I was itching to write some AA fanfic & mostly wanted to write something with Klavier & Apollo because they're the favs.
Takes place between games four and five because I like Clay alive. Taking a few liberties with the timeline though, such as Edgeworth coming back a little earlier to take the Head Prosecutor position. Also game-accurate continuity mistakes will be made because as much as I love this franchise, I am far from having all the details memorized. (Same goes for knowledge of the legal system. Creative liberties everywhere! Not that the AA world has ever had a clearly defined legal system to start with. XD)
Anyway, these notes are long, but hoping this fanfic will be (relatively) short. And finished at some point. *squints at my own backlog of unfinished fics* You're getting it either way because I don't know how to not post things that are decent, finished or not. XD
"Did you hear? Justice lost to Payne," the voice at the water color whined, stretching out the last name as though it physically hurt her to say. The sigh that followed was equally pained, and rightly so if her statement had been correct. "We'll be hearing him gloat for weeks."
"Was the Defense having an off day or something?" Another voice responded, and Klavier found himself leaning against the wall just around the corner in order to listen better. "I thought that Wright agency was pretty good."
"Well, I heard he was alone on the bench, but I can't imagine having his co-counsel there would have made things easier," the first woman said. She lowered her voice, almost whispering as if her gossip was scandalous. "I mean, the case was over in twenty minutes. Payne destroyed him."
Klavier decided that eavesdropping simply wasn't good enough for this and rounded the corner with his best rock star smile on. Keeping his strut even as he approached them, he paused by the couple and began, "Forgive me for interrupting, but did you say something about Payne destroying a case? That seems a little far fetched."
"Prosecutor Gavin!" The second man said, and Klavier recognized him as one of the older secretaries from the front desk. "You hadn't heard yet?"
"If I had, would I be asking?" Klavier twirled the end of his hair, radiating as much aloofness as possible. "I usually try to avoid the gossip mill, though I must admit this one is tempting."
"Payne won his case against Apollo Justice this morning," the first woman replied. Now that he got a good look at her, he remembered she usually prosecuted misdemeanor cases. Though he couldn't recall her name, despite his best efforts. She shrugged, holding a bunch of files to her chest. "He's been bragging about it since he got out of court."
"What sort of case was it?" Klavier asked, unable to help himself. He'd lost to young Mr. Justice enough times that to hear he'd lost to Payne of all people was unthinkable! "Perhaps it was something more open and shut than Herr Forehead's usual case load?"
"Murder trial," she said, tilting her head to the side. She scrunched her nose trying to think. "Payne didn't really talk about the details, aside from 'putting another killer away!' bragging, but there might have been more going on. All I know is Payne got the guilty verdict, and we saw Justice down at appeals about an hour after court ended."
"Thank you for the enlightening news," Klavier said, holding his hand up to wave goodbye.
He strode away from the water cooler gossip, his feet heading toward the Appeals Desk without a second thought. To the best of his knowledge, no one in the Wright Anything Agency had ever needed to visit that particular branch of the courts, and knowing poor Justice, he was drowning in all sorts of new paperwork. Even if he'd been through the process with Kristoph once upon a time, Klavier just knew his brother handled most of it himself.
Sure enough, Klavier found Justice at the appeals counter, having a lovely conversation with the clerk.
"What do you mean I'm missing forms? I read through the application process six times," Justice said, rubbing the side of his head. "What could I possibly be missing?"
Klavier looked over the shorter man's shoulder, careful not to jostle Justice, amused that the Clerk had yet to rat him out. The paperwork looked to be in order from what he could see and, ah, there it was. Klavier knew the problem. "You're missing Form 4L."
Justice jerked, turning around and gaping. "Prosecutor Gavin! How long have you been there?"
"Just long enough to know what was wrong," Klavier said. He tapped the stack of documents Justice held and shrugged. "And the form you're missing is fairly new. I don't think they've updated the official process instructions yet."
"Would have been helpful to know earlier," Justice sighed. He turned to the clerk and asked politely. "Where can I get Form 4L?"
Klavier flashed a smile at the clerk, hoping she took the hint to help the poor defense attorney out. In most cases, she'd send him off to find the forms on his lonesome, and after losing to Payne, Justice deserved a break. She huffed, catching his pleading glance, and pulled up the forms on her computer and printed them off. "Normally you'd find them in the same place as where you got those, but I'll save you some trouble since you've got everything else. Fill this out by hand and I'll take your forms."
