Ace Attorney fic: The Last Job
Stupid sexy game still.
Title: The Last Job
Fandom: Ace Attorney
Pairing: Tyrell Badd/Calisto Yew/Byrne Faraday
Warnings: Pretty massive spoilers for the second half of Ace Attorney Investigations. Yay!
The court adjourns in a sea of heated whispers, men and women rising from their seats with cold indignation etched across their faces. Detective Badd watches from the gallery as Faraday collapses against the prosecutor's stand and buries his face in his hands, recognizing too well the grief over what should have been their victory. Faraday stays that way for a long time, and when he finally lifts his head, it's just him and Badd, all alone in the empty courtroom.
The victim's sister is in the lobby when they finally make their way out, sitting by herself on a bench in the corner of the room. Badd touches Faraday's shoulder in a way that says don't follow, and Faraday pretends to busy himself with his papers.
"Ms. Yew?" Badd says quietly, clearing his throat in order to fill her silence. "I just wanted to tell you how deeply sorry I am, and if there's anything I can ever do, anything you ever need..." He slips a card from his pocket, because it's the only meaningless comfort he has left to offer.
She rises after a moment and takes it from him, running her thumb over the neat, raised printing of his name. "Detective Tyrell Badd," she reads dully, then slaps him across the face so hard that the side of his lip splits open and begins to bleed. He can hear Faraday's gasp from the other side of the room, but Badd only nods grimly, pressing the card into her hand before he turns away.
Yew calls him the very next day and apologizes for her behavior, even though Badd tells her not to. "I was also hoping that you and Mr. Faraday might be free for lunch tomorrow. To talk," she adds, and Badd doesn't even have to think before answering, "Of course."
They plan their first job six weeks later—bank statements from a checking account that by all rights shouldn't exist—and it goes off without a hitch. When it's over, they lay the documents out across Badd's kitchen table, Yew crying tears of grief and triumph as they spread their hands over the papers like the three-limbed beast that now shares their name, one right next to the other.
Badd pulls strings around the precinct until the Yatagarasu file lands on his desk, a single unimpressive folder with a note taped to the front that reads, You can have it! Nobody in the department wants some vigilante nutjob bringing down his closure rate, but Badd just leans back in his chair and opens up the file, smiling inwardly at the empty space where the list of evidence should be.
Within a year, the file's grown to ten times its original size. Badd grumbles and curses under his breath as he hacks away at yet another front page article with a pair of scissors. "That sneaky son of a bitch," he complains to Faraday over the phone, and forces the paper onto the wall of his cubicle with a thumbtack.
By day, life goes on as usual. They dust for prints they know don't exist, investigate insiders who couldn't possibly have known about the thefts. When they pass Yew in the courthouse, there's hatred in her eyes and derision in her laugh, and only newcomers to the profession ever have to ask why. They run circles around the smuggling ring thanks to the self-professed Great Thief, but in the end it's not enough—it's never enough.
"They won't get away with what they did to your sister. We won't let them," Badd tells her days later when they're standing in the shadows of the Amano Group's accounting firm.
Yew pulls the mask down over her eyes. She cried at their first victory and never again. "No," she says, and takes each of their hands in hers.
It's not the thefts themselves that wear them down, but the time in between. Faraday's temper flares at the smallest provocation, worse than Badd's seen in the eight years he's known him. The police department starts putting increased pressure on them to close the case—any case—because Badd's 0-for-2 on this smuggling fiasco, and with no new leads, they figure he might as well call the game. Yew goes up against them in court and has neither the energy nor the passion to fight. They suffer collectively for the Yatagarasu's silence, but that secret alone is worth the wait.
Badd is boiling hot dogs in the Faradays' kitchen when Yew calls one night, unexpected but certainly not unwelcome.
"Well, this is convenient," she observes dryly when he answers. "You're not who I was expecting, but I suppose it makes no difference. Where's Faraday?"
"His trial ran long," Badd answers, poking at the hot dogs with a fork. "I'm watching his daughter."
