Title: Not So Old Shame
Request: Edgeworth, who isn’t in a relationship and hasn’t even had any sex, writes explicit stories for the Steel Samurai Kink Meme, and Maya (without him realizing it) is his #1 fan.
Original Link: http://teagueful.livejournal.com/45690.html?thread=19553658#t19553658
It had begun as a harmless aside—or so he thought—to the parade of paperwork he had to contend with on a day-to-day basis. The Steel Samurai was one of the few indulgences he allowed himself, so he was not surprised to find his thoughts drifting towards that direction whenever he was not otherwise occupied with the minutiae of law. To keep his mind from obsessing with what amounted to a children’s television program, he would jot his ideas down scraps of paper, graduating to typing them on his new computer once one had been installed into his office.
Except the ideas kept inundating him and before he realized it he had a good forty, maybe even fifty stories under his belt. He let this fact slip in his correspondence to the online fan-supported unofficial mailing list that he subscribed to for the latest news, and his inbox was soon stuffed to the brim with requests to see his work. It took a considerable amount of pleading and prodding, but he began publishing his stories over the internet under the pseudonym he was using for that mailing list.
“Reiji Mitsurugi”—according to the dictionaries he consulted, this meant something to the effect of “Merciful Samurai With a Royal Blade”—was far from the biggest name in fandom, but he had a handful who recommended him everywhere they went, and he was at least not unheard of among the major fan circles. Even after he took an extended period of leave due to the emotional fallout around State V. Edgeworth and State v. Skye, his return to writing was welcomed with open arms by a whole new group of fans who had discovered him in his absence and almost despaired of the possibility that he would never publish again.
It was during his trip to Europe that he discovered, almost by accident, the Steel Samurai Kink Meme. He had been looking to join new Steel Samurai fan communities and was following a trail of links when he stumbled into Part Five. He skimmed through the requests and fills, bookmarking the ones that he felt were good enough for repeated reading, but was not inspired to write anything until he came across a timid request for one of the less popular pairings. When clicking through the replies revealed that all of the comments were just mean-spirited jabs, Edgeworth found himself rolling up his sleeves and typing away:
“Have any of you ever heard of something called ‘reading comprehension’? This is a KINK MEME. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and making you reply to pairings you have no interest in. Leave commenting space to the people who want to make the fills.”
After that initial disclaimer, he dove right into writing the story that had been percolating in his head about that pairing. An hour later, the story had gotten to be fifteen parts long and he still felt like he could keep going, except he had an appointment to keep and so he left a note on his last part before hurrying out the door.
Maya fired up Nick’s computer, tapping her toes as she waited for the ancient machine to load. When it did, she went to her first bookmark, hoping despite all indications that maybe this time someone filled her request instead of complaining for the eleventy-billionth time how her OTP was stupid.
She was rewarded with the glorious sight of a chain-response that promised an epic read. Clicking on the first link, she dove straight in and found herself immersed in the epic love saga that could have been an OVA straight out of the series itself. She blew through each part in record time, her enthusiasm increasing until she got to the last one:
“I have to step away from my office for a few hours. I will get back to this as soon as I can. (Goodness, when the writing bug bites it bites hard.)”
Maya fired off an enthusiastic encouragement to continue writing, and then proceeded to reload the page every few minutes to see if her mystery benefactor had indeed lived up to his promise.
Her persistence was rewarded when she sat down to eat dinner (still parked, of course, in front of the monitor) and found a new reply:
“Sorry for the delay. I was held up in a meeting with a client. (Insert lawyer joke here.)
Onwards and upwards! I feel bad for the trees that have to die should anyone attempt to print this out…”
Edgeworth spent the rest of the evening living up to his promise, and from then on, he was hooked, returning to the levels of output he had maintained as a prosecutor. At first he stuck to generic and fluff fills, keeping the sex implied and with minimal detail, but as he grew more familiar with the seedy underside of fan fiction he began to imitate the better examples of smut he had come across. Nevertheless, he kept most of his focus on the characterizations, hoping that the strong storytelling aspects could carry a reader through without raising too many questions on how much first-hand experience he had with sex (that is, none save for the tongue-in-cheek “dates” with his hand). When the community crashed for a few hours due to the strain on the server, Edgeworth decided to publish his works on the other online repositories that he kept so that they would not be lost forever should anything happen. This brought another fresh influx of fans once word got out that Reiji Mitsurugi was among the legions of anonymous. As before, waves of emails poured in, most of which he deleted after a cursory glance.
