It's Not Easy Wearing Red.
A Collaboration by Spadework2 & Kongu123
Characters belong to their usual creators and businesses.
Prologue: A Fateful Encounter
Date: January 2027
A man walks the dark streets of L.A. He follows wherever his feet will take him, not really thinking of where he is going and not having a target destination in mind. His breath crystallizes in the cold January air. His body then shivers, but it is not caused by the weather, but an important thought that keeps appearing in his mind. A thought that shakes him to the very core. He looked up at the nights sky and sighed...
'….I have a family...'
Apollo Justice, Attorney of Law, orphaned when he was baby, who spent most of his childhood and short adult life alone, has just found out that he is not alone in the world any longer.
Shock filled Apollo when he was told that Trucy was his sister and that Lamiroir (AKA Thalassa Gramarye) was his mother. The revelation was...shocking at best for Apollo. Many different feelings stirred up inside him when the news was revealed. Anger at being abandoned by a mother he thought to be dead, fear at being part of a new family, happiness at no longer being alone...but all of these feelings then swirled into a pit of confusion and shock that had settled in his stomach. Apollo had to leave the building...take a walk...clear his head...
Apollo stared at the stars for awhile trying to grab hold of the spiral that his life has become. It was only then that he genuinely realized how cold he was. He felt foolish for not taking his jacket when he left the office earlier and he still didn't feel ready going back to his...'family.' He looked around for a warm refuge. As if to answer his wishes, a neon sign flashed grabbing his attention. 'Freedom. Bar and Entertainment' it said. Apollo smiled slightly.
'Well, I guess that sign is...well...a sign. And I could use a drink right now. Calm my nerves and warm me up.'
Apollo pushed open the large door to the bar. It took awhile for Apollo's eyes to adjust to the dim lights, but from the little amount he saw he could tell it wasn't a bad place. It was traditionally decorated with dark wooden furniture, paintings were hung nicely and tastefully around the bar and there was a stage with a dancing area in front of it. But the main thing that grabbed Apollo's eye was that the staff, and even the Jazz band on the stage were all wearing the same thing; Red suits.
'Wow, Apollo! Your clothes are back in fashion.' He thought jokingly to himself. He was glad Trucy wasn't here, as he was almost certain she would proclaim that this was also his long lost family, or some other silly crack on his suit.
Apollo then rubbed his hands together to warm them and made his way to the large bar. Apollo didn't pay much mind to the red suited staff as he walked by them, which was probably a good thing. When the suits saw him pass by, most of them looked at him as if they couldn't believe their eyes and started whispering to each other. One of them even did a double take, and nearly dropped the drinks tray he was carrying.
Apollo continued to push his way through the patrons as it was quite busy until he saw the actual bar. He took a bar stool and sat down. He looked up at the bartender who was, obviously, wearing a red suit. He was facing away from him rearranging some bottles on a vast array of shelves. Apollo cleared his throat gently to get his attention. The barman swung round.
"Hello and welcome," he said in a thick English accent "How may I help..." his sentence was cut off as he first laid his eyes on Apollo. He then shot back a little as if he saw a ghost and his black sunglasses slid down his nose. The bartender was a large man and looked like he was in his sixties. However, his age didn't stop him looking after himself as he looked quite muscular, more a like a bouncer than a bartender. His once black short hair was graying and he had a slight tan.
"Erm...is there a problem?" asked Apollo nervously.
The bartender pushed his glasses back up his nose. "Oh, no there's no problem." he then smiled slightly. "No problem at all..." he said quietly. Apollo didn't buy it, but before he could object, the bartender spoke again. "So, sir," he says enthusiastically, "What's your poison?"
Apollo blinked in confusion. "Oh! A drink! Yes..." said Apollo hastily as he finally got what the bartender said. "I'll think I'll have..."
"A Long Island Ice Tea." said the bartender while he was already getting the ingredients he needed.
Apollo's hair drooped, and his mouth fell open slightly before he responded with "How did you..."
