Disclaimer: …Guess what? I don't legally own the Ace Attorney series!
Author's Notes: Well, I don't really know where this came from… Except that Franziska is one of my favorite characters. That, and despite the fact that I like her better with Edgey, I haven't seen anything involving her with Godot. This doesn't really have all that many hints of it, though, but I thought it would be interesting to try, anyway.
And as for why I'm using Diego as opposed to Godot, I just kinda… like it better that way. Yeah. (runs)
"I hate women like you."
Despite the passage of nearly a month, that one phrase still managed to get under Franziska von Karma's skin. The normally calm prosecutor seethed when she remembered the white-haired man's insult—like he expected her to be polite and demure just because of her gender.
Since that trial had ended, Franziska had returned to Germany, set on extending her near-perfect win record further. While she hadn't technically lost to Miles, she still felt rather wounded by the stalemate. She'd been trying to suppress that trial in the back of her memory, but somehow, it had kept popping back up.
The worst of it was that she couldn't get that foolish fool out of her mind. Franziska had been trying with little success to claim that it was just because he was such a fool, but eventually, her usually flawless logic had started to sound weak even to herself. It was on that train of thought that she found herself dialing the cell phone number of her "little brother," hoping to find some (hopefully degrading) information on the man to make her feel better.
"Franziska?" Miles sounded mildly surprised when he finally answered.
"Miles. I'm going to visit that man," she answered haughtily. "Do you have any inf—"
"You don't mean Wright, do you?" A touch of his usual smugness returned to his voice. "If so, I haven't heard a word from him."
"Of course I don't mean Phoenix Wright, you fool!" Franziska snapped. "I mean Diego Armando. Send me any files you have on him, will you?"
"I suppose. Expect it within a week or two."
Franziska smirked as she hung up. Miles always kept back-up records of all the cases he'd worked, and the file would give her something to look at on the flight to LA.
Of course, she wasn't going to visit for his sake, she reminded herself. It was for her and her alone that she was going. Seeing the former defense attorney in his no doubt pitiful state would only ease her aggravated thoughts about him, after all.
- - -
It was a week and a half later at the airport, files clutched under her arm, that Franziska began to feel like a fool herself. She could have simply read through them herself after all, and most likely could have been satisfied in seeing his less-than-perfect win record.
But this way, she reminded herself, this way she could rub it in his face. That was all.
- - -
Franziska hesitated in front of the familiar, ugly doors of the detention center. She'd been there plenty of times during her time as a prosecutor here in the states, of course, but she still felt that the place was rather squalid. But then again, that just made her look that much better compared to the pitful fools held there.
Lifting her head with her usual smirk, Franziska twisted the knob of the front door and entered in as dignified a way she could. She bowed slightly to the guards at the front desk before speaking.
"I'm here to see Diego Armando, if you please."
"Your name, please, ma'am," the shorter of the guards questioned.
"Miss Franziska von Karma, prosecuting prodigy," she announced. "I have some… questions to ask him."
"You realize he's on death row, Miss von Karma?" the taller man said dubiously.
"All right," the guard went on, still looking apprehensive. "Thirty minutes, Miss von Karma. Johnson, take her to Diego Armando's cell."
The shorter man nodded and grabbed a key ring from the bulletin board behind the counter. They walked in silence for what seemed like an eternity, with Franziska's heels and the guard's occasional unlocking of a door as the only sounds.
Finally, they reached the solitary confinement cells, and Franziska tried to keep her head held up as she followed the guard. Oh, she recognized a couple of the prisoners, all right—two or three of them had been ones she'd put away before she'd returned to Germany last year. Most of the men and women in the cells looked almost hollow, and Franziska quickly reminded herself that was what they deserved. That was what papa had always told her: "You can never know which defendants are actually innocent. All of them lie in one way or another, so you must make sure that you declare all of them guilty."
Franziska stopped suddenly, and the sudden ceasing of her heels' sharp clicks cased the guard to pause curiously. In front of a cell a few doors down, a tall woman with long dark hair brought a hand to her face, and then slowly turned away. Glancing up at Franziska, her face seemed to change slightly, and Franziska realized she was looking at Maya Fey.
"Oh, Miss von Karma! You came to visit Mr. Armando too?" Maya asked, obviously forcing the chipper tone.
"Visit is too nice a word, fool," Franziska replied, tossing her head. "I'm here for my sake, not his."
"O-oh…" Maya mumbled. "I see. I… I have to go. I left Nick waiting…"
Maya scurried away, uncharacteristically quietly. The guard shook his head, and then gestured to the cell the spirit medium had just been in front of.
"There's his cell, Miss von Karma," he said dutifully. "I'll be waiting near the front for you."
"Tsk," Franziska muttered, obligated to nod.
The young woman slowly approached the cell, eyebrows knitting together at the sight of the man inside. His hair was slightly longer and disheveled; his thin goatee had spread to stubble across his face; his mask was lying discarded next to him, revealing a pair of unfocused gray eyes and a thin knife wound on his forehead.
"Diego Armando," she declared. "What have you done with yourself, you foolish fool?"
"Is that you, filly?" he replied, chuckling cynically. "You come to mock me?"
"What makes you think I would waste my time doing something as foolhardy as that? Hm? I've just come to… interrogate you."
"Heh. Fire away. A dead man's got all the time in the world, after all."
Franziska resisted leering at his still foolish metaphors. Instead, she gently pulled all of Miles's files out of the briefcase she'd brought along, flipping through them noisily.
"You know, I bothered reading through your files on the way over here," she announced. "They were quite… interesting. You tried to devote yourself to one Mia Fey, and nearly ended up dying trying to push the truth out of the suspect who ruined her first case. Why? Why would you do something like that?"
After a pause, Armando merely shrugged. "That's not something I reckon you could understand, filly."
"You…!" Franziska drew back sharply. "You fool! You dare say something like that to me?"
"Well, I just did, didn't I?" he replied wryly.
Franziska breathed through her teeth for a moment, and then gave a long sigh. He was still so infuriating, she began to wonder why she'd even come in the first place.
"Hmph. You know, I could get your sentence reduced to life in prison," she mumbled. "If I wanted to."
"You'd just be doing it for yourself, wouldn't you, filly? To show off your influence? It's not like I've got much life left in me anyway."
He was right—dead on, in fact—but Franziska refused to admit to it. She decided to change the subject.
"Fool. Why aren't you wearing that horrid thing?"
"This?" Armando smirked, tapping his mask. "I just told you. I haven't got much life left. I don't see why it matters. Lawyers can only give up when they've got nothing left, and that's the situation I'm in."
"You... I see," Franziska mumbled, feeling like she'd just gone around in a circle. She slowly reopened her briefcase and slipped the files back into them. Slowly straightening back up, she cleared her throat. "Diego Armando. You're a bigger fool than I thought."
As she started to turn away, Armando chuckled again.
"Just Diego, filly. Just Diego."
Franziska paused for a moment. "You're still foolish… Diego."
With that, she calmly brushed herself off and headed back towards the entrance of the solitary confinement unit. After a brief nod to the short security guard, she found herself walking briskly out of the detention center, her mind a bigger blur than it had been when she'd arrived.