Yew gives an amused little chuckle. "How very domestic of you."
"It is," she says. "But I won't tell. I guess I didn't realize how right Faraday was when he said the two of you were close. Interesting."
Badd frowns as he kills the burner. "What's interesting?"
"No, nothing," Yew assures him. "Do you cook too?"
"Hot dogs. Kay—that's his daughter—Kay loves them. So that's what I make." Badd fiddles with the stovetop. It's not often that Yew contacts them by telephone, so when she does her conversations are usually more succinct. "What's going on?" he asks.
Suddenly the humor drains from her words, as it always does when they inevitably get down to business. "I confirmed that lead I'd mentioned the other day. I need to drop off the floor plans so Faraday can study them. I'll leave them by the door. Make sure he gets them."
"I will," Badd tells her. "He was counting on you to get your hands on a copy. I guess you didn't disappoint."
"Well," she says, that dry amusement back in her voice. "I've always said we make a great team. Do enjoy your hot dogs," she adds, and the line goes dead.
When Faraday gets back, they spend the rest of the night analyzing the data that Yew left behind. "Look," he says, touching Badd's shoulder as he points to the security codes scribbled on the back. "How does she do it?"
Badd studies the tiny pencil marks as Faraday continues to squeeze his shoulder. "I wish I knew," he says.
The rendezvous point is always Badd's place. Not the most prudent of spots, he realizes, but it's only a risk if something goes wrong, and the three of them see to it that "going wrong" is never an option.
Faraday pages through the doctored invoices with two gloved hands, reading them over and over again until Badd finally takes them from him. Sliding them into the unmarked envelope meant for the Sunday Press, he drops it on the table and peels off his gloves. Faraday does the same.
"Quite the gold mine. I say we celebrate," Yew announces, appearing with a bottle of wine that she dug out of Badd's front closet. "Where are your glasses?"
Badd frowns. "Collecting dust somewhere," he says blandly, but she disappears again and returns with three wine stems balanced delicately between her fingers. Badd waves her away. "None for me."
She smirks, placing the glasses on the table with a clink. "Suit yourself."
Faraday takes it upon himself to turn on the stereo, shrugging when Badd looks at him funny. "We're closing in on them, I can feel it," he breathes, taking the glass that Yew offers him. He looks uncharacteristically wild-eyed. They both do.
Faraday offers Yew his hand and they begin slow dancing around the living room. Badd stays on the couch, watching the way they glide gracelessly over his worn-out carpet, the way Faraday has one hand resting against the small of her back. Badd leaves to get some water from the kitchen, and when he comes back, he has to look twice before he realizes the two of them are kissing.
Faraday pulls away when he catches sight of Badd, looking guilty and flushed even in the dim light. Yew glances over her shoulder and gazes at Badd from beneath her eyelashes. "Come here," she tells him, running her fingers over the curve of Faraday's jaw. He crosses the room slowly, and Faraday's eyes never leave his.
Her kisses taste like wine and flowers and sweat, tiny dewdrops of adrenaline caught up in the threads of her sweater. She sighs against his mouth, placing his hand on her breasts as she slips her other arm around Faraday's neck. Her smile is apologetic when she pulls away and presses her lips against Faraday's ear. "We can share this too," she whispers, guiding his hand down between their bodies. Faraday licks his lips as she kisses his neck, then slowly brushes his fingers against the inside of Badd's thigh.
Badd closes his eyes and mutters, "Shit," head swimming with every insane desire he's ever tried to bury. When he opens them again, Yew is already across the room, smiling dangerously as she extends one black-gloved hand.
Less than a week passes before the Yatagarasu makes the papers again, and even though the company this time around is only loosely associated with their true target, they've begun to crave the hunt just as much as the prey, and the media is guaranteed to devour it no matter what the source.
"I'm beginning to think that you and Faraday just enjoy being humiliated," Yew sneers as she passes Badd in the courthouse.