The bartender chuckled deeply. "Lucky guess." he said mysteriously. He finished mixing the drink and put it in front of Apollo. "Here you are lad!" Apollo took the drink and took a sip. He smiled after tasting it. "Good?" Asked the bartender.
"This is the best I've ever had." said Apollo honestly with a hint of shock. The bartender smirked.
"You could say I've had a lot of practice..." he said while boring his eyes into Apollo. Apollo looked up nervously at the bartender wondering why he was staring at him so intently. It then hit him that he hadn't paid yet.
"Oh sorry. Your money..." said Apollo diving into his pocket for his wallet but the bartender waved his hand stopping him
"No need. It's on the house." He smirked again "Enjoy it."
Apollo was now more confused then ever. "Not that I'm complaining, but why?"
The bartender folded his arms. "Well I like the cut of your jib, boy."
Apollo raised his eyebrows. "I'm sorry but that makes no sense."
The bartender laughed. "I guess not. But I like your honesty kid." The bartender then outstretched his hand. "The names Phil Richards. May you tell me yours?"
Apollo looked at his hand for a fleeting moment but then smiled and shook it firmly. "Apollo...Apollo Justice."
The minute he said his name, the bar became deathly quiet. All the staff wearing their red suits turned and stared at the bar. The jazz band stopped mid-song and stared as well. It was not a stare of hatred though, more one of disbelief. And because everything had grinded to a halt, some of the patrons had started to look at Apollo too in annoyance. Apollo realized this and looked around the bar, his head sweating heavily from nervousness and confusion. Phil chuckled slightly. "Apollo...of course...a proper man's name." he then released Apollo's hand and flexed his own. "And a nice strong handshake as well. You know, you can tell a lot about a man by his handshake..." He looked down at his customer and then realized he hadn't spoken in a while. He then looked past his shoulder and noticed everyone was staring at Apollo. Phil raised an eyebrow. "Oi you louts!" he bellowed gaining the attention of all the staff. Phil then grabbed an ashtray that was near him and lobbed it towards the band. "Get back to work! I don't pay you lot to lounge about do I!"
The staff jumped in slight fear. "No sir!" they all said in unison as they started to get back to work.
"Gits..." said Phil quietly as Apollo turned and faced him again. "Sorry about that." he said while scratching his chin.
"W-Why are they all looking at me like that?" asked Apollo now noticing the red suited staff stealing glances at him that he was blissfully unaware of earlier.
"Don't ask me," said Phil polishing a glass. "maybe they see something they like about you..."
Apollo instinctively reached for his bracelet when he felt it tighten. When Phil saw the action, he smiled. "I should of known that lying to you would be hard. 'Specially with that bracelet on.."
Apollo nearly fell off his bar stall in shock. "Y-You know about my bracelet!"
Phil continued giving his glass a shine like nothing had happened. "Yes...let me guess...mothers gift by any chance?" he said with a glint in his eye.
Apollo sat forward. "Y-You know my mother."
"I know your mother. But the real question is, do you?"
"Of course I do...well I only found out today but..." Apollo mumbled while scratching the back of his head.
"Hmph," said Phil "So she's only just done it..." He then leaned forward onto the bar as if he was deep in thought. He then looked intently at Apollo. "You wanna know why all these people are looking at you like some kind of celebrity?" Apollo gulped and gently nodded. "It's because," he said quietly and slowly "You look exactly like... 'him'."
Apollo blinked in confusion. "Him? Who's him?"
Phil pushed himself off the bar and started polishing his glass again. "If you wanna know more, speak your mother. Say Uncle sent ya!"
Apollo eyes shot wide open in realization. "By him... do you mean..."
Phil waved his hand silencing him. "It's not my job to speak of this with you. Like I said, speak with your mother." Apollo looked at Phil unsure of what to do until Phil smiled at him. "Go on! Jog on!"
Apollo nodded, downed his drink and then ran out the bar. Phil looked at the sprinting attorney and smiled to himself.
'God moves in mysterious ways...' He thought while shaking his head.
"Hey?" said a guy in a red suit near Phil who had just approached the bar.
"What is it Jerimiah?"
"Is he who I think he is?"
