A/N:

A little Christmas gift from me to you! This is the first part of Friday, the morning part. Sorry that it was so long between updates, really. I mean it. Ah ha ha, by the way, my Christmas list has reviews on it… -brick-


Friday : TGIF (That Glimmerous Idiot Fop)

The timer went off.

Klavier turned around from the stove to stop it, and I could see that he was wearing my pink apron (a gift from Lana, thus far unused because I was not known for using my kitchen for anything more complicated than heating a TV dinner, and that hardly required cooking attire). He smiled dazzlingly at me in that gentle and sweet way he had when he was feeling like the world was made just for him.

Disturbingly, I smiled back. Must be getting sick.

His hair was kind of pulled back into a twisted ponytail to keep it out of the eggs he was scrambling. It was a little weird, to see him so casual, so relaxed, so absolutely at home in my kitchen. It was also kind of nice- if nice could describe the warm feeling spreading through my chest. It felt disconcertingly like someone was incubating my heart, I thought.

The timer went off again.

Klavier looked a little puzzled, but switched it off and cracked another egg into the pan with a cheerful little shrug. I can't believe how long his fingers are, was all I could seem to think. They moved so easily and quickly, deftly splitting the egg. The yolk slid cleanly out of the white shell- it looked so easy to break- but he did it so well, it didn't even seem like something breaking.

Geez…Is this some kind of twisted metaphor…? I didn't think those existed in real life.

The timer went off again.

Klavier looked a little puzzled, but switched it off and cracked another egg into the pan.

The timer went off- Man, it was annoying! Why couldn't the world just leave me to watch Klavier in peace!? Now that I thought about it, that timer had been going off for quite a while. And most uncharacteristically, my chef hadn't said anything annoying. Wait, "my chef"? That wasn't right, was it? That wasn't what I usually called him. No, it was something…ruder…?

Huh. Strange. Who cares? He's mine either way.

The stupid timer continued beeping.

Klavier picked it up and hit it against the counter, frowning. "Fraulein, I think your timer ist kaputt."

It beeped even louder and-

I woke up to the scientifically annoying sound of my alarm, which was apparently beeping for the eighth time. I shouted something along the lines of "Wherehuhthefireguh?!" and flailed around momentarily before realizing it was my alarm. My bleary eyes slowly took in the red numbers: 7:50.

I was soooooooooo LATE.

Fling self out of bed- do not think about dream- brush teeth like a madwoman, now I look like a rabid animal, if that isn't disconcerting- do not think about dream- cram nearest edible substance into mouth- do not think about dream- okay, that wasn't edible seeing as it was the television remote, try again- do not think about dream- out the front door WAIT A MINUTE CLOTHES- do not, not, not, not think about your dream, Ema Skye, if you value your sanity!

I staggered up to the bus stop just as the bus began to pull away. "Wait, wait wait wait wait, you stupid fop- I mean bus!" I hollered at it between gasps of frigid air, my lungs burning. Shockingly, it actually obeyed. I stumbled forward a few more steps to catch up; I lost my balance on the icy sidewalk a little but managed to grab onto a nearby light pole for support. The bus doors folded open to reveal the bus driver staring down at me with mild amusement.

"Just one sec," I panted, digging through my bag for my bus pass.

"You getting on sometime this Friday, Miss Morning?"

I glared up at him, opened my mouth to reply, and-

It hit me, quite aptly, like a bus. Friday.

I wasn't supposed to go into work today.

I was supposed to testify.

At the municipal court.

At nine.

"Not getting on," I ground out through my teeth in such a way that I could actually see through the window I'd made a kid start crying.

Good.

Little brat probably deserved it.

Okay, no, that was mean. I should go and apologize. But it was too late, the bus had pulled away for real after one last skeptical look from the driver. Sorry kid, I apologized mentally. For all the good that did. If mental apologies worked, there wouldn't be murders and then I wouldn't have a job.

"Oh yeah, my job," I muttered, checking my cell phone clock. I still had about an hour before I had to be at the courthouse, and I was all ready to go. "I could have slept in," I said regretfully and sat myself down on a bench. I could feel the ice melting beneath me and really hoped I wouldn't have a big wet patch on my butt when I got up. Oh, the fop would just love that, wouldn't he? I sighed and shifted a little, but was too lazy to move. Overhead, the pale blue sky was slowly being eaten up by storm clouds. I waited.

And so, that is how I came to find myself at the bus stop on time.

Start building your bomb shelters, people-

The apocalypse is coming.


By the time I arrived at the courthouse, I had managed to shift practically all of the blame for my bizarre dream squarely onto the shoulders of a certain fop. And as such, it would be only his just desserts if I were to, you know, give the defense a little helping hand, right? I swerved away from the Prosecution Lobby and entered the Defense Lobby instead.

"Hey, Apollo, you might be interested to know…" I stopped abruptly as my gaze locked onto all-too-recognizable azure eyes in a warmly tanned face. He broke off his conversation with a rather familiar-looking young boy and smiled dazzlingly.

"You're in the wrong lobby, fop."

"So are you, Fraulein."

