Hey everybody out there in Internet-Land. This here is a story that I guess you could call a sequel to my previous fic, "Follow the Fool." ( Which, itself, was a sequel to "Perfection." ( Which, ITSELF, was a sort of pseudo-sequel to Lerayl's "Clemency" ( not mine, still all sorts of awesome). I like to think that all of these can stand on their own as stories, so you don't have to read the others to understand this one, but it might… enrich the experience or something if you do! Bleh, I dunno.
I'd like to give much amounts of uber-thanks to Musouka and Aria/Lerayl/Raelle for helping me out, listening to me bounce ideas off of them, contributing their own ideas, and just being all-around awesome. Seriously, those two kick ass. Lots of ass.
This particular story deals with female/female relationships, specifically the relationship of Franziska von Karma and Adrian Andrews, taking place 11 months after the epilogue to Follow the Fool. If you are vehemently opposed to this coupling or lesbian relationships in general, I suggest you don't read it. Otherwise, please do, and I hope you enjoy! (And leave comments. Seriously, comments nourish my black, black, soul.)
One of These Things Does Not Belong
Franziska von Karma's routine was not a perfect routine, nor was it ironclad and immutable from day to day. The life of a public prosecutor was, after all, a demanding one and a flexible one—putting the scum of the earth behind bars required one to be on-call for much of the day, and Franziska would often work late if she did not feel her current case was absolutely flawless.
While it was not a perfect routine nor one she adhered to every day, it was a good routine nonetheless. The prosecutor wasn't really fond of driving herself in this country—of course, it had nothing to do with those idiotic American drivers or that foolish custom of driving on the right side of the road… she simply didn't feel like it was worth her time. As such, she had private transport, a chauffeur named Duncan Orleans, who would pick her up outside the prosecutor's office every day at precisely 6:20 unless she notified him to say otherwise. Duncan would drive her out of the city proper—with good traffic, it would take exactly thirty-four minutes—and he would deposit her directly in front of the apartment building she called a temporary home here in America.
She would get out of the sedan with the chauffeur's aid and give him a curt thank you, throw a cursory nod to the doorman who held the large plate glass door open for her to pass through, and make her way to the elevators. There would often be one or two others getting home from work at around this time, though Franziska would not engage them in idle conversation, which they learned after several unsuccessful tries. Franziska would then take the elevator up to the sixteenth floor at just before 7:00 PM, slip her key into the lock, and enter the moderately-sized apartment she shared with her… companion, one Adrian Andrews.
It was a decent-sized apartment, certainly expensive with the real estate being what it was in Southern California, but affordable with her considerably high-paying career. The apartment was more comfortably furnished than her home in Germany, though Franziska hadn't really had a hand in all of that, leaving it to Adrian's capable design. Franziska would take off her leather boots and place them neatly besides the doorway, hang up any coat she might be wearing, and coil up her bullwhip before setting it precisely on the nearby table.
Adrian had, after terminating her contract with Matt Engarde, been working mostly freelance—organizing an art exhibition here, arranging interviews for a film documentary there—and so would sometimes be out of the apartment by the time Franziska came home due to her more variable hours. However, lately there hadn't been much demand for her talents (and she could usually arrange and design most of what was required of her from home anyway), so the blonde woman would usually be there at home to greet Franziska when she arrived.
It was not a perfect routine, but it was a good one nonetheless.
This particular day had started like any other, had passed like any other—a single trial for murder, the suspect perfectly guilty—and so far, was ending like any other. Franziska stepped out of the sedan with the aid of the dark-skinned Duncan, thanked him curtly, threw a cursory nod to the doorman, and boarded the nearest available elevator. She was alone in the elevator car today, though it was of no concern to her, really. Franziska stepped out of the elevator on Floor Sixteen, walked the five or so steps to her apartment door, slid the golden key she carried with her into the lock, and entered. It was a day ending like any other.
Franziska could hear the sounds of food being cooked coming from the kitchen. Though Adrian wasn't a gourmet chef by any stretch of the imagination, she'd been determined to improve, and could now make meals that were actually rather edible, and on some cases surprisingly palatable. "I'm home," said Franziska, just loudly enough so that Adrian could hear her over the sounds of hustle and bustle in the kitchen. The prosecutor slid her stocking-clad feet out of her boots, setting them neatly in their proper position, curled her leather bullwhip into a circle and placed it, her black leather gloves, and her purse on the door-side table.
"Oh, Franziska!" came the call from within the apartment, and for some reason, it sounded different—the first indication to Franziska von Karma that today would not just be like any other day. The prosecutor, who had turned around to close the apartment door, froze for an imperceptible moment. There was something different in Adrian's voice, something strange in how she'd phrased that simple greeting. It was normally a "Welcome home," or a "How was your day," or even sometimes just an embarrassingly affectionate kiss. Never an "Oh, Franziska," before.
That was odd.
There came a second sound, this one from immediately behind the prosecutor, closer to the ground. Though she'd never been one for animals before, she could identify the sound immediately… a high-pitched cry of curiosity and welcome.
Franziska von Karma's hands absentmindedly locked the door behind her out of habit before she turned around, very slowly, and looked down at the floor in front of her.
Seated on the floor was an anomaly in the perfection and order that was her life. It was an anomaly that happened to take the form of a small kitten, a tiny gray tabby that was currently looking up at the prosecutor with startlingly big, blue eyes, the end of its tail twitching from side to side every few seconds. As Franziska blinked once in momentary incomprehension, the kitten opened its mouth—revealing tiny if sharp teeth and a very pink tongue—and mewled again.
This did not belong here. Not in her apartment building, not in her apartment, and certainly not sitting on her hard-wood floor twitching its tail and meowing like it owned the place. Not in her carefully arranged life.
"Oh, I see you've met already," said a soft voice from slightly farther away, and Franziska looked up to see Adrian Andrews, hair pulled back and tied up in a bun, face slightly red from the steam of whatever she'd been concocting in the kitchen. Adrian smiled at her girlfriend of ten months, idly adjusting her eyeglasses with her hand as she did so. "Isn't she adorable?"
"Adrian… what is this?" asked Franziska, her voice flat and more than slightly terse. The kitten was still looking at her, cocking its head to the side inquisitively.
The blonde woman blinked once, looking puzzled for a few moments before responding in a slightly incredulous tone, "She's a cat, Franziska. A three-month-old kitten, actually."
The prosecutor's eyes slitted just enough to be noticeable, but her irritation seemed to be directed downwards at the new presence in her apartment instead of her companion. "I can see it's a cat. What is it doing here?"
