"Can you come with me to the Junior Formal?"
Apollo blinked, setting aside the paper he was looking at on the small table in the Wright and Co. Talent Agency. Of all the odd and random questions his younger partner asked him, this was, by far, one of the strangest. He leaned back on the couch as he stared at the girl in front of him, trying to detect any sarcasm or humor in her facial expressions. Instead, the girl was looking at him with the same happy, cheerful grin she always wore.
"Sorry. For a second there I actually thought you were asking me to take you to the Formal."
"You didn't hear wrong. So, what do you say, Polly? Me, you, and the rest of the eleventh grade dancing up a storm all night. Sounds pretty fun, doesn't it?"
"Wait, just hold on a second! Trucy, weren't you just telling me and your dad last week how the Spring Formal was basically a school conspiracy to promote conformity? Why the sudden change of heart? And why pick me, of all people?"
"Well," Trucy began, crossing her arms and looking off to the side. "A girl's heart is a fickle thing, Apollo. I might not have wanted to go last week, but now it's this week. And I've known you since last year, so who better to ask to the Formal than my lovely assistant, Apollo Justice?"
Since when am I the lovely assistant? "Does your dad know about this? That you're asking me, I mean?"
"Well no. But I'm sure he'll be fine with it. I don't see why he wouldn't be, unless you're a serial killer or something."
"That's comforting, Trucy, real comforting. When is this formal anyway?" asked Apollo. Trucy put a finger to her lip as if in deep thought.
"Umm…I think in two days."
"What?! Trucy, there's no way I could go even if I wanted to. Which I don't. You need to give someone a heads up at least a week in advance!"
"Why do you need to know a week in advance? That seems like overkill, if you ask me. All you need to do is put on a dress or a suit. You could tell someone to come an hour before Formal and they'd still be able to arrive on time."
"Yeah, but…" Apollo seriously considered just dropping the conversation. He knew from past experiences that arguing with Trucy was a lost cause. Yet, for some unexplainable reason, Apollo always felt the need to justify himself and get the last word in edgewise with her, even though he never did."Girls take a long time to get their hair and makeup ready. On the day of my Formal, almost all the girls in my grade got taken out early."
"Apollo, are you saying you need to get your hair and makeup ready? I never knew you had such a feminine side…"
Apollo had to restrain himself from pulling at his hair in frustration. "Look, I have other things to do on a Friday night. Can't you ask someone else? Anyone else?"
"I don't really like many boys in my grade. For some reason they find it weird that a sixteen-year old girl practices magic. They're not exactly the most open-minded people." She sighed as Apollo felt a twinge of sympathy, remembering his own high school experience. "And what could you possibly be doing Friday night? I know we don't have any current cases…"
"I just don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of teenagers! Trucy, you know I'm twenty-three now, right? Isn't it against the rules or something for you to arrive with a guy over eighteen?"
Trucy shrugged. She never bothered with rules, anyway. "I don't think so. To be honest, as long as you pay up the school could care less. I guess it's a result of the consumer-driven society we live in. Now money and material things are all that matter. Besides, I already bought your ticket."
"You what?! Trucy, I didn't even say I would go. And how did you come up with enough money to buy two tickets?"
"My shows at the Wonder Bar have been getting a bigger turnout than usual. At first I was saving my money, but then I decided it would be best if I just paid for your ticket, since you never would have agreed if you knew the price."
Apollo gulped, not liking where this was headed. He couldn't just bail out on Trucy, not after she spent the money on the tickets. But the idea of dancing around with a bunch of kids seven years younger than him was not his definition of "cool".
"But what would your friends think?" asked Apollo, trying feebly to dissuade her from the idea. But he knew that when Trucy really wanted something, she would not let up. "I'm a twenty-three year old guy. Won't your classmates talk about it?"
"I already told my friends about you and they're really looking forward to seeing the infamous Apollo Justice in person." Trucy giggled, and a feeling of dread washed over Apollo. Just what kinds of things was she saying about him, anyway? "As for my other classmates, well, to be completely honest I really don't care what they think. Why should their negativity affect my good time?"
Apollo tried to rack his brain for other arguments, but found none. He knew that there was no way Trucy would let him out of this one, but he wasn't going down without a fight. "Trucy, I'm not going."
The girl's smile faltered momentarily, before sliding back into place. "But why not, Polly? You'll finally get to meet my friends, and there'll be fruit punch, and we'll have a good time. You won't know until you try!"
