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When Simon told his supervisor what their favorite defense attorneys had planned for Simon, Miles laughed. "I never figured you for a party-goer, Simon." He picked up a teacup from his desk and motioned toward the tea set for Simon to make himself some. Simon bowed in thanks and fixed himself some black tea, afterward sitting in the chair in front of Edgeworth's desk.

Simon shook his head. "I am not, nor have I ever been, particularly fond of parties. However, it seems to be important to Cykes-dono, so the least I can to do at least feign surprise. Besides," Simon reached up and pet Taka, "I don't think that I could stop her even if I tried."

Miles shrugged and placed the teacup back down on his desk. "If she's anything like Nick, then you're correct. She would throw you a party whether you showed up or not." He sighed and added, "I suppose it would be rude to ignore the hospitality. Do we know when this is happening?"

Simon answered in the negative, so Miles picked up the phone and pressed 1 on his speed dial. After a couple rings, someone picked up. "Hello Trucy. Yes, it's Miles. Is Nick there?" A pause, then, "Excellent, yes I'd like to speak with him." Another pause, and the prosecutor blushed slightly. "N-no, it's for work, Trucy... Yes, I will be there this we--" Miles seemed to remember Simon was in the room, "--um, please put Mr. Wright on... Yes. Thank you." He sighed and turned to glance out the open window behind him, possibly still a bit red, as he waited for Trucy to get Phoenix on the phone.

Miles had an odd relationship with the Wrights, Simon mused, but it seemed to work out okay for them. He sipped silently on his tea while Taka preened himself.

"Yes, Nick, it's Miles. I--what?" A few more more moments of silence as Miles turned back to Simon and rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes, Trucy reminded me. I'm aware of that... Nick... Nick... PHOENIX. When is this supposed 'surprise party'?" Simon could hear an exclamation on the other end of the phone, and Miles placed his head in his hand. "Yes, that's all I wanted to ask, thank you. Please let me know when Ms. Cykes has more details... Yes, we'll be there... Yes, Simon has agreed to feign surprise, since it is, after all, a surprise party... Yes, thank you." He hung up the phone and adjusted his cravat nervously. 

"They have no idea."

Simon laughed heartily. "That seems to have been a lot of work for such a pitiful answer."

"Er, yes, well... Trucy has a magic show this weekend, and the two of them are very excited for it, and as such every time I call I'm reminded by both of them that it's happening." Miles ran his fingers through his hair and adjusted his cravat again, then picked up his tea for another drink. He had a look on his face that suggested he prefer his cup be filled with alcohol at that particular moment.

Simon found himself wondering how often Edgeworth actually called Phoenix, but decided against asking the question. Calmly, he finished his tea, placed it on Edgeworth's desk, and stood. "Thank you for the tea, Edgeworth-dono. I suppose I should get back to work. Oh, yes." He motioned toward the open window, and Taka flew out, returning after a few moments with a folder. "This is from Gumshoe, those documents you requested earlier."

"Ah, yes, thank you." He flipped through the folder and nodded, until he came upon a note stashed in there. He held it up and sighed, then handed it to Simon. "Please throw that away."

Simon couldn't help but look at it on his way out the door. It was a long, rambling handwritten note from Detective Gumshoe detailing how glad he was to be able to help Edgeworth with the case, and how if he needed anything, just call him up and let him know, and Missile (Who is Missile? Simon wondered) missed him, and maybe sometime they could go out for a steak lunch, he did get a bonus this time around, and of course to let him know if the prosecutor needed anything. Simon smirked and carefully placed the letter on the very top of the trash can, should his supervisor have a change of heart.

---

Athena dragged Apollo to five or six different stores, picking up decorations ("Athena don't you think you're overdoing it with the bird patterns?--Okay no, you're not picking up this jailbird statue, that's just low... Wait why would they even make these, anyway?") and everything else needed for a surprise party. By the time they were done, Apollo was dragging his feet (as well as several bags), but somehow Athena was even more excited and energetic.

"I can't wait to decorate the office! Trucy will love this. Do you know if she'll be around?" Athena didn't seem weighed down by the bags she was carrying at all.

"I don't know, Clay was supposed to take her to Shipshape Aquarium later on today. She might be around tonight, though. When are we going to hold this thing anyway?"

Athena thought for a moment. "Well, today is Monday, so maybe Thursday? That'll give boss enough time to get Edgeworth to plan to get him out of the office."

Apollo nodded. "That makes sense." He looked down at his bags and sighed. "Where are we going to keep all this, anyway?" The two began walking toward the subway station that would take them back to the office. They lucked out, and the train arrived shortly after they did.