Adrian seemed flustered for a second or two, averting her eyes off to the side for a moment before finally finding her voice, and speaking with a thin smile that didn't quite reach up into her eyes. "I… I bought her today. I thought that she might make this apartment more… more…" she shrugged slightly, "I don't know, more 'home'-y, I guess?" The pitch of her voice dropped imperceptibly. "I thought you'd like her."
There was disappointment on her face that most people would have missed. Franziska von Karma was not "most people," and for a second, found a warm flush coloring her cheeks as though she felt she'd done something wrong, completely inexplicably.
In an instant, the chagrin that Franziska had been inexplicably feeling vanished, replaced by irritation at this foreign intruder in her life. "Well, I don't want it here. Take it back," she said as she stormed past Adrian into the small yet sufficient kitchen of the apartment. There was a small iron skillet on the stove nearby that was currently filled with assorted vegetables in what looked to be a sort of stir-fry… and it actually smelled rather tasty, though the smell had been deceiving in some of Adrian's more spectacular culinary failures in the past.
"Franziska!" Adrian protested as the young prosecutor passed her into the kitchen, obviously heading for the closed door that lead to the small room they'd converted into her study. "Franziska, you just met her! Give her a chance!"
Franziska turned to reply, but suddenly trailed off, a puzzled expression on her face as she noticed several orange flecks in her partner's blonde hair, and her gaze flickered over to the stir-fry, which included, among other things, some chopped carrots. "Adrian… how exactly did you get carrots in your hair?"
Adrian stopped literally in her tracks, blinking in momentary befuddlement. "I have carrots in my hair?" She started patting her head with her fingers almost reflexively, trying to find the offending pieces.
As she seemed to be missing them completely, Franziska reached out and plucked the pieces of vegetable from her hair, throwing them into the nearby trash can in the same motion before responding to Adrian, "I do not like animals, Adrian. I have no room for them in my life. There is no reason for it to be here."
Adrian looked down at the floor for a moment before looking back up and answering, a bit softly, "You're busy all day—and you should be! Your job is important, Franziska, but…" she shrugged, biting her bottom lip in that infuriatingly cute way she did when she was either disappointed, trying to guilt Franziska into doing something, or both. "I'm home by myself a lot of the time… it gets lonely." Adrian slowly showed a small, hopeful little half-smile at her friend. "And… you might like her too, if you just gave her a chance."
The prosecutor spoke a few short syllables that could have almost construed words, then fell silent for a length of time, her eyes narrowed at the fact that Adrian had made at least one valid point there.
"Very well. I will give it… a chance. One chance," amended Franziska, curtly nodding her head and frowning (though she did notice how the smile on Adrian's face grew wider). "And it will not be allowed in my study at any time. Only the living room and the kitchen. Are there any problems with that?" Adrian arched a thin blonde eyebrow wordlessly, ever so slightly inclining her head in the direction of the door that led to the bedroom the two of them shared. The prosecutor sighed. "Very well, the bedroom as well. Where is it now?"
Turning to face the larger room that was their combination living room/doorway, Adrian sounded slightly puzzled. "She… was just in the living room. Where'd she go?" The two of them looked down at the (perfectly clean other than the residual mess from Adrian's stir-fry) floor but saw no sign of the small gray animal.
As they searched, the blonde woman turned to her companion—and straightened up, brow furrowing in thought. "Franziska… your study door was closed just a few minutes ago, wasn't it?"
The young prosecutor spun around—sure enough, the door to her makeshift office was open a scant few inches, which would be just enough for a small, mischievous kitten. Franziska felt her blood start to chill and boil simultaneously, pushing the door open and stepping into her small study, furnished rather elegantly with volumes of law tomes lining the walls, and a little wooden desk where she worked. That oak desk was currently covered in piles of paperwork that was one of the things she really disliked about the American legal system as opposed to her more native German one.
At least, it had been covered in piles of paperwork until the very moment Franziska opened the door, when the aforementioned piles were pushed off the desk with a thundering crash that some part of Franziska thought was rather loud for a bunch of paper, but that part was quickly drowned out by the rest of her, which was absolutely furious. There was, sure enough, a tiny gray kitten on the desk, who had flattened its ears down on its head at the loud noise, and whose tiny claws had carved little scratches into the hard wood surface of the desk.
It didn't look guilty or remorseful at all, and for some illogical, foolish reason that infuriated Franziska von Karma all the more.
Behind her, she could hear Adrian gasp sharply, sliding past Franziska into the small study, quickly kneeling on the floor and sifting through the dozens upon dozens of sheets of paper scattered on the dark maroon carpet, apologizing profusely for what had happened—it was a trait of hers that sometimes got on Franziska's nerves, though she'd been much better about it recently. Still, right now, the young lawyer could barely hear anything above the pounding of her heart, her face flushed bright red in wrathful fury. "Get. Out!" hissed Franziska, taking a step into the room and pointing forcefully at the door behind her.
On her desk, the little gray kitten cocked its head to the side, twitching its tail idly, mewled, but did not move at all.
She took another step towards the desk and the offending beast, and this time it moved, bounding off the desk, onto the carpet (messing up even more papers as it scurried across the floor) and out into the kitchen. Franziska closed the door behind it forcefully, not bothering to pursue it—merely glad it was out of her workspace, momentarily ceasing to be a nuisance.
Adrian, during this entire time, had been crouched on the floor, trying frantically to organize the pages that the kitten had knocked down. "This is page 19…" Franziska heard her say as the thundering heartbeats in her ears started to die down. "Wait. This is page 19, too!" She looked up at Franziska, a slightly panicked flush on her face. "Franziska, there are two page 19s!"
Franziska, still fuming, crouched on the floor beside Adrian, beginning her own effort to re-organize the papers. "That's because there were four different documents on my desk," she snarled, gritting her teeth as she tried to match different files amidst the mess. She said nothing more, separating the multiple documents into their own piles that she painstakingly added to. Adrian handed her the one, single stack she'd been collecting before realizing that there were multiple files involved, not saying a word. She tried to help her partner as Franziska angrily organized the scattered papers, but it mainly took the form of handing pages to Franziska that were out of her reach so she could put it in the correct file.
"So… I guess that was," Adrian began with a melancholy tone in her voice, but didn't finish the sentence.
"That was its chance," concurred the young prosecutor, not looking up from her task. "I told you I would give it a chance, I did, and I want it gone. Take it back."
When next the older woman spoke, her voice was soft and small, embarrassed. "I… I can't, Franziska. The store has a 'No Returns' policy… I can't take her back."