On this particular day the last letter he was yet to clear out gave him slight pause:
“OMG SQUEE! YOU’RE the one who did that EPIC fill for Pink Princess x Ninja Butterfly back on Part Five? I’m the OP, and I’m so glad I’m not the only PrinNin (hee!) fan out there—all the better since you’re totally my favorite author!
Are you by any chance attending SamuraiCon again this year? Your yearly con reports are my motivation to cut back on burgers to save up and attend someday! (BTW, I might be able to afford going this year, maybe—it’d be SO awesome if we could meet up or something!)”
He sent off a brief response and thought nothing of it until she wrote back not five minutes later:
“>>I’m the OP, and I’m so glad I’m not the only PrinNin (hee!) fan out there
>Indeed. Is not the whole point of fan fiction to speculate on things the writers themselves leave blank?
Oh, TOTALLY! Evil Magistrate/Steel Samurai/Pink Princess is pretty much the canon OT3. Where’s the love for thinking outside the box?
>>—all the better since you’re totally my favorite author!
>Thank you, but have you read Lady Penelope’s works? She is one of the rare few that actually deserve her reputation, and does not
>have a swelled head about it.
Oh, yeah! I love her, too. Guess that means you’re demoted. :)
>>Are you by any chance attending SamuraiCon again this year?
>I doubt it. I am living in Europe for the time being, and I am not sure whether or not I would have the time to make the trip.
>I am also undecided about whether to go in the first place.
I hope you go. I’ll be there as Lady Butterfly (probably the only one *sadfaces again*). If I get any pictures of me taken I’ll try to get a copy so I can show off my awesome cosplay (yay for friends who can sew! <3 <3 <3)."
“I am sure your costume will look fantastic. If I do decide to attend the Con, I will announce it on the Fans of Steel mailing list—but otherwise, I hope you have a great time.”
Maya printed out the email for posterity and hugged it to her chest. Reiji Mitsurugi was corresponding with her! And he was so polite and nice, even though she was sure she came off sounding dumb. But she couldn’t help gushing, not even now when she was rereading their letters. Her favorite (all right, second-favorite, to be technical) fanfic writer was now her pen pal! It was like a dream come true.
The deadline to sign up for Samurai Con came and went, but Edgeworth still could not bring himself to revisit the city that held so many painful memories. So he threw himself into writing; by now most of his time was spend browsing the kink meme.
He had just about forgotten about Samurai Con when he got an email from his self-proclaimed number one fan:
“Too bad you couldn’t make it. The Con was awesome! I’ll give you the rundown if you want, but I’m sure you’ll be reading the other Con reports on the mailing list, too.
Nick, the cheapskate, went and bought a disposable camera, so I haven’t been able to get the pictures developed and scanned until now.
Here they are. Aren’t I the cutest? :3″
The mild sinking sensation in the pit of Edgeworth’s stomach upgraded to a full-grade black hole when he saw the pictures.
It was official. The universe hated him.
What was he going to do now? Though he always deflected any questions about his true identity, it would be just about impossible to not give himself away to Maya if they continued to keep in touch—she had a way of worming the truth out of anyone, and never gave up no matter what.
Politeness demanded at least a cursory response, so he sent one off and crossed his fingers, hoping that he would remain nothing more than a distant, faceless stranger.
Maya spotted Mr. Edgeworth as he was attempting to slip out unnoticed in the post-trial rush while the media was focused on Iris and Mr. Armando. As Nick was too busy making puppy eyes at Iris, she ditched him and made a beeline for Mr. Edgeworth herself, not calling out to him until they had reached the relative privacy of the parking garage. “Mr. Edgeworth! Wait!”
He paused and stared at her, as if he was not expecting this at all. “Yes?”
Without hesitation, Maya blurted out the first thing she could think of: “I know this great burger joint down the street. Come on! My treat.”
He blinked with surprise before his gaze softened and he broke out in one of his few rare smiles. “I would be honored.”
As he expected, Edgeworth spent the entire afternoon with Maya, the talkative girl going what seemed like a mile a minute between bites of burger while she updated him on every detail of Wright’s life, and interrogating him on his. He managed to keep most of his answers vague, although she did worm out of him that he was still single and not looking.
