Holy crap! Has it been almost a month since the last chapter? What have I been doing with myself? ...I have no idea. Time flies. That's all I can say.
Trying to get things (and people?) moving along here again. I will do my best to make regular updates, but these days no matter what I do, there's always something else I have to punt in favor of getting a little sleep. Title:
City of Angels (Part One)Author: doctorskuldWord Count:
November 13, 2021Rating:
That was the first thing that Franziska said to him upon opening the door. She looked as irritated as she sounded, probably because she’d been expecting him an hour ago, and by her reckoning, he ought to know better than to be late, even though he was technically still two hours early for the party. The stern, flat line that she had pressed her lips into did not fade as she stepped aside and held the door open for him, allowing him to move his small suitcase into the entryway. Before Edgeworth could make a remark about the warm hospitality he was receiving, a beaming face emerged from the side of the corridor.
“Mr. Edgeworth!” exclaimed Adrian Andrews. She was smiling in a way that Edgeworth had never seen during the Engarde trial three years ago, practically aglow as she wiped her hands on her apron. At the sound of her voice, Franziska’s expression relaxed so that she no longer looked like she was scowling, but merely mildly disgruntled.
“Welcome, welcome!” Adrian extended her hand, and Edgeworth took it warmly. “I hope Franziska hasn’t been giving you a hard time for that traffic congestion you ran into coming from the airport.”
“Oh no, not at all,” replied Edgeworth, shooting Franziska a look out of the corner of his eye. She attempted to return to scowling, but only succeeded halfway when Adrian put a hand on her shoulder.
“Of course not,” Franziska sniffed in response to Adrian’s touch.
“Here, I can take your things,” Adrian said simply, “and why don’t you finish the salad, Franziska?”
“Okay. Shall I start the potatoes too?”
Adrian was already halfway up the stairs with Edgeworth’s luggage when she paused to give the matter a small thought. “Actually, do the pasta first,” she called, and waited for Franziska’s answering reply before she continued. Edgeworth hurried up the stairs after Adrian, dumbfounded by Franziska’s unusual behavior.
Adrian set his things down in their guest room and asked if there was anything else she could do for him. Edgeworth shook his head.
“Well, I’m glad you could make it on such short notice,” she said, and they began their descent back down the stairs.
“I don’t think Franziska gave me much of a choice.”
“Hm, I suppose not. Franziska likes getting what she wants.”
Edgeworth wondered briefly if there was some innuendo that was supposed to tag along with that statement, but decided not to further pursue that line of questioning. “So, I hear you’re all moved in now?”
“For almost three weeks, actually.”
“And the job?”
Adrian shrugged. “A bit of a change from what I’d been doing before, but nothing I can’t handle,” she replied in German. Edgeworth nodded, raising an impressed eyebrow that she’d managed to pick up the language so quickly.
“I’ve been taking language lessons for a couple of years, actually,” added Adrian, correctly interpreting Edgeworth’s curious expression. “Franziska’s a very patient teacher.”
Edgeworth did his best not to balk outright as Adrian grinned.
“Please, make yourself at home." She gestured toward the sitting room and popped back into the kitchen to help Franziska with the dinner preparations.
“Feel free to hel—ouch!” came Franziska’s voice as Edgeworth settled into the couch where a few glasses and a bottle of wine were waiting for him.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that!” Edgeworth shouted.
“It’s nothing!” Adrian replied. There was a rapid fire exchange of words between Adrian and Franziska before they both fell silent. Edgeworth swirled the merlot around in his glass and took a sip. A whole hour passed, punctuated mostly by instructions from Adrian’s end and a few girlish giggles before both of the women emerged into the sitting room with a diverse array of hors d’oeuvres. Hungry and tired from his flight, Edgeworth got up to investigate the food, but was swatted away by Franziska.
“These are for the guests.”
“What? I’m not a guest?”
“Not until the party starts,” Franziska replied. She brushed fingers through her hair with a sigh and then deciding to take a small break, took off her apron, tossed it on a chair, and poured a glass of wine.
Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, Adrian picked up the apron and gracefully accepted the wine glass from her lover before wandering back into the kitchen. “I’ll need your help in a sec, dear.”
“Give me a few minutes,” Franziska replied, as she picked up another glass. She sank into the couch.
Edgeworth had not been expecting any conversation until Franziska spoke up first.
“I hear from Johann you asked him for a letter of recommendation.”
“He told you that, did he?”
“After I threatened him physical harm, yes. Well?”
“I’m not going to bother denying what’s obvious,” Edgeworth said. “A post at Ivy University has opened up and I am doing the sensible thing by applying for it.”
Franziska blinked at him. “Do you think you have a rat’s chance in hell?”
Edgeworth decided to overlook her idiomatic slip-up. “It’s worth a shot.”
“I thought you were still working on Samina Cooke’s pet project.”
“I can handle both at the same time.”
Franziska scoffed. “Do you really think she’ll ever let you out of the Prosecutor's Office?”
“This is my chance to find out,” Edgeworth replied with a shrug. “Don’t worry, you’ll have Adrian to keep you company when I’m gone.”
Franziska shot him a glare, fingered her side for her whip, which was elsewhere, and then rose in a huff. She looked about to retort something about her disgust that he would even dare to imply that she would be lonely with him back in the States, but then she turned her back to him and marched straight toward the kitchen muttering, “I don’t know what you see in that foolish fool of a Phoenix Wright.”
Trying to suppress a smile, Edgeworth sat back into the sofa. He was glad that a certain somebody had had the foresight to convince Franziska to put aside her whip for the day, or he would have been on the receiving end of the flogging of his life. In the kitchen he heard the reassuring murmurs of Adrian’s voice, shortly followed by her business-like instructions for how to finish preparing the desserts. Envy washed over Edgeworth as he observed how well Franziska and Adrian worked together—they were fortunate enough to be able to eat, cook, and sleep together, something that was rare in his relationship with Phoenix, who despite all better judgment, was still insisting on living with Trucy in the office.
In a brief moment of pettiness, Edgeworth consoled himself by thinking of the things he had that the two women didn’t—cards, stuffed animals pulled out of and crammed into hats, and little girls’ underwear strewn all over his living room. As strange as it sounded, they were things he was really going to enjoy coming home to. Soon.