A/N: This is my highly ambitious multi-chapter story that I have planned to do, and with most highly ambitious things, they never seem to stick... its why I mostly stay with oneshots. However, I love this pairing so ta-da! We have the beginning of a mult-chap fic! Let's just hope it lasts. ;)
Its going to be in the style of Adrian's chapter, Franziska's chapter, etc etc. Please drop a review at the end if you like it, or for some con crit! I know its pretty short, so I see this more as a prologue than a chapter... but it's called Chapter One anyway. :)
It was 1:26 am when Adrian returned back to her apartment. The LCD lights from her alarm clock glowed an eye-straining red in the darkness of her living room, (the clock had been moved with the number of sleepless nights she had been having), and Adrian flicked on the light switch beside the door to get rid of the nuisance. This seemed to do even more damage, as Adrian noticed with a small dip of the stomach how messy her apartment was.
She had been concentrating so much on her work recently that she hadn't had time for anything else. It didn't matter anyway as she never had any visitors around her flat, an aspect that she wasn't expecting to change anytime soon. She hadn't had anyone around her apartment for a long time; the last person was probably Celeste. Actually, no it was Celeste. The realization that she had no real friends depressed her and she decided to think about something else.
Guava Lights was the restaurant that she had just finished promoting, and just like its name, everything was linked to the guava fruit. The logo was a picture of a guava cut in half sitting on a plate, all the dishes that they served somehow contained an element of guava, and the menu would have a key for how guava-y a dish was (five guavas for a lot, one guava for a sprinkle). Even the upholstery hadn't been neglected in terms of a guava. With green leather seating, green wallpaper, green tables (if you were actually interested, you could peer underneath to find a pink underbelly) and the owner had even stretched to go far as having green cutlery. When Adrian first stepped inside, she thought she had been transported to the Emerald City in Oz and felt she needed some green-tinted glasses to match.
It was a challenge. In reality, it should have plummeted.
It didn't. It was a big hit with critics, who gave it labels like 'fresh' 'original' 'quirky' and the public were keenly looking forward to the opening that was due next week. With the great success of Adrian's promoting, the owner, Dino Gestible, had, with a persisting generosity, persuaded her to stay for the celebrations.
Come now! You deserve a time to just let yourself go, Ms. Andrews!
Of course she had stayed, (what else was she going to do?) and made sure that what she was drinking was just guava juice; she had a long car drive home. It had been fun, and for her second job she was glad that there had been no complications this time round. To not be involved in a court case was quite refreshing.
She hung her coat up on the peg hook behind her, and took in the amount of damage. As soon as anyone entered the front door, they could instantly see the state of the living room and the open plan kitchen next to it. From her current position she could see all the coffee mugs that were dumped in the sink, along with a few small plates jarring in odd angles when she actually felt like cooking something instead of ordering take out. There were cardboard pizza boxes stored to one side for recycling, along with the dustbin brimming to the top with 'for one' ready meals. Turning away from the cooking area, the living room was even worse. Her clothes were chucked carelessly onto the couch along with one pair of pyjamas, coffee mugs that didn't make their ways to the kitchen were glued to the small wooden table that stood at the centre of the room, paperwork that she hadn't organized were strewn on the floor and she thought she even spied a piece of toast that sat next to the TV.
The last one puzzled her, as she didn't normally have time for toast, and she certainly hadn't had time to watch TV. She thought about it for a moment, and then remembered the catastrophe of when she hit the toaster in her impatience for it to cook. Ah, so that's where it went.
She looked back to her alarm clock, and picked off the sock that was draped on top of it. It was now 1:32. That meant that in Germany it would be 9:32 the next day, and that Franziska would definitely be in her office, unless she had a case and was at the crime scene. Adrian inwardly debated whether or not she should ring the prosecutor, but it didn't take long, as she slowly picked up the receiver.
It had been a year since she had seen the prosecutor, and it had been four months since she had been out of jail. In those four months she had remained in contact with the prosecutor, having kept that number she had been given since she left.
'I'm leaving for Germany tomorrow. Here is the number for my office, if you ever feel the need to talk.'
At first she doubted whether or not the prosecutor actually wanted to talk to her or not, but she figured from what she knew of the woman, Franziska von Karma didn't do anything unless she meant it. So, keeping that thought in mind when she pressed in the numbers in the keypad of the nearest public phone after her release, she called her. It was quite awkward for Adrian at first. She had planned what she was going to say, but as soon as she heard a crisp speech in German on the other end, the only words she recognised being 'Franziska von Karma', her mind went blank. As soon as Franziska had realised who it was, she filled the gaps and once the conversation was over, Adrian was already making plans for her new life, a new spring in her step.
Their conversations were not so awkward anymore and whenever Adrian called she always made a point to have a purpose. It was normally an update on what she had been doing recently at work, (it wasn't as if Franziska could relate to anything else) and she had talked a lot during the last case she was involved in at Lordly Tailor. It was such a nightmare then, but at least the exhibit did well because of it, I suppose…
After she had dialled the phone number she had now got memorized, she listened patiently as the call connected through. Thinking of her first few sentences in her mind, she nearly missed the answer phone message that had been left behind.
