So- part 2. I think it'll probably be 4-5 parts total, when I get round to writing them up from the plan (yes, there is a plan- and was that the sound of my GCSE English teacher fainting?). There'll probably be a similar amount of time between updates, what with my Uni work at the moment.
Disclaimer- Heh. I wish.
Thank you for all of the reviews- Demonslayer101, compa16, Reynold Black, Yautjan, Riddikulus-Grin, Dancing Feather, mochiusagi, TotallyGaga, StarzXAndXMoon, Shinigami Lupin, phishy, Forever the Uke, zara2148, gomenasai-for-everything and Fairady- faves and alerts on the last chapter. I'm so glad other people like this; I was rather nervous about the OCs and the extra talent thing.
Warning- same OCs, mild language, extensive dialogue and barely remembered foreign words. Any corrections welcome, if it bugs someone that much.
A disquieting feeling lingered as Apollo entered his office. He mentally catalogued Trucy's props and the odd bottle of grape juice Mr Wright had left behind.
Nothing was out of place since he'd left them earlier that afternoon. He resolved to ignore the feeling.
He jumped when the door slammed, announcing the arrival of the resident magician. Trucy started talking a mile a minute when she saw him about the show she had planned later that week and the different tricks she had to practise and-
Apollo casually spoke over her, asking, "Did you know that the drummer of your favourite former band is a completely infuriating excuse of a human being?"
Trucy kept talking for a moment, but he'd expected that. Then, as his question sank in, she stopped talking mid-sentence and stared at him.
Apollo fought the urge to shiver.
"You met Jem Whistle?" She asked, voice reverent for a moment. Then she frowned. "And you fell for his moody act? Honestly, Polly! I thought lawyers were meant to be good at reading people."
Apollo frowned dubiously. "If that was an act, he's in the wrong strand of entertaining." Definitely should have been an actor.
The magician rolled her eyes at him. "Did you at least get his autograph for me?" When the attorney coughed as though choking on something (disbelief, most likely), she pouted a little. "I have to complete my collection! C'mon Polly, help a girl out here. You're my best shot at doing this."
He shrugged. "For all I know, they're leaving tomorrow, Trucy," he said. The pout deepened, and she started on the puppy-eyes to match. Laughing a little, he relented. "Okay! I'll ask if I get a chance, if it's not too mortifying for me." He paused, thinking, in for a penny... "Do you need any others?"
Her eyes widened, in honest shock this time. "They're all here?" she whispered. Her devious mind imagined making Polly stutter out his request to all of the non-imprisoned band members. Even if I already have their autograph, she continued, when the image of a stuttering Apollo and a blushing Klavier took up residence in her brain and refused to leave.
Trucy grinned, and it wasn't entirely innocent.
For his part, Apollo wished he'd never made the offer.
Especially when it became clear that the band weren't planning to leave on the following day. A disgustingly cheerful (it was only eight-thirty in the morning; the office wasn't even open yet, God damn it) Damien Crescend waltzed in behind a moonstruck, on-her-way-to-school Trucy and placed one of the two cups of coffee in his hand down on Apollo's desk.
Apollo stared between the cup and the keyboardist for a second before grabbing the coffee and drinking half of it in three gulps, disregarding the near-scalding heat. Much to his embarrassment, a "Thank God, I love you," slipped out when his eyes were closed, enjoying the bitter taste.
Damien only grinned, taking it in spirit. "I bet you say that to anyone who brings you coffee," he teased. "Does it taste okay? Klavier said you took it black, one sugar."
Eyes shot open, and blinked a few times. "Gavin knows how I like my coffee?"
In the background, Trucy let out a giggle. Apollo's head turned at the sound, and he frowned at her. "Shouldn't you be getting to school? You do need to put in some kind of attendance this year."
"It's only the first term! You never learn anything important in the first term!" Trucy protested immediately.
Apollo's frown didn't let up. A moody, "Fine, see you later Polly!" reached his ears, followed by the sound of the front door slamming. He turned back to his more pressing problem.
"But seriously, Gavin knows how I like my coffee?" If Apollo was blushing (and he had a horrifying feeling that he was) he was determined to ignore it.
Damien let out a light chuckle. "Anyone ever tell you you've got a one-track mind?"
Apollo let out his own laugh. "Only once," he said completely seriously, knowing both of them knew it was a lie.
When the chuckles died down, Damien took up the torch for his German friend. "Is it really so surprising, given how much time you guys spend together now?" He silently thanked the little magician for the coffee-titbit, information he would be passing on to Klavier as soon as he got back. After being solemnly informed that 'Polly belonged to Mister Gavin; don't you try stealing him away now!' and informing her that that was the last thing on his agenda, she'd been amazingly helpful.
