author's note:

Fandom: Pokemon AU GameVerse.

Characters: Anthea, N, Ghetsis, Miss Harmonia (N's non-existant Mom), and Concordia

Rating: T

Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into?

All right, bear with me here: A couple days ago, the idea that Anthea would be the most badass lawyer hit me. Blame the hilarious story The Psychosis of N, which mentioned Unova's Law School or something. My brain started creating an AU and I was listening way too much Panic! At the Disco and this was born.

God, I just killed about three 'ands' in that last sentence.

It's a two-shot, btw.

-RV


Vices & Virtues

There's nothing criminal about being drop dead gorgeous.


"My name is Anthea Baltimore, and I have no intentions of losing this case." She stared, her eyes glinting with a feral glaze so dangerous, so tantalizing, that the camera simply couldn't stay away from her. She was moving poetry, the way she spoke, stood, and defended. Her cases were fantastic, absolutely bulletproof, and her opponents tended to back down as soon as she took the podium. She was vicious, she was deadly, but she was beautiful.

That's what counted - beauty and grace under fire, under pressure. That won a case over confidence and evidence. You needed to make the audience feel your pain, your rage, oh so carefully cultivated under a wonderful facade.

Anthea was the textbook example of what a perfect lawyer should be, what a perfect defense attorney needed to be. So, when she was approached with defending the natural rights of a boy (of seventeen years) she took the case.

She immediately regretted it. She stared at the case papers that night, hollow inside, unfeeling, unmoving. She didn't know what to say.

She knew one thing, however, she knew that she needed to win. She was the lawyer who never lost, and she was sure as hell that she wasn't going to let this boy down.

After all, this was the boy she met so many years ago. This was the boy she made that promise to.


The scene changes, the script is set. Eight years before the case that would decide her fate, seventeen year old Anthea Baltimore strolled through the front door of the Castelia Court House. The dark gray suit she wore was one size too big, a hand-me down from her older sister, Concordia Baltimore. Her pink hair was slicked back in a pony tail, revealing the darkest pair of blue eyes, ablaze with dim curiosity. She held a black briefcase, leather and tattered, also a hand-me down.

That day would be her first day as a defense attorney. She was shaking, shaking in fear and in nervousness, what if she was awful, what if she didn't win the case?

Anthea quickly shook her head. No, she wouldn't allow such negative thoughts to plague her, not now. She took a deep breath and walked through the glass doors, made her way towards the main courtroom, and was about to open the door when she was stopped by a small voice.

"Are you...are you here for the trial?" Anthea turned around, looking for the source of the voice. The boy cleared his throat, and Anthea looked down to see a little green-haired boy, with the prettiest pair of gray eyes. He wore an orange t-shirt and brown cargo pants, and a Menger's sponge was hanging around his neck. Anthea ducked down to his level, and tilted her head, wondering why this boy had called her out.

"Yes, I am." she smiled. "Why are you here, are you lost?"

The boy shook his head and his gaze darted to his feet. "N-no...it's just...um..." he fumbled with his words, and Anthea quirked an eyebrow, and waited for him to continue.

"M-my mom, is in there. She's...um...the de-defendant, I think," he grew quiet and clasped his hands together.

Anthea blinked, and then let out a sigh. "She's my client, then. I didn't realize that Miss Harmonia's child was here. Well, how about this. What's your name?"

The boy muttered something, and Anthea asked him to repeat himself. "My name is...N."

Anthea got up from her crouching stance, and patted the boy's head. She thought he was a curiosity, he must have had a full name, but probably didn't want to tell her. That had to be it. "Okay, N. I'm going to go inside now. Would you like to come in?"

N shook his head furiously. "N-no, I would not like that. I'll...stay out here." His words came out slurred and hurriedly, and Anthea pursed her lips. An idea came to her and she fished through her briefcase, papers sloshing about, and retrieved a wrinkled dollar bill. She handed it to the child.

"Here, go buy yourself a Casteliacone. I'll get someone to get you when the case is over."

N took the dollar bill, carefully, and stuffed it into his pocket. "...Miss, will you win the case?"

"Of course. Promise." Anthea smiled, and the boy stuck out his hand, pinky extended. She took her pinky and wrapped it around the small boy's. Pinky promise.

"Goodbye, N." Anthea walked away from the small boy, who scurried away into the Castelia streets. She entered the court room, eyes set on the goal of freeing the boy's mother, ready for what the prosecutor had against her.

"Case number two hundred and thirty three, Harmonia versus Harmonia." The judge presiding over the case banged his gavel against the podium, signaling the beginning of court. "The defendant, Miss Harmonia, has been charged with kidnapping, child abuse, and tampering of evidence-"

"That's not true!" The woman's sharp shriek echoed in the otherwise silent courtroom, her body shaking with wracking sobs. It took all of Anthea's self-control (and pride) not to get up and comfort the brunette woman with gray eyes. She was the defense attorney, she needed to show control. Anthea bit her tongue, making sure that she didn't utter a sound, not until the judge was done speaking and it was time for her to speak.

