I know I've been gone for FOREVER, and I sincerely apologize to all of you awesome readers who have been faithful to this story (or whatever you want to call it xD). I hope you don't think I've forgotten you guys. To tell you the truth, a big part of why I haven't updated in so long is that I honestly think my writing ability (if I had any) has been declining for the past year or so, and I didn't want to upload something that would disappoint you all. Please bear with the slow updates; college has started for me and it's been really crazy…!
Anyway, enough of that. On with the insanity!
Apollo flopped his suitcase onto his bed and sat on the stiff mattress. He leaned back, folding his arms behind his head and letting out a heavy sigh. He'd unpack later. Right now all he wanted to do was unwind and try to appreciate the fact that they'd made it here without a problem.
"Pretty nice room they gave us, huh?" Trucy observed cheerfully as she sat down beside him.
"Yeah. I mean, we've even got a flat screen TV in here. I guess all prosecutors really live it up." He glanced around. "Though I question the pink ruffled curtains."
Trucy snorted. "I really hope they were Franziska's idea…"
"Franziska?" Apollo raised his eyebrows slightly and looked to her. "Was she the short-haired woman earlier?"
"Edgeworth's girlfriend or something?"
"Haha, no!" Trucy laughed. "She's his sister. Daddy told me."
"Oh," Apollo blushed. Awkward…can't believe I just imagined two siblings being romantically involved... He shuddered.
After a few more minutes he sat up again. "I think I'm going to go out to find something to eat. Want anything?"
Trucy put a finger to her chin. "Know any good German takeout in the area?" She teased.
Apollo sighed. "I guess I'll just have to look around myself. See you later, ja?" And with that he left the room and headed for the stairs.
However good friends he was with Phoenix, Edgeworth had to agree with Franziska on one thing: he had a lot of nerve landing a problem this big on Edgeworth's lap without any warning. He wasn't cold enough to kick the two of them out of his house, but he was irritated enough to give Phoenix a piece of his mind.
He walked to the phone and was just about to pick it up when it abruptly rang. Furrowing his brows, he picked it up.
"Von Karma residence…"
"Edgeworth, you've got to help me."
Didn't see that one coming. "Wright, listen – "
"Here's the story," He certainly isn't wasting any time, Edgeworth thought angrily. "Apollo and Trucy are engaged, but I sort of…scared them and they ran off to Germany. Thank goodness you picked up; I was afraid you were out of the country. Could you do something to find out where they are right now?"
It'd been a while since he heard Phoenix sounding so panicked. He smirked darkly, content at how distraught he was. "Calm down. I know about the situation. They're actually staying here, with us."
Phoenix's typical unawareness caused Edgeworth's irritation to settle in again and his voice came out characteristically miffed. "Your little 'son-in-law' conveniently chose our mansion as a honeymoon resort."
"H-hey, don't blame me. I wasn't the one who told him where you lived. He must have found out on his own."
"Whatever. The bright side is, we know where they are, and they're not going to leave for a while. At least we have partial control of the situation…"
"Edgeworth, you've got to talk them out of marriage. You're the only one who can, now."
"Just because you tried to and failed miserably? Then couldn't keep a close eye on them so they managed to escape and arrive at my doorstep? I sure am getting the better end of the deal of this, aren't I?" Edgeworth sighed. "Fine, Wright, I'll see what I can –"
He suddenly glanced to his side only to find Apollo standing a few yards away, staring quizzically. He probably realized that I'm talking to Wright…!
Edgeworth formed what he hoped was a furious expression, and yelled into the phone, "Wright, no matter what you say, I can't destroy true love!" His eyes darted to Apollo, who was now smiling gratefully. Oh, dear God….
"Edgeworth!" Phoenix sputtered. "What are you – "
"Why can't you see these two are made for each other! I'm ashamed to call you my friend, you heartless relationship-ripper!" He turned to see that Apollo was close to tears.
"Edgeworth, are you crazy –"
"Well, I for one am not going to accept this. I'll see to it that these two get married, even if it means never speaking to you again!" Edgeworth slammed the phone back onto its receiver. He turned his head to Apollo, gritting his teeth.