Apollo furrowed his brows and took another gulp of coffee. That disquieting feeling, that something was slightly out of place, was back again. But it made logical sense, he concluded. After all, he knew the German musician preferred hot chocolate to tea or coffee, and added as much extra sugar (via marshmallows and cream) as he could get away with whenever he had it. "I suppose not," is all he said to the question, meeting the man's eyes. "So why are you here? I presume it wasn't solely to bring me coffee."
Damien tried for innocent, and failed. "I could be that nice a person?" Then he shrugged. "Just wanted to thank you for yesterday. God knows how long we'd have been there otherwise, arguing."
The attorney raised an eyebrow. "I'm not a lawyer for nothing, you know," he said. "And I'm a passable musician. Gavin's a flamboyant one." He hadn't worked it out at the time (thanks to anger-inciting thrice-damned actor-musicians) but thinking back on the scene, he'd worked out what hadn't felt quite right about it. He laced his fingers together and placed his elbows on the desk, leaning forwards a little. With a smirk, he asked, "There's no way he was playing with his guitar like that all afternoon. So when did you detune it? And how didn't he notice for so long?"
Damien debated the wisdom of disclosing the fact that as far as blond-haired German prosecutors went, Apollo was entirely enough of a distraction. "When you walked in," he hedged. "He was more focussed on what you were doing, and left the guitar by the sofa."
"Hmm." Apollo nodded. "That just leaves the question of why?"
Damien felt himself start to sweat under the steady gaze. "Damn, but it's obvious why you're a lawyer," he muttered, before answering the question. "It's just a prank we play," he started, knowing the attorney would understand 'we' meant him, Valentino and Jem. "Yanno, making sure our Klavier's not making friends with idiots and all."
Apollo leant back again, face clearly showing confusion. "Not lying," the attorney mumbled to himself. "Or he doesn't think he is." He looked up again, disbelief prevalent. "You do this to all his friends?"
And just like that, Damien knew he could have control of the conversation again. With an easy smirk, he replied, "Nah, only the cute ones," and made his way to the door before Apollo could recover from his sudden coughing fit. "See you around, attorney," he waved, and made his way out into the winter sunshine.
It was the start to a beautiful day.
"I come bearing news!" Damien hollered into the silence of the flat, laden down with four more cups of hot drinks. He expertly manoeuvred around his discarded sleeping bag and none-too-gently kicked the lump in the occupied one. Laying the cups on the coffee table, he threw a pillow at the figure on the sofa and the more solid remote at Klavier's bedroom door. "Up and at 'em, bandies! The plan is underway!"
Valentino, on the couch, grumbled and rolled over, half-heartedly chucking the pillow back. Jem sat up, blinking away sleep and rubbing his side. "Is that coffee I smell?" he asked, eyes fixed on the steaming cups.
"Uh uh!" Damien moved them out of the drummer's reach. "Not until Klavier's here." He picked up the second remote, prepared to launch that next.
Jem shook his head, looking mournfully after the coffee. "Klav's in the shower; he wouldn't hear it anyway."
The keyboardist only smirked and went to the closed door himself. "Klavier? There's an attorney here asking to see you!" He yelled loud enough to be heard over the singing coming from behind the wood.
Jem snorted, and Valentino growled, apparently giving up on sleep. "Ti odo," he muttered. "Where's the expresso?"
Damien slouched into the armchair and grinned. "I got a love declaration from the last person I bought coffee for." His grin turned devious as he heard Klavier finally make it to the living room. "The little attorney was most appreciative."
There was a strangled noise from the bathroom door. "He loves you?" His voice grew petulant. "He hasn't even said he likes me." Klavier glanced around his apartment. "I assume the 'asking to see me' was a transparent attempt to get me into the living room?"
Jem snorted. "Transparent or not, it worked." He stretched out a hand for his cup. "Gimme the coffee, Crescend."
"Why were you buying Herr Forehead coffee, Damien?" Klavier accepted his drink- the only one which wasn't coffee- and glared at his keyboardist. Damien raised his now free hand in the typical I surrender gesture.
"I didn't actually mean to! But there was this girl outside the shop and I remember her helping your little attorney out during- that case. She happened to mention something you might want to know." He trailed off, laughing at how Klavier's irritation increased. "Mr Justice takes his coffee black, with one sugar only."
The blond frowned and sank down into the couch. "How does that help me?"
Damien stared disbelievingly at him, and Valentino looked up from his cup to do the same. Jem, entirely disinterested in the conversation, just cuddled his coffee and tried to wake up.