"Thank you," Justice said. He took the paperwork and moved his way out of line and off to a side bench.
Klavier helped himself to a seat next to the defense attorney and couldn't help himself. "You'll have to forgive me for being curious, but what has you needing appeal paperwork?"
"For a rock star, you sure stay out of the gossip loop," Justice grunted, dutifully filling out the forms and not sparing Klavier a look. "I heard Payne bragging the second he walked out of the room. I'm surprised the entire department doesn't know by now."
"It's not often that you lose," Klavier said, carefully. "That's true. Having an off day?"
"No, I just didn't realize how vindictive Payne was going to be about the whole thing," Justice said. His pen scribbled on the form and he flipped through a few pages to double check his answers were consistent through the documents. "Besides, my client pled guilty from the start. That's hardly a win when it was only a sentencing trial."
"And the appeal?"
"Payne took a pot shot at my client, insulting his kid, so he got angry on the stand," Justice sighed, rubbing his temples. He slumped in his seat, like the world was against him. "They had to restrain the guy to calm him down, and I can't say it was his best moment. Between that and Payne leading the judge, my client ended up with a much longer sentence than what I was pushing for. I'm hoping to appeal and get the minimum sentence and his chance for parole back."
"A little odd to hear you were pushing for a lighter sentence for a murderer," Klavier said, watching as Justice filled in the last few bits of the form.
Justice paused and glanced at Klavier, swallowing lightly. Klavier could tell that Justice was weighing his words carefully. "He was deeply remorseful over the event. He called me to help get a shorter sentence and make sure he could keep visiting hour privileges, not to see if I could get him off the hook completely."
"I see," Klavier said. He crossed his legs, but he still couldn't picture Justice going easy on a killer. Not after everything he'd been through. "I suppose that's fair."
Justice sighed and shook his head. He put both his hands on his stack of paperwork and fixed Klavier with such an intense, burning look in his eyes that it made his heart skip a beat. "Look, I've heard it enough from Mr. Wright about taking a guilty client, but I'll tell you what I told him: If the man had lied to me and denied what he did, I probably wouldn't have given him a second look, but the guy's got a three year old at home and I believe him when he says he's sorry. So if I can help his sentenced reduced to fifteen years so he can see his girl graduate high school in person, I'm going to do my best and make sure it happens."
"Ah, a second degree case then," Klavier said, knowing that the sentence would have been much, much longer for something premeditated. He supposed he couldn't blame Justice for wanting to help out someone who acted in the heat of the moment. Klavier leaned his cheek on his forehead and hummed. "May I ask the details, or should I read the official record?"
"No, it's really not that big of a deal," Justice said. He filled in the last of his form and put his pen down. "A bar fight got out of hand and my client bashed the victim's head in on the side of a pool table. He regretted it immediately, but by that point it's too late, you know?"
Klavier patted Justice on the shoulder, unsure of how he could possibly answer that question. Some days it was frightening how quickly your entire life could be destroyed from one poor decision, and it was a sobering thought. Klavier nodded instead. "Good luck with your appeals process."
"Thanks," Justice said. The young man flipped through his paperwork one more time to double check everything and once it was set he stood up from the bench. As he set the papers under his arm, he snorted all of a sudden and looked at Klavier with an amused half-grin. "You want to know the funniest thing about all this?"
"What?" Klavier asked, playing along with the sudden cheerful mood of his favorite defense attorney.
"This is the first client that's actually paid me," Justice laughed.
Klavier snorted himself, covering his mouth as the defense attorney went back to the clerk to file his case work. Curiosity sated, Klavier left, fully intending to make sure that people knew Payne had yet to win anything.
"Gavin, may I have a word?" Edgeworth asked, knocking on the side of the office door before sticking his head in. He had a large folder under his arm and the bags under his eyes were drooping more than usual. As the only other person in the office as fashionable as Klavier, that sort of exhaustion on his face ought to be criminal. Edgeworth stepped into the room. "It should only take a moment."
Klavier pushed aside the case he had been reviewing and stood. His thoughts raced thinking of any reason why he'd be getting a visit from Edgeworth, and coming up with none, decided that he might as well let the older man tell him. "Of course, Head Prosecutor! What can I do for you?"
"I was hoping you could give me an opinion," Edgeworth said, opening his top file as he crossed the room. He stopped near Klavier's desk and snapped the folder closed after scanning the pages. "If you wouldn't mind."