"Oh, I'm sure Trucy has room somewhere!" Athena said cheerfully as she stepped on the train.

This is going to be a train wreck, Apollo thought to himself, but was smart enough to not say those words aloud.

"Wh-what is all this?" Phoenix asked as the two carried everything into the office.

Athena put the bags down and flashed a peace sign. "This is for the party!"

Phoenix gave Apollo a look that suggested Apollo hadn't done a good enough job reining her in. As Apollo passed him to begin putting some of the bags up, he muttered to Phoenix, "You should have seen the stuff she didn't buy that she wanted to."

After Trucy and Clay returned to the office, Trucy and Athena spent the rest of the afternoon decorating the place. ("Why are you doing it so early?" Apollo asked, but of course they ignored him.) Clay and Apollo supervised the two while Phoenix went over some documents for an upcoming case.

"Have I met this guy before?" Clay casually asked Apollo.

Apollo squinted. "I think maybe once or twice. He's tall, broody, dresses in black and has a pet hawk. Kind of hard to miss." Athena glared at him. "What? That was accurate."

"He's not always moody!" Quickly she turned back around as Trucy dropped some of the bird-themed streamers. Athena picked the roll up and handed it back to Trucy, who was atop a stepladder, taping the streamers up.

"Uh, sure..." So defensive of him lately, Apollo thought, again smart enough to not voice those thoughts.

Clay chuckled. "I think I've met him once, now that I think about it. Right after the hospital, maybe." Apollo's face flashed pain, and Athena looked over at him, frowning. Clay didn't notice. "All of your opponents in court have been really weird, it sounds like. You've had the toupee guy, the weird face mask dude with the coffee, that chick with a whip... Edgeworth might be the only normal one."

Apollo laughed. "Dude wears ruffles."

"...Point taken."

"It's a cravat!" Phoenix yelled from the other room.

"Sure, whatever," Apollo yelled back, and everyone laughed.

After an hour or so, the two ladies had completed putting up the decorations. Trucy had put together a miniature stage for a magic show ("I think I can do some bird tricks!" she exclaimed happily, causing Apollo to sigh and place his head in his hand), streamers were all over the place, and bird pictures hung on the wall. The cups had canaries on them, the plates featured robins, and somehow Athena had managed to snag a hawk statue without Apollo seeing it.

Clay fought to hold back laughter. "It looks really... nice. I'm sure he'll have a..."

Oh no, Apollo thought, knowing that tone. Here they come.

"...pheasant time at the party." He began snickering, and Athena, having seen these fits before, started rolling her eyes, while Trucy giggled and watched on with interest.

"Clay..." Apollo started, but it was too late.

"There won't be any fowl play here! If so, there'd be just caws for some discipline!"

"Clay, no..." The bird puns were a hundred times worse than his usual space puns. Worse yet, he was trying to fit law terms in there as well.

Phoenix came out from the other room. "Someone stop him, I'm getting a headache," he joked.

Clay lost it. "You already rose from the ashes once!" He giggled himself into sitting down, more pleased that he was annoying Apollo than anything.

It was Athena's turn to interrupt, as Clay continued and Apollo got more and more frustrated with him. "Okay then, boss, I think I'm going to uh, head home. Tell Edgeworth we'll have the party Thursday after work!"

"Sure thing," Phoenix responded, eyes still on Clay and Apollo, a smirk playing on his face. "You two, you should head out too. Go on, spread your wings and fly." He laughed as Apollo whipped around and yelled for Phoenix to not encourage him.

Phoenix turned around and went back into his office, tidying up to go home. He glanced at the photo of him and Mia Fey from a few months before her untimely death. "You'd love the group," he said quietly, picking it up. "Maybe they're a bit too silly for your tastes, but you'd love them all the same." Sighing, he put the photo down as he heard Apollo and Clay leave. In a few days, he'd be throwing a party for a prosecutor. He smiled. Edgeworth will pretend not to be pleased, but he's going to totally love it.

With that, he turned the lights off and headed home for the night.
 


Notes: Clay, obviously, is alive in this AU. Instead of dying at the space center, he sustained severe injuries, and during the trial, the Phantom attempted to kill him again. However, due to the stress of the situation, he wasn't at the top of his game and failed again, making it the first and second time he'd ever failed to complete a mission, adding to the frustration he felt near the end of the trial. Clay doesn't remember any of this but heard about it through Apollo and the others.

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Athena Blackquill
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