If you've ever been alone in the dark blue,
If you've ever been alone, you'll know.
It was early, but Ema always got up early on trial days. Sometimes Klavier's office was already open when she got there, but more often than not she was stuck waiting outside his door until he showed up.
Today, Ema was surprised to find Klavier already inside his office, scribbling furiously on a sheet of paper with his cell phone pressed between his shoulder and his ear. Curious as to whether he was doing prosecution work, Ema sat down on one of the chairs near his desk; but as soon as she got near enough to eavesdrop, Klavier dropped his shoulder, letting the phone fall gracefully from his neck down into his outstretched arm.
"Pretty nice, eh Fraulein?" he asked, flipping the cell phone into the air before stashing it back in his pocket. Ema rolled her eyes, but said nothing. "You're testifying at the trial, as usual, ja? Cause of death, autopsy results, that sort of thing?"
"I always do," Ema replied, absentmindedly flipping through the piles of papers Klavier had on his desk. "I told the other witnesses to meet us at the courthouse. Actually, it's just about time –"
"– Excuse me, Mr. Gavin?" an unfamiliar voice called from behind Ema. A tall, dark-haired man was standing in the doorway, waving a packet of papers at Klavier. "Sorry to interrupt – I have a form for you to sign." The man brushed past Ema and dropped the packet of papers on Klavier's desk.
"Ja, of course," Klavier replied, quickly scrawling his name on the bottom of the first page and handing it back to the man with a smile.
"Thank you, sir," the man said as he took the packet of papers Klavier was handing back to him. He nodded his head slightly and ducked out of the room.
Ema checked to make sure the man was gone before opening her mouth.
"How could you just sign that? You didn't even read it!"
"Oh Fraulein, calm down," Klavier said, leaning back in his chair. "I sign autographs all the time."
"Autographs?! That was a legal document!"
"Don't worry about it," Klavier replied with a shrug, zipping up his black leather briefcase and handing it to Ema. "I'd love to discuss it with you all day, Fraulein, but we're going to be late."
"I'm not carrying your stuff," Ema said, following Klavier out the door. "Here." She shoved the briefcase at him.
"Whatever you say, Fraulein," Klavier said, stepping into the elevator and wasting no time in pressing the button for the lobby. "Just hurry up, ja?"
Ema rolled her eyes and stood as far away from Klavier as possible during the ride down to the lobby.
Klavier's motorcycle was the most prominent thing in the entire prosecutor's parking lot. It was bright purple, with silver accents that must have had reflective pigments in them – there was no way regular metal could glitter that much. Klavier swung a leg over the motorcycle seat, and then turned back towards Ema, as if expecting her to say something.
"Hop on, Fraulein," Klavier said finally, patting the section of leather seat behind him.
"Yeah right," Ema replied, shaking her head at Klavier. "I think I'd rather walk."
"Oh Fraulein, be practical. The courthouse is five miles away, and the trial starts in ten minutes."
As Ema opened her mouth for another snarky reply, the loud noise of the sliding doors opening behind her shocked her into momentary silence. She noticed Detective Gumshoe caught up in a tangle of people who seemed to be rushing towards the exit, and he caught her eye and waved at her.
"Better get a move on, pal! The trial starts soon, right? Lucky you have dashing young men like Klavier to drive you around or you'd have to walk like me, pal!"
It wasn't that the truth of these words struck Ema's heart; it was just that if she refused a ride from Klavier, she would look foolish in front of the rest of the department.
Giving Klavier her iciest glare, she unwillingly slid onto the leather seat behind him.
"You had better not say a word," Ema warned as she wound her arms around his waist. "If I hear even one 'ja,' I'll jump off of this motorcycle." Klavier nodded; he seemed to be taking his newfound silence to heart.
As the motorcycle lurched forward, Ema instinctively tightened her arms around Klavier's waist, her body pressed against his by the velocity of the vehicle. The pair sped out into the street, and Ema felt more uncomfortable with every corner they rounded. The ride was only a few minutes long, but as they pulled into the underground parking lot at the courthouse, Ema couldn't wait to jump off of the motorcycle.
"We're supposed to wait in lobby number three," Klavier said slowly as he thumbed through a stack of papers, his back to Ema. The detective was still brushing off her jacket and shaking her head to get it adjusted to the solid ground that she was now standing on.
"Let's go, then," she replied once her head had stopped spinning, striding in front of Klavier and yanking the door of the courthouse open. "Coming?"
Klavier followed Ema through the door, up the stairs, and into the lobby. It looked the same as all the other lobbies the two had waited in – dark leather sofas, hanging plants, and a window filtering golden sunshine into the room – and the pair sat down on the nearest sofa to wait for their witnesses.
The room was far from empty. Secretaries and assistants dashed by, some stopping to ask for directions, and the occasional lost defense attorney wandered into the room before realizing his mistake. Ema sat perfectly still, her eyes scanning the room, waiting for her witness to show up; Klavier, on the other hand, was scanning the room for people of a different sort.
