November 18, 1815
The Assembly Room
Wimpole Street, London
Phoenix Wright settled himself more comfortably on the cushioned chair and took a moment to take a look at his surroundings. He was dressed in a simple, yet elegant outfit: blue coat, black waistcoat, white shirt, pink cravat, tan trousers with white stockings and black leather shoes. He'd dressed more carefully than he usually did since he had a meeting with someone who would, he took his pocket watch out of his fob pocket and looked at it, arrive soon.
In the meantime, he was free to scan his surroundings. The tea room in the hotel was elegantly decorated and he couldn't help but goggle at how the chandeliers seemed to be made of carved crystal, with diamond shaped bangles that dangled from delicately wrought strands that hung in perfect loops across the base. The square tables were set up in orderly rows, white linen napkins lying on the top of the white lace tablecloths that covered each of the tables and a crystal vase with a single red rose gracing the table.
The cream colored walls had a sun disk in the center of each with the finest paintings in London hanging in ordered fashion around them, the black-and-white checkered marble floor gleaming in the overhead light. Thick, black velvet curtains hung in graceful folds over the double French windows, gold ties with silver tassels were wound around the middle.
All in all, it was a beautiful place and he couldn't repress the surge of admiration he felt rising in his breast. He had an artist's eye that appreciated beauty in all its many forms, having dabbled in painting and sculpture before he became a barrister.
I wonder how many really look at the beauty, and not just the opulence that surrounds it. His admiring glance skimmed the room around him. It does make you wonder and I can't help but feel sad that it goes unappreciated.
The waiter, dressed to the nines in black suit and white cravat, stopped at his table and took his order; he barely even noticed the man's leaving, so intent was he on the figure that had just come through the door and was making his way over to where he sat.
He was dressed in a red velvet tailcoat, a white muslin shirt with white silk cravat, silk stockings, black trousers and black shoes with silver buckle. Phoenix smiled and nodded his head in greeting when Miles Edgeworth, his senior partner in the law firm that they ran together, came into view.
Phoenix lifted his hand and waved; Miles lifted his hand briefly in acknowledgment, threading his way though the rows of tables until he reached him. Phoenix rose to his feet, bowing courtly, a wry grin on his face and winked roguishly at him when Miles indicated with a wave of his hand to sit down.
Miles rolled his eyes but Phoenix didn't miss the twinkle in his grey orbs nor the twitching at the corners of his mouth that proved he had been amused, and not irritated, by his mischievous teasing; Phoenix relaxed as they both sat down and began to discuss some business that they had to attend to for the upcoming trial next month.
The waiter came by, laden with a silver tray that held a tea service for two, two delicately wrought blue china plates with a willow pattern on them, two bone china cups with gold trim around the top sitting atop similar saucers, silver spoons lying beside silver pitchers of cream and sugar and a large china plate, heaped with delicate cakes, Sally Lunn buns, finger sandwiches, scones and a bottle of clotted cream.
He set them deftly before them on the table and Phoenix's mouth fairly watered at the delicious array before him. After the waiter had left, Miles picked up the silver teapot, deftly pouring himself and Phoenix a cup of tea while Phoenix helped himself to a scone, three cakes and sandwiches, putting them on his plate.
Miles' eyebrow rose, chuckling softly to himself as he watched Phoenix pick up a sandwich and bite into it, his eyes closing, a moan of pure pleasure coming from between his lips.
"Delicious." Phoenix chewed with relish, swallowing before he took another bite. Miles helped himself to three dainty cakes and they ate in silence for awhile, each thinking their own private thoughts.
Miles had a contented look on his face as he watched Phoenix, a soft smile spreading across his lips. He loved this beautiful and often infuriating man and had, some weeks previously, decided that he was going to ask him if he wished to make a solid commitment to him. Which was the reason for the small black velvet lined box that he had in his jacket pocket.
After some time, Miles broke the silence by speaking first, his voice soft and quiet.
"Yes?" He swallowed and then turned his attention back to his companion.