"I'm on the side of justice," I sniffed. "Justice has no lobby."

"Very well, however today Fraulein Justice is scheduled to testify for the prosecution, whose lobby is on the other side of the courtroom."

"I'm here because of a certain foppish boss who is making my life unnecessarily stressful!"

"Ah, but I am here because of the free-flowing generosity of my heart, Liebe."

"Which means…what, you're selling drugs? Don't you have anything better to do?"

He feigned hurt. "I am acting as translator for this gentleman you may recognize as Machi, a perfectly legal and commendable job thank you very much."

"Huh. If you're doing it, I have my doubts."

"Such hostility so early in the morning," he shook his head with a sad little smile and wove a strand of hair through his fingers.

"I'm always hostile in the morning," I grumbled, "since that's when I have to deal with you."

"I do not understand." He smiled pleasantly at me, the same smile he gave me while making eggs. …No! I had managed to repress that stupid dream all the way here and now- my day just got even worse! I hate Fridays! "I must deal with a hostile Fraulein every morning, yet I find it the highlight of my day. You would never see such a gloomy expression marring my face."

"The highlight? And hey, my face isn't marred!"

"Ahh, compared to the light of your beautiful smile, it is," he said in mock sadness.

"Oh, um, thank y- don't mock me, you fop!" I corrected myself just in time. I can't believe I fell for that! Beautiful smile, my-

"Ach, your words make it plain to me that you wanted to hear me say your smile is beautiful. Expect to see it on the court record in your trial of love," he laughed airily. Machi smiled. I had a feeling he had about zero clue what was going on and was just cruising with his antenna set to Mimic Fop- Try to Appear Normal. His first mistake was in assuming someone like Klavier Gavin could be anything like normal, of course. It was also a shame his emotion radar didn't pick up on my Extreme Hate For Glimmerous Fop- Must Kill vibes.

"Now listen here, I have had an awful day so far and-"

An overenthusiastic bailiff I recognized as Meek Mike…er no, Mike Meekie… Mikey Meek? Okay, an overenthusiastic bailiff I kind of recognized barged in on our conversation to roar, "MISTER GAVIN, SIR!! WHY ARE YOU IN THE DEFENSE LOBBY, SIR?! A TERRIBLE BREACH OF PROTOCOL, SIR, PLEASE RETURN TO THE COURTROOM IMMEDIATELY!!!"

"Ah…yes, my apologies…" Klavier winced. I noticed his hands twitching, like he was trying to refrain from shielding his ears. I didn't blame him; I just wondered why he was talking so quietly.

"Fraulein? Fraulein, are you alright?"

"Oh, I'm just peachy, stupid Fop. What about you?"

He blinked in surprise and continued whispering. "I am fine, thank you. Why do you ask?"

"Because you're talking really quietly and it's annoying me!"

His wide blue eyes reflected confusion briefly, then he laughed out loud. As melodious and soft as it was, it bothered me, because I had a feeling he was laughing at me.

"Perhaps Fraulein's hearing would improve if Fraulein removed her hands from her ears?" he suggested through a fit of chuckles.

Oh, no way… I wrenched my hands down from my ears where they'd been almost glued (I can't even begin to tell you how loud that Mike guy was, that's my excuse) to glare severely at him, cheeks burning. "I knew that!"

"Oh ja, of course."

"I was testing you!"

"And did I pass?"

"S-stupid fop! You failed! Failed, do you hear me? …Man, I need Snackoos…" I rummaged in my messenger bag and managed to find a bag of my delicious snacks. Ripping it open, I popped a few into my mouth. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH.

Klavier hummed innocently and rocked back and forth on his heels. Trucy and Apollo, along with their client, had edged away from us, and Machi seemed perfectly content to mutter random English phrases to himself. Maybe he was practicing or something?

"I am not the shooting! Your face is the shooting! Your mother is the shooting!"

…I wonder what television programs he's been watching lately.

Suddenly something occurred to me. I Snackoo'd Klavier (solely to get his attention, of course). "Hey, fop, how come you're the translator for a witness for the defense? You're the prosecutor!"

"Yes, but I do know enough Borginian to get by. Borginian is not exactly a common language, you know, so I was the best translator they could come by on such short notice."

"Huh. Wait, aren't translators usually, oh, fluent? I think you'll need to know more than enough to 'get by', he's hardly going to testify about where the bathroom is!"

"I…must concede to you on that. On no accounts do I expect him to testify about the restroom."

"Then what use are you?"

"You wanted him to testify about the restroom? My, Fraulein, I had thought you were-"

"Huh? Ugh, no, I meant that it's the first thing you learn in a language, right? 'Where's the bathroom'?"

"Ah, it is just down the hall."

"No, I wasn't asking you, I was explaining!"

"You don't need to explain. I know where the bathroom is."

"I was explaining about your uselessness as a translator," I ground out. "No one cares about the bathroom!"

"Then it's hardly a problem if Machi doesn't testify about it, ja? If that's the only objection you have, then it's time to rock!"

Sorry, Logic. I tried.

