Title: License to Turnabout
Word Count: 1633
Characters: Phoenix and Larry
Summary: How does Phoenix survive in LA without a car? The question isn't how, but why... and the answer to that question is "Larry Butz".
Warnings: ...It has Larry in it. 'Nuff said.
"So today's the big day, huh, Nick?" Larry shifted restlessly from one foot to the other - far be it from him to stand still, even in a slow-moving line. "Finally going through with it... It's about time."
Phoenix nodded proudly. "Yep - just one road test standing between me and my license," he confirmed. "Hey, thanks again for letting me borrow your car."
"No problem! I mean, my car's sort of a beater anyway," Larry admitted, folding his arms. "How come you didn't get it back when we were sixteen? Or when you turned eighteen? Me, I couldn't wait."
"...I don't really remember..." Phoenix frowned. "I guess I just never got around to it." It sure seemed like he'd had a reason, but he couldn't quite remember...
"Fair enough - there's a lot of things in my life I never got around to. Like graduating. If I never got around to graduating, I guess I can't really call you a loser for never getting around to getting your driver's license."
Was Larry actually comparing the two? ...Even if he was, Phoenix knew there was no sense arguing with Larry about priorities. "I guess not."
"So?" Done with the philosophizing for the moment, Larry acquired that bright grin again. "What kind of car are you going to get?"
"I dunno..." Someone at the head of the line finished, and Phoenix took a step forward, Larry following. "Nothing special, I guess. The loans I had to take out for law school are just incredible - I don't want any other big monthly payments until after I'm done and can actually take clients. So as long as I get something that can last a few years, I don't really care too much what I'm driving. After that, though..." He gave a confident nod. "A whole new chapter of my life's going to begin, Larry. I'm sure of it."
"Dude, a whole new chapter of my life's beginning right now!" Larry said excitedly. "I mean, do you have any idea how awesome my life's going to be, now that you're going to have a driver's license?"
"..." Phoenix had a feeling that he shouldn't ask, but the standard Butz logic was usually at least worth a laugh. "How exactly is your life going to be improved by me having a driver's license?"
"Do you even have to ask?" Larry gave him a big thumbs-up. "You can drive me places!"
"Larry," Phoenix pointed out patiently, "you already have your own license, and a car."
Larry nodded. "So?"
"So you can already drive yourself wherever you need to go."
"True, true," Larry acknowledged with a nod, as they took another step forward, towards the DMV counter. "But I'm not talking about driving places I need to go - you can drive me to places I want to go."
"Like you can drive me and my girl and all our other buddies to the bar!" Larry exclaimed. "It'll be great! We'll totally be hanging out all the time again, like we used to!"
"Uhm, Larry?" So far, the Butz logic was escaping Phoenix. "Did you forget that I don't drink?"
"No, see, that's why you'd drive us to the bar, see? Right now, one of us has always gotta be the designated driver, and that sucks. Especially after we've had a few drinks and forget which one of us it was..."
"...Yeah, I imagine it would." Phoenix didn't think he liked the direction that the Butz logic was headed.
"But once you have your license," Larry explained, "with you being all lame and responsible and everything, we've always got a designated driver! Every single freakin' night, the rest of us can party down without worrying about it, because you can drive!"
"Okay, hold it, Larry," Phoenix began, hurriedly trying to intercept the Butz logic with real logic. "I'm in law school. I'm taking a double course load so I can get it done with faster. Every night, I'm not going to be going out to the bars to watch everybody else drink - I'm going to be at home, in my own room, studying my butt off."
"S'okay - you can study your butt off while we're partying our butts off, dude!"
"No way." Phoenix was firm. "I'm going to be studying for the bar, not at the bar. Any butts - or Butz, as the case may be - who are intending to get partied off are going to have to get their own ride."
"But Nick!" Larry protested... Then his face lit up again. "Okay, I know what we should do!"
Phoenix had a feeling he wasn't going to like this. "What should we do, Larry?"
"First, you buy a mobile home," Larry began. "Then you can drive everyone to the bar... and study in your own room while you wait!"
"That's something I would be doing," Phoenix pointed out. "Why did you say it's something we should do, if I'd be paying for it and doing all the work?"
"Aw, Nick - I'd do my part." Larry looked wounded.
"What's your part, then?"
"I'd help you paint big daisies all over it," Larry said, with another thumbs-up, "and write 'Wright Way 2 Party' on the front!"
"...I think I'll have to decline your generous offer," Phoenix told him. The line moved again, and he stepped forward.
"But why?" Larry inquired. "Daisies are schweet. Plus, you'd be the most popular boring goody-two-shoes ever."
"I'm already working towards that goal," said Phoenix. "Remember? I'm studying to become a lawyer."