"Have you given any thought to my proposal?" His eyes locked with his, looking at him directly, his body rigid with unspoken tension.
Phoenix's eyes closed in concentration for a few moments before opening them again, picking up another scone and spreading clotted cream across the top.
"You mean to become a full partner with you in your own law firm?" He bit into the scone, delighting in the delicious flavours that burst out over his tongue.
Miles nodded, his hand straying to his pocket. There was another proposal that he wanted to make although he wasn't quite sure exactly how to proceed. Or even if the person he intended to propose it to would accept his suit.
It was no secret how he felt about the salt-and-pepper haired man sitting across the table from him; more than anything, he wanted to make their commitment to each other as solid as he could even though he knew it was impossible to do so legally in marriage. And it had to be kept a secret; their love was illegal in England and the penalties for it were severe, as both of them well knew having defended others in similar circumstances.
He'd been thinking about this for a few weeks now, remembering fondly his meeting with Phoenix at Lady Ashton's party six months earlier. He'd been listening with half an ear to a Mr. Bushby's, one of London's premier financiers, discussion on the Prince Regent's latest escapade when he noticed Phoenix coming in through the foyer, taking off his top hat and greatcoat, handing it to the butler who greeted him at the door.
In that moment, their eyes had met and Miles felt his heart start to quicken. He didn't believe in love at first sight but he'd been taken by the brilliant blue of his eyes, the soft smile about his lips, the toned body beneath his clothing, the salt-and-pepper hair seeming to gleam in the candlelight. He excused himself and walked quickly over to him, introducing himself and shaking his hand warmly.
Phoenix was a bit startled at first-after all, who didn't know Crown Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, the talk of London's circuit court!-but had warmed to him instantly and they began talking about the latest case on the docket that they were both involved in. From there, a close friendship had blossomed which had, over the course of time, turned into love.
I think I fell for you that night at Lady Ashton's party and there has never been another that I have wanted since that time. He smiled and nodded at Phoenix who was talking about a mutual friend that they both knew, Maya Fey, and her upcoming marriage to Mr. Claude Race which was set for the following week.
Both he and Phoenix were well acquainted with the young man in question and knew that he was a perfect match for Maya; he'd been working hard at the bank of London to try and set himself up as a man of business before he would propose marriage. Even though he had to chuckle about Maya's impatience for him to do so, once she knew that he wanted to be sure that he could properly provide for her she was much more content to wait.
It certainly didn't take him long. Miles couldn't help but chuckle at the young man's exuberance. He'd confided to both himself and Phoenix that he was working as hard as he could to be able to save up enough money in order to provide for Maya, whom he loved deeply and whom he wished to spend his life with.
Once that had been accomplished some months later with his promotion, he'd gone straight to their law firm, asking to speak with both gentlemen. They had both been a bit puzzled at first as to why he had come to see them with such haste but all was made clear when he told them of his promotion and how now he would be able to provide for Maya properly. He also knew that she had no close family in London-the nearest relative was a distant cousin in Canada-so he had come to ask for both he and Phoenix's blessing and for permission for him to ask for her hand in marriage.
They had given it happily, of course, knowing how much Maya and Claude loved each other. They also knew, from discreet inquiries of both his business associates and social friends, that he had no scandal attached to his name and would make a wonderful husband for her.
Once he had their blessing, he'd rushed off to see her, ring already bought and paid for some time earlier and proposed; she'd accepted gladly and had, in turn, rushed off to see them, wearing the betrothal ring Claude had given her.
That was seven months ago. The wedding was set for the following week and all of London was buzzing with the news. It would probably be the social event of the year and even the Prince Regent himself was rumored to be on the guest list although if that were the truth, Miles and Phoenix wouldn't say. They knew that he would be attending but would be incognito so as not to be recognized as per the Prince Regent's personal request and both of them were determined to honour his wishes.
It was, ironically, Maya's engagement that had spurred him into action and Miles brought himself firmly back to reality as he nodded at Phoenix, who smiled back. He was a little nervous about how Phoenix would react which was why he wanted to start the conversation on a topic that they had already been discussing at length.