"Ah – Ms von …" She started only to be over-run by a German voice on the other end that spoke in the automatic style of an answer phone message. Not understanding a word, Adrian hung up halfway through and wondered if she was on a case.
She shouldn't be, the last time I called she said she hadn't got many cases for a while…
Adrian felt an onset of panic seep in, and struggled not to think of the worst.
She might have had a last minute case, or she's in a meeting, or she might have just needed the toilet…
Despite these rational thoughts, Adrian still wasn't mollified. Stumbling over her shoes that she had just kicked off onto the beige carpet (such an ugly colour, she really needed to go change that at some point) she felt her hands begin to shake.
Pathetic! Stop acting so pathetic! Adrian scolded herself. There was no reason for to be acting so… foolish. The one time she hadn't been able to contact Franziska and she nearly breaks down? Get a grip, woman!
Adrian tilted her head slightly to the left, and sighed as her gaze stayed on the white landline. She thought she had begun to change after that case. When she had first left the prison, after that first phone call, she had walked past one of those car-boot sales. On a whim she had bought a plant, some kind of small plant that she didn't know the name of. It had three sturdy stems branching out from the middle, curved spiky leaves drooping from the centre with bright green tips. She didn't know what possessed her to buy it, it had no use and it required her to actually look after it, but at the time it seemed like the most natural thing to do. It lived on the kitchen table-top, which probably wasn't the most hygienic place, but it seemed to fit sitting next to the phone, and so it had stayed.
It was a big step, buying things that didn't have any practical use. She changed her outfit, changed her outlook on life, and she thought that she had changed her habits. Working as a promoter had its positives. After she advertised, she never had to see any of her customers – there was no chance of becoming dependent on any of them, or so she thought. She hadn't realised that after all this time, even during that case, she had already latched onto someone else.
Franziska knew about her self-dependency, about her illness, so why had she bothered to keep in contact? It was something Adrian still hadn't figured out yet. Celeste had been guarded to say the least, when she knew about her… problem. Franziska must have already known about her past before she had talked with her, but it obviously hadn't been an issue. Adrian recalled her conversation with Wright and his assistant during her promotion for the Kurain Exhibit – or more famously known as the Atemy Murder Case, (even though it wasn't Atemy who was murdered, and no one was even murdered at the exhibit…) when they had spoke about Franziska.
"I owe a lot to Ms. Von Karma! We are still in contact, actually. I told her about this exhibit – she said she met you for the first time on a case in Kurain, is that true?"
"O-oh, yeah. We did meet there."
"Oh yeah! Man I thought I was dead so many times over when she was the prosecution. The amount of times she whipped Nick, it felt like I was just that bit closer to my execution!"
"W-wait, you were the defendant?!"
Adrian hadn't known Maya that well, all she had known was that she was Mr. Wright's assistant. It was a strange combination, part assistant, part spirit-medium. Let alone being in line for the next master. Adrian smiled as she remembered the teenager scoffing down her meal as fast as she could. Mr. Wright had looked embarrassed, but Adrian didn't know if that was because of her manners or because it looked like he hardly fed the girl. She looked too happy; it was like she had given a meal to some poor homeless guy, roughing it out in his shabby green trench coat.
But that girl was the same age as Franziska… they would both be nineteen now. Despite that, their mannerisms and personality were complete contrasts. Mr. Wright had continued to explain about Maya's absence during that case, and how he had been forced to defend Matt. She had given a little smile at the time and said, 'That makes a lot of sense.'
When Maya had asked how Franziska was, Adrian had gone to tell them all about her work in Germany. Maya looked genuinely interested, but when Adrian looked over to Mr. Wright, he had just looked a bit distant. She had asked, and he had frowned.
"Franziska von Karma… she's still the same as ever then, I guess."
"What do you mean, Mr Wright?"
"Well," He had paused, with a look of uncomfort. He was probably used to not saying bad things about Franziska, and even turned around as if to ascertain if she was nearby or not, "She was always going on about winning and stuff, and she would always do whatever it took to get that 'Guilty' verdict. Manipulating the witnesses, that sort of thing."
"If she gets the criminal in jail, then she's doing the right thing – It's the police's job to get the right suspect and it's her job to get them guilty, surely?"
"Well, if the police department in Germany are anything they are like here – "
"Ooh, ooh! Could you imagine Nick? A German Gumshoe! Instead of a goatee he would have one of those short moustaches and he would say 'Ich nein, pal!'"
The conversation was then on a more steady ground with that change of topic. Despite her better judgement, those words had remained stuck in her mind. 'Manipulating the witnesses, that sort of thing.' Is that what Franziska had done to her? Was she just another piece for her to use, in order to achieve that guilty verdict? Mr. Wright would probably have said so, but Adrian didn't want to believe it. If that were true, why had she allowed her to ring after all these months?
Without a second thought, Adrian redialled her number again. The dialling tone processed, but her heart sunk as she heard the sixth beep until it clicked into the scramble of German. She hung up and wondered what she was supposed to do now.
Despite Franziska's intentions, Adrian hadn't realised that there was a translated message for her at the end.
"Franziska von Karma speaking; I will not be able to take any calls in Germany for a few days, as I will be prosecuting a last minute case in America. Do not leave a message, and contact me in America only if it is highly important. I will be back by the 27th of December..."