The lobby was full of tall women in tight pencil skirts and low-cut blazers, women with bouncy, wavy hair and eyes outlined in smoky grays and blues. Some of them Ema recognized as apprentice prosecutors or assistants, but many of them were unfamiliar faces to her. Klavier, of course, treated them all the same. A wave and a wink, and they were content to go on their way, and even the most stoic of female prosecutors could be reduced to a giggling mess. Ema's limp hair and oversized lab coat hardly seemed to compare.
By the time their witness arrived, Ema had become so accustomed to Klavier's constant flirtation that she passed the woman off as another promiscuous legal aide, drawn to the lobby by the tantalizing idea of meeting Klavier Gavin. It wasn't until the woman introduced herself that Ema snapped back to reality, pen in hand and ready to question her witness.
But questioning wasn't necessary; Klavier directed the woman towards one of the secretaries near the door, who would apparently "tell the pretty Fraulein all she needed to know about giving her testimony, ja?"
"You're unbelievable, you know that?" Ema said, wiggling slightly on the couch to alleviate her aching back. "Have you ever prepped your own witnesses?"
"Occasionally," he answered offhandedly, watching the woman to make sure she ended up at the right desk. "After all, I prep you, ja?"
"I can prep myself!" Ema said shortly, leaping to her feet in a huff and crossing her arms.
"Of course you can, Fraulein." Klavier stood up as well, taking Ema gingerly by the arm and leading her towards the court entrance. "But we'll have to argue about it later – unless you want to be late for the trial."
Shaking her arm out of his grip, Ema shoved her hands into her pockets and followed Klavier to the prosecutor's side of the courtroom. As she took her seat near the bench, her eyes landed on the defense attorney across the room. A sudden shock seized her body, and she glanced back at Klavier, silently mouthing the words at him.
It's the man from your office!
He seemed to understand her immediately, turning around to look for himself. Sure enough, the defense attorney, now unloading his documents and folders, was the same man who had entered Klavier's office an hour ago and demanded the prosecutor's signature. He wasn't even looking at the prosecutor's bench, but the sinister smile plastered across his face seemed to send Ema's stomach plunging. She flipped quickly through her court documents to find the man's name: Nathaniel Brent.
Before Ema could dwell on the man's strange actions, the judge banged his gavel and called court into session. Ema took her place on the witness stand, trying to avoid both the prosecutor's and the defense attorney's eyes. Still slightly unnerved, she read the autopsy report as carefully as she could without allowing her voice to shake.
"The victim's name was Lionel Trudeau, a 25 year old male. He fell off the roof of his seven story truffle factory to his death. The fall caused his neck to break, and he suffered several non-fatal injuries as well." Ema took a breath and snuck a glance at Klavier. He was watching her with a slight smile on his lips. "His time of death appears to be sometime between midnight and 2 AM –"
"Objection!" roared a voice from across the courtroom, and from the corner of her eye, Ema saw the defense attorney leap to his feet. "Your honor, I feel I must bring this to your attention." Brent waved the piece of paper he was holding for emphasis. "My autopsy report reads, and I quote … 'Victim's name: Lionel Trudeau; Age: 45; Cause of death: electrocution; Time of death: Noon …' Does this court provide an explanation for the discrepancy?"
"Perhaps you have the wrong document?" the judge offered, looking from Brent to Klavier and back at Brent.
"Absolutely not. This is an official police document, and it was signed by Prosecutor Gavin himself." Ema could have sworn she saw the corners of Brent's mouth twist into a triumphant smile, if only for an instant. "Clearly there has been some sort of conspiracy between the police department and the prosecutor's office." Brent let his heavy gaze rest on Ema. "Detective Skye, is it? Surely you couldn't have been involved in this scheme," he crooned, not bothering to disguise the sarcasm in his voice, "although it's always the pretty ones who go bad." He shrugged apologetically in the judge's direction, who seemed to be staring at Ema with a very strange expression on his face.
"Your honor, I swear I knew nothing about this –" Ema said, the words rushing out of her mouth.
"Hush!" the judge said, punctuating his command with a slam of his gavel.
"But your honor! It must just be a mistake –"
"Fraulein!" Klavier shouted, his voice cutting through the noise better than the judge's gavel. "Just stay calm." He turned to the judge. "Your honor, I realize this is a serious problem. If you'd just grant us a short recess, the prosecution promises to get to the bottom of this mess. Arguing over the autopsy report in court would just waste your honor's precious time."
"Prosecutor Gavin presents a valid point. Both the prosecution and the defense may take a fifteen minute break," the judge said, slamming his gavel down to indicate the beginning of the recess, "but when you return, there had better be a suitable explanation for this confusion!"
"Klavier," Ema pleaded, sidestepping the flow of people pouring out of the courtroom, "you don't understand, I need this job, and if Mr. Brent convinces the judge I'm guilty of fraud – Lana's in Europe, I'd have no way to pay the rent –"
"Take a deep breath." Klavier cut her off, leading her towards the nearest chair. "And please, be quiet, ja? I need to think."