Larry considered. "...Oh yeah. You've got a point."
"And I'm not going to be driving anyone to the bar," Phoenix stated again.
"...Okay." Oddly enough, Larry smiled.
"Even myself," Phoenix added.
Phoenix looked at him, suspicious. It wasn't like Larry to just give in like that... and that disconcertingly innocent smile was still in place. "I'm probably just going to be up all night, every night, reading and writing papers," he added, in case Larry still hadn't gotten the point.
"Awesome." Larry was still grinning.
The line moved forward again, and Phoenix supposed he really did have to ask. "...Why do you think that's 'awesome', Larry?"
"Because if you're up all night every night already," Larry reasoned, "you'll be awake when I call you for a ride home after the bar closes."
Phoenix thought about this for a second, and wondered if there was a way to erase his number from Larry's cell phone contacts list without him noticing.
"And since you're a total prude about girls-"
"What?" Phoenix exclaimed. "I'm not a prude - I-I'm a gentleman!"
"Prude, gentleman, whatever. Point is, if I meet some hottie at the bar and she comes home with me, and we start getting it on in the back seat - well, you're a good guy, Nick. I know you wouldn't be watching us in the rearview mirror."
"..." Phoenix was sure the expression on his face had to be an interesting one. "Who would want to do that?"
"Smokey does it every time he drives," Larry replied. "And he cackles, all high-pitched. It's kind of distracting."
That was pretty much how the guy always acted, from what Phoenix remembered of the guy from the brief period of high school before he dropped out. And took Larry with him. Suddenly he remembered that graduation party he'd been invited to, just before his eighteenth birthday... where probably no one in attendance was graduating. "You know, Larry, there's these things called taxis..."
"Nope, taxis are no good," Larry stated. "Last time we did that, it was a total disaster. Benji like, puked all over the back seat, and the driver got all mad and made us pay extra so he could get it cleaned. The company stopped sending taxis out to that bar. Especially since it was like the third time in a month that happened."
The line moved forward again. There were only about three people left in front of him now...
"But if it was you driving," Larry said brightly, "we wouldn't be paying anyway, and you could just clean it up yourself! Easier on everyone that way!"
Yeah, he definitely remembered that party now, and the ride home, and the road test that had been scheduled for the next week... "Uh oh!" Phoenix said abruptly, slipping a hand into his back pocket.
"Huh? What's wrong, Nick?"
"Oh wow. Man. I can't believe I was so stupid." Phoenix muttered, pulling out his wallet and flipping through it.
"What'd you do?" Larry asked, peering at the contents.
"I forgot my license," Phoenix explained, going through the wallet again. "Man, Larry... they're never going to let me drive on the road if I don't have my license."
"...But..." Larry's head tilted in confusion. "Isn't someone from the DMV going to be with you?"
"Yeah, exactly - if someone from the DMV finds out I'm driving without a license, I'm really in trouble."
"Whoa..." A look of awe slowly passed across Larry's face. "You're right."
Phoenix folded his wallet and shoved it back into his pocket, stepping out of line and heading for the door. "Wow... Sorry, Larry - I dragged you all the way out here, and now it looks like I can't take my road test."
"That really bites, Nick." Larry nodded sympathetically as he followed. "Well, you can reschedule it, right?"
Phoenix shook his head. "You have to wait about three years between scheduled road tests."
"Seriously. It's the law," Phoenix said solemnly. "It'll be three years before it would do any good for you to call me for a ride home. Seems like forever, huh?"
"Sure does, but I guess you'd know..." Larry mused. "Since you're going to be a lawyer and all."
It would have been nice to be able to drive to his classes and internship, Phoenix thought as he climbed into the passenger seat. But his good old trusty bicycle... no one was going to ask him for a ride home from the bar on that.
Title: Mystery Date
Word Count: 2106
Summary: A time-honored fic cliche - "two people fall for each other via an anonymous dating service, and don't realize they know each other in person". Until, of course, a first meeting is arranged...
Warnings: Disgusting pet names. XD
Monday at 7 is fine for me. Except that there's three whole days until then, and I can't wait! It's going to be so great, meeting you face to face finally. I just hope I don't disappoint you. Speaking of, since we haven't exchanged pictures... how exactly are we going to recognize each other when we get there? I understand your need for discretion, but it won't do if you're so discreet that I don't know who I'm supposed to put my hands all over. I might put them all over someone else, and I'd hate for you to miss out. :)
- A Flame burning just a little higher :)
Miles Edgeworth smiled a little at the missive, which had been awaiting him in a secret webmail inbox when he arrived home from work. He still wasn't sure just what possessed him to make a profile on that local dating site - possibly it had something to do with seeing Wright around all the time, constantly followed by the Fey girl. Although he'd never have admitted it, he envied the defense attorney for his steady companionship with Maya, for Miles had no assistant, no partner. No personal life, either, and no time for finding one. Online dating was worth a shot, he supposed, as long as he was careful. He didn't particularly care for the idea of anyone he knew stumbling across his secret - it would make for a good laugh, the terrible prosecutor Edgeworth looking for his special someone on the internet - so he had omitted a picture in favor of basic statistics, camouflaged his profession by listing it simply as 'government employee' (which also conveniently explained the lack of a picture), and chosen a screen name only very loosely related to his real name.