He looks down at the playful curve of her mouth, then at the headline she's gripping by the corners of the paper. Yatagarasu: Three Step Advantage? Try Seventeen. "Cute," he mutters, glancing at the envelope in the article's photo. He can almost feel her hands on his shoulders, her lips on his neck as he sealed that very envelope just the night before. He remembers the way she undressed them both, how she drew Badd to the bed and waited for Faraday to follow.
It's how they celebrate now, the three of them. Victory tastes like Yew's skin and Faraday's mouth, like the salty-sweet tang of fear and exhilaration and lust. They learn each other's bodies the way they learn the secrets of those floor plans, every graze of skin in defiance of the fingerprints they can never leave behind.
Yew takes their hands and leads them down the hallway of Badd's apartment, leaning softly against his shoulder as he slides his key into the lock. She draws them down on either side of her, trailing kisses across Faraday's neck as Badd slides his hand between her legs. Faraday rubs up against him as he teases her, and Badd stretches out his fingers just to hear him gasp.
One night Yew whispers, "I just want to watch you," and she lies across the bed and gazes at Badd with the same intensity that she did when they first met. He can feel it beneath his skin as they undress, that strange, unreadable darkness that still manages to unnerve him. She lies at their side and watches as Faraday pushes Badd down and takes him in his mouth. Watches the way he spreads Faraday's legs apart like he's wanted to for years, touches him until they're left gasping every name but their own, one desperate string of byrnetyrellcalisto.
Badd shivers when her breath grazes the back of his neck, cool and silent against the fervor of Faraday's cries. "Make him come," she whispers, and Badd just curses and bites his lip and does everything she asks.
They bring their share of justice to the courtroom, but in the end they always return to the untouchable Cohdopian Embassy, that open wound that's still tender and raw even after all these years. Coachen is beyond the law now, they know that better than anyone, but the catalyst of his crime has proven to be just as elusive.
Badd finds an Embassy brochure on his desk when he returns from lunch one day, an ironic memento from his partner, who's suddenly decided that three years is too long to spend chasing pawns. They meet that same night, because even Badd has to admit that it's the only move they have left.
"Attempting to infiltrate the Embassy is going to be incredibly difficult," Yew warns them again and again. "The truth is, my connections there just aren't strong enough—"
"No," Faraday interrupts angrily, grabbing her wrists and pulling her so close that for a second she actually looks scared. "We need something decisive, Calisto. You have to find something we can use."
She looks at Badd over his shoulder, then smiles calmly as she takes Faraday's hand. "I'll see what I can do."
Yew gets them the floor plans, as she always does, and they spend three days helping Faraday analyze every hallway, every room, every escape route. "It's going to be on the fifth floor," Yew reminds him quietly, and Badd can't tell if it's fear or something else that's hiding between her words. "The risk we're taking is still enormous. I don't think more than one of us should go in."
"I'll do it," Faraday says without looking up, and they both know that it would be pointless to argue.
Two nights later they join hands one final time and watch as Faraday disappears into the shadows of the Cohdopian Embassy, counting the seconds until he returns with their prize.
They almost can't believe it when he pulls his mask off and falls to his knees in the grass, holding out the key in one gloved hand.
"We did it," Yew says in disbelief, reaching down slowly when he offers it to her. "This...this is everything we need." She turns it over in her hands, running her fingers over the delicate butterfly pattern that adorns the handle. "Here," she says suddenly, turning to Badd. "The last job is one the Yatagarasu can't do. You have your evidence. The rest is up to you and Faraday."
Badd studies her in the darkness. "We've always been in this together, you know that."
"Tyrell," she says, looking over at Faraday with an amused sort of smile. "We made quite the team, no one can ever deny that. But I can't help you anymore." She's silent for a moment. "You've always had each other though. And that's not something I'd take for granted, if I were you."
Badd just looks at her in confusion, trying ignore the knot of unease that's beginning to form in the pit of his stomach. "But I don't understand."
And to his surprise she begins to laugh. Troubled, unsettling laughter that tears through the silence like a knife. "You will," she says, and kisses him on the cheek before pressing their hard-earned prize painfully against his chest.