"Hit me," Klavier said, shrugging. "If I can be of assistance, I'd be glad to."
"What sort of man is young Mr. Justice?" Edgeworth asked.
Not expecting that sort of question, Klavier found himself pressing his lips together. New questions of "Why?" popped into Klavier's head, and he found himself weighing his words carefully. "He's a good man, though a bit loud and nervous at times. May I ask why?"
"His appeal for that case from last week was approved, and I've yet to assign a prosecutor to the case," Edgeworth said. He fixed his glasses on his face. "I was wondering about his character, and whether or not his call for appeal was in good faith or not."
"Justice almost always means for the best, if that's what you wanted to know. He's very dedicated to finding truth and pursuing it relentlessly," Klavier said. He twirled the end of his hair and shrugged as he pictured Justice across the court room. "He happens to fit his last name very well, if you ask me."
"Thank you. I won't ask for much more than that," Edgeworth said.
"Deciding between sending a heavy hitter or a pushover to the appeal trial based on the Defense's character?" Klavier laughed. He picked up a pen and tapped it on the surface, far more amused than he should be. What was their department coming to these days? "I wonder if that's a good thing or not."
"More like a necessity," Edgeworth sighed. He set his stack of papers on the desk and ran a hand through his hair. "We're so short staffed at the moment, that frankly, I find myself needing to delegate cases this way to avoid overworking anyone. Better not to waste resources on long trials when we both know the preferred outcome. Besides, he's only appealing the sentence."
"Yes, he mentioned that when I caught him filing the paperwork." Klavier leaned his hip on the desk and crossed his arms. "My professional opinion? You can usually trust Justice's judgement in most cases, though never go easy on him in court. He'll get a swelled head."
"It's nice to know you can still be professional despite being friends on opposite sides of the courtroom," Edgeworth commented. He looked to the side, his eyes half lidded and glassy. Klavier recognized the lost thoughts immediately and allowed the man to have his moment. Edgeworth turned up to look at him a moment later, a sad smile on his face. "It's a tough road to walk sometimes."
Before Klavier had the chance to answer, Edgeworth nodded and said his thanks and goodnight, heading out the door. Whether he had been avoiding conversation after an accidentally slip of admitting he was friends with Wright, or merely finished with his business, Klavier didn't know.
He took a seat back at his desk in the quiet room and crossed his fingers. He thought of the man in the red vest and a voice that certainly matched his rooster-like appearance. "Friends, huh?"
"Thank you, thank you," a large man sobbed, holding Justice's hands. The individual had cuffs on his wrists, and a guard at his side, but didn't seem to be a threat. Instead, he towered over Justice, a good two feet taller, and whimpered as he said thanks over and over again. "I can't thank you enough."
"Calm down, Mr. Peters," Justice replied, a nervous smile on his face. Klavier couldn't help but grin at the young man's embarrassment under the praise, even when coming from a man about to be put away. "Your apology helped a lot, and the judge was sympathetic. I told you it would be fine."
"Yeah, but if you hadn't fought so hard, it wouldn't have happened," the man said, squeezing Justice's hands harder. Klavier could see the way Justice's back bend under the unintentional pain from across the room. The larger man seemed to remain oblivious to his own strength. "I swear. When I get out, I'm buying you a round."
"That would be nice," Justice answered diplomatically. The guard cleared his throat and Justice patted the back of his client's hands. "You have to go now, but I'll be at the detention center tomorrow before your transfer to help finalize a bit of the paperwork, and help your wife and daughter navigate visiting hours."
"Of course," the man said. He reluctantly released Justice's hands and was dragged off to the side and through the large doors that led to the holding cells.
Justice visibly wilted, breathing out and running his hand through his hair. He rubbed his arms where the larger man had been clinging with a frown on his face, and Klavier took that as a cue to come and be annoying. The bruises on his arms were worrisome, but Justice didn't seem to mind them.
"I take it your appeal went well, Herr Forehead?" Klavier asked, slapping a hand on Justice's back and relishing the way the boy jumped. "With the way your client was acting, you'd think he'd gotten the guilty verdict appealed instead."
Justice huffed and turned to face Klavier. He put his hands on his hips and nodded his head toward the door where the prisoner had been escorted out. "When the difference is between fifteen years behind bars and sixty, it's almost the same amount of relief."
"Congratulations either way," Klavier said. It was either the bags under Justice's eyes, or the bruises on his wrists that had Klavier inviting him out before he could stop himself. "Care to celebrate?"