"Trust me, Trucy. I graduated from high school, and I remember all those school functions. I don't have a single memory where there wasn't some kind of drama involved. It's just better if I stay out of it."
Trucy's smile faded as she put her hands on her hips. "With that kind of attitude you'll never go anywhere in life. I think you really will have a good time if you go. Could you at least do it for me?"
Apollo sighed in annoyance, trying to smother the pang of guilt that he felt. "I don't know…"
"Look, Polly. I've always stuck by your side even when you had some not-so-bright ideas. Can't you at least do one thing for me? If you do, I'll even let you see one of my magic shows for a discount. It's just that it's really important I go to this Formal. Pretty please?"
Apollo sighed, guilt getting the best of him. Knowing he was defeated, he looked up at his young partner and tried to give a weak smile. "Fine. Just make sure it's ok with Mr. Wright." Apollo felt a twinge of happiness as he saw Trucy's face break out in a grin.
"Really, Polly? Thanks, you're the best! Don't worry about Daddy; I'm sure everything will go according to plan!"
Apollo wasn't sure if that was a good thing or bad thing.
X X X X X X
The night of the Formal seemed to come faster than normal. After Trucy invited him, Apollo went to his house to rummage through his closet, looking for suitable clothing to wear to a teenage dance. The only suit he owned that would be appropriate for the occasion was one that Mr. Gavin gave him years ago when he found out Apollo couldn't afford to spend money on one himself. Apollo smiled faintly the memory, before frowning and hanging the suit back up. Now times were different. He wasn't just an orphaned kid who hung around Gavin and Co. Law Offices with dreams of becoming a lawyer. He was a well-established defense attorney who could easily fork up the money if he wanted to.
Those were the thoughts drifting through Apollo's head as he rang the Wright's doorbell, tugging at the collar of his stiff black suit with one hand, and holding a bouquet of red roses in the other. At first he thought that the roses might be overkill, but the image of an angry Mr. Wright made Apollo believe that it was better to be safe than sorry.
Unless he thinks I'm hitting on her, then I'm screwed.
The door swung open as Apollo came face-to-face with a frowning Phoenix Wright. Phoenix stepped to the side to let Apollo in. It suddenly dawned on Apollo that in the year of knowing the Wright's, he never actually visited their house. The inner decoration was very similar to the Wright and Co. Talent Agency's. A small brown staircase was near the back of the hall, and the walls were painted white, with various children's drawings and crafts hanging up on them. Assuming they were Trucy's, the young attorney wiped his feet on the brown welcome mat and turned to look at Phoenix. Trucy's last words played in Apollo's head:
"It was a long and arduous battle, but finally I prevailed! He said you could take me, Polly!"
The scars from the "battle" became apparent as Phoenix looked Apollo up and down in suspicion, as if taking in every detail.
"Ummm, hi." Please don't kill me. "Trucy already told you I was coming, didn't she?"
After a long pause, Phoenix finally replied. "Yea, she said something about this. I don't see why she had such a sudden change in heart, though. So what are the flowers for?"
Apollo blinked, before realizing Phoenix was talking about the roses in his hands. "Oh, these? I got them for Trucy. I figured since I was standing in as her date I might as well act the part."
There was another long pause as Apollo shifted uncomfortably. Phoenix finally broke the silence. "You know, I was against the idea of her going to Formal from the very beginning. Too much drugs, alcohol, and sex. When she said that she was actually planning on attending, with you of all people, I almost had a cardiac arrest."
Apollo gulped. That's comforting to know. I'm glad you hold me in such high esteem, Mr. Wright.
"Well, I'll make sure she won't go to any of the after parties. Trucy will be fine with me, Mr. Wright."
There was another pause, before Phoenix actually smiled at Apollo. "You're not a bad kid, Apollo. I just need to know that the two of you are going as friends, and nothing more."
"We are just friends! I'm doing this favor for her because she really wants to go! Spending a night with a bunch of high school juniors isn't exactly my idea of a good time, Mr. Wright…"
Phoenix laughed. "That's what I wanted to hear." He turned towards the staircase. "Trucy, you can come down now! He's here!"
"Coming, Daddy!" The sound of shuffling and footsteps was heard as Trucy finally emerged at the top of the stairs.
