Well guys, sorry it took so long! I was gone for a week. But here it is! Hope it was worth the wait. The chapter after this one, stuff starts happening!
She hadn't even bothered to read it. The advanced copy of Franzy's Whippity Whip Trip that Franziska had demanded from the publisher had been in her hands only for the ride to the University, where she had slammed it on the dean's desk along with her application.
Now all that was left was to wait. They'd had enough time to review her application. And the book was only a few pages, with pictures no less! So as she sat at her office desk, impatiently eyeing the recently installed replacement phone, Franziska's only solace was that soon they'd be calling to tell her how glorious she was, and how honored they'd be to have her. That would put Miles Edgeworth in his place! Her perfect plan had perfectly come together.
Franziska glanced at the clock, her eyes thinning in irritation. What was taking them so long? It was nearly lunch time, and the last thing she needed was that fool trouncing in here and interrupting her call! Granted, she hadn't heard from him since that day she had assaulted him in his own rat-hole of a home, but then again, she had been making a point of leaving her office around lunch hour; just in case. Not that she'd ever caught sight of him coming or going from the office. Even he could not be so foolish as to seek her out after she had shot him down as she had!
But for the University to keep her waiting this long was just outrageous! She didn't care how prestigious they were, she was Franziska von Karma!
As if sensing her thoughts, the phone suddenly sounded off with a high, tremulous ring. With great control, Franziska pointedly waited until the third ring to answer. She was very busy, after all. "This is von Karma." Concise, to the point, and yet still a complete sentence. Perfect.
"Hello, this is Ivy University calling for Prosecutor Franziska von Karma? We received your guest speaker's application…"
"I know who you are! Now stop wasting my time. When do you have me scheduled for?" She interrupted curtly.
"Y-yes, about that!" The fool on the other end sputtered anxiously. She didn't like his tone one bit. "I'm s-sorry to inform you that your application, while quite impressive, has been rejected…"
At the man's pause, Franziska heard nothing but the sound of her own blood roaring in her ears. She could scarcely make it out when the man on the other line began to speak again.
"Ah, you see, we here at Ivy U stress character above all else! We simply cannot promote someone who so regularly uses violence, especially not in the court room! I'm sorry, but… out of my hands… unethical… liability… insufferable…"
The rest of the man's words fizzled out and dissolved into silence, and from that silence rose a quiet but piercing ring, growing louder and louder until it became painful. Franziska dropped the receiver and threw her hands over her ears, trying to drown out the noise, only to find it amplified in her own skull. With a cry of unrestrained fury and frustration, Franziska ripped the phone from its socket and sent it hurling into the opposite wall. The plaster gave way, leaving the phone lodged in the wall, before its own weight gave way and it fell to the floor with a satisfying plastic crunch.
But no… it wasn't enough… Not NEARLY enough!
Without thinking, Franziska swept her arm along the bookshelf behind her, sending rows and rows of books toppling unceremoniously to the floor, their pages folded and spines bent beyond treatment. Still not enough… how DARE they?! Didn't they know who she was? She was FRANZISKA VON KARMA! No one denied her. NO ONE! They should be HONORED! They should be tripping over each other to prostrate themselves before her, begging and thanking her for being so generous as to offer them even a moment of her time!
FOOLS! The lot of them!
Franziska tore down her office blinds, threw her wastebasket back at her desk, screaming in rage. Still not enough! NOT ENOUGH! They were all FOOLS! EVERYONE! This whole OFFICE was filled with FOOLISHLY FOOLISH FOOLS!
The metal lamp stand… it looked so peaceful where it stood, shimmering in the sunlight, mocking her! Oh, she'd show it. She'd show them ALL! Franziska lunged at the lamp, poised to rip it straight out of the socket, mindless of the risk of electrocution. What did she care?! She had FAILED! Perfection couldn't fail! And what purpose did she have to live if she wasn't PERFECT?! That mocking voice resounding through her mind, YOU FAILED! YOU WORTHLESS, INSUFFERABLE FOO—
"Franzy, STOP!" A strong, solid arm gripped her waist, pulling her back, as it's twin wretched the lamp from her grasp and sent it crashing to the floor. The crisp shattering of glass and a zipping flash of light told her that the bulb had broken, but she was unharmed.
Franziska stared at the small splash of charred black on her carpet where the bulb had erupted. That could have been her… Would anyone have cared if it had been? She was completely and utterly insufferable. No one could stand her. She couldn't even stand herself…
"What are you thinking?! Are you NUTS?!" She suddenly snapped out of her musings, registering the presence of hands on her shoulders, shaking her, albeit gently. "You could've been hurt real bad! I should know, I've been elecramocuted before! I still have burn marks in a place I can't mention to a lady, and my hair was standing up for a week! More than usual!"
Franziska could only stare, straining to process what was happening. It was the King of Fools himself. He had shown up after all. But why? Why would he even bother? After how horrible, how insufferable she had been. How she always was. The fool… the foolishly foolish…
Tears sprung in her eyes before she could prevent them. Only a complete idiot would come for her like this, or someone with a fondness for punishment. Couldn't he see how unbearable she was? Was he that moronic?
"Franzy…" his voice softened, losing its panicked edge as he brought his hands up to frame her face, wiping the tears away with his thumbs before they could leave stains down her perfect porcelain cheeks. "Hey, it's okay, babe. It's okay. No one got hurt."
She cringed, turning her face away, flushing in utter humiliation. How could she show weakness like this? Was she no more than a simpering child, on top of everything else? She fought to stem the flow of tears, to no avail. The more she fought it, the harder they came, and she was forced to bite down on her bottom lip to prevent herself from making any sound that would betray her. She could feel his eyes on her, searching for comprehension. If he pointed out her shame, even with good intentions, she would throw him out. She'd make sure he never set foot in this office again!