Across from her, Franziska looked up at her, frowning angrily, though she did not lash out as she might once have done. "What sort of store has a foolish policy like that?" she muttered with a scowl. "I do not want it here, Adrian. If you can't take it back, then get rid of it some other way."
Adrian's eyes widened in horror. "What?! Franziska, you want to just… leave her on the street? Alone?! That's… that would be cruel."
Sighing as she continued to place each of the scattered pages into their proper order, Franziska shook her head. "Did I say that, Adrian? Of course not. Find a shelter or a pound to take it," Adrian didn't look like she thought that was much of a better idea. "…find someone else who wants it. Any of those. Just get it out of here."
"All right," responded Adrian. "I'll find someone else who wants to take her, then. I just… I want her to have a good home. She deserves a good home, Franziska."
"I understand," nodded the prosecutor, a mental sigh of relief running through her head at both the thought that the little beast would soon be out of her hair and out of her life, and the observation that she was almost done re-organizing the files. "So find a good home for it. One that isn't this one."
The two of them continued to rearrange the documents in silence. Looking up to take one of the last remaining pages from Adrian, the prodigy noticed that her companion seemed sad, or disappointed, or possibly both. Franziska closed her eyes for a moment, exhaling softly, placing the final page in its proper order in the correct file. "Adrian, I am… not an animal person," she admitted. "If you would like to purchase a pet for our home, though, I would not… be opposed to the idea. Perhaps, though, it might be wiser to get a… a…" Franziska paused as she mentally rifled through all the animals she knew to be 'pet' quality, almost immediately vetoing every possibility for various reasons, before finally deciding on, "…a goldfish or something."
Adrian looked to the side, adjusting her glasses with one hand before looking at Franziska and smiling wistfully. "No, you're right. I should have asked you first… I just… I guess I thought it would be a cute surprise. And… and…" she trailed off, frowning. "…Franziska, do you smell smoke?"
Wrinkling her nose as she smelled the air, Franziska nodded slowly. It was faint, but the odor of something burning was unmistakable. "I do." The two looked at one another in puzzlement before Adrian's eyes widened in shock and realization.
"I forgot to turn the stove off!" she exclaimed, standing up as quickly as she could and pulling open the door to their kitchen—the odor of smoke instantly grew stronger, and visible clouds of it could be seen rising from the skillet, where what had once been carefully sliced vegetables were now more easily identified as bricks of charcoal.
The blonde woman all but sprinted to the stove, turning the flames off, but it was far too late to salvage the food. Still, it didn't stop her from grabbing the wooden spoon she'd been using to stir the dish and poking through the charred remains for hopefully something that looked edible. "No, no, no, no, NO!" cried Adrian in frustration, coughing a little from the smoke. "It's ruined!"
Cupping her hand over her mouth and nose to block some of the smoke, Franziska quickly hurried to the kitchen windows, opening them as far as they would go. The air slowly started to clear, though the prosecutor had to fight the natural urge to cough upon taking a breath. She looked over at Adrian, lamenting the remains of the meal she'd been cooking, and shook her head. "It's fine, Adrian. We can order out like we usually do. Don't worry."
Adrian turned to her, her cheeks flushed and an ashamed look upon her face. "It's… that's not the point, Franziska. This was going to be a good dinner. I was going to have made the two of us a good, healthy, tasty dinner…" she sighed, looking at the floor. "I followed the recipe and everything. I'm… I'm just doing everything perfectly today, aren't I?" She turned back to the stove, resuming the hopeless searching for something close to edible. "It's ruined. I should have turned the stove off when you came home, or… or kept stirring it, kept a timer running. I should have,"
Franziska put a firm if gentle hand on her shoulder, turning her around. "Adrian," she said chidingly but not unkindly. "It's… all right. Stop worrying about it." The prosecutor shrugged in what she hoped was a reassuring gesture. "If you're so determined, you can make it for us tomorrow night. We should have more vegetables in the refrigerator, right?"
At the last sentence, Adrian sighed, looking even more bashful than she had before. "…no," she shook her head, stray strands of her golden hair whipping back and forth. "This was actually my… second try at making it tonight," she admitted, "I used the rest on my first."
"Then we can buy more. And you can make it tomorrow night, and it will be… healthy and good," said Franziska softly, not letting any traces of the slight irritation she was feeling at the waste of food into her voice or onto her face (after all, she really admittedly couldn't do much better, and at least Adrian was making an effort).
Her companion looked up at her, a genuine if wan smile on her face. "Okay, then. It's a deal." She exhaled heavily, dispersing a few remaining visible clouds of smoke with her breath, and took a step towards Franziska, resting her head on the prosecutor's shoulder wearily.
Feeling her body stiffen, Franziska von Karma turned slightly and looked down at the floor, where she could see the little gray kitten looking up at the two of them, the tip of its tail flicking from side to side. "This is a fine mess you've caused," growled Franziska under her breath. "And I will not be sorry to see you go."
She gave a little kick with her foot—not aimed to hit the cat, but to shoo it away—and the small animal ran off… directly into the still-open door of Franziska's study. Growling to herself, the young prosecutor broke the subtle embrace between her and Adrian, going to remove this intruding presence before it could do any more damage… hopefully.
"Well, the kitchen doesn't smell like smoke anymore, and your study is shut tight and locked…" said Adrian with a soft smile as she slipped under the covers of the king-sized bed she and Franziska shared, dressed in a loose black shirt and pajama pants. "So, everything looks fine."
Setting the legal document she'd been reading on her bedside table, Franziska nodded with a wordless sound of acknowledgement, covering a little yawn behind her hand. "And the cat?"
Franziska could see, even in silhouette, that Adrian's expression shifted ever-so-slightly at that question, but she no longer seemed as upset by the thought as she had earlier in the day. "Well, I did get a litter box for it, and it's been housetrained by the shop owners, so we shouldn't wake up to any surprises. I'll start making phone calls tomorrow, maybe put up a flyer. It… might take a few days, though."
"I understand. The sooner it's out of here, though, the better," responded the young prosecutor, slipping further under the covers and pulling the silken, coffee-colored sheets up to her shoulders, letting herself sink into the rather comfortable mattress. She reached up to switch off her bedside light, and it was only seconds before Adrian did the same.
"…were you serious about the goldfish?" Franziska turned to look over at Adrian, who had set her glasses on her own bedside table, curled up beneath the sheets on her side, smiling softly at her other.
Turning onto her side to face her girlfriend more easily, the younger woman shrugged imperceptibly. "I could possibly learn to adapt." Franziska's face turned into a soft frown. "Adrian, are you saying that you actually want a goldfish?"