The first thing Apollo noticed was the dress. It a brilliant shade of light blue, adorned with sparkles and sequins. It went down to her knees and, to Apollo's shock, revealed her curves. She was wearing white platform heels with a silver bracelet on one ankle, and was holding a small white purse. Trucy also had on a silver necklace and earrings with tiny stars dangling from them. Her hair was out of the low ponytail it usually was in and instead fell down to her shoulders in waves. Pushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear with a fingernail painted blue, the girl looked less like his kid partner and more like a young woman. And was she wearing…blue eyeshadow?
"Polly, you might want to close that mouth of yours, otherwise a bug might fly in!"
Apollo quickly shut his mouth, not knowing it was open. "Trucy, you look amazing," he said honestly.
"You think so?" Trucy tilted her head so he couldn't see her expression under her curtain of wavy brown hair. "Well, thanks, Polly. You look pretty sharp yourself."
Phoenix coughed. Apollo quickly turned his head towards him, almost forgetting the older man was there. "Truce, I'm going to get the camera to take some pictures. I'll be back in just a sec." He vanished, leaving Apollo and Trucy in their own little world. Trucy turned to look at Apollo, beaming.
"I'm not sure if I told you this before or not, but I'm really glad you agreed to come."
"Well, I'm sure you would have found some other way to get me to come, even if I said no." He stopped as he saw Trucy eyeing the flowers with curiosity. "I got these for you. Where should I put them?"
"You got me flowers? Wow, this is just like a real date!" She smiled, as Apollo began to feel nervous. Hopefully Mr. Wright didn't hear that… "You can just put them on the table over there. Daddy will find a vase later."
"So, Trucy, when-"A flash of white interrupted Apollo's thoughts as he turned to look at Phoenix, who was holding a camera and standing by the doorframe to the living room.
"Hope I'm not interrupting anything."
"It's fine, Daddy. Polly was just showing me the roses he got me."
"You know, I was pretty surprised when he came with them. Did you rent out a limo too, Apollo?"
"What?!" exclaimed Apollo, now feeling numb. "I just brought my car…was I supposed to?"
"No, but it would have been nice." Phoenix shrugged as Apollo wondered if he would ever be able to understand the man. "Anyway, I really should take these now. The Formal starts soon, right?"
"It's okay. It'll only be a couple pictures and I'm sure my friends won't be that mad if I'm a little bit late."
Apparently, the meaning of "a couple" was very different between Apollo and the Wright family. For what seemed like hours, Phoenix kept taking various photo's of Trucy, some with Apollo, and a lot more without him. He wondered if he should tell Phoenix to wrap it up already, but the intense look of concentration on Mr. Wright's face told him otherwise.
"Well, I guess that's as many as we can take," lamented Phoenix, looking at his camera with a frown. "I could have sworn I put more film in…"
"That's fine, Mr. Wright." Apollo was quick to get him and Trucy out of there as fast as he could. "Trucy, I think it's time to go."
"Polly's right, Daddy. The Formal starts in ten minutes! But I think if we speed a little we'll be able to make it…"
Phoenix laughed as Apollo wondered how he got into this mess in the first place. "Don't try anything too dangerous, Truce. And Apollo…"
The man in question gulped. "Yes?"
"Remember what I said before. Now, you two go out and have a fun time. A clean, innocent, fun time."
What he said before…oh, he's talking about keeping it friendly. "Will do, Mr. Wright."
"Bye, Daddy! Try not to get too lonely without me!"
As Apollo hurried out the door, he felt Phoenix's eyes burning into his back like a pair of lasers. He opened the door of his bright red car to let his partner in first before he took his seat behind the wheel. Refusing to look at the Wrights' house, Apollo didn't speak until he passed a corner, where he let out a small sigh. Trucy grinned.
"See? That wasn't so bad, was it, Polly? I think Daddy's really happy I'm going with you."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that," moaned Apollo before turning to look at his young assistant. "You know, Trucy, I never really noticed you had long hair before."
"I always keep it in a ponytail because I don't like it when hair goes in my face. I don't know how some girls are able to do it." She blew a strand of hair in front of her face that escaped the hairspray to prove her point. "I even made it wavy for today."
"It looks really nice, and I'm not just saying that because I'm your date for tonight."
"Really? Thanks, Polly."
A muffled ringing sound was heard, interrupting the two from their conversation. Trucy opened her white purse to pull out a blue cell phone, and flipped it open.