"Have you come to a decision?" Miles' voice was soft. "The terms are most generous."
Phoenix nodded, chewing and swallowing the last of the scone, picking up his napkin and dabbing the corners of his mouth before he put it down on the plate.
"I have." His voice was firm and Miles couldn't help the thrill that raced through him at his words.
"I have decided to accept your very generous offer." Phoenix smiled broadly at him as he reached across the table, taking Miles' hand in his own, squeezing it gently, his thumb kneading his knuckles affectionately. "It can be no secret to you how I feel about you and having this opportunity dangled before me is one I simply cannot resist."
He grinned, winking at him and Miles felt a blush rise in his cheeks at the saucy tone in his voice though he was secretly pleased. "I put in my resignation in today. As I suspect you, yourself, did a fortnight ago."
Miles nodded, feeling his insides go to mush under that sweet gaze.
"I did. I'm settled in at my home in Wimpole Street and your office should be complete in an other week or so." Miles smiled at him, squeezing Phoenix's hand. "I'm glad that you will come and work under me."
Phoenix chuckled and, looking around to make sure that no one was watching, leaned across the table and kissed Miles on the lips, his mouth moving softly against his. Miles moaned, his eyelids fluttering shut, losing himself in the kiss before they reluctantly parted, Phoenix sitting back down in his chair.
"So am I."
Phoenix let go of his hand and they chatted amiably for some time, eating and drinking many cups of tea with a glass or two of port until, at ten o'clock, they decided to leave. The waiter came and cleared their table as they stood up and walked over to the coat room, asking the attendant for their great overcoats. Once they had them in hand and Phoenix was busily putting his on, they then made their way to the front where Miles paid their bill.
Phoenix had been about to call for a carriage when Miles stopped him, shaking his head.
"It's such a lovely evening out tonight, Phoenix. Why don't we walk back home instead?"
"All right." Though seemingly puzzled by this, he nodded, Miles putting on his great overcoat as they exited the tea room and putting on their gloves and hats once they were outside.
They walked down the quiet, deserted streets, Miles taking Phoenix's gloved hand in his own. Phoenix smiled softly at him before they continued on their way and Miles felt that surge of emotion in his breast, the one that never failed to make him glad that he had this wonderful man in both his personal, and professional, lives and how much his life had been enriched as a result.
I want a firm commitment. I want him in my life and I want him as my own. And I'm pretty sure that he feels the same way since he said as much earlier this evening. Miles looked up at the stars over his head as they walked amiably along, chatting about a hundred different things, fully conscious of the feeling of Phoenix's hand in his. Now is the time and I don't think I would get another chance when we're alone and no one is likely to come across us at this time of night.
There was a large Park just up ahead and Miles decided that this would be the perfect time, and place, to ask Phoenix to be his life partner. There was no doubt at all in his mind about what he wanted; he'd been with him long enough to know that he wanted Phoenix by his side and, since they couldn't marry legally, they would do so privately between themselves.
Phoenix stopped beside the pond that was in the middle of the Park, surrounded by trees and, over their heads, the stars twinkling in the velvety black sky. He looked upward, his eyes widening at the beauty of the night sky, the moon shining brightly, his hand tightening on Miles'.
"Isn't it beautiful?" he breathed, his voice imbued with wonder.
Miles looked upward when he felt Phoenix's hand lift, pointing upward, his gaze following. The tableau spread out above them was incredibly mesmerizing, both men looking with admiration at the celestial night show up above them.
They stood there in silence for some time in silent appreciation and, when at last Miles was able to look away, his eyes lit on Phoenix, still looking up at the stars, a faraway look on his face, a slight smile tugging at his lips.
"What are you thinking about?" Miles asked a few moments later, smiling as he felt Phoenix's fingers squeeze his own.
"Just how beautiful it is this evening," he replied, his voice low and soft. "It really is a lovely celestial display." He half-turned his head. "I'm very glad that you suggested we walk instead of taking the carriage else we would have missed all of this!"