"Mr. Edgeworth…" Apollo's smile reached ear to ear. "I don't know what to say. Just…thank you so much for that…"
"N-not at all." Edgeworth's knees were beginning to shake. He moved around to the other side of the table so Apollo couldn't see. What have I done…?
"You didn't have to get angry for us, though. It's true that Mr. Wright is being unreasonable, but I do want him to agree to the wedding in the end."
"S-sure," Edgeworth's head was spinning. "I'll…try to be more subtle next time."
Apollo's eyes sparkled. "I'm going to go out for a bit. I'll find us all some dinner for tonight, as a thanks." Apollo practically skipped to the front door, grabbing his coat before stepping outside. "We're both counting on you, Mr. Edgeworth."
The door slammed shut. Edgeworth collapsed into a chair, his eyes wide in incomprehension of what just happened.
Phoenix gaped in confusion. He was still holding the phone, listening to the blank dial tone.
"Well?" Thalassa walked up behind him.
"He's lost it…" Phoenix finally hung the phone back onto its mount. "One minute he's agreeing to help break them up, the next he's screaming at me for trying to do the same."
Thalassa scoffed. "I didn't expect much from a friend of yours, anyway."
Phoenix gave her a look, but decided to drop the subject.
"From that conversation just now," she continued, "it's apparent that your friend already knew Apollo and Trucy's real relationship."
"Uh, yeah…" Phoenix replied carefully. Technically, she never said I couldn't tell anyone about it, and I'd already told Edgeworth about Apollo working under me….
"Have you told anyone else?"
"No, I…" Oh, wait. "Actually, there is one other friend I mentioned it to…but he's probably too much of a dope to remember. It shouldn't be a problem."
Thalassa closed her eyes and sighed. "I supposed all I can do is trust you on that."
Phoenix raised an eyebrow, but he decided it was better not to ask.
Forty minutes after he started his trek from the von Karma mansion Apollo immediately regretted not asking Edgeworth for a map of the local area. Though they were all beautiful, the snow-topped buildings lined along the sidewalks around him were all nearly identical, making it very difficult to tell which corner he'd just turned, much less which buildings looked like good take-out restaurants.
At long last he came upon a small structure with rather large windows through which he could see several men sitting at a booth holding small bottles and eating from plates. From his extended knowledge Apollo deduced this was indeed a restaurant of sorts, and was eager to shuffle in through its doors to escape the cold.
As he stepped inside he was immediately greeted by a dozen suspicious glares and several unpleasant words in German from the seated men before him. If not for an arm waving frantically above the crowd, Apollo would have darted back out the door.
The arm belonged to a thin, brown-haired man sitting alone at a small table. He looked to be in his early thirties. Apollo glanced around him, checking if the stranger was beckoning someone else, then pointed to himself quizzically. When the stranger laughed and nodded, Apollo walked forward to stand just a few feet away from the smiling man.
"I know you," the man said abruptly. "You're Nick's boy, right?"
Apollo blinked, struggling to comprehend and remember where he'd seen this man before.
"Haha, sorry, guess it's been a while. Three years, in fact." He held out his hand. "Larry Butz. Professional eyebrow threader. Remember?"
Edgeworth, standing outside Trucy and Apollo's room, took a deep breath. I need to end this quickly. Wright is counting on me. He knocked loudly.
"Come in!" called Trucy's voice.
Edgeworth slowly swung the door open and stepped inside, trying his best not to look disheveled. He managed a queasy smile.
"Oh, hello Mr. Edgeworth," Trucy chirped.
"G-good evening, Trucy," Edgeworth replied, shutting the door behind him. This is it, Edgeworth. You're going to stop this madness right now. "Is it all right if I have a little chat with you?"
"Sure," Trucy sat down on the edge of her bed as Edgeworth took a seat at the small table across from her.
"All right," Edgeworth began, hands beginning to feel clammy. How to word this… "I completely approve of your getting married, Trucy. Being a close friend of Wright, I would be most content to see that you are happy. You know that, right?"