"Mandy just sent me a text message. She said to meet us in the front of the building. She's also really excited to meet you. Look, Polly, you're becoming popular already!"
Apollo swallowed, not knowing if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Within fifteen minutes of driving, not speeding, of course, Apollo and Trucy finally arrived to the Gatewater Hotel where the Formal was to take place. The parking lot was already filled with cars, making Apollo need to park a block away from the hotel, much to his chagrin. Being forced to walk to the building, Apollo complained almost the whole way as Trucy laughed about the situation. As the school became closer and closer in their view, Apollo began to feel nervous again. He didn't know what any of Trucy's friends were like, and he didn't want any of the teachers to accuse him of being a pedophile, completely ruining his career.
They finally reached the entrance of the hotel when a somewhat chubby girl with orange hair and a lavender dress rushed over to the two of them with a big smile on her face.
"Trucy! You look so beautiful! And is this…Apollo Justice?"
Trucy grinned as looked at the girl. "Hey, Mandy! You look pretty good, yourself. And yes, this is Polly. He's pretty shy, so try not to stare too much. You don't want him to bolt away like a scared little rabbit!"
Thanks, Trucy. I'm glad you already gave your friends such a flattering, competent image of me. Mr. Gavin's words of "The first impression must always be the best impression" ran through his head as Apollo held his hand out to the girl and forced a smile. "Hi, I'm Apollo. And I won't run away. Really. I'm perfectly fine."
I said fine again, didn't I? Apollo imagined that if Mr. Gavin were actually here with him, he would shake his head and sigh at Apollo's social ineptitude. Mandy giggled.
"The others are sitting at the table inside the banquet hall. Come on!"
With a sigh, Apollo followed Trucy and Mandy into the hotel. It was very high-class, with a dark red carpet and gold décor. Wondering how the school got enough money to book the place, Apollo followed the girls up the stairs and into the immense banquet hall. The sound of loud rock music and laughter hit his ears as the man winced, taking in the scenery. There were well over a hundred kids, most of them dancing in the center of the room. Balloons and streamers were scattered all over the place. Near the front of the entrance, there were many large circular tables where the students sat, laughing and chatting about various things. Watching all the young kids, Apollo suddenly realized just how old he was.
Following Mandy through the crowd, Apollo prayed that the table would not be by the DJ. To his relief, she led him and Trucy to a table in the corner of the room. Apollo blinked as he looked at the table's inhabitants. There were only three kids sitting at the large table, as opposed to the other tables, which seated ten to twenty. These were all of Trucy's friends? There were two boys and a girl. The girl had black hair that went down to her shoulders and wore a long red dress. The two boys were both wearing suits, but one was blonde and smiling while the other bad dark brown hair and was poking at his vanilla ice cream with a spoon. The blonde boy looked up and grinned when he saw Trucy and Apollo.
"Well, look who finally decided to show up!"
"We wanted to arrive fashionably late, Derek. It was all part of the plan," Trucy giggled. "This guy next to me is the Apollo I told you guys so much about. Polly, meet Derek, Becky, and Josef." She pointed to the blonde boy, the girl, and the boy picking at his desert."Josef just moved here from Russia five months ago, so his English still needs a little bit of work. But practice makes perfect, after all. Him and Becky are together, and Derek is Mandy's date for the night."
"Hi, everyone," greeted Apollo, waving feebly. All eyes on the table turned to look at him. The blonde boy spoke first.
"So, we finally get to meet the famous Apollo Justice? Trucy has told us a lot about you. I like your suit, by the way."
"Umm, thanks. She only said good things, I hope." Derek gave a laugh, not noticing or simply ignoring that Apollo was being serious.
"You know me, Polly. I only tell it like it is." Trucy smiled, which didn't ease Apollo's nerves at all.
"So tell me," the girl at the table finally spoke after she finished sizing up Apollo like a cheetah would look at its prey. "How did Trucy convince a man of your age and profession to come to this miserable little high school affair? I can only imagine after graduating from the conformist facility known as high school, you would turn away and never look back to the memories of social compliance and forced enthusiasm."
"Ummm…" What the hell did she just say? "Trucy can be very persuasive when she wants to be."
Becky nodded as if satisfied. Josef stopped poking his ice cream and looked up at Apollo, squinting.
"Your hair…it look…like a bug head."