"There are MUNCH so many things MUNCH MUNCH wrong with this," I muttered unhappily, quashing the urge to use a Snackoo as a murder weapon and instead following my foppish boss into the courtroom. As the door slammed shut behind us, he stopped suddenly, forcing me to walk right into him.

"Hey, you can't just stop whenever you feel like it!" Stupid fop! Stupid…amazing-smelling…fop!

"Fraulein." He leaned back and whispered softly into my ear, "You do realize that I understand, ja? I'm just a mouthpiece- here to give Machi some confidence in his English. I doubt I'll end up needing to translate anything at all."

Then just as suddenly his warm breath was gone from my cheek as he leaned forward and whispered something to Machi, who had been looking a little puzzled and a lot adorable. When he heard what my boss had to say (something stupid, no doubt), he started nodding away like some kind of broken bobblehead. Why couldn't Klavier be that cute? If he was that kind of cute I would just want to hug him and maybe dress him up like a teddy bear or something.

But Klavier was not a teddy bear kind of cute. He was a rock god kind of cute. He was a hot kind of cute. He was a fop kind of cute, and suddenly I remembered my stupid dream all too clearly. Nightmare, I corrected myself. Nightmare, my nightmare. Nightmare nightmare nightmare nightmare…

As we parted ways so I could head to the witness prep room, he snatched my Snackoos out of my hands with a wink.

"HEEEEY!"

There was the bang of a gavel. "No shouting in the courtroom! Lover's spats get a room!"

"We're not-" I started to protest angrily, but suddenly a crunchy snack was rudely shoved into my mouth. "Looerrgtth!" It's really hard to shout through a snackoo, so I devoured it quickly. CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. "What was that for?!"

"A last 'delicious' snack to sustain you. Now, off to the prep room, Fraulein! I won't eat them, ugh, I would just like to avoid a murder during my concert!"

"You mean trial," I called triumphantly over my shoulder. Ha, got him! That was a scientific mistake.

He smirked.


Let's not talk about the trial.

Please.

It should be enough to say that that Fop made a fool of me as usual, that stupid dream was looming over my thoughts the entire time, and I never did get my Snackoos back.

You wouldn't want to murder someone you were in love with, right? The defense rests.

"Ah! Fraulein! Wait!"

"No way, glimmerous Fop," I muttered angrily, kicking some footprints in the thin layer of ice on the sidewalk as I quickened my pace. Of course it couldn't snow. Ice. We got slippery, slimy, good-for-nothing ice.

Reminded me of someone, actually…

"Fraulein, please-"

"No!"

"But Fraulein, please, your Snackoos-"

I spun around on my heel, ripped the bag out of his hands, and glared at him. "No 'please'! This is why I hate my job, you know. It's because of you!"

He looked more mournful than ever. "Do you really mean that, Ema?"

Did I feel my heart jerk a little when he said my name? No, definitely not. Definitely….probably. Maybe. I hope. "I think I prefer Fraulein," I said. "And yes, I really absolutely definitely mean it!" Probably.

A small, ominous smile grew on his face. "Oh really? Are you sure that your supposed 'hate' is not just a cover for your love?"

"Love? For my job? No way!" I snorted.

"Not at all, Fraulein- love for me."

Thank you for calling Ema's Brain. I'm afraid I've stepped out for the moment, please try again later. You may leave a message at the tone…

"Wh- No- that's- MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH!" I crammed a handful of Snackoos into my mouth to distract myself from the awful burning feeling in my cheeks. He'd made a fool out of me again, damn him! "Shhopid fob! Uuur alwaysh sho shtuck-up an' annoyinn! I hade mai jhob becaaush ov you! Ha, ish dat good enub foor you? Ish dat good enub? Thiish caysh of "lub" ish shettled!"

Klavier spent a moment translating this in his head, yet when he'd had time for it to sink in he still seemed strangely unperturbed. "You know, in order for a case to be settled, there must be a courtroom," he said nonchalantly.

I thought about this for several seconds (and swallowed) before agreeing suspiciously. "Yeah. So?"

"In order for this case of Fraulein's love to be decided, there must be a courtroom of sorts-"

"Oh no, no way, way off base, you are not taking this to a courtroom!"

"Er, I was speaking metaphorically, Fraulein. I meant a courtroom as in a setting which will allow each of us to present our cases."

"Huh. Shockingly, that actually sounds reasonable."

He beamed as he put a leg over his motorbike (I hadn't realized we were walking toward it, I was so into arguing). "Excellent! Then I'll pick you up in front of the precinct at six for the concert!"

"Huh? Hey wait, that's not what I-" But it was too late. He'd already roared away.

MUNCH MUNCH MUNCH. Okay, Ema, calm down. It's just a concert with that fop. He'll probably even put me on Security again, just to drive me nuts.

Just a concert.

Just a concert.

I glanced my cell phone's little clock. "Just how slowly are you planning to go?" I snapped at it before realizing it was an inanimate object and could not respond. I sighed.

Just a concert.

I wondered vaguely if I would survive the next four hours without going insane.

From irritation with Klavier, I mean.

Yeah.

"What am I going to wear?!"