her face said as much. "He said a lot of big words. I didn't understand him."

...he had a shirt. Well, that certainly narrows the selection down. Edgeworth thought bitterly, trying to ignore the slight headache he was developing. He'd been about to dismiss the subject altogether - it was possible that her actions wouldn't truly be all that damaging - however, reciting the full name of the notary in his head tugged roughly at his memory. Spark Brush-elle. Spark Brushelle. Spark...Brushel?

The prosecutor's eyes widened as the murky memory of his run-in with a minty reporter surfaced in his mind. The name itself was uncommon, and the description of a 'clear head' seemed to match the other man perfectly (and he did indeed wear a shirt, but that was neither here nor there). It has to be him, Edgeworth decided, determination washing over his features. I have his card - perhaps I can still...wait.

"Spark Brushel. He's...Pearl, of all people, why did you have to speak to a reporter about this?" Edgeworth said, the dismay in his voice overshadowing the fact that the question was rhetoric.

Pearl froze as her hand shot up to cover her mouth. Mr. Brush-elle was a reporter? Had he said he was a reporter? If he had, she'd missed it, but then again, she'd missed a lot of what he'd said. The man had confused her very quickly.

"I didn't know he was a reporter," the little girl admitted softly. "He was speaking too fast."

Pearl's surprised turned to anxiety within seconds and her thumb migrated to her mouth again. She really hadn't meant to make this too horrible for them. She'd wanted to do something nice. But it seemed as though Mr. Edgeworth wasn't happy. Tears pricked the edges of Pearl's eyes.

A breakdown was on its way in three... two...

No matter how incensed Edgeworth was that he had been placed in this situation, he would have had to have been blind if he didn't notice the tears welling in Pearl's eyes. His expression took a distinct turn then, the anger fraying at the edges of his features diminishing in favor of frantic concern. "W-Wait. There isn't any need to cry."

Think, Miles, Edgeworth's mind reeled, trying to come up with some method of backpedaling. "I'm...certain that Wright will treasure anything you give to him." Lifting a hand, Edgeworth reached over and patted Pearl on the back in a way he hoped would be comforting. "I can talk to the reporter and no harm will be done. Just don't cry."

Edgeworth was lucky that Pearl was such a simple child. She latched onto his words that Mr. Nick would like what she'd done and about talking to the reporter. The little girl still looked like she was upset about it, but the way her head tilted down toward the ground suggested that she was no longer in danger of bursting into tears.

For now. Because anyone who knew Pearl Fey at all knew that she was always in danger of extreme mood swings.

At the moment, though, Pearl simply blinked and nodded at the floor. "I'm sorry, Mr. Edgeworth. I just wanted to do something nice for you and Mr. Nick. I didn't tell him that you were special someones." Not directly, anyway, but Pearl didn't really understand deductive reasoning. She'd done the best she could.

The Steel Samurai theme song distracted her then, and she noticed that the episode had ended. She had half a mind to change the episode discs, but she didn't want to move in case Mr. Edgeworth was still made at her. So she just glanced longingly at the TV screen before returning her attention to the lecture she was sure to get.

Fortunately enough for the both of them, Edgeworth didn't have time for the long winded lecture he wanted to give. He had a busy day ahead of him, and his mind was already tabulating the remaining hours in the day in order to see if he had time to make a visit to the reporter in question. It's better that it's dealt with fast if it has to be dealt with at all...

"As long as you're sorry," he said, lifting his hand and wagging a finger at her. "Don't run about town by yourself again, do you understand? And ensure that you don't speak with any strangers." Much less about my personal life, he added to himself before moving to stand.

The next episode of Steel Samurai was beginning to play, and Edgeworth motioned to the couch for Pearl to sit back down. "I'll be taking my leave now. I trust that you won't wander off again, will you?"

Pearl nodded miserably as she clasped her hands in front of her and looked down at the ground again. The girl had a very small attention span, so it was likely that she'd forget very soon - and she wasn't particularly good at remembering the "don't leave the house without someone else" lecture in general - but at least she was trying to be good this time!

"Okay," she murmured with another nod. "I'm sorry, Mr. Edgeworth. I'll stay here today."

Today being the key word.

Pearl turned and hopped back up on the sofa so she could finish watching the Steel Samurai episodes that were playing from the DVD. Maybe she could occupy herself completely with this today, though she found herself wishing Mystic Maya was around again.

All Edgeworth offered was a nod in acknowledgment to Pearl's apology before he stepped out of the living room. When he emerged several minutes later with his briefcase and keys, he said his goodbyes to Pearl and made his way out into the world.

The prosecutor stared for a long moment at his watch after he had stepped into his car and buckled his seat belt. There was time - though not much of it - but he knew that if he was to let this situation sit, he would obsess over it and ruin a potentially good day.

Reaching into his breast pocket, Edgeworth unearthed the business card Spark had given him that day in the hospital nearly a month ago. The corners were uncharacteristically bent, as Edgeworth hadn't had the time to store it properly until he'd returned home, but it had remained intact and viable in his dresser drawer. Despite his initial unease at accepting a card he believed he would never utilize, it seemed that he would be making proper use of it after all.

Stranger things have happened, Edgeworth thought bitterly before replacing the card in his pocket, starting the car in short order before he made his way out into the busy streets of Los Angeles, in search of a certain minty reporter.