There was complete silence as Trucy tried to stifle her giggling and Apollo's face turned red like a tomato. Becky rolled her eyes and gave Josef's shoulder a soft punch. "Josef, not now."
"Well, I guess we should all sit down now." Mandy clasped her hands, trying to save Apollo from any further embarrassment. The three of them awkwardly took their seats.
"This is it?" asked Apollo, attempting to change the subject. "I thought you said all your friends would be here."
Apollo blinked, surveying the table once again. These were all of Trucy's friends? Given her friendly and bright personality, Apollo would have expected more. He opened his mouth to apologize, but was cut off as Becky groaned. "Trucy, you're favorite person in the world and her entourage of sheep is headed this way. Probably because she can't stand to part from us for so long, naturally."
Trucy's face grew more serious as Apollo turned his head to see what the commotion was about. A tall blonde girl in a pink dress was being followed by three girls and a brown haired guy. The guy was scowling, like he didn't want to be following her to the table, and the girls were whispering amongst themselves. To Apollo's horror, the blonde girl stopped in front of their table and put one hand on her hip. From the corner of his eye Apollo saw Derek tense up as he saw the boy.
You know, this is just like one of those teen movies where the nasty popular girl picks on the losers. And…crap, I'm sitting at this table. Just how did Trucy manage to rope me into coming, again?
"Is it true that this guy's twenty five?" the girl snapped, shoving one perfectly manicured finger in Apollo's direction. The guy in question swallowed as he considered bolting for the door.
"Ummm, I'm twenty-three, actually."
"Shouldn't you be at your job or something?" Two of the girls giggled. That door is looking more and more appealing…
"Well, I don't have any cases right now, so that's why I'm here." All right, Justice. These kids are seven years younger than you. Don't be intimidated!
"Kim, is there a reason why you're here?" asked Trucy, expression unreadable. "He's my date so he's here with me. That's all there is to it."
"Really?" Kim's lip curled upward. "I'm surprised you didn't just use magic to create one out of thin air. Whatever. Brad!" The brown haired boy blinked, tearing his gaze from Derek to Kim.
"Get me some fruit punch. Me and the girls are going back to our table." Kim whipped around and walked away, the three other girls following her. Brad stayed a second longer, meeting Derek's eyes, before walking away. Everyone sat in silence.
"So, I'm guessing there's some bad blood behind you and her?" Apollo tried feebly to make a joke, but it fell flat. Trucy forced a smile.
"Yea, it's something like that." Se turned towards the whole table. "I'm going to get some fruit punch. I'll be back soon, 'kay?" She hurried off towards the drinks. Apollo looked at Trucy's friends, trying to think of a way to ask them in the least offensive way possible why she didn't like them.
"It's because of me," said Derek suddenly, leaning back on his chair and heaving a sigh. Becky shot him a glare.
"No way. It's just that all her hair dye finally seeped into her brain. Who honestly cares what they think? They put Paris Hilton on a pedestal. That says something, right there."
Mandy sighed, folding her hands on her lap. "I kind of wish Trucy didn't come. That way she wouldn't have to deal with any of this…"
Derek sighed again, running his hand through his hair. "She came just because of me. You know, sometimes I wish she wouldn't care so much…"
"Trucy is good person," Josef stated flatly, nodding his head. Apollo looked at the kids in confusion. What were they talking about?
"I don't get it. Trucy asked me a few days ago to come because it would be fun. Are you saying she has another reason?"
Derek looked at Apollo strangely. "Didn't she tell you?"
"Tell me what? I'm at a complete loss here!"
Derek threw back his head and laughed. "Of course she wouldn't tell you. Trucy's way to good for that. Sometimes I wonder if such loyalty could be a bad thing."
"Tell me what?" Apollo was starting to get impatient. If these kids wouldn't tell him what was going on, then he'd have to go find Trucy and ask her himself. Derek regarded Apollo with amusement in his eyes.
"All right, I'll tell you. It's okay, Mandy," he cut off the girl's protests before they even began. "If Trucy trusts this guy, then so do I. Basically this is what happened: Me and Brad were working on this project outside of school. Believe it or not, he's a pretty decent guy. We kind of forgot about the project and just hung out like friends. We were so caught up in the mood; I guess that's why Brad did what he did."