"I was just asking!" defended Adrian, though she still kept the half-smile on her face. "But… pets make a place feel more like a home, I think."
Franziska inched closer to the blonde woman, resting a slender hand on the gentle curve of her waist beneath the covers, a gentle pulling motion beckoning her companion to do the same, which she happily did. The two of them stayed like that in silence for a few brief eternities before Franziska slowly leaned in, tilting her head to the side to give her lover a soft kiss.
The two of them paused, less than an inch separating them… and Franziska could feel the bed bounce slightly as a third presence leaped up onto the far end, past the two women's feet. It was a small, furry presence that slowly walked up between the two figures, meowing loudly as it moved.
The kitten sat on its haunches, and then lay down between the pair, right by Adrian's stomach, meowing once more. Franziska could barely feel an infinitesimally soft rumble in the mattress that she realized was the kitten purring, its tail curling around its tiny body.
"Hello, you," said Adrian, pulling back from the almost-kiss to rest her hand on top of the cat's small head, and it responded by nuzzling her palm affectionately. "You're quite the troublemaker, aren't you? I guess… I guess we'll find you a good home, though. With someone who loves you."
As she said that, the kitten stood, turning its attention to Franziska—who had, up until then, been all but frozen in place, about to kiss a woman who was no longer there, who backed away and turned her focus to this newcomer. Franziska felt her face beginning to flush in irritation as the small feline trotted up to her, cocking its head to the side and meeting her angry dark-eyed glare with an inquisitive blue one.
"She likes you, Franziska," said Adrian with a barely-suppressed laugh in her voice.
"I don't want it to like me," retorted Franziska sharply, not breaking her impromptu staring contest with the kitten. "And I don't want it here, in our bed."
Having had enough of this little intruder for one day, Franziska threw back the covers on her side of the bed, and swiftly grabbed the tiny feline by the scruff of its neck before it could escape, picking it up and climbing out of the bed—it was startlingly light, far smaller and more fragile than she could have imagined, actually. Still, she didn't let such things dissuade her as she marched smartly to the bedroom door, deposited the cat on the linoleum floor of the kitchen, and shut the door tightly, locking it behind her.
Still, even as she climbed back into bed, she could hear the cat meowing (was that a plaintive tone in its cry or was she just imagining it?) on the other side of the door, occasionally scratching at the wood surface.
"Good night, Adrian," said Franziska curtly, pulling the covers up to her neck and turning onto her side.
"…good night, Franziska," responded Adrian, gently reaching out to squeeze her friend's shoulder reassuringly, before turning onto her side as well. The two of them were silent for a few minutes as they attempted to fall asleep before Franziska spoke.
"Does it have a name?"
Adrian responded with a yawn, sleep in her voice. "No… I thought you could help me pick a name for her."
"Oh. Good night."
They said nothing more until sleep claimed them.
Franziska von Karma woke early the next morning, though she let Adrian sleep as she took care of her morning preparations, showered, and dressed. Though it was California, it was November—and a surprisingly cold morning even considering the time of year. Franziska debated actually turning on the heater as she made herself a simple breakfast of yogurt and sliced peaches, but decided against it. She would shortly be on her way to work, Adrian was fast asleep in their warm and comfortable bed, and by the time she woke up it would be later in the day, and far warmer.
There were no signs of the small gray kitten anywhere in the kitchen or the immediately visible areas of the living room (though there were some faint scratch marks on the outside of the bedroom door) and Franziska wondered if it had somehow managed to escape the apartment during the night. That, of course, was an absurd notion, utterly impossible—and besides, Adrian seemed dead-set on finding it a good home, and Franziska didn't want to take at least that much away from her.
Still, she couldn't see the cat anywhere, not even when she went into the living room, heading for the door to go to work. During the night, though, it had apparently knocked one of her boots over from its usual position. It was a minor nuisance, true, but Franziska sighed in irritation nonetheless, grabbing the leather boot and placing it upright.
That was odd… it felt a bit heavier than usual.
Franziska looked inside the boot, and sure enough, there was a small gray feline curled up inside—it had been soundly asleep, but the jostling of its chosen bed caused it to stir, looking out at Franziska's face, blinking its blue eyes sleepily, and giving a little sound that was halfway between a mewl and a yawn.
The prosecutor promptly held the boot close to the ground, turning it on its side, and the kitten came tumbling out of it with a squeak, landing on its feet as cats were known to do. It looked up at her with an expression that seemed slightly offended—somehow, it looked almost… familiar, but Franziska couldn't quite place it for the life of her—before stalking off to the kitchen.
"You're quite the nuisance, cat," muttered Franziska, though she had to admit as she sat in the back seat of her private sedan on the way to the office that her boot had never before been quite so warm and toasty as it did that morning.
Franziska stepped out of the elevator onto the sixteenth floor, walked to her doorway, unlocked the door and stepped inside her apartment. She took her boots off at the door, placed her purse, bullwhip, and leather gloves in their proper places, and locked the entrance behind her. She could hear sounds of activity coming from the kitchen, and smelled a faint aroma that didn't seem to be smoke, so a culinary disaster hadn't hit yet tonight. "I'm back," said the prosecutor loudly enough to be heard in the next room.
"Welcome home, Franziska," Adrian responded from the kitchen, but did not come out to greet her. Franziska had scarcely taken two steps into the living room when she stopped short at the sight of her fuzzy little nemesis, which had apparently been in the kitchen but had come to investigate the noise from the door. The kitten walked over to where Franziska stood mid-step, sat back on the floor, and stared up at her, though it did not mewl like it usually did. It refused to meet her gaze, though, and looked down to the side.
"Well, you shouldn't have been sleeping in my shoe in the first place," Franziska pointed out, before narrowing her eyes. "Why are you still here, anyway?"
Yes, it was still there. And even worse, Franziska noticed for the first time a small beige band around its neck—a collar. The young prosecutor frowned, briskly walking past the kitten (who remained seated on the floor, tail audibly thumping against the hard finished wood) and into the kitchen. Adrian was standing at the stove tending to her third attempt at a vegetable stir-fry, though she looked to the side as the other woman entered, smiling an unspoken greeting.
The prosecutor was not one to dance around the point. "Why does it have a collar, Adrian?"
Strangely enough, the question didn't seem to surprise the blonde woman, who merely shrugged and looked back to her meal. "It's… it's just a flea collar, Franziska. I didn't think it would be a good thing if she got fleas and brought them into the apartment, right?"