"Miss Harmonia, I ask that you refrain from any impulsive outbursts, this is court." The smooth as ice, persuasive as a gunshot, voice of the best prosecutor in all of Unova, Ingo Crowley adjusted his black coat collar, arching a white eyebrow. Anthea clenched her fists, and Miss Harmonia shuddered in her creme ecru dress. She mumbled an apology and held fast to the chair she was sitting on, and Anthea felt a pang of pity for the young woman. She was only a couple years her senior, most likely.

The judge continued, as the petitioner grinned slyly, dark red eyes glinting in manic joy.

Anthea gulped, but shook her head, as Ingo Crowley began his case against Miss Harmonia. As he spoke, captivating the jury's attention, painting disastrous pictures of a vicious woman striking against her only son, Anthea couldn't help but feel the urge to hurl, to run out of that court room. The law school at Castelia had only prepared her so much; it didn't tell her anything about the emotional strife that seemed to overflow in the room.

She held her side gingerly, and hoped that the feeling would subside soon. She flexed her fingers, as Ingo left the podium, ready for cross examination. Anthea took her place on the speaker's podium, blue eyes glinting with fierceness that caused Ingo's perpetual frown to deepen.

"Anthema Baltimore has the floor," the judge's words were cut short with a curt reply.

"It's Anthea, Anthea Baltimore, your honor. Thank you for allowing me to speak. Now," she turned away from the judge and towards Crowley, her lips twisting into a sad smile.

"Mr. Crowley, please, explain to me this: in your case, you stated that Miss Harmonia was seen driving away with her son, N, from their home in northern Unova, headed towards Castelia, correct?"

Ingo nodded slowly, arching an eyebrow. "Yes, that is true. Miss Harmonia was the last person who had N in their vehicle before they were found in Castelia City."

"Where's the evidence that she had bad intentions with taking N to Castelia?"

Ingo blinked twice. "Miss Harmonia didn't have the custody of the child, which correlates with kidnapping."

Anthea clicked her tongue, and took a mental note. "Mr. Crowley, where is the evidence that she had the intention of kidnapping the child?"

Ingo bristled under the comment, and let out a scoff. "Miss Baltimore, I believe that your circular logic is quite annoying - get to the point."

"You do not have any evidence, or a simple confession from Miss Harmonia stating that she had the intention of taking her son from her father and never coming back. Did I miss something?"

Ingo Crowley's lips twitched in distaste. "No," he replied curtly. Anthea smiled politely once more and took her seat. She prepared her cases, checked them over, and over again.

They needed to be perfect, she couldn't afford a margin of error. When she was satisfied, Anthea clicked her pen and stood from her table. She walked up to the speaker's podium and faced the jury, blue eyes piercing, daring them to say something.

It was quiet, and she began to speak.

"First of all, I would like to point out the various reasons that the defendant, Miss Harmonia, is innocent," there was a pause, as the crowd began to murmur among themselves. Anthea smiled, slightly, taking a breath before continuing. "-then I will proceed to go down the reasons why Mr. Crowley's case against my client is flawed."

The murmurs hushed and Ingo Crowley glared. The petitioner leaned forward from his seat, wavy tea-green hair brushing against his broad shoulders. His red eyes flashed with suppressed anger, something Anthea brushed off with another spiel.

"Now, to begin. First of all, Miss Harmonia was found in Castelia City, with her son, on a weekend that she did not have custody on the child. Mr. Crowley wants you to believe that it was a kidnapping attempt - I have evidence to prove otherwise." Anthea fished a piece of paper from her briefcase, and when she found it, she placed it on the podium. "According to this transcript of a phone call exchanged between Ghetsis Harmonia and Miss Harmonia, at two thirty-five P.M., the outing was planned months ahead. Miss Harmonia was to go to Castelia with their son for a family get together, nothing criminal about it."

Ingo Crowley began scrawling notes in his little black notebook, glaring daggers at the rose-haired girl. She continued.

"The opposition might wonder why Miss Harmonia would take the child on a weekend she didn't have custody. I have an answer." Anthea took out another piece of paper, and raised it up in the air. "This was to be the last time Miss Harmonia had a chance to be with her son before her husband moved out of the region."

A gasp shook the room, as Miss Harmonia's tear streaked face twisted into a mask of relief. Ghetsis Harmonia snarled behind his prosecutor, red eyes absolutely vicious.

The judge's gavel slammed against the desk, as the crowd subsided to easy silence. Ingo Crowley let out a hiss, and cursed in his native language - "Sie liegen Stück Scheiße!" - as Anthea tilted her head ever so slightly, looking quite at ease in her gray suit, in her disastrous world.

"Miss Harmonia is innocent. I now yield my time to the floor." Anthea Baltimore stepped down from the podium and returned to her seat.

The jury delegated. The judge stared. The prosecutor growled.