“No way! Didn’t you, like, have a million fangirls? Nick even thought you had groupies.”
Edgeworth shook his head. “Call me old fashioned, but I would prefer a slower courtship should I ever decide to find a companion.”
“Well, you should!” Maya declared. “I mean, even Nick has me, even if I’m not his girlfriend.”
What sort of odd logic is that? Edgeworth had to wonder. “Perhaps.”
Maya glanced up at the clock. “Oh, I’m so sorry for keeping you so long! Did I make you miss your flight?”
“No worries. I arrived via a private carrier.” Edgeworth smirked at her. “You are free to talk my ear off for as long as you wish.”
Maya flushed pink for a moment, pouting. “But I should get going, too. Nick’s probably wondering what I’m up to. That, and I haven’t had a chance to check the Steel Samurai Kink Meme since I went back to Kurain for special training.” She clapped her hands together, a glittery look in her eyes. “I can’t wait to see if Reiji-sama has made any new fills!”
“Reiji-‘sama’?” Edgeworth repeated, raising an eyebrow.
“Reiji Mitsurugi, this guy who writes Steel Samurai ‘fics,” Maya explained. “He’s not Big Name famous yet, but he’s really good and ooh, he writes the best porn ever!” She blushed again. “Uh, take my word for it, if that’s not your kind of thing.”
There was no avoiding it, it seemed. He bit his lip, wrestling with his thoughts for a moment longer before he decided to drop the proverbial bomb: “Actually, Maya, Reiji Mitsurugi is a pen name.” He paused, waiting for her to give him his full attention.
She did, of course. “You mean you know him IRL?” she squealed, her voice almost rising a full octave.
Edgeworth, for his part, was starting to wish that the earth could swallow him up right then and there. “I am him.”
Maya was about to ask Mr. Edgeworth if he were joking, but he didn’t seem to be the type to be kidding and he looked so serious about this that Maya wasn’t sure how to feel. On one hand, she wanted to shout to the world that she was RL friends with Reiji Mitsurugi, her second favorite writer.
On the other, she couldn’t stop thinking that Mr. Edgeworth writes porn!
“B-but—you don’t even have a girlfriend! You said so yourself! How do you even know how to write about—” She couldn’t bring herself to continue, because she couldn’t imagine Mr. Edgeworth having sex with anybody.
Mr. Edgeworth looked even more embarrassed, if that was possible. “You are not the only one who reads explicit fan fiction or collects adult doujinshi.”
Maya felt as if she was about to faint. The mental image of Mr. Edgeworth holed up under his blanket with a flashlight reading Evil Magistrate x Steel Samurai doujin and consulting a Japanese/English dictionary to translate the dialogue was, all potential ridiculousness aside, so plausible she could almost see it.
Mr. Edgeworth sighed. “At least try not to tell anyone other than Wright, would you? The public does not need to know that the former ‘Demon Prosecutor’ is a purveyor of smut.”
That snapped her out of it. “Oh, no, I’d never tell a soul, Mr. Edgeworth! Your secret’s safe with me, I promise!”
Despite Edgeworth’s fear that Maya would blab his secret all over the internet, she did keep her promise. Meanwhile, though, his writing suffered due to a combination of worry—an irrational, but understandable, sentiment given how much the press loved to titillate—and awkwardness. His audience was no longer a faceless, vague Other; Maya, of all people, was one of those who read his works.
(Perhaps she even—perish the thought—pleasured herself to his more explicit stories the same way he would while reviewing his favorite bits of pornography.)
Still, she remained a faithful fan—if anything, she toned down her gushing in her writing, and kept on encouraging him while the other fans just got more rude and demanding. When he went on full hiatus so he could focus on surreptitious investigations into Phoenix’s disbarment, the internet just about exploded with entitlement outrage.
“Can you believe this wank?” Maya asked, browsing the internet in between helping Edgeworth pick through case files. “Don’t they realize what assholes they’re being?”
“Forget it, Maya. Let them scream and shake their tiny little fists all they want. Sooner or later they’ll find something else to latch onto and forget I ever even existed.”
She gave him a shy glance. “If it makes you feel better, you’ll always be my favorite author.”
He smiled back. “You mean second favorite.”
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
Uh…and I’m kind of hitting a writer’s block on this one. Anybody else can take this headcanon and run with it if they so wish.