"It hasn't left this apartment to go outside, it'd be absolutely foolish to think an apartment this expensive could possibly have fleas, and it won't be here for long anyway."
Adrian really didn't have an answer for that, and Franziska knew it. However, with a sigh, she changed the subject. "It's irrelevant. Have you found someone to take it yet?"
Her companion shook her head softly, not averting her gaze from the dish she was determined to make properly this time around. "No, not yet. I… put up some flyers around the neighborhood and called the pet store to see if anyone had come in wanting to buy a kitten. It might take time, Franziska."
Franziska sighed heavily again, frowning in frustration. "Very well. The sooner the better, though."
"I know, Franziska," Adrian said, looking over her shoulder and giving her a gently teasing look that the legal prodigy knew all too well. "Can you come here and taste this for me? I think it should be good right now…"
Though she was already walking over to the stove at Adrian's request, Franziska tilted her head to the side inquisitively. "And you can't taste it yourself because…?"
Adrian looked sheepish. "I tried it earlier. It was too hot, and I burned my tongue."
"Fair enough," admitted the young prosecutor, grabbing a spare wooden spoon from the drawer beside the stove, singling out what looked to be pieces of a green pepper and possibly a carrot or two, and bringing it up to her face. It… looked edible and smelled edible, and she'd done more taxing favors for Adrian before.
Franziska was about to take a bite when Adrian interrupted her, "We were out of soy sauce, so I used soy milk instead. It should still be okay, though." The prosecutor froze, spoon halfway to her slightly-parted lips, a disbelieving look fixed on Adrian's face. Adrian looked quite serious for a moment before the corners of her mouth turned up in a smile. "I'm kidding, Franziska!"
All in all, it was actually rather edible.
Though she normally worked in the small room they'd converted into a study, it wasn't uncommon for Franziska to peruse various legal briefs and other documents while seated in the comfortable black leather armchair located in their living room. It had technically been a gift from her younger brother Miles as a housewarming present, though Adrian had chosen all the pieces of furniture herself.
Franziska leafed through the document slowly; she'd read it several times before, of course, but wanted to make sure she had all the facts absolutely and perfectly memorized for the next day's trial. At this point it was little more than a formality, of course, but it didn't stop her from just making sure.
A scant few feet away from her, Adrian was curled up on their matching black leather couch, a light blanket draped over her legs and feet, reading some sort of novel as she was often fond of doing. The two of them sat in silence, each occupied with their own business, but Franziska enjoyed Adrian's mere presence nonetheless. It was foolish and inexplicable, yes, but it was a sensation she'd grown accustomed to.
The silence was broken by a soft chuckle, and Franziska reflexively looked up to see Adrian quietly laughing behind her hand, obviously finding something rather amusing. "What is it?"
Adrian looked over at her friend, momentarily startled out of the moment. "What? Oh! Uh… it's nothing. It… it was just a silly little joke one of the characters made. I thought it was funny," she said, shaking her head. "It was a really awful pun, but funny nonetheless."
"Ah. What are you reading, Adrian?"
With a shrug, the blonde woman responded, "A murder mystery. Nothing special, really. Just a random book I picked up at the library the other day. It's actually not bad. The main character detective was just kidnapped by a gang of criminals, and his coworkers just found out. It's pretty exciting, really." She tilted her head to the side, the corners of her mouth turning up in a smile. "And you? How's your murder mystery coming, Franziska?"
Franziska flipped a page in the document, shaking her head. "He's guilty, there's no question. The main witness is certainly an idiot, to be sure, but his testimony is solid, the evidence incriminating, and there are several other minor witnesses who can place him at the scene of the crime. All too simple, honestly." She turned another page. "It would be nice to have a police force competent enough to warrant kidnapping."
They fell silent again, returning to their respective reading, until the quiet was once again broken—by a long, high-pitched meow, this time. The kitten entered the living room from wherever it had been skulking off to in the apartment. When it saw the two women occupied in their novel and paperwork, it meowed again, sitting on the floor between them as if unsure which one to go to. Franziska glared at it over the document in her hands but then returned her attention to the case file, refusing to give it any more attention than that.
Apparently making its choice, the little creature jumped up onto the couch, curling up right in the crook where Adrian's legs were tucked in towards her stomach. Franziska could hear it start to purr contently from where she was seated, but refused to look up at the two figures on the couch. The blonde woman reached down with her free hand to idly stroke the soft fur on the back of the kitten's head, and it mewled softly and happily, rubbing its cheek against her palm. Still, Franziska wasn't looking over at them. To be sure, anybody else might have found it an absolutely adorable image, but Franziska von Karma had never been one to really put much stock in 'adorable.'
Adrian put her book down on the nearby coffee table, reaching down to pick the kitten up and hold it—but the cat leapt from her grasp before she could really get a good hold on it, jumping down onto the floor with a short little meow, leaving Adrian somewhat startled and perplexed on the couch.
What was worse, Franziska realized it was now heading for her. The kitten sat on the floor in front of her chair and meowed sharply, looking up at Franziska expectantly. Putting the legal brief down for a moment, the young prosecutor scowled down at the animal. "I don't like you. Go away."
Still, the cat naturally didn't understand her, and with a single leap jumped up onto the side of the armchair, purring deep in its throat as it approached its unreceptive current object of affection. "I told you she liked you, Franziska." On the couch, Adrian's expression appeared to have shifted from surprised and slightly rebuked to highly amused.
"Well I don't want it to like me," retorted Franziska, making a little 'shoo' motion with her hands. "Do you hear me, cat? I don't want you to like me. Adrian's the one who likes you, remember? Go like her instead."
Adrian looked slightly miffed. "I think she likes me just fine…"
Franziska sighed. "So go like Adrian even more instead of liking me. Do you understand me, cat?"
It didn't. Of course, there was no real way it could have, but the fact that it didn't understand annoyed Franziska nonetheless.
Morning. Friday morning, as a matter of fact. One more day before the weekend and time to rest and unwind from the trials and tribulations of the work week. Franziska had never really been one to look forward to weekends much—crime was rarely scheduled, of course—but she supposed they were nice enough.
Still, while her job occasionally required her to work through Saturday and Sunday, the events that Adrian was in charge of organizing were almost exclusively on the weekends. There was some charity auction or some other sort of affair this coming Sunday, and Adrian would have to oversee not only the actual auction and dinner itself, but make sure the setup the day before went as planned as well. Franziska knew from experience that this could often run late into the wee hours of the morning, and Adrian would all but collapse into their bed and promptly pass out.
