Small and Broken
A/N: This was written for the kink meme. The requester asked for a fluffy piece on the von Karma family. And while I tried to write fluff, it did not work. At all. So this turned into a character study of sorts. Written while listening to "Battlefield" by Jordin Sparks.
Also, quick note: Eleonore is the name I have given Manfred's elder daughter, the one he mentions in 1-4. It is not her official name. Some dates mentioned are made up by me, some are official. Enjoy.
Manfred becomes a father the first time in the fall of 1989.
His wife, a short woman sixteen years his junior, gives birth to a daughter at the end of September. They name her Eleonore, and she becomes the light of Manfred's life. The first few years of her life, the girl does not seem to fit into her shoes the right way. She walks before she talks, reads her books upside-down, and colours outside the lines. Still, she grows. The girl grows to have long, silken ebony hair, glittering green eyes and pale skin the shade of porcelain. She cannot play the piano well, nor can she recite Machiavelli at the drop of a hat, but Manfred loves her, imperfections and all.
When Eleonore is four, her mother dies suddenly in a car explosion. Manfred holds the sobbing girl in his arms at night when she awoke crying for her mother, or during the day when she started to look around the von Karma mansion, calling for her as if she would appear.
When Eleonore is eight, her father decides to remarry a girl only six years her senior. And when Eleonore is nine, she becomes a big sister.
In the winter of 1999, Manfred becomes a father a second time. He is away on business when he receives a frantic phone call one night in January that his wife is going into labour, and he hurries home as soon as he hangs up the phone. Still, he arrives too late: his second daughter is in the world and shrieking by the time he enters the room.
Franziska is everything Eleonore is not. By the time she is a year old however, she, too, loses her mother. Eleonore spends her eleventh and twelfth year in the world being a pseudo mother to her toddler sister while their father is away on business, but Manfred always returns after short day trips to his daughters.
The younger daughter, at a year old, could talk and walk. By the time she is two and a half, she is slowly becoming more and more the material Manfred is looking for to carry on his legacy. She begins to listen to her father read her passages from das Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch. She reads her books upside right, she colours inside the lines, she can recite Machiavelli if she needs to. She takes pride in filling that void, and is determined that no one else will ever need to.
But in June of 2002, Manfred becomes a father for the third time: he brings home Miles Edgeworth, a downtrodden American boy who the girls are unsure about at first. Manfred tells his daughters that "he lost his father", so they automatically decide to welcome him into their home with loving arms.
Despite having no mothers, the children all have a father, and the family seems perfect.
However, as the children grow, the family starts to crumble.
Eleonore and Manfred begin to fight. Viciously. Manfred will never smack her, since she is a woman and he has more respect than that. But words are exchanged, thrown around. And in 2007, when Eleonore turns eighteen, she moves out of the house and marries.
Franziska and Miles, while having grown close, develop a rivalry of sorts. Miles is just doing as he is told: being a prosecutor because that is what he has been taught since he was ten. Franziska, however, wants to be the perfection in Manfred's eyes, the one that he is proud to call his child after Eleonore and Miles disappear completely. It is no secret Franziska is the most loyal to her father out of the three, and she wants it to stay that way.
In the fall of 2011, Miles makes his debut as a prosecutor in the United States of America. Franziska is, of course, furious that he accomplished this goal before she did, and that he is leaving her behind. The two siblings that had become so close friends and confidantes find that they are estranged to each other, and in 2012 Franziska becomes a prosecutor herself in her homeland as a sort of self-declaration that no, she didn't need stupid, foolish Miles Edgeworth.
Still, no one is aware of the monster than is lurking within the dark cracks of the family; the death of everything that is awaiting when Miles steps onto that rowboat, or when Franziska watches her father walk out of the front door Christmas morning with a kiss to her forehead and a soft farewell, or when Eleonore turns on the television three days after the fact, her young daughter crying, "Grandpa!" from the living room.
When Manfred's crime is revealed, that cold December of 2016, Miles loses his second father, Eleonore feels a cold grip twist her heart until it cries for mercy and Franziska loses her soul.
The family is broken; damaged beyond all repair.
And when Manfred is finally put to death in the fall of 2017, not a single tear is shed.