Larry moved away, keeping watch on her from over his shoulder as he made his way over to the window. "You know, it's pretty stuffy in here… allergies… if someone's eyes started to water, it probably would be 'cause of that, not crying, right?" Franziska peeked up at him, dreading whatever crazy scheme he was up to now. He opened the window, pausing to take a deep breath of fresh air, before turning back to her with an encouraging smile.
He was giving her a way out. An excuse, so she wouldn't have to admit the truth, not even to herself. An excuse so she wouldn't be ashamed to cry.
"F…fool…" A moist hiccup escaped her throat. She brought a hand to her chest, as if that would somehow reverse the effect. Too late.
Larry approached her, slowly, and gently wrapped one arms around her waist, his other hand reaching behind her head to guide her chin to his shoulder. He did not restrain her, she could have easily moved out of his hold. And yet somehow, she felt firmly set in place, like a puzzle piece inserted into its proper position. She fit him, securely, so that if her knees gave out, she knew she'd still be held up. She'd never felt anything like it, this feeling of being supported, of having solid ground beneath her feet to land on if she fell…
"I… hate you…" it was a struggle not to sob. She had already indulged herself in dampened eyes. She would not allow herself to cry out. She simply would not. "It's your fault… somehow… your terrible book… must be the reason… fool…" Even as she continued to insult him, she shifted to bury her face in his shoulder, her hands gripping the front of his shirt with enough force to tear it from his lanky frame. She did not make a sound, but simply shuddered against him, fighting off wave after wave of sobs she would sooner die than release.
For his part, Larry did nothing to challenge her strange refusal to let herself cry. He held her steady with his arm around her waist, and gingerly caressed her back with his other hand, accepting, waiting for a cue from her before he made a move.
"You're ok." Larry murmured against her hair, resisting the overwhelming urge to make a pass. Even he knew better than to try to pull the moves on a girl when she was in such a state. "Tase—I mean macaroni..." He coughed lightly, trying to cover his obvious blunder, and the assumption it implied. "They're just things. They don't remember and they can't hurt you." Franziska stiffened at his words. Had he said something wrong? Okay, time to make it all a big joke and forget about it! "We can always cook the macaroni… and it's tasty!" Nice save!
Franziska was silent, her trembling body against his serving as the only reminder she was still even there. Larry exhaled slowly, continuing his rhythmic caress of her back. She seemed to be calming down. That was good, at least. He had no idea why she had been so upset in the first place, but it really made him nervous seeing her lose it like that. Yeah, he had seen her mad, but he'd never seen her lose her control like that. Something must've really hurt her. He wanted to ask what was wrong, but he had enough experience with overly-emotional women to know that they did not like having their privacy invaded. She'd either flip out and get angry, or she'd cry harder. Still, it was really important to him that she knew she didn't have to keep this all to herself. He knew better than anyone how hard it was to have no one take your struggles seriously.
"You know, Franzy, if you ever feel... uh, like you need to talk to me about Macaroni or whatever… I'd appreciate it. I'm pretty sensitive, ya know? I could use the help." Franziska bristled. Just what was the fool trying to pull?
"Why…?" She pulled back, her grip on his shirt tightening further, ready to throw the fool out the window should the need call for it.
"Why? Ah, well, I've always been a kinda sensitive guy. In-touch with my feminine side. Or, well, more like feminine insides always touch me…" Her quirked a brow suggestively, his voice lowering to what Larry thought was a sexy growl, but which came out more like a teenager trying too hard.
"No!" Without releasing his shirt, Franziska slammed her hand against his chest, knocking the air clean out of his lungs. "Why are you doing this?! Foolish fool! Everything about you disgusts me to the core! I would sooner jump out that window than give you the time of day! I would sooner shove you out that window!"
"Geez, Franzy," Larry said, rubbing the back of his head in anxiety, "that's harsh!"
"Yes, it is! And I've done worse! You must have heard stories, aren't you a friend of Phoenix Wright?! I whip people!" Larry nodded nonchalantly. The nerve! She slammed his chest again in aggravation. "Then why are you here?!"
"Franzy…" she didn't really mean that. How could she not know? He'd made it pretty clear from the first time they met. "I like you, babe. A lot. You're smart, you're tough, and you're really, really hot! Smokin'!" He gave her an enthusiastic thumbs-up of approval, looking every bit the fool he was.
Franziska backed away. So that was it, was it? To think he'd have a chance with a von Karma! The fool was clearly beyond delusional, he was brain-dead! With a sharp crack of the whip, Franziska escorted the fool to the exit.
"And don't come back without an appointment!" she shrieked into his face, whipping him one last time for good measure before slamming the door in his dumb, stupid, fool's face.
The door shut, locked, and bolted tight behind her, Franziska surveyed the damage. Her office was in shambles. She had completely lost control! Clenching her fists until the leather of her gloves squeaked in protest, Franziska mentally berated her weakness.
A soft breeze from the window broke her train of thought, ruffling her hair a bit and giving her a breath of fresh air.
It was going to be alright.
Luv2Game: Hey! Thanks so much for your reviews. Yes, I always thought of von Karma as more of a mind game sort of person. But the thought occured to a friend of mine, and when looking at Franziska's flinching court-room sprite, the way she grabs herself and backs up almost looks like a child trying to move away from a blow. It was just a thought for this fic, but I definitely see your point! Thanks for the critique!
Hope you guys are still with me!