So, as Franziska went through the motions of her daily morning routine, she decided to let Adrian sleep in and get some rest, because she would be up late the following days. She made a double portion of her usual yogurt and fruit breakfast and put the other half in a bowl, covered it with a sheet of cellophane, and stuck it in the refrigerator, leaving Adrian a note on the kitchen table so that she wouldn't have to waste time making herself breakfast.
Having finished applying her makeup, Franziska shut off the bathroom lights and began to cross through the bedroom to the kitchen and then to leave. However, for a brief moment, she caught sight of Adrian and paused mid-stride. Franziska stood there for a few long seconds, just looking at the other woman sprawled out on the large mattress in a most undignified manner, her long golden hair mussed up and in her face, a content smile on her lips as her body slowly moved, her chest rising and falling steadily and gently with each breath.
It was foolishly sentimental of her, she knew, but for some reason Franziska found herself unable to stop staring. She moved at last, altering her direction slightly so that she moved to the side of the bed rather than the door to the kitchen. Franziska leaned over and was about to plant a light, gentle kiss on Adrian's cheek when she, all of a sudden, became very aware that she was being watched.
She turned her head to the side, and—sure enough—caught sight of that blasted kitten, sitting in the doorway to the kitchen, looking at the pair rather inquisitively. Franziska felt her face flush a dark red and suddenly felt all too vulnerable, foolish as it was. "What are you looking at?" muttered the prosecutor under her breath. She grabbed the nearest light object—a pen on Adrian's bedside table—and threw it at the animal. It bounced off the ground a good foot and a half away from its mark, but the cat got the message nonetheless and scurried away.
Once she was sure that there was absolutely nobody—human or otherwise—watching, Franziska kissed Adrian gently on the cheek, leaving a dark red lipstick mark on her fair skin that they'd probably have to wash out of the bedsheets later with the way Adrian turned in her sleep. Adrian stirred at the contact, opening her eyes and blinking blearily up at Franziska. The blonde woman smiled sleepily at her partner before closing her eyes and letting the sandman claim her once more.
Franziska, after ensuring she'd stopped blushing noticeably, finished her daily preparations and left the apartment to go meet her driver.
When she got home, Adrian wasn't there, having left Franziska a note saying that she'd just ducked out to go grocery shopping (after the relative success of her cooking the night before, she seemed to be inspired to try her hand at other dishes) and would be right back. The note was signed with no name, just a quickly scribbled heart.
Franziska looked from the hastily-written note in her hands to the small gray kitten playing with a new toy in the form of a furry little mouse, complete with a bell inside the plush figure that was surprisingly loud given its size. The prosecutor noted that there was nothing in Adrian's missive about this new toy, either. Franziska frowned down at the tiny silver tabby that was happily and obliviously wrestling with its plush prey before heading to her study and closing the door behind her tightly.
Adrian had left their apartment before noon on Saturday, heading into the city proper to oversee the preparations for whatever event it was that she'd been hired to manage the next day. She would be gone all day, and wouldn't return until early in the morning—and the day after, when she would have to ensure that the breakdown went smoothly, she'd be out even later.
So, Franziska found herself alone in their home with the fuzzy intruder for virtually the entire day. Her companion had ensured that the kitten had enough food and water and clean litter for the day before she'd left, though, so all Franziska had to do, really, was put up with it, and how hard could that be?
The prosecutor barricaded herself in her office, shutting the door tightly and resolving to work on some paperwork that she really didn't have to be doing, especially not now. It was something to do while Adrian wasn't there, though, and best of all she was nowhere near her little gray nemesis.
Really, though, she hadn't been expecting that bell in the cat's plush toy to be so loud. Franziska set her jaw, refusing to let it get to her, burying her thoughts and focus in her bureaucratic work. Eventually the jingle died out as the kitten seemed to grow bored with its new toy for the time being, and the prosecutor heaved a mental sigh of relief. Things were quiet now.
Then the kitten started to meow.
That, in itself, wasn't so bad. It was what cats did, after all, and even though it annoyed her, she could tune its noises out for the most part.
The problem, however, was that the kitten did not stop meowing. It did not stop meowing after a minute, or after five minutes, or even after fifteen. It was a high, shrill cry that was absolutely relentless, and even Franziska's iron determination started to wear thin. Why wouldn't this thing shut up?
With a sigh, the young prodigy stood up and threw open her study door. "Will you shut up already?!" she snapped—but naturally, the kitten didn't stop. What was more, she couldn't see it in the kitchen, nor did a cursory glance reveal it in her bedroom, or even the living room.
Determined to find it and make it stop the continuous crying, Franziska began to search for the tiny animal—it wasn't in her bed, nor somehow stuck in one of the drawers or the bathtub in her bathroom. It was not in her or Adrian's clothes dressers; she checked all the doors in an increasingly frantic effort to find this blasted thing and shut it up. Franziska looked beneath the kitchen sink, in the refrigerator and behind it, in the pantry, but there was no kitten.
The mewling grew louder as she entered the living room, yet it still seemed omnipresent, not coming from any particular direction. It was not behind the couch, it was not under the couch, it was not beneath the cushions of the couch. Nor was it anywhere around their small television set, or behind the bookshelf. The cat seemed to have simply ceased to exist if not for its constant, plaintive cries.
There came a scratching sound from above, and Franziska looked up to the top of the bookshelf—she hadn't been looking above eye level. Sure enough, there was the tiny gray kitten, who seemed to lock its eyes on her desperately, and if anything, its mewing seemed to get even louder.
Franziska narrowed her eyes in a scowl. "Shut up, cat." She turned away from it, and the cries got louder. Turning back, the prosecutor snapped angrily, her patience at an end, "You got yourself up there, you get yourself down!" However, her anger caught in her throat as she noticed that the kitten was backed away from the edge of the bookshelf, and was actually… trembling?
She took a step towards the bookshelf, her gaze momentarily softening as she saw the tiny gray animal shuddering, hearing the desperation in its plaintive cries. "You… you're terrified, aren't you?"
The prosecutor stood there for a few long seconds as the cat mercifully fell silent for a period of time, its large blue eyes wordlessly begging her for help. Finally, with a sigh, she leaned into the kitchen, grabbed one of the wooden chairs by the table, and set it on the floor next to the bookshelf. Franziska stood up on it, raising her hands to the top of the tall piece of furniture. "Come on. I don't have all day."
The kitten slowly and warily moved towards her, but as soon as its tiny, warm body was in her hands, it clung to her tightly—Franziska bit her lip and hissed softly as she could feel its small claws digging into her skin. The kitten was still shivering as she brought it down to the ground, stepping down off the chair and crouching down on the floor.