Justice looked startled, before asking, "Celebrate?"
"I was thinking dinner," Klavier suggested. "Nothing like getting something to eat after an exhausting trial."
The defense attorney gave him a calculating look, the sort that made Klavier feel like he was being dissected. But it left as soon as it came, and Justice crossed his arms with a grin. "Are you paying?"
"Naturally," Klavier replied. It wasn't like he didn't have the money for it, and he honestly didn't mind paying, but that didn't mean he was going to let Justice completely off the hook for wanting a free meal! "I offered, so I should pay. Yes?"
"Then yeah, I could go for some food," Justice said. He reached down and picked up his briefcase. "Where were you thinking"
"I know just the place!" Klavier laughed, slapping a hand on Justice's shoulder.
"I want you to know, I'm never letting you pick the restaurant again," Justice said, sinking into his seat. The booth was spacious enough that the smaller man probably could have disappeared in it should he try hard enough. Justice sipped at his water glass, glaring at Klavier. "Even if it means I have to pay."
"The food happens to be very good here," Klavier said in return. He hummed as he glanced over the menu, looking for anything new on the ever changing selection. He'd never seen the same items listed twice in a row, and if he recalled, they cycled the menu once per week. "Let me know if you want help picking something out. I know the chef, and he has his own little quirks."
"I am not dressed well enough to be here," Justice said, looking around the room. "My business causal is hardly black tie formal, even if it is a vest."
"You're acting like I'm wearing a tuxedo," Klavier laughed, crossing his legs under the table. He took a sip from his own water glass, his rings clinking against the glass. "You're fine."
"You have rock star immunity," Justice responded, sitting up straighter in his seat. "It doesn't matter what you're wearing because everyone recognizes you and it nullifies the dress code."
"And you're dining with a rock star, which in turn applies the same to your own wardrobe," Klavier replied easily enough. Justice was arguing, but his heart wasn't really in it to win. A forced show of annoyance to get back at Klavier for picking someplace Justice couldn't have afforded even if he'd agreed to go dutch. Well that was just what the defense attorney got when he decided to abuse Klavier's wallet so obviously. "You're fine. And I can see our waitress returning, so pick something on the menu already before we have to make her come back again."
Justice rolled his eyes and flipped a page on the menu. His eyes scanned the single page and pursed his lips in a frown. He glanced at Klavier and asked softly, "Is the roasted duck any good?"
"Depends if you like pepper," Klavier said. "He tends to go overboard when it comes to the duck for some reason I've yet to figure out."
"Maybe I'll go for the soft-shell crab then," Apollo said, still squinting at the menu. "Though considering the level of cuisine here, I'm sure I could order anything and it'l all be new."
"Come on now, Herr Forehead," Klavier laughed and rested his cheek on his hand. "Isn't that the biggest reason to dine at a place like this? To try new things?"
"Point," Justice said. He crossed his arms over the table and shrugged. "What are you getting?"
"The lamb," Klavier said. He shifted his drink to the side and laid his menu flat out on the table. He pointed to the dish near the bottom of the menu, happy to see that the tradition of always including at least one traditional Greek dish every week had yet to be broken. "The chef is Greek, and makes the best yogurt sauce you've ever had."
"That does sound good," Justice said, looking at the description of it on his own menu. He laughed and asked, "It's not weird if I order the same thing as you, is it?"
"I certainly won't hold it against you," Klavier said. He looked up at the waitress and asked with a wink. "What do you think, miss?"
"I think the lamb's good enough that I wouldn't blink if a party of eight all ordered the same dish," she laughed back, right on cue. "Can I take that you two have decided on two lamb dishes?"
"Yes, ma'am," Justice said, closing his menu. "That'll be fine."
"And go ahead and add a bottle of whatever Italian red you've got in stock today," Klavier added, leaning back.
"Yes sir," the waitress smiled. She refilled their water cups and took the menus away with a smile and a bounce in her step Klavier had gotten used to see in every lovely lady (and sometimes young man) who had the privilege of serving a rock star. Klavier chuckled and nodded at Justice. "Remind me to leave her an autograph."
"I'm sure you won't forget," Justice said, shaking his head. He leaned back in his seat and breathed slowly, closing his eyes. Klavier allowed him to have his moment, and settled into his own booth seat. Justice jerked a second later at the sound of a loud "Beep!" and pulled his phone from his pocket. He snorted and started to type. "Oops. I forgot to tell Mr. Wright I was going to be late coming back."