"Klavier." Their bassist spoke very slowly, as though explaining to a child. "Mr Justice is a lawyer. Worse than that; unlike you, he's a lawyer who works very hard for the people who hire him." He ignored the prosecutor's indignant Hey! and carried on. "Which means very long hours, and very few breaks outside of those he manages to win in a courtroom."
Damien picked up the explanation. "Which means on any given day of the week, he's going to have more caffeine in his veins than blood. Which means that you have an opening." He looked at Klavier, expecting the blond to work out the rest for himself.
Klavier still looked clueless. "I need to drag him away to take breaks? Make him start looking after himself?"
Damien face palmed while Valentino muttered, "At least he appreciates that Justice has some manly pride issues."
Jem looked up at this. "He didn't say, I'll start looking after him," the bassist explained.
Jem 'ah'ed' and went back to ignoring the lot of them.
"What was wrong with that?" Klavier almost begged. Valentino clocked him upside the head.
"You're meant to start bringing him coffee," Damien said. "Not try to stop him working, or he'll only fret and resent you."
The blond looked sceptical. "Bringing him coffee will make him fall in love with me?" He looked steadily at both of them.
Damien sent the same look back and Valentino nodded sagely. "Believe me; I'm Italian."
"Only half," the German muttered. "But you're completely insane."
"Oh, for the love of-" Jem broke off. "Just try it once and quit bitching about it already. If it doesn't work, you've lost nothing."
The other three stared at him. "What?" he growled defensively. "I'm not allowed to take an interest?"
"You normally don't," was Klavier's cautious reply.
"That's because normally you decide to fall in love with idiots, musically speaking. This one has hope." He started to shrink beneath the disbelieving stares levelled at him. "Okay, and the sooner Klavier gets anywhere with him the sooner he stops whining about it."
The German was immediately on the defensive. "I don't whine! Damien, do I whine?" He turned pleadingly to his keyboardist, eyes beseeching.
Damien coughed awkwardly. "'Course not."
"Until now," Valentino added with a smirk.
"Okay!" Damien cut in before the argument started. Klavier reluctantly lowered the pillow he'd been about to throw. "Plan of action, now?"
"What's in that file he brought you yesterday?" Jem asked, remembering how the guitarist had tossed it aside.
"Details for our last case; wrapping up the paperwork." Klavier said dismissively. "What about it?"
"Start there," Valentino immediately advised. "Read the file, add your work..." He questioned hesitantly, "You did actually do the work on that case, right?"
"Yes!" Klavier snapped. "Maybe I don't work as extensively as Herr Forehead, but I get the job done."
"Right. So, add your work to the file, and go drop it at his office. Sit and chat for a couple of minutes, less if he looks uncomfortable or like he just plain wants you gone."
Klavier raised an eyebrow.
Valentino huffed in annoyance. "And if it doesn't work, come back and bitch and moan about it to your heart's content, and we'll break out the ice cream and chocolate in sympathy."
"That another Italian thing?" Jem tossed at the bassist.
Said Italian (half, really) smirked right back. "Actually, that I learnt from you Americans."
"Oi, ladies!" Damien played peacemaker again. "Shall we take this to the office then?"
"Just let me grab a shower," Valentino groused, while Jem simply pulled jeans and a t-shirt on.
"And then, my good Gavinners, Plan: Attorney begins!"
Apollo sneezed again, and looked longingly at the window. Maybe he should take a break? Just long enough to grab another coffee?
No. He had to finish this file first.
He absently wondered if he'd get the file back from his prosecuting rival within the next week. The papers passed between their offices tended to be the ones filed anywhere up to a month later than they should.
The doorbell chimed, and he plastered his 'serious attorney' face on (the one most clients seemed to appreciate) to cover his 'desperately needing coffee/distracting/a paycheck' expression. Then noticed it was the German he'd just been thinking of, and settled for a 'is this urgent? I need to work, unlike some people I know' frown.
Gavin smiled at him. Apollo continued to frown. "What do you want?" he asked, half-dreading the answer.
"No need to look so worried, Herr Forehead," Gavin flicked his hair back over his shoulder. "I'm just here to return your file."
Apollo tried to think of any files he'd sent the Prosecutor in the last month. Except for the one yesterday, he was coming up blank. "Yesterday's file?" he clarified, uncertain. "The Levallois case? I wasn't expecting that for at least a week."
Gavin shrugged, drawing attention to the papers in his hand. "It's promising to be a slow week. Why do you think everyone's come to visit now?"
Apollo made a noise of understanding and held his hand out for the completed files. Skimming them quickly, he realised the German had actually followed procedure, his additions clear and concise. Apollo looked up in time to see Gavin- fidgeting? Feeling the attorney's eyes on him, the blond quickly shoved his hands in his pockets.