"Let go," she commanded, though the quivering feline didn't seem as if it wanted to, even a scant few inches off the floor—it still clung to her hands fiercely. Franziska sighed, shaking her arms slightly, and the kitten could no longer keep hold, tumbling the few inches down to the ground where it lay, visibly relieved to be back on solid ground once more.
Her dark eyes narrowed again in a frown, though for some reason she didn't really feel irritated towards the animal, even as there were small specks of blood on her hand. She reluctantly gave the kitten a soft, quick pat on its head as she stood up to go disinfect the small cuts. "Don't do that again, cat."
With that, she went to clean her hand and return to her work.
It was past midnight, and Adrian still wasn't home. Once upon a time, Franziska had waited up for her to get home from one of her events, and she hadn't returned until well past three in the morning. Of course, Franziska had been exhausted and crankier than usual, and Adrian had immediately become apologetic, feeling like she'd been inadvertently demanding too much of the younger woman.
So, while Franziska would now stay up later than she normally would to see if Adrian would return, she would also go to bed at a normal hour if it didn't look like her other would be getting home anytime soon. That seemed to be the case now, and Franziska sighed, putting her documents up on her bedside table and lying back into the mattress, resting her head against the pillow and reaching up to turn off the light.
There was silence in the room for about ten seconds before she heard and felt something jump up onto the foot of the bed and meow loudly. With a sigh, Franziska lay motionless as the kitten walked up the bed beside her body, looking into her face and mewling, its twitching tail brushing against her chest through the sheets.
The prosecutor was about to just kick the animal out like she'd done the other night, but hesitated for a moment as it began to purr.
Still, she shoved it over onto Adrian's side of the bed, away from her. "You can lie there and keep Adrian's side warm for her. Do you understand, cat?" The kitten lay down and curled up into a ball—Franziska didn't really think that it had understood her, but the result was the same either way. She could feel the rumble of its purrs through the mattress as she fell asleep.
The next day passed rather uneventfully, other than Adrian leaving mid-afternoon to go prepare for the actual event (a charity dinner and auction, Franziska had remembered) itself. Once more, Franziska and the kitten were left alone together in the apartment, though it was actually a relatively peaceful cohabitation for once, with neither of them getting in each others' way.
It was evening, Franziska had ordered dinner from the small Italian place down the street (a rather delicious pesto pasta), and had done all the dishes, tidied up their bedroom, organized her finished paperwork, and there was literally nothing else for her to do. She supposed it might be a good idea to ask Adrian to pick her up some books at the library next time she went, but really had no desire to read that detective novel the blond woman had been reading—Franziska had quite enough of that in her life already, thank you very much.
Feeling a bit stiff and tense from several demanding weeks of worth, Franziska decided that she could allow herself some luxury time, a moment of relaxation. So, she began to fill the deep square bathtub/hot tub in their bathroom with steaming hot water, adding trace amounts of bath scents and oils that Adrian had purchased a while back as a gift but that she'd never really used up until now.
Disrobing and sliding into the blissfully warm water, Franziska closed her eyes and leaned against the porcelain walls of the tub, feeling tension and stress melt away from her muscles, the sweet, almost intoxicating smells of the scented oils washing over her. Really, she had to realize that it wasn't a crime to allow herself to be pampered more often, the prosecutor decided slightly sleepily.
With a slight thump, the little gray kitten leapt up onto the corner of the bathtub, right by Franziska's head—its claws made little clinking noises against the hard ceramic piece. Franziska sighed heavily at being jolted from her reverie, though was surprised to note that she wasn't really that mad, actually—just annoyed.
She tilted her head back so that she could look at the cat more easily, who blinked its large blue eyes and looked down at her inquisitively, tilting its head to the side. "It's not going to work, you know. You aren't getting to me," she said out loud, matter-of-factly. "So you should stop trying, and leave me alone."
The kitten mewled, tilting its head in incomprehension, reaching out to playfully bat at a loose strand of her blue-gray hair. With a frown, Franziska took a handful of water and splashed it in the cat's direction. They were supposed to not like water, right?
Well, this cat didn't, anyway. It was quick enough to dodge most of the water, though it did hiss as its fur got slightly damp. The kitten, meowling, scurried behind the base of the sink, flattening its ears against its head and looking at the ground. "Fine, go ahead and sulk. See if I care," said Franziska, though she kept looking at the feline in the corner of the room, twitching its tail crossly. The brooding expression on its face was almost familiar, but she… couldn't quite place it.
After a few minutes of sulking, the little animal slunk out of the room, and Franziska returned to soaking in the luxurious bath. She lost track of time, it could have been ten minutes or an hour (she didn't think it had been an hour, but things seemed hazy and surreal when she closed her eyes, not realizing how tired she'd been). Franziska realized her fingers and toes would probably be all wrinkled, and that was hardly dignified, but then again nobody was around and Adrian wouldn't be home until late so she could allow herself a moment of indignity.
There was the sound of claws against tile, and Franziska turned, frowning slightly, to see the kitten re-entering the bathroom. It didn't look happy, no, but it was no longer completely brooding either, a lightness in its step. It leapt up onto the bathtub once more, this time farther away from Franziska so that she couldn't splash it so easily.
"Do you not learn?" asked Franziska of her feline foe, staring at it—a stare that it eagerly returned. The prosecutor hadn't really meant to turn this into a staring contest, but now she couldn't break the connection, for her pride was on the line. And yet, the entire time there was some nagging feeling in the back of her mind… this kitten, the few days she'd known it, reminded her of something, or somebody. She couldn't quite figure out who, though.
It was the kitten who broke the staring contest first, looking down and to the side, averting its eyes and seeming to return to its sulking state of mind. That was when it hit Franziska, and her eyes widened in realization.
Monday morning. Adrian had come home after Franziska had gone to bed, and was asleep when she woke up, so they hadn't spoken. Franziska prepared for work, making her customary healthy breakfast, taking a shower and applying her makeup, getting dressed and ready for the coming week. She was cleaning her breakfast dishes when she sensed a presence behind her, and turned to see a sleepy-looking Adrian leaning against the doorjamb and yawning. "You should go back to sleep, Adrian. You got home late."
Adrian smiled, a mix between sheepishness and sleepy exhaustion on her face. "Early, you could say. I… I couldn't sleep well, really. Might as well get up, right?" Her smile vanished, and she looked down at the floor, a sad expression on her features all of a sudden. "Oh, Franziska… do you remember the Fransiscos? They were that couple that you met three or four weeks back when you came to the Brazilian art show… we had dinner together. Do you remember them?"