He really wasn't sure what had possessed him to actually contact one of the other members, though he knew exactly why he had replied to NotExactlyFlaming rather than anyone else. The man's profile seemed earnest and warm, though he too had chosen not to display a picture or a profession. Between that and his screen name, it seemed that he was another who understood discretion. Most of the members whose profiles he'd browsed were full of pictures, the most suggestive they could manage without violating the site's rules - the males seeking males often more so than the females. It was disgusting, and he was pleased to find someone who seemed friendly and yet was not behaving like a whore.
Not that NotExactlyFlaming was the chaste sort. They'd taken to chatting on a messaging program late at night after exchanging a few exploratory messages, and one night while mutually grumbling about the other profiles on the site, which seemed to be after only one thing, Flame (as Miles had come to call him for short) admitted that he'd contacted some other singles and found that they only wanted to cyber. Which led to asking if he had ever cybered, and... well, now he had. Miles still felt rather silly about the whole thing, but Flame had started teasing him, and the man was very, very good with words. If he was half as good with his hands and his mouth as he was with text...
Miles took a deep breath, and began to type a response.
Phoenix grinned as the computer beeped. That was fast... But then, he'd known for awhile approximately when the guy must get home. Workaholic, kind of obsessive-compulsive, but he'd been pretty reliable, and Phoenix liked that. He clicked on the new message.
Monday at seven it is, then.
As you are no doubt aware, I care very little about your outward appearance. It is your mind that I find fascinating - your mind, and your very vivid imagination. I'm sure you must have already painted a mental picture of me, and in a way, I hate to disrupt that, for I'm sure it exceeds the reality. I say we let the mystery remain just a bit longer.
Even without knowing what I look like, I suppose I'd be difficult to mistake. My personal taste has been called 'flamboyant' by some - not in an stereotypically homosexual manner, of course, we've discussed our mutual distaste for such displays in the past - but I lean towards an old-fashioned style, preferring unique and finely-tailored garments over off-the-rack. Monday night, I will be wearing a burgandy suit with ivory jabot - I think that should be enough for you to identify me.
What about you? What should I be watching for (as I will certainly arrive early, and I know by now to expect you slightly late)?
Eager and anticipatory,
P.S.: I suggest that you refrain from putting your hands all over anyone while still inside the restaurant; regrettably, this includes me.
For just a second, Phoenix stopped short and stared. A burgandy suit...? He wondered... could it possibly be... Nah, he decided with a soft laugh. Edgeworth's suit was pink. And he wore that weird ruffly thing around his neck all the time - Phoenix thought it was called a cravat.
Besides, Edgeworth would never tease like Toof (as he'd started calling his mystery date) did, as he had in that postscript. Edgeworth was far too much of a killjoy for that kind of thing. Cracking his knuckles, he began to compose a reply.
Old-fashioned taste sounds fine to me - I know someone who's WAY out there. You sound pretty normal compared to him.
Myself, I don't know much about fashion, so I stick to the basics. I'll probably just wear a blue suit, nothing that really stands out. But that's okay, because you're probably right about you getting there first, so I'll spot you right away when I get there.
You're probably right about keeping my hands to myself while we're in the restaurant, too. With that in mind, do you think we'll actually manage to stay long enough to finish a full meal? :) Maybe I'll grab a candy bar on my way.
Miles leaned back in his chair upon receipt of the message, his chin resting in one hand thoughtfully, his eyes narrowing in sudden suspicion. ...No, thousands of men wore blue suits. Just because he spent so much time looking at one of them across the courtroom meant nothing.
Reassured, he leaned forward again, and grinned as he warned Flame that the date would end immediately if he were to do anything 'frisky' with a candy bar.
The weekend went agonizingly slow for Phoenix, without even work to occupy him. It made sense, though, to meet on Monday night rather than the weekend - less people around. He wasn't quite sure what Toof did for a living, but apparently enough people knew his face that he preferred to keep a low profile and avoid being noticed. He'd said something about the law in the past... But no, he probably wasn't a secret agent or anything like that, Phoenix told himself. Regardless, he'd kind of felt like he was in a slump lately, hence the screen name he'd picked - and somehow the casual relationship had made him feel much better.