Miles nodded, feeling the slight pressure of his fingers on Phoenix's hand.
They stood in silence for a few moments more until Miles broke it, clearing his throat.
"Phoenix," he began hesitantly, "there's something I would like to ask of you."
"Oh?" Phoenix looked at him, gazing curiously at him. There was something in his tone that spoke volumes to Phoenix and he had all of his attention now riveted on him.
Miles nodded, still holding Phoenix's hand tightly in his own.
"This is something very important to me." He looked earnestly at him. "It cannot have escaped your notice how I feel about you."
Phoenix nodded in agreement. "I am well aware of your feelings toward me." He smiled shyly, his cheeks reddening slightly. "And I…feel the same, Miles, toward you. As I'm sure that you are already aware of."
Miles felt his heart lift at these words, and the shy glance that accompanied them. He nodded quickly and, emboldened, he continued.
"I am pleased that you do," he replied quickly, cursing himself for his stumbling words. "I…I have felt something...more... than friendship toward you for some time and I…" He paused for a few moments, trying to calm his racing heart and gather his jumbled thoughts together into a coherent whole while Phoenix waited patiently for him to sort himself out. "I…wish to make a commitment to you and you only."
Phoenix's eyes widened in surprise but, before he could speak, Miles hurried on.
"I…love you, Phoenix Wright, and I have ever since the day I first saw you at Lady Ashton's party. You have my heart and I know that I have yours, as well."
Phoenix nodded, too overcome with emotion to speak.
"I…wish for you to be mine alone and I have something I wish to give to you…if you will give me your consent." Miles went down on one knee, fishing in his jacket pocket and bringing out the small velvet lined box. Phoenix's eyes widened, a soft exhale of breath escaping his lips and Miles could also feel his hand trembling in his.
"Phoenix Wright, even though I know that we can never marry officially, I…am asking you here and now for your hand." His eyes locked onto his and held. "Will you… consider being my life partner? Would you… do me the honour of spending the rest of your life with me?"
Phoenix stood stock still for some time, the only sound being the wind as it blew gently through the trees. He didn't say a word for some time and Miles couldn't help the unease that was spreading through him as they stood there.
Finally, once the silence had become too much to bear, Miles hurried on.
"I love you, Phoenix," he continued earnestly, "and there's no other that I want in my life except you. You have captured my heart ever since the first time I laid eyes on you and I want to be yours, and for you to be mine. Exclusively."
Finally Phoenix found his voice, clearing his throat.
"Miles, are you…asking me to… commit... to you?"
"I am." Miles' voice was firm. "I do not want anyone else except you; you make me happy in a way that others cannot and you understand me also in ways that others do not." He blushed but he didn't relinquish Phoenix's hand. "I… as I said, I love you and I want to be with you. Will you do me the honour…?"
Phoenix nodded quickly, tears welling up in his eyes.
"Yes! Yes, Miles, yes, a thousand times yes! I will be yours for I, too, have lost my heart to you!"
Miles stared at him, happiness shining in his eyes as he realized that Phoenix had accepted his proposal, his heart singing for joy. He let go of his hand then, pulling off his glove as he did so. He opened the box and Phoenix could see the 4mm wide band of silver, thin gold strands woven into it, nestled in its heart. He waited with some impatience as Miles took it out and slid it on the fourth finger of his left hand, clasping it tightly.
Miles rose to his feet, pulling Phoenix closer to him, smoothing a lock of salt-and-pepper hair that had fallen over his eye, a dazzling smile spreading out over his face. He couldn't remember a time in his life when he had been this happy and, as he looked deeply into the eyes of his betrothed, he promised himself, and Phoenix, that he would always strive to make sure he was.
"I love you, Phoenix," he whispered, his lips coming closer to his.
"I love you, too, Miles," he replied and nothing more was said by either man for some time, wrapped up in their passionate embrace while the stars above shone brightly down upon them.