"Thanks, Gavin," he said sincerely. It would be nice to have his papers in order, for once. A smile threatened to break free; Apollo reckoned it was time to kick the prosecutor out.
"You're welcome," was said quietly in reply. "Herr Forehead." This was louder; Klavier nodded at him and went to leave.
"See you around, Gavin," Apollo called after him. The man deserved some kind of reply, he felt; Apollo had assumed that he'd use his visiting friends as an excuse to not work until they'd left again.
The words sparked a memory of his conversation with Trucy, and Apollo groaned, already regretting his next actions.
He leapt up after the prosecutor and caught him before the blond was out of earshot down the street. "Gavin!"
Klavier turned, looking confused. He retraced his steps at the attorney's beckoning.
Apollo had one hand keeping the door open as the other scratched at the back of his neck nervously. "Er... it's just... Trucy!" he got out, nearly stuttering. "Trucy... was wondering if she could get your friends' autographs before they leave? Although she might've got Crescend's already..." he trailed off, disconcerted by the reappearance of Gavin's grin.
"A set of autographs for the Fraulien, hm? Not a second made out to 'the adorable Herr Forehead' also?" Gavin had the same look in his eye that he'd had at the park on their first meeting. Apollo scoffed to hide his sudden blush.
"If I wanted your autograph, I'd ask for it," he muttered. "Not that I don't already have it on all the paperwork we sign off between us."
"So that's why you're so insistent on all the paperwork I return to you," Nothing could ruin Klavier's mood at that moment. "You just want to increase your collection, ja?" He ruffled the attorney's hair, laughing as hands immediately came up to bat his away. "I'll put in a word for you, Herr Forehead. Until next time." He waved and made to leave for the second time.
Apollo didn't call him back again.
Growling, he stomped back to the office until he found a mirror, and straightened his hair back into its normal style. "I'm not making a collection of his autographs," he told his reflection. "Although," he mused, "there's probably quite the profit to be made in selling them on." Finally satisfied with his spikes, he returned to his desk.
"Did he really call me adorable?"
Apollo's mind ground to a halt as he recalled the comment, along with the look in Gavin's eye as he said it.
His gaze locked on to his empty mug; Apollo agreed with his subconscious and decided coffee was the perfect remedy for his confusion.
One steaming cup later, he felt ready to work again.
The man's a tease. That's it. He's always tried to make you react; isn't that why he calls you 'Herr Forehead' in the first place?
Crisis averted, it was a cheerier attorney who settled back into his chair, pen in hand and papers waiting to be filled out.
Klavier closed the door to his office and was immediately accosted by his band mates.
"So how did it go?"
Mulling it over, like he had for the entire walk back, Klavier considered. "Hard to tell, really. He was happy about the paperwork though. Oh, and he wants your autographs for his sister."
"See?" Damien clapped him on the back. "This is progress already!"
Even Jem looked sceptical at that comment.
"Well, it is!" the keyboardist defended his point. "You didn't tick your little attorney off this time, did you?"
Valentino nodded agreeably until Klavier's expression turned sheepish. "Madre de dios," he muttered. "You didn't bring coffee, did you? We told you to wait on that; Damien beat you to the punch there."
"I don't need blow-by-blow instructions, you know?" Klavier protested, as he sank into his desk chair. "I have managed relationships without your input in the past. And no, I didn't bring coffee; twice in one day's too suspicious." His tone lowered as he added the next bit: "I just ruffled his hair a little."
Valentino glared at him. "Are you taking this seriously? Do you want him to hate you?"
Klavier opened his mouth to reply, but Jem beat him to it. "Actually," the drummer cut in, "This isn't totally awful."
Even Damien looked surprised at his contribution. "I don't fancy any chocolate at the moment," he snapped, before continuing his previous statement. "Come on, Justice's gonna catch on at some point, if Klavier keeps teasing him like he does."
There was a long pause.
"Huh," Damien finally said. "That was almost insightful."
Valentino shot the drummer a wicked grin. "Just wait; soon all you'll be missing is the other X-chromosome."
"I will hurt you," Jem retorted. He started counting off revenge pranks on his fingers. "First- I'll break his bass strings, yeah- they're a bitch to replace. Then I'll cut his hair while he's sleeping, crash his car- the Lamborghini, not the crappy one he drives for convenience..."
As Jem continued mumbling, Klavier tried to re-direct the conversation. "Do my actions pass inspection, then?" he asked, sarcasm evident.
"So you acted like yourself, and Justice didn't notice any change?" Valentino summarised, ignoring the threatened acts against his person.
Klavier rolled his eyes, but nodded with a sinking feeling.
"My friend," Damien's tone was the most serious it had been for the whole conversation. "We have a long way to go."
The German groaned, and leaned forwards until his head met the desk.