Once Monday afternoon came, he could get all dressed up like he did on court days (he didn't really have anything else nice enough to wear to a formal restaurant, after all) - and for once, he wasn't going to be late, because he couldn't stop thinking about the date long enough to get anything else done, and called for a cab about twenty minutes earlier than he had originally planned. The restaurant was a little ways out of town, presumably because Toof didn't want to be seen out with another guy so close to wherever he worked, and Phoenix spent the ride wondering if they really would be able to pick each other out, if either of them would be shocked by what they saw, if they would wind up hitting it off so well in person... if they'd eventually go back to his place, or to Toof's...
It was a good thing he'd called the cab earlier than he'd planned, because he arrived only five minutes before seven - traffic was apparently worse for cars at this hour than for his bicycle. After he'd paid the fare and quickly checked his hair in the taxi's window, he mustered up his courage and strode inside the restaurant.
...And almost strode right into Miles Edgeworth, who was standing by the hostess's station, waiting to be seated.
In the moody lighting of the restaurant, the suit he was wearing looked something like burgandy. And the look on Edgeworth's face, when he looked up from his wristwatch to see Phoenix staring at him in disbelief, looked something like terror.
"Uh. Hey, Edgeworth."
"...Wright," Miles acknowledged, folding his arms. Coincidence. Absolutely a coincidence. The worst one imaginable.
"Fancy meeting you here..." Phoenix's chuckle sounded uneasy. "So... what are you up to?"
"I don't believe it's any of your business." Miles checked his watch again, though it had been approximately ten seconds since the last time. The shock of seeing Phoenix Wright standing there had made him instantly forget. But no - Phoenix could never, not in a million years, be Flame. ...Flame. Phoenix. Oh dear lord.
"I... guess not," Phoenix acknowledged, and fell silent. He glanced around the dining area. Then he glanced outside, to the sidewalk in front of the entrance. Then at his feet.
Miles checked his watch again. 6:56.
Phoenix was glancing at him. "Are you waiting for someone?" he ventured.
"Why else would I be standing here?"
"A-ah. Me too."
"I didn't ask, Wright."
Phoenix stared at the floor some more. Miles checked his watch. 6:57.
"Okay!" The hostess's reappearance made him jump. "Are the two of you ready to be seated?"
"I am still waiting for someone," Miles stated.
The hostess looked back and forth at the two of them, as Phoenix stared out the window, fiddling with his tie. "You're not together?"
Miles felt his throat nearly closing off. "No."
"Oh... All right. ...I'll be back in a moment." Perhaps sensing the tension in the air, the hostess retreated.
More silence. Miles made a point of not checking his watch.
"Say, Edgeworth," Phoenix said abruptly. "Do you know what a 'jabot' is?"
"And why should I know that?"
"You know more about fashion than I do. It's... a kind of a hat, right?"
"Actually..." Miles stopped short. "That's right. It's a kind of hat."
"Whew." Phoenix went back to fidgeting with his tie and looking out the window. Miles gave in and checked his watch. 6:59.
"Glass of water while you wait?" asked the hostess, offering a tray. Miles thanked her and accepted.
"No thanks," Phoenix replied. He glanced at Miles again as she disappeared. "I'm getting kind of hungry, though. I hope my date shows up soon. We're supposed to meet at seven."
Miles looked around the restaurant, desperately. Black suits, grey suits, tan suits - even a mossy green suit. Not a blue suit in sight. Not at all.
Phoenix sighed heavily, looking out the window to the sidewalk again as Miles shakily took another sip of his ice water. "At least I came prepared. Hey - want half my candy bar?"
Miles choked so badly that he was barely cognizant of Phoenix pounding him on the back. When he recovered enough to look up, wheezing, Wright was wearing the same damned smug expression he wore in court when he'd just exposed a contradiction in testimony. "Oops... I guess I couldn't keep my hands off you."
"Are you insane, Wright?" Miles gasped. Just for once, couldn't he actually be as stupid as he acted?
Phoenix shook his head. "You caught me... I didn't actually bring a candy bar." He glanced out the window again. "Doesn't look like my date's going to show up, either. Man, I hate getting stood up." He turned his eyes to Miles, raising an eyebrow. "Want to have dinner together, Edgeworth?"
Miles glared. And then glared some more, while he thought. "...If you say a word of this to anyone, ever, I'll get you disbarred."
"It never happened," Phoenix agreed, then gave Miles a wicked grin. "...Toofer."
"I suppose," Miles grumbled, "that it is better than for you to have simply stumbled upon a rendezvous between myself and someone else."
"Particularly someone else who would call you 'Toofer'."