Ema watched Klavier pace slowly around the lobby, her fear slowly giving way to embarrassment – did she really just plead for her job with Klavier Gavin? A small part of her knew that she needed to keep her job, but a bigger part of her was telling her that she also needed to keep her dignity.
The seconds ticked by slowly; the fifteen-minute recess began to feel like hours out of court. Just as Ema seemed to compose herself, people in the lobby began to slowly trickle back into the courtroom. Klavier had stopped pacing, and was in the middle of scribbling something down on a scrap of paper when he noticed the sudden flow of bodies out of the lobby. He continued to write as he walked towards the door, looking up every so often to check that his path was clear of people.
Ema headed back towards the witness stand without so much as a second thought, until Klavier stepped out from behind the prosecution's desk and blocked her path.
"Hey fop! What's the big idea?" Ema tried to squeeze around the prosecutor, but he held out his arms so that Ema was stuck.
"Your testimony's over, Fraulein," Klavier replied, ducking left and right to prevent Ema from finding a way past him. "There's been enough … conflict."
"I can take care of myself up there! And besides," Ema said, grabbing one of Klavier's arms and forcing it down to his side, "you're acting childish. People are staring!"
"I don't think you need any more stress, ja?" Klavier took a few steps forward, forcing Ema to back away from the witness's stand. "I'll do fine without the rest of your report." He glanced towards the defense stand. "Don't worry, I'll take down Brent for you."
Ema wasn't sure if she was actually touched by Klavier's words, or if she was just afraid of Brent – she kept both options to herself. Either way, she allowed herself to be led towards the spectator's seats, high about the courtroom.
"Please be seated," the judge said, banging his gavel, "court is now back in session!" The buzz of chatter quieted instantly. "Prosecutor Gavin, do you have an explanation for the inconsistencies in the autopsy reports?"
"Your honor, Mr. Brent must have accidentally been given a preliminary document." Klavier flashed the judge a charming smile. "My apologies. It won't happen again, ja?"
"Be sure it doesn't, Prosecutor. Now, shall we continue with the trial?"
As Klavier called his next witness, Ema could have sworn she saw Mr. Brent scowling.
"Congrats, Gavin," another lawyer called, waving at Klavier from across the room. The court lobby was slowly emptying, and Ema's own thoughts were drifting towards home. Still giddy with the excitement of another win, she felt compelled to congratulate Klavier, although his popularity made it hard to get anywhere near him. As the majority of the lobby slowly filed out, Ema found an opportunity.
"Congrats," she said, tapping Klavier on the shoulder to get his attention.
"Thanks, Fraulein," he replied breathlessly, his cheeks flushed with excitement. Ema couldn't help but smile. Klavier was always different after he won a trial – he was happier, more sincere.
"Any time," Ema chirped back, hoping to leave the courthouse before Klavier turned back into his regular, teasing self.
"Hey Fraulein!" Klavier called as Ema turned her back to leave. "Need a ride home?" Ema turned around slowly, debating how to reply. She didn't want to be around Klavier any more than necessary, but she did live far away from the courthouse – and his attitude was still at a high from the trial.
"As long as you're not gonna be a jerk about it," Ema said, following Klavier out the door to the parking garage. This time it only took Ema a few seconds to get accustomed to the motorcycle, but just as they began to pull out of the parking spot, Klavier turned to look at Ema.
"Oh Fraulein, I forgot to tell you that I need to stop home before I drop you off. That's fine, ja?" Without waiting for an answer, Klavier laughed and tore off, leaving a bewildered Ema clinging on for dear life.
Klavier lived surprising close to the courthouse; his apartment was only a few short blocks away. Ema followed him inside, not at all surprised by the furnishings. The front door opened into a large kitchen, with dark wooden cabinets and black countertops flecked with gold. As she followed Klavier further into the apartment, Ema found herself in a luxurious-looking living room, dotted with soft leather furniture and marble coffee tables.
"Wait here, ja? I have to make a phone call," Klavier said, disappearing into his room almost instantly.
As she waited, Ema paced slowly around the room, admiring Klavier's collection of extravagant odds and ends. The room was full of expensive decorations, but only one object was given a prominent spot on top of the fireplace. It was a picture frame, and as Ema got closer, she noticed it contained a photograph of Klavier and Kristoph.
The two were much younger. Kristoph was still a teenager, and Klavier had a childish glow about him. They were smiling, and Klavier's arm was snaked around his older brother's waist. Happiness seemed to radiate off of the picture.
Footsteps behind her alerted Ema that Klavier had returned.
"This is cute," she said, gesturing towards the photograph she had been admiring. "You and your brother look really happy."
"I miss him," Klavier said softly, holding the picture gently for a moment. A silence fell over the pair, a silence that wasn't awkward so much as it was thoughtful. "But we should get going now. I have to stop by the state jail after I drop you home to take care of some things with him." Klavier replaced the picture where it had been sitting, and glanced at his watch. "Actually, visiting hours ended five minutes ago – but I got an extension."
"Your almighty prosecuting power at work again, I guess?" Ema scoffed, crossing her arms.
"Not this time," Klavier said. "I just told them I had to drive home a pretty Fraulein."