"Come on. Do you have any doubt?"
"Wow...well should you have tried to keep him here then, and speak to him?"
"No...that's Thal's responsibility, not mine."
"Seems that way..."
"What if he doesn't come back?"
"He'll be back."
"Bet you $20 he won't."
Thalassa sighed as she looked out of the window of the Wright Anything Agency's office. The emerging fog did nothing to help her mood. It went as well as she expected it to...she knew that Trucy would probably take the news of having her mother back better than Apollo, who throughout his life had no one to call a family. She perceived the feelings he had through his eyes...anger, sadness, fear, confusion...she wasn't at all surprised when he excused himself to have a walk and clear his head. But after being missing for several hours, the group began to get worried and Phoenix and Trucy volunteered to go out and find him while Thalassa would stay here just in case he got back.
'I hope he's okay...' She thought with some concern. However, she needn't be worried as Apollo came bursting through the door right that moment. Apollo doubled over out of breath.
"...Bar...red suits...barman...oh God..." said Apollo in between gasps of air. Thalassa gave him a concerned look.
"Apollo are you okay?" She walked over to a tap and got a glass of water. "Here." she said offering it to Apollo. He took it willingly and gulped it down. His breathing then slowed to a calmer rate. "Now, what were you saying?" asked Thalassa.
Apollo looked into the eyes of his mother and then gulped. This would be awkward...one way or another. "I went into a bar in town," Apollo started saying "And I met a man in there. He said he knew you." Thalassa's eyebrows arched in confusion "He said that I looked like someone he knew."
Thalassa continued to look at him in confusion, then looked away, "I have no idea who or what you are talking about."
Apollo's eyes narrowed, "He also said that I should speak to you and to say Uncle sent me."
Thalassa's eyes widened in shock for the briefest of moments and then she faced away from Apollo. "I...I see." she said eventually.
"Did...this man do something bad to you?" asked Apollo nervously.
"Hah," said Thalassa flippantly catching Apollo off guard. "No, not exactly..." Thalassa then sat down and looked at her son again. "Uncle...Phil...he was...a good friend of your fathers."
Apollo sighed. "I thought it might be something like that..." he then sat opposite her.
"He's right you know." she said "It's almost uncanny...how similar you look...must've given him the fright of his life." she then laughed softly to herself.
They sat in silence for a few minutes before Apollo eventually spoke. "What was he like?"
Thalassa looked up. She was struggling with many different conflicting emotions here. Should she tell him?
"Your father was a good man." she said eventually "And I will tell you everything about him... under one condition."
"A condition?" Apollo said slightly confused.
Thalassa nodded. "Yes. And it is this; that you do not judge your father or me based on the story I am about to tell."
Alarm bells rang in Apollo's mind. This didn't sound good. But it seems he had no choice. He nodded without saying a word. Thalassa inhaled a deep breath.
"Very well. Here goes..."
Random Kristoph short story: Kristoph the Romantic Part I
Kristoph: "Darling, I bought you a puppy..."
Kristophs Love Interest: "Hooray! You're the best sweethear-"
Kristoph: "...and then I killed it."
Kristoph's Love Interest: *Shocked face*
I would like to clear something up: Spadework wrote 99.9% of this. I added a couple things and put some z's in there. That's pretty much it. For those of you reading my work, you are probably thinking "Damn it, he's abandoned 'Like My Father Before Me'". This is not true, I simply have writers block. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this fun little intro, you might be surprised by what this story has to say...
In Hopes of Future Consideration,
Now I would like to clear something up. Although Kongu may downplay his contribution to this story, I feel that without our combination of ideas and writing styles, the plan that we have down for this story would be nowhere near as epic as it is now. And I think we both agree that if either of us attempted this alone, it would erupt into a mess. And for that, I thank him for agreeing to this when I first approached him with the idea. I would also like to note that I also have no intention of stopping 'The Truth That Ties And Binds.'
I hope you enjoy this story, which first came about when me and Kongu first began exchanging plot ideas over 'Like My Father Before Me' and, if we pull it off right, you are in for one wild ride...
So British That It Hurts,