"But that…doesn't mean that I approve of all of it."
Trucy raised her eyebrows. "What do you mean?"
"I mean…" Edgeworth closed his eyes, wishing that he'd rehearsed this with Franziska beforehand. "…that I think it's good that you're getting married and becoming independent at such an early age, but…the problem is…"
Trucy looked positively baffled. "…the problem is…?"
"Apollo." Edgeworth forced the name out of his mouth. He felt sick. "Apollo's the problem."
Trucy blinked disbelievingly. "A-Apollo! How could Apollo be the problem?"
Because he's your brother! He sighed. There was nothing else he wanted to do more than to blurt out those four words, to end this ridiculous pandemonium. But it was not his place to reveal that fact to them. That decision rested with Wright and their mother.
"…because he's too old for you."
Trucy's brows furrowed. After a moment she rolled her eyes and smiled grimly, causing Edgeworth to wince. "Oh, I get it. You're gonna go with that route, huh?"
"W-well…" Edgeworth gulped. "I mean, he's seven years your senior. Anyone should feel uncomfortable…"
"But what about Uncle Gumshoe and Aunt Maggey?"
"Well…honestly, I don't think either of them knows how to count…"
"But Mr. Edgeworth, I just don't understand why you're suddenly opposed to all of this –" Trucy's eyes suddenly widened. She gasped, and looked right into Edgeworth's eyes, grinning.
"Wh…what is it?"
"Oh, Mr. Edgeworth. You can stop trying to hide it now." Trucy thinned her eyes mischievously. "You can tell me the truth, why you don't want me to marry Apollo."
"The…truth?" What on earth is she…has she figured it out?
"You like him, don't you?"
In the dining room, Franziska stared into her teacup. I wonder how Miles is doing up there…speak of the devil. Edgeworth walked in right at that moment, looking a little disoriented.
Franziska straightened. "So? How did it go?"
"Er…" He hesitated. If he told her what Trucy said to him, two possibilities could arise. One, she would whip him incessantly for failing to stop the marriage. Or two, she'd laugh at him incessantly. Or…both could happen, he realized grimly. He decided to say it anyway.
But when he finished recapping his conversation with Trucy, Franziska froze. "Wait, so…she thinks…"
Edgeworth cringed. Laughter, whipping. Laughter, whipping…which will she fancy today?
"Miles, this is perfect!"
Edgeworth looked up. "Eh?"
"Don't you see?" She rounded the table and took Edgeworth by his shoulders. "This is how we're going to break them up!"
A quirked eyebrow. "I'm afraid I don't quite follow…"
"Trucy thinks that you're infatuated with Apollo - "
" 'Infatuated' is a bit of a disingenuous term – "
" – so, what's our next logical step?"
And she ignores me. He sighed and gently removed her hands from his shoulders. "I'm sorry, dear sister. It appears that your line of logic has managed to, as it has numerous times, leave me fumbling in its glorious wake."
"Oh skip the sarcasm, Miles. I supposed I'll just have to spell it out for you," she huffed. "All you have to do is make them think that your 'crush' is real."
"Think about it. If you're successful and Trucy gets the idea that her fiancé is…not interested in girls…she'll have to end their relationship. It's a fool-proof plan."
For the third time that afternoon, Edgeworth was rendered speechless.
"Miles, are you all right?"
"…By any chance, Franziska, does this have anything to do with my affinity for magenta?"
Apollo had to admit, despite all the stories of how the Butz got Mr. Wright and his pals in trouble on a near constant basis, Larry wasn't that bad of a guy. He was surprisingly easy to talk to, and before long the two were hitting it off, discussing stories involving Mr. Wright, as well as the success of Larry's new business strategy of spreading his "talents" overseas in an attempt to gain renown. Heck, he was even willing to buy Apollo a few drinks.
...Too bad Apollo never got the chance to enjoy any of those drinks, seeing as Larry gulped them down as soon as they hit the table. No more than ten minutes later Larry's face was flushed and Apollo was worrying that if he swayed any harder he'd fall off his seat.
