Phoenix’s transformation into the person we see in Apollo’s time didn’t happen overnight - or at least, I don’t think so, anyway. He didn’t just fold the suit away some time after adopting Trucy and choose the least professional looking set of clothes from the back of his wardrobe, going ‘ah, yes, this works’.
That’s not how it works. How a progression of depression and stubborn will to keep going makes you not able to stop, but care less and less about anything other than the end goal works.
We can safely assume that he’s still wearing his suit, more or less, in the MASON system trial run. Perhaps it looks a bit more worn than most times - perhaps he’s simply had so much going on he hasn’t had it dry cleaned in those two weeks, or maybe he’s starting to realise that he needs to be more careful with money than ever, or maybe it’s a mix of both. But he’s still acting in investigation mode, and people still recognise him as Phoenix Wright, Attorney, and aren’t suddenly saying ‘why are you dressed like that’.
It starts off small.
At first, he tries to keep the routine up - he wakes up, he washes, shaves, and dresses in something presentable enough. He goes out looking for new clues, new evidence.
And when nothing comes up, he gets a bit demoralised, but it’s nothing he can’t handle.
His body language starts a subtle shift; when he goes to Trucy’s new school to pick her up, people recognise that blue suit, even if it is a bit more crumpled than they’d see it back when he was in the papers. Even if he isn’t bothering with a tie any more. His eyes shift away when he notices the stares, and when he knows Trucy isn’t looking, he hunches a little, making himself smaller. Unnoticeable. Unimportant. Nothing to see here.
He still hasn’t got the hardness in his eyes yet, and that won’t come for a while yet, it comes in spurts and stutters of a new understanding of how harsh the world is, and how easily the world can turn its back on you, and how much of a slog it is to work against the system and nothing is working.
He goes to the Borscht Bowl Club in response to an advert in the paper asking for a piano man in the suit, and when they see him (even with the creases and the crumples and the dark under his eyes from stress and lack of good sleep from making sure Trucy sleeps well, and wondering what they’re going to do about bills this time) their eyes light up, because they remember this man, this man who could play poker like the devil himself, bluffing like the best of them, and they suggest a proposal of sorts, not caring that he can’t even really play piano.
He’s uneasy about it at first. After all, it’s a little too close to the line on whether it could be considered ‘gambling’ or not, this idea of playing poker for the club, as long as he wins. For a while, he wonders if it’s the right thing to do, if he should go ahead with it, or call in, saying that he’s had second thoughts.
He doesn’t immediately tell Maya or Edgeworth, worried about what they’d say, and when they do find out, they’re worried about him. But knowing that he has his suspicions that if he stays there, he might find more leads… they can’t tell him not to.
For the first couple of weeks, he plays bad piano and good poker in his blue suit, although the tie gets forgotten after a while. There’s a notable absence on his lapel that he keeps putting his hand to no matter how much he tries to break himself of the habit.
Then one day, the suit gets stained. Maybe it’s borscht. Perhaps it’s someone’s spilled drink. It could have been a compete accident - or, someone might have no love for him, and decided to play a prank, just to see his face as the last vestiges of his previous life gets dirtied, and he has to try washing it out in the bathroom, to no avail.
The suit is in the wash still the next day, still getting cleaned up, because he can’t not have the suit, just in case he needs it, so he has to find something else.
The first things he puts his hands on are a pair of sweatpants and a plain t-shirt. The hoodie comes when he remembers how cold it gets down there.
He’s still wearing his shoes, though, and his face isn’t quite clean-shaven but it isn’t covered in stubble just yet.
He’s halfway there, running down the street and not looking quite one thing nor the other.
He finds it funny how he feels like he fits in more with the crowd he’s mingling with now that he’s not able to look like a lawyer at all any more, and that night he realises that he’s started to cry, without even realising it, because he’s lost something, and doesn’t quite know how he’d managed that when he’d thought he’d already lost it all.
He damages his shoes by stepping on broken glass one day, and narrowly missing the sharp shard slicing his foot. He sighs, and knows that it’d cost far too much to repair or replace them, and he isn’t going to ask for help on this - it’s his problem. Besides which, why bother with new shoes when he’s got a pair of old sandals that’ll do just as well that’re hanging around in his room somewhere?
With the sandals comes even more change to body language - posture that used to be more upright starts to become more slouched, and there’s a new shuffle to his walk that wasn’t there before, that starts because he’s not used to wearing sandals all the time, but never truly goes away.