"He keeps a rather tight leash, doesn't he?" Klavier asked, humming as the waitress returned with their wine and two glasses. She poured and he thanked her before picking up his glass. "Your working hours aren't that controlled, are they?"
"No, it's just unusual for me to not come back right after a case ends," Justice muttered, still typing with a frown on his face. "And considering my client this time around…"
Justice trailed off and allowed Klavier to fill in the blank. "He assumed the worst and thinks you're dead in a ditch somewhere, didn't he?"
"Something like that," Justice said. He finally flipped his screen off and shoved his phone back in his pocket. "Sorry about that."
Seeing his mood had soured, Klavier pushed the second wine glass closer to Justice. "I take it you've been getting a hard time about your case, despite it being a success?"
"Mr. Wright doesn't think I should have taken it," Justice admitted, taking a small sip from his wine glass. He paused, frowning as he adjusted to the taste and took another sip. "He already forbid Trucy from helping with the case, which was bad enough, but he keeps acting like I've committed some defense attorney sin. I mean, he does know defending guilty clients is a thing defense attorneys do, doesn't he?"
"Considering he tends to avoid guilty clients like the plague, perhaps not," Klavier chuckled. He took a larger sip from his glass and set it aside to wait for the meal. "Though at least that explains where the young Trucy had gone. I remembered them saying you were without co-counsel for this, but it didn't cross my mind to ask."
"Well, at least on that one I couldn't blame Mr. Wright," Justice said. He twisted his bracelet around in a circle on his arm, occasionally rubbing the skin beneath it with his thumb. "She's very helpful and used to being around dangerous situations, but she's still a little young, and my client did have a hard time controlling his strength. He meant well, but I think even after he gets out, he'll have to be extra careful to control himself."
"I wish him luck, if just for your sake," Klavier said. He picked up his glass and tilted it toward Justice. "To our clients bettering themselves after the worst is over?"
"I'll drink to that," Justice said. He tapped his glass against Klavier's and took a long gulp from the cup.
Klavier watched in amusement as Justice hopped off the back of his motorcycle, parked in front of the defense attorney's apartment building. The younger man straightened the bike he'd been carrying on his shoulder the entire time with practiced ease and pulled his briefcase out of Klavier's storage compartment with the other hand.
"Thanks for the lift home, Klavier," Justice said. He yawned into his shoulder and looked around the dark street. "We were out longer than I thought we'd be."
"Good dinner conversation will do that," Klavier laughed. He stretched his limbs out and crossed his arms across the handlebars. "I had fun. You should win appeals cases more often."
"Only appeals cases?" Justice asked, grinning despite it all.
"I'm hardly going to be up for celebrating on days you beat me in court, now am I?" Klavier shot back.
"You should though," Justice said, his eyes laughing. "Justice prevailing and the innocent walking free is everyone's win, isn't it?"
"You earned a point for having a good come back, but lost it for that dreadful pun on your last name, Herr Forehead," Klavier said. He waved his hand and hummed lightly. "Now off with you. We're both going to need sleep to prepare for tomorrow. You've got a detention center visit, and I've got to deal with the fallout of Payne's single 'winning case' being overruled in Appeals."
"Don't remind me," Justice said, shaking his head. He hiked his bike higher on his shoulder and skipped up the front steps of the apartment building opening stoop. "I'll see you later, Gavin."
"Until next time," Klavier said, waving.
He waited for Justice and his bike to disappear into the apartment building before kicking up his bike stand and starting the motor. The engine roared beneath him and he shot away from the building and back into the city.
Dinner had been fun. More fun than Klavier had been expecting, and he was happy to note that Justice continued to impress him. Be it standing up for a man who made mistakes, or in fact remembering to remind Klavier to leave the waitress one of the signed head shots he carried around for emergencies.
As Klavier turned the key and entered his own home, he found himself already looking forward to another night out with his friend.
He paused, holding his keys over the bowl next to the door as he shut it behind him with the back of his heel. Edgeworth's words from earlier filled his head and he dropped the keys in the bowl with a clatter. He hung his helmet on the wall and collapsed into his couch with a smile.
"Justice and I are definitely friends," Klavier said to himself, grinning at the ceiling. "I'm shocked Edgeworth noticed before I did."
He probably shouldn't have felt so relieved to admit that to himself. But, Klavier thought to himself as he closed his eyes and rested on the couch, this only meant things were looking up.
And it was nice to have something to look forward to again.