"He kissed me." At Apollo's expression, Derek laughed. "Yea, I know. I guess I better tell you this flat out: I'm gay. I usually keep it under wraps because, as Becky would say, we live in a nation of conformists. Don't worry; I'm not going to molest you or anything."
"Oh." Apollo couldn't think of anything else to say. He didn't really care that Derek was gay or not, but what he wanted to know was how it connected to Trucy. "I thought Brad was Kim's boyfriend, though."
"He was. That's why everyone was up in arms when he kissed me. Well, I guess that's the wrong way to put it. See, after he kissed me I was pretty surprised, but I reciprocated. The next day, imagine my surprise when everyone was calling me a faggot while completely ignoring Brad. What happened was that Brad told all his friends that I was the one who tried to kiss him, even when it was the other way around. He also said I tried to touch him in all these places when I didn't. So, yeah. Basically the school hates me while completely adoring him. Funny how the world works, eh?"
Apollo blinked, dumbfounded. "But…what about Trucy? How is she involved in all this?" Becky gave a sigh or irritation and looked at Apollo.
"You know the way high school works, don't you? Anyone who deviates from the social norm is essentially considered a pariah. Trucy's sixteen, and she works as a magician and paralegal in her spare time. Other girls in our grade watch MTV and shop at Bebe. Suffice to say, she's not very popular."
"But she's a nice person!" exclaimed Apollo. He honestly could not comprehend how anyone could dislike Trucy. Through all of Apollo's hard times, she always stuck by his side offering support. How could anyone dislike a kind-hearted, brave girl like that? "Who cares if she has different hobbies?"
"The fact that she hangs around us doesn't do much for her social standing either." Mandy bit her lip. "I'm fat, Derek's gay, Becky's an extreme liberal, and Josef barely speaks English. But Trucy never cared about any of that. She always sees people for who they really are, and actually makes us feel good about ourselves."
"She is very kind," commented Josef. "You lucky to be on date with her."
Apollo blushed, clearing his throat as Becky kicked Josef from under the table. "But, what did she do to piss off Kim? Besides just being herself, I mean."
"Oh that?" Derek's face darkened at the memory. "When Trucy heard what really happened, and what Brad said happened, she spoke to Kim privately about what happened. Kim was the first one Brad told the story to, you see, and the one who spread the rumor. Kim flipped out, not believing a single word, and blacklisted her. Not that Trucy actually cares about being blacklisted, but she was looking out for me. I guess the whole reason she came was for my sake. She was afraid that Kim or Brad would come bothering me by saying dumb shit, so she thought if she came they would focus on her and leave me alone."
Silence fell over the table once again as Apollo tried to soak in what was just said. Trucy, kind, loveable, Trucy, was willing to jeopardize her own social life for a friend. The more Apollo thought about that, the less surprised he was.
Oh course she would do something like that. It's just so like her…
"I'm going to get some fruit punch. I'll be back in a few minutes." Apollo quickly stood up and made his way to the drink table to find Trucy. He wasn't sure exactly why he had to find the girl, but at that moment he wanted to do nothing more than to talk to her. His hopes lifted as he saw her at the table, but sank as he realized who she was talking to: Brad. Apollo felt a strong shove to his side as he stumbled a few steps. He saw a flash of pink and yellow as Kim stood in front of Trucy with an angry expression on her face.
"Just what the hell are you saying to him? If you're trying to make up more lies then you can forget it."
Trucy looked at Kim in surprise, not expecting her to be there. Brad took a step towards Kim. "It's not like that, Kimmy."
Trucy tilted her head, staring at Kim impassively. "I was just talking to him, that's all. I wasn't trying to steal him from you or anything. I have my own date, remember?"
Kim laughed at this. "That antenna-haired guy? It's pretty sad when you have to bring a freakin' lawyer to a party."
Apollo opened his mouth in protest, but Trucy beat him to it. "Don't say bad things about Polly! You don't even know him, so how can you be the judge of what he's like?"
A sudden rush of appreciation and affection for Trucy filled Apollo. Not entirely sure of what he was doing, Apollo walked towards Trucy's side. When she saw him, she blinked in surprise. All Apollo could think of doing was to give her a smile. He turned towards Kim, figuring that he had to play the role of a mature adult in this situation and diffuse the "bomb" before it went off.