He’ll shamelessly ask any of his friends or relatives for financial help when it comes to Trucy, because she’s the light of his life, she’s his kid, she deserves the best, deserves everything he can’t give her, but when it comes to his own welfare, his own clothes and ability to look after himself, he leaves everyone tearing their hair out, frustrated at how his answer is always that he’s doing just fine, there’s no need to worry, as long as Trucy’s okay, then he’s okay, and shouldn’t that be enough?
Trucy makes him his hat as a personal project, because she has her magician’s top hat, and that keeps her head warm, but her Daddy doesn’t have anything like that, and she gets worried that in the cold weather and the freezing temperatures of the club, he’s going to catch cold again - like he already has, several times; winter is the worst, because there’s no warm weather to thaw out into when you get upstairs and outside, it’s just cold all the time, and it’s left him under the weather more than once.
It doesn’t help that the heating gets cut off more than once, either, and he still has to go to the club to play piano and poker, has no choice but to win through whatever means he can, be it using Trucy or other methods, because he has to provide for her and make sure they’re both earning something at least.
After a while - months, perhaps, years, maybe - he stops looking at the suit, stops wondering when he might next need it, stops fingering the spot on the lapel where his attorney’s badge used to be, because he knows that each time he’s done so, it’s just made the loss hurt more than ever. Especially with how long it’s been, and who knows how long it’s still going to be.
He stops looking at his old cases, and his old photo albums, unless it’s for Trucy, or Maya, or Edgeworth, because for them, he’ll do anything, but if they aren’t around or the subject of the past isn’t being brought up, then he pretends as though this is normal, that this is the way things are, and that it’s alright.
And the more he tells himself that things are okay like this, for now at least, the more he starts to believe it.
So by the time the ghosts of the past reappear, and Shadi Smith offers him a challenge… he likely wouldn’t think of himself as having changed that much.
After all, it’s just a natural progression of events, right?
Could I request a Michael shelby imagine about his wedding day to the reader, and maybe what happens just between them when they get home? Smut if you're okay with that, but if not I get it.
Okay so this is really long, I got a bit carried away and I would like to apologize for the crappy ending.
My father leads me down the aisle towards Michael. He’s very
happy for me and he loves Michael. He only knows about the legitimate side of
the Shelby company and when you only see that Michael is the perfect
son-in-law. Once I’m standing next to Michael my father walks to his place and
I turn to Michael. He lifts my veil and I smile at him. I exchange a quick look
with Tommy who’s behind Michael as his best man and he gives me a small nod and
I think I can even see a smile starting to form on his face. Tommy had a talk
with me the day before the wedding. He wanted to make sure that I knew what I
was getting myself into and it ended with him saying that I was good for
Michael; he could see it. My attention quickly goes back to my soon to be
husband who is looking at me like I’m his whole world. After the vows and I do’s
we kiss and I can hear Arthur and John holler in the background which causes me
to smile against Michaels lips.
RACHEL RACHEL can you write a quick meta about that entire lip touching scene AND ALSO THE LEG/FOOT MOVEMENT THERE??? We were talking about it but I want it in words :')
This scene? This scene!!! I’m glad you asked!! Before we really get going, I’d like to try something. An experiment, if you will.
Let’s do a thought exercise, everyone. You’re watching something, a movie perhaps, and you see a man come up to a woman–close, less than six inches away. Too close for total strangers, too close for recent acquaintances, too close for friends who aren’t touchy. Too close to stand without closing the distance for something. He takes her by the chin, drags his thumb over her lower lip. His leg slides between hers, but they aren’t quite touching. She tilts her head up, lips parting at the press of his thumb. There’s a beat.
What happens next? They kiss, don’t they? Or maybe they get interrupted right before they close the little distance that remains between them? The girl blushes bright red, stutters out a reply. The boy is blissfully unconcerned. Sound familiar? (I tried to find a gif of Yuri(o) yelling at them from the sidelines, but no dice. Suffice to say, they are interrupted.)
[I’ve added a readmore because this is really quite long. Sorry, everyone. There’s also a second gif, because I found one of Yuri(o) yelling at them.]
kidnapped Santa Claus, wiggles around too much sometimes
seems sweet and innocent on the outside, actually a conniving bitchy lil thing, hasn't done anything TOO bad though, apologizes, says mean things about his brothers in his head but he's kinda right tbh
most reasonable brother seems like a harmless nerd but actually seems to have a very big problem with idealizing women bc he's too bad with real ones, also yells a lot but it's generally justified
isn't ashamed of being a big baby, can be kind of a self-righteous douchebag, needs to calm down a little
dirty angry kinky furry may be lonely and scared on the inside but he still needs to stop attacking Karamatsu and scaring random people who have done nothing to him