Anthea waited. Miss Harmonia shuddered.

Ghetsis wanted blood.

Hours later, the case was over, and Miss Harmonia was declared innocent of her crimes. She returned with her son, and they left, leaving Ghetsis alone in the courtroom. He kicked and thrashed, overturning tables, bloodlust evident in his eyes.

Anthea picked up her belongings, and headed out.

She was intercepted at the door, pushed against a wall, a hand at her neck. She screamed and yelled, but no one heard her. Ghetsis shouted obscenities, called her stupid, a joke, a disgrace, how dare she humiliate the great Ghetsis Harmonia?

Anthea pleaded and tried her best to escape. She was only a girl, only a girl who had filled in for her older sister - a girl who was still learning, who still had places to go. She couldn't die yet, not yet!

He grinned maliciously, and promised he would let her go. If she came with him.

She thought of the outcomes, the possibilities; none of them looked bright.

But she did as he said. She went with him, to save her life.

Her outcome? Scars that would never heal, that would never disappear.


"Anthea, Anthea? Oh, God, she's totally out!" A high-pitched voice, filled with concern, shook the air, as Anthea stirred. A warm hand cupped her cheek, poking and prodding, hoping to get her attention. Anthea opened her eyes, and found herself looking at her older sister, Concordia Baltimore.

"Oh."

Concordia let out a sharp sigh, as she hung her head. "Anthea, you worried me sick! You fainted out of the blue, and the paramedics were here and everything! What happened to you?" The blonde woman's voice was sharp, stern, but Anthea couldn't help but sympathize with her. It was obvious that Concordia had a point - Anthea's fainting spells were something that plagued the Baltimore family for years now.

"I'm sorry, Concordia. It's...I, I just don't feel good."

"About...?"

"Everything. Sure, I acted all tough and great in front of those cameras, but...the truth is, I'm scared out of my wits." Anthea admitted with a sigh, picking at the chipped black nail polish on her right thumb. Concordia let out a pitiful sigh as she gracefully wrapped her thin arms around Anthea's shoulder, giving the girl a comforting squeeze.

"You'll do great, Anth. Promise. I mean, you're bloody fantastic out there. Better than I ever was, honestly. So, please, don't let your nerves get to you." Concordia gave her younger half-sister a slight smile, and Anthea found herself nodding, and carefully unlatching Concordia's arms from her shoulders. She didn't like being touched. She hated people touching her shoulders.

"Thank you, Concordia." Anthea got up from her seat, a seat she just realized she was sitting on, and brushed off her form-fitting black suit. Concordia nodded and checked Anthea's suit over, for any stray piece of lint or dust - she was good with those things, Anthea remembered.

"All right, Anth. You look great. Knock 'em dead."

The pep talk came with double meaning. Anthea knew that to win this case, the petitioner would seriously have to drop dead in the middle of the case.

But no matter - Anthea bid her farewell and returned to the main lobby of Castelia's only court house, hoping to find her defendant before the trial began. She skipped the crowded areas, knowing full well that her defendant would not be there. She headed towards the Casteliacone stand on Mode Streets, two blocks away from the courthouse. Walking in a decent pace in her black heels, Anthea was simply another face in the crowd filled with clerks from the various offices on Main Street. The only difference was her rose hair, but that wasn't even that scandalous in a city where trends came from the most obscure places.

Upon arriving to the ice cream stand, Anthea looked around. She checked every possible nook and cranny of the street, hoping to catch sight of tea green hair. No luck. Sighing, she made a right at the end of Mode Street, and headed towards Narrow Street, where her on and off favorite café, Café Sonata, stood, in a sea of strife and noise. She slipped through the grime-stained glass doors, and smiled slightly when she found the boy she was to defend in case.

"N, you shouldn't be running off before the case."

The boy stirred, and turned to see his lawyer. His gray eyes seemed lifeless, flat, and Anthea was simply assuming here, frightened. He motioned for her to come closer, and she did so, taking a seat across from him. She placed her elbows on the table, and placed her chin on her hands, while arching an eyebrow in questioning.

N sighed, and fidgeted with his Menger's Sponge, hooked around his belt loop. His eyes looked everywhere but Anthea, until she let out a sigh.

"All right, whatever. Whenever you're ready to say something, I'll be here." Anthea leaned back in her chair and waited.

N bit his lower lip, and took a deep breath. "GhetsisevilandI'mscaredyou'llloseandIdon'twanttostaywithhim."

Anthea carefully dissected the sentence uttered in a breath, as she shook her head.

"I won't lose, N. I refuse to allow you to stay with that horrible man. He may be your father, but he has completely fucked up your life."

N's eyes winced at the use of language, and Anthea shrugged.

"Sorry, N. I forgot your low tolerance for cursing. Trust me, this situation called for it."

"...well...thank you." N muttered, a breathy whisper. Anthea nodded and stood from her chair. N slowly followed suit, and they left the café, not another word uttered until they reached the courtroom floor.