a Phoenix Wright Alternate Universe by Dot
He is nine years old, frightened, trapped, blind, and fumbling with the heavy pistol as the bailiff claws and screams that they are all going to die. He shouts back just as loud to stop hurting his father, and hurls the weapon as far away from him as he can manage.
A gunshot. A scream. Then silence. And darkness.
He wakes a murderer and an orphan. Fate mocks him by punishing an innocent man in his stead and taking him into the home of the most prominent prosecutor in the whole city, and perhaps even the whole state.
He would look back on the day he ascended the stairs of the von Karma mansion as the day he died.
He is ten years old, shivering, locked out, going numb, and huddling under the tiny awning as Franziska watches from the window, unaware that her new “little brother” is at the mercy of a madman. He surveys the snow-covered yard, hoping to find some way to climb the imposing walls or break through the chained gates, but there is none.
A click. A hand pulling him back to his feet. Then warmth. And pain.
After he has screamed himself raw promising that he will never, ever speak the name of Gregory Edgeworth again, he returns to his room and leans his head against the bars of the window, staring at a world that he is no longer a part of. Franziska presses a warm mug of tea into his hands and he is too tired to push her away, accepting with a quiet thank you.
He is far quicker to learn the other rules of the household, and despite von Karma’s best efforts to seek an excuse, no further punishment is ever doled out.
He is fifteen years old, furious, heart pounding, teeth grinding, knuckles pressed against his mouth so hard one or the other was in danger of bleeding as he listened through the keyhole to von Karma rant and rage at the latest display of police ineptitude.
A fist pounds against a table. A roar. Then the tirade continues. And he flees from the other room, mind reeling as he matches the sound to the memory that haunts every moment waking or sleeping.
He locks himself in his room, and it takes all of his self control to refrain from throwing something. After the initial fury passes a tranquil, almost cold calm descends upon him as his mind turns to darker thoughts.
He has no idea what he could do without breaking the law himself, but for the time being the mere fantasy of taking vengeance is enough.
He is eighteen years old, palms dry, breaths heaving, bile rising in his throat and hands shaking as he raises the pistol to eye level and peers down the sight towards the distant target at the other end.
He squeezes his eyes shut. His index twitches. The gun jumps in his hand. Then it falls from his grip. And he becomes so ill he almost does not make it to the bathroom.
He washes his face, fighting dry heaves as he stares at himself in the mirror. Though he exaggerates his fear of firearms to keep von Karma from suspecting that he is not spending his weekends hitting golf balls, the visceral disgust that rises from his bowels is all too real.
He forces himself back into the chamber and uses up his allotted bullets, but it takes many more return trips before he can hold a gun without feeling ill.
He is twenty years old, sweating, stealing glances over his shoulder despite the house being abandoned at this hour, rifling through von Karma’s mail at breakneck speed, and still coming up empty.
Bills. Junk mail. Then, letters, some from his former clients, others from former defendants that he leaves untouched, as he could guess their contents with ease. And after that, pay dirt.
He places the letter back unread and reorganizes the stack to its original state, knowing better than to tamper any further. He is not about to risk discovery, not when von Karma will open letter himself in due time.
He breaks into von Karma’s safe while the Demon Prosecutor is in court, and the vague plan that had been percolating in his mind falls into place.
He is twenty-five years old, Father’s old badge snug beneath his cravat, his pistol snug in his hand, fog swirling around his body and an avalanche of thoughts swirling around his mind.
Voices in the distance. One bullet is fired (and at once he identifies it as a small personal handgun). Then a second (von Karma’s signature revolver). And he opens the door to the small shack beside the lake.
He fires without hesitation, aiming straight for the heart before von Karma can react. He wastes precious time staring at the bodies before turning to flee, tucking the gun in his pocket as he disappears into the night.
He tells himself that he had no other choice, but he still stays awake many nights wondering whether he had made the correct decision.
He is thirty years old (or somewhere there about; he lost count some time ago and has not bothered to keep up), drunk, cranky, and soaked to the bone from the rain.
Sirens in the distance, closing in on him. Closer. Then further. And they disappear into the distance, being more interested in their current quarry than some homeless alcoholic huddled in an alleyway.
Even Phoenix had given up on looking for him now, but he does not blame his old friend. After all, the renowned Ace Attorney was busier than ever, having to juggle a slew of high-profile clients, an eager young intern and a small child to take care of.
He tucks his head under his arm and settles into a restless sleep, the haze of alcohol not enough to banish the ghosts that haunted him.
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
A “Miles puts two and two together about the truth of DL-6” AU was requested on the Phoenix Wright kink meme, and since that happened to be the back story of a character I was playing in the Phoenix Wright Dressing Room, I jumped at the opportunity to detail it.