"Look. Kim, was it?" He knew her name, but Apollo always remembered Mr. Gavin saying how important it was to seem detached and impassive in front of an opponent. "We're really not looking for any trouble. We're just going to head back to our table now…"
Kim studied Apollo for a moment before smirking. "All right. Just make sure not to sit by Derek, unless you want to get raped or something."
Apollo was about to roll his eyes, but stopped when he felt Trucy shift beside him. He turned to look, gaping in surprise at what he saw. Anger flashed in the young girl's eyes and she gritted her teeth and glared at Kim. In all the time he knew her, Apollo never saw Trucy get honestly angry at someone before. But now that her friend was insulted, Trucy was fuming.
"Look, is it seriously a big deal if he's gay or not?" Apollo became aware that almost every junior's eyes were on him, but he didn't care. He was tired of this childishness and immaturity of the school in general. "You people are going to graduate from high school next year. You're going off to the real world and, believe it or not, gay people do exist! Does his sexual preference seriously affect you that much?"
"It is a big deal if he's gay or not!" hissed Kim, seeming to enjoy the attention from her peers. "It's just not normal! Being gay is almost as bad as incest!"
"Says who? And if you really think about it, consensual incest isn't that much of a big deal either." Whispers and murmurs were heard throughout the crowd. Apollo considered just leaving then, but he was on a roll. "As long as two people love each other, what does it matter? It might be unconventional, but it's still love."
Someone in the crowd (probably Becky, Apollo thought) cheered. Encouraged, Apollo continued. "Why do you all feel the need to conform, anyway? If everyone was the same it would be boring. Being different is what makes people unique. If Trucy wants to do magic, then let her do magic. Why should that change other people's opinion of her? And if Derek is gay, so what?"
"That fag tried to make out with me! I think I'm allowed to be pissed off," exclaimed Brad. Apollo's bracelet twitched as he noticed that Brad was brushing one of his fingers against his lips. Apollo smiled.
"Really, Brad? That's not how I heard it. I think it went down in a slightly different way. When you said that-"
Apollo was interrupted by a slight tug at his sleeve. Looking into Trucy's eyes, the message was clear: Not here. At first Apollo hesitated, and then nodded. Even if Brad was being a jerk about the whole thing, Apollo still didn't want to embarrass him in public.
Even if he does deserve it…
Apollo cleared his throat and looked around the room, as if addressing everyone. "Before someone starts spreading a rumor, try getting the facts straight. And also, think if it really concerns you or not. Because, let's face it, everyone in here has something to hide. The problem is that everyone tries to hide their unique likes, dislikes, hobbies, or whatever so they can seem normal. Well, I have something to tell you. Nobody's "normal". Everyone has something weird about them. If people would actually be more accepting of things, then there wouldn't be a need to hide them. If someone's gay, in an incestuous relationship, or something else considered abnormal, no one is in a position to judge them," Apollo
turned to Trucy, who was looking at her older partner with a mixture of amusement, happiness, and pride. "Let's get out of here, Trucy."
The younger girl grinned from ear to ear as she followed Apollo through the crowd and towards the door. The banquet hall erupted in whistles, chatter, and even some clapping. Apollo could not stop grinning as him and Trucy walked down the steps. He felt like a hero, like a kid in a movie who stood up to the popular clique. Apollo imagined that if Mr. Gavin were not in prison, he would give a few claps and say something along the lines of, "Well done, Justice."
When the two exited the hotel, Trucy burst out laughing and jumped on Apollo, grabbing him in a tight hug. "That was amazing, Polly! I didn't know you could say something as cool as that! Some parts were a little corny, but did you see the looks on Kim and Brad's faces?" She laughed again. "It was brilliant!"
Apollo laughed too, feeling as if he didn't have a care in the world. As if the mentor he loved and adored wasn't in jail, as if he never grew up in an orphanage, and as if Phoenix never forbade him from ever loving Trucy more than a friend. "I don't know why I said what I did. You just looked so angry back then, and I felt I needed to say something to them."
"I'm glad you did."
The two of them continued to stare at each other, both beaming. Apollo suddenly felt the urge to kiss her, to sweep her off her feet like a prince in a fairy tale. For a moment Phoenix Wright disappeared from his head, and all that mattered was the brown-haired girl in front of him. "You know, you're really beautiful. Did I already tell you that already?"
Trucy blushed a bit before giggling. "Yes, but frequent reminders are always appreciated."
If possible, Apollo grinned even wider. "All right, then. Trucy, you're beautiful."