He glanced at his watch. "Sorry, Mr. Butz, I'd better get going. I promised my fiancée I'd bring home dinner."
"…Guh?" Larry slurred, putting a hand on Apollo's shoulder and shaking it weakly. "H-hey man, you're gettn' married? Congrats, man…who's the…lucky lady?" He hiccupped, and lazily rested his head on his hands on the table.
Apollo blushed, barely holding back an embarrassed grin. "Uh, thanks. She's…Trucy. Mr. Wright's daughter."
Larry burst out laughing, pounding the table with one fist and holding his side with the other, tears coming out the corners of his eyes. Apollo just stared in confusion until Larry hiccupped again and started to regain his composure.
"Trucy? Seriously!" He slurred, barely containing his giggles. "Dude, you can't marry her, she's your s-"
"Achtung Herr Forehead!" Two hands suddenly clamped on Apollo's shoulders from behind, making him jump. Klavier laughed as Apollo fixed a bewildered stare on the prosecutor. "I never thought I'd find you in a place like this!"
"Gavin?" Apollo put a hand to his massive forehead. "Why…how did you find me here?"
"You were taking so long to get back, the fraulein was getting worried," he replied casually, toying with his bangs. "So I told her I'd go out to look for you. I saw your horns from the window, so it wasn't hard." He picked up a half-empty glass, probably assuming it was Apollo's since it was nearest to him, and took a sip. "Ah, nothing like good ol' Hȫhler, ja?"
"I'd agree with you, if I'd had the chance to drink any," Apollo sighed, glancing at the now-dozing Butz.
"Ach, does your friend need a ride home?"
"Naw, he told me he's staying at a place not too far from here, so he can walk," Apollo assured. "I'll introduce you two properly next time, when he's conscious." He stood up from his chair, placing a hand on Larry's still shoulder. "It was fun talking with you, Mr. Butz. Hope we can meet again soon."
On the way out of the bar Apollo discovered that Klavier had managed to rent a car, and had indeed driven all the way out (Apollo grinned sheepishly at Klavier's "Forehead, how long were you walking?"). Klavier had already picked up some food, so the two of them drove back to the mansion.
Just as Apollo was about to knock on the door, it swung open. Edgeworth let them in, with a highly suspicious and fake-looking smile on his face.
"Oh, Apollo, you're back!" He cried, ignoring the younger prosecutor. "Let me get your coat…" He started patting down Apollo's jacket to shake the snow off…which took longer than it should have, really….
"I-I'm fine, Mr. Edgeworth, really!" Apollo stammered, blushing as the hands continued their attentions on his lower back and sides. He hastily took off his coat and hung it on the hook.
Klavier didn't seem put out in the least at the lack of greeting in his direction. "I've brought home food, Herr Edgeworth. I'll set it on the table; it should reheat well, I hope." He headed into the kitchen.
Edgeworth was still smiling eerily at Apollo. Was it just me, or did Mr. Edgeworth just wink at me…?
He wondered if it was really the snow that was sending a chill down his left arm.
"Well!" Edgeworth exclaimed, clapping his hands together. "Why don't you go on upstairs and relax with Trucy, while Gavin and I prepare dinner?"
"O-okay," Apollo replied warily, picking up his pace up the stairs when he realized Edgeworth was still warmly gazing at him from below.
Once Apollo was out of sight Edgeworth nearly collapsed, gripping onto the stair railing to support himself. He put a hand to his head. I don't know if I can go through with this.
A/N: I DON'T KNOW ANYMORE. I came up with the plot sleep-deprived and on an empty stomach! Don't shoot me!
I apologize if any of you are offended by the sorta-implied boy/boy love. But I figured that if you were ok with siblings getting married, well…^^; Anyway, I assure you it's not gonna blow into full-scaled "yaoi."
And I apologize for having so many line-breaks. xD
Again, I'm sorry for the ridiculously long wait, but please review so that I know you guys are still reading. ^_^