Title: Entry 47.2
Phoenix was beginning to realize just how many things one had to relearn, when becoming one half of a couple.
Sleeping position was one of the bigger ones. He and Edgeworth both preferred to sleep on their right side, which had led to some awkwardness the first time Phoenix invited himself over to spend the night. Now, a few weeks later, he was still a little perplexed as to how it all worked.
Edgeworth always took the left side of the bed, so he could face outward, which left Phoenix to stare at the back of his head until he was able to fall asleep. Sometimes, when Edgeworth was in a pleasant enough mood, he would let Phoenix slide up behind him, and they would spend the night pressed together like long-time lovers. Sometimes he simply wouldn't. That was the tricky part to gauge, and Phoenix had spent a few nights watching Miles' back, trying to determine his partner's demeanor simply by the sound of his breath and the tension in his shoulders.
Phoenix sighed. That's Edgeworth for you. Always making things more difficult than they need to be. He already had a feeling Edgeworth didn't want him too close that night - a long day of court had put the prosecutor in a somewhat foul mood - so instead he reached out, running the backs of his fingers up and down Edgeworth's spine. Edgeworth didn't respond, probably already asleep, but that didn't deter him. He would still take advantage of every opportunity he had to touch him.
It's your fault, Phoenix thought, smiling to himself as he gradually drifted off to sleep. Making me care this much.
It was still dark when Phoenix woke up, and at first he wasn't sure what had caused it - maybe a dream he already didn't remember. But then he became aware of the mattress shuddering beneath him, and the agitated rattle of the alarm clock moving across the bedside table. Phoenix rolled onto his back to get a better view of the room. Earthquake. Having lived in the city his whole life he was somewhat accustomed to it by now, at least to the point where he could tell this one wasn't very large. A few books fell over, and something in the adjoining bathroom dropped to the tile floor with a thud that was more startling than the quake itself.
But that was the worst of the damage, and just over a minute later the rumbling began to recede, and finally stopped entirely. Phoenix blinked up at the ceiling, listening and waiting, just in case there was more to come. His heart was pounding a little but otherwise everything had returned to normal. Just a little one, I guess.
It wasn't until he felt the sheets rustle that Phoenix, wish a rush of guilt, remembered the man beside him. He quickly rolled to his side once more, but when he started to reach out he paused before touching skin. He's shaking. He could feel the slight tremor of Edgeworth's body through their shared contact of the stiff mattress. Even after all this time, an earthquake that small still frightens him. Phoenix licked his lips, searching his brain for some words of assurance he could offer.
He didn't get the chance. As soon as he pressed his palm to Edgeworth's shoulder the man abruptly stirred, swinging his legs off the bed and pushing himself upright. Phoenix drew his hand back uncertainly. Just when he thought Edgeworth might speak, the prosecutor instead climbed to his feet, and without a word headed for the bathroom.
Edgeworth... Phoenix let his hand drop with a quiet sigh. He remained very still, listening as the door closed and the sink turned on. The faint glow of the bathroom light seeped out from under the door. Isn't there anything I can do?
Phoenix waited, thinking through a hundred different possible word combinations as he paid close attention to Edgeworth's movements around the bathroom. The sink turned off, the toilet flushed. When he heard the door handle turn Phoenix sat up and licked his lips. It doesn't have to be much. I just want him to know I understand, that I--
Edgeworth appeared, draped in a pale bathrobe. He didn't come back to bed - he turned immediately to head for the door. Phoenix was momentarily silenced by his stern expression, and could only watch. By the time he'd regained his senses Edgeworth was already opening the door to leave. "Hey, Edgeworth--"
The door shut behind him, leaving Phoenix alone in the dark.
When Phoenix made it downstairs, having dragged on a tee-shirt to go with his boxers, Edgeworth was already in the kitchen making coffee. The cold, hardwood floor against his bare feet made him shiver as he approached. "Hey, Edgeworth," he tried again. There was no where for him to escape to this time. "Are you all right?"
"I'm making my morning coffee," Edgeworth replied easily, and though he was trying very hard to hide the strain in his tone, Phoenix still heard it. "I have work today, you know."
Phoenix sighed. Can he never be honest? Is it pathological? "It's barely four in the morning," he argued. "Come back to bed."
"You go ahead."
Phoenix wasn't about to give up that easily. He came up behind Edgeworth, giving his shoulder a squeeze. "Come with me," he tried again. "What are you gonna do down here anyway? Drink coffee for the next three hours until your office opens?"
Edgeworth shook him off. Abandoning the coffee maker, he strode out of the kitchen to the living room. "What does it matter? I won't be able to sleep anyway."
Phoenix felt another pang of guilt as he watched Edgeworth retreat. New strategy. There's no way I'm leaving him down here alone like this. He wasn't sure what he could do to ease his friend's mind, but he couldn't even consider going back to bed, knowing Edgeworth was down here, in pain. He gave chase.
Edgeworth sat himself down on the sofa, flicking on the early morning news. "Just go back to bed, Wright," he said firmly. "I'll come wake you at seven."
Phoenix stepped up behind the sofa, reaching forward to rest his hands on Edgeworth's shoulders. "No. So give it up, okay?" He leaned forward so he could slide his fingers lower, under the collar of Edgeworth's bathrobe to feather over his chest. "I want to be sure you're all right."
"Wright...." Edgeworth sighed, his resistance failing. He gradually relaxed beneath the soft touches of Phoenix's hands. "You don't have to worry about me," he said quietly. "You can't fix me now. It's just…something I deal with."
That doesn't mean you have to do it alone. Phoenix took a deep breath to seal his convictions before he spoke. "I know," he told Edgeworth seriously. "But I just don't see how hiding from me is helping, either. Maybe I don't know what it's like, but I understand that it's hard for you."
"I know you do, I just...." Edgeworth pressed his hand over Phoenix's, stilling it. "I won't be able to sleep. If I go back to bed with you I'll just keep you up, and then I'll feel guilty."
Phoenix couldn't help but smile. So you were thinking of me after all? More determined than ever he moved around the sofa and plunked himself down, stretching out on his side with his head pillowed on Edgeworth's thigh. "Then I'll stay here," he declared. "And watch the news with you."
"What?" Edgeworth glared down at him. "It's four in the morning."
"Yeah, I remember." Quite pleased with himself, Phoenix shifted until he was comfortable. Once settled he gave Edgeworth's knee a pat. "I'm sorry, Edgeworth. But I'm just another of those things you 'have to deal with.' All right?"
Edgeworth hummed quietly in irritation, but then he reached down, twisting his fingers idly in a few strands of Phoenix's pointy hair. "Fine," he said at last, his voice a little shaky with relief. "But if you start snoring I'm kicking you off."
"Fine--it's a deal." Phoenix closed his eyes. He knew he would never be able to stay awake this early, especially with the news on, but that didn't matter. He felt better, knowing Edgeworth wasn't by himself in the dark. And when he felt hesitant fingertips drift over the side of his face, he knew Edgeworth felt the same way.
He soon fell back asleep, adding another entry to his mental guide on how to handle Miles Edgeworth.