Franziska had finished doing the dishes, and was now in the living room, putting on her shoes and gloves, and gathering her trademark bullwhip. "No," she answered truthfully—she had a fantastic memory, but only for the relevant details. Adrian had a social memory for names and people and events that were necessary for her line of work that Franziska, admittedly, would never have.
"Oh. Well, they were at the dinner last night, and, uh," Adrian sighed heavily, seeming to shrink into herself. "They said that they knew someone who was looking to buy a cat for their children. If we want… they can take her off our hands for us." She looked up at her girlfriend, a sad smile on her face. "I guess… I guess we can always get that goldfish, right?"
The prosecutor shook her head as she unlocked the door. "Cats eat goldfish, don't they? It'd never work out."
Blinking in befuddlement, the blonde woman pressed a hand to her sternum, clearly confused. "Excuse me, Franziska? What are you talking about?"
"We're keeping the cat. Her name is Miles." The young prodigy pointed back into the kitchen, noting the growing mix of delight and bewilderment on Adrian's lovely face. "There's actually a list of things I'm counting on you to get done for her today on the kitchen table. I'll also make a veterinarian appointment so she can get her shots. Get her a… pink or maroon collar. Pink would be best, though."
"Miles? Like… Mr. Edgeworth?"
"Of course. What other Miles would it be?" Franziska leaned in, giving Adrian a quick goodbye kiss on the mouth. "Have a good day, Adrian."
That said, she turned and left the apartment to go meet her driver and start her week, leaving a confused and happy Adrian standing in the apartment doorway as she stepped into the elevator car. The elevator doors were closing when Adrian once again found her voice, and cried out, "But Franziska, she's a girl cat!"
Franziska picked up the phone on her desk and began to quickly dial a well-known phone number. Her office was not excessively big, nor was it all that small—she'd attempted to keep it as similar to the one she had back in Germany as well as she'd could. It was suitable and did its job, nothing more was needed. As the phone began to ring, there was a knock on her door. "Enter," she called out, and a tall man pushed the door open gently—her younger brother and fellow prosecutor, Miles Edgeworth.
Miles brushed several stray strands of gray hair back into place, holding several sheets of paper in his hands. Even as familiar as they were with one another, they were professionals here, and he wasted no time cutting to the point. "Franziska, about the Robin Banks trial… there's a discrepancy in the evidence report you submitted and the one I received from the police."
"Mine's correct," Franziska answered immediately and confidently, listening to the ring of the phone and waiting for the person on the other end to pick up.
She hadn't missed a beat with her answer, and neither would her brother. "I know," he said smoothly. "Still, there's just one thing I need from you for the records," he fell silent, arching a gray eyebrow inquisitively as Franziska held up a hand, motioning for him to pause for a brief moment.
"Adrian," said the prosecutor quickly. "Just so you know, Miles has an appointment to get her shots at four o'clock today, the address of the veterinarian is on the bottom of the list I left you. Okay?" The woman on the other end of the phone said something, and Franziska nodded. "I understand. I'll see you tonight. Goodbye." She hung up the phone and returned her attention to Miles Edgeworth. "I'm sorry, you were saying?"
The male prosecutor's eyebrow remained arched, a slightly disbelieving look on his face. "Franziska… what was that phone call about?"
"It was about our new kitten. You have to make sure they have the proper shots, or else they could get sick. You should know that, Miles, after you got Pess."
"I'm well aware of that, Franziska." He paused, tilting his head to the side slightly. "You named your kitten after me?"
"Yes. She reminded me of you."
"And this kitten is… female?"
"Yes, she is. Is there a problem with that?" Franziska frowned softly, her eyes narrowing at the man who was standing in her office, an expression on his face that would be unreadable to anyone who hadn't grown up with him. "I don't see what the problem is. You'd be ecstatic if it were a child."
"Franziska, it's not a child. It's a cat. A female cat."
The young prodigy shrugged. "I didn't complain when you named your dog, did I?"
"Your name wasn't…" Miles Edgeworth trailed off, before cocking his head to the side, eyes narrowing slightly in thought. "Franziska, how am I like a cat?"
Her expression was deadpan and serious as she nodded slowly. "Miles Edgeworth, you are very much like a cat."
Something in his mind must have decided that it really wasn't worth the effort to keep arguing with her, and Miles Edgeworth let the subject drop, returning to the professional matter at hand.
Franziska exited the private sedan with the help of Duncan Orleans, thanked the driver curtly, nodded a silent greeting to the doorman, and waited for the elevator. There was one other man in the car with her that day, though she did not attempt to strike up a conversation, and neither did he. She got out on the sixteenth floor, walked the few steps to her door, and turned the key, unlocking it.
The prosecutor walked into her apartment and was about to announce her presence to Adrian when she stopped short. There were two figures on the black leather living room couch, both of them soundly asleep, obviously exhausted from the myriad errands they'd been running today. Adrian Andrews was sprawled rather ungainly against the arm of the sofa, her head resting up against her arm which was itself draped over the top of the couch. One of her legs was extended fully out on the plush leather cushions, the other bent as it hung over the side of the furniture.
Her long golden hair was mussed up, cascading over her shoulders and face like a waterfall, her glasses slightly askew and crooked on her face, her chest slowly rising and falling with every little breath she took. Her other hand was down by her legs, resting on the side of a small gray kitten that was curled up tightly in a little furry ball right in her lap. It too, seemed to be asleep.
For some reason that she couldn't quite figure out, Franziska felt her face flush suddenly, and had to admit to herself that if she'd ever cared about such things, it would be one of the most adorable damn scenes she'd ever seen in her entire life. The prosecutor took off her boots and gloves in silence, her stocking-clad feet quietly hitting the floor as she softly moved towards the pair on the couch.
She grabbed the soft, warm blanket that was neatly folded on the far end of the sofa, pausing for a moment to pick the tiny kitten up with her left hand—it opened its eyes a crack and blinked sleepily, giving the tiniest of tiny mewls—as she draped the dark maroon cloth over Adrian's slumbering form so that she'd be warmer. After that was done, she set the cat down once more on the blonde woman's lap, where it instantly curled up again and promptly fell asleep.
Franziska brushed the stray strands of yellow hair from Adrian's face almost tenderly, adjusted her crooked glasses so that they were once again perfectly straight and balanced on her nose, gave the gray tabby a couple of soft and quick pats on its flank, and then went into the kitchen to go order some takeout for dinner.