"Awww, thanks. But you better soak in everything now, because right when I get home I'm going to wipe this make up off. It feels funny because I'm not used to it."
"I'm not just talking about how you look tonight." Apollo swallowed, not exactly sure of what he was saying. "I mean, you look really great, don't get me wrong. But you also look pretty on other days too, even when you're just in your usual magician's outfit. And I'm not even only talking about physical appearances, either. I really liked the way how you stood up for your friends, and how you do your own thing even if everyone else thinks it's weird. Even though I might say otherwise, you're actually really mature. I don't think I ever fully realized it until today."
The girl was quiet for a moment as Apollo wondered if he overdid it. She then gave Apollo a sweet, honest smile. "You know, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were confessing your love to me."
"W-Well, maybe I am!"
Trucy blinked in surprise. Apollo suddenly wished he could take back what he just said. Everything was going so well, and I just ruined it…
"Are you, really?"
"Well, honestly? I really don't know how I feel right now."
Trucy brought a finger to her lip as if in deep thought. Then, in one swift motion, she leaned over to Apollo as she brought her lips to his. It was a soft, chaste kiss, but Apollo felt as if time had stopped. After a few seconds, Trucy pulled back. "So, what did you think of that? If you liked it, then you probably like me. If you didn't, then I guess you don't."
"T-Trucy! You can't just kiss people as an experiment! Love doesn't work that way!"
"Polly, you can't escape the question. Did you like it?"
Trucy beamed as Apollo's heart filled with joy once again. "Good, because I liked it too! So if I like you, and you like me, then I guess we're a couple!"
"I guess so." The two of them stood smiling at the other, ignoring all the potential consequences their relationship would bring. Trucy leaned her head towards Apollo, inviting another kiss. Apollo brought his head down as the two kissed lightly at first, then slowly became deeper. Apollo knew that Phoenix would never approve, but he didn't care. All that mattered at that moment was Trucy.
The sound of footsteps and shouting was heard as the two quickly pulled back. Derek, Becky, Mandy, and Josef were all running towards them with big grins on their faces. Becky spoke first.
"That was simply amazing! You completely exposed our society for what it really is: a material-obsessed, narrow-minded culture under the guise of a democracy. Inviting you was perhaps one of the best decisions Trucy ever made!"
Yes, it was. And agreeing to come was definitely one of mine.
"Becky is right. You give good talk and make good points. Thank you." Josef grinned and held out his hand, which Apollo shook.
"It was wonderful, Apollo, just wonderful!" Mandy gushed. "I don't know how you're able to make such a good speech in front of so many people! I know I could never do something like that."
Apollo laughed. "Well, I guess it's just my lawyer abilities at work. It wasn't that big a deal, really."
"Yes, it was a big deal," smiled Derek, eyes filled with thanks and kindness. "You really hammered it in to everyone's minds that sometimes things that are unconventional aren't always bad. I'm not sure if they'll actually remember it a week from now, but I like to think they will. And I'm also glad you didn't tell everyone that it was Brad who kissed me. Even if the guy's an ass, I wouldn't want to have his social life completely torn to shreds."
Apollo looked over at Trucy's friends and beamed. Although he only knew them for less than an hour, he felt that he could trust them. "Well, I guess we can't go back in that place now. I'm sorry your first Formal was only for about forty minutes, Trucy."
Trucy smiled as she slipped her hand into Apollo's eliciting a blush from the older boy. "Don't worry about it. It was much better than I expected."
After a few minutes of chatting, the group decided it would be best to head home. Once they said their good-byes, Trucy and Apollo headed towards the lawyer's red car. When they got inside, the two looked at each other and started laughing. The Formal experience definitely wasn't what Apollo was expecting; it was even better.
Trying to ignore the fact that Mr. Wright would slaughter him when he found out about his new girlfriend, Apollo started the car. Even if they had to deal with issues and complications, Apollo didn't care. As long as he and Trucy were together, Apollo felt that he could take on anything.
Even a pissed off Mr. Wright.
Author's Note: So, how did everyone like it? I hope I got everyone's characterization's right; I have some problem's writing Trucy, so I hope I did better this time around. I know a lot of parts were cliché, but I enjoyed writing it. And yes, Trucy does have long hair in a ponytail. At least, according to her official artwork on Court Records.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. I'm so poor….